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This is not an update

I can’t explain how things are going except to say…it’s complicated. Do try to keep up with others — I can’t. I worry that this is the end of a lot of good things, or rather, things that had to be the potential to be good, and that without many changes, we’re going to lose too many great people, and that conditions have become intolerable. Let me tell you that when I pressed “publish” on a certain post the other day, I knew that no matter how it turns out, the one thing I could be certain of is that I would be persona non grata in a large segment of the movement, and that I’d be spending many more quiet weekends at home in Morris in the future (which is OK, this is a nice place, and my day job is ramping up the responsibilities, and I’ll always have the blog).

But even if I’m squeezed out, it’s time to pick a side and build a better secular movement. You can’t do it by simply accepting what is and looking the other way. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. It’s especially important that you don’t walk past the standard set by the powerful men in the movement.

Comments

  1. CaitieCat says

    Well, I’m with you, PZ, for what that’s worth. I think there are a lot of people – hell, i KNOW there are a lot of people – who’ve been avoiding atheism because these issues haven’t been addressed. Now they are, and I’m betting a lot of those people will be willing to step up for an atheist movement that respects their (our) needs as well as those of the more privileged. FTB is still a place where I can say to my lapsed-atheist-movement friends, “Yes, they’re genuinely trying to do it better.”

  2. says

    I’m with you, PZ. The grenade post was what got me out of the lurking shadows and posting in support, for whatever that’s worth.

  3. Avgi Kyriazi says

    Again, I would like to thank you for being a trustworthy privileged white male. You may face a lot of pushback now, but you have helped these women immensely just by being in a position to give them a voice-and doing so. You have most certainly done the right thing and you are an inspiration to everyone who is looking to purge the society in general and the skeptic movement in particular from attitudes and beliefs of the benighted past that persist up till today.

    You are the standard I accept. But I will not walk past what you have done for the victims.

  4. says

    I sincerely hope good things will come of having these things out in the open. At the very least, every time a famous skeptic pours a woman another drink, heads will turn. And one person refusing to walk past, may make others think about whether they really want to accept the standard.

    Thanks for doing the right thing. Maybe one day we will live in a world where women are seen as people, and not prey.

  5. tami says

    As someone who, as a teenager, had an experience like you described in “that” post, and has struggled to survive over the last 20 years I cast my vote with you. You did the right thing.

    I’m so sick of questions like, “What did you do to encourage it?” “Were you dressed in a way that seemed provocative?” “Did you tell him to stop?” I was the one left bleeding and broken…but it was “my fault” because I — at the age of 15 — “asked for it.”

    I try not to think of all men as likely abusers (though it’s difficult), but your willingness to speak out, even if it means being put in an uncomfortable situation, gives me hope. Maybe humans can become civilized after all.

    Thank you.

  6. bargearse says

    I mostly lurk but I have to say reading this blog over the last four or five years has changed me, the way I think and most importantly the way I act in meatspace. I’d go so far as to say it’s one of the most important things that has happened to me.

    PZ, you did the right thing with the grenade post. To the women who came forward, it took courage to do that and I hope this brings about a change in this community. And to all the awesome regulars who slug it out here every day, you’ve made a difference. PZ’s posts are a great jumping off point but the arguments in the comments have made me examine a lot of things about myself and the society I live in. All of you have my sincere thanks.

    The first general manager I had at my current employer used to have a plaque with a latin phrase on his desk. I won’t embarrass myself by trying to quote it directly but the day he retired I finally found out the rough translation was, “don’t let the bastards get you down.” I know “bastard” isn’t quite kosher around these parts but it’s not the worst sentiment in the world. So again, whatever happens with the pending legal action, you all make a difference and despite how it feels sometimes it doesn’t go unnoticed and it’s not wasted effort.

  7. piegasm says

    Thanks so much for being willing to stick your head above the parapet on this one PZ.

  8. tomtethys says

    It is not really their power that’s the problem it’s their stupidity. Dissent won’t go away, or be covered up. Keep going PZ, you be the lever that moves the freethought world.

  9. Rey Fox says

    I remember starting to think of myself as “humanist” long ago, perhaps during the accomodationist skirmish, because it seemed like a nice positive label that nonetheless implicitly denied supernaturalism. I’m coming around to that even more now that so much of the organized atheist movement seems to give not one rat’s buttock about actual humans (unless they’re middle-class-and-above hetero white cismale humans who generally don’t need rat’s asses).

  10. borax says

    @8. Trigger warning. I have a cousin that at the age of 13 was being raped by her step father and had a child. Most of the family has accepted the narrative that although it was wrong, it was consensual. I’m filled with anger every time that bastard is at a family gathering.

  11. Rey Fox says

    I know “bastard” isn’t quite kosher around these parts

    Seems to me like…nah, I’ll take it to Thunderdome.

  12. says

    Just hang in.

    Maybe it’s a bit trite, but it’s a bit of a rule of thumb, all the same. Right thing’s rarely the easy thing.

    I think your judgement in this has been pretty solid. I’ve been quiet a lot mostly on the principle of saying nothing as opposed to saying something incredibly stupid, and figured this was an area I might just, more than usual. And I dunno… My talking about what kind of movement I want is a bit off since I’m not even so much a movement guy anyway.

    But if I were, the one I’d want would be the one where the silenced and the marginalized and the ignored and the bullied and the harassed and the groped and the molested and the raped know they’re safe, and know they can speak. So where it looks like you’re trying to go looks about right to me.

    It always looked to me a bit like too many rock stars, anyway. Or people who figure they are, and figure they’re somehow entitled to groupies. That breaks, honestly, I’m not going to be missing it at all.

  13. Alverant says

    I’m sorry things have gotten this bad. Honestly, I expected better of us. I tried to separate myself from the sexist and racist parts of the atheist movement because I’m not that involved in the movement as a whole and didn’t have the time for it. That being said, I want the Atheist movement to be better and I stand with Karen Stollznow, Carrie Poppy, you, and others. If I do have to pick a side, let it be one that welcomes all kinds of Atheists regardless of gender, race, etc.

  14. wellerpond says

    This whole thing is just bizarre. I am sickened by how despicable people have been to Rebecca Watson and the rest of the Skepchick crew. How do these people live with themselves? Do they have sisters or mothers?

    And the accusations about Michele Shermer and the disturbing sexual assaults at conferences, I don’t even know how to process that. Is it really so pervasive? Because I feel like we know these people – these intellectual leader in a movement I am passionate about– and either respect their ideas, or at least the concept of having alternate ideas, this feels like a deep, personal betrayal.

    PZ is saying you need to pick a camp or you are passively allow things to continue. I don’t like any of the camps; it’s absurd to compartmentalize objective reality and critical thinking. It is only the human ego, ancient tribalism, and real or perceived inequality that makes us do so. The fact that our unity is crumbling is evidence of this self-destructive path.

    Over the years I have championed critical thinking and the people that inspire me. Now, I am left with disgust and disappointment. I have to believe there is nothing inherent in the critical thinking movement that encourages this kind of behavior. People are postulating that, like any large group, we just have a representative group of the general population. I still have faith in the scientific process, but I have lost faith in humanity’s ability to think maturely and be kind to one another.

  15. otrame says

    As a cat owner most of my life, including times when vet costs were prohibitive, I have occasionally needed to lance an abcess. It is a NASTY job. You get horrible stuff that smells unbelievably bad spraying around. It gets on you. It gets on everything. The cat is not amused.

    It has to be done, by you or the vet (if you can afford it) because if you don’t, the cat will die.

    Thanks to everyone who has been helping, by opening the infection to let the poison out, by holding the cat still while it is being done, by cleaning up the mess that is gushing all over the place. The cat is cantankerous and arrogant and not infrequently leaves messes around, but I’m fond of the old thing and I don’t want it to die.

  16. nmcc says

    The Provisional IRA was a terrorist organisation that committed some of the worst abuses of human rights and outright atrocities ever visited upon any human beings.at any time in history, anywhere in the world. This litany of violence and abuse was often directed against women. Not only did the IRA torture and murder women over a period of 40 years, but also stooped to publicly shaving the heads of, tarring and feathering some women when these women earned the wrath of the IRA by having romantic attachments to people the fascists in the IRA disapproved of. Taslima Nasreen has openly sympathised with these torturers, murderers and abusers of women with her ‘two tears for Bobby Sands’ (a notorious IRA thug) comment.

    Given all that is happening now in atheism defending womens’ rights, could someone tell me why Nasreen is still writing on FTB? I’m a bit confused at the seeming double standards on display.

  17. says

    I would like to add my voice to those supporting you, PZ. You did the right thing, and damn the critics. Boils like the Skeptic Who Must Not Be Named must be lanced, lest the infection fester and prove fatal. If you find yourself released from customary obligations over Easter, we would love to have you back at Norwescon whenever you can make it this way. Just say the word.

    Possibly in a related vein, I’ve been having trouble reaching the FtB server. The error message makes me think you are under a denial of service attack.

  18. Gregory Greenwood says

    For whatever little it may be worth, I’m with you PZ. The spreading blight within atheism and skepticism not just of individual acts of misogyny and even outright sexual assault and rape, but of the acceptance (and thus tacit approval and even encouragement) of that misogyny by major figures and organisations within what may loosely be termed the ‘atheist/skeptical movement’, is the single most serious issue facing atheo/skepticism today. If we can’t even manage to treat roughly half of humanity as actually being fully human (rather than merely disposeable living sex toys), then to misquote the Bard, there is something seriously rotten in this (godless) state of Denmark.

    At the risk of coming across as unnecessarily melodramatic, it is time to draw a line in the sand. At this point, you either take a stand on this issue, or you can bet your bottom unit of national currency that your silence will be counted as assent.

    You are doing the right thing here, and I think that your stand on this issue – a stand that flies in the face of your own privilege as a cis/het, middle class white man – will help inspire others. Few things threaten the status quo quite so much as when a member of the privileged group stands up and publicly says that the privilege people like them enjoy is unjust; it blows a huge hole in the preferred narrative of the powerful that they got where they are by the ‘honest sweat of their brow’, and that all criticism is merely sour grapes.

    You have chosen to walk the thorn-strewn path of principle, and thus placed yourself in the crosshairs, but you should know that you don’t stand alone.

    *clenched tentacle salute*

  19. davidwhitlock says

    You did the right thing and continue to do the right thing, not because it brings you power, but because it is the right thing and makes the world a better place for all of us, and all of our children.

    Misogyny is a blight on humanity.

  20. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I have to pick a side? OK, I pick this one. The one that doesn’t allow rape threats and death threats and misogynist insults. The one that doesn’t brush such things off as a joke. The one that doesn’t trivialise harrassment by referring to it as trolling. The one that makes an effort to support survivors and marginalised people and make sure they feel safe and have a voice.

    I pick this one. It’s better.

    Thanks for doing this PZ, despite the fact you knew you’d be in for a shitheap of trouble. You did good.

    @borax #15

    Maybe a little more space between the trigger warning and the story next time ;) Just to make sure people don’t read more than they mean to.

    I’m sorry that happened to your cousin, and I’m sorry you have to put up with that arsehole at family gatherings (how you refrain from knocking the prick out I’ve no idea; congratulations on your restraint). I’m even more sorry your family has somehow convinced themselves it was consensual. I am now a bit angry as well.

  21. tami says

    @15 borax, I find it amazing that people who would never allow a child (either 13 yo as you wrote about, or 15 for me) to vote, drive a car, drink responsibly, or make a decision to quit school, find it convenient to believe that such a child is old enough to “consent” to having sex with an adult.

  22. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @nmcc

    Not the time. Not the place. If you wish to argue about that, cross post it to the Thunderdome (link to Tdome is on the left, just above the photo of PZ).

  23. robd says

    I’m glad to see that things are developing in a legal manner. Actions do have consequences, and whatever the consequences shall ultimately be by your choice to publish highly sensitive material, I would hope you assume total responsibility regardless of the outcome. As I would expect from everyone involved. You’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it.

  24. says

    Wellerpond:
    Take a look at news following horrific crimes. When people are interviewed, especially friends and family, the response is often shock and disbelief bc they knew the accused.
    Knowing the perpetrator of a crime has no bearing on whether or not they commited a crime.
    People need to accept that the capacity for criminal acts exists among all humans.
    Even the beloved heroes in this movement.
    Shermer has been elevated bc what?
    He speaks in public?
    Writes books?
    Vocally criticizes irrational thought?
    Has a bunch of supporters?
    Great.
    Awesome.
    Fantastic.
    And completely irrelevant to the charges against him.
    Accusations of rape do not become more or less likely depending on the popularity of the accused.

  25. mildlymagnificent says

    You’re in the right – which is probably not a lot of help when yet another person or org you thought was sensible turns out to be either nasty or spineless.

    We’ve got your back. And we’ve now discovered that the joke about Deep Rifts is an aspect of a new reality. That reality also includes “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept” and we now know that there are a lot of people who now know that not walking past is not only right, it’s expected if we’re to hold our heads up and look straight into our mirrors.

    And we’ll put our hands in our pockets if that’s needed too.

  26. says

    I’m not sure there even IS a right thing to do in this situation. Of course one should stand up for those who, for whatever reason, have found themselves marginalised or denied a voice over a very serious allegation…but but but…this is third-party hearsay, it’s subjective, it’s unprovable, and it happened too long ago to be investigated properly. Any good that comes from this will be bought at a high price for all involved.

  27. sebloom says

    I don’t post much…once or twice a year, but I feel the need to add my support in this.

    In a nutshell, I’m married (43 years) to an abuse survivor (@15 borax, similar situation), and I have seen (and live with) the damage such abuse can bring — lifelong damage.

    I’ve learned that “light” is a strong deterrent. If someone shines a “light” on wrongdoing by making it public, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable that may be, things will get better.

    One of my favorite quotes is from (attributed to) Dr. Seuss:

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

    PZ, you did good. Those who can’t see it don’t matter.

  28. says

    nmcc:
    This is not an open thread to discuss what you want.
    As Thumper said, take it to the Thuderdome.

    ****
    robd:
    Ah, another moron who knows nothing of the ubiquity of rape and harassment. It makes complete sense to believe women who make these claims. It does NOT make sense to think.Shermer is automagically immune to the same foibles as all other humans.
    Plus, you know, warning other women to stay away from a sexual predator is a good thing.
    Now trot along and inform your buddies so you can get your award.
    Dumbfuck.

  29. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Andy Kimber

    It’s a difficult situation, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a right thing to do. There was. PZ did it.

  30. mildlymagnificent says

    this is third-party hearsay, it’s subjective, it’s unprovable, and it happened too long ago to be investigated properly

    We’re not doing this again here, but let’s be clear.

    There’s a world of difference between anonymous and un-named. (Do the police name the victims or witnesses when they issue a public warning about the activities of muggers or molesters or rapists in your area? They certainly don’t here. This is a private warning within a specified group in its own environment.)

  31. glodson says

    I took a break from this stuff for a while for personal reasons. Just some stuff I had to take care of in my life. And I decided to sign back in, see what is going on. And I’ve read the posts leading up to the grenade post, and the grenade post.

    You were right. Any movement that ostracizes people for standing up like that isn’t worth a fuck. I saw Rey mention it first here, but I’d rather people know me for my humanist values if this is what the skeptic and atheist communities have come to. If people are judged by the company they keep, I would rather be alone than hang out with the assholes who wish to victim blame.

  32. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    I think you made the best possible choice, PZ. Where you are not welcome, I don’t want to go.

  33. Randomfactor says

    You’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it.

    As long as it’s not the bed the slymers have beshat.

  34. carlie says

    …but but but…this is third-party hearsay,

    It is not. It is a first-person account.

  35. carlie says

    To be more clear, it is a first-person account with the narrator being verified by another person, who simply provided a space for the account to be published.

  36. says

    Andy Kimber:
    Took a detour through Earth 4, huh?
    Over there rape claims directly from the victim might be third party hearsay, but here in the world we live in, thats called evidence.

    Do you people have nothing substantial to add? You use the same refuted BS, get baned, create a sockpuppet and get banned again.

  37. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    I went through the Grenade thread again. I wanted to look at that awful thread from a positive point of view. I wanted to count and admire the number of people who cared enough to say thanks to JD, PZ and the Horde.

    The numbers:

    Posts with clear, unambiguous statements of support for Jane Doe and/or PZ for writing the OP:
    154
    I should have separated them, but it was really rare for one to be mentioned without the other.

    Posts with clear, unambiguous statements of support for the Horde and/or Caine:
    110
    Again, I should have separated the two, but again it was rare that Caine would be mentioned without a nod to the rest of the Horde.

    You are not alone Jane Doe, nor are you PZ.

    The number of people came forward with stories of rape and abuse in their lives:
    43

    That number is the most significant. It shows that the crack in dam is spreading, and that you’ve created a space where people feel safe enough to tell of their awful experiences. It shows that we will not take the fucking Catholic Church’s lead on how to handle the issue of sexual misconduct within this movement.

    We will not be silenced.

    We will not be stopped.

    Fear our voices, fear our anger you misogynist fucks. Your days of easy privilege are over.

  38. opposablethumbs says

    Chapeau, PZ and JD. I am not eloquent enough to express how much I admire your courage and integrity.

  39. glodson says

    Thanks, Tony.

    I really am just running by at the moment. I had hoped to read a few posts, and I had the faint hope of it being mostly good. Not sure what I was thinking, now that I think about it. I really couldn’t wrap my head around some of what I read, and some of the comments just made me weary.

    It isn’t much, but I thought that I should at least throw out my name in support of… well being a decent fucking human being and taking these allegations and problems seriously.

  40. says

    FossilFishy:

    Fear our voices, fear our anger you misogynist fucks. Your days of easy privilege are over.

    Tentacular fistbump.

    Thanks for wading through the scum for your Survey of Positive Light. This makes suffering the fools easier.

  41. kaboobie says

    PZ, thank you for being an uncompromising feminist ally.

    I have heard indirect reports of He Who Must Not Be Named’s tactics for several years and always felt helpless. I did not directly witness any assault, nor did I know personally anyone who had witnessed or experienced assault. But having heard it from many sources and having witnessed, if not openly lecherous, obviously “clingy” behavior from him toward an attractive woman who was not his wife, I believed. I wish we had started naming names sooner. I commend you for doing this on behalf of Jane Doe and the other victims.

  42. says

    For what little it’s worth, I believe PZ Myers and the anonymous woman who confided in him. Thank you both.

  43. standard says

    FossilFishy:
    Impressive work with the numbers. They give me the fuzzies.

    I picked my side ages ago, and here I’m going to stay.

  44. viajera says

    Andy Kimber (and all the others who have made the same tired arguments):

    You’re an atheist, a rationalist, right? You pride yourself on your intelligence and your ability to be objective, see things from both/all sides, right? I mean, you are here after all.

    Ok then. I want you to try something for me. Just a thought experiment. Do you have a daughter, a sister, a niece, a young female friend? If not, can you imagine one? Now, imagine this guy you know – a friend of a friend – has a bad reputation for being a real creep, for getting women drunk and taking advantage of them. None of you have done anything about him, because boys will be boys, amiright?

    But now think about your young daughter/sister/niece/friend. Would you want her hanging around with him? Would you be okay if you saw your creepy friend filling and refilling and refilling her wine glass, when you know what comes next? Would you be okay with this? Or would you want to warn her to stay away from her, warn her about what he’s doing when he keeps so “generously” buying her drinks. It’s not like you’re going to report him to the cops or anything, I mean, like we said, boys will be boys and bros before hos and all that. But your daughter/sister/niece/friend – well, you want to protect her from him.

    THAT’S ALL PZ AND OTHERS ARE DOING HERE.

    It’s NOT about trying to get him arrested – PZ clearly stated in the OP that it’s way too late for that, and the authorities she reported to were not interested.

    It’s NOT about trying to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a rapist.

    It’s NOT about trying to ruin his career or drive him out of the movement.

    It IS about trying to protect women. To warn women who are new to the movement, who don’t yet run in the right circles to have heard the whispers that have been circulating for years, to be careful around him. To recognize what he’s really doing when he’s just being “nice” and refilling your drinks. To warn women that – even though you think you’re in a safe space, with decent people who couldn’t possibly do you any harm – that they need to be careful, to stay on guard.

    It’s about protecting women. Period. And that is what you’re arguing against here. Is that really what you want to fight for? To fight for more women being raped? Is that who you are?

    “Any good that comes from this will be bought at a high price for all involved.”

    As others have said before, if it stops even ONE rape, it’s worth it.

    PZ, thank you again for posting this, and thanks again to Jane Doe for coming forward. The way you and the Horde have handled this is giving me renewed hope in the movement, just when I’d about given up on it. I’m standing with you.

  45. Ingdigo Jump says

    Ok then. I want you to try something for me. Just a thought experiment. Do you have a daughter, a sister, a niece, a young female friend? If not, can you imagine one?

    Err with all due respect “What if it happened to your property” isn’t really useful IMO

  46. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @FossilFishy

    Fear our voices, fear our anger you misogynist fucks. Your days of easy privilege are over.

    *Clenched Tentacle Salute*

    Thanks for wading through that all the shit in an effort to add a bit of positivity. It’s like climbing your way out of a festering sewer, just to turn round and crawl right back up in order to count the nuggets of gold lying amongst the excrement. It is much appreciated.

  47. Gregory Greenwood says

    robd @ 33;

    I’m glad to see that things are developing in a legal manner.

    Attempted legal intimidation pleases you? Interesting…

    Actions do have consequences, and whatever the consequences shall ultimately be by your choice to publish highly sensitive material, I would hope you assume total responsibility regardless of the outcome.

    No good deed goes unpunished, eh? And what of acts of misogyny, possible sexual assault, and definite support and maintenance of rape culture? What should the ‘consequences’ be for those in the world according to robd? Or is it only the people who take a stand against the abuse of women who should be held accountable, while privileged and powerful misogynists get a free pass because people like you simply can’t (or more likley don’t want to) conceive how a high profile figure like Shermer could possibly be a rapist? Why should the presumption always be that it is the woman who is lying? How is that not sexist?

    As I would expect from everyone involved.

    You clearly don’t expect it from Shermer.

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Andy Kimber @ 37;

    I’m not sure there even IS a right thing to do in this situation. Of course one should stand up for those who, for whatever reason, have found themselves marginalised or denied a voice over a very serious allegation…but but but…this is third-party hearsay, it’s subjective, it’s unprovable, and it happened too long ago to be investigated properly. Any good that comes from this will be bought at a high price for all involved.

    A first person account of a criminal act is testimony, not ‘third-party hearsay’.

    And if a rape happened some time ago, if justice for the victim can only be acheived at a ‘high price’ then… what? It isn’t worth pursuing? The victim doesn’t deserve justice? Do you really aspire to a world that asks ‘what is a little rape between friends?’

    Why should rape be treated so differently from other comparably serious cases of personal assault? Replace ‘rape’ with ‘greivous bodily harm’ or ‘kidnapping’, and honestly ask yourself if you would still hold the same position. If not, then you need to consider why it is specifically rape that you don’t take seriously as a criminal act.

    And leaving aside any possible criminal resposnibility, why shouldn’t women be warned of the perils of associating with a person who has been repeatedly accused of inappropriate behaviour with regard to women on many occasions that are entirely seperate from this specific rape allegation? Why shouldn’t they be offered the information they need to protect themselves? Or is Shermer’s public standing also more important than the safety and bodily autonomy of any number of women?

  48. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Indigo Jump

    I think what viajera is saying is “what if it happened to someone you care about”. The people who are on the opposing side clearly have difficulty empathising with women, viajera is trying to force them into a position where they would consider the woman’s feelings.

    Of course, this assumes that the men in question don’t want bad things to happen to their sister because they want their sister to be happy, as opposed to just not wanting the stain upon the family honour. Hmm.

  49. sonderval says

    @FossilFishy
    I only commented in the follow-up thread so add another +1 to your first numbers.

    @Ingdigo Jump
    I suppose this was just meant to evoke empathy – which most of us feel more strongly for people we love than random people. (And please also note that you seemed to assume that the person adressed was male.)

  50. says

    @viajera

    Well…yes. I completely agree with you. I don’t believe I was making an argument, I was making a comment, the gist of which is, sometimes having the courage to do what you think is right has far-reaching consequences. I don’t think I would have done it. Go PZ. That’s all.

    @Tony, The Queer Shoop: Undefeated Pictionary Champion

    Oh right. Actually I’ve never been banned from anywhere, so I don’t think I’m one of the people to whom you allude.

  51. Ingdigo Jump says

    @Thumper

    So why not “If it happened to you?”

    If the attempt is to attempt empathy it’s needlessly already moved the situation a step away.

    The only way to empathize with a woman is to say what if it happened to your tribe’s women?

    My point stands that attempting to get empathy for a group while still holding them at arms length as an ‘other’ isn’t going to help.

  52. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I can’t help but wonder what robd thinks the “consequences” should be for Shermer?

  53. Ingdigo Jump says

    I suppose this was just meant to evoke empathy – which most of us feel more strongly for people we love than random people.

    And ourselves more. And as our subjective experience is the only one we directly have it is always the best point for empathy if possible. Women are defined already in our culture by their relationship to men/gender roles so yes this is an issue.

    If someone is robbed it’s “what if YOU where robbed”
    If someone is raped it’s “What if your daughter was raped”

    I’m not pulling this out of thin air here.

    (And please also note that you seemed to assume that the person adressed was male.)

    don’t play games.

  54. says

    Ingdigo Jump:

    So why not “If it happened to you?”

    This seems to be an argument along the lines of, “If someone you loved made a report like this, would you believe them?”

    That’s how I read it, anyway.

  55. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Ingdigo Jump

    Fair point, but I think a lot of blokes would have trouble imagining they were raped. Despite all the noise MRAs make about how it’s totes unfair that the law doesn’t make provisions for male rape victims (to stop any lurkers jumping on me, I should make clear that I do at least agree with them on that much, if nothing else), to them rape is something that happens to women.

    “Tribe’s women” is a bit unfair, I think. I think even MRAs don’t want harm to befall the women they are close to because they care about the women they are close to rather than through a sense of ownership. But maybe I’m being overly generous. Or maybe just hopeful.

    Maybe you’re right; maybe it would be more effective to make clear it could happen to them? I think that’d take more work, for the reasons laid out in my first paragraph, but in the long run it might be better.

  56. says

    Oh, I’m already getting tons of rape accusations and all kinds of stories told about me right now.

    The thing is, and why I have zero concerns about them, is that none of them are plausible.

  57. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Andy Kimber

    Go PZ.

    You were definitely not clear on this point in your first post. Also, “third party evidence”? It’s a first-hand account, which PZ has relaid on the request of the victim. Not third party evidence.

  58. Ingdigo Jump says

    Oh, I’m already getting tons of rape accusations and all kinds of stories told about me right now.

    The thing is, and why I have zero concerns about them, is that none of them are plausible

    Note the hypocrisy of our little net warriors whining about how bad such accusations are…until it’s someone they don’t like.

    What they are saying is that they DO want to ruin your life, PZ. Everything they say that is so bad about a false accusation they want to happen to you. These people are scum

  59. Rumtopf says

    I’ve been reading everything here about this and I support Jane Doe, and thank PZ and The Horde for being so awesome, as per usual. I know what side I’m on.

    And ugh, just saw that Mr. Deity and the Hat video(the part after the credits) linked in the comments on Jason Thibeault’s post, and it’s fucking gross. Never watching his stuff again.

  60. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Ingdigo Jump

    Yes it is an issue.

    I agree with you. I think we should make that clear. I’ll go with “What if it was you?” from now on; reserving “OK, what if it was your sister?” as a last resort for when they are totally not getting it.

  61. says

    For whatever the voice of an infrequent commenter on the internet is worth; I didn’t pick a side. As a survivor of another form of abuse, and (I like to think) a decent human being, the side picked me.

  62. magistramarla says

    I haven’t been to any sort of Atheist/Skeptic conference just yet. However, when I do attend one, it will be one at which PZ will be speaking. The presence of Greta, Aron or any of the Skepchicks won’t hurt, either!

  63. b. - Order of Lagomorpha says

    A Tentacled Fist of Solidarity bump to you, PZ. You will weather this. The movement will weather this–it has to to remain viable. As movements go, it’s young, there will be growing pains and if, to encourage growth, painful warts, boils, carbuncles and buboes need to be pruned, that’s just part of the cost of doing business. A movement that welcomes everyone except for the hateful is a lot stronger in the long run. We’ll outlast ‘em. It reminds me of the Gandhi quote:

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

    They ignored us and it didn’t work. Laughed at us and that wasn’t much use, either. Now it’s a fight. Next step, we win. :)

  64. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    So proud to be a tiny part of this awesome community. For what it’s worth, I fully support you, PZ, and everything you are doing against this skeptical shitathon.

  65. LorrieAnne Miller says

    Thank you, PZ. I appreciate your support of women and am dumbfounded by the vitriol I’ve seen over this simple issue. This has been clear proof that many of my fellow atheists are not the rational thinkers I assumed they were.

  66. says

    Due to some personal circumstances that have led to my being unusually vulnerable lately, I have not really had the spoons to comment on any of this, until now. I followed the grenade thread (and others, here and elsewhere), taking timeouts as I whipsawed between being brutally triggered and then truly grateful and hopeful for a better world. Thanks especially to Caine et al. for that. You. Have. No. Idea. How. Important. It. Was.

    PZ, I wouldn’t want you squeezed out of a movement that could be changed for the better by your presence. But as it stands, this is a movement whose disdain for what you have done here reveals exactly what it cares about above all else: its own undeserved privilege. Who the fuck wants unity with that, when the status quo is misogyny, abuse, death threats, harassment and rape fer chrissakes, all without personal or professional accountability? Whatever happens legally or to the makeup of these movements and their leadership, I just want to say that I will be your ally as much as you and the Horde have been mine. Because we really are all in this together. I’m so grateful for this space and everything you’ve done—all of you—to make the world and the web a better place.

    And yes, we will undoubtedly lose many good people who understandably cannot stomach the schism and its grotesque fallout. But that in itself enrages me, and makes me want to step up and fight even harder for justice—for the safety and wellbeing of every Jane Doe. I bet I am not alone. And I know that I will not always have the spoons to do what’s right and necessary, but surely more of us engaging will mean that there will be more of us to pick up the slack when others can’t. I am all in.

    Now Ima get my holiday shopping done early this year and go order some more Happy Atheist books. Time to work on getting back to being a happy atheist.

  67. says

    Andy Kimber:
    I apologize then.
    After the grenade thread, my patience for anything resembling rape culture apologies is nonexistent. Your comment about ‘third party hearsay’ set my spider sense off.
    ****

    I wonder…are there any commenters who used to take the side of the dissenters, but now side with victims? Not specifically this case, but anything in the past?
    Were you the one asking for more evidence or doubting the claims of rape victims….but now you have become more sympathetic?
    If this applies to anyone…what caused you to change your mind?

  68. anuran says

    What you ignore is what you support. If you hadn’t done the right thing you would have been a party to the sexual assaults, the use of sexual harassment as a tool of exclusion, the rape threats and the death threats.

  69. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Listening to “Bricks” by Rise Against.

    “We’re setting the fires to light the way
    We’re burning it all to begin again
    With hope in our hearts
    And bricks in our hands
    We sing for change”

    Seems appropriate.

  70. anteprepro says

    If the movement would reject PZ for doing what any decent person would and should do, then the movement only shows that it is no longer worth supporting or following. I just really hope that there is a good amount of people who actually see it that way.

    Related: I am dumbfounded by just how many Skeptics and Atheists are mindlessly authoritarian and willing to be blind apologists for the status quo. They remind me of the fabled Logical Christians, who are well-equipped with the tools of skepticism but never apply them consistently. They use those tools entirely to support an agenda, to defend a position, rather than to arrive at a position via pursuit of what’s true.

  71. says

    Irisvanderpluym:
    Thats one of the reasons why I think it is important that people speak up. Social justice movements need people. The more people, the louder the message…the reduced chance of being silenced.
    But theres also the fact that people being human do not always have the spoons and the health of ant individual is important. Knowing that there are others who can carry the baton can give those who are weary a chance to rest and gather their strength.

  72. Jessica Lundbom says

    So, somewhere I can’t find, someone said (and I paraphrase, since I can’t find it) “For every outspoken drop-out, imagine how many silently log out and don’t return.”

    That was me. I silently logged out and didn’t return. I came to the conclusion (mainly based on interactions with JREF) that the skeptic/atheist movement was very clear that wimminz were welcome.

    If they knew their fucking place and took their gropings and insults like so much cod-liver oil.

    It also became increasingly clear that any inclusivity operated exclusively on the gay-straight scale – but that any other outliers or queerness was fair game for frat pack harrassment.

    I dropped out and lost interest once and for all after Elevatorgate but it had been a long time coming. It was very, very clear that as a bitch, I wa’nt shit so my participation didn’t count anyway and therefore I silently logged off and found another interest.

    I absolutely believe Jane Doe and I absolutely support PZ. We are all Spartacus as far as I’m concerned.

    It is not just the existing group that will pick sides. People will return when there is something to return to and new people will join now that there seems to be something to join. I absolutely believe that new platforms will emerge. The antics we see now are hopefully the thrashings of a dying species. Nothing is so vicious as threatened privilege.

    “And maybe what’s good
    gets a little bit better./
    And maybe what’s bad
    gets gone.”

  73. latsot says

    I’ve nailed my colours. I hope I’d have done the same thing. Because it was the right thing..

  74. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    @Thumper; Atheist mate #89

    Listening to “Bricks” by Rise Against.

    Good call. Also, Enter Shikari, Constellations. Awesome. Song.

    And then I realize that
    We need to use our own two feet to walk these tracks,
    And we have to squad up and we have to watch each others backs,
    With forgiveness as our torch and imagination our sword
    We’ll untie the ropes of hate and slash open the minds of the bored
    And we’ll start a world so equal and free

  75. viajera says

    @Thumper @Ingdigo Jump

    I think what viajera is saying is “what if it happened to someone you care about”. The people who are on the opposing side clearly have difficulty empathising with women, viajera is trying to force them into a position where they would consider the woman’s feelings.

    ^This

    Thanks, Thumper, that was exactly my thought-process and intent. I’m not fond of the mother/daughter/sister rhetoric myself, but so many men like Andy have already shown themselves to be incapable of empathizing with women directly. I was trying to rephrase it in a way that, hopefully, he and they could understand.

  76. cunninglingus says

    I feel the need to delurk again also, to offer my belief in the Jane Doe’s, and to thank PZ for selflessly shining a light on such atrocious events.

    As a few people have said upthread, I also consider myself a better person because of FTB and the commentators that have made me think, then realise, I could and should be a better human being, with the proviso that I realise it’s an ongoing and never ending endeavour.

  77. says

    Actions do have consequences, and whatever the consequences shall ultimately be by your choice to publish highly sensitive material, I would hope you assume total responsibility regardless of the outcome.

    Short version: “You asked for it.”

  78. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Loud

    I haven’t heard that one; I sort of stopped listening to ES after their first album :-/ I’ll go give it a listen. Youtube here I come! *bugle*

    @viajera

    No problem; I realised because I often use the tactic myself. However, I am convinced by Ingdigo Jump’s argument and will in future be saving it for when they Really Don’t Get™ the “What if it were you” argument.

  79. says

    I was thinking while I was in the shower. Imagine the following scenario:

    A man who is known to PZ and is generally trustworthy writes to him and says: I was on Grindr a couple of months ago and after some chat arranged to hook up with a guy who said his name was Bob Smith. We had an enjoyable evening including sex six ways from Sunday. We made tentative plans to see each other next time he’s in town. Yesterday I was online and discovered that Bob Smith is actually Mr. X, an evangelist megachurch preacher who’s making news because he’s come out in support of Russia’s anti-gay laws. He’s out there condemning gay people in public, but he’s happy to have gay sex in private. I can’t come out of the closet, because I might be fired, but I want to get the news out there that this guy is a total hypocrite. PZ agrees to publish the man’s account anonymously.* Do you think any of the hyperskeptics would be moaning about the man’s anonymity? Wailing about Mr. X’s potential loss of repuation? Fretting over the lack of extraordinary evidence to back up this “extraordinary” claim? On the contrary, I think they’d be happily dancing over the grave over yet another “godbot” biting the dust, not giving any of those things a moment’s thought. But make the complainant a woman and the charge rape and the accused a Big Name Skeptic instead of a Big Name Christian, and suddenly we need a tribunal.

    *Yep, it’s not the same because no one is in danger in my hypothetical, and it’s a problematic issue to out an LGBT person for having *consensual* sex, but go with me here cos I’m not talking about the likelihood of PZ’s behaviour given this situation, but just the probable reaction amongst the assholes currently clamouring for the complainant’s name, a police report, and jury conviction before anyone can say anything.

  80. flybywire says

    Mostly lurker here, but I try to support actions and not people. I think you did the right thing and I back you and Jane Doe and the others who come forward or choose not to come forward.

  81. viajera says

    Now that I’ve had a moment to read the rest of the thread…

    @Ingdigo Jump :

    I deliberately chose to play on protective instincts rather than personal fear of assault because, in my experience, the men I’ve known who are quick to defend accused rapists/harassers simply do not understand the risks women face and the calculations we make every day. For example, think of Starling’s old epic Schrodinger’s rapist thread, where hundreds of men rushed in to express their offense at the very thought of women taking precautions around men they did not know. Someone like that, who can not even imagine the threats we face and the precautions we take daily, is unlikely to be able to put himself in the woman’s shoes. So I deliberately chose to frame it in a way I thought such a man might understand, even though I don’t like that argument personally (e.g., the “mothers/daughters/sisters” rhetoric in many of Obama’s speeches really bothers me). But, that said, point taken.

    Also, I now see that Andy has come out in support of PZ, which I didn’t get at all from his original comment? My apologies for singling you out Andy, you were repeating many of the same lines (e.g., re: hearsay) the apologists in the grenade thread were, so I took you as one of them.

  82. says

    There’s a choice? Doesn’t look like it to me.

    Looks to me like there’s a side in which the best things about being a human (critical thinking, need for social justice, personal dignity, love of community and each other, love of analysis and argumentation), and then there’s a mess of things I’m surprised people aren’t ashamed of being identified with.

    Count me on this side, thanks. I’d rather be where those attributes are honored than in a crowd of people who can’t be arsed to read studies, think about their actions, reasonably extrapolate from data and try to behave ethically.

  83. says

    Boo hoo.

    PZ is feeling the backlash and anticipating his comeuppance. Listen to the poor man . . .

    —————–
    I can’t explain how things are going except to say…it’s complicated. Do try to keep up with others — I can’t. I worry that this is the end of a lot of good things, or rather, things that had to be the potential to be good, and that without many changes, we’re going to lose too many great people, and that conditions have become intolerable. Let me tell you that when I pressed “publish” on a certain post the other day, I knew that no matter how it turns out, the one thing I could be certain of is that I would be persona non grata in a large segment of the movement, and that I’d be spending many more quiet weekends at home in Morris in the future (which is OK, this is a nice place, and my day job is ramping up the responsibilities, and I’ll always have the blog).

    But even if I’m squeezed out, it’s time to pick a side and build a better secular movement. You can’t do it by simply accepting what is and looking the other way. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. It’s especially important that you don’t walk past the standard set by the powerful men in the movement.
    —————–

    He has the gall to speak of “standards”. The standard he accepts is character assassination. He gets more pathetic every day.

  84. anteprepro says

    If the movement would reject PZ for doing what any decent person would and should do

    Just to clarify: I believe any truly decent person would want to do what PZ did. Doesn’t necessarily mean they can and do. Which is what makes PZ all the more impressive in all of this, especially since he knew that assholes would turn this into a shit-storm. Especially since he knew that doing the right thing would make into a target for the victimizers and their apologists.

    I’ve been reading Pharyngula for years now. I read a few articles here and there but read it avidly after Crackergate. I started commenting shortly after it came to FTB. Pharyngula first made me more confident as an atheist and as a liberal. It gave me the benefit of multiple perspectives, of PZ and the regulars, on debates over several religious and political topics. And over scientific topics. It made me feel as though I was on the right track, and it helped me learn things I would never be able to on more tepid, “civil” blogs. I eventually began to appreciate the Pharyngula ethos before I dared to comment here. I appreciated the focus of substance over form, style, and tone. I loved the unrelenting opposition to bigotry in all its forms. And though I was slightly taken aback when feminism became such a large focus on the blog, it didn’t take long for me to realize why when I saw the deluge of assholes in the comment threads. Pharyngula first made me into a stronger liberal and atheist. It has now turned me into a stronger and more sensitive feminist. I can’t thank PZ and the community more for that, and yet I am merely thanking you all just for being you and doing it with wit, passion, and out in the open for all to see. Ultimately, this is a place that makes it clear what our priorities, as individuals and as a society, should be and just wish more people could be exposed to insights and arguments here so that more people could come to adopt those same priorities as well. If they did, I think this world would be a better place.

  85. says

    Tony, The Queer Shoop #85:

    I wonder…are there any commenters who used to take the side of the dissenters, but now side with victims?

    *raises hand*

    Not specifically this case, but anything in the past?

    My own sexual assault—the one when I was sixteen. I was blackout drunk, possibly drugged, by the owner of a bar in a college town. It happened upstairs in his office after the bar was closed and locked up.

    Were you the one asking for more evidence or doubting the claims of rape victims….but now you have become more sympathetic?

    I bought the narrative that was explicitly spoken to me by the first person I told about it: that if I were drinking, then I was 100% responsible for whatever happened to me.

    If this applies to anyone…what caused you to change your mind?

    You did.

    That is: people like you who are willing to directly question that ubiquitous narrative, and call it out for the victim-blaming bullshit that it is.

  86. carlie says

    Character assassination is what Shermer is doing to himself now. Streisand effect indeed. No matter what people think about rape culture and whether they believe victims or not, they can see that it’s an asshole move to run straight to “I’ll sue you” as a reaction to a blog post. The more Shermer continues in this vein, the more he’s going to look like a total ass.

  87. says

    Jebus, jimashby, you’d think having at least one lawyer tell people this wasn’t actionable in any practical fashion would be enough for you, but I see you’re of the ‘repetition makes it true’ school of reasoning.

    Could it be that, instead of what you think is happening (PZ is regretting saying something because $bad_consequence), PZ is instead looking forward and worried about the future (and not about liability, because FFS, that’s been covered)?

  88. says

    Good ole Rape Apologist jimashby still cannot blockquote.
    And thinks it is better to think a rape victim is lying so the image of his precious hero is not shredded.
    He clearly lacks the understanding of rape statistics and lacks sufficient empathy to believe a rape victim.
    Not sure why the disgusting snotpuddle keeps returning…

  89. anteprepro says

    Go fuck yourself, jimashby, you fucking blinkered rape apologist. You and your ilk are the secular equivalent to Bill Donahue, defending the holy Catholic Church against all of those obvious liars defaming those pure, holy men who obviously couldn’t have done anything wrong. You should be fucking ashamed of yourself. I hope years from now you and those like you will look back at this, look at your dismissive and defensive responses, and feel nothing but the guilt and shame that you deserve to feel. You are among the several reasons why women don’t feel welcome in the atheist movement, ashby. Congratulations.

  90. says

    @mouthyb,

    I think time will tell.

    You’re all loyal. That’s great. Normally.

    But facts are facts . . . and facts will all come out in the wash.

    I don’t envy you guys. How do you forget what a pack of hyenas you all were?

  91. anteprepro says

    You’re all loyal. That’s great. Normally.

    But facts are facts . . . and facts will all come out in the wash.

    I don’t envy you guys. How do you forget what a pack of hyenas you all were?

    Any one else see this as anything but pure fucking projection?

  92. richiyaado says

    I’m a little hesitant about posting here, but am disturbed by some of the language, the vitriol, and the blanket condemnations of those who even slightly disagree (or question the wisdom of the initial ‘grenade’ post; for example). Saying ‘It’s time to pick a side’ sounds distressingly like GWB’s ‘Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists’ rhetoric.

    And does modest disagreement really mean that one is shown to be ‘incapable of empathizing with women’? To me, this suggests the Manichean mindset of Fundamentalists, not skeptics.

    I sincerely hope Shermer (and Krauss and others) will address these accusations publicly, directly, and unambiguously. If they have engaged in inappropriate behavior, they are obligated to own up to it.

  93. says

    jimashby: Loyalty is earned, as is trust. Loyalty to PZ has been earned (probably for many of us) by his consistency of thought, willingness to analyze, willingness to be proven wrong and willingness to listen to both popular and unpopular ideas and weigh them on their methods.

    I think we’ve exhausted trying to explain Bayesian stats to you and other people who stubbornly don’t seem to get extraordinarily well established stats methods. We’ve exhausted posted research studies, statistics, giving detailed reasons why trust is merited.

    We’ve exhausted explaining ethics, which you appear to be impervious to, and exhausted explaining inclusion.

    So tell me, since you won’t let anyone be reasonable with you: why are you here, skeptic?

  94. says

    Projection, that’s a good word for it. For someone who’s all like “PZ who?” jimashby’s actions certainly belie the premise. Just another troll trying to hurry up and stir some shit before the banhammer lands.

  95. says

    Jim Ashby: You do realize that some categories of rape have no statutes of limitation, right? And that all it will take is one woman coming forward within the statute of limitation in a jurisdiction where the prosecutor cares about sex crimes, and then all the rest of it’s going to tumble right down on someone’s head. Maybe with a stained blue dress…

    Think Jerry Sandusky, Jim. We’re at the knife’s edge of that. Seriously, getting the lawyers involved was about the worst thing that a certain person could do. Because it’s all going to come out. All of it.

    And if you think that a “she said” accusation is unactionable — tell that to Mike Tyson. Or to Kobe Bryant — who only was spared the same fate as Tyson by virtue of a better lawyer and a different jury.

    In the meantime, please stay away from me, my family, my dog, my potted plants, and any other living thing. You continue to declare yourself to be unfit to be around anything.

  96. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @jimashby

    Read irisvanderpluym at # 107

    That barman? The arsehole who told iris it was their fault? That’s what you’re supporting, you prick.

    Proud of yourself?

  97. mcmillan says

    I wonder…are there any commenters who used to take the side of the dissenters, but now side with victims? Not specifically this case, but anything in the past?

    I’m not sure if I’d go as far to say I was a dissenter, more neutral. A lot of these kind of issues I was sympathetic towards, but didn’t really care enough to give much thought. I remember when elevatorgate happened basically thinking it was tacky behavior but wondering why Rebecca Watson felt the need to bring it up in a public talk. The irrational response to that and a lot of things I’ve seen since have pretty clearly shown why it’s worth talking about in public. I’m certainly more aware of things now, and definitely appreciate all of you folks who helped wake up people like me.

  98. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @mouthyb

    Also, jimashby, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    Hopefully it’ll hit him on the head instead; it might knock some fucking sense into him.

  99. oaksterdam says

    This side. I pick the one where the truly courageous have a place to say “This happened, These are the people responsible and their status is irrelevant. This has to stop” The one where a victim will not be blamed. The one where nobody gets a pass because they wrote a good book or made a funny video. The one where I’m not ashamed to say “These are the people I stand with”.

    This side.

    The other side has made their position quite clear and I want nothing to do with it.

    I pick this side..

  100. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @richiyahdoo

    What exactly is your “modest disagreement”? Be specific, because only once we’ve heard it can we decide whether or not to engage in bad “language, vitriol and blanket accusations” (though how a blanket accusation can be made against one person I’ve no idea).

  101. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @Jimashby

    Your little microcosm has been freezepaged.

    You have no escape from prosperity.

    What does that even mean?

    Better trolls. I demand better trolls!

  102. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    *Clenched Tentacle Salute*

    I’m with you my squidly overlord. My atheism may have come first, but it led inexorably to humanism. Once I had torn apart my belief in a god, I had no choice but to challenge the bigotry and prejudice that belief had helped to instill in me. anteprepro said it better than I could in post #106, FTB and the commenters here helped immensely, and I thank you all profusely.

  103. says

    Thumper: Where does one apply for trolls with a working dictionary and spell check, I ask yeh. How about educated trolls, who are willing to read some damn studies–where do I get those?

  104. anteprepro says

    Saying ‘It’s time to pick a side’ sounds distressingly like GWB’s ‘Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists’ rhetoric.

    The “Time To Pick A Side” post:

    The world has changed, and professionalism is now incompatible with bigotry; there can be no peaceful coexistence between these two concepts. Where a conflict occurs, SFWA cannot remain neutral, because there is no neutrality when bigotry is the status quo. I repeat: there is no neutrality when bigotry is the status quo. Put simply, SFWA must now take action against bigots in order to prove itself worthy of being called a professional organization. SFWA’s leadership is going to have to choose which members it wants to lose: the minority of scared, angry people whose sense of self-worth is rooted in their ability to harm others without consequence… or everyone else. –

    I’m sorry, I’m not seeing how “You must pick a side because neutrality is de facto support of the status quo which is a side ” is comparable to “You must support me and my tactics or else the enemy will prevail, and you must want that to happen you fucking pinko commies”.

    But I just love how you fall into the standard cliches of reducing everything we confront to “Just Disagreeing” and characterizing us as irrational or fundamentalists. You Neutrals are all the same.

  105. says

    Jane Doe might be telling the truth. That’s not the point. The rule of law is the point.

    Character assassination is too easy. Show me the beef.

  106. says

    @richiyaado

    How is it possible to slightly disagree with “rape=bad”? There really are two sides here. You can’t be supportive of rape survivors and at the same time fail to condemn rape and those who commit it. If you aren’t empathizing with a woman who is reporting her rape, you’re showing yourself “incapable of empathizing with women” aren’t you?

    If they have engaged in inappropriate behavior, they are obligated to own up to it.

    Why would they? They have shown themselves content to be predators.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He has the gall to speak of “standards”. The standard he accepts is character assassination. He gets more pathetic every day./blockquote>No character was assassinated. Women were warned about a known sexual predator. He had already assassinated his own character.

  108. yazikus says

    Thats one of the reasons why I think it is important that people speak up. Social justice movements need people. The more people, the louder the message…the reduced chance of being silenced.

    I’ll speak up: Jane Doe, I believe you. PZ, I’ll stand with you.

  109. says

    @117 — Sure, because everyone who’s a slimeball comes right out and says “yep, I did it.” Nobody ever denies they were involved in a crime … OJ … or unethical activity Clinton …

    Idjit.

  110. Randomfactor says

    How do you forget what a pack of hyenas you all were?

    We evolved.

    In creationist lingo, then why does the “skeptic movement” still have hyenas?

  111. says

    @140: The original post WAS the beef, you fucking cretin.

    A complaint from someone who was raped. Not someone who claimed she knew someone who was raped. An original statement from the victim herself. Which statement was corroborated by others who were there, saw the two together, and saw her reactions after the incident.

    That’s a triple-Whopper with bacon, Jim. More beef than bun.

  112. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @mouthyb

    I don’t know, maybe we should stop looking under bridges and try museaum basements instead?

    Quite frankly, right now I’d be happy with a troll who doesn’t think that “show me the beef” is an actual phrase. As a result of the past few days, my standards have dropped that low.

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

    Jane Doe might be telling the truth. That’s not the point.

    Of course it isn’t. Why ever would a woman being raped be the point. No, nothing to see here.

    *clenched tentacle salute to PZ*

  114. anteprepro says

    Jane Doe might be telling the truth. That’s not the point. The rule of law is the point.

    Character assassination is too easy. Show me the beef.

    Wait, it is irrelevant whether Jane Doe was telling the truth? It is character assassination regardless of whether or not what Jane Doe said was true? It is character assassination to merely publish her account? A personal account from someone raped by Shermer, as well as corroborating accounts from others who know the victim, do not count as “the beef”?

    I think it is thoroughly established that you are not only an incredible fucking asshole, but also profoundly, jaw-droppingly stupid to boot. Again, congratulations.

  115. rr says

    This so-called skeptic movement smells like it’s been dead for awhile. Good job debunking Bigfoot, religion and alien abductions, shit job of tackling social justice issues. Now it’s just another dudebro social club, comfortable with its dudebro-ness. If its zombified corpse does catch fire, I do have some gasoline to help put it out.

  116. says

    @117:
    Your having a problem with harsh language is your own damn fault. Look past the emotionally charged language used to express the depth of conviction. Pay attention to what is being said, NOT how it is said.
    For instance, jimashby uses no harsh language, but believes rape victims should not be believed. That is a fucking disgusting position to take and one that does demonstrable harm by continuing Rape Culture.
    Contrast that with comments that are laced with bad words, but show empathy for victims and support for their decisions.
    Weigh the two.
    If you find yourself more concerned with the language then you do not care overmuch for content of a comment.

    By the way, it is not an ‘opposing viewpoint’ being condemned.
    It is supporting Rape Culture (which MRAs like jimashby assert does not exist despite the evidence shown to them…and jimashby has had plenty of evidence cited for him to read) that is shouted down.

    For the 56,799th time:
    Rape happens, a lot. Unlike stating that Zeus exists, this is not an extraordinary claim and is not subject to the calls for extreme skepticism. Those that do so are ignorant of the facts: 1 in 4 or 1 in 6 women will be the victim of sexual assault in their life.
    False Rape claims do not happen a lot. In fact they are quite rare.
    Women are routinely dismissed when they make accusations.
    Women are routinely bullied into silence after making accusations.

    Pick a side.
    Preferably the one backed by evidence and empathy for victims.

    ____
    By the way, the incessant cries about harsh words from various people are silly. Words like FUCK & SHIT are considered profanity. Ever wonder why? Instead of accepting that harsh words are bad, go look up the religious influence on taboo words. Then get back to a group of freethinkers and atheists and tell us why we should adhere to religious rules.

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

    And really, how could a woman’s rape hold any importance when you can have a whole fucking thread turn around jimashby.

  118. says

    Jane Doe might be telling the truth. That’s not the point.

    Whut? Did you read what you typed before hitting submit?

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

    Ups, PZ got in with his banhammer before I commented.
    Good choice, I think.

  120. Sunday Afternoon says

    Changing the atheist movement is clearly going to take time. Unfortunately, I’m seeing a parallel with the sport of cycling and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

    There is a well established omerta or “code of silence” around drug use in cycling (http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/opinion-michael-ashenden-on-omerta-101). This was most obviously seen recently around Lance Armstrong. Everyone hoped that LA was clean during his 7 wins of the Tour de France. But given the testimony of people who were prepared to go public early and suffer the consequences (eg: Frankie & Besty Andreu, Emma O’Reilly) and the fact that the runners up that LA beat were almost all busted for PEDs, it became inconceivable that LA was clean.

    Armstrong even took successful legal action against 2 organizations where he (in retrospect) purgured himself to win the cases. Others cyclists who protested the situation were hounded out of the sport partly due to pressure from LA and the pro cycling community enforcement of the omerta: famous are Christopher Bassons and Filippo Simeoni. There are countless others who joined the ranks of pro riders only to find out the real situation (necessity for PEDs) and immediately left: one clear example is Graeme Obree.

    As we know now, LA used PEDs and was finally forced to admit it publicly.

    What did it take? While there was a continuous undercurrent of suspicion and some people had already gone public, it took even more people with direct knowledge of the situation to be willing to take a stand and a potential cycling public fall from grace for attacking the omerta. These were generally riders who were at or near the end of their careers and for one reason or another could not maintain the omerta any more. That many of these riders were themselves PED users who had been busted, vehemently defended themselves and attacked their accusers is not without significant irony.

    I hope you get my point. For years the eyewitness evidence of LAs was already out there, but the omerta had (somewhat) successfully shut down the accusers. No one that I spoke to about the allegations who was close to cycling seriously believed that LA was clean, despite him winning the 2 legal actions. However in the general public perception, LA was the golden American who was beating the Europeans at their own sport. In fact LA was using the “finest European traditions” of the sport to win.

    I think there is a clear parallel. There is an omerta around the sexism/harassment/misogyny/rape enabling culture in the secular movement. Rachael Watson saying “guys, don’t do that” revealed the presence of the omerta to many of us, and what has followed only reinforces its existence.

    For the omerta to be broken requires more people to come forward and challenge it. Thank you PZ and JD for doing so. This is going to be hard, painful and there will be setbacks (cf: LA winning his legal cases. Of course, now those who lost to LA are taking legal action against him in return…). The only way things will change is by people with direct knowledge of the situation taking a stand. And I salute them.

  121. philosophia says

    I’m not picking sides because I don’t like either side. What I don’t understand is why those who are radical feminists insist that if you’re not on their side, you’re on the side of rapists, sexists, etc. The dichotomy is simplistic and false. Whenever you have intelligent people getting together discussing complex issues, there’s bound to be a range of opinions or something’s wrong. I personally think having a range of opinions is a healthy thing, radical feminists don’t appear to. For example, my opinion is that Mr. Myers was morally incorrect to not go through the proper legal channels in making a serious charge against Mr. Shermer. That opinion can be attacked and defended by all kinds of arguments, in any case it is a reasonable opinion. We all have different opinions partly based on our own personal experiences. For example, if I tell my Asian-American wife about the positive aspects of feminism, she tells me to shut up. Not “shut up and listen”, just shut up. She tells me that feminism has made life more difficult for women. Nevertheless, I’m on the side of feminism as far as equality of rights and opportunities for women. However, I think that some of the ideas of radical feminism are overstated. For example, to say that we have a patriarchy in this country is a bit of an overstatement when women have the majority of the vote in the country and in every state.

  122. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @mouthyb

    Sorry, the ForeFront Threat Management Gateway swooped in to stop me accessing whatever “obscene/tasteless” page you sent me on a work computer :) So I’m afraid I’m none the wiser as to what a “Frye moment” is.

    I’m happy that jimashby’s gone, but his weird little “where’s the beef?” phrase was tickling me a bit… /causing me to cry with laughter :)

  123. says

    Again you show you do not support rape victims jimashby. The rule of law applies in the courtroom, not on a blog.
    Most of us belief Jane Doe.

    The level of evidence needed to believe a rape victim should never be the same as the level of evidence to prove Bigfoot.
    Why?
    The latter is an extraordinary claim.
    The former happens every goddamn day.

    MS is not a special snowflake. He is a human being with, according to many*, a history of predatory behavior. Telling other women to be wary of him is a wise move.

    *and I believe them bc…sexual harassment happens all. the. damn. time.

  124. leanmeansurvivalmachine says

    This side. I pick this side. Tentacle-bumps to the unwavering Horde who face down the ignorant, the irrational, the hateful and the harmful every. single. fucking. day. with wit, clarity and delightful vulgarity.

  125. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @philosophia

    For example, my opinion is that Mr. Myers was morally incorrect to not go through the proper legal channels in making a serious charge against Mr. Shermer. That opinion can be attacked and defended by all kinds of arguments, in any case it is a reasonable opinion.

    I’m afraid it is not a “reasonable opinion”; indeed it merely demonstrates your ignorance of the subject you are discussing. The person who came to PZ with their story wished to remain anonymous. Please tell me, how can PZ go through legal channels without breaking that person’s trust and revealing their identity? He can’t, can he? However, he was asked by this person to spread the message as a warning to other women, so that they are wary around Shermer, thus minimising his chances to do this to another woman.

    Now, if you disagree with efforts to prevent a rapist raping, please explain why.

    Also, you appear to be under some confusion as to what “patriarchy” means. Please go and look it up before attempting to discuss it again. I’m afraid that I must also point out that your wife’s opinion on the matter is not authoritative.

    There. Wasn’t that polite?

  126. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @mouthyb

    Ah, I’ve seen that one :) Yes, very appropriate.

    (“Frye” has an “e”? I thought it was just “Fry”).

  127. Pteryxx says

    philosophia, this actually has an answer.

    I’m not picking sides because I don’t like either side. What I don’t understand is why those who are radical feminists insist that if you’re not on their side, you’re on the side of rapists, sexists, etc. The dichotomy is simplistic and false.

    Because that’s how the specific cognitive bias which is bigotry has been proven to work. When a person never sees women or PoCs taking the lead role in movies, they’re likely to grow up thinking diverse heroes don’t exist and cannot exist. When someone never hears about religions existing that aren’t Christianity, they’re more likely to believe Christianity is normal and nonbelievers are untrustworthy. When people never meet anyone who’s lesbian, queer, or trans*, they’re likely to believe those types of people are scary Others instead of equals. And when people never hear about the realities of rape and rape victims, they’re going to believe the mythology. Remaining individually neutral results in unexamined bias.

    Read up on unconscious bias for a start. The sidebar here on Pharyngula links to a collection of resources, next to the Lounge and Thunderdome links.

  128. anteprepro says

    I’m not picking sides because I don’t like either side. What I don’t understand is why those who are radical feminists insist that if you’re not on their side, you’re on the side of rapists, sexists, etc. The dichotomy is simplistic and false.

    Oh yes. “Radical feminists”. Irrational feminists. A pox on both houses!

    Fucking Neutrals.

  129. Nick Gotts says

    I think we can add anyone with “philosophy” or some cognate term in their nym to those with “sceptic”, “rational” etc. as unlikely to be worth paying any attention to. Interesting, isn’t it?

  130. says

    Patience. Is. Gone.

    Philosophia, every damn thing you uttered was refuted in the grenade thread you insensitive fuckwit.
    No, PZ should not have gone to the police.
    GET IT THROUGH YOUR STATUS QUO ENABLING NEUTRON STAR DENSE “BRAIN”:
    The police do not handle rape cases well, if at all. Going to the police is unreliable.

    Moreover, it is clear a massive starfart just went off in your brain bc going to the police—thats not what Jane Doe wants.
    The FIRST…1st..#1 thing one should do is offer support to victims of rape. You do not show your support by acting contrary to their wishes.
    Are you this goddamn fuckwitted in meatspace or do you just play asswipe online?

  131. philosophia says

    #166 Mouthby: According to dictionary.com: Patriarchy is defined as “a form of social organization in which the father is the supreme authority in the family, clan, or tribe and descent is reckoned in the male line, with the children belonging to the father’s clan or tribe.” The second definition is a society, community or country based on this social organization.

    According to Wikipedia radical feminism is “a perspective within feminism that focuses on the hypothesis of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on the assertion that male supremacy oppresses women.”

  132. anteprepro says

    (“Frye” has an “e”? I thought it was just “Fry”).

    It is just Fry.

    Remaining individually neutral results in unexamined bias.

    Truth. (Also, I think it might also work in reverse as well)

  133. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For example, my opinion is that Mr. Myers was morally incorrect to not go through the proper legal channels in making a serious charge against Mr. Shermer.

    What are those proper legal channels for a warning the MS is a sexual predator, and women should stay away from him, and be aware of the MO he uses? We aren’t radical feminists. We are simple feminists. You are a radical MRA fuckwit.

  134. says

    philosophia:

    For example, my opinion is that Mr. Myers was morally incorrect to not go through the proper legal channels in making a serious charge against Mr. Shermer.

    And how would he do that? Mr. Myers cannot press charges against Mr. Shermer. Only the victim (known as Jane Doe) can do that. So, your analysis of the situation is simplistic and false.

    However, I think that some of the ideas of radical feminism are overstated.

    What exactly is radical feminism? How is it different from regular, standard-issue feminism?

    For example, to say that we have a patriarchy in this country is a bit of an overstatement when women have the majority of the vote in the country and in every state.

    And that’s why women have a solid majority in the House and the Senate. Excellent, non-simplistic, non-false argument! I imagine it also explains why around half of all CEOs and other corporate executives are women. (Actually, women hold just 21 of the Fortune 500 CEO positions, so I kinda fibbed.)

    The patriarchy isn’t in quantity. It’s in quality. How are women treated? In this very thread, we had someone claim that even if Jane Doe’s statements are true, we’re all just participating in character assassination. That is, think of the menz!

    The patriarchy is evident in a society that tolerates threats of rape and death when women say things like, “Guys, don’t do that.” The patriarchy is evident in the pay gap between women and men. It’s evident in the promotions women don’t get. It’s evident when people like you ignore all those facts and claim the patriarchy doesn’t exist.

    That’s why feminists often say that, if you don’t recognize privilege for what it is, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    And if you ignore women who report rape, or claim if she was raped she should’ve gone to the police even though her official report was ignored, you’re shielding potential rapists. That makes you on the side of rapists.

    It’s really pretty damned clear, and while it’s not simple, it certainly isn’t complex in the way you seem to think.

  135. Pteryxx says

    to Irisvanderpluym: I remember that when you first spoke out here as a survivor, you said something to the effect of “Me too but I’ll talk about it when I’m ready.” I’m really touched that you’re now able to share more of your story. That’s a big step and you deserve all the congratz.

  136. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    a perspective within feminism that focuses on the hypothesis of patriarchy as a system of power that organizes society into a complex of relationships based on the assertion that male supremacy oppresses women.”

    No hypothesis. Patriarchy exists, exihibited by the radical MRA fuckwits who try to stifle debate with aggressive tactics including rape threats, disruption of normal activities, and blacklisting those who don’t let them harass and rape women with impunity.

  137. richiyaado says

    Toe unhesitatingly withdrawn, I’ll just ask: What are ‘neutrals’? (Presumably, I am thought to be one).

  138. Nick Gotts says

    BTW, philosophia, the “my wife hates feminism, but I’m in favour of it so long as it doesn’t go too far” line is hackneyed and unconvincing. Even if the first part is true, you are an unknown commenter with zero credibility, so why would anyone take it seriously? We can tell that the second part isn’t, because you have fuck-all idea what basic terms such as “radical feminism” and “patriarchy” mean.

  139. says

    @philosophia:

    The same words can mean different things depending upon the cases in which they’re used:

    Theory when used in most cases means a guess or conjecture. If you’re talking about it in a scientific manner, it’s an explanation that, given the current ability to observe or experiment on the topic, best describes said topic.

    Your definition of patriarchy is not the feminist definition of patriarchy.

  140. says

    Wikipedia is not a good source for encapsulating large amounts of data. Feel free to use scholar.google.com

    Since feminism is over a hundred years of philosophy, research and ethics, you have some reading to do. On the plus side, myself and others have actually organized a data base for you. Next to PZ’s portrait, there’s a set of links labelled social justice. Feel free to browse in there.

  141. anteprepro says

    Well that’s curious. I ponder to myself: Why did our good philosopher friend decide to quote definitions from two different sources? What possible use is that? So…

    Wikipedia on patriarchy:

    Patriarchy (rule by fathers) is a social system in which the male is the primary authority figure central to social organization and the central roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination.

    Could it be because the dictionary definition just happened to be slightly more consistent with The Neutral’s argument than the wikipedia definition? Nah. Couldn’t be.

  142. carlie says

    What I don’t understand is why those who are radical feminists insist that if you’re not on their side, you’re on the side of rapists, sexists, etc.

    Are you familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order, or at the minimum, having a vote on a topic in a meeting? Often in meetings people vote for a motion, against a motion, and then count those who wish to abstain from the vote, but Robert’s Rules is clear that you don’t have to ever count abstentions. Why? Because abstained votes automatically count for the majority. That’s just how it works out. If there are 50 people in the room, and 2 vote for, 1 against, and the rest abstain, the motion carries. That means that, effectively, every abstained vote is equivalent to voting for the motion. Not trying to change the majority opinion is supporting the majority opinion. Not going against the status quo is supporting the status quo. Our society is currently supportive of rape culture. It downgrades the importance of victim testimony, it treats victims as liars until proven otherwise, it sends messages in all sorts of ways that women don’t have to consent to sex and mean are just sex horndogs and women are prudes and men have to force sex out of them. That’s the majority vote. If you abstain from making a decision, you’re allowing that side to win, and therefore siding with them whether you meant to or not.

    Jason made another analogy that I like a lot, using a scene from Star Trek to illustrate “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”. Try this one and see if that position is any more clear.

  143. carlie says

    She tells me that feminism has made life more difficult for women.

    Of course it has. It’s always more difficult to make your own decisions than to have your place in life pre-selected for you , with a minimum of your own input allowed. “Difficult” being a subjective term, of course.

  144. says

    I am on the side of right in the face of all those who are comfortable doing wrong. I am on the side of the voices who have been stilled by those who take being able to abuse as their right. I am on the side of all those who have been hurt by those who believe they have a right to twist their power and by those who believe they have the right to other people’s bodies. I refuse to back down when confronted by all those who howl in favour of the status quo.

    To all those harmed, I stand with you. To all those standing firm in the face of wrongdoing, I stand with you.

  145. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @philosophia

    Jesus fuck…

    Go and read this. Read it carefully. It explains patriarchy, kyriarchy and intersectionality rather well and concisely.

  146. says

    @FZ Peach:

    Though you’ll likely get banned cause I think you’re a sockpuppet:

    PZ’s already said the only thing that will possibly happen is that if women believe the stories they’ll be unlikely to hang out with him at bars in case they’re true, and he couldn’t care less.

  147. says

    richiyaado:

    Also, what is an MRA?

    It stands for “Mens’ Rights Activist.” It’s someone who believes men are at a legal and/or social disadvantage due to various progressive legislation, probably starting with the 19th Amendment (the one that gave women the Constitutional right to vote).

    While there are certain issues (for instance, the tendency of a mother instead of a father to gain custody of a child), the MRA movement has become the vitriolic and self-absorbed defender of male privilege. jimashby is a perfect example in this thread.

  148. Maureen Brian says

    As I sat down to read this thread, on the radio behind me the evening news was confirming that a man had been charged with 12 sexual offences. This is a man of enormous charm, highly regarded and liked in his profession and this dozen are ones where the prosecutors think they have a good hope of conviction. There are others which will not be taken to court and the earliest that will is from 1977.

    This is one of a series of cases where both police and prosecutors have had to come to terms with both recognising patterns of behaviour and acknowledging that loyalty to institutions can get in the way of clear thought.

    So think on, jimashby! The facts which come out in the wash may not be the ones you wanted to see.

    —————

    Of course you did the right thing, PZ, and to be honest I cannot imagine you doing any different.

  149. anteprepro says

    What are ‘neutrals’?

    That term is unique to me. I use it took about smug, self-satisfied fence-sitters who love to talk about how they haven’t picked a side, and are passionate about their lack of passion on the issue.

    Also, what is an MRA?

    Wow. Did you happen to think that maybe you are missing some valuable context before you barged in here and started lecturing us? Because, yeah, you are obviously missing some key context here.

    (MRA is Men’s Rights Activist. There have been arguments about feminism, harassment, etc. within the atheist movement that have dominated this and several other atheist blogs for at least the last two years. MRAs and other assorted assholes have often been as antagonist as possible. Shermer himself stepped into the debate a while ago and immediately whined about how someone pointing out a potentially sexist remark of his was a witch hunt. MRAs and hero worshippers have frequently plagued this site whenever an atheist leader’s sexist actions or remarks were pointed out.)

    My prescription for you is: Lurk moar.

  150. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @FZ Peach

    “That’s not the point”

    Rather ironic, coming from someone who has completely missed the point.

  151. says

    Also, what is an MRA?

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 1:

    Explainer: What’s an MRA?
    http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2007/10/explainer-whats-mra.html

    Rape Culture
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_culture

    Rape Culture 101
    https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/rape-culture-101/

    http://victimblaming.tumblr.com/

    Excellent explanation of privilege
    https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/

  152. says

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 2:

    Nice Guy™ 101.
    http://synecdochic.livejournal.com/214607.html

    Schroedinger’s Rapist.
    http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-starling-schrodinger%E2%80%99s-rapist-or-a-guy%E2%80%99s-guide-to-approaching-strange-women-without-being-maced/

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

    Predator Redux
    https://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/predator-redux/

    Things Happen to Men Too
    http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/phmt-argument/

  153. says

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 3:

    XYOnline
    http://www.xyonline.net/

    The Male Privilege Checklist
    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/

    Intent is not magic
    http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/

    Straight Privilege Checklist
    http://lgbteducationforum.com/?p=123

    Rape Prevention Aimed At Rapists Works
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/01/08/rape-prevention-aimed-at-rapists-does-work/

  154. Stu says

    I am a regular reader, usually lurking.
    P.Z. reading freethought blogs in general, and your blog posts in particular, have taught me a lot about myself and the society we live in.

    As someone said above “I picked my side ages ago”. You are fighting the good fight. I’d like to think that I would have the courage to do the same.

  155. yonnie says

    That’s like saying you’re going to avoid being rational because irrational is better? Somehow?

    If you think being an Atheist is somehow going to make life easier for you, then think again. Your irrational friends are going to make life rough for you. You need to grow some balls and put your friends where they belong. They’re not friends, they’re idiots and they need to learn that fact. It’s your job to let them know they are being stupid and if they are too stupid to learn, then you need to figure out how you’re going to tolerate them as friends.

    Once you’ve taken the Atheist pill and opened your eyes, there is no going back without a lobotomy.

  156. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That’s not the point; believe the survivors.

    Cryptic. Try expounding so everybody can understand your idea.

  157. says

    I guess “radical feminism” is the counterpart of “new atheism.” A way of saying: “I’m ok with your silly ideas, as long as you don’t try to change the way things are.”

  158. says

    F.Z. Peach: You don’t get it. This is not about being blithely gullible. There still has to be evidence.

    Oh, and buh-bye!

  159. anteprepro says

    That’s like saying you’re going to avoid being rational because irrational is better? Somehow?

    WTF are you responding to?

  160. Rey Fox says

    A way of saying: “I’m ok with your silly ideas, as long as you don’t try to change the way things are.”

    BAM!

  161. philosophia says

    Wow, what a hostile group! It sounds like you all have completely given up on rational discussion with someone who disagrees with you. Remember, I’m actually a feminist! I don’t even disagree completely (although as far as many of you are concerned I do)!

    #175 “Please tell me, how can PZ go through legal channels without breaking that person’s trust and revealing their identity? He can’t, can he?

    I didn’t say that. I think PZ should have encouraged all the women who have been sexally assaulted or mistreated by Shermer to come forward at the same time. There’s strength and credibility in numbers. If he was successful, justice would have been served and the truth would have come out. Shermer would have been put out of commission, assuming he is guilty. That path would have been better; it would have left no doubt about his guilt and the credibility of the rape accusation. Of course, I cannot predict the future…(Please note: I do not consider my opinions to be absolute truth.)

    #177 “Because that’s how the specific cognitive bias which is bigotry has been proven to work. When a person never sees women or PoCs taking the lead role in movies, they’re likely to grow up thinking diverse heroes don’t exist and cannot exist.”

    So I should modify my belief system not based on reason and evidence but based on (what you consider to be) the most positive to society? I simply cannot operate or think that way.

    #178 ”Fucking Neutrals.” This is not a reasoned argument and I am not neutral. You don’t seem to understand that complex issues are not always a matter of white, shading into gray, shading into black. Sometimes there is the nuance and color!

    #178 “Kindly fuck off.” I’ll be happy to oblige. I, perhaps mistakenly, thought that there might be a reasoned discussion possible here, if not, there’ll be no more posts after this one.

  162. Pteryxx says

    For y’all’s information, some wonderful quotes from over in Jason’s latest.

    Jackie: THE COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! sums it up:

    Anyone who says that a woman telling the truth is as unbelievable as magical men who live in the sky is no one I ever want to meet irl. That is just plain scary thinking.

    and from Scr… Archivist:

    But I worked out that, in order to be that wasted, I must have drunk over three bottles of wine. But I only ever had one glass!

    Maybe it’s time to name this phenomenon. I suggest “Drink of Theseus”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

  163. clydey2times says

    Anyone who is convinced of Michael Shermer’s guilt or innocence is not a skeptic. I’m sorry, but this tribalistic nonsense is an absolute embarrassment.

    Why is everyone on here so utterly convinced of his guilt? There isn’t a shred of evidence that should be sufficient to convince people either way.

    This is not skepticism. It is the kind of confirmation bias that results when you feel like you’re on a particular team.

  164. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If he was successful, justice would have been served and the truth would have come out.

    Why do radical MRA fuckwits always go with criminal trials? Must be a liberturd. If not criminal, it is “ethical”.

    I, perhaps mistakenly, thought that there might be a reasoned discussion possible here, if not, there’ll be no more posts after this one.

    That would be fine I you were offering a reasoned discussion. You aren’t. Too many presuppositional tells of a radial MRA fuckwit.

  165. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @philosophia

    If we’re hostile, it’s because we’ve had days and days of idiots needing the simplest things explaining to them, and we’re sick of it.

    I didn’t say that. I think PZ should have encouraged all the women who have been sexally assaulted or mistreated by Shermer to come forward at the same time. There’s strength and credibility in numbers. If he was successful, justice would have been served and the truth would have come out. Shermer would have been put out of commission, assuming he is guilty. That path would have been better; it would have left no doubt about his guilt and the credibility of the rape accusation. Of course, I cannot predict the future…

    OK, him behind bars is certainly desireable. However, Jane Doe wanted to remain anonymous. Therefore, she didn’t go to the police. Therefore, what are PZ’s options?

  166. says

    clydey2times:

    Why is everyone on here so utterly convinced of his guilt?

    The goal isn’t to determine whether or not Shermer is guilty. The goal is to report a traumatic experience someone had with Shermer, in the hopes of warning other women. The goal is the reduce the potential for rape.

    Shermer’s guilt or innocence isn’t what’s at stake here. Women not being raped is.

  167. Pteryxx says

    clydey2times:

    Harassment, Rape, and the Difference Between Skepticism and Denialism

    To make an analogy that skeptics should understand: Think about how creationists say, “Where’s your evidence for evolution? I’ve never seen life spontaneously generate from a peanut butter jar! I’ve never seen fish evolve into mammals in one generation!” Or think about how global warming denialists say, “Where’s your evidence for global warming? Why isn’t the Antarctic turning into Florida? Why was it so cold in Minnesota last winter?” No, of course not. That’s not the kind of evidence you’d expect to see to support evolution or global warming — because that’s not how evolution and global warming work. The kind of evidence you’d expect to see to support evolution is exactly the kind of evidence we do find: evidence from genetics, geology, anatomy, fossil records, etc., all consistent with one another.

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

    The inability to secure a criminal conviction, the unwillingness of a victim to put themselves through the unique hell that is trying to report a sex crime, or the fact that the undesirable behavior didn’t quite break current laws, doesn’t mean we’re required to allow predators to wander at will through our spaces and within our organizations. That doesn’t mean we must keep their name and offense secret. We can and must act to remove them from our community, and warn others to protect themselves from these known predators.

    As for the presumption of innocence? The only place that applies is within a criminal court. The jury is required to presume it until the situation is proved beyond reasonable doubt. We are free to form our own opinion on the strength of the available evidence at any time.

  168. Sunday Afternoon says

    @clydey2times, comment 221:

    See my comment #164 about parallels with the cycling community. There is strong suspicion of a problem, but there is an omerta in the atheist community that prevents this from being publicly acknowledged. There are enough people coming forward to indicate a problem that I accept that there is one.

  169. says

    If by reasoned discussion, trolls mean “listen and agree and no naught words”, they’re right. Pharyngula is full of naughty people who expect to argue vociferously and provide links (like the link pile up above). The refusal to acknowledge that (while whining about the big meanies) is a deficiency on the part of the troll.

    Jebus, trolls, if you think Pharyngula is bad, you should try to avoid academia altogether. This is decidedly less nasty than faculty meetings and in-class debates.

  170. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Anyone who is convinced of Michael Shermer’s guilt or innocence is not a skeptic.

    This is bullshit, and I speak as a 30 year skeptic. A skeptic goes by the best available evidence. Only hyperskeptics and pseudoskeptics pretend otherwise.

    There isn’t a shred of evidence that should be sufficient to convince people either way.

    Spoken as a true hyperskeptic. There is testimony by several women which back the rape MO of MS. But then you don’t think a woman’s testimony is evidence. A court of law would beg to differ.

    This is not skepticism.

    You repeat yourself showing a lack of proper skepticism, cogency, and ability to digest real evidence. So, I will reflect your hyperskepticism back to you, and not believe a word you say. Don’t like it? Shut the fuck up and listen.

  171. anteprepro says

    Wow, what a hostile group! It sounds like you all have completely given up on rational discussion with someone who disagrees with you.

    “Hostile” and “rational” are not mutually exclusive, oh Bringer of Straw Vulcans.

    I think PZ should have encouraged all the women who have been sexally assaulted or mistreated by Shermer to come forward at the same time.

    Because it would be totally cool and acceptable to pressure women who haven’t felt comfortable going to authorities into going to the authorities. Jane Doe mentioned how she was afraid to expose her identity. Fuck that though, PZ was supposed to make her overcome that fear. Because the fear obviously must have been illogical and overcome by sheer reason. Or it was purely a psychological issue that PZ could help her overcome through e-mail therapy. But never, ever consider that Jane Doe might actually have good reasons for not coming forward and that Jane Doe might know what is best for Jane Doe! Because that way lies chaos!

    You don’t seem to understand that complex issues are not always a matter of white, shading into gray, shading into black. Sometimes there is the nuance and color!

    You and those similar to yourself, who present themselves as Somewhere in the Middle, as special third parties who sit on fences or found a special Goldilocks zone that is just the right distance between two “extremes”, just don’t seem to realize just how dark the tint is on their much lauded colors.

  172. Ingdigo Jump says

    Ok I’m going to for the sake of arguement agree that I dislike Shermer and thus believe bad things about him.

    So what now?

  173. says

    Nick Gotts
    philosophia actually does have a history here. It is not one which adds to their credibility.

    philosophia
    Seriously, fuck off. You bring nothing to the table and never have.

  174. clydey2times says

    Rey, testimony *is* evidence. It just isn’t sufficient evidence to convince me that someone is a rapist.

    No one should be closed to the possibility that Shermer is either guilty or innocent. If you find that you are convinced of Shermer’s guilt, you are not being a skeptic. If you find that you are convinced of his innocence, you are not being a skeptic.

    This is pure tribalism. It has nothing to do with evidence.

  175. Ingdigo Jump says

    This is pure tribalism. It has nothing to do with evidence.

    Yet everyone here would identify as skeptics.

    Why hasn’t skepticism succeded in it’s goal then?

  176. says

    Why is everyone on here so utterly convinced of his guilt?

    Oooh, pick me, I know!

    Dear Hyperskeptical Nitwit,

    As for being all skeptical and stuff, well, when a person is looking at a situation and puts on their critical thinking cap, they weigh the situation. In this particular situation, you have the fact that well over 90% of rape testimony is true, while the percentage of false accusations is very low. Then you have the fact that someone coming forward with the testimony of their rape has nothing whatsoever to gain from doing so, and neither does the person who helped her get her statement out there. In fact, they stand to lose a great deal. Then you have a person’s history. That a person has a known history of, at the very least, highly skeevy behaviour, this weighs heavily.

    So, for those of us capable of thinking, rather than wandering in, utterly ignorant and totally puffed up about their mad hyperskeptical skillz, it’s rather easy.

  177. Ingdigo Jump says

    Seriously, assume I am baised against SHermer (not hard to do). What do you think you’re going to do? Shame me? Argue me into a rational position?

  178. Sunday Afternoon says

    @clydey2times, #235:

    Do you accept the wider point that there is a harassment problem in the community?

    If not, why do you not accept the huge quantity of evidence from people indicating that there is?

  179. clydey2times says

    Nerd, I can already tell that there’s no point in interacting with you. You have already implied that I’m a misogynist, despite me clearly suggesting that both sides are at fault here.

    I don’t care whether it’s a man or woman who gives testimony, I require more than that before I am willing to brand someone a rapist. Am I convinced that Shermer is innocent? Absolutely not. My mind isn’t made up.

  180. Pteryxx says

    I didn’t say that. I think PZ should have encouraged all the women who have been sexally assaulted or mistreated by Shermer to come forward at the same time. There’s strength and credibility in numbers.

    He actually did, through the act of going public with Jane Doe’s story and making clear that he’s willing to vouch for her credibility even at risk to himself. At least two other people spoke up and PZ added their testimony to the updated Grenade thread. What he didn’t do was TELL survivors they SHOULD come forward. Survivors need to make that call for themselves, since they’re invariably going to be attacked and accused of lying (this thread much?) which can be retraumatizing.

  181. clydey2times says

    Ingdigo,

    I am not trying to shame anyone. But if you recognise your bias, why not correct for it?

  182. anteprepro says

    testimony *is* evidence. It just isn’t sufficient evidence to convince me that someone is a rapist.

    Well congratufuckinglations to you. You win True Skeptic of The Skeptical Year (a year which doubts that it is 365.25 days long because it hasn’t seen the video tapes yet).

    This is pure tribalism. It has nothing to do with evidence.

    That describes your unreasonable doubts in the name of preserving the reputation of prominent skeptic quite well.

  183. says

    clydey2times:

    f you find that you are convinced of Shermer’s guilt, you are not being a skeptic. If you find that you are convinced of his innocence, you are not being a skeptic.

    If you ignore the testimony of Jane Doe, you are not being a skeptic.

  184. Rey Fox says

    Thanks for sidestepping my question. Let me rephrase: What would you consider SUFFICIENT evidence?

  185. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    @clydey2times

    Anyone who is convinced of Michael Shermer’s guilt or innocence is not a skeptic. I’m sorry, but this tribalistic nonsense is an absolute embarrassment.

    Why is everyone on here so utterly convinced of his guilt? There isn’t a shred of evidence that should be sufficient to convince people either way.

    This is not skepticism. It is the kind of confirmation bias that results when you feel like you’re on a particular team.

    Convinced of his guilt? Oh, another one who hasn’t been paying attention.

    No. No, the point is here that there is no reasonable reason not to believe the woman who has come forward. Therefore, when said victim asks PZ to distribute her story as a warning to other women, the moral thing to do is distribute the story as a warning to other women.

    @The Horde

    How is this difficult? Are these people idiots? Bah. It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m all out of spoons. See you all tomorrow.

  186. says

    Echoing Pteryxx here, for all those incredible hyperskeptics, who can’t seem to figure out what a sidebar is, let alone scrolling and locating links (golly, the brainpower you display is truly awesome, just not in the way you all think):

    Basic education links ahead. Be daring! Be different! Don’t be the same old doucheweasel! Excite your brain with learning! Short form: click the pretty blue words and read.

    Part 4:

    Social Justice and Economics
    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Economics#Social_justice_and_economics

    Social Justice Link Roundup
    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Feminist_link_roundup

    Implicit Bias (We All Haz It!)
    http://pharyngula.wikia.com/wiki/Feminist_link_roundup#Implicit_bias

  187. anteprepro says

    despite me clearly suggesting that both sides are at fault here.

    God fucking dammit, I hate you people.

  188. clydey2times says

    Caine,

    Are you suggesting that ALL rape accusations should be provisionally accepted?

    OK, here’s another question. Let’s take the grenade post and assume it was posted by someone else. Instead of Michael Shermer, PZ is the accused.

    Would you be convinced of PZ’s guilt based on the same evidence?

  189. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Gods I wish I was half as eloquent as most of you. Caine @ #199, I got goosebumps, so very well said!

  190. glodson says

    clydey2times:

    You have already implied that I’m a misogynist, despite me clearly suggesting that both sides are at fault here.

    The fuck? Both sides are at fault? How the fuck?

  191. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It just isn’t sufficient evidence to convince me that someone is a rapist.

    Who gives a shit about your criteria? When that person is a hyperskeptic and not a rational, thinking person who understands the situation, and does accept real evidence.

    My mind isn’t made up.

    Of course not. You don’t have a mind that understands various types of evidence. If you did, you would understand two things. This isn’t a court of law, and the OP was intended as a warning to women to avoid a known predator, with corroborating evidence of his predations. The second is that pretending to not take sides when clear and convincing corroborating testimony is given means you have and agenda. The MRA agenda.

  192. Rey Fox says

    Additionally, how do you know how “utterly convinced” everyone is? Is this going to be like the old agnostic argument wherein we have to declare agnosticism if we’re not really really rilly rilly 100% no-foolin’ sure that God doesn’t exist?

    So what now?

    Well, that’s easy, Ing. You need to confess your sin of not liking somebody and drop any potential “boycott” you may have against said person because that makes the Free Market cry, or something.

  193. says

    PZ, 5 years ago, you wrote,

    We are not princes of the earth, we are the descendants of worms, and any nobility must be earned.

    You have certainly earned yours.

    Thank you.

  194. carlie says

    Wow, what a hostile group! It sounds like you all have completely given up on rational discussion with someone who disagrees with you

    Y U no address my comments that don’t fit your preconceived bias of what our comments are like? :(

  195. clydey2times says

    Rey,

    First of all, I would need to know who the accuser is. Secondly, I’d need to hear more than one side of the story. I don’t know when Shermer will give his side, but I think it’s worth listening to his side before convicting him.

    That would be a good start.

  196. Victorious Parasol says

    I’m convinced it’s a bad idea for a woman to be in a room/bar that includes Michael Shermer and alcohol, thanks to various people sharing their stories. At the very least, it seems the prudent course.

  197. says

    clydey2times:

    Are you suggesting that ALL rape accusations should be provisionally accepted?

    By other women? Absolutely. For the sake of their safety.

    And again, Sweet Pea, that’s the entire fucking point. It isn’t to establish Shermer’s guilt or innocence. It’s to warn other women about Shermer’s rapey behavior.

    Are you at least going to talk about whether or not it’s skepticism for women to take the warnings of other women seriously?

  198. Pteryxx says

    Are you suggesting that ALL rape accusations should be provisionally accepted?

    As a matter of fact…

    (TRIGGER WARNINGs for rape and dismissal)

    —–

    Until last week, Norfolk, Virginia police classified sexual assault claims to be “unfounded” — or not valid — by default. According to the Virginian-Pilot, a 22-year-old woman’s case prompted Norfolk police chief Mike Goldsmith to update the policy so that officers must now assume rape victims are telling the truth.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/08/13/2457991/virginia-law-enforcement-rape/

    (bolds mine, as obviously that makes words truthfuller)

  199. anteprepro says

    What? You don’t like the No True Skeptic fallacy?

    Well, I don’t care for that either.

    But I really fucking loathe “Both Sides” bullshit. And especially the false equivalence of saying that we are just as “at fault” (for something?) as whatever the side opposite of ours is (a collection of hero worshipers, denialists, MRAs, and the rabid anti-FTB brigade?). I mean, fucking seriously?

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Would you be convinced of PZ’s guilt based on the same evidence?

    Gee, corroborating testimony from several independent women, plus known backside gossip? Very likely. But there isn’t any. Just made up bullshit from the MRA intimidators, aggressor, and would be harassers and rapists.

  201. clydey2times says

    @Glodson,

    Yes, both sides are at fault for taking such a strong stance either way.

    Again, if PZ or Ed Brayton had been accused, would the same evidence be sufficient for you?

  202. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    but I think it’s worth listening to his side before convicting him.

    Show me the court of law here? Otherwise, your statement is nothing but MRA hyperbole. Fuckwittery in other words. Nobody is convicted, nobody is punished, nobody has anything sticking to them that wasn’t there before. Just a little more stuff adhering.

  203. says

    clydey2times:

    Again, if PZ or Ed Brayton had been accused, would the same evidence be sufficient for you?

    It would be sufficient for me to not leave my wife drinking with them.

    Which is the entire point. Y’know, the point you are so studiously avoiding.

  204. says

    @clydey:

    Based on the testimony of a woman who doesn’t want to come public that PZ got her drunk and raped her (in some other forum naturally) and that there were corroborations from five other persons of similar activities, and someone came forward to also corroborate the event who was in no way a fan of the person to whom the woman came?

    Yes. I would.

  205. clydey2times says

    @Nigel,

    You are missing the point. If the information is out there, I would expect you to take it into account.

    I’m asking whether you would be convinced of PZ’s guilt, the way others seem to be of Shermer’s guilt? If someone gave you that information about PZ, would you have felt justified in branding him a rapist on your blog?

  206. carlie says

    Again, I ask the hyperskeptics: What would you consider to be evidence?

    I’m pretty sure it involves video of the event, with the harasser twirling his moustache and monologuing asides to the camera detailing what he planned to do at every moment.

  207. piegasm says

    Again, if PZ or Ed Brayton had been accused, would the same evidence be sufficient for you?

    No, because:

    a) Michael Shermer has not earned the same trust that PZ has with this community and
    b) because PZ doesn’t have a years long history of being a creepy, rapey, harass-y asshole.

    Any other questions?

  208. anteprepro says

    Yes, both sides are at fault for taking such a strong stance either way.

    Yes. Such a strong stance. Can’t we all be exactly as milquetoast about everything as clydey is? Can’t we all just mumble with slight frustration, realize that we must be Skeptical and therefore can’t say whether anything is true or false, wave our hands in the air and call it a day? Can’t we all just feel accomplished by chiding people for caring about things too much? Can’t we all just meet in the middle, and sit down, take a nap, and accept things as they currently are, because to reject things requires too much proof that a thing is bad and too much evidence that a given alternative is good? Can’t we all just accept the status quo and bitterly live on in forced peace and suppressive quiet? Isn’t that the best way to just get along? Isn’t that the best way to use skepticism?

  209. says

    Philosophia @218:
    We have tried rational discourse with you pseudoskeptics. It does not work so I like injecting some widdle bad words to express my frustration and how I think of you fuckers. You can take your antiquated ideas of discourse back to the same place you pull everything else .

    I make no apologies for not being nice to you or those of your ilk.

  210. clydey2times says

    @Nerd

    You do realise that “convinct” can be used in more than one context, right? You can convict someone in your own mind.

  211. glodson says

    @ clydey2times

    If I got the same evidence from what I deem a credible source who has no reason to lie, and stands to lose a great deal in sharing the testimony, I would. PZ has everything to lose and nothing to gain.

    That still doesn’t explain your “both sides at fault” nonsense. These accusations are either true or false. You want to stand in the middle ground? Fine, but you are echoing the constant chorus of voices that never seem to believe the victim.

  212. anteprepro says

    You can convict someone in your own mind.

    Serious. Fucking. Business.

    What a fucking whining little pedant.

  213. says

    You have already implied that I’m a misogynist, despite me clearly suggesting that both sides are at fault here.

    Thus spake the almighty penised one. FFS, no, both sides are not at fault. If you get nothing else straight in that undertaxed brain of yours, get this one thing right: the only thing that causes rape is a rapist. Full stop. Nope, you don’t get to argue that. Centuries worth of people, just like you, have been blaming those who have been raped or sexually assaulted for what happened to them. STOP DOING THAT. NOW.

    You should take a moment to realize that by doing what you are doing, blaming victims, makes you a fine example of an indecent, immoral, ethical waste of a person. You are not being a decent human being. You are not making an attempt to be a better human being. You are making no effort whatsoever to educate yourself, taking the risk of learning, taking the risk of seeing things from a point of view different than your own, in spite of the repeated attempts to provide you with the tools you need to educate yourself. Nope, much more comfortable to surf on a wave of smug filled gloat. You should be ashamed, for adding to all the harm and damage in the world.

    I’ll give this one more shot. Actually click a link and try to learn something here. Centuries of telling people at risk of rape that the onus to not be raped is on them does not work. You know what does work? Targeting the rapists. Rape Prevention Aimed At Rapists Works
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/01/08/rape-prevention-aimed-at-rapists-does-work/

    Again, the Don’t Be That Guy campaign works. It works. People learning to become effective, observant bystanders watching for predatory behaviour? It works. It work. It works. Jesus fuckin’ Christ, you want us to be impressed with that oh-so-skeptical brain of yours? Then put it to fucking work already.

  214. clydey2times says

    @anteprepro

    Yes, how unreasonable of me to suggest that you keep an open mind.

    I didn’t say that you aren’t justified in leaning one way or the other, but I did say that it’s worth keeping an open mind.

    Are you really going to pretend that your conclusions about Shermer are entirely evidenced-based and unrelated to the tribal nature of the divide in the community?

  215. Pteryxx says

    Oh, and I’d expect an innocent person to say, “Hey, my record speaks for itself and if anyone doesn’t want to be near me at parties, that’s fine with me.” Which PZ has in fact done. Instead of filing clumsy lawsuits to silence the accusers.

  216. piegasm says

    Re: my 270

    To clarify:

    If the situations were identical and you just swapped names: yes I believe the accuser.

    My comment at 270 was with comments like the ones we saw in the grenade thread with random MRA spokes-assholes pulling accusations out of their nether regions in mind. In that case, no, for the reasons I listed.

  217. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If the information is out there,

    Hypotheticals are an MRA non-sequitur technique to avoid having to look at situation. A warning to women, not a criminal charge. The evidence is clear and compeling to anybody who isn’t dismissing the women’s word. Why are you dismissing their word? Why the inane hypotheticals, typical of someone who has no argument and evidence?

  218. glodson says

    I’m pretty sure it involves video of the event, with the harasser twirling his moustache and monologuing asides to the camera detailing what he planned to do at every moment.

    That’s not enough. In the course of the event, there would need be a powerpoint display showing the key moments at which consent was not received, and the harasser would need to sign a denial of consent form in triplicate. And at least three eye witnessed who produced notarized testimony.

    Then we could entertain that harassment might have happened, it was just really the victim’s fault for being so enticing.

  219. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Yes, how unreasonable of me to suggest that you keep an open mind.

    Only a fuckwit that dismisses the women’s testimony would say that. The evidence is compelling for a circumstantial case. You know that. But then, why do I get the feeling you are also a predator, since you are trying to deflect legitimate criticism away from one?

  220. says

    Carlie:

    I’m pretty sure it involves video of the event, with the harasser twirling his moustache and monologuing asides to the camera detailing what he planned to do at every moment.

    I don’t know, Carlie. (Thinks of Steubenville.) I don’t think that would be enough for all the pristine hyperskeptical agnostics. We had better add a minimum of four male witnesses who meet the purity standards of hyperskeptical objectiveness.

  221. says

    @238: IndigoJump —

    Sorry, but you don’t agree with the charges against Shermer because you dislike him.

    You believe the charges because they’re likely true. Liking or not liking Shermer has zero to do with it.

    Lance Armstrong was a hero of mine for a LOOOOOOONG time. And then the lies were finally exposed. And despite liking Armstrong, admiring him even, I came to the sad conclusion that the charges against him were true. Even though he never failed a drug test. Even though the accusations were corroborated only by statements made by witnesses, many of them not even eyewitnesses to his taking PEDs.

    So, let’s not pull out the “I dislike the man, therefore any bad thing said about him is more likely to be true” fallacy, OK?

    Instead, look at the evidence. Not “legal” evidence — though a lot of this would be admissible in a court of law. Think Jerry Sandusky. Think Bill Clinton. Think Kobe Bryant. Think Mike Tyson.

    1. We have eyewitness testimony from the victim herself. You don’t know who she is, but that does not mean that she isn’t known. It’s not “anonymous” — it’s unknown to you. It’s a real woman who reported a factual encounter she had. She’s not saying they were abducted by a UFO. She’s saying he used alcohol as a weapon to incapacitate her so he could have sex with her.

    If she had saved a stained blue dress from that evening … well, let’s just say that someone would be very, very screwed right now. Too bad she didn’t. But we don’t only have this one report from this one person.

    2. That testimony from this victim was corroborated by others who were there, saw them together, and saw her reaction when she reported the incident the following day. In other words, direct testimony from witnesses that something happened, and that those two people were involved.

    3. There is also testimony from others who have come forward to say they were either victimized by this person in the same manner at different times and places, or witnessed the same behavior. In legal parlance, that’s called a pattern of behavior.

    4. You also have testimony from others who claim that they witnessed this person being … well … a sexist pig. Now, this is probably not admissible in a court of law.

    5. You also have the evidence that this person is highly sensitive to charges of sexism. Witness his vitriol over being called out for a relatively minor gaffe — “it’s more of a guy thing”.

    What you have here is a pattern of behavior, of overt actions that indicate a few things.

    A. He is unethical. An ethical person would not engage in the “topping off” practice. An ethical person would not use alcohol as a weapon to try to get someone into bed with them, nor even as a “tactic” to lower someone’s normal inhibitions.

    B. He is not moral. I don’t know the exact times/dates of these events, but I’ll bet a nickle that at least some of them occurred during a time when Shermer was married. Now, I’m more atheist than you are, but there is such a thing as morality, and one of the things in the moral code is that if you promise someone you’re not going to have sex with anyone else (as in the marriage contract), then it’s immoral to break that contract.

    C. He most likely engaged in unconsensual sex with at least one and probably more than one woman. In legal parlance, this is a tort. At minimum, he could be sued in civil court for damages related to his escapades.

    D. It is probable (ie, there is probable cause) to suggest that he indeed passed the line between using alcohol as a mere tactic to get someone to lower their inhibitions, and using it as a weapon to render one or more women incapacitated. That’s a crime. A felony in every state in the union, and probably every country that isn’t called “Somalia”. Whether or not you can get a prosecutor to add up those facts and file charges is irrelevant.

    So…what are you going to do about it?

    For starters — how about you support victims of sexual assault instead of questioning them. Go there first, and you’ll have taken the first step to being an ethical human being.

    Otherwise, please go elsewhere. Anywhere else.

  222. clydey2times says

    @Caine

    Do you ever stop to think about what you’re posting? You seem to have inferred an awful lot about me based on the fact that I, what, said that I’m not convinced of Shermer’s guilt or innocence?

    I’m apparently a misogynist, an MRA, and a victim blamer. On top of all that, I’m bad for the world.

    Anything else you want to add to the list, oh reasonable one?

  223. says

    clydey2times:

    I’m asking whether you would be convinced of PZ’s guilt, the way others seem to be of Shermer’s guilt?

    But that’s not the point, and you are avoiding that fact. The assumption of guilt is a byproduct of the assumption the person reporting the rape is telling the truth.

    As this isn’t a court of law, and the only intent is to warn others of Shermer’s behavior, your incessant yammering about skepticism with how it relates to Shermer’s* guilt or innocence is completely irrelevant. What is rational (whether or not it is skeptical) is the assumption the report is true. (It’s rational due to various reasons, not the least of which is statistical probability, the credibility of the venue, and the vouched credibility of the report.)

    As this was presented as a warning, assumption of Shermer’s innocence or guilt is predicated solely on your estimation of the veracity of the report. If you assume the report is 99% likely to be true, it’s rational to conclude Shermer is 99% likely to be guilty.

    But again, that guilt only matters in context of preventing future rapes.

     

    * It’s interesting your only concern is Shermer’s innocence or guilt, and not the victim’s report, nor the future safety of other women.

  224. Rey Fox says

    So I guess it does come down to mealy-mouthed hyperagnosticism and skeptical purity.

    Well, you can stop talking to me then, Clyde, because I care more about how this stuff effects the actual real world and real people than that. You’re welcome to cry skeptical tears about how women will be leery around Shermer and how I won’t ever attend any of his talks or spend any money on his books again (never did the former, and only did the latter at the Borders going-out-of-business sale). But I don’t care.

  225. clydey2times says

    OK, let’s keep track of what I have been called thus far:

    Sexual predator
    Misogynist
    MRA
    Victim blamer

    Is there no one else on here who recognises the absurdity of Caine and Nerd’s posts?

  226. Pteryxx says

    So, at this point, what evidence would it take to substantiate that clydey2times might be acting in honest good faith?

    1) acknowledging the evidence presented to debunk their assumptions.

    2) honestly engaging counterarguments.

    3) demonstrating as much willingness to answer questions as to ask them.

    4) asking thoughtful questions instead of playing rapid-fire interrogator.

    5) engaging those of us who presented discussion instead of preferentially responding to insults.

    Note the established baseline in discussions of harassment, rape, or sexism at Pharyngula has been that about 95% of deniers are in fact arguing in bad faith.

  227. clydey2times says

    @Nigel

    That’s because you aren’t arguing that Shermer is undoubtedly innocent. If you were, I would be just as perplexed by your certitude and would argue just as strongly against it.

  228. David Marjanović says

    Comment 100 bears repeating.

    bargearse @9: “Illegitimi non carborundum”.

    A fake-Latin in-joke that only works if you know English very well and doesn’t mean anything on its own.

    Given all that is happening now in atheism defending womens’ rights, could someone tell me why Nasreen is still writing on FTB?

    …I have no idea either way; I don’t regularly read any FtBs other than Pharyngula, because Pharyngula is such an incredible timesink all on its own.

    Actions do have consequences

    Stop believing in the Just World Fallacy, asshat. You and I both hope that actions like rape will have consequences at some point; reality just doesn’t care unless we make it.

    Err with all due respect “What if it happened to your property” isn’t really useful IMO

    I agree. The relevant question is “what if it happened to you”.

    Fair point, but I think a lot of blokes would have trouble imagining they were raped. Despite all the noise MRAs make about how it’s totes unfair that the law doesn’t make provisions for male rape victims (to stop any lurkers jumping on me, I should make clear that I do at least agree with them on that much, if nothing else), to them rape is something that happens to women.

    Exactly: ideally, the thought of being raped would be as unthinkable (because unrealistic) for everyone as it is for me.

    Quoth the banned:

    He has the gall to speak of “standards”.

    Nice try. Even Evil Has Standards.

    Character assassination is what Shermer is doing to himself now. Streisand effect indeed.

    QFT!

    Your little microcosm has been freezepaged.

    You have no escape from prosperity.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    Day saved, and in such an unlikely thread! :-D

    No escape from prosperity!?!

    Freude, schöner Talerfunken,
    Tochter aus Moneeeeetien,
    [...]
    Seid umschlungen, Millionen!

    – Scrooge McDuck in German translation from Italian or possibly Danish.

    IN A.D. 2013
    WAR WAS BEGINNING.
    CAPTAIN: WHAT HAPPEN ?
    MECHANIC: SOMEBODY SET UP US THE CREEP.
    OPERATOR: WE GET COMMENT.
    CAPTAIN: WHAT !
    OPERATOR: MAIN SCREEN TURN ON.
    CATS: HOW ARE YOU GENTLEMEN !!
    CATS: ALL YOUR LITTLE MICROCOSM HAS BEEN FREEZEPAGED.
    CAPTAIN: WHAT YOU SAY !!
    CATS: YOU HAVE NO ESCAPE FROM PROSPERITY.
    CATS: HA HA HA HA . . . .

    For great justice. :-)

    Let justice prevail.

    Oh, he actually said it! *squeeing with laughter*

    Jane Doe might be telling the truth. That’s not the point. The rule of law is the point.

    Let me solemnly preserve this moment of Lawful Stupidity.

    You wouldn’t know beef if it gored you in Pamplona.

    *steal*

    What exactly is radical feminism?

    Unfortunately it’s not just any feminism that’s somehow radical. It’s a technical term.

  229. says

    Sorry clydey, the absurdity I see here is coming from your concern trolling. You might be surprised to learn this, but yes, you rhetoric does come off as MRA-ish and etc. when your arguments all coincidentally dismiss the evidence, testimony, and concerns of women.

    Just call me skeptical of your apparent concerns. /snort

  230. clydey2times says

    @Pteryxx,

    I’m responding to a lot of people and I don’t have time to respond to everyone. So yes, I’m prioritising the shorter posts.

  231. glodson says

    Well, Clyde, it is hard to call their assessments absurd when you act like the victim denying, rape apologists assholes that always seem to pop up whenever we talk about anything like this.

  232. says

    You seem to have inferred an awful lot about me based on the fact that I, what, said that I’m not convinced of Shermer’s guilt or innocence?

    We are, in fact, noticing that you are acting exactly like dozens of other assholes who have popped up in the literally thousands of comments that have been posted on the subject in the past five days.

    You don’t want us t o think you’re an asshole? Then stop acting like one.

  233. says

    clydey2times:

    You do realise that “convinct” can be used in more than one context, right? You can convict someone in your own mind.

    So? My opinion of Shermer is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with much of anything.

    And yeah. If a credible source claimed PZ got her drunk to have sex with her, I would pretty much believe the claim. (Note the use of credible.)

    But again, what does it matter whether I believe Shermer is a rapist or not? It’s not like my opinion will condemn him to prison. I’ve thought he was an ass a long time ago (pretty much because of his libertarianism), so he’s not even losing any book sales.

    Why is it so important to you that we don’t accept the report of rape at face value?

  234. says

    anteprepro:
    Well said.
    ____
    These pseudoskeptics refuse to understand..
    When it comes to issues of human rights, I am damn well going to take a strong stance.
    We are weighing the safety of women based on multiple allegations vs the fact that Shermer is just as prone to human foibles and fuckups as anyone else.

    We are not discussing whether Alien 3 was better than Alien 4.

    We are not talking about Monopoly being a cooler game than Candyland.

    We are not talking about whether a newly discovered mammal is the cutest in the world or not.

    None of those has a negative impact on the lives of humans. None of those involves common occurences that victimize people.

  235. says

    Buh-bye, clydey2times. We’ve heard your pathetic arguments a thousand times already, we don’t need to go over them again.

  236. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Is there no one else on here who recognises the absurdity of Caine and Nerd’s posts?

    Nope, the vast majority of us are either relishing watching them eviscerate your moronic posts, or wondering why they would bother with someone who was so obviously ignoring their reasoned rational responses in favour of being a hyperskeptical douchecanoe.

  237. Pteryxx says

    clydey2times: based solely on your behavior during this thread, and my priors based on many other such discussions with obstinate hyperskeptics, I provisionally accept that Caine and Nerd’s insults aimed at you are justified. With the caveat that obstinate rape apologists as a group aren’t all sexual predators, but are definitely enriched above the 6% baseline. (citation: Lisak in Meet the Predators, linked above)

  238. says

    Pteryxx:

    Note the established baseline in discussions of harassment, rape, or sexism at Pharyngula has been that about 95% of deniers are in fact arguing in bad faith.

    Yes, which stunned me, regarding the Epic Grenade. When I saw the breakdown, I was astonished at the imbalance.

    David:

    A fake-Latin in-joke

    No, it’s not an in-joke. At least not to most of us. For many of us, a reminder of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and an important reminder to stay strong in the face of constant assault and grinding down. I don’t really appreciate you just tossing off a “oh, bad joke there”.

  239. anteprepro says

    Yes, how unreasonable of me to suggest that you keep an open mind.

    You say that as if it is insightful and relevant. Hardly.

    I didn’t say that you aren’t justified in leaning one way or the other, but I did say that it’s worth keeping an open mind.

    Are you really going to pretend that your conclusions about Shermer are entirely evidenced-based and unrelated to the tribal nature of the divide in the community?

    So we are justified to lean one way or the other, but it is tribal and not evidence-based. Riiiiight.

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe you aren’t as smart as you think you are? Ever stop to think that maybe you are missing something? That your thumping your chest over how Above It All you are, championing The Middle, might be off-putting? That consistently suggesting that we are an extreme, implying that we are irrational, that we are Just As Bad as the people we oppose, makes you just as assholish, just as dismissive, biased, and ignorant, as “the side” that we more actively oppose?

  240. ChasCPeterson says

    Is there no one else on here who recognises the absurdity of Caine and Nerd’s posts?

    Bueller?

  241. eigenperson says

    clydey2times, people are attacking you for a variety of reasons, of which I’ll enumerate only a few:

    (1) You claim that testimonial evidence would never be enough to convince you that someone is a rapist, but this is blatantly not the case. For example, you probably believe that Jerry Sandusky is a child molester (or at least is highly likely to be one to the extent that you are probably willing to call him one). Yet the only evidence of this is testimonial. So it is difficult for people to accept that you really believe what you are saying — that testimony is never enough.

    (2) You said “both sides are at fault here.” If that is meant to mean “both people who believe Shermer is innocent and people who believe he is guilty are at fault,” that is, in my opinion, BS, but it isn’t victim-blaming. But I think people assumed you were referring to the alleged incident itself, and when interpreted that way, your statement appears to be victim blaming. Your statement wasn’t sufficiently clear.

    (3) This subject was discussed for 4000+ posts on the “grenade” thread and your contentions are not original. They have been discussed, dissected, and answered at length. People are tired of educating others.

  242. anteprepro says

    Yes, which stunned me, regarding the Epic Grenade. When I saw the breakdown, I was astonished at the imbalance.

    Oh my, that sounds fascinating. I was only able to read about 500 non-continuous comments from that thread. Do you happen to have a link? Or general comment number range for the relevant details?

  243. says

    clydey2times:

    That’s because you aren’t arguing that Shermer is undoubtedly innocent.

    I don’t think anyone is arguing that Shermer is undoubtedly guilty — just most likely guilty.

    What is being argued is, a credible report of rape must be taken seriously. Assume it is true. The result is, we also assume Shermer raped someone. (More than one, as it turns out.)

    This is a side-effect of taking rape seriously. Now, there is a small probability the report is not true. But that probability is small. Whatever the probability that the rape report is true is the same probability that Shermer raped someone.

    Since the probability the rape report is true (at least 92% likely, as the FBI reports that only 8% of reported rapes are non-prosecutable, which doesn’t mean 8% weren’t rapes, but that the justice system didn’t consider them rapes), those same odds are that Shermer raped Jane Doe.

    You’re arguing as if the odds were somewhere near 50-50, when in fact the odds are greatly skewed one way.

  244. David Marjanović says

    I’m responding to a lot of people and I don’t have time to respond to everyone. So yes, I’m prioritising the shorter posts.

    Tsssss. In case anybody not banned shares this silly attitude: do what I just did in comment 292 and reply to everything at once.

    No, it’s not an in-joke. At least not to most of us. For many of us, a reminder of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale,

    How many hundred million people have read that? One perhaps? A cultural in-joke is still an in-joke. The Horde is global.

    I don’t really appreciate you just tossing off a “oh, bad joke there”.

    ~:-|

    That’s not what I did. Neither did I toss, nor did I say “bad”; and neither did I mean to imply it. Please take me more literally.

  245. says

    I’m apparently a misogynist, an MRA, and a victim blamer. On top of all that, I’m bad for the world.

    And no fucks were given, with one tiny exception:
    At what point do we stop pretending those powerless assholes in the ‘men’s rights movement’ affect anyone they’re tnot directly harrassing?

    Yes, how unreasonable of me to suggest that you keep an open mind.

    What makes you think ignoring a ton of women’s testimonies is ‘reasonable’?

    but I think it’s worth listening to his side before convicting him.

    Legal analogies from people who don’t understand what a court of law is, let alone how it works, are pretty adorbs. Oh wait, no, that other thing, tedious.

    Is there no one else on here who recognises the absurdity of Caine and Nerd’s posts?

    Do you know what ‘absurd’ means? It’s not like those are mutually exclusive things.

    While there are certain issues (for instance, the tendency of a mother instead of a father to gain custody of a child),

    That’s not one of those issues, if you examine cases where fathers contest, but meh.

  246. PatrickG says

    Apologies for responding to a victim of the Mighty Banhammer, but:

    Is there no one else on here who recognises the absurdity of Caine and Nerd’s posts?

    translated in my head to:

    Will no one rid me of these troublesome priests?

    As for the main topic, I picked my side a while ago, and it’s emphatically with the people who value compassion, empathy, and critical thinking over hero-worship, victim-blaming, and defending the status quo.

    You know, this side right here. *TENTACLE SALUTE*

    And PZ, just wanted to add to so many others: if you ever do need funds for a legal defense, I’d be happy to contribute more than just my $0.02.

  247. says

    That’s not what I did. Neither did I toss, nor did I say “bad”; and neither did I mean to imply it. Please take me more literally.

    Sure, David. It would be nice if you would recognize that there are times you are desperately in need of a clue.

  248. anteprepro says

    Just a casual summary, you understand. Still, it highlights the disparity.

    Ahh. I think I did actually see that post! Fishy must’ve crossposted to Thunderdome or something.

    How many hundred million people have read that? One perhaps? A cultural in-joke is still an in-joke.

    I think the point was that it wasn’t a joke . (i.e. it’s about a serious matter)

    And I also interpreted your comment as dismissive, as Caine did. Not to pile on, just a head’s up.

    (Also notable: Apparently it actually isn’t that rare of a mock Latin phrase . Still uncommon enough so that I have never heard it used until now, though!)

  249. says

    Rutee:

    That’s not one of those issues, if you examine cases where fathers contest, but meh.

    It happened to me. The judge basically said, “Unless you can show she’s an unfit mother, she gets full custody by default, since she’s the mother.” Shared custody wasn’t considered because I lived hundreds of miles away, and it wouldn’t’ve been a sure thing anyway, and since I was a college student at the time, I couldn’t afford a lawyer.

    Granted, that was in the Oregon Bible belt, over 20 years ago. But I started looking things up on the internet then, and found a Usenet group for father’s rights. Lots of stories pretty much like mine. Of course, the more I hung out with the group, the more I realized I didn’t fit — their view of women was pretty much what the MRAs are like today.

    I don’t know what the situation was like in general back then, just how it was in the very conservative zone of Eastern Oregon. I suspect it’s gotten better over the last two decades, though.

    In any case, I am extremely happy I left the group. They only made me vaguely uncomfortable back then. If I would’ve stuck it out, I very well might be a full-blown MRA today.

  250. Entropy101 says

    I just don’t get this. Why is it so difficult to understand to not be an asshole. I’ve been reading about this continues shitstorm since the ElevatorGate thing and I do not understand how you can not side with the “women are people too” camp. I’m simply and utterly perplexed.

    My utmost respect to PZ, the women who have come forward and the other bloggers (not necessarily in that order) around here and other parts of the interwebs for exposing the scumbags in spite of the severe harassment. Count me in on the defence fund if it is needed.

  251. David Marjanović says

    Sure, David. It would be nice if you would recognize that there are times you are desperately in need of a clue.

    Unfortunately that’s a catch-22: when I don’t notice I’m in need of a clue, I don’t understand why even when it’s pointed out. If I would, I’d have noticed in the first place.

    Plus, I genuinely think the world would be a better place if people tried less hard to read between each other’s lines. So much suffering has come out of that practice…

    “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” is a perfectly good sentiment, but hasn’t (translated or otherwise) made it out of the English language. Having had 6 years of mostly useless Latin in school, illegitimi non carborundum (there’s not even a trace of “let” in there!) makes my eyes do a full 360° turn before I even notice it’s a deliberate snarky inversion of this trope.

  252. says

    Rutee:
    But you’re right. I stated as a fact something that I experienced as an individual, rather than looking at the statistical view.

    I retract my statement that men have a disadvantage in custody battles.

  253. philosophia says

    Thumper #200: “Jesus fuck…
    Go and read this. Read it carefully. It explains patriarchy, kyriarchy and intersectionality rather well and concisely.”

    Ok, I read it and it is interesting enough. Somehow I have the impression that you think that it should be taken in as some sort of absolute truth, which, of course, I do not. It simply explains how some feminists think, there is no argument for the viability of the statements. Also I’m never comfortable when asked to believe in the existence of something “nearly invisible”. And I think it adds to confusion to for a small group to appropriate a term to mean one thing and then use it in public discourse without explaining the difference. In this case, the author seems to contradict the dictionary definition of patriarch: “A Patriarch is a man who has special power and influence over not just his family but also in society…” Also how serious is the putative patriarchy in a country like the USA? The article states: “Even in modern-rule-of-law countries with full legal sexual equality, there are still many patriarchal remnants…These remnant patriarchal traditions do more harm to women, on balance, than good.” Now here the article sounds quite credible and seems to put the “patriarchy” idea in perspective.
    I don’t understand all the drama with “Jesus fuck..”, but I guess that’s how you need to express yourself.

    #232”“Hostile” and “rational” are not mutually exclusive, oh Bringer of Straw Vulcans.”

    I didn’t say they were. However, hostile statements like “fuck off” do not an argument make.

    Some of you have stated that the alleged victim did not want to go public and are asking me what choice then did PZ have? Well, I don’t know how strongly, if at all, PZ tried to convince this woman and all the others to go public together. Also I don’t know the reasons given for the woman not to go public. In order to judge the morality of PZ’s actions with great confidence, I would have to know these things. But I don’t think that any circumstance would have convinced me to make a hearsay accusation. For one thing, it is usually best to gather all the evidence you can before making a serious accusation, including hearing from the accused. But, of course, that cannot be thoroughly done by a private citizen, professionals have the time, authority and are more competent. A reasonable argument against PZ’s action would be the first formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative. What if everyone did the same thing? In my mind, it would be chaos.

    But of course, that’s only my opinion based on limited knowledge of the circumstances and little ability to predict the future. Therefore, I freely admit I could be wrong. Now my question for this rather excitable group is, do you have absolute conviction that you are right in this matter? If so, how? Does anybody who thinks PZ acted morally admit the possibility that they could be wrong, that things might have turned out better using a different course of action, that Michael Shermer might, in fact, be innocent?

  254. says

    setec:

    If the purpose of this public outing was to warn women against his modus operandi, then it seems a universal warning against his methods would suffice, because people of any sex should be wary of anyone who tries to get them blackout drunk in any context.

    Because sometimes you don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late?

    Also, nice victim-blaming.

    But I have a better idea: how about we warn rapists not to rape?

  255. David Marjanović says

    If PZ had published an eyewitness account of Shermer committing murder, I doubt the people asking whether blog-shaming is the proper avenue for justice would be branded “murder apologists” and treated like heretics. Yet when people ask the same questions in this case, the tribalist backlash is vicious.

    Try to think it through this time.

    1) Murder apologists don’t even exist (this side of the death penalty or drone strikes anyway). Rape apologists are a dime a dozen.
    2) Accusations of murder have a history of being taken seriously by police and the justice system; “why didn’t he just go to the police instead of posting it here” would be a reasonable question. Accusations of rape have a history of being dismissed, ridiculed, and/or turned around to blame and even harm the victim, see comment 261.

    I just don’t get this. Why is it so difficult to understand to not be an asshole. I’ve been reading about this continues shitstorm since the ElevatorGate thing and I do not understand how you can not side with the “women are people too” camp. I’m simply and utterly perplexed.

    My utmost respect to PZ, the women who have come forward and the other bloggers (not necessarily in that order) around here and other parts of the interwebs for exposing the scumbags in spite of the severe harassment. Count me in on the defence fund if it is needed.

    All seconded.

  256. says

    Nigel:

    Because sometimes you don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late?

    Also, nice victim-blaming.

    But I have a better idea: how about we warn rapists not to rape?

    Just a reminder: setec was the one in the Epic Grenade who went on for at least two pages with a continual “hey, what about this, is that rape?” / “is this rape?” / “is that rape?” / “hey, if both people are drunk, who’s the rapist then, huh?” and so on. Someone desperately looking for a get out of rape card.

  257. anteprepro says

    But many people who strongly support womens’ equality can’t help but be alarmed at the fervor with which this community has convicted him and hurled vile accusations like “rape apologist” at anyone who dares to suggest that the process for establishing someone’s guilt (or even assumed guilt) in a major felony should be a little bit more rigorous than anonymous second-hand accusations in the blogosphere.

    What is up with these assholes and confusing blogs with courtrooms whenever it is convenient for them to vent a spleen over it?

    We convict him like judge, jury, and executioners by talking about him on a blog! A matter of concern!
    Look at all those accusations in the blogosphere! Doesn’t matter, it’s just a blog!

    Count as these assholes to argue out of both sides of their mouths. It is as reliable as the sun setting in the west.

    I think she’d be deeply offended at the implication that she needed to be warned and lacked the willpower to say enough is enough. Why is it so much more righteous to issue this same warning attached to a particular name?

    Go fuck yourself. Your whining about being unjustly labeled a “rape apologist” is clearly just disingenuous bullshit. You are well deserving of the title.

  258. vencetti says

    Been reading PZ for several years. Sadly, to my mind this showed very poor judgement. PZ is very good at generating vitriol and and it was kind of cool when it was directed at the fundies. But he’ll pick apart anything he is connected to. I have a hard time believing he’s capable of bringing people together. It’s like having Shiva’s destroyer aspect at your side – just as likely to destroy you as your enemy.

  259. PatrickG says

    Now my question for this rather excitable group is, do you have absolute conviction that you are right in this matter?

    Of course not. What do you think we are, creobots? What we have is a preponderance of credible evidence, from which we make a reasonable conclusion.

    Does anybody who thinks PZ acted morally admit the possibility that they could be wrong

    Of course. If new evidence comes along, we’ll reevaluate. Got some of that evidence? No? Then we’ll stick with our reasonable conclusion.

    that things might have turned out better using a different course of action

    Or, that things might have turned out better if you’d stop posing useless hypotheticals? Cow, barn, and all that. If you want to supply a specific Barn Closing Device, be my guest. If not, why should I need to indulge your alternate history fetish?

    Here’s a hypothetical for you: in what scenario do you stop opining on your personal standard for evidence and give up on your obvious agenda?

    I stared into hyperskepticism: philosophia stared back. Yeesh.

  260. Pteryxx says

    setec, because the predators are targeting, harassing, assaulting, and raping lots and lots of women apiece.

    When the cat gets into the dairy, do you call out the whole town to move all the milk out, or is it more efficient to remove the cat? FFS.

  261. Rey Fox says

    Does anybody who thinks PZ acted morally admit the possibility that they could be wrong, that things might have turned out better using a different course of action, that Michael Shermer might, in fact, be innocent?

    And like, what if the Nazis had won World War II?

  262. says

    philosophia:

    ell, I don’t know how strongly, if at all, PZ tried to convince this woman and all the others to go public together.

    Hopefully, he didn’t try to convince them at all.

    Do you have any empathy for the victims? Even a little? If so, please imagine:

    How would it be if someone got you drunk and raped you at a convention. You went to the folks responsible for the convention. They did nothing. Maybe they even said you shouldn’t’ve been drunk. You then realize that statistically-speaking, you won’t be taken seriously by the police. (Statistics on rape indicate police tend to not take reports of rape seriously, especially if there’s no physical evidence.)

    You’d feel powerless, right? Would you want to re-live the humiliation of people not taking your report seriously? Would you want to chance further public humiliation at the hands of the rapist, who holds a position of power within the community?

    Would you want to go through the rape and death threats that Rebecca Watson received just for saying, “Men, don’t do that?”

    There are thousands of reasons not to pressure someone into putting themselves in that position. So, no, PZ should not attempt to pressure them into reporting.

    If the only goal is to warn other women to stay away rather than risk public humiliation and retaliation and constant barrages of hate from the MRAs, the best option is to report it just as Jane Doe and PZ did.

  263. alyosha says

    Haven’t read more than a dozen comments because it’s already late where I am but I know the defenders at the top of the walls (first thought is of Caine tipping boiling oil over the parapet) will be keeping the flag flying.
    It IS a tribal notion, but I’m with you, PZ.

  264. piegasm says

    Shorter setec:

    “If I repeat the same shit enough times it will eventually be true!!”

  265. says

    Caine:

    Just a reminder: setec was the one in the Epic Grenade who went on for at least two pages with a continual “hey, what about this, is that rape?”

    Damn! I knew I recognized the ‘nym. I just couldn’t place it. (Also, I’d been drinking a bit while reading and responding in that thread. I needed something to dull the pain, but I wasn’t going to look away.)

    Reminder taken to heart.

  266. anteprepro says

    In this case, the author seems to contradict the dictionary definition of patriarch:

    Yet it is perfectly consistent with the Wikipedia definition. You know, the Wikipedia that had a perfectly acceptable defintion of “radical feminism” for your purposes, but wasn’t good enough to define “patriarchy” for you?

    I don’t understand all the drama with “Jesus fuck..”, but I guess that’s how you need to express yourself…

    I didn’t say they were. However, hostile statements like “fuck off” do not an argument make.

    I think that this is tone trolling meeting Dunning-Kruger, yet I’m fairly certain that those two are already acquainted.

  267. badgersdaughter says

    Vis-à-vis the “this is not a court of law” objections:

    I was called for jury duty yesterday and went to voir dire. One of the attorneys stated, and emphasized, that the state was required, at minimum, to bring one witness (which could include the victim of the crime). If the jury found the testimony of that witness convincing, it wouldn’t even matter whether there was other supporting evidence, corroborating witnesses, and so forth. The case involved a murder accusation, and many people in the jury pool were confused. One witness? No other evidence necessary? The attorney asked for a show of hands to see who would not be able to render a fair and impartial verdict on the credible and convincing testimony of one witness, and about six perfectly well-meaning people raised their hands to affirm that yes, no matter how convincing the one witness was, even if they found the testimony 100 percent believable, they would be unable to render a verdict based on the uncorroborated word of that witness. Even after the attorney and the judge described instances in case law in which the only evidence was the unsupported testimony of a single witness, the six people held firm, and they were challenged and removed.

    Even in a court of law, the otherwise unsupported testimony of a single witness is considered potentially enough to convict a defendant, if that testimony establishes “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the defendant committed the crime of which he is charged. The jury is responsible for establishing the standard of “reasonable doubt” and for deciding whether they are convinced by the testimony. I think a lot of the “hyperskeptical” people would have raised their hands with the six excused jury panelists yesterday.

  268. David Marjanović says

    Now my question for this rather excitable group is, do you have absolute conviction that you are right in this matter?

    Uh, most of us haven’t made an absolute statement.

    I, for one, am making an argument from parsimony: PZ has nothing to gain and a lot to lose from a false accusation, so I conclude he most likely hasn’t invented Jane Doe; Ms Doe herself, being anonymous, has to fear losing PZ’s trust (at the minimum!) and little to nothing to gain from a false accusation either. Finally, the first accusation of sexual harassment against Shermer happened on another blog a year ago, so it doesn’t even make sense to assume that all the other pseudonymous victims who spoke up in the grenade thread went on some bizarre “me too” spree or something.

    See, if I take all the emotions out, play straw Vulcan and discuss it all in impersonal, even dehumanizing terms, I can still conclude your brainpipes are clogged with shit. Live long and prosper.

    (…Seriously… “absolute conviction”? You don’t even have absolute conviction that you’re not the solipsist. Stop being ridiculous already.)

  269. Pteryxx says

    setec’s also the one who favored me by personally judging my rape account to be really real rape. For completely wrong reasons. Oh, I remember all right.

  270. says

    Been reading PZ for several years. Sadly, to my mind this showed very poor judgement. PZ is very good at generating vitriol and and it was kind of cool when it was directed at the fundies. But he’ll pick apart anything he is connected to.

    Thanks for stopping by and demonstrating your inability to comprehend the written word. As you’re one of those “hey, it’s fine when you point out that fundies are doing bad things, but don’t you dare do that to a Skeptical Brave Hero™, dude!”, the exit doors are to your left, please use them, and don’t leave assprints. Thanks.

  271. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    As much as I like the mental picture of Caine defending the walls, it gives the assholes too much credit. Its not a staunch defense against a worthy foe, the Horde is stomping cockroaches (too cruel to the roaches? playing Whack-a-Mole maybe?)

  272. Pteryxx says

    setec, nobody said you wanted a “get out of rape card” for YOURSELF. You just want to ensure one’s available to any other likely rapists out there.

  273. says

    Pteryxx:

    setec’s also the one who favored me by personally judging my rape account to be really real rape. For completely wrong reasons. Oh, I remember all right.

    Yeah, it’s so sweet that you (and I) often get the exemption from the rape apologist hole, “oh, it was legit in your case.”

    *spits spittiness into the apologist hole*

  274. jodyp says

    I’m with you, PZ. And Amanda, and Ophelia, and anyone that has had enough.

    I’ve had enough of assholes whose atheism is just a symptom of their narcissism, who shriek like stuck pigs when their special status is threatened by those that would dare say “don’t do that”.

  275. says

    Dave:

    Its not a staunch defense against a worthy foe, the Horde is stomping cockroaches (too cruel to the roaches? playing Whack-a-Mole maybe?)

    At this point, I’m prepared to defend the nobleness of cockroaches everywhere as being magnitudes of order better than any given rape apologist.

  276. David Marjanović says

    But he’ll pick apart anything he is connected to. I have a hard time believing he’s capable of bringing people together.

    Friends don’t let friends be rape apologists. Let alone rapists.

  277. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Does anybody who thinks PZ acted morally admit the possibility that they could be wrong,

    Until evidence is shown PZ was wrong, no. He was right. And no amount of pure mental wanking will change that. Protecting women from potentially being raped, a public safety announcement, was called for and is morally right. Why are you against protecting women from a known predator?

  278. anteprepro says

    Have the people who are bleating about “what if Shermer is innocent ” and crying out for more evidence bothered to factor in one teeny, tiny, telltale piece of possible evidence in favor of the idea that this is true? Have they bothered to factor in one small detail that makes their arguments about how PZ should’ve consulted Shermer first look completely inane and borderline hypocritical?

    Have they bothered to ask themselves why Shermer is filing a fucking lawsuit against Myers, getting out a letter about a lawsuit a mere four days after the blog post? Doesn’t that seem a little trigger happy? Doesn’t that sound like he should have talked to PZ a bit more before taking the nuclear option? If he were truly innocent, wouldn’t he trust that the truth would prevail, and that it would vindicate him, and set him free? Doesn’t it seem slightly less consistent with innocence when a skeptic is using legal force to shut a fellow skeptic up, instead of using the logic and argument that he pretends to esteem so highly?

    I mean, by no means does it prove anything either way. But I think Shermer diving headfirst into a lawsuit over this, trying to shut PZ up and quick-like, nudges towards “guilt” rather than “innocence”.

  279. anteprepro says

    PZ is very good at generating vitriol and and it was kind of cool when it was directed at the fundies.

    Aww, precious. Behold, a person without principles! It’s only “cool” to get angry at Others. When you are trying to clean up your own house though, that’s just not fair! Leave Shermer alone!

  280. glodson says

    Been reading PZ for several years. Sadly, to my mind this showed very poor judgement. PZ is very good at generating vitriol and and it was kind of cool when it was directed at the fundies. But he’ll pick apart anything he is connected to.

    I know. It is terrible that he listened to some women. The nerve! I cannot believe that he would stoop so low as to pick apart the Skeptical movement over anything so small.

    In case it isn’t apparent, I am mocking you.

  281. jodyp says

    I’m delighted and flattered, Caine. These are not people advocating for a more rational world. They want to look down their nose at everyone.

  282. unclefrogy says

    up thread some made a “snarky” comment about the consequences of PZ making his grenade post.
    I understand that the comment was not a threat or anything. I understood from the post and this one here that the consequences were understood not just that there would be threats and other more overt negative action but there would be more than that there would be a positive reaction and there would be many that would agree wholeheartedly. The deep rifts and all that is bullshit.
    Skeptical thinking leads to many things including the lose of long cherished illusions about people and the world. Their are no people or persons who are above or beyond question.
    I can only be myself no better than any one else no more entitled than anyone. At the same time no one else is either.
    here I am for my brief time I try to stand
    Forward!

    uncle frogy

  283. Rey Fox says

    I have a hard time believing he’s capable of bringing people together.

    DEEEEEP RIFTS

    I don’t want to be brought together with rapists and rape culture enablers.

  284. Ingdigo Jump says

    I am not trying to shame anyone. But if you recognise your bias, why not correct for it?

    Ahem, Why? I am inclined to believe Shermer is untrust worthy and a claim about his character is not unbelievable. Why should I not naturally default to what my prior experiences tell me in light of other positive evidence?

    Not that it matters as the guy was banned, but I did want to see what exactly the rational goal was here. It never made sense. Even if I am very biased, *I* clearly think it’s a rational position, so why would I accept the claim that it isn’t because my bias is bad?

    You have misinterpreted Indigo Jump. He is a longtime commenter who consistently advocates for social justice issues. He is very much on PZ and Jane Doe’s side. He can explain, if he chooses, by his “I dont like Shermer comment”. But he is good people.

    Kevin has misread me. the point was, even going in that I acknowledge I have a bias against Shermer, what does that have to do with it? It doesn’t mean my bias is incorrect. My bias may be valid. We develop biases all the time, even as skeptics that serve us well. Shermer for example is probably biased against the Institute for Creation Research, so if they come out with a claim he’s unlikely to believe it from them. I mean sure it is bad/wrong to presume that because someone’s an asshole they’re also a criminal or an asshole in other regards, but it is also often *right*. See Kookmagnatism.

    But I was just curious even taking the stance that sure I have a bias against Shermer, how are you going to argue me out of it? I really wanted to see where that goes. Kevin sort of made that point for me. I don’t have a positive opinion of him (hypothetically) and in light of the evidence he presented which I accept why would I not provisionally trust Jane Doe? If I truts one source over another due to past exeriences should I not need a good positive reason to suddenly move back to a pure neutral position?

  285. says

    jodyp:

    These are not people advocating for a more rational world. They want to look down their nose at everyone.

    Yes. It’s also painfully obvious they do not care about protecting people, outside of their own perceived property, of course. How they manage to convince themselves they are decent human beings I just don’t know.

  286. mothra says

    Having read most (3,000+) comments of the grenade thread and having learned a great deal. 1) I believe Jane Doe [although my judgement is irrelevent here], admire her courage and wish her all the best, 2) I thank PZ for taking the moral high ground with full knowledge of potential consequences. For those who continue to worry about character assassination, legal actions, vigilanteism, go back and read post #61 and then read Caine’s comments throughout (and many others too numerous to list).

    I did not know about the Canadian ‘don’t be that guy’ campaign. However, as an older (a year or two on PZ) male who often spends too much time in a laboratory, when I would walk home after work I noticed people (usually women) walking ahead of me might make an erratic direction change and, rather than feeling insulted, I wondered how it would feel to have to live in a situation where one constantly had to plan in terms of protection from assault- and thought of things I could do to ‘not be that guy.’ That was very many years ago. The question that brought on the introspection was not answered until these (two) threads.

  287. Ingdigo Jump says

    Seriously? You’re now viewing someone’s attempt to defend himself from allegations as evidence of guilt?

    That’s like saying a cop arresting someone and, when they ask for their lawyer, saying, “AHA! Gotcha! Why would you want a lawyer if you didn’t do the crime?”

    (This comment is not a judgment of Shermer’s overall guilt/innocence, just a criticism of the above argument.)

    Well since he and PZ run in similar circles and surely have eachother’s e-mail I admit I am a bit skeptical of why he ran straight to law suit rather than an e-mail resquesting he defend himself and explain what’s going on to PZ, or even an angry “dude what the hell!?” e-mail.

    But that’s just me

  288. says

    Since there’s not really much more on topic to say, philosophia and setec having adequately demonstrated that they are not good-faith interlocutors and the other obnoxious apologists have been banned from the thread:

    antepepro

    Still uncommon enough so that I have never heard it used until now, though!)

    I’m amazed, honestly; it feels like every novelty shop, poster store, and trendy clothier I’ve ever been to has merchandise with the slogan on it.

    David

    “Don’t let the bastards grind you down” is a perfectly good sentiment, but hasn’t (translated or otherwise) made it out of the English language.

    It is, however, ubiquitous in the Anglophone world, and the dog latin translation has been circulating at least in the Anglosphere since WWII, and is extremely widespread, although as antepepro demonstrates not universal. Nevertheless, it is sufficiently widespread in both forms that counting it as an ‘in-joke’ would require that every standing punchline or quirky meme be classified as such, thus rendering the concept of in-joke meaningless.

  289. anteprepro says

    Seriously? You’re now viewing someone’s attempt to defend himself from allegations as evidence of guilt?

    I am viewing someone who is overeager at defending himself as a possible tiny shred of evidence of guilt, yes. But mostly I bring it up because it makes the “you should’ve talked to Shermer first” argument look utterly ridiculous.

    That’s like saying a cop arresting someone and, when they ask for their lawyer, saying, “AHA! Gotcha! Why would you want a lawyer if you didn’t do the crime?”

    Blogs =/= Court of law.

    Still.

    We will make sure you are the first to know as soon as Pharyngula becomes an arm of the legal system.

  290. Entropy101 says

    A side note to all the people who claim the fence or want to keep their distance. You are part of the problem. If you do not speak up, you endorse the status quo.

  291. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    I’m late as usual to this thread but I’m here. I stand with you, PZ and Jane Doe. There’s no better company to have than The Horde. I would not be an atheist or humanist, if it wasn’t for you. I was just drifting and failing to cope on my own. This place, these people, helped me so much. I can’t even begin to express my thanks.

  292. carlie says

    Seriously? You’re now viewing someone’s attempt to defend himself from allegations as evidence of guilt?

    I see it as evidence of him being an asshole. Again, he could have contacted PZ first. But he didn’t.

  293. says

    setec:

    Seriously? You’re now viewing someone’s attempt to defend himself from allegations as evidence of guilt?

    How does a lawsuit designed to silence someone constitute defense?

    If Shermer were innocent, he would defend himself against the charges by presenting a counter-argument (or ignore them altogether). If he were guilty of the deeds, he’d try to silence those making the accusations. At least, logically.

    My suspicion is, Shermer didn’t consider what he was doing as rape. He probably did exactly what he’s accused of: getting women drunk to reduce their ability to say “no.” But, he probably feels like the wronged party because he feels he didn’t rape anyone, since they didn’t fight back. All he did was follow the time-honored tradition of getting a woman drunk for the purposes of having sex with her.

    That’s just my suspicion, though.

  294. raven says

    PZ Myers:

    the one thing I could be certain of is that I would be persona non grata in a large segment of the movement,…

    Don’t worry about it.

    I’ve already chosen a side. Your side. Or rather you chose my side. Or our side. Whatever.

    They need us. But we don’t need or want them. Someone has a lot to lose and it isn’t PZ Myers and us.

  295. says

    JAL:

    I’m late as usual to this thread but I’m here. I stand with you, PZ and Jane Doe. There’s no better company to have than The Horde. I would not be an atheist or humanist, if it wasn’t for you. I was just drifting and failing to cope on my own. This place, these people, helped me so much. I can’t even begin to express my thanks.

    You’re owed many thanks. Since you’ve been here, you have shown yourself to be an unrelenting and vociferous advocate on the side of right, and I know you carry that through to all aspects of your life, not just the keyboard side.

    That also goes for just about every member of The Horde, too.

  296. b. - Order of Lagomorpha says

    Oh, waffles. I was just about to ask Clydey2times if he was Kacycay (Kacycray?) from Jason’s blog. They both love invoking “tribalism” so. Somehow, I shall muddle on with my curiosity unsatiated…perhaps going back into the kitchen and continuing to curse at my not-working-range will help.

    Caine, Fleur du mal

    Just a reminder: setec was the one in the Epic Grenade who went on for at least two pages with a continual “hey, what about this, is that rape?” / “is this rape?” / “is that rape?” / “hey, if both people are drunk, who’s the rapist then, huh?” and so on. Someone desperately looking for a get out of rape card.

    Ugh. Setec. It’s like a discussion of, “If just my *elbow* touches someone’s body part, is that okay? It is, right? It was totally accidentally. What about my knee–that’d be okay, right?” “What part of, “Don’t touch other people without an invitation to do so” is so damned hard to understand?”

    “Do not engage in sexual behaviors with people who have not consented and/or who are not capable of giving informed, enthusiastic consent”–why is that so flaming difficult? *wanders off to recheck that data on the whole rationalist/skeptic/atheist=smart people thing. I think the damned results are bugged.*

    Lastly, to all the tone trolls–naughty language is used here. Deal. Or don’t deal and leave. If you choose to flounce please both stick the flounce and be aware that the judging here is tough. A low score is merely a reflection of our high standards. And if I tell you the fucking Earth orbits the fucking Sun, it doesn’t invalidate my argument even though it offends your delicate ears.

  297. yazikus says

    We will make sure you are the first to know as soon as Pharyngula becomes an arm of the legal system.

    After reading the grenade thread, and all the other threads that I’ve been hopelessly trying to keep up on, I cannot believe how many times the whole “your convicting him!” nonsense has been brought up. Even the “you are convicting him in your head! wah!” So fucking what? Why shouldn’t I? Bah.

  298. throwaway, gut-punched says

    setec:

    “AHA! Gotcha! Why would you want a lawyer if you didn’t do the crime?”

    No, it’s more like, “Why do you want to hide the evidence if you did nothing wrong?”

  299. says

    yazikus:

    So fucking what? Why shouldn’t I?

    Because it’s more important that we disbelieve the person reporting the rape than it is to thought-convict the person who raped her.

  300. anteprepro says

    After reading the grenade thread, and all the other threads that I’ve been hopelessly trying to keep up on, I cannot believe how many times the whole “your convicting him!” nonsense has been brought up. Even the “you are convicting him in your head! wah!”

    The absurd part is I have read just over 10% of the relevant conversations, and even I have seen that argument several times . Enough to already be sick of it and to have no desire to do anything but mock it. I can only imagine how many times it has actually been brought up already and how sick of it everyone else is! I mean, fuck. What is it with discussions like this and newcomers dropping in with talking points and misconceptions that all conveniently similar to one another? I am just amazed at the capacity for the ignorant to all converge on the same exact wrong answer!

  301. says

    setec:
    So sorry. Your stppid “what about this” BS had me wishing you were banned, so when you stopped, I mentally logged you as banned.
    Hey maybe we will get lucky THIS time around.
    You do not deserve an apology.
    As Pteryxx stated, you were looking for a “get out of rape free” card. Does not mean it was for yourself. You made that leap to judgement.

    As for your #360, it does not help your argument when you demonstrate reading comprehension problems. Anteprepro’s #355 specifically says that the red flag [Shermer lawyering up] is not evidence of anything. It looks suspicious to many people. If he were innocent, a reasonable reaction would be similar to PZs (with regard to the claims of rape he faces, which just so happen to only be in response to his support for Jane Doe): let them tell their tales. He knows the truth and the only harm is fewer women drinking with PZ, which he can live with. Why cant Shermer?
    *****

    After several days refuting the same arguments (hell, its been years of doing that for some people. Rape apologetics was not shat for the first time following the grenade thread), pardon some of us for jumping straight to FUCK OFF (which, incidentally is not meant to be an argument)
    ****

    Is this just going to be a rehash of that thread?
    I am up for it, I just need to know how many drinks I need.

  302. vencetti says

    Believe what you want, but if you give credibility to old anecdotal evidence, you aren’t a skeptic and your certainly not a follower of science.

  303. throwaway, gut-punched says

    I think I’ve coined a new motto: When sleazebags hand you grins, make grenades.

  304. says

    Tony:

    pardon some of us for jumping straight to FUCK OFF (which, incidentally is not meant to be an argument)

    Thank you. Gad, I am so tired of all the people who want to interpret “fuck ______” as an argument. No, that bit isn’t the argument.

  305. says

    If you find that you are convinced of Shermer’s guilt, you are not being a skeptic. If you find that you are convinced of his innocence, you are not being a skeptic.

    BLARGH THIS IS SO GODDAMN SIMPLE

    It’s not about being convinced of anyone’s guilt.

    It’s not about being “convinced” of anything except that the cost-benefit ratio works out in favor of warning women to be cautious.

    You can always tell a stupid sexist by how they immediately want to make this into something about being fascinated with Shermer and whether Shermer penis is innocent or guilty. Protip: it’s not fucking about Shermer.

    DUH.

  306. PatrickG says

    you aren’t a skeptic and your certainly not a follower of science.

    Says the person who hasn’t mastered basic grammar.

    Since this canard has been addressed — at length — all over the place, I feel no compunction about mocking you for irrelevant but amusing things.

    SO THEIR!

  307. David Marjanović says

    Nevertheless, it is sufficiently widespread in both forms that counting it as an ‘in-joke’ would require that every standing punchline or quirky meme be classified as such, thus rendering the concept of in-joke meaningless.

    Why meaningless? I tried (too briefly) to explain it to someone who clearly wasn’t in on it.

  308. glodson says

    Believe what you want, but if you give credibility to old anecdotal evidence, you aren’t a skeptic and your certainly not a follower of science.

    So says the one busting out the Scotsman. Very convincing.

  309. says

    Believe what you want, but if you give credibility to old anecdotal evidence, you aren’t a skeptic and your certainly not a follower of science.

    Oh, so close, little fuckwit! However, you managed to display your inability to think once again. I’m just amazed. Really.

    First of all, try to understand what a statement is, in reality land. Then try to understand what testimony is in reality land. Here’s the biggest hurdle of all: what Jane Doe wished to accomplish was providing a warning to other potential victims. That was done.

    As for belief? Yes, this is about belief. It’s about whether or not chooses to believe Jane Doe. I do believe her. You’re free not to believe her. See how that works?

    As to your pronouncement that we aren’t capable of being skeptics, we aren’t the ones with a thinking problem, Cupcake. I’m not remotely interested in being yet another fuckwitted hyperskeptic. I’m interested in being a decent human being who has the capacity for critical thinking and empathy. Do try to keep up. As for not being a good scientist? *Whew* Good thing, because I’m not a scientist. That’s not the gold standard for being able to evaluate situations or evidence, punkin. As for following science, why I do follow various scientific disciplines, with great joy! I learn a lot. I learn things like “science” is not monolith, and it’s important to not be the sort of fuckwit who screams “you can’t science!” because I say things they disagree with – ya know, the big things.

  310. glodson says

    vencetti:
    I got my best “argument” for you…
    Hold on…
    Let me pull it out…
    Aha! There it is…
    FUCK OFF

    Also this.

  311. says

    @IngDingo Jump — sorry, I both misread you and conflated your post with one of those morans who got banned.

    My points are still valid — but not you as the target for my ire.

    Apologies.

  312. says

    Kristinc:

    You can always tell a stupid sexist by how they immediately want to make this into something about being fascinated with Shermer and whether Shermer penis is innocent or guilty.

    :falls over laughing: Indeed. You get the sense that flaming doucheweasels everywhere are having little virtual funerals with dramatic eulogies for poor Shermer’s penis.

  313. throwaway, gut-punched says

    But many people who strongly support womens’ equality can’t help but be alarmed at the fervor with which this community has convicted him and hurled vile accusations like “rape apologist” at anyone who dares to suggest that the process for establishing someone’s guilt (or even assumed guilt) in a major felony should be a little bit more rigorous than anonymous second-hand accusations in the blogosphere.

    Can you cite the underlined happening? I don’t recall this ever happening in the context which you seem to allude to. As for the italicized, all I can say is we must have the most lax judicial system if I wasn’t aware that Shermer was sentenced. Presuming he’s guilty is not an effort in anti-skeptical attitudes here because it is by trustworthy testimone relayed to us from a trustworthy source which acts as the evidence, allowing me the comfort in my surety as I lean toward Shermer being an unwitting rapist by his tactics or a full-fledged scum-sucking victim-hunting rapist.

  314. throwaway, gut-punched says

    Sorry, by “the underlined” I mean: “hurled vile accusations like “rape apologist” at anyone who dares to suggest that the process for establishing someone’s guilt (or even assumed guilt) in a major felony should be a little bit more rigorous than anonymous second-hand accusations in the blogosphere.”

  315. yazikus says

    Caine,

    The Thought Police are coming to get you, Barbara.

    Hot tea- in my nose- right now. Also- I just wanted to chime in and thank you for your tireless and valiant battle for the cause. I don’t know how you do it.

    Anteprepro,

    I mean, fuck. What is it with discussions like this and newcomers dropping in with talking points and misconceptions that all conveniently similar to one another?

    It is like a bat signal goes out to the darkest nastiest bits of the interwebs: Calling all those who would fight against people being convicted of things in the minds blog commenters!!

    nigelTheBold,

    Because it’s more important that we disbelieve the person reporting the rape than it is to thought-convict the person who raped her.

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot the last few days.. Heck, longer than that. I think what is coming to light is that there are a lot of men (and people) who don’t think that getting someone drunk and then raping them is rape. In fact, pretty much the only rape they believe in is stranger in the bushes rapes a perfect virgin or some such nonsense. And they don’t want to be called rape apologists for it, they don’t want the light shed on it, because they know that they will be judged for it.

    Sorry for rambling. I’m sure someone has already said what I am trying to say better. It’s just been on my mind.

  316. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Believe what you want, but if you give credibility to old anecdotal evidence, you aren’t a skeptic and your certainly not a follower of science.

    One person is anecdote. Many people are data. We have data. You’re just a hyperskeptic trying for a way out. There isn’t any. Because what you imply is a non-sequitur.
    The post was about warning women about a potential predator. How many women have to be raped before there is sufficient evidence for you. For me, one.

  317. says

    So — what we have here is a continuum of possible interpretations of the events at hand.

    The most benign is: This scuzzbucket deliberately got a girl drunk so he could get into her panties.

    The least benign is: This scuzzbucket deliberately got a girl unconsciously drunk so he could rape her.

    Doesn’t matter if you believe interpretation A or interpretation B. The facts remain that a scuzzbucket was involved, alcohol was involved, and a sexual encounter that was at least regretted and at best an unwanted and illegal violation.

    Who do we need to be charitable towards? The scuzzbucket? I don’t think so.

  318. says

    Yazikus:

    I think what is coming to light is that there are a lot of men (and people) who don’t think that getting someone drunk and then raping them is rape.

    Oh yes, that’s been going on for ages. It makes people damned uncomfortable. That’s one of the reasons why Pteryxx and many others keep linking to Meet the Predators and Predator Redux. It’s quite obvious, that pulling off various tricks with alcohol is considered more along the lines of sport (as in hunting/prey), and that as long as no one uses the dreaded R word (rape), rapists will admit to raping.

  319. says

    Kevin:

    Doesn’t matter if you believe interpretation A or interpretation B. The facts remain that a scuzzbucket was involved, alcohol was involved, and a sexual encounter that was at least regretted and at best an unwanted and illegal violation.

    You don’t have it at all. It is not about a sexual encounter that was regretted. We’re all pretty fucking tired of having to make this fucking point yet again. A person who is drunk is not capable of giving consent, let alone enthusiastic consent. Proceeding to fuck a drunk person is rape.

    Do yourself a favour (and us) and read the whole godsdamn Grenade thread. 4,112 posts. We’ll wait. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments

  320. says

    It happened to me. The judge basically said, “Unless you can show she’s an unfit mother, she gets full custody by default, since she’s the mother.

    Here’s the other side of that coin: STatistically speaking, which gender puts in the overwhelming majority of time into actually raising the kid, and under what standard is custody given?

    Yes, I’m aware that “The primary caregiver” advantages women… in divorce court. It’s a more measurable upside htan ladies’ night, but it’s still kind of accompanying a giant smack in the face (Namely, who’s disproportionately putting in the work in the first place)

  321. glodson says

    @Kevin

    Those are both rape. Doesn’t matter if the rapist understands that getting a woman drunk so that she cannot consent, it is still rape. It isn’t that the woman had regrets, it is that the woman was raped.

  322. says

    Using the word “anecdote” is deliberately dismissive language. It’s code for “I don’t believe a victim’s report of her own violation.”

    An “anecdote” is a funny little story you tell at cocktail parties while having your only 1 glass of wine that no one ever refills.

    This isn’t that. Not at all. Don’t think we don’t see through that little ruse. We didn’t just fall off the potato truck.

    Also, just want to point out that an N of 1 can provide perfectly valid scientific evidence.

    And that this isn’t a science lab. Nor an N of 1 clinical trial.

    And if you think more than 1 data point is necessary to get someone into a world of legal trouble, ask Mike Tyson. Far as I know, he’s only been accused of rape once in his life by one woman.

    And it’s not just 1.

    Nor an “anecdote”.

  323. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #375 Caine, Fleur du mal

    JAL:
    You’re owed many thanks. Since you’ve been here, you have shown yourself to be an unrelenting and vociferous advocate on the side of right, and I know you carry that through to all aspects of your life, not just the keyboard side.

    That also goes for just about every member of The Horde, too.

    AWWW, Thanks, Caine. That means a lot. ♥

    ————————–
    —————————-
    ———————
    #400 Kevin

    So — what we have here is a continuum of possible interpretations of the events at hand.

    The most benign is: This scuzzbucket deliberately got a girl drunk so he could get into her panties.

    The least benign is: This scuzzbucket deliberately got a girl unconsciously drunk so he could rape her.

    Doesn’t matter if you believe interpretation A or interpretation B. The facts remain that a scuzzbucket was involved, alcohol was involved, and a sexual encounter that was at least regretted and at best an unwanted and illegal violation.

    Who do we need to be charitable towards? The scuzzbucket? I don’t think so.

    No. The thing that really blows their minds is that those scenarios ARE THE SAME THING. Either way, it’s rape. Please, please don’t play Devil’s Advocate like they actually have a point. They don’t. They are wrong. I’d rather spend 100+ comments saying a drunk person can’t consent than giving them an inch. Because, again, they are wrong and it’s harmful.

  324. philosophia says

    Well, I am somewhat relieved that many of you admitted that you don’t have absolute certainty that PZ took the best possible course of action. The impression of absolute conviction is given when the answers come back with great condescension, hostility laced with obscenities.

    Now the questions in the following two paragraphs are an attempt to better understand the group’s thinking on feminism:

    I must object to the statement that “philosophia and setec having adequately demonstrated that they are not good-faith interlocutors”. Of course I am. And I have treated others in this discussion far more civilly than I have been treated. What is the reasoning behind the statement that I am not a good-faith interlocutor? That I have disagreed? I see no other reason.

    “and the other obnoxious apologists” Apologists as in “rape apologists”? Then am I to conclude that if I don’t agree with you on this point, that in your mind I’m lumped in with people who advocate for rape? Some of you seem to imply that there is no middle ground or even disagreement on specific issues like whether PZ’s actions are liable to result in the best result.. There seems to be an implication that if there is disagreement then in your mind that means that the person is not just wrong, but evil. Am I correct?

  325. says

    And because it looks like some people need these, I present:

    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.

    AND

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

    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.

  326. says

    @404: I disagree. I don’t think every alcohol-included sexual encounter — even with a scuzzbucket — is rape.

    I’m perfectly willing to say that the continuum includes a scuzzbucket who got someone drunk, but in her drunken state she was able to consent to sex and willingly did so. And guess what — sometimes women even know that the guy is a scuzzbucket and she’s willing to go along. Her agency. Her body. Her choice.

    There’s definitely a continuum along the drunken pathway and definitely a tipping point before something can be claimed to be illegal.

    Otherwise, no one would go to a singles bar ever. Let’s be fair and honest. People drink, people get relaxed, people hook up. Guys buy women drinks because it makes them relaxed and more amenable to being propositioned. Women are allowed to have consensual sex after having a few drinks, even if the guy “deliberately” bought her a tequila shot on top of her Cosmo to “loosen her up”.

    It’s not all rape.

    In other words, not all scuzzbuckets rape; but all rapists are scuzzbuckets.

    In the present instance, we have an alcohol-fueled sexual encounter that, by the accounts of the person recounting it, was not consensual. My point is even if you disbelieve the women’s lack of consent (and I most definitely do believe it), the fact is that the scuzzbucket’s actions were obviously deliberate and premeditated. At best unethical and immoral. At worst a Class A felony.

    Either way, not someone I’d be proud to call a friend, or to defend in a YouTube video.

    Sorry, gotta run. Late to a meeting.

  327. vencetti says

    Yes protecting people and supporting women especially against violence are admirable goals. Just bringing out the point that destroying someones reputation and maybe career has a cost. It may be one we are gladly willing to pay, even based on little evidence, because of the danger. The bottom line for me is how strong is the evidence and is it worth paying that cost? Isn’t that what skeptics do everyday? If someone said Vitamin C will kill you, wouldn’t you question that validity saying it, even if the danger (death) were great? I don’t know the person or how reliable they are. Just saying, we have evolved a system of justice over thousands of years in a way that prevents guilt only by accusation for good reasons.

  328. says

    philosophia! You have been going over ground which has been covered, over and over and over. If you don’t want me to send an alert to PZ about you doing this, here are your options: 1) Stop. 2) Go and read. All 9 pages of the initial post and thread are available to you: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/comment-page-1/#comments Both pages of the ‘last word for now’ thread are available to you: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/12/last-word-for-now/comment-page-1/#comments
    There are a wide variety of links provided throughout *this* thread. Click and read.

    Every single thing you have brought up has been answered, analyzed and dissected numerous times. Every single thing you think is all breathtaking and new, isn’t. Go read.

  329. says

    Well, I am somewhat relieved that many of you admitted that you don’t have absolute certainty that PZ took the best possible course of action. The impression of absolute conviction is given when the answers come back with great condescension, hostility laced with obscenities.

    If you want me to believe there was a better one, present it and your evidence for it.

    Of course I am.

    Well that takes care ofa ll concerns.

    Of course I am. And I have treated others in this discussion far more civilly than I have been treated.

    Because anyone on earth cares.

    What is the reasoning behind the statement that I am not a good-faith interlocutor? That I have disagreed? I see no other reason.

    I’m sure you don’t understand the difference between disagreeing and not having an informed opinion, not reading what’s been said against your points already, and thinking any of us gives a shit about meaningless equivocation.

    @404: I disagree. I don’t think every alcohol-included sexual encounter — even with a scuzzbucket — is rape.

    In that sometimes, women can still give informed consent because they aren’t drunk, yes. If they can’t give informed consent (IE are drunk) then it’s rape.

  330. says

    Philosophia:
    Stop trying to remove the agency of Jane Doe.
    You keep whining about this as if PZ wanted this specifically.
    This is what Jane Doe wanted.
    PZs brief struggle was
    “should I do as she asks? This is meant to serve as a warning to other women”
    Or
    “Should I stay silent and risk the safety of other women by gambling that her claim is false”

    Your continued refusal to empathize with Jane Doe is why I, personally think you are a snotbubble.

  331. says

    Just bringing out the point that destroying someones reputation and maybe career has a cost.

    If, theoretically, it happens, then yes. The evidence suggests neither of these will occur to Shermer.

    Just saying, we have evolved a system of justice over thousands of years in a way that prevents guilt only by accusation for good reasons.

    The fact that skeptics, as a whole, have closed ranks to protect Shermer and the good ol’ boys club is not mere ‘association’.

  332. says

    Kevin!

    I disagree. I don’t think every alcohol-included sexual encounter — even with a scuzzbucket — is rape.

    No one cares whether or not you think it’s just dandy to inform any person, at any given time, they no, they weren’t raped, they were drunk. You have been provided with a veritable wealth of reading on the subject. Go Read. I’m getting pretty fucking twitchy here on the sending alerts front.

  333. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #412 setec

    I must object to the statement that “philosophia and setec having adequately demonstrated that they are not good-faith interlocutors”. Of course I am. And I have treated others in this discussion far more civilly than I have been treated. What is the reasoning behind the statement that I am not a good-faith interlocutor? That I have disagreed?

    Likewise. I’ve civilly disagreed with some of the prevailing opinions here and been branded a rape apologist and accused of wanting to rape people.

    Fuck civility. It serves the status quo more than anything. My humanity and bodily autonomy is not up for debate. I will treat those who deny, apologize, and protect those who think that way with all the venom and contempt they deserve. My anger is justified. My arguments are sound. You’re tone trolling does nothing but show how little you give a shit about people, about what’s right and wrong. Put up your arguments or shut up. Try actually respond to what we are saying. Or fuck off elsewhere if you care more for tone than content.

    Oh, and one more time sectec,

    #348 Pteryx
    setec, nobody said you wanted a “get out of rape card” for YOURSELF. You just want to ensure one’s available to any other likely rapists out there.

    So, stop fucking lying would actually be the first step to take. Though I doubt you will, we’ve seen enough of your type of commenter to know better.

  334. Pteryxx says

    Kevin, think about what you just said here.

    Otherwise, no one would go to a singles bar ever. Let’s be fair and honest. People drink, people get relaxed, people hook up. Guys buy women drinks because it makes them relaxed and more amenable to being propositioned. Women are allowed to have consensual sex after having a few drinks, even if the guy “deliberately” bought her a tequila shot on top of her Cosmo to “loosen her up”.

    Know what you could have said instead?

    “Women can have a few drinks and relax without guys assuming they’re “looser” than they were sober. Women can accept drinks that guys buy without being amenable to propositions. Women can decide to have consensual sex when they darn well please without other people deciding whether they’re “allowed” to do so. It doesn’t matter whether a guy’s deliberately trying to loosen her up, or “just” “deliberately” doing so.”

    Do you have any idea why you did NOT say anything remotely similar to that?

  335. says

    Kevin:
    You are almost there, so you get more slack than setec or philosophia,
    BUT
    you cannot legally give consent if you are drunk. Stop perpetuating the claims otherwise. That is not helpful.
    ****

    Philosophia:
    In case you have no figured it out, civility-in and of itself-is not greatly valued around here. If you do not like harsh words boo fucking hoo. Go read the ABOUT link above the banner so you can understand Pharyngula better.
    ****

    Setec:
    Reading comprehension fail. No one has accused you of wanting to rape people. What has been said is that your continued search for a hypothetical “aha! This is not rape” serves no purpose except to provide a ‘get out of rape free’ card. NOT SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU.
    What you were doing, looking for special cases THATS RAPE APOLOGETICS.
    You have a problem with that bc you do not understand rape apologetics. Upthread Caine gave numerous links so that the uneducated-you, philosophia, and vencetti-would have the chance to learn and grow. Your refusal to do so is why you are treated the way you have been.

  336. throwaway, gut-punched says

    Likewise. I’ve civilly disagreed with some of the prevailing opinions here and been branded a rape apologist and accused of wanting to rape people.

    That’s just your testimony, and testimony isn’t evidence. Provide some contextual evidence because I think I’ll take a play from your playbook and suppose you’re a liar with a grudge to bear, or that maybe you’re mistaken about what you read.

  337. nerok says

    So several people are now suggesting that Shermer going straight to his lawyers is evidence of guilt. The fact that he did so quickly is further evidence.

    Let’s take that in. His reaction is being second guessed, people are suggesting what he should have done is to just send PZ a note, settle it quietly, and that he didn’t take steps to defend himself in the manner you’d have preferred is evidence of guilt. The timeline of events is also suspect.

    The same people who chewed out people in the other thread for being skeptical and judgemental about the actions of the victim. Wow.

    But I guess it’s different, because he’s the bad guy and we know he did it?

  338. Pteryxx says

    setec:

    Likewise. I’ve civilly disagreed with some of the prevailing opinions here and been branded a rape apologist and accused of wanting to rape people.

    I civilly countered your arguments, if you’ll recall, and I’m willing to say that in my judgement, you’re probably only an accidental rape apologist instead of an intentional one. You are ignorant about rape and alcohol, you don’t understand the concept of consent, and you either don’t acknowledge or don’t care about the collateral damage you’re doing by continuing to throw debunked rape mythology in the faces of survivors, many of whom have suffered directly because of those myths. If you’re going to redeem yourself, it’ll be by listening to the arguments and evidence presented and not making a big deal out of your wounded pride.

    I’m not being civil to you because you deserve it. At this point, you really don’t. I’m generally civil as my personal style, and it has nothing to do with you.

  339. says

    Guys buy women drinks because it makes them relaxed and more amenable to being propositioned.

    Really? I’ve always bought people of whatever gender and sexuality drinks because it was the sociable thing to do. Deliberately impairing their judgement so as to take later sexual advantage of that impaired judgement is scummy; and if carried through to the intended conclusion, it is rape.

  340. says

    As A-Ray once said, a woman should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny guys, with no one touching her, except for the one guy who puts her in bed, alone, to sleep.

    For every single one of you claiming you are not indulging in rape apologia, read that, and think, hard. The one effective weapon we have in preventing rape is to target rapists. Full stop. Instead of attempting to come up with ever more creative ways to place the onus on victims or potential victims, place that hyperskeptical laser focus on those who would rape. Watch the predators, not the prey.

    Use that uberskeptical genius to find better ways to put warnings out there. Come up with good plans on how to educate bystanders to be aware of predator moves and how to take positive action.

    You’ve all had centuries of happy victim blaming. How about taking responsibility for yourselves? How about you start telling other men that responsibility lies with them? How about drawing a firm line in the sand and refusing to stay silent or *highfive* your dudebros for slamming that drunk chick?

    How about being part of the change, how about being part of the solution, instead of part of the status quo foundations which shelter rapists far and wide?

  341. CaitieCat says

    David M @ 292:

    bargearse @9: “Illegitimi non carborundum”.

    That’s my line; I was merely offering the words to the person who said they’d seen it but didn’t remember the words. Doesn’t mean I don’t know they’re not really a Latin proverb; I was just giving information. I’m a quadrilingual linguist and translator myself. :)

  342. Merlin says

    PZ, I thank you for taking the actions you did. I also stand with the Jane Does (Janes Doe?) out there who came forward in the way they preferred/felt safe. If you are invited to fewer events, then it will simply mean fewer events that are worth going to.
    Also, props to Cain for superheroism, because dang. Hang in there and stay sane(ish)!

    Thanks again.

  343. Rob says

    Another time-sink thread! The problem with waking up to these threads is that I start making a list of comments to respond to and then come across comments from people saying exactly what I was going to say, often times much better. I feel so redundant some days.

    Thanks again Horde!

    PZ – I’m sure life feels turbulent right now. I’d like to think I would have had the courage to push the publish button too if I had been in your shoes. I add my offer of financial contribution to you and Jane Doe if that becomes necessary.

  344. jodyp says

    …the fact that PZ’s “reputation and maybe career” in the atheist circuit are more at risk here than Shermer’s should speak volumes.

  345. says

    As A-Ray once said, a woman should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny guys, with no one touching her, except for the one guy who puts her in bed, alone, to sleep.

    Adding to this. These also hold true:

    a man should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny guys, with no one touching him, except for the one guy who puts him in bed, alone, to sleep.

    a man should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny women, with no one touching him, except for the one woman who puts him in bed, alone, to sleep.

    a child should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny people, with no one touching them, except for the one person who puts them in bed, alone, to sleep.

  346. anteprepro says

    So several people are now suggesting that Shermer going straight to his lawyers is evidence of guilt. The fact that he did so quickly is further evidence.

    Let’s take that in. His reaction is being second guessed, people are suggesting what he should have done is to just send PZ a note, settle it quietly, and that he didn’t take steps to defend himself in the manner you’d have preferred is evidence of guilt. The timeline of events is also suspect.

    Listen the fuck up, you clueless fucking git: I am the one who originally brought in that argument. Apparently you can’t read, because no-one used the fact that he went to his lawyers and did so quickly as two separate kinds of evidence. I also never claimed that it was strong evidence of anything, or even half-way decent evidence. And I explicitly made it clear that I was only bringing it up to counter the arguments of people who said that PZ should’ve sent Shermer a note. It isn’t a sincere argument. It doesn’t and wasn’t supposed to prove anything. But that doesn’t stop you from playing holier than thou or making it all into a game of gotcha, does it, you fucking illiterate?

  347. anteprepro says

    As A-Ray once said, a woman should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny guys, with no one touching her, except for the one guy who puts her in bed, alone, to sleep.

    This.

    …the fact that PZ’s “reputation and maybe career” in the atheist circuit are more at risk here than Shermer’s should speak volumes.

    This too.

    Anteprepro specified that Shermer going to his lawyer is not evidence either way. It is a red flag however.

    Perhaps the problem is considering it legal evidence versus just considering informal evidence. Just looking at events and judging facts as a layman, I think looking at how quickly they decide to lawyer up is fair game, though still not necessarily indicative of much logically. As legal evidence, it is obviously worthless though. So I’m betting that factors into the inability to see what my point was, especially considering how many people have mistaken our corner of the internet with the Morris Municipal Court.

  348. says

    vencetti
    JESUS CHRIST FUCKING CTHULHU ON A POGO STICK ANOTHER ONE?!???! Your half-assed excuse for an argument was hashed out endlessly, literally hundreds of times, in two separate threads within the past few days. Both of them have been linked in this very thread in which you are commenting. Fuck off to one of those threads, read it, and then shut the fuck up until the heat death of the universe, or until you learn something in the unlikely event that that occurs first.

    Nerok
    Everything I said to vencetti with bells on, you pathetic excuse for a troll.

    David M
    My point was that no joke, regardless of how widespread it may be, is actually universal, especially across linguistic barriers. There, however, is a category of jokes and quips which have sufficiently wide currency that they are commonly used without explanation or an expectation of needing to, because the times when the audience knows the joke outnumber the times when explanation is required. An in-joke, on the other hand, is only expected to be understood by a particular subcategory of speakers of a language, and will either require or more often defy explanation to someone not in that subcategory (i.e. “What’s so funny?” “You had to have been there.”)Of course, the international nature of the internet, combined with the aforementioned language barrier, may call for a reevaluation of Bayesian priors regarding the likelihood of a joke being recognized, but when one is on a website which conducts all of its business in your native language, it’s easy to forget that that may not be the case for the other users.

  349. anteprepro says

    Setec has now been formally and officially Fucked Off.

    And nothing of value was lost.
    I’m sure we can find a replacement who can wail “what about the civility !” It doesn’t seem terribly hard to find one.

  350. pensnest says

    philosophia #404

    What is the reasoning behind the statement that I am not a good-faith interlocutor? That I have disagreed? I see no other reason.

    It’s not that you have disagreed. You are simply not discussing in good faith if you refuse to recognise the points that are being made by the people with whom you disagree. Plainly you are not taking the trouble to read the highly informative things Caine has been linking for you. You don’t even seem to have researched the meaning of ‘rape apologist’. Why should anyone here be interested in a discussion with you when you demonstrate again and again that you are not willing to take us/the discussion seriously?

  351. ledasmom says

    We will make sure you are the first to know as soon as Pharyngula becomes an arm of the legal system.

    Or, possibly, a tentacle.

  352. says

    Well, I am somewhat relieved that many of you admitted that you don’t have absolute certainty that PZ took the best possible course of action.

    LOL, you’re relieved that people admit that X is not true, when in reality nobody ever claimed X in the first place. That’s ONE way to get relief, I guess. Must be pretty short-lived, though.

    The impression of absolute conviction is given when the answers come back with great condescension, hostility laced with obscenities.

    So basically you’re unable to parse style from content, but nevertheless believe it is everybody else’s fault but yours that you came to the wrong conclusion. Charming.

  353. CaitieCat says

    Dear people who don’t like naughty words: Don’t fucking read what I’m about to fucking write.

    So, I thought it might make life simpler if we made a generic form of the usual trolling arguments we’ve seen hundreds of times in the last week:

    Oh! You’re all such a (tribal war party/herd of sheeple/witch hunt/lynch mob)! Here, let me show you my Mighty Skeptic Brain, whose grisly juice I will now spray all over your thread like a tomcat with kidney issues.

    Yes, I know there are hundreds of you, but clearly I am (smarter/more wise/more cynical/more Twoo Skeptic/more able to see through PZ’s Svengali powers/hung with neurons like a rampant rhino/The Only Twoo Skeptic In The Woom), so now you will all listen politely while I tell you how (stupid/completely befuddled/feminazi evil/much of a castrating man-hater/shrewish/hysterical/unskeptical/irrational/on your period) you are.

    My anecdotal evidence, unlike that (groupthink/feminist hivebrain/irrational pap/Mccarthyist witch hunt/third-hand hearsay from someone who’s an obvious slut even if I don’t know her name, because duh BITCHEZ amirite?) that you call rationality and skepticism, is worth listening to and being persuaded by, because unlike you, I have (a true skeptic’s rationality/the ability to testify in the classical sense wink-wink/oh, let’s just say it, a HUGE PENIS/a hard-on for Horsemen/raving misogyny that I wallow in/the ability to be civil).

    So if you could just stop believing anyone you find trustworthy, and rely on my interpretations, you’ll achieve (Twoo Skeptijizzum/the right answer/a date with my hero Rand Paul/the ability to parse my incomprehensible bafflegab). This is what happened. AtheistMan, the world-renowned superhero, was (FALSELY ACCUSED BY A SLUT AND IF SHE’D JUST SAY WHO SHE WAS WE COULD GET ON WITH THE APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENT).

    Thank you. I will accept my delivery of the World Cup of Twoo Skeptijizzum to my home address.

    -=-=-

    What do you think? Could we get it made up as an Internet form, put it on the post, and hand-deliver the form output to dev/null?

  354. Nightjar says

    JESUS CHRIST FUCKING CTHULHU ON A POGO STICK ANOTHER ONE?!???!

    I’ve lost count to how many times I’ve uttered ^this (or something equivalent) while catching up with this whole thing. FFS.

    To all of you dipshits reacting to Jane Doe’s testimony with “maybe she’s telling the truth, maybe not, hey, who knows”, to all of you assholes more concerned with poor, poor Shermer than with that brave woman: you should be ashamed of yourselves. Fuck you and your fucking lack of empathy.

  355. Sili says

    a child should be able to get pass out drunk, naked, in a room full of horny people, with no one touching them, except for the one person who puts them in bed, alone, to sleep.

    Thank you.

  356. nerok says

    Yes, it appears I missed a clarifying post. Though the clarifications seem to be half hearted, like:

    @364 anteprepro

    I am viewing someone who is overeager at defending himself as a possible tiny shred of evidence of guilt, yes. But mostly I bring it up because it makes the “you should’ve talked to Shermer first” argument look utterly ridiculous.

    And further

    @431 anteprepro

    I think looking at how quickly they decide to lawyer up is fair game, though still not necessarily indicative of much logically

    There’s also generally supportive posts like:

    @427 Tony

    It is a red flag however.

    @374 throwaway, gut-punched

    No, it’s more like, “Why do you want to hide the evidence if you did nothing wrong?”

    And @361 Indigo Jump.

    I also recall posts in this vein from the now deleted thread, and some from the Last Word For Now thread.

    I reacted because I found it terrible reasoning. I’m very glad it’s not the prevailing thinking and is being rejected.

  357. says

    CaitieCat:

    Here, let me show you my Mighty Skeptic Brain, whose grisly juice I will now spray all over your thread like a tomcat with kidney issues.

    You deserve a medal and all the internetz, infinity.

    What do you think? Could we get it made up as an Internet form, put it on the post, and hand-deliver the form output to dev/null?

    Well, I’ve bookmarked it and added it to the ‘must be posted in these threads’, along with Lyn M’s 7 Steps of Rape Apology and Nepenthe’s The Concerned Skeptic’s Guide to Rape (by Rape Apologists, for Rapists).

  358. Sili says

    I would be persona non grata in a large segment of the movement

    That’ll just make it easier to decide what events are worth attending.

  359. imthegenieicandoanything says

    Pardon me for asking, so late, but what exactly may PZ be “squeezed out” of? Presumably something that matters a bit, at least inside the skeptic/atheist/etc. circles?

    Also, in answer to #264 (who seems pretty unpleasant – now banned?):

    If the same charges were made in the same fashion about PZ or Ed B, it would depend ENTIRELY on who the conduit for the charges was (if it were someone I had followed and trusted as both fair-minded and humanly skeptical for a long time, I’d be troubled indeed), then on how other sources picked up the accusations and confirmed or denied them with their own experience (Was PZ someone many had seen allowing alcohol excuse unpleasant behavior of any kind? Had Ed shown a tendency to post “humorous” stories or jokes of borderline sexism?). Finally, how does the accused react? And their readers?

    It’d be unpleasant (Talk about an example -I voted for Edwards)

    Fortunately, it’s an absurd one – and you knew it but chose a silly, covertly-insulting tactic to avoid dealing with the issue at hand.

  360. CJO says

    Excellent work, CatieCat.

    Thanks to Caine, Rutee, Sally, anteprepro, et al. This shit is infuriating; we all owe you a lot for fighting the good fight. The rewards are few and I don’t harbor any illusions that it isn’t painful and difficult to stay in the trenches, or that my feeble kudos are any measure of recompense. Nevertheless, please know that there are many of us out here who are heartened and better able to withstand the rage due to your efforts.

  361. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I guess it’s different, because he’s the bad guy and we know he did it?

    He’s giving prima facie evidence he is a bad guy, by not defending himself here, which he could do. But he has his lawyer attempt to intimidate PZ with threat of a lawsuit. Bullies are bullies, and that is why Jane Doe wants to remain anonymous.

  362. cubist says

    To those who assert that PZ and the Horde are assassinating Shermer’s character:

    Shermer’s character wasn’t assassinated; it committed suicide. All we’ve done is conduct the autopsy.

  363. mofa says

    “This is not an update” is drivel. ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ is more enlightening.

  364. CaitieCat says

    @451 mofa: And yet you’re here. What does that say about you, that you decide you must bring your intellectual wankery brilliance here among the drivel and unenlightenment?

    Do yourself a favour: fuck off and go somewhere you like. Wallow about with the other piggies. The mud will feel nice, and you and the rest of the herd can feel comfortably safe behind the big sign on the barn saying “two testes good, no testes bad”.

  365. Who Cares says

    @anteprepro(#435):

    And nothing of value was lost.
    I’m sure we can find a replacement who can wail “what about the civility !” It doesn’t seem terribly hard to find one.

    That wasn’t his strength (so to speak). You should have seen him go nuts trying to use zenos paradox to shift the line of what isn’t rape when the victim has had alcohol.

    In a further display of how entrenched the apology of rape is embedded in the local (that is Dutch) culture. Had a visit from the social worker assigned to me (she’s there to prevent backsliding), who started hitting quite a few points on the apology bingo card when I started explaining why I did trigger an episode. And then the uneasy brush off when I started to counter a few of those.

    Oh and can every please stop stuffing links in their posts? There are so many I’ve had to organize my bookmarks.
    (Just to make sure seeing the tension about this, that was said in jest. I don’t think I can thank people enough for providing more information of why people need to speak out.)

  366. Nick Gotts says

    it’s time to pick a side and build a better secular movement – PZ

    It is indeed: and when we encounter the rape-apologist slimebuckets that have picked Shermer’s side, it just reinforces our conviction we’re right to pick PZs, the Horde’s, FTB’s…That’s all you’re achieving here, slimebuckets. As for the fence-sitters: at best, you’re useless, pompous, puffballs.

    I’ll be away for a few days, at an anti-fracking protest – sorry I can’t be here as well. Don’t let the slimeballs get you down, Pharyngulites – take breaks when you need to!

  367. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    @449 Nerd of Redhead

    I guess I spoke too soon.

    Bullies are always bad guys. What is your real problem, other than not being able to comprehend the argument here? You appear to be lost in a sea of confusion.

  368. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mofa has had an accident with a banhammer. Ran right into it.

    Poor banhammer. It’s grog bath awaits….

  369. CaitieCat says

    I will admit, skeptijizzum was my very favourite bit of that whole thing. :)

    Thanks Tony, and CJO.

    If it’s not clear, I explicitly name this bit of writing (comment 439 of this post, posted at 15 August 2013 at 5:53 pm if the number doesn’t match up because of a banning or something) to be CCC-covered on the most open setting. Use it or amend it at your leisure. I don’t care whether you’re careful about attribution. If you want to be hyperattributive (and you do not need to be), you can link my blog at Fullmetal Feminist. But I won’t be mad if you don’t do either. :)

  370. nerok says

    @461 Nerd of Redhead

    I made my case back at 418. That is the line of reasoning I have a problem with. The main rebuttal was that I was wrong for thinking it had been made at all, though clearly that is not the case.

    I made my position on Shermer clear in an earlier thread, but restated for your convenience: it seems likely that Shermer did rape someone, and indeed may have raped or assaulted several different people.

    However, I find the idea that his actions in defending himself legally being subject to that kind of “red flag” speculation terribly inconsistent.

  371. CaitieCat says

    I also, btw, considered “It’s all about my Very Important O-PEEN-ion!”, but wasn’t sure if it would translate from my head to the Intertubez as well as I’d like. Been into my supplementary medication after a couple of rough dies, so I’m not completely convinced my judg(e)ment is sound atm. :)

  372. CaitieCat says

    Been into my supplementary medication after a couple of rough dies

    Well, I was playing ME3 earlier, so I did have a couple of rough dies, but I think I actually meant days, and…oh, I know, I was slipping in some Latin to sound smart for the hivemind. Yep. That’s what it was.

  373. says

    CaitieCat:

    Well, I was playing ME3 earlier, so I did have a couple of rough dies, but I think I actually meant days

    I think “a couple of rough dies” is quite an apt descriptor of what happens to many of us when dealing with the rain of continual doucheweasels.

  374. says

    nerok:

    However, I find the idea that his actions in defending himself legally being subject to that kind of “red flag” speculation terribly inconsistent.

    Which you have stated, repeatedly. That’s enough. Stop, right now.

  375. DLC says

    I’ve written and deleted about 6 posts on this topic, just in this thread. Well, I’m going to leave it at this : I agree that all human beings have the right to be secure in their own person at all times, intoxicated or not.
    Further, no person should have to put up with threats of bodily harm, no matter how well -intentioned the person uttering the threat may think themselves. To some extent there will always be people who post hateful things online — this does not mean we have to roll over and accept their behavior.

  376. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I made my case back at 418.

    No, you made evidenceless assertions, which can and are dismissed without evidence. YOU HAVE NOTHING BUT YOUR OPINION.

    it seems likely that Shermer did rape someone, and indeed may have raped or assaulted several different people.

    Then what is your problem? Other than you pretend you are the smartest person posting, despite evidence to the contrary

    However, I find the idea that his actions in defending himself legally being subject to that kind of “red flag” speculation terribly inconsistent.

    Nope, just that if he isn’t a bully, HE would have tried to defuse the situation without a letter from a lawyer. That is the hallmark of the bully Jane Doe is afraid off, and someone who is scared of the consequences of their actions….

  377. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Am I prohibited from answering further replies as well?

    Do what you want. But your word isn’t taken as anything other than bullshit. Keep that in mind, and lead with evidence, not opinion.

  378. PatrickG says

    I think “a couple of rough dies” is quite an apt descriptor of what happens to many of us when dealing with the rain of continual doucheweasels.

    Thanks for the mental image of a cloud of doucheweasels disgorging into the atmosphere. :)

    More seriously, thanks to all who’ve been around for this. I still haven’t made it through the other threads, and frankly, I’m not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to do so. If nothing else, so damn repetitive. Ugh.

    Anyways, thanks Hordelings! Always inspiring!

  379. Rey Fox says

    Boy, they’re just as tedious and self-absorbed as ever.

    (soap opera references are totally hack, by the way)

  380. CJO says

    Los dies de gnomos

    (That’s “the days of the trolls” in my Spanglish) The webz are divided as to whether “troll” meaning “intentionally obnoxious and abusive shitstain on your monitor”should be translated in Spanish or rendered simply as a loan word. But the Spanish for the old-fashioned ogre-kin-type monster is apparently “gnomos” and I like the euphony of Los dies de gnomos

  381. says

    The level of proof that these rape apologists and MRAs demand is the sort of thing we mock creationists for demanding of evolution. Video evidence of every step in the process or don’t even suggest the possibility.

  382. CaitieCat says

    Okay, now I have It’s Raining Jerks in my head as an earworm. Ever-so thanks, Caine. :)

    So, I’m gonna filk it, right now, as my antidote. Scansion issues are mine, but hey, I did it in five minutes, cut me some slack!

    Stupidity’s rising, thinkometer’s gettin’ low
    (Not enough) sources say, the street’s the place to go
    Tonight for the first time just about half past ten
    The thousandth time since Saturday that JAQoff again

    It’s raining jerks, get your helmet, it’s raining jerks Real berks
    I’m gonna read on, I’m gonna facepalm until my forehead’s red
    It’s raining jerks, get your helmet it’s raining jerks, Skeptijizzum-men
    Blowhards thick and assy think they’re sassy really they’re just fucking jerks!

    (Chorus, dance about with wild abandon)

  383. CJO says

    s/b los dies de los gnomos I suppose, but I did disclaim it as Spanglish after all. I will cease using this space to divert myself now.

    Until tomorrow, hordelings

  384. Who Cares says

    However, I find the idea that his actions in defending himself legally being subject to that kind of “red flag” speculation terribly inconsistent.

    The problem with threatening a lawsuit is that, as has been discussed briefly on the grenade thread, that PZ himself has very good defenses to avoid a ruling against him. Shermer got himself a lawyer that has been described as a heavyhitter. Or to put it more simply a lawyer who would know that and most likely adviced Shermer of this.
    So the question is: why he would want to push a threat like that knowing it’d be a waste of money.
    The most charitable interpretation would be that Shermer flipped out, just like when he was called a sexist comment, and went HULK SMASH! as a reaction. However there are, at this moment, steps missing after that which would make that the likely sequence of events.
    What is more likely seeing all the history is that this is is not aimed at PZM but at the women who told them what happened and why they didn’t want their names made public. If that is the case, (the threat of) the lawsuit as intimidation/harassment, then these women are vindicated in their belief that Shermer would retaliate against them for bringing this out in public.

  385. says

    Nerok:

    Am I prohibited from answering further replies as well?

    No. However, you might figure out on your own that you are deliberately beating a dead horse, which will get on people’s nerves, and I will end up having to send an alert to PZ, getting on his nerves, and how that might not be a good thing. I’d suggest you drop it and move on. That goes for Nerd of Redhead (and anyone else who wants to keep up the dead horse whipping.)

  386. Who Cares says

    Geez Freud in action.

    just like when he was called a sexist comment

    Should be

    just like when he was called on a sexist comment

  387. says

    Who Cares:

    just like when he was called a sexist comment

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. :thud: Hahahahahahahaha…hee. Oh, thank you. You know, that’s not the worst thing to say about particular people – they are walking sexist comments.

  388. anteprepro says

    The most charitable interpretation would be that Shermer flipped out, just like when he was called a sexist comment, and went HULK SMASH! as a reaction.

    Honestly, Shermer jumping into a lawsuit makes an incredible amount of sense when you realize his already established hilariously low threshold for “persecuted via witch hunt”. I can only imagine what kind of atrocity he believes PZ’s post was. I imagine that he considers that PZ is what would happen if Hitler and Vlad The Impaler had a baby that was raised by wolves and employed by Halliburton.

    to keep up the dead horse whipping.

    For those who can’t help but beat a dead horse: You suffer from a condition known as Chronic Necroequine Flagellitis. It is a serious condition, but don’t worry. Just put on blinders and you will be fine!

  389. nerok says

    @481 Caine

    Fantastic. I don’t agree it’s a dead horse, it seems a live discussion in this thread. I also think it’s an important one, not because it absolves Shermer in any way, but rather that it ties directly into the reasoning behind how people are taking their sides on the issue of guilt.

    Clearly, and contrary to the response I got originally, people do think Shermer’s response is relevant in assessing that.

    @471 Nerd of Redhead
    You show me the evidence for your assertion @449 and 471, and then I’ll play on that even battlefield.

    @480 Who Cares
    I’ll skim it again, but to my mind these legal issues have few comments from people who would know, and an overwhelming amount from people with an opinion on how they should go. I’m not saying it is impossible or even unlikely Shermer is using a lawyer offensively, but the realm of why is a matter of mindreading his intentions. I would have expected the same thing had Shermer looked/been innocent as well.
    However, my problem lies with the idea that we should cast his legal defense actions in the context of guilt and innocence at all. Because that is exactly the game of rape apologists and it is a game far too easy to play to whatever conclusion you prefer.

  390. says

    anteprepro:

    I imagine that he considers that PZ is what would happen if Hitler and Vlad The Impaler had a baby that was raised by wolves and employed by Halliburton.

    :raises eyebrow: Now that brings up an interesting image.

  391. A Surprise to Many says

    Thank you, PZ, Jane Doe, and the other persons who have contacted PZ with supporting statements.

    And for the True Skeptics who have trouble with these distinctions, even in a far more just, non rape culture world than we have at present, criminal convictions are not likely to happen in every unethical, coerced, and harmful sexual act. That doesn’t mean that such sexual encounters are ethical, freely chosen, or benign, it just means that evidentiary standards for criminal liability were not met. It might mean that one so harmed could seek civil liability. Or do what Jane Doe did, tell her story, and warn other people about the unethical and coercive behavior. Just because something cannot be proven in a criminal or civil court does not mean it is untrue or that one may not tell the story.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the “don’t tell sexual assault victims to go to the authorities/police or to press charges” advice in the last few weeks. And while I agree with the admonition, I think it speaks to a horrible reality in our culture and one which must be changed if rape culture is to end. In the next couple years, as some changes in life circumstances allow me time to act, I’m going to start volunteering with a local group that offers a variety of services to abused persons, including support in dealing with police investigations and prosecutions.

    And one last thing: I once heard a Famous Woman Author speaking about her experience as a woman alcoholic – she said that every single woman alcoholic she had ever met had been raped multiple times. In what conceivable moral universe is it acceptable to target alcoholics with violence and blame them for their own humiliation? And strange that I’ve never heard a single news account of youth beating up intoxicated homeless men blaming those victims for their own assaults.

  392. John Phillips, FCD says

    I man this side of the barricade as the only side worth being on. Hang tight horde, clenched tentacle salute to one and all. Caine et al, of who there are far too many to name individually, you all rock.

  393. sandman15 says

    Are people actually suggesting that all drunk sex is rape?

    I have had sex while drunk man times, while the woman was sober. Did she rape me?

    I have had sex while sober, while the woman was drunk. Did I rape her?

    I have had sex while drunk, while the woman was also drunk. Did we simultaneously rape each other?

    The notion that one can never consent while drunk is absurd. What a simplistic way of looking at things, as though the subject is that black and white.

    [Jesus fucking christ. Here's the simple rule: if you're not sure whether it's rape or not, DON'T DO IT. If you're here to argue about the grey areas where it's maybe OK, then you're THINKING LIKE A RAPIST. Now, goodbye, you terrible excuse for a human being with a hotmail account. --pzm]

  394. says

    A Surprise to Many:

    In the next couple years, as some changes in life circumstances allow me time to act, I’m going to start volunteering with a local group that offers a variety of services to abused persons, including support in dealing with police investigations and prosecutions.

    Yes! You are a hero. There are never enough advocates. May your voice be ever strong, and you have all my support.

  395. sandman15 says

    You have answered those three questions repeatedly? Did you answer in this thread? I didn’t see those questions answered.

    And you’re actually trying to get me banned after one post? Wow.

  396. pHred says

    CaitieCat what was great

    but … now I have It’s raining jerks, hallelujah stuck in my head (eek!) plus I had no idea how difficult it was to find a decent rhyme for hallelujah –

    lets see … barracuda, big blue tuna, summa nulla (though you would torture any Latin coaches), gonna scuba, Kama Sutra (now that is just terrible), cute Vicuña

    It’s raining jerks, gonna go look at a cute Vicuña just doesn’t sing (and most of the other things I have come up with are terrible!

    Help !

  397. sandman15 says

    Caine, I just searched for every instance of “drunk” in this thread. Those questions were not answered.

  398. alexanderjohannesen says

    Just a cordial note of what side I’ve picked; this one. Fuck the conventions; what matters is what they are made of. Who would have thought that so many skeptics fear the truth?