An interim response to Justin Vacula

by Michael Nugent on March 6, 2013

Justin, thank you for your latest response. This is an interim response, as there have been a lot of comments about our dialogue which I want to consider before I make my next substantive reply.

I am disappointed that you did not even attempt to answer the question that I asked in my last post. You said that this was because:

Answering to all fifty items Nugent provides, none of them authored by me, and most of them unrecognized by me, would be quite the daunting task; it is simply too much to reasonably expect me to do…so I will take a line from Greta Christina and say I could write an entire novel about what’s wrong with Nugent’s post, but I just don’t have the time.

However, you did have time to write a two-thousand-word post, less than 5% of which you used to decline to answer my question and to dismiss my post with no supporting arguments, and the rest of which you used to discuss different issues.

Justin, the reason that I am asking you this particular question is so that I can understand, as a starting point for our dialogue, even approximately where you stand in terms of what type of nasty pushback against some feminists on the Internet you believe to be morally unjustified.

Can I remind you how we got to my question:

  1. You said in your video about the “nasty pushback” against some feminists on the Internet that “It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified.”
  2. I asked you if you can go a step further, and say that at least some of it is morally unjustified, and if you can give some examples.
  3. You replied saying that indeed, some nasty pushback is morally unjustified, but it can be difficult to draw a line.
  4. I gave you some examples so that you didn’t have to draw a line, just evaluate specific examples.

As an aside, I would not have even looked for, and therefore would not have published, these fifty examples if you had given me examples of your own choosing when I first asked you to.

Also, I am aware that we both now have the added pressure of knowing that some others are likely to publicly misinterpret whatever we write, and to attribute malign motivations for writing it, during this dialogue.

So if you would rather not answer the question based on my examples, I would be happy for you to give me your own specific examples of nasty pushback against some feminists on the Internet that you personally believe to be morally unjustified.

You have already said that some of the nasty pushback is morally unjustified, so you must have had some specific examples in mind in order to be able to form that opinion.

And don’t worry, as I promised, I am also going to answer the questions that you asked me. In my experience of conflict resolution, the best way to progress constructively is to focus on each point separately, slowly and gradually building confidence in the process.

I know that you might distrust my intentions, perhaps because I have already said that I fundamentally disagree with your analysis, and perhaps because some other people have incorrectly attributed malign motivations to me.

But that is exactly who both you and I (and indeed anybody who wants to improve the current situation) need to talk with about this: somebody who fundamentally disagrees with our analysis.

Anyway, I’ll write again soon based on the sequence of issues that I promised to address in subsequent posts, including the questions that you asked me.

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{ 279 comments… read them below or add one }

1 windy March 6, 2013 at 2:32 am

I’d say Amanda Marcotte’s article on Harriet Hall was an example of nasty pushback against a feminist that was morally unjustified. Many of the comments are rather nasty as well:
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/22/defending-ones-position-as-the-token-looks-bad-like-an-unwashed-t-shirt/

2 John C. Welch March 6, 2013 at 2:40 am

Oh yeah. The way you quote-mined things, and misattributed the origins of statements, that was just such a sterling show of how honest and upright you were being.

Look, I get it. You think everyone in the pit is an idiot. That much is clear. But no matter how stupid you think we are, when trying to bait people it is very, very important you not act EVEN MORE STUPID than you think they are.

At least TRY to be subtle, otherwise it’s just an insult.

3 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 2:59 am

Michael, it’s refreshing to see someone attempting to have an honest and constructive exchange of ideas regarding all of these emotionally-laden issues in atheism/skepticism. The idealist in me hopes for some forward movement and genuine conversation, but honestly I’ve become skeptical of our so-called ‘skeptical’ community’s ability to think straight. Best of luck!

4 Tony Sidaway March 6, 2013 at 3:21 am

Happy to see this dialogue happening. Thanks.

5 Kevin Solway March 6, 2013 at 3:29 am

Michael,

Your request of Justin is unrealistic.

You can’t get to what a sentence, or fragment of a sentence, means without looking at the context.

Let’s say that a person or group of people on the internet post a disgusting personal attack on your daughter (if you have one), and you respond angrily.

Then someone uses a handful of words from your angry response to represent you, Michael Nugent, to the world. Would that be fair?

6 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 3:33 am

In the time Vacula took to avoid responding, he could have looked at the context of most of those.

Google is a hell of a thing.

7 Pitchguest March 6, 2013 at 3:53 am

Why is it on Justin to do the homework, exactly?

Yeah, he could, but why should he? He has to sift through 50 comments figuring out each of their context and purpose, even though he has nothing to do with either of them? What’s the point? Tell you what, say someone did the same to you. 50 examples, all taken out of context, purpose and intent, at random, then asked for you to give your opinion on each one, which one is “morally unjustified.” Get to it. Would you really take someone up on that challenge?

8 Eristae March 6, 2013 at 4:33 am

@Pitchguest & Kevin Solway

Did you miss the part where Michael said that Justin was more than free to come up with his own examples? Or is that somehow not important?

9 tina March 6, 2013 at 5:01 am

Is that which is justified, justified because it’s moral, or moral because it’s justified? You have to be pious don’t you Michael? Because piety is beloved of the gods. Piety and slightly burned chips. And feminism. Don’t diss feminism. Feminism is beloved too, like apple piety with double cream served by a virgin. Don’t diss God, his noodlyness will be cross. Nor feminism, it is so written. You must obey. All the feminists are at the pit and we eat the pieties with our all powerful, all knowing vaginas. The rest is just dogmatism. That’s just a light mid morning snack to us with a nice glass of hemlock.

10 Kevin Solway March 6, 2013 at 5:23 am

“Justin was more than free to come up with his own examples?”

It’s easy to come up with examples of unjustified, immoral behavior. I once swore at a person who was repeatedly, publicly, accusing me of a crime I didn’t commit, and when they didn’t have any evidence that I had committed the crime. At the time I thought I was justified in swearing at them, but on reflection I don’t think that anger is ever, ultimately, justified – no matter how much it is provoked.

So where does this example of unjustified, immoral behavior get us? Nowhere.

11 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:27 am

#1 Windy, thanks, that’s a helpful factor to include in the discussion. It helps to focus the discussion on ideas, rather than on supposed ‘sides’.

12 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:29 am

#2 John, you are mistaken in your beliefs about me. I am acting sincerely. I will continue to act in good faith to help to resolve these conflicts, I will no doubt continue to make mistakes while doing so, and when I do I will apologise and try to rectify them, and then move on.

13 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:32 am

#3 EssBee, #4 Tony and #6 doubtthat,

I am optimistic that we can make progress. We’ve seen divisions much deeper than these addressed constructively in Northern Ireland. Most of us at least try to be rational people, and if we add more empathy into our discussions we can make a lot of progress.

We are gradually starting to see examples of people starting to understand other people’s perspectives and to resolve some individual conflicts, including Amy Davis Roth and Harriet Hall last week, and Ellenbeth Wachs and John Brown in comments #528 and #530 on the ‘Examples of Nasty Pushback’ post on this website.

14 athyco March 6, 2013 at 5:33 am

Aren’t we at the point that we can dismiss Justin Vacula’s initial video and his responses to this debate? He’s bounced from one person to another–this started from a video about questions from Stephanie Zvan. He “answered” her questions by quoting the two sentences (misquoting one, actually) just prior to her first question and then saying, “Not really sure what she means by that,” and then ignoring the rest of the post to talk about what he wanted to talk about. Now he’s onto Ophelia Benson being the Worst Person in the World–except for her commenters who are worse. (No, I’m not being that silly; check his tweets.)

I invite everyone to watch his video and read his two responses to tell me how this has not been his pattern. He doesn’t refuse to respond–he wants a “discussion,” after all, with lotsa terms like “gracious” and “charitable” and “candid”–but he doesn’t bother to answer. (He doesn’t even bother to acknowledge that he’s been told he’s not answered.)

He makes no protests that the questions are Kafkaesque; no disagreement that there exists responses that are “morally unjustifiable,” he just gives a little “let’s be candid” or “I could, but [insert tu quoque],” and then babbles like a brook on his fantasy of what the questions were. He certainly isn’t here where the back-and-forth is intense. Did he just arrange a “Let’s you and him fight” while he sees himself standing on the high ground of reasoned debate with Michael Nugent?

I dunno why I mention this, actually. From my point of view, Vacula is exposing his position as more and more mealy-mouthed and shallow platitudes by what he doesn’t say in the midst of his verbose “humble Spock” sermons.

15 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:33 am

#5 #10 Kevin, #7 Pitchguest and #9 Tina,

It was Justin, not me, who introduced the idea of evaluating the moral justification of what Justin, not me, described as the nasty pushback against some feminists on the Internet. He originally said “It’s not to say the nasty pushback is morally justified.”

I found it encouraging that he was saying this, and I wanted to clarify if he could go a step further and say that at least some of the nasty pushback was morally unjustified, and could he give some examples.

Justin replied that some of the nasty pushback was indeed morally unjustified, and said it was difficult to draw a line in terms of examples. I gave him some examples, and he said it was too daunting to reply to them all, which I agree is a fair point.

So I have now said that I am not asking him to respond to my examples, but to give me some examples of his own, in order to illustrate an assertion that he himself made, so that I can understand what he means by that assertion.

16 tina March 6, 2013 at 5:43 am

Michael: I’m glad you’re engaging. You have to define terms then: morality, feminism, nasty etc. Or this comes to nought.

17 tina March 6, 2013 at 5:45 am

…..and it’s ruining my beauty sleep! ;-)

18 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:48 am

Tina, I agree. And I think that will have to evolve as part of a process, rather than any one person imposing definitions.

19 Michael Nugent March 6, 2013 at 5:55 am

… and I should probably go to sleep as well now!

20 tina March 6, 2013 at 6:02 am

Night then…..or….top o’ the mornin’ more like :-)

21 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 6:33 am

Whatever Michael’s motivations, it is pointless and counterproductive and *likely to fricken’ backfire*, to put it rather bluntly, to speculate randomly about them. Give it up, John C. Welch. You may be 100% absolutely perfectly correct, and yet still run the risk of this blowing up in your face because you’re demonstrating the exact same kinds of ‘mind reading’ fallacies that bother most of us when they are used on us. Even if you’re *right* (in the end), you can still be *wrong* in presenting your case. This is called having a logically ‘invalid’ argument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Validity (You probably already know that, of course, but others reading this might benefit from the idea/link.) Even ‘psychic’ cold-readers can get lucky with their intuitions (indeed, the method requires having a pretty sharp intuition; you’d probably be very good at it, I’m guessing), but that still doesn’t mean they can read minds.

I’m reminded of the time not too long ago when MKG and a couple other SPs nearly turned the hosts of Ask an Atheist, Becky and Sam, into pissed-off enemies of the pit. The situation is *remarkably* similar. http://askanatheist.tv/2012/06/10/the-problem-of-dogmatic-feminism/comment-page-1/#comments

Thankfully, in both cases, there remained a possibility to avoid that *trap*, and give them the benefit of the doubt, and the conversation *quickly* recovered from that. Give it a rest. Give this principle of charity thingy a try. I promise it won’t hurt. You can even hold on to your suspicions, of course. I would! Just don’t wave your as-yet-unsupported suspicions around like friggin’ julian does all the friggin’ time. It’s annoying when he does it, ergo ….

22 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 6:36 am

Oh no, too many links! Comment stuck in moderation. Oh well. Good night/morning, Michael (and everyone else). I’m glad you’re approaching this whole thing as you are. Don’t worry, it’ll all still be here when you wake up! lol ;-)

23 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 6:46 am

Going along with Windy’s comment, I’d say probably the *very first* nasty pushback against a feminist was when Rebecca Watson stood up in front of Stef McGraw’s classmates and peers and accused Stef, a student and feminist, of “parroting misogynistic thought” when Stef happened to disagree with RW’s *opinion* about a zero-harm interaction with a guy in an elevator.

I know, 100%, for myself, that *that* incident, RW’s trashing of Stef McGraw, was the *very first* incident which got me involved in this whole mess. That was several days *prior* to another famous incident involving Richard Dawkins. Bet you’ve already heard of the Dawkins thing, eh? Bet you *haven’t* heard about the Stef McGraw thing, if all you’ve been listening to up till now has been PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Rebecca Watson, etc. et al. ad infinitum. They’ve never really seemed to have grasped why *anyone* could *possibly* have been offended by *that* nasty pushback. Strange, that. Oh! I get it now! RW didn’t call her a cunt! So that makes it all okay, then. IIIIIiiiiii seeeeeee.

24 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 7:20 am

“I dunno why I mention this, actually. From my point of view, Vacula is exposing his position as more and more mealy-mouthed and shallow platitudes by what he doesn’t say in the midst of his verbose “humble Spock” sermons.”

Are you sure you’re talking about the *same* Justin Vacula we’re talking about here? Cuz I’ve heard of this guy from FTBers and A+ers and the Justin Vacula they talk about is the most vile and transparently misogynistic guy on the planet! Like, every other word out of his mouth is “cunt” this, and “bitch” that, and “bitchez ain’t shit” and all that bloody *obvious* crudeness and nastiness.

They guy *you’re* describing sounds more like someone being cautious and measured, perhaps over-cautious. He sounds like someone who might be worried because he’s been accused of wild and crazy shit recently, even though he’s done nothing to deserve it, except perhaps a couple slip-ups here and there, but we’re all human, right? And the guy you’re talking about sounds like the kind of guy who might, you know, actually acknowledge his mistakes and apologize for them.

That *can’t* be the same Justin Vacula I’ve heard about from dozens of FTBers. Why would they so venomously hate the guy *you’re* talking about? Must be someone different.

25 Stacy March 6, 2013 at 7:32 am

Thaumas Themelios, #22

Bet you *haven’t* heard about the Stef McGraw thing

I remember. I’m so glad you brought it up.

RW’s trashing of Stef McGraw

Rebecca Watson didn’t “trash” Stef McGraw. She disagreed with her. It was a public argument.

Here’s a video of what transpired. Viewers can judge for themselves:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqzE16UsNW4

It’s true, Watson was on the stage, and Stef McGraw was a student, and in the audience. Some people criticized Watson for that.

That and “guys, don’t do that”–also in the above video–inspired months–months–of sexist abuse directed at Rebecca (and later, her supporters) on ERV’s ur-slimepit.

What do I mean by sexist abuse? Calling her cunt, bitch, “Rebeccunt Twatson” etc., calling her ugly, rape jokes. ERV provided endless threads devoted to trashing RW.

Please, watch the video.

The ur-slimepit is gone; when National Geographic took over Science Blogs, they took those threads down. But watch the video I’ve linked above, then look at the examples on Mick’s post “Examples of “nasty pushback”.” The Slymepit hasn’t gotten any worse; the difference is, in the early days, and for a long time, Rebecca was the main target.

26 Stacy March 6, 2013 at 7:36 am

(Actually I think I’m wrong saying the old ERV threads are gone; I think I recall hearing that the original slimepost was saved somewhere. Maybe the Slymers have it cached somewhere. So the evidence remains. Yay, evidence! So much better than twice told tales.)

27 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 7:37 am

I think the kinds of things Justin has probably been thinking about have been (probably, I’m guessing here) more like the nastiness from random internet trolls that RW and several others have claimed are actually representative of the ‘atheist/skeptic community’, and specifically the SlymePit. NB: These claims have not been substantiated. As far as I know, no one from the Pit (and I could be wrong, just saying I haven’t seen any concrete examples yet) has intentionally posted anything unambiguously immoral. There have been some minor/medium screw-ups, e.g. the kiss her kiss her thing, but those were rapidly recognized as screw ups and dealt with (e.g. by removing/editing out the offending material and by at least one guy voluntarily acknowledging his screw up and leaving). So, perhaps, that’s why the examples you posed threw him for a loop because that wasn’t the kind of material he was thinking about originally. I’m speculating here, ‘mind reading’, so grain of salt and all that. I don’t want to put words in Justin’s mouth.

28 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 7:46 am

Thank you, Stacy! I’m so glad you took that thread of discussion up. Here’s the best summary of events leading up to EG that I’ve come across ever (credit to the amazing James Onen): http://freethoughtkampala.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/elevatorgate/

Amazing how, once you get the words from Stef directly (at the time, she has since taken steps to move on from this whole bloody mess which she was thrust into (sounds kinda ‘rapey’; deal with it)), it all sorta kinda doesn’t seem to add up the way the FTBers present it:

” Then, a day later at the conference, Watson delivered a keynote speech on the religious right’s war against women. Before she got to her main content, though, she decided to address sexism in the secular movement, which she views as a rampant problem. I shared her disgust as she showed screenshots of people online calling her demeaning names, making comments about her appearance, and, worst of all, making rape comments.

Then, switching gears, Watson made a remark to the extent that there are people in our own community who would not stand up for her in these sorts of situations; my name, organization, and a few sentences from my blog post then flashed on the screen before my eyes. She went on to explain how I didn’t understand what objectification meant and was espousing anti-woman sentiment.

My first reaction was complete shock. I wasn’t surprised that she had seen my post, but I didn’t think she would choose to address it during her keynote, let alone place it in a category with people advocating for her to be raped. In fact, I was excited to possibly speak with her afterward in order to discuss the matter face-to-face. Instead, all I could do was just sit there and watch myself being berated for supposedly espousing anti-woman views and told that I wouldn’t stand up for women in sticky situations with men, as one hundred of my peers watched on. I found both of those accusations to be completely and utterly incorrect, as anyone who actually knows me could tell you I care deeply about fighting sexist thought. I started thinking, how can I respond? It didn’t feel right to have to endure a widely respected keynote speaker’s accusations that I was a living example of what was wrong with our movement while I sat there unable to defend my position.

There was no time at the conference where I, as a student attendee, could appropriately make any sort of public statement addressing what Watson claimed about my argument and me. She has said over Twitter that “An attendee has every right to counter during Q&A or by publicly blogging again later,” but there are issues with both of these approaches. First, the Q&A was not an option in my mind, as I wasn’t going to get up after her great talk and argue with her about something unrelated; I have more respect for a speaker than that.

[…] My issue is the forum in which Ms. Watson chose to present her views, as it was one in which there was an extreme imbalance of power. As I stated before, I was a student listening to her along with one hundred of my peers, while she was a keynote with a following and internationally successful blog. She had a podium, and I had nothing but word of mouth.”

“Listen to the women”, Stacy. That’s what I’ve been told, anyway. Funny how PZ himself doesn’t bothering listening to this woman, Stef, even though he’s the one who promoted that idea so strongly.

It’s late. I’m tired. I invite everyone to put their thinking (and compassion) caps on and read the summary. It is *verrrry* informative and gives tons of background info that might help make some sense out of this whole bizarre mess.

29 Stacy March 6, 2013 at 8:07 am

Yes, Thaumas. Stef was upset at the time. It happens.

You think Rebecca was out of line? That’s fine.

Now: again. Compare Rebecca’s misstep (if that’s what it was) with the reaction.

Again: What happened originally, vs. the raw hatred, expressed largely in sexual terms, that transpired, and went on for months–years.

By the way, both the principles seem to have moved on:

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

That’s Rebecca on the left, Stef on the right. Photo taken at CSICON 2012. There was a Halloween costume competition. Stef came as a binder full of (a) woman. She won (IIRC) Honorable Mention. And chose a Skepchick tee shirt as her prize.

30 rocko2466 March 6, 2013 at 8:31 am

I don’t intend to derail, but Stacy:
(1) “principals”, not “principles” (sorry it bugs me);
(2) that photo doesn’t appear to show that they are friends, rather that she won a prize and came on stage to receive it;
(3) just because the principals are over it – assuming they are – doesn’t mean that conduct which is objectively inappropriate has to be ignored by everyone; and
(4) let’s be frank, this issue is no longer about a continued Watson-McGraw feud or people’s view on this generally.

This is about the conduct of so-called skeptics in:

(a) hijacking the movement with dogmatic nonsense; and

(b) reacting to dissent by calling it harassment, blocking the dissenters and labelling them misogynists and creeps and chill girls etc.

I’ve set out the events leading up to the use of vulgar language and insulting jokes by those in the Pit and I really don’t see that as a problem (in Michael’s previous blog posts on this topic; you don’t have to look far).

In the tl;dr case, what I see as a problem is the divisive rhetoric coming from the Skepchick / FtBers, their rejection of reason as a means of engaging (instead making emotive arguments of “harassment!”) and their adoption of rigid ideologies which cannot stand up to scrutiny – and then having the nerve to call themselves representative of the atheist / skeptic community.

This is skeptics being skeptics. They had to expect it would happen; and now they’re calling foul.

31 AndrewV69 March 6, 2013 at 8:36 am

Stacy #28 “By the way, both the principles seem to have moved on”

That’s nice, admirable even.

Can I infer that you believe the rest of us can do that also? Let bygones be bygones? Can you think of any reason why this can not happen?

(full disclosure. I am a Slymepitter. I am also a MRA)

32 Za-zen March 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

What a totally dishonest characterisation by stacy. “Something happened and two years later. Blah blah blah”

There has been a continual stream of hypocracy, lies, dogma, grandstanding, attacks, etc etc etc. this is the reason the usual suspects recieve attention from the pyt. Your narrative is bullshit, the pyt is reactive, and it is the bullshit that feeds it.

33 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

“She won (IIRC) Honorable Mention. And chose a Skepchick tee shirt as her prize.”

What does it say? “I got slandered by RW and all I got was this lousy T-shirt?”

34 Nick Gotts March 6, 2013 at 12:05 pm

There has been a continual stream of hypocracy, lies, dogma, grandstanding, attacks, etc etc etc.

Indeed there has: almost all coming from your side. There have been things said and done on the FtB/Atheism+ side that should not have been said and done, but nothing in any way corresponding to the now years-long hate-fests the Slymepitters and MRAs have aimed at specific individuals: Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight, Stephanie Zvan, Ophelia Benson, PZ Myers among others.

I appreciate Michael Nugent’s sincerity, but I think he’s wasting his time. The hate-fests I referred to above continue unabated; while I and many others have no interest at all in being part of the same movement with those responsible, or those who condone or minimise them.

35 windy March 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Did he just arrange a “Let’s you and him fight” while he sees himself standing on the high ground of reasoned debate with Michael Nugent?

You might be on to something there… but this was facilitated by asking Justin to judge examples of other people’s behavior. A better approach would have been to ask him about examples of his own behavior.

36 windy March 6, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I appreciate Michael Nugent’s sincerity, but I think he’s wasting his time. The hate-fests I referred to above continue unabated; while I and many others have no interest at all in being part of the same movement with those responsible, or those who condone or minimise them.

Quote-mining is ‘sincerity’? Is that the kind of atheist movement you’d rather have Nick?

37 oolon March 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Elephant in the room is clearly that if the Slymepit stopped, “ceased” fire then what would they do? All they do is obsess over FtB’ers and Skepchicks… The pit would cease to exist, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but its clearly never going to happen. Justin however, maybe.

I applaud Michael Nugents attempt at discourse and am enjoying (Schadenfreude I’m afraid) the unintended humour in watching Justin “debate king” Vacula completely avoid answering any questions.

I am disappointed that you did not even attempt to answer the question that I asked in my last post … However, you did have time to write a two-thousand-word post, less than 5% of which you used to decline to answer my question and to dismiss my post with no supporting arguments, and the rest of which you used to discuss different issues.

Hehe, says it all really, Slymepit 101.

I’m definitely one of the people Michael refers to as those that will infer malign motivations to what Justin writes. I just happen to think he is malignant in general, but I’m looking forward, in hope, to being proven wrong.

38 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 12:48 pm

“Indeed there has: almost all coming from your side. There have been things said and done on the FtB/Atheism+ side that should not have been said and done, but nothing in any way corresponding to the now years-long hate-fests the Slymepitters and MRAs have aimed at specific individuals: Rebecca Watson, Jen McCreight, Stephanie Zvan, Ophelia Benson, PZ Myers among others.”

Hi Nick, nice to meet you. I suppose you must have some sort of supporting evidence to back up your accusations, right? Right? I mean, I’ve provided whole threads of abuse from FTBers and could provide much, much, MUCH more. And, oh yes, I will. It is freaking endless.

Now, can you provide *anything* that corresponds to *unsubstantiated* accusations of harassment, upskirt photography, literal (I repeat: literal) rape, misogyny, rape apology, ‘stochastic terrorism’ (google it, I dare ya), etc. etc.?

Can you, for instance, find anything that qualifies as a literal threat of violence? Because *we* can! Can *you*?! What are *your* standards of evidence? We’ve demonstrated ours. We love evidence, because all of it supports *reality* over unreality-bubble-land-of-delusion.

We don’t memory hole things, we actually remember them! We keep a record, we collect links and screenshots. We don’t need to try to edit history. The Pit doesn’t delete posts unless they are clearly unethical or illegal. At (certain blogs, but not all at) FTB you will only get the filtered ‘reality’ of your overseers. Wanna know how many *legitimate* well-argued, non-offensive comments get mysteriously caught up in the moderation queue? Come over to the SlymePit, we’ve got copies (cuz we know from experience that well-evidenced posts hardly ever make it past the reality-filters of FTB/etc.). There’s nothing to fear. Unless you think the truth might hurt. Well, that’s true. It might. But then again….

39 ChasCPeterson March 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

the pyt is clownishly overreactive

is the way I would ftfy. Others, including Mr. Nugent and the slippery Mr. Vacula, want to call some of it “morally unjustified”. But the behavior is one thing, and the reasons behind it another. Mr. Nugent seems to want to focus on the former first.

But I disagree with Nick Gotts (that never happens, eh, Nick?) that no progress is possible. Right here in this short thread, in fact, progress has been excellent! We’ve circled aaaall the way back to Watson/McGraw! It’s good to dig thoroughly at the root of the whole thing. Because of course ‘cobweb cunt’ and the photoshopping projects and everything is suddenly perfectly understandable when you recall that Rebecca Watson was once mean to a student in a keynote, I mean, come on!

So that’s one bit of progress here already. And, plus, we’ve established that one of the tribes should be understood to include the identity politicians over at Pandagon, which is useful because it opens up whole new vistas of opportunity for the ol’ tu quoque. (probably a rich mine-seam is a better metaphor; almost as good as the pit)

This is skeptics being skeptics.

Prezackly, and that’s all it is. When so-called “skeptics” start talking about femin, I mean stuff that true skeptics like me are skeptical about, for example femi, I mean, you know, ideological dogma about fe, I mean about whatever hypothetical thing I might be skeptical about, and even try to hijack the Movement of true skeptics like me with their bullshit f, I mean, like, unskeptical stuff, then let me tell you: I get skeptical. And when I say ‘skeptical’ I mean that I start photoshopping people’s faces onto like fat people and stuff and also I reserve the right to call fem, I mean these pseudoskeptics “cunts” too.

For The Movement!!!

40 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

“Elephant in the room is clearly that if the Slymepit stopped, “ceased” fire then what would they do? All they do is obsess over FtB’ers and Skepchicks… The pit would cease to exist, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but its clearly never going to happen. Justin however, maybe.”

Gee, that’s true, Oolon! If the Slymepit “ceased”, then they would “cease to exist”. I never fucking thought of that! Gee I wish I knew that back when I got involved in EG, before I’d ever bothered to post anything at slymepit.com (since it wouldn’t exist for another year yet). Before when I was a frequent reader and occasional commenter (and *big* fan) Ophelia Benson’s original Butterflies & Wheels/Notes blog. Before Ophelia mysteriously started editing and deleting my posts. And before when I asked her directly in an email why (which I still have, by the way), she *could not even come up with a ****fake**** reason for the deletions*. Because I had done *nothing* wrong except to *express a contrary opinion*.

Gee. I think your advice is just fucking brilliant. Maybe you should become a career counsellor for Joseph Ratzinger. I hear he’s looking for a brilliant agent like you.

41 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 1:09 pm

By the way, I dare ya to call ‘bullshit’ on anything I’ve claimed. Check my track record. I don’t bullshit. But I dare ya anyway. ;-)

42 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Oh, and for anyone gathering their popcorn bowls, these folks in this thread are falling for my one-trick pony debate strategy, Evidence Chicken: http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/29840

That, right there, above, is me saying, “I call your bluff. Show me what you got.” Just want to make that absolutely clear before they chicken out.

43 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm

ChasCPeterson: your comment rocks. I’ve gotten sick of sarcasm, irony, and satire, but you made me laugh despite that. You’ve captured a certain attitude I’ve been watching pop up in these ‘discussions’ for months. So transparent. Thanks for the morning giggle.

44 Jack March 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Asking Oolon for evidence? He’s far too busy being a fine and upstanding SJW to worry about trifles such as evidence.

45 Karmakin March 6, 2013 at 1:17 pm

There’s two separate questions here, but we’re only asking one. The first one, is if the “tone” is morally justifiable (I would argue that now knowing the culture of the ‘Pit, that most of those quotes are let’s say ramped up a few dozen notches for the “benefit” of those who are lurking, even though this is, to a degree, trolling which I disagree with and I think is not helpful).

But there’s a second question that goes along with the first question…because the “tone” isn’t the bar that people are asked to leap over. Is any criticism of various types of feminism morally justified?

People would argue no. As feminism is (obviously) fighting for equality, and equality is an (obviously) good thing, and as it’s an accepted academic discipline, arguing against feminism is like arguing against evolution.

So that’s the ACTUAL bar that people are required to leap over. But one thing about human nature..in for a penny, in for a pound. So as you’re already getting nasty responses/bannings/dogpilings because you’re talking against the accepted “wisdom”….might as well piss ‘em off even more.

But is that second bar a valid thing? Is criticism of feminist ideology/culture morally unjustified? I, and many others would argue hell no. It’s not a matter of being anti-equality…it’s that we see the feminist ideology that we’re criticizing as being anti-equality in and of itself. At the very best, it’s a movement/culture that even if it had laudable goals (I disagree with this notion. I think the line is crossed far too often from rights and equality to privilege and power), I don’t think would have the faintest idea of how to implement said goals. A political bull in the proverbial china shop.

So yeah. I think the tone should be pulled back, but that’s only to increase the amount of criticism aimed at people serving to add to the amount of sexism/racism/etc. inherent in our culture. Criticism at people with simple solutions for complicated problems, who at the end of the day just distract from the issues they claim to support.

46 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 1:20 pm

Feminism isn’t above criticism, nor is evolutionary theory. There is a ton of debate and internal criticism in all avademic fields. What are you on about, Karmakin?

47 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Ok, let’s total up the number of times Stef McGraw was called a “cunt” by Rebecca Watson. Someone link the photoshopped porn images of her, the threads dedicated to making fun of how she looked, and the youtube videos mocking her writing in stupid voices. How about the fake twitter feeds? You guys on that?

As for Harriet Hall, literally the worst thing you can come up with is people making fun of her for wearing a tee-shirt three days in a row. Holy moly, what damaging material!

If you really can’t see the difference between criticism (even if done inappropriately, as in Watson v. McGraw) and dedicated harassment, you have major issues.

With respect to EssBee at 46, in support of your point, notice the link in the very first post on this page. There’s an example of feminists having a disagreement, and in order to generate a ridiculous false equivalency, it becomes an “attack on a feminist.”

Hall was not attacked because she was a feminist, she was called out for suspect behavior (which she acknowledged, claiming it was inadvertent but now understands why it was questionable) and for a series of very bad arguments in defense of Michael Shermer’s very stupid statement and subsequent meltdown.

These are issues. These are events. Through the course of the argument people probably said things that were hyperbolic and dickish, but there is no dedicated harassment campaign against Shermer or Hall.

48 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm

@45 Karmakin

Utter nonsense. Provide an example of this. A critique of an actual feminist position (not one of the made up insane, imaginary feminist positions) that was received in the way you say.

This is total fiction on your part. Feminist theories can be criticized just like anything else, and the heated disagreement within the feminist community (over issues like transgendered people) expressly rejects your point.

49 Jack March 6, 2013 at 1:46 pm

EssBee: ‘Feminism isn’t above criticism, nor is evolutionary theory. There is a ton of debate and internal criticism in all avademic fields. What are you on about, Karmakin?’

That is the point being made throughout. Some hold that Feminism can only be of one type (generally Rad Fem) out of about 16 general flavours and if you do not hold to that there is no discussion about it.

You are banned for not accepting that feminism unquestionably (A+) or called a misogynist, rape apologist, and a horrible person who should go die in a fire. That’s just before you get banned trying to defend yourself.

It’s good to see you agree that Feminism is not above criticism or, more importantly for me, Skepticism, critical thinking, free thought and the free exchange of ideas without censure or personal attacks often using logical fallacies such as strawmanning and Kafka Trapping.

I wish others would accept that too. If they did all our issues would melt away and we could focus on what is really important in this big world of ours.

This insertion of an ideology into a movement founded on common decency and the free exchnage of ideas goes completely against everything we stood for.

50 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Jack, if someone is telling you that *anything* is beyond criticism then you should stop engaging with that person immediately. It’s dogmatic nonsense and the person is obviously not in a position to have a rational discussion.

For all the years I’ve been involved in skepticism & atheism there have been *some* ideological aspects that intersect with the work being done. It’s impossible to separate skeptical thinking from politics and economics completely, what kind of important work would we be involved in if there weren’t real world repercussions to what we were fighting for?

In the past, many among us have agreed on the ideologies implicit in our projects (e.g. understanding the genetic and biological aspects of homosexuality to counter discrimination, challenging religious and ‘spiritual’ resistance to medicine and science, etc). Now there’s a bit of ideology that some find important and others reject, which is fine. Don’t fight for feminist causes (in whatever stripe) if you don’t support them, but that doesn’t mean it is unskeptical or unscientific to do so. There is plenty of feminist philosophy and practice that is empirically informed and driven, rigorous in conceptual analysis and methodology. As skeptics we get to choose which topics are important to speak about and work on, but there doesn’t have to be consensus. We’re not the borg.

51 theophontes March 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm

@ Jack

This insertion of an ideology into a movement founded on common decency and the free exchnage of ideas goes completely against everything we stood for.

I trust you will be as quick to denounce the sordid levels of misogyny that are being inserted into the movement, and acknowledge the harm that this has caused.

52 tina March 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I trust you will be as quick to denounce the sordid levels of misandry that are being inserted into the movement, and acknowledge the harm that this has caused.

Fixed

53 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

“Ok, let’s total up the number of times Stef McGraw was called a “cunt” by Rebecca Watson.”

Irrelevant. Red Herring. Rebecca Watson said:

“About McGraw’s comments, Watson said:

“This is, unfortunately, a pretty standard parroting of misogynistic thought.”

She later expanded on her criticisms of McGraw in a blog post on Skepchick two days later (June 28th), prompted by criticism Watson herself was receiving from several students over Twitter. They were unhappy at the way McGraw was called out during the conference:

I hear a lot of misogyny from skeptics and atheists, but when ancient anti-woman rhetoric like the above is repeated verbatim by a young woman online, it validates that misogyny in a way that goes above and beyond the validation those men get from one another. It also negatively affects the women who are nervous about being in similar situations. Some of them have been raped or otherwise sexually assaulted, and some just don’t want to be put in that position. And they read these posts and watch these videos and they think, “If something were to happen to me and these women won’t stand up for me, who will?””

Stick to the fact in evidence, please. Reality: 1. Unreality-bubble-delusion: 0.

” Someone link the photoshopped porn images of her, the threads dedicated to making fun of how she looked, and the youtube videos mocking her writing in stupid voices. How about the fake twitter feeds? You guys on that?”

Evidence of *mockery*, not *misogyny*. Common sense: fail. Reality: 2. Unreality-bubble-delusion: 0.

“If you really can’t see the difference between criticism (even if done inappropriately, as in Watson v. McGraw) and dedicated harassment, you have major issues.”

Ad hominem! Red card! Failure to cite definitions of relevant terms: Penalty: -1. (but let’s not go into negatives, so I’ll give ya that one as a freebie.)

Actual definition (reference to, included at linked source) of harassment: _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment

“United States

In 1964, the United States Congress passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibited discrimination at work on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex. This later became the legal basis for early harassment law. The practice of developing workplace guidelines prohibiting harassment was pioneered in 1969, when the U.S. Department of Defense drafted a Human Goals Charter, establishing a policy of equal respect for both sexes. In Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986): the U.S. Supreme Court recognized harassment suits against employers for promoting a sexually hostile work environment. In 2006, U.S.A. President George W. Bush signed a law which prohibited the transmission of annoying messages over the Internet (aka spamming) without disclosing the sender’s true identity.[10]”

Supplementary reference to more precise information (Bonus: Principle of Charity, +2):

“Psychological harassment

This is humiliating, intimidating or abusive behaviour which is often difficult to detect leaving no evidence other than victim reports or complaints. This characteristically lowers a person’s self-esteem or causes them torment. This can take the form of verbal comments, engineered episodes of intimidation, aggressive actions or repeated gestures. Falling into this category is workplace harassment by individuals or groups mobbing.

Community-based Harassment — stalking by a group[11] against an individual using repeated distractions that the individual is sensitized to. Media reports of large numbers of coordinated groups stalking individual stalking victims, including a press interview given by an active duty police lieutenant, have described this community-based harassment as gang stalking. [12][13]”

Actual Semi-Knowledgeable Announcer: Uh oh. That doesn’t look so good. Could Themelios really have not anticipated this?

Celebrity Blowhard Announcer: I don’t know, Pat, Themelios is a pretty resourceful Evidence Chicken contender. Ya know, back in the old days, when me an — holy crap! Where did Themelios come up with that move?! It’s a super-google double-twist legal query!

“Psychological harassment is a vexatious behaviour that manifests itself in the form of verbal comments, actions or gestures that are repetitive, hostile or unwanted and affect the physical or psychological integrity of the employee and result in a harmful work environment. A severe single behaviour may constitute psychological harassment if it leads to a lasting destructive effect on the worker’s health. ” _http://www.gaihst.qc.ca/Harcelementpsycho2.htm

Semi-Knowledgeable Announcer fills in for Blowhard’s ignorance: Oh no! Sucks for doubtthat! The relevant law seems to be related to Quebec, and only relevant for workplace. Could be more details there, but Themelios is speeding on.

Oh! this is a disaster for doubtthat, I was afraid Themelios wouldn’t pass up this obvious legal issue. Plus the bonus points for Principle of Charity. Ooooh, doubtthat’s going to have to scramble to come up with something, *anything* to just barely stay in the game.

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_figure
“In United States law, public figure is a term applied in the context of defamation actions (libel and slander) as well as invasion of privacy. A public figure (such as a politician, celebrity, or business leader) cannot base a sample on incorrect harmful statements unless there is proof that the writer or publisher acted with actual malice (knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth).[1] The burden of proof in defamation actions is higher in the case of a public figure.

The controlling precedent in the United States was set in 1964 by the United States Supreme Court in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. It is considered a key decision in supporting the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

A fairly high threshold of public activity is necessary to elevate people to public figure status. Typically, they must either be:

a public figure, either a public official or any other person pervasively involved in public affairs, or
a limited purpose public figure, meaning those who have “thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved.” A “particularized determination” is required to decide whether a person is a limited purpose public figure, which can be variously interpreted.

According to attorney Aaron Larson:[2]

A person can become an “involuntary public figure” as the result of publicity, even though that person did not want or invite the public attention. For example, people accused of high profile crimes may be unable to pursue actions for defamation even after their innocence is established…

A person can also become a “limited public figure” by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. For example, [jokes about]… Terry Rakolta [an activist who spearheaded a boycott of the show Married With Children] were fair comments… within the confines of her public conduct [and] protected by Ms. Rakolta’s status as a “limited public figure”.”

And, of course: _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech

“Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, as with libel, slander, obscenity, sedition (including, for example inciting ethnic hatred), copyright violation, revelation of information that is classified or otherwise.

The right to freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”. Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.[1][2]”

And: _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire
“Social and psychological functions

Satire and irony in some cases have been regarded as the most effective source to understand a society, the oldest form of social study.[9] They provide the keenest insights into a group’s collective psyche, reveal its deepest values and tastes, and the society’s structures of power.[10][11] Some authors have regarded satire as superior to non-comic and non-artistic disciplines like history or anthropology.[9][12][13] In a prominent example from Ancient Greece, philosopher Plato, when asked by a friend for a book to understand Athenian society, referred him to the plays of Aristophanes.[14][15]

For its nature and social role, Satire has enjoyed in many societies a special freedom license to mock prominent individuals and institutions.[16] The satiric impulse, and its ritualized expressions, carry out the function of resolving social tension.[17] Institutions like the ritual clowns, by giving expression to the antisocial tendencies, represent a safety valve which reestablishes equilibrium and health in the collective imaginary, which are jeopardized by the repressive aspects of society.[18][19]

The state of political satire in a given country reflects the state of civil liberties and human rights. Under totalitarian regimes any criticism of a political system including satire is suppressed. A typical example is the Soviet Union where the dissidents, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov were under strong pressure from the government. While satire of everyday life in the USSR was allowed, the most prominent satirist being Arkady Raikin, political satire existed in the form of anecdotes[20] that made fun of Soviet political leaders, especially Brezhnev, famous for his narrow-mindness and love for awards and decorations.”

Announcer: This is gonna be a close one for doubtthat, Chris. He/she only has a couple of options now. Let’s hope they don’t fall for that Freeze Peach ploy.

Blowhard: Yeah, how transparent is that? Mocking and ridiculing free speech by *using* their free speech rights to… mock and ridicule. Ouch. That’ll hurt!

Finishing move: Okay, doubtthat. I call your bluff. Please show me *your* evidence.

Announcer: With the Principle of Charity bonus, that’s an extra three points for Themelios, making it: Reality: 5. Unreality-bubble-delusion: 0. And we’ll pause briefly for a commercial break. We’ll be back with doubtthat’s reply. If there is a reply.

54 Sally March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Themelios, mockery and misogyny are not exclusive, no matter how much word salad you bury the claim in. Where is the misogyny directed at Stef?

55 A Hermit March 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I suppose you must have some sort of supporting evidence to back up your accusations, right? Right? I mean, I’ve provided whole threads of abuse from FTBers and could provide much, much, MUCH more. And, oh yes, I will. It is freaking endless.

Now, can you provide *anything* that corresponds to *unsubstantiated* accusations of harassment, upskirt photography, literal (I repeat: literal) rape, misogyny, rape apology, ‘stochastic terrorism’ (google it, I dare ya), etc. etc.?

At best all you’ve got there are examples of some overheated rhetoric (and yes, I’ll happily agree that some of it is over the top at times.)
But there has simply been nothing on that side that comes close to the deliberate targeted personal attacks coming from the slymepitters.

I posted this challenge in comments under an earlier post here: I’ll repeat it for Thomas:

I’d really like to see if you can find anything on FtB directed at Libertarians, creationists, Sam Harris or anyone else that comes close to this…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=28

That’s a whole forum directory dedicated specifically to mocking and verbally abusing people identified by the `pit as “baboolies”…including this thread…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10…dedicated to making photoshop images of said “baboolies. It has over 200 entries and 20,000 views.

OK, your turn…show us a similar page at FtB…

56 debaser71 March 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I am skeptical of claims made by gender feminists. In the FTB crowds’ eyes this MUST make me an American Right Wing “libertard” “misogynist” “rape enabling” “white cis privileged dick”. Yes, feminism is open to criticism.

By the way, back on Pharyngula, after Elevatorgate, I tried to talk about how, as a stay at home dad, I’ve had sexism directed my way too. From both men and women. What was I called by some of the “horde”? “childmolester71″. What was their suggestions? That I shove flaming porcupines up my ass, rusty knives up my ass (sideways), die in a fire. I was asked “what about the menz!!”. Told that “the patriarchy hurts men too”. Told to read finiallyfeminism101. (Which I did…so when can we discuss the merits of gender feminism?) Told that when mall security, cops, and strangers harass me (and really harass like in real life, not over the internet) because I dare parent while being male…I was blamed for other people’s harassment on me. “Oh childmolester71, what were YOU doing that would prompt strangers and security to approach you?” Sounds like victim blaming to me. I was told that since I was a man I couldn’t possible “get it”. Really, being a man doing a gender role traditionally done by a woman…and I “don’t get it”. Nice way to erase my experiences. Thanks.

And the threads I posted on and received abuse from the “horde”? Memory holed. I guess that’s a start but let’s not pretend none of this happened. Let’s stop pretending that the FTB / A+ crowd has done nothing bad.

57 Skepsheik March 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Michael, I’m so glad that you have taken the opportunity to engage in this debate. I am happy to see that you took my previous comments seriously enough on two previous occasions that you have removed at least some of the misogynistic and racist material from your organization’s website.
I welcome the opportunity to help you once more.
As you have probably noticed, the notion that this is simply an anti-feminist dispute is far from the truth. I, myself, am a feminist, and many of the prominent commenters at The Slymepit are feminists also. You too, Michael, are known to be a supporter of feminism, and so I think it should be possible to arrive at some common ground here.
We cannot hope to solve ALL the problems at once, but we can prioritize our efforts into tackling the most serious issues that face us, as members of the online atheist community, namely the promotion of sexually violent imagery and rape threats as a means of discouraging dissent.
I think a thorough examination of the practices of prominent online communities is warranted here – exactly what you have begun with your analysis of The Slymepit – even though you failed to discover anything in the way of common support of such threats at that site.
Michael, in the interest of fairness, don’t you think you should turn your attention to the largest atheist site online, Pharyngula.
In particular I want to hear your opinion on the moral justification of having, as part of their community rules and standards, an explicit promotion of sexually violent imagery.
I quote from the PZs official instructions:
“Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice.”
‘OK’, you may say, ‘that’s just a humorous metaphorical line. Nobody is going to take it seriously’, are they?

The evidence suggests otherwise. It is trivially easy to find the most violent and triggering imagery being used against commenters who dare to disagree with the established members of the community.

1. “I am going to personally see to it that an especially rotten and dribbly dead porcupine is rammed so far up their rectum that they are picking bits of it out of their teeth for the foreseeable future.”
2. “Fuck ‘em with decayed porcupines and red hot pokers! I’m drunk and I’m priviledged and I’m human thus fallible all hell but fuck those douchcanoes and make it hurt!”
3. “the porcupines are still located to the left of the door as you leave. Grab on. Shove it where it will do the most good (to the entire world), and then go die in a fire. Slowly.”
4. “stick a decaying porcupine dipped in hot tar and glass shards up his pustule-covered arse sideways, slowly.”
5. “Take your fucking sympathies for predators and shove them up your ass and chase them with a dead, rotting porcupine that’s been marinating in capsaicin.”
6. “You are fucking tiresome and I wish you would shove a rotting porcupine up your ass.”
7. “May a necrotic porcupine fester, unremovable in your bowels.”
8. ” He should be pounding so many decaying porcupines up his asshole that quills start coming out of his ears.”
9. “surlyramics made me a custom necklace with a totally cute porcupine and the word “insert” underneath it. I get compliments on it every time I wear it (without even any questions about why the word “insert” is under the porcupine).”
10. “Surly Amy makes a lovely porcupine necklace now. It’s adorable, and has a one word label: “insert”.

That last quote was from PZ Myers himself, promoting the business of one of his friends who is actually selling necklaces featuring the rape threat imagery.
Not that the imagery is confined to brutal bodily violation using porcupines. According to one popular commenter the violation is merely a means to an end.

“You go fuck yourself. Get something heavy and sharp. Die whilst doing it, if possible.” – AnthonyK

And in case you think these are just anonymous drive-by commenters unknown to the host, think again. Many of the above threats are by individuals who feature alongside PZ Myers on Pharyngula’s Google-hang out, Youtube broadcasts.

And in case you think I’m exaggerating, here is a completely separate list recently compiled by a feminist who was deeply offended by the rape and sexual abuse threats and violent death imagery promoted by the host of Pharyngula.

““find a splintering stick and fuck yourself up the ass”
“go fuck yourself. And then die in a fire”
“Go. Fuck. Yourself. With a Hefty Bag full of rottweilers”
“Go fuck yourself with a chainsaw in that festering pustule of an asshole of yours”
“You can fuck yourself with a razor-bladed stick and go die in a ditch, you pompous, lying, gutless, disingenuous fuck” (link)
“Take your gun, lube the barrel and fuck your self in the ass.
“you should be fucked sideways with a rusty knife”
“Do us all a favor and kill yourself before you have a chance to have children”
“you can go fuck yourself. Do it deep, long and hard.”
“Go die in a fucking fire. The world will be a better place without you in it.”
“I will, however, say that this fuck up here is a complete asshole and needs to die in a fire”
“Go and die painfully, okay?”
And just for kicks: “Go fuck yourself sideways with a rusting chainsaw, you vapid, godbotting wank”
And more kicks:”fuck yourself up the ass with a splintering cross”
Even to the survivor of a brutal rape attack (Sheril Kirshenbaum)
He claimed that THIS was acceptable, because ‘they aren’t rape threats really’ – but NOW demands people use only *acceptable* insults – because words like “bitch” have a (undocumented, asserted but not proven) negative affect on women.
What kind of negative effect did his ANTI-FEMINIST abuse for this WOMAN SCIENCE COMMENTATOR have? When did he apologise for the misogynist shit-show he ran? “

Michael, Pharyngula is not your website.
You, I presume, did not make any of the above comments.
In fact I think you are the sort of man who would join with all decent people and condemn such language.

The question I have is the following:

Michael, do you feel morally justified in inviting, as a key speaker in a conference promoting International women in secularism, a person who promotes this sort of violent rape triggering rhetoric and has never apologized for the harm it has caused?

Michael, if you really want to show your goodwill towards the online atheist feminist community, the very minimum you should do is to withhold your invitation as a speaker to Professor Myers until such time that he makes a full public apology and promises to never again use such morally reprehensible techniques to control disagreement.
Don’t you agree?

58 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm

“Feminism isn’t above criticism, nor is evolutionary theory. There is a ton of debate and internal criticism in all avademic fields. What are you on about, Karmakin?”

Obviously invalid argument fail. We are not talking about ‘in academic fields’, we are talking about ‘in the atheist/skeptic blogosphere, specifically on particular blogs on FTB (e.g. Parhyngula, B&W), Skepchicks, etc. There is a ton of ‘internal criticism’ within theology departments too, and it doesn’t make theology any more credible than either you or I think it is.

To Karmakin, I’d add that there must also be an additional category/question, in terms of what are acceptable responses to seemingly ‘disruptive’ discourse within an overall framework of ‘reasonable discourse’ itself. In other words, can you just modify/delete/ban dissent and still expect people to think of you as a freethinker/skeptic?

59 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Oh dear, Hermit. I wish I hadn’t followed those links. There are no ‘sides’ to the whole feminism in skepticism conversation as far as I’m concerned. Feminist-minded skeptics will confront the issues that matter to them, and no one else is being forced to do so.

The immature ignoramuses who have countless hours to mock others and obsess over small perceived offenses and refuse to move on should really just be ignored by skeptics and humanists, in my opinion. They do not deserve any serious attention or discussion, they seem to just have ugly, mundane senses of humor and poor taste. Eff ‘em.

60 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

@A Hermit:
“I posted this challenge in comments under an earlier post here: I’ll repeat it for Thomas:

I’d really like to see if you can find anything on FtB directed at Libertarians, creationists, Sam Harris or anyone else that comes close to this…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=28

That’s a whole forum directory dedicated specifically to mocking and verbally abusing people identified by the `pit as “baboolies”…including this thread…http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10…dedicated to making photoshop images of said “baboolies. It has over 200 entries and 20,000 views.

OK, your turn…show us a similar page at FtB…”

Fallacy! Begging the question. Demonstration of “verbal abuse” not in evidence.
Fallacy! Undefined terms (don’t know the name of that one). “Verbal abuse” not even close to being defined or unambiguous.
Fallacy! The Mind Reading Fallacy. Demonstration of intent to ‘dedicate specifically to…’ anything is not in evidence.

Can’t help ya there, A Hermit. Your hot rod’s gotta be working, on the road, and ready to go before you can even start competing in Evidence Chicken. Come up with an actual argument, or, better yet, some actual evidence to support some fact that you think is important to demonstrate, and we’ll go from there.

61 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

“Themelios, mockery and misogyny are not exclusive, no matter how much word salad you bury the claim in.”

Irrelevant. Non sequitur. Red herring. Basically, so the fuck what?

“Where is the misogyny directed at Stef?”

Fallacy! Straw Man. Please quote where I claimed Stef had ‘misogyny’ directed at her.
Fallacy! Undefined term: Please define ‘misogyny’ as you are intending to use it. Unfortunately, it’s meaning has become incredibly diluted through over-use against non-misogynists.

62 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Thaumas: feminist theory (as evolutionary theory) is academically driven, and disseminates onto the internet in various forms. My point was that insofar as these theoretical frameworks argue from certain premises to related conclusions, they are not above criticism.

I was responding to Karmakin’s point,

“People would argue no. As feminism is (obviously) fighting for equality, and equality is an (obviously) good thing, and as it’s an accepted academic discipline, arguing against feminism is like arguing against evolution. ”

I agree that criticism and discussion within some field does not *make* that discussion credible. The point was simply that feminism has never been above criticism by those engage in it, contra Karmakin’s point.

63 athyco March 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Are you sure you’re talking about the *same* Justin Vacula we’re talking about here? Cuz I’ve heard of this guy from FTBers and A+ers and the Justin Vacula they talk about is the most vile and transparently misogynistic guy on the planet! Like, every other word out of his mouth is “cunt” this, and “bitch” that, and “bitchez ain’t shit” and all that bloody *obvious* crudeness and nastiness.

Yes, I’m talking about Justin Vacula by way of his own video and two posts on this debate. His own words. I’ve not mentioned anything about what anyone else thinks of him. However, I note that you don’t mind telling us what the unnamed they talk about. You don’t mind putting alleged abuse in quotation marks without linking it to anyone specific. You don’t mind adding weasel words: “Like…” and “Cuz I’ve heard of this guy from….”

They guy *you’re* describing sounds more like someone being cautious and measured, perhaps over-cautious. He sounds like someone who might be worried because he’s been accused of wild and crazy shit recently, even though he’s done nothing to deserve it, except perhaps a couple slip-ups here and there, but we’re all human, right? And the guy you’re talking about sounds like the kind of guy who might, you know, actually acknowledge his mistakes and apologize for them.

That’s sweet, except that it’s unevidenced. Show, don’t tell. There’s the video that starts this current exchange. There are two Vacula posts on this debate. There are his posts “Negative Criticism and the internet” and “Microaggressions atheists experience” and “Blame and intent.” Read the comments and Vacula’s responses. But wait…are you telling me only what he *sounds* like without having read his recent work? Your hypotheticals are rather light on specifics.

That *can’t* be the same Justin Vacula I’ve heard about from dozens of FTBers. Why would they so venomously hate the guy *you’re* talking about? Must be someone different.

You know, I didn’t go into his whole body of work. Just two posts and a video relative to this debate. You’d be able to bring something specific about his video/posts not being less than 65% subject change if you had it.

I don’t care what a horrible person anyone thinks he is. I don’t care how humble and human and apologetic he is. I think that he has a proven track record of bringing virtually nothing substantive to this exchange so that the content can be sustained without him. He was like the driver in a car crash that started the discussion, but now he spends his time talking about the driving habits of others. If you think differently, show what he’s brought to this table thus far.

64 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

For those eating pop-corn, I’m going with a kind of mix between pro-wrestling, monster trucks, and Mortal Kombat voice sound effects. What I grew up with. Sue me.

65 athyco March 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I’m sorry; I should have double checked rather than assuming I’d identified the comment that I was quoting.

It was Thaumas Themelios, Comment 24.

66 windy March 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

And, plus, we’ve established that one of the tribes should be understood to include the identity politicians over at Pandagon, which is useful because it opens up whole new vistas of opportunity for the ol’ tu quoque.

Are you serious? Apparently contributions from anonymous youtube trolls are admissible evidence in the “debate”, but not a hit job directly addressing the topic on a major news site, and promoted by at least one FTBer as a “brilliant post”?

67 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

“Thaumas: feminist theory (as evolutionary theory) is academically driven, and disseminates onto the internet in various forms. My point was that insofar as these theoretical frameworks argue from certain premises to related conclusions, they are not above criticism. ”

Excellent. Point of agreement. Common ground objective: Achieved. (That must be some RTS video game thing, for those ‘listening’ at home.)

Thank you for the clarification.

“The point was simply that feminism has never been above criticism by those engage in it, contra Karmakin’s point.”

Ooooh. Absolute statement. We might have a difficulty here. Never? Are you … suuuure … about that? Is RW an ‘engager’ of feminism? Ophelia Benson? PZ Myers, for that matter? Might want to add some qualifications to your statement, otherwise, our common ground isn’t going to be able to support much.

68 theophontes March 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

@ Tina

Fixed

No. My request still stands.

But agreed: We are also fighting against misandry.

69 athyco March 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Thaumas Themelios, #27:

So, perhaps, that’s why the examples you posed threw him for a loop because that wasn’t the kind of material he was thinking about originally. I’m speculating here, ‘mind reading’, so grain of salt and all that. I don’t want to put words in Justin’s mouth.

Why not ask him? His posts are linked here. He’s free to answer. He’s free to tell us that he’s still thrown for a loop and what kind of material he was thinking about originally.

70 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Thaumas: Okay, minus the absolute statement (it was hyperbole, exaggeration to demonstrate a point. Make that ‘hardly anyone.)

But really, it should have been a normative, not a descriptive claim: “Feminism *should* never be above criticism by those who engage in it.” The goal is a discussion and forward movement, not dogmatic allegiance to some concept. I’ll be more careful with my words, I don’t write on the internets very often.

71 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm

EssBee: “Jack, if someone is telling you that *anything* is beyond criticism then you should stop engaging with that person immediately. It’s dogmatic nonsense and the person is obviously not in a position to have a rational discussion.”

Excellent! Another point of agreement. However, consider: While they may not be in a position to have a rational discussion, they *may* be in a position to smear your reputation such that good folks like Michael Nugent and Sam and Becky (from Ask an Atheist) *assume* from the get-go, unfortunately a wee bit unskeptically, that you *are* a nasty person like a misogynist.

Do you think I’m a misogynist? I’ve been called one several times. Yet I’ve said nothing (nothing!) against women or anyone as any group. It is 100% anti-thetical to my *long held* philosophical views (longer than I’ve even been online, and that’s pretty much since I first had debates about racism and gun control when I was 11-12 years old on local BBSs with my trusty 300baud modem. (Actually, it wasn’t trusty, it sucked ass, but that doesn’t sound as old-fashioned ;-) ).

Do you see how dogmatic feminism *online* in the *atheist/skeptic* movement, even if perhaps not in any specific academic department, might be something I might want to confront confrontationally? I actually *still* consider myself an equity feminist, even after all this bullshit.

72 Sally March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Aw, Themelios, here I thought you were someone willing to have an argument, not just pretend that you don’t know how to define words, even for the temporary use of a single discussion.

On the other hand, maybe you’re not pretending. All the monster trucks in the world can’t make up for that much sad. :(

73 oolon March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I’m sure Thaumas Themelios has documented all his edited comments somewhere, its just a shame he sees fit not to publish anything.

I’m equally sure you described the cure for cancer in those comments, which you subsequently forgot so couldn’t reproduce, and the loss to the world is inestimable and justifies all and any hate campaign you wish to join in with…. Oh wait, no it doesn’t! Its irrelevant whining from the Slymepit, well there *is* a surprise!

Any more whines about FtB’ers you want to get off your heaving chest Thaumas? While you are sat there on the fainting couch you may as well get it all out… Or you could address the point of the post? You really are being a bad example for Justin. Not that I’m complaining as him following suit with the rest of you and frantically waving *look over there* makes for great entertainment!

74 windy March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Others, including Mr. Nugent and the slippery Mr. Vacula, want to call some of it “morally unjustified”. But the behavior is one thing, and the reasons behind it another.

Wait, is intent magic again?

75 oolon March 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Oops, my mistake, I see Skepsheik is occupying the couch at the moment…

76 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Jack, I personally would never call anyone a ‘misogynist,’ I believe it is a category mistake. Actions and claims can be misogynistic, but people are the wrong types of things to be misogynist. This is a (perhaps) idiosyncratic view of my own, and in no way representative of feminism. I find calling anyone ‘sexist’ ‘racist’ ‘homophobic’ is counter-productive, and ‘person’ as a category is too complex to label in such a simplistic way. I like to focus on actions and words, not ‘persons’. So, no. I don’t think that you’re a misogynist.

I personally have not experienced any feminism in the skeptical and atheist community as dogmatic. As a humanist, I assent to certain basic premises: all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or gender deserve respect and equal treatment and opportunity under the law. If certain people who identify as feminist have made mistakes or acted uncouth, I don’t see it as a representation of feminist theory. I take it to be an example of that person’s limitations, ignorance, or basic flawed human nature. I think most of us (in the skeptical/atheist/humanist community) want the same things, we just disagree about how to get there. But that’s ok, there’s room for disagreement.

There is no room, however, for abuse, harassment, or violent threats. And anyone who engages in such behavior deserves to be called out.

77 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

EssBee: ““Feminism *should* never be above criticism by those who engage in it.” The goal is a discussion and forward movement, not dogmatic allegiance to some concept. I’ll be more careful with my words, I don’t write on the internets very often.”

Whew! Excellent! More common ground. I think we are on the same side, EssBee.

Now. I regretfully inform you that there are several self-professed feminists (and I don’t go for No True Scotswoman, so I’ll just call them feminists from here on) who either act in such a way, and in some case *even proclaim*, that their their brand of feminism cannot be questioned, and/or that questioning of it will not be tolerated. In my books, I call that dogma. Unquestioned and/or unquestionable belief.

Yes, I can provide links to support this claim. (Been going for more than 24 hours now, so it may be someone else will have to provide the URL, though.)

I know what I’m saying just now almost certainly sounds crazy. It seems crazy to me. It’s like a fathomless rabbit hole of craziness. Honestly, I don’t know how to follow that up except with awkward silence. Eeek. *looks around*

78 Thaumas Themelios March 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Actually, scratch that. There are not really any ‘sides’. Sorry. Inappropriate word there. My apologies.

79 rocko2466 March 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

@doubthat at #47: “Ok, let’s total up the number of times Stef McGraw was called a “cunt” by Rebecca Watson. Someone link the photoshopped porn images of her, the threads dedicated to making fun of how she looked, and the youtube videos mocking her writing in stupid voices. How about the fake twitter feeds? You guys on that?”

Cool. You can assume it was us (I don’t think anyone from the Pit would make that image and noone has owned up to it. We have no reason to think it’s NOT a thirteen year old troll).

Because you get to assume it was us, I’m going to assume it was you. Why did you send that picture? That’s horrible. Even though she’s intellectually dishonest, it’s not a good idea to send her offensive pictures (least of all because she thrives on that kind of exchange).

And I am the one doing the mocking of people’s writing in stupid voices. And I haven’t done a Rebecca Watson dramatic reading yet. Perhaps you are thinking of the song?

I think this probably lines up nicely with your makings lots of assumptions about things you’d not been in contact with.

80 athyco March 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm

windy, #35:

You might be on to something there… but this was facilitated by asking Justin to judge examples of other people’s behavior. A better approach would have been to ask him about examples of his own behavior.

He has been asked but has not answered. In the comment thread of his interview with Lee Moore of A-News “Insight on the infighting,” he was asked about his mid-January use of a Surly Amy photo on his page fundraising for WiS2. In that interview, he once again told the DMCA/dox story that ended in early October 2012. However, he’d decided to use one of her photos again–without notification or attribution–three weeks before the interview.

She asked him to attribute. She told him two options to do so. Both of her tweets included the word “thanks.” But in an interview about the peace process and that interview with the man who was initiating the peace process, he never mentioned that a civil exchange could be had–had been had–between the principals in a contretemps that is well-known and one that he described as “the lowest of the low.”

He was asked, in the comments of his second response, to demonstrate that the FTB/Skepchick/A+ “assumption” that the abuse would not end had no basis in fact in his own actions. He would make two lists: what Justin Vacula had written/said about Amy Roth after she dropped her DMCA in early October, and what Amy Roth had written/said about Justin Vacula during that time period. No response.

Yes, examples of his own behavior are helpful. He will rehash an inflammatory incident without mentioning a following civil one in an interview about a ceasefire/peace process. He has not answered direct questions about his knowledge of Amy’s release of photos to CC or her assessment and new stance on “jewelry.” He has not discussed why he made another video about Amy in December–directed at a Michael Nugent post, btw. He has not explained leaving out his mid-January interaction with her in an early February interview.

His declarations of being in favor of civil discussion towards peace have not yet included any acknowledgement of positive changes in a situation that directly involved him.

81 A Hermit March 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Can’t help ya there, A Hermit.

No you can’t, because there is simply no equivalence to be found between the two.

To address your objections:

1) The demonstration of verbal abuse is at the links I provided.

2) If you really need a definition of verbal abuse try this one: http://definitions.uslegal.com/v/verbal-abuse/
Verbal abuse may consist of shouting, insulting, intimidating, threatening, shaming, demeaning, or derogatory language, among other forms of communication.”

There are plenty of example of such at the links I gave you which fit that defnition.

(Also from the defnitition: ” Victims of verbal abuse are often told they are to blame for the abuser’s behavior. “ We see a lot of that in this debate…)

3) As for intent, http://definitions.uslegal.com/i/intent/

“Intent is a mental attitude with which an individual acts, and therefore it cannot ordinarily be directly proved but must be inferred from surrounding facts and circumstances.”

There is really no other reasonable inference to be drawn from the kind of material being posted there other than that it is to mock and shame the targets of it. And such mocking and shaming is a rather obvious silencing tactic.

————————-

You can jump up and down shouting “fallacy! fallacy!” all you want, but you should really try to find an actual fallacy first; otherwise you look like you’re just dodging the question.

82 athyco March 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Oh…Justin Vacula’s use of Amy’s photo was on his WiS2 fundraiser page. He has mentioned extensive research into fair use from the first incident. Evidenced by his own words, he’d then be expected to know–even with her release to CC–the fundamental status change in using her image without attribution on a site meant to make money for him.

83 A Hermit March 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Apologies to Thaumas for misspelling your name…I have a comment in moderation responding to your “fallacy” nonsense.

84 Cian March 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm

This article below by ARIEL MEADOW STALLINGS for me sums up so much of this type of dialogue we see on these blogs of late. Very insightful

http://offbeatempire.com/2012/10/liberal-bullying

“Over the past couple years, I’ve watched the rise of this new form of online performance art, where internet commenters make public sport of flagging potentially problematic language as insensitive, and gleefully flag authors as needing to check their privilege. As a publisher who spends a lot of time thinking about community management issues and comment moderation, and who also serves hundreds of thousands of readers who identify as both progressive and marginalized (in many different, varying ways), this issue is hugely important to me.”

“Common trends in this online behavior:

Focus on very public complaints: I can think of exactly one time when someone emailed their concern about problematic language. These complaints seem to be always intended for an audience.

Lack of interest in a dialogue: These complaints aren’t questions or invitations to discuss the issue. They’re harshly-worded accusations and scoldings (which I’ve written about before).

Lack of consideration for the context or intent: The focus is on this isolated incident (this one post, this one word, this one time), with de-emphasis on the author’s background, experience, or the context of the website on which the post appears.

And on a more stylistic note, these complaints are often prefaced with phrases like “Um,” and other condescending affectations.”

“I recently had to talk to my aging lesbian mother and her partner about how the word “tranny” causes a lot of issues for folks in the transgender community. They’re totally aligned with the cause, and totally active in LGBT communities… and yet hadn’t gotten the latest memo.”

85 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm

@79 rocko2466

Yes, it’s all an elaborate conspiracy to make you guys look bad. And boy is it working. You all look like the most childish, incompetent fools outside of the JREF Conspiracy Theories Forum.

I assumed nothing, I simply pointed out that this content does not exist with Hall or McGraw as targets. I understand that this ruins you ability to play the equivalence game, but could you at least produce more coherent whining?

86 Sally March 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Do you think I’m a misogynist? I’ve been called one several times.

Links? All I found Googling was you claiming over and over that it had happened.

87 kntk March 6, 2013 at 5:26 pm

In other words, doubtthat has no evidence that the slymepit has ever photoshopped Rebecca Watson into porn and is going to keep lying about it anyway.

88 Chad Gething March 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Michael,

I am glad that you mentioned Northern Ireland and how much greater troubles have been overcome by abandoning rhetoric, vitriol and blame. Unfortunately, when I espoused such views on Paryngula, I was insulted, called a “Tone Troll” and drawn into a completely differ argument about LGBT issues. My experience in campaigning for equality in all areas was mocked, as was my ability as a single father to raise my two young daughters. I was castigated for refusing to agree that I would punch someone in the face if they called my daughters a cunt. I continued to espouse my beliefs that insults and a “with us or against us” attitude was divisive and historically proven to lead towards failure, only for my last few posts to be edited, then garbled before being finally deleted. As I had previously no reason to distrust PZ, I was shocked and had not previously saved copies of my messages.
If you come to the table with a genuine attitude of accepting the necessity is now to agree on common ground and not look for recriminations and retribution then I welcome that and would encourage you to bring to the table all who you have influence over.

89 ChasCPeterson March 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm
But the behavior is one thing, and the reasons behind it another.

Wait, is intent magic again?

No. Which is exactly why I was attempting there to move the discussion back to the behavior itself and away from the many bullshit reasons that people–you, for example–were floating to excuse it.

90 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm

@87

I never argued that anyone in particular created the photoshop. The efforts of the pit are more than sufficient without associating them with that bit of nastiness.

I merely made a factual statement: the women that folks in this thread have identified as “targeted” by FtB and sympathizers, Hall and McGraw, have not been the target of the sort of behavior I described. Unfortunately, the pit is not the only source of misogyny and absurdly childish attacks on women.

I find it amusing that you’ve latched on to the porn photo shop as though it’s some sort of startling, unprecedented act. It falls right in line with the other shit, and again, no one claimed to have fallen out of favor with the FtBers (whoever they may be) has suffered such treatment.

Why is that?

91 athyco March 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Cian, #83
The problem I have with the article is that these “common trends in online behavior” are not unique to “liberal bullying” by the progressive using the phrases quoted. Let’s look at this comment thread of only ~80 comments.

Focus on very public complaints: I can think of exactly one time when someone emailed their concern about problematic language. These complaints seem to be always intended for an audience.

Is this a valid expectation for comments on a blog? I could see concerns lost in the spam filter or simply overlooked in the busy inbox of someone who gets hundreds of email communications a day. Is one to respond to the problematic speaker directly? In this thread, only 5 names are in blue to connect to a website. One is out of luck for the other 22 of us. Besides, the reaction to the public complaints sets the standards for the site. A public complaint in the comments of the previous post in this series led to the deletion of objectionable comments on this site. Yes, someone can prefer private complaints about problematic language on their site. They can’t assert that it’s preferable in all cases.

Lack of interest in a dialogue: These complaints aren’t questions or invitations to discuss the issue. They’re harshly-worded accusations and scoldings (which I’ve written about before).

“…harshly-worded accusations and scoldings.” Considering the history here, we’re past the pearl-clutching stage, I think. Dialogues get sidetracked all the time–who’s fainting over “harshly-worded”? I’d say we’re re-arguing the accommodation wars, just on different grounds.

Lack of consideration for the context or intent: The focus is on this isolated incident (this one post, this one word, this one time), with de-emphasis on the author’s background, experience, or the context of the website on which the post appears.

This point may be an interesting one to discuss regarding the debate as a whole. What was Justin Vacula’s focus in the video that kicked this off, was his emphasis on the subject’s background, experience, or the context? Why has he not mentioned the video or the blog post that prompted it in the days/posts since?

And on a more stylistic note, these complaints are often prefaced with phrases like “Um,” and other condescending affectations.”

Again, not much of a problem here. John C. Welch, #2, begins his first paragraph with “Oh, yeah” and his second with “Look.” Pitchguest, #7, uses “Yeah.” Thaumas Themelios, #40, uses “Gee” twice to begin paragraphs. He also uses “Oh” in #42, but I do that as well in #81. That one, I think, can signal an afterthought more than an affectation.

I think that Ms. Stallings’ article is helpful for moderators and commenters both. Moderators can set those rules or others based on them as they wish. If the moderators do not so that the complaints must be public, commenters can call out the affectations, lack of content for the dialogue, lack of consideration for content.

92 j j March 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

You know, this would all work better if people just treated other people like people. Not like “men” or “women” or “girls” or “boys” or “chicks” or “jocks” or “nerds”.

JUST PEOPLE.

93 kntk March 6, 2013 at 6:18 pm

I find it amusing that you’ve latched on to the porn photo shop as though it’s some sort of startling, unprecedented act. It falls right in line with the other shit, and again, no one claimed to have fallen out of favor with the FtBers (whoever they may be) has suffered such treatment.

Why is that?

You are posting in a series of threads about the slymepit and its conduct. When you talk about various things done to people like Rebecca Watson and group them together in the way that you did, it is not unreasonable for the reader to assume that you are claiming the actions listed originated from the slymepit. If that’s not your intention, you should have owned up to that immediately and clarified.

Why latch onto the porn thing though? Because its a claim that is not open to any degree of interpretation, either somebody in the slymepit has photoshopped Rebecca Watson into porn or they haven’t. If you haven’t got any evidence of that, then the claim should be retracted. If, as you now claim, you’re talking about other people outside of the slymepit photoshopping Watson into porn you should also be able to provide evidence of that.

As far as I know, nobody has done this… the worst i’ve come across is some anon. who drew a pornographic MS Paint cartoon and emailed it to Watson.

94 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm

I’m basically ignorant of this ‘slymepit’ vs. certain skeptics situation, but following some of the links in this conversation is pretty depressing. Can some tell me what the connection between the slymepit and the ‘elevatorgate’ twitter account is, if any? Obviously they both take issue (putting it mildly) with FtB and Skepchicks, but are they otherwise related?

95 kntk March 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

ElevatorGATE has never posted there. Some posters in the slymepit (such as myself) see him as something of a nut.

96 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Thanks kntk. Just based on his/her own twitter thread, there’s some sort of weird unhealthy obsession with certain skeptics. Anyone who would defend or align him/herself with that type of behavior has questionable intentions, in my opinion. I’m all for honest criticism, and understand that some people just have a ‘dark’ sense of humor and prefer to mock others in a negative way. But that twitter account is seriously gross and idiotic.

97 windy March 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm

No. Which is exactly why I was attempting there to move the discussion back to the behavior itself and away from the many bullshit reasons that people–you, for example–were floating to excuse it.

I’m not justifying anything (yet). The whole premise that the behavior from the side of the so-called “feminists” constitutes a standard we all must meet hasn’t been established yet.

98 windy March 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Hall was not attacked because she was a feminist, she was called out for suspect behavior (which she acknowledged, claiming it was inadvertent but now understands why it was questionable) and for a series of very bad arguments in defense of Michael Shermer’s very stupid statement and subsequent meltdown.

“Suspect behavior”?? Now there’s an unintentionally revealing turn of phrase. “Dr. Hall, are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the anti-feminist party?”

99 Cian March 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I agree with your last paragraph for sure. And I wouldn’t ask anyone to agree with every word in the article, but I thought the parallels in her own corner of the internet could provide food for thought for both sides here.

In particular in relation to the nasty pushback ( which I agree that there is some ).

In my opinion ( and I’m not saying anyone should agree with me ) I found the preachiness of some of the main actors on the FTB side to be very off-putting ( I hated church for the very same reason ). And they seemed unassailable and I rarely saw the willingness to discuss difference of opinion in the way your thoughtful, well written answer did here. I don’t hate them for it and don’t think they are awful people because of it, but I could easily see how others would actually take offense and react angrily – especially in a “freethought/sceptical” movement.

I never commented there because of the caustic reaction to differing opinions. It felt so un-socratic to me personally.

The arguing over words and the endless “trigger warnings” left me questioning what I was doing reading this. When PZ Myers was rounded on for the pink and blue bunny cartoon, I thought – that is enough for me. This will go nowhere if we continue on this road. And I stopped going there because of this.

I would love this rift to be resolved and I think both sides need to take a look at how they communicate.

From Ariels article again …
“I don’t care if your politics are progressive and your focus is on social justice: if you’re shouting at people online and refusing to have a dialogue, you’re bullying. I don’t care if you’re fighting the good fight: your methods are borked. It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting for the one true phrase that we should all use to describe the Romani people, or fighting for the one true God… if you’re fighting in a way that’s more about public performance, shaming, and righteousness, I’m not fighting with you.
(…even if I agree with your goals!)”

Maybe its because of the religious education I was subjected to that just won’t let me accept being lectured to and maybe that is why others have reacted so strongly. ( and in a sense it is our problem really – but maybe it can offer some way of understanding the backlash?)

In my humble (maybe worthless) opinion one side needs to tone down the language and the personal attacks ( in jest or otherwise ), and the other side needs to stop being so righteous and also stop their personal attacks ( which are of a different nature ). There are really good people on both sides of this.

100 Cian March 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm

athyco #91 … that reply was to you. :)

101 ChasCPeterson March 6, 2013 at 7:28 pm

The whole premise that the behavior from the side of the so-called “feminists” constitutes a standard we all must meet hasn’t been established yet.

Indeed not. In fact, I don’t think that premise had even been previously espoused by anyone before you just mentioned it.
If you refuse to admit in the first place that there are clear distinctions to be made between the quality and the quantity of invective employed by the tribes–and I personally perceive these differences clearly at a gestalt level, specific cherry-picked anecdotes aside–then there seems little point to Nugent’s little exercise.

102 Sally March 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Indeed not. In fact, I don’t think that premise had even been previously espoused by anyone before you just mentioned it.

Yeah. I thought the point was to get Justin to set some standards.

103 windy March 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

If you refuse to admit in the first place that there are clear distinctions to be made between the quality and the quantity of invective employed by the tribes–and I personally perceive these differences clearly at a gestalt level, specific cherry-picked anecdotes aside–then there seems little point to Nugent’s little exercise.

Indeed, there’s no point to the exercise. Of course there are differences in the level of invective. Clearly the unspoken assumption here that the implicated side is expected to conform to a level (or “gestalt”) of invective that the other side is comfortable with.

Is it really so difficult to consider that others may perceive entirely different “gestalts” that may not correspond to the level of invective?

104 Pitchguest March 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Oolon – Yes, why don’t you slip under a bridge where you belong?

Or find some tall grass, where you can linger until you find someone to pounce on.

Or maybe, you condescending, English prick, you can just stick the flounce and I promise I will contain my epicaricacy.

105 oolon March 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Nice one Guest, as someone who has been reading sinfest on and off today I really cannot contain my epicaricacy :-)

Troll is it? Someone with years of building a reputation on an internet forum as a troll would sure know how to spot one!

106 kntk March 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Troll is it? Someone with years of building a reputation on an internet forum as a troll would sure know how to spot one!

Good point?

107 oolon March 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Ahh kntk, surely you’d have to admit you don’t know if ElevatorGATE has posted at the Slymepit? He has posted using various socks at FtBs and uses “hero” or “bravehero” on other blogs… So he is anonymous.

He could be a regular for all you know, he certainly is up to date with all the latest Slyme-memes.

108 Pitchguest March 6, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Oh, go on then. Here’s a wet paper bag: figure it out.

There was a time when I thought you might be acting in good faith, but that was just you being a lying weasel. Since then you’ve shown your true colours, which is why it was quite marvelous to listen to you squirm on Reapsow Radio. Easily annoyed, constantly interrupting, and employing gish gallops like jelly babies.

It was almost like Reap was trolling you, except he had to repeat himself several times for you to calm down. Must be that weaselly nature of yours. It’s as if you have a completely different personality online than in real life, and I must admit the stuttering was a nice touch. Was that deliberate, or…?

But if you want to act like an internet tough guy, be my guest.

109 Pitchguest March 6, 2013 at 9:48 pm

#107 oolon

Reading the ‘Pit is hardly a being a regular of the ‘Pit. Being Ophelia’s lapdog (apologies in advance), you would know something about that.

110 doubtthat March 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

@windy

For fuck’s sake. I’m not going to get into this because the principals have reconciled. You can google it if you want, but it is simply not correct to claim that Hall received criticism because she was a feminist.

111 windy March 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

I found a new example of nasty pushback against a female atheist (me) voicing opinions online! As a response to my comment in the previous thread posing a hypothetical example of sarcastic response to being accused of “white supremacy” as a question, I am now defamed as condoning racist jokes in the entire atheist community and various other things:
https://twitter.com/aratina/status/309019803648135168

Is this a morally justifiable response to posing a hypothetical question about the limits of satire? Michael? Justin? Bueller? Anyone?

112 kntk March 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

oolon March 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm
Ahh kntk, surely you’d have to admit you don’t know if ElevatorGATE has posted at the Slymepit? He has posted using various socks at FtBs and uses “hero” or “bravehero” on other blogs… So he is anonymous.

He could be a regular for all you know, he certainly is up to date with all the latest Slyme-memes.

Oh, I don’t know ool0n. He has a really obvious style, same as you. If he’s up to date with “slyme-memes” that says nothing apart from that he might lurk, maybe.

Ophelia Benson seems quite aware of the “slyme-memes” as well. According to your logic, she should also be regarded as a possible regular?

113 oolon March 6, 2013 at 10:33 pm

kntk, no need to be defensive, I was just pointing out your assertion he is *not* a member is *not* necessarily true. You’d look silly if it turned out it was Dick or Tigzy all along ;-)

In other news PitchGuest is a celeb! I could only dream about inspiring a web comic from my grade-Z trolling (Well I have it on good authority he partly inspired this at least)
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4554

More irony from the commenter criticising me for an imagined flounce! Are you always this full of projection PG?

114 oolon March 6, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Is this a morally justifiable response to posing a hypothetical question about the limits of satire? Michael? Justin? Bueller? Anyone?

@Windy, rather than leap for the “professional victim” fainting couch why not tweet to aratina and felix and clarify what their objection is? Maybe they misunderstood you… Maybe not… Maybe you are blocked for some reason ;-)

115 kntk March 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm

kntk, no need to be defensive, I was just pointing out your assertion he is *not* a member is *not* necessarily true. You’d look silly if it turned out it was Dick or Tigzy all along

My assertion that a teapot doesn’t currently orbit the sun is not necessarily true, and i’d look slightly silly if it was the case.

116 oolon March 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm

So you are equating an eminently possible thing with unknowable and extremely unlikely things like orbiting teapots, god, etc… I was wrong it didn’t require Dick or Tigzy to come out for you to look silly.

117 kntk March 6, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Both things are eminently possible. You’re just assigning a different weight of probability. In both cases you have no evidence. Come back to me when you have some.

118 Pitchguest March 6, 2013 at 11:15 pm

oolon – Oh dear. Have it on good authority, would that be beginning with “a” and end with “rse”, by any chance?

Bored now. Go away.

119 windy March 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm

Windy, rather than leap for the “professional victim” fainting couch why not tweet to aratina and felix and clarify what their objection is? Maybe they misunderstood you… Maybe not… Maybe you are blocked for some reason

I’m not on twitter, dingbat. Is there some reason they had to run to the twitter fainting couch instead of asking for clarification? And apparently your recommendation to a female atheist being attacked online is that they need to ‘clarify what the objection is’, this is certainly interesting advice in light of the current discussion!

And then people wonder why there’s “pushback”, what an utter joke.

120 oolon March 6, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Hehe scepticism 101 is actually required here! A claim is evaluated based on its likelihood so such things as EG existing, most likely (as you even assert) reading the Slymepit make him being a member of the forum far more likely than you seem to realise. Claims with no evidence are not treated as equally unlikely… EG being a pit member is not a fairy at the bottom of the garden claim :-D

Hence your certainty, he is *not* a member, is not on such solid ground as your belief god does *not* exist… Wow, who was maligning the sceptical credentials of the pit and its members! Derp.

121 oolon March 6, 2013 at 11:25 pm

PitchGuest, I thought you never got bored of hearing your own voice? I’ve achieved more than the sinfest lot ever could!

Windy, if you are not on Twitter how come you are scanning it for all mentions of yourself? Never mind I suppose its your prerogative to look for all comments about “windy” O_o

… Strangely I’d see one tweet as not an attack, unless it was one of the ones thrown by some of the really nasty twitter trolls. Its an opinion that they thought you said X. Hardly nasty push back… You really are reaching now. But moot as I notice Aratina retracted the statement. You can proceed to quote it for all eternity as a horrible smear and attack on a female atheist by the #FTBullies.

122 kntk March 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

A claim is evaluated based on its likelihood so such things as EG existing, most likely (as you even assert) reading the Slymepit make him being a member of the forum far more likely than you seem to realise.

Alright oolon, i’m bored now. ElevatorGATE could be a member, and so could Ophelia Benson seeing as they both seem to be as aware of the slymepit as each other and as up to date on it. So, oolon, are you going to admit that Ophelia Benson is possible regular member of the slymepit?

123 kntk March 6, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Actually, Ophelia Benson could actually BE elevatorGATE. Think about it, it all fits. I have no evidence for it, but its a possibility, you agree?

124 EssBee March 6, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I’m basically an outsider to this whole cliquey in-group squabbling, but why don’t the relevant parties simply stop reading one another’s blogs/facebooks/twitter accounts and stop replying/acknowledging one another.

Some gross stuff has been said by a number of people. It seems mostly like there are a bunch of internet trolls stirring up nonsense just because they can, just to get attention, hits, etc. Why not just ignore the nonsense and turn back to the issues we all care about? The time and energy devoted to these extremely petty squabbles makes the skeptical/atheist community look ridic (or reveal it to be ridic, not sure which). Plus, if the ‘bigger name’ atheists/skeptics would stop acknowledging/reacting to stupidity, the cottage industry that has been built up to generate and amplify drama would have no new fuel.

I’m not saying real threats, abuse and harassment should not be dealt with. Silencing tactics are terrible and unwelcome in our community. But there must be a better way.

125 Cian March 7, 2013 at 12:02 am

Essbee ~124

Excellent point! The story of the women searching Samuel Johnsons dictionary for filth in the hope of finding offense springs to mind.

126 windy March 7, 2013 at 12:08 am

For fuck’s sake. I’m not going to get into this because the principals have reconciled. You can google it if you want, but it is simply not correct to claim that Hall received criticism because she was a feminist.

Good point (although the original post didn’t make that distinction). So how do we know that the vulgar comments in Michael’s list are directed at women (or men) because they are feminists? And what’s with the assumption that nasty comments are only a problem when directed at feminists?

127 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 12:10 am

The cool thing that has happened to the skeptical/atheist movement in the last ten years, thanks mostly to the internet, is that there are a number of voices and perspectives to listen to, instead of the past when the club was so small there was a very narrow range of perspectives.

Some like their skepticism with snark and sarcasm. Some like it sober, academic and professional. Some are interested in progressive politics and social justice. Some are interested in big foot, UFOs and debunking psychics. There’s room for everyone, and no one is being forced to be audience to any given speaker or topic. I wish the folks I formerly looked up to in this movement would quit their self-absorbed outrage over internet idiocy and turn back to communicating science and critical thinking.

128 Cian March 7, 2013 at 12:13 am

Essbee: I agree 100%

129 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 12:18 am

(2) that photo doesn’t appear to show that they are friends, rather that she won a prize and came on stage to receive it

That photo doesn’t show that they are friends, nor did I claim that it did or that they are. But you are ignoring the fact that I mentioned that Stef chose a Skepchick tee shirt as her prize. She had other choices.

A convenient elision on your part.

(3) just because the principals are over it – assuming they are – doesn’t mean that conduct which is objectively inappropriate has to be ignored by everyone

Could you possibly strawman my point any further? I said nothing about “ignoring” conduct (and by the way the conduct in question was far from “objectively” inappropriate–that point is arguable–but we’ll let that pass.)

What I said was that the response to the conduct in question–however inappropriate you think that conduct was–was ridiculously abusive and out of proportion to the event itself.

In other words, the response was objectively inappropriate. I agree, that sort of thing should not be ignored.

(4) let’s be frank, this issue is no longer about a continued Watson-McGraw feud or people’s view on this generally.

No, the issue is The Slimepit. And I was responding to Thaumas, who helpfully pointed out that the Slimepit began with the Watson McGraw incident.

The sort of abusive and sexist overreaction to the Watson-McGraw incident which began with the ur-slimepit continues to this day.

This is about the conduct of so-called skeptics in:

(a) hijacking the movement with dogmatic nonsense

Sorry, no. The points made by feminists have been supported by argument and evidence; argument and evidence the ‘Pit ignores, strawmans, and responds to with other fallacies. And calling out the fallacies doesn’t seem to help; the pitters are happy to repeat debunked arguments, debunked versions of history, and outright lies if it serves their purposes. They are the “so-called skeptics” here.

(b) reacting to dissent by calling it harassment, blocking the dissenters –

No. The ‘pitters do not “dissent.” Dissent is expressed by honest argument. Pitters devote themselves to sexist insults, call their enemies ugly and speculate about their sex lives, and lie about them. Pitters troll other people’s blogs. Pitters create videos dedicated to mocking their enemies. The ‘pit itself is full of abusive garbage, a small portion of which was documented by Mick on the previous post.

That is harassment. Not dissent.

–and labelling them misogynists and creeps and chill girls etc.

Their behavior is objectively misogynistic and creepy. “Chill girl” was the self-assessment of one of your own. It has been used a few times–only a few–by people on the feminist side to characterize anti-feminist women.

If you’re defending the use of epithets like “cunt” and “bitch” you have no call to object when someone calls you a misogynist, a creep, or a chill girl. You may disagree with those assessments, but they are honest assessments backed by the evidence of your own words. At the very least, you have no call to complain, given how comfortable you are with dishing out outright abuse.

130 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 12:25 am

Seriously, the dishonesty of the ‘pit is on display for all to see here. It’s like arguing with creationists; a Gish Gallop designed to obfuscate the issues and rationalize irrational behavior.

Once again, for anyone who is unclear–

This:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqzE16UsNW4

Is what led to this:

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/

131 Cian March 7, 2013 at 12:28 am

Stacy: Have you seen the video of PZMyers, TheSkepticalHeretic, C0nc0rdance & TheTruePooka discussing censorship free speech?

In it PZ Myers says he won’t talk to Justicar because he is an @sshole. Is this okay? Are you comfortable with that? Or is it “different”?

132 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 12:36 am

Cian, link to that video?

133 Cian March 7, 2013 at 12:40 am

Here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q7PprXJ-h8

Sorry i don’t have the time stamp. I can listen to it tomorrow and get it though. I don’t think it is offensive in any way ( just to make it clear ), but I just think that its so dangerous to make an issue of bad language/epithets if you are partial to it yourself. I don’t think PZ has to explain himself – its his opinion. He is entitled to that.

134 Cian March 7, 2013 at 12:46 am

EssBee: If you do a search on this page of comments for the word “asshole” you find people either agreeing or disagreeing with his comment.

http://www.youtube.com/all_comments?v=1Q7PprXJ-h8&page=2

But I will try and find it to provide context.

135 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 12:47 am

Skepsheik #57:

Two points:

I feel safe in saying that none of the comments you quoted are recent. Pharyngula has changed. They do not use violent imagery anymore–if anyone tried, s/he’d be in trouble with the regulars.

So your attempt at a tu quoque falls rather flat.

The porcupine meme has been retired. Rightly so. I do not defend any of those examples you offerred. However, it should be obvious that the porcupine meme was a deliberately over-the-top and unrealistic variation on “Go fuck yourself.”

136 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 12:48 am

#129 Stacy,

Prove it. Your entire post is pretending to read the minds of ‘pitters, their intent, what they do and so on. If you have evidence for any of your assertion, prove it. Moreover, your assertions point to an endemic process within the Slymepit community about the tactics you claim we exhibit, so you have to provide proof for that as well.

And no, before you ask, I will not accept the oolon equivalent of evidence.

Also, oolon, old buddy, old pal, I stopped posting at Sinfest several months before that comic was made. Oh, but you were just trolling me again, weren’t you? Which reminds me, your bridge is lonely. Fuck off.

137 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 12:49 am

In it PZ Myers says he won’t talk to Justicar because he is an @sshole. Is this okay? Are you comfortable with that? Or is it “different”?

“Different” from what? Of course it’s OK. Why would it not be? What’s your problem with it, Cian?

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean everybody else is obliged to listen to you.

138 kntk March 7, 2013 at 12:53 am

The porcupine meme has been retired. Rightly so. I do not defend any of those examples you offerred. However, it should be obvious that the porcupine meme was a deliberately over-the-top and unrealistic variation on “Go fuck yourself.”

Thing is, its very difficult to claim the moral high ground when you were engaging in the same or worse kind of thing less than one year ago. From an outside perspective Myers retired the porcupine meme and decided immediately that he was now in a position to police the statements of unrelated atheist groups. As with rationalia, he rode up on his high horse and rightly got told to fuck off.

139 Cian March 7, 2013 at 12:54 am

Stacy 136: I said I have no problem with it and that PZ does not need to justify himself – it is his opinion. Fair play to him.

But you have a problem with some people being called “bitches” or “c*nts” – my question was ….

What is the difference? Maybe those words have extra special power where you are from. But from my point of view all those words are interchangeable. My mother often calls me a “c*nt” – in jest and seriously, and she is a lovely person.

140 Sally Strange March 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

You know, this would all work better if people just treated other people like people. Not like “men” or “women” or “girls” or “boys” or “chicks” or “jocks” or “nerds”.

JUST PEOPLE.

“Man is defined as a human being and a woman as a female – whenever she behaves as a human being she is said to imitate the male.”

–Simone de Beauvoir

141 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

#134 Stacy

The comments he quotes are only a few months old, and that’s just a sample, but do continue with the excuses. Not like the comments Nugent mined from the ‘Pit were hours apart.

Anyway, both you and Michael have missed the point of the exercise entirely. You keep saying it’s a ‘tu quoque, tu quoque’, well, cupcake, it’s not. (That’s a Giliell, by the way, in case you’re wondering.) It’s highlighting the hypocrisy of pointing to supposedly “abusive, shaming and disturbing” commentary, while neglecting to clean out his own house *and* neglecting to notice the shit in his very good friend’s house, whose purity he himself vouches for.

As for the “porcupine meme” which you milked for all its worth until the Slymepit had you for fools, regardless of how “obvious” it is, if it had been featured on the Slymepit, do you think Michael Nugent would have included it on his list? Besides, one instance seem to signify that they would personally shove a porcupine up someone’s arse, specifically “personally see to it that an especially rotten and dribbly dead porcupine is rammed so far up their rectum that they are picking bits of it out of their teeth for the foreseeable future.”

Ironically by Louis of all people, but then he says it might be “hyperbole for comedic effect.” Tell me, if someone from the Slymepit had said that but then afterwards excused it as “hyperbole for comedic effect,” would you accept that? Or would you insist like A Hermit does, regardless of Chris Clarke’s words to the opposite, that “just a joke” is not a magical incantation that makes everything okay?

142 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

#139 Sally Strange,

Relevance?

143 kntk March 7, 2013 at 1:15 am

No, its a clever point there SallyStrange. It must be, because it’s a quote of somebody i’ve never heard of.

144 Sambarge March 7, 2013 at 1:17 am

Cian @138

The difference between “asshole” and “cunt or “bitch” is that the last two are gendered insults and the first is generic.

I’m sorry your mother calls you a cunt. As a daughter and a mother, I can’t imagine that word as a term of endearment. I usually just call my daughter ‘honey’ or ‘baby’ -infantilizing, for sure, but atleast not a crude reference to her genitalia. Different strokes, I guess.

145 Sambarge March 7, 2013 at 1:18 am

kntk @140

You’ve never heard of Simone de Beauvoir? Really?! Wow. You should read more.

146 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 1:20 am

What is the difference? Maybe those words have extra special power where you are from. But from my point of view all those words are interchangeable. My mother often calls me a “c*nt” – in jest and seriously, and she is a lovely person

I see what you’re saying.

“Cunt” is a put-down where I’m from, one directed at women, most commonly strong women.

Its use is analogous to the word “nigger”–it’s an epithet that doesn’t refer just to an individual, but to a group. It’s social function is to keep people in their place.

If you’re in the UK, I realize the usage is very different there. But you can’t deny that on the pit, the word is not being used affectionately.

To clarify, no, I don’t have a problem with “bad words” per se. I object to some words because I see them as having what we call “splash damage”–they don’t just hurt the person they’re directed at.

147 Cian March 7, 2013 at 1:27 am

Sambarge: They simply are not gender slurs where I am from. You can feel sorry for me, and I suppose without hearing me speak it may seem like I come from a very rough spot, but I don’t.

Asshole, cunt, bitch … and all their equivalents in English and in my native tongue have the same value and can be used harshly or endearingly. “Fecker” is another one – its a softer version “fucker”.
I suppose some societies are far more sensitive to bad language than others. Maybe my home is just less puritanical.

I genuinely hope I haven’t offended you. I don’t know anyone who thinks of female genitalia when they say the “c” word or a female dog when say “bitch” or the rectum when they say “asshole”. But maybe I was dragged up :)

148 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 1:29 am

Not like the comments Nugent mined from the ‘Pit were hours apart.

So what has the ‘Pit decided to stop saying or doing, Pitchguest? How have they changed, lately?

It’s highlighting the hypocrisy of pointing to supposedly “abusive, shaming and disturbing” commentary

There is plenty of room for criticism of Pharyngula, Pitchguest, but there’s still quite a big difference. Pharyngula doesn’t use words that are sexist, or homophobic, or racist. They don’t shame people for characteristics like looks, or age, or weight. And they don’t follow their opponents around, making a game of attacking them.

Our objection was never to uncivil hyperbole per se. It was to sexist memes, and to a pattern of behavior which is meant to silence people talking about social justice issues, particularly feminism.

149 Cian March 7, 2013 at 1:33 am

Fair point Stacy … I suppose it boils down to cultural sensitivity.

Better watch my mouth the next time I am across the pond :)

150 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 1:37 am

Pitchguest, I agree that “just a joke” is not a magical incantation. However “just a joke” is not the point.

The difference between the (now retired!) porcupine meme and slimepit-type put-downs is the difference between:

Having an argument on a comment thread, and one party says,

“You’re an asshole. Fuck off.”

–and people talking about you on a blog, and on videos, and shopping your picture, and trolling your blog, and saying:

“That fat prick can’t get it up. He’s too ugly to rape!”

151 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 1:38 am

#147 Stacy,

Pharyngula doesn’t use words that are sexist, or homophobic, or racist.

Neither does the Slymepit. See how that works? “Cunt” and “twat” have culturally different meanings, like “fanny” and “fanny pack.” If you asked for the latter in a clothing store in the US, they’d think nothing of it, but if you did the same in a clothing store in the UK, you’d probably get a bit of a chuckle. Context. It matters.

“Cunt” may not always be meant affectionately at the ‘Pit, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant specifically towards women either. In fact, it most definitely is not meant towards women only. So there’s that sexism claim debunked.

152 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 1:51 am

“Neither does the Slymepit. See how that works? “Cunt” and “twat” have culturally different meanings, like “fanny” and “fanny pack.”

Pitchguest, you’re either being purposefully obtuse, deliberately disingenuous, or you’re just unaware. If you follow this link you’ll see pictures and read comments involving mocking people’s weight, age, sexual orientation and mental abilities/health. There is virtually no substance, just snickering and mindless mockery. Why on earth would you want to defend this site or align yourself with jagoffs? It might be very true that people on Skepchick or FtBs also engage in mundane humor, poor taste, and racist, ageist, sexist, homophobic slurs. If it is, no one should be defending that, either.

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10

153 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 1:51 am

Stacy said (#145):

“Cunt” is a put-down where I’m from, one directed at women, most commonly strong women.

Its use is analogous to the word “nigger”– it’s an epithet that doesn’t refer just to an individual, but to a group.

What unmitigated horseshit. Consider “nigger” (1):

nig•ger (ngr)
n. Offensive Slang
1. a. Used as a disparaging term for a Black person: “You can only be destroyed by believing that you really are what the white world calls a nigger” (James Baldwin).
b. Used as a disparaging term for a member of any dark-skinned people.
2. Used as a disparaging term for a member of any socially, economically, or politically deprived group of people

Do note the use of “a” (2):

a 2 (; when stressed)
indef.art.
1. Used before nouns and noun phrases that denote a single but unspecified person or thing

Same thing with “cunt”, and “faggot”, although I’ll leave the proof as an exercise for the reader. But the point is that if some people – those particularly unclear on the concepts and mechanisms of language – insist on misinterpreting words then the fault is with them, not with those who are using them correctly.

1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nigger”;
2) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/a”;

154 kntk March 7, 2013 at 1:55 am

If you’re in the UK, I realize the usage is very different there. But you can’t deny that on the pit, the word is not being used affectionately.

Sure, sometimes it gets used in the worst way possible. So what? Its still being used in a forum that nobody is forced to visit. Don’t forget that certain bloggers consider even this to be a form of harassment.

155 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 2:01 am

#147 Stacy,

So what has the ‘Pit decided to stop saying or doing, Pitchguest? How have they changed, lately?

“The ‘Pit” hasn’t decided to stop saying or doing anything. “The ‘Pit” isn’t a collective or a sum of ideas or a monolith. I know what I myself have not done, and I have not said or done anything comparable to the now-retired “porcupine meme.”

#149

and people talking about you on a blog, and on videos, and shopping your picture, and trolling your blog, and saying:

“That fat prick can’t get it up. He’s too ugly to rape!”

Look. There are some times when things get out of hand, but that’s not really the point. The ‘Pit is a place with different people, different ideas, different ways of going about things and as such might feature stuff that goes too far even in terms of satire, parody, jokes and so on. And these things will be objected to, and have been objected to, so it’s not like we agree on everything that gets posted there. That happens a lot, in fact, and not necessarily because someone posted something “unsavoury.” I mean for like political differences, sociological differences, etc.

It’s an unmoderated forum with new people coming in with regular intervals, with no edits or modifications or even an edit button. It’s therefore not really fair to point to some comments, even though some of them might be taken out of context and even though some of them might be mined, and then make a case for the entire reason simply because these comments exist. You’ve had your fair share of that treatment yourself in this thread and how do you feel about that? Tu quoque? Yeah. The feeling’s mutual.

So please remove your moral indignation. Moreover, “fat prick” has occurred a grand total of four times on the ‘pit, only twice referring to PZ. “Too ugly to rape” has been posted a grand total of zero times on the ‘Pit, except for that one time where a user asks who actually on the ‘pit said someone is “too ugly to rape.” “Can’t get it up” has, quite amusingly, also been posted zero times on the ‘Pit. So …

156 Sally Strange March 7, 2013 at 2:04 am

Relevance: gender-blindness is a useless, vacant concept. Pretending that there are no differences between experiencing the world as a man and experiencing the world as a woman is shutting yourself off from useful data about the world. So, there’s no problem with seeing me as a woman, because I am a woman, but there is a problem if that entails an automatic (if often subconscious) measure of disrespect. See also: Stephen Colbert’s satirical claim that he is incapable of perceiving a person’s race.

Simone de Beauvoir was a philosopher, intellectual, and writer whose book, “The Second Sex,” was highly influential on second-wave feminism.

157 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:10 am

@A Hermit:
“2) If you really need a definition of verbal abuse try this one: http://definitions.uslegal.com/v/verbal-abuse/
Verbal abuse may consist of shouting, insulting, intimidating, threatening, shaming, demeaning, or derogatory language, among other forms of communication.”

There are plenty of example of such at the links I gave you which fit that defnition.

(Also from the defnitition: ” Victims of verbal abuse are often told they are to blame for the abuser’s behavior. “ We see a lot of that in this debate…)”

Fallacy! Quote mine. Half-truth. (Really, if you’re going to provide the link, what’s the point in trying to obfuscate things?)

Actual quote at original link, full context (Principle of Charity penalty! -2 points):

“Verbal abuse is the use of words to cause harm to the person being spoken to. It is difficult to define and may take many forms. Similarly, the harm caused is often difficult to measure. The most commonly understood form is name-calling. Verbal abuse may consist of shouting, insulting, intimidating, threatening, shaming, demeaning, or derogatory language, among other forms of communication.

Perpetrators of verbal abuse often misuse their authority and prey on those in a subordinate position. Victims of verbal abuse are often told they are to blame for the abuser’s behavior and reluctant to take action to end the abuse. Verbal abuse may lead to stress, depression, physical ailments, and other damage.”

Verbal abuse by this definition is dependent on authority and power. Inapplicable definition. FAIL.

Total score: -2 points. Result: Chicken.

158 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 2:16 am

kntk said (#153):

Sure, sometimes it gets used in the worst way possible. So what? Its still being used in a forum that nobody is forced to visit. Don’t forget that certain bloggers consider even this to be a form of harassment.

One might wonder when they’ll get around to policing thoughts as well – the hallmark of fascists of all stripes, including feminist ones.

But I think people are losing sight of the fact that these words and phrases – “die in a fire”, “asshole”, “prick”, “cunt”, and the like (2) are used as insults to “injure or damage the psyche” of some of our interlocutors (1):

The role of insults in the social sense may be better understood by an appreciation of how the term is used in a medical setting. Though a popular idiom refers to “adding insult to injury”, in a medical context, they are one and the same: physicians examine injuries resulting from an insult to flesh and bones, caused by various traumatic events. In speech and in social settings, insults are words which tend to injure or damage the psyche. In humor, insults may be exchanged in much the same way as fighters exchange blows in training, to develop a resistance to the pain of mild injuries, or to spar with no real intention of causing any serious injury.

Once the “conversation” has degenerated to that point, no one is going give much of a rat’s ass about the niceties, or whether one’s opponents are offended by those words since that is, in fact, the purpose of them. And any protestations to the contrary, or claims that those create “splash damage” are just a shipload of red herrings.

Maybe unfortunate that things have degenerated to that extent, but the fact is that they have. Quibbling about whether various statements are “morally unjustified” or not seems rather much like fiddling while Rome burns when what seems to be required is to understand the reasons for that degeneration.

1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insult#Medical”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=71782#p71782”;

159 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 2:37 am

that doesn’t mean it’s meant specifically towards women either. In fact, it most definitely is not meant towards women only.

Doesn’t matter how it’s “meant” Pitchguest. The Slymepit is in the U.S., and in the U.S., “cunt” as an epithet is a gendered slur. Don’t be disingenuous.

So please remove your moral indignation. Moreover, “fat prick” has occurred a grand total of four times on the ‘pit, only twice referring to PZ. “Too ugly to rape” has been posted a grand total of zero times on the ‘Pit, except for that one time where a user asks who actually on the ‘pit said someone is “too ugly to rape.” “Can’t get it up” has, quite amusingly, also been posted zero times on the ‘Pit.

Category fail. I was not quoting anyone on the ‘pit. I created an example of the type of insults used on the pit.

I doubt even you can deny that the pit engaged in insults that attack people’s looks and sexuality. There are examples a-plenty on Mick’s example post.

The difference in kind between the two sorts of insults is apparent to anyone who isn’t engaged in dishonest rationalization. Calling someone you think is an asshole an asshole and telling them to fuck off is one thing. Attacking people for their looks, attacking their sexuality, calling them by epithets that demean a group to which they belong–a group which is already marginalized within society–that sort of shit is indeed, objectively, morally repugnant.

160 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:40 am

quote of Chad Gething:

Michael,

I am glad that you mentioned Northern Ireland and how much greater troubles have been overcome by abandoning rhetoric, vitriol and blame. Unfortunately, when I espoused such views on Paryngula, I was insulted, called a “Tone Troll” and drawn into a completely differ argument about LGBT issues. My experience in campaigning for equality in all areas was mocked, as was my ability as a single father to raise my two young daughters. I was castigated for refusing to agree that I would punch someone in the face if they called my daughters a cunt. I continued to espouse my beliefs that insults and a “with us or against us” attitude was divisive and historically proven to lead towards failure, only for my last few posts to be edited, then garbled before being finally deleted. As I had previously no reason to distrust PZ, I was shocked and had not previously saved copies of my messages.
If you come to the table with a genuine attitude of accepting the necessity is now to agree on common ground and not look for recriminations and retribution then I welcome that and would encourage you to bring to the table all who you have influence over.”

Could we get a roll call of opinions on this from commenters here who are defending Pharyngula? What would you say to Chad Gething? Was he treated fairly? Do you think things should have been done differently? Do you think he has a legitimate grievance? Are you willing to admit to the *possibility* that you *could* be wrong? Just the possibility. Nothing more. That’s all I ask.

161 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 2:41 am

#155 Sally Strange –

Why would it entail an automatic measure of disrespect? And on the bigger question, why would a (as you say) “genderblind” perspective entail an automatic measure of disrespect? On the first you didn’t say and on the second you didn’t elaborate.

If I said I didn’t see black people as black people, or to use an US-centric term, African American, but just as “people”, and that would in your opinion be “colourblind”, what would be the harm in that? Is that disrespecting them in any way?

Isn’t the point of feminism that women should receive the same treatment as men? In which case, wouldn’t it be prudent to just treat them as any other? In fact, isn’t that what “j j” is saying, that we shouldn’t treat people in accordance to their gender or accordance to their race, but as people? Here’s basically what “j j” said,

“We should stop treating people differently, we should treat them equally – like people.” Or, if you will, like human beings.

So you see this but in your mind it’s a “genderblind” perspective so you wish for a callback to the status quo? Or what? I still don’t really understand the relevance of that quote. Especially not in the face of someone wanting to treat women just like anyone else. Bizarre.

Ah, and this Simone de Beauvoir was highly influential on second-wave feminism? In other words, she inspired such luminaries as Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan, Valerie Solanas and Gloria Steinem? If your quote is anything to go by, I guess so. That makes me so much more interested to read what she had to say. (Not really.)

162 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 2:42 am

Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 2:01 am

Tell me, if someone from the Slymepit had said that but then afterwards excused it as “hyperbole for comedic effect,” would you accept that? Or would you insist like A Hermit does, regardless of Chris Clarke’s words to the opposite, that “just a joke” is not a magical incantation that makes everything okay?”

I seem to remember you insisting that a suggestion that an identifiable woman should have acid thrown in her face was “just a joke…” Have you revised your opinion on that one?

Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:10 am

Verbal abuse by this definition is dependent on authority and power.

Nonsense; the quote says “Perpetrators of verbal abuse often misuse their authority …”

Often is not synonymous with “always. Authority and power are not necessary conditions here.

Let me know when you’re ready to make a serious attempt to answer the question I asked instead of looking for ways to avoid it.

163 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 2:45 am

And once again, I’d like to point out: the people the Slimers attack are being attacked because they talk about feminism. The Slimers’ ongoing attacks have been relentless, obsessive, sexist in nature, and ridiculously out of proportion to any perceived wrong done by their enemies.

164 Stacy March 7, 2013 at 2:46 am

This is what started all the attacks, all the hyperbolic moral outrage on the Slimeside:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqzE16UsNW4

165 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:48 am

Lest I be misunderstood in my last comment. I don’t intend to use Chad’s comment to ‘look for recriminations’, but to find ‘common ground’. I am looking to see if the current commenters here are willing to face up to Chad and the *many* other people like him, as *people*, who may have legitimate grievances in this whole affair. I’m not looking for admissions of guilt.

And, to put myself forward. If anyone feels they have a legitimate grievance with me, I am absolutely willing to admit to the possibility that I might be wrong. It is a core principle of mine. If I am shown to be wrong, or if I know myself to be wrong, I do my best to own up to it. I’m not perfect, not by a longshot.

166 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 2:51 am

Stacy said (#158):

The Slymepit is in the U.S., and in the U.S., “cunt” as an epithet is a gendered slur.

Horsefeathers. Citations required. Do show how it is that “cunt” is a “gendered slur” in the supposed sense of applying to all women. You might wish to refer to the dictionary definitions I provide in #152, definitions which do not at all support your argument. Which you seem to have pulled out of your nether regions.

And what do you mean “in the US”? The servers might be, but a significant percentage of those posting seem to be from the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

167 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:53 am

“And once again, I’d like to point out: the people the Slimers attack are being attacked because they talk about feminism.”

Really?! I find that astonishing. I talk about feminism. I still consider myself an equity feminist, even after all this friggin bullshit. Why should I give up on the principles of equality? I have never been attacked because I ‘talk about feminism’. Stacy, is it possible you *could* be wrong on that opinion, and that the ‘attacks’ are because of different reasons than you might think they are? Possible?

Do any of the pit members here consider me some sort of target worthy of attack because I hold to a feminist ideal? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?

168 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 3:04 am

Sally Strange said (#155):

So, there’s no problem with seeing me as a woman, because I am a woman, but there is a problem if that entails an automatic (if often subconscious) measure of disrespect.

“You don’t get no respect”? You might get more if, for starters, you deep-sixed the tendency to use phrases like “lying shitbrains”, “dishonest shitstain”, “Bring the lawsuit then, asshole”, “calling someone an asshole is more of a catharsis for me than anything else” (1), and, my personal favourite, “Got any more idiotic sexist stereotypes to spew asshole?” (2)

And while I personally certainly respect your civil rights, most everything else is highly contingent on evidence, an important element of which is, I think, a willingness to discuss these questions without hiding behind Mama Myers’ skirts. Y’all are pretty brave and fearless and vocal and self-righteous when you can gang-up on an individual who braves the gauntlet there – and on FfTB in general, but you’re pretty gutless otherwise ….

1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/03/that-had-to-hurt/comment-page-1/#comment-573136”;
2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/21/not-as-much-fun-as-it-sounds/comment-page-1/#comment-272084”;

169 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 3:10 am

“This is what started all the attacks, all the hyperbolic moral outrage on the Slimeside:”

Fascinating, once again. Stacy, I have been involved in this conflict since prior to Richard Dawkins’ got involved in ‘ElevatorGate’ (originally mostly as a spectator with a few sparse comments here and there, then later as a commenter at Ophelia Benson’s).

Are you saying that my own personal disagreements have been ‘attacks’, and due to ‘hyperbolic moral outrage’?

Again, I *must* stress. I have been involved since the beginnings of EG, *prior* to Dawkins’ involvement. I have not waned in my opposition. I have done things carefully, in my own way, and so I am not well-known, and not at the centre of any controversies (until now, notably, and relevantly).

The reasons you give for opposing FTB/A+/etc. do not strike the slightest chord to me. Those are *not* my reasons. I have refrained (I hope entirely, though I’m very willing to be corrected if I’m wrong) from ‘attacking’ anyone. Anyone. A little sarcasm here, a little buffoonery there, sure. Attack? To the very best of my knowledge, not.

Is it *possible* you *could* be wrong about the *fundamental* reasons why people are in opposition to FTB/A+/etc.?

Serious question. Not rhetorical.

170 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 3:12 am

@Thaumas Themelios

“the people the Slimers attack are being attacked because they talk about feminism”

I support things like equal opportunity, equal voting rights, and equal rights under the law, and the “slimers” have never once attacked me because of my support for feminism.

They are far more likely to attack me because I think that women are currently, on average, more irrational than men.

So in this sense the “slimers” are the allies of the radical feminists. It’s all relative.

171 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 3:15 am

#161 A Hermit

I honestly can’t tell if you’re doing it on purpose. But seeing as I’m such a trusting person, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Jerry Conlon, an on-and-off member of the Slymepit, wrote an offensive statement on twitter about Ophelia Benson. It was a joke. Offensive, stupid, and not funny, but a joke. This was, however, not accepted by the FtB clique at all, least of all by Ophelia. It was treated as a genuine threat, which Ophelia proceeded to milk for as long as she could.

Then flash forward to the Thunderdome where a commenter ‘Tethys’ said something offensive and stupid to another commenter ‘abear’, which could have been, as the comment by Conlon, be seen as a threat, even if we know it wasn’t a genuine threat. Contrary, though, to the rhetoric that Jerry Conlon’s tweet was a threat and Tethys’ comment was equally applicable, Chris Clarke dismissed it without batting an eye and simply concluded it was ‘clearly a joke.’ Just like that. Do you see the disconnect?

See, we don’t look at Tethys’ comment and see a threat. If he says it was a joke, fine. I don’t care. What I care about is the double standard. If Jerry Conlon’s tweet (which doesn’t even say anything about throwing acid onto anyone, or any variant of that sort) was a “threat” and was touted as a “threat” whenever Ophelia or her commentariat could get around to it, to the point where another user ‘Francisco Bacopa’ was so disgusted by it he offered to tag people’s driveways with a butterfly, then why wasn’t Tethys’ comment scrutinized in equal measure? Why wasn’t Francisco’s?

As far as I’m concerned, Jerry apologized for the tweet shortly after, same as Tethys did with his comment, and the Jerry’s tweet at the ‘Pit was almost universally condemned. So again, I ask, why the double standard?

172 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 3:43 am

Pitchguest, #160 “Ah, and this Simone de Beauvoir was highly influential on second-wave feminism?”

If you will not read the book would you at least read about her?
_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Second_Sex

I think it should be pretty much required reading in MRA circles.

173 Karmakin March 7, 2013 at 4:04 am

Re: My post a century ago (or at least it feels that long ago, working all day), in the early days of the split…it may still happen, I don’t know, basically I stopped reading the rantings of bigots, generally speaking…if you disagreed with them, you needed “101-level remedial education”. I don’t know if that was intended, (I’m generally willing to go past giving the benefit of the doubt) but it’s the way it came across, and it’s a big factor in answering the question “Why the Slymepit?”

Although to be honest, it’s not JUST the ‘Pit. It’s a much broader discussion, and quite frankly, I see the same pattern, be it the Reddit SRSSucks group, or the Tumblr anti-SJW community. The honest truth is, with all the heat around, it would be almost EXPECTED to see a backlash in these communities against the core ideas themselves.

But you know something? You don’t. I still have the same feminist beliefs. I believe that gender roles (and other tropes and stereotypes) are a major problem in our society and they are really something we should do something about. I can talk about them in these places, and they’re not shouted down. In fact, I find more support than opposition. And it’s not even CLOSE.

There’s a very real difference of opinion going on. And to be honest, the debate is only starting.

Note: To Thaumas: I wasn’t actually referring to Theology as a similar academic problem (although that fits as well), I’m a dyed in the wool progressive, and as such I think that Economics 101 (and to a lesser extent 102) is a big problem in our society. It’s the same problems…the reliance of overly simplistic, out of date models.

174 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 6:04 am

@ Pitchguest #150

Context. It matters.

Context: Global.

“Cunt” may not always be meant affectionately at the ‘Pit, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant specifically towards women either. In fact, it most definitely is not meant towards women only. So there’s that sexism claim debunked.

Let me try and clarify with a simple substitution:

“Kaffir”may not always be meant affectionately at the ‘Pit, but that doesn’t mean it’s meant specifically towards black people either. In fact, it most definitely is not meant towards black people only. So there’s that racism claim debunked.


Cian
The term “kaffir” is not offensive in some narrow-minded , white, closed communities in South Africa. They even use it as a term of endearment and name their dogs as such! The thing is, I really don’t mind if they scream it into their pillows at might, when no-one is in earshot. That is fine. They can even scream sexist and ableist slurs for all I care. The problem is when they bring that shit into the broader community. Not only because it is bigotted and gives offence (though not in their own, priviledged eyes) but also because it helps perpetuate bigotry. For them to take such onto global fora would be quite beyond the pale.

175 Billingtondev March 7, 2013 at 6:35 am

Pitchguest #160
“Isn’t the point of feminism that women should receive the same treatment as men?”
No.
The answer to your question is No. That is not the point of feminism.

And if you think it is – then *you* have missed the point. And there-in lies the problem.

For a reasonable, genuine person, the conversation could start from this point. From the answer to your question. And then move forward in a rational reasonable way.

But it was not a question. You are not making a genuine enquiry, therefore you are not looking for a genuine answer – or a genuine discussion.

So – as you were – carry on….

176 Eu March 7, 2013 at 8:05 am

Was rebecca really *the* target for any prolonged amount of time? I wouldn’t know. I just know I’m glad she wasn’t during my stay at the pit because she gives me the heebie jeebies if I’m exposed to her too long and it would’ve made me cranky/gotten old.

177 Pitchguest March 7, 2013 at 8:06 am

#174 Billingtondev

The point of feminism is *not* that women should be treated the same as men?

So equal rights for women (that is rights equal to those of men) does not mean women should be treated equally?

*scratches head*

178 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

@Pitchguest

“*scratches head*”

You are making the fatal mistake of assuming that feminism has to make logical sense.

Logic is mere construct of the Patriarchy.

In order to understand feminism you need to be able to think like a woman, and you can’t do that, since you are batman.

Therefore the only thing you can do is to ask a woman what feminism is, and accept whatever she says.

Simple, no?

179 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 8:37 am

@ Eu

Was rebecca really *the* target … she gives me the heebie jeebies …

Blaming the victim much?

@ Kevin Solway

to understand feminism you need to be able to think like a woman

And sexism now?

Is this place going to end up as a colony of the Pit?

180 Cian March 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

theophontes 174: Thanks for the reply.

I honestly think your example of the use of Kaffir is a false equivalence. But I’m not going to keep chasing my tail on this. Surely it is what we mean that counts. I get the feeling that we are all having to move into line with what Americans think words mean … is this fair?
If you moved to Ireland and heard two people talking …. Person A asks the other “How was your driving exam?”, Person B replies “It was absolutely cuntish”. This would mean it was difficult – would you insist on telling these people that there was somehow a gender slur in there? The people in South Africa still use Kaffir to denote black people, in Ireland the word is not used to mean women. Simple as that. Sure I would not now use the word cunt freely in America as the usage seems different and very offensive. But as David Bowie said, he internet “…is not America”.

181 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 9:14 am

@ Cian
Well at least tell yourself not to use it in public fora as a matter of courtesy, if nothing else. The same with any sexist, racist, ableist or homophobic slurs.

If I were to try an analogy (dangerous I know!), then I would compare such to smoking in public spaces. The smoker doesn’t mind their own or others smoke. Hell, they can even find some non-smokers that are not perturbed by smoke either. But that still does not let them off the hook, while there are those that are sensitive to that smoke. It really is not good for anyone.

Cian, I have lived in England and travelled through Ireland (I loved it!). I realise full well that people there have taken such for granted. Also saying things like”That’s so gay!”. (Yeah, no problem at all if you are not gay.) There are a lot of unconsidered, yet nevertheless bigotted tendencies in any society. I do think we have come a long way since it was OK to use racist epithets in public. It would be nice if we could carry this forward for all forms of bigotry, wether or not we feel it is OK at the present time.

The people in South Africa still use Kaffir to denote black people, in Ireland the word is not used to mean women. Simple as that.

“Kaffir” is still a racist slur in South Africa. That some people use it, does not legitimise it. I am worried that I have not got my point across. People are generally more sensitised to racial language than sexist language. I was hoping that such an example might help you understand that both racist and sexist slurs are harmful.

182 Cian March 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

theophontes: I think the point you are trying to make is in essence a fair one. I appreciate it.
When I talk about using the “C” word of course I don’t mean it is okay to use in the Kindergarten when picking up kids, or in a doctors office. I mean among adults in a pub, out in the fields, training, when you stub your foot :) …. That is mostly how I use it – its the word I shout if I really hurt myself.

The phrase “that’s gay” as far as I can see is something teenagers use ( here anyway ). I have never heard anyone I would call an adult use it, to be honest. But I take your smoking analogy and if that public place is the US I will be considerate and not use it. I thank you for that.

I just hope that you also take my point that in my experience of 35+ years I have never once heard it being used as a gender slur, and it has been used 50/50 by men and women ( well maybe not quiet 50/50 – men definitely swear more :) ).

My problem is the jump from hearing someone utter the word to calling them a misogynist – which really is a very serious accusation ( that I’m not saying you have made ). But that is why I explained my understanding of that word.

183 Billingtondev March 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

Pitchguest.

Your head scratching is no more genuine than your questions.

But if you think it gives you the appearance of being so – carry on.

184 Billingtondev March 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

Kevin #178

“Therefore the only thing you can do is to ask a woman what feminism is, and accept whatever she says”

I don’t know how you got from “asking” to “accepting”.

185 Chad Gething March 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

When I first posted to Pharyngula, I stated openly that I fully supported the feminist goals of equality of opportunity. I stated my belief that the argument was just and as such we had a moral imperative to maintain our level of dignity as it helped expose the motives and irrationality of those who opposed us. I mentioned luminaries such as Ghandi and Dr King and said how their messages would never have resonated with the masses had they been wrapped up in coarse insults and threats of violence.
Unfortunately, as has now happened here, it didn’t take long for the entire thread to descend into a comparison of insults, an attempt to justify insult through retaliation or mitigate their responses through provocation. Neither is good enough. The community cannot go on shouting at itself that “you started it” or “that word offends me”. I have witnessed some wonderful intellectuals using their cognitive powers to quote-mine, straw man, deflect, insult and even lie about those the see as being on the other side of the fence.
I was called an MRA, a rape apologist and a SlymePitter, without having any idea what two of those terms were. My actual opinions were soon completely lost in a sea of bile, deliberate misquotation and insult. I did not rise to the aggression and this had me labelled a tone troll.
Seriously, is it not possible to somehow draw a line? Is it not possible to actually look at what represents a feminist position and then discuss whether it is or isn’t reasonable, rather than insult their gender, looks etc? can we look at an opinion that does not follow the feminist rhetoric and not resort to emotive and inaccurate terms such as rape-apologist?
Certainly, if you believe your argument is just and right, do you really need to resort to insult? I believe that if your case is just, you simply need to keep calmly re-stating that opinion until all objections to it are calmly and rationally shown to be false. Isn’t that what we do with purveyors of woo?

186 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

@Sally:
“Aw, Themelios, here I thought you were someone willing to have an argument, not just pretend that you don’t know how to define words, even for the temporary use of a single discussion.

On the other hand, maybe you’re not pretending. All the monster trucks in the world can’t make up for that much sad. :(”

Fallacy! Entire post consists of *nothing* but personal attack. Classic Ad Hominem. Automatic FAIL. Result: Chicken.

187 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm

“73 oolon March 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm”

Fallacy! The Oolon Fallacy. Automatic FAIL. Result: Chicken.

Just kidding. Read it. It’s an ad hom again. Surprise! Not. Still, result: Chicken.

188 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm

And for those who thought I was kidding about Evidence Chicken? I’m not. This is a real game. You are currently losing very badly. Show up, or chicken out, it’s your choice. While everyone else is watching to see what you do.

I’m intending to do a proper numerical analysis at the end of this. It should be easy, actually. A simple count of links and/or quotes should do it. Noticing a stark dearth of them coming from the FTB supporters so far.

189 Cian March 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Theophontes or Sambarge: Could you clear this up for me?

In regards to gender slurs, would you regard the following as also being gender slurs ….

Douchehat, dick, prick, ball bag, knob, knobhead …. etc. Should these be denounced as much as cunt and bitch for instance? They are not general terms which seems to be your deciding factor in it being a gender slur, as you explained to me with the word “asshole”.

The term douche or douchehat is never used in Ireland, but I do know that it comes from a private female cleanliness device. Surely this is a gender slur? If not can you tell me why not? And is it okay for PZ Myers to use it as often as he does?

Also when Rebecca Watson wrote her declaration boycotting R Dawkins she addressed it “Dear Dick”. Is this a gender slur, as by your definition it is not general. And do you think it was okay for her to do that?

Do you think there is consistency in the waiting of gender slurs or are some of these words being given extra weight for some reason? I genuinely don’t know so maybe you can explain it to me.

190 Laurence March 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Are we seriously resorting to using dictionary definitions to support our arguments as to whether terms are epithets or not?

191 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 2:50 pm

http://www.theabsolute.net/minefield/poison.html#wom
ksloway’s screed linked above, and here is a quote from it:

“In this respect then, man and woman are worlds apart. A woman is severely restricted in her thinking. She has no mind for irony, contradictions and paradoxes. She has no mind for the dialectic. There is no use in forcing a woman into a good that hurts – it would break her. Only men, true men at least, have the toughness, born out of their egotistic competitiveness, to endure the intense agonies of the true philosophic life. A life of honesty.

“Now she loves him, and looks ahead with quiet confidence – like a cow” reflects Nietzsche. Woman’s greatest love is when she possesses one man, or when she possesses a child. Relationship is her basic need. This is why women are so very much under the control of such vanities as fashion, fun, and friends. Willingness is woman, she lives only for the crowd, and finds her identity only with them. For her, to be alone, without a man, without child, without family, is the most terrible plight imaginable. She would perhaps rather be dead than live in this wretched condition. But one must be alone if one is to follow the path of reason. Only alone can one truly live.”

Yeah, ksloway is truly a feminist(not)

pasted from a different site, but still relevant to show what kind of “feminism” is promoted on the Slymepit.

192 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

@Sally: “Links? All I found Googling was you claiming over and over that it had happened.”

Are you seriously asking this? That’s a serious question. You do realize that this is Evidence Chicken at this point, right? You do realize that I’m a member of the slymepit.com message forum, right? You do realize that the word ‘misogynist’ gets thrown around rather incautiously, right? Do you *reeeallly* want to go here? The earliest example I have (so far, after a quick googling) is October 1, 2011 02:15 pm by a “James”. The most recent example I have (which is what I was thinking of when I made the comment) is March 4, 2013, 3:44 pm by someone known to Michael Nugent, named Maureen. I’d rather not repost that one, since I don’t want to invoke re-criminations, but I don’t mind linking and quoting back to the ancient history of the previous one, and ones in between. Really, I think you ought to think this through a bit.

I have plenty of examples of being called a misogynist. What do you offer in return? I could ask for some actual evidence of actual misogyny, but instead I’ll just ask you your own personal opinion:

Do you, Sally, think that I, Thaumas, am a misogynist?

193 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Clarification, to avoid confusion: The comment I’m referring to from Maureen refers to “a campaign of hatred of women qua women”. Hatred of women qua women is exactly the definition that the word misogyny encompasses. The actual letters m-i-s-o-g-y-n-y were not used in that order.

194 Cian March 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Laurence:
No Laurence, I am just asking for an explanation of what is and what isn’t a gender slur. If you read the conversation I was having with the two people above you will see that where I come from the word “cunt” is never a gender slur. But Theophontes kindly took the time to explain to me why it is a slur in America ( or at least that it most definitely is ).
I just want to know are they all gender slurs or are some more vicious than others.
Maybe you could take a minute to inform me. I am not resorting to dictionary definitions – I am admitting my ignorance.

195 Laurence March 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

@177 Pitchguest

“The point of feminism is *not* that women should be treated the same as men?

So equal rights for women (that is rights equal to those of men) does not mean women should be treated equally?”

What the person you are talking to is that equality rights for women is a necessary condition for feminism, but it is not a sufficient condition. There is more to feminism than just equal rights. Or someone earlier said, it’s a starting point (or axiom if you will) for having discussions about feminism, but that’s not what it is or should solely be about.

196 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

@Chad Gething

“Is it not possible to actually look at what represents a feminist position and then discuss whether it is or isn’t reasonable”

No it’s definitely not. That much is evident.

Most elements of feminist theory are taken as a given, and these are deemed beyond discussion.

PZ Myers himself has clearly stated that he will not entertain any questioning of matters that he has already decided to be true, and he will ban anyone who persists in wanting to talk about them. You can’t be any clearer than that.

197 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 3:27 pm

@BirchSoda,

“relevant to show what kind of “feminism” is promoted on the Slymepit.”

So you’re posting the writings of someone who has no connection to the Slymepit to show what kind of feminism is promoted on the Slymepit?

Yep, that’s convincing logic.

198 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 3:30 pm

@ Cian

Douchehat, dick, prick, ball bag, knob, knobhead …. etc. Should these be denounced as much as cunt and bitch for instance?

Also, yes. Some argue that in this case the terms are used for punching up the social power gradient and are therefore less harsh. I don’t regard that as an excuse – for myself at least – to use them though, as they are still gendered slurs. (Consider also, our intention is to create a more egalitarian society. Who then is to decide when matters are still so unjust that such slurs are “justified”. What may appear clear now may not be so a few years hence.)

[douche] Surely this is a gender slur?

I am not sure about this. Because the object is so closely associated with feminine hygiene though, you might well have a point. Join me in avoiding it.

And is it okay for PZ Myers to use it

It is not OK for anyone to use gendered slurs.

“Dear Dick”

Dick is the short form for Richard. Though in this context it may be also be slang for “penis”. I would like to think I would not have done that if I was in her position.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that Rebecca had been incredibly hounded by a whole mass of malicious, and often sexist, hacks on the internet. The question you should ask, is that if a victim of abuse ever lashes out at her attackers, whether you are going to hold her to the same standard – or show a little understanding for the situation she is in? In such a debate, we cannot ignore imbalances in power between protagonists. I trust this also addresses your question of “weighting”.

(Further…what are we really doing other than saying: “Please don’t do that!”)

199 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

You are claiming to have posted on the slymepit. You are claiming to have posted “feminist” writings on the slymepit.

You have indeed participated in the slymepit then.

I just wanted people to understand your unique definition of feminism, is all.

200 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

@ Kevin Solway

Most elements of feminist theory are taken as a given, and these are deemed beyond discussion.
PZ Myers himself has clearly stated that he will not entertain any questioning of matters that he has already decided to be true, and he will ban anyone who persists in wanting to talk about them.

Your concern is noted,as is your lack of evidence.

201 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

@BirchSoda

“You are claiming to have posted on the slymepit. You are claiming to have posted ‘feminist’ writings on the slymepit. ”

I’m not a member of the slymepit, I have never posted anything on the slymepit, and I have never made such claims.

You must be using a form of irony even I can’t comprehend.

202 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

” @Thaumas Themelios

“the people the Slimers attack are being attacked because they talk about feminism”

I support things like equal opportunity, equal voting rights, and equal rights under the law, and the “slimers” have never once attacked me because of my support for feminism.

They are far more likely to attack me because I think that women are currently, on average, more irrational than men.

So in this sense the “slimers” are the allies of the radical feminists. It’s all relative.”

So, in this comment you claim to have interacted with slimers, so, where is that interaction taking place? All here? Other sites? If so, I was mistaken, however, no slimer will attack what you are labeling feminism, because it is not really recognizable as feminism to anyone but you.

(calling an entire gender irrational with no evidence is irrational)

203 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm

@doubtthat, 90:
“I never argued that anyone in particular created the photoshop. The efforts of the pit are more than sufficient without associating them with that bit of nastiness.”

Fallacy! Naked assertion. Failure to provide evidence.

“I merely made a factual statement: the women that folks in this thread have identified as “targeted” by FtB and sympathizers, Hall and McGraw, have not been the target of the sort of behavior I described.”

Fallacy! Irrelevant. Does not establish actual wrongdoing, even if true.

“Unfortunately, the pit is not the only source of misogyny and absurdly childish attacks on women.”

Fallacy! Question Begging. Assumes slymepit.com is a source of misogyny and ‘attacks’ when such has not been demonstrated. Also known as: Circular Reasoning, Assuming What You’re Trying to Prove, etc.

“I find it amusing that you’ve latched on to the porn photo shop as though it’s some sort of startling, unprecedented act. It falls right in line with the other shit, and again, no one claimed to have fallen out of favor with the FtBers (whoever they may be) has suffered such treatment.”

Fallacy! Ambiguous reference “the other shit”. Incomplete analogy: Unestablished correspondence of “falls right in line with”.

Fallacy! Straw man. No one is arguing that those “fallen out of favor with the FtBers (whoever they may be) has suffered such treatment” (i.e. exactly the same treatment given to the FTBers). Therefore, entire counterargument is empty. Requirement to correct fallacy: Quote(s) of people claiming that those fallen out of favour with FTBers receive exactly the same treatment.

“Why is that?”

Easy answer: Because that is not their position in the first place. Easy correction: Try to understand their actual position.

204 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

@BirchSoda:
” no slimer will attack what you are labeling feminism, because it is not really recognizable as feminism to anyone but you.”

Fallacy! Not True Scotsman/Scotswoman/Irishman/Irishwoman/maybe we need a gender neutral form of this fallacy?.

Fallacy! False premise. Obvious counter-example: I consider it a form of feminism. So do many other feminists. So does wikipedia, but I’ll let you figure that one out.

” (calling an entire gender irrational with no evidence is irrational)”

Fallacy! Red herring, sprinkled with a dash of question begging, on a layer of fresh straw man, yum! Even *if* anyone has claimed an entire gender irrational with no evidence, this is a side-issue with respect to this thread (red herring). And he has not claimed an entire gender irrational (question begging). Thus, that is not his actual position (straw man).

Bonus! 3 fallacies in a single sentence/parenthetical! You win: Nothing.

205 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

So when Kevin Solloway says

“But she is not to blame for her weakness. Woman is forced into her thoughtlessness and superficiality, not being equipped to make a stand for individuality and reason. When she does make a stand she is punished for not fitting the role expected of her. Men will despise her. On top of this she faces all the defeats and pressures involved in the exercise of thought. For her, the exercise of thought is like stepping outside of a cosy warm cottage into a cold and icy blizzard. She’s just not used to it. Therefore, rather than fail, and suffer, which she cannot stand, cannot enter into and bear-up under, she steps back into the restfulness of womanliness. Even here, she can still think a little, a lot more than she appears to. Though she must cover up her thinking, repress it, not let it come to the surface – not actually use it.

The human mind is born with the potential to enjoy the fruits of analytical thought. Consequently the will to learn and conquer has a seed in every human mind. So we see the stronger women becoming men. Some women, however, were men from the start, having failed the difficult transition from the “boy” of early childhood into the woman of adolescence. Unfortunately, masculinity in a woman, regardless of its source, is rarely of quality; it explodes too easily in the form of rashness. The masculine does not sit easily in a female brain: it tends to overcompensate.”

That is feminism, in your view?

This is taken from his screed here:http://www.theabsolute.net/minefield/poison.html#wom

I just want people to know who they are talking to, and what Kevin Soloway is saying is feminism is not any kind I have ever heard listed as feminism at all.
Kevin is pretending he knows what feminism is, and that is inaccurate at the very best.

206 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

@athyco: “Dialogues get sidetracked all the time–who’s fainting over “harshly-worded”?”

Strange. You focused on “harshly-worded”. My interest is about the *accusations*. Can you defend the accusations which have been made of: literal (I cannot stress this enough: literal) rape, upskirt photography (a criminal act), harassment (a criminal act), cyberstalking (a criminal act), etc. etc. etc.? We are not the pearl-clutchers you’re looking for. We are the falsely accused.

207 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Oops, forgot to include (a criminal act) after ‘literal rape’. Did I mention literal? Oh good. I did.

208 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 4:36 pm

“So, in this comment you claim to have interacted with slimers”

No. I publicly support feminist principles, such as equal opportunity, in youtube videos or on various blogs, and I said that I have never been attacked by anyone from the slymepit.

You are suggesting that because someone from the slymepit might have heard or read something I’ve said that I’m “interacting with slimers”. I think that’s a little extreme.

“No slimer will attack what you are labeling feminism, because it is not really recognizable as feminism to anyone but you.”

Equal rights, equal opportunity, and equal pay for equal work aren’t recognizable as feminism? That’s news to me.

There’s nothing in feminism that says you have to think women are identical to men.

“calling an entire gender irrational with no evidence is irrational”

Women are currently, on average, more irrational than men. Don’t ask me for evidence – you’re making me laugh.

209 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Ah ok so your claim was indeed different than I supposed in your first comment. I misunderstood your assertion, and I apologise. The slymers still will not be attacking you on your feminism, because aside from the the equal rights and opportunity that you assert you stand for, the rest of your assertions about one entire gender are not feminism.

The fact that you are utterly serious in your assertion that an entire gender is irrational is really not something I associate with rationality.

The fact that you laugh at the very idea of presenting evidence of the same is confirmation my suspicion that you are not terribly rational, yourself.

210 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

” Thaumas Themelios, #40, uses “Gee” twice to begin paragraphs. He also uses “Oh” in #42, but I do that as well in #81. That one, I think, can signal an afterthought more than an affectation.”

I fully admit to condescending mockery of Oolon’s comment. It was intentional. I will not apologize for it. Why? Because it is not wrong/immoral/unethical to mock, even condescendingly. Please note, however, that Oolon is able to reply here and is able himself to mock and condescend, as is his *modus operandi*.

Please note, even more saliently, however, that *my* mockery is *in addition to* a core, logical refutation of his ridiculous comment. He seems to think that if the SlymePit would just stop … existing, I guess, then suddenly there would be no issues. This is false. The issues go way the fuck back to EG and possibly even prior to that (there are some examples of this shunning/bullying/slandering/rumouring bullshit going on prior to EG). I used my own example of my own opposition to the bullying behaviours of FTBers and my own experiences with them, to demonstrate that falsity.

And I couched that counter-argument within a mocking, satirical post. I fully admit that. It was not, however, ad hominem (ad hominem is the use of personal insult *in the place of* an actual argument; I had an actual argument). Nor was it abusive in any way. I am in no position of any authority or power over Oolon. I type at my keyboard, he types at his. We both have the same status on this particular message thread on Michael Nugent’s blog. (By the way, thank you very much, Michael, for tolerating my antics in this thread. I assure you it is entirely deliberate and focused. I am intentionally wildly modifying my attitude from various posts to posts. Others in the blogosphere would have taken this as a sign of someone not serious, and would have taken unnecessary offence and would have banned me by now. Thank you for not jumping to that conclusion with me. I very much appreciate your willingness to host this discussion. I find it an extremely valuable service to the community. Thank you again.)

211 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

“The fact that you are utterly serious in your assertion that an entire gender is irrational is really not something I associate with rationality.”

BirchSoda, are you aware of the difference between ‘on average … are more irrational than’ and the absolute statement ‘are irrational’?

If you want to get technical, *all humans* are irrational. Nobody’s perfect. Do you dispute this?

Also, I think you’re probably attaching some sort of value-judgment on the word ‘irrational’. When I say, and mean, sincerely, that *all* humans are irrational, that doesn’t mean I think of humans as ‘lesser’ in terms of value.

By the way, I do not agree with Kevin’s statements, in case you’re wondering.

212 SallyStrange March 7, 2013 at 4:57 pm

@Steersman

“You don’t get no respect”? You might get more if, for starters, you deep-sixed the tendency to use phrases like “lying shitbrains”, “dishonest shitstain”, “Bring the lawsuit then, asshole”, “calling someone an asshole is more of a catharsis for me than anything else” (1), and, my personal favourite, “Got any more idiotic sexist stereotypes to spew asshole?” (2)

I don’t have much respect for you, and I don’t really expect much in return. I’m just saying, if you’re going to express disrespect for me, it should be on the basis of me exhibiting behaviors that are indeed worthy of disrespect (e.g. me insulting you, or me lying, or promoting anti-vaccination propaganda, to name a few examples) rather than my appearance, my gender, my gender expression, my sexual orientation, my mental health, or my inadequate performance of arbitrarily defined standards of ideal femininity.

213 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Thaumas, the bald assertion with no data to back it up is strange and irrational, and splitting hairs and leaving open the possibility of one or two rational women (however he defines rational) does not take away from the irrationality of his assertion without evidence.

I did read a large chunk of his screed.

It does not provide any evidence or real reasoning beyond a series of bald assertions about both genders.

I’m just saying that Kevin does not espouse feminism, really, and the slymepitters/heck anyone would not recognize what he says as feminism.
(I’m not really sure what you would exactly call his screed, I’ll leave that to others)

I am glad you do not agree with Kevin’s statements, just because they are not supported by any real life data I have ever seen.

214 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

@BirchSoda

“The fact that you are utterly serious in your assertion that an entire gender is irrational is really not something I associate with rationality.”

The whole of humanity is irrational, so I don’t know where you get this idea that only one gender is irrational. As I said, in my opinion women are currently, and on average, more irrational than men. That’s not the same as “an entire gender is irrational”.

215 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

@ChasCPeterson:

“If you refuse to admit in the first place that there are clear distinctions to be made between the quality and the quantity of invective employed by the tribes–and I personally perceive these differences clearly at a gestalt level, specific cherry-picked anecdotes aside–then there seems little point to Nugent’s little exercise.”

Trimming it down a little, here’s how I read that: “If you refuse to admit to my clear perceptions, and yours not-so-clear, then there’s no point.”

Hmm. Sounds like dogma to me. How about, instead of basing things on *perceptions*, we base things on *evidence*. That is, after all, the whole point of Evidence Chicken: to get people to realize the differences between the degrees of evidence each perspective has in the debate. If all we do is bark back and forth about “I see it my way,” “Well, I see it *my* way,” then we are not actually engaging in *reason*, we’re engaging in *dogma* and *faith* in our own perceptions. But human perceptions are *notoriously* biased, hence why I’m relentlessly pointing out Fallacies! to make that abundantly clear. When you have to resort to fallacies to ‘defend’ your position, that should be a huge red flag that you’re engaged in self-confirmation-bias:

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~ Richard Feynman

216 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Kevin, saying women are more irrational than men is still not rational, and your insistence on that statement and presenting no evidence for that assertion is, well, completely irrational.

Laughing at presenting evidence for an assertion you are making about a large number of people is irrational.

I have serious doubts as to weather or not you are indeed a rational person.

217 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

“Thaumas, the bald assertion with no data to back it up is strange and irrational,”

That’s a very bold statement. Should I start pointing out your fallacies relentlessly too? If not, then I’d suggest being a little more careful in your statements.

It was not a ‘bald assertion’. He stated his *opinion*. A statement of opinion is not the same as a statement of fact. The only *assertion* he made was about what he himself believes. He’s the only authority on that, unless you’re some sort of mind reader (see my references to what I call ‘the mind reading fallacy’), so I don’t see how you should have any objection to him stating plainly what he believes.

218 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

I do have an objection to him asserting his opinion as universal truth, and that is what he is doing, in his screed and on this thread.
He is saying that it is universally apparent that women are more irrational than men, and that feminism is irrational and also, at the same time, he is saying that he is some kind of true feminist.
Those are his words, and that is all I have to go on, no mind reading here.

219 SallyStrange March 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

Ah, and this Simone de Beauvoir was highly influential on second-wave feminism? In other words, she inspired such luminaries as Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan, Valerie Solanas and Gloria Steinem? If your quote is anything to go by, I guess so. That makes me so much more interested to read what she had to say. (Not really.)

I hadn’t heard of Robin Morgan previously, but I am confident that including Valerie Solanas here is a category error, one that is deliberately promoted by anti-feminists. Also, if you want to convince people that feminism is an irrational dogma, you’d best educate yourself about it so that your critiques are accurate.

220 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

“Troll is it? Someone with years of building a reputation on an internet forum as a troll would sure know how to spot one!”

Anyone can spot a troll, Oolon. Nice self-description there, though.

221 SallyStrange March 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Thaumas,

You are exhibiting classic symptoms of hyperskepticism with regards to Kevin Solway’s beliefs. He has clearly stated that he thinks women are, on average, less rational than men. Why do you doubt that?

222 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm

@doubtthat: ” You can google it if you want, but it is simply not correct to claim that Hall received criticism because she was a feminist.”

Fallacy! Straw man. No one has claimed what you’re purporting to refute. The title of the post was about pushback against feminists, not pushback against feminists *because of* their feminism. Nobody that I know of is pushing back against people because of their feminism per se. It’s because of their *behaviour*, such as their *false accusations* which have been documented thoroughly here and elsewhere on Michael Nugent’s blog recently.

223 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm

“SallyStrange March 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Thaumas,

You are exhibiting classic symptoms of hyperskepticism with regards to Kevin Solway’s beliefs. He has clearly stated that he thinks women are, on average, less rational than men. Why do you doubt that?”

SallyStrange, your statements about me are inaccurate. I don’t even understand what you think I think.

But I find it interesting that you identify hyperskepticism as a problem. What is your opinion on hyposkepticism? Do you feel that some feminists can be hyposkeptical about their feminism?

224 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm

@Oolon:
“@Windy, rather than leap for the “professional victim” fainting couch why not tweet to aratina and felix and clarify what their objection is? Maybe they misunderstood you… Maybe not… Maybe you are blocked for some reason ;-)”

Rather than post a slanderous accusation based on *nothing*, why doesn’t Aratina directly contact windy for clarification?

Good fucking question, prick.

225 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

@kntk:
“Both things are eminently possible. You’re just assigning a different weight of probability. In both cases you have no evidence. Come back to me when you have some.”

Gotta stick in the “Chicken!” somewhere, there. Makes it more obvious to the onlookers. ;-)

226 Cian March 7, 2013 at 6:02 pm

theophontes #198

Thanks for that interesting reply. Plenty for me to think about. Such a minefield this language, the English vocabulary is too big hehe …. Maybe its time for all of us to learn Esperanto :)

Bonan nokton! :)

227 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

@EssBee: “I’m basically an outsider to this whole cliquey in-group squabbling, but why don’t the relevant parties simply stop reading one another’s blogs/facebooks/twitter accounts and stop replying/acknowledging one another. ”

Oh, that would be great, with the only problem being that it doesn’t stop them from making *utterly, demonstrably false* accusations against people and spreading them around like a friggin gossip network: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/17/update-clarification-correction-on-holy-fucking-shit/

Please read that blog *and* the ensuing comment thread. Watch how hard it is for me to get people to just *realize* that they have *nothing* to base their *serious* accusation on. Watch how they try to lure me into emotional responses. I deliberately walked on eggshells so that I could be certain to make my point. My comments start on #11, and proceed from there. Please especially read #69, #78, and #81, where I lay out the reasons for directly, confrontationally (but calmly, as I’m doing in this thread) opposing this disgusting and *unethical* behaviour.

228 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm

@BirchSoda

“He is saying that it is universally apparent that women are more irrational than men”

It’s apparent to *me*, that women are currently, on average, less rational than men. Surely that’s not too difficult to grasp. I’m guessing there are too many commas in that sentence for half the population to understand it ( . . . that was a joke) .

“. . . and that feminism is irrational ”

Why would I claim that feminism is irrational when I claim to be a true feminist? That doesn’t make any sense. The pseudo-feminism of FtB, Myers, Benson, Zvan, A+, etc, is irrational, that’s all.

229 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm

So, thinking that women are as rational as men are and that they are human beings is irrational? Ok then, Kevin.

I’m done with that particular thread. If anyone wants to think Kevin is the true feminist after that weirdness they are welcome to it.

My point has been made.

230 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm

@BirchSoda

“So, thinking that women are as rational as men are and that they are human beings is irrational?”

Who the hell are you talking to? Are you hearing voices in your head or something?

Who is suggesting that women are not human beings? And who is saying that thinking women to be as rational as men is irrational?

I’ve never said anything like that, and nor would I.

I get the impression that you are living in a world of your own.

231 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm

@Stacy:
“Once again, for anyone who is unclear–

This:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqzE16UsNW4

Is what led to this:

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/

Hmmm. You may actually be the first one to provide convincing evidence. I would have to agree with you wholeheartedly there. The first video is *indeed* the spark that lit the fire. *Not* the actual guy in the elevator, *nor* Watson’s “Guys don’t do that”, which, from my perspective, she’s entitled to her opinion, though I disagree with it. I’m so glad we’re finally making some headway, here, Stacy. Too bad it took nearly two years to get here. I’ve been explaining this crucial point since my *very first* involvement in this whole mess. Of course, that was just the initial spark of EG. The flames kept spreading and starting new fires, and we eventually identified a source of much of the fuel was an underlying dogmatic form of feminism. But yes! That was the initial spark.

Congratulations. I salute you. Not a chicken.

232 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Previous comment stuck in moderation, so I tweaked the links to get it through, because it is important that people read it and not miss it:

@Stacy:
“Once again, for anyone who is unclear–

This:

_http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqzE16UsNW4

Is what led to this:

_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/ ”

Hmmm. You may actually be the first one to provide convincing evidence. I would have to agree with you wholeheartedly there. The first video is *indeed* the spark that lit the fire. *Not* the actual guy in the elevator, *nor* Watson’s “Guys don’t do that”, which, from my perspective, she’s entitled to her opinion, though I disagree with it. I’m so glad we’re finally making some headway, here, Stacy. Too bad it took nearly two years to get here. I’ve been explaining this crucial point since my *very first* involvement in this whole mess. Of course, that was just the initial spark of EG. The flames kept spreading and starting new fires, and we eventually identified a source of much of the fuel was an underlying dogmatic form of feminism. But yes! That was the initial spark.

Congratulations. I salute you. Not a chicken.

233 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Um, you just said upthread,

“It’s apparent to *me*, that women are currently, on average, less rational than men. ”

That is saying that women are not as rational as men, in so many words, and that is utter nonsense.

The only one living in a world of their own is you, Kevin.

234 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm

@Thaumas Themelios

Just read through the post and comments you suggested. I’m unfamiliar with that whole situation. If people are knowingly spreading rumors and making serious false accusations that is definitely unethical. It seemed, from my brief look at the post, that there was a lot of emotion, talking past each other, and misunderstanding going on. I don’t know what to think about all of that.

235 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm

@BirchSoda

I asked you two very obvious questions, and you didn’t answer either of them.

Again, who is suggesting that women are not human beings? And who is saying that thinking women to be as rational as men is irrational?

Or are these things entirely in your imagination?

236 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 7:01 pm

For the record, this is the initial summary of EG which I attempted to post at Ophelia Benson’s original Butterflies & Wheels/Notes blog, but which she deleted without being able to supply *any* good reason, except that she thought it ‘too long’. When I asked her why she thought it ‘too long’, though others had posted comments of similar length both prior and since, she had no reply.

Instead, I posted it on a (mostly defunct, for reasons irrelevant) little wiki I had been working on at the time: http://gnuatheism.wikispaces.com/Elevator+Guy+Kerfuffle

Can anyone explain why this summary of events was worthy of deletion *except* that it went contrary to the interpretation of events of Ophelia Benson?

Are you *really* surprised that most people think “It’s all because RW said, ‘Guys, don’t do that.’” when *all you are allowed to read* is that interpretation? When contrary opinions are censored? When bridges are burnt (Ophelia has thoroughly burnt her bridges with me, though I’ve done nothing (nothing!) against her personally) over *ideology*?

Are you really surprised that this is an enormous clusterfuck, when you ask *skeptics* to stop being *skeptics*? Seriously. I saw this coming as soon as my post was deleted. I knew something was up. This was *not* good skepticism. The *anti-thesis* of skepticism is what it is: Dogma.

237 BirchSoda March 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm

You have said by implication that think women are rational is irrational, by your baseless assertion that women are less rational than men.
Also, the implication of less than human is there in that baseless assertion.

I know you want to pretend that you are rational and reasonable, but you are not.

I’m going to just quote from your screed again, Kevin and let everyone know why I will no longer entertain your delusions of adequacy.

“When a man becomes entangled with a woman he immediately becomes like her, and lives through her – childhood revisited. He becomes possessed by her, completely and utterly bewitched. She embodies the most powerful cunning and deception – but it is subtle, and herein lies her strength. She is a startling effect that hypnotizes the man before devouring him. Then he loses that precious thing which qualified him for life as an individual, and he becomes like a sheep. He is lost forever.”

238 Kevin Solway March 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

@BirchSoda

“You have said by implication that thinking women are rational is irrational”

Get lost!

All people are rational to some degree, and irrational to some degree. You are living in a fantasy world.

If a person thinks that women are currently, on average, equally as rational as men, or more rational than men, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are irrational to do so.

“the implication of less than human is there”

In your world perhaps!

239 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

@EssBee: “It seemed, from my brief look at the post, that there was a lot of emotion, talking past each other, and misunderstanding going on. I don’t know what to think about all of that.”

Thank you for taking the time to read that thread. I know it’s long. I appreciate your investigation into it, and your reply as well.

What do you think about the reactions of the commenters to my comments? I summarized them in one of my last comments (one of the three I noted). Do you think the personal attacks and the call to be ‘insta-banned’ were justified? Please note that *I* am very good at keeping my cool, but most people who would experience that amount of dog-piling would have returned at least a *little* bit of snark, and would likely *actually* have been banned. I can cite several examples where this has actually happened, including one in another Greta Christina thread where a commenter previous to me who posted something very similar to what I posted, but with less ‘walking on eggshells’ *was* banned. Even though they were saying basically the exact same thing I was, just in a different way. Would you think such bannings for basically arbitrary reasons would be consistent with a blog proclaiming to be a ‘freethought’ blog? As part of a ‘freethought’ or ‘atheist’ or ‘skeptic’ community? Doesn’t that seem rather… divisive? Dogmatic, maybe?

240 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

@Stacy: “The porcupine meme has been retired. Rightly so. I do not defend any of those examples you offerred. However, it should be obvious that the porcupine meme was a deliberately over-the-top and unrealistic variation on “Go fuck yourself.””

So, sometimes deliberately over-the-top and unrealistic expressions are useful, and not always unethical/immoral? Interesting….. I agree.

241 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 8:03 pm

@Stacy:
“If you’re defending the use of epithets like “cunt” and “bitch” you have no call to object when someone calls you a misogynist, a creep, or a chill girl.”

Insulting words like ‘cunt’ or ‘bitch’ are contentless insults. Calling someone a misogynist is *not* contentless. It is a *claim* about the person. The claim is: This person has a hatred of women. *Claims* must be supported by evidence, or they are unjustified claims. When you make an unjustified claim about a person like this, it is akin to slander (I’m no lawyer, so don’t know for sure). It can damage someone’s reputation in a way that ‘cunt’ *never* can. Not even if ‘cunt’ is the most terribly insulting word in the world. No one is going to google your name, find someone saying, “So and so is a cunt.” and say, “Ah! A cunt, eh? I never knew that about them! Not going to hire them now.” Same with ‘nigger’. It is incredibly insulting, but it’s not going to damage someone’s reputation if a prospective employer or other person searches them out and finds, “Ah! A nigger, eh? I never knew that about them! Not going to hire them now.” Whereas the word ‘misogynist’ *does* carry a literal denotation of ‘one who hates women’. And so, yes! Someone might google you and say, “Ah! A misogynist, eh? I never knew that about them! Not going to hire them now.”

In law, slander is a crime, whereas insult is not. Again, not a lawyer, so I can’t say much beyond that.

I would never spend nearly two years trying to get someone to stop calling me and others an asshole, cunt, asswipe, dickface, or whatever the fuck. I *will* spend nearly two years trying to get people to stop calling me and others a misogynist, racist, white-supremacist, parroter of misogynist thought, supporter of misogyny, rape apologist, harasser, upskirt photographer, ‘stochastic terrorist’, literal rapist, and on and friggin on.

Get it yet?

242 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Can people really not tell the difference between an insult and an accusation? Really?

243 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 8:12 pm

What’s next? Murderer? When the fuck are people going to wake the fuck up?! Flying Spaghetti Monster!

244 Thaumas Themelios March 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Cunt. There. I said it. Does it make me a misogynist now?

245 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

@Thaumas Themelios: “Do you think the personal attacks and the call to be ‘insta-banned’ were justified?”

You asked me a lot of questions, I’ll do my best to answer. (disclaimer) I don’t know enough about the situation, the context, or the history to say anything that should be taken too seriously.

People’s blogs are their own space, they don’t need to justify maintaining that space in the way that they see fit. Getting to participate in conversations in other people’s spaces is a privilege. If you do something that pisses them off, or violates whatever terms they have for conduct, then they are free to kick you out. I personally don’t see anything wrong with the things you said, from what I read. I think it’s true that we should be very careful with the words we use when we make accusations against another person that could affect that person’s reputation in any number of ways. I also understand that harassment and potentially exploitative conduct are hot button issues right now in our community, and that means that people will be emotional and passionate when such topics come to the fore. That is rational and justified. A camera-on-a-stick is not something you see ordinarily, I would be a bit suspicious myself if I saw such a device. It is good that individuals were vigilant in reporting their concerns to protect potential victims. Apparent from the comments is that this same person with the camera was not respecting people’s boundaries at the same event. That heightens the concerns about potential pics (if someone is ignoring consent in one scenario it is reasonable to assume he/she might ignore it in another).

So again, I don’t know what to say. I wouldn’t have banned you from my blog (if I had one, which I don’t) for saying what you said. You were a bit verbose but generally calm and not offensive. But no one has a protected right to comment on another person’s blog. If you feel that whomever banned you is not being a good skeptic/critical thinker you are free to make that complaint. But perhaps there is some important context I’m missing, for it seems that there just might be a reasonable motivation for the banning from another perspective.

I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to talk to me about this, you’ve given me a bit more history of some of the problems Michael is trying to address and have been respectful. Thanks you.

246 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Also, I appreciate your point regarding the distinction between insults and accusations. I cringe when I hear people calling someone a *misogynist.* First, because I think acts, including speech acts, are better labelled ‘misogynist’ than people. Is a person hating women when he/she makes a snack, takes a leak, sleeps? ‘Person’ is a too complex notion to apply the label ‘misogynist’ in my opinion. You can say things that are hateful towards women, do things that are hateful towards women. We can address and correct behaviors and speech, in a way that is unclear how we correct or change ‘persons’.

Also, why do people use the word ‘misogynist’ when it’s clear they mean ‘sexist’? Women and men alike have internalized all sorts of sexism including objectification, devaluing of traditional women’s work and art, implicit bias, etc. But misogyny takes it too far. I don’t think many people really *hate* women, consciously or un-. I’m no trained feminist, but I am a woman who cares about equality. These are just my personal thoughts on the matter.

247 Billingtondev March 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Laurence #195

“What the person you are talking to is that equality rights for women is a necessary condition for feminism, but it is not a sufficient condition. There is more to feminism than just equal rights. Or someone earlier said, it’s a starting point (or axiom if you will) for having discussions about feminism, but that’s not what it is or should solely be about.”

And Pitchguest has the intelligence to know that that is what was being said.

He also has the intelligence to know how to go about avoiding participation in a reasonable discussion about that.

That’s why he was able to play word games with my answer to his initial question thus:
“The point of feminism is *not* that women should be treated the same as men?”

He knows perfectly well that this is not the obverse of my answer to him. A sneaky shift of the word *not* in the sentence structure is in order to divert/avoid the discussion.

He’s intelligent – but badly behaved. His questions are not genuine.

248 Bruce McGlory March 7, 2013 at 11:24 pm

So, Mr. Nugent, have you reached the realization that this is a futile effort? Trying to get bigots to talk rationally in impossible, because bigotry is not rational. These testerical males, so extremely desperate to avoid any shred of personal responsibility for the direct, deliberate and constant harm they cause leads to this: a hilariously juvenile recitation of years old posts from blogs they’re banned from, the constant repetition of “women are inferior, but I’m not a sexist!” etc etc.

Has there been a single honest response to your questions? From Vacula or one of his small band of True Believers TM?

Nope. And there never will be. Because bigotry is irrational, and the exact antithesis of skepticism.

It was a valiant effort, but as you can plainly see, they are inferior to you and incapable of responding in any logical, rational or non-sociopathic way.

249 Bruce McGlory March 7, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Thalmus, you know the answer to that question. If you need specifics, as bigots tend to pretend that they do: the word is misogynistic, usage of the word is misogynistic.

If it walks like a bigot and quacks like a bigot . . . .

250 Bruce McGlory March 7, 2013 at 11:28 pm

“Insulting words like ‘cunt’ or ‘bitch’ are contentless insults”

LOL wow Just when you think that bigots can’t sink any lower to the bottom of the worthless liar barrel….

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