Some reflections on the recent dialogue

by Michael Nugent on March 8, 2013

Whenever I say anything, I do so with the unspoken caveat that I may be mistaken. I want to take responsibility for some mistakes I have made in the recent dialogue.

Firstly, I should not have kept the same focus on evaluating examples of behavior once my dialogue with Justin had taken on a life of its own through the comments and had in effect become a wider dialogue. I originally cited the examples to try to identify what Justin meant when he said that some examples of nasty pushback were morally unjustified.

Secondly, when citing the examples, I should have either expanded them to full quotes or linked to the sources for context. I didn’t do this because I didn’t want to link to what I saw as cruel examples of personal abuse, and because I was trying (also by not identifying names) to keep the focus on the behavior rather than the people involved.

Thirdly, I should not have publicly highlighted the photoshop incident yesterday. I apologise to Ophelia for the extra hurt that I caused her by doing that. I admire the way that she has been standing up to personal abuse in recent years. I was trying to help to reduce the hurt being caused, and instead I helped to increase it.

Fourthly, I should not have assumed the motivations of anybody, regardless of how fundamentally I disagree with their behaviour, and I must have done so a few times though I always try not to. Seeing some of the sincere but wildly incorrect misunderstandings of my own motivations reminds me that I too can make this mistake.

I would like to thank the people who have emailed me with words of encouragement, and also those who (from different perspectives) have warned me of the dangers of engaging in dialogue with or associating with certain other people. While I accept the sincerity of this advice, I am always reluctant to exclude dialogue as a means of trying to improve things.

I am now too close to this dialogue to be able to objectively evaluate it, so I am going to republish a post that I wrote seven months ago, in July 2012, titled ‘Why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive.’

Why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive

This captures the spirit in which I am trying to approach this dialogue, based on my analysis of the situation long before the dialogue started, and I am going to reflect on it before I make my next contribution.

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{ 143 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 7:36 am

Quite agree with you on the utilty of dialog – as someone said, “jaw, jaw, jaw” is very much preferable to “war, war, war”.

Will be looking forward to those next contributions.

2 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

I do think you should perhaps look at the motivations of those who you probably identify as more on your side.

I think you might recognise that those in the ‘Pit are rather welcoming of dialogue – even if you fundamentally disagree with us.

I would also welcome a discussion on the actual issue dividing the movement – gender feminism versus equity feminism. The Slymepitters are all (as far as I can tell) equity feminists.

3 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

In any event (and I meant to include this in the above comment), I do appreciate the willingness to engage. You have held yourself to a higher standard than some of your peers by permitting discourse.

4 Stacy March 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

The problem isn’t with permitting discourse. The problem is the futility of discoursing with people who will not, or cannot, argue in good faith.

I think you might recognise that those in the ‘Pit are rather welcoming of dialogue

Funny way you’ve had of showing it. Most people have no interest in engaging people who abuse them.

I’m grateful to Michael for shining a light on the pit. I fear that continuing that exercise would be of limited utility, but maybe the pit will prove me wrong. That would be a pleasant surprise.

5 Maureen Brian March 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

rocko2466,

Could you be a bit more specific about what you mean by “equity feminism”?

I have seen that phrase used to mean everything from the sincere, if probably mistaken, belief that the repeal of all discriminatory laws will in itself solve a couple of millennia’s worth of problems to to, “Oh yeah! Of course I’m a feminist! Just as long as I get to slap you down if ever you ask me to think an uncomfortable thought.”

So which is it?

6 Dave Allen March 8, 2013 at 9:27 am

“I am now too close to this dialogue to be able to objectively evaluate it, so I am going to republish a post that I wrote seven months ago, in July 2012, titled ‘Why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive.’”

Hi Michael

I have been looking forward to your promised response to Justicar whose YouTube video first raised my awareness of this topic. Is this response likely to be forthcoming or should I take this as a sign that it won’t be?

There are a number of reasons why I think taking time to address his points would be beneficial.

- You said you would.
- His points in the post seemed to me to be thoughtful and sincere.
- They address some of the issues that seem to be at the heart of the controversy.
- In the post he did not indulge in the sort of coarseness that some people find distressing.

As someone who is rather confused as to where to plant his flag on the spectrum between an inclusive scepticism that acknowledges and abides by a broad feminist perspective and a rambunctiously coarse scepticism with liberal attitudes to free expression it seems to me that if genuinely thought provoking arguments are left unaddressed then perhaps the point is better made by photoshopping a named individuals head onto a scene of sexual abandon.

Which is perhaps why this whole thing got started.

7 Reap Paden March 8, 2013 at 9:27 am

“I am always reluctant to exclude dialogue as a means of trying to improve things.”
I am glad to hear you say this Michael, I hope you continue to follow this way of thinking. Many have abandoned the idea of interaction and when that happens all is lost. It shows they have made up their mind and no longer wish to consider other possibilities. That type of thinking results in ignorance.
Stacy- From my experience the “abuse” comes after any reasonable attempt at conversation has been refused and in some cases I have been hit with the olive branch. I think that would fit into your definition of abuse yet I am still willing to engage. I find it curious the people who don’t consider me worthy of having a conversation with often do find time to misrepresent me and my motives in their blogs. An honest account of what I think and what my goals are could be gained by some actual interaction but no one has accepted my invitation nor attempted to actually ask me about anything. I can only assume my story is not unique and could be told by others. That is just sad.

8 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

Stacy said (#4):

The problem isn’t with permitting discourse. The problem is the futility of discoursing with people who will not, or cannot, argue in good faith.

Considering all of the posts on these threads – almost 1200 which are probably pretty evenly portioned between the two camps – I would say that that’s a pretty wide brush you’re using. Unless you’re trying to suggest that only “our” side is is expending all of that effort for the sole purpose of winding you all up. And speaking of not arguing in good faith, I note that you have yet to respond to my lengthy comment (1) in the “Examples thread” [#393] which starts:

393 Steersman March 5, 2013 at 7:48 am
Stacy said (#388):

I know you don’t believe calling women ugly cunts has anything to do with sexism, Steersman.

I think you’re seriously conflating the concept of insults – gendered and otherwise – with that of sexism. ….

Doesn’t look to me much like “arguing in good faith” when you don’t respond after I’ve more or less put my cards on the table and explained in some detail how I’m looking at the issue – and provided more than a small amount of evidence to justify that position.

However, genuflecting somewhat to Michael’s 25 points essay, I think these conversations tend to go off the rails because of various “misunderstandings” due to very different ways of framing the issues and interpreting the data. But if we are not able to engage in a discussion of those different ways to find some common ground then we’re going to be hooped and will simply end up going around in circles.

I’m grateful to Michael for shining a light on the pit.

Curious though that you don’t seem to have much willingness to look at what is shown when “The Pit” shines a light on FTB and Skepchick …. Relative to which you might pay particular attention to several of Michael’s suggestions:

• Accept that each of us is likely to be right about some issues and mistaken about others. Try to approach each issue on its merits, rather than on the basis of which side you think the person is on.
• Accept that we might be mistaken about what other people are trying to communicate to us, and what their motivations might be. Accept that we might have made mistakes when communicating to others, and that we might have unfairly hurt people without realizing it.

1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/comment-page-2/#comment-195701”;

9 Cian March 8, 2013 at 9:55 am

Fair play Michael, your point about discourse is so important. I suppose having grown up with the troubles we can see that is the ONLY way forward.

I would love to hear yourself, Justin and someone else form maybe Freethought blogs actually have a live discussion ( via Skype or Google ).

As we all know – people are usually far less combative when they are away from their keyboards, and they also can be made to listen to the other side without dismissing them out of hand.

10 Mr Kipling March 8, 2013 at 9:58 am

“Thirdly, I should not have publicly highlighted the photoshop incident yesterday. I apologise to Ophelia for the extra hurt that I caused her by doing that. I admire the way that she has been standing up to personal abuse in recent years. I was trying to help to reduce the hurt being caused, and instead I helped to increase it.”

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

11 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 10:09 am

Reap Paden said (#7):

I find it curious the people who don’t consider me worthy of having a conversation with often do find time to misrepresent me and my motives in their blogs. An honest account of what I think and what my goals are could be gained by some actual interaction but no one has accepted my invitation nor attempted to actually ask me about anything.

You have just as much right to the soapbox here as anyone else – you’re maybe waiting for an engraved invitation? …. ;-)

But, as a suggestion, I would recommend spending some effort formating your comments into paragraphs at least. If you wish to speak in a language that no one understands then you can’t very well fault anyone else if they don’t respond if they haven’t been able to comprehend what you’ve said: communication – a two-way street.

I can only assume my story is not unique and could be told by others. That is just sad.

We’re all unique – rather staggeringly so when you consider the possibilities of our genetic make-up. But “common-cause” means, I think, finding where are personal interests or goals are the same as others or dovetail with them – which requires some give-and-take, some elucidation of where we are each coming from ….

12 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

@Maureen, here’s a hint: it’s not the strawman you’ve suggested it is.

But I take your point: anyone can say ‘feminist’ and it can mean anything. I believe that women should have the exact same rights as men and there should be anti-discrimination laws in place. However, I also don’t believe rape culture and patriarchy theory apply to Western society.

Wikipedia is helpful here, tbh. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equity_and_gender_feminism

This sets out my views on the ‘up-down narrative’. http://unsolicitedcomment.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/down-with-the-up-down-narrative/

I think the risk is that branches of feminism go too far and, to be frank, a lot of times the sticking to a rigid feminist theory can undermine genuine attempts to reduce instances of discrimination against women (or against men) and sexual assaults / rapes (as they completely misdescribe the reasons behind them).

It’s easy to get shunned for having a nuanced view about these things. I did.

13 tina March 8, 2013 at 11:03 am

It’s v important to step back and reflect. You did make assumptions abt peoples mindsets and motivations. It’s hard not to do that, everyone does that, we all make mistakes. What gives me considerable hope is that you hold your hands up and are willing to acknowledge that you did. That takes maturity and integrity and I applaud you.

In that vein I would like to apologise to oolon unreservedly for directly accusing him of planting that p’shop in the pit yesterday. I had no right to do that. It was wrong of me and I’m sorry.

14 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 11:30 am

Maureen Brian said (#5):

Could you be a bit more specific about what you mean by “equity feminism”?

As you suggest, there seems to be quite a bit of variation as to what that term – and its side-kick, “gender-feminism” – mean, even apart from the questions of whether the terms correlate with either credible or actually espoused principles which are held by any significant percentage of the population of feminists. However, you might be interested in this paper (1) – a chapter from Steven Pinker’s book, The Blank Slatea – which offers this set of definitions which at least provides a starting point:

Equity feminism is a moral doctrine about equal treatment that makes no commitments regarding open empirical issues in psychology or biology. Gender feminism is an empirical doctrine committed to three claims about human nature. The first is that the differences between men and women have nothing to do with biology but are socially constructed in their entirety. The second is that humans possess a single social motive—power—and that social life can be understood only in terms of how it is exercised. The third is that human interactions arise not from the motives of people dealing with each other as individuals but from the motives of groups dealing with other groups—in this case, the male gender dominating the female gender.

While I don’t agree entirely with all of the elements of each “philosophy” or ideology, it does seem that questions of nature and nurture – genetics versus environment – undergirds the question of the degree to which gender is in fact “socially constructed”. I expect, as Pinker seems to argue, that the different aspects of our genders are influenced to varying degrees by both genetics and environment – which are, of course, largely unique to each of us.

1) “_http://www.pasadena.edu/files/syllabi/txcave_18360.pdf”;

15 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 11:43 am

tina (#12):

Good show, well done ….

But all too easy for all of us to get carried away, particularly when the evidence seems so persuasive. Even seems to be a fairly common movie theme, in one form or another, as in the classic movie, Twelve Angry Men (1) ….

1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Angry_Men_(1957_film)”;

16 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

Whew! I am hugely heartened to read this post after reading your post about the photoshop thing. Thank you for being open-minded, Michael, and I’m glad to see you’ve already previously embraced self-skepticism. I sincerely believe it is a crucial factor in this overall conflict.

17 tina March 8, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Steersman: yes, that Pinker description of those two particular strands of feminist thinking does seem quite a good starting point.

I’ve done me 3 hail Mary’s and a how’s yer father. I iz ready for the purly gates ;-)

18 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

@Rocko: “The Slymepitters are all (as far as I can tell) equity feminists.”

Hmmm. I don’t think it’s fair to say that, Rocko. I know many are, but some also reject the label of feminism for various reasons (a common one being that they don’t like how it singles out one gender (cf. masculinism), and another being that they don’t like how many radical and/or dogmatic feminists behave, and don’t want to be seen as lending support to such behaviour). I think it is probably fair to say that the vast majority would agree with the principles of equity feminism, even if they might not accept the explicit label. Of course, I could be wrong as well.

19 Edward Gemmer March 8, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Lesson from the civil rights movement:

Don’t make bullshit assumptions about people.

Lesson from evolution:

Diversity is good.

20 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 12:09 pm

It is telling that the current slogan (the host changes it up now and then) of the site is: “Espousing The Radical Notion That Women Are People AND Adults”

This was chosen to contrast with Rebecca Watson’s oft-used definition of feminism: The Radical Notion That Women Are People

21 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 12:14 pm

“Lesson from evolution:

Diversity is good.”

Bingo. I am a huge proponent of diversity in this movement. That is a major reason why I choose the SlymePit over the problematic blogs at FTB (there are some at FTB that are neutral in this affair, I have no problem with them). FTB is largely US-centric. The SlymePit is by far more diverse in terms of cultural backgrounds. Don’t have any hard stats on that, though, myself.

22 tina March 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm

@18

I’m not sure the question has been asked in the pit. I certainly disowned identifying as feminist years ago for such reasons.

23 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 12:30 pm

@Dave Allen: “As someone who is rather confused as to where to plant his flag on the spectrum between an inclusive scepticism that acknowledges and abides by a broad feminist perspective and a rambunctiously coarse scepticism with liberal attitudes to free expression it seems to me that if genuinely thought provoking arguments are left unaddressed then perhaps the point is better made by photoshopping a named individuals head onto a scene of sexual abandon.

Which is perhaps why this whole thing got started.”

I would largely agree with this, Dave. Though I don’t condone empty ad homs like that photoshop garbage. If it doesn’t have a genuine point, then … I don’t see the ‘point’, I guess. Seems only likely to cause harmful drama; and drama without a point to it is … again, pointless drama. That’s my point. ;-)

As to your previous point about there being a spectrum between soft and coarse skepticism, I don’t see why anyone should have to limit this in any way (of course, within legal and ethical boundaries). Why can’t we have a soft blog here, a coarse blog there, a soft-coarse forum here, a coarse-soft forum there? Even within the *same* forum you can have *sub*-forums that are extra-soft or extra-coarse. This is a viable, workable solution, and I know because I’ve been a member of one such forum for over 6 years. The key though, the *key*, is that the softs must not throw the coarses under the bus, and the coarses must not throw the softs under the bus. The *conflict* occurs when one segment of the population wants to exclude another, as seen here: http://www.freezepage.com/1362666269FBBGSFSKFG

“The last thing we’re doing right now is having an argument over what words are polite. This is an argument over who gets to participate in our movements. Don’t forget that for a minute. It’s the only light in which all of this makes sense.”

24 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Last post for a bit. This old post of mine from the waning days of ElevatorGate is highly relevant in my opinion. Forgive the somewhat unstructured beginning. I needed to include significant context at the time (which is still worth a read, but you can skip it if you want to get to the meat. We’ve got enough similar context in this discussion already. Can start at “Here’s the deal…”). http://www.rationalresponders.com/still_unapologetic

25 Edward Gemmer March 8, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I will say one nice thing about FtB – in the brief times I had there (I think I’m banned from pretty much all the ones with active comment sections now), I learned a lot. I like the zeal people bring to the table.

One thing that I’ve seen – it can be hard to write on a subject. When you are having trouble making your point, sometimes it is easier to substitute emotion and condescension in lieu of really doing the work. That’s a theme I see over and over and over. One solution would be the leaders of these discussions perhaps gently nudging people (even their own trusty regular fans) towards a bit more critical thinking and a bit less emotion. It may cause some bruised feelings, but I think we can handle that.

Excluding someone with a minority point of view doesn’t say much about the minority, but it does say something about you.

26 tina March 8, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Yeah….prbly a good idea if we all took the weekend off. Climb a mountain, paint a picture, play some music, mass on Sunday.. *coat*

27 tina March 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Michael: thanks for the article. Lot to discuss there. Haven’t read it all yet, but this burned my eyeballs…..

“We now need collective leadership to do this effectively”

…er….well…I’m gonna take the weekend to think on that one.

Have a restful weekend. Cheers.

28 ChasCPeterson March 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Framing a discussion as equity feminism vs. gender feminism is going to go exactly nowhere, for the simple reason that there is probably not a single person in the world who self-identifies as a ‘gender feminist’. That label was invented by C. Hoff Sommers as a label for the Others in an attempt to gain the high ground of ‘true feminism’, and so while lots of people jump at the chance to call themselves (equity) ‘feminists’, the Other Side sees this dichotomy as fundamentally false. Pinker’s definition doesn’t help much, because it was custom-crafted to be the straw-foil for his own ideas in that book. It’s also easily deniable by paying simple lip service to possible biological bases of behavior and denying that it’s all about ‘power’.

Forget it. No way forward there.

29 Karmakin March 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

@Thaumas: When the rubber hits the road, there isn’t much difference between egalitarianism and equity feminism..if there’s a difference at all. Personally, I put it down to what I call “Dawkin’s Complaint”, the idea that supporting/self-identifying as moderate/weak versions of an ideology/community/movement gives strength to radical/strong versions of an ideology/community/movement, and that’s what people object to or try not to do.

But yes, my experience is that most people who are concerned about this sort of thing could be described as an equity feminist to some degree.

30 Karmakin March 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

@Chas: Forget the labels then. Personally, I don’t think that “Gender Feminism” is an accurate description for what seems to be modern movement feminism anyway. (And I argue as much all over the place). But there are still things to talk about.

Are power differentials unidirectional? Is it possible to be sexist/racist against a group with more aggregate power? Why the hell are we so hung up on specific types of power as if that’s a sole goal in life anyway? Is it possible to make positive changes to society that mainly help one identity group, but make them in a way that’s neutral to all identity groups? How can we best limit the damage of overt tropes, roles and stereotypes in our society?

These are very real questions that have very real, well-meaning differences of opinion.

31 Dave Allen March 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Hi Thaumus

“I would largely agree with this, Dave. Though I don’t condone empty ad homs like that photoshop garbage. If it doesn’t have a genuine point, then … I don’t see the ‘point’, I guess. Seems only likely to cause harmful drama; and drama without a point to it is … again, pointless drama. That’s my point.”

Well, the behaviour I am talking about is that it is predictable when you ignore a well-crafted argument but respond quickly to an obscene image the message may come across as “In order to get my attention, post an obscene image”.

The “point” then might be “well the arguments haven’t gone away despite you ignoring them, and in the meantime if it’s obscene images that get your attention – here’s more”.

“As to your previous point about there being a spectrum between soft and coarse skepticism, I don’t see why anyone should have to limit this in any way (of course, within legal and ethical boundaries). Why can’t we have a soft blog here, a coarse blog there, a soft-coarse forum here, a coarse-soft forum there?”

I agree. I’m quite happy for individual forums to be set up to individual standards and see which ones whether the storm to the best degree.

I do have one qualm though – this isn’t about “soft” vs “coarse” – it’s more about one set of people who like to be belligerent within one set of parameters who then say those parameters are the fit parameters for the group(s) as a whole. As far as I can tell anyway.

But, as your example of Stephanie Zvan illustrates – you are well aware of this already. So forgive me for telling you how to suck eggs.

As an advocate of atheism and scepticism who presumably wants more people to come to his events though, I think it is quite good of Michael to actually attempt to wrap his head around the two poles.

However, whilst he is making a discernible effort to heed both sides, and whilst I think he personally might like an arena where you can have fun without worrying too much about what you say – I think he’s also worried about friendships and reputations which may see him disengage in favour of a more partisan position.

Which would be a shame, be4cause I do think the conversation here has been fascinating.

32 Submariner March 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Congratulations Michael,

I am among those who ascribed nefarious motives to your series of posts, based mainly on the language and apparent “traps” for “gotcha” moments. The morality angle you chose was particularly revealing.

Your apologies here and your stated desire to reflect on the dialog (and its purpose) have gone a fair distance towards convincing me that maybe, just maybe, you were sincere in these discussions.

Time will tell.

33 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

And Karmakin, the reason that you want to discuss this means you get banned from FtB, called a misogynist and end up at the Slymepit.

34 Maureen Brian March 8, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Steersman@ 14,

I’m sorry to have been so long getting back to you. I was doing the hand-finishing on a set of cushion covers. *

I like Pinker: he’s an attractive person who discusses interesting subjects but I am left feeling that sometimes he slides over the difficult bits. He does it in the paragraph you quote – the binary nature of the nature/nurture question (no other options?) and a real confusion about how one to one interactions and social pressures might operate together. It doesn’t stop him being a damn good read, its just that Pinker makes a better starting point than finishing line.

And now I see that ChasCPeterson – with whom I don’t always agree – Hi, Chas! – has got there before me and very cogently pointed out that this “which flavour of feminism” question is a red herring, a means of delaying action while each us in turn counts the angels on the head of a pin.

* Don’t be alarmed. The cushion covers are there possibly to provoke but also to illustrate and to illustrate two things.

1. As was the custom then, I was taught a different set of practical skills than boys in the same class. No big deal. So that’s nurture. How about nature? Well, there’s no evidence to date of any hormonal dimension to needlework and my brain MRI shows no strange pattern or configuration. What made the difference for me was the experience of being taught to enjoy by a very skilled great aunt who had all the time in the world to experiment with me. All this was long before the school taught me. The nature/nurture dichotomy has no space for experience which may be random, may be actively sought out, may be individual or collective!

2. My first run-in with the forces of darkness, if I may put it that way, was as an averagely awkward 16-year-old up against a binary-minded Headmaster. He banned me from doing any of the part-practical subjects which might have got me doing textiles at university or to the technical collage and then on by that route to a perfectly sensible set of career options.

Oh, no! quoth he. You have a good brain. A good brain is by definition a man’s brain and so it is academic subjects only for you and none of this girly stuff! (He had previously taught only boys at selective schools: a mixed comprehensive was a bit beyond him.) Nor was this a one-off. Something very similar happened to my niece 30 years later: she had to move to NZ to finally get the degree she wanted to do!

35 Dave Allen March 8, 2013 at 2:47 pm

“He does it in the paragraph you quote – the binary nature of the nature/nurture question (no other options?) and a real confusion about how one to one interactions and social pressures might operate together. It doesn’t stop him being a damn good read, its just that Pinker makes a better starting point than finishing line.”

Surely his position on nature/nurture is that it is not binary, but spectral?

36 Karmakin March 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm

@Rocko: Dunno if I ever got banned, I flounced (better for my mental health) before that ever happened, but pretty much yes. And it’s not just the ‘Pit, as I’ve mentioned before. I find that egalitarian spaces in general are MUCH more open to what could be seen as feminist issues/ideas than the other way around. Actually, it was because I saw other egalitarian spaces that were open (I.E. “safe”), that I decided to give the ‘Pit a fair shake. Glad I did.

37 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm

It’s easy to get shunned for having a nuanced view about these things. I did.

Same here, Rocko. There is a place on the internets which prides itself on thinking freely, wherein we are not allowed to be skeptical of patriarchy theory, rape culture in the west, harassment at cons, or even whether intent matters in terms of giving offence to historically oppressed groups. It is this lack of freethinking and skepticism, enforced by the one-two punch of pile-on followed by banhammer, that explains most of the SlymePit ethos: Nothing off-limits, no editing, no banning. (Of course in reality it’s not quite that, but it’s considered the ideal.)

38 Peter Ferguson March 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I hope people remember that this dispute isn’t binary. It is far more complex than FtB vs The Pit. Firstly, most atheists haven’t a fucking clue what is going on, nor do they care. Anybody who works with grassroots organisations knows this. And those that are aware of it, simply wish it would stop so they could go back to reading substantive articles and not “drama blogs”.

Secondly, there are many out there, such as myself, who are critical of both FtB and the Pit. They both engage in personal invectives, however the pit is worse for this; and they both engage in defamation, slander, and misrepresentations, however, FtB is worse in this regard.

If either side is being honest, they have to accept some culpability, but neither is. It has come to the point where the argument rests upon who is saying it and not what is said. The content of the argument seems to come second to team loyalty. This, of course, is horrible scepticism.

The driving force behind the continuance of rift is the inability to take a step back, breath, criticise the behaviour of oneself and of their allies, and reassess. This is what Michael has done here, and this is what needs to be done everywhere if a solution is to be found to these highly important issues.

39 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Peter,

I agree with much of what you’re saying here, but at some point I think we need to put the criticism of behaviour (by either side) behind us and try to refocus on particular issues on which there is some substantive disagreement. So often in the past I’ve started discussing some particular issue (e.g. which anti-harassment measures are most effective) and been quickly sidetracked on to questioning people’s motives and character. Just once I’d love to see an argument about gender issues that doesn’t devolve into mutually excommunicating cries of misogyny and misandry.

40 Peter Ferguson March 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

@D4M10N

You’ve hit the nail on head in regard to what irks me personally about the whole thing. I disagree to a certain extent with both sides and I have voiced my criticisms but only one side seems to willing to engage in any form of discourse. As is evidenced here and in Michael’s other posts, Pitters are more than willing to engage, and even civilly. And I have fond this to be the case when I have had discussions with them.

When I have done so with FtB I was always immediately attacked and generally banned, or as you accurately put it the “one-two punch of pile-on followed by banhammer”, despite never doing anything wrong except disagreeing. I was banned from Zvan’s blog for asking, in her opinion, an “inane” question. Ophelia blocked and deleted my comment when I highlighted the fact she called someone out for using a gendered slur but didn’t do the same to somebody who was agreeing with her. FtB are unwilling to engage in debate with people who disagree. Dissenters are usually fobbed off as being MRAs, Pitters and Misogynists, this has happened to me on numerous occasions despite being none of the above. It is a worrying trend when self-described sceptics are unwilling to have discussions with people of differing opinions.

41 Dave Allen March 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm

“So often in the past I’ve started discussing some particular issue (e.g. which anti-harassment measures are most effective) and been quickly sidetracked on to questioning people’s motives and character. Just once I’d love to see an argument about gender issues that doesn’t devolve into mutually excommunicating cries of misogyny and misandry.”

Well, were you to start a conversation on the matter of what anti-harassment measures work up I would certainly like to join in.

42 oolon March 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm

@Peter,”They both engage in personal invectives, however the pit is worse for this; and they both engage in defamation, slander, and misrepresentations, however, FtB is worse in this regard.”

Err, what? I’m not a fan of all this “he said, she said” tu quoque rubbish but having some personal experience of pit defamation I’d be interested in knowing how you came to that conclusion. Where can you point to defamation from FtBs? Slander??? Do you even know what that means?
What compares to the pit spreading crap about Ellen-B being a crazy, racist, drunk paedophile? What compares to Sally Strange being “outed” as manufacturing a rape threat against herself on a blog? Or a random FtB commenter blamed for posting a pornographic image on the pit? (Don’t forget if whatsithawk hadn’t come out I’d still be the one who posted it as far as the pit is concerned… With no evidence, let alone proof)

BTW I’ve given up on you ever producing evidence of your “harsh criticism” of the pit… I see you assert you are only a “critic” here… Hmmm.

43 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 4:52 pm

You want to see some FtB defamation, James? Here you go: http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/15/holy-fucking-shit/#comment-76611

Apparently, DJ is an accessory after the fact to sex crimes. In case you’re wondering, no apologies were ever made for this irresponsible rumourmongering.

44 Peter Ferguson March 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

What I said isn’t a tu quoque fallacy, if you fully understand the fallacy you would know why.

Also, I like the way you only demand evidence for my criticism of the pit and not FtB, bias much?

As for evidence of FtB/Skepchick/A+ slander and defamation. How about Rebecca Watson’s quote-mine of Ed Clint calling him a rapist? That is pretty defamatory and disgusting. Also, she slandered Coffee Loving Skeptic by saying he called her a cunt twice, which he never did. Both of these assertions were reaffirmed by PZ. And how about Ophelia Benson claiming Shermer’s “it’s a guy thing” comment was him saying women were stupid and don’t do thinky, which wasn’t what he was saying at all. There you go, that is an example of each, slander, defamation and misrepresentation.

45 windy March 8, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Framing a discussion as equity feminism vs. gender feminism is going to go exactly nowhere, for the simple reason that there is probably not a single person in the world who self-identifies as a ‘gender feminist’.

What would you suggest instead? Framing the discussion in terms of “women are people” feminism (I’m not aware of any significant dissent from that first part) seems to have gone balls up.

46 oolon March 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

LOL, never mind… Damions link is to someone who starts… “It’s my first post on Gretta’s blog.”

Peter whines about a “quote mine” where the whole conversation was linked to from start to finish!

Yeah even the “reasonable” ones are full of it :-)

47 Peter Ferguson March 8, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Oolon.

You ignored the fact she still called him a rapist which is defamatory, and you also ignored my other two examples. Then call me unreasonable.

Is there a fallacy for someone who nitpicks on tiny aspect of an argument while refusing to answer the remaining charges? Because Oolon is the epitome of it.

48 Esteleth March 8, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Want a handy definition of the difference between “equity” feminism and “gender” feminism?

“Equity feminism” believes that it is enough to remove the institutional barriers holding women back, and that society is not indelibly corrupted by sexism and misogyny: once the institutional barriers are removed, women will advance to whatever “natural” level.

“Gender feminism” (note that most “gender feminists” do not call themselves this) disagrees, saying that sexism and misogyny are not just institutional, they are societal. Thus, the sexism and misogyny of society as a whole, subgroups, and individual people must be addressed in addition to that of law and instituions.

The atheism/feminism intersection is frequently (but not always) seen through the lens of “gender feminism.” To wit:
(1) Most – if not all – world religions are sexist and misogynist in their beliefs, practices, and institutions.
(2) A substantial amount – but not all – of the blame for society-wide and ostensibly secular institutional sexism and misogyny can be laid at the feet of religion.
(3) Religion is false. There is no god.
(4) It is to the advantage of the entirety of society for men and women to be equal.
Therefore, it is good to oppose religion on feminist grounds as well as the other grounds it is good to oppose religion.

49 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Dave Allen,

What anti-harassment measures do you think work best for non-professional conferences such as comic cons and skeptic cons? Do the existing policies at national orgs like CFI leave too much room for organisers to reinterpret harassment to include banal things like replying to Tweets?

50 ChasCPeterson March 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm

There is a place on the internets which prides itself on thinking freely, wherein we are not allowed to be skeptical of patriarchy theory, rape culture in the west, harassment at cons, or even whether intent matters in terms of giving offence to historically oppressed groups.

In the first place, if by this late date you have not grokked that the (single) word ‘freethought’ is not a parallel construction to ‘free speech’ then the people who have been paying attention might be forgiven for concluding that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
That said, your statement is simply false on the face of it. In the 8 years I have been observing the goings-on at Pharyngula, I can honestly say that nobody has ever been banned for attempting a good-faith skeptical discussion of such issues. Sure, you’ll get some shit-flinging from the local dogmatists, but you are most certainly ‘allowed’ to bring up any subject you wish, and if you’re bringing arguments instead of trollery you won’t get banned for it either.
Of course, it’s become a self-selected community of people who are going to be predisposed to disagreeing with you, but go ahead and bring it. You’ll get arguments in response as well as crap. Nothing is stopping you (except maybe Myers’s rather petulant auto-pitizen-banning policy, easily countervened).

both engage in defamation, slander, and misrepresentations, however, FtB is worse in this regard.

Aside from the ridiculous broadbrush of referring to ‘FtB’ as a unitary entity, citation sorely needed. That statement looks positively freakin delusional from where I sit.
As to the former point, in particular, Zvan + Benson ≠ ‘FtB’, and it sure as hell ≠ all the bloggers and commenters at all the FtB blogs plus the same for Skepchick and the A+ forum and oh yeah also too everybody posting at Pandagon.
It’s fucking stupid. You have problems with Zvan? Me too. I don’t extend those problems to people who are not Zvan (well, except maybe Laden).

You want to see some FtB defamation, James?

Great example: representing all of FtB by an admitted first-time commenter at Greta Christina’s blog. (It’s also pretty much factually accurate, btw, since if Grothe did work to cover up and minimize reportable criminal offenses (as seems evident), he would in fact be an accessory after the fact. But whatever: it’s slander and defamation just like calling somebody a ‘fat stupid cunt’ and photoshopping her face onto the exploding Hindenburg is, right?

ffs. This whole argument is a real motherload of false equivalence.

51 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 5:52 pm

James,

Are you suggesting that because this was a first-time poster, we can safely ignore her characterisation of the facts related by the OP? Or are you saying she was wrong to note that Greta had, in effect, accused DJ of covering up acts which are considered sex crimes in the relevant jurisdiction? Are you denying that Greta accused DJ of covering up these alleged crimes?

52 ChasCPeterson March 8, 2013 at 5:53 pm

What would you suggest instead?

Me? I don’t have any good ideas. I’d sugest a focus on specific ideas rather than us ‘n’ them labelling, but there’s so much tribalism going on at this point that I fear the horse of intellectual argument has long since left the barn.

53 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Chas,

If you think it is evident that DJ covered up sex crimes, you haven’t been paying attention. The only eyewitness who came forward stated unequivocally that she never saw anyone taking invasive photos. The fact that you are so willing to make such accusations simply bolsters my point that the FtB faithful have few qualms about defamation.

54 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm

But whatever: it’s slander and defamation just like calling somebody a ‘fat stupid cunt’ and photoshopping her face onto the exploding Hindenburg is, right?

Given a choice between being defamed as an accessory to sex crime or being called dirty words and photoshopped, which would you prefer?

55 AndrewV69 March 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

@windy #45,

As other have suggested elsewhere, framing it as humanism might be the way to go forward.

It does have a certain utility in so far as it may help to avoid what may otherwise be a rather contentious dispute over what type of “feminism” is being subscribed to.

Otherwise, as our resident anthropologist has noted in #28 above, Forget it. “No way forward there”. Even if you wish to dispute his reasons, I think we can agree with the conclusion.

Or we can drop labels altogether. But if we have to use one, I think we could do worse than “humanism”.

56 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 6:07 pm

That said, your statement is simply false on the face of it. In the 8 years I have been observing the goings-on at Pharyngula, I can honestly say that nobody has ever been banned for attempting a good-faith skeptical discussion of such issues.

Where exactly are the patriarchy theory skeptics on Pharyngula? I cannot find them, but after eight years, surely you would know.

57 Maureen Brian March 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

“Surely his position on nature/nurture is that it is not binary, but spectral?”

OK then – if you insist!

spec·tral (spktrl)
adj.
1. Of or resembling a specter; ghostly.
2. Of, relating to, or produced by a spectrum.

(www.thefreedictionary.com)

58 AndrewV69 March 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

ChasCPeterson, #50
“(It’s also pretty much factually accurate, btw, since if Grothe did work to cover up and minimize reportable criminal offenses (as seems evident), he would in fact be an accessory after the fact.”

If we are talking about the same thing, I believe Greta Christina had more than one blog entry concerning what “Lee” had to say about that incident, and it appeared that “Lee” did in fact try very hard, and repeatedly, to clear up what had actually happened.

If memory serves security did inspect the images that monopod guy had taken and found nothing incriminating.

Or are we talking about two different things?

59 Eu March 8, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Is equity feminism already defined in general print?

If not, generally it would mean feminists who are for actual equality – with a focus on women’s *set backs*, and no special advances for them. Doesn’t sound wrong or immoral to me…

But of course, sexist feminism would.

60 Esteleth March 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Eu, I’m pretty sure you just agreed with my @48.

“Equity feminism” says that the issue is institutions and laws holding women back, and that removing these barriers is enough. Let the laws treat men and women equally, because that’s all that’s needed.

“Gender feminism” says that this isn’t enough and that the social and personal must be analyzed and remade: changing the law isn’t enough.

61 AndrewV69 March 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Followup to my comment in #58

As I mentioned before, I believe Lee went to a considerable amount of time and trouble to clear up what actually happened.

Comments by Lee start here:
_http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/15/holy-fucking-shit/#comment-76799

Second Greta Christina blog entry:
_http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/17/update-clarification-correction-on-holy-fucking-shit/

62 Dave Allen March 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

“What anti-harassment measures do you think work best for non-professional conferences such as comic cons and skeptic cons? Do the existing policies at national orgs like CFI leave too much room for organisers to reinterpret harassment to include banal things like replying to Tweets?”

Ah right, I meant a separate convo on some blog such as the ‘Pit or elsewhere – I didn’t want to highjack Michael’s thread. I will start a thread on the ‘Pit where I will address your questions.

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=276

63 ChasCPeterson March 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Where exactly are the patriarchy theory skeptics on Pharyngula?

Where are the radfems at the Pit? Stupid questions. These online communities are self-selecting and self-sorting; hence the tribalism.
I will say that I can not remember a single instance of anybody showing up at Pharyngula with an honest intellectual argument against patriarchy theory. Instead, they always come blowing in with attitude, condescension, and belligerence, the knees of the knee-jerkers jerk, and any pretense of actual discussion is quickly abandoned by all until Myers shows up to ban the by-now obnoxiously oblivious interlocutor.
I linked recently to a thread in which PaulW showed up to float some intellectual objections to the feminist expansion of victim-blaming accusations to include even personal safety advice. And he received all kinds of invective from the knee-jerkers, it’s true, but he kept trying to explain. Some of his opponents also tried to expain their positions. There were ideas exchanged, even if nobody’s mind got changed.
If you’ve got well-formulated and evidenced objections to patririachy theory, and you want to test them against the convictions of die-hard patriarchy-believers, try them. You’d be the first.

About the Grothe thing, I was not referring to the incident with the guy who had a camera on a pole. There were much earlier accusations of his covering up (alleged) incidents of harrassment and/or groping at TAM; I don’t recall the details. Not really interested in digging them up, either, but if anybody doesn;t believe me I will.

64 Dave Allen March 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

“That said, your statement is simply false on the face of it. In the 8 years I have been observing the goings-on at Pharyngula, I can honestly say that nobody has ever been banned for attempting a good-faith skeptical discussion of such issues.”

Hi Chas

I thought NoelPlum tended to argue in good faith. Is this something you disagree with?

65 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

Chas P. — What would you consider “an honest intellectual argument against patriarchy theory,” and would you mind if I introduced it at Pharyngula to test your hypothesis that such arguments would be met with countrarguments instead of vitriol? I’m assuming that you allow for the possibility that such arguments exist.

66 Pitchguest March 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm

#63 ChasCPeterson

re: DJ Grothe

Oh, you “don’t recall the details.” Shame. But it’s not monopod man, he was innocent of any wrongdoing. Then there’s Ashley Miller who was harassed, but didn’t file a report afterwards and her friend didn’t say it was sexual harassment per se – just a drunk who wasn’t even supposed to be there. Is that the covering up you were talking about?

Or was there another incident involving Grothe that I don’t know about?

Covering up of sex crimes. That’s a serious charge. You better bring your a-game.

67 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Chas P. — Can we agree that it was defamatory for that first time poster to accuse DJ of covering up sex crimes? If so, why was there no moderation action or any condemnation of that defamation from the FtB regulars?

68 windy March 8, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Chas @52:

Me? I don’t have any good ideas. I’d sugest a focus on specific ideas rather than us ‘n’ them labelling, but there’s so much tribalism going on at this point that I fear the horse of intellectual argument has long since left the barn.

Oh come on, I’ve tried to introduce some nuance here to your mantras of “nasty insensitive cruel!” and “tribal mythology” with no response so far, so don’t wring your hands about “tribalism”…

And he [PaulW] received all kinds of invective from the knee-jerkers, it’s true, but he kept trying to explain. Some of his opponents also tried to expain their positions. There were ideas exchanged, even if nobody’s mind got changed.

THAT thread is your example on how to exhange ideas?? Jebus. The phrase “Stockholm syndrome” comes to mind…

69 AndrewV69 March 8, 2013 at 9:10 pm

@Pitchguest #66, “Covering up of sex crimes.”

I believe he used the word IF.

@ChasCPeterson
It probably would be a good idea at this point if you did indeed dredge up the source of your current impression.

I believe your reputation, like it or not is now also at stake here.

70 oolon March 8, 2013 at 11:17 pm

@Peter, I’m just lazy and your other two examples were almost as poor… But we have unfinished business with this one as you dug your heels in : -

As for evidence of FtB/Skepchick/A+ slander and defamation. How about Rebecca Watson’s quote-mine of Ed Clint calling him a rapist? That is pretty defamatory and disgusting.

You then dropped the serious “quote mine” accusation, after I demolish it, with no acknowledgement, and repeat this lie ->

You ignored the fact she still called him a rapist which is defamatory

So are you going to apologise for suggesting she “quote mined” when that is not true? You also say she “called him a rapist” … I think you now owe Rebecca two apologies as what she said was:

And elsewhere on the Internet, people like Ed Clint are crowing about how they’re rapists

… and indeed he says …

Then you should call the cops on me… As I’m a rapist many times over

Full quote, in context, here: http://skepchick.org/2012/12/twitter-users-sad-to-hear-they-may-be-rapists/
The full title of the post is –> Twitter Users Sad To Hear They *May* Be Rapists.

So Peter you say

That is pretty defamatory and disgusting.

…. Yes I agree you accusing a fellow sceptic of “quote mining”, *calling* someone a rapist and then opining about your straw recollection of what actually happened as defamatory and disgusting *is* defamatory and disgusting… Which is why I did not address your other two daft points.

71 Eu March 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

What’s up with this quote mining thing? At first I considered that it meant misrepresenting quotes or putting them out of context, but I’m wondering if all it means is using what the person said, in context or not.

Because if it does, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with quote mining. The subject would of course be mad because they wouldn’t want them to use what they said against them, and they may even say “wow, you dug around for that, dork!” but that defense just comes out of not wanting to be quote mined.

Responsibility!

72 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm

ChasCPeterson said (#63):

Where exactly are the patriarchy theory skeptics on Pharyngula?

Where are the radfems at the Pit? Stupid questions. These online communities are self-selecting and self-sorting; hence the tribalism.

Not quite true – might look that way to you given your apparent bias, not to mention your predilection for categorical statements. But while many if not most in the Pit have a rather low opinion of “radfems”, for example, if any wish to present their case then I very much doubt that they would be banned for their efforts – or given links to “MRA-101”. And speaking of which, while there are more than a few there who are at least sympathetic to some various aspects of “men’s rights”, there are also many others who at least raise an eyebrow or two at the more extreme dimensions of that movement. Both in notable contradistinction to the rather draconian and egregious banning policies implemented by many of the Freethought bloggers, AtheismPlus, and Skepchick – the attributes of tribalism don’t get much more stark than that.

Really can’t tar the Pit with the brush of “tribalism” when that type of open-door policy exists. And even when opinion coalesces in a particular direction, it is infrequently unanimous. Probably because most realize they won’t get banned for questioning “conventional wisdom”.

73 ChasCPeterson March 9, 2013 at 12:10 am

LOL; it’s like sharks except instead of blood in the water, there’s a taste of ‘gotcha!’. So but yes, it appears that my sorely abused memory munged up a couple of details. As Pitchguest has surmised, I was remembering Grothe’s claim in May 2012 that no sexual harrassment had occurred at TAM, when in fact

http://ashleyfmiller.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/harassment-at-tam9/

Ashley Miller had both experienced and reported it at TAM 2011. (This was before the camera incident came to light, though it occurred at the same TAM.) However, as it’s now clear (to me) that the covered-up and denied incident did not rise to the level of a criminal offense, I am pleased to completely withdraw my hypothetical (oh yes, I said ‘if’) about Grothe. OK?

I thought NoelPlum tended to argue in good faith. Is this something you disagree with?

I guess I didn’t participate much in such threads, because the only impression I have of NoelPlum is of a preening narcissist whose comments I quickly learned to skip. I don’t present this as unbiased evidence, but it’s perhaps worth noting that other commenterscommenters didn’t seem to noticethat good faith.

Can we agree that it was defamatory for that first time poster to accuse DJ of covering up sex crimes?

Yes, at least in hindsight. We now know that no crimes, per se, were committed. But even at the time, it was going too far. So, yes.

If so, why was there no moderation action or any condemnation of that defamation from the FtB regulars?

I don’t know. But I don’t read Christina’s blog and don’t even know who the regulars are over there.
If you’re loking for somebody to defend any random comment at FtB, you’ve got the wrong guy.

don’t wring your hands about “tribalism”

I’m not wringing my hands. It’s just an observation, and it’s not even a one-sided one. Hell, I had people like Nerd of Redhead killfiled back before you won your OM. No doubt things are more nuancey than any mantra can express, but the truth is I don’t really give a shit. I’ve found a way to feel superior to both sides!

THAT thread is your example on how to exhange ideas??

no, it was my example to show that nobody is banned for dissent or arguing with feminist doctrine alone.
Dogpiled by baying true believers, yes, but not banned.

74 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 9, 2013 at 12:15 am

Just to give an idea of how open the Pit is to argumentation, I’ve defended both Rebecca Watson and PZ Myers in there, on rare occasions, with relatively little blow-back. Arguments, yes, but not that much actual vitriol. Anyone care to try defending Karen Straughan or Phil Mason at FtB?

75 Eu March 9, 2013 at 12:16 am

Yup, nothing tribal about it. Radfems would probably go there to debate if they did. But of course they wouldn’t go there to be friendly.

76 ChasCPeterson March 9, 2013 at 12:20 am

Both in notable contradistinction to the rather draconian and egregious banning policies implemented by many of the Freethought bloggers, AtheismPlus, and Skepchick – the attributes of tribalism don’t get much more stark than that.

This strikes me as part mythological–draconian banning policies–and part accurate. Hey, people at Pharyngula are sick and tired of my pointing out their tribalism (it used to make Brownian in particular all nasty).

Really can’t tar the Pit with the brush of “tribalism” when that type of open-door policy exists. And even when opinion coalesces in a particular direction, it is infrequently unanimous

Oh, I can indeed. My accusations of tribalism have nothing to do with dissent or agreement within the group; it’s about identifying primarily as a part of the group vs. some other group/tribe. For fucks sake, the entire raison d’etre for the slymepit is tribalism: united opposition to the Others (Watson, Myers et al.).

77 ChasCPeterson March 9, 2013 at 12:22 am

(I have a longer comment replying to others who have addressed me stuck in moderation. 3 links bad? I’m not blowing anybody off.)

78 AndrewV69 March 9, 2013 at 12:50 am

@ChasCPeterson #76

try adding a “_” before the HTTP: like this _http:// and resubmitting.

79 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 12:55 am

Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) said (#73):

Arguments, yes, but not that much actual vitriol. Anyone care to try defending Karen Straughan or Phil Mason at FtB?

Only if I had a full hazmat suit on ….

80 Peter Ferguson March 9, 2013 at 1:03 am

@Oolon

RW did quote-mine Ed. She removed his comment which was about one discussion and transplanted into a different context. Simply supplying the link isn’t a defence against quote-mining, especially as only a tiny fraction ever click on the links.

Ed was having a discussion about the ludicrous tweet by RW which said “If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.” So having sex with someone who is drunk is automatic rape, as the state of drunkenness immediately removes any capacity to consent. By that silly definition I too (quote-mine opportunity) am I rapist. Why? Because my long-term girlfriend goes out drinking every so often and comes home drunk, and if I am still awake, we have sex. So by the definition laid out by RW, that characterises me as a rapist. It would also define my girlfriend as a rapist because she has had sex with me while I have been drunk.

And it was this very discussion Ed was having. He was simply saying that by such a lose definition then anybody who has had sex while drunk has effectively been raped. Being drunk doesn’t remove the capacity for consent. And before you say her silly definition is due to the character limit of twitter, well I can offer a better definition in less characters “If you have sex w/ someone who is too drunk to consent, then that is rape.” And, in fact, it was this definition which RW applies in her blog post where she quotes Ed Clint. So she transplants his quote which is about her original definition to a new definition which has the added qualifier of being too drunk to consent. That is quote mining. She also claims that he deleted the post (which he didn’t) and says “here’s a screenshot of the entire thing”, and only supplies two comments from a 57 comment thread, ignoring the several comments which clear up exactly what Ed was talking about. Such as,

“Drunk *means* unable to consent, per the tweet. Maybe Jon has his own different standard, fine, but Jon that is not what we’re talking about here.”

“It isn’t what she’s talking about? How do you know that? Correct me if I am wrong, I have never heard her say anything about implicit consent. Her tweet leads me to expect she does not believe in any such thing.”

And so on and so forth. Read the entire thread http://www.facebook.com/ed.clint/posts/400491556694580

He was never “crowing” that he was a rapist, he was mocking her definition and saying that by such a silly definition I am a rapist, and anyone who has had sex while drunk has been raped.

So to quote out of context about him mocking her original tweet into a context of admission of rape is, in my view, disgusting.

81 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 1:28 am

ChasCPeterson said (#75):

Oh, I can indeed. My accusations of tribalism have nothing to do with dissent or agreement within the group; it’s about identifying primarily as a part of the group vs. some other group/tribe.

Do tell. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say (1):

In terms of conformity, tribalism may also refer to a way of thinking or behaving in which people are more loyal to their tribe than to their friends, their country, or any other social group.

Considering the wide spectrum of opinions that are supported – and permitted – within the Pit, opinions that are espoused by many in groups, some more questionable than others, outside the Pit, it seems rather disingenuous to insist that the Pit is a particularly egregious example of “tribalism” – particularly in comparison to FfTB, AtheismPlus, and Skepchick.

For fucks sake, the entire raison d’etre for the slymepit is tribalism: united opposition to the Others (Watson, Myers et al.).

Gee, I guess I must have missed reading that memo when I joined there, lo, these eight months ago; as many others have done likewise. More categorical thinking and tarring everyone with the same brush there again, Chas: tribalism? As Damion has pointed out he has “defended both Watson and Myers in there”; Dick Strawkins, if I’m not mistaken, conceded that Myers used to make some quite credible and reasonable arguments; Michael K. Gray made some supportive comments about Ophelia Benson (SlymePit 1.0, I think); and I have defended Sally Strange, Lousy Canuck, and Rebecca Watson (2), the latter rather extensively and to some damage to my reputation if not life and limb. United against “Others”? Pfft ….

If there is any “uniting” going on, it seems to be almost universally against hypocrisy and uncritical thinking. But maybe you think that is a particularly odious “tribe” to be a member of ….

1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribalism”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=15516#p15516”;

82 J. J. Ramsey March 9, 2013 at 1:39 am

oolon, Watson had said “people like Ed Clint are crowing about how they’re rapists” and then to attempt to bolster that point, quoted him saying “you should call the cops on me, Jon, and end our acquaintance, as I am a rapist many many times over.” She does not quote him later on responding with a clear “No” to the question “you’ve had sex with people who are too drunk to say ‘yeah i’m down’?,” nor does she quote anything else that makes it clear that Clint wasn’t crowing about being a rapist, but making a reductio ad absurdum.

Pulling a quote from its context and presenting an interpretation of it that doesn’t fit with that context is quote-mining. Period. A bible thumper can pull a verse out of context even if he or she cites chapter and verse. Similarly, if I quote someone in a misleading fashion but present a link to the fuller context, I’m still misleading.

83 CommanderTuvok March 9, 2013 at 1:41 am

Don’t expect Oolon, or anyone from the FTB/Skepchick side, to call out Rebecca Watson’s blatant trolling, lying and quote mining.

For she is Rebecca Watson, and she is above criticism!!!

84 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 2:31 am

oolon said (#70):

Though Peter Ferguson has responded in some detail, and since I already had most of this in the queue, I’ll still post it as there are also several other points to be addressed as well:

You also say she “called him a rapist” … I think you now owe Rebecca two apologies as what she said was ….

Curious – and rather amusing – that you apparently didn’t notice that that tweet asserts this:

If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.

Ipse dixit. Looks like a highly problematic, categorical statement to me: no specification as to what drunk is – is it 0.08 BAC? 0.05? And how about if the parties had decided to get drunk and have sex? But no, Rebecca Watson, in her infinite wisdom and omniscience, promulgates an encyclical for the faithful who must, perforce, bow and scrape and chisel her words into their psyches if not into stone as gospel truth.

But curious as well that so many “feminists” – although I find that “femi-fascists”, in truth, fits many of them far better – insist that if someone explicitly calls some woman [N.B., singular] a “cunt” then that means – through some prestidigitation, through the magic of inferred intent – that they are calling all women that, yet when Saint Rebecca categorically and explicitly calls all men, for starters, who have had sex with a partner who was “drunk”, rapists, then you – and it seems many others – get all bent out of shape when one man – “one” supposedly being a member of “all” – takes some justifiable umbrage at being tarred with that brush, at being called a rapist. What amazes me is that someone hasn’t started a class action suit against Watson.

Seems to me that if anyone owes anyone an apology – at least on that score – it is Watson herself, and to probably thousands of men, and, probably, to no few women. I await said apology with bated breath ….

In addition, since you were pooh-poohing the charges of “slander and defamation” coming from benighted FfTB-land, I wonder how you would view what I have called Ophelia Benson’s bare-faced lie, in effect, that Michael Shermer is a sexist (1). She said:

The main stereotype in play, let’s face it, is that women are too stupid to do nontheism. Unbelieving in God is thinky work, and women don’t do thinky, because “that’s a guy thing.”

Don’t laugh: Michael Shermer said exactly that during a panel discussion on the online talk-show The Point

And as the “stereotype” in play was sexism, to assert that he said “exactly that” – no equivocation for our Ms. Benson – is to assert, without a shred of evidence to justify the claim, that he made a sexist statement – which is, as far as I can see it, tantamount to calling him a sexist. At least unless Ms. Benson or others can explain to me how – analogously – someone could accuse someone else of having murdered a third party without that being tantamount if not identical to calling them a murderer. Real classy. A commendable appreciation for the feelings and reputations of “others”.

But what blows me away is the outright gall she manifests in complaining how a ridiculous and obviously false photoshop was “destroying” her, in addition to Michael Nuggent’s apology for the “hurt” that “highlighting that incident” caused her, after that 1100-word accusation against Shermer. One wonders where Michael Nuggent was when that rather “nasty pushback” against a fellow skeptic was published.

—-
1) “_http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=benson_33_1”;

85 AndrewV69 March 9, 2013 at 3:33 am

@Steersman #84 “no specification as to what drunk is – is it 0.08 BAC? 0.05? And how about if the parties had decided to get drunk and have sex?”

This whole business about a woman being raped if she had sex after consuming drink can be a bit problematic if the following has any credibility. Where One in 20 women has NEVER had sex sober as they lack body confidence (1).

We are led to believe by a bastion of journalistic integrity the Daily Mail that:

“Millions of women drink alcohol before having sex because they lack confidence in their bodies, a study has found. Almost half of those questioned said they preferred sex while under the influence of alcohol because it helped them to lose their inhibitions and be more adventurous.

Researchers, who surveyed 3,000 women aged between 18 and 50, found the average woman has slept with eight men, but was drunk with at least five of them. On two of these occasions they couldn’t even remember the man’s name the next day.”

And then, not to be outdone, that institution of sober reflection and inquiry, MSN has reflected on a Study: Half of Women Prefer Drunk Sex(2). We are reliably informed that

“A recent survey revealed that half of German women prefer to have sex after a drink. Fifty-five percent said they like to be tipsy while having sex, and 7 percent want to be downright wasted. Because making love is just so much fun when the room’s spinning.”

Whats that? Oh Germans. What else do you expect from them.

Anyway, the whole business seems just a little bit problematic. Perhaps someone should tell those women to stop getting drunk in the first place. Or men would be well advised to do a BAC before asking the “fancy a fuck?” question.

YMMV

1) _http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1215262/One-20-women-NEVER-sex-sober-lack-body-confidence.html
2) _http://living.msn.com/style-beauty/simply-chic-blog-post/?post=d0a05441-7f75-43d6-910d-3abd10b89121&_p=a1ee411b-9f39-4a46-8944-9e867d5b075f

86 Michael Nugent March 9, 2013 at 3:48 am

Poster #86 belowscum has been banned, and their comments have been removed.

87 ChasCPeterson March 9, 2013 at 4:07 am

the fuck?

88 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 4:13 am

AndrewV69 said (#85):

This whole business about a woman being raped if she had sex after consuming drink can be a bit problematic if the following has any credibility.

While I gather the “Daily Fail” is considered somewhat less than an exemplar or purveyor of “sober” research, I think I’ll still take their word over Watson’s. But I expect the headline likely to cause some consternation at RadFem Party Central:

One in 20 women has NEVER had sex sober as they lack body confidence.

The nefarious patriarchy at work, no doubt.

Anyway, the whole business seems just a little bit problematic. Perhaps someone should tell those women to stop getting drunk in the first place. Or men would be well advised to do a BAC before asking the “fancy a fuck?” question.

Indeed. As I’ve argued elsewhere, one can see things like Watson’s tweet contributing to some serious paranoia to the extent that the birth rate might drop rather precipitously. So much so that, as a concerned citizen, I had even suggested on AVfM – the least likely, of course, to be exhibiting any of that – that someone might want to develop some iPhone apps to record the details of contracts for sex, as well as recording the details of their discharge – so to speak.

But great links. Someone with a sense of humour might want to tweet them to Ms. Watson, or post them to the Skepchick site (I would do the latter, but I seem to have picked up a ban there – for some reason …), and ask whether those “millions of women” are “chill-girls” and “sister punishers”. Or just further evidence that she is just blowing smoke ….

89 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 4:20 am

belowscum said (#86):

Just thinking of the sweet chaos it may bring because you like to put on a show has my thighs twitching. My nerves are rattling.

Apart from the fact that your username might be well chosen, if I were you I wouldn’t give up my day job to try my fortunes with photoshopping as your efforts are even less credible and even more juvenile – if that is possible – than the one posted recently at the Pit.

90 John C. Welch March 9, 2013 at 4:25 am

Note that getting into a terminology argument with Oolon is like getting into an argument with the pope about ugly hats.

91 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 5:02 am

John C. Welch said (#90):

Note that getting into a terminology argument with Oolon is like getting into an argument with the pope about ugly hats.

Good – and amusing – analogy. Although defining terms can be a real bear – someone from Ireland, I think, had posted something here (the three or four threads) earlier – in the the context of a discussion about the meaning for “misogyny” – about the fact that the words “Republican” and “Nationalist” had been bastardized and bowdlerized because, I think, the former at one point had been heavily associated with the word “terrorist”.

Tangled webs, politics, bedfellows, and all that ….

92 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 5:15 am

belowscum said (#93):

Steersman, do not care about credibility, looking juvenile, or any other observations you have against it. Will say this–better is available, but can’t waste energy with quality ‘shopping on that group. Will admit this–it was put together in a couple minutes and a very sloppy job. Never claimed to have maturity, maybe still juvenile in the head. Regardless, had to be done.

You have a “method in your madness” or are you just dicking about? I don’t see how it puts Nuggent in the hotseat as I don’t see that he has any obligation to allow the posting of any and all comments, and by any and all commenters. You’re more likely to simply be banned, at least here, and have your comments deleted. And likewise with all of the FTB sites.

About the most that it might do is paint the Pit in a somewhat unflattering light, but that seems a rather tenuous argument at best.

93 Jack March 9, 2013 at 9:24 am

‘M Nugent: Poster #86 belowscum has been banned, and their comments have been removed.’

Thanks Michael. I noticed several other unrelated posts were removed too but I assume that is part of the fallout from post 86.

Anyway have a good weekend and thanks for trying to get things moving.

94 oolon March 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

To the various pitters that either wilfully misunderstood Rebecca Watson rape tweets or are terminally dumb… Oh and plus Peter Ferguson who totally never hangs out at the pit and is a “harsh critic” of it, but for some reason repeats the bullshit spouted there almost to a letter…

This is a reply to an idiot who popped up on my blog to make the same case that she said anyone “drunk” cannot give consent. So I can be lazy and reproduce here (maybe edited for language ;-) ) -> (http://www.oolon.co.uk/?p=115#comment-111)

Your reading comprehension skills are not too great, maybe on a par with your web browsing ability, perhaps you are drunk and I shouldn’t laugh too hard. For a start that was a TWEET.. 140 chars… You might not be on there but it takes a tiny bit of understanding that the nuance of a sentiment might be missing. However in this case it is quite clear — Rule of thumb: Don’t fuck drunk people!

Yeah so I’m married, I drink a few beers and wife drinks a bit of wine from time to time. It is obvious to anyone but a total idiot that this Rule of Thumb is unlikely to apply but will if my partner was so drunk I didn’t get any consent – verbal or reciprocated foreplay for example – then we would not fuck, for fucks sake! How hard is that to understand? Maybe Rebecca’s second tweet will help you get it…

If you “took advantage” of someone who is unable to consent, it is rape. End of story.

What don’t you get about that? Pretty unequivocal, maybe you might want to have a chat with your local rape crisis centre to see if they agree with her sentiment?

So to summarise the reason the rest of the internet laughs at you is that the blindingly obvious passes you by without one flash of a neuron to warn you of what a fool you pitters make of yourselves. Keep on circle-jerking at the pit, you never know an intelligent thought might crawl out of there one day…

95 oolon March 9, 2013 at 10:37 am

So anyway, I’m here laughing at Pete and the Pit crew complaining about quote mining when they are desperately trying to misunderstand one tweet…. Which had a second completely unambiguous tweet that followed it instantly. Par for the course for the pit.

I hope you lot never follow Natalie Reed or any of the other Twitterers that tweet opinions across multiple tweets… It must be confusing for you.

96 Dave Allen March 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

“I guess I didn’t participate much in such threads, because the only impression I have of NoelPlum is of a preening narcissist whose comments I quickly learned to skip.”

Maybe, though I don’t think preening narcissism and meaning what you say are mutually exclusive.

I realise it is irritating if someone announces they won’t continue to post and then does so. However, in terms of a participant in an argument I don’t think the tendency of some people to drop in and out says much about their substantive points.

97 Peter Ferguson March 9, 2013 at 10:53 am

Oh Oolon

I can’t believe you wrote such a long post without actually discussing any of the points I raised.

I don’t care about the understanding of her tweet, nor do I care about the follow up tweet which further elaborated, why? Because that is not what I was discussing. I was talking about how RW lifted a quote, in which ED Clint said he was a rapist in a joking manner, mocking her original tweet, and supplanted into a context where it seemed like an actual admittance.

So you can clear up what her intent was and discuss the ethics of having sex while drunk all you like, it is not the point.

Did Ed Clint actually admit to being a rapist in the manner RW represented in her post? Any honest person who read the whole thread would answer no.

98 Peter Ferguson March 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

What was it that I said earlier?

“Is there a fallacy for someone who nitpicks on a tiny aspect of an argument while refusing to answer the remaining charges? Because Oolon is the epitome of it.”

Well that is exactly what he did again above. Focusing on the understanding of the tweet even though that was not the point of the discussion. Did he then mock my reading comprehension? That’s rich.

Anyways, I’ll think of the Latin later for Oolon’s fallacy, for now I’ll just say “he pulled an Oolon”.

99 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 9, 2013 at 2:05 pm

James B. & Chas P. & other FtB supporters,

If you could flip a switch that deletes the Pit, would you?

100 oolon March 9, 2013 at 2:53 pm

“If you could flip a switch that deletes the Pit, would you?”

What difference would that make? Would probably just give its more butthurt inhabitants extra photoshopping and FtB blog trolling time … All the time there whining about everything said on FtBs/Skepchick is less time wasted moderating or having pointless arguments on the blog posts.

101 oolon March 9, 2013 at 3:07 pm

@Peter

Did he then mock my reading comprehension? That’s rich.

No I didn’t, but I’ll mock it now – I reproduced a comment to another person making the same daft points as you and others were in response to me…. Further reading comprehension lesson, note that comment was not addressed directly to you. Geddit?

So you think addressing the two tweets and what they actually mean is not a good base to lay any disagreement we have on? I’m picking out “irrelevant details” of the issue by addressing what started it all off and is the WHOLE context of the post by Rebecca?

If you are trolling me you are surprisingly good at it…

We need to agree on a premise before we could get any further as my contention is that the objections to RWs tweets were the usual bullshit of a bunch of hyperskeptic idiots trying to prove her “wrong” about something. In that context Ed was indeed “crowing” about being a rapist… Not in the sense he was actually a rapist but he was very pleased with himself for beating Rebecca “Worst Woman in the World” Watson on some minor point with his “reductio ad absurdum” that relied on misinterpreting one of a series of two tweets. So rather ironic that his “gotcha!” went so spectacularly wrong!

Your interpretation that it “looked like” he was admitting to being a rapist is totally irrelevant. As is common on Pharyngula that is your unevidenced OPINION and *POOF* is disappears as so much fuckwittery :-D On a more serious note I’m glad you are happy to take “interpretation” and your “opinion” and conflate that with proof she “quote mined” and was “defamatory”… So much for evidence eh? Peter Fergusons “interpretation” and “opinion” is all that’s needed to make serious accusations now…

Rebecca did not say or even imply his comment was anything other than the usual pathetic attempts to find flaws in her reasoning… Any flaw… Must prove her wrong! Pretty much the whole aim of the Slymepit and seemingly your aim as well.

102 Dave Allen March 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm

In your opinion is it her opinion that when drunk a person cannot provide consent?

103 Peter Ferguson March 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Yes, the tweets are an irrelevant point as they have no bearing on this discussion. Ed understood the tweet to mean X, and he was talking about the tweet under that understanding. So whether he is right or wrong in that understanding is beside the point. It is clear from reading the thread how he understood the tweet and his comments only make sense under that understanding.

Also, I have no objection to the tweets, so we can end that right here.

My contention has always been that RW removed Ed’s comment from its context of his understanding of her original tweet (nothing was ever said of the second), and put into a new context which had a different definition than the one laid out in the original tweet.

And how arrogant are you to pretend to know what RW meant when she said crowing? Where is there even a hint that she meant it in the manner you have described? Nowhere. And I have never met anyone who has understood it in that way. Even PZ and Greg Laden took it the way I and others have: “Wait…so Ed Clint freely admits to having sex with partners who were too drunk to consent? I call that really, really icky.”, “So, Ed Clint frequently has sex with people who are too drunk to consent?”.

So, in which manner did they understand it? As an admittance or your completely invented “gotcha” interpretation which has no evidence to support it?

You claim it is my interpretation, but in fact, everyone I have discussed it with has intrepeted that way. Look at the comments section. I have provided two quotes to support my interpretation, but I could supply a lot more if you wish? What evidence have you got the Oolon?

104 ChasCPeterson March 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Chas P. & other FtB supporters,
If you could flip a switch that deletes the Pit, would you?

Category error: my lifelong Marxism makes me bristle at being called a “FtB supporter”. I really only pay any attention to Pharyngula anyway.

But I’ll answer your question: no. The fuck do I care? Keep on slymin’ ‘n’ hogglin’ all you like. But know you’re being judged for the shit that’s gone down there.

105 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Chas P. – So you’re an independent thinker who refuses to align himself with the FtB, but you’d like to use the moral force of their group shaming to influence the Pitters? Sounds legit.

106 Eu March 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

^lol!
Tsk Chas

107 ChasCPeterson March 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm

you’d like to use the moral force of their group shaming to influence the Pitters?

I’d…what?

(I have no illusions about my inability to influence anybody else’s behavior; nor am I acting as part of a group. Or did you mean the shaming of a group? Because I do think that anyone who proudly identifies as a Pitter ought to be ashamed. For reasons given previously. IMO)

108 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 9, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Ok, so you’re into shaming the Pitters, following PZ’s glorious lead just like the rest of his so-called “Horde,” but hey, it’s not like you’re acting as part of a group aligning against another group in typical in-group / out-group fashion, casting judgement upon them not as individuals but as group members.

Cool story, bro.

109 Dave Allen March 9, 2013 at 9:47 pm

I’ve always rather liked Chas’[ defence of evolutionary psychology on Pharyngula, which is often highly at odds with the ingroup as a gestalt.

110 oolon March 9, 2013 at 10:10 pm

You claim it is my interpretation, but in fact, everyone I have discussed it with has intrepeted that way

Glad you admit it is interpretation, you do realise more people “interpreting” it that way doesn’t stop it being interpretation! Derp!
Lets revisit what you said…

…she still called him a rapist which is defamatory

When you meant to say you interpreted her quote of his that was supposedly “out of context” to be trying to paint him in that way. Despite her providing the full conversation – even providing a screen shot when he made it private. (Not sure why you linked it to me btw, presumably you didn’t notice its private as you are a friend on facebook. Explains why you got so confused over her claim he deleted it as that is the error I get – Page does not exist)

So you are clearly wrong. You have nothing other than interpretation for your accusation “she called him a rapist”… I don’t care how many people interpreted it that way and neither should you as “interpretation” ain’t truth, yours isn’t, mine isn’t (But I seem to be aware of this for some reason that eludes you). She did not call him a rapist. You are spreading a lie.

BTW to solve any further misinterpretations of others words. You might want to consider that when someone calls a man a rapist they usually do not do it in a blog post with humorous gifs and sarcastic analysis. They call the fucking police! This may also… http://i.imgur.com/UmpOi.gif

Now I doubt that will get through your thick skull so I’ll just mock the “out of context quote mining” you are so sure occurred.

Ed maybe picked up on the first tweet alone and misunderstood it, dunno how he missed the second tho… I’d agree this is supposed to be a reductio ad absurdum -> Seemingly in reply to the first tweet only:

Ugh. I guess this makes me a serial rapist, as well as a serial victim, having evidently been raped many times. Is this any sane person’s idea of feminism?

.. it is certainly an absurd interpretation… A friend (?) tries to clarify with Ed here -> Start “quote mine” ->

Jon: She’s also right about this one. If someone is too drunk to consent, you shouldn’t sleep with them. Sex without consent is the definition of rape.

… For which he very dumbly replies *directly* to this person ->

Then you should call the cops on me, Jon, and end our acquaintance, as I am a rapist many times over

.. That is a direct reply to Jon giving a very good description of rape, the legal definition. If Ed made his statement above in reply to Jon’s in court he would be in prison. Now you may argue he made a mistake or didn’t read Jon’s message but then he really should have engaged his brain in his quest to get one over on RW. His message is unambiguous unless he clarifies, which he did in the comments…

I would like to say that I agree entirely with the substance of what I think Rebecca Watson is conveying. Intoxicated people can’t consent, and this is not remotely controversial.

Funny how he no longer agrees with what you said above and her “ludicrous” tweet. Maybe you need to discuss it in more detail as he also says he wrote too harshly and misunderstood her…

Apparently when Rebecca wrote her article she was supposed to know that he misunderstood her and he was railing against this not her actual statement. Because its totally reasonable to expect her to be a mind reader, right Peter?

If I was extremely charitable I would say that Rebecca on hearing that Ed has made a mistake (His words) and misinterpreted her and spoken too harshly (His words) then she could have added an update to make that clear. In the absence of any acknowledgement from him direct to her, how do I know that message even got to her?

BTW my interpretation is also not only shared by me, Will in the comments I see also thinks Ed railed against his straw-Rebecca because he dislikes her. Does me having someone agree with my “interpretation” make it the truth? Newp! So I wouldn’t make bald-faced assertions (lies) based on my interpretation.

111 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm

If you’re loking for somebody to defend any random comment at FtB, you’ve got the wrong guy.

Isn’t it weird how the blanket critique of the Pitters is generally “Why didn’t you condemn X,Y, and Z?” but when I point out legally actionable defamation per se at FtB, all I hear are crickets.

You need to get that plank in your eye checked out.

112 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm

There is an alternative, however, which I neglected to mention. You can admit that Chas and James and the other FtB faithful are morally responsible only for their own posts, and are under no moral obligation to actively condemn what other posters are posting. Of course, that would make it tricky to keep on shaming the Pitters as a group.

113 windy March 10, 2013 at 12:02 am

For fucks sake, the entire raison d’etre for the slymepit is tribalism: united opposition to the Others (Watson, Myers et al.).

No, the “raisin date” was that people wanted to continue a discussion that was prematurely shut down elsewhere (interestingly this shut-down was cheered by some of the same people earlier concerned about alleged NatGeo ‘censorship’) Naturally that discussion tends to attract people with similar gripes, but I don’t see how “tribalism” invalidates the whole of the discussion.

IMO there ought to be a bit more “united opposition” to science denialism ex cathedra by skeptic leaders (not so much referring to evo psych here, but the associated more worrying denialism of standard practices in evolutionary research) I appreciate your resident contrarianism on this, but it doesn’t seem to be having much effect.

114 J. J. Ramsey March 10, 2013 at 12:59 am

oolon: “She [Watson] did not call him [Clint] a rapist.”

Here is what Watson said: “people like Ed Clint are crowing about how they’re rapists.” If you want to split hairs and distinguish between saying that someone has boasted of being a rapist and outright accusing someone of being a rapist, feel free.

115 Steersman March 10, 2013 at 10:24 am

Esteleth said (#48):

“Gender feminism” (note that most “gender feminists” do not call themselves this) disagrees, saying that sexism and misogyny are not just institutional, they are societal. Thus, the sexism and misogyny of society as a whole, subgroups, and individual people must be addressed in addition to that of law and institutions.

That seems to be a reasonably accurate defintion – at least for salient parts of that particular ideology – as is the one for “equity feminism”. But, in passing, while I generally agree that that dichotomy doesn’t cover all of the bases or dimensions of feminism, I also think it covers a substantial number of them so qualifies as a reasonable “working hypothesis”. After all, while the classic element system of “earth, water, air, and fire” (1) was certainly a crude set of precursors, it also provided some of the framework on which the modern system was eventually constructed.

However, while I expect and largely agree that “the sexism and misogyny of society as a whole, subgroups, and individual people must be addressed”, I think there are also a great many “devils in the details” there which is apparently part of the reason for Pinker’s (2) – among others’ – criticisms of some feminist ideologies, particularly gender feminism. And the reason for that seems to be a general unwillingness to consider that at least some of that “sexism and misogyny of society as a whole” is predicated on the existence of some genetic foundations that might not be as amendable to change as are institutions and laws. And if that is the case then attempting to make those changes based on a refusal to accept those facts is not likely to end well – as I think the history of communism adequately attests.


1) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element”;
2) “_http://www.pasadena.edu/files/syllabi/txcave_18360.pdf”;

116 ChasCPeterson March 10, 2013 at 7:13 pm

You know, Damion, I realize that I’m the only available punching-bag here, but rather than try so hard to shoehorn my statements into your pre-existing narrative, you would have done better to respond to the actual words and sentences I chose to type and post.
For one thing, ‘expresing an intense dislike for’ is not at all the same thing as ‘shaming’; for another, agreeing with somebody’s characterization is not the same thing as acting as a group. But you probably know that, and as per usual the more important thing is to score gotcha points.
Well, fuck off.

No, the “raisin date” was that people wanted to continue a discussion that was prematurely shut down elsewhere

*shrug* I think that’s historically inaccurate but you’re welcome to your mythology.[EDIT: Oh, wait: you're referring to the slymepit forum per se, which makes sense. I was not; I meant the original pit at erv, of which the current forum is an explicit continuation (plus with added blinking smilies, animated gifs, sarcastic sigs, behatted avatars, and maddeningly lazy overuse of the 'quote' button.]

(interestingly this shut-down was cheered by some of the same people earlier concerned about alleged NatGeo ‘censorship’)

chalk up another gotcha! (This one’s anonymous, vague, and unevidenced, but still.)

I don’t see how “tribalism” invalidates the whole of the discussion.

See, and I think that tribalism is pretty much the whole of the “discussion.”

it doesn’t seem to be having much effect.

indeed not! See above about the inability to influence the behavior of others.

117 Edward Gemmer March 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm

See, and I think that tribalism is pretty much the whole of the “discussion.”

It’s huge. Loyalty is clearly a motivating factor when otherwise intelligent people turn off their brains and start bashing others over nonsense. It’s the same thing on sports message boards.

What I don’t get is why we, as atheists, presumably believers in evolution, would so willingly let our emotions get the best of us, over and over and over.

118 J. J. Ramsey March 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Edward Gemmer: “What I don’t get is why we, as atheists, presumably believers in evolution, would so willingly let our emotions get the best of us, over and over and over.”

Because we’re still human and have all the problems and foibles that come with that, unfortunately.

119 Steersman March 10, 2013 at 10:28 pm

tina said (#17):

I’ve done me 3 hail Mary’s and a how’s yer father. I iz ready for the purly gates. ;-)

:-) One must keep the books straight if one wishes to get one’s reward in heaven. Which reminds me of a joke which is somewhat apropos:

Seems that Séamus was a good – actually not so good – Irish Catholic on his last legs, if not quite in extremis, with a Catholic priest in soliticous attendance. But as he approached that point he said to the priest that he would like to see a Protestant pastor to convert to that faith to which the priest responded, in shock and dismay, “Good lord, man! Why in God’s green earth would you want to do that?!”. And Séamus’ reply was, “Well father, you and I both know that I’ve been a very bad man, and I know that I’m destined for hell. But if anyone is to go there I want it to be one of them.” …

“er…..oh *coat*” …. ;-)

120 windy March 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm

chalk up another gotcha! (This one’s anonymous, vague, and unevidenced, but still.)

Rather less unevidenced than your anonymous assertion that the pit is about “united opposition to the Others”…

indeed not! See above about the inability to influence the behavior of others.

Then why are you sniping at others for trying to do the same thing in their own ways? What is going around labeling opinions “tribal mythology” supposed to contribute to the discussion? Especially when this scrutiny is only applied to one “tribe”-I haven’t noticed you pick apart one of Wowbagger’s evidence-free rants here, for example.

121 Edward Gemmer March 11, 2013 at 10:52 am

Because we’re still human and have all the problems and foibles that come with that, unfortunately.

It’s true, but gee whiz I’d like to think the self-awareness in the atheist community is a little bit higher than average. For example, if you dislike “tone-trolling,” then don’t criticize others for using harsh language in their criticism. If you are against racism, don’t make broad generalizations about diverse populations based on little to no evidence. These “talks” always have a vapid quality to them because the few nuggets of honesty are lost in the he said, she said b.s. There are a handful of people who aren’t trying to prove anything other than someone else is an asshole.

122 vjack March 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Many of us appreciate your efforts to call for dialogue and then to actually engage in it in a respectful manner. You have shown a willingness to engage people with whom you disagree in a respectful manner, and this is unfortunately rare at this time in our community.

I was surprised to see Ophelia claiming on Twitter than these efforts were “destroying me in the process,” and it was not clear to me what you were apologizing for here. If we have reached the point where merely discussing things with all parties is considered hurtful or destructive, then I fear it may be too late for meaningful dialogue. In any case, I was sorry to see you getting this odd sort of pushback, and I hope it will not deter you.

123 Allison March 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I think it’s very telling that while the “slymepitters” are appreciative of this discussion, Benson and Zvan and their cronies are decrying it. Clearly they do not want a discussion – they want blind adherence to their doctrine.

124 Jack March 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm

‘Allison March 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I think it’s very telling that while the “slymepitters” are appreciative of this discussion, Benson and Zvan and their cronies are decrying it. Clearly they do not want a discussion – they want blind adherence to their doctrine.’

Well, this has not been the first attempt at discussions. However it has been the first time a non zero amount of SJW’s have discussed at all, it’s been a resounding ‘no’ before. I give credit to Michael for at least trying and getting a lot further than any other attempts. I am certain people from the Slympit side of things will keep going as that is what rationalists do. Try and find ways through to a common understanding.

But if you are faced with people that consider either you are fully with them or fully against them and to be shunned and excluded, with no allowance for subtle nuances in beliefs, it will be very hard.

However I do give credit to the anti’piters to who have posted here.

But we have to stop the finger pointing and assertions of moral authority or this will go nowhere fast in my opinion.

125 ChasCPeterson March 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Rather less unevidenced than your anonymous assertion that the pit is about “united opposition to the Others”…

I can’t believe that assertion is even controversial. “Baboollies” ring a bell? “Twatson”? the “FC5″ or whatever? I’d love to know what exactly you think is holding that community together if not a shared disdain for Myers, Watson, Benson, Zvan et al. Hint: nothing.

Then why are you sniping at others for trying to do the same thing in their own ways?

FFS. Have you read nothing I have said? Have I been unclear?
My problem is with those articular ways.

this scrutiny is only applied to one “tribe”

It’s not. I’ve thoroughly scrutinized both tribes, and one of them seems far, far more nasty, vindictive, and cruel. I thought I said that already. My mantra, remember?

I haven’t noticed you pick apart one of Wowbagger’s evidence-free rants here,

as far as I can tell, Wowbagger hasn’t posted any rants here. If for some unfathomable reason you’d be interested in my opinion about something Wowbagger said, you’ll have to link it.

126 ChasCPeterson March 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm

particular.
I did not mean to reference cartilage.

127 Steersman March 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

ChasCPeterson said (#125):

Rather less unevidenced than your anonymous assertion that the pit is about “united opposition to the Others”…

I can’t believe that assertion is even controversial. “Baboollies” ring a bell? “Twatson”? the “FC5″ or whatever? I’d love to know what exactly you think is holding that community together if not a shared disdain for Myers, Watson, Benson, Zvan et al. Hint: nothing.

In your opinion – which of course everyone shares. Or maybe you didn’t notice that there’s some “controversy” over the claim – by intent or inadvertently [nothing if not charitable, we Pitters ....].

But, more particularly, you seem not to have seen my response above [#76], the salient element of which is this:

For fucks sake, the entire raison d’etre for the slymepit is tribalism: united opposition to the Others (Watson, Myers et al.).

Gee, I guess I must have missed reading that memo when I joined there, lo, these eight months ago. More categorical thinking and tarring everyone with the same brush there again, Chas: tribalism? As Damion has pointed out he has “defended both Watson and Myers in there”; Dick Strawkins, if I’m not mistaken, [among others] conceded that Myers used to make some quite credible and reasonable arguments; Michael K. Gray [and others] made some supportive comments about Ophelia Benson (SlymePit 1.0, I think); and I have defended Sally Strange, Lousy Canuck, and Rebecca Watson (1), the latter rather extensively and to some damage to my reputation if not life and limb. United against “Others”? Pfft ….

And somewhat apropos of the question of “tarring everyone with the same brush”, I direct your attention to this case in point from that exemplar of that rather demagogic technique, PZ Myers hisself (2):

Case in point: on twitter, I ran across this lovely tweet from one of those repugnant slymepitters.

PZ Myers, the dickhead. While one might cut him a little slack in conceding that there are probably some Slymepitters who might have some “repugnant” opinions – I note in passing that the Pit seems to be “united” if not unanimous in condemming the tweet PZ is referring to, although I note also that he [astrokid.nj] makes a number of quite reasonable points (3) elsewhere on the Pit – the fact that PZ has previously anathametized Pitters by banning them all based simply on the criterion of having posted there should be sufficient for most reasonable people to conclude that Myers’ “repugnant slymepitters” is categorical. Why else would he connect “repugnant” and “slymepitters”? Why not “repugnant” and “man”, or “repugnant” and “East Indian” [as he seems to be both]?

Methinks you might want to take a closer look at the Pit – you might wish to remove your Pharyngula-issued “rose-coloured” glasses first ….

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=15516#p15516”;
2) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/10/sadly-its-international-womens-day”;
3) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=47718#p47718”;

128 Steersman March 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Oops; re #127:

“… my response above [#76]” should be “… my response above [#81]”

129 windy March 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm

FFS. Have you read nothing I have said? Have I been unclear?

As should have been obvious from the context, that whole paragraph referred to the “tribalism” complaint, not the criticism of the particular ways.

It’s not. I’ve thoroughly scrutinized both tribes, and one of them seems far, far more nasty, vindictive, and cruel. I thought I said that already. My mantra, remember?

I don’t think you can claim to have scrutinized both tribes as thoroughly as I have :D

PS. if the other ‘tribe’ wanted to demonstrate how non-vindictive they were, two of their flying monkeys quote-mining me and calling me a racist probably wasn’t the best way to show it… But hey, at least they didn’t call me by a gendered slur, so that’s okay then. WTF?

130 ChasCPeterson March 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm

sorry, windy, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Which monkeys?
where?

to the “tribalism” complaint

Again: Not a complaint. I really don’t give much of a fuck. It’s an observation,and none of your replies are doing much to persuade me otherwise..
I guess I should also clarify that I am making no attempt to heal rifts or move some discussion forward. Just opining. It’s a free internet. (in b4 ‘not at fftb!!11!’)

131 ChasCPeterson March 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Happy to stipulate that Myers can be an ass and that individual pitizens have, from time to time, defended the usual targets from especially egregious specific bullshit issuing from others.
But if you don’t agree that it’s mostly us vs. them and them vs. us (identifying as a group and opposing others that identify as an opposing group, i.e., tribalism) then I don’t know what to tell you; you haven’t been paying attention. You think real tribes agree on everything? That’s not the point.

132 Steersman March 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

ChasCPeterson said (#130):

It’s an observation, and none of your replies are doing much to persuade me otherwise..

“Don’t confuse me with facts; my mind is made up”. So sayeth Chas, The Skeptic; so it will be ….

Just opining.

Looks rather much more than that. To assert that “the entire raison d’etre for the slymepit is tribalism” looks rather much like a categorical accusation. To prove your claim, it seems to me that you have to show that every last Pitter – yea, even back to the dawn of time – is guilty of putting “the tribe” ahead of commitments shared by the larger society [aka, tribe?]. While all anyone else has to do to refute that is to show several examples where those other commitments are the stronger motivation.

“Opining” is all fine and dandy – we all have them. But being dogmatic about them and without providing any evidence to support them tends to reflect badly on those making them. But if you’re jake with that, if that is your intent, then I – and, no doubt, others – are happy to support those efforts of yours ….

133 Jack March 11, 2013 at 10:35 pm

‘ChasCPeterson March 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Happy to stipulate that Myers can be an ass and that individual pitizens have, from time to time, defended the usual targets from especially egregious specific bullshit issuing from others.
But if you don’t agree that it’s mostly us vs. them and them vs. us (identifying as a group and opposing others that identify as an opposing group, i.e., tribalism) then I don’t know what to tell you; you haven’t been paying attention. You think real tribes agree on everything? That’s not the point.’

If you want to define Tribalism as simply a group coming together for a common purpose then all groups are, including those who like stamp collecting.

I do not see how that gets us anywhere unless there is an assertion such Tribalism blinds people to actions within their group and blows out of proportion actions of another group. I would agree that can happen both sides but that is the nature of being human although we should all try and avoid it.

In any event I think this is larger than just the ‘piters/FtB. There are bloggers and podcasters outside those groups dealing with this too. It seems to be leaking out and starting to affect the community as a whole (although most of the community know nothing about it which is good) A+ is dead in the water but there are still attacks on members of the community from time to time, many who have not expressed a ‘side’ one way or the other.

That does bother me as I am concerned this highly non skeptical way of thinking may affect how we freely discuss matters we care about. That worries me more than any given ideology. I do not care if someone thinks I’m a rape apologist, misogynist and racist just because I disagree with them. To me it’s the same as Theists calling Atheists immoral, it is an ignorant claim. But if they try and shut down my ability to express myself that bothers me a lot.

It has not come to that yet but the signs are there. That is why I think it is worth dealing with before it is too late or at least come to a compromise where people are allowed to agree to disagree.

However one side is clearly not interested in a proper discussion with some notable exceptions. I have always known that a good idea will float to the top and weather the storm of close analyses. If the Rad Fems felt they had a good case I would have thought they would be vociferous in discussing it and explaining it. They would be more than happy to have their views tested in the forum of open and free debate.

Instead of that they shun, vilify and refuse to interact at all . That is not a good way to establish truth and it is a long way from skeptical thinking and methods. So irrespective of my personal beliefs and who has the moral high ground I know which ‘side’ I am on. I’m on the side of rationality which right now is where the ‘piters’ are sitting.

134 Steersman March 11, 2013 at 10:57 pm

ChasCPeterson said (#131):

But if you don’t agree that it’s mostly us vs. them and them vs. us (identifying as a group and opposing others that identify as an opposing group, i.e., tribalism) then I don’t know what to tell you; you haven’t been paying attention.

Looks to me like you’re changing your tune without acknowledging that you were singing a very different one only a few comments ago: fine in an opera singer; not so good in politicians of one stripe or another. Before it was “the entire raison d’etre for the slymepit is tribalism”; now it is apparently “the raison d’etre for most of the slymepit is tribalism” – with “most” covering, apparently, somewheres between 51% and 99% of the members of the pit. And, apart from the questions entailed or engendered by asking whether the same percentages apply in comparing The Pit and FreefromThoughtBlogs (that’s for Greta Christina since I know she likes the sound of that “dogwhistle”), there is the question as to whether your apparent pejorative connotations of “tribe” are entirely justified, e.g., “Abou Ben Adhem, may his tribe increase” (1).

And more particularly and not to put too fine a point on it, I think one might reasonably argue that one of the tenets which many if not most of the Pitters are happy to subscribe to is that “Myers can be an ass”. In which case, by the powers invested in me by virtue of being a member in good standing (more or less) of the aforementioned Pit, I do hereby grant you the title of “Honourary Pitter, First Class”. Seems to me that before one says much about the supposed “ignominy” of being a member of any particular tribe one must first ask oneself whether the principles and claims that happen to unite said members into said tribe are creditable and and have supporting evidence to justify them; I think you’ve missed a step.

1) “_http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/abou-ben-adhem/”;

135 windy March 12, 2013 at 12:03 am

But if you don’t agree that it’s mostly us vs. them and them vs. us (identifying as a group and opposing others that identify as an opposing group, i.e., tribalism) then I don’t know what to tell you; you haven’t been paying attention.

Actually I was just wondering at the relevance of this repeated observation, since obviously both sides engage in some degree of tribalism but that doesn’t in itself invalidate any points they might make. A credible critic of “tribalism” would probably also make more effort to point out its manifestations on different sides.

sorry, windy, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I mentioned it in an earlier thread here.

136 Steersman March 12, 2013 at 1:09 am

windy said (#135):

sorry, windy, I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I mentioned it in an earlier thread here (1).

Pretty bad, but I’m beginning to think that that is quite typical of the FfTB mob. Although I think you could have been a little more explicit. But, to fill in the blanks for those of a “hyper-skeptical” frame of mind (being charitable as that is what Michael asked of us), you said (1):

windy March 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm

doubtthat: Oh, I have no doubt that “it’s coming”, meaning that equally dishonest tactics are going to be used in the name of racial inclusivity. Sikivu Hutchinson already called New Atheism “white supremacist” with nary a protest from the big names present.
Would you say that a sarcastic response in the style of “sure, later we’re gonna go burn some crosses with our Grand Dragon Dawkins!” is completely off limits to something that stupid?

To which Aratina tweeted (2):

Aratina Cage
‏@aratina Mar 5 #FTBullies News Update: Cross-burning “jokes” are officially OK in the atheist movement. Windy says so: _http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/#comment-195984 … #Racism

And in another conversation one “Felix” gets in her licks (3) as well, but references that same comment of yours:

Felix ‏@Felix3333
@aratina That last one about Sikivu Hutchison is a doozy. That there’s racism in A/S a stupid claim? Cross burning “jokes” not off limits?

Those people really should reflect on the aphorism : “put brain in gear before putting mouth in motion”. Which is the most charitable interpretation of their comments. But summary by a Pitter here (4) who closes with “these people truly are McCarthyite defamatory motherfuckers”. Which I’ll be happy to go with – at least as referring to Aratina and Felix, and as long as that isn’t considered “tribalism” – although I think that description is again being charitable, although quite succinct.

1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/comment-page-2/#comment-195984”;
2) “_https://twitter.com/aratina/status/309020089938739200”;
3) “_https://twitter.com/aratina/status/309019803648135168”;
4) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=71890#p71890”

137 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 12, 2013 at 1:55 am

‘expresing an intense dislike for’ is not at all the same thing as ‘shaming’

There are various ways to tell when someone is engaged in shaming, Chas P. Here is a sterling example of the practice: “I do think that anyone who proudly identifies as a Pitter ought to be ashamed.”

Do you recall who said that, and in what forum?

Well, fuck off.

Has your time at Pharyngula taught you nothing? You’re supposed to offer me something sharp with which to fuck myself, as I fuck off. Or something similarly nasty, vindictive, and cruel. After that comes the pile-on, and then the banhammer.

Oh, wait, we’re on neutral ground here. Guess you’ll have to actually make an argument or two. Maybe call for reinforcements?

138 Steersman March 12, 2013 at 3:01 am

Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) said (#137):

Oh, wait, we’re on neutral ground here. Guess you’ll have to actually make an argument or two. Maybe call for reinforcements?

*crickets*

139 ChasCPeterson March 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Jack:

If you want to define Tribalism as simply a group coming together for a common purpose

I do not want to, and I have not done so.
The common purpose has to be opposition to some other such group.

windy:

obviously both sides engage in some degree of tribalism but that doesn’t in itself invalidate any points they might make.

agreed.

A credible critic of “tribalism” would probably also make more effort to point out its manifestations on different sides.

yeah, I often do point it out when I’m talking to Them. People like Nerd of Rehead, Caine, Anthony K, and SallyStrange would, I’m sure, be happy to corroborate that. Here, though, I’ve been talking to Y’all instead.

I mentioned it in an earlier thread here.

Ah, that. Well, I have no love for Aratina Cage (it’s mutual) and I have no idea who this felix person might be. However, I feel that I have to point out that neither of them in fact called you a racist.

Steersman and Damion:
Your rhetorical gotcha games are just tiresome. Tell you what: why don’t you just go ahead, chalk me up as a hypocritical liar and be done with it. I could not possibly care less.
And you can shove your crickets into whatever orifice you think is least full of shit.

And…I’m done here. Have nice lives.

140 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Hypocritical, perhaps. You seem to think that you should be judged by your own individual words and actions rather than your forum affiliation, yet you refuse to extend that same courtesy to others by shaming them for where they choose to post. Until you can get past this flagrant double standard, expect to be called out on it.

141 windy March 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm

I feel that I have to point out that neither of them in fact called you a racist.

I feel that I have to point out that Greg Laden never actually called SC an anti-semite.

142 windy March 13, 2013 at 12:27 am

…anyway, idiots gonna idiot so I’m not claiming it’s a big deal by any means, just another small example of how these tactics are getting normalized in the atheist “community”.

143 Eu March 13, 2013 at 7:06 am

Another one being blatantly hypocritical? I would just quote some choice words, either from them or someone else who said the same thing. For this, I’d just keep saying, “The company you keep”

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