Hiss point hiss hiss

Emily D just dropped in to leave a comment promoting a blog post of hers. She left it on Items, a post from two days ago that ended with a link to a Twitter conversation I had with her.

On Twitter we’re being told that “we are sexual beings” and that flirtation out of nowhere is fine.

Her comment included some extra material.

Hey folks, it’s your friendly neighborhood misogynist here! Ophelia has highlighted my chill-girl attitudes in a way so few can. Maybe you’d like to see the rest for yourself: http://emilyhasbooks.com/naughty-chicken-ruffled-feathers/

Compare the two. Note that I did not call her a misogynist or a chill girl, and that I didn’t even name her*. Her comment contains falsehoods about me.

I took a look at her post and found that the comment is simply quoting from the post – so the falsehoods are there, too.


Hey folks, it’s your friendly neighborhood misogynist here! In one of several opinion pieces put out recently on the serious matter of harassment and assault, Ophelia Benson has highlighted my chill-girl attitudes in a way few others can.  As a woman who has experienced rape and other forms of abuse, I am not amused, but let’s have a few laughs anyway.

No, I’m not amused either. As a woman who has experienced years of online abuse, I’m not amused by Emily D pretending I said things I didn’t say.

I’ve asked her to remove the falsehoods.

She spread them on Twitter too, naturally, with the predictable results.


 Nice work, Emily.

*Update Aug. 11 – as a commenter points out, I did name her by linking to the tweet. I meant I didn’t include her name in the post itself, but the commenter is right that that doesn’t equal not naming her at all.


  1. seraphymcrash says

    Her last tweet was “We’re flawed. All of us. When someone makes a mistake, or has a serial problem, we should come together to help them grow, not scorn them.”

    It’s twisted that she wants to extend “compassion & communicate to them” (the harassers), but doesn’t think you are deserving of the same.

    It’s also intellectually dishonest to only show her responses and not anyone else’s.

  2. says

    The whole conversation is stupid because she argues passionately against what no one said. It’s as if everyone were shouting for revenge or violence, when all we want is for the harassment to stop. That’s not the least bit incompatible with also “helping them grow” and all the rest of her pious bullshit. (Well it is pious bullshit. What’s she going to do? Go to their houses, hold their hands, feed them carrots to make them grow? She’s just talking, to make herself look virtuous.)

    It looks to me like nothing but an attempt to make herself look Nicer Than Other People.

  3. Stacy says

    Hey Emily, I’d like to come together with you to help you grow.

    Stop misrepresenting Ophelia, OK? I know you can do better. So do better.

  4. screechymonkey says

    I think I may be plagiarizing a Bjarte comic, but:

    “Bitch twat attention whore … kick you in the cunt.”
    Uh, could you maybe not do that?
    “WHAT?! Freeze peach! Dictionary defines misogyny as blah blah blah…”
    Someone called me a ‘chill girl’!
    “WHAT?! Well, I never! Such misogyny is not to be tolerated!”

  5. screechymonkey says

    .. and that’s why I should learn to use preview all the time. Well, I’m sure you all figured out which lines belong to who.

  6. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Grrr. I am just so tired of these fucking people letting personal disagreements turn them to the side of creeps and harassers. Are they thinking? For a bunch of so-called skeptics, their logic is unbelievably faulty.

  7. Jacob Schmidt says

    The insult towards Ophelia’s looks aside*, I wonder if anyone attacking Ophelia cared about the person saying that someone with a different sexuality then hir’s should be irreparably damaged. That seems vaguely bigoted and despicable to me (just a little /understatement).

    *Really? Are we really still there?

  8. Bjarte Foshaug says

    If anything, reading Emily’s comment in context makes it worse, since it was presented in the context of lecturing Elyse about the right way to react to Shermer’s sleazy behavior, So much for “misrepresentation”.

  9. Julie says

    Reading the source Twitter conversation strongly supports Ophelia’s summary of it. Emily’s language is inflamatory and false.

    Myself, I’d prefer to live in a society where the most sexually aggressive people don’t get every benefit of the doubt. Where I’m not pressured to be extra nice to the guy who just creeped the living hell out of me. Gee, it’s almost like I don’t want to live in a rape culture or something.

  10. hjhornbeck says

    Using lies and slander to claim someone lies and slanders? Refusing to take down false claims, even while linking to evidence that you’re making false claims?

    No wonder many of these people struggle to understand satire. They are satire!

  11. says

    Each time I see ED around the net, it’s like I’ve run into a promotional spam-bot. This instance doesn’t change anything.

    “Hello. Blah-de-blah-blah [insert buzzwords geared to target audience] me, me, me. [Insert link to something completely unremarkable as if it’s the cure for cancer].”

    The target audience in this case, you can tell from the buzzwords, is clearly made up of nasty Internet trolls. I don’t know how some people bring themselves to do it, or at least, I can’t sympathize.

  12. F [is for failure to emerge] says

    “We’re flawed. All of us. When someone makes a mistake, or has a serial problem, we should come together to help them grow, not scorn them.”And I’m gonna prove it! Watch me go. Woohoo!

  13. notsont says

    Anytime I hear “sexual beings” in a sentence its usually coming from someone who does not respect other peoples right to their own body or privacy. Usually old guys who think they are gods gift to women, although the last one I met in person what a new-agey woman who constantly tried to fondle my girlfriend, telling her to “loosen up” as she grabbed her breasts and “we are all sexual beings”. The term just creeps me out whenever I hear it.

  14. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Sexual beings. Yes, yes, so clearly anyone who has ever enjoyed consensual sex (or has considered enjoying consensual sex) is clearly walking around with a huge sign that says “Talk dirty to me” at all times. SCIENCE!

  15. kevinkirkpatrick says

    When I read Emily Dietle’s defense of Shermer’s “NAUGHTY-NAUGHTY” comment, I see a direct parallel in how parents might choose to deal with sibling in-fighting, teasing, and bullying. I have direct experience with three methodologies: that which my mother applied to my siblings and me; that which my father applied, and that which my wife and I apply for our own children.

    My mother’s approach to dealing with teasing was “rule based”. She simply had a set of rules which determined what behavior was teasing and what behavior was not. Rules included but wren’t limited to: no unwanted touching, no name-calling, no finger-pointing, no ‘copying’, and so on. And the result? The older siblings were savvy enough to identify behaviors which sidestepped these rules and allowed them to torment and bully the younger siblings “at will”. Acronyms were invented to give normal words derogatory meanings; a younger sibling might be called a “G.I.R.L.” after having been told what that “really” meant. Pointing/staring at something near the younger sibling was very popular. Almost but not quite touching (“I’m not touching her!”). And so on. The rule-based approach required my mom to interview both sides and figure out who broke a rule. And boy, did the elder siblings get good at “gaslighting” (amazing to find such a perfect term for something 30 years after the fact): “We didn’t call her a name, we just called her a girl, she’s crazy and just trying to get us in trouble.”

    My father’s approach was authoritative and emphasized peace and quiet: punish/scold whoever is disrupting the peace so the peace is not disturbed. This was a gold mine of opportunity for the older siblings: tease quietly/surreptitiously, and when the younger siblings loudly retaliated or complained, there’d be the added delight of seeing that sibling both get upset and reprimanded.

    As a middle child growing up in the above household, I walked away with a pretty good feel of how ineffectual those strategies were. Frankly, up until adulthood (at which our own maturity allowed us to work through and mend things), we children basically resented one another. We rarely got along, never sought opportunities to do things together, and ultimately lived completely independent lives through to college age.

    And as a parent, I resolved to handle things differently with our children. Our approach to teasing is 100% empathy based and victim-supporting. If one of our kids is upset based on what the other is doing, that behavior is directed to STOP immediately (with direct consequences if merited). The “worst” backlash the victim can expect is, if the behavior is innocuous enough and/or plausibly non-malicious, we ensure that the victim first directly asked the transgressor to stop the behavior. If the teasing continues (in any capacity), the “teasor” is removed from the social situation completely; timed out until they’re ready to behave kindly and respectfully. Much emphasis is put on empathy training: the consequence is usually some form of the teasor working out and explaining to us how the teasing makes the other sibling feel, and understanding how they wouldn’t like to feel that way themselves.

    Suffice it to say, the different approach to teasing has yielded astonishingly different results. Our kids, now 7 and 5, are and have always been best buds. As I write this, they’ve literally been at imaginative play for going on 3 hours (and that’s the norm). Sibling fighting still occurs from time to time (mostly when the kids are over-tired/hungry/etc.), but it simply does not exist in any significant way in our household.

    Emily Dietle’s defense of Shermer 100% rings of the rule-based approach my mother used, and I’m mostly stunned that my 7 and 5 year old children seem to have already developed a better grasp of how to respectfully engage others than she seems to advocate. The CFI culture seems more in line with my father’s authoritative attitude: punish and shame the noise-maker, with the end-goal of “peace and quiet” being the measure of success.
    Anyway, that’s my .02 on the matter, for what it’s worth.

  16. says

    PS, did you see that a friend tweeted yesterday that Emily was playing “I’m not touching you!”? (And that it’s an odd game to see an adult playing.)

  17. jaggington says

    I’d like to make it clear that I think that the harassment and abuse that is directed at you is completely unwarranted and I really hope that the abusers come to realise that their behaviour is wrong and that they stop, sooner rather than later. I also think that Emily Dietle is wrong in blaming Elyse for taking offence at Shermer’s creepy comment by characterising it as harmless flirtation and putting the onus on Elyse to tell him to back off if she feels he crossed a line.
    However, if you link directly to her tweet then I don’t think you can say that you “didn’t name her”. I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say by that, but it also smacks of playing “I’m not touching you”.

  18. says

    jaggington – fair point. You’re right. What I meant by that was just that I didn’t say her name right in the post, but you’re right that that doesn’t count as not naming her at all.


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