I hear you’re a trans-misogynistic hate speech supporter now, Michael

by Michael Nugent on February 19, 2016

I’m writing this in a hurry before leaving for an all-day conference in Dublin Castle about the UN Human Rights Council. Atheist Ireland will be addressing a pre-session meeting of the Council in Geneva in March, where we will again be defending the human rights of atheists and minority faith members in Ireland.

While we are doing that, the online smears against me and Atheist Ireland reached Bizarro-world level this morning, with my email including a link to a blog post titled: “Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) supports trans-misogynistic hate speech”.

So now I can add trans-misogynistic hate speech supporter to the earlier smears of using dog whistle homophobia to support misogyny, being actually homophobic, supporting and providing a haven for rapists, allowing feminists to hijack Atheist Ireland, being sexist and misogynistic, supporting feminists who are bullying people, being racist, a Fascist/Nazi/Neo-Nazi/Nazi sympathiser, an admirer of the pre-1990 Soviet Union, an Islamophobe, a creepy xenophobe, a champion of horrible people, a monster, an Irish wanker, a demented fuckwit, actually crazy, and to top it all, an allegation that people like me supported the Pedophile Information Exchange.

Here’s the context of the latest smear. I’ll address the substance later. On Wednesday Jane Donnelly and I were at a conference in Limerick about inter-belief dialogue, at which Atheist Ireland, the Evangelical Alliance of Ireland and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Ireland continued our historic joint support for secularism in Ireland.

We returned to Dublin late, and I stayed up most of the night getting the video of the conference online. After a couple of hours sleep, I spent most of yesterday finalising our speech to the UN Human Rights Council with Jane, and liaising with Ashling O’Brien who is organising Aron Ra’s trip to Dublin at the start of March. All of this is voluntary work. None of us get paid.

I went to bed early yesterday evening, as Jane and I had another human rights conference to attend today. I woke a few hours later and checked my mail, to find what I thought was a reasonable email from Aidan Rowe asking me to check comments on my blog that she said supported anti-trans hate speech.

I spent an hour on the phone discussing this with Jane, talking through the entire 250 comment thread and its various interrelated discussions. We found some comments that linked to a website that contained allegations of harassment and rape by named people, and I deleted comments discussing those links.

With regard to Aidan’s allegation that some comments promoted trans hate speech, we both concluded that such an allegation required more serious reflection than an instant response while tired. So I emailed Aidan, asked her for more details, and said I would look over the comments this evening after today’s human rights conference. I then put our statement to the UN Human Rights Council online, and went to bed again.

I woke this morning with my email including a link to a blog post titled: “Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) supports trans-misogynistic hate speech”. I initially thought it was somebody trolling, until I was reminded what real trolling is.

Also in my email was an unrelated blog comment by somebody else that began: “I will fuck your dead wife in the ass,” and continued in similar vein to refer favourably to Hezbollah and the IRA and less favourably to Richard Dawkins.

Ah, the joys of working voluntarily for an ethical secular society. Now, I have to leave for today’s human rights conference.

Thank you

Finally for now, I would like to thank Ashling O’Brien for publishing this analysis of the allegations against me:

Is this the most awful man in Ireland?

And I would like to thank Max Krzyzanowski for publishing this on his Facebook page:

“While I cannot claim to be familiar with his every utterance, I have followed Peter Tatchell’s career in public life since the 1980’s, and I can say that he is one of those rare individuals who consistently and clearly articulated principles of equality and human rights, advocating for every identity in the LGBTQIA+ rainbow to be equal before the law. Any accusation of transphobia or racism is to my mind, implausible in the highest degree and must be substantiated immediately or withdrawn and apologised for.

There is a parallel happening here in Ireland with veteran peace campaigner, human rights advocate and LGBTQIA+ equality campaigner, Michael Nugent. From abroad and within Ireland, Michael has been subjected to online attacks accusing him of defending rapists, being a neo-nazi, homophobia and online bullying. Not a shred of evidence is offered in support of these accusations, yet the claims are not withdrawn. The only defence that is offered for these attacks is that they fall under the rubric of “honest opinion”.

It is time that those who cloak themselves in the mantle of righteous anger be forced to confront their vanity and their folly.”

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{ 370 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Siobhan February 19, 2016 at 10:26 am

michael, this is horrendous. I’m genuinely sorry you are being attacked in this way. Unbelievable stuff.

2 Ashling February 19, 2016 at 11:22 am

And I thought we had reached the critical mass of absurdity. I’ve run out of words at this stage. I’m sorry you are going through this, all I can do is continue to speak out against this and offer my support in any way I can. I’d ask those who support Michael and the work he does to do the same.

On a related note this blog by Helen Pluckrose is well worth reading http://helensatheistblogs.blogspot.ie/2016/02/why-i-no-longer-identify-as-feminist.html?m=1

3 Jack Rawlinson February 19, 2016 at 11:36 am

Every time I think these people cannot get any more out-there deranged, they prove me wrong. It’s almost becoming surreal now.

4 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 11:43 am

Michael, you’re clearly being willfully obtuse here. In what world are allegations that trans women are men seeking access to women only spaces to assault women and girls the kind of thing that require a further look to see if they’re hate speech? A cursory glance at the comments section would make it clear to anybody what’s going on (and why, after receiving such an email bringing your attention to the thread, if ‘more serious reflection’ was required, would you have approved comments awaiting moderation from the person Aidan informed you was posting this transmisogynist abuse??)

It’s also revealing as hell that while you were too tired and too busy to deal with transphobic harrsssment and hate speech on your blog last night that you have now managed to find the time to write this.

Furthermore, to write a blog post like this, where you detail both Aidan’s (who’s pronoun is ‘they’ fyi) calling attention to the events concerning them last night and, the vile harrassing blog you also found in your email, as if they both represent unfair or cruel attacks on you in an even remotely similar way, is seriously low.

I don’t know how, being sensitive as you are to hate directed at you, you could publish something that you can’t expect will have any effect but to draw further ire onto the same trans person the abuse of whom you enabled through your refusal to act last night. Surely you must be aware that being publicly trans and putting onesself out there this way in response to willful abuse and disrespect carries a much higher cost and risk for a transfem person than promoting secularism in Ireland does for a straight cis man such as you.

You should be ashamed of yourself, though I doubt you will be, and I will of course be following this blog today in anticipation of the transphobia in the comments section that I’m sure will occur as surely as it did yesterday – transphobia that your (v important I’m sure) conference is likely to prevent you from moderating.

5 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 11:43 am

It feels a bit like the “Red Scare” at the moment, where anybody who even hints they don’t like apple pie and baseball is some sort of Commie.

The King was among a group of people, i.e. The Slyme Pit, ERV, etc. who correctly pointed out and highlighted this emerging group of regressive left fascists. No amount of purity is ever enough. For example, ‘Father Ted’ co-writer Graham Linehan thought he was safe throwing faeces at the GamerGaters (another group designated as “Commies under the bed”) until of course, he failed a purity test – one ‘Father Ted’ episode was apparently offensive to trans people. So, Linehan was labelled a transphobe and transmisogynist. Strangely, that has not taught him a lesson. He is still very much a “social justice warrior”. He will suffer in the long term…

I do wonder what Steve Novella and NECSS think. They know that their action of kow-towing to these regressive left fascists has backfired on them, and they are now associated with the group on the wrong side of history. Of course, Steven Novella will be targeted by these fascists in due time, and I will be there to say “I TOLD YOU SO”, just like I was there to say “I told you so” to Ophelia Benson.

As a rule, if you want to be on the right side of history, stick with THE KING. The likes of PZ Myers, Svan, Watson, Novella, Linehan, Canuck, have all enabled the regressive left fascists, and they will be made to pay a very heavy price for that.

6 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

Sarah is on the side of the regressive left fascists. Their growing anti-Semitic racism has been exposed in places like Oxford University. They throw labels and accusations around to try and disguise their own hatred, racism, and bigotry. They support and defend Islamists who call for the death of adulterous women and non-Muslims, but will “no-platform” somebody simply for being a Jew.

In the last few days, these regressive left fascists have labelled Nick Lowles (of Hope Not Hate) an “Islamophobe” and “racist”, because he opposes grooming and child abuse. Many of these regressive left fascists are trying to normalise paedophilia (check out Lousy Canuck’s justification and defence of the actions of an exposed paedophile a few months ago + PZ’s defence and enabling of a self-confessed child rapist), while demonizing legal and perfectly sensible political positions.

Sarah, perhaps the hate site that is Pharyngula is more to your liking?

7 Blip February 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

Can atheists be martyrs?

8 Jack Rawlinson February 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Honestly, reading the – let’s not mince words here – frankly insane justifications for these attacks on Michael, I would be genuinely proud to be similarly maligned by these staggeringly deluded people. They’re so far down the rabbit hole of spiralling political narcissism it’s almost impressive.

9 Derek Walsh February 19, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Aidan has put a rather weaselly* disclaimer in the blog post in question to the effect that “support” in this instance means “material support” i.e. allowing comments on his blog, rather than “support” in the sense of, well, support.
The reason Aidan gives for this disclaimer – the very first thing apart from the headline that some of Aidan’s readers will learn about Michael Nugent – is that “Michael is fond of throwing around defamation threats”.
This is “poisoning the well”. The headline is designed to make what Michael is accused of seem worse than even Aidan imagines it to be, and the clarification comes with the implication that it is made under duress because Michael threatens people – a thoroughly false and despicable allegation.
It seems like Aidan’s only goal in commenting on Michael’s post was to collect enough outrage fodder to be able to create a blog post to further smear Michael. It’s pathetic, entitled behaviour from someone with nothing better to do than find things to be offended about.

*I’m using “weaselly” in its normal everyday sense to mean sneaky and dishonest. If “weaselly” suggests to anyone a stereotype about AMAB trans people, anarchists, queer shapeshifters, electronica producers or any other minority, oppressed or otherwise, to which Aidan belongs or purports to belong, please note that I am not aware of such an association and it is not my intention to invoke such a stereotype. My intention is merely to say that Aidan’s disclaimer is sneaky and dishonest.

10 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 1:15 pm

> it seems like Aidan’s only goal in commenting on Michael’s post was to collect enough outrage fodder to be able to create a blog post to further smear Michael

Yeah transgender people often deliberately attempt to provoke dehumanizing hate speech in order to make a rhetorical point against another person /s … idk how anybody could make this point in seriousness unless they had absolutely no idea what being on the receiving and of that kind of bigotry is like.

And Michael I see the best majority of the anti-trans posts on your previous blog still stand. Dunno how you could claim to not have time to deal with them, but did have time to write this blog in your own defence. (Jk i do know, it’s because defence of your character as a straight man being accused of being a bad ally is clearly a higher priority for you than moderating abuse of a trans person by your readers in your online space)

11 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Sarah, false accusations are a form of hate speech. You and Aidan engage in hate speech.

The use of false labeling, like what you and Aidan engage in, has a long history associated with the far right, and with Stalinist Russia. This, like the rise in tide of anti-Semitic bigotry, is now associated with the regressive left and some of the trans activists who are part of it. You can also throw in the attempt to normalise paedophilia. This will be resisted by liberals and decent human beings. There is no room for hate speech, paedophilia, or anti-Semitism.

Being part of the regressive left or part of the trans movement will not make you immune to being called out as a promoter of hate speech. Especially while the likes of me, THE KING, are around to put you right.

12 Nick February 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Michael, I’m going to give you some free advice as someone who actually agrees with a lot of the stated goals of Atheist Ireland, but would not go near it due to the penchant for focusing on personal drama – every time you post another one of these, the vast majority of people think you’re petty, ridiculous, and too mired in personal drama. It’s embarrassing. Stop.

13 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Derek, “weaselly” is the perfect word.

14 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 1:43 pm

Nick, can you show us your survey/data for the basis of your claim “the vast majority of people think you’re petty, ridiculous, and too mired in personal drama.”?

Wouldn’t it be originators of the “personal drama”, i.e. those who make false allegations, the ones responsible? Don’t blame the messenger, and don’t blame those who correct false allegation, lies, and abuse.

Your response is akin to blaming anti-bullying activists, and excusing the bullies. Bullies need to be tackled and exposed for that they are, just like when Michael expertly exposed PZ Myers. Myers reputation and his effectiveness was severely damaged. That is excellent, as we need to damage the reputations of bullies and regressive left fascists.

15 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 1:47 pm

> false accusations are a form of hate speech

Lol for folks who were all about strict dictionary definitions of stuff that sure is a stretch.

16 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 2:32 pm

Nick #12:

It is very fortunate, then, that this here is Michael’s blog, not the Atheists Ireland website. Those two are not the same thing.

And if Michael is being dishonestly attacked and smeared, there are no valid reasons for him to not respond to the attacks and smears.

Except, that is, if you just want him to shut up and take it. But to me that sounds a bit rapey…

17 Jane Donnelly February 19, 2016 at 2:33 pm

For the record, Michael rang me late last night. I was already in bed and half asleep. he wanted to discuss a complaint he got by email. The complaint was in relation to comments on his blog.

Unfortunately the wifi in my room is slow so I could not access the comments on his blog and read them. Michael started reading them out to me, the lot of them. Unfortunately I am not familiar with the various terms that were used in the comments and I simply could not keep track of what he was saying. In addition I was exhausted and I simply could not keep up with all the comments and the various people making those comments. I let him go on for a while but I just could not deal with what he was saying. We did pick up on some comments as he went through them with me and he removed them.

He also mentioned that there were some links to content, I could not access these either. In addition there are other terms used and I was not familiar with these either. It became clear that I was not in a position to discuss the issue. Michael was also very tired as we have had a very busy week. He did suggest giving Aidan a guest post on his blog to respond and deal with the issue in this manner. I thought that was a good idea. We then decided to respond to the email and then look at all the content ASAP.

Michael rang me again very early this morning and informed me about the latest development. I was not even out of bed at this stage, I had no opportunity to read all the comments, nor access the links in order to discuss the issue regarding hate speech in detail. At this stage I still have not had an opportunity to do that.

Michael can and does put together articles very quickly, I’m sure he had that article up this morning in a matter of minutes and was out the door to that conference. That is an all day conference.

My experience in working with Michael and Atheist Ireland is that all complaints are investigated. Michael will seek advice and ask for discussion in order to make a decision.

Atheist Ireland will always investigate complaints regarding hate speech and that will go to a committee.

All these people are volunteers and can only do their best to ensure that complaints are investigated. The initial complaint has now developed, in addition Michael is now being criticised for not responding fast enough and for writing a quick response to Aidan’s article.

18 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Sarah #14:

False accusations are indeed a form of hate speech. They can drive people to violence and murder sometimes.

If you don’t trust me, maybe read something about lynch mobs in the XXth century southern USA…

19 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 2:43 pm

What’s dishonest about what Aidan posted?

Go check out the thread – people purposefully addressing them as dude after they’d requested otherwise while telling them nobody gives a shit about their gender (easy for cis people who’s genders aren’t routinely denied and mocked), somebody using xie/xir pronouns in an obviously mocking fashion, as well as links to anti-trans sites and accusations that trans women are men attempting to access women’s spaces to assault us.

Michaels attention was drawn to the fact that his blog was being used as a platform for this and instead of acting Michael actually approved further comments of that nature which were awaiting moderation. This provides material support for that kind of speech and it isn’t ok – especially not from somebody who is ostensibly an ally to the LGBT community.

20 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm

> if you don’t trust me, maybe read something about lynch mobs in the XXth century southern USA…

Do you think I’m unaware of lynch mobs? The act of falsely accusing somebody of something (if that were what was going on) is not a sufficient stand alone criterion for hate speech. To suggest such is ludicrous.

21 Derek Walsh February 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Sarah Malone:

Yeah transgender people often

No no no no no. Not “transgender people often”.

Not “transgender people”, just Aidan Rowe.

Not “often”, just in this particular instance.

Do you see the difference? Do you see why criticism of one person’s actions is not a criticism of the entirety of behaviour of a whole class of people? Do you see why one person’s behaviour can’t be excused, ignored or defended by appealing to the idea that the sort of person they are is unlikely to behave in such a way?
I suspect you don’t, and I believe it’s the same sort of category error that began this whole silly affair. Some people were – apparently genuinely – unable to see that Michael could say a gay man “flounced” without this being a commentary on the conversation-exiting styles of gay men generally. And as Michael is a straight white man, and an atheist, it was very easy for the same people to put him into their neat little categories, and condemn him in spite of the evidence.

deliberately attempt to provoke dehumanizing hate speech in order to make a rhetorical point against another person /s … idk how anybody could make this point in seriousness unless they had absolutely no idea what being on the receiving and of that kind of bigotry is like.

I don’t know how someone can make the point that a radical queer activist who encourages the violent overthrow of the state must be some sort of shrinking violet who would never provoke an argument.
Some people like attention and may not care whether it’s positive or negative.

22 tina February 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

@ Derek

Where has A advocated the violent overthrow of the state?

23 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 3:02 pm

> I don’t know how someone can make the point that a radical queer activist who encourages the violent overthrow of the state must be some sort of shrinking violet who would never provoke an argument.

That isn’t at all what im saying though. Aidan has absolutely no need to provoke arguments with anybody, is what I’m saying. Simply existing as they are with the beliefs they hold is more than sufficient for that, but there will always be people convinced that they must relish these interactions somehow – which imo is illustrative of how people who are as willing/able to enter what are seriously horrid discussions in defence of themselves and others are perceived…. say nothing and leave harmful speech to stand unchallenged or else you must just loooove a good scrap.

24 Aidan Rowe February 19, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Everything I have said is factually accurate and supported by evidence. I sent Michael several messages explaining the content and character of the hate speech and rather than deal with it Michael chose not only to leave it in place but made a positive choice to publish supposed supporting evidence to back up a set of claims that should have immediately been self-evidently horrifying to any right-thinking person. I do not owe Michael privacy in dealing with hate speech that he allows to be published publicly, particularly given that Michael considers posts on an individual’s personal facebook page fair game for a public callout. I will facilitate Michael’s right of reply in the comments section of the article. If the comments are removed or publicly denounced by Michael, I will update the article to reflect this. Likewise, if Michael wishes to apologise I will update the article to reflect this.

25 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

I’m still more than willing to use someone’s preferred pronouns if they kindly ask me to. It’s a common courtesy that’s easy to put into effect.

But if someone starts getting into fits because I didn’t use their preferred pronouns in the first place, and gets all uppity about it, then I feel it’s my duty to make sure I *never* use their preferred pronouns.

Here’s what I said:

Aidan:

“dude”

Yes. And ?

You might be surprised to learn that I use this very word when talking to my dear darling fiancée.

Your point, dude?”

And here’s what Aidan replied:

“I’m not a dude. Don’t call me that.”

They could have gone with “I don’t identify as a dude, can you please refrain from labeling me as one?” and I would be totally okay with it.

But no, they demanded from on-high that I don’t call them “dude”, out of the blue (well, not really out of the blue, because now I’ve checked, they mentioned being a AMAB Transgender Queer in comment #48. But by this time, I was already skipping their comments as they were repeating the same shit over and over, so I missed that one). I’m sorry, but in a discussion that is already tense with conflicts, I tend not to take too kindly to this sort of things.

I’m something of a prick online, I will admit. But usually I’m one to people who act like pricks to me in the first place.

26 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Aidan:

It’s not hate speech, it’s just people voicing their opinions.

27 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 3:21 pm

> if someone starts getting into fits because I didn’t use their preferred pronouns in the first place, and gets all uppity about it, then I feel it’s my duty to make sure I *never* use their preferred pronouns

Seriously sound supporters you’ve got here, LGBT ally Michael Nugent. Maybe you’d like to clarify for Phil that you don’t want the support of people who decide to purposefully misgender trans people who aren’t polite enough in their reactions to it in the first place?

28 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I’m ready to accept a permanent ban from Michael if needs be. No problems from me. I only speak for myself and don’t expect my views to be reflected onto the blog owner.

As I’ve stated in the other thread, I’m no one’s “good ally”. It is, however, interesting to see that the Trans* who get offended by misgendering are found almost exclusively on the internet, and in SJW factions, at that. Strange, isn’t it? Fortunately, real life is not Tumblr.

I feel very lucky my Trans* friends IRL are nothing like that.

29 Jack Rawlinson February 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

Jane – (#17). Both you and Michael are showing immense patience with people who are clearly hypersensitive moaners. The degree of entitled and vastly overblown umbrage-taking on display from these people is revolting and – as you see – your reassurances and explanations cut no ice at all with them and their relentless self-indulgent grievance party.

Michael had already made it clear that he had made far greater efforts to deal with these complaints than most bloggers would have, yet again, they don’t care. Never mind al the good work you and he have been doing; never mind that you were tired and it was late: not good enough. Their demands and whines must be addressed immediately or you must be condemned. They are determined to blame him for any comment made by others that both sets their flaccid upper lips a-quivering and is not immediately removed in accordance with their demands. Failure to do so means that Michael must join the many other thoroughly decent and hard-working people these self-righteous, tissue-skinned bleaters want to hurl on the pyre.

Quite honestly, they are not worthy of even a fraction of the respect or patience you have shown them. They’re worse than trolls, and easily as time-wasting. The best way to deal with time-wasters like this is just to tell them to stuff it and ignore them in future.

30 Jane Donnelly February 19, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Michael does not approve every comment. Comments do not necessarily go into moderation on his blog. Some words put comments into moderation.

In addition some comments go into moderation because they have more than one hyperlink. The hyperlink moderation is to stop spam that is unrelated to the discussion. It is not to censor content.

To claim that Michael supports anything because certain comments may have gone into moderation is not material support.

Don’t understand how anyone can claim that

31 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:46 pm

As far as I’m aware, Michael doesn’t moderate his comment sections all that much.

As Jane says, spams and overtly-linked comments get into moderation, but he usually doesn’t delete or edit much. He does sometimes but only to protect one’s identity or to remove actual smears.

And there’s his quip with the L word (l/i/a/r) but that’s from and incident over two years old, IIRC.

As opposed to FTB, Michael takes no editorial liberties with comments. He can’t in good faith be blamed for comments posted here.

FTB now, that’s another matter…

32 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 3:48 pm

@Jane – Cindy posted some links which went into moderation – Michael saw these when Aidan emailed him to look at the link and he made the call to approve them to be published on his blog.

33 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm

And yes, I do realize I’ve been acting like an arse here in the last few days and may be more than a little responsible for Aidan’s accusations.

Could I maybe offer an olive branch and try to do it all over again? Aidan, I am sorry for calling you a “dude”. Just let me know what pronouns you want me to use when it comes to you, and I’ll gladly oblige.

That last paragraph is not a joke.

34 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Sarah #32:

What were those links about (grand picture, nothing too specific)?

35 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:10 pm

@Phil links to anti-trans website transgenderreality and other sites

36 Aidan Rowe February 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm

@Phil

Thanks, I appreciate the apology. My pronouns are they/them/their.

37 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm

It sounds as if we have some people who think being rude = hate speech. I can’t imagine how exhausting it is to live like that. Has everyone here tried weed?

38 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 4:17 pm

Aidan #36:

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I will stick to it.

Sarah #35: I’m not familiar with any of those websites. I don’t think I’ll lose much if I skip them?

39 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

@JetLagg #420blazeit and it’s still fucking shitty to mock transness and deliberately misgender people.

“Trans women are men trying to access women’s spaces to rape them” is hate speech in the same way “Gay people are pedophiles who want to rape children” is yeah?

40 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Can’t believe my luck to have posted that at exactly 4:20 maybe there is a god

41 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Twice! It’s a sign, surely.

42 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm

I have a comment awaiting moderation around #38

43 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Sarah@38

it’s still fucking shitty to mock transness and deliberately misgender people.

No more shitty than other sorts of disses and putdowns that get thrown about on a daily basis without people devolving into hysterics over.

“Trans women are men trying to access women’s spaces to rape them” is hate speech in the same way “Gay people are pedophiles who want to rape children” is yeah?

I tend to reserve hate speech as a description for direct or implicit calls to violence, so no. Obviously it’s an insane statement intended to demonize trans women though.

44 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 4:28 pm

I’ll try again, maybe a glitch.

Aidan @36:

Ok, thanks for the clarification. I will stick to it.

Sarah @35: I’m not familiar with any of those websites. I don’t think I’ll lose much if I skip them?

45 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Nope not working.

Anyway, I wanted to thank A #36 and will stick to their preferred pronouns.

And I also stated that those links Sarah described are probably not something I would follow and read.

46 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm

I don’t think it’s useful to talk about things in terms of “this person is a transmisogynist” anyway….that isn’t what Aidan asserted and it’s unfalsifiable since it rests on how a person thinks. It’s also an easy fallback … ‘ Hey that thing you said was homophobic’ ‘Well I AM NOT A HOMOPHOBE how dare you!’ Etc etc.

Maybe this would work better if we could all cop to the fact that you don’t need to nurse a deep burning hatred for LGBT people in your heart to step out and do something shit without meaning to. What good allies do when called on this is examine what they did and make efforts to make amends for unintentional hurt while ensuring it doesn’t happen again.

Instead what happened here was that Paul was described as having ‘flounced’ away – Paul himself, a camp gay man, objected to the use of such a term given how it is used in a homophobic context (and often a sexist one… masculine men are never likely to be described this way unless to emasculate them somehow. Words like flounce shrill and bossy are usually reserved for women… let’s not pretend the dictionary tells us all and context and connotation don’t matter a damn) and was basically told by Michael, a straight supposed ally, ‘well tbf Paul you did flounce plus I didn’t mean it in a homophobic way’

Aidan then partook in a comment thread where what I think should be obvious some seriously uncool transphobia transpired – and Michael has dealt with it appallingly once again… leaving horrid comments to stand saying he has no time while writing a self pitying blog post about it… if I were Michael and I were unsure if something qualified as hate speech against a group I wasn’t a member of when a member raised it with me, id have suspended the thread pending investigation and immediately tried to find somebody to reality check me who I trusted knew their stuff… I *certainly* wouldn’t have continued to let comments that were caught in moderation through.

This has been a shit show and I’m really sad that it seems Michael is being urged to ignore this while those with legitimate complaints are being painted as unreasonable and out for a scrap for mounting vehement defence against bigotry. I hope he reconsiders.

47 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

>I tend to reserve hate speech as a description for direct or implicit calls to violence.

Right but that isn’t how hate speech is defined in law or otherwise. It’s about incitement of hatred or violence – you don’t think “gays are pedos” is likely to invite violence against them?

48 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:42 pm

>No more shitty than other sorts of disses and putdowns that get thrown about on a daily basis without people devolving into hysterics over.

If you’re really asserting that ‘disses’ and ‘put downs’ are the same as racism sexism homophobia transphobia etc and deserve the same weight then I have no idea how to take dialogue further with you as cultural and historical context seem to mean nothing to you.

49 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

That’s definitely how it’s defined colloquially in my circles, and you could easily make a case that the law defines it that way in spirit. So, again, we disagree.

And no, in my neck of the woods saying gays are pedophiles has a chance of inciting violence that approaches zero. In ISIS occupied territories that would change. Then again, you wouldn’t need any incitement in that case.

In short, I see zero problem here, but you’re going on about how it’s “horrid”, “appalling”.

50 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Sarah #46:

“Maybe this would work better if we could all cop to the fact that you don’t need to nurse a deep burning hatred for LGBT people in your heart to step out and do something shit without meaning to”

The problem is, nowadays, with internet and especially Tumblr, no one has a clear idea of what is deemed “stepping out”. You have to admit that words are being redefined on a daily basis to suit whatever outrage du jour is being trended.

So, what’s one to do? Educate themselves? There are more schools of thought on “problematic” language than there are on, say, Feminism or cladistic classifications. (that’s not a factual statement, just a hyperbole)

I think the best option (that’s my own opinion, of course) would be to maybe stop searching for things to be outraged about, especially harmless words like “flounce”, and deal with the deeper problems.

51 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:58 pm

To be fair, “outrage” only occurred when Michael refused to be even remotely accountable and asserted it couldn’t be homophobic if he didn’t mean it that way.

I don’t think it’s too much to ask that, generally speaking, if a member of a marginalized group says hey that thing is xphobic and as a member of x group I didn’t like it, that it be taken seriously.

And I really don’t think considering using flounce to describe a camp man as used by a straight man to be homophobic is that outrageous – even if the man himself isn’t homophobic and even if he wasn’t effortfully trying to be ….I certainly don’t think it’s even remotely approaching the level of “well what CAN I say, gawsh” level of an issue.

If Paul had said “I found that characterization to be homophobic as a camp gay man” and Michael had tried to grasp the weight of what casual dismissive homophobia can feel like, and said “Well I wasn’t trying to be homophobic but I’m sorry for using a characterization like that wrt you” that likely would have been the end of it.

52 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Sarah Maline:

Lol for folks who were all about strict dictionary definitions of stuff that sure is a stretch.

Not really. I think in a lot of cases the effects and damage of malicious false allegations can be far worse than hate speech. No need for dictionaries when we can see real-life examples of the outcomes!

Listen, a word of advice, you SJWs will never outwit THE KING.

53 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 5:10 pm

There’s no “to be fair” about this. It’s quintessential crybully shit that’s been plaguing atheism and skepticism for years. Someone says something you find offensive (and really, you’re striking me as the sort of person who finds offense everywhere) and you launch into accusations about how it’s objectively shitty implying they’re an objectively shitty (or evil) person. Then you find it confusing when the person takes offense, or refuses to grovel and apologize for a nonissue. Then when it’s pointed out how wildly disproportional your accusations were to the nonissue we see weasel language like that used in Aidan’s post.

I don’t find it surprising at all that people get fed up with the game and start intentionally offending you.

54 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Sarah #51:

“I don’t think it’s too much to ask that, generally speaking, if a member of a marginalized group says hey that thing is xphobic and as a member of x group I didn’t like it, that it be taken seriously.”

I think that’s the problem right here.

I’m going to Godwin the shit out of this, but what if a neo-nazi was to complain about the general hatred on their movement? Naziphobia? I, for one, would subscribe to such phobia in a heartbeat.

True, being a nazi is a choice, while being Trans*, Gay, Lesbian, etc… is not. But in the end, that’s not what we’re talking about. You, for that matter, are talking about giving special privilege to a member of “group X”, and I strongly disagree with this idea.

It’s the same thing as another word Michael very aptly brushed upon: Islamophobia. I’m all for condemning the religious insanity of Islam. It doesn’t mean I hate Muslims as a whole. I just find the religion and its ideology disgusting. Offending, even. But it in no way means I hate muslims (I don’t). Just like saying someone is wrong or stupid or deluded doesn’t mean I think so because they are part of “group X” or similar privilege-granting factions. I just think they are wrong or stupid or deluded.

As a non-native English speaker, I tend to read more thoroughly into that language. Maybe that’s a factor?

55 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Richard #52:

A word of advice: the “King” stuff is getting rather boring. Can you at least make it a bit funny?

56 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm

I think The King stuff is pretty lol but probably not in the way Richard would like it to be.

Also nazis aren’t a marginalised or oppressed group and given our discussion so far i would have expected better than for it to devolve that way. Poor form tbh

57 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Have a comment awaiting moderation at 53, but I wanted to jump in and say in the western world you could easily make a case that nazis are more oppressed than trans people. Can’t fly the flag in Germany! Systemic oppression!

58 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 5:29 pm

And saying a marginalised minority should be taken seriously when they make their oppression or call it out isn’t about giving them special privilege – it’s about recognizing that those outside that group are privileged over them in society, can’t really ‘know’ what it’s like for them, and taking that into account.

59 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Once again @Michael do you wish to have supporters who actually make the argument that fascists are an oppressed minority?

This has been a very disheartening experience to be sure.

60 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 5:36 pm

sarah #55:

In the US, neo-nazis are thriving thanks to the first amendment. I find them disgusting, but that’s the price you have to pay for actual free speech.

In my dear ol’ Europe, not so much. And that’s a VERY good thing. Here in France, a lot of hateful imagery is denied public view. The swastika is one (there was a hilarious mess about it when they had to fly the flag in my own city for a movie shot not long ago). Hindus be damn, hey?

But by all measure, despite your objections, and keeping in mind I clearly stated there was a Godwin law absolute there (google Godwin, if you’re not familiar), nazis are a minority.

I don’t think you would grant them the same rights you do other minorities.

Please correct me if I’m wrong.

61 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Ok, maybe Michael is busy, but I’ve had enough with the automatic moderation stuff.

Neo-nazis are a minority, yes, by all meanings of the word. If my comment gets out of mod, you’ll be able to read a more in-depht argument.

“Once again @Michael do you wish to have supporters who actually make the argument that fascists are an oppressed minority?”

So, have you stopped beating your wife/husband/SO?

62 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm

For fucks sake, when people repeatedly argue in bad faith there’s no reason to take their protestations of hurt feelz as evidence that you did something wrong.

They need to grow the fuck up.

63 Jane Donnelly February 19, 2016 at 5:40 pm

If you are getting into the definitions of how different people define ‘hate speech’, then we could be here for a while. It means different things to different people. I don’t think it is wise to just accept such an accusation without looking at the details.

If you think that it is an easy thing to get your head around what constitutes hate speech, then think again. I would be very reluctant to accuse anyone of hate speech and /or supporting hate speech without examining everything and in detail.

Not only do people define hate speech in different ways but so do
different countries. The UN/Council of Europe are working to define what constitutes hate speech, it is not an easy subject. Hate speech is linked to ‘freedom of expression”. The are restrictions on the right to freedom of expression and it is obvious that we are discussing those restrictions.

It is clear that some people have made up their mind and are clear in defining hate speech. They could be correct in that assessment. I just need more time to examine this before I could agree that what was said constitutes hate speech.

64 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 5:44 pm

That isnt a “have you stopped beating your wife” question. When Michael gets time to reply (I’ve already said I think it was irresponsible for him to publish this blog knowing he would be offline all day in my very first comment ) I hope he will be saying “No of course I don’t want that kind of support from that kind of person” and actually moderate his comments section

65 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 5:46 pm

You don’t think Nazis are a minority in the western world? You don’t think they’re systemically oppressed (I already provided you with one concrete example). You don’t think they’re marginalized? Be scientific, and do an experiment. Tell your friends and family you’re a nazi and see how they react.

And no, Michael actually allows discussion in his comments. Which is why nonsense arguments about privilege aren’t going to gain any traction here.

66 citizen_wolf February 19, 2016 at 5:46 pm

As I sit here pondering the often inane and ridiculous back and forth that’s gone on in these comments I can see that some people just don’t want to be offended. And that’s fine, none of us want to be offended. However are we right to take offense in every situation when absolutely none is intended.

Aidan says that he finds it offensive to be called dude, or him, or her. And that’s fine I guess, if that’s what he feels. My name is xxxx and I might get miffed if someone called me yyyy. I’ll take it at face value that Aidan’s offended by such words. However, should Aidan take offense when genuinely none is intended?

For example if I go to a foreign country and they completely mangle the pronunciation of my name despite repeated instructions from me as to the correct pronunciation. Should I flounce off in a huff? I’d imagine that I’d be left with few friends if I repeatedly did something like that.

From my reading of what Aidan and Sarah have written, it seems that they have a view on the usage of certain words and are asking/telling others to conform to their understanding of these words. Whilst agreeing that victimization of minorities does occur and is wrong, I seriously disagree with the tactics/arguments employed by Aidan and Sarah here.

IMHO they’re looking for offense.

Does not conforming with their wishes imply that you hate them as a group? I don’t think so. Depending on the exact situation, it might indicate that you’re at worst being rude in one specific set of circumstances but on the other hand it might mean nothing at all, and it might be that Aidan and Sarah are incorrectly feeling victimized.

67 Pete Attkins February 19, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Sarah #57 wrote: “…it’s about recognizing that those outside that [marginalised] group are privileged over them in society…”

False dichotomy. I’m not a member of marginalised group A, I’m a member of marginalised group B, and members of group A don’t understand what it’s like to be in group B — it certainly isn’t being privileged over them in society. Same applies to groups C, D, etc.

68 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 5:47 pm

To be fair, “outrage” only occurred when Michael refused to be even remotely accountable and asserted it couldn’t be homophobic if he didn’t mean it that way.

You mean the ‘outrage’ didn’t start until Michael refused to concede unconditionally to trumped-up charges concocted by an apologist for Islamist fascism?

69 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 5:48 pm

I wasn’t ridiculous. Well, sure, that’s me saying it, but I’ll stick to my own words.

70 citizen_wolf February 19, 2016 at 5:49 pm

Just to add. The position Aidan and Sarah have adopted may well be in response to years of genuine victimization and thus they react badly in all situations.

On the other hand, it might just be that they moan a lot in general.

I don’t know.

71 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 5:57 pm

From my reading of what Aidan and Sarah have written, it seems that they have a view on the usage of certain words and are asking/telling others to conform to their understanding of these words.

From my reading of Sarah and Aiden they are determined to take offence at something, anything, and will seize on any ambiguity in order to contort whatever anyone says into an example of abuse.

I see no reason at all to take them at their word they are genuinely offended, and even if they are, I see no reason that the feelings of people so utterly devoid of basic humanity towards others should be treated with kid gloves.

72 Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 5:58 pm

> False dichotomy. I’m not a member of marginalised group A, I’m a member of marginalised group B, and members of group A don’t understand what it’s like to be in group B — it certainly isn’t being privileged over them in society. Same applies to groups C, D, etc

Sure – I thought it would be clear that I meant ‘privileged over them with regard to this specific thing’.

I’d expect a black male friend of mine to listen to me if I considered something to be harmfully misogynist just like he should expect that I would listen and take him seriously wrt racism.

73 Aidan Rowe February 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

@Jane

Sorry no I’m not going to allow you to relativise this, when precisely these kinds of transmisogynistic fantasies are being used by rightists in the US and elsewhere to mobilises movements aimed at excluding trans women and girls from public space and services, not to mention encouraging violence against a population who are already beaten, raped and murdered at a far higher rate than the general population (particularly those who are non-white). You are either with us in naming this as hate speech, or you’re against us, apologising for, minimising and obfuscating calculated strategies aimed at our marginalisation.

And as Sarah has already pointed out, these strategies should be wholly familiar to those who fought for gay rights in much more hostile times, where gay people were routinely insinuated accused of being paedophiles in order to mobilise people against them. (It’s also one of the signatures strategies of fascists in building support for racism and genocide, something we are seeing re-emerging today in opposition to the human rights of refugees.)

74 Pete Attkins February 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm

So, everyone group who is marginalised is also privileged. I’m glad you agree.

75 Aneris February 19, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Gravest accusations are now commonplace, and I see them in the small scale and in the large scale. They universally come out of the yet unnamed “social justice movement”, which is still largely invisible and escaping scrutiny (attempts to name it range from “social justice warriors” to “regressive left” with shifting connotations).

Let’s go specifics for a second, adding to what Derek (#9) wrote above. We are faced with an attention grabbing headline, that is designed for these aims:

1. Make known Michael Nugent was “supporting” hate speech.
2. “Transmisogyny” is a type of hate-speech.
3. Atheist Ireland has to do with it, somehow.

The disclaimer then adds that:

4. Michael Nugent makes “defamation threats”.
5. Michael Nugent is “fond of” doing so.

As it turns out, Aidan is not discussing at all what Michael Nugent had done, but what one commenter had posted. With a few transparent rhetorical tricks, Aidan tries to make the comments made by one commenter the business of Michael Nugent himself, for example he writes: “Does Michael believe that the claim that trans women are male rapists could be anything other than a weaponised lie designed to make trans women’s lives less livable?”

Michael has never indicated any such thing. It turns out, the whole thing falls apart, and the claims made in the introduction and headline in no way correspond to whatever legitimate grievance Aidan Rowe has.

Why does it happen? There are probably six ways before breakfast to go about this situation, and none will capture every aspect. I find it comical to find right on top a quotation by Michel Foucault. When I engage social justice warriors, they tend to deny everything, never do anything, haven’t heard anything. They don’t exist. They then do what I and everyone espect them to do: heap accusation on accusations, trolling, othering and all sorts of bizarre, histrionic manners that now virtually everyone else (not them) associates with this movement.

And this is one way to explain this. This is an ideology that propagates itself while making itself invisible. They want to preach, but not discuss. They want that you to shut up and listen, and not talk back. The scrutiny is on you, not on what they are doing. Anytime you even light in their general direction you are immediately attacked with these gravest of accusations. You aren’t meant to do this. They want to make an example that nobody is meant to do this. This is also “meta” in some other way. They also attack those who even provide the torch for people who might light in the general direction, such as Peter Tatchell. By merely providing a platform, by merely hinting anything other than “shut up and listen”, you become an enemy of this movement.

Is Mr Rowe a movement? Of course not. He is alone at first, but of course that’s where the disingenious way he presents his grievance come into play. Like a bee swarm that mark the hive assailant, social justice warriors tag their opponents with a marker the other social justice warriors understand. The incident, and the invidiual become invisible under the label. It becomes wholly unimportant what exactly has prompted this label, and if the past is any indication, it cannot be removed.

With the label in place, the social justice movement can again propagate their own postmodernist hogwash. While Michael is defending himself, we hear about the plight of trans people and that such things as “transmisogyny” exists. We also learn, by example, that you are not meant to look into the matter and that doing so is highly unwise.

In my view, the only way to break this cycle is doing the exact opposite. Make them and their ridiculous nonsense a topic. Mock them, and I write it again, declare Science Wars II. People like Aidan Rowe must feel unsafe, and their postmodernist and often fascistic rot must be exposed for what it is.

At the same time, place an alternative against it, which is of course welcoming to everyone from all walks of life, including an Aidan Rowe once he left this pernicious ideology behind.

76 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Sarah #72:

“Sure – I thought it would be clear that I meant ‘privileged over them with regard to this specific thing’.”

Problem here again.

What is “privilege”? Apart from my own understanding (private laws), there is nothing of value with such concepts.

Who is the more privileged one: Oprah or the white homeless guy down the street?

In the real world, it would be Oprah. But in SJW Lalaland, it’s the naked guy eating out of garbage bags.

This is where this whole Social Justice Warrior thing doesn’t work for me.

Take people as individuals instead of parts of “group X”, and you will have more friendly “allies”. Drop the Marxist bullshit, is what I’m saying (BTW, Marx dealt with class segregation, something a lot of SJW seem to have forgotten).

77 Derek Walsh February 19, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Sarah Malone:

“Trans women are men trying to access women’s spaces to rape them” is hate speech

Arguably, but nobody in the thread claimed that. Cindy provided evidence that some people identified as straight men had invaded women-only spaces, and also of a transwoman who had been convicted of rape (although not in a woman-only space and while presenting as a man).

I think there’s some confusion here. A lot of concerns – real and otherwise – about trans people using bathrooms appropriate to their gender are based on the idea that straight men will dress up as women to spy on, harass, assault or rape women who are using the bathroom.
The response I favour is that while this might say something about straight cis men, it doesn’t say much about transwomen. Cis women are generally in much greater danger from cis men, than from transwomen.
Transwomen generally want access to bathrooms so they can relieve themselves, not so they can harass someone.
I think the confusion is that Aidan (who may correct me if I’m wrong) does not believe there’s any sense in which a man can pretend to be a transwoman; that the only qualification for being a woman is claiming to be a woman, and therefore all the above cases are actually about transwomen.
I don’t think it’s hateful to disagree with that, or to be concerned that women who need a safe women-only space may be scared or triggered by the presence of people who they perceive as men, even if those are sometimes the positions of people who are hateful.

78 An Ardent Skeptic February 19, 2016 at 6:20 pm

@Sarah

You said, “To be fair, “outrage” only occurred when Michael refused to be even remotely accountable and asserted it couldn’t be homophobic if he didn’t mean it that way.”

Is this really true? Didn’t this latest debacle get started when Aoife chose to put up a Facebook post which her 1200 friends could see accusing Michael of “using dog-whistle homophobia to defend dog-whistle misogyny”.

Where was Aoife’s responsibility to discuss this with Michael before stabbing him in the back? I don’t give a damn if this was a “private” post meant only for “friends” to see. Good ethics demand that you give someone the opportunity to respond to criticism and either clarify their position or apologize before stabbing them in the back. When was Michael provided with the opportunity to understand Aoife’s position before she chose to cast Michael’s use of the word “flounce” in the worst possible light, and then stab him in the back while allowing others to heap on more ridicule.

You feel that Michael should have responded differently to Paul. Why does Aoife get a pass for behavior which is even worse than your criticism of Michael’s behavior when responding to Paul?

Now, Aidan is upset because Michael didn’t respond immediately to their criticisms of comments on one of his blogposts. Is it ethical or even reasonable to expect an immediate response to every e-mail we send to others? Is it ethical or reasonable to write a blogpost making more ugly accusations about someone because you didn’t get the immediate response you were hoping for? Is it ethical or reasonable to complain about Michael responding to yet more published smears when someone hasn’t given Michael the chance to fully address their original complaint? Is it ethical or reasonable to make the claim that Michael moderates all comments before they appear on his blog so that one can then make the claim that he approves of all the comments which appear on his blog, when, in fact, most comments post immediately before Michael has seen them?

I would strongly suggest that if people wish to demand that others behave in a manner which is most likely to resolve issues rather than cause “outrage”, they make that demand of all parties who are feeding the flames rather than placing all the responsibility on one individual while giving others a pass to behave as unethically as they please.

79 Bob February 19, 2016 at 6:35 pm

It’s interesting to see the tendency to focus on the motivations/psychological state of Michael’s critics.

The critics are cast as hypersensitive at best, or determined to take offence at worst, depicted as either childishly unable to cope with the expression of ideas with which they disagree, or engaged in a more sinister campaign to intentionally smear those with whom they disagree.

The most obvious advantages of this approach are that (1) It avoids a discussion of the facts, shifting the focus instead to unfaslfiable speculation about people’s mental states. Engaging on that level is a lot easier, since it just requires a person to make assertions rather than provide evidence or arguments. Especially if one’s opponent is supposed to be engaged in bad faith, this approach actually provides a reason not to engage with the substance of their arguments (because that just encourages them, according to this narrative). (2) It allows the person using this strategy to avoid any kind of self-reflection, which might result in the psychologically painful experience of realizing that they are actually wrong.

80 Al C February 19, 2016 at 6:38 pm

What’s the story with describing nazis as ‘oppressed’? Is that a joke?

81 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 6:39 pm

It avoids a discussion of the facts, shifting the focus instead to unfaslfiable speculation about people’s mental states.

Of course it’s falsifiable. One would just need to examine the people in question and observe something other than a histrionic mud-slinger. To date this has not happened :3

82 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm

As for the nazis, yes it’s largely a joke designed to demonstrate how easy it is to warp arguments about “privilege” and “oppression.” I think that entire ideological framework is rotten to its core and should be abandoned.

83 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Bob #78

Engaging with you is a task I would label as “herculean”.

“Engaging” is probably not even the correct word for dealing with your verbose diarrhea.

Aidan and Sarah seem to be willing participants in a discussion. You, on the other hand, seem to be a virtue-signalling shit monger. typical SJW.

Ok, fine, we get it, you are awesome at defending the oppressed. Move on now?

84 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 6:45 pm

I may have gone a bit too far with that last one.

If so, I apologize.

85 An Ardent Skeptic February 19, 2016 at 6:53 pm

@Bob

Aren’t some of Michael’s critics doing the same. Isn’t assuming the worst about Michael because he used the word “flounce” shifting the focus to unfalsifiable speculation about Michael’s mental state? Wasn’t Michael placed in the position of having to deny that he was thinking things which he wasn’t? Wasn’t he put in the unenviable position of not being able to proof that he wasn’t thinking bad things about homosexuals when he used the word “flounce”? Wasn’t the accusation of homophobia an engagement in bad faith? Doesn’t this allow Michael’s accusers the opportunity to, as you say, “avoid self-reflection which might result in the psychologically painful experience of realizing that they are actually wrong” because there is no way for Michael to prove that he wasn’t thinking homophobic things?

Your criticism applies to people on all sides of this debate, IMO.

86 Bob February 19, 2016 at 6:53 pm

@Phil

Thank you for proving my point.

87 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 6:56 pm

Bob #86

You’re most welcome.

Wait, there was a point?!?

88 Al C February 19, 2016 at 6:59 pm

So the vocabulary of oppression and privilege should be abandoned. Because we’re all the same, right? How convenient.

89 Bob February 19, 2016 at 6:59 pm

@An Ardent Skeptic

It would be a bit silly to make the kind of claims I did and then suggest that those on “my side” are immune to the same temptations, so I won’t do that.

I will point out that, as far as I can see, most of those who were critical of Michael’s use of the word flounce haven’t claimed that he was homophobic. Nobody’s perfect: sometimes people who are generally good allies to LGBT people use words that have homophobic connotations, or behave in other ways that may be problematic. As a man who identifies as a feminist, I know that I have sometimes been guilty of using misogynistic language, for example. In the kind of society we live in, these mistakes are probably inevitable. What matters, in my view, is how one reacts when one is accused of behaving in such a way.

90 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Sorry, but at this point I’m only taking the piss.

That anyone would think Michael is homophobic, transphobic or any other phobias (maybe snakes? that one could work) is hilariously deluded. Not to mention providing a haven for rapists.

Do carry on, though.

91 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Al C @88:

Yeah, turns out we’re all the same. We are born, we live, and ultimately we die. Whatever we do in between birth and death is what will make us grander.

Crying about “bad werdz” isn’t one of those things.

92 MosesZD February 19, 2016 at 7:06 pm

@Sarah.

Don’t care if you’re trans, gay, lesbian or identify as a kosher pickle. You are just a garden variety jerk and hateful little person without a clue.

93 MosesZD February 19, 2016 at 7:16 pm

Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 3:51 pm
And yes, I do realize I’ve been acting like an arse here in the last few days and may be more than a little responsible for Aidan’s accusations.

Could I maybe offer an olive branch and try to do it all over again? Aidan, I am sorry for calling you a “dude”. Just let me know what pronouns you want me to use when it comes to you, and I’ll gladly oblige.

That last paragraph is not a joke.

I’m originally from California. And through much of my growing up and living there, everyone was called ‘dude.’ Even pets. And that went on through at least the mid-1990s and through graduate school.

People really need to get a grip on the word:

Dude is an American English slang term[1] for an individual. It typically applies to males, although the word can encompass any gender.

And that’s how we used it. Man (dude). Woman (dude or (some) dudette). Child (little dude). Pets (dude).

94 Al C February 19, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Should Atheist Ireland be renamed Sophist Ireland?

95 MosesZD February 19, 2016 at 7:23 pm

Sarah Malone February 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm
>I tend to reserve hate speech as a description for direct or implicit calls to violence.

Right but that isn’t how hate speech is defined in law or otherwise. It’s about incitement of hatred or violence – you don’t think “gays are pedos” is likely to invite violence against them?

lol. God no! Like any rational human being I’d think the person was a bushel short of a bushel!

The problem is you’ve created your climate of fear which is self-reinforcing. And there’s nothing anyone rational can do to get you out of these irrational fears except point out that you’re just borrowing non-existent trouble!

96 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 7:24 pm

Aidan doesn’t like the use of “dude” for themselves, they have voiced their preferred pronouns, so I’ll stay on track.

I use “dude” on a daily basis with my fiancée, but if Aidan doesn’t like it and has stated as such in a polite comment, there’s no reason I should deny them their right to be addressed with their preferred pronouns.

So they/them/their it is for Aidan. Doesn’t hurt me.

97 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Should Al C be renamed “I don’t have a clue where I’m posting?”

This is not Atheists Ireland. It’s Michael’s blog. Not the same thing.

98 An Ardent Skeptic February 19, 2016 at 7:31 pm

@Bob

In my view how someone reacts is a good indication of their character. Aoife’s reaction to Michael’s use of the word “flounce” speaks volumes about her lack of ethics. If Aoife was concerned about Michael’s use of the word “flounce” why didn’t Aoife mention this in a positive and constructive way rather than talking smack behind his back? People don’t change their behavior if they are not given the opportunity to do so. Aoife should have contacted Michael and said something like, “You know Michael, it probably isn’t a good idea to use the word “flounce” like you did as there are people who take this as an insult about their sexuality.” What you don’t do is make ugly accusations behind someone’s back as this does not get issues resolved. Michael is perfectly willing to accept constructive criticism. Aoife didn’t provide Michael with constructive criticism. Instead he was placed in a position of having to defend against an accusation which wasn’t true because Aoife made very negative assumptions about Michael’s mental state.

99 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 7:33 pm

‘Dude’ is an affectionate term for cool or stylish person whom one admires or identifies with.

Jeff Bridges is a dude.

Aiden is not a dude.

I’m glad we cleared that up.

100 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 7:34 pm

Al C@88

So the vocabulary of oppression and privilege should be abandoned. Because we’re all the same, right? How convenient.

That’s actually not what I said, but as a matter of fact yes. I think dialogue would improve a thousandfold overnight if we could ban those words.

101 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 7:45 pm

An Ardent Skeptic #98

Hey, long time no see! hope you’re doing well.

Anyway, I will just say here again that unless the perpetually offended take FTB to tasks about their use of “flounce”, they are just virtue-signalling fuckers.

No offense intended to those from the other side willing to comment here (no shit, you people are brave).

102 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 7:52 pm

I wouldn’t ban the words ‘oppression’ or ‘privilege’ any more than I’d ban the words ‘astrology’ or ‘cosmic ordering’.

I just refuse to take seriously anyone thinks those words reveal the secret of the universe.

103 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 7:54 pm

If there’s anyone from the Other Side commenting here I’ll rethink my atheism.

104 JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 7:55 pm

I wouldn’t actually ban them either, even though I really do mean it when I say I think it would improve dialogue. People should be free to choose of their own accord what words they abandon or keep.

105 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 8:19 pm

I didn’t think you meant it literally.

I agree that those concepts aren’t helping. There privilege in society but when you extend it to, say, the 99.9% of the population who aren’t trans, the concept loses all meaning.

106 Siobhan February 19, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Hi Folks,
So, wanted or no I felt I had to say a few words here about recent events filtering through my internets in relation to a certain Michael Nugent.
Firstly, I’m not a member of Atheist Ireland, I’m not a blogger, a activist or a campaigner, perhaps this gives me a different perspective…
I don’t know Michael particularly well and I certainly wouldn’t be the person to give anyone his CV in relation to his activism or interests.
What I can, and will, do is talk about a person I have met, because within all of this hatefulness I really think people are forgetting that they are dealing with a person.
Having met Michael once or twice in a pub setting (where we happily chatted about cats) I had the cheek to track him down on Facebook and rope him into helping me organise a surprise party for my sister (a friend of his), Michael obediently obliged, with gusto.
The same sister rang me one evening, shook up, to say she had been in a car accident, but had also rang Michael who was on his way to collect her, I met Michael again a few hours later when he accompanied her and the remains of her car to my parents house, where he dutifully minded her until she was ready to head home.
Like I said, I don’t know Michael particularly well but in the interactions I have had with him I was struck by his intelligence, kindness and genuine wish to improve the world we live in, and willingness to stand up and take action to fulfill that wish.
I once spoke briefly to Michael about previous smears against him that he had outlined on his blog, not being entrenched in the online community parts of these arguments were lost to me and I was finding it difficult to understand the history of the situation, I’m afraid (probably due to the muchness of wine I had consumed) that much of the explanation he gave has been lost to me, but I do clearly remember being struck by the hurt that these smears were causing.
Too often I feel, in fighting our fights and protecting the world we want to create we forget how to behave in the world we inhabit.
Feeling we are oppressed, feeling we are being treated badly by our society does give us the right to lash out. In our arguments over this word, or that word, we should not let ourselves forget the power that all words give us.
In being hurt, we do not have the right to cause hurt, to forget that these cyber blowouts have real people behind them. Real people whose lives matter too.
I can’t speak for Michael but if people I knew, people I spoke with regularly, in person or online, said one fraction of the things I have read in recent days about me I would be very hurt.
In all of this I can’t help but see lots of people who seem to want good things for the world, for themselves and their friends and their society lashing out in all the wrong directions.
My overriding impression of Michael when I met him was that he was kind. It may sound naive but really, it seems kindness is what we are missing out on in all of this.

What on earth are you all thinking?

For what it’s worth Michael, you have my support in dealing with this if I can do anything.

I am also available to talk about cats at any time.

107 Ashling O'Brien February 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm
108 Shatterface February 19, 2016 at 9:04 pm

I’m dying here people. It’s like people trust me or something.

So I’ve been given this rather…explosive… information. It’s about a big name in the atheist community. It has long been rumoured that atheists eat babies as part of some weird and gross ‘we hate God’ satanic ritual, but I’ve been approached with information that Michael Nugent actually eats babies!

Brilliant.

109 Citizen Wolf February 19, 2016 at 9:05 pm

@Siobhan #106
Nicely put. I don’t know Michael Nugent either. I’ve never met him, nor anyone from Atheist Ireland, but I’m very appreciative of the work they do. Work that has a very real positive impact on the people in Ireland. I hope incidents like this don’t turn him from his good works.

I think it’s horrible that others malign him because of a word that in their minds conveys a certain message, when 99% of the rest of the people who also use that word disagree with them.

Btw, although I’m available anytime to offer advice on cat-health (it’s my job), I have to pin my colors to the mast and say I’m pretty much a dog person :)

110 Citizen Wolf February 19, 2016 at 9:06 pm

And rabbits. Rabbits are also very nice. :)

111 Ashling O'Brien February 19, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Siobhán xxx

112 An Ardent Skeptic February 19, 2016 at 9:39 pm

@Phil

I am not doing well. I have cancer which had already metastasized to my spine before it was discovered. I have no idea why I’m bothering to comment on this latest disaster when I know that nothing I have to say on any of these matters makes the least bit of difference. I guess from reading so much of what Michael and Atheist Ireland are doing to make the world a better place, it really annoys me when I see people behaving towards him in such an unethical manner. Aoife’s Facebook post was highly unethical, IMO.

So here’s some perspective for people who think Michael is a shit for using the word “flounce” even though it’s often used by people all over the internet. A blogpost about how we should behave towards people with whom we disagree because we need to remember that they have different perspectives, needs, and desires than our own:

http://twodifferentgirls.com/2015/09/23/not-a-good-day/

(It’s also a reminder that life is short. And, because life is short we should do our best to live it in positive and productive ways. I think Michael is doing his best to leave the world a better place than the one he was born into. He should be applauded for his efforts, and when we have concerns about something he’s done, we should be willing to engage with him in constructive ways rather than hurling ugly, hurtful potshots in his direction.)

113 An Ardent Skeptic February 19, 2016 at 10:11 pm

@Ashling

Thanks for the HUGE laugh!!! I’d don’t get many laughs these days. Your post will keep a smile on my face for weeks!!!

114 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 10:33 pm

Just to add. The position Aidan and Sarah have adopted may well be in response to years of genuine victimization and thus they react badly in all situations.

On the other hand, it might just be that they moan a lot in general.

I don’t know.

I’m pretty confident it is the latter, plus a lot of these SJWs and activists gets aroused by falsely labeling people.

Further, if they have suffered persecution, that is in no way an excuse for their malicious abuse of people now. Just as Ogvorbis’ upbringing does not excuse his rape of several children.

115 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 19, 2016 at 10:39 pm

An Ardent Skeptic: Aoife should have contacted Michael and said something like, “You know Michael, it probably isn’t a good idea to use the word “flounce” like you did as there are people who take this as an insult about their sexuality.”

Public shaming is a major part of their tactics. They also get off on it. Except of course, when the public shaming backfires, and they are forced to apologise (rare), or lie about threats and claim they are being harassed (often).

The thing is, the last few days (with SJW attacks on Peter Tatchell and Nick Lowles) has shown just how low and nasty these fibbers will plumb. However, people are resisting. The NUS have been roundly humiliated by people defending Peter.

Challenge them, stand up to them, call them out…and they soon go red-faced and start crying. Especially when they are up against THE KING.

116 Cindy February 19, 2016 at 11:23 pm

The links that I provided were to one article about how predators will abuse ‘gender identity’ laws and perv on girls in locker rooms. It recently happened in Washington State. A man, who presented as a male person, waltzed into the girls change room and was not challenged at all because ‘gender identity’ reigns supreme.

The other links were SCREENSHOTS of trans women themselves claiming that lesbians were transphobic and engaging in actual MURDER by refusing to have penis in vagina sex with trans women.

Not one single link was actually anti-trans.

1) a news story reporting what happened at the pool

2) the words of trans women themselves, engaging in hate speech against lesbians

But you cry-bullies like to pretend that anything that is vaguely critical of your behaviour, or that makes you look bad, is hate-speech.

117 Ashling February 19, 2016 at 11:26 pm

@An Ardent Skeptic

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

118 Phil Giordana FCD February 19, 2016 at 11:31 pm

An Ardent Skeptic @112:

“I am not doing well. I have cancer which had already metastasized to my spine before it was discovered”

That sucks serious ass.You have all my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

119 Cindy February 19, 2016 at 11:33 pm

And I will point out that I explained to Aiden that a group of rape survivors view the term ‘negotiate’ as a synonym for coercive sex/rape and that the word is very very triggering to them.

He dismissed it because in his view, they are but a ‘small subset’ of people, and apparently their pov on this matter isn’t reasonable.

Check your privilege, Aiden and Sarah.

120 Jet Lagg February 20, 2016 at 12:43 am

…they are but a ‘small subset’ of people…

Is that an actual quote? Cus if so, Aidan has gone from person I’ve just met and am still giving the benefit of the doubt to to standard hypocritical, awful SJW.

Imagine a trans person dismissing a group’s concerns because they are a “small subset”. Hahaha

121 Cindy February 20, 2016 at 12:53 am

Jet Lagg #120

This is what he wrote #128

Aidan Rowe February 17, 2016 at 8:49 pm

I’m not responsible for your poor choice of example. And I don’t think we need to use analogy to make sense of this situation.

There is a substantial constituency of gay and/or feminine men who understand their being described as “flouncing” to be a pejorative way of referencing their difference from the norm. We’re not talking about special meanings only held by a tiny group of people. Even some of Michael’s supporters have acknowledged that the word has that association. Michael’s record on LGBT issues and contact with the community provide strong evidence that he would have been aware of those connotations. And he chose to use that term in a pejorative sense to describe a gay man with whom he disagreed. The offence that resulted is a predictable consequence of the statement he chose to make. He is responsible for it.

Bolded text by me.

http://www.michaelnugent.com/2016/02/15/outrageous-smear/#comment-2496287

He goes on to state that if the alternate meaning of the word and reactions to it can be *reasonably predicted* then yes, the person, such as Michael, is guilty of a smear. However, since ‘negotiation = rape’ isn’t ‘reasonable’ according to Aiden, and the group of rape victims TINY, they can be callously dismissed.

122 Jet Lagg February 20, 2016 at 1:11 am

Thanks for that.

This sort of thing is a recurring trend in “social justice” crowds. Two possibilities seem obvious to me. They’re either so blinded by their allegiance to the revealed word of our lord and savior Social Justice that they don’t see the obvious self contradictions, or they do see them but continue on preaching because it gives them power in the here and now.

Maybe there’s a third, but I sure as hell can’t see it.

123 Cindy February 20, 2016 at 1:20 am

And I will point out, again, that the majority of the links that I pasted (minus the news articles) were of TRANS WOMEN SHAMING LESBIANS FOR NOT HAVING PIV SEX WITH THEM

Is this the definition of transphobic? Trans women shaming lesbians, in their own words, for not wanting penises inside them?

Cuz that appears to be what Sarah and Aiden are attesting. I was very very careful with my links. The words of actual trans women, fighting for their *right* to have PIV sex with lesbians. If anything, it’s pro-trans. In fact, it is 100pct pro-trans according to the trans women who wrote those comments.

Not my fault if you all are so embarassed by the words of trans women that you have to accuse the rest of us of being transphobic.

124 Steersman February 20, 2016 at 2:40 am

Sarah Malone #19:

… as well as links to anti-trans sites and accusations that trans women are men attempting to access women’s spaces to assault us.

Pray tell, where has anyone said that all transwomen “are men attempting to access women’s spaces to assault us”? The most that I see in that previous thread was Cindy linking to some specific cases of some who were at least claiming to be transwomen having raped, or attempting to rape, several women. It is only your inference – as far as I can see – that anyone, particularly anyone in these conversations, is asserting that about all transwomen.

While I can understand that “you” might be sensitive to accusations against some of your “tribe” – an entirely human if problematic tendency, the old “my tribe, right or wrong”, “you’re with us or you’re against us” type tropes – you might try being a little more careful and circumspect in your inferences and consequential, though entirely unevidenced, accusations.

125 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 4:51 am

Don’t know if you know this Mick but somebody using the name Mick Nugget @TiarnaAindiach is using your picture as an avatar on Twitter and tweeting comments like

Thou shall not take the name of Harris, Dawkins or Hitchens in vain

@AshlingOBrien2 Where are my slippers?

And

baptism is leading cause of autism.

Don’t know if it is anything to do with Aoife O’Riordan but the account is retweeting her.

126 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:03 am

And surprise surprise one of that Twitter accounts FOUR followers is Aidan Rowe.

Apparently Aidan can read dogwhistle mysogynistic homophobia into the word ‘flounced’ but thinks jokes about autism are acceptable.

What a disgusting human being.

127 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:19 am

Apparently this is the kind of thing Aidan Rowe thinks is unacceptable because he follows this guy on Twitter:

Micky Nugget (@TiarnaAindiach) tweeted at 4:49pm – 19 Feb 16:
#baptism is a leading cause of autism.

https://twitter.com/TiarnaAindiach/status/700723863416516608?s=17

Nice friends you have Sarah.

128 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:21 am

Fuck: Apparently this is the kind of thing Aidan Rowe thinks is acceptable because he follows this guy on Twitter.

129 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:42 am

That account has been open less than a day. Funny how Aidan followed it so quickly.

130 Steersman February 20, 2016 at 7:42 am

Shatterface #129:

Yea, just totally a coincidence.

131 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 8:02 am

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I’ve unfollowed.

132 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 9:06 am

I really like it when people are being reasonable.

133 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 10:04 am

@Aidan Rowe
You’ve unfollowed. How did you manage to follow it in the first place. It was open less than a day. It’s beyond reasonable doubt that you had / have a hand in its operation.

You’re not a nice person. Despicable in fact. MN is doing sterling work in Ireland for many causes. I don’t know Michael personally, but his work impacts directly in a positive way on my life here. What you’re doing with that twitter account is undermining his reputation. That will impact him and by association Atheist Ireland negatively and hinder their work. You are thus negatively impacting in a very real way tens of thousands of Irish people.

If you’re involved with that twitter account, and it would seem reasonable that you are, then you’re an arsehole!

For the record, that’s the first time I ‘ve ever called anyone a name on the internet. That’s how despicable I think your actions are.

134 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 10:06 am

Aidan, since we seem to be on relatively good terms now (which is way cool), I would dare have a request:

Could you (if you haven’t already done so) maybe edit your blog post to clearly reflect that Michael doesn’t endorse any comments made here?

I will own up to my comments you find offensive, as I’m sure others will about theirs, but I think it’s quite unfair to put the whole responsibility on Michael for said comments when he has a very liberal moderation policy with no editorial input.

Can we strike a deal on that?

135 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 10:11 am

Citizen Wolf:

They’ve unfollowed the account. Maybe it’s not very useful to try and find ulterior motives for them following it in the first place? I’ve followed some pretty stupid accounts before because they seemed to offer fun tidbits, but in the end were just assholes.

I think there’s some chance to build bridges here, as Aidan seems to be able to be reasonable.

On the other hand, who the fuck am I to lecture you on the internet. Carry on.

136 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 10:28 am

@Phil
Undoubtedly people can follow an account and later change their mind when they discover further information.

That’s not what we’re talking about here. This account is very new. Aside from the people/person who set it up and maybe people that know who set it up, this account isn’t going to be found randomly. Therefore I think it’s reasonable to guess that Aidan Rowe was involved in setting it up or knows who set it up and was aware that they were setting it up.

Aidan Rowe talks about victimization and minorities and rights. Yet his actions on these pages, on his own blog and now in this despicable twitter account are not the actions of someone who really understands about minorities and victimizations and restriction of rights when placed outside his own small bubble. It shows lack of maturity, lack of empathy and just all-round ME-ism.

137 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

Well, maybe then it falls down to us to try and explain to Aidan what they’re doing wrong in our opinions?

I’d rather make a friend than an enemy, to be honest, and it looks like Aidan can be reasoned with. Of course, I may be completely wrong here, but I think it’s worth a try.

138 Nialler February 20, 2016 at 10:47 am

It saddens me to see that on MN’s blog by far the most commented on articles relate to gender politics bickering.

I get the feeling that he could announce a Supreme Court victory favouring secularism and response would be mute.

From experience, MN can be very prickly at any implication regarding the integrity of his views. I had a run-in with him some time ago and he was very quick to mount the high horse when he took exception to a robust critique of his position.

Perhaps he’d be best to dismiss the sort of things said about him this week with a crisp and curt dismissal. The manner of his denials seems to have the unfortunate effect of escalating the issue, leading to mails such as that sickening one about his wife.

What would I do in his shoes? I don’t have the answer to that. I can only suggest that I’d probably wave such commentary away and point to my record.

That mightn’t work, but it would be my method.

FWIW, I can completely understand the pain and bewilderment caused by what are deeply offensive allegations which I have no doubt are utterly without any foundation in reality.

MN is an activist for a cause which very often doesn’t result in reasoned debate. Positions are often entrenched and not always based on rason. A a figurehead of atheist and secular activism in Ireland Michael does a fantastic job (along with all involved in AI). The flipside to that, and an unfortunate price to be paid, is that he’ll find himself facing all manner of allegation. Politicians and other figures in the public limelight deal with it daily.

It’s distressing to see his efforts being diverted from the fantastic work he and AI do and being invested instead in defending his good name.

My humble suggestion would be that he ignores those morons who are so intent on trying to create mayhem and that he focus on the job he does so well.

By devoting so much time to dealing with this stuff he risks three things:

a) The time consumed is lost to his activism pursuits,
b) It broadcasts the slurs and leads to an escalation of them, leading to such slurs having a greater internet footprint,
c) It offers Michael’s opponents an easy way to divert his attention and to absorb his time.

These are my views as an observer only and are offered on that basis alone. There may be many other factors unknown to me.

139 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 10:57 am

I usually don’t comment on Michael’s other posts because they are to the point and don’t really need any additional commentary.

Mine would be a repetitive “well done! great job!”.

140 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 11:02 am

As one of the lucky few commenters here to have met Michael in real life, I can safely say that he is more than capable of dealing with many diverse issues at once.

If you ever get the chance to share a pint (of orange juice) with him, just get prepared for a roller-coaster of ideas, ranging from football to food to atheism to history.

All put in a very concise and clear way. I may sound like a fanboy right now, but it’s what I got from the encounter.

141 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 11:06 am

I knew about the account because it tweeted at me. The tweet is here: https://twitter.com/TiarnaAindiach/status/700727503590043648

142 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 11:20 am

See, reasonable explanation.

And I can understand why one would follow a parody account making fun of their current “enemies”.

Aidan: any chance you’ve reconsidered your views about Michael?

143 Jane Donnelly February 20, 2016 at 11:45 am

@Aidan

“And as Sarah has already pointed out, these strategies should be wholly familiar to those who fought for gay rights in much more hostile times, where gay people were routinely insinuated accused of being paedophiles in order to mobilise people against them. (It’s also one of the signatures strategies of fascists in building support for racism and genocide, something we are seeing re-emerging today in opposition to the human rights of refugees”

@Aidan

I’m very glad that you referred to human rights in your response to my comment.

Let me reassure you that I am looking at the research, published documents, general comments, guidelines and case law with regard to hate speech of the UN, COE and OSCE.

If you have links to any research/documentation from any of these bodies or published research regarding hate speech please let me know. I have discovered a lot of research and guidelines but you might like to draw my attention to a particular piece given that you seem to know a lot about it.

144 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 12:00 pm

I have never alleged that Michael agrees with the views his supporters are expressing. I made this clear in the opening paragraph of my blog post.

145 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm

@Phil
I remain unconvinced that Aidan doesn’t personally know the person who set up the parody account, or that even Aidan himself set it up.

The nuance of the language in the parody account suggests to me that the person who wrote the tweets is from Dublin. Aidan Rowe is also from Dublin. Whoever tweeted the account to Aidan knows Aidan as he knew Aidan’s account and tweeted it to Aidan very soon after it was set up.

So the person who set up the account is likely from Dublin, and knows Aidan. What’s the likelyhood that Aidan reciprocally doesn’t know who this person is? Or indeed that Aidan himself is the person.

As I say, I remain unconvinced. I could be wrong, but I think Aidan knows more about this account and the workings that lie behind it.

146 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

Aidan #143:

“I have never alleged that Michael agrees with the views his supporters are expressing. ”

Commenters, please, if you don’t mind. Not supporters. Those are two very different things, in everyday parlance.

“I have never alleged that Michael agrees with the views his supporters are expressing. ”

huh, I thought there was a link to your post here. Would you mind posting it again?

147 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Btw, I’ve just noticed that I referred to Aidan with ‘himself’ twice in the above comment instead of the preferred ‘themself’. That was unintentional and in no way meant as an insult. I already regard Aidan as underhand and weaselly by his actions and words and don’t feel the need to deliberately poke him with misgendering slurs. So, just to be clear, the use of ‘himself’ was not intentional in this case.

148 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Citizen Wolf #144:

That’s a lot of assumptions. You might be right, but I’m willing to give Aidan the benefit of the doubt.

149 Al C February 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Some atheists really show their humanist side here.

150 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm

I knew about the account because it tweeted at me. The tweet is here:

The account had about half a dozen tweets, one of which Mick’s autism and another which tells Ashling to get Mick’s slippers. You are happy enough to smear people as ableist and misogynystic but follow a Twitter account that is blatantly both.

You claim Mick supports transmisogyny because he doesn’t censor every post that appears on his blog yet the ‘standard you walk by’ allows mockery of a group that includes people who literally can’t answer back.

You owe Mick an apology, plus an apology to the autistic community. As an Aspie myself I’ve noticed a massive increase in SJW bigotry towards autistics in the last year from people like Rebecca Watson (who mocked the tears of an autistic student), Alex Gabriel (who accused us of having no empathy) and Jenny McDermott (who presented a YouTube video painting people with Aspergers as mysogynistic).

If you want to talk to me about oppression come back to me when parents start murdering their own trans kids and Guardian and New York Times defend the parents

151 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Quote fail.

152 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm

The nuance of the language in the parody account suggests to me that the person who wrote the tweets is from Dublin. Aidan Rowe is also from Dublin. Whoever tweeted the account to Aidan knows Aidan as he knew Aidan’s account and tweeted it to Aidan very soon after it was set up.

I agree. I find it hard to believe a complete stranger would identify the Twitter name @KanellosCORE with Aidan Rowe.

If he hadn’t drawn my attention to his avatar in a previous comment I wouldn’t have noticed @KanellosCORE uses the same picture.

153 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Aidan:

I’ve now seen your blog post, and I will really urge you to alter the heading. “Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) supports transmisogynistic hate speech” is not, in any way, reflective of the reality of the situation.

Even your caveat is not reflective of the reality of the situation.

Words do have some meaning (contrary to what Led Zeppelin would have you think), and “supports” is a clear indication that Michael endorses the comments made here.

He doesn’t. He just lets them be.

Saying he “provides material support” is maybe closer to the truth, even if it doesn’t accurately depicts Michael’s comment policy, but then I would suggest you change your headline to fit this. Something like:

“Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) provides material support for transmisogynistic hate speech (and other views as well)”

If you agree to reformat your headline, I think it will be interesting to see the difference in reactions to your article.

154 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm

I usually don’t comment on Michael’s other posts because they are to the point and don’t really need any additional commentary.

Mine would be a repetitive “well done! great job!”.

Same here. A comment section consisting purely of ^THIS!!^ isn’t particularly informative.

I read the blog regularly but I don’t pretend I have much to offer in regards to, say, his battle for secularism in Irish schools.

I attended a catholic school myself but that was in the UK and any parallel I might make could trivialise the experience of Irish kids. I have no experience at all of religion permiating every area of my life.

On the other hand I have a great deal of knowledge about the smears and shaming tactics of the cry-bullies and entryists eating up the A/S community from the inside.

155 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm

and “supports” is a clear indication that Michael endorses the comments made here.

Just to add an obvious point, if Mick ‘supports’ comments just because he doesn’t delete them then he also ‘supports’ Aidan, Sarah and that guy with the three initials who interjects random brainfarts who’s username I can’t be bothered remembering.

156 Nialler February 20, 2016 at 1:02 pm

@Phil Gordiana #140:

I’m sure that MN is excellent company and would certainly value a beer/OJ with him.

I’m sure that we’d find lots of common ground (albeit my devotion to food and cooking being of a more carniverous nature than he’d like).

I’m sure that we’d disagree on some isues, but I’m sure that we’d be able to deal with those in a friendly manner.

The word “supporters” was used earlier. That is not the word I would use.

It’s possible to point an egregious slur against someone without committing oneself to every aspect of their beliefs. What I see and read of MN is that he is a good man. At some stage I would like to confirm that in person. That doesn’t make me a fanboy.

157 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm

There was a point of contention in my meeting with Michael. It was about appearance-shaming.

I was talking about general choices of clothing and eyewears that really accentuate one’s belonging to a certain, shall I say Hipster, class. That argument was centered on a certain Twitter user who claims Twitter PTSD.

We were in strong disagreement, all the while being very civil and polite.

The one thing, though, that Michael said about this changed my worldview a bit: “Not everyone is as self-aware as you”.

I know I’m awesome (and others do, even you. Yes, you. Admit it), but those simple words put me back in my place and made me think.

If people are kind to me (like Aidan has been here), I will go out of my way to make them feel as welcome and included as possible. It’s just common courtesy.

But really, Far Side glasses?!?

158 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Also, he subsequently invited me to a live viewing of I, Keano, so I win.

:)

159 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 1:26 pm
160 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 1:51 pm

I’ve no idea who set up the account. I sincerely doubt it was one of my friends because I would not want to be friends with someone who holds those views. If it is one of my friends I would very much like to know who so I can make clear to them that’s not acceptable.

That’s all I’m going to say on the matter. I’m not really interested in continuing this discussion with someone who called me “it” on another forum.

161 Nialler February 20, 2016 at 2:04 pm

@Phil Giordana, #157: your victory is acknowledged.

My measly two pair (Kings high) are no match for a Grand Slam.

I’d love to meet MN on my next visit.

162 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 2:07 pm

At some point, if we’re to follow your side’s “logic”, it will be impossible to have a discussion with you or your like-minded friends because anything and everything becomes a faux pas.

I’m really not a fan of “it” as a pronoun. It’s dehumanizing as fuck. But I think the first time I ever saw a use of that pronoun was at FTB’s Pharyngula, or maybe Myers’ ScienceBlogs stuff.

Which brings me back to my original quirk: Are you, Sarah, Aiofe and other allies going to condemn FTB bloggers and commenters for their usage of “flounce”?

163 JackSkeptic February 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm

The idea that a commentators views also represents the blog owner’s is patently ridiculous. As views are often mutually exclusive it is impossible for a start.

But it allows people to attack someone for views they do not hold, blame them for allowing free speech and encourages heavy censorship which brings the echo chamber/cult mentality.

Attacks are even easier when people fall over themselves to take ‘deep offence’ over trivial, often made up issues. When silly terms such as ‘dog whistle’ allow someone to assert a motive which is not supported by any evidence. You can also fall back on the ‘standards you walk by’ baloney if that all fails.

Of course ‘public shaming’ is actively encouraged for the slightest infringement of arbitrary rules which change daily. Rules which none of us seem to be allowed to question because we’re cis or white or whatever group someone decides we’re part of. If we are part of that group we have ‘internalised misogyny’ to get around the silly rule they made up. They will also throw in the Motte part of the Motte and Bailey tactic along with the Kafka trap. So you don’t agree feminism is the radical idea women are people too? Then you are part of the problem. Every angle is covered. You can’t win, it is impossible

They also have the ‘listen and believe’ meme and when questioning you are being ‘hyper skeptical’ and ‘JAQing off’

It is an endless stream of thought policing, deep intolerance and hate speech to those ‘outside the group’ and displays endless bigotry lavishly topped with hypocrisy.

The tool box is very large and it’s designed to shut down discussion and the free exchange of ideas. It wants division and segregation. It does not want equality at all. It is cultural Marxism in it’s simplest form.

Most people see through all these tactics and realise they achieve absolutely nothing, encourage segregation and stale thinking and harm good people.

But I am still amazed otherwise good people fall for this stuff and do not realise how much harm they are causing to genuine activism and social justice.

So to those who think Michael should ignore it, maybe you’re missing the fact that if you give an inch you give it all. You end up as a sockpuupet of other peoples political machinations . The US AS community is evidence of that. A lot of groups there are no longer fit for purpose and continually fail their stakeholders wishes and aims.

In the meantime real patriarchy and intolerance is being ignored all over the world. Great job, I’m sure the gay guy being thrown off a roof or the girl stoned to death for being raped will be the first in line to thank you.

164 Ashling O'Brien February 20, 2016 at 2:17 pm

@Aidan

some individuals who are saying they are your friends are tweeting Michael and Atheist Ireland asking that he and the organisation denounce comments on another forum which has no connection at all the Michael or Atheist Ireland. Do you think it is reasonable that he is now being expected to police the whole of the internet?

165 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Who called Aidan ‘it’? Is Aidan referring to Phil?

btw, in Finnish, there is no ‘he’ or she’. Just ‘it’.

But anyway, that’s just an irrelevant aside; we’re not conversing in Finnish.

166 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 2:35 pm

I have not referred to Aidan as an “it”.

As stated above, I hate that use of the pronoun when dealing with people. I did like the movie, but it wasn’t as good as the book.

Ashling: it’s worth noting that the [site that should not be named] has nothing to do with Michael or Atheist Ireland, aside from the fact we all seem to value his commitment to free speech. Here’s the only neutral place where discussion can be had without hinders.

Also: Hi! :)

167 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 2:48 pm

‘It’ is third person neuter. It’s a genderless term for an individual.

Eg:

‘You had a phone call earlier’
‘Who was it?’

Nothing remotely dehumanising.

‘They’ is third person plural. You aren’t more than one person. Unless you are admitting to sock-puppetry.

168 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 2:53 pm

@Citizen Wolf

See the images here: https://t.co/rzAiPYjFWY

They’re screencaps from this forum post: https://t.co/6C9HmrYbAu

@Jane

I’m asking Michael to understand that taking a leadership role in a community means a responsibility to oppose hatred of marginalised groups within your community. I’m asking him to understand that being a LGBT ally means more than showing up at Pride and getting your picture taken. I’m asking him to take simple steps to show solidarity with trans people.

169 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 2:59 pm

Old English hit, neuter of he, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch het.

And no, before you start, neuter doesn’t mean ‘neutered’, it’s denotes ‘a [grammatical] gender of nouns in some languages [including English], typically contrasting with masculine and feminine or common.’

170 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 3:05 pm

@Phil
Ok, I just wondered if it was you, as you’re trying to engage them (as Shatterface points out above, ‘they’ is confusing to use as it implies multiple people) in discussion.

So who was Aidan referring to?

171 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm

The relevant links are in this tweet. https://twitter.com/KanellosCORE/status/700989836803633152

172 Tigzy February 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm

‘The relevant links are in this tweet. https://twitter.com/KanellosCORE/status/700989836803633152

What’s a ‘queer shapeshifter’? Is that a real thing?

173 Ashling February 20, 2016 at 3:13 pm

@ Aidan
Again, you and your appear to be holding not only Michael but also Atheist Ireland as an organisation responsible for comments made on a different forum which has no connection to Michael or Atheist Ireland. I ask once again, do you think this is reasonable?

@Phil Hi ☺

174 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Where I wrote:

If someone doesn’t use your preferred pronoun ‘they’ it’s not misgendering, it’s miscounting.

175 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Which, to be honest, it isn’t, since the miscounting is on the other side.

1 / > 1

176 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Apologies, I accidentally @ed Jane for a comment Aisling made.

177 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm

Citizen Wolf @169: probably someone at the Pit, which is irrelevant unless one wants to find offense. It’s not like the website is a permanent popup on one’s browser.

Shatterface (more than one post): As far as I’m concerned (and keeping in mind my Latin background), they, them and their are not such shocking pronouns. They are the ones I usually use when not sure about one’s gender. Closest I can relate to in french would be “on”, which is a gender neutral, third tense pronoun, same in use as “he” or “she”.

“It”, on the other hand, seems very dehumanizing to me. I’m not even sure we have an equivalent in French, aside from “ça”, which is descriptive and should never be used to refer to a human being. Or an animal, come to think of it.

178 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

“Apologies, I accidentally @ed Jane for a comment Aisling made.”

Ashling. For someone so high on wrong pronouns and such, you should try to keep up on basic notions such as names.

That’s not completely a jab, that’s an honest observation.

179 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm

The fact that picture of Aidan linked to shows ‘they’ posing with a book called Against Equality: Revolution Not Mere Inclusion says all you need to know.

It’s not about gaining equality, it’s about domination.

180 Tigzy February 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm

I tell you what – it must be a bit of a fucker trying to figure out the personal pronoun of a queer shapeshifter. I think Aidan ought to cut people a little slack here.

181 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Congratulations to Shatterface for doing the work and exposing the hypocrisy (and by their own standards – the hatred and prejudice) of another one of Mike’s attackers.

These SJWs are all the same. Investigate their background, and all sorts of nastiness comes to the fore.

182 Phil Giordana FCD February 20, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Shatterface #178:

Bah! I’d rather judge the kid on their own words here.

I once posed with the Bible, years ago. I don’t think the picture is suited for work so I won’t post it here. It was done by my scout master.

183 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Shatterface (more than one post): As far as I’m concerned (and keeping in mind my Latin background), they, them and their are not such shocking pronouns. They are the ones I usually use when not sure about one’s gender. Closest I can relate to in french would be “on”, which is a gender neutral, third tense pronoun, same in use as “he” or “she”.

He is, she is, they are. It’s not a straightforward substitution,

And its typical that Aiden is attempting to shift the argument onto pronouns to divert attention from the ‘baptism causes autism’ crack.

That’s not a poor or controversial choice of words, that’s a joke at the expense of a group who can be murdered with impunity.

Try ‘communion causes transgenderism’ for size.

184 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 3:41 pm

“That’s not a poor or controversial choice of words, that’s a joke at the expense of a group who can be murdered with impunity.”

I agree with you.

185 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Cindy: And I will point out, again, that the majority of the links that I pasted (minus the news articles) were of TRANS WOMEN SHAMING LESBIANS FOR NOT HAVING PIV SEX WITH THEM

Is this the definition of transphobic? Trans women shaming lesbians, in their own words, for not wanting penises inside them?

Cuz that appears to be what Sarah and Aiden are attesting.

If Sarah and Aidan are pushing this view, then they are enabling rape. Lesbian should be under ANY presure or coersion to have PIV sex, no matter what gender or label the other person applies to themselves. This is another shady area that SJWs are trying to normalise – along with paedophilia (as we saw with SRHbutts) – the enabling of the rape of lesbians.

I think we need an explanation and an apology from Sarah and Aidan. Pronto.

186 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm

Shaming someone into sex is coercion, even if that person has sex as part of their job.

It’s not like refusing to serve a gay couple in a restaurant.

You own you business but you are your body.

187 tina February 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm

It’s important to understand SJW psychology because, although a baby for breakfast is good, (poached is best), there are reasons why they opt for the most potent smears they can think of, (trans-misogynist, rape-apologist, racist, fascist, nazi, islamophobe, paedophile enabling, middle aged white cis-het Irish wanker), right from the get go. It boils down to understanding that the strategy of denunciation is the beating heart of identity politics in general. It demands that categories of identity (gender, race, sexual orientation etc) be at the centre of the analysis of culture. Everything is viewed through filters of race, gender, disability, or multiple axes of oppression simultaneously (the super-deluxe filter of intersectionality), allowing a veritable rainbow of oppressions to be considered at once. Often this takes place as a power play within already existing radical groups like AI. The boundary policing of words, concepts, attitudes etc are weaponised as a means of attacking and taking over the existing leadership by smearing it as vindictively as possible. The idea is to impose the ideology of (say intersectional feminism), on the group and to have that be the groups predominant focus of concern or activism, as has happened/is happening within the a/s community. Culture viewed through identitarian filters however do not place humanity at the centre of social justice concerns. What they try to achieve is to dehumanise and ‘other’ those that deviate from their ideology in the hope that they will eventually be able to identify and excommunicate everyone who will not sign up to their new world order. The classic example of this in the atheist movement was Richard Carrier’s now infamous ‘You Are Either With Us Or Against Us’ post. In that post, it was demanded that everyone conform to a set of ambiguous values that Richard Carrier determined were ethically correct, no ifs, no buts, no questions. In other words, the essence of a totalitarian mentality. The identitarian perspective justifies the channeling of righteous anger and ultimately of violence towards the out group that has been observed in all totalitarian societies, Mao’s China, Stalin’s USSR, Hitler’s Germany, whatshisfaces North Korea and so forth. There are several delusions involved in being an SJW. One is that their strategy of exclusion is, in some magical way, neverthless inclusive. Another is that their right to do so is entirely unproblematic. It boils down to simply shuffling the authoritarian pack so that they emerge on top. Another is their delusion that the ‘out group’ are entirely unconcerned with structural injustice, oppression, racism, sexism, abuse and what not. It is, in fact, the big lie, hidden beneath thick bundles of self-righteousness, moral certitude and in group confirmation bias. All they will achieve is a reconfiguring of structures of oppressive power with them as the oppressors. Good job.

What Atheist Ireland have to do is understand what is going on and just get on with their very effective activism without getting too upset or distracted by it all. Perhaps easier said than done in the circumstances.

188 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm

If Aiden wants to concede that people are not responsible for the misinterpretations others give to what they say, or for what others say, I’ll give them a pass on that Twitter post.

But they can’t have it both ways.

They can’t accuse Mick of homophobia based on a wilful interpretation of ‘flounced’, or what others post elsewhere, and demand fairer treatment for themselves.

189 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 4:08 pm

It demands that categories of identity (gender, race, sexual orientation etc) be at the centre of the analysis of culture.

And never class.

For all their ‘radical’ posturing SJWs follow the cultural logic of Late Capitalism.

They’re not revolutionaries, they are consumers.

They have little interest in producing anything, they are all about policing the boundaries of whichever target market they ‘identify’ as.

Fordism (you can have any colour you want so long as it is black) and ‘broadcasting’ are dead; now culture has to cater to ever more narrow micro-identities.

190 Pete Attkins February 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm
191 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Tina, it would be risky for any SJW to fling around the term “paedophile enabler”, given just how many of them actively support and defend an exposed paedophile. This included several “leaders” of the SJW movement.

Just as it would be risky for PZ Myers to throw around accusations of “rape apology”, given the debacle of him providing a safe space of a self-confessed child rapist.

It simply shows how unaware SJWs are.

192 Ashling O'Brien February 20, 2016 at 4:15 pm

@Aidan #168

“I’m asking Michael to understand that taking a leadership role in a community means a responsibility to oppose hatred of marginalised groups within your community. I’m asking him to understand that being a LGBT ally means more than showing up at Pride and getting your picture taken. I’m asking him to take simple steps to show solidarity with trans people”

With respect, that is not what you are doing. You are:
1) Holding Michael responsible for comments on his blog that you personally had an issue with. It has been explained to you that Michael moderates his blog very lightly and allows people to discuss robustly. You drew Michael’s attention to comments that you disagreed with. Michael didn’t ignore you when you did this, he emailed you back and said he would address your concerns. But you felt he did not take the action you wanted him to take in a manner that was quick enough to meet with your approval.
2) You wrote a blog with the blatantly misleading title ‘Michael Nugent (Atheist Ireland) supports transmisogynistic hate speech’, an assertion you have made based solely on comments made by another individual in the comments section of Michael’s blog. Your qualifier that ‘by support you mean material support’ simply does not cut it. I have no doubt at all that Michael would have discussed your concerns further with you, and would more than likely have gotten to them sooner if he had had a less hectic week, but that wasn’t good enough for you, he didn’t jump to it quick enough for your liking.
4) You appear to have appointed yourself as spokesperson for the trans community, you have as much right to do that as Michael has to appoint himself as spokeperson for the atheist community, that is absolutely none whatsoever. Which is why Michael always makes it clear that he is speaking in a personal capacity, or on behalf of the members of Atheist Ireland – but not ever on behalf of a whole community.
3) You are now holding Michael and Atheist Ireland responsible for comments that appear on a forum that he has no part in, doesn’t comment on himself, and can in no way control. You are expecting him to police the internet. Again I ask you if you think this is reasonable?

193 Harrison February 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Just once, just one single time, I would like to see one of AI’s critics argue in good faith.

194 Ashling O'Brien February 20, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Some days even counting is hard, you might fix that for me Michael :-)

195 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 4:22 pm

If Michael is responsible for comments posters here make elsewhere then he is logically slso responsible for posts made on Aiden’s blog.

Would Aiden permit Michael to moderate on their blog?

196 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm

@Ashling
I dunno. I think that number arrangement above might be seen as quite inclusive in some quarters. Why does 3 always have to come before 4? :)

197 tina February 20, 2016 at 4:32 pm

@194
Eat more babies.

198 Tigzy February 20, 2016 at 4:36 pm

‘They can’t accuse Mick of homophobia based on a wilful interpretation of ‘flounced’, or what others post elsewhere, and demand fairer treatment for themselves.’

They can, because of the privilege/progressive stack. People who are perceived (largely by themselves, it has to be said) as having little privilege have magical intent. Those higher – well, their intent is never magic. Never ever.

This means that for someone like Michael, who is presumably quite high in the stack, any misinterpretation – wilful or otherwise – of what he writes is his problem if those doing the misinterpreting have low privilege. Hence this ‘flounce’ thing. It doesn’t matter how much Michael protests to the contrary: what he said was homophobic. It’s a done deal. Intent doesn’t matter.

Now, had Michael identified as – oh, I don’t know – a gay, pansexual, brony, queer shapeshifter, xis use of ‘flounce’ would not have been a problem. Here, xis intent would have been magic, and anyone misinterpreting it as homophobic – well, they’re just being typically obtuse, salty cishets. Just as they were in their wilful misinterpretation of the empowering trans statement ‘Die Cis Scum’.

In any case, as a queer shapeshifter, Aiden’s intent would have been Dumbledore-level magic, as the queer shapeshifter community does not appear to be very large (I did a search and could only find a facebook page with three likes), thus making it about as much a minority population as you can get and therefore subject to all the dirty rude oppressions the shitlords at the top of the stack can throw at it.

199 racismisbaddude February 20, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Sarah Malone @50

You describe a gay cis male as “camp” three times. I don’t need to tell you, or maybe I do, that this is a trans*phobic statement. The definition of “camp”:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=camp

Can you define what it means to be “effeminate?” Is there a checklist somewhere I can follow to make sure I am doing femininity in the societally prescribed manner?

200 tina February 20, 2016 at 4:51 pm

@191

Well, it’s getting risky for them to throw lots of terms around these days. Gone are the days when it was consequence free for them.

201 tina February 20, 2016 at 4:54 pm

@189
“And never class.”

Except from the Marxist perspective which still has influence in SJW culture. Otherwise I agree with you.

202 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm

Camp is not gay. The Avengers (TV series) is camp. Seventies Doctor Who is camp.

It’s an aesthetic some gay people appropriated decades ago but it is based on irony and self-reflection, two qualities noticeable by their absence on the SJW side.

203 Aidan Rowe February 20, 2016 at 5:10 pm

@Aisling

I expect Michael to excercise the capacities he has in solidarity with transgender people against hate speech.

He controls what is said on this blog. Therefore he has the capacity to disallow hate speech. He thus far has chosen not to do so. If that is because he wishes not to do so because this is necessary for what he understands as “robust discussion”, then that is a political position he has chosen to take. He is responsible for the predictable consequences of that decision and can be criticsed for taking that position (which is what I have done). The critical claim I make is that allowing clear hate speech to be transmitted on a platform you control is a form of material support for hatred and therefore can legitimately be discussed as support for that hatred. This claim does not require the person implicated to agree with that hate. Since this is a minority position it may have been dishonest to use the turn “support” without clarification. I did not do that. This is form of criticism that is well-established in public discourse (consider Orwell’s claim that pacificsm is objectively pro-fascist as an example).

Michael cannot control what is published on platforms he does not control. Therefore the strongest intervention he can make is to use the platforms he does control to denounce those comments. This is what I expect of him with regard to those comments. Those who are engaging in hate-speech and abuse towards me understand themselves as acting in support of Michael. A statement by Michael clearly announcing that he does not want such support and finds the form of that support abhorrent would go a long way to undercutting the legitimacy of that support. This is not a difficult thing to do and Michael should have done it by now, even summarily if he did not feel confident or did not have the time to engage in much analysis of the phenomenon. He has chosen not to do so. He can be criticised for that.

204 racismisbaddude February 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm

Sudan @203

I know we are on the same side, but as a recovering addict, I find the use of the term “intervention” problematic because of its undeniable prominence in the addiction community.

Maybe use “moderation” in the future instead to avoid triggering people like myself and to avoid being misunderstood and characterized as insensitive, which you clearly are not.

205 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm

I did not do that. This is form of criticism that is well-established in public discourse (consider Orwell’s claim that pacificsm is objectively pro-fascist as an example).

Are you comparing your critics to pacifists?

Would you have banned conscientious objectors from speaking during World War II?

George Orwell defended the rights of pacifists to speak during the War and, in later life, became good friends with pacifist-anarchists like Vernon Richards (who became his official photographer), Marie-Louise Berneri and George Woodcock.

You really don’t know anything about anarchism, do you?

206 Harrison February 20, 2016 at 5:34 pm

Aiden, all you’re doing is trying to shift the argument away from your own poorly chosen words for which you and only you are responsible.

Give PZ his playbook back, because those kinds of tactics are not only shameful, they also don’t work.

207 Pete Attkins February 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm

“Maybe use ‘moderation’ in future…” Oh, please: this is a profound trigger term/word for recovering alcoholics.

208 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Try reading George Orwell at Homr (and among the Anarchists) by Vernon Richards.

Most of the photos you have seen of Orwell and his family come from the author.

209 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 5:52 pm

Come to think of it, the notoriously private George Orwell allowed Richards to photograph him to help him out financially after he was released from prison after being convicted of sedition for urging soldiers to desert.

Orwell actively supported pacifists while disagreeing with them.

You really couldn’t find a worse example.

210 Jet Lagg February 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

Aidan@168

I’m asking Michael to understand that taking a leadership role in a community means a responsibility to oppose hatred of marginalised groups within your community. I’m asking him to understand that being a LGBT ally means more than showing up at Pride and getting your picture taken. I’m asking him to take simple steps to show solidarity with trans people.

Bull-fucking-shit. You’re taking the most impossibly bad faith interpretation of his words and actions and using that as justification to smear him with heinous and serious accusations (at least they used to be heinous and serious until people like you devalued them by throwing them about on a whim).

That’s all you’re doing. You’re taking a non-issue and turning it into a distraction to the actual work that people like Nugent are doing.

You make me sick. You’re a vicious, nasty little thing and you should feel ashamed, but I doubt you have the capacity. That you think you’re the good guy in this story is the worst joke I’ve ever heard.

@Phil

You’re engaging in good faith with a monster that’s now hiding behind polite words. Good luck to you, seriously, but I have nothing but contempt. Compromising with Aidan would be a textbook golden mean fallacy.

211 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Shatterface: And never class.

Of course not. SJWs are mainly middle class, white, and privileged (for evidence – take a look at their conferences and events, which are a sea of empty seats and a smattering of their fellow white, middle class, pro-harassers). They absolutely despise the white poor. They look down their noses at people less privileged than them, and are completely indifferent to poverty when it is Westerners or whites who are in poverty. Some justify themselves by saying poverty is much worse elsewhere, which is true, but that qualifies as a “Dear Muslima”, doesn’t it? Not that that stops them, as “it is OK when THEY do it”.

The attitude of the SJWs and FTBullies was perfectly demonstrated by Ophelia Benson and her disgust towards a homeless person, who, get this, “smelt”. Yes, when you don’t have easy access to a shower and bathroom facilities on a regular basis, you do start to “smell” a bit. The same can happen to hard-working laborers at the end of the day. The last thing we would want to happen to offend the noses of middle class Seattle-based bloggers, for those are the noses that they use to look down on poor people.

212 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 6:27 pm

Aidan (#168)

Why don’t you just be honest and admit Michael will never be PURE enough for you. You are the type that has damaged your own cause by abusing Peter Tatchell.

213 Cindy February 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

@Jet_lagg 210

I still think it’s funny that Aiden considers my links – direct quotes from trans women violently shaming lesbians for refusing to have PIV sex with them – to be hate speech AGAINST HIM.

214 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

Aidan: He controls what is said on this blog. Therefore he has the capacity to disallow hate speech.

Then your comments would be deleted, because your false allegations constitute hate speech.

BTW, Shatterface has run rings around you, not that running rings around SJWs is particularly difficult.

215 Jet Lagg February 20, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Cindy@213

I still think it’s funny that Aiden considers my links – direct quotes from trans women violently shaming lesbians for refusing to have PIV sex with them – to be hate speech AGAINST HIM.

It’s bad interpretations of factually incorrect evidence.

SJWs are fractally wrong, meaning you can zoom into any detail of their beliefs and find it is just as stupidly wrong as the entire corpus (and I thought that one up before reading Neal Stephenson use the same metaphor in Cryptonomicon, thank you).

216 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 20, 2016 at 6:41 pm

Cindy, Aidan obviously has a big problem with his bigotry and prejudice towards lesbians. Aidan is enabling the historical violence and bigotry traditionally directed towards lesbians. Notice how a lot of SJWs have resorted to bullying and abusing gay people? It almost makes you think it culd be far right, homophobic harassers pretending to be some sort of progressive campaigners. Alas, we know, and we have the evidence, of the depths SJWs will sink so that they can abuse and harass people.

People like Aidan think they can try their spiel on at Nugent’s, and towards THE KING, and towards the Pit Crew, little realising we are experienced demolishers of SJWs and FTBullies. We know how they operate, h0w they think, and what tactics they use. We then humiliate and expose them, just as Aidan has been humiliated and exposed.

Aidan turning up here to try and argue against us is completyely futile and will only result in his exposure and humiliation. It is the equivalent as a young earth creationist trying to argue against Aron Ra, or THE KING for that matter.

217 An Ardent Skeptic February 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

Michael,

I demand that you drop everything else you’re doing and focus on my immediate concern. I demand that you waste countless hours of your time reading what every person who is commenting here is saying about me anywhere and everywhere else they are commenting on the internet. I demand that if you disagree with anything anyone who comments here has said elsewhere you speak out against those opinions here. I demand that when referring to me you use the terms you, your, yours, and yourself because that’s the way I wish to be identified, because it’s all about me and my concerns. Anything which you feel is important is secondary to what I feel is important because my issues should always take precedence as my needs are the only needs that really matter. I demand that everyone only respond orally to me as I’m dyslexic and have great difficulty reading.

I expect an oral response from you about my concerns within a reasonable amount of time – reasonable being under 60 seconds. If I don’t get the oral response from you that I know I deserve, I will write a blogpost stating that you support misogynists who don’t give a damn about women dyslexics who have difficulty reading, particularly when others decide that they should be referred to as they, them, themselves, or their which shows absolutely no consideration for people like me who have great difficulty parsing these unclear meanings when their reading skills are already limited by a serious disability.

Anyone who writes a written response to this comment will be proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a misogynist who is unwilling to fight the good fight for women dyslexics everywhere. I’m the only one who is allowed to use written communication because it’s my disability and I have the right to decide what’s best for me and how others should respond to my concerns.

218 Lancelot Gobbo February 20, 2016 at 7:13 pm

“JetLagg February 19, 2016 at 4:16 pm
It sounds as if we have some people who think being rude = hate speech.”

Not so much being rude, as disagreeing. We seem to be in a situation where to disagree is to be accused of hate speech. That ought to annoy anyone who has read or responded to this thread.
For myself, I can’t quite get past the point where absolute nobodies (in terms of what they have achieved in real world advancement of secularism and equality) feel free to criticise someone who has done far more than all the commenters in this thread put together. Sarah, Aidan et al, can you show us why we should listen to you? What have you done to advance secularism and equality—in the real world, not in online comments—so that we might credit you with any ‘clout’ in this made-up situation? Frankly, I cannot see anything of value at all that you might point to. We find ourselves, once again, arguing against online warriors who have done nothing except play with their keyboards as they feel they are doing something important. Well, I can see through you, and so can everyone else once it is said out loud. You are empty vessels, Sarah et al. Please do something useful with your lives, as they are the only ones you have. I am in the curious position of having a terminal illness and I may not see how this nonsense plays out. I would dearly love to see all sides act like adults, who can debate in a mature fashion and come to a valid conclusion. Simply following the simplistic dogmata of student unions is not convincing at all. Convince me with real arguments if you can, or don’t bother and show yourselves to be posturing wannabes otherwise. It’s up to you.

219 Jet Lagg February 20, 2016 at 7:32 pm

Not so much being rude, as disagreeing. We seem to be in a situation where to disagree is to be accused of hate speech. That ought to annoy anyone who has read or responded to this thread.

I’m going for an even stronger argument (though I agree, they can’t tolerate being disagreed with). I’m saying that trans people aren’t special and I’m not going to agree that being a complete and utter asshole to them is beyond the pale. To clarify, I think intentionally misgendering someone is an example of being a complete and utter asshole. You know it’s going to cut them deep, but you do it anyway.

I’m saying that even when someone does that I don’t agree it’s necessarily transphobic. Because trans people can be instigators. They can agitate, and they don’t get to go crying “bigotry” when someone retaliates with words that are intended to hurt. Nobody gets that… how should I say it? Privilege 😀

220 An Ardent Skeptic February 20, 2016 at 7:36 pm

@Lancelot Gobbo

I’m very sorry about your terminal illness, and hope that whatever physical pain it may be causing is being managed effectively.

221 Shatterface February 20, 2016 at 7:42 pm

I like ‘fractally wrong’.

It’s one of the few great maths based put downs.

Like Fritz Zwicky’s ‘spherical bastard': someone who is a bastard whichever way you look at him.

222 Cindy February 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm

@Lancelot 217 (love the nym btw)

It seems to me that their ‘victimhood’ is their identity. It’s all they’ve got. And the victimhood culture supports that. In fact, it rewards them for their proclaimed victimhood. No wonder they try so hard to find offense everywhere.

@Jet lagg 218

I too have no problem referring to a trans woman as a she if she requests it. Or to an otherkin as a ‘bunself’ if such is the case. So what.

But, some of these folks take it too far.

Richard Dawkins said that he will refer to trans folks by the appopriate terms out of respect and courtesty. But that isn’t enough. No. He has to actively VALIDATE them and believe that their XY chromosomes, penis, sperm and testes are all FEMALE, otherwise he is a transphobic who actively wants to genocide them. This was the response to his tweet regarding his respect for trans persons.

The same goes for my example of the lesbians who are also accused of murdering trans women because they don’t think that penises are female genitalia. They are accused of transphobia. Of murder. Heck, referring to FGM as a girl’s problem is now onsidered ‘cis-sexist’ and ‘transphobic as f*ck’

The Vagina Monologues
Abortion

^All transphobic

We can’t say that ‘women get pregnant’ because it erases trans women. Because it is an example of ‘gender essentialism’ and don’t you know that you can be a biological female because you *think* you are? So now, sperm, testes, penis are all female traits, cuz the owner believes they are! And disagreement = hate speech.

No doubt Aiden is going to accuse me of engaging in more hate speech against trans persons because I suggested the vile idea that FGM and pregnancy happen to natal females and not trans women. Oh, the horror.

223 Ashling February 20, 2016 at 8:07 pm

@Aidan#203

As already mentioned in an earlier comment by Jane, hate-speech is not necessarily a straightforward concept to define. Could you give us the definition you would use, so that we can make sure we are all on the same page here. Thanks.

Also, thank you for acknowledging that Michael has no means or jurisdiction to police comments on another forum that his has no connection with. I think we are in agreement that this is a unreasonable expectation.

224 Nialler February 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm

@Aidan, #203;

This is awful and truly pathetic stuff.

You have bleated repeatedly here.

Please take this message on board *I do not care*.

I’m a hetero male. I believe that I am obliged to somehow qualify that, but I refuse to. I do everyone else the respect due to them of acknowledging what identity they prefer. Whatever personal pronoun you prefer is fine with me. I will respect that without reservation.

Just don’t expect me to have the fullness of debate abridged by you on the basis of an imagined or even real offence on your part. That is the nature of free speech.

You are free to disagree and to find offence where none exists. Just don’t expect everyone to accord to your norms.

225 Citizen Wolf February 20, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Aidan Rowe #203
**The critical claim I make is that allowing clear hate speech to be transmitted on a platform you control is a form of material support for hatred and therefore can legitimately be discussed as support for that hatred.**

It’s very much in dispute as to whether what has been said in the comments here is hate-speech. You claim it is. Others are in disagreement. So it’s not clear at all. You’ve failed to convince me that it’s hate-speech.

But let’s take it that you regard it as hate-speech – how is your reaction of posting a blog in which the headline seriously implicates MN as a supporter of hate-speech, in any way justifiable or proportionate?

Hint – it’s not.

You then use weasel words under the headline to claim that you don’t actually think that MN believes in the ideas supposedly contained within the hate-speech comments; as if this somehow makes you a reasonable and considerate person, and not actually the underhanded nasty character you are.

And you further claim here that your post, with its defamatory headline, is a legitimate way to discuss such matters. Pfffffff. Despicable is what it is.

226 Nialler February 20, 2016 at 9:09 pm

@ Richard “The King” Sanderson:

It seems that you love the smell of your own farts if yoy think that such crap as you’ve posted is in any way part of a debate.

227 Pete Attkins February 20, 2016 at 9:43 pm

yoy: An expression of disbelief or surpise.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Yoy
surpise: An even better surprise (ibid.).

:-)

228 Steersman February 20, 2016 at 11:05 pm

Cindy #213:

@Jet_lagg 210

I still think it’s funny that Aiden considers my links – direct quotes from trans women violently shaming lesbians for refusing to have PIV sex with them – to be hate speech AGAINST HIM.

Considering that Aidan has actually said (#236 in previous post) “I think excluding a woman from the category ‘lesbian’ because she has a penis is [transphobic]”, one might well understand why they might be somewhat “overly sensitive” on the issue, and more likely to construe any such criticism as hate. Even if it’s totally off the wall and without a shred of evidence to support the accusation.

But, somewhat apropos of which, you might like this illustration of “faulty generalization”, from a recent Sciblogs/OpenParachute post, that I think describes the position of Aidan and Sarah and their ilk to a T.

229 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 21, 2016 at 12:04 am

Thanks, Nialler.

#Solidarity

230 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 12:33 am

I’m bound by duty to state I love Father Ted.

Well, Dougal is the target of my love for that show, but still…

231 Jane Donnelly February 21, 2016 at 1:16 am

@Aidan

“I expect Michael to excercise the capacities he has in solidarity with transgender people against hate speech.”

I’ll ask again,

Can you please let me have your definition of hate speech? You have referred in a comment to human rights, am I to take it that your definition is based on human rights?

Can you please provide a link to any research, document or guidelines that you would like me to take into account.

I have published research here from the UN, COE Guidelines and case law at the ECHR but would like your input into this.

232 Aidan Rowe February 21, 2016 at 5:19 am

Do you think any reasonable definition of hate speech would not include claiming that trans women are men who want to rape women and girls?

233 Steersman February 21, 2016 at 5:29 am

Aidan Rowe #232:

Pray tell, precisely where has anyone done that? For reference, you may want to first reflect on this illustration of “faulty generalization”.

234 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 5:35 am

#232

Do you think any reasonable definition of hate speech would not include claiming that trans women are men who want to rape women and girls?

Except nobody said that.

No one said, specifically that ‘trans women are men who want to rape women and girls’

It was pointed out that women and girls have the right not to be perved at and/or raped in their private spaces, by men who LIE and claim to be women based on nothing but feelz.

In other words, if a law is written concerning nothing but gender identity, STRAIGHT CIS MEN who are PREDATORS will LIE ABOUT BEING TRANS WOMEN, GAIN ACCESS TO WOMEN’S PRIVATE SPACES AND ASSAULT THEM.

And one of my links specifically addressed a situation where a male expressing person (not a man in a dress. someone who looked explicitly male) walked into the GIRLS CHANGE ROOM at the pool, while the GIRLS POOL CLUB was doing their thing. Do little girls really need men perving at them? Do they really need to see penis in their change room?

You misread, either on purpose or by mistake, and chose to take the statement as a smear against all trans women.

It is a fact that there are cis men who do rape women and who will abuse loopholes such as this, and that yes, there are trans women who have raped women, either before or after transition. This is a fact. FACTS ARE NOT HATE SPEECH. Men rape. Women rape. Trans women rape. Even trans men have raped. Deal with it.

Seems to me you expect special treatment and anything short of ‘trans women are supremely innocent angels and everyone else on the planet is capable of harming others but not trans women no sirree and if you even suggest that trans women are just as human as everyone else it’s hate speech’

Grow up.

235 Aneris February 21, 2016 at 6:18 am

Ashling O’Brien (192) wrote: 4) You appear to have appointed yourself as spokesperson for the trans community, you have as much right to do that as Michael has to appoint himself as spokeperson for the atheist community, that is absolutely none whatsoever. Which is why Michael always makes it clear that he is speaking in a personal capacity, or on behalf of the members of Atheist Ireland – but not ever on behalf of a whole community.

In the logic of such identity politics, he is a spokesperson. All people in a category are thought to have certain essential features and a particular conciousness, which they have from their “lived experience”. I recall that the SJWs had a huge problem with Richard Dawkins because his opinion as a spokesperson for those abused-as-child did not agree with what a spokesperson of this identity category should say (because of Dawkins individual special circumstances, which don’t feature in SJW ideology). What seems weird to us, is not unusual for this lot. I recall how FTB writer Natalie Reed didn’t want to blog about her experiences because she didn’t feel attuned to the trans identity category then.

Another way of looking at it: SJWs are map-territory confused. The moment they deem something X, it is no longer important what exactly the X represents in the real world. It’s a category, i.e. some circumstance (called referent) becomes (say) “homophobia” that has no qualifiers, no more-less worse or any features. It’s just homophobia, and that’s obviously horrible. Here again, some controversy around Richard Dawkins comes to mind, i.e. “mild”. This is the other side of the same coin, just as identity replaces individuality, so does the label replace the individual circumstance.

It doesn’t surprise me that I find a Foucault (i.e. postmodernist) quotation atop Aidan’s blog. These discussions show as much. I’m currently discovering the bizarre trait with SJWs were they deny they are a thing, try to get documentation deleted and were they attempt to pass of their rubbish as the Default Left, so that when you disagree with their postmodernist hogwash, you can be declared a neocon, reactionary, right winger etc. where we hit on the other smears recently. It’s a huge nightmare. Hence, the tip from Shetterly (who documented his interactions with the earlier SJWs in a free e-book) was to “not engage”. I guess he wrote this down, as Mick does, to not get crazy.

236 Jane Donnelly February 21, 2016 at 7:53 am

@Aidan

I’m still looking for any human rights based research or documentation that you want me to take into account here. I really would appreciate your input.

You have referred to human rights with regard to this subject and that is what I am looking at.

237 Steersman February 21, 2016 at 8:38 am

Aneris #235:

It’s a category, i.e. some circumstance (called referent) becomes (say) “homophobia” that has no qualifiers, no more-less worse or any features. It’s just homophobia, and that’s obviously horrible.

Interesting observation. I’ve kind of wondered about that as well, specifically, how it is that so many “SJWs” seem totally clueless about the content and import of the words they’re flinging about as accusations: “sexist!”, “misogynist!”, “racist!”, “homophobe!” They might just as well say, “Four legs good, two legs bad” and be done with it.

But, as you suggest, the words themselves seem invested with magical powers that are totally disconnected from the actual meanings that most rational people are familiar with, and which guide their analysis of situations and events. Many if not most SJWs seem totally oblivious to the fact that each of those words is predicated on an assertion that one thinks that all of one sex, race, or sexual proclivity is better or worse than all of another – an accusation that is remarkably hard to make stick which is maybe why they tend to ignore or sweep under the carpet such fine distinctions, i.e., those between individuals and the entire group.

In any case, since you mentioned Shetterly, those who aren’t familiar with his work on the “genus soc-jus-war” might want to check out his web page.

238 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

Jet lagg @210:

“You’re engaging in good faith with a monster that’s now hiding behind polite words. Good luck to you, seriously, but I have nothing but contempt. Compromising with Aidan would be a textbook golden mean fallacy.”

Is that contempt for ME? I certainly hope not!

I’m just giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping there’s a way to make them see my (or our) point of view.

It’s probably a fool’s errand, but I’ll stick to it for now.

239 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 11:00 am

An Ardent Skeptic @217:

“Anyone who writes a written response to this comment will be proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are a misogynist who is unwilling to fight the good fight for women dyslexics everywhere”

A dyslexic walks into a bra…

240 Derek Walsh February 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Michael is now being dogpiled on Twitter as part of a campaign organised by Aidan.
https://www.facebook.com/aidan.rowe3/posts/879055445546897?pnref=story

241 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

phil@238

Is that contempt for ME? I certainly hope not!

Not in the slightest, no. I think it speaks well of you and Michael that your first instinct is to reconcile, but there are cases where one party is so completely in the wrong that I think compromise is ridiculous.

It’s like that scene in South Park where Cartman intentionally infects Kyle with HIV, and the school principal makes him apologize. Then they say, “and Kyle, don’t you want to apologize too for being a tattle tale?”

I’m not going to play nice and say we’ll try to be more sensitive to Aidan’s concerns, and we hope in turn he can in turn slander people less viciously in the future. I want an unconditional public apology and retraction appended to the top of Aidan’s blogpost, and in return my contempt will be slightly less. That’s my compromise, and I wish others in the skeptic community would take the same stance.

242 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 1:11 pm

Holy crap, Aidan Rowe is a despicable character.

In reference to what Aidan says on his FB page (linked to by Derek above) – no-one here has called him ‘it’. As far as I can tell that was done elsewhere, not here in MNs blog. MN has nothing to do with the Slymepit (and neither do I).

No-one is posting here with his photos.

No-one, in my opinion, is posting hate-speech here. In Aidan’s mind maybe, it’s hate-speech, but I don’t see it.

Aidan has written a blog-post, the title of which is defamatory towards MN.

Aidan is calling on MN to denounce all the transphobia he’s had to deal with. WTF. Firstly where is this transphobia? It’s not here on MNs blog. And secondly can I likewise ask MN to denounce all the red-headed jibes I’ve had to endure over the years (I’m not even red-headed!). Yes, I know that none of it is here on MNs blog, but still, can I imply that he’s responsible for it, because heretofore he hasn’t denounced it.

Aidan is further defaming MNs character with this latest FB campaign.

Aidan is not a reasonable or nice person at all.

@Phil – do you still think you’re going to get anywhere with him?

243 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Yeah, I’m starting to feel it was indeed a fool’s errand after all.

They have not acted with the charity and honesty I expected regarding Michael. Lesson well learned.

244 Bob February 21, 2016 at 1:32 pm

So, a trans person points out that their engagement on Michael’s blog has lead to them being abused on another forum by those who have engaged with them here, and the response from Michael’s defenders is….call the trans person despicable, accuse them of having defamed Michael, and deny that anything they have encountered here is transphobic, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary (e.g. people denying that trans women are women, people deliberately misgendering a trans person, people suggesting that policies designed to allow trans people to be comfortable in bathrooms will lead to women being raped, etc.)

You cannot plausibly claim to support LGBT people if this is how you react to LGBT people.

245 Bob February 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm

^

*By some of those who have engaged with them here…

246 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm

@Bob
I’m calling Aidan despicable because of his actions, not because of Aidan’s trans status

I never said ‘that despicable trans person’. Aidan’s actions have nothing to do with being a trans person. His actions have to do with him as an individual.

Calling an individual’s actions out and disagreeing with them has NOTHING to do with their gender identity. You’re a bit of a twit, in my opinion, for conflating the two. And that’s being charitable. The uncharitable position would be that you’re deliberately trying to cloud and evade the substantive issue of Aidan’s unreasonable behavior.
Aidan may well have been subjected to abuse on another forum (I haven’t been there) but that has nothing to do with MN. Aidan is targeting MN. Aidan is defaming MN.

247 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Delusional. Plain and simple.

248 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Bob, you’re trying too hard.

We got your virtue signaling a while ago. There’s no need to further rub everyone’s face in it.

We get it, you’re a fabulous ally. Maybe if Aidan wasn’t acting like a complete ass, we’d be more inclined to side with them?

Again, just to be sure this gets into your little head: Michael has nothing to do with the Slymepit, aside from sharing commenters. And he’s sharing said commenters because unlike the fascistic FTB blogs and affiliated, he doesn’t moderate much.

249 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Bob 244 wrote:

people suggesting that policies designed to allow trans people to be comfortable in bathrooms will lead to women being raped, etc.)

And how is this transphobic, exactly? Facts are not transphobic. Women and girls having a right to privacy and to be free from harm is not transphobic. Don’t girls, women and yes, lesbians, have the right to be comfortable in their private spaces? Or do they not matter?

In fact, your complete and callous dismissal of the safety and privacy concerns of girls and women is very anti-woman, Bob.

Yes, women and girls are just being silly transphobic haters when they worry about this kind of thing happening.

Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a first-of-a-kind challenge to gender bathroom rules. A man undressed in a women’s locker room, citing a new state rule that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender identity.

It was a busy time at Evans Pool around 5:30pm Monday February 8. The pool was open for lap swim. According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”

Sato uses the locker room a few times a week, but she says this is a first for her. It’s also a first for Seattle Parks and Recreation. Employees report that the man made no verbal or physical attempt to identify as a woman, yet he still cited a new rule that allows bathroom choice based on gender identification.

The issue drew protesters from both sides to Olympia on Monday. Opponents claim the rule opens up bathrooms to voyeurs but supporters say that’s an unrealistic fear.

No one was arrested in this case and police weren’t called, even though the man returned a second time while young girls were changing for swim practice.

Please, explain how it is unrealistic for women and girls to be worried that male expressing individuals have the legal right to enter women’s private spaces at will – change rooms, locker rooms, domestic violence shelters etc – based on nothing but ‘gender identity alone’ (ie, the person just has to say that they are a woman, nothing more). It is a loophole for abusers and predators to gain legal access to women’s private spaces based on nothing but self-proclaimed identity, and no one can kick them out.

So no sexual predator will ever ever take advantage of this, in a million years eh? No cis-man AMAB, who wants to hang out in the shower room with little girls and woman, will purposely lie about being a woman in order to gain access to these spaces? And if a woman has such a concern, she is a transphobic piece of crap and is engaging in hate speech, because the safety of women and girls in their private spaces is a joke? Is that your position, Bob? And some of those women will be lesbians, or do their safety and privacy concerns not count either? I thought you were pro-LGB, Bob?

Here is another FACT which I am sure you will claim is transphobic:

TORONTO – A sexual predator who falsely claimed to be transgender and preyed on women at two Toronto shelters was jailed indefinitely on Wednesday.

Justice John McMahon declared Christopher Hambrook — who claimed to be a transgender woman named Jessica — was a dangerous offender.

The judge said he imposed the indefinite prison sentence because there’s a great risk that Hambrook will commit more sex crimes and require strict supervision if he returns to the community.

“I am satisfied there is no reasonable expectation that a lesser measure would adequately protect the public from Christopher Hambrook,” said McMahon.

He noted the Montreal man, 37, attacked four vulnerable females between the ages of five and 53 in Montreal and Toronto over the past 12 years.

^But if women and girls are concerned about getting raped by men like this, they are just acting like transphobic pieces of crap and should shut the hell up, because women’s safety and privacy = hate speech, in Bob’s bizzarro world.

Citations:

TorontoSun
King5 News

(not linking cuz it will go into moderation)

250 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Cindy @249:

That’s bound to cause some huge cognitive dissonance in the SJW crowd. Shades of Cologne.

251 Nialler February 21, 2016 at 2:14 pm

@Richard “The King” Sanderson,#229:

My apologies for going over the top.

252 Pete Attkins February 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Labelling has important useful purposes, but it is frequently misused either accidentally, or deliberately to serve an agenda.

There are various terms to describe such misuse, especially “ontological confusion” and “category mistake”, however, the underlying mechanism is nearly always the fallacy of division and/or the fallacy of composition — perhaps the most common and the most difficult-to-avoid logical fallacies.

E.g. an insect has 6 legs. An individual insect that has lost two of its legs is still in insect, it has not somehow morphed into the taxonomy class that categorises animals having four legs.

One way of spotting the logical fallacies is to consider what I call the “is a” and the “has a” models/definitions. If we use the “is a” model in an attempt to explain how a computer works, we will end up with nothing other than making the absurd claim that the element silicon can perform computations. Pseudoscience and anti-science rely on variations of this approach, e.g., quantum mechanics explains [insert the belief system of the apologist].

A more formal and technical version of my simple models is to consider both “the illusion of explanatory power” and “the illusion of explanatory depth”. A practical example of this is revealed in the comments: Jane Donnelly has repeatedly asked Aidan Rowe to properly explain an issue. I shall leave it to the readers to decide whether or not the continued absence of a proper explanation is due to a lack of evidence-based explanatory power/depth, and to ponder the motivation(s) for avoiding the entirely reasonable request.

253 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm

@Phil 250

Well, I fully expect Bob to mansplain his virtue by telling women and girls that a % of rapes per year in women’s shelters/bahtrooms/locker rooms etc is totes acceptable because trans women are more important.

Gotta signal how pro T he is, even if it involves throwing rape victims under the bus. Right Bob?

And here is a question. Ostensibly, trans women require access to women’s bathrooms/changerooms/dv shelters in order to avoid getting beat up by cis-males. But, if the trans woman in question presents, unambiguously, as a male, then what are they afraid of exactly? How is an unambiguously looking male expressing individual going to be *safer* in a woman’s bathroom/changeroom/shelter?

Next up, some rape victims who share their concerns. Bob can signal his virtue by accusing them of transphobia and mansplaining away their fears, because who knows better about the fear of being raped as a woman than a man like Bob?

OLYMPIA, Wash.—A group of women who say they are former victims of sexual assault are making an emotional plea to Washington state legislators to reverse a bathroom policy that they say leaves them and their young children vulnerable, exposed and unsafe.

“It started when I was in diapers and went through until I was 10,” Kaeley Triller Haver, who is now 32, told The Daily Signal of her abuse. “I used to get watched in the shower—that was his thing.”

“Over and over again, women are told your abuse is not important, it’s not important to fund, it’s not important to protect. This is just one more way for us to know that our abuse doesn’t matter, that we’re not protected,” Simon said, adding:

And now I’m a fearmonger because I’m speaking out about it. I don’t accept it. I’m not. I’m not crying that the sky is falling. This is actually happening. It’s not a pretend thing, I wish it was.

Having been watched in the shower by her abuser, Triller Haver said it’s been “a gentle, slow process of healing” to use locker rooms again.

“I was a college athlete all growing up and I couldn’t even in college shower with my team,” she said. “So for me to use a locker room at all, that’s been a gentle, slow process of healing and I feel like that completely got stripped away.”

I am not saying that transgender people are predators. Not by a long shot. What I am saying is that there are countless deviant men in this world who will pretend to be transgender as a means of gaining access to the people they want to exploit, namely women and children. It already happens.

It feels like you’re saying, ‘I have to do what you want with my body or I’m a horrible person,’ and that’s a manipulation. I can be a very loving person but I don’t have to shower with you.

So comeon Bob, mansplain away the fears that these rape survivors have. Tell them that they are transphobic. Signal your virtue by dismissing concerns. Doing so will prove to everyone what a brave social justice hero you are.

Citation:

DailySignal
Sexual Assault Victims Speak Out Against Washington’s Transgender Bathroom Policies

254 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm

@Cindy

People have all sorts of fears, but it doesn’t mean that they’re justified.

Women may well have fears and feel uncomfortable about sharing bathrooms with trans women. Yes, I’m sure a trans woman is capable of raping a woman, but that doesn’t mean that the fear is in general justified.

Even if you ban trans women access into female toilets, that’s not going to prevent women being raped in female toilets, either by a regular guy or even a regular guy dressed as a woman.

I’m not really following your points. Are you saying that because some women might be raped by trans women, that therefore no trans women should be allowed to use woman’s toilets?

255 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm

@Citizen Wolf 253

I am stating that these laws are written to take into account nothing but GENDER IDENTITY and not gender expression.

In other words, anyone can claim to ‘feel’ like a woman, and use the bathroom/changeroom/dv shelter of women.

And that these unambiguous males will have the full and unfettered legal right to be present in women’s bathrooms/changerooms/dv shelters. They cannot be kicked out. The cops can’t be called. If the women feel uncomfortable having an unambiguous male in the bathroom/changeroom/dv shelter, then it’s their problem, not his.

Nowadays, in many jurisdictions, if an unambiguous male presenting male walks into a woman’s changeroom, for example, he will be asked to leave. If he refuses to, he will be kicked out. But, in places where such a man will have the legal right to use the womans’ changeroom based on nothing else but him saying “I feel like a woman”, then yes, this law will be abused by predators. It will be *easier* for predators and voyeurs to access women’s private spaces.

So yes, the fear is justified. If anything, such a law will just make it riskier for women in their private spaces. And then there are privacy concerns too – girls swim clubs don’t need to be be forced to see penis, and they also don’t need to be leered at as they are changing into their swimsuits.

256 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 2:48 pm

For a less extreme real world example of what Cindy is talking about, google “Lila Perry Hilsboro High”.

You have a situation here where a lot of young girls are incredibly uncomfortable undressing with and showering with someone who has a penis. On the other hand, Lila identifies as female and wants to be in that situation. Both Lila’s and the girls’ concerns are reasonable. So, what to do? It’s not an easy problem to solve.

Unless you’re a misogynist and you find it trivial to dismiss women’s (no doubt lesbians as well) concerns out of hand.

257 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm

@Cindy
I see. That’s a bit clearer to me.

@JetLagg
Yes, it’s a difficult situation. Accommodating all views which are so conflicting is a Gordian knot of a problem.

258 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 3:16 pm

@Citizen Wolf

There are also more than a few trans women who are critical of these broad ‘gender identity’ laws.

One such trans woman stated that it was the height of *narcissistic entitlement* to demand access to women’s private spaces when one unambiguously looks like a male and still has intact male genitalia.

I , for one, don’t have a problem with trans women who express as female and have the appropriate plumbing accessing women’s private spaces. As far as I am concerned they are women and should be treated as such.

But a big burly male with a penis, a male who makes ZERO attempt to even try to pass as a female? Why should that person get to invade women’s private spaces? Why should he have the right to watch girls and women undress and also to walk naked around them? If I want to see penis, I will go to a nudist colony. I don’t want to see dick down at the changeroom at the local pool.

259 Bob February 21, 2016 at 3:35 pm

@Citizen wolf (246)

You’re calling Aidan despicable because it’s simply easier for you to attack them than it is for you to admit your own flaws. This is merely one example of a pattern of behaviour that you and others have exhibited time and time again in these comment sections.

Meanwhile, Phil chimes in with an appeal to the “virtue-signalling” cliché (which is really just a way for him to excuse his lack of empathy by ridiculing those of use who aren’t complete sociopaths) and cindy doubles down on the totally-not-transphobic-because-facts idea that allowing trans women to use women’s bathrooms will lead to women being harassed or assaulted.

The lack of any kind of self-awareness on display would be hilarious if the consequences weren’t so serious.

260 An Ardent Skeptic February 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm

Women’s fears of opening traditional private spaces to men are justified. I’m just one woman yet I have had numerous bad experiences with men who have behaved unethically, and sometimes feloniously:

1) I was sexually abuse in my teens
2) I grew up in a basement with those small basement windows near the ceiling. We regularly caught boys, who were vacationing at a resort nearby, peeping through our windows – particularly the bedroom and bathroom windows.
3) In college, where men were regularly in the women’s bathroom and showers in an “all women” dormitory, I had my clothes, towel, and room keys taken by a man while I was in the shower so I was forced to run naked, soapy, and yelling out into the corridor in the dormitory to stop the man from running off with my things, thereby, leaving me naked without the ability to get back into my dorm room.
4) A peeping tom looking into my bedroom through a key hole in the door in an old building in which I lived after it had been converted to apartments. There was a door in the bedroom which faced a hallway and, although, the door was sealed after the conversion, it had not been removed and it was possible to look into my bedroom through the keyhole. I didn’t realize this was possible until I heard the man who lived across the hall leaning up against my wall. He was drunk and quite noisy while peeping in at me. I placed some tape over the keyhole and then paid close attention to the man across the hall. The next time I heard him rubbing on my wall, I threw open my apartment door and found him bent down with his eye at the keyhole.

I’m just one woman who has had numerous bad experiences with multiple men. Women’s fears about sharing private spaces with men are wholly justified. We have no way of knowing whether a man in a women’s private space is a threat or not so our first concern is our own personal safety – and rightly so. It’s time we face the reality that porn is popular even with men who never rape women. I see no reason to provide men with unnecessary opportunities to leer at naked women just so we can proof how wonderfully tolerant we are.

261 Bob February 21, 2016 at 3:38 pm

[Something something SJW, something something, conspiracy, something something cognitive dissonance, something something Orwell.]

262 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Bob @258

So you don’t consider the rape of women to be a serious consequence re letting *unambiguously male presenting person with intact penises” into women’s domestic violence shelters, change rooms and bathrooms?

Tell us Bob, what *danger* are unambiguous male presenting persons with intact penises in if they are required to use men’s bathrooms, shelters and change rooms instead of women’s?

Why do you , Bob, value the safety of unambiguously male presenting penis owners over the right of women and girls not to feel safe in their own private spaces?

Why so callously dismissive of women and girls Bob?

263 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Bob
**You’re calling Aidan despicable because it’s simply easier for you to attack them than it is for you to admit your own flaws.**

What a load of baloney.

Are you saying that criticizing a person for their actions is because of the flaws in the person criticizing? Are you therefore saying that no-one is to be criticized? Does no-one act in ways that need to be criticized?

I disagree very much with Aidan’s behavior because it’s despicable. It’s got nothing to do with your perception of my flaws, real or imagined.

I may well be a serial killer, but Aidan’s behavior is still despicable.

264 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

@jet lagg 262

Is it my imagination, or did Bob at just mock Ardent Skeptic? Her concerns re sexual assault, rape and being peeped on = a big joke to him?

Did Bob just dismiss a woman’s lived experiences in favour of mansplaining his virtue?

265 Shatterface February 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

I’d reached the conclusion Aidan was despicable long before them mentioned them was trans.

That came up in the conversation after them accused Michael of being a homophobic misogynist.

266 Bob February 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

@Cindy (261)

Maybe you could clarify something, so that I might better understtand your view.

In your comment (261) you refer to “the rape of women”, “women’s domestic violence shelters, changing rooms and bathrooms” and the “right of women and girls to not feel safe in their own private spaces”.

To be clear, when you refer to “women” and “girls” here, are you referring to all women and girls, or just those who are not “unambiguously male presenting with intact penises”?

It would also help if you could explain what constitutes “unambiguously” male presenting, and how that might be determined if it were to form the basis of a law (as you seem to believe it should).

Is it unreasonable, in your view, for a woman to feel uncomfortable if she is not certain whether someone in her space is male-expressing? And are you worried about a law that would permit men to leer at women in their spaces provided that the men could do a good job of pretending that they are a cis woman?

267 Bob February 21, 2016 at 3:56 pm

@Cindy #263

That comment of mine (260) was not posted in response to Ardent Skeptic – it was in anticipation of the kinds of responses I expected to receive to my previous comment.

268 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm

No. No. Bob, you don’t get to ask for clarification. You don’t get to have a conversation. You either get on board with what Cindy said or you’re a misogynist.

Also, have I been misgendering Aidan this entire time? If so, it was a mistake, and I absolutely refuse to apologize for it because they’re a wretched person anyway.

269 Derek Walsh February 21, 2016 at 4:11 pm

Bob:

To be clear, when you refer to “women” and “girls” here, are you referring to all women and girls, or just those who are not “unambiguously male presenting with intact penises”?

How do you believe the words “women” and “girls” should be defined, Bob? What would you like to see in legislation to provide the maximum protection, clarity and convenience for everyone?

270 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 4:23 pm

FYI, there are *trans girls* who are 52 year old natal males with intact penises who identify as 6 yo girls.

Should these trans girls have legal access to the private spaces of little girls simply because they declare that they *feel like girls*?

Is it transphobic to deny a 52yo penis having ultra masculine looking “trans girl” legal access to a girls swim club? Girls camp?

What if serial killer Ted Bundy suddenly declared that he felt that he was a woman. Should be have automatically been moved to a woman’s prison?

OE take a famous male Olympic gold medalist. Should that medalist state that he is now female, should “she* have the legal right to compete, across the board, in women’s sports? Without, btw, submitting to any hormone blocking or SRS. All that would be required is waking up one day and saying ” I feel like a woman, ergo I am one and society as a whole should regard me as such”. All without changing a single thing about oneself. Just the declaration.

271 Bob February 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm

– Derek (269)

I don’t know what the best definition for “woman” or “girl” is. I expect that it depends on the context. In terms of the law surrounding places like changing rooms, etc., my opinion is that women (including trans women) are in the best position to decide what the rules should be.

– Cindy

“Should these trans girls have legal access to the private spaces of little girls simply because they declare that they *feel like girls*?

Is it transphobic to deny a 52yo penis having ultra masculine looking “trans girl” legal access to a girls swim club? Girls camp?”

I’m not sure why you think gender identity matters in a case like that – it would be unacceptable to treat any adult as a child on the basis of their self-declaration, regardless of their gender identity.

Do you believe that there is such a thing as “age identity” and that some people really are the ages with which they identify, rather than the ages determined by their biology? If you don’t, I don’t see how the cases are analogous.

272 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

Bob #271

I’m not sure why you think gender identity matters in a case like that – it would be unacceptable to treat any adult as a child on the basis of their self-declaration, regardless of their gender identity.

Why? If you are arguing that we should treat a natal male (without that natal male changing a single thing about themselves re hormones or surgery) as a 100pct legal woman in every single aspect (sports, prisons, women’s domestic violence shelters etc), then why not age?

If a declaration “i feel like a woman therefore I am one and must be legally obligated as such” is *all* that is required where gender identity is concerned, then I don’t see why age or even species should be any different.

And the 52 year old trans girl that I am speaking of – she is 6ft5, 300lbs, and brags about all of the anal sex she has with her lovers from fetish site fetlife – would certainly consider you to be transphobic as f*ck for denying her age identity.

So, not only is Bob a misogynist, he is also transphobic.

If a de

273 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Here’s the thing Bob.

If a natal male can claim that her penis is *biologically female* based on nothing but her belief that the penis is a female organ, then a 52 yo trans girl can claim that her body is chronologically 6 years old because she feels that it is.

274 Shatterface February 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Bob, do you believe there’s a pay gap between men and women?

That’s pretty much a core SJW belief.

If you do believe that gap exists how do you measure it if you have no clear definition of men and women?

How can you measure a difference in pay between two groups if you cannot determine which group individuals belong to?

275 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Bob@271

I don’t know what the best definition for “woman” or “girl” is. I expect that it depends on the context. In terms of the law surrounding places like changing rooms, etc., my opinion is that women (including trans women) are in the best position to decide what the rules should be.

And when the women and trans women fundamentally disagree? As has happened in the not hypothetical but real world cases Cindy and I have now cited? You dismiss the concerns of rape, voyeurism, and basic comfort outlined by the women. That makes you a misogynist.

Excuse me while I whip up a twitter mob to harass you for hate speech.

276 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

Bob to Cindy
**Do you believe that there is such a thing as “age identity” and that some people really are the ages with which they identify, rather than the ages determined by their biology? If you don’t, I don’t see how the cases are analogous.**

That’s what Cindy’s asking you Bob. What do you think? Do people in their 50s (or whatever) get to declare themselves as 6-year olds?

Bob to Derek
**my opinion is that women (including trans women) are in the best position to decide what the rules should be.**

And men are excluded and get to have no say in how society is run? Thanks Bob. I feel all warm and fuzzy being excluded like that.

277 An Ardent Skeptic February 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm

@ Bob

There are no age restrictions on private spaces for girls. Women access these spaces regularly as these girls are usually under the supervision of women who use the same facilities as the girls. There aren’t age designations on bathrooms and locker rooms where the users present proof of age before entering.

If you’re going to argue your case, it would be nice if you do so in realistic terms by making assertions about some alternate universe that doesn’t exist here on earth.

278 citizen_wolf February 21, 2016 at 4:47 pm

@JetLaag
Yes indeed; a twitter storm and harassment pogrom seems like the thing certain people like to do. Where’s Aidan when you need him?

279 An Ardent Skeptic February 21, 2016 at 4:48 pm

@ Bob

My last comment should read “not by making assertions…”

280 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 4:49 pm

Shatterface @274

If all of the natal male CEOs and governmental leaders suddenly delcare themselves to be women, can we declare that women now have equal representation and that the pay gap has been closed?

CWolf @276

It’s ok. Just tell Bob that you identify as a woman for the duration of this post, and what you say will be the most important thing on this thread. You can even claim to be a victim of hate speech when Bob disagrees with you.

Think I am joking?

Nope.

There is such a thing as ‘genderfluid’ which 1) does not require any sort of gender dysphoria (I read so on EverdayFeminism, they are experts 2) Genderfluid folks switch between genders. One moment they can identify as male, the next, female. It can change throughout the day, week, months, or minutes. They can switch at will.

281 Ashling O'Brien February 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

@Bob
Before the recession in Ireland hit and we were all blowing our noses with €20 notes I had membership in a relatively swanky gym. The gym had a small, but well equipped women’s gym accessible through the women’s locker room and by one other door marked ‘private’ that led out onto a corridor down to the studios. It was popular with a small group of Muslim women and women like myself who were conscious of our size and lack of athletic prowess.
One day when I was in there with a few other women a person who very much presented as a man walked into the gym. He was dressed pretty much in typical gym attire. He went over to the machine and appeared to mess around with it for a minute. He had no tools with him and no form of staff ID. A few of the women caught each others eye with questioning looks. He said nothing and then left after a while. After he was gone I asked one of the other women if she thought that was a bit weird, she said yes and we agreed that it made us feel uncomfortable. I decided to go the the reception desk to see if they could shed some light on the situation. I explained what had happened and gave a description of the man. The receptionist said that it was quite definitely one of their maintenance people. I pointed out that he wasn’t wearing ID and she agreed that this was not acceptable and that he would be reminded of this. I thanked her and went back to the women’s gym area where I updated my sweaty companions. I remember one woman saying to me that she was very upset that he had just walked like that in as she had joined this particular gym specifically because it offered a private gym area for women. She said she wouldn’t be comfortable exercising in front of men (as an aside her words made me challenge my own reluctance to exercise in public).
Anyway, the point of all of this is that, going by your logic Bob, was wrong to have complained? Should myself and the other women just have sucked up our discomfort and accepted this person presenting as a man in our personal space?

282 Bob February 21, 2016 at 5:15 pm

@Cindy (272)

“If a declaration “i feel like a woman therefore I am one and must be legally obligated as such” is *all* that is required where gender identity is concerned, then I don’t see why age or even species should be any different.”

Could you tell me under what circumstances you would be willing to consider a trans woman to be a woman?

Could you then tell me under what circumstances you would be willing to consider a person who claims to have a feline species identity as a cat?

@Shatterface

I see that the ever-malleable of “SJW” now includes…well, people who can read and understand the literature on gender and wages. There is indeed a pay gap between men and women.

“If you do believe that gap exists how do you measure it if you have no clear definition of men and women?”

As I suggested to Derek, it depends on the context. In the context of assessing a wage gap, “men” and “women” presumably tend to refer to the concepts as they are traditionally used. Including or excluding trans people from those categories probably won’t make much of a difference to the overall patterns.

@Jet Lagg (275)

And when the women and trans women fundamentally disagree?

People disagree all the time, and this is certainly not a case of cis women vs trans women. Ideally, whichever group are right will succeed in persuading enough people so that their views can be implemented.

@Citizen Wolf (276)

“That’s what Cindy’s asking you Bob. What do you think? Do people in their 50s (or whatever) get to declare themselves as 6-year olds?”

People can make whatever claims they like – that doesn’t mean I have to assume that those claims are correct or regard them as coherent.

But if the cases really are analogous, then that implies that when a trans person claims to have a female gender identity, for example, that we should not take “him” seriously or that we should not regard “his” claim as coherent. If that is an implication of Cindy’s view, it looks straightforwardly transphobic.

@An Ardent Skeptic (277)

“If you’re going to argue your case, it would be nice if you do so in realistic terms by making assertions about some alternate universe that doesn’t exist here on earth.”

I was responding directly to the scenario Cindy presented, so your suggestion might be better directed at her.

283 Derek Walsh February 21, 2016 at 5:16 pm

Bob:

In terms of the law surrounding places like changing rooms, etc., my opinion is that women (including trans women) are in the best position to decide what the rules should be.

A majority of women? Or does every woman get to decide for herself?

If I – a bearded cishet manly male – am stopped at the entrance to a women’s locker room and I declare that I am a woman, should that qualify me to enter?

284 Bob February 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm

@Ashling (281)

Suppose we accept the principle that it is reasonable for a woman in your situation to experience discomfort at the sight of someone who appears to be a male and the principle that the man in question acted wrongly by not taking some precautions to make you more comfortable (like, for example, making it clear that he was a maintenance person).

How far should such a principle extend? Suppose, for example, that Mary is a straight, cis woman who happens to enjoy presenting herself in a way that is stereotpically masculine. As a result, people frequently assume that she is in fact a man.

Suppose Mary is getting ready to go to the gym, and that she will want to use the machines in your space. Does Mary act wrongly if she does not consider whether to dress in a way that marks her as more obviously a woman?

285 Bob February 21, 2016 at 5:25 pm

@Derek

If a very masculine looking cishet woman is stopped at the entrance to a women’s locker room and declares that she is a woman, should that qualify her to enter?

If not, what further evidence should be required?

286 Shatterface February 21, 2016 at 5:42 pm

I see that the ever-malleable of “SJW” now includes…well, people who can read and understand the literature on gender and wages. There is indeed a pay gap between men and women.

You didn’t answer my question.

How can you state there’s a pay gap between two groups if you can’t determine who belongs to which group?

287 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Bob #285:

That’s actually a question YOU should try to answer.

288 Bob February 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm

@Shatterface

You can determine who belongs to which group – you just look at the methodology of the studies in question.

289 Derek Walsh February 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Bob:

If a very masculine looking cishet woman is stopped at the entrance to a women’s locker room and declares that she is a woman, should that qualify her to enter?

If not, what further evidence should be required?

I don’t know. For a woman who looks as masculine as me i.e. unambiguously male, then perhaps some form of identification may be required, in the same way that while I can easily buy alcohol without ID now, I could not until I was about 27, even though it was just as legal and morally acceptable for me to do so as it is now. But without some definition of “woman”, it’s hard to know what sort of ID would be acceptable.
Or are you comfortable with someone who looks like me being able to enter women-only spaces as I please? Do you think most women would be comfortable with that? Do you think, perhaps, it’s a price that most women should be willing to pay to ensure that a tiny minority of women are never inconvenienced (or micro-aggressed)?

[Side note: this has the potential to be a very useful and interesting discussion, and would be impossible if Michael had acceded to demands to remove “hate speech” from the site. For all I know, what I’ve written will be regarded as hate speech by some.]

290 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 6:05 pm

As to the question: do I consider transwomen to be women? The answer is no.

They are transwomen, and there’s absolutely no need to erase their unique identity by lumping them into a category that most SJWs consider to be a social construct in the first place.

Really, a bit more coherence is needed in that “progressive” ideology of yours.

(and on the more general subject of bathrooms and changing rooms, I’m all in favor of an additional gender-neutral facility. But not every workplace/public space have the means to do so, whether in terms of actual space or financial costs. It’s a shame, because I’m convinced some transwomen will face harassment or worse if using male facilities at times, but the risk of having some pervert using their “perceived” gender as an excuse to trespass into women’s safe spaces is at least as high, if not more. Especially if you follow the SJW dogma that all men are potential rapists).

I think I’ve lost the plot of what I wanted to say.

Anyway…

291 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Bob@282

People disagree all the time, and this is certainly not a case of cis women vs trans women. Ideally, whichever group are right will succeed in persuading enough people so that their views can be implemented.

You’re delusional or trolling if you think the (again real world) examples were not a case of opinions of women versus opinions of trans women (more frequently “trans woman” as we’re usually talking about one individual versus a crowd).

You want endless nuance when your own back is to the wall on charges of misogyny (btw, I’m not trolling on that front, I really think you and Aidan don’t give a shit what happens to women so long as your politics get furthered), but you cheerlead those who want to slander Nugent without so much as a single back and forth.

292 Bob February 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm

– Derek

“Or are you comfortable with someone who looks like me being able to enter women-only spaces as I please? Do you think most women would be comfortable with that? Do you think, perhaps, it’s a price that most women should be willing to pay to ensure that a tiny minority of women are never inconvenienced (or micro-aggressed)?”

I don’t think that whether a woman should be allowed to enter a space reserved for women should depend on the extent to which that woman manages to conform to traditional feminine standards of presentation.

I think that the chances of trans women being harmed by being forced into spaces they don’t want to be in is probably greater than the chances of non-trans women being harmed by being forced to share spaces with people whose appearance (rather than their behaviour) makes them uncomfortable.

293 Shatterface February 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm

Why don’t you do that for me, Bob?

The way you calculate the difference between groups is you calculate the mean for each set and subtract one from the other.

You can’t do that if you don’t know who belongs in which set.

Also, whatever gender gap occurs it takes place after women take time off work for having children. Lumping biological males who identify as female is certainly helping close that pay gap but not in a way most feminists will find helpful.

294 Derek Walsh February 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm

It turns out that Aoife O’Riordan (yes, she who kicked off “Flouncegate”) has recently written on this topic. It’s an interesting and informed perspective as Aoife’s writing usually is.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/teacosy/2016/02/11/trans-women-are-not-the-enemy-they-just-gotta-pee-responding-to-cork-feministas-ale-soares/

295 Bob February 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm

@Jet Lagg

“You’re delusional or trolling if you think the (again real world) examples were not a case of opinions of women versus opinions of trans women (more frequently “trans woman” as we’re usually talking about one individual versus a crowd).”

Rather than worry about my mental state, I can only suggest that you try to familiarize yourself with these debates, which include cis and trans women on both sides.

296 Michael Nugent February 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I have now written an analysis of this situation in a new blog post.

And so the smears continue, with a misunderstanding becoming a moral panic

297 Bob February 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm

@Shatterface

I don’t think that trans people are a large enough group that whether we include or exclude them in a particular category is likely to significantly alter the results of the relevant studies.

It also isn’t true (and misses the point) to say that the differences arise once women take time off work to have children.

298 Derek Walsh February 21, 2016 at 6:24 pm

Bob:

I don’t think that whether a woman should be allowed to enter a space reserved for women should depend on the extent to which that woman manages to conform to traditional feminine standards of presentation.

So your answer to my question: “are you comfortable with someone who looks like me being able to enter women-only spaces as I please?” is “Yes”.

I think that the chances of trans women being harmed by being forced into spaces they don’t want to be in is probably greater than the chances of non-trans women being harmed by being forced to share spaces with people whose appearance (rather than their behaviour) makes them uncomfortable.

So your answer to my question: “Do you think most women would be comfortable with that?” is “I don’t care”.

And your answer to my question “Do you think, perhaps, it’s a price that most women should be willing to pay to ensure that a tiny minority of women are never inconvenienced (or micro-aggressed)?” is “Yes”.

Correct me if I’m wrong on any of your answers but as you won’t be direct, I’ve had to make the best stab at your meaning that I could.

299 Jet Lagg February 21, 2016 at 6:25 pm

I really hope we don’t let Bob derail this into endless vagueries. He’s saying it’s totes cool for someone to walk around with their cock out in a girl’s locker room (he’ll weasel out of this with euphemisms, but we’re talking about a real world girl’s room and a real world cock, make no mistake) even though that deeply upsets the vast majority of the girls. And the reason it’s totes cool is because it lines up with his politics. So, to hell with the desires of women.

300 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 6:28 pm

You know what? I now feel it is not my place to comment on such issues. There’s no way I’m not going to put my foot in my mouth at some point or another.

I leave the floor to those who actually have a ball in this game.

301 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 6:31 pm

No pun intended.

302 Bob February 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm

@Derek (298)

“Correct me if I’m wrong on any of your answers…”

You are indeed wrong (0 for 3, in fact). I am not comfortable with a woman being forced out of a space reserved for women because she is afraid people will mistake her for a man. If someone looks like you and is a woman, then I think she should be allowed to use spaces for women. If someone looks like you and he is a man, I think he should stay away from spaces reserved for women. I don’t know whether most women would be comfortable sharing a space with someone who looks like you – I expect it would depend on that person’s behaviour. I don’t regard such potential discomfort as morally neutral – I simply think it must be balanced against the dangers of forcing trans women out of spaces reserved for women. You seem to be concerned about some non-women getting access to women’s spaces, but not at all concerned about some non-women being excluded from women’s spaces and forced into men’s spaces. This is why I reject the premise implicit in your final question, which is that it is a mere “inconvenience” or “micro-aggression” when a trans woman is forced out of a woman’s space.

303 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

There is a very good example in the very small and happy sphere of atheism and skepticism, of a man who realized they are a woman really, but still sports a 3-days-shade of beard, shows typical male-baldness-pattern, and goes around wearing sports-jackets or full suits.

This is not, to my limited knowledge, someone a woman or girl would like to see hanging around their restrooms.

Bob, can you agree with this?

Also, maybe let’s skip to Michael’s new post cited above, it will make the discussion easier to follow. We can always link to here for references.

304 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

Bob wrote:

I think that the chances of trans women being harmed by being forced into spaces they don’t want to be in is probably greater than the chances of non-trans women being harmed by being forced to share spaces with people whose appearance (rather than their behaviour) makes them uncomfortable.

So you believe that unambiguously male, manly looking trans women are in danger of being harmed if they are forced to use male only spaces, and that a big bearded manly man like Arnold Schwarzenneger would be safer in a woman’s bathroom/change room should he declare one day that is really a woman even though he does not change a single thing about his appearance and continues to look big bearded and ultra-masculine?

305 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Bob wrote:


You are indeed wrong (0 for 3, in fact). I am not comfortable with a woman being forced out of a space reserved for women because she is afraid people will mistake her for a man

I talk to lots of gender nonconforming lesbians.

They don’t want manly men waving their dicks around woman only spaces.

They don’t want to have PIV sex with men who claim that they are women and also lesbians.

You are not only a misogynist Bob, but you are clearly lesbophobic as well.

306 Pete Attkins February 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm

Bob, Excuse my ignorance regarding this topic, but in my locale it would be dextrously difficult for any person who does not possess a penis to use the urinals in our “gents toilets”. Furthermore, anyone and everyone who has a penis and uses the “ladies room” is very likely to suffer very severe consequences, including having to answer to a magistrate, or a judge and jury.

307 Bob February 21, 2016 at 7:17 pm

@Cindy

“So you believe that unambiguously male, manly looking trans women are in danger of being harmed if they are forced to use male only spaces…”

I think it would be helpful if you explained how you propose to distinguish between “ambiguously” male-looking and “unambiguously” male-looking people for the purposes of this sort of policy.

308 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Bob #307:

“I think it would be helpful if you explained how you propose to distinguish between “ambiguously” male-looking and “unambiguously” male-looking people for the purposes of this sort of policy.”

I’ve mentioned an example of such an unambiguously male-looking person in our own community a few comments above. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, try and contact me privately (you can ask Michael for my mail address, no worries).

309 Bob February 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm

@Cindy (305)

Have you asked your gender non-conforming lesbian friends whether they would be comfortable with a policy that required them to show that they don’t have a penis before being admitted into women’s spaces? Or whether they act wrongly if they present themselves in a way that may make some women uncomfortable because they will mistake them for men?

310 Bob February 21, 2016 at 7:28 pm

@Phil

Cindy’s idea seems to be that people who are “unambigiously” male-looking should not be permitted access to women’s spaces (even if they happen to be women). If that is to work as a general rule, I take it that we would need some sort of guidelines to determine whether a person counts as “unambiguously” male-looking in the relevant sense.

311 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm

@Bob

Gender nonconforming lesbians are still quite clearly women.

But, ok..

Someone who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger

or Ted Bundy

or The Rock

Should such manly men be permitted access to bathrooms/changerooms/domestic violence shelters based on nothing other than their claim that they believe themselves to be women?

312 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 7:40 pm

As far as The Rock is concerned, he could use my bathroom any day.

But that’s way off topic.

313 Bob February 21, 2016 at 7:42 pm

@Cindy

Unless you are proposing that we post a note up on the doors of bathrooms where we list specific people who aren’t allowed in, I don’t see how your preferred solution is workable.

314 Pete Attkins February 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Bob #313, The signage is abundantly clear, and enforced, in my locale. Your mileage may vary.

315 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

@Bob

My solution is the status quo and the GNC lesbians that I know are quite happy with it.

What makes you think that you know what is best for lesbians?

There you go, cis-splaining and man-splaining again.

Silencing lesbians, because you think that big bearded ultra-masculine manly men who look like Arnold Schwarzenegger need to ‘feel safe’ in women’s only spaces. Nevermind what the women think, they don’t even rate as far as you are concerned. Their voices, their concerns about their safety can be discarded, because it isn’t convenient for *you*.

316 Bob February 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm

@Cindy

I’m not the one discarding the concerns of women here – you don’t seem at all concerned about trans women being excluded from women’s spaces.

317 Pete Attkins February 21, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Bob, Cease your tiresome semantic filibustering and clearly state whether or not the designated safe areas for girls/ladies/women include or exclude people who possess a penis.

318 Guestus Aurelius February 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm

@282 Bob

@Citizen Wolf (276)

“That’s what Cindy’s asking you Bob. What do you think? Do people in their 50s (or whatever) get to declare themselves as 6-year olds?”

People can make whatever claims they like – that doesn’t mean I have to assume that those claims are correct or regard them as coherent.

But if the cases really are analogous, then that impl[i]es that when a trans person claims to have a female gender identity, for example, that we should not take “him” seriously or that we should not regard “his” claim as coherent. If that is an implication of Cindy’s view, it looks straightforwardly transphobic.

[the brackets I added are just to avoid potential moderation]

There’s another way to look at this: if the cases are analogous, then maybe that means that it’s straightforwardly trans-age-phobic not to take seriously an adult who claims to identify as a child.

319 Bob February 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm

@Pete

I don’t think it’s feasible or desirable to exclude people from spaces merely on the basis of whether or not they have a penis. People’s private parts should be kept private, in general.

320 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Bob 316

I’m not the one discarding the concerns of women here – you don’t seem at all concerned about trans women being excluded from women’s spaces.

Bearded hirsute manly men with penises are not women, even though they say they are, and their presence in women’s private spaces makes women and girls uncomfortable. Full stop.

Penises are not female.
Deal with it.

321 Steersman February 21, 2016 at 8:14 pm

Bob #316:

@Cindy: I’m not the one discarding the concerns of women here – you don’t seem at all concerned about trans women being excluded from women’s spaces.

Except “trans women” aren’t women – an egregious case of begging the question to insist that that is the case. And to so insist looks like odious authoritarianism if not egregious thuggery.

But seems the only reasonable way off the horns of this dilemma is to designate washrooms as being for PWV – people with vaginas (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) – and for PWP – people with penises (or reasonable facsimiles thereof).

322 Pete Attkins February 21, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Bob, If you ever encounter a sign that states “Welcome to England”, “Welcome to Scotland” etc. then don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that it applies to you personally. Those wish to flout our laws are most definitely not welcome.

Hope that helps.

323 Bob February 21, 2016 at 8:19 pm

@Cindy

“Bearded hirsute manly men with penises are not women, even though they say they are”

So at least some trans women aren’t actually women, on your view.

(I see Steersman extends this view to all trans women)

324 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 8:25 pm

@Bob 323

You see the word ‘trans’ in ‘trans woman’

You’re not trans if you refuse to change a single goddamn thing about yourself.

325 Bob February 21, 2016 at 8:26 pm

@Cindy

Why not?

326 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 8:33 pm

Because I can finally affirm I’m an attack helicopter?

327 Bob February 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm

You can affirm whatever you like, Phil.

328 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Why don’t you google ‘transition’ Bob.

Also, you seem to think that woman can be defined as nothing more than ‘a feeling’

Which is pretty goddamned dismissive of the struggles that women have faced for thousands of years. Women still die because they are denied abortion. Women still die in honor killings. Women still suffer FGM at the hands of patriarchal oppressors who see a woman’s only value in her ability to act as a breeder.

Women have been oppressed, throughout history, due to their anatomy.

“Woman” is way more than “I feel that I am therefore I am”

Stop being so dismissive of women, Bob. You aren’t doing yourself any favours.

Masculine manly men with penises are not being oppressed because they are kept out of women’s domestic violence shelters and change rooms. An Ahnold lookalike is not going to get beatup because he is using the men’s bathroom. If you think that such a thing is the case, then you really need to examine your logic here.

329 Bob February 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

@Cindy

You seem to be suggesting that a trans person is not really a trans person unless and until they have begun to transition. I suggest you Google “gender identity”.

“Also, you seem to think that woman can be defined as nothing more than ‘a feeling’”

A woman can be defined as someone who has a female gender identity. Insofar as any identity is “nothing more than a feeling”, so is gender identity.

“Which is pretty goddamned dismissive of the struggles that women have faced for thousands of years. ”

(Except, of course, those trans women whose struggles do not count on your view.)

“Women still die because they are denied abortion. Women still die in honor killings. Women still suffer FGM at the hands of patriarchal oppressors who see a woman’s only value in her ability to act as a breeder.”

All of those things are true, but I don’t see what that has to do with your views about what it means to be a trans woman (who are among the most vulnerable women in many societies).

330 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Bob #327

Cool! I’l be a Lynx. I’ve seen those babies fly live, and they can turn a pretty sweet Immelmann.

331 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 9:31 pm

And now you’re wondering if you should agree with me because you’re not sure “Immelman” is approved in your circles.

I love that shit!

332 Citizen Wolf February 21, 2016 at 9:33 pm

I’m a black-headed seagull.

(I’ve always liked black-headed seagulls)

333 Bob February 21, 2016 at 9:35 pm

@Phil

Is it your view that someone who identifies as, for example, a Lynx, is like a trans person who identifies as a woman? Do you think we should have a similar reaction towards both claims?

334 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 9:50 pm

Bob #333:

If asked straight-forward right now, I’ll have to say yes.

If you have a rational for denying a Lynx-person’s live experience, I’ll take it. Well, I’ll do once my rotor blades haves stopped spinning.

And before we continue on that down slope path, I’ll just state that declaring to be a woman doesn’t make one a woman.

Intent is not magic?

335 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

If the definition of woman = a feeling, then we can say that about literally anything.

You *are*, objectively, what you feel.

336 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Changed my mind. I’m a Boeing 737.

337 Bob February 21, 2016 at 11:06 pm

@Cindy

If the definition of woman = a feeling, then we can say that about literally anything.

Only if “literally anything” is an identity in the way gender identity is an identity.

338 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 11:08 pm

Bob wrote @337

Only if “literally anything” is an identity in the way gender identity is an identity.

Fallacy of special pleading.

But please, explain for the class what makes ‘gender identity’ an identity special in a way that other identities are not.

I want specifics, Bob.

339 Citizen Wolf February 21, 2016 at 11:20 pm

I too have changed my mind.

I am now a Raven.

340 Guestus Aurelius February 21, 2016 at 11:21 pm

I always thought of you as a Raven.

341 Guestus Aurelius February 21, 2016 at 11:21 pm

(I mean, if that’s okay with you.)

342 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 11:45 pm

“I am now a Raven.”

that’s why we can never be friends.

343 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 11:49 pm

bob:

“Only if “literally anything” is an identity in the way gender identity is an identity.”

That makes absolutely no sense.

As stated above, I identify as a blue Pokemon. What would you have of it, Your Lordship?

344 Bob February 21, 2016 at 11:50 pm

@Cindy

“But please, explain for the class what makes ‘gender identity’ an identity special in a way that other identities are not.”

Some identities are defined subjectively. Others are defined objectively. Gender identities are of the latter sort. “Age identities”, for example, are not.

Out of interest, do you believe that a person can come to identify as gay despite not changing anything about themselves?

345 Bob February 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

@Phil

I feel it important to note that “blue” is not a type of Pokemon.

346 Cindy February 21, 2016 at 11:53 pm

344 Bob

Sorry Bob, that isn’t specific enough.

It’s just circular reasoning.

“Woman” is not merely a feeling. The biological status of female is not a mere feeling.

347 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:09 am

@Cindy

“Sorry Bob, that isn’t specific enough.

It’s just circular reasoning.”

Here is a belief a person might have about their identity: “I am someone whose favourite colour is blue”.

Here is another: “I am the President of the United States”.

What do you think would need to be the case for us to say that the “blue-lover” is in fact a “blue-lover”?

What do you think would need to be the case for us to say that the person who believes they are the POTUS is in fact that POTUS?

348 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 12:11 am

Bob at 347

So the category of being a biological female, of being a woman, is no different than liking the colour blue?

349 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:21 am

@Cindy

Are you suggesting that a person who says “I identify as a woman” means “I believe I am a biological female”?

350 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 12:31 am

Bob at 349

You are going to need to define ‘woman’, Bob.

What is a woman?

Just a feeling, right? Womanhood, objectively, is a feeling? Nothing more? Just like being President of the USA is a mere feeling?

351 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:35 am

@Cindy

I don’t see why you need a definition of woman to answer the question.

To be clear, the question is whether, when you hear someone say “I identify as a woman” you believe that what they mean is that they believe they are biologically female (where “biological female” is defined in the sense you meant when you used it above at #348).

352 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 1:03 am

Bob #351:

To be clear, the question is whether, when you hear someone say “I identify as a woman” you believe that what they mean is that they believe they are biologically female.

Except that that is what virtually everyone – at least those who know how to use a dictionary – means when one says “woman“:

wom·an n. pl. wom·en (wĭm′ĭn)
1. An adult female human.

With “female” further defined as one who produces ova or bears young. Consequently, as far as I’m concerned, Bruce Jenner is still a man, despite receiving a “Woman of the Year” award. But people insisting on using their own idiosyncratic and not particularly credible definitions are virtually as bad as those who would insist on driving on the wrong side of the road; words are stipulated to have particular meanings for a reason – attempting to deny those looks egregiously anti-scientific and anti-intellectual, some of the hallmarks of the more odious sects within feminism.

As for “gender”, when Facebook has 56 varieties that one can select from, one might wonder why they would stop at a million. Which makes the whole concept largely so much incoherent twaddle.

353 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:30 am

@Steersman

Unless I am mistaken, post-menopausal people do not produce ova or bear young.

Does a woman cease to be a woman post-menopause, on your view?

354 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 2:00 am

Bob #353:

Technically, as far as that definition is concerned, I would say “yes”; I guess they would just have to be satisfied with the designation, “post-menopausal person” (PMP).

However, as I argued in the previous thread (#288; “outrageous smear”), I don’t quite know why so many are making such a big deal out of that. While it kind of sucks to be getting older – “dull decrepitude” and all that, losing that ability hardly makes such women more or less sexually attractive, or able to enjoy sex, or less deserving of basic human rights and respect. Seems kind of silly, at best, to be putting all of one’s identity, all of one’s eggs – so to speak, into that particular basket.

355 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:10 am

@Steersman

Don’t you think that if your definition of “woman” does not include post-menopausal people, that that is a good reason to regard the definition as implausible?

356 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 2:41 am

Bob #235:

Not in the slightest. Definitions are created for more important reasons than pandering to people’s delusions, questionable ideologies, and overly tender if not juvenile feelings. Rather important to have a clear demarcation between, for example, mushrooms which are edible and the ones which are poisonous – which wouldn’t be much helped by putting much weight on someone’s “feelings” as to which was which.

But consider the Wikipedia article on taxonomy which starts off with:

Taxonomy (from Ancient Greek: τάξις taxis, “arrangement”, and -νομία -nomia, “method”) is the science of defining groups of biological organisms on the basis of shared characteristics and giving names to those groups.

Sure looks to me like the groups of those who share the abilities to “produce ova” (aka, “women”) and to “produce sperm” (aka, “men”) are rather large, and of more than passing importance. I figure that people who want to conflate those terms, to muddy the difference between those two (non-exhaustive) groups, and who actually demand that we do so, should be given the bum’s rush and told where to go and how to get there in no uncertain terms.

357 Bob February 22, 2016 at 3:42 am

“Not in the slightest. Definitions are created for more important reasons than pandering to people’s delusions,”

You’re now suggesting that if we continue to refer to a person as a woman post-menopause that we are “pandering to her delusion”.

That isn’t a plausible claim. I wonder what Cindy would make of your belief that there is a time limit to her womanhood.

358 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 4:32 am

Bob #357:

You’re now suggesting that if we continue to refer to a person as a woman post-menopause that we are “pandering to her delusion”.

If she was insisting on being called that, despite there being clear evidence to the contrary, then I would call that such a demand. It might be a reasonable courtesy to consider them “nominal” women – in name only – but if push comes to shove then I think entirely justified if not mandatory to fall back on the primary attribute that defines the group.

That isn’t a plausible claim. I wonder what Cindy would make of your belief that there is a time limit to her womanhood.

Certainly some “real women ™” are not particularly thrilled with accepting that definition. But it is a definition and not simply a belief. And I might suggest that that apprehension is predicated on conflating sets of attributes that normally correlate to a high degree with the defining one – i.e., the ability to produce ova. I might suggest they read and pay close attention to that article on taxonomy.

BTW, in passing, if you were interested in formatting your posts to improve readability then you might want to check out this article on the HTML blockquote syntax that works on this blog.

359 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

I absolutely disagree with Steersman on his post-menopausal definition of “woman”.

But he knows this already, and here’s not the place to rehash the argument.

360 Skep tickle February 22, 2016 at 9:15 am

Steersman, you seem to think that you understand language better than everyone else, as you persevere in this odd proscriptive approach that simply doesn’t reflect real use. That’s been explained to you many times, including by a linguist. You’re tilting at windmills, my friend.

Consider for a moment that we’re back in the days before anyone knew about (human) ova much less chromosomes, before “intersex” and “transgender” were on people’s radar. In an incredible breakthrough, people noticed that there were pretty much 2 kinds of people, and they called them “women” and “men” (or the equivalent in their language). They noticed that many of the type called “women” could bear children – though not all of them did. They noticed that many of the type called “men” could father children – though not all of them did. There was no separate terminology that when a person couldn’t participate in this process or lost the ability to do so, that that person would drop out of their group, whether “women” or “men”.

Later, people tried to write down definitions for “women” and “men”, and in doing so focused on this reproductive ability, which is a feature of the group overall and many members of the group, but which is NOT REQUIRED to be categorized into one of these 2 groups. The capacity doesn’t have to be demonstrated, and membership in the group is not taken away if a person can’t prove they can fulfill that particular feature.

Reproductive capacity (fecundity) may be “sufficient” to categorize a person into one of these historical groups, but it’s not “necessary”, and (more important) it’s not the basis on which such categorization is done.

“Female” is the one TYPE of the 2 TYPES in a sexually dimorphic species; it doesn’t mean that an individual has to be fecund in order to be considered “female”. Same with “male”. Turns out it’s hard to write a definition of biological sex or gender that doesn’t end up at reproduction, but reproduction is NOT required for an individual to have a sex or a gender. I can’t believe this requires explaining.

To say, as you have been, that a woman who doesn’t produce ova for one reason or another ISN’T A WOMAN is ludicrous. I do follow how you talked yourself into believing it, but you seem to have gotten wedged into this viewpoint which simply does not match even the reality of the most straightforward situation of a sexually dimorphic species in which some individuals are not fertile.

So: please stop. It comes across as insulting, even though you very likely don’t mean it that way.

(And my focus on biological sex and the binary here was in no way meant to ignore or minimize people who are intersex or identify outside the gender binary.)

361 Skep tickle February 22, 2016 at 9:16 am

Phil @359

Whoops, I rehashed it. :)

362 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

What Skep just said @360

On a side note, I used to date a girl who was very hot (good looking, not temperature-wise) but also happened to be infertile. It didn’t stop us from having a great relationship as a man and a woman.

My last surviving grand-mother is running in her 90s, and she’s still a woman.

Those two paragraphs have no relation to each other whatsoever.

363 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 10:49 am

Skep tickle #360:

… as you persevere in this odd [prescriptive] approach that simply doesn’t reflect real use. That’s been explained to you many times, including by a linguist. You’re tilting at windmills, my friend.

You might note that the Wikipedia article on dictionaries (1) indicates that there’s a heavy element of prescriptivism in dictionaries – which, I think, most linguists should have been aware of. A salient quote:

A different dimension on which dictionaries (usually just general-purpose ones) are sometimes distinguished is whether they are prescriptive or descriptive, the latter being in theory largely based on linguistic corpus studies—this is the case of most modern dictionaries. However, this distinction cannot be upheld in the strictest sense. The choice of headwords is considered itself of prescriptive nature ….

You might also follow the link to the headwords article, of which there are some 400,000 for English, although I’ll readily admit that I’m unsure of the implications of that claim. However, this from the article on taxonomy (2) seems relevant:

Taxonomy has been called “the world’s oldest profession”, and naming and classifying our surroundings has likely been taking place as long as mankind has been able to communicate.

Seems rather likely that that objective has heavily influenced, in a prescriptive fashion, both the evolution of language, and the “headwords” that presumably mark or denote those classes.

Turns out it’s hard to write a definition of biological sex or gender that doesn’t end up at reproduction, but reproduction is NOT required for an individual to have a sex or a gender. I can’t believe this requires explaining.

Indeed, though I’m surprised you’re not able to bite that bullet – prior ideological commitments? But I can’t believe that it requires explaining, and to you of all people, that one doesn’t get to claim membership in a class unless one possesses the primary attribute that defines said class. Are you going to give antibiotics to a healthy person? Perform an appendectomy on one?

So: please stop. It comes across as insulting, even though you very likely don’t mean it that way.

Sorry if my argument chaps your hide, but, with all due respect (seriously), as Hitchens said, “If someone tells me I’ve hurt their feelings, I say, I’m still waiting to hear what your point is.” You, and no few other women, seem greatly offended by the consequential suggestion that if they’re no longer able to produce ova then you and they are not technically women. But I still don’t see how that carries all that much weight – particularly with the dictionary and taxonomy in the other balance pan. But, for instance, do you really think that by claiming that “title” you’re magically reinstalled on that throne, or guaranteed of never being deposed from it? Sure seems like an awfully weak reed to be putting much faith in, or to make a foundation for one’s sense of self.

This whole “debacle” over transwomen is, I think, largely if not entirely predicated on a refusal to come up with any credible and rational definition for the term – or to accept the ones in the dictionary. I’ve asked, probably, a dozen people to come up with alternatives, and they have all folded their tents and stole off into the night with nary a peep from them thereafter – maybe you would care to try your luck? But it seems largely underwritten by a fear by many women that if they actually draw a line in the sand to exclude transwomen – the apparent motivation of many, with more than a little justification – then it’s likely they could wind up on the “wrong” side of it. But refusing to do so, apart from being egregiously anti-scientific and anti-intellectual, means the term is virtually useless, and leads to such idiocies as Aidan and company insisting that penis-havers can be lesbians. Seems that the overly-emotional attachment of many women to the term merely gives the more odious of the transactivists – the majority by the look of it – justification for claiming that because they have a “cowgirl outfit” – even if it’s only in their own rather disturbed minds – then they can be a cowgirl too. Does not compute – and in a rather large number of ways.

—–
1) “_https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dictionary”;
2) “_https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy_(biology)#History_of_taxonomy”;

364 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 11:24 am

Phil Giordana FCD #362:

It didn’t stop us from having a great relationship as a man and a woman.

It didn’t stop you from having a great relationship as people with particular sets of genitalia and secondary sexual characteristics. But those don’t define the classes “man” and “woman”. There is a difference between a class – which is essentially an abstraction, a map – and the members of the class who happen to possess the same attributes. There is maybe much that we can fault HJ for, but he’s quite justified in at least pointing to the fact that such classes are largely if not entirely “socially constructed”, although he does have some difficulty recognizing the facts on the ground.

But you might note the analogous definition for:

au•to•mo•bile n.
A self-propelled passenger vehicle that usually has four wheels and an internal-combustion engine, used for land transport.

Technically speaking at least, if the “vehicle” doesn’t have an “internal-combustion engine”, the sine qua non, then it really doesn’t qualify as an automobile – regardless of how much the owner might petulantly stamp their feet and insist not only that it is the most luxurious of models but that they should be entitled to enter it into weekly races.

Likewise with both “man” and “woman” – can’t produce sperm or ova? Then I hate to break it to your erstwhile friend or grandmother but they aren’t technically women. Which, when you actually get right down to where the rubber meets the road, is frequently of little import or consequence – and frequently far less than many style it to be.

365 Gunboat Diplomat February 22, 2016 at 11:42 am

Steers man your definition of woman is ridiculous as it isn’t how english-speaking people use the word. Perhaps you want people to start using it that way. Good luck with that, language evolution tends to follow it’s own rules.

Also you do know taxonomy is often fairly.arbitrary don’t you? There are often multiple, sometimes contradictory classification definitions. Even species is a hugely problematic concept which defies easy definition. So obviously subdivisions within species eg man and woman are likely to also be problematic.

366 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Gunboat Diplomat #365:

Steersman your definition of woman is ridiculous as it isn’t how english-speaking people use the word.

Just because people use words in a certain way doesn’t mean that that way is rational, sensible, coherent, or consistent. “Therefore shoddy and inept application of words lays siege to the intellect in wondrous ways” (Francis Bacon)

Also you do know taxonomy is often fairly.arbitrary don’t you? There are often multiple, sometimes contradictory classification definitions.

Yes, I quite agree. However, I think you’ll find that that those contradictions, the fuzziness of the sets, is due to the fact that multiple attributes, each of which exists over a spectrum of real values (analog), are used to define those other classes.

Not at all the case with “man” and “woman” where there are two attributes – “produces ova” or “produces sperm” – which are mutually exclusive (see article on human hermaphrodites), and which exist in an either/or state: either one produces that particular gamete or one doesn’t. Entirely different kettles of fish.

367 Nialler February 22, 2016 at 4:32 pm

I’m honestly almost afraid to post when these issues arise.

The lexicon has changed almost beyond my understanding and my ability to express myself in it without running the risk of being accused of causing offence where none is intended.

Does this make me part of a disadvantaged minority?

368 Michelle February 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Steersman: “You, and no few other women, seem greatly offended by the consequential suggestion that if they’re no longer able to produce ova then you and they are not technically women.”

Of course it’s offensive, in biology it’s “in the class that produces ova” (or in other words belongs to the reproductive class of female which is consistent for females over all mammals and remains the same through the lifespan of a female). Under your unique redefinition which bears no relation to the reproductive class, there is no such thing as a female born ever. Because you claim a post-menopausal woman is not (technically) a woman because she is not currently producing ova, well neither do female babies, up until they reach puberty. ‘Girl’ in your definition (in reality a child human female) doesn’t exist at all, she’s not a egg producer either. You can drop the ‘technically’, your definition is ‘egg producer or not’ so there’s no technicalities there. You are saying they are not female, when they are. Human true hermaphrodites don’t exist BTW.

If you want to redefine “female” out of existence for a large amount of female persons you need something to describe that class. You can’t just go “technically not a female”. What are these people? Do they fall into a biological class or not? They definitely have or will produce ova, or and have the capacity to do so at birth, so what do you call them instead of female or women which is the reproductive class they belong to?

This isn’t just emotional attachment, being born in the class that gives birth is meaningful, unless you believe that women don’t need specific health care or other accommodations for their biology. This is surprising as every single person here was born of a woman, humans sexually reproduce and you can’t just tell people their class doesn’t exist in any meaningful way. Current rhetoric erases that, reduces women to clothing and other superficial things rather than being female being essential to being in that class. This is done so males can use this category, but ends up being harmful to women in the end. And you know, it doesn’t have to be that way.

I grew up in the pacific, far away from you all and went to school with a fa’afafine boy. You know what, he went to school as a boy and used the boys toilet, because while fa’afafine are brought up in the aiga in a more typically female role Samoan society does not recognise them as women because they can’t have babies. Neither are they typical males, so there’s an extra category. You know what, there were no issues. The issues start when you’ve got males going into the category of “female” and insisting they be treated that way in every respect, based only on claimed identity whilst also making sure they keep their own class and that this supersedes class female. Self declaration doesn’t work, forcing everyone to believe a fiction doesn’t work, telling women the evidence of their own eyes is wrong doesn’t work. You actually need some criteria and some sense brought into this, in that it’s correct to say it’s having no definition that is the issue. You can’t work on a circular definition of woman as anyone that says they are a woman and a large definitional umbrella that only restricts if someone does something bad.

369 Steersman February 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Michelle #368:

Current rhetoric erases that, reduces women to clothing and other superficial things rather than being female being essential to being in that class. ….

…. Self declaration doesn’t work, forcing everyone to believe a fiction doesn’t work, telling women the evidence of their own eyes is wrong doesn’t work. You actually need some criteria and some sense brought into this, in that it’s correct to say it’s having no definition that is the issue. You can’t work on a circular definition of woman as anyone that says they are a woman and a large definitional umbrella that only restricts if someone does something bad.

Indeed. Some of the most sensible things anyone has yet said on the issue, not just here but elsewhere. Apart from myself of course. :-)

But “having no definition” seems to be precisely the crux of the matter, and why I’ve attempted to fall back on first principles and on definitions. Particularly in the face of the rather egregious efforts of many transactivists to impose their own idiosyncratic if not delusional views on everyone else – which should be repudiated in no uncertain terms. However, while I sympathize with your reference to the definitions for “girl”, and entirely agree with your temporal differentiation “have or will produce ova”, I might point out again that most definitions stipulate “produces ova or bears young” – i.e., present tense. Maybe an overly restrictive definition for a class, but still an important starting point.

Consequently, while I will readily concede that dictionaries are hardly the received words of gawd and are, unlike religious tomes, subject to change and evolution, I think that the structure and grammar that they generally prescribe aren’t things to be casually or cavalierly thrown to the wayside or under the bus without some careful thought. Now if such definitions were modified to define the term, for example and in part, as “of or denoting the sex that will potentially produce, produces, or has produced ova” then that would seem to make most people happy, be more reasonably accurate, and would cover most of the bases that you describe. Even if it is somewhat wordy or cumbersome.

However, more as a quibble or for the sake of completeness than anything else, I’m certainly not trying to deny that “being born in a class that gives birth is meaningful” – where would we all be without that class? Just trying to promote the idea that precision in language is frequently of some value, particularly when some people are trying to muddy the waters to promote highly questionable ideologies. As Francis Bacon put it, “Therefore shoddy and inept application of words lays siege to the intellect in wondrous ways”; we shouldn’t be standing by idly while some attempt to breach our walls with odious corruptions of the language.

370 Xavier Ninnis February 26, 2016 at 3:58 am

@Sarah Malone 19 & 27
Purposely: Act with a specific aim; intentionally
Purposefully: Full of purpose or resolve; determinedly

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