Note to self: Avoid scheduling layovers in Arizona »« What’s wrong with rainbow families?

Something is wrong with SIWOTI!

Deja vu, man, deja vu. Someone else has a hate site that obsesses over their blog.

The people who run and participate in this site are largely disgruntled former commenters, some of whom left on their own after I disappointed them in some way, and some of whom were banned after violating the commenting policy. There are, increasingly, participants at the site who have never even engaged at Shakesville, but just find some satisfaction in participating in a space dedicated to the explicit purpose of destroying this community.

They explicitly want to chase me out of my space, offline, and want me to have no opportunities to make a living doing what I’ve done for the last ten years of my life. They want this community to cease to exist because they don’t like me and the commenting policy, and don’t care what destroying it would mean for the people to whom this community means something.

That’s from Melissa at Shakesville. We’ve seen exactly the same thing here at Freethoughtblogs, and over the years, I’ve had multiple badly-done Pharyngula hate-sites pop up and fade away. It’s bizarre. The trigger for all the hatred is usually the injustice of getting banned, and I just don’t get it. I’ve been there myself.

Many years ago, before I started up this blog, I’d been active debating creationists on various forums. I’d post replies and rebuttals to stupid creationist claims, and more than once, I was asked to leave or banned because I was “disrespectful” or “rude” or “making people angry”. You won’t believe what I did next:

I left.

I didn’t try to sneak back, either. I’ve always used the same pseudonym, pzmyers, on all of my logins.

These creatonists are people who are emphatically wrong and persist in endorsing idiocy, definitely triggering all of my SIWOTI symptoms, but they’ve got their place and if the owners of the forum say they don’t want me using their services, I stop using them. It’s really not that hard.

But for some reason, some people get extremely bitter about being told to go away. They are outraged that you deny them the privilege of participating on your wonderful blog. They start making sockpuppets and probing at the filters to see if they get around the ban. Remember that obnoxious Australian guy who’d create a new sock every night and get on to leave a pile of insults while I was sleeping? That went on for weeks. Remember Reap Paden, who currently holds the record for the number of pseudonyms he ran through (well over 40 before I lost track), and yet was instantly recognizable to everyone, thanks to his godawfully bad writing? There are many more you don’t know about who don’t puzzle out what I’m filtering on, and keep pounding out comments that get instantly shunted off to the spam queue. There’s one guy who comes by every week or two to make a test comment, in the hopes that the blockade will have magically lifted…and he’s been doing this for two years.

Others scurry off and set up anti sites, like the Shakesville haters. It’s a good way to leech off the popularity of someone else: provide a watering hole for all the people with a grudge against the site you despise, and gather like-minded people to sit and fume and whine and moan. And best of all from my perspective, they obsess so much that they become fanatical readers of everything I do, even more dedicated readers than the busiest of our regular commenters.*

But I don’t have it as bad as some. Shakesville is a singular site with a much more restrictive commenting policy than I have here, so she bears the brunt of the nuisances. Here, at least, we’ve spread the hate load: Ashley gets the racists, the rest of us get the same old banned-on-Pharyngula crowd, but now they’re having to strain to find a blog on FtB that they haven’t been banned from…and you’ll see that, too, when a new blog is opened up here, the same names that were long kicked outta here show up in the comments to whine at length. It really is like a tick infestation.

Another factor is that for some reason these parasites really hate the idea that a blog might stand up for a cause. Ophelia is getting comments from Phil Giordana (yeah, another long-gone Pharyngula reject) who is flinging the insult du jour, “Social Justice Warrior.” Ophelia asked him why he was against social justice, and this was his answer:

I never threatened anyone online, never attacked peoples’ appearance, apologized to you for using what you consider “gendered slur”, yet I’m still banned from your blog. You fuckwit! (that one’s fine, OB said so).

Boggling, ain’t it? This is a guy who does nothing with his time online other than to rant with fellow obnoxious people about how he was banned and how awful FtB is, and to whine on Facebook about how much he despises “social justice warriors” because he was banned from several sites.

There was a comment on Ophelia’s site from thetalkingstove that I thought was fairly insightful about the situation.

I fully admit this is just speculation, but I suspect that the whining about being banned from forums shines a light on a lot of the motivation certain people have for being in the skeptical movement (such as it is). For them, it’s not about changing the world for the better; they’ve simply found something that enables them to feel superior to other people – easy targets like creationists and alternative medicine – and that makes them feel good, that their opinion and intellectual prowess are special.

Then when they encounter people who aren’t impressed by their amazing logic skillz, it hurts. It shakes that image of themselves as being stupendously rational and intellectually superior, and they can’t let that go.

Shorter version: a lot of people are in the skeptical movement because they’re arrogant arseholes.

That rings true, especially since these people tend not to be very good at that logic part — witness Giordana’s reply to Ophelia. They’re not very clever, they don’t care about anyone else, and they want to join the Smart Kids Club just because it boosts their ego, and when they’re rejected, they lash out.

I have a suggestion for them, though. Join MENSA. They’ll take anyone.


*Ironic footnote. They also like to complain nastily about regular commenters who are here every day…without calling attention to the fact that they here every day, screencapping and copy-pasting and writing angry rebuttals to every nitpicking detail.

Comments

  1. stewartlaw says

    I am one of the commenters at http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/ the site Melissa is talking about as a hate site.

    From my perspective it is a site made up of people who feel they were abused by Melissa McEwan and her moderating team, and/or that Shakesville is a toxic site which harms vulnerable people.
    This doesn’t make it a hate site, it just makes it somewhere disgruntled people can let off steam about negative experiences they have had.

    Peace out.

  2. doublereed says

    The whole troll mentality is so weird. If you look through the comments of the ACLU Facebook page, you’ll find a bunch of reactionaries talking about why they disagree with everything the ACLU does. I can understand if they do it every now and then, but over and over again? What are you doing? Why do you bother coming here?

    This only goes for the Nationwide ACLU page. The ones for the different states are all positive.

    It’s not like they don’t have places to go. There’s Stormfront. If they love using the N-word then there’s Reddit.

  3. says

    Mensa won’t accept anyone. They only accept the two percent of the population who can be bothered to cram for pointless word association tests.

  4. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    From my perspective it is a site made up of people who feel they were abused by Melissa McEwan and her moderating team, and/or that Shakesville is a toxic site which harms vulnerable people.

    Any evidence to back up this claim? You peace out if you can’t provide the evidence….

  5. stewartlaw says

    You want me to provide evidence of what people feel is their lived experience?

    Please don’t think I was trying to “convince” you or anyone else of anything, just offering the viewpoint from someone on a blog that has be labelled a hate site.

    I provided a link to the blog, if you’re that interested, go and take a look, if not, then that’s fine as well.

  6. DresdenFilesRocks says

    Speaking as one of the commenters on DtSKA, I’ve never been banned on McEwan’s site. I didn’t really interact much with it at all,even before I knew about DtSKA.

    I used to be of the same opinion you express here–that it’s McEwan’s site, McEwan’s rules, and if people don’t like it they just shouldn’t go there. But I realized that was my privilege talking. I’ve been fortunate enough to never be in an abusive or seriously harmful relationship, so I couldn’t really see how harmfully McEwan was treating others–I didn’t know what to look for. But people kept posting on DtSKA saying that they hadn’t been so lucky, they’d knew about abusive relationships and companions, had sometimes even been in such relationships themselves, and what they saw on Shakesville was a perfect match. They noted how McEwan lures in vulnerable people with the promise of a ‘safe space,’ those people seek out Shakesville for solace… and are treated in an abusive, dismissive, and hateful manner which induced depression, panic, and pain just as meatspace abusers do. That’s wrong and should be opposed, even though McEwan has never gone after me personally.

    (Which is why, incidentally, I don’t think it’s fair to compare what happens at Shakesville with what happens at the alt-med or creationist sites you frequent, Dr. Myers. Shakesville is ostensibly a ‘safe space’ for vulnerable people, which I doubt is claimed of the alt-med and creationist sites you were banned from. People are told at Shakesville that they don’t need to be on their guard, that they can trust the community, that it’s safe. And then it’s not, rather, it’s incredibly unsafe for anyone that isn’t McEwan, as the numerous testimonies on DtSKA show. This isn’t just a betrayal, it’s a betrayal of people whom are often recovering from meatspace abusive relationships involving gaslighting, minimizing, etc., and whom are therefore not as well equipped to fight a castigation or haranguing as someone like yourself might be.)

    But if you do want to read about why the ‘former commenters’ she mentions are on DtSKA, there’s one particular comment on the site you should read: the featured comment at http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/93174309599/i-see-a-lot-of-talk-here-about-how-melissa-mcewan-has#disqus_thread . It’s a very typical story told at DtSKA: that of a person who was trying to process an abusive relationship, went to Shakesville, and quickly found hirself terrified all over again. Many of the testimonies are collected at http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/88568874129/submission-circle-time . This thread is a bunch of former members of the community, ranging from occasional commenters to moderators and members of McEwan’s inner circle, discussing why they left Shakesville.

    There’s more reasons to oppose McEwan–her appropriation of Jewish and queer identities, her support of transphobic feminists such as Mary Daley and Roseanne Barr, and so forth–but for me, the way she treats her community members, many of which joined that community particularly because she promised them safety, is enough to merit opposition.

  7. says

    Right. Just a site thst tries to save people from a chance to talk about feminism without being abused. For which, peopleon the site have been organizing trolling, and doxxing not only Liss, but her husband, her moderators, and some of the regular commenters.

    Just good old-fashioned ‘criticism’. Right. Like the slymepit is. LOL.

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You want me to provide evidence of what people feel is their lived experience?

    You claim abuse, you provide evidence for said abuse, so we can determine if it is real abuse or people delusionally thinking it is abuse. Or it didn’t happen.

  9. stewartlaw says

    Actually no Nerdofredhead, I said people felt they had been abused. Whether or not their experience of abuses matches your definition of abuse, is irrelevant. they feel that way and set up a site to deal with it, that is their right, they don’t need to justify it to you or anyone else.

  10. Infophile says

    @7 stewartlaw:

    You want me to provide evidence of what people feel is their lived experience?

    When lived experiences happen online, there’s usually a concrete record of what exactly was said. Of course, this doesn’t get into the subtleties of what’s going on inside someone’s head and how history may have affected the conversation in question, but it’s a good starting point for analysis.

    In real life, this can often be impossible, so we do simply have to trust people. Online, we do the same when there’s a fear of naming names, the records might be private, or it’s too sensitive for one person involved. If it’s too sensitive for you to dig up past wounds, then I won’t push you to do so. But you’ll do a much better job at convincing people of your side of the story if you do present evidence; otherwise the story will be dominated by the other side and the evidence they choose to present.

  11. DresdenFilesRocks says

    @10: I provided links in my post at @8.

    (What @7 is referring to is how, at Shakesville, it is against the rules to ‘deny someone’s lived experience’, that is, if McEwan claims to have been abused or hurt, the commenters and others are required to believe her even if she does not provide evidence. However, since that is not the rules here, I’ve provided links above.)

  12. says

    I also read shakesville kool aid. It is submissions so of course some of it is spot on and some of it is not. One of the biggest tenants of shakesville kool aid is that people are allowed to say their piece and disagree with each other, because shakesville does not allow dissent. A lot of what she decried in her posts was criticized by other people at shakesville kool aid.

    I am surprised that PZ fell for melissa’s bullshit instead of actually reading the site. Melissa McEwan says her site is a safe space and then berates people for innocuous comments like “can we please not talk about cherry leaves? I have to rake up a lot of them” or “I wish I could give you a magic elf so your life would be easier”. Her response to the elf comment was “DO YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING DEHUMANIZING THAT IS?” The cherry leaves comment elicited a rant about how it flagrantly violates the commenting standards. woah there. Whenever melissa is criticized she claims that it is being done “in bad faith” and is therefore a ban worthy offense.

    This wouldn’t be a problem except she calls her website a safe space over and over again. It means vulnerable people flock to her. Several people at shakesville kool aid reached out for help during a desperate time and either got smacked down or completely ignored. She cannot claim its safe to comment there, use emotional abuse tactics on people, and then decide that its everyone elses fault that SVKA exists.

    Her claims of coordinated harassment by SVKA is bullshit. Pure and simple. Total lies.

    I’ve never seen someone so pathologically self absorbed as melissa mcewan. I’ve never seen someone so sensitive to criticism, who felt so entitled to preferential treatment, who twists everything to make it about herself. Go read the post on SV called “all in” and tell me that isn’t a cult.

  13. stewartlaw says

    @12 As DresdenFilesRocks says, they have provided links in @ if you really need to see specifically what people are referring to as their experience of abuse.

    The reason I didn’t link to anything is that I don’t think it’s relevant to provide the details, the point being that the charge of http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/ being a “hate” site is simply not the case.

  14. swampfoot says

    I have a suggestion for them, though. Join MENSA. They’ll take anyone.

    I was only allowed to join their lesser-known organization, DENSA, for those born on the wrong end of the bell curve.

  15. says

    Proving once again that skeptic in the nym means asshole in the tin.

    Anyone interested in the actual situation should read the comments on her post.

    I’ve been to her house. I’ve seen the abuse she gets, firsthand.

    But by all means, tell us more about how this website is forcing all those people to come by, comment, and donate. Yes, verycult-like, how she vonstantly links to people writing elsewhere, and encourages people to simply not read if they don’t like her work. Just like FTB is a cult. Yes.

    Assholes. The same kind of abusive assholes we encounter here, and just as innocent and harmless.

  16. tinfoilhattie says

    “For which, people on the site have been organizing trolling, and doxxing not only Liss, but her husband, her moderators, and some of the regular commenters.”

    Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Looking up someone on linkedin is not “doxxing.” Nobody at SVKA has published, in the comments or otherwise, any such data on anyone at SV.

    Furthermore, Melissa and at least one of her mods *have* specifically emailed and followed SVKA readers around the internet with the express purpose of either harassing them or – in MM’s case – banning them.

    Nice try, though.

  17. says

    catiecat

    Right. Just a site thst tries to save people from a chance to talk about feminism without being abused. For which, peopleon the site have been organizing trolling, and doxxing not only Liss, but her husband, her moderators, and some of the regular commenters.

    Just good old-fashioned ‘criticism’. Right. Like the slymepit is. LOL.

    No one was doxxed. Info about Lain’s was publicly available by lain, and the only reason it was discussed at all was because McEwan has had people donate their child support/public assistance money because she claims her family “struggles” because of the blog. Its quite clear that it was total bullshit. A mod there encouraged a woman to give her last 5$ to SV. I would certainly say that is deserving of scrutiny.

    Last week MM was angry that a journalist may be writing about shakesville as an example of toxicity in online communities. She said “They are free to not read, but that’s never good enough for them…” and now she is sending people to shakesville kool aid to argue (er, “shed light” is what she called it). One set of rules for her and a different one for everyone else, I guess? Contrary to what she has said there is no trolling or harassment being organized or encouraged at shakesville kool aid. Everyone is free to look through the archives and try to find evidence of it, I’ve subscribed for a long time and know that it simply doesn’t happen.

    I have no doubt MM gets trolled and harassed, but it might be because of her encyclopedia dramatica entry or the fact that 4chan regularly targets shakesville. I think one of the reasons SVKA is on tumblr is because people wanted a pro-feminist type of place to discuss these experiences, and tumblr is more likely than other forums to do that.

    I also find it offensive to suggest that shakesville is the only place people can discuss feminism “without being abused”. This is exactly why so many people get hurt by mcewan and her moderators- they hold themselves up as the pinnacle of feminist community on the internet. Its bullshit.

  18. tinfoilhattie says

    “Proving once again that skeptic in the nym means asshole in the tin.”

    I have no idea what that means.

    I do suggest, however, that people who are one hundred percent certain that SVKA is the horrible, stalker-y, troll-y hate site MM claims it is actually go read the site itself.

  19. says

    Skeptifem:

    shakesville does not allow dissent

    That’s fine. So don’t post there.

    I also find it offensive to suggest that shakesville is the only place people can discuss feminism “without being abused”.

    We know this isn’t true. So discuss feminism…and leave Shakesville out of the discussion.

    Multiple, independent sites that explore a topic from different perspectives are a great idea. Multiple sites that depend on stabbing at each other aren’t.

  20. Maureen Brian says

    stewartlaw,

    For goodness sake! Melissa McEwen runs a pretty tight ship. She’s allowed to because it’s her ship. She also reminds visitors – visits being entirely voluntary – very politely to read and abide by the rules.

    That is Melissa McEwen’s definition of a safe space – safe for her core readership, which any marketing guru would tell you has to be the top priority.

    So now you come here to whine because one blog among hundreds and thousands of blogs is not to your taste, using rather emotional language in the process. So you are asked, again politely, to provide some evidence, an example of the harm you say has been done.

    And your response? The typical toddler’s stamped foot.

    Do you realise that despite the message in the rules here at Pharyngula that this is a rude blog, PZ still has people turn up at least once a week to complain about boisterous argument and people saying fuck? Same difference, matey!

    (It’s OK – rule of three was observed.)

  21. tinfoilhattie says

    PZ, MM is free to take your advice also. She doesn’t have to read SVKA, or post there, or send her minions to post there. In fact, I don’t think anyone at SVKA has posted at Shakesville in a long, long time – except a post about cherry leaves in the last week or so.

    You write about religious groups and how they abuse and mislead people, yes? SVKA writes about how people who used to read, comment at, contribute to, and moderate Shakesville have been abused, mistreated, and harassed. We are allowed to write about our experiences.

    By your standard, your own blog is a “hate site” against religion. Well, religion is BAD for people. So hate away.

  22. tinfoilhattie says

    Jeez, Maureen Brian, you want we should copy every single archived post and comment here? Saying, “the experiences are well-documented at SVKA” is not acting childish or stamping our feet. It’s giving you ample opportunity to read the examples of abuse. Your assumption that MM is telling the absolute unvarnished truth is more toddler-like. “She said it, I believe, it, and I refuse to be swayed by your facts! You big toddlers!”

  23. Fang Yun Oerba says

    It was already pointed out that many people felt very personally hurt and even abused by Melissa. But Shakesvillekoolaid is about more than being a grudge site of people who were asked to leave.

    Many people need to talk through experiences of feeling like they were treated badly at a site where they found community. And let’s not forget that that’s exactly what Shakesville claims to be…. a supportive community that welcomes people with nowhere else to be. IN fact they absolutely take joy in reminding their commenters (a la CatieCat’s above commen) that they are THE safe haven in a hostile world. And yet, they treat commenters very badly for any perceived misstep . For example, wishing Melissa well or saying that they miss her when she’s gone.

    So SKA serves as a place to talk about this and help peole understand that they really are seeing what they think they see – that they have been treated badly. Because SV has convinced everyone that if someone is rebuked by a mod that they were bad and deserved it. SKA gives people a space to realize that their harmless comment really was a harmless comment and no, they are not enemies of all that is good just because they pissed off Melissa (yes, she has cultivated this kind of atmosphere and ti is exactly why many of us continue to watch and criticize her.)

    We also criticize her content because we believe she is wrong on many points.

    None of this constitutes harassment or abuse, any more than PZ is harassing or abusing creationists he criticizes. We are responding to a particular blog on another blog and talking amongst oursevles. Yes, we dig up facts to verify some assertions that are made, yes we look at comment history to better understand commenters. Yes we poke fun at ridiculous things. None of this is harassment or abuse. We’ve never sought Melissa’s attention. I’m not sure why we, collectively, would, since we are in essence a place to talk about our experiences on SV without the allseeing eye of Melissa and the Mods ready to pounce.

  24. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    Daz #21 “I’ve just read it”

    No, that’s not the “All In” post folks are talking about. It’s this one: “All in means all of us”.

    If you don’t see how *that* post and ensuing comments could be construed as cultish, I’d be surprised

  25. says

    catie cat

    Proving once again that skeptic in the nym means asshole in the tin.

    Anyone interested in the actual situation should read the comments on her post.

    I’ve been to her house. I’ve seen the abuse she gets, firsthand.

    But by all means, tell us more about how this website is forcing all those people to come by, comment, and donate. Yes, verycult-like, how she vonstantly links to people writing elsewhere, and encourages people to simply not read if they don’t like her work. Just like FTB is a cult. Yes.

    Assholes. The same kind of abusive assholes we encounter here, and just as innocent and harmless.

    Again, I am not saying MM doesn’t get her share of shit (basically every feminist online does), but why does she think it is coming from shakesville kool aid instead of 4chan or reddit or encyclopedia dramatica or any of the places that actually do regularly engage in harassment?

    I am not sure why you called me an asshole, I’ve done nothing to you except say that I’ve seen why this community exists and I am upset that melissa mcewan is making shit up about it to obtain more narcissistic supply.

    Here is the “all in” thread I mentioned, for anyone interested.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/06/posted-by-arkades-deeky-erica-c.html

    the tl:dr version is a huge post where melissa complains about how shakers respond to her spontaneous absences (which is of course due to the fatigue of championing a safe space for everyone on sv, bless her heart she is doing so much for others!), she includes that the flooding of her inbox with concern and support is a nuisance to her, and another mod chastizes everyone for not doing more for melissa. A ton of the comments devolve into shakers feeling terribly guilty for having not done enough for melissa or criticizing other people for not doing more.

    This was some of the craziest, most backwards shit I have ever seen.

  26. Fang Yun Oerba says

    “I’ve been to her house. I’ve seen the abuse she gets, firsthand.”

    Are you deliberately trying to lump in all the abuse she gets with SKA? Because Melissa and SV have been linked to and criticized on far worse places and have been targeted in the past mainly by MRA’s and places like Fark.

  27. stewartlaw says

    Maureen Brian.

    Toddler’s stamped foot? I think you’re over reaching to be honest. I came here to provide an alternative point of view to the one saying Shakesville Kool Aid is a hate site. that’s all. I never came here to whine Shakesville is not to my taste, I go to Shakesville Kool Aid for that.

    And you are being a little disingenuous when you act as if there haven’t been links left on this thread which detail people’s experiences of abuse at Shakesville but just so we are clear, you can find these links in post @8 by DresdenFilesRocks, I mentioned this previously in my post @15

  28. Fang Yun Oerba says

    “That’s fine. So don’t post there.”

    PZ are you honestly trying to suggest that when a blogger doesn’t allow dissent on their blog that people should ignore them and not publicly post their disagreement elsewhere? Or that we shouldn’t express, elsewhere, why we think it’s harmful to have that level of required agreement on a feminist “Safe” space?

    It’s not just that there is no dissent allowed, it’s that “dissent” is not predictable by commenters and when they overstep in the most innocent way, they are torn down and dogpiled.

    Finding a place to talk about how that is unfair and harmful is now just not the thing to do, according to PZ?

  29. says

    Oh, I see. The post called “all in” that, erm, isn’t entitled “all in.” Thanks. And no, that doesn’t read like a cult; it reads like a bunch of people saying “Please self-police your comments and stick to the commenting rules.” The wording may be a little effusive for my own personal taste, but I see nothing wrong with it.

  30. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . Whether or not their experience of abuses matches your definition of abuse, is irrelevant.

    Sorry, if they, like you seem to feel abused by me asking for examples of said abuse, then your “abuse” level is set to high. Asking for evidence is not abuse. It is fact finding. If everybody doesn’t want to play by the web sites rules, and consider it abusive to be told “don’t do that”, that really isn’t abuse. Expect by the folks not obeying the web sites rules.

  31. says

    PZ Myers:

    We know this isn’t true. So discuss feminism…and leave Shakesville out of the discussion.

    Multiple, independent sites that explore a topic from different perspectives are a great idea. Multiple sites that depend on stabbing at each other aren’t.

    She advertises a safe space, which lures in vulnerable people, who are in turn arbitrarily attacked by the blog owner for her own personal jollies. She is kicking people when they are down and then throws a pity party when a separate website talks about it. Its wrong. Please read the All In post. “You cannot support Melissa enough or correctly, shame on you! She is gone now because we all failed her!” is the jist of it.

    You are taking melissa mcewan’s word as gospel and assuming what she wrote about SVKA is correct. It isn’t. You need to actually read the material she is talking about (and its context) to see just how much effort she put towards warping its contents to make her seem like a victim in all this. No one at SVKA is coordinating harassment or trolling and no one there encourages it either.

  32. stewartlaw says

    Nerdofredhead.

    I don’t feel abused by you asking me for examples. I don’t feel abused at all. And I don’t think you were “fact finding” so much as demanding you be allowed to decide whether something was abuse by your definition. You said so as much yourself,
    and I tried to explain to you that whether or not you find it abuse is irrelevant to those people.

    Your permission is not needed for I or anyone else to post at Shakesville Kool Aid.

  33. says

    Shakesville allows no dissent? Melissa sees all criticism as “in bad faith” … I have a small amount of experience here. I tweeted a link to this from the block bot as a description of why the word “cunt” is not in itself “offensive”, context is important. –> http://www.shakesville.com/2006/11/on-cunts.html

    @FemWho was not pleased! She does not mince words and pointed out the whorephobic language that was in it at the time. I @’ed in Melissa, who immediately apologised and amended the post. You can see the note at the bottom of that post.

    So consider your assertion she never takes criticism well dis-proven.

  34. Dunc says

    the tl:dr version is a huge post where melissa complains about how shakers respond to her spontaneous absences

    So, you missed that it wasn’t actually written by her, huh? I mean, I just skimmed it, but I got that… Hell, I got that from just the URL. And yeah, I agree that it’s a bit long-winded, but it basically seems to boil down to “please stop shitting on the carpet”.

    I can’t help but suspect that there may be some gaslighting going on here…

  35. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    Multiple, independent sites that explore a topic from different perspectives are a great idea

    And if the topic is “Here’s a site that claims to be a safe space for victims of rape and abuse, but it’s actually toxic and abusive towards those victims, of which I am one”? Then apparently it’s a “hate site”

    Are you deliberately trying to lump in all the abuse she gets with SKA?

    That’s certainly what it looks like. Nevermind that SV that has its own Encyclopedia Dramatica entry, and is a known target for trolls and haters from Fark, 4chan, anti-abortion nuts, anti-gay bigots, every righting nutjob who remembers the Edwards campaign and pretty much every MRA site on the entire planet.

    But yeah, all that abuse she gets must be coming from a site that is chock full of feminist women, many of whom are survivors of abuse themselves.

  36. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    PZ are you honestly trying to suggest that when a blogger doesn’t allow dissent on their blog that people should ignore them and not publicly post their disagreement elsewhere?

    Dissent here means people calling us names for supporting, say feminism, and providing no evidence to back up their claims. So, why must you dissent? What are you really trying to accomplish?
    Personally, the dissent schtick is overused by people who want to either post real tripe (example creationism or anti-feminism), often with attitude behind it.

  37. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #8 DresdenFilesRocks

    Yeah, your first think claims McEwan encouraged people to “harass Sears because the cheap oven she bought broke after the warranty”. When I read the thread she linked, McEwen was telling people to do that because Sears wasn’t going to recall a faulty product and an employee who told her the truth is getting written up for doing so. That’s not harassment or abusing her power to get a discount because “we’re all oppressed”. Sounds like she was getting screwed as a consumer and didn’t want someone to lose their job when they were just trying to serve her better. The commenter claims it’s abusive because “you walk on eggshells, everything is your fault and you should just be grateful that you have a relationship because no one else would want you.” but doesn’t go on further.

    Your second link contains such stories as:

    Like Daisy Clover, I misused a word in a comment (the word ‘bitch’ used to describe complaining) and the chastising I got after managed to trigger my PTSD and I got no sleep that night as I agonized over the angry response my well-meant comment received.

    Yeah, getting called out for slurs isn’t abusive and while I’m sorry she was triggered there’s no way to know if they crossed the line without reading the thread.

    Edited to add – Oh yeah now I remember the thing that first made me roll my eyes and take my clicks elsewhere – someone made a hostile remark about George Bush along the lines of that they’d like to punch him in the face, and was scolded for using violent imagery about someone, even George Bush. I thought that was a bit too precious. Little did I anticipate the CNs to come.

    Not long after that I was banned as a rape apologist after commenting on a post about Julian Assange, for suggesting that until or unless he went to trial he was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    During one thread about some politician or another, my co-writer made a comment, finishing up with “What a maroon!” — Bugs Bunny style.

    Oops.

    No, she didn’t get busted for using a variation of “moron”, amazingly. A mod armed with a dictionary at the ready for usage infractions trotted out that “maroon” is a racist term referring to runaway slaves. I like to think I had a decent sized vocabulary, but I had at the time never heard of that definition. The mod really dug deep to find the most obscure thing to go ballistic on.

    My co-writer apologized, but didn’t grovel. Clarified that she was only using it as a Bugs Bunny reference. Which he was then told that Bugs and the rest of the Looney Tunes weren’t exactly great things to be bringing into a safe space either with their content. It was then my co-writer and I had a great laugh and a mutual “forget this place” and never commented again.

    More how they were jumped on mercilessly by mods and being made to follow the rules. Cries over how she doesn’t allow dissent but no one else can make her accept that. Yet no links or anything to follow. Lots of people admitting they fell hard for her, like she’s the one true justice warrior but, again, don’t link to anything.

    So I went browsing there main page. Oh joy.
    There’s the jab at PZ with the “free thought blogs” about this post. Saying it’s not a hate site but from saying her abrupt vacation announcements are manipulative to gossiping about how her house is filthy and an abusive wife, I fail to see the difference.

  38. says

    Daz @ 32

    Oh, I see. The post called “all in” that, erm, isn’t entitled “all in.” Thanks. And no, that doesn’t read like a cult; it reads like a bunch of people saying “Please self-police your comments and stick to the commenting rules.” The wording may be a little effusive for my own personal taste, but I see nothing wrong with it.

    I know its a lot of comments, but please read them. People are fretting because of their inability to support melissa correctly, they are trying to figure out what they personally did to make her leave and what they can do to make her come back, etc. Its a very weird dynamic. There are other examples.

    Like this one.
    ““Edited to remove tactless and unhelpful expression of gratitude.”

    http://www.shakesville.com/2012/08/community-note.html#comment-609019350

    People want her approval so badly, but nothing is good enough for her. She makes everything about herself and it replicates a lot of the abusive situations people are trying to heal from when they go to shakesville for a ‘safe space’. This is not okay. I would have zero problems with shakesville if she would just quit acting like a martyr for the “safe space” and just admit that she runs it however she wants to and its not safe for anyone besides her. Nope, she must be praised for all her efforts or else she will flounce and ITS ALL YOUR FAULT SHAME ON YOU. ??????

    A lot of disabled people have a serious problem with melissa calling her body “garbage” when she is having health problems. She ignores, bans, or insults the people who bring it up. Not a safe space.

    A lot of feminists had problems when she was writing a love fest post about bill clinton, because he is a serial sexual harasser. She wouldn’t hear it. The same thing happened w/trans politics and her love fest for Mary Daly. She will say you are commenting in bad faith or are off topic if she doesn’t like what you have to say, no matter how unsafe the content made you feel, and if you continue to disagree she will ban you. People who are actually convinced that shakesville is THE safe space online feel totally alienated by that and think everywhere else is unsafe by comparison. There is a definite theme to exit stories.

    SVKA exists because it is impossible to actually bring these issues up with melissa or the mods. That is why it is so laughable to think SVKA is orchestrating some kind of harassment or trolling attack, we all know its a brick wall. There is literally no point in talking to her about her criticism.

  39. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    8
    DresdenFilesRocks

    Yeah, your first think claims McEwan encouraged people to “harass Sears because the cheap oven she bought broke after the warranty”. When I read the thread she linked, McEwen was telling people to do that because Sears wasn’t going to recall a faulty product and an employee who told her the truth is getting written up for doing so. That’s not harassment or abusing her power to get a discount. Sounds like she was getting screwed as a consumer and didn’t want someone to lose their job when they were just trying to serve her better. The commenter claims it’s abusive because “you walk on eggshells, everything is your fault and you should just be grateful that you have a relationship because no one else would want you.” but doesn’t go on further.

    Your second link contains such stories as:

    Like Daisy Clover, I misused a word in a comment (the word ‘bitch’ used to describe complaining) and the chastising I got after managed to trigger my PTSD and I got no sleep that night as I agonized over the angry response my well-meant comment received.

    Yeah, getting called out for slurs isn’t abusive and while I’m sorry she was triggered there’s no way to know if they crossed the line without reading the thread.

    Edited to add – Oh yeah now I remember the thing that first made me roll my eyes and take my clicks elsewhere – someone made a hostile remark about George Bush along the lines of that they’d like to punch him in the face, and was scolded for using violent imagery about someone, even George Bush. I thought that was a bit too precious. Little did I anticipate the CNs to come.

    Not long after that I was banned as a rape apologist after commenting on a post about Julian Assange, for suggesting that until or unless he went to trial he was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    During one thread about some politician or another, my co-writer made a comment, finishing up with “What a maroon!” — Bugs Bunny style.

    Oops.

    No, she didn’t get busted for using a variation of “moron”, amazingly. A mod armed with a dictionary at the ready for usage infractions trotted out that “maroon” is a racist term referring to runaway slaves. I like to think I had a decent sized vocabulary, but I had at the time never heard of that definition. The mod really dug deep to find the most obscure thing to go ballistic on.

    My co-writer apologized, but didn’t grovel. Clarified that she was only using it as a Bugs Bunny reference. Which he was then told that Bugs and the rest of the Looney Tunes weren’t exactly great things to be bringing into a safe space either with their content. It was then my co-writer and I had a great laugh and a mutual “forget this place” and never commented again.

    More how they were jumped on mercilessly by mods and being made to follow the rules. Cries over how she doesn’t allow dissent but no one else can make her accept that. Yet no links or anything to follow. Lots of people admitting they fell hard for her, like she’s the one true justice warrior but, again, don’t link to anything.

    So I went browsing there main page. Oh joy.
    There’s the jab at PZ with the “free thought blogs” about this post. Saying it’s not a hate site but from saying her abrupt vacation announcements are manipulative to gossiping about how her house is filthy and an abusive wife, I fail to see the difference.

  40. DresdenFilesRocks says

    Nerd of Redhead @38: Incorrect. Dissent in this case ranges from Jews and experts in the Holocaust correcting McEwan when she posted something inaccurate about why Mein Kampf was suddenly selling well (http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/72918315847/so-you-guys-pointed-this-out-and-its-a-doozy) to a disabled commenter objecting to McEwan using an ableist slur (http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/93211867284/i-was-a-regular-reader-commenter-and-occasional#disqus_thread). McEwan banned and deleted all concerned. This isn’t just hurtful to the commenters, its ableist and anti-semitic. And it should be called out.

    The dissent discussed at DtSKA is not ‘calling [people] names for supporting, say feminism.’

  41. Fang Yun Oerba says

    Dissent here means people calling us names for supporting, say feminism, and providing no evidence to back up their claims. So, why must you dissent? What are you really trying to accomplish?

    I’m really not sure why you apply a limit to “dissent” that is not applicable to the topic at hand. SV doesn’t allow any dissent. At all. If a commenter is accused by a mod of saying something that they didn’t say (because the mod read incorrectly or applied an intent that the commenter didn’t have) even clarifying your original meaning is considered “dissent” at SV because you are arguing with a mod, which is a bannable offense.

    At Shakesville, I could not simply say “no, maybe I was unclear but I didn’t mean to dehumanize you by wishing that you had help with your day to day tasks, I only meant to express sympathy.” That is considered dissent at SV.

    Why do you ahve such a problem with people discussing their disagreement with SV? Do you consider public disagreement harassment like Melissa has claimed?

  42. Artor says

    Yeah, I don’t follow McEwan, but I’ve read a few of her posts that others have linked to. I’m not impressed by her. You know how I handle that? I don’t follow McEwan. I don’t feel the need to go to another forum to rant about how the Evil Melissa is persecuting me. While people might have legitimate concerns over how she runs her site, it’s weird that they feel the need to set up a whole new site just to complain about her.

  43. Fang Yun Oerba says

    Ugh, sorry for the bad formatting and lack of proper quotes in my comment.

  44. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    Oh, I see. The post called “all in” that, erm, isn’t entitled “all in.”

    Oh look, aren’t you clever?
    Because nobody has ever heard of a blog that uses the same (or similar) titles for more than one post, amirite? And because referring to a blog post titled “All In Means All Of Us” as “The All In post” is just unheard of! So naturally a bit of easily corrected minor confusion over exactly which post is being discussed should be met with condescension and sarcasm. Awesome job

  45. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #8 DresdenFilesRocks

    Yeah, your first think claims McEwan encouraged people to “harass Sears because the cheap oven she bought broke after the warranty”. When I read the thread she linked, McEwen was telling people to do that because Sears wasn’t going to recall a faulty product and an employee who told her the truth is getting written up for doing so. That’s not harassment or abusing her power to get a discount. Sounds like she was getting screwed as a consumer and didn’t want someone to lose their job when they were just trying to serve her better. The commenter claims it’s abusive because “you walk on eggshells, everything is your fault and you should just be grateful that you have a relationship because no one else would want you.” but doesn’t go on further.

    Your second link contains such stories as:

    Like Daisy Clover, I misused a word in a comment (the word ‘bitch’ used to describe complaining) and the chastising I got after managed to trigger my PTSD and I got no sleep that night as I agonized over the angry response my well-meant comment received.

    Yeah, getting called out for slurs isn’t abusive and while I’m sorry she was triggered there’s no way to know if they crossed the line without reading the thread.

    Edited to add – Oh yeah now I remember the thing that first made me roll my eyes and take my clicks elsewhere – someone made a hostile remark about George Bush along the lines of that they’d like to punch him in the face, and was scolded for using violent imagery about someone, even George Bush. I thought that was a bit too precious. Little did I anticipate the CNs to come.

    Not long after that I was banned as a rape apologist after commenting on a post about Julian Assange, for suggesting that until or unless he went to trial he was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    During one thread about some politician or another, my co-writer made a comment, finishing up with “What a maroon!” — Bugs Bunny style.

    Oops.

    No, she didn’t get busted for using a variation of “moron”, amazingly. A mod armed with a dictionary at the ready for usage infractions trotted out that “maroon” is a racist term referring to runaway slaves. I like to think I had a decent sized vocabulary, but I had at the time never heard of that definition. The mod really dug deep to find the most obscure thing to go ballistic on.

    My co-writer apologized, but didn’t grovel. Clarified that she was only using it as a Bugs Bunny reference. Which he was then told that Bugs and the rest of the Looney Tunes weren’t exactly great things to be bringing into a safe space either with their content. It was then my co-writer and I had a great laugh and a mutual “forget this place” and never commented again.

    More how they were jumped on mercilessly by mods and being made to follow the rules. Cries over how she doesn’t allow dissent but no one else can make her accept that. Yet no links or anything to follow. Lots of people admitting they fell hard for her, like she’s the one true justice warrior but, again, don’t link to anything.

    So I went browsing there main page. Oh joy.
    There’s the jab at PZ with the “free thought blogs” about this post. Saying it’s not a hate site yet from saying her abrupt vacation announcements are manipulative to gossiping about how her house is filthy and an abusive wife, I fail to see the difference.

  46. says

    @42 artor

    Yeah, I don’t follow McEwan, but I’ve read a few of her posts that others have linked to. I’m not impressed by her. You know how I handle that? I don’t follow McEwan. I don’t feel the need to go to another forum to rant about how the Evil Melissa is persecuting me. While people might have legitimate concerns over how she runs her site, it’s weird that they feel the need to set up a whole new site just to complain about her.

    She calls her site a safe space for the marginalized and the abused, which lures in vulnerable people. How many times does this need to be said? I know that virtually everyone here would never say “Yeah I know psychics are full of shit, so my solution is to just not go! I don’t know why people need to put up websites complaining about it.” This is the same thing. Psychics prey on the vulnerable for money, and so does melissa mcewan. She designed her space to take in people who are marginalized or in terrible circumstances. There absolutely should be criticism of that. She can easily solve all this by admitting that its a place designed to be safe for herself exclusively.

    My toddler needs me so this is gonna be my last comment for quite awhile.

  47. Maureen Brian says

    stewartlaw @ 30,

    If you are here to make a case then make the whole case – the argument, the substantiation and, ready in your hand for when they are needed, the refutations of points which may well be raised against you. Like adults do.

    Not, please, the notion that something horrible is happening but you expect me to drop everything and go hunt for evidence which might or might not support your case – if you had been specific enough for me to know what I was looking for.

    I tell you what! Downstairs on my bookshelf there’s a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses which I’ve owned for maybe 40 years and never managed to read. You fly the Atlantic, read it and then download it into my brain. I mean why should I do more work than you’re prepared to do?

  48. stewartlaw says

    Yeah, I don’t follow McEwan, but I’ve read a few of her posts that others have linked to. I’m not impressed by her. You know how I handle that? I don’t follow McEwan. I don’t feel the need to go to another forum to rant about how the Evil Melissa is persecuting me. While people might have legitimate concerns over how she runs her site, it’s weird that they feel the need to set up a whole new site just to complain about her.

    Artor, and that’s fine if that’s how you feel but a lot of others feel that they wanted a space to share their experiences, which is also fine. They shouldn’t be accused of running a hate site as a result, and people should maybe do a little digging before automatically believing what Melissa McEwen says.

  49. says

    skeptifem

    So okay, you disagree with her and maybe even think she’s abusive. As someone upthread said or implied, no one has the right to grade other people’s abuse; if you feel you’ve been abused, then you feel you’ve been abused.

    I’m an abuse victim myself, so I do happen to believe that I have the right to say this: not all solutions or venues will fit all victims alike. Occasionally you’ll run into one you feel is doing you more harm than good, no matter the intentions of the organisers. Been there, and yeah, it hurts.

    None of the above excuses heaping abuse back on the venue which didn’t help you. Clearly, given the large commentariat there, it is helping some people, so your blanket claim that you’re doing this because it’s all-out harmful obviously does not wash.

  50. says

    I’m not a particularly nice person. And yet somehow, in several years of reading Shakesville and posting the occasional comment, I’ve never once been banned. I once had Melissa politely ask me not to make fun of Jeremy Iron’s name by calling him Germy because it was petty schoolyard bullying tactics. And you know what? She was right. So I stopped doing it. Egad, I know, she’s such an iron-fisted tyrant!

    This ‘environment of toxic behavior’ and all that shit you are claiming is on Shakesville? You are lying. At best, you are projecting. It’s a figment of your imagination. Your behavior is no different from that of Ellenbeth Wachs, who once got called on her shit and turned that into a hate-filled vendetta.

  51. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #8 DresdenFilesRocks

    Yeah, your first think claims McEwan encouraged people to “harass Sears because the cheap oven she bought broke after the warranty”. When I read the thread she linked, McEwen was telling people to do that because Sears wasn’t going to recall a faulty product and an employee who told her the truth is getting written up for doing so. That’s not harassment or abusing her power to get a discount. Sounds like she was getting screwed as a consumer and didn’t want someone to lose their job when they were just trying to serve her better. The commenter claims it’s abusive because “you walk on eggshells, everything is your fault and you should just be grateful that you have a relationship because no one else would want you.” but doesn’t go on further.

    Your second link contains such stories as:

    Like Daisy Clover, I misused a word in a comment (the word ‘bitch’ used to describe complaining) and the chastising I got after managed to trigger my PTSD and I got no sleep that night as I agonized over the angry response my well-meant comment received.

    Yeah, getting called out for slurs isn’t abusive and while I’m sorry she was triggered there’s no way to know if they crossed the line without reading the thread.

    Edited to add – Oh yeah now I remember the thing that first made me roll my eyes and take my clicks elsewhere – someone made a hostile remark about George Bush along the lines of that they’d like to punch him in the face, and was scolded for using violent imagery about someone, even George Bush. I thought that was a bit too precious. Little did I anticipate the CNs to come.

    Not long after that I was banned as a rape apologist after commenting on a post about Julian Assange, for suggesting that until or unless he went to trial he was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    During one thread about some politician or another, my co-writer made a comment, finishing up with “What a maroon!” — Bugs Bunny style.

    Oops.

    No, she didn’t get busted for using a variation of “moron”, amazingly. A mod armed with a dictionary at the ready for usage infractions trotted out that “maroon” is a racist term referring to runaway slaves. I like to think I had a decent sized vocabulary, but I had at the time never heard of that definition. The mod really dug deep to find the most obscure thing to go ballistic on.

    My co-writer apologized, but didn’t grovel. Clarified that she was only using it as a Bugs Bunny reference. Which he was then told that Bugs and the rest of the Looney Tunes weren’t exactly great things to be bringing into a safe space either with their content. It was then my co-writer and I had a great laugh and a mutual “forget this place” and never commented again.

    More how they were jumped on mercilessly by mods and being made to follow the rules. Cries over how she doesn’t allow dissent but no one else can make her accept that. Yet no links or anything to follow. Lots of people admitting they fell hard for her, like she’s the one true justice warrior but, again, don’t link to anything.

    So I went browsing there main page. Oh joy.
    There’s the jab at PZ with the “free thought blogs” about this post. Saying it’s not a hate site but from saying her abrupt vacation announcements are manipulative to gossiping about how her house is filthy and an abusive wife, I fail to see the difference. Saying she’s transphobic but using “ladies and gents” like it’s no big deal and all inclusive. Saying she’s ablist but calling her narcissist and waving off the fact it’s an armchair diagnosis as “so what?” Yeah, that place is clearly just peachy.

    (Note: I’ve been trying to post this since comment #8, no idea why Pharyngula is hanging up on now. Apologies if I miss somethings while trying to resolve this.)

  52. stewartlaw says

    If you are here to make a case then make the whole case – the argument, the substantiation and, ready in your hand for when they are needed, the refutations of points which may well be raised against you. Like adults do.

    There was no case made that Shakesville Kool Aid is a hate site, simply an assertion that was accepted without evidence.

    ,b>Not, please, the notion that something horrible is happening but you expect me to drop everything and go hunt for evidence which might or might not support your case – if you had been specific enough for me to know what I was looking for.,b/>

    Just to be clear, I don’t expect you to do anything, I am here to say what I have to say, I think you might be flattering yourself a little that I am concerned about your belief or non belief regarding it. Notwithstanding I have in fat provided links to the posts which have the things you were asking for anyway but you seem so caught up in your righteous indignation that you can’t seem to see it.

    I tell you what! Downstairs on my bookshelf there’s a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses which I’ve owned for maybe 40 years and never managed to read. You fly the Atlantic, read it and then download it into my brain. I mean why should I do more work than you’re prepared to do?

    I get the distinct impression you thought up that line ages ago, and have just been waiting for a chance to use it. Glad I could be of service, hope it was worth it.

  53. Dunc says

    Oh look, aren’t you clever?
    Because nobody has ever heard of a blog that uses the same (or similar) titles for more than one post, amirite? And because referring to a blog post titled “All In Means All Of Us” as “The All In post” is just unheard of!

    Well, you know, if you’re going to cite it specifically as an example of the thing that you’re talking about, and suggest that people read it themselves to see what you’re talking about, but don’t actually link to it, it does kinda help if you use a title that will enable people to actually find the thing that you’re trying to direct them to.

    So naturally a bit of easily corrected minor confusion over exactly which post is being discussed should be met with condescension and sarcasm. Awesome job.

    You must be new here. Welcome to Pharyngula.

  54. anteprepro says

    Is the problem that PZ called something a hate site? With a connotation similar to hate group? If he changed it to anti-fan wank community or something like that, would the swarm be appeased and go back to bleating about how WRONG Shakesville is?

  55. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #8 DresdenFilesRocks

    Yeah, your first think claims McEwan encouraged people to “harass Sears because the cheap oven she bought broke after the warranty”. When I read the thread she linked, McEwen was telling people to do that because Sears wasn’t going to recall a faulty product and an employee who told her the truth is getting written up for doing so. That’s not harassment or abusing her power to get a discount. Sounds like she was getting screwed as a consumer and didn’t want someone to lose their job when they were just trying to serve her better. The commenter claims it’s abusive because “you walk on eggshells, everything is your fault and you should just be grateful that you have a relationship because no one else would want you.” but doesn’t go on further.

    Your second link contains such stories as:

    Like Daisy Clover, I misused a word in a comment (the word ‘b**ch’ used to describe complaining) and the chastising I got after managed to trigger my PTSD and I got no sleep that night as I agonized over the angry response my well-meant comment received.

    Yeah, getting called out for slurs isn’t abusive and while I’m sorry she was triggered there’s no way to know if they crossed the line without reading the thread.

    Edited to add – Oh yeah now I remember the thing that first made me roll my eyes and take my clicks elsewhere – someone made a hostile remark about George Bush along the lines of that they’d like to punch him in the face, and was scolded for using violent imagery about someone, even George Bush. I thought that was a bit too precious. Little did I anticipate the CNs to come.

    Not long after that I was banned as a rape apologist after commenting on a post about Julian Assange, for suggesting that until or unless he went to trial he was presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    During one thread about some politician or another, my co-writer made a comment, finishing up with “What a maroon!” — Bugs Bunny style.

    Oops.

    No, she didn’t get busted for using a variation of “moron”, amazingly. A mod armed with a dictionary at the ready for usage infractions trotted out that “maroon” is a racist term referring to runaway slaves. I like to think I had a decent sized vocabulary, but I had at the time never heard of that definition. The mod really dug deep to find the most obscure thing to go ballistic on.

    My co-writer apologized, but didn’t grovel. Clarified that she was only using it as a Bugs Bunny reference. Which he was then told that Bugs and the rest of the Looney Tunes weren’t exactly great things to be bringing into a safe space either with their content. It was then my co-writer and I had a great laugh and a mutual “forget this place” and never commented again.

    More how they were jumped on mercilessly by mods and being made to follow the rules. Cries over how she doesn’t allow dissent but no one else can make her accept that. Yet no links or anything to follow. Lots of people admitting they fell hard for her, like she’s the one true justice warrior but, again, don’t link to anything.

    So I went browsing there main page. Oh joy.
    There’s the jab at PZ with the “free thought blogs” about this post. Saying it’s not a hate site but from saying her abrupt vacation announcements are manipulative to gossiping about how her house is filthy and an abusive wife, I fail to see the difference. Saying she’s transphobic but using “ladies and gents” like it’s no big deal and all inclusive. Saying she’s ablist but calling her narcissist and waving off the fact it’s an armchair diagnosis as “so what?” Yeah, that place is clearly just peachy.

    (Note: I’ve been trying to post this since comment #8, no idea why Pharyngula is hanging up on now. Apologies if I miss somethings while trying to resolve this. Edited a word with stars seeing if that’s tripping something. )

  56. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    #53 stewartlaw

    We blockquote here to show quotes, not bold which shouts instead. Let’s see if you’re willing to try common courtesy on another forum than your home turf.

  57. kage says

    I don’t understand why you all want McEwan to admit what you seem to need her to admit. I read SV. Anyone who reads there for a while will see she moderates heavily and wields a big ban hammer. I can even predict which comments will be moderated because I have read the commenting rules. I don’t comment there because I am uncomfortable with the rules. Problem solved.

    So you don’t like or agree with her definition of a safe space. Build a bridge for fucks sake.

    I did go and read the anti site, a sample of the first two pages include:

    -Why isn’t she blogging her usual stuff? Do you think this will happen all week?
    -She says she’s getting threatening emails, but no one here has ever admitted to that so she’s lying
    -I call her Liz because she hates it
    -She takes breaks from her blog when she wants.
    -She’s tweeting about us.
    -I stayed at her house and it was filthy
    -There’s new labels on her posts
    -Visual processing disorder is bullshit
    -Does she even pay taxes?
    -She doesn’t have to read here [NOTE: possibly the least self aware entry]
    -There’s also a post about this post ending with “Free Thought Blogs” Sure

    All sound and well thought out criticisms about her abuse of the vulnerable, clearly.

  58. stewartlaw says

    Withinthismind

    I’ve never been banned from Shakesville either, like loads of people over on SKA. The idea everyone there is a banned user who ran afoul of the mods is just another example of something untrue that’s being bandied about by Melissa McEwan.

  59. smhll says

    I’ve been reading Shakesville nearly daily for two years. What you are describing does not match what I’ve seen.

    The All In post that you linked does have an oddly worshipful tone. I’d like to point out that it’s written by one or more of the Shakesville moderators and it is slightly more than five years old.

    Here is the “all in” thread I mentioned, for anyone interested.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/06/posted-by-arkades-deeky-erica-c.html

  60. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    None of the above excuses heaping abuse back on the venue which didn’t help you.

    I completely agree. But you see, here’s the thing – SVKA doesn’t “heap abuse back on [Shakesville]” Contrary to the great wailing and gnashing of teeth that Melissa McEwan has glurged forth on her site and twitter, there is no doxxing going on there, there is no campaign of trolling, there is no secret coordination to send hate emails or to flood her site with spam comments.

    There’s lots of griping, and also a lot of mockery, but “harrassment”? “abuse”? Nonsense. That’s pure, unmitigated bullshit. Of course, anyone who is actually interested in knowing the truth can just go there and read the site themselves.

  61. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    So all these folks in the comments here are trying to argue that they’re not obsessed with Shakesville by showing just how obsessed with Shakesville they are.

  62. Fang Yun Oerba says

    None of the above excuses heaping abuse back on the venue which didn’t help you.

    Good thing SKA doesn’t do that, then.

  63. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    61
    stewartlaw

    Withinthismind

    I’ve never been banned from Shakesville either, like loads of people over on SKA. The idea everyone there is a banned user who ran afoul of the mods is just another example of something untrue that’s being bandied about by Melissa McEwan.

    So it’s a generalization about how banned people and people who don’t like her commenting rules come together to complain about the same thing, which you admit is true.

  64. stewartlaw says

    We blockquote here to show quotes, not bold which shouts instead. Let’s see if you’re willing to try common courtesy on another forum than your home turf.

    Shit, apologies to all, and thank you to Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall and JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness for letting me know.

  65. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    63
    Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr

    There’s lots of griping, and also a lot of mockery, but “harrassment”? “abuse”? Nonsense. That’s pure, unmitigated bullshit. Of course, anyone who is actually interested in knowing the truth can just go there and read the site themselves.

    Motherfucking have, yet the posts which talk about the posts on that site aren’t being commented on you brave defenders. Funny, huh?

  66. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    *snicker* Thanks JAL #56. About what I figured. UnknownEric #64 gets it right.

  67. Fang Yun Oerba says

    Motherfucking have, yet the posts which talk about the posts on that site aren’t being commented on you brave defenders. Funny, huh?

    What?

  68. stewartlaw says

    So it’s a generalization about how banned people and people who don’t like her commenting rules come together to complain about the same thing, which you admit is true.

    I’d say it’s more about how the goalposts are constantly moved regarding the commenting rules, and the abuse people were subjected to for falling afoul of those shifting goalposts.

  69. Anthony K says

    I’ve never been banned from Shakesville either, like loads of people over on SKA. The idea everyone there is a banned user who ran afoul of the mods is just another example of something untrue that’s being bandied about by Melissa McEwan.

    That’s not what Melissa McEwan wrote:

    The people who run and participate in this site are largely disgruntled former commenters, some of whom left on their own after I disappointed them in some way, and some of whom were banned after violating the commenting policy. There are, increasingly, participants at the site who have never even engaged at Shakesville, but just find some satisfaction in participating in a space dedicated to the explicit purpose of destroying this community.

    There is obvious disagreement over whether or not SKA is “a space dedicated to the explicit purpose of destroying [Shakesville]”, but unless she’s said elsewhere that everyone at SKA “is a banned user who ran afoul of the mods”, your claim doesn’t jibe with what’s been written.

  70. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    # 70
    None of you are responding to those of us that go to Kool Aid and talk about what they, the haters, are posting there.

  71. anteprepro says

    kage, you forgot to also mention the little bit where there is a justification of posting her husband’s employment information because of “oversight” (internet vigilantes apparently are very perturbed about Melissa asking for “child support money” or some shit).

    Also on the obsessive note: Four tumblr pages of material just since Friday. Just for the main posts and ignoring the anywhere from 20 to a couple hundred comments on each post. It’s Pharyngula levels of activity, except if Pharyngula was only posting shit about Vox Day’s website or something like that.

  72. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    73
    Anthony K

    There is obvious disagreement over whether or not SKA is “a space dedicated to the explicit purpose of destroying [Shakesville]“,

    Considering how they always call it a cult with McEwen as their leader and how money-grubbing abusive it is, it’d be unethical not to spread the word aiming for Shakesville’s destruction. If they really believe it and follow through that is.

  73. Fang Yun Oerba says

    re: #72

    Deeky’s face comment – as you see, there is disagreement about whether that comment is ok or not. regardless, it’s not actually threatening someone with violence. It’s just bad taste.

    Looking someone up on LinkedIn is not stalking. Looking more deeply into someone’s assertions that they are in need of money after they accept donations from truly needy people is not stalking.

    Flagging comments? Not trolling. If so it is the most mild form of trolling I have ever encountered. The comment is obviously just making fun of the way that Melissa says her work on the blog is so time consuming.

  74. anteprepro says

    I gotta love internet cranks who are always so wound up about whether or not someone asking for donations truly truly deserves it. Reminds me of Anita Sarkeesian and how all Teh Menz in the gaming community are ENRAGED about her, under the pretense that she isn’t using her Kickstarter money appropriately. Internet detectives and internet accountants, just as skilled as internet psychiatrists.

  75. Anthony K says


    Deeky’s face comment – as you see, there is disagreement about whether that comment is ok or not. regardless, it’s not actually threatening someone with violence. It’s just bad taste.

    Yeah, that’s what they say at the Slymepit.

    You should probably let the others speak on behalf of SKA, Fang Yun Oerba. You’re not doing anybody any favours.

  76. anteprepro says

    Also reminds me of raving right-wingers and their fervent opposition to welfare. They don’t want to accidentally give a dime to someone who might be Undeserving, after all!

  77. says

    nm, unexpectedly wanted to nap.

    Anyway, I want to address the “it just says not to shit on the carpet” thing. It was said to people who were contributing money and/or being as polite as they possibly could. Really. That post wasn’t for trolls. Shakers give and give and give and try so hard not to offend (some of the content notes are really eye roll worthy bc of that), but its still their fault that MM had to leave for awhile and they all need to do better. They give her about 10K annually to run a blog that is mostly recaps of tv shows and pet pictures, and if you don’t give you are saying you don’t value this “important feminist work” (yeah really).

    I think its also important to know that when you are in a community like that you have no one to talk to about what you feel is wrong with the space. It has been extremely validating for people to have a place to discuss what they did “wrong” and find out that it wasn’t them at all, and that they didn’t deserve to be treated badly for asking a question or phrasing something a specific way. Virtually everyone has talked about how they feel the are walking on eggshells when they comment there.

    Narcissistic people are very good at making things look a certain way (usually either to reflect on themselves kindly or to make them look like they are being victimized for no real reason). They tell long stories instead of just getting to the point, and that gives a mood to their story and lets other people fill in the details. Its a very compelling way to lie. If you ignore all the bullshit, look into it for a few minutes, and think about it…. it becomes obvious that she simply can’t account for her own shitty behavior. In that huge post there is not one mention of regret about the people she hurt who were in need of help or support at the time. Not even a “I regret that people came away from our blog with negative feelings”. Nothing. She actually dismisses the concerns of people like that in the beginning of the post. I’ve never seen her actually be sorry for anything, now that I think about it. Isn’t that curious?

    I’m gonna fuck off out of this thread. There is plenty of info out there for anyone who wants to know. They can google “shakesville cult” and see what people put up with when they needed support.

  78. stewartlaw says

    None of you are responding to those of us that go to Kool Aid and talk about what they, the haters, are posting there.

    A couple of things.

    Let’s presume your labelling of me as a “hater” is correct, and I am happy for that word to be used in as far as I understand it. I wouldn’t call myself that but I get why you would, and that’s OK. This doesn’t make SKA a hate site, which has an altogether different meaning to me, and is usually reserved for MRA sites, things like the Westboro baptist Church homophobia pages, extreme anti feminist spacess and race hate sites. Those are what I understand by the term Hate site, and SKA is simply not remotely like that.

    The reason I am not responding to what I see as your links to what you’re finding over there is because it’s a bit like quote mining, and not representative of the place as a whole over this last year.

    Did someone suggest jokingly slapping someone at Shakesville? yes but an awful lot more people chipped in to say they felt it was inappropriate, so why use the inappropriate joke as representative and not all the other comments saying they felt it wasn’t right?

    People are generally free to post what they want over at Shakesville Kool Aid, with other commenters agreeing or disagreeing with it.

    Did that one joke suggesting someone be slapped

  79. Anthony K says

    I’ve never seen her actually be sorry for anything, now that I think about it. Isn’t that curious?

    Now that you put it that way, you’re absolutely right! Iain’s place of work must obviously be researched and posted immediately!

  80. Anthony K says

    Did that one joke suggesting someone be slapped

    Fuck your fucking ‘it’s a joke’. Own it and don’t minimize that kind of shit, for fuck’s sake.

    A fucking joke. And you fucking people want to claim you’re in support of abused people?! Fuck off. Slapping jokes. Jesus Christ.

  81. Dunc says

    Narcissistic people are very good at making things look a certain way (usually either to reflect on themselves kindly or to make them look like they are being victimized for no real reason).

    Oh, really? You don’t say? [Raises one eyebrow]

    In that huge post there is not one mention of regret about the people she hurt who were in need of help or support at the time. Not even a “I regret that people came away from our blog with negative feelings”. Nothing. She actually dismisses the concerns of people like that in the beginning of the post.

    I’ve already pointed out that she didn’t write it, and you’ve already acknowledged that fact.

    Yep, I’m getting a really strong gaslighting vibe here…

  82. gmcard says

    skeptifem @ 39

    I read through those comments. Nothing unsettling there. Did see one person get justifiably called out for suggesting that Melissa leave her own site. Also saw lots of people thanks Melissa for the work she does. Those comments we’re rebuked, so clearly your statement that no compliment is ever enough was a lie. What else are you lying about?

  83. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    82
    stewartlaw

    This doesn’t make SKA a hate site, which has an altogether different meaning to me, and is usually reserved for MRA sites, things like the Westboro baptist Church homophobia pages, extreme anti feminist spacess and race hate sites. Those are what I understand by the term Hate site, and SKA is simply not remotely like that.

    Musta missed some comments up thread.

    The reason I am not responding to what I see as your links to what you’re finding over there is because it’s a bit like quote mining, and not representative of the place as a whole over this last year.

    I scrolled and scrolled that thread. Loaded more comments several times, that’s the shit I found. Nothing with be “representative” over the whole fucking year. That’s ridiculous. But that thread was specifically about how that place was abusive because someone asked for proof of it. That’s really shitty fucking proof.

    No fucking comment on how ridiculous the criticisms are of that place? Not to mention some of them false like that dig about her “Sears harassment campaign”.

    Lovely how you just shrug every criticism of that place off.

  84. anteprepro says

    skeptifem, when I googled shakesville cult I found additional anti-fan wank communities!

    lol shakesville
    Shakesfail
    STFU Shakesville

    Aside from those:

    Here’s one that basically boils down to : “You are sick and need therapy. A lot of it.”

    Though there is more legitimate discussion here and here .

    Not seeing the cult aspect as much as I am seeing that Melissa is overly harsh and hostile to commenters, and that she has some problematic attitudes when it comes to social justice issues outside of her immediate interests.

  85. says

    Fang Yun Oerba #77

    [I have a name. My name is Daz. Please use it. I am not a number.]

    Deeky’s face comment – as you see, there is disagreement about whether that comment is ok or not. regardless, it’s not actually threatening someone with violence. It’s just bad taste.

    I could not give two figs if there was disagreement. The slap comment was made by a mod. That casts a certain doubt on the integrity of your site. Tell me the mod got banned, or at least was fired from their position as a result of that comment, and I will happily retract that objection.

    Looking someone up on LinkedIn is not stalking. Looking more deeply into someone’s assertions that they are in need of money after they accept donations from truly needy people is not stalking.

    Uhuh. Of course that’s why you were doing it. Would you like to address the seemingly-related claim that

    A former contributor to this space, whom I once invited into my home, used my having trusted her with access to our personal lives to give verisimilitude to her tall tales of having seen in person our filthy home and my emotional abuse of Iain.

    Not, of course, that I’d imply that such tactics might lead me to think that interest in her and her husband’s offline lives might be less altruistically engendered than you claim. Oh, actually, I would imply that.

    Flagging comments? Not trolling. If so it is the most mild form of trolling I have ever encountered. The comment is obviously just making fun of the way that Melissa says her work on the blog is so time consuming.

    “Oh, but it was only joking.” Lame. No matter how mild, it speaks to a degree of obsession and shows little of the concerned attitude you’ve been trying to claim. I also somehow doubt that it’s a one-off—such jokes don’t spring from thin air. But then, I’m a cynical bastard.

  86. yazikus says

    I’ve been reading Shakesville for a long time (at least since 2007). I’ve yet to be banned. I’m also not disgruntled. Do I think before I comment there? Of course, I aim to be mindful of the commenting guidelines. I think the whole idea of a site dedicated to silencing Melissa (while purposefully misnaming her as Liz) is horrible.

    Apparently people don’t like being reprimanded when they break the rules. That seems to be the issue here, at heart.

    I really appreciate what Melissa has written, and continues to write, and I think her voice is an important one.

  87. stewartlaw says

    Fuck your fucking ‘it’s a joke’. Own it and don’t minimize that kind of shit, for fuck’s sake.

    You’re misrepresenting me. I said it was made as a joke, it was but I also said the majority of people who commented disagreed with it, and said so. why should I own something I don’t agree with?

    Why is that comment held up as representative, one inappropriate joke in a year of comments, one bad taste joke that was disagreed with by most commenters, why is that representative?

    The person who it was made about is known to have made sexualised remarks about children in Shakesville, should we hold those comments up as representative of that place?

  88. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    92
    stewartlaw

    Fuck your fucking ‘it’s a joke’. Own it and don’t minimize that kind of shit, for fuck’s sake.

    You’re misrepresenting me. I said it was made as a joke, it was but I also said the majority of people who commented disagreed with it, and said so. why should I own something I don’t agree with?

    Why is that comment held up as representative, one inappropriate joke in a year of comments, one bad taste joke that was disagreed with by most commenters, why is that representative?

    The person who it was made about is known to have made sexualised remarks about children in Shakesville, should we hold those comments up as representative of that place?

    1. Fuck your waffle-y representative bit. See my other comment.
    2. You have a mod who makes sexualized remarks about children at Shakesville like that’s fucking okay? WTF?

  89. stewartlaw says

    1. Fuck your waffle-y representative bit. See my other comment.

    Meh, I responded, take it or leave it.

    2. You have a mod who makes sexualized remarks about children at Shakesville like that’s fucking okay? WTF?

    My actual words were “The person who it was made about is known to have made sexualised remarks about children in Shakesville, should we hold those comments up as representative of that place?”

    I think it’s a fair question.

  90. stewartlaw says

    And you made them a mod?

    Actually, Melissa McEwen made them a mod, I don’t have that power.

  91. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    101
    stewartlaw

    1. Fuck your waffle-y representative bit. See my other comment.

    Meh, I responded, take it or leave it.

    THAT’S how you respond to criticism? And yet SKA wants to claim the high ground with SO much proof yet can’t link it in a thread specifically asked for it and pulls this stunt to get out of it? Man, fuck SKA and its commenters.

    2. You have a mod who makes sexualized remarks about children at Shakesville like that’s fucking okay? WTF?

    My actual words were “The person who it was made about is known to have made sexualised remarks about children in Shakesville, should we hold those comments up as representative of that place?”

    I think it’s a fair question.

    No. At Pharyngula there’s plenty of shit posted by trolls etc, but it’s unanimously disavowed so much we get called a hivemind. PZ doesn’t condone it and we certainly don’t have mods who partake is such activity. They certainly wouldn’t remain a fucking mod.

    But that’s the difference between them and us, we actually follow fucking through and hold everyone, including PZ who’s often criticized by regulars, to a standard of common decency. That’s why the “it’s just a joke” actually says something about that place. Respond better and it won’t matter.

  92. says

    I’ve never been banned from Shakesville either, like loads of people over on SKA. The idea everyone there is a banned user who ran afoul of the mods is just another example of something untrue that’s being bandied about by Melissa McEwan.

    Good point. Some of them are undoubtedly the same old jackass trolls who jump onto all these kinds of hate sites for no reason other than to be slymy jerks.

  93. says

    I did check out the Shakesville Kool Aid. As someone with an interest in feminism, I’d be interested in different points of view on it.

    There’s nothing about feminism there, or much of anything.

    The entirety of the content I saw on the first page was obsessive fussing over Melissa McEwan. You know she’s not the entirety of feminism; she’s one small piece of a bigger picture; if you don’t think she’s providing a safe place for the victimized, why aren’t you providing one? The only people who would enjoy reading that site are people looking for affirmations for their dislike of Melissa McEwan, which is a rather limited and uninteresting audience.

    But I can appreciate that it seems to engage that tiny audience very intensely.

  94. stewartlaw says

    You’re defending the site on which this person has been given tacit approval by way of having been given some authority. Own it or fuck off.

    I’m talking about the guy who made sexualised comments over on Shakesville, I think there may be some crossed wires here.

    By the way, so many of you angry little rabbits telling me to fuck off, fuck this, fuck that. Calm down ffs it’s only a conversation on the internet.

  95. says

    By the way, so many of you angry little rabbits telling me to fuck off, fuck this, fuck that. Calm down ffs it’s only a conversation on the internet.

    Wow, you are just showing your true colors all over the place, aren’t you?

  96. happyrabo says

    If I were designing the commenting system for a blog, I’d set it up so that banned users can still post, but only they get to see their own posts – they are completely invisible to everyone else commenting. Sort of an enforced “don’t feed the trolls” but without having to actually read the trolls. Some of them might figure out that their other posts aren’t visible from sockpuppet accounts, but many would simply go away frustrated at being seemingly ignored utterly, instead of ranting about being banned.

  97. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    107
    stewartlaw

    I’m talking about the guy who made sexualised comments over on Shakesville, I think there may be some crossed wires here.

    Then clarify it because that sentence does nothing to do so.

    By the way, so many of you angry little rabbits telling me to fuck off, fuck this, fuck that. Calm down ffs it’s only a conversation on the internet.

    Welcome to Pharyngula. Read the commenting rules on the sidebar. It’s a rude blog. Don’t like it, fuck off. Tone trolling will get you nowhere fast.

    And why this assumption that we’re so angry? Honestly, I’m enjoying my morning. I just don’t bother with classist civility and call it how I see it.

  98. Anthony K says

    Calm down ffs it’s only a conversation on the internet.

    If you all did that, then SKA wouldn’t exist.

  99. says

    I’m talking about the guy who made sexualised comments over on Shakesville, I think there may be some crossed wires here.

    Yep and apparently this is the same guy who made the “joke” about slapping someone.

    By the way, so many of you angry little rabbits telling me to fuck off, fuck this, fuck that. Calm down ffs it’s only a conversation on the internet.

    This is a rude blog. Expect rough handling.
    [From the rules]

    The necklace’ll break if you keep on clutching them pearls like that.

  100. A Hermit says

    I guess my question for the SKA folks is; if you feel that site doesn’t adequately address the needs of the people complaining about it why don’t you spend the time and energy your using to tear it down on building your own safe space? If Melissa McEwan is doing it wrong, in your opinion, why don’t you put some effort into doing it right?

  101. stewartlaw says

    THAT’S how you respond to criticism? And yet SKA wants to claim the high ground with SO much proof yet can’t link it in a thread specifically asked for it and pulls this stunt to get out of it? Man, fuck SKA and its commenters.

    Like I said, I already responded, take it or leave it.

    No. At Pharyngula there’s plenty of shit posted by trolls etc, but it’s unanimously disavowed so much we get called a hivemind. PZ doesn’t condone it and we certainly don’t have mods who partake is such activity. They certainly wouldn’t remain a fucking mod.

    Well bully for you, Shakesville Kool Aid is a tumbler where someone made an inappropriate joke, people said so and that was that, what bastids we are for not crucifying them. Ho hum.

    But that’s the difference between them and us, we actually follow fucking through and hold everyone, including PZ who’s often criticized by regulars, to a standard of common decency. That’s why the “it’s just a joke” actually says something about that place. Respond better and it won’t matter.

    Oh tish and pish, with your “them and us” self righteous puffery.

  102. DresdenFilesRocks says

    @99: No. Shakesville has a mod who made sexualized remarks about children. Not DtSKA.

    Actually, I think this incident shows one major difference between the two sites. When DtSKA (the administrator) made an inappropriate and offensive post about Deeky, they were called out about it. People had the opportunity to register their views that this was offensive and advocate for change (and, indeed, such content is no longer permitted on the site DtSKA). Whereas, when McEwan jokes about getting an ‘acid facial’, there’s no objection, because none is permitted. (See this feministe thread: http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2014/01/09/spillover-12/ for more info. Note that posters were originally skeptical that it was really McEwan, but verified that it was another of her blogs later in the comment thread).

    The people at DtSKA do not claim to be perfect. But when they screw up, the commenters can hold them accountable and can thereby have the site be improved. McEwan also isn’t perfect… but when she screws up, she allows nobody to correct her, so her offensive material not only sticks around unchallenged, but she keeps making more of it. Hence the posts on DtSKA about how she deletes comments that call out her ableism (http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/93211867284/i-was-a-regular-reader-commenter-and-occasional#disqus_thread), that object to her recommending blatantly racist materials (http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/93213924854/what-the-crap#tumblr_notes), or that call her out for appropriating various cultures (she was actually called out for this on multiple sites, including feministe at http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/11/28/spillover-11/ when they discussed her calling herself ‘an honorary queer’, but couldn’t be challenged on it at Shakesville.)

    And this makes Shakesville blatantly unsafe. It’s one thing for a site to accidentally post something offensive, take criticism, and try to do better. But at Shakesville, McEwan refuses to even consider that something she’s done is offensive, and so she keeps on doing it. Her site has repeated problems with ableism, racism, anti-semitism, and so forth, none of which she can be bothered to correct. Which makes it all the more harmful when she lures in vulnerable people, promises them safety, and then subjects them to that.

  103. karmacat says

    It is a little strange to have a website whose purpose is to complain about another website. I also don’t see how she is “luring” people there. If you find her comment hurtful, you can leave and have other websites to go to. She hasn’t set up a shelter or physical place where she lures people to and then people can’t leave. If you trying to get approval from her or still feel hurt by a comment long after it was made, then it is time to look what you are really looking for. There are times that I want people to think my comment was brilliant and have occasionally felt hurt by criticism. But I know those feelings come from my own insecurities. So to the people complaining about Shakesville, what other websites do you like? So instead of tearing down one website, how about promoting other websites?

  104. Fang Yun Oerba says


    The person who it was made about is known to have made sexualised remarks about children in Shakesville

    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    And you made them a mod?

    No, they are a mod at Shakesville. It is Deeky who is said to have made sexualised remarks about children. That is one reason why some people are a little forgiving about someone finding him slappable.

    I don’t know how you got the ideat that Stewart was referring to someone who is a mod at SKA. Read the comments again.

  105. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    114
    stewartlaw

    Well bully for you, Shakesville Kool Aid is a tumbler where someone made an inappropriate joke, people said so and that was that, what bastids we are for not crucifying them. Ho hum.

    Not crucify (what is with this persecution complex?), punishing them. If they don’t see it was wrong, they could do it again. And that’s your fucking mod. Congrats on that. Such a better standard.

  106. stewartlaw says

    Yep and apparently this is the same guy who made the “joke” about slapping someone.

    Nope, you have misread it.

    The supposed victim of the slapping comment is the same mod at shakesville who made the sexualised remarks about a child.

    My point was it is no more fair to hold up the inappropriate joke about slapping him as representative of SKA than it would be to hold up his inappropriate comment about kids as representative of shakesville.

    Especially considering the slapping comment was taken to task in SKA, but his sexualised comment about kids was not taken to task in shakesville.

    So, for those defenders of Shakesville, do you own the sexualised comment about kids?

  107. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    117
    Fang Yun Oerba

    No, they are a mod at Shakesville. It is Deeky who is said to have made sexualised remarks about children. That is one reason why some people are a little forgiving about someone finding him slappable.

    I don’t know how you got the ideat that Stewart was referring to someone who is a mod at SKA. Read the comments again.

    Uh, both of us read it that way because it wasn’t clear. If several people get the same reading, work on better writing instead of blaming us.

    And no, that still doesn’t make them slappable.

  108. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    This, by a fucking mod, no less, is not abusive?

    Very good, that’s correct – it’s not abusive. Inappropriate? Perhaps, and it was immediately called out as such in that very same thread. But abusive? No. No more abusive than this comment here on Pharyngula.

    But again, those who wish to judge for themselves should go and read the actual discussion rather than an out of context, cherry-picked screenshot. Anyone who could actually read that entire discussion and end up concluding “OMG They’re abusing Deeky and threatening him with violence” is either willfully ignorant or a shameless liar.

    This may not be technically doxing. It looks a helluva lot like stalking to me, though.

    It’s not doxxing at all, technically or otherwise. As for the rest, holy shit – looking up someone on LinkedIn and reading the information they themselves have made publicly available is now “stalking”? What a strange and scary place the internet must be for you.

    This would appear to be very much a campaign of trolling.

    Trolling? No. You really do seem to be having trouble with basic definitions here.

    I will say, though, that it certainly does seem innapropriate, as well as immature. I wonder what the rest of the conversation was in response to that? I wonder if that one single screenshot of someone suggesting a group effort to (GASP!) flag comments is representative of a site with thousands of comments on hundreds of posts? I wonder if anyone actually went and did it? And, if so, how many people? And for how many comments? And for how long? Perhaps it was a tongue in cheek suggestion in response to a moderator complaining about how terribly terribly time consuming her job is?

    Oh, if only there were a way to answer these questions! But alas, all we have as evidence is a small handful of out of context, cherry-picked screenshots. I see all of the discussions with creationists and bible bangers has taught you well in the ways of quote mining.

    So yeah, you really nailed them to the wall. you found a commenter from nine months ago suggesting an inappropriate, annoying, immature campaign of (GASP) flagging comments. A suggestion that may or may not have been followed up on by an unknown number of other commenters for an unknown length of time with an end result of some unknown number of comments being “flagged”, which flagging can be completely ignored by site moderators.

    They sure are trolling the hell out of Shakeseville, huh? Get my fainting counch.

  109. kage says

    Melissa McEwan is doing it wrong, in your opinion, why don’t you put some effort into doing it right?

    It’s a bit MRAish, isn’t it?
    “Feminists aren’t doing what is important to me. I can’t possibly do that work myself. The best response to that is to whine about it.”

  110. stewartlaw says

    Not crucify (what is with this persecution complex?)

    I used crucify as a synonym for punishment with exaggeration, for emphasis but hey, you knew this already.

    punishing them. If they don’t see it was wrong, they could do it again. And that’s your fucking mod. Congrats on that. Such a better standard

    Wow, there’s a mod who might make an inappropriate comment at some time in the future, oh my god, what have we done, the scales have fallen from my eyes, how could I have not seen this before…

    wait, what are we even talking about again?

  111. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    119
    stewartlaw

    Especially considering the slapping comment was taken to task in SKA, but his sexualised comment about kids was not taken to task in shakesville.

    So, for those defenders of Shakesville, do you own the sexualised comment about kids?

    Taking to task doesn’t equal defending them.

    And no, that (if the mod really did sexualize children, notice no links) is a fair criticism of Shakesville. I’m no reader over there and am not saying Shakesville is beyond/above/without criticisms, but that doesn’t make SKA right.

    Why no acknowledging how SKA runs with my specific criticisms in #56? Oh, right. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept and I don’t accept SKA. Funny how I didn’t see anyone point out how exclusive the ladies and gents type comments and how everyone keeps armchair diagnosing her. Because she’s fair game, apparently.

  112. Anthony K says

    wait, what are we even talking about again?

    You were talking about removing “Shakesville Kool Aid” because it occurred to you to calm down ffs Shakesville is only a conversation on the internet.

  113. DresdenFilesRocks says

    @106:

    Many people have been hurt by McEwan and her mods. There is therefore value in a community that allows such people to connect, bond, and share their experiences. There is also value when that community discusses McEwan’s offensive behavior, as it helps those who know they were hurt but can’t articulate why (due to being gaslit or just not being familiar with abuse tropes) to understand exactly how it was that McEwan hurt them, and how it was not their fault.

    Also, ‘go start your own’ is a bad response to the argument that something is offensive/problematic/etc. Not everyone has the resources to start their own blog or community. They shouldn’t need to.

    @103: Should the Shakesville community ‘own it’ for having an administrator who jokes about acid facials, promotes racist material without allowing for people to flag it as such, appropriates Jewish and queer identities, and so forth?

    DtSKA (the admin) made a mistake with the Deeky post, was called out on it by the community, and changed. McEwan has made mistakes, does not allow herself to be called out, and has not changed but still posts offensive material on her website. That is one reason why DtSKA is so important. Offensive material should be called out, even if it’s coming from an ostensibly progressive website.

  114. says

    Okay, the sexualised remarks person was the one the slap comment was made about rather than by. I misread. My mistake.

    The person who made a “joke” about slapping someone was a SAK mod though. Was this person fired because of that statement, or did they retract and apologise? If neither, why are they still in authority?

    And I still say, if you have genuine concerns about what you saw as abusive behaviour at Shakesville, then don’t read Shakesville. I know first-hand that a safe space for one person (and many more than one appear to find it so) is not a safe place for all. We all have different needs, and solutions for some are not going to be solutions for all.

    This “patently unsafe for all” rubbish is clearly that: rubbish. It’s quite fucking obviously safe for the quite large regular comentariat there, or they wouldn’t be there.

  115. stewartlaw says

    You were talking about removing “Shakesville Kool Aid” because it occurred to you to calm down ffs Shakesville is only a conversation on the internet.

    But I like ShakesvilleKoolAid, there’s lovely people over there and I like talking with them. At the end of the day, all of this is only a conversation on the internet but this entire thread exists because someone decided SKA was more than just a conversation on the internet. Why not take your advice to PZ, or Melissa McEwen?

  116. DresdenFilesRocks says

    @122: By that logic, the correct response to observing an abusive relationship is not to try and support the person that is being abused, or to stop the abuse, but simply to cultivate non-abusive relationships of your own.

    That is not enough.

  117. anbheal says

    I used to be a regular at Shakesville. It was one of the top handful of feminist sites on the ‘Net. At a certain point its focus seemed to shift hard toward weight issues and kitty-cats, and I lost interest. And sure, I was aware of its fairly rigid commenting policies, and I even felt that the ban-hammer was pulled out a bit too quickly now and then. So what.

    The one thing I never noticed, not once, not ever, was Melissa MacEwan “luring” unsuspecting victims into her Spider’s Web of spite and malice. The meme repeated over and over again in the comments above is that SKV is some sort of survivors’ support group. This is known as “spin”. It’s not very convincing spin. If posting trigger warnings and asking commenters to refrain from certain practices and word choices made someone feel it was a safe space, and then they somehow provoked a ban, rightly wrongly or in-between-ly, well golly gumbucks, where would they go for an even safer space? To a site whose sole raison d’etre is to bash the safe space that wasn’t safe enough for their obnoxious comments?

    I’ve never received one single spam mail saying “Visit Shakesville, You Victim, And We’ll Coddle You And Make Your Life Whole Again”. Shakesville does not “lure” anybody. Either you read it or you don’t. And if you’ve been banned, you can still read it.

  118. Anthony K says

    @103: Should the Shakesville community ‘own it’ for having an administrator who jokes about acid facials, promotes racist material without allowing for people to flag it as such, appropriates Jewish and queer identities, and so forth?

    Yes, and so should a lot of places. Other people doing bad or inappropriate shit is not your cover. Tu quoque is a deflection. Or are you honestly arguing in good faith that Shakesville deserves whatever you decide to do?

    The issue with the ‘own it’ is not that the community did not agree the ‘slapping’ comment was inappropriate (obviously they did, and good on them) but that stewartlaw kept invoking the ‘it’s just a joke’ defense.

  119. qwints says

    The gas lighting in this thread is ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m seeing it on this site.

    You claim abuse, you provide evidence for said abuse, so we can determine if it is real abuse or people delusionally thinking it is abuse. Or it didn’t happen

    This ‘environment of toxic behavior’ and all that shit you are claiming is on Shakesville? You are lying. At best, you are projecting. It’s a figment of your imagination.

  120. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    130
    DresdenFilesRocks

    @122: By that logic, the correct response to observing an abusive relationship is not to try and support the person that is being abused, or to stop the abuse, but simply to cultivate non-abusive relationships of your own.

    That is not enough.

    Again, all this talk of an abusive relationship. Been there, done that and been triggered. If it’s a place online that you can leave and not go back to, it’s on you to stay away. You’re not being held there like in an abusive relationship and I resent this equating.

    No place is safe for everyone. Pharyngula is often described as a safe place but that doesn’t mean it’s a place for everyone. I’ve been triggered here. I go away when that happens and come back later on a different topic when I’m not dealing with it. Because my triggers are mine to own .

    But at least someone owns from SKA owns the “wants to end Shakesville” since no one else here as copped to it and instead denies it because that would make it a hate site.

  121. Anthony K says

    You were talking about removing “Shakesville Kool Aid” because it occurred to you to calm down ffs Shakesville is only a conversation on the internet.

    But I like ShakesvilleKoolAid, there’s lovely people over there and I like talking with them. At the end of the day, all of this is only a conversation on the internet but this entire thread exists because someone decided SKA was more than just a conversation on the internet. Why not take your advice to PZ, or Melissa McEwen?

    It’s not my advice, it’s yours. I just noted that you yourself don’t follow it.

  122. stewartlaw says

    OK Pharyngulistas, I think I’ve spent enough time on this argument for the day, so am popping off. Thank you everyone for keeping it reasonably civil, and apologies to anyone I have inadvertently offended.

    Peace out fuckers!

  123. Anthony K says

    The gas lighting in this thread is ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m seeing it on this site.

    You claim abuse, you provide evidence for said abuse, so we can determine if it is real abuse or people delusionally thinking it is abuse. Or it didn’t happen

    This ‘environment of toxic behavior’ and all that shit you are claiming is on Shakesville? You are lying. At best, you are projecting. It’s a figment of your imagination.

    Seconding qwints. Knock that fucking shit off.

  124. DresdenFilesRocks says

    @132:

    Other people doing bad things is not cover, true. But you seem to be using a double standard. You said that the DtSKA mod who posted the Deeky post should step down, but you’ve made no such argument towards the Shakesville mods and admins who have posted various offensive things themselves. That’s what I was pointing out.

    In any event, while other people doing bad things is not cover, other people doing bad things deserve to be called out. We call each other out on DtSKA. Nobody can call McEwan out on Shakesville. That is one reason that DtSKA is important, because it is a place where people can oppose McEwan when she says or does offensive things. And it’s important to call out people when they say and do offensive things, because otherwise, more people think of those things as acceptable.

    McEwan and co. do not deserve ‘whatever’ DtSKA people might decide to do. They wouldn’t deserve it if people from DtSKA sent them threatening messages, or called them up to rant at them, or tried to get their loved ones fired from their jobs, or dozens of other things. But there’s no evidence that anyone from DtSKA has done this. And McEwan and co. do deserve what the DtSKA people have actually done, which is to collect the offensive things they have said and call them out for saying them.

  125. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    133
    qwints

    The gas lighting in this thread is ridiculous. I can’t believe I’m seeing it on this site.

    You claim abuse, you provide evidence for said abuse, so we can determine if it is real abuse or people delusionally thinking it is abuse. Or it didn’t happen

    This ‘environment of toxic behavior’ and all that shit you are claiming is on Shakesville? You are lying. At best, you are projecting. It’s a figment of your imagination.

    Agreed.

    I think this is being said because people keep saying they were mercilessly mobs by mods yet there’s no quotes. I’m not going to deny they were triggered or felt abused. But I’m not going to just roll over and accept that it’s unsafe and purposefully triggering to survivors to feed McEwen’s narcissism and grow her cult.

    So, a reminder of splash damage from such comments is warranted and duly noted.

  126. DresdenFilesRocks says

    @134: Absurd. There are plenty of abusive relationships where one party might be able to leave in a physical or financial sense, but yet does not leave because of emotional or other ties. The mere fact that people haven’t left does not prove that Shakesville is not abusive, and numerous people have posted on DtSKA that, now that they finally did leave, they recognize that they felt abused at Shakesville for quite some time before going.

  127. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    139 (and every other comment by) DresdenFilesRocks

    FFS, you still aren’t using nyms and quoting. It’s common courtesy here. Your buddy followed and it’s been demonstrated how to do it. This is not SKA, act accordingly.

  128. Anthony K says

    @139: DresdenFilesRocks

    Other people doing bad things is not cover, true. But you seem to be using a double standard. You said that the DtSKA mod who posted the Deeky post should step down, but you’ve made no such argument towards the Shakesville mods and admins who have posted various offensive things themselves. That’s what I was pointing out.

    You have mistaken me for some other commenter. I never asked that the mod should step down. I simply called stewartlaw out for making the “It was only a joke” defense. I tried to be pretty clear about that, but I may not have been.

    (I will try harder to use comment numbers and the associated commenter’s nym when responding, so that mistakes like this happen less.)

  129. Anthony K says

    @143 JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I think this is being said because people keep saying they were mercilessly mobs by mods yet there’s no quotes. I’m not going to deny they were triggered or felt abused. But I’m not going to just roll over and accept that it’s unsafe and purposefully triggering to survivors to feed McEwen’s narcissism and grow her cult.

    I agree with this, but let’s avoid excuse-making for either NoR or WithinThisMind. I trust WTM to realise why this is appropriate, review their own motivations, and try to do better in the future.

  130. Anthony K says

    @143 JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    Also,

    Your buddy followed and it’s been demonstrated how to do it.

    …rubs me the wrong way. Not everyone at Pharyngula is my buddy, and I’d be pretty pissed, with good reason, if someone used that terminology with me.

  131. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    142
    DresdenFilesRocks

    @134: Absurd. There are plenty of abusive relationships where one party might be able to leave in a physical or financial sense, but yet does not leave because of emotional or other ties.

    No fucking shit. By equating that and a blog owner who people felt bonded with after reading her posts and no other ties is ridiculous.

    The mere fact that people haven’t left does not prove that Shakesville is not abusive, and numerous people have posted on DtSKA that, now that they finally did leave, they recognize that they felt abused at Shakesville for quite some time before going.

    Then I’m glad they got out and am not arguing with their experience. But a strict commenting policy, mods, and not allowing dissent does not make a abusive relationship.

  132. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    145
    Anthony K

    @143 JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness

    I think this is being said because people keep saying they were mercilessly mobs by mods yet there’s no quotes. I’m not going to deny they were triggered or felt abused. But I’m not going to just roll over and accept that it’s unsafe and purposefully triggering to survivors to feed McEwen’s narcissism and grow her cult.

    I agree with this, but let’s avoid excuse-making for either NoR or WithinThisMind. I trust WTM to realise why this is appropriate, review their own motivations, and try to do better in the future.

    My apologies. I wasn’t trying to excuse them but rather work out for myself the difference. Since my immediate thought was “Have I [inadvertently] done that with my calls for quotes?” hence my “But I’m…” I should’ve been more clear.

  133. says

    If the SVKA people are trying to dispel the thematic link between themselves and the SlymePit crowd, they’d do well to avoid making the same arguments. “It’s about more than just criticizing one site!” “It’s a community of people who feel they’ve been wronged!” “How do you know any of the harassment comes from this group?” “Just read this post, isn’t it clearly cultlike?”

    If SV is fabricating haters who just happen to behave exactly like the haters we see in this wing of the community, y’all are doing a great job of selling the scam.

  134. consciousness razor says

    JAL:

    But I’m not going to just roll over and accept that it’s unsafe and purposefully triggering to survivors to feed McEwen’s narcissism and grow her cult.

    It doesn’t need to be purposeful. And “narcissicm” and “cults” (if that’s the case) don’t need to be self-aware and purposeful either. There doesn’t need to be some evil genius plotting everything behind the scenes. So that’s not what you’d need to accept, in order to get somewhere constructive in this dispute.

    Anthony K:

    You have mistaken me for some other commenter. I never asked that the mod should step down. I simply called stewartlaw out for making the “It was only a joke” defense. I tried to be pretty clear about that, but I may not have been.

    You’ve made plenty of violent “jokes” in the past, right here, as have many other Pharyngula commenters. About a thousand examples concerning “porcupines” also come to mind, which strike me as being just as worthy of your horror and contempt as a comment about “slapping.” (However, JAL, these are not “representative,” and saying so, while also expressing how problematic they are, is not “waffling.”) Does the fact that you don’t use the “it was only a joke” defense make it any better? It’s clear enough which argument you’re making here — but what is the point of arguing it? Just feeling argumentative today? Assuming you’re not going to make any more excuses for your past behavior, then what exactly do you expect here from the SKA people?

  135. says

    The gas lighting in this thread is ridiculous.

    There is a major difference between gas lighting and pointing out someone is blatantly lying. I’m pointing out someone is blatantly lying, which is obvious to anyone who has actually spent time over at either Shakesville or the hate sites dedicated to it.

    Yes, there is gaslighting going on, but it’s not by the folks defending Shakesville.

    Nobody can call McEwan out on Shakesville.

    I did a while back when she misinterpreted a remark of mine. Funny how I can still post there.

    Funnily enough, in her misinterpretation she was calling me out on being ableist.

    let’s avoid excuse-making for either NoR or WithinThisMind.

    Agreed. My actions have no need of excuses. As I said, these detractors are no different from folks all the other Slymepit types who got called out on their shit and now are dedicated to making the ones who called them out into the bad guys. I’ve no doubt that some of them may actually believe their own spin, and that shows in how many of them are projecting narcissistic behavior onto Melissa. But that doesn’t make them right, or their complaints anything approaching legitimate or even rational.

    You need only look at how they are behaving now to see why their so-called ‘criticism’ should not be taken at face value. They are at a site, dedicated to being mean and harassing others, and whining about how they got banned unfairly. Sorry, but that’s like a kid with chocolate all over his face whining about how he shouldn’t be accused of pilfering the candy.

  136. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    I think this is being said because people keep saying they were mercilessly mobs by mods yet there’s no quotes.

    This is due, in large part, to the fact that posts on Shakesville are frequently deleted completely, or edited after by the moderators without any indication that such editing took place (though, to be fair, it is at least sometimes crystal clear that they edited someone else’s post)

    There’s plenty of cattiness, immature mockery, and whining about minor nonsense at SVKA, especially when it’s a slow day at the site that is the object of their attention, but go back to the older posts, read some of the more substantive criticism (and yes, there’s plenty of that there, as well, if you’re willing to take the time to look for it), read the entire context of those crappy little screenshots, decide for yourselves.

    Whether you agree with the proposition that Shakeseville is toxic or not, anyone who would actually take the time to give the site a fair read will soon enough see that the woeful cries of “This isn’t criticism, THIS IS ABUSE” are just overblown hyperbolic self-martyrdom

  137. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    150
    consciousness razor

    JAL:

    But I’m not going to just roll over and accept that it’s unsafe and purposefully triggering to survivors to feed McEwen’s narcissism and grow her cult.

    It doesn’t need to be purposeful. And “narcissicm” and “cults” (if that’s the case) don’t need to be self-aware and purposeful either. There doesn’t need to be some evil genius plotting everything behind the scenes. So that’s not what you’d need to accept, in order to get somewhere constructive in this dispute.

    I used purposefully because that’s part of what they claim.

    (However, JAL, these are not “representative,” and saying so, while also expressing how problematic they are, is not “waffling.”)

    Excuse me for not using the term waffling and expressing myself correctly. They said they had proof, I found none and my criticisms were dismissed as if it’s reasonable I could read a year long blog in this time span. If they have any proof, it’s clearly buried and they care not to make it clear nor address problems in their own community. Which, as I’ve pointed out, is beyond a mod joking about slapping someone.

  138. Fang Yun Oerba says

    I think this is being said because people keep saying they were mercilessly mobs by mods yet there’s no quotes. I’m not going to deny they were triggered or felt abused. But I’m not going to just roll over and accept that it’s unsafe and purposefully triggering to survivors to feed McEwen’s narcissism and grow her cult.

    There are links available on SKA but otherwise I think most of us don’t keep a spreadsheet of links. And regardless, I at least am not interested right now in whether or not anyone believes the allegations. I’m only here to argue against PZ’s assertion that SKA is a worthless hate site and other assertions that we are as bad as MRA’s and that we are harassing and abusing people.

    I have found great value in discussing experiences at Shakesville with other people. I left the site way back in 2008 after the Great Expectations thread (which led to the infamous “All In” post and is when many people felt Shakesville turned from a lively place with debate within reasonable limits to a more and more restrictive place where only the most inside of insiders could participate due to the extensive rules and made up language). I and others had suddenly been lumped in with trolls and other haters, and accused of hurting Melissa just because we didn’t feel the same way she did about the presidential election. We were confused and it helped to talk to each other.

    SKA is a public version of that. Shakesville doesn’t have to be the worst of the worst for it to be ok for other people to talk about it and criticize it in public. The idea that criticism should be kept to ourselves is absurd, and I can’t believe it’s seriously being suggested here.

    Do we get carried away sometimes? Probably. We also call each other out. I appreciate the difficulty of moderating a site with a diverse group of people, and the moderation has adapted and evolved as the site grows. it’s fairly young and it’s not fair to hold it up to the same standard of a very well-established blog that has already addressed moderating challenges.

  139. qwints says

    WithinThisMind

    There is a major difference between gas lighting and pointing out someone is blatantly lying. I’m pointing out someone is blatantly lying, which is obvious to anyone who has actually spent time over at either Shakesville or the hate sites dedicated to it.

    Saying that someone’s feeling or perceptions of reality is a result of mental illness is gas lighting. Don’t do it. Specifically the phrases “figment of your imagination” and “delusionally thinking” used in that context are completely unacceptable. I don’t have an issue with debating the rightness of a specific policy or pointing out hypocrisy. I have a huge issue with you telling someone their perception of being abused is a “figment of their imagination.”

  140. says

    I just can’t seem to stick my flounce. Sorry.

    Anyway, everyone saying “just go somewhere else and don’t talk about it” is saying that none of us should look out for the next person this happens to. It happens over and over and over again. Do those people matter less than melissa mcewan?

    I also find these responses really hypocritical because of how people on here respond to bullying. Its the equivalent of being told “oh just ignore it”. I refuse. There is no excuse for going on a tirade against someone for saying “screwed over”, accusing them of perpetuating rape culture by doing so, etc. Most of the people at SKA valued the community a lot before they realized how damaging it could be.

    Also, is there anyone here who actually has been a victim of stalking or harassment? How offensive is it to compare looking at a persons public linkedin profile, or someone making a tumblr critical of your blog, to actual stalking or harassment?

  141. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hmmmmmm, seems to me that if Melissa McEwan were doing and/or saying horribly wrong things her forum would eventually simply disappear. That is not the case. She has a substantial readership in support of her work, and evidently a sizable backlash contingent. Methinks she must be doing something right to have pushed all those buttons.

    Carry on.

  142. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    154
    Fang Yun Oerba

    SKA is a public version of that. Shakesville doesn’t have to be the worst of the worst for it to be ok for other people to talk about it and criticize it in public. The idea that criticism should be kept to ourselves is absurd, and I can’t believe it’s seriously being suggested here.

    Nope, have no problems with criticism. While researching I’ve found problems that I agree with about Shakesville. But that’s not the point but SKA doesn’t stop there.

    Do we get carried away sometimes? Probably. We also call each other out. I appreciate the difficulty of moderating a site with a diverse group of people, and the moderation has adapted and evolved as the site grows. it’s fairly young and it’s not fair to hold it up to the same standard of a very well-established blog that has already addressed moderating challenges.

    Sometimes? Call each other out? From what I’ve read it’s fair game on McEwen and there’s no restrictions. Saying she called on her followers to harass Sears (one person, admittedly but never called out and is a top comment in fact), armchair diagnosis (common), cult leader (common), and gossiping about her dirty house and saying she’s abusive to her husband goes beyond just supporting each other and criticizing her site. That’s beyond righting wrongs and is instead making more of them. That’s relentless push against her personally and degrading everyone in that community is what makes it a hate site to me. There’s nothing but hate towards her there.

    This isn’t changing the commenting rules/policy, I’m talking about fundamentally changing what the site posts.

  143. Anthony K says

    How offensive is it to compare looking at a persons public linkedin profile, or someone making a tumblr critical of your blog, to actual stalking or harassment?

    Don’t Dear Muslima this, skeptifem. If you don’t know why tracking someone’s LinkedIn to determine whether or not his wife truly ‘needs’ donations would be a tetchy subject for those of us who’ve been targeted in various ways by the Slymepit, then stay flounced.

  144. anteprepro says

    Dr. Michael

    Whether you agree with the proposition that Shakeseville is toxic or not, anyone who would actually take the time to give the site a fair read will soon enough see that the woeful cries of “This isn’t criticism, THIS IS ABUSE” are just overblown hyperbolic self-martyrdom

    skeptifem

    How offensive is it to compare looking at a persons public linkedin profile, or someone making a tumblr critical of your blog, to actual stalking or harassment?

    Speaking of gas lighting…

  145. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr says

    Anteprepro #160

    Speaking of gas lighting…

    Yes, because using one single quote that’s not even from the site is exactly the same thing as “giving the site a fair reading. Exactly. The. Same.

  146. anteprepro says

    morgan, I hope 157 was a joke. Having a loyal readership doesn’t prove that she is good. And “backlash” proving that she is “doing something right” is utter troll logic. As in, it is the logic that trolls use to justify their tactics (“Did I touch a nerve?”).

  147. anteprepro says

    Dr. Michael

    Yes, because using one single quote that’s not even from the site is exactly the same thing as “giving the site a fair reading. Exactly. The. Same.

    lolwut? How was that a response to my point? Did you even understand what I was saying?

    Here’s a clue: you and skeptifem were doing the same thing. Skeptifem’s quote was not meant to be a response or answer to your quote.

    Are you forming a clue?

  148. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    156
    skeptifem

    I just can’t seem to stick my flounce. Sorry.

    Anyway, everyone saying “just go somewhere else and don’t talk about it” is saying that none of us should look out for the next person this happens to. It happens over and over and over again. Do those people matter less than melissa mcewan?

    Then have a space for that. I don’t care if she’s criticized. Honestly, that’s fucking fine. But don’t pretend that SKA doesn’t routinely cross the line from critiquing her content and giving a place with different rules for people who don’t want to follow them is all SKA does.

    I also find these responses really hypocritical because of how people on here respond to bullying. Its the equivalent of being told “oh just ignore it”. I refuse. There is no excuse for going on a tirade against someone for saying “screwed over”, accusing them of perpetuating rape culture by doing so, etc. Most of the people at SKA valued the community a lot before they realized how damaging it could be.

    Yeah, I read that comment on SKA too. The problem is I can’t read her tirade since for a site documenting her flaws doesn’t seem to have many links handy. They’ve caught her fucking up in her posts and deletes critical comments against her but I’ve yet to see her treating her commenters awfully. I’m not doing all the damn work here. Not allowing criticism is a fair point which I agree with but I’m not part of her community and don’t plan on joining so it’s moot.

    The thing about “perpetuating rape culture” is clearly that’s against her rules, so don’t do it. There are people here who don’t think dick and such are the same level as c*nt and use them in other places. But they don’t do that here. And I wouldn’t go there with my Pharyngula talk. I’m willing to hear the argument for it because why not? But even if I don’t agree, I’d follow her rules or fuck off.

    As far as if that commenter “deserved the tirade”, it may have been too harsh (how the fuck am I supposed to know?) but for all we know that phrase triggered her or something. Again, can’t fucking say shit about it because it’s all ancedotes from a group of people that clearly cross the fucking line routinely. I’m frankly all for calling about people who use “b*tch” as in complain (as an example from above, quoted in my comments) so how the fuck am I suppose to gauge their criticisms?

    Also, is there anyone here who actually has been a victim of stalking or harassment? How offensive is it to compare looking at a persons public linkedin profile, or someone making a tumblr critical of your blog, to actual stalking or harassment?

    You know there fucking is. You know there’s people here who’ve been the victim of that from the Slymepit specifically for being here as well. If it hasn’t been brought up, there’s probably a reason for it.

  149. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    162
    Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr

    Anteprepro #160

    Speaking of gas lighting…

    Yes, because using one single quote that’s not even from the site is exactly the same thing as “giving the site a fair reading. Exactly. The. Same.

    I’ve fucking read it and still am. I’ve given quotes and can give more. I find that site sickening. That place, that condensed focused personal hatred is fucking triggering.

  150. says

    consciousness razor #150

    The porcupine joke/meme got dropped when it was rightly pointed out that it trod far too close to rape “jokes” and was in fact rather rapey on its own.

    I don’t remember which thead that was hashed out it in, or if JAL participated.

    As a community we decided that was no longer acceptable behavior, and now violent language is often called out as inappropriate. So what’s your point? That discourse here was no better several years ago? That’s plausible. I don’t see why that invalidates JAL and others calling violent language out now.

  151. Anthony K says

    @#150 consciousness razor:

    You’ve made plenty of violent “jokes” in the past, right here, as have many other Pharyngula commenters.

    I have, and I regret those and am sorry.

    About a thousand examples concerning “porcupines” also come to mind, which strike me as being just as worthy of your horror and contempt as a comment about “slapping.” (However, JAL, these are not “representative,” and saying so, while also expressing how problematic they are, is not “waffling.”)

    I never liked that meme, though I don’t doubt I’ve used it in the past. It should have been called out sooner. I should have done so at the time.

    Does the fact that you don’t use the “it was only a joke” defense make it any better?

    Well, my not using certainly doesn’t further contribute to its usage as a common cover for objectionable material. And, if the charge here is hypocrisy, then I don’t see how I’m supposed to respond to “You’ve done that before, so how do you have the standing to call it out among others?” and “You haven’t done that, but does it make it better?” simultaneously.

    It’s clear enough which argument you’re making here — but what is the point of arguing it? Just feeling argumentative today?

    Maybe. I’ve made my point, so perhaps I am belabouring it.

    Assuming you’re not going to make any more excuses for your past behavior, then what exactly do you expect here from the SKA people?

    Well, I thought you just agreed you understood the argument. What I was asking was made clear in the very part you blockquoted.

  152. says

    And crap. I missed the switch in reference from JAL to Anthony K in your #150 consciousness razor. Sorry about that, everyone.

    (And i blame my phone for any formatting weirdnesses)

  153. says

    I try to do my small part in the skeptical movement, though I acknowledge that I’m not the sharpest razor in the cabinet and have even made things worse when not careful. In my drinking days (er, years), I have had drunk posts deleted, but I accept it was inappropriate and move on. Some folks seem to take it as an affront and must exact revenge lest they lose honor.

  154. geekgirlsrule says

    I left Shakesville shortly after the original ultimatum. Along with several other longtime commenters, contributors and several moderators because the atmosphere had changed, significantly. If you want more detail, you can ask, but honestly it’s been years and I just try to ignore Shakeville because while I miss what it was, it is no longer that blog, and hasn’t been for a very long time.

    I didn’t know about the tumblr, but I’m checking it out and unless they have some sooper sekrit mailing list where they’re urging their people to be mean to MM, I am just not fucking seeing it.

    I remember the first Shakesville Survivors site, I can’t even remember the name now it was that long ago, that sprang up after MM had whatever experience she had and she posted her ultimatum. I want to say it was started by her longtime friend and Shakesville Contributor Jeff Fecke, but he may have just commented there with the rest of us. People were legitimately worried about her. And we really just wanted a place to process together what had happened, how our communal safe space had gotten so fucking hostile, and how for some the people a friend could have turned on them so completely so quickly.

    So I think you guys are being more than a little unfair in likening them to the Slymepitters.

    You’re right, her blog, her rules, her cool kids, whatevs. But I think you, and she, are mischaracterizing the tumblr.

    I am truly and deeply sorry about the abuse that she took while blogging for Kerry, and that it continued for so long, but damn it, that isn’t an excuse for being horrible to other people.

  155. Great American Satan says

    In response to Skeptifem @86

    They give her about 10K annually to run a blog that is mostly recaps of tv shows and pet pictures, and if you don’t give you are saying you don’t value this “important feminist work” (yeah really).

    I’d like to say 10k a year ain’t shit. I’ve never made more than 30k a year in my life, and most of the time I’ve made closer to 20k. For me, that would make the difference between a fairly shitty year and a horribly desperate one, and if I had just a few disasters (bedbugs, water damage, ambulance ride) it’s gone in a heartbeat.

    And I run a website which demands daily attention. It is taxing, regardless of whether the material is frivolous, and I’d call that compensation fair. Presently, like most content-producers on the internet, I get zero dollars for it. I can’t fault someone who has a way to make something back for their effort.

  156. Great American Satan says

    I will also say, the anti-MM crowd does seem to have a substantive difference from Slymepitters, but y’all really oughtta back the fuck up off her IRL shit – especially rooting around for income information. It’s not like she’s a preacher rolling a benz, and that is stalkertastic.

  157. witlesschum says

    Cranks be cranky. One of the cranks pointed this sight out on LGM a while back and read six or seven pages of the crap and I couldn’t find a single one of these tales of abuse. I mean, McEwan might be calling it a hate site unjustly, but I can’t blame her because it’s so bloody odd and petty. Like pages and pages of “McEwan said a thing today. I don’t like her” or words to that effect. It’s disturbing in its focused banality, like who could care so much about Melissa McEwan blogging?

    I don’t comment there much, because the community is so heavily moderated (Apparently I ‘m not supposed to call these cranks cranks there) but I read it and I can’t see what these people see. And whatever their experiences are, they can’t translate them into an intelligible critique.

  158. anteprepro says

    witlesschum:

    And whatever their experiences are, they can’t translate them into an intelligible critique.

    Pretty much the thread in a nutshell.

  159. Anthony K says

    @171: I hear your criticisms, geekgirlsrule, and those of skeptifem’s, and the others who’ve commented.

    I’m not going to push back any more on this.

  160. says

    Saying that someone’s feeling or perceptions of reality is a result of mental illness is gas lighting. Don’t do it.

    Didn’t do it. Not going to argue with the dictionary.

    Specifically the phrases “figment of your imagination” and “delusionally thinking” used in that context are completely unacceptable.

    If there were more accurate phrases, I would use those.

    I have a huge issue with you telling someone their perception of being abused is a “figment of their imagination.”

    MRA types love to claim they are abused by women. They are imagining/projecting. That some of them have convinced themselves it’s really happening doesn’t make it so. What is going on here is very similar.

  161. Great American Satan says

    Ana Mardoll’s post about it is illuminating and disturbing. There are some people I trust commenting against McEwan in this thread though, so what’s the middle ground, if there is one?

    GGS @ 171:

    And we really just wanted a place to process together what had happened, how our communal safe space had gotten so fucking hostile, and how for some the people a friend could have turned on them so completely so quickly.

    That does sound like a reasonable thing to want, and that it might be reasonable to have it exist as a website, though it’s the first step toward getting associated with “anti” sites like the ‘Pit.

    Ana Mardoll:

    Over and over again, this harassment site refers to me by inflammatory and harassing language. The site owner has literally called me “fair game” and has a site tag dedicated to me. Commenters dehumanize me into a “horcrux” of Liss or her “doppleganger”. Commenters call me a “heifer” because of my weight. I want to here note that the site comments are moderated and I have seen more hateful (and sometimes what I feel are outright threatening) comments about me removed by the site owner, which means that (a) the hateful comments that remain up about me are the ones that the site owner feels are appropriate, (b) the site owner is perfectly aware that they are whipping up harassers at their site, and (c) it becomes that much harder for me to point to these harassers when the most culpable comments are being scrubbed with regularity.

    …and then there’s this.

    In a sense it was a strict moderation regimen that started the hostility, and a flimsy moderation policy that allows the response site to fester into hate site territory. If SKA doesn’t want to come off as a hate site, it needs better moderation as a bare minimum starting point, and also needs to set boundaries about what kind of behavior is off limits there. It’s pretty clear they need some damn limits.

  162. Great American Satan says

    I had a comment disappear without warning and I’m wondering if it hit moderation. I’ll try it again in a moment, mods delete the duplicate if you let it through.

  163. Great American Satan says

    Ana Mardoll’s post about it is illuminating and disturbing. There are some people I trust commenting against McEwan in this thread though, so what’s the middle ground, if there is one?

    GGS @ 171:

    And we really just wanted a place to process together what had happened, how our communal safe space had gotten so fucking hostile, and how for some the people a friend could have turned on them so completely so quickly.

    That does sound like a reasonable thing to want, and that it might be reasonable to have it exist as a website, though it’s the first step toward getting associated with “anti” sites like the ‘Pit.

    Ana Mardoll:

    Over and over again, this harassment site refers to me by inflammatory and harassing language. The site owner has literally called me “fair game” and has a site tag dedicated to me. Commenters dehumanize me into a “horcrux” of Liss or her “doppleganger”. Commenters call me a “heifer” because of my weight. I want to here note that the site comments are moderated and I have seen more hateful (and sometimes what I feel are outright threatening) comments about me removed by the site owner, which means that (a) the hateful comments that remain up about me are the ones that the site owner feels are appropriate, (b) the site owner is perfectly aware that they are whipping up harassers at their site, and (c) it becomes that much harder for me to point to these harassers when the most culpable comments are being scrubbed with regularity.

    …and then there’s this.

    In a sense it was a strict moderation regimen that started the hostility, and a flimsy moderation policy that allows the response site to fester into hate site territory. If SKA doesn’t want to come off as a hate site, it needs better moderation as a bare minimum starting point, and also needs to set boundaries about what kind of behavior is off limits there. It’s pretty clear they need some limits.

  164. stewartlaw says

    And whatever their experiences are, they can’t translate them into an intelligible critique.

    What you miss is that they translate their experiences into an intelligible enough critique for them. So you and a few others here have read the site and you don’t get it but whoever said it was for you, or asked that you get it?

    Whatever dtSKA does, it does for its own readers, and on that level it works.

  165. Great American Satan says

    OK, in case my comment doesn’t escape moderation, I want to urge people to read Ana Mardoll’s take on things (link not included in case it gets the post held up).

  166. Knabb says

    I’d agree with the claim that SKA goes too far in some claims, and that the community there could be better about push back towards the personal (e.g. the use of Linkedin). With that said, there’s been some cherry picking of what’s represented on SKA. Their Submisison Circle Time* thread does legitimately contain a great deal of valid criticism. It also pretty clearly has a good reason to exist – Shakesville was an important place to a lot of the people there. It still is an important place to a lot of the people there. That they shouldn’t form their own site to discuss it is ridiculous.

    The slyme pit comparison is also entirely too strong. The unending cascade of trolls isn’t there. SKA is organized around ex-shakesville readers and current shakesville readers dissatisfied in Shakesville coming together cathartically as much as anything. It’s no different than a group of people who were all formerly members of the same church coming to be cathartic about the pastor and employees there. The slyme pit is an attack site.

    I have no association with SKA. I used to follow Shakesville, from about 2010-2013, along with reading the archives. I still think that there’s a great deal of well written, thoughtful, and generally beneficial articles and comments there. It’s precisely that value that makes the downsides to Shakesville as bad as they are to me – said downsides are all over plenty of generally repugnant blogs, but their general repugnance really prevents any investment in them in the first place. There’s been a pattern of resistance to valid criticism and immediately shutting down critics through claims that they are innately in bad faith. Her “No-Gun Culture”** post was criticized on the basis of the “No-Something Culture” concept and the idea that it had to be respected being vulnerable to use as a bigoted tool, she responded by claiming that doing so equated guns with oppressed populations. There was the “Intent is not Magic”** fiasco wherein she went on the attack against Kinsey Hope when Hope suggested that it might be somewhat plagiarized from “Intent: It’s Fucking Magic” which she wrote about two days earlier. So on and so forth. These are frustrating problems, and that the commentariat and former commentariat gathered elsewhere to discuss them is hardly a problem, let alone the formation of a hate site.

    It’s criticism. There are some people there who have made some nasty comments, but that criterion is way to weak for hate site status. FTB would qualify under that, with StevoR’s comments about bombing the Middle East alone; calling FTB a hate site would also be abject bullshit.

    *http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/88568874129/submission-circle-time
    **These are shorthands to refer to a particular title, and not necessarily the exact title.

  167. geekgirlsrule says

    Ok, I need to amend something. The blog was The Apostate, which has since been taken down, and Jeff merely commented there with the rest of us. I don’t want him being tarred with anything unfairly.

    I really do miss The Apostate, she was great. We stayed in touch briefly after she took the blog down, but I lost touch with her.

  168. Anthony K says

    It’s criticism. There are some people there who have made some nasty comments, but that criterion is way to weak for hate site status. FTB would qualify under that, with StevoR’s comments about bombing the Middle East alone; calling FTB a hate site would also be abject bullshit.

    I fucking hate StevoR.

    That is all.

  169. caravelle says

    witlesschum :

    . And whatever their experiences are, they can’t translate them into an intelligible critique.

    I’m not at all surprised. I was never a Shakesville regular commenter (I was a regular reader but that was looooong ago) but I’ve experienced something similar with a different blog I was a regular on. The whole thing was eerily similar in fact, down to “you’re horrible for trashing us on another blog”, when in fact people were for the first time realizing that they weren’t the only ones to dislike the direction things had taken, up to feeling gaslighted, and the discussion of what happened and why was vital catharsis. But the other thing I realized, over days of hashing it out and trying to answer the question “what should we do then ?”, is that it was a ridiculously hard issue. Half the things I said at the time I don’t agree with anymore. Among all the people sharing their experiences there seemed to be a smooth continuum from “yeah they were totally right on this one, get off my side you X-ist jerk” to ambiguous cases, to things that weren’t a big deal on their own but formed a pattern, to a few cases of egregious bad behavior. It made it really hard to pin down what was wrong, why, and how it could be fixed.

    There are plenty of “intelligible critiques” of Shakesville; I saw some in the Feministe comment threads linked to above, as well as numerous self-reports of people feeling silenced, unsafe, even triggered to the point of cutting in one case. The annoying thing is not everybody makes the same critique – they even disagree amongst themselves, and some of them I disagree with. But you can’t just ignore this many similar feelings from this many people, especially when so many clearly aren’t trolls, and when similar complaints come up again and again. If you look at every complaint and find that none of them add up then something is definitely wrong – but it’s not necessarily wrong with them. It can just be that the problems are hard to articulate, or fix, or that there’s a mix of legitimate and illegitimate grievances that are hard to separate.

    Basically, one message I got from that whole incident that I still think is valid is that if you have one complaint that you’re hurting people, you should make note of it. If you have ten such complaints, you should start taking it seriously. And you shouldn’t condition that on the complainants’ ability to explain exactly how they’re being hurt and what specific steps you should take to stop it. Obviously it’s better for everyone if they can, but if they can’t that doesn’t make the underlying issue disappear.

    All that is to partly address the “no intelligible critique” thing but it’s besides the point at the end of the day: that people have these feelings should be sufficient to allow them to make an internet space where they can share with others and process said feelings. I don’t know what to think of SKA and other such sites on that front; I think it’s important for people who’ve been hurt to have a place to vent and process that hurt. I can totally see how this would descend into petty griping and the conflation of all kinds of issues not all of which I think are legitimate, not to mention trashing people you don’t like is its own dark fun, and my original impulse was to shrug at this as a necessary evil that can’t really be avoided without silencing people further. But I might be wrong about that, and either way I certainly can’t begrudge Melissa McEwan feeling attacked, or people in general disapproving of the site.

  170. Knabb says

    @185

    You and me both. Point is, I wouldn’t consider his genocidal fuckwittery an indictment against FTB at a whole, and it’s way nastier than anything on SKA.

  171. roro80 says

    So there are a couple of things brought up in this thread that just aren’t true. Since it’s long, I hope y’all will forgive a lack of direct quoting.

    First: her fundraising reminders. She does them 6 times a year, so pretty rarely given the 10 or so posts a day. Every one of them contains the following:

    Please note that I don’t want anyone to feel obliged to contribute financially, especially if money is tight. Aside from valuing feminist work, the other goal of fundraising is so Iain and I don’t have to struggle on behalf of the blog, and I don’t want anyone else to struggle themselves in exchange. There is a big enough readership that neither should have to happen.

    Second: I’ve seen her called out a number of times for ablist language or other fuck ups. She’s apologized, changed her language, and put a note saying that she changed the post to remove that language. (I also saw someone above who said that comments or posts were edited without saying they were edited. I’ve seen the notes about the edits so many times I don’t think that could be true.)

    Third: Yes, she’s created a space that is safe for her, if not for some set of other people. If it’s unsafe for someone to be called out on accidental mess-ups instead of given a pass for them, then no, it’s not going to be a safe space. For others, it’s much more important that those mess ups get called out quickly and the comments be removed from the space.

    Fourth: It’s right in the mission statement of SKA that shutting her down is the goal. Let’s not mince those words, eh?

    Fifth: I’ve got to agree with those saying that SKA is just for “criticism” are being pretty disingenuous. If so, why go after Ana, who has basically ducked out of public life because of the needling of her? She’s been VERY clear that she is not ok with what SKA is doing.

    I think it’s important to note that pretty much every progressive or progressive-leaning site, every feminist (and, I’d say, every athiest) blogger has gone through periods of time where certain events and fuck-ups by the mods or main contributors have resulted in the quitting of certain parts of their readership. I know this site has. Pandagon. Feministe. etc etc. If Melissa disappointed some people, well so has every other blogger on the net. Don’t like her if you don’t want; she’s not for everyone. Sometimes she’s not for me. It just comes off as super sad and pathetic to obsess over her every move, and to harass her, her mods, and her family. It’s creepy and stalker-y.

  172. David Marjanović says

    internet vigilantes apparently are very perturbed about Melissa asking for “child support money” or some shit

    Yeah, this shit in particular. It doesn’t automatically make Shakesville Kool Aid good, but there is really disturbing shit that has gone on at Shakesville.

    I had a comment disappear without warning and I’m wondering if it hit moderation. I’ll try it again in a moment, mods delete the duplicate if you let it through.

    There are no mods here except for PZ himself, and usually he doesn’t even have time to check the moderation queue. He never bothers to delete duplicates – there’s a quintuplicate in this very thread (comments 40, 42, 49, 57, 61).

    FTB would qualify under that, with StevoR’s comments about bombing the Middle East alone

    Ironically, though, Pharyngula (a single blog like Shakesville or SKA) would no longer qualify, because StevoR has been banned here for just such comments.

  173. says

    But for some reason, some people get extremely bitter about being told to go away. They are outraged that you deny them the privilege of participating on your wonderful blog.

    I’ve suffered from this many times and I’m nowhere near as famous as you.

    I’ve put a lot of thought into it. There is the arrogance that comes from thinking your words are so important they need to be seen everywhere playing a part of it. But I think a lot of that obsessiveness comes from somewhere else: A feeling of betrayal by a friend.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people put far more emotional weight into the interactions they have online than they should. And it seems very easy for people to get emotionally attached to the personalities at the center of a community despite not having anything that amounts to a real relationship. So when someone gets banned, they react like they got kicked out of a friendship. “How can PZ do this to me after all of the laughter we’ve shared about Thunderfoot?” sort of stuff.

    Both come from bad places and I think some time with a therapist is in order, but the reaction is coming from a pretty common emotional place. I don’t think there’s a better way of dealing with it than to send them to the cornfield, unfortunately.

  174. omnicrom says

    Well after reading Ana Mardoll’s commentary on it, the direct desperate plea to stop being hurt, and the glib dismissal of her soul-baring suffering I have to say that the anti-Shakesville community isn’t exactly winning my support.

    I genuinely don’t know a thing about Shakesville or what’s going on there or what people are on about, however I do read and respect Ana Mardoll. Seeing her break down in a desperate attempt to get off the “Fair Game” list and seeing the response which is essentially “Nah”, gotta say my first impressions are a little colored. Bravo, Shakesville Kool-Aid, you reduced a woman to tears and made clear you have no intention to ever stop trying to hurt her. Truly you are the most moral side in this debate.

  175. says

    There are no mods here except for PZ himself, and usually he doesn’t even have time to check the moderation queue. He never bothers to delete duplicates – there’s a quintuplicate in this very thread (comments 40, 42, 49, 57, 61).

    Duplicates are actually cases where I did check the spam queue. If a repeated comment is there by error, I approve them all — because I think our spam software figures if someone is marked as spam, they must be naughty, which leads to it disapproving of everything from that person for a while.

    FTB would qualify under that, with StevoR’s comments about bombing the Middle East alone

    StevoR is the guy who comes by every week or two to try and get a comment in…every time I post something about Islam or the Middle East, he’s whining that he has something to say. One of the reasons I don’t enjoy flushing out the spam queue is that there are all these assholes there, bashing away, trying to get in, and I have to read their crap to determine whether it’s spam-worthy or not. Really, if I want to read a stack of comments that refer to women by their genitalia or call for the sand monkeys to be nuked until they glow, all I have to do is dive into the filter trap on the cesspit. Bleh.

  176. timemachine says

    I am going to regret this. I am going to regret jumping into this fray so, so much. I am going to regret drawing attention to myself. I am going to regret speaking publicly about this.

    Here goes.

    First things first, I was active at Shakesville for a long time and never had a major falling out there. The content got less interesting and the community got more insulated and I slowly drifted and found places with deeper thinking and better analysis and more diverse writers where I was more interested and engaged, but I never rage quite and no mods ever got mad at me. I’m not banned (so far as I know), no one’s ever embarrassed me in the comments. I had a mostly good, if sometimes anxious (they do react very harshly to well-intentioned comments sometimes), experience.

    I was once really active and liked it there and even had a really popular guest post in my senior year of college. I was never a super active commenter but I joined in sometimes. And many people I know and like still actively read the site and it seems to work for them.

    And second things second, I have never, for even a minute, followed the blog shakesvillekoolaid. I think there’s some accurate criticism happening there, but also a lot of stuff that I disagree with or agree with but think is petty and weirdly focused and even find terrible (including the username). But I have been aware of them for a long time, and many people I know and like are active there and it seems to work for them.

    So, all that being said, they are not harassing Melissa McEwan. Firstly because they have never organized attacks against her or sought her out or organized hate mail. The worst they can be accused of is really mean gossiping. Which, like, don’t get me wrong. I don’t expect that be celebrated as a great intellectual pursuit or anything. But that’s not the same as harassment.

    And secondly, because the majority of the people there are reacting as former active devoted members of the community who feel hurt and used. Not just one, but multiple former Shakesville moderators are there.

    And people keep saying “So they’re petty and ragey because they got called out!” but like, firstly, a lot of people there called Melissa out and she banned or publicly shamed them for daring to question her judgment of what is and isn’t offensive. And secondly, as someone said upthread in an attempt to deride, it’s a small community. A small community who, (while, yes, on a public forum), keep to themselves and don’t proselytize and commiserate about a shared experience.

    I’m not going to say it’s not petty. Like I said, I’ve never followed them. It’s really not my kind of space. But as a former “Shaker” I get what the space is.

    As a former Mormon, I also understand. There are countless ex-Mormon communities on the web where people who used to be Mormon get together and talk about the community they used to have and how bizarre the LDS church is and mock every LDS thing that happens and like that’s not my brand of ex-Mormon atheism either, but I get it. When you tie your identity and self-evaluation to a high demand regimented community and then you feel like that community took advantage of that to hurt you, sometimes other “escapees” from that community get together to whine and yeah maybe force some schadenfreude by looking for things to mock together and just be comfortable in the feeling that you’re not the only one who sees how freaking WEIRD and MESSED UP some of the stuff in the community you came from is now that you’ve stepped back.

    This is something I think people who don’t read or only casually peruse Shakesville aren’t getting about what’s being said here. Because Shakesville is a community. It’s not like other hate sites that hating on people making standalone things they could just ignore. For a lot of people Shakesville was their go-to social network and daily conversation joint and a place where they felt they could be safe. And then they (as happened to a friend of mine who ceased being active long before me) made some seemingly fun comment to someone’s wording about small dogs about how interestingly gendered culture is applied to pets and how cats are treated as feminine and dogs as masculine but then small dogs are treated as feminine/emasculated men, and it’s both insightful and innocuous (she never attacked the person she was replying to) but Melissa says it’s attacking their fun pet post and derailing the thread and also makes feminism look overreaching/insipid (she didn’t use those words, it was implied) and they should stop. And my friend is like “wait, I don’t understand? I’m sorry if I-?” and she’s like IF? And then my friend – who has anxiety disorder and draws her feelings and struggles in crowds and LOVES dogs and is so quiet and unassuming – gets banned. And because she struggles with mental health a lot (and talks about it on her private little blog more openly than almost anyone I know) she spends a good week trying to figure out what happened to her “safe space” and what she did wrong.

    (I just did a cursory google search to see if the thread still exists so I could link it – though a lot of old threads have been lost to server moves mini drama threads like that were regularly deleted – and OH MY FUCKING GOD YEARS LATER AND SHE HAS MADE A POST SAYING THE SAME THING MY FRIEND WAS BANNED FOR SAYING WHAT)

    And then the people who all had experiences like that get together and they commiserate and mock and that’s part of how they move on.

    For me, personally, I don’t find that kind of “recovery” (I guess you’d call it) very satisfying. But people get closure in different ways.

    I’m not going to defend the content of shakesvillekoolaid. I don’t agree with most of it, and most of the stuff I do agree with is still phrased poorly. I’m not saying you should go there to see great activism happening or really intelligent world-changing discussions.

    But they aren’t harassing anyone. They aren’t threatening anyone. Benefit of the doubt: Melissa is conflating the actions of others with that particular community or other people outside that community follow it and use it for fodder when going after Melissa. Goodness knows fundie Christians do it to ex-Mormon blogs and so on. (Not benefit of the doubt: Melissa, understandably hurt, is exaggerating out of anger)

    It’s worth noting they are a community that openly allows dissent, so most of the comments Melissa referred to were also criticized by members of the SVKA community just below where she cut off her screenshots. Which is one of the main reasons her accusation of organized attacks is completely unfounded. Similarly, the “470 comment” thread she references is actually about people disagreeing with the Mod’s there refusing to post pics of Melissa for mocking purposes, and not allowing fat shaming (which they were allowed to question because dissent being allowed is one of the blog’s main tenets). Ultimately the Mod’s maintained their rules. What kind of troll blog or hate blog makes a concerted effort not to mock someone’s appearance if they’re all mindlessly looking to ruin their life? Don’t get me wrong, I realize this is a *not as terrible as you could have been* moment, but the mods fought for 470 comments defending the choice not to mock Melissa’s appearance because it was irrelevant and hateful. That’s not the attitude of a blog supposedly designed for vicious personal attacks. Which indicates that their feelings about Melissa’s behaviour are 1) really based on her behaviour 2) not based in anti-feminism and 3) not organized group attacks.

    Whether the people at SKVA are justified in their feelings or not, whether this is a healthy way to deal with their feelings or not, whether it is a “good” blog or not, whether it is a blog that lacks any meaningful contribution or not, what it is not is a violent or harassing or doxxing or attacking blog. Tactless? Sure. Violent? Organized? No. No one has to like them (I mostly don’t), but Melissa IS mischaracterizing them.

  177. Great American Satan says

    What Omnicrom said. I don’t care if McEwan is Marshall Applewhite in sheep’s clothing, the Mardoll thing makes me think these guys have to get their shit in order or disband. Maybe they can make their position the moral high ground they claim, if they can stop the stalking and abusive aspects of their own immediately.

  178. Great American Satan says

    Time Machine @ 193 – I could imagine that. McEwan’s post was light on specifics to suppport some strong assertions..

  179. omnicrom says

    timemachine @193

    So, all that being said, they are not harassing Melissa McEwan. Firstly because they have never organized attacks against her or sought her out or organized hate mail.

    I’ve been following the deplorable state of the atheist community for long enough to fucking hate that dodge. Harassment doesn’t have to be organized, it just has to be a lot of fuckwits saying or doing things to try and harangue someone. Just because it’s not an organized campaign of harassment doesn’t mean it’s not a campaign of harassment.

    The worst they can be accused of is really mean gossiping.

    Unfortunately that line about Sticks and Stones is false, words can indeed hurt people. Mean gossiping can hurt people. That’s why we have a problem with cyber-bullying right now, people are being hurt by the mean things people say.

    What bugs me even more is the testimony you gave of your friend timemachine. Your story of a person who was crushed by the words of another is effecting, but it’s frustrating that it’s coupled with defending harassment and minimizing the amount of harm can be caused by words. It doesn’t have to be directly violent, or organized, or planned. I perused that place after Ana Mardoll’s account, it wasn’t as bad as some other places I’d call hate sites but there was that certain glibness towards harassment that raises my hackles.

    If Shakesville has regressed like the critics say it is then those critics need to completely refocus their strategy. I’m glad that the community has standards, and refuses to shame based on appearance, but if a woman pleads desperately to be taken off the list of acceptable targets and is rebuffed I’m going to stand with them no matter the validity of her harassers.

  180. Great American Satan says

    ^ditto Omnicrom@196. I’m thinking of Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, who are the only two women I could think of off the top of my head that could inspire me to get into the idea of an anti-site – and I still find the idea creepy as fuck.

    I also want to clarify my comment at 195 – that while I found McEwan’s post light on specifics to back up some of the things she said, others are pretty blatantly true. The site lists as one of its goals getting her off the internet. That is a sheisty business.

  181. jste says

    Unfortunately that line about Sticks and Stones is false, words can indeed hurt people.

    There was a version of that tired old saying that someone (I would love to attribute it to whoever it was, but I can’t seem to find it again) posted on pharyngula recently that I really liked –

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones,
    but words can make me think I deserve it.”

  182. timemachine says

    “I perused that place after Ana Mardoll’s account, it wasn’t as bad as some other places I’d call hate sites but there was that certain glibness towards harassment that raises my hackles.”

    Glibness is one of the main reasons I don’t like the community. They’ve reacted to Shakesville’s commenting habits by pulling too far in the other direction and allowing too much snideness. But none of the organizers there seem okay with harassment. They seem to discourage it, and also seem to be legitimately hoping that if Melissa has a stalker there like she says, that they’ll tell her so that person can be banned, and on most occasions a wayward commenter has been like “let’s do X harassing thing!” they community and organizers have been pretty quick to be like “Eh… no. That’s not who we are.”

    Like you say “Harassment doesn’t have to be organized, it just has to be a lot of fuckwits saying or doing things to try and harangue someone. Just because it’s not an organized campaign of harassment doesn’t mean it’s not a campaign of harassment.”

    But, two points here. The first is less applicable here, because they are a community, but nonetheless because I think it’s important new for the internet in general. 1. Actually sometimes a lot of people doing a thing to harangue someone isn’t harassment. This is important because sometimes someone will say something terrible/controversial really publicly, and a whole lot of people will, independent of each other, react to that person, and it can be overwhelming and scary to that person. But the people reacting aren’t harassing that person. There’s just a lot of people all reacting at the same time.

    2. It’s kind of hard to call a thing a campaign of harassment when the people there, especially mods, actively are like “don’t harass” whenever anyone comes close to suggesting it.

    “Your story of a person who was crushed by the words of another is effecting, but it’s frustrating that it’s coupled with defending harassment and minimizing the amount of harm can be caused by words. ”

    Words can be harmful. Words can be harmful and hateful and mean. I am not defending their harmful words. There is a difference between gossip and harassment. You know, like there’s a difference between racism and prejudice? Like when people are like “You’re racist against white people” and the someone has to explain that a hypothetical person may be hateful and prejudiced and rude and do really indefensible things because they hate white people but it’s not racism? Because racism involves power as well as prejudice? Well harassment involves threat/power/intimidation/invasion as well as meanness. Harassment is telling someone to stop talking to you and they keep talking to you. Harassment is someone following you. Harassment is someone emailing you threats. Or a group of people invading your inbox.

    People gathering completely away from you and making no effort to advertise themselves to you and saying mean things is not harassment. It’s gossip. It doesn’t mean those things aren’t cruel. It’s just not harassment.

    Melissa is characterizing this as an organized threatening attack, when really it’s more like if a guy stumbled upon his multiple exes meeting in the bar once a week to talk shit about what a terrible boyfriend he is. The ex-of-guy club might not be handling their breakup the best way and might be exaggerating how terrible he was in bed, but he’s not being harassed by their meetup.

  183. Great American Satan says

    Harassment is telling someone to stop talking to you and they keep talking to you.

    This one is tricky on the internet though because sometimes you’re in a business where knowing what others are saying about you on the internet is important. Seeing what is happening with google searches for your name may be important. I’m new, but AFAICT this is true of bloggers and media figures especially. So generating 200,000 words about how someone sucks will probably reach &/or damage them.

    A lot of what you say is true and important. I particularly think of Krahulik from Penny Arcade being a huge piece of shit and then looking at 4000 people trying to gently explain something to him and 20 people using swears and started screaming that he was being bullied. But this still seems iffy as fuck to me. Maybe someone else can better articulate what is bothering me about it.

  184. says

    What it feels like to me, GAS, is like that sibling-bullying thing. They’re gathered around their little obsession-site like your sibling in the back seat of the car saying “I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU”. It’s the same kind of disingenuous crap.

    They claim to be feminists. What the fuck kind of feminist response justifies continuing to do things that are being found harrassing? Both Liss and Ana have publicly pleaded for it to stop, for people to stop insisting Ana’s not a real person, for people to stop calling Liss a cult leader, which is a patently stupid charge by this group of assholes. They’ve talked about the effects of the constant e-mails and tweets and publishing information about their family members, and these feminists don’t give a shit that they’re making two women feel like that, because they say she deserves it for the horrible trait of wanting to control her own fucking space on the Internet.

    These “feminists” are pissed off at a woman wanting to be paid for the work she puts in, so they publish the details of her husband – who’s posted twice, in the eight years I’m aware of the site – in order to say that she should just do the site for free, since she’s got a husband who makes reasonable money. That’s no kind of feminism I’ve ever heard of.

    They may not even recognize what complete bullies they’re being, but imagine, if you will, that your business draws the ire of a bunch of people. As long as they’re hanging out in their homes talking about it, no big deal. But when they’re constantly trying to indoctrinate people that Liss is a cult leader, and that she doesn’t pay income taxes (also false), that she’s abusing her husband and a slattern at home (I’ve stayed in her house more than once, so false you can’t believe it) and that she’s spinning gold off the site (11,000 a year – way, way below minimum wage?), is it so surprising that there are plenty of people willing to harrass her? And when you’re spending every day at your business, there’s a crowd of people on the sidewalk shouting “WE’RE NOT HARRASSING YOU WE’RE NOT HARRASSING YOU WE’RE NOT HARRASSING YOU!”. Does that sound like an environment feminists would create?

    Put another way: does anyone think that the acts of right-wing Christian terrorism we’ve seen so much of in the last twenty years have nothing to do with the constant barrage of scaremongering by Fox News and company?

    Whatever the legitimacy of their initial claims of being banned or moderated, the practical effect has been to create an atmosphere of stalking and harrassment, that is having a serious effect on the mental state and living conditions of real people, and they don’t fucking care, because she’s sometimes mean to people in the comment section of her blog. Let’s be clear about the offence here. She moderates her blog too strictly for their taste. Of course, for hundreds of other people who do post there all the time, that’s not the case, but why let a little thing like people being comfortable get in the way of your obsessive fan-wanking?

    That may well be what you’re finding upsetting, GAS. The glib, disingenuous, “Oh, you mean putting out pictures of politicians with crosshairs on their face might give some unpleasant people ideas that they should shoot a politician? How odd, we never wanted that result!” bullshit. It has had that result, and they don’t fucking care. I’ve never met a definition of feminism where that’s alright. I’ve met a LOT of bullies who espoused it, though.

  185. gijoel says

    Reading Sketifem, DresdenFilesRocks, and TinHattie makes me realize something. Arguing with people on the Internet is like going into the park, and arguing with pigeons. You might be right, but you still look like an idiot that’s arguing with pigeons.

  186. kage says

    A mod there encouraged a woman to give her last 5$ to SV

    I finally clicked on the link that has been touted as PaultheSpud extorting the last $5 out of someone.

    It reads to me that the commentator had already donated, was apologising for donating such a small amount and Paul was reassuring her that it was OK. Makes me wonder what the ‘Deeky made sexualised comments about children’ accusation really entails.

  187. stewartlaw says

    I finally clicked on the link that has been touted as PaultheSpud extorting the last $5 out of someone.

    It reads to me that the commentator had already donated, was apologising for donating such a small amount and Paul was reassuring her that it was OK

    Like a few people on this thread, you have read it wrong, the woman in question was down to her last $5 in child support, said so but promised to donate when she could, at which point Paul the Spud said no amount was too small.
    A lot of people felt that encouraging a woman on child support to donate her last $5 dollars to a relatively solvent blogger was a step too far and we’re labelled a hate site for that.

    You can read about the incident from perusing this site which links to it.

    http://failfandomanonwiki.pbworks.com/w/page/58432745/Shakesville

    Makes me wonder what the ‘Deeky made sexualised comments about children’ accusation really entails

    That entails the time Melissa posted a picture of her ten year old self, and the mod Deeky referenced to the picture and her “tits”

    A lot of people felt that was inappropriate language to use about a child’s picture, especially on a site which purports to be a safe space for survivors of childhood sexual abuse but hey, have a go at rationalising this as well.

  188. Dunc says

    stewartlaw, @205:

    Like a few people on this thread, you have read it wrong, the woman in question was down to her last $5 in child support, said so but promised to donate when she could, at which point Paul the Spud said no amount was too small.
    A lot of people felt that encouraging a woman on child support to donate her last $5 dollars to a relatively solvent blogger was a step too far and we’re labelled a hate site for that.

    If your first paragraph is an accurate description of the events in question (and it seems to be), then your second paragraph seems to be a really bizarre and unreasonable interpretation of them. “No amount is too small” does normally mean “give me what ever you’ve got in your pockets right now!”. A more reasonable interpretation would seem to be “if you want to donate, at some point in the future, when you’ve got some money spare, that’s great, and don’t feel bad even if it’s not a lot.”

  189. kage says

    Nope. Just read down to her comment and here it is (bolding mine).

    All I had on my child support card was $5.00, but that should change soon, so just keep the reminders coming and I promise to raise the amount next time I would hate to lose this forum and I know far too well what it’s like to live on far too little.

    She had $5 – note the past tense? She also promises to raise the amount next time, a further indication she had already made the small donation. Paul’s comment is later then that.

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t take your paraphrasing of Deeky as gospel.

  190. stewartlaw says

    So you’re all OK with encouraging a woman on child support to donate to a relatively solvent blogger. That’s fine but I’m not, and other people aren’t either, we think that’s not how social justice advocates should operate, and we make a point of saying so.

    You have picked your side of that argument, I have picked mine.

    You’ll forgive me if I don’t take your paraphrasing of Deeky as gospel.

    Hey, don’t sweat it, it’s clear from this entire thread that some start out from the premise dtSKA is a hate site with no legitimate grievance, it’s up to us to prove our innocence in the matter. I wouldn’t expect you to take my word as gospel.

    Here’s the thread, the comment is in the thread header.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/06/what-hell_26.html

    I’ve explained why some of us feel that comment was beyond the pale, given the context. Just to be clear once again, I am not looking for your approval of my feelings about it, I’m telling you where we’re coming from.

  191. Dunc says

    So you’re all OK with encouraging a woman on child support to donate to a relatively solvent blogger. That’s fine but I’m not, and other people aren’t either, we think that’s not how social justice advocates should operate, and we make a point of saying so.

    That’s a hell of a long way from “encouraging a woman on child support to donate her last $5 dollars“, which was your original claim.

  192. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    . Just to be clear once again, I am not looking for your approval of my feelings about it, I’m telling you where we’re coming from.

    What you say, and what your behavior says since you can’t let this go, are two different things. You are looking for our approval. If you lie about that, what else will you lie about?

  193. David Marjanović says

    StevoR is the guy who comes by every week or two to try and get a comment in…every time I post something about Islam or the Middle East, he’s whining that he has something to say.

    *headdesk*

    The Dunning and the Kruger are strong in him.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2009/06/what-hell_26.html

    Well, near the bottom of the thread there’s this comment by McEwan herself (italics in the original):

    “I don’t understand the squicking out, so help me out: Is is the use of the word tit specifically, or is it the fact that it was referenced at all? Or something altogether different? How would you have said the same thing, but in a non-squicky way?

    To my mind, tit’s just a slang term for any old human breast — female, male, old, young — so I don’t have a problem with it on that count, and I don’t think it’s weird to use it as a reference point, given that it’s a decorative ‘breast pocket.’

    So what am I missing? (And I don’t mean that in an impatient or nasty way at all; I’m genuinely curious as to what I’m not getting about the squick factor.)”

    …Well, I guess weirder things have happened*, so I’m willing to accept that 1) there’s diversity in US English beyond what I, or apparently most native speakers, ever imagined; 2) McEwan and Deeky happen to share this particular idiosyncrasy.

    Still, I agree with the opposition that the word should have been edited by the time the very next comment explained:

    “I think it’s that, in my mind, ‘tit’ is a postpubescent, vaguely (or directly) female sexual body reference. ‘Breast pocket’ to me is a gender neutral contruct describing a shirt, not a woman’s body.”

    and the comment after agreed:

    “had it been an anonymous grown man making a comment about an anonymous child, i would have thought it was not okay. the word ‘tit’ has a very sexual ring to it for me.”

    That would have made the place safer for more people.

    To her credit, McEwan’s next comment was:

    ‘tit’ is a postpubescent, vaguely (or directly) female sexual body reference

    Hmm, interesting. Maybe this is the result of having a lot of gay male friends, but I’ve heard men casually refer to other men’s ‘tits’ regularly enough that it doesn’t strike me as particularly female-specific.

    And I suspect the gender-neutrality feeds my regard for its agelessness.

    Which brings me back to my question: How would you have said the same thing, but in a non-squicky way?”

    That’s great: she proposed a linguistic hypothesis to explain what happened, and she asked how to avoid the side effects.

    Yet more of this surprising diversity is revealed by the next comment (by someone else):

    “Tit also made me uncomfy, for the reasons already stated: it feels like more sexualized slang term for breast than others. For instance: ‘What the hell is that frilly rainbow thing over her left boob??’ wouldn’t probably have bothered me at all.”

    and this one:

    “I’ve only heard ‘tit’ as either a small bird or something you get in a wringer. It doesn’t seem sexual at all. YMMV, indeed.”

    Oh, look [trigger warning, I guess]:

    “To me, both ‘tits’ and ‘boobs’ are specifically associated with harassment I got during puberty. I heard those words about a thousand times more often per month then than I do now. So yeah, their use for a prepubescent girl would make me twitch even more.”

    Frankly, CaitieCat, your comment reads cultlike:

    “I had a similar reaction to those of folk who had a minor surprise reaction to the word, but then I made the mental connection that, no, this wasn’t some random adult male talking about a seven-year-old, it was Deeky talking about his old friend Liss, and I shrugged it off.

    Not even as far as squick – maybe what I’d call in fiction ‘the bad jar’ (meaning something that jars the reader out of the story for a moment). In non-fiction, I think it’s not a problem (bad jars, I mean). It’s the juxtaposition of what is, for me, a sexualized term (tit, or boob) with a seven-year-old that gave me the jar. I don’t suggest for a moment that means it should be changed. Maybe being jarred by an odd gender-related phrasing is a good thing for me, as a feminist, to get me thinking about why I have that reaction, and whether I want to continue having it.

    So, I think it’s really a subtle plot by Deeky to make us think more. :)”

    In the meantime, somebody named omphaloskeptic got banned because of a backstory that I haven’t looked up, someone else remarked that “this shutting down of omphaloskeptic for airing what are incredibly personal and real concerns makes Shakesville an extremely Unsafe place for me”, McEwan referred to the backstory again and closed the thread, and the OP hasn’t been changed 5 years later.

    * Bead used to mean “prayer”.

    kage: Damn. What a tempest in a fucking teacup.

    Are you fucking serious?!?

  194. kage says

    So you’re all OK with encouraging a woman on child support to donate to a relatively solvent blogger. That’s fine but I’m not, and other people aren’t either, we think that’s not how social justice advocates should operate, and we make a point of saying so.

    I’m pretty sure I did not say that. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m disputing that that ever happened. Protip: this would work better if you didn’t put words into my mouth, or assuming I have selected a side because I don’t think that comment says what you think it says.

    Thanks for linking to the thread which should have had Deeky’s comment. I thought I had scrolled past it because I spotted a few comments objecting to it, but searching for the word revealed that Deeky’s comment has been removed. Even without seeing the comment I am willing to agree it was objectionable based on the responses. There were 5 different commentators who objected, one who was equivocal and one who didn’t think it was a problem. McEwan made 3 comments asking for clarification (a bit disingenuously I thought), but interestingly didn’t abuse or ban anyone.

  195. David Marjanović says

    What you say, and what your behavior says since you can’t let this go, are two different things. You are looking for our approval. If you lie about that, what else will you lie about?

    Speaking of the Dunning/Kruger effect: somehow I don’t think you’re a great psychologist.

    Read the link in comment 189 again, and tell me what an appropriate response to Chryslin’s comment would have been.

  196. stewartlaw says

    That’s a hell of a long way from “encouraging a woman on child support to donate her last $5 dollars“, which was your original claim.

    Oh I absolutely disagree, the fundamental point remains, you can try to find purchase by pointing out my mistake between the present and past tense if that floats your boat but knowing what I know about poverty, when someone said they are down to their last five dollars, that person is in all likelihood not solvent. Solvent people don’t get down to their last few dollars, poor people do, and they live from week to week, or month to month making do. Encouraging someone who has demonstrated they are on child support, to give your from the little they have is the sort of thing cult leaders, televangelists and the like do, it’s shitty practice, and Shakesville engages in it.

    What you say, and what your behavior says since you can’t let this go, are two different things. You are looking for our approval. If you lie about that, what else will you lie about?

    Wait, the fact I am here means I am looking for your approval? OK, does that mean you are looking for my approval since you are here also?
    Hey, if this is what you think, knock yourself out. go on, withhold your approval, that’s really show me.

  197. kage says

    David Marjanovic, that comment is unreadable. Try again with blockquotes and I’ll give it a try.

  198. David Marjanović says

    searching for the word revealed that Deeky’s comment has been removed

    It’s not in a comment. The OP itself is by Deeky, and the very first line of the text ends in “her left tit”.

    but interestingly didn’t abuse or ban anyone

    As mentioned, omphaloskeptic was – but for a backstory, not for his first comment, which includes: “Which of course, just to clarify, does not at all mean that I think Deeky meant it in a gross way or that it has to be taken that way, or that the term should necessarily not be used.”

  199. David Marjanović says

    David Marjanovic, that comment is unreadable. Try again with blockquotes and I’ll give it a try.

    I reserved blockquotes for quotes from this thread, that’s why. But if you don’t want to go over and just read the original (it’s not long!), well:

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    Well, near the bottom of the thread there’s this comment by McEwan herself (italics in the original):

    I don’t understand the squicking out, so help me out: Is is the use of the word tit specifically, or is it the fact that it was referenced at all? Or something altogether different? How would you have said the same thing, but in a non-squicky way?

    To my mind, tit’s just a slang term for any old human breast — female, male, old, young — so I don’t have a problem with it on that count, and I don’t think it’s weird to use it as a reference point, given that it’s a decorative “breast pocket.”

    So what am I missing? (And I don’t mean that in an impatient or nasty way at all; I’m genuinely curious as to what I’m not getting about the squick factor.)

    …Well, I guess weirder things have happened*, so I’m willing to accept that 1) there’s diversity in US English beyond what I, or apparently most native speakers, ever imagined; 2) McEwan and Deeky happen to share this particular idiosyncrasy.

    * Bead used to mean “prayer”.

    Still, I agree with the opposition that the word should have been edited by the time the very next comment explained:

    I think it’s that, in my mind, “tit” is a postpubescent, vaguely (or directly) female sexual body reference. “Breast pocket” to me is a gender neutral contruct describing a shirt, not a woman’s body.

    and the comment after agreed:

    had it been an anonymous grown man making a comment about an anonymous child, i would have thought it was not okay. the word “tit” has a very sexual ring to it for me.

    That would have made the place safer for more people.

    To her credit, McEwan’s next comment was:

    “tit” is a postpubescent, vaguely (or directly) female sexual body reference

    Hmm, interesting. Maybe this is the result of having a lot of gay male friends, but I’ve heard men casually refer to other men’s “tits” regularly enough that it doesn’t strike me as particularly female-specific.

    And I suspect the gender-neutrality feeds my regard for its agelessness.

    Which brings me back to my question: How would you have said the same thing, but in a non-squicky way?

    That’s great: she proposed a linguistic hypothesis to explain what happened, and she asked how to avoid the side effects.

    Yet more of this surprising diversity is revealed by the next comment (by someone else):

    Tit also made me uncomfy, for the reasons already stated: it feels like more sexualized slang term for breast than others. For instance: “What the hell is that frilly rainbow thing over her left boob??” wouldn’t probably have bothered me at all.

    and this one:

    I’ve only heard “tit” as either a small bird or something you get in a wringer. It doesn’t seem sexual at all. YMMV, indeed.

    Oh, look [trigger warning, I guess]:

    To me, both “tits” and “boobs” are specifically associated with harassment I got during puberty. I heard those words about a thousand times more often per month then than I do now. So yeah, their use for a prepubescent girl would make me twitch even more.

    Frankly, CaitieCat, your comment reads cultlike:

    I had a similar reaction to those of folk who had a minor surprise reaction to the word, but then I made the mental connection that, no, this wasn’t some random adult male talking about a seven-year-old, it was Deeky talking about his old friend Liss, and I shrugged it off.

    Not even as far as squick – maybe what I’d call in fiction “the bad jar” (meaning something that jars the reader out of the story for a moment). In non-fiction, I think it’s not a problem (bad jars, I mean). It’s the juxtaposition of what is, for me, a sexualized term (tit, or boob) with a seven-year-old that gave me the jar. I don’t suggest for a moment that means it should be changed. Maybe being jarred by an odd gender-related phrasing is a good thing for me, as a feminist, to get me thinking about why I have that reaction, and whether I want to continue having it.

    So, I think it’s really a subtle plot by Deeky to make us think more. :)

    In the meantime, somebody named omphaloskeptic got banned because of a backstory that I haven’t looked up, someone else remarked that

    this shutting down of omphaloskeptic for airing what are incredibly personal and real concerns makes Shakesville an extremely Unsafe place for me

    , McEwan referred to the backstory again and closed the thread, and the OP hasn’t been changed 5 years later.

    ░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░

    Additional clarification: Given the linguistic surprises quoted above, I don’t think Deeky intended to make “sexualised remarks about children” (stewartlaw in comment 97).

  200. kage says

    I did read the original David. Thanks for pointing out why I couldn’t find the offending comment. I do agree the language was inappropriate and not something I would endorse.

  201. kage says

    Oh I absolutely disagree, the fundamental point remains, you can try to find purchase by pointing out my mistake between the present and past tense if that floats your boat but knowing what I know about poverty, when someone said they are down to their last five dollars, that person is in all likelihood not solvent.

    You’re completely misunderstanding my argument. I’m not making some semantic point about tense in desperate attempt get purchase.

    Your presumptions are getting a bit boring, by the way. You have no idea what I or anyone know about poverty.

  202. roro80 says

    So you’re all OK with encouraging a woman on child support to donate to a relatively solvent blogger

    Y’all know how child support works, yes? I mean, it’s not generally someone’s only income. It’s also not just for poor people. If a rich person divorces a rich person and gets custody of the kids, there is child support involved. Maybe it’s a nit-picky point, but we’re talking about a single comment, years ago, to which basically we don’t know the context, on which you’re basing your excuses for a whole I-hate-Liss community/obsessionfest. So let’s please do get nit-picky here,eh?

  203. roro80 says

    @ CaitieCat #202

    “I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU I’M NOT TOUCHING YOU”

    Yes, that’s *exactly* what it seems like, perfect description.

    @ David #219

    Frankly, CaitieCat, your comment reads cultlike

    What definition of “cult” are you using? Seriously, there’s nothing in that comment that’s even almost remotely a little teensy eensy bit “cultlike”. The realization that two people who are best friends might use different language with each other than they would use with people they don’t know is not a “cultlike” realization. It’s not a mind game played on CaitieCat by the Dear Leaders to lull her into a state of compliance. It’s so common an observation as to be banal. This whole “cult” thing is so fucking stupid.

  204. geekgirlsrule says

    If MM is only asking for money six times a year, things have changed from when I left and it was every Friday.

    Look, SVKA is not going after her, organizing harassment campaigns or anything like that. They’re venting, in a fairly childish manner in some cases, but venting and trying to get over a sense of betrayal. We frequently talk about how friendships formed online are no less real than those in meatspace, except when something like this happens and suddenly it’s a group who “put far more emotional weight into the interactions they have online than they should.”

    So, which is it? Are internet friendships real things that can affect people very deeply just like IRL friendships? Or are they of no consequence and anyone who is upset by an online relationship going pear-shaped is just an over-reacting drama-monger? You can’t have it both ways.

    People felt genuinely connected (and still do judging from CaitieCat’s reactions), and it hurt a lot of people when things changed. And it’s apparently hurt a lot more of them in the interim.

    So, yes, there’s probably a more mature way to handle their grief than starting up a “Shakesville Kool Aid” community. But I’ve yet to see any evidence that they’re doing any more than blowing off steam in their own space. They aren’t creating sock puppets to post and troll. They’re bitching in their own space.

    You know, if the Slymepitters would stay in their own space instead of coming over here to bullshit decorate, I imagine most of you would be DELIGHTED. I know I would be if I never had to read another rape apologist screed from some jerk with a mad on because he can’t get laid.

    Yes, Liss gets to control HER blog the way she wants to. I’ve said that before, great. Whatever she wants. But she is also not the boss of the internet. They get to vent in their space. You may not like it. Oh well. I wasn’t real thrilled when a rival gaming podcast called me a cunt for being a feminist and wanting to “ruin gaming,” but you know what? It’s their space, and if they want to be doucheclams there, they get to be doucheclams there.

    I spent a fair amount of time reading SVKA last night, because I recognized so many people from my time on Shakesville. I posted my straw breaking the camel’s back story there. I’ll probably go back to revisit some of those people, because we WERE a community.

  205. roro80 says

    I also find it interesting that when the Deeky “tit” incident is described by the koolaid crew, it’s always that he made a sexualized remark about a child, not that he used the word “tit”in a description of the location of a funny shirt detail on a childhood picture of Liss herself. One can certainly argue effectively that it wasn’t appropriate anyway, but it’s always presented as Deeky sexualizing “a child”, like he’s one of those gay male pedophiles the rightwingers are always breathlessly warning are coming for your kids.

  206. geekgirlsrule says

    Argh. Stupid not posting:

    If MM is only asking for money six times a year, things have changed from when I left and it was every Friday.

    Look, SVKA is not going after her, organizing harassment campaigns or anything like that. They’re venting, in a fairly childish manner in some cases, but venting and trying to get over a sense of betrayal. We frequently talk about how friendships formed online are no less real than those in meatspace, except when something like this happens and suddenly it’s a group who “put far more emotional weight into the interactions they have online than they should.”

    So, which is it? Are internet friendships real things that can affect people very deeply just like IRL friendships? Or are they of no consequence and anyone who is upset by an online relationship going pear-shaped is just an over-reacting drama-monger? You can’t have it both ways.

    People felt genuinely connected (and still do judging from CaitieCat’s reactions), and it hurt a lot of people when things changed. And it’s apparently hurt a lot more of them in the interim.

    So, yes, there’s probably a more mature way to handle their grief than starting up a “Shakesville Kool Aid” community. But I’ve yet to see any evidence that they’re doing any more than blowing off steam in their own space. There’s no evidence they’re creating sock puppets to post and troll. They’re bitching in their own space.

    You know, if the Slymepitters would stay in their own space instead of coming over here to bullshit decorate, I imagine most of you would be DELIGHTED. I know I would be if I never had to read another rape apologist screed from some jerk with a mad on because he can’t get laid.

    Yes, Liss gets to control HER blog the way she wants to. I’ve said that before, great. Whatever she wants. But she is also not the boss of the internet. They get to vent in their space. You may not like it. Oh well. I wasn’t real thrilled when a rival gaming podcast called me a cunt for being a feminist and wanting to “ruin gaming,” but you know what? It’s their space, and if they want to be doucheclams there, they get to be doucheclams there.

    I spent a fair amount of time reading SVKA last night, because I recognized so many people from my time on Shakesville. I posted my straw breaking the camel’s back story there. I’ll probably go back to revisit some of those people, because we WERE a community.

  207. David Marjanović says

    Yes, that’s *exactly* what it seems like, perfect description.

    I’m not defending looking up her husband on LinkedIn – but would people who engage in “I’m not touching you” bullying really stop each other from fat-shaming her?

    What definition of “cult” are you using?

    It reads like communist self-criticism in completely denying CaitieCat’s own intelligence and ascribing superhuman wisdom to the authorities.

    The realization that two people who are best friends might use different language with each other than they would use with people they don’t know is not a “cultlike” realization.

    Of course not; it’s not what I mean.

  208. says

    LOLtacular, now DM is lecturing us on how unlikely it is that a native speaker could possibly have a different understanding of the connotations of an English word.

    I didn’t know you’d become expert in Indiana English, DM, when do you find the time?

    I remember that incident very well. Communist self-criticism indeed, you fucking ASSHOLE. I realized that the two people I knew, who were extremely good friends and had been for decades, might well share an intimate understanding that would allow for that kind of thing. Should it be in public? Debatable, at worst. Is it “inappropriately sexualizing a child”? Like fuck it is.

    You know what the difference between Shakesville and Maoist Communism is? EVERYFUCKINGTHING, you stupid, self-righteous, arrogant asswipe. Shakesville has no Iron Fucking Curtain, no one has ever been physically harmed in any way by Shakesville, and Liss hasn’t sent any fucking people to the countryside to be incompetent and starve. So fuck you and your fucking asshole defence of these fucking Slymey shitheads.

    I notice no one has addressed my questions: what kind of feminist site continues to let this happen, when they know it’s causing serious mental difficulties to their victims? What kind of feminist site hauls up the details of a woman’s husband, to claim that she has to work for free because he has an income, and should be supporting her?

    You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, and your pseudo-Spock snide bullshit is infuriating, just as it is when any MRA comes in spouting the same kind of pro-harrassment bullshit you’re spewing.

    Communist self-criticism. I repeat, fuck you, Spock. FUCK. YOU. YOU HYPERBOLIC SHITBAG.

  209. geekgirlsrule says

    Argh. Stupid not posting:

    If MM is only asking for money six times a year, things have changed from when I left and it was every Friday.

    Look, SVKA is not going after her, organizing harassment campaigns or anything like that. They’re venting, in a fairly childish manner in some cases, but venting and trying to get over a sense of betrayal. We frequently talk about how friendships formed online are no less real than those in meatspace, except when something like this happens and suddenly it’s a group who “put far more emotional weight into the interactions they have online than they should.”

    So, which is it? Are internet friendships real things that can affect people very deeply just like IRL friendships? Or are they of no consequence and anyone who is upset by an online relationship going pear-shaped is just an over-reacting drama-monger? You can’t have it both ways.

    People felt genuinely connected (and still do judging from CaitieCat’s reactions), and it hurt a lot of people when things changed. And it’s apparently hurt a lot more of them in the interim.

    So, yes, there’s probably a more mature way to handle their grief than starting up a “Shakesville Kool Aid” community. But I’ve yet to see any evidence that they’re doing any more than blowing off steam in their own space. There’s no evidence they’re creating sock puppets to post and troll. They’re bitching in their own space.

    You know, if the Slymepitters would stay in their own space instead of coming over here to bullshit decorate, I imagine most of you would be DELIGHTED. I know I would be if I never had to read another rape apologist screed from some jerk with a mad on because he can’t get laid.

    Yes, Liss gets to control HER blog the way she wants to. I’ve said that before, great. Whatever she wants. But she is also not the boss of the internet. They get to vent in their space. You may not like it. Oh well. I wasn’t real thrilled when a rival gaming podcast called me a cunt for being a feminist and wanting to “ruin gaming,” but you know what? It’s their space, and if they want to be doucheclams there, they get to be doucheclams there.

    I spent a fair amount of time reading SVKA last night, because I recognized so many people from my time on Shakesville. I posted my straw breaking the camel’s back story there. I’ll probably go back to revisit some of those people, because we WERE a community.

  210. geekgirlsrule says

    Ok, so the blog hates my post, if this posts multiple times I apologize.

    Look, SVKA is not going after her, organizing harassment campaigns or anything like that. They’re venting, in a fairly childish manner in some cases, but venting and trying to get over a sense of betrayal. We frequently talk about how friendships formed online are no less real than those in meatspace, except when something like this happens and suddenly it’s a group who “put far more emotional weight into the interactions they have online than they should.”

    So, which is it? Are internet friendships real things that can affect people very deeply just like IRL friendships? Or are they of no consequence and anyone who is upset by an online relationship going pear-shaped is just an over-reacting drama-monger? You can’t have it both ways.

    People felt genuinely connected (and still do judging from CaitieCat’s reactions), and it hurt a lot of people when things changed. And it’s apparently hurt a lot more of them in the interim.

    So, yes, there’s probably a more mature way to handle their grief than starting up a “Shakesville Kool Aid” community. But I’ve yet to see any evidence that they’re doing any more than blowing off steam in their own space. There’s no evidence they’re creating sock puppets to post and troll. They’re bitching in their own space.

    You know, if the Slymepitters would stay in their own space instead of coming over here to bullshit decorate, I imagine most of you would be DELIGHTED. I know I would be if I never had to read another rape apologist screed from some jerk with a mad on because he can’t get laid.

    Yes, Liss gets to control HER blog the way she wants to. I’ve said that before, great. Whatever she wants. But she is also not the boss of the internet. They get to vent in their space. You may not like it. Oh well. I wasn’t real thrilled when a rival gaming podcast called me a cunt for being a feminist and wanting to “ruin gaming,” but you know what? It’s their space, and if they want to be doucheclams there, they get to be doucheclams there.

    I spent a fair amount of time reading SVKA last night, because I recognized so many people from my time on Shakesville. I posted my straw breaking the camel’s back story there. I’ll probably go back to revisit some of those people, because we WERE a community.

  211. geekgirlsrule says

    Do you know how when you’re fighting with your partner, and it’s just been a lot of little things piling up and you finally blow your stack over it out of proportion to the one thing that just happened, and you try to explain and the other person tells you how petty you’re being, but you’re not because it isn’t just one thing, it’s dozens or hundreds of little things that add up over time and you can’t remember or list them all but they’re there?

    That.

  212. says

    And then how after you break up, you start a website dedicated to obsessing over them, and publish the details of their partners, and like that, right?

    Just the same as everyone would, of course, amirite fellaz? (MRA chorus of “YEAH!”)

  213. Doug Hudson says

    Describing Deeky’s comment as “sexualizing” is worse than ridiculous, it’s actively malevolent–it implies that Deeky is a pedophile, which is harmful to him personally, and also supports the nasty lie that gays=pedophiles that the conservatives still try to push.

    And that is the worst (and most hypocritical) part of this anti-Shakesville site. If it was just “we don’t like Shakesville,”, well, that would be kind of a waste of time, imo, but hey whatever. But it isn’t just that. It provides (yet another) platform for misogynists and fat-shamers and gay-haters to launch attacks on a feminist site, and worse, provides cover by claiming to be “helping people”. Bah.

    And in case anyone thinks I’m part of the “cult”, I got banned from Shakesville after making what I thought was an innocuous comment, and I even posted here on the Thunderdome cautioning people that the moderation at Shakesville was extremely strict. But then I let it go, and I still read Shakesville.

    Oh, and one last thing–calling someone by a name they don’t use is fucking dehumanizing, and this “Shakesville Koolaid” site automatically loses any credibility just for that.

  214. yazikus says

    Oh, and one last thing–calling someone by a name they don’t use is fucking dehumanizing, and this “Shakesville Koolaid” site automatically loses any credibility just for that.

    This. They might be saying “legitimate criticism!!!”, but every time they refer to her as ‘Liz’ they show their true colors.

  215. roro80 says

    @ David #224

    I’m not defending looking up her husband on LinkedIn – but would people who engage in “I’m not touching you” bullying really stop each other from fat-shaming her?

    “Would they?” They are. So, the answer is “yes”.

    It reads like communist self-criticism in completely denying CaitieCat’s own intelligence and ascribing superhuman wisdom to the authorities.

    Wow. So first, communism is the same as a cult. Second, one person knowing another person well is “superhuman wisdom” (I mean, maybe you don’t know anybody well, and it might seem really difficult to you do so, but that doesn’t make it “superhuman” to most people). Third, saying “oh those people are best friends” is self-criticism. Huh? Fourth, you have the nerve to tell CaitieCat that she’s “denying her own intelligence,” while simultaneously re-writing her own fucking words into some sort of hero worship that you’re pulling directly out of your ass? Well thank the fuck Christ she has you around to think for her and to tell her that those other people who think for her are bad.

    Anyway, that’s a whoooole lot of bullshit you packed into one, tiny shitfilled sentence there. It’s *almost* impressive.

  216. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    I don’t read shakesville often, so I’m probably going to afflict myself with ‘foot in mouth’ syndrome. I’m not completely sure how to (or even if one can) classify the bulk of the anti-shakesville sites/comments, but there seems to be quite a bit of creepy/obsessive tracking of posts and plain douchebaggery mixed into any support group type discussion and reasonable criticism.

    I suspect the use of Disqus as the comment system, versus an isolated, single blog comment system, also has a powerful amplifying effect on the intensity of the less savory elements. To me, it seems that the linked comment system helps transform it from gossip whispered in another room that one hears the worst of second-hand into something a bit more like a clique having a full-volume discussion next to the target of the gossip. Sure, you can cover your ears and keep doing your own thing and brush off the occasional bit of crap that slips through into your space, but you are still made painfully aware that bit of crap is only a fraction of what people are spreading elsewhere. If every comment in the spam queue here had an easily accessible comment history of that user at other sites (especially if that included comments made in the pit), I expect cleaning it out would be even worse than it already is.

    From Ana’s post (bolding mine):

    I honestly don’t know whether this fits some legal definition of harassment, nor do I even really care. What I care about is that I feel harassed. I feel hurt. I feel depressed and tired and in pain and stressed. I feel the impact of these posts, of the hatred they whip up for the thrill it gives the bullies involved in it. I am reminded of this site–which I would happily never visit–every time someone comes over here to leave troll remarks in the comments, because I have to click over to their Disqus profile and see why some random person is coming over here to be fussy about a Twilight post and oh wow isn’t that nice when I see their Disqus history involves a comment about my mental health (or any number of other, scarier comments) over on That Site under a post with my name in it. This behavior disturbs and upsets me. It is deliberately repetitive in order to do repeated harm to me. It is intentional and persistent. And it hurts.

  217. geekgirlsrule says

    Damn it, I have a much more substantial response to all of this, but I can’t get it to fucking post. Grrrrrr. Let’s try an abbreviated version

    Look, CaitieCat, I get that you’re invested in Shakesville. A lot of these people were too. A lot of them were mods and contributors from as far back as the Shakespeare’s Sister days. And they’re pissed off because they feel betrayed. We frequently talk about how friendships formed online are no less real than those in meatspace, except when something like this happens and suddenly it’s a group who “put far more emotional weight into the interactions they have online than they should.”

    SVKA is not going after her, organizing harassment campaigns or anything like that. They’re venting, in a fairly childish manner in some cases, but venting and trying to get over a sense of betrayal.

    So, which is it? Are internet friendships real things that can affect people very deeply just like IRL friendships? Or are they of no consequence and anyone who is upset by an online relationship going pear-shaped is just an over-reacting drama-monger? You can’t have it both ways.

    Yes, Liss gets to control HER blog the way she wants to. I’ve said that before, great. Whatever she wants. But she is also not the boss of the internet. They get to vent in their space. You may not like it. Oh well. I wasn’t real thrilled when a rival gaming podcast called me a cunt for being a feminist and wanting to “ruin gaming,” but you know what? It’s their space, and if they want to be doucheclams there, they get to be doucheclams there.

  218. geekgirlsrule says

    Ok, if I post anything longer than a paragraph it won’t go through. I don’t know what the hell is up.

    But I’m just gonna say: So far no one defending SVKA is equating anyone, not even Liss, to MRAs or Slymepitters.

    I get CaitieCat that you’re invested and feel protective. At one time, so did everyone in that group.

  219. The Mellow Monkey says

    Doug Hudson @ 229

    Describing Deeky’s comment as “sexualizing” is worse than ridiculous, it’s actively malevolent–it implies that Deeky is a pedophile, which is harmful to him personally, and also supports the nasty lie that gays=pedophiles that the conservatives still try to push.

    Agreed.

    David M @ 224

    It reads like communist self-criticism in completely denying CaitieCat’s own intelligence and ascribing superhuman wisdom to the authorities.

    No, it doesn’t. It’s a light-hearted commentary on how she was surprised by a word used in a context she hadn’t expected, then considering the feminist value in thinking about her own reaction. There is no suggestion of “superhuman wisdom” in “the authorities” when she acknowledges that Deeky and Liss are old friends, or in CaitieCat’s quip at the end. The “subtle plot” comment has a fucking smiley face on it, FFS.

    I rarely read Shakesville and have never commented there, so I’m willing to admit I’m not going to be familiar with all the intricacies of the situation. There might be fine criticisms of Shakesville out there. I’m sure Melissa is not a perfect human being and has fucked up, as have we all, and perhaps in spectacular ways. Bringing the word “cult” into it is really offensive without some better criticism than I’m seeing here, though. I’d liken it to people lightly tossing around terms like “lynching” and “witch hunt”, frankly.

  220. roro80 says

    Well, Liss doesn’t run a site dedicated to hating on and shutting down another site (like Slymepitters) or an ex (you brought up the break-up reference, geekgirlsrule), hence those comparisons.

  221. Doug Hudson says

    geekgirlsrule@232

    Way to be condescending much. I don’t even like Melissa McEwan but I agree with CaitieCat.

    And one other thing–the hate site you are so hell-bent on protecting basically godwins itself in the URL.

    Comparing Shakesville, a website, to the fucking Jonestown suicide cult is hyperbole on the same level as calling Melissa McEwan “Hitler”.

    But then, MRAs and their allies are all about hyperbole.

  222. Anthony K says

    Not enough things are referred to as ‘cults’ these days. It would certainly improve online discourse if every time someone was referred to as a ‘cult member’ you had to ask “‘Cult member’ as in ‘They cut ties with their family, shaved their head, and became a concubine for Our Prophet, the Living Embodiment of Jesus Come Again’, or ‘cult member’ as in ‘they bought a Macbook Pro, really like it, and swear they’ll never buy a PC again’?”

    A friend of mine moved to LA. Tired of being a member of the Cult of Those Stuck in Traffic, he deconverted and now is a member of the Cult of Those Who Ride Ducatis. Or was, until his parked ride got backed into by some doofus in a van. Now he drives a loaner from the insurance company, so I guess that makes him temporarily agnostic.

  223. The Mellow Monkey says

    Has Melissa offered to be both a savior and God to her followers?

    Has Melissa abused her position as an authority in order to manipulate her followers for sex while simultaneously forbidding them from sex outside of monogamous marriages?

    Has Melissa isolated her followers from their friends and family?

    Has Melissa instructed her followers to pretend to defect from Shakesville so that they’ll be trusted by others, then shoot politicians and their delegations?

    Has Melissa orchestrated the murder of 303 children?

    Has Melissa repeatedly manipulated her followers into drinking liquid that they believe to be poisonous, but which is not? And then followed that up by really giving them poison?

    Has Melissa done anything that makes it okay for her critics to appropriate the abuse and murders of hundreds of people?

  224. stewartlaw says

    Just to make clear. In all the time I have seen people criticise Deeky for that inappropriate comment, not once have I seen anyone refer to his sexuality, or infer from the inappropriate comment he was anything other than someone who made in inapproriate comment. And this is over the space of five years since the comment was made.

    The leap to paedophilia and his sexuality was brought up here in this place, no one else anywhere thinks that, or has inferred that. You are all way off base with that line of reasoning, so why don’t we all agree no one thinks anything of the sort and drop that talk altogether?

  225. stewartlaw says

    Comparing Shakesville, a website, to the fucking Jonestown suicide cult is hyperbole on the same level as calling Melissa McEwan “Hitler”.

    Of course it’s hyperbole, and would be the same as calling her Hitler, if anyone thought it was a genuine comparison but it isn’t, only the sort of people who see hate sites where there are none, think it is meant as a serious comparison.

  226. Anthony K says

    stewartliar, 238:

    The leap to paedophilia and his sexuality was brought up here in this place, no one else anywhere thinks that, or has inferred that.

    Wait, what? This is what you, DresdenFilesRocks, and Fang Yun Oerba said about Deeky’s comment:

    97:

    The person who it was made about is known to have made sexualised remarks about children in Shakesville, should we hold those comments up as representative of that place?

    115:

    @99: No. Shakesville has a mod who made sexualized remarks about children. Not DtSKA.

    117:

    No, they are a mod at Shakesville. It is Deeky who is said to have made sexualised remarks about children. That is one reason why some people are a little forgiving about someone finding him slappable.

    119:

    The supposed victim of the slapping comment is the same mod at shakesville who made the sexualised remarks about a child.

    Especially considering the slapping comment was taken to task in SKA, but his sexualised comment about kids was not taken to task in shakesville.

    So, for those defenders of Shakesville, do you own the sexualised comment about kids?

    And now you’re saying it’s way off base for anyone to think there’s an implication of pedophilia in those? Also, is Liss as a child is now ‘kids’ and ‘children’ as per the quoted comments?

    Seriously, you are one sleazy, dishonest fuck, stewartlaw. The comparison with the slymepit could not be more apt.

  227. stewartlaw says

    And now you’re saying it’s way off base for anyone to think there’s an implication of pedophilia in those? Also, is Liss as a child is now ‘kids’ and ‘children’ as per the quoted comments?/

    Yep, I am saying that in five years of criticisms no one has made that leap, no one, until you guys here brought it up. I think it should be dropped.

    Seriously, you are one sleazy, dishonest fuck, stewartlaw. The comparison with the slymepit could not be more apt.

    I think your intemperate comments are laughable, given your pontifications about hate sites.

  228. stewartlaw says

    Just to be clear, that is the last post I will make discussing that particular subject.

  229. Anthony K says

    I think it should be dropped.

    Too fucking bad. You brought it up, shitbag. You don’t get to walk away from it now. You, several times, directly said Deeky was known to make sexualised comments about children. Is there more than ‘he referred to the word ‘tit’ when discussing Liss’ T-shirt in a picture of her as a child’, or are you going to explain how that translates into ‘children’, you disgusting fuck?

    I think your intemperate comments are laughable, given your pontifications about hate sites.

    Well, I’m not the one on a hate site dedicated to the destruction of a blog run by people I lie about. Frankly, I don’t care what you laugh about, you cultist freak.

  230. Anthony K says

    Just to be clear, that is the last post I will make discussing that particular subject.

    Yeah, sucks to get caught out as a liar. Eat shit, fuckface!

  231. stewartlaw says

    I have to say you chaps are looking pettier and pettier by the minute.

    Funny you should say that…

  232. The Mellow Monkey says

    stewartlaw @ 245

    Of course it’s hyperbole, and would be the same as calling her Hitler, if anyone thought it was a genuine comparison but it isn’t, only the sort of people who see hate sites where there are none, think it is meant as a serious comparison.

    Actually…I’m going to disagree with this being like calling Melissa McEwan Hitler. The site isn’t called “Shakesville Jim Jones”, after all. You’re not making an explicit, hyperbolic comparison to the charismatic figure at the top.

    No, this is like calling yourselves Holocaust survivors. This is likening yourselves to the traumatized people who barely managed to get out of the Jonestown massacre. Real people who are living with real grief and guilt. Getting banned from a website because of the commenting policy is like:

    [Leslie Wagner Wilson] and a handful of church members fought their way through thick jungle in the South American country of Guyana, escaping a utopian society gone wrong where followers were starved, beaten and held prisoner in the Jonestown compound.

    She walked 30 miles to safety with her 3-year-old son, Jakari, strapped to her back and a smaller group of defectors. But just hours later, the mother, sister and brother and husband she left behind were dead.

    “I was so scared,” said Wagner, now 55. “We exchanged phone numbers in case we died. I was prepared to die. I never thought I would see my 21st birthday.”

    Does that, perhaps, put the offensiveness of the appropriation into focus now?

  233. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny you should say that…

    *snicker* You think showing evidence you lie and bullshit is petty? You are one pathetic cult member.

  234. stewartlaw says

    Drink the Kool Aid is a well used phrase which has entered the popular lexicon, and all this pearl clutching like this one site is the only place to have ever used it, yeah right.

  235. Anthony K says

    You are one pathetic cult member.

    On the contrary, I think he’s an exceptional cult member. If I were to lead a cult, and I wanted someone exceptionally stupid and dishonest to wield against my enemies, I’d recruit this useless wad in a heartbeat.

    I just wouldn’t let him talk too long. He gives away the ruse much too easily.

  236. stewartlaw says

    *snicker* You think showing evidence you lie and bullshit is petty? You are one pathetic cult member.

    That’s it let it out, come over to the dark side, see how it feels good?

  237. Anthony K says

    Drink the Kool Aid is a well used phrase which has entered the popular lexicon, and all this pearl clutching like this one site is the only place to have ever used it, yeah right.

    “Boys will be boys”, as the antifeminists say.

  238. The Mellow Monkey says

    Drink the Kool Aid is a well used phrase which has entered the popular lexicon, and all this pearl clutching like this one site is the only place to have ever used it, yeah right.

    Oh snap. Consider me schooled.

    Truly, I cannot fathom why attitudes like this would ever run afoul in a social justice oriented blog. I am really stumped why “duh, everybody says it” isn’t an acceptable defense. Maybe a bunch of hysterical ladies just got their panties in a bunch, amiright?

  239. stewartlaw says

    Maybe a bunch of hysterical ladies just got their panties in a bunch, amiright?

    See, that’s a good example of language I wouldn’t use.

  240. says

    stewartlaw #253

    Funny you should say that…

    Um. Tu quoque isn’t a good argument at the best of times. When it’s not even accurate, it fails miserably. The two concrete “abuses” we’ve been presented with have been a very dubious reading of a mod’s reply to someone offering money and a frankly laughable implication-but-not-an-implication-honest-it-aint! of paedophilia.

    I said petty, and I stand by it.

  241. stewartlaw says

    OK, since this is quickly turning from a discussion into a series of posts swearing at me, or making up phrases and telling me that’s what I really want to say, there’s not much point in me hanging around, you can do it all just as well in my absence.

    Peace out, Free thoughters.

  242. roro80 says

    Wow, stewart, you’re such a liar. Of course drumming over and over again about how Deeky makes sexualized comments about children means he’s making fun of pedophelia, maybe is a predator himself, or at the very least doesn’t care about victims of child abuse. That’s the implication. There’s no world in which that phrase can be used without that implication, and you fucking know it. Not to mention that it’s purposeful lie to misrepresent what actually happened.

    And oh, now, how convenient that calling Shakesville a cult is suddenly just hyperbole! Not just hyperbole, but *obvious* hyperbole. While talking about the horrible abuse, the groupthink, the hero-worship of the leader! Oh yes, we’re all just supposed to read that as “hyperbole”. Holy hell, that’s some amazing dishonesty. If you’re trying to make the case that the things going on at SKA are totally reasonable, I don’t think you’re doing yourself any favors by spinning outright demonstrable lies.

  243. Anthony K says

    OK, since this is quickly turning from a discussion into a series of posts swearing at me, or making up phrases and telling me that’s what I really want to say, there’s not much point in me hanging around, you can do it all just as well in my absence.

    Bye, liar. Have fun with your hate cult.

  244. stewartlaw says

    Damn, how come when you say you;re leaving, someone always goes and makes a comment you just can;t not respond to?

    Anyway.

    or at the very least doesn’t care about victims of child abuse. That’s the implication.

    Bingo, I will happily own that, since it is exactly what was the problem with his phrase given he used it in a supposedly safe space for people of childhood sexual abuse.

    Yes, that’s pretty much what I was saying, thank you, no quibbles from me, bang on the nose.

  245. Anthony K says

    roro80, it’s worth mentioning that stewartlaw isn’t the only one who lied by omission about Deeky. Other cultists repeated the chant.

  246. says

    stewartlaw:

    See, that’s a good example of language I wouldn’t use.

    And yet, you just can’t get enough of using ‘pearl clutching’ at every fucking opportunity, which is saying the same thing. Around here, we say something like “you’re gonna pop a monocle” instead, given the sexist implications involved in pearl clutching (oh look, a hysterical woman clutching her pearls, oh my!).

    You’re a bit of an idiot, Stewart. You should look to fix that.

  247. Anthony K says

    Bingo, I will happily own that, since it is exactly what was the problem with his phrase given he used it in a supposedly safe space for people of childhood sexual abuse.

    And yet, not once in the at least four comments in which the phrase “made sexual remarks about children” (only one referred to the child in question as singular, but then went on to imply that it was multiple remarks about multiple children), was actual claim ever made explicit, instead using the apparently accepted mantra among the KoolAiders either unknowing that it was open to multiple interpretations including that Deeky has pedophilic tendencies, or (more likely, given the evidence) purposefully doing so.

  248. roro80 says

    Yes, that’s pretty much what I was saying, thank you, no quibbles from me, bang on the nose.

    Neat! So the idea that nobody had EVER FUCKING THOUGHT ABOUT PEDOPHELIA in connection with that comment — that’s we’re just all making up that implication out of thin air — is blatant fucking bullshit. If you were being honest, you wouldn’t lie by saying he “makes sexual comments about children”, over and over again, and conveniently skip the part where he doesn’t actually do that.

    Still waiting for a non-ridiculous accusation of abuse that doesn’t fall apart completely under the most basic scrutiny.

  249. stewartlaw says

    The first use of the phrase pearl clutching was directed AT me in post # 112. I have used it once myself. which doesn’t strike me as fitting with your comment

    And yet, you just can’t get enough of using ‘pearl clutching’ at every fucking opportunity

    But whatevs

  250. Knabb says

    As I’ve said before, “cult” is a fucking ridiculous characterization, and I don’t buy for a second that it was intended as hyperbole. “Kool-aid” is less the particular appropriation of the mass suicide, and more, as Stewartlaw says (and I’m very much not in agreement with him on a lot of things – I think SKA goes too far and needs to put the kibosh on some of the nastier people there) part of the common lexicon. It’s something that needs to get the hell out of the common lexicon, and as far as I’m concerned SKA fucked up big time in using it, hyperbole or no. There’s still a pretty huge fucking difference from using an idiomatic phrase with a deeply problematic origin that needs to fuck off and directly appropriating the mass suicide of a bunch of people compliments of one asshole cult leader.

    I mean, fuck. “Drank the kool-aid” is routinely used for such routine shit as owning a Macintosh computer. That shit needs to get called out, but it’s so fucking prevalent that I’m inclined to look at it as being sloppy and not thinking things through. It’s been used so fucking much that it doesn’t even call to mind the origin for many people – hell, it’s not even that well known an event for people born after said mass suicide and the dwindling of the media response. That doesn’t make it okay, but it sure as hell makes it a lot better than if it was some new phrase deliberately drawn up to connect to an actual cult – which neither Shakesville nor SKA are anywhere close to being.

    As for Stewartlaw’s use of “pearl clutching”, that gets into the disagreement territory. Between being obviously sexist, referring to a modern stereotype, and it being precisely the sort of thing anyone with any background in feminism should be able to pick up on, which the core membership of SKA clearly has.

    @259, Anthony K
    “Boys will be boys” is generally brought up in the context of actual violence. That one can mistakenly use a problematic phrase that requires knowledge of a particular event to even know is problematic is reasonable*. That one can somehow rape, beat, and/or assault someone and somehow think it’s entirely reasonable to do so (the typical “boys will be boys” defense) is fucking ludicrous. That’s not the defense being used here.

    *As opposed to something like “that’s so gay”, or, for that matter, “pearl clutching” which require about 0 background knowledge to see the problems in.

    tl;dr – Is Stewart a willfully ignorant tool? Yes. Does SKA need to do some fairly serious house cleaning? Yes. Is SKA a hate group or cult? Not so much.

  251. stewartlaw says

    If you were being honest, you wouldn’t lie by saying he “makes sexual comments about children”, over and over again, and conveniently skip the part where he doesn’t actually do that.

    If you’re going to lecture me on being honest, then better if you quote me exactly? My words were “sexualised comments” not sexual comments.

    Stick to what I have said then get back to me about honesty. I said he made sexualised comments, he did.

  252. Doug Hudson says

    If you use the language and tactics of misogynists, don’t act indignant when you get called a misogynist.

    Same holds true for bigotry, homophobia, fat-shaming, and all of the other hatreds indulged by the “koolaid” site.

    The Bible has a line about “knowing people by their fruits”, that is, not what they claim to be doing, but by what they actually do. Unusually, this happens to be good advice.

    The koolaid people can swear up and down that they are just trying to help, but when you look at what they actually do, that lie is quickly exposed.

  253. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Doubling down on your opinion, which we don’t verify, is one way to lie. Stop doing it. We don’t give a shit about your interpretation.

    The best approach when your lies are exposed is something call “shutting the fuck up”. Try it.

  254. stewartlaw says

    Same holds true for bigotry, homophobia, fat-shaming, and all of the other hatreds indulged by the “koolaid” site.

    Sorry, this is simply so far from any kind of truth. Or hey, maybe I am just this willfully ignorant tool as people say,and I choose not to see it. Enlighten me by all means.

  255. geekgirlsrule says

    I apologize for the multiple re-posts. Good grief.

    And I wasn’t being condescending.

  256. stewartlaw says

    Doubling down on your opinion, which we don’t verify, is one way to lie. Stop doing it. We don’t give a shit about your interpretation.

    I will have my say as long as it pleases me, or the people who run this place.

  257. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw,

    Cut the bullshit. There are only two possibilities here:

    1. Deeky used “tit” thinking of it as a perfectly innocent synonym for “breast”
    2. Deeky deliberately used sexualized language about a picture of a child

    If 1 is true, then what’s the point of bringing it up? You’re just arguing semantics.

    If 2 is true, then you are saying that Deeky wanted to sexualize a picture of a child. Now, you can make that accusation, but you better be damn sure before you make it. Because not only is it a vile accusation, but it’s also incredibly homophobic to accuse a gay man of sexualizing children.

    So which is it? Do you truly believe Deeky meant to sexualize a picture of a ten year old (a childhood picture of a close friend, no less)?

    Or are you using semantics to try to imply something without actually coming out and saying it?

  258. stewartlaw says

    Doug, I have made posts previously explaining what I think, and what I don’t think and have not implied. I have made posts previously explaining what I think is a suitable topic for discussion.

    You don’t have to agree with me but you should be aware that any discussion you have on the matter will not include input from me.

    I will say I think you are doing the person in question a disservice by continuing but whatevs, you getting on top of this is more important than that, right?

  259. The Mellow Monkey says

    Knabb @ 272

    “Drank the kool-aid” is routinely used for such routine shit as owning a Macintosh computer. That shit needs to get called out, but it’s so fucking prevalent that I’m inclined to look at it as being sloppy and not thinking things through. It’s been used so fucking much that it doesn’t even call to mind the origin for many people – hell, it’s not even that well known an event for people born after said mass suicide and the dwindling of the media response. That doesn’t make it okay, but it sure as hell makes it a lot better than if it was some new phrase deliberately drawn up to connect to an actual cult – which neither Shakesville nor SKA are anywhere close to being.

    A new phrase? No. Chosen deliberately to draw a connection to an actual cult? Clearly:

    skeptifem @ 14

    Go read the post on SV called “all in” and tell me that isn’t a cult.

    Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr @ 27

    If you don’t see how *that* post and ensuing comments could be construed as cultish, I’d be surprised

    skeptifem @ 86

    I’m gonna fuck off out of this thread. There is plenty of info out there for anyone who wants to know. They can google “shakesville cult” and see what people put up with when they needed support.

    David M @ 212

    Frankly, CaitieCat, your comment reads cultlike

    stewartlaw @ 215

    Encouraging someone who has demonstrated they are on child support, to give your from the little they have is the sort of thing cult leaders, televangelists and the like do, it’s shitty practice, and Shakesville engages in it.

    The comparison to a cult started right off the bat and is, as skeptifem helpfully pointed out, a common comparison made by Shakesville detractors.

  260. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw@280,

    You insufferable motherfucker. I’m trying to expose your nasty lie about Deeky, and you accuse ME of doing him a disservice?!

    So, lying liar that lies, answer my question: do you think Deeky meant to sexualize a child, or not?

  261. stewartlaw says

    You had me at “You Insufferable MotherFucker…”

    Hey look, I’m not your dancing monkey, saying the things you want me to say, in the way you want me to say them, what an “Insufferable Motherfucker”, right enough.

  262. Doug Hudson says

    I don’t have to make you say anything. Your refusal to provide one scrap of evidence that Deeky meant to sexualize children, or even to state that you believe he meant to sexualize children, speaks for its self.

    You discredit yourself and the site you claim to be defending.

  263. stewartlaw says

    So wait, my inability to say something, and back that non thing what I haven’t said up with evidence, damns me all to hell?

    Shit, I’m now thinking of all the other things I haven’t said, and don’t have evidence for, there’s so much.

  264. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @286,

    So, you DIDN’T say that Deeky used sexualized language about a picture of a child?

    Then we are in agreement! Deeky didn’t sexualize a child!

    Fantastic, this is a real breakthrough.

  265. roro80 says

    The double standard is amazing. It’s totally unacceptable for someone to use the word “tit” in reference to a shirt location on a picture of his best friend’s childhood photo, and we must all take that to mean he doesn’t care about the sexual abuse of children in order to totally justify creepy stalker-y behavior of his friend, but steward gets to shimmy right up to the line of calling someone a pedophile and we must all say “oh no!! Of COURSE nobody actually meant that! We would never ever think of that interpretation!!” So we must not only view Deeky’s word (again, about his best friend) in the very most negative and disgusting manner possible, but we must ignore all common sense in interpreting your disgusting lies exactly how you want us to. MMmmkk buddy.

  266. stewartlaw says

    The double standard is amazing.

    It really really is, and I wish you could see it. There are things I will discuss, and there are things I think should not be cheapened by being shoehorned into arguments for no reason.

    Y’all are fixated on that stuff, not me.

  267. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw@289,

    So, you agree that we shouldn’t say that Deeky was sexualizing a child by using the word “tit”, because that would cheapen the problem of child sexualization?

    Excellent! I’m glad you see things my way.

  268. says

    stewartlaw #289

    Y’all are fixated on that stuff, not me.

    You claimed it as a reason for Shakesville being an unsafe space that people need to be warned about. Furthermore you (I have to assume wilfully, given how obvious the implication is) allowed readers here to gain the impression that someone actually sexualised a child, rather than merely misused a word.

    Yeah, I for one am quite fixated on this. It speaks to your honesty, or lack thereof, in your defence of SKA.

  269. stewartlaw says

    I know exactly what I said Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall, and I’m happy with that.

  270. roro80 says

    stewart, we are “fixated” on that one incident because it’s the closest anyone could come to a concrete example of something they did there that was shitty. And it turns out that your description of it was bullshit, just like the incident about someone’s last $5 that she was supposed to use for her child. There’s nothing else for us to fixate on, because everything else is about their strict commenting policy. As I said before, lying and behaving in a totally shitty manner isn’t helping convince anyone that maybe the group your I-Hate-Liss site is targeting deserves what’s going on. It just makes you look like a liar and a bully who really likes to stick it good to a feminist blogger because it’s fun for you to cause people pain. From the perspective of someone who only knows you from this thread, that’s what you look like right now.

  271. stewartlaw says

    Lies by omission are still lies.

    Except when someones asks you, are you implying X? and you state quite emphatically that no you are most definitely not implying X, and have not seen anyone imply X in over five years of mentions.

    Then when there’s a pile on and people are saying, yeah you definitely meant X, and the fact you wont say X or provide proof for X means you really really must be implying X!

    So my contention is that you can kiss my hairy irish arse if you are trying to tell me what I mean when I’ve said otherwise. And my refusal to engage in a discussion of X is because I find that distasteful, and I reserve the right not to get into what I consider distasteful topics.

    I really can’t say it any clearer mo chara.

  272. says

    stewartlaw #295

    Except when someones asks you, are you implying X? and you state quite emphatically that no you are most definitely not implying X, and have not seen anyone imply X in over five years of mentions.

    How many times was the sexualisation of children or a child mentioned before you saw fit to correct that obvious implication?

    Disingenuous fuckwad.

  273. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @ 295

    Easy enough to clear things up:

    Do you think that Deeky was using “tits” as a sexual term?

    All you have to do is say “yes” or “no”.

    Otherwise, people will have to keep guessing about what you meant, and they may well draw the wrong conclusions. But that’s unavoidable if you don’t state your position clearly.

  274. stewartlaw says

    No disingenuousness on my part at all. Making a sexualised comment about a child on a blog that is supposed to be a safe space for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is an inappropriate thing to do. I’ve seen people say it was triggering, and I stand with them

    It was inappropriate when I said it back upthread, and it still is now.

    Like I say, I stand by it.

    The leaps people are making from calling it inappropriate to suggesting I meant something else, it’s all on the people saying that, I don’t own it.

  275. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @299

    I ask you, for the third time:

    Do you believe that Deeky meant “tits” as a sexual term?

    I’m genuinely curious at this point.

  276. says

    stewartlaw #299

    Making a sexualised comment about a child on a blog that is supposed to be a safe space for survivors of childhood sexual abuse is an inappropriate thing to do. I’ve seen people say it was triggering, and I stand with them

    Y’know what, I happen to agree with that in part. I agree that the word “tit,” though used innocently, was a touch squicky in that context, and should maybe have been edited to “shirt pocket” or some such.

    My problem with you is that you repeatedly, over multiple comments, left open the obvious implication that he, personally, saw the child in a sexualised manner, rather than having made a fairly minor language muck-up. And no, I cannot believe that you couldn’t see the obvious and potentially very damaging implication of your words.

  277. stewartlaw says

    Doug, what I believe is that the language used was inappropriate for the reasons I have previously stated. No more, no less.

  278. stewartlaw says

    My problem with you is that you repeatedly, over multiple comments, left open the obvious implication that he, personally, saw the child in a sexualised manner, rather than having made a fairly minor language muck-up. And no, I cannot believe that you couldn’t see the obvious and potentially very damaging implication of your words.

    Well, you can either believe or not believe me when I stated that no one complaining about the comment all these years had drawn that conclusion, in fact today was the first time I’d seen that implication in conversation, so there you have it, if people didn’t leap to that conclusion in SKA and other places, I think it’s fair to assume it was never part of what were saying.

    Nevertheless,this is an entirely new place where the matter was raised and people did leap to that view, at which point I emphatically denied it as part of my thinking when asked, and have refused to even entertain it as a possibility.

    I also think there’s a bit of confirmation bias taking place among some of you I have riled.

  279. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @ 302,

    In your opinion, it was inappropriate.

    But if Deeky didn’t mean it that way, then where, to coin a phrase, is the beef?

    Does it all come down to the fact that he didn’t apologize for using a word that he didn’t even think was sexual?

    Is THAT all this is about? Because frankly, that’s some petty shit right there.

    In fact, that’s why some of us are assuming you are accusing Deeky of something worse, because really, a single instance of someone using a possibly inappropriate word is so insignificant that it just makes you look bad to bring it up.

    Now, if Deeky had a history of using sexual terms for children, that would be a problem. But you don’t seem to have any evidence for that.

  280. stewartlaw says

    But if Deeky didn’t mean it that way, then where, to coin a phrase, is the beef?

    Hmm, firstly, I would dearly love for you to go to Shakesville and make such an argument about any similar comment being criticised. You would in all likelihood be either set upon by mods, or simply booted from the site, probably both, so there’s kinda some beef in the hypocrisy over the way the pace is run. It’s not just that one comment, that’s not ALL it is, it’s the totality of instances over the years where so many people have felt the same way about their negative experiences in a so called safe space, numerous sites have sprung up over the internet where people can detail the shitty experiences they had in Shakesville, which they should be allowed to do with being called a hate site.

  281. Doug Hudson says

    Or to put it another way, if a commenter (or PZ!) uses a word that people here think is inappropriate, people will say so–but they don’t set up hate sites dedicated to destroying the website that the commenter posted on!

  282. Anthony K says

    Now, if Deeky had a history of using sexual terms for children, that would be a problem. But you don’t seem to have any evidence for that.

    Which, of course is what they originally said. They used plurals, several times: “known to have made sexualised remarks about children”.

  283. stewartlaw says

    Or to put it another way, if a commenter (or PZ!) uses a word that people here think is inappropriate, people will say so–but they don’t set up hate sites dedicated to destroying the website that the commenter posted on!

    And if saying so got you banned from the site, or even saying something supportive to the site owners could get you banned, to the point vulnerable people felt they had to walk around them on eggshells, well after a while you might find some people left and set up a site to detail the bullshit people were being put through.

    That you in your puffery think you have the first clue about them, and feel you’re in a position to say how they should and shouldn’t act?

  284. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @305,

    Wait, the reason you support this koolaid website is because you don’t like the way a website is moderated?

    REALLY?

    HAHAHAHAHHA.

    Oh man, that’s even more pathetic than the “free speech” morons.

    HAHAHAHAHA

    okay, okay, lemme stop laughing…okay, here’s the deal: Melissa owns the website, she can moderate it any way she damn well pleases.

    Bitching about that is petty. Supporting a campaign to destroy her website is BEYOND petty. It’s pathetic and childish.

    Grow up!

  285. says

    stewartlaw #304

    Hmm, firstly, I would dearly love for you to go to Shakesville and make such an argument about any similar comment being criticised. You would in all likelihood be either set upon by mods, or simply booted from the site, probably both, so there’s kinda some beef in the hypocrisy over the way the pace is run.

    That’s not hypocrisy. Over-sensitiveness, over-moderation, maybe, but not hypocrisy. At which point, I might decide to leave. I might even have a bit of a moan elsewhere. But set up a site to whinge about it? Continually spam the site over it? That’s petty.

  286. Anthony K says

    to the point vulnerable people felt they had to walk around them on eggshells

    Well, if I were Deeky, Ana, or Liss, I’d be on eggshells around you obsessives. Say ‘tit’ once in an inappropriate comment, and suddenly you’re “known to have made sexualised remarks about children.”

  287. roro80 says

    Evidently, everyone at SKA is just so stupid that they didn’t know that saying Deeky is “known to have made sexualised remarks about children” might be taken to mean that Deeky has made sexualised remarks about chidlren, and that that has implications of pedophilia or indifference to the sexual abuse of children. Stewart assures us all that we here are the very first to ever even think that! Cross his heart hope to die. So maybe they all just have IQs of 12. Because it would take a level of stupid around there to miss that implication.

    It’s a moot point, of course, given that stewart’s already admitted freely to be implying exactly that.

  288. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @308

    Actually, yes, yes I am. As I described above, I got banned from Shakesville myself!

    And you know what I did?

    I posted a note here cautioning people that Shakesville was VERY heavily moderated.

    I did NOT whine about how mean Melissa was.

    I did NOT start a website dedicated to destroying Shakesville.

    Because I know that Melissa owns the website and can moderate it however she wants.

    Because I am an adult who takes responsibility for my actions and doesn’t blame someone else for being mean to me on a site that I don’t even have to visit!

    Jesus, you’re even more pathetic than I thought. Nothing more petty than complaining about mods.

  289. stewartlaw says

    Continually spam the site over it

    Example?

    Continually spamming the site?

    Give me some examples of this continual spamming of the site.

  290. roro80 says

    @ Anthony K #310 — funny isn’t it? Removing violent rhetoric or disabilist and sexist slurs from their comments is cause for an entire I-Hate-You site to spring up, but leaving up the word “tit” is…also the cause for an entire I-Hate-You site to spring up. For goodness’ sake, it’s a good thing they so heavily moderate, or lying assholes like stewart would be using every thread as evidence that they want to perpetrate violence and sexism on every marginalized group imaginable.

  291. says

    stewartlaw #313

    Example?

    Continually spamming the site?

    Give me some examples of this continual spamming of the site.

    Jebus, have you not bothered reading the thread you’re commenting on? [Link]

    You’ll note it’s not just guesswork.—can’t be misattributed when it was 4chan users or the like—as shown by disqus comment-history.

  292. stewartlaw says

    Jesus, you’re even more pathetic than I thought. Nothing more petty than complaining about mods.

    I shall try to contain my disappointment that you think I’m pathetic, nay even more pathetic than you thought. I will say though, I can think of lost of things more petty than complaining about mods, us carrying on this discussion for one, I mean c’mon, it stopped being about anything ages ago, and is just the usual decent into sniping and bickering, that’s way more petty than arguing about mods, and you’re just as much part of it as I, so up yours mo chara.

  293. stewartlaw says

    Jebus, have you not bothered reading the thread you’re commenting on?

    Read it, and don’t believe it. Just because someone says something, don’t make it true. Show me the spamming comments themselves? No one at dtSKA approves of such tactics, and laying everything at the door of dtSKA is bullshit, show me the evidence or stfu.

    Continual spamming of the sites is the charge, show me the evidence.

  294. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Daz, 315
    My comment got stuck in moderation for a while, so it could be easily forgiven if one had already read to the end of the comments here and failed to notice they jumped in numbering and position during a screen refresh.

  295. Doug Hudson says

    stewartlaw @316,

    Hardly a waste from my point of view, you’ve completely discredited yourself in this thread.

    And if someone asks why there is a Shakesville hate site, why, I can point to your comments and say, oh, those koolaid people are just upset because of the way someone moderates a website. And then we’ll laugh.

    I wonder if the koolaid people realize what a stellar job you’re doing in making them look like petty whiners?

  296. Anthony K says

    Evidently, everyone at SKA is just so stupid that they didn’t know that saying Deeky is “known to have made sexualised remarks about children” might be taken to mean that Deeky has made sexualised remarks about chidlren, and that that has implications of pedophilia or indifference to the sexual abuse of children. Stewart assures us all that we here are the very first to ever even think that! Cross his heart hope to die. So maybe they all just have IQs of 12. Because it would take a level of stupid around there to miss that implication.

    If they’d just cop to that, I’d give them a pass. Of course, they can’t, because it would undercut their claim that they’re unfairly banned. One could just point to their linguistic incompetence as reasonable evidence they simply didn’t understand the rules, or what their banning was for.

    So, they’re either smart enough to understand language and thus be competent to argue that bans were made improperly and unfairly, in which case the argument that they couldn’t have forseen the implications of “known to have made sexualised remarks about children” (including the dishonest use of plurals) doesn’t hold up, or else they’re children who read and write English at a barely passable level, could not have understood why their claim about Deeky was likely to be misconstrued, but also could not be expected to reasonably assess a banning as unfair.

  297. says

    stewartlaw #317

    Read it, and don’t believe it. Just because someone says something, don’t make it true. Show me the spamming comments themselves? No one at dtSKA approves of such tactics, and laying everything at the door of dtSKA is bullshit, show me the evidence or stfu.

    Continual spamming of the sites is the charge, show me the evidence.

    Ah, so you’re not a hate site, but anyone defending the site you’re not all hatey about is automatically a liar. You’re not making a very good case for your non-hatey-ness, you know.

  298. Anthony K says

    Just because someone says something, don’t make it true.

    Like “known to have made sexualised comments about children”, which as we’ve all learned, is a lie stewartlaw, Fang Yun Oerba, and DresdenFilesRocks have rehearsed enough to repeat verbatim, even though it’s an untrue description of what actually happened.

  299. roro80 says

    Just because someone says something, don’t make it true.

    So, just to be clear, stewart: you believe Ana was lying when she said this happened regularly? There’s no mincing words in her statement, so there’s no ambiguity over what she’s saying happened. You believe that that is just a straight-up lie, that Ana is making up the harassment for…fun maybe?

  300. anteprepro says

    Hyperbole is all well and good, but when your complaints about something are hyperbole all the way down, such that once the exaggeration peels way, there is no legitimate criticism left, you might need to rethink your priorities in life.

  301. one degree says

    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall wrote:
    “….fairly minor language muck-up.”

    That’s your error, right there; it’s not minor, not at all.

    The word “tit” is not value free. For victims of sexual abuse, it’s a word whispered in their ears as they were held down and raped by men they once trusted. Or maybe it’s just a word you heard screamed at you on the street, at the age of eleven or twelve, by grown men – grown fucking men who thought the phrase “nice tits” was a decent thing to say to a young girl. Or maybe it was “just” a circle of boys sniggering and talking shit about your body – the place you live, the place you live in – as if you were an insensate piece of meat to be played with.

    And dozens of former commenters at Shakesvile ARE that girl, now grown up; and Shakesville drew them by claiming to be a (so-called) feminist blog, and a (so-called) safe space for survivors of the most putrid forms of sexual abuse. It is a (so-called) advanced feminist space, where women can relax and are (supposedly) respected and not reduced to body parts or vulgarization of those bodies, and it is a community of mostly women — all of which means that a male moderator using the word “tit” when applied to the innocent, non-sexual body of a nine year old – the history of the many abused commenters known to the blog mistres – all that makes your “fairly minor language muck-up” a massive, triggering moment, one that drove many readers into a very bad place.

    And yeah, I do think Deeky meant to “sexualize” MM’s childish body. Not in the way of pedophilia, but in the way of Mad Ave. Casually and thoughtlessly and stupidly degrading women’s bodies for shock value. The same way breasts are used to sell beer or cars — with an added attempt at appearing to be shocking and edgy and oh so hipster cool.

    And if that’s the rhetoric the site and MM wants to trade in (along the same lines as MM referring to the Obama girls genitalia as “unsullied c*nts” , to take a slam at their father’s reproductive policy) then fine, whatever, BE that kind of place, but then don’t advertise yourself as a safe space, and don’t take money from your commenters by promising them a safe space. Don’t claim to care about your posters as a genuine community when you are triggering them yourself. And don’t be surprised if they gather together in a place to work all this (and other ugly events) out in their own way and time, without first asking for permission or genuflecting at any lady-like altars along the way.

    Also, just so you all know; MM has made all these claims without direct investigation
    of the site herself. She has insisted she’s never actually read any of the SVK site
    posts or threads herself. MM has relied on others to spoon-feed her whatever information *they* have deemed valid, and from that she has labeled us a hate site. Which I think is a pretty piss-poor approach to take with this whole thing; at least do the legwork yourself before screaming “hate site” and “MRA-like behavior!”

  302. stewartlaw says

    So, just to be clear, stewart: you believe Ana was lying when she said this happened regularly? There’s no mincing words in her statement, so there’s no ambiguity over what she’s saying happened. You believe that that is just a straight-up lie, that Ana is making up the harassment for…fun maybe?

    I’m saying I don’t believe it, and have seen no evidence of it but would be happy to look at actual evidence. Do I take Ana’s words at face value? No. I believe be she and Melissa McEwan are what is known as unreliable narrators in this saga.

    Of course now you’ve asked me to say if I believe Ana or not, I will probably get accused of harassing her because I don’t believe that claim.

    I asked the people here who were telling me that SKA was engaged in spamming of other people’s site to provide the evidence, because I know SKA, and I know the general consensus there is this is not a good thing to do.

    So like I said before, evidence or stfu.

  303. says

    Crossposted from here, where I’m in moderation:

    Who is Cassie and why are they spamming my blog-comments with completely off-topic links to this? Presumably they came across my comments in a conversation at pharyngula, that being they only place I’ve ever discussed this matter. Why, then, did they not post the link there?

    Not impressed.

  304. Ichthyic says

    I’m saying I don’t believe it,

    that means you think it’s a lie. just stop fucking around already. it’s pathetic.

    Do I take Ana’s words at face value? No.

    do I take your random belief she is wrong at face value? No. I ask you to PROVE SHE IS LYING.

    run along and have fun with that project.

  305. Ichthyic says

    Of course now you’ve asked me to say if I believe Ana or not, I will probably get accused of harassing her because I don’t believe that claim.

    no, but we might harass you for making just as baseless a claim as you claim hers is, and mock you for being an idiot for missing the irony in your own statements.

    or, you know, you could just generate more attempts at ad hominem like you just did there.

    I’ve personally learned the warning signs of someone who never intends to argue honestly, and buddy, you just made the red light flash with that one.

  306. smashingstars says

    You know what really stinks? Way up thread when Daz and JAL (around #103 and #104) just lost their damn minds in outrage over what they thought was a mod at DtSKA making “sexualized comments” about kids, but when they discovered it was Deeky at SV, suddenly silence. It wasn’t a big deal, it didn’t upset them anymore, and since then the thread has devolved into defending it as not really being “sexualized” at all.

    So it’s not like FTB regulars are exactly unbiased here, now is it?

    If the Deeky “tit” comment doesn’t bother you, then maybe this will: Melissa McEwan describing the daughters of President Obama as having “unsullied cunts.”

    http://www.shakesville.com/2010/05/take-my-wifeplease-but-hands-off-my.html

    It’s a snark-like phrase she uses for sarcastic effect, but in the case of talking about two young girls, seems a bit out of place, don’t you think? Nah, you won’t think that.

  307. smashingstars says

    I was a regular on Shakesville back when it was Shakespeare’s Sister, left for several years, and went back in 2011 when I really felt I needed a safe, feminist space. What I found was that SV had changed into an echo chamber. At no point did I feel welcome over there. Once, I asked for help when I was in a really bad situation, and not a single reply from anyone, even though Melissa brags about how much she and her regulars will help out.

    Rarely did a regular even speak to me; I was literally ignored. I kept following the rules, trying to be as polite as possible, but nothing. Several times I posted something in news threads that got used in Melissa’s posts, with never a thanks, even if others got thanked. Once, she credited someone else, just so she didn’t have to credit me. I have no idea why. I know you guys are thinking that it’s because I did something wrong, but I did not.

    I had some examples of this to post (I was happy to “out” myself) but I cannot find a single one of those particular comments still on SV. I never flamed, was never scolded, didn’t get banned, but I did occasionally say I didn’t think certain claims were true, or that I thought ganging up on people wasn’t necessary. Those comments have all quietly disappeared, apparently.

    Here’s an example: Ana Mardoll said she was sure Mrs. Obama had nothing but good intentions when on “Biggest Loser,” and someone disagreed. They were piled on by multiple mods. Even though the original post is entirely speculating on intentions, commenters were yelled at if THEY dared speculate: http://www.shakesville.com/2013/10/michelle-obamas-guest-appearance-on.html

    I saw people held to a standard the mods did not hold to themselves. Here’s Aphra Behn talking about how ST:TOS was misogynist but “not that bad:” http://www.shakesville.com/2013/05/jj-abrams-doubles-down-on.html

    I guarantee you, a commenter says something like that, they are chewed out and banned. Take this for instance, when someone says maybe we should be happy when the clueless (in this case, Patton Oswalt) get a clue. Ana Mardoll and Melissa McEwan eviscerate the person for even having the audacity to say such a thing: http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/on-patton-oswalts-rape-joke-epiphany.html

    And what people at DtSKA ask is: why the difference? Why is “sure it was misogynist but not as bad as other examples” okay, but “sure it was misogynist but at least he’s getting a clue” NOT okay?

    Now, do I think DtSKA is a good place for serious discussion about SV’s issues? Haha no. I was a regular on DtSKA waaaay early in the beginning, before it really took off, and I thought it was fine. It was a way to blow off steam and commiserate with others who had the same experiences. Soon, though, I saw people regularly posting crap about Melissa herself, looking up Melissa’s husband’s info, diagnosing her with mental illnesses, and slamming fat people because MM is fat. There were at least two examples of people who absolutely did harass Melissa while they were on Shakesville — one guy took to Twitter and called her a “bitch,” something I saw go down in real time — and he was hailed as a conquering hero on DtSKA, where everyone believed his side of the story, even though it was lies.

    I agree with much of what timemachine at #193 said, though I think she overstates — not out of malice but unfamiliarity — the ability to complain about things at DtSKA and be listened to. I complained about all those things above and was completely ignored by DtSKA. In fact, on more than one occasion, I saw the mod of DtSKA encourage the invasions of privacy, the talk about Melissa’s appearance, the insistence that all those laypersons without even the stereotypical excuse of “I minored in Psychology” can make legitimate psychological diagnoses of Melissa McEwan.

    It’s ridiculous the things DtSKA does, and I’m forever embarrassed for promoting it early on.

    But it’s not a hate site. A hate site is Stormfront, Westboro’s website, that kind of thing. These are just jerks on Tumblr, talking about jerks on Shakesville.

  308. roro80 says

    but when they discovered it was Deeky at SV, suddenly silence

    The Deeky “tit” thing is probably the most commonly discussed thing on this entire thread. Maybe 100 comments here to discuss just that one thing. That’s the opposite of “silence”.

  309. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how all the SKA defenders sound like obsessed fools, simply because they didn’t get what they expected, and they just can’t let go. Hate takes work to keep up. Letting go is very easy. Why can’t they just let go, and use all that energy they now spend on hate for something productive, not destructive?

  310. says

    If the Deeky “tit” comment doesn’t bother you, then maybe this will: Melissa McEwan describing the daughters of President Obama as having “unsullied cunts.”

    Oh fer gawdsake, the sentence it’s used in is dripping with sarcasm. Nor is the word “cunts” used in a derogatory fashion.

    While I’m never a fan of violence as a punchline under any circumstances, I’m frankly more annoyed that the President of the United States, in the year 2010, is still making “jokes” about how his daughters’ virginity is something he must ferociously guard, that their unsullied cunts are a precious commodity owned by one man who must endeavor to protect them from the men who seek to plunder his valuables.

    Do you folks ever read for comprehension? Words exist in sentences which should be parsed as a whole, not in some tag-cloud-like, disconnected, context-free swarm, each to be parsed singularly.

  311. anteprepro says

    But it’s not a hate site. A hate site is Stormfront, Westboro’s website, that kind of thing.

    Pedantry. That’s not what PZ meant by “hate site” and it would damn obvious if you actually read what he wrote for comprehension. He refers to “anti-Pharyngula hate sites”. He does not mean bigotry. He does not mean hate groups. Unless you think PZ is implying that the wankers who formed anti-Pharyngula websites belong on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s lists, you are one of the many burning a strawman.

  312. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The proper way to get “even” with MM, would be to set up and run a web site that doesn’t mention her site at all, or allow complaints about her site, but goes one better in supporting those she tries to support. Compete with something positive, not a sour grapes site where everybody vents their anger and hatred. And just maybe you would learn a lesson in how hard it is to pull it off such an endeavor.

  313. roro80 says

    #339 @Nerd of Redhead

    That’s where I disagree with you. Their objective is to bully her into shutting up. It’s in their mission statement that the whole point is to make her stop doing what she does. The venting of the anger and hatred (plus, of course, saving the poor cult members who like it just fine there) is explicitly what most of the SKA crew lists as why the site exists. Plus, it’s hard work to actually create and maintain a feminist space — much easier to look at what someone else writes and create weird fanboy-esque sites picking apart every detail of every word, and following the author around the web to suck meaning out of every eyeblink.

  314. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Plus, it’s hard work to actually create and maintain a feminist space — much easier to look at what someone else writes and create weird fanboy-esque sites picking apart every detail of every word, and following the author around the web to suck meaning out of every eyeblink.

    And that is exactly my point. They should spend their time and effort on something positive, rather than trying to tear something down. They are nothing but lazy crybabies, who expects the world to listen to their juvenile whines, while others do the real work of building positive communities. I see this all the time, and I’m sick of it.

    I know they are trying to bully MM. I figured that out with the OP. They should stop the juvenile bullying and build their community around something positive. And ignore MM. Indifference is the real way to show contempt.

  315. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    I’m astonished and dismayed at the willingness to indulge in tropes of abuse apologia, denial, minimization, and victim blaming on display in this thread. Frankly, it’s revolting and every one of you should know better.

    Forget collateral damage: consider for one moment the possibility that these people genuinely have been abused, and think about the direct damage you would be doing in that case.

    And yes, you are engaging in them. It’s plain and blatant and obvious, and immensely irresponsible; to them, and to everyone else who has to be reminded of the shitty gaslighting of their own abuse.

  316. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    KoolAid, with LSD and/or other hallucinogens, was the beverage of choice at the Happenings put on by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, as chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric KoolAid Acid Test”.

    FlavorAid was the poison-laced drink forced on the victims at Jonestown.

    “Drinking the KoolAid” is not a reference to Jonestown, though I can see why the misunderstanding perpetuates.

    /nitpick

  317. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Kool- Aid is the term used because: it has been produced by major a foodstuff manufacturer for decades; the investigators and eyewitnesses used the term ‘cool aid’ (there is no difference between the two when spoken); video of the site shows both Flavor-Aid and Kool-Aid, and KoolAid is practically generic term for liquid flavoring. “Drinking the KoolAid” is not historically accurate, but the phrase is used far more often (damn near exclusively) to refer to Jonestown than LSD. I’ve never actually heard it used to refer to anything other than Jonestown and cults.

  318. dexitroboper says

    Forget collateral damage: consider for one moment the possibility that these people genuinely have been abused, and think about the direct damage you would be doing in that case.

    And yes, you are engaging in them. It’s plain and blatant and obvious, and immensely irresponsible; to them, and to everyone else who has to be reminded of the shitty gaslighting of their own abuse.

    Spare us the bullshit, sport. If the SKA people were abused they wouldn’t be setting up a revenge site, they’d be keeping well clear of anything to do with Shakesville.

  319. drbunsen, le savant fous says

    The only bullshit I see here is the prognostications from self-appointed psychics about what “real” abuse victims should or should not, would or would not be doing.

  320. okanogen cascades says

    drbunsen, le savant fous says:

    KoolAid, with LSD and/or other hallucinogens, was the beverage of choice at the Happenings put on by Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, as chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s “The Electric KoolAid Acid Test”.

    FlavorAid was the poison-laced drink forced on the victims at Jonestown.

    “Drinking the KoolAid” is not a reference to Jonestown, though I can see why the misunderstanding perpetuates.

    /nitpick

    Hey, thanks for the cultural history lesson!

    What a disingenuous load of horseshit. Not only has absolutely no one ever said “Drink the FlavorAid” as a parlance of being suicidally committed to a cult, not only is the reference to Ken Kesey so obscure you have to dutifully explain it, and not only does every single independent reference refer to this phrase as being a reference to the Jonestown massacre primarily, but also, regardless, in your negative context it would make ZERO sense to be referring to an enlightening drug experience carried out by super-hip cultural icons, boldly leading a social awakening movement.

  321. The Mellow Monkey says

    drbunsen

    I’m astonished and dismayed at the willingness to indulge in tropes of abuse apologia, denial, minimization, and victim blaming on display in this thread. Frankly, it’s revolting and every one of you should know better.
    Forget collateral damage: consider for one moment the possibility that these people genuinely have been abused, and think about the direct damage you would be doing in that case.

    Oh, I have considered that. It’s why I’ve never commented at Shakesville, because I heard people saying they were bullied there and I make it a point to listen to people who say they’ve been abused. It’s why I was so late to joining in this thread, not wanting to belittle anyone’s experience. Online harassment and bullying can cause immense psychological suffering and I had no reason to doubt the people saying they had been mentally abused there.

    And then I actually read the thread. And I read the best examples of “evil! abuse!” anyone could find. And I saw the bullshit of SKA supporters going around calling Shakesville commenters cult members.

    From this thread, I’ve learned…

    Stating that a blog community is a cult, accusing commenters of being cult-like, describing a request for donations as “cultish” is all just hyperbole and should not be taken seriously.

    Referencing the Jonestown massacre with the Kool-Aid name–a reference no one has disputed until your bullshit–is just hyperbole and should not be taken seriously.

    Implying a Shakesville moderator is a pedophile is just hyperbole and should not be taken seriously.

    And the actual accusations of abuse have not been anything I’d consider abuse. Getting triggered when you’re called out for saying something stupid? Hey, I’ve been there. It’s happened here on Pharyngula. Nobody knows all my triggers and I needed calling out. Could that kind of thing move from “calling out” to “abuse and harassment” if it goes too far? Yes. Has anyone shown any examples of that? No.

    But if somebody feels abused, they feel abused. If somebody has been hurt by MM or the Shakesville community at large, their hurt is real. I do not dispute any pain anyone is suffering. I am deeply, deeply sympathetic to feeling hurt and rejected and judged by a community. That sucks.

    And if MM is part of an ongoing campaign to harass, threaten, or silence people, she should cut that shit out. That’s awful. I feel terrible for anyone being subjected to that. Eeeeeexcept, nobody has shown MM to be doing that. All she’s done is ban people from her blog, which she has a right to do.

    But the explicit stated purpose of Shakesville Kool-Aid is to silence Melissa McEwan.

    Or maybe that’s just hyperbole too?

  322. kristycat says

    Hi there! I’m Kristy. I don’t go to Shakesville very often, though the few times I’ve popped in have been very pleasant. However, I am a moderator on Ana Mardoll’s blog. I took a break from sorting through the new set of flagged comments that were sent to me this morning, all of them comments made by my fellow moderators or Ana herself (because, ha ha, that suggested campaign of harassment by doing just that, what a funny joke, amirite? Y’all would never actually do something that petty. Ha ha ha ha ha.) to come over here and set something straight.

    You know how people defending SKA keep insisting that they’re not the ones sending harassment over, that the trolls could come from anywhere, that it’s not fair to blame SKA if Ana or Liss get hateful troll posts?

    Yeah. They’re lying. They are fucking lying, blatantly bald-faced lying to you. Or else they are adorably, preciously naive.

    At least they are about the ones coming to Ana’s blog. See, as a mod, I see the drive-by hate comments come through. And as a mod, it’s sort of my job to check and see who’s leaving them – in part, as Ana says, to see if there’s some context that I’m perhaps missing, because believe it or not I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt when possible. But also because it helps me to know why we’re attracting haters and if there’s a trend that I should be aware of. (And also because it gives me a chance to check and see if perchance the three trolls with different names backing each other up are all coming from the same IP address. Spoiler alert: they were. I see you.)

    And yes, the trolls could be coming from anywhere. The random hateful comments, the jarringly inappropriate statements, the little passive aggressive jabs – they could have been sent over from anywhere.

    But they weren’t.

    They come from SKA.

    I click on those comments, on the people leaving those comments, and they are always, always commenters from SKA. They’re always coming from people with a track record of telling lies about or heaping abuse on Ana (and Liss) on SKA. Without fail. It’s getting so that we have to keep an eye on SKA just so we as mods know when we need to be extra on-the-ball when it comes to Troll Watch, because you can pretty much time when the trolls are gonna start flooding in after SKA posts something about Ana.

    But oh, then they come over here all disingenuous and mealy-mouthed like “Oh no, if they’re getting harassed it’s not coming from us, it must be some other trollblog.” Like, what? We can see you, assholes. Who the fuck do you think you’re fooling??

    The emails, the nasty attacks on Amazon, etc., those aren’t always as easily traceable. I’m sure it’s just a magical fucking coincidence that they always come in at the same time as the traceable trolls, and harp on the same themes that were JUST discussed on SKA. Yeah. Pure coincidence there.

    If I sound angry, it’s because I’m fucking furious. I’m the one who has to clean it up when you come to our house and shit all over our carpet, so don’t stand there and tell me it’s not you when I can see you do it. You fucking shitty liars.

    (If you genuinely didn’t realize that the harassment was coming from your website, I apologize. You’re not a liar. You’re just dangerously, harmfully ignorant, and maybe you should learn some goddamn facts before claiming that SKA isn’t harassing anyone. Because they are, and you’re enabling it.)

  323. says

    Hi kristycat – love the ‘nym, by the way! ;) – this is some of the information I’ve been reluctant to share because I don’t want to step on Liss’ and Ana’s privacy, and I don’t want to bug either of them with that kind of stuff, so I’m glad to see you mention it, because I know you wouldn’t have done if Ana weren’t okay with it.

    So yeah. As a mod at Shakesville, this is absolutely the way we went about our business: tracking the trolls, by IP, tracking pingbacks, because we had to. If you want a site that isn’t overrun by trolls, and you’re writing about feminism, you absolutely have to have a mod team doing that. We had people who read this shitpit, in the same way as the public puts up storm warning equipment: we needed to be able to prepare, because sure as shit, when a post went up, the harrassment bombs started arriving. It was entirely predictable, and I don’t mean that figuratively. Exactly as we on Pharyngula know when the Slymers do the same shit, and the wave of shit washes up on the beaches here.

    So yes, Liss and Ana absolutely do know where and from whom their harrassment is coming from, and anyone with any knowledge about how the web works knows that.

    And no one has yet answered my question: real people are also saying to you they’re being abused, right now, by people clearly inspired by your posts, even if you don’t believe the evidence of referrer HTTP and such. Why isn’t your nominally feminist site making a serious effort to stop it?

    Why are you swarming all over anywhere anyone posts about it, to insist it isn’t happening, then screaming about how gaslighting works, costing a FORTUNE in new ironyometers? Is it all a deep plot to fuel the ironyometer industry you’re about to build? Is it all Silicon Valley’s fault?

    Or are you just being obsessive jerks, and refusing to accept responsibility for what’s been put right in front of your site admins over and over and over?

    I’m truly sorry that people feel they were abused by Liss’ moderation policies. I’ve been moderated cruelly in places, and dismissed rudely, and it definitely hurt, and I definitely hated it.

    And then I founded a site dedicated to silencing that person from the Internet, and spending time with like-minded people who just want to get together and obsessively pick over every post and comment made by two people, assert that they’re not actually real people, assert they don’t have disabilities, that one of them is literally an object. Because that’s “the Chicago feminist way”.

    No, wait, I didn’t, because I’m not an abusive asshole..

    So. What are you going to do to stop it?

    crickets.

    Yep, thought so.

  324. Anthony K says

    They should spend their time and effort on something positive, rather than trying to tear something down. They are nothing but lazy crybabies, who expects the world to listen to their juvenile whines, while others do the real work of building positive communities.

    I don’t even know where to start with this. Don’t do this Nerd. People are clearly hurt and upset, and it’s not your place to decide they’re lazy, whiny crybabies. Seriously. There are ways to argue against the kinds of things we’re seeing from the SKA people without denying their emotions.

  325. Anthony K says

    The only bullshit I see here is the prognostications from self-appointed psychics about what “real” abuse victims should or should not, would or would not be doing.

    That’s some bullshit alright, but it is not remotely the only bullshit in this thread.

    Being a victim of abuse isn’t a carte blanche to engage in the kind of dishonesty we’ve seen in this thread.

  326. roro80 says

    Anthony K (sorry, the post numbers have disappeared from my screen??)

    Hurt, upset people can also be amazingly disingenuous assholes, to the point of coming off as whiny, lazy crybabies.

  327. Anthony K says

    Hurt, upset people can also be amazingly disingenuous assholes, to the point of coming off as whiny, lazy crybabies.

    I don’t care if that’s how Nerd (or others) perceive them. It’s still ableist bullshit.

    This is about the actions people are undertaking as members of SKA, not their perceived lack of ambition.

  328. yazikus says

    I’ve noticed a trend from those mad at MM. It reminds me of the anti-FTB crowd, specifically in that they don’t like the strict rules, so they try to find times when PZ or MM appear to have broken their own rules, as if to say, “See, see! They don’t follow their own rules and they ban anyone who does so they are hypocrites!”. That seems to be the substance of their complaints.

  329. says

    Does no one here actually know how tumblr works? Holy crap. There is zero control over who reblogs things and SKA is ran off of the submissions of many people. So I hope that clears some things up for people.

    I know I won’t change anyones minds at this point. I also know that 9 times out of 10 taking the side of a feminist blogger is going to be the correct thing to do, but this is the one time that its wrong and you are supporting someone who is intentionally cruel. I just wonder if you guys know what the effect of uncritical support is going to be? Nasty bullies will know that as long as they blog about social justice they will get uncritical support of whatever bullshit they want to do to other people. That is the kind of environment that acts like a magnet for abusive fucksticks. Why even bother doing all the work of getting a title like LCSW or Teacher or Parent to get others to trust you when all you have to do is start a blog and tearfully allege abuse when people get tired of your shit and say so ? If they respond you can call it harassment, and if they don’t you’re free to lie as much as you want (and delete anything unpleasant that may crop up).

  330. roro80 says

    So, people who spend a bunch of time at SKA, including making posts there, which are responded to positively by the community and the person running SKA, aren’t supposed to be considered members of SKA or people involved with SKA when they go to Shakesville or Ramblings to flag everything and leaving trolling comments involving the same talking points being discussed at that moment at SKA. Interesting. Yep, that clears some things up.

  331. David Marjanović says

    LOLtacular, now DM is lecturing us on how unlikely it is that a native speaker could possibly have a different understanding of the connotations of an English word.

    What?

    I said quite clearly that, to my surprise, that’s exactly what most likely happened. What are you talking about?

    Is it “inappropriately sexualizing a child”? Like fuck it is.

    Did you even notice I explicitly agreed that there was (most likely) no such intent?

    Did you also notice that I alluded to intent not being magic?

    You know what the difference between Shakesville and Maoist Communism is?

    I never mentioned Maoism. I never said or implied that Shakesville and communism have anything in common beyond the attitude your comment from 5 years ago showed: that if you disagree with the authorities, you need to rethink everything because clearly the authorities are just so wise you hadn’t immediately understood, all hail the authorities.

    I notice no one has addressed my questions:

    I notice you’ve failed to notice that I explicitly did not defend SVKA twice, explicitly mentioning that looking up McEwan’s husband was not defensible.

    your pseudo-Spock snide bullshit is infuriating

    You want me emotional? I was already emotional – more so than I can express in writing.

    Right now, you have read between my lines even though there’s nothing there. You’ve pigeonholed me, classified me, and then argued against the slot in your classification. You’ve built a strawman. My heartrate is way up, and I’m… slightly shivering with anger.

    Thinking that both sides carry blame, that this is not a Monumental Fight of Good Versus Evil, doesn’t fucking make me a straw-Vulcan.

    Out of words.

    This. They might be saying “legitimate criticism!!!”, but every time they refer to her as ‘Liz’ they show their true colors.

    Yes. It’s trolling.

    Wow. So first, communism is the same as a cult.

    The kinds that have actually been implemented in countries and similar organizations are very, very similar to religion, yes. They’re belief systems that provide one correct answer to every question in the world and tell you that you need to learn them all by heart; once you’ve done that, you’re indistinguishable from a true believer unless and until you’re caught doing something that contradicts them. Are you really going to claim that a good old self-criticism session from the 1930s doesn’t strongly remind you of a cult?

    Of course there are people who say none of that is real communism. They have a point; for starters, Leninism is defined by flat-out contradiction to one of Marx’s core beliefs. But common usage has long reached the point where it would just be confusing to acknowledge that without providing a lengthy explanation.

    Second, one person knowing another person well is “superhuman wisdom”

    What? No. Instead of adopting a parsimonious hypothesis like language confusion, CaitieCat assumed that Deeky jarred the readers deliberately in some kind of Zen koan to prod them towards enlightenment – an act that would require a lot of knowledge and intelligence, whereas the hypothesis of language confusion just requires that Deeky didn’t know how other people would understand that word.

    Third, saying “oh those people are best friends” is self-criticism. Huh?

    Of course not. CaitieCat saying she initially agreed the word shouldn’t be used, but that was clearly just because she hadn’t seen through all the wisdom – that’s self-criticism.

    Fourth, you have the nerve to tell CaitieCat that she’s “denying her own intelligence,” while simultaneously re-writing her own fucking words into some sort of hero worship that you’re pulling directly out of your ass?

    Seeing what a garbled mess you’ve made of my words, I’ll need more evidence than your claim that I really did rewrite her words.

    I’m sure Melissa is not a perfect human being and has fucked up, as have we all, and perhaps in spectacular ways. Bringing the word “cult” into it is really offensive without some better criticism than I’m seeing here, though.

    Mind you, you can have a cult without the designated leader even being happy with it or having ever wanted that position. “*sigh* Alright, I am the messiah…”

    No, this is like calling yourselves Holocaust survivors.

    And that, in turn, reminds me of how McEwan claims honorary membership in the LGBT community. I think she’s sadly* mistaken… that’s not how it works. It’s great that she supports the community, that she has friends there and so on, but she hasn’t shared the experiences, she still has hetero privilege, she’s not really seeing the LGBT community from the inside.

    * That’s not sarcasm. Embarrassment is quite literally sad.

    If you’re going to lecture me on being honest, then better if you quote me exactly? My words were “sexualised comments” not sexual comments.

    …Seriously, stewartlaw? Do you make a difference between those words, are they technical terms with different definitions for you? If so, please do explain them, or we’ll continue to misunderstand you.

    Stick to what I have said then get back to me about honesty. I said he made sexualised comments, he did.

    The trouble is that you implied very heavily that he did so deliberately, not as an innocent mistake because the word in question means different things to different people. That’s a pretty heavy accusation; and the evidence in the thread doesn’t fit it.

    one guy took to Twitter and called her a “bitch,” something I saw go down in real time — and he was hailed as a conquering hero on DtSKA

    *facepalm*

    They are nothing but lazy crybabies, who expects the world to listen to their juvenile whines, while others do the real work […] juvenile bullying

    I think your ageism is back. Stop hating on babies, they’re not crying for teh evulz.

    Or else they are adorably, preciously naive.

    Wouldn’t actually surprise me. As you point out, though, it doesn’t make a difference in practice right now.

  332. David Marjanović says

    LOLtacular, now DM is lecturing us on how unlikely it is that a native speaker could possibly have a different understanding of the connotations of an English word.

    What?

    I said quite clearly that, to my surprise, that’s exactly what most likely happened. What are you talking about?

    Is it “inappropriately sexualizing a child”? Like fuck it is.

    Did you even notice I explicitly agreed that there was (most likely) no such intent?

    Did you also notice that I alluded to intent not being magic?

    You know what the difference between Shakesville and Maoist Communism is?

    I never mentioned Maoism. (…Oh; self-criticism goes back at least to Lenin, if that’s what you mean.) I never said or implied that Shakesville and communism have anything in common beyond the attitude your comment from 5 years ago showed: that if you disagree with the authorities, you need to rethink everything because clearly the authorities are just so wise you hadn’t immediately understood, all hail the authorities.

    I notice no one has addressed my questions:

    I notice you’ve failed to notice that I explicitly did not defend SVKA twice, explicitly mentioning that looking up McEwan’s husband was not defensible.

    your pseudo-Spock snide bullshit is infuriating

    You want me emotional? I was already emotional – more so than I can express in writing.

    Right now, you have read between my lines even though there’s nothing there. You’ve pigeonholed me, classified me, and then argued against the slot in your classification. You’ve built a strawman. My heartrate is way up, and I’m… slightly shivering with anger.

    Thinking that both sides carry blame, that this is not a Monumental Fight of Good Versus Evil, doesn’t fucking make me a straw-Vulcan.

    Out of words.

    This. They might be saying “legitimate criticism!!!”, but every time they refer to her as ‘Liz’ they show their true colors.

    Yes. It’s trolling.

    Wow. So first, communism is the same as a cult.

    The kinds that have actually been implemented in countries and similar organizations are very, very similar to religion, yes. They’re belief systems that provide one correct answer to every question in the world and tell you that you need to learn them all by heart; once you’ve done that, you’re indistinguishable from a true believer unless and until you’re caught doing something that contradicts them. Are you really going to claim that a good old self-criticism session from the 1930s doesn’t strongly remind you of a cult?

    Of course there are people who say none of that is real communism. They have a point; for starters, Leninism is defined by flat-out contradiction to one of Marx’s core beliefs. But common usage has long reached the point where it would just be confusing to acknowledge that without providing a lengthy explanation.

    Second, one person knowing another person well is “superhuman wisdom”

    What? No. Instead of adopting a parsimonious hypothesis like language confusion, CaitieCat assumed that Deeky jarred the readers deliberately in some kind of Zen koan to prod them towards enlightenment – an act that would require a lot of knowledge and intelligence, whereas the hypothesis of language confusion just requires that Deeky didn’t know how other people would understand that word.

    Third, saying “oh those people are best friends” is self-criticism. Huh?

    Of course not. CaitieCat saying she initially agreed the word shouldn’t be used, but that was clearly just because she hadn’t seen through all the wisdom – that’s self-criticism.

    Fourth, you have the nerve to tell CaitieCat that she’s “denying her own intelligence,” while simultaneously re-writing her own fucking words into some sort of hero worship that you’re pulling directly out of your ass?

    Seeing what a garbled mess you’ve made of my words, I’ll need more evidence than your claim that I really did rewrite her words.

    I’m sure Melissa is not a perfect human being and has fucked up, as have we all, and perhaps in spectacular ways. Bringing the word “cult” into it is really offensive without some better criticism than I’m seeing here, though.

    Mind you, you can have a cult without the designated leader even being happy with it or having ever wanted that position. “*sigh* Alright, I am the messiah…”

    No, this is like calling yourselves Holocaust survivors.

    And that, in turn, reminds me of how McEwan claims honorary membership in the LGBT community. I think she’s sadly* mistaken… that’s not how it works. It’s great that she supports the community, that she has friends there and so on, but she hasn’t shared the experiences, she still has hetero privilege, she’s not really seeing the LGBT community from the inside.

    * That’s not sarcasm. Embarrassment is quite literally sad.

    If you’re going to lecture me on being honest, then better if you quote me exactly? My words were “sexualised comments” not sexual comments.

    …Seriously, stewartlaw? Do you make a difference between those words, are they technical terms with different definitions for you? If so, please do explain them, or we’ll continue to misunderstand you.

    Stick to what I have said then get back to me about honesty. I said he made sexualised comments, he did.

    The trouble is that you implied very heavily that he did so deliberately, not as an innocent mistake because the word in question means different things to different people. That’s a pretty heavy accusation; and the evidence in the thread doesn’t fit it.

    one guy took to Twitter and called her a “bitch,” something I saw go down in real time — and he was hailed as a conquering hero on DtSKA

    *facepalm*

    They are nothing but lazy crybabies, who expects the world to listen to their juvenile whines, while others do the real work […] juvenile bullying

    I think your ageism is back. Stop hating on babies, they’re not crying for teh evulz.

    Or else they are adorably, preciously naive.

    Wouldn’t actually surprise me. As you point out, though, it doesn’t make a difference in practice right now.

  333. The Mellow Monkey says

    skeptifem @ 357

    I also know that 9 times out of 10 taking the side of a feminist blogger is going to be the correct thing to do, but this is the one time that its wrong and you are supporting someone who is intentionally cruel.

    Okay, serious question: what do you want people to do? You’re hurting and not getting what you need, so what is it that you’re seeking? How can people help? Do you feel unsupported when people go to Shakesville or link to it? Is content being posted on Shakesville that is harming people? Is there content–specific content–that needs to be called out?

    The obituary on Mary Daly that was brought up earlier in the thread is a good example of my confusion here. MM was told about Mary Daly’s racism and transphobia. The post was updated to make note of that. And MM’s response in the comments was this:

    It is absolutely on-topic for this thread to discuss her transphobia (I am not familiar with it, which is why I didn’t mention it; not because I want to conceal it), but let us please not celebrate anyone’s death. We just don’t do that here.

    ETA. Which does not mean I think you’re not entitled to your feelings. It’s just that not every feeling everyone has is appropriate for public consumption in this space.

    I can’t really see what I should call out. She makes it clear the commenters can discuss Daly’s transphobia. She makes it clear the commenter is entitled to their feelings. She takes issue with people celebrating a death in her comments, but that’s it. And since it’s her blog, she has a right to make that line in the sand. She solicits people’s input on the update, in case anyone has an objection to it. Later on she explicitely apologizes:

    I just want to say I’m sorry to the trans Shakers (and everyone else) that I didn’t know and thus didn’t include in the first place the information in the update. I feel really shitty about it, and I apologize.

    This all looks like a textbook example of how best to deal with finding out someone you admired was a bigot. I suppose she could have taken the post down entirely when she learned this, but she didn’t. She amended it and left discussion of the issue open. To me it seems a more honest approach than pretending she never said anything in praise of Daly at all, TBH.

    There were claims of able-ism that made people uncomfortable when MM refers to her body as “garbage”, so I went looking for this. I found this post. If there are better examples, please let me know. What I see there is MM referring to her own body in a way that fits how she feels about it. Is it the best way to describe disability? No, and I can see why people would be uncomfortable with that. It’s also a description of her own body and how she feels about it. This isn’t something I’d call someone out over, but it’s a good thing to discuss and explore. What are the ramifications of us insulting our own bodies when they cause us pain? It’s not a conversation MM is required to have with anyone, however.

    I tried to find where MM refers to herself as an honorary-member of Gender and Sexual Minorities communities. Is this the post? Are there better examples? I have a lot of complex feelings about that, which I’m having a hard time figuring out how to word. I’m not surprised that there would be people upset or uncomfortable over it. I’m also not sure if she was entirely wrong for saying it, because she does acknowledge her privilege and she’s trying to explore the realm of cisgender performance non-conformity. I don’t know. Like I said, my feelings on this one are complex.

    If you have been hurt, I’m really genuinely sorry. I don’t like that. I don’t want anyone hurt. I believe your pain is real. What is it that you need to deal with this pain?

  334. says

    What MellowMonkey Said.

    With only one tiny addition to that last line, for me.

    “What is it that you need to deal with this pain, which doesn’t also inflict the same pain on other people.”

    Because that pain is happening too, and it’s a hell of a lot bigger and more pervasive than each of the things that have caused the hurt asserted by SVKA anyway. It’s happening all the time, every frakking day, and it’s happening to people who aren’t even part of the site.

    Any solution that SVKA proposes which elides or ignores that pain is a bullshit solution. Because intentionally causing that harm is of a different moral order to the obviously inadvertent hurts that Liss has caused, and there are a shedload of people associated with that site, referred by that site, who are participating in causing that harm with great intent, and open malice, and no one at SVKA even believes it’s happening (they claim), let alone wants to actually address it. I’ve asked four times on this thread, and no one has given a response, despite literally dozens of comments by apologists.

    Why won’t SVKA acknowledge the evidence in front of them, and make a serious effort to, y’know, act like feminists and stop the emotional abuse and threats to women?

    I have a theory as to why, and it is that the harrassment isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. I think their behaviour in this thread has made that pretty clear.

  335. stewartlaw says

    Hello Pharyngulisatas

    Back again.

    I said upthread I don’t take Ana Mardol’s word at face value, and that I wouldn’t believe claims until I saw proof. So now I’m being told that it’s me who needs to prove she’s not lying. Let me repeat once again, I don;t necessarily believe she’s lying, it could well be that she believes what she’s saying but that doesn’t make it true, it’s up to her to prove what she’s saying.

    I am being asked to prove people from dtSKA are not spamming her blog.

    I am being asked to prove a negative, in Pharyngula, I am being asked to prove a negative.

    This amuses me.

    Isn’t it up to the people making claims to provide evidence for those claims? I still haven’t seen evidenced for the claims, and I do not take the word of Ana, or anyone connected with her blog as proof in and of itself. I don’t doubt they get unwelcome comments, and I agree they shouldn’t get unwelcome comments but you don’t get to lay that at the feet of dtSKA just because it suits you to do so.

    I’ll say it for the third time.

    Evidence or stfu.

  336. roro80 says

    So Ana might not be lying; instead she’s…what? Delusional? Even though multiple mods from both sites have the same story, that they look up who is leaving the troll comments and flagginf all the posts, and it’s definitely SKA people, it’s up to them to give more proof? Even though there are a number of *posts* at SKA where someone opens a new disqus profile, posts something explicitly against the commenting rules at Shakesville, gets asked to stop, and then runs over to SKA to post what happened and rage about how awful Melissa is, we’re supposed to look at that and think, …what? Totally could be something not SKA related at all! stewart, you are such a raging liar.

  337. says

    stewartlaw #326

    it could well be that she believes what she’s saying but that doesn’t make it true

    Huh? What she’s reporting isn’t a matterof belief. She’s saying, as kristycat #350 and CaitieCat #351 have also said, that a large proportion of attempts to troll and spam are coming from SKA and that this has been verified by disqus comment-history and other back-tracing methods. Either they have performed these backtracking actions and have seen those results, or they haven’t. If you say they haven’t, then you are claiming that they are lying.

    I am being asked to prove people from dtSKA are not spamming her blog.

    No, you are being asked to show reasonable evidence in support of your contention that they are liars.

  338. roro80 says

    David, CaitieCat’s words have a very clear meaning, you are stretching that meaning to such a degree that it’s broken. She is telling you that your made-up, pulled from your ass meaning is wrong. They are her words. You don’t get to tell her what they mean, or you are rewriting her words, removing her agency to say what means and mean what she says. It’s deeply inappropriate to do that, but to then go on and insist that it is her friends who are causing her to “deny her own intelligence” in contravention of her agency — well, that definitely brings it to another level entirely. It’s so paternalistic and inappropriate.

    “CaitieCat saying she initially agreed the word shouldn’t be used, but that was clearly just because she hadn’t seen through all the wisdom – that’s self-criticism.”

    No, the realization wasn’t that she hadn’t seen the “wisdom”, it was simply that her initial reaction wasn’t taking into account the long history of the two people involved, which makes a huge fucking difference. There’s no implication at all that she’s coming to some sort of “wisdom” of the leaders.

    The implication that she’s worshipful of Liss, or brainwashed by Liss, or a communist-like supporter of Liss, is super fucked up. You need to fess up to either thinking that CaitieCat is a “follower” of the Liss “cult”, and that you think it actually exists as such, or you need to stop defending your making up bullshit meanings to other people’s words.

  339. okanogen cascades says

    stewartlaw:

    I don’t take Ana Mardol’s word at face value, and that I wouldn’t believe claims until I saw proof.

    Who gives a shit what you believe? Not me, I doubt nobody here who has engaged with you cares. And if that is the criteria, why should anyone believe a single, fucking word of alleged abuse experienced at Shakesville? Because the proof has been pretty thin. Vaporous, even.

    Skeptifem above talks about “uncritical support” of Shakesville, I’m not sure she even know what that means. So many impartial commenters (like myself) have taken great pains to not minimize peoples feelings, have acknowledged that some people, mods, policies, behaviors at Shakesville may have hurt people. All anyone is saying is that all of the evidence shows SKA is a stalking, harassing, hater site, with very few rules, indifferent to whether they themselves are abusing or harassing or causing pain. So the support is actually quite critical.

    Oh, and nobody believes you, stewartlaw, precisely because you are a proven liar, so yeah, you would probably have to prove that the ocean is blue.

  340. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Evidence or stfu.

    Right stewartlaw, evidence from you that nobody at your site is attempting to harass and intimidate MM or anybody else’s web sit. You need to put up or shut the fuck up. You trashed your words with your earlier and substantiated lies and bullshit.

  341. roro80 says

    That is the kind of environment that acts like a magnet for abusive fucksticks.

    Wow. I thought all of her worshippers were brainwashed victims of a cult, not abusive fucksticks? I mean, I’m sure keeping strict mod rules is way more of a magnet for abusive fucksticks than a site dedicated to obsessively pouring over every word and aspect of life of a single person, but, aren’t the cult members who you’re trying to save?

  342. okanogen cascades says

    Sayeth skeptifem at #357:

    Nasty bullies will know that as long as they blog about social justice they will get uncritical support of whatever bullshit they want to do to other people. That is the kind of environment that acts like a magnet for abusive fucksticks. Why even bother doing all the work of getting a title like LCSW or Teacher or Parent to get others to trust you when all you have to do is start a blog and tearfully allege abuse when people get tired of your shit and say so ? If they respond you can call it harassment, and if they don’t you’re free to lie as much as you want (and delete anything unpleasant that may crop up).

    Oddly, that sounds like the perfect description of SKA. The only exception being you would need to replace “about social justice” with “about meticulously hanging on and dissecting every word said by the object of their hate”.

  343. stewartlaw says

    I’ll say it again.

    Evidence or stfu.

    Just because you believe it, doesn’t make it true.

    Just because you want to believe it doesn’t make it true.

    Dogpiling me doesn’t make it true.

    Demanding I prove it hasn’t happened is ridiculous, it’s up to the people making the claim to demonstrate it’s true, and so far all we’ve had is assertion, no evidence, assertion.

    It’s like a bunch of believers, no scratch that, it’s not like, it is exactly a bunch of believers, demanding I prove a negative.

    Freethought blogs?

    Not from where I’m standing.

  344. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    stewartlaw

    I’ll say it for the third time.
    Evidence or stfu.

    Well, alrightly then Anne start posting the fuckers IP addresses! Cuz that’s how you know and that’s the only way to prove it, let’s start naming and shaming.

  345. Anthony K says

    Freethought blogs?
    Not from where I’m standing.

    Jesus Christ, dude. You’re Fox News at this point. You have zero credibility on this thread. That’s what happens when you’re caught out lying.

    Just call us a cult and be done with it. Anything more than four letters and you just end up shooting at your own feet.

  346. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Since I came back might as well address this shit:
    #333 smashingstars

    You know what really stinks? Way up thread when Daz and JAL (around #103 and #104) just lost their damn minds in outrage over what they thought was a mod at DtSKA making “sexualized comments” about kids, but when they discovered it was Deeky at SV, suddenly silence. It wasn’t a big deal, it didn’t upset them anymore, and since then the thread has devolved into defending it as not really being “sexualized” at all.

    Uh, must’ve skipped some shit there because way back in comment 124, I said if that was true about Shakesville, that’d be a fair criticism. DAZ addressed it as well in comment 127.

    Plus, I hadn’t commented since #167 because reading SKA was too much bullshit for me to deal with. Funny how you missed that as well.

  347. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Freethought blogs?

    Freethought means this:

    Freethought or free thought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and empiricism, rather than authority, tradition, or other dogmas.[1][2][3] The cognitive application of freethought is known as “freethinking”, and practitioners of freethought are known as “freethinkers”.[1][4]

    It doesn’t mean believe every bit of tripe liars and bullshitters like you present. And that is all you present, lies, bullshit, and attitude. Typical of the slymepit.

  348. Anthony K says

    “Too bad the Cultitos don’t know you the way I do, Melloq.”
    “Yes, too bad. You could warn them… if only you spoke Cultitos!”

  349. anteprepro says

    stewartlaw, you should stop while you are behind. If SKA is actually full of decent people, you are not showing that. You are showing the exact opposite. You are doing the website a disservice by choosing to be its representative. Just shut up and leave quietly before you bring your little slice of Anti-Jonestown even more shame.

  350. woostersauce says

    I looked over on the SVKA site. The site runner has tags for individual Shakesville commenters (not just moderators, or McEwan, but just people who comment in threads). There are entire threads devoted to mocking individuals for such crimes as mentioning how tall one’s boyfriend is or for using a content note for animal cruelty in a comment. This, to me, puts the lie to the claim that SVKA’s mission is to protect people from harm. The site is dedicated to generating harm.

    Furthermore, when I go through the thread here following links to evidence of harmful behavior at Shakesville, the evidence is dubious to nonexistent (I mean, look at smashingstars’s links in 334; that quote they claim is in their second example simply doesn’t exist at the link, and the other examples don’t demonstrate what is claimed at all. And that’s just one comment. Other lines of “evidence” been well-explored in this thread already.)

    Third, The serious claim has been made that a Shakesville moderator repeatedly harassed a Shakesville commenter by email, but when asked for evidence, no response. So much for evidence or STFU.

    SVKA’s position is starting to look a lot like bullshit.

  351. stewartlaw says

    So we’re still at the point where someone’s unproven assertion is taken as gospel, and I’m in the wrong for asking evidence be provided ?

    This is not how I thought free thought was supposed to work. You would think that the people making the claim would have come here with their evidence by this point. Hasn’t happened, wonder why this is?

    Well, alrightly then Anne start posting the fuckers IP addresses! Cuz that’s how you know and that’s the only way to prove it, let’s start naming and shaming.

    Well allrighty then indeed.

    And if this doesn’t happen? Well I’m sure a few of you will have very good explanations for that.

    By the way, the original claim was that people from dtSKA were spamming both Shakesville and Ana Mardol’s blog.

    This is what we’re looking for evidence for.

    No, let me rephrase that, this is what I am looking for evidence for, the rest of you seem to be happy to accept the assertion without evidence.

  352. anteprepro says

    stewartlaw

    So we’re still at the point where someone’s unproven assertion is taken as gospel, and I’m in the wrong for asking evidence be provided ?

    Mirror mirror.
    Just fuck off already. If your site needs defending so desperately, go find someone actually competent to do the job.

  353. says

    stewartlaw #395

    So we’re still at the point where someone’s unproven assertion is taken as gospel, and I’m in the wrong for asking evidence be provided ?

    Three peoples’. And why should I doubt them, given that as far as I know they’ve never been shown to be liars? Blogs get spammed and trolled: it’s hardly an extraordinary claim.

  354. Portly says

    stewartlaw

    So we’re still at the point where someone’s unproven assertion is taken as gospel, and I’m in the wrong for asking evidence be provided ?

    I’ve just shown evidence that your site lies and presents those lies as truth (I have the back-up emails to prove it). You seem to gloss right by that and go back to your insistence that someone with no known history of fabrication and lying provide evidence to you — you — a participant in a site with a provable history of lying.

    Yes — you’re in the wrong for demanding evidence.

  355. says

    stewartlaw

    I must say, I find your reticence on this matter somewhat odd. You’ve claimed three people are lying. Surely you must have reason to believe that they are dishonest. Past experience of their putative dishonesty, and so on. How hard would it be to settle this apparently minor question by providing evidence of these past dishonesties?

  356. says

    Daz @ 382:

    Last night I saw upon the stair, a little cult that wasn’t there…

    Pure win, that. One of my favourite poems, too.

  357. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    Fucking hell. Your. I have a virus that by all evidence is disassembling my brain and shovelling it out my nose. /lame excuses

  358. says

    “Hey, where do these stairs go?
    They go cult.”

    “It’s not the years, honey, it’s the cult.”

    “Brothers don’t shake hands, brothers gotta cult!”

    “We all go a little cult sometimes.”

    “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to cult me, aren’t you?”

    “Open the cult doors, please, HAL.”

    “Take your stinkin’ cult off me, you damn dirty ape.”

    “You hear me talkin’, hillbilly boy? I ain’t through with you by a damn sight. I’m gonna get cult on your ass.”
     
    Ghostbusters / Raiders of the Lost Ark / Tommy Boy / Psycho / The Graduate / 2001: A Space Odyssey / Planet of the Apes / Pulp Fiction

  359. Paul Gibson says

    Nerd of Redead… @368: “Right stewartlaw, evidence from you that nobody at your site is attempting to harass and intimidate MM or anybody else’s web sit. You need to put up or shut the fuck up. You trashed your words with your earlier and substantiated lies and bullshit.”

    Unfortunately (for you, I’m afraid), science operates under assumption of something called “the null hypothesis”.

    Briefly, and in layman’s terms, this states that the “burden of proof” is on someone making a positive claim to produce evidence for their claim. In this case, that means that the commenter stewartlaw is not obliged (nor is able, if you think about it more deeply) to provide evidence that “nobody at [his/her] site is attempting to harass and intimidate MM or anybody else’s web sit”. It is simply not possible to prove that one is not doing something, or has not done something. This is the basis of “innocent until proven guilty”; the onus is on the accuser to prove positively that the accused did what they are accused of doing.

    Anyway, long story short, it is you/whoever accuses the poster of these missteps who is responsible for providing eveidence that they did/do it. Until then, whatever my suspicions may be, I can only assume that they are innocent.

  360. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Unfortunately (for you, I’m afraid), science operates under assumption of something called “the null hypothesis”.

    I’m a scientist, and you obviously aren’
    t. You lie and bullshit like stewartlaw.

    In this case, that means that the commenter stewartlaw is not obliged (n

    Since stewartlaw is proven and evidenced liar and bullshitter, EVERY claim he makes must be supported by linked evidence. Welcome to real science, where honesty and integrity are required. Now you fuck off loser.

  361. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Until then, whatever my suspicions may be, I can only assume that they are innocent.

    I knew from his third post he was nothing but a bullshitter. I only need one of yours to come to the same conclusion. Slyme always speaks loudly when one knows the language….

  362. Ana says

    I never know if I should speak up in these conversations, because it’s always kind of awkward for me to step forward in a conversation that has included people speaking about you–I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable continuing the conversation after I’ve posted, and I don’t want to dominate the conversation in any way, but I thought maybe after 400 comments that would be a safeishly-late time to speak up. I hope so, as I don’t want to hurt anyone or derail in PZ Myers’ space.
    .
    I would like to thank PZ Myers for writing this post, and for all the really kind and supportive people here in the comments. I really appreciate that so much, I can’t begin to say how much.
    .
    I wanted to say one thing, in response to the statements that stewartlaw has made here. stewartlaw, you said in #362:
    .

    I am being asked to prove people from dtSKA are not spamming her blog.
    .
    […] Isn’t it up to the people making claims to provide evidence for those claims? I still haven’t seen evidenced for the claims, and I do not take the word of Ana, or anyone connected with her blog as proof in and of itself. I don’t doubt they get unwelcome comments, and I agree they shouldn’t get unwelcome comments but you don’t get to lay that at the feet of dtSKA just because it suits you to do so.

    .
    I want to be clear (just to be sure there is no misunderstanding) that I have not claimed that the site owner at SKA has commented on my blog. What I have stated is that people who comment at SKA also comment on my blog. These people tend to comment in ways that draw attention to their posts, like leaving aggressive or hostile comments on a Twilight post, which leads me to click on their Disqus profiles (as Kristycat explained above) in an attempt to gain some context (like, are they just a REALLY dedicated Twilight fan, etc.). Then I am treated to a faceful of comments in their profile from SKA, often hostile statements about my body and/or mental health. I brought this up specifically because of the “why don’t you just ignore SKA” contention: I can’t ignore them while moderating my own blog effectively, because of the hostile cross-posting that many people are participating in.
    .
    As for who they are, I would have to “name and shame” (as noted above) with information from the Disqus control panel that I have insight into as a site owner. I have chosen not to do that, because I have profound confidentiality concerns about such an action. However, there are people posting publicly on SKA admitting that they leave comments on my board–in some cases leaving comments in the very post where I explained why the cross-posting problem makes it difficult to “ignore” people saying harmful and harassing things about me at SKA. You can see these comments for yourself; they are all over SKA, including at least one posted submission hosted by SKA written by a person who admitted to emailing me.
    .
    Here is a public comment from a user who posted in my site thread (the one where I said that this site is causing me harm and which I can’t ignore because people keep coming over to my site from there): http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/93485367123/submission-visual-processing-disorders#comment-1521337612
    .
    I will leave finding the other comments and posts about commenting on my site and emailing me as an exercise for someone who doesn’t find the site as triggering as I do. I just wanted to respond to your claim that I am possibly confused or lying or otherwise wrong about people who comment regularly on SKA also commenting on my site. I am telling the truth, and people on SKA have stated that they comment on my board. So you really don’t need to take my word for it–you can take theirs.
    .
    Thank you. And thank you again, PZ Myers and many commenters here. :)

  363. Paul Gibson says

    Nerd of Redhead, etc, 410 and 411:

    “Now you fuck off loser.”
    Awesome argument, “scientist”.

    “I knew from his third post he was nothing but a bullshitter. I only need one of yours to come to the same conclusion. Slyme always speaks loudly when one knows the language”
    If you could write in coherent English, it would be a great help in deciphering exactly what you are trying to say. And “slyme” is spelt with an “i”. I should know, I played with enough of the stuff as a kid!

    “I’m a scientist, and you obviously aren’
    t. You lie and bullshit like stewartlaw.”
    Sorry, no “lie[s]s and bullshit from my comment. I will remind you, “scientist”, of what I said:
    “Briefly, and in layman’s terms, this states that the “burden of proof” is on someone making a positive claim to produce evidence for their claim. In this case, that means that the commenter stewartlaw is not obliged (nor is able, if you think about it more deeply) to provide evidence that “nobody at [his/her] site is attempting to harass and intimidate MM or anybody else’s web sit”. It is simply not possible to prove that one is not doing something, or has not done something. This is the basis of “innocent until proven guilty”; the onus is on the accuser to prove positively that the accused did what they are accused of doing.”

    You had previously said:
    “Right stewartlaw, evidence from you that nobody at your site is attempting to harass and intimidate MM or anybody else’s web sit. ”
    Can you not comprehend that it is impossible to provide evidence for this? I’m not quite sure how better to explain this to you. Here, let me try. How would you react if I were a religionist and said to you: “Provide evidence that god does not exist, or you are a bullshitter, now fuck off loser”?

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    If you could write in coherent English, it would be a great help in deciphering exactly what you are trying to say. And “slyme” is spelt with an “i”. I should know, I played with enough of the stuff as a kid!

    Ever hear of the Slymepit? The place that sends out death/rape threats to feminists? That is your Slyme.

    Can you not comprehend that it is impossible to provide evidence for this? I’m not quite sure how better to explain this to you. Here, let me try. How would you react if I were a religionist and said to you: “Provide evidence that god does not exist, or you are a bullshitter, now fuck off loser”?

    What you don’t comprehend is that SL is a proven liar and bullshitter. NOTHING he says will be taken as anything other than lies and bullshit unless he provides the evidence to back up his claims. Now, Where the fuck is his evidence, not his dismissed evidenceless opinion, that Ana is a liar….

  365. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And Gibson, that means if SL claims nothing is coming from SKA to the sites claiming harassment from SKA, the burden of evidence is upon him, the proven liar and bullshitter, to back that claim with solid and conclusive evidence. But the evidence appears to show otherwise….Refute Ana, or you shut the fuck up too.

  366. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And Gibson, in case you are too stupid to understand the situation, that means no links to any website, or any of the posters there, within SKA. Any links will looked at with the appropriate skepticism.

  367. Paul Gibson says

    Nerd of Redhead, etc, 417: “Ever hear of the Slymepit? ”
    No, but I will google it if that makes you happy.

    The point you are missing, fucking loser (to drop to your own inventive level of insults) is that the other commenter said this: “Show me the spamming comments themselves? No one at dtSKA approves of such tactics, and laying everything at the door of dtSKA is bullshit, show me the evidence or stfu. Continual spamming of the sites is the charge, show me the evidence.”
    That was comment 318, and 100 later you are still calling them a liar, when all they have done is ask you to provide EVIDENCE for your claims.

    Seriously, you are becoming a very tiresome individual to “argue” with, due to your ignorance and emptyheadedness. All I want is for you to show your EVIDENCE that the other commenter behaved as you claimed. Again: it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to prove the negative, it is absolutely on your shoulders to PROVE, or at least offer some god damn EVIDENCE, that they did what you are claiming.

    You sound like a Creobot: “Hey atheists, provide evidence that god didn’t create the Universe in six days, as told by god in the…blah blah…”.

  368. Portly says

    I guess you can stop arguing now, Mr. Gibson. Someone just sent me screencaps of at least five instances of SKA-ers crowing in comments SKA about the various trolling comments they left at Ana’s and Shakesville, and the bogus up-voting/down-voting they did.

    They were proud of them. They were clapping each other on the back about it.

    Evidence.

  369. Paul Gibson says

    “I guess you can stop arguing now, Mr. Gibson. Someone just sent me screencaps of at least five instances of SKA-ers crowing in comments SKA about the various trolling comments they left at Ana’s and Shakesville, and the bogus up-voting/down-voting they did.”

    Not so fast, Portly, 421.

    1) I do not accept your word as evidence, so post a link to these screencaps.
    2) “Trolling comments” are not “spamming comments”. The latter are what has formed the basis of “arguments” in this thread.
    3) What on earth do you mean by “bogus up-voting/down-voting”? Internet polls are ridiculous, and are an open invitation to the world’s morons to turn up and “hilariously” try to force the result which is opposite to that which the creator wished to have (these polls are always made to justify the website’s own biases). The people who engage in poll stacking are lacking in imagination, for sure, but I don’t see why they should be labeled “bogus”.

    TL;DR: not evidence, but bullshit.

  370. Portly says

    Not gonna do your work for you there, Mr. Scientist. Go read the thread I linked (better than screencaps — it’s RIGHT THERE on their site). Crowing about a post that is obviously left with one intent — to annoy and harass. Check. Upvoting just to annoy and harass. Check.

    The point is, they’ve denied doing these things, and StewartLaw demanded evidence that these things are happening. The posters at SKA are admitting that they are.

    Moving Goalposts (a big feature in the SKAer’s attempts to evade responsibility)? Check.

  371. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Again: it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to prove the negative, it is absolutely on your shoulders to PROVE, or at least offer some god damn EVIDENCE, that they did what you are claiming.

    I gave you a way. Show there is no links to the harassed blogs or individuals therein. What is your problem? You know that they are there. You must obfuscate reality. SKA is an offensive blog harassing other blogs. That is what the full evidence says. And you can’t show Ana lies. Tsk, tsk.

  372. Paul Gibson says

    Portly, 422.

    What are you trying to show with this? It takes me to a comment which says:

    “Did one of you lovable troublemakers post this? :)”

    Which receives the reply:

    “you better believe I upvoted that shit XD”

    So you have proof that somebody claims to have upvoted a comment. Are you sure you know what the internet is?

  373. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Gibson, either show you are ignoring the harassed blogs, or shut the fuck up. Links to the blogs and posters therein is prima facie evidence iagainst your and SL’s claims.

  374. Paul Gibson says

    Portly, 424:

    ” Upvoting just to annoy and harass. Check.”

    Err….*laughs* You must be new here. One of Pharyngula’s specialties is encouraging the readers to invade bogus online polls.

    Really, if this is the best you have then I am no longer dealing with your nonsense.

  375. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    So you have proof that somebody claims to have upvoted a comment. Are you sure you know what the internet is?

    Are you sure that we don’t smell you desparation, lies and bullshit?

  376. Portly says

    Paul Gibson

    “So you have proof that somebody claims to have upvoted a comment.”

    So, you’re saying that the SKAers involved are lying? Do you have evidence?

  377. Paul Gibson says

    Nerd of Redhead etc. 425:

    “Show there is no links to the harassed blogs or individuals therein.”

    Okay, this is my limit with dealing with you. How on earth can I, or anyone else, do this? You are making a literally impossible request.

    Can you please read my words, and try to understand tem: I CAN NOT PROVE that there are “no links to the harassed blogs or individuals therein”.

    BUT I DO NOT HAVE TO. You are making the claim, so you have to provide the EVIDENCE. I just don’t know how to make this clearer. Are you a religionist? How can I prove to you that god doesn’t exist? I can not, but I DON’T HAVE TO. You have to prove to me that god does exist. Again, the Null Hypothesis: google it.

  378. Paul Gibson says

    Portly, 430.

    I do not understand what you are trying to say in this comment, sorry.

  379. yazikus says

    Paul Gibson,

    Are you sure you know what the internet is?

    For someone so informed about the internet, I’m amazed at your lack of ability to blockquote. It would make your comments slightly less irritable to read.

    I do not understand what you are trying to say in this comment, sorry.

    Well, you were imploring people to write coherently, at this point, perhaps you ought to wonder, “Perhaps it is me?”. Because nothing so far from Nerd or Portly has been incoherent.

  380. says

    Hey, cleverclogs. If you’re wondering why nobody is buying your crap anymore, and why it seems to obvious to you and so completely not-obvious to others (about Liss being Mao The Cult Leader With the Abusive and Brutal Comment Moderation Policies which have cost so many Bothans their lives), maybe have a look at the concept of “epistemological closure” in your Big Dictionary of Sciencey Stuff, and see if maybe talking to (rather than preaching condescendingly at, and failing to get any useful things out of what they’re saying) people outside your weird little bubble will help you understand why they are not seeing that Blaze-orangeness of the sky you insist is there.

    Honestly…you guys really need to stop talking. Epistemological closure, again. You have no idea how Slymey and asshole-ish you sound to the people outside the fray, like most of those on this thread. If you read way up there, you’ll note that Nerd and Daz, among many others, mentioned not agreeing with Liss or reading/commenting at Shakesville, and finding her comment policies to be uncomfortable for them in some manner. I believe Anthony K said the same.

    And based solely on your behaviour (collectively) in this thread, they’re now roundly mocking you with (I think) hilarious cult-y fun in the pop culture references. Your credit/belief here is approximately on the level of Mark Regev’s, or one of our local “Israel is a perfect shining city on the hill and Hamas are Muslim dogs who should be blown up and happily we are getting to that, but accidentally and with great grief, we promise” apologists/genocide enthusiasts. You’d be doing yourselves a favour to just wander off back to your shithole and declare victory. We all know that’s how it’s going to end anyway, so why not cut to the chase?

    It is better to be silent and considered a possible fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

    Just a thought, Mr. Sciencey Guy.

  381. yazikus says

    And, Hi Ana! I comment over at Shakesville under a different ‘nym, but I love your work and appreciate what you do. I’m sorry that you are having to deal with all of this bullshit.

  382. okanogen cascades says

    That old cult magic has me in its spell
    That old cult magic that you weave so well
    Those icy fingers up and down my spine
    The same old cultcraft when your eyes meet mine

  383. Portly says

    The evidence is in the tumblr in question. The harassed blogs and individuals are linked there — some, many, many times. I have posted just three posts at Shakesville in the past four years, and yet my professional website was live-linked in their comment threads — a website that makes no mention of Shakesville, and has nothing to do with Shakesville.

    Do your own work and go over and find it — I attempted to engage with them directly about it and ask them to leave me alone some months ago, and I’m not going back — because I’m not a masochist.

  384. yazikus says

    I, under the clear moon,
    for so many years I’ve wondered who you are,
    How could a person like you bring me joy?
    Under the pale moon, where I see a lot of cults,
    Oooooooo,
    I saw the cult,
    and it opened up my eyes,
    I am happier now without you, I’ve left you, oh, oh, oooh.

  385. Anthony K says

    Well done, Portly.

    I do not understand what you are trying to say in this comment, sorry.

    Sure you do. Or you’re not paying attention to what you yourself are claiming. You wrote,

    “So you have proof that somebody claims to have upvoted a comment. Are you sure you know what the internet is?”

    You’re denying that the SKA poster can be taken at face value. Portly is asking what evidence you have to suggest the claimant is lying, other than “Are you sure you know what the internet is?”

    I mean, if you want to claim comments on the internet are inherently untrustworthy, then we’re into a whole new ball of wax. Internet commenters are YOU. I’ve got no more reason to trust you than I do Mr. UpvoteForTheLulz.

    So if that’s the case, then you don’t really have a case. If you don’t know who your commenters are, can’t vouch for what they say, or whether or not they’re lying, then whether or not YOU think SKA is a hate site or not is irrelevant. Other commenters, who may or may not be lying, use it as one. Their use is as legitimate as yours is.

  386. Anthony K says

    Gah! Should not be posting. The “Well done, Portly.” was in support of comment 430. The blockquote and subsequent paragraphs are in response to 432.

  387. yazikus says

    Gah! Should not be posting

    Anthony K, I understood what you were saying, so no worries. You post well.

  388. marcmagus says

    Paul Gibson @409, etc.

    You say you want evidence to support the positive claim that, to restate, one or more commenters at SKA has left harrassing and/or intimidating comments at Shakesville and/or Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings.

    Why do you reject out of hand the eyewitness testimony from Ana Mardoll and kristycat, both of whom have stated in no uncertain terms that multiple such comments were posted at Ramblings and found through Disqus to be posted by people who have posted multiple comments at SKA?

    The request for EVIDENCE [caps yours] has been well met. Why do you believe otherwise?

  389. okanogen cascades says

    All in a hot and copper sky,
    The bloody Sun, at noon,
    Right up above the mast did stand,
    No bigger than the Cult.

  390. one degree says

    “Spare us the bullshit, sport. If the SKA people were abused they wouldn’t be setting up a revenge site, they’d be keeping well clear of anything to do with Shakesville.”

    Yes, I‘m sure you’re the kind of person who expects an abused woman to slink away into the night in abject shame — sorry we’re not playing by your oh-so-enlightened rules. Perhaps later you can circle-jerk even more over the stupidity
    of women daring to fight back, instead of “keeping well clear” as the abused are supposed to do (Oh — and Melissa McEwan, if you’re reading here? Congrats; this repulsive creature is one of your mighty champions.)

    ” Okay, serious question: what do you want people to do?”

    Do a little legwork.

    And start with this: MM didn’t decide to piss all over SKA until someone leaked (to her, and posted on her website) a private email from HARO (Help A Reporter Out) two weeks ago. The doc asked for help finding a source to offer expertise on the psychology of online toxic communities, Shakesville being listed as an example of the same. (Is nobody here aware of how widespread the discontent is with MM? You really think it’s just US?) Anyway, McEwen took a five day week off, then reappeared with this false, blistering and ugly attack on the site.

    And as feminists, we’re used to this kind of shit – we’ll survive and thrive and along the way, tell jokes and then figure out how to get past all the false accusations MM is throwing around like fresh chum in the water (and we’ll do it by not going away, not shutting up, and not being intimidated by MM working her contact list). We’ll be just fine. But you people need to do some legwork on this story before blindly swearing fealty to a woman who has never even once, by her own admission, visited the site she claims is a vicious hate site.

  391. Anthony K says

    One degree, if you think that in a thread of 444 comments, no one has investigated any claims, followed any links, or dug into the context of a conversation, but instead have relied solely on the word of Melissa McEwan, then fuck right off.

    And that’s helpful advice.

    Because if you’re operating from that level of lack of context, there is no possible way you’re going to represent your side any better than the clowns who’ve already taken ample pixels to make their claim have.

  392. Paul Gibson says

    Portly 430, and Anthony K 439 (who commented “in support of comment 430″ .

    My quoted words were: “So you have proof that somebody claims to have upvoted a comment.”.

    Which you failed to understand, yet again. If you read my original comment, and also what it referred back to on this thread, you will see that Portly originally wrote: “. Someone just sent me screencaps of at least five instances of SKA-ers crowing in comments SKA about the various trolling comments they left at Ana’s and Shakesville, and the bogus up-voting/down-voting they did.”

    I asked for these screencaps as evidence to prove Portly’s position, and all they responded with was some anonymous internet person claiming to have voted on some ridiculous internet poll just to skew the result. If that is a bad thing, then I am a terrible person.

    And what is this thing with people calling me “Mr. Scientist” and similar? I first commented concerning the Null Hypothesis, and was answered by someone with this, #410:

    “I’m a scientist, and you obviously aren’t.”

    I never claimed to be a scientist, and the only person who has so far as I can tell is that #410 commenter, above (which was Nerd of Redhead, etc). Can you please stop attaching my name to claims I have not actually made? Seriously, if you guys are going to make stuff up on a single thread where [CTRL]+F can quickly show the truth, then what hope do I have of an honest discussion? This is pretty weird.

  393. yazikus says

    one degree

    Shakesville being listed as an example of the same. (Is nobody here aware of how widespread the discontent is with MM? You really think it’s just US?) Anyway, McEwen took a five day week off,

    So, there is a site dedicated to silencing MM, and then she heard about it, and took some time off (from the site you wish that she would end, altogether) and that is bad, I guess, with your logic? And then she returns from taking a five day week (pearls clutched!) ‘vacation’ to talk about what had happened, and you are super angry that she talked about it.
    And this:

    And as feminists, we’re used to this kind of shit – we’ll survive and thrive and along the way, tell jokes and then figure out how to get past all the false accusations MM is throwing around like fresh chum in the water (and we’ll do it by not going away, not shutting up, and not being intimidated by MM working her contact list).

    “Working her contact list”? It is not like she and PZ are best buds, by any means. And as ‘feminists’ silencing female voices should probably not be at the top of your to-do list. Telling jokes is different than creating a website dedicated to silencing a voice. And no one here is

    blindly swearing fealty

    to anyone, concerns have been mentioned, many don’t agree with the commenting policy, and many don’t comment. We are just defending her right to write.

  394. okanogen cascades says

    Hello one degree,
    After stewartlaw’s flameout are you the SKAvalry?

    Because if you want to compare repulsive creatures…..

  395. yazikus says

    Paul Gibson,

    This is pretty weird

    Yeah, I know, right? Why is everyone misunderstanding you, even after you implored them to speak coherently? What could the answer be? (Besides the lack of blockquoting, of course, which is confusing, and weird).

  396. Anthony K says

    Which you failed to understand, yet again. If you read my original comment, and also what it referred back to on this thread, you will see that Portly originally wrote: “. Someone just sent me screencaps of at least five instances of SKA-ers crowing in comments SKA about the various trolling comments they left at Ana’s and Shakesville, and the bogus up-voting/down-voting they did.”
    I asked for these screencaps as evidence to prove Portly’s position, and all they responded with was some anonymous internet person claiming to have voted on some ridiculous internet poll just to skew the result. If that is a bad thing, then I am a terrible person.

    So, this commenter is untrustworthy and/or not representative of SKA? That’s clearly your contention, is it not?

  397. Anthony K says

    Portly, am I the one failing to understand what you are asking (yet again, somehow–I think Paul doesn’t know that Nerd and I are not the same person, since I haven’t talked to Paul yet in this thread so ‘yet again’ doesn’t apply)?

  398. says

    @442, marcmagus:

    The request for EVIDENCE [caps yours] has been well met. Why do you believe otherwise?

    Ooh, ooh, I know this one, I know this one! Can I answer? Please, pick me, I’m eager and ever so smart!

    (ahem)

    “Because it doesn’t lead to the conclusion I want the experiment to have.”

    Cause that’s how science is done, y’know.

  399. Portly says

    Paul Gibson @ 447

    “I asked for these screencaps as evidence to prove Portly’s position, and all they responded with was some anonymous internet person claiming to have voted on some ridiculous internet poll”

    Are you just trying to hand me material?

    1) It’s not “some ridiculous internet poll” — it’s upvoting/downvoting other people’s comments at the blogs who have claimed harassment — which you’d know if you had a) actually read the thread and understood the issue at hand, and b) understood how the internet works.

    2) RE: “some anonymous internet person claiming” — If you want to claim that there must be inherent doubt statements made on the internet by virtue of anonymity, then, according to your own precepts, the entire SKA tumblr and any claims made there by anonymous posters (which is all of them, afaik) must be inherently doubted. See how that works?

    OTOH, Melissa McEwan AND Ana Mardoll both blog under their actual names. Which, btw, is why I believe the SKAers prefer them as a target. I, too, have revealed my meat world identity, so perhaps that’s why I’ve been targeted as well, even though my involvement with Shakesville has been virtually non-existent for the last four years.

  400. Portly says

    AnthonyK @453
    You’ve understood me perfectly. And, I believe, so has Mr. Gibson, no matter what s/he says. (And if not, then — poor Mr. Gibson with the comprehension deficit.)

    I’m wondering if s/he’s an actual bystander troll here just to stir shit (seems like it, since he obviously doesn’t understand what’s being spoken about in terms of upvoting, etc.), or if s/he is an SKAer who’s hoping to provoke some kind of “attack” so that they can scurry back to SKA and talk about how abusive Pharyngula is.

  401. okanogen cascades says

    Bravo for pointing that out, Portly. There are other online spaces I dare to post using my real identity. In a world of anonymous sock puppets. These sock puppet identities don’t realize there is no equivalence. You are anonymous and want the same respect for your statements as someone posting under their true name? Sure. Put your real life name on it.

    Fat chance.

  402. says

    LOL, and why Mr. Sciencey Guy? Because you arrived here and immediately began lecturing an actual, working scientist about how the scientific process works, and what a null hypothesis was. And when he pointed out that he’s an actual working scientist, you continued lecturing him about the same things.

    While you’re looking up ‘epistemological closure’, check out ‘mansplaining’ too. You may find a familiar picture decorating it, given your epically hilarious simultaneous bipedal oral orifice insertion when you showed up. I do have a question. How do you find a leg to stand on, with both feet in your mouth? That’s not a koan, I’m just curious.

    I have one, I have one:

    I don’t care if Monday’s black
    Tuesday, Wednesday cult attack
    Thursday never looking back
    It’s Friday I’m in a cult

  403. says

    Um, okanogen cascades, I can think of good reasons to use a nym instead of my real name. There are work-related reasons, for me, where my atheist/feminist views would be damaging to some small part of my business. Not an irreplaceable part, but things are tight enough for me atm that it would be awkward and uncomfortable financially.

    So for me, ‘anonymity’ isn’t about cowardice to stand behind my words; it’s about not being in a position to risk losing part of my meagre income for my words, when there are people like SVKA in the world. But I’ve maintained the same public (and reasonably unique) ‘nym in pretty much every place I am for at least 10 years now, as can be found by a simple search. And plenty of people who are trustworthy do know who I am.

    Not everyone has the privilege, financial or social or safety or what have you, to be public about being an atheist or a feminist, let alone both. It’s simplistic and somewhat classist to think otherwise.

  404. Portly says

    CaitieCat @ 460

    Not everyone has the privilege, financial or social or safety or what have you, to be public about being an atheist or a feminist, let alone both. It’s simplistic and somewhat classist to think otherwise.

    I agree — but this does not erase the validity of what okanogen said — that there is a vast difference between blogging/commenting anonymously and blogging/commenting under your own name. And while I wouldn’t call it “cowardice” to be online psuedonymously (I did it for years), I do believe (and your own story supports this), that ultimately, the choice to remain anonymous does usually boil down to some fear (I’ll lose my job, they’ll find my house, etc.). And those fears (obviously, looking at what’s happening now) are not unfounded.

    And I do believe that this is a factor at SKA — when anonymity is used as a weapon instead of a shield, and lack of anonymity is characterized as “foolish” or makes you “fair game” or is leveraged into some form of “she was asking for it,” it’s not surprising to me that they’ve saved some of their bitterest vitriol for people who are not anonymous.

  405. says

    Fair, PD; my objection is to the characterization as “cowardice”, rather than saying “fearful”, because I don’t think that “is fearful” is the same as “is a coward”, and I’m not sure there was much clarity there about the difference between the use of anonymity to attack people with impunity, and the use of anonymity in helping less-privileged voices to be heard. For me, anyway, in any of my known dialects of English, “coward” is “fearful” plus a value judgement about the rightness of/justification of the fear, and that is the place of my objection.

    Thanks for helping me tease out the specifics there.

  406. one degree says

    “And that’s helpful advice.”

    Yes, there’s nothing more helpful than a dudebro telling a woman “Listen to ME! Shut up and do what I SAY! I am being HELPFUL!”

    Look – just in case you ‘re actually operating in good faith – back to basics: did PZ’s post start like this:

    “That’s from Melissa at Shakesville — who has never once visited the site she is rabidly condemning.”

    Thought not – so yeah, you people ran with a ball that was tainted from the get-go — and until you get that figured out, you look like mouth-breathing lackies. (And if that’s just the way you are here — okay, cool; some online communities aren’t like SKA in that they blindly support others. Not every community is about critical thinking. But at least own that kneejerk bullshit, instead of pretending you’ve “investigated”, when all you’ve done is try to bait and switch as you circle-jerk, because nobody sitting outside your confirmation-bias radius is buying the mindless crap you all are slinging.)

    “And as ‘feminists’ silencing female voices should probably not be at the top of your to-do list. Telling jokes is different than creating a website dedicated to silencing a voice.”

    See, that’s where you’re all fucked up and twisted about what’s really going down here — which comes from a lack of legwork — but whatever, puff up all self righteous and superior about us if it makes you feel good. (Me, I can’t wait for the HARO article to come out; I’m sure the quote mining from this site alone will be magically delicious.)

  407. says

    Isn’t that precious? They think bragging about something being ripe for “quote-mining” doesn’t make them sound like obsessive assholes.

    “Epistemological closure”. It’s somewhere before “evidence”, and after “emetic”, in the Big Book of Sciencey Stuff.

  408. one degree says

    “Isn’t that precious? They think bragging about something being ripe for “quote-mining” doesn’t make them sound like obsessive assholes. ”

    I thought quote-mining would be catnip to you — it’s what you folks at Shakesville do best! — but why shilly-shally here, CaitieCat? I’m sure there’s another woman out there on chemo just waiting to be harassed and harangued by a soldier from Shakesville — you know, just like moderator SKM did when she badgered a cancer victim via obscene emails? (And please, DO trot out SKM’S pathetic attempts at covering her ass about that, by reposting her “Me Not Do It! Hacky Hacked Account!” apologia for everybody to see here.) Or how about the community member who went into a cutting episode after MM verbally abused her? Naa, none of that is valid — hardly worth your time, is it? — you’ve got protection work to do here.

    I ask in all sincerity: do you not, even for one fleeting moment, have an ounce of humanity in you?

    Dozens and dozens of horrific stories of abuse in that supposed “safe space” and all you “Shakers” can do is giggle and attack and piss all over women who dare to speak out — I honestly don’t know how you live with what you’ve done (and continue to do) — I’d say for shame, but that human emotion is clearly beyond you.

  409. says

    What’s shameless is the way you appropriate the language of abused people to portray the fairly small ways in which these hurts initially happened as massive intentional abuse, and require us to simply believe you that the effects were as you say.

    And out the other side of your two-facedness, you insist that despite multiple people pointing to multiple pieces of actual evidence of the ways in which they are, actually, being harrassed by people coming from your site, currently, in an ongoing and escalating way, that none of those people are to be trusted because…um…reasons, or Jesus, or something, that part of the syllogism is a bit fuzzy.

    So, in summary: You lot have posted what you reckon are your closers, your best bits of evidence of how Liss is the Dear Leader of the Maoist Cult of Multi Death and Money Gouging, and it’s been found ambiguous at best, and downright dubious at its worst. Note that I’m not saying people weren’t hurt by the incidents; I’m saying that in general, for each person, they were one-offs, and that neutral people observing them are not seeing the absolutel unshakeable malice you proclaim, even though the people may well have been hurt by them. I’ve never denied that people might have been hurt. Lots of people get hurt by people they trusted, and sometimes it’s malicious. But having been on the mod team my very own self for some of them, I know damn well that these weren’t malicious.

    In return, numerous people have offered evidence, at least as good as anything you’ve put forward, not of single incidents of dubious malice, some of them literally half a decade ago, but of ongoing and escalating malicious harrassment that is causing daily, serious harm to a couple of feminist bloggers, and their mod teams, contributors, and family members. for fuck’s sake. And we are, per your beliefs, to dismiss all of this evidence and testimony from a wide range of people, because…well, again, that part’s a bit fuzzy, but apparently every one of us is a known and completely irredeemable liar, despite there being no evidence whatsoever produced that even one of us is even slightly given to dishonesty.

    That’s pretty much your case. And you think the neutrals here deserve derision for dismissing that as obviously slanted bullshit?

    Like I said. You should really, really quit while you’re behind. Go on home, declare a glorious victory over the forces of evil, and get on back to the important feminist business, per your very own charter, of making sure a loud and proud feminist voice is silenced from the Internet through a campaign of harrassment that you conveniently both disown and deride evidence for.

    Go you awesome feminists, you. Big Damn Heroes. Brave Heroes, one might even say.

  410. says

    one degree #465

    Dozens and dozens of horrific stories of abuse in that supposed “safe space”

    Really? Howcome when we’ve asked, over and over again, for evidence, all that we’ve been presented with is petty crap? The closest thing I’ve seen to abuse so far in this thread was the deceitful and disgusting implication of paedophilia. If you have horrific stories of abuse, fucking well present them.

  411. one degree says

    “What’s shameless is the way you appropriate the language of abused people to portray the fairly small ways..”

    Stop right there; these incidents are not “fairly small ways” of being hurt. Being driven to an episode of cutting, or being harassed while handling chemo, are not small things & it’s a profoundly dehumanizing thing to suggest they are, even for a Shaker soldier.

    “…in which these hurts initially happened as massive intentional abuse,”

    “Intentional abuse” – are you now claiming this woman was somehow unintentionally badgered by a Shakesville mod? That Melissa unintentionally threw verbal abuse at a poster, driving the woman into an act of self harm? And this all happened in a safe space — trumpeted by MM as particularly safe for survivors of the worst forms of abuse — but she and the mods have the right to be excused from the impact of the great harm they caused, because….they didn’t see that abuse can cause great harm.

    As MM herself would say WHOOPS! YOUR GARBAGE EXCUSES LOLFARTS!

    As to the rest: It’s going to take me awhile to properly debunk this nasty apologia of yours, so I’ll be back to cover the rest later. Hopefully, I will have the links to the first person accounts (If they consent to be linked here) of all the women you dismiss as having been hurt in “fairly small ways”.

    But this I can respond to right now:

    “And you think the neutrals here deserve derision for dismissing that as obviously slanted bullshit?”

    Oh, stop kissing up and kissing ass — whoever “the neutrals” (wtf?) are here — It’s a pathetic ploy and easy to see through.

  412. says

    okanogen cascades #458

    You are anonymous and want the same respect for your statements as someone posting under their true name? Sure. Put your real life name on it.

    Do not do this. As someone who claims to want to help abused people, you should bloody well know that such a demand is completely out of order.

  413. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Okay, this is my limit with dealing with you. How on earth can I, or anyone else, do this? You are making a literally impossible request.

    Ah, acknowledgement such links do exist and are exploited for harassment purposes. I don’t have to believe a word you say, and if I don’t take your word for your explanation, and ask for certain evidence to be provided that you site doesn’t harass, and you fail to provide that information, what else can I conclude? You are a harassment site, and are trying to destroy another web site.

  414. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Can you please stop attaching my name to claims I have not actually made?

    Sorry, your defense of SL makes you liable for his claims. Ever hear of that? Otherwise, you say SL is a liar and bullshitter. By trying to make us provide evidence you are backing his claims directly. More lies and bullshit from the fuckwitted idjits.

    What I find interesting is that the two main idjits are male with Slyme writ large.

  415. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As to the rest: It’s going to take me awhile to properly debunk this nasty apologia of yours,

    In other words, I got shit, and must go imagufacture some evidence. Yes, I can return your attitude with attitude of my own.

    One Degree, learn to blockquote to make your drivel easier to read. <blockquote>Material to be quoted.</blockquote> will give:

    Material to be quoted.

  416. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, please stop asking people to prove negatives.

    When I supply the type of evidence that is readily available they could produce to convince me, it isn’t proving a negative.

  417. says

    okanogen cascades:

    You are anonymous and want the same respect for your statements as someone posting under their true name? Sure. Put your real life name on it.

    You’re already skating on thin ice for your egregious misspelling of “Okanagan”. Pulling this kind of shit, O Hypocritical Pseudonymous Commenter, will get you banned. People post under a pseudonym for good reasons, and for bad reasons, and you should fucking know that.

  418. says

    one degree: You’re also being damned annoying. Do not equate this group with Shakesville, even if there is some overlap. McEwan is not a friend — she doesn’t care much for me — but the thing is, I don’t have a problem with that. I can respect her right to have her own opinion without hounding her for it, and I can also disrespect you for being such an obsessive. Let it go. Or if you can’t, don’t bring it here.

  419. okanogen cascades says

    I apologize for poorly wording that thought regarding anonymity. There are very good reasons, excellent, important, vital reasons to post anonymously. As I am posting anonymously, I thought that would go without saying. I’m not saying that anybody should out themselves and regret if it was taken in that manner.

    My point was that Melissa McEwan and Ana Mardoll do not post anonymously. When they make a statement that they can look at their emails and IP records and see that people are coming from SKA, their statements are more valid than anonymous people denying it could possibly be true. Also, I think it is a pretty clear dynamic here that the people at SKA are using their (MM and AM’s) lack of anonymity as yet another weakness to harass them. They are doing it from the safety of anonymity. So, as mentioned above, as a weapon rather than a shield. I will go one further and note (as a way of explaining my statement above), that when you put your real life name on something on the internet, you are generally a lot more measured in your rhetoric. It is much easier to engage in a shitfight when you are anon.

    Regarding my atrocious spelling, lol, yes I have been using this name for lo the last 6 years. As an act of contrition I will share for the first time ever that in the haste of creating my initial account I misspelled and it was simply too much hassle to change. I’ve lived with the shame since that terrible day*. There, exposed.

    *though there is a bonus, I’m the only one out here.

  420. okanogen cascades says

    And that was in agreement with Portly, whose comment basically was that an anonymous person dismissing the validity of anonymous people based on their anonymity was, ironic, etc. I never said anyone was cowardly or fearful or any of those other things either.

    Again, what I wrote was ambiguously worded and I apologize, because that failure on my part meant it could have been taken as a challenge for someone to come out.

  421. okanogen cascades says

    Not wanting to hijack, I’ll add something else on this anonymity thing, it actually comes back somewhat to the OP point of SIWOTI.

    When I post as myself on forums where others are anon, even forums just related to a hobby activity, it is really, really difficult. I have to be extremely cautious about saying anything controversial. For a long time I had a personal stalker, following every post I would make no matter how innocuous. He would make threats against me, usually legal. He would talk about personal things he found out about me. He would investigate my friends, etc.. when I went to public gatherings where others from this forum would be, people would say “Oh! You are so and so!”, where is “your stalker”, and laugh. They didn’t know how frightening it really is, because I’m actually not easy to intimidate. But regardless, it was intimidating and frightening and that was his point. Eventually, I found out who he was in real life (a board member on publicly traded corporations for crying out loud!), and once he knew that I knew, bam, end of harassment. I didn’t have to out him, and didn’t. It ended with his losing that power.

    So that is why I am even more sympathetic to MM and AM, because what they are talking about, their experiences, I have been in their shoes, and it sucks. It is also why I would never, ever, ever imply someone out themselves on the interwebs. But it also gives me MORE respect for people who are willing to accept that abuse in order to forthrightly share their views.

  422. stewartlaw says

    Still haven’t seen any evidence people from dtSKA are spamming other sites. Remember the initial claim was spamming, and a handful of comments are most definitely not spamming, I mean people from this thread have gone over and left comments at dtSKA, that isn’t spamming dtSKA, is it?

    People from Shakesville have gone and left the occasional comment at dt SKA, that’s not spamming is it?

    So there we have it, the claim of spamming was clearly “exaggerated”

    Oh and by the way Pharyngulistas. You may like to know that for everyone here who insists I and other dtSKA people have done a poor job of representing the place, dtSKA continues to pick up new members from Shakesville, who get what dtSKA is about, and they are happy to have such a place where they can vent and criticise.

    Shakesville on the other hand, is all but moribund when it comes to comments being left. Not exactly the sign of a healthy thriving community, and we know why this is..

    We’ve even got people who only knew about the place from reading this thread, so thank you PZ for making it, and thank you all you lovely commenters who have kept it going.

    Keep it up.

  423. says

    you know what pz? You didn’t go there for a safe space. You don’t understand why other people go to shakesville, or what could lead someone to try to reach out for support on the internet instead of from friends or family.

    Heres what happened to me, that so many of you laughed at. I have PTSD from childbirth. I was mistreated severely during labor and birth. I posted in the lounge threads here because I had no support system outside of a therapist that I could not afford to see often enough to deal with everything. I had a newborn and ptsd. It was really, really horrible. No one really cared here. I was too scared to post in other threads on pharyngula, so I looked for somewhere else to go.

    I thought “hey, shakesville has a really strict commenting policy, I’ll go there.” I said something derisive about maternity workers in a thread about forcible sterilization, it was my personal feeling at the time I was going through trauma and it seemed appropriate to express anger over patient consent being ignored in such a thread. Melissa emerged off her throne to tell me I was being shitty and dumb and there was a pile on. I was confused. I was hurt. I tried to say why I thought it was important and she basically called me racist and off topic. The blog owner only emerged to tell me how shitty I was. I found sites critical of shakesville and found that other people had the exact same experience. I felt a lot better at that point. It is difficult for people processing abuse to not blame everything on themselves. Its especially hard when someone that you think is respectful or compassionate comes down to make you feel bad about your own feelings.

    This doesn’t seem like a big deal to anyone who is stable, but that’s the point. I wasn’t very stable, that is why I was there in the first place.

    People like her like to maintain a cloud of deniability around their behavior. They pick targets and actions that they can dismiss easily, as people have done here, as “just moderating strictly” or what have you. Its deliberate as hell. There were other people I met on svka who were suicidal, or trying to leave abusive relationships, etc and they got the same treatment. The pattern is what is damning. She seems to be able to zero in on people who are easily hurt and then fuck with them, so that outsiders can say “oh you are just too sensitive”. Is it a safe space or not? I thought people were allowed to be vulnerable and sensitive in a place that is safe, but it puts a target on your back at SV. Its sickening. It would be quite simple to adjust the description of the place and the moderating policies to get rid of this false claim of safety, but she won’t. She gets too much attention out of being the martyr for the safe space and it would no longer convince hardcore shakers that the rest of the internet is unsafe by comparison.

    Melissa designs her blog to attract people who are in the situation I was in- marginalized, desperately looking for some support that couldn’t be obtained in real life. Comparing your reaction to the circumstance of people who are in need, people who are promised some safety, is fucking bullshit. I’ve followed your blog for years and not once have you talked about being in a situation like anyone at svka’s when they reached out to melissa or shakesville for help. You just have no clue what it is like at all. Until you’ve been in such head space, where you cannot get the social support you need and try a place that says its safe, I don’t really care what you think of melissa or anyone else. Its apples to oranges.

    The pharyngulites who are laughing at the mistreatment of vulnerable people should be ashamed of themselves. Its disgusting. These are ex-shakers, these are feminists. You aren;t allowed to mock people for appearances or use gendered slurs, its downright saintly for a criticism website. That is why everyone has to reach so hard to say svka is ‘harassment’. There just isn’t any evidence. And No, nerd of redhead, linking to a place isn’t an encouragement of harassment, and if it were then the meaning of the word “harassment” would be so diluted as to become meaningless because the entire internet would be guilty. Your ridiculous games on virtually every post on this website are tiresome and idiotic. I don’t think anyone cares what you have to say about anything because all you can do is angrily repeat yourself instead of having an actual discussion. Why you haven’t been banned is a mystery to me.

  424. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Funny how feminists are ignoring/dismissing the testimony of monitors about the source of harassment. And those monitors are female. Interesting the dismissal of the testimony of women if it doesn’t fit your preconceptions.

  425. stewartlaw says

    Skeptifem.

    Your post #485 says just about all that needs to be said. Thank you for taking the time to write it. At the end of the day I am a middle aged straight cis white guy, and a few sweary posts at me in Pharyngula aren’t that big a deal, I have the rest of the internet and the rest of the world to have my say but there are others, such as yourself, who are in marginalised groups, and when they are told somewhere is a safe space for them, it should be a safe space for them. Anyone who makes such a promise, then breaks it, needs to be exposed and held to account.

    dtSKA exists to hold those people to account and expose their bullshit.

    Once again Skeptifem, thank you for the post.

  426. says

    PD @458:

    You can use “they” if you don’t know someone’s gender. Or you could be consistent and use “s/he” throughout, and not use Mr. Or use “he”/”Mr.” and assume. Pick one.

  427. tomek says

    Portly, 425.
    The comment you linked to is simply asking if anyone at SKA posted the comment at SV; it is not the commenter admitting they did. As for going to SV and upvoting comments, that might be petty at worst, but hardly harassment, let alone a threat.

  428. says

    So, multiple people have said that its unfair/disingenuous to say Deeky has made sexualized comments about children- using the plural form of comments. Given that so far only one example has been given, this is fair. While I personally am not sure how to classify the ‘tit’ comment (at the very least it makes me seriously uncomfortable), I thought I should mention the other comment people are referring to.
    Tw: references to acid burns, incest
    http://www.melissamcewan.net/2014/01/facials.html

    Okay, so in reference to the remake of The flowers in the attic movie, Deeky says “I’m prolly gonna jerk off to it!”. If you don’t know, flowers in the attic is basically about some children/young teens being kept hidden/abused in an attic,there’s some incest.
    This is why people are using the plural form of comments, I’m pretty sure.
    This one, for me is a lot more clear cut- I find it really really not okay, and somewhat triggering. It’s not on the main shakesville blog, just to be clear. To find this in context, scroll to near the bottom of the post.

  429. stewartlaw says

    I knew about his comment saying he would jerk off to the film about the under age sibling s having sex but I didn’t mention it here because I saw the way my comment explaining he made sexualised remarks about children was treated, and by people who really ought to know better.

    It’s like this. If I described a man as someone who beats women, and people called me a lair because there was only evidence to show he had beaten just one woman, well then why would you argue the point with them further? It wouldn’t be worth it.

    If I described someone as the sort of person who made racist remarks, and people went on for hours about how I was a liar because there was only ever evidence he had made one racist remark? What benefit is there is continuing that particular argument with someone of that mindset?

    So it is with my comment explaining that Deeky made sexualised remarks about children.

  430. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Rebecca Carberry
    I get that it is a hyperbole filled conversation between two friends while not at shakesville, but still: ‘ick’.

    stewartlaw
    You really should have opened with that instead of the ‘tit’ comment. Your constant repeating of the claim that deeks made ‘sexualized comments about children’ (a phrase oozing ‘pedophile’ for those familiar with right-wing dog whistles) without producing any evidence of an unambiguous comment, let alone multiple comments and/or multiple children, was part of what pissed everyone off. There is the very real possibility of some demographics of men being largely ignorant of the horrible baggage attached to the word. How anyone could earnestly listen to women speak out about their harassment and remain ignorant of its horribleness to so many people? I do not know, but it can take time to excise troublesome words from one’s vocabulary, especially if it is deeply entrenched and/or has a very different context in the culture of one’s social group.

    Simple questions for both: If someone uses a swastika, is that person a nazi? If someone tattoos hirself head to toe in swastikas, does that make them a nazi?

  431. stewartlaw says

    Hi Matt.

    My opening post on Deeky making sexualised comments is post #97 and if you go back and read it you will see that what I am saying is that we shouldn’t take one inappropriate comment as representative of an entire site. It’s there quite clearly in post #97 but people here chose to misrepresent what I was saying and turn it into me claiming that one comment was somehow suggestive of something more than the inappropriate comment I initially said it was.

    Even with the other skeezy comments Deeky is known to have made, I would still say he is guilty of nothing more than someone making skeezy and inappropriate comments. The extrapolation from that to something more sinister is entirely down to people on this thread, supposedly defending him.

    I take no ownership of that, that is on the people who introduced into the conversation, I have steadfastly and firmly refused to “go there” as I believe the kids say nowadays.

  432. okanogen cascades says

    Skeptifem alleges:

    The pharyngulites who are laughing at the mistreatment of vulnerable people should be ashamed of themselves.

    Give even one example of this in this entire, 495 comment thread. Just one. Actually, don’t waste your time trying; you can’t, because it never happened. In fact the exact opposite happened: exactly everyone, including the targets of harrassment and hate from SKA have allowed that people could have been hurt at Shakesville and that sucks. Everyone has said that.

    And the pathetic stewartlaw pipes in after everyone has left the thread to repeat his disingenuous bullshit:

    My opening post on Deeky making sexualised comments is post #97 and if you go back and read it you will see that what I am saying is that we shouldn’t take one inappropriate comment as representative of an entire site. It’s there quite clearly in post #97 but people here chose to misrepresent what I was saying and turn it into me claiming that one comment was somehow suggestive of something more than the inappropriate comment I initially said it was.

    Even with the other skeezy comments Deeky is known to have made, I would still say he is guilty of nothing more than someone making skeezy and inappropriate comments. The extrapolation from that to something more sinister is entirely down to people on this thread, supposedly defending him.

    I take no ownership of that, that is on the people who introduced into the conversation, I have steadfastly and firmly refused to “go there” as I believe the kids say nowadays.

    What utter bullshit, you didn’t say “skeezy comments”, or “skeezy and inappropriate comments”, you claimed he was “known” to have made “sexualized comments about children”. You did that to people who had no idea what he had actually said, or in what context it was said, and your entire premise falls apart if you didn’t mean to imply he was some kind of sexual predator type. When your claims were investigated, then it became apparent what a disingenuous liar you are. “You didn’t mention it here” regarding his other (obviously hyperbolic, ironic, joking, and NOT on Shakesvilled) comments because of… everybody else? Again, unbelievable hogwash from someone who has been thoroughly discredited.

    BTW, looks like SKA may need it’s own hate site soon.:

    I am appalled by your behaviour. I thought I had found a place where I could discuss my experiences at Shakesville and feel safe. Now that I have seen how you act when called out on transphobia I know that I, as a trans person, am unwelcome here. This is not about your decision to ban a commenter; this is about your refusal to consider how your words and actions would hurt the trans people that you KNOW read this site, and your refusal to apologise for your transphobia. I’m out.

    Lol.

  433. stewartlaw says

    I see we are back to ” it was just a joke” as a defence.

    Intent, it’s fucking magical! As someone once said.

    Go on, keep telling me I’m discredited, as an argument it’s so persuasive, almost as persuasive as signing off with “LOL”

  434. says

    stewartlaw

    Go on, keep telling me I’m discredited

    You are, for reasons which have been explained multiple times. And as for (I paraphrase.) “I didn’t introduce more evidence ’cause I thought introducing more evidence would weaken my case.” Lol, whut?

    As to the “references to acid burns” Rebecca Carberry so helpfully warns us of, you folks do know that acid-based “skin care” is actually a thing, and that thing is what they were ridiculing, right?

    The Flowers In The Attic thing was, yes, obviously meant jokingly. Not, in my opinion, a tasteful joke, but neither was it posted at Shakesville. But okay, you’ve produced one thing that, if we stretch “Shakesville” to mean “anything said, anywhere, by people involved with Shakesville,” could be considered to impinge on Shakesville’s ability to provide a safe space.” Well, I say “you.” I mean Rebecca Carberry did. And they managed it in one comment, with one link.

    You still haven’t addressed the question of why we should believe at least three people to be lying, on your demonstrably untrustworthy say-so, when they report hate-spam directed at Shakesville by SKA users.

  435. stewartlaw says

    Daz, repeating something multiple times doesn’t in and of itself make it more or less true. It’s either right or wrong, irrespective of the number of times it has been repeated.

    My comments regarding Deeky remain correct. He made sexualised comments about children, in a supposedly safe space. This was an inappropriate thing to do, This is what I have said, this is what happened, and no amount of internet lawyering here or anywhere else can change what is a matter of record.

    You still haven’t addressed the question of why we should believe at least three people to be lying, on your demonstrably untrustworthy say-so, when they report hate-spam directed at Shakesville by SKA users.

    The fact that you are happy to let this be a matter of which people you believe, rather than relying on any kind of evidence to support the assertion, ought to tell you something.

    There has been no hate spam from dtSKA directed at any other sites. To back this assertion up, I present the complete lack of evidence of any hate spam on other sites that can be traced back to dtSKA.

    Someone leaving a comment somewhere is not hate spam, otherwise Pharyngula would be guilty of hate spam over at dtSKA, since one or two people from here have made the occasional critical post. One or two critical posts from this or that user is not Hate Spam, that’s simply ridiculous.

    Shakesville would be guilty of hate spam over at dtSKA since one or two people (more than that actually) have made frequent critical posts over at dtSKA but they;re not guilty because that isn’t what hate spam is.

    It’s beyond ridiculous that you are claiming one or two users who, of their own volition, may have posted on other sites, of being involved in hate spamming of those sites, and this is something to be laid at the feet of dtSKA.

    Thankfully, dtSKA continues to pick up people who understand what it is really about. This thread and the petulant outbursts from Shakesville and Ana Mardoll’s sites have helped bring people to dtSKA, once again, thank you for this.

  436. anteprepro says

    Jesus fuck this is still going on?

    stewartlaw:

    My comments regarding Deeky remain correct. He made sexualised comments about children, in a supposedly safe space.

    Except, as has been noted several times, the new evidence for that proposition, delivered by someone who wasn’t you because you are too incompetent to do anything but chortle vaguely about events without bother providing evidence of what you are talking about, DIDN’T HAPPEN IN THAT “supposedly safe space”. You just can’t get your story straight. It’s pathetic and rather suspicious.

    And yes, that is why you are discredited. Whine all you like about that, it doesn’t change a thing.

  437. says

    stewartlaw #498

    The fact that you are happy to let this be a matter of which people you believe, rather than relying on any kind of evidence to support the assertion, ought to tell you something.

    Oh fuck off. We’re not Vulcans. Human interactions involve assessment of degrees of trustworthiness.

    I have seen three people claim to have seen hate-spam from multiple SKA users on a large scale. I have no reason to believe them to be either dishonest or suffering from some sort of weird shared hallucination. I’m assuming you’re not contending the latter, so you must be contending the former.

    You, on the other hand, have given ample evidence in this very thread that you are untrustworthy. So either give me concrete evidence that all three have a history of untrustworthiness, or admit that there is no reason to suspect them of lying now, and that your uninformed guess as to how much spam has been sent, by how many people, is nothing more than that: a guess, and a biased one at that.