Scientology’s views on evolution »« [Thunderdome]

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.

Comments

  1. says

    Yes, right, the courts decide “guilty” or “not guilty”, and “not guilty” might mean “did it but can’t be proven”.

    But people conflate “not guilty” and “innocent.” Even I made that mistake just now.

    The thing is, we need better gradiation of degrees of not-guilty, including “did it but can’t put them behind bars”. That is what is happening here — enough evidence to suggest Shermer is not “innocent” even if he’s not demonstrably “guilty”.

  2. Aim says

    Except for the part where women (and people of other genders) who are survivors and dare name their rapists are, by default, not believed in wider society. And they receive, by default, all sorts of nasty harrassment, slutshaming, rape threats and death threats.
    Whereas men who are accused of rape, hell, even men who have been fucking convicted of rape, are generally defended by society at large. Does the name Roman Polanski ring a bell?

  3. Ichthyic says

    I sincerely hope some of the people on this blog never get jury duty.

    you know, in a rape trial, it often comes down to the testimony of one person against the other.

    so, how do you decide to lend weight to one or the other?

    corroboration is one way.

    Has there been corroboration in this case? Yes, from several different sources.

    seriously, people arguing this is a kneejerk and anonymous attack against shermer have NO CLUE what they are talking about.

    NONE.

    you’re just making yourselves look like complete idiots.

  4. says

    Cold @3504:

    Since you’ve assured us that you’ve read the whole thread, you’ve undoubtedly already seen us explain, multiple times:

    If you’re asking that Jane Doe (et al.) not share her experience with Michael Shermer because it would cause the harm that Shermer becomes “that guy who may or may not have committed rape once” (or, you know, half a dozen times) — something you seem to view as a great harm to Michael Shermer –the reasonable alternative seems to be that we view every skeptic dude as “that guy who may or may not have committed rape once.”

    Is this really what you’re advocating?

  5. says

    Has cold sockpuppeted past the ban, or are these just residual comments that are still showing up? Are there any monitors in here still? Cold, seriously, fuck off. You’re entirely unwelcome here.

  6. Chandrese says

    @ 3427 Pteryxx:

    (possible TW)

    That was me you were citing and I appreciate very much your correction and your information. I admit I had foremost in my mind the recent atrocity in England where a judge termed the 13 year old female victim as the predator and the recent stories about the 14 year old female juveniles in detention who wanted to be raped.

    It’s always better to consider the complexity of an issue and I clearly didn’t.

  7. Ichthyic says

    again, these people calling out the potential harm to shermer, while IGNORING the potential harm to his next victim, are showing their male privilege in spades.

    that’s all it is, and they’re just to blind to see it.

  8. Who Cares says

    @cold(3506):

    I’m not putting the onus of preventing rape on the victim. It’s not a victim’s fault when he or she gets raped, it’s the rapist’s fault. But that wasn’t your argument, your argument was that it’s someone else’s job to make sure you don’t get raped, as if that’s even a logically or morally sound argument under any ethical system.

    Yes you did in the post that what you put up in italics was a reply to.
    Nice attempt at a dodge.

  9. zenlike says

    with such little evidence

    Because the testimony of several women doesn’t qualify as evidence emyrite?

  10. sqlrob says

    I’m arguing that women can do whatever they want, but accusing someone of being a rapist douche who engages in skeezy behavior with such little evidence is running someone’s name through the mud.

    Yeah, it’s not like there’s multiple sources here along with a long-held reputation for skeeviness.

    oh, wait…

  11. Al Dente says

    Thanks, Cold, for showing how little you respect women and for showing you have no regard for potential or actual rape victims. The common term for people like you is rape apologist.

  12. says

    How does it prevent other victims from stepping forth?

    You have no fucking idea what a rape victim has to go through in reporting a rape, do you?

    Also true but consider the ramifications if Shermer ISN’T a rapist.

    In a world where rape were taken seriously, maybe. In the real world, the ramifications are ‘nothing’. Now, all that being said, even if we lived in a world where rape were taken seriously, I’m not all that concerned. So he’s gotta deal with gossip – boohoo, we all do. Some of us far worse, for less.

    This isn’t an attempt to downplay the atrocity of rape, it’s just a reminder that not everyone who gets accused of rape is necessarily guilty but in many cases the ramifications suggest they might as well be.

    The ramifications are generally nothing, unless the victim’s a child.

  13. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    *Posted to the Grenade thread b/c people talking about the DIAF comments, and the Thunderdome so Bonez can respond*

    So, I went back through looking for the DIAF and kill yourself comments. I found 3 people who said such things (2 DIAF and 1 kill yourself). The kill yourself comment happened first and by a non-regular, which was called out immediately 3 times. (Here, Here, and Here. It’s called out a fourth time by Nate, though Nate refers to

    Meta note: I notice that some angry responses contain veiled references to committing suicide.

    but I’ve went back and read the preceeding 595 comments before Nate’s and haven’t been able to find any other comments about suicide, veiled or not.

    The DIAF comments, first by Illuminata where they say

    In one way, I disagree with commenters here, which I will now illustrate: Die in a Fire.

    admits to being against the agreed upon decorum here. The second by a commenter I’ve never seen before

    #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

    . Both of those comments were made by the comment PZ whited out at #624 for the graphic use of a real rape scenario to say PZ was a rapist. This is followed by Tony calling it out.

    So, yeah Bonez was fucking lying when they said

    and telling them to go off themselves [yes, asshat, you and others have fucking implied that in a few shit comments]

    .

    It wasn’t Caine, it wasn’t accepted, it is not what we stand for here.

  14. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    I second the call for a monitor to doublecheck with our Overlord as to whether the ban got placed correctly.

    Cold is still dribbling all over here.

    Any monitor around? PZ?

  15. says

    Socio-Gen:

    You want to talk progress? Well, in my case, I started just by calling out the sexism, racism, and other asshatted nonsense in my classes. (I’m an older-than-average college student in Minnesota and I have a moderate case of social anxiety.) It was scary as hell – it took me hours to stop shaking after the first time I called out “That’s not actually true” – but I did it, and was able to follow up by repeating things I’d learned here, including offering to email that person with links to resources on the topic, which I also learned about here. After that class, several people came up and thanked me, saying they wanted to say something but had been too scared to risk being the only one. The classmate I’d corrected requested the resources I’d offered (and continues to educate himself on sexism and racism). I decided that, as much as I was able, I would continue doing it, just to give even one other person the comfort of knowing they weren’t alone.

    Wow, oh wow. You’re Superwoman, too! You are beyond awesome and that is amazing.

    Keithm:

    So no, not a shining shining example of decency.

    Actually, you are. Why? Because instead of riding your anger into permanent assholism, you decided to think. Then you researched and had enough of an open mind to consider whether or not you had things right. Then you educated yourself. Now you’re part of the change and part of the solution. Listen, you’re gonna get the cookie, so just accept it. You’re a good person, Keith, and I’m proud to make your acquaintance.

    Marismae:

    I can’t even tell you how much good it’s done my own healing just seeing rape and DV apologetics ripped to shreds.

    Good. So good. You have our support, always.

    Hello, Standard. Thank you for adding your voice.

  16. says

    Oh, theres a new twist on “consequences for being falsely accused of rape”. Theres *stigma* attached to your name. I would be quite interested in hearing howthis stigma affects the life of the falsely accused. Heck, I would be happy to see evidence of stigma attached to the falsely accused. Remind me again, the Duke Lacrosse players…they have this stigma, no? And their lives have been wrecked because of it…right?

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As opposed to instantly believing my friend just by virtue of the fact that he’s my friend?

    More non-sequiturs. You dont’ believe what women say because they are women. End of story.

    How does it prevent other victims from stepping forth?

    Intimidation, of which your anger and aggression here is prima facie evidence.

    If I had the life of a person in my hands based on what someone is telling me, it calls for proper investigation of the matter regardless of whether or not the person perceived as being slighted is my friend.

    This isn’t a court of law fuckwit, so more prima facie evidence you lie and bullshit. Nothing you say should be believed without a citation. Gee, how do you like being on the receiving end…

    That’s not the reason, the reason is because you should be innocent until proven guilty.

    Again with that lie and bullshit. That only must happen in the criminal justice system. What a fuckwitted loser you are. Again with the fuckwittery:

    Again I didn’t say a blog was a court of law, but completely disregarding the concept on innocent until proven

    This isn’t the criminal justice system, which you acknowledged. Meaning you knowingly lie and bullshit about that.
    The purpose of this thread was simple. TO WARN WOMEN ABOUT A KNOWN PREDATOR AND HIS TECHNIQUE. Confirmed my multiple women.

    What have I said so far that’s been “debunked”?

    Innocent until proven guilty applies outside of the criminal justice system.; Soundly refuted.

    I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of the “accuser should be assumed right / accused should be assumed guilty” argument being made.

    YOUR ARGUMENT IS SOUNDLY REFUTED.

    For example, I am now accusing you of raping me. You’re a rapist and you raped me. Will I be shunned here or will I be given the same kind of fanfare like PZ’s OP did?

    You’re a proven liar and bullshitter. Your claims will be dismissed for that reason, and that reason alone. Your opinion is bullshit.

  18. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    GRRRR. Too many links in my comment proving Bonez was fucking lying about the kill yourself comment so it’s in moderation.

  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But that wasn’t your argument, your argument was that it’s someone else’s job to make sure you don’t get raped, as if that’s even a logically or morally sound argument under any ethical system.

    Nope, just that preventing rapes is more important than protecting know predators.

  20. Pete Newell says

    Cold@3484:

    You know, I very carefully didn’t call you a creep, if you read even just the words you chose to quote. But reading isn’t your thing, is it?

    I also didn’t call you a troll, but if the bridge fits…

  21. Maureen Brian says

    Cold,

    It has been established over a period of years, several years, that Shermer has a habit of engaging in manipulative and discomforting behaviour which at the very least is unbecoming of a leader. And he does consider himself to be a leader.

    We know that word of this behaviour – let us call it for the moment risky behaviour – has been passed on in private with warnings but that this has proved to be insufficient to protect everyone who might, only might at this stage, be at risk.

    We also know, from experience, that Shermer does not like his pre-eminence to be challenged and he can be vindictive. Witness his out-of proportion defence of his own amazingness when a woman known to many of us challenged him in passing on a bit of sloppy thinking with a sexist tinge. Let’s just say he did not like it one bit: i dare not estimate how many angry words he expended in not liking it!

    So, what do we have up to, say, 6 or 7 August this year? We have a man who does not like to be crossed and who is in a position of power, a man whose behaviour towards women at conferences has been a cause of concern for years.

    Then someone whose integrity he trusts confides in PZ that this man’s behaviour was not simply unpleasant. In her case it was rape. She asks for PZ’s help in boosting the signal that this man represents a danger. She wishes to remain anonymous because she has no realistic hope of support from the “forces of law and order” and expects a vindictive reaction if she should be identified.

    She has weighed the risks. PZ weighs the risks. Then PZ publishes and the account of both that event and the general pattern of behaviour have since been corroborated.

    So tell us, Cold, exactly who did wrong here. Try to do it without resort to the just world fallacy and do, please, show your workings.

  22. Nepenthe says

    @Cold 3458
    I’m threadrupt, but don’t fucking care.

    Whether or not they step forth is a matter entirely left up from them. Neither Shermer himself nor potential backlash is physically stopping someone from stepping forth, provided they actually do have a case to make. If someone is that worried about potential backlash in the first place then perhaps they don’t have their priorities straight.

    Yeah, if I as a rape victim decide that avoiding further harm to myself is more important than the infinitesimal chance of the person who raped me being prevented from doing it again, my priorities aren’t straight.

    After being raped, my first priority was putting the shattered remains of my psyche back together,* not reporting the man who abused me for something that wasn’t technically illegal (because that state doesn’t recognize withdrawal of consent after sex is initiated), for which he would, at most, get a slap on the wrist for, and exposing myself to him carrying out all those consequences he told me should come to women who “lie” about rape.

    Here’s a big fuck you from the bottom of my heart to the bottom of the hole in your chest that’s supposed to contain yours.

    *Not that rape victims are all broken; I don’t want to promote that trope. I can’t speak to the mental state of Anonymous or any other survivor. It was true in my case though.

  23. Tethys says

    It’s a Cold hearted snake
    skeptic in disguise
    oh-ohhhh
    look at all its lies.

    Its an MRA at play
    they ignore the rules
    oh-ohhhhhh
    what a vile fool, no.

  24. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    *comment had too many links so broken into two parts. Part 1*

    *Posted to the Grenade thread b/c people talking about the DIAF comments, and the Thunderdome so Bonez can respond*

    So, I went back through looking for the DIAF and kill yourself comments. I found 3 people who said such things (2 DIAF and 1 kill yourself). The kill yourself comment happened first and by a non-regular, which was called out immediately 3 times. (Here, Here, and Here. It’s called out a fourth time by Nate, though Nate refers to

    Meta note: I notice that some angry responses contain veiled references to committing suicide.

    but I’ve went back and read the preceeding 595 comments before Nate’s and haven’t been able to find any other comments about suicide, veiled or not.

  25. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    *Part 2*
    The DIAF comments, first by Illuminata where they say

    In one way, I disagree with commenters here, which I will now illustrate: Die in a Fire.

    admits to being against the agreed upon decorum here. The second by a commenter I’ve never seen before

    #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

    . Both of those comments were made by the comment PZ whited out at #624 for the graphic use of a real rape scenario to say PZ was a rapist. This is followed by Tony calling it out.

    So, yeah Bonez was fucking lying when they said

    and telling them to go off themselves [yes, asshat, you and others have fucking implied that in a few shit comments]

    .

    It wasn’t Caine, it wasn’t accepted, it is not what we stand for here.

  26. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, I hate it when trying to do a several quote rebuttal the paging changes, and the person I’m responding to is banned before I post.

  27. Nepenthe says

    I just realized that the statute of limitations is officially past. Five years and I’m only now getting my life to a semblance of where it might have been.

    Sorry, off topic I know. But fuck.

  28. Johnny Oizys says

    cityzenjane @3419:

    Ignore assiduously the testimony of rape victims who are male because that undermines everything this order stands for….erase their entire experience from the discourse because the reality of it means my arguments are nothing but justifications for my exercise of violently defended privilege.

    On the other hand I’ve seen MRAs claim that feminists say men can’t be raped, though I’ve never seen anything but support for male victims in the feminist spaces I read. But I suppose anything goes when they’re bashing feminists.

  29. Sili says

    Man, the number of people who won’t listen until the banhammer comes down has started to resemble what happens when Scalzi tweaks Bealls.

    I was about to ask what it means to “tweak balls”, but luckily I reread …

  30. says

    JAL:

    It wasn’t Caine

    No, it wasn’t. I do not tell anyone to kill themselves or die in a fire. I might be wrong, but I think B0nezbrigade thinks that every angry comment is somehow due to me, that I set the tone or precedent. I’m not altogether sure they understand at all just how much anger results in people who have been assaulted or in people who are close to someone assaulted, or in people who are just so damn sick and tired of seeing such appalling behaviour.

    This is an incredibly tough subject, and emotions do run very high and very deep. I both envy and appreciate those people who can take a much cooler approach than mine, they help me, by keeping me anchored and reminding me to breathe, and take the time to explain to those who might get a clue. I advocate all manner of approaches, but if someone is steaming angry at the flaming doucheweasels, they aren’t going to get a lecture from me.

  31. says

    It’s a Cold hearted snake
    skeptic in disguise
    oh-ohhhh
    look at all its lies.

    Its an MRA at play
    they ignore the rules
    oh-ohhhhhh
    what a vile fool, no.

    Tethys, I hereby bequeath all the internets that were awarded to me for my Star Trek joke, back many thousands of comments, to you.

  32. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Aaaand now I’ve comments all over the place saying the same thing. /facepalm

    And the thread has taken off with another fuckwit and the one I was replying to was outright banned.

    So, just, never mind then.

    *sigh*

    Back to reading, I go!

  33. says

    I just realized that the statute of limitations is officially past. Five years and I’m only now getting my life to a semblance of where it might have been.

    Oh, Nepenthe…*all the hugs in the universe*

  34. Who Cares says

    @JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness(#3526 & #3527):
    Thank you for doing that research.

  35. skeptianthro says

    You’re very welcome, Caine. Felt like I needed to do something productive after wanting to bath in hand sanitizer from some of these commenters.

  36. keithm says

    re: 3458

    Also true but consider the ramifications if Shermer ISN’T a rapist. He is now and forever “that guy who might have possibly raped someone”.

    And goodness knows that would clearly be the end of his career. Just like how John Landis’s negligence on the set that got Vic Morrow and two children killed stopped him from making more movies. Just like Sean Penn went on to have no career after smacking around Madonna. Like how Tim Allen never did get over his cocaine trafficking bust. Or how Eric Clapton’s racism has irreparably ruined him. And Kobe Bryant, man, after that 2003 sexual assault case he just vanished.

  37. dickdave says

    Wow. Another longtime (6 years? 7?) reader sorta de-lurking. I’ve still got another 1000+ comments to read/skim/skip, but I thought I’d better poke my head in now because I won’t be to the end for hours yet.

    Just wow.

    Thank you to Jane Doe and to PZ. And a big, big, Big thanks to the horde. I’ve learned so much from you these many years, and I’m always amazed at your fortitude to deal with such douchenozzlery. Caine, you are astounding!

    (Okay, back to comment 2488. *sigh*)

  38. MFHeadcase says

    You’re very welcome, Caine. Felt like I needed to do something productive after wanting to bath in hand sanitizer from some of these commenters.

    Damn it, Hand sanitizer is not enough, from the shit they were spewing, the trolls had to have been infected with a norovirus, which laughs at hand sanitizer.

    Soap and hot water, with a bit of bleach perhaps, might work.

  39. Nick Gotts says

    Any monitor around? – hotshoe

    Back now (only for the next hour or so), but Cold’s recent dribblings now seem to have gone.

  40. hjhornbeck says

    I’ll be busy on Thibeut’s[sic] thread, but I’ve got a bit of a call to action for the lurkers:

    Could someone begin creating a FAQ of common questions and their rebuttals? Links are handy, but not necessary. It would come in handy for those people who “read through all the comments,” and it’s a way to contribute without having to keep up with the thrash of a uber-popular comment thread.

    This isn’t my idea (someone else came up with it upthread), but I think it’s time for a signal boost.

  41. Johnny Oizys says

    Good points about being guilty/not guilty Jason Thibeault.

    In addition to that, I think that maybe those who demand evidence don’t get the distinction between evidence and proof.

  42. says

    Tony:

    nope no snark there

    I didn’t detect a whit of snark. Nope.

    I’ll tell ya, I’m seriously afraid to click back on the ‘Painfully’ thread, and I don’t know if I want to approach the STEM one. I think PZ’s trying to kill us. ;)

  43. Pteryxx says

    the Painfully thread looks good from about 69 down, from the skimming I’m doing. Mostly it’s people talking with Mike.

    the STEM thread’s worth it for Javawench alone. Seriously, check it.

  44. Pete Newell says

    Painfully’s not so bad. We seem to have burned out most of the trolls here. One notable exception.

    I’m afraid of the STEM thread myself.

  45. says

    Pteryxx:

    the Painfully thread looks good from about 69 down, from the skimming I’m doing. Mostly it’s people talking with Mike.

    Yep, just finished. Unbelievable that “naturalphilosopher” thought their shtick would fly over there. Idiot.

    Pteryxx:

    the STEM thread’s worth it for Javawench alone. Seriously, check it.

    Javawench? I’m a fan. Heading over. Thanks, Pteryxx.

  46. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Nick Gotts –

    Back now (only for the next hour or so), but Cold’s recent dribblings now seem to have gone.

    Yeah, I see, sorry for the alarm.

    At least one comment at the top of this page refers to a numbered Cold comment which is no longer there. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  47. Pete Newell says

    the STEM thread’s worth it for Javawench alone. Seriously, check it.

    Amen to that.

    They’ve got both Cold and natural philosopher on the STEM thread, too. Still no class and no clue respectively, but it looks like they’re getting tired.

    We can hope.

  48. keithm says

    re: 3543

    Well, the Sean Penn/Madonna situation was straight up domestic abuse/assault, so it’s not that dissimilar. Mike Tyson served time for rape, then made a comeback in boxing and film. Bill Clinton was accused of all sorts of things (and remember, we’re talking about the claim that *accusation* is the end of the world, so whether they did anything or not is irrelevant). Gus Savage was accused of attempted rape, went on to serve several more years in the House of representatives. Arnold Schwarzenegger was been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, and he admitted he’s done inappropriate things. Ben Roethlisberger was accused of at least two separate instances of sexual assault. Remember the time Marv Albert was canned and has never worked in broadcasting again being charged with sexual assault and convicted of battery? Yeah, neither can I.

    And so on and so forth.

  49. alyosha says

    I decided early on not to post anything; one, because even though the allegations PZ brought to our attention are totally valid and above everything else we should bear in mind the courage and dignity of the victim, I simply felt unequal to putting forth my minor misgivings. Instead I left it to the Horde vanguard to do what they do best, secure in the knowledge, anyone posting even notionally offensive comments would get eviscerated.
    I haven’t been disappointed. Top marks to all, with especial commendation to Caine; your stamina is astounding.
    It is a pity that responses to various sock-puppets took up vast swathes of discourse, and there were times when I had to close the page and step away. At times the abyss began staring into me as I can see it has all those who have passionately defended PZ’s initial submission. I even wondered whether it was worth continuing in this fashion.
    But each time I’ve returned with my confidence in all of you who have taken up arms. This is a fight we can’t afford to lose and Im glad that your fortitude in the face of shilly-shallying simpletons has not ebbed.

  50. Who Cares says

    @Caine:
    Seems there is a bit of a calm now so I’m going to give you props for staying so civil (as referred to in #3533). This based on that what you went through is (IMO) magnitudes worse then what I’ve been through and that I’ve been in flight/fight mode for over a day now due to reading this thread.

    regarding Javawench. I’m going to steal rectal cranial infarction from her (seeing that copying is stealing ;) ).

  51. says

    Can’t keep up.

    Jason, thanks for the point about Guilty/Not Guilty. So it’s not even Guilty vs Innocent, it’s anything from “Guilty, as far as we can determine” vs “Guilty as hell but we can’t prove it” up to Innocent.

    And that’s in a court of law, that people assume to be the final word!

    Funny, but in everyday life, we make these determinations on the fly all the time, and mostly understand them to be tentative. We won’t shop at a certain store, because something “off” about their advertising suggests that their guarantees may not be trustworthy. We don’t ask a certain neighbour to check our mail and feed the cat while we’re away, because they give us bad vibes. We don’t need a legal pronouncement about someone’s guilt before we stop inviting them to parties.

    There is no absolute standard to rely on. It’s all about prior probabilities, about tells, about corroborating stories, about gut-level intuitions.

    So these people yelling about certainty, requiring either absolutely fool-proof physical evidence in order to move from “Totally Innocent” to “Possibly Guilty” in the case of an accusation of rape, are going against their own everyday standards.

    Unless their priors include “bitches ain’t shit”.

  52. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @Chandrese,

    Just catching up on the thread, and I just wanted to say that that’s so horrible what happened to you and, well, I just don’t know what to say.

  53. screechymonkey says

    keithm@3555:

    Bill Clinton was accused of all sorts of things (and remember, we’re talking about the claim that *accusation* is the end of the world, so whether they did anything or not is irrelevant)

    And one of the people who banged the “Bill Clinton is a rapist” drum the loudest was Christopher Hitchens. Who, of course, was promptly denounced by the leaders of the skeptical community as leading a “lynch mob” by calling someone a rapist without letting a court decide first. After that, Hitchens was done for in the skeptical community and was never invited to speak again.

    Or something like that, right?

  54. MFHeadcase says

    Random aside, the sheer number of trolls who insist on referring to Shermer by his first name is jarring to me.

    It happens to match mine, and seeing MY name attached to rape apologetics makes me want to vomit.

  55. says

    Chandrese, it breaks my heart, what you went through. I’m so sorry.

    Aloysha, thank you for adding your voice.

    Who Cares:

    @Caine:
    Seems there is a bit of a calm now so I’m going to give you props for staying so civil (as referred to in #3533).

    Thanks, but it’s hardly any skin off my nose. I remember B0nezBrigade, but only vaguely, and honestly have no idea why they are so upset with me. If anyone, ever, thinks the way I approach things is utterly wrong and they have the better way, great! I look forward to seeing their approach, and if it’s seriously effective, I’m likely to adopt it, with thanks. I’ve often adopted Carlie’s or Jadehawk’s or Sally Strange’s usual methods on occasion, although I can never do what they do as well as them, and it’s worked wonderfully. I think the closest I get to a philosophy on that front is “whatever works”, and the varied approaches do work, so it’s all one to me.

    Screechymonkey:

    And one of the people who banged the “Bill Clinton is a rapist” drum the loudest was Christopher Hitchens. Who, of course, was promptly denounced by the leaders of the skeptical community as leading a “lynch mob” by calling someone a rapist without letting a court decide first. After that, Hitchens was done for in the skeptical community and was never invited to speak again.

    Or something like that, right?

    Fuck, I forgot all about that. And with that response, you have exactly what will happen to Shermer. *sour face*

  56. says

    MFHeadcase:

    Random aside, the sheer number of trolls who insist on referring to Shermer by his first name is jarring to me.

    It happens to match mine, and seeing MY name attached to rape apologetics makes me want to vomit.

    I imagine. It was strange for me when Chris Clarke was blogging, because we share a first name, so seeing it all over the place was jarring and hard not to respond to at first.

  57. rss54 says

    Another (un)lurker here.

    To Jane Doe: I believe you, and thank you for having the courage to speak up.

    To PZ: Thank you for this. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, and from skimming the hyperbolic bullshit being posted elsewhere, I don’t think it’s going to get better fast.

    To the Horde: Thank you for your tireless efforts. I have learned so much from this thread, as well as in countless other threads.

  58. pHred says

    Unbelievable. I wish there was some way to generate power with all that dreck being constantly blown in here. Amazing job with the shovels in cleaning out what has been an Augean thread.

    Every single one of those ‘concerned citizens’ who demand details (argh!) or think that their deep and important contribution will straighten us out because clearly they understand how the system works better than all of us who have stepped forward, many to explain in detail, exactly how the system does not work in the vast majority of the cases and how the even succesful court cases can ultimately be just as damaging as the rape in some ways. I have been lurking and reading but any comments I would have rage typed would likely have been incomprehensible.

    There should be something useful to do with all of that shit but I would be afraid to use it in a garden. It would poison the vegetables.

  59. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Since we’re informed that this blog constitutes a court of law, and that we’ve already found Michael Shermer guilty, I have to disagree with that. This is apparently a Scottish court, because we’ve found “not proven”—IOW, “not guilty, but don’t do it again”.

  60. says

    A Bridge @3570,

    If you would trouble yourself to read the comments before your, you would find that your points have been answered. Repeatedly.

  61. Al Dente says

    A Bridge @3570

    Right on schedule, another rape apologist comes in to protect Shermer’s good name with the patented bitches be lyin’ excuse.

  62. Forelle says

    Thanks, PZ. Life surely isn’t boring around this blog — but it’s worth being jolted by you now and again. Thanks to the horde for your spirited fight here. What a moving, exhausting thread (and I doubt I’ll ever finish it). Things like JAL checking posts to refute accusations raised toward Caine are deeply touching. But then so many of you have been magnificent in so many different ways.

  63. sharkjack says

    I just went through the first 1000 comments in detail to compound this list of the better replies to questions and arguments presented in this thread. It covers just about all of the driveby questions people have had, allthough not in all permutations (I don’t think the journalist permutation of the lawyer argument showed up before comment 1500). Right now I’m too exhausted to go through the rest, but if someone wants to pick up the slack feel free to do so. If there’s demand for more when I return I’ll consider going through the rest of the thread. I also haven’t ordered the replies, so they’re all based on the order of the posts. I could imagine people wanting them topic by topic, but since the list isn’t that long I don’t really feel the need to do that.

    Why going to the police isn’t good advice.

    Rape and rapists aren’t that uncommen.

    Why it’s important not to ‘other’ rapists

    TW: anecdote explaining why telling the authorities of rape isn’t an option.

    TW: and another account

    More evidence on why telling the police is a bad idea.

    Rape culture is real

    Why PZ didn’t have zero evidence and why we shouldn’t take it as such.

    The definition of rape in the netherlands isn’t so different from the USA after all.

    Rape isn’t an extraordinary claim.

    Why posting the accusation without further evidence isn’t unfair to Shermer.
    This thread is not a courtroom
    Why consent when drunk is not a valid defense to rape claims
    rape culture enabling rape
    Why consent while drunk isn’t good enough

    Targeting potential rapists is the effective way to fight rape

    taking advantage of someone who willingly got drunk to have sex with that person is really really rape
    Longer explanation of why getting someone drunk to have sex with them is rape and not just sleazy
    What about those moral gray areas
    If you need to ask ‘is this scenario rape?’ then here’s your answer

    Why Shermer can’t sue

  64. Al Dente says

    I’m sorry, I’m wrong. A Bridge isn’t quite doing bitches be lyin’. Instead we’re presented with victim blaming. Plus, in 3572, A Bridge gives us “if Shermer was drunk at the time of the supposed rape then the anonymous woman is also a rapist.”

    Can’t these rape apologists bring anything new to the discussion?

  65. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You don’t get absolved of all responsibility just because you’re intoxicated.

    Actually, you are blaming the victim of a rape. From a practiced predator. That makes you a rape apologist, enabler, and abetter. Don’t like that description, then blame the rapist for what happens, period, end of story.
    You are morally bankrupt.

  66. Forelle says

    So many people seem utterly convinced that a woman (probably a man too) who sips some wine has willingly and consciously consented to a number of horrors, as much as if she’d signed a contract.

  67. says

    I do want to say, just in case b0nezbrigade comes back to read, that I am sorry you were banned, because I do need my ass kicked sometimes, and I think you had some valid criticisms. I hope that I never find myself in a position where I am not willing to, at the very least, consider such criticism. It is very important to try to be a better, effective communicator.

    I can only speak in my voice, b0nezbrigade, however, I will try my best in the future to temper my anger and remember that a cool approach can be effective, along with full explanations.

  68. A. Noyd says

    I’m still back in the 2900’s, but here:

    My normal walking pace is faster than most people’s. This is especially true when going down stairs, since stairs further slow people up. It’s also harder than usual to get around people on the stairs. I think I’ll start nudging slowpokes in the back to help speed them up. They’re already trying to get to the bottom, so if they fall that distance and break their necks, they should bear some of the responsibility for their injuries/death. (And if they’re so easily destabilized that a couple of nudges sends them tumbling out of control, what were they doing on the stairs in the first place!? Jeez!)

  69. says

    A Bridge:

    Also if we’re going to go with the argument that one cannot produce consent when intoxicated then if Shermer was drunk at the time of the supposed rape then the anonymous woman is also a rapist. Neither of them could give consent regardless of the initiator / recipient.

    *A thousand sighs*

    A Bridge, if you would just go back, to say, page 5 of this thread, and read, you’d find every single thing you brought up addressed, explained and thoroughly refuted. Please, I’m begging here, don’t make us go through all that work again. The answers are there for you, all you have to do is read.

  70. cuervodecuero says

    re: #3570 A Bridge.

    Bingo! *waves card in air to caller*. I didn’t even need the freezepeach space!

  71. cuervodecuero says

    Caine @#3585

    It’s like making popcorn. You get that flurry of kernels getting all steamed and under pressure until they blow together…but just when you think it’s dying down, you get another burst or five.

  72. says

    A Bridge:
    Your victim blaming is noted cupcake.

    The only person with any control over rape is the potential rapist. If they choose not to rape, no amount of drinking whether a sip or pass out drunk, will result in rape. Pretty simple concept. You have absorbed, but not analyzed, the victim blaming tendencies of the culture at large.
    Why?
    I can only speculate, but I think a tendency to believe in a just world is at the heart. Many people like you cannot conceieve that the world is unfair. That bad things happen to good people and vice versa. So in attempting to understand why something horrible happened, this tendency creeps in. It says “Person X could not have done that” or “Person X cannot be wholly responsible”*. That way some of the guilt gets transferred to the victim. Yet only in rape is this the case.
    Car broken into? Victim does not get blamed.
    Home invasion? Victim not blamed.
    Mugging? Victim not blamed.

    The criminal act here is rape. Who did the rape? The rapist.

    *this is probably compounded in cases of public figures or celebrities. They are held up to some absurd level of perfection and many people refuse to think they can do wrong. As if the more popular you are, the more perfect you are.

  73. darkwater says

    A Bridge, since you stated

    If you agreed to drink alcohol, and if you are a rational adult who is of age, and subsequently do something stupid, the blame lies partially with you.

    could you be so kind as to go back to #3017 and tell me, as a rational adult of age who agreed to drink alcohol, exactly how much blame lies with me for the situation I describe there.

    I’m waiting with bated breath.

  74. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    In any case my argument is true

    No its not. It is victim blaming, pure and simple. Morally bankrupt argument. The only blame in a rape goes upon the rapist. End of story.

    My personal morals have nothing to do with this argument a

    Actually they do. A moral person never blames the victim for the crime. Always the criminal. Your word is not worth the electrons you us to post it.

    ut that’s okay, keep slinging names and calling me a “rape enabler” without actually addressing the argument.

    The argument has been addressed. The victim is never at fault in rape. Only the rapist.

    Once again, intoxication does not shield one from consequences brought about by actions you took while you were intoxicated.

    Sorry fuckwitted idjit, if one is deliberately plied with strong drink beyond what is expected, one is being taken advantage of. Period, end of story.

    Secondly, if both parties were drunk at the time of the incident then logically either both or neither would be guilty of rape.

    Prove Shermer was drunk. That’s not the MO for such predators, and you know that.
    Still no cogent argument, just fuckwitted victim blaming. Try again with something that isn’t morally bankrupt.

  75. Forelle says

    A Bridge: go read. For example, the drunk-driving analogy was used by jameswaller and refuted by many. Search that username.

  76. Aim says

    Look, A Bridge, more eloquent commenters than I have been through this entire song and dance before. Had you read the comments, you’d know that.

    Let me make it simple:
    If she’s too drunk to drive, she’s too drunk to give consent, thus too drunk to fuck.
    (Also applies to men and people of other genders.)

  77. MFHeadcase says

    A Bridge

    Your “questions” and “concerns” have been dealt with, repeatedly, throughout this thread. I suggest, reading any page of the contents other than this current one in full. You will find multiple refutations of the points you raise.

    Any page of comments. That is just 500 posts, instead of nearly 3600. You can do it…

    Though i am betting you are to self important to bother, and to dishonest to admit it.

  78. says

    Cuervodcuero:

    It’s like making popcorn. You get that flurry of kernels getting all steamed and under pressure until they blow together…but just when you think it’s dying down, you get another burst or five.

    I know! All I want is for any newcomer to the thread, to at least read *several* pages of the thread. I don’t care which several, just read some of it, fer chrissakes.

    Maybe A Bridge will surprise us, and do some reading and come back better informed.

  79. screechymonkey says

    Once again, intoxication does not shield one from consequences brought about by actions you took while you were intoxicated.

    Please, enlighten us: what “consequences” are we trying to “shield” anyone from?

    What are the consequences that you believe the accuser her should suffer, that she would be “shielded” from if we call it rape?

  80. darkwater says

    Caine, Tony, Pteryxx, et al., I don’t know how you do it, but thanks again.

    And is there some sort of theory that would explain why when one troll is dismissed, another one comes in? If assholes-on-the-internet were independently, identically distributed, you’d have essentially a memoryless function where their arrivals would be random, with no set pattern. In this thread, it seems not to be the case, like there’s some sort of higher power that’s actually responsible for…. OMG I think I just became an ID proponent!

  81. says

    A Bridge:
    Another thing–you suck at analogies. Just like every other rape apologist.
    Drunk drivers are held responsible bc they are commiting the criminal act of driving while intoxicated.
    Drunk rape victims are held responsible bc they are commiting the criminal act of raping themselves…oh, wait. NO THEY DO NOT.

    The scenarios are not analogous. In rape, the added element of a RAPIST-the person who commits the rape-is present.

    Also, as pointed out, rape is sex without consent. The right to consent is not waived bc someone gets drunk.
    If you think a woman loses the right to consent when she becomes intoxicated, please stay far away from any human being. Forever.

  82. says

    A Bridge thinks that getting raped is “doing something stupid” while drunk.

    Correction, A Bridge: when you get raped, you’re being done to. The rapist is the one doing things. That’s kind of the point of rape, dontcha know – the rapist gets to take all the agency for himself (rapists are usually men, yes, it’s true, shocking I know!) and treat the victim as an object with no agency of her own.

  83. MFHeadcase says

    Caine

    Maybe A Bridge will surprise us, and do some reading and come back better informed.

    At this point I would settle for a new claim for why PZ is wrong and Bitchez be lyin’.

  84. says

    3581: Let’s think of it this way, A Bridge.

    If you leave your car door unlocked and the window rolled down, then if someone comes along and boosts your car, what is that called, legally?

    I’ll save you several minutes of bewildered head-scratching: it’s called theft. Sure, the fact you left your car door unlocked may have been unwise, and incautious, and maybe even dumb. But it is still the case that whoever decided to take advantage of this carelessness had to make the deliberate choice to get into a car they knew did not belong to them, and drive off with it. They are no less guilty of theft than if you’d locked every door and put one of those bars across the steering wheel.

    Now let’s translate this to the situation under discussion. You are trying to advance the argument that women who get drunk are at least partially to blame for their victimization. Beyond basically making you an awful person, let’s examine the position logically (because SKEPTICISM!) by applying the same criteria in a slightly altered scenario.

    Question 1. A dude gets drunk and passes out at a party, and someone steals his wallet. Who is to blame?
    A) The thief, because it’s wrong to steal, and also to take advantage of a drunk person, no matter what.
    B) The drunk dude, because if you’re stupid enough to pass out drunk at a party, you get what’s coming to you.
    C) Both, because while stealing the wallet was still a crime, passing out at a party means you must accept the risks of victimization.

    How you answer this question will say a lot about how you answer the next one I ask.

  85. skemono says

    There are rapists and murderers who rape and murder, so don’t get angry and try to blame the universe when you hit a bear with a stick and it ends up mauling you.

    Translation: a woman being drunk is antagonizing rapists into raping them, just the same as hitting a bear antagonizes it into mauling you.

  86. sharkjack says

    My comment consisting of a list of the first 1000 posts in this thread answering the various frequent questions seems to be stuck in moderation.

    @ A bridge:
    People have the responsibility to not rape other people. If you do rape someone you’re a the one at fault. You rape someone when you have sex with them without that person giving enthousiastic and informed consent. Someone who is drunk cannot give informed consent and therefore if such consent hasn’t been obtained then you can’t know it’s not rape. Whether or not it is raped depends on that persons sober consent, but since you can’t know that it doesn’t matter in practice. You can’t assume informed consent from uninformed consent (by the way just to be clear, I use you in a general you and not to adress you, A bridge, specifically.

  87. says

    A Bridge,

    You’re wrong as a matter of law and you’re wrong as a matter of ethics.

    Plus, you can’t be bothered to read multiple explanations already in the thread that might help you see where you’re wrong.

    It’s almost as if you’re invested in not seeing how you’re mistaken here.

  88. John Phillips, FCD says

    Tony #3858, I think your being to generous with your just world scenario. I think it more likely that bridge is himself a predator who uses the very same tactic and so needs to defend it and victim blame or he just might have to reconsider his own actions.

  89. says

    A Bridge:

    So if they are both intoxicated who is the rapist?

    Both. Unless both parties discussed and consented to having sex prior to drinking, the rule is “don’t fuck when you’re drunk.” Easy, ennit? Now, I bloody begged you to do some reading. Please show me you’re intelligent enough to do that. You can do a name search on each page, which will more than answer every fucking point you think you have. Do a Ctrl +f on setec and jameswaller.

  90. skemono says

    I have to step out. My laptop has been acting funny for a while now, but over the weekend it has crashed several times and is clearly dying, so I have to get a new one.

    The rape apologism going on here is so toxic that it killed my computer just loading it.

  91. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For example, some of us can decide not to make bad decisions while under intoxication or better yet decide not to get intoxicated.

    Gee, what a fuckwitted prissy idjit. When one is being deliberately plied with spiked drinks, they are NOT in control. Your control theory is bullshit. Your control theory enables rapists by shifting the blame to the victim. By making the victim responsible for what happens, including a victim unable to say no due to the manipulations of the predator. That makes you a rape apologist. Almost like yourself have engaged in such predatory behavior in the past, and want to make sure the rape word can’t be used. It was rape. The rapist is solely at fault.

    So if they are both intoxicated who is the rapist?

    PROVE THE PREDATOR WAS DRUNK, OR SHUT THE FUCK UP. The predator wasn’t. That isn’t their MO.

  92. ledasmom says

    RTFC, A Bridge. RTFC.

    Once again, intoxication does not shield one from consequences brought about by actions you took while you were intoxicated

    Let’s say you drink too much and try to walk home. On the way, you stagger across a crosswalk. A car hits and kills you. That driver’s probably getting charged, because your intoxication does not constitute a “get out of manslaughter free” card for the driver.
    In other words – whereas being seriously intoxicated exposes you to a greater risk of harm from natural forces (falling down stairs, aspirating vomit, etc.), it does not make it legal for scumbags to take advantage of you risk-free.
    And don’t bring up the “he was drinking too so neener neener” argument again. It is perfectly possible for two people to be drinking for the same amount of time and one of them to be seriously drunk while the other is only mildly tipsy, whether because of greater tolerance or a deliberate attempt by the second party to get the first drunk. There are six people who say they had the same experience with the man in question. What’s the common factor? Oh, right.
    “Rape enabler” and “rape apologist” are in fact correct terms for a person who slings the kind of nonsense you have been slinging. Don’t like the words? Don’t be the person they describe. Cripes, you’re acting like one of those people who says it’s bigoted to call them a homophobe just because they hate gay people.

  93. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Take responsibility for your actions.

    When one plies you with liquor and drugs to obtain your inability to say no, it isn’t the fault of the victim. It is always the fault of the predator. Nothing you say will change that fact.

  94. says

    A Bridge:

    There are rapists and murderers who rape and murder, so don’t get angry and try to blame the universe when you hit a bear with a stick and it ends up mauling you.

    If you bothered to read the thread, particularly the last several pages which dealt with jameswaller, you’d know the man who raped me was a serial rapist and murderer. Those types of rape are rare. Not rare enough, but in the context of all the rapes which take place, rare. The majority of rapes are date and acquaintance rapes. Many involve alcohol. Those rapists know exactly what they are doing. You’d know this if you would just fucking READ. It’s a very well known tactic.

    By saying that I didn’t deserve my rape, but some stupid chick who is drinking does, you’re effectively telling me that I did indeed deserve to be raped. That one will require some serious thinking to understand. Try it.

  95. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Like I promised to do with a commentor above I’ll go search this and report back.

    Don’t bother reporting back. All you will supply is utter amoral drivel.

  96. says

    See, this is why I resort to insults so quickly. I try to be nice and the result is blind fucking stupidity.
    A Bridge:
    Get it through you fucking dim witted skull. Rapists are the only ones who can stop rape from happening.
    Rape happens to people regardless of the presence or absence of alcohol. People who have never consumed alcohol (five year old rape victims), people who drink socially (25 year olds having one or two drinks), and people pass out drunk…all of these people get raped.

    Not because it is their fault.

    Because a rapist chose to rape.

    There is nothing anyone other than the rapist can do to stop rape from happening.

    Rape happens at home, in school, at church.
    Rape happens at any time, day, night or in between.
    Rape happens no matter how much or how little clothing is worn.
    Rape happens whether a victim is alone or has company.

    In EVERY SINGLE CASE OF RAPE, if you remove the rapist the rape will not happen.

    Goddamned stupid rape apologist assclam in smegmarmalade sauce…

  97. says

    A Bridge:

    Like I promised to do with a commentor above I’ll go search this and report back.

    My sincere thanks. Just by doing that, you’re doing 500% more than others.

  98. says

    Skemono:

    The rape apologism going on here is so toxic that it killed my computer just loading it.

    Hey, Egate broke my pancreas. I’m not kidding, I ended up in the hospital. Good luck with the laptop.

  99. says

    docfreeride:

    Of course, now A Bridge is in the STEM thread, because in addition to lyin’, bitchez be rote memorizin’.

    Can I just go back to screaming Fuckety fuck fuck! now?

  100. Al Dente says

    A Bridge

    Damn, you just drip with rape apologetics. Let’s look at this bit of assholery:

    The world is indeed a bad place sometimes, and often unfair. But we can make it less so. For example, some of us can decide not to make bad decisions while under intoxication or better yet decide not to get intoxicated. If I decide to get in my car after having a few shots I’ve made a bad decision, much the same as if I decide to have intercourse with someone after getting drunk and the next morning realize I made a bad decision so I accuse someone of rape.

    A woman could be passed out and stark naked and it still would not be her fault for being raped. Rape is the rapist’s fault. Always and without exception. If you’re driving drunk then it’s something YOU do. Nobody is forcing you to drive drunk and quite often other people will try to stop you from doing it. A rape victim is a victim who has been victimized by someone else. That someone else is the rapist.

    It’s only rape apologists who try to victim blaming. That makes you a rape apologist. If you don’t like being identified as what you are, there’s a simple fix. Stop being a rape apologist. Stop blaming the victim for someone else’s crime. Is this concept too difficult for your puny brain to assimilate? Or are you one of those rape apologists who glory in your affliction?

    So if they are both intoxicated who is the rapist?

    This bit of odious sophistry has been dealt with before. Go to page one and start reading.

  101. says

    If you agreed to drink alcohol, and if you are a rational adult who is of age, and subsequently do something stupid, the blame lies partially with you

    But not if you have something done to you. A thief doesn’t get a reduced sentence if their victim was passed out drunk. Murder isn’t downgraded to negligent homicide just because you plied your victim with drinks first. Why should rape be different?
    Rape isn’t something the victim does. It’s something done to them. As such, the behavior of the victim – their clothing, their level of intoxication, anything at all – is completely irrelevant. They’re responsible for what they do to others, but not what’s done to them by others.

    Consenting to sex isn’t something you can do if your thinking is impaired. If a drunk person apparently consents, it’s up to you to recognize that they’re not in a proper state to make that decision and say no. It’s similar to if a child comes on to you. If you act on it, you’re still the criminal, because we recognize that the child is not in a position to give consent and you’re supposed to know better.

    If you’re not sure whether your proposed sexual partner is in a fit state to consent, that’s usually a good hint that they’re not. Err on the side of caution. Their physical safety matters more than your chance to get laid.

    Now that I’ve explained that, I trust we’ll never have to deal with this question again.

  102. sharkjack says

    Sorry to derail, but is there a way to get a comment moderated faster? Do I have to contact a moderator or is it just something that happens every once in a while? None of my other comments have gotten stuck in moderation like this and given how link intensive it was that might be part of the reason, so I’m hesitant to repost. It was my list of links to posts answering frequently asked questions in this thread, so I’d like to get it out of moderation quickly.

  103. says

    I can’t count how many times friends of mine have done something stupid leading to them getting their car broken into or certain things stolen (like, for example, leaving your damn car unlocked?). In which case yes, it’s entirely the victim’s fault because they didn’t take the necessary cautions.

    Really? If I find an unlocked car, I can just take it and not worry about getting arrested? Holy shit! Excuse me, I’ve got some car doors to check.

  104. tinkerer says

    A Bridge and their legion of predecessors are like clones coming off a production line*. There are minor variations in the precise wording but otherwise they display identical thought processes. All with the same attitude – ignorant, arrogant, entitled and rather stupid, which leads them to think that what they are saying is original and unique even though the thread is 3500+ posts long and even the most cursory search would reveal the precise same points being raised (and rebutted) time and time again. It really is bizarre to see it played out like this.

    *I don’t mean to dehumanise them, I know they are real people and are the thought patterns are the result of socialisation, it’s just that I’m not usually in a position to see human behaviour channelled in quite such a predictable fashion as this.

  105. says

    Tony:

    See, this is why I resort to insults so quickly. I try to be nice and the result is blind fucking stupidity.

    Yeah, I know. It’s the same damn lesson I kept getting beaten over the head with, so I’ll toss a sorry to b0nezbrigade, but I can’t be arsed to be all nice and explanatory and educational to these flaming doucheweasels. It will kill me.

  106. MFHeadcase says

    And still the fuckwit cannot seerefuses to acknowledge the difference between a drunk person committing an illegal action and a drunk person having someone else do the illegal action to them.

    FTFY Tony. @3632

  107. says

    A Bridge @ 3610:

    Your argument is a completely moral and ethical one and thus subjective.

    Because of course morals and ethics are irrelevant when we’re talking about crime and victimization.

    I may be just spitballing, but I’m guessing we’re dealing with a Level 9000 Randroid here?

  108. Nepenthe says

    @A Bridge

    Thank you for contributing to the Big Book of Learning about Rape (the beginning) that will come out of this thread!

    [TW]



    The Concerned Skeptic’s Guide to Rape (by Rape Apologists, for Rapists)

    1. Use alcohol to subdue your victim. Even staunch rape apologists tend to look askance on the use of drugs like rohypnol. But as long as you’re not administering it via gastronasal tube, your victim will be considered at fault if they are incapacitated by alcohol.

    2. Use manipulation techniques to get your victim to drink more. It’s their fault for not figuring out that you’re overpouring/masking the taste/using a perpetually full glass to obscure how much they’re consuming.

    3. (From A Bridge) Make sure to have something to drink.* Your supporters will claim that despite your active role in creating the situation in which your victim is vulnerable and then raping your victim you’re not responsible for your actions.

    4. Being raped is as much of a positive action as raping. Therefore the victim must take responsibility for getting drunk with you/being disabled around you/not watching their drink well enough to keep you from putting something in it/trusting you for a ride home, etc.

    5. (From Cold) Be in a position to threaten your victim, whether professionally, personally, emotionally, or physically. The more subtle the threat, the better. If you can step back and let other people do the threatening, that’s even better. If they respond to the threat, that means that the rape wasn’t very serious.

    And that’s just a sneak preview!

    *Getting drunk before raping is pretty standard behavior. Over 50% of admitted rapists used alcohol before their attacks.

  109. says

    Sharkjack, it was probably the links that did it. Only 5 to a post. I doubt if it will ever appear, but if you don’t have a copy you can modify, I’ll send an alert to PZ to see if he can fish it out.

  110. Pete Newell says

    I realize that it’s necessary to try to engage these fuckwits against the hope that one of them will turn out to merely be careless, and will turn out to be capable of reading and listening. I realize that if you leave them unanswered it just confirms their delusions.

    I’m not sure I can take it again just yet. Bridge has named himself for his home, I think.

    It’s also important to repeat for the benefit of Jane Doe and those like her: this is the response you get. There’s a chorus of dismissal and blame, it’s long and loud, and it’s all just this stupid and disgusting.

    It’s also wrong, and demonstrably wrong.

    Please don’t forget that there are people out here who are willing to argue down the stupid for and with you. We care, we believe you, and we want to help. And there’s more of us all the time.

    Thank you.

  111. says

    LykeX:

    Really? If I find an unlocked car, I can just take it and not worry about getting arrested? Holy shit! Excuse me, I’ve got some car doors to check.

    No shit. I’ve always wanted a MiniCooper…

  112. MFHeadcase says

    Sharkjack,
    IIRC multiple links can trip the spam filter. An administrator will need to see it and approve it. Emailing them will not speed it up, because they will likely see THAT after seeing the comment and deciding whether to let it post. (I could be wrong)

  113. sharkjack says

    I have a backup (because I was planning to go through the entire comment section but got to exhausted going through comments like that and I got all the posts I wanted from the first 1000). I’ll just repost per topic and keep it down to 5 links a post

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I may be just spitballing, but I’m guessing we’re dealing with a Level 9000 Randroid here?

    Checks the magic Pullet Ball *the odds are in your favor*

  115. notsont says

    I think most of you are making the wrong argument, A Bridge has already acknowledged that you are responsible for the ACTIONS you commit while under the influence. I will give you Two examples

    Man and woman are both drunk man guides woman back to hotel room and has sex with her while she just lies there. In this case the man raped the woman.

    Man and woman get drunk they both go back to hotel room man lies on bed and woman has sex with man while he lies there. Woman is the rapist.

    A third scenario just for the hell of it. Man and woman get drunk together both before and during the encounter they are both kissing heavy petting and talking about sex, they then both go back to the hotel room and BOTH have enthusiastic sex together. At no time did either just lie there or pass out. Some may disagree with me I suppose but in this situation I don’t believe a rape occurred because there was enthusiastic consent.

    Flirting is not consent to have sex. Neither is smiling laughing or making eye contact. Also and I know this is hard to imagine but when someone is drunk and you suggest something like “hey wanna see my etchings in my room?” they might just want to see your etchings.

  116. says

    A Bridge @ 3597:

    I can’t count how many times friends of mine have done something stupid leading to them getting their car broken into or certain things stolen (like, for example, leaving your damn car unlocked?). In which case yes, it’s entirely the victim’s fault because they didn’t take the necessary cautions.

    Which now prompts the question: Why aren’t you, A Bridge, spending your time in parking lots looking for unlocked cars to steal? After all, since it’s entirely the victim’s fault, and the morality and ethics of doing this are all just subjective, it would seem there is nothing stopping you?

  117. carlie says

    sharkjack – it will probably never come out. Much easier and faster to repost but break it up into chunks with no more than about 4 links each (I think the limit is 5, but less on the safe side)

  118. says

    I do believe it’s time for….*drumroll*

    The Seven Steps of Rape Apology by Lyn M.

    1. Assume the victim “did something” to cause the rape or failed to do something to stop it.

    2. Tell the victim to go to the police no matter how improbable it is that he or she will be believed and if he or she is NOT believed, feel proud of yourself for knowing it was all phony.

    3. Refuse to accept that the majority of accusations are true, hold out for any kind of study or article that says a huge number of rape accusations are false and exaggerate whatever number you start with, because victims lie.

    4. Demand better evidence than “just the victim’s word” no matter how many victims there are saying the same thing, because helpless men deserve due process.

    5. Demand details, the more the merrier because everybody loves to talk about something that made them feel hurt and shame, except for lying liars.

    6. Insist that any man who is not covered in slime and carrying the head of his last victim under his arm, could not possibly have done something so nasty as rape.

    7. And most important of all, remember it’s ONLY a rape, not something serious, so tell people, especially victims, to calm down.

  119. says

    The other problem A Bridge suffers from is the Force of Nature Fallacy. Xe assumes that the actions of criminals are unchanging…that people cannot help themselves if they are thieves, murderers or rapists. Those are forces of nature that cannot be stopped, and as a result, the onus is on us to work around them. These Forces of Nature cannot be stopped or reasoned with. They cannot be persuaded out of their course of action.

    We must also assume the presence of these Forces of Nature at all times. So what can the poor hapless victims do to avoid being robbed or murdered or raped? Is there anywhere safe? Do robberies, murders and rapes not occur at some specified place or time? Can we stop them by no drinking or drinking more? According to A Bridge, victims somehow have control over thieves, murderers and rapists.

    I think I broke my brain channeling rape apologist #467.

  120. pHred says

    Actually I have been wondering about that – is it really several people sharing a brain appearing in series or just a few coming back over and over in the theory that if they manage to drive everyone else off and have the last word that that they will “win”?

  121. Nepenthe says

    Oh, how exciting, a new piece of learning!

    Rapists do not purposely seek out vulnerable victims and create situations in which they can rape; rape is something that happens when a victim makes themselves vulnerable and a rapist passively takes the opportunity. The rapist is barely responsible at all, if you look at it right.

    Of course, this discussion is all silly, because “rape” is just when wimmenz regret consensual sex they had when they were drunk.[1]

    The world is indeed a bad place sometimes, and often unfair. But we can make it less so. For example, some of us can decide not to make bad decisions while under intoxication or better yet decide not to get intoxicated. If I decide to get in my car after having a few shots I’ve made a bad decision, much the same as if I decide to have intercourse with someone after getting drunk and the next morning realize I made a bad decision so I accuse someone of rape.

  122. darkwater says

    A Bridge: 1) What specific actions in #3017 should I take responsibility for? 2) Per my original question, how much blame lies with me vice the dude who, you know, was raping me? and 3) When you state

    If you had decided to get into the driver’s seat of a car instead of passing out on the bed would it be fair to hold you accountable?

    are you attempting to say that me sleeping in my own bed in my own room (not passed out on the bed, but nice try there, Speedy)* somehow exposes me to the same criminal liability as driving drunk?

    * And the fact that I had to include that just shows the problem inherent in your worldview, doesn’t it? Ironically enough, as I was trying to come to grips to what had happened to me, I actually did think that it might have been better had I passed out on my bed fully clothed rather than being capable of undressing and doing my normal routine of sleeping nude. Is that something I should “take responsibility for?”

    For that matter, as you’d be aware of if you read #3017, the situation might not have occurred if I was circumcised. Is being uncut something I should take responsibility for? Behold and tremble before it, my foreskin is capable of great and terrible things! It gets me raped! It causes others to become rapists! It bends the fabric of the time-space continuum!

  123. MFHeadcase says

    A Bridge @3543

    I agree with pretty much everything in that blog post.

    “pretty much everything…” So do you agree with

    The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.

    And do you see the disconnect with your behavior here?

  124. notsont says

    Rapists do not purposely seek out vulnerable victims and create situations in which they can rape; rape is something that happens when a victim makes themselves vulnerable and a rapist passively takes the opportunity. The rapist is barely responsible at all, if you look at it right.

    Holy fuck! that seems to be exactly what he believes.

  125. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    A Bridge’s (as just the latest of many) drunk driving analogy is so fucking stupid it’s causing me a subdural hematoma.

    Suppose you’re in your car sleeping it off before you drive home*. Somebody jumps in, holds a gun to your head and forces you to drive the car while you’re drunk. Who’s committed a crime there? Now you’ve got an analogy.

    *Of course come to find out, the penalty for doing that is the same as DWI—it’s called “Physical Control”—but don’t get me started on that.

  126. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rapists do not purposely seek out vulnerable victims and create situations in which they can rape;

    Citation needed liar, bullshitter, and rape apologist/enabler. The facts state otherwise. You lose, but then you are a lost cause.

  127. says

    A Bridge @ 3643:

    Because my friend in this example was lax in his preparation for not getting robbed doesn’t absolve the robber of the moral guilt of committing a crime. He still committed a crime and if caught should be prosecuted for it. I’m simply stating that leaving your car unlocked increases the chances of getting robbed, so why leave it unlocked?

    We’re all aware of, and engage in, common sense behaviors so that we don’t get victimized. Most people do, and yet situations arise in life where you’re victimized anyway.

    It’s still interesting to note that you have backpedaled here from your assertion in #3597, that it is “entirely the victim’s fault.”

  128. Jacob Schmidt says

    But at the same time nobody but you can be blamed for walking through that shady part of town at night alone and without a weapon or a friend. You put yourself in that situation, nobody else, and if you’re going to put yourself in a situation you have to at least accept the possibility that something untoward might happen. Again, this doesn’t absolve rapists of committing rape but it does beg attention in the discussion.

    You’re on really thin ice, here. Yes, there’s many thing we can do to minimize risks. Sometimes we find we can’t do those things. I’d like to get new oil for my car, but I can’t afford it; I’d like to not have to walk home through the alley way, but it’s the only way home and my job requires me to work late. I’d like to avoid that person who can’t seem to respect my personal space, but he’s taking the same required university courses.

    There’s always things we can do to ensrse our protection, but we can’t do them always. Eventually we reach a point where we it becomes truly ridiculous and burdensom. Focusing on what we can do to mitigate the problem doesn’t fix the problem in any case. At some point, we need to attempt to fix the problem.

    Your apparent priorities are whats screwed up here.

  129. Nepenthe says

    *sigh*

    Nerd, please reprogram the script you use to generate your comments to recognize sarcasm.

  130. says

    Notsont:
    Yep.
    And the implication is that potential victims can do something to reduce their risk of rape. Because there is somewhere you can go where you will not be raped. Or there is some action you can do or not do that minimizes your chances of being raped.
    A Bridge does not understand that rape is an action done to someone by a rapist. There is no magic scenario that will stop rape from happening except rapists not raping.

    Oh and xe has a horrible opinion about humanity: “The evils of humanity are here and cannot be changed. All we can do is try to avoid them. ”
    Of course, I am reminded of Mike in the STEM thread, who changed his ways and is not a Force of Nature any longer. Hmmm, so people are not stuck in the unchangeable role of rapist or murderer or thief

  131. notsont says

    But at the same time nobody but you can be blamed for walking through that shady part of town at night alone and without a weapon or a friend. You put yourself in that situation, nobody else, and if you’re going to put yourself in a situation you have to at least accept the possibility that something untoward might happen. Again, this doesn’t absolve rapists of committing rape but it does beg attention in the discussion.

    Yes because everyone has the option of safety and everyone can afford to buy a gun and training to use it. No one ever has little or zero choice in where they live or where they work. People choose to be poor or sick or weak. People get to pick and choose what families they are born into.

  132. notsont says

    A Bridge does not understand that rape is an action done to someone by a rapist. There is no magic scenario that will stop rape from happening except rapists not raping.

    I always knew people rationalized away dangers we all do it thinking certain things can’t happen to us, I’ve read research on why people victim blame, but I have never seen anyone actually state the “just world” fallacy so blatantly and seem to actually believe it.

  133. says

    WARNING: My temper is getting extraordinarily short with people who blow in and start repeating bullshit that has already been stated and addressed in the first 7 pages of comments, and I’m getting quick with the banhammer. Do not waste our time with the same old crap because you’re too lazy and uninterested to read the post and opening comments. I will smack you down without any further warning.

  134. Karen says

    We care, we believe you, and we want to help. And there’s more of us all the time.

    Damn right. I’ve destroyed my weekend over this thread, but I’ve learned so much, and seen so much courage, it’s been worth it.

    Changing the way we think is so hard. Does a woman who has too much to drink bear some responsibility for what happens to her when someone else takes advantage of her? No, profoundly no. But that is the assumption of a lot of people, and it requires a real shift in thinking (and how many folks actually think anyway) to overcome. I have learned there is no good reason to deny gay marriage or abortion, but it took some work, some setting aside the cultural assumptions I grew up with. Or that drinking and driving or cheating on a test are just plain wrong. When everyone around you is doing it, deciding no is a life-changing event.

    Of course this is a “moral and ethical” argument. That’s the whole point.

    And before I relurk, I would like to make one last shout-out to Caine. Even with all my empathy and imagination, there is no way I will ever be able to understand what you have been through. That you can fight through a thread like this astonishes me. Personally, I find you patient and kind. One of the things I have learned from Pharyngula is how overrated civility is. Give ‘em hell.

  135. darkwater says

    Tony:

    And the implication is that potential victims can do something to reduce their risk of rape. Because there is somewhere you can go where you will not be raped. Or there is some action you can do or not do that minimizes your chances of being raped.

    I wouldn’t even give him that much credit. I don’t think A Bridge believes that there is anywhere “you can go where you will not be raped.” In his response to me, he seems to be saying that I’m just as liable for sleeping in my own bed in my own room as I would be for driving drunk.

  136. Galactic Fork says

    And still the fuckwit cannot see the difference between a drunk person commiting an illegal action and a drunk person having someone else do the illegal action to them.

    I’m still trying to figure out which of the two (horrible) viewpoints he has:

    1: Rape is so horrible that it’s only done by monsters and is basically a natural disaster. So it’s the job of the victim to not be raped because a rapist is going to rape. It’s your job to not be there when it happens.

    or
    2: There is no such thing as being too intoxicated to give consent (despite laws and uhh morals) , and somebody having sex with you without consent is still just sex. Sex you regret because you shouldn’t have gotten drunk in the first place.

  137. MFHeadcase says

    For some reason, I am currently feeling lust toward PZ…

    Fortunately i both have boundaries myself, and respect that he has his own…

  138. Pete Newell says

    Bridge, you’re a derailing troll. If you won’t read and won’t learn, STFU and get out.
    You’ve already been answered. There’s no point in answering you more.

  139. says

    Yes because everyone has the option of safety and everyone can afford to buy a gun and training to use it.

    ‘Scuse me, but I’m going to cuss, and rant and possibly scream. I have dealt with this specific subject so much, it makes my godsdamn fangs ache. A gun does not help. Ever. I don’t give a shit if you’ve been trained or not. The possibility is always there that it will be taken from you, and now your attacker has a handy weapon, or another handy weapon. Chances of you being murdered have just increased exponentially. Even people who have been through gun training are rarely prepared to kill someone. You will hesitate, and that could cost your life.

    Things I did after I was raped, out of the hospital and recovered: I talked to a few friends, who directed me to a former gang member, who taught me how to fight dirty. Seriously dirty. I trained in defensive martial arts. I trained in knife fighting. The most important thing you have to train yourself in: staying cool, remembering to *think*, remembering to assess the situation and attacker constantly, using whatever tactic you need at the time to survive. Sometimes, that means talking to your attacker as if they were someone you like – it’s disgusting and hard to do, but there are times when that works. Small weapons which don’t appear threatening are your best friends – keys, embroidery scissors (I wear an embroidery stiletto around my neck. Guys think it’s a dog whistle. I can give someone a quick lobotomy through the eyeball with it), small knitting needle, a sharp, hard pencil, all kinds of fucking things. These are all things you have a high probability of being able to reach and maneuver while being restrained.

    I could go on and on and on, but I cannot stand hearing how a gun will work. They don’t.

  140. notsont says

    Ahh A Bridge, I see now your saying she was planning to have sex, enjoyed it at the time and now for the glory of accusing someone of rape and all the cookies and fame she will get for doing so she now wants to claim its rape because, hell everyone know accusing people of rape always works out great for the accuser and the accused is always devastated by it…

    What fucking world do you live in?

  141. carlie says

    If you get happen to get drunk with someone and WILLINGLY ENGAGE in the act of sexual intercourse,

    Which is not what happened here. Read the OP again.

    As for getting drunk in a situation where someone was making disgustingly weird advances towards you throughout the evening, why did you carry on the way you did knowing this person was weird? Did you not see a threat?

    Women are socialized to be polite. That is the entire reason why books like “The Gift Of Fear” are so popular and important.

  142. notsont says

    I could go on and on and on, but I cannot stand hearing how a gun will work. They don’t.

    I know I did not mean to imply a gun would help, although I was stipulating that it would for the sake of the argument I suppose.

  143. says

    Karen:

    And before I relurk, I would like to make one last shout-out to Caine. Even with all my empathy and imagination, there is no way I will ever be able to understand what you have been through. That you can fight through a thread like this astonishes me. Personally, I find you patient and kind. One of the things I have learned from Pharyngula is how overrated civility is. Give ‘em hell.

    Thank you. All my love.

  144. carlie says

    The analogy serves to paint the picture of someone becoming intoxicated and making bad decisions. If you get happen to get drunk with someone and WILLINGLY ENGAGE in the act of sexual intercourse, you should be held accountable just as much as the person who chose to drive and thus have no grounds to wake up the next day and shout rape just because the person you’re waking up next to isn’t that desirable now that the beer goggles have dissipated.

    What does that mean, “be held accountable”? It’s been said multiple times on this thread already (so you’ve seen it, RIGHT?) that if you have sex and regret it, what you do is sweep it under the table. You act like it didn’t happen. You lie and say it didn’t happen. What makes absolutely no fucking sense is to make a huge big lying deal of it and lie to everyone about how it did happen but that you didn’t want it to. NOBODY DOES THIS.

  145. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You misunderstand. The analogy serves to paint the picture of someone becoming intoxicated and making bad decisions.

    Your analogy fails due to the difference between a person drinking at their own pace with their regular strengthed drinks, and having a predator ply them with stronger drinks and a faster pace than they are used to. They aren’t in control under that situation. Your analogy fails big time. So, what else do you have?

  146. says

    Finally caught up (for the moment) and just want to give a clenched tentacle salute and fistbump to the Horde for sterling work against the clueless rape-myth-repeaters and the more obnoxious outright apologists/denialists.

    Thank you Jane Doe for warning women everywhere of one person whom many other women in the atheoskeptosphere agree that it is wise to avoid drinking or being alone with. Thank you PZ for taking the hit on publishing Jane Doe’s testimony, knowing how others would pushback on you for doing it.

    I’m in Week 6 of the Never Ending Rhinovirus and had a relapse this weekend after some emergency dental work during the week, so I guess it’s just my luck that I was already long familiar with the script for all the complaints about PZ doing it rong, eh? Not a single surprise in the lot of them, because they’re all just regurgitating bullshit we’ve all heard before about how utterly dreadful it is for the victimised to name what happened to them as an unacceptable violation.

    Also just repeating the call for evidence made by multiple previous commentors: who can give me one single example of a single celebrity anonymously accused of rape who has suffered anything worse than a few people on the extreme margins of his social circle who make a point of avoiding him, because what I see repeatedly is that famous men’s social circles and earning opportunities remain glitteringly elite and generous even when they’ve been convicted in a court of law, let alone anonymously accused. Poor convicted Roman Polanski can’t go back to the jurisdiction from which he fled before his sentencing, oh boo hoo he can’t accept his Oscar in person, how terribly sad he must be in his luxurious Swiss villa in a prestigious celebrity community. At least Mike Tyson served his sentence, but that done he still has a media career and a bigger house than anybody I know and a bunch of fast cars and still gets invited to fancy parties, doesn’t he?

  147. notsont says

    Women are socialized to be polite. That is the entire reason why books like “The Gift Of Fear” are so popular and important.

    In this case it is not just women, our favorite authors film stars “heroes” of any type have huge amounts of manipulative power over humans in general. We will disregard warning signs and make excuses in our heads of why this person should be trusted. In many cases this extends to Professors, Doctors, Lawyers, Scientists, really anyone who we have applied special status to in our heads.

    It is no coincidence that people in any kind of authority position have an easier time of assaulting someone. What would not work for some random guy in a bar will easily work for the conference speaker you just traveled 200 miles to listen to.

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Did you not see a threat?

    Gee, what a naive fuckwitted idjit. There was no threat until the rape happened and the rapist raped. The fault is with the rapist, and NOWHERE else. Gee, not very empathic toward victims of violent crimes, are you? When it isn’t and never will be their fault?

  149. cuervodecuero says

    I’m not prepared to guess/claim what state of mind/sobriety/consciousness an assailant was in for a specific event. I am prepared to believe someone when they say they’ve been assaulted and focus on that side of it.

    I do find it interesting that being ‘altered state’ drunk can be put forward as a mitigating defense for a male assailant but not for a female assailed.

    It’s very handy to have shifting goalpost reasons why a sexual assailant should be absolved of responsibility and consequences for a harmful act and the assailed should not.

    And then people wonder in all umbrage why the vulnerable are wary of all potential assailants under the umbrella of Schroedinger’s Rapist.

  150. Lofty says

    Has no-one noticed the link between A Bridge and the troll that owns it? A few rocks short of a parapet, that one.

  151. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I do find it interesting that being ‘altered state’ drunk can be put forward as a mitigating defense for a male the assailant but not for a female the assailed.

    See the changes? That’s one of the points you’ve missed. Another is that the assailed person doesn’t need a “defense”.

  152. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Um… I realized that I completely misunderstood cuervodecuero. Sorry. Too late here.

  153. Pteryxx says

    Rapists do not purposely seek out vulnerable victims and create situations in which they can rape; rape is something that happens when a victim makes themselves vulnerable and a rapist passively takes the opportunity. The rapist is barely responsible at all, if you look at it right.

    Holy fuck! that seems to be exactly what he believes.

    *heavy snark warning*

    It’s well established that when Wimminz consume Alcohol (which no Pure Upstanding Virgin would ever ever do) the reaction of the Alcohol with the Estrogen in their bloodstreams produces a powerful Vaginamagnetic Field (VMF) which sucks in the Penises of any Hapless Innocent Male (Non-Gay) in the vicinity. Reams upon reams of Evidence attest *ahem* to the existence of the VMF even though no video has ever been taken of a Hapless Male struggling to avoid being sucked into the Field.

    Given the well-publicised existence of the highly dangerous VMF Phenomenon, Males of all sorts should endeavor to keep their vulnerable Penises well out of reach of Intoxicated Wimminz.

    …Which begs the question: why was the Hapless Mister Shermer so careless as to allow his Penis to be entangled with the irresistable VMF of an Intoxicated Wimminz, not just once, but on Six Separate Occasions? Does he have, in the words of a Famous Journalist, “at best a pathological need for attention, at worst a psychotic death wish?”

    Perhaps he should be chaperoned for his own safety.

    *end snark warning*

    *this is no longer funny*

    Lest anyone think a snark warning would be superfluous for attitudes such as that evinced by A Bridge, consider the following, and then consider why atheism and skepticism should have to do with feminism.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/12/how-the-modesty-doctrine-fuels-rape-culture.html

    Growing up in a conservative evangelical home, I was taught that the way women dress can cause men to “stumble,” i.e. to think lustful thoughts or fall into sexual sin, and that Christian women should dress modestly so as to help their brothers in Christ avoid sin.

    Cause. Did you see that word? Cause. It wasn’t a typo. I was taught that I could cause a man to fall into sexual sins by dressing immodestly. In other words, if I dressed revealingly his sexual sin would be my responsibility, my fault. As a teen, I accepted this as a matter of course and was very careful about how I dressed. I never stopped to realize the full implications of this teaching.

    Rape culture. The idea that a woman who is raped must have been asking for it, that women who dress scantily are asking for it, that somehow, when a woman is raped, it’s her own fault. This idea that men can’t control themselves, that they can’t help it, that they are innocent victims of seductress females. The idea that when men express their sexuality inappropriately it must have been some woman’s fault for leading him on with her revealing clothing or demeanor.

    It was all there, nestled into my neat and tidy little evangelical community.

    and

    The Myth of the Boner Werewolf

    There’s a pernicious myth out there that the male sex drive is unstoppable and irresistible–that once a man is aroused, he literally cannot control his actions. We tell jokes about “thinking with the other head” and “all the blood went out of his brain” that aren’t entirely jokes. We have a cultural narrative in which sexual arousal makes a man into a goddamn werewolf.

    And we expect women to tiptoe around this uncontrollable male sexuality. We tell them to watch how they dress, lest they wake the beast. We tell them “some guys can’t control themselves”–not won’t, but can’t. We tell them to be careful what they start, because they’ll be expected to finish it. Hell, way too often we outright tell them that they have no right to withdraw consent once sex has started.

    My response to myths like this, more and more, is “shit, if I believed that, I’d never have sex with a man again.” I wonder if the story would change if more guys realized that saying “if a woman gets me turned on, she’d better be ready to go all the way” is the same as saying “getting me turned on is dangerous, better not take the risk.”

    Then again, I wonder why more men aren’t just insulted by the whole concept. If someone started telling stories about how my gender was controlled by our genitalia and sexual arousal turns us into rapist automatons, I would be outraged. I would explain in very small, very loud words that I am a person and I can goddamn control myself. I wish more men would speak up to say “actually, even when I can’t turn my erection off, I can sure as hell use the rest of my body to put it somewhere it won’t bother anyone.”

  154. says

    Beatrice:

    Um… I realized that I completely misunderstood cuervodecuero. Sorry. Too late here.

    It’s okay, your fix was good in a different way, as a reminder that women are not the only ones who get raped.

  155. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Suppose you’re in your car sleeping it off before you drive home*. Somebody jumps in, holds a gun to your head and forces you to drive the car while you’re drunk. Who’s committed a crime there? Now you’ve got an analogy.
    *Of course come to find out, the penalty for doing that is the same as DWI—it’s called “Physical Control”—but don’t get me started on that.

    Again, legally who has committed a crime or who should be blamed? Honestly my personal morals would say that if someone holds a gun to your head and forces you to do something you normally wouldn’t do in that circumstance the proceeding events aren’t entirely your fault, but at the same time you do have a choice to not go through with the person’s wishes. Morality is rarely black and white and that’s why I think this discussion is important.

    Wow. Just…wow.

  156. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    The second paragraph was supposed to be blockquoted, from A Bridge. I trusted my computer–sorry.

  157. says

    A Bridge:
    When I speak of consent, I refer to “an unambiguou. s declaration from an individual that they desire to take part in a given activity”.

    Do you yet grasp the difference between Jane Doe’s situation and your insipid analogy?

    My comments about forces of nature were to point out that you keep droning on about the things victims should or should not do, but not one word about those commiting the crime. You have not said “thieves do not steal”, “murderers do not murder”, or “rapists do not rape”. You put the responsibility on the victim in situations without putting the onus on the criminals.

    And once again, by saying women should take more responsibility when drinking, you insinuate that the presence or absence of alcohol affects the chances of being raped. Sober people get raped. Buzzed people get raped. Passed out drunk people get raped. Rapists are not forces or nature. They can choose not to rape. Thats where the onus should be. Nowhere else.

  158. sharkjack says

    No problem Caine, I’m happy to have been of help. That said, I’m signing out. I’ve got an early day at the lab tomorrow.

  159. MrFancyPants says

    I see we have an entirely new batch of people earnestly blaming rape victims again, today.

    Sharkjack, your idea of posting links to all the worn out and failed arguments is great! I thought briefly about doing that yesterday, but I’m a lazy failure of a link poster.

  160. throwaway, gut-punched says

    A Troll

    But it seems like some commentors here are astounded that such people even exist, and act surprised when rapists rape and murderers murder. As if the whole world were butterflies and angels.

    Fuck off, doucheweasle. Go read the thread, read the accounts of sexual abuse which people feel comfortable coming out about. Fuck your guilt-tripping victim-blaming bullshit.

    Here’s a statistic for you: everyone who draws breath will die, 100%, certainly. I guess the smart thing for you to do is stop breathing? Otherwise, it’s your fault when you die.

  161. says

    A Bridge! Hey, you vile excuse for a fuckwitted weasel, you had best scroll up to #3665 and read it. Use your finger to follow along if you have to, PZ used BIG WORDS to help you. Get a fucking hint, assclam. Your continued flood of smegmarmalade is doing no one in this thread any favours. You were given a chance to demonstrate you were intelligent. You blew it. You’ve demonstrated that you need your ‘decent human being’ card taken away and you’re getting kicked off the bus. Ta.

  162. Jacob Schmidt says

    Specifically which of my priorities is screwed up?

    Your focus on what victims can do to protect themselves despite those things being difficult to do in all circumstances and despite the fact that such mitigation doesn’t address the problem. What’s the problem, you ask? That a significant minority of our population think it’s ok for them to sexually abuse others in certain contexts, (ex. if their victim’s drunk enough to be unable to properly dissent). And that’s just for starters.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Unless they’re shoving the drinks down your throat then you always have a choice to say no, don’t you

    You forget the need to be “nice and polite” on the part of women, and if you had done your homework, or looked at the OP, the predator takes away the ability to measure consumption and what strength. Geeze, you have a lot to learn by looking at Caine’s predator links, or you are a predator yourself. And are trying to blame the victim for your bad behavior.

  164. Jacob Schmidt says

    Because society tells you to be polite to skeezers and weirdos, you should do it? Tell them to fuck off.

    Do I actually need to go through this with you? Tell me I don’t. Tell me you’re not that stupid, please.

  165. says

    A bridge #3606 and others
    Fuck right on off with your rape apologetics, you complete filth. If you look back to the first pages, you’ll see my advice to the first of your ilk that came through. It applies to you in triplicate.
    Caine
    On my view, b0nezbr1gade was full of shit from the get-go. Baysean priors can reach a point where they process so fast it feels like intuition, and patterns of trollery definitely are predictable that way; if someone has all the earmarks of a trolling asshole, they probably are one, and if they really are sincere, then they’ll react to being told of by, say, reading the fucking thread.

    3603
    John Phillips, FCD

    Tony #3858, I think your being to generous with your just world scenario. I think it more likely that bridge is himself a predator who uses the very same tactic and so needs to defend it and victim blame or he just might have to reconsider his own actions.

    There’s nothing stopping both from being true simultaneously, of course.

    Martin Wagner #3629
    No, no; Randroids insist that morals and ethics are objective, and that theirs are objectively the best.

  166. darkwater says

    A Bridge:

    Did you not see a threat?

    Honestly, no. I’ll address this in two parts.

    First, all of the other people who have called me cheesedick. anteater, aardvark, kike (yes, really) because I’m uncut have managed somehow not to rape me. All of the other people who have asked me either earnestly or sarcastically, things like, “don’t girls freak out when they see that thing,” “how do you clean it,” “OMG the book on puberty I got my kid doesn’t address how he’s supposed to clean his foreskin and he’s asking about it and OBTW did I tell you I didn’t have my kid circumcised yeah but I am and OMG was that the right decision I can’t do it now can I and he’s in the next room and I’m going to tell him verbatim whatever you tell me” (fun fact – that guy used to work with nuclear weapons); all of those people somehow managed not to rape me.

    Secondly, all of the other people in my life who spout the same inane jokes and comments repeatedly and incessantly, from the guy at work who went to a rival school and always brings it up, to his cube neighbor who’s a fan of a divisional rival of the NFL team I follow, to that one boss who thinks making comments about Jennifer Lopez’s ass makes him cool; yes, all of those people have somehow managed not to rape me.

    So, yes, I did not identify someone who asked an earnest question the first week of the quarter and proceeded to drive a jejune joke into the ground over the next five months as a rapist. You know what did move him into that category? The fact that he raped me.

  167. MrFancyPants says

    Because society tells you to be polite to skeezers and weirdos, you should do it? Tell them to fuck off.

    I love this statement. The depth of ignorance it displays is truly mind-boggling. A Bridge, a hearty THANK YOU for giving all the poor pink-ladybrain wimminz the astounding advice that they can tell assholes to fuck off. Who would have thought that was a possibility?! It’s very generous of you to explain this so that all the people trying to explain to you how foolish you are can see the light.

    Call the paramedics. I think I might have just experienced that Fatal Eyeroll™…

  168. Pteryxx says

    Because society tells you to be polite to skeezers and weirdos, you should do it? Tell them to fuck off.

    After You Say “No”

    I want to be clear about something: this post isn’t directed at the sort of person you’re going to meet in a minute. If you find yourself in conversations like these, where your conversational partner is reacting like I did, I really hope you take something from this, but you aren’t who I’m talking to here. This post is for everyone who has told me that if I were just clearer about my boundaries that guys would back off or that women just aren’t clear enough about expressing their discomfort.

    After You Say “No”, Part II

    It’s not the first time I’ve been bothered multiple times. As such, I’m still amped from the teenagers on the first train. So when this man leans across the aisle into my personal space and asks me, yes, what are you reading, I assertively but calmly tell him to please leave me alone, I am reading. The man stands up, moving to the front and muttering angrily over his shoulder that it isn’t his fault I’m pretty.

    Yes. Exactly that. I am the bad person in this situation because somehow this is all my fault. I started this by being attractive. I am making a mental note to bitch about this to my friends later. I go so far as to write it down so I know I’m remembering it properly.

    It is at this exact moment I realize Bicycle Man is not taking it well.

  169. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Unless they’re shoving the drinks down your throat then you always have a choice to say no, don’t you

    Unless a scam artist is forcing you, with a gun held to your head, to give him money, you always have a choice to say no so that means that scamming people out of their money is totally fine and shouldn’t be a crime.

    While we’re making analogies and all…

  170. says

    GODFUCKINGDAMNIT. SOCKPUPPETRY IS AN INSTANTLY BANNABLE OFFENSE, AND IS A MARK OF COWARDICE, SLEAZINESS, AND GENERAL UNWILLINGNESS TO ABIDE BY THE RULES OF THE BLOG.

    “A Bridge” is the asshole previously known as “Cold”. Banned. All comments deleted. I really am going to drop the banhammer any time I twitch from here on out.

  171. playonwords says

    A Bridge you are a complete moral and ethical vacuum

    You say whatever you please to justify criminality and obscene behaviour.

    You have a glass of wine with someone, they keep topping up your glass. Past a certain point you do not notice how drunk you are being made to become. You become incapable of voluntarily controlling your actions and most definitely incapable of consent. This describes the actions of the alcohol enabled rapist. The rapist is guilty of rape no matter what the level of intoxication of the rapist. He (or she) has set out to render his victim incapable of refusal or resistance and no matter what the original intent of the rapists actions.

    Tell me using your huge … intellect how the blame for the rape in any way falls on the victim?

    Your nonsensical nit-picking is just an attempt to excuse rape and your continued maintenance of that point of view will enable the many rapists who use these tactics to continue to escape criminal sanction.

    You, personally, support criminal activity and you personally want the perpetrator to escape any sanction at all.

  172. Jacob Schmidt says

    Thank you, Pteryxx. I was wracking my brain trying to think of where that anecdote on the subway was from.

  173. says

    At least the socked up rape apologists are consistent. Didn’t read answers to their claims under their original ‘nyms, won’t read ‘em under their new ‘nyms.

  174. Pteryxx says

    Ironically, this rather applies to refusal to accept a banning, too:

    Mythcommunication: It’s not that they don’t understand, they just don’t like the answer

    Long story short: in conversation, “no” is disfavored, and people try to say no in ways that soften the rejection, often avoiding the word at all. People issue rejections in softened language, and people hear rejections in softened language, and the notion that anything but a clear “no” can’t be understood is just nonsense. First, the notion that rape results from miscommunication is just wrong. Rape results from a refusal to heed, rather than an inability to understand, a rejection. Second, while the authors of the paper say that this makes all rape prevention advice about communicating a clear “no” pointless, I have a different take. Clear communication of “no” isn’t primarily going to avoid miscommunication — rather, it’s a meta-message. Clear communication against the undercurrent that “no” is rude and should be softened is a sign of the willingness to fight, to yell, to report.

  175. MrFancyPants says

    “A Bridge” is the asshole previously known as “Cold”

    WHAT
    A
    SHOCKING
    TURN
    OF
    EVENTS … *fatal eyeroll #2*

  176. says

    Dalillama:

    Baysean priors can reach a point where they process so fast it feels like intuition, and patterns of trollery definitely are predictable that way; if someone has all the earmarks of a trolling asshole, they probably are one, and if they really are sincere, then they’ll react to being told of by, say, reading the fucking thread.

    You’re absolutely right. You are. We’ve been through so many times, for years. Thank you very much, Dalillama.

    PZ:

    “A Bridge” is the asshole previously known as “Cold”.

    Damn it, damn it, damn it. I have got to stop being nice to these flaming doucheweasels.

  177. darkwater says

    You know, I wondered about that given his preference to italicize instead of blockquote.

  178. says

    A Bridge:
    You cant read for shit.
    I never claimed to be surprised at the existence of thieves, murderers or rapists. I am trying to understand your victim blaming mindset.
    Your approach is the one that asserts men cannot control themselves if a woman is intoxicated. You believe that levels of intoxication have a bearing on the chances of being raped.

    My point is that rapists are the ones commiting the crime and are the ones responsible for NOT RAPING. Remember when I said “remove the rapist and no rape occurs”? I did not say “remove the alcohol and no rape occurs”, bc people are raped when they are stone sober.

    I also see you have no concept of how deep rigid gender roles run in society. As children women have it drummed into their head to be nice and polite and smile. They are indoctrinated into this. As adults they do not have the option to just turn off that indoctrination. Hell, they often are not aware of it.

    You have entered a discussion where you are unaware of the basics and are spouting off victim blaming bullshit.
    You refuse to accept that rapists are the only ones in control of rape.
    You think potential victims should work around rapists, as if these people are forces of nature who cannot stop from violating another persons bodily autonomy.

    You have a horrible view of humanity that you think some people are just going to rape, no matter what.

    Fucking asshole.

  179. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    MrFancyPants,

    A second fatal eyeroll, you say? :)

  180. says

    Not too long ago I was riding the city bus home from school. It was a crowded bus and when a young man got on he asked a young woman whether he might sit in the empty seat next to her. Her response was a polite but firm “There’s another seat over there”.

    Of course the young man realized this was a completely neutral and reasonable response, went and sat down in the other seat quietly, and the rest of the passengers on the bus recognized that it was none of their business. No, wait, that wasn’t it at all. No, he responded by calling her a bitch and continuing to badmouth her throughout the rest of the time I was on the bus to hear. Several OTHER passengers who had not been involved in the initial exchange in any way also joined in to loudly, venemously criticize her and in at least one case also call her a bitch.

    To this day I’m deeply ashamed that I didn’t speak up for her or at least tell the bus driver, but to be honest I was frozen in horror at how quickly and deeply the atmosphere in that part of the bus had turned simmeringly nasty — and at how no one in any other part of the bus seemed to care.

    But yeah, women should just speak up and enforce their boundaries. Nothing bad ever happens when we do. Fucking asshat.

  181. Pete Newell says

    In a way, it’s quite reassuring. We haven’t been getting a steady stream of idiots, we’ve been getting a few repeaters.

    Not only are they wrong on the merits, but they’re essentially dishonest start to finish.

    Hell, they’re making our point for us.

    And we can stop trying to argue with the same old shit, because it’s probably coming from the same old asshole.

  182. Pteryxx says

    Caine: *offers rat-level hugs*

    Damn it, damn it, damn it. I have got to stop being nice to these flaming doucheweasels.

    I’m fine seconding this. (i.e. that Caine may stop being nice to these flaming doucheweasels.)

    Heck, don’t go by my example. Mostly I’m cool because I’m feeding out citations for the audience’s benefit. The doucheweasels aren’t my audience – they’re the ball. ;>

  183. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says

    Beatrice @ 3699:

    Unless a scam artist is forcing you, with a gun held to your head, to give him money, you always have a choice to say no so that means that scamming people out of their money is totally fine and shouldn’t be a crime.

    While we’re making analogies and all…

    No, that’s not good enough. Only if I let my hypothetical carjacker shoot me in the fucking head would it not entirely be my fault:

    Honestly my personal morals would say that if someone holds a gun to your head and forces you to do something you normally wouldn’t do in that circumstance the proceeding events aren’t entirely your fault, but at the same time you do have a choice to not go through with the person’s wishes.

  184. says

    ha!

    Lyn M, turns out I did still have some of the reading on the evaluation research for DV persecution options. More can probably be found if you’re interested. It’s in the context of the “Indianapolis Persecution Experiment”, the researchers names are David Ford and Mary Jean Regoli, and the research seems to be from the early 90’s (1992?). Anyway, it was about policies that were a bit different from what you were talking about, but here’s what I got:

    They described a situation in which two options exist: the police make an arrest, fill out a “probable cause affidavit”, and schedule a court hearing; or, the victim files charges and fill out the “probable cause affidavit”. The evaluation research was specifically in the cases of victim filing charges, and then wanting to withdraw them again, because many jurisdictions actually forbid that. The IPE was an experiment that allowed some victims the option to drop charges later on, if they wanted, plus some other options, e.g. counseling/educational classes with anger management either as part of parole or as a thing for the accused to volunteer for before trial. The evaluation research was about which of these were most effective at curbing subsequent DV incidents.
    Outcomes:
    1)men who were brought in for a hearing, regardless of outcome, were less likely to subsequently beat their partners
    2)women who have the right to drop charges later on were less likely to be abused later on than those who did not have the right
    3)women who actually exercise that right are more likely to be subsequently abused than those who choose not to.
    4)Anger management options don’t seem to do shit, because of faulty implementation among other things.

    So the conclusion the researchers came to was that what reduced subsequent violence was the victims having control of their situation and a sense of cooperation from the criminal justice agencies (i.e. that the victim is in charge of whether a case will go forward, and that the CJ agencies are there as support for that decision and protection for the victim, not as the primary agent deciding whether something will be done or not)

  185. cuervodecuero says

    @#3692 Caine and Beatrice

    Beatrice:

    Um… I realized that I completely misunderstood cuervodecuero. Sorry. Too late here.

    It’s okay, your fix was good in a different way, as a reminder that women are not the only ones who get raped.

    S’okay. Given how our species puts all its members at risk from rape, I was attempting to separate out genders because an assailed male still seems to have more credibility (and more if he’s ‘white’, cismale and straight identified and conforming and has class status and is legally adult and reporting on a male assailant and it happened outside prison) than an assailed female when it comes to reporting assault and being charged with responsibility for one’s victimization. A reflection of society’s patriarchal priorities I suppose.

    Colour me unsurprised my writing is more awkward to someone outside my brain as I plunk down comments. Meaningful vocabulary is important in trying to frame ideas and I’m not always sure I haz it.

  186. says

    Pteryxx:

    Mostly I’m cool because I’m feeding out citations for the audience’s benefit. The doucheweasels aren’t my audience – they’re the ball. ;>

    Every time I think I couldn’t love you more, I find myself wrong.

  187. MrFancyPants says

    Beatrice:

    A second fatal eyeroll, you say? :)

    I’m part cat, I’ve got at least five lives left!

  188. skeptianthro says

    No, it’s the job of everyone to realize that rapists exist and take necessary precautions. This doesn’t mean rapists are not to blame for committing rape.

    two things here: A) Once again the onus is put on people to NOT BE RAPED. If you had not worn that dress, or if you had worn panties, or if you didn’t go out, or if you didn’t look at him, then this wouldn’t have happened. Guess what? It doesn’t matter if you are wearing panties, or if you aren’t drinking– the rapist is going to rape. S/he might not be raping you, but he is looking for his next “conquest”

    B) The whole FUCKING POINT OF PZ’S POST was so people could take the necessary precautions to avoid a lech/rapist/committer of sexual assault. The rumors about Shermer (and others) have been quietly whispered at conventions for years. I heard about Shermer at Texas Freethought in 2011. I had two complete strangers come up to “ask something” after seeing me talk with him at the hotel bar to warn me about behavior that has been repeated almost verbatim by Jane Doe I, et al.

  189. says

    General note (wow keeping up with this thread is hard… mainly my fault for not having consistent internet access, though)…

    Why is the onus always on people to not get raped? Why can’t the onus ever be on people to not rape?

    To be fair, there are cases where the onus is put on people to not get murdered, as well… in general, it seems that all the emphasis is on on not being a victim. Why can’t the emphasis ever be on not being a criminal?

  190. Jacob Schmidt says

    Guess what? It doesn’t matter if you are wearing panties…

    Is anyone else creep out by the fact that the most common term for women’s underwear seems to infantilize?

    It’s interesting to know that Shermer was the (at least) one women were warning each other about. Thanks, skeptianthro.

  191. says

    notsont:

    This is the first time in 30 years I have mentioned it, kinda makes me uncomfortable.

    For whatever this might be worth, your discomfort is not unusual for this sort of thing. It would just be a guess, but I would imagine that recognizing what was formerly just an obnoxious childhood prank as rape and/or sexual assault is not at all a comfortable thing to do. It’s not exactly the same thing, but I have had some memories that were simply puzzling turn out to be stomach-turning. It is never fun.

    My advice, which is worth what you paid for it: go easy on yourself for however long it takes to get past the discomfort. Being assaulted, recognizing what happened, sharing it–nothing here for you to be ashamed of. In fact, it takes a fair amount of courage to get this far.

  192. notsont says

    I heard about Shermer at Texas Freethought in 2011. I had two complete strangers come up to “ask something” after seeing me talk with him at the hotel bar to warn me about behavior that has been repeated almost verbatim by Jane Doe I, et al.

    See thats just part of the conspiracy this has been well planned by PZ and hes minions soon the next part of his nefarious plan will emerge to take down the “True Heroes” of skepticism. The conspiracy is VAST.

  193. Chandrese says

    @ 3559 What a Maroon, el papa ateo and 3562 Caine, Fleur du mal:

    Thank you both. I wasn’t hurt, although I did have to go to catholic school for two years after that little incident which retroactively pisses me off.

    I know ‘A Bridge’ is gone, but damn, that brought back a LOT of memories. See, my rape was a “good” one. I wasn’t physically damaged like so many because I was drugged. I don’t remember a damn thing. Just woke up in a shower that my friends had put me in because I was “responsive” but completely mentally gone and they thought I was drunk. My girlfriend told me that my underwear and my tampon were on the ground outside where they’d found me. I hope to this day it was only one guy.

    This was back in 1979 and I’d never heard of drugs in drinks. I figured it was my fault, I’d been drinking, and since I didn’t “know” anything, it never occurred to me to call the police. What was I going to say? Even my friends thought I was just intoxicated. The truth was, I’d had two beers. Actually, one and half when I started to feel really strange. Their apartment where I was staying was a block from the bar. I made it to the grass in front of the door.

    It took me years to stop feeling it was my fault. I was alone, drinking, in a bar. Completely my fault, right? I know better now, but that blame the victim shit is toxic. So thanks, Cold / A Bridge and fuck you very much.

  194. screechymonkey says

    carlie @3671:

    What does that mean, “be held accountable”?

    (sarcasm alert)

    Well, duh. The Accords clearly state that a women who has sex with a man who isn’t her husband or — maybe — a longterm boyfriend, is a dirty filthy slut who must be made to feel guilty and shame for her dirty sluttiness. Though this is highly controversial, some versions of The Accords allow for an exemption for a woman who is raped, but only after rigorous proof that it was a stranger jumping out of the bushes, that the woman was a virgin, dressed in a burlap sack, and was only out in public alone because she was on her way to or from church, the grocery store, or other place approved by her owner.

    A woman who claims she was raped based on the flimsy rationale that she was too intoxicated to provide meaningful consent is a dirty slut who is attempting to misuse the Virgin Stranger Rape Exception that was so magnanimously provided. Such attempts must be vigorously denounced, and she must bear the consequences of being known as a dirty slut.

    (/sarcasm)

    I think that pretty much explains it.

  195. skeptianthro says

    @Jacob Schmidt: I always thought of the terms for undergarments (panties, underwear, unmentionables, drawers, bloomers) being like the words for carbonated beverages: Local and age defined. Example I use panties but I grew up with a very Ukrainian mother who referred to them as unmentionables. My fiance says underwear but his family (Southern and VERY southern at that) almost always refer to them as drawers. I use the word “pop” to refer to a carbonated beverage. Fiance’s family says coke even when they want a sprite.

  196. ledasmom says

    B) The whole FUCKING POINT OF PZ’S POST was so people could take the necessary precautions to avoid a lech/rapist/committer of sexual assault. The rumors about Shermer (and others) have been quietly whispered at conventions for years. I heard about Shermer at Texas Freethought in 2011. I had two complete strangers come up to “ask something” after seeing me talk with him at the hotel bar to warn me about behavior that has been repeated almost verbatim by Jane Doe I, et al.

    And may I say just how much I, and probably a lot of other women like me, appreciate this warning? Chances of me getting to a convention of any sort any time soon are pretty remote (money issues plus difficulty at gatherings of this sort), but it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility. The thing is, I have Asperger’s (I know that’s not the absolutely correct term anymore, but people in general know what I mean when I say it) and fairly extreme social anxiety(it takes me a few minutes at least to psych myself up to even call a friend on the phone). I don’t talk to people I don’t know very much and people don’t usually talk to me (I appear somehow to have achieved a significant degree of social invisibility). I am exactly the sort of person who might not have such a warning relayed in person, or who might not completely catch on to what I was being told.
    And may I add just how infuriating it is to see some of our trolls framing this issue as one of male “lechery”? I mean, I know some guys who’ve had very active sexual lives, guys who by anyone’s definition are pretty horny fellows, and they do manage to go through life without raping anyone. It’s pretty insulting to them to suggest that rape is a function of horniness.

  197. says

    Skeptianthro:

    I always thought of the terms for undergarments (panties, underwear, unmentionables, drawers, bloomers) being like the words for carbonated beverages: Local and age defined.

    I was taught underwear. Personally ‘panties’ skeeves me out.

  198. ledasmom says

    I was taught underwear. Personally ‘panties’ skeeves me out.

    The word that always baffled me was “lingerie”. I mean, that is such a strange category.
    The nice thing about “underpants” is that it’s universal. I wear underpants. My husband wears underpants. Our sons wear underpants. Underpants!

  199. says

    Ledasmom:

    Underpants!

    That never made sense to me, even as a sprog. You aren’t actually wearing a pair of pants under whatever else you’re wearing.* Gad, I loathe clothing terms.

    *Yes, I was that annoying as a sprog, too.

  200. leni says

    The thing that so supremely creeps me out about the calls for drunk or careless crime victims to “take responsibility for their actions” is the unspoken assumption that the victim hasn’t already spent a great deal of time self-flagellating for their “mistakes”, real or imagined.

    That they don’t have lasting fears about making those same (or new) mistakes, and that the things they would tell themselves aren’t actually worse than the narcissistic scolding offered by people like Cold/A Bridge. That so many of them end up being hyper-vigilant to the point where they aren’t functioning well. And even if they are functioning well, that it still can result in a kind of self-policing that most of us will never have to deal with.

    Do they really think they are saying something that hasn’t already played through the mind of probably every god damned crime victim ever? The message, whether intended or not is “you fucked up, you don’t matter, it’s your fault, and so technically you aren’t even a victim, except of your own foolishness.”

    Duh- obviously that’s victim-blaming, but when you distill it down to the basic components it is so unbelievably nasty. And insidious because the person saying it probably really thinks they are saying a moral, rational thing. “Take responsibility” is some nebulous, normally good thing, but in this case it really just means “shut the fuck up, idiot.”

    It’s just fucking… evil.

  201. morgan says

    Dear Horde,

    I’ve been spending all of the weekend keeping up with this Grenade thread and several others. It is, as you know, exhausting, demoralizing, educational and ultimately hopeful thanks to all you wonderful warriors. And Caine, when it all gets to be too much I’ve been clicking through to Rattitude for relief. Kiss all your ratties for me.

    MLK said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The cynic in me has always doubted this…. but maybe, just maybe, with folks like the Horde in evidence, it can be true.

    Thank you. I love you all.

  202. ledasmom says

    I think of them as what goes under the pants. Of course, that doesn’t make sense if one is wearing a skirt or a dress. They are sort of like a pair of pants without legs, which I suppose makes them technically an undercrotch, but that doesn’t really sound good.

  203. Arawhon says

    I think all the smart, weird people tend to be “annoying” as sprogs(oh how I annoyed my mother, then the teachers, then the librarian, then having run out of people I just consulted the books). Also underpants makes no sense as a word. Underwear makes sense since its the clothing you wear under other clothes.

  204. says

    Leni:

    That so many of them end up being hyper-vigilant to the point where they aren’t functioning well. And even if they are functioning well, that it still can result in a kind of self-policing that most of us will never have to deal with.

    Yeah. A lot of us went into detail about that in the NYT: Women cause rape by being too scarce thread.

    Note: massive Trigger Warnings to anyone thinking of clicking that link.

    I got hypervigilance, sleep phobia and dream phobia from my childhood rapes, then I got PTSD from the later one. It’s just a bowl of cherries, ennit?

  205. Jacob Schmidt says

    Caine

    Personally ‘panties’ skeeves me out.

    I always found ‘panties’ to be sexualized. It bugged the ever loving fuck out of me every time my step mother told me to get my little sisters panties so I could help her get dressed.

    You aren’t actually wearing a pair of pants under whatever else you’re wearing.

    I always figured it came from what we call “long johns” (dunno the american term; never seen it outside Canadian media); they’re literally pants you wear under your pants, and they’re very warm.

  206. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I know it’s evidence of nothing but rapists and rape apologists follow the same patten: the number of incidents is made up of by a few repeat offenders.

    Underwear, definitely underwear, and never, ever gonch, the preferred term of my yoofths. [shudders]

  207. says

    Morgan:

    And Caine, when it all gets to be too much I’ve been clicking through to Rattitude for relief. Kiss all your ratties for me.

    Consider it done, Morgan. I’m glad they could help.

  208. Crudely Wrott says

    Whew! [mops brow and takes deep breaths] I’m currently up to 3500 and a handful so don’t look over your shoulders; I might be gaining on ya. =)

    There is another repercussion of rape that I am personally familiar with and I haven’t seen it mentioned so . . . I need to tell my story.

    I also need to issue a Trigger Warning. I have to also say that I’m so sorry that I have to, but there it is.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    A long time ago a wonderful girl told me she loved me. I took her at her word and we went through some adventures together, eventually married and made two baby girls. We were a typical young couple living on the Gulf Coast of Florida in 1971. Well, not really. You see we were actually a threesome. Her father went to bed with us each night.

    Dear Dad was a pervert. He wasn’t content to just get his wife blotto and act out his fantasy, oh, no. He brought his little girl (age 10) in to watch. Before long he had her “helping Daddy”. By the time she was 14 he would visit her in her room to “tuck her in”.

    I had no idea of any of this when she and I fell in love. I didn’t know until one night, well into our relationship and with what I thought was a great love life, when she suddenly pushed away from me and curled into a tight, trembling ball and said “NO!” over and over and over.

    I thought I’d hurt her, physically, I thought I’d done something wrong but what? She tried to tell me. She really tried but could only look away and cry. I was beside myself with worry and fear. I was afraid that something I was doing had frightened or disgusted her and I felt so miserable and angry at myself because I couldn’t figure out what.

    It took several days for her to finally get the truth out, small bits at a time. Now my rage shifted from myself (which was cold comfort) and towards her miserable bastard father. I wanted to kill him. I really did. Lucky for him he was over a thousand miles away.

    I told her that we need to talk to law enforcement but she refused. And do you know, it took me nearly forty years to understand why!!!!

    It took finding this place, this blog, you people to explain to me how it was for her. I thought I understood but it was the sterile understanding of clinical language. I had no idea at the time how she really felt inside. I did not know that she was not simply reluctant and embarrassed to talk to police and begin legal action.

    It was that she could not; not mentally, not emotionally, not physically bring herself to re-enter that childhood nightmare.

    Our marriage fell slowly apart over the next four years even as our sex-life faded into a sad rhythm and then vanished altogether. Though we each sought to understand what had happened and why, we never found a resource, never had capable support. To this day she holds all that horror inside in a place that neither I nor the two girls can reach. That’s the saddest part of all.

    The good part is that I stayed close to my daughters. They moved to my home when they were 13 and 11 and I raised them through their high school years. We now all live near to one another, I’m in eldest daughter’s home with two grandsons. There is interaction between all of us and to a casual observer things seem normal.

    I am not a casual observer and neither are my girls. We have seen my ex-wife go through recovery programs, attend church for prayers to heal her all the while still holding the darkness of her youth inside. It must be a constant gnawing that has become a familiar background dirge to her life.

    Sometimes a bit of that horror surfaces and it is an ugly thing to see — she can fly into a rage in an eye blink. That makes it extremely difficult for the girls and I to maintain a balanced footing and the two grandsons — the “man-cubs” — cannot begin to understand. That is only temporary for they are growing fast and I worry for them.

    So that’s my story. Sexual assault against one person nearly a half century ago is still bringing pain and misery to that person, to me, to those of her generation who love her, to our children and now, when I look at those two boys that I love so, I cannot help but wonder. “How will they be affected? What will it mean to them?” Yup, even through three generations!!

    And I ask myself, what can I do to stop this monster that haunts us, and sometimes I see images in my mind that chill me to the bone.

    That is what rape does. It never goes away. Even if it didn’t happen to you, it can wrap itself around your life and ruin what you always thought would be the best parts of your very best days.

    That’s why I believe the Jane Doe’s testimonies. That’s why I respect PZ’s decision to pass it on to us publicly. That’s why we get so angry with the fools that can only see the lesser potential of harm to a possible or even likely rapist.

    That’s why we must do what we can to slow and eventually stop the sickness of rape.

    That’s why I had to tell you this story. Before right now only four people really knew it and I probably thought that that was where the story should remain. I might have been right as far as concerns my little family. Then someone tossed a grenade.

  209. says

    Ledasmom:

    which I suppose makes them technically an undercrotch, but that doesn’t really sound good.

    Perhaps not, but it made me laugh. :D

    Arawhon:

    (oh how I annoyed my mother, then the teachers, then the librarian, then having run out of people I just consulted the books).

    Me too.

  210. says

    Crudely Wrott:

    That is what rape does. It never goes away. Even if it didn’t happen to you, it can wrap itself around your life and ruin what you always thought would be the best parts of your very best days.

    Yes. I don’t have words, CW. Sorry is so fucking inadequate, but I am so sorry. My heart, always.

  211. rusty says

    I’ve been meaning to post for a while, but I only just now caught up. I am another long-time reader who has only lurked until now. I just wanted to lend my voice in support of the several Jane Does and of PZ for posting this. Thank you all.

    Thanks also to the Horde. I know that dealing with MRAs and rape apologists and JAQoffs (please excuse the redundancy) is hard work and that you can’t always directly see the payoff, but I have learned a great deal about my own privileges and about how to confront rape culture from you guys. You guys are fighting the good fight; thank you.

  212. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Jadehawk

    Thank you! That is a bit different and I am struck by how leaving the decision in the hands of the woman resulted in less abuse. I am not aware of research into the effect of the policy where I was.
    I am interested to see that where a woman did stop the charge going forward, she was more likely to be abused. I think that was the part those of us in the trade saw. And some confirmation bias, of course. I would see a client “be nice” to the dork who hit her, and she got hit more. This makes a person crazy, you know, I mean the person trying to get the woman out of danger. So I instituted a policy of my own. I would not represent any client who went back to a batterer while she was there. I would represent anyone who left, even if it was the 17th time she left. Sometimes it takes courage to make leaving stick, you know.
    This reduced my blood pressure reading greatly and improved the use of my time in terms of helping people. Anyhow, that was what I thought.
    Thanks for the info!

  213. kayden says

    @Crudely Wrott,

    Thanks for that post — painful but so true. I also know a few rape survivors. One in particular said nothing to anyone until she was an adult and felt that circumstances forced her to say something to her mother (who was about to place my friend’s daughter in the reach of the man who had earlier molested my friend).

    I have no doubt that PZ thought long and hard before posting such serious accusations against Shermer. And I have no doubt that the woman in question genuinely cannot come forward to reveal her identity.

  214. Rob says

    Good grief I go away for a couple of days and come back to this monster (in several ways) of a thread. I found it at 2,500 comments and it’s now 3,750. I don’t claim to have read every one of them, but I’ve read lots and skimmed the rest.

    I feel quite ill.

    Jane Doe, I am sorry about what happened to you. PZ, this was a Hobson’s choice, but I don’t think you could have done other than you did and still be you. Horde regulars (and especially Caine in this case) I remain in awe of you. I’ve also taken some comfort in the number of new voices I have seen chime in with support. You people are all awesome, if slightly scary at times.

    One of the issues that this discussion has clearly underlined is that a big chunk of the population (men and women, but especially men) see getting a person drunk/drugged as a legitimate part of seduction. A recreation drug of choice may well form part of consensual interaction, but not when used as a strategy to get a person to do something they would not when sober. Then it is just plain predatory. The sooner this is accepted by everyone the better.

  215. Jacob Schmidt says

    Crudely Wrott

    Before right now only four people really knew it and I probably thought that that was where the story should remain. I might have been right as far as concerns my little family. Then someone tossed a grenade.

    I can’t be sorry enough, and I don’t think I can properly understand what you’ve been through. I can get bits of it, if only because of my current situation. I am sorry, more than I can say.

    My mother was a sociology student. She left plenty of books around that detailed cases that maybe a 12 year old boy shouldn’t have read. I can say that your situation is more likely than people give credit.

  216. carlie says

    I’m so sorry, Crudely. Thank you for sharing that with us; I’m sure it will help many people understand.

  217. Pete Newell says

    I’ve been kind of long on the scathing in this thread and short on the uplifting.

    Me, I’ve been through nothing worse than childhood bullying, and I’m something of a recovering authoritarian asshat.

    I haven’t replied to any of your testaments (Upbringing shows, dammit. I have no better word.), both because I have no words for what I feel (Other than rage. Got lots of words for that, but I’m using those where they belong.) and because I’m wary of making Pronouncements.

    I have a phrase I use with my coworkers, who are largely Christian but largely decent, which says, “I’ll be thinking about you. I’ll use the part of my mind that I’d pray with, if I did that.”

    If that’s offensive, I apologize. I feel for you all deeply.

  218. leni says

    Two words: nether garments :D

    Yeah. A lot of us went into detail about that in the NYT: Women cause rape by being too scarce thread.

    Note: massive Trigger Warnings to anyone thinking of clicking that link.

    I got hypervigilance, sleep phobia and dream phobia from my childhood rapes, then I got PTSD from the later one. It’s just a bowl of cherries, ennit?

    I can’t imagine how infuriating that “take responsibility” bullshit must be for you and other victims to hear.

    Just to give it some context for the Colds of the the world: I have some mild PTSD from having a friend commit suicide in my house and by mild I mean months of persistent and intrusive memories and thoughts, nightmares and anxiety attacks. I still think about it nearly every day, nearly 3 years later. I still go over the minutia obsessively. I could have and maybe should have done many things differently, so trust me when I say I understand those specifics far more intimately than anyone else ever will. I will not go into the room, or even near it where it happened. If I need to go there I get a friend to do it. And this is what I call mild.

    It is a fucking rabbit hole nightmare, yet I don’t imagine it’s even half as bad as what sexual assault victims go through because I don’t have to hear the kind of bullshit blaming lectures they get.

    No one is going to tell me this is my fault and that my pain is deserved because of my failures, even indirectly. No one is going to blame me for what he did. No one is going to demand that I “take responsibility” for my actions despite the fact that I’ve already been taking more than my fair share.

    I’ve been trying to remind myself that the people who say these things do not understand the implications of what they are saying. I really do think that’s true in most cases and that it usually isn’t malicious. Though I admit to some unskepticial clinging to that notion…

    (Note:I am not posting this for sympathy, I am posting it to give the rabbit hole nightmare some context for those people who might not understand it. If you feel the need to express it, thank you, I really do appreciate the sentiment, but it really makes me uncomfortable. I do not want sympathy for someone else’s tragedy.)

  219. Larry Poppins says

    Well I’ve tried to read the whole thread. I picked it up at around 300 and followed it until around 1200, went to sleep then it’s up to over 3k and I just don’t have it in me to read what I’ve missed. I’m gathering that the recurring themes of “innocent until I say so” and ” why didn’t she do what I think she should have done” have been repeated ad naseum with some really awful trolls rotating in.

    As always Caine (my Internet hero) Pteryxx, Carlie and many others have been fighting the good fight. I can’t express how much it means to me that you take the time to write as you do. Thanks to Lyle X because, yeah, if you have to ask, it’s rape.

    I tried to do something, maybe something good when the thread was new and I did take a few minutes to share the stats from yesmeansyes and encourage my male students to call out their friends on rape jokes and victim blaming. I tried to share what I have learned from this thread and others like it thinking maybe 10 minutes of class time was worth it. I hope it was, that maybe attitudes can be changed.

    Oh, and then the most important thing, to me anyway. To Jane Doe, and her friend who came forward, I believe you. I never had any doubts that you are bravely telling the truth. Thank you.

  220. Crudely Wrott says

    Caine:

    I don’t have words, CW. Sorry is so fucking inadequate, but I am so sorry. My heart, always.

    Your heart is enough, Caine. I know that it’s been through hell and back and it is a most worthy and beautiful heart. I am most fortunate to have that.

    It is the rape apologists and the MRAs that need your words. Oh, my yes, they certainly do. ;^>

    Kayden and Chandrese, thank you. I think we all have had a full measure of regret and anger and love and solidarity right here in this thread as well as in life.

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

    First, I want to apologize for not really being here for the last 1500 or so comments. I’ve had family commitments and all afternoon and this evening I was doing the one thing guaranteed to get me out of a shit mood: Babysitting my incredibly intelligent, shockingly creative and most wonderful three-year-old niece.

    It was the break I needed from the various threads all over the net where I’ve been doing my best to shut down the bullshit spewed by rape apologists and various other odious examples of the human race.

    Second:

    CAINE:

    I hate the way you were treated by that bonehead. I know you feel it may have been partly justified, but I just want you to know that I think it was incredibly unfair of someone who hadn’t spent literally DAYS fighting this crap to tell you how to go about it. It’s easy enough for some asshole to sit on the sidelines and claim the moral high ground, but if they don’t have the chops to actually slog it out in the trenches I don’t think they’ve got the place to tell you that your battle cry is too loud.

    You were polite in your first comment to each idiot as they came through. All those dumbasses had to do was go read the thread, as basic netiquette dictates, and they would have seen their question answered. It was THE TROLLS who were being rude. They were the ones not respecting boundaries. THEY wanted you to spoonfeed them and hold their hands and wipe their bottoms because “Why should I do that myself? I’m above all that! Why, I am super special and deserving of all of someone’s time and energy because … because… well… just because!””

    I mean, how many times do you have to ask someone not to shit on the rug (as they keep shitting on the rug) before you get to start yelling “FUCK OFF AND STOP SHITTING ON THE RUG YOU SERIAL RUG SHITTER!”

    (I figure once ought to be enough. Bonerhead apparently thinks shitting on the rug should be tolerated and welcomed and treated like a delivery of a dozen roses. Fuck. That. Noise.)

    You’re under no obligation to be nice to someone who has shown you disrespect, to someone who has been rude, or to someone who is morally bankrupt.

    Besides, if you look at the thanks you’ve gotten it’s usually for some of your more… ummm… colourful posts.

    You’re getting thanked because you’re fighting tooth and nail and because you’re like a Momma Bear with the wind up her rear when idiocy rears its ugly mug.

    I hope you don’t ever change that. There are others here who can do the education job (like Pteryxx) who don’t slog it out all day and every day.

    No one commenter should have to be everything for everyone. Divide and conquer is a good strategy. Each according to their abilities, and all that.

    Anyway… I’ve rambled enough here.

    In closing:

    You rock, just as you are. Your voice and how you use it is one of the main reasons many lurkers de-lurk. You make them, and pretty much all of us, feel like someone’s going to the mat for us.

    That’s powerful. That’s important.

    Thank you.

  222. dreamstone says

    Long time lurker here, unlurking to say that I bow to the bravery of Jane Doe and the other two Does who spoke out in support of her.

    I’m just an anonymous voice on the internet. But for what its worth, I believe you and I support you.

    Hell I keep trying to write this and can’t come up with the right words. I just believe that your warning will save other women from a predator, and a fate which they will not deserve. A fate that no one deserves, even if as was stated earlier “they are passed out drunk naked and in a room with a group of horny guys”

    And yes to all of you with your “is it rape yet?” crap stupitities. It is RAPE!

    What is it about consent that they never seem to understand?

    (Possible TW)

    To all the moderators and commentators, to all of those who have shared your stories, I admire your strength to keep wading into the bullshit and vomitous castoffs of the apologists and MRAs, I wish I had your strength (and strong stomach) but frankly it got to where when I saw certain nyms I just had to skip the comments.

    I just wanted to let you know that you have made a difference to me. I was one of those “Why didn’t she report it to the police?” people. I swear by The Dark Lords pale scaly ass, I never knew it was that bad. I will never be that person again. Only once has anyone told me about an attempted rape, luckily I was speechless and just listened. I hope that is what she needed from me. I didn’t even realize till later she was warning me. He was her own Brother.

    THANK YOU! Because of you I have evolved. I wish I had cookies to give you, will some vertual lemon cake do?

  223. says

    Well…

    Reading everything just makes me hate the hyperskeptics (can we start calling them pseudoskeptics, please?) more.

    Crudely Wrott… I wish I knew what to say, but I don’t. Sorry isn’t good enough, so…

    So… I have some cynical and depressing thoughts on all this, so I won’t share them, except to say… I titled my attempt at slightly increasing the signal frequency of PZ’s post here “Burn it Down. Rebuild it from Scratch.” I’m still kinda feeling that way right now.

    Also… every single one of you who dealt with this thread and the assholes are superheroes.

  224. darkwater says

    Crudely Wrott,

    I know it can’t possibly count for much, but I’d like to add my wishes, too. I had planned just to second leni’s post, but your post and leni”s follow up on “taking responsibility” caused me to have to step away for a few minutes.

    I had gotten into it with Cold/A Bridge earlier over their “take responsibility” thing because it was so ridiculous in my case (I had what someone else termed above a “good rape”), but reading yours, it’s like, what can you possibly do? what can you possibly “take responsibility” for, besides the aftermath of what’s occurred?

  225. says

    men who are accused of rape, hell, even men who have been fucking convicted of rape, are generally defended by society at large. Does the name Roman Polanski ring a bell?

    I am so tired of this bullshit meme. Sure in rare cases like Roman Polanski, or Kobe Bryant it’s true to an extent, but even in the case of Kobe, who was found not guilty the word rape will eternally be part of his Wikipedia entry.

    I was falsely accused of attempted rape at the age of 18 by a vindictive ex-girlfriend. The charge was in the local papers police blog, and beyond because my father was a local politician. As a result of the stigma I didn’t attend my last semester of High School, completed my last 2 classes in night school, and didn’t graduate with my class, and of course as a result lost contact with many of my friends. My part time employer (a convenience store chain) transferred me to a store in a small town nearby.

    Ultimately the case was dropped. The prosecutor said she had not only recanted, but that she was insane, and making claims that he was related to her. He told me I should be careful who I get involved with in the future. No one involved in the case had any doubts of my innocence. That being said none of this was was reported.

    It is now nearly 40 years later, I don’t attend high school reunions, and when I visit my home town I’m still known as the guy who was charged with rape, and my parents died as the parents of the guy who was charged with rape (the attempted part was kinda lost in the mix) It’s a painful stigma I’ll never be free of, because as everyone assumes, as we know, that where there’s smoke there’s fire.. Sure being the victim of rape is worse, but unless you’re rich or famous you won’t be “generally defended by society at large.” At best you’ll be defended by your family, and even then only if they are convinced of your innocence.

    Please keep this in mind before jumping to conclusions. I’m not suggesting that’s happening here, I’m just saying.

  226. Crudely Wrott says

    Jacob Schmidt:

    I can say that your situation is more likely than people give credit.

    I’m certain of that now, Jacob. The statistics that have been cited in this thread practically guarantee it. Thanks for your caring.

    Carlie:

    Thank you for sharing that with us; I’m sure it will help many people understand.

    Your tender regard is treasured. I hope that everything in this thread adds to the collective understanding.

    Hey, Tony!
    I just lately realized that I’ve been consistently spelling your name wrong. Yeah, keep leaving off the “!”.
    Fixed now. =)
    Your friendship is a fine and welcome thing to have. Thank you.

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

    @Mike:

    I am sorry that happened to you, but were there multiple people saying that you raped or assaulted them in a similar fashion as part of a pattern of behaviour stretching over years?

    No?

    Then this is not the same at all.

  228. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Now I’m all caught up. *Eyes refresh button nervously*

    This is way behind the curve, but what the hell:

    3274 Jonny Vincent

    All deceit is malicious, by definition.

    Now there’s a guy who will never have a surprise party.

    3458 Cold (aka A Bridge)

    personal anecdote

    In my trade, we called that testimony. Testimony is evidence. Evidence is necessary for a finding of guilt and hence a conviction.

    And Cold again, saying that women are not physically stopped from coming forward
    Because NO ONE but lying liars are ever worried about social consequences. Hence the complete absence of business that might exploit this concern, such as fashion, cosmetics (Sorry Jonny!), luxury cars, brand labels or advertising. Yep, yep, totally logical conclusion there Cold.

    docfreeride — you got it. courts do guilty or not guilty. I saw the reference to not proven, which is Scots law and which was correct. Those are the choices. Why? I think it was well said by a judge whose name I now forget, “Even the devil cannot know the mind of a man.” So how can a trial confirm someone was innocent? Only that the charge was not proved to the requisite level.

    Pteryxx 3682 Have a heart! Put a warning up before posting something like “vaginamagnetic effect”. I have a laptop and it’s nearly impossible to get lemonade out of the keyboard in time to prevent damage. And look at that screen! Sheesh.

  229. says

    Crudely Wrott;

    Thank you for telling your story.

    That is what rape does. It never goes away. Even if it didn’t happen to you, it can wrap itself around your life and ruin what you always thought would be the best parts of your very best days.

    (Trigger warning)

    I had a friend (had; she died recently) who had been raped repeatedly as a child, in a boarding school. She told me how the effect showed up after she married. What she called it was a body memory that surfaced when she was least expecting it, so that she felt her erstwhile abuser on her, rather than her husband. Her reaction was like your wife’s. It didn’t happen every time, but it made for major difficulties in her marriage.

    She went to therapy, got her feet under her, and took the matter to the appropriate authorities. Stonewall city. “We’ll get back to you” … crickets. “He’s a good man … he wouldn’t have done this.” … more crickets. We fought for years to get some admission of responsibility by the organization that ran the school, or at least to get a policy in place to stop future victimization. Her “perp” died, in good standing in his church and community.

    There is now a complaint procedure in place in the organization. Whether it is followed, I have no idea.

    I burnt out, totally discouraged, and disengaged. I’m recovering, maybe, almost, strong enough now to continue fighting.

  230. kittehserf says

    Infrequent lurker here, delurking to say

    1) Jane Doe, thank you.

    2) PZ, ditto.

    3) The Horde, ditto.

    4) Rape apologists, aka hyperskeptics and assorted douchebags, please take off your shoes. I have some nice sharp Legos for you to step on.

  231. Mike says

    @praxis

    I am sorry that happened to you, but were there multiple people saying that you raped or assaulted them in a similar fashion as part of a pattern of behaviour stretching over years?

    Did I miss some people going public? Because I was under the impression that only one person (PZ Meyers) was claiming that multiple people were saying that other than anonymously.

  232. says

    Praxis:
    I disagree.
    One of the questions I most wanted answered: what are the repercussions of false rape allegations…now has an answer.
    Thanks Mike.

    However, of the small % of false rape accusations, how many of those falsely accused faced stigma similar to Mike?
    Moreover, the PSEUDOskeptics, kept droning on and on about false rape allegations destroying the lives of the falsely accused. That is one that has not been proven.
    ****

    praxis:
    Btw, theres no need to apologize for taking care of personal business. No one is required to put in time here. You have contributed tremendously already.

    ****

    To any lurkers, or new commenters:
    This thread may be dying down, but rest assured, another one of a similar nature will rise. The Horde will be there again, and the added support you provide, through delurking and giving thanks, or adding to the takedowns is priceless.

    Be the change you seek in the world.

    The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

    __
    Btw, The Lounge is a great place to hang out and socialize with many of the commenters here. There have been many unique voices speaking up and I for one look forward to getting to know you all.

  233. leni says

    Mike:

    It’s a painful stigma I’ll never be free of, because as everyone assumes, as we know, that where there’s smoke there’s fire.. Sure being the victim of rape is worse, but unless you’re rich or famous you won’t be “generally defended by society at large.” At best you’ll be defended by your family, and even then only if they are convinced of your innocence.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t want to minimize your pain and I think what you’re saying is valuable and important to remember. And I’m sorry that it happened at all.

    And I did think about that when I jumped off the fence*. That person who committed suicide in my house did so because he was arrested for downloading child porn. He lost his job, his family, and his life because of it. Please trust me, I don’t take this lightly.

    (Of course that doesn’t mean I’m not wrong, it just means that I did think about it a lot before deciding to believe the accuser. And that I don’t think false accusations are harmless.)

  234. homeless says

    I wanted to ask a question. First I want to quickly say straight out that I came here from a reddit thread however I’m not here to troll or pick fights with anyone. I should also say that I’ve read about 1000 of the comments in this thread, however I haven’t read everything. If not having read the entire thread precludes me from asking questions, let me know and I’ll apologize and show myself out quietly.

    With that out of the way, I wanted to ask about the comments responding to claims that an accusation of rape will harm Shermer saying that this wouldn’t be that bad of an outcome (examples here by user keithm and here by user Rutee Katreya).

    What I’m wondering of those folks is whether you think libel/slander laws in general offer unnecessary protection which makes it difficult for victims to face their accusers? Or would you say that in the instance of specific crimes which are difficult for the victim to come forward about (e.g. rape, domestic violence), the ability to speak openly outweighs the accused’s protection from libel? In other words would you advocate for the removal of libel protections for all or some types of accusation?

    If so, do you think the stigma which may be attached to an accused in the case of a false accusation is an acceptable trade off so that genuine accusations can be made without the burden of hard evidence?

    I’ll spare you my own opinions unless anyone is interested in hearing them. I’m just interested in what you folks think.

  235. Menyambal --- writing as Lee Moe Joost says

    Crudely, hugs.

    My story isn’t nearly as bad, not nearly, but it’s an example of trusting a woman when she says a man is bad:

    MAY BE TRIGGERING:

    I lived with a woman for many years, not married, but we were a family, with her teenage daughter. The story there was that my girlfriend said she’d been molested by her dad when she was a girl. She never went into details, and I didn’t meet the man. She and her mom didn’t communicate—I’m not sure how that relates. I believed her about her dad, of course, and we managed to deal with her issues, and were thankful they were so few.

    So she decided she needed to do something for her dad on a major birthday, to at least pretend to keep the family together, to let her daughter at least have some contact with her granddad. The event went wonky when his step-children took over and competed for his attention and love (so yeah, it was a messed-up family).

    When I met him, I thought he was a somewhat creepy guy, but I thought maybe I was just prejudiced. Until his granddaughter came in (my “daughter” after so many years), and offered to give her granddad a birthday hug. He turned to his step-children, gave them a big wink and a leer, as if he was proud of how he’d tricked a strange teen-age girl into his trap. It was NOT a grandfatherly situation, it was a sexual predator triumphant.

    I wanted to jump in and stop the hug, but I didn’t want to make a scene. Which was probably what the guy was counting on.

    The girl may not have noticed anything funny, but I was instantly affirmed in my already-present belief in everything my girlfriend had said. It was a shocking thing to see, and I stood there and allowed the hug to happen.

    I still don’t know what I could have done in that split-second of horror, but I need to be prepared, and I need to not allow bad things to happen to women, or to anyone.

    So yes, sexual predators are out there, and if a woman says a guy is bad, the consequences of disbelieving her are far worse that keeping away from the creep, and goddammit, do something.

    My relationship with that woman cam apart, later. I dunno how much and why, really, I don’t.

    The next woman I got long-term with had abuse issues—non-sexual—from her father, and it tore me up for years that she’d jump and twitch at things that I never did … it tore my heart out. I felt she thought I was some weird caricature of her father, not really me. So that messed me up.

    I dunno. Really I don’t. But if a man thinks he can mess up a woman for his own pleasure, I need to stop him. We need to stop him.

    Thanks.

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

    @Mike:

    I’m only going to say this once, because I’ve been seeing a lot of people say things very similar to what you have said in other places on the net and I am tired of repeating myself:

    If you think PZ is lying, that Jane Does 1, 2, and 3 don’t exist, please point to me how PZ is going to benefit from this.

    No one is asking Shermer be prosecuted. No one, not even the Janes Doe are asking that to happen.

    I realize that if you haven’t read the thread (Which you should, because it’s pretty rude to just barge in here and start making accusations that have already been dealt with WAY back on previous pages) or the OP (Which is a REALLY good idea to do) that you may not get it that…

    THIS IS NOT ABOUT SHERMER OR A COURT CASE OR ANYTHING OTHER THAN WARNING WOMEN.

    It’s not about you.

    It’s not about PZ.

    It’s not about Shermer.

    It’s about protecting women.

    Period.

    Now go read the entire comment thread and you will find any objections you may have (and I know you will have them) have already been dealt with.

    Go. Read.

    Now.

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

    Tony: Please quote exactly what you’re disagreeing with. Otherwise I won’t know. I can’t see inside your head, you know.

  238. kitty says

    I posted a while back (I delurked for just that purpose), but I want to reiterate my support for PZ and Jane Doe (and all the other Jane Does). To all the rape apologists and hyperskeptics out there: Fuck off.

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

    Holy fucking fuckity-fuck fuckery fuck fuck.

    How many goddamn times do the same questions need to be answered?

    Homeless:

    Read the entire thread, please. Your questions have already been answered. If you look upthread on this page you’ll see a handy-dandy set of links to answers for the most common questions. They will be in blue. got to the top of the page and you’ll be able to find it near the top as one post, and about halfway down posted as multiple posts.

    Thanks.

  240. Pteryxx says

    homeless @3777

    What I’m wondering of those folks is whether you think libel/slander laws in general offer unnecessary protection which makes it difficult for victims to face their accusers?

    I think libel/slander laws are something of a red herring here, because they don’t make it difficult for victims to report offenders and pursue sanctions – the massive fails in rape investigation and prosecution do that. And accusers in a court of law may have at least some protection of their own identity due to rape shield laws.

    No, libel/slander laws make it difficult for victims to go public. And going public is necessitated by the former problem – failure of formal channels to produce any results.

  241. Crudely Wrott says

    Thanks for your sentiments, NateHevens and Darkwater. It’s important to me to know that others can understand the depth of emotion that this issue is capable of stirring.

    The main reason for my post was to drive home the fact rape can have a ripple effect that can trouble the lives of more than the immediate victim. Their families, their friends can be affected without them really knowing about the assault. The ripples can go out and have unexpected and pernicious consequences for others even years after. It’s like a damned infectious disease that exploits multiple vectors. As difficult to conquer, too.

    I hope more than ever now that this poisonous rape culture can be educated out of society. I’m well aware that such an achievement will be a mufti-generational task, but, dammit, brothers and sisters!! We gotta get started or it’ll never happen.

    I must tip my hat to the folks here at Pharyngula and all the FTB blogs for playing a crucial role in opening my eyes and, surprise! changing my attitude. I’m all, “Ooofda . . . Thanks, I need that!” Part of that changing was very similar to a short, sharp slap in the face but you know what? I’m glad.

  242. says

    praxis:
    I was disagreeing with your #3770.
    Looking back I think you and I were looking at different things. I think Mike’s story is relevant insofar as it gives a peek into the possible repercussions of false rape allegations.

    Sorry, I cant quote on my phone. It will not let me copy/paste from here.

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

    @Tony:

    Okay. I get it now. I was wondering if you were in disagreement with that or with what I had said to Caine.

    Well, here’s another difference:

    Mike is a “Joe Shmoe”

    Shermer is not. He has fame, he has a following. If you look at the accused ACTUAL rapists who have those things you will note that their lives did not suffer one bit.

    There is a huge difference.

    The other difference is that according to Mike he was, in fact, falsely accused.

    With all the women coming forward I find it doubtful that Shermer is completely innocent. At worst, he’s a rapist. At best? He’s a really creepy and skeevy guy who women should avoid.

    The two situations are *not* the same.

  244. says

    To all have posted to say they stand with us and added their voices, thank you.

    Leni, thank you so much for your post, yes, you understand very well the cost we all pay when terrible things happen.

    Praxis, thank you.

    To all who are sharing their stories, my heart goes out. I offer my understanding and support.

  245. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Pteryxx

    Nice distinction.

    I am in favour of lots of law suits. Tons of ‘em. Pile ‘em on I say.*

    *(Please note that I may have a personal interest in that.)

  246. says

    Mike:

    It’s a painful stigma I’ll never be free of, because as everyone assumes, as we know, that where there’s smoke there’s fire.. Sure being the victim of rape is worse, but unless you’re rich or famous you won’t be “generally defended by society at large.” At best you’ll be defended by your family, and even then only if they are convinced of your innocence.

    I’m very sorry that happened to you, Mike. Rape victims get to live with the fallout every day of their lives, too, so I think we understand how bad it can be on the flip side of the coin. I don’t imagine reading this thread felt very good to you, and it took courage to speak up.

    I hope you realize that in fighting the good fight, especially against such determined and persistent flaming doucheweasels, that we do have to constantly point out the very large disparity between reported rape stats and false allegations. Doing so does minimize the harm people such as yourself undergo, and I am very sorry about that.

  247. efogoto says

    Delurking to say thank you to PZ for posting this, and to the Horde for all you’ve said refuting the asshats. I also thank Jane Doe and all of the horde who have written their stories here. I am sorry you have suffered, but I thank you for sharing.

    Caine, you’re the best.

    /Delurk

  248. John Morales says

    homeless:

    If so, do you think the stigma which may be attached to an accused in the case of a false accusation is an acceptable trade off so that genuine accusations can be made without the burden of hard evidence?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. In this specific case, your question was answered in the OP: “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.”

    Now, you think you’d have done different, fine — but to imagine that PZ didn’t give it due consideration is naive.

    (Whether or not other commenters have also done so will remain a mystery to you until you do bother to read the entirety of the comments, unless they care to repeat themselves for your convenience)

    And I think people are tired of this specific situation being considered as an generalised abstraction.

  249. Crudely Wrott says

    Susannah and Menyambal, here’s hoping that you and I and others who have had our lives interrupted and sent in unwanted directions can find support and possibly peace from both within ourselves and from without, buoyed by community.

    We need it and, having found it, we need to be ready to pay it forward. There really are a lot of people who have been hurt by someone else’s pain and misfortune. That the pain and misfortune is the result of assault and rape is a sad, miserable tragedy.

    This further reinforces the principle that our lives are all bound up together and that none of us are really independent of others.

  250. Anne D says

    I’m logged in through google, so I have no idea how this will come out the other end, but what I want to say is this:

    To the Jane Does who came forward, thank you, I am in awe at your strength, and I’m so very sorry.

    To PZ, whose blog I have been reading since shortly before Elevatorgate, thank you for providing a platform and shield both.

    To the Horde, and especially (but not confined to, because you all rock) to Caine, you are an awesome group.

    Thank all of you for working to make this a better world for all of us.

  251. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I asked once the person-I-know who was raped by her father why it was she came forward when she did, why she confronted her family when she did (I did not phrase it like that, but that was the gist).

    She said, “Because my oldest daughter was twelve – the age I was when it started – and people were starting to ask why I wasn’t allowing her to sleep over at her grandparents’.”

    It probably would have been easier for her to keep her mouth shut, not face all those memories.

    But then, she would have had to look at her daughters and wonder.

  252. homeless says

    @Prax
    “Holy fucking fuckity-fuck fuckery fuck fuck.
    How many goddamn times do the same questions need to be answered?”

    As I said, I have not read the entire (very large) thread and am happy to withdraw the question if it is a breach of decorum to ask a question under those circumstances.

    That being said, I’d already read the post you’re referring to but the links in there didn’t really answer my question (assuming you mean this one). The post linked as “Why posting the accusation without further evidence isn’t unfair to Shermer” addresses why the poster felt that in this instance, the accusation was justified. My question was more regarding how advocates of that view would see this working on a broader basis and how it would be applied fairly.

    In other words, if they were to say that this instance of public accusation without evidence is acceptable, would they say that the current protections from libel should be changed to allow it in certain circumstances because harm of a potential false accusation is outweighed by the good to genuine victims (or potential future victims). In general, are there fair circumstances in which we should allow a person to accuse someone of a crime which could tarnish their reputation without providing evidence? A rule which applies to all cases, not just this one.

  253. Pete Newell says

    Homeless: not the time and place, dude.

    Assuming you mean well – and be aware there is no way for people here to tell – you should be aware that there have been a trail of asshats under a variety of aliases coming in to derail and harass, and Nerves Are Strained.

    Your line of questioning has been used maliciously here. Do not pursue it now.

    Unless you’re another sockpuppet, in which case ask away. Our host has already put that sort of behavior on notice, and you’ll be leaving shortly.

  254. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    if they were to say that this instance of public accusation without evidence is acceptable,

    There was evidence. The testimony of Jane Doe is evidence. Evidence that is good in a court of law.

    In general, are there fair circumstances in which we should allow a person to accuse someone of a crime which could tarnish their reputation without providing evidence?

    You repeat your error. There was evidence. What you are saying is that women’s word isn’t evidence. Think about that, then try again.

  255. homeless says

    @John Morales
    “Now, you think you’d have done different, fine — but to imagine that PZ didn’t give it due consideration is naive.”

    I’m sure this is the case and I’m not here to question whether or not P.Z. did the right thing. I’ve always been of the opinion that libel laws seemed like a reasonable thing and that it’s generally bad to accuse someone of something publicly without any evidence. I’m interested in the reasoning of those who feel that in certain circumstances that this protection is unnecessary.

    “And I think people are tired of this specific situation being considered as an generalised abstraction.”

    If that’s the case then apologies for asking. My interest was in the general question as I understand the reasoning with respect to this particular example.

  256. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    homeless:

    Pteryxx already answered your question.
    First of all, libel is a legal term, and only comes into play when legal action is taken. Secondly, this is not accusation without evidence, a statement (testimony) is evidence and does not become hearsay until it is not reproduced verbatim. Thirdly, the original statement has been backed up by more statements from other women. This is also evidence.

    Thirdly, for anyone to have a libel case, they would have to prove that the accusations made were both malicious and false. It is clear from the OP that unless someone can prove PZ is lying, the intent was certainly not malicious. Whether or not it is false is another matter, though even just using normal statistical probability, a rape accusation is between 90-92% likely to be true, and that’s being generous to the “false” accusations, which are mostly unproven or dubious rather than definitely false or malicious.

    So, basically, this has nothing to do with libel law at all, and bringing it in is quite the red herring. It’s also been done before in the thread.

  257. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    t’s generally bad to accuse someone of something publicly without any evidence.

    Quit repeating this nonsense. Jane Doe’s word IS EVIDENCE. Two other women chimed in with corroborating evidence. So, shut the fuck up about there not being evidence. Your assertions don’t change the fact that your are wrong.

  258. homeless says

    @Pete Newell

    Homeless: not the time and place, dude.

    Assuming you mean well – and be aware there is no way for people here to tell – you should be aware that there have been a trail of asshats under a variety of aliases coming in to derail and harass, and Nerves Are Strained.

    Your line of questioning has been used maliciously here. Do not pursue it now.

    Unless you’re another sockpuppet, in which case ask away. Our host has already put that sort of behavior on notice, and you’ll be leaving shortly.

    Fair enough. For the record my intent was genuine which is why I made a point of indicating where I’d come from but if I’m just riling people up by asking then I’ll go away and leave it alone.

    Thanks

  259. Mike says

    Caine, Fleur du mal:

    I don’t imagine reading this thread felt very good to you, and it took courage to speak up.

    My problem with this thread is different than you may think. My problem isn’t with the crazed girl who made false allegations against me. It’s with the cops who handcuffed me, and charged me within minutes of alleged incident, and with the prosecutor who didn’t speak with the alleged “victim” for months until the pre-trial date, while I was “forced” to quit school, change jobs, be stigmatized, and have a dark cloud hanging over my head.

    My problem here is likewise not with the “victim”. It’s with PZ Meyers who is playing police, and prosecutor in the court of public opinion. How much objective investigation did he undertake before going public with this? Did he at at least check to see if the “perpetrator” had an alibi? Did he check where the victims were where they say they were when they were “victimized”

    Shermer is in the fortunate position that if it turns out to be a slam dunk that he’s innocent he might be able to cleanse his record publicly, but short of that most people posting have already found him guilty, and will continue to assume (if’s never prosecuted) that it was the fault of the system.

  260. kittehserf says

    Don’t know if a second-comment level newb has the right to add this, but:

    If that’s the case then apologies for asking. My interest was in the general question as I understand the reasoning with respect to this particular example.

    This is about specific attacks on real women. It’s not an intellectual abstraction or playing mind games hypotheticals. All the “what about the general principle” and “law!” and “she could have” – all that shit has been addressed so. many. times already, and everyone who’s asked it has been told so. many. times. already.

    But more than that, stop using real people as fodder for abstract questions..

    Your intent may be good, but that makes little or no difference. Just stop doing it.

  261. rowanvt says

    Mike, while it sucks for you I’m fairly impressed the cops acted so quickly. The vast majority of the time they do *nothing*. Or call you a liar to your face.

  262. skemono says

    @Mike:

    unless you’re rich or famous you won’t be “generally defended by society at large.” At best you’ll be defended by your family, and even then only if they are convinced of your innocence.

    I am sorry for what you’ve gone through, and I don’t want to minimize it, but I have to disagree with this part. Accused rapists being defended by society at large is not a “bullshit meme”, and it certainly isn’t reserved for the rich and famous. Any number of the stories shared in the comments of this thread illustrate the victims were attacked and the accused defended or covered up for; the Steubenville case had people concerned about how terrible it must be for the accused, and they were just high schoolers (and they’re not alone in that response).

    There’s this and similar accounts:

    Among Satmars, public expression has been predominantly behind Weberman. After the teen reported the counselor to the police, many supporters rallied around him and pilloried the girl in advertisements for a May fundraiser to subsidize Weberman’s legal fees that drew nearly 1,000 people. (A smaller counterprotest outside the fundraiser was led by the teen’s then-boyfriend and now husband, Hershey.)

    A month later, four Satmar men were arrested and charged with witness intimidation, after reportedly trying to bribe the teen and her husband with $500,000 to throw out the case against Weberman and leave the country. Hershey claimed he was threatened with physical violence, and that the kosher certification was ripped from his store as a sign that the men meant business. All the while, the teen has been ostracized and badmouthed by Satmars, according to her supporters in the courtroom. The teen and her new husband now live in a different neighborhood in Brooklyn.

    Weberman backers “did this to break her so she wouldn’t get to the stand. They dragged her through the mud, hoping she wouldn’t have the courage to testify,” said Yeshiva dean and founder of a program for at-risk Orthodox teens, Yakov Horowitz.

    “Their thinking is, this guy is innocent. Why? Because we know him,” said Horowitz.

    Genut echoed that sentiment, and said Weberman is owed the support he is receiving. “The defendant happens to be a person who did a lot of favors for a lot of people” in the Satmar community, she said.

    I could go on, but more links would just get this comment trapped in the spam net.

  263. says

    Mike, “innocent until proven guilty” has a reverse… that the victim is guilty of lying until proven innocent.

    And I for one am sick and fucking tired of a society that ALWAYS (and yes, I do mean ALWAYS) judges a victim of rape to be lying (even if their rapist is found guilty in a court of law… and yes, I am making a distinction between the justice system and society… the justice system isn’t much better, but it is better).

    I refuse to contribute to that.

    I believe that Jane Doe believes she is telling the truth. I believe those who’ve corroborated her.

    And further, I most certainly believe that PZ Myers believes Jane Doe, that he thought about this long and hard and perhaps even vetted it before posting it, and did so fully aware of the splash damage it could do to him and his reputation.

    Does that mean I think Shermer is, by default, guilty? If it ever comes to it, that is for a court of law to decide. However, I do believe that Shermer holds some… outdated… views of women (“it’s more of a guy thing”), and this is not the first time even I’ve heard his name mentioned as someone people, and especially women, should be leery of. So I simply can’t deny that it would not surprise me… at all.

    And finally… the reason why I do actually think PZ Myers did the right thing is because I simply don’t trust the justice system to work, especially when the accussed is someone famous (or even just a big name amongst a certain group of people). I have heard and read way too many stories of what victims who choose to report go through to think the justice system works. Of course there are times when it does, and that’s amazing. But even then, the victim still ends up with yet another short straw, and a huge chunk of society continues to blame the victim, and even disbelieve the victim, after the rapist is found guilty.

    And yes, sometimes the victim turns out to be the one accussed. I really am so sorry you went through that. It is horrible and pathetic and no one should have to go through that. When it happens, it’s damn disgusting. It has understandably colored your perceptions and I can accept and even forgive that. I don’t know if you got justice for it, but I hope you did, and if you didn’t, I hope you do.

    But it is also not the norm in these cases. You are a horribly unfortunate exception.

    So until the culture changes, I choose to believe the victims. I choose to believe Jane Doe.

  264. says

    main differences between mike here and shermer?

    1)shermer is rich and famous, at least relatively speaking within the skeptic community
    2)shermer has also someone women have been warning each other about for years, if not decades. this is simply the first time a victim chose to have her story told to a public-at-large, rather than just person-to-person, because it will reach a wider audience. so this isn’t a single out-of-the-blue accusation.

  265. Mike says

    @skemono

    I’m sorry but yes it is a meme. I didn’t say it never happens, but it’s hardly the overwhelming majority that the term “generally” implies. Most people charged with rape are convicted, and sentenced, or forced into a plea without a peep.

    The cases you mention are 1 in 100. And as far as the stigma attached I would have preferred to have been falsely accused of murder.

  266. billhamp says

    To clarify something that has come up several times regarding libel/slander:

    In the United States, one of the categories of defamation is “Defamation per se,” in which a statement is considered to be inherently illegal, or more accurately, it is by definition considered to be defamation. There are four sub-categories and one of those is imputing serious sexual misconduct. What is more, in these cases, the plantiff need only prove that the statement was published to any third party and does not even have to prove specific damages. So, if PZ’s statements are made recklessly (as in without sufficient evidence), then they would fall under this law and he would, technically, be open to claims of defamation. Even more importantly, there are criminal defamation laws in the state of Minnesota, which would carry more serious punishment than civil defamation laws. So, there is good reason for people to wonder if PZ has not opened himself up to serious charges with this post.

  267. Dhorvath, OM says

    Most people charged with rape are convicted, and sentenced, or forced into a plea without a peep.

    Citation?

  268. Al Dente says

    Mike,

    It’s with PZ Meyers who is playing police, and prosecutor in the court of public opinion. How much objective investigation did he undertake before going public with this? Did he at at least check to see if the “perpetrator” had an alibi? Did he check where the victims were where they say they were when they were “victimized”

    You quite obviously do not understand what Myers’ purpose is. He’s not playing police or any of that bullshit. He’s warning people about a rapist. Okay, you had an unpleasant experience with a false accusation. Less than 10% of rape accusations are false (see elsewhere on this thread for long discussions of this). So the likelihood of Shermer actually being a rapist is over 90%. Do you want Shermer to continue raping women just because you had a bad experience?

  269. Dhorvath, OM says

    So the likelihood of Shermer actually being a rapist is over 90%. Do you want Shermer to continue raping women just because you had a bad experience?

    More to the point, do you want rapists to know they can continue their behaviour until they are convicted in a court of law before stopping. (I won’t touch on how often they can continue shitty behaviour after a conviction, I don’t know if I can encompass that much.)

  270. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    as in without sufficient evidence)

    There is sufficient evidence, unless you purposely dismiss all testimony by the Jane Does. And if you do, you are a rape enabler/apologist.

  271. says

    And… again… there’s also Steubenville, Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd, the 13-year-old branded a “sexual predator” because a 41-year-old man had sex with her, the New York Times blaming the 11-year-old victim of a gang rape, the Catholic Church, the Amazing Atheist deliberately trying to trigger a rape victim, all of the stories that have been coming out for a while now showing how poorly most colleges deal with rape and sexual harassment/assault…

    I’m sorry, but the evidence is pretty damn clear that reporting can actually make things worse

  272. rowanvt says

    To put this into perspective, that link also says that only about 37% of reported rapes reach the prosecution point. That means that out of every 100 women who report a rape, 37 will get to trial. Of that, only 18% will result in convictions, which means for every 100 women who report a rape…. not quite 7 people will end up in jail.

  273. Mike says

    @NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS… apparently…

    I for one am sick and fucking tired of a society that ALWAYS (and yes, I do mean ALWAYS) judges a victim of rape to be lying

    That’s not the society I live in. In my society the assumption is a woman wouldn’t put herself through that ordeal unless she was raped. The only time that doesn’t hold true is cases where the guy is rich, or attractive.

    The problem I have in this case is that no one is putting themself through the public accusation litmus test. If these accusation where being made publicly (rather than whispered in PZ’s ear) I would assume they were legit. In any case this is making me sick to my stomach. later.

  274. Menyambal --- writing as Lee Moe Joost says

    Mike, I am sorry that you were hurt. Truly I am.

    We all need to get rape accusations treated seriously, and managed properly. This post is an effort to do that.

  275. says

    Mike:
    You just burned through any goodwill I had towards you.
    This has been addressed hundreds of times, if not thousands in this very thread.

    Your situation is an outlier. It is NOT the norm. False rape accusations are exceedingly rare.
    You know what is not rare?
    Allegations of rape that are true.
    1 in four (1 in 6 depending in the source) of women are sexually assaulted once in their lives.
    Rape happens frighteningly often.

    Something that doesnt happen enough?
    People believing the victims of rape.

    Until such time that rape becomes a rarity, it behooves people to believe the victims. Not believing a rape victim effectively silences them and practically guarantees that there will be no justice for them. That does not mean one cannot change their mind if new evidence is discovered. It just means, given the tremendous number of rapes that occur, the odds favor a victims claim.

  276. says

    What IS it with all these pinheads who seem to think their personal opinions of the allegations against Shermer are so goddamned crucial? Why do they imagine a world is trembling on the edge of its seat, turning blue with anticipation to hear just exactly what would make them believe?

    Guys. You’re not that fucking important and it is NOT ALL ABOUT YOU.

    Believe. Don’t believe. I assure you 99% of us give less than half a shit about it.

    The point is that women who might go drinking with or be alone with Shermer can now decide for themselves what they think of these allegations and whether they want to modify their risk assessment.

  277. says

    That’s not the society I live in.

    Then you don’t live in reality.

    I’m sorry, but considering the statistics I and literally dozens of others have posted in this thread, there is no other explanation. The statistics very clearly show that rape victims get treated like shit and are not believed. You are an outlier, not the norm.

  278. kittehserf says

    Al Dente – not only is Mike complaining about PZ playing police, etc, he’s then turning around and complaining that PZ isn’t literally doing police work – examining alibis and the like.

    Mike, PZ has accounts he takes seriously from women he has cause to trust. You’re effectively demanding that he treat them as liars by default, something that’s inflicted on victims of few, if any, other crimes I can think of. And this in a crime where 90% of the claims are true.

    Think about that. You, being falsely accused, were in a tiny minority. The sheer percentages – and the huge number of women who are raped, and, moreover, by serial rapists – make their claims inherently probable. You’re universalising your experience.

  279. skemono says

    @Mike #3816:

    Most people charged with rape are convicted, and sentenced, or forced into a plea without a peep.

    That flies in the face of all statistics collected on the matter.

    The cases you mention are 1 in 100.

    As does that. It must be nice to be able to just make up numbers and treat them as authoritative fact.

    @Mike #3825:

    In my society the assumption is a woman wouldn’t put herself through that ordeal unless she was raped.

    Your society sounds a hell of a lot nicer than the one everyone else lives in. Where can I sign up?

    The only time that doesn’t hold true is cases where the guy is rich, or attractive.

    Or a high school sports player. Or any other student. Or just known as a “nice guy”, because everybody knows they’re great judges of character and could never consider a rapist a nice person, ergo it is the accuser who must be wrong and not their judgment….

    Oh, and it’s “attractive” people rather than “famous” people who don’t have this happen to them, now?

  280. says

    Billhamp:
    Please do us a favor and fuck off.
    You Shermer supporters are not welcome here.
    You have nothing new to add unless you are going to answer questions posed to you a while ago.

  281. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Most people charged with rape are convicted, and sentenced, or forced into a plea without a peep.

    Bullshit.

    Don’t let your (understandable) sorrow over prosecutorial misconduct in your own case lead you to tell lies about how often rape cases are prosecuted.

    Out of 46 rapes reported to the police, only 12 lead to an arrest, and of those, only 5 get a conviction for any felony (which might be a plea bargain to a lesser crime than rape). 5 out of 12 is less than half, not “most” as your bullshit claims. Worse, out of those 5 convicted, only 3 will have to serve even one day in prison.

    And note, that’s almost 90% of reported rapes where the rapist gets off totally, never convicted of anything and suffering no consequences whatsoever.

    Sorry you were such a rare and sad exception.

  282. kittehserf says

    Aaaand it took me so long to reply that I was ninja’d times lots, by better comments.

  283. says

    Mike:
    “…not the society I live in…”

    Where the heck on Earth are you?
    Certainly not the United States. I would hazard a guess that you do not live in the UK or Australia either with your statements @3825

  284. Nepenthe says

    My Bayesian priors say it’s far more likely that Mike, who newly appears on this thread with a story about a world entirely different from the one the rest of us are living in, one where circa 1970 teenaged girls were automatically believed when they reported an attempted rape by a boyfriend, is making things up than telling the truth.

  285. says

    Jason:

    I’ve been requested to help crowdsource information about an alleged predator’s victims within one of our smaller secular communities.

    Jason, thank you so much for doing this.

    Mike:

    My problem here is likewise not with the “victim”. It’s with PZ Meyers who is playing police, and prosecutor in the court of public opinion. How much objective investigation did he undertake before going public with this? Did he at at least check to see if the “perpetrator” had an alibi? Did he check where the victims were where they say they were when they were “victimized”

    Okay. You know what, Mike? Your decision to put scare quotes around victim and victimized instantly shredded a whole lot of the empathy I was feeling for you. An immediate chilling effect. You could have simply used the word alleged, if you didn’t want to come off as incredibly biased and someone who has a tendency to disbelieve victims.

    As for the rest, like many others, you don’t seem to have read and comprehended what PZ wrote in his post. All your questions were answered. As PZ got further testimony, from a witness to the Jane Doe incident, to another woman coming forward with her experience, delineating a pattern of behaviour on Shermer’s part*, he posted it.

    *It is quite obvious, in what she wrote, that she did not want to write, however, felt it necessary to do.

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

    Okay. I am only going to say this politely one more time.

    This post is not about “convicting” Micheal Shermer. No one, not even the Jane Does are asking him to even be so much as charged with a crime. The Jane Does do not want to go to the police.

    This is about warning women.

    It’s not about you, Mike. It’s not even about Shermer.

    This post is meant to warn women that they should avoid drinking with / being alone with Micheal Shermer because he has done some awful things.

    Period.

    This is getting information out there so more women can avoid being victimised.

    I don’t know why you have such a problem with this, Mike, unless you think Shermer not getting his wedding tackle wet in a skeevy way is somehow a punishment or some weird form of vigilante justice.

    If you can’t grasp what I’ve said here then you need to go back to the OP. Then read it. Read it again. Then read the entire thread from page 1. No skipping.

  287. Al Dente says

    Mike @3825

    The problem I have in this case is that no one is putting themself through the public accusation litmus test. If these accusation where being made publicly (rather than whispered in PZ’s ear) I would assume they were legit.

    Jane Doe #1 reported the rape to the convention organizers, who blew her off. What else is she supposed to do? Besides, as you’ve already been told, she is afraid of kickbacks from Shermer and from the rape apologists. And the accusations have been made public here on this very thread. Or do you want Jane Doe to make herself available so you can call her a liar to her face?

    The public accusation litmus test I gave to this situation is “is it believable?” I considered the following:

    1. Over 90% of rape accusations are true.

    2. Rape is a common occurrence (unfortunately).

    3. The justice system is not supportive of rape victims.

    4. The various stories seem reasonable.

    5. PZ Myers says he trusts the various Jane Does and I believe Myers to be truthful.

    6. Neither Myers nor the Jane Does have anything to gain from making false accusations.

    Therefore I believe the stories about Shermer being a rapist are true. I could be wrong, but on the weight of the evidence and the logical inferences I’ve made regarding the evidence, I doubt I am wrong.

  288. Pete Newell says

    Mike, dude, try not to let your own pain blind you. We all feel for you. But your bitter is not helping you or anyone else here.

    I’m done. Back tomorrow if that’s useful.

    Forgive me for hoping it’s not useful.

  289. launcespeed says

    Well, that was certainly an exhausting read.

    To Jane Doe: Thank you for speaking out. Thank you.

    To PZ: Thank you for making this public. Thank you.

    To the Horde: Thank you, to each and every one of you for taking a stand, speaking out, and sharing. Thank you. May your boots be ever-lasting as you kick over rocks to expose the creeping things beneath.

    I have nothing to say to the usual accumulation of trolls, ranters and apologists and their dismal feelpinions.

  290. says

    Nepenthe, I don’t believe Mike is lying. I believe that what he says happened to him is true.

    I do think Mike is being blinkered, however. I think Mike is allowing what happened to him to inform his outlook on how rape is treated, and he has yet to respond to all the evidence that proves him wrong. I think Mike is biased. Understandably, yes, but still biased.

  291. says

    Mike:

    The only time that doesn’t hold true is cases where the guy is rich, or attractive.

    Attractiveness doesn’t have jack shit to do with anything. That said, explain Steubenville.

  292. R Johnston says

    Nepenthe @3837:

    Yeah, Mike sure does seem more likely than not to be a making things up. His post at 3768 was plausible enough on its own, but the venomous rejection of reality evidenced in his other posts makes taking him at his word a ridiculous thing to do. If there’s one thing he says in 3768 that’s true it’s that you shouldn’t take what a known crazy liar says at face value.

  293. Mike says

    @Tony! The Queer Shoop

    What does any of that (all of which I accept) have to do with my refutation of the meme that “men who are accused of rape, hell, even men who have been fucking convicted of rape, are generally defended by society at large.”

    They are not defended. They are seen, and treated as scum. I’ve lived that my entire life, and I wasn’t even guilty. Stop telling me I’m wrong. I can assure you I was never defended by society. There are MANY reasons beyond people thinking rape is OK for people not to be charged or convicted.

    What percentage of the time is a murder arrested, charged, and convicted when the only evidence is one persons eyewitness testimony? The fact that those people aren’t in prison isn’t evidence that society defends murder.

  294. says

    Nepenthe:

    My Bayesian priors say it’s far more likely that Mike, who newly appears on this thread with a story about a world entirely different from the one the rest of us are living in, one where circa 1970 teenaged girls were automatically believed when they reported an attempted rape by a boyfriend, is making things up than telling the truth.

    I don’t think he’s making things up, but he did say that happened to him 40 years ago. My rape took place 40 years ago, so yeah, we’re talking the early ’70s. Things were very different then. It’s easy enough for me to see his story as true, and for it to have affected him so much if he’s from a certain part of the The States and from a smallish town.

  295. Nepenthe says

    @NateHevens

    When someone tells me that their cat vomited on the rug, I’m inclined to offer sympathy. When someone tells me that their unicorn is having stomach trouble, I’m inclined to believe they’re lying or deluded.

  296. says

    Mike:

    They are not defended. They are seen, and treated as scum.

    Explain Steubenville. That is only one fucking case. Other people have listed a host of others for you, which directly refute your belief. Look Mike, I’m trying here, but you need to have an open mind and consider things which happen outside your experience.

  297. Al Dente says

    I believe Mike’s story is basically true. I also think he’s very bitter about it and this colors his attitude toward rape and accusations of rape.

  298. Dhorvath, OM says

    Mike,
    That has not been my experience. I have watched as several people I knew and respected were elevated by being accused of rape, witnessed the attempts to discredit and diminish those who spoke up about their behaviour, and been misunderstood, nay bewildering, when I accepted the idea that those accused had behaved poorly.

  299. Mike says

    @Caine, Fleur du mal

    I think you missed my point. What I was saying is that people wrongly assume that someone who is attractive, or rich wouldn’t commit a rape, and that if you are poor or average looking no one in society is defending you.

  300. says

    *Interlude*

    Holy Rats, I just followed Have A Balloon’s link to Johnny Vincent at Ophelia’s place. He says, among other things:

    Where are girls who aren’t motivated to be combative and deceive me? Where are girls who don’t wear makeup? Where are girls who make up their minds?

    I just gotta ask…wouldn’t a woman who made up her mind be Johnny’s worst nightmare? ;p

    /*Interlude*

  301. kittehserf says

    Mike – stop telling people that you = all men ever accused, rightly or wrongly, of rape.

  302. rowanvt says

    What percentage of the time is a murder arrested, charged, and convicted when the only evidence is one persons eyewitness testimony? The fact that those people aren’t in prison isn’t evidence that society defends murder.

    Except that people who are murdered usually aren’t treated as if it was their fault they got killed. Even when there is no question about what happened, the rape victim gets blamed for the rape, and often for ruining the life of her rapist. Such as the aforementioned Steubenville case.

  303. Dhorvath, OM says

    that if you are poor or average looking no one in society is defending you.

    This still doesn’t fit my experience, at least for the men who I have known.

  304. Pteryxx says

    okay, here’s the problem:

    In my society the assumption is a woman wouldn’t put herself through that ordeal unless she was raped. The only time that doesn’t hold true is cases where the guy is rich, or attractive.

    Meaning, a woman who isn’t raped WOULD put herself through falsely reporting when the guy is rich or attractive (srsly? shades of MRA-dom.) But that’s backwards. Men who have money, power, status, or credibility (which is what “attractive” means in MRA-speak) are TERRIBLE prospects for supposed false rape targeting, because the community will rally around them and shame the crap out of the accuser.

    Then there’s this:

    The problem I have in this case is that no one is putting themself through the public accusation litmus test. If these accusation where being made publicly (rather than whispered in PZ’s ear) I would assume they were legit.

    Again, making accusations public (by which Mike means, the victim going public directly) does NOT imply they’re more likely to be true. In fact it’s the other way around – as shown by research given previously, sometimes accusations are made public by the person’s family when they were just trying to deflect blame from themselves, and they can’t stop the investigation getting out of hand.

    I think we’re seeing the gold-digger presumption in action here. Those theories only make any kind of sense if he reads rape accusations like getting lottery tickets for the biggest potential prize.

    And for what it’s worth, I think it likely Mike’s experience is true, too. He’s even right that guys without social or financial capital are going to be worst off defending themselves from any accusation. It’s not surprising that he’d buy into rape mythology after that.

    For comparison, Jason Thibeault – the same who’s speaking for another anonymous victim right now – wrote about being falsely accused of rape himself when he was a teenager.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2009/05/22/this-ones-gonna-be-raw-lots-of-naked-jason-and-not-the-good-kind-you-are-warned/

  305. Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion says

    Not my experience either. I didn’t report because I didn’t think anyone would care or believe me. Same rapist assaulted a friend of mine, she -did- report. They may have believed her, but wouldn’t do anything because unless she wanted to press charges (involving harsh cross-examination in the room with the rapist and being forced to relive the experience) they weren’t even going to contact him to warn him.

    Being arrested immediately on a simple lie… I simply cannot believe. Also, I’m Australian, so there’s no “we’re better than the US” thing going on.

    The only way I can find the arrest without charges pressed being plausible is if the general mindset of police is so twisted that a lie about being raped, probably involving anger and crying and a lot of exaggerated emotional acting would be believed over an actual instance, where shame and terror are likely to present as a more placid/blank, shy and embarrassed woman, being careful with words to avoid pain. I’d actually not be surprised if that had something to do with it. Otherwise, I don’t see how it chimes with reality.

  306. Funny Diva says

    Ohhh, adorable. Here’s billhamp back with more of the same vulcan logic he shat all over the place back on page 5 beginning at comment #2126.

    Anyone who wants to can play with the chew toy, but realize this is NOT this guy’s first time out in this thread. His “three posts”, etc leeway were used more than 1500 posts ago. I thought I remember PZ warning him off, but I appear to be mistaken in that.

    And defamation/slander/libel have been dealt with at least a dozen times. Your Special Snowflake’s Sooper Special Personal Opinion means exactly Jack. Shit. billhamp, you Special Fucking Snowflake, you…

    But you get an atto-point for not just morphing…this time…

  307. Mike says

    @Caine, Fleur du mal

    Explain Steubenville. That is only one fucking case.

    I don’t know anything about it except to know as you said it’s “one fucking case”. One case says nothing about how rapists as a whole are treated, or not. Why should I care about a single instance?

  308. says

    “Poor or average looking” has a very MRA-ish ring to it.

    From very personal experience… this is sort of putting the cart before the horse. At least for me, constantly being told I was ugly was part of why I was an MRA for so long… before growing up.

    I’m not going to comment on other MRAs, because I’m not down for judging others on their looks, and if I was, I’d have to say that, in my experience, the looks with MRAs, both men and women, tend to mirror society in general.

    My looks were a large part of it for me, though.

  309. says

    Mike:
    Go read Nate’s comment @3823.

    To a fault, society almost always disbelieves victims of rape. In case after case, whether it is a story about a famous entertainer or the Steubenville victim, the accused are NOT dragged through the mud. The rape victim gets the blame, the outrage, the hatred

    90% of rape claims are true. You fell in the 10% of false rape claims. I am glad.
    But the overwhelming amount of time–the claims are true, but also too often dismissed.

  310. Pteryxx says

    One case says nothing about how rapists as a whole are treated, or not. Why should I care about a single instance?

    Oh the irony…

  311. says

    Sorry folks, previous post has been pulled pending further investigation. It’s possible my trust and the trust of my source has been violated, and until I get confirmation from a primary victim that this effort is wanted or needed, it smacks of vigilantism.

  312. Dhorvath, OM says

    Because people who knew jack shit were all to willing to speak up in favour of the accused and put down the accuser. This doesn’t happen when someone reports a stolen car, graffiti, or hell, even a noise complaint.

  313. rowanvt says

    Mike, you missed the word “only”, and the obvious implication that there are many many more such cases.

    Also, I’m surprised you managed to miss hearing anything about that rape case. It was all over TV and the radio and the internet for months.

  314. says

    Mike:

    I think you missed my point. What I was saying is that people wrongly assume that someone who is attractive, or rich wouldn’t commit a rape, and that if you are poor or average looking no one in society is defending you.

    Okay, I understand now. However, your belief is not justified. What happened to you happened a long time ago, and I get that – my rape took place 40 years ago. Things have changed, a *lot*. There is a horrific backlash which has taken place, and yes, rapists who aren’t rich or powerful or particularly attractive are being defended, to incredible lengths. As I said, Steubenville. That’s just one instance. The victim in that case was being harassed from day one, receiving death and rape threats, in person, to her and her family, and they were pouring in all over the internet. The case was tried, but that was only due to public outcry. The rapists involved were given what amounted to a slap on the wrist, very little time and the judge in the case said it would be most likely they would not have to remain on a sex offender list.

    The whole town of Steubenville, Ohio closed ranks in their hatred of the victim in this case. This is only one example in a long line of heartbreaking cases.

    What happened to you is fucking horrible, and it’s rotten you have gotten to live with that fallout all your life. That does not excuse refusing to see what is going on, right now, all over the place.

  315. says

    Steubenville was high-profile, Mike. I’m pretty sure everyone knows about Steubenville.

    Other cases (as I highlighted previously) include Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, the 13-year-old called a sexual predator because a 41-year-old man had sex with her, the NYT blaming an 11-year-old gang rape victim for her rape, the way it seems nearly ever college handles rape accusations…

    Again… the cases and statistics are on our side, Mike. Not yours.

  316. says

    oh, and two more things:
    1)”innocent until proven guilty” isn’t even universal in law. civil lawsuits don’t follow that rule. it’s a rule that applies to interactions with a government, and probably should apply to other situations in which extreme power disparities exist and extreme consequences are likely. But it doesn’t even apply in civil law, so why should it apply on a blog?

    2)The drunk driving analogy to rape is pure bullshit and not analogous. Here are two scenarios that would be:
    a)a person know they’re going to be drinking, so they don’t go by car and plan on taking a cab. Later, after the person has become plastered as fuck, someone else talks/pressures the person into driving them home.
    b)a person who was planning on having a single drink is given a drink by a someone they’re interacting with and it’s a drink stronger than what they thought, the drink is constantly topped off, and the person is pressured into continuing to drink until they get FAR more drunk than they wanted to; at which point they’re pressured/talked into making the decision to drive by the person who’s been plying them with drink.
    The law of course won’t give a flying fuck about the pressure and the fact that falling-down-drunk people have no ability to make sensible decisions. But we already know that the legal system is shittastic. I mean, the reason DUI is illegal is because DUI is an action that causes harm to others, and consequently should be prevented from happening. Making no distinctions between premeditated drunk driving and pressured-into-drunk-driving might resonate with the people who like retributive justice, but it’s a shitty way of preventing DUI and preventing the harm it does.

  317. says

  318. Nepenthe says

    @Pteryxx

    I’m certainly aware that false rape accusations occur and I both knew and believe Jason’s story. It’s the fact that a) an unknown person b) in this thread chose to tell a story of the police c) in the 1970s believing a d) teenage girl who e) had dated the accused with f) no evidence whatever and charged the g) son of a politician. To believe this story requires me to believe several rather improbable things. The more parsimonious, probable explanation is that Mike is making up a convenient story, something I’ve seen–especially regarding this subject–orders of magnitude more often than the police automatically believing an alleged rape victim.

    Not that it really matters whether his particular story is true or not.

  319. says

    Sorry folks, previous post has been pulled pending further investigation.

    Sorry this happened to you. But yes, it’s the right thing to do to pull the post, we need to be extra careful with this stuff, it’s vitally important to get this right, to address the harassment and abuse(and the witnessing of predatory behavior) while not engaging in putting out uncorroborated and third party hearsay type accusations.

  320. Tethys says

    Why should I care about a single instance? ~Mike

    Aren’t you asking to be believed on only your word in your own single instance?

    I believe your experience, small towns being what they are.

    However, demanding more proof than has already been provided by the victims, when your own story has no similar corroboration? Its a double standard. How can’t you see it?

  321. says

    Mike:

    One case says nothing about how rapists as a whole are treated, or not. Why should I care about a single instance?

    Oh For Fuck’s Sake, Mike! Do not be pulling this shit with me. Just don’t. You misunderstood me. I asked you to explain one case against your belief, rather than inundate you with a list of at least 20 different cases.

    Why should you care about a single instance? Why should anyone care about you, Mike? How in the fuckety fuck fucking hells of all history can you even ask that? Holy shit, dude, you are crossing the line. You need to see that fighting for right and justice also fights for you, and to see that what happened to you does not happen to others. We are supposed to be on the same side here. If you look into these cases, read up, take all the different ones provided to you, and learn, you would understand so much more about what we are doing here and why.

    You have got to stop living in the past, and you need to stop living inside the bubble of your own experience. People in this thread are bending over backward to give you every benefit of the doubt. Most of us have flat out stated that, yes, we believe you, Mike. We support you, Mike. At least give us something to work with here.

  322. says

    Jason:

    Sorry folks, previous post has been pulled pending further investigation. It’s possible my trust and the trust of my source has been violated, and until I get confirmation from a primary victim that this effort is wanted or needed, it smacks of vigilantism.

    Perfectly okay, Jason, you’re doing the right thing.

  323. Pteryxx says

    @Nepenthe: I agree with all your lettered facts. However, the police MIGHT charge someone on the word of the girlfriend alone if other unstated things happened – if her family was also prominent, if they made a huge fuss, if there was a rivalry between the politician and the police chief (not uncommon in some small towns)… basically I don’t find it IMplausible enough, given there’s nothing else at stake here, to disbelieve Mike to his face. Especially since he also says the charges were dropped but the rumors persisted. Small town communities can keep grudges for generations.

    But it still says nothing about rape accusations in general. We have research for that.

  324. skemono says

    @Mike:

    I don’t know anything about it except to know as you said it’s “one fucking case”. One case says nothing about how rapists as a whole are treated, or not. Why should I care about a single instance?

    It’s not a “single instance”. I linked you to others. NateHeavens has brought up even more. The commenters in this thread have shared their own personal stories. You could find many, many, many more in seconds by Googling them–and no, I’m not going to do it for you, since linkspams aren’t allowed.

  325. says

    Tethys:

    Aren’t you asking to be believed on only your word in your own single instance?

    I believe your experience, small towns being what they are.

    However, demanding more proof than has already been provided by the victims, when your own story has no similar corroboration? Its a double standard. How can’t you see it?

    QFTABTADGQ*

    Quoted for truth and because those are damn good questions.

  326. says

    Nepenthe:

    To believe this story requires me to believe several rather improbable things.

    Oh, I don’t think so. There’s all kinds of stuff that seems unbelievable that happens in small towns, especially back in the ’70s.

  327. Mike says

    @NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS… apparently..

    So how exactly did any of this get on your radar? I mean if it’s the norm for 13 yo’s to be called sexual predators, or 11 yo’s blamed for being raped they would never make the news.

    It’s the fact that they are rare occurrences that causes them to be spotlighted. When a rapist is arrested, charged, and convicted without society coming to his defense it doesn’t make the news. It’s only the abnormal situations that are noted. I suggest you’re suffering from confirmation bias.

  328. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    I don’t know anything about it except to know as you said it’s “one fucking case”. One case says nothing about how rapists as a whole are treated, or not. Why should I care about a single instance?

    Well, darlin’, maybe you should care because YOUR one personal case says nothing about how accused rapists as a whole are treated … or does it?
    Are you an exception, or are you typical?
    Is Steubenville an exception, or is it typical?
    The only way you’re going to know is to pay attention to the reported statistics, and so far, you’ve refused to do that.
    G’wan, you’ve got some studying to do.
    Otherwise, you’ve got nothing more to say. Been nice meetin ya. Be safe, and go as easy as you can.

  329. says

    Most people charged with rape are convicted, and sentenced, or forced into a plea without a peep.

    false. most people charged with rape have the charges dropped or are found not guilty.

    anyway:
    situations in which rape-victims were blamed and/or the rape was covered up, in which the rapist was neither rich nor famous:
    rapes at universities
    rapes by prison guards
    gang-rapes of very young teen-girls by slightly older teen boys
    rapes involving alcohol
    rapes involving short skirts
    rapes involving dates
    rapes involving spouses
    rapes involving sex workers

  330. rowanvt says

    When a rapist is arrested, charged, and convicted without society coming to his defense it doesn’t make the news.

    I don’t seem to see/recall you acknowledging that this part happening to be really quite rare in and of itself.

  331. cubist says

    Interesting.

    The story Mike told is purely craptacular. And the response Mike got right off the bat, with no discernible hesitation nor doubt, was not dismissal or minimizing of his woes, but, rather, sympathy for and commiseration with said woes. And nobody doubted Mike’s veracity until decidedly after Mike began to display ‘tics’ that could be considered a ‘tell’ of misogyny or MRA-ness. And even so, the doubters are far less than 100% of the people who are responding to Mike.

    Again: Interesting.

  332. says

    I’m forgetting to do stuff here…

    Hallo, Nate! You’re an inspiration, too.

    Also, Esteleth, what happened to your friend is heartbreak. Pure heartbreak. I’m so glad they can count you as a friend, because they would be hard pressed to find anyone better.

  333. says

    It’s the fact that they are rare occurrences that causes them to be spotlighted. When a rapist is arrested, charged, and convicted without society coming to his defense it doesn’t make the news.

    you just contradicted yourself. if rarity was what made the news, rape-convictions would make the news, because they’re rare.

  334. Dhorvath, OM says

    So the news reports expectional responses as opposeed to expectional situations now? Weird.

  335. Nepenthe says

    @Pteryxx

    True enough. It seems to me that something like that (“They didn’t believe her, but my dad and the police chief were political rivals.” “Because I’m black and she’s white they automatically assumed I was guilty.”) would have placed front and center in a true narrative. Of course, if one has been poisoned by bitterness enough to think that rape victims are almost always believed, one would probably retroactively twist one’s narrative to focus on and blame the woman involved.

  336. says

    Mike:

    It’s the fact that they are rare occurrences that causes them to be spotlighted.

    No, it is not. It’s because people are just now starting to actually talk about these things that they are being publicized. This has been going on for a very long time, it just wasn’t talked about.

    That said, I’m tiring of your shit, Mike. You are not making the least effort to understand anything which might shake your beliefs. If you are simply going to dig in and keep repeating yourself, just go elsewhere.

  337. A. Noyd says

    Mike (#3810)

    My problem isn’t with the crazed girl who made false allegations against me. It’s with the cops who handcuffed me, and charged me within minutes of alleged incident, and with the prosecutor who didn’t speak with the alleged “victim” for months until the pre-trial date [...].

    My problem here is likewise not with the “victim”. It’s with PZ Meyers who is playing police, and prosecutor in the court of public opinion.

    See, you should know better than anyone that what PZ is doing is nothing like what happened to you. There are no handcuffs, no charges, and no failures to speak with the victim here.

  338. says

    if it’s the norm for 13 yo’s to be called sexual predators, or 11 yo’s blamed for being raped they would never make the news.

    Except that the news wasn’t “Holy crap, someone called a 13-year-old a sexual predator!” It was “13-year-old claims rape, and by the way, some people think she’s a sexual predator, HMMMMMMM”.

    The news wasn’t “Incredibly fucked-up town blames 11-year-old for being raped”. It was “11-year-old might have been raped, but you know, she was kind of slutty, and it’s too bad about those nice boys having such a hard time of it being called rapists and all”.

    Reading comprehension, do you speak it?

  339. Tethys says

    I will have to check back tomorrow to see if Mike answers my questions.

    Keep up the good fight ya”ll. I hope there aren’t 2000 more comments to read when I get time to come back.

  340. says

    Kristinc:

    Well, when Caine says you kick ass, you know you’ve arrived. *blush* I’ve missed you too!

    Oh, you have arrived, and as Nigel says, with style! I’ve been thinking about your bus story. Can’t get it out of my head. I’d really, truly like to think that I would have gotten up and sat next her, in obnoxious defiance, but I don’t know that I would have done so. It’s always so fucking hard. Always. If you say something, or move seats, you know you’re painting a target on your head. But you know if you don’t that woman has a target on her head, and she’s alone.* I hate toxic, sexist culture. I hate rape culture.

    *Which is why I have so much admiration for Jane Doe, and the two who backed her up. They stepped forward knowing they were painting a target on their head. And PZ did the same. So much courage there, in order to protect others. It’s a shining example, and I hope to follow it, always.

  341. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Funny Dive –

    Ohhh, adorable. Here’s billhamp back with more of the same vulcan logic he shat all over the place back on page 5 beginning at comment #2126.

    Anyone who wants to can play with the chew toy, but realize this is NOT this guy’s first time out in this thread. His “three posts”, etc leeway were used more than 1500 posts ago. I thought I remember PZ warning him off, but I appear to be mistaken in that.

    Well, adorable isn’t exactly the word I would use ;)

    He’s a toad, but I wouldn’t ask a monitor to alert PZ based on bilhamp’s turd droppings so far.

    I might if he infests other threads.

  342. says

    @cold

    If I had the life of a person in my hands based on what someone is telling me, it calls for proper investigation of the matter regardless of whether or not the person perceived as being slighted is my friend.

    What if that life was your daughter’s and she was say 15 and she wanted to spend the night at the home of a friend whose father is rumored to smack his wife around on occasion and maybe had raped that other girl (you know the slutty one no one trusts in town) but …of course, it’s not been to a court of law because the woman married too him recants every time she’s confronted by the law?

    Do you imagine then you would put your kid into that situation because your hyper-skeptical brain needs proof in a court of law?

    I am pretty sure you would ensure that your kid stays far far away…rather than worry about the man’s reputation should you refuse to let your daughter sleep over? You wouldn’t give it a second thought and I am pretty sure you wouldn’t give a toss about the guys reputation should you state your reasons for refusing to allow her to go.

  343. says

    …And perhaps more to the point, when it comes to things like the bus situation, I’m still so cowardly about things like that. I still get terrified of putting myself in a situation where there may be retaliation.

  344. says

    Hotshoe, we’ll be keeping an eye, but as everyone was too busy with Mike, ol’ Bill was soundly ignored, which is best, I think. Seems he doesn’t have much to say unless someone bothers to respond to his shit.

  345. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    Sorry, I meant Funny Diva.

    I swear I previewed that. Sorry.

  346. skemono says

    Let me get this straight, Mike: the fact that we have depressingly common stories of communities defending alleged rapists and harassing the victims is proof that this isn’t common at all.

    And the fact that you have no facts to back you up besides your own experience–well, that just proves how deep the conspiracy to support rape victims goes!

    Did I get that right?

  347. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    3817 billhamp

    Not exactly. Defamation per se is pretty outmoded as a strong legal principle, particulary since Gertz v, Robert Welch Inc 418 US 323 (SCOTUS) and others. Two other problems, the category you refer to applies to unmarried persons. Also public persons must additionally prove that the libel was made with actual malice. New York Times v. Sullivan 376 US 254 (1964) also SCOTUS.

    I’m working on the criminal libel part now. Back when I see what’s up with that.

    But even more importantly, how does that relate to accepting or not, what the victim said?

  348. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Mike,

    Have you taken notice of the previous 7 pages of conversation and a large number of rape victims who have recounted how they have been dismissed, or put under investigation instead of the rapist, or have simply been too scared to report because their own friends or family were blaming or disbelieving them?

  349. hotshoe, now with more boltcutters says

    I have a sorta goodnews bus story: it’s the last jitney in the AM – since it’s a little bus there aren’t any completely empty rows and only two empty seats, one next to me and one next to the youngish woman right behind me. Big old guy got on and I felt lucky he didn’t sit next to me, but of course he was loud and coarse and I had to hear. He started asking her a few (loud) friendly questions, but kept getting more pushy and intrusive “what’s your last name? where do you go dancing? why don’t you go dancing? don’t you have a boyfriend to go out with?” Oh, she sounded okay, she just kept replying with things like “that’s not the kind of thing I talk about” but I felt she must be pretty uncomfortable with him and she didn’t deserve it. So I turned around in my seat and asked him where he was going, and whew, that turned on a whole faucet of stories. He’s 85, taking the bus to the VA hospital in the big city for a knee operation (!) with two more bus changes between our town and there (!) and he knows every place between here and there for donuts (actually I don’t believe that) but he’ll only stop to buy donuts at the bakeries which still give 13 for a baker’s dozen, which the place in town doesn’t do anymore …. Well, I have no idea what I would have done, or could have done, if he had been a real creeper, but I did “intervene” precisely because of what I’ve heard on ftb over the last years about speaking up. I’m glad I could do something to steer attention away from a woman who didn’t want it. Also, seems I gave cheer to an old man who might not have much to be cheery about nowadays, although that part was so easy to do that it’s no credit to me.

  350. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    And as for criminal libel, it is on the books in some 17 states. Outside of Virginia, though, actual prosecutions have been noted to be “extremely rare”*. I found no prosecutions noted in Minnesota, except for one where the lawyers are attacking the constitutionality of the statue. I’m not clear as to where they are on that one, though.

    If someone knows otherwise, I’d be interested to hear.

    Oh, and how does that relate to accepting or not, what the victim said?

    *(Thanks Popehat and Volokh Conspiracy)

  351. says

    Mike, you know, along with all the links I provided to the Stuebenville case and discussions here, you can read about just how the media deals with cases of rape in this thread: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/01/16/nyt-women-cause-rape-by-being-too-scarce/comment-page-1/#comments That thread went to two pages, so it’s a lot of reading, but it’s worthwhile, because there’s a lot to be learned in it.

    Again, massive TW for anyone following that link. First, there’s a man arguing that rape is simply men’s nature, hey, it’s biological!, followed by a fucktonne of apologetics.

  352. says

    Hotshoe:

    Well, I have no idea what I would have done, or could have done, if he had been a real creeper, but I did “intervene” precisely because of what I’ve heard on ftb over the last years about speaking up. I’m glad I could do something to steer attention away from a woman who didn’t want it.

    Three cheers for you! That was a seriously good thing you did.

  353. nullifidian says

    I’m only up to message #205 in this lengthy thread, but I’ve already learned some fascinating things about skepticism. Apparently skepticism requires always distrusting the personal experiences of individuals, but we must always give the benefit of the doubt that organizations like the police and skeptic groups are guarantors of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

  354. says

    nullfidian:

    but we must always give the benefit of the doubt that organizations like the police and skeptic groups are guarantors of Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

    Naturally. Those are the superhero headquarters, you know.

  355. nullifidian says

    I’d also like to add how surprised I am that nobody sees what a dangerous precedent PZ is setting: if first we accept the principle that a woman can be believed about a rape without putting her through the wringer of a ‘justice system’ imposed and perpetuated by men, then we might have to start believing women about a whole bunch of other things. Hearing truths not approved and mediated by the patriarchy? Where will it end — O where will it end?!

  356. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Kristinc

    Well, when Caine says you kick ass, you know you’ve arrived.

    Caine republished my Seven Steps of Rape Apology, so mutual squeeeee!

    It’s a badge of honour.

  357. says

    …and I don’t know how to link apparently…

    Dan Cardamon On Censorship… worth a google… especially for the sockpuppet….”smegmarlade?” NEW WORD YAY pushers…

    ALSO – some other good that’s come out of all this horror….I just did myself a mini course on bayesian probability!!!

    So we are learning things here!

    Actually – a video about Bayesian probabilities influencing the discourse on rape would be a handy little project. Maybe I will do that when I find a week or three free.

  358. says

    @Crudely Wrott

    Thank you so much for that….and my heart breaks for all of you…. I have not been raped but people in my family of origin have. The impact on my life is clear as a bell. I live my life – such as it is….but I do wonder about that that life would be had a rapist, actually two not entered my sphere. I can’t go into more detail…just not up to it…not a matter for debate really though some seem to think it is..strangely.

    The incidents in mind had devastating impacts on the extended circle of the people who were raped. Full stop.

    Thank you for making that so plain…even for me in my own life.

  359. psanity says

    Too late, read everything, so tired. Zog, what a week. I could hope all this is the shakeup that will finally drag Corporate Skepticism kicking and screaming into the 1920’s, but I don’t. I’ve learned better.

    I am so proud to be a teeny tiny part of this community. I rarely post, because I’m always way behind, and I do believe in reading the whole damn thing, but I want this wonderful Horde to know that you give me the language and the passion to better and better deal with these things in meatspace. As some of you know, I work in Nonprofit World. Just in the last few months, I’ve been able to forcefully persuade several orgs to make better policies, and I’m tackling another one, as it happens, tomorrow. I also spend a lot of time with teens and college students. I use this all the time — I use what you give me.

    Fellow lurkers, everyone who wishes you could do more but feel like you don’t know how, use the words of Caine, Nerd, Pteryxx, and all the other fighters. Say them to yourself and to the mirror, and soon you’ll find yourself saying them to co-workers and social acquaintances, and the power of the language will become yours, and you will find your own words to express it.

    To the Jane Does, thank you for your gift to your sisters. To PZ, thank you for your rock-solid humanity, that you have demonstrated so often. To the Horde, this is the community I want to be a part of; JREF and CFI can go fuck themselves, which it looks like they’re determined to do in any case. There are days when I think the whole broad expanse of the Dakotas is redeemed merely by the presence of the Hordelings who live there, and so is the broad expanse of the “skeptical community”. This is one of them.

    And thanks for permitting my occasional little rants and verses.

    Back to work.

  360. says

    To all the apologists and psuedoskeptics (<much better)

    end the backlog of unrun rapekits

    If you actually DO care about justice and rape and victims I dare you to go put your money/time where your mouth is…and make a noise about THAT instead of this.

    Rapekits contain DNA…so there’s science and stuff involved….use your superior man brains to git er done!

  361. says

    There should be another warning at the beginning of threads here… If you are inclined by habit to pull random numbers out of your hindemost part to prop up a weak position, expect to have that hindmost part chewed up, spit out and handed back to you swiftly and without mercy.

  362. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Wow, it sure is settled down. I think I will go off and do something now.

    Will check in again, but it looks fine at the moment.

  363. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Well, there’s a couple stupid posts at the end of the Painfully Close to the Truth thread. I wouldn’t blame anyone for being burnt out though. The waterfall of stupid is never ending.

  364. says

    hotshoe @3913: Thanks for the great tip about how to deal with an over-friendly stranger on public transport. Of course, not everyone who strikes up an unsolicited conversation on a bus or train is a sexual predator, but their lack of respect for personal boundaries is a trait that ought to make any reasonable person feel nervous and/or vulnerable in their presence. The ability (and inclination) to start up unsolicited conversations is a display of power and manipulation that preys on ordinary people – people who shouldn’t have to constantly be on alert for predatory behaviour – and, when taken to extremes… well, see the OP for yourself.

    Those of us at the top of this goddamn privilege pyramid need to be able to do more than say “Ooh, I don’t rape, therefore I’m not part of the problem”. Every little thing we can do to combat casual sexism in everyday life might just be enough to make a difference to someone somewhere.

    In the midst of a ranty turdfest, scooterskutre @1881 left one sweetcorn-like nugget of lucidity: “I’m still a work in progress”. If only the Ooh-it’s-just-hearsay trolls would learn that lesson, try to understand why their viewpoints are being so robustly and righteously dismantled, and try to emerge from this less like trolls, and more like humans.

  365. ischemgeek says

    TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, rape culture. Skip this comment if you’ll be triggered.

    Mike, based on my experiences going through school, of the dozen girls I knew of (including me) who were sexually assaulted or raped and reported it to someone, guess how many saw their assailants convicted?

    None.

    Guess how many saw their assailants charged?

    None.

    Guess how many saw their assailants arrested?

    One. Technically. After a bunch of other people also came forward, and he wasn’t arrested for her case.

    Guess how many were assaulted in retaliation for reporting?

    5, including me.

    Guess how many were harassed in retaliation for reporting?

    10, including me.

    Guess how many were disbelieved by those to whom they reported it?

    11, including me.

    Guess how many were shamed for their assaults?

    12, including me.

    Since I left high school, one of the assailants was arrested when seven other girls from four different schools came forward… and the cops still dropped it for supposed lack of evidence. Because even though they found date-rape drugs in the girls’ systems at the hospital and even though other people saw him carrying them off, they were unreliable witnesses because they chose to go to the party, don’chano. And besides, they might’ve made him believe they were consenting when they were drugged out of their minds.

    … so, no, pretty safe to say that it doesn’t usually happen that someone reports sexual assault and the person is arrested and convicted overnight and everyone shuns the rapist. FFS, there was video evidence of my harassment and assault, and my assailant wasn’t even arrested by the cops. Because boys will be boys and I didn’t tell him not to touch me loud enough or whatever. And I was 8. On a school bus. And he was 15. But my fault, apparently.

    I’m sure your experience was painful, but the conclusions you’re drawing from it are just. plain. wrong.

  366. Louis says

    I have been reading. Well, I’ve been away for the weekend being drunk with family and friends, I have read up to here. It’s more than a little distressing that, despite being implored to read the thread so few of the….{ahem}….bravely heroic champions of potential rapists seem to have done what seems basic to me. Maybe that’s because so many of them are the same person.

    It causes one to lose what little faith one had in humanity.

    Ahhhh but then I read a post by Caine or one of the myriad other Hordistas. And my heart soars and sings. Faith in humanity restored. Also, I know that people don’t need to read tedious teal dears from me, the Horde has got this shit covered. Which is nice.

    I wonder what will happen next as more stories and people come out if the woodwork. On a related note, I, a relatively unconnected non-con-goer (due to timing and being on the wrong side of the Atlantic for most if them) had heard the whispers about Shermer. If I’ve heard said whispers, they must be really, really well known, because I’m the last person t hear anything. I exist in a blissful state of rumour free ignorance largely. How common does this crap have to be for a non-entity like me to be aware of it?

    Louis

  367. standard says

    This is the first time I’ve been able to reach the end of the comments. Can’t believe I’ve read for three days. Through many dangers, toils, and snares, only sans the bit about grace bringing me here.

    I think this is helping me process my own abuse, but I’m not sure how or why. Thanking you all anyway.

  368. billhamp says

    817 billhamp

    Not exactly. Defamation per se is pretty outmoded as a strong legal principle, particulary since Gertz v, Robert Welch Inc 418 US 323 (SCOTUS) and others. Two other problems, the category you refer to applies to unmarried persons. Also public persons must additionally prove that the libel was made with actual malice. New York Times v. Sullivan 376 US 254 (1964) also SCOTUS.

    I’m working on the criminal libel part now. Back when I see what’s up with that.

    But even more importantly, how does that relate to accepting or not, what the victim said?

    I’ll respond in reverse order. This has nothing to do about accepting rape and I never said it did. My post was in response to people claiming that what PZ posted cannot be considered libel. That is all I was addressing in that post.

    Yes, criminal libel is rare. I was simply pointing out that it exists in Minnesota.

    Now, as to civil libel and defamation per say. You say the category “applies to an unmarried person.” No, it does not. It has most often been used in that context, particularly in the past, but is not limited to those individuals. Yes, it is an older law, but to say it is outmoded is no correct. Almost all jurisdictions recognize per se laws, though it is true they have strengthened the common law by codifying it in many locations. In point of fact, saying that it applies only to an umarried person is the outmoded part. The law has recently been used when false allegations of child abuse have been made and in other similar situations regarding sexual conduct.

    It is important to note that I am addressing federal defamation law,, which is why I said United States originally and Minesota only when referring to crminal defamation. That distinction may not have been clear.

    U.S federal law states that defamation is “the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image.” Now, the issue gets much more complicated than that, which is always the case with the law, so I’m not saying that a suit against PZ would be a slam dunk, only that he may have opened himself up to suits and that what he did is “technically” defamatory. I used the word “tecnically” specifically to imply that though technically defamation has occurred, that does not mean that proving it in court would be easy. Again, that may not have been clear in my original post.

    The real difference between “per se” and other defamation laws is that there is no burden of proving damages. In other words, the person has defamed another and that is enough. Now, if we wanted to move on to other forms of defamation, PZ likely still fits into those categories as well. Defamation is a horribly complex and muddy legal definition, so the ultimate outcome of any case is unpredictable. However, the real question, which is what I was addressing, was could a case be brought. The answer is yes and, further, the case would not be immediately dimssed by a judge. In other words, PZ could be on the hook for some serious legal expenses.

    Now, that is all federal. At the Minnesota state level, I don’t know much, except that the state recognizes per se defamation. My understanding of MN law is that the person making the defamtory statement must have known or haved used “reasonable care” to determine if the statement was false. So, once again, I think PZ could have opened himself up to a suit.

    Note this is just addressing previous posts regarding whether what he did can be considered libel. This is not addressing whether libel suits would aid in a determination of whether the original person was telling the truth or not. Though a libel suit may bring out more information, I doubt it would provide the ultimate truth. Once again, however, that was not the point of the post.

  369. billhamp says

    I should also add that you are right that public figures must prove actual malice. Now, whether Shermer qualifies is a public figure under a specific law may be up for debate, though I image he would. However, I also imagine that proving actual malice, given the vitriol of the post and recklessness of it, would not be particularly hard. The point, once again, is not whether the case can be won, but whether PZ has opened himself up to suits. I think the answer is yes, he has, and that alone could be very, very expensive and result in a number of undersirable things heppening to him.

  370. cunninglingus says

    I’m rather surprised that in a thread of 3937 comments (so far), that there have merely been 10 – 15 arseholes, that I can remember at least. (probably less since most were sock-puppets).

  371. carlie says

    Mike,
    I’m very sorry for what happened to you, but your case is not the norm. Here, I have my own anecdote:

    When I was in high school, my best friend was accused of rape by another student. She didn’t go to the police, but she did tell everyone she knew. It split the clique we hung out with into the pros/cons. There was at least one teacher who believed her to the point of treating him like shit in class and passing him over for awards he should have gotten. And… that was the end of it. It was our senior year, and it never rose to the level of being reported to police even though adults were aware of it, and over half of the people didn’t believe her anyway, and it all died down and most people barely remember it happened at all and everyone graduated the end. So there, there’s an instance where someone faked it and wasn’t believed.

    But here’s the thing – what if she wasn’t lying? I still stand by my friend and do not think he did it, but hypothetically…what if he had? None of those people knew one way or the other. If he did, she was treated terribly and unjustly by all. It still isn’t a happy ending, because it was never clear one way or the other. Nobody took her seriously enough to investigate it, and therefore there’s no way to really clear him of it either. People ignoring even fake reports isn’t a satisfactory way to deal with things.

  372. says

    FossilFishy, I poured some well-justified scorn and contempt on those Ace of Skeps posts over there. He seems to enjoy pomposity, so I matched his tone.

  373. Have a Balloon says

    Is it overly pessimistic of me to suspect that the reason Mike disbelieves that men accused/convicted of rape are defended by society at large is because in the 1970s, the only kind of ‘rape’ that counted as rape was basically stranger rape? I mean, it was legal to rape your wife at that time. I’m pretty sure there would have been much less effective laws defining what rape/consent actually was.

    It reminds me of the people who claim adamantly that they are absolutely not rape-apologists, and rape is the most heinous crime in our society after murder, and they want all rapists to be locked up for the rest of their lives….while in the same paragraph talking about not drinking too much or wearing short skirts or false accusations or morning-after regrets. I realise that they can hold both of these views simultaneously because, to them, rape is ONLY that one situation of evil stranger in bushes leaping out at virgins. Taking advantage of drunk people? In a relationship? Didn’t get a clear ‘no’? Not rape.

    I’m not saying Mike has these views, but if the society in which he lived defined rapists in such a narrow way that only the most extreme cases ever had a chance of conviction…then yeah, I can see how society wouldn’t defend those people. They’d defend a whole bunch of other people, of course, who committed ‘bad etiquette’ or were the victims of ‘innocent misunderstandings’ or ‘morning-after regrets’. But those people weren’t rapists. So it’s okay.

  374. John Morales says

    billhamp:

    However, I also imagine that proving actual malice, given the vitriol of the post and recklessness of it, would not be particularly hard.

    Vitriol? There is no vitriol.

    (Care to try and show any?)

    I think the answer is yes, he has, and that alone could be very, very expensive and result in a number of undersirable things heppening to him.

    To what do you imagine PZ referred in comment #1?

  375. Aim: baby hordeling says

    Mike:

    I am sorry for what happened to you.
    However.
    Consider that rape and assault survivors also have to deal with the consequences of what was done to them for the rest of their lives. And those tend to be more severe than what accused rapists, or even convicted rapists face.

    Survivors (off all genders) often have to deal with:
    *PTSD, being triggered by a bunch of otherwise innocuous shit
    *social stigma, being labelled a slut, a liar, an attention seeker, “crazy”
    *being told that they wanted it (which is incredibly fucked up and harmful)
    *rape threats, death threats and further assault
    *seeing their rapist or abuser, often every day, because removing themselves from the rapist’s social circle is impossible

    Not all survivors deal with all of that all the time, but it’s also not a comprehensive list. Keep in mind that I am a survivor, ans so are many, many of the other posters in this thread, and also a whole bunch of lurkers. We know what it’s like.

  376. says

    given the vitriol of the post and recklessness of it

    billhamp: You are making shit up. There wasn’t a speck of vitriol in my head when I was writing the post, and none is expressed. As for recklessness, I was very concerned and anguished over what I was putting up — it was not done lightly, because I am well aware of the possibility of getting tangled in costly legal affairs. But unlike you, I thought of both the principals, Shermer and the victim, as real human beings, and I took the victim’s word and experiences just as seriously as I do Shermer’s reputation.

    You can moan about lawyers all you want, but you’re an idiot if you think I have no concerns about that and need your tendentious advice. But you don’t get to so transparently insert your accusations of vitriol into my words. You’re a liar, billhamp, and you’re outta here.

  377. Pteryxx says

    *applauds the squish*

    Gaslighting’s practically a religion with these people. Thanks again, PZ.

  378. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Another intimidator bites the dust. The sounds of justice.

  379. says

    what qualifies a person as a public figure exactly? I mean in the legal sense. If PZ had been posting about someone who wasn’t a big name, but was a predator, in order to warn others, would things be different for him?

    thanks to Lyn M who keeps posting interesting legal commentary, and any other attorneys who want to weigh in…

  380. says

    I just googled ‘michael shermer’ and all the websites freaking out about internet vigilantes blah blah blah are pushing this story up higher in the google rankings, so people are more likely to hear about this.

  381. markbrown says

    Finally all caught up. *wipes brow*

    Again, a big thank you to the horde for the amazing job you do rebutting the hate and stupidity in this thread, and those like them. Your work is appreciated, and I only wish there was more time in the day for me to play an active part.

    Caine: You totally rock and are now officially my hero. You truly deserve ALL the cookies, cakes and chocolate in the land!

  382. Pteryxx says

    Reading a little more about Christian complementarianism, purity and modesty culture, and rape culture: (ex-fundamentalist Sarah Moon has since moved her blog to Patheos)

    http://sarahoverthemoon.com/2012/09/25/complementarianisms-ugly-relationship-with-rape/

    Complementarians would say that immodest dress causes rape, therefore women should dress according to complementarian standards. They would say that women who express their sexuality are making themselves vulnerable to rape, therefore women should be passive and chaste when it comes to sex–another complementarian idea. They would say that women who spend too much time in the public world are risking rape, therefore more women should stay home, etc.

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

    “When we quarrel with the way the world is,” Wilson says, “we find that the world has ways of getting back at us.”

    Et tu, skeptoatheist dudebros?

  383. Katzentier says

    Delurking for this:

    I stopped reading the comments at page 4. The whole “when is drunk sex rape” debate just became too upsetting. After years I still have a hard time not making excuses for the guy that assaulted me, because yeah, I was (passed out) drunk. Never mind that he did not give a shit about what I wanted (about consent). Nevermind that I was a minor and he was an adult.

    That being said, I wanted to say that I believe and support Jane Doe too. This shit is just all too common. Thanks for your bravery.

    PZ, thank you too.

  384. zenlike says

    So, I know Cold/A bridge has already been banned a long time ago, and this post is not 100% on-topic, and maybe a bit redundant, but still, I just wanted this to add;

    It’s regarding boundaries.

    A lot of apologists go on and on about if only women set clear boundaries then a lot of these ‘situations’ (well rapes, but they don’t see it like that) would be avoided. They claim that implicit boundaries are not enough (it is), but that women should set explicit boundaries as well (saying ‘no’ or ‘stop’).

    What these people don’t seem to understand is that some people (amongst other rapists) have no problem violating even the strongest of explicitly set boundaries, and there is simple proof that these people exist because people like Cold/Bridge are an example of these kind of people who don’t honour boundaries.

    They come here and post commentaries that clearly pass over the explicitly set boundaries as expressed in the commentary policy, and they also pass over a lot of the implicit boundaries as set by the general atmosphere/ideas of the general commenting population. And then the worst part: after being banned (the most explicitly set boundary possible in an online conversation, the equivalent of shouting ‘stop’ in meat-space at the top of your lungs, and then them getting kicked them out of the bar by the bouncer) they violate this strongest of explicit boundaries, by making a sock-puppet account and continuing to spout the same nonsense (climbing back in through an open window). Why should we trust these people to honour boundaries in real-life when they can’t seem to honour them online?

    Most of what is said above is well known by most regulars, but maybe some lurker got something of value from the above.

  385. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Jesus, this thread’s still going? Surely this must be the longest on Pharyngula by now?

    I’m glad I missed this “A Bridge” pillock. Judging from Notsont’s quotation at #3643, he would have made me very angry indeed.

  386. zenlike says

    @KevinKat,

    Yes I know, but some apologists live in a fairy-tale land and do think that saying ‘stop’ is enough, which I tried to counter with the fact that a lot of the apologists (namely the morphing ones) clearly show that they themselves ignore ‘stop’.

    Sorry if that was not clear.

  387. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    I do find it interesting that being ‘altered state’ drunk can be put forward as a mitigating defense for a male assailant but not for a female assailed.

    I’m going to rage threadrupt over this.

    If you had read the previous comments you would see that this has been specifically discussed and that we’re all aware that a drunk man may be raped by a woman using these same predatory tactics. It happened to a friend of mine. He never called the cops either. He only told a couple close friends; because of the kind of crap you are doing right fucking. now.

  388. sundiver says

    All you here rock. Your demolition of assclams like Hamp and other MRAs/rape enablers gives me a wee bit of hope for the human race. Some of your stories ( Caine, Lyn, JAL to name a few ) make me wonder if I shouldn’t find a cave in Utah somewhere and hide from my species, but that’s a coward’s way out. Ya’ll inspire me to stand up against the misogynist shit and try to make people realize dehumanizing women dehumanizes everyone. Don’t know how much headway I can make here in this sub-arctic Alabama but I refuse to let it go unchallenged anymore. Thanks and stay stubborn.

  389. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Disregard. Totally misread that. I shouldn’t try to read this stuff and listen to podcasts at the same time. I think I’m out. The victim blaming and rape apology is just too gross.

    Hugs to the hordelings!

  390. says

    This is still ongoing? Ooogh.

    Horde members, I don’t know how you all keep going with such energy, but on behalf of myself, my daughters, and humans everywhere, thank you.

  391. badgersdaughter says

    Most of what is said above is well known by most regulars, but maybe some lurker got something of value from the above.

    Not exactly a lurker (though not a very frequent commenter)… but it’s a valuable analogy, and I enjoyed it, and I thank you for it.

  392. says

    I actually had a dream about this thread last night, in which it had reached 4000 comments. We’re almost there.

  393. Terry Karney says

    Daniel Archevis: Please describe what it would be to live in a society where it is acceptable for people to publicly accuse named persons of serious sexual crimes, alledgedly on behalf of someone whose identity they refuse to reveal, without presenting or even posessing any evidence of actual guilt.

    The same sort of world where one can go casually about implying someone who is basically honest would be committing libels and slanders for no reason, and with zero sense of validity to the claims.

    The sort of world where you would be acting to accuse someone of such things based on no evidence.

    The sort of world where you, for some reason, misdoubt personal testimonies because it’s a sexual assault, instead of some more mundane crime.

    The sort of world where you would be willing to accept that a priest (or minister, or politician) would do such a thing and be protected by a community, but a Michael Shermer wouldn’t.

    In other words, this world.

  394. Sarahface, who is trying to break the lurking habit says

    I haven’t managed to read the whole thread, but I think I’ve read somewhere in the vicinity of 1000 comments from various places in it.

    Nevertheless, I feel qualified to say the following:
    1) To the Jane Does, here’s another person who believes you and supports you.
    2) To PZ, add my thanks to the pile. I think you did the right thing.
    3) To Caine: you deserve all the thanks you’re getting, you’re doing an *incredible* job.
    4) To the rest of the Horde: you are all wonderful, wonderful people and you also deserve so much by way of thanks. You make the internet so much better by being here. You’re the most compassionate and empathetic people I know (of?) and I’m honoured to have this internet-space in common with you.
    5) And finally, to the various rape-apologists whose comments I have had the misfortune to read, either in full or through quoted sections: fuck off. Fuck right off. Or take the advice offered in poetic form by (I believe) Crudely Wrott and describe it in terms that you find more palatable. Whatever. Just stop showing up here spouting bullshit over this thread.

  395. Nick Gotts says

    Except that the news wasn’t “Holy crap, someone called a 13-year-old a sexual predator!” It was “13-year-old claims rape, and by the way, some people think she’s a sexual predator, HMMMMMMM- kristinc

    If you’re referring to this UK case, that’s not entirely true – though it’s certainly not entirely false either. The description of this girl as “predatory in all her actions and she is sexually experienced.” was made by Robert Colover, the prosecutor (!) in the trial of Neil Wilson, the 41-year-old man convicted of abusing her, but the Crown Prosecution Service have said his language was “inappropriate” (“vile and disgusting rape apologetics” would have been more accurate of course) and have suspended him from prosecuting further cases of this kind, while the Attorney General’s Office is considering an appeal against the sentence of eight months imprisonment suspended, as unduly lenient. A representative of the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) has said the comments were symptomatic of “a wider pattern about how child sexual abuse cases are taken and treated in our courts.” Meanwhile:

    the head of the judiciary in England and Wales says a select pool of judges with specialist training will be created to handle complex child abuse cases, amid concerns at the way some child witnesses are treated in court by lawyers.

    So, legal blaming of victims of child sex abuse is a widespread and serious problem in the UK, but there are some signs of progress.

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

    @Nick Gotts # 3968:

    Thanks for posting that information. I didn’t have the stomach to wade into that mess after the initial reports. Knowing that the Prosecutor has been suspended from prosecuting more cases of that type is heartening, and so is knowing that the head of the judiciary is taking the way these cases involving children are handled seriously and aiming for positive change is certainly a step in the right direction.

    Now they just need to extend that thinking to cases where grown men and women are the victims.

    …but at least now there’s hope.

  397. procrastinatorordinaire says

    Not too long ago I was riding the city bus home from school. It was a crowded bus and when a young man got on he asked a young woman whether he might sit in the empty seat next to her. Her response was a polite but firm “There’s another seat over there”.

    Of course the young man realized this was a completely neutral and reasonable response, went and sat down in the other seat quietly

    This story is annoying me. How can her response be considered polite, neutral or even reasonable?

  398. rowanvt says

    Reasonable: Often in such situations, said young man will then attempt to engage said young woman in a conversation she does not want, and these conversations can escalate.

    Neutral: It wasn’t about *him*, it was about the situation.

    Polite: She pointed out another option to him, without sarcasm, or anger.

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

    procrastinatorordinaire:

    How could you think it was anything but?

    He asked if he could sit there. She expressed that she would prefer he didn’t. He sat in another seat.

    Where is the rudeness there?

    Do you think people are required to just let people do whatever they like when it involves their personal space? (Which is not the same for each person, by the way.)

  400. Dhorvath, OM says

    procrastinatorordinaire,
    Did he then ask the man he sat beside if it was okay? I can not say with surety as I wasn’t there, but as a long time bus user, people only ask if they want to sit beside you, otherwise they either just sit or might say “excuse me” as they take a seat. The interaction reads as personalizing an impersonal situation.

  401. procrastinatorordinaire says

    Praxis,

    The seat next to you on a crowded bus is not your personal space. Had the scene in question involved a black woman asking if she could sit next to a white woman, would you see it the same way? Would it be ok for the white woman to not want a black woman in her personal space?

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

    I travel a long distance for work on what are usually very crowded buses, often late at night. (I work weird shifts, at times.)

    I often end up with young, very drunk men sitting next to me.

    I don’t usually mind too much, even though they often reek of stale sweat and the alcohol fumes that reult from drinking all night.

    What I do mind, however, is when they’re leaning against me, or when they’re having a bit of horseplay with their buddies near by and are banging into me.

    I politely ask them to move away slightly, because I am under no obligation to allow someone to use me as a seatback, an armrest, a leaning post or an accidental punching bag.

    I would ay that 90% of these young men and women have no issue with my request and are often very apologetic and quite nice about it. I let them know it’s fine, and that I appreciate their taking me seriously. It’s led to some very nice interactions with young, inebriated people who are just out and having a good time and not looking to harass or upset anyone.

    The other 10% display a serious lack of respect for boundaries and will then begin to either hurl abuse at me or attempt to assert some weird form of “dominance” by invading my personal space MORE. (Rubbing up against me in a threatening way, trying to hit me, trying to physically push me against the window or side of the passenger compartment…)

    It is rare that this gets out of hand, though, because either other passengers, the driver, or the person’s friend will also step in at that point and either get them away from me, get them off the bus altogether, or shame them into not being such rude assholes.

    The very few times it’s gotten out of hand I’ve had no problem shoving them away with force, dumping them on the floor and calling the “Transit Police” we have here in my city. I have never once been told that my actions were out of line, except by those who do not understand the reason we must respect other people’s boundaries.

  403. says

    procrastinator- yeah, it would be fine. ??? If she doesn’t want to sit next to a black person because she is racist then I am sure the black person probably wouldn’t enjoy their company anyway.

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

    procrastinatorordinaire:

    If I am boarding a bus and want a seat where someone has placed their bag I simply say “Excuse me”, and once they move their bag I sit down.

    I have only ever been asked by someone “May I sit here?” if they want to interact with me further.

    Perhaps you’re not someone who travels by public transit often, in which case I see why you don’t get it.

    Otherwise you’re just bringing race into this in order to paint me as some racist, sexist and terrible person.

    I wouldn’t do that, if I were you.

  405. says

    @procrastinatorordinaire

    This story is annoying me. How can her response be considered polite, neutral or even reasonable?

    Don’t you think she has the right to say “no”?

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

    Please excuse all the typos. I am apparently shit at both typing and review today.

  407. notsont says

    For everyone who wishes to bring up libel or slander laws, here is an interesting little fact.

    You are more likely to be guilty of libel or slander by accusing someone of libel of slander than by accusing them of rape.

    A note though people are mistaken when they suggest that MS would have to prove the allegations false he would not so long as they were not proven true somewhere else, he would have to prove that PZ not only acted with malice but that he did so with an unreasonable disregard for the truth.

    In the US anyone can sue anyone for practically any reason, did PZ take a risk here? Yes he certainly did and he knows it. He has nothing to gain besides perhaps for you trolls “page hits” and quite a bit to lose.

    Now like many people who’s tactics are to “go for the drunk chick” or to get chicks drunk to ease things along, I would be willing to bet that MS does’t think he did anything “really” wrong I’m sure he considers himself just to be a “ladies man”. But I imagine he has done this shtick a lot and when he talks to his lawyer and tells him “yeah I have slept with a few drunk women at cons, but they wanted it” His lawyer will inform him what will happen when more women start coming forward because of a highly publicized court case.

  408. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    [OT]

    I have only ever been asked by someone “May I sit here?” if they want to interact with me further.

    Perhaps you’re not someone who travels by public transit often, in which case I see why you don’t get it.

    Huh.
    Maybe I’m lost in translation, but I find this strange.

  409. badgersdaughter says

    This story is annoying me. How can her response be considered polite, neutral or even reasonable?

    It was straightforward and not abusive in form or tone. It was free of judgment or name-calling, and calm. The request was very easy for him to honor. That’s how.

    The incident as described was hard to read as even a snub unless you assume that the young man was attracted to the young girl and she felt uncomfortable. I can think of times when I’ve said something much like that to a young man on the bus because I was expecting my best friend to come sit next to me shortly. A reasonable boy would have just been like, “Oh, OK.” It’s not as though the young man just sat down without asking, and then had to be asked to move.

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

    @Beatrice:

    Do you? Because I don’t. Mostly because that’s what actually happens, at least in my experience.

    People will either sit next to me without saying anything, and then continue to say nothing to me for the duration of the ride… or they’ll ask me if they can sit next to me and then try to strike up a conversation.

    …although I suppose there have been occasions where people have sat next to me without saying anything and then try to start up a conversation, but the ones who ask first are generally the ones who want to talk to me.

    Perhaps it’s different where I live. Perhaps you don’t ride crowded public transit for a total of 120 km each day and haven’t had to deal with as many people getting on and off the bus while you stay in the same seat for a total of three hours a day, which would mean your sample size is much smaller than mine.

    …Or maybe where you live people are just initially more “polite”.

  411. says

    @procrastinatorordinaire

    The seat next to you on a crowded bus is not your personal space

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

    Moreover, this wasn’t about sitting down. He wasn’t asking whether he could sit down; there’s no need to do that on a bus. If all you want to do is sit down, you just sit down. He was asking whether he could engage in further interaction. She clearly wasn’t interested and he, base don his reaction, thought he was entitled to it.

    This reminds me of this article, linked by Pteryxx earlier (thanks for the reminder, btw), concerning how the idea that predator don’t understand the subtleties of language simply is a myth. They understand, they just don’t care.

    This man knew that he was asking for more than the surface meaning implied; just like if you ask a date up “for a cup of coffee”. Pretending that this is about sitting down is dishonest to the highest degree. That also shows your attempt to make this about racism as the transparent load of bullshit it is.

    On the off chance that you’re not a troll, I recommend that you go back through this thread and read all the many, many, many link which have been given to pages that explain this whole subject in detail. If you don’t, then you should not expect even the minimum of courtesy. At this point, it’s up to you to demonstrate the you’re not a troll.

  412. Al Dente says

    Perhaps I’m ill-mannered but I never ask permission to sit next to someone on a bus or train, particularly a crowded one. I find an empty seat, sit down, pull out my book or my kindle, and start reading. If someone asks to sit next to me I grunt “sure” and go back to my reading. If someone tries to have a conversation with me I grunt at them and don’t take my eyes off the page.

    Being a pot-bellied, balding, middle-aged man makes it unlikely that strangers find me sexually attractive. I’m also introverted, shy and a stutterer so I don’t start conversations with strangers and don’t appreciate them starting conversations with me.

  413. says

    Psanity, *fistbump*

    Markbrown and Sundiver, thank you.

    To our latest new voices, thank you for speaking up and standing with us!

    Procrastinatorordinaire:

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

    It is when people have mass amounts of stuff piled on it, which happens a lot on buses. I don’t know how much time you’ve spent on buses, but I traveled that way for years on end. Most people, when entering a bus, scope out the seat situation, and swoop down on an empty seat, whether it’s next to someone or not. See, there’s your tell, right there. By stopping and asking if he could sit down, the man made it clear that he was signaling interest and was most likely going to hit on the woman, so as he asked in the first place, she said no.

    If he was the actual polite man he initially presented himself to be, he would have taken no for an answer and sat down in another empty seat. That’s not what happened, is it? Instead, she was an awful bitch for denying him access to her, after all, it was his right to pester her for the bus ride, wasn’t it?

    At this point, it seems you just don’t want to get a fucking clue, and your posts smell very bad. If you can’t grok simple respect for boundaries, this isn’t the discussion for you.

    Had the scene in question involved a black woman asking if she could sit next to a white woman, would you see it the same way? Would it be ok for the white woman to not want a black woman in her personal space?

    Not the same thing at all. Don’t play games like this.

    *Can we not go one day without a flaming doucheweasel here?

  414. ischemgeek says

    …Or maybe where you live people are just initially more “polite”.

    Might be a city culture thing. I live in a small city where the buses are usually about half full so you typically don’t have to double up. People usually ask if they can sit when doubling up is necessary because there’s a lot of options and you want to find someone who won’t resent that you sat next to them.

    In larger cities, I’ve noticed, people don’t ask because doubling up is a point of necessity pretty much all the time.

  415. says

    Beatrice:

    Maybe I’m lost in translation, but I find this strange.

    Standard behaviour on U.S. buses. People climb on, look around, find a seat, sit down. If the bus is really crowded, often the person who ends up having to sit next to you will give you a look and a nod, so that you know there’s no choice in sitting next to you, then you both stay busy with whatever.

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

    @Caine:

    A day here without a flaming doucheweasel would be like a day without sunsh… wait….

    Ugh.

    I really do think that this place attracts flaming doucheweasels simply because the subjects discussed here (boundaries, consent, good scientific practices, actual skepticism, etc.) are subjects to which doucheweasels (both those on fire and those who are not) take some weird exception to being discussed by reasonable, rational people.

    That last sentence is awkward, and I don’t know how to unawkward it. :(

  417. mildlymagnificent says

    Can we not go one day without a flaming doucheweasel here?

    Says the plaintive, weary voice of one who still guards carefully her feebly flickering candle of hope.

    This quiet, tired voice says – I really don’t know. I’d like to see it.

  418. Aim: baby hordeling says

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

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

    @ischemgeek #3989:

    That makes a lot of sense, that it would depend on the usual amount of traffic or need to “double up”.

    (I like that phrase to describe this situation… “doubling up”.)

  420. Nepenthe says

    Maybe it’s just the medium town Midwesterner in me, but I always ask before I sit next to someone, whether on a bus or train, in a crowded coffee shop or cafeteria, where ever. It seems like the least I can do before entering someone’s personal space is ask permission. And I certainly appreciate when people ask; I zone out on public transport and, because of my size, if someone sits down next to me they tend to sit on part of me unless I’ve been alerted to move.

  421. says

    mildlymagnificent:

    This quiet, tired voice says – I really don’t know. I’d like to see it.

    Yes, me too. That would be such a day, wouldn’t it? We would have to turn it into a holiday.

  422. badgersdaughter says

    When I was new to riding buses, I asked all the time if it was OK to sit next to someone. I thought it was just politeness. I hate to think what all those motherly women and preoccupied businessmen and headphone-wearing college students thought of me, if the convention is that it’s the opening to a proposition. But now that I know… >.<

  423. zenlike says

    Caine, same over here in my part of the world on the other side of the Atlantic.

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

    Besides, he asked, so he should have been prepared for a negative response. Seeing how he reacted, he actually never thought anything but a positive response was forthcoming, and felt rejected in an ‘unfait’ way. Privilege I guess.