Michael Nugent visits the slime pit

A couple of days ago Michael Nugent posted two questions for Justin Vacula about ‘nasty pushback’ against some feminists online.

Justin Vacula has published a video (here with transcript) titled “Feminists’ million dollar question” in which he elaborates on his advice “for people who face criticism and hate on the internet.”

While I fundamentally disagree with his analysis, I am interpreting his intentions charitably, and I would like to ask him two questions.

Justin asks why some feminists receive what he calls “nasty pushback” while others don’t, and he concludes that it is because of the way that they present themselves on the Internet. He says of this “nasty pushback”:

“It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified, but it’s just to state a fact; it’s just to state how the internet “is.” It’s not to justify the behavior.”

Justin, here’s my first question for you. Can you go a step further than that, and say that at least some of “the nasty pushback” is morally unjustified, and can you give some examples of morally unjustified nasty pushback?

I don’t think Vacula has answered yet – he was too busy doing an hour-long podcast devoted to examining a few comments of mine on Facebook – but Vacula did a post purporting to answer Nugent’s questions but actually failing to answer them; meanwhile Nugent has posted Examples of ‘nasty pushback’ against some atheist/skeptic feminists on the Internet. Boy has he ever. He went to the slyme pit and dug deep and came up with a big, dripping, stinking, oozing collection of examples. I haven’t seen anyone else do that before apart from us – the targets of the slime – and we do it only sparingly. This should make some heads explode.

He gives two trigger warnings. Then into the muck we go. [Trigger warning, by the way. As you doubtless know, this is horrible stuff. It makes you think ill of humanity. Be warned.] A sample.

      1. If I was a girl I would kick [named person] in the cunt. cunt.
      2. [named person] comes off as the most disgusting human being I have ever encountered. What a fucking self-pitying arrogant twat/bitch/cunt/asshole. Oh, was that sexist? Boo fucking hoo; stop complaining and grow a pair. Oh, was that sexist again? Fuck you.
      3. But for her victim ploy [named person] needs to believe that there are people who want her to be raped, and all her little smelly-skepchick-snatch-sniffers are more than happy to magic them into being in their own tiny shiny minds.
      4. It really bothers me when fucking special snowflakes like [named person] complain about “sister punishing” or privilege. That fucking bitch is the textbook definition of privilege. A useless, worthless cunt that gets to complain about stupid trivial shit because of her comfy, cushioned life.
      5. I find their behaviour disgusting and hilarious at the same time. I don’t argue against them, I don’t try and build bridges or attempt to change their minds. I’m just here for the laughs and to watch them dissolve in a pool of their own angry tears.
      6. [named person]’s whole strategy is to make herself a target to get attention to her bleating. What the fuck do I care if someone then tells her she’s ugly or makes funny pictures of her? That’s what she fucking wants, she can have it.

That’s the first six. It goes all the way up to 50.

A bit more.

      1. Links to photos of a named couple’s wedding, and mocking comments about their marriage including [in response to a tweet by the wife about how much she loves her husband]: To me, that looks like she’s trying to tell herself she still loves a man who no longer does it for her.
      2. A photo of several named feminists with the commentary: – Oh no. Wow that photo could be used for chemical free pest control. – Yeah, and [named person] certainly looks as though someone’s tampering with her rusty tradesman’s entrance… – Holy shit that’s a table of fuglies! and i have beer goggles on. – By the way, that picture is revolting. When you look at [named person] her atrocious oral hygiene is overwhelmingly evident. – The other “chicks” in the picture aren’t smiling, they’re grimacing at her repulsive appearance and are disgusted by her atrocious breath. Meow [named person]! – What is [named person] doing with her right hand? Wanking off a hobo? – [named person] looks like she’s in the before shot for a tooth whitening product.
      3. A video animation of a named person masturbating over a computer image of another named person.

That’s 43 through 45.

What can a #bravehero say to that? Nothing, but no doubt he’ll come up with something to say about a different subject.


  1. says

    I’m just wondering what it would take (short of an exquisitely-timed Wile E Coyote-style anvil on the head) for Vacula to comprehend that he’s chosen the wrong side of the Rift to bunk with. You can say “both sides say nasty things” all fucking day but when it comes down to it, only ONE side is – every single goddamned day – posting proudly hateful, poisonously nasty and pointlessly vicious comments/images like those listed above (perfect timing too – I blogged about this not a couple of hours ago).

    Vacula, at what point is it not okay to behave in the manner listed by Michael Nugent?

  2. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    28 comments in and it’s almost entirely ‘people say nasty things on ScienceBlogs/FTB all the time!’ – though one of them’s now decided it’s justified because Greg Laden ‘tried to get Abbie Smith fired’ (to my understanding, untrue) and ‘Pharyngula commenters’ tried to get NatGeo to shut down the slymepit in its earlier incarnation there (true, though dubious in terms of relevance).

  3. says

    Wowbagger, it should of course be no surprise to any of us that they’re resorting immediately to projection, minimising, denial and false equivalency.

    I mean, of COURSE some choice invective (some of it admittedly poorly-chosen) at FtB is the same as a years-long campaign of harassment, abuse, rape threats and graphic/demeaning images. And if it isn’t, well, Freeze Peach™, grow a spine, bootstraps, don’t feed the trolls and “why do some feminists get negative pushback and some don’t?”. Et fucking cetera.

    Caveat to the above: “campaign” indicates organisation and authority. The current hate-a-thon just seems like a petulant sub-adolescent bandwagon, with a few choice clusterfucks revelling in being centres of attention.

  4. Landon says

    The cluelessness of Vacula is astounding, as is the vile repulsiveness of the slymepitters. Thing is, in Vacula’s tu quoque response there is the hint that he realizes, somewhere, that he’s committed himself to the wrong side and that what’s going on is not acceptable. He doesn’t seem to be able to bring himself to face head on the issue of whether or not this kind of conduct is wrong, and I think that’s telling.

    There are some scumbags who will just say, “yeah, well, there’s nothing wrong with what I’m doing because I’m RIGHT!” Vacula isn’t doing that – I always read these “everyone’s doing it” responses as slightly desperate. The subtext is “yes, this is wrong, but I’m blamelessly wrong because even the supposedly good people are doing it, too.”

    Such defenses are, in my thinking, the last refuge of people who can JUST BARELY see how wrong they really are from where they’re standing. Whether Vacula actually manages to break through and come to some self-awareness about this remains to be seen (I’m betting “not likely”), but his choice of defenses intrigues me and makes me wonder if he can feel, even if only around the edges, just what a waste of space he is.

  5. says

    Whether Vacula actually manages to break through and come to some self-awareness about this remains to be seen (I’m betting “not likely”), but his choice of defenses intrigues me and makes me wonder if he can feel, even if only around the edges, just what a waste of space he is.

    I just wonder whether he realizes that he’s pretty much cratered any chance he’s ever going to have of a decent career if it’s in a field where prospective employers care about his ability to work well with others. Does he not understand that HR departments regularly google prospective employees? If he’s planning on being a night watchman in a used car lot or something, he’ll probably be OK but this kind of thing closes doors permanently, especially in a competitive job market.

    Of what I speak, I know a thing or two. I was responsible for hiring at my start-up between 1997 and 1999, and had final say on who got in and who didn’t. And, yes, I used search engines and disqualified people who were engaged in suspicious lawsuits or whose names came up regarding drugs, violence, workplace problems, or theft. I was happy when I was able to hire a real HR person in 2000, who promptly told me that some of my existing hiring practices were probably not allowed. But, yeah.

    Vacula’s just shooting himself in the foot over and over and over. There are indicators of “the controversy” on the first page of google results with just his name. Try “justin vacula conflict” or “justin vacula controversy” and you can smell career burning from where you sit. What a maroon. If I were him, I’d drop skepticism entirely and take up a whole new hobby, maybe even change the way I spelled my name.

  6. Lofty says

    Who needs a career? You can spend much of your adult life snug in your mom’s basement ranting at the world for not recognising your brilliance!!!!!!!

  7. Bjarte Foshaug says

    While I fundamentally disagree with his analysis, I am interpreting his intentions charitably

    Tsk tsk… What does a guy have to do to earn an uncharitable interpretation from people like Nugent?

  8. Wowbagger, Designated Snarker says

    I’m really hoping he takes this opportunity for a smackdown, because they’ve basically been high-fiving each other over who’s the more capable asshole, and trying to say that because Pharyngula regulars are offensively snarky they’re justified in using all of the bigoted slurs they enjoy so much – all the while carefully avoiding the fact that at Pharyngula you’ll get your ass handed to you for anything that’s even slightly offensive to a less privileged group of people.

  9. Landon says

    “Try “justin vacula conflict” or “justin vacula controversy” and you can smell career burning from where you sit.”

    I had never even though of this angle. It brings me indescribable joy. Thank you.

  10. says

    My son is five.

    He has already managed to figure out that ‘but soandso played with them too!’ is not a valid defense when he is in trouble for dumping his Legos all over the living room.

    That pretty much says it all for the maturity level of the slymepitters.

  11. Pteryxx says

    “Try “justin vacula conflict” or “justin vacula controversy” and you can smell career burning from where you sit.”

    Unfortunately, that’s one reason it’s so important for the brave heroes to gain standing within their pits… MRAs network. “Old boys’ club” still is a thing, and even criminal charges don’t slow them down for long.

    Which, again, makes publicity and diverse hiring and anti-harassment policies so vital: those all help reduce tolerance and cover for boys’ club behavior.

  12. A. Noyd says

    So, Vacula’s reply is up now. You called it, Ophelia; the chickenshit had no response to the question Nugent put to him about the fifty quotes and blabbered a lot about other stuff instead.

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