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Aug 08 2013

What do you do when someone pulls the pin and hands you a grenade?

I’m dyin’ here, people. It’s like people trust me or something.

So I’ve been given this rather…explosive…information. It’s a direct report of unethical behavior by a big name in the skeptical community (yeah, like that hasn’t been happening a lot lately), and it’s straight from the victim’s mouth. And it’s bad. Really bad.

She’s torn up about it. It’s been a few years, so no law agency is going to do anything about it now; she reported it to an organization at the time, and it was dismissed. Swept under the rug. Ignored. I can imagine her sense of futility. She’s also afraid that the person who assaulted her before could try to hurt her again.

But at the same time, she doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else, so she’d like to get the word out there. So she hands the information to me. Oh, thanks.

Now I’ve been sitting here trying to resolve my dilemma — to reveal it or not — and goddamn it, what’s dominating my head isn’t the consequences, but the question of what is the right thing to do. Do I stand up for the one who has no recourse, no way out, no other option to help others, or do I shelter the powerful big name guy from an accusation I can’t personally vouch for, except to say that I know the author, and that she’s not trying to acquire notoriety (she wants her name kept out of it)?

I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do, I can do no other. I will again emphasize, though, that I have no personal, direct evidence that the event occurred as described; all I can say is that the author is known to me, and she has also been vouched for by one other person I trust. The author is not threatening her putative assailant with any action, but is solely concerned that other women be aware of his behavior. The only reason she has given me this information is that she has no other way to act.

With that, I cast this grenade away from me…

At a conference, Mr. Shermer coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me. I can’t give more details than that, as it would reveal my identity, and I am very scared that he will come after me in some way. But I wanted to share this story in case it helps anyone else ward off a similar situation from happening. I reached out to one organization that was involved in the event at which I was raped, and they refused to take my concerns seriously. Ever since, I’ve heard stories about him doing things (5 different people have directly told me they did the same to them) and wanted to just say something and warn people, and I didn’t know how. I hope this protects someone.

Boom.


Further corroboration: a witness has come forward. This person has asked to remain anonymous too, but I will say they’re someone who doesn’t particularly like me — so no accusations of fannishness, OK?

The anonymous woman who wrote to you is known to me, and in fact I was in her presence immediately after said incident (she was extremely distraught), and when she told the management of the conference (some time later).


Women are still writing into me with their personal stories. This one isn’t so awful, but it’s mainly illustrative of his tactics…there’s nothing here that would form the basis of any kind of serious complaint, but most importantly, I think, it tells you exactly what kind of behavior to watch out for with him.

Michael Shermer was the guest of honor at an atheist event I attended in Fall 2006; I was on the Board of the group who hosted it. It’s a very short story: I got my book signed, then at the post-speech party, Shermer chatted with me at great length while refilling my wine glass repeatedly. I lost count of how many drinks I had. He was flirting with me and I am non-confrontational and unwilling to be rude, so I just laughed it off. He made sure my wine glass stayed full.

And that’s the entirety of my story: Michael Shermer helped get me drunker than I normally get, and was a bit flirty. I can’t recall the details because I was intoxicated. I don’t remember how I left, but I am told that a friend took me away from the situation and home from the party. Note, I’d never gotten drunk at any atheist event before; I was humiliated by having gotten so drunk and even more ashamed that my friends had to cart me off before anything happened to me.

But I had a bad taste in my mouth about Shermer’s flirtatiousness, because I’m married, and I thought he was kind of a pig. I didn’t even keep his signed book, I didn’t want it near me.

Over the years as rumors have flown about atheist women warning each other about a lecherous author/speaker, I thought of all the authors and speakers I had met during my time as an atheist activist, and I guessed that Shermer was the one being warned against.

Now there are tweets and blogs about his sexually inappropriate behavior as well as his fondness for getting chicks drunk, so I feel quite less alone. I don’t think he realizes he is doing anything wrong. Men who behave inappropriately sexually never think they are doing anything wrong.

I have mixed feelings about your grenade-dropping. I have heard arguments both for and against what you did. Whether or not I agree with it, I just want to say that the accusations against Shermer match up with my personal experience with him, insofar as he seemed hellbent on helping me get drunk, and was very flirty with me. Take it for what you will. I believe the accusers.

4,379 comments

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  1. 4001
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    @Nepenthe:

    My experience with commuting on public transit has been confined to large cities with populations hat are either just under, or well over, a million people.

    Any time I’ve lived in small cities or towns I’ve had a car, so I don’t generally use public transit. (I find a car impractical in large cities with dense populations because of the cost of parking, insurance, and other money-related factors combined with the ease and reach of public transit in those cities.)

  2. 4002
    Who Cares

    Just realized how short my fuse has become on this. I argued against censorship earlier in this thread and now I’ve just asked for someone to put a warning on Ace of Skeps.

  3. 4003
    Inaji

    One more thing:

    procrastinatorordinaire:

    This story is annoying me.

    Oh? Why on earth would it annoy you? Are you in the habit of violating womens’ boundaries? If not, why in the fuck should you care? I mean, you could have actually learned something from Kristinc’s story, the light bulb could have gone on, and you found yourself thinking “it’s not cool to hit on women on the bus!” and “if I see that happening, I’ll do something about it” and patted yourself on the back for being a decent human being. But nooooooooooo, it has to be all about you.

    As you’re so in love with hypotheticals, let’s present one that we all know ahead of time would never, ever happen:

    A young man is sitting on the bus, where there are many empty seats available. A young woman boards the bus, stops by the young man and asks if she can sit there. The young man gives a reasonable, polite, neutral response, “no, there’s an empty seat right over there.” The young woman sits in the empty seat and starts hurling insults and invective at the young man, and other women on the bus starting yelling names and invective at him, too.

    What would your response be then? You’d still be terribly annoyed, right?

  4. 4004
    Inaji

    Zenlike:

    In the little anecdote above, if the guy just had sat down next to the girl, there would probably be no situation, but he explicitly asked, which is most of the time an opening for a conversation.

    Exactly. The bottom line being, if you ask someone something like that, you really should keep in mind that one of the optional answers is ‘no’.

  5. 4005
    Inaji

    Who Cares:

    Just realized how short my fuse has become on this. I argued against censorship earlier in this thread and now I’ve just asked for someone to put a warning on Ace of Skeps.

    Don’t worry about it, PZ will make up his mind about the situation, and it won’t be immediate at any rate, so AceofSkeps probably has plenty of trolling time left.

  6. 4006
    LykeX

    In the little anecdote above, if the guy just had sat down next to the girl, there would probably be no situation, but he explicitly asked, which is most of the time an opening for a conversation.

    Which also brings up another angle: What if she had assume that he was only asking for a seat and said yes? Then, once seated, maybe he started hitting on her, the odd bit of physical contact, hand on her leg or something. How many people would we have in here telling us that she should have known better and if she didn’t want that, why didn’t she just say no? How many people would come and say that she was being mean and unreasonable, a regular tease, for leading on the poor guy like that?

    This is simply another catch-22. You say no, you’re a bitch. You say yes, you’ve now given irrevocable consent to absolutely anything that the guy might want to do.

  7. 4007
    Inaji

    LykeX:

    This is simply another catch-22. You say no, you’re a bitch. You say yes, you’ve now given irrevocable consent to absolutely anything that the guy might want to do.

    QFT.

  8. 4008
    smhll

    TW: for the yuckiest rape apologism ever (IMO)

    Some complementarian evangelicals go beyond this to actually blame feminism for the very existence of rape. Douglas Wilson, for instance, believes that when feminists deny men the opportunity to practice “godly” authority over women, men react by taking back the authority that they deserve using violence.

    This is so fucking disgusting that the trolls here almost pale in comparison. (Although this is the seed that spawned the building blocks of our rape culture, so the troll arguments are faint echoes of this idea.)

  9. 4009
    Who Cares

    @Cain(#4003):
    Not many, who take it out on others like that, do that. Their ego prevents that since they’ve convinced themselves that, at some level, the world revolves around them. So anything that challenges that preconception has to be dealt with in a manner that leaves no doubt that who is the important person.
    And then the underlying assumptions of rape culture kick in, giving him more credit since he’s a man ‘defending’ against a woman.

  10. 4010
    pensnest

    I’m late to this on account of being away for a long weekend, and it’s taken me quite a while to read through the comments. But I would like to add my support to the anonymous woman who had to endure this, and my sympathy for her desire not to be named. And well done PZ for making this public, at no small personal risk. Thank you for being trustworthy.

    My heart goes out to all the people who have posted their own experiences here.

    It’s infuriating to see so many comments by people who think that being rational and skeptical means they must doubt everything, while at the same time being utterly blind to their own bias. There’s no evidence that PZ has an age-old feud with Shermer and is grasping an opportunity to Do Bad Shit to him, and ample evidence that PZ is against rape culture and the outrageous behaviour of abusers, but they’ll cling to the groundless belief rather than look at what’s plainly there to see.

    As for the plaintive cries that there isn’t *evidence* that someone was raped—what evidence do they expect to find in a blog post that they are willing to accept? I very much doubt that there is any evidence they’d be willing to accept, so smitten are they with the idea of using the tool of skepticism to assess everything out of existence. And oh, dear, the crap they cite…

    Also ew, ew, a couple of transparently malicious comments “accusing” PZ of committing similar offences, which so exactly parallel his post (without the background honesty) that it is perfectly clear they are more ‘performance art’ than truth. Disgusting.

    Thank you, Horde, for continuing to fight the necessary fight, and for your relentless honesty. (And thank you skeptianthro (#3280) for that graphic!)

  11. 4011
    Anne D

    So, I came back, and found procrastinatorordinaire. Gah. I’ve taken public transit in my day. My daughters both ride the bus to their colleges. We’ve all had to deal with guys who think they’re entitled to our attention. So I was ready to lay into this person, but I see that the Horde is already on it. Once again, a heartfelt Thank You!

    Anecdote: My elder daughter has had trouble with men who demand her attention, her ear, her phone number… until she moves up near the driver. Fortunately, the drivers on our local lines are all very swift to help someone who’s being harassed, including, in one case where the harasser tried to follow daughter off the bus at her stop, shutting the door in his face before he could get off, and pulling back into traffic.

    No, you are not entitled to my company. Ever. Fuck Off.

  12. 4012
    Izzy

    *sigh*

    The fiance just made a “I should booze you up joke”. Hilarious! *sob*

    Had to sit him down and introduce him to that “don’t be that guy” campaign. It was meant as a joke I know. I acknowledge the intention. Still… not funny.

  13. 4013
    Pteryxx

    …oy. I try and ask people on buses before sitting next to them, too, especially women, because I’m intimidating-looking and I figured it was *less* threatening to ask. I’ve also been told “no I’d rather not” maybe one time in … fifty, or a hundred. *rant* How do non-aspies keep track of all this? */rant*

    I’m willing to believe that WHEN someone says no or deflects such a minor request, she’s got a damn good reason – maybe I, or Mister There’s-another-seat-over-there tripped her creep-dar. For all I know I was the fifth creepy asker that week.

  14. 4014
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    @Pteryxx:

    If you look back at the discussion on the last page, near the end, it seems to be situational.

    It’s not *wrong* to ask, not in the least!

    You also have never come across as the kind of person who would intentionally violate someone’s boundaries, or be upset if someone said “no” to you.

    The situation you describe, plus your awareness of how you may appear to others, is a factor in your decision to ask.

    I don’t see anything wrong here.

    Then again, I’ve also pretty much never said “No” to someone asking me if they can sit next to me, I just make sure to make it clear through body language and other very obvious social cues that I don’t want to engage further. If they do attempt to engage me and I don’t feel comfortable doing that I politely let them know.

    (The only times I’ve said no was if the person asking was obviously VERY inebriated (because I’ve been puked on more than once) or had otherwise been creepy towards someone else first and been asked to move.)

  15. 4015
    notsont

    Point of interest: on German buses and trams, either the equivalent of “excuse me” or a simple look are SOP for finding a seat. Anybody specifically asking “hey, can I sit next to you?” is definitely flirting, same as “hey, what’cha reading?”, which I personally find especially annoying.

    I get this a lot, I read whenever I am out, if I have to wait even just 5 minutes for something I pop out my phone and read a book. I was diagnosed with autism a few years back, I don’t have a cognitive deficit but I have severe social and other issues. Being pressured to talk to people in public whom I do not know produces a severe anger response in me I start to act irrational.

    About 50% of people who I tend to sit near will ask “whacha reading?” most are satisfied with “just a book” about 1% will keep pestering me for information on what kind of book and how do I like reading on my phone. I don’t know what type of people these are (young, old, white, black, asian) because I don’t look at them but I would say for me its more often women going by their voice who tend to pester.

    Of the small % who pester there is an even tinier subset who eventually get angry with me for not being “polite” and dropping what I am doing and giving them my attention. Thankfully my wife will usually show up and “rescue” me before I do something that irrational.

  16. 4016
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    There’s some douche called Ace of Skeps being a complete arsehole on the Painfully Close to the Truth thread. I have to log off, but if anyone fancies a fight…

  17. 4017
    ischemgeek

    My response to “Whatchareadin’?” by someone I don’t know is usually silence because I get too into the book (I can hyperfocus to the point of forgetting to eat or sleep for days). If the person persists and taps me on the shoulder or something, I usually reply “I was reading words. I will now continue to read words.”

    … usually people take the hint, though I’ve had many gendered slurs hurled my way for it.

    But, meh. If you want to know what I’m reading, you can look at the title. I hold books up close to my face when I read on the bus so nobody who’s asking me what I’m reading is asking sincerely unless they have a serious vision impairment not correctable by glasses.

  18. 4018
    fwtbc

    Finally caught up.

    Jane Doe: I believe you, I support you, and I thank you for speaking up.

    Corroborators: Thank you for adding your voices of support.

    PZ: Thank you for bringing it into the open.

    Caine: Thank you for your tireless efforts. Merely keeping up with the comments was something I was unable to do, but to stay on top of it all and respond again and again and again to such repulsive people expressing views that are so triggering, I don’t have sufficient words to express how wonderful you are for it.

    Pteryxx and carlie: I’ve always appreciated your posts in any thread I’ve seen them, and this is no exception. Thank you.

    Thank you to everyone else who’s stuck around to engage with the slime who come in to ask the same questions adnauseum, and the intellectual giants who think this is the perfect outlet for their bullshit academic mental exercises.

    This thread has been very emotionally taxing for me, and no doubt for a lot of others, but it’s also been very inspiring. The warmth I’m feeling towards the horde knows no bounds.

  19. 4019
    smhll

    Ditto everything in #4018.

  20. 4020
    procrastinatorordinaire

    Oh? Why on earth would it annoy you? Are you in the habit of violating womens’ boundaries?

    I am not in the habit of violating women’s boundaries and would actually avoid sitting next to someone who I thought would feel uncomfortable. In fact, I often just prefer to stand if the journey is not long and leave the seats to those who need them.

    I don’t know why the story bothered me so much. It’s probably a cultural thing. I travelled a lot by bus as a child and my mother couldn’t go two stops without striking up a conversation with anyone who happened to be sitting close by. Asking if a seat was free was the polite thing to do as was giving up your seat if an older person got on the bus.

  21. 4021
    Pteryxx

    (On the bus thing… and this is just me rambling, not a discourse on the State of public transit Sitter-Stander relations)

    @praxis: …well I appreciate the reassurance, but there’s a reason I come across as trustworthy here – this is online where the only subtle signals are in text and I have some control over them. I try to make a conscious effort to make my face and voice give off the ‘friendly-person’ social cues and not the ‘scary-person’ social cues that they usually default to. (I’ve almost lost jobs over my tone of voice, so it’s a big deal to me.) But I know I’m doing a poor job of it, so I assume I’m going to trip more creep-dars than not, and I try to do other nonthreatening gestures like asking from a goodly distance away, which isn’t going to work on confined spaces like buses or elevators. Nor can I tell from someone’s expression or body language if they’re being polite to me as opposed to ‘polite’ when they really wish they could say ‘please go away big scary person’.

    If the best rule-of-thumb is still to ask for permission, I guess I’ll keep on doing that, but damn it sure is disheartening that requests can’t just be plain old requests because of all the malicious creepers who won’t take the simplest damn word in the language for an answer.

    *on refresh* … and I see that declarative “Excuse me. *period*.” might be a better option, so I guess I’ll try that for a few years and see how it goes. Once I live somewhere with public transit again, that is.

  22. 4022
    mildlymagnificent

    The painfully close thread is proceeding painfully – step by tedious step.

    Talk about SIWOTI!

  23. 4023
    kristinc, now with added ventilation

    Another example of how our culture takes rape very seriously and instantly vaporizes anyone accused of it:

    That’s right, it’s time to focus on the real victims of Steubenville: the football players who were foolish enough to get caught, and the resulting drop in Steubenville’s sports stats. If only someone had taught them about proper Instagram etiquette, they would never have documented their gang-rape of an unconscious underage girl, hence escaping punishment. This would have enabled them to continue focusing on what really matters, football, free of pesky “distractions” like pokes, likes, and being brought to justice for rape.

  24. 4024
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    @Pteryxx:

    Well, the reason you come across as trustworthy, at least to me, is because I have seen enough of what you’ve said in discussions about consent and boundaries to know what you really think about those topics. So, yeah, I am biased in your favour because I know what those ideas mean to you.

    But as much as you may think the cues you give off are unambiguous, they are probably not as unambigious as you may think. One of my nephews is autistic, and his impairments are far greater than yours, I would gather. Despite his missing of social cues and relative inability to judge the emotional weather of others with great accuracy it is easy to tell that there is no malice in his behaviour for those who don’t suffer from autism spectrum disorders. (At least, as far as my experience with being in public with him goes.)

  25. 4025
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    Also @ Pteryxx:

    I wish it didn’t have to be that way for you just because there are stupid, senseless and creepy people in the world. It really sucks. :(

    …but the fact that you’re aware of it, and trying to change to world for the better, means you’re making every effort to make that suck stop. Someday it will stop being so sucky. (I hope.)

  26. 4026
    carlie
    The seat next to you on a crowded bus is not your personal space

    But it wasn’t that crowded. There was another, open seat. If it was the only seat, that’s fine, but it wasn’t.

    Exactly. If you don’t think which seat you take matters, try going into a theater with only a few people in it and taking the seat directly next to them. Or going into a public restroom with multiple urinals and using the one right next to the only other person in there. General social rules are to allow as much personal space as the situation allows. The guy may have had other reasons for wanting to sit there (he has a bad knee and the other open seat was on the wrong side to stretch out his leg, it was closer to the door and he was only going one stop, etc), and asked specifically because he knew it would look odd to take that one, but without explaining why, it seems like he’s trying to initiate a conversation, and she has every right to say no.

  27. 4027
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    Does anyone need an extra comma? If so, you’re welcome to snag it out of my #4024.

  28. 4028
    Who Cares

    @Thumper; Atheist mate(#4016):
    Already asked for a closer inspection and taking him on. But the way he’s coming at the subject and the people engaging him I’d expect some red text sooner (rather then later).

  29. 4029
    procrastinatorordinaire

    Bus story aside, the reason I joined in this thread, was just to say that I think that Shermer is a shit for the way he behaved with Jane Doe and the other women who have similar experiences. I wanted to applaud PZ for his courage in passing the message on.

    Unfortunately rape is as others pointed out before in this thread all too mundane, and not all rapists are called Michael Shermer. It is my sincere hope that news like this helps make a real and positive change in the future.

    There are a lot of calls for changes to the rape culture. I wish there would be a similar change in the alcohol culture.

  30. 4030
    Inaji

    Anne D:

    until she moves up near the driver.

    Yep. If there was a seat available, that’s where I always sat, behind the driver.

  31. 4031
    ischemgeek

    @Prax, IME, it depends a lot on your physical appearance, in my experience. I have difficulty with social cues and subtext (for example, I take sarcasm literally almost always) and people usually read me as younger than I am/naive/childish. My cousin, who is diagnosed autistic, has about the same degree of difficulty with social cues and subtext in addition to some really severe social anxiety, and people view him as threatening.

    Difference? I’m female-presenting, babyfaced, and small (130lbs and 5’4″, but I’ve got a lot of muscle so most people guestimate my weight around 110lbs if I’m wearing long sleeves). He’s male-presenting and big (250lbs and 6’5″). They see him and he’s Big McLargeHuge and they get intimidated. His social awkwardness makes them feel unbalanced which makes them feel more intimidated. And then because he’s shy, he won’t talk or look at them, which makes them even more intimidated.

    By contrast: They see me and think, “cute!” And if I won’t look at them or talk to them, they think shy and also cute and ignore my “Please leave me alone” signs because they think I should socialize moar.

    … so if your nephew is small still or even if he’s just got a slim build or rather gentle-looking facial features, it might just be that people’s mental calculus is giving them “childish” rather than “scary.” Kids are very different from adults, and adults are very different from each other.

  32. 4032
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    @ischemgeek:

    He’s 9. So yes, everything you say is true.

    Thank you for pointing that out to me. I hadn’t been considering those differences, because the interactions he has with both kids and adults seem to be the same, so I was coming at it form an angle of his interactions being with people who are either his social equals or those with more “power” than him.

    Thanks again for taking the time to explain. :)

  33. 4033
    Inaji

    procrastinatorordinaire:

    I don’t know why the story bothered me so much. It’s probably a cultural thing. I travelled a lot by bus as a child and my mother couldn’t go two stops without striking up a conversation with anyone who happened to be sitting close by. Asking if a seat was free was the polite thing to do as was giving up your seat if an older person got on the bus.

    Okay, I understand that. Our personal experiences inform us. The trick here is to step outside the bounds of your personal experience and view the situation from another point of view. Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends.

    It’s hardly the end of the universe if we expect men to be able to process and understand a polite no. Or even an impolite no. In all of known history, women have been treated as animals, as things, as property. It’s still considered that autonomy is the right of men, not women, and that men’s autonomy includes helping themselves to women, in any way, at any time. When an example is proffered of a man not being capable of taking no for an answer, and reacting in an entirely inappropriate manner, with other men joining in, the reaction to reading that story shouldn’t be annoyance at the woman for saying no.

  34. 4034
    badgersdaughter

    Does anyone need an extra comma? If so, you’re welcome to snag it out of my #4024.

    Oxford and I have been trying to give out one per “and” in a list for years now, and there haven’t been enough takers :)

  35. 4035
    Inaji

    More educational type stuff, on the book recommendation front: Misogyny: The World’s Oldest Prejudice, by Jack Holland. It’s available as an e-book for those with tablets, and the tree version is at many libraries. An excellent read.

  36. 4036
    Menyambal

    In the USA, especially the rural areas, there is a great connection between alcohol and sex. (I say rural because of all the country-music songs that assume the two go together, but bars as places to meet people is pretty common.) I think some of the trolls infesting this thread cannot imagine getting women any way other than getting them drunk.

    They think that if we have kept Michael Shermer from getting women drunk and having non-consensual sex, we have ruined his entire sex life—there is no other kind of sex, to them. Which is what they mean when they say we have ruined his life, because sex, no matter how attained, is the goal of their lives, and certainly the only point of their relationships to women.

  37. 4037
    Menyambal

    Praxis, I went back and read your #4024 for commas, and I’d have added one, myself. I like commas and em-dashes, me.

  38. 4038
    Pteryxx

    I’ll just toss out there that female-presenting people can also have problems reading social cues, and it’s also unfair to expect the person sitting on the bus to accurately read who is or isn’t getting overly creepy with the “May I sit next to you” vibe. My reasonable heuristic in that case, if I were prone to getting creeped upon, would be wariness of just about anyone who asked. Maybe block the seat with a giant vase of flowers or something. Sheesh.

  39. 4039
    notsont

    They think that if we have kept Michael Shermer from getting women drunk and having non-consensual sex, we have ruined his entire sex life—there is no other kind of sex, to them. Which is what they mean when they say we have ruined his life, because sex, no matter how attained, is the goal of their lives, and certainly the only point of their relationships to women.

    I agree. I would also say they are confusing separate issues, many women do go out drinking and do hook up with men quite consensually Most people (I think, but am starting to doubt) can tell the difference between something that is mutually consensual and something that is one sided. I think a lot of the people who are saying this behavior is perfectly fine are conflating two completely different things.

  40. 4040
    Aim: baby hordeling

    Pteryxx, 4038:

    Maybe block the seat with a giant vase of flowers or something.

    That’s pretty much what a lot of people do resort to. Next time you’re using public transport, see if you can spot women with their bags either on their legs/in their laps or on the seat next to them.
    Personally, I tend to go for the hattrick: ginormous handbag in lap, earbuds in ears, book or notebook out. I *still* get hit on sometimes.

  41. 4041
    Menyambal

    Conflating two different things is a very common troll/religious trait.

    Sometimes they’ll switch definition in midstream, and us clever people follow them around the corner, with our agile minds, without even noticing they jumped between cars.

    On a bus, I’d say there is a lot of difference between “.. sit here?” and “… sit next to you?”

  42. 4042
    ischemgeek

    @Prax Thanks for listening. A lot of people who are not autistic/BAP but have autistic relatives make that mistake, and I figured I’d correct it when I saw it, since I know from autistic friends that “My child/nephew/neice/grandchild isn’t like that!” is a major irritation to them.

    More social cues difficulty: I spent twenty minutes writing up an entire essay of analogies and examples to other disabilities written up here before I realized that your post meant you’d realized what I’d been getting at and would thus probably be insulted/hurt if I harped on about it some more. Whoops.

    Why I prefer text-based communication to meat-space, right there: in text, I can spot stuff like that before I spend twenty minutes monologing at someone who’s getting increasingly upset because they feel like I’m implying they’re stupid and because I just won’t let it go.

  43. 4043
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    Maybe block the seat with a giant vase of flowers or something.

    That’s more or less what I used to do, if I couldn’t get a place on the bench behind the driver. I generally had a large stack of textbooks with me and stuffed backpack, which I’d pile onto the seat next to me. Back in my bus ridin’ days, we didn’t have all the nifty tech we have now, so your best bet was to bury your nose in a book and block the seat next to you.

  44. 4044
    Pteryxx

    notsont:

    Most people (I think, but am starting to doubt) can tell the difference between something that is mutually consensual and something that is one sided. I think a lot of the people who are saying this behavior is perfectly fine are conflating two completely different things.

    I agree with this. The mythology, though, comes from the rapists using the language and narrative of consensual hookups to intentionally hide what they’re doing. They even tell those stories to themselves. (And to each other, in dudebro and MRA communities and also in plain sight, hence rape culture.) So reasonable and decent people hear “confused” or “regretted it” or “misunderstood” as if reasonable and decent people were explaining it that way.

    Or “I don’t know what happened” or “I’m sorry” as quoted from a serial rapist in Predator Theory. I’ll just leave the link b/c I don’t feel like blockquoting under trigger warnings here.

    http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/03/25/predator-theory/

  45. 4045
    Inaji

    Menyambal:

    On a bus, I’d say there is a lot of difference between “.. sit here?” and “… sit next to you?”

    A whole world of difference.

  46. 4046
    Pteryxx

    ischemgeek: is autistic/BAP the better terminology nowadays?

  47. 4047
    ischemgeek

    @Pteryxx

    I’ll just toss out there that female-presenting people can also have problems reading social cues, and it’s also unfair to expect the person sitting on the bus to accurately read who is or isn’t getting overly creepy with the “May I sit next to you” vibe. My reasonable heuristic in that case, if I were prone to getting creeped upon, would be wariness of just about anyone who asked. Maybe block the seat with a giant vase of flowers or something.

    I do pretty much exactly that for exactly that reason. I have a gigantic backpack that’s about half as big as I am that I sit in the chair next to me. And if the bus is mostly empty, I have a ready excuse of, “My bag is really heavy.”

    If the bus is full enough that doubling up is necessary, I will put the bag on my lap and hold it to my chest. Since I have very short hair and am babyfaced and refuse to torture myself by plucking my eyebrows, this is usually enough to make it so that that people take me at a glance for an adolescent boy and leave me alone.

  48. 4048
    notsont

    Why I prefer text-based communication to meat-space, right there: in text, I can spot stuff like that before I spend twenty minutes monologing at someone who’s getting increasingly upset because they feel like I’m implying they’re stupid and because I just won’t let it go.

    OMG I get told to stop monologueing at least once a week unfortunatly I suspect I sometimes do it in text form as well or I nitpick about a small detail I “think” everyone has missed but in reality its just a nitpick that no one cares about but me.

  49. 4049
    ischemgeek

    @Pteryxx: BAP = Broader Autism Phenotype. Those with autistic traits but not enough to be diagnosed. And DSM-5 did away with Asperger’s and PDD-NOS, so I guess so? But I’m not sure, I admit.

    I call myself autistic even though I’m not formally diagnosed because I’ve had roughly two dozen people tell me they think I’m autistic independent of each other and I have pretty much the exact same issues as my two autistic cousins with about the same severity, but I never got evaluated as a kid because gifted was thought to be mutually exclusive with developmental disability in my region of my country in the 90s. Given what people have told me of ABA and how closely it parallels the “help” I was given for my atrocious handwriting (I have dysgraphia), I am actually grateful it played out that way.

  50. 4050
    Pteryxx

    @ischemgeek: sounds like BAP is the term of choice then. That’s what I am – I’ve been told, by professional psychologists and counselors, that I almost certainly would be autistic if I only had the money for a formal diagnosis. (USA! USA!)

  51. 4051
    praxis.makes.perfect (Just call me Prax. It's easier to type)

    @badgersdaughter #4034:

    I love me an Oxford Comma. That was the one I was referring to, actually. However, I am told all the time by non-Oxford Comma lovers that it’s an error. *Phew!* It’s nice to know I’m not alone. :)

    @Menyambal #4037:

    You know what? If you see me mis-punctuate, I will always be happy to have it pointed out. Seriously. I think punctuation is very important if you want to make yourself clear when writing. I always want to be a clear as possible.

    @ischemgeek #4042:

    You know what? I went back and read my response to you. I wasn’t being very clear and was relying on my *intent* to shine through. I know better than that. Any miscommunication that may have been there on a first reading was down to me, and me alone. I apologize for not doing my best to be unambiguous. I will use this interaction as another example of how I need to do better. Hopefully I will do better. Thank you, sincerely, for your #4042.

  52. 4052
    ischemgeek

    I have to save up and pay for one up North, too. Supposedly, there’s a way to get the eval covered provincially, but I can’t navigate the bureaucracy and I would cause myself great distress trying. Bureaucratic doubletalk and BS frustrates the hell out of me because nothing about it makes sense a lot of the time. Sorting out something “minor” like an insurance paperwork screwup will have me in tears at least three times. Filling out the paperwork for my passport likewise saw me in tears thrice. I have to get someone else to do my taxes because I just can’t. I’ve tried. It ain’t pretty. It’s not the math, it’s the confusion from the nonsensical directions and the obnoxious bureaucratese and how they design the forms so I can’t just do them in sequential order, oh no. That would make sense. No, I have to do 1/3 of this one and then 1/2 of that one and then 1/3 of another one and so on and so forth until my head pounds and everything is frustration.

    And that’s just taxes, where I don’t have to deal with people whose job it is to make things as opaque as possible so fewer people will be able to access the help. I do not want to even consider what navigating the provincial mental health system to get a DD evaluation would do to me what with all the phone calls and interviews and making appointments and remembering to get to appointments and writing forms with my shitty handwriting and knowing that I’ll have to rewrite them if my hand cramps and jerks pen across the page so the nerves make me tense which makes my hand hurt which makes my handwriting shittier and I have to recopy anyway because it’s so illegible, and if I miss even one appointment I have to start all over again (I know this from my partner who has been navigating it to get actual help-help for his anxiety)…. No. Nonononono. No. Can’t do it, won’t do it, you can’t make me. Worth it to save up the money and pay for it myself.

    (And, yes, that does mean I find it worth two months’ pay to avoid dealing with opaque bureaucracy. That’s how much I hate dealing with opaque bureaucracy. Our physical healthcare system is very easy to navigate here. Our mental health and disability services? Not so much.)

    As a side note, to others who’ve read the thread in full, am I being naieve in hoping that this is the first such shitstorm I’ve seen where people didn’t try to equate autistic and asshole, or did I just miss it?

  53. 4053
    notsont

    @Pteryxx It is hard to find someone to diagnose an adult with autism, many doctors are woefully ignorant when it comes to ASD. I can tell you it took us a lot of effort even to get our son diagnosed when he was 4-6 it took over 2 years and half a dozen doctors to find a neuro-psychologist. It was actually this doctor who suggested I might be autistic, it came as a surprise to me I was like “no, I’m not autistic, I just don’t like people or crowds and stop looking at me it makes me angry…”

  54. 4054
    Inaji

    Ischemgeek:

    I have to save up and pay for one up North, too. Supposedly, there’s a way to get the eval covered provincially, but I can’t navigate the bureaucracy and I would cause myself great distress trying. Bureaucratic doubletalk and BS frustrates the hell out of me because nothing about it makes sense a lot of the time. Sorting out something “minor” like an insurance paperwork screwup will have me in tears at least three times. Filling out the paperwork for my passport likewise saw me in tears thrice. I have to get someone else to do my taxes because I just can’t. I’ve tried. It ain’t pretty. It’s not the math, it’s the confusion from the nonsensical directions and the obnoxious bureaucratese and how they design the forms so I can’t just do them in sequential order, oh no. That would make sense. No, I have to do 1/3 of this one and then 1/2 of that one and then 1/3 of another one and so on and so forth until my head pounds and everything is frustration.

    Is it not possible for you to get an advocate, someone who could accompany you, fill out paperwork, and act as a bullshit to actual language translator for you?

  55. 4055
    notsont

    As a side note, to others who’ve read the thread in full, am I being naieve in hoping that this is the first such shitstorm I’ve seen where people didn’t try to equate autistic and asshole, or did I just miss it?

    I think there migh have been one or two idiots who tried the “what about the poor socially inept asperger dude” but I’m not sure as i’ve been reading multiple forums and this one has 4k posts alone now.

  56. 4056
    Inaji

    Ischemgeek:

    As a side note, to others who’ve read the thread in full, am I being naieve in hoping that this is the first such shitstorm I’ve seen where people didn’t try to equate autistic and asshole, or did I just miss it?

    Colour me cynical, but I think the only reason we didn’t see a plethora of “hey, socially awkward!” and other assorted bullshit was because they knew that couldn’t be applied to Shermer. Otherwise, I expect it would have been in full force.

  57. 4057
    carlie

    It really sucks. The only reason we were able to get my son diagnosed (Asperger’s) was because the school demanded that it be done – he was being too much of a disruption in class, and they recognized that he had something that was probably diagnosable. That was our “in”, and even then we ended up having it done at a teaching hospital in a grad school clinic program because there were no other options for us to use. And then later we only managed to squeeze into therapy because again, the school was threatening alternative placement if we didn’t. Without that kind of leverage, I don’t want to think about where we’d be.

    And then came all of the self-examination of our own characteristics to try to see who he got it from. Neither parent is at a diagnosable level, but let’s just say we empathize much more than sympathize.

  58. 4058
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    That describes mostly what we went through as well to get our son diagnosed. He was having frequent meltdowns at school and we managed to get him evaluated at the local pediatric hospital’s psychological dept. And even there, we had to get a loan from my wife’s parents to pay for the evaluation since our insurance refused to.

    And I’ve done the same “where did it come from” thing as well. I’m pretty sure it’s from me. Though I’ve never been formally diagnosed, I have fairly strong Asperger’s tendencies (along with the joyous Generalized Anxiety Disorder and mild OCD, which I have been diagnosed with).

  59. 4059
    Al Dente

    ischemgeek @4049

    I never got evaluated as a kid because gifted was thought to be mutually exclusive with developmental disability in my region of my country in the 90s.

    In the 60s Asperger syndrome was known to a few academic psychologists. The common terms used, especially for mild aspies, were shy and introverted. I’ve never been tested but I strongly suspect I’m an aspie. I’m physically clumsy, socially awkward, and can get fixated on minutiae. This last helps me in my job as a financial auditor.

    One of my favorite short stories is Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener”. There’s a character I can relate to.

  60. 4060
    ischemgeek

    Not that I know for the interviews of because they’ll be all “patient confidentiality” and also because pretty much none of it is written down anywhere so it’s all in dealing with people and convincing them that I need to see someone who specializes in adults with developmental disabilities and not, say, group therapy for people with social anxiety or a “mindfulness” thing for people prone to situational depression. Both of those probably wouldn’t hurt since they are issues I do have, but given that it’s not my major issue, they probably wouldn’t help too much, either.

    Hilariously, in order for me to qualify for someone to come along with me to translate bullshit to meaningful language, I would have to have a diagnosis. Which I don’t have because I can’t navigate the system because I can’t bring someone to translate bullshit to meaningful language.

    But for the paperwork stuff, I could probably get someone to help me with that. And I could relay what happened at sessions to him and see what he thought because his social insight is good enough that even with second hand information he can see stuff I missed. And he happens to be my partner so I trust him not to spread it around. I’ll have to seriously consider it. Because if I can get the province to pick up the tab, that would save me two months’ pay.

  61. 4061
    Menyambal

    Praxis, thanks, but no, I was not criticizing—just saying that I am comma-happy. And I’d only ask for clarification if I was really confused, which I was not. I tend to make a mental note of confusion, operate with my best guess, and watch for clarification. Especially in a fast-moving thread with pedantry a pain in the posterior. (I’ll point out poor writing if it shows the person is so illiterate they shouldn’t be reading the bible or participating in a text-based forum, but a typo or two is part life on a keyboard. (And again, you were great.)) /detail derail

    As for Shermer, yeah, he comes off as a very smart and successful person who shouldn’t “have to” do this. I mean, he could get dates other ways. Not that that made me doubt that he did/does it, it just makes it creepier, more predatory, more contemptuous.

    I hadn’t noticed the lack of comparison to disadvantaged folks, though. Thanks for bringing that out.

  62. 4062
    Jacob Schmidt

    Caine

    I generally had a large stack of textbooks with me and stuffed backpack, which I’d pile onto the seat next to me. Back in my bus ridin’ days, we didn’t have all the nifty tech we have now, so your best bet was to bury your nose in a book and block the seat next to you.

    You know, it annoyed the crap out of me when people took up 2 seats on the bus or the train. It always seemed selfish, like they thought their convienience was more important than other’s.

    Now that I think of it, it is usually women who do that. It doesn’t really seem selfish anymore.

    (I should work on my judemental reflexs, eh?)

  63. 4063
    David Marjanović

    Gah. 4061 comments, 9 pages, still active. I leave here all hope of ever catching up. Just a quick look at page 3 to see if anybody replied specifically to comments of mine…

  64. 4064
    Pteryxx

    and “he could get dates other ways” is one of the narratives used to excuse predators, of course. Bleargh.

    but a typo or two is part life on a keyboard.

    I lol’d.

  65. 4065
    notsont

    Hilariously, in order for me to qualify for someone to come along with me to translate bullshit to meaningful language, I would have to have a diagnosis. Which I don’t have because I can’t navigate the system because I can’t bring someone to translate bullshit to meaningful language.

    I was lucky in this regard, without my wife to help me I would probably be …hell I couldn’t even speculate but it would not be a good place wherever I would be.

  66. 4066
    ChasCPeterson

    I figure by now it’s safe to go OT a bit.
    With regard to riding the bus/train etc., this has been around a while, but I just noticed there’s now a clueless backlash site.

  67. 4067
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    ischemgeek, Pteryxx, the concept of BAP is interesting to me. I’ve been evaluated for dyslexia (can’t spell for crap) but when I tested neg for that, the school refused to continue testing me for anything else. The result has been self-diagnosis of dysgraphia (my handwriting is identical to a diagnosed friends) and high-end Aspergers, which I suppose would translate to very high functioning autism or BAP (feel free to correct me if I have any of that phrasing wrong).

    I’m seeing a therapist now who I’m hoping might help me navigate my insurance for an actual diagnoses, eventually.

    Oh, and if anyone needs an aside in parens, feel free to take a set.

  68. 4068
    Inaji

    Jacob:

    You know, it annoyed the crap out of me when people took up 2 seats on the bus or the train. It always seemed selfish, like they thought their convienience was more important than other’s.

    Now that I think of it, it is usually women who do that. It doesn’t really seem selfish anymore.

    (I should work on my judemental reflexs, eh?)

    The huge trouble with all this stuff is that until you’re clued in, you really don’t have any idea at all of what’s going on, so you parse it the best way you can. It usually takes all of us a fair amount of life time to take the red pill, and until we do, we all blunder along as best we’re able. One of the things I love so much about the ‘net is that this sort of information isn’t just parceled out in little bits among a small circle. The ‘net allows super wide contact with others,* and previously undreamed of access to so much education. I think a whole lot of my early life would have been much easier if the ‘net had existed back then. I wouldn’t have felt so alone and isolated.

    *Especially for those of us who are seriously not social, and prefer this sort of a relationship dynamic.

  69. 4069
    Inaji

    Chas:

    With regard to riding the bus/train etc., this has been around a while, but I just noticed there’s now a clueless backlash site.

    I had no idea. Wow. Learn something new every day.

  70. 4070
    carlie

    We could probably have an entire lounge thread about our specific OCD hangups. My favorite story about my son’s diagnosis is that part of the evaluation was to videotape me playing with him. During the later debriefing, the clinician told me that I shouldn’t do things like straighten up and organize all of the play money in the register because he needed to have those little frustrations and learn how to deal with them himself. And I was all “oh, of course, I did it to make….him……feel better…”

  71. 4071
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Phew – finally I’m somewhat done reading the comments. In a fashion. I was going to comment about something around the 200-comment-mark. I was just going to read the rest first…

    My comment is somewhat moot now I guess. So I just want to leave loads of love and fondness to the deserving. You know who you are, I don’t want to forget someone by mentioning names. Though I kinda feel Caine deserves special mention (as usual, but that’s no reason to be skimping on the special mentions).

    While I’ve been reading news of this has trinkled down through my other social media – which usually are pretty insulated from Pharyngula. Thus actually gives me some hope that some good will lead from this in the long run.

    And of course a special thank you to the person telling the story to PZ in the first place.

  72. 4072
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Re: The Bus-Seat Incident:

    I think what some people find “disturbing” about the story is that the woman in the story treated the question “Can I sit here?” like a real question, instead of a rhetorical question that she was supposed to immediately acquiesce to. As women, we are socialized to treat these questions about our space, our agency, and our choices as not-real-questions. When someone says, “Can I hug you?,” you aren’t supposed to say, “No, I’d rather you didn’t.” You’re supposed to be happy they asked and give them props for being ‘polite enough to ask,’ but you are never, ever supposed to say ‘no.’

    There is power in ‘no.’ That power is something that women are continually socialized to be denied access to.

  73. 4073
    Inaji

    Gnumann:

    While I’ve been reading news of this has trinkled down through my other social media – which usually are pretty insulated from Pharyngula. Thus actually gives me some hope that some good will lead from this in the long run.

    I’ll try to be optimistic, but at this point, it’s mostly dudebros inflamed about the horror being inflicted on Shermer who are pushing up the publicity on this, along with those intent on using the OP as way to take down FTB.

  74. 4074
    Pteryxx

    I guess at the moment, this is on-topic here:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/12/five_ways_that_staying_safe_costs_women/

    But even when we know the statistics, it’s hard to walk away from a lifetime of acculturated fear. And it turns out that fear is really expensive. Here are five ways that modifying our behavior to avoid stranger rape cost us:

    First, it costs us time and limits our movement in space. We face challenges in everything from daily commuting to traveling to far-flung places. We go out of our way regularly to find safer walking routes, buses, parking spaces, and exercise spaces. We don’t take shortcuts cavalierly. Aside from these daily “inconveniences,” whether we do it for work or pleasure, we have different travel maps. Our freedom to explore is seriously impaired.

    Second, it costs money, because it’s expensive to avoid rape. For example, if a woman can afford it, she will take taxis at night, instead of walking home when she’d like to. Women may join gyms for safety reasons: 24% of American women avoid recreational exercise outside to avoid “being bothered.” That’s as if the entire population of Canada didn’t ever go outside for sports. Women who have the means to do so may feel they need to live in neighborhoods that are more expensive, even though they might be interested in other neighborhoods or would rather reduce their housing expenses. And when we travel, we have to spend more money on transportation and guides.

    That… really makes me wonder about the sheer determination of Republicans to ignore and de-fund decaying infrastructure, such as sidewalks and street lights. And about the effects of pervasive sexual harassment and rape culture on, say, national health, public project viability, decay of neighborhoods and small businesses, and financial segregation.

  75. 4075
    Kevin

    Now that every asshole mansplainer limpdick on the planet now knows that “Shermering” someone can occasionally work, I have a small tip to offer.

    I used to entertain (male) clients whose sole purpose in life seemed to be to try to get my female staff hammered at various business/social functions. Not for sexual favors (of that I’m quite sure) — just to get them drunk.

    It’s pretty easy to avoid that when they’re doing shots — you go “half-speed”. For their two, you can probably do one. When they’ve done four to your two — well, let’s just say they’re in no shape to even remember why they started this in the first place. And then you can stop doing shots altogether. And yes, I quite literally have poured tequila into a potted plant. And given away drinks to random strangers (gorilla farts — ugh).

    With an open bar and unlimited wine bottles, the most effective tip I ever found was the “hand over the glass”. Especially if you’re standing with a wine glass in one hand — put the other hand over the top of the glass. Not even the most-determined can pour wine through a hand. And if they shake the bottle at you — a simple “no thanks” works every time. You’re not accusing them of anything, merely establishing your control over your own alcohol intake.

    Point is, one of the first effects of alcohol is that it is disinhibiting. But just simple awareness and a pre-set personal limit goes a long way (absent ruphies – which is a whole extra level of illegal scumbaggery) to protecting yourself. My excuses for not having more are either; 1) I have to work tomorrow and need a clear head, or 2) I’m traveling tomorrow and don’t want to be sick on the plane.

    Everyone likes to have a good time, and alcohol is a big part of social occasions. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    But set your own limit beforehand and stick to it. No matter who’s trying to get you to do otherwise. And then if you want to hook up with someone — well, that’s your own business, and at least you’ll be able to remember it the next morning. (And actually, that’s one of the things I don’t understand about Shermer — he’d probably have been able to get plenty of “star-fucker” sex without resorting to scumbag “get her loaded” tactics. I think the man has a problem. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he couldn’t “perform” with a conscious partner.)

    BTW and FWIW: My prediction about this is — he’ll go into a “sex addicts” clinic. And come out smelling clean and fresh 6 weeks later. And write a best-selling book about it. And never serve a second of jail or community service time. So much for “consequences”.

  76. 4076
    Who Cares

    Pteryxx please trigger warning on that post next time.
    Oh and that goes for this post as well. trigger
    .
    .
    .
    .

    I almost started puking when I read that line about a woman veteran considering rape being part of the job description.

  77. 4077
    psanity

    Caine, *fistbump* back atcha.

    Important Aspect of Horde Culture note, also prompted by Caine:

    It usually takes all of us a fair amount of life time to take the red pill, and until we do, we all blunder along as best we’re able.

    Wayyyy back upthread, someone said something like “I took the red pill on Pharyngula” and I think someone else suggested a T-shirt. In case no-one did, or in case the idea gets lost, I’ll re-suggest it. I can’t draw, but I envision a stern-looking squid offering the pills, with a lot of encouraging but rowdy cephalopods looking on. I would totally wear that. And derive great entertainment value from explaining it to people.

  78. 4078
    Pteryxx

    oof… I’m sorry, Who Cares. I shouldn’t have let myself get careless.

    Kevin… I’m sure you mean well but this really is not the time or place. Besides, I don’t think “did you put your hand over the glass or not” is going to be helpful in an investigation.

  79. 4079
    David Marjanović

    scooterskutre hasn’t shown up on this page or the previous one, but just in case, because it’s not likely anyone has said this in the meantime:

    At that age, as is well known among males but rarely shared, sexuality hasn’t become that gender specific. All you ex- Boy Scouts know what I’m talking about.

    Uh, no. I was a Boy Scout, and while I remember a fellow Boy Scout explaining the hymen to me at a camp (with the help of a tissue and his finger), I haven’t witnessed or heard of any such scenes.

    I don’t think it’s at all common for sexual orientation to change once it’s present. Your rapist simply wasn’t 0 on the Kinsey scale – few people are.

    Anyway, I see no reason not to believe you, and you have my full sympathy. Just keep learning.

  80. 4080
    Inaji

    Kevin:

    Now that every asshole mansplainer limpdick

    Kevin, we do not use gendered insults here, nor ones which have splash damage potential. Thanks.

  81. 4081
    Pteryxx

    …and in following up on that Salon article which I failed to put a trigger warning on… (emphasis mine)

    ———

    (warning for sexual assault and meta-level disturbingness)

    ———-

    Because the other day, another friend of mine told me she was raped, and I can no longer count on both my hands the number of friends who have told me they’ve been sexually assaulted. Words can’t express how scared I am that I’m getting used to this.

    Source – Why society still needs feminism

  82. 4082
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    I’m a really big guy—even if I wasn’t overweight, which I am, I’d be a really big guy. I’ve always been conscious of how intimidating I could be to a woman I outweighed by 100 or occasionally 200%.

    Back in the elevatorgate era (boy it seems like a long time ago) I remember the slimepitters screaming: “You expect me to cross the street to spare some chick a little fear?” Well, no…I’m too lazy to do that. But I’ve definitely hung back pretending to be fascinated by what’s in some store window to let them get well ahead. I’ve pretended to be going up when I was going down to wait for the next elevator…so yeah.

    The whole bus discussion hits home because I rode the bus to work for a long time, graveyard, on the “wrong” side of the lake. The bus to work would be pretty empty, but in the morning I’d be going home with the commuters going downtown.I’d try to look as harmless as possible, but the seat next to me was always the last one filled. More than a few times women would prefer to stand rather than sit next to me. I understood, but my self-esteem isn’t that great that I can’t say it didn’t hurt.

    The point of this irrelevant blather is—fuck you assholes for making life this way! Your self-esteem is probably oceanic, so you don’t care what people think about you, but the rest of us who are assumed to be like you are made to feel like crap because of you. Just stop being douchweasels, FFS—it’s not hard!

  83. 4083
    Inaji

    David:

    I don’t think it’s at all common for sexual orientation to change once it’s present.

    That’s not what Scooter was saying, David. It’s not at all uncommon for a lot of people to have a fluid orientation as early teens, or at least a curiosity about things, which can lead to fluid orientation experimentation. You’re also completely eliminating those people who end up with a bisexual orientation – a lot of bisexual people aren’t sure at all of what’s going on when they are 13. I know you’re firmly on one end of the Kinsey scale, but everyone isn’t like you.

  84. 4084
    ischemgeek

    Trufax: I was asexual until about 15, then lesbian, then bi, and now I identify as pan.

    All that sexual orientation change in a little over a decade.

  85. 4085
    Inaji

    Also, Kevin, the tips are nice and all, but most everyone here already knows the gazillion fuckety fucking things women have to do every single day of their lives to minimize the risk of rape and sexual assault – there are a fucktonne of survivors posting in this thread, frinst., but we’d like to see the onus place on RAPISTS. Try targeting them – work out tips and campaigns and strategies for identifying possible rapists, okay? Try looking up the Don’t Be That Guy Campaign in Canada, okay?

  86. 4086
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    That… really makes me wonder about the sheer determination of Republicans to ignore and de-fund decaying infrastructure, such as sidewalks and street lights.

    I think that that connection is an incidental bonus, as far as they’re concerned. It’s mostly a class/race thing; infrastructure benefits poor people, and sidewalks, streetlights and similar specifically benefit urban poor people, and you know what that means in conservative speak. Meanwhile, well off white people get to live in places where the HOA takes care of their streetlights and sidwalks, although often everyone has a car so they don’t have sidewalks anyway. The fact that it entrenches male privilege and rape culture is just gravy for them.

    And about the effects of pervasive sexual harassment and rape culture on, say, national health, public project viability, decay of neighborhoods and small businesses, and financial segregation.

    In order: dreadful, really bad, terrible, and godawful. Roughly speaking, of course.
    In more detail:
    I was going to do this, but I just haven’t got the energy right now.

  87. 4087
    Antidot Nyarlat

    Why o why are you PZ Meyers such a slug if it comes to pseudo feminist who obviously want do destroy this atheist/sceptic community? The onslaught of accusations against big names like Shermer, Krauss, etc. show one thing very clear: You have nourished a hydra with your positive reaction to Atheism+(=all men are natural born rapists). Now these psychologically disturbed women try to assassinate every male atheist because he could be a potential rapist. The witch(!)hunt has begun. Thunderf00t was and is right and you have done great harm to the community by feeding the frenzy with hearsay bs and censoring dissenting voices. What do you get out of all of this madness? Don´t you understand that girls/woman exist that are as evil and self obsessed as rapists and who love to bring people down? We had recently a case here in Germany. A woman falsely accused her husband of rape because she wanted revenge. She lost the case but managed to ruin his career. Woman are also no angels!

  88. 4088
    Peach Pitt

    I’ve reads hundreds of comments. Much respect to the Horde for your wit, patience, and perseverance.

    I have been waiting to see if someone would bring up one point that’s been nagging me, but I haven’t seen it yet. I apologize if someone has already covered it.

    All these people who keep saying it’s the stupid victim’s fault for getting raped because she was drunk? Who keep saying that it’s the woman’s responsibility to protect herself from rape by not trusting anyone enough to drink in their presence?

    Aren’t these the same people who got so angry at the concept of Schrodinger’s Rapist? The same people who were so offended that a woman wouldn’t trust them when she didn’t even know them?

    So I’m confused. (I know, those chicks, what a buncha rote memorizers!) Trust this person? Don’t trust this person? Trust everyone, don’t trust anyone?

    I guess drinking alone hasn’t been such a bad idea after all.

  89. 4089
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    I can’t decide whether or not Antidot Nyarlat is being sarcastic.

    For ze’s sake, I hope ze is.

  90. 4090
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    pseudo feminist who obviously want do destroy this atheist/sceptic community

    OH SHIT, THEY’RE ONTO US. PROJECT: MISANDRY ABORTABORTABORT!

  91. 4091
    Kevin

    @CAINE: Look, I know your history, including the absolutely mind-boggling stuff you’ve done on this thread alone. But I think you’re wrong in this instance.

    You’re saying that we shouldn’t discuss things women can do protect themselves?

    How in FSM’s name is that helpful? How, pray tell, should I “concentrate on” the rapists? They’re the ones who have just been given a short-course on how to “Shermerize” someone, along with an extended discussion from people not on your side who are trying to parse just how drunk a woman needs to be before she’s too drunk to give consent. And have been given all the statistics about how likely it is that they’ll avoid any kind of consequences, because most women don’t report rape. They’re encouraged by those statistics.

    RAINN offers a ton of helpful tips on how to avoid being victimized. http://www.rainn.org/get-information/sexual-assault-prevention. Surely, you’re not going to tell RAINN that they should just focus on the rapist?

    Like RAINN, I’m saying that while you’re all about “targeting the rapists”, the rapists are targeting you right back. And there are simple things you can do — like making sure you establish your own drinking limits and doing simple stuff to ensure they’re not violated — to minimize harm to yourself.

    That is targeting the rapist — by giving him one less method to victimize someone.

    Respectfully, from someone who already is “not that guy”.

  92. 4092
    LykeX

    @Antidot Nyarlat
    Poor form, sloppy technique, graceless and boring, but at least infuriatingly stupid.

    4.6

  93. 4093
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    girls/woman exist that are as evil and self obsessed as rapists and who love to bring people down

    What.

  94. 4094
    skeptianthro

    @Antidot: Go away….. just go away. Take your sexist attitude and your misogynistic dismissal of women and GO. THE. FUCK. AWAY!

  95. 4095
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Why o why are you PZ Meyers

    No need to read any further. If you can’t spell PZ’s name right, and it is on the masthead/sidebar, you aren’t worth listening to as your opinion is drivel.

  96. 4096
    rusty

    While the subject of harassment on public transportation is still (somewhat) relevant, I wanted to share this blog post that I just came across. It’s a nice illustration of the kind of harassment women face when taking public transit for those of us who are privileged enough not to have experienced it. Plus it has a happy ending.

    http://chrisbrecheen.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/changing-creepy-guy-narrative.html

    Also, I can’t tell if Antidot Nyarlat is a Poe, a terrible human being, or a computer program designed to mash together MRA buzzwords.

  97. 4097
    ischemgeek

    Kevin, do you seriously think that women aren’t inundated with that bullshit from the time we can walk?!

    Because guess what? We are.

    We know all the often self-contradictory and onerous “tips” to avoid sexual assault.

    And we get assaulted anyway.

    Because they don’t work.

    Teaching women to not get raped doesn’t work because rapists will figure out a way around the tips and rape anyway.

    So how about we stop doing shit that doesn’t fucking well work and start doing something different for a change?

  98. 4098
    Peach Pitt

    Doggone it! I should have known someone would have it covered.

    cuervodecuero @ 3677 said pretty much the same thing.

  99. 4099
    Menyambal

    Peach Pitt, you are right, and you can add the menz upset-ness at this post, which was only an attempt to aid a woman’s responsibility to protect herself from rape by not trusting a particular person enough to drink in their presence?

  100. 4100
    Menyambal

    Kevin, some of that stuff reminds me of the police chief (I forget where) who, when there was a serial rapist in the city, told all the women to stay home. The women of the city tried to point out that it would make more sense for all the men to stay home.

  101. 4101
    ischemgeek

    Trigger warning for rape culture.

    And that’s leaving aside the fact that I know at least one sexual assault survivor (hi) finds them to be an exercise in victim blaming.

    If you weren’t wearing a dress, he wouldn’t've assaulted you. (except, he assaulted me when I wasn’t wearing a dress, too)
    If you’d punched him with your keys when you were too young to have your own housekeys, he wouldn’t've assaulted you (how would that’ve helped? I did hit him, but he was almost three times my size!)
    If you’d yelled louder he wouldn’t've assaulted you (except yelling louder got me punished for being a disturbance while he was allowed to keep assaulting as much as he wanted).
    If you’d reported sooner he wouldn’t've kept harassing you (except he was allowed to harass and assault me with impunity for months)
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    When you list off tips like that, that’s what I hear. Know why? Because those tips go hand-in-hand with the culture that makes it the victim’s job to not get victimized (and thus, if they get raped or assaulted or what have you, they are by definition at fault since they failed their duty to not get victimized). You are part of the problem when you do shit like that.

    If we lived in a world where being victimized wasn’t stigmatized and blamed on the victims, that wouldn’t be the case. But we don’t. We don’t live in that ideal world, so when you list off those tips, you’re reinforcing the trope that victims bring victimization on ourselves.

    And fuck you very much for that.

  102. 4102
    Pteryxx

    so Kevin, how about “targeting the rapist” by telling THEM alcohol won’t fly as an excuse no matter how much sleight-of-hand they need or don’t need to get it there? You know they’re reading. They’re right here. You’re even a guy, so they might listen to you. How about it?

    (Not to mention plenty of us were raped without alcohol being involved at all. Should I have put my hand over my bedroom doorknob?)

  103. 4103
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Kevin,

    Like RAINN, I’m saying that while you’re all about “targeting the rapists”, the rapists are targeting you right back. And there are simple things you can do — like making sure you establish your own drinking limits and doing simple stuff to ensure they’re not violated — to minimize harm to yourself.

    1. There are plenty of places were women can find these “tips,” if they are so inclined. This space is not that place.

    2. It’s not as if we women need you to tell us this shit. Someone isn’t going to say, “Oh word Kevin, you totes just saved me from being raped by telling me not to drink so much. THANK YOU!” What you are doing is patronizing as fuck. Stop it.

    3. As noted, these tips don’t actually work (or I guess they work if the purpose is to regulate the attitudes and movements of women. But to prevent rape…not so much.) So, all the “simple stuff” you think women can do? IT DOESN’T ACTUALLY MATTER.

    4. Also, implying that a woman can do “simple stuff” to avoid rape puts the onus on her, not on the rapist to not rape. It’s victim-blaming. We already live in a culture that blames victims. Focusing on the movements/attitudes/actions of victims feeds into rape culture. Knock it off.

    Seriously, stop. fucking. talking. Maybe listen to the victims in this thread instead.

  104. 4104
    Inaji

    An alert has been sent about Antidot.

    Hey, Kevin! How about you do something radical, like shutting up and listening?

  105. 4105
    JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Kevin,

    That is targeting the rapist — by giving him one less method to victimize someone.

    No, it’s not. It’s just making the rapist pick another target. There’s always another target. No matter what, there’s another woman the rapist will get to.

    Wanna know how you can tell the difference between targeting the rapist and the victim? It’s the victim’s you’re blaming. And yes, these “tips”, which hasn’t done a damn thing for at least 50+ years, are a direct cause of victim blaming, i.e. “You shouldn’t have dressed like that”. Because it’s this whole idea that “If you hadn’t have wore that, you wouldn’t have been raped.”

    And this isn’t even mentioning the fact that most rape victims know their rapist. So unless you’re suggesting women (let’s face it, those “tips” are for the women only victims. No one tells a man what to wear) cut off all contact with the outside world and live in a sheltered, reinforced prison, those tips won’t even apply to most rape victims. You gonna start spouting how we should never sleep, especially not with a husband or boyfriend next to us?

    Oh, wait, you’re full of fucking shit! Nevermind…

    It doesn’t matter what the victim was wearing, doing, saying, thinking, location, time of day, occupation, education, race. etc, the ONLY THING that caused them to be raped was a RAPIST.

    You’re spouting known bullshit. Don’t pretend otherwise. Fucking read the links to educate yourself or fuck the fuck off.

  106. 4106
    John Morales

    Antidot Nyarlat, looks like PZ touched a nerve! ;)

    “But why why snail PZ Myers is a pseudo-feminism clearly people who want to destroy the community of atheists skeptics? Shermer spin Kraus, which big names are accused of attacks and so on to show what is very clear: it feeds his atheism and to react positively to the hose (= all rapists born) +. Now these mental disorders in an attempt to kill all the men, women, atheists, because it can be a potential rapist. The Witch (!) Started to fish. Thunderf00t diet mania has truth and BS rumors and reviews of complaints, a lot of damage the sound by the community. Do everything you can so crazy? Don t understand that there are girls/women you are so bad that I’m obsessed with as a rapist and the like? We recently in Germany, for example. Framing women raped by her husband, because she wanted to take revenge. They lost the case, but he could destroy his career. Woman or Angel!”

    (http://ackuna.com/badtranslator)

  107. 4107
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Nate, it’s not that there’s anything wrong per say with discussing ways that women can protect themselves, it’s just that it’s by and large unnecessary. There isn’t a woman alive today who hasn’t heard over and over all the varied and often contradictory rules for staying safe. But that aside the main thing is that focusing on it plays into the societal trope that it’s a women who are to blame for their rapes. A trope that rapists are all too happy to encourage and exploit.

    It’s time for a shift in our cultural narrative about rape. It’s time to stop focusing on the victims and to start focusing on the perpetrators. It’s time to put the fucking blame squarely where it is due, loudly, at every opportunity. Because we’ve had all of recorded history, and probably beyond, to try and make women safe from rape by telling *them* what to do, and it hasn’t fucking worked.

  108. 4108
    notsont

    You’re saying that we shouldn’t discuss things women can do protect themselves?

    Kevin I know what you are trying to say, my gut reaction to some of these stories is to immediately point out what women or men can do to protect themselves, what you need to so is stomp on that gut reaction and not voice it, a thread on rape is not a place to tell women what they can do to protect themselves, there are thousands of places where they can get that information, most of them know FAR more about it than you or I will ever know. They have lived their entire lives having it beat into them. To bring it up here (even when you don’t intend it to be so) is insulting and you will get ripped to shreds for it.

  109. 4109
    LykeX

    If we’re going to talk about tips to prevent rape, I think focusing on the individual victim is entirely the wrong way to go about it. Not only is it of dubious effectiveness, but it also puts all the pressure on a person who is likely in the worst position to handle it and who will already be the target of a metric ton of crap from the surrounding society. It all too easily ends up just being an excuse for why it was her own fault she got raped.

    Much better to focus on two other targets:
    1) The rapists. Many of them are probably beyond all hope, but many others are not, as the “don’t be that guy” campaign demonstrates.
    2) Bystanders. Everybody in the community. Not only does that mean a greater pool of resources, but it also prevents any single person from using the common “it couldn’t happen to me” defense to distance themselves.

    It shouldn’t be “Don’t get drunk, you might get raped.” It should be “Dude, that woman is drunk, don’t hit on her, that’s totally creepy.” Not an individual effort focused on the victim, but a community effort focused on the predators.

    Less likely to cause unwanted fallout and more likely to actually work.

  110. 4110
    Inaji

    Kevin:

    But I think you’re wrong in this instance.

    I am not wrong. Thanks ever for proving you are yet one more man who cannot be arsed to listen and consider things from a different point of view. Thanks ever for proving you are yet one more man who cannot be bothered to deviate in the slightest from what *you* think works, even in the face of evidence that targeting rapists is much more effective. Thanks ever for proving you are yet one more man who is just fine with women having to live with an ever tightening net of restrictions, because people like you can’t figure out effective ways to target rapists rather than potential victims. Way to go, dude.

  111. 4111
    John Morales

    [OT + meta]

    Shermer did write good stuff.

    In 2001 Cambridge University Press published Bj¿rn Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist, which I thought was a perfect debate topic for the Skeptics Society public lecture series at the California Institute of Technology. The problem was that all the top environmental organizations refused to participate. “There is no debate,” one spokesperson told me. “We don’t want to dignify that book,” another said. One leading environmentalist warned me that my reputation would be irreparably harmed if I went through with it. So of course I did.

    The Flipping Point

  112. 4112
    Simon Everett

    “Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends.

    It’s hardly the end of the universe if we expect men to be able to process and understand a polite no. Or even an impolite no. In all of known history, women have been treated as animals, as things, as property.”

    This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole. The first paragraph serves to do nothing other than demonize men and scaremonger. What possible situations could you be putting yourself in every day to be subject to ‘inapproriate acts’ [sic] ‘unwelcome approaches’ and infringements upon personal space every day? Do you work specifically with violent sex offenders? Most people are good. The overwhelming majority of men have no interest in raping anyone–they find it abhorrent, aberrant behaviour.

    Almost all men do understand ‘no’. To say they don’t is like saying “women don’t understand you shouldn’t shoplift” because some women do. There are bad people in the world. Hysterical scare-mongering serves no useful purpose and is just ruining society. In reality, the man who says hello to you in the street probably isn’t trying to rape you; he may just be friendly. In reality, your kids can go play in the woods without getting nonced up; not everyone is a peadophile.

    A while ago I dropped my wallet in Picadilly Circus twice in one week. Both times the wallet was handed into the nearest bank (who wound up thinking I was a complete buffoon) and returned to me. People are good.

    The “in all of history” bit is just a silly sweeping statement, although true to an extent. In many cultures marriage has been a form of ownership. Although the idea that women are treated like animals is just overly-emotive and not true in my experience, growing up in a Western, European culture. In this day and age most people seem to have a healthy egalitarian approach to their relationships.

    As for the initial rape allegations, they should be taken to the police. Establishing guilt through gossip is not really a fair trial. The printing of these allegations in a blog has besmirched the man’s reputation whether or not they are true. If as is being suggested, he is a serial rapist then charges can be brought and there should be plenty of evidence against him. Evidence that goes beyond “a good friend of mine says…”. The justice systems both here in the UK and in the USA should not be founded on ‘no smoke without fire.’

  113. 4113
    chigau (違う)

    This is just utter nonsense surely?

    Nope.
    Your comment is a joke, surely?
    Your wallet? Get a grip.

  114. 4114
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Can someone please copy/paste Caines reading links? iPad fail here…

  115. 4115
    Jacob Schmidt

    This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole. The first paragraph serves to do nothing other than demonize men and scaremonger.

    I take it statistics escapes you?

    What possible situations could you be putting yourself in every day to be subject to ‘inapproriate acts’ [sic] ‘unwelcome approaches’ and infringements upon personal space every day?

    Unwanted touching. People insisting on standing in your personal space. People refusing to leave you alone when you request it. The normal stuff.

    Hysterical scare-mongering serves no useful purpose and is just ruining society.

    That’s a new one. No diddums, relating the experience of many women does not ruin society.

    The “in all of history” bit is just a silly sweeping statement, although true to an extent.

    Then why are you complaining about it?

    As for the initial rape allegations, they should be taken to the police.[1] Establishing guilt through gossip is not really a fair trial.[2] The printing of these allegations in a blog has besmirched the man’s reputation whether or not they are true.[3]

    1) Go look up Detroits rape kit problem. The note that much of the entire country has that problem. Then note that nearly every high profile rape allegation engendered a massive amount of harassment aimed at the victim. Then kindly fuck off and stop speaking in ignorance.

    2) Good thing he’s not on trial.

    3) well, no. If it’s true, this post has made his reputation more accurate. I find it disgusting that you’re invested in protecting the reputation of someone who’s guilty. (I’m gonna be charitable and assume that’s not what you actually meant.)

  116. 4116
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Simon,

    This is just utter nonsense surely?

    I will suggest to you what I did to my (male) partner when he thought I was being “hysterical” about Schrodinger’s Rapist–go ask your mom and your sister about harassment, unwanted advances, men standing in their space or touching them. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at the utter ‘nonsense’ they tell you about.

  117. 4117
  118. 4118
    Simon Everett

    Wallet = an analogy. Not equating the crimes, the point was that thousands of people walked past it without thinking to steal it. Most people are good. I think that’s an important thing to remember.

    Jacob –
    -What statistic says that most women are sexually assaulted every day?
    -Repeating the experiences isn’t explaining the situation.

    “2) Good thing he’s not on trial.
    3) well, no. If it’s true, this post has made his reputation more accurate. I find it disgusting that you’re invested in protecting the reputation of someone who’s guilty.”

    You say he’s not on trial, then follow it up with an assumption of guilt. I do not know if the man is guilty or not, therefore I work on the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise–a third hand accusation on a blog is not evidence.. I do not personally care for the man, as he is heavily involved in evangelical atheism, which isn’t something I really understand. I have no interest in protecting his reputation. If he has raped someone I would like for him to be locked up for a very long time. I have personal experience of the destructive nature of rape and it has effected my life heavily. I’d like to think that I haven’t let my personal experience taint my innate predilection for carefully sought justice over mob rule.

    Cyranothe2nd-
    I am in little doubt that these offences take place having witnessed them first hand and heard plenty of anecdotal evidence. My problem is with the wording that suggests it is a constant barrage perpetrated by all men. It is a minority. The problem should be solved by forcing the police into taking more serious action against the criminals that perpetrate these incidents. The hysterical branding of man as “other” and a danger is not helpful and makes it more difficult to discern the pervert from the everyday Joe.

  119. 4119
    SallyStrange

    Shut up Simon. The problem isn’t all men. The problem is the rapists, the harassers… and you. Specifically you, and the men like you, who prioritize their egos over the actual safety and comfort of the women in their lives.

    Are you listening? YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

  120. 4120
    SallyStrange

    Oh, and FYI:

    % of men who are rapists

    +

    % of men who sexually harass

    +

    % of men who are like you and bawl and scream at the prospect of holding any sort of accountability for how fucking easy it is for the prior two categories to operate without consequence

    =

    A percentage that is surely higher than 50%.

    So stop fucking whining. If you’re whining about how it’s not your fault, IT IS YOUR FAULT.

  121. 4121
    docfreeride

    Simon Everett @4122:

    What possible situations could you be putting yourself in every day to be subject to ‘inapproriate acts’ [sic] ‘unwelcome approaches’ and infringements upon personal space every day?

    Daring to to be female in public usually suffices.

  122. 4122
    Pteryxx

    The hysterical branding of man as “other” and a danger is not helpful and makes it more difficult to discern the pervert from the everyday Joe.

    so you missed the stats about the vast majority of rapes being committed by friends, family, or acquaintances of the victims, usually who rape repeatedly, with cover from society. By definition, they’re everyday Joes that also rape people.

    You need some serious remedial reading. I suggest one citation for every time you use the words “hysterical”, “scare-mongering”, “mob rule”, or compare rape to the theft of a wallet.

    Fortunately Caine started a convenient link-dump right over there:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/29/all-these-rape-flavors/comment-page-1/#comment-679983

  123. 4123
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh for fuck’s sake, another one. Recycling my first comment on this for the third fucking time:

    My skeptical thought process on this:

    1 Sexual assault and rape happen, and happen often. Claims of such are not extraordinary
    2 Lack of action on the part of organisations when such claims are made is a demonstrated phenomenon.
    3 Dire repercussions to victims who speak out is a demonstrated phenomenon.
    4 Men in a position of power abusing that power in the service of obtaining sex, and in the service of covering up wrong doing is a demonstrated phenomenon.
    5 People with power, prestige and money can survive a false accusation better than those without it.
    6 Shermer has all those things.
    7 If the allegation is true then other people are at risk.

    Of course none of this proves that the claim made in the OP is true. But it does mean that choosing to believe this woman is the right thing to do and I would go so far as to say that it is the rational thing to do.

    In the absence of credible evidence either way the rational position to hold is that the victim is telling the truth. Not only is it the compassionate stance, it’s the one that does the least harm.

    Should the accusation be false, Shermer has more than enough power, prestige and money to weather the storm. Especially since the victim is not planning on taking legal action. And please note that “least”, I’m not asserting that Shermer would come to no harm for a false accusation, but it is certainly less harm than his future victims would come to should the accusation be true.

    No one is seeking justice here. What is being sought is the reduction of potential harm.

  124. 4124
    Simon Everett

    SallyStrange-
    Now what you’re doing is just shouting down anyone with a different opinion to you. “Shut up” isn’t really any kind of argument. I am all for the safety and comfort of women and back any pragmatic approach to reducing harm to anyone. I feel that in this particular situation I am not the one “bawling and screaming”. Stating that most women suffer sexual abuse everyday is demonstrably untrue. Condemning people by mob rule as opposed to due process is not the correct way to handle the problem, it can make the problem worse by increasing the number of false claims and taking resources away from victims. The nature of due process is what needs revising, to a point where people can have confidence in coming forward to prosecute in a situation such as Michael Shermer’s.

    Have enough faith in your own ideas that they will stand without feeling the need to censor people and telling them to ‘shut up’. Just explain to me how PZ’s approach is preferable and fair and isn’t working with an assumption of guilt.

  125. 4125
    SallyStrange

    That’s right, I am shouting you down, because that’s exactly what you deserve. See, I didn’t even read past “shouting down.” What are you going to do about it?

    I suggest saying less stupid things. But I doubt you’ll actually try that.

  126. 4126
    Pteryxx

    Just explain to me

    where were you during the previous 4100 comments? All ‘our own’ ideas are there. So are all of yours. So why expect to be personally spoon-fed when you could just go read if you had a grain of good faith buried in your arrogance mountain? You have some learning to embark upon. There’s nothing to be learned FROM you.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/08/12/harassment-rape-skepticism-denialism

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2013/08/13/sexism-skeptics-and-the-burden-of-proof

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2013/08/15/some-essential-reading-on-the-sexism-in-skepticism-debacle/

  127. 4127
    Simon Everett

    so you missed the stats about the vast majority of rapes being committed by friends, family, or acquaintances of the victims, usually who rape repeatedly, with cover from society. By definition, they’re everyday Joes that also rape people.

    You need some serious remedial reading. I suggest one citation for every time you use the words “hysterical”, “scare-mongering”, “mob rule”, or compare rape to the theft of a wallet.

    You seem to misinterpreting what was said. Most men are not rapists. The fact that most sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known by the victim doesn’t alter this. There seems to be a propensity for tarring a community by the actions of the few.

    I believe I have used hysterical and scare-monger twice and mob rule perhaps three times.

    It seems clear that I am not comparing rape to the theft of a wallet and that you have hijacked the analogy to suit your own means. The wallet was a footnote to act as a reminder that the world is a good place full of good people. You have relayed this inaccurately in an attempt to call my character into question. Why do you feel the need to do that?

  128. 4128
    SallyStrange

    Seriously, just stop typing.

    Bye now.

  129. 4129
    Simon Everett

    Sallystrange-

    That’s a good idea. I find not reading the best way to stop my perceptions from altering.

  130. 4130
    Pteryxx

    I find not reading the best way to stop my perceptions from altering.

    Obviously.

  131. 4131
    Simon Everett

    Pteryx-

    I have read fairly widely on the subject, including those articles you suggested and some BOOKS that were all peer-reviewed and that! I still feel that you shouldn’t publicly condemn people as a rapist without evidence. It sets a poor precedent.

  132. 4132
  133. 4133
    Simon Everett

    Pteryx-

    I find not reading the best way to stop my perceptions from altering.

    Obviously.

    *Irony*

  134. 4134
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    The reason you’re receiving pushback Simon is because this is a thread that has addressed all your ‘points’ to death. Go read the fucking thing. And while you do, keep firmly in mind that 43 people have come forward in this thread with their experiences of rape and sexual assault. This is not some intellectual game to be won or lost, this is about the lived experiences of real people.

  135. 4135
    piegasm

    @4131 Simon

    I still feel that you shouldn’t publicly condemn people as a rapist without evidence.

    The fact that you apparently think the phrase ‘without evidence’ is descriptive of this situation betrays the lie in this statement:

    I have read fairly widely on the subject, including those articles you suggested and some BOOKS that were all peer-reviewed and that!

  136. 4136
    Simon Everett

    Fossil –

    Fair enough. I feel like I have read pretty much everything and have yet to read anything that convinces me that PZ has acted correctly. I have my own experience and feel that these sort of actions are one of the reasons why there was no recourse back when I was looking for it.

    The vitriol seems to be backed by the assumption of misogyny and rape-apologism from anyone who disagrees with PZ’s decision. When that is not always the case. My opinions on PZ’s actions has no bearing on my being a gender-equalitist and my feelings about sexual assault.

  137. 4137
    Simon Everett

    piegasm-

    I did do quite a bit on gender studies for my degree so I did wind up reading a little bit. I don’t think a third-hand accusation through a blog is evidence. It’s an accusation.

  138. 4138
    piegasm

    I don’t think a third-hand accusation through a blog is evidence. It’s an accusation.

    Accusations are evidence, yo. News at 11. It’s not 3rd hand either, but who’s counting? The accusation itself also isn’t the only thing under the heading ‘evidence’ here. Which brings me back to my initial point, i.e. you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

  139. 4139
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Jesus fuck, here we go with the evidence thing again.
    What “evidence” would pass your threshold for acceptance?

  140. 4140
    Maureen Brian

    Simon Everett,

    All you have done is confirm what we have long suspected – that vast numbers of people (possibly including yourself) have less trouble with the idea that your wallet belongs to you than with the fact that my body is me and is not a public service provided out of taxes.

  141. 4141
    consciousness razor

    You say he’s not on trial, then follow it up with an assumption of guilt.

    Which is entirely appropriate. You said “whether it’s true or not” (that it is, even if it’s true he’s a rapist, assuming that for the sake of argument and without any reference to a presumption of innocence), the accusation besmirches his reputation.

    First, that’s just incredibly fucking dumb. I literally have a hard time believing I actually read that. Then I read the comment in response, then your fucking “gotcha, we’re now in a courtroom!” follow-up. I don’t believe either that someone could bring themselves to bullshit like this (yet do it so ineffectively) or that they could sincerely be this fucking blind to the things they’re actually saying.
    Second, if we’re treating how we communicate in our daily lives as if we’re in a courtroom, what the fuck is besmirching in the analogy? Is it like getting the death sentence?

  142. 4142
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Simon Everett

    My opinions on PZ’s actions has no bearing on my being a gender-equalitist and my feelings about sexual assault.

    Ooh, ooh, let me take a guess: You are an “equality feminist” as opposed to a “gender feminist”, is that it?

  143. 4143
    Simon Everett

    It’s odd how anything posited in opposition on this site is met with a response of “shut the fuck up”, “you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about”, “you’re as bad as the rapists” etc… Always ad hominum. Everyone seems very angry and sweary. Why don’t you all just say what you think instead of accusing people of being ignorant rape-apologists when you actually know very little of their background or circumstance.

    I assume a lot of you are academics, which makes it even less becoming. It also undermines whatever point you are trying to make.

    Accusations cannot successfully be used as evidence in isolation. At the moment it is just people taking PZ’s word over Michael Shermer’s.

  144. 4144
    piegasm

    It’s odd how anything posited in opposition on this site is met with a response of “shut the fuck up”, “you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about”, “you’re as bad as the rapists” etc…

    You’re being told these things because this shit you are saying is demonstrably incorrect, not just because you disagree.

    Always ad hominum.

    When will you shitwits learn what the fuck ad hominem means? Hint: it is not a synonym for ‘insult’.

    It also undermines whatever point you are trying to make.

    Tone does not undermine content. If tone is enough to make you stop listening, what’s being undermined is any claim you might have had to being a decent human being.

  145. 4145
    Simon Everett

    All you have done is confirm what we have long suspected – that vast numbers of people (possibly including yourself) have less trouble with the idea that your wallet belongs to you than with the fact that my body is me and is not a public service provided out of taxes.

    Maureen –

    Again, please go back and re-read the original post. At no point do I equate rape and wallet theft or wallet possession and woman ownership. It is a short story about how good people are. It is independent of anything to do with rape. Please stop repeating inaccurate statements.

    Second, if we’re treating how we communicate in our daily lives as if we’re in a courtroom, what the fuck is besmirching in the analogy? Is it like getting the death sentence?

    Mr/s C. Razor -
    I’m sorry I really don’t understand this bit. Which analogy?

    Ooh, ooh, let me take a guess: You are an “equality feminist” as opposed to a “gender feminist”, is that it?

    I feel that we all suffer social immanence as a result of gender roles and that we would benefit from their deconstruction to allow autonomy for all. But that’s probably another chat for another day.

  146. 4146
    consciousness razor

    It’s odd how anything posited in opposition on this site is met with a response of “shut the fuck up”, “you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about”, “you’re as bad as the rapists” etc… Always ad hominum.

    Except when it’s not.

    It’s odd how canned responses with no content like this seem to take roughly the same shape every time.

    Everyone seems very angry and sweary.

    Well, fuck, what are you doing around four? Maybe we could have a conversation about rape which isn’t so very angry and sweary over some tea and crumpets.

    Why don’t you all just say what you think instead of accusing people of being ignorant rape-apologists when you actually know very little of their background or circumstance.

    Why don’t you tell me what I ought to say when I do think some people are ignorant rape-apologists while also not knowing (or giving a fuck) about their background or circumstance?

    I assume a lot of you are academics, which makes it even less becoming. It also undermines whatever point you are trying to make.

    Being academics does, or is it not taking it as a given that your false dichotomies are valid or relevant? (It’s hard to tell what you mean, because like I said above: content-free.)

  147. 4147
    Simon Everett

    Is ‘ad hominem’ not just “to the body”. Suggesting that you attack the person not the argument. So by saying “you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about,” you circumnavigate the post and go for the person. Which is not something I have done.

  148. 4148
    piegasm

    @4145 Simon

    Again, please go back and re-read the original post. At no point do I equate rape and wallet theft or wallet possession and woman ownership. It is a short story about how good people are. It is independent of anything to do with rape. Please stop repeating inaccurate statements.

    Please learn to fucking read:

    All you have done is confirm what we have long suspected – that vast numbers of people (possibly including yourself) have less trouble with the idea that your wallet belongs to you than with the fact that my body is me and is not a public service provided out of taxes.

    Note the bolded phrase. Possibly including you. Do you know what “possibly” means, Simon? Hint: it’s not a synonym for “certainly”.

  149. 4149
    piegasm

    @4147 Simon

    Congratulations on translating the phrase into literal Latin. Shitwit.

    Also, saying you don’t know what fuck you’re talking about is an observation that you have said a bunch of shit that is demonstrably false. People who know what they are talking about, don’t say demonstrably false shit, Simon. This should not be a controversial statement.

  150. 4150
    Maureen Brian

    I’m tired of you, Simon, and the way you spout lazy and discredited rubbish, use all the dog-whistle words and generally want a special educational deal just for yourself – one where everyone here has a duty to educate you yet you assert the right to stick your fingers in your ears, closes your eyes and jump up and down shouting, “Don’t believe you! Don’t believe you!”

    No deal, buster. We have better things to do.

    ——————————-

    One last try – the statement of a person who was present when a crime was or may have been committed is evidence. This is true even when the person making the statement is the victim. And the law where you and I are – England – but many other places too must preserve the life-long anonymity of the complainant.

    ——————————-

    Now fuck off, please, I have 30 metres of bias tape to make.

  151. 4151
    Simon Everett

    The thing is, my original post wasn’t really about rape. It was more about how appropriate it is to publish rape accusations and the use of hyperbole to strengthen an argument.

    As someone who hasn’t really subscribed to any pre-determined doctrine to do with atheism or feminism or similar, the wall of anger that hits you is just slightly unusual. It seems odd that everyone in the freethought movement seems to have reached exactly the same conclusions. It suggests a very narrow critical approach among a large community; it seems quite common on here that anyone who doesn’t follow the correct freethought is gang tackled. This serves to do nothing other than discourage actual freedom of thought.

  152. 4152
    piegasm

    @4151 Simon Everett

    Your concern is noted. Now go away.

  153. 4153
    consciousness razor

    As someone who hasn’t really subscribed to any pre-determined doctrine to do with atheism or feminism or similar, the wall of anger that hits you is just slightly unusual. It seems odd that everyone in the freethought movement seems to have reached exactly the same conclusions.

    1) They’re not pre-determined. Do you think you might have just assumed (in advance, as it were) that they are without asking us about it?
    2) Does it seem odd to you that (nearly) everyone seems to have reached (nearly) the same conclusions about gravity or murder or dividing by zero? When there is some definite in which there is something true to even talk about (whatever the issue may be), and people have good reasons for thinking a certain way about the answer, which having good reasons they’ve discussed numerous times amongst themselves, yes they do tend to agree. It’s not very odd.
    3) Since you’re new here, since you’re saying you don’t share our views, since you’re saying you’re ignorant of why we even have them, and since you even seem to be confused about the nature of agreement itself, maybe you should think about retracting your claim concerning how opposition “always” gets treated around here.

  154. 4154
    consciousness razor

    I meant to say “When there is some definite [issue] …”

  155. 4155
    John Morales

    Simon Everett:

    The thing is, my original post wasn’t really about rape. It was more about how appropriate it is to publish rape accusations and the use of hyperbole to strengthen an argument.

    The quotation to which you ostensibly responded wasn’t really about rape, and it was you who made it so, as the concluding statement of your response to it demonstrates: “The overwhelming majority of men have no interest in raping anyone–they find it abhorrent, aberrant behaviour.”

    You also evidently have not read the prior comments, where all your contentions have been already addressed.

    [1] As someone who hasn’t really subscribed to any pre-determined doctrine to do with atheism or feminism or similar, [2] the wall of anger that hits you is just slightly unusual.

    1. Your attempted insinuation is stupid.

    2. You are very confused: Walls don’t hit people; people hit walls.

    It seems odd that everyone in the freethought movement seems to have reached exactly the same conclusions.

    <snicker>

    (Perhaps you should consider becoming a freethinker yourself!)

    It suggests a very narrow critical approach among a large community; it seems quite common on here that anyone who doesn’t follow the correct freethought is gang tackled.

    Anyone who employs the phrase “the correct freethought” without irony has no idea of what it is that freethought entails.

    This serves to do nothing other than discourage actual freedom of thought.

    You are easily discouraged, I see, O tone-troll.

    (bah)

  156. 4156
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Oh for fuck’s sake. Care to take a guess as to why this thread is over four thousand comments long Simon? Here’s a hint: it has little to do with agreement.

    And once again with the notion that freethought necessitates that no one ever agree with each other. It seriously is like they’re all reading a script. Irony.

    You Simon are just one in a long line of idiots who are too lazy to learn anything before commenting on it. I don’t for one second believe that you’ve read widely on this topic, nor do I believe that you’ve read this comment thread in any detail.

  157. 4157
    Simon Everett

    1) They’re not pre-determined. Do you think you might have just assumed (in advance, as it were) that they are without asking us about it?
    2) Does it seem odd to you that (nearly) everyone seems to have reached (nearly) the same conclusions about gravity or murder or dividing by zero? When there is some definite in which there is something true to even talk about (whatever the issue may be), and people have good reasons for thinking a certain way about the answer, which having good reasons they’ve discussed numerous times amongst themselves, yes they do tend to agree. It’s not very odd.
    3) Since you’re new here, since you’re saying you don’t share our views, since you’re saying you’re ignorant of why we even have them, and since you even seem to be confused about the nature of agreement itself, maybe you should think about retracting your claim concerning how opposition “always” gets treated around here.

    Well I’ve been a long time reader and my opinions do largely align themselves with freethought notions on religion and feminism. This particular blog entry is one that I found concerning due to the wider ramifications I feel that it could have. I am not ignorant of why you have the views, my view on this matter is only a slight divergence. Even PZ admitted to feeling conflicted about posting it, recognizing potential negative ramifications.

    As for 2) Philosophy of morality and science have been widely peer-reviewed over centuries. I’m sure you all do have good reasons. But from what I have experienced, I don’t feel that it is a positive environment for free expression of ideas. Sorry, that’s just what I think. It seems like it’s best to read the articles in a non-critical manner. There is very little actual discussion taking place on the boards, and due to the swift backlash to people with an opposing idea, there seems little opportunity forcritical peer review.

  158. 4158
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Once again silence, when the question of ‘acceptable evidence’ is asked.
    Not once, in over 4000 comments, has any of these shitwits answered that question*
     
    &nbsp:
    *Please someone tell me if i missed it.
    …stealing ‘shitwit’ :)

  159. 4159
    Simon Everett

    Oh my days obviously I used “the correct freethought” with lashings of Orwellian irony. How could you not pick up on that?

    And seriously, semantic arguments about walls?

  160. 4160
    John Morales

    [OT]

    Simon Everett:

    Is ‘ad hominem’ not just “to the body”. Suggesting that you attack the person not the argument.

    Person, not body; it’s a contraction of argumentum ad hominem.

    It’s only that which is termed argumentum ad hominem which is a fallacious argument (whether it’s insulting is an irrelevance) and therefore to be avoided; a straightforward insult (sententia ad hominem) is obviously an irrelevance to any argument.

    People such as you who imagine that when an insult exists alongside any other contentions those contentions are perforce fallacious are worse than ignorant — they’re ignorant and misguided.

    BTW, I note I’ve perceived more than one argumentum ad feminam on this thread.

  161. 4161
    Lofty

    Once again silence, when the question of ‘acceptable evidence’ is asked.

    That’s easy, proof that the alleged rapist is non-white, not a brave hero, homeless and a drug addict. Then it is probably true.
    /snark

  162. 4162
    Simon Everett

    Sorry! I missed the acceptable evidence bit. I can only answer this personally as it is easily the most complicated legal decision to make, as we seem nowhere near finding a solution. It would be hubris for me or anyone else here to say they have the perfect solution for prosecuting rapists.

    I will have a proper think and come back to you on this one.

    All I know is that a system where an accusation is considered enough for a prosecution is unworkable without sending innocent people to jail.

    And John Morales, I’m terribly sorry that I got the translation of ad hominem slightly wrong. I am truly ashamed of myself. However, I feel that it was used reasonably.

  163. 4163
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Simon Everett:

    Oh my days obviously I used “the correct freethought” with lashings of Orwellian irony. How could you not pick up on that?

    And seriously, semantic arguments about walls?

    Your modus is obvious and trite, you imagine you’ve diverted the conversation away from the actual topic of this post and so can idly chat about your scrambled rhetorical and metaphorical efforts.

    Nope.

    Here:

    As for the initial rape allegations, they should be taken to the police. Establishing guilt through gossip is not really a fair trial. The printing of these allegations in a blog has besmirched the man’s reputation whether or not they are true. If as is being suggested, he is a serial rapist then charges can be brought and there should be plenty of evidence against him. Evidence that goes beyond “a good friend of mine says…”. The justice systems both here in the UK and in the USA should not be founded on ‘no smoke without fire.’

    Your blithe opinings have all been extensively discussed, as you would have noted had you actually perused the comments.

    So, you said your piece right at the beginning, duly ignored everyone who advised you all your contentions had been already discussed.

    Since you don’t care to bother to actually read the responses to those contentions already made, you feel it incumbent upon others to repeat themselves so that you know what criticisms or rebuttals have been made.

  164. 4164
    John Morales

    [OT + meta]

    Simon Everett:

    And John Morales, I’m terribly sorry that I got the translation of ad hominem slightly wrong. I am truly ashamed of myself. However, I feel that it was used reasonably.

    Surely your feelings override reality!

    (You didn’t actually understand what I wrote, did you? :) )

    All I know is that a system where an accusation is considered enough for a prosecution is unworkable without sending innocent people to jail.

    <snicker>

    “This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole.”

  165. 4165
    mildlymagnificent

    This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole. The first paragraph serves to do nothing other than demonize men and scaremonger. What possible situations could you be putting yourself in every day to be subject to ‘inapproriate acts’ [sic] ‘unwelcome approaches’ and infringements upon personal space every day?

    You say you weren’t talking about rape initially, so that’s where we’ll start.
    In my own case the situation I “put myself in” was simply going to work – and travelling there on buses. And putting up with insults, challenges and touching based entirely on the fact that I was a woman.

    If you find the idea of reading a lot of stuff about rape and assault too much to take in one hit, I’d suggest starting with http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/sexual-harassment . Do a search for public transport harassment women and see what you get. As for the workplace, you surely can’t be that oblivious.

    As for rape. Read the thread.

  166. 4166
    Simon Everett

    Well John, I did not force anyone to reply. If you are bored of answering the same questions then feel free not to respond. As it happens many people felt compelled to respond, often in a fairly aggressive manner.

    And my modus wasn’t that obvious when people failed to spot the irony.

    I have perused the comments, but also felt that my understanding would benefit from engaging in a discussion personally. My apologies if this has irritated you. May I suggest that you simply do not respond if you find it such a chore.

  167. 4167
    LykeX

    Can we get a sock puppet check?

    I don’t have suspicion about any particular banned user, I just think it should be standard procedure at this point.

  168. 4168
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Oh, sweet cephalopod, I thought comments got shut down on this? Why are they open again? So we can continue to enjoy some Latin-related Dunning-Kruger, and such erudite arguments as “Most men are not rapists”?

    What even is the point of that argument? No one ever said most men were rapists. We said most rapists are men. And they are. So what exactly is Simon Everwrong trying to prove?

  169. 4169
    Simon Everett

    mildlymagnificent – again you have highlighted half a sentence and ignored the second half to alter the context.

  170. 4170
    Simon Everett

    *alter the meaning*

  171. 4171
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    I still feel that you shouldn’t publicly condemn people as a rapist without evidence.

    I will have a proper think and come back to you on this one.

     
    So you have no idea what you were demanding as evidence? Maybe you could have had a ‘proper think’ before you started shooting your mouth off.
    Or you could just read the rest of this thread.

  172. 4172
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Simon, you’d do far, far better to respond to mildlymagnificent above (@4165) who has actually clarified a point you found confusing than to respond to me, who will merely keep dragging you back to the topic at hand.

    Here, let me refresh your memory regarding the substance of the OP — quoth PZ:
    The author is not threatening her putative assailant with any action, but is solely concerned that other women be aware of his behavior. The only reason she has given me this information is that she has no other way to act.

    I have perused the comments, but also felt that my understanding would benefit from engaging in a discussion personally.

    If you’re being genuine then you can prove your claim by responding to a previous response to one (any one!) of your contentions.

    (Care to try?)

  173. 4173
    LykeX

    As it happens many people felt compelled to respond, often in a fairly aggressive manner.

    Gee, I wonder fucking why, shit-for-brains.

    Your first post, your fist line, you start out by invalidating the real experiences of real victims and instead substituting your own half-witted nonsense. It’s not just that you disagreed, you actually substituted your own opinion for theirs. In response to people telling you about their lives, you said: “No, that didn’t happen. Let me tell you what really happened.”

    I think people have been extremely kind to you, so far, considering what a colossal asshole you’re being.

  174. 4174
    opposablethumbs

    Simon Everett, you may have noticed that you are weighing in on a thread that already has well over 4,100 comments. It may possibly have occurred to you that these gems you are coming up with, and which you appear to think so very sparkly and new, are actually old and tired re-treads of what has already been said by others, over and over again. It looks rather foolish on your part, then, to react with such entitled indignation when your gems are received like the ill-polished dross they actually are.

    A couple of reminders (chosen more or less at random): firstly, an anonymous source is not the same as an unknown source; first-hand evidence from a victim whose identity is known (it just isn’t known to you) is not the same as what you so charmingly dismiss as “gossip” (your choice of words is noted). Oh, and as you should know if you’d bothered to read, there are in fact several corroborating sources, some named and some anonymous (i.e. known but not known to you).

    Secondly, you clearly have absolutely no idea of the level of unwanted and intrusive interaction the vast majority of women have to deal with every bloody day; doesn’t matter a damn what you look like, how old you are, where you go. You seem to think that nothing short of gross physical assault “counts”, which is absolutely not the case when it’s your everyday lived experience, and not-coincidentally you also seem to have no idea of just how common-and-that-is-the-opposite-of-rare sexual assault is. I’ve been sexually assaulted five times – in the school playground, on public transport, taking the sun in a city park, in a shop, walking along the fucking street – and those experiences are bog-standard ordinary. Nothing unusual about them. Just a few random, ordinary men and boys deciding that my body – my self – existed solely for their use and amusement. Women live with that all the time.

    Now do be a good chap and read the thread. Stop expecting people to re-hash hundreds of earlier conversations purely for your benefit, as if you were the first great white settler to reach a brand-new dark continent with your sparkling observations; there have been people here before you for a long time. You could always try listening to them.

  175. 4175
    Simon Everett

    What would be the point of answering mildlymag when all she has done is intentionally manipulate my words to make it seem like I disagree with something that I have always agreed with? I’m not going to argue a point I don’t agree with for the sake of it.

    I very much agree that women are subjected to abuse on far too regular a basis and that serious changes need to be made. My objection was to the wording that suggested that every woman suffered sexual abuse every day as this is a hyperbole that demonizes men and trivializes sexual abuse.

    My second objection is to the manner in which someone has been labelled a rapist without a trial.

    They’re not really massive or contentious points. You may think I am an asshole and all that, but really all I’ve done is try to understand something better; I haven’t called anyone names and I’ve tried to be as respectful as possible. I don’t really think that makes me an asshole or an idiot, and I honestly find it disappointing that people have been so aggressive in response to this.

  176. 4176
    piegasm

    all I’ve done is try to understand something better

    By parachuting into a 4000+ comment long thread to say the same ill-informed shit that innumerable others have said before you to people already on their last nerve as a result of the previous 4000+ comments that you neglected to read. That was an asshole move in and of itself before one even gets to the fact that your first sentence dismissed the lived experiences of vast numbers of women as ‘utter nonsense.’

  177. 4177
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Simon juxta

    “Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends.

    It’s hardly the end of the universe if we expect men to be able to process and understand a polite no. Or even an impolite no. In all of known history, women have been treated as animals, as things, as property.”

    This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole.

    I haven’t called anyone names and I’ve tried to be as respectful as possible.

    Incidentally, Simon, I can tell a difference between the days I’m presenting more masculine vs more feminine.

  178. 4178
    LykeX

    My objection was to the wording that suggested that every woman suffered sexual abuse every day as this is a hyperbole that demonizes men and trivializes sexual abuse.

    Cue equivocating about the definition of “sexual abuse”.

    Fact is that women do have to put up with tonnes of crap, sometimes on a daily basis, simply for being women. They’re treated in way that no one would ever think of treating a man. Specifically, they’re treated as if their opinions are less important, their physical autonomy less worthy of respect, and as if they owe men to be friendly and smiling at all times.

    Even if this doesn’t happen every day, it could happen on any day. At any time. With any man they meet. It doesn’t have to be all men. It just has to be enough that you’re constantly subjected to a low grade anxiety around any man, because you never know if this one is going to turn out to be one of the assholes.

    Seriously, dude. You’ve got a lot to learn. There are dozens of links in this thread, so get cracking. Most importantly, try to remember that this isn’t about you. Make no mistake, being one of the good guys is tough. It can be hard on your self-esteem, but the alternative is to be a jackass.

    You need to decide what your priority is; assisting women in dismantling a sexist culture or safeguarding your own ego. honestly, take some time to think about that. It’s important.

  179. 4179
    Simon Everett

    I understand that these points have been raised before; for the umpteenth time, I have read the thread. I find it helpful to engage personally–you do not need to engage in a rude and patronizing manner if you do not wish. You could also choose to do so, which is what a fair few of you have.

    I do not understand why things that I have not said are being projected onto me. I very much do understand the level of unwanted attention that can be directed towards women. There is no need to make an assumption of my opinion and than patronize based upon that.

  180. 4180
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Simon juxta

    I very much do understand the level of unwanted attention that can be directed towards women.

    This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole.

  181. 4181
    John Morales

    Simon Everett:

    What would be the point of answering mildlymag when all she has done is intentionally manipulate my words to make it seem like I disagree with something that I have always agreed with? I’m not going to argue a point I don’t agree with for the sake of it.

    SimEve, mildlymagnificent may have failed at the blockquote, but it would take a spectacularly dim person to fail to see that it was a straightforward answer to your (rhetorical) question.

    Truth is that you have no response to her stated experience other than to pretend you didn’t ask what such an experience might be.

    (Your intellectual cowardice is duly noted)

    I very much agree that women are subjected to abuse on far too regular a basis and that serious changes need to be made. My objection was to the wording that suggested that every woman suffered sexual abuse every day as this is a hyperbole that demonizes men and trivializes sexual abuse.

    There was no such suggestion and thus your objection is spurious; the referent is clearly to micro-aggressions (also previously discussed).

    My second objection is to the manner in which someone has been labelled a rapist without a trial.

    Your second objection is also spurious, since every single allegation that someone has raped is equally as much a labelling as this instance.

    But fine; care to propose a manner in which someone can be labelled a rapist without a trial to which you would not have an objection?*

    They’re not really massive or contentious points.

    I did just note they’re spurious. :)

    You may think I am an asshole and all that, but really all I’ve done is try to understand something better; I haven’t called anyone names and I’ve tried to be as respectful as possible. I don’t really think that makes me an asshole or an idiot, and I honestly find it disappointing that people have been so aggressive in response to this.

    Bah. You’re just a clueless person who jumped in with some fatuous opinions and can’t be arsed to inform themselves by actually reading the discussion to date.

    (An unremarkable specimen, you)

    * I feel the need to explain to you that this is mocking your syntactic skills.

  182. 4182
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Caine usually does this, but she’s not currently around and I think this thread needs a dose of reading material

    CCC (Crystal Clear Consent):

    * First of all: Understand that if you go forward with initiating sexual activity not knowing if consent exists, you may or may not be raping someone, but you have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that you are willing to rape someone. Black areas make you a rapist, grey areas make you willing to rape.

    * Making absolutely sure that consent is obtained and mutually agreed on. This does not include trying for consent when a person is not in condition to grant consent.

    * No doubts as to whether consent was obtained.

    * No guesses as to whether consent was obtained.

    * No assumptions as to whether consent was obtained.

    * No doubt as to whether any partner was capable of giving consent at the time.

    Crystal Clear Consent Practices:

    * Understanding that consent may be withdrawn, by any involved party, at any time. Initial consent does not mean you get to carry on if consent has been withdrawn. In other words, people are allowed to change their mind at any point.

    * If you have not had sex with a given person before, mutually understood language with confirmation is the best way to attain Crystal Clear Consent. Relying on body language or assuming consent without clarification is nearly always insufficient with a new partner. Consent that is not communicated is not CCC.

    * If your partner is communicating something, do not assume that it has nothing to do with consent.

    * If you initiate or offer and are declined in the context of a specifically romantic, sexual, or flirtations setting, do not initiate or offer again until one of the following four occur:

    1. the other party has taken a turn initiating/offering and been declined by you.

    2. the other party has taken a turn initiating/offering, was accepted by you, but after the activity lapsed you wish to restart.

    3. it is an entirely new romantic, sexual, or flirtatious setting.

    4. An amount of time has passed that is inverse to the number of times they have accepted your offer before. While it may be acceptable when dating to offer again in a week or in a closer relationship to initiate again after, say, one day [or whatever is the negotiated norm in said relationship] it’s not acceptable to ask someone again if you’ve just met them.

    * If you initiate or offer and are declined in a context that is not specifically romantic, sexual, or flirtatious, do not initiate or offer again. Seriously.

    * If you’re beginning a new relationship or going for a casual hookup, enthusiasm is key! Your new partner should be enthusiastically and happily involved with you. If no enthusiasm is present, it’s best to go for more communication and put off sex for a while.

    * A person who wants consensual sex doesn’t want to commit or experience rape, and a person who rapes does. Whether a given rapist wants their victim(s) drugged, unconscious, frightened, intimidated, trapped, manipulated or tricked, or just pestered until they give in, the rapist wants the end result to be that a rape happens. That includes being forced to penetrate someone else.

    * Contrary to what is often thought, consent is not difficult. If you still aren’t clear at this point, read this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2011/09/20/consent-is-hard/ and this: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/06/if-consent-was-really-that-hard-whiny-dudes-would-fail-at-every-aspect-of-life/

    * Don’t want to listen to us? How about MIT:

    Effective Consent is:

    – informed;

    – freely and actively given;

    – mutually understandable words or actions;

    – which indicate a willingness to participate in
    – mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

  183. 4183
  184. 4184
  185. 4185
  186. 4186
  187. 4187
    Simon Everett

    And again–”seriously dude, you’ve got a lot to learn.” This is just the most incredibly arrogant sentence and you aren’t the first to say this. You all seem to think that you are enlightened to some form of universal truth. I’m worried that a lot of the information on this site is self-referential. All the suggested articles have been freethoughtblogs and seem to to sit in accord with one another.

    Fortunately I feel intellectually secure enough not to be too fussed by the constant negativity and lack of positive discussion. But thank you all for pointing out that I can continue to learn–perhaps it would be helpful for you to remember that we can all continue to learn, as opposed to the unregulated hubris that seems rife on this wall.

  188. 4188
  189. 4189
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Now what you’re doing is just shouting down anyone with a different opinion to you. “Shut up” isn’t really any kind of argument.

    This from a fuckwitted twit who thinks his OPINION, not third party evidence, is an argument. Hint. NO LINK, NO ARGUMENT.

  190. 4190
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Fortunately I feel intellectually secure enough not to be too fussed by the constant negativity and lack of positive discussion.

    You aren’t discussing, and won’t be until you can admit you are wrong. You are preaching fuckwittery.

  191. 4191
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Simon,

    I’m not sure if you’ve picked this up yet, but I’m not interested in having a discussion with you, since you seem incapable of reading comprehension.

    All the suggested articles have been freethoughtblogs and seem to to sit in accord with one another.

    I didn’t know Wikipedia, YesMeansYes, and FinallyFeminism101 were associated with FTB.

  192. 4192
    John Morales

    Simon Everett:

    I understand that these points have been raised before; for the umpteenth time, I have read the thread. I find it helpful to engage personally–you do not need to engage in a rude and patronizing manner if you do not wish.

    There is nothing to stop you from engaging personally except your own ignorance and your cowardice; all you have to do is quote the person’s name and the comment number when you do so.

    Are you truly so dim you cannot comprehend that you have been told again and again that your contentions have been already addressed, and the onus in on you to address those responses if you want either to dispute them or to advance the conversation?

    Here, let me do some work for you; consider your contention “As for the initial rape allegations, they should be taken to the police.”

    I here link four early responses to that by others from the very first page (there are many, many more, including by me).

    Care to prove your assertion by engaging any of them personally?

    rowanvt

    rq

    aluchko

    Tony

  193. 4193
    LykeX

    And again–”seriously dude, you’ve got a lot to learn.” This is just the most incredibly arrogant sentence and you aren’t the first to say this

    I guess that answers my question about priorities.

  194. 4194
    sonderval

    @Simon Everett
    So if making the story of the confidential source (BTW not hearsay, not anonymous, just confidential – do you balk at all newspaper articles that quote confidential sources in the same way?) was the wrong way to do what was the purpose of the article (namely to warn women about a possibly predatory person), what, in your opinion, should PZ or his source have done to protect and warn women (which, despite all your words about trials etc. was the sole purpose of this post)? What exactly? Please be as concrete as possible.

    Concerning your initial statement (people are basically good), I’ll just cut-and paste what I wrote a moment ago in another post:

    You may be in danger of the evil-othering rape-apology syllogism:
    1. Rape is totally evil and only done by monsters
    2. Person X is not evil or a monster
    3. Therefore what person X does cannot be rape.

    That’s an easy trap to fall into, especially in a society that tries very hard to blur lines (as we have several thousands comments wroth here proving). It’s still wrong, though.

    Finally, how a person with empathy can read all the heart-breaking stories in this thread about rape victims going to the police and being even more abused and still say “They should go to the police” is utterly beyond me.

  195. 4195
    Jacob Schmidt

    Simon Everett

    What statistic says that most women are sexually assaulted every day?

    You do realize that a significant average doesn’t mean all men engage in such ways, right? Saying that women are often harassed is not saying that all men harass women regularly. I can only assume this confusion comes from not understanding how all this actually works.

    Repeating the experiences isn’t explaining the situation.

    It literally is. Dear lord, did you even think before you wrote that?

    You say he’s not on trial, then follow it up with an assumption of guilt.[1] I do not know if the man is guilty or not, therefore I work on the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise–a third hand accusation on a blog is not evidence.[2] I do not personally care for the man, as he is heavily involved in evangelical atheism,[3] which isn’t something I really understand. I have no interest in protecting his reputation.[4]

    1) Do you know what the word “if” means? I guess not.

    2) You don’t actually understand the situation, do you? That accuastion up there? That’s first hand. That’s personal testimony. That is, indeed, evidence, and would be considered in a court of law.

    3) Oooh, you won’t like this place, expecially since you think “evangelical atheism” is actually a thing.

    4) You wrote that we should be concerned about his reputation, but you have no interest in his reputation? Basic coherence, how does it work?

    I have personal experience of the destructive nature of rape and it has effected my life heavily.[1] I’d like to think that I haven’t let my personal experience taint my innate predilection for carefully sought justice over mob rule.[2]

    1) Not enough to go do some basic background reading, apparently.

    2) Yes, we are definitely a mob. We are, at any day now, gonna storm Shermer’s house and make sure he’s punished.

    This is just the most incredibly arrogant sentence and you aren’t the first to say this.[1] You all seem to think that you are enlightened to some form of universal truth.[2] I’m worried that a lot of the information on this site is self-referential.[3] All the suggested articles have been freethoughtblogs and seem to to sit in accord with one another.[4]

    1) You’d do well to stop deserving it.

    2) You’re projecting, I suspect.

    3) Yeah. You know my journal of chemical papers? It references other papers in past journals! Totes unreliable. When you can point out how those articles fail, we’ll stop linking to them.

    4) This is blatantly false. Plus, some of the FtB links are aggregates of third party links. You’re not reading; it’s obvious at this point.

  196. 4196
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Simon Everett:

    Fortunately I feel intellectually secure enough not to be too fussed by the constant negativity and lack of positive discussion. But thank you all for pointing out that I can continue to learn–perhaps it would be helpful for you to remember that we can all continue to learn, as opposed to the unregulated hubris that seems rife on this wall.

    Your inadvertently ironic bluster is as futile as your self-esteem is irrelevant, and what I’m pointing out is that you’ve clearly got nothing to add to your initial prattle, hence you’re doing your damnedest to evade addressing the many responses that have been made to each one of your points.

    Every time you evade responding to responses to your claims, you show your impotence.

  197. 4197
    NightShadeQueen, resident nutcase

    Greta Christina on the difference between unnamed and anonymous: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/08/20/anonymous-vs-unnamed-deep-throat/

  198. 4198
    Maureen Brian

    Simon Everett,

    Here is the whole of your first post here on 30 August, 22 days after the OP went up. The quotation is from Caine on August 12, just before the thread shut down for a fortnight.)

    “Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends.

    It’s hardly the end of the universe if we expect men to be able to process and understand a polite no. Or even an impolite no. In all of known history, women have been treated as animals, as things, as property.”

    This is just utter nonsense surely? Or at best extreme hyperbole. The first paragraph serves to do nothing other than demonize men and scaremonger. What possible situations could you be putting yourself in every day to be subject to ‘inapproriate acts’ [sic] ‘unwelcome approaches’ and infringements upon personal space every day? Do you work specifically with violent sex offenders? Most people are good. The overwhelming majority of men have no interest in raping anyone–they find it abhorrent, aberrant behaviour.

    Almost all men do understand ‘no’. To say they don’t is like saying “women don’t understand you shouldn’t shoplift” because some women do. There are bad people in the world. Hysterical scare-mongering serves no useful purpose and is just ruining society. In reality, the man who says hello to you in the street probably isn’t trying to rape you; he may just be friendly. In reality, your kids can go play in the woods without getting nonced up; not everyone is a peadophile.

    A while ago I dropped my wallet in Picadilly Circus twice in one week. Both times the wallet was handed into the nearest bank (who wound up thinking I was a complete buffoon) and returned to me. People are good. {Bad analogy and, in context, probably offensive, too.}

    The “in all of history” bit is just a silly sweeping statement, although true to an extent. In many cultures marriage has been a form of ownership. Although the idea that women are treated like animals is just overly-emotive and not true in my experience, growing up in a Western, European culture. In this day and age most people seem to have a healthy egalitarian approach to their relationships.

    As for the initial rape allegations, they should be taken to the police. Establishing guilt through gossip is not really a fair trial. The printing of these allegations in a blog has besmirched the man’s reputation whether or not they are true. If as is being suggested, he is a serial rapist then charges can be brought and there should be plenty of evidence against him. Evidence that goes beyond “a good friend of mine says…”. The justice systems both here in the UK and in the USA should not be founded on ‘no smoke without fire.’

    As you see, I have bolded that which is directly offensive and italicisedwhat is woolly thinking or just plain ignorance. After that, there’s not a great deal left, is there?

    On what planet would it be a good idea to arrive almost a month late at a symposium and begin by offending most of those present?

    That you would begin any conversation in this way beggars belief. That you addressed such remarks directly to Caine, though you did not trouble to name her, proves what we all knew already – that you have not read the OP, the 4,000+ comments here or the many later threads here and elsewhere.

    You are just a nasty little shit and you have had rather better treatment that you deserve.

  199. 4199
    SallyStrange

    Shoulda taken my advice, fuckwit.

  200. 4200
    docfreeride

    Simon Everett @4157:

    But from what I have experienced, I don’t feel that it is a positive environment for free expression of ideas.

    You seem to be looking for an environment where there are no negative consequences for repeating claims and arguments that have been dismantled, repeatedly, in this very comment thread.

    You prefer to engage in discussion with people here? What you’re doing is refraining from engaging seriously with careful, patient contributions these self-same people have made upthread, because … why? The fact of your persistence in asking questions already answered (repeatedly) will somehow change people’s reasoned answers or lived experience?

    Demanding that the commentariat be your blow-up dialogue doll and respond in just the way you want is unlikely to fly here.

    Besides which, you are doing the Classic Troll maneuver of waltzing into the ethics course half-way through class, the day before the exam, and asking, “Wait, was Kant the one who said something about duty?” Your classmates are discreetly offering you their notes (linked in these comments) to help you catch up without making a fool of yourself, but you won’t be helped.

    It might be worth taking a moment to reflect on why you think this is a successful strategy for you to pursue.

  201. 4201
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Simon:
    This is not a courtroom. We in the public can judge Michael Shermer based on the evidence at hand. That evidence consists of:

    1- Jane Doe’s allegation. This is first hand evidence. The *only* way this does not count as evidence is if you think she is lying or does not exist.
    2- Carrie Poppy has corroborated Jane Doe
    3- an unnamed person who does not like PZ has corroborated the allegation
    4- An unnamed person has stepped forward relating how Shermers behavior at conventions fits that of a predator.

    Those of us who take rape claims seriously have chosen to believe Jane Doe. Do we know for certain that Shermer is a rapist? No. But is not a court of law. No one is being tried by a jury. None of us has the power to punish Shermer. The standards by which the public can judge people do not have to match a courtroom.
    So stop parroting the other Rape Apologists claiming this is anything like a courtroom.

    On a separate note, I find your first comment here, with so many loaded terms, to be offensive, especially to women.
    If you truly have researched anything, I question what you learned.
    You show up here, adding to the list of people who either do not believe Jane Doe, or think PZ has fabricated this, which shows more empathy for Michael Shermer. I find that, and you, to be disgusting.

    In addition, this is decidedly NOT a difference of opinion. We are talking about arguments key to the right of bodily autonomy and freedom from rape here.

    This is not a fucking discussion about which flavor of ice cream is better you fucking douchecannon.
    Shut the fuck up and get the fuck out.

  202. 4202
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Jesus fuck…

    Simon Everett! Nightshadequeen has kindly provided a wealth of links which I strongly advise you to read, post-haste. They will furnish you with the information you need to have in order to have the conversation you are trying to have.

  203. 4203
    Rey Fox

    Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends.

    It’s hardly the end of the universe if we expect men to be able to process and understand a polite no. Or even an impolite no. In all of known history, women have been treated as animals, as things, as property.

    I’m searching through this passage looking for the place where it demonizes all men. I’m not finding it. And believe me, I’ve got my man-feels cranked up all the way, and my ego is at maximum fragility.

    In the meantime, could someone please give me the guard schedule for the Prison of Mob Rule and Public Opinion? I have plans this weekend that I need to coordinate with making sure our convicted prisoner Shermer never escapes.

  204. 4204
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Rey:
    I am on tap for Sunday guard duty.

  205. 4205
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Rey Fox

    Sorry, the Mangina Corps is hooking up with the Brigade du Garces in order to further our grand plan for the subjugation of all men and the establishment of the Grand Gynarchy through the conviction of suspected rapists in the Court of Public Opinion™ based on nothing more than hearsay©. You’ll have to find someone else.

    While we’re on the subject, could you ask The Pullet Patrol to dirty enough straw to provide sub-standard bedding for cells 2 through 50, and ask chef to stale up some bread and stagnate enough water for same? We’re expecting a huge influx of suspected rapists tarnished reputations Perfectly Innocent Menz™ by Sunday at the latest.

    The GGMC (Grand Gynarchy Mangina Corps) will be on hand from Monday onwards to continue the mandatory mistreatment of the prisoners.

  206. 4206
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Does every man I interact with have to be a harassing and/or rapey asshole for Caine’s quote to not be hyperbole?

    No.

    If I get harassed/groped/leered at every day by some man or another and the response of men (who assure me they’d never do such a thing) I complain to about this is, “But it can’t be that bad!” then Caine’s quote is definitely not hyperbole.

  207. 4207
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Which is to say that if your issue is women feeling unsafe and lashing out, maybe you should take your complaints to the men who are making them feel unsafe.

    Rather than, say, accusing women again of overreacting and being too sensitive.

  208. 4208
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    These are the same people who will ask, “Well why didn’t you complain about it if it was bothering you so much?” Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Funny when someone’s reaction isn’t, “even if things are only half that bad, I’d like to know what I, as a man, can do to stop men from doing this or avoid unknowingly making women feel uncomfortable myself.” I suspect some people really don’t like considering the idea that maybe they should be offering to *do* something differently to help others. It’s easier to keep your head at the sand, blame the messenger and wash your hands of it. (That is your RDA of cliches for the day!)
    ***
    BTW, Simon. Caine never said most women are sexually assaulted every day. She said, “Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends. ”
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-9/#comment-667186

  209. 4209
    Pteryxx

    “Most women get to live, every day, with people attempting to infringe on their personal space. Most women get to live, every day, with people committing inapproriate acts toward them. Most women get live, every day, with the expectation that somewhere in her day, a highly unwelcome approach is going to be made. It goes on and on and on, and the list never bloody ends. ”

    and there are in fact stats to back this up, as in the papers cited in

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/02/the-further-hyper-skepticism-stalling-our-conversation/

    for instance, 52% in the U of Iowa study in that OP, and 90% of women in the Leskinen report mentioned in comment 5 there. So yes, 52% and 90% are definitely “most”.

  210. 4210
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    In order to pick up something important I need I occasionally have to take a 10 minute walk to get to another building. If it’s a nice day I can take a short cut outside and get there in half than less the time. I finally decided to try doing this. I noticed the hot dog vendor who is always camped out on the way leering at me. It made me uncomfortable enough that I just completely looked away from him until I got inside. Next time I go there I have to choose between not getting some sun and fresh air but not risking being angered and uncomfortable again over walking in peace but wasting time and having to wait much longer before seeing the sun again that day. There is nothing abnormal about making these kinds of little modifications to how a woman would otherwise choose to live her life. This happens all the time. It’s something we sadly turn into unpleasant background noise in our lives we come to expect.

  211. 4211
    G Pierce (Was ~G~)

    Whoops, the choices above are, obviously, staying indoors and not being leered at vs. getting some sun but risking being made anxious and angry by the hotdog man.

  212. 4212
    anteprepro

    Well Simon sure is continuing the trend of Reading Fails among the Manskeptics.
    Christ, what an asshole.

    Which is to say that if your issue is women feeling unsafe and lashing out, maybe you should take your complaints to the men who are making them feel unsafe.

    Rather than, say, accusing women again of overreacting and being too sensitive.

    This. This should be copy-pasted as an automatic response to every self-absorbed Manskeptic who opens their traps to spew out clueless, dismissive, or outright hateful PRATTs.

  213. 4213
    Inaji

    The hysterical branding of man as “other” and a danger is not helpful and makes it more difficult to discern the pervert from the everyday Joe.

    The Epic Grenade opens for business, and who is first through the door? Why an idiot, dressed in the bright, obnoxious rags of obliviousness.

    Dear Everyday Simon, you and all the Everyday Joes are the problem. I see it has escaped your razor sharp comprehension that those people who would sexually assault, harass a/o rape don’t walk around with neon tattoos on their foreheads, providing a convenient warning to us all.

    Now I am absolutely sure your use of the word pervert was a terrible accident, as you seem to be terribly concerned with poor, everyday Simon and Joe being othered, so you wouldn’t use an othering term. I’m also sure that you had an awful slip of the keyboard with your repeated use of hysterical, and didn’t meant to purposefully other all women with that misogynistically rooted word.

    It does seem you have a serious problem in the reading department, and are engaged in what you think are genius strokes of lightning, alas, your attempt to cover your inability in the reading department has failed in a catastrophic manner.

    Has an alert been sent? Does one need to be sent?

  214. 4214
    A. Noyd

    Only up to 4148 so far, but I have to go out for a bit, so here:

    Simon Everett (#4143)

    Why don’t you all just say what you think instead of accusing people of being ignorant rape-apologists when you actually know very little of their background or circumstance.

    Why should we give a shit what your background is when you’re demonstrating in this very thread that you’re an ignorant rape-apologist? If you’ve done a lot of reading on the topic, that just makes you more pathetic, not more credible.

    Everyone seems very angry and sweary. … It…undermines whatever point you are trying to make.

    For the record? THIS is an ad hominem.

  215. 4215
    Rey Fox

    For the record? THIS is an ad hominem.

    Holy shit, somebody call Alanis, we have irony!

  216. 4216
    Anthony K

    Remember folks: these are the only people you should ever mention any allegation of wrongdoing to.

  217. 4217
    A. Noyd

    John Morales (#4155)

    You are very confused: Walls don’t hit people; people hit walls.

    Unless you’re in a trash compactor on the Death Star, which is probably close to how Simon imagines the situation he’s in.

  218. 4218
    A. Noyd

    Simon Everett (#4157)

    This particular blog entry is one that I found concerning due to the wider ramifications I feel that it could have.

    What about the ramifications for Shermer’s future victims if he is, as I believe, a rapist? What happens if they don’t get warned? In this situation, there is no action (or inaction) without ramifications. You’re a rape apologist because you aren’t concerned about the possible ramifications for Shermer’s targets (or not concerned enough to mention it in your whinge about those all-important man-feels).

  219. 4219
    Susannah

    A Noyd # 4214

    Everyone seems very angry and sweary. … It…undermines whatever point you are trying to make.

    For the record? THIS is an ad hominem.

    In fact, it, or some variant thereof, is probably the most common ad hom we see. Isn’t it on a list somewhere?

  220. 4220
    Inaji

    Okay, we need to revise the CCC, to include something about (fully) informed consent. Help and suggestions wanted! We’ll keep the discussion here, for convenience.

  221. 4221
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    And again–”seriously dude, you’ve got a lot to learn.” This is just the most incredibly arrogant sentence and you aren’t the first to say this.

    Translation: I am a man! How dare you suggest that I don’t know everything. I know everything and am right about everything! Especially the shit I know absolutely nothing about !

  222. 4222
    thedude

    If you had a shred of decency, you would go to the police.

  223. 4223
    piegasm

    @4222

    decency

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  224. 4224
    LykeX

    At this point, can’t we just delete and ban anyone who makes a comment like that? I mean, they clearly have nothing sensible to offer. They’re not even interesting enough to be good chew toys.

  225. 4225
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    If you had a shred of decency, you would go to the police.

    Why? Total non-sequitur for anything under discussion.

  226. 4226
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Oh, thedude again.
    Should have done this before now.

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

  227. 4227
    Inaji

    thedude:

    If you had a shred of decency, you would go to the police.

    Monitor Note: You may be banned from a comment thread if:

    1. You cannot control your posting habits, and are dominating the discussion.

    2. Your comments are repetitive, especially if you repeat arguments that have already been addressed.

    3. You demonstrate that you are unwilling to have read previous comments or the opening post.

    You are in violation of the commenting rules. Please read the thread (There are 9 pages, in case you missed that) before commenting again. This will take you to the first page. Thank you.

  228. 4228
    Rey Fox

    Fuck the police.

    (as long as we’re doing one-liners)

  229. 4229
    thedude

    @Psychopath redhead:

    So reporting crimes to the police is irrelevant? What have you been smoking?

  230. 4230
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So reporting crimes to the police is irrelevant?

    Yes, if you aren’t the victim. And the victim who was raped doesn’t want it reported illiterate and unintelligent. So, why must it be reported? What reason makes you delusionally think it must be reported?

  231. 4231
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    thedude has appeared before, and his modus operandi appears to be spewing inane and offensively ignorant one-liners all over the thread without ever bothering to read the thread first. He’s not even a fun troll, he’s just irritating. Can he be banned already?

  232. 4232
    piegasm

    So reporting crimes to the police is irrelevant? What have you been smoking?

    Not irrelevant, just completely ineffective if your goal is to punish a rapist.

  233. 4233
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @thedude #4229

    Nice straw man, but that’s not what Nerd said.

    Explain how it is relevant. You can’t simply declare anyone who says it is irrelevant to be high; you have to prove they are wrong.

  234. 4234
    Inaji

    An alert has been posted.

  235. 4235
    pHred

    Ahhh! This thread keeps rising with new infestations of zombies ! Quick don’t we need a circle of salt ? Or a flamethrower ?

  236. 4236
    SallyStrange

    Stop besmirching the good name of the Dude! The Dude would never lecture people about going to the police. The Dude understands that that is Very Uncool, because the police can often be Very Uncool.

  237. 4237
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine #4234

    Good, I’m bored of being angry. It feels like every time I come on this blog over the past month or so I’ve ended up pissed off. This week has been better, so far.

    And I’m lucky, I just get pissed off. Some people are far worse affected by it.

  238. 4238
    Inaji

    Yeah, I’m tired of being angry too, especially with the same old douchebro rhetoric, parroting the same shit for the nth time.

  239. 4239
    PZ Myers

    You’re not the dude. The dude would never go to the cops. Bye.

  240. 4240
    Great American Satan

    I’m amazed this thread didn’t break 5000 after comments re-opened. Guess the creeps aren’t paying as close of attention as one might imagine, or they just got bored.

  241. 4241
    kermit1981

    Can this be clarified for me please.

    The accusation is that Shermer raped the anonymous woman by providing her with alcohol to the point where she drunkenly had sex with him? Am I right in thinking that it wasnt forced entry as such but that the allegation is that she wouldnt have had sex with shermer if she was sober (or less drunk even)? She was involved in the sexual intercourse at the time but only accepted due to lowered inhibitions and responsibility caused by the alcohol intake?

    I ask for these clarifications because they seem to be rather key. If it is the case that she didnt at resist at the time (due to the alcohol) but this is still cause for saying it was rape by shermer (or at the very least him being a sexual predator) then I myself have been raped (or the victim of predators) in the past. I have on more than one occasion been sexually involved due to alcohol lowering my inhibitions and defences with women who provided the alcohol with the express intention of bedding me (feck knows why I am nothing special as far as I am aware).

    Seems like there are far too few details in this blog post to come to any real conclusions about what happened. Perhaps Shermer raped her, perhaps he enjoys drinking with people and having one night stands with women, perhaps they had consensual sex that was later regretted by one of the parties. From what is included in the blog I can see no way to verify that any of those scenarios is true. Surely we require more details before tarring anyone with allegations of being a rapist/predator?

  242. 4242
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I ask for these clarifications because they seem to be rather key.

    Nope, not key at all. Rape is sex without consent. No consent was given, and MS manipulated the drinks so she was unable to gauge how much alcohol she had consumed. Predatory action on his part. There is no way he is not culpable. So quit your inane attempts not to condemn an act that should be condemned, and other women warned of the person and their MO.

  243. 4243
    carlie

    kermit1981 – everything you are asking for has been discussed ad nausaeum in the last nine pages of this thread. Please read those before commenting, or at least do a search for key terms. What you are asking for has ALREADY been clarified for you.

  244. 4244
    carlie

    I know you have been here for awhile, but the commenting rules are more explicit now. Please go read them now before you comment again, specifically II.3. You may be banned from a comment thread if you demonstrate that you are unwilling to have read previous comments or the opening post.

  245. 4245
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Kermit, the purpose of the thread was not to condemn MS, but rather warn other women about MS’s predatory tactics and attitude. If you wish to add anything on how that information should be made available to potential victims, do so. That is where you should spend your posts, on how to get the information out to protect other women from being victimized the same way, which has corroborating evidence. Unlike everything you say.

  246. 4246
    piegasm

    Gosh, kermit1981, if only there were 4,240 posts prior to yours which might have already discussed your concerns.

  247. 4247
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @kermit

    If it is the case that she didnt at resist at the time (due to the alcohol) but this is still cause for saying it was rape by shermer (or at the very least him being a sexual predator) then I myself have been raped (or the victim of predators) in the past. I have on more than one occasion been sexually involved due to alcohol lowering my inhibitions and defences with women who provided the alcohol with the express intention of bedding me.

    Then yes, in my opinion it sure sounds as if you were raped. However, your opinion is rather more key than mine.

    Seems like there are far too few details in this blog post to come to any real conclusions about what happened.

    Then go and read a few other things on the subject?

    Perhaps Shermer raped her, perhaps he enjoys drinking with people and having one night stands with women, perhaps they had consensual sex that was later regretted by one of the parties.

    Ah, the old “Bitchez be lyin’” trope. I am always confused by this; if you regret having sex with someone, why would you react by pretending they raped you? I’ve woken up next to people and thought “Oh shit”, but not once has it ever crossed my mind to pretend they raped me. I imagine it has happened at some point, it’s certainly possible, but where on earth has this idea come from that it is both common and widespread?

    It should also be noted that simply sleeping with someone who has had a drink is not rape. Sleeeping with someone who is so drunk they can no longer reasonably be said to be in any state to give full informed consent is rape. That line varies from person to person, so the basic rule is this: if there is any chance that they may wake up in the morning and regret sleeping with you, don’t sleep with them. It’s very simple, and you’d think it should be obvious to any moral person. Don’t take advantage of drunk people. Ta da!

    Surely we require more details before tarring anyone with allegations of being a rapist/predator?

    A man with a known and documented propensity for being inappropriate towards women, and a known and documented propensity for getting women drunk, has been accused of date-raping someone by purposefully manipulating them into such a state of intoxication that their consent, if any was given, was invalid and then having sex with them. Not enough to convict them, certainly, but reasonable grounds for suspicion. And since we’re warning people to stay away from a potential predator, not trying to throw said predator in jail, I fail to see why we need any more than that. What is it with you people? This isn’t a fucking court of law.

    Now, I have obligingly summed up the last 4246 posts for you. Feel free to get off your lazy arse and read the rest for yourself should you require more details.

  248. 4248
    David Marjanović

    I’m amazed this thread didn’t break 5000 after comments re-opened. Guess the creeps aren’t paying as close of attention as one might imagine, or they just got bored.

    Well, I only noticed today, too.

    If it is the case that she didnt at resist at the time (due to the alcohol) but this is still cause for saying it was rape by shermer (or at the very least him being a sexual predator) then I myself have been raped (or the victim of predators) in the past. I have on more than one occasion been sexually involved due to alcohol lowering my inhibitions and defences with women who provided the alcohol with the express intention of bedding me (feck knows why I am nothing special as far as I am aware).

    I have no trouble calling that rape. Most rapists are men, but not all are.

    While I am at it, the following seems to be pretty common in benighted places: boyfriend & girlfriend both believe that women always can, men always want, both are sober, she jumps him, he doesn’t dare say no because that would amount to admitting to being less than a man… patriarchal prejudices hurt men, too.

  249. 4249
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    Kermit–

    You don’t need any of the details of what Shermer is accused of doing to several different people to determine whether you were raped. What happened to you happened, and that was true before you read about anything Shermer did. You might want to talk to a therapist about this. You might look at the parallels and decide not to further associate with any of the women who got you drunk in order to reduce your resistance.

    Either of those actions makes sense whether or not you also decide to warn your female friends against drinking with Michael Shermer.

  250. 4250
    Inaji

    Monitor Note

    Kermit1981:

    Can this be clarified for me please.

    No. There are 9 pages of this thread. Every possible thing you might bring up has been addressed. This is the first page of the thread: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

    Refusing to read the prior comments may engender being banned:

    II. You may be banned from a comment thread if:

    1. You cannot control your posting habits, and are dominating the discussion.

    2. Your comments are repetitive, especially if you repeat arguments that have already been addressed.

    3. You demonstrate that you are unwilling to have read previous comments or the opening post.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/rules/

    Go and read, Kermit.

  251. 4251
    kermit1981

    Well after reading the comments it seems that anyone suggesting there is not enough evidence present to accuse Shermer of rape is met with a reply of ‘fuck off I trust PZ and he trusts the accuser and that is all the evidence we need’

    I am not suggesting that the victim should be made to go to the police, I am not saying PZ does not believe the accuser, I am not saying she is lying, I am not saying Shermer is innocent. I feel all I can say on this issue is that there is far from enough evidence present to say that Shermer is guilty. Sorry, I don’t take anecdotes as evidence because that is all we have here someone saying that something happened. That is not enough in my opinion to tar someone with a very serious claim of being a rapist. People here seem to be saying we should believe the accuser by default and not assume innocence. When did athiest and sceptical people suddenly do away with innocent until proven guilty? when did it become the case that we should believe claims until they are proven false? Surely if we are believing claimants we should all be reading our scriptures and medicating with homeopathy. While it may be massively more common that a persons claim of being rape is true rather than false we should always require sufficient evidence before saying someone is a rapist.

    My advice to anyone to avoid potentially being sexually harrased/assualted is not to avoid drinking excessively around Shermer alone but to avoid drinking around any strangers (no matter how famous they are in any given community) to the point where you are not able to control your own actions and your own situation. If you are in a strange place with people you don’t know well take the safe approach of only having a few drinks or none at all. This is not blaming victims for getting drunk it is offering real advice on how to not end up in a situation where someone can take advantage of you being so drunk you cant control your own actions. I am in no way defending sexual predators when I say to potential victims to take control of their situation by not being completely smashed to the point of not being able to say “no thanks I don’t want to have sex”. It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where we could trust our fellow humans enough that we could get drunk to the point of being nearly passed out and know nothing bad would happen but we don’t.

    Before someone claims I am blaming the victim for everything no I am not I am however saying that grown ups are themselves responsible for the amount they drink.
    People say Shermer controlled the amount she drank, to this I ask how? you can buy me 50 beers or fill my glass as often as you want but in the end I control how many times I take a drink. Obviously these points do not hold true in the case of being spiked with either drugs dissolved in the drink or adding shots of spirits to drinks to increase the potency. In the case of uncontaminated drinks however I believe a person takes responsibility for what they choose to pick up and swallow.

    If the accusations are true I sincerely hope that Shermer is somehow brought to justice without anyone else being harmed. If they are false I hope that his career and social life recover from the stigma of being an accused rapist, though in reality once that label has been attached to someone it (rightly or wrongly) they are rarely ever free from it.

    Rape is a terrible terrible thing that we can only hope will one day be as much eradicated as such a crime can ever be in a civilisation. However I think that things like this accusing people of being a rapist without sufficient evidence while well meant will ultimately make it harder for victims to report crimes and be believed as it muddies the waters and casts doubts in to peoples minds when the crimes are reported. False accusations cause terrible harm to real victims chances of being taken seriously because they mean we must always consider the possibility that the accused is completely innocent and this means we must take steps not only to protect the victims of rape but also the victims of false rape allegations and I can only imagine that the necessary steps of protecting the later make it much more difficult to protect the former.

    Ultimately it seems that I am unlikely to be welcomed here due to me refusing to believe the account of someone unknown to me and judge someone else unknown to me according to that account. Sorry but there is just not the evidence available on what actually happened for me to come down on either side. I will have to leave it at saying if he is guilty my sympathies and sincerest hopes for healing go out to any victims and if he is innocent then I wish the best to him.

    Finally for this post I would like to thank Carlie, David, Vicki and Caine for replying with information and no needless sarcasm or sneering. You are a credit to these forums I am sure. Apologies also for the wall of text. Peace be with you all.

  252. 4252
    piegasm

    When did athiest and sceptical people suddenly do away with innocent until proven guilty?

    How many times does it have to be explained that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is an expedient designed to correct the power imbalance inherent in criminal court proceedings and NOT the logically correct way to approach a truth claim before shitwits like you stop coming in here wondering why we did away with it? We didn’t “do away with” anything because that concept has never had any relevance outside a courtroom. Get that through your reinforced concrete fucking skull and then go pound it into the heads of your pseudo/hyper-skeptical friends and then maybe we can talk.

  253. 4253
    Ichthyic

    How many times does it have to be explained

    it appears to be an endless regression.

    reminds me of PZ having to explain all the history and reasons as to why he shitcanned a copy of the bible, the Qu’ran, and the God Delusion, along with a communion wafer.

    how many pages did that thread end up? Hell there were still clueless idjuts coming in after a YEAR had gone by.

    point is… don’t add yet another frustration to your load, I say just ignore these fuckwits and let them figure it out for themselves. all the information they need is there, so if they really care, they’d do the minimal legwork (eyework?) needed to answer their own admonitions.

    fuck em.

  254. 4254
    Ichthyic

    Ultimately it seems that I am unlikely to be welcomed here due to me refusing to believe the account of someone unknown to me and judge someone else unknown to me according to that account

    iow, you know fuckall about anything, but felt you needed to spend a half hour of your own time to tell us that.

    well done you.

  255. 4255
    kermit1981

    @piegasm

    Are you seriously telling me that you think the correct way to evaluate any claim is to assume it is correct until it is proven false??

    really??

    Seems if we always assume a claim is true until there is evidence to prove otherwise we should be believing a lot of wacky crap. We should believe everyone that claims alien abduction or they have heard the voice of god unless we can prove they didnt? really?

    Refusing to tar someone as a rapist on the strength of a story told to someone who then related the story in good faith to us is not being hyper-skeptical. When did saying sorry but I don’t see enough evidence to draw a conclusion as all I have is one side of a story given by someone I don’t know to someone I don’t know become a bad thing? I have no evidence other than one persons retelling of how they remember an event and you want me to cry rapist on the strength of that? Rape is a highly charged and emotional subject because of the trauma it causes its victims but that doesn’t mean we should assume that everyone that accuses someone of rape is telling the truth de facto and to hell with anyone whose life may be ruined by a false claim. Please refrain from trying to twist this in to me saying that people saying they have been raped should be treat as if they are making it up. however it shouldn’t be that as soon as someone says they were raped we skip the trial and jump straight to labelling someone as a rapist unless they have a rock solid case that the sex was consensual or didn’t happen etc.

    I realise that sexual harassment and rape is a sensitive subject and the cause of much divide in among atheists in recent years but we should surely be striving for a society where real victims feel they are able to go to the police safely and be listened to and their cases treat seriously and with all the due care and attention required.

    Also is there really any need to name call someone just because they have a different point of view to you? hurling insults isn’t ever going to help convince anyone of your point of view or educate them why theirs may be incorrect is it? Surely you would rather improve the world by educating those that are in error rather than just shouting abuse at them and lessening any impact that any potentially valid points you may make will have?

  256. 4256
    piegasm

    all very true, but sometimes it just makes me feel better to tell the shitwits they’re shitwits. :D

  257. 4257
    Ichthyic

    pie… look above you, and just say it with me:

    fuckwit sez wut?

  258. 4258
    piegasm

    Are you seriously telling me that you think the correct way to evaluate any claim is to assume it is correct until it is proven false??

    Rofl-fucking-lollerskates. No.

    There are Four. Fucking. Thousand. posts in this thread over Nine. Fucking. Pages which have explained why you’re wrong about everything you’ve said so far. Go. Fucking. Read. Them. before you presume to lecture anyone here about how to correctly evaluate truth claims.

  259. 4259
    piegasm

    Ichthyic: You’d think I would have seen that coming, wouldn’t you?

  260. 4260
    LykeX

    Well after reading the comments

    Bullshit. You haven’t read the comments.

    When did athiest and sceptical people suddenly do away with innocent until proven guilty?

    See, this is the kind of thing that proves that you didn’t read the comments. If you had, you would at least have recognized that this point has been made and rejected before.

    If you are in a strange place with people you don’t know well take the safe approach of only having a few drinks or none at all.

    Which is why people need to know that Shermer is someone they have to act cautiously around. That was sorta the point of this, which you would know if you had bothered to read the thread.

    People say Shermer controlled the amount she drank, to this I ask how?

    Also addressed previously.

    If they are false I hope that his career and social life recover from the stigma of being an accused rapist

    Can you demonstrate any harm to his career and social life? Again, if you had read the thread, you might have noticed that this question has been asked many times and nobody has managed to point to any actual harm.

    Ultimately it seems that I am unlikely to be welcomed here due to me refusing to believe the account

    No, you’re unlikely to be welcomed here because you’re a liar. You claim to have read the comments. You clearly haven’t.

    So, if you want people to welcome you, start be being honest. Then go back and read the thread. That’s not such an unreasonable demand is it? All we’re doing is asking you to catch up on the discussion before joining in. Isn’t that the minimum requirement? Isn’t that just common courtesy?

    If you act like this discussion doesn’t matter to you, then why should we listen? If you don’t care about what other people have said, why should we care about you?

    Go back and read from the start. Yes, it’ll take a while, but you never know; you might learn something.

  261. 4261
    kermit1981

    @Icthyic – iow, I refuse to follow along with what everyone else here says just because everyone else here says it.

    @piegasm – there have been “four fucking thousand posts over nine pages” of people instantly judging someone on the strength of heresay and ostracising anyone who dares disagree. repeating the same thing over and over doesnt mean you are addressing any points or are right (heres a hint that is what creationists do when they try and make out their claims are correct). There has been nothing to say why we should throw out any rational evaluation of claims other than those that boil down to ‘rape is terrible so we should believe anyone that says they were raped and fuck any men that get screwed by false rape cause they are privileged and probably deserve it anyway’ and sorry but that is wholly unconvincing

    To be honest I expected(hoped for) better from commenters on here, my mistake it seems. In the end it appears that all I am going to get from people here is the sort of groupthink and ingroup/outgroup mentality that I normally find from creationists and homeopaths where anyone with a dissenting opinion or alternative viewpoint to the hive mind is labelled as a fuckwit or shitwit.

    Congratulations people you have descended to the levels of the likes of kirk hastingsand other idiots that believe something just because someone they trust wrote it down or said it.

  262. 4262
    piegasm

    There has been nothing to say why we should throw out any rational evaluation of claims other than those that boil down to ‘rape is terrible so we should believe anyone that says they were raped and fuck any men that get screwed by false rape cause they are privileged and probably deserve it anyway’ and sorry but that is wholly unconvincing

    Had you read the thread as you claim, you would not still be laboring under the delusion that anyone here actually takes that position. Get the fuck out.

  263. 4263
    LykeX

    there have been “four fucking thousand posts over nine pages” of people instantly judging someone on the strength of heresay and ostracising anyone who dares disagree

    How the fuck would you know? We’ve already established that you haven’t read them.

    repeating the same thing over and over doesnt mean you are addressing any points or are right

    Tell you what: How about you go back, find one of the posts that address a point of yours and show why it’s insufficient? That might actually move the discussion forward a bit.

    There has been nothing to say why we should throw out any rational evaluation of claims other than those that boil down to ‘rape is terrible so we should believe anyone that says they were raped

    Really? So, I guess you missed the whole argument about prevalence, statistics and Bayesian probability? That’s the kind of thing that happens when you don’t read the fucking thread.

  264. 4264
    piegasm

    How about you go back, find one of the posts that address a point of yours and show why it’s insufficient?

    Because, clearly, the right way to approach a refutation of a claim you make is to keep restating your initial claim until people get so sick of going ’round in circles with you that they concede the point just to shut you up. :D

  265. 4265
    Ichthyic

    Ichthyic: You’d think I would have seen that coming, wouldn’t you?

    *shrug*

  266. 4266
    Ichthyic

    I refuse to follow along with what everyone else here says just because everyone else here says it.

    extra special snowflake, you are.

    *pinches cheek*

  267. 4267
    kermit1981

    @LykeX – Firstly I would like to thank you for the way you replied, while I disagree with you at least you made the effort to point out why you were calling me a liar. Your approach to responding gives me hope that I was mistaken about the overall quality of commenter here.

    It seems that I simply hold different views on what constitutes evidence and a rebuttal (for example the almost pascal wager-esc we should believe the accuser because if we are wrong that is the way the least harm is done done not wash with me as a reason to throw out a rational approach to evaluating the fact that this is hearsay from a source that is anonymous to us commenting – I realise the source isn’t anonymous to PZ but I have no way of evaluating his evaluation of her account being accurate and thus cant say with sureness that her account is accurate)

    As to harm to Shermer – I noticed while reading the comments (see here is proof I went and looked at them, but i grant its proof you didnt have when you drew the conclusion I lied) a comment saying they had unsubscribed from his magazine. this is a negative effect on his life that is in evidence (granted its small in scale but its there). While I also cant say how peoples reaction to shermer have changed among those in his own social circle as I dont know him personally I can say that I have seen the way a friend of mine was ostracised after a false accusation of rape was levelled at him, even after his innocence was shown there were still some that claimed ‘no smoke without fire’ and suggested he did it.

    @piegasm you said “How many times does it have to be explained that ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is an expedient designed to correct the power imbalance inherent in criminal court proceedings and NOT the logically correct way to approach a truth claim” meaning surely you do not think we need to gather sufficient evidence and reason to believe a claim before taking it to be true? hence my comment of “rape is terrible so we should believe anyone that says they were raped and fuck any men that get screwed by false rape cause they are privileged and probably deserve it anyway’ ” granted the last part was an unnesseccary addition because of seeing reference in previous comments (not by yourself) to patriachy and old white men being behind all the corrupt systems that cover up sexual abuse (obviously with the catholic church being referenced) – oh look more evidence of reading previous comments. Please do not take my disagreement to show that i didnt read the points made by many, I read them I just think they are wrong.

    anyway again thanks to LykeX and others that are able to comment well and not stoop to te level of creationists

  268. 4268
    piegasm

    I read them I just think they are wrong.

    Great, then you’ll have no problem quoting them, and then explaining why they’re wrong. We’ll wait.

  269. 4269
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    It seems that I simply hold different views on what constitutes evidence and a rebuttal

    In other words, you don’t believe what women say, when their testimony would be considered evidence by a court of law. What a sweet person.

    as a reason to throw out a rational approach to evaluating the fact that this is hearsay from a source that is anonymous to us commenting

    The woman was quoted verbatim. It is isn’t hearsay, meaning you have no idea what you are talking, you are just making things up to try to deny the allegations, but show your own ignorance while doing so. Which is why you needed to read to the previous thread to know your argument has been thoroughly rebutted by lawyers even.

    but I have no way of evaluating his evaluation of her account being accurate and thus cant say with sureness that her account is accurate)

    You don’t need to evaluate it. Either you take the words as spoken, or you don’t. Your OPINION doesn’t matter. Your OPINION isn’t and never will be evidence.

    I can say that I have seen the way a friend of mine was ostracised after a false accusation of rape was levelled at him, even after his innocence was shown there were still some that claimed ‘no smoke without fire’ and suggested he did it.

    Prove Shermer has been ostracized, or shut the fuck up. Your substantiated claim, unlike Jane Doe’s which was corroborated, is dismissed.

    Please do not take my disagreement to show that i didnt read the points made by many, I read them I just think they are wrong.

    Who the fuck are you, an arrogant person who dismisses reality, that we should take your WORD for anything other than smoke and mirrors covering up bad behavior by a sexual predator? Your evidenceless OPINION is dismissed.

  270. 4270
    LykeX

    anyway again thanks to LykeX and others that are able to comment well and not stoop to te level of creationists

    Go fuck yourself. I do not consent to you using me as a way of bashing other people.

  271. 4271
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I noticed our latest idjit showed their moral bankruptcy by only worrying about the dudebro, and not one word of how one should warn women about a known sexual predator. Not the brightest bulb around, ignoring the meat of the OP, to comment about an irrelevancy.

  272. 4272
    piegasm

    @ Nerd

    Exactly. It’s always all about Horrible Irreparable Consequences of provisionally believing a man raped someone but it never occurs to these people that there might be any consequences at all to keeping a revelation like this under one’s hat.

  273. 4273
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Kermit

    Sorry, I don’t take anecdotes as evidence because that is all we have here someone saying that something happened.

    Well, for a start you don’t understand what an anecdote is. It is not merely “Something someone says”.

    an·ec·dote
    /ˈanikˌdōt/
    noun
    noun: anecdote; plural noun: anecdotes
    1. a short and amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person.
    “told anecdotes about his job”

    What we’re dealing with here isn’t actually an anecdote, since it is actually rather detailed and was not told with the intent to amuse or interest. I presume what you are alluding to is anecdotal evidence, but if you follow the link you’ll see why this doesn’t qualify as that either.

    But forgetting that for a moment, let’s pretend that all we’ve got is a very basic claim with no corroborating data and no corroborating stories from other people, and indulge in a little thought excercise. See if we can’t encourage some introspection.

    “On saturday, dad came home with a puppy!”
    “When I was 11, I was mugged on my way home from school”
    “Last weekend I bought a new bike”
    “I went to a party and got so drunk I fell down the stairs”
    “I went to the last Skepticon, and at the afterparty I met Ed Brayton”
    “I was date raped by Michael Shermer at a convention”
    “I got beaten up on my way home from work. It was completely unprovoked”
    “I bought a new car! It’s a BMW 320 ci”

    Now, out of all of those, why do I imagine there is only one that you would dismiss out of hand and demand more “evidence”?

    Let’s see if you can come up with an explanation for why that might be. My bet is that the answer will necessitate yet another explanation of what an extraordinary claim actually is.

  274. 4274
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    It’s always all about Horrible Irreparable Consequences of provisionally believing a man raped someone but it never occurs to these people that there might be any consequences at all to keeping a revelation like this under one’s hat.

    I tried to report what was happening. Once. And was punished for it. And one of the possible consequences that haunts my nights is how many others did he rape? Kermit, does it occur to you that when someone tells someone else that something horrible has happened, telling them they are a liar, or their memory is faulty, or they are looking for attention, or they are just trying to get someone else in trouble virtually guarantees that others in the same situation will not report what happened. Or that the survivor will, when it happens again, not tell anyone.

  275. 4275
    janoswald76

    Woops. Slightly misrepresenting the definition of ‘anecdote’ there by only providing half of the definitions. You should have deleted the number ’1′ which kinda gives it away.

    “1. a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.
    2. a short, obscure historical or biographical account.”
    (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anecdote)

    As we can see from the second entry (the one you omitted to suit your needs), we can see that an anecdote does not need to be interesting or amusing. It is short and biographical though. It’s not hard to make a valid point without being dishonest. By being dishonest to prop up your argument you undermine your lovely valid point, silly.

  276. 4276
    piegasm

    @4275 janoswald76

    And what do you imagine your point is, exactly?

  277. 4277
    janoswald76

    It’s not hard to make a valid point without being dishonest. By being dishonest to prop up your argument you undermine your lovely valid point, silly.

    Sorry, thought it was quite obvious. To paraphrase: Do not be intentionally deceptive. When you’re correct you don’t need to be.

  278. 4278
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @janeoswald

    I omitted nothing; I copy-pasted the one given by google.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Anecdote&meta=

    So no, I wasn’t being intentionally deceptive, and more to the point even that second definition still doesn’t validate the way in which kermit used the word since Jane Doe’s story is not historical, biographical, or obscure, and in fact would correctly be referred to as “an accusation”.

  279. 4279
    LykeX

    I took Ogvorbis’ point to be a pedantic way of saying that anecdotes and anecdotal evidence aren’t the same thing. If so, your point is irrelevant.

    The only way for it to be relevant is if you’re actually defending the idea that kermit did mean “anecdote”. In that case, I will simply point out that the notion that biographical accounts can never be used as evidence is patently ridiculous.

  280. 4280
    LykeX

    Pardon, that was actually Tumper’s point. This tag-team stuff gets a little confusing at times.

  281. 4281
    piegasm

    @4277 janoswald76

    And that’s germane to this discussion in what way, exactly? Do tell.

  282. 4282
    janoswald76

    Hmm, never said anything about it not being useful as evidence. I’m really not too fussed about having an odd Socratic dialogue about the nature of anecdotes. I see from your link that you may not have been intentionally deceptive and merely misunderstood the meaning of anecdote yourself; so I apologise for that. May I suggest that if you see a number indicating multiple definitions then it may be wise to click the expand button.

    It is biographical (definition 1):

    “1. Containing, consisting of, or relating to the facts or events in a person’s life.
    2. Of or relating to biography as a literary form.”

    If you don’t think its ‘germane’ to make sure things are accurate and fact checked then good for you, go play with the creationists. They love using incorrect definitions and shady semantics to prove their points.

  283. 4283
    piegasm

    @ janoswald76

    If you don’t think its ‘germane’ to make sure things are accurate and fact checked then good for you, go play with the creationists.

    Oh, is that what you think you’re doing? Making sure everyone has their facts straight? You’ll have to forgive me if I find that a little hard to believe.

  284. 4284
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    LykeX:

    Sorry. My bad.

  285. 4285
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @janeoswald

    Please preface your answers with the name of the commenter you are replying to, as other people on the thread are doing. You’ve put an answer to both myself and piegasm in one comment, which is fine but without our names prefacing the respective responses it is a little confusing.

    I disagree that I have misunderstood the definition of anecdote, but it’s entirely possible I have. Either way, the main thrust of my point is that Jane Doe’s story is not an “anecdote”. Anecdotes are short stories you tell to your friends to amuse or interest them. They are probably historical in nature, seeing as they have to have already happened in order for you to tell them, but I would disagree that they are necessarily biographical, though they could be, since most of what I would term an anecdote is in fact autobiographical. Either way, I think it’s fairly clear that Jane Doe’s story is an accusation, not an anecdote, and that regardless of whether I provided a full and complete definition, kermit was using it wrongly.

    Derail done; shall we return to the topic at hand?

  286. 4286
    janoswald76

    There’s little to indicate otherwise. I suppose I do disagree that if someone comes up to you and says “X date-raped me” we are naturally disposed towards disbelief. Perhaps some people have trouble with the concept of this being a first hand account and not hearsay is due to the fact that it’s on the internet and it has been drummed into us through schools and universities to be distrusting of what we read on the internet. I’m trusting PZ on this one, but I think it is understandable for people to be wary of new media–especially one as unchecked as the internet.

  287. 4287
    Forbidden Snowflake

    Scenarios in which Michael Shermer hasn’t raped anyone:

    1. PZ Myers and Carrie Poppy (and maybe others) have jointly concoct the accusation and the Jane Doe quote, hoping to achieve __________________ (can’t come up with a purpose that would be legitimately served by this), risking being ostracized by their current supporters and enemies alike if the truth gets out. Dallas H. joins the conspiracy with his own accusation under his real name, hoping to achieve ___________________ (can’t come up with a purpose that would be legitimately served by this).

    2. Someone whom both Myers and Poppy know and trust is unbeknown to them actually a fiend seeking to tar the reputations of Myers, Poppy AND Shermer because ___________________ (can’t come up with a reason why someone would be interested in harming these three particular people). She sends in a fake accusation, risking being harassed if she is somehow outed as the accuser or being ostracized even by her friends if knowledge gets out that the accusation was fake. Dallas H. joins the conspiracy with his own accusation under his real name, hoping to achieve ___________________ (can’t come up with a purpose that would be legitimately served by this).

    Both scenarios require elaborate conspiracies and people risking their reputations for no apparent purpose. So in my view, the odds strongly point to the accusations being true.

  288. 4288
    janoswald76

    SORRY! @piegasm – “there’s little to indicate…”
    @Thumper – “I suppose…”

  289. 4289
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Kermit1981

    y’know, if you’re not a lawyer, you should really just stop using the term “hearsay”.

    It reveals your ignorance in a way that is not at all flattering.

    When you say that this is hearsay from an anonymous source, you are just wrong. And obviously so. You really should be able to figure this out, but you’re so unable to examine the evidence that you can’t.

    We have a first hand account from an unnamed source, not an anonymous one.

    Since we have the written statement of that unnamed source. That’s it.

    If PZ had written it in his own words, then you would have hearsay from a known source. But he didn’t. So we not only don’t have hearsay, even if we did it would be from a known source, a publicly identified source, not a F anonymous source.

    This is basic logic. If you can’t evaluate the **nature** of the evidence, how can you accurately draw conclusions from the evidence?

    My conclusion: You are an idiot using words you don’t understand that sound to you like they make it unreasonable to provisionally accept a claim so as to make you seem wise in rejecting that claim.

    But using words you don’t understand doesn’t make you wise. It makes you an idiot.

  290. 4290
    I've got the WTF blues

    Kermit #4255

    we should surely be striving for a society where real victims feel they are able to go to the police safely and be listened to and their cases treat seriously and with all the due care and attention required*.

    And I want to thank you for your contributions toward such a society as demonstrated by your comments here

    You hit all the standards.
    1. women shouldn’t do this, that, and the other thing if they want to avoid being raped
    2. bitches be lying until proven otherwise in a court of law
    3. I have a friend who was falsely accused and it ruined his life therefore see #2
    4. women’s revelations of their own rapes = hearsay (which makes #2 rather difficult)

    I get the feeling that you could walk up on a scene where a woman was being assaulted and you’d still ask the woman to prove that she didn’t really want it to happen to her. Which leads me to wonder, whose hand is wiggling when you open your mouth?

    *I have kept in mind that there is a chance you think complete dismissal of rape claims is exercising the due care and attention required

  291. 4291
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    I’ve got the WTF blues:

    And number 5: there are real victims and there are the ones who think themselves victims but it wasn’t a ‘real’ rape therefor they are not real victims.

  292. 4292
    Forbidden Snowflake

    kermit1981:

    People say Shermer controlled the amount she drank, to this I ask how? you can buy me 50 beers or fill my glass as often as you want but in the end I control how many times I take a drink.

    It’s cute that you believe that, but science says you’re wrong. By simply removing the ability to count portions and the need to refill one’s own dish, it’s possible to make people consume way more than they would have otherwise. I would guess that the effect would be even more blatant for wine than it is for soup, since wine impairs judgment and doesn’t cause a feeling of physical fullness that could signal a person to stop.
    So no, we humans don’t have autonomous souls with free will and we can be manipulated, especially when our guard is down. Believing otherwise isn’t skeptical, it’s naive and self-indulgent.

  293. 4293
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @janeoswald76, #4288

    wary of new media

    Yep. When women told their stories from horseback, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories from a chariot, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories on papyrus, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in a teahouse, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories from a carriage, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in pamphlets, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in books, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in train cars, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in broadsheets, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories via telegraph, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories at suffragette rallies, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories on the telephone, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories on the radio, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in taxis, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories in consciousness-raising groups, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories on television, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories on BBSs, people were wary of new media. When women told their stories on AOL, people were wary of new media. And now when women told their stories on blogs, people are wary of new media.

    Wow, people really are scared of new media.

    Phew. For a moment there, I thought it might be sexism

  294. 4294
    I've got the WTF blues

    @Ogvorbis – how could I forget that one? It was levied at me. Because what happened to me wasn’t “real rape.” It wasn’t “classic rape.” It wasn’t “legitimate rape.” It wasn’t “beat up rape.”

    Have I missed any?

    Not being a “real victim” is why I didn’t go to the police. It’s part of why I was afraid to tell my parents.*

    What do you suppose it would take to get people like Kermit and theDude to grasp that the very parameters that they set up/promote/defend are what keep people from coming forward?

    *It also became my litmus test for my relationships since. Don’t believe me? Then you’re right out as a friend/lover/spouse/person I can bear to be around. I find it really cuts the crap out of my life.

  295. 4295
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @janeoswald

    Perhaps some people have trouble with the concept of this being a first hand account and not hearsay is due to the fact that it’s on the internet and it has been drummed into us through schools and universities to be distrusting of what we read on the internet.

    Plausible, I suppose. People are generally of the opinion that anyone can say anything on the internet, but I’m more inclined to think that’s because of the anonymity involved.

    I do think that most of the “I want evidence gharblgharbl!” crowd would behave completely differently if actually confronted with a rape survivor, and while part of me wants to believe that that’s because the only thing that allows them to maintain their callousness is a lack of face-to-face interaction and that seeing the emotion on the survivor’s face would cause them to empathise like a normal human being, another part whispers that merely because they wouldn’t act the same doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking the same. They may think like this all the time, and merely be emboldened to the point of vociferousness by the anonymity I mentioned above. The most pessimistic part of me wonders if they would behave differently at all :(

  296. 4296
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @thumper:

    sadly, your optimism is misplaced

  297. 4297
    janoswald76

    @Crip Dyke – Wary, not scared. And I can only speak personally, but whenever I have used internet sources in essays and papers I’ve held them to more scrutiny than printed sources regardless of the authors gender or the subject. It’s not a massive point, but I feel that it could account for the fact that many people are skeptical when perhaps they wouldn’t be if it were in the printed press. An example would be Operation Yewtree. I think people believe the accusations against Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris and Dave Lee Travis more readily than those against MS partly due to the media in which it has been presented. It can take a lot, perhaps even more so in academic circles, to break the habit of internet-skepticism. In this case I don’t think I’ve ever noticed PZ being dishonest so have no reason not to believe the accusation.

  298. 4298
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Crip Dyke

    Sorry, you’ll need to elaborate. I’m not too sharp today.

  299. 4299
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Hang on a minute; what a stupid thing to say. I know they don’t behave any differently. Steubenville!

    Fucking hell. I’m out for the evening. ‘Night all.

  300. 4300
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @janeoswald76, 4297:

    You’re right about the wary v. scared, of course.

    I’m skeptical of the hypothesis that the claims making their way through the internet makes people more skeptical. People have been skeptical of my story to my face, just a week ago, and I’m not telling that story in person all the time.

    If this was a conference and PZ had xeroxed a bunch of flyers and passed them around with the same content, would people be more skeptical? I doubt it.

    People have a habit, really, of giving the internet too much credibility: that’s why the whole skeptical-of-the-internet backlash appeared. But that backlash is selective. People still tend to give a lot of credibility to blogs that they read frequently – even more than if they simply met regularly with the author and the author said the same things too their face.

    **on the internet** isn’t enough to generate the skepticism reaction.

    **On the internet and I’ve been warned that my professors will be checking my claims and failing me if my claim is false** is sufficient, but is that b/c internet, or because you know that there’s a consequence to making a false claim and that the school will follow up specifically on claims that are sourced to the internet?

  301. 4301
    LykeX

    @Ogvorbis #4284
    Not at all. It was my fault for being too quick when checking the names. Turns out it’s kinda important how many times you tap the page up key.

  302. 4302
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    LykeX @ 4301:

    No problem. I’m still confused, though. Massively. And rereading my comment and your reaction still strikes me as either a slam or a misunderstanding. I’ll go with misunderstanding. I hope,anyway. Sorry for the confusion.

  303. 4303
    LykeX

    @Ogvorbis
    See, this is why it’s a good idea to be clear about who you’re responding to. Clearly I failed on that count.

    My comment at #4280 was meant as a reply to janoswald76. I had mistaken Thumper’s post (which janoswald76 was responding to) for one of yours. That’s the only reason your name came up. This is entirely my mess.

  304. 4304
    janoswald76

    @Crip Dyke – Again though, Xeroxed flyers would have a similar problem. There is the potential for abuse of the internet. I don’t for one second think that PZ is abusing his position, but if either he or the accuser did have a personal vendetta then the internet would be the perfect location to exorcise it–one voice speaking to many with information passed on in good faith. Just to clarify: I do not think this is the case, I think it is just part and parcel of the medium and should be kept in mind when people are skeptical of claims they’d otherwise believe.

    I’d like to think that students don’t only take care for fear of getting into trouble, and realise the importance of accuracy.

  305. 4305
    janoswald76

    Sorry, that was all a bit of a tangent.

  306. 4306
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    LykeX:

    Sorry. I didn’t realize what was going on.

    There is the potential for abuse of the internet. I don’t for one second think that PZ is abusing his position, but if either he or the accuser did have a personal vendetta then the internet would be the perfect location to exorcise it–one voice speaking to many with information passed on in good faith. Just to clarify: I do not think this is the case, I think it is just part and parcel of the medium and should be kept in mind when people are skeptical of claims they’d otherwise believe.

    janoswald76:

    So you don’t think that PZ or the survivor are abusing the internet to get someone, to exercise a vendetta, but you are willing to spend a great deal of energy in putting the possibility out there so you can deny it. This sounds a little like one of my neighbors: ‘Oh, I don’t think that Obama is really going to round up all the preachers and ministers and put them in concentration camps but, if he was, etc, etc, etc.’ I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing, but it sounds suspiciously close.

  307. 4307
    janoswald76

    Ogvorbis – I’m really not denying it. I just think it could be a major factor in why otherwise reasonable people who would act completely differently in real life may be having trouble with this one.

  308. 4308
    piegasm

    Soooooooooooo all these people are just pretending to be rape apologists because they’re too ashamed to admit that they have trouble trusting things they read on the internet? Is that the argument?

  309. 4309
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @janoswald76

    First, I think I called you janeoswald & sorry about that.

    2nd I get that we’re not arguing about PZ’s credibility, that were discussing the separate question of whether and how the internet motivates the skepticism.

    I don’t think the internet is special, and you seem to agree: flyers would have a similar problem in your view.

    While I am not making the claim that media has no effect, the internet is not special. You’re not going to see a report on CNN (and, frankly, what gives them credibility?) so there is no venue for this communication that would be more credible than PZ’s blog.

  310. 4310
    janoswald76

    piegasm – Its not really an argument. Just a point of interest really. I don’t necessarily believe distrust of a blog to equal rape apologism in all cases.

  311. 4311
    piegasm

    janoswald, my point is, these people are reading straight from the official rape apologist script when they come here. If distrust of the internet is such a significant factor in their difficulty believing this, why would they not just say so? Why would they be so difficult to distinguish from rape apologists if distrust of the internet was the real motivator of their reluctance to believe? I don’t think there’s a there there.

  312. 4312
    janoswald76

    @Crip Dyke – 1. No bother!

    2 – Precisely. I believe PZ to be credible. But credibility perhaps requires more proof on the internet than anywhere else due to inherent flaws. I hope that this is the factor behind some peoples incredulity more than anything else more sinister.

  313. 4313
    janoswald76

    piegasm – I think the main one could be people getting themselves confused over their innate sense of “internetz be lying” and the rape apologist’s “bitch be lying”. The distrust may be fuelled by internet-skepticism, however once vocalised can sound a lot like allegation-skepticism. “I want more proof” is our everyday reaction to what we read on the internet, and it just so happens that in this case it aligns itself with rape-apologist rhetoric.

  314. 4314
    janoswald76

    Oh, and obviously some people are just tools.

  315. 4315
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    janoswald76:

    I’m really not denying it.

    What are you not denying? I’m confused now.

    I just think it could be a major factor in why otherwise reasonable people who would act completely differently in real life may be having trouble with this one.

    TRGIGER WARNING

    In Steubenville, OH, a young woman, a child, was raped repeatedly by football players while incapacitated. Others witnessed and even filmed this. They did nothing.

    When I was in cub scouts, I was abused by a scout leader. On one occasion, while I was performing oral sex on my middle-aged pack leader, a family of four, mom, dad and two girls about 10 and 12 years old, walked into the campsite (USFS, Coconino National Forest). They laughed, apologized, and went on their merry way.

    These are two examples (yes, I do know that anecdotes are not data) of people witnessing rape in person and refusing to believe their eyes. The internet has little to do with it. Read Thumper’s comment at 4273 addressed to kermit. Especially the last part. people have no problem believing stuff they read on the internet except for certain things. Rape is one of them. It is not distrust of the internet, it is distrust of victims, distrust of women (or men who are used as if they are women), it is a refusal to believe that women are full members of the human race and are actually thinking adults. The internet just happens to be one of the vehicles that makes this distrust of the veracity of women’s experiences possible.

  316. 4316
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    But credibility perhaps requires more proof on the internet than anywhere else due to inherent flaws. I hope that this is the factor behind some peoples incredulity more than anything else more sinister.

    Citation needed. I see you down in a hole. Stop digging.

  317. 4317
    piegasm

    janoswald76:

    I’d also prefer to believe that it was just a bizarre series of spectacular coincidences that was producing a constant stream of decent people accidentally doing perfect rape apologist impressions than that our culture really is this fucked up. However, reality keeps getting in my way.

  318. 4318
    janoswald76

    “The 1,041 respondents also were asked about whether they verified Internet information. Overall, respondents reported they considered Internet information to be as credible as that obtained from television, radio, and magazines, but not as credible as newspaper information.”

    Andrew Flanagin, Perceptions of Internet Information Credibility, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly September 2000 77: 515-540

    There you plop.

  319. 4319
    Inaji

    janoswald76:

    I think the main one could be people getting themselves confused over their innate sense of “internetz be lying” and the rape apologist’s “bitch be lying”. The distrust may be fuelled by internet-skepticism, however once vocalised can sound a lot like allegation-skepticism. “I want more proof” is our everyday reaction to what we read on the internet, and it just so happens that in this case it aligns itself with rape-apologist rhetoric.

    Many of us here have had the misfortune to be immersed in threads full of rape apologists for years. Rape apologetics go hand in hand with Rape Culture. If you are thinking of getting into a handy philosophical “let’s play Spock” here discussion about rape apologetics, think better of it and do not do it – consider this a warning.

    Instead, try educating yourself a bit.

    Rape Culture
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

    Rape Culture 101
    https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/

    The Male Privilege Checklist
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/

    Intent is not magic
    http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason/2013/04/03/my-oppression-is-not-your-thought-experiment/

  320. 4320
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Overall, respondents reported they considered Internet information to be as credible as that obtained from television, radio, and magazines, but not as credible as newspaper information.”

    Gee, I don’t see it backing your claim. Still in the hole, making noise, not getting out.

  321. 4321
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    “The 1,041 respondents also were asked about whether they verified Internet information. Overall, respondents reported they considered Internet information to be as credible as that obtained from television, radio, and magazines, but not as credible as newspaper information.”

    And this shows that the internet is most distrusted medium of information distribution how?

  322. 4322
    Inaji

    Monitor Note

    janoswald76:

    There you plop.

    And I’m going to send an alert if you don’t stop. You have been warned, take it seriously. Thank you.

  323. 4323
    piegasm

    Check the date on that, snookums. September 2000. The internet is a very different place now than it was in 2000. Also, the abstract gives no info about who they were asking which would be important, I would think. The full study is behind a paywall.

    Besides “more evidence” is not the only rape apologist behavior that is being (according to you) inadvertently aped here.

    Just please stop digging before you fall out the other side.

  324. 4324
    Inaji

    More reading, janoswald76, since like most other asses, you can’t manage to read prior comments or click links:

    Meet the Predators
    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    Predator Redux
    https://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/predator-redux/

  325. 4325
    janoswald76

    @Nerd – Internet less credible than Newspapers. How is that anything other than what I’m saying?

    @Caine – I in no way mean to imply that there is not a culture of rape-apologism and that there are no rape-apologists on this board. Which I’d hoped I’d made clear. Clearly not, sorry. Anyway, I can see this descending so I’m popping off. x

  326. 4326
    janoswald76

    Hang on. Reported for “there you plop”? As in “here you are”, “there you go”. What the jeff is that about? Grow up. And for discussing the nature of the internet? Anyone would think I’m trying to push through planning permission for a chemical plant by the Ganges.

    Pretty sad, pretty laughable @Caine.

    Oh, and I guess I’m gonna be reported for that so I’ll get my response in now:

    FOR THE LOVE OF SCIENCE, PLEASE NO!

  327. 4327
    Inaji

    janoswald:

    Pretty sad, pretty laughable @Caine.

    You’re free to think what you like. Do you want me to send an alert, jansowald67? I’d be glad to do so. And no, it wouldn’t be for your stupid plop line. It would be for the incessant, unnecessary, and already covered hole digging you are doing.

    I’m sorry you were incapable of grasping that. I trust it’s clear now.

  328. 4328
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    janoswald:

    Pretty sad, pretty laughable @Caine.

    Some of us are survivors of horrific sexual abuse. Some of us tried to tell and were not believed. Some of us still suffer the aftereffects of that abuse. You, with your excuses as to why one medium of communications is inherently more untrustworthy than others, and the concomitant rape apologia that survivors of sexual assault lie, is directly feeding into the patriarchal paradigm called rape culture. Read some of Caine’s links. Read them for content. It is sad. It is not laughable.

  329. 4329
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @janoswald, #4312 & #4318

    My jaw is dropping. We don’t actually agree with my point #2, made in comment #4309. I said that while some individual outlet might have more credibility (I suggested CNN as possible, though I didn’t have stats), the internet was not more or less credible than any other avenue for telling this story.

    When you dropped your citation, it specifically said that the internet was not less credible than any other popular method of receiving information – including television news, like CNN – save for traditional broadsheet newsprint.

    Your insistence in #4312 (and elsewhere) contradicts the information you yourself have provided & sourced.

    I said the internet wasn’t less trusted, and lo! and behold! the internet is not less trusted. So why are you on about internet skepticism? I don’t get it.

  330. 4330
    Inaji

    Crip Dyke:

    So why are you on about internet skepticism? I don’t get it.

    I do, and I’d prefer that janoswald doesn’t come back to pontificate about the benefits of Straw Vulcan Hyperskeptical Genius. It’s a load of shit that isn’t worth anyone’s time, and there was about 5 tons of it in the previous pages in this thread.

  331. 4331
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    How is that anything other than what I’m saying?

    But not less credible than other news sources like TV. Which doesn’t support your pointless point.

  332. 4332
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Caine, 4330

    I’m still only through the first 1000 comments. Maybe this weekend I’ll read another page or so.

    But as for understanding janoswald, I guess I should have said,

    I really hope I don’t get it. Cause what I think is likely to right isn’t complimentary.

  333. 4333
    Ichthyic

    “The 1,041 respondents also were asked about whether they verified Internet information. Overall, respondents reported they considered Internet information to be as credible as that obtained from television, radio, and magazines, but not as credible as newspaper information.”

    that’s interesting information about people’s perceptions.

    nothing else.

  334. 4334
    Ichthyic

    Oh, and obviously some people are just tools.

    an admission of self-guilt if ever I saw one.

  335. 4335
    Inaji

    Crip Dyke:

    I’m still only through the first 1000 comments. Maybe this weekend I’ll read another page or so.

    I hope you have a good stock of alcohol. It will help.

    I really hope I don’t get it. Cause what I think is likely to right isn’t complimentary.

    That’s the one.

  336. 4336
    tony atkinson

    @thumper

  337. 4337
    tony atkinson

    @thumper

    “What we’re dealing with here isn’t actually an anecdote, since it is actually rather detailed and was not told with the intent to amuse or interest. I presume what you are alluding to is anecdotal evidence, but if you follow the link you’ll see why this doesn’t qualify as that either.

    But forgetting that for a moment, let’s pretend that all we’ve got is a very basic claim with no corroborating data and no corroborating stories from other people, and indulge in a little thought excercise. See if we can’t encourage some introspection.

    “On saturday, dad came home with a puppy!”
    “When I was 11, I was mugged on my way home from school”
    “Last weekend I bought a new bike”
    “I went to a party and got so drunk I fell down the stairs”
    “I went to the last Skepticon, and at the afterparty I met Ed Brayton”
    “I was date raped by Michael Shermer at a convention”
    “I got beaten up on my way home from work. It was completely unprovoked”
    “I bought a new car! It’s a BMW 320 ci”

    Now, out of all of those, why do I imagine there is only one that you would dismiss out of hand and demand more “evidence”?

    Let’s see if you can come up with an explanation for why that might be. My bet is that the answer will necessitate yet another explanation of what an extraordinary claim actually is.”

    I wouldn’t dismiss any out of hand. But only one jumps out a mile and that’s the only one that could land you in court.

    hint- Ed Brayton isn’t going to sue you for saying you met him at a party

    Seriously – can you really not see why only one of those statements might need some sort of evidence?

  338. 4338
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    But forgetting that for a moment, let’s pretend

    Why pretend what isn’t the case. There is first person testimony. There is corroborating testimony. Which means you inane hypothetical is nothing but bullshit. Show otherwise with something other than you opinion, like third party evidence.

  339. 4339
    tony atkinson

    All I’m saying is that there is one of thumpers examples that is entirely different to the others.

  340. 4340
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    All I’m saying is that there is one of thumpers examples that is entirely different to the others.

    All I’m saying is that you have nothing cogent to say, but are saying it anyway. Prove otherwise with solid and third party evidence….

  341. 4341
    chigau (違う)

    PSA:
    To quote a comment

    <blockquote>paste words here</blockquote>

    paste words here

    It’s also a good idea to include the comment number.

  342. 4342
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Also, if you are trying to talk about something other than the OP, take it to the Thunderdome.

  343. 4343
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @tony atkinson, #4337:

    I wouldn’t dismiss any out of hand. But only one jumps out a mile and that’s the only one that could land you in court.

    hint- Ed Brayton isn’t going to sue you for saying you met him at a party

    Seriously – can you really not see why only one of those statements might need some sort of evidence?

    None of them could land you in court. You need to file an action for that.

    Talking to people online is not the same thing as a sworn witness testifying before a trier of fact, like, say, a jury.

    **You** are not a trier of fact. If any one of these statements were regarding facts at issue in a trial, they would all need some form of additional evidence beyond the fact that someone made them to prove that the events described took place. None of them require corroborating evidence. They simply are what they are. If one is going to use the coercive power of government to impose sanctions for some happening or other (or the lack of some asserted happening), then one would need evidence.

    To hear someone’s story outside of court? You don’t need to apply the standards of evidence applied by courts.

    it’s pretty fucking basic. It’s not the statement that requires evidence, it’s the forum.

  344. 4344
    tony atkinson

    Thanks chigau!

    Maybe my post will make mor sense now;

    Re 4273

    “What we’re dealing with here isn’t actually an anecdote, since it is actually rather detailed and was not told with the intent to amuse or interest. I presume what you are alluding to is anecdotal evidence, but if you follow the link you’ll see why this doesn’t qualify as that either.

    But forgetting that for a moment, let’s pretend that all we’ve got is a very basic claim with no corroborating data and no corroborating stories from other people, and indulge in a little thought excercise. See if we can’t encourage some introspection.

    “On saturday, dad came home with a puppy!”
    “When I was 11, I was mugged on my way home from school”
    “Last weekend I bought a new bike”
    “I went to a party and got so drunk I fell down the stairs”
    “I went to the last Skepticon, and at the afterparty I met Ed Brayton”
    “I was date raped by Michael Shermer at a convention”
    “I got beaten up on my way home from work. It was completely unprovoked”
    “I bought a new car! It’s a BMW 320 ci”

    Now, out of all of those, why do I imagine there is only one that you would dismiss out of hand and demand more “evidence”?

    Let’s see if you can come up with an explanation for why that might be. My bet is that the answer will necessitate yet another explanation of what an extraordinary claim actually is.”

    My point is…the Michael shermer comment above is entirely different to any of the others because it is an allegation in which the individual is named.

    If ad when it gets to court e will see whether it is a fair comment

  345. 4345
    tony atkinson

    Good point crip.

    I’m sorry I am shit at quoting tuff on her. Never logged into a forum before and it’s all new.

    Now. Let me think about what you have just aid for a while

  346. 4346
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Bill Gates thought Steve Ballmer was talking out of his ass about Seattle bike lanes since Gates knew Ballmer didn’t even own a bike.

    Ballmer said he did too own a bike, and Gates bet him 1 million shares of microsoft stock on that point.

    Now: which statement stands out?

    Oh, yeah!

    It’s not the statement: it’s what you’re going to do with the statement. If you’re going to transfer a couple hundred million bucks to someone else, you’d like to make pretty darn sure the statement is accurate.

    If you’re going to JAQ off on the internet, I guess even your own statements don’t need to be accurate.

  347. 4347
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Good enough, Tony.

    Sorry I posted again without letting you have a chance to digest the first one.

  348. 4348
    chigau (違う)

    tony atkinson
    Also, please note that beside the ‘Submit Comment’ button is a ‘Preview’ button.
    This will let you see your comment before submitting it.

  349. 4349
    tony atkinson

    Sorry crip but I don’t get you.

    Someone has said something bad about Michael shermer have they not.?

    And haven’t they said it in a very public way by publishing it?

    Isn’t that libellous?

    Doesn’t shermer simply have to say prove I’m a rapist or accept its libellous?

  350. 4350
    tony atkinson

    I’m just shit with computers chigau. Sorry
    .
    Still can’t get this blckquote thing

  351. 4351
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Doesn’t shermer simply have to say prove I’m a rapist or accept its libellous?

    Nope, he has to prove the statements, and the corroborating evidence, is false in a court of law, and PZ published them with malicious intent. What a fuckwitted idjit you are. All OPINION, not one shred of corroborating evidence for that OPINION.

  352. 4352
    chigau (違う)

    tony atkinson
    That number just above your name means that your first comment was the 4336th comment on this topic.
    There are 8 pages before this one.
    Almost any question you can think of has already been answered.
    Go read.

  353. 4353
    chigau (違う)

    Nerd
    Stop it.

  354. 4354
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Tony, if you had bothered to read the whole thread, you would never had posted. Your inane opinion was well answered about twenty times over. Which is why you shouldn’t jump in without reading the whole thread.

  355. 4355
    tony atkinson

    I just think if your going to say something really, really bad about someone on a website that gets millions of hits you need to be sure it’s true.

    I suspect pz is going to have to retract it and apologise? Otherwise it going to be expensive for him.

  356. 4356
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Doesn’t shermer simply have to say prove I’m a rapist or accept its libellous?

    In order to do what?

    In order to say “prove I’m a rapist or accept its libellous?”

    Yes. In order to have said that, all he has to do is say it.

    But if you’re trying to make a point about the state of the law, you are failing pretty darn hard here. Maybe you shouldn’t make assertions when you’re ignorant of the underlying facts.

    As others have said, these questions are also not new. You have 4000 comments to read of people asking and answering questions like yours. It would be quite miraculous if no one had brought up libel law before, wouldn’t it?

    Think it through. Now that you have, its obvious that the answers are already in this thread.

    Use ctrl-F/ cmd-F and search for “libel”. You don’t even have to read all 4k posts. Just do a quick search and you cand find your mind exploding answers soon enough.

  357. 4357
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I just think if your going to say something really, really bad about someone on a website that gets millions of hits you need to be sure it’s true.

    And you need to make sure your inane claims are true too. PZ believed Jane Doe. And there is corroborating evidence presented. What is your real problem? And why should we care about the OPINION of somebody who can’t be bothered to read the thread, and cite third party evidence to back up their claims???? You chew on that for a while.

  358. 4358
    Tethys

    tony Atkinson

    When you are done reading this thread, you can pop over to another post and thread where the libel kneejerk response has been well covered.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/08/09/if-you-wont-shut-up/

    A little word on libel and slander, for anyone who wants to claim those instead of just making ableist slurs. I don’t care that most people don’t remember the difference between them (slander is communicated in person; libel is published). I do care that both slander and libel require that what is said not be true. Truth is an absolute defense against charges of either slander or libel in the U.S., as was recently affirmed in a high-profile case here in Minnesota.
    So if you’re saying that a statement is libelous/slanderous, you are not saying that the matter is up in the air, or that the truth is unknown. You are saying that it is untrue. You are making a truth claim.
    Moreover, you are making a positive claim that someone has broken the law. You are, in fact, making a claim that could turn out to be (say it with me now) libelous. So you might want to think very hard about taking that back, particularly if you’ve made that claim in a way that could damage someone’s livelihood, say, by taking down their website.

  359. 4359
    tony atkinson

    Ok. I can see everyone is right apart from me ok.?

    Nerds 4351 comment pulled me round and now if I re-read the actual blogpost I can see that pz has been very careful about what he actually said.

    Shermer hasn’t hot a leg to stand on then. That the consensus?

    By the way….. People get insulting on here really quickly…. a fuckwitted idjit? Thanks.

    So will pz have to name his anonymous source now? In court?

  360. 4360
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Tony, how would you get out the information to a large number of potential victims that a sexual predator exists at cons, and this is their MO? And if all you can say is tell them privately, you are supporting the sexual predator, not protecting women. And protecting women was the whole point of the OP.

  361. 4361
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    So will pz have to name his anonymous source now? In court?

    Only if Shermer is stupid enough to pursue the case. I don’t think his lawyer is that stupid.

  362. 4362
    chigau (違う)

    tony atkinson
    There are eight pages of discussion before this one.
    Go use whatever find-on-page function your browser has and find all the answers to your questions.

  363. 4363
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Shermer hasn’t hot a leg to stand on then. That the consensus?

    To stand on for what?

    The consensus is that you aren’t defining terms.

    He may or may not have a leg to stand on in a court of law defending himself from a charge of rape. But this isn’t a court of law, and the rules of evidence for the court system [much less the burden of proof] are not the rules of evidence for everyday life.

    He may or may not have a leg to stand on when bringing an action in libel

    but
    …1. We know false accusations are rare – it’s not beyond reasonable doubt rare, but the Bayesian calculus is already way over 50% for PZ’s confidential source.
    …2. The burden in tort [in most cases] is preponderance of the evidence, but on each element of the tort individually. One does say that there’s a 100% chance PZ wrote it, but a chance just barely above 0% that it’s false, therfore it’s 50% likely that PZ said something false. Each element has to be established.

    He may or may not have a leg to stand on if he asserts outside of a courtroom X or Y, but we don’t have many details of his actual defense except, “Nuh uh!” That leaves us right where we were with general stats on false reports of rape. So he’s certainly not showing much thigh here.

    But again, you refuse to define your terms: leg to stand on in defense of what?

    We can’t even begin to evaluate your claim until you do define those terms.

  364. 4364
    tony atkinson

    Sorry. I don’t mean to get on your nerves chigau.

    And I am settled on it now. Nerd, you are indeed right. I can see why pz was conflicted and I can see why he decided it was right to publish.

    I might take more care before I comment next time, thanks guys.

  365. 4365
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    There is nothing more valuable than being able to admit one is wrong…even if one was right and erroneously admits error, being able to admit being wrong allows for self-correction.

  366. 4366
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    There is nothing more valuable than being able to admit one is wrong

    quoted for N to the googleplex truth.

  367. 4367
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    Tony atkinson:
    This topic in general is a very personal one for many people. So many of the commenters here have been victims of sexual assault. I have never been assaulted in my life, so I have no direct experiences to draw from in empathizing with and having sympathy for them. What I do have is the understanding that our bodies are our own. Each of us has bodily autonomy. I value that in myself. I want others to value MY autonomy. To expect that, I must give that…and I do. I wholeheartedly and unreservedly support the right of every human being to be the decision makers of themselves. To decide what happens to their person. To make choices for themselves. When I see that someone has been robbed of that choice…when one human uses any means to violate the bodily integrity of another, I know, despite lack of direct experience how fundamental a violation that is. I know that in part bc I would not want anyone to assault me, and in part bc I have listened to the stories of those who have had the courage to speak up. I have read the statistics about rape. I see the evidence of Rape Culture every single day. It absolutely horrifies and sickens me that anyone is made a victim. That anyone could be so vicious, so evil is truly abhorrent to me.
    When rape statistics show women getting raped at the rate of 1 in 6…
    When I see how few reports of false rape there are…
    When I see a culture, a species even, as a whole turn a blind eye to the rights of so many of its members…
    When I see how predatory behavior often precedes sexual assault…
    When I learn how often victims are not believed, shunned, even blamed for speaking up about sexual assault…
    When I see people empathize more with the perpetrators of sexual assault than the victim…

    How can I- as a human being who desires to always have control over my bodily-do anything BUT believe Jane Doe?
    Sure, it is remotely possible she or PZ made up the whole thing. But given all we know about Rape culture, victim blaming, false rape reports, and predatory behavior it is far more likely that Jane Doe is being truthful.

    I believe her. I stand by her. I stand by with support and sympathy for all those who have been the victims of sexual assault.

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but having been in several threads about rape, my patience for anyone JAQing off, positing hypotheticals, siding with the accused, or any of the other shitty behavior on display on every page of this thread, my desire for civility vanishes. I suspect I am not the only one.

    I ask you and any others to think on that for a while.

    Why would people be so hostile to your comments?
    Stop and consider-from an outside perspective-that you are wrong. When so many people react with hostility, ask yourself why. No, they are not automatically right and you, wrong. But, if you allow for the possibility that you could be wrong, then open your eyes. Read. Listen. Click the links. Learn the evidence. Understand where the anger comes from.

    Oh, if only more people would do that…

  368. 4368
    Even Juberg

    I’m truly disappointed, not in Shermer, but those who smear his name without proof – because of ANONYMOUS accusations. And then, turn those anonymous accusations into statements of facts. In all honesty, all these so-called reports, come from ONE source – PZ. PZ could be making this whole thing up, for some personal agenda he has against Shermer. This is why, we don’t publish unproven claims, why we don’t take accusations at face value but require proof.

    PZ, and anyone else here, that think it’s OK to publish third party accounts without proof – substitute Shermers name with your own. See how you would feel, if this post was about you. You should all, be ashamed. If you have NO proof, why would you publish such things? I bet you wouldn’t feel so good, if it was your name that was smeared with accusations without proof. Did you contact Shermer, to get his side of the story? If not, why not? Why not give the accused a chance to defend himself? There is actually NO reason, why I couldn’t copy this entire post, and substitute Shermers name with any of yours. Does that make you a rapist? Does that make it OK, for me to post, for the whole world to see, that you are rapists? Of course NOT!

  369. 4369
    Lofty

    Even Juberg, I’m sure if you read the previous 4367 posts you might understand that your objection has been answered, many times.
    Another question, do you have conclusive proof that Shermer’s reputation has been harmed by these accusations? In the dudebros’ world, it might even be a booster.

  370. 4370
    Al Dente

    Even Juberg @4368

    Another dudebro who can’t be arsed to read the thread. Why do these assholes think their complaints, whines and accusations haven’t been responded to in a thread with over 4300 posts?

  371. 4371
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    but those who smear his name without proof – because of ANONYMOUS accusations.

    Fuckwitted liar and bullshitter. The women are known. Just not by you. You don’t need names, since you would belittle and intimidate them. Who the fuck cares about the uniformed opinion of an idjit who thinks their inane and repeated OPINIONS should be heard just because they are male and must defend a dudebro predator. You said nothing not said many times before, and just as stupidly.

  372. 4372
    watermark2


    Fuckwitted liar and bullshitter. The women are known. Just not by you.

    Yes, “known” by PZ Myers, and why should we take his word for it?

    Who the fuck cares about the uniformed opinion of an idjit who thinks their inane and repeated OPINIONS should be heard just because they are male and must defend a dudebro predator

    Very clearly you do, which is why you continue to post these comments. And why should we be believe Sherman is a predator besides the alleged claims made by PZ Myers?

  373. 4373
    Inaji

    Monitor Note:

    watermark2, the answer to your final question can be found throughout the whole thread, which happens to be 9 pages long. This will take to you to the first page of comments: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

    Failing to read the comments in a thread prior to commenting may result in your posts being edited or being banned from the thread. It is not appropriate to pick a bone with a person in this thread. If you wish to do so, take it to thunderdome. Thank you.

    The Rules

  374. 4374
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Yes, “known” by PZ Myers, and why should we take his word for it?

    Just like why should we take your inane word for anything? I don’t believe a word you say. Show evidence. Whereas the testimony of the victim was corroborated by other victims.

    . And why should we be believe Sherman is a predator besides the alleged claims made by PZ Myers?

    Gee illiterate idjit, PZ Myers didn’t make any claims. The claims were cited verbatim by PZ Myers, making it legal testimony, since he knows the victims and believes their word. They made the claims. Now, where is your evidence that MS isn’t a sexual predator based on the given testimony of several victims? You have nothing but your unevidenced OPINION, which is dismissed without evidence.

  375. 4375
    Rey Fox

    D00ds, defending Shermer with pseudoskeptical diatribes is soooo last season.

  376. 4376
    watermark2

    Just like why should we take your inane word for anything? I don’t believe a word you say. Show evidence. Whereas the testimony of the victim was corroborated by other victims.

    Okay, but you’re still not showing evidence that it is not PZ Myers who is writing those “testimonies” himself, or that he knows the victims, if there are any at all. You also haven’t showed any evidence that it was corroborated by someone else other than producing anonymous letters.

    Gee illiterate idjit, PZ Myers didn’t make any claims. The claims were cited verbatim by PZ Myers, making it legal testimony, since he knows the victims and believes their word.

    How you do know they are reliable or cited verbatim and not actually made up by PZ Myers to seem like it did?

    . Now, where is your evidence that MS isn’t a sexual predator based on the given testimony of several victims? You have nothing but your unevidenced OPINION, which is dismissed without evidence.

    Now, where is you evidence that he is a sexual predator other than anonymous letters which are not fortified by any evidence? We can both agree on one thing; you do have nothing but your unevidenced opinions and claims not backed up by anything other than anonymous letters

  377. 4377
    watermark2

    @Caine, thank you very much for that post. I didn’t read it before I posted my previous comment, so I apologise in advance. I will respect your wishes and take it to Thunderdome.

    Kind regards,
    Madeleine

  378. 4378
    JJLatFtB

    So that I might advise my daughter, how does someone in Shermer’s position coerce someone else into a position where they could not consent? Does he hold a position of authority over her? Did he coerce her with threats of bodily harm against her or someone else? Did he threaten her livelihood or someone else’s livelihood?

  379. 4379
    LykeX

    There’s a school of thought that holds that reading the opening post and the following comment thread might provide further understanding of the subject. It’s somewhat controversial, but you never know; it might just work.

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