Examples of ‘nasty pushback’ against some atheist/skeptic feminists on the Internet

by Michael Nugent on March 3, 2013

This is part of a dialogue with Justin Vacula about why some feminists receive what he describes as “criticism and hate” and “nasty pushback” on the Internet, and why some people direct such criticism and hate and nasty pushback at these feminists.

Trigger warning: For readers not familiar with the type of material published on The Slymepit website, please be aware that you may find the comments quoted in this article to be abusive, shaming and very disturbing.

Justin, thanks for your response to my two questions. I’m going to reply in three parts, so that we can cover all of the issues, while also keeping distinct focus on each of them.

  • this post responds to your first answer,
  • the next post will respond to your second answer,
  • the third post will answer the questions that you have asked me.

My first question for you was:

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?

Your reply to this was:

“Indeed, some nasty pushback is morally unjustified. It’s difficult, though, to provide a one-size-fits-all definition of morally unjustified [internet] behavior. Anyway, here are two examples of morally unjustified behavior [which should not be tolerated]: unprovoked threats of violence and initiation of violence.”

Okay, I agree with you so far. I would not use “unprovoked” to qualify the “threats of violence,” but I accept your general point.

“On the other hand, other behaviors such as name-calling, parody, and satire exist. It can be difficult to ‘draw a line’ concerning what is morally justified, amoral (neutral), and morally unjustified.”

Well, they don’t just ‘exist’ in the passive sense of just happening to be there. Individual people deliberately and actively choose to imagine, generate and publish them.

But I agree that it can be difficult to ‘draw a line’ in an abstract sense in terms of defining what type of “nasty pushback” against some feminists is morally unjustified.

So let’s take some concrete examples.

Justin, my specific question for you in this post is:

Which of the following specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?

I’m using examples that were published on The Slymepit website. I could add examples from Elevatorgate, YouTube and elsewhere, but I think there is enough here to be representative of the “nasty pushback” we are discussing. I’ve numbered them to make it easier for you to respond.

Reminder of trigger warning:  For readers not familiar with the type of material published on The Slymepit website, please be aware that you may find the following content to be abusive, shaming and very disturbing.

  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.
  7. *You* dont give a shit, [named person]. You care about drama and how you can appear to be a moral human while doing as little as humanly possible.
  8. And I hate to point this out, really I do – there’s a trope that feminists are ugly but damn, I recently watched a Pharyngula video, and the women ARE ugly.
  9. Many [feminists] try to be ugly on purpose (especially lesbians – crewcut hair + ugly hipster glasses), in hopes that less men will think sexual thoughts about them, and conversely, others do the opposite of that, a kind of stubborn insistence that men should find them attractive without them having to groom, or look good, or even despite looking fugly bad.
  10. [named person] is dying of some disease directly related to him being a fat cunt
  11. There’s an inverse porportion rule out there that states a woman’s fear of being raped is inversely porportional to her atractiveness. I suspect this is because attractive women have no problem acquiring the company of men, and therefore have a harder time developing bigotted assertions about them, whereas unattractive women have fewer contacts with men and therefore find it easier to hold bigotted assertions.
  12. [named person] may be a feeder. With a bit of luck, this time next year she’ll be imprisoned in a toilet with lots of bacon and cakes for company.
  13. [named person] is also [named person]’s toilet slave.
  14. that should be corrected to: “[named person] is also one of [named person]’s many, though in this instance, quite lower level, and easily forgettable, toilet slaves.
  15. [named person] has no dick. No balls. Nothing but pathetic whiney suck-hole “hope, no dream like hell to get sympathy-laid by a decrepit aging crayon-tattooed podgy cellulite-dough lard-arsed-feminazi, oh yes!” because I perform like a trained puppy when my cruel mistresses tease me with measly taunting treats that I shall never actually get.
  16. I did not start out calling [named person] a bitch, that was after she blew me off as not important enough to listen to. Suddenly I was important enough though, wasn’t I ? Funny how that works.
  17. I’d just call her a poison-cunt if it was me. How’s that bigotry you fucking retard mutant?
  18. I’m betting good money it was [named person] or [named person] or some combination thereof, which mean they and those nearest and dearest to them (like their fat, poultry-faced wives) will be getting my complete and undivided attention.
  19. [two named persons] Wow, you two are a little two-person retard train, aren’t you?
  20. Because you [named person] are a shallow unkempt fat fuck cunt desperately trying to prolong the pathetically unfortunate and entirely accidental amount of celebrity you’ve somehow managed to acquire.
  21. I skipped to the end of the current conversation and became acquainted with a commenter named [named person] who apparently doesn’t like [named person] very much–based on the fact that he concluded his comment with the phrase ‘Fuck her. Fuck her. Kill her. Dump her in a ditch’. This actually did get some negative attention from the mod and a couple of other posters. That was at 11PM PST last night. This morning, the offensive phrase that I reproduced above has been miraculously modified to read “Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her on the cheeks”.
  22. If [named person] was a fat no-life neck beard guy no one would listen to her, but since she’s a fat no-life Skepchick suddenly arguing on the internet has global consequences.
  23. Under the tennants of the Manosphere, be prepared for [named person] to get drunk, fuck some hapless beta and cry rape, rather than acknowledge she “setteled” for some “creepy” guy who she would never have looked at twice before she hit the wall.
  24. This is why [named person] will eventually transition to some other organization where she can be fat and old and bitter and bitch about her objectification.
  25. [named person] is ugly as an old catcher’s mitt packed into a mule’s asshole.
  26. Although, if it starts to go tit’s up, I’m claiming to have cancer and getting a new trench coat from donations :p
  27. I want to claim I have cancer too, but only for the pity sex.
  28. I’ve posted a few fat jokes and insults. Way I see it, anything one has the power to change about oneself, one can expect to be used for a cheap laugh: obesity, religion, or dying your fucking hair blue.
  29. I don’t have anything against fat people. On the contrary, I’ve shagged a fair few fat women in my time, and can vouch for the experience: just slap her arse and ride the waves. Most comfortable ride ever.
  30. In the spirit of equality, here is a list of fatsos: [five named people]. Congrats, you are all obese!
  31. but SJW, can kill themselves, as far as I care. Serious.
  32. Why on earth would I care if they tried to or succeeded in killing themselves? They are noxious, twisted, hurtful assholes that try to bring others down. Fuck them. They can get cancer and die.
  33. And while I would always intervene if I saw a suicide in progress, if the next day I read in a paper about some SJW killing his or herself, I would say fine. Wonderful. A good start.
  34. I need to spend some time away from this place – last night I was dreaming about the Pit, and the fat lezzers belly-smashing foreplay, as referenced in [named person]’s .sig just wouldn’t leave my mind… So fucked up.
  35. [named person] fakes a nervous breakdown because of internet push-back and retires (again) to bed
  36. Muhahaha the evil spreads. Soon my pretties, soon we shall have the whole atheist movement chanting our chant of mysoginist victory ” cunt, cunt cunt!” They shall chant. “Rape to the [named person]” will be our warcry!
  37. I was also part of the FTP warez scene in the late 90s and throughout most of the 2000’s. Every single women I met in ‘the scene’ was a conniving, manipulative bitch. They were always trying to score points, and get all of the male attention.
  38. She is such a greedy bitch. I am seriously disgusted with her. In fact, she tops my cunt list at the moment.
  39. Physics/biology/chemistry= fat shaming. I think [named person] is expecting somebody to come to her house and do the work for her. “But I ated only three radishes orl off today and I iz still teh fat!”
  40. A photo of a named person with the commentary: From the look on his face and his hand gesture, he’s just blown his beans after thinking about caressing [named person] or [named person] or [named person]…
  41. A photo of a named person with the comment: [named person] kinda porked up I see. Maybe she needs to spend less time on her wardrobe/crying on the internet and to get up off her ass and maybe walk somewhere.
  42. A photo of Miss Piggy to illustrate a named person, and this commentary: And [named person], fat shaming? WTF? How can that be fat shaming, Miss Piggy is thinner than you! And anyway, you should feel flattered. Miss Piggy is a cool character. You, on the other hand, are a thug.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. A video animation of a named person masturbating over a computer image of another named person.
  46. A video of a named person edited make it seem as if he is telling another named person to suck his dick.
  47. A video of a named person edited to make it seem as if she is saying that she had sex with another named person.
  48. A video titled: “For [two named people] And Other Feminazis Who Whine About Rape All Day.” The video is of a comedian saying ‘Have you ever noticed that it’s your ugliest friend that’s the most afraid of being raped?’
  49. Referring to named people by nicknames like Rebeccunt Twatson and Cobweb Cunt.
  50. I don’t think you should have offered any sort of “cease-fire”. I cringed when I first read about it. Why should we let up? In any way? These fuckers needs to be utterly annhiliated from the atheist community. Fuck ’em the ground.
    – No goddamn harassment policies (except those cons are obliged to have due to insurance issues).
    – No goddamn anti- free speech rules where you’re not allowed to “offend” anyone at cons/seminars.
    – I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.
    – No goddamn free childcare at cons. If people want to have kids, fine. If they’re stupid and got a kid without the means to support that kid, not my goddamn problem. If I attend a conference, I want my money to go to that conference’s motherfucking content (i.e. speakers, dinner, location, etc.); not [named person]’s adopted African trans-little person.
    – Everyone is free to make as much “fake” jewellery as they want.
    – No fucking “affirmative action” in regards to the gender/sexuality/race of the speakers at conferences. If there are qualified female speakers, they will be invited. This isn’t kindergarten where we need the teacher to make everyone play with the unpopular kid.
    FTB and A+theism are ruining the good name of atheism. And we should do everything in our power to stop them.

So Justin, my specific question in this post is:

Which of the above specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?

Please note that

  • I am not blaming all of the members of the Slymepit website for publishing these comments.
  • I am aware that there other comments published on the Slymepit website that are not similar to these.
  • I am aware that some people published some of the above comments intending them to be jokes.
  • I am aware that some of the comments are made by women, and that some are directed at men.
  • At this stage, I’m not looking for analysis of why you think particular comments are morally unjustified.

We can discuss all of that in the context of my reply to your other answer.

At this stage, I am just asking which of the above specific examples you consider to be morally unjustified, based on your ethical values as distinct from the ethical values of the people who published them.

As I said, I’ll respond to your other answer, and to your questions to me, in later posts. That way we can cover all of the issues, while also keeping distinct focus on each of them.

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{ 725 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ophelia Benson March 4, 2013 at 12:23 am

I’m one of the named people in some of your examples. Feel free to use my name if you want to.

2 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 12:52 am

Simply because it will be brought up anyway as a defence: yes, I did on one occasion (months ago) suggest to someone on a blog post that they should die in a fire. This was the wrong thing to do, and I have admitted that I did it, that it was wrong and that I was completely unjustified in writing it.

Furthermore, I have not made any further comments of that kind to anyone, anywhere. It was wrong, I was wrong, I have learned that particular lesson.

3 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 12:54 am

Wow. You cherry pick examples from the Slymepit, some of which you yourself acknowledge are meant as jokes, some of which are meant as satire and some of which have been set straight by other members. Then you ask Justin to justify these comments, as though he has any control over them?

Do you really want to go the cherry pick route?

And if you acknowledge the comments are not all what the Slymepit is about, then what’s the point about adding a “trigger warning” that pertains to the entirety of the ‘Pit?

I found some comments from the regular commentariat at above all Pharyngula, from the old Scienceblogs comment section. Should I reproduce them here, adding a “trigger warning” myself with a caveat that most of the commenters still post at Pharyngula (and other blogs) on FTB? Comments to do with wishing for the premature death of detractors, as well as forcefully shoving various objects up a certain orifice. Would that be enough to satisfy your cherry picking standards? Should I expect your opinion on those comments as well, as whether those are “morally unjustified” or not? Should I expect a, as subtly as you make it out here, a complete condemnation of the network that hosts these commenters?

Get a grip, Michael.

4 Sally Strange March 4, 2013 at 1:01 am

I believe one of them is about me, if so, you can use my ‘nym if you like.

Pitchguest, if it’s really cherry-picking, and the equivalence is so equivalent, please. Go ahead and find, oh, say three examples from FTB which you find equally objectionable. I won’t be holding my breath.

5 clod March 4, 2013 at 1:04 am

Michael: such comments can be found in abundance at Pharyngula and elsewhere. Assuming they are all counterproductive from whatever source, what steps do you suggest to move things on. It seems hopeless.

6 Sally Strange March 4, 2013 at 1:09 am

There will be, I predict, many claims that similar comments can be found at Pharyngula, but zero actual examples.

Go ahead and show that I’m wrong.

I reckon the closest thing you can find will be the “go fuck yourself sideways with a rusty porcupine” meme, which was deliberately retired because of the connotations of sexual aggression and sexual assault.

But again. I invite those who think there’s an equivalence to prove me wrong.

7 Sally Strange March 4, 2013 at 1:12 am

Not to mention, “Those guys do it too!” is hardly a compelling justification for bad behavior.

8 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 1:16 am

Ah yes, here come Pitchguest swooping in with a fresh new perspective.

We can deal with what you find offensive about FtB, but why don’t you take a stab at explaining which of those were justifiable. You know, actually deal with the challenge.

I think we need to call such efforts the “Saddam Hussein Gambit” in honor of justifying the senseless War in Iraq buy arguing, “well, Sadaam killed a shitton of people, so…” One would imagine that our country would have higher standards.

Similarly, I find it amusing that you simultaneously think the FtB network is filled with horrible, abusive people, and yet you constantly reference them to define the parameters of your own acceptable behavior.

Far be it from to offer moral guidance, but I would imagine any well-intentioned person would have to at least begin with the premise that their actions should be justifiable in their own right.

9 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 1:16 am

Sally Strange wrote:Not to mention, “Those guys do it too!” is hardly a compelling justification for bad behavior.

It’s all they’ve got. Of course they’re going to at least try.

10 SueinNM March 4, 2013 at 1:19 am

I sawthose “rusty porcupine” “fuck them into the ground” and “die in a fire” comments on Pharyngula, and you know what? They all stopped several years ago. How far back are the Slymepitters going to go to find these “equivalent” examples?I have seen no end to the ones in the Slymepit. In fact, they are still encouraged. And I’m afraid I don’t buy the “some are jokes, some are satire” excuses. They were clearly meant to hurt, viciously, and there is nothing redeeming about them. (This from a feminist who was never an object of Slymepit harassment, but has watched the whole thing with horror. It was the reason I formed a Women Atheists group that is still going after the main Atheist group in my city, led by men, fell apart.)

11 Edward Gemmer March 4, 2013 at 1:19 am

Hey, on FtB I only got called a rapist and people insulted me and my family and the fact that I’m in an interracial relationship. But no one called me the c-word!

I’m firmly in the “I don’t really care that much,” phase of namecalling. It’s unfortunate when it happens, but PZ Myers insults someone on a daily basis, and I don’t think I’ve ever been called stupid as much as I have on Pharyngula, and I was banned after three days for being a “white man.” The Slymepit has lots of stuff that I just skip over, but some of the stuff is quite funny. PZ has lots of mindless crap, but also a few really interesting posts. You just have to separate the wheat from the chaff, I suppose.

12 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 1:24 am

And some folks enjoy hanging out in that sewer, and tell each other the people they’re attacking are evil.

Can’t wait to hear Vacula equivocate.

(I did think this comment was quite telling:

I did not start out calling [named person] a bitch, that was after she blew me off as not important enough to listen to.

I won’t bother analyzing it; I think the grownups reading will grok the self-revelation there.)

13 SueinNM March 4, 2013 at 1:24 am

“Hey, on FtB I only got called a rapist and people insulted me and my family and the fact that I’m in an interracial relationship. But no one called me the c-word!”

Please show us the specific posts, or it didn’t happen. I’d like to see where someone called you a rapist–and I mean directly–insulted your family–directly–or your interracial relationship. Truly, I would. I’ve been reading Pharyngula for years, and the last thing anyone there would mock anyone about would be an interracial relationship.

And you know what? “Stupid” is not a gendered slur. It is all-purpose, and no one is objecting that.

14 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 1:24 am

Sally:

Ask and ye shall receive.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/03/episode-xxxiv-you-can-say-that/#comment-754844

As I said, it’s from the old Pharyngula at Scienceblogs. But the invective is all the same, isn’t it? Maybe Wowbagger recognise himself in one or two of those, wishing for someone to ‘die in a fire.’ Uncanny. Inspiration for you, maybe, Bagger? Now many of these are reactions to comments by people that said some admittedly nasty stuff, like ‘fucking bitch’, however I think with all the talk of rape and involuntary penetration, the references to shoving things up people’s arseholes are a bit, wouldn’t you say?

Just a sample, mind you (put together by your own Aratina Cage* himself), and from the old Scienceblogs, but I’m sure if I made an effort, I could find the meat at FTB as well if I really wanted to. There is ‘I will cut you, [name], you stupid fucking troll’ while imagining brandishing two broken beer bottles, which could or could not be seen as a genuine threat. (But according to Chris Clarke, it was quite clearly a joke. Phew.) Then there’s the ‘If you call me a spic, I will break your fucking spine’. That’s a classic. Should I make an effort to find more, Sally? I’m sure I could. If I recall correctly, Josh the Spokesgay often hopes for the death of his opponents. Am I right?

Anyway. Regardless of what I find (just to save you the embarassment, Sally, I won’t browse comments on FTB, I think we both know what’s there), it wouldn’t prove anything about the network as a whole, now would it? After all, that would be betraying a sceptical principle and opening up ourselves for a fallacy, particularly the guilt by association fallacy – and we don’t want that, now do we?

By the way, notice the tone of Aratina marginalizing those comments as ‘making [name] cry’? Does that mean that this person complained about the severity of the comments and was slandered for it? The nerve! I hope you gave Aratina a good talking to after that.

15 SueinNM March 4, 2013 at 1:25 am

Oh, and Edward Gemmer, please state your case, backed by facts, that you were banned because you were a “white man.” There are plenty of “white men” on Pharyngula. Gee, even the blogger is a white man! Think of that!

16 Concentratedwater, OM March 4, 2013 at 1:32 am

SallySTrange: “The Onion is the only place where I’ve seen rape jokes that were actually funny.”

Easily could be rephrased as “Sallystrange laughs at rape jokes”.

Also: PZ Meyers infamously posted a dehumanizing photograph of Michelle Bachmann eating a phallic food.

Also:…well, I don’t have time to be as exhaustively nitpicking as you, just go and read the Slymepit to see all of FTB’s filth collated.

17 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 1:37 am

“I’ll take False Equivalence for a hundred, Alex!”

18 athyco March 4, 2013 at 1:43 am

In his inaugural podcast called “Brave Hero,” taglined “A Dose of Drama and Comedy: As the Atheist World Turns,” Justin Vacula told co-host Karla Porter that his estimation of the content of the Slymepit was “no violence, nothing over-the-top; nothing is legally actionable.” He agrees with many of them on issues, although “they’re a little crass.”

19 scaredAnon March 4, 2013 at 1:59 am

FTB has incidences of hateful dehumanizing speech.

Slymepit is a dehumanizing hate campaign.

This equivalence thing is the cheapest sort of defense they could possibly muster because it does not justify what some of the slymepitters have said.

I have posted both at FTB and the Slymepit and I have never been as intimidated about speaking up about bad behavior anywhere else online as I have been at the Slymepit. Seriously, there are some pettily obsessive individuals there who have made some people’s lives a living hell. I cannot say the same for posting at FTB.

20 Mizz Bizzy March 4, 2013 at 2:05 am

The pity party is 2 blocks thataway. Go home, Ophelia. You’re lost.

21 Martin March 4, 2013 at 2:09 am

I think scaredAnon makes a very important distinction that will, of course, be ignored by the defenders of the Slymepit’s institutional misogyny.

Freethought Blogs was set up as a blog network for atheists and skeptics. On some of those blogs, particularly Pharyngula, posts have appeared that have led to flamewars in the comments section, in which nasty things have been said by commenters.

The Slymepit, on the other hand, was set up as a forum to attack women, feminists, the Skepchicks, and feminist allies in the atheist/skeptic community.

This, I submit, is a non-trivial difference.

And anyway, every time I see the regular commenters open fire on someone at Pharyngula, it’s usually been directed at a trolling douche from the Slymepit who’s shown up expressly to wave the flag for Team Misogyny. You know what they say: you get what you give.

22 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 2:09 am

Nugent:

“Which of the following specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?”

I will answer. None of them are morally justified.

However, as far as I am concerned, you failed to ask the right question when it comes to the Slymepit. Perhaps you should ask :

Why the Slymepit?

That might help you get started on the road somewhere to understanding what is actually going on.

Good luck.

23 EllenBeth Wachs March 4, 2013 at 2:12 am

Michael, once again, thank you and you may use my name as well as I am all to aware of the nastiness directed at me from the slymepit. Justin Vacula called it “lighthearted humor” and tweeted wonderering if I would find it funny.

24 Kim Rippere (President of Secular Woman) March 4, 2013 at 2:12 am

Michael –

I appreciate your patience. I’m not entirely sure the subject matter is worth it . . . but, might as well give it a try!

25 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 2:13 am

#8 doubtthat

Yes, I could deal with the “challenge.” But I don’t think I will, and I think the old Pharyngula comment section is why. The animosity clearly exists on both sides and clearly both sides have an inkling for eachother, but frankly “justifying” it is only a recipe for disaster. I don’t derive judgment by looking at a few comments that happens to exist on FTB. I look at the network as a whole, what it’s about and how it goes about its business.

Michael Nugent may think he’s devised a brilliant plan by kafkatrapping Justin Vacula by linking to some comments on the Slymepit that can some of them be seen as morally reprehensible, but all he does is tear at the seams. The Slymepit, as well as FTB, is not a monolithic structure. It’s a false equivalence. Why else would he alert sensitive viewers to the “abusive, shaming and very disturbing” material that (he feels) is posted there? Why else would he cherry pick the seemingly worst examples possible and then ask Justin to justify them? To force him into a corner. But what is Justin supposed to do, exactly? Did he write it? Was he responsible? Does Michael even care?

More importantly, none of this actually pertains to the entirety of the network. The Slymepit is an unmoderated forum where users are responsible for their own words. Their posts are not edited, not removed, and you can’t edit your own posts as there’s no edit button. (Which has become a running gag.) FTB, on the other hand, is on the contrary heavily moderated and behaviour is profusely policed to the point where if you don’t adhere to the rules (which is like Calvinball), you’re banned before you can say ‘slymepitter’. So more to the point, Michael Nugent should instead be asking the bloggers at FTB why their regular commentariat are allowed to say such nasty things with impunity.

#9, 13 SueinNM, Wowbagger – Yes, yes. However, it would be nice if instead of making things up in your own head and actually provide some evidence for your assertions. Wowbagger in particular is one of the biggest culprits of this trope. Worse, he posts something about the ‘Pit on FTB and the commenters gobble it all up. Says something about your critical thinking skills.

But I repeat: the Slymepit is an unmoderated forum. Users are responsible for their own words. Not everyone on the Slymepit agrees with every comment ever written on the ‘Pit and some of the comments Michael has cherry picked were heavily (and not so heavily) condemned by some users. They do not reflect the ‘Pit as a whole. (Incidentally Michael knows they don’t reflect the ‘Pit as a whole but included his summary anyway. Bias.)

26 Martin March 4, 2013 at 2:19 am

Pitchguest: Which of the examples Michael listed do you condemn?

27 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 2:19 am

Martin said:

“The Slymepit, on the other hand, was set up as a forum to attack women, feminists, the Skepchicks, and feminist allies in the atheist/skeptic community.”

Wrong Martin. The Slymepit was set up because of the relentless attacks on Abbie Smith. One of them by Greg Laden to get her fired.

http://phawrongula.wikia.com/wiki/Slymepit
The forum itself was started some time after the discussion threads on Abbie Smith’s blog were branded a “slime pit” by PZ Myers and other bloggers on FtB. Because they were almost entirely unmoderated in the interests of an open discussion, Abbie was accused of condoning hate speech (when in fact a ‘free speech policy’ doesn’t imply endorsement at all). Eventually, after failing to intimidate Abbie into censoring the comments, Pharyngula regulars launched a campaign to get National Geographic to do it for them.

Due to this threat to the “slime pit’s” existence, it was decided it would be moved to its own forum, with the original threads being shut down.

28 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 2:21 am

Pitchguest wrote: #9, 13 SueinNM, Wowbagger – Yes, yes. However, it would be nice if instead of making things up in your own head and actually provide some evidence for your assertions.

Which assertions? That you’re going to try and handwave away systematic abuse by numerous people on multiple platforms as a means of silencing people by pointing to three-year-old incidents of individuals slagging each off as if the latter justifies the former? You just did that for me.

Wowbagger in particular is one of the biggest culprits of this trope. Worse, he posts something about the ‘Pit on FTB and the commenters gobble it all up. Says something about your critical thinking skills.

Well, as we say to the creationists, citation needed.

29 notsont March 4, 2013 at 2:23 am

Pitchguest , just read that whole thread you linked to, it doesn’t say anything like you say it does. Are you sure you got the link right?

30 Karmakin March 4, 2013 at 2:25 am

I remember, maybe just a year or two ago that a LOT of people, including a lot of the people being criticized here, would make the argument that this is just an exercise in tone trolling and as such should be ignored, at least when it comes to religion. That was really the crux of the accommodationalist conflict. I don’t see how this is any different. What are people saying behind the juvenile messages?

They’re saying we don’t like the sexism and the bigotry that some people are trying to introduce into the skeptic community and we’re going to stand up against it.

Again, I don’t really like the juvenile stuff…I’d rather just call it like it is instead of hiding it behind anger as it’s generally more productive but it is what it is. But at the end of the day, that’s what we’re talking about here.

The bigger problem is that unfortunately an overly simplistic argument begets an overly simplistic response. That’s been my experience elsewhere in terms of the egalitarian/SJW conflict, and in the skeptic community it is no different. Hopefully now that egalitarianism is becoming more of an actual thing we’ll see more proactive arguments come out and not just purely reactive ones. .

31 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 2:29 am

EllenBeth Wachs – Give it a rest. You’ve been just as eager to dish out abuse and hateful comments, you shouldn’t be surprised some of it comes back to bite you in the arse.

You were the who wrote this after all:

http://elevatorgate.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/20121110-2206541.jpg

If I say something stupid, feel free to make me eat my own words. At least I won’t whine about it like a child.

As for #19, ScaredAnon, all right, is there any chance we can confirm this really happened and where? And when you say they ‘made people’s lives a living hell’, erm, yeah, I’m really tempted to call bullshit because that doesn’t add up to what I see there *at all.* But hey, if you have evidence of your assertions, by all means.

32 Martin March 4, 2013 at 2:31 am

I’m familiar with the heroic tale of martyrdom Abbie has constructed around herself, though the idea that she does not condone at least some of the hate speech that appeared in her comments is a bit on the ludicrous side. I’ve seen some of her own hate speech first hand, in her own blogs as well as in private emails. And if Pharyngula readers wanted to alert NatGeo to possible ToS violations (which prohibit, among other things, posting of “harassing, hateful” material) on one of their hosted blogs, I see that as their right, although NatGeo is also free to respond (or not) to such complaints as they see fit.

But the important thing, clearly, is that the Slymepitters found a safe space for rampant and unchecked misogynist bile spewing. To think the very foundations of free speech itself were under threat! It almost brings a tear to mine eye.

33 Martin March 4, 2013 at 2:34 am

Pitchguest: Seriously? Your example of an “abusive and hateful” comment from EllenBeth is a screencap of a tweet where she says something perfectly sensible and true about the consequences of saying stupid things? As reaching goes, that’s, well, a reach.

34 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 2:38 am

Martin: “But the important thing, clearly, is that the Slymepitters found a safe space for rampant and unchecked misogynist bile spewing.”

It is clear to me that we have no basis for a discussion seeing as we appear to have a different definition of misogyny. Mine is “the hatred of women” yours appears to be “whatever offends me”.

35 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 2:46 am

@33, Martin I am now embarrassed for you. Reread 31 and 33.

36 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 2:47 am

#26 Martin – You’re a slimy little man, aren’t you?

#28 Wowbagger – Citation needed? Is that a challenge? Are you challenging me to find the many instances where you clearly made shit up about the ‘Pit, to such an extent it could easily be confirmed with a simple Google search?

As for pointing to ‘three year old incidences’, I don’t think I need to say anything about how ridiculous that statement is. But I believe the important part was how most, if not all, of the commenters responsible are still regulars at FTB. That was the point.

#29 Notsont – The whole thread? The relevant part is the comment I linked to, friend. Has all the nasty comments contained within one post. Aratina’s quite the handy little fellow when he puts his mind to it. Shame he doesn’t do it very often.

Oh, and ‘stupid’? I believe, in true FTB/A+ fashion, ‘stupid’ can be construed as ableist if I’m not mistaken. But I don’t want to take the wind out of your gendered sails.

And Martin has a distorted history about the creation of the Slymepit. But I suppose when it’s about a woman you don’t care about, it doesn’t matter that one of your own ilk tried to get her fired or attempt to cease her income because she happened to have a bit of a mouth on her. Better she would have kept quiet like all the good girls do, or what do you say, Ophelia?

37 idahogie March 4, 2013 at 2:49 am

Pitchguest keeps saying that Mr. Nugent is asking for “justification” of the comments. That’s not anything like what was asked. He was asking which of them were morally unjustifiable.

That is an easy and simple question. Why is Pitchguest misrepresenting the question?

38 Eristae March 4, 2013 at 2:50 am

“Anyway. Regardless of what I find (just to save you the embarassment, Sally, I won’t browse comments on FTB, I think we both know what’s there), it wouldn’t prove anything about the network as a whole, now would it? After all, that would be betraying a sceptical principle and opening up ourselves for a fallacy, particularly the guilt by association fallacy – and we don’t want that, now do we?”

Oh for the love of everfuck. I loathe passive aggressive shit like this.

Pitchguest, I understand that sometimes one does not feel inclined to do the work of slogging through a bunch of blogposts in an effort to find something you want but aren’t sure where it happened, when it happened, or (heaven help us) if it even happened. Mercy knows that I myself have made posts only to realize that I don’t actually care enough to backup what I’m saying, leading to great regret that I posted in the first place.

But when one is feeling too lazy/tired/otherwise occupied/whatever to back up one’s claims, then one ought to 1) refrain from making said claims 2) admit that one is not interested in backing up one’s claims. Fluttering about acting as if it’s shocking, SHOCKING, that someone might want to see what you are talking about is absurd and incredibly unappealing.

So, please, either back up your claims or admit that you’ve managed to involve yourself in a conversation that you don’t actually have the stamina to add anything meaningful to. I’ve done it and, despite my trepidation, the sky did not burst into flames and fall upon my head.

39 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 2:53 am

“It is clear to me that we have no basis for a discussion seeing as we appear to have a different definition of misogyny. Mine is “the hatred of women” yours appears to be “whatever offends me”.”

Can we take it from that Andrew that you don;t find anything on that list above offensive or hateful towards women?

Really?

40 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 2:55 am

Pitchguest:

First, at 14, I clicked on eight of those links. Seven of them did not lead to a comment with the selected quote. The only one I found was this one:

“You can fuck yourself with a razor-bladed stick and go die in a ditch, you pompous, lying, gutless, disingenuous fuck”

That comment was made by a self-described libertarian arguing that slavery was irrelevant to America’s expansion to the west and spouted a bunch of conventional libertarian nonsense (Merka is becoming a socialist nation, debt will kill us all just like it did after WWII…blah, blah). Needless to say, that’s hardly the sort of viewpoint one would associate with PZ Myers’ site.

I’m guessing a sizable percentage of your examples are similar interlopers. If you can show that the quotes Mr. Nugent provided were made by FtBers arguing on the site are are contrary to the general opinion of the place, you might have something.

That being said, the vast majority of those statements would be moderated or the speakers banned on FtB now. So, what have you proven, here? That several years ago people arguing with PZ Myers’ readers on his site said something objectionable? Bold move.

As for the next part, what a cowardly approach. I am happy to condemn the language in the examples you provided. That sort of language is pointless, useless, and given the context, potentially harmful. Why are you so scared to say the same about your friends?

41 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 2:59 am

@A Hermit, #39.

I see lots of comments directed at a specific woman. What I do not see are comments directed to all women.

This might appear as splitting hairs to you but I see it as two differnt things.

For example:
If you call me a dick (and it might even be true), I do not see it as an attack on all men.

That is where I am coming from.

42 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 3:03 am

#33 Martin – As an ETL, I am astonished by the lack of comprehension for such a simple sentence. Nevertheless, I shall clarify – and simplify – to make myself easier understood. To begin with – no. That wasn’t what I was saying. That tweet signifies the last portion of my sentence, specifically “you shouldn’t be surprised some of it comes back to bite you in the arse.”

To summarise:

EllenBeth is not a stranger dishing out to people herself.

When he dishes out, she will sometimes get dished back.

She shouldn’t exempt to pushback.

And she wrote so herself, hence the link to her tweet.

Better? I could try using simpler words. English is only my third language after all.

43 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 3:03 am

that should be “when SHE dishes out”

44 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 3:03 am

Michael,

Happy to see you too seeking to temper the vitriol, to maybe bring some unification of the “force” – so to speak. However, while I’m quite willing to argue that some of the “stuff” in the Pit is well over the top – and I’ve repeatedly criticized various people for it, my impression is that the epi-center, the proximate if not ultimate cause of the poisoning of the well that we’re having to deal with is the serious amount of nastiness generated and condoned by Pharyngula. As a point of reference you might consider this post of PZ Myers (1):

#347 PZ Myers March 3, 2010:
What you all seem to miss is that anyone can comment on Pharyngula ? people who detest me, people who like me. We have creationists, homophobes, right-wing loons, libertarian
loons, homeopaths, chiropractors, all brands of crazy, all converging on the site and engaging
in heated argument. I don’t censor and I don’t ban, no matter what their point of view, simply
for being angry and profane. I am not interested in maintaining a happy little G-rated site for
family entertainment in which we all have sweet little discussions; again in direct contradiction of your repeated claims, it’s the freewheeling and often antagonistic atmosphere that gets both sides swapping barbs.

While the SlymePit doesn’t seem to appeal to the same “brands of crazy” that PZ panders to, it too is uncensored and there is virtually no banning – actually in notable contradistinction to PZ’s hypocritical stance of late. But it is just little bit disingenuous – at best, being charitable – for PZ and company to be complaining when they find out that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

But, as a few examples of their choice language and nastiness which is virtually only the tip of the iceberg besides which “The Pit” pales in comparison, consider the following (2):

#20. Josh, Official SpokesGay says:
22 February 2012 at 12:47 am
This blog would be a lot more interesting if it stuck to biology (or at least a general
scientific outlook) and sourced its claims — I’ll second omniz’s request for a source
confirming that she was asked to appear in porn.

You can go eat broken glass, too.

(I’m sorry to resort to this, but it’s been a long time coming):

WHAT IN BLEEDING FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU MISOGYNIST MEN? HAVE YOU
NO GODDAMNED SHAME OR EMPATHY? DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCEPT OF
WOMEN AS HUMANS WITH WANTS, DESIRES, EMOTIONS OR AGENCY?

I fucking you hate you male supremacist bastards. I hate your smug self-absorption. I hate your blithe dismissal of anyone who nudges your comfortable little me-me-me-mycock-me-i’m-objective-me-ur-stupid-me-me-why-u-so-hysterical-me-me-my-peen just one petty degree out of whack.

Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. I look forward to the day you either die off or are so
marginalized in polite discourse you’re ashamed to show your ignorant faces.

#35. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says:
22 February 2012 at 1:51 am
Shorter Steersman: Bitch was askin’ for it, cuz bitches be crazy.
Got any more idiotic sexist stereotypes to spew asshole?

While I’m not at all sure how this contremps can be tempered much less resolved, it seems to me that there isn’t going to be much progress until FreethoughtBlogs in general and Pharyngula in particular – and their commentariats – are prepared to accept more than a small amount of responsibility for the current situation.

1) “_http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/03/03/episode-xxxiv-you-can-say-that/#comment-754894”;
2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/21/not-as-much-fun-as-it-sounds/”;

45 EllenBeth Wachs March 4, 2013 at 3:10 am

What I “dish out” is exposing the vile spewing from the slymepit.

46 Michael Nugent March 4, 2013 at 3:11 am

Thanks for the feedback. For context, this post is part of a dialogue with Justin, not a standalone post. On this particular point, what has happened so far is:

    (a) Justin said in a video about the “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet that “It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified.”
    (b) I asked him if he can say that at least some of it is morally unjustified, and if he can give some examples.
    (c) Justin replied saying that it can be difficult to draw a line.
    (d) I gave him some examples so that he doesn’t have to draw a line, just evaluate specific examples.
    (e) I will reply again when he lets me know which of these examples he believes are morally unjustified.

Independently of the above, I have also asked Justin another question, about asking why the “nasty pushback” is generated instead of why it is received, and Justin has asked me two questions, about my opinion of things written by bloggers who the Slymepit members oppose, which I will address in other posts.

I want to keep these different strands separate, because if everything is discussed at the same time it is impossible to keep focus on any one factor.

I have to say that I am very disturbed by the extent of the vitriol conveyed in some of the comments on The Slymepit website. I honestly had no idea how bad it was until I compiled the above list. And I had to take several long breaks while compiling it, because the content is so intensely hurtful.

Nevertheless, I want to continue interpreting charitably anything that can possibly be interpreted charitably. There are members of the Slymepit who are not posting this type of comment, and some have said they dislike it. I am assuming that these people may be indirectly tolerating it because they are desensitized to the hurt that it conveys.

I don’t know where this dialogue may lead, but I am prepared to spend some time trying to see if we can get something constructive out of it.

47 Eristae March 4, 2013 at 3:13 am

As a side note, I’m a little weirded out by the fact that “Do you consider these statements to be morally unjustified” is being met with “*insert random example of stuff from the other side that I think isn’t justified*” rather than a yes or a no. It’s basically a wordy example of, “Well, so and so did it, too!” which I am not a fan of. If I do Bad Thing A, it is still Bad Thing A that I did, even if someone else did Bad Thing B.

But I suppose it’s to be expected, as people in general seem very invested in this kind of behavior, although I’m not sure why. I’ve never looked at anyone who as condemning a bad action that A) They did and are now sorry for B) Someone else on their side did, and said, “Ah ha! You admitted that something someone did was wrong! Clearly you have no right to hold positions.” Does anyone actually DO that?

48 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 3:14 am

Sounds exactly like what Myers has been encouraging on his blog for years. He’s such a hypocrite. I’ve experienced as bad as this, and worse, at the hands of the Pharyngulards, so where does he find the gall to condemn it from others?

49 Michael Nugent March 4, 2013 at 3:22 am

If you are commenting here and you also post on The Slymepit, I would particularly welcome hearing your opinion on the specific question I have asked Justin in this post:

Which of the above specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?

I’m happy to discuss the other issues that have been raised in the comments here, when I address those issues in other posts, but for this post I want to try to keep the focus on that particular question.

50 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 3:23 am

@Michael Nugent #46.
“have to say that I am very disturbed by the extent of the vitriol conveyed in some of the comments on The Slymepit website. I honestly had no idea how bad it was until I compiled the above list. And I had to take several long breaks while compiling it, because the content is so intensely hurtful. ”

Just like FfTB, the Slymepit is not for the thin skinned. I would say you are either not neutral in this or you have never read for example the “thunder dome” threads hosted by Myers.

Otherwise your comment makes no sense to me at all.

51 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 3:23 am

Steve Vanden-Eykel Sounds exactly like what Myers has been encouraging on his blog for years. He’s such a hypocrite. I’ve experienced as bad as this, and worse, at the hands of the Pharyngulards, so where does he find the gall to condemn it from others?

You do realise this is Michael Nugent’s blog, right? And not Pharyngula?

52 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 3:23 am

#40 doubtthat – My point is apparently that you’re not very bright. My point is *apparently* that you lack the reading comprehension of a six-year-old child.

Try to read the comment I wrote to Sally before you pass judgment.

Linking to those comments (many of which are not there due to the fact that many of the old Pharyngula comment sections are hidden or otherwise removed) was to show one thing: that we’re not averse to the same behaviour. Except you’re the only one attempting to prove that this isn’t what people on *your side* does, but that they’re either from libertarians, MRA’s, anti-feminists or other such bullshit. You’re the only one who’re attempting the slimy tactic of assuming the interrogation akin to “When did you stop beating your wife?” And I’m “scared to do the same for my friends?” Do try to be less condescending.

I have my own opinion about some of the comments Michael have cited but as I’ve already said, they don’t comprise the entire forum. I’m not sure what Michael wants to accomplish by cherry picking these examples, but he’s not being very subtle. If he were to do the same for you, would you be as accomodating? If I have the tone right, you would most likely tell him to go fuck himself, no? I suppose it’s a good thing Justin Vacula isn’t too keen burying himself just yet to fall for that trap.

53 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 3:25 am

@#49
Which of the above specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?

I already told you. None of them.

I also already told you you are asking the wrong question.

54 Eristae March 4, 2013 at 3:26 am

*glances at post #47*
*glances at post #48*
*glances at post #47*
*glances at post #48*

*sighs*

Steve, are you saying that there is a situation in which it is wrong to condemn harassment? That one can lose one’s ability to condemn things that are legitimately wrong? Because it seems to me that you are agreeing that this kind of behavior is wrong, but are somehow convinced that the situation is such that there is a problem with condemning bad behavior.

55 Karmakin March 4, 2013 at 3:26 am

@Eristae: It’s really a matter of tactics. If people are ignoring you when you’re pointing out that something they said may be bigoted/sexist/whatever, but then when you try to shock them, then they suddenly pay attention, then quite frankly, you’re going to see people going for shock value more and more. That’s really what happened here IMO.

One side is offensive in tone and the other side is offensive in content. That’s where we’re sitting here. IMO we need to have a discussion on the latter as WELL as the former, or it’s not going to do any good.

So, a discussion on the inherent bigotry of Neofeminism and the oppressor/oppressed model anybody?

56 Eristae March 4, 2013 at 3:29 am

AndrewV69/53, I’m sorry, but are you really saying that you can’t say it is morally unjustified to say, and I’m quoting from the original post here,

“And while I would always intervene if I saw a suicide in progress, if the next day I read in a paper about some SJW killing his or herself, I would say fine. Wonderful. A good start.”

Truly?

57 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 3:31 am

” I’m not sure what Michael wants to accomplish by cherry picking these examples,”

You’re not? Even though he stated why in the post and several times subsequently in the comments?

If you aren’t sure, it’s because you’re deliberately ignoring the reason.
As has every single other person from the Slymepit who has commented…

Oh, apart from one “some I find unjustifiable but I’m not gonna say which ones.” comment.

It’s almost as if those from the slymepit don;t want to engage the subject of the post but rather just want yet another place to insult and make unsupported claims.

Could it turn out that Michael Nugent will discover that his question will go unanswered? That it will just be seen as an opening of a new front to continue the same kind of behavior he illustrates in his post?

I guess we’ll see.

58 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 3:34 am

“I already told you. None of them.”

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

59 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 3:38 am

Jafafa Hots wrote: Could it turn out that Michael Nugent will discover that his question will go unanswered?

Of course it’ll go unanswered – well, at least in terms of honest answers, that is; the only honest answer is “Well, we want those bitches and manginas to shut up because we like the atheist community just the way it is with us calling the shots and we’re happy to use misogynistic bullying if that’s what it takes to keep it that way.”

But no, they’re going to keep running with the “But PZ lets his kids eat ice cream before dinner!” line of ‘argument’ no matter what.

60 Karmakin March 4, 2013 at 3:38 am

@Jafafa: Do you think it’s morally justified to place the concept of “misogyny” over the concept of “sexism” as a whole? Ever?

61 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 3:43 am

Jaffa Hots said (#58):

“I already told you. None of them.”

I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

Crossed wires there and some ellipsis.

Andrew originally said in #22:

“Which of the following specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?”

I will answer. None of them are morally justified.

Still shocked?

62 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 3:45 am

Michael Nugent – Yes, yes. The vitriol conveyed by the Slymepit, and I’m sure you are very objective in your perspective on that point. But I note that you happen to neglect the not-so-vitriolic comments which actually outnumber the vitrolic ones? (If we’re to use your terminology, that is.)

Having said that, you yourself also acknowledge that many of the comments are satirical, many of them are jokes, many of them are mocking and ridicule, so why is it that you still go with the narrative that the place is “abusive, shaming and very disturbing”? And what about the fact that it’s supposed to be so very sexist and misogynistic, despite the fact that a lot of women regularly post there and a lot of women regularly join in with the jokes and the satire? Most of the time, it’s just people shooting the breeze. However, it appears it’s a place set up specifically to harass and torment and, oh, whatever else, to be honest the dishonesty gets old.

Moreover you had to “take several long breaks while compiling it, because the content is so intensely hurtful”? Bollocks to you, Michael. Your examples are so obviously cherry picked, your interpretation is that the content on there is “disturbing” while forgetting that most of the content in one of the threads is documenting the aspects of the FTB/A+ clique, some of which is most definitely, to put it mildly, “disturbing.” Your interpretation is not even remotely charitable and you know it. You acknowledge it yourself, in fact, as you recognise that the forum is not a collective. So it’s even more confusing that you should go back and forth between the narratives. Which is it, Michael?

As for justifying the comments, why should I have to? Should the FTB commenters have to justify the various stupid and “disturbing” comments that have been posted there, both on there and on Scienceblogs? No. It’s a completely and utterly pointless exercise. To use an analogy, it’s like when people request for moderate Muslims to condemn the acts of extremists. Or moderate Christians, or moderate Jews. Whatever.

63 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 3:47 am

@Eristae #56,

I expressed myself poorly. My apologies. What I though I was implying was that “morally justified” has nothing to do with it.

Nugent is asking the wrong question.

He wants to know if any of the statements are morally justifiable. From a “moral” point of view the answer is none of them.

I assumed that it was obvious. I may as well ask when you stopped beating your husband (or wife).

64 Sally March 4, 2013 at 3:48 am

As for justifying the comments, why should I have to?

You don’t have to. You have the option to say they are unjustified. Can you do that?

65 Michael Nugent March 4, 2013 at 3:49 am

Just to clear up what I assume is a misunderstanding here, at #22 AndrewV69 said: “I will answer. None of them are morally justified.”

Then at #53, in response to the question “which examples are morally unjustified?” he said “I already told you. None of them.”

So I assume Andrew misread the question at #53 and he is saying that none of the comments are morally justified.

66 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 3:49 am

“This might appear as splitting hairs to you…”

Yes Andrew, as a matter of fact it does. There is a discernible pattern of especially nasty insults and harassment directed primarily at women. I think that qualifies under any reasonable definition as misogyny.

In any case it’s all nasty, abusive, cruel, completely unnecessary and deserves to be denounced in no uncertain terms. Can we at least agree on that much?

67 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 3:50 am

@Jafafa Hots #58, “I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.”

Oh, I doubt that.

68 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 3:51 am

Karmakin…
Since your question to me has nothing to do with the topic of the post and nothing to do with anything I have ever said in comments anywhere at any time in any place on the internet or in person…

…I’m gonna just wonder briefly why you’re asking me that and move on.

Unless you’d like to explain.

69 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 3:52 am

“Just to clear up what I assume is a misunderstanding here, at #22 AndrewV69 said: “I will answer. None of them are morally justified.””

Ah…
I see, I misread and misunderstood.
I apologize.

70 Michael Nugent March 4, 2013 at 3:52 am

#62 Pitchguest,

I’ve already explained why I compiled the list of examples, but I’m happy to do so again.

(a) Justin said in a video about the “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet that “It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified.”
(b) I asked him if he can say that at least some of it is morally unjustified, and if he can give some examples.
(c) Justin replied saying that it can be difficult to draw a line.
(d) I gave him some examples so that he doesn’t have to draw a line, just evaluate specific examples.
(e) I will reply again when he lets me know which of these examples he believes are morally unjustified.

71 Eristae March 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

@AndrewV69

Oh thank God. Er, well, not God, but I think you’ll get what I mean. I really, really, really didn’t want you to be saying that. I’m relieved to hear that you weren’t.

72 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 3:55 am

(and I misread again… I read the accidental answer AndrewV69 made “correctly” as typed but didn’t know from the previous comment that that is not what he’d intended to say.)

Thanks for the clarification Michael, and sorry for that, Andrew.

73 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 3:56 am

Pithcguest says:

Having said that, you yourself also acknowledge that many of the comments are satirical, many of them are jokes, many of them are mocking and ridicule, so why is it that you still go with the narrative that the place is “abusive, shaming and very disturbing”?

Jokes can also be abusive, shaming and disturbing. I don;t know why anyone thinks “I was just joking” is some kind of magic incantation which suddenly makes any of those examples OK…

74 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 3:57 am

Look, to use a Chris Clarke, if you’re “too dimwitted to comprehend”, my point about not answering Michael Nugent’s frankly daft question is because it’s asking for us to justify something that we haven’t done. It’s kafkatrapping. It’s putting us on trial. Nugent is putting Vacula on trial for comments that have been posted on the Slymepit over the course of a few months, and for what? To prove something?

Yeah, I can easily say I condemn exactly the comments I don’t approve of, but what would be the point? That’s not the point of Michael’s question. Which is why I linked back to old comments from the Pharyngula comment section(s) (even though most of them are hidden or removed) to prove that none of us “pure” in that sense. The worst about some of the comments that Michael cited from the Slymepit (and one a summary from Stephanie Zvan, for some reason) are that they feature “gendered slurs”, i.e. cunt, twat, and so on, but some of the comments I linked to from Pharyngula are far worse than that. They may not feature “gendered slurs”, but the hope of shoving something up someone’s rectum is a theme. And death. Whatever.

Like that quote from xkcd goes, “The important thing is that you’ve found a way to be superior to both.”

75 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 3:57 am

@Michael Nugent #65.
“So I assume Andrew misread the question at #53 and he is saying that none of the comments are morally justified.”

That would be the “charitable” reading and indeed true. Hand/eye and all that.

So let me see if I can clear this up:

None of the examples are “morally” justifiable as I understand the question.

But you are asking the wrong question.

76 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 4:00 am

Michael @ post #46 wrote, “And I had to take several long breaks while compiling it, because the content is so intensely hurtful.” And then wrote, “I am assuming that these people may be indirectly tolerating it because they are desensitized to the hurt that it conveys.”

This sounds to me as though you are saying that either (1) there is something about those statements which is inherently harmful, or (2) to whatever extent that one thinks whether or not the harm perceived is entirely subjective, it remains the case that the subjective feelings of whoever takes greatest exception are the feelings which are privileged to displace everyone else’s subjective feelings.

If you’re saying (1), then it should be a rather trivial affair to figure out that almost all people will agree on the proposition they’re inherently, objectively harmful statements. Like being burned in a fire, say; I’m aware of no one who disputes that being set afire is anything other than inherently, objectively harmful. But nothing like almost all people will agree that a given insult/joke is inherently, objectively harmful. Thus, (1) cannot be the right answer.

If (2) is the case, then this has some obvious implications: conversation will be the hostage of anyone who claims to find offense or perceive harm in a given statement. In so granting this proposition, one thereby allows for the most sensitive person to be the arbiter of who is a bad person and the like. And if this be the case, then I see no grounds on which you’d be able to escape having to accept that you’re a bad person if someone claims to be harmed by, for instance, reading this article… but for your (and others) granting yourself (themselves) the right to dismiss such a claim.

And if you’re free to grant yourself the right to dismiss such a claim as unreasonable (perhaps because the person is unreasonably sensitive or some such) thereby evading having to accept that you’re an immoral person, on what grounds do you deny others an equivalent right to dismiss a claim of harm arising from one saying, “*You* dont give a shit, [named person]. You care about drama and how you can appear to be a moral human while doing as little as humanly possible.”?

While it’s true many people would not like such a comment, it’s far from clear to me that just speaking/writing those words inherently creates an injury (as is the case were it said to me). So, that leaves me with leaning towards your meaning being something like (2). And now it’s merely a matter of noting that since it isn’t inherently, objectively harmful, the extent to which it might cause harm depends on who [in this case: scouring the internet to find the words in the first place] decides to take it that way. In turn this implies that whether one is a good or bad person now hinges on the happenstance of who happens to (a) hear/read the words and (b) decide they’ve been hurt.

Or is there a (3) that I just entirely fail to see?

77 Karmakin March 4, 2013 at 4:00 am

@Jafafa: Just as an example, do you think that accusations at women of being “gender traitors” are morally justified?

The point is, that there’s more than one type of offensive in the world. You can have an offensive ugly tone, which pretty much all that stuff in the list (I’m willing to say all of it has), but you can also have offensive ugly IDEAS. And often times they’re wrapped up in a nice and civil tone, but that doesn’t stop them from being deeply offensive.

So if we’re supposed to condemn all this stuff from the Pit, why can’t we condemn the stuff coming from other places as well? If hateful sexism is a problem, then we need to talk about it in ALL its forms.

78 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:07 am

“Look, to use a Chris Clarke, if you’re “too dimwitted to comprehend”, my point about not answering Michael Nugent’s frankly daft question is because it’s asking for us to justify something that we haven’t done.”

You keep saying that, and it’s not true.
You are NOT being asked to justify ANYTHING.

79 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 4:09 am

A Hermit – All right. Maybe you should tell that to your mate, Chris Clarke.

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/3391/chrisclarkeisgodedited.jpg

Slightly edited comment. Full comment is here:

http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/1562/chrisclarkeisgod.jpg

In response to a comment by one commenter ‘Tethys’ on Pharyngula said to another commenter ‘abear’, and I quote, “*Breaks two liquor bottles and brandishes the jagged necks.*

I WILL cut you abear, you stupid fucking troll.”

If you want to police language, then maybe you should try to be more consistent.

80 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:12 am

Wowbagger:
#51. Yes I do.

#59. Thank you for the spittle.

Have a nice day.

81 Michael Nugent March 4, 2013 at 4:14 am

Justicar #76,

You make some very useful points. I’ll try to reply to them tomorrow.

82 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:14 am

“Just as an example, do you think that accusations at women of being “gender traitors” are morally justified?”

I can’t answer that with an absolute. I don’t know of specific examples, partly because I have deliberately avoided the places where people have done what others might call them that for (I have never visited the slymepit, I don’t even know the URL).

And partly because I am uncomfortable with the phrase itself, or ANY kind of calling someone a traitor to anything. Not that it doesn’t exist, it’s not a term I would use.

But the general intent of your question seems to be one of distraction.
We can criticize explicit examples of behavior that we know of and have seen without being hypocrites for not searching the globe to find ever other example or variation of the same behavior and specifically and individually condemning it.

Sexism of course is used to target people who are not female.
That doesn’t mean that when a certain variety is pervasive and predominant in your community you can’t confront that variety specifically and explicitly.

83 Justin Vacula March 4, 2013 at 4:15 am

Thanks, Michael. I look forward to having you on future episode of Brave Hero Radio! Thanks for agreeing to come on. Your openness is admirable.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bravehero
#bravehero

84 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 4:18 am

While I’m in moderation and unable to respond as swiftly as before,

Jafafa Hots – Incorrect. I am (and the members from the Slymepit are) being asked to justify what’s morally unjustifiable from the comments that Michael Nugent has conveniently quote-mined/cherry-picked. I’m saying I’m both wont to indulge in such a dishonest practice and that it’s a pointless exercise to begin with.

And if Michael has such a gripe with Justin, instead of putting it out in the open (as is prone to drama), why not just send him an email? To me, this just screams of pandering to the base and creating more drama. But I realise this is probably ‘tone-trolling’ and won’t be properly accepted as an alternative. My bad.

85 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:18 am

To answer Ted Nugent’s question, all of these are morally justifiable because they are responses in kind. Therefore, Wowbagger’s suggestion that what happens in his backyard is irrelevant fails. It’s more than relevant, it’s the whole point. You cannot be taken seriously objecting to others doing what you have done and continue to do.

86 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:19 am

And further…
“If hateful sexism is a problem, then we need to talk about it in ALL its forms.”

Individuals are being attacked. People we know and like.
We can’t object to that treatment of individuals without attaching a list of every other example of sexism directed at any gender, everywhere?

Nonsense.

87 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 4:19 am

I think an important distinction that differentiates what’s been quoted from SciBlogs/Pharyngula and what’s come from the Slymepit is purpose.

One is people expressing disaste for ideas and/or the people holding those ideas; the other is part of a campaign (or its headquarters, however you want to look at it) to prevent those attempting to change the atheist community to be more inclusive from continuing to talk about that goal and how to achieve it by bullying them into silence.

This can be illustrated by looking at who was receiving the abuse.

The former would be random, often one-off commenters at Pharyngula, many of whom were anonymous and who wouldn’t have had such comments leveled at them anywhere else, and who could escape the abuse by simply not going there.

The latter, on the other hand, are a small number of well-known, named atheist bloggers, writers and organisers who are being attacked not only on their blogs but on Twitter and Facebook and in person at events.

It’s like comparing an ice-cube to an iceberg. Sure, they’re both made out of ice…

88 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:20 am

Out of curiosity, is anyone on the FTB side willing at this late date to admit that the guy in the elevator didn’t do anything wrong? Wowbagger? Sally? PZ?

89 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:22 am

“all of these are morally justifiable because they are responses in kind.”

Please post links to FTBers creating animated GIFs of slymepitters having sex with each other, etc.

Please post links to FTBers calling for the rape of slymepitters, calling them cunts, etc.

You are lying or seriously mistaken.

90 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:24 am

Wowbagger #86

Really? Well, the purpose of Pharyngula seems to be to shout people down if they don’t subscribe to an unquestioning adherence to an extremely narrow political position; while the purpose of the Slymepit seems to be to stand up for their right to believe and say whatever they want.

91 Michael Nugent March 4, 2013 at 4:25 am

Pitchguest #84,

You weren’t in moderation for anything you wrote. Any comment with two or more links goes into moderation.

Also, I don’t have a gripe with Justin. I’m having a discussion with him.

92 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 4:27 am

Steve Vanden Eykel wrote: To answer Ted Nugent’s question…

Are you sure you know where you are? Or is that a subconscious expression of your desire to come after me with a gun?

…all of these are morally justifiable because they are responses in kind. Therefore, Wowbagger’s suggestion that what happens in his backyard is irrelevant fails. It’s more than relevant, it’s the whole point. You cannot be taken seriously objecting to others doing what you have done and continue to do.

Thanks for demonstrating your adherence to biblical morality; I guess some atheists aren’t as far from Christians as they might like to think.

93 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:27 am

Pitchguest, no matter how many times that claim is made you can’t make it true.

You are not being asked to justify the statements quoted.
Vacula is being asked (as a result of positions he has taken) which he finds unjustifiable.

YOU don’t need to answer at all, the question is not directed at you. If you choose to address the topic anyway and you find none of them justifiable, you can say “all of them are unjustifiable.”

It’s very easy.
I’m not being asked the question either, but if you want MY opinion, my answer is “all of them.”

Simple simple. Easy peasy.

94 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:27 am

Jafafa Hots: #89

Sure, just as soon as you give one example of an FTBer who lost a job because Slymepitters bullied their employer.

95 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:29 am

Wowbagger #92

Oops.

Maybe it was my subconscious equating one form of fascist nonsense with another.

96 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:31 am

Still wondering BTW if any of the FTBers can admit that the guy in the elevator did nothing wrong.

97 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 4:31 am

@52

You linked to “evidence.” I followed the link, it didn’t support what you were claiming even setting aside the age. The equivalence failed, pathetically, as do most of your efforts.

But let’s assume it was all legit and not just examples of trolls or other interlopers: I can still say the comments were inappropriate. I can recognize that discussion beyond that sort of thing happens at FtB and simultaneously say that those comments shouldn’t be made or should be rephrased. It’s not that hard.

Free speech exists in the USA. Neo-Nazis and KKK members CAN say vile things. I just don’t have to associate with them, and I criticize their speech. Arguing that because the pit is free, you can’t stand against the filth spilling out is pathetic.

98 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:33 am

“the purpose of the Slymepit seems to be to stand up for their right to believe and say whatever they want.”

I would agree with this, and they certainly do say whatever they want.

The problem seems to be that they expect to be able to say whatever they want about other people without those other people responding, and they expect to be able to say whatever they want without what they say effecting how others perceive them.

They want freedom from consequences. They are outraged that others would dare use free speech to respond to their free speech.

It doesn’t work that way, sorry. Despite their claims, they are not being censored.

They’re merely being noticed and reacted to.

99 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 4:36 am

@Wowbagger #59,
“Of course it’ll go unanswered – well, at least in terms of honest answers, that is; the only honest answer is “Well, we want those bitches and manginas to shut up because we like the atheist community just the way it is with us calling the shots and we’re happy to use misogynistic bullying if that’s what it takes to keep it that way.”

Actually I hope you, and the people like you never shut up. Speaking for myself, it is an endless source of entertainment.

I thank you for that.

100 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 4:36 am

Pharyngula commenters can be mean and rough, but it is nothing, NOTHING like the slymepit. You can call someone a fuckwit, or invite them to perform an autoerotic act with a porcupine (actually a retired meme,) but if anyone wanders in there and uses a slur based on gender, or race, or sexual orientation; if anyone engages in body-shaming; if anyone expresses glee at the thought of someone committing suicide–the regulars would pile on. And they would explain what’s wrong with comments like that. The problem isn’t that you’re insulting a specific individual in the course of a particular disagreement. It’s that you’re perpetuating easy and ugly tropes that contribute to prejudice and the marginalization of people based on inherent characteristics.

And the pitters don’t content themselves with just posting on their own forum. They troll, they vlog, they tweet, they email. They spread lies.

The SP began as a forum for hate. That’s its raison d’etre.

Imagine a forum full of comments like those above, directed at African Americans and those who fight against racial prejudice, instead of women. Imagine all the contempt, expressed by attacking people’s race. Racial instead of gender epithets. I should hope nobody would ignore that, or Cthulhu forbid defend it. Nobody would make false equivalences with Pharyngula. People would certainly call the forum members trolls who were on the margins of the movement–as people say about the Slymepit–but they wouldn’t say “oh just ignore it,” and none of its defenders would be taken seriously.

101 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:37 am

doubtthat #97

Out of curiosity, do you think your use of words like “pathetically” or “filth” is an example of inappropriate language that FTBers engage in that you can admit should be rephrased?

102 notsont March 4, 2013 at 4:37 am

Pitchguest, yeah he curses a fair bit but he still doesn’t say anything even remotely related to what you say it says. Again are you sure its the right link?

103 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 4:41 am

Michael said (#49):

If you are commenting here and you also post on The Slymepit, I would particularly welcome hearing your opinion on the specific question I have asked Justin in this post:

Which of the above specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?

Interesting question, to which, as a nefarious “Pitter” supposedly well beyond the pale (considering that I’ve been banned on several FTB sites), I think the short answer is all of them and none of them – it depends on context and which principles and definitions you subscribe to. But as a example, consider your #50 which, while it responds to a number of issues, this portion might be considered central:

I’ll call a cunt a cunt and a bitch a bitch as much as I goddamn well please, thank you.

While I will certainly agree that as a general insult it is certainly rude and crude, the question as to whether it is “morally unjustified” hinges, I think, on whether you think gendered insults are, ipso facto, sexist. And that seems to be a significant line in the sand from which this battle if not war devolves. Most if not all of the Pitters – and that probably includes at least several dozen women – seem to be of the view that it depends on context: if one says all women are cunts – or all men are pricks – then that is obviously sexist and virtually everyone there condemns it as such, and would probably view that as “morally unjustified”. However, they argue that just saying that one woman, or one man, is such is generally only expressing – as per the dictionary definition (1) – the opinion that those persons are particularly obnoxious without that in anyway implying that all women or all men are viewed that way as well. And likewise with other gendered insults.

And while I personally use them very infrequently as they are obviously ad hominems and generally don’t add much if anything to the conversation, there are cases where there is some justification for using them – as Wikipedia confirms in its discussion on the topic (2).

However, from a broader perspective in addressing your question of “morally unjustified”, one might also raise the question as to what constitutes a “just war” – an issue that has exercised the talents of various politicians, theologians, and ethicists for at least several thousand years – and what weapons and tactics are acceptable in it (3). And while I expect no one wants a “Pyrrhic victory” or to use weapons that are counterproductive, I think that at least some satire and some insults are entirely justified. But I also tend to the view that the strategies and tactics in play – including the “nasty pushback” – are less of an issue than the principles and issues that motivate them. And one might argue that those complaining most about the former are the least interested in addressing the latter.

1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cunt”;
2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Questions_about_the_notion_of_an_ad_hominem_fallacy”;
3) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_war”;

104 Steve Vanden-Eykel March 4, 2013 at 4:41 am

Stacy #100

You’re right about one thing: the two forums are nothing alike. But as someone who has read both while rarely participating in either, it’s the slymepit which stands head and shoulders above Pharyngula as a collection of level-headed and reasonable discourse. As opposed to angry ranting and bullying.

I don’t know why you don’t see it that way.

105 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:42 am

Steve, you and your friends have your forum, you have twitter, you have youtube, you have individul blogs, you post here, you post of FTB, etc.

If you’re being shouted down it doesn’t seem to have worked, does it?

I have no examples of anyone on FTB having their employer bullied into firing them.
I’ll bet you have no examples of one of your cohorts’ employers being bullied into firing them either*

*Someone being fired for what they said or did after that was brought to their employer’s attention does not count as the employer being bullied into firing them.

I used to work at Fisher-Price.
A fellow employee was fired after someone complained about the offensive thing that employee said to them.
Was Fisher-Price “bullied” into it?

Steve, you’re just being silly at this point.

106 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 4:43 am

@A Hermit #66

“Yes Andrew, as a matter of fact it does. There is a discernible pattern of especially nasty insults and harassment directed primarily at women.”

I do not see that. I see people who have opened themselves up to being treated like that by their own words being dealt with in kind. The fact that some are women is incidental to that.

“In any case it’s all nasty, abusive, cruel, completely unnecessary and deserves to be denounced in no uncertain terms. Can we at least agree on that much?”

Partially. As much as I would like to completely agree I think we have different standards. For example one of my comments is listed. Here it is #23 on the list:

Under the tennants of the Manosphere, be prepared for [named person] to get drunk, fuck some hapless beta and cry rape, rather than acknowledge she “setteled” for some “creepy” guy who she would never have looked at twice before she hit the wall.

The only part of that comment I am embarrassed about is the fact that I spelt tenets as tenants.

Here is where we can agree I think:

It is probably annoying at the very least to be on the recieving end (cue some of the comments made by welsh at me in the Slymepit) and I will take it on faith, even though I have never actually experienced it myself that some (many?) people will find it “nasty, abusive, cruel, completely unnecessary” but I would never denounce it in “no uncertain terms”.

Mainly because I see it as an attempt to shut down and silence people with a different opinion. I can not agree with that. Even when I am the target of the kind of language we are talking about, I can never agree.

What is sauce for the goose and all that.

107 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:44 am

“I don’t know why you don’t see it that way.”

Maybe it’s because of the quotes numbered 1 through 50 in the original post?

Just a guess.

108 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 4:44 am

Still wondering BTW if any of the FTBers can admit that the guy in the elevator did nothing wrong

The guy in the elevator was inconsiderate. That’s all. In telling the story, Rebecca Watson, without naming him, without attacking him personally, explained why the encounter made her uncomfortable, and said, “Guys, don’t do that.”

Apparently that upset a lot of people very badly.

I’d ask whether anyone on the ‘pit can admit Rebecca did nothing wrong. If not, I’d ask what they think she did that merited months of excoriation. But I have no reason to expect any honesty–or honest self-evaluation–from that quarter.

109 Concentratedwater, OM March 4, 2013 at 4:46 am

Martin, 32:

“I’m familiar with the heroic tale of martyrdom Abbie has constructed around herself…I’ve seen some of her own hate speech first hand, in her own blogs as well as in private emails.”

“Private emails” to whom? No accusation attached to that question pending the answer.

110 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 4:47 am

@101

No, and neither do you, unless you’re playing silly games.

111 K9 March 4, 2013 at 4:48 am

Vacula is vacuous.

His way of speaking about women reminds me of a Kook Klux Kristian saying about blacks, “I respect their race, but….”

112 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 4:48 am

“I do not see that. I see people who have opened themselves up to being treated like that by their own words being dealt with in kind.”

How does someone open themselves up to it being said of them that they should be kicked in the cunt?

How does someone open themselves up to it being said of them “I’d just call her a poison-cunt if it was me. How’s that bigotry you fucking retard mutant?”

And what “in kind” can you find at FTB?
Where on FTB do you find people being called “fat cunt” because they are ill?
Where on FTB do you find videos of opponents of FTB masturbating to photos of other opponents of FTB?

Links please.

113 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 4:50 am

@105

That’s because no one at FtB has behaved in such a way that notifying a superior of such online activity would result in any discipline.

Notice that your argument, once again, is entirely directed at the identification of poor behavior, not the poor behavior. You’re on the “no snitching” side, nice.

114 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 4:52 am

@Stacy #108
“I’d ask whether anyone on the ‘pit can admit Rebecca did nothing wrong. If not, I’d ask what they think she did that merited months of excoriation. But I have no reason to expect any honesty–or honest self-evaluation–from that quarter.”

As it so happens:
http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70001#p70001
As I recall she said no to EG and that was the end of it. Then she said “guys, do not do that” and I still did not have a problem with it.

There was a massive amount of confusing (to me anyway) back and forth going on. Head scratching stuff to me, including some guy claiming that EG had “free speech” rights. Whut?

The wheels came off when she used her power differential on Steph McGraw for disagreeing with her.
phawrongula.wikia.com/wiki/Attacks_on_Stef_McGraw

Up to that point, I really had no idea about what the hell was really going on.

Today, I strongly suspect that EG never existed. I think she made him up for and I am really certain, I am never getting on an elevator with her again, no matter what time of day or night, witness or not, CCTV or not. No way. Not happening. Nope.

115 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 4:58 am

I’ll echo what Jafafa Hots has said – if it’s about bible-style ‘eye for an eye’, as suggested so helpfully by Steve Vanden-Eykel, where’s the equivalent parody Twitter accounts of Slymepitters set up by FTBers?

Where’s the photoshopped porn?

Where’s the creepy storifying of Twitter exchanges between people on completely unrelated topics?

Where’s the fat-shaming, the racism, the trans*-shaming?

Where are the insults about appearance?

116 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 5:16 am

#97 doubtthat –

You linked to “evidence.” I followed the link, it didn’t support what you were claiming even setting aside the age. The equivalence failed, pathetically, as do most of your efforts.

Yes, pathetically. However, to draw upon my lack of privilege yet again about being, sadly, not a native speaker of the English language despite the fact that I am now, desperately, trying to make myself understood to someone who apparently can’t even read, bear with me.

Because PZ Myers have not just closed the comments on his posts, but also either hidden or removed the comment section completely, it’s not easy to confirm the instances that Aratina links to. But if he links to them and quotes the comments, the possibly what we can assume from that is that they at least existed. And if we’re to use the last resort (even though I’m sure it’ll be meaningless), we can always ask Aratina himself to support it himself. But him being partisan, I think we can conclude what the possible response would be, no?

But let’s assume it was all legit and not just examples of trolls or other interlopers: I can still say the comments were inappropriate. I can recognize that discussion beyond that sort of thing happens at FtB and simultaneously say that those comments shouldn’t be made or should be rephrased. It’s not that hard.

You seem to be unable to grasp that is what I’m trying to say. Unbelievably I’ve had to repeat the same thing now three times in a row. Let’s hope third time’s the charm.

Free speech exists in the USA. Neo-Nazis and KKK members CAN say vile things. I just don’t have to associate with them, and I criticize their speech. Arguing that because the pit is free, you can’t stand against the filth spilling out is pathetic.

What?

Again, you seem pathetically incapable of both reading and comprehending what people write. Where have I said I haven’t stood against it? I believe I’ve said many times that from the comments that Michael cherry picked, there are some comments which I vehemently disagree with. I have said so repeatedly, yet for some reason continually gets ignored.

I just haven’t specified which of them and there’s a point to that. Because a) Michael’s question is dishonest, b) it’s creating a false equivalence and c) (again) he’s using cherry picked examples to make his case. (For whatever case he’s making, I’m not really sure.) If all you do is pick the worst examples, then any place can be construed to be “abusive, shaming and very disturbing” if it happens to include people who are so inclined, and I’m not sure that the FTB/A+ clique is exempt from those … erm … “tactics.”

Wowbagger – Look, mate. Either you start providing evidence for your assertions about the ‘Pit (you wanted citations, there’s one for you – that the Slymepit is to “prevent those attempting to change the atheist community to be more inclusive from continuing to talk about that goal and how to achieve it by bullying them into silence.” Bullshit, Wowbagger. When? Where? This is exactly what I’m talking about. Speaking of which,

Stacy – continuing with the revisionism that the ‘Pit started out as a forum of hate. Two things: No, it fucking isn’t, and no, it’s not its raison d’etre. Bugger off with that. Are you frightened of actually supporting your claims with proof? There is plenty of backstory to the creation of the ‘Pit, *if* you care to look. And for crying out loud, the Slymepit is *not against the equality for women*, hence it would *not be akin to a racist forum fighting against racial prejudice.* You’re doing my fucking head in. Sort it out.

117 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 5:30 am

Wowbagger – Yes. Photoshopping. That bit of harassment. But you lost me where you once again make shit up about the Slymepit. Like, for example,

where’s the alleged photoshopped “porn” on the ‘Pit?

where’s the fat-shaming, racism and *trans shaming on the ‘Pit?

I must be blind or otherwise visually impaired, because I haven’t seen any of that in the close to five months period I’ve been there.

Also, what is this about Storifying twitter? You can’t storify twitter exchanges? Isn’t that one of the many reasons it was made? Isn’t twitter public? You know what. If you want to storify any of our twitter exchanges, go right ahead. I don’t give a monkey’s toss. To be perfectly honest, to define it as ‘harassment’ is grasping for straws.

118 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 5:34 am

Stacy @ 100 wrote, “And the pitters don’t content themselves with just posting on their own forum. They troll, they vlog, they tweet, they email. They spread lies.”

Alas, no less than is, say, Ophelia’s personal blog her forum is a pitter’s vlog her forum. The same is true of Twitter, and email. And it’s entirely possible to troll from those places.

Stacy @ 108 wrote, “The guy in the elevator was inconsiderate.”
That’s your (and Watson’s) opinion; unsurprising should it be to learn that your personal hangups about where a person is entitled to speak to you in public fails to generalize. It’s almost as though the population of the planet wasn’t created to accommodate you and her or something.

” That’s all. In telling the story, Rebecca Watson, without naming him,”
That’s a clever way of saying without providing an independently verifiable source of information which could, Watson continued to give her personal testimony about someone else which has to be accepted only on her say-so. Anecdotes, one notes, aren’t very reliable in the way of evidence. Even less so when the person telling it is relating an event that happened at the end of a long night’s drinking. In your experience, does alcohol tend to improve or impair memory, judgment, perception and higher cognitive abilities?

Also, it’s peculiar that she would withhold a name given the ‘always name names’ mentality that was back then so very prevalent.

“and said, ‘Guys, don’t do that.'”

Swell. What statements that include all women and no men are acceptable for a man to say to a woman as a way of letting women know what it is they’re not entitled to do? For a group of people who claim to be oh so concerned about sexism, it is odd that that statement has been given a free pass.

So, please fill in the blank with that’s acceptable: gals, you may not do ____.

119 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 5:38 am

“So, please fill in the blank with that’s acceptable: gals, you may not do ____.”

How about “the exact same thing”?

Is that good enough?

120 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 5:40 am

Pitchguest wrote: where’s the fat-shaming, racism and *trans shaming on the ‘Pit? I must be blind or otherwise visually impaired, because I haven’t seen any of that in the close to five months period I’ve been there.

Seriously? I guess you need your vision checked, since it’s right at the top of this very page. From the comments Michael has quoted, numbers 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 20, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 34, 39, 41, 42, 44, 48 and 50.

121 Sally Strange March 4, 2013 at 5:43 am

So, perhaps we can now start having the discussion about how the reasoning works that says that if those people over there are being terribly mean and abusive, that means that you should be mean and abusive too.

122 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 5:46 am

Jafafa Hots – What Andrew means is that when you dish it out, you should sometimes expect to get dished back. If I said something incredibly stupid and dinghy and (stretching it here) offensive, then if someone said an equally stupid and dinghy and offensive thing back to me, would I deserve it? Maybe. Would it be expected? Very yes. However, if they got back to me with equal measure but then afterwards doubled back and lectured me in how I shouldn’t make such comments, well, I’d be well in line to call them a hypocrite, now wouldn’t I?

Case in point: lecturing members of the Slymepit in conjunction with the comments made on FTB/A+/old Scienceblogs. So and so.

Also, are you seriously asking us to provide evidence of people actively trying to get people from “our side” fired? Erm. Does Greg Laden ring a bell? Does Stephanie Zvan? Melody Hensley? Three people off the top of my head that I remember who actively, or threatened, to get people fired. They were not very subtle at all. Then, of course, there’s the various remarks, like “get off the rag, Becky, and kiss my ass”, “if I ever see you in person, I’m going to kick your ass”, the victim blaming, gaslighting. All is not roses and rainbows in FTB/Skepchick and A+.

123 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 5:46 am

Jafafa Hots:

Very well then.

Gals, do not leave a bar at 4 in the morning, invite someone back to your hotel room and then take no for answer before harmlessly going on your way. It would be wrong of you.

(gosh, I hope that doesn’t leave me open to a charge of trying to tell women when, where and with whom they are permitted to speak in public)

124 Chas StewartIt' March 4, 2013 at 5:47 am

Not sure that I qualify as a Slymepitter because I’ve only posted a few times but I view it often. Michael, you were quite right to explain that not all of the ‘Pitters comment in this fashion but you might also add that there are about a bajillion posts on that uncensored board and so very many of these posts are more than tame. In fact, it’s a community that cares for one another with donations in times of need and general comments of concern for each others’ issues outside of the atheo/skeptic drama.

But to answer your question: I can’t think of a moral justification for these comments (though I must admit that I didn’t find them to be that over-board in relation to general comments on the internet. Reddit sucks). The atheo/skeptic world would be a far better place if we didn’t result to such childish and hurtful tactics that don’t persuade either side to analyse their own actions and change accordingly.

Shouldn’t you be looking at the interactions between the ‘Pitters and the main actors (including Skepchick/FTB/A+ commenters) instead of a place where they spend their time grousing and joking with one another? I don’t think that the ‘Pit or the Atheism+ forums are the real problem but I could be persuaded. After all, people could refrain from going to the pit if they don’t like this community but many times they are contacted outside the Pit and are treated roughly.

Also, it seems like your leading Justin down a primrose path by restricting his possible answers so tightly.

125 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 5:49 am

“(gosh, I hope that doesn’t leave me open to a charge of trying to tell women when, where and with whom they are permitted to speak in public)”

Nope. It just opens you up to a charge of deliberately distorting the interaction and omitting pertinent details.

As you are wont to do.

126 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 5:49 am

Wowbagger – Look. I understand that you don’t get it, since Michael just picked these examples without providing the appropriate context or adding the much-needed sarcasm tag to some of them to indicate that they’re not being serious in the slightest, but most of the comments you cite are, in fact, not serious in the slightest.

Sorry to disappoint. This is why I keep saying that cherry picking examples is betraying a sceptical principle, which I believe Michael understood all too well but decided to go through with anyway. The temptations of partisanship was all too great, I suppose.

127 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 5:53 am

“Nope. It just opens you up to a charge of deliberately distorting the interaction and omitting pertinent details.”

Which part of what I said is inaccurate? If you think I’m omitting something of moment, I can only surmise that you’d be referencing the alleged-to-have-happened event happening inside an elevator. If so, then feel free to append to my early admonishment to women that they are especially cautioned against doing any of the aforementioned things if the geometry properties of the space in which the conversation is happening aren’t to the liking of the one to whom these women would be speaking.

128 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 6:00 am

Jafafa Hots #112 “How’s that bigotry you fucking retard mutant?”

This made me lol IRL.

“How does someone open themselves up to it being said of them that they should be kicked in the cunt?”

You decide. The “If I was a girl, I’d kick her in the cunt. Cunt.” business would be found here:
http://greylining.com/2011/11/10/morphology-of-that-comment/

“Where on FTB do you find people being called “fat cunt” because they are ill?
Where on FTB do you find videos of opponents of FTB masturbating to photos of other opponents of FTB?

Links please.”

Yes links please. Espcially the one about the video. I missed those.

129 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 6:00 am

“Jafafa Hots – What Andrew means is that when you dish it out, you should sometimes expect to get dished back. ”

Yes, I understood that.
Let’s leave aside for the moment the dubious implied assertion that “an eye for an eye” is a moral stance, as Wowbagger has mentioned.

Let’s go straight to the part of my comment that you ignore.
Lets repeat it.

Where is the example of FTBers dishing out photoshopped porn of slymepitters?

Where is the example of FTBers dishing out “fat cunt” imsults to an ill person because of their illness?

Where is the example of FTBers dishing out ““I’d just call her a poison-cunt if it was me. How’s that bigotry you fucking retard mutant?”

Where is the example of FTBers dishing out “Because you [named person] are a shallow unkempt fat fuck cunt desperately trying to prolong the pathetically unfortunate and entirely accidental amount of celebrity you’ve somehow managed to acquire.?”

I’m going to be charitable and assume that while you were typing your response to my comment, the contents of that comment you were replying to slipped your mind and that’s why your response failed to address my comment you were replying to.

I’m afraid that if you again assert that slymepitters calling people “fat cunts” and “retards” and such is pushback for similar comments from FTBers, I might just have to conclude that you are being deliberately dishonest.

130 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 6:04 am

Sally Strange said (#121):

So, perhaps we can now start having the discussion about how the reasoning works that says that if those people over there are being terribly mean and abusive, that means that you should be mean and abusive too.

You might wish to actually increase your store of knowledge instead of relying on hearsay, prejudices, dogma, and conventional wisdom. Here’s an article (1) on the policy of “tit for tat”, a salient portion of which is this:

[It] is an English saying meaning “equivalent retaliation”. It is also a highly effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The strategy was first introduced by Anatol Rapoport in Robert Axelrod’s two tournaments, held around 1980. Notably, it was (on both occasions) both the simplest strategy and the most successful.

Turning the other cheek only has a limited range of application, particularly once one runs out of cheeks to turn. In other words, “After you, Alphonse” ….

1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat”

131 franc March 4, 2013 at 6:07 am

“If I was a girl I would kick [named person] in the cunt. cunt.”

So sick of this being bandied around, and you show your failure as both a skeptic and a Freethinker by NOT actually researching it. For the umpteenth time, here is the context and background –

http://greylining.com/2011/11/10/morphology-of-that-comment/

It is a gift that keeps on giving. In this case, it clearly highlights you Michael, as one that just mindlessly repeats gossip rather than objectively analysing it. This is the BEST example of what quote mining amounts to in this entire debate. What you omit by willful ignorance is that it was in response to direct attacks aimed at another participant in the community that sought to destroy both her character and her career. Your priorities are bizarre, almost Paris Hilton like.

132 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 6:13 am

” If you think I’m omitting something of moment, I can only surmise that you’d be referencing the alleged-to-have-happened event happening inside an elevator.”

How about the fact that “elevator guy” was present when the woman he approached mentioned that she didn’t like such approaches, and when she said she was tired and going to bed?

It’s interesting that you set out a ground rule that anything said in the elevator is not to be trusted, when the very scenario you paint as acceptable happened wholly within that elevator.

So you ACCEPT the parts of the elevator interaction that you deem acceptable as having happened as “harmless” but those parts that you CAN’T defend you call ‘alleged” etc.

Yeah, you can assume I’m referring to the “alleged to have happened in the elevator” incident when I’m responding to your comment that consists solely of your interpretation of that “alleged” incident.

It would be kind of silly for me NOT to be referring to an incident that was the sole subject of your comment.

133 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 6:14 am

Jafafa Hots – Honestly. Leave out the “gendered” slurs (like cunt, twat, etc) and what do you have left? “Die in a fire”, “I will break your fucking spine”, “I will cut you, you stupid fucking troll” and so on and so forth. I’m sure I can find more.

I don’t know of any “photoshopped porn” on the ‘Pit.

Or “fat cunt” said in correlation to an illness. Maybe you could source that?

You already know many members of the ‘Pit have no qualms with “cunt” or “twat” and don’t generally consider them “gendered” slurs, so the user “cunt” using an insult with the word “cunt” in it is hardly shocking. But the equivalent of something on FTB (that is, without the “gendered” slur), I’d say most things by Brownian (or Anthony K as he calls himself now [by the way, did you know he actually outed himself as Anthony K four years prior to when he claims Reap “doxxed” him? Amazing.]) That guy has issues. Second to that, Josh the Spokesgay. They’re second to eachother in how often they wish to see their opponents either dead or mutilated in some violent way. But I digress. We’re not here to have a pissing contest. Besides, it’s irrelevant, and this will be the fourth time I will say this. Do I need to repeat myself a fifth time for it to register?

134 Kevin Solway March 4, 2013 at 6:15 am

So what point are you trying to make?

That people on both sides should be more civil?

I don’t think that suggestion is going to make people on both sides more civil.

135 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 6:17 am

Jafafa Hots #129
“I’m afraid that if you again assert that slymepitters calling people “fat cunts” and “retards” and such is pushback for similar comments from FTBers, I might just have to conclude that you are being deliberately dishonest.”

I would have to conclude that you are being willfully stupid or being stupidly scincere.

See how that works?

Anyway, here is a fairly civil comment I cherry picked and quote mined at random just for you:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/07/01/preemptive-disclosure/comment-page-1/#comment-383252
“Good for you, cupcake. Don’t humiliate people to your heart’s content. Wallow in not making them feel small. Enjoy yourself. Just don’t insist the rest of us follow your lead.”

Are you starting to “get it”?

136 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 6:24 am

“Yes links please. Espcially the one about the video. I missed those.”

Andrew, Michael Nugent listed 50 things he found on the slymepit. The video is one of the things listed.

Are you calling Michael Nugent a liar? Or did you just jump right into the comments to fight the FTBers without even having read the blog post?

Seriously… I’m quoting items from Michael’s list.
If you’re going to demand links, maybe demand them of HIM.
Or argue with HIM.

Source it? OK.
My source: THE BLOG POST we’re responding to.

Try reading it. If you question the veracity of the parts I am quoting, the honest thing to do would be to demand a source from the author, not a commenter referencing the blog post he’s commenting on.

I mean… seriously. Come on now.

137 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 6:24 am

Jafafa Hots – By the way, Jafafa, weren’t there a stink about how Dan Fincke’s civility pledge was bullshit because how it allegedly intended to police language just in order so people could say horrible things in a polite manner?

So if that’s true, then what does it matter if the Slymepit should feature a bit of crass language? If all FTB should lack is crass language (read: it doesn’t), then the only difference is that FTB say nasty and abusive things in a polite manner? I don’t think that’s right, and besides it seems that wouldn’t sit right with you guys in the FTB clique anyway. But as long as you guys don’t say naughty words like “cunt”, it’s all good. Right?

138 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 6:29 am

Jafafa Hots @ 132: “How about the fact that “elevator guy” was present when the woman he approached mentioned that she didn’t like such approaches, and when she said she was tired and going to bed?”

I hate having to continually point out the blatantly obvious to people, but (1) Watson had been drinking for hours before the supposed incident, (2) she claims to suffer from prosopagnosia. How then was she able to determine that the alleged-to-exist guy in the elevator was someone she had previously seen, let alone seen attending her talk and seen in the bar?

Even granting that someone spoke to her in an elevator, the fact she claims to be able to identify him as someone she’d seen much earlier in the day and later on while she was drinking is inconsistent with her claims. You’ll pardon me if I quite properly dismiss the notion she was able to identify the man, unless, of course, you’d like me to suppose that she’s lied about having a medical condition (which in turn calls into question if she might have invented this guy in the same way she invented having a brain disease).

Pick your poison.

“It’s interesting that you set out a ground rule that anything said in the elevator is not to be trusted, when the very scenario you paint as acceptable happened wholly within that elevator.”

I have no information that anything happened in that elevator, which is precisely why I prefaced that with “alleged-to-have-happened”.

“So you ACCEPT the parts of the elevator interaction that you deem acceptable as having happened as “harmless” but those parts that you CAN’T defend you call ‘alleged””

No. I dismiss the entire story out of hand for the reasons, among others, I’ve specified on this very comment page: absence of a reason to suppose that the story is true.

139 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 6:31 am

“Good for you, cupcake. Don’t humiliate people to your heart’s content. Wallow in not making them feel small. Enjoy yourself. Just don’t insist the rest of us follow your lead.”

Yeah, I can totally see how that comment which does not target any specific individual with insults (other than the word ‘cupcake’) is equivalent to and jusifies calling people cunts, saying their illness is due to them being fat cunts, photoshopping their heads into porn, and responding to someone’s concerns about rape by linking to a video of a comedian saying ‘Have you ever noticed that it’s your ugliest friend that’s the most afraid of being raped?’

If we’re not here to have a pissing contest, Pitchguest, I’d suggest that you stop pissing all over.

I have been referring to the content of Michael’s post. The one we’re commenting on.

You have been referring to ANYTHING BUT.

Anyhow, good night, I’m off to watch a movie.

140 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

Kevin Solway said (#134):

So what point are you trying to make?

That people on both sides should be more civil?

I don’t think that suggestion is going to make people on both sides more civil.

Apart from the question of who it is that you’re responding to (generally considered considerate if not wise to reference the post you’re responding to), as I noted in my previous post (#130), people are generally going to be civil if they realize that if they aren’t then people aren’t going to be that way with them. Their choice.

Personally, I would recommend some [more] apologies to start [keep] the ball rolling ….

141 Jafafa Hots March 4, 2013 at 6:39 am

Pitchguest, if you can’t see the distinction between being rude to someone due to their behavior and using harsh language about that, and using racist slurs, sexist slurs, ableist slurs, fat-shaming, etc. (not to mention the photoshopping and such) then there is nothing we’re going to agree on.
In my book, bigoted comments are beyond the bounds of decency and not the equivalent of harshness and dismissivenes towards an individual.
Bigoted comments target and harm EVERYONE within that group.
You’re not starting to “get it.”

I hope someday you will.

Good night.

142 Kevin Solway March 4, 2013 at 6:40 am

@Steersman

I was responding to the main blog post, which was why I didn’t specify who I was responding to.

I don’t think apologies are realistic, since many people on both sides are very angry, and deeply oppose the culture of the other side.

Mere apologies are not going to make that deep rift disappear.

143 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 6:40 am

Jafafa Hots – You mean these?

45. A video animation of a named person masturbating over a computer image of another named person.
46. A video of a named person edited make it seem as if he is telling another named person to suck his dick.
47. A video of a named person edited to make it seem as if she is saying that she had sex with another named person.

Yeah. Compelling proof all around. Is this the alleged “photoshopped porn” that’s being touted? Since Michael Nugent’s summaries are both lacking in description and accuracy, I suppose a neutral bystander would walk away with the belief that members of the Slymepit photoshop “porn” (even though I suspect what the first is a depiction of, and it is certainly not as graphic as Michael’s description makes it out to be – but again, I guess he couldn’t help himself).

The first “video” is a gif image of PZ Myers’ avatar super-imposed onto another gif image having a wank over something, with the avatar looking at a picture of Watson. Some porn, eh. And actually, even describing it myself it sounds much more graphic than it actually is, because it just isn’t graphic at all. It’s more the implication of a wank.

The second video I don’t know what, I’m guessing it’s another gif image, and the third video I don’t know what either. As I said before, I’m not privy to every little nook and cranny. If anyone has a better memory than I do, go ahead and link.

144 franc March 4, 2013 at 6:41 am

Funny elevator guy regurgitating.

I have poltergeists in my house. How dare you not believe me!

What exactly is the difference?

145 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 6:44 am

Jafafa Hots, #136

“Are you calling Michael Nugent a liar? Or did you just jump right into the comments to fight the FTBers without even having read the blog post?”

Nope. I simply misunderstood. I actually thought you had links to videos I had not seen (not that I watch too many). Also, I do not consider myself to be fighting. I almost never do. For the most part I am content to let other people make up their own minds.

“I mean… seriously. Come on now.”

What happened to your blog? I just went there and got this message:

“Sorry, the blog at jafafahots.blogspot.com has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs”

146 16bitheretic March 4, 2013 at 6:47 am

As I see this back and forth in these comments over the content posted on and the claims of misogyny emanating from the Slymepit, I decided to give my perspective as a woman who has chosen to join and post on a supposed den of misogynists, rape-enablers, chill girls and whatever else many who post on the Slymepit have been called.

In the sort of no-holds-barred environment that is the Slymepit, with it’s openness of dialogue, the only one who can reasonably be held responsible for any content is the actual author of that content (so anyone expecting Justin Vacula to answer for someone else’s published content on a site he has no editorial authority over seems silly to me). While some would characterize and strawman the Pit as a bunch of angry white privileged men, the truth is there’s a fairly wide diversity in race and nationality, and also in political and social philosophies. When you have that sort of mix there are going to be things said which cross the bounds from satire to tasteless vitriol. We’ve even had arguments about this sort of thing within the Pit itself and the only resolution which has held up as a solid practice is to allow all members to speak their minds unfiltered by the hands of a censorious overseer, with the understanding that they may be called out or criticized for their statements by someone who’s likely not going to censor their own language to protect someone else’s delicate feelings.

Has some of the content of the Slymepit crossed over into mean and tasteless in my opinion? Sure. Have I personally posted things which others would consider to be over the line? I suppose so, even though nobody has told me so directly I imagine that after a few months I’ve stepped on someone else’s toes at least once. If someone were to call me out I know full well that’s the consequence of the freedom I have there. With the freedom to say whatever I want, however I want, I get the benefit in return that I am treated as a responsible, independent adult, capable of defending myself and being judged on an individual basis for my behavior without anyone trying to defend my honor over my gender, race or whatever other status one could list.

See, the main thing that drove me nuts about and drove me away from communities such as FTB/A+/Skepchick, which are so quick and eager to shame and label the opposition with terms like misogynist, is that they overwhelmingly held to these positions of conduct which I felt were more misogynist and infantilizing than anything I’d ever read on the Pit, even if they appear to be more sanitized and friendly on the surface.

The bloggers, commenters and posters in these sorts of sites cry foul anytime someone so much as utters certain monosyllabic slurs like “cunt” or “bitch”. They do this without even so much as noticing that they are seemingly coming from a position that us poor, oppressed womenfolk are too delicate to handle reading those words, that we’re brainwashed by teh menz into self-oppressive behavior, that we’re incapable of analyzing whether or not the words are taken in proper context of use and intent, and whether or not the person using the words comes from a region where usage of certain slurs is held in a different light than in our rather uptight US-centric viewpoint.

This sort of benevolent sexism is just as bad to me as if I heard someone say “All women are bitches and ho’s”. I am NOT a series of victimhood points, to be measured and compared against other people’s victimhood points stats like a roleplaying game before we decide who wins the battle by virtue of statistically forcing the holder of the opposing idea to “check their privilege”. Getting into a puritanical uproar over monosyllabic slurs without a proper analysis of the why and how they are used is the sort of childish mindset I expect from fundamentalist clerics, not supposed freethinkers and skeptics.

And finally, while many claim the content of the Slymepit is overtly mean and threatening (and I’ve just admitted right here and on the Pit itself that some of the content has crossed the line of good taste) let’s not pretend that the opposition is free of being in the dirt as well. One could note the case of Francisco Bacopa who actually proposed the idea of stalking people in real life in the Texas region on Butterflies and Wheels’ comments section, a comment which passed through Ophelia Benson’s filter when she’s more than happy to memory hole content in her comments from many other people.

So I ask, is it fair to criticize an almost completely unmoderated zone like the Slymepit for it’s content while simultaneously glossing over and apologizing for the editor-approved content that could be viewed in the same light in opposing spaces?

147 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 6:52 am

Jafafa Hots #139
“Yeah, I can totally see how that comment which does not target any specific individual with insults (other than the word ‘cupcake’) is equivalent to and jusifies calling people cunts, saying their illness is due to them being fat cunts, photoshopping their heads into porn, and responding to someone’s concerns about rape by linking to a video of a comedian saying ‘Have you ever noticed that it’s your ugliest friend that’s the most afraid of being raped?’”

Actually, what I was trying to show is that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

If you can dish it out, do not cry when it is your ox that is being gored.

“Anyhow, good night, I’m off to watch a movie.”

Too bad. Seeing as your blog is down, and rather than continue to clog up the works here, I suggest you come on down to the Slymepit.

No one is going to censor you, or ban you. And you can (if you so desire) string together as many profanities as you feel like.

I will not get offended. Promise.

148 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 6:54 am

Jafafa Hots – Let me be absolutely clear. I have never once used racist, sexist or ableist slurs in ways to imply I’m being sincere or otherwise not joking. I’ve never fat-shamed anyone and I’ve never *trans shamed anyone. So now that’s the out of the way, I’d just like to say that if the rhetoric is that polite language is good to a point, then what use is there to denigrate others for using just a notch less polite language than you currently employ?

People using the words “cunt” and “twat”, acknowledging that these are not the always “gendered” or “sexist” epithets they’ve been made out to be, should therefore not be considered persona non grata just for the single offense of using these words. Especially if you’re going to use that as a point against the Slymepit, while holding FTB with its less crass but equally volatile language as a moral arbiter. I’m sorry, but it’s either two for two, or none. Either one is permitted, or none is permitted. Saying (for example) “I will cut you, you stupid fucking troll” is acceptable (or not equivalent) simply because it doesn’t include a “gendered” slur is, well, reaching. Maybe not as far as reaching goes, but reaching nonetheless.

149 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 6:58 am

Sorry, should’ve included a line, to rephrase (the line is in bold):

“So now that’s out of the way, I’d just like to say that if the rhetoric is that polite language is good to a point, and if we both have the same principles of charity (i.e. don’t be racist, sexist, ableist, etc) and would use more passionate language to get across when polite language doesn’t anymore, then what use is there to denigrate others for using just a notch less polite language than you currently employ?

150 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 7:02 am

Andrew said (#128):

”Links please.”

Yes links please. Especially the one about the video. I missed those.

You probably know this, but for those who don’t, all you have to do is search for some phase that Michael has quoted – they seem to be verbatim. Which I think even “Guests” can do. But for instance, #17 in his list:

I’d just call her a poison-cunt if it was me. How’s that bigotry you fucking retard mutant?

And that was from: “cunt » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:30 pm • [Post 32202]” (1) While he tends to be rather terse in providing context, it seems that he was referring to a post by “HaifischGeweint” on Crommunist’s blog [FTB] in which she seemed (2) to be arguing “against criminalizing nondisclosure of HIV status” (3). If that is really the case then one might argue that “poison-cunt” was being charitable.

Maybe some justification for the argument that sometimes insults are entirely justified.

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=34110#p34110”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=34328&sid=0cb31f001ffa882e247569c09532838a#p34328”;
3) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/crommunist/2012/12/05/hivaids-stigma-canadian-edition-lite/”

151 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 7:19 am

franc said (#144):

Funny elevator guy regurgitating.

I have poltergeists in my house. How dare you not believe me!

What exactly is the difference?

Just a little bit disingenuous, is it not, franc? Elevators are known to exist and there is all sorts of evidence that they are not single-person occupancy, and it is entirely plausible that people might converse in them. Why, I’ve even been known to do so myself! The case for poltergeists seems a little more tenuous, to say the least.

Seems to me that it is far more credible and tenable to concede that the incident happened, but to then criticize Rebecca Watson for the apparent arrogance in presuming to speak for all women.

152 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 7:23 am

@Steersman #150

Thanks for those you windy gasbag.

Yes I must admit that even though you are the wind beneath my wings, I was slightly wounded when someone made the odious comparison that you were a model of clarity and brevity in comparison to my clear, crisp, point by point, step by step logical and appropriately referenced and sourced (not to mention resourced) arguments and claims.

But just a bit.

I am also awaiting your point and counterpoint to my latest missive, where you will no doubt find some minor nitpick to pick at at copious length.

Do remember to drop by when you have finished tormenting some hapless yahoo elsewhere, or even here.

153 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 7:34 am

Pitchguest wrote: Wowbagger – Look. I understand that you don’t get it, since Michael just picked these examples without providing the appropriate context or adding the much-needed sarcasm tag to some of them to indicate that they’re not being serious in the slightest, but most of the comments you cite are, in fact, not serious in the slightest.

You left a something out of that, notably ‘in my opinion’. Because, although you mightn’t have noticed, there are people in this world who aren’t you and who don’t share that opinion.

Anyway, I suggest you – and anyone else doubting the veracity of my claim that the two ‘sides’ are anything but equal in what they dish out – should check out this thread at Almost Diamonds for a more thorough listing of what it is I’ve referred to in post #115.

Be warned: very NSFW. But that’s just a bit of harmless fun, right?

154 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 7:45 am

16bitheretic said (#146):

…. Getting into a puritanical uproar over monosyllabic slurs without a proper analysis of the why and how they are used is the sort of childish mindset I expect from fundamentalist clerics, not supposed freethinkers and skeptics. ….

Amen, sister; well said.

Michael, I hope you are willing and able to pay particularly close attention to the rest of what she has said, particularly since PZ Myers has made a great to-do about demanding that everyone “listen to the women”. Advice which he has repeatedly refused to follow – links available on request – whenever they say something that doesn’t comport with his own dogma. As I’ve argued earlier, the issue is less with language and “nasty pushbacks”, than it is with some significant and important principles.

155 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

Steersman – Time and a place, mate. Time and a place.

I can safely say that the commentariat at Pharyngula are either a) morons or b) illiterate. Or c) both. I explicitly say many times that the tweet by EllenBeth was not what was “hateful” and “abusive”, but rather her recognising herself that she opens herself up for retaliation. But what I do know, I only learned English after I learned two other languages. I must be stupid.

As for the comments on the old Scienceblogss comment section, again, it seems comprehension is a problem for the Pharyngulites. I didn’t link to it in a vain effort to say ‘tu quoque!’, but rather to prove that we’re not all of us perfect and pure and pristine. Evidently even the self-appointed social justice warriors can make mistakes, and dear me are they ever. But that’s not the point. The point is that we (the members of the Slymepit) are having our feet held over a furnace and asked to testify for alleged crimes, which is just absurd. And yes, I’m also highlighting the hypocrisy of being lectured to by people who apparently often wishes to shove objects up other people’s rectum. Just saying.

(And to channel Chris Clarke one more time, I’m not making a false equivalence, and if you think so then you’re obviously too dimwitted to comprehend.)

I wasn’t whining about the moderation either, just acknowledging it. But it’s good to know that you think FTB’s moderation is draconian as well.

156 Wowbagger March 4, 2013 at 7:47 am

Pop quiz: are these two equally bad when delivered to someone you know is a woman?

1) Fuck off asshole, I hope someone kills you!
2) Fuck off cunt, I hope someone rapes you!

Yes/no?

Because it’s what underlies that point we’re trying to make – the very same, very important point you’re very carefully evading – that all insults aren’t equal. You’d like people to think that ‘asshole’ is equivalent to ‘cunt’ – but it’s not. No more than it’s equivalent to ‘nigger’ or ‘kike’ or ‘raghead’ or ‘paki’ or ‘darkie’ (seen on the slymepit not too many days ago, incidentally) or ‘faggot’.

They. Aren’t. Equal.

157 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 7:58 am

Wowbagger – Yes, of course, disproving my claims of quote-mined and cherry picked examples, you provide a link to Stephanie Zvan’s with some more quote-mined and cherry picked examples. You’re a clever one. You’ll go far, I can tell.

You might have had a point if both Michael Nugent’s and Stephanie Zvan’s screeds weren’t just picking the seemingly worst examples of an unmoderated forum where no one gets banned and posts aren’t edited or removed, but they didn’t and you don’t. They both pick the examples which to them, apparently, examplarize the ‘Pit and its denizens and that’s the end of it. A biased, partisan look into the nature of the forum and shock and horror, it’s just what you’d expect. If I were equally dishonest, I could look up the worst examples of FTB, compile a list and say ‘look! This is the abusive, shaming and very disturbing (portion of) FTB’ (Of course I won’t include the part in brackets. I’m supposed to be dishonest, you see.) Pull the other one.

158 franc March 4, 2013 at 8:06 am

Steersman:

franc said (#144):

Funny elevator guy regurgitating.

I have poltergeists in my house. How dare you not believe me!

What exactly is the difference?

Just a little bit disingenuous, is it not, franc?

I have creepy sound effects mp3s. Again, what difference?

159 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 8:07 am

AndrewV69 said (#152):

@Steersman #150

Thanks for those you windy gasbag.

:-) De nada; my mother was apparently frightened by some bagpipes while she was carrying me ….

Yes I must admit that even though you are the wind beneath my wings, I was slightly wounded when someone made the odious comparison that you were a model of clarity and brevity in comparison to my clear, crisp, point by point, step by step logical and appropriately referenced and sourced (not to mention resourced) arguments and claims.

But just a bit..

:-) You exaggerate just a tad as I certainly don’t recollect being “accused” of any “clarity and brevity”, even in comparison to anyone.

I am also awaiting your point and counterpoint to my latest missive, where you will no doubt find some minor nitpick to pick at at copious length.

I might not have time to do it justice right away, in part because I might have to review some statistics in order to evaluate that paper you provided on mathematics scores in high school students around the world, but I’ve certainly been giving a few points some thought.

160 John Morales March 4, 2013 at 8:13 am

Pitchguest:

I can safely say that the commentariat at Pharyngula are either a) morons or b) illiterate. Or c) both.

Safely as in you’ll come to no harm by it, sure.

Confidently, perhaps — but alas for you, such confidence is inversely proportional to its verity.

161 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 8:14 am

Wowbagger – Goodness. Saying I didn’t want to turn this into a pissing contest, you seem very willing to turn this into a pissing contest. But for the sake of argument, removing the “gendered” slur, the wish for someone to die is obviously much worse than rape, no? Or wait, is that a “Dear Muslima” argument? I forget. Nevermind. It doesn’t matter.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re still working on the impression that everyone in the world thinks like you do. Ironically since you just lectured me on a similar infraction. “Cunt” in some parts of the world has no power to shock you. In some parts of the world, it’s even considered an endearing term. “Twat” has even less power. “Minge” lesser still. It’s certainly not the ever-sexist epithet you, Ophelia and many FTB regulars tout it as. Ophelia herself even acknowledges it’s not a sexist epithet wherever you go, but I guess for the sake of rhetoric, you must keep it up for appearances sake. Otherwise what would other people think?

162 16bitheretic March 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

Wowbagger, I don’t honestly see the difference if someone calls me asshole or calls me cunt. Both terms are words of elevated offense power as decided by a society with a puritanical past of aversion to bodily functions. Both are words which are used solely for the purpose of being offensive regardless of any dictionary meaning. Also any sort of “I hope you [insert horrible thing]” just come across as the rantings of an emotionally distressed person who is trying hard to intentionally offend without aiming at more eloquent vocabulary. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hope for rape or a hope for murder, it’s the same childish lashing out that is meaningless and I’d look down upon the speakers of either phrase equally.

But the fact is that my ownership of a vagina doesn’t automatically mean I need more protection from words of offensive power. To think all women do is upholding the narrative of the damsel who needs extra barriers to defend them. I don’t, I’m an individual whose capabilities are determined by my own thinking and ability to deal with my opposition in any debate or conflict, not by what’s between my legs and on my chest.

163 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

franc said (#158):

Steersman:
franc said (#144):

Funny elevator guy regurgitating. I have poltergeists in my house. How dare you not believe me! What exactly is the difference?

Just a little bit disingenuous, is it not, franc?

I have creepy sound effects mp3s. Again, what difference?

Elevators and people are real tangible entities, and sexual attraction is a known factor; poltergeists are not on both accounts. Much easier to believe – higher degrees of probability – that two people had a conversation in the former – happens probably thousands if not millions of times a day – than it is to believe that anyone saw or had a two-way conversation with the latter.

164 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 8:22 am

John Morales – Well, I’m willing to compromise. Maybe characterizing the Pharyngulites as ‘morons’ was stressing it, so I’ll give you that. But if you keep insisting that I’ve characterized EllenBeth’s tweets as “abusive and hateful” as well as insisting that I linked to the old Pharyngula just to say, “Pharyngula does it, too, so it’s ok!” then you’re illiterate. Deal?

165 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 8:25 am

John Morales #160 “Confidently, perhaps — but alas for you, such confidence is inversely proportional to its verity.”

But not enough to appreciate bad prose, apparently.

166 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 8:34 am

Getting into a puritanical uproar over monosyllabic slurs without a proper analysis of the why and how they are used

Nobody has ever–ever–gotten into a “puritanical uproar” over the slurs pitters use. Our argument is that words like cunt (used as an epithet) and bitch are sexist.

I won’t argue the point here. There’s no point. Ya’ll have heard the argument many times and continue to ignore it in favor of strawmen about puritanism.

167 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

Wowbagger said (#156):

Pop quiz: are these two equally bad when delivered to someone you know is a woman?

1) Fuck off asshole, I hope someone kills you!
2) Fuck off cunt, I hope someone rapes you!

Yes/no?

They. Aren’t. Equal.

Was that a recent encyclical promulgated by Pope Myers? Guess I and the rest of the Pitters missed that – you happen to have a copy you could forward to us?

Just because you think they – including the racist epithets – aren’t equal, depending on context, is absolutely no reason whatsoever that everyone else has to think likewise. Bloody arrogant of you and others to think that should be the case – and which is a substantial part of the reason why the Pit criticizes PZ and company.

168 John Morales March 4, 2013 at 8:38 am

But if you keep insisting that I’ve characterized EllenBeth’s tweets as “abusive and hateful” as well as insisting that I linked to the old Pharyngula just to say, “Pharyngula does it, too, so it’s ok!” then you’re illiterate.

<sigh>

Deal?

Sure. I’m illiterate.

<snicker>

169 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 8:41 am

Stacy – Yes, and many ‘pitters argue that they’re not always sexist. You’re right, there’s no point in belabouring the point. It’s been done.

John Morales – Okay then.

170 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

Also, are you seriously asking us to provide evidence of people actively trying to get people from “our side” fired? Erm. Does Greg Laden ring a bell? Does Stephanie Zvan? Melody Hensley? Three people off the top of my head that I remember who actively, or threatened, to get people fired.

Yes, you need to provide evidence. Just making the claim and naming people is not evidence.

To the best of my knowledge the closest any of those people came to trying to get anyone fired was Stephanie Zvan’s petition to the SCA to remove Vacula from his volunteer role as co-chair of the executive council of the Pennsylvania chapter. Anybody interested in why that petition was circulated, and why over 900 people signed it, can read about it here: http://www.change.org/petitions/secular-coalition-for-america-remove-justin-vacula-from-a-leadership-position-in-the-pa-chapter-of-sca

171 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 9:03 am

@Andrew V69

The wheels came off when she used her power differential on Steph McGraw for disagreeing with her

In other words, she disagreed with Steph McGraw.

Last I heard, Steph McGraw was choosing a Skepchicks tee shirt as a prize for a Halloween costume.

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c0.0.843.403/p843x403/558887_10151269726442621_662353652_n.jpg

172 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 9:03 am

Stacy said (#166):

Nobody has ever – ever – gotten into a “puritanical uproar” over the slurs pitters use. Our argument is that words like cunt (used as an epithet) and bitch are sexist.

I don’t think you read that post from 16bitheretic (a woman) closely enough; I would seriously recommend a closer, more complete, and honest re-read.

The thing is that the word doesn’t qualify as sexist unless it is being applied to all members of the group. In your view – and in your mind – it is being so applied, but in the view of many others it isn’t. Why should your view prevail? You think that the people who use the word don’t have an idea who they are applying it to? Rather arrogant, isn’t it to think that?

As 16bitheretic put it above [#146], saying “All women are bitches and ho’s” is characterizing all women in a supposedly pejorative fashion, and most definitely qualifies as “sexist”. But saying that some women are “bitches” and “hos” – without the pejorative connotations – is a simple matter of fact. You might want to take a real close look at the definition for the former (1) – “a woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing” (think there are no women like that?) – and the Wikipedia article on the word “cunt” (2) which has this notable observation:

During the UK Oz trial for obscenity in 1971, prosecuting counsel asked writer George Melly “Would you call your 10-year-old daughter a cunt?” Melly replied “No, because I don’t think she is.”

Just because he apparently used the word in referring to some woman is absolutely no justification whatsoever for concluding that he was referring to every woman – from 9 to 90 – that way. You, and many others, really should try wrapping your heads around the fact that context has a very large effect on the meanings of words.

1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/bitch”;
2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cunt”;

173 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

Wrong Martin. The Slymepit was set up because of the relentless attacks on Abbie Smith. One of them by Greg Laden to get her fired

No and no.

The Slimepit (with an “i”) began on Abbie Smith’s blog ERV (though it wasn’t called that at first) as a place to revile Rebecca Watson and her defenders.

There were relentless attacks on Rebecca Watson. There were never relentless attacks on Abbie Smith. Nothing like that happened. In the beginning PZ was very mild in his criticism of Abbie.

Flash forward months later–the hatred on what was now known as the Slimepit continued unabated but they had added some new targets. Greg Laden spoke to somebody at Smith’s university–her graduate advisor?–about the Slimepit. I think the idea was to try and get her to cool the Slimepit or take it down (it can’t possibly make her look good.) I don’t think he tried to get her fired. I can’t be sure what happened, and neither can you, since neither party has revealed exactly what was said. I suspect that if Laden really had been trying to get Smith fired, she’d have said so.

You are repeating lies.

174 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

I don’t think you read that post

I don’t think you read the sentence I quoted, or my reply, for comprehension. I was clearly responding to the allegation that our problem is one of puritanism rather than sexism. I objected to the strawman.

Again: I’m not going to have the argument about the sexist baggage of the words with you.

175 Stacy March 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

Ah, Google tells me Abbie Smith has claimed that Laden tried to get her fired. I stand corrected. Laden claims otherwise.

I’m going to bow out now and try to resist the temptation to wade through anymore slime.

176 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

Stacy #171 “In other words, she disagreed with Steph McGraw.”

There was nothing wrong with her disagreeing with McGraw. It was the way she did it.

Anyway, see for yourself. Draw your own conclusions. There is a lot more at the link underneath, not just the quote.

http://phawrongula.wikia.com/wiki/Attacks_on_Stef_McGraw
“Ms. McGraw attended the keynote lecture by Rebecca Watson entitled “The Religious Right Vs Women” at the CFI Student Leadership Conference. During her introduction, Watson spent some time reading her hate mail and subsequently included an excerpt from McGraw’s blogpost, asserting that it was a standard “parroting of misogynist thought”. She also stated that McGraw was ignorant of Feminism 101 and that it was people like McGraw that were preventing women from coming to events.”

177 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

Stacy, the original slimepit wasn’t “set up” in any sense of the word. Abbie wrote an article on her blog. People read it and commented. More stuff happened, and Abbie wrote another entry. People read it and commented.

PZ was mild in his criticism to Abbie was he? Telling a person who’s been stalked IRL (you know, actual stalking – not to be confused with Watson’s version of stalking: someone across the planet who emails her a lot) that she (Abbie) needs to go read Schroedinger’s Rapist so she can appreciate the fear that women have of men.

I suppose that’s fair enough. After all, it didn’t contain a single naughty word.

Stacy, do you know what kind of effort Laden had to go through to track Abbie down in real life so as to be able to speak to her boss? I’ll give you a hint: you can’t get that information from a phone book or from google.

178 oolon March 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

The insults and nastiness on the Slymepit compared to FtBs is clearly not in the same league by any measure. The reason the pitters try and defend it is easy – they want to be able to justify their hatred of and obsession with FtBs. Of course they’ll say they don’t care about FtBs/Skepchick or they are only in it for the laughs…. You know anyone who obsesses for *years* about one “joke”? No, of course they hate them, and for a mixture of reasons.

What this leads to is the biggest “Sceptical” echo-chamber on the internet, and the pitters know this. They often call for a “champion” from FtBs to come “police” them or even welcome people coming to take the piss like me as helping them not be an echo chamber! Truth is while some of their members are verbose and contrary about a couple of issues that will never make them “sceptics”, they will not stop being an echo chamber unless they actively try. Few cases –
– Sally Strange “threatening herself with rape” on TFs blog, this was frankly one of the least likely options from a purely logical point of view but was swallowed as the Official Slyme-meme and is trotted out by high profile idiots such as Hoggle (Under numerous socks of course)
– More recently Ophelia “calling” GWW a “#stupidbitch”, even the “reasonable” pitter Damion swallows this whole and shits it out on Twitter as an approved Slyme-meme. https://twitter.com/OpheliaBenson/status/299604131893612544
In all its glory there, never mind Steve Novellas calls for more charity you’d need a frontal lobotomy to read that any way other than her calling herself a “#stupidbitch” ironically.

Of course even if the pitters did accept she was calling herself that ironically they would then proceed to say this justifies them calling her that non-ironically. No really, they would… Just look up Dick Strawkins on my blog for an epic example of this type of pit-logic. Or look up just “Strawkins” on FreethoughtBlogs for more examples of the lies they are happy to spread with no apology or retraction.

So all the bystanders on the pit like Justin and some apologists above who proclaim the pit as some sceptical nirvana because no comments are censored (Absolute bullshit as they are deleted and edited just like any forum). Somehow any opinion being crapped out in text form on the forum just magically “makes” it a haven for freethought, critical thinking and scepticism. Forget about confirmation bias, as the primary driver in the pit, let alone any other cognitive bias. In reality information coming into the pit is parsed thusly ->

1. Is it about FreethoughtBlogs/Skepchick?
2. No. Ignore
3. Yes. Can it be interpreted in a poor light for FtBs/Skepchick in any way?
4. No. Ignore (maybe try for a few posts)
5. Yes. How do we frame it to get it to stick?
6. Now engage “critical” thinking skills…

My evidence for this obsession -> http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/01/30/terms/#comment-191521

179 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

Stacy said (#174):

I was clearly responding to the allegation that our problem is one of puritanism rather than sexism. I objected to the strawman.

You also said:

Our argument is that words like cunt (used as an epithet) and bitch are sexist.

Which is an arrogantly categorical assertion as to the meaning of words which is not at all supported by the dictionary and the other sources I quoted. And for which you have absolutely diddly squat in the way of evidence to justify, and which is what I was disputing. Idiosyncratic and entirely subjective meanings and implications of words really don’t carry a lot of weight – at least on the “reality” side of the Looking Glass.

180 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 9:46 am

Stacy #175 “Ah, Google tells me Abbie Smith has claimed that Laden tried to get her fired. I stand corrected. Laden claims otherwise.”

It is possible that Laden thought he waas being “helpful”. But I suggest you read the entire comment, not just the quoted part below to get the full Greg Laden narrative.
http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2012/06/28/is-cyberstalking-abuse/#comment-94072
“By the way, I also made a complaint about that specific issue, at the same time (along with a couple of other points of interest) to the chair of Abbie Smith’s academic department. Like it or not, this is how blatant professional misconduct is often managed in academia. The expected outcome of such an email might be a follow up phone conversation and a sit down talk between the student and adviser or chair. Oddly, within about 24 hours of sending an informative email to that Professor, I heard on the internet that I had done this! There are no ways to explain that without reference to some sort of unethical behavior, or worse. “

181 clod March 4, 2013 at 9:47 am

Michael: You are complaining about the pit using Justin as proxy for things he has no control over. Why do you not go there and put your case directly? I don’t understand.

182 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

Justicar #177 “Stacy, do you know what kind of effort Laden had to go through to track Abbie down in real life so as to be able to speak to her boss? I’ll give you a hint: you can’t get that information from a phone book or from google.”

I deliberately left out that part, that “Abbie Smith” is not her real name because I did not want her to prejudge the Laden narrative.

Oh well … whatever.

183 tsig March 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

Slymer summary:

FtB is just as bad as us

Rebecca is still the evil

Can’t you take a joke

Da bitches had it coming (seems to be the most popular)

184 oolon March 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

Oh well my comments in moderation, I’ll just add my LOL to the chorus laughing at PitchGuest linking to Aratina *debunking* another idiot like PG claiming Pharyngulites constantly use violent imagery… And that was debunked *years* ago 😀
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/#comment-194740

Well done PG!

185 Muz March 4, 2013 at 10:04 am

The original ‘slime pit’ threads were posted in opposition to PZ supposedly censoring threads related to Elevatorgate on Pharyngula . PZ routinely closed threads over a certain size due to performance problems. Erv accused him of lying about this reason and set out to prove otherwise, and provide some pity party/abuse space for the Pharyngula banned and Rebecca Watson haters (who were in an abundance previously unreconised by me. yikes).
The length of those threads was considered evidence PZ was being censorious and lying about it by some. It’s more likely his awareness of the old scienceblogs software was merely out of date, since long threads on Pharyngula certainly did used to crash browsers.

Of course that’s not all there is to PZ and erv’s falling out and the ‘pit’s existence, but it’s definitely part of it.

186 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

clod #180 “Why do you not go there and put your case directly? I don’t understand.”

An uncharitable view is that he wants to put Justin into an “either or” situation where Justin has to either defend the indefensible or disavow it.

I have told him he is asking the wrong question, but he has not asked what is the right one.

But I do suspect that I have given him the answer he wants.

187 windy March 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

I saw those “rusty porcupine” “fuck them into the ground” and “die in a fire” comments on Pharyngula, and you know what? They all stopped several years ago. How far back are the Slymepitters going to go to find these “equivalent” examples? I have seen no end to the ones in the Slymepit. In fact, they are still encouraged. And I’m afraid I don’t buy the “some are jokes, some are satire” excuses

You saw them? So I assume you called out Pharyngula for “nasty pushback” at the time? What if I don’t agree those comments were a problem in the first place?

188 windy March 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

Pop quiz: are these two equally bad when delivered to someone you know is a woman?
1) Fuck off asshole, I hope someone kills you!
2) Fuck off cunt, I hope someone rapes you!

The first one is worse, since murder is worse than rape. Also, the violent wishes are both worse than either of those slurs. Regards, A Woman.

In Michael’s list there is only one that could be construed as equivalent to 2) and it was deleted. So, what are you trying to show with these examples? If it’s that it’s wrong to say things like “I hope so-and-so gets raped”, I’m sure you’ll find there is already widespread agreement on all sides.

189 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

Pitchguest (#155):

Steersman – Time and a place, mate. Time and a place.

?? Meaning?

The point is that we (the members of the Slymepit) are having our feet held over a furnace and asked to testify for alleged crimes, which is just absurd. And yes, I’m also highlighting the hypocrisy of being lectured to by people who apparently often wishes to shove objects up other people’s rectum. Just saying.

While I’m generally happy to support “The Pit” as a frequently good source of information and criticism – if not actually stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you at the barricades defending it, I think you’re going a little overboard in characterizing Michael’s questions as “holding our feet to the fire and asking us to testify for alleged crimes”. As has frequently been noted there, we are all more or less the proverbial “rugged individualists” and all of our comments stand or fall on their own merits. I fail to see why if that is the case in the pit itself that it should not also apply outside of it: you’re not obliged to defend them all – I’m not sure that all of them are defensible as 16bitheretic and others have suggested – unless you really wish to do so.

And all Michael has done is to ask Justin for his opinions as to whether he thinks that they are “morally justified” or not – and presumably from a philosophical perspective. While it might have helped if Michael had provided links to the items he listed, he did indicate that the context might change the interpretations rather significantly, and the context is available by searching for the phrases he provided. Methinks thou doth protest too much.

And I think your references to the porcupine “joke” are both wide of the mark, and an indication of something of a problem with the Pit itself. In the first case, I think it is a bit of a stretch to argue that telling someone to go fuck themselves with a dead porcupine – ha, ha, such a bunch of kidders, those Pharyngulites, aren’t they? – is tantamount to “wishing to shove objects up other peoples’ rectums”. And while some overly sensitive souls might call that “triggering” or “rapey”, I think most of us have learned that just because someone tells us to go jump off a bridge we are not obliged to do so. Suggesting otherwise seems indicative of either histrionics or crocodile tears.

As for the latter to which the former is a case in point, I think Damion (1) over on Skeptic Ink Network describes the problem rather well:

As to hyper-skepticism, yeah, that happens too. Even fairly ordinary claims such as “I’ve been diagnosed with cancer” and “I was awkwardly propositioned at a conference” may be considered extraordinary and unbelievable in the ‘Pit. This indicates that at least some of the posters have fallen prey to the idea that the “other side” is so thoroughly malevolent and untrustworthy that they cannot be extended the benefit of the doubt, which is just one more thing that many Pitters have in common with most Plussers. Two sides, same coin, insert prosaic metaphor of choice. [my emphasis]

Really doesn’t make “our” case easier to defend if “we” deny manifest facts – or even plausible conjectures; “hyper-skepticism” isn’t something that only “they” are “guilty” of.

1) “_http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/2012/11/11/a-tale-of-two-communities-part-33/”;

190 rocko2466 March 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

Quote-mining must be a time-intensive exercise.

I think my song covered this quite nicely: it’s always been “disagree and you are a misogynist” and then, when people get banned for that disagreement, we take our disagreement elsewhere and some use crude language in doing so. Generally, if the jokes go too far, they get called out by other Pitters (or possibly sometimes ignored, depending on which poster it is, because some posters do get largely ignored!).

Pitchguest’s post covers this quite nicely. Skepchick / FtB and the so-called “feminists” are the reason for decaying of the skeptic movement / community. These people uncritically repeat ideology as fact and expect the rest of us to lap it up. Of course there’s going to be push-back.

Humorously, all of us at the Slymepit (including the many women there) are all for the equality of women but we (often) have differing ideas about how to approach it and we have a dedication to the facts. If they want to hijack the skeptic movement, they can expect this kind of pushback to nonsense.

191 franc March 4, 2013 at 11:13 am

Stacy March 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

To the best of my knowledge the closest any of those people came to trying to get anyone fired was Stephanie Zvan’s petition to the SCA to remove Vacula from his volunteer role as co-chair of the executive council of the Pennsylvania chapter. Anybody interested in why that petition was circulated, and why over 900 people signed it

You naive little clown. A third were protesters, a third were trolls –

http://i.imgur.com/UdTGnFI.png

+ repeat voters. 200 at best. It was a lynch mob that fell on its face. And you’re proud of that? Destroying people by mob law?

Your forebears lynched darkies and jews. Really something to be proud of.

192 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 11:17 am

Kevin Solway said (#142):

@Steersman

I was responding to the main blog post, which was why I didn’t specify who I was responding to.

Ah, sorry. But you might want to quote something or address the poster somehow for context.

I don’t think apologies are realistic, since many people on both sides are very angry, and deeply oppose the culture of the other side.

Mere apologies are not going to make that deep rift disappear.

You’re probably right about the deep rifts not disappearing anytime soon. Although I think the apologies might be at least the beginnings of a bridge or two spanning those rifts. A case in point might be those recently tendered by Harriet Hall and Surly Amy as described by Steven Novella (1), although I think Hall went a little further than necessary.

1) “_http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/moving-forward/”

193 clod March 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

From reading Carrier, PZ and others, it seems to me that they welcome the rifts and, if anything, want them widened and deepened. Is that the case? Is that also your view Michael? Or do you see your involvement here as trying to foster reconciliation or greater understanding. Please tell us.

194 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

@Steersman #188, “And all Michael has done is to ask Justin for his opinions as to whether he thinks that they are “morally justified” or not – and presumably from a philosophical perspective.”

The thing is, I am under the impression that a whole bunch of people are presupposed to believe that “they” have the high moral ground and I believe that some, certainly I am one, do not share that opinion.

Now the rest is not aimed at you personally Steersman, so do not take it that way.

As far as I am concerned, you have to walk the talk without exceptions. If you want to demonstrate a higher morality than my own, you can for example stop ridiculing the Christians.

Otherwise you have no credibility if you want me to stop my equally justifiable ridicule of you.

Walk the talk. Put up or shut up. Those are the choices. Or accept that someone like me is never going to accept your perception of moral superiority.

195 ChasCPeterson March 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm

This thread is fascinating. Endless repetition of the same old shit. Not a single thing has changed since the original ‘Bad form, Rebecca Watson’ and ‘Always name names’ posts that got this whole thing rolling. Nothing–except some of the individuals involved (although plenty of veterans are hanging in there too, saying the same shit still [hi TJ!]). The extent of just not getting it has become almost comical. Actually, one thing’s different: the mythology and spun history that has developed around some of the key targe people and incidents have both solidified and gotten more bizarre. (Although it seems undecided so far whether to go with the oldschool claim that elevator-guy never did anything wrong anyway or, alternatively, to believe that he never existed in the first place.)(On account of bitches lie, when they’re not busy playing the victim to get attention.)

The way I see it, fwiw: I dislike several of the regular commenters at Pharyngula (it’s mostly mutual), but the key difference between the worst of them and the worst of the pitizens is this:
By and large, when pharyngulistas (and the FtB bloggers) get nasty, they are being reactive to specific statements. It’s reactive, and it’s fundamentally about ideas. (Don’t bother citing anecdotes to the contrary, I’m talking gestalt.) The worst of the pit is deliberately cruel to individual people. It’s proactive and it’s about individuals, and it’s relentless. I read Pharyngula comments and roll my eyes pretty often; I also selectively employ a killfile. I read the Slymepit (well, more the erv threads before the y, but also a couple of recent looks) and I feel repulsed by all the assholes. It’s a very different gestalt; I really think the two sites are populated by different classes of narcissistic blowhards. When I compare the hypothetical prospect of having a drink with the worst pharyngulistas as opposed to a random selection from the pit, I will go with the worst of Pharyngula every time. They just come off as better human beings in general.

a few random reactions to comments above:

PZ Myers have not just closed the comments on his posts, but also either hidden or removed the comment section completely

This is often alleged, but is factually incorrect. The comments were lost when the tech-wizards over at National Geographic’s ScienceBlogs switched servers or platforms or software or whatever. Nobody has removed or hidden anything; supposedly they were working on it, and many post’s comments were in fact restored. I have no idea if there’s been recent progress; I suspect Myers has finally given up out of frustration. Unfortunately, the chief problem remains with the longer threads. (In any case, nearly all the old comments are archived and readable if you know how to use the Wayback Machine.)

“tit for tat”, is an English saying meaning “equivalent retaliation”. It is also a highly effective strategy in game theory for the iterated prisoner’s dilemma.

Jeez. Are you under the mistaken impression that we’re playing an iterated game of Prisoner’s Dilemma? Do you even know what that is?

Paris Hilton

huh whu?

what does it matter if the Slymepit should feature a bit of crass language?

Yes. Keep telling each other it’s all about a prudish distaste for crass language. ffs.

Just because he apparently used the word in referring to some woman is absolutely no justification whatsoever for concluding that he was referring to every woman

Whoosh!!!
yet another miss.

196 Kevin Solway March 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

@Steersman

“I think the apologies might be at least the beginnings of a bridge or two spanning those rifts. A case in point might be those recently tendered by Harriet Hall . . . ”

I think Harriet Hall was wrong to apologize, since she didn’t do anything wrong. She set a bad example by apologizing.

I am never going to say “Pardon me for breathing, but I didn’t realize it was going going to offend you.”

My tee-shirt would say “ANTI-SKEPCHICK”. What does it matter that they are offended?

197 ChasCPeterson March 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

do you know what kind of effort Laden had to go through to track Abbie down in real life so as to be able to speak to her boss? I’ll give you a hint: you can’t get that information from a phone book or from google.

Bullshit, TJ. Of course you can. Give me name, university, and research topic and I’ll have the major professor of any graduate stunent in the world for you in about 45 seconds.

And look, I have nothing good to say about Laden, but it was Abbie’s spin that he ‘tried to get her fired’. There’s actually no reason to believe that she knows what was said. She shouldn’t.

I deliberately left out that part, that “Abbie Smith” is not her real name

um…whu?
talk about mythology!

198 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

“There’s actually no reason to believe that she knows what was said. She shouldn’t.”

And clearly there’s a reason to suppose you know what was said thereby enabling to make the following assertion: “it was Abbie’s spin that he ‘tried to get her fired’.”

199 AndrewV69 March 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

ChasCPeterson #195 Whoosh!!! yet another miss.

Way too meta Chas. I doubt that part helped. In any event we are going to have to agree to disagree.

I am going to quotemine myself at the Slymepit
http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70116#p70116
“By all rights I suppose I belong on the baboon board and should feel safe over at A+. If those people were not so batshit crazy I would probably not be here.”

200 Anonguy March 4, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I used to be triggered by people touching me, it was emotionally hurtful and distressing. But I don’t think the people who would tap me on the back to get my attention or who brushed me as they passed in the store were doing anything wrong despite the fact I found it harmful. Such a system works well for sex, but it can’t govern all our actions. RW got creeped out and I understand why… However on the flip side EG is guilty of nothing.

201 Notung March 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I appreciate that you’re making an effort to discuss this calmly and rationally (I’m talking about the OP, not the comments). I look forward to Justin’s response to your questions.

202 ChasCPeterson March 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

You got me there, TJ. Let me revise my statement: the evidence that Laden ‘tried to get her fired’ consists solely of Abbie’s statement(s) to that effect.

(That said, I have seen her paraphrase or ‘translate’ the written statements of others many times, and yeah, she’ll spin. Twist, even. Habitually. Kind of like you in that way.)

203 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

It’s interesting that I’m so often accused of doing that. The accusations aren’t short; an indication that I’ve done as much that, however, is.

You’ll have to again revise your statement: the evidence of which you’re aware.

204 Terrible March 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

To give Nugent the simplistic answer he wants, I did not make any of those comments and I would not have made any of them. Context might save a few, but in most cases my loose gut-feeling would be to say they were “morally unjustified”. It does not trouble me that these people still post on the Slymepit, because the spirit of the place is the loosest moderation legally possible. I can happily ignore posters who contribute nothing but bile (don’t feed the trolls etc), if you’re not capable of doing so my advice would be “Don’t read the Slymepit.”

I do think the “morally unjustified” angle here has clouded the discussion, because it implies the existence of a moral argument that nobody has explicitly made. It has been touched on by Wowbagger and Steersman though. I understand Wowbagger’s claim to be that the 50 statements are inherently harmful, and so to use any context to try to justify them is to make an “eye for an eye” type argument (and I guess Wowbagger would rather people “turn the other cheek”).

I would also go biblical, but for me the key is “do unto others”. That is not about deciding whether it is appropriate to return harm against someone in response to them hurting you, but about what level of discourse is classed as “harmful” and whether context can mitigate that. If anyone who made the statements on that list objected to similar language being used against them as “morally unjustified” they would be a hypocrite, and it’s that kind of hypocrisy (failing to live up to the standards they would set for other people) that would be immoral.

There does seem to be a belief on the Slymepit that calling someone an “obsessed woman-hating rape-apologist” is in some ways worse than calling someone a “bitch”. I would agree that libellous statements of purported “fact” are much more of a cause for concern than any insults, no matter how heinous.

205 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

ChasCPeterson said (#195):

Jeez. Are you under the mistaken impression that we’re playing an iterated game of Prisoner’s Dilemma? Do you even know what that is?

Of course I do – why the fuck else would I have made reference to it? It does have some relevance to Sally Strange’s reference to the “tit-for-tat” nature of the insults exchanged by the two parties. Whether it might evolve from that is a moot point, but realizing its value might improve the chances.

Just because he apparently used the word in referring to some woman is absolutely no justification whatsoever for concluding that he was referring to every woman.

Whoosh!!!
yet another miss.

In your opinion. For which you also offer absolutely diddly squat in the way of evidence, justification, or proof – except maybe “ipse dixit”. Dickhead.

206 za-zen March 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Jesus Christ on a fucking stick Michael, please define your terms before asking for a concurrence. Blasphemy, one of my favorite immoralities.

This is mine, so i’ll own it;
36. Muhahaha the evil spreads. Soon my pretties, soon we shall have the whole atheist movement chanting our chant of mysoginist victory ” cunt, cunt cunt!” They shall chant. “Rape to the [named person]” will be our warcry!

I take by inference, that you view this as an example of immorality? Contextualized it is mocking the SJW narrative of the slymepit. Parodying their hyperbolic rhetoric. A form of satirical humor.

I provide two quotes for your contemplation;
“What do you call it when the assassins accuse the assassin? A lie. A lie and we have to be merciful. ”

“We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene! “

207 ChasCPeterson March 4, 2013 at 12:54 pm

That’s right. It’s my opinion that you’re completely missing the point (well, one among many). And I expressed that opinion. If I were making an argument or trying to convince somebody of something, then I might need evidence or proof, but I wasn’t.
As for justification: you’re missing the point and I thought I’d point that out. It’s the concept of ‘splash damage’ you’re missing, btw. hth.

208 Edward Gemmer March 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm

The worst of the pit is deliberately cruel to individual people. It’s proactive and it’s about individuals, and it’s relentless.

You know, I don’t know about this. There’s a subtext to the slymepit that this is all for fun. Everyone there gets called names and told to f off, but it’s all in good fun. It’s kind of like when one person is joking around and another one is serious, and both refuse to get on each other’s level. The “targets” of the slymepit keep doubling down on being serious, while people at slymepit doubles down on making cruder and cruder jokes.

So to ask why certain statements are morally justified or not is really kind of a silly question. I can go through a Chris Rock routine and pick things out:

I’m like, ”Fuck the kids!”

”Man, I would blow your fucking head off,
if I could afford it.”

”But l’ll tell you this:
if the revolution ever come, I’ll kill her first…
”just to show these crackers
I mean business!”

Are these statements “morally justified?” Who knows? I know that I don’t get offended by anything at the slymepit, but the way people are treated on the comment boards of Pharyngula is kind of disgusting. But people are different, so they have different places to post comments on the internet.

209 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 1:06 pm

ChasCPeterson said (#207):

It’s the concept of ‘splash damage’ you’re missing, btw. hth.

It does, sort of. But presumably people have some choice in internalizing or tempering that “splash damage”. In which case they’re playing the victim if they don’t do so.

Rather slippery slope otherwise. We should stop condemning rapists and murderers because someone might feel some “sympathy for the devil”?

210 oolon March 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Rocky2466

I think my song covered this quite nicely: it’s always been “disagree and you are a misogynist” and then, when people get banned for that disagreement, we take our disagreement elsewhere and some use crude language in doing so.

Weird, I and many others have managed to disagree at length on Pharyngula and other FtBs blogs without ever being called a “misogynist”, even to the point of being banned and still not being called a misogynist… Very strange, I wonder how reasonable people like you or Steersman here manage it? Well in Steers case he called Sally “An ignorant cunt”… Can’t be arsed to look your “disgrace” up. So yeah, not really a surprise and not really something you need to be all whiny and butthurt about…. I didn’t agree with PZs reasons for banning me, even more amazing was I found no need to devote the rest of my life to photoshopping him or the other FtB’ers because I disagreed and was pissed off. I got over it. Why can you not get over it? Oh yeah… You have a “cause” now, you and the other #bravehero’s are going to save the atheist-sceptic movement one petition at a time… Lol!

If you and the other pitters had the self-awareness to just admit you are piss-taking and nothing more I’d have some respect for you. More than zero is still more… SteveWCOA nee Secular_Steve admits it, Hanannibal admits it (Might be the same person!), but some of you still feel the need to pretend you have a “higher” purpose. Get over yourself, very few are buying it.

211 lollen March 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm

@oolon: a lot of them seem to admit that, in a roundabout way at least. If you read the stated reasons for posting on the slymepit, a lot of them come across as “I wanted a forum that would let me be an asshole -and not ban me- and the slymepit fulfills that role”. Another reason: “I hate feminism and the slymepit lets me rant about it with token opposition”.

Classy.

212 hoary puccoon March 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Anonguy @200–

Where did you get the idea that elevator guy committed some horrible crime, according to anybody? Rebecca Watson was asked how to get more women involved in the skeptic movement. She gave an example of an encounter that made her uncomfortable, and said, “guys, don’t do that,” with the implied ending, “if you want more women to show up.”

If somebody asked you how to make people with sensitivity issues more comfortable, you might give an example of somebody grabbing your arm, and say, “guys, don’t do that,” too, wouldn’t you?

Except you probably wouldn’t get hounded for it, for years afterward.

213 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

” There’s a subtext to the slymepit that this is all for fun. Everyone there gets called names and told to f off, but it’s all in good fun. “

That’s fine if you’re consenting to be part of it I suppose. If, on the other hand, someone has made it clear that they don’t find it “fun” that it makes them uncomfortable then they should be left out it it. If you go on calling them names, well, that’s the point where it starts looking like hatred and harassment. Especially when it follows them out of the slymepit and onto twitter and their own blogs and their e-mail inbox…

214 rocko2466 March 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

@lollen – don’t purport to quote people if you’re not actually going to quote people. Quotation marks aren’t for the voices in your own head.

215 Skepsheik March 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I notice oolon is commenting above. He is a known misogynist who uses the epithet, “cunt” to insult others.
By the way, Michael, why do you ignore the misogyny, racism and anti-semitism that is rampant on your own ‘Atheist Ireland’ forum?
Choosing to ignore the multitude of examples while compaining about the actions of others might seem to the casual observer to be, well…
hypocritical?
Is it OK for Irish atheists to be racist, sexist and antisemitic?
Why have you, as chairman of the organization, chosen to ignore this matter?
In case you are wondering, someone has kindly posted the following list of example from your own forum.

” 1. Gendered epithet ” who the hell gave it to you BITCH?”
2. Gendered epithet “The opportunistic bitch of a nun tried to imply that her religious education was somehow better than the boys school version.”
3. Gendered epithet ” I get hit again soon so I can properly demo this bitch out.”
4. Gendered epithet ”I’m on planet science, bitch”
5. Gendered epithet “the only thing gods or religions have ever proven is that they are science’s bitch. see that apostrophe in “science’s” remember it bitch”
6. Gendered epithets “If that sick criminal, son of a bitch, Ratzinger comes to Ireland, Ill protest against him everywhere he goes.”
7. Gendered epithet “we can call someone a cunt as a term of endearment but no other people do.”
8. Gendered epithet “I have ze seniority over you, you leeteel pussy.”
9. Joke about raping children “Fuck them, Do we have time?”
10. Video of Jim Jeffries making jokes about child molesting and punching women in the face, described as “brillant stand up sketch”
11. Photo making light of child abuse by portraying the pope as a paedophile.
12. Photo of church logo for Catholic archdiocesan youth commission, making light of child abuse .
13. Photo of statue of pope with kneeling children, making light of child rape allegations.
14. Photo of church stainless glass window showing altar boy kneeling before bishop, again making fun of child abuse allegations.
15. Antisemitism “I had one but the bloody Jews bombed the shit out of it.”
16. Photoshop joke of the pope as a child molester.
17. Joke making fun of a photo of pope, implying he was a child molester. “But he was not a little boy at the time, he was at least THIS tall.”
18. Gendered epithet “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you are a C#@t”
19. Misogynistic joke about a woman trying to pay her taxi fare using her vagina, with the punchline being the taxi driver asks her “do you have anything smaller”
20. Misogynistic sex shaming joke about prostitution and a man accidently discovering his wife is a prostitute.
21. Misogynistic joke about a money grabbing woman who demands from a suitor that he has “Mercedes in your garage, a million dollars in the bank and ‘7’ inches in your pants’.
22. Misogynistic wife beating joke about a man finding out his wife is not a virgin on their wedding night, the punchline being “you hit her with the shovel”
23. Fat shaming “you can bet your fat ass it won’t be Cheerios!”
24. Paedophile joke about a priest, Father McKintyre ejaculating on child.
25. Fat shaming “Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other ‘Your round.’ The other one says ‘So are you, you fat bastard!’”
26. Youtube clip joking about child rape by priest.
27. Sectarian epithets “Orange bastard”
28. Misogynistic remark “Apparently the drop in the number of suicide bombings has been put down to the emergence of the Scottish singing star, Susan Boyle – now that Muslims know what a virgin looks like that they are not so keen on going to paradise.”
29. Misogynistic joke about Adam bargaining with God in the garden of Eden, with the punchline being “Fuck that, what will I get for a rib?”
30. Racist joke about “The Effect of Political Correctness and Government Policies”
31. Picture of woman forced to ring a doorbell constructed to look like male genitalia.
32. Cartoon making light of child abuse in the church.
33. Cartoon of the pope implying he is a paedophile.
34. Misogynistic picture of urinals shaped like a womans body.

I got bored collecting more examples but the forum is here if anyone wants to check for themselves.
http://www.atheist.ie/phpBB3/index.php

Now I’m not going to condemn them for everything here.
Some of it is highlighting the behavior of the Catholic church regarding their role in the child abuse scandal and using a dark humor to do so.
And I don’t think you should assume everyone there approves of every comment.
But a lot of it is just sexist, racist and antisemitic.
And some of it is deeply misogynistic (wife beating jokes and videos – statues of urinals with womens heads on the top of them)
If anyone has the power to enforce some kind of standards on that site, it is Michael Nugent, the head of their organization.

Nugent has some nerve to lecture us on the correct targets for satire and parody when he blatantly quote-mines :liar: sections from various sections of this site, all the while ignoring the mountains of sexism, racism and antisemitism within his own groups forum.”

216 rocko2466 March 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I also would like it if Michael (OP!) could link to the comments he’s using so people can get context.

217 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Under the tennants of the Manosphere, be prepared for [named person] to get drunk, fuck some hapless beta and cry rape, rather than acknowledge she “setteled” for some “creepy” guy who she would never have looked at twice before she hit the wall.

The only part of that comment I am embarrassed about is the fact that I spelt tenets as tenants.

Well, that tells us a lot about you doesn’t it? Beyond the strawmanning and the ignorant insinuation that rape charges are just a plot to mistreat innocent men you’re attacking an identifiable individual with this crap. You should be embarrassed by this as a demonstration of your misunderstanding of the issue of rape and your blinkered insensitivity to the effect your words might have on the individual you are so viciously attacking.

Are you really proud of being cruel, unthinking and ignorant? I actually feel sorry for you if that’s case.

I see it as an attempt to shut down and silence people with a different opinion.

On the contrary, I see comments like yours as an attempt to shut down and silence the target of the comment. Having a different opinion isn’t the issue here; no one is being asked to not express an honest opinion.

No, the problem here is that some people with opinions are being targeted with the kind of abusive ad-hominem you seem to be so proud of. And they are being targeted in order to silence them. Sadly it sometimes works…

http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/09/goodbye-for-now/

Are you proud of being part of an effort to bully people into silence Andrew? Because that is exactly what you are making yourself part of and let’s please stop pretending otherwise. Or is it only a problem when your ability to joke a bout rape or to call women “cunts” is being questioned? Are those really the opinions you feel are most important to express?

218 oolon March 4, 2013 at 2:40 pm

@lollen, seems Rocko takes issue with you “quoting” people when you clearly did not attribute the quotes to anyone other than a generic “a lot of them come across” as if they are saying X…. Maybe he saw too much of his true nature in your “quote”.

I wanted a forum that would let me be an asshole -and not ban me- and the slymepit fulfills that role

Seems to fit him and many others on the pit very well! The subsequent shock at discovering they are “assholes” in some peoples opinion led to the rest…

219 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 4:09 am

A Hermit –
In response to a comment by one commenter ‘Tethys’ on Pharyngula said to another commenter ‘abear’, and I quote, “*Breaks two liquor bottles and brandishes the jagged necks.*

I WILL cut you abear, you stupid fucking troll.”

If you want to police language, then maybe you should try to be more consistent.

If I had seen that comment before I would have objected to it too. Consistent enough for you?

Unlike you I don’t play the “But teacher!!11! Billy did it TOOOoOOOO!!!11!!” card.

Thing is; you have to dig really deep to find an example like that at FtB; on the rare occasions when I have seen that kind of thing there it is always met with a lot of pushback from the other commenters. Unlike the slymepit where stuff like the example Michael posted are an everyday occurrence and are not only tolerated but encouraged and even celebrated.

The list YOU published was from three years ago, prior to FtB, and even then, if you actually follow the links, at least some of those are examples of trolls dropping in to attack Myers and his commenters.

You’re pushing a false equivalence; a simplistic “both sides do it, so I don’t have think about my own behaviour” dodge. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

220 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Comparing what the FTB people have said about various Slymepit people is not a very good way to go about this if one wishes to prove a point.

It would be interesting to see quotes pulled from FTB over the years which attack creationists, libertarians, Republicans, general religion, Sam Harris, or any other person/organization/ideology which does not align with the hive mind.

That’s where you’re going to start really seeing the hypocrisy. Because, it’s totally cool to harass, demean, “bully,” dehumanize, mock, and ridicule *those* people. Just, don’t you dare ever, ever do the same to us.

221 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm

By the way Pitchguest, about that comment of Tethys'; you leave out the fact that she was responding to a troll who was, in effect, pulling the old victim-blaming game in a thread where Tethys had been discussing her rape experience…and even so that she retracted it after others objected to it, rather than trying to justify it as a response to someone else’s bad behaviour. Unlike you…

222 Stephanie Zvan March 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Stacy, do you know what kind of effort Laden had to go through to track Abbie down in real life so as to be able to speak to her boss?

None at all. They were friends before all this happened, as were Abbie and I.

223 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 3:08 pm

“None at all. ”

False.

224 maximus March 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

The slymepit is basically the skeptic/atheist version of South Park.

I find it odd that in a place so FULL of “misogyny” Michael had to resort to citing out of context jokes. If the slymepit is so full of misogyny and triggering content, why resort to misrepresenting jokes, no worse than those on South Park. The slymepit has 70729 Total posts, surely he could just use regular comments as examples? It seems like there is a lot of confirmation bias going on. At face value a lot of those comments do seem shocking, but in the context of absurd parody, and extreme shocking humor (often because the slymepit is accused of being so vile), I have not seen anything worse than South Park style humor, but I have not seen it all.

I echo Justicars first comment, is conversation going to be dictated by whoever acts the most offended?

225 CommanderTuvok March 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Just to correct the Baboons from FfTB one more time. The Slyme Pit was not established in order to “attack feminists”. It was created, in effect, by FfTB and Skepchick, when they stopped all opposition and dissent to their incoherent views.

When FfTB and Skepchick began to launch their witch hunts, there was always going to be a reaction. The Slyme Pit (originally in the form of ERV) was one of the few places where that reaction was visible and clear in its opposition to the Baboons. When FfTB, et al, began to censor, banhammer and memory hole opposition, the Pit grew. The Pit became THE PLACE that documented all their lies, harassment and hypocrisy. The Pit was David to FfTB’s Goliath. The Pit stood up to the beast, when many in the community were turning a blind eye.

However, a year or so later, and the wider community have started to turn on the FfTB and Skepchick brigade. The Pit exposed them for they are.

Finally, this notion that the Pit is “anti-feminist” is complete bollocks. The Pit attacks and ridicules people who say stupid and hypocritical things. That’s why many of the Baboons are in the firing line, because constantly say stupid and hypocritical things. The Pit is made up mainly of people supportive of feminism, and is home to a bunch of what FfTB would call “gender traitors”, ie feminists who the feminists at FfTB hate.

226 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

“I find it odd that in a place so FULL of “misogyny” Michael had to resort to citing out of context jokes. “

Why do people think that “it’s just a joke” are some kind of magic words that make vicious personal attacks and sexist ranting OK?

This stuff isn’t confined to the slymepit; it’s finding its way into people’s blog comments, twitter streams and e-mail inboxes. The pit is just the place where the bullies gather to slap each other on the back and celebrate their latest intellectual triumph…in fact they seem to do little else around there.

227 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

…and when I say “intellectual triumph” in the context of the slymepit I mean adolescent joke about genitals…

228 Laura March 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm

To all the people who say, “you do it too” – please, just stop. Why not say, “you are right that certain terms, comments are unhelpful and can be even damaging and I want to work with others to stop this at the slymepit, FTB, or wherever.” If, say, a man doesn’t want to be called a dick or prick, then I won’t use the term. I will just use “asshole” because everyone has one and nobody is immune to being one sometimes.

229 s silverman March 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm

if you call yourself a diva, …i’m pretty sure your a cunt.

230 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Laura, the point here isn’t to focus on “you do it, too.” The point is that people don’t like being told to police their language by a group of people who are abusive and uncharitable to every position save their own.

If you use the FTB definition of anything coming out of the Slymepit, they themselves are much more guilty of abusing, demeaning, harassing, dehumanizing, bullying and shouting down Republicans, Libertarians, Conservative women, people like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Penn and Teller, creationists, etc, etc, etc…

This realization sunk in at the Slymepit sometime ago. It was hilarious when (as a group) we were doing it to those people. Now, when the same tactics and language are turned inward, it’s not so hilarious anymore.

One can take away any number of lessons from that realization. Maybe those tactics weren’t the best to use against creationists, Republicans, Libertarians, etc, etc, etc.. Or, maybe they are and people like P.Z. Myers, Stephanie Zvan, EllenBeth Wachs, Sally Strange, Wowbanger, Adam Lee, etc, should stop whining when the same tactics and language is turned back at them.

231 CommanderTuvok March 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Laura,

A lot of the flak the Slymepit gets is for simply responding to the things various FfTB’ers and Skepchicks have said, however they are worded.

Ophelia Benson in particular seems to think she is above criticism, and that any criticism of her is “harassment”. This is despite the fact that she criticises people more than any other. Did you see her obsessive posts about Shermer?

When they attack other people, they can’t complain when they are attacked as well.

232 kntk March 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm

[quote]How does someone open themselves up to it being said of them “I’d just call her a poison-cunt if it was me. How’s that bigotry you fucking retard mutant?”[/quote]

That post was made by me.

I said it in response to a blog article from one of Crommunist’s guest posters who argued that people infected with HIV have no special moral obligation to disclose that they are infected when going to bed with somebody. That it should be up to the other person to ask the specific question “do you have HIV”? If they don’t, then no harm no foul. The blog then argued that it was institutionalised bigotry for the legal system to hold a person who does this responsible if the other person goes on to catch the virus. It also argued that “infected” is a pejorative term and people should use the term “converted” instead.

For personal reasons this hit a nerve with me. The response I made there wasn’t meant as a joke, as criticism or disagreement. It was pure vitriol that I later regretted, but only in the sense that I should have calmed down before posting.

233 ChasCPeterson March 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm

False.

Hey TJ, let me google that for you. Third hit for me.

Unless you are in possession of information that the rest of us are not, there’s no reason to believe that Laden had to do any more than that. So why don’t you give up the 3-yo “nuh uh” schtick?

234 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

John Brown March 4, 2013 at 4:16 pm

“If you use the FTB definition of anything coming out of the Slymepit, they themselves are much more guilty of abusing, demeaning, harassing, dehumanizing, bullying and shouting down Republicans, Libertarians, Conservative women, people like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Penn and Teller, creationists, etc, etc, etc… “

If you were actually paying attention you would know that there has actually been a lot of discussion about that over there. And again, there’s a false equivalence as Myers pointed out in a post here:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/page/3/

I disagree strongly with creationists, and they disagree with me, but I don’t troll or harass. When I visited the Creation “Museum”, I informed them of my plans, I even signed an agreement to not cause trouble while I was there, not that I planned to; when I encourage my students to attend creationist talks, I also tell them to be polite and non-disruptive, and that the goal is to get information, not interrupt them. I don’t criticize creationists by sneering at their sexuality, defacing photographs of them, and getting up every day with cheery enthusiasm at the prospect of calling them fat, or ugly, or thinking of ways to tweak their names to make them sound like terms for genitalia.

I have a blog that ridicules creationism by dismantling their idiotic arguments, and that isn’t even obsessive about that…and definitely isn’t focused exclusively on just a few individuals.

What those jerks are doing isn’t in any way similar to what I’ve ever done. And what’s worse, it isn’t similar to what creationists have done: Eric Hovind may not be very bright, but he’s never sunk to the depths that the denizens of the Slymepit have.

But then, the false equivalence is one of the most common tools in use by the trolls. “He has criticized creationists, therefore he is fair game for me to draw him having sexual congress with a dog. It’s ‘dissent’!”

Apart from a being a “tu coque” fallacy your argument fails for being factually incorrect. yes, there is sometimes some strong language and some nasty snark and even some mockery in some of the blogs at FtB but there is nothing like the obsessive, stalkerish personal attacks coming from the slymepit.

And Pharyngula, the worst of the FtB bunch in that regard, is not all of FtB; the vast majority of the blogs there aren’t even involved in this fight. Nice of you to lump them all together…
—————-

CommanderTuvok March 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Ophelia Benson in particular seems to think she is above criticism, and that any criticism of her is “harassment”. This is despite the fact that she criticises people more than any other. Did you see her obsessive posts about Shermer?

HER obssesive quotes?!

She wrote an article months ago which included a short reference to a sexist comment Shermer made.

Shermer is the one who became obsessive; writing two long articles accusing Benson of a “witch hunt” and of behaving like a Nazi…talk about playing the victim.

You have it backwards all around I think; I don’t see Benson or anyone else at FtB initiating any of this; I do see them responding to the abusive, insulting and misleading remarks being directed at them.

235 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

“Apart from a being a “tu coque” fallacy your argument fails for being factually incorrect.”

We totally don’t do that stuff. We would never, ever be nasty to creationists or Libertarians or Sam Harris. I mean…um…yeah, there was a tiny bit of nastiness in the past, but we totally addressed that!

And here’s where I’m going to throw in the “tu coque” fallacy to totally show you how unfair you’re being.

/eyeroll

The point. You missed it. Congratulations.

236 Acathode March 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

I rather have the “sexist”* language of the slymepit from people that aren’t sexist, rather than the “non-sexist”* language of the FTB where people defend mindbogglingly sexist ideas like “men are damaged women” to great lengths…

*This is of course, “sexist” and “non-sexist” as defined by the people who label people using slurs like “twat” as vile misogynists, and then go on to write letters starting with “Dear Dick”…

237 Brony March 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

@maximus 224

The slymepit is basically the skeptic/atheist version of South Park.
I find it odd that in a place so FULL of “misogyny” Michael had to resort to citing out of context jokes. If the slymepit is so full of misogyny and triggering content, why resort to misrepresenting jokes, no worse than those on South Park.

He did not “resort” to anything. The issue if you read what he wrote is if these comments have any appropriate context. Should they ever be used at all? Comprehension fail.

The slymepit has 70729 Total posts, surely he could just use regular comments as examples?

Not when the actual issue is about forests and not trees.

It seems like there is a lot of confirmation bias going on.

Now that you know that the issue is more universal, please defend or reconsider the confirmation bias accusation.

At face value a lot of those comments do seem shocking, but in the context of absurd parody, and extreme shocking humor (often because the slymepit is accused of being so vile), I have not seen anything worse than South Park style humor, but I have not seen it all.

Again, the issue is context independent. Are they ever appropriate? It is possible to believe that they are never appropriate. The real argument, the one you are avoiding, is if we should avoid those kinds of comments completely. I would like that have that argument when folks such as yourself stop misrepresenting people.

I echo Justicars first comment, is conversation going to be dictated by whoever acts the most offended?

Or is the conversation going to be dictated by whoever can lay down the most intense emotional suppression? I would be happy to consider your question when you can pretend that you know what the other side is really saying.

238 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

“Feminism. A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Feminism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.

239 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Er, correction:

“Feminism. A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Feminism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.

240 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Well John; if you’re going to claim that ” they themselves are much more guilty of abusing, demeaning, harassing, dehumanizing, bullying and shouting down Republicans, Libertarians, Conservative women, people like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Penn and Teller, creationists, etc, etc, etc… “ without offering a shred of evidence that this is so I have to admit I do have trouble seeing the point.

Perhaps you can explain the purpose of such a false equivalence…

241 Laura March 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Sigh. My point is that if someone says something you don’t like then you say something, such as “I don’t like name calling because it is distracts people from the argument. Lets focus on the content of the argument.” (or something along those lines). By the way, I did read Ophelia Benson’s post about Shermer. She was criticizing his statement and was not name calling. When he over-reacted, it was easy to mock him. Again, this is not about what each side does. It is about looking at our language and understanding how it could hurt someone. Instead of running around saying “hypocrite”, do something productive and address someone’s language at that moment. For example, I don’t like the word “cunt” because it of the associated meanings. It is reducing a woman to a body part. A man could argue he feels the same way when called a “dick.” What I am seeing is people just whining. Stop whining and start coming up with solutions. (or else I am going to have to send out a lot of cheese for all that whine)

242 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Well, A Hermit;

If you’re unable to make it through several comment threads which address issues like creationists, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservative women, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, etc, etc, without seeing over the top vitriol, then there’s little I can do to help you. You’re a true believer.

243 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:04 pm

“For example, I don’t like the word “cunt” because it of the associated meanings. It is reducing a woman to a body part. A man could argue he feels the same way when called a “dick.” What I am seeing is people just whining. Stop whining and start coming up with solutions. (or else I am going to have to send out a lot of cheese for all that whine)”

And it could be rightfully argued that your offense at the word is very cultural-centric. You have people commenting from all over the world on these boards who don’t feel the need to defer to your offense, since the word is not offensive in their culture.

The point I was making was your criticism is valid if it were a third, disinterested party making it. If your mom is telling you not to do something, a valid response would not be, “But my brother is doing it, too.”

If your brother is telling you not to do something, it is perfectly valid to point out to him that he is engaging in the exact same (if not worse) behavior.

So, either FtB believes that this is the kind of behavior that only they can engage in, or they don’t believe its bad behavior at all.

244 Brony March 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

@CommanderTuvok 225

I see lots of accusations and I want to read for myself. I need you to provide me reading material so that I don’t get convinced you are an empty advocate.

Just to correct the Baboons from FfTB one more time. The Slyme Pit was not established in order to “attack feminists”. It was created, in effect, by FfTB and Skepchick, when they stopped all opposition and dissent to their incoherent views.

Challenge 1. Citation please. Characterizing enforcement of site policies as stopping “…all opposition and dissent to their incoherent views.” Is frankly childish. If you break rules, you get consequences.

When FfTB and Skepchick began to launch their witch hunts, there was always going to be a reaction.

(My italics)
Challenge 2. Define “witch hunt” and give me an example. I sense butthurt.

The Slyme Pit (originally in the form of ERV) was one of the few places where that reaction was visible and clear in its opposition to the Baboons. When FfTB, et al, began to censor, banhammer and memory hole opposition, the Pit grew. The Pit became THE PLACE that documented all their lies, harassment and hypocrisy. The Pit was David to FfTB’s Goliath. The Pit stood up to the beast, when many in the community were turning a blind eye.

Then the above challenges should be very easy for you.

However, a year or so later, and the wider community have started to turn on the FfTB and Skepchick brigade. The Pit exposed them for they are.

So what are they? Be specific.

Finally, this notion that the Pit is “anti-feminist” is complete bollocks. The Pit attacks and ridicules people who say stupid and hypocritical things. That’s why many of the Baboons are in the firing line, because constantly say stupid and hypocritical things. The Pit is made up mainly of people supportive of feminism, and is home to a bunch of what FfTB would call “gender traitors”, ie feminists who the feminists at FfTB hate.

Challenge 3. Cite an example of an FTB feminist calling someone a “gender traitor”.

As for the Pit being fully anything, no one can describe a group in such universal terms honestly. Every group has people of different stripes so the question is what is it largely? I’ll take a look at the Pit myself to find out.

@CommanderTuvok 231

Laura,
A lot of the flak the Slymepit gets is for simply responding to the things various FfTB’ers and Skepchicks have said, however they are worded.
Ophelia Benson in particular seems to think she is above criticism, and that any criticism of her is “harassment”. This is despite the fact that she criticises people more than any other. Did you see her obsessive posts about Shermer?
When they attack other people, they can’t complain when they are attacked as well.

Challenge 4. Cite where Ophelia Benson shows that she thinks she is above criticism and that criticism of her is equivalent to harassment.

245 Laura March 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

John Brown,

You obviously have no clue what feminism is. Why don’t you take a few days to research it, read different writers and get back to us. Because calling feminism a “pathology” is like people calling communism or libertarianism “evil, bad.” Even if you disagree with Marx, you still have to understand the context and history and what problems he was addressing. Feminism has changed over the decades and the movement is much more complex than you think.
If you defend your statment above, I will just think you are incapable of analytic thought and are just too simple minded

246 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Laura, you mean this statement:

“Feminism. A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Feminism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.

Cause, that came from here:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/15/libertarianism-defined/

Except, it was written this way:

“Libertarianism. A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Libertarianism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.

Funny how that works out when you change just one word.

247 Laura March 4, 2013 at 5:21 pm

By the way, if culture accepts the word “cunt” does not make it less offensive. You don’t need the word to make valid arguments, so why use it at all. If someone is using those kind of words, then they have lost the argument.

248 Justicar March 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

“By the way, if culture accepts the word “cunt” does not make it less offensive.”

Of course not; you get to decide that for everyone else.

“You don’t need the word to make valid arguments, so why use it at all.”

And you don’t need to use the internet. I see that the absence of necessity hasn’t counseled you to abstain; you should be entirely unsurprised that an argument you yourself won’t accept as cogent will similarly be dismissed by others.

249 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm

“By the way, if culture accepts the word “cunt” does not make it less offensive. You don’t need the word to make valid arguments, so why use it at all. If someone is using those kind of words, then they have lost the argument.”

It may not may it less offensive to you, but nobody is required to adapt to your sensibilities.

250 Laura March 4, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Calling libertarianism “A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.” is simplifying it too much. If I was arguing against libertarianism, I would do some research and present my arguments (if I didn’t have time to do so, I would not say anything about it)

251 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm

“Calling libertarianism “A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.” is simplifying it too much. If I was arguing against libertarianism, I would do some research and present my arguments (if I didn’t have time to do so, I would not say anything about it)”

So, saying Feminism is “A simple minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard,” is completely ignorant, indicates to you that I have no idea what feminism is, requires me to take a few days to research it, and makes me devoid of any analytical thought if I attempt to defend the statement.

But, saying the exact same thing about Libertarianism is just “simplifying it too much.”

Got it.

252 Brony March 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

@ John Brown 230

Laura, the point here isn’t to focus on “you do it, too.” The point is that people don’t like being told to police their language by a group of people who are abusive and uncharitable to every position save their own.

I don’t give a crap about the fact that both sides use language that the other considers a problem. I care about objective examples of the language and if they are appropriate. Michaels examples are some I think are good ones to consider. It simply does not matter if the “other side” said things you think are a problem because this is a forest issue, not a trees issue. But feel free to give me examples of what you think count as abusive language because there is no reason that we cannot consider both.

If you use the FTB definition of anything coming out of the Slymepit, they themselves are much more guilty of abusing, demeaning, harassing, dehumanizing, bullying and shouting down Republicans, Libertarians, Conservative women, people like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Penn and Teller, creationists, etc, etc, etc…

Challenge 1. Cite examples of FTB definitions of the quality of the Slymepit language. So far all I see from you are accusations with no substance and that is boring.

This realization sunk in at the Slymepit sometime ago. It was hilarious when (as a group) we were doing it to those people. Now, when the same tactics and language are turned inward, it’s not so hilarious anymore.

Do I have this right? It looks like you are saying that folks at the Slymepit realized that the (as yet un-cited) tactics of people at FTB were hurtful when you experienced them? No implications, I just want to clarify you meaning.

One can take away any number of lessons from that realization. Maybe those tactics weren’t the best to use against creationists, Republicans, Libertarians, etc, etc, etc.. Or, maybe they are and people like P.Z. Myers, Stephanie Zvan, EllenBeth Wachs, Sally Strange, Wowbanger, Adam Lee, etc, should stop whining when the same tactics and language is turned back at them.

Oh you do mean it that way. Challenge 2. Provide specific examples of such language or you are asserting without evidence. I don’t mean point at a thread. I mean give me the actual post numbers, and the text itself if its buried. Folks making claims are the ones to provide evidence and I will not do someone else’s work.

@ John Brown 243

“For example, I don’t like the word “cunt” because it of the associated meanings. It is reducing a woman to a body part. A man could argue he feels the same way when called a “dick.” What I am seeing is people just whining. Stop whining and start coming up with solutions. (or else I am going to have to send out a lot of cheese for all that whine)”

You will be happy to know that I am currently trying to stop using gendered insults such as “dick” as well.

And it could be rightfully argued that your offense at the word is very cultural-centric. You have people commenting from all over the world on these boards who don’t feel the need to defer to your offense, since the word is not offensive in their culture.

That does not matter when objective psychological impact is the question. There really are degrees of perceived harm from words that range from annoyance at a one shot piece of criticism, to emotional exhaustion from a term associated with past trauma. Your opinion does not change the perception of others. The important question is are there rationales for supporting and opposing the use of specific words? That is coincidentally (not really) related to Michael’s post.

The point I was making was your criticism is valid if it were a third, disinterested party making it. If your mom is telling you not to do something, a valid response would not be, “But my brother is doing it, too.”

Did I really just see you say that? After you said,
The point is that people don’t like being told to police their language by a group of people who are abusive and uncharitable to every position save their own.
…in comment 230? Good! Your dislike is now invalid hypocrite.

If your brother is telling you not to do something, it is perfectly valid to point out to him that he is engaging in the exact same (if not worse) behavior.

My pot and kettle welcome you to the club.

So, either FtB believes that this is the kind of behavior that only they can engage in, or they don’t believe its bad behavior at all.

Of you can give me examples of the behavior so I can see if your opinion holds anything more than emotion.

@ John Brown 239

“Feminism. A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”
That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Feminism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.

Nice. People who disagree with you are actually mentally damaged. Whatever it takes to avoid actually addressing arguments I guess.

253 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm

“Nice. People who disagree with you are actually mentally damaged. Whatever it takes to avoid actually addressing arguments I guess.”

My point. You just proved it. Congratulations!

254 Brony March 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm

@Justicar248

“By the way, if culture accepts the word “cunt” does not make it less offensive.”
Of course not; you get to decide that for everyone else.

Nope. We do as a group. Morality is necessarily social since its made up from a collection of individuals. So Laura decides it for herself and gives it as an opinion, and I do, and other people do. Then we try to show why the word should not be used and shame when necessary. If this works is a matter of history.
But nice job trying to isolate someone from the group for attack. An effective pack-oriented attack strategy when not noticed.

“You don’t need the word to make valid arguments, so why use it at all.”
And you don’t need to use the internet. I see that the absence of necessity hasn’t counseled you to abstain; you should be entirely unsurprised that an argument you yourself won’t accept as cogent will similarly be dismissed by others.

Answer her question. If you know that a word hurts someone when in a discussion why should anyone use it.

255 SallyStrange March 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Out of curiosity, is anyone on the FTB side willing at this late date to admit that the guy in the elevator didn’t do anything wrong? Wowbagger? Sally? PZ?

Are you kidding me? My thoughts on Elevator Dude remain the same as when I first heard about him: he demonstrated that he was either willing to walk over Rebecca’s clearly defined boundaries, or incapable of perceiving them. And from her follow-up comments indicating that he appeared to her to be socially confident rather than socially awkward, it seems more likely that he was the former: aware that Rebecca had set boundaries, but uninterested, for whatever reason, in respecting them.

That’s not “zero bad,” contra Dawkins. It’s not a Big Bad, but it’s also not zero bad.

Funny, though, that there are people who are STILL angry about that. I mean, even after Rebecca and numerous other women framed it as HELPFUL advice for men who are SINCERELY interested in sexing it up with some pretty lady at a conference (as opposed to, say, getting a kick out of demonstrating their social dominance, with sex as a possible–unlikely but still possible–side effect), there are still people who have trouble with the concept. The instruction was conditional. IF you want to bring more women into the movement, have them attend more conferences, etc., THEN one possible thing you can do to make that happen is not proposition them when they’ve made it clear that they don’t want to be propositioned.

Apparently that “IF” is a big one for some.

256 Brony March 4, 2013 at 5:48 pm

John Brown @253

“Nice. People who disagree with you are actually mentally damaged. Whatever it takes to avoid actually addressing arguments I guess.”

My point. You just proved it. Congratulations!

Since I actually addressed points and requested citations so I could actually investigate more, your response is completely detached from reality. Try being less lazy, you are boring.

257 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm

“Answer her question. If you know that a word hurts someone when in a discussion why should anyone use it.”

That’s pretty simple. Because the world doesn’t revolve around your delicate sensibilities. Because, as I stated earlier, there are hundreds of millions of people (men and women) in this world who don’t only find the word *not* offensive, they use it as a term of endearment.

I have no idea where you’re from, Brony. I’ll just say you’re from the United States as a rhetorical device. Why should anyone in Australia or England give one care what word you do or do not find offensive?

What about the offense you’re giving to them by telling all of them they must conform to your standards?

If you are so offended by seeing a word on your first world computer screen, there is a pretty simple solution. Don’t read that word.

258 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm

“Since I actually addressed points and requested citations so I could actually investigate more, your response is completely detached from reality. Try being less lazy, you are boring.”

If you would bother to read up maybe 10-15 comments and follow the discussion, you would see that you proved my point.

Who’s being lazy and boring now?

259 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

John Brown March 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Well, A Hermit;

If you’re unable to make it through several comment threads which address issues like creationists, Republicans, Libertarians, Conservative women, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, etc, etc, without seeing over the top vitriol,…

A bit difficult without the links…let’s see you back up your claims. I’d really like to see if you can find anything on FtB directed at Libertarians, creationists, Sam Harris or anyone else that comes close to this…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=28

That’s a whole forum directory dedicated specifically to mocking and verbally abusing people identified by the `pit as “baboolies”…including this thread…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10…dedicated to making photoshop images of said “baboolies. It has over 200 entries and 20,000 views.

OK, your turn…show us a similar page at FtB…

260 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

And by “similar page” I don’t mean random comment from three years ago…

261 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

“And by “similar page” I don’t mean random comment from three years ago…”

Bless your cotton socks, Hermit.

That wasn’t a “random comment.” That was a post P.Z. Myers himself made and continues to make in some variation to this day.

Rationalizing away things you don’t want to deal with is fun!

262 Alec Toynton March 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

The quotes listed above are simply vile beyond belief. It is rather sobering to realise that there plenty of really nasty people in the world. What is really scary is the fact that these people can get to vote. I would imagine that a lot of them vote for racist, sexist and xenophobic far right parties. If you can’t say anything civil, then don’t say anything at all. People are perfectly entitled to criticize other people’s points of view but not to resort to foul-mouthed and threatening abuse. Not only is this sort of behaviour vile, but it also demonstrates a lack of intelligence and vocabulary.

263 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

“The quotes listed above are simply vile beyond belief. It is rather sobering to realise that there plenty of really nasty people in the world. What is really scary is the fact that these people can get to vote. I would imagine that a lot of them vote for racist, sexist and xenophobic far right parties.”

When you’re done clutching your pearls, the fainting couch is right over there.

” If you can’t say anything civil, then don’t say anything at all.”

What is this, the second grade? Should I hold my tongue if I don’t have anything civil to say to Fred Phelps or Todd Akin?

“People are perfectly entitled to criticize other people’s points of view but not to resort to foul-mouthed and threatening abuse.”

And I suppose you are the person who is qualified to set up a chair in the anti-chambers of everyone’s mind and be the arbiter what what is and isn’t acceptable?

“Not only is this sort of behaviour vile, but it also demonstrates a lack of intelligence and vocabulary.”

Says the person who believes nobody is entitled to do what he disagrees with.

264 Brony March 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm

@John Brown 257

That’s pretty simple. Because the world doesn’t revolve around your delicate sensibilities. Because, as I stated earlier, there are hundreds of millions of people (men and women) in this world who don’t only find the word *not* offensive, they use it as a term of endearment.

There you go too. Its not me, its we. There are more than one of us therefore the debate is more serious than you want to let on. But that is part of the strategy of course. Minimize your opponent.

My argument is that a person with empathy would care about the effect their language has on others. So if there are people out who react in certain categories toward word use (painful ones, not angry ones), I will avoid those words when talking to them. Especially if there is past trauma involved. Because I actually care about the people around me.

Especially when debating them will I avoid offensive and painful words because that makes my ability to defend ideas weaker. Since it makes you rely on emotional pain in others (anger I can use if it will embarrass dishonest ones).

What you are worried about is there becoming enough people to actually spread ideas like “stop using words that emotionally hurt people because you care about people in general”. Things that me and others are arguing for.

Disagree all you want, but you don’t get to change reality.

I have no idea where you’re from, Brony. I’ll just say you’re from the United States as a rhetorical device. Why should anyone in Australia or England give one care what word you do or do not find offensive?

See above + humans generally being similar when it comes to empathy, and lack thereof.

What about the offense you’re giving to them by telling all of them they must conform to your standards?

That’s just it. I don’t give a shit about offense. Pain and offense are different enough to make this issue more complicated than you want it to be. History has shown the error in banning or suppressing on mere offense.

To me offense is a justification to marshal arguments and try to convince people. Offense is not a reason to try to stop someone from using a word or you are just lazy. Why should offense be a reason for something? Now that is interesting.

You can disagree with it, but avoiding the Pain/Offense dichotomy implicit in my argument is a non-answer.

If you are so offended by seeing a word on your first world computer screen, there is a pretty simple solution. Don’t read that word.

Actually I am actualizing my offense in the proper way right now.

@John Brown 258
Oh no you don’t. I’m not playing the “person making the argument gets to be lazy” game. You cite the relevant comment and say which link. Its pragmatic because I want to make sure I get your meaning and intent correct. I will not hunt for your meanings because I am not you.

Which comments? Its reasonable.

265 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:18 pm

“Oh no you don’t. I’m not playing the “person making the argument gets to be lazy” game. You cite the relevant comment and say which link. Its pragmatic because I want to make sure I get your meaning and intent correct. I will not hunt for your meanings because I am not you.”

I made this statement:

“Feminism. A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.”

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Feminism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.”

You replied:

“Nice. People who disagree with you are actually mentally damaged. Whatever it takes to avoid actually addressing arguments I guess.”

See comment 246 if you have any further questions.

266 Alec Toynton March 4, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Since we live in a free society we have to put up with unpleasant people like you. I would never want to associate with you since you are evidently not a civilized human being.

267 Brony March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

@John Brown 262

Shorter version.

“I’m bothered that you are bothered”

If you were intellectually consistent you would now leave.

Also there you go trying to make it look like its just that one person again. The “how dare you one single person try to determine public morality!” crap is boring. We all collectively determine morality so start actually giving reasons why people are wrong instead of clutching your own pearls.

268 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

“Since we live in a free society we have to put up with unpleasant people like you. I would never want to associate with you since you are evidently not a civilized human being.”

Well, good thing we live in a free society. I can’t imagine living in an un-free society where people like you have a say.

269 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Brony, either address comment 246, or don’t. But don’t get pissed just because I pointed out a double standard that you completely walked into and can’t seem to find a way to back out of.

It’s very, very simple to say, “I see your point,” in regards to the P.Z. Myers post. You’re not doing that. You’re rationalizing it away.

270 Brony March 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

@ John Brown 264

This is why I wanted you to point me to things. You just misrepresented my request.

I’m referring to my comment at 252 where I put in two challenges (and slightly messed up the formatting).

Challenge 1. Cite examples of FTB definitions of the quality of the Slymepit language. So far all I see from you are accusations with no substance and that is boring.

Challenge 2. Provide specific examples of such language or you are asserting without evidence. I don’t mean point at a thread. I mean give me the actual post numbers, and the text itself if its buried. Folks making claims are the ones to provide evidence and I will not do someone else’s work

Now if you don’t want to defend your assertions just say so.

271 Brony March 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm

@John Brown 267

“Since we live in a free society we have to put up with unpleasant people like you. I would never want to associate with you since you are evidently not a civilized human being.”
Well, good thing we live in a free society. I can’t imagine living in an un-free society where people like you have a say.

There you go again with mis-characterizations. They do have a say. They just had their say. So how am I to interpret your comment? I will go with the hypothesis that you want to make them look like they want to force people to be “un-free”. Now what could that mean to a person who obviously depends on dishonest “discussion” tactics?
@John Brown 268

Brony, either address comment 246, or don’t. But don’t get pissed just because I pointed out a double standard that you completely walked into and can’t seem to find a way to back out of.
It’s very, very simple to say, “I see your point,” in regards to the P.Z. Myers post. You’re not doing that. You’re rationalizing it away.

Elaborated upon in 269

272 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

If you were paying attention, Hermit, I never addressed those points. I addressed one point specifically. This one, in fact:

“Nice. People who disagree with you are actually mentally damaged. Whatever it takes to avoid actually addressing arguments I guess.”

You said this as a reply to my original comment:

“‘Feminism. A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.’

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Feminism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.”

Are you still with me so far?

You see, what I did there was take something P.Z. Myers said in a post of his and changed exactly two words. I substituted the word “Feminism” for “Libertarianism,” and the world “left-wing” for “right-wing.”

Here’s the original quote and link:

“’Libertarianism. A simple-minded right-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.’

That is perfectly in line with my own sentiments. Libertarianism isn’t so much a political and economic movement as it is a widespread pathology.”

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/02/15/libertarianism-defined/

Now, I publicly challenge you, in front of all to see, to go onto P.Z. Myer’s thread (any thread will do), reference this post and reply with: “Nice. People who disagree with you are actually mentally damaged. Whatever it takes to avoid actually addressing arguments I guess.”

Now, you and I are done with this back and forth. Anyone reading this thread can see the obvious double standard at play and your reaction to it. It’s all very telling.

Now, good day, Sir/Ma’am.

273 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:40 pm

“There you go again with mis-characterizations. They do have a say. They just had their say. So how am I to interpret your comment? I will go with the hypothesis that you want to make them look like they want to force people to be “un-free”. Now what could that mean to a person who obviously depends on dishonest “discussion” tactics?”

Maybe parse out my statement before you reply so you don’t look so hapless?

I said it was a good thing we don’t live in an *UN-FREE* society where people like him have a say. See, that was a direct response to his lament about having to put up with people like me because we live in a *free* society.

See what I did there?

274 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Sorry, comment 271 should be addressing Brony, not Hermit.

275 idahogie March 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

If I were a member of today’s Republican Party, I’d wonder why my policies and message were so resonant with the racists, the scientifically illiterate, and the white uppercrust in our society. What is it about the GOP’s positions that such people find so appealing?

Likewise, if I were a member of the slimepit, I’d wonder why it is that the group attracts the MRAs, the msogynists, and the really nasty people that you find over there. Unless, of course, I were comfortable hanging with those sorts of people.

There are aggressive, in-your-face commenters nearly everywhere — some places are more tolerant of such behavior. Pharyngula is one such place, generally speaking. However, that site doesn’t have as one of its primary, fundamental objectives defending their right to verbally assault and harrass a class of people in a way that extends beyond their ideas.

I would love to have a beer with a room full of Pharyngulites. Face to face, I’m sure we’d get along marvelously — despite the fact that some of them get heated in comment threads. They seem to be generally decent people who care about their fellow human beings.

But I think I would be totally creeped out hanging with slimepitters. If one of them started justifying sexist behavior towards the waitress and sharing rape jokes, and if I objected, that group would come down harder on me than on the offender. I would really start to question my own decency if I found myself associated with such a group.

276 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:01 pm

That wasn’t a “random comment.” That was a post P.Z. Myers himself made and continues to make in some variation to this day.

So in your mind one generalized comment about a political philosophy (which is all you’ve given us) is exactly like the pages and pages of personal attacks on identifiable individuals I linked to above…

Thank you Mr Brown. This is an excellent illustration of the false equivalence I keep talking about.

You simply can’t find anything like those slymepit threads directed at individual libertarians, creationists or anyone else at FtB. So lets please stop pretending that “both sides do it” is any kind of a legitimate argument here. It clearly isn’t.

277 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm

“So in your mind one generalized comment about a political philosophy (which is all you’ve given us) is exactly like the pages and pages of personal attacks on identifiable individuals I linked to above…”

I had no idea you could read minds! It’s a miracle!

I simply replaced two words in P.Z. Myers post and restated it here. People took the bait and took exception. When I reverted the statement back and put them side by side, all of the exception they took all of a sudden vanished.

Laura excused herself from the thread. Brony rationalized it away, and instead of addressing the contradiction, you pretend like you can read my mind.

So….yeah.

All it would take to make all of this stop would be for any one of you to go, “Huh. That guy has a point. If it’s not cool to make those kinds of sweeping generalizations about feminism, it’s probably not OK to do it about other people/ideologies.”

But, that would require introspection and the horrifying realization that you might have to re-evaluate some of your core beliefs.

Heaven forbid!

278 John C. Welch March 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm

So many things to say, such a small internet.

First, and this is critical: Justin Vacula is neither authorized nor in fact able to “answer” for the ‘pit. He speaks for no one but himself. He doesn’t speak for me, and if you read the ‘pit for more than quotemining purposes, (we’ll get to that later), you’d see that rather a lot of people there are really quite insistent about that. So already, we see that you have no real idea about what it is you’re criticizing. Indeed, I’d say your understanding of the ‘pit is only marginally better than Ken Ham’s understanding of evolution, (and your quote-mining shows your ethics to be about at the same level as Ham’s as well.)

Justin Vacula’s opinion of what anyone who is not Justin Vacula has written has about as much “validity” as your opinion of it. He cannot, can. not. answer for it, nor will many of us allow him to. If you want to find out why a specific person said a specific thing, then I suggest you spine up and ask that person.

One of the primary ‘rules’ of the ‘pit, if you are that desperate to codify things, is simple: “you, and only you, are responsible for your words”.

No one “makes” anyone type a single letter there. One’s participation, or lack thereof in the ‘pit is that individual’s choice. If I choose to post a bit about my dad’s daft fascination with leisure suits, that doesn’t make anyone else there “responsible” for that post, any more that I am responsible for anyone else’s post.

It is, as we have tried to state over and over, in atmosphere, a pub. People wander from conversation to conversation as they wish. Some folks only drop in once a month or so, others seem to live there. About the only conclusion you can draw from participation in the ‘pit is that we generally like the pub and enough of the people in it to come back. It does not, by any means, imply we all hold hands and sing every post in multipart harmony.

Again, reading for understanding rather than quote-mining would show that the disagreements there are frequent and heated. In my case, to say I don’t get along with Franc Hoggle would be an understatement. But I wouldn’t want him banned. When one of the local MRAs started pushing what I thought was sheer idiocy, I very specifically and pointedly called them out on it. When, in the course of our argument, he found a rather blatant date error in one of my statements, he called me out on it, and as he was correct, I admitted my error, and moved on.

No one was banned though. No one was hounded off the site. We weren’t particularly *nice* to each other, but the fact I thought he was, in this instance, completely full of shit didn’t mean that when he found an error I had made, I dismissed his point, because he was not doing well on others.

It’s funny though…how angry, and upset the FTB lot get when you call them or even refer to them as some kind of hive mind, and yet, the first thing they do when talking about the ‘pit, is make sure the only image anyone has is that we are all of the same mind and opinion.

I’m amused to see you joining in on that Michael.

It says a lot about how seriously anyone from the ‘pit should take you. After all, you’re not even dealing with who we are. You’re “fighting” a chimera, a mythical creature that doesn’t exist. I thought skeptics and atheists didn’t believe in fantasy. Hmm…another myth I suppose.

Now, let us spend some time on your post. It shows a lot of work. That level of quote-mining clearly took no small amount of effort. I would applaud it based solely on that, but, as my dad said “Just because you worked hard at being wrong doesn’t mean you still weren’t wrong.”

For example, this bon mot:

[two named persons] Wow, you two are a little two-person retard train, aren’t you?

Wow, that’s pretty awful. Man, ableist as hell right? There’s just one problem…Michael only showed part of the comment. He made it look like it originated in the ‘pit. But that’s not exactly true, is it Michael?

Here, the *full* post:

I’m laughing almost as much as I did when Tony started fapping to the urethra meatus.

https://twitter.com/Dalesy617/status/287071925572861953

@micknugent @rebeccawatson Wow, you two are a little two-person retard train, aren’t you?

It’s a comment on a *twitter* post, said post by Dalesy617.

But I’m sure it’s okay that Michael did that, because after all, he would never want to imply something that’s not true, like the part he quoted originated in the ‘pit. After all, I’m sure Michael is an honorable person.

Or this one:

I’ve posted a few fat jokes and insults. Way I see it, anything one has the power to change about oneself, one can expect to be used for a cheap laugh: obesity, religion, or dying your fucking hair blue.

Well, it’s not a nice opinion, but it’s not particularly horrible. However, let’s look at the entire thing:

I’ve posted a few fat jokes and insults. Way I see it, anything one has the power to change about oneself, one can expect to be used for a cheap laugh: obesity, religion, or dying your fucking hair blue.

It’s why I don’t make race jokes, or laugh at people with a disability (I hated the username that was something like “Spacklick”, for eg). I love the hypocrisy of many television celebrities, who go on panel shows and make jokes about Heather Mills, then come November they’ve got the poppy on and are schmoozing with wounded war vets.

Is ConcentratedH2O going to win the Mr. Rogers Award anytime soon? No. But funny how context shows the whole story, about how it’s someone stating where they personally draw the line on personal appearance jokes. It almost gives you a more complete view of what’s going on, so if you decide to agree or not, you’re at least basing that (dis)agreement on all the information. But, I’m sure Michael didn’t clip that rather short quote pull so as to deliberately make it look as awful as possible. After all, I’m sure Michael is an honorable person.

We can look at your post-list caveats all day long, but the end result of your list is clear: you deliberately, and specifically quote-mined comments to show the worst possible view of the people making them, in some cases, deliberately trimming them to look as if they originated in the ‘pit, even when that was not actually the case.

Why? Why would you not use the entire comment? I refuse to buy into a space issue, as in one case, the entire comment would have added a sentence, a twitter URL and two blank lines to things. *Clearly* it is not a space or length problem. As well, I’m pretty sure that when creationists pull this same kind of stunt, that is, create a long list of “Things Evolutionists Say” that are nothing but out of context quote mines and cherry picking, you, like everyone else on the side of evolution, gets rather annoyed with it, because it is such a fundamentally dishonest thing to do

However, I am glad you did it, because it tells me a few things:

1) You are exactly as hypocritical as Ophelia, PZ, and all the rest. You will complain about things like quote-mining up until the exact point when such a tactic will work in your favor. Once that happens, well, it’s all right when you do it, right? You have a “noble” goal in mind, in this case, the ends justify the means, right? It was wrong to mansplain to Rebecca Watson about how she should feel about Elevator Guy, but when PZ not only mansplained to Stef McGraw how she should feel, but said she should feel *honored* and *respected* instead of attacked, that was totes okay? When Stephanie Zvan gets very, very angry if you use any form of her name but the one she approves of, then justifies calling Richard Dawkins “Dick” because after all, “Dick” is an approved diminutive of “Richard”, that’s not hypocritical at all. When Benson, Canuck, Zvan and all the rest go on and on about how threats are bad and evil, and yet when one of their own makes one against another freethought blogger, the only fallout is to reluctantly not allow him to blog there anymore? Not ban him from the site. He just can’t create *new* blogs there anymore. Even worse, they straight-updefended him as RIGHT in making that threat. That’s not hypocritical either? Ophelia continually castigates anyone using gendered insults, but when she uses “bitchez” and “pricks” it’s okay. Ophelia moderates the hell out of her blog, but if anyone DARES moderate one of her comments on THEIR blog, SOUND THE ALARM! FREEZE PEACH!!! What then Michael? What is wrong no matter who does it? Tell us unequivocally, one tactic, one friggin’ thing that is wrong no matter WHO does it? Because we’ve established it sure as hell isn’t mansplaining, gendered insults, using the wrong version of someone’s name as an insult, threats or moderation. It’s also clearly not trying to harass people at their workplace in an attempt to silence them either. So what Michael? What is actually wrong no matter who does it?

2) You created this list to make it effectively impossible for Justin to actually coherently reply, and you then mislead like hell about the origins of the quotes. Let me show your words again:

I’m using examples that were published on The Slymepit website. I could add examples from Elevatorgate, YouTube and elsewhere, but I think there is enough here to be representative of the “nasty pushback” we are discussing. I’ve numbered them to make it easier for you to respond.

So the inference here is clear: these are all slymepit originated comments. Except for 21:

I skipped to the end of the current conversation and became acquainted with a commenter named [named person] who apparently doesn’t like [named person] very much–based on the fact that he concluded his comment with the phrase ‘Fuck her. Fuck her. Kill her. Dump her in a ditch’. This actually did get some negative attention from the mod and a couple of other posters. That was at 11PM PST last night. This morning, the offensive phrase that I reproduced above has been miraculously modified to read “Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her on the cheeks”.

That didn’t originate in the ‘pit, did it. Nope. In fact, the actual origin of the comment is from FTB, specifically:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/02/01/there-can-be-no-khitomer-accord/#comment-101295

It’s still there as of me writing this comment. The quoted comment is not one originated by anyone on the ‘pit. It first shows up in the ‘pit when Renee Hendricks quotes it. Why Michael? Why obfuscate the actual origin of that quote? Especially since more than a few people in the ‘pit, including one who is an out and proud MRA thought it was a fair and balanced comment. Oh, wait…I bet that’s it, right?

You had a chance to be honest about that quote Michael and point out it didn’t originate in the ‘pit, but rather was quoted by someone in the ‘pit commenting on it.

But you didn’t. Instead you left it there as if it had *originated* in the ‘pit. As you did with other comments. This shows I think a fundamental dishonesty in your approach, and a desire to obfuscate things so as to create the “proper” narrative.

I would also note that in general, these are tactics used by creationists and fundamentalists when they attack evolution and atheists and are, in general, condemned. So why is it now *okay* for you to do this?

Why is it okay for you to use the same tactics you would call out someone for using against you?

I cannot read your mind, but I will say this: This kind of thing, this “it’s okay when we do it” thought is not new. In fact, there’s a group that has turned it into a rather sick art form: Scientology, and “Fair Game”. We are your “Suppressive Persons” right? So all the ethics and proper treatment you would normally demand doesn’t apply, does it. After all, we’re just members of the ‘pit. We’re the SPs. Whatever tactic you use against us is okay, right?

You certainly have that option. It is, sadly, a ‘right’ of sorts. But don’t expect me, or many other people to think of this post, or you, as anything else but deceitful and dishonest when you do such things. Don’t expect us to seriously think that you are acting in any form of good faith when you use deceit to make your case. The fact you use “nice”, “proper” language doesn’t change any of that.

If Justin choses to respond to you as you wish him to, that’s his choice. We’ve already warned him that he’s charlie brown thinking that this time, lucy won’t yank away the football. He’s a grown-assed adult, he can take that risk if he wants.

But he doesn’t speak for anyone but himself. And as for me, I think you should be ashamed of what you tried to do with this post.

279 Brony March 4, 2013 at 6:58 pm

@John Brown 271

If you were paying attention, Hermit (Brony), I never addressed those points. I addressed one point specifically. This one, in fact:…

And stop. We can get to your point when you actually address my challenges. You are attacking a side comment about something you were talking about with someone else. I care about your assertions about FTB bloggers. Your statements of fact about their arguments that were made prior to your comment about feminism and pathology in comments 230 and 243.

I will not advance until you can demonstrated that you can actually carry an honest exchange.

So I repeat,
Challenge 1. Cite examples of FTB definitions of the quality of the Slymepit language. So far all I see from you are accusations with no substance and that is boring.
Challenge 2. Provide specific examples of such language or you are asserting without evidence. I don’t mean point at a thread. I mean give me the actual post numbers, and the text itself if its buried. Folks making claims are the ones to provide evidence and I will not do someone else’s work.

Otherwise…

Now, you and I are done with this back and forth. Anyone reading this thread can see the obvious double standard at play and your reaction to it. It’s all very telling.

Bye bye!

@John Brown 272

See what I did there?

Back so soon? Yeah, I saw you try to imply that they wanted something suppressive. I also saw you ignore the part where I said that they did have a say, and used it, so why would you say they don’t have a say?

280 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm

“I will not advance until you can demonstrated that you can actually carry an honest exchange.”

Meh. It’s a nice trick you’re attempting, but I’m sure the good people of this thread recognize it for what it is.

You’ve been given your example. In fact, you walked right into it completely unawares. I would guess that you’re a bit embarrassed by this fact and are now attempting to extricate yourself with your dignity in place. Which would be a rather easy thing to do if you just said, “Yeah. I see your point. When you said that about feminism, I replied the way I did because you were over-generalizing and it sounded hateful. The same should apply to P.Z. Myers when he does the same thing.”

Are you doing that? Nope. You’re insisting that I address three or four other points you made before you will consider continuing the conversation.

Which is just basically your way of holding the conversation hostage until you can figure out a way to back yourself out of the corner you put yourself into while convincing everyone you meant to put yourself in the corner in the first place because…magic!

Like I said before; Good Day, Sir/Ma’am.

281 Brony March 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Laura excused herself from the thread. Brony rationalized it away, and instead of addressing the contradiction, you pretend like you can read my mind.

If you look closely you will see that I never weighed in on that issue until you tried to pull me in. I believe “full of it” is more and more accurate.

All it would take to make all of this stop would be for any one of you to go, “Huh. That guy has a point. If it’s not cool to make those kinds of sweeping generalizations about feminism, it’s probably not OK to do it about other people/ideologies.”

Stop? Oh no! Don’t stop! This is excellent practice at primate chess! Though that did sound a lot like something a mafia type would say…

But, that would require introspection and the horrifying realization that you might have to re-evaluate some of your core beliefs.

Yeah, I need a new monitor.

282 Brony March 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

@John Brown 278

So you will not be defending my request for materials to research your claims. Yes, full of it.

My request that predated your demand to engage in a challenge related to an issue between you and hermit. Made after my request.

Definitely full of it.

Like I said before; Good Day, Sir/Ma’am.

You keep saying that. You don’t have to reply to my comments.

283 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

John, it’s like you didn’t even read my previous post…

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/#comment-195296

Can you find anything on FtB directed at libertarians, creationists or anyone else that even comes close to the volume and intensity and personal nature of those slymepit threads?

I’m still waiting…

284 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

@Pitchguest

That discussion was buried, so some quick points:

1) The fact that Myers got rid of those comments (assuming that’s what happened, I doubt it was that simple), that shows that he’s trying to eliminate that type of comment. Are you in favor of the pit doing the same?

2) It wasn’t just that the comments weren’t available, it was that the one I could contradicted your case. I’m left wondering how many of those links were similarly opposed to the argument you were making. It’s also amusing that you can’t find anything within the last two years (maybe longer, the aggregate post was from 2010, who knows when the individual comments were made?).

3) Your first post cites the unmoderated nature of the pit as somehow relevant to the discussion. It isn’t. Allowing horrible things to be said and defending or dismissing the horrible things are not the same thing.

4) If you’re on board with condemning those sorts of comments, what’s your objection to Nugent’s challenge?

285 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

@John Brown

““‘Feminism. A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard.’”

I would have no moral objection to someone making this argument. I disagree with the content, but if that was the worst of it, there wouldn’t be much of a problem.

The notion that you read the comments in the OP and think that Myers’ statement about libertarianism is equivalent, you have missed the point entirely.

286 ChasCPeterson March 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Watch, ladies and germs, as I demonstrate the equivalence of two fruits by replacing just one word in a sentence:

An apple is a crispy pome fruit with red or green skin.

Seems true, right? But watch:

A banana is a crispy pome fruit with red or green skin.

Ha! Now do see how ridiculous the first statement was?
QED.

287 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 7:42 pm

@doubtthat

Well, why would you have a moral objection to that argument? It’s not anywhere near morally objectionable. Neither was P.Z.’s original statement about Libertarianism. This has nothing to do with morality. It has to do with hypocrisy.

I made the statement. People immediately took exception or offense. I reverted the statement and those same people started staring at their belly buttons.

That’s the point, doubtthat. It’s perfectly OK when their team engages in that kind of rhetoric. But, when the other team does so, it’s not OK. All of a sudden, nuance, context, intent and history matters.

It’s not me who missed the point, doubtthat. It’s everyone on this board who casually rationalizes away the contradiction.

It’s not equivalent. It’s not timely. You missed the point. You failed to address the other 100 points I was making before I backed myself into a corner, so it doesn’t count. I have no “moral objection,” so it doesn’t matter.

I am Jack’s shocked face.

288 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm

ChasCPeterson … FTW!

289 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm

“An apple is a crispy pome fruit with red or green skin.

Seems true, right? But watch:

A banana is a crispy pome fruit with red or green skin.”

Right. Except apples and bananas are tangible things while Feminism and Libertarianism are not. Also, the statement “crispy pome fruit with red or green skin,” is a factual statement while “A simple-minded left-wing ideology ideally suited to those unable or unwilling to see past their own sociopathic self-regard,” is an opinion which is most likely shaped by ideology…therefore highly subjective and up for interpretation.

As ideologies, they are thought up by people. People tend to be very different in most every way. Since they are so different, making sweeping generalizations about their motivations is generally seen as a logical fallacy of the first order.

290 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

@John Brown

No, it isn’t about hypocrisy, that’s the point.

The difference between the Myers quote and the ones listed in the OP is precisely the moral implication of saying each. Broadly speaking, you have the difference between attacking individuals for the way they look, their sexual preference, their gender…etc., and attacking ideas.

You’re welcome to describe any idea I have as dumb, but when you send me 400 tweets about raping my mother, I’ll have a bit of an issue.

Opinions on acceptable levels of civility will vary, but using harsh language to describe ideas and ideology aren’t what this discussion is about. It’s a scope shift.

291 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

All right. Long day. I’m going to start with oolon, since he craves attention.

#178 oolon

The insults and nastiness on the Slymepit compared to FtBs is clearly not in the same league by any measure. The reason the pitters try and defend it is easy – they want to be able to justify their hatred of and obsession with FtBs. Of course they’ll say they don’t care about FtBs/Skepchick or they are only in it for the laughs…. You know anyone who obsesses for *years* about one “joke”? No, of course they hate them, and for a mixture of reasons.

Really, hatred of and obsession with FTB. For one who claims to be willing to see the legitimacy of both sides, you do like playing on only one side of the fence. Maybe you’ve stopped trying to be a mediator and decided finally to simply stir the proverbial pot of shit. And you wonder why people call you a slimy turd.

But I suppose if we have to have a childish pissing contest, one that Michael Nugent so very obviously hopes for, then this small sample list compiled by Slymepit member ‘Apples’ should suffice as to the insults and ‘nastiness’ that is supposedly not in the same league by any measure.

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70836#p70836

[Trigger warning: the link leads to a post on the Slymepit detailing posts on Pharyngula where a lot of them tell people to “fuck off and die.” You have been warned.]

What this leads to is the biggest “Sceptical” echo-chamber on the internet, and the pitters know this. They often call for a “champion” from FtBs to come “police” them or even welcome people coming to take the piss like me as helping them not be an echo chamber! Truth is while some of their members are verbose and contrary about a couple of issues that will never make them “sceptics”, they will not stop being an echo chamber unless they actively try.

Hahaha. Echo chamber. That’s rich coming from someone who co-authored a “Blockbot” on Twitter. What makes an echo chamber is the impossibility to voice dissent without fear of being banned. Does the Slymepit ban dissenters? Be honest. Furthermore, your summary about your posting on the Slymepit? Masterful subterfuge, I have to say. We “welcomed you” to “take the piss, helping it become less of an echo chamber.” Brilliant. But then you contradict yourself in the next sentence by saying that “some of their members are contrary about a couple of issues”, which by its definition is the opposite of an echo chamber. It’s good to know that nothing about you has changed since you “left”, oolon.

Few cases –
– Sally Strange “threatening herself with rape” on TFs blog, this was frankly one of the least likely options from a purely logical point of view but was swallowed as the Official Slyme-meme and is trotted out by high profile idiots such as Hoggle (Under numerous socks of course)

Really, this was taken up as a Slyme-meme, was it? And I’m sure you can account for this? (Of course you can’t.) Franc, while a member, does not represent the entire forum and he has his own opinions which, contrary to an echo chamber, people can disagree with and have disagreed with on the ‘Pit. But I don’t think you’ve dug deep enough. Go deeper.

Then there’s the point about franc using sockpuppets to do his bidding, which again you most definitely cannot support.

– More recently Ophelia “calling” GWW a “#stupidbitch”, even the “reasonable” pitter Damion swallows this whole and shits it out on Twitter as an approved Slyme-meme. https://twitter.com/OpheliaBenson/status/299604131893612544
In all its glory there, never mind Steve Novellas calls for more charity you’d need a frontal lobotomy to read that any way other than her calling herself a “#stupidbitch” ironically.

Yes, because “it’s a joke” only works when you do it. There was literally no way of knowing that Ophelia was referring to herself because (shock and horror) intent is not magic – and because intent is not magic, and because we can’t read minds, we could need a “frontal lobotomy” to read it in any other way. Amazing. Besides, I thought Ophelia never used the word “bitch”, so I guess that now means she’s a sexist misogynist?

But I see, a charitable reading in one case, but uncharitable readings in others. Like for example how you read what’s going on at the Slymepit, like some of the comments that Michael has quote-mined and cherry picked for his little exposé, you read those uncharitably – and because you’re the slimy little turd that you are, as uncharitably as you can. Which is why the remark, “I will cut you, you stupid fucking troll” by Tethys while imaging brandishing two broken beer bottles was marked “clearly a joke” by Chris Clarke so easily, and anyone who might have seen it as a veiled threat was “too dimwitted to comprehend” that it was, in fact, a joke.

However, when Jerry Conlon said, “Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good, you already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake” it’s quite clearly, unequivocally, beyond the shadow of a doubt, a genuine threat.

Of course even if the pitters did accept she was calling herself that ironically they would then proceed to say this justifies them calling her that non-ironically. No really, they would… Just look up Dick Strawkins on my blog for an epic example of this type of pit-logic. Or look up just “Strawkins” on FreethoughtBlogs for more examples of the lies they are happy to spread with no apology or retraction.

Again, you demonstrate your complete inability to remain objective on any subject. If you want to claim he’s saying “lies” that he’s “happy to spread with no apology or retraction”, then maybe you should link to those “lies.” But since it’s apparently in your nature to be a snake, you won’t. Which is probably also why you keep on insisting (even though there’s no real evidence) that franc hoggle’s real name is Victor Ivanoff, or that’s really his picture, despite the fact that the “information” were accumulated by bloggers on FTB. Objectivity is clearly not your forté, nor is honesty.

So all the bystanders on the pit like Justin and some apologists above who proclaim the pit as some sceptical nirvana because no comments are censored (Absolute bullshit as they are deleted and edited just like any forum). Somehow any opinion being crapped out in text form on the forum just magically “makes” it a haven for freethought, critical thinking and scepticism. Forget about confirmation bias, as the primary driver in the pit, let alone any other cognitive bias. In reality information coming into the pit is parsed thusly ->

Only two people have ever been banned on the ‘Pit. No comments are edited for content or deleted (except for that one time when a commenter [who was banned] posted child porn [which you took a screenshot of, oolon]) and if you want to disprove this, prove it. And we have a confirmation bias? Really? What about the article whose comment section you’re now commenting on? But since Michael Nugent is on “your side”, the attempt to procure a ‘gotcha!’ moment doesn’t register, I guess.

1. Is it about FreethoughtBlogs/Skepchick?
2. No. Ignore
3. Yes. Can it be interpreted in a poor light for FtBs/Skepchick in any way?
4. No. Ignore (maybe try for a few posts)
5. Yes. How do we frame it to get it to stick?
6. Now engage “critical” thinking skills…

My evidence for this obsession -> http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/01/30/terms/#comment-191521

You point to a user making a hamfisted summary of the ‘Pit and you call it fact. Fantastic.

292 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

But, it is about hypocrisy, @doubtthat.

I pointed out one, very very tiny instance of it, which should have given some people a bit of pause. It didn’t. If people are that blinded and entrenched not to be able to concede on tiny point, why would they examine their side any further?

Using harsh language to describe ideas and ideology may not be the best way to go about a discussion, but then again, it depends on the discussion.

As far as I know, there are no rape/death threats coming out of the Slymepit. You’re more than free to correct me on this if I’m wrong. People over there do tend to get lathered up into a mob mentality from time to time, but no less than the people at FtB.

People like Michael Nugent want to make this completely one sided. He wants to pretend that this is all 100% one-sided.

It’s not.

293 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Continuing addressing oolon, next is this,

#184

Oh well my comments in moderation, I’ll just add my LOL to the chorus laughing at PitchGuest linking to Aratina *debunking* another idiot like PG claiming Pharyngulites constantly use violent imagery… And that was debunked *years* ago
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/#comment-194740

Well done PG!

“Idiot”, is it? Ableist. You’re slipping badly. But I wouldn’t have used the word “debunking” – rather “showcasing”, since Aratina doesn’t appear to be bothered by the content. Of course, the comments alleged by Wally Smith that Aratina couldn’t find were probably made up, and some are quote-mined reactions, but these users made the move over to FTB and still post there regularly. But since I can’t prove that as the comments are unfortunately AWOL, then maybe just quoting a regular on FTB from the old Scienceblogs section would be enough:

Janine, Mistress Of Foul Mouth Abuse, OM

March 3, 2010
Oh my, Aratina Cage. A couple of those are mine. I have to admit, I am proud of the splintering cross line. That when when I was having fun playing with the Rookie. Sometimes I do miss him. He was an excellent chew toy. It helped to keep my pelt sniny.

The “playing with the Rookie” goes to another link, where Janine says this,

Janine, Insulting Sinner

March 14, 2009

Posted by: The Rookie | March 14, 2009 4:58 PM [kill]?[hide comment]

I would also advocate instituting a filtering system for profane/vile language.

You maggot infested pile of shit, if you do not like the language used here, just stay in your own goddamned little hellhole and fuck yourself up the ass with a splintering cross.

Damn but your whining puts colicky six month old babies to shame.

That coupled with my links to comments on FTB compiled by user ‘Apples’ on the ‘Pit should be proof if we are in the ‘same league’ of ‘nastiness’ or not.

294 Za-zen March 4, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Yaweh’s balls, drop the rape threat bullshit. The hypocrisy is astounding. The slymepit does not threaten rape of any individual. Get that clear in the ideologically addled brainfarts you expel.

Further to this, the rape wish meme (in the rusty knife/porcupine format) is pzblog material, as is the deathwish meme. Last time i checked death (by varying horrific means) was a worse fate than rape. And the deathwish meme is a most certain mainstay of the parlance at borg central. Shock fucking horror, pull out the fainting couches, someone didn’t put rape at the top of the list of “most horrible things ever! Heresy!”

Knowing this, is it “moral bad” to tell comment to someone you hope they die horribly, or “moral badder” (oh the lulz) to comment to someone you hope they get raped?

Note, the Pit is not known for wishing rape or death on any person. Despite the propaganda to the contrary. So since the overarching theme of the OP is “morality” what is acceptable and what’s not, and i infer from the OP that he considers the text he has lifted from the Pit to be morally objectionable, i conclude, that he therefore must deem Pzblog to be the most morally objectionable black hole within online atheism.

Yet i’ve missed his attempt to address the evil at the heart of Atheism, the haven of death and rape wishers that is pharyngula. Perhaps he means to cut his teeth on the bad werdz of the pyt, before challenging myers with the list of immoral fantasies he hosts.

295 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

#219 A Hermit

If I had seen that comment before I would have objected to it too. Consistent enough for you?

Unlike you I don’t play the “But teacher!!11! Billy did it TOOOoOOOO!!!11!!” card.

For crying out loud, learn to read. That’s not what I’ve been doing at all and that hasn’t been my point, and this is now the fifth time I’ve said this. Should I really have to repeat it again? First Sally, then doubtthat and now you. What is with the FTB clique and its inability to read simple sentences? Sort it the fuck out.

Thing is; you have to dig really deep to find an example like that at FtB; on the rare occasions when I have seen that kind of thing there it is always met with a lot of pushback from the other commenters. Unlike the slymepit where stuff like the example Michael posted are an everyday occurrence and are not only tolerated but encouraged and even celebrated.

Clearly you don’t need to dig deep enough (as the list compiled on the ‘Pit will tell you). And an ‘everyday occurence’, is it, and not only tolerated but encouraged and celebrated? Go home, eyeball.

The list YOU published was from three years ago, prior to FtB, and even then, if you actually follow the links, at least some of those are examples of trolls dropping in to attack Myers and his commenters.

And the new list I published was samples from only a few months ago. Clearly not much has changed, but how time flies.

You’re pushing a false equivalence; a simplistic “both sides do it, so I don’t have think about my own behaviour” dodge. You’re not fooling anyone but yourself.

Actually, you’re the one telling me I’m pushing a “both sides do it” false equivalence, but that hasn’t really been point at all from the get-go, but I’ve only said that five, I guess six, times now, so I assume it won’t get through your (apparently) thick skull even if I say it a hundred times.

#211 lollen

And this is just two strawmen. Excellent.

Oh, but to end with, while Michael Nugent is not very subtly attempting to police the tone of places like the Slymepit, as well as not very subtly attempting for Justin Vacula to denounce it as an “abusive, shaming and very disturbing” forum, maybe he should look closer to home before he should think to throw stones living in a very obvious glass house?

http://thatsireland.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/battle-of-the-st-patricks-day-t-shirts/

“Drink up, bitches” *gasp*

“Irish up, bitches” *shock*

“Defend Ireland” (with picture of two assault rifles) *faints*

And the comments on the official Atheist Ireland forum (posted by Skepsheik in comment #215) which is, well, shall we say, perhaps not as savoury as Michael would like? Just for posterity, I’ll quote the relevant portion again here:

” 1. Gendered epithet ” who the hell gave it to you BITCH?”
2. Gendered epithet “The opportunistic bitch of a nun tried to imply that her religious education was somehow better than the boys school version.”
3. Gendered epithet ” I get hit again soon so I can properly demo this bitch out.”
4. Gendered epithet ”I’m on planet science, bitch”
5. Gendered epithet “the only thing gods or religions have ever proven is that they are science’s bitch. see that apostrophe in “science’s” remember it bitch”
6. Gendered epithets “If that sick criminal, son of a bitch, Ratzinger comes to Ireland, Ill protest against him everywhere he goes.”
7. Gendered epithet “we can call someone a cunt as a term of endearment but no other people do.”
8. Gendered epithet “I have ze seniority over you, you leeteel pussy.”
9. Joke about raping children “Fuck them, Do we have time?”
10. Video of Jim Jeffries making jokes about child molesting and punching women in the face, described as “brillant stand up sketch”
11. Photo making light of child abuse by portraying the pope as a paedophile.
12. Photo of church logo for Catholic archdiocesan youth commission, making light of child abuse .
13. Photo of statue of pope with kneeling children, making light of child rape allegations.
14. Photo of church stainless glass window showing altar boy kneeling before bishop, again making fun of child abuse allegations.
15. Antisemitism “I had one but the bloody Jews bombed the shit out of it.”
16. Photoshop joke of the pope as a child molester.
17. Joke making fun of a photo of pope, implying he was a child molester. “But he was not a little boy at the time, he was at least THIS tall.”
18. Gendered epithet “Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you are a C#@t”
19. Misogynistic joke about a woman trying to pay her taxi fare using her vagina, with the punchline being the taxi driver asks her “do you have anything smaller”
20. Misogynistic sex shaming joke about prostitution and a man accidently discovering his wife is a prostitute.
21. Misogynistic joke about a money grabbing woman who demands from a suitor that he has “Mercedes in your garage, a million dollars in the bank and ’7′ inches in your pants’.
22. Misogynistic wife beating joke about a man finding out his wife is not a virgin on their wedding night, the punchline being “you hit her with the shovel”
23. Fat shaming “you can bet your fat ass it won’t be Cheerios!”
24. Paedophile joke about a priest, Father McKintyre ejaculating on child.
25. Fat shaming “Two fat blokes in a pub, one says to the other ‘Your round.’ The other one says ‘So are you, you fat bastard!’”
26. Youtube clip joking about child rape by priest.
27. Sectarian epithets “Orange bastard”
28. Misogynistic remark “Apparently the drop in the number of suicide bombings has been put down to the emergence of the Scottish singing star, Susan Boyle – now that Muslims know what a virgin looks like that they are not so keen on going to paradise.”
29. Misogynistic joke about Adam bargaining with God in the garden of Eden, with the punchline being “Fuck that, what will I get for a rib?”
30. Racist joke about “The Effect of Political Correctness and Government Policies”
31. Picture of woman forced to ring a doorbell constructed to look like male genitalia.
32. Cartoon making light of child abuse in the church.
33. Cartoon of the pope implying he is a paedophile.
34. Misogynistic picture of urinals shaped like a womans body.

Tsk tsk tsk. Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful.

296 oolon March 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Pitchguest, thanks for looking up some comments I couldn’t care less about, I was just laughing at your fail. The post is about things said on the Slymepit, did you not notice that? Which is the main problem with the frantic arm waving from the various pitters here. They, like you, are disingenuous. None of you care what Pharyngulites say on their forum because you come from a forum where free speech is king, words have no power and all of this is supposedly moot to you all. You argue from a position of, what is from your point of view, sophistry… Hence the jibe about me calling you an “idiot” as I’m supposed to believe its ableist. Actually I’m not convinced by that argument… But you think I am so “argue” based on my presumed beliefs not your own.

Why for once don’t you try arguing honestly and cut out all the bullshit about what X,Y or Z person said when you really could care less. Its a tactic to “win” some points in the ongoing avoid the question dance and paint your accusers as hypocrites. As you should well know as a top level Slymepit “skeptic” that in itself is fallacious reasoning… Tu Quoque, appeal to hypocrisy or however you put it – what anyone has ever said on any FtB or Skepchick blog has not one whit of relevance to this blog post.

Now do you agree the examples Michael gives are morally justified or not?

297 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

@289 John Brown

You’re going to have to spell out the hypocrisy, because it looks like you’re just manipulating the scope to make a trivial point.

The argument coming from FtB is not “don’t use bad words” or “don’t use impolite language to attack ideas and ideologies,” it’s, “stop using sexist slurs, demeaning and harassing (mostly) women, and engaging in elaborate, fanatical attacks (photoshop, twitter accounts, idiotic youtube videos…etc.).”

As for the rape threats, I can’t speak about the pit, specifically, but there is a constant background noise of threats. You can read posts by the women receiving them to substantiate that fact. Recall that Nugent just focused on the slymepit here, it isn’t the totality of the source material.

298 Za-zen March 4, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Could someone please define the morality, that is being utilised by the OP.

299 oolon March 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Are the comments on this post playing up again or is it just me? I missed PGs first post as it wasn’t showing until I refreshed… Anyway this is funny as fuck -> PG: “There was literally no way of knowing that Ophelia was referring to herself…”

An experiment, anyone wanting to try reading for comprehension can have a look at the full context of the tweet and see how much of a fool PG is.
https://twitter.com/OpheliaBenson/status/299604131893612544

Maybe I’ll accept there is “literally no way” he could understand the conversation, but he is a long way from speaking for the whole human race. Thank Jebus!

300 A Hermit March 4, 2013 at 9:31 pm

That’s not what I’ve been doing at all and that hasn’t been my point, and this is now the fifth time I’ve said this. Should I really have to repeat it again?

It looks like pushing a false equivalence in an attempt to justify the slymepittes behaviour is exactly what you’re doing son. If you’re trying to say something else you’re not saying it very clearly…

I’ll offer the same challenge to you that John Brown is so carefully avoiding…find me a thread on FtB which is equivalent to the targeted thread on the slymepit, which I linked to above.

You won’t do it, because you can’t. There is simply no place on FtB which is dedicated to attacking and demeaning specific individuals as there is in the `pit.

301 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 10:10 pm

#298 Oolon

Give up with the dishonest interrogation tactics, oolon. You can try saying you sit on the fence, but you’re just a tattling snake like the rest of the chuckleheads who doesn’t seem to think evidence matter. Additionally, of course you don’t care about them. Your sthick has been to troll from the very beginning.

I was asked to provide ‘equivalent’ statements, I gave it. You want more?

Here’s another list compiled by Apples, this time several instances of “die in a fire” (and so on)

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70860&sid=743de4c6b0f5cc9e49187397548bb14e#p70860

I’m not the one who’s trying to ratchet up a “win” from the opposing side. In fact, my point has been from the very beginning that trying to show which side is the “purest” is a pointless exercise, and linking back to comments that has been (mostly) Pharyngula over the years to prove my point. What anyone over on FTB, Skepchick, A+, et al. has every relevance to this article, because Michael Nugent himself is trying to create a false equivalence. It’s even in the beginning, “Trigger warning: For readers not familiar with the type of material published on The Slymepit website, please be aware that you may find the comments quoted in this article to be abusive, shaming and very disturbing.”

What point is there to indulge a dishonest question like the one posed by Michael Nugent in this article, when he knows himself that many of those comments are either in terms of jokes, in terms of parody, in terms of satire? Yet he quote-mines them out of context and cherry picks them for his list of shame? Yeah. He knows what he’s doing. As a matter of fact, one of the examples is an FTB blogger summarising a comment which was almost universally condemned on the ‘Pit and the user left on his own volition. But that’s supposed to be an argument against it, I reckon. The Jerry Conlon tweet was almost universally condemned as well, but that’s still being brought up. However, linking back to comments on old Pharyngyla (and the new) and showing that they’re clearly not strangers to nasty behaviour, you still trump it up as some sort of moral arbiter? Get real.

Who’s the one being a sophist, exactly? (Oolon, deliberately trolling other forums and admitting openly to downloading child porn.)

302 oolon March 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

PitchGuest, so you think its a pointless exercise to “prove” who is purest… But you indulge in it at length in this and many other comment threads. Glad you admit your online existence is pointless but I didn’t expect you to admit to it.

I want to know if you think the tactics used by the pit, the point of the post, are morally justified or not. You are incapable of answering the question, no surprise there.

Who’s the one being a sophist, exactly? (Pitchguest, recently kicked off an internet forum as a supporter of paedophila in sub-reddits. Oh wait, that’s not sophistry as you would obviously be an expert on the subject now wouldn’t you :-D)

303 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 10:20 pm

“You won’t do it, because you can’t. There is simply no place on FtB which is dedicated to attacking and demeaning specific individuals as there is in the `pit.”

See, here’s the thing. You keep making that demand. When people show up on the thread giving examples, all you can offer back is, “that’s a false equivalence…herp, derp.”

You must be completely out of breath from spending all day moving the goal posts around.

304 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Really, this entire post is the equivalent of getting third hand information about a wife beater then posts that information and says, “have you stopped beating your wife yet?”

And then apologists for wife beaters come on the thread and denounce everything you have to say as a “false equivalence.”

305 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Oolon, if you’re going to make such a statement, you damned well better have evidence that it happened and everything had better be in absolute perfect context.

Otherwise, go fuck yourself.

306 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 10:27 pm

#300 A Hermit

Ah, there it is. “Son.” Mr. Condescending has returned in full form, and he keeps inferring that his opponents are but little children in the face of his obviously adult intellect.

No, tough guy. I am not pushing for a false equivalence. Others have understood my intent just fine and didn’t need the repeat course as you, Sally and doubtthat have required. But to repeat it for a seventh time (and hopefully this will be final), I’ve been saying that trying to prove either networks host “nasty” comments is a pointless exercise to begin with. For one it’s policing for tone, and for the other it’s meaningless to try unless your own record is spotless. Hence linking back to the various “nasty” comments on Pharyngula, dating back to 2010 to the present time.

It’s also a pointless exercise to ask members of an unmoderated forum to condemn comments that they had no control over. Like my previous analogy, it’s like asking for moderate Christians, Muslims or Jews, whatever, to justify the actions of extremists. Fuck that. This article was meant for Justin Vacula to give his opinion on whether the comments Michael has provided (quote-mined, cherry picked, yadda yadda) are ‘morally unjustified’. Why the fuck should Justin Vacula stand on trial for the comments other people have said, on a forum where these comments are nowhere near representing the tone of the entire network?

If I were to push for a false equivalence as you and yours continue to assert, then if I were to link to the various comments on Pharyngula (then and now) and ask for your opinion on whether those were ‘morally unjustified’ (knowing full well, with your view of the ‘Pit, that the question may be loaded or leading up to a ‘gotcha!’ moment), you would just tell me to ‘fuck off’, wouldn’t you? Be honest.

307 oolon March 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm

Cool! John Brown leaps to the defence of his sainted colleague who makes a serious claim about me with no evidence. To both of you I leave this… http://i.imgur.com/ymMWU.gif

… But I feel it will have more significance for PG than John 😉

308 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 10:31 pm

#302

I do not indulge in the pointless exercise proving which network is “purest”, but then you have the reading comprehension of a dead rat.

And I’m not incapable of answering, you disingenuous condescending toad. I just don’t want to answer. I refuse to answer, because it’s a stupid question and frankly Michael Nugent should be ashamed.

Also, what the fuck are you talking about? Pedophilia? Sub reddits?

309 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Yeah, well here’s the thing, Oolon. He’s not sainted, and he’s not my colleague. You may choose to believe this or not, but if someone would have said the same thing about you on this very forum, I would have responded the exact same way.

You do not fuck around even implying something like that unless you have evidence and it is in perfect context.

So, once again…go fuck yourself.

And, Mr. Nugent, I would ask that you call Oolon on this. If you mean what you say in your post, this is abhorrent, repulsive behavior.

310 Steersman March 4, 2013 at 10:35 pm

oolon said (#299):

An experiment, anyone wanting to try reading for comprehension can have a look at the full context of the tweet and see how much of a fool PG is.

Knowing what a fair-minded person you are oolon, are you likely to be suggesting that Michael and the rest of the commenters and lurkers here should “try reading for comprehension” the many supposedly odious – “morally unjustified” – comments that Michael has quote-mined from The Pit?

311 Kim Rippere March 4, 2013 at 10:38 pm

” Why the fuck should Justin Vacula stand on trial for the comments other people have said,”

He isn’t. He was asked a few questions regarding these statements. There is a clear difference.

312 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Kim Rippere – Are you honestly on board with the dishonest questioning being exhibited here by Michael Nugent?

The comments are quite clearly quote-mined, quite clearly taken out of context and quite clearly cherry picked in an attempt to tarnish the forum as a whole. Is this really behaviour that you approve of?

You’re the President of Secular Woman, for crying out loud.

313 oolon March 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Lovely John, so my unsubstantiated rumours from his friends at sinfest are much worse than his claim I actually did something illegal. It is not illegal for PitchGuest to argue about what is or is not child porn on sub-reddits, but his ex-mates are not that keen on him any more regardless. However you don’t call out him accusing me of something that could get me arrested if it was in any sense true…. But he has evidence of no image, no download, only his foolish friends on the pit (you) who like to spread lies. I however have the person who posted the image describing it on my blog, which I’ve pointed him to. Just strangely ironic to me that he got criticised for saying images probably a lot worse than the one SurelyYouGuest posted on the Slymepit are not child porn… More proof, if it were needed, of the lengths Slymepitters will go to in order to shut up anyone that just disagrees.

314 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm

So, is anyone else here going to call Oolon out for accusing another person of supporting pedaphillia and then telling anyone who asks for evidence to fuck off?

I’m just wondering, because there’s quite a bit of pearl clutching in this thread about people saying mean things about other people. And, here’s one of your own. Exhibit A, if you will.

Since pedaphillia is about the worst thing you can accuse a person of supporting, where is the outrage?

315 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Yeah, here’s the thing Oolon. I don’t know about any of that history between the two of you. I know what you’ve stated right here, right now on this very thread. I ask for evidence. You tell me to go fuck myself.

So, there you have it, everyone. You have a person on your side of the debate publicly accusing someone of supporting pedaphillia and he’s rationalizing it away with…’but, but…he called me a bad name once.”

Go fuck yourself, Oolon. If anyone here has a shred of decency, they will tell you to go fuck yourself as well.

316 windy March 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Actually, one thing’s different: the mythology and spun history that has developed around some of the key targe people and incidents have both solidified and gotten more bizarre.

True, one of the more interesting myths is that Watson’s pre-EG talk contained some advice on not hitting on her at conferences.

It’s a very different gestalt; I really think the two sites are populated by different classes of narcissistic blowhards. When I compare the hypothetical prospect of having a drink with the worst pharyngulistas as opposed to a random selection from the pit, I will go with the worst of Pharyngula every time.

They said the same about George W. Bush. Wtf, man? This was supposed to be about “nasty pushback against feminists”, not a reality show called “Atheism: Biggest Asshole”.

317 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

oolon – Goodness. Fine. You wish me to retract the statement, I’ll retract it. Fucking hell.

318 Tigzy March 4, 2013 at 10:56 pm

For the record, here’s where Oolon admits to downloading what he perceives as child porn: http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=30208#p30208

Some context (Michael, take note): a new (and since departed, thankfully) member of the Pit thought, for some reason, that it would be a good idea to post a picture of what appeared to be a VERY young woman with jizzum on her face. The poster was immediately condemned by most commenters shortly afterwards – except for Oolon, who immediately claimed it was kiddie porn, and proceeded to inform us that he had screencaptured it to use against the pit.

Apparently, Oolon thinks it’s okay to download child porn to use against his perceived enemies. Unless he was just trolling, of course. In which case…you ought to give that particular hobby up, Ooley, cos you’re not very good at it. As your posts here, if nothing else, show.

319 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

@Pitchguest

“For one it’s policing for tone, and for the other it’s meaningless to try unless your own record is spotless.”

That is a very silly point. Pretty early on most folks concerned with, you know, thinking about things, recognize the fallacy of Argumentum Ad Hominem.

More often the not, “ad hominem,” appears as an incorrect refers to someone being uncivil. Here, however, we have an actual example of the fallacy: whatever faults you think you’ve found at FtB (and your evidence has been really, really shitty), that’s irrelevant to any evaluation of what Nugent highlighted in the OP.

This is the form of your argument:

Doctor: “Smoking is bad for your health.”
Pitchguest: “But Doctor, you are a smoker, therefore it cannot be bad for your health.”

So you’ve failed both structurally (advancing a fallacious argument) and empirically as the “nasty comments” from the FtB crowd (on scienceblog, removed by scienceblog), are either no longer in existence (interesting that they haven’t reappeared at FtB for you to quote) or expressly contradict the point you were trying to make. They show the regulars on PZ’s website arguing AGAINST the abusive language quoted. That could not be more damaging to your lazy, mealy mouthed attempt to put a pox on both houses.

But again, it’s all irrelevant. I’m happy to just say that the past is the past and whatever grudges your hold should be set aside and we can move forward. Now, moving forward involves no longer behaving in ways exhibited in the stuff Nugent collected. Are you willing to condemn and reject any behavior like that moving forward?

I am, whether it occurs in the pit or at FtB. Are you willing to make a similar commitment? Are you willing to just say such behavior is bad, in and of itself, without reference to anyone else’s behavior?

320 Za-zen March 4, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Kim, the very, very first paragraph in the OP should have been to define what the poster is referring to, when he request someone to declare whether they find certain words “immoral”.

I suggest this was loaded with a pre determined objective from the onset.

321 Kim Rippere March 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Yeah, I know who I am.

As far as I tell Michael and Justin are attempting to have a reasonable exchange of blogs regarding somethings Justin brought up in a video.

I appreciate that this attempt is being made. I don’t think that dismissing this opportunity is something to be done lightly.

As for cherry-picking and quote-mining . . . unless you are going to read the whole website – what else is there to do? Michael choose some quotes and asked Justin about his reaction . . . Justin may/will respond as he wishes. As far as I can tell these quotes give Justin an opportunity to explore and explain what he thinks crosses the line – that is the point of quotes.

322 John C. Welch March 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Lovely John, so my unsubstantiated rumours from his friends at sinfest are much worse than his claim I actually did something illegal. It is not illegal for PitchGuest to argue about what is or is not child porn on sub-reddits, but his ex-mates are not that keen on him any more regardless.

Of course, you have a link to this discussion, so we might all examine the evidence for ourselves.

323 Za-zen March 4, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Oolon, your defence that you downloaded kiddie porn so that you could get blogger points, won’t hold up to well in court. Harddrive meet hammer, numpty.

324 John C. Welch March 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm

” Why the fuck should Justin Vacula stand on trial for the comments other people have said,”

He isn’t. He was asked a few questions regarding these statements. There is a clear difference.

No, he wasn’t just “asked a few questions”. Here, because reading is hard:

Which of the following specific examples of “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet do you consider to be morally unjustified?

He is being specifically asked to pass a moral judgement on other people’s words. However, he’s not even given the full statements, and, as I showed, many of the statements Michael quotemined don’t even originate at the ‘pit.

So now, Michael wants justin to pass moral judgement on statements originating at the ‘pit, FTB, (o the irony), and twitter. Even thought

The entire thing is dishonest and deceitful from the word go, and yet telling justin to pass moral judgement on a bunch of functionally dishonest statements is “just a few questions”???

How many lights are there again?

325 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 11:09 pm

According to Twitter, Oolon is off to bed, because he “wants to avoid a flame war,” and Aratina Cage is encouraging him to sue everyone who speaks lowly of good old Oolon.

Just to restate for the record. Oolon publicly accused someone here of supporting child porn on nothing more than third hand whisperings. When asked for evidence, he mocked, told people to fuck off and justified himself because someone called him a bad name once.

Even though Aratina Cage is swooning and giggling like a starstruck child over this, it’s very serious business.

This is repugnant, disgraceful, abhorrent behavior.

326 Kim Rippere March 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Justin says, “Indeed, some nasty pushback is morally unjustified.” (http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/2013/03/01/two-answers-and-questions-for-michael-nugent/)

Michael is merely asking for clarification around this phrase. IMO.

327 Pitchguest March 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Kim Rippere – I don’t begrudge the tactic of providing sample quotes, but these are devoid of its original context and devoid of its original purpose. Yet Justin is still being asked to give his opinion on what’s ‘morally unjustified’ based on this?

Like, for example, this comment,

Muhahaha the evil spreads. Soon my pretties, soon we shall have the whole atheist movement chanting our chant of mysoginist victory ” cunt, cunt cunt!” They shall chant. “Rape to the [named person]” will be our warcry!

Which is quite obviously sarcastic. Why is it even on the list?

328 CommanderTuvok March 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Brony:

Challenge 1. Citation please. Characterizing enforcement of site policies as stopping “…all opposition and dissent to their incoherent views.” Is frankly childish. If you break rules, you get consequences.

Countless posts to FfTB sites don’t make it past moderation, not because they “break the rules” (the rules obviously meaning thou shalt not disagree with [insert Creepy Clown]), but because they dissented from the FfTB agenda. Why do you think Pitters screencap their posts? Why do you think Pitters use Freezepage? It is because we all know the Creepy Clowns can’t handle dissent, and will use all manner of censorship techniques to keep their chambers agreeable to echoes.

‘NoelPlum99′ recently addressed the problem with regard to PZ’s blog, and PZ childishly produced a strawman response, saying his site did allow dissent. Naturally, PZ’s “answer” was complete bollocks. Further, ask Matt Dillahunty who conducted a very simple experiment to test the moderation at A+.

In summary, your challenge is flawed because we all know “enforcement of site policies” is open to interpretation. Enforcement of site policies for the Creepy Clowns means censorship of dissent, posts containing evidence contrary to their claims, posts containing rebuttals to crap the Creepy Clown followers have posted, etc. Those who are on board the Creepy Clown agenda, are free to throw their shit around their forums, ie Spokesgay, etc.

Consider Challenge #1 dealt with.

Challenge 2. Define “witch hunt” and give me an example. I sense butthurt.

witch-hunt also witch hunt (wchhnt)
n.
An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

Consider Challenge #2 dealt with. Oh, and your senses are about as accurate as a psychic.

Then the above challenges should be very easy for you.

Yes, they were Brony. Thanks for your concern.

So what are they? Be specific.

The reaction the Baboons got at TAM – the people SPOKE. The increasing number of people in the community calling out the behaviour of Watson, PZ, Ophelia, etc. The increasing growth of the Pit. The death of A+, of which the Pit will take full credit. The annihilation of the Creepy Clowns when they dare to venture on to a neutral comment board.

Challenge 3. Cite an example of an FTB feminist calling someone a “gender traitor”.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/05/how-to-make-baseless-accusations-become-true-via-repetition/#comment-174993

Skeptifem and Salty Current used the term towards Abbie Smith. But let me guess, those two are not “FfTB feminists”. No true Scotsman, et al.

However, I would point out that the use “gender traitor” pails into insignificance with the usage of “sister punisher” and “chill girl”. Are you going to deny these terms are used as well.

Consider Challenge #3 dealt with.

Challenge 4. Cite where Ophelia Benson shows that she thinks she is above criticism and that criticism of her is equivalent to harassment.

Like Rebecca Watson, you can tell that by their reaction to such criticism. Like when Rebecca called Ed Clint a rapist, after Ed had written up a well-supported and thoughtful debunk of Rebecca’s awful evo-psych talk.

With regard to Benson – did you see her response when Shermer had the nerve to call out Benson’s misquoting of him, and Benson’s slandering of him as a sexist? BTW, Shermer’s thoughtful two responses are constrated by SIX blog articles from the raging Ophelia, along with some other Creepy Clowns (inc. PZ) also writing their own blog posts. Note: it is a common tactic for Creepy Clowns to “gang up” on their targets, and launch attack posts at the same time across the FfTB network. Further, take a look at the comments on Ophelia’s blogs about Shermer.

As for the notion that Ophelia thinks she is above criticism, well, Ophelia censored comments criticising her behaviour and her response to that Shermer article.

Consider Challenge #4 dealt with.

You are dismissed, Brony.

329 Kim Rippere March 4, 2013 at 11:23 pm

He has the option of ignoring all the quotes he chooses to, perhaps the one you point will be one he ignores (perhaps it won’t).

All Michael has asked him to do is comment on what is (if anything) morally unjustified in the quotes.

You are taking the choice of quotes pretty personally. Instead of seeing this an exercise in parsing ethics . . . you are seeing these quotes as a referendum on a particular website (you and friends also; maybe). You are conflating these things and not focusing on the dialog that Michael and Justin have setup.

Reminds me of college when people couldn’t argue the form of the argument . . . and instead got all emotional and argued. Instead of arguing about whether the structure of the argument was strong, valid, etc . . . they argued the substance – abortion, who to put in the rescue boat, etc.

330 John C. Welch March 4, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Kim,

Even if we accept that somehow, Justin Vacula’s moral judgement applies to anyone but him, which no one but Michael, and evidently you are doing…

1) The quote used are not intact. They were mined, and shoddily so.

2) Michael said they were ‘pit quotes. At least two originated other places, including a “bastion” of feminist-friendly thought, FTB. So how many sites is Justin supposed to deem moral or not? Based on Michael’s list, we’re up to the ‘pit, FTB, and some random person’s twitter account.

3) None of this, *none* of this even begins to address the simple fact that no one makes anyone read the slymepit. I don’t often read FTB, because I find it a festering pile of incompetent hypocrisy. They could be slagging me day in and day out, and I won’t know, *because I don’t read the damned thing*. My friends don’t ‘tattle’ as a rule, because they could care less as well, and view that kind of thing as lame drama-pumping crapola. It also doesn’t have much google juice. If you Google ophelia benson’s name, nothing from the ‘pit shows up on the first page, nor the FOURTH. Same thing for Stephanie Zvan, and PZ.

To find the stuff on the ‘pit doesn’t seem to be all that easy. So how the hell is it harassment? now @-messaging people when they say stop? Yes. Harassment. I agree. And i’ve told people they shouldn’t do that on a number of occasions. For one, the google vanity searches they’re running, and their sycophants ensure any mention of them, or even an IMPLICATION of mention gets their almost immediate attention.

They are constantly looking for any reason to cry Victim, and they monitor the ‘pit as close as the people who post in it. Here’s one: maybe, just maybe, if they stopped obsessing over every comment made in the ‘pit, and actually, not pretend, ignored it, they’d see a marked improvement in their day.

331 John C. Welch March 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Kim, the dialog is based on a dishonestly presented list.

Why, given that, should anyone trust Michael’s intentions?

332 mildlymagnificent March 4, 2013 at 11:29 pm

#278 John C. Welch

First, and this is critical: Justin Vacula is neither authorized nor in fact able to “answer” for the ‘pit. …..
Justin Vacula’s opinion of what anyone who is not Justin Vacula has written has about as much “validity” as your opinion of it. He cannot, can. not. answer for it, nor will many of us allow him to.

Michael is not asking Justin to “answer for” the ‘pit. He’s asking him to venture opinions about some writing in the same way as anyone can for any expression or statement anywhere, any time. I can read comments by some people and my reaction can be anything from “Oh, I never thought of it like that before. I’ll save that.” through to “That’s an awful thing to say”.

Michael is asking quite simply for Justin to enumerate which of the listed items fit into the “awful thing to say” category, specifically the morally unjustifiable kind of awful – according to his own way of thinking. I think all of them are awful for pretty obvious reasons. Other people think none of them are problematic – for reasons I don’t understand. Presumably Justin and many other people would count a few, some, many, most as ‘morally unjustifiable’ for a variety of reasons.

And just for the record, it’s a joke or it’s satire or irony or snark don’t count as exclusions from the ‘morally unjustifiable’ category. The fact that some people with some attitudes would also find these comments amusing doesn’t change their unacceptable character. Very often it’s the fact that they are unacceptable that makes them amusing to some people.

333 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Well, there you have it. For all the folks talking about “reconciliation,” the pitters, MRA’s, and anti-FtB crowd doesn’t think there’s a problem.

You’re welcome to that view, by the way, but it just supports the idea that we’re going to have to get on without each other.

334 windy March 4, 2013 at 11:33 pm

This is the form of your argument:
Doctor: “Smoking is bad for your health.”
Pitchguest: “But Doctor, you are a smoker, therefore it cannot be bad for your health.”

It’s more like:
“You can’t smoke here! Smoking is harmful!”
“But there’s other people smoking here! Look at all these full ashtrays! I saw you smoking earlier too!”
“Yes, but you smoke more! And your cigarettes smell worse!”

335 Za-zen March 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Kim

For the third time, we need an operational definition and concurence of “moralaity” before any judgement can be passed. Basic debate protocol!

336 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

@doubtthat

MRAs? Citation needed.

337 Kim Rippere March 4, 2013 at 11:37 pm

erm . . . I don’t think that Justin speaks for anyone but himself.

The list is not dishonest in anyway. It is a sample of quotes that Justin is being asked to give an opinion regarding. That is it; simple.

When you are a target of hate, bullying, harassment, and threats you *are* a VICTIM of hate, bullying, harassment, and threats. That is what is means to be on the receiving end of those things.

338 idahogie March 4, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Plenty of nasty back-and-forth on this thread. It is true that people on both sides can say mean things to each other.

I still ask myself … do I want to be aligned with those who are defending the use of nasty, sexist invective against women, or with those opposed to that practice?

It’s an easy answer for me.

339 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

@John Brown

So you disagree with the claim that MRA’s don’t have a problem with the comments collected by Nugent?

I may be wrong, but a commenter earlier, Andrew V69, was a fairly proud MRA. He’s welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but are you really asking me to substantiate the claim that MRA’s like to use the word “cunt?”

340 Za-zen March 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm

You go Kim, i love how you are defending Ken Ham, that guy has had it tough from all the haters, bullys, and harrasers.

341 Kim Rippere March 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Za-zen. Please see comment 326; wherein I address your point.

Also, this isn’t a formal debate . . . seriously. Justin is free to define (or not) as he chooses.

This is a dialog a conversation. It will meander, ebb and flow, have its own timeframe, etc.

342 doubtthat March 4, 2013 at 11:52 pm

@334

That example doesn’t evade the fallacy.

Whether the person making the claim, “you can’t smoke here,” is smoking, is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the claim. It’s a fallacious argument.

“The speed limit is 55 here, you can’t go 70.”
“But you go 70 here all the time…”

Doesn’t work.

343 John Brown March 4, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Doubtthat:

I can’t speak for MRAs on the issue one way or the other. Some probably don’t have a problem with them, some probably do. I wouldn’t think that it was a homogeneous, monolithic group. I find it’s best not to lump people into your narrative unless they have self identified themselves, and even then, I wouldn’t generalize.

As for your last question, Australians and the British love to use the word “cunt,” but I don’t see you making sweeping generalizations about them.

344 Tigzy March 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

@idahogie

Oh, so you’d rather be aligned with people like PZ Myers, who invited a woman up on stage at Skepticon 3 and proceeded to make lewd jokes at her; and the commentariat at FTB (in particular, Pharyngula) who regularly invite people they disagree with to die, burn to death, commit suicide, and mutilate themselves via various objects inserted into the rectum. Okay, glad you made that clear.

345 idahogie March 5, 2013 at 12:00 am

@Tigzy,

Oh, so you’d rather be aligned with people like PZ Myers, who invited a woman up on stage at Skepticon 3 and proceeded to make lewd jokes at her; and the commentariat at FTB (in particular, Pharyngula) who regularly invite people they disagree with to die, burn to death, commit suicide, and mutilate themselves via various objects inserted into the rectum. Okay, glad you made that clear.

Exactly. The MRAs and the slymepitters are in general much, much worse than the questionable examples you’ve supplied.

346 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 12:04 am

John C. Welch said (#330):

2) Michael said they were ‘pit quotes. At least two originated other places, including a “bastion” of feminist-friendly thought, FTB.

Not entirely true there, John. As you mentioned in #278, what Michael quoted in #21 was from a FTB post, but the core of it came from a Pit post. Here’s the FTB post (1):

jenniferphillips February 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm AST (UTC -4)
….
I skipped to the end of the current conversation and became acquainted with a commenter named ‘SomeDumbGuy’ who apparently doesn’t like Amanda Marcotte very much–based on the fact that he concluded his comment with the phrase ‘Fuck her. Fuck her. Kill her. Dump her in a ditch’. This actually did get some negative attention from the mod and a couple of other posters. That was at 11PM PST last night. This morning, the offensive phrase written by SDG that I reproduced above has been miraculously modified to read “Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her on the cheeks”.
….

And the Pit one (2); note the dates and note the change of language, done by “our” moderator:

somedumbguy » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:24 pm • [Post 3583]
….
Marcotte is a cunt that after the Duke Students are declared innocent, not not guilty, but innocent, moves to post statements inciting racial and gender warfare. Moves to declare the innocent as guilty. Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her. Kiss her on her cheeks.
….

While I’m somewhat unhappy that Michael didn’t provide links and was more than a little sloppy – at best – in failing to provide context to his list, and while I think there is more than a little justification for many of the items in it, I think you and a number of others from the Pit are being overly defensive and “hyper-skeptical” about his intentions and the process that he and Justin are apparently attempting to engage in.

Getting the larger community to address some of the quite creditable issues presented and defended by the Pit is not made easier by “our” defense of untenable positions.

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/02/01/there-can-be-no-khitomer-accord/#comment-101295”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=59229#p59229”;

347 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

“Exactly. The MRAs and the slymepitters are in general much, much worse than the questionable examples you’ve supplied.”

And yet, more and more people are delurking over there every day, and most of them seem to be women. Strange, that.

348 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 12:06 am

Kim Rippere – What? We’ve just demonstrated that the list is horribly mined, to the point that Nugent really should be ashamed how mined it is, but according to you there is “nothing dishonest” about it? In any way? Wow. The President of Secular Women. *shakes head*

349 Justin Vacula March 5, 2013 at 12:09 am
350 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 12:13 am

@idahogie

No probs, feller – I mean, triggering language and splash damage doesn’t really count for burns victims, people who have attempted suicide, the loved ones of those who have committed suicide, people who have and are self-harming, victims of anal rape, victims of violence, and the loved ones of people who have been murdered, does it?

Nah – you’re just content to side with those who arbitrarily choose which groups should be exempt from triggering and splash damage, because…well, who knows why?

And there’s nothing questionable about those examples, by the way – I can supply you with a link to a collection, if you like.

351 Kim Rippere March 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

@pitchguest, you may repeat to your hearts content that I am the President of Secular Woman. I am not now, nor will I ever, shy away from that. I have no problem using my real name, taking full responsibility for my words and actions, letting people know that I am . . . (again, for those that missed it) the President of Secular Woman.

@Za Zen. I’m not defending anyone. I am merely putting my view of the proceedings in a comment section on a blog.

And, I am not a perfect typer – just the way it is.

352 windy March 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

Whether the person making the claim, “you can’t smoke here,” is smoking, is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the claim. It’s a fallacious argument.

It’s relevant if the “claim” is being contested in the first place. This is clearly an attempt to regulate behavior poorly disguised as a philosophical argument.

353 John C. Welch March 5, 2013 at 12:21 am

Steersman: the implication of his leading comment before the list is clear: these are ‘pit comments. Not comments that people on the pit are commenting on, but actual things originated in the pit. If we’re going to say “anything said in the ‘pit is fair game”, well, then we can easily take it to the absurd by pointing out that the word “The” is used in the pit, and can Justin defend the moral implications in the use of articles and other grammatical structures by posters in the ‘pit?

It gets quickly absurd. Well, *more* absurd. Again, asking Justin to morally justify, for good or ill, a range of comments some of which didn’t even originate on the ‘pit is, to be blunt, idiotic. It is even more idiotic when you consider that in quote-mining FIFTY such statements, he couldn’t be bothered to ensure that what he labels as ‘pit statements and ‘pushback’ actually originate in the ‘pit?

It’s not like there isn’t a plethora of “unkind” material to use. Is it too much to ask that he not play creationist games?

I don’t think it’s being hyperskeptical to analyze the entire post, not just statement by statement. Indeed, that’s the only sane way to view this, and when you take it as a whole, the deliberate misrepresentation used by Michael here is even more odious. Given the creationist tactics used here, what do you think will happen if Justin follows Kim’s “advice” and ignores certain statements on the list?

Well, given creationist responses when they use the “big list of things evolutionists say”, we already know. Any statement not directly and “fully” (for whatever value of “fully” we care to use) will immediately be used to flog Justin with, as some kind of “proof” that even HE cannot “morally justify” the eeeeeeevil of the pit.

It’s all a great big pile of bulldroppings, and no, given Michael’s dishonesty and deception in this post, I am not in fact inclined to be even *slightly* charitable about intent here. As FTB et al are so very, very fond of saying “Intent is not magic”. I cannot read Michael’s mind, I have only his words to go on here, and his words are not things that make me think he intends any form of forthrightness, so why should I grant them such on my own?

354 AndrewV69 March 5, 2013 at 12:26 am

doubtthat March #339

@John Brown

So you disagree with the claim that MRA’s don’t have a problem with the comments collected by Nugent?

I may be wrong, but a commenter earlier, Andrew V69, was a fairly proud MRA. He’s welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but are you really asking me to substantiate the claim that MRA’s like to use the word “cunt?”

——————————————————————————–

Someone rang?

Just to set the record clear that I have no aversion to using the word cunt. I do not use it very often myself, but it was in common usage when I was growing up.

Except the much more refined usage of “twat” was favoured. Only “those people” said cunt instead of twat.

As for if MRAs like to use it or not, I dunno and I do not care either way. I am not an American and I do not give a flying fuck if their panties get bunched or not.

Well to be truthful, I do find it a tad amushing.

Anyway, proof that I have no objection to using the word cunt is here:
http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=63751#p63751
[TRIGGER WARNING! Excessive and unnecessary use of the word cunt by me and someone with the username of cunt]

355 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 12:38 am

Kim Rippere – I’m repeating it so people know this is what the President of Secular Women consider an honest and fair argument. Michael Nugent provides some clearly quote-mined examples, cherry picked for his convenience, as well as some comments that have been removed from their context or purpose (including cutting some of them off, leaving the mined quote intact), and this is according to a person who has, surely, a lot of influence in the secular community, not dishonest – in any way.

Worse still, Michael Nugent is the chairperson for Atheist Ireland and this is what he considers to be a worthy argument. It beggars belief.

356 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 12:39 am

doubtthat said (#342):

Whether the person making the claim, “you can’t smoke here,” is smoking, is irrelevant to the truth or falsity of the claim. It’s a fallacious argument.

Ah so! Don’t do as I do, but do as I say? Have I got that right? If that is the case then I guess that gives “us” far more latitude than we have so far taken advantage of. “Today FTB! Tomorrow the entire Atheist Nexus!” Consider a recent survey (1):

Term……………. FTB General….Pharyngula
Fucking………….. 15,200………6,760….
Asshole……………..7,870………4,490….
creationist…………5,900………2,880….
misogynist…………5,220………1,900….
You are a moron….2,560………2,200….
Scum………………..2,300………..916….
Fuckwit……………..2,020…….. 1,300….
Fuck off and die…..1,110………..787….
Fuck Sideways………581………. 395….
Die in a fire…………..165………. 112….
Racist scum………….861………..530….

And relative to which, as one point of several, considering ChasCPeterson’s argument [#207] that people shouldn’t be using gendered insults because of “splash damage” to “non-combatants”, I wonder why “asshole” hasn’t, apparently, been anathematized to the same extent that “cunt” and other such have been, particularly in light of the fact that there are many more people likely to be “splashed” by the first insult.

An oversight? Or egregious hypocrisy?

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70866#p70866”;

357 Kim Rippere March 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

@Pitchguest. There is the difference. I don’t think this is an argument or a debate. I think this is a conversation – a dialog. I have said this repeatedly. Enough for tonight. Have to run.

358 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 12:50 am

Haha, that’s an awesome effort at twisting the argument.

No, I’m not arguing that you weirdos should be subject to rules others aren’t. Try again.

The argument was presented that it was pointless to criticize poor behavior if the person advancing the criticism has some inchoate level of poor behavior in their history. This is a fallacious argument, full stop.

But you all CANNOT just deal with your own house. I’m happy to scrutinize the people on my side, the socially-adjusted denizens of the 21st century. When someone says something silly on FtB, guess how many times the argument, “Well, they say much worse at the pit,” is successful (or used)?

FtB could be horrible or perfect, and it wouldn’t have any bearing on whether you were behaving appropriately.

359 Tony March 5, 2013 at 12:50 am

A Hermit:
That comment by Tethys was criticized (by me and at least one other). Tethys did retract it.
That is something I see from the Pharyngula side. The one off comments by Brownian, Wowbagger, or Josh:
a: happened some time ago
b: do not happen any longer
c: were recanted-in some cases (Wowbagger and Brownian did recant their comments. I am uncertain if Josh did.)

The sexist, misogynist language from many of the pitters (along with the bullying and harassment):
a: happened in the past AND
b: continues into the present
c: retractions?

360 Michael Nugent March 5, 2013 at 12:52 am

Atheist Ireland has removed from our Forum several posts which we consider to be sexist, racist and/or shaming, and we would like to apologise for allowing our Forum to be used as a platform for such material.

We would like to thank Skepsheik for bringing this to our attention. As with any voluntary organisation, we are always grateful to people who assist us in identifying areas where we can improve what we do.

The posts that we have removed include several jokes published by people who were suspended or banned several years ago. We should of course have also removed these posts at that time, and we have now done so.

We are now in the process of reviewing all of the historical posts on our Forum, to ensure that they are consistent with the policy we adopted at our 2012 AGM on making Atheist Ireland inclusive:

    (a) Be inclusive, caring and supportive of people of all races, genders, sexualities and abilities
    (b) Include people of diverse backgrounds on our organizing committees and event panels
    (c) In particular, aim for a reasonable gender balance in our activities
    (d) Host family-friendly events including museum visits, outdoor activities and brunches
    (e) Host our events in venues suitable for wheelchair users
    (f) Host our events in ways that accommodate people with other disabilities
    (g) Make our website as usable as possible for people with disabilities
    (h) Develop policies to help people to feel safe and enjoy themselves at our activities
    (i) Support the anti-harassment policy of Atheist Alliance International

In recent years, much of our online discussion has migrated from our Forum to our Facebook Page, where we have recently adopted a moderation policy aimed at making members feel welcome. That policy also applies to our Forum.

We would like to thank all of our members who have helped to improve our online interaction in recent years, and we look forward to many more years of enjoyable and useful discussion both on Facebook and our Forum.

Notice on Atheist Ireland website

Notice on Michael Nugent website

361 Wowbagger March 5, 2013 at 1:02 am

It occurred to me that there’s an obvious way of differentiating between the ‘abuse’ at the Slymepit vs. that at FTB.

Look at who is on the receiving end.

Because, if you look at who the Slymepit abuse there (and on Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and other blogs; another interesting discrepancy and one that no-one’s managed to provide equivalency for) you find that they pretty much all have one thing in common: they’re all atheists who want to increase diversity in the atheist community and are attempting to do so by writing/posting/speaking about that specific topic on a regular basis.

Coincidence? I think not.

But I could be wrong. Since the ‘pitters have done such hard work on dredging up ancient FTB comments, perhaps they’d like to show what common features those on the receiving end of that ‘abuse’ are. What sort of people, exactly, were prompting those comments? Surely with all the research they’ve done, that should be a very straightforward exercise.

362 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 1:08 am

John C. Welch said (#353):

Steersman: the implication of his leading comment before the list is clear: these are ‘pit comments. Not comments that people on the pit are commenting on, but actual things originated in the pit.

Ok, so it looks like he made a mistake in not being clear enough about the context of that post in particular, and many others in general. Still a mistake, I think, to discount, and on such thin evidence, the possibility that his discussions with Justin might move the ball downfield somewhat, to withhold the benefit of doubt. Particularly if he is able to be fair and balanced in his assessment of those comments from the pit and similar ones from FTB, Pharyngula in particular. Apropos of which, ran across this comment from PZ Myers, on which I’d like Michael’s judgement as to whether they are “morally justified” or not:

Michael Nugent, this post from PZ Myers in which he apparently compares many critics of some branches of feminism with the mass-murder Marc Lépine – is it “morally justified” or not? Or is it not an egregious case of demagoguery?

I remember following the events of that day intently, horrified that there are people who will kill women simply because they are women. And these anonymous monsters on the internet who shriek affrontedly about women and feminists and moan that any feminist allies are ‘manginas’ — to me, every one of them has the name Marc Lépine, and is just hiding it in shame and fear and hatred and cowardice.

Michael, if you’re going to bandy the word and concept about, I think you have an obligation to apply the metric consistently, uniformly, and fairly.

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/never-forget/”;

363 windy March 5, 2013 at 1:13 am

they’re all atheists who want to increase diversity in the atheist community and are attempting to do so by writing/posting/speaking about that specific topic on a regular basis.

I know you’re very fond of this strawman, but that’s not why they are being criticized.

364 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 1:13 am

@Wowbagger

Well, there’s plenty of examples here, complete with links (wherever possible – things do have a habit of getting memory-holed when it comes to the FTB mob) so that any lurkers can look to the the original posts, contexts and instigators themselves. Also, you’ll find that some of the entries there so far (and there’s plenty more to come), are not quite so ancient as you might wish.

http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=256

Oh, and excuse my guff there – that’s largely to help with search terms, and also because it gives me a chance to have a few digs at you disgusting people.

365 AndrewV69 March 5, 2013 at 1:16 am

doubtthat, #358 “FtB could be horrible or perfect, and it wouldn’t have any bearing on whether you were behaving appropriately.”

And I will be the judge of that. Not you. See how that works?

Anyway, below are links to posts which apparently links to things said over at FfTB involving “bad” werds like inviting people to “fuck off” and “die in a fire” and so on and so forth. You can follow the links to the actual comments and the context in which they were said.

Pharyngula Deathwish Derby
_http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70836#p70836

Pharyngula Fireworks
_http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70860#p70860

Also this one:
_http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70877#p70877

Not to mention this:
_http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=70866#p70866

Personally, asking me to get all worked up about the comments no matter which “side” said them is just not on.

The hypocrisy is noted though. It it is just one reason any claims, no matter how implicit, of any sort of moral superiority, will be treated with the respect it deserves.

366 ChasCPeterson March 5, 2013 at 1:16 am

oh, hi windy (#316).

I have to admit that I know nothing and care (if possible) even less about “Watson’s pre-EG talk” and what it may or may not have contained, mythologiclly or otherwise. And so your first point is lost on me. Some people have some misconception…?

Your second point:

This was supposed to be about “nasty pushback against feminists”, not a reality show called “Atheism: Biggest Asshole”.

…quotes the OP title after more than 300 comments of a thread that by now of course has multiple streams. I was participating in one about the comparative nastiness (or whatever) of the combatant Kommentariat Korps of the major tribes involved. So that was the context of the have-a-drink thing. (Nothing personal.)

367 ChasCPeterson March 5, 2013 at 1:22 am

oh hi windy (#363).

that’s not why they are being criticized.

because the reason is…what?
they’re hypocrites?
they’re pompous narcissistic blowhards?
they’re, like, promototers of victimization and infantilization instead of true respect and equality?
they’re know-nothing charlatans feeding at the teat of organized skepticism?

or what?

368 Sally Strange March 5, 2013 at 1:38 am

Michael Nugent, I hope you’re aware that by making your website and organization more welcoming and inclusive of women, racial minorities, and LGBT folks, you are thereby alienating and driving away misogynists, racists, homophobes, and bigots of all stripes.

You’re dividing the movement, man. Deep rifts!

369 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 2:12 am

Sally Strange said (#368):

You’re dividing the movement, man. Deep rifts!

Sally – “Four legs good, two legs bad” – Strange, able to cut through mountains of argument and nuance with a single swipe, reducing it all to a vacuous truism! Well done! You’ve well learned the art of demagoguery from PZ Myers, the master himself ….

Seems to me that a large part of what is producing these rifts is some uncritical acceptance of some aspects of feminism, some feminist dogma, the least criticism of which tends to produce outraged cries of “misogynist” and “sexist” and “rape apologist”. Just out of curiosity, did you ever think to develop that quite credible insight you had some time ago, that “the few isolated good points that MRAs have are indeed good points”? ….

Considering that you supposedly claim to be a skeptic, I’m surprised that you haven’t actually checked out the various items in Michael’s list by reading the relevant comments – and context – in the Pit. You might find, as several threads here have illustrated, that the charges Michael suggests don’t hold all that much water.

And you might also find, for example, that, contrary to what you’ve apparently been told, not everyone there thinks that you were the source of that rape threat against you on Thunderfoot’s blog.

370 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 2:15 am

Well, to be fair Sally, it was Skepsheik who divided the movement in this instance – you know, the guy known for mocking PZ Myers and Ophelia Benson with his Peezus and O cartoons.

So we can chalk that one up for another decidedly non-FTBer showing your lot the right way to go about things – you know, like we did with your ‘porcupine’ meme. Ugh – nasty one, that was.

371 Sally Strange March 5, 2013 at 2:22 am

Aw, you guys are cute.

372 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 2:28 am

Well you at least got something half-right this time, Sally, because it’s fair to say I’m a bit of man hottie. A bit fat, but not so bad. Can’t speak for Steersman, though knowing the distinct lack of justice in the world, the annoying fecker will turn out to look like George Clooney, or something.

373 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 2:40 am

Riiiight – look quite similar to Noelplum …. 😉

374 Sally Strange March 5, 2013 at 3:02 am

@ Steersman

Seems to me that a large part of what is producing these rifts is some uncritical acceptance of some aspects of feminism, some feminist dogma,

Nope. First of all, feminism isn’t a dogma. It isn’t even many dogmas. Those who self-describe as feminism don’t uncritically accept all aspects of it. However, you’re correct in noting that the general acceptance of some of feminism’s most basic premises is dividing the movement – as I noted, the division mostly runs between bigots and everyone else.

the least criticism of which tends to produce outraged cries of “misogynist” and “sexist” and “rape apologist”.

I know! There are some people who really can’t handle constructive criticism.

Just out of curiosity, did you ever think to develop that quite credible insight you had some time ago, that “the few isolated good points that MRAs have are indeed good points”? ….

Several times over, dude.

Considering that you supposedly claim to be a skeptic, I’m surprised that you haven’t actually checked out the various items in Michael’s list by reading the relevant comments – and context – in the Pit. You might find, as several threads here have illustrated, that the charges Michael suggests don’t hold all that much water.

What charges? His only remarks here are that these are comments on the Slymepit. They are there, aren’t they? If you could assure me that, actually, Michael Nugent invented all of these comments out of thin air, then I might consider visiting it. But I don’t see you saying that. I see you saying that people say things besides these things, and that there is context! Cool, I don’t think I was ever confused about that fact. It’s just that no amount of context or unrelated commentary could make it worth reading that sort of tripe. Which is why I let other people do it.

And you might also find, for example, that, contrary to what you’ve apparently been told, not everyone there thinks that you were the source of that rape threat against you on Thunderfoot’s blog.

But some people do. And those people haven’t been kicked out, right? So.

@ Tigzy

Well, to be fair Sally, it was Skepsheik who divided the movement in this instance – you know, the guy known for mocking PZ Myers and Ophelia Benson with his Peezus and O cartoons.

Skepsheik does those cartoons? How interesting. If you want to give him some credit for Michael Nugent’s actions, I suppose, if you want to. Doesn’t alter my point, though, which you seem to have missed: the divide is there, regardless. But only when people like Nugent take action to make events and organizations more accessible to non-white non-dude type people do their actions get cast as “divisive.”

I.e., it was a joke. But then, everyone knows that men aren’t funny, so it’s not surprising you didn’t catch it.

^^
(Another joke right there, just in case)

So we can chalk that one up for another decidedly non-FTBer showing your lot the right way to go about things – you know, like we did with your ‘porcupine’ meme. Ugh – nasty one, that was.

Yep, and guess what? We talked about it, agreed it was nasty, and now it’s done. That is how it’s done. That’s how Michael Nugent does it, that’s FTBloggers do it, that’s how I try to do it. Slimers don’t. Does’t look good for them. Oh well.

375 John C. Welch March 5, 2013 at 3:12 am

Only Sally Strange could argue for feminism and equal rights by using “you haven’t banned people I dislike” as a point.

If she were any richer a source of amusement and irony, I’d not be able to believe she’s not butter.

376 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 3:19 am

Sally – fair points there. However, don’t you think it illuminating that it took the supposedly privilege-blind, empathy-lacking scum that is the Pyt to show FTB (in particular, the Pharygulites) the right way to proceed as regards the porcupine meme? That perhaps this instance of ugly hypocrisy could not be dismissed with a blithe ‘tu quoque’ statement, and that therefore the Pyt cannot be rightly regarded as such a categorical den of privilege-blind, empathy-lacking scummery your lot make it out to be?

377 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 3:28 am

doubtthat said (#358):

No, I’m not arguing that you weirdos should be subject to rules others aren’t.

No, but you’re arguing, among other points, that “we” should be subject to a rule – no gendered insults – for which you have no justification, apart from your own idiosyncratic and highly subjective interpretations of sexism. And a rule, I might add, that is entirely inconsistent with “your” own frequent use of “asshole” which produces, arguably, just as much if not more “splash damage” than any of the so-called gendered insults.

FtB could be horrible or perfect, and it wouldn’t have any bearing on whether you were behaving appropriately.

Again, in your opinion – from that statement it seems you guys over there have a lock on the philosophy or modus operandi of ipse dixit (1).

Not to mention that it betrays a complete ignorance – willful or otherwise – of another concept, that of hypocrisy:

hy•poc•ri•sy (h-pkr-s)
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.

More particularly, the principle that it is ethically wrong to be using insults – ad hominems – as part of a supposedly civil discussion. And if “you” are – hypocritically – unable to adhere to that principle then why the fuck should anyone else? And if “you” have such an egregious fault then why should anyone think that you have any claim to, much less are in possession of, the “moral high ground”? And in which case, your assertion that “we” “were [not] behaving appropriately” is only so much tinkling brass. “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”, and all that.

In addition, to emphasize the point, you and many others seem to be of the opinion that “The Pit” is criticizing you for your language in itself which is, I think, the furthest thing from the truth – which should be obvious from the fact that most there have a fairly broad acceptance of profanity in one form or another – one of the main threads is, after all, called The Periodic Table of Swearing.

1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipse_dixit”;

378 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 4:37 am

Wow, just read Vacula’s response…he actually seems to think the thing being objected to is “crude language.” o_O

You just don’t get it, do you Justin?

379 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 4:47 am

Sally Strange said (#374):

Nope. First of all, feminism isn’t a dogma. It isn’t even many dogmas. Those who self-describe as feminism don’t uncritically accept all aspects of it.

Really? Could have fooled me, but maybe you’re using a dictionary different from the rest of us. Consider these definitions for dogma (1) and ideology (2):

dog•ma (dôgm, dg-)
n. pl. dog•mas or dog•ma•ta (-m-t)
2. An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true. See Synonyms at doctrine.
3. A principle or belief or a group of them.
——-
i•de•ol•o•gy (d-l-j, d-)
n. pl. i•de•ol•o•gies
2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

Do note the common element of “beliefs”, the central element of which is “something believed or accepted as true” (3). Note that the definition does not say that they are things that are true, only that they are “believed” or “accepted”as such. You might wish to reflect on the difference and note some similarities with things like the Christian Trinity.

However, you’re correct in noting that the general acceptance of some of feminism’s most basic premises is dividing the movement – as I noted, the division mostly runs between bigots and everyone else.

Mostly? Really? Why then does Wikpedia list (4) some 17 different “feminist ideologies” which, presumably, have sufficiently different beliefs to qualify as different ideologies – and encompassing different “dogmas”. And, just out of curiousity, which of the 17 do you subscribe to? Are the adherents of other 16 “bigots”? Heretics? Any that you might consider “virulent”? Which is, as Ophelia Benson informed us, tantamount to being a misogynist. Which seems to be a rather dogmatic assertion in itself, but maybe she isn’t a feminist ….

I know! There are some people who really can’t handle constructive criticism.

Har, har. Who said women don’t have a sense of humour? [Hitchens, if I’m not mistaken]

Although considering your recent responses – “dirty fucking liar”; “fucking dishonest carbuncle”; “pathetic dirty fucking liar”, etc., etc. – to Owlglass, one might argue that you’re no great shakes in that department yourself.

What charges? His only remarks here are that these are comments on the Slymepit. They are there, aren’t they?

He did say:

I’m using examples that were published on The Slymepit website. I could add examples from Elevatorgate, YouTube and elsewhere, but I think there is enough here to be representative of the “nasty pushback”

Which looks to me rather much like a charge that they constitute “nasty pushback”, with the only question supposedly in play being whether the individual items are “morally justified” or not – sort of like questions about mustard gas and torture and nuclear weapons as instruments of a “just” war.

But yes, they are, generally, there, although context changes the interpretations or charges of “justified” or “nasty” very substantially. But I guess you’d prefer to let others do your thinking for you, at least on that score.

Cool, I don’t think I was ever confused about that fact. It’s just that no amount of context or unrelated commentary could make it worth reading that sort of tripe.

Sort of like in a murder trial where the “context” provided by the jury returning a verdict of “not guilty” isn’t “worth reading”? “Screw this necessity for a trial: charged? Ergo, guilty!”

But some people do. And those people haven’t been kicked out, right? So.

Indeed. What would you have expected? Put them in stocks and throw stones at them? Public shaming as was featured in the heyday of Maoism? That they might be wrong on one score is hardly justification for concluding that they are likely to be wrong on all of them. And they’re still entitled to their opinions – no Inquisition on this side of the fence obligating them to “abjure, curse and detest” them ….

1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dogma”;
2) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ideology”;
3) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/belief”;
4) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_ideology”;

380 idahogie March 5, 2013 at 4:49 am

That seems to be the same failure of comprehension being displayed by everyone from that side of the debate. “But someone called me a poopyhead at Pharyngula! You can’t be mad that I called someone a c*nt because that happened to me! You’re a hypocrite!”

381 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 4:54 am

I’m still waiting for someone to show me anything on FtB equivalent to the many threads on the slymepit specifically dedicated to attacking and mocking identifiable individuals.

Actually I’m not…I know they can’t do it.

382 Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 5:03 am

@A Hermit

“I’m still waiting for someone to show me anything on FtB equivalent to the many threads on the slymepit”

You obviously don’t believe that the false accusations of misogyny, sexism, rape apologism, racism, etc, are any cause for concern.

You’re welcome to your opinion, but it’s clear that many of us don’t agree with you.

383 Justin Vacula March 5, 2013 at 5:13 am

“I’m still waiting for someone to show me anything on FtB equivalent to the many threads on the slymepit specifically dedicated to attacking and mocking identifiable individuals. Actually I’m not…I know they can’t do it.”

You’re missing the point.

…as I noted

“Might there be a ‘false equivalence’ between the Slymepit and Freethought Blogs? I don’t know. I don’t care. It is besides the point. …but only Ophelia and her friends will deny that they are partially responsible for the ongoing in-fighting in the online atheist/skeptic community. Can anyone reasonably deny that Ophelia Benson and her friends are not at all responsible for the in-fighting? I think not.”

384 Justin Vacula March 5, 2013 at 5:14 am

My response to Michael – sorry, forgot to link it in 383 with the comment.

http://www.skepticink.com/justinvacula/2013/03/04/second-correspondence-with-michael-nugent/

385 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 5:22 am

idahogie said (#380):

That seems to be the same failure of comprehension being displayed by everyone from that side of the debate.

And the same failure of comprehension on the FTB side that that hypocrisy – on the question of language, among others – is considered a non-trivial issue.

386 Stacy March 5, 2013 at 5:25 am

“Might there be a ‘false equivalence’ between the Slymepit and Freethought Blogs? I don’t know. I don’t care.

Shorter version: Yes, there is. I’m not ready to admit it but not quite shameless enough to deny it.

It is besides the point. …but only Ophelia and her friends will deny that they are partially responsible for the ongoing in-fighting in the online atheist/skeptic community. Can anyone reasonably deny that Ophelia Benson and her friends are not at all responsible for the in-fighting?

On the contrary, your words are the ones that are beside the point. Poor attempt at deflection, Justin.

The subject under discussion is not “infighting.”

I’m sure nobody on this side of the divide is interested in denying responsibility “in-fighting” per se. On the contrary, we’ll continue to fight against sexism as long as we have to.

387 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 5:37 am

Stacy said (#386):

I’m sure nobody on this side of the divide is interested in denying responsibility “in-fighting” per se. On the contrary, we’ll continue to fight against sexism as long as we have to.

And that is, I think, a serious mischaracterization of The Pit. Predicated on a definition of “sexism” that you haven’t adequately defined much less credibly defended. Seems to me, at least, that it largely or frequently consists in criticizing any particular woman, or a feminist ideology or dogma – e.g., “The Patriarchy”, or in using gendered insults, the latter of which is not at all supported by any sources – at least that I’ve found.

388 Stacy March 5, 2013 at 6:08 am

I know you doesn’t believe calling women ugly cunts has anything to do with sexism, Steersman.

(All the intense anger directed at Rebecca Watson, often expressed in sexual terms, or with comments about her looks, or rape jokes…nothing to do with sexism. The Men’s Rights Activists who comment on the pit…the pushback against sexual harassment policies….

Nope, no sexism there.)

389 Stacy March 5, 2013 at 6:10 am

Oops. “I know you don’t

(I can has preview button?)

390 Iamcuriousblue March 5, 2013 at 6:20 am

One can easily make a list of 50 hateful and threatening comments from the Atheismplus Forum. Just saying. Also, I might add, a couple of hateful and threatening IRL *actions* from social justice warriors confronting real or suspected MRAs, in at least one case, a mob lead by one of the A+ forum moderators.

391 Skep tickle March 5, 2013 at 6:20 am

idahogie @338

I still ask myself … do I want to be aligned with those who are defending the use of nasty, sexist invective against women, or with those opposed to that practice?

It’s an easy answer for me.

It’s not invective against women; it’s invective against people who call themselves skeptics or freethinkers but make truth-claims they won’t allow to be critiqued, in the (considerable) spaces they control.

I suspect it gets aimed, by some posters at some times, as negative personal comments out of frustration, after repeated attempts to use the usual approaches we once thought all skeptics would take to claims like that get ignored or are said to be grounds for banishment – and for being told to “fuck off and die”, and so on. It’s interesting that people should assume it’s only aimed at women (when it’s not; cf Pitchguest’s comment about “asshole”, and see the list – however cherrypicked – in the OP). The assumption that women need (and want) special protection from special insults is also interesting. I guess “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people and need protection from certain words.”

I don’t recall seeing anyone at the Slymepit “attack” someone due to their gender. I say that as a woman (a) who was not at all inclined to participate at Pharyngula pre-2011 due to the verbal savagery; (b) who was taken aback at the lack of skepticism at Atheism+ despite its positive claim “to apply skepticism and critical thinking to everything”; and (c) who feels safe & welcome in the SlymePit, even when I disagree with the content someone else posts or the approach someone else takes. If you go there to engage in the marketplace of ideas, it’ll only be your arguments that get critiqued.

So, for me, the analogous version of idahogie’s comment I quoted above becomes:

I still ask myself … do I want to be aligned with those who are defending the use of violent-death wishes against people, or with those opposed to that practice?

It’s an easy answer for me.

but really, from the get-go and to the end what it comes down to is this:

I still ask myself … do I want to be aligned with those who are claiming to be skeptics & freethinkers but won’t allow their truth-claims to be challenged, or with those opposed to that practice?

It’s an easy answer for me.

(apologies in advance for any formatting errors)

392 Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 6:24 am

Stacy

“Nope, no sexism there”

Accusations of sexism again.

“intense anger directed at Rebecca Watson:

. . . is anger directed at Rebecca Watson.

“pushback against sexual harassment policies”

. . . is pushback against sexual harassment policies.

There’s no need to impute further motives onto people.

393 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 7:48 am

Stacy said (#388):

I know you don’t believe calling women ugly cunts has anything to do with sexism, Steersman.

I think you’re seriously conflating the concept of insults – gendered and otherwise – with that of sexism. While I certainly think that insults in general really don’t help to move the conversational ball downfield, and I certainly don’t make any habit of insulting anyone, I think there is some value in trying to understand the processes and perceptions that are part of their use and abuse. And to do so I find, as was the case in my career – electronic equipment design and testing – it sort of helps to partition the problem into components. And in this case that means separating out the insult part, the gendered part, and the sexism part to see which element contributes what to the overall reception and reaction.

And taking just the first part – the insult itself – consider “douchecanoe” which a number of FTB people have been promoting as an insult that has no connotations by sex. And in that case calling someone that is supposed to “cut them to the quick” and indicate some general societal or individual opprobrium of the person targeted. But there is, supposedly, no “splash damage”, no reason to think that anyone hearing someone so targeted has any right or cause to be offended by the insult as well. Although one might argue that humanists, for example, might be “offended” – although “critical”, or “defensive” might be more appropriate – if the insult had no justification for it.

But now let us add gender back into the mix by picking a gendered insult, say, “dickhead”. So now the question is, if someone is targeted with that insult then why should anyone else – particularly a woman – be particularly offended of affected by any “splash damage”? Everyone might reasonably be “critical”, or “defensive” if there was no cause, no justification, for it, but arguing that it is, ipso facto, sexist – as some people do – is entirely inconsistent with the case of “douchecanoe”.

Further, consider the case of “asshole”. If, as you and many others seem to argue, one insists that “dickhead” is sexist and thereby an offense to all members of the male sex, then why – by the same logic – isn’t “asshole” offensive to all members of the human race? In which case why does Myers’ “Crime, Evil, Fuckbrained assholes” (1) get a pass, but “cunt” and the like is cause for a one-way trip to his dungeon?

In addition, if some members of a sex are not insulted by hearing a gendered insult directed at a person who is of the same sex as they are then does that not suggest some entirely idiosyncratic if not subjective response? In which case, why should they be obliged to act or behave in a way they don’t really feel, but that other members of that sex do?

Really seems to me that something does not compute in the use and perception of various insults. Which suggests, at best, a questionable understanding of the processes, or, at worst, a disingenuous if not hypocritical response to them. You might wish to review a recent comment by Owlglass on a Pharyngula thread on the topic (2).

While I will readily agree that sexism is a serious problem in society, misunderstanding the nature of a supposed manifestation of it – gendered insults – is not likely to lead to a rectification or attenuation of that problem – and may actually make things very much worse. Sort of like pouring gasoline instead of water on a fire to put it out.

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/never-forget/”;
2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/03/that-had-to-hurt/comment-page-1/#comment-573114”;

394 oolon March 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

Za-zen, Tigzy and John Brown,

You’ll note that I accused him of being kicked off a forum for being a supporter of child porn. Not that he supported child porn – as I pointed out it was unsubstantiated rumour. I’ll only ever mention it here as bringing in arguments from other forums where he is branded “a misogynist” would be unfair… Unless you all decide to attack that forum for horrible accusations of misogyny against innocent people as well?

Now as for Tigzy’s link and what would stand up in court… Glad you really thought I was going to write that post :-) But I guess you wouldn’t keep making such a serious accusation without the actual evidence? Especially given it was my position that you lot were being paranoid and that image wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow without you already assuming SurelyYouGuest was me? So, great forum of skeptics, freethinkers etc, pony up the image for discussion…

…Or I content the Slymepit spreads unsubstantiated lies about people who disagree with them for the purposes smearing them. Serious unsubstantiated rumours, John Brown has form here given he spends his free time smearing Ellen Beth-Wachs with accusations of racism amongst other things.

I’ve not addressed this to PG as I see he retracted the statement, which you three decided to take up.

395 Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

@Steersman

“douchecanoe”

I don’t see how this term isn’t sexist, since the main users of douches are women.

A douche usually refers to vaginal irrigation, and I’m led to believe that most men don’t yet have vaginas.

In addition, I’m sure the inclusion of “canoe” is deeply insulting to indigenous people everywhere for whom the canoe is a central and important part of their history and culture.

396 Za-zen March 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

Kim

So it was Justin that used “morally”. Then it is for him to define what he actually means by that. Apologies i hadn’t realised that Justin had conceeded that some of the “pushback” he deemed to be immoral.

I haven’t read Justin’s latest, will get to that, and hope that justin provides clarification as to what he meant, rather than responding to a straightjacket.

397 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 9:57 am

Kevin Solway (#395):

“douchecanoe”

I don’t see how this term isn’t sexist, since the main users of douches are women.

:-)

Not quite sure how the sex of the users and their population size would make that true. And “sexist” means discriminating by sex or promoting stereotypes which hardly seems applicable. But rather silly, in a way, this splitting hairs over insults as people seem to take them far more seriously than is warranted. However, since they do it seems justified to try to find out why.

But it seems that it was Richard Carrier who commented on the topic somewhat extensively, although he was referring to “douchebags” (1). But one of his points was

(5) The insult must not be insulting to an untargeted party.

Which was my intent in trying to find an insult that couldn’t be construed as being sexist or ableist or racist. And the only way seems to be a neologism that is simply defined that way.

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/2289/”

398 Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

@Steersman

“Not quite sure how the sex of the users and their population size would make that true.”

If you were a woman you would know! You underestimate the power of emotional logic.

” ‘sexist’ means . . . ”

Mansplaining!

No doubt you are appealing to what is says in the dictionary – that evil tool of the Patriarchy.

399 Justicar March 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

Brony @ 254:

I appreciate that you’ve mastered the skill of making certain words bold, for it will be useful in showing the problem with your response to me.

In response to, “By the way, if culture accepts the word “cunt” does not make it less offensive.” I wrote, “”Of course not; you get to decide that for everyone else.” To which you responded, “Nope. We do as a group. Morality is necessarily social since its made up from a collection of individuals.” Thereby indicating that you disagree with the person to whom I responded.

That person argued that even if society decides the word isn’t offensive, it’s still offensive. You argue that a word means what society says it means. Thus, one can run around all one likes screaming and shouting that the word is offensive. And the rest of the society is free to lightly sigh and dismiss the complaint.

You then write, “Then we try to show why the word should not be used and shame when necessary.”

So I take it that you are in favor of using shaming as a method of behavior modification? Where might this leave you on the position of, oh, say, slut shaming?

“Answer her question. If you know that a word hurts someone when in a discussion why should anyone use it.”

I responded to what she wrote. If you dislike that I addressed what she in fact said, perhaps you could take her off the side and invite her to write something that will yield a response from me more to your liking. As it happens, I tend to credit a person’s agency by presuming they’re capable of saying what they mean, and meaning what they say.

And, as I noted, the absence of necessity hasn’t constrained her writing here. It should be no shock at all to learn that the rest of us similarly dismiss considering whether something is necessary to say before, you know, saying it.

400 windy March 5, 2013 at 12:07 pm

because the reason is…what?
they’re hypocrites?
they’re pompous narcissistic blowhards?
they’re, like, promototers of victimization and infantilization instead of true respect and equality?
they’re know-nothing charlatans feeding at the teat of organized skepticism?

If you want to put it that way…

401 EllenBeth Wachs March 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm

@305 John Brown

Oolon, if you’re going to make such a statement, you damned well better have evidence that it happened and everything had better be in absolute perfect context.

The sheer audacity you show is beyond belief. You win the thread for blatant hypocrisy. There are dozens of posts in the pit throwing out serious defamatory allegations against me (including pedophilia) without a shred of evidence and YOU are one of the main instigators.

http://mycatsaremygods.com/2013/03/04/magical-harassment-fairies-aka-dead-nazis/

402 windy March 5, 2013 at 12:34 pm

I suspect it gets aimed, by some posters at some times, as negative personal comments out of frustration, after repeated attempts to use the usual approaches we once thought all skeptics would take to claims like that get ignored or are said to be grounds for banishment.

Not to mention the repetition of claims like “you just want to hit on skeptical women” or “you think women are fuck toys and eye candy”… yeah, it’s a total mystery why juvenile taunts like that might elicit juvenile comments about the appearance of skeptical women.

403 Cian March 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Just a small question?
Would you think it is more damaging to your reputation and character to be called a c**t, bitch, @sshole or an MRA, misogynist, rape enabler, rape apologist …

I think it is an interesting question because even if the above comments use language that some people find offensive ( for instance where I am from the “c” word is never a gender slur – just a naughty word ) or if the jokes are deemed tasteless ( and some are ), there is no doubt about what rape-enabler means, or what misogynist ( although that word has now seemed to have lost its meaning altogether ) or what rape apologists means.

If you found out that your boss came across a blog on which you were being called a c**t, b**ch or @sshole it would not be good, but in essence they are content free “BAD” words. So I’m not really sure about the damage done other than the offense taken ( which I don’t want to discount in fairness). However if your boss found another blog on which you were being called a rape-enabler or misogynist I contend that this is a far greater and more damaging attack. And if not true is certainly defamation.

404 ChasCPeterson March 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Steersman 377

the principle that it is ethically wrong to be using insults – ad hominems – as part of a supposedly civil discussion.

Who, other than Dan Fincke, has ever espoused this principle? And so who are you talking to?
Also, prepare to be pedanted for the ad hominem thing. sic him, logicians!

you and many others seem to be of the opinion that “The Pit” is criticizing you for your language in itself which is, I think, the furthest thing from the truth

You are confused. It is instead “The Pit” that has always (groundlessly) accused the opposing tribe of being hypersensitive to ‘Bad Werdz’. One of the main threads was, after all, called “Have you ever met my friend Kyle’s mom?” (a hilarious and edgy South Park reference).

windy:

If you want to put it that way…

Well, not really; I just wanted to show that I am familiar with the arguments. Funny that right after I listed those reasons-to-hate, a different reason-to-hate was championed by the unlikely combination of Steersman and SallyStrange:

[Steersman 369] Seems to me that a large part of what is producing these rifts is some uncritical acceptance of some aspects of feminism, some feminist dogma
[SallyStrange 374] you’re correct in noting that the general acceptance of some of feminism’s most basic premises is dividing the movement

Maybe it’s, like, there are both ultimatish and more proximate hate-factors. No doubt different pitizens are fueled by a different blend of reasons for identifying with that tribe.
And similarly for the other tribe, no doubt.

405 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Atheist Ireland Forum Moderating Policy: 17 comments.
What if Ireland discriminated for atheism instead of for religion?: 18 comments.
Examples of ‘nasty pushback’ against some atheist/skeptic feminists on the Internet: 407 comments.

It still, even in the two(ish) years since elevatorage) boggles my mind that the thing that rouses the atheist/skeptic “community” the most is whether or not it’s okay to do things like call a woman a “cunt.”

*sigh*

406 ChasCPeterson March 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm

juvenile taunts like that might elicit juvenile comments about the appearance of skeptical women

you can’t be serious.
Do you really suppose that juvenile taunts about women’s appearances need to be somehow elicited?
And why is it important to you to justify the behavior of admittedly maturity-challenged dicks?

407 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 1:28 pm

“Not to mention the repetition of claims like “you just want to hit on skeptical women” or “you think women are fuck toys and eye candy”… yeah, it’s a total mystery why juvenile taunts like that might elicit juvenile comments about the appearance of skeptical women.”

Er, I would think using something along the lines of “You’re ugly” as an insult would in fact do the OPPOSITE of refute statements like “you just want to hit on skeptical women” or “you think women are fuck toys and eye candy.” So, unless you’re trying to say that claims like the ones you mentioned elicit proof of themselves, then I’m going to have to say that I don’t think you’re managing to make the point you want to make.

408 Michael Kingsford Gray March 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm

ChasCPeterson
And why is it important to you to justify the behavior of admittedly maturity-challenged dicks?

Thank you Chas.
Comedy that writes its-self!

In a thread concerning the negativity of gender-based slurs!
You hypocritical lot are a constant source of giggles.

HAHH!!!

409 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm

@Steersman 377

Good lord, you’re just sputtering nonsense.

“No, but you’re arguing, among other points, that “we” should be subject to a rule – no gendered insults – for which you have no justification, apart from your own idiosyncratic and highly subjective interpretations of sexism.”

No, I’m not saying that. Just like I continue to support the KKK’s “right” to say racist shit, I support your “right” to say horrible sexist things. Just expect that there will be consequences, such as the continued marginalization of your ilk, the continued efforts to have people saying horrible things about women removed from leadership roles in skeptical organizations, and the general dressing down you receive on a regular basis.

Now, a second issue is the harassment. Harassment is not dependent upon any specific use of language, so you can spare the prolonged whining about your free speech.

Can you agree that harassment should be verboten? I’m not asking whether you think any has actually occurred, I’m asking whether you think harassment is acceptable?

“And a rule, I might add, that is entirely inconsistent with “your” own frequent use of “asshole” which produces, arguably, just as much if not more “splash damage” than any of the so-called gendered insults.”

Your notion that this is about bad words reveals your complete lack of understanding about the subject. Every time you think about using the word “cunt,” consider if you would as boldly use “nigger.” If so, link the posts where you joyfully toss the latter slur around; if not, explain why.

“Again, in your opinion – from that statement it seems you guys over there have a lock on the philosophy or modus operandi of ipse dixit (1).”

It continually amuses me that you lot justify your behavior with reference to people you claim to find obnoxious, abusive, and otherwise objectionable. If you cannot support your behavior in its own right (I can. The FtB folks can. That’s not the side continually saying, “well, our moral standards will be established by the pit), you are probably behaving poorly.

I will gladly defend or reject any behavior on FtB when it’s under discussion. You just bring it up to avoid having to confront the disgusting nature of your allies.

“Not to mention that it betrays a complete ignorance – willful or otherwise – of another concept, that of hypocrisy:”

Again, whether or not FtB is hypocritical has nothing to do with the appropriateness of your behavior. It’s amazingly childish to progress in that manner.

“More particularly, the principle that it is ethically wrong to be using insults – ad hominems – as part of a supposedly civil discussion.”

See, here’s the source of your confusion. That is not the principle sought to be established. This has been discussed relentlessly in this thread, and if you still think that’s the principle at play…it says nothing positive about your capabilities.

The folks whining about “civility” are the accomodationists. The one’s starting petitions to bring about an end to the conflict. I find their efforts sanctimonious and insulting, as they depend on the notion that there aren’t substantive differences.

“And if “you” are – hypocritically – unable to adhere to that principle then why the fuck should anyone else?”

Because you’re better people? I don’t explain my behavior with reference to moral reprobates over there, why are you so intent on justifying your behavior that way?

This is the Saddam gambit: “Well sure, we killed lots of innocent Iraqis, but Saddam did, too.” Awesome. That’s the standard?

“In addition, to emphasize the point, you and many others seem to be of the opinion that “The Pit” is criticizing you for your language in itself which is, I think, the furthest thing from the truth – which should be obvious from the fact that most there have a fairly broad acceptance of profanity in one form or another – one of the main threads is, after all, called The Periodic Table of Swearing.”

I don’t even know what you’re arguing there. ONce again, “bad words” are not the issue here. I do not believe the pit is criticizing me or anyone else for language in itself.

410 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

@408

You just cannot avoid false equivalences, can you? Hilarious.

“Why is there no White Entertainment Television?”

411 windy March 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Er, I would think using something along the lines of “You’re ugly” as an insult would in fact do the OPPOSITE of refute statements like “you just want to hit on skeptical women” or “you think women are fuck toys and eye candy.”

Who said it was supposed to be a refutation? Do you think statements like that even deserve a refutation? I’m saying that it’s not a big stretch if comments to the effect of “go fuck a watermelon or a blow up doll instead” results in equally juvenile comments from some individuals instead of a formal refutation. That’s not a ‘justification’ so don’t bother getting on those high horses.

412 ChasCPeterson March 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Comedy that writes its-self!

you mean ‘itself’.
How fortuitous to have caught a bonafide original pitizen in my little tripwire trap, and the perennially uberpompous MK Gray at that.
See, M. Kingsford, it would only be hypocritical for me to call people like you ‘dicks’ if I had ever even once opined or endorsed the idea that there is something wrong with ‘gendered slurs’ per se. I never have. I don’t. I’ve said so at Pharyngula. Like you, MK, I know your gender, and I know some of the shit you’ve chosen to type and post over the last couple of years, and I stand by my epithet: you’re a dick.
And I sincerely doubt that anybody is offended by that characterization (probably not even you). You know why? because although my calling you a ‘dick’ is (appropriately) gendered, it is not sexist.
But it’s my strong impression that ‘you lot’ are heavily invested in not getting that distinction, so go ahead and commence with the bullshit. Maybe we could hear from Welch next!?

413 Submariner March 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I find it more than a bit strange that atheists, skeptics, freethinkers and associated irreligious people are arguing, Christian apologist style, over the morality of WORDS. They are not arguing about the ideas that those words convey in context, but the morality of a grouping of letters.

If the ideas and intention behind the ideas are less important than the words one uses to convey them, then we have forgotten the lessons of history, in which some of the most horrible concepts were presented using very agreeable words.

The ideas posted at the slymepit, that women are people AND adults (it’s the site motto), that an egalitarian approach to social justice is preferred over mono-gendered approaches, and that unfalsifiable and evidence lacking presuppositions about the nature of society should be allowed to be questioned are at the heart of this “rift”.

414 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 5:03 am

@A Hermit

“I’m still waiting for someone to show me anything on FtB equivalent to the many threads on the slymepit”

You obviously don’t believe that the false accusations of misogyny, sexism, rape apologism, racism, etc, are any cause for concern.

I do think false accusations would be a concern. I don’t think that the suggestion that there might be sexism involved in calling a woman “[vulgar term deleted]” repeatedly, for example, qualifies as a false accusation though…

In any case you’re missing the point of my challenge; I don’t deny that commenters on FtB, and sometimes the bloggers, may cross a line and say something offensive. And when I see that happen I speak up .

What I don’t see on FtB is any place that is dedicated entirely to crossing those lines and demeaning an identifiable group of individuals, like all those threads on the slymepit focused on FtB and skepchicks and those of us refered to as “Baboolies” in general.. In fact there seems to be little other purpose to the slymepit forum except as a place to collect and celebrate those kinds of attacks. I don’t see any kind of activism or serious discussion of real issues there. Such may break out from time to time, but only in the same way that offensive comments occasionally pop up at FtB. They are an exception to the general tone and activity of the place.

415 idahogie March 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

@Submariner: “I find it more than a bit strange that atheists, skeptics, freethinkers and associated irreligious people are arguing, Christian apologist style, over the morality of WORDS. They are not arguing about the ideas that those words convey in context, but the morality of a grouping of letters.”

Please rephrase your argument in terms of nigger, spic, kike, and jap. Should we as atheists be arguing that those are just words, and anyone objecting to their use in invective is actually arguing that minorities are weak and need special protections? Please — I’d love to see you try.

Words are not just words. Words are institutional; words influence our world-views; words can help maintain inequality. Pretending otherwise is foolish.

416 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Justin Vacula March 5, 2013 at 5:13 am

“Might there be a ‘false equivalence’ between the Slymepit and Freethought Blogs? I don’t know. I don’t care. It is besides the point.

Not beside the point at all; it rather is the point when th e`pitters start defending their viciousness by crying “someone called me a name once too…”

“Can anyone reasonably deny that Ophelia Benson and her friends are not at all responsible for the in-fighting? I think not.””

Right; every time Benson objects to the demeaning, dehumanizing and dishonest things being said about her she is responsible for the infighting. If only she would stop objecting to being called “[vulgar term deleted]” all this would just go away…o_O

417 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Submariner March 5, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I find it more than a bit strange that atheists, skeptics, freethinkers and associated irreligious people are arguing, Christian apologist style, over the morality of WORDS. They are not arguing about the ideas that those words convey in context, but the morality of a grouping of letters.

I couldn’t disagree more; the way I see it it’s the way those words are being used and the meaning they are conveying which are at issue

The ideas posted at the slymepit, that women are people AND adults (it’s the site motto), that an egalitarian approach to social justice is preferred over mono-gendered approaches, and that unfalsifiable and evidence lacking presuppositions about the nature of society should be allowed to be questioned are at the heart of this “rift”.

And those of us who actually are adults know that calling people names based on their genitalia and mocking their appearance is not how adults work out those questions. Those are tactics designed to shame and silence people, not to raise serious questions.

And when the bulk of that behaviour is directed at women, and when the men who it is directed are labelled with feminizing labels like “mangina” or simply described as women, as if womanly characteristic should be insulting, it is quite evident that there is an element of sexism involved in that behaviour.

418 Daniel Murray March 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Ye, there is a disclaimer from Michael after the quotations, but they were presented in a context of being an attack on feminists. Ones directed at non feminists or that were just abusive don’t prove the point so they should not be there.

This disclaimer is a bit like those batch salts saying “not for human consumption”. People are abusive from and to all people in heated debates, the point is not really whether it is morally justifiable. Also to take a sea of abuse and make out it is somehow out of proportion against feminists is a bit thin.

Also we need to see the context, out of context quotation are useless… what if the person being abusive in the article has been abused also and by the other party? In short the title “Examples of ‘nasty pushback’ against some atheist/skeptic feminists on the Internet” then the disclaimer make for a disingenuous use of the “examples” which may or may not be “nasty pushbacks” against feminists.

If you look at posts by feminists, you can see they can be very passionate and emotion driven.. as opposed to non “ists”. As a group on the internet I would say femanists would be one of the more aggressive ones and along with creationists etc. can go beyond the discussion and become personal more quickly than other people with no gender based agenda driving them.

If we asked were feminists more likely or less likely to be hostile or quick to anger than non feminists? What would we find? Would we find that people who are not feminists are more likely to be abusive and/or hostile on the net? This would mean something in feminism has a balancing effect in debate, possiblt allowing a feminist to be objective and not lead or overpowered by emotion, man or woman.

I would find that any time feminism is singled out as in this article and response, it misleads people about feminism. I think if many of us were asked questions re equality and women’s rights we would find that we ourselves were “feminists”. So who are the feminists here who are easily identifiable from the rest of us and what are people pushing back against in the examples given to support this? That is were the examples are actually a pushback against feminists. Is there any example of a quotation from a feminist that gets, or not, one of these responses.

419 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Look, it’s been introduced now, so I’m curious. For the pitters and their sympathizers:

1) Why don’t you use the word “nigger” as often as “cunt”?
2) “Jokes” and statements involving rape and sexual abuse are easy to come by. Why aren’t there similar “jokes” about lynching or dragging African Americans behind trucks?

I would argue that everyone is VERY aware of the horrible nature of such racial references and even the “bravehero,” free speech pitters won’t use that kind of racial language.

Thus, either they’re full of shit when they say speech is the issue, they self-censor like the rest of us, or they think language attacking women is acceptable in a way using racial invectives isn’t. Explain.

420 windy March 5, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Do you really suppose that juvenile taunts about women’s appearances need to be somehow elicited?

Of course they were elicited by something unless we are in the midst of a mass Tourette’s epidemic, but was it
a) reasonable suggestions about conference etiquette
b) men feeling “threatened” by the calls for increasing diversity
c) “calling out” people as privileged MRA PUA rape apologist rape-threatening angry virgin neckbeards

is it completely unrealistic to suggest that c) might have something to do with it?

And why is it important to you to justify the behavior of admittedly maturity-challenged dicks?

You didn’t seem to mind it in earlier times…

421 Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm

@A Hermit

“What I don’t see on FtB is any place that is dedicated entirely to crossing those lines and demeaning an identifiable group of individuals”

I think the whole of FtB does a good job of demeaning those people they call “MRA”s. The people of FtB see an “MRA” as being the equivalent of Satan Himself.

422 Daniel Murray March 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Hi Doubtthat, you should say who you are addressing as there are a lot of comments here. There are of course parallels, even they could be the exact same, racial and sexist attacks. The nub of it is what it says about the person making those comments.

I suppose the thing to do is have rules for conduct that allows free speach but not wanton abuse. Warning given before removal from the group.

423 Daniel Murray March 5, 2013 at 4:23 pm

what are pitters?

424 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm

@windy
And now you’ve changed statements.

“go fuck a watermelon or a blow up doll instead” is not the same as ““you just want to hit on skeptical women” or “you think women are fuck toys and eye candy.” The first statement is nothing more than an expression of hostility, while the second one (whatever you think about it’s level of hostility) is pointing out a behavior or stance that the speaker believes the listener is engaging in and should change.

Furthermore, telling someone to go fuck a watermelon isn’t the same as telling someone they are ugly. The first is a statement about what someone should metaphorically do along with the expectation that they will not in fact do it. The second is a statement about a person’s state of being along with the expectation that this state of being makes them worthy of dismissal.

Regardless, accepting that of course people should accept being called ugly for either is not something that I will agree with. I assert that it is wrong to use physical appearance as a reason to dismiss someone, and that rather than chide the “ugly people,” we should chide those who think that such behavior is acceptable.

I have never understood this desire to make excuses for the allowance of bad behavior, yet people seem to do it. “Oh, well, yes, what s/he is doing is bad, but rather than spend my time condemning her/him, I will spend my time telling you that you should give in to her/his demands.” In what reality is this a good idea? One of the most basic foundations of human interaction is that you don’t reward bad behavior, yet somehow we’re supposed to do so now.

425 windy March 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Why aren’t there similar “jokes” about lynching or dragging African Americans behind trucks?

Because there hasn’t been an effort to paint the skeptical community as a whole as having a dragging-African-Americans-behind-trucks problem. At least, not yet.

426 idahogie March 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

@windy: “Because there hasn’t been an effort to paint the skeptical community as a whole as having a dragging-African-Americans-behind-trucks problem. At least, not yet.”

So, back in the 60s, you’d have been arguing that jokes about dragging blacks behind trucks was OK? Just because of an accusation of racism in the skeptical community?

427 Daniel Murray March 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm

well put Eristae. I think your point is missed by the localized populist angle of the article. It is endemic and non specific, bile spitting that is.

428 windy March 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

So, back in the 60s, you’d have been arguing that jokes about dragging blacks behind trucks was OK?

Most likely not, but you were asking why there aren’t such jokes now. Give it up, you’re not the first one to try this transparent ploy.

429 idahogie March 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

“Most likely not, but you were asking why there aren’t such jokes now.”

No, I didn’t ask that question. Someone else may have. But your answer is dodgy.

There are such jokes now. They do happen. And we call the tellers “racists.” And we reject them from polite company.

Just as we reject those who seek to justify the use of misogynistic language. Or those who threaten and harrass people based on sexist language. Those people are perpetuating the same sort of societal problems as the racists.

430 windy March 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

Furthermore, telling someone to go fuck a watermelon isn’t the same as telling someone they are ugly.

I agree. Neither is the former the same as ‘feminism’. So if you want people to join in condemning the latter, it would help to admit that both sides have on occasion escalated the flaming, not cherry pick some examples and call them ‘pushback against feminists’.

431 Submariner March 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm

So Micheal (and any others claiming words themselves have a morality to them), which of the following statements are morally unjustified:

1. That sandwich was good enough for Jehovah.
2. Does the Pope shit in the woods?
3. Do you like this drawing of Muhammad?
4. The Earth is not the center of the universe.

These and similar statements have throughout history been “offensive” to certain people. Surely you folks aren’t advocating the resumption of heresy and blasphemy laws, are you?

432 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

@Daniel Murray

The comment was for any of the folks trying to minimize or excuse the language contained in the quotes cataloged by Michael Nugent.

The “pitters” are the people who post at the slymepit, the location from which the quotes were taken.

@Windy

First of all, that’s coming. The skeptical community is not racial diverse, and sooner, rather than later, minority groups are going to want to participate, they’re going to explain what behaviors in the community they find unacceptable or at least contributing to a lack of diversity, and we’re going to go through this all over again.

I would be willing to bet that this next time around all of the complaints are voiced through dogwhistles, and there will be very few “free speech braveheroes” throwing around the N-word and making lynching jokes.

I think everyone here knows that to be true, and my question to the folks thinking it’s alright to attack women based on their gender why they don’t do the same in racial terms.

433 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm

@doubtthat (comment 420)

Why do you think free speech carries an obligation to be a racist?

434 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 5:28 pm

@431

Not all “offense” is created equally. When someone declares their offended by something, that’s just the first step. The next question deals with the countervailing reason for causing the offense.

When, for example, people take offense at the Earth not being the center of the universe or evolution being true, in order to accommodate their feelings, we have to inhibit scientific progress. This is very obviously bad for society in demonstrable ways, so the importance of science trumps the offense.

So let’s try that process with the harassment and slurs aimed at women:

Step 1: women say their offended by language and behavior and assert that this is inhibiting their participation in the skeptical movement.

Step 2: someone needs to explain what we lose by accommodating that point. So far all we really have is “free speech,” but the only speech we lose is the harassment and gender-based attacks on women.

Lee Atwater lost his free speech when he lost the ability to scream “nigger” over and over to win votes in the South. Why is no one arguing for saving that sort of speech?

435 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm

@433 Tigzy

There may be some confusion happening. 420 was windy, so I can’t tell what your point is.

There is no “obligation” to be racist, just like there is no “obligation” to be sexist. What’s under discussion is why people are so interested in arguing that very obviously sexist language must be saved for free speech purposes, but no one on that side has the intestinal fortitude to make the same argument about racial language.

436 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

“I agree. Neither is the former the same as ‘feminism’. So if you want people to join in condemning the latter, it would help to admit that both sides have on occasion escalated the flaming, not cherry pick some examples and call them ‘pushback against feminists’.”

I’m afraid that I’m not sure what you’re talking about. The FORMER isn’t the same as feminism? The former statement that you quoted? Telling people to fuck watermelons isn’t the same as feminism? I’d agree with that. But I’m not sure what the parallel would be in this situation. I think it’s fairly unambiguous that statements like “And while I would always intervene if I saw a suicide in progress, if the next day I read in a paper about some SJW killing his or herself, I would say fine. Wonderful. A good start,” would count as “pushback against feminists.”

And I’m not sure what this “cherry picking” stuff is about. Did Nugent selectively pick statements that were negative towards feminists in regards to his blog post about negative statements that are directed towards feminists? Of course he did. I don’t know what else anyone would expect. That’s the way discussions work; if I want to talk about, say, anti-atheist bigotry perpetrated by highly religious members of congress, I’m going to go out and find statements that are anti-atheist, bigoted, and stated by highly religious members of congress. I’m not going to go out and look for something else, whatever that would be.

437 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 5:33 pm

oh, and my last post was @windy in 430

438 oolon March 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Oh dear no reply from Tigzy or Za-zen (Unfortunately I cannot include John Brown because he kept to my accusations and was smart enough to not throw them back)…

Now as for standing up in court again as za-zen mentioned, I wonder if any UK slymepitters are familiar with libel law as it stands in this country? Goes far too far in my opinion as anyone repeating an accusation that could be deemed defamatory needs to prove that claim is true. Anything the person being accused has said or done is irrelevant in court. Could be an issue when both Za-zen and Tigzy, great sceptics that they are, have no way or proving either claim. Downloaded – no server log would show anything whether my joke about screencapping was a joke or not. Child porn – would need the image at least, which they don’t, but given the actual uploader gives a description on my blog that wouldn’t meet a legal definition of child porn anywhere, they fail there before they have begun.

So it seems my proposition that Slymepitters repeat serious, illegal lies to defame and smear their opponents just because their opponents disagree with them is objectively true. I doubt they can even manage much of a Tu Quoque in my case as the worst I’ve done to them is take the piss a little.

To Tigzy’s far worst and much more credible accusation that I am not a very good troll. Maybe you should meditate on the co-incidence of me poking PG with that accusation on a “friendly” blog not youtube or any of the other places he and others from the pit have repeated it already that it would be impossible to get IP addresses from or comments can be deleted. Now I’m sure all the Slymepitters use TOR or Proxies and I’m sure Michael Nugent would not release the info to me as part of a legal action anyway and “Tigzy” and “za-zen” are not linkable to IRL identities. I’m sure all this is the case and even if not I have no legal leg to stand on…. But I thought I may as well give it a go 😀

Seriously though I’ve considered the Slymepit mostly risible, apart from the odd nasty bit of rude harassment they’ve avoided out and out fiction and totally transparent lies. Until John Brown and others started repeating lies about Ellen-Beth being racist, drunk, crazy and even went to the lengths of propping up her stalker and spreading a Christian fundamentalist Sheriffs trumped up charges as the truth. What a great bunch of atheists and skeptics you are to allow that and actually cause real harm to the movement and an actual activist (Unlike 99% of the slyme slacktivists, me too btw). It may seem fun to spread defamatory lies about people, until it blows up in your face and causes real damage that is….

439 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 5:41 pm

@428 Windy

Most likely not, but you were asking why there aren’t such jokes now. Give it up, you’re not the first one to try this transparent ploy.

So you’re saying that if African Americans begin pushing for inclusion in the skeptical movement, we can expect a lot of lynching jokes and the N-word to be thrown around?

You pitters alright with that?

440 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Kevin Solway March 5, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I think the whole of FtB does a good job of demeaning those people they call “MRA”s. The people of FtB see an “MRA” as being the equivalent of Satan Himself.

The “whole of FtB?” Really? I don;t think most of the bloggers there even mention MRA’s…

(I do have my own opinion, which is that the MRA’s actually do a disservice to the causes they claim to care about by creating this false narrative about the evil feminists who are plotting to take away their manhood instead of addressing the actual cultural causes, like gender stereotyping.) The hatred spewed regularly by it’s members and even it’s leaders, like Paul Elam, is what gives the MRM it’s bad name, not anybody at FtB…)

Anyway your subjective opinion on that matter doesn’t begin to answer my challenge. In case you’ve forgotten this is what I asked you for:

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/#comment-195296

“I’d really like to see if you can find anything on FtB directed at Libertarians, creationists, Sam Harris or anyone else that comes close to this…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=28

That’s a whole forum directory dedicated specifically to mocking and verbally abusing people identified by the `pit as “baboolies”…including this thread…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10…dedicated to making photoshop images of said “baboolies. It has over 200 entries and 20,000 views.

OK, your turn…show us a similar page at FtB…”

Got that John? Find me an actual thread or forum entirely dedicated to mocking, shaming and demeaning identifiable individuals on FtB.

Or stop pretending that the occasional over the top comment or opinion you happen to disagree with is equivalent to all that deliberate, targeted abuse.

441 windy March 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

doubtthat: Oh, I have no doubt that “it’s coming”, meaning that equally dishonest tactics are going to be used in the name of racial inclusivity. Sikivu Hutchinson already called New Atheism “white supremacist” with nary a protest from the big names present.
Would you say that a sarcastic response in the style of “sure, later we’re gonna go burn some crosses with our Grand Dragon Dawkins!” is completely off limits to something that stupid?

442 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 5:55 pm

@440

Probably not, but notice the target there, you. I would consider that a joke based on a perceived over-reaction (not commenting on the substance) to a point someone made.

Now, if the joke were, “Someone should get a group together so we can go lynch Sikivu Hutchinson,” or, “You know what she needs? To be dragged behind a pickup for a few blocks, stupid fucking N——,” then yes, there really would be a problem. Do you find it at all remarkable that no such “joke” has been made in the pit, a place full of brave free speech heroes?

That, by the way, is the exact “joke” that’s getting tossed around at women in the movement. Look at the jokes above, is anyone joking about how African Americans are ugly? Is anyone mimicking #10 replacing the word “cunt” with the word “nigger?”

Why not?

443 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm

“Oh, I have no doubt that “it’s coming”, meaning that equally dishonest tactics are going to be used in the name of racial inclusivity. Sikivu Hutchinson already called New Atheism “white supremacist” with nary a protest from the big names present.
Would you say that a sarcastic response in the style of “sure, later we’re gonna go burn some crosses with our Grand Dragon Dawkins!” is completely off limits to something that stupid?”

@ windy
. . . Yes, yes I would. Invocations of centuries of oppression, violence, objectification, and murder is not an acceptable response to an accusation of “why supremacy.”

444 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm

aaaaaand why supremacy clearly should have been “white” supremacy.

Typooo.

445 windy March 5, 2013 at 6:26 pm

. . . Yes, yes I would. Invocations of centuries of oppression, violence, objectification, and murder is not an acceptable response to an accusation of “why supremacy.”

But it’s okay to invoke centuries of oppression, violence etc. as a weapon in an argument by calling New Atheists “white supremacist” and thereby cheapen the impact? I think that’s worse behavior for a skeptic than making sarcastic references to the oppression.

446 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm

“But it’s okay to invoke centuries of oppression, violence etc. as a weapon in an argument by calling New Atheists “white supremacist” and thereby cheapen the impact? I think that’s worse behavior for a skeptic than making sarcastic references to the oppression.”

In general, I (a white person) try to avoid telling racial minorities what cheapens the impact of their own oppression, both historical and present. After all, it’s not my oppression to declare cheapened or not. It is their oppression, and it is their right to use it as they will. And no, I don’t think it is worse for a minority to use their own personal and historical oppression “as a weapon” against a historically oppressive and currently privileged group than it is for a privileged group to use their own historical oppressiveness and currant privilege against a minority group.

To put it differently, I think it is better to say, “I was oppressed, therefore you X” then I think it is to say, “You were oppressed, therefore you X.” For privileged groups to use their own history of oppressiveness and privilege against a group that has a history of being oppressed by the privileged group is terrible in a way that reversing the flow cannot be. That’s why we (I) fall into the category of “privileged” and others fall into the group of “not privileged.”

447 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm

@EllenBeth Wachs

I accused you of pedophilia?

Go home, EllenBeth Wachs. You’re drunk.

448 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm

@doubthat
‘There is no “obligation” to be racist, just like there is no “obligation” to be sexist. What’s under discussion is why people are so interested in arguing that very obviously sexist language must be saved for free speech purposes, but no one on that side has the intestinal fortitude to make the same argument about racial language.’

Well okay – if by sexist language, you mean ‘cunt’ or ‘twat': I think that they can indeed be sexist in some contexts. However, In the case of a bloke greeting another bloke with ‘how are you, you old cunt!’ – not sexist. In the case of ‘I’m going to twat that little bastard’ – not sexist, though I do admit it is just about violent enough to be enjoyed by any number of pharyngulites, and does – alas – do that splash damage thing to people who have been born out of wedlock.

Also, I’ve known, met and talked with shedloads of women who are more than fine with ‘cunt’, ‘twat’ and any number of sexist jokes and epithets for such things to not be an issue. Sorry old chum, but that’s what sometimes happens when you listen to the women.

@Oolon
I am ignoring you because though you are again being very silly, you’re not being entertaining enough. Now, shoo!

449 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Correction to my previous post:

‘Also, I’ve known, met and talked with shedloads of women who are more than fine with ‘cunt’, ‘twat’ and any number of sexist jokes and epithets for such things to not be an issue.’

That should have been ‘…any number of purportedly sexist jokes…’

‘pologies.

450 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I find it telling that good old EllenBeth Wachs didn’t link to the original post in the Slymepit which contained the word “darkies.” Neither did she inquire what the post was about, put it in context, ask what the color of the person who made the post was, and his/her motivations.

Here’s a hint. He wasn’t calling minorities “darkies.” He was lampooning Jennifer McCreight’s assertion that the way to get more minorities into the atheist movement was to address drug use and prison.

Cause, that’s exactly how minorities need very privileged, upper middle class white women to view them, right? “Hey, listen. You minorities there. I’m gonna help you become atheists by pointing out how drug use and prison affect you.”

Of course, EllenBeth Wachs knows this. This is why she doesn’t link back to it. She wants her narrative. She came out and called the person who made the statement a racist.

It takes a special kind of stupid or willful ignorance to completely fail at comprehension like that. So, I gave her a taste of her own medicine. She used the word “darkie” in her tweet and I treated her the exact same way she treated the person she was attacking.

But, when I did it, context, history, clarification and nuance matters. When she did it and gets called on it, she’s a poor, hapless, little old me, victim and anyone who calls her on any asinine thing she says is a woman hating misogynist.

Way to be a strong, empowered person, EllenBeth Wachs.

There’s a saying. A person can fail over and over in life, but they never become a failure until they blame other people for their mistakes.

You, EllenBeth Wachs, are a failure. You’re also boring.

451 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm

‘ if by sexist language, you mean ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’: I think that they can indeed be sexist in some contexts. However, In the case of a bloke greeting another bloke with ‘how are you, you old cunt!’ – not sexist”

I’m so glad we can agree on something! You’re absolutely right about context! And when the term is being used to mock and demean women (as it is in the examples above and every day at the slymepit) it certainly is sexist.

Context matters…

452 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm

You may also notice that when talking about EllenBeth Wachs on Twitter, I don’t @ her. She has to specifically search for her “harassment.” What a pathetic, sad existence.

453 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

@A Hermit

Your welcome – so glad that I could finally dun it into the head of at least one Pharygulite that context matters when it comes to such epithets.

And I agree – when a term such as ‘dick’ is being used to mock and demean men (as has certainly happened at FTB), it certainly is sexist.

BTW – would you also agree that ‘go die in a fire’ mocks and demeans burns victims?

454 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

@447

“Also, I’ve known, met and talked with shedloads of women who are more than fine with ‘cunt’, ‘twat’ and any number of sexist jokes and epithets for such things to not be an issue. Sorry old chum, but that’s what sometimes happens when you listen to the women.”

Ah yes, this must be why you call black people the N-word. After all, they use it with each other. I’m sure you do this on a regular basis.

And if one black person who you know well said you could use that word with them, would that give you license to spam it over the internet, or, more to the point, would you use it with a random African American you met in the world?

Of course not.

455 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm

@452

Don’t play stupid. It’s beneath you.

There’s a reason why “cracker” doesn’t carry the same punch as “nigger.”

Same reason calling someone a “dick” isn’t the same as calling them a “cunt.”

Why? Cause fucking history. You know this, you know what “die in a fire” means in internet terms, so why are you so interested in playing the part of a vapid college freshman in his/her first philosophy intro class?

456 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm

@A Hermit

Your welcome – so glad that I could finally dun it into the head of at least one Pharygulite that context matters when it comes to such epithets.

Oh this is funny; it seems to me that’s been the argument all along…when you’re using that kind of language to bully and harass people it is absolutely sexist.

And I agree – when a term such as ‘dick’ is being used to mock and demean men (as has certainly happened at FTB), it certainly is sexist.”

Sure, and I think if you take the time to look at FtB you’ll find plenty of people agreeing with you.

And of course, while the occasional comment there might use a term like that (and usually get jumped on for doing so) what we don’t have at FtB is a culture where use of such terms is not only tolerated but encouraged and even celebrated, as it is at the slymepit…

Because one side understands what “context matters” really means and the other side wants to pretend that we can’t object to any language regardless of context…

457 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

“There’s a reason why “cracker” doesn’t carry the same punch as ‘nigger.'”

That’s the problem with arguments like these. You collectivize guilt and harm. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.

Individuals matter and only individuals get to decide what guilt or harm applies to them.

That’s why when people say that there are plenty of women who aren’t offended by the word, their opinion is just as valid on the matter.

458 tina March 5, 2013 at 8:17 pm

PZ Myers
4 March 2013 at 7:23 pm

“It’s all meaningless without context.”

459 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm

@doubthat

There is a difference. For example, no black person has never called me the N-word. However, plenty of women have referred to me by the ‘cunt’ and ‘twat’ ( I know – no surprise there…), which leads me to suspect that such epithets to not have the misogynistic ‘load’ – for want of a better – that is on a par with racist terms.

It’s like this: my experience has demonstrated that use of racist epithets would demonstrate racism on my part. I do not consider myself a racist, so I don’t use them. However, my experience has also demonstrated to me that use of such terms as ‘cunt’ and ‘twat’ do not automatically demonstrate misogyny (though I accept that they can in some contexts) – hence, I’m generally comfortable with them.

460 tina March 5, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Hermit
“what we don’t have at FtB is a culture where use of such terms is not only tolerated but encouraged and even celebrated as it is at the slymepit”

Yes you do. Liar.

461 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:21 pm

@456 John Brown

What a useless point. Has anyone argued that a given women SHOULD be insulted by a word or phrase?

Nope, nowhere. The questions is how we behave towards people who do say they are offending by the harassment.

And beyond that, whether or not I’m personally “offended” by someone using, say, the N-word (I’m not, I’m white), that use of the word allows me to draw some strong conclusions about the speaker.

Of course, as a white person who knows lots of white people, I cannot name a single person who is offended by the term “cracker.” Now, when you goofballs like to play the false equivalency game, then you get offended by it, but the word just does not carry any weight. There really are no slurs aimed at whites with any punch (save those used by other whites–class issues). Cuz history.

462 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm

@doubthat

No, I don’t know what ‘die in a fire’ means in internet terms. What, are you saying that there is a particular ‘intent’ that comes with this phrase which is magic, or something?

463 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 8:26 pm

You might have a point, @doubtthat, if you hadn’t been spending the past two days demanding that you are the arbiter of what is and what is not a bad word under what circumstances and for what groups of people.

Because…history!

Jesus, you’re boring.

464 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

@458

Look, it may be an America/England thing, but as the discussion lately has established, the context is the key. Most people who made it through the age of puberty understand the concept of social register, and just because you can use a term familiarly with a certain set of acquaintances in a certain society in a certain country does not mean it is appropriate or that it loses its larger meaning.

I know plenty of gay folks who use the word “faggot” fairly regularly. They’ve jokingly called me such – (you let your girlfriend pick out your clothes? You’re such a…you get it). That doesn’t mean I can start calling homosexual writers “faggots” when I have a disagreement with them.

465 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

@A Hermit

‘Because one side understands what “context matters” really means and the other side wants to pretend that we can’t object to any language regardless of context…’

Well, I look forward to regular deployments of ‘cunt’ and ‘twat’ – in their non-misogynistic contexts, of course – at Pharyngula, Skepchick and FTB in general . 😀

466 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

@461

Google it. It was an internet meme.

467 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

@John Brown, frivolous thinker

The hell are you talking about? Since you’ve been reading me so closely, surely you must have an example.

The group that’s targeted gets to decide what language they find offensive. None of these words — either gendered or racial — apply to me, thus, I listen to others. It’s a pretty radical thing, sometimes referred to as “being an adult.”

468 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:38 pm

@464

The point is that there really is no non-misogynistic way to use those words in a public setting. When you’re talking with friends, that’s one thing, but engaging in a debate in a forum open to anyone, it’s hard to imagine how it could be used (non-referentially) in a non-misogynistic way.

Again, as a thought experiment, try to use the n-word in a non-racist way with African Americans that you don’t know personally.

The odds of it working are so low, and the options to express thoughts absent racial and/or gendered slurs so close to infinite, that one wonders why anyone would engage in the effort.

469 tina March 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

doubtthat
“The group that’s targeted gets to decide what language they find offensive. ”

So stop calling pitters misogynists then. Simples.

470 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

“The group that’s targeted gets to decide what language they find offensive. None of these words — either gendered or racial — apply to me, thus, I listen to others. It’s a pretty radical thing, sometimes referred to as ‘being an adult.'”

Lazy, lazy thinking.

You just conceded that it’s the individual that gets to decide and then turned around and contradicted yourself with “the group that’s targeted gets to decide what language they find offensive.”

You come up with some thought about some oppressed group, find some people in that group who agrees with it, then you get to pontificate about how you are “deferring.”

You’re not deferring. You’re being lazy and generalizing.

There is no group without the individual. Individuals matter more than the group. Everything is meaningless without context. You are not the great white male savior who gets to determine what is and what is not offensive to everyone else and then just say…”I’m listening to others, herp, derp…”

Like I said, your schtick is fucking boring.

471 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm

@doubtthat

So it’s okay to say something as vile and potentially triggering as ‘go die in a fire’ because it’s an internet meme. Okay, gotcha.

‘Look, it may be an America/England thing, but as the discussion lately has established, the context is the key. Most people who made it through the age of puberty understand the concept of social register, and just because you can use a term familiarly with a certain set of acquaintances in a certain society in a certain country does not mean it is appropriate or that it loses its larger meaning.

I know plenty of gay folks who use the word “faggot” fairly regularly. They’ve jokingly called me such – (you let your girlfriend pick out your clothes? You’re such a…you get it). That doesn’t mean I can start calling homosexual writers “faggots” when I have a disagreement with them.’

You’re still missing my point here – I’ve seen ‘faggot’ used in enough homophobic contexts to lead me to accept that coming from me, it would likely make me appear homophobic. I don’t consider myself homophobic, therefore I do not use it.

I have, however, seen ‘cunt’ and ‘twat’ used in such a wide variety of contexts – as an insult, as a greeting, as an expletive, as a threat, as a term of familiarity, friendliness and acquaintance, by both men and women, and between them – that I cannot reasonably conclude that use of these words would automatically be indicative of misogyny on my part. Likewise, I cannot automatically see them as being indicative of misogyny when used by someone else.

Also, you’re being far too parochial with the England/America thing: you’re also forgetting Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand (there are plenty of others, too, I would expect), all of which – in my experience – do not see ‘cunt’ as being particularly loaded with misogyny.

472 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

“Misogynist” has a definition. If people meet the criteria, they deserve the label regardless of how they feel.

Please explain to me the criteria necessary to label someone a “nigger” or a “cunt.”

There are a lot of comments, so I don’t expect you to read everything I write, but “taking offense” is just the first step in determining how we should speak. In this case the offense is legitimate, but there is countervailing value in describing horrible behavior appropriately.

If the KKK says, “stop calling us racist,” my reply would be, “stop being racist.”

The same process does not work with slurs that have no rational basis or definition with discernible criteria.

473 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

@470

“Die in a Fire” is used ironically, like, “go jump off a bridge,” for younger generations. It comes up in tweenager tweets:

“Becky was all, your hair looks tacky, and I was all, OMG DIAF!”

With DIAF obviously being, die in a fire. It’s a silly over-exaggeration, but whatever, folks have apologized for it, if I believed you (or anyone) actually took offense, I would be a little more sympathetic, but I realize you’re just engaging in childish contrarianism.

As for “cunt.” It’s used more casually in England — can’t confirm the other countries you mentioned, but I have no doubt you’re correct. Fair enough. But:

1) Why are you so attached to it that when you find it gives offense to American women, you can’t stop using it?
2) Do you agree that there are plenty of contexts where it isn’t met humorously or casually? Can you discern from the context if it’s meant to be a sexist slur?

Context is key, it’s not complicated. In the US any use of “cunt” is going to be sexist. It’s no different from the n-word in that respect. In your part of the world, it’s fairly obvious when it’s meant as a slur.

474 Acathode March 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Yes, misogyny indeed has a definition:

mi·sog·y·ny
[mi-soj-uh-nee, mahy-]
noun
hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women

I’ve yet to see anyone explain comprehensively how the simple use of certain slurs like “twat” and “cunt” somehow makes it clear that the speaker hates, dislikes or distrust women.

It makes about as much sense as claiming someone who use the slur “asshole” shows a deep hatred for all humans.

475 kntk March 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Please explain to me the criteria necessary to label someone a “nigger” or a “cunt.”

Its actually ridiculous that this should need to be explained.

Nigger (when used as an insult): You are black, because you’re black you are inferior to me.
Cunt (when used as an insult): You seem to be an unpleasant person of some variety based on your recent actions.

476 tina March 5, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Cut the crap Doubtthat. You call me a ‘chill girl’, ‘gender-traitor’ or wotevva….I get to call you a ‘cunt’ Got it?

477 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm

No one could explain it “comprehensively” because no matter how detailed the explanation, you would still play dumb and pretend not to get it. You’ve essentially adopted the creationist viewpoint with respect to evolution: no matter how thorough the discussion, you just say, “where’s the transitional form, where’s the transitional form…”

I’m happy to engage, but please start by answering this question: do you require a similar, “comprehensive” explanation for uses of “nigger.” Why or why not?

478 Eristae March 5, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Alright, I’m going to give an example of how I react when someone(s) tells me that they don’t want to be called something, even if I don’t understand it.

Many years ago I saw some guy (actor, singer, something) on a talk show. During the show, he said that he disliked it when women referred to him as “cute.” Dogs are cute, babies are cute, men are cute, or so he said.

This was very interesting to me, and over the next couple of years I periodically asked guys I knew if they agreed with the sentiment. All of them agreed that they did not like being referred to as cute.

Now, I had a choice here. I could have argued with them, insisted that neither I nor any other woman meant anything disparaging by it, that it wasn’t a big deal, that men said things that women also found insulting that it was my right to say whatever I wanted, and so forth. Or I could say, “Huh. At least a sizable portion of the men I knew would prefer to be called something other than ‘cute.’ Given that ‘cute’ is not conveying what I intend it to and they don’t like it, I will call them something else.”

So it baffles me why it is so terribly, terribly important to some people that they be allowed to call someone a “cunt.” It’s not like people can’t express criticism without resorting to the word. What is so very important about that specific word that we must spend hundreds of thousands of words debating it? Why not just say, “Oh, okay, I’ll use another word”?

479 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

@475

I have called you none of those things, and you’re welcome to call me what you will, but you should be prepared to accept the conclusions drawn based on your word choice.

No one has been thrown in prison for saying “nigger,” but I bet you brave heroes wouldn’t hop up on a stage or grab a radio mic and start shouting it.

480 tina March 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

FFS! Context. This is not rocket science.

481 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:08 pm

@474

Haha, nice try.

First, what is your reaction when women tell you that this isn’t how they understand the word? Ignore them.

Second, that was always the excuse racists used for continuing to say “nigger”: not meant JUST because they were black, but because they were behaving poorly in some capacity. The issue is using race or gender as an invective. And no, white males have no mirror-image slurs.

Finally, why do you think “boy” is a racial slur? It’s certainly a word we use all the time, but you would not call an African American by that word, why?

482 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm

@479 tina

Sure, context does matter, that’s the point. Folks are using that word to attack women skeptics, not to make fun of their chum at the pub.

483 tina March 5, 2013 at 9:14 pm

doubtthat: “Sure, context does matter, that’s the point.”

Finally!

484 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Scroll up, tina, this is a point we’ve been discussing for some time.

485 debaser71 March 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm

To me, the heart of the issue lies in the fact that many skeptics are skeptical of gender feminism. IMO this is the conversation that still needs to be had.

486 kntk March 5, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Second, that was always the excuse racists used for continuing to say “nigger”: not meant JUST because they were black, but because they were behaving poorly in some capacity.

Unfortunate you had to capitalise JUST the way you did. Black is a necessary component in the insult “nigger”, that’s what makes it insulting and racist. Female is not a necessary component in the insult cunt, it is not what makes it insulting.

Don’t believe me, go outside and call the first guy you see a cunt.

487 Chas Stewart March 5, 2013 at 9:28 pm

@Eristae

I can see no reason why the use of any pejorative during discussion and argumentation should be defended so vigorously. It does nothing.

488 tina March 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

@484

This conversation is verboten. Feminists impose dogma, not discuss it. Just like catholics.

489 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm

@485

In America, gender is absolutely a necessary element. If I call a guy “cunt” he will just look at me confused, no different than if I called a white person “nigger.”

I don’t know what that’s meant to prove, anyway, call some random person “jerk” and you’re going to get a reaction.

There is, however, no conversation you can have with black strangers or less-than-close acquaintances where you could say “nigger.” The same is true of women and “cunt” in America.

Recognizing that a sizable percentage of the atheist/skeptical community is American, one would imagine you were capable of making a simple language adjustment.

490 debaser71 March 5, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I take objection to calling people who are skeptical of gender feminism “misogynists” or “privileged white cis male dicks”. I eagerly await some people’s change in tone.

491 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:39 pm

I would enjoy seeing you produce evidence of this imposition with reference to actual, existing feminists. Links and quotes would be nice.

I recognize that the little feminist demon you obsess about in your fevered imaginations has some pretty wild views, but here in the real world they’re just people making arguments.

492 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm

@489

I eagerly await you providing evidence of such. Let’s see the context.

493 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

@doubthat

‘“Die in a Fire” is used ironically, like, “go jump off a bridge,” for younger generations. It comes up in tweenager tweets:

“Becky was all, your hair looks tacky, and I was all, OMG DIAF!”

With DIAF obviously being, die in a fire. It’s a silly over-exaggeration, but whatever, folks have apologized for it, if I believed you (or anyone) actually took offense, I would be a little more sympathetic, but I realize you’re just engaging in childish contrarianism.’

On which basis, am I not equally entitled to think that an American castigating me for the use of ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’ is also just engaging in childish contrarianism, simply because I live in a culture where such words are not loaded with the impact that they do in the US? I mean, why does ‘die in a fire’ get a free pass because it is not necessarily indicative of someone being insensitive to burns victims, but ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’ remains the cause for so much breast-beating, despite the fact that to many english-speaking cultures in the world, it is certainly not necessarily an indication of misogyny?

‘ As for “cunt.” It’s used more casually in England — can’t confirm the other countries you mentioned, but I have no doubt you’re correct. Fair enough. But:

1) Why are you so attached to it that when you find it gives offense to American women, you can’t stop using it?’

Personally, I’m not that attached to it – I prefer ‘twat’, because I like the sound of it (I do personally find ‘cunt’ phonetically ugly); though I’ve used ‘cunt’ plenty of times in my life.

If it gives offense to American women – well, so what? I’m not American; my culture isn’t American (well, just about). It has absolutely no impact on the context in which I would usually deploy ‘cunt’ in the UK. If it comes to deploying it on the internet, again – why should I care if it offends some American women when I use it in non-american contexts? Besides, in the UK, ‘cunt’ as an insult is usually deployed against men; it’s much less common to find it deployed against women.

That said, I’m not an ogre, and I wouldn’t gratuitously insult an American woman simply because, ‘ha ha, cunt works worse on you!’. I do have a modicum of refinement. That said, if some Yank bird starts giving me stick because I might tweet ‘My cunting twat of a dog puked on the carpet again today’, well, that…twat can go fuck herself, frankly.

‘2) Do you agree that there are plenty of contexts where it isn’t met humorously or casually? Can you discern from the context if it’s meant to be a sexist slur?’

Yep. Just as I can discern contexts where ‘go die in a fire’ isn’t said in the spirit of frivolous irony. The context in question usually being Freethought Blogs

‘Context is key, it’s not complicated. In the US any use of “cunt” is going to be sexist. It’s no different from the n-word in that respect. In your part of the world, it’s fairly obvious when it’s meant as a slur.’

What, so I should stop referring to cigarettes as ‘fags’, and West Country pork balls as ‘faggots’, because those words just so happen to not have those contexts in the US?

494 kntk March 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm

There is, however, no conversation you can have with black strangers or less-than-close acquaintances where you could say “nigger.” The same is true of women and “cunt” in America.

Seeing as we have quite a few american women on the slymepit who don’t bat an eyelid at the word cunt. I’m calling bullshit.

Recognizing that a sizable percentage of the atheist/skeptical community is American, one would imagine you were capable of making a simple language adjustment.

So, why should I care? How about you come to a less simplistic understanding of words and how people use them.

495 tina March 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm

@488
“Recognizing that a sizable percentage of the atheist/skeptical community is American, one would imagine you were capable of making a simple language adjustment.”

Recognising that most of it isn’t, one would imagine you were capable of making a simple mental adjustment.

496 Acathode March 5, 2013 at 9:53 pm

@doubtthat: That’s not a hard question. The difference between racial slurs and slurs like “twat”, “dick” etc is that the perceived bad qualities that the slurs draw their power from is fundamentally different.

Racial slurs draw their power from perceived bad qualities in the targeted race. You cannot use “nigger” as a slur if you do not simultaneously hold racists views that being black is somehow bad, and by using such slurs you also propagate this racist thinking.

Slurs like “twat” and “cock” on the other hand, does not draw their power from perceived negative qualities of our genders. There is no problem to use “cock” as an insult and still having the belief that being a man is the best thing in the world, and likewise with “cunt”.

Instead, “cock”, “cunt”, etc draw their power from the very same place that “asshole” draws it’s power from – our fascination of bodily fluids and excrement, nasty smells, and other “dirty” things.

497 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

1) DIAF: No, because there is not history of saying, “Die In A Fire,” then killing someone with fire. There is a long history real violence behind “cunt” and “nigger,” and one of the primary purposes of using those words is to conjure that history to belittle the target (whether consciously or not, that’s why the words have power).

2) Whether or not you’re American, can you not recognize that a sizable percentage of women in the skeptical/atheist community are? Are you incapable of changing one or two words to provide a more accommodating environment?

I certainly know that I could change a word or two if it made folks from overseas uncomfortable. If there’s no real need to keep them.

But again, continue to use that word all you want, but if you’re using recognizing the impact it has on women, expect to be called sexist.

3) Fags: Words can have multiple meanings. We continue to use the word “boy” even though it was a racial slur.

I enjoy that you keep saying context is the key, when the very point is that these words are used in the context of belittling, harassing, and abusing women.

Since you are a master of context, are you seriously trying to argue that when someone at FtB says, “die in a fire,” they literally wish that person to be consumed by flames? Surely such a bold chap as yourself understands figurative language.

498 EllenBeth Wachs March 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Well, John Brown, if you find me so boring, stop talking about me. Really quite simple. Seems you find quite a few here boring so why not take your leave and not return? And no, no vanity searches for my name. When not tweeting @ me (which you did) you were using the hashtags #WISCFI or #FTbullies.

499 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:59 pm

@493

Yes, a self-selected group of women, perhaps a dozen or so, is definitely all you need to draw a broad conclusion. You really claim to be a skeptic and that’s what you produce?

And you don’t have to care, just understand that there will be a reaction to you behaving that way. Don’t whine when folks in your club receive pushback.

@488

First, I’d like to see some numbers, but that doesn’t really matter. The context that these words appear in are clearly meant abusively. If you just drop a “cunt” in casual conversation, I doubt you’ll have much of a problem. Using it to belittle someone, however…

This from the person who thought “context matters” was a revelatory statement.

500 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

@496

That’s partly true, but the history is also relevant. “Cock” has no power because there was never a time when it was used to belittle a societally marginalized group. When powerful men sought to belittle weaker men, their slurs were obviously not gender based.

“Cunt” and “nigger” have potency because of that history in a way slurs aimed at men never have and likely never will.

501 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm

What, so I should stop referring to cigarettes as ‘fags’, and West Country pork balls as ‘faggots’, because those words just so happen to not have those contexts in the US?

Of course not, no one is suggesting you should. But in another context; eg in an online discussion of sexuality with people from different cultures, you might want to avoid the term and you certainly shouldn’t use it to insult and demean homosexuals who have asked you not to use the term to refer to them.

That’s called C-O-N-T-E-X-T

When people on the slymepit are calling an individual woman “[vulgar term deleted]” they aren’t being affectionate, or joking or using the term in some innocuous cultural sense. They are using it to insult and demean and dehumanize her.

Pretending otherwise is simply dishonest.

502 kntk March 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

In the middle of a crowded pub. Go up to the biggest, ugliest bastard there and call him a cock in front of his friends.

503 kntk March 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm

It has no power after all…

504 EllenBeth Wachs March 5, 2013 at 10:11 pm

and btw, no, I didn’t call the anonymous pitter a racist. I simply tweeted exactly what was said.

505 tina March 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

@497

Wowbagger | 05/09/2012 at 23:22 |
spectator, no decent person wants to interact with someone like you. Go die in a fire. No, I’m not being hyperbolic. I actually mean I want you to die in a fire.

Q E fucking Dee

506 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 10:20 pm

doubtthat – Listen to the woman.

507 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

@doubthat

1) I’m pretty sure plenty of arsonists have wished that their victims might die in a fire. I’m pretty sure that plenty of people who have wished someone would die have gone on to kill them.

2) So what, are you saying that American cultural imperatives have some sort of…privilege that other countries don’t get?

3) Words can indeed have multiple meanings. Sometimes, ‘cunt’ is used as a greeting; shit, it’s even been known to have been used as part of sexual foreplay. ‘Twat’ sometimes means ‘punch/beat up’.

‘I enjoy that you keep saying context is the key, when the very point is that these words are used in the context of belittling, harassing, and abusing women.’

Not by me, they’re not. I have no interest in belittling, harassing or abusing anyone. That said, I didn’t sign up to Dan Fincke’s civility pledge or anything, so I do sometimes deploy such epithets to express my disgust at certain individual people.

‘Since you are a master of context, are you seriously trying to argue that when someone at FtB says, “die in a fire,” they literally wish that person to be consumed by flames? Surely such a bold chap as yourself understands figurative language.’

It’s not that the person saying it means it; it’s that the person shows such an apparent lack of concern for the potential triggering factor, or the splash damage that encompasses burns victims (as if ‘die in a fire’ were some sort of desireable outcome for someone you disliked or disagreed with. Really, if it were so frivolous, would you be comfortable saying it to a burns victim?), yet by the same token, somehow manages to contrive so much concern for terms such as ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’, on the basis of the splash damage. It’s the hypocrisy of it which gets me. Honestly, if you’re that concerned about how language can upset, denigrate or marginalise people, when why not sign Dan Fincke’s civility pledge? Why be so half-assed about it?

508 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

#504

EllenBeth, you tweeted exactly what was said out of context. Without the context, it becomes racist. With the context intact, it doesn’t. Simple as that. When you use dishonest tactics, should you really be surprised that you get pushback?

509 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm

@EllenBeth Wachs

I won’t be addressing you any further, but I won’t avoid a forum just because you are infesting it. So, I will decline your invitation to take my leave and hang around.

You leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone. Your name shall never escape my lips or keyboard again.

Good day to you, Madam.

510 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Tigzy – Privilege over other countries on the internet. That reminds me of that really stupid quote from … was it Adam Lee? Ah! I don’t remember. But it was something along the lines of, since the majority of people on the internet peruse the internet (his words, not mine), then their sensibilities should be considered.

Damn. Nagging me now. I remember posting it on the ‘Pit. Be right back.

511 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm

@A Hermit

‘When people on the slymepit are calling an individual woman “[vulgar term deleted]” they aren’t being affectionate, or joking or using the term in some innocuous cultural sense. They are using it to insult and demean and dehumanize her.

Pretending otherwise is simply dishonest.’

But no more so that saying ‘Go die in a fire. I mean it’, ‘Eat broken glass’, ‘Fuck yourself off a bridge’ etc. is insulting, demeaning and dehumanzing. As well as potentially triggering, come to that.

Really, given this background, on what basis should the rest of us accept the FTB crowd as arbiters of what consitutes a ‘respectable’ insult?

512 abear March 5, 2013 at 10:32 pm

– By the way, that picture is revolting. When you look at [named person] her atrocious oral hygiene is overwhelmingly evident.

Michael; [named person] in the above example very unfairly made a nasty comment about the hygiene of [named person#2], a very accomplished woman and pioneer feminist. The day after I made the above post to point out the bad taste of [named person#1] by parodying the insult and turning the tables on her.
You are asking Justin Vacula to explain the Slymepit quotes.
Will you ask [named person#1] to explain her nasty comment about [named person#2] when she comes to speak at the convention you are hosting?

513 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Got it!

It wasn’t Adam Lee. (Dodged a bullet there.)

It was Avicenna.

… but we are on the internet, the sad truth is the majority of Internet denizens are Americans so we non americans have to cater to them in some way or else my comments will be filled with people outraged that I wish to bum a fag off them (asking for a cigarette).

Proof.

514 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

EllenBeth Wachs said (#504):

and btw, no, I didn’t call the anonymous pitter a racist. I simply tweeted exactly what was said.

Rather disingenuous at best as you most certainly did not “simply tweet” what was said. Your tweet was:

EllenBeth Wachs ‏@EllenBethWachs
#slymepitter calling black people “darkies” is likely 1 reason black people don’t feel welcome http://prntscr.com/tvg2l #SPhaters #cybermob

Looks to me like you’re saying that the use there of “darkies” is a racist statement – why else would black people not feel welcome? Which is tantamount to calling the person a racist. Context, EllenBeth, context; you might want to determine that before commenting.

515 A Hermit March 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm

“But no more so that saying ‘Go die in a fire. I mean it’, ‘Eat broken glass’, ‘Fuck yourself off a bridge’ etc. is insulting, demeaning and dehumanzing. As well as potentially triggering, come to that.

Certainly could be, which is why I personally avoid using those kinds of expressions.

On the other hand, it does seem to me that most of the people raising objections to those aren’t actually offended by them, they are just looking for equivalences in order to justify their own use of even more loaded terms like “cunt.”

And again, I have to point out that it is only on the slymepit that we find whole forums dedicated to not only tolerating but celebrating that kind of abusive tactic. On FtB the debate has been about how far such behaviour should be tolerated; on the `pit it’s almost like some people feel obligated to do it…

516 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm

@505

Go read the first few posts. This has been discussed. Wowbagger has taken responsibility and apologized. Will you lot do the same for the sexist stuff?

And by the way, notice that he had to say, “I really mean it,” because “die in a fire” generally doesn’t mean that at all.

517 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

@502

Do that and call him anything, a pansy, a jerk, a douche, a loser, a Republican…whatever slur you can generate, chances are you’re going to have trouble. The reaction won’t be based on the meaning of the word, it will be based on the perceived hostility of the approach.

This thought experiment proves little.

518 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm

@507 Tigzy

1) I’m pretty sure just about zero of them said, “OMG Die in a fire,” before lighting the match. Just like it wasn’t a known habit of murderers to say, “jump off a bridge,” before pushing someone. THey’re all equivalent to, “go fuck yourself,” “piss off,” or similar statements.

2) No, I’m saying that any culture has that imperative. If you or some of your fellow citizens wherever you are object to a certain word, and literally nothing is lost by accommodating that objection, I will do it.

Knowing that sizable percentage of you community is insulted by a certain behavior, that behavior having little or no utility, and continuing to do it makes you an ass.

And again, the people using “cunt” aren’t using it in the chummy way you mention, they’re using it to attack.

3) Right, so how is it being used? To belittle and humiliate.

Not by me, they’re not. I have no interest in belittling, harassing or abusing anyone. That said, I didn’t sign up to Dan Fincke’s civility pledge or anything, so I do sometimes deploy such epithets to express my disgust at certain individual people.

I don’t sign those things either. Nothing wrong with a just use of an epithet. The issue is how they’re being used.

It’s not that the person saying it means it; it’s that the person shows such an apparent lack of concern for the potential triggering factor, or the splash damage that encompasses burns victims (as if ‘die in a fire’ were some sort of desireable outcome for someone you disliked or disagreed with.

First, you’re not being sincere about that, you don’t care, you don’t know anyone that cares, and you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing. Words have different uses and meanings. This isn’t about a specific word or phrase, and you know damn well that sayings often don’t carry literal meanings.

That being said, I don’t use that term. What’s ridiculous is this effort to create an equivalence. There is none.

519 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 11:13 pm

@A Hermit

‘On the other hand, it does seem to me that most of the people raising objections to those aren’t actually offended by them, they are just looking for equivalences in order to justify their own use of even more loaded terms like “cunt.”’

It might seem that way to you; it does not make it the case, unless you’re claiming to be a mind reader.

‘Cunt’ might be more loaded in your opinion; not to me, it isn’t. In fact, this is precisely why I find the FTB crowd’s attempts to be moral arbiters of acceptable discourse so laughable: for all your talk of ‘triggering languague’, you indulge in it like worms feeding in a sewer.

@doubtthat
Wowbagger’s apology has been noted; this still doesn’t give his decidedly emphatic statement some kind of magical immunity from being brought up when the FTB crowd begin taking the moral high ground on the use of ‘acceptable’ insults.

Besides, I note that Gelato Guy’s apology wasn’t enough for PZ ‘fuck him into the ground’ Myers, so…tough shit.

520 Pitchguest March 5, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Oh what the fuck.

I did not realise that doubtthat had actually said pretty much the same thing as Avicenna said above. Wow. Wow. The disease is spreading.

521 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

@519

Wowbagger acknowledge fault and changed his behavior. That sort of eliminates the hypocrisy. If you all did the same, there wouldn’t be much to argue about.

But again, for some odd reason, you guys can’t evaluate your own behavior without reference to others. It’s amusing.

If someone from FtB started calling a black member of the pit (is there one?) the N-word, and folks objected, would it make any sense for that person to say, “Well, they call people “cunt” in the pit, so I guess I can keep calling that person the n-word and everyone should just accept it”?

522 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

@520

Pitchguest, your lack of basic reasoning skills has long been established.

This is a non-issue that you’re trying to keep alive by playing dumb. No one is upset that people call cigarettes “fags,” just like no one is upset that we continue to use the word “boy” even though it was aimed at African Americans in a very hurtful way for a very long time.

It’s just sad to watch you try so hard and achieve so very little.

523 doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm

And again, Pitchguest, you and your inadequate friends are welcome to continue to use that kind of language – the harassment is another issue – but understand that you’re going to be ostracized and relegated to having other folks like you as your only companions.

That is a sort of hell beyond any imagined by the religions of the world.

524 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 11:35 pm

“but understand that you’re going to be ostracized and relegated to having other folks like you as your only companions.”

That might be the most awesome bit of self projection I’ve ever seen. Your ability to talk in circles and obfuscate is a thing of beauty.

525 AndrewV69 March 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

doubtthat, #453 ” Ah yes, this must be why you call black people the N-word. After all, they use it with each other. I’m sure you do this on a regular basis.”

I think I see where you are coming from. So I am going to rephrase it to ensure that you understand what I am “seeing” as your perspective.

You, and others like you, see words like “cunt” to be as offensive as words like “nigger” and therefore as a “decent human being” one should refrain from saying it lest you give the impression that you are not.

I hope this is an accurate representation of what you said.

Speaking for myself, and only for myself, I personally have no aversion to using any of the above words. I also could care less if you, or someone like you formed a negative impression of me, and people like me, if I also used words like “spic”, “chink”, and “honky”.

I also suspect, that the continued use of the word “cunt” in the Slymepit is precisely because everyone “knows” that you, and people like you, find it so offensive and the majority of them do not, because of the culture they grew up in, where it is quite often a gender neutral term of affection, or mild insult depending on the context or any other reason.

I believe I could argue that calling a woman a “cow” rather than a “cunt” in certain locality would be actually a much more serious offence for example. Try it on a ladette and let me know how that works out for you. Hint, if you get glassed for calling her a cow I take no responsibility.

Furthermore, it is usually the mark of an American to get upset of the usage, so I would hazard a guess that the chance to upset an American and your rather quaint cultural worldview may have something to do with it. It is way too much of a tempting and juicy target to pass up.

On the other hand, use of the word nigger is probably an unambiguous racial slur unless it is used in the right context, for example by one nigger to another, or in other circumstances that do not readily come to my mind at the moment. Although I am reminded of that hilarious incident where Samuel Jackson:

_http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/iv-drip/samuel-l-jackson-goads-a-journalist-into-saying-the-nword-at-django-junket-8438154.html
“goaded a white interviewer into saying the word, by pretending he didn’t know which “n-word” the journalist was referring to.

“No? Nobody? None? The word would be…?”

(Seriously, some honkeys and their fear of appearing racist in avoiding using the word nigger have me in stitches)

Why do I not generally not call fellow Slymepitters or other people “dyke” “homo” “spic” “cracker” “breeder” “chink” “wop” “dick” “fag” and “nigger” and words like that?

Because they are not normally part of my vocabulary. Neither are words like “arsehole” “shithead” “moron” “retard” “stupid” “ugly” “fuckwit” “moron” or “scum”.

On the other hand, I do know that it is more than likely that when I trot out some clearly identified MRA propaganda (because that is how I roll) I should expect some sort of spittle flecked invective from one or two of my fellow Slymepitters.

(it is kind of fun, but let us keep that between me and you)

So by now you, and people like you have taught me that the word “cunt” has the power over you, and people like you, to render you into a shrieking, fainting quivering mess of pottage.

And as I have a rather contemptuous attitude to that sort of hysterical reaction, not to mention that it tends to bring out the worst in me, where I actively have to resist the temptation to press your buttons. I sometimes just can not resist.

So that is my story. What is yours? Why have you given me such awesome power over you, that with one word I can render you, and people like you, into a shrieking puddle of goo?

526 Wowbagger March 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Yeah, those trying to justify their harassment campaign by referring to my ‘die in a fire’ comment – perhaps you should go back to the first page of and read where I admitted wrongdoing and have illustrated my commitment to understanding and accepting the wrongness of that by making no such comment since.

Unless, of course, you can prove otherwise?

Now, if the Slymepitters were to each apologise for their abusive comments, accept the wrongness of them and commit to making no further comments of that kind and actually stick by that – you know, like I have demonstrably done – then I can’t see that Michael Nugent or anyone else will have anything to question about their integrity or honesty or motivations.

So, Q E Fucking D indeed, ‘Tina’.

527 Acathode March 5, 2013 at 11:40 pm

@doubtthat:
I’m completely unaware of any history where the word “cunt” has been used against women the same way that the word “nigger” has been used against afro-americans.* I’ve seen such claims a few times, but never sourced or references. If you have any, please share, I’m genuinely interested in language, esp. slurs.
(*That’s not to say that I’m unaware of how western society historically have mistreated women, but that is not the same thing. )

In any case, if there is such a history, it seems that it is something local to NA or parts of NA considering that cunt certainly has a long history of used against men in the English-speaking world outside of NA. This history baggage apparently only applies to a small subset of the English speakers of the world.

Considering this, it seems blatantly absurd to accuse random people on an international forum of sexism, or worse, misogyny, simply for the fact that they don’t share your national historical baggage and views of certain words. At best, you can accuse them of not being polite for failing to acknowledge your imperialistic views that everyone, everywhere needs to cater to Americans and American history.

528 EllenBeth Wachs March 5, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Pitchguest, Steersman
Hmm, context? Okay let’s go with that. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps I was right. I gave the screenshot with the context. People can make up their own mind. If that wasn’t enough context, they can go to the thread to read more. I still didn’t call anyone a racist. At worst, I referred to an anonymous poster. John Brown, however, came out of the pit, to do that exactly to me. For hours.

If, indeed, I had the context wrong, I can apologize. The question is, how about all those posts in the pit about me lacking context or a shred of evidence? Can you all that have defamed me so terribly do the same?

529 Tigzy March 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

@doubthat

1) I see – so you’re saying that terms such as ‘die in a fire’ and ‘fuck off and die’ carry no real weight simply because an arsonist or murderer might not have expressed such wishes openly? Damn, well I guess you’ve got your justification should you ever feel the need to tell a burns victim to go die in a fire, or the loved one of a murder victim to fuck off and die.

2) So if this is the general consensus amongst the FTB mob, then why such pushback against Dan Fincke’s civility drives? If he wants to foster a blogging culture where incivility is a no-no, then why criticise him for it, if one ought to be expected to respect that wishes of those who’d prefer not to be offended by such things?

And yes, sometimes people do use ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’ to attack – but again, it doesn’t automatically mean that such attacks are misogynistic in character.

3)’First, you’re not being sincere about that, you don’t care, you don’t know anyone that cares, and you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing. Words have different uses and meanings. This isn’t about a specific word or phrase, and you know damn well that sayings often don’t carry literal meanings. ‘

I dunno, you FTBers and your faulty mind-reading skills. How do you know I didn’t have a relative who committed suicide?

You think my disgust at you people really has no basis?

530 John Brown March 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm

@EllenBeth Wachs

If you apologize for calling out a member of the pit as a racist, I will gladly rescind and apologize for everything I said about you in return, in public.

In fact, I will make a video of said apology and post it. You have my word.

531 windy March 5, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Now, if the Slymepitters were to each apologise for their abusive comments, accept the wrongness of them and commit to making no further comments of that kind and actually stick by that – you know, like I have demonstrably done – then I can’t see that Michael Nugent or anyone else will have anything to question about their integrity or honesty or motivations.

Who elected you the arbiter of “wrongness”? Get over yourself.

532 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm

doubtthat said (#409):

I will gladly defend or reject any behavior on FtB when it’s under discussion. You just bring it up to avoid having to confront the disgusting nature of your allies.

Really? How about this (1) from that exemplar and all-time champion of civilized and rational discourse, PZ Myers himself: “Crime, Evil, Fuckbrained assholes” (1)? Did you, or will you, take him to task for that egregious insult of all human-kind? In a way that is directly analogous to the claim that calling some woman a cunt is sexist, is an insult to all women?

Seems to me that, by that well-known and universally acclaimed and accepted principle (2) that “The group that’s targeted gets to decide what language they find offensive” which many here seem to have modified by replacing “group” with “any vanishingly small subset of a group”, I – as a card-carrying member of the human-race, all of whom possess, at least at last census, assholes – have a perfect right – if not a duty – to decide that that statement is offensive and an insult to me and – pari passu – to all of the rest of the human race. In which case we hereby condemn Myers as an egregious misanthrope who should be summarily “fucked into the ground”.

While you will probably find that analogy less than persuasive, I would, in that case, characterize that response as (3):

No one could explain it “comprehensively” because no matter how detailed the explanation, you would still play dumb and pretend not to get it. You’ve essentially adopted the creationist viewpoint with respect to evolution: no matter how thorough the discussion, you just say, “where’s the transitional form, where’s the transitional form…”

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/never-forget/”;
2) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/comment-page-2/#comment-196060”;
3) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/comment-page-2/#comment-196081”;

533 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 12:25 am

@529

1) Do you really need me to explain the concept of an idiom? I know you’re smart enough to understand the concept of figurative language, so once again, the charitable assumption is that you’re just playing dumb.

2) I can’t speak for everyone, but I opposed those civility pledges for two basic reasons: 1) I think it’s useless as the assholes will just resort to dogwhistles – the Lee Atwater effect, and 2) like bipartisan nonsense in Washington, they’re based on false equivalencies.

If you’re using “cunt” and “twat” to attack women, you’re going to be assumed to be sexist. Sorry. If you don’t care, great, I certainly don’t care when Christians whine about civility when I point out their faults. Just expect consequences.

3) It’s not particularly difficult to tell when someone sincerely objects to a statement and when it’s an ad hoc conjuration for glib argumentation.

Are you suggesting your opposition is entirely based on the use of “die in a fire”?

534 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 12:32 am

@532 Steersman, drunk at the wheel

Lo, these many comments later and you still don’t really understand what you’re arguing about.

For (1), I have no objection. Recall that I said I would stand by it or condemn it without reference to the parameters you goofballs have established. I’m fine with that. I don’t necessarily agree, but whatever, I can argue against the framing. I won’t be shedding a tear for the fee-fees of sexists on the internet.

Again, offense is just the first step. The second step involves the legitimacy of the action that caused the offense and the burden generated by avoiding it in the future. I see legitimacy in calling sexists, sexist, so I don’t have a problem with PZ’s rhetoric, over-the-top as it is.

You’re welcome to be offended and object, though if you want to stop being associated with misogyny, stop the misogyny.

535 John Brown March 6, 2013 at 12:37 am

“You’re welcome to be offended and object, though if you want to stop being associated with misogyny, stop the misogyny.”

If you want to stop being called a wife beater. Stop beating your wife. You still beat your wife, don’t you?

536 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 12:38 am

EllenBeth Wachs said (#528):

I still didn’t call anyone a racist. At worst, I referred to an anonymous poster.

That’s true, that you didn’t explicitly call anyone a racist. And you didn’t dox “anonymous poster”, although you certainly put them in the docket with the screen capture link you provided in your tweet. But you had strongly suggested that they had made a racist statement which is, as I mentioned, tantamount if not identical to calling them a racist. That is, unless you – and Ophelia Benson – can explain to me how someone could accuse someone else of having murdered a third party without that being tantamount if not identical to calling them a murderer (1).

If, indeed, I had the context wrong, I can apologize.

If you do so then I would suggest posting them where the original claims were made, i.e., for examples, a tweet with the same hashtags, and at B&W.

The question is, how about all those posts in the pit about me lacking context or a shred of evidence? Can you all that have defamed me so terribly do the same?

Regrettably or not, that might be a little difficult to do for any number of reasons. For example, would you insist that all those who saw your tweet and retweeted it, and those who saw that comment at B&W and consequentially criticized the Pit, retract their statements and retweets?

However, for my own part, I don’t think I was any part of any piling-on to you, but if I did I will apologize if the evidence supports the argument. But, in passing and as a matter of fact, I had actually defended you to a large extent there (2), somewhat in error before I realized today the implications of your original tweet.

1) “_http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=benson_33_1”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=67400#p67400”;

537 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 12:39 am

@527

You’re hung up on the word.

Consider a slur created very recently by American troops in Iraq. They call the Iraqis “Hadjis” after the Indian character in Johnny Quest who wore a turban. It’s an insanely ignorant slur, but set that aside for a moment.

It has no specific history of offense in that country, yet it quickly comes to represent subjugation and violent intervention. If you called an Iraqi-American who left before the First Gulf War a “hadji,” you would be attacking them with that historical humiliation even though they weren’t directly affected by the actions that gave rise to the term.

“Cunt” is just the latest incarnation of slurs against women. There have been many more that just “nigger” throughout the history of our nation (notice, for example, that “negro,” which was the preferred, polite term for a bit, is now rather awkward to use given that it conjures a certain unfortunate historical period).

The specific words change, but the use is fairly obvious to discern. You whining that “cunt” is inappropriate is no different than whining that you can’t use “negro” anymore. Language isn’t static.

538 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 12:41 am

@535

If you have evidence of my beating of a wife (I would first establish that I was married), feel free to move forward.

All that’s require to prove misogyny are the words. The internet, you may have noticed, is fairly decent at making those words available to all. I have no reason to think you’re a misogynist, save your dedication to this post.

539 Brony March 6, 2013 at 12:49 am

@ John Brown
I see what you are getting at now with the PZ’s quote issue. I unconditionally apologize for misinterpreting the situation. I would agree that this kind of comment is inappropriate and I remember disagreeing with PZ when he made it.
Now hopefully you are done misrepresenting yourself. Despite your intentions dishonesty breeds nothing useful in any kind of impassioned debate. Now we have to wonder if your words are really your own or if you will engage in more “tricks”. I ultimately see it as another cheap tactic because it makes you an unreliable conversation partner.

That is however still still completely divorced from anything related to what I have seen complained of at FTB in relation to this situation. Sure, PZ said something we thing is wrong to say and I join you in condemning it. But that is not representative of what I have a problem with, and not representative of what I have seen the FTB folks complaining about. I have seen nothing convincing that demonstrates that PZ tries to emotionally wear down a libertarian over time or that be bans them just for being or discussing libertarianism. I have also never seen PZ follow anyone from one form of media to another to continue such. Despite the nature of his statement, he does not emotionally suppress or harass with this position. There is no equivalence here. There is a context you are ignoring. A Suppressive Person suppresses. That was merely annoying.

But even if it was hypocritical, its beside the point.

No matter what your points might be f you can’t actually address that the main complaint of the FTB folks is relentless, repeated, comments of the kinds represented by Mr. Nugent’s selections , you are ultimately blowing hot air. To put it another way, your perceived hypocrisy on the part of anyone is separate from any other behavior in question.

So this is my problem. Individuals who have the effect of de facto emotionally draining the people they disagree with instead of exchanging ideas, and/or de facto replace communication with suppression of the message. This is a matter of basic human psychology and I will back this up with citations if you wish. When a person has to spend too much time dealing with:

*bullshit about appearance, sexuality, parentage, or any other insulting language instead of their message. This includes visual attacks like photoshoped images and disturbing visual spam
*misrepresentations, distortions, and outright deception concerning their position or person. This includes fake accounts pretending to be the person, and I will toss in hacked accounts because I can see that happening someday
*repetition of the above to a level that the victim can not keep up with and distracts from their message

It tires them out. Its human behavior designed to make the person give up and go away and “Win” instead of trying to be find out what the world is really like. I loathe it like nothing else. (you already got your cookie but if it makes you feel better to rub in my misrepresentation, go right ahead. I suppose you have earned it)

So keep going on about your little trick if you want, but we will just have to talk past you and engage in textual criticism for the fun of it since your issue has nothing to do with what many of us are concerned with. If you decide to do the decent thing and actually address the reasons that bring people from the FTB “side” that would be civilized of you.

540 Brony March 6, 2013 at 12:50 am

b>@ CommanderTuvok 328

Countless posts to FfTB sites don’t make it past moderation, not because they “break the rules” (the rules obviously meaning thou shalt not disagree with [insert Creepy Clown]), but because they dissented from the FfTB agenda.

So argument from conspiracy? Rejected without evidence.

Why do you think Pitters screencap their posts? Why do you think Pitters use Freezepage?

Some will screencap for evidence if everything they need is in that shot, some people will screencap to try to “prove” they were banned for something fraudulently. Unless you screencap a whole thread That’s not evidence. Don’t be a base tribalistic primate because I’m not even assuming all “Pitters” are alike. I will investigate Freezepage out of curiosity.

It is because we all know the Creepy Clowns can’t handle dissent, and will use all manner of censorship techniques to keep their chambers agreeable to echoes.

Assertions require evidence. This is rejected until I see it.

‘NoelPlum99′ recently addressed the problem with regard to PZ’s blog, and PZ childishly produced a strawman response, saying his site did allow dissent. Naturally, PZ’s “answer” was complete bollocks. Further, ask Matt Dillahunty who conducted a very simple experiment to test the moderation at A+
Rejected without evidence. This is an assertion.

In summary, your challenge is flawed because we all know “enforcement of site policies” is open to interpretation.
That’s your excuse. Scienceblogs has site policies. I have no problem believing that the contents of the Slymepit were against the policies until you get off your ass and make an argument that includes reference to Scienceblogs policies. Rejected without evidence.

Enforcement of site policies for the Creepy Clowns means censorship of dissent, posts containing evidence contrary to their claims, posts containing rebuttals to crap the Creepy Clown followers have posted, etc. Those who are on board the Creepy Clown agenda, are free to throw their shit around their forums, ie Spokesgay, etc.

These are assertions until demonstrated with evidence. Rejected.

I consider Challenge 1 avoided with cowardice.

An investigation carried out ostensibly to uncover subversive activities but actually used to harass and undermine those with differing views.

That works. Too bad you seem too lazy to actually demonstrate that any of that is coming from FTB.

The reaction the Baboons got at TAM – the people SPOKE. The increasing number of people in the community calling out the behaviour of Watson, PZ, Ophelia, etc. The increasing growth of the Pit. The death of A+, of which the Pit will take full credit. The annihilation of the Creepy Clowns when they dare to venture on to a neutral comment board.

Yeah I see you saying a bunch of stuff, but its all still assertions. Rejected without evidence.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/05/how-to-make-baseless-accusations-become-true-via-repetition/#comment-174993

Holy shit a link! There might just be some little part of you with the self respect to actually defend your fact statements like a civilized human being here.

Or not. I don’t accept second hand citations from people I don’t know. I’m here because I’m a nerd about honest argument and critical analysis and not because I’m a tribalistic primate. Rejected until I get a primary source to consider for myself. To be fair I did not say primary source but I have standards.

Skeptifem and Salty Current used the term towards Abbie Smith. But let me guess, those two are not “FfTB feminists”. No true Scotsman, et al.

So how did that prediction turn out?

However, I would point out that the use “gender traitor” pails into insignificance with the usage of “sister punisher” and “chill girl”. Are you going to deny these terms are used as well.

There is nothing to deny. You are all talk with a small side of second hand talk.

Consider Challenge #3 dealt with.

About as effectively as the Black Knight on Monty Python.

Like Rebecca Watson, you can tell that by their reaction to such criticism. Like when Rebecca called Ed Clint a rapist, after Ed had written up a well-supported and thoughtful debunk of Rebecca’s awful evo-psych talk.

Then produce the talk, debunk, and examples of Watson’s reaction. Rejected without evidence. These are assertions only.

With regard to Benson – did you see her response when Shermer had the nerve to call out Benson’s misquoting of him, and Benson’s slandering of him as a sexist? BTW, Shermer’s thoughtful two responses are constrated by SIX blog articles from the raging Ophelia, along with some other Creepy Clowns (inc. PZ) also writing their own blog posts. Note: it is a common tactic for Creepy Clowns to “gang up” on their targets, and launch attack posts at the same time across the FfTB network. Further, take a look at the comments on Ophelia’s blogs about Shermer.

More assertions with no support. There is a pattern here and it is not one of conversational competence.

As for the notion that Ophelia thinks she is above criticism, well, Ophelia censored comments criticising her behaviour and her response to that Shermer article.

More assertions to be rejected without evidence.

Consider Challenge #4 dealt with.

I’m laughing.

You are dismissed, Brony.

Sure if somehow you can convince Mr. Nugent that I should go. Otherwise I bet this all sound great in your head but it looks like shit.

541 Brony March 6, 2013 at 12:51 am

@Justicar 399

To which you responded, “Nope. We do as a group. Morality is necessarily social since its made up from a collection of individuals.” Thereby indicating that you disagree with the person to whom I responded.

No that was a simple statement of reality. I’m willing to admit that you are representing a group of people. My position relative to the subject is seperate.

That person argued that even if society decides the word isn’t offensive, it’s still offensive.
Objectively true. If 99 people like chocolate best and one like vanilla best “society” does not like chocolate. Society overwhelmingly likes chocolate is accurate. Anything else completely ignores the existence of people who believe differently and that is unacceptable to me. I don’t like ignoring reality. Perception is a matter of neurobiology. Offense in one person is offense objectively.

You argue that a word means what society says it means. Thus, one can run around all one likes screaming and shouting that the word is offensive. And the rest of the society is free to lightly sigh and dismiss the complaint.

Yes, and the people within society that disagree are free to try to persuade others to believe differently. Language changes. It’s a fact because these are only lines and colors and sound waves we communicate with. Our perception of the objects around us are always in flux. Again I don’t like to ignore facets of reality. I find it weakens my ability to argue persuasively. I don’t like flaw-building exercises but feel free to keep going with yours.

You then write, “Then we try to show why the word should not be used and shame when necessary.”

So I take it that you are in favor of using shaming as a method of behavior modification? Where might this leave you on the position of, oh, say, slut shaming?

That depends on your definition of slut. The definitions I have seen are not things I consider worth shaming people over since the sexual behavior of other is none of my business. So depending on your position and definitions I might be in the business of shaming the slut shamers. Society is messy, I deal.

I responded to what she wrote. If you dislike that I addressed what she in fact said, perhaps you could take her off the side and invite her to write something that will yield a response from me more to your liking. As it happens, I tend to credit a person’s agency by presuming they’re capable of saying what they mean, and meaning what they say.

And I think you are a coward incapable of answering her question.

And, as I noted, the absence of necessity hasn’t constrained her writing here. It should be no shock at all to learn that the rest of us similarly dismiss considering whether something is necessary to say before, you know, saying it.

Her writing isn’t the issue for me anymore. I’m curious about your answer. Answer her question if you can.

542 Tigzy March 6, 2013 at 1:01 am

@doubtthat

1) Do you need me to explain triggering language? Once again, would you say ‘die in a fire’ to a burns victim, or ‘fuck off and die’ to someone whose loved one has been murdered?

2) So if the drive towards civility, in your estimation, is useless, then why castigate the slymepit for deploying what you deem sexist language, when – by such a criteria – it wouldn’t make the Slymepit any less ‘misogynistic’? Why the focus on the Pit’s language, when you presumably believe that nothing would really change should that language be gone?

3) It’s certainly not particularly difficult to see that you’re doing it right there…

As I said before, my opposition – in this particular matter – is the flagrant hypocrisy of the FTBers attempting to be moral arbiters of ‘acceptable’ language without having their own house in order first.

People who viciously proclaim that others should die in a fire, eat broken glass, and commit suicide do not get to tell me what is or is not acceptable language.

543 John Brown March 6, 2013 at 1:02 am

Brony,

I appreciate the understanding. Now, I would ask that you perform the same thought exercise with any group that P.Z. Myers or anyone at FtB talks about. Just read through the posts or the comments and substitute the word “feminist” or any other ideology you identify with and see if their statements hold up.

I want you to understand this. I have absolutely no group identity with the pit. I like most of the people there, and I dislike others. I skip over many conversations. I’ve had a run in two or three times with regular commenters regarding trivial things.

The analogy has been made before, and I think it holds up rather well. The pit is like a pub. You walk inside and it’s a marketplace of ideas. Any market place is diverse and unwieldy looking, but that’s the beauty of it.

If you wish, you can have a nice, civil discussion over in the corner or you can fight it out MMA style in front of everyone. There’s room for everyone.

That’s why I don’t feel the need to condemn people over there. If I don’t like what they have to say, I put them on ignore or I just skip over it. If it’s offensive to me, I’ll say something and fight it out.

That’s the difference between the two venues. The pit is an open air market place where conversation flows.

FtB is nothing but a stage where everyone is lectured and dissent is not welcome.

I don’t care about language. I care about good arguments. The language P.Z. used in that post about libertarians didn’t bother me a bit. It was the argument he used. I proved it to be a bad argument by just substituting one word.

That’s all I care about.

544 AndrewV69 March 6, 2013 at 1:13 am

John Brown #524 “That might be the most awesome bit of self projection I’ve ever seen. Your ability to talk in circles and obfuscate is a thing of beauty.”

It also reveals a complete lack of awareness of basic differences between the sexes.

Expulsion from the herd is the sort of threat that females use on each other.

As Pitchguest is male, it is highly unlikely to register as any sort of compelling reason to get in line.

545 EllenBeth Wachs March 6, 2013 at 1:24 am

Steersman, you will apologize if the evidence supports the argument? Isn’t that precisely backward? There should have been evidence prior to the posts in the pit. That is the point.

Further, this conditional language you use to frame your argument and terms is very disappointing. Obviously ,there would be nothing I could do about anybody that retweeted ANY of my tweets just as there is nothing that John Brown can do about the people that retweeted his nor can anybody take back the hundreds if not thousands of page views that have occurred of the slymepit of all the nasty defamation that is posted there about me.

Frankly, at least John Brown doesn’t mince words and outright states he will rescind and apologize for everything he’s said about me if I apologize for calling a pitter a racist even though I don’t believe I did.

In the interest of utmost fairness, I will hereby publicly apologize for calling or implying that person was a racist if I indeed misinterpreted that post. I am sorry that it was taken that way.

546 John Brown March 6, 2013 at 1:28 am

@EllenBeth Wachs

I will have a video up by tomorrow rescinding and apologizing for my statements. I will also put said apology out on Twitter.

547 John Brown March 6, 2013 at 1:45 am

My public apology to EllenBeth Wachs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5GgrxqYirw

548 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 1:51 am

@542 Tigzy

1) Look, we may just be going around in circles at this point. I don’t use that phrase, mostly because it’s stupid, but we’re discussing the purpose of the language. “Die in a fire” is an idiomatic phrase with a similar meaning to, “go fly a kite.”

Now, some people may be harmed by that language, but it seems that they would be equally offended by someone describing a close sporting event as a “barn burner.”

But the ultimate point is that there is not equivalence between that idiom and using a word or phrase to attack, humiliate, and harass a woman. If you can explain the idiomatic use of, “…you [named person] are a shallow unkempt fat fuck cunt …(#20),” your comparison fails.

2) The harassment is the issue that requires a cessation. I’m fine with people using sexist or racist language mostly because I’d rather know who the assholes than be forced to guess.

Again, use the language all you want, but don’t complain when people point out it’s sexist. I have no problem when Christians say I’m biased against faith or religious belief because I have a good reason for the scorn I aim their direction. If you’re similarly proud about your low estimation of women, wear it overtly, but expect that a large percentage of people will want to distance themselves from you, and also understand that you feed evidence for the claim that there is a misogyny problem in the skeptical community (or, more accurately, it’s no better than any other part of life).

3) Again, your charge of hypocrisy is entirely based on you unjustifiably adjusting the scope of the disagreement to “uncivil or vulgar language.” The essence of dispute is based on the attacks on women in the skeptic/atheist community. There is some effort to avoid accidentally triggering or insulting certain groups, but that’s by far not the central issue.

549 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 2:14 am

EllenBeth Wachs said (#545):

Steersman, you will apologize if the evidence supports the argument? Isn’t that precisely backward? There should have been evidence prior to the posts in the pit. That is the point.

Which posts are you referring to? As I said before, I don’t think I said anything critical of you, much less to be faulted for, apart from the comments that I’ve referred to and that are part of the discussion on that tweet of yours. You might wish to review that main post (1) in some detail. But I am prepared to stand corrected if you have specific and valid objections. Sorry if you think that is “conditional language”, but I’m not about to apologize for something that you haven’t defined or I haven’t done.

But as to any other topics, or posts by other people, I have no control over and no responsibility for them. Although I will generally question such if I think there is cause and if I happen to see them.

… if I apologize for calling a pitter a racist even though I don’t believe I did.

While I think you’re to be commended for tendering that apology, and for at least discussing the question, it looks sort of empty to me if you’re not willing and able to make the effort to understand and conclude that your charge was in fact wrong, that you had in fact called not just one pitter a racist (1), but, seemingly, all of us that (2).

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=67400#p67400”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=67388#p67388”;

550 Acathode March 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

@doubtthat: Actually, I’m not so much hung up on the words, as I’m hung up about people being accused of hating, disliking or distrusting women on what seems to me as rather flimsy grounds.

You’ve yet to give a satisfactory explanation of how you’ve concluded that people on the slymepit who use slurs like “cunt” also hate, distrust or dislike women (ie. are misogynists).

According to you, people recently started using “cunt” as a slur against women. That might be so, but it’s still something that’s at most located to the NA or US, as it’s a demonstrable fact that it’s not used as a slur against women by a large portion of the English-speaking world.

Instead, a large portion of the english-speakers simply use these slurs in the exact same manner that they use “cock”, “bollocks”, “asshole”, and so on. Yet we have accusations that the posters on the slympit, which is an international forum that have members from all over the globe, are being misogynist.

How exactly, are you able to draw this conclusion, that all these people, of which you have no idea of their nationality or culture surrounding the slur, actually do hate women?

(Your example with “Hadjis” does nothing in terms of explaining how you’re able to draw this conclusion btw)

551 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 2:26 am

I’ve published an interim response to Justin Vacula here:

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/06/an-interim-response-to-justin-vacula/

552 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:33 am

@550

Mostly because if they respected women, they would stop calling them cunts when women asked them to.

But look, at this point I don’t care. Those comments are logged, the point has been explained, you can go down with your ship screaming “cunt” if you like, I don’t care. I’m not someone arguing for “reconciliation.”

You can stick to your guns, pretend like you don’t understand the offense, and the result will be further division and the continued ostracizing of the pro-cunt crew.

Again, it’s a balancing test:

Offense vs. utility of the offending statement vs. burden of ceasing offense. On any calculation the value of getting to call women “cunts” is pretty fucking low.

553 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 2:49 am

doubtthat said (#552):

Mostly because if they respected women, they would stop calling them cunts when women asked them to.

And if PZ Myers respected humans then he would stop calling them assholes when men – including me – ask him to do so. Sauce for the goose; sauce for the gander ….

If you think that “asshole” and the like are par for the course, are entirely acceptable within your pale, then you can hardly object if other insults are used. If the conversation has degenerated to that point – due, in no small part, to the efforts of PZ and company – then it shouldn’t be expected that the other side is going to stop to ask you all which insults they can use that you won’t be offended by – sort of defeats the purpose and intent of insults in general. And in which case, charges of “splash damage” and sexism – particularly in the absence of evidence – can reasonably be construed to be so many red herrings, as a transparent effort to remove those off the table because you think they cut a little deeper than you’re prepared to accept.

554 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 3:01 am

@553

Again, it’s really not difficult to distinguish between a legitimate complaint and glib contrarianism.

Unless you can link me to your anti-asshole position prior to the creation of pit.

It’s an ad hoc position you developed to play the false equivalence game. It’s transparent and it’s lame.

555 EllenBeth Wachs March 6, 2013 at 3:07 am

Steersman, your are still parsing words when you left out the rest of that post. Very disappointing indeed.

Thank you, John. I think I don’t need to explain why I am not commenting on the video itself right now.

556 Acathode March 6, 2013 at 3:12 am

@552
Failure to comply when someone you hold in very little respect start demanding that you change your language to suit their feelings sounds like a very weak ground to accuse someone of misogyny.

Since you’re apparently aren’t interested in arguing for your case, and has so far presented very little in terms to argue for it, one has to conclude that you’re fine with throwing vile accusations around without actually being able to substantiate them.

Personally, I find that sort of behavior much more repugnant than any use of slurs on the slymepit, as it cheapens the word and diminishes the suffering of people who’ve actually been on the victims of real misogyny.

557 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 3:17 am

@556

Oh please, there are about 40 posts where I argued the case. It’s been explained over and over, I’m sick of repeating myself for the dense flavor of the moment.

Using “cunt” to attack women is misogyny. Sure, we can hypothesize instances where one could use “cunt” non-misogynistically, these attacks are not those examples.

But again, say what you want, it’s just an asshole’s scarlet letter.

558 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 3:37 am

EllenBeth Wachs said (#555):

Steersman, your are still parsing words when you left out the rest of that post. Very disappointing indeed.

Which post EllenBeth? You’re not doing your credibility any good whatsoever by refusing to respond to my previous questions. Looking a little disingenuous if not actually hypocritical. Or maybe you expect me to be a mind reader ….

559 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 4:19 am

doubtthat said (#554):

Unless you can link me to your anti-asshole position prior to the creation of pit.

I’ve been arguing the case for well over a year. Consider these posts, as samples from a large set, from Pharyngula (1):

Steersman says (#44):
22 February 2012 at 2:46 am

ChasCPeterson (#44),
Ditto

Oh. Another voice of reason heard from. And I suppose you think “asshole” and “fuck off” is the language of polite company and civil discourse? Or maybe just when it is used by your friends and fellow travelers against others? Who knew that was the way double standards really worked? Learn something new every day ….
—–
Steersman says (#71):
22 February 2012 at 6:03 am

Jadehawk, cascadeuse féministe says (#65),
Steery, don’t use phrases like “double standards” if you don’t actually know what they mean, it makes you look stupid.

Well, let’s take a look at what Wikipedia says on the topic:

A double standard is the application of different sets of principles for similar situations, or to different people in the same situation. A double standard may take the form of an instance in which certain concepts (often, for example, a word, phrase, social norm, or rule) are perceived as acceptable to be applied by one group of people, but are considered unacceptable—taboo—when applied by another group.

Looks to me like “cunt” and “fuck off” and “asshole” are all considered profanity. Looks to me like a double standard. Take it up with Wikipedia if you’re not happy about it.

And it’s Steersman. Unless you want me to start trying for some double-entendres or corruptions on your name.

And likewise from Man Boobz (2):

Steersman | March 8, 2012 at 1:32 am
Xanthe,

Steersman, do you get tired of your schtick, hiding behind a conveniently cherry-picked dictionary definition so that when you venomously call women ignorant cunts …

However, I am most emphatically not calling “women” cunts – I called one woman that in response to being called an asshole even before there was any substantive criticism of my supposedly offending comment. I don’t particularly find profanity all that useful in moving the conversational ball downfield, but I figured that people should realize that one good turn deserves another, that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander – so to speak.

you can trot out this pseudo-intellectual bullshit that you were really saying they were ‘a mean or obnoxious person’?

Generally speaking, it really can’t be called bullshit when the dictionary clearly indicates that it refers to a single person, not a whole class. And specifically, being called an asshole right out the chute looked to me as being rather obnoxious behaviour – which should have been obvious from the context for any who hadn’t clutched their pearls and fainted away on seeing the word. Although maybe I was expecting too much from that crowd.

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/21/not-as-much-fun-as-it-sounds/comment-page-1/#comment-272099”;
2) “_http://manboobz.com/2012/03/06/mens-rights-redditors-to-rebecca-watson-how-dare-you-say-we-hate-women-you-cunt/comment-page-6/#comment-132339”;

560 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 4:33 am

Brony @ 541:

You write, “(1) That person argued that even if society decides the word isn’t offensive, it’s still offensive. (2) Objectively true. (3) If 99 people like chocolate best and one like vanilla best “society” does not like chocolate. (4) Society overwhelmingly likes chocolate is accurate. (5)Anything else completely ignores the existence of people who believe differently and that is unacceptable to me. (6) I don’t like ignoring reality. (7) Perception is a matter of neurobiology. (8) Offense in one person is offense objectively.” (numbering mine).

(1) I see. So, if I claim that your writing “that person” is offensive, it would seem to be that you are obliged to concede that you’ve wronged someone because of (2).

(3) and (4) aren’t particularly relevant here inasmuch as what you’re discussing in those is the extent to which someone likes something while we’re discussing whether something is morally permitted/justified. I am happy to concede that whether one likes chocolate or vanilla isn’t a moral decision and thus not relevant here. Moreover, to say that one thing is liked best implies the existence of two inferior grades of ‘like’, which need not entail “bad”. It’s possible for there to be an entire continuum of better/worse without ever having a dichotomy between ‘good’ and ‘bad'; viz., it’s possible to rank all flavors of ice cream, worst to best, without ever finding one that is bad.

(5) is outright moronic. We are, explicitly, discussing the views of people who are in opposition. This necessarily requires not “ignoring the existence of people who believe differently” which you find so unacceptable. Welcome to this conversation in which the existence of people who believe differently has been explicitly stated in the original article giving rise to this comment section.

(6) I’m not persuaded this is always the case, but I’m willing to be charitable in presuming that, on average, you’re more inclined to accept reality than to deny it.

(7) and (8) are interesting to me in the same way that two trains crashing is interesting; viz., if one grants (8), then one is obliged to state that because of (7), it follows whatever one thinks one has perceived thereby determines what is objectively the case. Now, if people were capable of perfect perception, there’d be no problem there, I suppose. But people aren’t capable of that, and this creates a problem. If 2 people see x and one is offended by it and another isn’t, on your reading it becomes an objective matter that the thing is offensive. This is a confusion on your part: it’s one thing to say, as an objective issue, that a person claims to be offended (which one can even grant has a 1:1 correspondence to a person being offended); it’s quite another to claim that because a person claims to be offended, whatever they claim offended them is thereby objectively offensive.

I appreciate your calling me a coward; it’s lucky for me that I don’t find that offensive.

561 AndrewV69 March 6, 2013 at 5:23 am

Wowbagger #538, doubtthat #557

I am going to take a little time to point out something because it is quite clear to me that you, and people like you, are more than a little confused as to what is going on.

It really should be obvious by now that I, and the people like me, are holding you, and people like you, up to scrunity and questioning your ethics, morals, motivations and honesty because of what you have said in the past, and what you are saying now.

562 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 5:41 am

Doubtthat @ 552 wrote, “Mostly because if they respected women, they would stop calling them cunts when women asked them to.”

I can play this game too. Let’s see how well I do: if they (ftb, A+, etc…) respected women, they’d stop telling people to stop calling women cunts when women ask them to.

Sure, you might counter that not all women are asking this of them, but that gains you no ground for it is true that not all women are asking that women not be called cunts.

563 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:45 am

Justicar, since you are online, I want to say that I will be replying to your earlier comment when I get time to do it justice. You pose some very useful questions in it.

564 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 5:47 am

Justicar,

Sucks for people trying to debate those of us trained in logic, eh? Nice deconstructions, my friend.

565 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 5:49 am

Michael @ 563: I’m very patient. You said you’d get to it, and I take you at your word.

566 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 6:29 am

AndrewV69 said (#194):

@Steersman #188, “And all Michael has done is to ask Justin for his opinions as to whether he thinks that they are “morally justified” or not – and presumably from a philosophical perspective.”

The thing is, I am under the impression that a whole bunch of people are presupposed to believe that “they” have the high moral ground and I believe that some, certainly I am one, do not share that opinion.

Everybody but me and thee, and I have doubts about … me. :-) Though I jest of course. But it seems to highlight the fact that that tendency to self-righteousness is a rather problematic aspect of human behaviour. You might be interested, for a number of reasons, in this observation on Libido Dominandi (1) from a Christian pastor.

However, I have no objection to either Justin or Michael presenting their opinions on the question of those 50 items – although one could make a case that Michael seems to be making a highly questionable assumption that they are “morally unjustified” even if one has to start somewhere – as long as it is understood that “opinions” is all they are; that they are merely “opening positions” in a discussion.

Now the rest is not aimed at you personally Steersman, so do not take it that way.

As far as I am concerned, you have to walk the talk without exceptions. If you want to demonstrate a higher morality than my own, you can for example stop ridiculing the Christians.

Otherwise you have no credibility if you want me to stop my equally justifiable ridicule of you.

Understood, and I generally agree with you: part of the reason for my skepticism towards Myers and “The New Atheists” in general: far too much tendency and evidence of throwing the baby out with the bathwater for my tastes. However, on the question of ridicule I’m reminded of this from Jefferson:

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.

While I am more than prepared to argue that there are great swaths of Christianity – and Islam and the rest of “The Great Religions of the World” – that justify the characterization of “unintelligible propositions” and justify the corresponding response, I am also quite prepared to argue that they possess or incorporate more than few intuitions that are quite profound and quite valuable. And those intuitions are, I think, arguably, the consequence of emergence (2) – the phenomenon that the whole is frequently very much more than just the sum of the parts, an emergence that is, I think, largely what the devotees of those religions perceive as “God”.

Although that is not to say that those intuitions are infallible: one of the aspects of emergence is that it can be construed as a form of computation – but we all know the garbage-in-garbage-out aphorism from computer science.

1) “_http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001674.cfm”;
2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence”;

567 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 6:56 am

Oh, Michael, I should like clarify one point contained in my first comment here; namely, “While it’s true many people would not like such a comment, it’s far from clear to me that just speaking/writing those words inherently creates an injury (as is the case were it said to me).”

What I meant for that parenthetical to mean that if someone spoke those words (or any of the other phrases you selected) to me, I would NOT be injured/offended/harmed/fussed/anything of the like.

568 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 7:26 am

Justicar said (#76):

This sounds to me as though you are saying that either (1) there is something about those statements which is inherently harmful, or (2) to whatever extent that one thinks whether or not the harm perceived is entirely subjective, it remains the case that the subjective feelings of whoever takes greatest exception are the feelings which are privileged to displace everyone else’s subjective feelings. ….

If you’re saying (1), then it should be a rather trivial affair to figure out that almost all people will agree on the proposition they’re inherently, objectively harmful statements. ….

If (2) is the case, then this has some obvious implications: conversation will be the hostage of anyone who claims to find offense or perceive harm in a given statement. In so granting this proposition, one thereby allows for the most sensitive person to be the arbiter of who is a bad person and the like. ….

I quite agree with Michael (#563) that you’ve posed – and phrased quite well – “some very useful questions”. And while I don’t want to muddy the waters overmuch or derail or overly influence his responses, I had wanted to throw in a few brief observations and comments on them.

And first off, there is the first question you raised as to whether various statements – and jokes and cartoons – are “objectively harmful” or not. And it seems that while neuroscience has not yet progressed to the point of being able to explain consciousness – the Holy Grail of the discipline, it seems that it has progressed to the point of being able to explain various mental phenomena as various processes in the brain. And in that case one might argue that eventually at least the science will be able to “objectively” determine how much pain and pleasure is produced on seeing and reading various statements, even if there might be some residual unknowns.

However, since recourse to that method of quantifying what used to be and largely still is “subjective feelings” is not yet available, one has to, I think, fall back on the tried and true, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. While it is quite true, I think, that different people in different circumstances are going to feel varying amounts of pain and discomfort on hearing and seeing various statements and images, the difficulties you suggested in your second case – that the “most sensitive person”, if not the most insincere person, becomes the arbiter of tastes and values – precludes giving very much if any weight to subjective feelings, particularly relative to the 50 items in Michael’s list.

And as that latter conclusion seems overly harsh, and actually not all that realistic given that feelings play a significant role in most if not all of of our lives, one has to temper that “sticks and stones” protocol in some manner – possibly based on your unknown case three. And while I’m certainly not well versed in various systems of ethics, one might argue that some variations or combinations of game theory [iterated prisoner’s dilemma], one good turn deserves another, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and the golden rule might provide a reasonable starting point, particularly relative to those same 50 items.

569 franc March 6, 2013 at 7:47 am
570 AndrewV69 March 6, 2013 at 8:01 am

Steersman, #566 “far too much tendency and evidence of throwing the baby out with the bathwater for my tastes.”

I would not exactly call it that but no doubt we could find examples if we looked hard enough.

What I see actually, are those who would deem themselves as the moral arbiters engaging in some pretty “indecent” behaviour, the least of it being holding other to standards of “decency” that they exempt themselves from.

I will proffer a current example, for instance even as I type this, “those people” are yet again preparing to burn yet another witch at the stake.

In this case a certain Owlglass:
_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/03/that-had-to-hurt/comment-page-1/

You are invited to come to your own conclusions.

571 franc March 6, 2013 at 8:10 am

Michael Nugent,

You have still not addressed number one in your quote mining list –

http://greylining.com/2011/11/10/morphology-of-that-comment/

Have you no respect for reality whatsoever? Is emotion of more importance substance? Evidently so.

572 Steersman March 6, 2013 at 8:13 am

AndrewV69 (#570):

Thanks – will take a look. I had quoted Owlglass sometime earlier as I had thought they had some quite reasonable observations on profanities of various types. But comment #178 (1) over there might be indicative of the pitchforks being out and the townspeople being on the warpath:

Owlglass
Are you trying for a slyme merit badge?

Though I tend to agree with you about “standards of decency” – not a lot of evidence of that over there ….

573 Daniel Murray March 6, 2013 at 10:40 am

In honesty, the whole nasty pushback against secular feminists sounds made up to me. There is no particular nasty pushback against feminists on the internet.

The article gives weak examples the qualifies them in a way that gives them even less value and shows the disingenuous method used to create the article. In fact it seems just to be pandering to “feminists” . Something Mr. Nugent has a weakness for doing as well as pandering.

As for nastiness Mr. Nugent is not only silent when male members on his posts are being bullied repeatedly by women who feel that men have no right to speak, even very moderately, on the abortion issue. That is unless you are supporting the view that men have no right to speak and have their view considered valid on this.

I was in this unpleasent experience myself where and very neutral comment drew fierce “feminist” bullying to the point I directly appealed to Mr Nugent to step in. When he did he too was of the view that men had no right to have their view considered a valid view in this issue. But when I later referred to one later and namelessly as a half wit he was up in arms, after the initial fact, demanding apologies. The double standard is stark.

This is a classic example of someone initially appearing challenging but in fact just hitting safe “right on” targets and pushing on open doors. Buckets of empty rhetoric and populist pandering. Mr. Nugent is not the first and won’t be the last to bravely push on open doors and pander to safe groups as to appear challenging while actually not being. As in this article which there is not really any issue in, as regards feminists in particular. Has anyone found this being a talked about issue in a way that makes it stand out before now? I haven’t, beyond general online disinhibition. Certainly I would not have thought of feminists being set upon by hostile anti feminists being something we must address. It is a non issue.

574 oolon March 6, 2013 at 12:16 pm

In the interests of fairness I feel I must stand up for Franc as when he said “If I were a girl I’d kick her in the cunt. Cunt” what he clearly meant to say was “I wholeheartedly support women’s rights and I am a committed feminist”

Only a heartless Baboon could interpret it in any other way for gawds sake!

575 tina March 6, 2013 at 12:42 pm

doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm
“….Since you are a master of context, are you seriously trying to argue that when someone at FtB says, “die in a fire,” they literally wish that person to be consumed by flames? Surely such a bold chap as yourself understands figurative language.”

So, when you said…..

doubtthat March 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm @505
“Go read the first few posts. This has been discussed. Wowbagger has taken responsibility and apologized. Will you lot do the same for the sexist stuff?”

…….you mean that you were already aware of Wowbaggers post?………this one……..
Wowbagger | 05/09/2012 at 23:22 |
“spectator, no decent person wants to interact with someone like you. Go die in a fire. No, I’m not being hyperbolic. I actually mean I want you to die in a fire.”

But……
1. You forgot he said it?
2. Remembered, but thought it not worth mentioning because he apologised?
3. Something else? (You tell us.)

It wasn’t to spin the exchange in FtB’s favour for uninformed readers? No, that couldn’t be it. Surely not.

576 franc March 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

@oooooooooooooolon –

Not once has my quote EVER been cited correctly.

No, you are not a baboon. You are Chester.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UVNHcob3oJg

577 franc March 6, 2013 at 12:53 pm

@Tina – the full hypocrisy of Wowbagger –

http://i.imgur.com/VjwBV.png

578 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Tina, research is a tool of the patriarchy; knock that off!

579 EllenBeth Wachs March 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Steersman? People can read my words and decide for themselves if I am being hypocritical. I offered a sincere olive branch. You seem to want to be argumentative for no reason other to to be argumentative. I choose not to argue with you.

580 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

@575

Are you serious? I was commenting on the meaning of “die in a fire.” It’s an idiomatic phrase. That fact is SUPPORTED by wowbagger’s statement (which again, holy fuck, that’s all you have?).

You know this because he had to say, “No, I’m not being hyperbolic. I actually mean I want you to die in a fire.” He had to say that BECAUSE “die in a fire” almost never means, I want you to actually die in a fire.

Language for dumbasses.

581 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

@559

Ah, so the childish, transparent effort is a year old. Well, that at least speaks to your stubbornness, which is an admirable quality depending on the context, like leading tourists to the bottom of canyons.

582 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 1:52 pm

@562

What a facile and daft point. Are the women ASKING to be called cunts? Or are they just saying they don’t particularly care?

First, you have the problem of tokenism. Just because you can find a member or two from a group to agree with you, that doesn’t mean you can draw such broad generalizations. The fact that Clarence Thomas voices right wing nonsense tells us little to nothing about African Americans, and the inevitable Latino candidate they circulate in 2016 will tell us nothing about the views and important issues to that community.

This is an old tactic. Just because Michelle Bachman will play to your ego and whisper in your ear that all your negative impulses about feminists are totally true, doesn’t mean you have women on your side, as the 2012 elections should prove.

Second, once again, it’s not just the word “cunt” (glad another bozo floated in demanding repetition), it’s the dedicated harassment and attacks on women. If you know some people who don’t mind being called “cunts,” good for you. You’ve successfully increased your vocabulary by one word, which is substantial for you crew, I understand that.

But the question is how you handle people that tell you, “this kind of language turns a good deal of women from the skeptical community.” Setting aside the misogyny and harassment for a moment, and considering that politics is the only concern, are you really interested in making tolerance for the word “cunt” a litmus test for participating in the skeptical/atheist community?

583 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Doubtthat: do you need any more straw? Have a fire. Cook some sausages. Wear gloves. Dont fall in. You’re welcome.

584 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Well, Mr. Nugent is doing an admirable job of playing the mediator, but no, Justicar’s question is not intelligent or deep. He’s asking if offense is subjective or objective. Certainly, he must be the first person in all of philosophy to have considered such a dichotomy.

You want to do some serious thinking about this topic? Read on the legal history of freedom of speech. The challenges are no different. What is obscenity? At what point does speech become incitement? When does controlling the time and place cross over into controlling content?

First Amendment litigation has developed a balancing test, and the same can be used here:

1) Is someone offended? Why?
2) What was the claimed value of the speech that caused the offense?
3) What burden is created on the speaker by avoiding the offense?

So, when we discuss Christians taking offense at evolution being taught in schools, we see that #2 is very high. We can provide a strong argument for why science needs to be taught, regardless of how the feelings of the religious are affected. Observing #3, circumscribing the degree to which teachers can deal with the topic is a massive burden, especially since many of the Creationists want an outright ban.

Now let’s run the same test with being able to call a woman a “cunt” in your attacks. The only value we get (#2) is some notion of free speech. Freedom for freedom’s sake, which is fine, we allow the KKK to exist. But what’s the utility. What have we gained? What is the burden (#3) created by not insulting women in that manner? Are you incapable of expressing criticism without calling women “cunt” or otherwise attacking them personally?

Notice that like literally every aspect of civil society, the three criteria above are subjective. This should not be uncomfortable to anyone who has been alive. We move forward by discussing these issues, not by generating objective rules that bind and guide behavior.

Your analysis can be different from mine. Certainly Christians analyze the offense caused by the teaching of evolution differently than I do. That’s why we’re political enemies. I feel similarly about folks intent on continuing to demean and harass women in our communities. Obviously harassment has its own set of restrictions beyond speech, but if that’s your worldview, great, we’re just enemies. I’m content to move on without you.

585 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:09 pm

tina: what’s the straw? Try expressing a point for a change.

586 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Lol….bless your little socks.

587 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

“This kind of language turns a good deal of women from the skeptical community.”

Please reference this quote. Thank you.

588 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I STRONGLY recommend that everyone read the link provided in 571. Notice, among other things, the picture. Notice that he thinks this is somehow a defense of the statement, “If I was a girl, I’d kick her in the cunt. Cunt.”

589 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

@587

Fool’s game. You can go read about Skepchick’s effort to raise funds to pay for grants to allow more women to attend conferences. They’ve been at the forefront of actually generating more participation from women, they’ve been incredibly successful, and they point out that those sorts of attacks are causing difficulty in their effort.

Now you just reply with the three or four women you know who disagree, and then we argue back and forth on what I meant by “good deal,” and at the end you just want to call women “cunts,” so just go ahead, keep doing it.

590 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I also notice that you were whining about straw, but your complaint seems to be that I haven’t properly substantiated a claim. Was the straw sanctimony just more incoherent babble from you?

591 idahogie March 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm

@doubtthat —

You are doing an incredible job here — fighting against people who refuse to react well to being told “That’s insulting — don’t do that.” It’s the exact response that Rebecca Watson got from them. They just refuse to be decent people.

I have been trying to keep up — has any one of them ever explained why they haven’t gone to the mattresses to defend the use of the word nigger? I asked that awhile back, and you did as well. Why are they not demanding that freedom requires that they be unfettered to call people kike and spic? Where is their argument that people who object to those words are over-sensitive? Where is their attack on us white folks who reject those racist terms?

Have they answered that?

592 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

“Are the women ASKING to be called cunts? Or are they just saying they don’t particularly care?”

Either of those will satisfy what I said.

“First, you have the problem of tokenism. Just because you can find a member or two from a group to agree with you, that doesn’t mean you can draw such broad generalizations.”

Interesting though that might be, I’m reasonably confident that there exist more than one or two women who have no objection to being called a cunt, but do have an objection to others claiming the right to speak on their behalf. Indeed, some of them are posting in this very thread. (maybe we should dismiss them though, because, you know, if their thoughts and feelings aren’t in line with the group of women whose views you like, then clearly they’re the wrong kind of women for a man to listen to. A woman’s agency matters – so long as her opinion has been vetted.)

“Just because Michelle Bachman will play to your ego and whisper in your ear that all your negative impulses about feminists are totally true, doesn’t mean you have women on your side, as the 2012 elections should prove.”

What Michelle Bachman has to do with this is not immediately clear. Wait, is it because I’m gay and people joke that her husband is gay? Maybe I’m one of the escapees from his pray away the gay camp things? Are you fucking slighting me because I”m gay?!

Just kidding; I know you aren’t. Fortunately, I’m not a professional victim. =P

“You’ve successfully increased your vocabulary by one word, which is substantial for you crew, I understand that.”

I like being lectured by someone about my vocabulary. I especially love it when in so doing the person has, among other problems, a malapropism and a comma splice. Do carry on though.

“But the question is how you handle people that tell you, ‘this kind of language turns a good deal of women from the skeptical community.'”

Usually, I just tell them that PZ Myers says they’re whiny little shits. *ahem* I mean, I quote to them Rule 6 propounded by PZ himself, “People often say stuff on the Internets that they would never say to your face. You are strongly urged to get over it.” Source: scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/06/23/advice-to-new-commenters/

“are you really interested in making tolerance for the word “cunt” a litmus test for participating in the skeptical/atheist community?”

I am not the one making the word cunt a litmus test for anything; that would be the bailiwick of those who are oh so offended by reading it on the internet. Indeed, I am not the one who is arguing that if someone uses the word cunt that they are no longer fit to be in the ‘movement’. Do you understand how a litmus test works?

593 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:32 pm

You refuse to reference actual quotes? OK, noted.

594 Justicar March 6, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Doubthat @ 584:

“He’s asking if offense is subjective or objective.”
No, I’m not. Sorry you had difficulty keeping up. Indeed, if you read what I wrote, I ruled out (1) as being the right answer based on what I take Michael’s position to be. Indeed, I worked down to (2) while allowing for some potential (3) I’ve not yet considered. And in so doing, I put it to Michael where it is that he draws the line. You know, I asked him what he thinks. I asked him to explain his position. I didn’t ask him what other people think, or what some case somewhere says, or what the Supreme Court of the United States has said.

He’s a person. He’s an individual. I decided to be all novel and shit by treating him like one instead of trying to cabin him in some way.

“First Amendment litigation has developed a balancing test, and the same can be used here:”

Such as I’m aware, he’s not subject to the United States Constitution. Why would I be so chauvinistic as to hang the chain of a legal system to which he’s not subject around his neck in asking him what are his views on a particular matter? Remember, Michael is an individual (see above if you forget), and I’m treating him like one instead of boxing him into a position he may or may not agree with. In some parts of the world, when two adults who first meet are trying to figure one another out, this is simply known as a ‘conversation’.

This next part is particularly rich: “We move forward by discussing these issues, not by generating objective rules that bind and guide behavior.”

595 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Justi: you’re such a dickhead 😉

596 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm

@592

1) Ok, then I suggest we commission a poll. Let’s see the percentage breakdown of women who enjoy being called “cunts,” those who don’t care, and those who find it offensive. A second question will involve whether or not women want to participate in groups where people argue passionately for the right to call them “cunts.”

Until that poll is done, I will gladly allow the pro-“cunt” women to hang out with you folks, and those that don’t enjoy the abuse can self-select in the other direction. We’ve watched the realignment in politics that has led to the total marginalization of the right wing in national elections, what do you think is going to happen to skeptical groups?

2) No one is dismissing the opinion of women who don’t care about being called “cunts.” There really is no conflict between the views. I’m sure you can find more than one or two black people who don’t care about being called “nigger,” but you would never start using that word.

Once again, though, you’ve fixated on the word. It’s not so much the word as the relentless, vile attacks. I would love for you to cite an example of someone being upset at you pitters for using “cunt” with one another. The only objections have seen have to do with its inclusion in direct attacks.

3) Leaving an “r” off of the end of “you” is not a malapropism. Nice try.

4) Again, it’s fine if you want the litmus test for women participating in the skeptical movement to be, “can handle us saying ‘cunt’ all the time.” There will be a self-selection that will not work in your favor.

5) Yes, people are going to disapprove of that sort of behavior and when google searches are run when deciding who to hire for various positions and who to elevate to leadership roles, it’s going to work out very poorly for you folks.

Now, you can call that a litmus test, I won’t object. My litmus test has to do with the way you all treat women in the movement. I don’t want you around and I’m not alone. If you can’t see how the self-selection is going to work out for you, I can’t imagine you’ve paid much attention to politics over this last decade.

597 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

“Until that poll is done, I will gladly allow the pro-”cunt” women to hang out with you folks, and those that don’t enjoy the abuse can self-select in the other direction.”

That’s big of you. So nice to be ‘allowed’.

598 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm

@594

Please. Here was your “fear”:

conversation will be the hostage of anyone who claims to find offense or perceive harm in a given statement. In so granting this proposition, one thereby allows for the most sensitive person to be the arbiter of who is a bad person and the like.

First, try reading my post again. Strike that, study what the First Amendment Balancing tests are, then determine if any are present in my post. It was my fault for assuming that folks were minimally aware of the main issues in that field of law. I thought offering a couple of examples would forestall vapid objections. My bad on that.

No, I’m not suggesting that First Amendment law applies to this issue. I was noting that your fear, that if we make allowances for the offended, sensitive folks will control the conversation, is a spurious, histrionic worry. All that is required is the creation of a simple balancing test to evaluate the legitimacy of the offense vs. the legitimacy of the speech causing the offense.

You weren’t “just” asking for Nugent’s opinion, you were making an argument, clear in the portion I quoted, of a “slippery slope” variety that was useless and utterly common.

599 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

@597

I will agree that was poor word choice. Apologies, I’d edit if I could.

600 tina March 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I know you would. That’s the point.

Can we have a poll to ask men if they like being called sexist, rape-enabling, mansplaining, misogynist dickheads.?

Where should they go if they don’t?

601 franc March 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm