Phase II of the new Molly awards

Man, you’re a ferocious and mouthy bunch. You gave me links to a lot of excellent comments, and I pared them down to these eight (next time, I might cut them down more). The next step: vote by leaving a comment with the number of the nomination you like best. These are just short excerpts, you’ll have to click on them to read the whole thing.

  1. Anyway, respectful transgender people and transsexual people alike wanted to organize around the common ground that does exist (which is plenty). So they/we needed a word that we could agree *did* represent everyone.

  2. This is fucking serious: A man just made a joke about raping a woman who he’s never met, who never did him any harm, who he doesn’t know at all, and he did this without considering how the fuck it might impact her or people like her.

  3. I’ve done a bit more reading and thinking, and feel more than ever that the 2nd amendment was intended to facilitate well-trained militias, and had diddly to do with personal gun ownership.

  4. Why are you so damned insistent on finding that one special circumstance when it’s morally OK for you to do something horrific to me? Why is it so unacceptable to you that I have bodily autonomy in all circumstances?

  5. That hard truth being: torture is, as many, many competent professionals are telling you, close to useless for getting timely and precise intel. Rather: its only particularly reliable value as a tool of statecraft is as a method of terror and suppression.

  6. The demands religion makes on human sexuality are unreasonable. There has literally never been a human society on the face of the planet, no matter how thoroughly crushed under the thumb of theistic tyranny, where people actually consistently restricted themselves to monogamous marital sex.

  7. BTW, keep your Oogedy Boogedy death cult religion away from my kids and pets.

  8. Playing devil’s advocate does not require lying about your own position. Indeed, that term is generally used only if a person agrees with others in the discussion, but wishes to present the position of someone who disagrees.


  1. John Phillips, FCD says


    It can’t be repeated enough. But I’ll be honest, it was difficult to pick an outright winner as they are all excellent and valuable comments, it’s just I have a thing about torture and those who twist and turn to try and justify it.

  2. Usernames are smart says


    I was waffling between two and four when I got to ten. The “pets” part was the clincher.

  3. says

    Darn, that’s a hard choice. I don’t know if I need to choose #1, although it’s true, the ownership of ‘transgender’ to mean those with a variant gender specifically over others has fallen in disuse. I’ve made that exact speech to real people in a real venue before… But that was over fifteen years ago. Now a days we can say ‘transwoman’ and ‘transman’ without needing an asterisk or aside to define it in most conversation. The world we live in today is far more informed and awesome than the one of twenty years ago.

    And then, I’ve also made the point in #3, but never so eloquently. That’s just so detailed and with depth I don’t think I’d have followed through on.

    So many good nominees.

    I gota go with #3 as well-thought enough to be its own blog post.

  4. Hammer of dog says


    That was a well reasoned interpretation of the intent of the 2nd amendment.

    I am so tired of this “I have the right to bear arms well beyond what I would need for personal protection, sport/target shooting, and/or hunting. I need to have the power to protect myself from my government.” Good luck with that. Got nukes?

  5. upagainsttheropes says

    funny i keep coming here thinking i’ll get realtime reaction to the real world but no it’s fuckfest of self flagellation

    #sandra fluke #megyn kelly

    shit this ain’t twitter

  6. McC2lhu saw what you did there. says

    #2 – Erista’s post was the most insightful view into genuine emotion and reasoning behind the fear and anger rape victims are burdoned by every day. Anyone unsympathetic after reading that would have to be an immensely callous and vile personality.

  7. StevoR says

    From later on in choice 2 there :

    (Comment #478. Erista aka Eris.)

    So, please, stop treating us like we’re something foreign, something alien, something that doesn’t care when people casually joke about hurting us in a way that many of us have already been hurt. The thought of our pain should not be amusing to you. I don’t know what else to do than say PLEASE care about if you hurt me, to beg you to stop insisting that I have no right to be hurt, because there’s a time when even anger isn’t strong enough to serve as a shield. My ability to take blows is not endless, but the number of people who have the ability to inflict blows when I’ve never even seen them is very nearly endless. To you it might be just one little smack, but to me, it’s a blow that’s falling on an already bruised and broken body. If you throw enough stones at me, even little ones, I will die.

    This. So powerfully highlighting the effect on real individuals when they get so much undeserved, wrong and just vile hatred spewed continually their way by truly disgusting trolls and scumbags. Powerful, moving stuff that should make anyone stop in their tracks and really think.

    Especially in light of what we witnessed yesterday from Jen McCreight :

    (Warning lots of possibly triggering evidence eps. on the last link.)

    So my vote is for (2) to win the New Molly Award gold medal.

    With (4) as my choice for silver and the informative historical (1) getting my bronze medal place.

  8. says


    And, if it doesn’t win, I will still quote them at every appropriate instance.


    Why are you so damned insistent on finding that one special circumstance when it’s morally OK for you to do something horrific to me? Why is it so unacceptable to you that I have bodily autonomy in all circumstances?

  9. says

    Y’know, it’s hard enough to whittle it down to 8, let alone 1, as almost every time I read a couple of threads here, I find eloquent and brilliant comments and rebuttals. That said, this person almost never fails to do so – ever.


    Sigh. #2 Eloquent emotion.

  10. echidna says

    I’ve just read 2 (again) and am kicking myself that I didn’t vote for it. There are good reasons to vote for every single one of the entries.

  11. eachknee says

    As one with a long list of credentials in the field, I must say #3 caught my attention immediately for its almost incredible, tragically misinformed, profoundly shallow ignorance of the history and meaning of weapon use by Homo sapiens sapiens (a knowledgeable tool-using primate– get it?). And I shall resist the urge to debate the topic here for the same reasons and with the same tenacity that certain evolutionary biologists resist debating ID with creationist fucktards. The other comments are rather good. NB: when I click on #2 it goes to #4 (#4 is great). #5 is close to me too, been there. I like #6 also……and #1, #7, #8…. OK
    #5, #6
    Please not #3, it is very wrong. Thanks

  12. Lyn M: Necrodunker of death, nothing but net says


    Can’t think of a better way to make the problem clear than Erista’s comment.

    But I would really like to vote for them all. It was most affecting to read these comments all together. Logic, feeling, intelligence, learning, coherence, elegance. All of those in these comments.

  13. puppygod says


    Hard to choose, there’s many good entries. Number 5, because that’s the point that needs to be reapeated – It. Does. Not. Work.

  14. johnmorgan says


    But I really dislike FPTP ballots, as there are other worthy choices here, I like both 2 and 3 almost as much as 4.

    Can’t you find some geek to whip up a program for you, one containing an algorithm to perform Condorcet elections?

  15. vaiyt says


    (torn between 2 and 4 actually; I like the I’m-not-taking-this-shit honest tone of 4. I considered 5 for the longest time because it puts in a good argument what I’m tired of saying about torture…)

  16. Fleegman says

    Erista’s at #2

    Fucking awesome, and I wish there were a way to get it tattooed in mirror writing to the chests of all the assholes defending that fucking “joke.”

  17. Loud - warm smiles do not make you welcome here says

    Number 2, definitely.

    If that comment does not get through to ‘rape joke’ people, then nothing will.

  18. nathanieltagg says

    I love this new system. I usually don’t have the werewithal to dig into the comments section, so this is a great way to see some gems.

    I’ll go with


  19. Jerry says


    Second choice 2,
    then 3,
    then 8.

    I was thinking that it is So hard to pick just one, when I realized the question must be asked…

    PZ, why *are* you limiting this to just one award when there are so many so very eloquent entries? The fact that you had so much trouble deciding, as well as many of your regular commenters, means multiple entries deserve recognition. Maybe next time, there will be zero, also deservedly so.

  20. xmnr says

    Split my vote between 2 & 4.

    But I’d also like to make a special note for #1.

    I am exceptionally ignorant of the trans* community, and over the last few months my ignorance has been reduced by posts like #1.

  21. Gregory Greenwood says

    My first vote is for 4.

    Should I be allowed further votes (pretty please), then my second vote is for 2, and my third for 6.

    All the posts are great, but those are my top three.

    That said, I also really like 1, because it taught me much about the history of trans* as a term…

    And 3 was fantastic because it laid out the case against the claims that the notional ‘right to bear arms’ should be viewed as an inviolate so well…

    Also, in an age where things like waterboarding still happen even in the US, 5 makes vital points about the inefficacy of torture as anything other than a tool of fear and oppression…

    And you’ve got to love 7 – keep the Oogedy Boogedy death cults away from me too…

    As for number 8, it is simply all kinds of win, pointing out the strengths of the scientific method whilst simultaneously calling Joey to account for arguing in bad faith and not knowing what ‘playing devil’s advocate’ actually means – what’s not to like…?

    OK, I have to stop now.

    4, 2, 6 – those are my picks. I am going to leave before I am tempted to change my mind again, or I take it into my head to rank all eight comments and try to squeeze in a vote for each…

    Actually, now that I think about it, that’s not such a bad idea…

  22. chrisj says

    Ouch; that’s a hard choice. Why so many smart people saying interesting, well-thought-out, and solidly evidenced things? Is this [looks around suspiciously, takes straw out of mouth] some kind of sciency place?

    That said, number 4 gets my vote.

  23. woodsong says

    So hard to choose! I do like them all.

    I’ll go with 4, 2, 3 and 5, in that order. And I secobd the call for multiple awards!

  24. says

    Good choices. I’d rank them 5,6,2,8. If I had to go with one, I’d just pick 5.

    Also, did I miss a post where quotes were submitted for Phase II of the new Mollies? I had some choice quotes I’d saved somewhere.

  25. cicely (Something Dark and Humorously Mordanted) says

    Damn, this is a tough choice to make!

    *reading entries*

    Oh, man….

    *re-reading entries*

    I’m going to go with Anne C. Hanna’s performance in #6, “The demands religion makes on human sexuality are unreasonable.” My second choice would be #4, “Why are you so damned insistent on finding that one special circumstance when it’s morally OK for you to do something horrific to me?“, by Alethea.

    There are good reasons to vote for every single one of the entries.

    That’s the problem….

  26. jefrir says

    4, closely followed by 2.

    Also, you all need to stop being so fucking awesome, you’re making it hard to choose.

  27. jedimasteryoda says


    That post and thread really brought home to me why pontificating about hypothetical situations can’t inform or change a bodily rights based (the only one that matters) prochoice position.

  28. cm's changeable moniker says


    (Sorry, I’m channeling Data in Cause and Effect. Except 4, not 3.)

  29. katchen says

    6, by a whisker; 2 and 4 if we get multiple votes – 1 was also an outstanding comment.

    Not an easy choice.

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

    Okay, I’ve read them all now, and some of the context precomment for almost all.

    Here’s what I’ve concluded & I wondered if anyone else noticed:

    When you combine #4 with #5 you think that they belong in exactly the same thread. Hypothetical fantasies about when I can take over your body w/ regard to sex, pregnancy, and (ultimately) rape in one bleed over using the concept of assault into hypotheticals about, “Can’t I just torture the bearded guy if we assume X?” It’s another hypothetical obsessing over what opportunities one might have to do horrible things because someone is just not satisfied with the answer, “Never. Never are you allowed to do horrible things to another person.” They just have to have their hypotheticals because it is somehow obscenely important to preserve *their rights* to do horrible things to unconsenting other parties.

    I can’t separate #4 & #5 because they seem like perfect complements to each other. Therefore I put my vote for the gestalt of the two.