Smart talk about school sports »« Now I understand…it’s all your fault!

Comments

  1. Doug Hudson says

    OT comment: if anyone here also comments at Shakesville, here’s a helpful tip–don’t argue with the mods there. Sweet zombie jesus, it was like a pack of wolves. You would have thought I wrote a paean to rape or something. My pride is still smarting from that verbal ass-kicking.

    The monitors here are much nicer.

  2. Doug Hudson says

    “Challenging” is a good way to put it. The mods there don’t just edit comments or ban people, they will actively tear into comments that they feel are inappropriate. And they have a very broad definition of inappropriate.

    And if you argue with one of the mods, then they all pile on.

    Not that I blame them; I’m kinda surprised that they still HAVE comments, given the amount of crap they must take.

    But it’s not a happy fun place to comment the way Pharyngula is.

  3. says

    @ David Marjanović

    From your linky above: [jaywalking]

    If it cheers any, the pedestrian is in the right in China. Drivers beware; pedestrians are inviolate. This is, of course, a most reasonable state of affairs. I would hate to imagine the carnage if it was any other way.

  4. chigau (違う) says

    Caine and everyone
    Of all the gadgets we have, I think the paper-shredder is the one that gives me the most … pleasure:
    Take that old dunning notice.
    Take that six extra copies of a newsletter from 1996.
    Take that 20-year-old utility bills.

  5. dysomniak, darwinian socialist says

    Delurking again to say that SGBM is a very welcome ‘nym to see indeed. I hope I will be reading more of your comments in the future, comrade.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    Shredding is wonderful.
    We have a superior recycling program here but sometimes we just BURN.
    If I could run it through some ratties first, I would.

  7. says

    Caine:

    Heh. We don’t have a superior recycling program, it’s quite limited, and everything has to be hauled into town. You aren’t allowed to toss phone books into the paper recycling bin anyway. We do burn, though. Burned the first time in a while today, as the wind was almost mellow for a change.

    So far, the shreddings are working well in the rat boxes, and I’ve also used them for rattie digging purposes as well as rat litter.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    Caine/chigau #510
    heh
    copy/paste will do you

    If you have a bandsaw, you can cut the spines off the phone books and put the pages into the recycling.
    I’m fairly sure the rats could reduce the spineglue to poo.

  9. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    If you have a bandsaw, …

    If you have a reciprocating saw, you can do anything.

  10. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    ::a tired shoop peeks into the ‘not living up to its rep’ Thunderdome to say “Hi SGBM. You have been missed”, before heading to bed::

  11. carlie says

    Doug Hudson – we have an entirely different purpose here regarding monitoring. “Monitors” are a very, very recent addition here, and they exist solely to alert PZ to issues he needs to deal with (such as spam) and remind people of the rules that PZ has set forth, violations of which can get one’s comments sent to PZ for special attention. Monitors here are nothing like moderators, which is what Shakesville has. Their moderators work to ensure that the entire conversation is one that follows the guidelines they have agreed on, and that as much care as possible is taken by commenters to not say anything that would be harmful as splash damage in any way. Their ironclad rule is not to argue with the moderators; the agreement going in is that they have the last word, and if you don’t like it, you don’t need to comment. Again, entirely different than the purpose of monitors here.

    Yes, that makes it a difficult space to comment in, because you have to stop and really think about what you’re saying before you say it. I don’t comment much there myself, not because I disagree with all of it, but because I know that I don’t always have the energy to do full due diligence to myself before commenting. But that doesn’t make it bad, it just makes it different. It’s a futile exercise to try to compare the two styles.

  12. says

    Overcast and chill today. Putting together a big batch of chili to slow cook. Scent of onions, garlic, freshly ground cumin seed, peppers, the oak and berries of an aged merlot. Walela playing, singing along to Cherokee Morning Song, with Jayne & Doll providing backup howls. Aŋpétu wašté (Good day).

  13. Doug Hudson says

    carlie@514, oh I agree with you 100%. I’m not trying to compare the two or stir anything up, I just wanted to give a little heads-up to anyone who wasn’t entirely familiar with Shakesville’s moderation policy. It’s…different than most any other site. I knew that, but I didn’t quite grasp all the implications, and I kinda …got my head bit off. Ouch.

    I still read Shakesville regularly, Melissa McEwan and the other contributors post some fascinating stuff.

  14. kittehserf says

    Doug, I saw a similar comment from a Manboobz regular yesterday, one of the nicest people I know; he said he committed the cardinal sin of disagreeing with one of the Shakesville contributors.

  15. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    *waves at strange gods*

    /returns to watching Educating Essex on 4od.

  16. says

    Depending on which manboobz regular it was, I wouldn’t really pay any stock to it. Granted, after 2 years they h ad time to cycle in some perhaps less awful people.

  17. says

    Daz:

    Not sure how a song in a foreign (to me) language did such a thing, but thank you.

    You’re most welcome. I left you a comment about the lyrics. Another Walela song which prompts backup howls from Doll & Jayne (thanks to noisy singing along) is I’ll Turn My Radio On.

    By the way, Cherokee Morning Song was first done on Music for Native Americans by Robbie Robertson, formerly of The Band. By the way again, Mahk Jchi is one of my most favourite songs ever, by Ulali. I’m sure that’s on yootube somewhere too.

  18. says

    Caine, thanks.

    Ooh I’m a sucker for almost anything done acappela Your second link’s borked by the way. Google came to the rescue though.

    On a different topic, this is good, from Foz Meadows.

  19. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Hello! and thanks, AE, Beatrice, cm, David, Dhorvath, dysomniak, Hekuni Cat, Nick, Tony, and anybody I missed. It’s good to see all of you.

    +++++
    opposablethumbs,

    And [hugs] from each according to their ability? :-)

    You got me thinking about hug vouchers, hug banking, and the potential of fully hug-based economies. Today I learned that a post-scarcity economics of hugging is already technologically possible. The Hugularity approaches.

    +++++
    This again since we’re on a new page.

    Wiki stuff: I suggest making Nightjar a bureaucrat. This entails the ability to make other users into admins, if/when new admins are needed.

    Are there any objections? Questions? Comments? Post here or email me.

  20. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Here’s the thing about Shakesville – they take their status as a “safe space” very seriously.

    Basically, all spaces must balance “protecting vulnerable people from harm” vs “stifling well-meaning people who make a genuine mistake,” and Shakesville has set an elephant on the first one. That’s their right, and I don’t foresee them ever backing down form it.

    Yes, it does mean that certain conversations can never happen there, and that certain people will never comment there. And on balance, I think they’re just fine with that.

  21. Howard Bannister says

    One thing I’ve noticed very strongly about reactions to the Shakesville moderation policy: a great number of them, especially coming from men, especially men of a certain not-so-very-feminist-bent, seem to be utterly outraged at the very idea that a woman, in her own space, might make her own rules and not let them make the rules.

  22. says

    The one I remember saying that was Pecunium, who really has no business being in ‘safe space’ places with the least bit of friendliness to LGBT. Oh, I will name names – in fact, if you’re on it, the history is probably all there for you to see if you look.

  23. chigau (違う) says

    Caine
    No sss here yet but it’s getting cold.
    We haven’t dug the potatoes yet.
    Nor any of the other hundred things needed to winterize the garden.

  24. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Now the power is going on and off. Oy.

    At work (back when I had a job), I lost the same graphic four times in one day because of work on a generator (which they never told us about). The last time, my “FUCK!” could be heard in the visitor center. Luckily, not visitors were present at the time.

  25. says

    Ogvorbis:

    The last time, my “FUCK!” could be heard in the visitor center.

    I feel ya. The power has gone out and come back on 7 times since I posted @ 542. I think it might be time to have a chat with Mister about slaughtering our bank account and getting one of those monster generators that cost a couple of grand.

  26. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    I think it might be time to have a chat with Mister about slaughtering our bank account and getting one of those monster generators that cost a couple of grand

    The last fire I was at, we had some Honda generators with an ‘eco’ switch that were whisper quiet and really fuel efficient. Not sure if they make them in home size, but there are some good small generators out there.

  27. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Now the power is going on and off. Oy.

    We had the power go down at work for maybe 20 seconds today (ComEd was doing some work up the road, so not so surprising)‚ The wonders of a laptop in a docking station. Never went down due to change over to battery….

  28. says

    Ogvorbis:

    The last fire I was at, we had some Honda generators with an ‘eco’ switch that were whisper quiet and really fuel efficient. Not sure if they make them in home size, but there are some good small generators out there.

    This is Norf Dakota, Og. We got ‘em. There a couple brands (don’t remember names right now) that make the super quiet, extra large “no interruption” generators for houses, very fuel efficient. We have a small one, so if we’re without power for a while, like we were in ’010, we can run lights, fridge, freezer, heat and laptops without much fuel consumption. From what I remember, the big generators I’m thinking of are around 8 to 10 feet in length. One of those can be hooked straight into one of our propane tanks, and would kick in automatically. It would be nice, especially because where we are, we get damn near constant brownouts when the weather gets dicey, which is all fucking winter long.

  29. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    From what I remember, the big generators I’m thinking of are around 8 to 10 feet in length.

    Oh. Those. Those are big. In Forks, we had a V-8 diesel that put out 300hp (which translates to about 220 kilowatts. Might be a little big for you.

    Sorry. I forgot where you are.

  30. says

    Ogvorbis, they aren’t huge, like what a business might have, but more than enough for a large house. Most of the outlying farms have one like that, at the very least. Usually bigger, and more than one.

    Being rural, we’re pretty much screwed if the power is out for any length of time, as the only thing not electrically dependent is the stove. The furnace requires power to start, then uses propane, but again, needs electricity. The water heater is electric. So yeah, it might be time to get something which will kick in automatically.

  31. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Caine:

    Yeah. Sorry. Urban privilege showing on my part.

  32. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The furnace requires power to start, then uses propane, but again, needs electricity.

    The last place (and would have bought) in Dah YooPee had a gas fired furnace with gravity driven hot water heat. Which means the furnace worked off battery power for a while just to turn the burner on and off when power went out, and the water circulated by convection. Didn’t need a water pump to keep the house warm….

  33. Ogvorbis: Heading down the Failure Road. Again. says

    Caine:

    Sorry. I’m a little down right now.

    Depression. Unemployment. Knee hurts. Getting over a cold. Not totally lucid because of Kraken spiced rum.

  34. burgundy says

    Threadrupt is when someone comes in not having read all the previous comments, is that right? Can I come in and be ragingly threadrupt? Because one of my friends posted on Facebook about the Rebecca Watson response to Thunderfoot’s video and now there are all these guys supporting him (Thunderfoot) and I’m trying to argue with them but I’m not actually a very confrontational person and there’s several of them and only one of me and a bunch of people are ‘liking’ my comments but not actually backing me up, and I’ve got this asshole doing the “but if two drunk people have sex, aren’t they raping each other?” thing, and I’m just…

    FUCK
    FUCK YOU
    FUCK YOU FUCK OFF FUCK YOU

    Sorry, I’ll catch up on comments now.

  35. consciousness razor says

    strange gods before me, #529:

    You got me thinking about hug vouchers, hug banking, and the potential of fully hug-based economies. Today I learned that a post-scarcity economics of hugging is already technologically possible. The Hugularity approaches.

    It does indeed. In just a few short years, the Hugularity won’t need to take the crude shape of a bear, but will be able to transform itself into any number of forms to accommodate your every hug-related need: tables, chairs, starfish, squid, robot-looking robots, you name it. The possibilities are endless. And once we’re all part of the Hugularity, you yourself could be a litter of kittens hugging Pat Robertson, a Volkswagen with arms hugging a goat, and so forth. That would no doubt be very comforting.

  36. Dhorvath, OM says

    SG and Nightjar,
    I doubt I could trust Nightjar more. I don’t frequent the wiki, but I have spent time there periodically, I approve of how it is shaped and wish it to continue.

  37. kittehserf says

    Rutee @537 – no, it’s not Pecunium, this person wasn’t around during that time, I think (I know the broad outline of what you’re referring to).

    RE weather – snow in Wyoming today, I heard. Send some our way, will ya? I’ll swap you for rottenrottenrotten summer stuff.

  38. jonmilne says

    Okay, Miley Cyrus has officially gone way down in my opinions of her.

    Don’t get me wrong: I found the whole outrage over her twerking in the MTV VMAs to be massively overblown, and up until now, really the most she’s been guilty of during that furore has been in releasing incredibly sucky singles into the charts of late. Hardly a massive crime.

    But now after witnessing the war of words between Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor, I don’t see how anyone can fail to consider Cyrus to be anything other than a downright nasty human being, while O’Connor, while already considerably great for her campaigning against paedophile priests, has achieved a whole new level of awesome for the way she’s been handling Cyrus, especially since Cyrus responded to O’Connor’s first open letter (http://www.sineadoconnor.com/2013/10/open-letter-to-miley-cyrus/) by mocking O’Connor’s bipolar disorder and other past psychological health issues, as well as actually taking a cheap-shot at O’Connor’s 1992 SNL appearance, even though a decade later O’Connor was proven absolutely right. What a classy lady Cyrus is. (/sarcasm)

    Which is why I feel compelled to quote, in full, O’Connor’s second letter to Cyrus. Honestly? This is the kind of awesome smackdown rivalled only by Lenski’s takedown of Schlafly in 2008. Your mileage may vary about O’Connor’s references to how Cyrus acts in “Wrecking Ball”, but certainly the rest is absolutely spot-on:

    ANOTHER OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS

    Miley… Really? Who the fuck is advising you? Because taking me on is even more fuckin’ stupid than behaving like a prostitute and calling it feminism. You have posted today tweets of mine which are two years old, which were posted by me when I was unwell and seeking help so as to make them look like they are recent. In doing so you mock myself and Amanda Bynes for having suffered with mental health issues and for having sought help.

    I mean really really… who advises you? have you any idea how stupid and dangerous it is to mock people for suffering illness? You will yourself one day suffer such illness, that is without doubt. The course you have set yourself upon can only end in that, trust me.

    I am staggered that any 20 yr old woman of the 21st century could behave in such a dangerous and irresponsible manner as to not only send the signal to young women that its ok to act like prostitutes but also to the signal that those who have suffered or do suffer mental health problems are to be mocked and have their opinions invalidated.

    Have you no sense of danger at all? or responsibility? Remove your tweets immediately or you will hear from my lawyers. I am certain you will be hearing from all manner of mental health advocacy groups also. It is not acceptable to mock any person for having suffered.

    It is most unbecoming of you to respond in such a fashion to someone who expressed care for you. And worse that you are such an anti-female tool of the anti-female music industry. I hope that you will apologise to Amanda Bynes and to any person who has been wounded by your mockery of those who have suffered. And I hope that you will wake up and understand that you in fact are a danger to women.

    Furthermore you posted a photo of me tearing the pope’s photo .. as if to imply insanity.. by doing so all you have achieved is to expose your staggering ignorance. I suggest you read The Philadelphia Report, The Boston Report, all the reports which will illuminate for you why that action of mine remains sane and valid. By mocking it you mock every child who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of priests and had it covered by the Vatican. You could really do with educating yourself, that is if you’re not too busy getting your tits out to read.

    Likewise the third follow-up letter from O’Connor is pretty badass too: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/news/a521045/sinead-oconnor-threatens-miley-cyrus-legal-action-in-new-open-letter.html

    What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

  39. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    568
    jonmilne

    Okay, Miley Cyrus has officially gone way down in my opinions of her.

    Don’t get me wrong: I found the whole outrage over her twerking in the MTV VMAs to be massively overblown, and up until now, really the most she’s been guilty of during that furore has been in releasing incredibly sucky singles into the charts of late. Hardly a massive crime.

    Except it being massively fucking racist

  40. jonmilne says

    @569 JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness:

    Except it being massively fucking racist

    …Shit. That wasn’t an element I was aware of in the whole controversy. Teach me to selectively live under a rock when it comes to this showbiz news stuff. Damn, now she’s even further down in my estimations.

    @570 Rutee Katreya:

    Well yes. I do think O’Connor’s being well-intentioned about it though especially with the justifiable concern that men around Cyrus are probably profiting much more from Cyrus resorting to such gimmicks than Cyrus probably is, and that the nature of these gimmicks Cyrus has been resorting to probably won’t do her any good in the long run, and those guys who’ve helped engineer Cyrus’s antics won’t care when Cyrus inevitably ends up making a public cry for help.

    But I agree that YMMV on Cyrus deciding to take a more sexual approach in her work being something that’s justifiable or unjustifiable for criticism. But certainly, in O’Connor’s other two letters, the other stuff Cyrus is guilty of are more than ripe for criticism, and on those issues – on mental health, and child sex abuse – certainly O’Connor deserves a standing ovation in my view for smacking Cyrus down on those issues.

  41. chigau (違う) says

    I know 20 years old is technically adult but really Cyrus’s lack of experience in Life is telling.

  42. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    568
    jonmilne

    What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

    She right about Cryus’s ablist remarks but that doesn’t make it right for her to take shots saying Cryus will land in the psych ward or rehab and then be willing to finally meet her. And fuck O’Connor for the slut shaming “acting like a prostitute” and “proper woman” remarks.

  43. Ingdigo Jump says

    I hope no one minds but. I sort of need to vent somewhere. It’s incredibly stupid but if you could just endugle me, there’s some stuff I want to share about myself. I don’t usually share too much RL stuff but I felt the need to share some stuff today that I’m tired of hiding.

    http://blogingproject.blogspot.com/2013/10/they-always-smile.html

    They Always Smile
    This is a story about why I am the way I am; my confession if you will.

    From about the time I was thirteen I knew my father didn’t want to be part of my family. My mother and I were disappointments, signs that he failed in life. I tried most of my childhood and adult life to be a good enough child that he would want to be part of my life. I tried so hard to make it so I could believe that he loved me. When I turned 18 he left. With me now of legal age his obligation was done and he exited my life. I was left to pick up the responsibilities and to rebuild and clean up the mess he left. Where other people my age were dating or partying or focusing entirely on my studies I was trying to help put back the pieces of my family and build back up my mother’s crushed psyche. My mother still hasn’t recovered. I don’t know she ever will. I don’t know how you can ever fully recover from the idea that someone pretends to like you but can’t stand you.

    Even before I knew exactly what the problem was I knew there was something wrong with my father. My father yelled a lot. He broke things. He would become depressive and not talk to anyone after. He would disappear. I remember being always afraid as a child. One of my earliest memories was my father asking me to get him something from the basement and me hesitating afraid to go down. Not because I was afraid of the basement, but because I was afraid my father was sending me into some sort of trap to get rid of me. I was afraid the stairs were rigged and were going to collapse. That’s not the only memory I have of that fear. The same thing happened being asked to go to the shed, or go for a drive with him. I wanted to love my father, but I was so scared. I felt guilty doubting he loved me.

    I often had trouble at school; in addition to or maybe because of this. A few years ago cleaning out my mom’s old collection of my elementary school stuff I found the results of a psyche test the guidance councilor had run. In the notes it read that I was “going to have a lot of trouble coming to terms with who their father is”.

    When I was about ten years old, I did not have many friends. I was dealing with emotional problems and was a very fragile child. Even back then I felt anything I did wrong, any time I did not achieve perfection, it was letting my parents down and was ruining my family. Every less than perfect test wasn’t just some academic grade, it was a failed opportunity to try to earn the loving family I wanted. I thought that if I could be a good child that sort of thing might stop. But nothing I did was good enough (obviously). Every less than perfect grade would make me cry and beat myself up. Every failed sport or social activity the same. The other kids didn’t like me because of this obviously. I was the freak. The cry baby.

    Despite all this, I was recognized as “gifted”. Apparently, troubled but gifted. The guidance councilor pushed for me to enter more challenging classes and after school programs such as the Talented And Gifted program. That seemed to help with confidence. It was higher level material, thought puzzles, head start at advanced math etc. I thought I was getting better (in every sense of the word). I thought I could be someone people could be proud of.

    I even thought I had made a friend or two. That child’s name was Justin. I forget his last name, but it’s probably for the best. He was also in TAG. He was the golden child really. He really was everything I wasn’t. slimmer, athletic (or at least not clumsy), confident, collected, popular. Justin was in TAG before me and ahead in a lot of areas. He knew chess strategy and openings when I was just playing around with it, he knew the start of trig when I was learning algebra. That sort of thing. He always was smiling. Always.

    He had teased me a bit before, but had seemed to warm up to me when I joined TAG. Getting to talk and know each other more in a less stressful intellectual environment put me at ease. It let me open up more. Justin befriended me, he encouraged me to open up to him and talk to him. There was a lot of joking at TAG, some of it barbed at my expense but I was trying to learn to go with that. Occasionally a comment he said really hurt my feelings and I would get made but he would smile and apologize. he was always smiling. Always. I would always forgive him. because that was the right thing to do.

    It was about the time I started getting into some geeky things. I discovered the Star Wars books and loved them, started watching old twilight zones, and it was when Pokemon was first being exported into the states. I remember learning about this Pokemon game and really liking the idea, loving the first games. Justin seemed to share my interests and we talked about those sort of things all the time. He started having me join him and his friends at lunch. Instead of sitting alone we’d talk about Star Wars, Pokemon, ghosts and ghoulies and that sort of thing. I thought it was great that people seemed to finally start to like me rather than see me as some freak. Every day I could look forward to seeing Justin at lunch. He’s smile when I sat down across from him. He was always smiling. Always.

    Except there was a problem. Gradually I started noticing little…how shall we say…problems with the things Justin said. He seemed to love Pokemon and Starwars as much as me, but kept seeming to make elementary mistakes or say things that were blatantly false. I’m not talking about some bullshit fake geek girl stuff about trivia, but about basic things. Things that if you were being honest about liking the material should have known. I didn’t like this. I didn’t like being suspicious of someone. I thought it was just because of my father. I thought that I was crazy and stupid and beat myself up over being so untrusting. After worrying myself sick I tried an experiment, feeling full well that I was a freak for even thinking it. I would ask some questions of Justin or feed some obviously wrong info about the stuff we were talking about and see what he would do. He would correct me or ask why I was being stupid right? Then I could forget about the whole thing and move on. Justin never corrected me. He went along with whatever I was saying.

    I think my heart really did break when I figured out the truth. Justin didn’t like what I liked. Not even a little. He just was going along with what I was saying like some cruel improv act. He didn’t like me. Not even a little. He wasn’t my friend. He thought I was funny, not funny haha but funny pathetic. I was their pet freak. They laughed at me behind my back. For nearly a year Justin lied to me and he smiled when he did it.

    I confronted Justin at lunch about this and he admitted it. He said he was toying with me for fun. He smiled when he said it. He was always smiling. Always.

    I remember leaving the lunch room crying as people laughed at me. I had no friends. I had less than no friends. I was pathetic. I was a freak. Any sign of kindness was a lie. I had been feeling sick a lot after that. I didn’t tell my parents what happened. It was about two weeks after the laughing moved from behind my back to my face that I went to the nurse’s office feeling sick to my stomach. I had been there every day that week and was always sent back as a faker. I didn’t want to be there any more, I didn’t want to go to school. I didn’t want to face smiling Justin. So after two weeks while I was waiting for the nurse to finish with a another kid I took the laces out of my sneakers and tried to strangle myself.

    The nurse heard me gagging and stopped me. I was sent for counseling. They somehow concluded I would be OK to stay in school and classes, but made me go for weekly sessions with the guidance councilor. I wasn’t allowed to be in TAG anymore.

    I didn’t let myself make friends after that for a long time. I learned that people were cruel, people couldn’t be trusted. I learned people would toy with you and abuse you for no reason. I also learned that those sorts of people would abuse forgiveness. They would stomp on your heart week after week and then smile and apologize and guilt you into letting them close to you again. Other things just reinforced that. My father finally cut ties. My grandfather tried to steal the house from my grandmother. My uncle almost left me homeless A boss exploited my eagerness to please and abused me; meddled into my personal life and bullied me with threats and insults. A guy I met from online had me over and basically jumped me, wouldn’t take any signs or requests to back off or slow down and had to be fought off. Those events hurt, but I felt at least that I grew from them. I got very cautious of people. Very suspicious. I seemed to learn a lot of signs of lying, of abuse, of the horrible cycle of “forgiveness”. After a while I thought I had built myself back up. That I was stronger, I was smarter, that I was wiser and wouldn’t be fooled again. I could start to be more open, less guarded and talk to people again.

    Then today someone who seemed friendly on Twitter revealed that they were lying. They talked to me. They acted nice. They joked around with me. They acted as if they liked me. They didn’t like me at all. They were pretending to do so to hurt people and laugh behind their back. So here I am, feeling as if all those things just came flooding back and I’m a little kid again. Humiliated once again for letting my guard down even for a second. Hurt for letting anyone even a little close. It’s my fault. I forgot how people will lie. Somehow, I’m sure they’re smiling. They always smile.

  44. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Ing, from your reaction to that reveal on Twitter, I knew there has to be a deeper issue for you. And while I am not involved in anything that happened, I am sorry that this happened to you.

  45. Ingdigo Jump says

    Oh fuck my life.

    I posted blog link on twitter to explain to people and accidentally @ed the person. Now they’ve re-tweeted it so everyone can laugh at me.

  46. Ingdigo Jump says

    I did nothing to this person except be nice and they’re rubbing my face in how pathetic I am

  47. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    You are not pathetic, ing. Not in the slightest. I think the jerk who takes joy in life out of being an asshole on Twitter is the pathetic one.

  48. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Seconding UnknownEric. Just because assholes laugh about how “pathetic” you are does not make you pathetic.

    Take the break that you need. And know that there are people who support you.

  49. says

    Ing, you are not pathetic. Everyone here knows that. You know that. The pathetic one is the ass who has nothing else in them except to try and make fun of others. Empty person.

  50. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dang, what was that?

    You know, where a tired person falls asleep in the middle of the day?

    Oh, yeah, a NAP!!!

    The T-storm woke me up just in time for a commode call from the Redhead. Fortuitous.

  51. Rob Grigjanis says

    Ingdigo jump, the pathetic ones are the emotional parasites. Hold your head up. You’re good people.

  52. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Chas:
    Your comment in response to thunk is about as insensitive as I have ever seen! You have no fucking clue what thunk is dealing with. Ze has shared much with us of late about the depression ze faces with regard to hir gender related issues. Ze has spoken of needing assistance in going through hir struggles. Your flippancy in the face of that is disgusting you asshole.

    HOW FUCKING DARE YOU DISMISS WHAT SOMEONE ELSE IS DEALING WITH??!!
    You have some gall.
    Or a lack of empathy.
    Or both.

    Either way FUCK OFF.

  53. says

    @Ing
    It’s not stupid to feel bad when others treat you like shit and there’s nothing pathetic about leaning on the community when you need it.

    Now, deceiving and hurting people for a cheap laugh, that’s both stupid, pathetic and just plain mean. Fuck ‘em.

  54. Tethys says

    Strange gods! :) I am happy to see you.

    Ing

    I am so sorry for the shitty crap that life has handed you. I have been in that same position so often in my life.
    Please do not blame yourself for crossing paths with yet another vile human being, it isn’t as if they are rare. (sadly)

    —-

    ChasPetersen and all who are currently attacking Chas,

    While Chas’s comment was insensitive, it was not meant in an insulting manner. I read it as trying to convey inclusivity as in “Yep, all of us mammals have fur covered bodies. Its normal and perfectly ok.”
    —–

    I was hoping PZ had posted about the Rep who mansplained all over CNN. He is a worthy target for the full horde, shark-tank, sniny teeth, snicker-snak treatment.

    mansplaining douchebiscuit congresscritter

  55. smhll says

    Ing,

    Hugs, if you want them. I have a dream that some day we will be judged by the content of our character, not by the geekiness of our interests.

    It’s terrible to feel that people hate us. (Or just flat out know it.) It feels both miserable and dangerous. However, you do not deserve their hatred. The way they zero in on differences and use those to generate contempt is dreadful and shitty. They suck. It’s blatantly obvious to kind people that they suck.

  56. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    595
    Tethys

    ChasPetersen and all who are currently attacking Chas,

    While Chas’s comment was insensitive, it was not meant in an insulting manner. I read it as trying to convey inclusivity as in “Yep, all of us mammals have fur covered bodies. Its normal and perfectly ok.”

    I disagree with this completely.

    This is what Chas said (italics are his) for those that don’t follow the Lounge:

    hello.
    you’re a mammal.
    deal.

    In response to someone dealing with trans* issues.

    RANT AHEAD:
    Especially considering the societal pressure in America for women to be hairless and perfect, this is extremely insulting and dismissive. I’ve swear I’ve seen people jump on others for dismissing cis women complaining and dealing with societies pressure on them, like hair, make up or high heels. Why is this any different? Oh, wait, it’s not.

    It’s a war wanting to be hairless: if you’re a hairless boy you’ll get terribly teased but if you’re a woman, you can’t be hairless enough. My cis Roomie got it bad enough for having hardly any hair naturally on his legs. Since puburity it’s been all “haha you’re not a man” or “OMG you shave you’re legs like a woman” or homophobic teasing. He’s extremely self-conscious about it, to the point where he ALWAYS wears pants. He’ll sleep in jeans before he sleeps in basketball shorts.

    Chas could have said it a million different ways that would have been better instead of taking a cheap shot at someone dealing with tons of fucking pressure. As if it’s stupid or no big deal. I don’t see or read any inclusivity or anything positive in Chas’s comment. There’s no “we”, there’s no support or understanding or caring or even being aware. It’s simply “deal”.

    Yeah, well the deal is Chas is a giant fucking asshole for that comment.

    And like I give a fuck if it wasn’t meant in an insulting manner, it certainly fucking was insulting and that’s the problem. Fuck him for that bullshit.

    And really, even IF thunk wasn’t dealing with gender issues, it’d still be dismissive and insulting, especially in the Lounge, to tell someone just to deal with being SO fucking unhappy with their body. What do you think they are trying to do?!? Of course, they are trying to deal! They are trying cope and be happy, but it’s not going to well obviously so they came to us for support. Telling them to deal is worse than worthless advice, it’s harmful.

    If I came to the thread to talk about how down I was about how I’m built like a horse and just as hairy as one, and someone responded with that comment, they’d get the same response. It doesn’t acknowledge that while we might have hair, society has determined how much or little you should have and what a struggle it is living in such narrow parameters. I’m depressed and you tell me to “deal”? Wonderful! Now, go fuck yourself – it should be easy since you’re such a giant asshole.

    /rant

  57. says

    Tethys:

    While Chas’s comment was insensitive, it was not meant in an insulting manner. I read it as trying to convey inclusivity as in “Yep, all of us mammals have fur covered bodies. Its normal and perfectly ok.”

    If that’s how Chas meant it, he could have left out the very obvious sneer, and perhaps offered it up as somewhat comforting. It didn’t read that way at all.

    I’ll remind you that Thunk is young, emotionally fragile, dealing with depression and trans*issues. There is no way Thunk will see what Chas wrote as anything other that a sneering write-off.

    Also, Chas is well aware of the atmosphere expected and required in the lounge. He chose to jump on a vulnerable person in an unaccepted manner for that thread.

    Aaaaand another thing – the unkindness of Chas’s statement is even clearer when you take two seconds of time to consider that not all people are equally hirsute. Depends on a lot of factors. Chas certainly knows that, which puts his comment firmly in the “hey, lookit, I’m going to be an asshole to a vulnerable young person!” camp.

  58. Tethys says

    JAL

    I may not be trans, but I am non NT as are many here.

    I understand that it is an insensitive comment. My point is that it just as mean to jump all over Chas for making a factual comment, as it was for Chas to make the comment in the first place.

    Its part of trying to intreperet things in a good light, rather than immediately ascribing horrible intent.

    Only Chas can tell us what he was thinking, but I am certain he was trying for supportive, not cruel.
    Yes, he completely missed the mark, but calling him vile names is not going to help him understand.

    Hope you are hanging on in your corner of the country. I think most Mercuns are under even more horrific stress than usual this week.

  59. says

    I’m struggling to read the stress at the end of hello as anything but that an attempt at sneering patronisation.

  60. Tethys says

    Caine

    What facts were covered by “hello” and “deal with it”?

    That’s the insensitive part.

  61. Tethys says

    Chas deals with everthing from a biology/science perspective. I don’t think he spent any time actually thinking through what it must be like to live life from the POV of a young trans person, and it is right to call him out for that.

    I don’t think it is appropriate to be intentionally cruel to people if they say something that can be intrepreted as cruel. It isn’t necessarily so, and the world is feeling far to harsh to me these past few weeks for me to add any more callous behavior. Intent is not magic, but it does count for something, doesn’t it?

  62. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Dalillama:
    Seconded.
    I was riding a wave of happiness as a result of my fathers actions. Seeing that comment in the Lounge struck a chord bc of the disregard for the very real struggles thunk is going through. My father pleasantly surprised and impressed me. Chas OTOH…

  63. says

    Tethys

    Only Chas can tell us what he was thinking

    I don’t give a flaming fuck what he was thinking, because what he was doing was being an enormous asshole.

    but I am certain he was trying for supportive, not cruel.

    I see no reason whatsoever to make that assumption. He has a long history of making cruel, assholish remarks which he refuses to retract, so the default assumption is that he was doing it again.

  64. says

    Tethys:

    Intent is not magic, but it does count for something, doesn’t it?

    Yes, it does. And unfortunately, that does not work in Chas’s favour. He has a known, long history of being intentionally nasty to people. That’s on him, Tethys. He has a choice to either be sensitive to someone with well known depression and trans*issues, he has the choice to say nothing at all, he has a choice to be helpfully informative, and he has the choice to go with his default “you people disgust me and cause me massive eyerolls” assholism.

    I’ve gone out of my way, many a time, to be considerate, kind, and thoughtful toward Chas, for which I’m generally rewarded by him being hostile and an asshole to me in comments across threads. I’m fully prepared to give him a chance when I think one is warranted, however, his sneer toward Thunk was much more than simply insensitive. It’s insulting to Chas to say “oh, he’s a biologist, he doesn’t think…” Chas is more than aware of the facets of human beings, and he’s said, more than once, that he’s a bitter person. There are plenty of times he takes that out on others, and he should be called on it, particularly when he decides to be an asshole in the lounge. He can come back to the “ever ruined” Thunderdome and be a fucking asshole all he wants.

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

    Tethys,

    You’re doing some impressive acrobatics in trying to defend Chas’ words.

  66. says

    @Daz
    Agreed. It sounds like “Don’t you know that you’re a mammal and mammals have hair? You are foolish for being bothered by this.” It doesn’t read at all like a supportive “Hey, we’ve all been there” comment, to me. It sounds like a dismissal of Thunk’s feelings and it was done in what is supposed to be a safe place.

    @Tethys
    Sounds to me like you’re trying to make a separation between the “insensitive” bit and the “factual” bit. I think that’s bullshit.

    If you take away the “insensitive” part, you’re left with “you’re a mammal”, a completely unhelpful and irrelevant factoid. That (supposedly sensitive) part only makes sense in the context of the rest of the comment, showing it for what it is; a rude dismissal of another’s concerns.

    Intent is not magic, but it does count for something, doesn’t it?

    Yes, but if you’re going to appeal to good intentions, you should also follow it up with practical demonstrations of those good intentions. If you don’t change your behavior to deal with the problem, then your good intentions don’t count for much.

    If this was really meant as a supportive comment, if Chas is actually unable to communicate without this level of foot-in-mouthiness, if he really does have good intentions; then maybe he should express those intentions in action and stay the hell out of the Lounge.

  67. Tethys says

    I see no reason whatsoever to make that assumption.

    Do you think it more reasonable to assume
    A- cruel and malicious intent
    B- flippant and thoughtless, failure to check privilege before inserting foot in mouth

    I am going with B. Chas owes an apology.

    He has a long history of making cruel, assholish remarks which he refuses to retract, so the default assumption is that he was doing it again.

    My experience is that he does in fact retract and apologize, and will do so if he can be made to understand what he did wrong. Oh, and he is just plain wrong about vervets.

  68. smhll says

    “Yep, all of us mammals have fur covered bodies. Its normal and perfectly ok.”

    I agree that this is the kinder way to communicate the same information. (As if people didn’t know it already.) Kindness is good. What was posted by ChasC in the Lounge sounded, to me, a lot more like “tough shit”.

    I’m a menopausal cis woman, and in one of my social circles several of the women have (unwanted) facial hair sprouting. I’m certain that, given our culture, this is emotionally distressing, at least on a small scale. So I offer up my empathy, having walked in those somewhat relate-able shoes a little bit.

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

    Tethys,

    A- cruel and malicious intent
    B- flippant and thoughtless, failure to check privilege before inserting foot in mouth

    Well, yeah, it’s probably B. What’s your point?
    It was an asshole comment and people were rightly angered.

  70. says

    smhll:

    I’m a menopausal cis woman, and in one of my social circles several of the women have (unwanted) facial hair sprouting. I’m certain that, given our culture, this is emotionally distressing, at least on a small scale. So I offer up my empathy, having walked in those somewhat relate-able shoes a little bit.

    This is just one of the reasons why I tend to keep my unhelpful mouth shut during such instances or discussions – I have next to no body hair. I don’t grow underarm hair at all, I’ve never had to shave above the knee when it comes to leg hair, and then only have to shave about once every 6 to 8 months, and only on my shins. I went through menopause at 36, and I’m now 55. Never had any changes in body hair. I’m well aware that most people have the opposite problems, and my yakking about not having them isn’t helpful.

    Instead, I’ve tried to learn a little bit more about changes which can cause more hair growth, and effective ways to deal with it. That’s a lot more appreciated.

  71. thunk (sigh) says

    eek! what did I touch off.

    Caine, Tony, Dalillama, anybody else I missed: Thanks for the support, I really did feel Chas was being dismissive as whoa. Mammals may grow hair, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause significant distress.

  72. Tethys says

    Hi thunk!

    The body hair discussion is actually interesting. Isn’t weird how gender norms and hair are all twisted up in our culture?

    Sorry Chas was dismissive. Hopefully he will read this thread, find his empathy, and apologize for his insensitivity.

  73. says

    Thunk:

    Mammals may grow hair, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause significant distress.

    Oh yeah. All kinds of peoples are not happy with their personal hair situation. I’d say it’s probably one of the more distressing appearance problems.

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

    Personally, I had no idea that I’m a mammal or that mammals grow hair. I’m grateful to Chas for providing this valuable information.

  75. thunk (sigh) says

    Never mind the dysphoria even, but I hate thigh hair especially as it’s scritchy and makes it really annoying to sleep with my legs together. so I have to use extra blanket space or arrange myself awkwardly.

    Might be natural, but still problematic.

  76. burgundy says

    Oh wow, thunk, I’m sorry you got smacked in the face with that. What an asshole thing to say. I spent most of my 20s too self-conscious to get naked in front of people (and by “people” I mean “potential sex partners”) because of body hair-related insecurity, and that’s without having trans* issues added on top. If only I’d known I was a mammal, I’d have been fine! It’s not like mammals ever engage in hostility or ostracism or anything like that. Nope, just hairy little angels. Silly me.

  77. says

    Thunk:

    Never mind the dysphoria even, but I hate thigh hair especially as it’s scritchy and makes it really annoying to sleep with my legs together. so I have to use extra blanket space or arrange myself awkwardly.

    See, this is where I’m lost. I’ve never had such a problem, and while I can understand how uncomfortable it would be, I’ve never had to deal with it. So, I take it shaving is off the table, right? Um, I don’t know how to offer up anything helpful here.

  78. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Tethys:
    I agree with everything JAL said @597.

    I understand you view Chas a certain way. I do as well. The asshole side that I have seen him display in some of his past comments was on in full force. While I understand where you are coming from, I see no reason to be so charitable.

  79. Ingdigo Jump says

    Im not in best place now so feel free to disregard but IMO what it came down to even with the defense of Chas is that he has clear, consistant personal flaws that are well known. also IMO it seems he sometimes has very little interest and incentive to correct it. if it keeps happening sorry doesn’t cut it and shouldn’t be excused.

  80. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    621
    Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop!

    Tethys:
    I agree with everything JAL said @597.

    I understand you view Chas a certain way. I do as well. The asshole side that I have seen him display in some of his past comments was on in full force. While I understand where you are coming from, I see no reason to be so charitable.

    For me, it isn’t about Chas or his history, I just literally cannot see how that comment can be read positively. I don’t fathom it, it makes no sense.

    Say for instance if it was Tony who wrote that comment instead of Chas, I’d still be as pissed. It’d still be as wrong and it’d still have caused that rant.

    Of course, Tony would be probably have responded soon and with an apology, so then I could be like “Ok, great, thank you.” and it’d be over.

  81. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    621
    Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop!

    Tethys:
    I agree with everything JAL said @597.

    Thank you. And now I feel bad for just pulling your name out as an example in my last comment. XD

    622
    Ingdigo Jump

    . if it keeps happening sorry doesn’t cut it and shouldn’t be excused.

    This, I also agree with, which is why I have no problem conceding to the point about Chas’s history. I’ve barely been around lately and my memory sucks, so I can’t determine that on my own.

  82. cicely says

    Tethys:

    ChasPetersen and all who are currently attacking Chas,
     
    While Chas’s comment was insensitive, it was not meant in an insulting manner. I read it as trying to convey inclusivity as in “Yep, all of us mammals have fur covered bodies. Its normal and perfectly ok.”

    I could see your point in this, if it weren’t for the

    deal.

    For me, that moved the comment out of the realm of Insensitivity and into the neighboring country of Insulting Douchebaggery. And rather peremptorily delivered, as well.
     
    I cannot approve that message.
     
    Later:

    My point is that it just as mean to jump all over Chas for making a factual comment, as it was for Chas to make the comment in the first place.

    Except that the delivery didn’t suggest “merely a factual comment”.
    I mean, the factual part could have been delivered with whimsical intent, instead:
     
    hello.
    you’re a mammal.
    this is the cross we all must bear.
    the hairy, hairy cross….
     
    …and maybe a riff on bears, as well, if you wanted to go all out.
     
    Now, if he’d left off that final

    deal.

    I could have seen it being intended with wryly-factual intent.
    But not as supportive.
     
    (Though I do agree that intent counts for something; it just isn’t a magical eraser or a “Get Out Of Trouble Free” card.)
     
    You do have my sympathies for the world’s harsh treatment, though, and a *hug or other gesture of support and comfort*, if you’re willing to have it.
    -

  83. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Where else should I complain about someone on Pharyngula saying they’ll use misogynistic language in their private life and that they shouldn’t be criticized for it?

  84. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Hello Daz.

    Do you think it’s okay to tell women they are bitches as long as it said done privately?

  85. says

    SG, I have zero interest in anything approaching conversation with you. I said what I had to say. Fuck off.

  86. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Daz, thank you for your opinion.

    Do you think it’s okay to tell women they are bitches as long as it said privately?

  87. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Almost everyone in that thread agreed that the father shouldn’t have used a misogynistic slur against his daughter.

    But one person said that she “needed” to be called a bitch for “shock value” and that he (Nerd) would privately tell a woman she’s a bitch “if needed for a similar reason.”

    He also said that if “[y]ou don’t like the word, don’t use it, or condemn those who use it privately for effect.”

    Misogynistic language is never needed, Nerd should not be regarding himself as entitled to call women bitches “if needed,” and calling women bitches in private is subject to public criticism.

    Telling someone to deal with body hair merits comment. Yes?

    Announcing that one will call women bitches, privately, as needed, certainly merits comment.

  88. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I, for one, agree with SGBM. Unless you’re in the dog-breeding business and are referring specifically to a female unspayed dog, I don’t see a reason why “bitch” needs to be part of anyone’s vocabulary.

    That includes in privacy.

  89. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Possibly related: today, I went to the grocery store. In the parking lot, a woman in a car yelled at a second woman for walking in the way of her car.

    The driving woman looked at me and made a series of gestures and facial expressions that I’m going to summarize as “ugh that woman! I’m contemptuous of her and sure you agree with me.”

    I don’t suppose it is coincidental that the woman walking was a WoC and the woman driving and I were both white.

    I have a problem with racism when it is people in bedsheets burning crosses. And I have a problem with racism when it is one white person turning to another in private conversation and saying something snide sotto voce about “those people.”

  90. strange gods before me ॐ says

    chigau,

    Why?

    For one thing, Nerd told me not to criticize people who “who use it privately for effect” and I thought the matter of whether or not I should criticize someone other than the letter-writer was getting to be meta enough that it might be best discussed here rather than in the original thread.

  91. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    635
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Announcing that one will call women bitches, privately, as needed, certainly merits comment.

    Yes. I went back to look at it, and it’s all the way back at #86. (yeah, I said was I done commenting there but I can still read and learn.) I can’t believe I missed that. I admittedly skimmed his comments, he can go into automatic copy/paste mode sometimes… I can’t believe nobody else did either. Okay, I can believe it, it’s just shocking.

    Sexist slurs as punishment? No fucking way. Slipping up is one thing, lord knows I’ve done my share, but admittedly, willingly using that to “shock” someone better? The fuck does that work? Oh, wait, that’s just what all those asshole were trying to do for me! I guess I just misinterpreted it….

    /facepalm

    And if you don’t want to talk to SGBM, go talk to fucking Nerd.

  92. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    FFS, and no, objecting to sexism is not “politically correct.”

    It’s just flat-out correct.

  93. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Looks like more PC policemanship for private conversations/messages. Who appointed any of you? Show me your credentials….That is my point.

    You opinions have been noted, but not agreed with.

  94. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    My credentials? My “credentials” are those of a woman, who has been called the exact same words in both public and private.

    The same feeling motivates both sets of times – the feeling that as a woman, I am less-than.

    Seriously, how does privacy suddenly give words different meanings?

  95. Ogvorbis: Apologies Available for All! says

    Nerd, I was called a bitch by my rapist. While he was raping me. It was a private conversation. How could it not be construed as sexist?

    I respect you, Nerd. I think you are wrong and need to take a stop back, disengage for a little while, and think about why so many different people have a problem with what you wrote.

  96. says

    Nerd, I don’t recall reading anything you’ve said on non-trivial items, which I disagreed with before.Because of that I read your comment several times, in case I /we might have misread your meaning. Sorry, no. A misogynistic slur is a misogynistic slur. End of.

    I really hate the amount of that thread that got devoted to to one word spoken in anger, and the ridiculous lengths to which some people have gone to in analysing the last jot ant tittle of the letter looking to—to my eyes—demonise, the man, but that doesn’t make misogynistic slurs okay.

  97. kittehserf says

    Daz:

    I really hate the amount of that thread that got devoted to to one word spoken in anger, and the ridiculous lengths to which some people have gone to in analysing the last jot ant tittle of the letter looking to—to my eyes—demonise, the man, but that doesn’t make misogynistic slurs okay.

    This.

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

    Daz,

    And here I wanted to quote you again :).
    But yes, your second paragraph in #646 is pretty much my opinion on it too.

    ————–
    Nerd,
    What the fuck?
    When you use the word in private there’s no splash damage, and that’s about the only thing going for it. It’s still sexist. Sexist slurs escape me sometimes and I’m not going to jump all over someone who does the same in anger and rarely otherwise. But it would still be better if they hadn’t used it and it’s ok to point that out.

  99. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    sgbm @628:
    Nerds comment appears (to my eyes at least) to be an attempt to explain and justify the use of the gendered slur as well as the grandfathers attitude towards his daughters actions. While I am not certain Nerd approved of the use of that slur, I can see how one could read that into his comment. However, I do not get how anything Nerd said could be interpreted as things Nerd himself would say/do.

    (It is easier to strike through than delete all that on my phone). Having read subsequent comments here, I completely agree with you. Calling out the _use of_ or _support for_ sexist slurs is done in so many other cases [here]. It is not swept under the rug. So why should this not be discussed?
    Is it bc Nerd is a regular?
    No, bc several of us just criticized Chas, and he is a regular.

    Is it bc of Nerd’s status here as a regular in (as far as I know) good standing?
    I do not think that is the case either.

    I am at a loss as to why a discussion on this should not happen.

    ***
    Nerd:
    Why is it acceptable to use a gendered slur in one context, but not others? Or is this a case of not agreeing that ‘bitch’ is a gendered slur?

    This is not policing private conversations. This is about whether a slur (in this case, a gendered one) is acceptable or not. Surely there is a conversation worth having there?

    I would feel the same if someone thought it was ok to refer to a black person as a ‘ni**er’ behind closed doors, but not in public.

  100. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Looks like more PC policemanship for private conversations/messages. Who appointed any of you? Show me your credentials….That is my point.

    uh huh

  101. thetalkingstove says

    Daz

    and the ridiculous lengths to which some people have gone to in analysing the last jot ant tittle of the letter looking to—to my eyes—demonise, the man

    I just don’t see this. I see people saying ‘it’s not cool that he used that language’ and then other people trying to find ways to excuse or ignore it.

    No one said that the grandfather was a misogynist. No one said he was an awful person or that the positive thing he did for his grandson was now worthless.

    Where’s the demonising?

  102. says

    Here’s how that thread should have gone:

    Commenter A: “It’s deplorable that he had to use a sexist slur in his otherwise excellent letter.”

    Commenters B, C, D, E: “Quite right.”

    Fin.

    The demonising comes from the endless acrimony that emerged from the arguments. It was truly a pointless derail. An initial comment to point out that that was an unfortunate word choice would have been sufficient; why that had to turn into the major point of contention is a mystery to me.

  103. says

    My reference to “jot and tittle” and “demonising” was in light of the frankly ludicrous suggestion that the grandfather was breaking the family and the talk of him using the pronoun “her” in reference to his daughter being somehow sexist.

    YMMV; I call that petty in the extreme.

  104. strange gods before me ॐ says

    PZ,

    why that had to turn into the major point of contention is a mystery to me.

    It shouldn’t be; the problem was identified at #57:

    SC isn’t being focused on the slur, but focused on the people who are handwaving it away as entirely unimportant, like you were doing. If it had been a girl who was kicked out of her house, and the note called the parent a fa***t, would you have defended it as being from someone who “can’t express himself”, the way you did in this case? It’s not the main point, no, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a point. And, as usually happens in cases like this, the signal is getting louder because rather than saying “yeah, that is a point to think about” or the like, a few people are saying that it’s meaningless, which is the reason SC keeps explaining why it isn’t. If you don’t want it to be a focus, stop arguing that it doesn’t mean anything at all.

    Or is your mystery “Why didn’t Commenters B, C, D, E say ‘Quite right.’”?

    Answered in part at #102: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2322781

    And, in part, because all social groups — even your minions who someties make a sincere effort to avoid it — are prone to following cues from their more powerful members. You didn’t point out that the slur was a problem, you just posted the letter approvingly. And so when someone criticized the OP, there was a tendency to defend PZ’s content rather than agree that there is a problem.

  105. Walton says

    Immigration news round-up. I’ve attended a couple of protests lately demanding a public inquiry into the horrifying sexual abuse of detainees at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre. And I have another post up about it at The Feminist Hivemind. [TW on the link for severe abuse and neglect.] The immigration enforcement system is sexist, racist, homophobic and violent.

    Also, from the other side of the Atlantic, here’s a piece on how the US government shutdown is affecting immigration enforcement. Most ICE employees are considered “essential”, so arrests, detention and deportations are continuing – but EOIR, the agency in the Department of Justice which operates the immigration courts, is operating with severely reduced staffing, likely leading to immigration detainees spending more time in detention awaiting their immigration court hearings.

  106. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Daz,

    the frankly ludicrous suggestion that the grandfather was breaking the family

    That’s still a misrepresentation, it’s already been pointed out repeatedly that it’s a misrepresentation, and you aren’t going to get any closer to the truth without at least attempting some quotes.

  107. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why is it acceptable to use a gendered slur in one context, but not others? Or is this a case of not agreeing that ‘bitch’ is a gendered slur?

    Get some context. The topic was granddad’s letter of support for his grandson to mother who threw out the grandson. Why should what the granddad said be subject to politically correct speech condemnation, essentially making the whole message irrelevant, unless somebody has an agenda? It wasn’t somebody posting here and not knowing our rules.

    What I have said all along, is I won’t condemn the granddad for his use of the word. That doesn’t mean I support and use the word. Just that in context of the story and letter, there is no need for unnecessary and prolonged criticism of one word, while ignoring the totality of the message. Besides, how does he make it any plainer to the mother she was very much out of line, and needs to get over herself, and do so in way that makes her sit up and take notice like the deliberate insult from her father would? Nobody has come up with a polite way to say that. It’s easy to criticize, it’s hard to actually come up with the words that would work just as well or better at getting through her self-righteousness.

  108. says

    SG

    It might surprise you to learn that someone can have compassion for the grandson and share the father/grandfather’s anger at his daughter, while being not particularly impressed that he would so readily and hypocritically disown his daughter and dismiss her with a misogynistic slur.

    Just because his daughter is an adult doesn’t mean that he no longer has any responsibility to help her learn and become a better person, and cutting her off entirely blocks off those avenues. I understand the anger behind this sort of extreme response and the desire to support it, but I think in general this isn’t an approach that people should be cheering off the bat

    Because taking care of the son she threw out into the street means he really should take responsibility to teach her a basic lesson in parenting, like don’t abandon your children.

    My point is that I don’t think we should necessarily be cheering *off the bat* (as I said) approaches that contribute to the breakup of families and should be suggesting some that might have a better chance of healing relationships.

    Because what he did contributed so much toward that breakup, in comparison to his daughter throwing her child into the street, right?

    Yes, there are a few “but we don’t know” caveats thrown in, but for fucksake, the whole speculation was downright petty. The grandfather’s contribution to that breakup was bloody minuscule in comparison to the daughter’s.

  109. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Because taking care of the son she threw out into the street means he really should take responsibility to teach her a basic lesson in parenting, like don’t abandon your children.

    It could help. Do you deny it could help?

    Because what he did contributed so much toward that breakup, in comparison to his daughter throwing her child into the street, right?

    Nothing was said about “in comparison.”

    It does appear to be a fact that he further split the family apart, more than it would have been had he not cut off his contact with her.

    Christine contributes C amount of breakage, Dad contributes D amount.
    C + D > C.
    It was never claimed that D > C.

    You are inventing that claim.

    Yes, there are a few “but we don’t know” caveats thrown in,

    Because SC tries very hard to be accurate; a point which should be undisputed.

    but for fucksake, the whole speculation was downright petty.

    What speculation? I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

    The grandfather’s contribution to that breakup was bloody minuscule in comparison to the daughter’s.

    Nothing was said about “in comparison.” You are inventing this. You made up a strawman in your head. Maybe you did so accidentally. But your thus-far failure to show any attempt at a charitable reading? May seem to give the impression that you’re actively looking for ways to dislike SC.

  110. says

    You are inventing that claim.

    Y’see, that’s where your telepathy seems to have failed you. The comparison I’m alluding to is that the grandfather’s contribution to the breakup was so minuscule that it was petty to give it any weight by mentioning it. There was a comparison implicit in the fact that it was thought worthy of mention.

    Is this sinking in yet?

    It was petty to even bring the subject up.

    It reeks of someone searching for further reasons to criticise the man.

  111. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Y’see, that’s where your telepathy seems to have failed you.

    Reading what people say and expecting that it has meaning is not telepathy, nor is it reasonably criticized as such. If you want to say that I’m misunderstanding you, I think you know how to do that without being uncharitable.

    The comparison I’m alluding to is that the grandfather’s contribution to the breakup was so minuscule that it was petty to give it any weight by mentioning it.

    But it’s not petty. You are just wrong about that. It’s a legitimate concern. People can disagree about it, but it isn’t petty. Cutting off his daughter may indeed be what’s necessary in this particular family (and we don’t know), but because this letter has been publicly passed around as exemplary the general subject of “how to deal with homophobic family members”, and whether outright disowning them is ultimately helpful, thereby becomes a legitimate subject for public comment.

    And several people find the uncritical promotion of a letter that seems to champion disownment to be at least concerning and worth talking about. It’s not just SC — but she’s the one you want to hurt. Why is that?

  112. consciousness razor says

    Y’see, that’s where your telepathy seems to have failed you. The comparison I’m alluding to is that the grandfather’s contribution to the breakup was so minuscule that it was petty to give it any weight by mentioning it. There was a comparison implicit in the fact that it was thought worthy of mention.

    Is this sinking in yet?

    Something is definitely sinking.

    It was petty to even bring the subject up.

    It reeks of someone searching for further reasons to criticise the man.

    For fuck’s sake you don’t have to “search.” It’s right there in plain English in his own letter: he blamed her for disowning the boy, then immediately does it himself to her. This is not generally a productive way to approach relationships, most especially parent-child relationships. It is exactly the same criticism he was making. Was it worth it for him to mention it in the letter, or was that also “petty” according to you?

  113. strange gods before me ॐ says

    More comments from the person who you claim is trying to demonize the father:

    Taking in his grandson and showing him support and understanding is obviously a wonderful approach.

    Pointing it out in this case doesn’t detract from the very good thing he’s doing for his grandson, but I would prefer that examples of people helping others and fighting oppression not be marred by misogyny, or at least that when they are it’s recognized and seen as negative.

    I definitely think the grandfather is to be admired for taking in his grandson, for supporting him, and for standing up for him with his daughter and telling her how terrible disowning him was.

    I think we all agree that taking in his grandson and explaining to the daughter that her actions were awful are great and positive actions, as I’ve said several times in this thread.

    Again, if you were writing a general manual for grandparents in this situation, I doubt your advice would be to immediately cut off communication with your child (much less to refer to them with slurs). Because you’d recognize that in most cases that wouldn’t be best for anyone. Then you would talk about specific situations in which this is or becomes necessary, as in your case.

    Someone who sincerely takes those comments into account would come to a different conclusion — and while perhaps ultimately disagreeing, would at least refrain from imputing and impugning motives as you have done, Daz.

  114. David Marjanović says

    Crossposted from the thread about the grandfather defending his gay grandson. Quotes from strange gods before me and Nerd of Redhead:

    Daz, the Monitor Note thing was snark.

    It was not recognizable as such. I’d have needed to distrust you and go check if you’re on the list.

    Yes, but this isn’t a public statement. It was a private communication to a relative who needed to be shocked out of their righteousness fugue. I don’t and won’t condemn the use of the word in that context, where the shock is needed.

    …And calling her an asshole couldn’t have done that?

    I know it’s not Hungarian, but the English language isn’t that poor that you couldn’t call someone out in an insulting way without spraying splash damage all over their lives and those of everyone they come into contact with.

    What the Hell, Hero?

    I’m with comment 148.

    Also, Caine, I’m all for naming names. I can’t deal with passive aggression, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  115. says

    But it’s not petty. You are just wrong about that. It’s a legitimate concern. People can disagree about it, but it isn’t petty.

    No, it’s petty. What part of “She broke that family when she threw her son out into into the street” do you fail to understand?

    It’s not just SC — but she’s the one you want to hurt. Why is that?

    Really? Where have I mentioned anyone by name? Why do you assume I want to hurt SC? You can assume any feelings toward her on my part that you want, though frankly that would be none of your business; I certainly dislike you, but “want to hurt you, or her”? No. That would be… petty of me.

    More comments from the person who you claim is trying to demonize the father:

    I don’t care how many caveats there are. Again:

    What part of “She broke that family when she threw her son out into into the street” do you fail to understand?

    ********

    I have offline stuff to do.

  116. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    65
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    I’m not giving out any advice, other than to people cheering this approach in a general way (which they necessarily are, given that they don’t know of any specific details that make it preferable) to step back and think about it. You/They’re the ones giving advice: if you cheer this approach without knowing any details that would make it preferable to one that would make growth and reconciliation more likely, then you’re implicitly endorsing this on a general basis.

    So, by that logic, we shouldn’t cheer for them staying in contact with a bigoted family member without the details either since that’s implicitly endorsing that on a general basis. After all, there’s so many ways and reason that it wouldn’t be a good thing to stay in contact and there’s already enough pressure to let the bigots be bigots. On the article linked in the OP, there’s already comments saying it’s wrong what the father did because it’s the mother’s Christian beliefs and the mom just “disagrees”.

    Therefore, we have to stay silent without all the details or we can just cheer and let the general advice be “do what’s right for your situation, you and your family” like I said up thread.

    Again, if you were writing a general manual for grandparents in this situation, I doubt your advice would be to immediately cut off communication with your child (much less to refer to them with slurs). Because you’d recognize that in most cases that wouldn’t be best for anyone. Then you would talk about specific situations in which this is or becomes necessary, as in your case.

    Fuck your “most cases”. You’re assuming it’s most cases, why? Because magical happy family makes everything better? Most cases of abuse and shitty situations like bigoted family members looks fine on the outside, so the general advice of stick with family is fucking hurtful. Why should I, or anyone else, have to deal with the first assumption that staying a “family” is the best solution? Why should we have to go into personal details to justify fucking anything to you?

  117. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Daz,

    No, it’s petty.

    No, it’s not. You are just wrong about that. It’s a legitimate concern. People can disagree about it, but it isn’t petty. Cutting off his daughter may indeed be what’s necessary in this particular family (and we don’t know), but because this letter has been publicly passed around as exemplary the general subject of “how to deal with homophobic family -members”, and whether outright disowning them is ultimately helpful, thereby becomes a legitimate subject for public comment.

    What part of “She broke that family when she threw her son out into into the street” do you fail to understand?

    None. And I have addressed that. I will reiterate, since you have not addressed this:

    It does appear to be a fact that he further split the family apart, more than it would have been had he not cut off his contact with her.

    Really? Where have I mentioned anyone by name?

    In your comment 140, where you accused SC of “actively looking for ways to dislike this man” — a sentiment you echoed in this thread at 646, elaborated upon in 654, and then quoted from SC to argue about in 659.

    Why do you assume I want to hurt SC?

    Because it’s transparently obvious that you do want to hurt her. You’re excessively focused on taking the worst possible readings of her, you are in fact demonstrably ignoring counterevidence that could alter your interpretation, and

    by Daz logic, this means you’re you’re actively looking for ways to dislike her,

    and you are demonstrably making every effort to malign and impugn here over and over.

    but “want to hurt you, or her”? No. That would be… petty of me.

    Then it’s unfortunate that you are trying to hurt her and that you tried to hurt me earlier. I guess you should stop being so petty?

    I don’t care how many caveats there are.

    Those aren’t caveats. They represent a greater portion of her thoughts on the matter than you have tried to bring into the discussion. They are counterevidence, against your false claims about her motives.

    What part of “She broke that family when she threw her son out into into the street” do you fail to understand?

    None. And I have addressed that. I will reiterate, since you have not addressed this:

    It does appear to be a fact that he further split the family apart, more than it would have been had he not cut off his contact with her.

  118. David Marjanović says

    When you use the word in private there’s no splash damage

    I really don’t think so.

    Because SC tries very hard to be accurate; a point which should be undisputed.

    At the same time, though, she easily comes across as All Crimes Are Equal. It doesn’t help that she mixes her observations with her fears and reports both, requiring pretty careful reading to tell them apart: she mentioned the use of “her” to refer to “parent” as possible, if not likely, evidence of a misogynistic character.

    I’m reminded of how (long ago) she was very distressed because some troll’s automatically generated WordPress avatar looked a bit much like a swastika.

    Now, when one side thinks the other believes all crimes are equal, and the other side believes the first side believes in black-and-white morality, what can the resulting discussion possibly look like?

    It was petty to even bring the subject up.

    It reeks of someone searching for further reasons to criticise the man.

    Stop being so neurotypical. It was wrong on the Internet, so somebody mentioned it. It’s completely beyond me what makes you think this simple thing was done For Teh Evulz.

    Do you only criticise people if you already hate them? That’s honestly scary to imagine.

  119. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    cr @ 663

    For fuck’s sake you don’t have to “search.” It’s right there in plain English in his own letter: he blamed her for disowning the boy, then immediately does it himself to her. This is not generally a productive way to approach relationships, most especially parent-child relationships.

    Define “productive.” If your child is bringing harm to others–such as emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment of a minor in their custody–why is it productive to keep that person in your life and by extension the life of the person they have been abusing?

    Perhaps you’ve never had to make the choice between protecting loved ones and maintaining a relationship with your abusive child. It is an awful choice to have to make, but sometimes it’s one that needs to be made. There are obligations that a parent has to their minor child that don’t apply to an adult. There are differences between throwing a teenager into the street for being a member of a minority versus refusing to have contact with an adult abuser.

    If a family member is abusing a minor child the correct, compassionate thing is to deny the abuser the ability to continue the abuse. A major step in protecting someone from abuse is ensuring the abuser doesn’t have access to their victim (ie cutting off contact). Just because this abuse involved words and denying her child of a home does not make it excusable and does not mean she should be allowed to continue it.

  120. strange gods before me ॐ says

    JAL,

    You’re assuming it’s most cases, why? Because magical happy family makes everything better?

    No, and that’s not what was said. What was said was that in most cases, it would not be best for grandparents in this situation to immediately cut off communication with their child. Because “cutting her off entirely blocks off those avenues” by which she might reconcile with her son and make amends to him for her actions — which, when it is a possible outcome, generally is better than being permanently estranged from family.

    Most cases of abuse and shitty situations like bigoted family members looks fine on the outside, so the general advice of stick with family is fucking hurtful.

    Okay but that wasn’t the general advice.

    Why should we have to go into personal details to justify fucking anything to you?

    Absolutely no one suggested that you should. This is a false accusation, which is unwarranted. The hostility is likewise unwarranted. People here do not need to be so hurtful toward one another (part of my point back at 76).

  121. strange gods before me ॐ says

    she mentioned the use of “her” to refer to “parent” as possible, if not likely, evidence of a misogynistic character.

    That’s simplistic. She explicitly said she doesn’t think he’s a misogynist. But there is a difference, in the way that women are viewed when they abandon children, from the way that men are viewed. I don’t know Fromm. But the “conditional love” thing is also part of the strict father model of parenting. It is in fact a reasonable possiblity that this grandfather holds some such views.

    I’m reminded of how (long ago) she was very distressed because some troll’s automatically generated WordPress avatar looked a bit much like a swastika.

    Because she wasn’t sure it was automatically generated, and there were Nazi symps around at the time, no?

    when one side thinks the other believes all crimes are equal

    Okay but she doesn’t believe that, so, maybe this is one of those times I suggest you’re relying a bit heavily on TV Tropes. Not to say that you don’t ever get good use out of it; you often do. But here you went from “comes across [to David]” to “believes.” That jump probably doesn’t work, is all.

  122. strange gods before me ॐ says

    And Daz,

    I note that you substantively agreed with my criticism to Nerd. Considering that, it either must not have been a disagreement or misunderstanding that led you to outrageously attack me back at 631 and 633, or if it was a misunderstanding then you nevertheless didn’t see fit to apologize to me for your unjustifiable cruelty.

    To therefore attack me in these ways, when I’d done nothing warranting such, and explicitly try to drive me away:

    Fucksake SG, go spew all over some other blog.

    SG, I have zero interest in anything approaching conversation with you. I said what I had to say. Fuck off.

    indicates the obvious; you were just maliciously trying to gratuitously hurt me.

  123. David Marjanović says

    She explicitly said she doesn’t think he’s a misogynist.

    Oh, sorry, I overlooked that.

    But there is a difference, in the way that women are viewed when they abandon children, from the way that men are viewed. I don’t know Fromm. But the “conditional love” thing is also part of the strict father model of parenting. It is in fact a reasonable possiblity that this grandfather holds some such views.

    Of course. Referring to his daughter as “her”, though, isn’t evidence for this.

    Because she wasn’t sure it was automatically generated, and there were Nazi symps around at the time, no?

    Yes to both; it was quite obvious they were automatically generated, though.

    Okay but she doesn’t believe that

    I didn’t say (or think) she does. I said that the other side believes she does. This part isn’t from TV Tropes at all, it’s from my experience in similar discussions among Pharyngulites.

    when one side thinks the other believes all crimes are equal

    when one side thinks that {the other side believes all crimes are equal} – independent of whether the other side really believes that

  124. says

    SG

    I’d like to deal with this first, because I feel it may explain the obviously widely differing viewpoints here.

    It does appear to be a fact that he further split the family apart, more than it would have been had he not cut off his contact with her.

    It’s subjective, I know, but I’d like to know what sort of numbers you’d assign to the weighting of this. I’d assign the blame for the family breakup as 98% the daughter’s fault. Which may give an idea as to why I see assignment of blame to the father as nitpickingly petty.

    Also, my family history leads me to place very little value on keeping an abusive family-relationship alive. Again, it’s subjective, but I simply do not see family cohesiveness as an automatically desirable thing.

  125. says

    I really hate the amount of that thread that got devoted to to one word spoken in anger

    are you new or something? The derails that led to the establishment of the “no splash-damage” standard were A LOT longer, and far more thread-consuming that that little bit.
    And as always, it wouldn’t have been a derail at all if no one had decided that his use of the word required defending.

  126. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’d like to know what sort of numbers you’d assign to the weighting of this.

    I don’t know? Haven’t thought about it. The mother cutting off the son, and the father cutting off the mother, are to me such different kinds of problems that I have a hard time seeing them as of a piece, or addressing them as qualitatively similar in the same ways that others are. For instance, I’m not calling it hypocrisy. But I can nevertheless recognize when someone is being misrepresented, and object to that, even while I don’t agree with every characterization that is under discussion.

    Anyway the way I’d talk about it is that one event was evidently a necessary precondition for the other, but not a sufficient condition. Grandpa made a choice, there is no strong reason to say expect it’s the optimal choice, though it might be —

    but the point I’ve been trying to make, and which I saw SC trying to make, which has been overlooked, is that this isn’t just a matter between Chad, Christine and her Dad anymore. Because this letter has been publicly passed around as exemplary the general subject of “how to deal with homophobic family -members”, and whether outright disowning them is ultimately helpful, thereby becomes a legitimate subject for public comment.

    That means it’s not sufficient to talk about it the way we’d talk about “hey my friend’s grandpa did such-and-such.” It’s important to address the fact that it’s become a socially exemplary letter. Well, we can want such examples to be closer to optimal in certain important ways. It’s okay to want that, and it’s okay to talk about it.

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

    strange gods,

    Considering SC’s and your objections, what do you say about what JAL said here:

    So, by that logic, we shouldn’t cheer for them staying in contact with a bigoted family member without the details either since that’s implicitly endorsing that on a general basis. After all, there’s so many ways and reason that it wouldn’t be a good thing to stay in contact and there’s already enough pressure to let the bigots be bigots. On the article linked in the OP, there’s already comments saying it’s wrong what the father did because it’s the mother’s Christian beliefs and the mom just “disagrees”.

  128. says

    You claim that the grandfather “furthered” the breakup, which directly implies that he shares some of the blame. Then you claim not to be able to assign even a rough proportion of the blame to each. How much of that blame we assign is quite obviously going to influence whether we see the discussion of his culpability as petty or significant.

    I’ve explained that I see his portion of the blame as so small that it’s petty to discuss it.

    If you haven’t even got a rough idea of how you weight the blame, how can you begin to argue that such discussion is or is not significant?

  129. says

    the talk of him using the pronoun “her” in reference to his daughter being somehow sexist.

    it would help your argument if you were able to accurately present the arguments of the people you’re complaining about.

    SC didn’t say using the pronoun “her” was sexist; she said that there’s two similarly likely possible explanations of the fact that the grandfather called cutting ties with a child unnatural, and then did it himself: sexism or hypocrisy. Personally I think there’s also the option “he was too busy playing wordgames to notice the contradiction”, but it’s not like SC insisted that her explanations are the only possible ones.

    Because taking care of the son she threw out into the street means he really should take responsibility to teach her a basic lesson in parenting, like don’t abandon your children.

    SC is an activist to the bone, and she tends to see everything in that light. And if we were to write a “handbook for activist grandparents”, then absolutely it should be mentioned that cutting off contact entirely makes it that much harder to change the bigot’s mind and makes it that much harder for them to make the change necessary to repair the family.
    OTOH, I don’t think everything needs to be activism. So if I were to write a “handbook for ethical grandparents”, I’d instead mention that cutting off bigoted family members who are a negative influence and a drain on both the grandparents’ and the grandchildren’s emotional energies is a perfectly valid strategy.

    It’s reasonable to disagree on this point with SC; it’s far less reasonable to think that this is somehow “extreme” or putting the blame on the grandfather. Because there’s just no evidence for that.

  130. says

    I’m reminded of how (long ago) she was very distressed because some troll’s automatically generated WordPress avatar looked a bit much like a swastika.

    OK, I’m not going to let this go. David, I don’t know if you remember what happened, but IIRC this is it: I was at Butterflies & Wheels in a thread about something having to do with Israel (possibly one about the novelist who won a suit to be listed by the government as having no religion). Someone appeared and made what looked like a very anti-Semitic comment, and a few of us were responding angrily. Stewart, I believe, then pointed to the guy’s avatar as a summation of his views (and reason not to bother addressing his rant). The avatar at first glance looked like a WP-generated one, but it was actually a homemade version that turned the avatar into a swastika – a dogwhistle in avatar form. It hadn’t occurred to me that someone would do that, and I was also surprised to see it so brazenly done on FTB.

    So I suppose I was on the lookout for them for a little bit, seeing as that one had slipped by me, and given that the Israel story was making the rounds and this guy had reared his head at B&W. Shortly thereafter, someone posted a comment here that seemed racist or something and I linked to the B&W thread and asked if their avatar might be the same sort of thing. People pointed out that this actually is the way most of the real WP-generated ones look (which is probably why I’d missed the fake, even though in retrospect it did look sloppier). I don’t recall being “very distressed” at any point, and I do remember giggling and mentioning that even mine could be read that way.

    I’ve been misrepresented enough around here (and thanks to cr and SG for pointing out the misrepresentations), and I don’t appreciate having an allusion like that made about me with no links or anything to support some absurd idea that you have about my motives.

    And the claim that “she mentioned the use of “her” to refer to “parent” as possible, if not likely, evidence of a misogynistic character” is just absurd. It had zero to do with anything like that. I had said his actions were hypocritical, and added parenthetically that if he was referring only to mothers when he described a parent’s disowning their child as “against nature”/bad – which is a reasonable possibility (and I provided reasons why I think that) – then he wasn’t being hypocritical. Because in that case he wouldn’t understand doing the same as a father to be equally “against nature”/bad. (And that might be a view held by many people, which could warrant some discussion.) It had nothing to do with trying to paint him as a misogynist. Again, this is not the slightest bit complicated, if you don’t go into it with these loopy assumptions about my motives.

    This is all such bullshit.

  131. says

    Considering SC’s and your objections, what do you say about what JAL said here:

    JAL is right, she’s just not contradicting anything SC or SG said

  132. says

    Jadehawk

    but it’s not like SC insisted that her explanations are the only possible ones.

    And therein lies the root of this problem. It’s not that I think SC, or anyone, was saying they had the only explanation. It’s that I strongly feel that under an OP of someone doing at least mostly (depending on viewpont) The Right Thing, nitpicking minutae seemed (and as I said way upthread, YMMV) petty. The fact that I saw them as minutae gave me (YMMV) the impression that in order to spot them, one would have had to have gone looking for them. Basically, I felt it uncharitable, in light of the Very Good Thing.

  133. strange gods before me ॐ says

    Beatrice,

    Considering SC’s and your objections, what do you say about what JAL said here:

    My objection is not the same. I think the alluded logic does not follow from the whole of SC’s statements, but I don’t want to pursue the matter. There is being mistaken about what someone said, and then there’s being mistaken and being hurtful about it. There is plenty of the latter, so I don’t really have much time for the former. I deliberately declined to comment on that excerpt, because nobody’s being an asshole about it. I’m going to continue declining.

    +++++
    Daz,

    You claim that the grandfather “furthered” the breakup, which directly implies that he shares some of the blame.

    Correct.

    Then you claim not to be able to assign even a rough proportion of the blame to each.

    Uh, how rough is rough? You’re being very specific when you get to 98%. Maybe you and I have differing aversions to ass math.

    How much of that blame we assign is quite obviously going to influence whether we see the discussion of his culpability as petty or significant.

    Okay, right here. This is where we’re talking past each other. I don’t know if Grandpa is being petty. Neither do you know. And I haven’t said that he is or isn’t. What I’ve been talking about is the public discussion of the matter not being petty, because the general topic has, by this letter, been brought to attention as a matter of public interest; I’ve been talking about this the whole time that I’ve been talking about whether anything is petty:

    But it’s not petty. You are just wrong about that. It’s a legitimate concern. People can disagree about it, but it isn’t petty. Cutting off his daughter may indeed be what’s necessary in this particular family (and we don’t know), but because this letter has been publicly passed around as exemplary the general subject of “how to deal with homophobic family members”, and whether outright disowning them is ultimately helpful, thereby becomes a legitimate subject for public comment. And several people find the uncritical promotion of a letter that seems to champion disownment to be at least concerning and worth talking about.

    And that is also what SC was talking about; the way it’s been made publicly exemplary.

    That’s not petty to be concerned about.

    Being concerned about this exemplary status, and talking about whether this individual should be taken as exemplary, is emphatically not at all equivalent to trying to “actively looking for ways to dislike this man.” And indeed it is well past the time when you should have acknowledged that much.

  134. says

    I don’t know if Grandpa is being petty.

    Woah! You misread me. I’m not asking if granpa was petty. I’m trying to get a feel of how much blame you assign to him. If you assign lots more than my (call it best-end-of-100%: The 98 was supposed to give a feel for how little I assigned him), then obviously you’re going to see discussion of his culpability as less petty/more appropriate than I do.

    And I’m offline again. In a hurry.

  135. strange gods before me ॐ says

    It’s not simply discussion of his culpability. I would be more inclined to find any discussion about his culpability to be petty if this letter were not being passed around as publicly exemplary. Since it is, I have to keep pointing out that we can want such examples to be closer to optimal in certain important ways, it’s okay to want that, and it’s okay to talk about it.

  136. says

    It’s that I strongly feel that under an OP of someone doing at least mostly (depending on viewpont) The Right Thing, nitpicking minutae seemed (and as I said way upthread, YMMV) petty.

    neither gendered slurs not a strange discrepancy in condemning cutting ties per se, and then doing so oneself are “minutiae”. Especially not in an item that will now perform a lot of cultural work. The only way to limit the amount of negative cultural work it’ll do is to acknowledge and talk about the ways parts of this letter play into oppressive narratives.

    The fact that I saw them as minutae gave me (YMMV) the impression that in order to spot them, one would have had to have gone looking for them.

    people always complain that women/racial minorities/gender and sexual minorities/etc. “look for something to be offended about” precisely because they themselves don’t notice such things. But that’s just the consequence of taking the red pill (to use a metaphor commonly used here): one begins to notice these things and to see how they play into (or against) social narratives. That others notice more or different items than you doesn’t mean they go out of their way to find them.

    Basically, I felt it uncharitable, in light of the Very Good Thing.

    but why would one need to be charitable to the perpetuation of negative social patterns, just because they’re happening as part of something that, along a different axis, contradicts negative social patterns?

  137. says

    but the point I’ve been trying to make, and which I saw SC trying to make, which has been overlooked, is that this isn’t just a matter between Chad, Christine and her Dad anymore. Because this letter has been publicly passed around as exemplary the general subject of “how to deal with homophobic family -members”, and whether outright disowning them is ultimately helpful, thereby becomes a legitimate subject for public comment.

    Yes, and not just public comment for the sake of abstract debate. There are millions of parents who share this woman’s views, and as society becomes more opposed to that, people need to talk about and provide resources for supportive family members and friends about how to approach that. It’s just another aspect of the issue of coming out, and probably something Greta Christina will have to address in her book about atheist coming out.

    It’s not only about expressing anger (though that’s completely worthwhile) or applauding or criticizing or arguing about individual people’s* actions (though that’s completely worthwhile, too). It’s also about having a discussion about the various options for those in this situation and what people have found to be productive or counterproductive (and what any existing research suggests); and providing resources so that people can make informed choices going in, whatever the specifics of their situation, and talk to others who can share their experiences, sympathize, and provide support.

    *real or fictional people

  138. says

    sg:

    Being concerned about this exemplary status, and talking about whether this individual should be taken as exemplary, is emphatically not at all equivalent to trying to “actively looking for ways to dislike this man.” And indeed it is well past the time when you should have acknowledged that much.

    Yes. This. And I can’t imagine why I’d be trying to do the latter. We don’t even know for sure if this person exists. What would possibly be my motivation to look for ways to dislike him? And what’s the motive for this passionate defense of every aspect of his letter/actions, and serious concern over whether or not I like him or approve 100%? Do people believe I oppose supporting gay relatives?

    ***

    Jadehawk:

    Personally I think there’s also the option “he was too busy playing wordgames to notice the contradiction”,

    Also a possibility.

  139. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Jadehawk:

    The only way to limit the amount of negative cultural work it’ll do is to acknowledge and talk about the ways parts of this letter play into oppressive narratives.

    and SC:

    It’s also about having a discussion about the various options for those in this situation and what people have found to be productive or counterproductive (and what any existing research suggests); and providing resources so that people can make informed choices going in, whatever the specifics of their situation, and talk to others who can share their experiences, sympathize, and provide support.

    This the kind of discussion that I come to Pharyngula for. It may be just my impression, but it seems to happen less and less often; instead, much commentary is aimed at simply expressing support or opprobrium, anymore. Which is fine, I guess, but of no interest to me.

  140. Walton says

    Jadehawk,

    neither gendered slurs not a strange discrepancy in condemning cutting ties per se, and then doing so oneself are “minutiae”. Especially not in an item that will now perform a lot of cultural work. The only way to limit the amount of negative cultural work it’ll do is to acknowledge and talk about the ways parts of this letter play into oppressive narratives.

    QFT. We should be having a discussion about these things. The fact that someone is on “our side” (if that’s the right way of putting it), and has good intentions, doesn’t mean their rhetoric isn’t capable of accidentally reinforcing oppression or playing into oppressive narratives. Speaking only for myself, I want to be called out if I say things which inadvertently reinforce oppression, and I have certainly called others out for doing so.

  141. Walton says

    Aaarggghhh. Theresa May, our horribly anti-immigrant Home Secretary, has unveiled an even tougher crackdown on immigration in her speech at this year’s Conservative Party conference, including pledging to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights – the last lifeline for many people fighting deportation – if the Conservatives win the election in 2015. And she rails against “foreign criminals”, not acknowledging that many of the people the government labels “foreign criminals” are guilty of nothing more than using false papers to obtain work – something many have little choice but to do, since failed asylum-seekers get no cash support and often end up in destitution on the streets.

    Remember, this is a country where the Home Office recently deployed vans in racially diverse areas of London exhorting undocumented immigrants to go home. And where immigration officers have been conducting spot checks outside railway stations – racially profiling people, and often being abusive to those who stand up for their rights. And the Home Office has never acknowledged or apologised for its responsibility for Jackie Nanyonjo’s death. Or taken any steps to repair the broken asylum system and stop deportation of asylum-seekers, including rape survivors, FGM survivors and LGBT people, to dangerous countries.

    It astonishes me that people can’t see how awful and racist the system is.

  142. says

    [You're skating on very thin ice if you don't think this violates the spirit of my prohibition. Don't push any further. --pzm]

    PZ, your behavior in this episode has been assholish – to me, to sg, and in general.