Barry Karr speaks up

Barry Karr is the Executive Director of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer Magazine. Surly Amy posts his statement.

I find totally reprehensible statements advocating violence, rape and even death directed towards women. I have said it in personal communications, and I will say it here now: People who make statements filled with hatred and threatening or calling for acts of violence have no place in the humanist or skeptical movements.


  1. says

    It astonishes me that anyone might think differently! Of course, such people have no place in any humanistic movement, religious or irreligious. What is it that would suggest to someone that this attitude towards women is socially acceptable anywhere at all? The internet is a bit of a Pandora’s box in this respect. Because it is so universal, and reaches into every social nook and cranny, it also gives a voice to all the profoundly socially dysfunctional, as well as to those who are reasonable and thoughtful. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised, but it is hard not to experience it that way. In general, most of us only hear of such things only by report, but on the net, we come word to word with it, if not face to face. So it is important to affirm again and again that there are rules, and must be rules, and that those who don’t follow them will find themselves excluded.

  2. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says


    It astonishes me that anyone might think differently!

    I’m shocked as well.
    I also find it disconcerting when people try to hide behind statements of violence or sexual assault by claiming I was just kidding.

  3. Wowbagger, Deputy Vice-President (Silencing) says

    Eric MacDonald wrote:

    It astonishes me that anyone might think differently!

    Saddens, yes. Astonishes? After what’s been revealed in the atheist/skeptical community over the last year or so?

    Not even close.

  4. 'Tis Himself says

    I agree with Wowbagger. The fallout from Elevatorgate* shows that a significant number of people, not all of them men, go out of their way to advocate violence, rape and death to women.

    *Jebus I hate that name.

  5. says

    I think that after seven prominent community leaders have spoken up about harassment and such, the pressure on D. J. Grothe will become overwhelming, and they will finally have to take a public position.

    We’re close now, and I’m getting excited as we approach the tipping point.

  6. says

    @Tony, King of the Hellmouth: yes, ‘Just kidding’ or ‘It was only a joke’ piss me right off. There’s nothing magical about humour that could turn hate into amusement. When people say disgusting crap and then seek to lessen the blow with ‘it’s only a joke’ my first thought is, “…and the fact that you find that funny tells me more than I want to know about you.”

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