Comments

  1. says

    Come to think of it, the last guy I had sexy funtimes with was bisexual. I remember talking with him about his estranged wife who he didn’t love any more. They were in the process of getting a divorce, and she was seeing another guy. In any case, he told me that he’d encountered resistance in the gay community to bisexual men or women. He was a little hesitant to tell me he was bisexual. I just nodded and said ‘ok’. It wasn’t a big deal to me, and it didn’t make him any less attractive to me. I was just happy that he found me attractive and wanted to be with me. I suspect he appreciated that.

  2. Derek Vandivere says

    But Xanthe, I think you’re agreeing with Dan Savage! Look, I’ve listened to his podcast since it started, and he’s referred to what he *used* to think – and he’s speculated once or twice that celebs who’ve come out as bi are actually gay (as turned out to be the case with Tom Daley, Savage himself – and Tony!).

    I’ve never heard Dan Savage say that bisexuality doesn’t exist or support the opinions you describe in your post. I’ve heard him describing that effect as a problem and saying that he thinks the only way to solve it is to have more publically identified bisexuals.

    Maybe there’s a twist that I’m missing as a straight guy living in a country that at least has most of the sexuality stuff sorted out (although the sexism and racism needs some work here), but I’m pretty sure he’s on the side of the angels on this one.

  3. Dhorvath, OM says

    Derek V,

    I’ve never heard Dan Savage say that bisexuality doesn’t exist or support the opinions you describe in your post. I’ve heard him describing that effect as a problem and saying that he thinks the only way to solve it is to have more publically identified bisexuals.

    It would be helpful in increasing the number of people who come out as bi if people, especially those with a large audience, stopped speculating that celebrities who say they are bi are actually gay. This is discouragment that Dan Savage contributes, you have heard him do so. It’s not the only issue, but it’s one that you acknowledged in your comment.

  4. says

    I suspect I’m pansexual. My wife go to me first and I did not experiment a whole lot, but my porn connection is a little difficult to explain any other way. From that perspective I can say what I have seen bisexuals complain of, but practicing and open bisexuals will have more valuable anecdotes.

    From what I gather the existence of bisexuality and other psychological states (no moral connotations, things as broad as optimism and pessimism are states here as well), can conflict with how other people affected by similar issues interact with those issues. Bisexuality is rendered functionally invisible and marginalized by some people who are same and oppositely sex attracted exclusively, in a way reminiscent of how transexuals have been neglected and marginalized (with it’s own set of excuses and rationalizations).

    Some people who have no choice in what they are attracted to find it difficult to act as if others have that choice, especially when some of the politics associated with sexual attraction depend on arguments demonstrating lack of choice. Also just as there are heterosexuals that are grossed out by the thought of homosexual sex acts, there are some homosexuals that are grossed out by the thought of heterosexual sex acts. Some humans just have problems controlling their reactions and the thought that a partner is “switching sides” might cause some squick.

    As for issues related to people like Savage using slurs, the problem is that in addition to the offensive content many slurs are complicated packages of cultural information that perform more like “wild cards” in discourse. The usefulness of such words has to be balanced with the effects and society is arguing about how we should make that calculation. I’m willing to drop many bits of gender and racial terminology but some I still use if they have some value. For example while “bro-” has lots of legitimately offensive gender associations, I keep using “Brony” because this one is mostly about breaking gender stereotypes even if some of us are still misogynistic assholes. Things like “cunt” don’t really have any usefulness that directly challenges the inherent negatives in such a manner.

    Creating awareness of human diversity requires creating new conceptual categories, but those new categories will end up getting mixed up with the same old crappy system of biases and group-think that we need to fight on a generic level.

  5. says

    Xanthe:

    Having heard every one of the fallacies in Dan Savage’s post numerous times in my adult years as an openly bisexual person, I’d like to say he’s pretty close to 100% full of shit on this topic. For example – and it couldn’t have been much closer to home – even my own brother assumed I was lying when I claimed to be bisexual while in a long-term same-sex relationship; and numerous folk in the gay community I associated with were happy to assert ‘all bisexual people are liars’ or ‘bisexuals are incapable of being trusted’ etc. etc. etc. Sometimes people would even flaunt this sort of crap in company in full knowledge that I was bisexual, expecting me to take the bait by arguing with them. So my opinion of Savage’s viewpoint quoted above is, he’s worse than worthless.

    Yeah, all this.

    I came out when I was 12 (knew before then), and it’s been one load of shit ever since, from every faction imaginable.

    Derek:

    his letter of the day yesterday was talking to bi people about the perceived relative difficulty of finding bi women or men for threesomes, and an appropriate term to find them.

    Oh yeah, that’s helping. Fuck Savage.

  6. says

    ::The Queer Shoop hastily clears all hard surfaces away and removes all jewelry from his hands; must avoid near fatal headdesk/facepalm combo::

    The C-SPAN news program Washington Journal, which has been derailed by openly-prejudiced viewers in the past, saw a discussion on civil rights turn into another ugly display on Thursday, Talking Points Memo reported.

    “I think it’s time for white pride,” said one caller, who identified himself as “Joe in Ohio.” “We have built this country — Irish, Italians, Germans, Irish, wherever they have come from from Europe. No country in the world has produced what the white man has produced for every culture and race in America.”

    “Joe” also complained to host Steve Scully that white men are also under attack by “liberal white women that claim there is a war against women.”

    The call was one of several ugly viewer responses to a segment that was supposed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Another caller, “Thomas from Maryland,” who identified himself as an independent, said he is “much less liberal today” than he was at the time the legislation was implemented.

    “I heard some Black call Karl Rove a ‘white boy,’ and I don’t think that’s right,” “Thomas” told Scully. “They’re attacking white people in the big cities and we’re supposed to put up with that kind of stuff and like them and say, ‘Well, come into our neighborhood.’”

    A visibly uncomfortable Scully later took a call from another man in North Carolina who phoned in to support “Joe’s” remarks.

    “The white man has done more for the Black man in this country,” “Terry” said. “I think the Black man owes the white man a thank you.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/04/racists-derail-c-span-discussion-on-civil-rights-i-think-its-time-for-white-pride/

    (emphasis mine)

  7. says

    Brony:

    Also just as there are heterosexuals that are grossed out by the thought of homosexual sex acts, there are some homosexuals that are grossed out by the thought of heterosexual sex acts.

    I was one of those homosexuals. I remember when I first started posting here, I made some comment about not understanding why anyone would like having sex with a woman. Josh (spokesgay) criticized me (rather mildly, IIRC). He said something to the effect that my comments were sexist (or misogynist; sorry, this was more than 4 years ago, so I don’t remember the exact wording). At the time I didn’t understand how my words were sexist.
    It took a few years, but I finally grokked it.
    There’s nothing wrong with having sex with a woman. Not only that, but just as some people assert that women are unknowable (men are from mars, women are from venus), I was treating heterosexual sex as something unknowable, mysterious, and freaky. I was othering.
    I’m sorry I ever did that, and I’m glad he called me out on it.

  8. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Boss: “C’mon in here for a moment.”

    Me: “Sure. What do you need?”

    Boss: “Tomorrow we have 55 Cub Scouts coming in and . . . .”

    No panic attack yet. Tomorrow should be fun.

    For a really bad definition of fun.

  9. says

    Ogvorbis:
    I’m sorry my friend. Like Inaji said, perhaps this prep time can be of help.
    And like Dhorvath said, we’re here for you anytime you need, as long as you need.

  10. says

    Sorry, X-Files superfans, but off-screen, despite rampant speculation that Duchovny and Anderson were romantically involved, Mulder and Scully were NOT the biggest fans of one-another. “Familiarity breeds contempt,” Duchovny told Metro. “It’s nothing to do with the other person. All that fades away and you’re just left with the appreciation and love for the people you’ve worked with for so long. We used to argue about nothing. We couldn’t stand the sight of each other.” Anderson, too, harbored resentment—and justifiably so—against Duchovny and X-Files creator Chris Carter after she discovered that he was being paid twice her salary. “Was it sexism? Maybe,” she told The Telegraph. “It’s like the way we were directed by the studios, I was to walk behind him, never side by side. I mean, that is fucking priceless when I think about it now. When we would get out the car and walk towards the house I would have to be behind him, even though I had equal dialogue.”

    The two have since buried the hatchet, and appeared to be all smiles when they attended a Paley Center event celebrating the show’s 20th anniversary last year. They’re even, apparently, interested in doing another X-Files movie together.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/04/co-stars-who-hated-each-other-ryan-gosling-and-rachel-mcadams-in-the-notebook-and-more.html

    I have zero difficulty believing sexism was at play here.

  11. says

    Surprise, surprise.
    The Vatican will not fully cooperate with authorities investigating child sexual abuse cases:

    The Vatican has declined a royal commission request to hand over documents about child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in Australia.

    The head of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Justice Peter McClellan, revealed last month that he had personally written to the Vatican, seeking copies of all documents relating to complaints about abuse involving priests in Australia.

    The Vatican has provided documents to the royal commission relating to two cases, but Justice McClellan wanted more information to find out how church authorities in Australia, under the guidance or direction of the Vatican, responded to allegations of abuse.

    In a written response, the Vatican says the Holy See maintains the confidentiality of internal deliberations, adding that it would be inappropriate to provide such documents.

    Helping to bring child rapists to justice is inappropriate? The fuck?!

  12. Derek Vandivere says

    OK, I went back and looked for everything I could find that he wrote:

    Initial announcement: http://www.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/12/02/olympic-diver-comes-out

    “The bisexual community gains a high-profile, doe-eyed spokesmodel.” is all he said.

    It was actually Andrew Sullivan who predicted he’d come out as gay (just like Sullivan himself had) and Savage wrote this when he came out as gay: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/04/03/brit-diver-tom-daley-isnt-bisexual

  13. says

    @ brony

    We discussed the interface between robotics and environmental sustainabilty recently. Check this out: Linky to Hydroponic robot system. Surely as beautiful as the Wright Brothers first aircraft.

    I think the age of traditional agriculture will draw to a close. It is positively medieval as it stands today (even down to the feudal relationship between labour and capital) … time for something new. An entirely personalised, devolved agricultural industry based on new technologies and new ways of thinking. The New Agriculture ™ will be 20x as land efficient (hell, you can have a farm on your roof), and about 4x as water efficient. Marginal land (arid conditions) will suddenly become prime. Basements will turn into hot houses. If we can but own this new paradigm (and I believe we can), we can create something very beautiful.

  14. carlie says

    Going along with what Brony said, there’s possibly a large category of people who might be bi, but not necessarily classified as such. Given that it’s still so political, is it a straight-up classification of sexual preference, or still more of a social movement identification? I’ve had fewer than a handful of relationships, all with men, and married young. In the last few years I’ve noticed hey, know who’s also hot? Ladies. Ok. But the amount of actual lived experience (or chance of any in the future), and amount of social ramifications of such, is precisely zero. Entirely theoretical. So claiming bisexuality would feel like really shitty appropriation that I have no right to. It would be like someone who revels in how “Indian” they are because they’re a quarter or an eighth or something but have never set foot on a reservation and were raised with no Indian culture and physically pass for entirely white. So not saying anything could be “hiding”, or it could be trying to be respectful that not being part of the lgbt culture means no right to claim it. Or is that also a faulty way of thinking?

  15. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    The Vatican has declined a royal commission request to hand over documents about child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in Australia.

    That’s it. The Vatican needs to be declared a rogue state. Maybe even part of Bush II’s Axis of Evil. There is now more than sufficient evidence from the actions of the Vatican itself that they are a criminal gang conspiring to cover up crimes — murder, genocide, child rape (just to name a few). Hell, with their doctrine, we could throw in canabalism.

    . . . adding that it would be inappropriate to provide such documents.

    Yeah. No problem. Raping children is not inappropriate. Transferring child rapists to new hunting grounds when the parents of the prey notice is not inappropriate. Moving rapists to other countries to avoid investigations and prosecutions is not inappropriatet. Giving the documents which catalogue the abuses of power and the abuses of people to the legal authorities? Now that is inappropriate.

    In the US, we have a law called RICO — Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act — which was created to go after organized criminal gangs — specifically the Mafia.

    The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because he did not actually commit the crime personally. Wikipedia

    There must me international laws that are similar. Throw the book at these rapists. Throw a bigger book at the ones who enabled the rapists. Shut down this gang of criminals, confiscated their holdings, and make the world a better place.

    (much of the same goes for any large organization of churches — how many would really be surprised to find out that the LDS was doing the same thing with rapists? or either of the Lutheran churches in the US? or the SBC?)

  16. says

    Savage promoted that erection response study that claimed bi men don’t exist so yeah bite me when it comes to defending his spotchy track record on it.

    Plus him saying basically that bi people should stick to their own kind and leave the good honest queers alone.

  17. says

    @ chigau
    I am not involved. I cannot be. Gotta keep my nose clean and my shoes polished. At least for the next four months. You’ll notice my comments becoming more critical when I don’t face (implicitely at least) immediate deportation.

  18. Owlmirror says

    I would just like to note for the record that Public Enemy Action does not involve, in any way shape or form, the wishing of Ebil Tardigrade Overlords into the cornfield

  19. says

    Ing:

    Plus him saying basically that bi people should stick to their own kind and leave the good honest queers alone.

    Yeah, and this latest business of “his letter of the day yesterday was talking to bi people about the perceived relative difficulty of finding bi women or men for threesomes, and an appropriate term to find them.”? Not helping. At all. Because according the all mighty Savage, well, if bi people exist, they’re just super promiscuous, horny creatures who are always on the lookout for a menage a trois. Yep. (Or that the only thing a bi person is good for is fulfilling the fantasies of bicurious hetros.)

    Fuck knows, we can’t be taken seriously at all, and no, we’re never ever involved in a monogamous relationship, we’re not even involved in serious poly relationships, nope, we’re ever on the hunt for threesomes! Naturally, Savage can’t ever manage one fucking time where he takes bi people seriously, and tackles how they are treated by the GL or Het communities.

  20. rrede says

    In regard to the discussion over whether a person is heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual: that way of looking at things is tied to the Kinsey Spectrum which was a radical challenge to the binary of straight/gay back in the 1940s. But there’s been critiques of it, and new tools being developed, one of which I’m incorporating in my workshops on camus, the Klein Grid.

    Some of you might find it interesting to check out: it breaks out of assumption that only sexual experience or attraction determines sexual orientation, and brings in a number of other factors (including the assumption that things can change over time). Link goes to a good essay about it that introduces the Klein Grid as well.

    http://lacigreen.tv/sexplus/sexuality/4502-problems-with-the-kinsey-scale

  21. says

    Sometimes I wonder how different society would be if various sexualities were so accepted that they were normalized. The idea that people could openly and honestly pursue other willing partners, regardless of their gender is intriguing.

  22. carlie says

    There’s also sex drive – I’ve wondered if attraction is also tied to it, that if your libido is high that you’re attracted to a wider range of people/body types/genders/sexes than if it’s low, and therefore could fluctuate with age/health/etc.

  23. says

    @Tony

    The Culture series touches upon that with it’s social libertarian techocracy. general result seems to be business as usual but mixer parties are more intense

  24. says

    @Carlie

    Even for bi people looking for threesome or shit I can’t see how a new term helps. I mean there’s nothing wrong with doing that right.

  25. says

    Greta has written a post about why it’s important for marginalized people to name themselves:

    Throughout history, other people have gotten to name us. For decades and indeed centuries, straight people were the ones who chose the language commonly used for LGBT people. Because being out was dangerous, we couldn’t speak up publicly and use our own language, so outside of our private conversations with one another, we had to accept straight people’s words for us. And to this day, homophobic or transphobic slurs being hurled at us are often among our earliest experiences of forming our understanding of our identity.

    {…}

    And when people respect this — when people with privilege stop to think, “What is the polite word?” and work to remember which the current polite words are — it’s a sign of respect. It shows that they recognize the reality of our marginalization; it shows that they understand that we know ourselves better than they do; and it shows that they care enough about all this to undergo the slight inconvenience of keeping track of the language. (Conversely, when people don’t do this, it’s a sign that they either don’t understand any of this, or don’t care. Or both.)

    Because of all this, it’s important to be able to name ourselves. It’s important to choose our own names, and to decide what those names mean. Example: “Bisexual” means somewhat different things to different self-identified bisexuals. How many partners of both sexes we’ve had, or how recently we had those experiences, or how important those experiences were to us, or whether those experiences were romantic or simply sexual, or how many people of both sexes we’re attracted to and how important that is to us regardless of who we’ve had sex with… all of these get weighed differently by different people when we’re deciding whether we’re bisexual, gay or lesbian, straight, pansexual, or some other words.
    And because of all this, it’s important to support other people in naming themselves. Example: When gay men and lesbians insist that they know better than bisexuals do what it means to be bisexual, and tell other people that they’re “really” bisexual or “really” gay or lesbian or straight, it just perpetuates that same disempowerment we resist when we get it from straight culture.
    Yes, this can lead to some confusion — especially in the earlier days of a community coming into its own, when a rough consensus about language is still being formed. It means that not everyone uses the language exactly the same way: that’s sometimes confusing, and it sometimes means we have to clarify and define our terms. (Not to mention the whole thing about how “we get to decide for ourselves which slurs we’re reclaiming and which ones we aren’t, and we get to use our reclaimed slurs but you don’t,” which outsiders can find very confusing.) But the power to name ourselves is too important. It far outweighs any inconvenience we might experience when we have to take ten seconds to spell out what exactly we mean.

  26. says

    http://www.themarysue.com/academic-journal-that-published-facebook-experiment-having-second-thoughts/

    So remember that psychology experiment Facebook did recently, and the resulting academic paper they wrote and submitted to a reputable scientific journal? And remember how they didn’t actually tell anybody they were doing it and how that sort of made some people mad and possibly even litigious? The scientific journal noticed all of that uproar and maaaaybe they’re not as into the paper as they thought, you guys.

    In an official “Editorial Expression of Concern,” Editor in Chief Inder M. Verna of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) outlines the logic behind the journal’s initial decision to publish the paper, but admits that the social network “may have involved practices that were not fully consistent with the principles of obtaining informed consent and allowing participants to opt out.

    Ok, so they’re feeling a little bad. At this point, what can they do other than say “we’re sorry”?

    ****
    Get paid to watch Netflix?
    http://time.com/2963052/netflix-is-hiring-a-professional-binge-watcher/

    You can now turn binge watching all seven seasons of The West Wing — and by that we really mean all seven seasons of Toddlers & Tiaras — from your bed into a real, paying job.

  27. carlie says

    Tony – they could retract the article entirely. It would then have a retraction note with it online, and nobody would cite it from this point on (and citation rate is the currency of papers). Plus, the authors would be looked at much more closely when they submit any papers from now on.

  28. chigau (違う) says

    What is up with our current crop of trolls?
    Feeble.
    Pathetic.
    No staying power.

  29. says

    chigau:
    Are you referring to anyone in particular?

    I’m rather surprised that we had multiple nitwits in the Cumia thread. I figured one or two, going on and on, not 5.
    Course we still have liberturd aarongrow in the Molyneux thread. It’s fun to peek in and watch him still trying. If he thinks he’s going to tire Nerd out, he’s got another thing coming…

  30. chigau (違う) says

    Tony!
    just in general, but there’s
    dandi
    stanley234
    kalid (he’ll be back)
    Maybe it’s the weather.

  31. says

    chigau:
    Yeah, he is.
    He’s also succeeded in pissing me off*, which is rare. I’m accustomed to people claiming that I’m mad when I’m not.

    *no idea why for the life of me, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.

  32. says

    Though not exactly a ghost town, the Chinese city of Ordos is thinly populated:

    Ordos, a remote city rising out of the deserts of China’s Inner Mongolia region, has been dubbed by some a “City of Ghosts.” On closer inspection though, the term could not be farther from the truth.
    In 2003, Ordos city officials proposed the construction of a new residential district — the Kangbashi New Area, a plot covering 130 square miles that was designed to accommodate more than a million people. But something went wrong along the way.
    Apartment buildings were completed, but they didn’t sell. Schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and sports grounds were raised up out of the desert, to be met by silence. Whether it was the remote location that deterred potential residents, or, perhaps more likely, the steep price tag attached to a home in this lavish, futuristic city district, only a fraction of these buildings were ever put to use.
    Even when the local market crashed in 2011, with house prices falling from $1,100 to $470 per square foot, nobody came. Rather, Kangbashi saw a steady decline. Many arrivals found the place felt empty, soulless, and moved out just as quickly as they had moved in. Today, the population of Kangbashi is reckoned to be somewhere in the region of 25,000 people, and at a mere 2.5% capacity, it may seem that the term “Ghost City” is not unwarranted.

    {…}

    In the Kangbashi New Area on the other hand, it is possible to walk for hours without spying another living soul. A handful of residents congregate around the central Genghis Khan Square, they drift about the plaza, the otherworldly museum building, but get out of the center and you’re just two blocks away from a post-apocalyptic wasteland spreading as far as the eye can see.

    Several pics can be found at the link. This town could be the perfect set for a horror movie.

  33. carlie says

    Quantitative Biology center established with a $50 million dollar donation, appears to not have any biologists planned.

    COLD SPRING HARBOR, New York — A philanthropic Long Island couple has donated $50 million to support research and education programs at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

    The donation will establish the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology.

    Officials say the center will bring together experts in applied mathematics, computer science, theoretical physics and engineering.

    They will work to further basic research and investigation into illnesses including cancer, autism, bipolar disorder and depression.

  34. ck says

    Well, I failed at blockquote again. Gotta remember to preview. Last line is mine, not a part of any quote.

  35. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Okay. I need some help/advice.

    Over on That’s an Awful Breakfast , a commenter, Storms, related a horrifying experience in which he was the predator. He was very careful to say that his reasoning at the time was not an excuse. He was able to, at a much later date, apologize for a rape. I supported him, pointing out that I had been/am there. Tony!, emilybites, and HappiestSadist have objected, strenuously, to the comment being made where it was, in a thread about a woman’s reaction to a rape, and wanting to rewrite her rape so it didn’t happen. HappiestSadist left this:

    It’s very telling to me when rapists come into threads about survivors and boohoo and poor me (usually with a couple “this is not an excuse” figleaves in there) about how much they suffer for being rapists. If you do this, you have not learned shit about boundaries, and you still lack empathy both for your victims, and also other survivors.

    So here is my dilemma. Here is where I need information. How is Storms any different than I? I am dead serious on this. I confessed to my greatest failing, the afternoon that I really ceased to be an acceptable part of human society, and, for the most part, I was, and have been supported (despite a certain group (who will (I am sure) be quoting this very comment before the end of the day) who use what I did in an attempt to discredit FtB, PZMyers, Atheism+, social justice, feminism, and, well, anything that PZ has written positively about), wholeheartedly, by a kind and brutally honest commentariat. Storms has made a similar comment, in a similar (though much shorter) thread. I offered support. And apparently stand alone.

    So what is different? Or is there no difference and what is being said to Storms is what the regulars here want to say to me but don’t because there is a history?

  36. says

    Ogvorbis:

    So what is different? Or is there no difference and what is being said to Storms is what the regulars here want to say to me but don’t because there is a history?

    For me, the difference (and it’s significant) is that you didn’t share your story in a thread specifically about a woman trying to cope with her rape. The times I’ve seen you relate your story has been in the Lounge or the Thunderdome. If Storms had done the same thing, I wouldn’t have had a problem. But as it was, he told *his* story in a thread about a rape survivor. Women are too often dismissed or even ignored when they tell their stories about sexual assault. A thread like that, IMO should be a place where women can, if they choose, share their tales. It’s simply not the place for a guy to come along and make it about him, no matter how apologetic he is.
    I hope you understand that this makes a big difference for me.

  37. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tony!:

    For me, the difference (and it’s significant) is that you didn’t share your story in a thread specifically about a woman trying to cope with her rape.

    I do not remember the thread in which I admitted to becoming what my abuser wanted me to be, the time, the one time, that I, without him being there, abused someone else. I think it was a thread about coping with rape, about dealing with rape. It was a similar, though longer, thread. Last September or October? I think? So I don’t see a difference here.

  38. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony.

    Og did share his story in another thread, and in fact that is the mention that got the most attention from non-Horders.

    But in that thread there were a number of people talking about their reactions to rape and Og, as a survivor, talked about his complicity in others’ victimization but without emphasizing how it was tied into his own rape (mentioning it, just not emphasizing it or doing any real integrative analysis of it in the comment – which I think was reasonable, we can’t all perform, we can’t **any of us** perform complex analysis of our most emotional and traumatic memories on demand, thoroughly, and articulately). I’ll have to go back and search for that thread.

    Hold on. Internet is clicking and whirring.

    Ah, yes. The thread – which I remembered in content if not in name – is Stunned Silence.

    The entirety of the OP was

    I’m at a loss for words. Elyse was raped. Several times. In different ways.
    The world sucks in so many ways, doesn’t it? And I get to float above all of it, buoyed by my wings of privilege.

    Clearly the OP left the thread open for any contribution that discusses rape as long as it is in keeping with deploring rape and the way it makes the world suck.

    Og’s post was in keeping with that.

    I haven’t read the “awful breakfast” story yet. Just didn’t want to. Now maybe I will. But for whatever reason, there is slightly more to the OP here. That puts Storms’ comment in a larger context providing more basis for critique.

    I, however, don’t agree that storms’ post was awful or ill-placed.

    Storms seems to be willing to concede it and is willing to have the post pulled. Okay, if that happens, it happens. I’m more interested in someone’s response to having error pointed out than in having people be perfect, so I feel at least minimally positively disposed to storms’ actions on that thread.

    Og, likewise, was willing to have PZ pull the comment that triggered the most attention and bad feeling.

    There is a qualitative difference here in that the default sense of a thread being “survivor space” should have been welcoming of Og and had no particular mandate to include storms.

    So if the critique is merely that storms spoke up as a non-survivor and took attention away from survivors, then that doesn’t apply to Og’s comment in Stunned Silence and people can be non-hypocritical supporting Og and critiquing Storms’ comment on Awful Breakfast.

    What should come next, though? If it’s about grappling with rape and how to stop it more generally? Well, then storms’ comment is as appropriate in awful breakfast as Og’s was in Stunned Silence and you’ve removed the ground for making a principled distinction.

    This is more where I am. If we made a thread that was, “Okay rapists who regret your actions, come out of the woodwork and post here about your experience in a way that moves past rape culture and self-defensiveness and articulates something that others might find useful,” how many would actually find that a welcoming place to make that contribution? Or would there *be* stunned silence?

    I strongly suspect that latter. If rape victims sharing stories – either simple stories about how much rape sucks (mundane simple stories or stories that despite being simple are quite exceptional in their writing and/or impact) or more complicated stories like Og and Jane Doe in Stunned Silence – brings out the useful stories of those who have raped but not been raped, I’m inclined to support that effect.

    it’s a new effect. We aren’t used to it. Moreover, rape culture is relentless and we survivors have good reason to fear it. I don’t want to say reactions like HappiestSadist’s or Tony!’s are unreasonable or inappropriate. They are perfectly reasonable and appropriate reactions.

    But that isn’t to say that storms’ comments were objectively wrong. Nor is it to say that we lose more than we gain by hearing them. Young men so frequently exposed to rape culture ought to hear – somewhere! – that these actions can have horrible consequences for them.

    I agree that it ought to be enough that rape has horrible consequences for the victim, but [without systematically collected empirical evidence] I think it’s silly to think that it doesn’t make a difference in preventing rape to hear someone who learned first hand and horribly what violating another’s boundaries really means.

    ultimately it’s PZ’s blog, and he’ll have to work out what he wants from threads like that. He hasn’t tended to delete those comments in the past. Rather he’s left them and the [productive] critiques of them up. I think that’s probably best.

    But if it were my blog, without rebuking anyone else in any way, I’d try to make it clear that it’s okay on my blog for stories like that. I think we need them. I think we need more men speaking out against rape and we need to create room for those men to speak in inherently masculine ways, from male and masculine frames of reference.

    it’s not that there’s not a good argument to be made that, as HappiestSadist contends, storms’ was a reasonable contribution to a larger discussion made in an inappropriate place.

    it’s just that I believe that, like CaitieCat’s comment over on butterflies and wheels a couple days ago (or was it yesterday? sorry gone too long), there aren’t appropriate places that have been created for such comments. The places where anti-rape men who have raped in the past can speak out are limited by the expectation that they will be ridiculed in many predominantly masculine spaces. That such men look for spaces like this – a blog run by a man where threads frequently denounce rape and celebrate efforts towards ending it, including efforts in the form of story-telling – in which to make their personal-story-as-an-effort-to-end-rape contribution is as unsurprising as finding a dead fish on a beach. Oh, sure, there’s a lot more sand there than dead fish, but really: as an air-breathing land-dweller, where else are you going to find one?

    Since I believe such comments are productive – as I believe do HappiestSadist and Tony!, among others – I’m willing to let the context of a lack of appropriate *and designed* spaces to make statements such as storms influence my post-hoc decisions about whether a contribution such as storms’ is an appropriate use of a space with a slightly different original design.

    of course, the decision is still most subject to the purpose for which the story is told and the effect on fighting rape that the story has, but the design of the space won’t be as central to my decision as it would be to others’ decisions (it seems).

  39. says

    Crip Dyke:

    So if the critique is merely that storms spoke up as a non-survivor and took attention away from survivors, then that doesn’t apply to Og’s comment in Stunned Silence and people can be non-hypocritical supporting Og and critiquing Storms’ comment on Awful Breakfast.

    That’s the key difference for me.

    What should come next, though? If it’s about grappling with rape and how to stop it more generally? Well, then storms’ comment is as appropriate in awful breakfast as Og’s was in Stunned Silence and you’ve removed the ground for making a principled distinction.

    I see the focus of the ‘Awful Breakfast’ being the ways in which survivors of rape cope with their assault. The ‘Stunned Silence’ thread did not have such a fine focus, thus allowing for a greater range of responses.

    This is more where I am. If we made a thread that was, “Okay rapists who regret your actions, come out of the woodwork and post here about your experience in a way that moves past rape culture and self-defensiveness and articulates something that others might find useful,” how many would actually find that a welcoming place to make that contribution? Or would there *be* stunned silence?

    I strongly suspect that latter. If rape victims sharing stories – either simple stories about how much rape sucks (mundane simple stories or stories that despite being simple are quite exceptional in their writing and/or impact) or more complicated stories like Og and Jane Doe in Stunned Silence – brings out the useful stories of those who have raped but not been raped, I’m inclined to support that effect.

    Seems like you’re arguing that there should be some place for repentent rapists to express their guilt. I can see the value in that. I just don’t know where that place is.

    But that isn’t to say that storms’ comments were objectively wrong. Nor is it to say that we lose more than we gain by hearing them. Young men so frequently exposed to rape culture ought to hear – somewhere! – that these actions can have horrible consequences for them.

    Agreed.
    And I agree with pretty much everything you said. It’s just a fine line to walk having a thread about rape, specifically one about survivors of rape discussing their coping mechanisms also serving as a place for repentant former rapists to tell their stories. My response was based on me trying to empathize with rape victims who might see storms’ comment. Perhaps I should have waited to see how more people responded before I offered my criticism.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  40. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony!

    I agree with pretty much everything you said. It’s just a fine line to walk having a thread about rape,

    Yep. It’s a fine line. That’s why I’m not willing to condemn storms (or, in thread, to defend storms in a way that might seem to be critiquing others’ for critiquing storms).

    With everyone involved clearly trying to do their best, i was happy to just let things be as they are in that thread.

    It’s actually another form of the old eradication-v-harm-reduction debate. We likely need voices like storms to eliminate this shit (sexual assault and rape), but how much harm are we willing to tolerate while we’re still waiting for this shit to end? Survivors could be hurt by storms actions **right now**. How heavily should we weigh the possibility of some small future contribution to preventing a huge harm (one more rape/assault) later?

    It’s literally an impossible juggling act. We make our best judgements based on how much present harm we see and how much future hope we have.

    And so people who hate Pharyngula/the Horde can call me out for vocally supporting Og (and others) in Stunned Silence and then declining to do so with storms. People can try to say it’s about regulars-v-infrequent/new commenters. But I’m willing to say it’s a hard ethical question and I’m doing what I think is best in each case. I’m perfectly willing to admit that this decision is based in part on how much I trust someone to be attempting a positive contribution and that that trust (like any trust) can be influenced up or down by past experience. Plus, in this case it doesn’t matter because I judged both Og and Storms to be coming from a positive place, a let’s-end-this-horrible-shit-as-our-first-priority place. So in this case old-timer/new commenter was irrelevant.

    But even if it was, fuck ‘em. I have articulable ethical principles and I’m honestly using them to guide my behavior. Moreover, I’m happy to share them and recommend them as guides for others’ behavior. “I don’t trust you so I’m going to call you a rapist and/or rape apologist when I know that isn’t true” isn’t really an ethical guide I’d recommend to anyone. So I’ll put my ethics up against theirs any day of the week, and twice on Metazoan Mondays.

  41. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Seems like you’re arguing that there should be some place for repentent rapists to express their guilt. I can see the value in that. I just don’t know where that place is.

    Oh, also wanted to clarify, that if it was *just* about expressing guilt, I would be more actively against storms’ comment than that.

    I saw some educational value in Storms’ comment. It seemed like it had the potential to educate some. It mentioned pressures of toxic masculinity. It mentioned that the other person said, “No” and why that no was ignored. That sort of thing.

    just guilt?

    get a support group.

    As for how insightful or how rare or how useful storms’ comment might be, that, again, is walking a fine line and I don’t wanna go there. Especially since part of its value might be how some would identify with Storms’ perspective and that that might make it particularly useful/relevant where I don’t ID with Storms’ perspective and have a hard time appreciating how many might or how much of a difference that would make.

    But without ranking it quantitatively, I did see something more than guilt qualitatively.

  42. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Ogvorbis: I’ll clear it up, I was also referring to you. Coming onto a survivor thread and talking about raping children (not while coerced to by your rapist, I mean the ones you did all on your own) was fucked up, and yes, it does show a lack of awareness of boundaries and giving a shit about other survivors. Despite some people here being really invested in the “raped kids become rapists” meme, it’s actually not so much of a certainty.

    I don’t think it’s that unreasonable to not wanna hear about how hard poor rapists have it in places mostly focusing on survivors. I left the place for a long time because it is unsafe, very unsafe.

    Rapists who feel guilt should have places to talk about it. But those places should not be everywhere, and also kind of at the expense of survivors.

  43. says

    Happiestsadist:

    Despite some people here being really invested in the “raped kids become rapists” meme, it’s actually not so much of a certainty.

    From what we know, Oggie was not just raped. He was groomed. The people that violated him were training him to be a rapist. It’s quite a bit more than “raped kids become rapists”.

  44. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    HappiestSadist:

    I’ll clear it up, I was also referring to you. Coming onto a survivor thread and talking about raping children (not while coerced to by your rapist, I mean the ones you did all on your own) was fucked up, and yes, it does show a lack of awareness of boundaries and giving a shit about other survivors.

    Right. We can ignore the first person in that thread who wrote about being a child and victimizing another child so yeah, I was totally out of line. After all, writing about my experiences as a survivor, in response to a similar (not identical) situation for another survivor does show lack of awareness, lack of boundaries, and not giving a shit about others. So fuck this shit.

  45. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Happiest Sadist:

    I don’t think it’s that unreasonable to not wanna hear about how hard poor rapists have it in places mostly focusing on survivors.

    The thread in question was about, at least in the comments, how rape or abuse had affected survivors. But yeah, I guess us ‘poor rapists’ should just leave.

    So I will.

  46. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Orrrr, maybe develop some empathy or common sense about talking about how hard it was for you to commit rape and then throw it into threads mainly focused on survivors sharing their stories? because, like I said, it really shows that you should maybe work a little bit about understanding boundaries and what it is okay to force on others and where.

    Also, I am sick to my back teeth of the “I’m such a bad person boohoo nobody loves me, please comfort me, rest of forum” thing you keep pulling when people have the audacity to bring up that they’re not that okay with what you did. Boundaries. Learn them. And stop manipulating those who care about you here (I was one) with your kicked-puppy routine. It’s very, very transparent.

    Tony: Yes, and he’s said as much that his rapist was also groomed. That actually doesn’t unrape the kids he violated. It does mitigate things, but it is actually not a free pass.

    Og, you drove multiple survivors away, and this place closed ranks around you. Fine. Fucking own it, be proud that as long as you spin a nice long story eliding that you victimized others until everybody loved you and was on your side first, you matter more.

    Bye.

  47. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @chigau:

    This is the place to say hard things. I support HappiestSadist in saying that and don’t think that it is sadistic to do so.

    Again, I think the issue is harm reduction. I don’t want other survivors to feel unsupported because many of us support Og. I support HappiestSadist, too. But many, including HappiestSadist are going to feel unsupported because we support Og.

    I don’t know how to get around that. I said before that there’s no such thing as a safe space for all survivors. Think white supremacists don’t get raped? So if we welcome all survivors, we welcome the white supremacists, right? And it’s just this universal welcoming that makes it possible for every survivor to feel welcome, right?

    Wrong, of course. Even if we critique the racist behavior of a white supremacist survivor who comments here for support, the very fact that we continue to support the possibility of a known white supremacist commenting again to get survivor support is going to make a fuckload of people unwelcome.

    It’s a hell of a thing to navigate for those who want to support all survivors *while* working to end rape. You can disagree with HS – even strongly – without calling sadistic HS’s interpretation of the net effect of Og’s and the Horde’s collective comments and actions.

    I’ll continue to support Og because I support all survivors. And I remember the thread Stunned Silence quite well – at least 3 people told stories about victimizing others before Og added his perspective. There was a Jane Doe who even spoke specifically from the perspective of someone raped who went on to act abusively. One can critique Og without taking the time to critique the others. HS was specifically addressing Og here so there’s no mandate to address any other comments.

    But the context here in which tons of comment space has been devoted to criticizing Og without criticizing Jane Doe and others is very fucked up. I wish that I could see HS’s comments apart from that context because, again, HS has no personal responsibility to address every (perceived or actual) parallel fucked up thing with equal passion. I can’t, however.

    All of which puts me in a position sympathetic to Og feeling unjustly targeted and sympathetic HS’s statement that our choices in supporting one survivor have impacts on how supported other survivors feel.

    The whole thing is so fucked up it’s hard to do anything that would be “right”, but I think that shots like your #580 are a lot less helpful than other things being said. That doesn’t mean I’m unsympathetic to those like you – people (including me) who aren’t Og but feel exasperated that Og seems to take the Kronosaurus’ share of the hurt in these discussions. I get why you might wanna say, “Living up to the ‘nym.”

    But I find myself wishing you hadn’t. I don’t think HS deserved that.

  48. anteprepro says

    A: Orrrr, maybe develop some empathy or common sense about talking about how hard it was for you to commit rape and then throw it into threads mainly focused on survivors sharing their stories? ….

    B: Also, I am sick to my back teeth of the “I’m such a bad person boohoo nobody loves me, please comfort me, rest of forum” thing you keep pulling when people have the audacity to bring up that they’re not that okay with what you did. Boundaries

    Am I the only one seeing the disconnect there?

    I think a touch more empathy and common understanding might be needed on both sides of this current debate. No?

  49. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Shorter CD:

    Ogvorbis don’t go.

    HappiestSadist, thank you for being willing to speak dangerously from the heart. I don’t want you to go either.

    ================

    Separately:

    I suppose this is directed implicitly at HappiestSadist b/c of comments immediately above, but I mean it to be explicitly directed at anyone who’s felt alienated or hurt by the support shown to Og:

    What would it take to make others’ support of Og feel neutral or positive to you? Again, we can’t make every space supportive of every survivor, but this place has a culture. I want those who otherwise fit here and are survivors to be able to stay. I know that it’s easy to say that the myth of the good survivor/deserving survivor/good victim/deserving victim has to be trampled into the ground and quite another make common cause with someone who has done things you abhor. Is it literally impossible to support Jane Doe and Og and others abused as children who repeated that abuse before growing up AND to support people abused as children or adults who did not repeat that abuse?

  50. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @theophontes:
    Huh?

    I’m not saying the attacks took place (primarily) on SS. I’m saying the only time that I remember Og talking about that stuff outside the Lounge/TD/TET (which cannot be characterized as “primarily” for supporting survivors because they are not “primarily” for anything in particular) was on SS.

    I’m saying that the basis for HS’s critique arises from that one thread, with possible implied support as he voiced some support for storms’ contribution in the Awful Breakfast thread though he did not, in that thread (IIRC) do the same thing.

    No, I’m well aware of the widespread (and frequently quite vicious) attacks on Og from non-Horders in non-FtB spaces. I think that’s part of what contributes to HS’s comment being really hard to hear for many of us, including Chigau and me.

    Again, the facts that HS feels unsupported and hurt (correct me if I’ve got those feelings wrong, HS) and expresses it here are not a problem for me. But I’m well aware that it’s got to feel shitty to Og to have had a handful of people tell similar stories on the same thread, but have Og get all the crap for it. It also feels shitty for me to see him singled out.

    The widespread and vicious nature of these attacks is different than HS’s criticism, but the feeling of being unjustly singled out is probably identical from Og’s perspective.

  51. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Am I the only one seeing the disconnect there?

    You’re not.

    I think a touch more empathy and common understanding might be needed on both sides of this current debate. No?

    I don’t blame HappiestSadist for being triggered by the discussion or reacting ungraciously to being triggered, but I find their* characterization of/presumptions about intent here really disturbing. Like, is there some reason a behavior can’t be harmful to them and perhaps tone-deaf without it having to be a cold-blooded, deliberate Machiavellian manipulation?

    *I don’t recall HappiestSadist’s preferred pronouns, but I believe I recall that they’re non-binary. I apologize if I’m mistaken.

  52. says

    Azkyroth:

    I don’t blame HappiestSadist for being triggered by the discussion or reacting ungraciously to being triggered, but I find their* characterization of/presumptions about intent here really disturbing. Like, is there some reason a behavior can’t be harmful to them and perhaps tone-deaf without it having to be a cold-blooded, deliberate Machiavellian manipulation?

    Thank you. I couldn’t articulate what my problem was with Happiestsadist’s comment. This is it. I don’t want to dismiss HS’ concerns, bc they’re valid. A space for rape victims to tell their stories is important. When HS says this:

    Orrrr, maybe develop some empathy or common sense about talking about how hard it was for you to commit rape and then throw it into threads mainly focused on survivors sharing their stories? because, like I said, it really shows that you should maybe work a little bit about understanding boundaries and what it is okay to force on others and where.

    I can see this is a legitimate concern in specific threads, such as ‘Stunned Silence’.

    But this:

    Also, I am sick to my back teeth of the “I’m such a bad person boohoo nobody loves me, please comfort me, rest of forum” thing you keep pulling when people have the audacity to bring up that they’re not that okay with what you did. Boundaries. Learn them. And stop manipulating those who care about you here (I was one) with your kicked-puppy routine. It’s very, very transparent.

    is a separate argument, and one I *don’t* agree with. I don’t see enough evidence to support the conclusion that Ogvorbis is manipulating others. Perhaps HS has other evidence to support that conclusion, but I’m not aware of anything that would point to Ogvorbis being manipulative in such a manner.

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

    This is the place to say hard things. I support HappiestSadist in saying that and don’t think that it is sadistic to do so.

    My strong suspicion is that the reference [Living up to the nym] was not to ‘sadist’ but to the ‘M’ in RLM; but you’d have to ask.

    I do, however, recall a faintly similar disagreement on a previous thread, for what that’s worth. That one, I thought, fairly earned the ‘R’.

  54. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @cm:

    Thanks for the thought. Chigau is generally pretty generous, so I thought “sadist” was harsher than I expected and wondered if I might be misunderstanding something, but i didn’t come up with anything else. The M seems more in character for chigau.

  55. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I do, however, recall a faintly similar disagreement on a previous thread, for what that’s worth. That one, I thought, fairly earned the ‘R’.

    There’s nothing similar about that comment.

    …and oh my fucking god, for the longest time I thought I was the only one….

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

    Reading old threads is weird. Especially with nym updates going backwards.

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

    There’s nothing similar about that comment.

    Well, I did say ‘disagreement’ (which went on long before and after that comment).

    But, while, FTR, my first paragraph was my usual trying-to-be-helpful SH(as)P(ossibly)M(isunderstood)OTI, the second was snarky, and my memory of the events is flaky. I probably shouldn’t have added it.

    *bows out*

  58. David Marjanović says

    So if the critique is merely that storms spoke up as a non-survivor and took attention away from survivors, then that doesn’t apply to Og’s comment in Stunned Silence and people can be non-hypocritical supporting Og and critiquing Storms’ comment on Awful Breakfast.

    It’s not. The critique is that some survivors are triggered by knowing they’re in the presence – even the virtual presence – of someone who has raped, and then probably triggered again if those people aren’t condemned but supported.

    Right. We can ignore the first person in that thread who wrote about being a child and victimizing another child so yeah, I was totally out of line. After all, writing about my experiences as a survivor, in response to a similar (not identical) situation for another survivor does show lack of awareness, lack of boundaries, and not giving a shit about others. So fuck this shit.

    *sigh*

    I’m sorry, Ogvorbis… that was the wrong answer. It was the worst possible answer.

    1) The other people in that thread who came out as having raped someone aren’t here. There’s no point in talking about them – they won’t read it, they’re gone, I (for one) don’t even remember any of their names. You are here. You’re even a regular.
    2) That “awareness” and “boundaries” thing is hard. Without a few such episodes on Pharyngula, I still wouldn’t have guessed what triggers so many survivors; I didn’t get any strong emotions from reading Storms’ comment, so I can’t just extrapolate from my own feelings to figure out that it’s a trigger. This is why survivors can trigger each other! Remember where “repellent little martyr” comes from? That’s what HappiestSadist was called by another rape survivor after both of them had accidentally triggered each other in a thread about rape. That thread was horrible to read.

    I don’t think you’re deliberately manipulating people; not that I would necessarily notice (at base I’m really naïve), but I haven’t noticed any evidence pointing in that direction, so I think you’re sincere. I think what’s going on here is that people who have had (extremely) bad experiences with very manipulative people tend to see manipulation everywhere – a false positive; overactive pattern recognition.

    In other words, HappiestSadist is probably being irrational. But that’s the very point. Being triggered is an irrational state – you probably can’t trigger a straw-Vulcan!

    Indeed, I think that being triggered can escalate all on its own: you’re triggered, fear kicks in, you interpret everything in terms of the trigger so you’re scared even more, you lash out to make it stop, and then you interpret the reactions from other people in terms of the trigger again… As far as I can tell, I’ve seen this happen in a few Pharyngula threads (I can’t remember which people were involved).

    Please, everyone, keep these things in mind when you try to figure out how what you write will come across to others.

    Living up to the ‘nym.

    I think you’re referring to HappiestSadist, chigau? Please confirm!

    If so, do you mean the “Sadist” part or the “Repellent Little Martyr” part? If the first, it’s not that kind of sadism, if you know what I mean; if the second, see above.

    I do, however, recall a faintly similar disagreement on a previous thread, for what that’s worth. That one, I thought, fairly earned the ‘R’.

    sgbm is very easy to misunderstand (I haven’t completely understood him either), and he’s not entirely blameless for that – even though various expectations of Western society are to blame even more.

  59. David Marjanović says

    I didn’t get any strong emotions from reading Storms’ comment, so I can’t just extrapolate from my own feelings to figure out that it’s a trigger

    …even though I’m not a complete stranger to being triggered in general: I was triggered for bullying a few months ago in a Facebook conversation. Found my hands shaking.

  60. carlie says

    So, what is it that people want from Ogvorbis, then? To go away? To never speak of his own experiences? To have a list of what he can talk about and what he can’t? There’s at least one other commenter I can think of who has said vile, vicious things and who has repeatedly just gone on the defensive when confronted about it, who is still welcomed with open arms no matter how many times they spout off, so what’s the dividing line? What are the rules, then? In the main thread under discussion, someone else had already broached the topic and it was already being discussed without being condemned, so how was Og supposed to know that his contribution would be unwelcome? Maybe it would be great for OPs that are about abuse to clarify whether they are going to be threads that are survivor pain only versus survivor effects and their ramifications, but in the absence of that, and the absence of a track record on the subject, and the presence of the topic in the thread already, I don’t know how he could have been expected to know not to. That is a clearly different situation than the recent one with Storms.

  61. David Marjanović says

    Here’s the horrible thread.

    Thanks. I just read it again. *facepalm*

    Had forgotten there was a third survivor in it who also got triggered – and of course those three are just the ones who said it out loud.

    :-(

  62. David Marjanović says

    So, what is it that people want from Ogvorbis, then?

    Different people want different things, of course; I don’t expect him or anyone to fulfill all of them.

    There’s at least one other commenter I can think of who has said vile, vicious things and who has repeatedly just gone on the defensive when confronted about it, who is still welcomed with open arms no matter how many times they spout off

    Who?

    I don’t know how he could have been expected to know not to

    Maybe the problem here is that nobody explained to him how he ends up triggering some of his fellow survivors before I tried just now. As I said, it’s not obvious to everyone in advance, I had to have it explained to me as well.

  63. says

    :Quickly reads: (I have a ‘puter with a dying fan, can’t keep it running).

    It seems to me that some people want to class survivors, in much the same way some feminists want to class women, excluding those who weren’t classed female at birth.

    As far as I’m concerned, classing survivors is absolute shit, and anyone who is a survivor should know better. Life can be hell for those of us who have survived, and there’s no hard and fast rule for a fix. We all struggle along as best we can. Ogvorbis was a valued member of the Horde before his memories surfaced, and this place has been the one place he can talk and be honest about what he’s going through.

    I think it’s very wrong to see him tossed out because someone else doesn’t much like it. Abuse is ugly, and survivorship can be, too. No, being triggered isn’t fucking fun, however, as CD went to great pains to point out, we are all responsible for our own triggers. Life isn’t trigger-proof.

    Also, Ogvorbis was right to point out that others in the SS thread talked about abusing others, so he was not to know it wasn’t alright in his case. The fact that he’s a regular here doesn’t matter, and he shouldn’t be wished into the cornfield because of it.

    I don’t think much of a drive-by to stir shit up against Ogvorbis, and that’s to say the least. I have to shut down now. Back whenever.

  64. says

    Mmmf, one more thing…in the thread Chigau linked, I wrote, in defense of HappiestSadist:

    There are a great many rape survivors here, scimaths, and we won’t put up with being silenced, or considered disgusting for discussing what happened to us. Many of us have gone into to detail about our rapes. If you don’t like that, or find it utterly repulsive, or anything else, please, don’t hang out in threads like this. All your reaction does is to castigate rape victims one more time, and believe me, we don’t need it.

    I meant what I wrote, and that includes Ogvorbis. Personally, I won’t make a case as to why he should be the exception. He shouldn’t be.

  65. carlie says

    David – I don’t want to bring their name into it; they aren’t part of this argument, and I’m not going to go picking on people just to make my own point. If you can think of regulars you’ve found to be offensive, I assume you’d hit on them sooner or later; I only brought it up to indicate that what determines “offensive to the point of being no longer welcome” is an idea that is fuzzy around the edges and variable among the community here. Just as happiestsadist seems to think that this would be a better place without Ogvorbis and I don’t, there are people I’d think this is a better place without that happiestsadist (or others) might not want to go.

  66. opposablethumbs says

    I really really don’t want Ogvorbis to go. I don’t want happiestsadist to go either. I don’t know what else to say, and I apologise if this is actively Not Helping.

  67. says

    :driving by, had to conduct some business:

    I’ll also quietly point out that in the horrible thread which Chigau linked, Ogvorbis expressed sympathy, support and solace towards HappiestSadist, which was gratefully accepted.

  68. David Marjanović says

    I have plenty to say, but I’ve very quickly become unexpectedly tired and have to go to bed now. See you all tomorrow.

    I don’t want happiestsadist to go either.

    They’re gone and have no plans of coming back. :-(

  69. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Oggie left? Fuck. I need to read back.

    Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Well, I did say ‘disagreement’ (which went on long before and after that comment).

    But, while, FTR, my first paragraph was my usual trying-to-be-helpful SH(as)P(ossibly)M(isunderstood)OTI, the second was snarky, and my memory of the events is flaky. I probably shouldn’t have added it.

    *bows out*

    Well, yes and no.

    On the one hand you’re comparing HappiestSadist’s comments here to Ogvorbis, who is a person to whom horrible things were done who also did some bad things and sincerely regrets and is tortured by them and a hyperactive jerkbrain which can occasionally manifest in somewhat self-absorbed ways, to a structurally similar comment directed at a complete monster faux-Knight Templar who repeatedly and nearly fatally poisoned the Pharyngula community for me, others, and apparently even others who actually matter. One which invented a genuinely deranged vendetta against me from whole cloth when I harshly criticized the allegedly wrong reading of an ambiguously worded comment it randomly made (interpreting this as a “lie”) and then stalked me from thread to thread for something like two years (I had to take some breaks from Pharyngula during that time….), triggering the shit out of me for basically no substantial reason, reacted like fucking Sheldon from The Big Bang to even the slightest, most half-hearted attempt at poking back, is responsible for 90% of that reluctance to participate in the Thunderdome I keep vaguely referencing in the Lounge, and had to be ordered by PZ himself to stop hounding a regular, IN THE LOUNGE as I recall, who was in the middle of a breakdown and had expressed immediate suicidal ideation, over a minor point of pedantry. (I haven’t seen it for a while, though. I think I’ve earned hoping Something Happened, frankly.)

    On the other hand, apparently a fair number of other people here were also sick of its shit, which is a genuine revelation because most of them

    JUST FUCKING WATCHED

    while it was stalking and triggering me. (Oh, wait, some of them occasionally belittled me for being triggered by what it was doing.)

    Which is actually kind of worse, come to think of it.

    So, yeah, maybe shouldn’t have made that comparison.

  71. says

    Dehumanizing someone, no matter WHAT the reason, is never cool. I get it that you don’t like SGBM, Azkyroth, but the fact that you call him an IT several times, *and* you italicize it, to enhance it, is not cool at all. Whether you like him or hate him, he’s still a human being.

  72. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I will note that expressing contempt through the use of the 3rd person singular “it” would be impossible – the contempt would be unrecognizable – if society did not view being gendered as either a man/boy or woman/girl a necessary requirement for humanity.

    This is an insult which relies upon, and keeps alive, the most vicious kind of trans* hatred.

  73. chigau (違う) says

    It would be easier to understand that if the links went to the actual threads and not to TVTropes.

  74. says

    Azkyroth:
    I’m extremely sympathetic to what you’ve said. I wasn’t around to see the stuff SG said to you, but I take you at your word that it was horrible and triggering. I accept that you immensely dislike him and it sounds like your feelings are justified.

    But I don’t support referring to any human being as “IT”.

  75. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Fair comment, Azky.

    FTR, that shit is horrible. I don’t remember it – there was a long time when I was reading without paying attention to ‘nyms or stable personalities, just content only – but I believe it. And it’s not tolerable and you deserve and have my sympathy. Also, there was a long time when I wasn’t reading TET even though I was reading & commenting elsewhere. Even after I started, I was pretty inconsistent about it for a while. Maybe I saw something and did nothing. If I did, that’s on me. I don’t think I would read something that I legitimately *thought* was stalking/harassing behavior and then say nothing. But I could have. Or I could have failed to recognize it. Either way, I’m sorry you didn’t have more support at the time. I’m also glad that you’re here participating on Pharyngula. I very often appreciate your comments.

    I could have said so above, but I really don’t remember any of that, so I didn’t think it was directed at me. But I think calling out such inaction is perfectly fair, which is why I didn’t criticize it when I criticized your reliance on the notion that to be human one must be correctly gendered.

  76. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It would be easier to understand that if the links went to the actual threads and not to TVTropes.

    What…

    What.

    I…

    I don’t…

    ……..the threads were A) legion, B) mostly years ago (before I developed an adequate avoidance strategy and the Lounge rules, when they weren’t being selectively read to use against me, provided some respite), and C) in part on ScienceBlogs and hence not retrievable.

    WHY IN ANY CONCEIVABLE GOD’S NAME WOULD I HAVE THE LINKS TO HAND WHAT ARE YOU IMPLYING

    Now then:

    The bit about “Dehumanizing” seems to fit into the “turn the other cheek” bullshit that’s always left me worse off if I tried to be a Good Boy and follow it. Treating someone as though their emotional wellbeing is of no value and only their instrumental effects on others matters seems worse. Even if there is a point in there somewhere.

    However, it does grade into…

    I will note that expressing contempt through the use of the 3rd person singular “it” would be impossible – the contempt would be unrecognizable – if society did not view being gendered as either a man/boy or woman/girl a necessary requirement for humanity.

    This is an insult which relies upon, and keeps alive, the most vicious kind of trans* hatred.

    That was not, in fact, part of my thought processes or feelings but I acknowledge this and will make changes in the future.

    Do you two acknowledge anything else?

    (Or would you respond to literally anyone else sharing a deep psychological wound in an obviously shaken state with nothing but a demand to take care of others’ feelings?)

  77. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    (…and, granted, I’m sure my 11-odd year posting-and-thread-participation history could be hyper-selectively quote-mined to “refute” everything I’ve just said. That’s always been one of SGBM’s favorite dirty tricks.)

  78. chigau (違う) says

    a hyperactive jerkbrain which can occasionally manifest in somewhat self-absorbed ways

  79. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m interpreting #622 as being written while I was writing #621 and posted without seeing Tony!’s #620 or my #621.

    I’m interpreting the #623 as acknowledging #620 & #621 and expressing something (frustration?) at not having been able to read them before posting your #622.

    Thus I’m taking #623 as implying that our responses were adequate to your concerns?

    If not, please let me know.

    As for #624, by the time I started really paying attention to personalities, SGBM was rarely posting. Back in the SciBlogs days I spent a year or more before reading any comments at all. I don’t know how often (if ever) I’d ever read comments on the SciBlogs TET. I was here for PZ’s voice at first. I didn’t really start to see that commenting was a vital part of Pharyngula until 3d4k. Until then, I saw it as something for which I didn’t have time. At that point, I realized that some tremendously important things happen in the comments, and I wanted to read and contribute.

    All to say, I don’t really know SGBM’s comment history. I only started paying attention to nyms in 2011…but even then, I’ve noticed that SGBM can do some horrible things, and I’ve never noticed you doing anything I would consider horrible, Azkyroth. So people can quote you as much as they like. I’ve noticed someone who (among many other things) makes mistakes and actually learns from them. I haven’t noticed you to be one of those that frequently doubles down.

    So I’m much happier to have your contributions than SGBM’s, even if someone could find an entire calendar month from whenever-the-hell-ago where I consistently agreed with SGBM and disagreed with you. It’s what happens during the disagreements that matters, and even if I missed the worst of SGBM’s behaviors, I saw enough to know I prefer having you here.

  80. says

    Crip Dyke:

    I’m interpreting #622 as being written while I was writing #621 and posted without seeing Tony!’s #620 or my #621.

    I’m interpreting the #623 as acknowledging #620 & #621 and expressing something (frustration?) at not having been able to read them before posting your #622.

    Thus I’m taking #623 as implying that our responses were adequate to your concerns?

    If not, please let me know.

    This applies to me as well.

  81. says

    Incidentally, I think this:

    and had to be ordered by PZ himself to stop hounding a regular, IN THE LOUNGE as I recall, who was in the middle of a breakdown and had expressed immediate suicidal ideation, over a minor point of pedantry.

    is in reference to the incident in the Lounge between SGBM and Improbable Joe…last year, was it?

  82. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony! #628:
    Really? Ugh.

    Missed that completely. But then I was moving into a new house and doing god knows what other things last summer. It was a busy time – had partner’s parents staying with us for 3 weeks as well. Might have been during that time.

  83. carlie says

    Azkyroth – I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t step in. I hope I stepped in when I saw it, but I honestly don’t remember, and my reading is spotty enough that I know I would have missed some, and probably didn’t realize the severity of others. I never realized he was targeting you specifically for so long; I’m bad at paying attention to names all the time, and crap at remembering events transpiring between specific people (every time one of those “and this is what you did to this person before” arguments come up, I’m amazed at how people can recall that well).

  84. chigau (違う) says

    So, I put on the sour-dough.
    (metric measures follow)
    1 litre water
    1 litre flour
    1/2 litre sour-dough
    in a 5 litre bowl
    .
    and went away for about 2 hours
    .
    it filled the bowl
    filled the plate under the bowl
    and was crawling along the counter
    .
    I fixed it.
    I have four lovely loaves.
    .
    and disciplined sour-dough for next time

  85. Derek Vandivere says

    Tony / Crip Dyke,

    On the other hand, some trans people apparently prefer ‘it’ as their personal pronoun of choice (apparently, this applies to the kid who gave Dan Savage crap for using a particular slur in a discussion of why he didn’t use that particular slur any more). Really interesting point that using ‘it’ to dehumanize is essentially a result of the lack of a nongendered personal pronoun, though.

    Chigau,

    Drool. I wish I could persuade my wife that sourdough / desem bread is a really good thing…enjoy! Now if I could only figure out if the caustic soda they sell here is the right kind of alkaline to make pretzels…

  86. consciousness razor says

    had to be ordered by PZ himself to stop hounding a regular, IN THE LOUNGE as I recall, who was in the middle of a breakdown and had expressed immediate suicidal ideation, over a minor point of pedantry.

    You’re still telling yourself this same story? I suppose as long as no one assumes PZ actually knew what was happening before he gave his “orders,” then this statement is accurate, except for the part about “hounding,” since as you yourself note, it was a single, very minor point. Completely forgettable, in fact, and not worth dredging up and linking — although it would at least be relevant and objective unlike fucking TVtropes links. Also, there’s the part about nobody (including SGBM) having any idea that he was feeling suicidal, until after the fact (when there was, again, no hounding). But other than that, the story you tell is just so evocative of somebody doing something wrong (exactly what you think that is, I don’t think anyone here can tell). It’s a good story.

    (I haven’t seen it for a while, though. I think I’ve earned hoping Something Happened, frankly.)

    Fuck you, for calling him an “it.” No really: fuck you.

    The bit about “Dehumanizing” seems to fit into the “turn the other cheek” bullshit that’s always left me worse off if I tried to be a Good Boy and follow it. Treating someone as though their emotional wellbeing is of no value and only their instrumental effects on others matters seems worse.

    Yet by using “it,” you treat him like an instrument, not as a person whose emotions and wellbeing matter. He’s a person, so you’re just flat-out fucking wrong empirically, if somehow you just can’t handle thinking of this in ethical terms. But you will not in any way be “worse off” by facing and accepting reality, so your bullshit is just bullshit.

  87. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    [rant]Why do the idjits who run the apparel markets, think some thinks shouldn’t be available until the end of the season. Tried to buy the Redhead some velcro sandals. Two were already out for the season in any possible size/width, and the third was severely curtailed, so that according the supplier, I got the last available one in a wide width.[/rant]

  88. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Yeah, I thought about asking, but given chigau’s “not very original” comment, I’m afraid it wouldn’t be worth the bother.

  89. chigau (違う) says

    It was some gleeful tittering about Og and HS.
    Plus some digs at Tony, CD and Inaji.
    And a BikeShorts reference.
    And some pokes at PZ as a scientist and conference participant.
    Really an all-inclusive turd but still an old turd.
    Someone who spends alot of time here taking notes.

  90. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    delurk: I don’t remember the incident to which Azkyroth refers, but it seems that trashing SGBM in a thread in which he is unavailable to defend himself is low, at best, and the kind of thing that I think none of us would be happy about were we targeted. And for what its worth, every time some shit like this happens, pitters be getting mad gleeful. This is one of the several reasons that I have laid off commenting here.

  91. says

    (I haven’t seen it for a while, though. I think I’ve earned hoping Something Happened, frankly.)

    Wow.

    ***

    I wasn’t around to see the stuff SG said to you, but I take you at your word that it was horrible and triggering.

    It’s extremely unwise to take the word of anyone here about sg without evidence. Extremely unwise.

  92. Owlmirror says

    ……..the threads were A) legion,

    A sample (n≥5) would do.

    B) mostly years ago

    So? Google remembers all.

    Here, this link may help.

    Yes, I know there are 1900+ hits. No-one said that research was easy. Try finding something in the first 10 or 20 pages of hits, at least. If you can’t find anything, maybe what you think happened is not as obvious as you remember.

    C) in part on ScienceBlogs and hence not retrievable.

    web.archive.org may be your friend, here.

    WHY IN ANY CONCEIVABLE GOD’S NAME WOULD I HAVE THE LINKS TO HAND

    Because you care about truth, and are willing to do the research to back up your claims? Because you know that human memory is fallible, and subject to bias? Because bluster is cheap, and anyone with a long-festering grudge can whip up a hate-filled rant?

    I’m just spitballing, here.

    The bit about “Dehumanizing” seems to fit into the “turn the other cheek” bullshit that’s always left me worse off if I tried to be a Good Boy and follow it.

    How on Earth does calling any human being “it” leave you better off? Really, I’m curious. It’s not “turn the other cheek”; it’s “don’t do unto others what you would not have them do unto you”.

    Treating someone as though their emotional wellbeing is of no value and only their instrumental effects on others matters seems worse.

    Feel free to elaborate on this, please.

  93. Derek Vandivere says

    #624 / Nerd: Apparently, most people in the real world buy their clothes long before they actually need them. I’ve never understood it, either. Why would I buy sandals in March?

  94. says

    Derek:

    #624 / Nerd: Apparently, most people in the real world buy their clothes long before they actually need them. I’ve never understood it, either. Why would I buy sandals in March?

    Financial reasons. Some people buy items off seasons thinking (justifiably at times) that the price of these items is cheaper in the off season. I’ve bought coats or jackets in the summer (before I lived in Florida) because they’ve been cheaper than if I bought them in the winter.

  95. says

    @ brianpansky

    If your same browser is still open, you could try using the little “back” arrow on the top left (FF) of your browser window (“go back one page”). I have often found comments I thought had disappeared for good. It appears that the comment window is its own page.

    If that doesn’t work, then I shall wave a claw at you and say: ” Download the program “clipit” and always do a “copy” command before posting, Grasshopper.”

    You can always cross-post here, if you think Jerry is being snotty.

  96. Derek Vandivere says

    Tony,

    Yeah, I’m just grumpy because by the time I get around to looking for clothes I need (like that nice sweater in the window) they’re always sold out….