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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. 501
    Tom Foss

    @maronoff #490:

    So you admit you have different standards of evidence based on the subject? That is a slippery slope.

    Um, no. It’s exactly what’s meant by “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” If someone tells me they just got a dog, I don’t require much specific evidence from them to prove that claim because I already have a wealth of evidence telling me that dogs exist and people often keep them as pets. If that same person tells me they just got a dragon, I’m going to require a lot more evidence to believe them, because “owning a dragon” is a much less ordinary claim. As such, there isn’t that mountain of preexisting evidence to suggest that dragons exist and people keep them as pets.

    Similarly, we have a wealth of evidence to establish that rape exists and is distressingly common. I’d require a lot less evidence–really, just the victim’s word, especially given how comparatively uncommon false accusations are–to believe someone when they say they were raped than if they said that they rode a unicorn on their lunch break. This is not a slippery slope, it’s an application of basic skeptical and scientific principles.

    Note, also, that we’re talking about “belief” and not “indictment in a court of law.”

    You will notice that my comment did not question the accuser at all. What I am uncomfortable with is airing this type of serious accusation in such a manner. I would rather see PZ try and get the woman to tell her own story in full. That would serve the community best.

    Fuck the community. This woman has already been failed by it; she does not owe it a goddamn thing. Maybe try thinking about what would serve her best.

  2. 502
    daniellavine

    maronoff@490:

    Really?!? An accusation without any supporting evidence is unfair. As “Skeptics” we should expect more on all subjects not just where it suits our world view.

    An accusation without any supporting evidence is not unfair. A conviction in a court of law without evidence is unfair. But that’s not what’s happening here.

    The intent here is important. What do you perceive as the intent of PZ’s post?

    So you admit you have different standards of evidence based on the subject? That is a slippery slope.

    “Slippery slope” is not a valid form of argumentation; it is often regarded as an argumentative fallacy, in fact.

    Having different standards of evidence based on the subject is routine. When I ask my mother what she had for breakfast and she tells me she had fruit salad and a croissant I don’t demand to examine her stool before I believe her. If she told me she had an ostrich egg I might ask to see the shell, though.

    Again, the intent is important. There is rightfully a high standard of evidence for conviction in a court of law, but Shermer is not being convicted in a court of law on the basis of this accusation. Again, what do you think the intent of the post is? And given that intent, what do you believe the standard of evidence should be?

    You will notice that my comment did not question the accuser at all. What I am uncomfortable with is airing this type of serious accusation in such a manner. I would rather see PZ try and get the woman to tell her own story in full. That would serve the community best.

    As PZ pointed out, it is not his place to try and get the woman to tell her own story in full. As PZ mentioned in the OP, she already tried that and the whole thing got hushed up. She has reasons — and I’m sure they are good — for not telling her own story. Again, PZ mentioned all this in the OP.

    It’s sweet that you think this woman should put her regard for her personal well-being aside for the sake of “the community” — the very community that silenced her and failed to hold her attacker accountable at the time the event in question happened, but I’d like to point out that you are indeed “questioning the accuser” by refusing to acknowledge that she probably has some very good reasons for not coming forward and giving details that would identify her.

  3. 503
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    You have nothing but hearsay, but based on that alone you’re willing to smear a man’s name?

    No, we have corroboration that this is not an isolated incident. It’s been well-known in certain circles that women have been warned away from Shermer. This is not dropping like a turd out of the blue on an otherwise pristine statue.

  4. 504
    Dauphni

    As a Dutchie, I have to weigh in on some of the comments made about us here. I can say from personal experience that rape culture in the Netherlands is definitely alive and well. It might not manifest itself in exactly the same ways, but once you adjust your view to compensate for various cultural differences, the patterns are all similar enough.

  5. 505
    daniellavine

    Daryl Branson@498:

    You have nothing but hearsay, but based on that alone you’re willing to smear a man’s name? What’s wrong with you people? You should be ashamed.

    “Smear a man’s name” — in other words, do some unmeasurable amount of damage to his reputation. If it saves a single woman from being raped then yes, I would do that. You should be ashamed if you wouldn’t.

  6. 506
    Tom Foss

    @daryl branson #498:

    You have nothing but hearsay, but based on that alone you’re willing to smear a man’s name?

    Please do learn what words mean. To you, this is hearsay. To PZ it is not. PZ is getting it directly from the person affected. That’s not hearsay, it’s outcry.

  7. 507
    Jackie

    Heresay?
    Because women still aren’t people and we just love to lie about being raped?
    Fuck you.
    Fuck “a man’s name”. What about many women’s safety from sexual predation?

  8. 508
    ButchKitties

    @WharGarbl

    Misidentifying your attacker is an issue when a woman is attacked by a stranger. This also happens to be the least common type of rape. Most women are raped by people they know.

  9. 509
    WharGarbl

    @Tom Foss
    #500

    Similarly, we have a wealth of evidence to establish that rape exists and is distressingly common. I’d require a lot less evidence–really, just the victim’s word, especially given how comparatively uncommon false accusations are–to believe someone when they say they were raped than if they said that they rode a unicorn on their lunch break. This is not a slippery slope, it’s an application of basic skeptical and scientific principles.

    Another key point, the power-disparity favors the accused (Michael Shermer) in this case. So the accuser is taking a much higher risk to speak out, and therefore would have a lot less incentive to lie.
    If the power-disparity is roughly equal (two high-school/college students/etc), then more skepticism may be warranted.

  10. 510
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    but this type of accusation with no evidence in unfair.

    An accusation without any supporting evidence is unfair.

    Got that ladies: six of you with the same story = no evidence. Don’t you bitches understand you’re just not trustworthy? Maronoff says its true therefore it’s true. If any number of women say something, it doesn’t count as evidence because that would mean Maronoff would have to listen to women. To women! How can you expect him to listen to chicks?

    You have nothing but hearsay, but based on that alone you’re willing to smear a man’s name? What’s wrong with you people? You should be ashamed.

    Yeah, you stupid girls! The law says you have to have FOUR MALE WITNESSES for something to be true. And one of those witnesses has to be Daryl Branson, because bitches always lie, rape never ever happens, and Daryl is the arbiter of all things true.

  11. 511
    MFHeadcase

    As far as folks who look for gradations of consent vs. rape…

    At one end of the spectrum we have mutual, enthusiastic, sober consent. describing the other end of the spectrum is triggering.

    Anything OTHER than the first end of the spectrum is potentially problematic. Claiming otherwise is just making excuses.

  12. 512
    Rick Mueller

    @440 throwaway
    point taken and considered. My words were vague. I am reacting to commenters who are shocked and dismayed that this happens within this community specifically when the overwhelming majority of Personalities are male. It’s naive and having that reaction should trigger a self-examination of ones biases.

  13. 513
    Randomfactor

    Atheists rightfully claim that they do not need god to be good. Does it mean that an atheist by definition IS good?

    Of course not. But one of the reasons I personally strive to do good and behave IS that it would reflect badly on the claim that atheists don’t need gods to behave. It shouldn’t–but it would.

  14. 514
    mildlymagnificent

    Really?!? An accusation without any supporting evidence is unfair. As “Skeptics” we should expect more on all subjects not just where it suits our world view.

    “Without any supporting evidence”??

    The statement of the person telling of her experience is evidence. It happens to be the only evidence available of this particular event. And, as predictably as night following day, we have other people supplying similar evidence by email to PZ and commenters above adding to that total.

    So now we’re in the position that criminal courts try to avoid. Only a single piece of evidence – of some weight but maybe not substantial – about one particular event, but lots of similar evidence indicating a pattern of behaviour but not directly evidence of this one item.

    Guess what? This blog and its community is not a criminal court. We’re much more in the position of an employment disputes tribunal or a civil court (if anything at all) where the standard for judgement is the balance of probabilities. I don’t know about you but I’d be fairly strongly inclined to an unfavourable view of the man who’s made himself the subject of years of backroom warnings and specific reports in other private conversations about unacceptable behaviour.

  15. 515
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Fuck “a man’s name”. What about many women’s safety from sexual predation?

    butbutbut he’s a powerful, well known, white dude! No one is ever allowed to say anything bad about him because its simply not possible that he would ever do anything wrong! he’s a pure and perfect angel, because other white dudes say so!

  16. 516
    Tom Foss

    @WharGarbl #508:

    Another key point, the power-disparity favors the accused (Michael Shermer) in this case. So the accuser is taking a much higher risk to speak out, and therefore would have a lot less incentive to lie.
    If the power-disparity is roughly equal (two high-school/college students/etc), then more skepticism may be warranted.

    Yes, very good point.

  17. 517
    nerok

    @495 Jackie

    Seriously, just go to the thunderdome.

    How about you type your responses to me elsewhere and send me the link? Until then I will respond to what people say to me. I think that’s common courtesy, especially when you post half a dozen questions in this very post and thread.

    Exactly why would you be better at knowing what it is like to be accused of rape in your area?

    Because I live here. Because it is a small community. Because I’ve personally witnessed the response on multiple occasions. Because I am privy to the discussion that is held by the most prominent of the males in the area. Because I have had a family member assaulted.
    I think this qualifies me, speaking about my community, compared to you, who are not from here and do not know anything about this place.

    I can’t understand why you have a hard time accepting that, especially since I’ve freely admitted, in three posts now, that I do not discount the existence of rapists in the community, should they manage to keep themselves hidden.

    What do you mean “unless” it is hidden?

    I have taken great care to phrase myself as to not assume any omniscient powers, like declaring my community “beyond” this issue. Only that it has a markedly different stance. And that it is in all likelihood not the only variation out there.

    @496 daniellavine

    You were factually incorrect about what I said and now you are replying to me for no fucking reason whatsoever. You are actually complaining about not being allowed to make shit up and you want me to not challenge you on the bullshit you say, because you are personally just that annoyed with me.

    You can stop replying at any moment, as you’ve never had any specific complaint about what I’ve said. But it’s clear your main motivation is to be a disruptive asshole. “Take it to the thunderdome”, I guess.

  18. 518
    nich

    Geeeze, maybe Atheism really has become a religion.

    Yes actually. Like Catholicism, it continuously shelters predatory douchebags no matter how many victims come forward.

    What happened to extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

    Me claiming that Rebecca Watson raped James Randi with a number two mechanical pencil while wearing a pink bunny suit is an extraordinary claim. A man dogged by rumors of being a skeeze turning out to be an actual skeeze? Not so much.

  19. 519
    Tom Foss

    @Myself: Well, very good point, except that the structures of patriarchy mean that any guy involved in the situation is likely to be in a position of relative power (not considering complications and intersectionality), so at the very least, provisionally believing the victim is generally good practice anyway.

  20. 520
    Jackie

    That would serve the community best.

    You must not be considering any women to be a part of the community then. Because being harassed, assaulted, raped and then ignored and denied any protection or justice is not in our best interest. This bullshit being the staus quo is not in our best interest.

  21. 521
    Who Cares

    @Daniellavine(#462): That was Taemon( post #375) who tried the it’s better where I live then in the US. Problem is he has blinkers on. There might be less rapes/assaults reported in the Netherlands (on a per person base, note: Wikipedia statistics) but that doesn’t mean the cultural reaction here is anything better then in the US.

  22. 522
    Rutee Katreya

    Look, I know you assholes are reading straight from The Global Accords Dictating the Fair Use of Women, and pursuant to those accords, Bitches Ain’t Shit, and also, Bitches Lie, but we don’t actually agree iwth that bullshit. To you, multiple accusations from women are nothing. To us, because we think women are people, we give them weight.

  23. 523
    notsont

    I think some of these people do not consider having sex with a woman who got drunk with them as rape, let me propose a scenario: You and a couple of friends are hanging out with a minor celebrity drinking, laughing, discussing various topics, its great fun, you drink a little too much. The next morning you awake in bed naked with this person, you have vague recollection of sexual acts being performed on you. This is Rape with a capital R the same crime as the a guy jumping out of a bush with a knife.

    It is completely irrelevant if you flirted with the person or even if the person assumed consent because you smiled at him or he thought he got “signals” from you. Its Rape. Oh its also irrelevant if the person was also drunk.

  24. 524
    klatu

    @maronoff
    Your impulse to categorically disbelieve a women when she claims to have been raped without presenting you with hard evidence is duly noted. That is not a rational response, as has been elaborated on by various commenters upthread, especially when withholding identifying information is crucial for her continued safety. Her claim is corroborated by a larger, previously established pattern regarding Shermer’s conduct. It is not an extra-ordinary claim. Get your priorities straight and get off that fucking fence. It is you who is being unfair.

    @Who Cares #493
    That’s OK, thanks for the clarification and effort! The stigmatization of male rape victims was my first guess for that disparity.

  25. 525
    Jackie

    nerok,
    Forget about it. Do whatever makes you happy. Other people from northern Europe have already posted disagreeing with you. I’ll just ignore you.

  26. 526
    WharGarbl

    @ButchKitties
    #507

    Misidentifying your attacker is an issue when a woman is attacked by a stranger. This also happens to be the least common type of rape. Most women are raped by people they know.

    Very true.

  27. 527
    Bernard Bumner

    @nerok,

    Be careful about taking up too much of this thread. (Just count the number of times you refer to yourself in a response as a handy guide as to whether you are arguing too long and hard on something which isn’t relevant to the topic.)

  28. 528
    carlie

    When it turns out that your standard of evidence for a rape comes quite close to “four men who are not her relatives witnessed the rape”, you probably ought to sit down and think about that for awhile.

  29. 529
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    @ 266 Bernard Bumner

    I’m still reading through, but thank you. You said what I was thinking when I read Polaris’ comment and, luckily, I read a little farther prior to commenting. Who’s having any fucking fun, indeed? The victim surely isn’t, PZ surely isn’t, and finding out that yet another big-name skeptic has been named isn’t fun. It’s enraging, frightening, maddening and sickening, but not “fun”.

  30. 530
    nerok

    @524 Jackie

    Other people from northern Europe have already posted disagreeing with you.

    That is not my community. Maybe this is why you’re both very confused.

    @526 Bernard Bumner

    Be careful about taking up too much of this thread.

    It would be much easier if people weren’t replying to me with false accusations and misunderstandings about what I’ve said. As a rule I reply when people write things to me. It’s a character fault.

  31. 531
    WharGarbl

    @Rutee
    #521

    To you, multiple accusations from women are nothing. To us, because we think women are people, we give them weight.

    To add more “weight” to this.
    What do those women stand to gain (personally) from falsely accusing Michael Shermer, taking into account that regardless of whether the accusation is true or not, Michael Shermer has the “clout” to make their life miserable?
    Nothing. And if the accusation is false and discovered to be false, it would be devastating to them.

    Given that, there are strong reasons to view those accusation to have, at the very least, merits.

  32. 532
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Daryl Branson

    Oh look, another one. Yay.

    *dripping sarcasm*

    @Tom Foss

    Your reponse to maranoff is just fantastic :)

  33. 533
    B-Lar

    Nerok

    It IS a character fault to need the last word in an argument. That isn’t a good thing. The clue is in the word “fault”.

  34. 534
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    To the anonymous woman: you are incredible. You are brave. You are strong. You are amazing. And you have so much support, including from me. I believe you. Please don’t ever doubt that you have support. Because you do. And through it all, no matter what, all of us who support you will support you.

    To PZ Myers: Thanks for doing this. Thanks for doing what you’re doing. It’s horrible and disturbing and I’m honestly almost ready to just rage-quit it all, if not for the fact that this is a fight that has to be fought, and won.

    To all the hyperskeptics in this thread: Get. The fuck. Out. I don’t know what you’re doing here. I don’t know what you fucking think you’re doing here. But get the fuck out. We don’t want you here, we don’t need you here, and your point of view is NOT. FUCKING. WELCOME. Get it through your sorry tiny skulls. Should be easy since your skulls are empty of any brains. Go the fuck away and don’t come back. You are fucking worthless pieces of human scum.

    Get out.

  35. 535
    ButchKitties

    Also, I would like to amend my “is” to a “can be”

  36. 536
    tccc

    To the person making this attack public:

    I 100% believe you.

    Thank you for your bravery at the time reporting it and your bravery now making it public. You made the world a safer place.

  37. 537
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Jesus fucking Christ, nerok, stop whining! Someone thought you were off topic; you could have just made an effort to ensure you stayed on topic in future. Instead you’re taking up half the thread on a very fucking important matter whining about how people aren’t taking you seriously enough. Even if you disagree about whether or not you were on topic in the first place, you are now most definitely not. As such, I’m going to agree with other commenters in telling you to get on topic or fuck off. Thank you.

  38. 538
    The Mellow Monkey

    @nerok, #529

    That is not my community.

    Brilliant. Never say where your community is and no one can say anything about it but you. This way, you add absolutely nothing to the conversation and anyone responding to you can only respond by talking about you and what you have said about your community.

    This is not valuable contribution, FYI.

  39. 539
    Taemon

    @Who Cares 520

    I should have named a completely different country, shouldn’t I? Simply saying “Not out of smug anti-Americanism but to cheer on the good fight; it IS possible to change a society for the better and I think the people here are going on the right way of doing it” is the same as smug anti-Americanism and probably it means not cheering the good fight at all. Okay. Let me try another country. Sweden.

    Sweden is better than South-Africa when it comes to rape culture. Can we agree on that? Can we? If we can, I’ll try the next step.

    Also: you don’t know my gender, or even my sex.

  40. 540
    Jackie

    What Nate said.

  41. 541
    vexorian

    By now it should be clear that the big names in skepticism/atheism are either too worried in protecting the image of skepticism/atheism over all and not about helping things make better OR have “boundary issues” themselves. The recent revelations (even if we ignore the ones in which the victim (justifiably) preferred to stay anonymous) are an indication that most of the current leadership is currently too compromised in this (As a predator or enabler). We need A+, we need to build a better community from scratch.

  42. 542
    mildlymagnificent

    we need to build a better community from scratch.

    Or we could just sack the architects and builders at this point. Foundations look good so far, but how come there are no windows, no ventilation and all this crappy stuff that gets in everyone’s way.

    Knock down the ugly bits and rebuild something decent that civilised people would be glad to be welcomed into.

  43. 543
    carlie

    nerok – fine. You live in a magical community where anyone who rapes is immediately caught, loses their job, and gets beaten to a pulp and driven out of the community. Wonderful for you. Guess who doesn’t live there? This woman who made the statement, the man named in the statement, the organization referred to in the statement, the people who go to the conferences alluded to in the statement, and everyone else involved in this discussion. So why do you think what happens in your magical community is at all relevant to anything going on here?

  44. 544
    nerok

    @537 The Mellow Monkey

    Never say where your community is and no one can say anything about it but you.

    It was never relevant to the point I was making and I didn’t expect to have to defend my short comment about my experiences here against people claiming I don’t know anything about my own community. I did not go into detail because it wasn’t relevant. It still isn’t.

    @532 B-Lar

    Echo? I wasn’t joking.

    @536 Thumper

    Looking forward to it.

    How about this; since the thread is full of further evidence Shermer is a waste of space, how about getting together some suggestions for actions we can take in response.

    Cancelling any subscription to Skeptic Magazine seems obvious. Is anyone involved enough on their forums to know if raising the issue there is worthwhile? Seems like that is both a place that most needs the information and would likely be most hostile to it.

  45. 545
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Jane Doe: I believe you and I’m so so sorry about what happened to you. And I thank you for coming forward to warn everyone.

    PZ: Thanks for this. I really hope you have good legal council.

    I made it through ~400 comments before I gave up. It’s the same predictable shit that comes up every time that sexual harassment/rape are discussed. For everyone defending Shermer &/or the status quo: fuck you. For everyone worried about Shermer’s reputation and everyone who doubts Jane Doe: fuck you. For everyone who thinks that rape is an extraordinary claim: FUCK YOU.

  46. 546
    Who Cares

    @Taemon(#538): Well yes that would have prevented me from knowing you don’t know what you are talking about. Oh and that you are a smarmy bullshitter by trying to pretend that is what I took issue with and not the entire post, then moving the goalposts, especially the first line which you conveniently didn’t add in your response (that is post #538).
    You left out:

    I would like to point out that rape culture is far less prevalent in The Netherlands, probably most of Northern Europe

    And on this you base your entire argument in post #375. To bad for you I am 1) Dutch, 2) have personal experience and the experience of others to back me up which I can compare to what is happening in the US while you have clearly none of that.

    So nice try weaseling out of this. And even nicer trying to add in things (gender/sex) that aren’t relevant.

  47. 547
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Sweden is better than South-Africa when it comes to rape culture. Can we agree on that? Can we?

    Having recently lived in Sweden, what I can say is that rape culture is alive and kicking there too. And as a nation where a large number of its inhabitants are socialised not to speak out of turn, it has its own sinister foibles.

  48. 548
    Taemon

    @Who Cares 545

    I am Dutch. I have personal experience and the experience of others to back me up. I have no idea where the hostility comes from. What is it you think I am trying to say?

    The gender/sex thing comes from calling me “he”, obviously.

    @leebrimmicombe-wood 546

    I’m really sorry to hear that. Would you say that things aren’t better in Sweden than in South-Africa? Because that would totally deflate my point. And my will to live, I guess.

  49. 549
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Jane Doe: I believe you.

    PZ: Thanks for standing up. The standard you walk past, and all that. It’s too bad they’ve poisoned the term “brave hero”.

  50. 550
    Inaji

    jimashby, you know, I’m already past tired of you, Cupcake. You’re a sexist idiot who insists on clucking on and on and on about things you know nothing about. The benefit to the world would be great just by virtue of you shutting the fuck up and learning one thing.

    Do you really think police can’t or won’t handle rape properly? Or that rape isn’t taken seriously? That’s bullpoopy. Rape is taken seriously, which is why it needs to be reported IMMEDIATELY, while evidence of the attack is fresh.

    Do I really think that? Yes, I do. I know that, and you don’t. What’s full of bullshit is you. My case was one of the rare ones, I was one of three survivors of a serial rapist and murderer. Two years of trial, Cupcake, two years of dealing with law enforcement. When the ADA on your case looks at you prior to trial prep, sneers and says “what the hell were you doing out after dark, wearing a dress, for chrissakes?”, it hardly gives you a warm and fuzzy.

    I worked as an advocate for many years, going with victims to law enforcement. I know all about how they treat people who have been raped. It ain’t pretty, you craven-hearted, foul weasel fart of a person.

  51. 551
    Anthony K

    Jane Doe, I’m so sorry, and I support you.

  52. 552
    ButchKitties

    To the people who think Jane Doe should have gone to the police…

    I’m one of those rape victims who didn’t go to the police. I’ve also been an (alternate) juror for a rape trial. I went into the trial thinking that it was going to increase my already heavy feelings of guilt and regret for not reporting my attack to the police. It did the opposite. It made me glad that I didn’t report my rape, and we fucking convicted the guy. So maybe chew on that for awhile.

  53. 553
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    Would you say that things aren’t better in Sweden than in South-Africa? Because that would totally deflate my point.

    Very right-wing anti-immigrant publications in Sweden such as Fria Tider have, in the past few years, been running scare stories on how Sweden has the second highest number of rapes in the world, trailing South Africa. They are blaming the sudden spike in rapes on Muslims, in the process revealing the rather ugly racism of the Swedish right.

    You can read the rants here.

    http://www.friatider.se/sverige-toppar-internationell-valdtaktsstatistik

  54. 554
    Taemon

    leebrimmicombe-wood, that wasn’t my question. Are things better, do you know?

  55. 555
    mikeyb

    Interesting, why is PZ hyperskeptical of Krauss, but not Shermer? What’s the difference?

  56. 556
    Bernard Bumner

    How about this; since the thread is full of further evidence Shermer is a waste of space, how about getting together some suggestions for actions we can take in response.

    I’m not really sure that coordinated action is appropriate or useful in this instance – no organisation to which Shermer is affiliated will publicly take action against him on the basis of these allegations (which I believe to be true) alone.

    In addition, any sort of campaign could constitute actionable damage (IANAL), which would be very hard to deal with since the victims do not wish to identify themselves in public. Be careful about forcing a situation which inadvertently silences the victims.

    The primary concern in this case is to protect other women, and to ensure that victims are well supported.

  57. 557
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    We need a sound effect for the noise made by goalposts receding.

    Also, the sound effect should account for the red-shift, cause the recession is pretty high-velocity.

  58. 558
    Dauphni

    Taemon, what are you trying to prove? I think it’s been made abundantly clear by now that this is a problem everywhere.

  59. 559
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    Tom Foss you need to save your post 429 because you will need it again. And again. And unfortunately again.

    You never know, one of the hyperseptics may learn something.

  60. 560
    Inaji

    jimashby:

    Hell, I’d even be happy with castrating rapists.

    Then it’s you who belongs in a cage. Again, you demonstrate the sheer depth of your ignorance and how you love to wallow in it. Castrate a rapist? Yeah, you could do that, surgically or chemically and you know what? It doesn’t stop rape, not even on the part of that particular rapist. You want to know why? Because a penis isn’t necessary to rape, you idiot. Because rape isn’t about sex. Because rape isn’t about “getting laid”.

    Please, toss your connection to the wider world off a cliff. Just go away.

  61. 561
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    I’m late to the “party” but I want to add another weight of:

    1) Thank you Anonymous. I believe you.

    2) Thank you, PZ for giving Anonymous a voice.

    3) Hyperskeptics, you can fuck right off. I haven’t been harassed myself, but I did participate in trying to protect a good friend in high school from was her rapist and stalker. The school didn’t do shit, the police didn’t do shit even after he escalated to death threats. It was chalked down to “a boyfriend/girlfriend tiff”

  62. 562
    Taemon

    Dauphni, what I’m trying to prove is that it is possible to make it better. What I’m saying is “don’t give up hope, keep on doing what you’re doing, slowly but surely we’ll make the world a better place”. Keep it up. That’s all.

    Gods.

  63. 563
    Jackie

    mikeyb,
    If that’s the item that most interests you about this revelation, fuck off.

  64. 564
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    leebrimmicombe-wood, that wasn’t my question. Are things better, do you know?

    No, I don’t know. In part because it is hard to interpret statistics. If Sweden has the second highest rape rate in the world, is that simply because they are working hard to document every rape incident? Or because the Swedes will treat some incidents as rape that would not be treated as such in other jurisdictions?

    This piece outlines some of the problems with the numbers:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19592372

  65. 565
    WharGarbl

    @mikeyb
    #554

    Interesting, why is PZ hyperskeptical of Krauss, but not Shermer? What’s the difference?
    Krauss raped someone?

  66. 566
    WharGarbl

    #564
    ugh, blockquote fail.
    Retry!

    Interesting, why is PZ hyperskeptical of Krauss, but not Shermer? What’s the difference?

    Krauss raped someone?

  67. 567
    nerok

    @555 Bernard Bumner

    no organisation to which Shermer is affiliated will publicly take action against him on the basis of these allegations

    I doubt this as well, unless there are enough of these incidents to really bust the dams. This thread alone has several other people recounting experiences (and in turn finding out about others) that involve Shermer. It certainly sounds like there’s more than one case that could go public. (Though I in no way demand this from victims).

    any sort of campaign could constitute actionable damage

    I’m not a lawyer either, but certainly a boycott would be the choice of people participating? Cancelling your own subscription is most definitely allowed, for personal satisfaction if nothing else.

    The primary concern in this case is to protect other women, and to ensure that victims are well supported.

    I agree. I have “consequences for the perpetrator” in a close second place however. I’m not suggesting people in any way harass the man, just finding ways to make it clear to him and those who employ him you find the accusations credible and will act accordingly.

    @ 542 carlie

    You lead with a terrible straw man argument despite me taking pains in every post to point out the very opposite to “anyone who rapes is immediately caught” and your point at the end of it is the one I was making when I mentioned it originally. Make an effort.

  68. 568
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Ashplant @309:
    I just woke up and your Cuttlefish inspired poem was the first thing I read. It was awesome!

  69. 569
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    In part because it is hard to interpret statistics.

    Maybe that’s the wrong phrase. Maybe I should say: ‘In part because the statistics may not give a full or true picture.’

  70. 570
    Who Cares

    #561: No that isn’t what you were doing. And when called out on it you just removed one line of text and then switched 2 nations with 2 other nations.
    Which is why you are a he since you are behaving in typical MRA behavior and in addition derailing the thread from what is important.

  71. 571
    klatu

    @Roberto Matus
    You are scum.

  72. 572
    Anthony K

    Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials

    You fucking suck at thinking.

  73. 573
    Randomfactor

    I’ve seen some pushback already on Facebook regarding this post. To which my reaction is: Great. Get as many pairs of eyeballs within The Community to read this message as possible.

    Thank you for posting it, PZ. My limited circle of female friends includes at least three I know whose assaults were unresponded-to. And Xenu knows how many of my other friends have had it happen and I don’t know about it.

  74. 574
    bcmystery

    Jane Doe, I too believe and support you.

  75. 575
    Bernard Bumner

    …but certainly a boycott would be the choice of people participating?

    By definition, a boycott is organised. What you consider to be an ethical use of your own money is up to you.

  76. 576
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    @Roberto Matus

    People can lie, people can exaggerate.

    Yes, they can. It’s particularly noticeable that the accused in sexual assault cases are prone to this in ordr to cover up their misdeeds.

    Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    This isn’t a court of law, so evidential standards don’t apply. And we feel that personal accounts of sexual assault should be taken seriously and not dismissed as it seems you would prefer we would.

  77. 577
    brianpansky

    @Roberto Matus 566

    i think you missed the info everyone has already posted about which scenario is more likely. your ignorance is dangerous, stop it.

  78. 578
    nerok

    @565 WharGarbl

    Krauss raped someone?

    There was a post about it on BlagHag here on FTB. She took it down after legal threats, detailed here.

    Greta Christina refers to said post here as follows:

    Ed Cara at The Heresy Club has posted about a widely-discussed-behind-the-scenes incident on a CFI cruise, in which special guest speaker Lawrence Krauss sexually propositioned an attendee — an incident that Cara describes as inappropriate, but which he points out did not qualify as harassment or assault.
    Jen McCreight at BlagHag has reported — among other things — that “When women come to me to warn me about what speakers to avoid at conferences or confide in me sexual harassment they’ve experienced, Lawrence Krauss is by far the most common name I hear.”

  79. 579
    PZ Myers

    Interesting, why is PZ hyperskeptical of Krauss, but not Shermer? What’s the difference?

    The difference: the Krauss stories were all second and third hand.

    The Shermer story is first hand. Someone was willing to back it up by saying “this happened to me.”

  80. 580
    don1

    if you find yourself in a situation where someone is too drunk to make rational decisions your first instinct should be to take away their car key, if they pass out put them in the recovery position and make sure a responsible person is keeping an eye on them.

    Otherwise you are a bad person. If your first instinct is to rape them you are past bad and into kill yourself, seriously.

  81. 581
    piegasm

    @554 mikeyb

    Interesting, why is PZ hyperskeptical of Krauss, but not Shermer? What’s the difference?

    You mean other than the fact that Shermer’s accuser is someone PZ knows and trusts?

  82. 582
    daniellavine

    Roberto Matus@566:

    People can lie, people can exaggerate. Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    Why the assumption that they are “phony”? PZ evidently trusts the source and apparently Shermer already has a reputation for this sort of thing.

    Incidentally, I’m not taking it as “evidence”. I’m taking it as what it is — an anonymous account of an alleged rape. If I was a juror for a rape trial I would never convict on this sort of “evidence” but since that’s not what’s happening in the first place the evidentiary status of the account is moot.

    Jesus christ, rape is the new religion.

    If you’re going to post again you should explain at greater length what you mean by this. It sounds a lot like an attempt to trivialize a distressingly common and egregious breach of another person’s autonomy.

  83. 583
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    @Roberto Matus

    Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    On what basis do you claim these are phoney? Because it looks like you are leaping to the aid of someone who may be a sexual predator with absolutely nothing but a personal conviction that the allegation is false.

    At least we have a claim. What are your claims against?

  84. 584
    franwelte

    I can see why this alleged rape has not been addressed in a court of law. In a court of law, the accused has the right to face her accuser. Now I ask you, dear thoughtful reader, suppose Michael is innocent? How then, could he possibly prove so, in this court of public opinion? It is the equivalent of proving that gods do not exist.

    I could understand this lady’s fear of revealing herself, were there ANY evidence that Michael has sought revenge or been violent or had any criminal history that might lead her to believe she would be harmed. However, it looks to me, like something else is in play here. While speculation is clearly allowed here, in this court of public opinion, I will refrain.

  85. 585
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    @582 daniellavine: I think Roberto made a typo or two.

    He meant to say “rape is my new religion, but some bitch stole the word, replaced it with “the”, and lied about it.”

    Just a wee slip of the fingers.

  86. 586
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    People can lie, people can exaggerate. Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    Whereas I take this bullshit argument to mean you are a probable predator tying to defend another probable predator. It’s call looking at context. You are the one lying and exaggerating.

  87. 587
    WharGarbl

    @nerok
    #578
    Ok. But what do you mean by PZ being hyperskeptic on Krauss? That PZ didn’t say anything on that. Considering that those are posted just yesterday… I don’t think PZ respond that quickly.

  88. 588
    Tom Foss

    @Mikeyb: There was a comment somewhere (Blag Hag?) where PZ said someone directly contacted him about Krauss’s harassment/assault. I suspect the move from hearsay to outcry has somewhat lessened his skepticism.

    @Roberto Matus: I notice one relevant thing that people “can” do that’s not on your list. I also notice that you think these points have not been addressed already. Remind me, which group is it that ignores all the relevant information but still thinks they have an accurate and certain understanding of how the world works?

  89. 589
    LykeX

    The statement of the person telling of her experience is evidence. It happens to be the only evidence available of this particular event

    This inspires a question: If testimony, the only type of evidence in a case like this, is not sufficient, what’s the point of the woman coming forward with details and revealing her identity? What kind of evidence could she possibly provide that these people would accept?

    I just can’t shake the feeling that this isn’t really about ensuring fairness and protecting the innocent. To me it smells more like the dudebro brigade is closing ranks. One of their number has been revealed and now they’re scrambling to prevent the unthinkable.
    One way to do that is to get the woman in question to step forward. That way, she can be smeared and humiliated. They can pick her story apart, question every decision and detail; focusing on her, rather than the substance of the case. They can start harassing her family and employer, threaten her career and make sure that no other women get the bright idea to come forward.

    Maybe I’m wrong. I admit, I have no hard evidence of this and my thinking is clouded by emotion, but I really think the main reason they’re upset about the anonymity is not anything as high-minded as fairness, but simply that they can’t use their preferred tactics when they can’t see the target.

    If that’s not the reason, then why do they want her name? Her name doesn’t magically conjure physical evidence into existence. It’ll still just be her word. We’ve already established that the testimony of women don’t count for shit with these people, so why would they want it, if not to target her?

  90. 590
    WharGarbl

    #587
    And… ninja’d by PZ.

  91. 591
    Taemon

    @leebrimmicombe-wood @569

    It IS hard, but I still look to Sweden as a beacon of hope. Misogyny might still be a serious problem there, at least it’s weaker than in almost all other countries. That’s something to strive for, and that’s something that Anonymous helped us do.

  92. 592
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Franwelte, read the goddamned thread. This has been addressed a dozen times already. But I will repeat it it since you seem incapable of reading comprehension.

    This is not a fucking court of law.

  93. 593
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    don1

    … kill yourself, seriously.

    We don’t advocate for that here.

  94. 594
    Tom Foss

    @franwelte:

    I could understand this lady’s fear of revealing herself, were there ANY evidence that Michael has sought revenge or been violent or had any criminal history that might lead her to believe she would be harmed. However, it looks to me, like something else is in play here.

    When women come forward anonymously, people doubt they exist and whine about the accused needing to face his accuser.
    When women come forward without anonymity, people say they’re just doing it for drama/sympathy/blog hits, abuse them, and drag their reputations through the mud.

    It’s almost like some people would rather these women didn’t say anything at…oh wait, I think I figured it out.

  95. 595
    Rutee Katreya

    People can lie, people can exaggerate. Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    Because Shermer is equally capable of lying, and it’s really unlikely a bunch of women are going to independently come forth and lie about him compared to “just shermer is lying”.

  96. 596
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Roberto Matus… fuck off you disingenuous scum. You are a disgusting, vile excuse for a human being.

    Meta note: I notice that some angry responses contain veiled references to committing suicide. Could we not do that, please? No more cliffs and such. We don’t need to add suicide triggers on top of all this other shit. It’s more than enough to tell the hyperskeptics to fuck off. It’s more than enough to call them what they are: vile excuses for human scum. It’s more than enough to lament the sharing of a universe with these people.

    We don’t also need to suggest, no matter how veiled, that they should kill themselves.

    Thank you.

  97. 597
    Anthony K

    How then, could he possibly prove so, in this court of public opinion?

    Gosh, that’s a great point.

    Warden of Public Opinion, would you mind getting out your Keys of Public Opinion and releasing Dr. Shermer from Cell D-473 of the Maximum Security Prison of Public Opinion?

  98. 598
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    We don’t also need to suggest, no matter how veiled, that they should kill themselves.

    Seconded

  99. 599
    flyingv

    Why do people feel the need to drag Shermer’s name through the mud? Using his alleged number of partners based on the rumor mill as proof that he did it is just as bad as saying that a girl wasn’t raped because of the number of partners she’s had.

    People’s minds are unfortunately made up that he’s a rapist based on one anonymous email, and it seems that it’s due to personal issues with Shermer rather than trying to understand the facts (which there are few here…we don’t even know which conference!)

    The anecdotes as evidence is appalling. I’ve had to file two sexual harassment claims against two different men, and both times went reasonably well. Does that mean that the system always works? Of course not. But just because you had a bad experience doesn’t mean the system doesn’t work. If this were true, she should have gone to the police. If this were true, not going to the police means that he’s a criminal on the streets. Is it blaming the victim? Possibly, but not going to the police IF this were true means that she has no evidence. It becomes his word against her word (or in this case, his word against his word on behalf of her word) in which people tend to make their judgment based on their feelings for the accused.

    It also seems that skeptics are prone to their own conspiracy theories about the web of lies conferences have to protect speakers. You sound f***ing crazy as crazy as big government conspiracy theorists. I’ve been to conferences. I’m a woman. Both my career and my other hobby are male-dominated (more than skepticism.) I know this is an anecdote, but sorry, I just don’t see this rampant sexism. Are there sexists? Sure. They’re everywhere. I would have expected less sexism in a group of folks with more education, and that’s typically what I have seen.

    Very sad that skeptics have jumped to conclusions.

  100. 600
    nerok

    @587 WharGarbl

    But what do you mean by PZ being hyperskeptic on Krauss?

    I never said that.
    @554 mikeyb did.

    This is at least the third time in this thread I have had to reply to people who can’t read or check who says what. Step it up, please. I don’t want to make these replies any more than you want to read them.

    @575 Bernard Bymner

    It certainly seems like a razor thin line to make a legal case on. People organize boycotts over anything. If people can join in boycott over demonstrably false things like vaccines causing autism, certainly this can’t be subject to such concerns.

  101. 601
    Rutee Katreya

    How then, could he possibly prove so, in this court of public opinion

    In a practical sense? If it gets to the point where many women who attend cons are saying this shit about you, you’re done, and there’s nothing you can do, as far as I’m concerned. The problems are clearly yours. Don’t get to that stage, and you can avoid getting there by treating women as people.

  102. 602
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    Jesus christ, rape is the new religion.

    Why is[sic] people taking a six stories about the same dude as evidence, whenever everyone (read: rape apologist dudes) know that bitches ALWAYS lie. but men NEVER lie, because Bobby the Rape Apologist says so.

    jesus Christ, rape apology is the new religion.

    bubbye now, dipshit!

  103. 603
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Very sad that skeptics have jumped to conclusions.

    Yeah, too bad, so sad. Do fuck off.

  104. 604
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Why do people feel the need to drag Shermer’s name through the mud?

    Women always lie, men never lie. 38,000th rape apologist verse, same as the first.

  105. 605
    don1

    @throwaway, gut-punched

    It was merely advice, not a demand.

  106. 606
    LykeX

    I could understand this lady’s fear of revealing herself, were there ANY evidence that Michael has sought revenge or been violent or had any criminal history that might lead her to believe she would be harmed

    If she reveals her name, there will be fallout. Shermer wouldn’t even have to move a muscle or say a word. There’d be hundreds of assholes jumping at the chance to vilify her. This isn’t theory, we’ve seen it happen before.

    Do you dispute that?

    Using his alleged number of partners based on the rumor mill as proof that he did it…

    Please show us where anybody said that.

  107. 607
    Anthony K

    Why do people feel the need to drag Shermer’s name through the mud?

    Sorry, what fucking name does he have? Have you ever read any of his libertarian shit? The guy’s a fucking half-wit. If he has an unsullied name in the skeptical community, then it’s only because the skeptical community is just a babysitting service for dorks with hard-ons for Ayn Rand.

    And apparently a pimping service for the speakers.

  108. 608
    klatu

    @flyingv
    Your experience is valid for you. It is not valid for everyone else. Your unsolicited advice for Jane Doe has been thoroughly repudiated in this thread. I urge to actually read it sometime.

  109. 609
    Jackie

    Anthony K,
    Thank you so much for making me laugh.

  110. 610
    Anthony K

    And apparently a pimping service for the speakers.

    Ugh, I retract that. I don’t want to muddy the issue with dubious and inaccurate analogies to sex work and sex workers. Sorry.

  111. 611
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    let’s play rape apologist bingo!

    It also seems that skeptics are prone to their own conspiracy theories about the web of lies conferences have to protect speakers. You sound f***ing crazy as crazy as big government conspiracy theorists.

    Bitches are crazy.

    I’ve been to conferences. I’m a woman. Both my career and my other hobby are male-dominated (more than skepticism.) I know this is an anecdote, but sorry, I just don’t see this rampant sexism.

    I SPEAK FOR ALL WOMEN! What doesn’t happen to me never ever ever happens to anyone! THEREFORE EVERY OTHER WOMAN WHO DISAGREES IS A LIAR! Because I say so!

    Are there sexists? Sure. They’re everywhere. I would have expected less sexism in a group of folks with more education, and that’s typically what I have seen.

    what’s this one called again? Argument from personal intellectual cowardice?

    Very sad that skeptics have jumped to conclusions.

    yeah, you’re jumping to conclusions is very sad.

  112. 612
    Cosmic Teapot, not the Antichrist.

    Very sad that skeptics have jumped to conclusions.

    Flyingv, go read comment 429.

  113. 613
    Taemon

    @599 flyingv “Possibly, but not going to the police IF this were true means that she has no evidence.”

    Yeah, so what if she has no evidence? Does that mean it didn’t happen?

  114. 614
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    Franwelte, in spite of obviously not having read the previous big-num of comments, raises an interesting side-point: it’s funny how we think we know people we’ve never met. Reading Shermer’s books and/or articles, watching him on Mr. Diety or podcasts, you feel like you know the person. I feel that way a bit about PZ and the regulars here, having read them for so long. Point is, I (you) don’t know them. You have a picture in your head that has little basis in reality. Franwelte, I’d put it to you that you “know” Shermer about as well as you “know” the anonymous reporter, yet you put so much more believability on the Shermer side of the scale. Why is that, do you suppose? Cog-diss? You can’t picture the fantasy-person-you-call-Michael-Shermer doing something like that, so the other person must be lying? Afraid to admit to yourself that you’re not as good a judge of character as you thought? Or is it because “famous” or “well-known” can never equal “did something very, very wrong” in your world? Or why?

    As a further aside, Franwelte, can I refer you to the evening news? Almost nightly, you’ll see a reporter shoving a mic into someone’s face and that someone saying, “I lived next door to Billy-Bob for nigh unto 15 years now and I always thought he was a nice guy. Never thought they’d find a meth lab/dead bodies in the basement/a stockpile of illegal weapons in his house.” And that’s coming from someone who knew the person in meat-space, not just their public persona. How valid is your assessment of Shermer’s personality or what he is or is not capable of?

  115. 615
    Rutee Katreya

    Using his alleged number of partners based on the rumor mill as proof that he did it is just as bad as saying that a girl wasn’t raped because of the number of partners she’s had.

    The fuck is wrong with you? I don’t give two shits about how many partners he had – I care about how many women are saying “The dude fucking assaulted/harrassed/raped me”

    The anecdotes as evidence is appalling. I’ve had to file two sexual harassment claims against two different men, and both times went reasonably well. Does that mean that the system always works? Of course not. But just because you had a bad experience doesn’t mean the system doesn’t work.

    Fuck you. We know the system doesn’t work because we’ve fucking studied them, and we can demonstrate they don’t work independent of it working for you. I’m glad your trip was smooth and all, but seriously, you’re the fucking exception.

    . You sound f***ing crazy as crazy as big government conspiracy theorists. I’ve been to conferences.

    REad back and you’ll see we have fucking emails of the same people corresponding. Fuck you and your alleged skepticism. Apparently it means ignore the evidence, follow only preconceived conclusion.

  116. 616
    flyingv

    Yikes. I’ve definitely encountered far more harshness here than I ever have at any conference.

  117. 617
    Jackie

    Thanks for retracting that too, Anthony.
    I was actually referring to this.

    Gosh, that’s a great point.

    Warden of Public Opinion, would you mind getting out your Keys of Public Opinion and releasing Dr. Shermer from Cell D-473 of the Maximum Security Prison of Public Opinion?

  118. 618
    Johan Rönnblom

    Taemon: I live in Sweden. We actually do have a comparatively high number of reported rapes, and this number has increased in recent years. There seems to be two underlying reasons. First, more victims are reporting. This is because the police are treating victims better and taking them more seriously. It is also because while in the bad old days it was considered shameful to report a rape or to let your friends and family know you were raped, this is much less so. Obviously this is different between different parts of the country, we also have cases of entire communities turning against young women who have been raped. There are many more role models coming out and publicly telling stories about how they were raped. This applies mainly to women, I can’t recall any case of a famous Swedish man publicly telling how he was raped (except as a child).

    Second, criminologists still believe at least some types of rape have actually increased. The best theory for why this happens seems to be that more young women are comfortable with joining people they don’t know that well to late parties etcetera, providing predators with more easy access to victims. So in a somewhat paradoxical way, women are feeling freer and more secure, and this contributes to making them less secure.

  119. 619
    Jackie

    flyingv,
    Lucky you.

  120. 620
    LykeX

    @flyingv
    Would you like to stop whining long enough to answer the question?

    Using his alleged number of partners based on the rumor mill as proof that he did it…

    Show us where anybody said that or retract it.

  121. 621
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Yikes. I’ve definitely encountered far more harshness here than I ever have at any conference.

    Which totally means that those lying women are lying about getting raped at conferences, am I right? *nudge nudge*

  122. 622
    scourge99

    If Schermer is innocent he should sue you for libel. Otherwise i think its a tacit admittal of guilt.

    However, there are two sides to every story.

  123. 623
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    don1

    @throwaway, gut-punched

    It was merely advice, not a demand.

    Advice that has inadvertent splash damage to those who, though they may not fit your targeted group, do feel as if they are in a specific group of people who truly feel as if they have no right to exist. Your ‘advice’ merely solidifies such feelings for those people and they have a concrete yet indirect example of someone wishing someone dead due to mistakes or transgressions. If you want to discuss it further, take it to the Thunderdome please. I’ve derailed enough.

  124. 624
    dontblamethevictim

    [Lurid rape story tucked away where you won't see it without selecting it. --pzm]

    I want to preserve my anonimity but I have to say that I have been in contact with at least 3 women who have been sexually asaulted by PZ Meyrs.

    I was allowed by one of the victims, Clara, to publish the testimony of one of them, however I can’t disclose her real identity because she fears for her safety, and has stated that Meyers has “an explosive, violent personality and would definitely do everything in his hands to destroy me emotionally, financially and physically”.

    Here is Clara’s testimony:

    “Then one winter night I went to a social gathering in the city and Paul Zacharias Myers was there! Maybe he would talk to me, ask me out on a date, be my friend. Maybe he would even fall in love with me and then, just like in the movies, take me in his arms and gently kiss me.

    But as usual, he didn’t even look my way, and when I tried to talk to him he walked away.

    I smoked a lot of pot that night.

    Listening to music I passed out on the floor, lying on my back. I woke up a few hours later, the room dark and quiet, with Paul on top of me, pushing his penis inside me.

    It hurt. He was heavy and smelled like beer.

    The room was cold and I could hear other kids snoring on the couches. I was frozen, inside and out, outraged and shocked. I didn’t fight. I didn’t scream. I didn’t even say “stop.” Mostly, I just couldn’t believe it was happening.

    About three minutes later it was over. Those three minutes changed my life forever. I went from being trusting and naive to being angry and fearful, suspicious of all men.

    Paul got up without a word and went to sleep in another room. I couldn’t sleep. I was numb, stunned. At daylight I went home. I didn’t tell a soul what had happened.”

    I applaud her braveness for comming forward and standing up for herself. Hopefully this will be a lesson for all those men who feel entitled to rape just because they are men in a position of power.

  125. 625
    Stephanie Zvan

    franwelte @584

    I could understand this lady’s fear of revealing herself, were there ANY evidence that Michael has sought revenge…

    Yep, there’s absolutely no evidence that Shermer gets vindictive and nasty when someone touches his reputation.

  126. 626
    klatu

    @Johan Rönnblom
    Sounds plausable to me. The fridge horror of this is of course that some communities will silence victims deliberately in order to keep the rape statistics favourable.

  127. 627
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Why do people feel the need to drag Shermer’s name through the mud?

    To prevent another woman from being raped by MS. DAH. Otherwise your statement abets a predator, allowing them keep up their predations.

  128. 628
    Inaji

    Why is people taking a couple of phony testimonials as “evidence”.

    On what basis are you making the assumption that the testimonials are phony? I’ll tell you right now that you have no basis to make that assumption. It’s simply your first reaction, based on your own sexism and bias. “She’s lying.” Do you really think that particular assumption is something new in the world? It isn’t. All throughout history men have felt that women are there to do with what they please. Men have been raised to believe that. Women have been raised to believe that. We see evidence of that thinking every damn day. It’s because of people like yourself that women simply won’t go through the system, and often won’t even tell friends or family about being raped or assaulted. There’s that automatic bias: “You’re lying.” Or “What did you do?” Or “You were drinking, right?” Or “Why were you in a room alone with him?” Or “Why did you invite him over?” Or “What were you wearing?” Or a million other fucking things which boil down to blaming the person who was raped.

    The one thing you never notice is the onus being placed on the person who committed the rape. Amazin’, right?

    Jesus christ, rape is the new religion.

    Well, there certainly are a lot of rapists wandering about without consequence to their action. I expect they are right grateful to assholes like yourself, who happily enable their behaviour.

  129. 629
    piegasm

    @616 flyingv

    Yikes. I’ve definitely encountered far more harshness here than I ever have at any conference.

    And? Care to show us where you were promised a pat on the head and a cookie in exchange for sharing your breathtakingly ill-informed opinion with us?

  130. 630
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Yikes. I’ve definitely encountered far more harshness here than I ever have at any conference.

    Yes, because “oohhhh their being mean/harsh/using naughty words at me” is totes the same as being harassed/assaulted/raped.

    *snort*

    Protip, if people are making scathing comments to you here, it’s time to review what you wrote and why it upset people. Fuck knows that’s how the regulars here taught me to be a decent human.

  131. 631
    Jackie

    “women are feeling freer and more secure, and this contributes to making them less secure.”

    So women existing in public is something that you believe contributes to them being less secure?
    It seems like saying that women pausing their constant and never-ending vigil to protect themselves from rape too often is some how partially to blame for (mostly) men raping those women.
    Can you imagine if the genders were switched in that scenario or if you put “gays” or “people of color” where you put “women”?

    So pissed right now.

  132. 632
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    flyingv… you are encountering harshness because you are quite blatantly assuming that because the system worked for you, it must work in general.

    Fact is, it doesn’t. I know there are a lot of comments here, but if you read back over this thread, you will read a holy hell of a lot of comments from people who also reported their encounters, and the system did not work for them.

    The system did not work in Steubenville until Anonymous got involved, and the system still didn’t work.

    The system doesn’t work at pretty much every college in the country.

    The system didn’t work at Penn State until the public got involved.

    The system rarely works at The Amazing Meeting (it working for Ashley Paramore was a fluke… I think she even admitted that, though I could be wrong).

    The system, as a rule, does not work. Women are generally not believed; men even less so.

    You are an exception, flyingv. Your case is extremely rare. Your experience is a very rare one that happens to almost nobody in similar situations.

    In short, you are wrong. Your experience is not the common experience, and your assumption that it is is what’s so insulting… especially when you bring it in to a thread filled with people who are already beyond enraged and raw. You might as well find someone who had their skin peeled off and throw sand in the wound, then act as if you thought you were helping because it helped you. Because that’s pretty much what you did here.

  133. 633
    daniellavine

    Franwelte@584:

    I can see why this alleged rape has not been addressed in a court of law. In a court of law, the accused has the right to face her accuser. Now I ask you, dear thoughtful reader, suppose Michael is innocent? How then, could he possibly prove so, in this court of public opinion? It is the equivalent of proving that gods do not exist.

    If Shermer is guilty how will he be held accountable? Remember that the woman in question reported the incident which was then covered up. There’s a reason this rape and a majority of other rapes are not addressed in a court of law but that reason is probably not the one you’re trying to imply.

    I could understand this lady’s fear of revealing herself, were there ANY evidence that Michael has sought revenge or been violent or had any criminal history that might lead her to believe she would be harmed.

    There’s types of revenge that don’t involve physical violence and that is much more likely in this situation.

    However, it looks to me, like something else is in play here.

    It doesn’t to me. ::shrug:: What do you suppose your opinion is worth to me?

  134. 634
    Jackie

    dontblamethevictim?

    You think that shit is funny?

    Get back under your rock.

  135. 635
    ChasCPeterson

    I see where Jen McCreight posted something recently, apparently a first-hand account of an incident, and then retracted it because of “vague threats of lawsuits” from the “Famous Skeptic” who apparently figured in the incident.
    Did anyone see what and who before she pulled it?
    And is anybody still wondering why it’s not so easy to just step forward?

  136. 636
    pHred

    Um … cleanup at comment 624 ? Please ?

  137. 637
    Inaji

    “Then one winter night I went to a social gathering in the city and Paul Zacharias Myers was there!

    Zacharias, eh? Is this like the classic Meyers?

  138. 638
    Johan Rönnblom

    Beatrice: No, but I think the nastiness in this forum is really not helping. I was so put off by it myself that I was almost ready to dismiss the claims made here because of it.

    I will definitely not hang around here for long. The signal to noise ratio is extremely low and it’s apparently considered perfectly normal to throw scatological insults at anyone you disagree with.

    I’m only here for now because I think this particular issue is really important.

  139. 639
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Yikes. I’ve definitely encountered far more harshness here than I ever have at any conference.

    Translation: oh no! There are consequences for saying asinine things! But I should be able to be a total asshole without repercussions!

  140. 640
    klatu

    I feel like someone is writing a bad romance novel in this thread…

  141. 641
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    I did, ChasCPeterson, but out of respect for her decision and her legal safety, I won’t be saying who it was here. In fact, I think I’m forgetting who it was, in a Rovian sort of way.

    Yep, clear gone. Something about yellowcake?

  142. 642
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Chas, she was giving voice to another person who whisked to remain anonymous, IIRC.

  143. 643
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    I was so put off by it myself that I was almost ready to dismiss the claims made here because of it.

    So, the truth of a woman’s claims is based solely on how nice completely different people are to you?

    yeah, you definitely shouldn’t hang around here, if that’s your threshold for acting like a decent human being.

  144. 644
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Jesus Christ, I hate everything.

    You think it’s funny, you sack of shit in #624, joking about rape?

  145. 645
    poxyhowzes

    My only post on the subject:

    I don’t just thank PZ just for his deft handling of this grenade, but for his long career on Usenet, ScienceBlogs, and FtB (among others), and for his extensive travels and interactions on behalf of a- and anti- and non-theism.

    It has been a long career (but not yet long enough!) in which he ESTABLISHED the trust of so many folks. People who, like Carrie Poppy yesterday and “anonymous” too, could trust PZ to handle the pinless grenades that were tossed at him.

    If PZ had not worked so hard, and so publically over the decades, and if PZ had not shown himself worthy of that private and public trust, how much of this mess would ever have come to light?

    Thanks PZ for taking those many years to establish yourself as a trustworthy confidante within the ‘community,’ something I’ll bet you never thought you’d have to do or be.

    pH

  146. 646
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    *sigh* whisked should be wished. That’s autocorrect and forgetting for ya.

  147. 647
    dontblamethevictim

    Hey, guys, comment 624 it legit. Just because I don’t have the same kind of power and I’m not a man it doesn’t mean there are victims suffering. We are just outraged that he is playing the protector of victims here when he is as scummy as Shermer or worse.

  148. 648
    Jackie

    Don’t clean it up. Leave it there for anybody who doubts exactly what kind of cruel, dishonest assholes these people are.

    They know that the anonymous women may be seeing this thread. They don’t care. They think it is hilarious to parody the rape victims own accounts where they may well read it.

    Would you want people like that to know your name?

  149. 649
    dontblamethevictim

    * there aren’t

  150. 650
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I was so put off by it myself that I was almost ready to dismiss the claims made here because of it.

    Let me guess, with each fuck off you are less inclined to believe women about rape, hm?
    You disgust me.

  151. 651
    Inaji

    Yikes. I’ve definitely encountered far more harshness here than I ever have at any conference.

    You may not have noticed, as you don’t seem highly observant, that this is not a conference. Now that’s all cleared up, I have some terrible news: harshness is not the same as being raped. We’re discussing rape. I have no doubt there are plenty of sites which will welcome you with open arms as you whine about the hideous harshness of the Pharyngula commentariat, however, that’s not what’s up for discussion. Please take your whine elsewhere.

  152. 652
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    yes, #647, its totally legit that you are mocking actual women with a pathetic attempt at libel. In one way, I disagree with commenters here, which I will now illustrate: Die in a Fire.

  153. 653
    Jackie

    Beatrice: No, but I think the nastiness in this forum is really not helping. I was so put off by it myself that I was almost ready to dismiss the claims made here because of it.

    Then you are bad at thinking. We can’t help you there.

  154. 654
    Taemon

    Johan Rönnblom, thanks for your reply. I’ve got a lot of thoughts swirling in my head about this but I think this is not the place, do you agree? I think the only thing we can do is try and keep raising awareness in those around us.

  155. 655
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    I was so put off by it myself that I was almost ready to dismiss the claims made here because of it.

    What is with pseudo-skeptics and their inability to derive the truth amid a slurry of “fuck offs”? So much for critical thinking right! If you’re really ready to dismiss the claim then you are giving lie to your impartiality, for if the truth can be so diminished of belief by a “fuck off” then what good is your belief in truth? It sways due to whoever kisses your ass long enough to make an ally of you? Goddamn, who would want an ally like that anyway? Fuck off.

  156. 656
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    They know that the anonymous women may be seeing this thread. They don’t care. They think it is hilarious to parody the rape victims own accounts where they may well read it.

    Exactly. They know what they are doing. Hurting victims, increasing the chilling effect, etc. are all features, not bugs.

  157. 657
    pHred

    Okay, then how about leaving it in it’s glory and adding some nice red trigger warnings ?

  158. 658
    Jackie

    They are trying to frighten victims and their allies into silence.

    Just like they aren’t “socially awkward”; they aren’t “just joking” or “playing devil’s advocate”.

    They know exactly what splash damage they are doing.

  159. 659
    Jackie

    Trigger warnings are a great idea.

    I’m shaking now.

  160. 660
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m inclined to agree with pHred in that the comment from dontblamethevictim should have a trigger warning added.

  161. 661
    brianpansky

    exactly everything in post 659

  162. 662
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    I’m going to third the request for trigger warnings.

  163. 663
    Jackie

    I find humor helps.

  164. 664
    Jackie

    Crap, didn’t mean to embed. Sorry.

  165. 665
    screechymonkey

    scourge99 @622:

    If Schermer is innocent he should sue you for libel. Otherwise i think its a tacit admittal of guilt.

    No, that’s the other side’s game.

    There are lots of good reasons (including expense in time and money, stress, loss of privacy) why people choose not to invoke the legal system (civil or criminal), that have nothing to do with the truth or falsity of their claims.

    Of course, that won’t stop Shermer’s defenders from trotting out the “but why didn’t his accusers sue/call the cops” line without applying the same standard to him.

  166. 666
    ChasCPeterson

    eh, I’m sorry about #636. Stupid questions to ask, for several reasons.

    #624 is ‘pitshit. One of the not-very-smart ones.

  167. 667
    Inaji

    Jackie:

    Trigger warnings are a great idea.

    I’m shaking now.

    Yep, I’m in the corner with you. Nthing the trigger warnings, at the very least. This thread has been difficult enough, especially in light of the plea I made all the way back in what, #82, asking people not to turn this into another “hey, I know better, she should have…” thread. Christ, it’s always a clusterfuck, ennit?

  168. 668
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Chas,

    The first question yes, but I agree with the point of the second.

  169. 669
    Tom Foss

    Let’s note an important distinction between what we’ve gotten so far, and what was shared by Don’t Blame the Victim:
    *The people who warned Jen are anonymous to us, but known and trusted by Jen
    *The person who shared her story with Ed Cara is anonymous to us, but known and trusted by Ed
    *The person who shared her story with PZ is anonymous to us, but known and trusted by PZ

    Don’t Blame the Victim wants to remain anonymous, but posted on PZ’s blog, where he can easily obtain their IP address and e-mail, assuming they used a valid one and didn’t go through a proxy. DBTV claims that the victim whose story they’re sharing wants to remain anonymous for safety reasons, but gives a very detailed account (note that the account relayed by PZ was very vague, since the victim didn’t want to be identifiable through the details).

    DBTV, if you actually want to protect your identity and that of your alleged victim, you’ve done a spectacularly poor job of it.

  170. 670
    scottruplin

    @665 – I’m glad you did! I laughed aloud.

    PZ I think you did the right thing. It’s always complicated but as a therapist who has worked for decades with victims of sexual abuse and assault, the bias in our society is almost always to remain silent. If you trust the woman involved, and I think you do, speaking out was essential.

  171. 671
    Tom Foss

    Well, and, to end my point, DBTV might have talked to someone who knew or trusted them, and told their story to such a person, rather than trying to relay such a story anonymously to people who have no reason to trust them. This is the most significant difference that we can say with some certainty exists between the DBTV story and the ones that have been shared up ’til this point.

    Who can vouch for you, DBTV?

  172. 672
    Pteryxx

    thirded re dontblamethevictim. Trigger warning or rven rot13 or de-voweling, please.

    Of course it was going to be a graphic parody in an attempt to trigger as many of us survivors as possible – and that’s another reason the lack of detail in the accounts of victims who do come forward isn’t cause to impugn their credibility.

  173. 673
    pHred

    Caine,

    At least you have been able to speak up. I .. um .. can’t. But I agree with pretty much everything you have said.

  174. 674
    Rutee Katreya

    I was so put off by it myself that I was almost ready to dismiss the claims made here because of it.

    Nothing but a club of bigfoot debunkers. It can burn for all I care.

  175. 675
    John Phillips, FCD

    To Jane Doe, thank you.

    To PZ, hang tough poopyhead :) and yes, you did the right thing IMO.

    To the hyperskeptics, fuck off and try and grow some empathy.

    To the tone trolls, Johann etc, just fuck off already. For if the tone is more important to you than the content then you’re not really that much better than the hyperskeptics.

  176. 676
    Randomfactor

    I’m seeing the chickenshit’s comment as #625, actually. And if he weren’t a chickenshit, he’d have put his real name on it the way PZ did.

    And nth the call for trigger warning.

  177. 677
    Sastra

    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 think that’s a false dichotomy. And the question sort of answers itself.

    Vigilante justice? I can certainly understand the motivation, but no, I don’t think I would have strung him up thrown the grenade. Not because he’s important, but because public trial by rumor is problematic. Even if he’s guilty.

    Strong case each way, certainly. In my opinion the Right Thing to Do was some other option. What’s done is done, though.

    (Haven’t read most of the comments.)

  178. 678
    Louis

    Throwaway, #455,

    You mean a status-quo update? Pray, tell, what is the quorum for alleged rape having validity?

    I believe one has to have twelve male, property owning witnesses with large beards and good standing in the community.

    Why we aren’t hunting this woman down and stoning her as an adulterer I will never know.

    [/SNARK!!!!]

    ;-)

    Louis

  179. 679
    Rey Fox

    They know that the anonymous women may be seeing this thread. They don’t care. They think it is hilarious to parody the rape victims own accounts where they may well read it.

    They don’t care about making more women safe, or even about the truth of what happened with Mr. Shermer. Surely if he were that innocent, there would be better ways of defending him. No, they just want to muddy the waters of reporting sexual violence, to cast doubt on the entire process. In short, to make women shut up.

    Personally, I think comment #624 should be nuked. If anyone wants to soil their pants about freeze peach and how PZ is covering up some crime or other, then they can bloody well take it to another blog.

  180. 680
    klatu

    Thank you, PZ!

  181. 681
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Thanks, PZ.

    It wasn’t a trigger for me, but if I, having no history of rape, found it nauseating , I can’t imagine how some others felt.

  182. 682
    Jackie

    Tom,
    That and it’s clearly a hack job of a parody done by someone who isn’t very bright.

  183. 683
    Nick Gotts

    dontblamethevictim@624,

    PZ knew, and others have predicted on this thread, that lying scumbags like you would crawl out of the woodwork. See, there’s a bit of a difference here: you’re making your accusation anonymously, risking nothing. PZ is making himself a target for cowards like you, for hostility on the part of individuals and organizations he has previously had good relations with, and possibly a lawsuit.

  184. 684
    screechymonkey

    Interesting that DBTV’s (@625) friend “Clara” provided “testimony” that is copied almost verbatim from this 2008 blog post

  185. 685
    Nick Gotts

    Sorry, 624 should be 625 @684.

  186. 686
    Tom Foss

    Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty:

    That and it’s clearly a hack job of a parody done by someone who isn’t very bright.

    Yes, but I was applying the principle of charity. It’s sooooper important you guys.

  187. 687
    Tom Foss

    Your link’s borked, screechymonkey.

  188. 688
    Inaji

    pHred:

    Caine,

    At least you have been able to speak up. I .. um .. can’t. But I agree with pretty much everything you have said.

    I know there are many people who cannot speak up. For every single one of you, you give the rest of us more reason to raise our voices in fighting the good fight. You provide strength, support and clarity. It was with a breaking heart that I read your account and explanation of how women manage in the academic world. By doing so, you got through to countless people, who are now armed with the correct information to go along with their own experiences, and they can pass that on as they go, helping to make things a little better. It all matters, it really does. I thank you so much for having the courage to come out and explain, it’s never easy.

  189. 689
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Yeah, I skimmed the nasty comment by DBTV, and got winged enough that I’m still not subscribing, because I just don’t need to add triggeredness to my depression. Not now. Maybe another time, but not today.

    But a hearty FUCK YOU to the muckfucking asswipe who dropped that turd in here.

  190. 690
    klatu

    Just want to add that PZ has a sort of “privilege buffer” that allows him to take some of the attacks that would oherwise be directed at Jane Doe. Whatever little misgivings I may ever have had with you, PZ, I think today you have shown what an ally should act like. Privilege can be used for good, if one is aware of it.

  191. 691
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Well, we all know that if you don’t kiss the ass of the person asking questions, no matter how difficult, personal or painful the subject matter may be or no matter how difficult, shitty or nasty the person asking questions may have been the answer doesn’t count.

    After all, what’s important here is their feelings, not yours. There’s no subject more important than their feelings, no response, no reason more important than their feelings.

    You know, I chose to wade into the fray, but it doesn’t stop me from getting 3.5 hours of sleep (like last night, for instance) because I’m too tense to sleep. It doesn’t stop me from feeling incredible despair, from making it harder for me to meet the people I talk to online at conferences and events (as if having Asperger’s didn’t make it hard enough). It doesn’t stop me from being jumpy as shit for days afterward, or trying to avoid thinking about my own experiences WHICH WILL NEVER GO AWAY.

    And it most definitely makes it harder to get along in society. I alternately envy and hate people who can get along with ease–people who don’t have to make calculations for safety, who don’t get triggered because there’s nothing in their experience to remind them that under the veneer of things working just fine and support networks that will totally help you, there’s a nasty, yawning pit chock full of shit like the woman who talked to PZ had to deal with.

    If you’ve managed to make it this far, Anonymous, once again I want you to know I believe you, and I thank you for stepping forward so that other women could be warned.

  192. 692
    badgersdaughter

    http://www.wholefamily.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=2209%3Aacquaintance-rape&tmpl=component&print=1&Itemid=284

    That’s the original text for don’tblamethevictim’s fake “Clara” story.

  193. 693
    screechymonkey

    Tom Foss, thanks.

    Corrected link:

    Interesting that DBTV’s (@625) friend “Clara” provided “testimony” that is copied almost verbatim from this 2008 blog post

  194. 694
    Tom Foss

    That’s the original text for don’tblamethevictim’s fake “Clara” story.

    Ah, wow. Fuck you, DBTV.

  195. 695
    233\/3

    How do we know that PZ hasn’t made all of this up to get page hits? I have yet to see him present any credible evidence for the claims being made here. Let’s show a little skepticism, please?

    - Reeve

  196. 696
    PZ Myers

    He was too lazy or too stupid to even write his own imaginary rape story about me? Now I feel cheap and used. Quality trolls! I DEMAND QUALITY TROLLS!

  197. 697
    Inaji

    Rey:

    If anyone wants to soil their pants about freeze peach

    This reminds me of something I was thinking yesterday, in regard to this thread. It never fails that those who tend to scream “Freeze Peach!!1!” the loudest are always the first to scream “Lies! Witch Hunt! Smear!” when it comes to rape and sexual assault. It seems freeze peach is just dandy unless it’s a woman talking about rape.

  198. 698
    Rey Fox

    Or #625, as the case may be.

  199. 699
    Shari Emerson

    Long time lurker, and if someone else has posted this, I apologise, i was keeping up until the 300′s this am, and from 500+ this afternoon:

    to the idiotic poster dbtv:

    In order for this to be a fabricated attack on Shermer, the victim must actually want to hang PZ out on a limb – and watch it fall. Since he states that she is a longtime friend, and he posted this, he doesn’t have a trust issue with her. He doesn’t believe she would do that to him. That would be her victimizing his integrity while she attacks Shermer. It’s pretty unlikely that anyone would knowingly, seriously do damage to a friend to lie about an enemy.

    Or, if PZ is lying, he’s encouraging backlash, whiplash, professional career damage on his part, for some unknown reason, in making stuff up about Shermer, who is on record from more than one source for acting in sexist and misogynistic ways.

    To simplify – nothing is to be gained for PZ if the victim is lying – and I completely doubt she is. And nothing is gained for PZ if he is lying.

    If someone has already mentioned this point, PZ, please feel free to delete. I really did try to keep up!

  200. 700
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Screechmonkey #685, check your link. I think its borked.

  201. 701
    Nick Gotts

    Don’t Blame the Victim wants to remain anonymous, but posted on PZ’s blog, where he can easily obtain their IP address and e-mail, assuming they used a valid one and didn’t go through a proxy. – Tom Foss

    Throwaway emails are easy to set up, and internet cafes are still common. Also see the link from #693: “Dontblamethevictim” is not just a lying scumbag, but a very stupid lying scumbag.

  202. 702
    seraphymcrash

    See – Don’t Blame the Victim’s post is proof that false rape allegations get made all the time!

    Uh, the ones making false allegations are the same ones defending the rapists.

    Wow, thats a remarkably twisted strategy isn’t it.

  203. 703
    Andy Knight

    As a Scientific American subscriber, I’d hope that the victim would contact Mariette DiChristina. It seems like the Skeptic column could use a new author and would be best served by severing ties with Mr. Shermer.

  204. 704
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    How do we know that PZ hasn’t made all of this up to get page hits?

    Dear sir/madam, PZ M(e)yers’ Foundation thanks you for your contribution.

  205. 705
    I've got the WTF blues

    I’ve been reading this blog for quite a while now – never felt such a strong need to actually comment

    #624 – I’m not sure what your motives were. I don’t really care, either. Mocking a rape scenario that is all too common? Graphic parody? Care to write one about baby rape too? You find this shit amusing? FUCK YOU FOREVER!

    Signed,
    Someone who has experienced sexual assault who thinks your mocking the horror of it means you should FOADIAF

  206. 706
    Nick Gotts

    How do we know that PZ hasn’t made all of this up to get page hits? – RazielWasAlone

    We know he’s not a complete fuckwit, as he would need to be to risk serious personal, professional and legal consequences for a trivial, temporary advantage. But since you clearly are a complete fuckwit, it’s not surprising that hasn’t occurred to you.

  207. 707
    Inaji

    How do we know that PZ hasn’t made all of this up to get page hits?

    Oh FFS. Do every one of you idiots have to do this shit? READ THE THREAD – THIS IS THE 2ND PAGE OF THE THREAD. GO TO THE FIRST PAGE AND START WITH #1.

    I’m sure PZ decided to place himself in a position where he’ll lose gigs and be subjected to abuse because he just never gets any blog hits around here. :eyeroll: Christ, Cupcake, you’d fail skepticism 101.

    I have yet to see him present any credible evidence for the claims being made here.

    Right, because a woman relating her experience being rape is never credible. Yep.

    Let’s show a little skepticism, please?

    I’m perfectly willing to be skeptical about the state of your brain.

  208. 708
    Rey Fox

    I have yet to see him present any credible evidence for the claims being made here.

    What would you consider credible…nah, never mind, you don’t have an answer to that question.

  209. 709
    Jackie

    seraphymcrash,

    It’s only twisted if you think their goal has anything to do with justice.

  210. 710
    Martin Wagner

    The post at 624 comes as no surprise. No names, but other FTB bloggers have been getting similar accusations via email. I see a campaign to retaliate against and discredit the whole network in play here.

    What’s vile and pernicious is that people like DBTV know they’re lying, but what they prefer is for the prevailing climate in the world at large to be one in which no actual victim of sex crimes can ever feel safe enough to come forward and be believed. Rapists and rape enablers know — and love — the fact that rape is a crime where victim-blaming is the norm, not the exception.

    If you report that someone smashed the window of your car and tried to boost it, the default response you’d get would almost certainly, universally, be sympathy and anger towards the perp. But if a woman reports she was sexually violated in any way, the default response from far too large a percentage of people who hear her will be doubt, denial, shifting of blame (you were drunk, you led him on with your push-up bra), and worst of all, a whole second round of sexual abuse and threats for having the gall to make the charge at all.

    So if someone tells you rape and sexual harassment should be treated like “just any other crime,” odds are very good they’re a hypocritical d-bag, because they don’t do that themselves. Case in point: If it’s discovered that the fellow claiming his car was nearly boosted is later found to have done the deed himself, perhaps to cheat his insurance company, everyone who initially sympathized with him will think he’s a major dickbag. But what they won’t likely do is think that every person they hear, for the rest of their lives, who reports an attempted grand theft auto is lying and trying to run an insurance scam.

    In short, it will not be a surprise to see more accusations against PZ and others associated with this network start making the rounds in the wake of all this. By retaliating against credible claims with made-up ones, people like DBTV hope to make the world a great place to be a rapist.

  211. 711
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, Dontblamethevictim used a throwaway from a service I’ve now banned.

  212. 712
    changerofbits

    Hrm, let’s use the Baloney Detection Kit!

    http://homepages.wmich.edu/~korista/baloney.html

    1. How reliable is the source of the claim?

    I don’t know the source, so it’s really hard for us to say. PZ says that the source is vouched for, so it seems likely that the claim is from a real person. We’re left with PZ’s word on this, and given the legal repercussions of using his blog to accuse a high profile skeptic of a felony, I think PZ is likely being honest.

    2. Does this source often make similar claims?

    Again, I don’t know the source. Moving this back up to PZ’s level, this is a unique occurrence.

    3. Have the claims been verified by another source?

    Given the situation, the only other source that can verify is Shermer. Verification would come through other people claiming the same pattern of assault.

    4. How does the claim fit with what we know about how the world works?

    It fits right in there, not extraordinary at all.

    5. Has anyone gone out of the way to disprove the claim, or has only supportive evidence been sought?

    Again, this is tough given the specific situation. At this point, we really only have supporting evidence. If the situation is known, Shermer could provide an alibi or other evidence that would refute the claim.

    6. Does the preponderance of evidence point to the claimant’s conclusion or to a different one?

    Again, the situation makes this tough. The only evidence is the claim. If other, similar credible claims arise, then that would bolster this claim.

    7. Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and tools of research, or have these been abandoned in favor of others that lead to the desired conclusion?

    The claimant experienced the claim and it would be extraordinary for someone to try to reach a conclusion of rape. I also doubt that PZ is looking for posting accusations of rape as a desired conclusion.

    8. Is the claimant providing an explanation for the observed phenomena or merely denying the existing explanation?

    The explanation of the phenomena isn’t being questioned. At PZ’s level, this fits into the existing explanations for the phenomena of rape.

    9. If the claimant proffers a new explanation, does it account for as many phenomena as the old explanation did?

    Same as above, the phenomena of rape is established and this claim fit into that phenomena.

    10. Do the claimant’s personal beliefs and biases drive the conclusions, or vice versa?

    For the person with the claim, we don’t know. It would be extraordinary if it was. At PZ’s level, there is bias supporting political/cultural fight against rape culture (I share this). This claim fit’s into that overall issue. But, there is no evidence that there’s a general witch hunt that is out to get Shermer. I think PZ’s bias would be for this to just not be true, given Shermer’s contributions to science, reason and skepticism.

    Conclusion:

    The anonymous source is obviously an issue, and PZ clearly covers this in the OP. The claim is not extraordinary and there is no other explanation for it that isn’t many orders of magnitude more extraordinary than the claim itself. I hope it’s not true and there is some other explanation, but all the hoping in the world isn’t going to stop rape and I’d rather be rational than a rape denying conspiracy nut.

    Anonymous victim, you have my sympathy and I hope revealing this does at least spare someone the horror you have lived through.

  213. 713
    klatu

    @badgersdaughter
    Man, that’s just fucking low. If that account is genuine* then these fucking trolls have appropriated someone’s traumatic experience for their own petty retaliation against… what exactly? Does it even matter? It’s dehumanizing and simply confirms what many here have already said: This was meant to trigger someone.
    Fucking disgusting. …But thanks for the link, anyway.

    * it may well be. I have no idea what that site is about. In which case my @641 was in bad taste and I apologize.

  214. 714
    Inaji

    Screechymonkey:

    Interesting that DBTV’s (@625) friend “Clara” provided “testimony” that is copied almost verbatim from this 2008 blog post

    Lovely. Using a victim’s account of a rape as the basis for a lie. Way to victimize her all over again.

  215. 715
    I've got the WTF blues

    correction- #625

    I’d blame the nausea and shaking hands but it was really just a careless error

  216. 716
    skeptifem

    I do not usually advise telling the police, but if this victim can contact the other 5 women and come forward at once he is screwed. It is easy to shame and silence one women, even two, but 6? He should pay for this shit. It doesn’t matter if it was years ago. The statute of limitations for this kind of thing stretches pretty far.

    PZ please please please share this as a possibility with the victim. This will keep going on until something is done.

    A political big wig in utah did the same shit- serial raped women and after enough of them got together to report it something happened. I think three came forward initially, and then it was five or six after awhile because they got inspired by the original person coming forward. I didn’t think it would, and there wasn’t any physical evidence left over. When instead of he said vs. she said its he said vs THEY ALL SAID its pretty fucking hard to get around. If nothing else he will never do this again because of the sheer fear a legal issue like this can strike in the heart of a man.

  217. 717
    seraphymcrash

    Jackie -

    I know what their tactics and goals are: muddying the waters and poisoning the well to perpuate the sick culture that allows this sort of travesty to continue.

    I’m sure you do too… It’s pretty blunt and poorly executed. I truly hope that one day they become aware of the terrible harm they helped perpetuate.

  218. 718
    nonzero

    Based on PZ putting himself on the line and his trust in this woman, I believe the story that something did happen that made her feel victimized. And, seeing that five other women at least (that we know of) have similar experiences, I can believe that Shermer is a repeat offender. However, what exactly is the offense in question? From the limited information, alcohol was involved and the accuser says she was put into a situation where she could not consent to having sex but still did. I don’t know what this means. Did Shermer take advantage of her while she was in a drunken stupor or passed out? Then that is rape. Did Shermer ignore her statements of ‘no’ or ‘get off’ or similar protests, even if non-vocal attempts at pushing him back? Then that is rape. However, if it was just that she was too inebriated to think things through and did things she wouldn’t have done sober or otherwise, then is that still rape? That isn’t a rhetorical question, I’d like to know your thoughts for my own edification. The accuser, herself, used the word rape so I’m guessing she meant it was some variation of the first two scenarios and not the last one. If it is the last scenario, and Shermer didn’t spike her drink, is that still rape, at worst Shermer would be seen as serially exploiting his status and being generally sleazy in those situations, but rape? I’m not defending him, I’m not denying it didn’t happen, and I’m definitely not blaming the victim. I have a lot of compassion and respect for women who have to deal with not only sexual assault but also the lack of recourse within an inefficient judicial system, what I am, however, is just confused. Any help educating a naive but sincere male would be appreciated.

  219. 719
    Inaji

    Martin Wagner:

    people like DBTV hope to make the world a great place to be a rapist.

    The world is already a great place to be a rapist. That’s why we cannot afford to be silent in the face of rape culture.

  220. 720
    setec

    I’m surprised after this much debate I haven’t seen more requests for clarifying the accusation. Is the victim saying Shermer tampered with her drink somehow, or just that he encouraged her to get herself really drunk and then took advantage of her lowered inhibitions? When she says she was “not able to consent,” does that mean she was unconscious, or does it mean she was too intoxicated for informed consent?

    These distinctions really make a huge difference — they tell us whether Sherman being a manipulative douchebag or a criminal rapist. If he tampered with her drink, or if she was unconscious, or if she tried to physically resist and wasn’t able to, he’s a criminal who deserves jail time. But if she got drunk of her own accord (including as a result of verbal peer pressure) and then willfully (albeit with impaired judgment) had sex she later regretted after sobering up… well, that’s something people of all genders and orientations have been doing since the dawn of time, or at least the dawn of alcohol, and both parties would bear some responsibility if that were the case.

    I’m not saying it’s one or the other, or that I don’t believe the accuser… I just think when a bomb this big is dropped the accuser should be precise about the elements of the crime that determine its severity, and could do so while preserving anonymity. I don’t think it’s too much to ask in this case for a clarification of what was meant by “unable to consent.”

  221. 721
    daniellavine

    dontblamethevictim@648:

    Hey, guys, comment 624 it legit. Just because I don’t have the same kind of power and I’m not a man it doesn’t mean there are victims suffering. We are just outraged that he is playing the protector of victims here when he is as scummy as Shermer or worse.

    PZ put his own name on the line to post the account in the OP with the intention of protecting people from sexual predators. It’s PZ’s credibility that puts authority behind the claim that the anonymous account is from a trustworthy source. After all, PZ could have just deleted the email instead of writing the OP and thereby avoided accusations like yours.

    I’m sure you think there’s some kind of equivalence between your accusation and the one relayed by PZ but the fact that PZ personally vouched for the provenance of the account in the OP while you anonymously posted yours makes a big difference. Are you willing to put your own reputation on the line and expose yourself to the sorts of criticism PZ has for the sake of vouching for this accusation you’re making?

    Unless and until you do your account lacks credibility in a way that the account in the OP does not.

  222. 722
    microraptor

    However, if it was just that she was too inebriated to think things through and did things she wouldn’t have done sober or otherwise, then is that still rape?

    YES!!!

  223. 723
    skeptifem

    also if they need support from someone who has reported their rape to the police before they can email me. im skeptifemblog at gmail. RAINN also has resources and help if she wants to do it anonymously. But seriously, six women… this is what fucks rapists, they can explain away one or two things but not a pattern of behavior. there is just no credible way to denounce so many accounts.

  224. 724
    badgersdaughter

    I don’t see why the original account I linked to wasn’t genuine, except that there is one earlier hit on Google for the same text I searched, triggerwarning “It hurt. He was heavy and smelled like beer”. There are only a few hits on that phrase. I decided to Google it because it sounded fake. I may not be well-known myself but I’ve been an Internet user since before there even was an Internet (no, really, it’s not important but I was on a 300 baud modem) and I have learned to recognize certain patterns as, well, in need of closer examination.

  225. 725
    Rutee Katreya

    He was too lazy or too stupid to even write his own imaginary rape story about me? Now I feel cheap and used. Quality trolls! I DEMAND QUALITY TROLLS!

    This blog deserves a better class of troll. And I’m going to give it to them.

  226. 726
    John Phillips, FCD

    Beatrice #705, ROTFLMAO, I needed a good laugh so thanks.

  227. 727
    Shari Emerson

    Nonzero, this was covered above. Someone way above asked, and got it spelled out. Then someone else did too, I think.

    Read up.

    As many details as were comfortably shared were shared. You need more details…..for……?

  228. 728
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    How do we know that PZ hasn’t made all of this up to get page hits? I have yet to see him present any credible evidence for the claims being made here. Let’s show a little skepticism, please?

    Bitches always lie. Skepticism means doubting everything women say, but taking a man’s word as gospel. Because men never, ever lie.

    P.S. Go fuck yourself.

  229. 729
    Nick Gotts

    I’m not saying [snip] that I don’t believe the accuser – setec

    Yes, you are, because the accuser says it was rape.

  230. 730
    klatu

    she was put into a situation where she could not consent to having sex but still did. I don’t know what this means.

    Rape. It means rape.

  231. 731
    skeptifem

    But if she got drunk of her own accord (including as a result of verbal peer pressure) and then willfully (albeit with impaired judgment) had sex she later regretted after sobering up… well, that’s something people of all genders and orientations have been doing since the dawn of time, or at least the dawn of alcohol, and both parties would bear some responsibility if that were the case.

    yeah exactly because when a drunk driver hits a drunk person on the road and kills them we all say “well they shouldn’t have been drunk and walking down the street, they share part of the responsibility”, right?

    oh wait, no one says that, because its fucking stupid. Nothing about her being drunk (IF THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED, we don’t know) makes her less raped than a sober woman. Shermer is probably like the serial rapists discussed in this series:

    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    The vast majority of the offenses are being committed by a relatively small group of men, somewhere between 4% and 8% of the population, who do it again … and again … and again. That just doesn’t square with the notion of innocent mistake. Further, since the repeaters are also responsible for a hugely disproportionate share of the intimate partner violence, child beating and child sexual abuse, the notion that these predators are somehow confused good guys does not square with the data.

  232. 732
    helenaconstantine

    A few months ago, Shermer said something that upset Watson, causing Myer to attack Shermer on this blog. Does anyone have any evidence that Myer hasn’t fabricated this new story to further his attack on Shermer? I’m not saying he has, but there appears no logical reason to not prefer that explanation to simply accepting anonymous hearsay as true.

    If Shermer actually raped this mystery woman, why didn’t she go to the police at the time? The fact that there are 5 further cases of anonymous hearsay cited,and some people have cited hearing rumors about Shermer as evidence, is actually evidence that the whole thing is fabricated, not the opposite.

  233. 733
    Inaji

    nonzero:

    However, if it was just that she was too inebriated to think things through and did things she wouldn’t have done sober or otherwise, then is that still rape?

    You know, people around here get pretty damn tired of all the people who play the “what about X situation, is that rape?” game.

    To answer your question, yes, that is rape. For Christ’s sake, think. In another thread, someone linked a post by a man who had a “joke” directed at him, to the effect that he should visit, so he and his friends could get him drunk (or slip something into his drink) and gang rape him. Think about that for a second: If someone got you drunk, then decided to fuck you, how would you be feeling about it? Hmm?

    Here’s the bottom line: Enthusiastic Consent. That means someone who is in a condition to think clearly and make the decision that yes, they are enthusiastically consenting to have sex. Anything else, keep your hands and other bits to yourself.

  234. 734
    badgersdaughter

    I should clarify my post above. I don’t mean the phrase sounded fake. I meant dbtv’s post sounded like a real but incomplete story with stuff switched in it, which proved to be the case.

  235. 735
    Johan Rönnblom

    Illuminata:

    So, the truth of a woman’s claims is based solely on how nice completely different people are to you?

    Not at all. But there is only so much nastiness I’m willing to wade through in order to find something of substance.

    I find this place disgusting. The nastiness, the pettiness, the bullying, the groupthink, the willingness to immediately attack anyone who only agrees with 99% of their points. The moderators are obviously not doing their job. I really don’t see why that Thunderfoot person was banned from this blog, since he seemed to share exactly the values that rule here.

    However, if there is one thing I find even more disgusting, it is people who systematically rape people at conferences. I wish there was a nicer and more rational place to discuss that, but for now I will stay here. But not longer than I have to.

  236. 736
    Jackie

    setec,
    If you’ll look in the comment thread above, you’ll see that you’ve been preemptively encouraged to fuck right off, by several people. Please do so immediately.

  237. 737
    badgersdaughter

    helenaconstantine was leaving, but can’t seem to find the door. Would one of you good people please help?

  238. 738
    Inaji

    helenaconstantine, I thought you said you done with this blog. Do the right thing, stick to your word. Your idiocy has been addressed already, over and over. Read the thread, oh fuckwitted one.

  239. 739
    klatu

    I’m not saying it’s one or the other, or that I don’t believe the accuser… I just think when a bomb this big is dropped the accuser should be precise about the elements of the crime that determine its severity, and could do so while preserving anonymity

    READ THE FUCKING OP, DIPSTICK!

    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.

  240. 740
    skeptifem

    If Shermer actually raped this mystery woman, why didn’t she go to the police at the time?

    google “#ididnotreport. seriously. there are a million reasons not to report a rape, and cops almost universally do not believe victims of rape when they come forward.

    I was treated like shit by the police when I reported, and they didn’t even investigate properly. What do you do then? Unless you have a lot of money to hire an attorney you don’t get another shot at justice. She didn’t know there were 5 other victims when it happened so why would she figure the police would give a shit?

  241. 741
    Inaji

    Let me be clear: Clara exists.

    Yes, we know idiot. Someone has already linked to the woman whose story you ripped off.

  242. 742
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Johan Rönnblom

    But not longer than I have to.

    Oh, you don’t have to… really. I’m sure we’ll manage without your thoughtful contributions. Somehow, we’ll pull through.

    —–
    FUCKING IDIOTS,
    Yes, you know who you are. Please read the thread before posting shit we’ve read at least a dozen times already.
    Thank you very much.

  243. 743
    pHred

    @ Caine

    Thanks. That was tough, but I am glad that it seems to have done some good.

  244. 744
    brianpansky

    “she was put into a situation where she could not consent to having sex but still did. I don’t know what this means.”

    it means it was rape.

    and it wasn’t “SHE still did”, it was “HE still did” (“then had sex with me” in PZ’s post) put the fucking responsibility where it belongs.

  245. 745
    Jackie

    skeptknight,
    Hurt feelings?
    Fuck you, you lying sack of shit.

  246. 746
    Inaji

    Johan:

    I find this place disgusting. The nastiness, the pettiness, the bullying, the groupthink, the willingness to immediately attack anyone who only agrees with 99% of their points. The moderators are obviously not doing their job.

    Then go away. There are no moderators here. If there were, your whining would have been cut off ages ago.

  247. 747
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    If only skeptknight cared enough about the plight of the woman who’s story he has ripped off.

  248. 748
    233\/3

    I think that the alleged victim should go to the police. From there Mr Shermer would be taken to court, the evidence would be presented and a jury would decide whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

    As it stands, since all we have is PZ’s blog post, it reasonable to doubt the claims being made and we should assume Mr Shermer is innocent until proven guilty. There’s nothing in particular about claims of sexual assault being made that warrants skepticism, it is simply that one ought to be skeptical of any claim that is made which is not backed up by evidence.

  249. 749
    daniellavine

    helenaconstantine@733:

    A few months ago, Shermer said something that upset Watson, causing Myer to attack Shermer on this blog. Does anyone have any evidence that Myer hasn’t fabricated this new story to further his attack on Shermer? I’m not saying he has, but there appears no logical reason to not prefer that explanation to simply accepting anonymous hearsay as true.

    This would be an example of conspiracy theory thinking. There’s no reason to believe that Myers would gin up a completely fraudulent accusation of rape against Shermer as a petty sort of “revenge” over a completely unrelated manner. I highly suspect you’re using the term “attack” here in a hyperbolic manner to try to use emotion to buttress your case. I can see why. It’s an incredibly weak case.

    Here’s the logical reason: Occam’s razor. The explanation that Shermer actually has committed rape and that a victim relayed an account to PZ asking him to publicize is simply a more parsimonious explanation for this than is your conspiracy theory. There’s also the fact that PZ is exposing himself to a lot of hate and other negative consequences for doing this. I find it unlikely he would do so over some stupid blog drama.

    If Shermer actually raped this mystery woman, why didn’t she go to the police at the time?

    From the OP:

    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.

    There’s also the many arguments brought to bear on this question by survivors of rape and sexual assault in this thread: police often doubt the story, try to get victims to drop charges, very few rape cases actually go to trial, and trials are a bad scene for victims as they are subjected to rough treatment by defense attorneys on top of the trauma they’ve already suffered. There’s also the fact that victims who do go to the police are perversely subjected to a great deal of doubt, hatred, and outright abuse as demonstrated by the Steubenville case.

    The fact that there are 5 further cases of anonymous hearsay cited,and some people have cited hearing rumors about Shermer as evidence, is actually evidence that the whole thing is fabricated, not the opposite.

    It’s actually not.

  250. 750
    Denverly

    I don’t think it’s too much to ask in this case for a clarification of what was meant by “unable to consent.”

    Dude. The fuck is this. Unable to consent, not possible to give permission, not coherent to permit, not conscious to allow, not sound to acquiesce, incapable of agreement, powerless to be non-compliant, helpless to dissent, impotent to sanction, take your goddamn fucking pick of any of the above.

  251. 751
    Maureen Brian

    nonzero @ 719 and setec @ 721,

    Stop it, both of you. Just just make yourselves sound ignorant and ill-informed. You also look like a pair of prats trying to split the hairs on the head of a bald person.

    Wherever you live, go and look up the definitions of rape in your jurisdiction. You will very likely find that the key factor in the definition is sex without consent. That’s willingly given consent – not assumed consent or coerced consent.

    You will also note that the law does not recognise “nearly-but-not-quite rape” or “extraordinarily bad behaviour indistinguishable from rape but really not rape because I’m famous” – it is either rape or it is not.

    To avoid continuing to look like a pair of idiots you could, of course, inform yourselves by reading the OP and the whole thread.

  252. 752
    badgersdaughter

    dbtv/skeptknight: It wasn’t necessary to lie in your very first post. You have proven yourself a liar. Your credibility is shot. You could now tell us that the sun is out on a clear, bright day at noon and we would have to look at the sky before we believed you. Go away.

  253. 753
    klatu

    @skeptifem

    Nothing about her being drunk [...] makes her less raped than a sober woman.

    I’ve never seen it put this clearly and succinctly before. If this doesn’t drive the point home, nothing will. Kudos.

  254. 754
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Thanks to those of you able to fight the good fight, but I think I’m pretty much triggered out of this one.

    Thanks again to PZ for believing and posting. And a seriously raging fuck you to the slymey arselickers who are trying SO FUCKING HARD to preserve a rape culture they swear doesn’t exist.

  255. 755
    Johan Rönnblom

    setec: I agree with you. If there are really six women who consider themselves raped, then I don’t really care how drunk someone was or how much consent they theoretically may have given. You don’t make that ‘mistake’ six times. So if someone could confirm that these women exist and we could get (anyonymous) testimony from some of them, that would make a huge difference for me.

    But the detail of the story also matters because that makes it possible to judge the credibility of the story. Case in point is the ridiculous story about PZ above. You didn’t have to google the source for that one to dismiss it right away as completely made up (though I’m glad someone did!).

    Moreover, if we got to know a bit more about what Shermer is supposed to have done, it could actually be helpful for women trying to avoid getting raped by him in the future.

  256. 756
    microraptor

    Moreover, if we got to know a bit more about what Shermer is supposed to have done, it could actually be helpful for women trying to avoid getting raped by him in the future.

    Bull. Fucking. Shit.

  257. 757
    daniellavine

    skeptnight@739:

    Well put your real name behind the accusation as PZ has done and I will determine for myself whether I find your say-so as good as PZ’s. Though probably not since you’ve already been caught in a lie.

  258. 758
    badgersdaughter

    Johan: Women don’t have to avoid being raped. Rape is not a natural disaster. Rapists need to stop raping.

  259. 759
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Posting a horrifically triggering story, that you plagiarized wholesale and presented as fact is about as morally bankrupt as it’s possible to get. Oh, wait, you actually outdid yourself, it was the story of a real woman.

    What the FUCK gives you the right to co-opt that story for your own agenda?!

    /aside, it’s just sad that you can’t even spell Myers’ name consistently or correctly.

  260. 760
    Shari Emerson

    757 – why do women have to AVOID GETTING ASSAULTED? Doesn’t he have to AVOID ASSAULTING PEAOPLE!?

  261. 761
    Shari Emerson

    oh, BadgersDaughter -you got there first. I’ll let you handle it – you do the no caps thing better than I :-)

  262. 762
    Inaji

    setec:

    These distinctions really make a huge difference — they tell us whether Sherman being a manipulative douchebag or a criminal rapist.

    No, those distinctions do not make a huge difference. They make no difference at all. A rape is a rape. Everything you wrote is the voice of rape culture, telling you that nah, it wasn’t really rape, I mean, she was drinking, man! If she didn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t have been drinking. If she didn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t have been alone with him. If she didn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t have been dressed that way. If she didn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t have been flirting with him, man! It goes on and on forever.

    As for your “criminal rapist”, stuff it, Cupcake. All people who rape are committing a criminal act. They just haven’t been caught and convicted. Why are so many rapists walking about not caught and not convicted? Because of people like yourself. You enable the culture they swim in.

  263. 763
    John Phillips, FCD

    Johan the tone troll maroon, all women need know is that Shermer is best avoided, full stop.

  264. 764
    Denverly

    As it stands, since all we have is PZ’s blog post, it reasonable to doubt the claims being made and we should assume Mr Shermer is innocent until proven guilty.

    No, he’s presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. How about this, George Zimmerman was found not guilty in a court of law. So obviously he was innocent, right? Everyone just sighed and said “well, that’s done, glad to know that he’s not guilty, now I can go on with my life knowing that the justice system works,” right?

  265. 765
    Jackie

    “Who consider themselves raped”

    No evidence = 5 women’s word

    GTFO you prattling misogynists.

  266. 766
    LykeX

    @setec

    But if she got drunk of her own accord (including as a result of verbal peer pressure) and then willfully (albeit with impaired judgment) had sex she later regretted after sobering up…

    You may not intend it, but you’re actually casting doubt on her honesty. Stop it.

    @helenaconstantine

    …there appears no logical reason to not prefer that explanation to simply accepting anonymous hearsay as true.

    Aside from all known facts. You’re proposing that PZ is making up a rape accusation, exposing himself to law suits and charges that could potentially have severe career consequences, for the same of an internet argument?
    Not only that, you’re saying that this explanation is more likely than the almost ridiculously common occurrence of a man in power using his position to sexually abuse someone?

    The rest of your bullshit has also already been addressed in this thread. I guess you didn’t bother reading it. I admit it’s long, but when you’re effectively accusing people of criminal behavior, maybe you should at least read what they’re actually saying first.

    Of course, all that is under the assumption that you’re a decent person and you’re not, are you? No, you’re a smelly, little shit stain. You’ve come here with your dudebro friends to have some fun harassing rape victims. That’s always good for a laugh, isn’t it?

    Fuck, you people make me sick. I am entirely fucking out of good will. Holy crap, we need to clean house. It’s starting to stink in here.

  267. 767
    daniellavine

    Raziel WasAlone@750:

    think that the alleged victim should go to the police. From there Mr Shermer would be taken to court, the evidence would be presented and a jury would decide whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

    Reasons why victims of rape and sexual assault often do not go to the police have been explained at great length. If you’re not willing to discuss those then you’re failing to contribute to the discussion and I’d ask you to please stop posting until you are willing to engage with the arguments already made.

    As it stands, since all we have is PZ’s blog post, it reasonable to doubt the claims being made and we should assume Mr Shermer is innocent until proven guilty.

    “Innocence until proven guilty” is standard in a court of law. This is not a court of law. I can easily point to the OJ Simpson trial as an example where “innocence until proven guilty” applied in the courtroom but not to public opinion.

    Yes, this all hinges on the credibility of PZ Myers. If you don’t find PZ Myers to be credible then feel free to remain skeptical. Also feel free to bloviate about it elsewhere.

    There’s nothing in particular about claims of sexual assault being made that warrants skepticism, it is simply that one ought to be skeptical of any claim that is made which is not backed up by evidence.

    If someone I know and trust confides in me that she was sexually assaulted I don’t demand evidence before I believe her. Think honestly about how you would react if a close friend came to you with such a revelation. Would you really demand evidence? I doubt it, but if you would that would make you a terrible friend and a terrible human being.

  268. 768
    John Phillips, FCD

    skepnight, then give us your meat space name so we can determine whether you’re a person to be trusted or not. Though the signs aren’t in your favour so far.

  269. 769
    badgersdaughter

    Well, dbtv/skeptknight, you have just rendered yourself worse than no help. If you are really interested in helping the person whose existence you have rendered doubtful by your lies, then you will bow out gracefully.

  270. 770
    skeptifem

    I’ve never seen it put this clearly and succinctly before. If this doesn’t drive the point home, nothing will. Kudos.

    hey thanks. I came up with it when I was arguing about alcohol and consent at the jref forum. Whenever someone else is wronged when drunk no one goes “WELL, they were drunk, so…”.

    Anyway, heres the clue a lot of dudebros in the thread need: if society thinks drunk women are ok to rape, then rapists will pick out drunk women because they want to get away with it. If we, as a society decide that NO ONE is responsible for rape except for rapists then it will be much harder for rapists to find acceptable victims. It seems like you idiots can’t come up with a solution besides policing what women do- we shouldn’t go out at night or drink or wear anything except a burqa and we shouldn’t flirt with a dude in public unless we are ok with sex. Its crap. These pieces of shit serial rapists need to own up to their behavior. If you keep looking for excuses for why something isn’t rape then you are helping out guys who aren’t mistaken about consent, they aren’t like you, they actively want to rape women and get away with it. LOOK AT THE RESEARCH on the yes means yes post I linked to.

  271. 771
    brianpansky

    @765 skeptknight

    “You gotta say thanks to your blind faith in a rapist like Myers.”

    blind faith? you are the one who killed your own trustworthiness. your continued attempts are not convincing.

  272. 772
    Inaji

    Johan:

    Moreover, if we got to know a bit more about what Shermer is supposed to have done, it could actually be helpful for women trying to avoid getting raped by him in the future.

    Here’s a little protip for you: wanting the details of a person’s rape makes you look like a skeevy, douchebag creep. The details are not necessary, and no one who has been raped should be required to give you all the details.

    It should not be up to women to avoid rape, you fuckwitted asshole. It’s up to men not to rape. Ever hear of the ‘Don’t Be That Guy’ campaign in Canada? Look it up. That campaign aggressively addressed men who would rape. Know what? IT WORKED.

  273. 773
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    skeptknight:

    Myers is lucky they are too afreid to step up.

    Really, he’s lucky the only evidence presented turned out to be a complete fabrication, stolen callously from a real incident, and presented by someone cowardly hiding behind anonymity. (That’d be you, Sweet Pea.)

    It only takes one incident to ruin your reputation, and you managed to completely savage what little reputation you’d get by default as a first-time poster.

  274. 774
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    You are not funny, skeptknight. Nor are you truthful.

    If you had any integrity, you would not post here again.

    Go back to the ‘pit. They will praise you for your #bravehero actions.

  275. 775
    233\/3

    So, just to clarify: Who here actually believes that Michael Shermer sexually assaulted someone? And why do you believe that?

    Also: How do we know that PZ Myers hasn’t been duped into believing a made-up story?

  276. 776
    changerofbits

    skeptknight, your troll is showing… At least Johan seems legitimately ignorant.

  277. 777
    klatu

    @Johan Rönnblom

    So if someone could confirm that these women exist and we could get (anyonymous) testimony from some of them, that would make a huge difference for me.

    This. Is. Not. About. You.

    women trying to avoid getting raped

    The only thing present in every single rape… is a rapist. Logic fucking dictates that there must be no rapist in order for there to be no rape. Simple solution: Don’t rape!

  278. 778
    Kim W.

    “Let me be clear: Clara exists. She wouldn’t tell me details of her rape story with Mr. Meyers, so I used another story for illustration purposes.”

    P.Z. Meyers didn’t steal another blogs’ words ‘for illustration purposes’. Why did you have such little faith in “Clara’s” story that you felt you had to punch it up a bit?

    “I am helping them. And your hostility is not helping at all to create a safe environment for them to come out and denounce the injustice they have victim of.”

    The only hostility I see here is towards the people who make trumped-up accusations, filled with material they’ve stolen from another web site, because they’re trying to prove some kind of misguided point about “blind faith”.

    Oh, and to everyone else who says that they would need more “evidence” in order to believe Meyers’ friend’s story: In a court of law, personal testimony is evidence.

    (And before you say something about that, skepticknight – a court of law does not count “something stolen from someone else’s web site” as being “personal testimony”.)

  279. 779
    daniellavine

    skeptnight@765:

    You gotta say thanks to your blind faith in a rapist like Myers.

    I don’t have “blind faith” in Myers. I consider him credible as a result of my pre-existing knowledge of him.

    I don’t have any pre-existing knowledge of you so to believe your fairy tale I would, indeed, need to indulge in blind faith.

    I’ve already invited you to do so but here it is again: will you put your real name and real-world credibility on the line to protect people from Myers the why Myers has put his credibility on the line to protect people from Shermer?

    Didn’t think so.

  280. 780
    Inaji

    I think that the alleged victim should go to the police.

    If you can manage to pull your head out of your ass long enough, locate post #82 and read it. Then, since you’ll be on page one of this thread: READ THE WHOLE THREAD YOU IDIOT, STARTING WITH #1.

  281. 781
    Rey Fox

    A few months ago, Shermer said something that upset Watson, causing Myer to attack Shermer on this blog. Does anyone have any evidence that Myer hasn’t fabricated this new story to further his attack on Shermer?

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all week. Granted, that statement doesn’t count as evidence, but see daniellavine’s reply #751 because he’s a lot more patient than I could be.

    Regarding Raziel: Looks like I called it at #709. They always go on about needing more evidence, but they never say what that evidence might be. But no worries, just send the matter to court, problem solved, la de da.

  282. 782
    brianpansky

    @779 skeptknight

    “This not a fucking court of law. I’m talking about 3 women raped by Myers. Stop blaming the victim for god sake!”

    apparently we need to stop detecting misogynist trolls too. because that helps victims soooooo much./sarcasm

    you are a transparent troll.

  283. 783
    badgersdaughter

    Perhaps dbtv/skeptknight could demonstrate to us how the actions of theirs that we’ve seen in this thread so far are qualitatively different from those of a stupid fabricator trying to ineptly deflect attention from the original topic onto the person making the issue public.

  284. 784
    Inaji

    Who here actually believes that Michael Shermer sexually assaulted someone?

    I do.

    And why do you believe that?

    Because women have told of their experience. Because the price of coming out is very high. Because there are years worth of women warning other women about Shermer.

    One more time, you dull, broken crayon: READ THE WHOLE THREAD.

  285. 785
    daniellavine

    Raziel WasAlone@778:

    So, just to clarify: Who here actually believes that Michael Shermer sexually assaulted someone? And why do you believe that?

    I do. I believe it on the basis of the fact that PZ Myers has staked his credibility in vouching for one first-hand account and that this is corroborated by other people I trust mentioning that Shermer has a pre-existing reputation for this sort of thing. (As well as my background knowledge about the fact that often rapists are well-known to victims and their friends but the knowledge is shared quietly in back-circles to avoid subjecting victims to abuse from doubters.)

    Also: How do we know that PZ Myers hasn’t been duped into believing a made-up story?

    We don’t. He might have been. PZ Myers vouches for the trustworthiness of the person giving the account, that’s all we have to go by. It comes down to how likely it is you think PZ Myers would stake his credibility by vouching for the story of someone who was likely to “dupe” him.

  286. 786
    Raging Bee

    We are just outraged that he is playing the protector of victims here…

    Why would someone be “outraged” by an attempt to protect victims? Since when was that wrong?

    …when he is as scummy as Shermer or worse.

    What did PZ do to make him “scummy?” Even without this latest reported incident, Shermer came off as a rather dishonest and cowardly guy.

  287. 787
    crumbumcorvette

    Ugh PZ you are an unscrupulous fuck. Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I guess the possible victim of this possible crime can say goodbye to whatever justice they were ever going to get and also MS has no chance to prove if hes innocent now because PZ needed to get more views on his stupid fuck blog. I guess i should expect this level of bullshit from a hypocrite who makes a rape joke (while his stupid sycophants laugh) and deplores rape jokes from other people (while his stupid sycophants praise him). Fuck you PZ and your dumb fuck followers. I guess its time to block me because we all know how cowards are able to take dissenting views!

  288. 788
    Jackie

    Sleptknight,

    Do you think you seem clever or at all anything approaching credible?

    You are transparent. Dig a little deeper if you think that’s a good idea.

    Just do it somewhere else.

    You’ve been told that you are triggering real people who have had real traumas and that they and others here want it to stop. You are continuing against their wishes. That alone tells us all we need to know about your sincerity.

    Seriously, go away. This isn’t funny.

  289. 789
    nerok

    @773 skeptifem

    Whenever someone else is wronged when drunk no one goes “WELL, they were drunk, so…”.

    While I agree being drunk is irrelevant to being raped, I disagree with this. In fact, I hear this all the time. Especially when it comes to fights, and that includes the response from the cops. Two idiots slugging away while drunk will receive another treatment than if they were sober. That goes for more one sided suckerpunches too. (As in “well, they were drunk, forgive and forget” / “it’s to be expected”)
    And I’ve gotten the comment “were you drunk” in response to someone picking my pocket as well. (As in “why didn’t you notice it”).

    And let’s not even start with how people treat anyone “on drugs”, whatever the drug or how much. In that case I’ve seen people clearly victimized get laughed off.

    It does happen. And, again, I am on the side of people not avoiding responsibility because one or more parties were intoxicated in whatever way.

  290. 790
    setec

    It’s amazing how many people are telling me to “fuck off” for simply requesting a clarification of the crime, and what was meant by “unable to consent.” If it meant the victim had her drink tampered with, passed out, or verbally protested or struggled/resisted and was physically overcome, then the crime is clearly rape. But if she willingly got drunk and then, in an intoxicated state, issued consent she wouldn’t have while sober, that’s a sleazy thing for Shermer to take advantage of, it’s not rape. What’s wrong with simply asking for a clarification of which of these offenses Sherman committed?

    I’m also kind of shocked to see so many people saying the latter situation is rape, and here’s a question for those people: What do you call it if two people willingly get drunk together and have sex they both regret, which neither one of them would have consented to while sober? Did they rape each other? Did one of them rape the other, and if so, which one? What if they were both men or both women? What if they both got drunk willingly and had willingly sex but only one of them later regrets it? When does it become rape exactly?

  291. 791
    233\/3

    Incidentally, I do understand that victims of sexual assault/rape may not go to the police because they feel ashamed etc. That does not change the fact that going to the police in such situations is the best thing to do. In fact, if any of this is true, one wonders why PZ has not encouraged the alleged victim to go to the police?

  292. 792
    John Phillips, FCD

    skepnight, if you’re going to troll at least do it better, please, otherwise you’re just embarrassing yourself even more.

  293. 793
    Jackie

    Raziel,
    What if 911 was an inside job!!???!!!

  294. 794
    klatu

    There should be an internet law for this:
    Not all trolls consistently misspell Myers, but all who consistently misspell Myers are trolls.
    Maybe… the poopylaw? Help me out here, folks!

  295. 795
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    To the victim: Whatever choice you make here is good. The choices you’ve already made have been exemplary, demonstrating good judgement, commendable ethics and a willingness to work toward making a better community. It’s clear that you care, and that you are brave.

    Some people, through a combination of circumstances and personal strengths are willing or able to risk themselves for the love of others, whether the personal love of another or a commitment to actions which demonstrate a love of other persons. Reporting the incident is something I would class as an act of love for the community, whether love for skeptical women or the need to improve the skeptical community because it is paining to see it function as a place to hide sexual assault when the person cares for it so much. You have to be invested in a community or an ideal in order to put up with what talking about sexual assault inevitably brings.

    It sounds like a lot of women really care for the community, and are actively trying to protect the women entering into it–trying to warn them so that they will not be harmed and to salvage good things from a situation that contains some awful people.

    Unlike the vile and ignorant accusations flying about in this and other threads about motive, or about the intent to conduct a ‘witch hunt’, I view the act of reporting as fundamental maintenance on the sort of community that skeptics, free thinkers and atheists should build. One in which it is not tacitly condoned for members to assault each other.

    To the extent that advice is warranted or wanted here, my advice would be to do what makes you safest. You, too, are important. Your needs are important, whatever they may be.

  296. 796
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Who here actually believes that Michael Shermer sexually assaulted someone? And why do you believe that?

    *raises hand*
    Because PZ recounted the testimony of a woman saying she was raped by Shermer. She also said 5 other women were assaulted too.
    Considering the climate for rape victims, I see no reason for this woman to be lying or for PZ to make enemies like this.
    Or in other words, why shouldn’t I believe them?
    They are not making any extraordinary claims – women get raped. A lot of communities or organizations big neough have at least one man who is whispered about as an iffy guy, someone you don’t want to end up in a room with alone, someone who women warn you about to avoid. That’s the world we live in.
    I don’t know Shermer, he’s not a friend or someone I have reasons to believe over some anonymous woman.

  297. 797
    brianpansky

    @ crumbumcorvette

    read the damn thread.

    i need to write down every single troll idea. they have just been repeating and i should just point back to specific post numbers to answer… ugh

  298. 798
  299. 799
    Rey Fox

    Claims without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    Not that I expect an answer from a drive-by, but I might as well put the question out there for anyone: What would you consider “evidence” in this case?

  300. 800
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I’m also kind of shocked to see so many people saying the latter situation is rape, and here’s a question for those people: What do you call it if two people willingly get drunk together and have sex they both regret, which neither one of them would have consented to while sober? Did they rape each other? Did one of them rape the other, and if so, which one? What if they were both men or both women? What if they both got drunk willingly and had willingly sex but only one of them later regrets it? When does it become rape exactly?

    While I will not deny this scenario does not happen, you have to keep in mind that many rapists do ply their victim with drinks while they stay sober. And according to the story, your hypothetical situlation did not happen.

    You are muddying the discussion.

  301. 801
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Franwelte @585:
    Why is it that people like you jump into a thread making comments without checking to see if others addressed your points?

    This seems to be common among the hyperskeptics–ya’ll do not read the thread before commenting.

    ****
    flyingv @600:
    Glad your sexual harassment claims were taken seriously. However, if you would just read. the. thread. You would see ample reasons why women do not go to the police. You would also see links to show that police often do not take rape accusations seriously

    ****
    Johan @639:
    Like many people, when I first began reading here, I was taken aback at the TONE of many comments. I thought that it was important to discuss subjects with civility and that using harsh words was not respectful.
    Guess what?
    I changed my mind.
    Why?
    It was pointed out to me that the tone and harsh words were often accompanied by arguments. Many of the subjects being discussed hit home for commenters and they felt very strongly about them. As such, they chose to express themselves using language that reflected the intensity of their emotions or to stress their points. Additionally, the focus on civility blinded me, as it does people in this very thread to the fact that there are well reasoned arguments being made that are continuously ignored. After responding to people like JIMASHBY frequently in one thread, only to be met with continued dismissal, rejection of facts, a lack a reading comprehension and a demonstrable lack of compassion, any desire to engage using polite terms iften vanishes.
    I would like to add that the Civility Police never pay attention to the degrading manner in which so-called polite, civil commenters express disgusting, reprehensible views. For instance, given how prevalent rape culture is, I am appalled by rape apologists. But many of them couch their apologetics in polite wording. If you read for CONTENT, rather than tone, you will see the abhorrenct views therein. Rape apologists make excuses for rape. They find justification for rape. They deny the agency of women. They worry more about men, than the women who were raped.

    I consider women human beings. People who possess the right to live their lives on their own terms, free to move about unhindered. Free to express themselves how they wish. Free to associate with whomever they choose.

    Rape is a fundamental violation of human rights. Rape apologists would deny women the right to freedom of expression…to freedom of movement…to freedom of association. I will use every goddamn fucking harsh word in condemnation of rape apologetics. If people have a problem with that, they can fuck off.

  302. 802
    skeptifem

    So, just to clarify: Who here actually believes that Michael Shermer sexually assaulted someone? And why do you believe that?

    because I know someone that he forced himself on- not to the point of rape, but still. She has no reason to lie.

    Also, I believe women unless I have a reason not to. Rape is very very common. Social support of rape victims is integral to their progress in healing. Seriously- go look up what happens when rape victims are not believed or supported. They tend to have many more psychological complications as a result of rape than people who are believed and supported (including suicide). It would be unfortunate if shermer had his name dragged through the mud when he had done nothing wrong, but I have to weigh that against the possibility of harming a rape victim. Shermer is a wealthy, well known man with a lot of support. Rape victims do not tend to have that going for them. Hurting him accidentally is of less consequence.

    Also: How do we know that PZ Myers hasn’t been duped into believing a made-up story?

    see above. even if PZ has been duped I know (morally) where I stand when it comes to believing victims of sexual violence.

  303. 803
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I guess its time to block me because we all know how cowards are able to take dissenting views!

    I’m really close to finding out whether a fatal eyeroll is actually possible.

  304. 804
    Jackie

    crumbcorvette,
    rant full of lies=/= dissenting views

  305. 805
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    The first paragraph at #804 should have been blockquoted. It was by setec

  306. 806
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    RWA:

    Incidentally, I do understand that victims of sexual assault/rape may not go to the police because they feel ashamed etc.

    Excellent! That’s a start.

    Do you also understand that victims of sexual assault may not go to the police because the chances are they’ll be subject to more humiliation, and stand very little chance of justice? Do you understand that this constant questioning of the victim’s testimony helps contribute to their further humiliation and little chance of justice?

  307. 807
    changerofbits

    crumbumcorvette, just go back to the YT comments. I’m sure they miss your wit concerning freeze peach.

  308. 808
    Inaji

    setec:

    But if she willingly got drunk and then, in an intoxicated state, issued consent she wouldn’t have while sober, that’s a sleazy thing for Shermer to take advantage of, it’s not rape.

    Yes, it is rape. If someone is drunk, they cannot provide clear, enthusiastic consent. You are sorely in need of an education.

    Meet the Predators.

    Predators Redux.

  309. 809
    John Phillips, FCD

    setec #794, if person a gets person b drunk with the intent of diminishing their ability to give genuine informed consent, then yes, that is very definitely rape, at least in the UK

  310. 810
    Rey Fox

    Incidentally, I do understand that victims of sexual assault/rape may not go to the police because they feel ashamed etc. That does not change the fact that going to the police in such situations is the best thing to do.

    Incidentally, you just contradicted yourself. Think of what you glossed over in that “etc.”

  311. 811
    badgersdaughter

    If someone takes sexual advantage of the willingness of a drunk person to do something that the person would not have done sober, then it’s a rape. If the person who is taking advantage is drunk, it’s still rape. If the drunk person who is taking advantage wouldn’t do so when sober, it’s still rape. If two people do something sexual mutually while drunk that they would not do when sober, they, yes, have both engaged in rape.

    What does being drunk have to do with it? “Officer, I honestly wouldn’t have maimed that other dude in that fight if I had been sober. We were both drunk and besides did you see what he did to me? We weren’t in control of ourselves so I shouldn’t be held responsible.” Does that even make sense as a defense against the crime of violent assault?

  312. 812
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    I believe Shermer raped the woman who wrote PZ.

    As someone wrote on page 1 of the comments: paging Bayes. Bayes bring your priors to the thread. Bayes bring your priors to the thread.

    Also paging reading comprehension, because people have posted academic papers, statistics, blog posts, personal experiences and previous experiences, but these sorts of things appear to be invisible to our infestation of idiots.

  313. 813
    skeptifem

    Incidentally, I do understand that victims of sexual assault/rape may not go to the police because they feel ashamed etc. That does not change the fact that going to the police in such situations is the best thing to do. In fact, if any of this is true, one wonders why PZ has not encouraged the alleged victim to go to the police?

    what I find annoying is how you probably understand why someone with PTSD from war would not want to immediately discuss the shit that keeps them up at night, but a woman with it from rape should be willing to tell strangers because it is ‘the right thing to do’. PTSD is what happens when normal symptoms from a trauma persist- meaning that she had PTSD symptoms from the assault in its immediate aftermath, and they could still be going on. Its torture to recount the details, it often takes a long time to be able to say anything about it at all. I really hope the victim goes to the cops because with 6 victims its a very good case- but she should not be compelled to do so. Not going doesn’t mean she has done the ‘wrong’ thing. We have no idea what PZ has said to her- he may have encouraged her to go to the cops, we don’t know.

    also, its not just because of shame, its because the police often BLAME victims. the person in the email said they FEAR shermer. if the cops do nothing she is afraid for her safety.

  314. 814
    233\/3

    @810 Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

  315. 815
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    *slow clap* skeptknight, you managed to spell “Myers” correct twice in the same post! Congratulations.

    Now, would you please fuck off?

  316. 816
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Just slither back to the ‘pit, skeptknight. You are not fit for civilized company.

  317. 817
    brianpansky

    @812 skeptknight

    “You are perpetrating rape culture by just admitting claims by only prominent people.”

    no, not prominent. non-anonymous and trustworthy is what many people asked for.

    but you don’t meet any minimum of trustworthiness, you have ruined you own name.

    we are not the ones undermining your story. you did that. blame YOURSELF for that. i for one care about potential victims, and YOU are the one who screwed that up.

  318. 818
    badgersdaughter

    dbtv/skeptknight is willing to lie to prove a point about the abuse of power. Those lies, among people less sensitive to bullshit than this group, could have caused serious harm to PZ, personally and professionally. By spreading lies that throw a potential rape victim’s very existence into doubt, dbtv is not helping the cause, dbtv is harming it.

  319. 819
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    skeptknight:

    You guys need to understand one thing. You are perpetrating rape culture by just admitting claims by only prominent people.

    Bullshit.

    Have you noticed one common question throughout this whole thread is, “Why should we believe this claim?” It’s been discussed.

    Most of it comes down to credibility. PZ has credibility. The post he quoted came from a source he believes credible. Also, there’s no motivation to lie for either of them. It’s not like PZ has a history of making up stories, nor attempting smear campaigns against people he doesn’t like. There has been extensive analysis here.

    Now, you blew all chance at credibility here. You are anonymous, and you lied in a very despicable way in your very first post. You are, from all appearances, likely from a group that has a history of smearing PZ and other FtB authors.

  320. 820
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Raziel: Actually, believing the person making the accusation is supposed to be SOP during an investigation, get this, until better information is received. (Though this is often not how investigations are carried out, it’s supposed to be procedure.)

    What makes you think that if we get better information, we can’t update our beliefs? I am willing to believe because I know rape to be common, the cost of reporting to be high (and to be commonly known to be high), the potential fallout on the accuser to be lifelong and serious, and the methods she describes to be one of the most common methods for rapists to use.

    Or, you know, you could actually read the thread.

  321. 821
    skeptifem

    @810 Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

    read the post I directed towards you regarding this. You should believe unless there is a reason not to. Its a common crime, and failing to believe a victim is more serious and consequential than for the accused if a lie has been told. Failing to believe a victim of rape complicates the psychological consequences of rape. Its like rubbing salt in a wound.

  322. 822
    Anthony K

    Ok, I’m done with this disgusting crowd of rape enablers.

    My final advice: ladies, stay away from PZ Myers, soon you’ll find out he is a sexual predator and a rapist.

    Yawn.

  323. 823
    233\/3

    @skeptifem Of course it will be difficult for a rape victim to talk about what has happened, however the only way that justice can be dealt is if the rapist is taken to court and tried. Unless you would support vigilante justice?

  324. 824
    Inaji

    Badgersdaughter:

    What does being drunk have to do with it?

    Nothing. But, as we see, *again*, this is only hollered as a defense when it comes to rape or sexual assault. Someone pointed out that if a drunk person was crossing the street and was hit by a car, the person who hit them isn’t let off because drunk.

    As you point out, this obviously does not factor into any other crime. The only time drinking ever comes into it is in cases of rape or sexual assault, and then it’s always the “Well, what about this situation? Is that rape?” game, a game which creeps love to play, and it’s always on the victim: “well, she got drunk!”

  325. 825
    screechymonkey

    Hey everyone, remember when Richard Dawkins wrote about having been molested as a child?

    I do.

    Remember how all sorts of skeptics and atheists demanded he provide evidence? Remember how they all speculated that he was making it up as a convenient way of defending against criticism of his “some forms of religion are child abuse” argument?

    No, me neither.

    Huh. Strange.

  326. 826
    Tom Foss

    The point about why we would believe a victim over assuming they’re making a false allegation was discussed on the first page. And up here on the second page as well. Long story short: actual rapes are far more common than false rape accusations.

    If you can’t be bothered to do the research, and you can’t be bothered to read the whole thread, then don’t bother posting.

  327. 827
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    (I feel the need for some humor)

    Do we still score flounces? Because I only give skeptknight a 4.

  328. 828
    playonwords

    PZM – Could you pleaser dump the numpty “skeptknight” as well, I was going to say the same about dontblamethevictim but you got there first.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-2/#comment-662790

    To all of the MRAs, rape apologists, the guys pretending to be gals and the women who don’t believe it. When I was younger I listened and kept quiet about what women told me. Probably because of that, was told many horror stories by women in various communities. These stories, which because of the viscousness of UK laws on libel and slander, could not be retold. Stories of marital abuse and rape, incest and paedophilia, stories they would not repeat to anyone in authority. Sometimes I was able to suggest that 2 victims got together and in one case it actually allowed the current victim to escape her abuser.

    You MRAs, rape apologists, Gp2bGs, and women in denial all you are doing is enabling further rape and abuse. You might as well be providing the drugs, cable ties and gags.

  329. 829
    brianpansky

    bye bullshit skeptknight. thanks for less than nothing.

  330. 830
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    skepknight: Your “comedy” routine is stale material. Best go back to your friends and let them pat you on the back for being “brave” enough to copy paste material that you apparently don’t have any particular stake in as original commentary.

    You also might want to try reading the definitions of the terms you’re using because those words don’t mean what you think they do, and sprinkling them all over a paragraph does not make them meaningful.

  331. 831
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

    You truly have an either/or take on this that is not at all clouded by how rape victims are actually treated.

  332. 832
    equisetum

    (Trigger warning, because I just realized if I have to ask myself if I need a trigger warning, then I do.)

    Setec: “But if she willingly got drunk and then, in an intoxicated state, issued consent she wouldn’t have while sober, that’s a sleazy thing for Shermer to take advantage of, it’s not rape.”

    Yes it is. Consent issued in an intoxicated state isn’t really consent, is it? A woman I knew several decades ago tried to get me to have sex with her while she was drunk, after having told me while sober that she didn’t want to have sex with me. I said ‘No’. Would it have been rape had I said ‘Yes’? Even though she made the advance? Yes, because she was unable to give meaningful consent. Does that even mean anything to you?

    I’m gonna go back to lurking now.

  333. 833
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    scrrechymonkey: Well obviously when an important and admired man talks about abuse it’s more important (serious, credible and more sad).

  334. 834
    Inaji

    Skeptifem:

    PTSD is what happens when normal symptoms from a trauma persist- meaning that she had PTSD symptoms from the assault in its immediate aftermath, and they could still be going on.

    40 years for me, and I still get to deal with the delights of PTSD.

  335. 835
    Jackie

    “I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.”

    Yeah, we get that.

    Now why do you think it is dangerous and dangerous to whom?
    Think really hard about why believing women is dangerous.
    Who’s safety are you concerned about?

    Why do the dangers of your hyperskepticism not occur to you at all and yet, you find believing a woman (or 5) who claim they were raped by someone with a track record of harassment and misogyny (again there is evidence of this IF you think women aren’t on the whole lying, hysterical shrews) “dangerous”.

    Which is rampant: Women making false claims of rape or Men raping women and getting away with it because of the culture you are at this very moment helping to enable?

  336. 836
    brianpansky

    i am so fed up with people like skeptknight trying to do a smokescreen. trying to use anti-rape culture language. trying to make it a case of one person’s word against another.

    and really obviously copying a different story. ugh.

  337. 837
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    Rey Fox

    A few months ago, Shermer said something that upset Watson, causing Myer to attack Shermer on this blog. Does anyone have any evidence that Myer hasn’t fabricated this new story to further his attack on Shermer?

    That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all week. Granted, that statement doesn’t count as evidence, but see daniellavine’s reply #751 because he’s a lot more patient than I could be.

    You know, it seems like an awful lot like “What would I do if I were PZ Myers and Shermer was on my shit list… I would make allegations of rape up against him, ‘swot!”

  338. 838
    Rutee Katreya

    This not a fucking court of law.

    Right. That’s why you’re not being told not to believe it.

    I’m talking about 3 women raped by Myers. Stop blaming the victim for god sake!

    We’re blaming you, actually. You claim to be representing other victims – if that were true, lifting an account of someone else’s rape was basically the worst thing you could have done short of naming them when they intended to remain anonymous. In a very real sense, you would be contributing to people’s unwillingness to believe them with a patently false story that could not be it.

    I’ll do everything in my hands to help my friends whom have been vitims of sexual assault by PZ Myers.

    See, this is obviously untrue, because you aren’t hosting it under your RL name, nor are you really risking any bloody thing at all actually. If you are representing victims, you are the worst representative I’ve ever met. And that’s really bad, because they would deserve better.

  339. 839
    changerofbits

    @819 Think about it, if somebody you know comes to you and says they were mugged or that their car was stolen, would you believe them? We’re not talking about being on a jury or absolute knowledge, but just holding the belief that they’re telling the truth. Why is a claim of rape so much different? Do you think people get mugged/car stolen, but nobody is ever raped?

  340. 840
    PZ Myers

    Skeptknight was Dontblamethevictim was also, interestingly, Roberto Matus. I’ve deleted their posts made after the initial banning.

  341. 841
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Thank you, PZ. That story rattled my cage hard, and I’d imagine triggered not a few people reading the thread.

  342. 842
    LykeX

    @skeptknight
    Piss off, you sadistic creep. You’re cruelly and calculatedly hurting people for your own amusement.

    @Raziel WasAlone

    In fact, if any of this is true, one wonders why PZ has not encouraged the alleged victim to go to the police?

    You are so disgusting, I think we’re going to have to come up with a new word for it. Holy shit, you’re low.

    Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

    And then comes the part where you predictably start equivocating between “believing” and “dogmatically asserting without any chance of ever having your mind changed, no matter the evidence.”

    I am so fucking tired of you shits. Get the fuck off my planet. You’re not welcome here.

  343. 843
    233\/3

    Hmm…okay I concede that it is probably better advised to, first of all, investigate an alleged victim’s claims as though they are true.

    However, keep in mind that. at the moment, we aren’t considering the alleged victim’s claims – we are considering claims that PZ Myers has made. All we have is his blog post and, at least from my perspective, I do not have sufficient reason to believe what PZ is claiming.

    This is not about doubting some anonymous woman’s claims. It is about doubting PZ Myers’ claims.

  344. 844
    Anthony K

    Skeptknight was Dontblamethevictim was also, interestingly, Roberto Matus. I’ve deleted their posts made after the initial banning.

    That’s your contribution to skepticism, Shermie. This fucking guy.

    Let’s all give a hand for Shermer and his fans! “He’s done so much good work.”

  345. 845
    Anthony K

    All we have is his blog post and, at least from my perspective, I do not have sufficient reason to believe what PZ is claiming.

    You mean that a woman who he trusts told him that story?

  346. 846
    klatu

    For all the confused guys out there who are just way out of their depth when it comes to rape:
    Helpful Rape Prevention Tips

  347. 847
    Jackie

    We don’t care what you believe, Raziel.

    This isn’t about you.

    Piss off.

  348. 848
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    And now we have Argumentum ad Page Hits. Someone @696 thinks that is PZs motive.

    Thy delusion runs deep oh insipid one.
    ****

    I know this subject is a horrific one. I know I have no personal experiences comparable to anyonecwho has been sexually assaulted…but I have read two comments in this thread requesting someone die by fire, and I am very uncomfortablw with such wishes.
    ****

    helenaconstantine @733:
    READ. THE. FUCKING. THREAD.
    It has been discussed, back on PAGE FUCKING 1 why women do not got to the police. God, you assclams are fucking moronic.
    ****

    In perfect illustration of the frustation to be found in this thread, once again someone says the victim should go to the police. This time it is RAZIEL at #750.

    JOHAN–this is one reason people use harsh words. People like this are not even trying to engage honestly.
    As for your problems with harsh language, I could care less. Get over it or leave. Your whining is annoying.

  349. 849
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Well half my posts make zero sense now.

    Thanks for getting rid of that morphing asshole PZ.

  350. 850
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    This is not about doubting some anonymous woman’s claims. It is about doubting PZ Myers’ claims.

    Great. I have doubts about your objections.

  351. 851
    setec

    If two people do something sexual mutually while drunk that they would not do when sober, they, yes, have both engaged in rape.

    I think this goes to the heart of the over-definition of rape that seems to be popular among a few people in this comments thread. My suggestion that two consenting drunks might be mutually raping each other was basically a reductio ad absurdum and you’re saying, “Yes, we actually are that absurd.”

    People know drinking alcohol gets them drunk and people know getting drunk affects them mentally, including lowering their inhibitions and their motor coordination. If they willingly get drunk, then they bear responsibility for the decisions they make while drunk, including driving and having sex. A drunk driver can’t get pulled over and say, “I’m sorry officer, it’s not my fault, so-and-so got me drunk.” They can’t say, “I’m sorry officer, I was too drunk to make an informed decision about whether or not to drive.”

    I’m not suggesting the victim in this case consented to having sex while drunk. However, given the number of people who seem to think drunken consent equals no consent equals rape, it’s fair to ask whether Shermer is accused of A) that type of “rape” or B) the actual definition involving unwilling intoxication, unconsciousness, or ignoring verbal or physical resistance. I’m inclined to believe the victim regarding whichever of those two happened, but I do think it should be specified in the accusation. No lurid details, just A or B.

  352. 852
    crumbumcorvette

    rant full of lies=/= dissenting views

    Where in the fuck did I lie? I guess this is a theme on FTB where people just make claims and nobody backs it up.

    Yes, it is rape. If someone is drunk, they cannot provide clear, enthusiastic consent. You are sorely in need of an education.
    Holy Shit this is stupid
    So all the women that have taken me home and had sex with me while we were both drunk were just raped by me? This is some fucking crazy shit. What offends me the most is I feel like you are criticizing all the women who have slept with me by saying that they got raped and their just not educated enough to know. Seriously Fuck you.

  353. 853
    setec

    First line of my above post was supposed to be blockquoted.

  354. 854
    Anthony K

    So all the women that have taken me home and had sex with me while we were both drunk were just raped by me? What offends me the most is I feel like you are criticizing all the women who have slept with me by saying that they got raped and their just not educated enough to know. Seriously Fuck you.

    I guess this is a theme on FTB where people just make claims and nobody backs it up.

  355. 855
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    TRIGGER WARNING: discussion of claims of rape

    RWA:

    @810 Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

    Actually, yeah. I kind of do. At least until, as both mouthyb and skeptifem pointed out, other evidence is presented.

    In another thread many months ago (concerning Stuebenville, I believe), an asshole that was eerily similar to skeptknight posted a bunch of shit. One thing he posted (other than bragging about his BitCoins) was something along the lines of, “Okay. So if I claimed I went to a party and got drunk and was molested, you’d support me?” (This had something to do with men being raped vs. women being raped.)

    The next day, he posts that a very traumatic thing happened: he got drunk at a party and some friends videotaped themselves molesting him. He was very very distraught.

    I was pissed at the time, accused him of lying, and whatnot. And then after about an hour or so, I realized my dismissal of his claims was exactly what he claimed it was: identical to the dismissal of claims of rape in the Stuebenville case. Rape apologia.

    Did I suspect he made the whole thing up? Yes. But I realized I needed to accept his story if I was going to remain intellectually consistent, in spite of my suspicions.

    So, yeah. I do believe the only way to combat rape culture is to take accounts of rape and sexual assault seriously. Making baseless accusations (such as PZ carrying out some kind of vendetta) rather than accepting the account as told is ludicrous, irrational, and feeds rape culture. This adds to an environment in which rape victims are treated as liars, ignored, and otherwise humiliated. It creates an environment in which government representatives talk about “legitimate rape,” as distinct from that “other” rape.

  356. 856
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And setec misses the point that predators will ply their target/victims with drink and drugs in order to get them to a point where they cannot consent.

    Who did not see that coming?

  357. 857
    changerofbits

    @843 Great, you’ve taking your first step toward not being a bigot against rape victims! Now, what specifically bothers you about PZ’s claim that hasn’t been hashed over in this thread or directly addressed in the OP?

  358. 858
    daniellavine

    Raziel WasAlone@823:

    Of course it will be difficult for a rape victim to talk about what has happened, however the only way that justice can be dealt is if the rapist is taken to court and tried. Unless you would support vigilante justice?

    The intention of the OP as stated by PZ was not to effect “justice”. Please feel free to re-read the OP to find out PZ’s stated intention and then feel free to come back and admit that this intention was in no way, shape or form “vigilante justice”.

    This is not about doubting some anonymous woman’s claims. It is about doubting PZ Myers’ claims.

    That’s your prerogative, though it seems a little perverse given the fact that PZ has nothing to gain and a lot to lose by relaying the woman’s account (or lying about it).

  359. 859
    233\/3

    There also the question of what PZ thinks posting about this on his blog will achieve. Did the alleged victim want this to be posted on his blog? What else is going to be done about it? Serious claims are being made here so serious actions ought to be taken. If Mr Shermer is, in fact, a rapist – doubtful at the moment – surely PZ should be doing more to protect other women. Suppose Shermer goes on to sexually assault others. Will PZ be able to live with himself knowing that the best he was able to do was blog about it?

    It’s PZ Myers’ casual response to finding out Shermer has reportedly raped someone that makes me doubt his claims. If someone came to me and told me they had been raped, the first thing I’d do would NOT be to stick it on my blog – that’s for sure.

  360. 860
    LykeX

    So all the women that have taken me home and had sex with me while we were both drunk were just raped by me?

    Depends a bit on exactly how drunk we’re talking, specifically whether it was enough to affect their ability to give consent. However, given your first post, general attitude and how clearly worried you are about this, I’d say it’s quite likely, yes.

    Incidentally, there’s a very easy way to avoid all the possible problems with this: Simply get consent before drinking. Make sure you’re both on board with the idea that you’re going to have a few drinks and then get freaky. It might mean that you can’t pick up a girl at the bar and have sex with her that night, but that’s a small price to pay for preventing rape, isn’t it?

    Isn’t it?

  361. 861
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    That’s your prerogative, though it seems a little perverse given the fact that PZ has nothing to gain and a lot to lose by relaying the woman’s account (or lying about it).

    But the precious pagehits PZ gets out of this.

  362. 862
    Johan Rönnblom

    Tony!: You can be as nasty as you like. But a lot of people, including me, don’t like nasty people.

    I’ve now decided to leave this forum. I don’t think it can do anything good for mr Shermer’s alleged victims. This forum is only poisoning the well in case anyone takes on these issues in a serious way.

    The consensus here is that rape allegations do not need any sort of evidence, that anyone who is accused is guilty, that anyone who doubts this even for a second is also guilty, that anyone who finds it unwise to warn women based on rumours is guilty, that anyone who finds it wise to warn women based on real information is guilty, that anyone who isn’t rude enough is guilty.

    I’ll leave this forum to die a slow painful death, which is what happens to any forum that has achieved a sufficient level of hostility to newcomers that it can’t recruit any new members.

  363. 863
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    . I don’t think it’s too much to ask in this case for a clarification of what was meant by “unable to consent.”

    The phrase is self-explanatory to anybody who isn’t trying to be a predator.
    No, he’s presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    This is an utter non-sequitur. This isn’t a court of law, it is a blog. That irrelevant statement and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

    however the only way that justice can be dealt is if the rapist is taken to court and tried. Unless you would support vigilante justice?

    More non-sequiturs from somebody supporting silencing of rape victims. NOBODY will be lynched here. However, some women may now understand the need to not be alone around certain identified predators.

  364. 864
    Maureen Brian

    Setec,

    This is the definition of rape in England and Wales (Sexual Offences Act 2003)

    (1)A person (A) commits an offence if—
    (a)he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
    (b)B does not consent to the penetration, and
    (c)A does not reasonably believe that B consents.
    (2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.
    (3)Sections 75 and 76 apply to an offence under this section.
    (4)A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

    Please note the bits about consent and testing the reasonableness of belief in consent. Now, go and inform yourself about the definitions in a couple of other places but, please, until you know what you are talking about belt up like a good little troll.

  365. 865
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Dang borked the blockquotes #863.

  366. 866
    skeptifem

    If two people do something sexual mutually while drunk that they would not do when sober, they, yes, have both engaged in rape

    and if a drunk person is driving along and gets hit by another drunk person driving and dies, they have both engaged in vehicular manslaughter

    oh wait…

  367. 867
    brianpansky

    @ setec 851

    please ask not at which point it becomes rape, but at which point it was prevented from becoming rape.

    maybe 9 times out of 10 everything will be fine because the person was sober enough. but you are being dangerous as all hell.

  368. 868
    Anthony K

    I’ll leave this forum to die a slow painful death, which is what happens to any forum that has achieved a sufficient level of hostility to newcomers that it can’t recruit any new members.

    WHERE’S THE EVIDENCE SIGNED IN TRIPLICATE BY THE HIGH POPE OF SKEPTICISM HIMSELF UNLESS THATY’S THERE I ACN’T BELIEVE IT I MEAN I SUPPOIRT VICTIMS OF TERRIBLE BLOG ATTITUDES BUT I NEED TO SEE MORE AND IF YOU ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT THESE THINGS YOU’D CREATE YOUR OWN BLOG SPACE SEE RAZIELWASAL;ONE 859 FOR THE ONLY WAY TO PIOSSIBLE HELP VICTIMS THANK YOU

  369. 869
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    RWA:

    There also the question of what PZ thinks posting about this on his blog will achieve. Did the alleged victim want this to be posted on his blog?

    Both questions were answered in the OP.

    Did you read the OP?

  370. 870
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The consensus here is that rape allegations do not need any sort of evidence,

    Sorry fool, EVIDENCE IS THE WORD OF THE VICTIM. Yes, we do take evidence seriously. But we look at evidence in context, not separately in pieces like a CSI.

  371. 871
    nonzero

    @753 Maureen Brian

    I was genuine in wanting to be educated, and admitted to my ignorance in this matter, which is why I want to be informed. It was not an attempt at being shifty or muddying the waters, I thought I covered most of my bases by saying I believe both PZ and the accuser and have compassion for all women who suffer through these ordeals. I don’t think that warranted hostility towards me or me being called an idiot for trying to engage in a responsible and empathetic manner. I understand why you and others are short tempered on this issue, dealing with idiots all the time about issues that hit very deep for you, but I didn’t think what I wrote deserved such provocation. I’ll show myself out and try to get more informed elsewhere, sorry for the inconvenience of dealing with someone who doesn’t know everything you do about this.

  372. 872
    piegasm

    @862 Johan

    The consensus here is that rape allegations do not need any sort of evidence, that anyone who is accused is guilty, that anyone who doubts this even for a second is also guilty, that anyone who finds it unwise to warn women based on rumours is guilty, that anyone who finds it wise to warn women based on real information is guilty, that anyone who isn’t rude enough is guilty.

    Well that’s about as thorough a misunderstanding of 800-odd posts as I’ve ever witnessed. Well-done.

    The door is ——–> that way. Mind your ass on the way out.

  373. 873
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Read the fucking OP, Raziel. If you did, perhaps you would not ask such stupid questions.

    Did the alleged victim want this to be posted on his blog?

    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.

  374. 874
    brianpansky

    “The consensus here is that…”

    nope you got it wrong. try reading it again.

  375. 875
    Pteryxx

    Serious claims are being made here so serious actions ought to be taken. If Mr Shermer is, in fact, a rapist – doubtful at the moment – surely PZ should be doing more to protect other women. Suppose Shermer goes on to sexually assault others. Will PZ be able to live with himself knowing that the best he was able to do was blog about it?

    …Well, that’s the first example I’ve seen in the wild of victim-blaming by proxy. Instead of “SHE should go public/report/tell the cops” now it’s “PZ should go public/report/tell the cops”. Oh, and he should force this victim (or others) to go public, or out them himself, because Serious Bizness. Never mind the well documented risks to him and them.

    Know whose responsibility it is to follow up? The organization who ignored this woman’s initial report. And if the organizations aren’t sure WHICH woman’s report got ignored, or to which organization it was made? Well they’d better follow up on them all, oughtn’t they.

  376. 876
    daniellavine

    Raziel WasAlone@859:

    There also the question of what PZ thinks posting about this on his blog will achieve. Did the alleged victim want this to be posted on his blog?

    Both these questions were addressed in the OP. I once again invite you to re-read it before engaging in discussion.

  377. 877
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    – surely PZ should be doing more to protect other women.

    Gee cupcake, a sweeping statement without even one suggestion how to go about that. And you wonder why nobody takes your opinions seriously. You are discussing, you are obfuscating.

  378. 878
    Inaji

    Nigel:

    Did I suspect he made the whole thing up? Yes.

    He did make the whole thing up, Chris Clarke helpfully found the evidence and linked it. However, your point stands. Until you have a valid reason to disbelieve someone in regard to a rape or assault, the default should be believing them.

    setec:

    So all the women that have taken me home and had sex with me while we were both drunk were just raped by me? What offends me the most is I feel like you are criticizing all the women who have slept with me by saying that they got raped and their just not educated enough to know. Seriously Fuck you.

    Well, you obviously didn’t click the links I provided. Way to be a willfully ignorant ass. Are you trying to brag about your gettin’ laid ability here? Let’s take you at your word here. What do you think it says about you that the majority of sex you have had involves women who were drunk? Perhaps you should try a relationship with enthusiastic consent, provided by both parties, while sober, first. You might get a clue that way, but I rather doubt it.

    By the way, asshole, women are also raised in the toxicity of sexism. We all are. A lot of women buy into that shit simply because they don’t know any better. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to take advantage. A lot of men buy into that shit simply because they don’t know any better. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to take advantage. The trick is, when people are attempting, time and time again, to get you to shut up and listen for 5 minutes, open your eyes and educate yourself, you do just that. A better human being is the result.

  379. 879
    changerofbits

    @862 LOL! Johan, I’m at a loss for words. You seem to be honest, but just so wholly ignorant of context that it’s tragic. You’re better than a thousand trolls.

  380. 880
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Johan: Failure to attract you is not the death of the forum, LOL.

  381. 881
    Tom Foss

    PZ better be careful now that he outed Skeptknight. I’m pretty sure that there’s a corner of the Internet that considers doxxing to be a worse crime than rape.

    /snark

  382. 882
    LykeX

    The consensus here is that rape allegations do not need any sort of evidence…

    And once again, we’ve established that bitches ain’t shit. their testimony doesn’t count.

    …that anyone who is accused is a priori likely to be guilty, that anyone who doubts this even for a second is also guilty not thinking rationally

    There we go, much better. Less strawman that way.

  383. 883
    pierremenard

    One should absolutely believe the victim when they directly confide a rape incident, especially given the high probability that victims aren’t lying and the general difficulty that comes with admitting one has been raped.

    If someone gets someone drunk for the purpose of having sex with them that is rape. If someone meets someone who is drunk, even if that person isn’t the one who feed them drinks or the like, and has sex with them…that is rape. If two people get drunk (at relatively the same level of drunkeness) then that is not rape. But, I would suggest that LykeX’s solution to this kind of problem is extremely sensible and responsible.

  384. 884
    daniellavine

    Raziel WasAlone@859:

    It’s PZ Myers’ casual response to finding out Shermer has reportedly raped someone that makes me doubt his claims. If someone came to me and told me they had been raped, the first thing I’d do would NOT be to stick it on my blog – that’s for sure.

    This, incidentally, sounds a lot like motivated reasoning — like someone straining furiously to find the thinnest threads of evidence suggesting that the OP is a lie for the sake of, I don’t know, fighting cognitive dissonance in the face of having one’s Skeptical Heroes demonstrated to be perhaps less than superhuman.

  385. 885
    unclefrogy

    What is courage?
    It is having no easy choices no way to avoid making the choice either. It is taking the action that is the right one regardless of how it may effect you personally.
    PZ demonstrated courage in taking the action and as far as I can see for no other reason than for his own self respect and his concern for his fellows and the truth..
    I will say further that the “victim” here showed courage also they have personally struggled with this issue for some time and have finally taken further action it is not I am afraid the reaction of most people. Silence is the “norm” it would seem.
    Secrecy is like a disease it fosters power and coercion and hinders a free and open society.
    reality is what it is regardless of what we want it to be. humans are human and do may things some of the appalling others inspiring.
    If I am truly going to be skeptical and rational I must face the world the way it is
    uncle frogy

  386. 886
    rsparks

    Mr. Shermer is clearly guilty of rape. Here’s why:

    1) The accusation was made by a woman that PZ knows, and he believes her on the basis of being vouched for by someone he trusts. I trust PZ and since he trusts the person who vouched for the woman who is making these accusations, I don’t need anything more than that to convince me of the accusation’s validity.

    2) She claims that she attempted to report this to those in the organization that was involved, but they refused to take her concerns seriously. This fits a familiar pattern of denial and protecting the perpetrator rather than the victim, so that claim is obviously legitimate as well because it fits a pattern.

    3) She also reports that ever since her incident, she’s heard of stories about Mr. Shermer “doing things,” which have been corroborated by five other women who told her they too were victims of the same assaulting behavior. The fact that she claims to have heard the same stories from five other women, and that Mr. Shermer has a reputation for this kind of thing is also conclusive evidence of guilt.

    4) The victim wants to remain anonymous. I don’t blame her. Having to relive that horrible event by making the accusation public through a trusted blogger is enough additional trauma. Women who have been through this experience should never have to face those they are accusing. The accusation itself is enough to convince me, and we shouldn’t burden this individual any further.

    As far as I’m concerned, this case is closed. I don’t want to hear what Mr. Shermer has to say because he’s a rapist. Innocent until proven guilty is fine for crimes like murder but rape is an entirely different matter.

  387. 887
    Angela Freeman

    @Razielwasalone #859
    If you read the OP, the victim wants to stop this from happening to other women. To that end, PZ has put her story out there to people who might not have known about this person. I assume from the story that this person wanted her story shared to protect others, in fact it says that in her story.

    And for the last time about alcohol and consent:
    If you’re with someone who isn’t enthusiastically giving consent while sober – you should just not fuck them. I know it’s really hard to contain yourselves, but just don’t. That way no one has to wonder ‘was it rape?’. In my mind, if you can’t drive a car in your physiological/mental state, you can’t consent.

    No more “so that means my GF raped me because we were both drunk?!”. I’m not saying anything about hypothetical situations that may or may not have happened to you and others. I am saying that if you only accept enthusiastic, sober, consent you can avoid those shitty grey-area situations.

  388. 888
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Johan:
    You did not even bother to read my comment about why people use harsh words, did you?
    Douchebag.

  389. 889
    Inaji

    Johan:

    The consensus here is that rape allegations do not need any sort of evidence, that anyone who is accused is guilty,

    You know, you’re a bit of an idiot with a serious reading comprehension problem. Might want to get that looked at. That being the case, I doubt anyone will be heartbroken by your absence. This is now at least the second time you’ve said you were leaving this horrible blog. Are you going to actually leave?

  390. 890
    daniellavine

    Can I request that the meta conversation about how Johan just doesn’t understand this forum be taken elsewhere? Can I also request that Johan stop whining about incivility and focus on the discussion at hand?

  391. 891
    klatu

    @Janine #800

    What do you call it if two people willingly get drunk together and have sex they both regret, which neither one of them would have consented to while sober? Did they rape each other? Did one of them rape the other, and if so, which one? What if they were both men or both women? What if they both got drunk willingly and had willingly sex but only one of them later regrets it? When does it become rape exactly?

    I have attempted answer this upthread @426.

    Consent cannot be alloted. It is not a unit. There are no coupons for consent.
    Even if people plan to get stupid drunk and fuck, consent still has to exist throughout the entire act. Not prior to it, not in intervals. But throughout the duration of it. If at any point an involved party is unable or unwilling to give or maintain consent, it is rape.

    This is my working definition. You have to have consent for everything you do to another person. At all times. Everything else violates that person’s boundaries. Even if they are shitfaced, even if you are shitfaced.
    So yes two people can simultaneouslyl rape each other, regardless of sex/gender. It is rape as soon as there is a lack of consent. The rest, all the possible permutations, derives from that simple premise.
    There is no obligation to feel victimized. That would be absurd. But any sexual act that isn’t consensual is a immoral by definition.

    None of this is complicated if one views the other as a person, whith whom to communicate throughout all of it.

    If you disagree, be specific please.

  392. 892
    John Phillips, FCD

    Why am I not surprised that a tone troll misrepresents or misunderstands every point made on this thread but gets butt hurt at our mean and nasty tone,. Please stick the flounce Johan.

  393. 893
    Inaji

    Can I also request that Johan stop whining about incivility and focus on the discussion at hand?

    :snort: Good luck with that. Thanks ever for inviting him to whine even more.

  394. 894
    Anthony K

    Innocent until proven guilty is fine for crimes like murder but rape is an entirely different matter.

    If you’d read the thread, you’d know that I already put in a good word for him with the Warden of Public Opinion, and he’s been released from the Maximum Security Prison of Public Opinion.

  395. 895
    Anthony K

    What do you call it if two people willingly get drunk together and have sex they both regret, which neither one of them would have consented to while sober?

    After hours at TAM?

  396. 896
    daniellavine

    Johan Ronnblom@862:

    The consensus here is that rape allegations do not need any sort of evidence, that anyone who is accused is guilty, that anyone who doubts this even for a second is also guilty, that anyone who finds it unwise to warn women based on rumours is guilty, that anyone who finds it wise to warn women based on real information is guilty, that anyone who isn’t rude enough is guilty.

    You need evidence to convict someone in a court of law. This is not a court of law and the intention is not to punish Shermer. Please take these facts into account before you start casting aspersions.

    The reality of the information here is vouched for by PZ Myers. If you, like Raziel WasAlone, do not think PZ constitutes a credible source then that is your prerogative but stop misrepresenting the intentions of people commenting here.

  397. 897
    setec

    Caine, Fleur du mal, at least have the courtesy to not attribute somebody else’s post to me in a blockquote. I haven’t taken any women home drunk to have sex. I’ve only ever had sex with my wife, and neither one of us ever gets drunk. I simply don’t like the idea being promoted by some in this thread that a drunk woman bears no responsibility for her actions, and that a man is not only a jerk but a rapist (which I was raised to think of as one of the worst crimes imaginable) for simply having sex with a drunk woman without getting a notarized statement of consent with two weeks advance notice.

    And again, I’m not saying the victim in this case wasn’t raped, just that it would be good for PZ to clarify whether the accusation includes the broadly accepted elements of rape (unwilling intoxication, unconsciousness, or ignored verbal or physical attempts to resist) or the more controversial “she was drunk so her consent doesn’t count” definition being bandied about here without clear legal justification.

  398. 898
    Susannah

    I’m half way through the thread. Can’t keep up.

    (just deleted a bunch of stuff. Too upset to be coherent.)

    This bears repeating:
    Lou Doench #492

    The clergy sex abuse case is one of the issues we have used as a rallying cry to increase awareness of the harms of religion. If we are not willing to apply the same kind of energy to cleaning our own house then that rallying cry becomes hypocritical self serving bullshit.

  399. 899
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I have to clarify, klatu, I did not say that. That was a borked blockquote. Setec said that.

  400. 900
    brianpansky

    “that a drunk woman bears no responsibility for her actions”

    only rapists should bear the responsibility.

  401. 901
    233\/3

    @884 The only Skeptical Heroes I have are Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens (although I am ambivalent towards the latter thanks to his political views).

    I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t read all of the OP. >.< .So I'll go and do that…

  402. 902
    Inaji

    Klatu @ 891, you are misattributing. Janine did not say that, she was quoting setec.

  403. 903
    PZ Myers

    So all the women that have taken me home and had sex with me while we were both drunk were just raped by me?

    Did I write that they were both drunk? You’re reading something into it that wasn’t there.

  404. 904
    playonwords

    Another numpty – rsparks http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-2/#comment-662976

    I’m certain many of these fools think that the “… let’s get the victim drunk,” technique is the pinnacle of male/female interaction.

  405. 905
    Inaji

    Anthony K:

    After hours at TAM?

    :snortle: Thank you for that.

  406. 906
    sharkjack

    I had a post ready for Raziel but I refreshed to see if the discussion changed significantly and it did. Raziel, I’m not sure why you’re doing what you’re doing, but I’m all out of the well meaning intentions. You don’t read the OP, you ignore people who tell you it and you victim blame in ways I’ve never even seen before. Stop. Just stop. If you want to withold judgement on Shermers guilt, be my guest and get out. We’re not holding a trial here and if you’d read the OP you’d know that wasn’t the point of the post.

  407. 907
    throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t read all of the OP. >.< .So I'll go and do that…

    Words fucking fail…

  408. 908
    badgersdaughter

    Skeptifem, they haven’t both engaged in vehicular homicide, because only one person was driving and only one person was killed. You’re smarter than that. Try again.

  409. 909
    Inaji

    PZ:

    Did I write that they were both drunk? You’re reading something into it that wasn’t there.

    Setec’s gone way beyond that now. They are desperately trying to find a get out of rape card for themself.

  410. 910
    Pteryxx

    Straw alert #886.

    As far as I’m concerned, this case is closed. I don’t want to hear what Mr. Shermer has to say because he’s a rapist. Innocent until proven guilty is fine for crimes like murder but rape is an entirely different matter.

    Keep the ol’ case-closed IUPG to the inside of a courtroom, where it properly belongs should Shermer ever face actual criminal charges for this or any other incident. Until then, skeptics informed by reason, evidence, and compassion go with Occam’s razor.

  411. 911
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t read all of the OP. >.< .So I'll go and do that…

    And yet you felt the need to question PZ Myers’ motivation.

    Talk about coming in unarmed.

  412. 912
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    @810 Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

    Since I am not a judge nor a jury, since I hold no power other than the power to provide support and make the lives of other people stuck on this miserable rock better, I completely and 100% agree with Skeptifem on this. I don’t see how that’s dangerous at all.

  413. 913
    badgersdaughter

    Sorry, misread that. They’re both driving? Then yes, they have both engaged in vehicular homicide if they both were drunk and they kill each other.

  414. 914
    klatu

    @screechymonkey #825
    While I do appreciate the point you’re making, I do not appreciate the colletaral damage you are infliciting. Dawking may be an ass, but his experienced trauma is real. And you are appropriating it to make a point. Which is petty, dehumanizing and damaging to victims of abuse everywhere.

  415. 915
    sheila

    To Jane Doe: I believe you. Thank you for speaking out.
    To PZ: Thank you too. This is clearly the right thing to do, but I can’t imagine it was easy. If it comes to a legal fight, I’ll chip in.

  416. 916
    233\/3

    Okay so I re-read the OP. I take issue with this remark from PZ:

    How does PZ know that no law agency will do anything about it? Has he got legal advice on that? Or is it a guess?

    If a victim does indeed exist, as many here are clamoring for me to believe, and if that person is reading this: Please, I suggest you go to law enforcement with this.

    I can see PZ getting sued for libel, to be honest.

  417. 917
    klatu

    @Mayself #914
    That’s Dawkins, not Dawking

  418. 918
    Inaji

    Badgersdaughter:

    Skeptifem, they haven’t both engaged in vehicular homicide, because only one person was driving and only one person was killed.

    I think your snark detector is malfunctioning.

  419. 919
    setec

    This is my working definition. You have to have consent for everything you do to another person. At all times. Everything else violates that person’s boundaries. Even if they are shitfaced, even if you are shitfaced.
    So yes two people can simultaneouslyl rape each other, regardless of sex/gender. It is rape as soon as there is a lack of consent. The rest, all the possible permutations, derives from that simple premise.

    I strongly agree with your statement that “you have to have consent for everything you do to another person, at all times,” but you can’t combine that with the notion that drunk people are incapable of consent, and that any pre-existing consent is automatically withdrawn when intoxication sets in. (At what blood alcohol level does consent disappear, by the way?) By that definition, a husband/wife who have consenting sex all the time could both be accused of committing rape if they have consenting sex while drunk.

    I’m pretty sure no court in history has ever found two people guilty of simultaneously raping each other. You’re using a very radical definition of rape to reach the conclusion that such a thing is possible, and it’s not justified by law or any standard interpretation the English language.

  420. 920
    Inaji

    Klatu:

    While I do appreciate the point you’re making, I do not appreciate the colletaral damage you are infliciting. Dawking may be an ass, but his experienced trauma is real. And you are appropriating it to make a point. Which is petty, dehumanizing and damaging to victims of abuse everywhere.

    I disagree. I have major issues about Dawkins saying that teaching children about hell was much worse than sexual assault. I was taught about hell, I feared it intensely. I was also raped on a regular basis from ages 3 to 9. I’d be happy to tell you which was worse. Dawkins is free to speak for himself, but he sure as hell doesn’t have the right to speak for me.

  421. 921
    octopod

    Raziel WasAlone @916, whatever you were trying to blockquote there from the OP didn’t work. What are you talking about, exactly?

    Note also the following: 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.

  422. 922
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Heh, badgersdaughter, 908, that was Skeptifem’s point. She’s the exception that proves the rule about using “Skeptic” or “rational” in ones username.

  423. 923
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Raziel claims to have finally read the OP yet still asks stupid questions.

    If a victim does indeed exist, as many here are clamoring for me to believe, and if that person is reading this: Please, I suggest you go to law enforcement with this.

    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.

    Please, for the sake of the rest of us, fucking read for comprehension.

  424. 924
    screechymonkey

    Waiting with bated breath for rsparks to regale us with the punchline to his @886.

  425. 925
    233\/3

    Oh noes! I messed up the block quote. Is there a way to fix that?

  426. 926
    crumbumcorvette

    Apparently im a sexual predator/rapist and the all the women who had sex with me were obviously not smart enough to know. get consent before drinking huh? I guess I could do that if I was crazy and believed the conspiracy theory that all drunken one night stands are actually just rape. How bout this if the person is riding my dick while my hands are behind my head its probably not rape.

  427. 927
    Anthony K

    Oh noes! I messed up the block quote. Is there a way to fix that?

    Better go straight to the police.

  428. 928
    Pteryxx

    I thought “what if they’re both drunk! Have they raped each other?!” sounded awfully familiar.

    http://skepchick.org/2012/12/twitter-users-sad-to-hear-they-may-be-rapists/

    These two Tweets only raised more questions, and clearly I was the only person on the Internet who could answer them. I was flooded with responses like:

    “What if you are also drunk? Did they rape you as well?”

    “@rebeccawatson if someone drinks and drives are can they eschew responsibility for their actions in the same way. … [link removed]″

    “@rebeccawatson Another question. In marriage. The husband didn’t drink because of driving on a saturday night. Wife did. Couldn’t make love?”

    “@rebeccawatson That’s a very binary statement for an undefined condition. At what BAC% is consent impossible? Should we breathalyse before?”

    “According to @rebeccawatson every sexual encounter she has ever had has, in the morning been a rape.”

    [...]

    I just blocked most, if not all, of these people because as one follower noted, if you have to debate this fact with your followers, it’s time to get better followers. But I wanted to post about this because I think the psychology of this reaction is very interesting. I think for most of us (Skepchick writers/readers/commenters), this concept is not in any way astonishing. I’m guessing that like me, many of you have had sex. And like me, many of you have had sex while drinking and/or while your partners have been drinking, and it’s not a big deal because you value communication and enthusiastic consent and participation. There’s no stigma against questions like “Would you like it if we . . . ?” and “Is this what you want?” and “Was that okay?”, even (especially!) when those questions are asked in the cold, sober light of day.

  429. 929
    mikeyb

    If two people get totally wasted and have sex, and there are no eyewitnesses or pieces of evidence that can demonstrate consent or lack of consent, it will be very difficult to prove consent or lack of consent after the fact.*

    *Note I am not in any way, shape or form saying rape cannot or doesn’t not occur under these circumstances, it emphatically does – I’m saying it will be difficult to prove it.

  430. 930
    Angela Freeman

    @setec 919
    That’s just the grey area that I mention in #887.

    At what point is a person too drunk to consent? I always draw the line at driving a car. Sure there are hypotheticals where we may say ‘that’s not rape’, for example, a husband and wife where one wants the other to have sex with him/her while asleep. Normally, we would call this rape, but in this situation, if consent is given soberly before hand, we might say that the law would not apply here. However these hypothetical situations are not what are important.

    Two people could rape eachother. I agree that I don’t think it has been convicted, but then, most rapes of one person aren’t convicted either.

  431. 931
    daniellavine

    Raziel WasAlone@916:

    How does PZ know that no law agency will do anything about it? Has he got legal advice on that? Or is it a guess?

    It’s a safe bet. Another commenter mentioned going to the police three hours after an attempted break-in by a stalker and having had it dismissed as “too late” by the police. This, by contrast, is a matter of years. Then there’s the fact that a small minority of rape cases ever make it to court let alone win convictions and that even when they do get to court they often do more damage to the emotional well-being of the victim then they do to the perpetrator.

    If a victim does indeed exist, as many here are clamoring for me to believe, and if that person is reading this: Please, I suggest you go to law enforcement with this.

    What good would it do? There won’t be any evidence besides testimony so it’s just “he said/she said” between skeptical bigwig and someone with less social capital to spend defending herself. What harm would it do? Quite a bit for the victim as everyone talking about trying to get justice for rape and sexual assault has related already.

    Will you please engage with the arguments already made on this subject? You might want to believe that our world is a just one and all victims of rape and sexual assault get justice just by bringing their complaint to the police but that simply isn’t the case.

  432. 932
    setec

    Setec’s gone way beyond that now. They are desperately trying to find a get out of rape card for themself.

    Jesus Christ, fuck you lady. I’m married, I don’t drink, and I’ve only ever had sex with my wife. You misattributed a quote to me from some OTHER poster who’s had sex with a bunch of drunk girls, and now you’re accusing me of looking for a “get out of rape” card? You owe me an apology.

    All I’m doing in this thread is arguing the academic points that 1) drunk people are somewhat responsible for their actions, 2) “rape” is a very severe crime that should be applied only to cases more abusive than drunken-consensual sex, 3) suggesting that the accusation in OP should be more slightly specific about the accusation.

  433. 933
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    Will some open the drain for the crummycorvette. The ooze needs to go down the ‘pit.

  434. 934
    daniellavine

    @setec:

    PLEASE stop lawyering definitions of consent here. THis is not a good venue for that. Take it to thunderdome if you must but please do not do it here.

  435. 935
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    I am seriously baffled by the “she/PZ are making this up!” crap.

    What could either of them possibly stand to gain by inventing a story like this? Especially with the reference to a rebuffed report – reports generate paper trails, after all.

    In fact (and this is one of the major reasons rape victims don’t report), in many cases rape victims have more to lose from reporting than not.

  436. 936
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    I was taught about hell, I feared it intensely. I was also raped on a regular basis from ages 3 to 9. I’d be happy to tell you which was worse.

    Agreed. I was one of those terribly obnoxious self-righteous “Jesus-loves-you-unless-you-sin” kids that even other Christians and Christian kids finds UBER annoying, who couldn’t speak a sentence without referencing Jesus or God in some way. I mean, I was HYPER Christian.

    I had nightmares about hell, I grieved at and mourned the death of my father intensely as a child, not because he died but because he committed suicide and would thus go to hell. I was also repeatedly raped and molested by 2 different family members as a child from ages +- 5 to +-10.

    I’ll also be happy to tell you which was worse, and how horrible that comparison is in the first place.

  437. 937
    Lou Doench

    @crumbcorvette, that is WAY too much information about your sex life. And hardly fucking relevant.

  438. 938
    PZ Myers

    RazielWasAlone is going to have to change his name to RazielWasBanned. There are some levels of stupidity that will not be tolerated.

  439. 939
    Tom Foss

    Setec: it’s possible for two people–a husband and wife, even–to get blasted drunk and have sex, and wake up the next morning and both be fine with it. The question of rape might never even come up, or matter, in that instance.

    It’s also possible for two people–a husband and wife, even–to get blasted drunk and have sex, and the next morning one or the other or both of them feel violated and abused. The question of rape would come up then, and would be pretty easily settled (no consent? then rape). The problem of fault becomes thornier, and the problem of justice moreso.

    That this particular situation may be difficult to parse out doesn’t make this an unreasonable, radical, or even uncommon definition of rape.

  440. 940
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Raziel:
    Read. The. Thread.
    Going to the police has been addressed. Over and over and over.

  441. 941
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    crumbbumcorvette: Fuck you very much for your comment at @926.

    TRIGGER WARNING

    Here’s a news flash for you: it’s possible to be on top and being raped. It’s called the other person is bigger than you and has threatened you with violence if you don’t do the work for them. (And in my case, every time I tried to get off, those hands whipped back around to grab me.) Apparently it soothed his ego for it to look like I wanted to be there, even though I was sobbing at the time and kept trying to cover myself with my hands (that he kept removing because it impeded his view.)

    Okay, now I am officially WAY too triggered for this discussion. I may be able to come back later, but now I need to go not think real hard. This may involve alcohol. The great part is my partner will never, ever attempt to rape me no matter how much I drink.

    *gag*

  442. 942
    badgersdaughter

    Sorry, Skeptifem, my snark detector’s insulin feed is acting up. Good job on your post. :D

  443. 943
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Raziel WasAlone –

    That does not change the fact that going to the police in such situations is the best thing to do. In fact, if any of this is true, one wonders why PZ has not encouraged the alleged victim to go to the police?

    however the only way that justice can be dealt is if the rapist is taken to court and tried.

    *facepalm* Read. The. Fucking. Thread. You lying asswipe.

    Are you saying that if someone claims that they have been raped then that person should be believed immediately? I think that’s a dangerous view to take on it.

    Women always lie, men never lie. Therefore doubting what women say is “skepticism”, but doubting what a man says is MISANDRYWITCHHUNTFREEZEPEACH!

    Go fuck yourself. And take angry rape-denier Crumbumcorvette and the incredibly worthless Johann with you.

  444. 944
    screechymonkey

    klatu, I disagree. I’m not, and wasn’t, minimizing or downplaying Dawkins’s trauma. My point is that certain elements of the skeptic/atheist community applies a double standard when the victim is a woman and the perpetrator someone on “our” side.

    I fail to see how that is “appropriating” someone else’s pain. Any more than the people who have alluded to O.J. Simpson (as an example of someone believed to be guilty of murder despite the failure of the criminal justice system to convict him) are “misappropriating” the pain of the Goldman family.

    Anyway, my point’s been made, and it’s not an issue I intend to dwell on, but that’s my reasoning.

  445. 945
    PZ Myers

    Whooops, crumbumcorvette has also met the banhammer. Guess what? It was much larger than his penis.

  446. 946
    LykeX

    If a victim does indeed exist, as many here are clamoring for me to believe, and if that person is reading this: Please, I suggest you go to law enforcement with this.

    You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Get a face and a name to target. That way you could stop the vague suspicions and get down to some serious personal harassment. Maybe even make up some story to their employer and get them fired. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  447. 947
    setec

    It’s also possible for two people–a husband and wife, even–to get blasted drunk and have sex, and the next morning one or the other or both of them feel violated and abused. The question of rape would come up then, and would be pretty easily settled (no consent? then rape).

    I agree with “no consent? then rape,” which is why I’m so against the categorical assertion being made by many in this thread that a drunk person can’t consent. There are people above saying it’s rape (by the man) if a drunk woman initiates sex and a man accepts. That’s ridiculous. It may be dishonorable, sleazy, or unchivalrous, but to apply the term “rape” is to completely devalue a word that traditionally describes a truly heinous crime.

  448. 948
    Inaji

    Gen:

    I’ll also be happy to tell you which was worse, and how horrible that comparison is in the first place.

    Exactly. That’s what appalled most people about his statement. It’s apples and oranges and utterly wrong to compare them.

    PZ:

    RazielWasAlone is going to have to change his name to RazielWasBanned. There are some levels of stupidity that will not be tolerated.

    Thank you. Reading him was like having my head repeatedly banged into a wall. Highly unpleasant.

  449. 949
    Hertta (Herttainen)

    I wish PZ hadn’t removed the comments by Roberto Matus, dontblamethevictim and Skeptknight. Now that we know they’re the same person, I’d like to see those comments side by side. To display the hatefulness, the dishonesty, the callousness and, in the case of the rape discription, outright cruelty.

  450. 950
    Maureen Brian

    nonzero,

    We don’t ask an awful lot of the people who post here, just that they read the OP and the comments to date before they say anything. We are also not keen on people who set out to derail the thread or discredit an individual but I am not, repeat not, suggesting that you did either of those.

    You see after you had expressed your inclination to believe both PZ and the person whose story he told you jumped straight into a quagmire – something which could have been avoided if you had give it a bit more thought. You leapt into the “but was it really rape” scenario beloved of liars and rape apologists like Whossisname that PZ just got rid of. To that you added the request for more of the gory details.

    For many of us who have been raped that request itself is triggering. Many of us have experience of someone insisting on knowing the details and then either visibly licking his lips or later passing that detail on to someone who definitely didn’t need to know.

    I am quite prepared to accept that you did this without malice but it was still the wrong thing to do and sometimes you’ll need to give a bit of extra thought to how you ask questions..

    This is a mighty sensitive subject of which too many here have direct experience. That’s why we value Pharyngula as a place where we can be both honest and blunt and where the others will have our backs should come creep try to distress us. It also accounts for the so-called rudeness to which Johan took such exception – it keeps away at least some of the people who get their kicks by triggering their interlocutors’ PTSD.

    I think I followed posts here for about 2 years before I said anything – perhaps a little too cautious but safer than putting your first footstep onto a landmine! Anyway, stick around and learn.

  451. 951
    daniellavine

    setec@947:

    Once again, please take this lawyering of the concept of consent elsewhere.

  452. 952
    Denverly

    …suggesting that the accusation in OP should be more slightly specific about the accusation.

    What about the words unable to consent confuse you? Unable to consent does not require a “because” added to the end of it for any reason in order to qualify it as rape.

  453. 953
    rsparks

    And thank goodness that legal convictions are not handled by the sort of mob mentality demonstrated here.

    It’s ironic that the threshold for convincing evidence and proof in a court of law is much lower than that in the scientific community, at least in the physical sciences. And the mob responses here can’t even get close to the former threshold.

    PZ, for someone who espouses the high standards of rationality and evidence, it’s disappointing to see this sort of circus at your prompting. The accusations are likely credible given the circumstances, certainly enough to demand an investigation, but this sort of public lynching is just remarkable.

  454. 954
    MrFancyPants

    For the record, I had a long argument with Johan (the guy @862) over at Jen’s place yesterday where he showed that he basically has no clue what harassment and assault issues really are. He actually made the point that he felt “flattered” to be on the receiving end of persistent solicitations, so that makes creepy harassment totes okay. (Cuz to him it’s not harassment, right, just flattering attention!)

    I would link it, but Jen took down the entire comment thread, probably on the advice of Popehat.

  455. 955
    Inaji

    Mouthyb:

    Okay, now I am officially WAY too triggered for this discussion. I may be able to come back later, but now I need to go not think real hard. This may involve alcohol. The great part is my partner will never, ever attempt to rape me no matter how much I drink.

    I’m sorry, Mouthyb. Take care of yourself. I’m reaching trigger mass myself, so I probably won’t be around much longer either. I’ll be thinking of you.

  456. 956
    playonwords

    One more twit crumbumcorvette http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-2/#comment-663022

    With any luck they will make a fine meal for Vampyroteuthis infernalis, given that excellent beast’s diet.

    Let’s say it again if you are both drunk and your victim is incapable of either saying “no” or resisting you then it is rape no matter what previous agreement you had.

  457. 957
    daniellavine

    rsparks@953:

    It’s ironic that the threshold for convincing evidence and proof in a court of law is much lower than that in the scientific community, at least in the physical sciences. And the mob responses here can’t even get close to the former threshold.

    Since the intention here is not to imprison Shermer for crimes committed this objection is irrelevant.

    Please re-read the OP, internalize the intention behind PZ posting this, and rejoin the discussion with that in mind.

  458. 958
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    crumbumcorvette:

    I guess I could do that if I was crazy and believed the conspiracy theory that all drunken one night stands are actually just rape.

    Again, it’d be nice if people could read for comprehension.

    All drunken one-night stands are not automatically rape. Nor do many of us claim they are. What isn’t up for debate is the issue of consent. Unless you get consent before being drunk, you can’t know for sure that you would’ve received reciprocal enthusiastic consent. So yeah, if the one-night stand you bring home is drunk but would not normally have given consent, it’s rape.

    If you think you must get them drunk to have sex with them, it’s premeditated rape.

  459. 959
    setec

    Caine, Fleur du mal, I’m still waiting for you to apologize for misattributing someone else’s quote to me and accusing me of wanting a get-out-of-rape-free card.

  460. 960
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    *sigh*

    Guess what? It was much larger than his penis.

    Really PZ? The small-dick joke, kinda not cool.

  461. 961
    daniellavine

    setec@959:

    This discussion is not about you. Please discuss the subject at hand or stop commenting entirely. If you need to get into a pissing match with Caine do that elsewhere.

  462. 962
    Inaji

    MrFancyPants:

    For the record, I had a long argument with Johan (the guy @862) over at Jen’s place yesterday where he showed that he basically has no clue what harassment and assault issues really are. He actually made the point that he felt “flattered” to be on the receiving end of persistent solicitations, so that makes creepy harassment totes okay. (Cuz to him it’s not harassment, right, just flattering attention!)

    Thank you for letting us know. Johan’s persistence in downplaying all people’s experiences was extremely wearing and his creepiness in singing the “give us details!” chorus was triggering me something awful.

  463. 963
    pierremenard

    If a women initiates sex while drunk, and the man is not drunk, then it is rape. Is there an exact blood alcohol level that we can point to that determines what is a non-consensual level and what is not? Obviously not.

    There are quite obviously moral grey areas, but those grey areas just mean we should be more morally cautious, and not use it as an excuse or reason to reject the problem itself.

    The semi-indeterminacy of blood alcohol level and consent is not a problem. Abusing the effects of alcohol in order to rape someone is.

  464. 964
    LykeX

    @rsparks
    Oh come on. Again? We have to beat this one down again? In the same damn thread a-fucking-gain?
    Can’t you people at least come up with something new? This is like whack-a-mole; fun for a minute or two, but then it just gets monotonous.

  465. 965
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    The thing about angry dudes like crumbumcorvette is that wtf is he getting so angry about?

    Shermer went apeshit over a mild rebuke of his sexist language, and now we have a pretty good idea why that might be. Skeletons rattling in the closet and all that.

    crumbumcorvette is getting irrationally, spittle-flicking angry at being told that people can get drunk enough that they can’t give actual consent. I wonder why that might be?

  466. 966
    skeptifem

    Skeptifem, they haven’t both engaged in vehicular homicide, because only one person was driving and only one person was killed. You’re smarter than that. Try again.

    no, both people were driving and one was killed.

    do you see the issue?

  467. 967
    Tom Foss

    Setec:

    There are people above saying it’s rape (by the man) if a drunk woman initiates sex and a man accepts. That’s ridiculous. It may be dishonorable, sleazy, or unchivalrous, but to apply the term “rape” is to completely devalue a word that traditionally describes a truly heinous crime.

    Um, no, that’s pretty clearly rape. Also if a drunk man initiates sex and a woman accepts. Also drunk man/man and drunk woman/woman and any other possible permutations. It’s taking advantage of someone who does not have their full faculties. The right thing to do for the propositionee in any of those cases is to refuse and make sure the propositioner sleeps it off someplace safe.

    How drunk is too drunk? We’re talking “drunk” here, not tipsy, not buzzed, but “drunk.” And “drunk” in this context is shorthand for “having drunk so much they can’t consent.” See here. How drunk is that? What BAC? Maybe, and I know this is shocking, maybe if there’s a question, err on the side of not raping. If you don’t know whether or not someone is sober enough to consent to sex, maybe just don’t have sex with them, and then discuss it when you’re both sober. Accept that the definitions leave wiggle room because not doing so leaves it open to the same kind of “I pushed the envelope but only up to the line not over it defensive bullshit that we’ve seen elsewhere with the “I want a complete list of things that are not acceptable” demands that Johan was making over at Blag Hag.

    I realize the “both drunk” issue is the trolley problem of rape culture. I don’t have an answer, beyond “maybe don’t get into that situation.” I’m sure there are answers, and I’m sure not all of them are satisfying. But the whole of the definition, discussion, and prosecution of rape does not fall apart because we can think of a hypothetical in which it’s difficult to completely assign blame.

  468. 968
    badgersdaughter

    If the person who drunkenly propositions you would not approach you in that manner when sober, because their judgment is impaired by alcohol, and you take advantage of their drunken willingness, then you have committed a rape (= taking sexual advantage of someone who is unable to consent). Why is this so difficult? Oh, I know. What if you don’t know whether they would have approached you if sober? Then I suppose you had better not assume they would be OK with it.

  469. 969
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    What I want to know is WHY does NOBODY CARE that Anthony released Michael Shermer from the Jail of Public Opinion??? Is it because Anthony is a guy? Well is it?

    Where’s his credit, you innocent until guilty court-type rules lawyers? WHERE?

    MISANDRY!

  470. 970
    Goodbye Enemy Janine

    And rsparks misses the point. This is not a court and no one ever made the claim that it was. PZ shared the story so that other women who are around Micheal Shermer can know what is possible. And, also, to encourage other women who have had a similar to come out with their stories, that there is sopport even if police action cannot be taken.

    Also, here is an unpleasant truth for you. Many women do not report their rapes because there are too many people like you who are dismissive of such charges.

    Yeah, I said it. And fuck you.

  471. 971
    LykeX

    Let’s make a very simple standard: If you have to ask “is that rape?” the answer is yes.

  472. 972
    Pteryxx

    I’m still waiting for you to apologize for misattributing someone else’s quote to me and accusing me of wanting a get-out-of-rape-free card.

    because setec’s pride is more important than anyone being triggered by the massive callousness and further rape culture evidenced in this thread.

    setec, a suggestion. Pretend to be magnanimous in accepting the blow to your pride and abandon the point.

  473. 973
    Anthony K

    What I want to know is WHY does NOBODY CARE that Anthony released Michael Shermer from the Jail of Public Opinion??? Is it because Anthony is a guy? Well is it?

    Nope. It’s because I promised everybody blog hits if they kept hush-hush.

  474. 974
    setec

    If a women initiates sex while drunk, and the man is not drunk, then it is rape.

    Not according to any courtroom or dictionary in the world, or common sense. That’s a seriously extremist view.

    I agree with others who’ve said it’s unproductive to keep lawyering the definition of “consent,” and I’ve made my point clearly enough, so I’m done.

  475. 975
    Tom Foss

    Daniellavine: Apologies for engaging that person. You’re right, there are better venues.

  476. 976
    Anthony K

    Also, Michael Shermer was was given blog hits as restitution for his time incarcerated by Public Opinion.

    I trust this settles the matter.

  477. 977
    b. - Order of Lagomorpha

    @ 862 Johan

    On the off-chance you’re still lurking: Tone Troll. A definition for your convenience in case you didn’t like the one in the Pharyngula Wiki. People who are passionate on a subject will frequently use naughty words. People who have to deal with other people who a) refuse to actually read the OP before posting or b) attempt to continuously derail the conversation or c) are disinclined to do any homework whatsoever (including reading the comments) before commenting or d) say things that are blatant (plug your ears!) horseshit are liable to be the target for naughty words and/or phrases and/or colorful suggestions about what they may or may not do with a rotting porcupine. Such is life.

    This place is far from hearing its death-knell due to naughty language, colorful suggestions or rudeness towards newbies. I’m more a lurker than a poster here and so a virtual newbie and no one’s bitten my head off (yet), but I try to stay on-topic, don’t bewail people’s choice of language, and read the danged OP a couple times before I shoot my mouth off. Ever been in a biker bar? Loud people, definitely colorful language and a culture of its own. You did the virtual version of walking into one in meat-space, plunking yourself on a stool and exclaiming, “Eek! The language!” while wagging your finger in the bartenders face and then asking for the nearest fainting couch. The “welcome” you got really shouldn’t have been a surprise. Most important lesson to take away? If someone says the fucking earth orbits the fucking sun, their argument isn’t rendered invalid by their choice of language. Speak to the argument, not the delivery.

  478. 978
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    LykeX:

    Let’s make a very simple standard: If you have to ask “is that rape?” the answer is yes.

    Yes! A thousand times, yes.

    We can call it the LykeX Limit.

  479. 979
    skeptifem

    There are quite obviously moral grey areas, but those grey areas just mean we should be more morally cautious, and not use it as an excuse or reason to reject the problem itself.

    EXACTLY.

    If you are such a shitbag that you think “oh gee, moral grey area, I should really whip it out” then its clear that you don’t really care if you are raping someone or not. Not caring if you are raping someone or not means you are willing to take the risk in order to have sex, and you are a terrible human being.I can’t decide how someone would experience the sex between mutually drunken parties- it depends on who they are, who the other person is, their history, what happened, etc. Its a case by case thing, but its still pretty horrendous to take such a risk with someone elses safety.

  480. 980
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    I am no longer willing to attend any event that features Michael Shermer as a speaker or host or guest of honor.

  481. 981
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    And thank goodness that legal convictions are not handled by the sort of mob mentality demonstrated here.

    Women are all liars and people who disagree are just a mob!

    It’s ironic that the threshold for convincing evidence and proof in a court of law is much lower than that in the scientific community, at least in the physical sciences. And the mob responses here can’t even get close to the former threshold.

    Rape culture means never having to consider any one else’s POV, just scream “court of law” “innocent until proven guilty” etc, but just ignore the part about how that only ever applies to the victims of rape and NEVER the men accused of it. How convenient!

    PZ, for someone who espouses the high standards of rationality and evidence, it’s disappointing to see this sort of circus at your prompting.

    Women always lie, PZ, and men never do. Why won’t you agree with my that bitches always lie!?!

    The accusations are likely credible given the circumstances, certainly enough to demand an investigation, but this sort of public lynching is just remarkable.

    Okay, sure, maybe the bitch isn’t lying, but it’s still totally wrong to no immediately take the man’s side because bitches ain’t shit, and probably asked for it.

  482. 982
    PZ Myers

    The accusations are likely credible given the circumstances, certainly enough to demand an investigation, but this sort of public lynching is just remarkable.

    OK, everyone, dismantle the gallows and put the rope away.

    Note those words: “credible” and “demand an investigation”. What does it take to get that investigation to happen and to be taken seriously? When a woman accuses a rapist right after the event, and it gets swept under the carpet so she gets to suffer with the trauma for years afterwards, I think we can safely say that it’s going to take some ferociously loud public argument to get the responsible parties to take heed.

    Which then people will try to silence by calling it a “lynch mob”.

  483. 983
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    In response to the “what if a drunk person comes on to a sober person?” thing:

    The sober person, being sober, should have the self-control to say “no.”

    Why is that complicated?

  484. 984
    badgersdaughter

    Oh, I seem Skeptifem. No, if both were drunk driving and only one was killed, then only the living person can be charged with homicide, because they’re alive. The police would still have to take into account the culpability of the dead person in establishing proportionate fault and damages (for insurance purposes, for example). But if two drunk people have the kind of sex neither of them want because they are drunk and impaired, then it’s rape for both of them because neither of them would have wanted that when able to meaningfully consent. Oh, and presumably they are both still alive. If the two drunk people have sex and one dies, I suppose we should also count the angels on a head of a pin.

  485. 985
    Inaji

    Tom Foss:

    I realize the “both drunk” issue is the trolley problem of rape culture.

    Except it isn’t. When you change your own attitudes, with a clear understanding of enthusiastic consent, it’s pretty easy. Realizing that deciding to have sex when you’re both drunk isn’t a good idea, you just don’t do that unless it’s decided beforehand, while both parties are clear-headed and sober. If you’re in a relationship and both decide “let’s get wasted and have wild sex!”, go for it. The key is to decide on the sex prior to the drinking. If you don’t make that prior decision, the answer is “sleep it off, sex later.” Easy.

  486. 986
    daniellavine

    Tom Foss@975:

    No apologies needed from my perspective. Just do what you can to keep this discussion on topic because it’s busy and depressing enough as it is.

  487. 987
    klatu

    @Caine, Fleur du mal #902
    Borked blockquote, I guess. Sorry for the misunderstanding, Janine.

  488. 988
    Tom Foss

    Esteleth:

    The sober person, being sober, should have the self-control to say “no.”

    Why is that complicated?

    I don’t get it either. I suspect we wouldn’t see the same level of “confusion” if instead of “drunk” we used a different marker of being unable to consent, like “underage.” Suddenly, I think things would get a lot clearer for those confused people.

  489. 989
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Setec:

    How do you get more specific than “Shermer got me drunk. I could not consent to sex. He raped me” ???

  490. 990
    pierremenard

    Response to setec [because I have no idea how to quote people...is it that

    thing?]

    I’m not sure if my view is extremist or not. I think it is the correct view however [ I'm not using a legal definition]. Also “common sense” is a non-answer. At best “common sense” is….”common”….at worst it is ignorant intuition mongering.I don’t think calling it extremist is useful in actually getting to the point of the issue either. Nor do I actually care what word is used for that situation (except insofar as the gravity of the situation is conveyed by the term rape). To treat a drunk person in such a way is extraordinary immoral. It is disrespect them as a person and to use there body as nothing more than there perverted plaything.

  491. 991
    Inaji

    Esteleth:

    Why is that complicated?

    It isn’t. Many men, however, are not accustomed to saying no any more than they tend to be willing to take no for an answer. That’s one of the things which needs to change. It’s okay to say no. It’s great to take responsibility for actions as a thinking human being.

  492. 992
    daniellavine

    Can people please stop trying to goad setec into restarting the consent discussion? This is really not a great thread for that. People are already getting triggered.

  493. 993
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Not according to any courtroom or dictionary in the world, or common sense. That’s a seriously extremist view.

    Fucking hell, you’re thick. We’re not talking about slightly tipsy. We’re talking fall down, black out drunk. If someone can’t drive a car due to impairment why the fuck are you so desperate to believe its wrong to say they can’t actually consent to fucking?

    You want to know why people think you’re hunting for a ‘get out of rape free’ card – that’s why. You’re so desperate to pretend that a person who’s legally incapable of driving a car is magically and mysteriously perfectly able to fully and clearly consent. If a drunk person signed a contract allowing someone else to repeatedly run them over with a car, would that be such a clear cut case for you too?

    People can drink to the point where they are no longer capable of giving consent. Grow the fuck up.

  494. 994
    skeptifem

    it doesn’t even say she was drunk though tony, the comments just devolved into talk about drunken sex.

  495. 995
    pierremenard

    I guess I accidentally figured out how to quote. Sort of:

    Response to setec
    I’m not sure if my view is extremist or not. I think it is the correct view however [ I'm not using a legal definition]. Also “common sense” is a non-answer. At best “common sense” is….”common”….at worst it is ignorant intuition mongering.I don’t think calling it extremist is useful in actually getting to the point of the issue either. Nor do I actually care what word is used for that situation (except insofar as the gravity of the situation is conveyed by the term rape). To treat a drunk person in such a way is extraordinary immoral. It is disrespect them as a person and to use there body as nothing more than there perverted plaything.

  496. 996
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Tom Foss:

    I don’t get it either. I suspect we wouldn’t see the same level of “confusion” if instead of “drunk” we used a different marker of being unable to consent, like “underage.” Suddenly, I think things would get a lot clearer for those confused people.

    Exactly. Or use some other act, like borrowing money, or using their car, or any number of other trivial things. “Hey, I’m going to borrow this $100 from your wallet” takes on entirely different overtones when the lender is drunk, and the borrower isn’t. Suddenly clear and enthusiastic consent makes totes sense.

  497. 997
    kevinsolway

    Literally MILLIONS of women have experience the existence of God, and as we all know, women don’t lie, and have no reason to lie.

    Therefore God exists.

    If you doubt the existence of God then you are a misogynist.

  498. 998
    leebrimmicombe-wood

    @rsparks

    The accusations are likely credible given the circumstances, certainly enough to demand an investigation, but this sort of public lynching is just remarkable.

    Um, it’s not a lynching. Shermer’s life is not under threat. At the worst, the result of this is likely to be that he will be shunned by some of the community. So, pretty poor analogy, that. This is a naming and shaming, not a lynching.

    As many have pointed out, this is not a court of law, nor is pretending to be. What it is is a public warning to people that claims of predatory behaviour have been made against this man.

    PZ, who honestly believes the claimant, was faced with a moral dilemma. Say nothing and let Shermer continue his predation, let it be swept under the carpet? Or say something and shed light on this. Given that official channels *have* been exhausted on this matter, it seems that you would prefer nothing be done and there to be no victims. PZ, on the other hand, has decided to speak for the victim.

    Now, if Shermer wishes to contest the claim he could take action to clear his name. Now, that might be unwise of him should the claims be true.

    What I would prefer from this is that Shermer, if he is indeed a predator, not do this ever again. Because if he does, I’m guessing this public shaming will increase the chance that a next victim will complain to the authorities. And who knows, they might take it more seriously next time.

  499. 999
    brianpansky

    hasn’t everyone already seen, like, 20 conversations about drunk sex? go google that stuff, it has to be somewhere.

    maybe it can be ok if you already trust each other and know what you are doing. otherwise, there is a significantly increased risk of rape, even if sometimes the person is sober enough and you judge the situation correctly, you will not always know.

    this isn’t hard. but some people can’t use imagination to figure it out i guess.

    but also, some people DO know that they are messing up the ability to consent, and these non-imaginative types almost seem that they don’t think that ever happens. they need to read the research such as “meet the predators” or whatever.

  500. 1000
    Inaji

    Pierremenard:

    because I have no idea how to quote people

    like this: <blockquote>Place Text Here</blockquote>

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