Legal wrasslin’ indefinitely prolonged


Hello, everyone. How was your day? I got to drive all across the state to sit in court and quietly listen to a little man call me a liar twice, and then drive back again.

Briefly, today’s hearing was strictly procedural. Richard Carrier filed a defamation lawsuit in the state of Minnesota against me, after the statute of limitations on such suits had passed. He had to argue that tolling the statute was a reasonable thing to do do.

He had sued a bunch of us in Ohio, and failed because the venue was inappropriate — none of us lived in Ohio, and he had only just moved there himself1. Ohio basically told him they weren’t going to let him move to their state for the purpose of suing a lot of random people in other states. He argued that because, while he was out of the statute of limitations for Minnesota, but was still within the statute of limitations for Ohio, where he was ineligible to sue me, we ought to pretend the part of Ohio law that defines when you can sue someone in Ohio ought to apply here in Minnesota, and that because he was busy suing us in his failed effort in Ohio, that ought to have stopped the clock for purposes of his Minnesota lawsuit. It was very twisty. It must be fun to pick and choose pieces of different state laws to cobble together a legal justification for doing whatever you want.

Our lawyer, Marc Randazza, argued that that rather defeated the purpose of Minnesota’s statute, and that there were good reasons to limit how far back you can go to fish up mean things someone said about you and sue them for it, and it opened the door to endless suits. How can you apply an Ohio law to Minnesota when Ohio has already been determined to not have jurisdiction?

Another excuse Carrier had was that I had displayed the post he was suing me for in a YouTube video, and that should count as resetting the clock on the defamation. That’s interesting, because it means he gets to silence me no matter what — any mention of my accusation means he gets to sue me again. He even said that: if this hearing rejects his tolling of the limitations, he’ll just refile another lawsuit based on the last time I mentioned his banning. Infinite harassment! Yay!

I also learned what he specifically objected to in that post. It was this paragraph, and specifically the mention of “persistent, obnoxious sexual behavior in defiance of specific requests that he cease”2.

Whoops! Guess I just reset his imaginary clock again!

Anyway, Randazza pointed out that everything I said was a statement of what I’d been told, that it was even backed up by documents that Carrier himself put in evidence (the emails between Carrier and Dadhaboy are clearcut examples of persistent obnoxiousness, for one thing). The whole suit is going to get thrown out eventually, so why not cut it short? The judge said that his role there was just to make a judgment on merits of his procedural argument, unfortunately. Which is fair, even if these procedural technicalities allow him to carry on his legal harassment indefinitely.

That’s where it all stands, unsatisfactorily. Randazza made his arguments that Minnesota limitations apply, Carrier made his that he gets to bring in Ohio law, there was some discussion of the contents of the suit that Carrier brought in in his own filing, and the judge said he’ll make a ruling when his workload permits, which may be months and months away. So we wait. If the judge agrees with my lawyer, we’re done, the lawsuit is thrown out. If the judge decides to let Carrier have his way, the process will linger on, we’ll have a trial and discovery and all those fun things which will drag the sleaze in Carrier’s history into the light. Both have their advantages — Randazza would love to bring this to trial on first amendment grounds — but I’d rather just have it over and done with.

It’s not over and done with yet.


1He accused me of lying when I said I thought he lived in Northern California, where he had been living up to something like a week or so of filing suit. I guess he thinks I should know where all the bloggers here are living all the time*, especially him, because he’s so special.

2He accused me of lying and making that up, that it was just my opinion. Nope. It’s what I was told when I asked his accusers. We’ve got the receipts. They’re in his own legal filings, actually.

*I don’t have a clue, mostly. I put the tracking devices in their heads, like I was supposed to, but I told them they had to change the battery every year, at the same time they changed them in their smoke alarms. Just stick the AAA battery in their right ear, positive end first. They keep screwing it up! Wrong ear, wrong way around, I suspect some are stuffing the battery in a different hole altogether.


Don’t forget our legal defense fund!

Comments

  1. says

    oddie@#1:
    Counter sue

    The only people who win in these things are the lawyers. Carrier’s probably broke already but he’d definitely be if there was a judgement against him. That would leave the litigants with a big legal bill and guess who’d have to pay it?

  2. raven says

    Sounds like a waste of a perfectly good fall day.

    Look at it on the bright side though.
    You had to drive 156 miles on a freeway to Minneapolis.

    Richard Carrier had to drive all the way from Ohio to Minneapolis.
    It’s 768 miles.
    Although, it is more likely he took a plane there.
    It’s still a hassle though.
    And is going to cost him some money.
    Flying these days isn’t much fun, IMO.

  3. EigenSprocketUK says

    If he files documents about his behaviour in court, or talks about it in court, does he now have to start the clock running on suing himself?
    If he gets a lawyer to defend him who talks about the behaviour, does he now have to sue his own brief?
    Worse, if the judge rules but mentions the unmentionable in that ruling, does he now have to sue the judge? It’s all such a mine field.

  4. =8)-DX says

    @EigenSprocketUK #4

    The inherent contradiction is even worse: since he admits to doing all the things he’s been accused of factually (it’s in the evidence), what he is suing is anyone describing those same things he admits he’s done in a negative light, using the wrong words or even: not accepting his own moral rationalisation, excuses and apologies. He’s suing the very concept of dialectical materialism, everyone has to accept his solipsistic interpretation of all events, including their own feelings concerning how they were treated.

    Everyone has to be evil liars trying to harm him, since in his own mind he’s done nothing wrong and what wrong he has done was either a misunderstanding or sufficiently excused by his apology and he gets to decide when people should drop it, how they can talk about it or even how those affected should feel about it.

    It’s also the same thing Silverman is doing… le sigh.

  5. zenlike says

    He accused me of lying and making that up, that it was just my opinion.

    Wait, did he literally use the word opinion? Because opinions cannot be defamatory. If he really claimed that exclamation of yours was your opinion, then he just destroyed his own case regarding this exclamation being defamatory.

  6. Snarki, child of Loki says

    “It must be fun to pick and choose pieces of different state laws to cobble together a legal justification for doing whatever you want.”

    According to Texas law, you could now shoot Carrier with the justification of “that man needed shootin'”.

  7. Kagehi says

    I have to wonder.. Since this is in fact harassment, wouldn’t it be possible to argue for a restraining order against him, and a summary judgement based on his continued harassment? Probably not, I suppose, though, maybe “after” his case if finally thrown out that would work…

  8. raven says

    …Since this is in fact harassment,

    There are legal terms and charges for attempting to use the courts to harass someone.
    IMO, looks like Carrier is guilty of all of the below torts.

    It is barratry. LAW
    vexatious litigation or incitement to it.
    and

    Malicious Prosecution:

    A common law intentional tort which arises from a party (1) intentionally and maliciously instituting or pursuing (or causing to be instituted or pursued) a legal action (civil or criminal) that is (2) brought without probable cause and (3) dismissed in favor of the other party.
    malicious prosecution – Wiktionary
    https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › malicious_prosecution

    and

    Abuse of Process

    Abuse of process is a cause of action in tort arising from one party making misusing or perversion of regularly issued court process (civil or criminal) not justified by the underlying legal action.
    Abuse of process – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Abuse_of_process

  9. kurt1 says

    This whole episode is reminiscent of Kafkas “The Trial”. Definite acquittal is not possible and you are facing indefinite postponement, infinite legal wrangling with no ultimate judgement. He should have invested his money into therapy instead.

  10. raven says

    Sounds like Richard Carrier or not???

    Vexatious litigation
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought solely to harass or subdue an adversary. It may take the form of a primary frivolous lawsuit or may be the repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the judicial process and may result in sanctions against the offender.

    A single action, even a frivolous one, is usually not enough to raise a litigant to the level of being declared vexatious. Rather, a pattern of frivolous legal actions is typically required to rise to the level of vexatious. Repeated and severe instances by a single lawyer or firm can result in eventual disbarment.

  11. says

    After the hearing, we asked our lawyer specifically about vexatious litigation. He said Carrier doesn’t qualify, yet. Maybe if he brought 15 or 20 pointless lawsuits to the same courtroom in a short period of time, but this falls well short of what Randazza has seen in real situations.

  12. raven says

    Looks like Carrier is violating Federal Court Rule 11 against Frivolous litigation.

    Wikipedia Frivolous litigation:

    In the United States, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and similar state rules require that an attorney perform a due diligence investigation concerning the factual basis for any claim or defense. Jurisdictions differ on whether a claim or defense can be frivolous if the attorney acted in good faith. Because such a defense or claim wastes the court’s and the other parties’ time, resources and legal fees, sanctions may be imposed by a court upon the party or the lawyer who presents the frivolous defense or claim. The law firm may also be sanctioned, or even held in contempt.

    So OK, Carrier is likely guilty of one or all of the below:
    .1. Barratry
    .2. Malicious Prosecution
    .3. Abuse of Process
    .4. Vexatious Litigation
    .5. Rule 11 Frivolous Litigation
    .6. Anything else similar???

    Of course, it is up to the court to make those determinations.
    But, if I was arguing this case, I would certainly bring it up as a motion and let the judge rule on it.

  13. bryanfeir says

    I would guess the court tends to have a high threshold for vexatious litigation because otherwise accusing someone of vexatious litigation could be used as its own form of SLAPP suit. Big company manages to dodge first two lawsuits on procedural grounds and then claims vexatious litigation when someone finds something that might actually bring them to justice.

    Example number <too high to count> of how it’s impossible to create a set of rules that cannot be gamed by someone with sufficient resources.

  14. kevinv says

    The real defense against this shit are strong anti-SLAPP laws. with a strong anti-slapp law Carrier would be on the hook for PZ’s lawyer costs if he loses the anti-SLAPP motion. That’s why Carrier moved to Ohio, to avoid California’s anti-slapp laws. A federal anti-slapp would be great too.

  15. raven says

    Minnesota has a weak anti-SLAPP law. … It provides that a court shall award actual damages, and may award punitive damages, if a SLAPP defendant shows that the SLAPP was brought to harass, inhibit the defendant’s public participation or exercise of constitutional rights, or otherwise wrongfully injure the defendant.
    Minnesota State Anti-SLAPP — Public Participation Project
    https://anti-slapp.org › minnesota

    Minnesota does have an anti-SLAPP law.
    It’s described here as weak though.

    You don’t even need to have an anti-SLAPP law to go after a Frivolous litigant for attorney and court costs though.
    You can just file a motion or countersuit to recover your expenses.
    It never hurts to ask.
    The worst that can happen is the court says, “No”.
    I would do exactly that when Carrier loses, just on general principles.

  16. zenlike says

    Speaking about frivolous defamation suits, our old pal and permanent Dunning-Kruger sufferer Scott Adams is currently in a twitter meltdown after threatening to sue someone for making a funny sneering tweet about him.

  17. davidc1 says

    Here is a bit of legal eagle stuff from over here in GB .Lady Hale the top judge in the land has slapped down bojo for pro something Parliament ,,here is the bit you will like ,she has spider brooches .

  18. says

    @5=8)-DX

    he admits to doing all the things he’s been accused of factually (it’s in the evidence),

    Are you sure? Where in the things he admits or in the evidence is there support for the claim that his behavior was “in defiance of specific requests that he cease”?

  19. Rieux says

    Unfortunately, the anti-slapp.org report on Minnesota is out of date. Our anti-SLAPP statute (which that site describes as weak) was struck down by the Minnesota Supreme Court in May 2017. So it’s not weak, it’s dead.

    The case was Leiendecker v. Asian Women United of Minnesota, 895 N.W.2d 623 (Minn. 2017). You can find the full opinion, which is posted on justia.com and possibly other law sites, with most search engines.

    Bryanfeir @14: Yes, exactly.

  20. blf says

    Follow-up to zenlike@17, Scott Adams, of “Dilbert” fame, threatens legal action over tweet mocking him:

    Scott Adams [my transcription –blf]: No wonder your piece of shit Gawker publication got its balls cut off. My lawyer will be contacting you.

    John Cook [my transcription –blf]: “it is extremely wild to see the louis frakkanhan policer teaming up with scott adams, who is basically the louis frakkanhan policer of incel white nationalists, but hey it;s for the troops […]”

    Cartoonist Scott Adams is famous for “Dilbert”, for his right-wing commentary, and most recently a nauseating attempt to promote an app after the Gilroy massacre. On Twitter, journalist John Cook mocked him as “the louis farrakhan of incel white nationalists.” Adams threatened legal action.

    […]

    Adams would be unlikely to prevail should he follow through with the implied lawsuit, as libel concerns false statements of fact, not insults. But the threat of lawsuits — especially the cost of defending them — is a time-honored method of silencing critics and mockers.

    I have no idea what Cook is referring to — which is not saying Cook’s wrong, only what I said… “I have no idea what Cook is referring to”.

  21. zenlike says

    @ blf
    Well, the “louis farrakhan policer” mentioned is Jake Tapper, who is apparently teaming up with Scott Adams. But don’t ask me what it means.

  22. says

    Just a couple of procedural notes, and one substantive one that needs to be smashed to bits.

    (1) The standard that the judge will use for determining whether to throw this suit out now — without prejudging whether he might throw it out later, for different reasons — is that the complaint and its attached documents, without reference to anything else except certain super-obvious factual things subject to “judicial notice” (the sun rises in the east, the Ohio suits were dismissed for want of jurisdiction), does not plausibly suggest any set of facts combined with a tenable legal theory that would allow the plaintiff to get any relief of any kind from the court.

    The tl;dr version is “assuming arguendo that everything alleged in the complaint (that doesn’t contradict established, documented, consensus reality) is true, could the plaintiff be granted relief under the law as it stands if the defendant doesn’t show up and defend?”

    (2) The statute-of-limitations issue is parallel to, but not congruent with, the above. It has two threads. First, there’s the so-called “single publication rule” (which has not yet been formally adopted in Minnesota; although the federal district judges there have silently accepted it because it hasn’t been squarely challenged, they would be bound by the Minnesota legislature or Supreme Court if those bodies said that the single-publication rule did not apply in Minnesota), which is that the statute of limitations begins running from when a statement is first published* (communicated to any third party other than the purported victim). That is, later repetitions (including direct quotations that do not significantly alter the gist of the statement), do not restart the statute of limitations for a previously published statement. Second, there’s the complaint’s factual delineation of when and how the statement was first published.

    This matters because ordinarily, a statute of limitations defense is not properly considered on a motion to dismiss, but only (usually later) on a motion for summary judgment. This is one of the rare instances in which the plaintiff’s own pleading may have established the defense; the legal argument is that Minnesota courts might choose to import the longer statute of limitations from another jurisdiction. (The further argument is that because the court cannot determine that jurisdiction, and whether there was “purposeful availment” of that jurisdiction, it can’t.) This is an example of the “fool for a client” problem, because this complaint should not have so clearly specified the source of the statement that its date of origin was established by the complaint.

    (3) zenlike @6: The common misstatement “opinion isn’t defamatory” has come around to bite you here, I’m afraid. The correct statement is “pure opinion, that does not imply false facts, isn’t defamatory.” Here’s an example from current events, and I’m purposely choosing a public figure so that it doesn’t expose this blog to even hypothetical liability:

    (a) “Donald Trump is a wackaloon” is a pure opinion that does not imply facts that could be false.
    (b) “Donald Trump has knowingly and willfully violated the Emoluments Clause” is an opinion that implies facts that (hypothetically, and that’s all that is required at this stage) could be false, ranging from the actual violation of the Emoluments Clause to the state of mind involved in any such violation.

    Statement (a) is opinion outside the scope of defamation law. Statement (b) is opinion resting on facts that, depending upon everything else that shows up in the record (such as expert opinion that statement (b) would have been understood as resting on those facts even if they’re not explicit), might be enough to force the matter to be put to a jury.

    So please don’t overstate “opinion is completely protected.” Only pure opinnion is protected from defamation law — some “opinions” can nonetheless be sued upon, as Carol Burnett demonstrated oh so deliciously to the National Enquirer. It’s just that they’re not defamation (libel or slander).

    Sarcastic aside: This is the actual origin of the phrase “publishing industry” — that is, the publishing industry is founded on medieval/Renaissance defamation law, not the nineteenth-century retconning and shoehorning into a purported basis in Latin.

  23. =8)-DX says

    @Brian Pansky # 22

    Are you sure? Where in the things he admits or in the evidence is there support for the claim that his behavior was “in defiance of specific requests that he cease”?

    That was the point of my comment, Carrier explicitly allows no other interpretation than that he immediately stopped on being asked and respected boundaries. Some people on the other side of that said he was boundary-pushing and ignoring requests to stop. That is the evidence.

    All you need to do is read the Heina emails and you can see how clueless and self-centred he is in this, agonising over anyone interpretting his behaviour towards them in any other way than he does himself. (And even a charitable reading of that exchange would also fall under “in defiance of specific requests that he cease”, in this case cease making a fool of himself).

  24. says

    @=8)-DX

    even a charitable reading of that exchange would also fall under “in defiance of specific requests that he cease”, in this case cease making a fool of himself

    Could you quote the “specific requests that he cease”?

  25. says

    Example number of how it’s impossible to create a set of rules that cannot be gamed by someone with sufficient resources.

    The problem isn’t the system. It’s the people.

    Of course, the system produces the people, while the people effectuate the system, so it gets a little complicated.

    Does anyone else feel like we’re all trapped in a maze of horrible shit and it’s just a matter of choosing who is going to eat the shit and who is going to shovel it?

  26. says

    @Brian Pansky, in re a bunch of things where you’re questioning evidence that Carrier engaged in the behavior criticized and raising similar issues:

    In the OP, PZ links to a previous Pharyngula post which includes a video made by Rebecca Watson. n that video, Watson reads e-mails that are evidence of exactly what PZ and others have previously claimed about the behavior. If you’re looking for “specific requests that he cease” you could watch that video and then read the associated e-mail texts.

    The Watson video was originally posted to Skepchick, and you can access that here.

    That Skepchick post includes the link for reading the full text of the e-mails, and those are available here.

    If you disagree with this characterization of the evidence, feel free to articulate why. But pretending that no evidence has been offered isn’t appropriate.

    As for me, when you asked:

    Where in the things he admits or in the evidence is there support for the claim that his behavior was “in defiance of specific requests that he cease”?

    I found this to be enough:

    You must have mistaken me for someone who is impressed by multiple accounts of multiple conquests, thinks calling an “R U DTF” email a “love letter” is amusing, confuses “getting a hall pass after getting caught rampantly cheating” for “polyamory”, would think that someone would hit on me out of pity, and hasn’t noticed the escalation of the way in which you’ve been acting and talking about and around me.

    I must have mistaken you for someone who’d get the hint from me not acknowledging and/or deflecting the aforementioned hints you’ve been conspicuously dropping.

    Although this doesn’t document “specific requests that he cease”, it certainly provides “evidence for” the proposition that this might have occurred. Moreover, depending on whether you look at this the way a woman in a sexist society might or whether you look at it in the way a man in a sexist society might, I actually think this reaches right up to the level of “proof”. I am a woman. i’ve been assaulted by heterosexual men who wouldn’t take no for an answer. And one of the strategies they use is to introduce constant slight mutations into their hints/demands.

    Man: Do you want to kiss me?
    Woman: I’m so sorry, i’m too busy rearranging my sock drawer at the moment.
    Man: Would you like to hold hands, then?
    Woman: Uh, I really need those for the aforementioned sock-rearranging.
    Man: What if you just lowered your underwear and bent over a little bit while rearranging those socks? Then I can just sit behind you on your bed and masturbate while staring at you.
    Woman: WTF? No thank you. Can’t you tell I’m not interested?
    Man: Well! You should have told me!

    in fact, the hypothetical woman did tell him. This is a well-known phenomenon where men pretend that they don’t understand and just want clear communication, but persistently and actively avoid drawing the conclusions from what actually is clear communication in that setting. This is true even though they would never avoid such obvious meanings in other settings. Moreover, women are reasonably afraid of being too blunt and thus being in violation of social norms which require us to be gentle with men’s feelings because being rejected is somehow horrible.

    Carrier is particularly pernicious here, because while he claims he’s perfectly okay with being rejected, that entire exchange with Dadabhoy is one long overreaction to be rejected. Accepting no and moving on is his job. Instead there are 8 pages of communication that shouldn’t be necessary because the occasion of his rejection by Dadabhoy is of momentous importance. Instead of going the fuck away, he goes on about what a low-life he is and how he has been acting really, really terribly. The impact of this is to beg for care taking, to beg Dadabhoy to negotiate with him some new boundaries not because Dadabhoy foresees complex consequences from being asked to fuck and saying no, but because Carrier just can’t go on without getting his fucking clarity.

    But it’s his clarity, not hers. It’s up to him to find it. Why the fuck would you impose yourself on someone else to fix your feelings about their rejection if their rejection really was just fine? Dadabhoy should have no more responsibilities here, but Carrier keeps coming back like any unfinished business is fucking mutual, instead of being all Carrier’s.

    Nor is this bullshit somehow previously unrecognized. Read this, for example. Or you could just read the original conversational analysis study which sparked that YesMeansYes post. Or you could read other work by the same blog author that addresses the “miscommunication” model of rape. When people studied whether or not poor or ambiguous communication might be at fault for some rapes and other sexual boundary-crossing,

    young men evidenced an understanding of and even a preference for nuances and diplomatic communication to refuse sex, but then when discussing rape, reversed course and began to argue that anything the least bit ambiguous was unintelligible. They framed rape as largely a problem of miscommunication, and further framed the miscommunication as a problem with women not nowing how to say the right thing.

    That doesn’t square with the research. It doesn’t square with their own discussion of communication when they’re not talking about rape. And basically it’s just self-justifying bullshit.

    Men demand “soft” communication of rejection. And they understand that as actual rejection. They just don’t fucking like the answer.

    Carrier provides clear evidence (in Dadabhoy’s statement) that he was rejected repeatedly and repeatedly over months. In the same e-mail chain, he further provides his own implicit and almost-explicit admissions that these repeated rejections actually took place. In your disagreement with =8)-DX, the only thing left to argue about is the question of whether or not repeated “soft” rejections over a period of months can be accurately characterized as “clear” or as requests to “cease”.

    On this issue the science, already linked, is clearly on the side of =8)-DX. Men, yes, including Carrier, know that they’re being rejected and they know that repeatedly asking after you’ve been rejected is inappropriate. They know they are being asked to cease. The communication is, in fact, quite clear according to the actual science done by actual scientists who actually make understanding what’s actually happening in these situations their work for actual years, if not actual careers.

    That all being said, I think it’s important to note that it wasn’t PZ who claimed that the evidence introduced by Carrier including specific evidence of requests that Carrier cease. PZ used those e-mails as evidence of “persistent obnoxiousness”:

    Anyway, Randazza pointed out that everything I said was a statement of what I’d been told, that it was even backed up by documents that Carrier himself put in evidence (the emails between Carrier and Dadhaboy are clearcut examples of persistent obnoxiousness, for one thing).

    So even if you don’t believe the science about communication in sexual situations, and even if you want to inappropriately conflate “evidence” with “proof”, PZ sure as hell appears correct to me that “the emails between Carrier and Dadhaboy are clearcut examples of persistent obnoxiousness”.

    But I’m also perfectly happy also claiming that those e-mails include evidence, even strong evidence, that Carrier is someone who ignores women’s adequately-expressed requests to cut his behavior the hell out. Based on the findings of the science, you don’t get to the point of writing Dadabhoy’s exasperated reply without having asked someone to fuck off many, many times before.

  27. says

    Ho hum. Carrier is not a stupid person. He knew when he was being denied. That he pretends ignorance of having been politely spurned is just part of his toolbox for continuing to push boundaries.

    It’s annoying how the only people who get credit for being stupidly obtuse are men trying to get their way.

  28. says

    @28, Crip Dyke

    Thanks. That science might be a good model for thinking about the reality of what might have happened, I’ll have to read more.

    And that’s not what PZ said happened. He said the opposite. [Speaking of people being able to clearly know what is being communicated despite ambiguity, and only very little ambiguity in this case.]

    If you’re looking for “specific requests that he cease” you could watch that video and then read the associated e-mail texts.

    Ya I read ’em and the transcript of the video. I even asked similar questions in the comments below that Skepchick post.

    If you disagree with this characterization of the evidence, feel free to articulate why. But pretending that no evidence has been offered isn’t appropriate.

    Catch-22: my difficulty articulating agreement or disagreement is proportional to the lack of articulation of the thing I’d be agreeing or disagreeing with. Hence why I’ve been asking for people to quote what they are even referring to.

    I think this is a common and fascinating aspect of many disagreements. In general I think both people in a disagreement might have difficulty answering questions without first receiving an answer. So the convo can get stuck.

    My approach has been to ask very clear precise questions, often starting with establishing mutual understanding of the facts being used, then going on to learning how they are being used.

    Another approach would be for me to just articulate my interpretation of what is available to me so far. But I wasn’t asked. Come to think of it that’s something I’ve seen in other disagreements too, I’ve sometimes had people ask me zero questions and make a mess of assumptions and misinterpretation.

    Hopefully I can learn how to get to something like the meat of your answer more quickly, instead of getting redundant responses for so long from people like Rebecca Watson and =8)-DX. Although I won’t accept too much of the blame there.

    this doesn’t document “specific requests that he cease”, it certainly provides “evidence for” the proposition that this might have occurred

    To me her wording in that email suggests the opposite. She says “deflecting”, doesn’t seem like a description that would include asking him to stop, which would seem direct.

    What she says reminds me of my own difficulty dealing with annoying/unpleasant/whateverish people who I want to stop being certain ways, so my mind can easily imagine that. Sometimes I’ve had people (men, as far as I can remember) for example getting too personal with me asking me things I don’t want to tell them, other times I’m pretty sure they were attracted to me but didn’t actually say so.

    Those are often situations where I wish I knew what specific request I could make, but I don’t know (at least not soon enough to say it to them) because it’s too nebulous. This also fits with a later email where she says “If you want to feel awful, feel awful for months of my wanting to tell you no but not being asked in a direct enough way for me to just say no and get it over with”.

  29. says

    [*just remembered, it’s not always men, there’s a woman I have to work with sometimes, unwanted questions as well as “jokes” that actually seem passive-aggressive]

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