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.

Share or Bookmark this Page

  • TwitThis
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks

{ 723 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 :-D
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)

Leave a Comment

{ 11 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: