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He clearly has a legitimate, vested interest

fuson

The guy who has been pestering Skeptics Guide to the Universe to fire Rebecca Watson, and is also associated with the always lovely pro-harrasment site A News, and who created the anti-Rebecca Watson facebook page, has been revealed. It’s Cecil Fuson. Mr Fuson really, really hates Rebecca. He’s really disgusted with this feminist stuff.

Mr Fuson is also a registered sex offender who was convicted and went to prison for “indecent liberties with a minor” in 2003.

It was probably those damned feminists who railroaded him.

<Cue shrieks of “Dox!” and “Free speech!” (oh wait, not that last one, this time)>

Comments

  1. Blondin says

    I responded:

    Do I have your permission to post about how you’re a sex offender?

    As of this posting, I have not received a response.

    I guess you’d call that a “Cecil Desist” notice.

  2. yazikus says

    Off topic, but Jackie, can I tell you how much I’m enjoying your nym? Very very much. Makes me smile every time you comment.

  3. eigenperson says

    PZ, I think it’s grossly irresponsible of you to publish this gossip. You’re willing to condemn this guy just on the unsubstantiated word of the completely anonymous folks at the North Carolina Departmen of Justice. What if he’s not actually a sex offender? Just think about that for a minute. You could cause a huge amount of damage to the reputation of a good man.

    I hope he sues you for libel.

  4. says

    Mr Fuson is also a registered sex offender who was convicted and went to prison for “indecent liberties with a minor” in 2003.

    I’m sure this is simply a case of the Feminazis of Evil™ railroading an innocent man, and now they are ruining his reputation. Ruining, I say!

    ObTag: Sarcasm.

  5. remyporter says

    And he’s rocking a poorly maintained neckbeard. Way to combat stereotypes, Douchson.

  6. Anthony K says

    And he’s rocking a poorly maintained neckbeard. Way to combat stereotypes, Douchson.

    Eh, I’ve got a bit of a neckbeard (and a facebeard) for the time being (I don’t like shaving more than a couple of times a week, and I’m so hirsute I can squeeze out a good beard with a held-in sneeze). Policing others’ images is contrary to the kind of feminism we try to practice here.

    (Not that I didn’t think of making fun of his hair, but that’s my hirsute privilege showing: I’m practically a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s.)

  7. says

    remyporter:

    And he’s rocking a poorly maintained neckbeard. Way to combat stereotypes, Douchson.

    Could you not do this, please? There’s more than enough to comment on without bringing someone’s physical appearance into it. Physical appearance has absolutely nothing to do with who someone actually is, nor what types of behaviour they may or may not indulge in. That sort of judgment is not helpful.

  8. says

    (…I’m practically a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s.)

    In that case, your hair is perfect, so none of this criticism applies to you.

  9. Anthony K says

    Um..care to show us an example of a well-maintained neckbeard? I’ve never seen one, so I suspect your phrase is a redundancy.

    I used to study gongfu under this man. He’d given up the beard long before I was old enough to train, but I still thought of him as the Fighting Amish.

  10. Algernon says

    I, for one, stand in solidarity with my neckbearded allies. One should not be judged on the hoariness of their neck nor the visibility of their chin.

  11. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    You mean that, despite all the huffing and puffing to the contrary, that most of these men making misogynistic comments and attacking women are actually misogynists? But they had me SO convinced of the contrary…

  12. remyporter says

    Caine, Fleur du malQ

    There’s more than enough to comment on without bringing someone’s physical appearance into it.

    Someone’s beard is not part of their physical appearance. It is one of their fashion choices. The important distinction here is that they have chosen to present themselves that way. It’s possible that he’s dealing with a condition that prevents him from shaving, but let’s be honest- that’s not what’s going on here.

    He’s chosen to wear that embarrassment.

  13. Jackie: The COLOSSAL TOWERING VAGINA! says

    Yazikus,
    You certainly may.

    I don’t know about you, but to me it sounds like a movie featuring someone in a vagina suit crashing through a miniature town like Godzilla. :)

  14. Al Dente says

    I’m with Anthony K. As the proud owner of a neckbeard (and face beard) I declare it’s sheer jealousy from those unable to have neckbeards that bring about the neckbeard hating.

    Seriously though, Cecil likely has some serious problems with women and sexuality. We don’t know the details of his offense against minors (I certainly don’t want to know) but being a convicted sex offender does not bode well for him having a mainstream outlook towards sexual relations.

  15. Vicki says

    Not being inborn or otherwise fixed doesn’t mean the hair isn’t part of his physical appearance. After all, we know about it from looking at a picture of him. Furthermore, if you were being harassed by a convicted sex offender, would you actually care whether he was neatly shaved, or excuse his known misdeeds because he was fashionably dressed?

    Sex offenders look just like other people. If this were a “WANTED” poster, then yes, it might show his hairy neck. And include actual pictures of his tattoos, along with the text descriptions. In this context, it doesn’t matter how often he shaves; taking time to shave thoroughly would be unlikely to interfere with his campaign of harassment.

  16. says

    From experience, I know what people will say:
    “He’s a free man now!”
    “He’s paid his dues/done his time”
    “He deserves a second chance.”
    Are we going to dig into the legal history of everyone we interact with? We can’t!
    How do you know x,y and z aren’t sex offenders? You can’t know who they all are. It’s unfair to single him out.
    How can he get better when people are shunning him/being mean?
    Our humanist community can help him stay psychologically healthy so he can redeem himself.

    Yes, I’ve heard all these after a similar revelation.

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

    Is this going to be another fedora (link) discussion? Please no.

  18. Algernon says

    By the way:

    Looked up what the charge means in NC:

    A person is guilty of taking indecent liberties with children if, being 16 years of age or more and at least five years older than the child in question, he either:

    (1) Willfully takes or attempts to take any immoral, improper, or indecent liberties with any child of either sex under the age of 16 years for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire; or

    (2) Willfully commits or attempts to commit any lewd or lascivious act upon or with the body or any part or member of the body of any child of either sex under the age of 16 years.

    (b) Taking indecent liberties with children is punishable as a Class F felony. (1955, c. 764; 1975, c. 779; 1979, c. 760, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1316, s. 47; 1981, c. 63, s. 1, c. 179, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 1201; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)

    He also seems to like dragons. That’s a shame. I think we can all agree that dragons are wonderful.

  19. says

    Oh, I forgot-
    I also heard comments that the victim(s) are better now and moving on with their lives (based on offender’s testimony.)

    And best of all on being divisive- “We need to stick together.”

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

    remyporter,

    My thoughts in the linked thread can more or less be considered true for this conversation too.

    —-
    So, in other news. He abused a minor? Well. That’s certainly a point against him. A rather big point.

  21. Corvus Whiteneck says

    How did this guy think it was going to go?

    That SGU would drop Rebecca b/c an asshole with a tiny facebook page sent them an email?
    That he’d become the hero of the intertoobz for ousting her?
    That nobody would see his real name and business email address and say “I guess I should google this guy to see what his deal is”?

  22. Anthony K says

    So, in other news. He abused a minor? Well. That’s certainly a point against him. A rather big point.

    And especially relevant is the fact that he’s demonstrated an inability to comprehend consent.

  23. Pteryxx says

    I don’t know about you, but to me it sounds like a movie featuring someone in a vagina suit crashing through a miniature town like Godzilla. :)

    <_<

    Code Pink

    “Read My Lips…”

  24. says

    And this brings up another point which is, as in any community, there are bound to be people who offend against children as well. I’m not real confident at this point that all of the skeptics/atheist orgs/groups and their members will be prepared to identify and properly respond to such things. We have child care we have camps. We want more families involved. If a now adult comes out and says they were victimized while still a minor while at an atheist or skeptic event or by a prominent atheist or skeptic, what protocol will the appropriate leaders or the community take? What if their testimony is another de-identified* one through PZ Myers?

    *Myers’ information is not anonymous. Myers is the link between the de-identified data to the identity as regulars already are well aware of.

  25. Louis says

    Colour me shocked by this. Shocked.

    Well, actually not shocked at all. It was statistically likely that at least one of the cacophony of misogynists in these movements was a convicted sex offender. That this guy has been caught trying to get RW sacked, and is a convicted sex offender, and thus most likely has an agenda re: silencing women and/or victims of abuse, is pretty funny.

    I predict that there will be no/little distancing from this guy by the relevant misogynist muppetry at large. The focus of noise will be on “doxxing” and “logical fallacies” (poisoning the well, ad hominems etc). Why? Self reflection, not their strong suit.

    Louis

  26. Louis says

    Anthony K,

    And especially relevant is the fact that he’s demonstrated an inability to comprehend consent.

    This. A googolplex times this.

    Louis

  27. Louis says

    G Pierce, #30,

    “He’s a free man now!”
    “He’s paid his dues/done his time”
    “He deserves a second chance.”
    Are we going to dig into the legal history of everyone we interact with? We can’t!
    How do you know x,y and z aren’t sex offenders? You can’t know who they all are. It’s unfair to single him out.
    How can he get better when people are shunning him/being mean?
    Our humanist community can help him stay psychologically healthy so he can redeem himself.

    All of which are true, if one is going to ignore the context, and we know the likely utterers of these things are certainly going to do THAT at least.* The context, of course, being that a convicted sex offender has obviously failed to learn at least one lesson regarding consensual sexual activity and is attempting to silence a known advocate of high consent standards in one of her professional outlets.

    But of course this stuff is part of the global feminazi Space Lizard conspiracy against men. Or something. So we can ignore it.

    Louis

    * I confess I await, with some amusement, the Deep Rifts that this will** cause in the Misogynist Muppetry at large.

    ** Please insert the word “not” into this point of the sentence to gain an understanding of what I personally think the likely outcome is.

  28. Randomfactor says

    Some interesting stuff going on the anti-RW page at present. Maybe spurred in part by this post?

    (I only saw the thread because a Facebookfriend commented there.)

  29. says

    People, he looks normal. Quit trying to find signatures of deviance in his physiognomy — you’re sounding very 19th century.

  30. says

    cue the arguments about age of consent being a misandrist conspiracy by old, shriveled up feminazis trying to outlaw the competition…

  31. anteprepro says

    For the most part, on the issue of feminism and women’s equality, Voltaire’s prayer has been fulfilled. Our enemies have frequently been ridiculous, though perhaps not in as laughable of a way as we might like. It was always a frustrating sort of ridiculous, but it still helped to reassure us that we were right, given the clownery that passed as Dissent ™. But, it seems, we are reaching the point where the ugly side is obvious. That the clownery is just the frantic attempts to cover up some dark shit and selfish, sickening agendas. Voltaire’s prayer was actually a wish, corrupted. Some of our enemies are not just ridiculous. They aren’t just naive clowns, aren’t just ignorami and fools, aren’t just unreflective hypocritical sheeple. They aren’t even just benighted victims of a poisonous culture. They go to ridiculous extremes entirely because they are horrible fucking human beings doing whatever they can to defend their ability to be horrible. Hanlon’s Razor has hidden the true face of some of these assholes far too effectively.

  32. Jacob Schmidt says

    cue the arguments about age of consent being a misandrist conspiracy by old, shriveled up feminazis trying to outlaw the competition…

    I dunno about that, but there’s a commenter over at Skepchick arguing that not all state laws are the same, therefore… I dunno, maybe he’s not totally a sex offender?

  33. says

    Also, color me not even mildly shocked that he is both a sex offender and a vociferous critic of ‘guys, don’t do that.’

    If any of the people who’ve been incessantly trolling are reading this, this gentleman and his actions are part of what you’re providing cover for with ‘is it rape yet’ or ‘witch hunt’ or any of that other shite. You know how, on the grenade thread, several of us pointed out that desperately defending Shermer and people who commit sex crimes tends to signal a motive for trying to find ways one’s actions are okay?

    Yeah…..

  34. anteprepro says

    I dunno about that, but there’s a commenter over at Skepchick arguing that not all state laws are the same, therefore… I dunno, maybe he’s not totally a sex offender?

    According to the Skepchick article itself, the victim was 15 and he was 23. The age of consent in all U.S. states range from 16 to 18 . It is 16 in North Carolina. There aren’t states with a lower age of consent. When will these people stop talking out of their ass to find some possible way in which they can maybe try to defend the indefensible? What possesses these “skeptics” to do it? Do they really need to be fed this kind of basic information well after they compulsively open their traps? Are they really compelled to reflexively naysay anything a feminist says? It is a fucking bizarre form of “skepticism” that these assholes display.

  35. says

    Wow, it’s almost like Fuson is made of misogynist straw… I know we can’t generalize that every anti-woman asshat shrieking in the ‘pit as a Fuson clone, but I’m going to have to rethink my thoughts on this. I had assumed that most of them are just caught up in bad thinking mixed with the men-first culture, but maybe more of them are trying protect/normalize their meatspace actions that they know are wrong and are being brought to light by feminism.

    I hope Fuson’s example weeds more of the honest ones out of slime. Found this on the FB page:

    Hi folks, this is my first time and last time posting here.
    My name is Lee Moore and I am the host of A-News.
    I was added as an admin to this group without my consent so I figured I should use this platform to say something important.

    A while back I tried to do something about the constant infighting in our movement and it failed. I have tried to oppose Atheists being shitty to one another and in my own anger at the situation I became guilty of the very thing I set out to do change.

    For that I am deeply sorry. I let my frustration get the better of me and listened a bit to much to those who I should have ignored from the start. Well I am done being a part of the problem.

    I will not support any group or individual who encourages more shitty behavior between Atheists.

    So I ask that those of you who want to see Atheists treating each other like the amazing human beings that they are join me in walking out of here. And to those I may have offended, once again I am so sorry.

    -Lee Moore
    A-News

  36. says

    Mary on the Skepchicks thread posted Mr. Fuson’s full record. There’s a lot of bad on it, not just his behavior with a child (which is more than bad enough.) He’s been in and out of legal trouble since 1999.

  37. says

    Mouthyb:

    If any of the people who’ve been incessantly trolling are reading this, this gentleman and his actions are part of what you’re providing cover for with ‘is it rape yet’ or ‘witch hunt’ or any of that other shite. You know how, on the grenade thread, several of us pointed out that desperately defending Shermer and people who commit sex crimes tends to signal a motive for trying to find ways one’s actions are okay?

    Yeah…..

    Quoted for Shiny Truth.

  38. supernorbert says

    leftwingfox wrote:

    A second chance requires an actual change in behaviour.

    But he changed from child molester to online harasser. Come on, give him a chance!

  39. says

    I can now scratch off “done his time” and “paid his debt to society” thanks to Ben Quick at skepchick. Did I call it or what?
    Goal posts will keep moving on any accusations or even convictions of predators.
    We don’t know who the accuser is…
    Yeah, but why didn’t they go to the police?
    Oh, but why didn’t the police think there was enough evidence?
    But why wasn’t there a conviction?
    Why didn’t he get a longer sentence?
    Well he’s done his time…

  40. says

    Supernorbert:

    But he changed from child molester to online harasser. Come on, give him a chance!

    :snort:

    G Pierce, the flaming doucheweasels will always find a way to twist anything. I can see it now…”see, reporting to the police works! That’s why Jane Doe blahblahyadayadayadablah…*ignores that ol’ Cecil moved on to stalking and harassment*, which is just so much better. Yeah.

  41. notsont says

    It strikes me as extremely stupid of someone, who was convicted of a felony that carries such a social stigma, would sit around throwing rocks at other people. I know “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” is an old saying and disregarded by most people, but this seems like such an apt example of it.

  42. emilybites says

    @ Algernon

    Dragons are the dogs’, truly.

    I’m scathing with not-surprise that some of the most frothing misogynists are also (convicted) sex offenders. Their makeup is probably 10% convicted, 80% unconvicted, 10% working up to it. They think women are NPCs, so they treat women like shit.

    I’m glad you gave this guy some publicity, PZ – too often we all tip-toe around identifying people who are publicly dreadful, just because their revoltingness is on the internet and it seems somehow unfair to tell everyone what they did/said in one forum.

  43. says

    Mouthyb:

    so I’m not sure how ‘moved on’ he is.

    I’d say not at all. He’s chosen to harass a person who he views as a major evil feminazi, and if it weren’t for those evil feminazis, no one would have cared about him going after a minor, after all, it’s just what dudes do. This keeps making me think of a lot of the comments directed to the 15 year old on reddit, things like “if there’s hair, old enough to snare” and “if it bleeds, fair game” and so on. Yes, Mr. Fuson was caught and prosecuted, however, the attitudes which shore up his behaviour are very prevalent, and they surround us all.

  44. Nelson Devoto says

    .Caine, Fleur du mal
    16 August 2013 at 11:22 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    eigenperson:

    I hope he sues you for libel.

    Psssst, I’m pretty sure you mean slander. Yep.

    No, I’m pretty sure they correctly meant libel. Slander is oral, Libel is publishing in words (or pictures)

  45. says

    Nelson, thanks, but I’m afraid I was indulging in an in-joke, sorry. Through one thread after another, dealing with one doucheweasel after another, we noted that a majority of them didn’t know the difference between libel and slander, making their “I hope he sues you for slander!1!!” posts unintentionally funny.

  46. says

    Caine: You know, there are crimes that I can see as accidental. Tresspassing, for instance, is completely possible without any particularly bad intent or even (if it’s poorly posted, for instance) without knowing you’d trespassed. Minor traffic infractions, as well, are less problematic. It’s completely possible to commit a crime, learn from one’s mistakes and move on. Hell, I’ve met decent people who went down for armed robbery and car theft, learned from it and moved on.

    But ten years of convictions, including sex with a minor, plus harassment of feminist figures who talk about consent starts adding up the priors. I agree, I don’t think he’s ‘over’ his crimes in the slightest.

  47. cicely says

    “if it bleeds, fair game”

    And how are you going to know that if you don’t check it out? Then, since you’re committing a felony anyway, well, might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb, amirite?
    -

  48. A Hermit says

    But according to that facebook page it’s totally run by someone named Brandi. Never mind Cecil’s name being on those posts.

    And she has a “female on staff” who is willing to debate Rebecca Watson on the subject of feminism…so there’s that. o.O

  49. says

    Cicely:

    And how are you going to know that if you don’t check it out? Then, since you’re committing a felony anyway, well, might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb, amirite?

    Of course! Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if that was their reasoning.

  50. Johannes Ney says

    Thank you PZ Myers, for pointing out that he looks normal. I am not always shaving the way people think normal, too, and my glasses have been known to be slightly off-center as well. I am, quite frankly sick of hearing those stereotypes. Not only do they hurt perfectly normal people, they also might reinforce the dangerous assumption that shaved, clean, suit wearing men are always worthy of one’s trust.

    That being said: This guy is a great example of the extremes people are willing to support, only to avoid challenging their present interpretations of the world around them. I, myself had never really thought about those things until shit hit the fan.
    I am sincerely thankful for Rebecca, PZ and all the others that are brave enough to expose those errors enough to get it through my thick skull.

  51. says

    Johannes:

    I am, quite frankly sick of hearing those stereotypes. Not only do they hurt perfectly normal people, they also might reinforce the dangerous assumption that shaved, clean, suit wearing men are always worthy of one’s trust.

    QFT and thank you, Johannes. Are you listening, RemyPorter?

  52. says

    @60

    Maybe add “But the rape victim didn’t even use the word ‘rape’… Because Skepticism!” to your bingo card. Dalton/MrDeity seems to think that’s good justification for not believing rape victims:

    misterdeity 20 hours ago

    Joe, this is so well-said. The lack of charity towards our fellow man/woman, the unwillingness to assume the best of others, and the quickness with which people are ready to excommunicate people in their lives who disagree with them is absolutely frightening. It’s certainly not how I live my life as a Humanist/Skeptic/Atheist. I don’t think ill of anyone involved in this incident, nor anyone who disagrees with me. I don’t want a world where everyone thinks just like I do.
    · in reply to Joe Lima
    nihilvenitadeus

    nihilvenitadeus 19 hours ago

    It’s even more frightening that our culture treats rape victims as liars, even when their word is the only evidence they have…
    · in reply to misterdeity
    misterdeity

    misterdeity 19 hours ago

    I’m not saying anyone is lying about anything. The anonymous source doesn’t even use the term “rape.” The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means — and there are absolutely no details! That is vague, wrapped in obscurity, and covered in nebulous. When you pour anonymity on top of that, what “skeptic” (who requires evidence to believe a claim) can take that at face value? That’s all I’m saying.
    · in reply to nihilvenitadeus

  53. says

    I would say this is an ad hominem fallacy and his criminal record has nothing to do with whether his criticisms are legit, except I’m not clear on what his criticisms even are. I tried to talk to him about it and he basically said that he isn’t criticizing Watson for her stance on sexual harassment and he doesn’t think we should unthinkingly follow the atheist pope, but that she hurts the movement by telling people not to support JREF. When he tells people not to support her, that’s totally different, though.

  54. Jacob Schmidt says

    I would say this is an ad hominem fallacy and his criminal record has nothing to do with whether his criticisms are legit, except I’m not clear on what his criticisms even are.

    You’ll note that Watson has edited her post to clarify that his status as a sex offender has nothing to do with the legitimacy of his arguments.

    The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means — and there are absolutely no details!

    … really? Jesus fucking H. Christ. “He had sex with her without her consent, but I just don’t know if that’s rape!”

  55. says

    The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means

    Jesus Fucki…*headgobang* Okay, so he doesn’t know what words mean. He should stop using them then. He doesn’t seem to understand that his head gets deeper and more firmly lodged up his anus for every one he uses.

  56. says

    @77 He also said on Facebook that he’s not trying to get her fired, he’s just wondering why a show who parent org is supported by JREF has someone on who doesn’t support JREF. He also said that he has no connection to the change.org petition to remove her Rebecca Watson from SGU a year ago, even though he used the same graphic for his page.

  57. says

    G Pierce,

    When I read this post it really sounded eerily familiar. Then I read your comment before reading you ‘nym and thought “Oh yes, I’ve heard all this before.” :-/

  58. says

    Ace of Sevens: Okay. I don’t have (or want) a Facebook page, so I’m assuming that information is hidden to me.

    I am willing to assume, though, that he’s walking back the email Watson posted on her site.

  59. Pteryxx says

    I am, quite frankly sick of hearing those stereotypes. Not only do they hurt perfectly normal people, they also might reinforce the dangerous assumption that shaved, clean, suit wearing men are always worthy of one’s trust.

    re-QFFT. Also, shaved, clean, suit- or uniform- or white coat- or vestment-wearing, well-connected, non-marginalized, gender-conforming, non-PoC, cis, men… I’m sure y’all can see where I’m going with this. Social capital derived from stereotypes and privilege has NOTHING to do with a person’s trustworthiness – in fact it often protects those people from being held accountable or even questioned about any cruelties they may commit. Social capital has got to come from procedures of accountability, transparency, and a proven record… things that one would think skeptics know a thing or two about. Particularly skeptic women, these days.

    a reminder, from Predator Theory which is back up now: (bolds mine)

    Lisak & Miller also found that the repeat rapists in their survey were responsible for a broad array of violent acts, including intimate partner violence and child abuse. The surveys covered acts such as slapping or choking an intimate partner, physically or sexually abusing a child, and sexual assaults other than attempted or completed rapes. The 76 repeat rapists, just 4% of the sample, were responsible for 28% of the reported violence. The whole sample of almost 1900 men reported just under 4000 violent acts, but this 4% of recidivist rapists were responsible for over 1000 of those violent acts. The public policy implication is clear: rape is not an isolated problem, as the repeat rapists are not only committing a huge proportion of all rapes, but disproportionate share of the domestic violence as well. Society-wide, if these men were removed from the population, there would be a dramatic decrease in violence towards women and children.

    And Lisak has been surveying undetected predators – those who have never been convicted of any crime.

  60. says

    It seems like he wasn’t expecting pushback and now we’re seeing an attempted to retcon his previous actions into something totally reasonable and unrelated to sexism.

  61. cicely says

    They think women are NPCs, so they treat women like shit.

    “Okay, but if there’s are any girls there, I wanna do them!”
     
    Whether they game or not, I think you’ve got something, there.
    -

  62. says

    There’s also a couple B&E, larceny, and obstruction of justice on his record, dating from 1999 to 2009, so I’m not sure how ‘moved on’ he is.

    As I’m reading it (here), there was only one B&E. It just that he got probation at first, but this was converted to a prison term when he did whatever he did with the child during his probation.
    If you look at the two entries for B&E, you can see that the offense date is the same, so I think it simply refers to the same crime being entered twice because of the violation of his probation.

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and all I know about American law, I learned from shitty TV shows.

  63. Nightjar says

    The anonymous source doesn’t even use the term “rape.” The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means

    What. the fuck.

    “Oh, but she didn’t say Shermer raped her, she just said he had non-consensual sex with her! And who knows what that could possibly mean!” Seriously?

    ***

    Incidentally… Algernon! Are you still reading along here? I… feel like I owe you an apology. I had decided it wasn’t important enough to bother you with it out of nowhere, but if you’re here…

  64. eigenperson says

    As I said endlessly to some idiot in the previous thread, Jane Doe literally used the word “rape” to describe what happened. Read her account again.

    Anyone who says “she didn’t call it ‘rape’,” including the quotes from “misterdeity” above, is either wrong or lying. I find it very hard to take such a person seriously when they didn’t read a single paragraph carefully enough to see that their very simple factual statement about it is false.

  65. says

    Yep, that’s the one that resulted in suspension. The second instance, for which he was convicted in 2002, refers to the same crime. Note the identical date of the offense and the “Sentence Type 2: PROBATION REVOCATION”.
    Unless I’m missing something, there’s only one B&E.

  66. says

    LykeX: Ah. Is it not a conviction? Do they list things that aren’t a conviction like that? (I’m not really familiar with that kind of database, and assumed that if it was listed, it was a conviction.)

  67. Anthony K says

    Now, ask me about census databases, and I’m on that shit. :D

    This makes me happy.

  68. says

    @mouthyb
    I think it was a conviction, but when he violated his probation, it was recorded as a second conviction. So, the same crime ends up being recorded twice, once when he gets probation and once when he violates it and gets an actual prison sentence.

    I don’t really know anything about that system either. I’m just trying to decipher it as best I can.

  69. Ingdigo Jump says

    While it doesnt’ effect his arguement on a technical sense there are things about a person that can make us question their validity as a source and the motives of their arguement.

  70. says

    “He had sex with her without her consent, but I just don’t know if that’s rape!”

    Exactly! That is exactly what the problem is.
    As I said before, it’s the difference between thinking absence of dissent is consent, or absence of consent being dissent. To people who think the former is true, it’s only rape if the victim says no, continuously during the ordeal. Anything else? Not rape! Manipulating the victim into not being able to dissent? Not rape! Threatening or pressuring the victim into consent? Not rape!

  71. carlie says

    Well, sure. Rape is having sex with someone by force. If you don’t have to use force, because she’s passed out or whatever, no longer falls under the definition!

  72. says

    G Pierce, #40: Damn well said. And if atheists and skeptics are going to call out the RCC for the same failing…

    PatrickG, #46: Thanks for the loud lolz.

    Jadehawk, #49: There will undoubtedly be arguments from the pedo “community” online that their “sexuality,” “orientation,” or “kink” is being shamed. There are at least a few on Tumblr who go around making such claims.

    Jacob Schmidt, #52: Yeah. Ben Quick. Who’s also arguing that by being “too harsh” on pedophiles, Florida lost the 2000 election for Al Gore. That was original, I’ll give him that…

    Anteprepro, #55:

    What possesses these “skeptics” to do it?

    In addition to the knee-jerk need to be “right,” there is also the usual selfish sexist-asshole motive of wanting to fuck teenage girls without legal consequences. The ev-psy arguments, the denial that the age difference and the less-mature cognitive development of the girl makes for an unfair power differential, the conflation of physical sexual maturity with emotional maturity… all typical for this group.

    Good for Lee Moore btw.

    Mr. Deity is making the same argument one of the trolls made on the massive thread about this.

  73. says

    Thank you PZ Myers, for pointing out that he looks normal.

    When you look like me, you have to have a tolerant perspective on what looks normal.

  74. says

    Come on people, can’t you see? He obviously looks like a sex offender. He’s got eyes, ears, a nose, a mouth… It’s a dead giveaway!

  75. cicely says

    SQB, I look at that picture, and I think of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. I mean, it doesn’t look like him, but it reminds me of him.
    -

  76. says

    @Randomfactor, #44:

    Some interesting stuff going on the anti-RW page at present. Maybe spurred in part by this post?

    What kind of interesting stuff? Interesting as in “gee, I didn’t realize I was in the company of pedophiles so I’m going to seriously rethink my previously-entrenched position”? Interesting as in “oh, crap, I didn’t realize that the people I’ve been harassing might actually post my information publicly and I have way too many skeletons in my closet to survive any sort of public scrutiny, so I’d better back the heck off”? Interesting as in “whoops, looks like half the ‘supporters’ here are sockpuppets and suddenly they’re all falling silent”? What kind of “interesting”? Please tell me; I refuse to go look myself. (For one thing, I refuse to go near Facebook if I can possibly avoid it, but even if I didn’t I wouldn’t want to go to that page.)

    @emilybites, #64:

    They think women are NPCs, so they treat women like shit.

    Not all FPS gamers are assholes, but in my experience all gamers who are assholes play FPS games.

    @Johannes Ney, #73:

    Not only do they hurt perfectly normal people, they also might reinforce the dangerous assumption that shaved, clean, suit wearing men are always worthy of one’s trust.

    We would be better off if people believed the opposite, because it’s closer to the truth. Shaved, clean, suit-wearing men look “respectable”; anyone trying to commit fraud is probably going to try to look respectable, almost by definition. Since about 2000, I’ve assumed that anyone who wears formal clothing outside of an event where you are showing respect (such as a funeral or a graduation ceremony) is trying to pull some sort of fraud on a professional level and should not be trusted. In the same way that you shouldn’t drink with someone who shows signs of rapey-ness, you shouldn’t be in a hurry to accept goods or services from someone in a suit.

  77. WharGarbl says

    @mouthyb
    #107
    Maybe depending on the FPS.
    My experience on PC tend not to be bad. Most servers (TF2) I’ve played on generally have some sort of implicit/explicit rule of NOT being a sexist asshat (among other things like racist asshat).

  78. says

    WharGarbl: Indeed, though in my experience it’s not often enforced.

    Alas for me, I also play more warlike shooters and Payday. And you can’t shoot your teammates in Payday, unfortunately.

  79. says

    @mouthyb, Vagina McTits, #107:

    Hey, I did say that not everyone who plays FPS games is an asshole. But if you were an asshole, wouldn’t you be drawn to an experience where trash-talking was more or less encouraged, and if anyone disagreed with you, you could usually, with pleasure, messily kill a digital representation of them with essentially no repercussions (and possibly even to your own benefit)?

    I admit it’s nothing but armchair psychology, but I suspect that the whole notion of FPS is about as close as you can get to wish fulfillment for nasty people without actually breaking laws.

  80. says

    The Vicar: I was agreeing, if not happily. I am an asshole by that definition. I play FPS games because my urge to smack people sometimes is lessened by making it a virtual, not real experience. It helps me channel my native aggression and rage into something that allows me to get awards for being aggressive. I’m competitive, and playing FPS allows me to compete for stakes that are non-serious, as aggressively as possible.

    I prefer to think of it as mainly therapeutic. I can’t actual hurt anyone as long as I’m not being a sexist or a racist (or an anything-else-ist—I can diss the shit out of someone without referencing their race, class or gender). It’s pure, unadulterated competition for the sake of being as vicious as possible and I love every damn second of it.

  81. says

    LOVE the NPC concept. So much better an analogy than furniture.

    And OT, but me & mouthyB & AnthonyK – population/public health stats nerds represent! I’ve often thought that AnthonyK & I are in close enough lines of work that we might possibly one day run across each other despite hemisphere differences. I did not know about mouthyb though.

  82. says

    My experience on PC tend not to be bad. Most servers (TF2) I’ve played on generally have some sort of implicit/explicit rule of NOT being a sexist asshat (among other things like racist asshat).

    PC’s just as bad, honestly. CS has so much bilge, as has Planetside 2. I like them even though I mostly suck and die, so it’s probably not a measure of asshattery (I like basically all game genres)

  83. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    It seems like he wasn’t expecting pushback and now we’re seeing an attempted to retcon his previous actions into something totally reasonable and unrelated to sexism.

    This. I visited the anti-RW page about a week ago, and it was rank with misogynistic stuff about how Rebecca is a “cancer” and how she should be fired from SGU and drummed out of the movement. Today, they (Cecil and his co-writers) are claiming they never wanted her to be fired and that they just disagree with her boycotts for JREF and CFI but this is serious bullshit.

  84. Cyranothe2nd, ladyporn afficianado says

    PC’s just as bad, honestly.

    Holy shit yes! The Starcraft community is soooooooooooooooo gross.

    My partner runs a Minecraft mod and I’m proud to say that’s he bans people who use sexist, homophobic and harassing language. His policy is that 1. he’s creating a game that everyone can enjoy (underage, women, LGBT folks, etc should have a place in the game and not feel harassed) and 2. people need to learn to control themselves (ie they don’t get a pass for getting mad and insulting other users). He gets a lot of flack for it, but I really love that he cares enough about this issues to ensure a good playing experience for all players.

  85. says

    The anonymous source doesn’t even use the term “rape.” The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means — and there are absolutely no details!

    Why would he want the details, and just how detailed does he want the description to get?

    *beat*

    …oh. Squick. I needz a brain bleach.

  86. cunninglingus says

    I couldn’t give a fuck what he looks like, I just hear all these MRA fucks, and rape apologists, and can now juxtapose ‘Fuson’ with their obnoxious apologetic online personality.

  87. Loqi says

    The anonymous source doesn’t even use the term “rape.”

    Huh. I’ve recently seen a similar argument from a theist trying to handwave away the bible’s more embarrassing passages about rape. So similar, in fact, that I can paste my reply verbatim:

    Whew, that’s a relief. It’s a good thing there’s no other way to describe it than by using the actual word, or this argument would be total bunk.

    Nope, I can’t think of a single way to describe forcibly having sex with a person against their will without using a specific word. It’s simply impossible to say a person compelled another into sexual relations without using that word. Can anyone think of a way to convey the idea of a person forcing him/herself onto another in violation of their autonomy without using the word?

  88. kittehserf says

    When you look like me, you have to have a tolerant perspective on what looks normal.

    Well, tentacle beards are extra cool …

  89. kittehserf says

    Sorry to double post, but:

    Since about 2000, I’ve assumed that anyone who wears formal clothing outside of an event where you are showing respect (such as a funeral or a graduation ceremony) is trying to pull some sort of fraud on a professional level and should not be trusted.

    Wut? So anyone working in a place with a suit-and-tie dress code is a fraud? Most of the men I see going to work in the morning are only wearing suits because they’re trying to pull a fast one professionally? I hope I’m misreading a joke, ‘cos that sounds like saying any woman in heels and a skirt is looking for sex, or something.

  90. says

    The anonymous source doesn’t even use the term “rape.” The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.”

    I’ve seen this several times now. It’s not true, since the word “rape” shows up two sentences later. So what’s up? Did their brains shut down after that sentence, so that none of them actually read the entire paragraph?

  91. says

    Wut? So anyone working in a place with a suit-and-tie dress code is a fraud? Most of the men I see going to work in the morning are only wearing suits because they’re trying to pull a fast one professionally? I hope I’m misreading a joke, ‘cos that sounds like saying any woman in heels and a skirt is looking for sex, or something.

    Let’s see… let’s think of “suited” professions:

    Bankers, who produce nothing yet take other people’s money, who borrow taxpayer money from the government and loan it out at higher rates of interest to the people who paid those taxes, and who were largely responsible for the crash of 2008. You won’t get any sympathy from me if you’re going to claim I’m slandering them.

    Stockbrokers, who are agents of an enormous system which is basically legal gambling, which has been largely responsible for the short-term thinking which permeates the entire economy, and which was the other major group which caused the crash of 2008. Again, no sympathy. If the stock market closed permanently tomorrow, I’d feel a little sorry for the people who had problems as we worked out a new, hopefully-less-crooked system, but I wouldn’t shed a tear for the brokers.

    Middle and upper management, who are quite often overpromoted and have better skills in working the system than their peers, but often no indispensable skills for actually doing work. (In my experience, the ones who don’t fit this description generally care less about wearing suits!)

    Lawyers. (I’ll let you fill this one in, because I have no doubt about what you’ll say unless you are one, and even the few good attorneys I’ve known — 2 out of 21 in my lifetime — were the first to register disgust at the shenanigans of their own profession.)

    Political pundits — I can think of only one living political pundit who wears a suit and tie on a regular basis for whom I don’t have the deepest possible contempt.

    Politicians — I’ve had a certain amount of direct exposure to them on the local level, and I pay attention on the national level. Dishonest and fraudulent as a group? You bet.

    Salesmen (not retail sales, but the people who represent a company to resellers). Not a group I admire, but okay, fine, they’re probably no more dishonest than, say, journalists. Specifically, the journalists at the National Inquirer, but everyone has to start somewhere.

    Maîtres d’hôtel: well, okay, some of these are good people. They also aren’t the ones selling goods and services — the actual waiters, who aren’t wearing suits, take care of that.

    The fact is, it’s been a long time since most professions wore a suit and tie as a standard dress code (Government workers? No. Professors? Only a few of the ones I’ve met decided to do that. Retail workers? Puh-lease. Creative workers? Proverbially not so.), and the professions which still do are more and more frequently packed with people who are noticeably corrupt. So yes, I think that “consider a suit and tie a warning of potential untrustworthiness when buying goods and services” is a reasonable thing to say.

  92. says

    Salesmen (not retail sales, but the people who represent a company to resellers). Not a group I admire, but okay, fine, they’re probably no more dishonest than, say, journalists. Specifically, the journalists at the National Inquirer, but everyone has to start somewhere.

    Anyone in sales who has a shred of integrity has clung to it in despite of every policy of their department and every training they have ever attended. There is nothing good to be said for the professions of sales or marketing.

  93. anteprepro says

    It’s not true, since the word “rape” shows up two sentences later. So what’s up? Did their brains shut down after that sentence, so that none of them actually read the entire paragraph?

    Never let little things like facts get in the way of a piss-poor argument! We desperately need arguments that are so fumbling, illogical, and incoherent that they wouldn’t even work if those facts actually didn’t even exist! Make sure that all arguments are always obfuscating mental masturbation, used to clog confuse and frustrate while seeming credible to people who don’t know enough about the subject to actually see what is wrong! And always be certain, as the maker of an argument, the copier of an argument, or the reader of an argument, to never fact check the small paragraph that is the sole topic of discussion! Intellectual dishonesty is something that must be accomplished through active ignorance and selective denial! You must master this art if you are to be a True Skeptic!

  94. buddhabuck says

    LykeX: This is how I’m reading that record:

    The page isn’t a recording of convictions per se, but a recording of times he has come under the supervision of the DPS system (prisons, probation/parole, etc).

    By my reading, he was convicted of 6 crimes which brought him within the realm of DPS.

    On 12/15/1996, he “Contributed to the Delinquency of a minor”, a misdemeanor, and was convicted of it on 10/28/1997 and given probation, which he appears to have completed successfully.

    On 10/29/2001, he committed two crimes, breaking and entering (a felony), and larceny (also a felony). The courts appeared to treat these two crimes as one event, and convicted him of both on 12/19/2001. He was assigned probation, but his probation was revoked on 10/29/2002 and he spent just shy of 8 months in prison for these two crimes (from 10/29/2002 to 05/13/2003.

    On 7/20/2002, while on probation for the felonies he committed the previous year, he committed two separate counts of “Indecent Liberty w/ child”, and was convicted on 4/28/2003. The first count was served “concurrently” with the B&E/Larceny conviction, while the second count was served “consecutively” with the first count. Both were prison terms of 1 year, 7 months, the two stretching from 4/28/2003 to 6/22/2006 together.

    On 12/19/2008 he obstructed justice, a misdemeanor, and was convicted on 3/17/2009. He was again given probation.

    So one count of B&E/Larceny, but two counts of indecent liberty. I don’t know if the latter means he did two things to one child, or one thing each to two children. I don’t know if the B&E/larceny (or the contribution charge) was related.

  95. kittehserf says

    Thanks for taking the time to reply at length, The Vicar. Yeah, some of those professions (politicians, for the most part – though really untrustworthy is “politician in hard hat or Speedos”) but I’m not really thinking of most of the middle managers I’ve worked under, or people I see on the train in the morning as professional predators just ‘cos they wear suits. I’m not thinking of them as instantly trustworthy, either, particularly in a men-harassing-women context, going back to the original point, which was an important one.

  96. notsont says

    @The Vicar I really want to argue with you about the suit thing, but for the life of me in the past 30 years I can’t think of anyone who wears a suit on a regular basis I would trust with anything. Pretty much every single dealing with people in suits I have had to deal with were just bad. I’m gonna have to think on this some more cause it kinda freaks me out.

  97. mikee says

    Seriously, after it being pointed out that we shouldn’t stereotype people who look geeky or with facial hair, the pendulum has now swung in the other direction and those who wear suits are being stereotyped?
    Great, just great.

  98. says

    The anonymous source doesn’t even use the term “rape.” The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means — and there are absolutely no details!

    I had lamb chops. See, now that I didn’t use the word meat nor mentioned what I seasoned it with it means that I had a plain vegetarian meal.

  99. Louis says

    Professors are not the only scientists. Good to know that those of us who work in a professional environment, doing good science are damned because we sport the occasional tie.

    Come on, surely we’re better than this petty fuckwittery.

    Louis

  100. great1american1satan says

    notsont – Male models often wear suits, and they seem harmless. Google Clement Chabernaud or Jakob Hybholt. Adorbs!

  101. unity says

    @buddhabuck

    To add a little more information, the arrest record that goes with the 2009 conviction for obstructing justice indicates that he was originally arrested on a sex offender registration violation, which I would assume means that he either failed to report a change in circumstances to the relevant authorities within the time frame required by law or failed to file a notification of his circumstances at the correct time.

    From what I’ve read, NC requires sex offenders to both notify changes in circumstances within a set time period and periodically report their circumstances, even if they haven’t changed.

    Ordinarily a registration violation is classed as a minor felony, so the fact that was eventually convicted on a misdemeanor obstruction charge suggest either a plea bargain or that original charge was dropped and that he was convicted over something stupid he did during the course of being arrested.

  102. says

    @Louis, #131:

    Gee, you’ve caught “did not read the actual words” disease from the rape apologists. Didn’t know it was catching; maybe we ought to try to throw them in an actual physical quarantine rather than merely argue with, ignore, and/or ban them. (Or maybe we should do that anyway and pretend that’s why. The idea does, I admit, have a certain attraction after reading the “grenade” comment section.) When you are “doing good science” in a dinner jacket and half-windsor, or maybe a tuxedo and ascot, or possibly a checked green and pink smoking jacket (with matching slacks) and a yellow-and-green polka-dot bowtie, all of which images fill me with delight, are you selling goods and services to people? No? Oddly enough, then, my comment does not touch on you. (In fact, you’re probably the person the frauds and cheats want to look like by putting on a suit and tie, so that they can gain people’s confidence. The problem is, these days it certainly seems that there are more of them than there are of people like you. <snark>Do the rest of us a favor and change your workplace’s dress code to sweatshirts and pajama bottoms for a while.</snark>)

    And, for that matter, you seem to be being a hypocrite if I read your comment correctly: it sounds like you’re assuming that it takes a suit and tie to make a “professional environment”. If so, way to perpetuate another harmful stereotype. (And don’t get me started on the word “professional” as used in any form other than immediately before an occupation to signify that someone makes a living that way, rather than doing it as a hobby. “Professional” in any other form is an MBA weasel-word meaning “I need an excuse which won’t be questioned for enforcing my personal prejudices”.)

  103. Ichthyic says

    Let’s see… let’s think of “suited” professions:

    this is indeed going very 19th century.

    sad.

    next we’ll be hearing you can’t trust anyone over 30.

  104. Ichthyic says

    When you are “doing good science” in a dinner jacket and half-windsor, or maybe a tuxedo and ascot, or possibly a checked green and pink smoking jacket (with matching slacks) and a yellow-and-green polka-dot bowtie, all of which images fill me with delight, are you selling goods and services to people?

    guess what? some of us actually have to wear suits and ties to conferences, and to present our work to potential grant funders.

    I typically take the tie off before I go scuba diving though.

  105. Ichthyic says

    There is nothing good to be said for the professions of sales or marketing.

    lol. what you’re peddling here is sure not worth buying.

  106. says

    Are we really going to defend Marketing? You know, the division in business that does all the work in making everything pink, or of ignoring everyone in favor of the 15-27 (white, straight, cis) male?

  107. Louis says

    The Vicar, #134,

    Wow! Quiet the vitriolic little shitemaster when your appearance policing wankery is exposed aren’t you?

    1) I am certainly not assuming that it takes a suit and tie to make a professional environment. Just that some/many professional environments REQUIRE such dress codes. The value, or good, or evil of that is moot. I don’t think at all that the clothes maketh the man, but that said, smart apparel does lend itself to a generally more professional work environment. It separates work and home, for example. That has benefits as well as drawbacks.

    2) You mentioned professors and managers in your diatribe. Since I’ve been an academic who left for industry and part of my job is management, your comments do, on fact, directly apply to me. Nice try to weasel out of your bile, no dice, fucker.

    3) Your pathetic attempt at sarcasm with the dinner jacket nonsense is a really good indicator of how far up your own arse your head is. I wear a suit to work most days, not a dinner suit. Do you know the difference you simple minded fuck? When I go into the lab I take my jacket off, in fact I have my jacket off 99% of the time, ironically perhaps, based on my participation in this derail, because I don’t like suits. Too restrictive for easy lab work, too expensive when damaged. See previous comments about there existing drawbacks as well as benefits.

    5) The word “professional” existed prior to MBAs. Incidentally a degree, and generally a class of people with said degree, that annoys the piss out of me, seeing as part of my job is to deal with them on a daily basis. Very, very few understand science, and so it is an uphill struggle. I digress.

    “Professional” refers to the traditional professions, historically mainly medicine and law, but now including such diverse elements as accountancy and even {gasp} research science. If, on the 2 days of my working week I am really not meant to be in the lab (although I cheat a lot, the lab is my home!), I have to go to meetings with MBA folk, the CEO, the business and marketing folk, a suit is a useful tool. Wandering in in dirty tracksuit shorts and a “FUCK!” T shirt, often my weekend attire, is not appropriate for that environment. That is no more oppression or ridiculous than any other simple social phenomenon. Smart clothing has evolved socially as one of the ways we communicate our respect for ourselves, others and our context. It is A tool, not THE tool, for doing this. There are of course many other ways, and yes, of course, differences should be enjoyed and celebrated. Unfortunately, some trivial differences are best kept to one side as the distractions they are.

    6) The people in my workplace can afford smart clothes. They are paid sufficiently well to do so. What style they pick is up to them. That is because, unashamedly, this is a largely middle class environment. People who work here who are from working class backgrounds are no longer in those circumstances. That is not a bad thing.

    7) Frauds and cheats wearing suits does not make suits bad. Elementary logic. Your heuristic is bot even a good one. If these people are trying to upgrade their apparent probity with a suit, they’re barking up the wrong tree. As you accidentally have shown with your oh so incredibly nuanced approach (that is sarcasm, I’m good at it, I thought I’d show you how) people tend to make essentialist judgements in a number of ways, not least of which being the profession of the person facing them.

    Any more drivel? No? Then dry up, stop policing other people’s appearances from whatever angle, stop trying to support vapid heuristics and prejudices as factual and pull your fucking neck in.

    Louis

  108. Louis says

    I’m not going to defend marketing, but I will get pissy with fuckwits who try to claim that appearances or clothing are somehow indicative of some negative human quality with only minimal context and large amounts of snobbery, from whatever angle.

    There’s a wide gulf of difference between the two.

    Louis

  109. Jacob Schmidt says

    I was once in a grocery store buying ice for the afterparty of my mom’s wedding. Didn’t have time to change out of suit. Didn’t know that, while in the grocery store, I suddenly became fraud. Shit, had I known that, I’d have pocket some candy or something on the way out. If I’m an asshole, I’d might as well act like one, eh?

  110. Dunc says

    I wear suits and ties because I like them. I’m into clothes. It’s a hobby. I have a wardrobe full of hand-made shirts and an entire drawer given over to pocket squares.

    I’m actually more likely to wear a full suit with a tie at the weekend than I am at work. I work in IT, and just wearing smart trousers, a decent shirt, and an odd jacket is unusual enough.

  111. notsont says

    Seriously, after it being pointed out that we shouldn’t stereotype people who look geeky or with facial hair, the pendulum has now swung in the other direction and those who wear suits are being stereotyped?
    Great, just great.

    I was kinda half joking, although as a blue collar person my whole life, I honestly have not had a single instance in 30 years where the “guy in the suit” was not trying to screw me over in some way. I do realize this is a self selected bias and a rather small sample size. I imagine if I worked in an office where suits were mandatory I would have met some great people in suits.

  112. says

    At the risk of being that boring social science person, the discussion of clothes were having is sort of the reason the category “white collar crime” exists. If people get the chance, they should look up Sunderland (the father of white collar crime).

    I’ve been both blue and white collar, myself, so I understand feeling uncomfortable around people wearing suits (I make myself comfortable in office clothes.)

  113. says

    @Ichthyic, #136:

    guess what? some of us actually have to wear suits and ties to conferences, and to present our work to potential grant funders.

    Ah, you too have failed to actually read what is written. For a board where people constantly complain about this when others do it, the tendency is all too common. Tsk. What was written:

    Since about 2000, I’ve assumed that anyone who wears formal clothing outside of an event where you are showing respect (such as a funeral or a graduation ceremony) is trying to pull some sort of fraud on a professional level and should not be trusted.

    So: you’re wearing formal clothing at an event where you are showing respect — to the profession at conferences, or to the funding organizations at grant committees.

    @Louis, #140:

    The value, or good, or evil of that is moot. I don’t think at all that the clothes maketh the man, but that said, smart apparel does lend itself to a generally more professional work environment. It separates work and home, for example. That has benefits as well as drawbacks.

    Oh, yes, indeed. In other words: you feel that people can be judged by their clothing, which you’re explicitly denying when other people do it. Thanks for admitting you’re a hypocrite.

    (For that matter, formal dress codes usually also have a certain amount of sexism tossed in, but that’s an argument for another day, and possibly another blog.)

    You mentioned professors and managers in your diatribe. Since I’ve been an academic who left for industry and part of my job is management, your comments do, on fact, directly apply to me. Nice try to weasel out of your bile, no dice, fucker.

    In other words: you aren’t actually “doing real science”, you’re a manager. And a liar, apparently, since you claimed you were doing so. No wonder you’re getting so hot and bothered over this whole question instead of brushing it off; I have correctly pointed out that you aren’t to be trusted.

    (You’re also going straight to verbal intimidation, which is a classic management technique when dealing with people who can’t fight back. Doesn’t work on the Internet, so I suggest you stop. It just makes me think you’re a fool and a jerk.)

    The word “professional” existed prior to MBAs.

    Does that matter, if it has been almost entirely co-opted by them? The word “gay” existed before the gay rights movement, but it’s been years since I even heard anyone complain that you can no longer use it to mean “happy” without sounding silly. Language shifts over time; trying to fight it may occasionally be picturesque, but it’s also nearly always futile.

    The people in my workplace can afford smart clothes. They are paid sufficiently well to do so. What style they pick is up to them. That is because, unashamedly, this is a largely middle class environment.

    Translation: “Even though I deny it, I do indeed discriminate against poor people, and formal clothing is one of the things I use to tell the sheep from the goats. Stop trying to spoil my privilege!” We all hear you loud and clear — but I don’t know whether you realize what we’re hearing.

    Frauds and cheats wearing suits does not make suits bad. Elementary logic. Your heuristic is bot even a good one. If these people are trying to upgrade their apparent probity with a suit, they’re barking up the wrong tree. As you accidentally have shown with your oh so incredibly nuanced approach (that is sarcasm, I’m good at it, I thought I’d show you how) people tend to make essentialist judgements in a number of ways, not least of which being the profession of the person facing them.

    Well, gee, we’ve just agreed elsewhere that if there’s a history of bad behavior, then not only does it become plausible to accept an not-publicly-attributed report of allied-but-even-worse behavior, but it becomes imperative to warn potential victims, particularly if the worst possible effect is a mild tarnishing of someone who could conceivably be innocent. Guess what happens when we start plugging in formal clothing terms in this particular equation? There’s a history of bad behavior from people who wear suits — including you, as demonstrated by this comment, since you’ve revealed that you’re both dishonest and prejudiced. I don’t think that issuing a warning to the world at large, “don’t be so trusting of people wearing suits, they probably don’t have your interests at heart”, even really qualifies as “tarnishing your reputation” but after the way you’ve been behaving, I’m more than willing to risk it.

  114. Ichthyic says

    There’s a history of bad behavior from people who wear suits

    Watch out for “The Man!”

    just gonna say it. I would not have a beer with you, Vicar. I’m sure your personal view of the world that would come out after a few would disturb me greatly.

  115. says

    Mikee:

    Seriously, after it being pointed out that we shouldn’t stereotype people who look geeky or with facial hair, the pendulum has now swung in the other direction and those who wear suits are being stereotyped?
    Great, just great.

    No shit. This is awful. I guess there’s no stopping some people from running on stereotype fuel. No one defends stereotypes quite as much as someone who uses them as a substitute for thinking.

    *goes back to embroidering tentacles* *no actual octopuses are being used or harmed*

  116. says

    I’m not going to defend marketing, but I will get pissy with fuckwits who try to claim that appearances or clothing are somehow indicative of some negative human quality with only minimal context and large amounts of snobbery, from whatever angle.

    There’s a wide gulf of difference between the two.

    Louis

    I wasn’t really going on with the suit thing; I don’t give half a dram of rat piss what they’re wearing, but I stand by my statements on marketers.

  117. kittehserf says

    “don’t be so trusting of people wearing suits, they probably don’t have your interests at heart”,

    Remind me to tell my opthalmolgist he’s a bad bloke because he wears a suit. Ditto the customer service blokes I worked with a decade back whose uniforms were suits. Or anyone who happens to be going to a job interview.

    Also “marketing” doesn’t automatically mean dirtbags trying to sell you stuff you don’t want, and doing it via stereotypes. It can mean just getting information about specialist products out to trade or retail customers. That’s what it is where I work, or would be if our general manager wasn’t the laziest and most incompetent nitwit in the history of ever.

  118. says

    @Ichthyic, #150

    Watch out for “The Man!”

    Well, yes, actually. You’re pretending that’s a silly thing to say, but I defy you to look at what “The Man” has been doing over the last several decades and tell me that contact with “The Man” is good for us. Certainly “The Man” includes the people ordering and carrying out drone bombings of various darker-skinned civilians who they — and yes, this is really true — often have no reason to believe are terrorists, and which create more and worse problems than they solve*. “The Man” includes the NSA, which is confirmed to be spying on us all as often as they possibly can given the limits of present technology (and would probably be doing more if they could), and who have already started to mission-creep into actively using the stored material for purposes other than looking for “terrorism”; and who furthermore are turning over the actual operations to private corporations (that’s where Snowden came in, remember — he was a contractor!). It includes the police departments who are increasingly militarized, using SWAT teams and deadly force on everything from noise complaints to checking on senior citizens. “The Man” decided that we should cut spending on “entitlement programs” for the poor and elderly and sick, and education, and infrastructure and research spending and food and mail delivery and who knows what else, but not the military or our various spy programs — and that we should bail out the banks instead of prosecuting them for fraud.

    I’d say: if you aren’t at least a little dubious of “The Man”‘s authority, at this point you’re clutching at straws.

    *As I recall there’s even an internal government study which was made public and which came to the same conclusion as the one mentioned in this link, but I can’t find it quickly and I’m not going to bother continuing to look. Take the claim with a grain of salt, but it isn’t hard to use Google to find official government sources admitting the conclusion is true, at least.

    For some reason I keep coming back to this text clipping I saved from some random discussion on the Internet years ago (I’d love to give an attribution, but I didn’t save one with it, unfortunately, and my half-hearted attempt to find the source via Google didn’t bring it up):

    Something that I am continually frustrated by is the argumentum ad nauseum that it was somehow the fault of the dirty fucking hippies that there were problems in the Democratic Party, or the US, in the 60’s and 70’s. The dirty fucking hippies were not the ones who nominated or supported George Wallace. The dirty fucking hippies were not the ones who supported a police riot at the 1968 democratic convention. The dirty fucking hippies were not the ones who lied our country into the escalation of an unwinnable war in violation of treaty and international law in Southeast Asia. The dirty fucking hippies were not the ones who manuevered to have the Democratic Party contribute the most transparently reluctant support to a presidential candidate from a major party in American history. The dirty fucking hippies were not the ones who shot Medgar Evers or Martin Luther King; were not the ones who rioted when James Meredith had the temerity to want to get a fucking college education in his home state at a school that bore the name; did not savagely beat, burn, and intimidate passengers on a bus whose sole affront was that they were attempting to participate in a society where human was more important than white or black or man or woman.

    The quote you use from Jonathan Chait is completely illustrative of the type of mentality of which I speak. These are exactly the sorts of fanatics who tore the party apart in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They think in simple slogans and refuse to tolerate any ideological dissent.

    Yes – slogans like “Make Love Not War” and “All we are saying is give peace a chance” were the real problems in the 60’s and 70’s – not a completely dishonest war policy; widespread and rampant government abuse of domestic intelligence gathering powers; or our unconscionable behavior towards black people trying to exercise such revolutionary rights as sending their children to a decent school, voting for a democratic represenatative, or standing up for your family without being shot. Oh, or access to an abortion without having to risk your life becasue that is one medical proedure that cannot be performed in a proper medical facility. life liberty and the pursuit of happiness – unless you are a Negro, or a dirty fucking hippie, in which case it apparently reads, sit down, shut up, and put out that fucking joint.

    Relevant to our judgement of “The Man” and the behavior of people in suits? Could be.

    just gonna say it. I would not have a beer with you, Vicar. I’m sure your personal view of the world that would come out after a few would disturb me greatly.

    That just ruins my day, it does. I will cry myself to sleep tonight. (Insert sound of eyes rolling here.)

    @Mikee, #129:

    Seriously, after it being pointed out that we shouldn’t stereotype people who look geeky or with facial hair, the pendulum has now swung in the other direction and those who wear suits are being stereotyped?

    Two points:

    1. You, and Caine (may the FSM bless her with extra meatballs, sauce, and/or parmesan cheese depending on preference and veganity), and all the other people who are upset over this apparent breach in gentility, are overlooking something fundamental: there’s a difference between judging people based on things which are voluntary and things which are involuntary. I admire you for being reluctant to judge people, because it’s only a “flaw” when viewed from the perspective of cynical bastards (possibly also clueless, by previous admission) like myself, but I suspect that a large part of the reason the modern world is littered with successful sociopaths mowing down the public interest is that too many good, kind, ethical people don’t draw this distinction often enough. Think of how often people who seem otherwise to be at least somewhat nice side with rape apologists “because we don’t want to ruin someone’s reputation based on mere accusations”. They want to avoid rushing to judgement, because we’ve been told that judging people is unfair. But that’s leaving out the crucial modifier “for things they can’t help”. When Shermer, for example, chose to hit on women regularly, he was necessarily also choosing to have people judge him for that behavior. Lending plausibility to charges of rape in the judgement of his peers is one consequence of that choice.

    2. You are neglecting the fact that people only wear suits and ties because it encourages a particular judgement of them. Suits and ties are uncomfortable (to all but a tiny handful). Most of the time they’re not particularly good-looking. They’re more expensive than other outfits which still would be found acceptable in most dress codes (a formal shirt and slacks cost less than a suit, shirt, and tie). The only thing which keeps people wearing the wretched things is the impression a suit makes on people — that is, the stereotype of “someone in a suit”. I am suggesting not that we begin to have a stereotype of people regularly wearing suits, but rather that we exchange our existing, positive stereotype of people regularly wearing suits with one which is broadly negative. I am basing this on the behavior of a wide swath of people who regularly wear suits. So far, the only person who has directly addressed this — rather than assuming that no stereotype currently exists, which is outright false — is Louis, whose argument boiled down to “shut up you slobbish low-class peon or I’ll yell at you with the power of good science or at least the power of management of good science which I’m going to pretend is the same thing”. This is not even slightly convincing.

  119. anteprepro says

    Glad that we managed to have a nice, verbose, heated debate over the relative merits and demerits of those who wear formal attire. In a thread about an online harasser turning out to be a fucking rapist. Even after avoiding a derail about fucking neckbeards. (Which I especially didn’t appreciate, given how similar I personally look to the picture at the top of this thread).

    I can’t say that this isn’t disappointing. And I can’t help but think that this kind of willingness to talk about something else, anything else , when the discussion pertains to rape (especially rape of a child) is a non-negligible part of the reason why rape is still such a problem. If people were willing to focus on the topic with the passion that they use to rampage about the moral rectitude of suit-wearers, we might be better off.

    So basically what I’m saying is: Thunderdome?

  120. mikee says

    Anteprepro,

    Actually I think the debate was more about sterotyping people which I think is worthy of being discussed, given how it can lead to some really dodgy treatment of people.
    And I’m not sure what there is that is left to be said about Cecil and his misogynistic views. What more do you want? His identity has been revealed, and he now has to wear the consequences.

  121. Dunc says

    I am suggesting not that we begin to have a stereotype of people regularly wearing suits, but rather that we exchange our existing, positive stereotype of people regularly wearing suits with one which is broadly negative.

    And screw the splash damage to perfectly decent, honest, harmless people who just happen to have different tastes in clothing to you.

    Here’s a crazy idea: how about we just try to stop stereotyping people based on their appearances?

  122. says

    The Vicar:

    and Caine (may the FSM bless her with extra meatballs, sauce, and/or parmesan cheese depending on preference and veganity), and all the other people who are upset over this apparent breach in gentility, are overlooking something fundamental

    I am not overlooking one damn thing. What you are failing to do is look at yourself. You also seriously fail in the Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Already. department. You want to die on a hill of defending a stupid, non-thinking, stereotype dependency? Have at it, anywhere except in this thread.

    What in the fuck is wrong with you, exactly, that you read an earlier derail in which someone wanted to rage on about appearance, rather than addressing the actual subject of this post/thread, then feel perfectly okay about doing a complete derail over one particular bug up your specific arse? You’ve also been offending people left and right, which doesn’t seem to have made a dent in your ego at all.

    Your behaviour in this thread is remarkably self-absorbed, at the very least. I’d expect this from a known doucheweasel, however, it’s been a bit of an eye-opener, coming from you. You might at least have the common courtesy to acknowledge you have completely hijacked this thread for your own piddly agenda, and the grace to move your pontifications elsewhere. (Huge Ass Clue Here: Thunderdome.)

    Jesus fuckin’ Christ, I hope you’re capable of getting a clue. Given your behaviour in this thread, I won’t hold my breath.

  123. says

    Mikee:

    Actually I think the debate was more about sterotyping people which I think is worthy of being discussed, given how it can lead to some really dodgy treatment of people.

    Not in this thread.

  124. Louis says

    Vicar,

    No I didn’t lie, I do real, lab-based science for the majority of my work.* And given prevailing conditions, always will.You’re being deliberately obtuse. I also said nothing about your class. I merely responded in kind to your vitriolic, chippy bullshit. And with that, I’m ignoring you. You’re too pathetic to bother with.

    Oh and snipping things out of context to make claims like this:

    “Even though I deny it, I do indeed discriminate against poor people”

    Is so dishonest, I don’t even know where to start. You’re not even reading for basic comprehension.

    Louis

    * Your ignorance is astounding. Let me enlighten you. There are, in many pharmaceutical companies, two major career tracks for scientists. Research and Management, or R and M tracks. I am on the R track. I do not want to be on the M track. They work differently. M track is “dead man’s boots”, you have to wait for a management opportunity to arise then apply for it. R track is slightly different, there are dead man’s boots-ish type positions (not every scientist gets to be a research fellow, for example) , but advancement is limited to your ability to do science, and you ability to manage scientific projects. Broadly speaking. So as you rise up the R track ranks you’ll be responsible for more science and, sadly, more people. Vastly less people than the M track though. This means that your CONTRACT (not necessarily your work day) will stipulate that you spend some time doing tedious paperwork in ADDITION to science. You’re always doing science. I tend to work in such a way that I maximise my time in the lab and organising science with other people. Some of my colleagues don’t, but I do. I like the lab. Having more control over WHAT science gets done necessarily means you have to spend less time doing lab based science, that’s true of academic scientists as well as industrial scientists. The fact that this simple thing eludes you is…rather indicative. My apologies that you are such an ignorant fuckwit.

  125. says

    ‘S okay, Louis. I do think any further in this line should go to Thunderdome, stat. By the way, I own and wear a suit (man’s, tailored to fit) for social occasions. Just sayin’. ;)

  126. Louis says

    Caine, I’m not a suit fan really, they’re good for what they’re good for. I am, however, a massive NON-fan of essentialist, stereotypical, prejudicial bullshit being touted by chippy fuckwits.

    Who knew? ;-)

    Louis

  127. vaiyt says

    The charge is that he “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means

    Protip: it’s rape.

  128. says

    I have tried to oppose Atheists being shitty to one another…

    Funny thing here — Lee Moore isn’t mentioning any particularly “shitty” behavior, or any possible reasons for it. He’s just complaining about atheists fighting other atheists, without having to actually mention what the fighting may be about. Which makes him sound like every other spineless “leader” trying to silence internal criticism by pretending everyone is just being all emotional and stuff and we should all just shut up about our First World problems blahdefuckingblah…

  129. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    “coerced me into a position where I could not consent, and then had sex with me.” I don’t know what any of that means

    Well, that’s disturbing.