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Abbie Smith is a graduate student studying the molecular and biochemical evolution of HIV within patients and within populations. She also studies epigenetic control of ERVs.

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« lol, WUT? | Main | Q&A: Immune system 'strength' & influenza »

Have you ever met my friend Kyles mom?

Category: BLAG
Posted on: August 6, 2011 9:45 PM, by ERV

Im afraid The Monument will fill up while Im asleep, so here is a fresh thread.

A nice thing out of this ordeal: It has reminded me how great the 'South Park' movie was. We watched it in college, for like, class-- I went to a liberal arts university, and I actually got to take two classes in musical theater for credit. Not just 'for fun', they were classes I had to take to graduate. Anyway, the 'South Park' movie is based off of the classical 'musical' structure, which is brilliant enough as is, but it also has an important message that some people need to remember regarding 'naughty words', censorship, and the kind of damage the mob-mentality can do (SPOILER: Kyles mom goes on a crusade against 'naughty words' and her actions bring about the Apocalypse. she does this without saying one 'naughty word').


Though threads die, La Resistance shall live on!

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Comments

1

First!

Also, after the coffee invite, Abbie, if you need counseling let me know; we know how quickly those can turn sour.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 12:54 AM

2

I was led to believe there would be pie...

*leaves*

:P

Posted by: Marco the Beagle | August 7, 2011 12:58 AM

3

A round of coffee for da house:
C(_) C(_) C(_) C(_) C(_) C(_) C(_) C(_) C(_)

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 1:00 AM

4

Marco-- Free Hat?

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 1:00 AM

5

I'll stay, but only if I can be... Ze Mole... What do you think this is kid? T.V. kiddie hour where we all stand around and lick Barney the dinosaur's fucking pussy?

:-P

Sorry, I've seen that film entirely too many times. lol

Posted by: Marco the Beagle | August 7, 2011 1:04 AM

6

Just dropping in to say that's a fucking wonderful (dare I say bitching?) analogy. :D

Posted by: Tristan | August 7, 2011 1:35 AM

7

One of the milder comments thrown at me in Ophelia's thread, when their only point now appears to be the use of gendered epithets:

Oh it is all about poor little bluharmony. Its hurt feelins. Yet it still takes potshots at Watson’s ‘fragility’. Bullies and their hangers on always turn out to be the biggest cowards and whiners.

"Why the fuck should anyone consider your delicate and private issues when you dont for a moment to extend the basic courtesy to others?

Everyone who is wallowing in the sewer at ERV is irredeemably tainted, for me anyway. I do understand that most of you are farking saddos with lots of issues – hence the incessant whining and attention whoring. Just fuck off."

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 2:03 AM

8

This may not last long so....

@180

You’ve skipped eons of inter-tubes time.

It was more like, Watson:

“And as an example of the pervasive sexism in the skeptic movement, a guy had the nerve to get on an elevator with me and ask me to join him for coffee in his room.”

Rational people:

“Well, just asking someone for coffee isn’t an example of sexism.”

Watson sycophants:

“Yes it was, coffee means sex! You fucking stupid MRAs”

Rational people:

“Well, even if it there was an interest in sex, that’s not defacto sexism.”

Watson sycophants:

“She was almost raped you fucking gender traitor. Shroedinger’s Rapist proves it!”

Dawkins:

“The results of the encounter are Zero Bad.”

Watson & sycophants:

“Dear Dick, fuck off you privileged old white dude!”

Watson @ CFI:

“And this youngling had the audacity to disagree with me on the internet! She’s sitting right there!”

Rational People:

“Twatson’s a privilege-abusing hypocrite, let’s push her buttons!!”

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 2:13 AM

9

Bored!

These guys are "treating" children in my home town: http://hivex.blogspot.com/

Posted by: Benoni | August 7, 2011 2:33 AM

10

I think that whole thread of wild insults, including gendered ones, like "it" and "whoring" should be screen-capped.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 2:57 AM

11

Blu,
The B&W dog whistle thread?

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 3:09 AM

12

If they consider me to be irredeemably tainted by merely talking to the robust honest adults here, then I wear that taint with pride!

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 3:30 AM

13

I lapsed on my private promise not to dip my toe into the stormy waters of Ophelia Ocean, but the hypocrisy of a poster made me do it!
One of the more tangibly sane posters there, Jen Phillips, used what I consider to be a condescending sexist term for bluharmony, (who was once posing as "Gender Traitor".)

GT, honey, get off the internet…

   ― Jen Phillips


I asked Ophelia what she made of it.
I trust that I shall receive a fair hearing from OB, and that she will admonish JP for such an offense.
Let us hope that OB's considerable intellect[1] prevails over hypocrisy.
____________
[1] I mean that sincerely. She is an awesomely clear thinker on most issues. I hope that she is able to shake off her tribal allegiances and think hard, long, ad clearly about my enquiry.
[2] The post to which I took to be hypocritical
[3] My (polite) request

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 4:20 AM

14

Wildlifer @8:

Good summary, but Dawkins' "Dear Muslima" actually came after the McGraw incident. I think this is quite relevant and pivotal in the whole Elevatorgate shitstorm.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:21 AM

15

@wildlifer and anyone else - yes. It's a thread full of wild abuse thrown my way just because I disagree and frequent Abbie's. Mind you, while you all know I don't use bad words, nor do I think they belong in debate, I'm not about to go telling people what to do in violation of their free speech rights on a forum that doesn't belong to me. Moreover, I'm not offended by those words. To be offended, I need intent. I have a requirement of mens rea in my own personal offense book, and I can't & don't want to change that. Abbie is clearly a good person, she has every right to feel hurt and slighted, and most of the people posting here have been grossly mis-characterized as misogynists. The people over there are not only hurtful and spiteful, but also stupid; moreover, they seem to know they're wrong, yet the only thing they can say about us is that "WE" USE WORDS THEY DON'T LIKE. And that makes me an "it," "a troll," "forever tainted," "saddo," "a moron," that no one there respects me, that I only think about myself, that I belong to a clown school of feminism, and countless other insults that actually brought me - a somewhat thin-skinned person - to tears. Also, I was told that what happens on the internet doesn't matter by the only sane & kind person there, which sort of moots everyone's point except Stef McGraw's and Paula Kirby's. It also moots Rebecca's whose Dublin speech on sexism in atheism. But it doesn't moot her encouragement of a boycott against Dawkins and the organized campaign against him, which also occurred in real life, when she sat out his presentation at TAM. Anyway, you see where I'm going with this... Further, some personal relationships exist in real life, and what happens on the internet does affect them, as I've seen here.

As for responses to my substantive arguments, those were mostly non-existent, but the few that were made were either straw men, personal attacks, outright wrong, or simply unpersuasive, and that's being very, very generous.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 4:27 AM

16

I think you are awesome bluharmony.

Don't let those assholes get you down. This entire fiasco just goes to show that atheists/skeptics are human too and are capable of being irrational when an opportunity presents itself. I do find it disappointing that this happened to a group that stands for logic, reason, evidence and equality. As far as I can tell, it is impossible to be 100% rational 100% of the time.

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 4:37 AM

17

It's kind of like my father told me, "You can please most people most of the time, but you can't please everyone all the time." Another good one, "Good manners cost you nothing but can mean everything."

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 4:42 AM

18

Blu @15:

Hand in there, you are doing great. You are taking a lot of flack from those morons, and you don't deserve it. One advice I could give you is to screencap all the relevant parts of the discussion and keep them for future use.

You are the one in the Right, they are the ones in the Wrong, and they're showing it further by being unsufferable jackasses.

Also, thanks for the FB request, but by the time I got to it you were already back on full friends. Next opportunity, eh? :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:52 AM

19

Phil Giordana @14

I think this is quite relevant and pivotal in the whole Elevatorgate shitstorm.

I cannot determine that it is relevant apart from trivial book-keeping.
Dawkins was responding to RW's implicit implication that being "propositioned"[1] in an elevator and having the proposer meekly accept a polite "No" was somehow anything to worry about, let alone forge a lengthy ill-thought-out video implying that no male should attempt this stunt ever again.[2]

Dawkins compared such a facile and petty complaint as insignificant with real-world crimes against human females:-


  • rapes

  • genital mutilation

  • forced marriages

  • rapes

  • 'honour' killings

  • more rapes

  • true sex slavery

  • imprisonment in burkhas

  • enforced childbirths to rapists

  • acid attacks for seeking education

  • stoning for being raped!

  • …etc, etc, the list appears to be endless…


Yet RW is able to concoct a shitstorm of support from (privileged Westerners only, mostly from the USA, it seems) who think that her being "propositioned"[1] in an Otis is a crime against humanity!

Dawkins was plainly, absolutely, and correct to dismiss her facile Prom-Queen complaint in a sarcastic (and refreshingly British) manner.
My admiration for him was raised a notch or two after reading his comment(s) on the matter.
In fact, before I was aware that this shit-storm in a teacup had been kindled, I remember watching a video of RW & RD at some Dublin do, with Dawkins being obviously uncomfortable at being forced to share a podium with Watson. His ill-ease was palpable, and justified.
_____________________
[1]I employ that very charitable interpretation deliberately, for reasons of rhetoric.
[2]For, I understand, that it was this video, coupled with his prolonged interaction and exposure to Watson at the conference that prompted his observations. Not the unsolicited slanders to Stef McGraw, nor of those insouciantly aimed at the amazing Paula Kirby.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 5:09 AM

20

move on guys, lets find something else to talk about.

Is the following video an example of Zionist cultural imperialism, or an authentic expression of indigenous latin american culture that had been too long suppressed by patriarchal north american music media ? Either way I like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN5tZ_X0dSo


or tell me about your unhappy childhoods,

or prove that it was Richard Dawkins who was in the elevator. We need to go seriously downmarket with this to keep it interesting. My own suspicion is the Jesuits, who because their extensive experience working with primitive tribes were selected by Opus Dei to make sure that the atheist movement was torn with internal strife for the next year or two while they set up a theocracy. That may or may not hire accomadationists to hunt the rest of you down. But that's just a theory, so far.

but more threads and something else to talk about. Please.

Posted by: horace | August 7, 2011 5:11 AM

21

horace @20:
No one is forcing you to read this thread, I take it?
If you object to the content, you have at least 4 options, as far as I am able to determine:
1) Stop reading it
2) Stop worrying about it
3) Point us to your own blog, where your rules are plainly established.
4) There is no fourth option!

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 5:26 AM

22

from Bluharmony@15

As for responses to my substantive arguments, those were mostly non-existent, but the few that were made were either straw men, personal attacks, outright wrong, or simply unpersuasive, and that's being very, very generous.

To me, this has always been the real issue.

Posted by: Brad | August 7, 2011 5:32 AM

23

Who is Horace? Rather than storming in and calling everyone assholes and rapists, he's pushing the "get over it" line. Remarkably similar to a chickenshit I know called Leland Jory

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 7, 2011 5:37 AM

24

MKG @19:

Although I agree with you, it is in the comments following the McGraw incident that talks of rape and Schrodinger-rapist have really started kicking in. I'm still not enirely convinced that RD was answering directly to RW's video. It really looks like he stepped in when the comments started to go batchit insane.

At least, that's my impression (and that of a few others). Still, you make good points as well.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 5:39 AM

25

Franc @23:

Nah. Horace has commented here before, and he's basically on "our" side. I just guess he must be bored with this subject. We are not (yet).

[Graham Chapman] carry on, carry on! Nothing to see there! [/Graham Chapman]

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 5:41 AM

26

PZ and Laden have made an apology video just for the fact that they're men. About time!

Posted by: Vittorya | August 7, 2011 5:48 AM

27

Brad @22:
Well spotted!
They, the RW/PZ crew are forced to rely on such base tactics, as they have no un-hypocritical legs upon which to stand.
They attempt to avoid being hoist by their own respective logical petards by employing the same techniques that the cults decree as anti-heretical.
Dogmatic religious cults, at that.

And it is quite apparently blindingly obvious to the self-professedly unbiased observers with whom I have conversed.

Evasion -> distraction -> goal-shifting -> revisionism -> tu quoque fallacies -> lying -> slander/libel -> veiled threats -> insane tribal revisionism -> entrenched face-saving...

The typical & chronic progression of such a phenomenon is toward physical violence against the perceived "outsider", (anyone who does not conform to their curiously concocted set of fictions that pre-justify previous unjustifiable insanities.)
See Stalinism, or Maoism as prime example of ideologically driven, dogmas.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 5:51 AM

28

@15
You did great just being you. Don't sweat the small stuff and just remember you have to interact with them as you would an IDiot or creationist and you'll be fine.

@19
Wow Michael I thought the same thing about Dawkins while watching during her talk. Thought maybe it was just me...

Due to what I had already heard, I was waiting for her to start enumerating sexist incidents at all of these meetings, but all she mentioned were sexist/insulting emails from people and I was trying to figure out how she knew they were actually all skeptics - or enough to make sexism an issue in the "movement".

Seems to me, if Paula Kirby was "arguing from ignorance," Watson was doubling down from ignorance.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 5:52 AM

29

I think we should start concentrating on some real issues here, like why on Earth PZ Myers is not speaking at the CFI women in secularism conference in May. An oversight by the organisers, surely?

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 7, 2011 6:00 AM

30

I find not a great deal to say about this subject, but I want to comment on 'privilege', because, while it is "jargon", it is used (at least in one sense) to point to a real problem.

I haven't read this whole string of threads carefully, but I have seen several instances of something like "but I try to just treat everyone equally, and that makes everything ok". And this is precisely what (at least that one sense above) 'privilege' points to.

In relation to matters of racism, it is the feeling that "my group is not racist or bigoted, so there is no problem." But it fails to recognize that others, including others with whom your non-white friends will come into contact with (and probably on a regular basis) are bigoted. So, even if within your circle, things are just dandy, as soon as your non-white friends leave that circle, they will subjected to bigotry. And it needn't even be excessively prevalent: if only on in ten or one in twenty persons with whom a non-white person comes into contact is a bigot, that person will face a continuing "Chinese water torture" of bigotry.

And the kicker is that, you, as a white person, don't face that same experience. Indeed, you may not even be aware of its existence. And that is 'privilege' in the sense being talked about here.

Note that this sense of 'privilege' has the same background as 'exorbitant privilege' as used to describe the position of the US Dollar in global markets. It is a privilege because its holder doesn't need to worry about something that others (the non-privileged) do.

Though I have never attended any of the events under discussion, I strongly suspect (based on at least somewhat similar situations) that there is an element of 'privilege' in relation to sex and gender -- and that this is something that Rebecca Watson was attempting (rather poorly, I suspect) to address. And that is that, in a heavily male event, it is likely that some number of attendees will be jerks in their relations with women. While other men will not experience it, a woman attending such an event is likely to face a continuing "drip... drip... drip..." of inappropriate comments, propositions, and the like, which, at least for some percentage of potential attendees, will end up being terribly unpleasant and off-putting. As in the case of race, it doesn't even need to be a large percentage: if even one in twenty of the people one runs into is being unpleasant, the whole experience can become so. And this is true even if the other nineteen are treating you "equally".

Here, the fact that men at the event don't experience such a thing, and may not even notice it, is an instance of '(male) privilege'.

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 7, 2011 6:03 AM

31

@25 Phil,

I am on your side, but we have other things to talk about than that stupid elevator incident. I would like to hear your opinions on a range of things, but discussion only circles around this.


The elevator incident is a symptom of what is happening to atheism and scientific thought, not a central issue in itself. There have been arguments that suggest that Watson was surfing a trend, true but the trend is more interesting than she is. I would like to argue this alone without getting into personalities.


You could also argue that by keeping things between people who are willing to read 2000 posts you get a certain intimacy. You guys decide. Hope that you liked the video.

Posted by: horace | August 7, 2011 6:12 AM

32

Phil Giordana @24

I fear that you might ascribe to Prof. Dawkins a trifle more attention to ablatively detailed inconsequential trivia to which he is willing to subject himself at his stage in life.

…it is in the comments following the McGraw incident that talks of rape and Schrodinger-rapist have really started kicking in.
I freely admit that I have avoided the whole "Schrödinger-rapist" kerfuffle, as I continue to studiously avoid Deepak Chopra's ignorant prostitution of quantum mechanics. Perhaps I have missed a vital fact by doing so. I should welcome correction, were this so.
It really looks like he stepped in when the comments started to go batchit[sic] insane.
Has anyone actually asked him what his position was? I could probably do so, but "have no boat in this race", as it were. I should be more than happy if someone of your ilk were to directly request his view on the matter.
Still, you make good points as well.
You flatter me. I post under my full name as a matter of principle. I have nothing to hide, nor anything substantial to fear, apart from meeting Lord PZ in an Otis, perhaps.

Tentacles & Suckers belong together after all, it seems!

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 6:15 AM

33

This one is for Ophelia and gang, since they like to steal particularly offensive posts from this thread and use them as examples of heresy:

I take issue with the fact that I'm deemed to be too weak to handle gendered epithets, when men have been slinging male-gendered epithets at each other for years. Besides, words don't hurt, intent does. It's called mens rea, and it's what you need to accuse anyone of a crime, or even to sue for most torts. Words are protected free speech, and can only be criticized on the basis of decorum or propriety. I believe in this principle, because the next step down the slippery slope is thought crime, like the alleged "objectification" by elevator guy.

I take issue with the fact that someone cries "Wolf!" at a poorly timed and awkward coffee invitation, when real instances of rape abound, and are often not taken seriously. I take issue with the fact that you've used gendered epithets in this very thread, including "it" as an insult for me, and "whoring." I take issue with the fact that gendered epithets are used and condoned on Pharyngula, including "bitch" "tranny," and "it" - to refer to a transsexual. I take issue with the fact that Watson has maliciously attacked skeptics I admire, instead of writing blog entries on issues that matter to the "community." I take issue with actual instances of sexism that this group ignores in favor of chasing phantoms. I take issue with the absence of critical thought among so-called skeptics. I take issue with the dogma of new feminism being juxtaposed with free-thought. I take issue with the fact that someone who politely expresses a dissenting, but valid, opinion is publicly shamed. I take issue with atheists attacking the religious, instead of trying to engage them in rational debate; we don't go to war until we're united, and there's enough of us to win. I take issue with lies, cruelty, and hypocrisy. I take issue an environment that makes people too afraid to speak up. I take issue with the fact that you say what happens on the internet doesn't matter, especially when it intersects with real life. I take issue with painting all men as monsters, when there are plenty of female monsters as well. I take issue with group-think and mob mentality. I take issue when those who have power abuse it. I take issue with censorship. I take issue with patronizing behavior. I take issue with the ridiculous notion of guilt by association, and your lack of ability to reason. I take issue with the fact that you've mis-characterized my arguments. I take issue with your assertion that words can only be interpreted one way. I take issue with your assessment of Abbie and her lot of "misogynists." I'd ask you to think about what I just said, but sadly, I think most of you are incapable of that. Enjoy your new religion.

*Please feel free to post this at Butterflies in my name, if you want all of the denizens to see it. I'm too sickened by those people to go back.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 6:29 AM

34

Horace @30:

I know what your saying. There are other issues, and I'm adressing them at some other venues, at least in my very limited capacity to deal with things too infuriating. Most, if not all of the other commenters here do as such too. But when it comes to Elevatorgate (an issue which NEEDS to be adressed in full, until there is some kind of resolve), Abbie's is the one rational place I like to go to. There's a lot of disagreements on various things, but we keep it civil (mostly). I obviously can't go and debate that at Phawrongula, since 1)I've tried and got handed my very own school of rusty porcupines, and 2) I'm permabanned there.

Loved the video, thanks :)

Michael @31:

I personally got involved in EGate after Prof Dawkins got pilloried (is that even a word?). I tried to follow the past comment threads in order to get the context, and the linkings of the Elevator Incident to rape started popping up like a frenzy of whackamole when some people came in defense of McGraw (in the Name Names thread over at Phawrongula). So while RW's initial video would surely not be considered unreasonnable, the later comments by her defenders when it came to justify her public humiliation of McGraw were the ones that went over the top. I really think Prof Dawkins was answering to that frenzy of "EG = Rapist". This is, of course, my own personal analysis, and I might be wrong. Even if I had the means to ask, though, I wouldn't bother Prof Dawkins at this point. If he hasen't stepped in again to make his position clear, he must have some good reasons (like, say, too busy actually doing things that really change everyday life).

Also: "Tentacles & Suckers belong together after all, it seems!". Bwahahaha!!! brilliant, that's a keeper! :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 6:35 AM

35

greg byshenk @29:

I hear you, sir, and your points are entirely valid.
But... Here in South Australia we have no such issues with atheist/skeptical meetup-group sex-bias.
In fact, at one atheist meetup group that I attended, I judged that females outnumbered males to a small extent. And to top it off, they were what I consider as "young". (Vis: still attending University)

So, the perceived problem is not universal, and therefore I judge it to be geographically and/or politically specific.

This observation inherently and unavoidably distils the issue to one of politics, not intrinsic sex-discrimination.
Some countries are able to organically compose atheist groups that are sex-neutral, and others are chronically incapable to so do.

Yet self-professed feminists in the PZ/RW camp seem blissfully unaware of this solid fact.
It makes me wonder if the pseudo-theistic US-centric feminist misandrist (or even misanthropist) paradigm is so firmly entrenched into their respective psyches, that it forms an impassable road-block in the path to their global enlightenment, and the ERV way, cricket.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 6:39 AM

36
pilloried (is that even a word?)
Yes, it is a word. The past participle of the past-tense intransitive verb (to) "pillory" which is itself a pseudo-gerund of the noun "pillory", the frame to which RW/PZ/OB acolytes willingly shackle themselves for public mockery.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 6:54 AM

37

Michael @34:

Ok, thanks. I wasn't really sure. I'm still not 100% sure I used it correctly either, but I'm quite confident I did.

On another note, in the Monument thread, someone linked to this:

http://thetimchannel.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/attack-of-the-american-girlyban/

I found it very funny and well written. The essence of parody. But some of the comments...

'Tis the day Atheism/Skepticism lost its sense of humor and self-derision. It makes me a bit sad, really.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 7:01 AM

38

@ #15/bluharmony

Mind you, while you all know I don't use bad words, nor do I think they belong in debate, I'm not about to go telling people what to do in violation of their free speech rights on a forum that doesn't belong to me

I am similar

I have been upset / disappointed by some of the language that been used to describe Rebecca Watson, but I stopped telling people how to behave on the internet ages ago

I have appreciated your comments on this blog, but have not had time (mainly because of limited energy) to respond to any of them in a level of depth / detail that I would be happy with

I might later though

Posted by: delphinidae | August 7, 2011 7:04 AM

39

Abbie I fell into The Fissure.

Posted in the late 1900's of Monument, got splash saying "off to moderation hell with yer".
Thing is it was an actual proper question about actual proper facts and stuff, which I can't figure out.

Was it just too tedious? No probs then.
Or shall I retread it, and post here?

(public mental health warning: it's about events/non-events* inside a slidy metal box in faraway Hibernia).

*(dog/bark/night)type events.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 7, 2011 7:48 AM

40

For what my un-humble opinion is worth, I consider such epithets as "Twatson" to be both immature, and extremely puerile, and unworthy of adult support, irrespective of what prompted said remark(s).

But I do confess to having copiously indulged in such retorts in my youth. To that extent, I am temporally hypocritical.
'Tis the creaking voice of an old-shuffler echoing through your mind…
Excuse me whilst tangentially I haunt Ebenezer Scrooge.
Damn! Wrong side of Sol.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 7, 2011 8:02 AM

41

For anyone that cares. I view this as a larger problem than just Becky -

https://greylining.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/slaves-nihilists-and-gender-feminists/

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 7, 2011 8:12 AM

42

"I’d caution Mr. Dawkins about getting cornered late at night in a hotel elevator by any American woman with multicolor hair and a tendency to imagine sexual dragons where none exist. My suggested solution to these fearful trembling atheist flowers to “shoot first and let God sort out the rapists from the coffee addicts” probably isn’t making the world any safer for either Mr. Dawkins or myself."

I LOLed

http://thetimchannel.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/attack-of-the-american-girlyban/

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 8:35 AM

43

Random thought while watching some videos:

If a man asserts that "would you like to come back to my room for coffee?" means "want to have sex?", it says a lot more about that man than it does about EG.

Watsonites, Pharyngulites: be very worried about the company you're keeping...

Was that condescending enough?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 9:00 AM

44

@28 I noticed Dawkins shifting uncomfortably in the video. That whole speech was about the kind of stuff Dawkins faces daily. I think he really wanted to say this:

Dear Rebecca:
I get death threats every day, and you just said that you're using one of them as your ring tone for laughs, and now you're suddenly whining about your anonymous YouTube rape threats? How the hell do you know that they're coming from the atheist "community." Don't you understand that these are internet trolls. Wait, now you're offended by a coffee invitation and then you're shaming someone who doesn't find it offensive? Dear Muslima...

I don't get IT.
Dawkins, privileged rich straight white old male survivor of real childhood sexual abuse.

I make too many typos and write conversationally. Their side doesn't. I gotta work on that.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 9:05 AM

45

@43 Brilliant. And that's why their willing to concede that they're potential rapists!

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 9:12 AM

46

Yeah, it looked like Dawkins wanted to facepalm.

"If a man asserts that "would you like to come back to my room for coffee?" means "want to have sex?", it says a lot more about that man than it does about EG."

Is that a typo and you meant to say woman? I think it says something about the women that choose to (mis)interpret a man's words of "would you like to have some coffee?" as "would you like to shag?"

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 9:15 AM

47

*they're*

I got too excited to post that last comment. I'm starting to understand why some relatively non-stupid people make spelling errors.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 9:15 AM

48

Phyraxus @46:

No, not a typo. A woman should interpret whatever she wants in whatever way in regard to her experiences. If a man interprets something in someway, I assume it's due to his experiences. Ergo, if a man interprets "coffee" for "sex", it is most probably from his experiences.

IT'S A TRAP!!! :p

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 9:19 AM

49

Do you think I'm naive for thinking that I can't judge EG's intent (which they say is irrelevant, yet he was objectifying) without seeing him, and even then, I can't be certain unless he lunges at me?

I love it when someone makes the tired but ultimately persuasive argument that Rebecca couldn't know EG heard her say she wanted to go to bed (because that desire is a law that must never be broken), and they respond with, "The actual incident is irrelevant to the point she was trying to make." Well, if it's irrelevant, which is all I'm trying to say, then why the hell are we talking about it? And what was her actual point? Don't ask women out in elevators? She could have just said that. As in, "Hey, I was at an atheist convention once and someone asked me for sex (since that's the assumption we have to make) in an elevator, and I thought, you must be a rapist because that's what you get when you combine gnu feminism with Schrodinger's cat! Don't do that to me or else I'll make fun of you in a video that will go viral on the interwebz."

Come to think, when I say "I'm going to bed," we all know I'm saying, "I want sex."

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 9:29 AM

50

Personally, I like the straightforward approach but that's because I think honesty shows a great deal of respect. The last woman who I told "I'd like to fuck the shit out of" was my girlfriend and lived with me for four years. This was how I asked her out btw, and I admit I had my buzz on (actually, I told that to her sister... long story.)

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 9:35 AM

51

I love it when someone makes the tired but ultimately persuasive argument that Rebecca couldn't know EG heard her say she wanted to go to bed (because that desire is a law that must never be broken), and they respond with, "The actual incident is irrelevant to the point she was trying to make." Well, if it's irrelevant, which is all I'm trying to say, then why the hell are we talking about it? And what was her actual point? Don't ask women out in elevators? She could have just said that. As in, "Hey, I was at an atheist convention once and someone asked me for sex (since that's the assumption we have to make) in an elevator, and I thought, you must be a rapist because that's what you get when you combine gnu feminism with Schrodinger's cat! Don't do that to me or else I'll make fun of you in a video that will go viral on the interwebz."

This is great!

I'm going to bed right now but I'd love to have coffee sometime. Oh, by the way, would you like to come over and see my aquarium? Or maybe we could conjugate verbs together?

Posted by: Brad | August 7, 2011 9:39 AM

52

Brad @51:

Good night Korea!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 9:43 AM

53

If I can afford a little tasteless, unrelated joke, which still makes me giggle (because down inside I'm still 12):

"A woman walks into a pet shop to buy a parrot. She looks at the parrots and prices, and is a bit put down, until she spots a parrot for 10 bucks. She asks:

-Why is this parrot so cheap?

-It's been raised in a bordello, so its language is a bit, how should I say, rude.

-Ok, I don't care, I'll take it!

Home she goes with the new acquiered parrot. As soon as she puts the cage down, the parrot goes:

-Oooh, new bordello!

Unhinged, the woman calls her two young daughters to meet their new friend. Upon seing the girls, the parrot goes:

-New bordello, new little whores!

The mother (and daughters) is a bit shocked! At this point the hausband, PZ, arrives from work and announces:

-Hey honey, kids, dad's home!

To which the parrot replies:

-New bordello, new little whores, and still that good old PZ!"

Too much? Don't give a fuck!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 10:05 AM

54

Phil Giordana (or anyone else).
Which other blogs would you recommend ?

Posted by: horace | August 7, 2011 10:26 AM

55

@Greg B: I understand the concept of "privilege" in the feminist sense, but find it arbitrary and both under- and over-exclusive. And I don't think it replaces real argument. You have to explain why someone doesn't understand something rather than simply saying, "Privilege!" In that sense, I think it's hurtful, not helpful.

As an example, during the spousal support debate here, I tried to explain how some women might be different from men, and also from other women, and what those experience might be like -- I had one man say that he reconsidered his position based on what I said, and I don't think that would have happened had I simply screamed, "Privilege!"

Also, I hope that we're all aware that racism, sexism (this one goes both ways and will continue to do so until we can eliminate our physical differences), homophobia and transphobia still exist the world over, but in terms of gnu feminism, the movement is not working toward a goal that I want. I would be happy if people stopped thinking in stereotypes and generalizations, and simply realized that every human life is equally valuable.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 10:27 AM

56

Listen carefully, ERV. PZ conquers and controls everything he rests his eyes upon. He leads an army so massive it shakes the Intertubes with its march, so vast it drinks the bandwidth dry. All the God-King PZ requires is this: a simple offering of earth and water. A token of your submission to the will of Pharyngula.

Posted by: History Punk | August 7, 2011 10:29 AM

58

Privilege is a useful explanatory concept outside of feminism as well as inside, but the more it's used as a cudgel to smash people over the head the more likely it'll lose its usefulness and explanatory power.

Like what's happening.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 10:36 AM

59

» Abbie (on The Monument):
Youre a mean, hateful woman, Ophelia Benson.

I think this is really uncalled for. If she posted a hateful comment, isn’t it enough to call that comment hateful? Hasn’t the problem become, by now, that people will make inferences about other people’s characters and decide on that basis not to talk to them anymore?

Posted by: Peter Beattie | August 7, 2011 10:47 AM

60

If she posted a hateful comment, isn’t it enough to call that comment hateful?

I wasnt basing my conclusion off of one comment.

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 10:49 AM

61

Also, I love the assertion that everyone knows that, "Come to my hotel room for coffee" at precisely 4AM in an elevator in a plush four-story hotel in an extremely foreign country like Ireland means, "Let's shag." Well, it's obvious that lots of us don't. We have no clue what it means, because we can't read minds and we weren't there.

So our mere existence makes the "everyone knows" claim false beyond any doubt. Oh, but wait, we don't count because of our privilege. The privilege of not being inside the head of a man in that Dublin hotel elevator, apparently. Also, as was very clear from the spousal support discussion, all the men here are clearly MRAs & all the women are brainwashed. Why is it clear? Because we all think and believe different things.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 10:50 AM

62

@Phil: Stop parrotting misogynistic thought.

@Horace: Pharyngula.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 10:54 AM

63

It's a little bit more complicated than that, it's like saying the problem is people's overwrought reactions to gendered insults.

The problem is DavidBryon's view that all feminists are evil, the problem is that Myers sees Dawkin's behaviour as disappointing, but everyone else with the same opinion as raging misogynists, the problem is Watson's treatment of McGraw, the problem is the lack of female attendees at Skeptic conferences, despite some of them having majority female speakers, the problem is thoughtless sexism being a societal problem being then treated as a problem with skepticism despite us being less guilty of it than society at large. The problem is putting people off equality by calling them potential rapists. The problem is telling men they're like dogs, the problem is saying you'll read something because the author is pretty, the problem is framing, the problem is too much framing. Etc.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 10:57 AM

64

@ #56, History Punk: I LOL'ed. Good one. Very, very apt in all sorts of ways.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 7, 2011 10:58 AM

65

Abbie, how much reddit do you read? Yao Ming makes me wonder...

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 11:02 AM

66

@bluharmony, of course a single word doesn't replace real argument, but that doesn't mean that it is nonsense, or that its use is arbitrary. One can explain it, as I tried to do briefly in my own comment, and "the feminist sense" is not actually any different than the sense as applied to race, or even to economics.

To be sure, some may use 'privilege' incorrectly or stupidly, but that doesn't make the concept incoherent, any more than someone misusing 'skeptic' or 'atheist' makes these concepts incoherent.

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 7, 2011 11:11 AM

67

I don't think anyone can honestly say that privilege doesn't exist in society, it does. Men have certain privileges (or burdens, depending on your perspective) and women have certain other privileges (or burdens.) But screaming privilege at people in order to disregard someone's argument is pretty weak shit; this is what the "feminists" have been doing (at least over at pharyngula, but then again, that's at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to having an intellectual conversation. [Huh, makes me wonder about RW's threats of rape on youtube... as though THAT would be a place to have an intellectual conversation -_-])

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 11:20 AM

68

Oh, Abbie, I found you on facebook. You wouldn't guess who is a mutual friend of ours... PZ Myers!!

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 7, 2011 11:24 AM

69

I think the "With apologies to Jesse Jackson" chapter might be a better analogy, since the insults in that chapter aren't generic like the ones in the movie but directed specifically against one group of people. Generic insults like "moron" or "motherfucker" aren't othering like racist or sexist insults are, and that's why they don't get in the way of the fight for the equality of all groups of people.

Posted by: jose | August 7, 2011 12:00 PM

70

Blu:

I think you mean "stop misogynising parrot thoughts"...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 12:47 PM

71

I think misogynist parrots should stop.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 12:55 PM

72

@windy

Just because two people are responding to the same strawman does not prove it's real. I think you're supposed to find someone who is actually arguing that. Most have suggested that the man should at least contribute to the abortion costs - you may not think that is enough of a consequence but it's not "no consequences whatsoever".

You're quibbling. The argument "If she gets an abortion then I'll pay half ... ok, maybe I'll pay the whole thing, but if she doesn't get the abortion then I should be able to walk away if I choose" is despicable enough.

It's absolutely true that both abortion and giving birth are painful and difficult alternatives in case of an unwanted pregnancy, but I'm not sure how the promise of child support payments is supposed to ease that pain.

Now that is a true blue strawman.

Posted by: forced to be anonymous | August 7, 2011 1:34 PM

73

Blu@61 - a lot of us don't have the time, money, or luxury of being able to travel around the world (or even within country) since we have jobs and families to support, and bills to pay. The privilege of those who are able to do this is staggering. Has anybody ever pointed out how privileged Watson is to be able to do this - especially if she bilks money out of people for speaking? It seems she is living more on "star power" than on intellectual accomplishments - pretty much like a lot of "motivational speakers" I know of. What a respectable profession she has found herself a niche for.

Phraxus @ 68. As long as you don't ask PZ for a camera, you might not be defriended!

Posted by: Badger3k | August 7, 2011 1:40 PM

74

I've deleted both PZ and Pharyngula from my FB. And Badgy, yes, Watson is very priviledged in her own way.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 1:44 PM

75

MKG @ 12:
stop trying to wear my taint. It makes me uncomfortable!

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 1:50 PM

76

I'm dying laughing here.

PZ says at Ophelia's Gaggle of Giggles, in post number 274, about how loony we all are:
"Heck, there were people at ERV who dug up her CV and laughed at her for getting a college degree!"

Dug up here CV? Lawl. Yes, if "reading her myspace profile" is equivalent to "digging up her CV", then I suppose he's on to something. Kind of in the same way that if you leave a note on my house's door, or a message on my voicemail which I later find, I am stalking you.

Ophelia also confuses me: she took what I said expressly is only a guess (contrary to her lie, Miranda and I haven't spoken otherwise about the incident to which I cite - it's all there, public, one comment from her to me, and one from me to her, with with Ophelia in it, incidentally) as being some conspired backroom dealings between Miranda and me. Further, I'm not worthy to comment at her inquest of ethics, but she's happy to quote me, edit what I say and post it there for others to read.

That's awfully curious, Ophelia. I'm worthy to be read, quoted, misquoted and lied about, but not worthy to write in response there "Um, no, and here are my exact words: [quote goes here]."

Gosh, I'm able to simultaneously let people speak and not lie about they've said before deleting or editing their comments. Why aren't you, Ophelia? Oh, forgot - I'm not an ideologue, or a deceptive shit like you.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 1:58 PM

77
To be sure, some may use 'privilege' incorrectly or stupidly, but that doesn't make the concept incoherent

bluharmony didn't say that it's incoherent. But the fact that people are using it as an ad hominem to dismiss people and their views.

Posted by: forced to be anonymous | August 7, 2011 2:15 PM

78

Greg @ 30:
"my group is not racist or bigoted, so there is no problem."
No. I don't say. I have seen no one here say that. Indeed, many of us have been arguing that xenophobia is, you know, improper. Bigotry exists. Racism and sexism being two particulars of that species of wrong, we need to confront them.

However, simultaneously with that is the fact that I am not guilty for the crimes anyone else commits, anymore than anyone else is. That other people of any group into which I can be by happenstance alone placed has done something wrong implies nothing whatever about me.

I am apparently male. This provides you zero counsel as to anything I think, do, will do, might say in any regard. I could be straight, gay, neither or something in between. You don't know. You cannot know. You might suspect based on previous men you've met that I *might* be inclined towards certain things, some of which may well make you uncomfortable.

Fine, be uncomfortable. Be prudent in making sure you're safe, or comfortable or whatever. The moment you go from that to, you there, person of group x, some of your members whom you likely don't even know have done y deed to members of my group - group z. Therefore you have to . . .

You've crossed a line and my response is go fuck yourself. Your emotional insecurities were not caused by me, and I am not responsible in any way for your bigoted internal dialogue. You can shove that right up your ass.

To say that someone is operating on "privilege" is hubris. You do not know what I know; you cannot know until I tell you. It is rank speculation on your part to say that my dismissal of anything is because of privilege. As it happens, I am entirely capable of hearing a point, considering it and then rejecting it for its being wrong. I do it with all religions as a matter of course; this religion on offer here is no different. I've heard what they said. I've thought about it. I decline the invitation to think of myself as a rapist-in-waiting, an oppressor of women, a hater of women, and whatever other term of art is in use today.

Why?

None of it models me.

To say that men do not experience "sexism" is to be fairly blind. The automatic assumption by *everyone* on the side opposite is that it is an ineluctably brute fact of the universe that if a man invites a woman to his place for a beverage, it is necessarily that a.) he's trying to fuck her (men only think about one thing, amirite?, b.) he thinks of her as being an inferior being reduced to only being a self-ambulating vagina, and c.) given half a chance, he'd hold her down and rape her right there.

That is sexism by definition.

Go fuck yourself.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 2:18 PM

79

Iz tru. I am Abbie, the cunning leader of an elite team of hackers. Born and raised in the fiery hell of Arrakis, we now relentlessly stalk our victims using our 31337 h4x0r skills like "Looking someone up on LinkedIn", "Google", and "Flickr".

FEAR OUR POWER!

And yup, I totally make fun of her college degree considering what she chooses to speak about at these conventions. Her lack of academic and professional experience with those topics is absolutely lulz worthy. The same way I make fun of Dembski and his PhD in math, when he goes around speaking about history, genetics, biochemistry, and physics. If she was only talking about website design or 'minimalistic activism' (aka 'How to be lazy and still be called an activist!') then I wouldnt have a problem. Though initially I was concerned that she didnt have a degree at all, and was just pretending she did, like another famous internet atheist, Kelly O'Connor/Kasey Grant.

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 2:31 PM

80

Well, I for one am happy this thread is still lively. I was a bit worried that everyone was at church or something...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 2:32 PM

81

I skipped church and my appointment at the naturopath just so I could lurk here.

Posted by: frank habets | August 7, 2011 2:36 PM

82

Justicar @ 76 - Wait, so when someone was interested in something, they did the skeptical thing and did research? That's a bad thing? Makes me wonder why people say that PZ is some big name in the skeptical community. He's big in atheist circles, but they are not synonymous, and PZ clearly has huge areas where his skeptical toolset is not used, so he's nowhere close to being a paragon.

I also don't see where people are laughing at her for getting a degree - at most I see people saying that her degree is not one where skepticism or rational thought is emphasized (and really, where framing is an essential tool, shades of CM!). I feel sorry that reading comprehension is not the string suit it once was with some people. But why read when you have to frame the argument one way to shore up your position? What's next? Will PZ strat talking about his famous friends?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 7, 2011 2:47 PM

84

Badgy:

Will PZ strat talking about his famous friends?

No, he will probably Gibson it...

Sorry, couldn't help meself.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 2:53 PM

85

Michael Kingsford Gray @ 36, and 40:

the frame to which RW/PZ/OB acolytes

I am personally offended that you felt the need to mention a tampon when discussing Rebecca Watson and PZ. Shameful, sir.

For what my un-humble opinion is worth, I consider such epithets as "Twatson" to be both immature, and extremely puerile, and unworthy of adult support, irrespective of what prompted said remark(s).
This is expressly why I came up with it. All attempts are reason were rejected. All attempts at civil discourse were rejected. All attempts at assuaging fear with fact were rejected. All attempts at anything that didn't include "I AGREE WITH EVERYTHING PZ AND RW SAID AND I HATE DAWKINS TOO. I'M GOING TO BOYCOTT WITH WATSON" were labeled as hating women (that's what misogyny means, Twatson, Lyers, Buttsin, et al), sexist, parroting of those things, engendering rape and rape "culture".

What is it one does in response? Ridicule. They have earned nothing more. How do I know that's what is appropriate? Several years of PZ and crew saying that is their standard operating procedure. Fair enough; sauce for the goose is sauce for gander.

And this isn't related to my age; you may exceed me in years, but that is immaterial to the course of action I chose. I am not saying you're explicitly claiming you're older and wiser, or age has sanded down your rough, provincial edges, but that is tacit in the remark. Thus, I address it squarely.

The presence of advanced age is not a reliable predictor of anything except the ever increasing odds that the following day person x will be less likely to be found alive. There are extremely intelligent people who are elderly; there are extremely stupid people who are elderly. The age of a person is not an indicator of their knowledge. Or "maturity".

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 2:57 PM

86

That's odd, PZ must be slipping, shouldn't he be arguing that we're only being skeptical of Watson's credentials because we want to fuck her?

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 2:58 PM

87

I love how the B&W commenters are pouring through what was posted, what, nearly two weeks ago? Apparently they have to brace themselves before every post for the misogyny and nastiness.

I offer Cunty McShitballs for everyone's enjoyment, folks:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg02nw8oXlk

Posted by: Daniel Kolle | August 7, 2011 3:05 PM

88

http://furiouspurpose.me/2011/08/07/the-i-do-not-endorse-the-abusive-and-derogatory-remarks-by-abbie-smith-and-some-of-her-commenters-on-rebecca-watson-during-the-course-of-elevatorgate-thread/#comment-3936

I, Peter, pledge my purity to my father, my future/husband and my Creator. I recognize that virginity is my most precious gift to offer to my future husband. I will not engage in sexual activity of any kind before marriage but will keep my thought and my body pure as a very special present for the one I marry.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 3:12 PM

89

Abbie @ 79:
this elite team of yours, is it call the mrA - Team?

If she was only talking about website design or 'minimalistic activism' (aka 'How to be lazy and still be called an activist!') then I wouldnt have a problem.
lawl

badger @ 82:
it's funny that taking efforts like "rebecca + watson + university" is considered "research". Yes, I am the google scholar - roar.

His skeptical toolset? I bet he keeps that in the same safe he keeps all of "private" and "embarrassing" things about some of us that he claims to have . . . I bet the password is alcoholiccongresscritter.

I feel sorry that reading comprehension is not the string suit
are you flirting with me here? I'm confused easily.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 3:20 PM

90

Full disclosure:

Abbie is part of a secret hacker cabal that was organized to systemically discredit extremely accomplished and successful feminist women like RW. Most of our secret backers are part of patriarchy- including the family research council, evangelical christian organizations, Chris "Womenz aren't funny" Hitchens and Richard "The Dick" Dawkins.

As a member of this conspiracy, I used my ELITE HACKER SKILLS to uncover RW's professional and academic "accomplishments" via LinkenIn and MySpace. Such googling ability requires years of training and an extreme hatred of women everywhere. Please see our work here:

http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/07/dawkins_coup_de_grace_in_vegas.php#comment-4576798

Posted by: Tommy | August 7, 2011 3:23 PM

91

@85
Justicar,
Great post.
PZ was crying over at B&W just this morning that some people over here just refuse to accept the coffee=sexism=rape meme.

I mean, how dare we?

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 3:24 PM

92

Tommy @90:

My secret H4x0r password is "toast".

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 3:28 PM

93

Ok, I commented over at furries porpoise - a yiffer club?

Oh, come on. If you're going to cherry pick like that, at least stop using the nice things we've been saying. Sheesh. "Saturday, I gave a presentation at the OK Freethought Convention on 2 hours sleep. Why? No, not because I am a drunk like Watson." Seriously, that's almost friendly. That's naming names. She shows up to give speeches still drunk.

Who's she think she is? Christopher Hitchens?

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 3:29 PM

94

The Purity Pledge:

And if I don’t hear from any of these people, that message will be just as loud and clear, in that they do in fact approve of Abbie’s hate trip against Rebecca Watson, the one she authorised to be conducted on her blog for the last month.

That's skepticism right there. If you don't denounce something, you agree with it.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 3:32 PM

95

Ok, I've written a post to Furious Purpose (and a few others too!) in the same style.
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/position-unconsidered.html

God, let's hope we don't have that many child rapists in the movement as failure to comment on my thread, you know, means they must be child rapists.
Fucking idiot.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 3:48 PM

96

I, personally, will not disavowe anything Abbie said because, well, she's the one who said those things. She's big enough to take her responsibilities. Still, I agree with her and will stand by her side in darker inquisitive times.

Because I'm a White Knight(tm)and probably want to shag her.

Wikia, here's another one for you...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 3:49 PM

97

For what it's worth, not much I should imagine, I posted the following at approximately post #366 at D&B (the number may change as Ophelia has her censor pencil on the ready):

PZ (myvaginaismorevaginathanyourvagina) Myers (#274) said:

"Heck, there were people at ERV who dug up her CV and laughed at her for getting a college degree!"

You are wrong on all three points.

1. No one "dug up" her CV; it's publically available on LinkedIn.

2. Hardly anyone laughed at her for her academic credentials. Her academic credentials were brought up firstly to determine whether or not she in fact had any, and latterly as arguing against her having a legitimate background from which to discuss science -- or most anything of what she is called upon to speak on.

3. It was a university degree, not a college degree.

If you are going to continue blatantly lying to shame and belittle people, perhaps you should at least make a vague effort at getting your belittlement facts straight.

Mama always said, integrity ih-uz as integrity duh-uz.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 4:10 PM

98

Sorry, re #96, I should have posted a link:

http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2011/more-dog-whistle/#comment-104626

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 4:12 PM

99

I mean re 97.

/ headdesk

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 4:14 PM

100

John, you have been disapeared.

Well done!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:17 PM

101

@97...
Yeah, Ophelia's been revising history and censoring posts all morning.

I guess she's officially banned me now, since I couldn't comment w/my regular login.

So, to date, I've been banned at three websites; ARN (IDiots website), chat.anncoulter.com and now B&W.

Sounds about right.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 4:19 PM

102

In reply to Phil #100.

Wow! That was fast.

Do you suppose it was my "PZ (myvaginaismorevaginathanyourvagina) Myers".

Or was it the simple true facts of my claims?

/ ponder ponder

Should I try a repost do you think?

How do folks like Benson et al expect anyone to take them seriously if they continue in their methods of censoring or simply removing anything they don't like? It boggles the intelligent imagination.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 4:22 PM

103

John @102:

How do folks like Benson et al expect anyone to take them seriously

That should be more than enough. Damn, I should have made a screencap of your comment!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:26 PM

104

Ah, but John, you are an obsessive (per comment 367 by mirax), so everything is a-okay!

I have no idea whether John is obsessive or not -- in fact, I have no idea who the fuck he is. But why the fuck does it matter?

Posted by: Daniel Kolle | August 7, 2011 4:29 PM

105

In reply to Phil #103.

Yes, I too should have made a screen cap -- I always think about that when it's too late.

Interestingly enough, someone has responded to my vanished post. Their response is somewhat fiddley and non-sequitor, still, it's interesting to see a response to a non-existent post.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 4:29 PM

106

Although you had an answer from Julian, which to me doesn't make any sense:

julian August 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

No one “dug up” her CV

They went looking for it. I believe that was what PZ was trying to get across.

Hardly anyone laughed at her for her academic credentials.

PZ said ‘the people who dug up.’ This isn’t wrong or a lie because ‘hardly anyone laughed.’ Especially when several posters did including Ms Smith.

Her academic credentials were brought up firstly to determine whether or not she in fact had any

Why?

latterly as arguing against her having a legitimate background from which to discuss science — or most anything of what she is called upon to speak on.

Wouldn’t the right way to go about this be to review what she’s said or how relevant her discussions are without all the sexist bullshit? I’m not even a fan of Ms Watson and stopped listening to the SGU podcast because I didn’t find her interesting. Hell if it were just she’s an idiot or totally fucking condescending, I might even have been on your side of this.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:29 PM

107

7:

Everyone who is wallowing in the sewer at ERV is irredeemably tainted, for me anyway. I do understand that most of you are farking saddos with lots of issues – hence the incessant whining and attention whoring. Just fuck off.

I'm kind of glad i'm tainted. If I wasn't, I'd always be crapping all over my testicles. Taints are important! YAY TAINT!

76:

Dug up here CV? Lawl. Yes, if "reading her myspace profile" is equivalent to "digging up her CV", then I suppose he's on to something. Kind of in the same way that if you leave a note on my house's door, or a message on my voicemail which I later find, I am stalking you.

That's not mean. What would be mean is digging up PZ's CV from UMM and pointing out that if that is even slightly accurate, he's not done much of anything in terms of papers or similar in almost ten years, and it looks like the last grant he brought in was in 2002.

There is an excellent chance it's out of date, and I'd certainly hope it is. (Based on my experience working with weather scientists, it's not an unreasonable assumption.)

But that would be mean.

Oh, and just to avoid the inevitable "OH YEAH, WHAT ABOUT YOURS, SMART GUY":

Here, enjoy.

Note that there's one part that's a bit of a stretch. I haven't given a fuck about that CompSci Degree in almost 15 years. I keep thinking I should get a degree in something interesting, that I'd actually like. One day, I'll figure it out. (Note: in my line of work with my experience, the degree is somewhat unimportant. Obviously other fields have different views and requirements.)

83:

Thank Cthulu there are still good, honest people to defend the rights of simple atheists to use offensive language against creationists and the religious without worry of that language ever being turned against them!

87:

Clearly they aren't looking hard, because when Jose said, in the Dawkins thread that "There's really nothing worse than "Fucking Bitch" in written language as far as I can tell", I um, illustrated that oh my yes, there are things that are much, much worse.

I mean, that perfidious paragraph flowed, it had style, it was smoooooove. And completely horrid. But then again, I didn't call her a twat, cunt, or a fucking bitch. So maybe it was okay?

Seriously, if those nitwits are still getting the vapors over twat, I have a serious question for them:

DO YOU EVER LEAVE YOUR FUCKING HOUSE? I really doubt it right now.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 4:30 PM

108

At a guess, the exact same way that they overnight decided that a huge chunk of people were misogynists and MRA activists.

When they started misrepresenting arguments really badly?

Seriously, I can see a big cut-off point in the Myers crowd around the time he started the ideological purity in regards to feminism shenanigans, where after that point he just plain lies about what other people are saying.

It has, unfortunately become very common. I do just think integrity has been dropped on this one subject due to a need for ideological purity. I am, unfortunately, expecting it to spread, simply because it is more convenient to lie about your opponents position (they're MRA activists, misogynists, rape apologists, mansplainers) than create an argument.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 4:31 PM

109

Individual sexual expression != gender bigotry. Just sayin'.

We had the same walk-on-eggshells bullshittery at the UBC campus radio station in the late '80's. "I think you're sexy" gets translated as "I have no respect for you".

That's just stupid.

Posted by: fnxtr | August 7, 2011 4:32 PM

110

Wrong Greg. It takes years of ELITE HACKER TRAINING with al qaeda and the Chinese government to develop the skills needed to search RW's name on google and find publicly posted information (posted by the person in question) on websites such as Linkedin and myspace.

Posted by: Tommy | August 7, 2011 4:34 PM

111
http://furiouspurpose.me/2011/08/07/the-i-do-not-endorse-the-abusive-and-derogatory-remarks-by-abbie-smith-and-some-of-her-commenters-on-rebecca-watson-during-the-course-of-elevatorgate-thread/#comment-3936


I disavow Abbie Smith. *places her on a donkey with a bucket on her head and spits on her and the donkey wanders off into the desert to die*

More South Park fer ya!

Posted by: Vittorya | August 7, 2011 4:38 PM

112

John @ 105,
I haven't refreshed and can get a SC, if you wish.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 4:43 PM

113

John:
According to Benson:

That comment got shitcanned. It might have stayed, had it not been for the nickname for PZ -

In fact that’s one of the adorable things at Abbie World that we haven’t mentioned yet: they think it’s funny and telling to say PZ is a gurrrrrrrrrl, which is to say, they think it’s contemptible to be female.

OH HAI fnxtr!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:46 PM

114

Nevermind...I guess I did refresh.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 4:48 PM

115

Yeah, they'd never stoop to calling everyone "boys". Hypocrites.

Posted by: Peter | August 7, 2011 4:48 PM

116

110:

Bah. I just use my SEKRET IT CABAL connections, and keep everyone's personal data on our SEKRET ECKSTORSHUN SERBERS!!!!

By the way, Justicar, stop doing that. It's wrong man. Just wrong. even if you do use a rubber glove and antiseptic.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 4:51 PM

117

In reply to Phil #111.

Phil said Ophelia said:

"That comment got shitcanned. It might have stayed, had it not been for the nickname for PZ...."

I think that's probably a lie. Just for the hell of it I did try to repost the comment, completely cleaned up -- no PZ nickname, no Gump paraphrase at the end, and no claims of PZ lying. Just the facts Maam. But it was not accepted.

Also:

"... they think it’s funny and telling to say PZ is a gurrrrrrrrrl, which is to say, they think it’s contemptible to be female."

No, Ophelia. What we think is "funny" is that PZ thinks he is so much more feminist than anyone else in the known universe.

In reply to Daniel Kolle #104.

Yes, I am obssessed -- somewhat. But, as you say, so what?

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 4:55 PM

118

111:

Man, she'd have a fucking stroke at my calling him The Man With Two Vaginers!

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 4:56 PM

119

Yeah, PZ "The Beard" Myers chimes in:

Awww, I missed it. Sounds Vox Dayish — he likes to refer to me as Pharyngirl.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 4:58 PM

120

Phil's quote @111

to say PZ is a gurrrrrrrrrl, which is to say, they think it’s contemptible to be female.

Huh?

I thought it was disrespectful to call a female over the age of 13 a girl.

To use it with a male is not disrespectful of a sex, it is disrespectful of a mindset.

But wait.

No, I change my mind. Stop calling PZ a guurrl. It is disrespectful to guurrls.

Posted by: Brad | August 7, 2011 4:58 PM

121

Ok, I've tried reposting John's post:

PZ: appart from trying to be cute, do you have anything of substance to answer to John? Here is his post (insults removed):

PZ Myers (#274) said:

“Heck, there were people at ERV who dug up her CV and laughed at her for getting a college degree!”

You are wrong on all three points.

1. No one “dug up” her CV; it’s publically available on LinkedIn.

2. Hardly anyone laughed at her for her academic credentials. Her academic credentials were brought up firstly to determine whether or not she in fact had any, and latterly as arguing against her having a legitimate background from which to discuss science — or most anything of what she is called upon to speak on.

3. It was a university degree, not a college degree.

If you are going to continue blatantly lying to shame and belittle people, perhaps you should at least make a vague effort at getting your belittlement facts straight.

Mama always said, integrity ih-uz as integrity duh-uz.

Thanks you for your answer…

Let's see how it goes...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 5:04 PM

122

A quick anecdote:

Many years ago I lived in Japan and a friend of mine was a DJ there. On one show, he introduced a minor celebrity as a woman (onna no hito) in order to be respectful.

She responded, according to him, with a look of complete contempt and stated uncategorically that she was a girl (onna no ko).

Now back to your regularly scheduled ranting.

Posted by: Brad | August 7, 2011 5:07 PM

123

I do believe that little Mr. White Knight is going to take http://furiouspurpose.me/2011/08/07/the-i-do-not-endorse-the-abusive-and-derogatory-remarks-by-abbie-smith-and-some-of-her-commenters-on-rebecca-watson-during-the-course-of-elevatorgate-thread

down any second now, or start banning people wholesale. We've already got PZ et al approving of child rape, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and the worse, most perfidious thing of all...MULTICOLORED CRUNCHBERRIES!!!

If i don't get banned, I'm going to point out that PZ/OB/RW/Laden are probably secret Hydrox lovers too.

There is nothing, nothing better than a thread begging to be filled with purest nonsense.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 5:09 PM

124

Phil #119, thanks. Cool. It's there at the moment, so I took a screeny.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 5:10 PM

125

John C. Welch @ 116:
*sheepish look*

They started it!

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 5:27 PM

126

Just to make this 100% clear: Myers is free to post *here*, like anyone else, if he were actually interested in a discussion. Clearly, hes not. You all have no reason to subject yourselves to a heavily moderated/censored blog.

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 5:28 PM

127

PZ answers:

:1. Why are you crazy people hung up on the phrase “dug up”? All it means is that you went looking and found it on the internet, where she made it publicly available. Do you think I’m implying that you hired a PI to find it? That you had to use shovels?

2. As has been shown above, yes, people mocked her credentials…out of raving ignorance. She certainly does have a legitimate background to talk about science, and has done so competently. Or are you going to require a Ph.D. to talk about “most anything”? How many Ph.D.s are chattering away in that thread?

3. WTF? This matters? In the US, very little distinction is drawn between a “college” and a “university”. There is a vague and inconsistently applied difference, that universities offer post-grad degrees while colleges don’t, but lots of places ignore it.

Man. You really had to stretch to turn that into “three points”. Pathetic.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 5:29 PM

128

Two vaginers? Shit. Is that all you have John?
From
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/07/jumping-snark-with-greg-laden.html

I said

I just wish that geneticists would hurry up and make some really groovy advances in the near future so that we can grow Greg Laden his very own vagina that he might get a better return while he's busy fucking himself nine ways to Sunday.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 5:30 PM

129

They are so remarkably straight-faced and self-righteous in their ridiculousness that it's absolutely hysterical. That's easily the most immature blog post I've ever seen, and apparently they don't even understand why. All the gendered epithets in the world could top that.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 5:34 PM

130

Hydrox accusations leveled. Hmm...what to do, what to do next...I know...no, wait, I like both Charms and Tootsie roll pops.. crap...candy's out. I KNOW! Accuse them of NOT liking Twinkies!

I know, I know, a problem, I has it. But nonsense is just so much fun, once you get going.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 5:34 PM

131

@123
I was shocked to learn of the Multicolored Crunchberries.
I wrote there

Crunchberries too!
IS NOTHING SACRED TO THESE ATHEISTS?!
IT’S MADNESS!!!!!!0factorial!!!!!1factorial!!!!!!

All of that followed my response to one of the idiots there.

Classical Cipher:
I appreciate the question instead of the assumption on your part; it’s progress. As it happens, I do know what cherry-picking is; it’s a fallacy on incomplete evidence. You see, he’s trying to point out that we’re saying bad things over at ERV’s place. We are. Those examples aren’t anywhere near the top; those are some of the friendlier things we’ve said.


So, he’s incompletely painting us as evil and bad, but not fairly representing the degree to which we are. After all, you wouldn’t say Hitler is evil because he had forced labor. Nope. You go straight to the gassing bit. Don’t undersell the argument – some might think we’re reasonable on just that evidence alone!

I’m glad we could have this little discussion so that I could help improve your understanding of logic, and its fallacies.

“Still waiting on those big names to show up and demonstrate they have some integrity, but I’m not holding my breath. For what it’s worth, I reject wholesale the repugnant remarks by Abbie Smith and her contemptible commentariat.”
I’m still waiting on you to show up to my blog and sign the affirmation that you do not support child rape. It says right there anyone who doesn’t thereby concedes they support child rape. Or do you support it?

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 5:35 PM

132

LOL! Myers thinks Watson is 'competent'.

As hysterical as I think that is, I am willing to grant the premise.

If Mz Watson is 'competent', then many of the laymen I interact with on a daily basis are also 'competent'. Why is Watson invited to speak on 'Science Saturday' when they are not? Why is Watson invited to speak at conferences around the world with GoogleU presentations and 'Letters from YouTubers', while others are not? Im totally down with intellectual communism, if that is the way the game is going to be played-- But if its intellectual communism you want, then everyone is equal, and Watson is not special at all.

What *I* am advocating is that everyone has their own skill-set, and its nice to share that skill-set with the community. You share your *skills*, like, website design, or viral evolution. If you are not skilled in a particular topic, you say 'Im not skilled in that particular topic. You should ask someone else'. You dont run to The Google Machine and fake 'competency'.

Also, everyone, please note this has *NOTHING* to do with Watsons abuse of power at the CFI student conference, and Myers happy acceptance of that kind of abuse.

Lets keep talking about TWAT though! Heaven forbid Watson make a mistake and learn from it!

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 5:39 PM

133

Oh that wasn't even hard. (That's what she said.) Stupid prat named martin showed up and made it all easy-peasy on me. Lame.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 5:39 PM

134

Abbie, I think you're selling Watson short by saying she's not special. Have you heard her "lectures"?

Martin says to John and me:

The difference is that nobody’s done anything to imply that they endorse child rape/cannabilism/crunchberries/whatever. You already know this, of course.


Me:

MarinM, I concede that point.
So, I guess I’ll go edit my post that it’s just equally likely they either do, or don’t endorse it.
No evidence to rule them out, so it’s a binary condition! It must have equal odds!Look! I can’t logic either! John Kwok has taught you guys well I must say.*waits for hate mail* I would never speak ill of an oreo. I’m like totally not racist; I watch Oprah.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 5:48 PM

135

Fuck, the lulz are killing me today. Scented Nectar just wrote:

Notice to all future sex friends. This thread has scared me. My vag is too dangerous with it's breeding potential and has been quarantined for my own safety. You better be content from now on with only my ass, mouth and hands. That is all. Rule to be re-evaluated after menopause. :D

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 5:53 PM

136

128:

It's more of a vague reference to this: http://www.rhymes-with-witch.com/rww09012007.shtml

They want to act all crazy, they should stop fucking about and BE CRAZY.

132:

Indeed. There are some amazing examples, all over the web of some really awesome laypeople talking about science. My favorite, absolute, favorite is like 7 years old:

http://www.lifebeforethedinosaurs.com/

That kid is amazing, and his parents are even more awesome for how they're encouraging him. I agree he may be too young, but that kid? I'd LOVE to see him giving a session on "Life Before the Dinosaurs". I've definitely picked up some knowledge from him that I might not have otherwise.

There's a metric ton of people doing the same thing, yet every. fucking. time, you see the same damned speakers talking about the same damned things. I'm not amazed or appalled that Watson shows up drunk/hungover, I'm MORE amazed it makes a fucking difference. She does the same basic talk over and over again, (the "topic" doesn't seem to matter to her.) At this point, she could probably turn in a solid performance were she comatose.

The shame of it is, if you set aside her content, which is pretty bad, she *is* good at communications and getting an audience to agree with her, no surprise given her background. She could have spent her time in the "Communicating Atheism" session talking about the nitty-gritty of effective communication strategies, ways to set things up to get your point across better, presentation tips, etc. Instead, what do we get? MEMEMEMEMEMEMEME.

Fucking waste, *I* could have done a better job, and I've neither a degree in communications nor am I an *anything* in terms of (non)atheist. Every time she talks, she just wastes more time.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 5:57 PM

137

John C. Welch:
did you mean to say mememememe
or meme meme meme?

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 6:02 PM

138

Look! Watsonion logic and proof in comic form! http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2330

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 6:07 PM

139

PZ Myers: Ass to the end:

Me: "Mirax: because I still have the hope that PZ is a polite, skeptic individual and doesn’t need your approval to answer anything he feels like?"

PZ:

Oh, I am so sorry, Phil! I’ve appointed Mirax my official liaison to Phil Giordana on Butterflies & Wheels, and you now do have to get Mirax’s approval before submitting any further questions to me. And if they are even close to being as dumb as that last trio, Mirax is authorized to set fire to them and flush them down the toilet.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 6:11 PM

140

I know it's a bit after the fact, but I want to send 'net hugs, without coffee I'm afraid, to bluharmony who really made a valiant attempt in her first three or four posts at Dog and Butterfly, or Wheels and Deals, or whatever it is Ophelia the Snake Charmer's blog is called.

Seriously, blu made a really valiant attempt at being polite, respectful, concise, and non-inflamatory, and the first several replies from those paragons of reasoned respectful discourse ... oh wait, that's Pharyngula ... those mountains of intellect were nothing short of quite mean-hearted personal insults, all of which Ophelia the Snake Charmer clearly endorses.

It was a valiant, if misguided, attempt blu. Condolences.

As to PZ's spin response to my little blurb, well, who could have expected more. He, like Watson, is a master of twisting rhetoric to suit the moment, to bypass all personal responsibility/culpability, and to, in effect, revise history.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 6:13 PM

141

137:

The former, but really, there's not much of a difference.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 6:13 PM

142

I see that Ophelia's gang have not learned the harms in misquoting me (or anyone else for that matter).
SC's line 1 item:

1. But her not being treated as an equal there? Well, um, she’s working alongside the greatest minds in physics alive today. She’s not on equal footing with them despite having her unspecified level of a “graduate degree” in science communication. That’s code for didn’t manage to get a PhD.

That is taken from my blog.
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/07/helga-magic-lesbian-will-not-be-seen.html
In response to Oiuiolllet, err, Omelet's article on sexism at CERN, where I actually wrote:

For one reason, the lady in question isn't among colleagues. She's among professional physicists, a category in which she's ill-able to compete. Why? Because she's a woman. Shit, that wasn't supposed to slip out. She has an undergraduate degree in physics and an unspecified graduate degree in science communication. That's code for didn't get a PhD. Even if she had a master's in physics, she wouldn't be among equals. Why? She's a woman. Fuck! I mean because they're all doctorates and she's not. Were this grad school, she'd be the student and they'd be her professors.

and ancillary conversations on that topic.

She writes this saying these are things I've said about Twatson. Don't let the "physics" and "unspecified graduate" and "undergraduate physics degree" thing clue you in it isn't about Twatson who has an undergraduate degree in something unrelated to science. And she doesn't work alongside the greatest minds in physics. She works on a blog where she, um, does stuff.

I go on to explain how I'm treated by professional physicists

Well, it is a lot like that because she's not a physicist and she doesn't have anything to contribute to the physics work they do. It's not cute that a non-physicist tries. It's annoying. Do you know why I get treated the exact same way when I wade into physics? Oh wait, I don't. Why not? Because I don't do it. Why not? I'm not a physicist, and I don't expect that if I did try to wade in and tell them what I think that they'd take me seriously. "Shut up and go back to your notepad" is what I'd expect to be told.

I'm so sexist!

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 6:14 PM

143

Abbie is right; PZ can post here, but he won't because he gets called out for his lame arguments. I reproduce one of his more ludicrous comments here, after Max had asked:

At ERV, the overwhelming consensus seems to be that the Watson video was fine.

PZ Responded:

This is false. We had a parade of anti-Watson rants before the comments from McGraw, from some of the same people who later joined the noise parade at ERV.
PZ makes a claim, with no evidence. Early threads at Pharyngula included people like fundip disagreeing with PZ, but I couldn't see the main protagonists here until after the McGraw issue broke (and Abbie was one of the first on that). Does anyone have any examples of the main contributors at ERV stepping in before the CFI thing broke? I know I picked it up after this.

Also, if that were true, you wouldn’t expect all the insane obsession with Elevator Guy over there: there have been ignorant accusations that Dawkins is EG, that I am EG, and some of those loons posted a photo I took of the bar that evening and invited speculation about who EG was.
BWAHAHAHAHA. PZ is actually thought the "Dawkins is EG" and "PZ is EG" stuff was serious. WTF? Has he actually taken leave of his senses?

There is a lot of complaining that Watson couldn’t have possibly been threatened in an elevator
It took me a while to figure this one out. I searched this thread, and the monument, and the word threatened was only used a few times, and never to do with Watson. So I looked at Coup de Grace and of course - PZ himself brings it up! And people rightly pointed out that Rebecca hadn't claimed she was threatened. So the only person making a deal out of this is from PZ himself... the responses were reasonable... go figure...

that she was over-reacting hysterically
Many people were over-reacting hysterically, which PZ himself highlighted by posting up the Dawkins is not a misogynist" thread. And yes, Watson's personal vendetta against Dawkins was an over-reaction.

that women are not sexually harassed at conferences, that, gosh, he was just asking her out for coffee.
*facepalm* This comment lacks any nuance. People here have largely noted that we lack evidence to resolve these issues, not that they don't exist. Being skeptics, aren't we supposed to seek evidence before making such assumptions? But I'm sure PZ's little strawperson helps keep the nasty thoughts that he might be wrong at bay.

So let’s not lie to everyone.
Uh-oh. You can guess what is coming next.

At ERV, the overwhelming consensus is that Watson is a bitch who deserves every insult she gets for everything she’s ever done. Heck, there were people at ERV who dug up her CV and laughed at her for getting a college degree!
No, that is a twisted interpretation of what PZ thinks is being said over here. But given PZ actually thought people seriously suggested that Dawkins might be EG (hint: that wasn't serious), I somehow don't think he is in a good position to be judging what people are thinking at ERV.

I suppose I should post this at B&W, but hey, PZ knows what everyone thinks over here, so I'm sure he'll read it, and this way it won't get edited or disappeared.

Posted by: Spence | August 7, 2011 6:15 PM

144

@Phyraxus & @Badger3k: as I noted above, 'privilege' in this context has a particular meaning. Even if you disagree with the concept, it's just confused to talk about 'privilege' in some other sense as if it were the same topic.

@Justicar, I didn't suggest that you are "guilty for the crimes anyone else commits", nor do I see how you could interpret what I wrote as meaning that. Further, 'privilege' is not even about whether you make someone uncomfortable, but about the fact that you don't have to worry about a certain kind of discomfort. It is not even that "men do not experience 'sexism'" (which also is something that I did not say). Rather, it is that (in certain situations) a man will not have the experience of frequently being the subject of inappropriate attention in the way that a woman does. In this sense, 'privilege' is precisely the privilege of not having to deal with it; yes a man may do so, if he so chooses, but a woman has no choice but to deal with it (in some way).

Please don't read things into what I've written based upon what someone else who you think might be on my "side" (something that you don't know, BTW) might have said before. I'm making one specific point about one specific subject, because there seem to be a lot of people in these threads (some of whom I probably agree with, at least for the most part) throwing around the term 'privilege' seemingly without understanding what it means.

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 7, 2011 6:18 PM

145

"strat" = start, "string suit" is not a flirt (although I could probably find examples on 'poorly dressed people') = "strong suit". That's what I get for trying to type without my glasses and after not much sleep. Blargh.

Now comments are censored/removed/altered? How Stalinist. Or how creationist - is B&W going to be the new UD? What the hell happened that made people leave their brains at the door? For years they argue against "tone trolls" and for "address the topic, not the words" and not there is the complete 180. It's staggering, really. I guess it really makes me wonder about American Skepticism, and makes me wonder what the two main skeptical podcasts I listen to - Skeptics Guide - I can hear the BS already - and the Skeptic Zone - will say about this. I know SZ completely screwed up the "don't be a dick/gnu atheist" bit (won't go into details here unless anybody wants to know), so I wonder what this will be like (esp as the SZ crew know and like the SGU crew - will it be taken personally or rationally?).

Re: PZ and Watson's credentials - she can speak about anything she want, just be clear that her degree isn't in any scientific area, and her expertise seems to be limited to a web page and a podcast, and to hear her get into science (in the truth or fiction section) is pretty embarrassing sometimes. There isn't a degree in skepticism (that I know of), but when you have gaping holes in your critical thinking, that makes you suspect as a good speaker or role model. Personally, I don't expect much from her as a speaker because she lacks the skills and knowledge of a professional. She's an amateur, that's all, but if people are willing to pay to hear her repeat things she's read, then they have that right, but we skeptics reserve the right to judge that too.

I have to admit to not reading the thread in question - I have found I have a low tolerance for TARD (as in UD), and watching it in action is sad.

Finally, Abbie is 100% her own person, as we all are. What kind of idiot would project authoritarian ideology on us?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 7, 2011 6:39 PM

146

Spence--
ROFL!!!!

Are you serious??

Myers posted that??

ROFL!!!!!!!

Well, I sure am glad Mr. 'I read ERV every day!' 'Listen to women!' Myers didnt read one fucking entry I wrote on this topic!

Jesus Fucking Christ!

What planet is that man living on??

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 6:44 PM

147

Greg@144

What peer-review do you have on this "privilege" hypothesis?

At first blush, it appears to be nothing but a bunch of circular woo used to discriminate against and silence targeted groups of people - as used at PZs Playhouse anyway.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 7, 2011 6:44 PM

148

@Spence: Those are good responses. You might as well post it there. I say higher up in the thread that we can't know based on the evidence before us what EG's intent was. To which I get something like, "Why is intent relevant?" in response, if I recall. Well, because if you're going to say he objectified her, you need to know what was going on in his head. If she said that she felt objectified it would have been at least reasonable.

Let's pretend for a second that objectification (or harassment, as per PZ's post) was a crime, and Rebecca is now seeking to have him arrested, charged, tried, and convicted for committing that crime. How far would she get? Well, she couldn't even have him arrested. Why not? There's no evidence that he exists. Yet this this is the evidence on which Rebecca "found him guilty" of objectification and PZ "found him guilty" of harassment. Also, he's a creep and a potential rapist. This absolutely preposterous.

When you notice someone lying about one thing, you begin doubting that person's veracity on other things.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 6:44 PM

149

My last comment got disapeared from Benson's den.

Whatever, I have screencaps! :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 6:44 PM

150

@144

Greg,

Do you think that "privilege" has been misused or overused in the nontroversy?

Jen M., for example, specifically points to her privilege as a white woman.

The charge of privilege has been used over and over again, not to describe two different reactions to the same situation -- there has been some of that, I admit -- but to discredit disagreement.

Posted by: Brad | August 7, 2011 6:45 PM

151

This is interesting. In Blank Slate, Pinker mentions a psychologist, Linda Measley, who posits two types of psycopaths, the second of which is defined as "... people who are predisposed to psycopathy only in certain circumstances, namely when they perceive themselves to be competitively disadvantaged in society and find themselves at home in a group of other anti-social peers." (My emphasis.)

That certainly seems to some degree to explain the incredible vigour of Myers, Watson, Benson, and their followers' viciousness and hostility and their complete lack of concern as to the effect their insults may have on others.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 6:45 PM

152

Oh, my bad, Ophelia adressed my censoring:

He’s fucking off. Not voluntarily.

I feel much better now...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 6:51 PM

153

One last bit before I go back to Fallout: New Vegas - greg - I thought I was referring to the same sort of privilege. Watson has the means and capabilities to go travel around the world and speak at these conferences, free (apparently) of job and life responsibilities. I was born middle class (albeit lower) back when that meant something, and I've been almost homeless, almost bankrupt, worked minimum wage jobs laying sod and cleaning cars, doing door-to-door work. Now I've worked back up and am a high school teacher, heavily in debt. I have medical issues that need treating, and that takes money. As my old Sgts used to say "I work for a living". Watson doesn't apparently have that. She has money and freedom that puts her in another social class, even if she doesn't act like it. She is removed from the concerns that plague the little guys, at least it appears that way, and to me that is also a position of 'privilege" used in the same manner as Watson herself uses against Dawkins.

Maybe I'm wrong, though, and just not seeing where you are coming from, so please correct me if I am. I'll be back later. :)

Posted by: Badger3k | August 7, 2011 6:55 PM

154

Greg @ 144:

@Justicar, I didn't suggest that you are "guilty for the crimes anyone else commits", nor do I see how you could interpret what I wrote as meaning that. Further, 'privilege' is not even about whether you make someone uncomfortable, but about the fact that you don't have to worry about a certain kind of discomfort.

You are overtly, explicitly and expressly painting me, an individual, with the sins of a group to which I by happenstance belong. On no evidence at all. You do *not* know anything at all about what "comfort" or "[dis]comfort" I may or may not experience. You just guess that because I'm a subject in some predicate it therefore follows that ____ is the case.

Privilege is a notion people use to legitimate their anger at others. I'm black and you're white; therefore, you're privileged! On no evidence at all.

I could easily say to a straight person that they're privileged because they don't know what it's like not being able to, say, get married. I would be overtly stereotyping them. On no evidence at all. There are straight people who are prohibited by law even in the United States from marrying.

Pick any group you'd like and say something about them. I can pick that same group (and its direct opposing group(s)) and find a litany of people who will be wrongly and poorly defined by simple virtue of being able to be classed that way.

It is overtly, explicitly, expressly discrimination to paint someone as anything based on their group association when that association isn't one of their own choice; oftentimes, even when it is one by choice.

Look at what happened with Richard Dawkins: straight, white, educated, rich, old, British (I don't get that one either), so he can therefore not understand because of his privilege what means to have to think about being a victim of sexual abuse.

Problem there: unlike many in this conversation, Dawkins himself is a victim of sexual abuse. Also unlike some people in this conversation, he doesn't let that fact dictate his life.

The response? He wasn't abused enough to have a valid perspective. It happened long enough ago that he doesn't know what it means to be abused today.

Privilege, as they use it, is a false comfort. That I'm educated does not prevent me from understanding what it's like to be illiterate. That I'm white doesn't prevent me from understanding what it's like to be discriminated against because of my "race". That I live in a prosperous country doesn't prevent me understanding what it means to be in a country where one's next meal's origination is not certain.

To claim that it does is to say only that the person making the argument thinks anyone who fails to agree with their dogma is just stupid and unworthy of being heard.

You're welcome to that if you'd like. I dissent.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 6:57 PM

155

From Ophelia the Snake Charmers charming blog.

Phil says:

"PZ: How in hell are the original questions stupid? Please elaborate. You just can’t call something “stupid” without giving reasons. I found John’s questions to the point. Why? Because they adressed your portayal of Abbie’s “crowd” and the strawman you built about them."

mirax replies:

"Dear septic Phil,

Prof Myers is not obliged to waste any more time on little shits like you. Do Fuck off. Kindly."

Ophelia says:

"He’s fucking off. Not voluntarily."

Wow!

"Hi. We're critical thinkers and skeptics. We pride ourselves on being open to discussion, dissent, debate, and disagreement. Except, of course, when you, politely or otherwise, disagree, dissent, or debate our ideological stance. 'cause we're the one right way, donthca know."

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 7:00 PM

156

More from the trenches out there:

MartinM | August 8, 2011 at 08:08 |
John; that’s completely non-responsive.

Me:

Justicar | August 8, 2011 at 08:59 |

MartinM:
when dealing with people whose fingers have left the safe haven of their assholes long enough to attend their ears that they might thereby be immune to hearing arguments, the tool to use is that which you’ve experienced herein: derision.
John just happens to make it funny, so we keep him around.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 7:01 PM

158

Apparently, for my one digression of typing PZ (myvaginaismorevaginathanyourvagins) Myers, I am persona-non-grata and cannot post any posts -- or so it would seem. Perhaps Ophelia is using my posts as some sort of metaphorical 'net privy paper before she either discards them or sets them in type.

And I never even actually got to post an actual post! Oh Noes! Barred for phantom nasties.

Wow! Just wow!

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 7:10 PM

159

From Ophelia:

mirax – while you wait for a reply from skep lawyer – as far as I know, Rebecca could sue them right now. I have no reason to think she will, but I think she could. They’ve called her a liar and I was always told (when B&W was hosted in the UK) that that’s actionable.

That should be fun...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 7, 2011 7:13 PM

160

I should stop sleeping, I'm about nine years behind on this thread now. :/

Posted by: Rayshul | August 7, 2011 7:18 PM

161

julian et al, since you're obviously lurking in the dusty shadows here at ERV, the primary difference between you folks over there, and us folks over here, is that over here everyone, including you, are welcome to post, even if you disagree with what the general consensus of feeling or thought is around here.

Which, by the way, points to yet another difference. With you folks over there there is primarily one thought, or stance, or ideology. And almost anyone who disagrees is insluted, shamed, baited, and bagged and often simply removed.

While here at ERV, there are many stances, ideologies, points of view, etc, many of which in fact conflict and disagree with each other. However, rather than consistently calling each other names (though some of us do do that), and telling each other to fuck off and die (I don't think anyone here has done that yet), we tend to discuss it. And NOBODY GETS BANNED OR CENSORED OR DELETED.

Yes of course we call you folks names. You're all so open to it what with your bannings and censorings, your name-callings and barbed vitriol, your holier than thou self-righteous indignities and absolute utter certainties of inerrant and precise perfect rightness.

What would you expect?

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 7:21 PM

162

Times I have called Rebecca Watson a liar in posts or comments:

Bad form, Rebecca Watson.: 0*
The Decent Human Beings' Guide to Speaking at Atheist Conferences: 0**
Dawkins coup de grâce in Vegas: 0***
The Monument: 0 ****
Have you ever met my friend Kyles mom?: 0*****

* However, Rebecca Watson insinuated in her speech at the CFI student leadership conference that Steph McGraw was a liar.
** However Martin Seibert, aka Rorschach called a commentor Victoria a liar. When the video was reviewed, Rorschach was the liar, not Victoria.
*** However, PZ Myers called Justicar and Russel Blackford liars. Phil brought up being accused of lying about being raped.
**** However, Greg Laden accused a commentor of rape.
***** Benson is a mean, hate-filled she-hag.

Posted by: ERV | August 7, 2011 7:34 PM

163

Wow, Ophelia apparently has become a lawyer along with her other stellar accomplishments.

We all know the legal argument is preposterous on the face of it. The scary thing about that statement is that she apparently wants to live in a world where disagreements during an intellectual debate become civilly actionable. Her blog, from all the banning and vile threats I see going on, already lives in that world.

These people aren't skeptics. They don't know the method, they merely like some of the potential outcomes (i.e. a hatred of religion, support for certain liberal policies). They are the Bill Mahers of skepticism.

Posted by: Tommy | August 7, 2011 7:36 PM

164

John Greg, allow me to speak in the stead of those at B&W to your latest post. I can do so in two words: victim blaming.

"Look, he just said we deserve to be treated like the assholes we actually are. WE'RE BEING OPPRESSED!!!!!!!!"

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 7:38 PM

165

Justicar: Tee and Hee.

:)

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 7:42 PM

166
Benson is a mean, hate-filled she-hag.

Are there such things as "he-hags"?

Posted by: dinkum | August 7, 2011 7:52 PM

167

Yep, it looks like the latest method of suppressing dissenting voices, after the various censorship and banning, is going to be threats of legal action. Nice.

We already know it is all our fault Rebecca is an "angry feminist", thanks to PZ pointing it out for us. On top of this, according to Ophelia, if Watson doesn't get future speaking engagements, this is all our fault too, and we should be paying for it.

Furthermore, should any discrepancy arise between Rebecca's honorarium and that of Richard Dawkins for any talk given, is clearly also all our fault, because our evil misogynistic tendencies causes a rip in the space-time continuum and results in unequal pay between vacuous internet celebrities and real world proper clever scientists.

Who knew this little blag was so powerful?

Posted by: Spence | August 7, 2011 7:55 PM

168

julian, I must say, this is awkward carrying on a conversation across two blogs (so it is the last time I will do so), but Ophelia the Snake Charmer banned me before I even got one post in perpetuum -- or whatever the fun latinesque might be for one post that is actually viewable by the viewing horde. Anyway....

Ah c'mon julian. Stop being a silly. It was a dig; a dig with some slim possibility of being legitimate. julian, the world is not so black and white.

Now, where is the double standard? That ERV does not censor or ban? Or is it that I like to point out the almost constant barrage of insults on "your side" of the river towards disagreement or dissent?

You should note, by the way, that I am not really calling for an end to all your vile shenanigans, and that in fact I took a couple of folks here to task for name calling and I was soundly trounced by three or four people here for doing so.

Anyhow, yes, I despise double standards. Please specify wherein mine is/are.

Note, again, I am not calling for an end to your name calling, I am simply pointing out how consistent it is, how unpleasant some of us find it, and how hypocritical it is because, as you know, one of the primary areas of your side's anger toward us is our name calling and using teh bad werds, which your side seems to be equally at home with.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 7:57 PM

169

Brad@150: yes, 'privilege' has been misused. I think I said that in my very first comment. But if a term is misused by another, one doesn't serve the discussion by misusing it oneself.

Justicar@154: No. I am not "painting you" with any "sins". This sense of 'privilege' is not in any way about "sins". I really think that you misunderstand this sense of 'privilege'. Did you note the reference to 'exorbitant privilege' in my first comment? It's not about race or sex.

Further, 'privilege' doesn't mean that one can't understand a non-privileged position (if it did, then there wouldn't be any point in discussing it); the 'privilege' is that one needn't do so.

I would note, as well, that heterosexuals are privileged in relation to homosexuals, at least in much of the world. Their sexual orientation is "normal" and they don't need to deal with the fear of what might happen if others find out.

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 7, 2011 7:59 PM

170

Salty Current fails again. Reading is not his/her friend.
Salty, because I know you're slower than some of the other kids, I'll go through this slowly after correctly quoting you.

I see J*sticar’s pointed out that the first quotation in my #305 (from him) was about Ouellette, not Watson. It didn’t seem to fit, but it came right before Abbie’s so I thought it was part of the same discussion. I assume there were others before it about Watson’s alleged lack of a degree that led Abbie to ask about it, but I’m not going back there to check. Anyway, it’s totally cool since it was about Ouellette and how she doesn’t deserve full respect because she lacks a PhD in physics.

The quote, which still confuses you, was not about Omelet. It was in response to an article she wrote of which she wasn't a subject. The person in question was complaining that she was being discriminated against for being a woman and not being taken seriously by the physicists there when she wanted to discuss with them her thoughts on their work.

I do not doubt she was dismissed. She is not a physicist and has no right to ask to be taken seriously when giving her input on physics that exceed her education in the field. I'm a mathematician, and I would get similar treatment because the work these physicists are doing exceeds my education in that field. It wouldn't be because I'm gay or anything else other than unqualified to demand to be taken seriously.

It's also, as it happens, something I do when random people expect that in my field their thoughts are owed equal weight to mine. They'll say, occasionally, they don't know why they're not taken seriously. This fact alone explains to those who understand my field (or their own field for that matter) at a very high level why the people in question are out of hand dismissed. Their ignorance of the field is such that they can't even ask intelligent-ish questions on the topic.

IIRC you have a JD. I do not have one. I have no professionally studied the law. If I came up to you in the middle of the trial and told you my thoughts on what legal theory you should argue, and opined as to the proper strategy would you take me seriously?

I hope for your clients' sake the answer is no; I'm not qualified to even expect to be taken as having something to contribute.

And yet you press this into service as though it's my arguing for sexism, or dismissal of (so far, two people to whom it didn't apply, by name even) people who are by definition marginalized and ignored at the vanguard of our most intricate science to date.

You are the very exemplar of an ideologue. You make a mistake that is trivially verifiable, which you admit you in advance thought seemed out of place, as an argument you can latch onto.

Told that the article wasn't about Watson, but was written by Omelet about a third person, you change the narrative to say that it wasn't about Watson; it was about Omelet. You were specifically told by me that it wasn't about her.

Two attempts now on the same story and you still are incapable of even getting the names right.

From the department of lulz, Ophelia edition

You know, I’ve yet to see anyone address the numerous comments pulled straight from ERV and explain how -both- those threads are somehow anything more than a giant cesspit of misogyny perpetuated and encouraged by Abbie.

Gee. Why is it that this person hasn't read a single comment from us that's been written over at Ophelia's place. Oh yeah, she edits them, or deletes them like the good religious person she is. Damned she-hag!

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 8:03 PM

171

I get the feeling they keep attempting to bait us into a discussion with questions like that so they can ban dissenters.

Defiance is surely folly.

Posted by: Rlearn | August 7, 2011 8:11 PM

172

Greg @ 169

Justicar@154: No. I am not "painting you" with any "sins". This sense of 'privilege' is not in any way about "sins". I really think that you misunderstand this sense of 'privilege'. Did you note the reference to 'exorbitant privilege' in my first comment? It's not about race or sex.

You are not reading the words I am typing. I have not said it is exclusively about sex or race. I used those as particular examples for a given point.

And you're factually incorrect. Privilege is defined as the thing one group must take care to engage that another group is not burdened by. This is explicitly fallacious, for some of the reasons I've earlier written. There are others, but since you can't differentiate an example of a concept from being the whole of the concept, it's no longer fruitful to attempt that with you.

This is very elementary set theory; a set contains all of its particulars. Any set of the particulars do not make up the whole set.

All ducks (particular) are birds (set); not all birds (set) are ducks (particular of the set).

I said that two particulars, ducks and geese, out of the set of all birds have ___.

You replied: well, not all birds are ducks or geese, and then kept right on keeping on.

And with that, I'm kind of done with you.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 8:14 PM

173

I see that PZ is still unconstrained by facts, at 458

But her not being treated as an equal there? Well, um, she’s working alongside the greatest minds in physics alive today. She’s not on equal footing with them despite having her unspecified level of a “graduate degree” in science communication. That’s code for didn’t manage to get a PhD.
Wait, that’s about Jennifer Oullette, and they think that excuses i have no idea what kind of degree she has, and is a perfect example of why it doesn’t matter — her writing is beautiful and clear.

Keep on with the deception PZ; don't other with worrying about facts this late in the game.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 8:21 PM

174

Well, MartinM halfway tried to be correct.

To be clear, Justicar’s comment is not about Oullette, but about Linda Henneberg, a physicist at CERN about whom Oullette wrote. His claim that she can’t be among equals because she doesn’t have a physics PhD is fairly ridiculous, however.

I haven't said she "can't" be among equals because she doesn't have a PhD in physics. I said that she has no right to demand to be considered as such. It's ridiculous to say that, which is why I didn't say as much. Anyone of any field is free to consider whomever they want as their equal. Only people with a minimal set of ability, however, have a putative right to demand it.

Consider, you do not have the right to demand I let you into my house. This doesn't prevent me from nevertheless allowing you in.

So, let's review Ms. Henneberg, shall we?

These facts are not in dispute:
- she is not scientist
- she is not employed by CERN as a scientist
- she is not employed by CERN as even staff
- she is not employed by CERN at all as it happens
- she is there an education internship (for an outreach program?)
- she is dismissed as a novelty with respect to the physics work by all the physicists, male and female
- the behavior of which she complains doesn't happen at CERN, in her own words - "I did not expect to be hit on by a large proportion of the men I saw in a social setting."
- "I want to say right away that I have never really felt overtly sexually harassed while at CERN. I have not noticed any displays of blatant sexism."
- "There have been a lot of really awkward, uncomfortable, and sometimes creepy attempts at flirting."
- subtle like, "Most of the men that make uncomfortable or dismissive comments toward me do not seem to be aware that they are doing it."

That she's dismissed on the job is unsurprising. She's unqualified; dismissing her is entirely justified. And apparently all of the scientists do it.

Idiots.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 9:15 PM

175

Well, that's the beauty of PZ right now. He doesn't care about facts or anything else. He's set up this specific narrative that has to be defended at all costs, because he's literally put everything he has behind certain things:

1) Anything Rebecca Watson says on EG is right, all dissent is wrong, and a sign of misogyny and sexism.

2) Rebecca Watson is the perfect living exmplar of Feminism.

3) As long as it is said *politely* it cannot be bad.

4) Unless you agree with Abbie, in which case, nothing you say can be good.

5) All use of words like twat, cunt et al are wrong. Dick is not wrong, because MALE PRIVILEGE.

6) Unless you're criticizing Abbie and other dissenters. They're Fair Game, (in the scientology sense).

7) You should never attack a person, just their ideas.

8) See 6)

9) Censorship is horrible and awful.

10) By "Censorship" he means against his side. If you are talking about censoring undesireables like Phil, justicar, abbie, or myself, then it's not censorship, it's protecting the innocent.

PZ et al are in a fetid hole of hypocrisy and stupidity, but they can't not keep digging.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 7, 2011 9:28 PM

176

Sometimes naming prowess is awesome to me. I don't have it. Like, my character names always turn up cheesy - I have mage called FrostyMcfire, a druid named Treefrog, a paladin called sholyhit, and what not.

But over at the "if you don't post here you are a meanie" place

Rebitcha Twatson Is An Airhead | August 8, 2011 at 11:23 | I do not endorse the abusive and derogatory remarks by P. Z. Myers the sleazy liar and all of the hard-core faminazis at the slime pit known as Pharyngula in support of Rebitcha Twatson and her fabricated story of an encounter on an elevator. They can fuck right off.
lol

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 9:59 PM

177

It is really pretty ironic that those loudly complaining about "privilege" are exhibiting some of the most privileged behavior I have ever seen. Acting like physicists should take you seriously when you're not trained in physics just because you happen to be a woman interested in science is the epitome of an entitlement mentality.

Posted by: TylerD | August 7, 2011 10:04 PM

178

John C. Welch #175.

I think that nails it.

Posted by: John Greg | August 7, 2011 10:26 PM

179

Tyler, to be fair to her, she does have BS degree in physics and astronomy. So, it's not like she's some office temp who running up and shouting at the physicists.

However, and many people here will tell you if you ask (or you might know it yourself!), there's a vast difference between an undergraduate degree and a PhD, irrespective of the field being studied. There's also a considerable distance between a master of something and a PhD of that something.

Hell, in many PhD mathematics programs (and I'm sure other fields, for instance Berkeley is like this for its physics program IIRC), a master's degree is a consolation prize for not getting a PhD (not implying it's given out to idiots who couldn't hack a PhD, but life comes up and people have to leave school prematurely. Turns out that a doctorate can be quite pricey). Dropping the PhD program? Ok, you did two years, here's your master's degree. Come back when you can.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 10:40 PM

180

"How many Ph.D.s are chattering away in that thread?"

Ph.D. microbiology (2006) checking in, Professor Myers. While I've published multiple papers in the last 7 years, I do not, however, include a section in my CV listing websites for which I am patriarch and chief censor, "outreach" indeed.

Posted by: JohnV | August 7, 2011 10:46 PM

181

In NZ you might do your Masters if you are a professional but not interested in a career in academia, or you are a slack bastard who spent too much time drinking and fornicating, and not enough time studying to get invited to do an honours year after your bachelors and then a PhD.

But I am testimony that you can follow that latter path and still eventually get a PhD.

Posted by: KiwiInOz | August 7, 2011 10:49 PM

182

(this space intentionally left blank for when Abbie gets her PhD to come back and edit it into the conversation to join the cool kids)

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 11:11 PM

183

John Greg @ 102:

Do you suppose it was my "PZ (myvaginaismorevaginathanyourvagina) Myers".

Or was it the simple true facts of my claims?

I suspect the actual reason was simply that you were a dissenting voice, or at least, that and the PZ comment. I had a comment erased without doing any disparaging of anyone, so that's obviously not it.

I also find it amusing in retrospect that she claims she erased my comment after seeing "what [I] wrote about [her] at ERV," despite how I had never mentioned her here before she said that. I guess that either we're all a more or less homogenous faceless mob to her (even when we use very consistent usernames at every site we go to), or she's even re-writing history inside her own head.


John C. Welch @ 107:
In regards to PZ Myers's CV, I find it extremely amusing that it stops listing any contributions (even classes taught) as of 2002, which is the same year that he started Pharyngula. It gives the impression of "Fuck this 'teaching' shit, I'm going to write a blog!"

Posted by: Woden | August 7, 2011 11:15 PM

184

Woden@183 - deleting something based on something someone said at another site? The similarities to UD (hi Clive!) seems to grow. I wonder if I posted a link to Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words" sketch - would I be summarily banned by the Tone Patrol?

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgZZ82tp5es&feature=related)

Posted by: Badger3k | August 7, 2011 11:31 PM

185

@159 About the legal threat comment, why was she banned from JREF again? In any case, if she does happen to be a liar, then I've heard truth is a full defense.

A little bird told me that she might have to prove actual harm, too.

Remember the huge spike in Skepchick traffic in July/August? Also there's RW's statement about increased Twitter followers due to getting someone like Dawkins to say something stupid about her. One could interpret that as a concession that she does not mind the extra attention.

Plus, there's her blog full of unfounded assertions about other people that I need to take a closer look at. I believe there was something about Professor Krauss that needed a tad more research?

And what was it that she said about Stef McGraw "parrotting standard misogynistic thought" and being "ignorant of feminism 101"? Are those statements actually true?

Anyone know of incidents where there's proof Watson lied? Sounds like that's what OB is wants.

*Disclaimer: This is not intended as legal advice of any sort.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 7, 2011 11:50 PM

186

If I understood them correctly, Blu, it was dealing with English law. I don't know what their evidence standards are on such a suit, and what would constitute a defense. I'd be shocked to learn that truth wasn't an absolute defense there though.

She was banned for a number of things, including:
- sockpuppetry
- claiming that she was authorized a sock puppet by the admins (they say no and that she was actioned as soon as they found out)
- deleting other user account for the lulz of it
- in short, being herself.

Posted by: Justicar | August 7, 2011 11:58 PM

187

In fairness to PZ, Google Scholar views his blog as scholarly and learned enough for inclusion its Google Scholar results.

Posted by: History Punk | August 8, 2011 12:06 AM

188

Justicar,

AFAIK, the difference between a B.S. and PhD. is primarily that the latter requires you to make an original contribution to the field as well as the mastery of the extant literature, while the former establishes that you have competence in the elements of a field. Even if I did stay to complete my math/comp sci degree, I wouldn't expect my ideas on, say, differentiable manifolds to be taken seriously amongst those who do research on the subject professionally.

FWIW, I've found out that you can still do cool work with grad students and researchers, and even get your name in a few publications, if you have specialized knowledge that they consider valuable. I've also found that this makes for impressive references. (I've done this by being able to offer practical solutions to exotic statistical modeling problems and code to implement them.)

Posted by: TylerD | August 8, 2011 12:07 AM

189

Is it too late to ask for waffles in this thread?

Posted by: ShavenYak | August 8, 2011 12:09 AM

190

Listening to non-prophets right now. Matt gives a nice nod to Abbie and her speech at the Oklahoma free thought convention.

Posted by: Brad | August 8, 2011 12:14 AM

191

@Justy - Here or there, I don't think it matters; the facts speak for themselves. I love how OB thinks we're all one person. Are they still going on about us? I've missed a ton of comments in this thread. What a bizarre situation.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:19 AM

192

...what's a "saddo"? Is that the shoe-selling website?

Posted by: cthellis | August 8, 2011 12:22 AM

193

Either a reference to sadism, or a sad person. It's slang.

I love that they've said that *we* are liars, simply by virtue of posting in this thread (individually and as a group?). Not only that, but misogynists. I wonder what proof they have for those assertions.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:27 AM

194

TylerD, I would certainly not imply in any fashion that graduate students aren't valuable, useful or intelligent. They just aren't on equal footing with the PhDs, and shouldn't expect to be treated as though they are. They are, after all, still students.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 12:28 AM

195

RED SOX JUST WON IN EXTRA INNINGS. THERE IS NOW NO WAY THE SKANKS CAN HAVE A WINNING RECORD AGAINST THEM. THE SAWX HAVE NOT LOST A SERIES TO THE SKANKS THIS SEASON.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Sorry, back to the EG topic.

Posted by: TylerD | August 8, 2011 12:40 AM

196

Justicar has it right about a masters degree at Berkeley in Physics. I went through the PhD program. You can't sign up for a MA in Physics at Berekely, but you can get one if you want if you pass all your classwork. Some take it, some don't.

Posted by: gator | August 8, 2011 12:52 AM

197

Also,

>that feel when U.S. markets are already toast hours before they open.

inb4 Black Monday 2.

Posted by: TylerD | August 8, 2011 12:53 AM

198

Blu@193,
Proof for their assertions? Being "mean" to one woman means you hate all women.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 8, 2011 12:54 AM

199

@ 1583 bluHarmony:
"The good that's come out of all this for me is that I've met some truly interesting pro-woman misogynists that I would have never met otherwise."

I hope you are joking, right? But don't take this the wrong way, but calling this group of intelligent, passionate, anti- misandrist group of folks massagynists diminishes your position as a reputable feminist ally.

Unless of course they label themselves as such. But isn't the whole discussion kind of about not letting the 'other' define us?

@ Phil Giordana 1783, last post

Yeah, that piece was the 'switch' to the bait;-) His theory and his definition of 'drives' and behavior actually predicts that women are prone to allo-licking the young, andallo-licking each other!
It's easy to fetishize women licking each other and all (eeeew..) but if we accept Laden et als premise that men are born with a rape switch, we must accept that women are born with an allo-licking switch.

After all he is basing it on observations of mammalian behavior, etc., and so....there you go. Women are prone to bully and lick the young, which, when extrapolated onto humans predicts that women are child abusers, by current
definitions of abuse, and sexual abuse.

I thought the argument could be valauable, science based prediction, and a counter-point against the 'all men are rapists ' meme.

Try it sometime, then sit back and watch the fauxminist denial and blame projectors start rolling.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 8, 2011 12:56 AM

200

@193

Obviously it is obvious, and since you are too stupid to stupidly understand anything (you stupid-head) there is no point in saying why, because of the aforementioned obviousness.

Also, saying a bad word is ad hominem, which you should NEVER DO. (And by that, of course, I only mean "you." Stupid.)

Posted by: cthellis | August 8, 2011 12:59 AM

201

Seems relevant: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2307#comic

I was looking for info on the Skepchick organized Bordello party. Looked fun, but I dunno how the Skepchick/PZ crowd could have enjoyed all the rampant sexism. There was a costume contest that was won by two girls who made out to woo the judges.

The next year apparently the Skepchick crew organized a womyn only pajama party. Some men held a scotch and cigar party in protest of being left out. Guess where RW apparently ended up?? Yep, gender traitor! Hanging out with the guys drinking and smoking.

Posted by: gator | August 8, 2011 1:24 AM

202

geez...all the banning at B&W's, I think OB has had a melt down or something...

I think they lurk over here, looking for their name, without paying close attention to what is being said..

I want to shake her and say "PAY ATTENTION"..If any of them had paid attention, they would realize that twatson is really not the topic anymore..we've branched out...

they are still stuck on "Abbie said a bad word"..Actually, Abbie has given us some space to bitch about the failures in the skeptic community, that's all..A place to DISAGREE!

Posted by: mary | August 8, 2011 1:45 AM

203

To be clear, when I call anyone here a misogynist, it is only in jest. I don't have enough information to make that allegation about anyone, and would never do so unless I actually had evidence to support my claim. Our online banter is not evidence of any such thing. When words are abused like "misogynist" has been, they lose all meaning.

And yes, I'm a feminist liberal equal rights ally. I know I'm going to get taken to trash for saying this, but I think that most men are doing their part to treat women fairly and, personally, I've had nothing to complain about. I don't consider any women in this thread to be misogynists or gender traitors either.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:13 AM

204

I just posted this Ophelia's, I wonder if it will make it through moderation.

Originally posted on skepchick with no response:

http://skepchick.org/2011/07/a-weird-time-on-bloggingheads/

"phyraxus

07.29.2011

http://www.bu.edu/academics/com/programs/communication-studies-prog/

Found it! Right there where it says,”To receive the BS degree from Boston University, students must complete a total of 32 courses. Of these, 17 must be in the liberal arts.” Did they change the required curricula since you’ve been there? What did you specialize in? Advertising, Public Relations, or Communications Studies?

I didn’t know that you could get a Bachelors of Science degree with 17 of 32 courses being liberal arts. I didn’t know something as “liberal” as communication even HAD a BS degree.

My university requires 35 credit hours of basics, 82 science credit hours and 6 advanced credit hours in anything for a BS degree in chemistry. Three hours is one chemistry course and one credit hour for the lab, but for some reason biology courses were four credit hours while their labs were worth zero but you still had to take the lab. That’s about 36 courses total depending on the credit hour worth of elective or advanced courses, some being four or three with a few being two.

I double majored biology and chemistry, and took those advanced credit hours in science courses anyway. I graduated in four years after 132 credit hours with a GPA of 3.38 and got an MCAT score of 29 (11 Phys, 11 Bio, 7 Verbal[fuck that section!]). I’m going back for my MS in chemistry as being a MD isn’t quite what I expected it would be. Must jump through a LOT of hoops and they don’t really appreciate an independent mind. (I suspect that the verbal section of the MCAT has some nefarious scheme to see if you are the kind of person who looks at things in a certain way that is their liking. That section SAYS there is a right answer, but I really think its about the answer they are looking for that would suggest you are a tool or something.)

Damn, I guess my university sucked for “well-rounded” education. Eh… I could care less though, I personally felt like anything else would be a waste of time. Why bother with the trivialities of worldly affairs when you could be unlocking the secrets of the universe?"

"Well-rounded" education is what PZ referred to a BS degree in communications that requires 32 courses, 17 of which are in liberal arts.

PZ Myers in response to my quote at ERV:

"That isn’t surprising at all — it makes me wonder if that person graduated from a vocational or tech college. We hoity-toity academics tend to think that students with a college degree ought to have some knowledge of history, language, art, and philosophy in addition to science and math…or rather, as too many people seem to think, how to code video games."

And later in this same thread.

"2. As has been shown above, yes, people mocked her credentials…out of raving ignorance. She certainly does have a legitimate background to talk about science, and has done so competently. Or are you going to require a Ph.D. to talk about “most anything”? How many Ph.D.s are chattering away in that thread?

3. WTF? This matters? In the US, very little distinction is drawn between a “college” and a “university”. There is a vague and inconsistently applied difference, that universities offer post-grad degrees while colleges don’t, but lots of places ignore it."

And

"Still pointless degree snobbery. Is she competent? Does she do good work? That’s what matters."

Yet, you are a raving hypocrite for talking shit about my credentials, "degree snobbery," as it were.

The entire point of bringing up her credentials is because she DOESN'T have a legitimate background in science. You have a Ph.D. in a science subject and you have said that you would feel uncomfortable speaking on subjects in science that you didn't get your Ph.D. in. I would too because its not my area of EXPERTISE and I would differ to people who are more knowledgeable than me on the subject matter at hand. You wouldn't go speak at an astrophysicist event, would you? Neil deGrasse Tyson would eat you alive and rightfully so.

I do not believe that you can INTELLECTUALLY and HONESTLY say that she is qualified to speak on science. That being said, one doesn't need a Ph.D. to know that pseudo-science is bunk. If she is qualified and she is the best that the skeptic community has to offer on science, this is a poor community indeed.

In fact, this entire fiasco has shown how truly INCOMPETENT she is just on reading comprehension alone. Your hypocrisy and tribalism has blinded you from the truth and, dare I say, you have been made incompetent by your own megalomania.

I have read your blog for five years but character assassination and censorship of those who DARE to disagree with you have made me outgrow you. You have become a caricature of your former self and the very thing you claim to fight against.

Fuck you, PZ Myers.

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 8, 2011 3:03 AM

205
There was a costume contest that was won by two girls who made out to woo the judges.

Isn't objectifying lesbian sexual behavior furthering rape culture?

Posted by: History Punk | August 8, 2011 3:07 AM

206

@205
And makes one a rape supporter as well.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 8, 2011 3:15 AM

207

Justicar@172: I'm sorry, but I don't follow whatever it is you are trying to say. Presumably you mean to justify your claim that I am "painting you" with "sins" of some kind (as that is the text of mine that you quote), but I don't see how what you've written is responsive.

Further, you write:


And you're factually incorrect. Privilege is defined as the thing one group must take care to engage that another group is not burdened by.

... and I don't understand your rejoinder, for you say that I am incorrect, but then basically restate the definition that I've given in slightly different words.

Further, whether or not the concept is "fallacious", I don't see how you've done anything at all to show that it is. You've insisted that it means somehow "painting you" with "sins", which I submit even your own definition belies. You've also stated that it is "discrimination". It is, but that doesn't make it fallacious. People 'discriminate' between men and women, between odd and even numbers, and between chalk and cheese. Discrimination is a normal (and necessary!) part of acting and reasoning. We generally think that certain kinds of discriminatory treatment of people are wrong, but that is a different issue (plainly, I submit). I add that it seems (at least to me) to be a simple matter of fact that, in a social structure where anti-homosexual bigotry exists (for example), a heterosexual enjoys the 'privilege' of not needing to engage with it, while a homosexual cannot avoid doing so. So also, if some small number of men at some event are hitting on every woman they encounter, this is something the women must deal with, and other men need not. This is not "painting" or even (in and of itself) a judgment about the person with privilege.

The intro to set theory is amusing, but seems (at least to me) to be dodge, in which you misread a single sentence so that you may ignore all of the content. But if you are "done", then that's the way it goes.

Posted by: greg bysehnk | August 8, 2011 4:28 AM

208

@186 The Justicar
I know almost nothing of the operations of libel law, sueing for damages, whatever.

Mainly because you need a fuckton of money to even contemplate entering the lists on that score here in Blighty. And it's very much a gamble, no matter what's been said.

It's exclusively the prerogative of The Murdochs, the McCanns and the Moseleys of our odd little world, not peasants like me. And Wattie.
Wouldn't even cross my mind.

However, IANAL, and trust this will provoke someone who actually knows their arse from their elbow to correct my lies.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 4:52 AM

209

I am strongly in favor of the uttermost severity when someone is being denied a position because of their gender/race/class even though they are fully qualified for the position.

However, I am as severe when somebody uses their gender/race/class to cover their lack of qualification and scream "discrimination". A more common exemple: if I see a woman kicking a puppy and I call her a stupid fucking bitch, I call her that not because she's a woman, but because she just kicked a puppy. These day, the usual reaction is "you say that because I'm a woman". Well, sorry, no, I say that because you're a stupid fucking asshole who just kicked a puppy.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:21 AM

210

Phil@209
Say nowt. Kick the woman.
Equality's a bitch.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 5:25 AM

211

Wooden, you obviously cannot and will not read what you wrote.

YOU said "even if consent is given" in a statutory rape case. YOU. Not me. YOU.

YOU are the one saying that consent is given.

But you're now found out for the paedo you are and are busy backtracking.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 5:49 AM

212

dustbubble @208.
You may be interested in this campaign to reform British libel laws:
http://libelreform.org/
It was initiated by the scandalous but failed case of the woo-soaked British Homeopathic Association vs. Simon Singh, the physicist science populariser.
Singh persisted, funded by income from his book-sales, and thwarted the assumption of the BSA that he would withdraw because of the crippling costs imposed on private defendants in UK libel cases. (Who are considered guilty unless they can prove innocence!)

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 8, 2011 5:54 AM

213

"And here's WoW saying that if there's penetration, he was a willing participant"

If I decided to penetrate, then I'm a willing participant.

Maybe YOU think with your dick, JCW, maybe it takes over your body. This would indicate that maybe Shroedinger's Rapist is real: you being an example of one.

IF YOU SHAGGED, YOU WANTED TO SHAG.

"You have yet to state what level of crime has to be committed upon a guy before you think he has any moral/ethical route to not pay child support."

Yes I have.

If he's raped, then there's a moral reason to not pay child support.

But you'd rather make up my position to tilt against. It's much easier than arguing with someone else when you can make up their side of the story.

"1) If the father was underage, and legally incapable of giving consent?"

So you've now made up a new case. At least this one is completely fictitious and you're admitting it, which is a new one for you.

Yes, that would be rape.

Of course, if he was actually raping (e.g. the older (or younger) woman was unconscious and he stuck his doodle in her, then she didn't rape him), then again, he has to pay his dues.

"2) If the woman holds the man down, and he tries to refuse?"

If it's possible for the man to be held incapable, then like any rape case, she would be a rapist.

However, you can't just take one side's word for it. Feminists do that all the time and insist that the CLAIM of rape is the FACT of rape.

I guess you don't have a problem if the CLAIM is from a man, though. You're 100% behind the same arguments you complain about from feminists then.

"actually, given his appearance, it's HIGHLy unlikely that's a picture of a 17-year-old male"

Again, you make up what you want to read.

I never said that was him at 17.

He said he was 10st10 and 5'7. If she was heavier but shorter, either both are tubs and sitting down and having sex is damn near impossible between two CONSENTING people, or he's stronger than her and it still doesn't work.

You see extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

And the evidence isn't really believable.

But I guess you're OK believing that the CLAIM of rape is the FACT of rape, hmm?

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 5:59 AM

214

blueshark, jcw, et al.

Do you have a problem with paying to raise a child you fathered?

If not, why do you have a problem with the woman being able to get you off the hook over it?

bladerunner: "Fuck you. No, seriously. "

That would be rape.

"That is an insulting and unfair portrayal of my argument."

No, it would be an insulting and ACCURATE portrayal of your argument.

"You still haven't made a good one"

Yes I have. Several times. But all you can do is whine and whinge about how the woman gets the chance to let you off the hook.

Man up and take responsibility for your actions or be ADULT about your actions and refrain from them.

You're done here because you have nothing other than a desire to avoid the consequences of your actions.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 6:07 AM

215

restefyn: "If we both get all shitfaced, and I tell you it's ok to stick your dick up my ass and you do, then neither of us should go to jail."

So it's not rape? Therefore we must have consented.

So therefore if we're both shitfaced and I'm a woman, then you agreed to have sex (if we didn't agree, then that's rape) and therefore you agreed to help rear our child.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 6:11 AM

216

"Isn't objectifying lesbian sexual behavior furthering rape culture?"

It's also hawt, unlike icky mens.

It's why you never hear a complaint about lesbians getting married or lesbians in the military. Only gays.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 6:16 AM

217

M K Gray@212
Interesting. Anything that gets Andrew Motion and Hislop hauling on the same oar definitely deserves another look.
Thanks.
(Not holding my breath, though)

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 6:18 AM

218

bluharmony@185 (the last bit)

"Prosopagnosia".
If one were aware that one had a propensity to not recognise people, an appropriate strategy in avoiding the embarrassment of inadvertently blanking an acquaintance might be to more-or-less politely (according to disposition) query the speaker.
"Sorry, who're you again? I'm terrible with faces." Something along those lines.

Then again, a useful clue in identifying the person might be recognising the voice, and one might in fact be more reliant on this sense than one was on visual recognition, given one's "disability".

It seems EG's voice was entirely unremarkable. And not known to her.
In the absence of any indicators of malintent, such as a creepy foreign accent, or being someone she had never met ( a strange, but not illegal prejudice) one might legitimately assume that he was not only not Irish, but in fact a North American.

And that like Watto, and unlike even primarily English-speaking Europeans, he implictly understood that " have some coffee" was a circumlocution for "do the nasty", sharing the same sociolect as they did.

And elevator iz elevator. In Dublin, Doha or Dallas. A little capsule of International Style functionalism, globally.
It wasn't a noticeably Irish contraption now, was it, with a stack of turf, and a pig snoozing in the corner?

Yer man didn't sound like Bernard Black, I take it? To me, together with the familiar surroundings of the slidy-box-on-a-string, that tends to bleed all of the creepy threatening "foreignness" out of the situation.

So, one might reasonably inquire, how many North Americans unknown to Watson were about the hotel that night?
Or was he a Paddy on the lash, and La Watson is perhaps being somewhat economical with the truth?
If we only knew a tiny bit more about him, an assessment of his creepiness could be attempted, and I'm sure that all parties, as true sceptics, are eager to clear up this little mystery.
Why so reticent?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 6:27 AM

219

Greg B@207

if some small number of men at some event are hitting on every woman they encounter, this is something the women must deal with, and other men need not. This is not "painting" or even (in and of itself) a judgment about the person with privilege.

Let's assume this is true. What follows?

1. Does it follow that EG was one of those guys?
(Sorry, I'm going to answer for you. If you disagree, please, um, disagree.)

No.

2. Does it follow that all men want to have sex at a convention?

No.

3.Does it follow that other women would feel uncomfortable in the same situation?

No.

4. Does it mean that RW was right to call SM ignorant of feminism 101 or to accuse her of parroting a woman hater?

No.

5. Does it mean that RD's points are fallacious because he has privilege?

No.

6. Does it make it okay to lump the majority of men with the few who are "hitting" on every woman they see?

No.

7. Does it allow for false dichotomies?

No.

8. Should it be okay for people to continually equivocate between the following:

a. It's not a big deal.

b. She could have been raped.

9. Does it mean that all women who disagree with RW on this issue are gender traitors?

No.

10. Does it follow that sexism is rampant in the atheist community?

No.

Again, what follows from privilege?

Now some of these questions could be answered in the affirmative by other means but my point is that privilege doesn't seem to help.

Are some people more privileged than others?

Yes.

Does it follow that those who are privileged are necessarily wrong and those who are not always right?

How could that follow?

Posted by: Brad | August 8, 2011 6:33 AM

220

At Benson's, Tea says:

Bluharmony, you’ve tried pretty much all the possible approaches of desperate attention-seeking aside from threatening suicide. Please, get lost, this is NOT ABOUT YOU.

Very classy, indeedy!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 6:34 AM

221

Dustbubble said: "one might legitimately assume that he was not only not Irish, but in fact a North American."
No.
We know more about him than this. Jennifer Oulette informs us that EG was "an intoxicated Irish guy".

Posted by: Sigmund | August 8, 2011 7:21 AM

222

Brad@219: you ramble on at length with a list of things that I'm haven't addressed (explicitly, as a matter of fact), such that I don't see what point you are trying to make.

Do you wish to say that 'privilege' is not a useful concept? Fair enough, but then just say so. But, if you don't want to talk about X,then it seems that the best course of action is just to not talk about X (for whatever X that might be).

I will note, though, that, upon accepting my supposition:



if some small number of men at some event are hitting on every woman they encounter, this is something the women must deal with, and other men need not.


One of your responses is:
10. Does it follow that sexism is rampant in the atheist community?
No.

I don't know how to interpret this response. First, I don't know how much sexism there must be, or how extreme it must be, in order for it to be judged (by you or others) as "rampant". And second, I don't know if you intent to say that, if it is only a small number of men at some event who are hitting on every woman, such that every woman is pretty much constantly the subject of unwanted attention, then there is no problem, because "sexism" is not "rampant".

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 8, 2011 7:29 AM

223

"First, I don't know how much sexism there must be, or how extreme it must be, in order for it to be judged (by you or others) as "rampant""

I guess you'll need to buy a dictionary, greg.

OK, since you can't answer for brad, how extreme does it have to be for YOU to judge it as rampant? And does it match that level?

"such that every woman is pretty much constantly the subject of unwanted attention"

That would be rampant, wouldn't it?

But please now demonstrate that every woman is pretty much constantly the subject of unwanted attention.

PS note that if you're a hawt bloke, you'll be pretty much constantly the subject of unwanted attention by, for example, RW. So that means we have to kick RW out of skepticism.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 7:40 AM

224

wow @223

So that means we have to kick RW out of skepticism

Why do we have to do that?
She appears to be doing a sterling job of pressing the [EJECT] button al by herself.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 8, 2011 7:50 AM

225

213:

So you've now made up a new case. At least this one is completely fictitious and you're admitting it, which is a new one for you.

Yes, that would be rape.

Of course, if he was actually raping (e.g. the older (or younger) woman was unconscious and he stuck his doodle in her, then she didn't rape him), then again, he has to pay his dues.

Try again ya doof. It was one of the case examples I put up. you know, the ones you didn't read, (I had to repost the pertinent section of the Alabama case for you, since you had no idea what the outcome of it was, even though I'd posted that. ) You bitch so nicely about others not reading what you post, but then you commit, and clearly, the same crime. But nice try. Well, not really.

I will say thank you for finally stating just what it takes for you to decide "oh, maybe he DIDN'T want to do it, maybe he's NOT at fault".

If it's possible for the man to be held incapable, then like any rape case, she would be a rapist.

Actually, i know approximately 100 different methods, from that position to make you think that not moving is the best possible thing you can do so as to keep certain joints in their non-tore-to-shit state. Takes about oh...5 lbs of pressure really quite simple. Shoulders are my fave, they're quite delicate.

However, you can't just take one side's word for it. Feminists do that all the time and insist that the CLAIM of rape is the FACT of rape.

I guess you don't have a problem if the CLAIM is from a man, though. You're 100% behind the same arguments you complain about from feminists then.

You weren't even ready to allow the possibility. Clearly, it was impossible.

actually, given his appearance, it's HIGHLy unlikely that's a picture of a 17-year-old male"

Again, you make up what you want to read.

I never said that was him at 17.

actually, numerous times you said "look at him, he's built, it's impossible".

He said he was 10st10 and 5'7. If she was heavier but shorter, either both are tubs and sitting down and having sex is damn near impossible between two CONSENTING people, or he's stronger than her and it still doesn't work.

so "tubs" can't have sex sitting down? Yeah, you just keep thinking that. Although your continued use of pejorative against people who may not in fact be ridiculously overweight, (frame sized, etc) tells me a lot.

You see extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

And the evidence isn't really believable.

There's very little extraordinary about claiming someone can hold you down in a space of somewhat limited mobility, especially if you're disinclined to fight back at the levels required to effectively resist, possible due to social and socialization pressures to, you know, *never hit a girl*. Like I said, holding someone immobile is actually rather trivial. There's hundreds, literally, ways to do so, almost none of which are terribly complex or difficult.

Why do you think it takes gobs of muscle and work just to hold someone down?

But I guess you're OK believing that the CLAIM of rape is the FACT of rape, hmm?

I've yet to see anything that says he's lying, and it is going to court, so we'll see what a jury says. However, it's interesting that you've already decided he's lying.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 7:59 AM

226

214:

blueshark, jcw, et al.

Do you have a problem with paying to raise a child you fathered?

As I have primary custody of the one I did father, (read "single parent" if those words are too big), and he's about to turn 18 and start college, let's see.

nope. It would appear the evidence states that no, John does not have a problem paying for, being involved with, and raising the child he fathered. (although when he has to look up his own birthday, I wonder just how stupid teenaged males really are, and maybe i should apologize to my dear late mom more often)

Anything else?

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 8:02 AM

227

wow@223: Brad comments started with accepting the hypothetical, so no demonstration is required.

FWIW, though, when you say:

if you're a hawt bloke, you'll be pretty much constantly the subject of unwanted attention by, for example, RW. So that means we have to kick RW out of skepticism

... do you base this on a premise like "giving unwanted (sexual) attention should result in bing kicked out of skeptical events?"

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 8, 2011 8:06 AM

228

216:

It's why you never hear a complaint about lesbians getting married or lesbians in the military. Only gays

Julianne Sohn, Jene Newsome, Vicki Wagner, Lissa Young, and the many other lesbians kicked out of the U.S. military would like to have a word with you.

221:

We know more about him than this. Jennifer Oulette informs us that EG was "an intoxicated Irish guy".

I would LOVE to see how she found that out. In you know, text, because that would be AWESOME.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 8:12 AM

229

Sigmund@221
I understood that either Oullette, in this SciAm piece,
"Towards the end of the video, she casually related her discomfort at being
approached in an elevator at 4 AM by an intoxicated Irish guy"
,
i.e. crediting Watson with the information (I simply can't be arsed to dredge through all that again, I don't *think* it's there),
or these Sid-The-Sexists in this blog (dig into the comments too) were the only non-occult sources of that "fact".

Both published on July 20th, with the naughty boys' blog having primacy by a few hours, if the local posting times are to be credited.

Is there more? Please don't make me watch the videos again. I have children.

[add. : Oh, I see J C Welch is there already. Back of the net! Get in!]

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 8:20 AM

230

John C. Welch wrote: "I would LOVE to see how she found that out. In you know, text, because that would be AWESOME."
I tried asking about this particular data point on a few other sites and the only answer I was given was that Rebecca Watson must have mentioned this point at the CFI talk (the video hadn't been released at that time). Seeing the video, however, it appears that this was not the case.
Does anyone have any better information?
I'd hate to think that Oulette was simply parroting racist stereotypes about Irish people.

Posted by: Sigmund | August 8, 2011 8:30 AM

231

It is time for skepticism to get a divorce from radical feminism. We'll take custody of the logic, you can have the incoherent rage.

Posted by: Copyleft | August 8, 2011 8:44 AM

232
I have read your blog for five years but character assassination and censorship of those who DARE to disagree with you have made me outgrow you. You have become a caricature of your former self and the very thing you claim to fight against.

Fuck you, PZ Myers.

I just wanted to drop in here to say that I agree 100% with Phyraxus. I will no longer be visiting Hag-Fest, by which I mean pharyngula.

Posted by: Allison | August 8, 2011 8:45 AM

233

229:

I did read Oulette's article, and I think she came up with "drunk irish guy" all on her own.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 9:02 AM

234

@233
Well if she is allowed to simply make up stuff about the guy then whats to stop others doing so?
I contend that the fact that he was not only drunk and Irish but also a one legged circus dwarf whose hearing aid was running low on batteries MUST be taken into consideration!

Posted by: Sigmund | August 8, 2011 9:14 AM

235

Drunk Irish guy makes sense, after all ethnic stereotypes are awesome.

Posted by: JohnV | August 8, 2011 9:20 AM

236

235:

Yeah, she's lucky it wasn't one of them smelly French...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 9:24 AM

237

Canna dae owt reet the dee.
I'm sorry.
OuEllette, of course.
Wouldn't want it to look like I was mocking, or in any way taking her name in vain.
Leads to trouble, I've heard.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 9:27 AM

238

""Do you have a problem with paying to raise a child you fathered?"

nope."

So why are you whinging, then, about having to pay child support?

You have no trouble with it, so why all the complaining?

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 9:45 AM

239

"How many Ph.D.s are chattering away in that thread?"

*raises hand*
Another one (mol micro) right here.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 9:52 AM

240

Wow:

John wasn't "whinging" (although I might be wrong, because I don't know what that word means), he was giving his views on a specific debate. Which is healthy, because it moves the discussion.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 9:54 AM

241

"It was one of the case examples I put up."

You put two up. That wasn't one of them.

"I will say thank you for finally stating just what it takes for you to decide "oh, maybe he DIDN'T want to do it, maybe he's NOT at fault"."

Since this only seemed to be a problem to me in your fevered mind, you're welcome. Possibly.

"You weren't even ready to allow the possibility. Clearly, it was impossible."

Nope, for someone who whinges continuously about me not reading your guff, you certainly shamelessly didn't read what I wrote.

I STATED EXACTLY that if he'd given a more plausible explanation that it might be believable that he was telling the truth.

But his story WASN'T plausible.

It's called "weighing up the evidence". Try it some time.

"actually, numerous times you said "look at him, he's built, it's impossible"."

Yup. His picture is. His statistics HE GAVE were also in accord with that prognosis. His career path wasn't one a tub-o-lard would want to go for either.

All evidence that he wasn't a tub-o-lard.

Making his story about how he was overpowered highly unlikely.

Again "weighing up the evidence". You just went "he's the menz! He's been raped!!!".

You've not given anything other than "Well he said it was" as evidence. You've not managed to find anything to refute my reasoning.

Because you're not worrying about whether it's true: YOU WANT IT TO BE TRUE.

"There's very little extraordinary about claiming someone can hold you down in a space of somewhat limited mobility"

Yup. in an enclosed space, it's possible for a weaker (especially heavier) person to hold another person immobile.

This is not conducive to sex. There has to be SOME movement to get the willy in.

Like I said (and you ignore), if it had been "we started then I said 'no'" I could believe that story. And with a wuilly already inside, there's just a bit of jiggling needed to bring him at least partially off. But that wasn't his story, was it. His story was she held him down and had sex. Held immobile THEN milked.

I'm a skeptic: I'm not buying it.

You're not skeptical at all. You swallowed it whole.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 9:54 AM

242

Ok, now I know what it means. Still, not what John was doing...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 9:56 AM

243

"John wasn't "whinging", he was giving his views on a specific debate."

But they AREN'T his views. He just said that he doesn't have a problem with having to pay to rear a child he fathered.

So his only remaining point was whining that wimmen get an extra choice: to let the father off the hook.

PS whining is like a four-year-old going "But I don't WANNA!".

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 10:01 AM

244

#135 Justicar: Surprisingly, that decreasing of the variety offered, would likely increase my sexual popularity. Strange how that works. Heheh! :)

Since Watson's income from the website is set up as a business, and not the charity she promised people she'd apply for, is THAT what is paying for her to travel all over the place despite having no job?

As for her speaking at all, she's qualified to discuss 'communication' itself, and she also has a lot to say (regardless of how stupid) on the topic of feminism, but certainly not anything about any of the sciences.

So what does she do when asked to speak in Dublin? She fucks up an actual chance at a legit use of her schooling. She must have felt left out that she wasn't on the women in skepticism panel where all the speakers did NOT see the dramatic horrors that Watson wanted to portray. She was though, on the communicating atheism panel, where she actually could have put her schooling to use for once in her life. So, did she? Nope, she hijacked it to say that Paula Kirby from the other panel had been wrong and privileged and there IS SO sexism. Is too, is too, is too, so there!! Had to get the last word, even on the wrong panel and topic.

I used to think that PZ's radfemminess wasn't too, too deep, but now I think of him as a full blown, extreme, radfem male. At the risk of spamming my own stuff too much, I came up with a bunch of guesses as to the psychological mindsets that might make a man do that to the extent he becomes misandric and radfemmy. My guesses are HERE. I wonder where people like PZ and Greg would fit in there, or if maybe there is some entirely different reason that I've not thought of.

Posted by: Scented Nectar | August 8, 2011 10:02 AM

245

Here's some speculation for you:

RW made up the EG story in the hope that it might stir Sid's feelings up a bit.

Thoughts?

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 10:08 AM

246

Wow: Please note that on this issue, I'm from the school of thought that if I played, I pay.

John seems to be also, as he has no problems rearing his kid. But the discussion was based on hypothetical (and a few RL) cases of a man abused and his sperm "highjacked". In these cases, he didn't "play". At all.

I might venture that child support should need a case-by-case evaluation. Which is basically, if I'm not mistaken, what usually occurs. There might be bias from the court though...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 10:17 AM

247

Oh, and I knew what "whining" is. I never met "whinging" before. Turns out it's the same thing. Who knew? (Well, not me, obviously)

:p

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 10:18 AM

248

Greg @222

Do you wish to say that 'privilege' is not a useful concept? Fair enough, but then just say so. But, if you don't want to talk about X,then it seems that the best course of action is just to not talk about X (for whatever X that might be).

But my first question was still what follows?

I want to know why you think it's a useful concept in this situation.

I want you to get more specific.

Also, I didn't answer 8. Ooops!

On 10: you said small number of men. I said rampant in the atheist community. I suppose you could argue that privilege entails blindness in the AC on sexism but I don't see how a small number of men could mean rampant.

And if it was left at that, essentially what RW said about Paula Kirby, maybe there wouldn't be that much to argue about.

Sorry for the rant though. I guess I was just letting out a little frustration there. I am curious why you would defend the idea and how it has been used in the nontroversy.

I think I see hints that we agree more than we disagree and if I'm right on that I also suspect you don't disagree with Justicar all that much either.

But we'll have to see.

On a different tract:

Wow asks a good question. What does "rampant sexism" mean to you?

On the Science Saturday show RW described EG as fifty-ish. I was picturing a guy in his late 20s. Now I may be more sensitive to age differences because of where I live but I found that quite shocking.

It changes the whole dynamic to my mind.

If he exists of course.

Posted by: Brad | August 8, 2011 10:29 AM

249

I need help from anyone who has an account on JREF forums. The following was left anonymously on my blog. To be perfectly clear here, I do not know what, if any, truth there is in anything that follows. I am not implying it has any truth; I am asking if anyone has any information on this, or can direct me to a place/person who would. That said, the comment left is here:
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/07/ceterum-censeo-rebecca-twatson-esse.html?showComment=1312780087804#c4815683714475994853
was the following:

I know it's kind of late, but: first of all, Rebecca didn't create the calender. The first one was made in 1999 by a man who used very nice pictures of scientists and little girls and called it a Skepchick calender as a rebuttal to the "Studmuffins of Science" [deleted website]
The idea for another calender might well still be on the JREF, where a woman named Girl6 organized the calender for a couple years from about 2004-2005 (or thereabouts) before it was taken over by Rebecca.

This is the thread that I cannot access as it's protected from public viewing
Yup, the link is there: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=3907&highlight=skepchick+girl6

The person goes on to write

I admit I was once friends with her, of a sort, but we had a falling out.
One of the things I never did talk about was the fact that I am not bi or lesbian but she saw fit to grab my face one day and shove her lips against mine.
Having been molested by my sister when I was a child, I didn't find it pleasant.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 10:33 AM

250

Yeah, the royal we here thinks Abbie should have a paypal button - I'd buy her a cup of coffee. Err. Um, I'd just give her money and hope didn't take that as a sign of my trying to sleep with her.

I'm sure if she puts one up, everyone will make sure to only touch it during appropriate hours of the day. =P

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 10:46 AM

251

"But the discussion was based on hypothetical (and a few RL) cases of a man abused and his sperm "highjacked"."

Except that he wants the law changed because of these hypothetical (and ASSUMED true IRL) cases.

My position is that rape IN AND OF ITSELF is hard to prove, but if it's proven, then the father shouldn't be forced to pay.

And the justice system is such that you'd get away with that argument if you'd already won the rape case.

He's also complaining that it's unfair that women get two choices: one to have the sex or not, two to have the baby or not.

Hence my second part that JCW missed because even registering the query would be inconvenient.

All those complaining that the women get two choices are mistaking that they're choices to force the men to pay.

It isn't.

It's a choice to let men off paying.

Which makes their "distress" at the unfairness rather ridiculous.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 10:49 AM

252

@Justicar

Is anonymous saying that RW kissed her or that girl6 kissed her?

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 10:52 AM

253
Wow @ 215: "So therefore if we're both shitfaced and I'm a woman, then you agreed to have sex (if we didn't agree, then that's rape) and therefore you agreed to help rear our child."

I'm afraid rearing children is also rape. /lurking again...

Posted by: sasqwatch | August 8, 2011 10:54 AM

254

holy hell, I just saw Benson's wiki page's talk page.

I was surprised that article was there - it should have been deleted (wiki criteria most suited: NN (not notable)). Sure enough, it was nominated for deletion and jebus...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Ophelia_Benson

That's a bit messed up. If I were still in the hay day of my editing days, I'd have totally nominated for speedy delete (this thread notwithstanding; I'm a big proponent of neutrality). It's just, any random author / blogger does not meet notability criteria necessarily... and looking at that article, I don't understand why it belongs... Alas, it came with its own set of controversy.

Posted by: Jason | August 8, 2011 11:04 AM

255

"I'm afraid rearing children is also rape."

No, no, no. Raising a child is slavery! If you're of the mind that you don't want to pay child support.

For JCW because he rather prefers to assert what I think if I don't state it (and sometimes even then):

1) Male rape is a bigger problem than society admits to
2) It's even more under-reported than female rape, though I'd bet large numbers of body parts that it's also a lot less common
3) Rape on you has nothing to do with you deciding to have sex, by definition, so stop bringing it up, m'kay?

Sorted?

4) Accusation of rape is not the fact of rape.
5) Disbelief in a story is not an accusation that they deserved it or that all accusations are fake.
6) If you don't want a child, the only 100% way to avoid it is to make it impossible mechanically to have a child. No sex is the less painful option.
7) This in no way means that you can't have sex. Just accept the risks. Not only of babies, but of STDs too.
8) If you've already had sex willingly and a baby results, man up and take responsibility. Either be there or help finanically.
9) Just because someone has more choices than you doesn't mean it's unfair. It just means they have more choices.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 11:06 AM

256

Justicar @ 246 - the JREF link is to a thread by girl6, dtd April 2003, and what she posted about it was "Ideally, you would send me a digital picture or even a good 35 mm picture which I can scan. I'm not talking about nudity or partial nudity. I'm looking for something artistic.

The calendar will be a collection of pictures of the women from the JREF Forum.

We have plenty of time to do this. I'm thinking about producing the calendar in the September/October timeframe to give us enough time to sell them.

Someone suggested that I bring a stash to the conference as well.

G6"

Now, I wonder if there will be any more unbelievably sexist calendars any more, not that Watson's turned Radfem. Will there be ideological purification at the Skepchick site? Purges? Will there be gulags where workers produce non-sexist items (yeah, PZ and others who are humor-impaired, that's what we like to call a joke)?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 8, 2011 11:12 AM

257

Wow:

Sasq's comment was dark humor, and I guiltily admit to have laughed. Still, I agree with you on your points. And somehow, although I'm not a psychic, I believe John would agree too, when they are presented this way. I might be wrong, but from the whole discussion this is what I think.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 11:13 AM

258

Phyraxus @ 204:
"Still pointless degree snobbery. Is she competent? Does she do good work? That’s what matters."

Yet, you are a raving hypocrite for talking shit about my credentials, "degree snobbery," as it were.

Those from PZ are response to Salty Cu***nt who was quote-mining me (and admits s/he was doing as much to boot!) about something I said in regards to a an issue completely unrelated to Watson. SC told PZ I had said it about Watson, and that's what the degree snobbery was about - a non-physicist from CERN bitching about being treated as though she isn't a physicist (by all of physicists, male and female one notes).

But facts don't matter!

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 11:13 AM

259

I know John W. is an outstanding father, and in fairness, I hope he received child support from his spouse.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 11:17 AM

260

@Justicar 249. Does it matter if RW created it, or if she just took it over? She was still participating in the evil objectification of women.

http://skepchick.org/calendar/ apparently Skepchick is still putting out the calendar. I wonder how many of the models get hit on because of their participation?? ;)

Posted by: gator | August 8, 2011 11:18 AM

261

Greg @ 207:
Ok. Get, ready. Get set.

I'm a white male. Please delineate a list (it needn't be exhaustive) of what is entailed by the privilege that I specifically have being a member of either group, or both.

Go.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 11:33 AM

262

@gator - It looks like the last submission deadline was for the 2011 calendar, but as far as I know, no calendar came out in 2011, and there is no deadline for 2012, so I'm assuming the fun is over and this is no longer ok:

"2) The calendar applicant’s final photo is so so so so so over-the-top, heart-stoppingly sexy and well shot, we’d be fools not to include it, regardless of the skeptical angle. (This very likely does not mean you. You should be thinking of your sexy skeptical idea. Really.)"

Or maybe is is still ok? I have no idea what that message is supposed to be.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 11:38 AM

263

@greg: White female. What privileges do I have?

(I'm thinking this is a great exercise in stereotyping."

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 11:40 AM

264

I've seen a few comments mentioning somebody threatening legal action... what's this about?

And, IANAL, but most of the people participating in this "discussion" from the pro-Watson side would have a very serious problem dealing with a defense of "unclean hands" if they did try such a lawsuit... they have been defaming away left and right, and pointing that out (with specific examples) would make any court turn a wary eye back to the claims.


Justicar @ 186:
claiming that she was authorized a sock puppet by the admins (they say no and that she was actioned as soon as they found out)

I seem to recall reading one of the admins say that the existence of the sock-puppet account was allowed, as it had been made before the had a rule against it. However, and the admin stressed that she would have been fully aware of this, the use of the sock-puppet account was not allowed.

But, yeah, the entire way she handled things there was simply childish, and her continued denial of events (and, indeed, her telling a skewed version as one of her favorite stories) shows that she hasn't gained any maturity since then.


Jason @ 254:
I couldn't help but notice this on her Wiki page:

Benson's book Why Truth Matters examines the "spurious claims made for creationism, Holocaust denial, misinterpretation of evolutionary biology, identity history, science as mere social construct, and other 'paradigms' that prop up the habit of shaping our findings according to what we want to find"

She's co-authored a book which is critical of attempts to "shap[e] our findings according to what we want to find," and she is still pushing all this "You disagree, ergo, you're a misogynist" crap? Seriously?

Posted by: Woden | August 8, 2011 11:41 AM

265

It might be worthwhile to get screencaps of Ophelia's thread. I think it shows extremely well that no discussion or dissent is allowed, and what a person is subjected to when trying to sincerely voice a dissenting view. I can't bear to look at it or read it past late last night.

I think it also seems quite clear that a certain "type" of woman isn't welcome.

And everyone's quotes are stuck together and unattributed in one of the posts.

In other words, nightmare.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 11:54 AM

266

Actually, given what they're looking for, I'd guess there's only a tiny pool of women to draw from, so it shouldn't be any wonder why there's no more women in atheism, and it looks like it has very little to do with sexism.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 11:58 AM

267

Brad@248 :"On the Science Saturday show RW described EG as fifty-ish. I was picturing a guy in his late 20s."
Okey dokey. From the horse's mouth.
Male. Ageing. And not obviously Irish? Or intoxicated above and beyond the call of duty, for sparrowfart.

In fact, no contraindicators to his having been an Anglo-Transatlantean (from an Hibernian perspective, I hope I need not add).
Exactly how many of those would you get to the pound at that time, in that (secure) location?

Is it on Torquemyers' List of Secrit Stuffs Wot He Alone Knows?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 11:59 AM

268

I haven't read through all of the epic threads of epicness. So if this is old news my bad. If not or if, like me, you haven't seen it yet enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AdhOM929A4

Posted by: sng | August 8, 2011 11:59 AM

269

@ justicar and bluharmony:

I'm not Greg, but have you ever gone shopping and have store personnel follow you around because they suspected you were going to shoplift?

Posted by: rnb | August 8, 2011 12:01 PM

270

@woden and @jason: I noticed that too. So why are we eschewing skeptical inquiry to look an everything through the lens of new wave gender feminism? Aren't we supposed to put politics aside?

This is so wild, it's mind boggling.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:03 PM

271

@bluharmony, #263
I ain't him, but .. er .. er .. lower motoring insurance premium?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 12:04 PM

272

@rnb #269: stop wearing that hoody then

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 12:07 PM

273

@rnb: no
@dustbubble: higher than most

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:08 PM

274

rnb @269:

Yes, used to happen to me quite often. But mainly because I had long hair and a "metal" look, and most shop security agents around here are more into the hip-hop gangsta style. What's my privilege?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 12:09 PM

275

"257 Wow:Sasq's comment was dark humor"

Aye, that's what I figured too, I was just continuing the humour.

I extended it to serious comment because it clutters the page up less to do so. Which probably makes it look I was serious, but there we go. Can't be perfect. Its bad enough for the rest of you humans not being me in the first place...

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 12:11 PM

276

I think we almost have enough to make the concept of privilege look rather dubious right now. That's two guesses wrong, even with the full advantage of guessing based on stereotype.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:12 PM

277

Me @274:

I should have asked "what's my privilege, or what's their prejudice?"

Wow: yeah, I finally got this :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 12:12 PM

278

Justicar #261: the awesome power of being able to piss into a bottle without making a godawful mess.
Thus unfair competitive advantage during heavy gaming sessions (unless they're online/private)

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 12:12 PM

279

Scented Nectar @ 244:
Watson is as qualified to talk about science as I'm qualified to lecture on art. I see art, and can tell a painting from a sculpture from a poem from a musical composition. Guess I should get invited to speak to artists about what their art really means, huh?

I am more qualified to talk about science than Watson is qualified; however, I wouldn't accept an invitation to lecture on science because I am not a scientist proper. I'm a mathematician, and we're thrown in with scientists partly out of convention, partly courtesy, and partly because of how dependent on mathematics science is. That does not, in turn, make me a scientist writ large; it makes me a scientist writ quaint.

I would certainly not speak to a group of scientists and tell them what I think their fields should be doing, can do, have done, or are doing. The primary researchers should be doing those talks as they're the ones best situated to speak on the state of their fields.

Skepcheck @ 252:
That is all of the information provided to me. The topic was Watson, so I presume it applies to Watson.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 12:14 PM

280

Justicar we include mathematicians because it makes the rest of us look less nerdy.

Posted by: JohnV | August 8, 2011 12:18 PM

281

Also, some mathematician fucker used to shag Nobel's wife (urban legend inside (tm))

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 12:21 PM

282

@Phil: See how little it takes to illustrate why you need to look for actual privilege and not privilege based on stereotype? And that's the problem with the concept. It's illogical. I really, really, really hate it when things are that illogical.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:23 PM

283

Blu: yes, I think it's the point we've all been trying to make...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 12:25 PM

284

@Justy: In law, to be qualified to present to attorneys you need to either have a specialization in law or related area. And experience.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:27 PM

285

I also hate that this departure from rational thought and evidence-based inquiry is attributed to "feminism." It paints women in a bad light, and I think we've all seen the caricatures that result. It feeds the MRAs. They don't need to be fed. I'm capable of competing on equal ground.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:30 PM

286

Badger @ 256:
thanks. I'm not a member there, and that particular file isn't publicly available.

Also, you needn't speculate if they'll do anymore calendars. They've already done the photography for some of the sex-kittens to appear on it. Blaghag is going to grace it. She's also given permission to the men to notice she has tits, and to comment on them or her looks because it's now appropriate in the context of her doing a sexy photo shoot.

Note: any comments about her looks not attending that specific photo she says are inappropriate, and unwelcome.

See how that works? Here are my tits, take a look and comment. But only on my tits as shown in this picture. If you notice otherwise that I have tits, you're a sexist pig.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 12:30 PM

287

@Just: Yup.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:33 PM

288

I have issued a public apology to PZ Myers, and will henceforth no longer be posting here with you unfit women hating misogynistic misogynists.
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/pz-myers-caught-being-sensitive-to.html

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 12:36 PM

289

Ok, Bluharmony, I'm on "your" turf now, returning the favor. I may have missed the earlier presentation of the 'departure from rational thoguht and evidence-based inquiry' of which you speak (I assume in reference to B&W denizens?). I'm also not clear what 'new age feminism' is. If you could get me up to speed here, I'd love to have a conversation about some of these issues.

Posted by: Jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 12:36 PM

290

When I was trying to illustrate the flaws with privilege earlier, that's why I had the guy in a wheel chair.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:37 PM

291

Jen, we're discussing the problem with the idea of perceived privilege as to actual privilege. Scroll through the recent posts to see why it doesn't work.

I said new wave feminism (I don't know what term to use, so I try the wiki ones, I'm not trying to offend) - It's what's prevalent in academia today.

No, you are not irrational and many of the people on OB's thread, women included, are extremely smart. I have a problem with the concept, not the people. This is why I'm dissenting, it's not about a particular person.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:42 PM

292

@Jen: You might also have Skeplawyer explain to your group the difference between being confrontational and being abusive, and how matters are typically handled in a courtroom. In other words how to persuade rather than bully. I'm sure he knows. Why we should depart from civility and just holler, "You don't get it because you're an idiot!" is unclear to me. If there's a reason for that, please let me know what it is. I've done nothing wrong. My personal posts about people have been mostly positive.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:45 PM

293

@ 269:
We're talking privilege here. It is a trait said to belong to a group classification, and thus is somehow attendant to the members of that group. That you're asking me makes the concept incoherent.

It cannot be true that a.) the feature applies to members of the group and b.) one has to ask if the feature applies to a member of that group. If it doesn't answer the question, since it is a definition, then the concept is of no utility.

So, you tell me: I'm a white male. Have I ever been followed around by store security to see if I'm going to shoplift?

If this concept has any meaning (that is to say that because I'm white and male I am excused from this burden or issue), then the concept must dictate the conclusion.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 12:46 PM

294

As a male in special education, I have the privilege of often being assigned the larger, angrier students who have frequently willing to use physical violence and whose IEPs shelter them from the traditional consequences of assaults on staff members. Since I work for the government my privilege also means I get paid the same as the female staffers who deal with easier cases because we cannot have a gender-based pay gap even if one gender does harder work.

On the other hand, I was once told: "Kid, so long as you don't rape a kid, you'll always have employment."

Posted by: History Punk | August 8, 2011 12:47 PM

295

@Jen: Also, I'm fairly sure your experience here will be different than my experience there.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:51 PM

296

A real dark side of me wants to make a joke like that at B&W or Phawrongula's, just to see the fur fly. Frankly, though, I'm afraid of getting raped there.

re: real privilege I enjoy (as a male, not because I'm white) -- I have a MUCH lower propensity for getting a UTI (and it's also possible that some males pee their chlamydia infections clear). So that also means much less adverse sequelae along those lines (like kidney infections). I'd have a really difficult time coming down with a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, as a result of a chlamydia infection, for example.

But then again, I've worked in STD control my entire professional life, so that's the kind of thing that occurs to me right off the bat.

Posted by: sasqwatch | August 8, 2011 12:53 PM

297

@Justy: That's a great way to illustrate the inherent problem.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 12:53 PM

298

blu,
I don't think most rational people would object to the contention that the concept of privilege, like many things, is in danger of being overgeneralized, and that all kinds of scenarios can be conceived to illustrate exceptions to the rule, especially if 'the rule' suggests that a certain race/class/gender gives one universal FastPass access to all good things. That doesn't mean that privilege, as a more nuanced concept, is invalid.

Well, I'm "in academia", and I still don't know what you mean, unless it's a quest for gender-specific considerations regarding tenure, time off for childbirth, etc??? Again, I'm sorry to put the burden for clarification on you, but there is just too much background to read through at this point.

For the record, I don't label myself as any particular flavor of 'feminist', so I'm much more interested in the whatever concept you find objectionable.

Posted by: Jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 12:53 PM

299

Woden @ 264:

I seem to recall reading one of the admins say that the existence of the sock-puppet account was allowed, as it had been made before the had a rule against it. However, and the admin stressed that she would have been fully aware of this, the use of the sock-puppet account was not allowed.

Please see:
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/07/rebecca-watson-delenda-est-update.html
And look at picture:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QPIseE_jZVk/ThhN99JjYCI/AAAAAAAAACA/t4LbzQsF7QI/s1600/rebeccawatsonbanned1.jpg

She was suspended over the sock account (which the admins said they explicitly were unaware of. Once she started posting on that account, and they discovered it, she was immediately given a one month suspension.) She came back from that suspension and due to some software glitch (I presume), she was accidentally made an admin and start banning people. That's why she was banned, and then the matter referred to JREF and Randi himself.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 12:54 PM

300

Justicar@293 --

If this concept has any meaning (that is to say that because I'm white and male I am excused from this burden or issue), then the concept must dictate the conclusion.

Only if you take a very simplistic approach to privilege. Why can there not be what I will call "incremental privilege?" If my neighbor is more likely to be followed around the store, than I am, that is an ongoing burden that I, while not entirely free of, am free-er of. I grant this is not how privilege is often treated -- its more often handled as a "Its an X thing, you wouldnt understand." But I would argue that just because the simplistic approach is flawed, doesnt make the concept itself incoherent.

Posted by: Dave | August 8, 2011 12:55 PM

301

and yes... "Frankly" was a penis reference.

Posted by: sasqwatch | August 8, 2011 12:55 PM

302

"I'm also not clear what 'new age feminism' is."- Jenbphillips

Likewise. Especially since the women it's been attributed to (Ophelia Benson, Salty Current) are not 'new' to my knowledge. Feminism has been their thing for some time.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 12:58 PM

303

Can we call it Jen-feminism? I just want to distinguish 3rd wave feminism from 2nd and 1st.

I don't agree with the idea that men experience a general privilege universal to men. Therefore, when someone expresses a dissenting viewpoint, I don't think it's appropriate to say that you don't get it because you're an old British straight rich white man. There could be other reasons. Those reasons could be personal and specific to the individual, male or female.

It's fine to use the ideal of privilege as an intellectual concept, and I get it. I'm just not sure that it tells us anything about a particular situation. I'm not opposed to your idea of feminism whatever it may be. As a woman, I fully support you. I just don't think we should mix the principles of feminism with skepticism. As a well-known speaker said at the start of her speech in Dublin, the same concept in feminism and skepticism has a different name (argument from igonrance/argument from privilege).

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:02 PM

304

bluharmony @ "203 To be clear, when I call anyone here a misogynist, it is only in jest. I don't have enough information to make that allegation about anyone"

I kind of read you that way too, and had not followed the thread close enough to know if you had somehow changed your perspective.And calling a man a masseuserist is waaaaay worse than calling a female lawyer a "fucking Gloria Allred"...;-)

@211 wow, and anywhere--anywhere else wow posts: Wow, you seem quite hung up on consent, but even more hung up on the outdated paradigm that men--and boys--should atalltimes be accountable for their behavior. The real question is do you hear what you are saying?

Sputtering forth all of those male bashing, stereotypes of what men should do and ought to do under the law? Did you ever give any thought to the fact that the law doesn't exist in most households where boys grow up?

Or that women's violence--and especially social coercion of young boys--is a mitigating factor beyond whether or not he put his willy in her wee-wee? I mean that level of discussion is so, um, Catholic.Catholic grade school, to be exact.

Here is a video of a little American boy being gang raped--and it was posted on YOUTUBE!
http://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/men-are-all-rapists-checklists-brought-to-you-by-sex-negative-feminists-and-bitter-girls-with-red-hair/

Notice the reaction of his mother! Now flip the script...think dear old mom would merely want an apology if it was her daughter getting raped? And no doubt dad--trained in real good-- is sitting back trusting his wifey to make all the right decisions 'fer the boy.'

Little boys are beholden to mothers, and primarily female caregivers until the age of maturity and even then they are emotionally younger than girls.

So why is your approach so punitive? Why do you demand so much responsibility from boys? How archaic.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 8, 2011 1:03 PM

305

"New Age Feminism".

I guess that when you are both sex-positive (yoohoo, I'm posing naked in a calendar and advertising my website because we're a bunch of hot chicks who get drunk and hit on nerds!) and sex-negative (I felt sexualized and objectified, that's creepy, don't do that!), you're probably one stone-throw away from claiming the healing power of crystal is the answer to misogynism...

Just saying

:p

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 1:04 PM

306

For the record, I said new wave feminism. Historically, there have been three waves. Please see the wiki for an overview, and also please see the materials sourced therein. You may also want to look up concepts such as equity feminism and gender feminism - and liberal equity feminism. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is a good primary reading source. But don't jump to Blog Feminism 101, because that's a biased site.

There are many schools of feminist thought. We have to distinguish between them somehow. I'm not trying to insult anyone, I'm only trying to use the historically appropriate labels.

I'm with Paglia, Pinker, and so on.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:09 PM

307

Blu @292:

Should comments on a blog be held to the same standard as conduct in a courtroom? I mean, sure, individuals can make decisions about how differently (or not) they comport themselves on line vs. irl. Personally, especially as I don't use a 'nym, I choose to use the same words and tone that I use in meatspace interactions. Based on all that I have read (yes, on ALL SIDES) during the Great Summer Dramah of 2011, I fervently hope that is NOT the case with many others involved.

I'm sure I haven't read anything close to 'most' of your posts here at ERV, so I can't make a judgement on whether they are positive or negative, on balance. I think it would be more productive to focus on what you and I say to each other, rather than what may have transpired in other conversations circa GSD'11.

Posted by: Jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 1:09 PM

308

"I guess that when you are both sex-positive (yoohoo, I'm posing naked in a calendar and advertising my website because we're a bunch of hot chicks who get drunk and hit on nerds!) and sex-negative (I felt sexualized and objectified, that's creepy, don't do that!)"

I also take it you don't believe a prostitute can be raped if the rapist throws a wad of cash at her when they're finished because, afterall, her whole thing is sex with strangers for money.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:10 PM

309

To what end then, Dave?

How is privilege as a concept useful if it is being used to define the experiences that Dave has versus Dave's neighbor? Privilege is said to be a group characteristic. It should therefore have some utility in informing one something about a given member of a given group one might happen upon.

Incidentally, I'm not claiming to be an expert on this. Which is why I've asked: I'm a white male - now someone tell me, because of that, what concerns I needn't consider that other people do.

The STI distinction is superficially relevant. However, a moment's scrutiny dispenses with it. I am not immune from needing to consider contracting diseases. Even in my sex organs. To say there's a distinction there of note is to say something like:

Frank and Mark exist
Frank: lives in a place where people are murdered by machetes
Mark: lives in a place where people are murdered by guns.

Therefore, Frank is privileged because of necessity, his attacker must get in close range; Mark can be shot down any old place.

Women have different health concerns than men do because they have different parts. It is a nonsense to say that because women have to worry about ovarian cancer and men don't that men are in some privileged position of having to have concern over it. We do. Men know women. Some men, I'm told, even have a female parent. Ovarian cancer is a concern for both men and women; that men by definition cannot contract it does no work in establishing that it's not a proper concern for us.

Or, if it is, then women are privileged because their prostates won't ever get cancer, and thus they needn't be concerned over prostate cancer.

It's farcical.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 1:11 PM

310

But like Jen, I also alter the concept of feminism to be consistent with my other beliefs. I'm of the notion that most women are feminists in one way or another, and I respect and support their individual decisions and beliefs. Again, I think the people at OB are (almost) all remarkably intelligent and it's been a long time since I've found myself in such great intellectual company. But I would hope for a little more respect than I've gotten for having my own independent views.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:13 PM

311

Julian, I've been raped. I don't take the concept lightly- my experience was terrifying. I think a prostitute can be raped just like any other woman, and I support legalized prostitution. Please don't ascribe views to me that I've never articulated or expressed. You "take it" dismissively and incorrectly.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:15 PM

312

Julian:

Oh, so now she HAS been raped?

Better analogy: A prostitue shouldn't complain if she's working at night on the street and some guy in a car passes by and whistles.

Stop the strawmen, please.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 1:17 PM

313

"But I would hope for a little more respect than I've gotten for having my own independent views."

Once again, no one at B&W has disrespected you for having different views. Most have shown disrespect because of perceived hypocrisy or (in my case) your duplicity. You've done the same thing. I don't understand why you feel so terribly offended by that.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:18 PM

314

I feel greatly disrespected as a woman and as a human being on an issue of great importance to me. And that's why I'm hanging out in this "cesspool of human filth."

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:18 PM

315

As far as I can tell the concept of privilege in so far as it has been used by The Other SideTM has almost exclusively been little more than prejudice dressed up and put in place of making a rational argument or defence of a stated (predudiced/irrational) position.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 1:19 PM

316

"nuanced"? Is that american for "except when I choose it not to"?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 1:19 PM

317

My duplicity? If you're referring to the name "I gave" Ophelia, can you imagine what would have happened to me had I gone in as "bluharmony?" It was bad enough as it is.

My primary email is bluharmony at ------. I have others. I didn't use a sock puppet. I just used a name I've been called.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:21 PM

318

"I also take it you don't believe a prostitute can be raped if the rapist throws a wad of cash at her when they're finished because, afterall, her whole thing is sex with strangers for money."

Uhm, if the sex was consentual, it wasn't rape. If it wsan't consentual, it was.

This does seem to be difficult for some to grasp.

Posted by: Wow | August 8, 2011 1:21 PM

319

@bluharmony

The comment I was mocking came from Phil Giordana.I apologize for the confusion.

"Better analogy: A prostitue shouldn't complain if she's working at night on the street and some guy in a car passes by and whistles."

No sorry. In your analogy a woman who's thing was being sexual finding certain behavior that sexualized her offensive or off putting. Here is the behavior you claimed disqualified someone from feeling sexualized

'yoohoo, I'm posing naked in a calendar and advertising my website because we're a bunch of hot chicks who get drunk and hit on nerds!'

If that discounts a woman from feeling sexualized surely a prostitute who gets paid afterward has no right to complain.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:25 PM

320

Why do I have the feeling my last comment will be constructed as "Phil likens RW to a prostitute"? Wouldn't surprise me in the least, though...

And about that prostitute thing in general: I'm a defender of sex-workers rights. I have a lot of female friends in the porn industry, and also, yes, quite a few prostitute friends. None deserves to be raped, and I ressent Julian's accusation. Also, Julian should try and pay attention to smileys and attempts at levity. Is he SGBM or what?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 1:25 PM

321

Other concepts found mystifying by some:

We don't know what's in someone's head, thus we don't know if someone is objectifying, at best we can say that someone felt objectified.

And this crucial concept that I wish men would always remember:
No means no.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:26 PM

322

Julian:

I never said it disqualified her. Just that she's being very hypocritical on this issue, now playing the "prude".

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 1:27 PM

323

241:

I'm a skeptic: I'm not buying it.

You're not skeptical at all. You swallowed it whole.

Translation: I don't believe anything for any reason until every story personally satisfies my definition of evidence. By automatically disbelieving everything and assuming everyone is lying until proven otherwise, I am a skeptic"

No, you're not. You're just assuming the kid's lying. You've no proof he is. That's not being a skeptic.

Were you actually being skeptical, you'd say "We can't yet show he's lying or telling the truth, because we've no real evidence for either conclusion. THerefore, the only proper skeptical conclusion is to see if more evidence to support either side comes out in the trial."

Your "He's lying because I don't personally believe his story" is not skepticism, it's faith. Well, a negative kind of faith to be sure, but you've absolutely no hard, objective proof on your side other than some rather distasteful views towards overweight people and the ways they are capable of having sex.

Disliking the overweight as you appear to do is not proof, it's personal discrimination.

I freely admit to generally going with the assumption people are telling the truth as best they remember it until they are proven to be liars. It's why I didn't initially doubt Watson's account of what happened in the elevator. I do now, but that's more because she keeps changing her story, but I've no real PROOF that she's lying or being truthful.

So I give her the benefit of the doubt, as I do the kid in this case.

However, I don't think the girl is lying either, because I know, from this kind of thing being a hobby of mine, that human memory is one of the most unreliable things you'll ever see. It is trivially swayed and altered. So it's entirely possible that neither party is lying in the sense of "deliberately not telling the truth as they remember it", yet neither is providing a perfectly accurate recounting of the events of that night. Watch "Rashomon" some time, it's rather enlightening here.

Your criteria however, for being a "skeptic" is laughable however. You've no proof whatsoever as to your conclusion, yet because you're being negative, that makes you a skeptic?

I don't think you truly understand the word if that's how you view it.

243:

But they AREN'T his views. He just said that he doesn't have a problem with having to pay to rear a child he fathered.

So his only remaining point was whining that wimmen get an extra choice: to let the father off the hook.

Bulldookey. I was pointing out that contrary to your earlier assertions of "HE STUCK IT IN HER, HE IS ALWAYS A WILLING CONSENTING PARTNER", there are in fact, documented cases that show that to be not true, and that in THOSE cases, automatically forcing the father to pay for that kid is wrong.

In the case of the guy in Alabama who was raped, it's actually JUST as wrong as forcing a woman to raise the child of a man who raped her. Or forcing a minor girl to raise the child of a non-minor adult who had sex with her. on and on.

It is that assumption that you are so happy to make that is wrong. It was your assumption that I somehow have a problem with men assuming responsibility for their willful actions that is wrong as well. However, the fact I'm not only an active father, but was, for more than a few years, a single father kind of fucks up that latter assumption nicely.

I thought skeptics were supposed to judge every incident on its own merits and by the specific evidence of said incidents, not just apply blanket, rigid assumptions to everything?

I really, really don't think you understand what a skeptic is.

251:

"But the discussion was based on hypothetical (and a few RL) cases of a man abused and his sperm "highjacked"."

Except that he wants the law changed because of these hypothetical (and ASSUMED true IRL) cases.

what's "assumed" true. I gave you the actual case descriptions for rather a few of them. It's rather trivial to go and find them. A bit of googling shows rather a lot of references to the alabama case. There's no assumption there. But, once again, we see that even with proof, your "skepticism" *requires* you to disbelieve it, and at this point, all I can come up with is that you'd rather not believe these cases to be true, and so you refuse to avail yourself of the proof of the matter.

It's not just alabama. A similar case, State v. Daniel G.H. (In re Paternity of Derek S.H.), 2002 WI App 85 also shows that even when a jury agrees the sex was nonconsensual on the part of the father, (although disagreeing on the use of a date rape drug), it is paternity, nothing more that determines a father's responsibility for child support.

You're also assuming that I want the law changed in ALL cases, which is, to wit, bullshit. I don't. But I think that if you are going to make someone pay for a child's welfare, then yes, being a minor victim of statutory rape, or being actually raped SHOULD be a special consideration. In other words, just like you would't refuse to allow a woman who had the child of a rapist to give that child up for adoption, refusing to allow a man who has been raped to give up all parental claims and responsibilities for that child is bullshit. It's wrong, and for the rape victim, excessively cruel.

"I was drunk and I normally wouldn't have fucked her" is not an excuse. "I was unconscious and she raped me" is however, SLIGHTLY different.

My position is that rape IN AND OF ITSELF is hard to prove, but if it's proven, then the father shouldn't be forced to pay.

And the justice system is such that you'd get away with that argument if you'd already won the rape case.

Actual case law disagrees. All that has to be shown is paternity. The cause of that paternity is immaterial, as shown in the alabama and wisconsin cases.

He's also complaining that it's unfair that women get two choices: one to have the sex or not, two to have the baby or not.

Hence my second part that JCW missed because even registering the query would be inconvenient.

I'm not saying that at all.

All those complaining that the women get two choices are mistaking that they're choices to force the men to pay.

It isn't.

It's a choice to let men off paying.

Which makes their "distress" at the unfairness rather ridiculous.

That's nice, but I'm not saying that women have it easy. I'm saying that according to the current legal system in the US, based on actual case law, the only proof needed to make a man pay child support is paternity. The cause of said paternity is immaterial. If it's your kid, even if you were raped, you still pay. Every month for at least 18 years, if not longer, you get to pay to be reminded of what happened.

We would never even *consider* forcing a woman, even in cases where abortion is illegal, to raise and pay for the child she had due to being raped. She always has the option to give up the child for adoption. MY point is that in cases where men are raped, or unable to legally give consent, i.e. statutory, they should have that same option. That's not a terribly radical idear.


259:

I never asked, nor considered asking for it. For a number of years, she was unable to pay, and so I felt it would have been rather unfair. In addition, what I did want, namely:

1) He was never made to feel OUR divorce was HIS fault
2) He still had TWO parents, married or not
3) Even after she moved across the country, she still be an active part of his life

was never a problem. In all truth, we had a lawyerless divorce, the entire "trial" was about five minutes of the most thoroughly surprised judge making two minor revisions to the agreement then we all signed.

The "child support" i wanted was for Alex to have two parents who loved him, and I never had any issue with that. Money, fuck, who cares. Money's easy.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 1:28 PM

324

Jen and Julian:
I am impressed to see that you're having a conversation here. Why?
Because to have a conversation with either of you on your places of patronage isn't possible due exclusively to the editing, and censorship of dissent your side now uses as SOP against The Evil Ones.

One wonders why it's the case that those of us who are so vile, so repugnant, so hating of women, so bigoted are the only ones in the conversation who make no effort to silence dissent, free speech or intellectual inquiry.

Further, unlike over at Ophelia's House of Fascism, no one here is dismissed out of hand for not boycotting certain people and places. Though your presence and continued support of Ophelia and her censorship (to include editing people's posts to read differently than they read when first posted) says a lot about your character, you are still not in the slightest degree shunned.

Why you support the activities of PZ, Ophelia, Blaghag, Greta et al with respect to preventing a free exchange of difficult topics is curious. Yet you dare claim it's we who are an affront to ethics and values.

I think you guys are a joke, but I would still unreservedly advocate for your absolute right to speak your mind. Ophelia would too . . . so long as you agree with her position on this. You're free to speak there unless you think she's wrong.

I've seen this before; we've fought many wars in real life over her ilk. And yet you are paying the bills of that fascistic, misogynistic twat.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 1:29 PM

325

@Julian: You haven't read what I've said. I said I recognize and respect Rebecca's feelings. But if she's going to put the matter up for public scrutiny we have to be rational about it. Can you see why this is so important to women? Because when something bad does happen, they need to be taken seriously - prostitute or whoever. And the same is true for men.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:29 PM

326

Guys, make sure to get screen caps of Ophelia's thread. I don't want to see the insults lobbed my way when I left last night. The last one I read something about me committing suicide. I couldn't bear to read after that.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:32 PM

327

BTW, Abbie was sexually abused as well. Her complaint wasn't take seriously.

It's not that hard, guys. No means no. You don't need to read my mind, you can approach me and ask me questions. But when I say no, you stop.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:35 PM

328

Blu: I didn't SC that last one, but I've copy/pasted it here. What an ass that Tea is...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 1:35 PM

329

@Justy - That's the first appropriate use of "misogynistic" I've seen so far.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:36 PM

330

"My duplicity? If you're referring to the name "I gave" Ophelia, can you imagine what would have happened to me had I gone in as "bluharmony?" "

Everyone has different screen names and the one you chose made your general position pretty clear so I doubt you would have been treated much worse. Especially since being a 'gender traitor' seemed to be a point of pride (because you were a woman standing in solidarity with Ms Smith). I, personally, had no problem with the screen name thing.

My issue was with the feigned concern for how Ms Watson is being treated. You said you empathized with her feeling sexualized as (what I perceive anyway) an attempt to relate to the different audience which is sympathetic to Ms Watson. In fact you made this comment about women in general but later you said "I feel no sympathy for Rebbecca" and expressed an attitude, I at least felt, dismissed the complaints of any woman being sexualized because 'what semi attractive woman isn't hit on leaving a bar?'

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:41 PM

331

"I never said it disqualified her. Just that she's being very hypocritical on this issue, now playing the "prude"."

Then a prostitute who is raped but paid afterward would be behaving hypocritically. The prostitute would also be playing a prude because she's supposed to be up for sex for money from strangers.

btw, I draw a distinction between prostitute and adult film star.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:45 PM

332

@Julian: Well, the last comment is true -- it's neither here nor there -- as for sympathy, I've said I empathized with the situation, but once I saw her reaction to certain people, I lost that sympathy. Also, I said I would not be discussing her anymore, and that I wanted to focus on the issues that are important to women, and in particular, victims of rape.

Also, I'm bothered by the issue of dogmatic feminism in skepticism, especially since no one seems to know much about feminism at all.

People do get hit-on when leaving bars. It's common, wouldn't you say? Do we want to change that? I have no issue with it.

Please notice that I did not use any gendered epithets.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:46 PM

333

PZ Lyers says @ 290 (numbers change a lot due to editing by Ophelia Buttsin): "And no, I hadn’t claimed that digging up someone’s CV was hateful . . ."

SC says @ 293: "Did you read that exchange? I defy any honest person to do so and claim it ["digging" up the CV] was not profoundly hateful."

Apparently, she also doubts if PZ is an honest person. Or maybe reading is difficult for her?

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 1:47 PM

334

"You haven't read what I've said. I said I recognize and respect Rebecca's feelings. "

No you don't and I have read what you said. You said, point blank, you have no sympathy for Ms Watson and went on to accuse her of profiting and making money off rape victims.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:48 PM

335

Ok Julian, I'll play:

First please stop the fuck making an equivalence between a rape and a demand for coffee (or even sex). You are diminishing the experiences of rape victims (mine included).

Second, when someone's main mean of promotion for her site is sexualizing herself and her female co-bloggers, it is not so surprising that she might be proposed. Even if just for coffee.

Third: there is a clear distinction between prostitute and porn star, which is why I mentionned I have freinds in both circles. But they still are sex-workers, and still deserve a lot of respect. This doesn't to be so clear in your mind, and makes me a bit worried about what your views are on women and sex-workers.

Dude, you're creepy!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 1:50 PM

336

@Julian: Do you see why a proposition might seem trivial to me? I've been propositioned by strangers when I'm alone many times. It's fine. It's common experience, and hey, you don't know if you don't ask. I need a rule men can follow without resentment. "No means no" works. In fact, it's the rule society uses.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:50 PM

337

@greg & brad: anecdotes:

I was once in a bar in Vancouver where a very drunk, very bitter, middle-class, able-bodied Canadian white woman complained to me that she "had never been priveleged". I should have just walked her down to Main and Hastings, where the broken-spirited First Nations people and junkies hang out.

I had a bit of ugly duckling syndrome in my late teens. Went away to college, got hit on, seduced, and dumped. No, it wasn't rape, it was just... impolite. Some guys *do* know what it's like to be treated like a piece of meat. Which I guess can be okay if that's the understanding to begin with...


Posted by: fnxtr | August 8, 2011 1:52 PM

338

The rest, as many women have pointed out, is just an issue of manners.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 1:52 PM

339
Then a prostitute who is raped but paid afterward would be behaving hypocritically. The prostitute would also be playing a prude because she's supposed to be up for sex for money from strangers.
The prostitute may have sex for money, but she still has to give consent, otherwise it is rape. That's what rape is. A prostitute should be able to fall asleep piss drunk and naked on a park bench and not get raped. Leaving money doesn't ameliorate rape.

The only thing that matters is did she give well-informed consent, not whether or not she's a hypocrite or a prostitute.

Do you honestly think anyone here has any difficulty with that?

What a silly and extreme example.

Posted by: Peter | August 8, 2011 1:54 PM

340

"So, you tell me: I'm a white male. Have I ever been followed around by store security to see if I'm going to shoplift?

If this concept has any meaning (that is to say that because I'm white and male I am excused from this burden or issue), then the concept must dictate the conclusion."

Is it an either/or question, or one of probabilities?
I would say you are "Less Likely" to be followed around.
And as has been mentioned dressing differently, having tattoos,
or piercings as some of my younger friends have may alter the probabilities.

The viewpoint I am coming from is that of someone who didn't see what a relative was experiencing because my presence changed how she was treated. I look white even though I am mixed race. I see it more as "what the hell am I missing?"

Posted by: rnb | August 8, 2011 1:55 PM

341

"People do get hit-on when leaving bars. It's common, wouldn't you say? Do we want to change that? I have no issue with it."

So what if it's common? Please pick a different justification. A lot of things that should stop are common.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 1:56 PM

342

julian@330:"Then a prostitute who is raped but paid afterward would be behaving hypocritically."
Not in the least. Unconsensual.
No meaneth no.
Unless you practise the radical subjectivity of "nuancing".
John's off to bangup, and no mistake. Bad lad.

A sex-worker who was paid, and then claimed rape, maybe made a wee video moaning about it to notify the watching world, however ...

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 1:56 PM

343

@dustbubble I think you mean A sex-worker who consented, was paid, and then claimed rape, maybe made a wee video moaning about it to notify the watching world, however ...

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 2:00 PM

344

@Julian: Can you see why this might be a "triggering event"? Can you see why it might make me emotional? And what about the hateful response I've received as a gender traitor? Or do you just not "get it"? Because the "misogynists" in this thread have been great to me and they "get it." Thanks for the support, all.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:01 PM

345

I'd also like to say I think white feminists really abuse the concept of privilege, and ignore their own. How successful are they in their outreach to women of color, for instance?

Posted by: rnb | August 8, 2011 2:01 PM

346

"First please stop the fuck making an equivalence between a rape and a demand for coffee (or even sex). You are diminishing the experiences of rape victims (mine included)."

I have made no such equivalence. You said a woman who makes her sexuality public has no right to complain about being sexualized without being a hypocrite. I pointed out that by that logic a sex worker who's paid for the act cannot claim rape without being a hypocrite. I'm just using the standard you set.

"Second, when someone's main mean of promotion for her site is sexualizing herself and her female co-bloggers, it is not so surprising that she might be proposed. Even if just for coffee."

I fully understand that. What you don't seem to understand is that these same women can and are in fact not hypocrites for feelings sexualized in certain situations.

"Third: there is a clear distinction between prostitute and porn star, which is why I mentionned I have freinds in both circles"

Oh? Where did I show confusion between what a porn star is and what a prostitute is?

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 2:03 PM

347

OK, I'm giving up on Julian. Go ahead if you guys feel like it, but I can't fight the reading comprehension issues he's having.

Best of luck.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 2:06 PM

348

I think I was told last night that they don't care about outreach. That I'm an accommodationist and they want confrontation or something. I may not remember that correctly.

Phil - do you think the way I was treated in general would be called "confrontation" and do you think my substantive arguments were addressed? Same question for anyone who has read the thread.

Because at this point I'm not sure what confrontation means.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:06 PM

349

@Julian

sex·u·al·ize
verb
\ˈsek-sh(ə-)wə-ˌlīz, ˈsek-shə-ˌlīz\
sex·u·al·izedsex·u·al·iz·ing
Definition of SEXUALIZE
transitive verb
: to make sexual : endow with a sexual character or cast

When you look at attractive woman what do you do? Is that considered some sort of crime? Since when?

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:09 PM

350

XXX-film stars are different to prostitutes if they're partners, married, that sort of thing.
The risk rating is somewhat discounted.

I mean if Torquemyers and the Trophy Wife punted a clip of them at it like knives, to boost the Skepchick coffers, I for one would
(i)be most impressed and
(ii) not ever classify them as prostitutes.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 2:10 PM

351

Blu:

You have been dismissed, and it's been clearly explained over there, first and before all because you came from here at Abbie's Slimepit. Then you've been dismissed some more with accusations of making it all about you, even though you specified you didn't want to concentrate on individuals but on the general problems.

That's at least what I remember most clearly from Benson's thread.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 2:10 PM

352

rnb @ 340:

Is it an either/or question, or one of probabilities?
I would say you are "Less Likely" to be followed around.
And as has been mentioned dressing differently, having tattoos,
or piercings as some of my younger friends have may alter the probabilities.

Well, this has some awesome utility. Blacks are more likely to be addicted to crack than anyone else. So, we should just presume that any randomly selected black person is likely to be a crackfiend. You know, since it's statistically more likely.

Oh my god! Women are more likely to file fake rape charges than men are!

Therefore, men are privileged from understanding what it's like to debase one's self by committing perjury to exact revenge on an enemy!

People with legs are far likely to suffer sprained ankles than the legless.

Man, that legless in a wheelchair crowd is so privileged! They never have to worry about spraining an ankle since they don't have any!

Yeah, this concept is wonderfully useful.

Again, and I see you've neglected to respond: I am a white male. What does this tell you about me? Knowing that I'm both white and male, what do you know about me?

Incidentally, as Abbie has written on this very topic, she's also white. And she gets pulled over a lot where she lives for being white. But let's not forget that she has white person's privilege; it happens to her a lot, but she's immune from having to worry about it because she's white.

She can't understand because she's white! Only the blacks know what it's like to suffer discrimination on account on skin color! It is a goddamned privilege to be white - so privileged in fact, that even when the exact same thing happens to a white person, they don't care! They're immune to feeling discriminated against because if they mention it, they're showing their privilege and minimizing the black people's coveted and exclusive problem of being discriminated against!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I ask for facts. You give me some second grade "maybe the moon is made of cheese" kind of shit.

Again. I am white. I am male. What do you now know about me because of that? Your guessing has not proved correct at all. Stop guessing and tell me what you know.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 2:13 PM

353

Brad@248

On 10: you said small number of men. I said rampant in the atheist community. I suppose you could argue that privilege entails blindness in the AC on sexism but I don't see how a small number of men could mean rampant.

This actually gets right to the point of 'privilege' and varying perceptions.

Let us suppose an event, with attendance split something like 80/20 male/female. Let us suppose that the majority (even the vast majority, call it 95%) of the men are decent human beings, engaging with the women attendees in a normal fashion. This leaves only "a small number" of the men being jerks, hitting on each woman they come in contact with or otherwise acting inappropriately.

In this situation, if you are one of the majority of men behaving decently, you may not notice anything at all untoward. Or perhaps you may notice someone being a jerk once or twice, if you happen to be right there when it happens. But your (not unreasonable!) conclusion may well be that sexism is at best a minor thing.

But if you are a woman in the same situation, then very likely you will find yourself being hit on by sexist jerks pretty much every time you walk into a room. And your (again, not unreasonable!) conclusion may well be that sexism is a big problem.

So... in this situation, is sexism "rampant"?

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 8, 2011 2:13 PM

354

skepcheck@343: Phew! Thanks for saving my bacon!
Gotta think how others think a bit harder, I see, my weird is showing.

Thing is, it genuinely did not occur to me to specify the assent, because anything else would be rape.

There's no "nuance" to that fucker whatsoever.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 2:15 PM

355

I love how self-proclaimed feminists don't know the difference between Dworkin-style school of thought and Paglia-style school of thought. Maybe sometimes credentials do make a difference when lecturing on a subject? Or at least, knowledge?

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:16 PM

356

Julian, let me help you with a little something I like to call critical thinking:

I have made no such equivalence. You said a woman who makes her sexuality public has no right to complain about being sexualized without being a hypocrite. I pointed out that by that logic a sex worker who's paid for the act cannot claim rape without being a hypocrite. I'm just using the standard you set.

You are not comparing like with like. Consider a person who makes a living out of pretending to be rape and filing police reports bitching that incident to an actual rape she filed a report and no one took her seriously. Ignore the previous several years of rape complaints all of which proved false. She was really, really, for reals raped this one time - promise.

If you bill yourself as a sex object, you have no particular right to cry foul when someone takes you up on it and invites you to coffee.

"I'm a pornstar. I get so tired of people noticing me in public and thinking about my job. Why can't they just only think about me like a sex object when I say so, like when I'm on screen fucking? Who do they think they are looking at me in public?!"

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 2:17 PM

357

"Do you see why a proposition might seem trivial to me? I've been propositioned by strangers when I'm alone many times."

Of course. As a child who was regularly beaten and stomped on by his mother, do you see why I may find people who complain of spankings to be making mountains out of mole hills?

And lets be specific, it is no big issue to you. Several women have made their feelings to the opposite known. They don't enjoy it, they don't like ectectect. You find it to be harmless fun and that's fine.

"When you look at attractive woman what do you do?"

Try to focus on what I was doing because I think staring at strangers on the street is creepy.

And I never called 'it' a crime. Crime would be, as you point out, disobeying the no means no (which btw, doesn't seem to be much help for some of the women I know. A lot of men think no means try harder) rule. But a lot of actions that are 'wrong' are also not crimes.

ps I apologize for my lack of schooling. Believe me, I regret not going to college.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 2:20 PM

358

bluharmony@349: ": to make sexual : endow with a sexual character or cast "
Blimey! Esther Rantzen used have a TV doing precisely that, to root vegetables that viewers submitted to the show each week.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 2:22 PM

359

Julian

And I never called 'it' a crime. Crime would be, as you point out, disobeying the no means no (which btw, doesn't seem to be much help for some of the women I know. A lot of men think no means try harder) rule. But a lot of actions that are 'wrong' are also not crimes.

In this case, EG took no as no. It seems to have worked out so well for him. Some on your side are saying he's still probably a rapist, just got foiled by happenstance.

For some definition of wrong, yes. It's wrong when they fuck up my coffee order. It's wrong when someone improperly evaluates a math problem.

It's not unethical; there is no culpability. Except for you asshats.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 2:27 PM

360

This

"Consider a person who makes a living out of pretending to be rape and filing police reports bitching that incident to an actual rape she filed a report and no one took her seriously. Ignore the previous several years of rape complaints all of which proved false. She was really, really, for reals raped this one time - promise. "

has nothing to do with the situation Phil Giordana presented. This is what he said

"I guess that when you are both sex-positive (yoohoo, I'm posing naked in a calendar and advertising my website because we're a bunch of hot chicks who get drunk and hit on nerds!) and sex-negative (I felt sexualized and objectified, that's creepy, don't do that!), you're probably one stone-throw away from claiming the healing power of crystal is the answer to misogynism"

However you do seem to agree with his overall conclusion that a woman who's thing is being sexy has no right to feel creeped out or offended by unwanted advances or (from the example of the porn star you give) leering stares and such when she's out and about town .

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 2:30 PM

361

Julian: You came in talking about "new age feminism," a phrase I've never even used.

I look and smile at strangers, and like the same in return. These standards vary by location, personality, what have you. Would you be offended if I smiled at you without looking away?

Spanking involves physical contact and pain.
Chances of rape in an elevator are about as high as getting hit by lightning. I can't help but apply logic to the situation - like location, how high a hotel may be (4 floors), etc. That's what critical thinking is about.

Feminism is about something else. I'm not hitting on anyone. Others can voice their complaints as they choose. When they start making generalized demands, however, the issue begins to concern me, because as you've seen this behavior is met with resistance. And frankly, I think it confuses the issue. As I've pointed out many times, a slightly different wording - like adding the word "me" - would make all the difference, even stating that many women feel like me is fine. I've spoken to this issue.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:31 PM

362

Justicar:

I know absolutely nothing about you.

I agree probabilities may mean very little when dealing with individuals.

When dealing with group dynamics it may be a different matter.

Posted by: rnb | August 8, 2011 2:32 PM

363

Blu@349 - Julian seems to be confusing the act of looking at someone with the act of physically raping someone. There is a difference, Julian.

A more relevant way of framing it (yech!) is saying: if a lingerie model is widely known, runs a website where she sells her pictures, then goes to large events and gets drunk, parties wildly, writes "pussy" on people's chests, and is more well known for debauchery than anything else...when she dresses in civies and is out shopping, should she feel bad if people hit on her? On the one hand, I can see the natural human desire to separate work and home, and people have an expectation of privacy in our culture. So if someone says "You're hot!" while in "home" mode, is it hypocritical to complain about that, to reap what was willingly sown? Honestly, I don't know. It is considered rude in "polite" society - white upper/middle class in America, not sure of other groups or countries.

Humans are sexual animals, and American culture has that love/hate relationship - we are taught by Christian society that sex is bad, nudity is shameful - and our advertising plays on that to flaunt it. We're a schizo country, what can I say? That's definitely part of the discussion.

I think the current discussion might involve one person wanting to set boundaries on what other people should do, and expects other people to respect that. However, other people have other rules, or don't follow any such rules for a variety of reasons. Is it hypocritical then? The Blaghag rules someone mentioned above - the "it's ok to ogle and make comments on the calendar, but please respect my wishes not to hear that (and maybe not think that?) when looking at me otherwise" - is that a reasonable expectation? Is it an idealistic and maybe impossible one? (Btw - did Jen really say that?)

Hell, I am used to different groups, with different expectations - what is ok at home and with my friends is definitely not ok at school (the whole personal/professional divide). It sounds like they want to impose the professional behavior everywhere. Even if we excuse the lack of professionalism displayed, how/why is this appropriate? Is such a thing good?

Sorry to go on a bit - just had some ideas and ran with them, then got a bit discouraged at the end.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 8, 2011 2:34 PM

364

@Julian

Nobody (as far as I remember) has said someone does not have the right to feel creeped out or offended. It's another matter though when they start thinking that they can read minds or start telling other people what they can or cannot do.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 2:37 PM

365

Julian is indeed confused.

He wants to play nanny to the ERV slime, yet he had no problem telling Miranda (and long-time, well respected commentor Prometheus) to die in a fire.

Also note: The comment against Prom was on Ophelias B&W.

Surely julian would have been banned for such a suggestion?

No?

*crickets*

LOL!

B&Ws--
Disagree? BAN!
Use a naughty word? BAN!!
"Die in a fire" stated by someone who does agree with your premise? Oh now dont say that. But you can keep saying anything else you want!

FAAAAAILROFL!!!

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 2:38 PM

366

What the does "a lot of men try harder" have to do with it? That's exactly my point. Men should take no for an answer, but they can ask. It's an easy-to-follow rule, the same one that applies to women.

When men are told they can't look or ask in certain situations but may in others, many are not sure how to behave. Some stop asking period. Others get resentful. People are different. I don't feel imposed on by being asked a polite question/proposition. Others might. I don't know. I'm not scared of elevators, I never thought to be. In a garage, maybe, it's situational. I'm not the one making rules for people. We have laws for sexual harassment, even a social standard for sexual harassment -- it was not violated here. I can't fathom having a rule for thoughts men can't think or words they can't say. But this incident didn't involve any gendered epithets or obviously sexual remarks. If someone interpreted them as such, that's fine (although I think it's a bit sexist). We still don't know how they were intended.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:41 PM

367

Justicar @ 356 - that's it! Thought police! I can see education, and changing people's minds and attitudes - it's what I try to do with my atheism and love of skepticism - and it has worked with most people I know (although my roommate gets a but upset when I go off on a non-skeptic/religious show we're watching). Telling people what to think - the intrinsic vs extrinsic (?) / external controls of behavior? Currently, due to a little problem I have, concentrating on the subject is a bit hard, so I can't continue, but I'm sure we all understand - well, some of us understand where I'm going. Hell, I'm sure it's probably come up already.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 8, 2011 2:41 PM

368

"You came in talking about "new age feminism," a phrase I've never even used."

Didn't even realize I'd typed new age. Fruedian slip, I guess.

"He wants to play nanny to the ERV slime, yet he had no problem telling Miranda (and long-time, well respected commentor Prometheus) to die in a fire."

Yes I did. I also apologized to Ms Hale for it and regret saying it. It was uncalled for even if I didn't mean it as a threat.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 2:46 PM

369

Julian:

Do you still think we're all misogynists?

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:47 PM

370

julian@357: "As a child who was regularly beaten and stomped on by his mother, do you see why I may find people who complain of spankings to be making mountains out of mole hills?"
And you would be absolutely right so to do, and I for one would support your complaint against the trivialisers.

"And lets be specific, it is no big issue to you. Several women have made their feelings to the opposite known. They don't enjoy it, they don't like ectectect. You find it to be harmless fun and that's fine."

Doors please.
Mind the gap!
Once again, I would support their position, it's eminently reasonable and quite understandable.
(if you're talking about unsolicited advances, and not whether they appreciate spanking, I'm a bit lost on which you meant. The Advances are demonstrably harmless).

Where I draw a line is when the anti-spanky/schmoozy females, and your good self, demand that All Men, Everywhere, in their glorious presence must keep their hands in their pockets, and look away/cross the street because, you know ..

(and college is overrated. I likewise lack benefit of clergy in the form of tertiary education. But then again it doesn't matter, as I am Scottish, and therefore ooze Privilege by right of birth, having drawn first prize in the lottery of life. d:^{D> )

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 2:47 PM

371
However you do seem to agree with his overall conclusion that a woman who's thing is being sexy has no right to feel creeped out or offended by unwanted advances or (from the example of the porn star you give) leering stares and such when she's out and about town

False. People are entitled to feel whatever they'd like, for good reason, bad reason, no reason, or some reason. There is a difference between feeling something and reality.

If I a mathematician. I sometimes get annoyed that random people ask me math questions when I'm out and about. But since I am publicly styled as a mathematician, I can hardly cry foul when someone who is aware of this fact addresses me in those terms.

Is it dehumanizing to be treated in a way congruent with my publicly known traits? I could easily avoid the questions altogether by not letting it be publicly known that I'm a mathematician. There are days I wish some people didn't know because I know they're going to ask me stupid questions. But I've invited these questions specifically by making it known that I'm a mathematician and that I accept and respond to questions in that field.

This is different than if someone asks me a math question and I decline to answer it for them to then pull out a gun, hand me a notepad and pencil and tell me to get it worked out or die.

And that's the analogy with your hooker, or pornstar, or Rebecca Watson. You sell yourself in a particular role and you have little, if any room, to cry injustice when someone addresses you in those terms. Even though she makes money selling her body in a sexual way, she still has the option to decline any particular offer incident to that. She has no right to complain that after she started selling pictures of her naked body that someone, somewhere might address her sexually.

Fortunately, she was only invited to coffee. She's free to find that creepy because of the hour or location. She's not free to claim she's been aggrieved, and that she suffered any wrong. She earns, in part, a living off of selling naked pictures of herself. She bills herself out as the "sexy" one. She has a campaign titled "hug me" whereby she advertises that she invites and appreciates when random strangers walk up to her and give her hugs; it's a standing invitation.

She then doesn't get to cry objectification and harassment when someone takes her up on her invitation and randomly hugs her. Or notices her incident to the naked pictures she MAKES SURE are disseminated publicly - particularly because she does this explicitly to make money to live off of.

Go ahead - ask me a math question. I may or may not elect to respond to it. I have no right to bitch that the fact I'm known as a mathematician will on occasion cause me to be annoyed by the types of attention such public knowledge will from time to time generate.

If I weren't prepared to handle the consequences of that, I wouldn't make it known.

Or, if I do take umbrage and bitch about it, do I have your word you'll be on my side to support me in addressing the wrong done to me when someone has the temerity to ask me a math question without my personally, formally inviting them so to do? By name? Directly?

Let's hope so because I have a really annoyingly stupid person who's sent me a stupid question. WHY IS HE INTELLECTUALIZING ME THAT WAY? IT'S SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WRONG - HE E-MAILED ME IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS WITH A STUPID QUESTION!!!! I'M BEING OPPRESSED BECAUSE OF MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!0FACTORIAL!

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 2:48 PM

372

@Julian: And do you think that you might concede that some of us have - at the very least a debatable point - the same one a certain student leader tried to make? And we all know how that turned out.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:49 PM

373

rnb:

I'd also like to say I think white feminists really abuse the concept of privilege, and ignore their own. How successful are they in their outreach to women of color, for instance?

It's actually a pretty common criticism of feminism, of all sorts, quite especially the sort of ultra radical feminism we've seen lately, but even liberal feminists like me.

It's also a fair one, 2nd and 3rd-wave feminism have abstracted too far from actual, real physical oppression to sexism of institutions to, in the case of the more radical 'gender' feminists, men as, well, enemy.

In some of the poorer parts of the world, not being chatted up in an elevator somehow doesn't seem like such a big deal when you're pushing for the right to have a baby and not be sterilised.

This is of course, the point that Dawkins was making when he responded to the Pharyngula crowd calling people rape apologists over an encounter in a lift. Dear Muslima, a call for perspective.

Ironically, PZ Myers only real problem with Dawkins' view is that PZ thought Dawkins made Watson's situation out to be "ZERO BAD" and then PZ Myers proceeded to post a video telling everyone Stef McGraw suffered ZERO BAD. Bearing in mind that McGraw was, in front of an audience, with the inherent unfairness of being one in a crowd against Watson at a podium controlling the conversation, accused of misogynist parroting and worse. At the mercy of Watson's privileged position as speaker. Then mocked by PZ's position of privilege as a populist blogger.

After being classed as misogynists by a very popular blogger, yes, I do believe we at ERV understand privilege.

Posted by: Peter | August 8, 2011 2:51 PM

374

Justicar @ 299:

I just dug the specific commentary up from my browser history.

The page the comments were on:
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=213405&page=88

The specific post that led me to that conclusion (along with the info in the post which Darat quoted):
http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=7428021&postcount=3493

Posted by: Woden | August 8, 2011 2:53 PM

375

Julian: New wave, radical, gender - are all possible names for contemporary feminism. I just want to make sure you know I'm not trying to criticize schools of thought - I think intellectual discourse is important and all ideas should be heard. But I have no idea what someone's thinking when they say "feminism" - equal rights? Privilege? Something else? It means something different to every person and every group. Blog Feminism 101 isn't exactly an authority.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:54 PM

376

Oh well, because I've recently been called a fan of Abbie I just want to renew my 'guilt by association' membership by posting here. Somehow I feel obliged to do so to uphold my status as a fan and people can continue to make assumptions about me this way. ;-)

However, I don't consider myself a fan of anyone, but I do appreciate certain musicians because of their output. Actually, I totally adore Tori Amos, whom I consider to be absolutely brilliant. Last time I saw her I rode 8 hours on my motorcycle each way (slow pace & scenic detours FTW), is that enough to constitute fandom?

Sorry about dragging down the rate of PhDs/graduates in here, I'm just a lowly technical college dropout. Still managed to do some minor software distribution for 30k clients. But that's nothing to brag about, it's simple regular admin stuff.
Since that does (not really) qualify me as an IT guru, may I suggest webcitation.org instead of screenshots. It seems to be a rather handy tool.

It was nice to see Jen show up, I looked forward to a discussion between her and blu.

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 2:54 PM

377

julian-- Im glad you apologized.

Wouldnt it have been nice if Elevator Guy was told he behaved inappropriately and was given a chance to explain himself/apologize? Alas, missed opportunity. Its possible the man is entirely unaware he even did anything anyone interpreted as 'wrong', thanks to Watsons passive-aggressive approach to the incident.

Wouldnt it have been nice if Watson, when presented with the idea that how she behaved at the CFI Student Leadership conference was inappropriate, had taken that opportunity to apologize? Alas, attention whoring was chosen instead.

And just so we are clear, you will *not* get second chances, apology or no, on ERV, if you make that mistake here.

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 2:55 PM

378

I'm not not sure why I just said all that to you specifically rnb, that wasn't quite my intention.

Posted by: Peter | August 8, 2011 2:55 PM

379

Ugh - "have a point."

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:55 PM

380

Woden, yes, I know.

She was suspended for using her sock, Radial Tire. She was banned for deleting people's accounts to settle personal scores.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 2:56 PM

381

BTW, thanks for the talk, Julian. I hope you can survive the taint. Jen left - I hope I didn't say anything to offend her. If you get the chance, would you mind relaying that to her? I can say nothing but positive things about her.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 2:57 PM

382

blu@366 "When men are told they can't look or ask in certain situations but may in others, many are not sure how to behave. Some stop asking period. Others get resentful. "

Hey, maybe they could display some sort of signifier, like a mood-ring, but visible from a distance?
I propose a different-coloured polka-dot hankie, hanging out of one or other hip pocket of their jeans. There'd have to be an agreed code though ..
Sorted. Next!

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 3:00 PM

383

Blu @368 - Quick story - I live by a major military post, and if you have any knowledge of them, you can understand when I say that our clubs are a meat market. Sure, you can go and be by yourself, or with friends, and not be involved in trying to get laid, but you can't have that expectation of being left alone. Both men and women do it, and the fact that there is dancing (two-step) makes it common to ask/talk to total strangers - even just for dancing. Just trying to lay the background. I (a man) have been propositioned several times before, and I've always said no - one time with my brother, he hooked up with one girl, and her friend wanted to take me home (and despite liking her, I wasn't interested then) - she would not take no. I finally practically yelled at her that I was too drunk to get it up - she finally left me alone. My brother still laughs about it (and I do too, it's considered an amusing story in our circle). I'm sure other circles would find that rude or whatever. Meh.

Through the whole thing, I was pretty much sexualized, I think, but I never took it that way. My body is me - there is no mind/body dualism - and if someone (like my example) just wanted me for sex - it was still me. Am I going too far out, or does anyone think there is merit to this? I think part of this radfem thing may be (is? - I have no idea) a response that has the "I am more than my body" line of thought, but taken to the farther extreme. I remember the 70s.

Is this old "Enjoli" commercial sexist? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4X4MwbVf5OA

What if men were doing it? Would that be sexist? Would it be different in Europe - for our European posters? Are we too wedded to the past to throw off the shackles and start on an even footing, instead of going from one extreme to the other?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 8, 2011 3:01 PM

384

@Badg: Thank you for that first link. It shows that her account of the banning is very different from Darat's account, and it shows what she's been telling people her version, a lot, proud of it, apparently. Sorry to referring to her specifically - I'll try not to do so again.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 3:07 PM

385

Badger, I see nothing wrong with being forceful in saying no. No means no, and it should be a complete showstopper. No explanation necessary, no questions permitted. Someone declines an offer, it drops.

EG did just that; he invited her to coffee; she said no; he dropped it.

I do grow a little tired of hearing this whole bit about how people are more than any given facet of their being. Yes, it's true. I am more than any one of my facets.

However, I am not less than any of them either. It is hardly a disservice to me for someone react to some of my traits without specifically having to announce a disclaimer that noticing x trait about me isn't meant to imply that I am no more than that.

It's childish.

random person: "You're smart."
me: how dare you! I am more than just my thoughts!!!! I have pretty eyes too!
Random person: yes. You're smart. You have pretty blue eyes. And you're also fucking batshit crazy.
Me: stop dehumanizing me by not noticing and commenting on every trait I have all at the same time! HELP! OPPRESSION!

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:09 PM

386

julian-- Both Miranda and Prom have their contact info available on their blogs, so I believed you when you said you apologized.

Minor problem. Miranda said she never got an apology from you. Neither did Prom. Why did you tell me you apologized?

Again, very interesting that ERV commentors are 'the liars'...

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 3:12 PM

387

@Badger: I see nothing wrong with "objectification" as an intellectual concept. It's not something that I personally buy into, but I get it. I prefer clearer language. But ads objectify women. Sexual harassment objectifies women. Disregarding a woman's personality objectifies women. Not caring what a woman thinks justifies women. My guess is that happens to men a lot less. But it, hypothetically, someone listened to me talk all day, I would not think they were objectifying me. I would think they're interested in what I have to say. That would be my assumption, anyway. YMMV.

As for pick up bars, yeah. It would be strange to go to such a place and not be picked-up. Bars/leaving bars has been the most common "proposition" place for me. But again, YMMV.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 3:16 PM

388

Justicar@371: "Go ahead - ask me a math question." But do I feel lucky, huh? Well, do I?
OK boss, not being funny, but seeing as I got a chance..
.. in primary/elementary school I could never get a straight answer as to why the numbers don't change to some other value, when you're not looking at them.
Just got the belt.
Kinda went downhill from there, I suppose.

Well, do they? And if not, how do I know?
That bothers me to this day.
"Measure twice, cut once" as my old journeyman used to say. Fuckit. I remeasure every time I handle stuff or check the rods. Just in case.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 3:17 PM

389

Well, Abbie, maybe it's like the apology I gave to PZ today . . .

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:18 PM

390

justifies = objectifies. Oopses.

Is Rorschach the person who runs Furious Purpose? How's that campaign going?

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 3:19 PM

391

@ERV: Maybe he apologized in OB's blog? Someone could go ask...

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 3:21 PM

392

Enjoli commercial - EU perspective - I don't think it's sexist. It appears to my tired eyes that all 3 are the same woman, i.e. the commercial is portraying a complex, multi-dimensional character, like all people are. Not reduced to a single stereotype.

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 3:21 PM

393

"Minor problem. Miranda said she never got an apology from you. Neither did Prom. Why did you tell me you apologized?"

I apologized at B&W in the same thread I told prometheus he could die in a fire. Mind you I don't regret saying that to prometheus, I regret saying that to Ms Hale because of the nature of her post and what she was trying to do and I agree I deserve that banning.

I trust you won't mistake me for someone who feels anything but contempt towards you and the last few weeks worth of 'discussion' about Ms Watson on this blog.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 3:22 PM

394

Justicar@385 - Carl Sagan had a quote that I used to have on my desktop - out of the book Ann Druyan put out. It went along with his "we are star stuff" attitude - found it!

""If we are merely matter intricately assembled, is this really demeaning? If there's nothing here but atoms, does that make us less or does that make matter more?"
— Carl Sagan (The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God)"

found here: http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/10538.Carl_Sagan?page=4 Lots of nice quotes there. I guess it goes along with a buddhistic philosophy of relationships, although some of this discussion would probably be dismissed as Wrong Thinking, while the discussion itself would probably be encouraged to foster understanding. This doesn't fit in with banning people, naturally - not that that matters, just an observation.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 8, 2011 3:23 PM

395

LOL! You apologized, but not really, and not to their faces.

FAIL!!!

LOL!!!!!!

Oh please, dear, tell me more about how 'contemptible' I am! ROFL!!!

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 3:26 PM

396

Hmm, now there's a conference featuring speakers I mostly never heard of:
http://maryamnamazie.blogspot.com/2011/08/orld-founding-congress-of-free-thought.html

I look forward to videos, because that's the only way I get any look at any of these meetups.

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 3:26 PM

397

It's a little concept we like call a definition. They don't change value because that's how we define them to operate.

When we want to deal with a number that isn't defined as being static, we definite it that way; namely, we use "variables" instead of "constants". See? Right there in the name!

There's no evidence to suggest that when we're not looking they don't change value. By definition though, we wouldn't know that because it would require looking at them, which seems to fix them in place.

And since we are embedded in a universe of continuity, it seems reasonable and useful to presume that the continuity remains as such between any two events along some chain of action.

We call it, in a general sense, the intermediate value theorem. Say, if you have two points on a line, a and b. You can't get from a to b without passing through some intermediate value c between a and b.

Not all of our math is continuous, mind you. But most of it is. We even have entire fields of pure mathematics which study the continuity, or quasicontinuity of various structures. It's worth noting that these structures we study need not exist in the actual universe to be correct. And useful in describing the physical universe.

Pure mathematics are almost never useful when a new idea is first proved correct. Give it a couple of generations and eventually someone finds a niche that it actually advances.

It's a strange universe. =P

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:27 PM

398

Lawl @ Julian.

I too have apologized to many people. I keep a list under my pillow addressing them all by name. I hope they know I've apologized to them since I have.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:29 PM

399

badger@383:
IR Yurpeen. Does not seem "sexist", just .. weird.
I mean, so what? You got job. You kin cook food. You gots nice frock.
Whaddyawant, a biscuit?
Wouldn't fancy its chances on the fools' lantern over 'ere though.
I can hear it now ..
"This is an insult to all muslims!" etc. etc.
Warning: Contains bacon, may offend.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 3:30 PM

400

"Nobody (as far as I remember) has said someone does not have the right to feel creeped out or offended."

Justicar came very close and in the original scenario it was essentially said one can't have a sexy persona and feel uncomfortable being sexualized or creeped out (mostly in the follow up comments though) without being a hypocrite.

I disagree.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 3:32 PM

401

"The only thing constant is change" - Heraklitus (variety of spellings), via Isaac Asimov as well.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 8, 2011 3:35 PM

402

Oh, Badger, yeah, that's an excellent quote. I am by no means trying to imply that any idea I've written here is at all original. I'm hardly the first one to notice that an element of a structure sets a floor to what it can be, not a ceiling.

A building is more than bricks. But it certainly not less than its bricks.

I don't consider myself in Sagan's league at all. He was far smarter than I am, and much better at communicating that.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:35 PM

403

"LOL! You apologized, but not really, and not to their faces.

FAIL!!!

LOL!!!!!!

Oh please, dear, tell me more about how 'contemptible' I am! ROFL!!!"

*exhale sigh of relief*

I'm at peace again.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 3:35 PM

404

Julian says

Justicar came very close and in the original scenario it was essentially said one can't have a sexy persona and feel uncomfortable being sexualized or creeped out (mostly in the follow up comments though) without being a hypocrite.

This is patently false.

Go read the thread where this all started off at phawrongula. I said exactly nothing like that there. Explicitly saying that everyone has the right to their feelings. Indeed, I know of about 2 dozen times I've said that since day one.

Including here in this thread itself. In two posts at least.

Reading is sometimes useful, particularly when there are words that show you're full of shit.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:38 PM

405

@ The Justicar
Thank you sir.
"By definition though, we wouldn't know that because it would require looking at them, which seems to fix them in place"
Your word, I'll take for it. Mainly because you didn't curse and hit me with a strap.
Still don't trust them. Sneaky little beggars. Invisible. Me no like.

Posted by: d | August 8, 2011 3:39 PM

406

"Jen left - I hope I didn't say anything to offend her. If you get the chance, would you mind relaying that to her? "

I don't know Ms Phillips. You'd probably have better luck delivering a message to her than I would.

"Do you still think we're all misogynists?"

I never thought you were all misogynists. Did you think 'we' (which I guess means everyone who's been defending Ms Watson) is a misandrists?

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 3:43 PM

407

I think you're deceptive little hypocritical idiots. Whether you hate men isn't immediately knowable. But I know you certainly have a low opinion of women. And limited reading comprehension skills.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:45 PM

408

Ophelia Buttsin says

Or, as Salty points out, to joke about. Do they make hahaha oh that’s so funny jokes about epithets thrown at Jews? No. At black people? No. At indigenous people, immigrants, Muslims, Sikhs? No. But women? Oh hey, that’s totally different.

Her reading skills seem to be bad. I believe gays, blacks, jews, muslims have been brought up once or twice. So have men and whites.

Bleh.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 3:47 PM

409

@#400

Julian: "No right to complain" does not equal "no right to feel".

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 3:49 PM

410

"This is patently false."

What you said was (here on this blog)

"You sell yourself in a particular role and you have little, if any room, to cry injustice when someone addresses you in those terms. Even though she makes money selling her body in a sexual way, she still has the option to decline any particular offer incident to that. She has no right to complain that after she started selling pictures of her naked body that someone, somewhere might address her sexually."

and earlier

"If you bill yourself as a sex object, you have no particular right to cry foul when someone takes you up on it and invites you to coffee."

Where I take coffee is a direct reference to Ms Watson and a stand in for propositions in general.

This seems consistent with my description of your statement, that you feel it's almost hypocritical for a woman who's thing is being sexy to cry foul when someone makes her uncomfortable.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 3:54 PM

411

@Julian: It hasn't all been about that. It's been about spousal support, feminism, women's rights, internet trolls, privilege, objectification, divisions withing the community, rape, rape, rape, rape, Schodinger, and lots of other interesting things.

I don't have contempt for anyone, just varying degrees of respect.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 3:57 PM

412

@Julian - This isn't to dismiss anyone's feelings, which are always valid. How one person feels about another in, however, a different issue.

That said, do you think we have a right to be uncomfortable? This is another rule that I don't understand how we're supposed establish and enforce. Different things make different people uncomfortable.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 4:02 PM

413

Julian, reading still seems to be difficult for you.

She is entitled to feel whatever she'd like. It does not follow that one's feelings actually model reality. Further, it does no work in saying that is being sexualised as something that is bad when one sexualizes one's self in exchange for money and notoriety. It's like the celebrities bitching about people wanting to know their personal lives. Don't want attention? Don't seek it.

Further, yes, she was invited to coffee. She's entitled to think of that as a potential rape, or creepy or whatever. It doesn't mean anyone else is required to accept her estimation and indignation at being allegedly sexualized comports with what happened.

Call me skeptical, but her say-so as to what EG was thinking doesn't settle the matter.

While we're on the subject, it's worth noting that there doesn't single scrap of evidence to suggest EG even existed.

She's been shown photographs of all the men in the bar before she left. She can't seem to pick him. She was apparently too drunk to be able to remember his face, but sufficiently sober to quote him ipsissima verba, and to miraculously know what he was thinking.

My psychic powers are less attuned. I saddled with the inconvenient need for evidence to think something is true. Alas, I don't have her ESP privilege. Why am I being faulted for not being psychic like she is? Her privilege apparently make her not understand how hard it is to determine truth without magic mind-reading powers. What a bitch.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 4:10 PM

414

1. Don't look at me except for when I want you to look at me.

2. Don't think about me in any way other than the way I want you to think about me, and this depends on time of day, location, surroundings, etc.

3. Don't say anything to me that I don't want you to say to me, and this depends on when I want you to say it to me.

4. Don't be creepy.

I realize that we should use common sense, but the above are not workable rules, and almost every person talking about a certain elevator situation had different ideas as to when certain things are appropriate.

A lot of people said that they wouldn't like it if it happened exactly the way it did, and I respect that. This was new information for me, because I am not very fearful of strangers. It took me a while to understand it, really.

As for dating advice and such, isn't that really beyond the scope? Is instructing men on how to "get laid" a bit demeaning? To me, it was.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 4:13 PM

415

Julian, one question: how old are you?

You start off equating sexualization with rape, in #319. That is so full of shit. I assume you've never actually done any work with rape & torture victims. I have, in rehabilitation programs for victims. They know the difference between rape and sexualization.

Then you claim you apologised to certain people you needed to apologise to, only it turns out you didn't.

Then you express contempt for ERV, for people here. That being despite it's already shown in detail by yourself just how contemptible you are, and you've never been able to show that for others here.

Grow up, Julian, just grow up.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 8, 2011 4:13 PM

416

"No right to complain does not equal no right to feel."

In this case to me they come out to the same thing. If you can't voice your feelings of being sexualized, harassed ectectect, you're really not allowed to feel them, are you? You're allowed to have them so long as no one sees them which is absurd.

"That said, do you think we have a right to be uncomfortable?"

No but I do think we have a right to set our own boundaries and that (especially when dealing with strangers) we should be mindful that we don't know everyone's boundaries. Reasonable expectations can be made given venues (for example a sub/Dom rp forum, or an adult film expo) and I fully understand people are going to fuck up or catch someone on a bad day, but the expectations for walking up and down a street should be different from walking up and down a runway.

And uncomfortable was a poor choice of word.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 4:17 PM

417

Bluharmony, I appreciated PZ advice to me on how to get laid. Particularly when he noted that I only see nothing wrong with EG because I, as a gay man (a fact of which he was aware), only want to excuse myself for hanging out in elevators to proposition women for sex.

I hadn't known this about myself beforehand. I'm grateful to find out that a.) I love pussy, b.) it's the reason I take elevators, c.) I think the only place to pick up the women holding the pussy I just so much love is elevators.

Without his guidance, I'd have gone the rest of my life thinking I was attracted to men and not women. Phew, lucked out there. I'd hate to be like 85 and look back to realize just how much I'd wasted my life bowing to the patriachy's demands that I only have sex with men.

Gurdur, Julian's age is irrelevant.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 4:18 PM

418

Sorry for all the typos - "right not to be uncomfortable," I meant.

Sometimes certain people make me feel uncomfortable just because they do. I'm not sure that can be changed.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 4:20 PM

419

@Julian: I agree, in an ideal world. This is a matter of etiquette and it's culture-specific and person-specific. I wish a lot of people had better manners and treated each other respectfully, even on the internet. I'm fairly consistent about this, and probably even very repetitive.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 4:24 PM

420

I left only because I'm trying to clear her real life schedule to take some vacation time this week. I am unenthusiastic at the prospect of spending much of said vacation time embroiled in this melee, but I keep getting pulled back in because the larger issues in play are important to me.

Basically:
I think EVERY SIDE (and I do think there are more than two) has made some valid, thoughtful points.

I also think every side is guilty of missing, misrepresenting, underappreciating or unfairly dismissing some valid points made by other 'sides'. Rational Skepticism fails abound.

At this point, I think that the situation is so polarized, and the vitriol so thick on the ground, that rational discourse is probably beyond most of us. There is a fundamental difference of opinion between the ERV supporters and the PZ/OB supporters as to why gender-based epithets are qualitatively different than other types. Under more objective conditions, we may be able to talk our way through this, but on the internet, in the middle of this howling, ugly shitstorm, I think it's really unlikely.

One last effort, though, at getting to the heart of what I, personally, find most important about this situation, and honestly, I don't think it has much to do with feminism of any stripe, just basic human dignity:
I have not yet read any rationale for why gender-specific epithets are considered to be different than racial/ethnic/cultural epithets. Can someone please enlighten me? I will try to find time to respond later.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 4:24 PM

421

Julian:
you have some difficulty with words. I am really trying to help you along.

Harassment does not equal being asked one time to something. Harassment has a definition which doesn't entail this situation.

She is free to express whatever she'd like. No one has said she's prohibited from doing so. Only your side is in the habit of making it so that others cannot speak.

Ability doesn't imply entitlement. I am capable of kicking the shit out of someone's children. I am not entitled to do as much. She is free to feel what she likes. She is free to tell people. She has no right to demand that anyone gives a fuck she was invited to coffee.

Further, most of us really don't care about that too much. "I felt creepy". Ok. fine. You felt creeped out.

The problem arose when someone said they didn't think it was a big deal and that's when things started going horribly, horribly wrong. Furthermore, she's not entitled to give advice to half of the world's population about who it is they're allowed to invite to coffee. What is more, she's not entitled to speak for the other half of the world in telling them when they're allowed to be invited to coffee.

You'd think that someone said, to her

Now listen here, you mullet. Why don't you just light your tampon, and blow your box apart? Because it's the only bang you're ever gonna get, sweetheart!

*nod to The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert*

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 4:26 PM

422

"Julian, one question: how old are you?"

23

"You start off equating sexualization with rape, in #319."

I did not. I was pointing out the absurdity of saying a woman who's got a public persona of being sexy feeling sexualized and uncomfortable in some situations is a hypocrite.

"I assume you've never actually done any work with rape & torture victims."

Does family count?

"Then you claim you apologised to certain people you needed to apologise to, only it turns out you didn't."

Coming from this group I find this complaint laughable.

"Then you express contempt for ERV, for people here."

I think it's important everyone knows where the person they're speaking to stands.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 4:27 PM

423

Julian:

Feeling something and complaining about something are not the same thing. No matter what spin you try to put on it they just are not the same thing. Saying otherwise is absurd.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 4:30 PM

424

Julian, lad, grow up and learn some logic. Everyone else can see what you did in #319, and how you directly equated an example of sexualization with an example of rape; your disingenuousness, and your failure to be able to grasp your own thoughts, are your own problems, not anyone else's.

"Coming from this group I find this complaint laughable."

Ah, loose group-based prejudice with no tangible criteria beyond selection bias. How ... charmingly irrational. You do commit one bad error; you seem to think others should find your judgment important in the slightest. Big mistake, after you've shown how miserable your ability at judgment is.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 8, 2011 4:32 PM

425

Justicar@309 --

To what end would depend on the situation: A tiger is priviledged with respect to a dolphin in the African Savannah, the dolphin is the privileged one in the middle of the Atlantic. I find it can be a useful tool when trying to understand why different groups have different responses to similar situations. I agree that it is poorly named, these differing responses can have both positive and negative aspects. I believe the naming comes from the fact that the dominant groups' reponses are often considered the norm or are what is expected of other groups. Shrug. You dont have to find it useful. In many situations, it isnt. I am mostly arguing against the claim that it is inherently incoherent.

Posted by: Dave | August 8, 2011 4:36 PM

426

Jen, I appreciate that you're trying to be measured in painting all of us as equally despicable. It means a ton.

Not all sides of this are wrong. We are mostly having a go at you people over there because you're highly amusing. It takes like no effort to watch Ophelia's blood pressure rise so hard that her varicose veins start turning nine shades of blue. The apoplexy (selective one notes) by your cohorts is absolute fucking comedy gold.

Unlike you people, I have been perfectly consistent the entire time. When rationality proved beyond those assclowns, bilking those retards for the lulz was what was left. I must say, they responded better than I could have planned.

To give you an idea, here are some of things your little half-wit leaders have said without a single word of disagreement from, well, anyone on your side.
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/pz-myers-caught-being-sensitive-to.html

There's PZ in action. This hardly an old, isolated instance with. Bitch, cunt, twat are perfectly fine over there so long as the targets are the right kind of wrong people.

The way that PZ banned a transsexual person for being insulted directly by PZ for being a transsexual is astounding. It's amazing that I've yet to see you over there up in their grill about "trans fatty transsexual" before the ban. We've discussed this. I've posted on it. PZ knows this.

He ignores it saying that we're having the vapors. We're not angry. We find the hypocrisy sad, but quite entertaining.

Think about it: Ophelia is bragging that she censors people and rewrites parts of their posts to say something other than what the person wrote. And you support them.

You're welcome to it. We'll just continue noting you for what you are, and them for what they are.

What about when Ophelia starts referring to Miranda and Abbie as men? Why are you up in her shit about her sexist language and dismissal of women as being unfit to further be considered women?

Oh right. You're full of shit and have no interest in what's happening.

So, we point and laugh.

And you fuckers just keep looking every time we point and say "Look! Elvis!"

Thanks for the lulz. When you're ready to discuss serious issues like a full-on grownup, do let me know. Until then, you people over there are the whipping bitches of comedy.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 4:36 PM

427

Jen Phillips:

Thank you for this post. I tend to agree with it.

Now:

I have not yet read any rationale for why gender-specific epithets are considered to be different than racial/ethnic/cultural epithets. Can someone please enlighten me? I will try to find time to respond later.

This subject has been raised here quite a few times. Among the main views was the context and intent of the use of such epithets. Also comes to mind WHO is using these.

If a black man calls a fellow black man "yo my nigga'", I don't think anyone disaproves (many reasons to disaprove, maybe, but nobody has the right to tell him not to). If Abbie uses "Twatson, then it logically follows that no one should call her on that. She, after all, is also the proud owner of a twat, even if her Bagingo Licence has been revoked.

Now, as for use males using "Twatson", it was nothing more than a rethorical tool, an answer to "Dear Dick", something that I don't see a lot of the Watson Tribe whinning about. Why is that so? It is a gender epithet.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 4:39 PM

428

Dave, if you mean by privilege that each person has a different set of strengths of weaknesses, then we have no disagreement. But you don't seem to stop there; you generalize it to arbitrary distinctions that stop at the level of the group.

Again, you've yet to adduce a single point that being white and male prevents me from being concerned or having to think about. So, in the group aspect, it doesn't seem to be useful anymore than stereotypes are useful.

Hell it is a de facto stereotyping of people.

You argue that it's not inherently incoherent? No, you don't. You assert that it isn't. You've yet to identify any utility it has. You've yet to identify anything at all that is entailed by it.

How do I know?

You've yet to make a correct estimation of me on account of two "privileged" groups into which I am arbitrarily classed, which lie beyond my remit to modify.

I am white. I am male. Now, again, what do you KNOW about me? What does this tell you about me?

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 4:41 PM

429

Oh, Jen, here's a little problem I've noticed you've addressed in one direction only.

We are being taken to task for "stalking" and "digging up" information on Twatson. And insulting her for going to college. To diminish her on account of her area of study.

We have done more than to note that she went to college. We used the very exacting, and difficult method of reading her profile on myspace and linkadin (?), and then noted she has no degree in science, and does no more than stand up and tell people what she thinks actual scientists say.

She is, oddly enough, only parroting what she's heard. She has no training to be able to evaluate the science she speaks about. None. At all.

Yet, Miranda Celeste Hale has a PhD, and over at Ophelia's they intentionally refuse to call credit her with her title. She's referred to as "Ms. Hale". Why the Ms? It's not standard to address PhDs here in the states as Ms or Mr. It's doctor. Or just their names.

Why not just call her Miranda? Why address her formally in the way that one does in polite society while simultaneously refusing to address her by her well-earned title?

Of course, you aren't required to address it. It doesn't mean you think it's okay. But you are, after all, here telling us what's wrong in our addressing people in certain ways, but you fail at every opportunity to take to task your cohorts. Who are genuinely, right now, delegitimating Dr. Hale's much earned and deserved title of doctor.

Particularly since she works in academia, teaching at the college level.

Oh wait. It only matters what we say. Never mind. Carry on; I understand how you ideologues operate.

(good thing Ophelia can't edit over here, huh?!)

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 4:54 PM

430

@Jen: I think you're right, there are valid points made by both/many sides, but what happened initially (and it's the reason this thread exists) is that some people were being ignored, and others were speaking for women as if they were speaking for all of us, and doing something I really hate - making special demands of men.

I don't see why we need special rules for men. We need to have respect for each other. We need to respect each others boundaries, but we get to set them for ourselves. It doesn't seem right that a certain group of women gets to dictate male behavior on something that the majority of the population finds unproblematic (no men would be bothered, lots of women wouldn't be bothered).

As to racial/gender epithets, I don't think there is a difference. The only thing I can speak to is how female-gendered epithets make *me* feel. They don't bother me; I don't say them. And that's that. I take no stance on this matter other than tact and manners are always a good idea. Words, however, cannot and should bot be banned. This is a fundamental, bedrock principle and it's a good one. Controlling words is controlling thinking (and this is the goal isn't it)? I believe in freedom of expression, I grew up in communist Russia, where even as a child I knew I couldn't say certain things. It wasn't a good system. I value free speech. Words don't hurt me, it's how they're used that does.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 4:58 PM

431
Dave, if you mean by privilege that each person has a different set of strengths of weaknesses, then we have no disagreement. But you don't seem to stop there; you generalize it to arbitrary distinctions that stop at the level of the group.

While I appreciate your use of "seem." Perhaps you could show where I "generalize it to arbitrary distinctions" anyhere? Or is that a generalization on your side?

FWIW, yes, privilege is about generalizations, it is not particularly useful to individuals. I do take issue with the claim of "arbitrary distinctions" Perhaps you could point out what arbitrary distinctions I have made? Is being a tiger vs a dolphin an arbitrary distinction? That seems to be the only distinction I recall making.

Again, you've yet to adduce a single point that being white and male prevents me from being concerned or having to think about.

I hope you are not holding your breath waiting for me to adduce such a point, it would likely be fatal, as I have no intention of ever doing so. I would argue that there are items that you are less likely to be concerned about than if you were say African-American. Does that mean that no white person is can ever be concerned about these issues? Hell no. But there are parts of the African-American experience that are far more pervasive within that community than they are amoung white people. It is sometimes useful to understand that. The idea of privilege is one way to do that analysis.

Hell it is a de facto stereotyping of people.

When done poorly, or treated as an absolute as many RW supporters have done and you appear to be reacting to, it absolutely is stereotyping. I would suggest that what RW has done with it is an abuse of the concept.

You argue that it's not inherently incoherent? No, you don't. You assert that it isn't. You've yet to identify any utility it has.

Wierd. I explicitly said that you are welcome to find it not useful. There is a difference between not useful and incoherent.

You've yet to make a correct estimation of me on account of two "privileged" groups into which I am arbitrarily classed, which lie beyond my remit to modify.

As that has noting to do with the concept of privilege as used by many when not being abused by the likes of RW and PZ, I dont feel any need to do so.

I am white. I am male. Now, again, what do you KNOW about me? What does this tell you about me?

That you are white and male.

Posted by: Dave | August 8, 2011 5:00 PM

432

@ jen..It isn't even that complicated for me as I have never considered twat (and that's the word that started it all) a gender specific insult.

what the problem for me is because I don't find it insulting, yup I disagree...I must be an idiot, a gender traitor, etc... ALL BECAUSE I DISAGREE..all because I'm not insulted by Abbie's vocabulary or anybodies for that matter..

I have never equated a word with power, some people do, and at least here, I am allowed to disagree without being tarred and feathered..

Posted by: mary | August 8, 2011 5:02 PM

433

To be fair, I think Jen has been extremely brave in this. She's the first person to recognize and admit that we have valid points, and she takes personal risk on how she's viewed in the community by fraternizing with the likes of us. Why this should be so, I don't know.

But when I dove into that den of vile insults and incoherent, childish arguments, Jen was the only one who actually took the time to listen. She has my respect.

(Please tell me that one woman does actually know what "logic" means...)

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 5:05 PM

434

@Justicar
"Harassment does not equal being asked one time to something."

I never said it did.

"She is free to express whatever she'd like. No one has said she's prohibited from doing so. Only your side is in the habit of making it so that others cannot speak."

You said, she has no right to complain. Complaining is what we do when we feel wronged for whatever reason. Unless complaining has some other definition you'd like me to use. Perhaps you meant 'bitching' (and I notice you used it in one of your rebuttals). If so could I get a definition for bitching please? I hear it all the time applied to what sound like perfectly normal complaints to me.


@Phil Giordana
"If a black man calls a fellow black man "yo my nigga'", I don't think anyone disaproves (many reasons to disaprove, maybe, but nobody has the right to tell him not to)."

When did this become the case?

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 5:06 PM

435

Julian:

@Phil Giordana "If a black man calls a fellow black man "yo my nigga'", I don't think anyone disaproves (many reasons to disaprove, maybe, but nobody has the right to tell him not to)."

When did this become the case?

Oh, really? You want to go tell Samuel L. Jackson or Chris Rock or Spike Lee that they don't have the right to use such epithets?

Please go do that.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:14 PM

436

julian-- Just out of curiosity, how would you feel if you saved up money and went to TAM10. And I was giving a presentation at TAM10 on HIV-1. In my presentation, where Im supposed to be talking about HIV-1 evolution, I briefly mention some of the hatemail I get from HIV Deniers. We all laugh at how horrible it is, and then, I say, "Unfortunately, we have this kind of hatred of dissent can be found within our own ranks. Julian (last name retracted here, but not in my theoretical speech) suggests that people who disagree with him should 'burn in a fire', and is proudly unapologetic about this, and has been caught lying repeatedly (screenshots of what you say, out of context). Is that the kind of person, is that the kind of attitude we want in our community?" And then I go on talking about HIV-1 like that never happened.

You arent allowed to say anything in the Q&A (and if you try, Ill still get the last word, and someone can always cut off your mic).

Would you think what I did was fair?

Or would you be hurt? Feel betrayed? Feel frustrated?

You might be talking about Shaftgate. That is not why ERV is talking about Watson. We are talking about her because of her inappropriate abuse of the podium to personally attack someone.


Jen-- I think you are chasing a lark.

Let me put this in a different context-- Breed specific legislation. It is pointless. But it makes do-nothing politicians look like they are doing something, like they 'care' about peoples safety. But the fact of the matter is, they dont (there are much, MUCH bigger fish to fry, ie making sure kids get the shots/checkups, enough food to eat, etc), BSL has no impact on overall dog bite or do homicide stats (they are repealed because of this, sometimes), and they give people a false sense of security ('Oh, that yellow lab must be nice! Hes not an evil pitbull!' ... CHOMP!!).

In that vein, I dont think *many* of the people crying foul over 'twat' or 'bitch' genuinely care about women. Their actions do not suggest that they do, nor do they seem to mind when 'non-naughty-words' are used to *unquestionably* dehumanize and sexualize women (ie PZ suggesting that women who dont see a problem with EG are sex addicted monkeys). Ive also seen and received *many* comments that are utterly homophobic (suggesting women who dont see a problem with EG just want to be 'one of the guys', aka dykes with penis envy, yes, Ive never heard that one before from homophobes).

Focusing on 'naughty words' also completely ignores culture-- What was a 'bad word' 10 years ago? 100 years ago? 10 years from now? 100 years from now? Do you think if everyone stopped using the word 'bitch' *nothing* would step up to take its place? If you ban pits, those bad dog owners who would once gravitate towards pits just buy a different dog.

And as far as the false sense of security goes, with the anti-bad-worders is more of a false sense of superiority. They act like since they dont use naughty words, their shit doesnt stink, eg Julian up there who thinks its okay to tell someone to 'die in a fire', but using the word *TWAT* is a damnable offense. Its not about defending women. Its about language snobbery and a bunch of ivory tower twats looking down on the common folk who *do* say 'bitch' and 'nigger' casually in conversation (yes, 'jungle bunny', I get that too from racists of the black and white variety).

From my perspective, it is more worthwhile to fight people in instances where their behavior is *clearly* sexist. If, for instance, Watson gave a talk on website design. Completely neutral topic. And someone said 'PFF. Shes just a dumb bitch, who cares what she thinks about computers?' THAT would be sexist. Likewise, if someone said 'PFF. Just because her daddy bought her a pink Mac she thinks she can design websites.' SEXIST, but no use of the word 'bitch'-- ITS STILL SEXIST.

If youre focusing on words, you are seeing lots of 'false positives' of sexism, and missing lots of 'false negatives'.

*shrug*

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 5:18 PM

437

@Julian - We're all different people, with different opinions. We are not uniform, and there is no formal power structure holding us together. Could you try to differentiate between us? Thanks.

In regard to lecturing on feminist issues, if that's going to happen, wouldn't it be better if that education came from somewhere other than, say, Feminism Blog 101, apparently? It's a far richer, more complex area of study than that. And there are many valid concerns and diverse opinions.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 5:21 PM

438

Phil,If these men can explain to women like ERV how to be good feminists, I don't see why they can't whitesplain to Spike Lee what words they can use to describe themselves.

Posted by: bhoytony | August 8, 2011 5:21 PM

439

Justicar, I'm not here to answer for the sins of anyone else. Your comments directed at me appear to be attempts to use me as a proxy for addressing people who will not longer respond to you directly. Sorry, not playing.

Blu @ 430.
I agree with you. I have been through the feminist gauntlet before, and more often than not I have been on Abbie's side of things. I was, initially, supportive of Abbie's first response to this thing, too. In general I don't like being spoken for, I don't like generalizations or edicts about the best way to be anything. I quickly found myself on the outs with the local feminists last time (circa the release of Unscientific American, IIRC) and for that reason I was predisposed to NOT align with them on this issue. However, the reaction against the voices that initially said (to a greater or lesser extent) 'guys don't do that' began to seem so hyperbolic that I paid a little more attention to the various arguments.

As I said on B&W earlier today, the incident that originally set this off is sort of beside the point now--the attitudes that it has revealed is the main thing for me now. I could never discuss or think about Rebecca, or Abbie, or Ophelia, or Miranda, etc again, and sexism--and the denial thereof, by some, would still be the issue for me.

I have certainly never advocated banning words. I value free speech as well. However, arguments in favor of continuing to use the words in question as insults that are based on either the fact that women use them against other women or that it's a personal vocabulary choice are missing the reality that making an insult out of likening someone to a woman's body part (or, indeed, in some cases, the whole woman) perpetuates the opinion that femaleness is a liability. I am not saying that all or even most of the people who use those words believe that. I am saying that the way in which those words are used insults is based on that belief. So yes, as you conclude, it is in how the words are used. And in this case, it's as slurs with a hell of a lot of collateral damage.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 5:23 PM

440

"But when I dove into that den of vile insults and incoherent, childish arguments"

Again, I can't help but laugh.

"I value free speech. Words don't hurt me, it's how they're used that does."

Words quiet clearly do hurt you. You felt bullied and humiliated by those of us posting at B&W because of how you were spoken to. But this is the internet. All of this is text based so there's no way you could 'know' that the speaker meant malice or harm by anything but the word(s) used.

"Oh, really? You want to go tell Samuel L. Jackson or Chris Rock or Spike Lee that they don't have the right to use such epithets?"

Are they calling me 'young nigga?'

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 5:24 PM

441

Bhoytony: Please let me hand to you this nail and hammer. You know what to do (no, don't crucify that jewish guy!).

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:24 PM

442

Julian:

"Oh, really? You want to go tell Samuel L. Jackson or Chris Rock or Spike Lee that they don't have the right to use such epithets?"

Are they calling me 'young nigga?'

You fail on so many levels...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:27 PM

443

Justicar @417: "Gurdur, Julian's age is irrelevant."
What if Julian was Gillian?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 5:28 PM

444

"Phil,If these men can explain to women like ERV how to be good feminists, I don't see why they can't whitesplain to Spike Lee what words they can use to describe themselves."

You know, Mr McCarthy over at Thoughts from Kansas also thought I was white. I'm starting to wonder if that's just the vibe I give online.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 5:28 PM

445

Julian:

Oï vaï! You're not white!!!

So, what? do you have a point, anywhere in your rants?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:30 PM

446

@Jen: I don't know if we can speak to damage, not at this juncture.

But this is a non-issue for me personally. I don't use the words in question, nor am I offended. I'm perfectly happy with letting others make *this* decision as 1) I'm not sure what's best; and 2) It doesn't affect me personally.

I'll repeat again, in polite discourse and society, the language should be fitting to the occasion. It's not even a matter of gendered epithets, it's a matter of respect.

And, of course, there's the issue of hypocrisy; Team X can use them (and I've provided a few examples earlier on); TEAM Y cannot. This is particularly amusing because a certain individual has used such words fairly recently, scrawled them on the chest of a man, in fact. Since this whole blow-up stems from a demand (not a complaint) made by this individual, it seems to me that a certain amount of resentment is understandable.

Also, when people ignore you and don't listen to you unless you say bad words, then those words tend to get said. A lot. That's part of what's happening here. My tactic to this is similar to "don't feed the troll."

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 5:35 PM

447

So Jools are you black or are you just going to be coy about it?

Posted by: bhoytony | August 8, 2011 5:36 PM

448

Abbie,
I didn't see your response before I hit 'post'. Thanks for the recap. Obviously you and I differ over the word usage issue, specifically as to why I think the impact and intent of twat, cunt, bitch, cooze, whatever should be considered. I'm not--NOT--asking anyone to refrain from using them, but I am asking for people to understand why so many of us don't agree with their usage as insults. Maybe it is about 'language snobbery' for some people, but I don't think the majority, and certainly not in my case. It just isn't that two-dimensional. I know it's easier to make a caricature out of it, but it's not accurate.

That said, I don't disagree with you that clear-cut instances of sexism require vigilant attention and repudiation. I would only add my opinion that the words in question can contribute to the greater problem of sexism through the way in which women are insidiously devalued by using these words as insults.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 5:39 PM

449

Hi julian (and Jen too). (wave smiley.) Welcome to the Slime Pit (are you still here?).

To return to our debate from yesterday: Yes, I think you are wrong that I am holding a double standard. And here is why.

1. I did not intend my comment in all seriousness; it was partly serious, partly ironic, and partly sarcastic/tongue-in-cheek.
2. Yes, I should probably have included a disclaimer along the lines of "Of course, they could probably say the same thing about us".

Also, and quite importantly, there is a major difference in overall behaviours between most of the folks here, and most of the folks at Ophelia's place, Pharyngula, and Skepchick.org. At Ophelia's et al the insults and name calling are directed straight to the individual, and only sometimes to the argument, and the insults are specifically designed to shame, hurt, embarrass, diminish, and dismiss the individual as a living breathing human being (or, you know, um, die in a fire, or summat like that).

The general tone of insult at Ophelia's et al is designed to declare, to one degree or another, the poster as now worthless as a human being. Whereas here, at the slime pit, those few posters who use these kinds of insults are much less about trying to utterly dismiss the individual as a human being, and are more about dismissing their argument as stupid, or worthless, or what-have-you, or their intellect as minimal -- not always, it must be admitted, but for the most part.

However, all that is not so much here or there. The primary issue, the one of the utmost importance is that here at ERV posters are not censored, re-written, edited, or deleted and then banned for nothing more than the crime of being in disagreement with Abbie or with anyone else. And that is a critical difference. Cripes, Ophelia banned me before I even got a post in place for the ridiculously thin reason of my using a patently humorous phrase as an in-name parens for PZ (myvaginaismorevaginathanyourvagina) Myers.

Ophelia, Myers, and Watson regularly, and with apparent glee, insult the person, edit and/or delete comments and ban commentors, and then frequently follow up after the banning with insulting posts often containing outright lies about the poster -- who of course now has no recourse to defence because they are banned.

And those are critical, fundamental differences that point to a very different mindset that fits comfortably, albeit somewhat tongue-in-cheekily, with a claim to a predisposition towards some degree of psychopathy. In my opinion.

jenbphillips.

Hi. While I do not agree with everything you state, I am quite pleased to read it -- it's organic food for thought.

I am also quite impressed with your joining us here in the Slime Pit. As blu has quite correctly pointed out, you risk real estrangement, and possibly even "disbarment" from your peers at Ophelia's Snake Pit. I think that takes some courage, and certainly fortitude and honesty. Glad to read your words here; thanks for showing up.

Posted by: John Greg | August 8, 2011 5:40 PM

450

Re: Julian's ethnicity, I am tempted to go all Phawrongulite and say: I don't believe you, liar!

But I won't, because a)he's probably telling the truth, and b) I don't give a single fuck if he's black, white, red, yellow, green or marmelade. I just want to see his fucking point!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:40 PM

451
This is particularly amusing because a certain individual has used such words fairly recently, scrawled them on the chest of a man, in fact. Since this whole blow-up stems from a demand (not a complaint) made by this individual, it seems to me that a certain amount of resentment is understandable.

Wait, I thought we were past this. No? Ok
1. It doesn't matter to me who is using them. It matters to me that 'twat' is an insult because women are icky. or weak. or whatever.
2. I guess I missed the part where 'a certain individual' demanded that no one else use the word 'pussy'. Admittedly, I have missed a lot, though, so please do update me.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 5:44 PM

452

Shit. Blockquote fail. "This is particularly......understandable" = bluharmony @ 446. "Wait....me" = my response.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 8, 2011 5:46 PM

453

"Just out of curiosity, how would you feel if you saved up money and went to TAM10. And I was giving a presentation at TAM10 on HIV-1. In my presentation, where Im supposed to be talking about HIV-1 evolution, I briefly mention some of the hatemail I get from HIV Deniers. We all laugh at how horrible it is, and then, I say, "Unfortunately, we have this kind of hatred of dissent can be found within our own ranks. Julian (last name retracted here, but not in my theoretical speech) suggests that people who disagree with him should 'burn in a fire', and is proudly unapologetic about this, and has been caught lying repeatedly (screenshots of what you say, out of context). Is that the kind of person, is that the kind of attitude we want in our community?" And then I go on talking about HIV-1 like that never happened."

You're example doesn't seem to hold true to the situation it's based off. (at least in my mind.) I think a more faithful scenario would if I had left a comment on your blog chastising you for being to quick to damn alt med approaches and something else to the affect of accusing you of not practicing proper science. During your talk on AIDS denialism you used me, surname and all, as an example of how far reaching the thinking that AIDs can be treated "naturally" and you described it as "the kind of thing a homeopath would say."

Like I said last time I was asked how I would feel had I been in Ms McGraw's shoes, I'd feel embarrassed and probably shrink in my seat. I never faulted her for how she felt.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 5:49 PM

454

Jen (or Ms Phillips, or Dr. Phillips, whatever may apply, and please correct me and tell me how to adress you) @451:

It would, then, be quite wise to keep updated about the issues at hand. Abbie has been chastisized fro using the word "Twatson", which was a direct response to "dear Dick". RW may not have demanded anybody from refraining to use any gender epithet, but many of her supporters did. So if RW is "shoked" by the word "twat" but is totally ok with tagging a guy with "pussy", she is a fucking hypocrite. How can it not be so? Please explain.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 5:50 PM

455

Jen @420"Rational Skepticism fails abound." Where Jen, where?
Given that I am treacherous by nature, I probably don't have a "side" that wants me.

My beef is with some pinhead quacking away in her bedsit or wherever, demanding compliance, in deference to her invisible problems, from the entire world.

And publicly and extraordinarily disingenuously beating up anyone who has a problem with that because she has been given the monopoly of the megaphone, by some drooling old rich white neckbeards.
*Cough* Kirby*cough*McGraw, DickyD, and on and on, even hapless Abbie here, as the insects squirm in their insolence and lack of respect, nay, belief so they must be crushed.

Respect? Belief? For a story about an invisible man without a voice (did he use Ameslan?) inside a box, making a Decent Proposal?
It's not like he offered to saw her in half, or pull silk scarves out of her ring.

"Lo! And I did sojourn in a shiny metal cave for forty seconds, and was the Evil One therein. None saw him, nor knew him, but I.
And he did tempt Me, but I forswore him.
Turn away from the paths of the Evil One, O sons of men, else ye be damned, and filthy in My sight!"

[Hopoate spike from dustbubble]

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 5:53 PM

456

Elevatorgate Lessons:

Privilege: a de facto stereotyping of people - Justicar

Objectification: Objectionable when done by males to females as thought "crime," even if accompanying words are unobjectionable. OK if nude calendar made by women. What if photographer is male? What if photographer has impure thoughts while taking the photo? What if the same calendar was made by males (with images of females, we know the reverse is OK).

Sexism: Demanding that men do certain things that women don't need to do. This perpetuates stereotypes and makes a majority unhappy.

Fact of life: How you've behaved in the past will affect how people view you, no matter how much you wish is didn't. This is true for everyone. Can't blame men for this.

Gendered epithets: Manners should resolve this, at least partially. I doubt anything else will.

Oppression: Not what women in the USA are experiencing.

Men: Not demons or monsters.


Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 6:00 PM

457

"While I appreciate your use of "seem." Perhaps you could show where I "generalize it to arbitrary distinctions" anyhere? Or is that a generalization on your side? "

"FWIW, yes, privilege is about generalizations, it is not particularly useful to individuals. "

This is why I don't take you at all seriously; you can't rub two thoughts together.

Those jews are so easy to tell that they're jewish. Here, let's make them wear a yellow star just to be safe. Those fags are so easy to tell who they are, let's make them wear a pink triangle.

Yes, I'm familiar with the group selection idea this privilege model of yours has.

I think about 100 or so million people were murdered while we figured it out.

You may keep your poisoned chalice.

I haven't said a.) it is useless, b.) it is incoherent. Further, I have said that a is true because b is true.

Alas, you've proved my point - being white and male tells you that I'm white and male. We have words for that already; they're white and male. Your concept is useless; it is incoherent; since it is incoherent, it is of no use.

The first rule of tautology club . . .

Mary @ 432

I have never equated a word with power, some people do, and at least here, I am allowed to disagree without being tarred and feathered..

I'm sure if you ask nicely . . .

Julian @ 434

You said, she has no right to complain. Complaining is what we do when we feel wronged for whatever reason. Unless complaining has some other definition you'd like me to use. Perhaps you meant 'bitching' (and I notice you used it in one of your rebuttals). If so could I get a definition for bitching please? I hear it all the time applied to what sound like perfectly normal complaints to me.

I said she has no right to cry foul for being aggrieved when she is, in fact, not aggrieved and no wrong was done her.

She sells herself publicly as a sex symbol. Someone invites her to coffee. She cries foul for being treated like a sex symbol (which isn't evidenced; she only feels that way in her head). Don't want to be treated like a sexual object? Stop telling people you are a sexual object, selling them naked pictures of your body, inviting the whole fucking world to walk up to you at any moment and grab and hug you. Then when someone invites you to coffee, I might give a fuck. I doubt it, but I just might.

What I do manifestly care about is taking someone who's saying, you know, um, being asked to coffee isn't really something to write home about as a person who needs to be written into your "lecture" and called out as a misogynist who is endangering the lives and safety of women because of she's too stupid and too young to know fuck all about being a woman and how to be a proper woman with the right kind of ideas about what women must be to make you happy.

All of this is the result of some woman saying she doesn't see being thought of in a sexual way as the goddamned end of the world.

In addition: IT IS EVEN LESS A PROBLEM WHEN YOU SELL YOURSELF TO THE PUBLIC AS A SEX OBJECT TO BE LUSTED AFTER, CONSTANTLY REMINDING EVERYONE WHO EXISTS HOW FUCKING SEXY YOU ARE BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ANY MEN WHO DON'T FIND YOU SEXY; YOU GET E-MAILS ALL DAY AND NIGHT (THOUSANDS OF THEM) TELLING YOU HOW SEXY YOU ARE TO WHICH YOU RESPOND BY SELLING MORE NAKED PICTURES OF YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS, START UP THE FUCKING "HUG ME" CAMPAIGN, and then complain that 1 person out of the thousands who bought your shitty ass naked pictures dared to ask you to coffee.

She can feel uncomfortable all she wants. She's entitled to that. She is not, however, entitled to cry foul claiming that she is actually aggrieved by being invited to coffee. Or least not to cry about it and demand anyone take her seriously.

OMFG like someone totally asked her out to coffee. Stop the fucking presses.

While she's busy finding a way to sell this publicity (with more nude photos I notice) as best she can, the one person who was actually aggrieved in the whole affair has been thoroughly ignored for her grace, poise and maturity, while simultaneously being thrown under the fucking bus by PZ for being young, stupid, anti-woman, and a goddamned danger to women everywhere: Stef McGraw.

Fuck we should do a goddamned charity drive to buy a big fucking airplane skywriter to post "We're sorry we suck so fucking hard; please stay in our movement; you're valuable and will make a great fucking leader" in the sky everyday for the rest Twatson's goddamned "career".

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 6:05 PM

458

Jen, if you think I'm using you as a proxy, then you are really bad at reading.
I have differentiate between "them" and "you". However, I have noted that you are addressing language in one direction only. Over there. Abbie's the big old fucking bitch whose vagina is worthy of recycling. Miranda Hale is barely a woman (who can die in a fire apparently. wtf is that about?) whose education is null and void this month, but two months ago they loved that she has a PhD and is articulate, thoughtful, gentle and reflective.

Now she's a she-bitch fucking gender traitor who should fuck off (interesting verb from Ophelia giving its "to strike" "to penetrate" type origins one notes).

You support, explicitly, Ophelia's outright delight at editing/deleting people's comments.

Do not say I am not distinguishing between them and you; I am. You just smell a lot like they do.

You're not a proxy for my contempt of them. I am able to find you as contemptible as them, for all of your very own reasons; some of them just happen to be same. Go figure.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 6:10 PM

459

You all are all too emotional about this kerfuffle. You should go unplug your internet, pour yourself a nice, big glass of Boone's Farm, and read PZ Myers's most recent peer-reviewed masterpiece.

Posted by: History Punk | August 8, 2011 6:10 PM

460

@Jen: I didn't even find out about this until Alison Smith wrote her piece, and by that time all the info was available. So I read all of it, and I watched the relevant videos. After I had done that, I thought the situation was fairly clear, regardless of all that was going around.

As to privilege, in the words of the star of this drama:
Argument from ignorance = Argument from privilege (said about Paula Kirby)

The only privileges I see Kirby having are the ones she earned. That's how everything started, and then a speech was derailed.

Though the issues surrounding this are more serious than just than the one incident, I also think a certain of amount of respect and decorum should be afforded to people in the community - like warning your panel ahead of time when you're going to speak on a completely different subject than what's assigned, like not accusing one audience member of "parrotting misogynistic thought" and "ignorance of Feminism [Blog] 101," when a perfectly valid, equitable feminist viewpoint was expressed by several other people.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 6:21 PM

461

"Abbie's the big old fucking bitch whose vagina is worthy of recycling."

You mean the same place where Ms Benson says "I do, in spite of all this. I like her forthrightness. I hate everything she’s doing in this area, but I like her." Posted a few days ago but I don't think the sentiment has changed very much.

"Miranda Hale is barely a woman (who can die in a fire apparently. wtf is that about?) "

Drunk late night posting, if you're wondering. And no one has said Ms Hale (or Dr. Hale, sorry about that) is barely a woman.

"Now she's a she-bitch fucking gender traitor who should fuck off "

Were you the one who came up with the She-Hag comment or was that Ms Smith? I was wondering if there was an entry in the Monster Manual for it, or would it be in Fiend Folio?

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 6:24 PM

462

Pardon. Where did the gender traitor line start cropping up?

Oh, at Ophelia's wasn't it? Mm hmm. She'll ban people for saying twat on another blog, and delete what they say on her blog. Tell someone to go die, dismiss them as a woman and refuse to address them as Dr because they've betrayed their gender. Well, that all stays in.

Everyone has her standards; Ophelia's are perfectly clear.

Drunken posting excuse. Keep staying classy.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 6:28 PM

463

Hey Julian:

Funny, some late night drunk postings of mine got me permabanned from Pahwrongula, and eve earned me a wikia page with all the Luskin-grade quote-mines and such! Care to develop?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 6:29 PM

464

Might I suggest not feeding Julian any more? I don't think he knows what words mean.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 8, 2011 6:30 PM

465

Maybe he's drunk again. Who knows these days.

History Punk, I tried. I can't hear him over all of his stereotyping. Plus, you know, they've got their token gay; no room for a spokesgay like me.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 6:32 PM

466

Punk@459:" You all are all too emotional about this kerfuffle."
It's the sheer teethgrinding frustration, love.

Every time I visualise The Justicar and Bluharmony dying in a fire, I want to run out and buy some marshmallows.

Just one puff of that sweet stuff, and I know they'd be the most fragrant, satisfying, sexy, smarts-enhancing marshmallows in just .. Evah.

And the sodding shops are shut since like an hour and a half, down the village. God I hate this place.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 8, 2011 6:36 PM

467

"Drunken posting excuse. Keep staying classy."

You asked. I don't think it excuses my actions which is why I have no issue with Dr. Hale banning me. Hell, if Ms Smith wanted to ban for threatening her friend I'd probably be cool with that too.

"Tell someone to go die,"

I did that. I don't believe Ms Benson did. You should try to keep your criticism of fair.

"dismiss them as a woman and refuse to address them as Dr because they've betrayed their gender. "

Ms Benson refers to most people by their first name. Really don't see what you're getting at here.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 6:39 PM

468

Jen, here's the kind of person who's earned your support. In pictures with no fancy editing:
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/i-wonder-why.html
Some things just answer themselves.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 6:45 PM

469

Julian:

"Tell someone to go die,"

I did that. I don't believe Ms Benson did. You should try to keep your criticism of fair.

Can we assume, by your standards (you know, coffee/rape) that asking someone to die is akin to ask said person to fuck off? I have plenty evidence for this...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 6:46 PM

470

@Jen: We are past that, I think the assertion that the anger was about the original video is only partially true. The bulk of the community got involved just a bit before I did, and by then there was so much evidence of extremely childish behavior that it was all very hard to swallow. That includes the way the both "sides" have interacted with each other.

As to the gendered epithets, it's your call. I already do what you ask. I just don't feel I have the right to demand that anyone else do the same. It's quite possible that certain words make me uncomfortable or grossed out. But I have no right not to hear them. I don't know who started the epithet demands, as I didn't care much one way or the other.

I think gnu atheists should only "confront" the opposition when engaging in argument fails. Because if you engage rationally with rational people you're likely to change minds if you make your case well. Why this step is skipped so often is beyond me.

I'm dumbfounded at the level of discourse between people with amazing credentials and intelligence, but that's the approach the gnu atheists have apparently adopted.

And I agree, there are so many skepticism and critical thinking fails through this process that it's shocking. But that's bound to happen if everyone from Pharyngla/Skepchick adopts Blog 101 as gospel. It isn't gospel, because that particular branch of feminism has been criticized as being highly dogmatic and illogical. It's theory without facts (and many erroneous factual attributions, as well).

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 6:49 PM

471

Jen -- "twat" is a bad word but "pussy" isn't? WTF?

In Britain, "twat" is used to mean idjit. Try the word "fannypack" over there and see what kind of reaction you get.

This focus on "bad" words is an excuse to ignore any real argument. Especially when there are plenty of examples on the "other" side of dismissive and abusive language that doesn't contain "bad" words. That seems much worse to me than "Twatson".

Posted by: gator | August 8, 2011 6:49 PM

472

Bluntcard? Oh no you din't!
http://bluntcard.com/launch/839.php

Posted by: wildlifer | August 8, 2011 6:49 PM

473

Sorry, I was distracted by your brown paper bag.

You were apparently distracted by my words.

Ophelia bans people for saying things she doesn't like on other blogs.

Ophelia edits people's posts so they read differently.

Ophelia then argues against the edited versions.

Ophelia deletes naughty things that make her box explode.

Ophelia left in the death thing, the gender traitor thing, the pussy confiscation thing.

Her standards are perfectly clear.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 6:50 PM

474

"Can we assume, by your standards (you know, coffee/rape) that asking someone to die is akin to ask said person to fuck off? I have plenty evidence for this..."

When did I equate propositioning someone for sex with rape?

And when I say it yes but I doubt it applies to most people. Especially Ms Benson who made it clear to me she didn't appreciate that on her blog.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 6:54 PM

475

Julian: when you compare being asked for coffe to a prostitute being rapes, you don't just jump the shark, you buttfuck the whole tunaschool!

Now, when have you done that? A simple scroll shows your comments. It's not "magic", it's the internet. Don't be scared by it, it's friendly.

Am I condescending eough to be acepted in your clan? What about that wikia page? (note: this is importnat to the issue of honesty)...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 6:59 PM

476

Insomnia makes me slow, so this a bit late... anyway.


I also think every side is guilty of missing, misrepresenting, underappreciating or unfairly dismissing some valid points made by other 'sides'. Rational Skepticism fails abound.

I think I've read a rather substantial amount of threads on this and I agree with this statement, based on the sheer amount of comments, there are some very outlandish ones from any perspective.

I have not yet read any rationale for why gender-specific epithets are considered to be different than racial/ethnic/cultural epithets.
I'm not dead set on my view, as there are cultural differences in judging insults based on the degree of offense they are supposed to cause. I try to respect the local customs, too, so I usually read commenting policies before posting. Still, this also varies among languages. E.g. there are various words (about 5 at the top of my head) in my native language with the basic meaning of prostitute. Their vulgarity varies. Also, they can be modified in strength by adjacent/combined words or if said in dialect, which may even subvert the original negative connotation to have a quite approving, endearing meaning. Language is quite flexible.

Then there's that love/hate relationship with a neighboring country. Well, with parts of it (often based on dialect), so there is quite a collection of choice words to offend people of the other nationality. Depending on context, though, the same words can be joyful banter or outright pissing match. And my country wins by number of available words to "insult".

Another example, the literal translation of Jew itself was once used as an insult, insular, even without combining it with certain bad modifiers. Yet, nowadays Jew itself is no longer understood as insult, but as the proper term. Except by certain reactionary people, which are luckily quite rare. I proud myself to virtually never get into bar fights by attempts of cooling the situation down, but one of the latest incidents when we had to through someone out, that was a real NeoNazi. Now that's someone I hold in contempt and had no problem insulting. Sadly I was too slow to intervene/intercept and my 2m / 150kg friend ended up in the hospital due to integrity testing of ashtrays and bottles against his head.
So why did we have this incident? Oh yeah, it was closing time and this fucking waste of flesh and his ill-advised companions did not leave the bar like everyone else so we went back in to make sure the waitress was safe as we're regulars there. And our judgment based on situational awareness was correct as he was already raising a stink.
Aspect of luck: no cerebral haemorrhage suffered by my friend, just a concussion. He collapsed later on his way to the hospital.
Aspect of relevance: NeoNazi was using no racist or other major slurs at all - until immediately before the physical fight. Now how the heck did we came to the conclusion that he was a NeoNazi before that? Various accumulated subtle clues based on the ideas he conveyed. And a lovely trap to seal the deal: playing a particular track against racists by a punk band.
Nope, this is nothing to brag about or even be thanked for, as my friend was injured due to my bad room position, and we couldn't prevent violence in the first place.
Why did I involve myself? Principle: I took an oath as an adult to uphold our constitution. I'm just a reserve Sgt, but that thing has a meaning to me. I don't tolerate NeoNazis.
Even more important: waitress was in imminent danger. She would have been outnumbered and without help. Police would have taken too long.

So basically I don't differentiate that much between insulting words. For me, the actual meaning of words used based on their context is slightly more important than specific epithets. It's about the ideas being expressed, not about certain words which might be uttered without much thought when angered.

Again, I try to keep my usage of plain insults at a minimum.
But I might or even will still use e.g. "forget that slut" when consoling a somewhat close friend after a breakup due to his ex having cheated on him. Probably followed by a phrase like "bros before hoes" to indicate my willingness to lend my ear and handing him a beer and a bourbon.

Note, if someone can explain to me the mechanism by which an insult used in the singular targeted at a specific person with sufficient reason can be extrapolated to have been hurled at a whole subset of the human species, I'm willing to reconsider my usage of specific insults. Even if that might deprive me of expressing myself in a concise and clear manner.
It's funny, in my circle of friends, the person with the most "toxic" language is a very tiny lass. What she lacks in height, she more than compensates by language. Yet, she's particularly generous, kind and caring. While I do have weird incoherent issues with being touched, she more than once came to hold my hand in the middle of the night during my suicidal bouts. But damn, I never want to be the target of her anger.

I know this is anecdote-laden, but I hope it illustrates where I come from. I only speak for myself.


But since it's currently en vogue, I might start a campaign to lobby to abandon all touching in public, cause some social customs regarding casual touching slightly freaks me out. *snicker* (Of course, this would rightly seen as unreasonable, as I cannot demand to have my personal sensibilities overrule how other people behave between them)

What I did was trying to overcome my aversion regarding what's usual around where I live. So, if among particular circles, I can now fit in to a degree and even exchange kisses on cheeks. I don't always succeed, though, and come off as distanced and other things. Whatever.

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 7:00 PM

477

I don't think Jen condones anyone's use of certain words. Jen is not being hypocritical. As an individual, she's being consistent about something she feels strongly about. And I don't attribute the gender epithets said by others to her.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 7:02 PM

478

"when you compare being asked for coffe to a prostitute being rapes, you don't just jump the shark, you buttfuck the whole tunaschool!"

First off, your initial example didn't include coffee. And second, equating would be claiming both are equally severe or trying to lessen the severity of one. What I did was follow what you said to its ridiculous conclusion.

So unless the mere mention of rape alongside any other topic makes it less than what it is, I don't think I equated rape with being propositioned for sex.

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 7:06 PM

479

Julian:

Please grow up and come back in a few years. Yes, this is harsh, and I don't give a fuck.

Julian, you have a bad case of the stoopid. Think about it, leave the internet for a while, then come back with your conclusions. That's what I was asked at PZ's. Toodles!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 8, 2011 7:12 PM

480

There's the issue of gendered epithets, and then there's the issue of sentiments like "go die in a fire," or my suicide-related comment in response to something that didn't warrant it, along with a slew of other idiotic, irrational put-downs. It's true argument ad hominem most of the time: your argument is stupid because you're stupid. Logic isn't logic because you're stupid. Or worse, rewriting someone's argument for them.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 7:12 PM

481

"Please grow up and come back in a few years. "

May I ask your standards for what qualifies as adulthood? Namely, what characteristics/behavior should be expected of an adult?


@bluharmony

But what about sentiments like 'women should not feel bothered being constantly propositioned or having their sexuality made the center of attention' or 'a single individual deserves whatever scorn and hate is thrown their way because the speakers feel they're a complete bitch' or 'it's ok to call someone by sex/race/group insults no matter what?' Isn't any of that at all troubling?

Posted by: julian | August 8, 2011 7:22 PM

482

"fannypack" in Britain. *giggling like a child*

IIRC, "fanny" is the Brit equivalent of US "cunt", right? I mean in taboo degrees.

Damn, there's another word that's used as an insiders' joke/insult in a forum I sometimes frequent: "twatwaffle".
That always makes me giggle inside a bit. Who the fuck coined that? I mean what does one have to smoke to combine "twat" with "waffle". UrbanDic does hint at a particular etymology... but that's just absurd.

Argh, I hope my inner child never completely dies.


@blu yeah, "go die" is always nice to read as a depressive. I'm glad that I'm not "triggered" by such stuff. I always look at such stuff as not directed at / irrelevant to me.
But I will never demand that The Internet censors itself. Will never work. When suicidal, I distract myself - at least I try.
It's cool, when safe spaces for specific people are available, though.

@julian - if someone is harassed and it is not noticed by bystanders, one needs to raise the issue with the event organizers. They should have harassment policies and if needed eject the harasser.
Same in a bar. Ask the staff/bouncer to intervene.

Yes, this puts the person being harassed in a position where the person has to take action. It's not perfect, but when you're robbed you'll still have to call the cops, too.

But, if it's brought to the attention of the authorities/organizers, it can be documented, statistics can be created and if needed serial harassers can be rejected from events by other organizations, too, as I'm sure the organizations will gladly work together if a lot of cases of harassment within the wider movement have been documented.

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 7:31 PM

483

Damn, my wording is bad.
In my longer post I spot on "through" which should be "throw", amongst other errors. *Doh*

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 7:40 PM

484

Lost Control, in the UK fanny does mean cunt, but it is not considered anywhere near as taboo as that is in the US. Nobody much except vicars and maiden aunts will blink an eye at it's use. A common phrase here is "fannying about" meaning messing about and it's not considered shocking in the least.I don't think we have a word that seems to be as taboo as cunt is in the US. You wouldn't say cunt in front of your grandmother here, but it doesn't send people apeshit the way it seems to do in the states.

Posted by: bhoytony | August 8, 2011 7:57 PM

485

bhoytony, it's not a big deal here in the states either. It's just a big deal to people who need to go around inventing problems to justify their generally lugubrious lives.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 8:01 PM

486

To demonstrate how much we don't care about such language here's a clip from BBC Scotland. Do you have this sort of thing on US network TV? Don't let Jools see it or he might faint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLPOFdTWYYM

Posted by: bhoytony | August 8, 2011 8:09 PM

487

Mother: "Jimmy! Why did you get sent home??"
Jimmy: "I said the 'C' word"
Mother: "Well that wasn't clever, was it?"
Jimmy: "No. It was 'Cunt'!"

Posted by: benoni | August 8, 2011 8:10 PM

488

I was thinking about that as well. Where I am from "mad cunt" and "sick cunt" can be used as terms of endearment. Go figure...

Posted by: DownThunder | August 8, 2011 8:12 PM

489

One wonders how Ophelia managed to survive the financial crisis when they government did a hostile takeover (through payment) for Mae's fanny.
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/divided-by-common-language.html

Why no outrage there, Ophelia?

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 8:16 PM

490

bhoytony, thanks. At least I remembered the basic meaning.
Might have mistaken it with something else. Should have pulled out my trusty OED. At some point I need to get a newer edition, I think it's from the late 90s.

And now for something completely different...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug8nHaelWtc

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 8:26 PM

491

(I've been busy as shit all day, didn't have time to look at this until an hour or so ago. Laden thought I posted a long fucking comment on HIS lame blog? Settle in kids, go to the bathroom first, Ima beat this motherfucker with some verbage.)

331:

"I never said it disqualified her. Just that she's being very hypocritical on this issue, now playing the "prude"."

Then a prostitute who is raped but paid afterward would be behaving hypocritically. The prostitute would also be playing a prude because she's supposed to be up for sex for money from strangers.

No you silly git, that isn't the same analogy. if a prostitute started complaining, all of a sudden, that people treat her like a whore, and treating a prostitute like a whore is wrong, THAT would be the same thing.

Because Watson has zero problem sexualizing herself, but suddenly gets pissy when someone talks to her at an inconvenient time, and keep in mind, she can't PROVE he was trying to get in her pants. The assumption has been that "don't take this the wrong way" meant "I'm trying to nail you, but I don't want you to think I'm trying to rape you."

It is just as possible it meant "I know this will seem like a cheap comeon, but I really would just like a chance to chat away from a ROOM FULL OF NOISY DRUNKS."

The entire OMG HE WAS THERE, HE SHOULD HAVE HEARD is bullshit, and I wonder if anyone saying that has ever actually been in an even slightly crowded bar. Here's a fun experiment. Go to a bar with a friend. Chat. Now, WITHOUT interrupting, or halting your conversation, pay enough attention to a conversation between oh, five people going on about 3m away well enough to know what *one* person out of the five is saying so that when they leave, you know exactly what they're talking about.

Remember, you have to keep interacting with your friend at the same time. You can't take notes, nor can they listen for you. You have to hold a conversation and simultaneously monitor another conversation you're not a part of.

in a noisy bar.

Good. Fucking. Luck.

Funny how everyone has assumed that he'd done naught but sit there, in rapt attention to her every word. Ego much?

btw, I draw a distinction between prostitute and adult film star.

Your amazing enlightenment is noted.

341:

"People do get hit-on when leaving bars. It's common, wouldn't you say? Do we want to change that? I have no issue with it."

So what if it's common? Please pick a different justification. A lot of things that should stop are common.

Fuck, I hope not. Having women hit on me as I left the Airmen's club in the Keesler AFB triangle accounted for half the sex I had in Tech School. Jesus, don't be dickin' up everyone else's flow because you're oversensitive.

346:

I have made no such equivalence. You said a woman who makes her sexuality public has no right to complain about being sexualized without being a hypocrite. I pointed out that by that logic a sex worker who's paid for the act cannot claim rape without being a hypocrite. I'm just using the standard you set.

When did Watson make her sexuality public? I wasn't aware she'd declared one way or the other. Werds, how inconvenient.

Watson has spent more than a little time encouraging people to see her in a sexualIZED way. Then, she suddenly says "by the way, ALL WOMEN THINK BEING HIT ON IN AN ELEVATOR IS CREEPY". Well, um, you spend a lot of time getting guys to think of you as someone they'd like to have sex with, it's a bit silly to then be surprised when someone asks you for coffee without you giving them the explicit go ahead, solely because they should have been hanging on your every fucking word in a bar.

Secondly, no, she doesn't speak for all women. In fact, the women I've asked all said the same thing: "Did he take "no" for an answer the way he should have? Yes? Meh, not creepy. Probably invite him to lunch the next morning."

I fully understand that. What you don't seem to understand is that these same women can and are in fact not hypocrites for feelings sexualized in certain situations.

We're not saying she's a hypocrite for feeling sexualized. We're saying she's a hypocrite for encouraging people TO sexualize her, and then suddenly complaining when it happens outside of a set of circumstances that EG had no realistic way of knowing.

THAT is why she's a hypocrite.

357:

Try to focus on what I was doing because I think staring at strangers on the street is creepy.

that doesn't mean your definition applies to everyone. Shit, you can't even define "staring" in an objective way that applies to all. YOU find "staring", (for whatever value that holds) creepy. For YOU that is valid. Were you to say "Staring is ALWAYS creepy, for EVERYONE", then you'd be full of shit. Had watson said "I, and probably many other women, find this creepy", okay, she's not talking our of her ass. But she said it to mean ALL women everywhere agree with here, and that's just bullshit, but she cannot seem to comprehend that a lot of women and men are saying "you're full of shit" because of her arrogance in trying to shove everyone in her personal namespace.

And I never called 'it' a crime. Crime would be, as you point out, disobeying the no means no (which btw, doesn't seem to be much help for some of the women I know. A lot of men think no means try harder) rule. But a lot of actions that are 'wrong' are also not crimes.

Yet EG didn't do that. "No means no" worked, according to all current evidence, perfectly. Let's keep reality in mind here.

ps I apologize for my lack of schooling. Believe me, I regret not going to college.

Your lack of formal education is not your major problem here.

360:

However you do seem to agree with his overall conclusion that a woman who's thing is being sexy has no right to feel creeped out or offended by unwanted advances or (from the example of the porn star you give) leering stares and such when she's out and about town .

I disagree with that completely. She has the right to feel whatever she feels. But if she doesn't want to be seen as a sex object, then maybe making a living as a sex object is going to fuck up her program just a bit. You want to be seen as a vegan, eating hamburgers won't help.

I also think if she starts loudly complaining about it and saying that what she feels applies to EVERY woman or even EVERY porn star, she's talking out of her ass.

365:

BAAHAHAHAAHA...oh look, Julian just got burned by the All-Seeing Eye of Agamattonet. Seriously Julian, you're playing the DIAF game, and then telling ANYONE else how to behave?

Beam in thine own eye dude.

366:

What the does "a lot of men try harder" have to do with it? That's exactly my point. Men should take no for an answer, but they can ask. It's an easy-to-follow rule, the same one that applies to women.

Yep. Actual tech school convo:

friday night: "Hey, wanna grab a room once the club closes and get it on?"

"No"

"Damn. Okay"

Saturday night, same girl:

"Hey, wanna grab a room once the club closes and get it on?"

"You're real persistant"

"You're real hot"

"Okay, sure."

"WOOHOO"

(It's tech school. Different world, different rules. But asking wasn't wrong, just not taking "no" as the answer if that happened was.)

368:

"He wants to play nanny to the ERV slime, yet he had no problem telling Miranda (and long-time, well respected commentor Prometheus) to die in a fire."

Yes I did. I also apologized to Ms Hale for it and regret saying it. It was uncalled for even if I didn't mean it as a threat.

You never apologized to miranda on her blog for saying it. You only nonpologized on Ophelia's blog, and THAT only after she scolded you. TWICE. You even used the lamest nonpology of all "I'm sorry you took it that way":

It was a very hostile comment on a post trying to move away from the overt hostility in many of these threads and while no malice was meant I can see why someone might read it that way.

You don't think you actually said anything wrong, you're just sorry they took it that way and it caused you an inconvenience. Here's what an apology for saying that would have looked like:

"I shouldn't have told anyone to die in a fire. Regardless of how I meant it, it was a pretty stupid thing to say, and I shouldn't have said it. Miranda, Prometheus, I'm sorry."

Funny how much shorter that is than your nonpology. Seems to work that way a lot.

Also Julian, if you "can see why Ms McGraw feels as she does but I still don’t see how Ms Watson behaved inappropriately", would you still agree with that sentence if we re-wrote it as: "can see why Ms Watson feels as she does but I still don’t see how EG behaved inappropriately"?

416:

"No right to complain does not equal no right to feel."

In this case to me they come out to the same thing. If you can't voice your feelings of being sexualized, harassed ectectect, you're really not allowed to feel them, are you? You're allowed to have them so long as no one sees them which is absurd.

No, they fucking DON'T. They NEVER do, it's why they're difference concepts and different words. If you're a famous person, you can feel pissed off at the papparazzi all you want, but please, spare me the fucking press conferences about how bad they are. You don't have a fucking problem with them when it's convenient for you, guess what, other people don't have to live by your fucking rules. You want to be private, be private. But if you're going to hold press conferences to tell me you're not dating someone any more, or press releases to tell me where you're going on vacation, YOU'RE NOT BEING PRIVATE.

Feel harassed all you want, but don't expect me to give a rat's ass when you COMPLAIN about it, because it's pretty obvious you're contributing.

Jesus. This isn't like she was some random person who happened to be on an elevator and randomly got hit on by Capt. Creepola. She's someone who spends a LOT of time sexualizing & objectifying herself when it's convenient, or when she wants to make a bit of dosh from teh sexy picture sales. She make sure we all know that she parties hard, and is, tee-hee, a naughty girl, WINK.

But to expect that everyone within theoretical hearing distance is hanging on her fucking words? Bullshit. To sit there and spend that time pumping up teh sexxxy, then bitch that OMG, PEOPLE SEXUALIZE HER? Seriously? Give me a fucking break.

You know what the funny thing is? Porn Stars are actually quite intelligent about this. They use pseudonyms for their acting, they don't walk around in full porn gear all the time, and so, don't have a lot of problems. When someone DOES recognize them, they don't, for the most part, get all pissy. They appreciate the fan support, and assuming the person in general is being polite, seem to rather enjoy it.

But they don't complain that people DARE to recognize them as porn stars. Because that would be kind of fucking stupid.

Watson is like a porn star bitching she gets recognized for sucking dick on film.

436:

Focusing on 'naughty words' also completely ignores culture-- What was a 'bad word' 10 years ago? 100 years ago? 10 years from now? 100 years from now? Do you think if everyone stopped using the word 'bitch' *nothing* would step up to take its place? If you ban pits, those bad dog owners who would once gravitate towards pits just buy a different dog.

Thank you for that opening Abbie.

"Shit, Piss, Cunt, Fuck, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits". 30+ years ago, those were the SEVEN WORDS YOU CAN NEVER SAY ON TELEVISION. EVER.

Nowadays, you'd be laughed out of the room for "piss", and even shit and tits are no longer OMG EEEEBUL. But when Carlin was arrested and ended up in the SCOTUS case record, "piss" was on the list.

Can't say bitch or cunt? Okay. Gash. Feel better? You can't even ban Gash, it's a word outside of the gender implications. "What happened to your arm?" "Fuck, I fell of my bike, caught it on a guardrail, gashed the shit out of it" "That's going to leave a scar" "yup".

Being (several) years older than Abbie, I remember when Shepards, then Dobies were the fucking DEVIL. As a kid, I was so freaked out about dobies, I'd panic when I saw one, because those fuckers would rip you apart. (Boys from Brazil, shitty movie but man, those dobies fucked Gregory Peck up.)

I felt this way until I dated a girl whose family had one, and it never learned that it wasn't a lap dog. Ever had a rather rotund dobie curl up in your lap? Yeah. Killer was about as deadly as a Pomeranian. Less vicious for sure.

Dog breeds, words, getting freaked out be *things* is stupid. Deeds, actions, those are things to care about. My baby puppy is the sweetest thing on the planet, but given her build and strength, if I raised her to fight, your TTL against her, unarmed, would be about two minutes. But since I haven't, saying she's a "bad breed" because she COULD cause harm is asinine. A word isn't bad. The person using the thought via the word to try to cause harm? That's bad.

Also, you know how you deal with BAD WERDS? "I'm an asshole? Okay, sure, I am." Oops. Where's your power now. Words cannot harm you. We learned that as a young children I hope. Why do so many assume it's no longer valid.


439:

I have certainly never advocated banning words. I value free speech as well. However, arguments in favor of continuing to use the words in question as insults that are based on either the fact that women use them against other women or that it's a personal vocabulary choice are missing the reality that making an insult out of likening someone to a woman's body part (or, indeed, in some cases, the whole woman) perpetuates the opinion that femaleness is a liability. I am not saying that all or even most of the people who use those words believe that. I am saying that the way in which those words are used insults is based on that belief. So yes, as you conclude, it is in how the words are used. And in this case, it's as slurs with a hell of a lot of collateral damage.

If i can damage you just by calling you a bitch, you might want to never go outside or on the internet ever again. Friend of mine, when told how bad "bitch" is said "Nah, that's not so bad. Cuntpickle is worse" Anyone "damaged" by the mere use of a word at them has issues that they need to get resolved and soon.

459:

You all are all too emotional about this kerfuffle. You should go unplug your internet, pour yourself a nice, big glass of Boone's Farm, and read PZ Myers's most recent peer-reviewed masterpiece.

They put stuff that old on the internet?

461:

Drunk late night posting, if you're wondering.

"Y'all, I am SO drunk"

Christ, are you that silly that you think voluntary inebriation is even VAGUELY an excuse? Better to say nothing than be that lame.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 9:07 PM

492

Oh, oh. There's John C. Welch running his DDoS attacks again.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

;)

Posted by: John Greg | August 8, 2011 9:21 PM

493

I think I've found the best analogy for this. It beats the shit out of my "I get annoyed sometimes when people ask me math questions when I'd rather enjoy my coffee" example.
Thanks, John: "You want to be seen as a vegan, eating hamburgers won't help"

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 9:21 PM

494

julian-- Drunk late night posting, if you're wondering.
If you were drunk at ~7-8 pm on a Tuesday night, you either need to a) grow up, or b) get help.

You know, if Nanny Ophelia were in charge, no one would say naughty words.

If Nanny Abbie were in charge, Ive got a few ideas of my own. One would be everyone can have one alcoholic drink/hour.

Also, if you are allowed to get drunk and make a mistake, why isnt Elevator Guy?

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 9:22 PM

495

475:

Julian: when you compare being asked for coffe to a prostitute being rapes, you don't just jump the shark, you buttfuck the whole tunaschool!

No match for "FUCKINGTUNA.COM".
>>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 01:09:49 UTC

No match for "IFUCKTUNAS.COM".
>>> Last update of whois database: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 01:10:05 UTC

that rule is bullshit.

476:

It's funny, in my circle of friends, the person with the most "toxic" language is a very tiny lass. What she lacks in height, she more than compensates by language. Yet, she's particularly generous, kind and caring. While I do have weird incoherent issues with being touched, she more than once came to hold my hand in the middle of the night during my suicidal bouts. But damn, I never want to be the target of her anger.

Worked with a crew chief like that. One night, a B-1 lands and the pilot had written up the plane for having a dirty cockpit with soda all over. Mary wondered what the fuck was going on until she found the pepsi can that was empty because Capt. Toolio had spilled it all over the console, then tried to blame her.

(anyone reading this who knows crew chiefs is already cringing)

She grabbed him before he could scamper off in the crew bus, and over the sounds of one of the loudest fucking airplanes on the planet, you could hear her rip into him. Jesus didn't weep, Jesus was looking for a fucking priest. I think I blocked out some of the stuff she said, it was that foul. The guy almost started crying. He did try to to complain, and the only thing our Col. said to her was "No more making Captains cry. That's my fun."

At the same time, she was really awesome to work with, and one of the most fun campers I've ever known. But dear lord, we never pissed her off.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 9:22 PM

496
My baby puppy is the sweetest thing on the planet, but given her build and strength, if I raised her to fight, your TTL against her, unarmed, would be about two minutes.

Man, nerdlolz. :-D

Also, dude, how many keyboards do you burn through in a month?

Posted by: cthellis | August 8, 2011 9:52 PM

497

496:

about 1 every couple years. I don't type *hard*, just reasonably fast. Nothing like my mom, she was over 200 WPM on a decent computer.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 10:24 PM

498

It seems I might be mistaken about Miranda's graduate degree. It appears she has a master's and not a doctorate. If that be the case, then here I am publicly admitting that in light of new evidence, I have abandoned that line of reasoning and should like to modify my position on that issue to accord with the facts.

For some reason, I'd remember reading she was a professor of English. mea culpa

Thanks for pointing that out Salty Current. Note, Salty Current, unlike you I'm capable of admitting error, and correcting it properly. I note I've still not seen you properly change your quote mine of me, which you admit that you beforehand didn't think fit, but chose to say it anyway. And then in your correction, you still fucked up figuring out who its subject was.

Posted by: Justicar | August 8, 2011 10:29 PM

499

Change of topic: Where does everyone think the first London-style anti-austerity rioting in the USA will occur?

Posted by: History Punk | August 8, 2011 10:35 PM

500

Badger3k @ 394, re: Sagan & starstuff:

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1958#comic

Posted by: Woden | August 8, 2011 10:47 PM

501

Ha, John, "my" lass isn't that loud, just restaurant kitchen loud. But her lovely eyes can burn fiery. It's just fitting that she's confectioner by trade. From photos I've seen she produces the sweetest sculptures.
Her boyfriend blows shit up for a living and does pyro, depending on what job he gets.
Now, for outsiders witnessing their regular arguments, that's confusing. You'd think one of them won't survive the day. But no, I learned they seem to like it that way.

Posted by: lost control | August 8, 2011 10:49 PM

502

200 WPM?!! I am skeptical that that's even humanly possible. Obviously your mother is an alien.

Posted by: cthellis | August 8, 2011 10:52 PM

503

You know, if people are going to bag on Watson as a commenter on things scientific, because she hasn't the background, then why is ophelia benson getting a free ride there? Does she have some kind of science degree lurking about? As best as I can tell, she doesn't.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 10:55 PM

504

501:

LOL...she was a legal secretary from the 1940s until the 1990s. She learned how to type on manuals, and could lock up a selectric with ease. wasn't until she had a 486 running WP 5.1 that she wasn't faster than the machine and/or software.

The speed wasn't creepy. It was that she had a freakish memory and could type up pages of notes while talking holding a conversation with you. That was the creepy part.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 10:58 PM

505

Also, still more schadenfreude about the continuing misadventures of freethoughtblogs' attempts at IT.

lulz.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 11:14 PM

506

@Justicar

What's hundredty times the square root of eleventy twelve?

Posted by: Munkhaus | August 8, 2011 11:25 PM

507

AAAAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA

PZ IS BITCHING ABOUT DOGMA AND TONE TROLLING!

AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!!!

diez


I don't know what's funnier: that shit or watching him and the rest stumble around because they don't know fuck all about IT. Well, I feel bad for Ed, he seems a decent sort. Watching PZ get upset because he can't just "harrumph" at computer problems and make them go away is HILARIOUS.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 11:26 PM

508

I cant see that page or freethoughtblogs at all :=/

Posted by: ERV | August 8, 2011 11:29 PM

509

that's because they managed to royally fubar their DNS, and it'll take a few days to sort out. Here's a somewhat Meh screencap, ( Mac OS X 10.7 borked the HTML -> PDF routines, so the links don't work, but you'll get the idea.)

If the DNS starts working, the comments are pretty fucking precious too.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 8, 2011 11:54 PM

510

Hi, what's a DDoS? Kidding...kidding.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 8, 2011 11:58 PM

511
I don't know what's funnier: that shit or watching him and the rest stumble around because they don't know fuck all about IT.

Personally, I find it to be the Google ads. CafePress.com right-hand sidebar ad right now is all "Find RIGHT WING T-shirts and gear. From Tea Party tees to liberal-trashing bumper stickers, find gear that enlightens folks on the right course." And the pictured guy is wearing a "What Would Reagan Do?" T-shirt.

:-)

Oh wait, Google "AdChoices" up top has some choice ads, too! "Homeschool Science" and "Christ Is My Life - Video Testimonies by New Yorkers About Faith, Hope and Purpose"

X-D

You'd think if they were really concerned over the message they're sending, they would be a bit more discerning over the ad streams now that they have full control. I'm pretty sure Google is just keying off "Bachmann" and letting the crazy fly.


Refreshing is bringing new fun to light, too. Finally ran across an atheist-related ad up top (linking to a Dawkins-mentioning article on Pantheism.net) and the right sidebar is now dedicated to... grok this... QUANTUM JUMPING!

Seriously. http://www.quantumjumping.com/about

Awesome.

Posted by: cthellis | August 8, 2011 11:58 PM

512
Hi, what's a DDoS?

I checked Urban Dictionary... You do NOT want to know! O_O

Posted by: cthellis | August 9, 2011 12:01 AM

513

510:

Bill Gates used to have a REALLY bad stutter...

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 12:04 AM

514

Ophelia is a drama queen, pure and simple. You'd think she's a rock star because her Ambrose Bierce knockoff got some media attention a few years ago. Some guy rudely accosted her recently and she mentioned it repeatedly for like a week. She went to France and guys hitting on her made her life "hell" while she was there. One woman calling another a twat is the same as a white guy calling a black guy "nigger" apparently, and anyone commenting to disagree with her is a troll. It's too bad; she's not stupid, but her ego deserves its own zip code.

And now PZ is seriously quoting Kate Harding? Someone infamously dictatorial who SPECIALIZES in medical woo? Quantum rape is now a skeptical issue? My head hurts.

Posted by: Sucka Free | August 9, 2011 12:18 AM

515

Christian Fundraising - Raise money fast and easy for your Christian group. Get a free kit!

Jesus Brand Spirituality - He wants his religion back!

Publish a Christian Book - Follow Your Calling with Westbow. Let us help you make an impact.

Gods Church - Did you know God has one True Church? Here is how to prove where!

Religious Studies Online - Earn a Religion Degree or Diploma from home. Get free info today!

Divine Revelation - A call by Christ to spiritual life, Bible study, and Church Reform.

...

Man, the woo and actual science-related stuff are in about even proportions. And the religion-themed ads are just DOMINATING.

At least some more of the "usual stuff" has started to show up. Staples, Dodge Caravan ads... And I'm already bored of municipal bonds options.

Also: what's with not taking more time to get a non-shite commenting system? Didn't they already complain enough about Sciblogs' to not want to go with a barely-differentiated version? Was the important thing just getting an avatar icon?

Great Eru, it's making me want to retreat to Gruber's just as eyebleach.

Posted by: cthellis | August 9, 2011 12:20 AM

516

@Julian Hi!

But what about sentiments like 'women should not feel bothered being constantly propositioned or having their sexuality made the center of attention' or 'a single individual deserves whatever scorn and hate is thrown their way because the speakers feel they're a complete bitch' or 'it's ok to call someone by sex/race/group insults no matter what?' Isn't any of that at all troubling?

When it comes to propositions, it's a complaint about manners, relevant to time and place. I would hope that in a professional setting propositions wouldn't be appropriate (and could be sexual harassment), but that in bars and at recreational events men and women would be free to ask. This is how it currently works, and I think it works well. Also a woman with a public platform could present a statement related directly to her. "Don't to X to me, I lots of other women I know don't like that either." That's a fair statement, and doesn't speak for me. The X should then be described specifically enough to that the rule is easy to follow.

Also, I think people have mentioned that when you present yourself in a certain manner, it's not unusual for people to treat you like that. If you're wearing a "hug me" button, strangers might hug you.

I don't think anyone deserves scorn or hate, especially from speakers, as you suggested. However, I think it's fair to criticize a public figure who consistently, cruelly, and often incorrectly admonishes others. This is what's happening. It has very little to do with elevators, and further, this thread is only partially about a single individual. All sorts of open discussion goes on here.

I've addressed gendered-epithets already. I'm of the belief that meaning changes over time and they're just not a big deal. Again, I don't use them, but I can't make myself offended by something that I'm not offended by. The intent behind the words is what matters to me. Everyone gets to set these rules for themselves in their own forums, however.

Someone pointed out, and this is so true, that you're living a problem free life if how other people are using a particular word is your greatest concern. So true.

Bottom line: I don't try to control the legal behavior of others, and I value free speech.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 12:27 AM

517

Quality control: "Don't do X to me, some other women might not like it either." That's what I meant to say.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 12:30 AM

518

bhoytony @484:
Jist .. gonnie no?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLPOFdTWYYM

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 12:54 AM

519

#518
Shite! Great minds think alike.
Should have read a bit further.
Need coffee. Too early.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 12:57 AM

520

Speaking of IT problems, ButterfliesAndWheels isn't loading for me now. John, did you post over there, or do you think Benson just overloaded the site with her mass comment purging?

Also, on the topic of her education... yeah, I'm coming up blank, too. Her Wikipedia page mentions that she "attended university," but not a specific university, major, or degree type received (dropout, perhaps?), and the source that is cited for that doesn't actually seem to have any information about her at all. I can't find any other source that claims she has any post-secondary education at all.

Posted by: Woden | August 9, 2011 1:00 AM

521

lost control@490:
So it looks like I've been a silly bunt.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 1:12 AM

522

Justicar @489: Bottomless Pit Redux (see :-fanny)
In English English, your professor is not their professor.

"For some reason, I'd remember reading she was a professor of English. mea culpa".

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 1:29 AM

523

Punk@499 : 'til the gunz comes out, reckon?


(Jings. Looks like just me 'n' that Sassenach god fellow on the graveyard shift then?)

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 1:34 AM

524

John Greg @ 449
Thanks for the kind words. I wouldn’t want to belong to any group that would expel me for talking with people who hold different views. The easiest way to get me to stop associating with you is to try and tell me how or what to think. I strongly disagree that this would be the case at B&W, however. As it happens, I can like and extract positive, informative content from both Abbie and Ophelia without melting my brain. Go figure.

Phil @ 454:
Just plain Jen is fine, thanks for asking.
The whole reason I am here asking questions is in order to try and ‘keep updated about the issues at hand’. Blu’s phrasing suggested that RW herself had decreed these words taboo but also used them herself at some point. That is not, apparently, what happened, so my request for clarification was well-founded. As for her being shocked, well I have to say that if my actions, however ill advised or poorly judged by some were to have fomented a reaction of this magnitude, and if my name had somehow transmogrified from Phillips into ‘Pussylips’ and was emblazoned across Scienceblogs and repeated far and wide across the internet for months on end….well, I’d likely be pretty shocked. Gotta cut her some slack on that reaction.

Dustbubble @ 455:
Sorry, that didn’t make any sense to me. Feel free to deride my reading comprehension if you are so inclined.

Justicar @ 456:
Still not playing.

Bluharmony
@ 457:
Yeah, like I said, not really on board with any of the early happenings to which you refer. My objections to the fallout (now, what, 6 weeks out?) are fairly specific.

@ 470:
I think I’ve been pretty clear that I have never demanded, nor will I, any change in other people’s use of these words. The furthest I’ve gone is to express frustration that they are so widely used.

@ 477:
Thank you for your support. I’m grateful that you hear what I am saying, even if you don’t agree with it.

@518 (this wasn't addressed to me specifically, but might refer to me nonetheless)

Someone pointed out, and this is so true, that you're living a problem free life if how other people are using a particular word is your greatest concern. So true.

It's true that I am very lucky. I do have the time to contemplate intangible ways in which I can make the world a better place for my kids. Not having to acquaint them with the widespread tactic of insulting others by comparing them to females would be a step in the right direction.

Gator @471:
WRONG. That is not what I said, nor what I mean. ‘twat’ and ‘pussy’ mean different things when used as insults, of course—on either side of the pond—but they derive their insult power from the same source and thus belong in the same category for me.
And I guess you missed the part where I tried to explain at length that this is not about profanity for me.

John C. Welch @ 491:
My personal damage, or lack thereof, to being called ‘bitch’ is irrelevant to my argument. My belief is that our culture, as a whole, is made worse when aspects of femaleness are used as insults.


Posted by: Jenbphillips | August 9, 2011 1:34 AM

525

Jen @425 : "Sorry, that didn’t make any sense to me. Feel free to deride my reading comprehension if you are so inclined."
I'd never do that Jen. I realise the accent makes it hard for normal people.
It's you Septics that seem a bit arsey about education.
Must be 'cos it costs serious coin Over There, so it's a bit of a class marker?

Was that all of it, or just a bit?
Anything in particular? Would you like me to have another go?
If you're just not interested, how about we grab some coffee?
Your place or mine?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 1:52 AM

526

It makes my life hell that I HAVE a cock, and people also use the word "cock" as an insult to denote an unpleasant person.

Nah, just kidding. I'm an adult who understands how language works, so I don't give a shit.

Posted by: Sucka Free | August 9, 2011 2:09 AM

527

Jen, that's perfectly fine; I have no expectation or delusion that you'll own up to anything you've said. It's not a trait that's in high demand.

You claim that our society is damaged when femaleness has some attendant bad inherent in it; that isn't a position held by anyone here such that I'm aware. Despite the repetition of the claims by your friends over there, there are actually no misogynists here.

You claim that twat and cunt have power because of their origins. Why then is fuck acceptable? It means alternately to strike, to penetrate, to copulate.

No one here is insulting people because they're female. No matter how many times you imply otherwise that will remain true. No amount of stamping of your foot and declaring it to be the case makes it the case. Then again, that's the problem with people and their religions: they just keep saying the same things over and over irrespective of how many times they're presented with countervailing data.

But I'll throw you a bone on your poor reasoning skills.

You said:
"and if my name had somehow transmogrified from Phillips into ‘Pussylips’ and was emblazoned across Scienceblogs and repeated far and wide across the internet for months on end"
And then:
"My objections to the fallout (now, what, 6 weeks out?) are fairly specific."

I'm sure that some at B&W will consider that "digging up" shit you've said, but it was in the same post. Why must you exaggerate? What is it about your assertions that requires they be exaggerated well-beyond what the data can bear?

Oh, right. That's because the actuality of the situation doesn't shore up the claims you need it to. So, just stretch a bit here, stretch a bit there, stretch a bit everywhere - facts aren't material when you have a cause I guess.

You could at least try to be consistent with your "facts" in the same group of words. By my eyeball's calibration, you made it about 40 words before contradicting yourself, and demonstrating your own bald exaggerations.

Grats.

Color me surprised - someone from PZ/RW/OB's camp can't remain consistent with facts within the same paragraph. Golly gee. Here. This is me being underwhelmed.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 2:18 AM

528

If I changed 'weeks' to 'months', would that soothe your righteous indignation any? That's the only possible exaggeration I can see. At the rate it's going though, it may just be a prediction.

The fact that I wrote that all out to respond to a particular poster's comment to me does not contradict my later statement, to another poster, that my objections to the fallout are fairly specific. They are. That doesn't mean I don't have opinions about any of the rest of it.

I've endeavored to be calm and measured in all my responses here. There has been no foot stamping. I've not seen this 'countervailing data' you speak of, but hey, if I'm boring you, I won't be troubled in the least if you skip over any further comments I post here and ignore me entirely.

Glad we got that sorted out.

Posted by: Jenbphillips | August 9, 2011 2:37 AM

529

Dustbubble,
no worries--I did grok most of what you said, I just don't really know how to respond to 'where, Jen, where?'. Here, there, and everywhere, I guess. I'm trying to stick to the narrowish range of topics that bluharmony and I began discussing at B&W, simply because to range over all topics in the offing will take more time than I have to track.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 9, 2011 2:42 AM

530

Goodness no. I'd hate for you to start fairly representing things on account of me. If you're not going to do it out of a concern for trying to discuss something in good faith, far be it for me to expect you'll start taking an interest in what's true for little old me.

Yes, you're right - no foot stamping. I stand corrected. I suppose we'll have to make due with the calm hyperbolic disregard for the facts you've taken. Snap. I just got served.

You're right, of course. Won't bother you with that pesky, nagging matter of those terribly inconvenient and unfair "fact" thingies. After all, you have a cause and a narrative to uphold.

Please continue representing the situation with any set of facts you'd like - real and/or imagined.

*pipes down*

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 2:46 AM

531

@Jen: I don't think we disagree all that much. If someone tells me that something offends them, and the request is reasonable, I make an effort to comply. This is why I avoid gender epithets. Enough women have said that it bothers them, and I don't want to disrespect those women. But that's a personal choice and, as you concede, others must make their own.

As for this thread, there's still a feeling that it's all about one person. We've engaged in some very interesting discussion here, and that's why I keep coming back.

Posted by: Jen | August 9, 2011 2:49 AM

532

Oops. The previous comment is from me, to Jen.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 2:57 AM

533

@Jen: I just read some comments that I missed earlier and wanted to clarify: gendered-epithets are contrary to Blog 101, hence claims of hypocrisy.

(I'm doing my best to avoid reference to specific persons, but it's difficult when it seems merited in a response. I mean no offense, and I'm trying to speak as generally as I can.)

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 3:21 AM

534

Blu, you sockpuppet you! WHO ARE YOU? Jen or Blu???

Posted by: wildlifer | August 9, 2011 3:42 AM

535

Hi everyone.

Woke up in a bit of a panic when I found out my little baby kitty had a fever. Ran to the vet, 40.10°C, double injection of antibiotics and all.

Then I came here to read the comments, and all of a sudden my days looks a bit brighter. Me likey logic and reason!

Also, Jen, thanks for sticking around and being polite. But I do tend to agree with Justicar re your exageration. It wasn't "months at end", it was, at the most, "weeks at end". And it wasn't "all over the internet", it was only here and over at Justy's blog, and maybe one or two other places. Not really all over the interweb.

Anyway, as my carry-on luggage once told me: "nothing to see here"...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 5:08 AM

536

Justicar @249
(Excuse me if someone else has answered your enquiry)
I have viewed the thread as it stands now, and there is nothing even vaguely resembling this passage in it.
The search function in the forums is worse than useless.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 5:18 AM

537

Woden @264
Yep.
The vicious thelyphthoric hypocrisy sounds from the shark-warning towers as an ear-splitting heavy-mental[sic] klaxon to alert the relaxing honest bathers to an impending attack of fake preciousness, and preposterous poisonous posings of piety.
Both Ophelia, and Michael Shermer (the selfish libertarian nutcase) should both read the books that they claim to have authored!

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 5:30 AM

538

@448

Jen,

First, go on vacation, have a good time, don't think about this stuff. I believe most of us will still be here when you get back.

Rest of the slime pit:

Or is it cesspool?

Still trying to play catch up. Don't know if I can get all the way through but will respond, Greg B, as soon as I can.

Posted by: Brad | August 9, 2011 5:46 AM

539

Justicar @371:
What is your proof of the Riemann hypothesis?

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 6:25 AM

540

Justicar @402:
Sagan built not from bricks, but rubrics.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 6:30 AM

541

Justicar @371:
What is your proof of the Riemann hypothesis?

Now that's funny.

Posted by: Brad | August 9, 2011 6:33 AM

542

jenbphillips @448

…I would only add my opinion that the words in question can contribute to the greater problem of sexism through the way in which women are insidiously devalued by using these words as insults.

If that is the case, then how do you explain your staggeringly condescending thoroughly sexist retort to bluharmony's polite post on Ophelia's site, vis:
GT, honey, get off the internet…

Have you changed your view between now and then, or I have I misinterpreted the apparent one-way flow of need for respect of gender-insults?
This is deliberately couched as a gentle barb, because I wish the expected prickly feeling of discomfort at possibly revealed hypocrisy to evoke a genuine response, rather than evasive pabulum.

In more direct terms: I consider you to be an hypocrite, as evidenced by the above example.
Should you admit to such, I shall consider you as an honest-dealer. A friend, even.
Should you explain adequately, I shall consider you to be an honest-broker.
Should you dissemble? (Rhetorical)

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 7:14 AM

543

@Jen

You said, "My belief is that our culture, as a whole, is made worse when aspects of femaleness are used as insults."

I would be happier with this statement if you had used a phrase like 'aspects of maleness and femaleness'.

If we as women, (of which I am one), want to demand equality, then we have to live it. Either both types of epithets are allowed, and considered to be of equal impact, or they are equally disallowed. As an example:

Both Phil Plait and Rebecca Watson have given "Don't Be A Dick" public speeches. If women want equality, then people should be able to give "Don't Be A Bitch" speeches and women should be no more offended by the "Bitch" title than the "Dick" title.

As for the use of femaleness epithets directed at specific women in this war, well, it's unfortunate that it came to this. But, I don't think we should condemn the users as behaving inappropriately simply by refusing to acknowledge the situation that provoked 'naughty word' use. (I am quite dyslexic and, as a result, I have difficulty keeping up with comment threads on blogs unless they're printed on paper. At the moment, I have 10" of binders full of this war printed 2Up/Duplex. Those binders don't include "The Monument", P.Z.'s "Rebecca's CFI Video" blog, Ophelia's latest, and numerous other smaller site posts or huge forum threads at sites like the JREF. I am also fanatically organized and have each entry in my binders with numbered tabs and a Table of Contents at the front. The advantage of all of this paper and organization is that I can easily review the history. )

You have said that you did not become involved in this until recently. The history is very important to understand the anger and frustration which those bad words represent. So here it is:

1) Rebecca made a video. Nobody In the atheist or skeptic communities at large cared all that much.

2) A couple of women students, Rose and Steph, who attended the CFI conference didn't accept Rebecca's interpretation of the events in the video and said so, one in a vlog one in a blog. Pretty much, nobody in the atheist or skeptic communities at large even knew this had happened.

3) Rebecca decides to call one of these two women, Steph, out in her speech at the conference. So now about 100 students know but, pretty much nobody in the atheist or skeptic communities at large knew that this had happened.

4) Three of the students, which did not include Rose or Steph, decided to take Rebecca to task, via twitter war, for what she had done during her speech. The tweets were complaints about Rebecca naming names. Pretty much, nobody in the atheist and skeptic communities at large had any idea what this was about, and the only people demanding answers in the tweet war were the three students.

5) Rebecca decided to take this entire matter public by writing a blogpost about it, this time naming both Rose and Steph. P.Z. Myers did the same, backing Rebecca up. Jen McCreight did the same, backing Rebecca up. Greg Laden did the same, backing Rebecca up. Many other smaller voices did the same, as well.

6) Abbie steps up as the lone voice against what Rebecca has done and gets shouted down as a gender traitor.

7) Dawkins steps forward and screams his dissent at the top of his lungs. Now, a whole lot of people in the atheist and skeptic communities at large are paying attention.

8) With the Dawkins comments, Rebecca has "SCORE"d. Now everybody and their brothers, sisters, clear out to their 37th cousins twice removed have to weigh in on the matter. And the larger voices tell us that Dawkins and we "Don't Get It" if we refuse to accept Rebecca's interpretation of events.

9) Then the "Dear Dick" letter writing campaign at Skepchick, and the femaleness epithets begin to fly on the only blog in this tsunami where the dissenters to Rebecca won't get shouted down, or very rudely told what they can do with porcupines, or banned outright.

Nobody, no matter what their point of view, has been banned here. I have tremendous respect for that, even though naughty words have been used by the dissenters in their efforts to be heard by the atheist and skeptic communities at large. It is extremely unfortunate that the voices that questioned the party line had to crank up the volume to this degree. (If you follow the link for my name, you will see that I tried the polite approach. There were other smaller voices out there who tried that approach as well. Nobody paid the least bit of attention to us.)

So, yes, it may appear as though Rebecca is being treated unfairly because of the use of femaleness epithets. But I believe that If Rebecca had shown any introspection, humility, or empathy for anyone throughout this disaster, it wouldn't have come to this. (Abbie wrote her first blogpost after Rebecca snarked out at Steph McGraw for a third time in a comment on Steph's blogpost response to Rebecca's talk.) Rebecca has shown a complete lack of compassion for Rose and Steph. And, in my opinion, until she stops engaging in character assassination "civilly", she will continue to earn the epithets that have been used against her "uncivilly".

There is a post up here with an exercise for determining the "civility" of Rebecca's treatment of Steph in her speech. Included at the end of that post is a list of links. I would strongly suggest that you link to the post Rose has done on her SheforInquiry website. I think Rose knows what bad is, and I certainly understand why she would not think that Rebecca's experience was all that terrible. Must we insist that Rose judge someone as having the worst possible intentions, when they invite someone to their room for coffee, and take "no" for an answer? Rose, we insist that you be as jaded about men as the "true feminists" think you should be. No exceptions, no discussion...just do as you're told. Period!

(Sorry, this is long. i may have John W. beat. Yikes!! Of course, because I can't spell, I can't type either so I have been at this for 6 hours.)

Posted by: An Ardent Skeptic | August 9, 2011 7:34 AM

544

JCW @495
Too late.
"IFUCKTUNAS.COM"
belong me.

I may even set up a 'web' sight.
Content suggestions are welcome.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 7:34 AM

545

Justicar @ 324 "I've seen this before; we've fought many wars in real life over her ilk. And yet you are paying the bills of that fascistic, misogynistic twat."

Here here.

I thought I was the only one who made the connection between white women's entitled speech leading to actual war.
Not to mention all of those "rape babies" that are raised ala Wow's argument.
Heck--even those kids need a job, so why not go out and fight for mom after she gets her privilege in a bundle?

Impregnate, repeat, impregnate repeat--as long as dear old mom doesn't have to tote a rifle, who cares how many babies she feeds to the war machine, or how many daddies those babies have?? Who cares how many men were used to get those babies?

Rights? You have the right to G-d, Mother and Country--anything else? Challenge the maternal order, and its cannon fodder industry, and you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney...


Posted by: pornonimous | August 9, 2011 7:36 AM

546

JCW @507
Wow!
The hypocrisy is set to SCORCHING!
Has PZ lost his marbles, or has he learned from RW how to create publicity & income whilst being an intellectual sluggard?
(Answer: Elementary, my dear Watson.)

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 7:39 AM

547

@jen #529: Thanks for taking the trouble jen, I *think* I know what you mean.
I would have liked to try and spin some of my woolgatherings for you, but I'm just plumb wore out for the moment.
And if I don't shake meself and get on with RL for a bit, I'll end up in Queer Street (can I say that in here?).

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 8:06 AM

548

507 - when I go there, my virus protection software gives me a web threat warning. Are they infected as well?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 9, 2011 8:16 AM

549

520:

fuck if I know. I think most of them believe this shit is all magical. Laden and Myers are classic "I know something about computers/I knew something about computers decades ago, SO I ARE IT EXPURT"

524:

As for her being shocked, well I have to say that if my actions, however ill advised or poorly judged by some were to have fomented a reaction of this magnitude, and if my name had somehow transmogrified from Phillips into ‘Pussylips’ and was emblazoned across Scienceblogs and repeated far and wide across the internet for months on end….well, I’d likely be pretty shocked. Gotta cut her some slack on that reaction.

Yeah. She was so upset that she was exulting about the traffic counts on facebook. She's a New Media Douchebag. She is skipping about and celebrating all the attention this is bringing her and her site.

My personal damage, or lack thereof, to being called ‘bitch’ is irrelevant to my argument. My belief is that our culture, as a whole, is made worse when aspects of femaleness are used as insults.

And my belief is that our culture, as a whole, is made worse by slacktivists getting their bowels in an uproar about words, and thinking that posting shit on a blog changes fuck-all anything, instead of growing the fuck up, remembering something they should have learned in preschool, and trying to fix actual problems.

Again: how many racists have changed because nigger was "banned"? How many homophobes have seen the light because they "can't" say faggot?

I don't know for sure, but I'll go out on a limb and say the number approaches zero. Rapidly. Running around chasing effects may make you feel useful, but, and I know I'm just being a total dick here, I'd rather try to do something that actually DOES something.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 8:21 AM

550

re #547: 4 jen:
I was just a bit blindsided by being arbitrarily assigned to some "side" I was hitherto unaware of being on.
I just run around admiring one or two of the big kids.

If being generally opposed to liars, hypocrites, bullies and purveyors of irrational beliefs is a side, then that'll be my team.
But I, and only I, can only take responsibility for the crap I write here. Not the clever bluggers who churn out those massive tombstones of logic up the thread. Not Abbie. Just me.

Because only I know what I think. I don't know what they intend, so I look at the words and take them at face value, always aware that Americans speak a somewhat divergent language, so if in doubt I would always seek clarification, as opposed to pearl-clutching umbrage.
Clarification as to the intention to cause offence, or if it was just my own small-town stupidity. Called perspective, round by here.

Because I don't think I have any right to impose my petty, provincial concerns on humanity.

So if it's anything I've spewed up here, or anywhere else, I'm begging you to seek clarification of my intention, jen, and to point out my transgression, and no holding back.

Like I did here.
"Where, jen, where?"
And don't get all shitty if I argue my corner, neither.

Just me, not them other freaks.
After all, we're all mates round 'ere, ain't we just?
But I ain't their mum.

"Chastise a wise man, and he will love you" (Verbal! No spanking!)
'D'ye like a tot of Woods's Navy in that coffee? Put 'airs on yer chest, pet.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 8:46 AM

551

I had a feeling PZ would blast Drescher, just like he blasted Daniel Loxton. "Skeptical dogmatism" is, as usual, an exaggeration, though. IMO, this is a battle over values, as described here:

http://www.skepticismandethics.com/2011/08/skepticism-and-values.html

If you value some other "ism" more than you value your skepticism, how skeptical are you going to be?

Posted by: The Armchair Skeptic | August 9, 2011 8:46 AM

552

Badger3k @548

Are they infected as well?

Not according to the 3 malware detection agencies that I employ.
Is it possible that you are using Anti-Hypocrisy-Guard® 3.1?
A new release from the software stables of the Evil Antitheist Corporation (Ltd). (NTIE)
It flags all websites that have an hypocrisy rating of more than 95%, (by default atheist setting)
The default theist setting is 1%, or in Alaska: -157%.
The "Hypocrisy Tolerance" setting is adjustable by pressing the correct "PZ" buttons.
LEGAL WARNING:
You may invalidate your sanity warranty by pressing PZ's buttons.
See how I made the 548 come alight with linky goodness?
You appear to have invalidated your sanity warranty [1] sexist term for gender of recipient here>
_______________________________________
[1] As condoned by the Stalinist apparatchik council of Lord PZ, and his loyal fembot slaves, who are incapable of fault in any way, even if they make mistake(s), Komrade!
It shall be airbrushed from history!
PZ's memory-hole is vast and perfect!
PZ's SUCKERS are vast and perfect![2]
I LOVE BIG PZ!
It is an Opheliawellian paradise, fit for mental-slaves of all kinds, (so long as they are the kinds approved by BIG PZ and his Ministry of Truth (#PzMinitrue)

  • Watson is Peace.

  • Smith is SLAVERY,

  • Ignorance is Palin

[2] Or so they think.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 8:55 AM

553

My last post is being held "in moderation"?
What gives?

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 8:57 AM

554

Was it "thelyphthoric" reference that caused offence?

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 9:10 AM

555

#543 AnArdentSkeptic

Great post. The link contained within also worth a look.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 9:25 AM

556

(Testing to see if it was that I included a link to your own blog {which I have now elided} that caused the post constipation):

Badger3k @548

Are they infected as well?

Not according to the 3 malware detection agencies that I employ.
Is it possible that you are using Anti-Hypocrisy-Guard® 3.1?
A new release from the software stables of the Evil Antitheist Corporation (Ltd). (NTIE)
It flags all websites that have an hypocrisy rating of more than 95%, (by default atheist setting)
The default theist setting is 1%, or in Alaska: -157%.
The "Hypocrisy Tolerance" setting is adjustable by pressing the correct "PZ" buttons.
LEGAL WARNING:
You may invalidate your sanity warranty by pressing PZ's buttons.
See how I made the 548 come alight with linky goodness?
You appear to have invalidated your sanity warranty < insert approved[1] sexist term for gender of recipient here>

_______________________________________

[1] As condoned by the Stalinist apparatchik council of Lord PZ, and his loyal fembot slaves, who are incapable of fault in any way, even if they make mistake(s), Komrade!
It shall be airbrushed from history!
PZ's memory-hole is vast and perfect!
PZ's SUCKERS are vast and perfect![2]
I LOVE BIG PZ!
It is an Opheliawellian paradise, fit for mental-slaves of all kinds, (so long as they are the kinds approved by BIG PZ and his Ministry of Truth (#PzMinitrue)

  • Watson is Peace.

  • Smith is SLAVERY,

  • Ignorance is Palin



[2] Or so they think.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 9:26 AM

557

@ Michael Kingsford Gray: any comment containing a link can get automatically held up in the moderation queue, somewhat at random in my experience. It's nothing personal, and probably not even under ERV's control in any way, but instead a feature of the entire scienceblogs site software. Lie back and think of England while waiting.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 9, 2011 9:33 AM

558

@John: I suppose you could make the argument that words are the effect that transmits the cause to others. But I don't really believe that. The same sentiments can be conveyed in the most polite manner possible. It's the behavior that matters.

@Ardent: Yes, it's censorship and rudely dismissive conduct that caused this thread. So they actually created the cesspool that they despise. Some of the main sites involved were deleting every single negative post. Doing that gives people a really skewed perspective of what's going on.

@Anyone: Someone posted the following comment on Stef's blog late last night. Classy.

Ms. McGraw, I posted this comment over on Butterflies and Wheels, and I thought I should crosspost it here. The blockquote is from a previous comment--the "her" referred to is you.

Seriously? I don’t hold her responsible – she could never have foreseen this – but if people were attacking someone as they’ve been Watson in my name (were I McGraw or Dawkins), I would be horrified.

This. She seems like a smart and thoughtful young woman, and I hope she’ll continue to speak out (despite disagreeing with her on certain feminist issues.) But it’s past time for her to speak out and distance herself from the ridiculous Watson-bashing that’s been going on. Stef, are you reading this? I’d say now’s the time to rise above your hurt feelings, and show what you’re made of. Can you publicly distance yourself from Abbie’s unconscionable dogpile?

http://www.unifreethought.com/2011/06/fursdays-wif-stef-33.html

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 9:35 AM

559

Oh dear!
It seems that I must request of you the unutterable sin of deleting a post of mine?
I beg of you, #556 (Winston/Watson) is to go into the memory hole as an aberration.
I LOVE BIG PZ!
What more can I say?
Julia, how I loved watching you at the Fiction Department at OB's. Can't we meet at Victory Square?
Or should that have been "Can we…"?
I understand that in Big Totalitarian PZ's eyes, I am a THOUGHT CRIMINAL, as well as a potential RAPIST, I have come to think of you as more than a person, but someone whom I have met one the internet.
But you betrayed me.
For those are big PZ's words.
And now I must enter Room 102.

Wish me luck.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 9:42 AM

560

Gurdur @557

…any comment containing a link can get automatically held up in the moderation queue…
Lie back and think of England while waiting.

[Stage Directions] Lies back, and thinks of the little known nook of Birdlip in Glousteshire! (I dare not include a link)
Marvelous! A truly Soveriegn Remedy for what ailed me!
Seriously! I thank thee for thy wise counsel.
(I tend to get confused between the medieval possessive cases of "thy", "thine" & "thou")

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 9:52 AM

561

blu-- Jesus fuck, its like, not physically possible for that lot to get any more self-righteous/arrogant/condescending. In response to SaltyCu***nts anon comment at UNI Freethought:

Salty Current aka Anon:

McGraw has never, to my knowledge, commented on my blog. Only an *exceptionally* slow individual would think that anything I do in my own free time is supported or condoned by McGraw. McGraw might support me, she might not, but that really doesnt have an impact on what I choose to do, either.

Contrary to your so-called 'feminist ideas', I am my own person, as is McGraw. We are capable of operating autonomously.

Unlike you.

Which is probably another reason females like McGraw and I are 'gender traitors'.

If you 'wanted' McGraw as 'your own' you should have defended her a month ago, not leave this pathetic comment trying to shame her this late in the game. Pathetic, condescending, and creepy.

Posted by: ERV | August 9, 2011 9:59 AM

562

Ardent-- Thank you for that summary. There are apparently many people who missed 99% of that, or have the order entirely jumbled, who still feel like they need to voice their opinion on the topic. *annoyed*

However, minor correction-- My post defending McGraw (#6) was up before Myers et al started bitching (#5). 'Bad form' was up July 1, 2011 10:00 AM. PZs 'Always name names!' wasnt up until the next day. Myers had plenty of time to read McGraws piece and figure out what happened before he posted. He didnt. He couldnt even be bothered to link to McGraw in his post.

Posted by: ERV | August 9, 2011 10:09 AM

563

ERV @561
That SC could "press your buttons" is understandable.
(As well as expected)

That you should treat this gynile[1] insult as anything other than the fact that you are making an impact into their cosy feminista conclave is paying into their juvenile playing field.

I judge you to be above that.

__________________________
[1] I have concocted this word as the female equivalent of "puerile".
Assume, of course, that SC is, in fact, female.
Which is about as sure a proposition that Elevator Guy ever actually existed.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 9, 2011 10:23 AM

564

Thanks a lot for the post and the link, Ardent!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 10:29 AM

565

558:

@John: I suppose you could make the argument that words are the effect that transmits the cause to others. But I don't really believe that. The same sentiments can be conveyed in the most polite manner possible. It's the behavior that matters.

Pretty much. It's why I bring up Turing. The British Government didn't call him a dirty, buggering, arsefucking piece of shit when they drove him to suicide for the "crime" of being gay. They were terribly polite and proper about it. I'm sure he felt good about that before he snuffed himself. "Well, at least they weren't rude."

@Anyone: Someone posted the following comment on Stef's blog late last night. Classy.

I like Abbie's and Gurdur's responses. They were perfectly awesome.

562:

I think this incident has established that PZ is rather selective about the facts he checks or admits into evidence. Cherry-picking indeed. Add to that his astoundingly hypocritical tone-trolling and OMG DOGMA shit, and how he has no problem with treating people like shit "as long as no bad werds are used", well, I think we see where PZ's head is at -

so far up his ass he's a human klein bottle.

Oh yeah, and ardent, thanks for that wonderful dissection of Watson's "polite interaction" with McGraw. Of course, neither PZ, Watson, Benson or Laden will give it a moment's thought, but it is still wonderful.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 10:47 AM

566

MK Gray@563:
Would "puellant" work?

Posted by: dustbubble | August 9, 2011 10:54 AM

567

I really do feel bad for Ed Brayton, he really needs better tech support. He canceled his contract and then was amazed that the old provider didn't keep his custom DNS settings? Um...that's why you make sure ALL your data is migrated from the old provider before you kill the contract, INCLUDING DNS settings.

Sigh. I mean, this is basic stuff to me, but if you aren't in the biz as it were, it can seem rather confusing. Still, hopefully he's taking notes and learning.

Sort of. He still has bluehost listed as the administrator and tech contact for the domain. He'll want to change that. Still, codero does seem like a better provider for them.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 10:55 AM

568

@ 565, John C. Welch: "so far up his ass he's a human Klein bottle".

Sheer brilliance.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 9, 2011 11:13 AM

569

So twisted he's a human Moebius Ring?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 11:29 AM

570

@ #569, Phil Giordana: "So twisted he's a human Moebius Ring?

Pretty damned good too.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 9, 2011 11:51 AM

571

Michael @ 556 - all kidding aside, I use Virusbarrier x6, and all it tells me (three times) is that there is a "web threat" - some kind of "web process" is downloading something. It could be the video for the colossal squid post for all I know.

Ok - maybe the problem is it doesn't get to the site - just a generic site at bluehost.

That said, been watching a lot of BBC America - on Gordon Ramsey's F-Word, tonight he apparently "kills and octopus with his teeth" - someone's been watching too much Bear Grylles (sp?). I'm sure he will eat it, but I wonder if PZ will write about that. "Octoups Snuff Film on TV!"

Good comments on Stef's blogpost. She stayed classy (or smart) and ignored the tempest-in-a-teapot.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 9, 2011 11:53 AM

572

Gurdur:

Thank you, thank you. I'm here every wednesday night. Try the waitress, tip the veal!

I was just trying to surf on John's ubber awesome imagery...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 11:54 AM

573

human klein bottle

Brilliant

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 11:57 AM

574

Stef got everything exactly right. She didn't do the best analysis possible, but then neither did I. What a wonderful and strong woman.

Also, Abbie you are an inspiration. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in and doing the right thing. That took real courage. Interesting how all those "feminists" paint men as the monsters. They must have been looking in the mirror too long.

Reading Ardent's breakdown of the speech made me realize just how vicious and spiteful it really was.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 12:05 PM

575

I had the impression that McGraw simply moved on? Together with other students, they guest blogged for a week over at Friendly Atheist. Resulted in quite interesting posts, imho.

I for one look forward to the CFI Women in Secularism conference. Its naming is not exactly restraining regarding possible topics.
Based on my limited GoogleFu it looks like an interesting mix of speakers.
I did not hear before about Wafa Sultan, I'm intrigued.

Downey rang a bell for me due to her BSofA suit. Heck, her fashion-themed idea could be an awesome history lesson.

As a "former" EU scout, I'm still appalled at the BSofA, and pissed that the WOSM doesn't get their act together regarding human rights and pressures their members accordingly. I mean, traditionally there's this god/spirituality connection, but that was exactly no real issue where during my active time.


John, well domain transfers can get ugly with unresponsive previous providers. DAMHIK (Especially with cheap bosses who switched between two lame-ass hosters. Oh, years ago.)

Posted by: lost control | August 9, 2011 12:07 PM

576

Michael-- I dont consider myself to be 'above' anything. If someone is willing to have a rational (yet still impassioned) discussion, I am more than willing to be equally rational and impassioned. However, if someone makes it clear they are fine with 'fighting dirty', then I also dont have a problem fighting dirty. I like granting others premises. I like playing by others rules. I also like it when I play by others rules, and Im better at their own game than they are :) Thats something people who fight dirty dont consider before the fact, and its fun to see them BAWWWWWW when it finally dawns on them they should have been nice.

But there really is very little I am 'above'*


* Curious enough, one thing I am above is Watsons behavior at the CFI student leadership conference. That was entirely unacceptable, even if McGraw did *everything* Watson attributed to her (she didnt).

Posted by: ERV | August 9, 2011 12:10 PM

577

@Lost Control: McGraw moved on almost immediately after her second post on the matter and never looked back, as far as I know. It's the smartest thing anyone could have done. It's unfortunate there are people who think she made some kind of major mistake about feminism doctrine. As if that's even possible.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 12:15 PM

578

[tangent on the mean metaphors]

Here's one I came up with to describe Paris Hilton:

"If she were any shallower, she'd be an evapourite!"

Or for William Dembski:

"He talks so much out of his ass, that scientits have re-classified him as a protostome!"

[end tangent]

Posted by: frank habets | August 9, 2011 12:25 PM

579

Woden @183:
In regards to PZ Myers' CV stopping at 2002 being coincidental to starting Pharyngula, the CV link provided by John C. Welch states at the top that it was last updated "10 July 2003."

Another thing I think is sad, is that PZ felt that calling someone a graduate from a vocational or tech college is an insult.

Posted by: gr8hands | August 9, 2011 12:33 PM

580

Abbis:

I'm not sure it's been done enough, but I would like to thank you for your open mindedness and the rational space you provide here. You sure are one in a thousand, and I'm damn proud of knowing you. You make science, atheism and skepticism a lot of good.

Where do you want your statue erected? :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 12:40 PM

581

“Jen” (blu) @ 531:
I don’t know who thinks it’s just about one person anymore. I certainly don’t. That’s kind of the seat of my argument, actually, that ‘twat’ et al are un-aimable.

Phil @ 535:
I already conceded ‘weeks’ for ‘months’. It has, however, been more than one month. And I think you underestimate your reach. “The Monument” and its spawn have been discussed and linked to by an impressive number of other sites. So, you are correct that ‘all over the internet’ is not literally true. However, even if you adjust the duration and the exposure downward to ‘weeks’ and to ‘multiple websites within the skeptical community’, there are still a hell of a lot of people in this conversation, which was my point.

As an aside, I am wryly amused to find myself in a dialogue in which the use of words literally meaning ‘female genitals’ are being defended as meaning a bunch of other totally benign things, but I’m getting hammered over the literal interpretation of this statement.

Michael @542:
Asked and answered by me at B&W a couple of days ago, even though you directed your inquiry as a ‘gotcha’ to Ophelia. I heard back from bluharmony over there, and we moved on. Keep trying on the hypocrisy angle, though, it’s got to work one of these times.

Ardent Skeptic @ 543:
Thank you for such a substantive comment.

would be happier with this statement if you had used a phrase like 'aspects of maleness and femaleness'.

I absolutely agree. I and many others on ‘my’ ‘side’ have condemned the use of male parts as insults as well. Although the words I’m particularly discussing here refer to the female, the same argument absolutely applies to ‘dick’ and ‘prick’ etc., and I should have been more inclusive in my statement.
But, I don't think we should condemn the users as behaving inappropriately simply by refusing to acknowledge the situation that provoked 'naughty word' use.

I’m not Kyle’s mom*. I’m not on a rampage to stamp out naughty words in general. I have specific objections to specific words that have a lot of baggage traveling with them.
You have said that you did not become involved in this until recently. The history is very important to understand the anger and frustration which those bad words represent. So here it is:

I did? I missed the very beginning, by days, as it was unfolding over the holiday weekend in the US, and I didn't actually start contributing to the discussion until a few weeks later, but I think I’m pretty much up to speed on all the items on your list. Thanks for taking the time to recap, though.
So, yes, it may appear as though Rebecca is being treated unfairly because of the use of femaleness epithets.

Not to me, it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter that it’s Rebecca, specifically, being called those things, and indeed, there are a number of other women mentioned on this thread against whom those terms have been used. If I think Rebecca is being treated unfairly, it has more to do with the volume of hostile responses, but honestly, as I stated at the get go, I don’t think anyone (on any ‘side’) can claim absolute moral high ground anymore. The cesspool effect seems to be very widespread.
Rose, we insist that you be as jaded about men as the "true feminists" think you should be. No exceptions, no discussion...just do as you're told. Period!

As I also mentioned earlier, I also don’t hold with this kind of sweeping edict from any ‘ism’, feminism included. However, just as I agree that people need to make their own choices about using gender-specific insults, I think people (men AND women) have the right to decide, based upon their own life experiences what makes them uncomfortable. Decide for themselves—as distinct from defining it for everyone else, you see. So, I can’t really get behind the ‘it wasn’t that bad or threatening compared to what I’ve been through’ argument, even though it happens to be absolutely true in my case, because I’m not Rebecca. I don’t have the right to tell her what to get fussed about any more than she has the right to tell me—or anyone else.

John C. Welch @ 549

Yeah. She was so upset that she was exulting about the traffic counts on facebook…

Again, not here to defend Rebecca, the specific word I was responding to with my hypothetical was ‘shocked’, not ‘upset’ (remember, precision in language is important!), and according to Justicar and Phil it really hasn’t been that big of a deal anyway, so I can’t imagine why her FB traffic spiked so.
Again: how many racists have changed because nigger was "banned"? How many homophobes have seen the light because they "can't" say faggot?

Racists and homophobes? Maybe not so many. But maybe when there’s a cultural shift from it being acceptable to marginalize and denigrate a particular classification of people to it NOT being acceptable, it makes a difference to how the culture tolerates people who continue to use those words and accompanying actions. It’s a slow change, and in both of those cases it’s still a work in progress. I don’t expect anything different with this situation. I still think it’s worth the effort, within my own community and family. Whatever that may be worth in the long term is an open question, but it's the right call for me. It’s crystal clear that you think it’s a worthless endeavor, and you are certainly not alone in that opinion. That doesn't deter me in the least.

Dustbubble @550:
Really, I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. I honestly haven’t read enough of what you’ve written here to know where you stand on anything, but your policies as described in 550 seem reasonable. I’m not sure what intent you assign to my commenting here, but I assure you I’m not trying to muster an army of slacktivists to command. Just talking.

I think I’ve probably said all there is to say, however. Thanks, all, for engaging me. Have a great day.

*That was weird to write, because, funnily enough, I do have a kid named Kyle. But the similarities end there, I think.

Posted by: jenbphillips | August 9, 2011 12:47 PM

582

blu - yup, leaving it behind was the best thing to do for Stef, I guess.

Posted by: lost control | August 9, 2011 12:58 PM

583

Jen @581:

Well, that was a mouthful (that's what HE/SHE said! Sorry, my bad, couldn't resist).

I'm just going to adress your answer to me: There is a big difference between the different meanings of a word such as "pussy" or "dick", and words such as "month" or "all over the internet". The first category DOES have different meanings (again, fanny pack?), the second doesn't. When I go to Amazon.com, I don't see "Twatson" plastered everywhere. Yes, I am being pedantic, but at this point in the debate, who isn't? Using "for months at end all over the internet" to depict a fuckfest actively involving one hundred people at most is a VERY gross exageration. This is blowing it out of proportion even more than it already is.

Just wanted to clarify this.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 1:03 PM

584

PZ has little to argue about academics, he's about as low on the totem-pole as it gets. He made tenure on the second try, at a 4 years college without graduate program, and hasn't published in his field in years. Which would explain why it's so hard to find an up-to-date CV and a publications list for him, rather atypical for your standard professor.
Nevertheless his wikipedia entry mentions prominently how he published in Nature (in 1986), and glosses over the sorry details of his later career.

Posted by: Mu | August 9, 2011 1:03 PM

585

ERV@#576

"I like granting others premises. I like playing by others rules. I also like it when I play by others rules, and Im better at their own game than they are :) Thats something people who fight dirty dont consider before the fact"

That's why I like Roman Catholics, it is such an overbearingly legalistic tradition that most Catholics suck at the rules on the top of the box for their own board game.

This is also why RW, PZ et al are such a huge unfunny greasy joke in this series of conflicts.

Those clowns don't know shit about rad fem power differential and patriarchy theory or third wave sex positivity.

A noisy shit for brains narcissist slacker with a wet degree in media is presuming to be skepticism's liaison for gender binary reformationism, queer theory,new feminist theory, women-of-color consciousness, womanism, lit crit marxian feminist theory, postmodernist rad fem crit, ecofeminism, Second versus third wave exclusion versus accomodation......and on and on.

What are her qualifications for striking through (non-phallocentrically) this Gordian knot and throwing open the doors of Gnu Skepticism to the universal sisterhood?

The careful cultivation and constant reinforcement of her banal message of fuckability, that's the ticket.

Laden and Meyers may not want to fuck her(though I suspect they do) but it is their fatuous languid stirrings in the direction of her fuckability and that alone which engenders their support.

Not kidding about that.

Not remotely.

They are infantile filth.

It makes me violently ill.

They are the flushing sound that 150 years of women being part, parcel and essential contributors to rational skeptical movements makes as it goes right down the toilet.


Posted by: Prometheus | August 9, 2011 1:05 PM

586

Mu @584:

While I currently resent the guy for his hypocrisy and double standards, I don't think it's really fair to attack him on his academical works. He has been holding and animating one of the top science blogs of this past decade. This should not be diminished, as it has brought a lot of people to skepticisma and atheism.

But since he's decided to throw out the baby with the bathwater, I don't see that trend continuing for long.

Still, I think there's no need to dig skeletons that don't have anything to do with his current assholery (I like that word).

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 1:12 PM

587

Jen@581 - years ago, "gay" was a pretty bad insult, yet today we have "gay pride" parades and except for the bigots, being gay is far more accepted. The LGBT community made an effort to turn "gay" into a positive thing. Is it 100% successful, no, nothing is. It is a lot better than it was. Today, I see the same movement with "nigger" (or "nigga'") - in more than just the rap arena. To most of my kids, it lacks the baggage that it has with their parents (and us older folks). I still don't like it, prefer not to use it myself, but I can appreciate them wanting to take a word that once (& still is to some) an insult and turn it around. Given time and for the older generation to die out, and I can see it becoming acceptable (except for the upper-crust, my-shit-don't-stink, holier-than-thou, and racist communities). It's already common and acceptable in some communities already. It's happened with other words. Words change. They lose the baggage, the original meanings and associations. You can either remain hidebound and static, fearing change(?) or just refusing to give up you hang-ups (does that date me? Nothing else will...waka waka waka)...or you can learn to change, grow, and adapt. Evolution is action.

I'm not sure that the words themselves are even a big issue - the attitudes behind them, and the baggage we assign them is. That doesn't even consider that some of the words have different meanings for different countries/cultures - ask someone from the Uk about a man putting on suspenders, or the first time a yank was asked if he wanted a fag - talk about confusion! Focusing on a word (as some are doing) while ignoring the real elephant in the room, and refusing to even discuss it (including the previously mentioned editing and banning) is childish and definitely not in the spirit of rationality and skepticism.

The fact that certain people who have a large reputation (and rabid followers, something that I previously dismissed or ignored, but can clearly see now that I really look), along with huge egos and the idea that their ideas are beyond criticism or discussion....it's pathetic. It's sad to see people who I once respected to be revealed as hateful, hollow shells. Seeing some people's refusal to challenge their own preconceptions....that's the real tragedy to the skeptical movement.

Not a few childish insults, directed at those who some of us deem worthy of no more than that.

Note - some of this wasn't necessarily directed at you, or towards you, but when I get on a roll, I go with it. So, if it doesn't apply, don't sweat it.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 9, 2011 1:21 PM

588

579:

Another thing I think is sad, is that PZ felt that calling someone a graduate from a vocational or tech college is an insult.

I have a simple answer for that crap. Let them try and do what "lowly" vo-tech grads do. I'd pay real money to see PZ replace a septic system or weld bridge girders.

581:

Racists and homophobes? Maybe not so many. But maybe when there’s a cultural shift from it being acceptable to marginalize and denigrate a particular classification of people to it NOT being acceptable, it makes a difference to how the culture tolerates people who continue to use those words and accompanying actions. It’s a slow change, and in both of those cases it’s still a work in progress. I don’t expect anything different with this situation. I still think it’s worth the effort, within my own community and family. Whatever that may be worth in the long term is an open question, but it's the right call for me. It’s crystal clear that you think it’s a worthless endeavor, and you are certainly not alone in that opinion. That doesn't deter me in the least.

So you don't actually care that this hasn't improved anything, because you're far happier that it's assisting the thought police in preventing bad werds. I suppose you've no problem with people who are racist et al as long as they don't call people niggers and bitches.

No, of course you aren't, but that's kind of what you're saying. "People's behavior? Not as important as the words they use.". There's no bad words in "IT PUTS THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN OR ELSE IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN", but I think you'd agree that the words a serial killer uses are ABSOLUTELY unimportant compared to STOPPING THEM FROM KILLING PEOPLE.

I do not care, could literally, not care less what fucking WORDS people use. What I want to see end is the approval in places like Miss., where somehow, a bunch of redneck motherfuckers decided it was okay to go driving around, find the first black person they could, beat him, then run him over with their truck.

I don't care if they called him "nigger", "Black man", "african american" or "The Lord High Popinjay". I care that they decided beating and killing someone because they were black was okay. Yet the inane language cops you so proudly belong to will happily distract themselves from that core problem to bitch about them saying the wanted to "fuck up some niggers".

Could there be ANY more useless waste of energy than this asinine language policing you are so in favor of?

And again, what about gash, slash, slant, slope, etc. What happens when you kill off the single use words, and discover those have taken their place. Exactly how long do you propose trying to slay the questing beast before you finally realize it. will. never. have. an. end.

But please, by all means, do continue on your little thought control quest. Just stop being all butthurt when people keep telling you to go fuck off and play with the other nimrods.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 1:22 PM

589

ftba way back in #72: I see, since you didn't care to support your contention in the last thread that I wasn't paying attention to people's arguments, now I'm "quibbling".

Posted by: windy | August 9, 2011 1:33 PM

590

586:

Actually, PZ regularly attacks the academic credentials of creationists, and other "opponents", so it is somewhat valid to point out that while he is indeed doing a good job of promoting science and the like, (and I do think, overall, he's done that, even though he is an unmitigated cuntpickle), he hasn't exactly been, based on the most current CV around, lighting up the scientific world.

If I noticed anyone doing the same, I'd say the same thing. For example, Dawkins has effectively moved from science to atheism advocacy starting well before PZ. Of course, his scholarly output was rather a lot higher. But I haven't seen Dawkins attack people's educational credentials the way PZ does. (I'm not saying he has or hasn't, I'm saying I haven't SEEN it.)

It was why I was rather amused at Laden's crack on one of the books I helped author, because yeah, not the greatest shell scripting book ever, but hey, my two assists and soon-to-be out solo book are rather a lot more than the zero books Laden has (co-)authored. Amazon Juice, I has moar :-P

And while not scientific, my publication rate, (outside of my own web site, I don't really count that), is pretty damned respectable, at least in my corner of my industry, along with my speaking history.

Ironically, I've managed all that sans even a 4-year undergrad degree. But then, I'm in a field where you can do that. Were I to try this in a scientific field, um, no way.

If PZ were to stop using educational credentials as attack vectors when it suits him, then I'd not care about his. But he's so fucking hypocritical about that, along with well, everything, that I can't see why it's not legitimate.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 1:35 PM

591

I found an advance copy of the list of events at the CFI conference!

http://wtfbits.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/cfi-women-in-secularism/

Posted by: wtfbits | August 9, 2011 1:35 PM

592

Phil Giordana@#586

"While I currently resent the guy for his hypocrisy and double standards, I don't think it's really fair to attack him on his academical works."

As long as he is flogging his, hail Professor Meyers, respected evolutionary biologist, shit for street cred it is definitely fair game.

If Abbie's dog and Younglings are acceptable targets, Laden's Harvard Harvard Harvard and that's "Doctor Laden if you're nasty" bullshit can get weighed against the fact he is quasi employed and traveling to conferences while living off a snap card.

They are affected douchebags that shit on their academic betters (Dawkins) and call others uneducated while promoting an anime version of Mrs Potato Head with a communications B.A. as a role model just so they can see her boobs.

This is pertinent to an ongoing pattern of hypocrisy bordering on fraud.

Posted by: Prometheus | August 9, 2011 1:44 PM

593

John @590:

Well, okay, when you put it like that...

I have 3 peer reviewed, world-released albums that also make me more active in my field than PZ in his (there, that was for self-promotion).

I was just saying that there are a lot more blatant logical fallacies and ineptitudes in his reactions to EG we can pick on than his credentials, although that might be an interesting thing to explore when this mess is resolved (if ever).

Feel free to continue, is all I'm saying :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 1:58 PM

594

I'm also sure that once the "how many Ph.D.s are commenting in that thread" gauntlet gets thrown down, this is an entirely expected outcome :p

Posted by: JohnV | August 9, 2011 2:04 PM

595

@Prometheus

It's Ms Potato Head to you.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 2:05 PM

596

@Prometheus

It's Ms Potato Head to you.

Not until she can work her U.K. residency issues around the pendant divorce from that sad Skeptics in the Pub rung fuck she used to hijack TAM 7 and score a visa.

Posted by: Prometheus | August 9, 2011 2:21 PM

597

Michael Kingsford Gray:
I think someone already answered the question for me with respect to the JREF people. I have no intention of making an account there; I have read what passes for rigorous thinking there. I'm not impressed.

My proof for the Riemann Hypothesis? Well, that's too trivial to answer. Besides which is the fact that I'm busy trying to publish my p v np solution. I'll get to it as soon as I find the time.

It must that we say, punny our MKGray.

An Ardent Skeptic @ 543:

So, yes, it may appear as though Rebecca is being treated unfairly because of the use of femaleness epithets. But I believe that If Rebecca had shown any introspection, humility, or empathy for anyone throughout this disaster, it wouldn't have come to this.

A hundred times this. Of course, if Rebecca held these in high regard, there'd have been no issue before us at all, as EG would have remained the nontroversy he (if extant) is, and Stef McGraw would not have written an article on that. But, even assuming those two events went down, McGraw wouldn't have been lampooned (tampooned? or is that only a lampoon at TAM?) that way.

Of course, if wishes were ponies . . .

Ardent and Armchair, do not think you've been marginalized or unheard. For my own part, I have read every word both of you have written, and I've even quoted you from time to time. I can vouch for no one else on this, but I have failed to find anything either of you've written unworthy of my time to read.

Michael Kingsford Gray @ 544:
Well, we could finally see about getting a copy of Ms. Watson's CV posted somewhere. That might be an ideal repository for it.

And by CV, I mean what PZ means: a profile on myspace.

@552
Brilliantly funny. I am trying to make it through the remainder of this, um, writing without using either of the no-no keys. Maybe this will be a good way to force constraints on my comment sighs (ha, I can cheat with mala . . .shit)

Abbie's blog sometimes just randomly collects writings in the moderation queue. She sets them free without fail.

I haven't checked out McGraw's site today. And I went to bed early last night. I get the feeling I will not walk away being terribly amused.

John C. Welch:
"human klein bottle."
Excellent. /genuflects
Why did the chicken cross the mobius strip[1]?

To get to the same side!

Mild curiosity: what would result were someone to start a "whites only" secularist conference? How about heterosexuals only? Men only? We want things to be so fucking equal, we're willing to exclude everyone else to do it!

Who's with me, white people?! White people? Hey, where'd everyone go?

It's sickening - I don't care which gang of dimwits does it.

Ok, you fuckers try writing a re..blog..os. . .comment without using either of the two letters at alternate, tilted ends of the keyboard.

@ 581:
"Racists and homophobes? Maybe not so many. But maybe when there’s a cultural shift from it [sic] being acceptable to marginalize and denigrate a particular classification of people to it [sic]NOT being acceptable"

The slang used to demean individuals fails to do so when others decide those individuals are actually equally human. No degree of naughty word mommying and nannying has ever worked. Anywhere. The existence of words you dislike is not the cause; the desire to kill, torture, maim, harm, wound, debase those who are different is.

We have cited to many instances in history by which individuals of some class or another have been killed/beaten/tortured and not a single attacker or inciter used a single "naughty" word.

If you're busy shoving a nightstick in my ass against my consent because I'm, say, from Haiti, it doesn't make one jot of fucking difference if you're calling me a faggot, sand nigger, nigger, cunt, bitch, dyke, or our lord and savior.

I still have a stick in my ass against my will.

It is not the words that do this. Sexual assaults don't occur because the word cunt exists and is used. It has no correlation between incidents of sexual assault and use. None. At all. Neither indicates the other.

"Keep trying on the hypocrisy angle, though, it’s got to work one of these times. "
It has already worked. Indeed, you've decried the exaggerations being bandied about; and what did I take you to task for earlier? Oh yeah - unwarranted exaggeration.

And then your answer to that was that you'd entertain being honest for my sake.

This says something about your "ethics" and "values" whereby integrity and consistency aren't things you actually think have utility beyond making sure others can see you're trying to use to them for their (not your) benefit.

Shithead.

@ 585:
I would salute that, but I don't want anyone to think any of my bits are being excited.

Ok, finally. few! I made it through with only having to violate that restriction once! only [1] violation that I can see!


Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 2:39 PM

598

my little community is having an issue with the word "bash" ..if you want, read the article about it..

http://www.wickedlocal.com/provincetown/fun/entertainment/x920803751/Provincetown-dance-party-s-double-meaning-offends#axzz1UYgNMX68

also..so I guess a degree from MIT is worthless in PZ's world.. it is listed as a tech school...

Posted by: mary | August 9, 2011 2:45 PM

599
3 PM: Rebecca Watson – On anti-misogynist modeling or how to pose nude without sexualizing yourself.
I'm dying; I'm done. Wait, I see Twatson is still being hypocritical!
8 AM: Rebecca Watson – On the positive aspects of burqas: how they can prevent almost rapes from almost happening.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 2:50 PM

600

I can't quote the last talk of the day. It's fucking awesome. Metawesome even.

Yeah, Mary, if you wanted to go to a real academic school but couldn't get into Harvard college, well, you'd go to Tufts and not MIT. It's not an academic school!

They never do anything there!

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 2:53 PM

602

gr8hands @ 579:
Oh, I was aware that it was out of date. It's still a really funny coincidence to me, though. :)

On the other hand... his CV not having been updated in so long does seem rather odd, and somebody has already (in 2006) looked to see if anything new had been published since then, and came up blank:
http://helives.blogspot.com/2006/09/just-to-clarify.html

So, while he is almost certainly still teaching, it certainly seems as though he is not publishing anymore.

Posted by: Woden | August 9, 2011 3:16 PM

603

In the end, I think the great schism of 2011 won't be about feminists/misoginists/mysandrists...

It will be about those who can take a joke against those who can't.

I sure am happy I chose the right side!

:p

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 3:26 PM

604

Lost Control @601:

OH MY DARWIN!!! This is fucking hilarious! I'm gonna download it to my HD and worship it everyday!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 3:31 PM

605

It's funny you mention schisms, Phil. I was just writing a post on that, and coming up with Justicar's Law. I'm sure someone, somewhere has named it, or it's the corollary of some other law, but I couldn't find one that fit what I wanted. So, I invented it.

http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/no-joke-seriously.html

If you know of a name for this, or if it's subsumed by another law, let me know!

Sneer review does indeed kick ass.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 3:37 PM

606

WTFBits...BAAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAA: http://wtfbits.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/skepchick-in-elevatorgate/

596:

Not until she can work her U.K. residency issues around the pendant divorce from that sad Skeptics in the Pub rung fuck she used to hijack TAM 7 and score a visa.

I thought she lived in the boston metro area?


Also, Anon, aka Stacy Kennedy's attempt to start a fight on Stef's site is lame no matter how she put it.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 3:43 PM

607

Oh I came across this again due to some blog I've got in my reader.

Relevant?

Posted by: lost control | August 9, 2011 4:13 PM

608

Well, we were having a nice, civil discussion on language at B&W in the Crazy American bitches post, but since Ms O discovered I have access to more IPs than she could block (HideMyAss), and my nym has endless possibilities, she's now locked the thread.

It reeks. lmao

Posted by: wildlifer | August 9, 2011 4:19 PM

609

I think some of the comments against Salty CUrreNT have been ill-placed. And that furious purpose douche too.

I am, therefore, starting a campaign to get Stef McGraw to
a.) distance herself from the Lindbergh kidnapping of March 1, 1932, and
b.) publicly announce that she did not frame Roger Rabbit.

Only then will we her purity be proofed, burning in the benighted albeit deeply-gashed-booze-sodden bar ornament across three continents: the Twatsonista.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 4:24 PM

610

Justy @609:

Oh, it was her then. I knew all along.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 4:27 PM

611

I tell you that the silliness they've reached over there is prime fucking material for Eddie Izzard. For the real lulz, the whole skit should be in Latin.

I don't do sock accounts or try to circumvent bans, although it can't be that difficult to do. Then again, I see no need to censor people, and it never works anyway.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 4:45 PM

612

Phi @ 586 I so hope your listing the maintenance of a science blog as academic achievement is in jest.

Posted by: Mu | August 9, 2011 4:45 PM

613

@Prometheus: They seem to be unaware that different schools of feminist thought even exist. The two that came in here didn't even know what 3rd wave feminism was.

Apparently "bad words" are the only issue of importance in this case.

Who cares what you do to people if you use the right words?

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 4:49 PM

614

I have got to put sneer review on my blogroll. From a post last month

Defined as ideas, behaviors or styles that spread from person to person within a culture, memes are said to transmit ideas and belief information. The concept and term ‘meme’ originated with Dawkins' 1976 celebrated (and recently banned) book, The Selfish Gene.While Dawkins is reported to have denied creating the term 'meme' in 1976 as a way of making a silly internet joke about Rebecca Watson, he has been unable to prove that this was not its intended purpose.
"I know he says that Rebecca was born in 1980 and that the internet wasn't even invented until the 1990s but, quite frankly, that is just arrogant privileged 'mansplainin' " explained Macer Marcotte.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 4:50 PM

615

Hey homies!

We're a "crew" comprised of "not genuine interlocutors".

they’re just a pack, trying what they can get away with on other blogs and filing reports at ERV. I’m not having ERV’s crew here.

Yeah, we "report back" because Ophelia has a history of deleting and altering posts and some prefer to have a record. Her hypocrisy and blatant dishonesty makes me want to utter a gendered insult.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 9, 2011 4:53 PM

616

@Justy: Are they seriously trying to find your address?

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 4:54 PM

617

Mu @612:

I do speak in jest most of the time.

Except when I don't.

TATATATAAAAAA!!!

*dramatic groundhog*

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 4:59 PM

618

I wonder why Salty didn't use this comment?

Actually I don’t think Stef bears any responsibility for this mess, her post was stupid and she was called on it. It would have ended right there, were if not for all the “white knights” who had to jump to the defense of the “Poor defenseless woman child” and all the others who instead of stopping when saying “RW was right(stop should be here)but….(not here)”

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 5:04 PM

619

Justicar@611,
I was just adding "the_", "the" and "1"to "wildlifer", which in my mind doesn't qualify as sockpuppetry.

I would have went away quietly if she had also deleted responses and questions directed at me, rather than just deleting some my posts.

But I figured honest questions deserved honest answers.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 9, 2011 5:10 PM

620

Holy fuck. Ophelia's skin is thin (well, at her age that's a given, but I meant metaphorically here)

It’s not about being mad at. It’s about not wanting this place taken over by that gang. Have you seen what happened to Rorschach’s thread?

Let's review what happened there.

This thread opened up on July 6 (my time; the time index is local to Australia, which is why it reads July 7). It is now July 9; this about 3 days, give or take some time zone oddities.

There were 72 comments made there in three days. That's about one comment an hour. 22 comments address me by name, explicitly (with a few "you" type address thrown in). I responded to about a third of them. that's about 3 comments by me a day on average. For a total posting strength of 1 comment being made there, on average, once an hour.

To a post demanding that people as high up the food chain as Jerry Coyne being ordered to go there and post. Actually, it was a post by its own terms open to, explicitly, part of the "Justicar faction" as Ophelia is now calling it. (Sorry to be the ring leader here I guess? lawl). And then we go there and write things after being invited to and she's concerned to find out that some of us unimportant atheists accepted the invitation to ridicule the stupid to . . . wait for it . . .ridicule the stupid.

I am sooooooooooooooooo unreasonable!

As an example of some of the meangirl shit Abbie has pulled as Abbie qua Gender Traitor is this, "Saturday, I gave a presentation at the OK Freethought Convention on 2 hours sleep. Why? No, not because I am a drunk like Watson."

Apparently, this is somehow related to gender.

Fortunately, progress often happens when people of a certain age start retiring and dying off to leave the modern, younger generations to frame the world they want. I hope when I'm like ancient I have the good sense to stay "with it", and relevant, or the common decency to drop dead out of embarrassment.

It needn't be that elderly means intransigent and mentally declining. But Nanny Ophelia is proud of the fact of "back in my day this word meant ___ so it still does". This is how one becomes irrelevant.

Of course, I'm preaching to the choir about this; it's immediately obvious that ideology trumps facts and reality for these people. See Justicar's Law. =P

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 5:13 PM

621

Woden @602:
A quick check with Google Scholar for "pz myers" -pharyngula for items only since 2003, ignoring the 'hits' of "Zimmet PZ, Myers MA" and various other blogs, you will still see a number of publications.

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/synteny-inferring-ancestral-genomes-44022

And then there's . . . well, it seems that that's about it. Everything else is a reference to his 1986 work, or book reviews, or speeches.

I find it very interesting that more than once he is only identified as "a blogger" -- not even as an associate professor of biology, or having a doctorate.

Woden, I guess you were right. He must not be publishing any more.

Posted by: gr8hands | August 9, 2011 5:23 PM

622

I love how so-called skeptics and critical thinkers are hunting ghosts and dragons, yet most are unable to recognize a situation where independent critical though needs to be applied.

More over what to you get for trying to apply it? Banned.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 5:28 PM

623

Just to set the record straight: I don't want to stick it in either PZ, Laden or any of the males bobbleheading along to him and Watson. Were I to be gay, or even bi, I'd want my men to have minds of their own and certainly better grooming. (Please honey, I'm already close to a bear. Shave that shit off, and learn how to dress your little teddy bear belly.)

Nor do I want to stick it in Watson. I'd rather fuck the median strip on I-10. Fewer people been up that. Oh My!

In fact, sex with any of the people on either side hasn't occurred to me at all. Sad, but true. Sorry to crap on anyone's ego.

Well, maybe justicar. Math gets me hot.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 5:31 PM

624

Booo! SB yanked my perfectly excellent takei tags around "Oh My!"

goddamned software messin' wif ma comedy

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 5:34 PM

625

@Justicar "Fortunately, progress often happens when people of a certain age start retiring and dying off to leave the modern, younger generations to frame the world"

Well said. I sometimes resist my deeper urges to just laugh at everything these fauxminists come up with in desperation to remain relevant, and I want to say things I probably shouldn't ( even though I have my self-censor filter set at 90% of maximum.

And then I read HILLARIOUS SHIT that someone else says. To whit--every time I am accused of being a misogynist, or an MRA, I stumble over to Angry Harry, or the anti-feminist blogs:
The anti-feminist on aging women:

http://theantifeminist.com/15-year-old-girl-describes-horror-of-waking-up-inside-body-of-32-year-old-woman/comment-page-1/#comment-15227

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 5:34 PM

626

John B. Welch, Justicar, and the rest of the gang, what is wrong with you people? Rebecca Watson was just trying to bring necessary dialogue to our skeptical communities and you respond with hate? WTF? Anyway, it must be asked:

When was the last time you did something loving, compassionate, supportive, that benefited all humans? All genders? All gender expressions? That came from a deep sense of connection between all of us? That aimed to unite, rather than divide? That aimed to validate all of us as equal instead of creating further divisions in society? That brought healing into the world, instead of anger? That wasn’t sitting in a comfy chair, safe and protected by your many-layered privilege, writing a book, writing a blog post? Are you alive? Do you have a heart? Answer me. Answer us.

Posted by: History Punk | August 9, 2011 5:46 PM

627

I posted some comments on B&W but it seems my comments are being blocked. I was addressing the racial analogy. This is what I wanted to post in response to the quoted comment.

> Clearly, those who oppose the use of racial slurs are the real racists.

The analogy would be that it was OK to use gooks but not niggers. Which would make you racist as far as I'm concerned

The dynamics between sexes are completely different from the dynamics between races. Women-hating men are evolutionarily doomed. In addition most of the people whom you jump to label as misogynist in order to feel superior have female relatives, friends, lovers whom they most certainly do not hate. So when they call YOU a bitch, rest assured, they are only referring to YOU and not to any other women. In the other hand it is quite obvious a non black person using nigger is a racist.

Posted by: wtfbits | August 9, 2011 5:50 PM

628
When was the last time you did something loving, compassionate, supportive, that benefited all humans? All genders? All gender expressions? That came from a deep sense of connection between all of us? That aimed to unite, rather than divide? That aimed to validate all of us as equal instead of creating further divisions in society? That brought healing into the world, instead of anger? That wasn’t sitting in a comfy chair, safe and protected by your many-layered privilege, writing a book, writing a blog post? Are you alive? Do you have a heart? Answer me. Answer us.
This. So much wasted potential and intelligence, to what end? I don't get it.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 5:51 PM

629

HP @626:

I had the Pastafarian "Pirate Fish" sneaked on my last album's cover.

Ha! How d'you like them apples!

*hangs head in shame*

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 5:51 PM

630

I passed some VERY loving, genderless gas this morning.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 5:52 PM

632

There's something to be said for the generation gaps.
I remember, a few decades ago at a family reunion, listening to a conversation between the older folks where they lamented that women got the vote. The downfall of Western civilization!
(BTW, this was in Quebec, where women weren't allowed to vote up until the middle of the 20th century.)

Posted by: frank habets | August 9, 2011 5:55 PM

633

That Myers article isn't at all bad actually.

He's still a tool though.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 5:58 PM

634

Phil: Brilliant!

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 6:00 PM

635

LMAO @ http://angryharry.com/notefeminismforstudents.htm

and don't forget that Rebbeca Watson "hates you with her vagina" over at http://www.inmalafide.com/blog/2011/08/09/up-yours-rebecca-watson/

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 6:00 PM

636

wtfbits @627:

Why are you so late? We could have used your help sooner :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 9, 2011 6:01 PM

637

Ha, now the witch has accused me of calling her a bitch and has banned me even though from my above comment it's clear I was using the phrase "they call you" to illustrate my point.

Not only is she nuts, but also intellectually dishonest with no sense of integrity.

Posted by: wtfbits | August 9, 2011 6:03 PM

638

Rebbeca Watson Hates you with her vagina @

http://www.inmalafide.com/blog/2011/08/09/up-yours-rebecca-watson/

"the feminist/misogynist angle which I think is being beaten to death. Feminist retards are saying that Dawkins, as a white male, has never experienced the sort of terror of being propositioned by a strange man in an elevator (try getting your balls grabbed by Chinese Mafia ladyboys in Kuala Lumpur)... these stupid bitches and their pussified man-mirrors.

"I think that sometimes you only get one chance at the girl of your nightmares. You gotta try."

hawhawhawhaw. fuck that's funny.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 6:06 PM

639

Lost Control @ 607 - Damn good stuff. I grew up watching his show, as well as the Two Ronnies and others.

History Punk - I wrote a song about it once...want to hear it? ;P

(ps - when my students tell me that I am a "hater" (usually after I have to discipline them for something), I tell them "Sure am" and continue with what I am doing. usually gets a laugh from someone.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 9, 2011 6:09 PM

640

Blu @ 616:
Philip Legge has made a couple of passing references to looking for my name, which he thinks is "Jonathan", and has wondered where it is I live. Whether that implies he's after my address, or just my regional location isn't immediately clear.

But my regional location is fairly easy to find out seeing as how I've written about it on my blog, youtube, and elsewhere. So, I don't know what his intentions are specifically. I just find it creepy that he'd be at all interested in those things.

Color me crazy though.

Hey, internet people, just a word to the wise . . .!

@ 625:
I've mentioned this before to people like Aratina Cage. No, gay rights aren't ideally perfect right now. Gender equality isn't. "Race" equality isn't.

But we're not going to wake up tomorrow and have all of that magically fixed. I'm reasonably happy with the trending lines through history. So, it might take another generation or two, which means I won't yield the results until late in life, if I live to see it at all. But why is that important to me? I'd much rather have it go at the current pace, where there's not a big push back and violence and riots and all that shit.

Incremental change can do amazing shit. It requires patience, work, devotion, strategy and perspective.

I am not going to sacrifice the privileges for a future generation because of my provincial impertinence and impatience. It doesn't work in any game of strategy to just go in guns a blazing without, you know, have a good understanding of cause, effect and time. I direct you to Iraq, say.

We'll be out in a year! Hahahadisregard that we suck cocks!

Note, part of that requires the "work" bit. Yes, talking about it online is important. Human conversation is always important to these things. To anything really. But you just can't talk to get things done. You find the better "talkers" who also have the intellect, patience and determination to work tirelessly on the cause and you support the fucking hell out of that person/group/whatever with money.

Even assuming Dawkins was like just horribly, horribly wrong in his Dear Muslima letter, I am not going to throw him under the bus on that alone. If I had to pick someone to throw my money behind right this second in a straight up either or, no one is a close second to Dawkins.

Certainly not a professional victim who's known for her ability to announce that she's still drunk as her salutation to an audience.

Hitchens at least has the manners to still be drinking while he's talking. =P

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 6:09 PM

641

I'm not one who thinks much about other people's looks, particularly people whom I'd have no interest in. But, occasionally, something really cracks my shit up.

Guilty pleasure description of Twatson

But as an ugly swamp donkey, it must have been an unfamiliar experience for her.

Sorry. I loled.

I'll say five hail Myers later tonight to atone.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 6:25 PM

642

@Justicar "Even assuming Dawkins was like just horribly, horribly wrong in his Dear Muslima letter, I am not going to throw him under the bus on that alone."

Yeah, but he wasn't wrong, or even horrible.He was spot on calling her privilege.

Shit, his comment makes me wanna put my money on Muslims to kick the ass of that privilege, and impose sharia law, and drop burqas over those whining incessant mouths. Even the muslim call to prayer sounds shit-loads better than all that privileged whining.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 6:38 PM

643

Phil@636

Thanks. I didn't want to get into it to be honest, but the levels of stupidity & hypcrisy...

Posted by: wtfbits | August 9, 2011 6:47 PM

644

Believe it or not Watson actually defends the "rights of women" to wear Burkas here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brV53BOsJZU&feature=channel_video_title

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 6:48 PM

645

@Porno: Most of us aren't whining. Those who have reason to complain aren't heard, and that includes men and women. Don't confuse the actions of a small group of people with the rest of us, and please, don't prejudge people based on their sex.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 6:54 PM

646

I'll defend the rights of women to wear whatever they want as well. That's the key though - it has to be what they *want*.

So long as an adult is consenting to something, even if it's quite harmful to them, it isn't my place to babysit them.

I note though that when given the option to choose between wearing those or not, most women choose not.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 6:55 PM

647

Maybe it IS time to break lookism back out of the closet where it has languished for these last two decades.

After all in the broader discussion, men are attacked as short dicked, misogynistic(sounds like a troll, so must look like a troll), and the nom de jeur "white" all the time--how lookist is that? "He's white"--nuff said for these guuurls.

The under current of that whole white men suck thing uis amazing:

"Now lets get back to Pedro, and some hot salsa downtown, where Pedro rips/riffs in her ear about her culo, and her chocha, and gropes around the panocha at four in the morning;--and at no point do we dare label as sexist, a rapist or a pig even one Pedro/Francisco/Tyrese/Pierre/Vincenzo/Achmed/Mubobobo/insert tha name of favorite good looking objectified-uber-ethnic-othered-favorite-whitegirltoy-walking drop dead hotboy-salsa-dancing-soon-to-be-maybe-famous-rapper-human dildo-here...at least these kinds of girls can 'train' one of them 'othered' men."

While they run around with plates and forks testing white men's balls for tenderness, and moisture...

Yeah, I think I'm bringin' lookist back...make it sexy again.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 7:03 PM

648

@Justicar

As would I, but not in the case when some women have extra rights not afforded to others because of their religion (as was the case in Belgium until recently).

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 7:04 PM

649

"I'll say five hail Myers later tonight to atone."

I got a good LOL out of that.

Posted by: John Greg | August 9, 2011 7:18 PM

650

Pornonymous@637 - a lot of that link is just plain stupid, but I did like Jay coming to her rescue. He even called another man out, then backed down when confronted with that. Seriously dude, grow a pair. If your going to be a knight, act like one and back up your mouth. Crap, dude wouldn't last a minute in some of the bars I've been in, and he'd have no street cred with my kids. While I don't agree with most of what Charlie said (some of it was funny though), I am not so sure that most of the people here wouldn't say what they have been saying here to Watson's (or whoever's face). Anyway, you lost respect Jay - turn in your Man-Card, along with any beer you might have. (ps - for the humor impaired, that's a bit of a joke).

Posted by: Badger3k | August 9, 2011 7:23 PM

651

bluharmony, "please, don't prejudge people based on their sex."

As far as I can tell, you are not whining-everrr in this discussion that I am aware of. You established that with me over at Laden's, and I take 'em one at a time. Your arguments seem rational, fair minded, and strikingly individual, like as if somewhere along the like you took the time to grow up, like the rest of the human beings.

I particularly liked your stance in regards to different nuanced aspects within the larger whole of this discussion.

But ya know what? Sometimes you frame a phrase or two that almost looks like tripwires strung across the conversation field, and I wonder if you do it intentionally or not.I mean, lawyers do that, right? Or perhaps it is dry humor--your mind seems to work a bit like that.

For instance, suppose I were writing a joke at another blog, and I said--go over here @_____ for the punchline, and the punchline was "please, don't prejudge people based on their sex."

Imagine for instance it was the old Rodney King joke "can't we all just get along?"

But I don't know where--anywhere--where I might have given you the impression that I am prejudiced in some regards to sex; or why else would you ask such?

But don't get me started on white women, o.k.? I readily admit my heightened distrust of, and bias against, and prejudice towards, privileged white women.

And, you're Russian, or Ukrainian or s/th right? But man, them folks sure were abused in the sense of privilege and power--and all I really remember is American white women being pissed at or competitive against 'Russian whores,' as I heard them call those Caucasoid girls from the Baltics, and such.

So if that is who you really are, in some regards, I don't qualify that as being 'white' in the sense of privilege.

Today, it is absolutely ironic, and hilarious to see the same AWF's trying to 'help and save the helpless sex workers of the eastern bloc,' which is thinly disguised gold-digging, and purse pimping. Transparent, and translucent as the glistening of porcelain white skin in the moonlight of Victorian prudery and sex-negative 'feminism', revisited.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 7:25 PM

652

Justicar@646 - indeed. The choice aspect is the big one, and considering the indoctrination they go through, and the constant threats and supervision in many muslim communities...the "choice" isn't really a choice. If they were under no pressure, then perhaps we can consider that a true "choice".

Sidenote - in my comment @649 - I should have said Kudos to Jay for sticking up for a friend, even if he went about it the wrong way. Not sure what sheltered life he's led, but he should know better.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 9, 2011 7:29 PM

653

This just in: exchanging a service for money is gold-digging.

I suppose when I rent out my knowledge and brain power to review a fatal car crash report, I'm digging for gold. Yes, I suppose that's accurate; I am saying to a person that I will let them have the use of part of my body for their benefit, provided they meet a certain price.

It would be no different than if the faculty I were offering up for exchange were my ass. As it happens, I sell use timed use of a different organ.

And it's not "thinly" disguised; it's explicitly stated in the form of terms and conditions of use, the extent of that use, the duration of that use and the price tendered for its use.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 7:33 PM

654

@Porno: They're not tripwires, and I was commenting on the basis of the article, which I did not like very much, and the first few comments even less so. You've stated how you feel, and I'm fine with that.

Yes, I'm Russian. I lived there until I was seven.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 7:40 PM

655

The IMF article asks a pertinent question about Twatson:

"Who ever heard of that stupid bitch before a real author like Richard Dawkins pointed out how dumb she is?"

Discuss.

Posted by: TylerD | August 9, 2011 7:43 PM

656

I have to say, I do find it rather amusing that Ophelia Benson actually put her bigotry on her shirtsleve, as it were, by adding that line in her "About" page that the only rule is that making any supportive comments at ERV will get you banned from her blog. How terribly objective, rational, and reasonable of her! [/snark]

My god, I don't understand how in the hell she can justify all this stupid shit to herself, especially when the lunacy of it is being pointed out to her so much, and when even her own commentators speak up every once in a while against it (I saw somebody over there saying that they would kind of like to be able to hear our responses; wonder if they'll get banned for heresy?); has she perhaps truly gone bonkers?


Also, kind of amusing that her falsehood is so obvious; even in comments where I point out that I've publicly disagreed with the "Twatson" stuff here, and that I don't use any of the gendered insults myself, she still deletes my comments and bans me again. *rolleyes*

Posted by: Woden | August 9, 2011 7:44 PM

657

@porno: One more comment - I have no prejudice against white American women. That describes most of my friends, and I, myself, lost my Russian accent about a year or two after moving here. I have not prejudice against women or men of any nationality sexual orientation. For me, it's about human rights. And I have experienced prejudice from women of any color or nationality for being Russian.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 7:48 PM

658

In reply to Woden #656.

Cognitive dissonance, which we all suffer from to one degree or another, is a powerful weevil.

Posted by: John Greg | August 9, 2011 7:51 PM

659

Wow, that's fucking awesome. Gophelia!

http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/atheism-gnu-fascism.html

I don't censor people, but it would be nice to see how long of a list of website we can force her to put on her blacklist.

I wouldn't dare ask that Abbie's place get spammed with potential suggestions, but, you know, if you know of a place that could use some love, let me know!

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 7:51 PM

660

@Tyler: It's already been discussed to death. In my opinion, at least, there are more important issues to talk about. I have no desire to insult *anyone* any longer; I just want to figure out how to best get past this.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 7:53 PM

661

Badger3k @649--yeah, I just stumbled on him while I was researching what an MRA is, but I have always known what Angry Harry is about--he's the real gold. I used to see those guys and secretly say "I wish I could say that out loud sometimes!"

But now, I feel like it has to be said--this nuttery about RW revealed to me how insignificant, mean spirited, and predatory some of these girls are in the dialectic. Coming to a town near you soon--Swedens gender bent fauxminists leeching off the bodies of women instead of some pimp...? Illogical, unhealthy, and Orwellian.

What I was liking about inmalafide is the sheer assholery of it, the juvenality.

One comment "Why is East Asia in increasingly better shape than the West? The first answer is because heterosexual man hating feminism hasn’t taken hold of it yet the way it has in the West. The Second is that it is simply easier to ejaculate inside of Vagina."

Ah, regardless of how badly that statement reeks of the exact child support system perpetuating, woman dependency that wow espouses way up there, or its factual dysfunction, it is pure boy logic, regardless of what the tone trolls and nut munchers suggest, and without the PC baggage attached like cellulite on a forehead.

Some of that MRA stuff is the exact Lacanian image of these so-called feminists who are just pure rant about dicks, without any idea what one really is. Hypothetical men are just so mean and scary!

So seeing that mirror image is a riot! In and of itself, not all that funny, but as a mirror? Priceless.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 7:58 PM

662

I suppose Benson is more or less trying to create or build a sort of association/comparison between ERV and something like a neo-Nazi Website, i.e., disseminators of hate, or something like that.

Reading the comments there I find myself quite mystified at the general support of and complacency towards outright censorship -- never mind the ongoing misrepresentation and outright fabrications regarding how we actually function over here. Most of the folks there that are discussing the censorship issue don't even seem uncomfortable with Benson re-writing other people's posts.

It's true: I don't get it.

Posted by: John Greg | August 9, 2011 7:59 PM

664

#621 and earlier: re Myers's publication record. Before he went to Dublin recently some muslims gave him 11 questions they wanted him to ask. 10 were religious bullshit ones and but the 11th one was paraphrase "what is your publication record since pharyngula"? He downright promised to answer all questions (he could have left off 11 if he wanted noone would have known)He answered the main 10 but never as I can see the 11th.Pretty fucking typical.

Posted by: Hoody | August 9, 2011 8:07 PM

665

So if people who comment at ERV are being banned at other websites, does that mean the person who complained about "being reported on" here is in fact, having people report to her about who comments here?

Posted by: JohnV | August 9, 2011 8:08 PM

666

@John: That is the issue at hand, and in a sense, has been from the very beginning. That's how most of us ended up here - because most people were not willing to discuss or evaluate the incident(s) from a skeptical perspective. Well, at least that's how I ended up here. People were attacked, banned, or simply shut down. No one even wanted to hear the argument. And so, there was much satisfaction in finding people who were willing to talk about it.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 8:10 PM

667

Like I said at my place, I'm not looking for any ddos type anything. But the decision to create a backlist like she's doing should be personally costly to her; namely, it should require a great deal of her time to make sure she can pull it off.

Alas, my impact is small. But every chance I get to mention this fascistic move and suggest people go ask her about it will not be lost.

The "big" names in atheism are outright calling for a blacklist. Awesome.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 8:13 PM

668

Justicar, you got my meaning all twisted--I am all for legalized prostitution, sexual liberation, etc.

The thin disguise is women FROM here, talking about how they want to save those women over there.

The thinly disguised gold digging is AWF's at large buying in, sex negative feminists, and the EU sex trade unionists trying to get a cut of, and control over other women's sexual choices and actions around those choices, no different than any pimp anywhere ever did.

So to be clear: I am not saying the EU Bloc girls are digging, I am saying they are victimized on two fronts--pimps and racketeers and predatory criminals, and on the other side this weird new re-packaged gender feminist sexual morality police that claim to 'protect' women from being exploited, meanwhile lining their pockets with funding money ala the phonied up Schapiro Group study here in the US about sex exploitation, or the well funded academic and institutional but fraudulent networks of women who exploit other women.

Is that clear?

bluharmony throws a curve ball "I have not prejudice against women "

You daring me, I am sure? To call you on English language, or not is that tripwire?

But in it's entirety, and noble intention:"I have not prejudice against women or men of any nationality sexual orientation."

I wish I could be that noble again--class, and games of power around class have left me scarred and jaded.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 8:14 PM

669

@JohnV: They read this blog, and run searches for their names, I gather. We read theirs. This isn't a closed discussion.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 8:14 PM

670

I don't see anyone here trying "save" women; I see people here trying to equalize relations among all peoples so that we are each on level footing with everyone else. This has the happy byproduct of taking care of many issues.

If you raise the floor for everyone, many problems have a way of taking care of themselves. Equality in standing before one's society is extremely powerful.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 8:17 PM

671

frank habets@632:

I remember, a few decades ago at a family reunion, listening to a conversation between the older folks where they lamented that women got the vote. The downfall of Western civilization!

There's a character who works with me who, whenever we go near the subject, loudly declaims that women shouldn't have been given the vote. He's younger than I (mid-50s I think) and an ex-Marine (which may help to explain it).

When I ask him why he thinks that way, he mutters darkly about how it led to the "pussification of America" (his phrase), but that's all I can get out of him on it.

I don't understand it at all.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 9, 2011 8:18 PM

672

@Porno: What curve ball have I thrown? I came here saying that I'm for equality, and I certainly have no bias for or against white American women. Also, it's absolute BS to say that American women aren't concerned or trying to remedy injustices toward women in other countries. When my mother and I first came to the states during the cold war, it was wealthy white American women who helped us, and we probably wouldn't have made it if they hadn't. Frankly, I'm disturbed by some of your links and group generalizations. People must be judged individually, not based on what you perceive them to be. That was one of the issues that I couldn't discuss before coming Abbie's. If I didn't agree that men were monsters or rapists on certain other forums, I was a gender traitor or a misogynist. I am neither.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 8:27 PM

673

There's nothing wrong with Twatson, PZ, OB, and Laden that a house full of seamen wouldn't fix.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 8:28 PM

674

Justicar, we fundamentally agree on that, but if I took out a dissector, it would be hours or days before we could get through this potential conversation, to whit:

"I don't see anyone here trying "save" women; I see people here trying to equalize relations"

Part a) what is a saving? part b) what is equalizing?

Shit, there's a long week and a half of talks. Maybe just take the Maoist approach, and gun down the dissent and the intellectuals first, I guess.

Employ the rest of them to send others down; take pictures of the kids all standing on the tips of giant wheat stalks, equally, shoulder to shoulder singing "Mo Li Hua.."; ship the picture over the world while the cultural revolution takes place; shut up as the fearless leader wangs away on country girls(or boys) to the leaders hearts content, while demanding abstinence from everyone else who didn'twalk over the mountains with fearless leader;wait for global capitalism to cut the rest of us in...

Simple. Not so simple. Less than not so simple when I realize what bullets feel like, and that I might catch one somewhere in there.

Sounds like the net is closing...equality, that little fish, always gets away from us.

What else do you see?

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 8:35 PM

675

@671
You work with Ann Coulter?

Posted by: wildlifer | August 9, 2011 8:40 PM

676

@674,

???!?

Posted by: ??? | August 9, 2011 8:40 PM

677

Bearing in mind the seamen video maybe we should start suggesting that people go kiss the cunt of a Tauren?

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 9, 2011 8:42 PM

678

Nice footage of Booty Bay, John C. Welch.

I have spent many an hour there, particularly back when I was working on my Bloodsail Admiral title.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 8:48 PM

679

Skepcheck, perhaps kiss the cunt of the spacecows.

Posted by: Justicar | August 9, 2011 8:50 PM

680

bluharmony: "When my mother and I first came to the states during the cold war, it was wealthy white American women who helped us, and we probably wouldn't have made it if they hadn't. Frankly, I'm disturbed by some of your links and group generalizations. People must be judged individually"

Well, it's a good thing you are loyal--wealthy people appreciate loyalty. And for the record, I recall Jews being publicly and politically flogged here during that same time period over their "USSR" loyalties. So what magic carpet flew your family here?

And you are disturbed, now, by my links? Subtle, bluharmony. What exactly disturbs you? And are you easily disturbed?

You should have brought that up over at Laden's. But since you are now out of your sheep's clothes, I guess I can get out of mine: you have this other side to you--I think someone up there mentioned the possibility of sock puppets--I don't think you are a sock puppet; I think you are playing to a new crowd in order to gain weight for your arguments with RW, et al., which you roundly lost ateach step.

And I am not going to help you flog that horse--again. Stephanie did that with you, Justicar has been loving and patient, etc.

Let me guess: this IS leading where I thought it would way up there somewhere when I asked you about your politics--some hint you left about misandry....but I am not going there with you right now.

Frankly, you suddenly being disturbed by my links, makes me even more disturbed about your perturbation, and potentially subtle misandrist leanings.

And you know, my family came here from the Ukraine, fleeing that whole Bolshevism--but we didn't have the wealthy white women to support us, and they certainly were in lockstep with their dear husbands against our arrival.

But I think my horse sense sees where you are headed here, and my nuzzle smells a wire.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 9, 2011 8:55 PM

681

@675:

I've got to wonder sometimes, although on most subjects he's a little right of centre (ie a Democrat, or what passes for one these days). When the subject gets to women, though, he takes a sharp right turn.

My wife has never met him, but already she wants to kill him.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 9, 2011 8:56 PM

682

An apropos video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5U-YT-mRmI

Posted by: frank habets | August 9, 2011 9:00 PM

683

#681 I think you're nuts. And it isn't all men, just you.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 9:00 PM

684

@681 There seem to be very few democrats in government these days, if that word is to have any meaning.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 9:06 PM

685

@683: Nope, not nuts. Got piece of paper that says I'm sane.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 9, 2011 9:09 PM

686

Pornonymous is nuts?
I initially started reading his posts as if they were jokes I was somehow wasn't getting. In the back of my mind, I'd think "Is he crazy, or is he making a point that's going over my head?"
But I eventually concluded there's some worrisome bad wiring in his brain.

Posted by: frank habets | August 9, 2011 9:17 PM

687

@Ron: No, not you. You're great.

@Frank: I can't say for certain, but I think he definitely has some issues. And you're right, his posts waver between lucidity and what appears to be insanity.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 9:21 PM

688

(ppst, Ron, I think blu meant to direct her reply to the comment preceding yours)

Posted by: frank habets | August 9, 2011 9:23 PM

689

@676

!!!?!

Posted by: !!! | August 9, 2011 9:25 PM

690

Oops, my bad. Ron Murray is great, and writes interesting and thoughtful posts. I hope I didn't scare him off with my stupid comment. That was directed at "Porn." Apparently it didn't hit the right target.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 9:31 PM

691

An observation about Justicar.

He's as logical as Spock, as direct as Bones, and as confident as Kirk.

(I say that as a good thing)


Posted by: frank habets | August 9, 2011 9:37 PM

692

@bluharmony: No offense taken. Where I come from (shades of DownThunder's post above!), being called nuts can be a compliment at times. Since I hadn't, to my knowledge, done anything wrong, I assumed you meant it the same way.

If it comes to that, my reply missed the target too. I meant to say that I have a piece of paper that says I'm sane -- now.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 9, 2011 9:52 PM

693

These people have been using the word misogynist so indiscriminately that it will lose all its power. In response - The Misogynists of the Atheist Community – PZ Myers, Laden, Rebecca Watson, and the Witch.

http://wtfbits.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/the-misogynists-of-the-atheist-community-pz-myers-rebecca-watson-and-the-witch/

Posted by: wtfbits | August 9, 2011 10:03 PM

694

656:

I have to say, I do find it rather amusing that Ophelia Benson actually put her bigotry on her shirtsleve, as it were, by adding that line in her "About" page that the only rule is that making any supportive comments at ERV will get you banned from her blog. How terribly objective, rational, and reasonable of her! [/snark]

Ophelia's about page had some errors. I fixed them for her. I'm a giver. I give. I gave.


My god, I don't understand how in the hell she can justify all this stupid shit to herself, especially when the lunacy of it is being pointed out to her so much, and when even her own commentators speak up every once in a while against it (I saw somebody over there saying that they would kind of like to be able to hear our responses; wonder if they'll get banned for heresy?); has she perhaps truly gone bonkers?

Because ERV is the enemy, so are all who don't blindly hate ERV, so therefore, any action taken against ERV is okay, ERV is Fair Game. The Scientologists turned that shit into a fucking art form. Ophelia et al are rather amateurish, the way they stumble about trying to copy the true masters.

659:

I don't censor people, but it would be nice to see how long of a list of website we can force her to put on her blacklist.

I wouldn't dare ask that Abbie's place get spammed with potential suggestions, but, you know, if you know of a place that could use some love, let me know!

Too easy. Although I am tempted to point reddit at her.

660:

@Tyler: It's already been discussed to death. In my opinion, at least, there are more important issues to talk about. I have no desire to insult *anyone* any longer; I just want to figure out how to best get past this.

Well, the long term answer, is to not let the motherfuckers like PZ and douchephelia co-opt feminism or equality or anything. That does mean a bit of a long slog, but having an opposition is valuable in terms of "no you fucking wastes of nipples, you are NOT the only correct fucking view!"

670:

I don't see anyone here trying "save" women; I see people here trying to equalize relations among all peoples so that we are each on level footing with everyone else. This has the happy byproduct of taking care of many issues.

If I'm expected to "save" women, then they should be expected to give me blowjobs whenever I want. Fuck, I'm saving them, a little oral is not out of the question. In the old days, they had to let guys in armor bang them!

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 9, 2011 10:28 PM

695

Wtfbits brings up one of the issues that I found so insulting - The assertion that all women are frightened by demonic males, so men need to tiptoe around them to cater to their largely irrational fears. I thought we were past this already. I certainly didn't expect it to come back under the cover of atheism and skepticism. Many aspects of feminist theory are woo of the highest order. Of all the things I expected of this "community," I certainly didn't expect this. I thought we were all working toward equality, because it's reasonable, and it feels exactly right.

I mean, if men want to do certain things for women, that's fine, but they shouldn't have to, and they shouldn't presume that all women want the same things. Moreover, they certainly shouldn't try to ridicule the women who tell them that they prefer something different, or apply their power and influence to get women in the minority to conform. Not only is this wrong, but it's a little creepy.

It's nice to find out that new feminism is all about suppressing viewpoints that those in power don't want to hear, even if they're couched in clean, gender-neutral language. On the other hand, I don't think their movement is going to get anywhere, so if they want a perfectly united clan, they can have it.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 10:55 PM

696

@John: Well, my brand of feminism (I don't actually need to use that word) is all about equality, and about realizing that men and women are not that different. And if anything, this incident shows just how much power women actually have over men.

A little pin-up calendar eye candy and all reason is gone with the wind. The previous sentence is consistent with their theory, by the way.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 9, 2011 11:01 PM

697

Blu - just wanted to say that I've been enjoying your articulate comments along the way.

Too little time (and far to much to say) for me to comment in a meaningful and timely manner in the various posts.

I also just want to say: sodium, aluminium, magnesium. For the record.

Now, enough cyberslacking from me.

Posted by: KiwiInOz | August 9, 2011 11:29 PM

698

"We hates ERV! We hates it forever!"

Brilliant, absolutely hilarious, spot on, and brilliant.

Posted by: John Greg | August 10, 2011 12:05 AM

699

Needless to say, Ophelia censored my post at her forum, which is why I decided to post it here as well. Currently, she has the forum closed.

PZ responds, "Please note the dishonest game Phyraxus is playing in #493: he reports Rebecca Watson’s college requirements in number of courses, and his own college’s requirements in number of credit hours. Multiply Watson’s numbers by about 4 to put them in roughly the same units, and lo and behold, you discover that they’re entirely comparable."

He says I was being dishonest when I went at great length describing the credit hour values to courses taken at my university (i.e. he is lying in order to perform more character assassination.) He also takes issue that I called core courses (i.e. classes that EVERYONE at the university must take in order to graduate with ANY degree) as "basics," I think he is trying to tu quoque me about degree snobbery. But I don't care about that because I already said that was a personal bias of mine, that I am elitist when it comes to education and intellect, and I don't care for basics because I see them as nothing but a waste of time and money under the guise of a "well-rounded" education.

I was just pointing out his own degree snobbery (read: hypocrisy) when it comes to giving me shit about my education by suggesting that I probably went to a vocational or technical school. Doesn't he know those schools are for people who are poor and need to make more money to support themselves and/or their family? I know because I transferred out of one of those schools after getting my basics (to save money.) They don't have the luxury (read: privilege) of going to a liberal arts university. Jesus fucking Christ, not only is PZ Myers a hypocrite, he is also a douchebag.

Then he goes on about his own university: "So the difference there was 120 science + 60 liberal arts, vs 60+60 at my current university; one third to one half of your course load will be outside your major discipline in most places you go. And as someone who has experienced both kinds of colleges, the liberal arts university is far better for creating educated minds."

About one third is the core course load at my university; I didn't bother mentioning the science courses in the core because I counted them toward my major. As for liberal arts universities, perhaps this is one of those chicken or egg scenarios that liberal arts universities tend to get the most "educated minds" to begin with. On the other hand, why would an "educated mind" want to accrue the kind of debt that a liberal arts university requires? Perhaps because, as I mentioned before, they have that luxury or were one of the lucky few to receive a full scholarship for their achievements in high school. I wasn't as lucky and I didn't want to be a slave to my debtors, but then again...

"Perhaps if Phyraxus had attended a school with broader expectations of a good education, he wouldn’t now be making excuses for his poor performance on the verbal part of his standardized tests."

...I'm not well educated. (More degree snobbery and character assassination from PZ.)

Well, I could also say that the MCAT is a standardized test made by white people for white people, but I don't like to use my race as a crutch for poor performance in the only subjective portion of the MCAT; I'd much rather think they would want someone very "orthodox" in their thinking (e.g. a tool) so as not to give them any unwanted variables. The M.D. I shadowed told me that you should get a 15 (the best score) on the verbal section, but he never really elaborated on why or how it mattered. I suspect it mattered for that very reason (i.e. "orthodox" thinking) because he told me that being an M.D. is a very conservative/traditional profession, so it is easy for me to believe that "out-of-the-box" thinking is frowned upon (which is why someone like House [extreme example, I know] wouldn't be an M.D. for very long if at all.)

Anyway, his response didn't even bother addressing my real point of how the fuck he expects RW to be a good educator in science without even having a bachelors in the subject. (Although, he may have not been able to read the extended portion before Ophelida censored it.) He cites David Attenborough as someone who received a bachelors in SCIENCE to go on to be a good science communicator, therefore you don't need an ADVANCED degree in SCIENCE to be a good science communicator. This is a Red Herring IMO because RW doesn't even have a bachelors in SCIENCE.

Seriously, WTF is he thinking? How does he justify such raving hypocrisy and douchebaggery? Seems like he would rather just keep digging his hole.

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 10, 2011 1:15 AM

700

In defense of Ms. Benson, the comment moderation policy makes a lot more sense if you don't rush in with an accusatory and confrontational manner.

That was my experience there, anyway.

Posted by: Rlearn | August 10, 2011 1:21 AM

701

Rlearn @ 700:

Yeah, I tried that. In my first comment there, I asked some honest questions about her stances and why she was focusing on certain things; she blew me off, then shortly thereafter edited my comment to remove all but a half-sentence, citing the (completely false) justification of "what I said about her at ERV" (where I had yet to so much as mention her or her blog).

Posted by: Woden | August 10, 2011 1:58 AM

702

Frank @ 691:
Thanks!

John, nice picture. I think you caught her good side. Also, I note the orbicularis oris has features similar to one of those expensive sex dolls Twatson tried to sell to me. Of course, I'm told this mouth actually does talk (without respite).

*promises another 2 hail Myers*

True story! I was on stickam earlier and we were talking about Orwellphelia Buttsin when this young gal said, "Why do you want to talk shit about some feminist . . ." I asked her why earlier when we were discussing President Obama she didn't pipe up in similar language "Why do you want to talk shit about some blacktivist . . ."

She was not overly happy, decrying me as immature and unadult. I asked her if she ever had fun playing games. She said yes. "Do you ever stop playing them because games are for kids and you're supposed to be all adult like?"

She didn't like that one either.

So, then someone asked me about limits, their history and what happens if there's a discontinuity in the graph. It was all grown up. The poor dear suddenly had to go bed.

I chuckled.

I also got Michael Payton to nerd/rage quit the stickam conversation when he pulled out some bullshit, pathetic excuse for a "scholarly" article. How'd I know it was going to be bullshit? Unlike him, I didn't stop at the abstract; I opened the link and read the cover page. Picture of it here:
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/its-fucking-idiot-atheist-week.html

An Emperical Analysis of Street-Level Prostitution
is the title. Under the title
Extremely Preliminary and Incomplete Comments Greatly Appreciated
Lawl. And at one point he said he didn't want to talk too much about the study because it had a lot of intricate math in it (lol?) I appreciate his not wanting to confuse me! (Or maybe that was benefit for the audience).

Also there, a picture of his rage quit. We were discussing the fact that the study he sent me is shit for some of the reasons it's complete shit. And that this isn't no replacement for a citation when I asked for one. And it was no better than the original response when I asked, which was this is "common knowledge".

I've never run into that data section before.

What's worse is that even if I took his study as good, it says that being black was only very weakly associated to one thing we were talking about!

Anyway, that and watching him get his ass handed to him by William Lame Craig . . .well, let's say I'm not impressed. But I think I can understand why he has no interest in "getting [his] PhD" . . .lawl.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 2:17 AM

703

I had yet to read the comments on the Jesus'n'Mo cartoon, but this (old) one caught my eye:
www.jesusandmo.net/2011/07/27/girls/#comment-174649

Ophelia Benson says:
July 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm
And it really doesn’t take a “titanium set” to take things on. I don’t have a “set” of any kind, but I don’t shy away from controversy.

!!!
What. The. Intercourse.!!?!?
I guess in her strange world, blanket banning folk for non-existent thought-crimes against her, deleting (or even more egregiously) editing people's comments is NOT shying away from controversy??

Has she become insane? Or is it a virus that is spread by licking Watson's arse?

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 10, 2011 2:21 AM

704

@689

@676

!!!?!

You'll have to be more specific. But the general screed is just me riffing on the idea of "equality" ala the Communists in China Mao's history, and many of the Communist tropes--like the kids on the wheat stalks, and the Chinese National song MoLiHua (Jasmine flower).

Equality is such a nice noble idea, especially when the blood and the shit starts flying. The problem is there is always a class hell bent on diminishing your perception of their class advantag at all costs, and sacrificing truth, and freedom to keep that advantage.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 10, 2011 2:27 AM

705

bluharmony, I am still wondering what is it You find so disturbing about my links, or are you going to leave that thick one hanging in the air?

Posted by: pornonymous | August 10, 2011 2:29 AM

706

In reply to Rlearn #700.

Rlearn said:

"In defense of Ms. Benson, the comment moderation policy makes a lot more sense if you don't rush in with an accusatory and confrontational manner."

LOL. I crawled (I am not a rushy kind of a guy) in with a simple query and was banned before I even got to post my post simply because the snake charmer disagreed with me.

Rlearn: fail on reality.

When it comes to media and things like Internet blogs, etc., there is nothing so obscene, so disgusting, so puerile and offensive as some blog owner editing posters' comments to suit that blog owners ideology. Seriously, that is ... well, I fail at having the words to eloquently express how dusgusting that is.

Ophelia Benson, you are a stain on honesty; a black mark on integrity. You should hide your head in deep, deep shame, and remove yourself from public rhetorical participation.

Posted by: John Greg | August 10, 2011 3:11 AM

707

Rlearn


In defense of Ms. Benson, the comment moderation policy makes a lot more sense if you don't rush in with an accusatory and confrontational manner.

That was my experience there, anyway.
"The Benson Delusion"
I think we have ample evidence to the contrary.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 3:23 AM

708

@703
I agree, she doesn't shy away from controversy, she runs/alters/bans.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 10, 2011 3:35 AM

709

Here's an example of a syllabus for Feminism 101: http://www.stanford.edu/class/fs101/syllabus.html

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 4:27 AM

710

bluharmony, are you deliberately acting like a white women on this one? Or did I lose you at "Ukraine"?

Here is a history of white female privilege, 101:
https://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/rule-number-one-never-never-ever-make-the-white-women-mad/

Posted by: pornonymous | August 10, 2011 5:18 AM

711

Yeah, Pornonymous is a loon, figured this out after he claimed I wanted to slap men in the face and I read his website.

Posted by: Peter | August 10, 2011 5:49 AM

712

Oh I dunno, I quite like pornonymous. Theres a display of creativity and humour which has been lacking lately...

Posted by: DownThunder | August 10, 2011 6:18 AM

713

Doesn't mean he ain't a loon :P

Posted by: Peter | August 10, 2011 6:21 AM

714

catching up..

I see the meltdown continues at B&W..I really hate to say this, cuz I disagree with Mooney on so many issues..but maybe he saw something in her long before I did and that is why he banned her from his site.. I did agree with OB in that saga, but maybe I should go revisit it..

Posted by: mary | August 10, 2011 6:33 AM

715

Steven Pinker quickly explains why gender feminism is a bunch of woo silliness (I'm paraphrasing): http://bobmartin.posterous.com/equity-and-gender-feminism

Seriously, anyone who lives in the real world knows this is basic common sense. Why are so many intelligent people wrapped up in this? I'm baffled.

A million reasons why "privilege" is garbage, with examples in comments section and a link to a better 101 blog explaining gender-type feminist ideology: http://noseriouslywhatabouttehmenz.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/shut-up-rich-boy-the-problem-with-privilege/ (This is a group of actual [gender] feminists trying to figure out how to make it work. The solution? Explain in real words.)

So everyone is obligated to read these blogs, or else we won't all be speaking the same language. Looking at feminism from a biological, sociological, and historical point of view makes makes us idiots. Just memorize and obey! Sounds helpful.

Modern feminism is a philosophical quagmire. It's steeped in controversy and contradiction. All of this can be avoided by simply focusing on better living conditions and equality - human rights.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 6:42 AM

716

@mary: We all disagree with each other on many issues. That's natural and healthy. In the end, we try different things and the best ideas win out. But the main thing is working together as a community, and if we want to increase numbers, then actually offering something desirable to the religious (also, reaching out to them in a friendly and welcoming way). Right now, as a group, atheists are an embarrassment. We've spent months discussing an absolutely normal, legal, friendly, respectful invitation to coffee in a four-story downtown Dublin hotel elevator.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 6:52 AM

717

Greg @353

On 10: you said small number of men. I said rampant in the atheist community. I suppose you could argue that privilege entails blindness in the AC on sexism but I don't see how a small number of men could mean rampant.

This actually gets right to the point of 'privilege' and varying perceptions.
Let us suppose an event, with attendance split something like 80/20 male/female. Let us suppose that the majority (even the vast majority, call it 95%) of the men are decent human beings, engaging with the women attendees in a normal fashion. This leaves only "a small number" of the men being jerks, hitting on each woman they come in contact with or otherwise acting inappropriately.
In this situation, if you are one of the majority of men behaving decently, you may not notice anything at all untoward. Or perhaps you may notice someone being a jerk once or twice, if you happen to be right there when it happens. But your (not unreasonable!) conclusion may well be that sexism is at best a minor thing.
But if you are a woman in the same situation, then very likely you will find yourself being hit on by sexist jerks pretty much every time you walk into a room. And your (again, not unreasonable!) conclusion may well be that sexism is a big problem.
So... in this situation, is sexism "rampant"?

Remember that this is all still hypothetical.

Do the two positions make sense?

Sure.

Is sexism "rampant" in the AE?

No.

My frustration has returned. Honestly, again, what follows from any of this?

Am I supposed to magically agree with some as yet unstated conclusion?

If the answer were yes, what would that imply?

Why?

The sheer number of assumptions and altered definitions needed in order to get to "yes" is breathtaking.

I've spent the last day and a half thinking about where you are trying to go here and I give up.

What are you trying to get at?

Posted by: Brad | August 10, 2011 6:59 AM

718

Blu: thanks for the links (especially the second one. Good read, I'm starting the comments now). Holly Pervocracy makes some excellent points.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 7:00 AM

719

Susan Pinker, Steven's wife (I'm so happy they brought him up in support of their ideology) writes extensively on the evils of modern feminism: http://tinyurl.com/mqhtey

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 7:01 AM

720

Peter, your a "hard scientist" right? I mean after all, it appears it was bluharmony who dragged you into this...;-)

So let's start with facts: please point out to me, anywhere, any time, ever, where I claimed you wanted to slap men in the face.

I will wait for you to arrive at the point of nunca, nada, never, and then wait till you get back to me.

In the meantime, here is what I actually DO say,in context to white, privileged equity feminists who are best caricatured by the old film noir trope of a Katherine Hepburn whacking some man across the face.

And as long as she can take what she dishes out, she really, really IS an equity feminist--and you to. But I NEVER said you personally were a mans face slapper--blu put those words in my nib, and on top of your bony pate as well.

So la chaim! to the white face slapping equity fems! https://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/rule-number-one-never-never-ever-make-the-white-women-mad/

Posted by: pornonymous | August 10, 2011 7:06 AM

721

Note: I don't agree with some of the points in the article in the above post, I'm just providing it for the reference and consideration.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 7:07 AM

722

Blu, I have a few points of discord as well, but I liked, for exemple, the little girls/little boys stuff. Not everything is always black and white, as we have repeated about a gazillion times here (to Jen: not REALLY a gazillion times. That was a figure of speech :))...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 7:17 AM

723

Mooney sets the record straight on Ophelia here:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2010/07/12/setting-the-record-straight-on-ophelia-benson/

Some choice quotes of hers are:

He or he and Sheril Kirshenbaum banned me from commenting at The Intersection soon after I began trying to get them to do a better job of justifying their claims and to criticize their energetic and often inaccurate bashing of new atheists. Commenters who agreed with them were not banned or even moderated, no matter how abusive their comments were. One “bilbo” repeatedly called me a liar after I posted a list of questions for M and K.

According to Mooney, she was banned because she was sending e-mails to him demanding other's comments be deleted. That is really fucking stupid if true. I know this comes from Mooney, but his recollection is probably accurate given her behavior these past days. Hannity and Co. could only wish for this level of self-unaware righteousness.

Posted by: Daniel Kolle | August 10, 2011 7:18 AM

724

From Daniel's link:

OB sayz:

So “bilbo” who repeatedly said here that I was lying in my questions to you two was not moderated, but I who repeatedly asked you two to do a better job of justifying your claims – I was banned. Do you think you should have second thoughts about that now, Sheril? Now that you know “bilbo” was William? A sock puppet? Who has made something of a career of saying I’m lying when I say something he dislikes?

I think you should lift the ban on me, and I think you should apologize.

Funny that. It's exactly verbatim what she did to John, and then to me. I was asking PZ, in a polite way, to justify his claims, then POOF, I was disapeared.

What a fucking hypocrite she is!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 7:26 AM

725

pornonymous:

So let's start with facts: please point out to me, anywhere, any time, ever, where I claimed you wanted to slap men in the face.

equity feminists are the kind who slap guys faces in the movies"

I am an equity feminist, that post was addressed to me.

QED.

Don't worry, I don't take it seriously, your writing is ... well, I can't think of a good adjective, weird, strange, bizarre, mostly wrong.

Posted by: Peter | August 10, 2011 7:30 AM

726

@Phil: Of course we have gender differences. I think those differences are delightful. I would hate to deprive the next generation of that experience and force them to be something dictated by what some woman read in a blog instead.

As humans, we need freedom from prejudice, equal opportunities, and equal rights to be whatever we want to be - this allows for traditional roles and non-traditional ones, the possibilities are unlimited. Look at John raising his son, for example. I love that.

Modern feminism dismisses biology, psychology, physiology, and sociology in favor of a dubious philosophy favored by a tiny fragment of the population.

@Daniel: Thanks!

@DownThunder: I'm not sure it's intended to be humor. I think he's quite serious. Creativity? Definitely.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 7:33 AM

727

@723: Mooney censored a lot of other commenters as well at the time... I don't see why we should now excuse his behavior because some of his opponents have later engaged in similar behavior themselves.

Posted by: windy | August 10, 2011 7:36 AM

728

Windy, I don't think anyone here is excusing Mooney's behavior. But it's quite entertaining to paint the high parallels between his asshole behavior and OB's.

The hypocrisy, it shows...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 7:43 AM

729

Here's a quote from a comment I read on some random online article. It makes me sound conservative, which I assure you I am not, but I think it's important to consider:

“Feminism, the assertion that society cares more about men than women, can only exist because, in fact, society cares more about women’s suffering than men’s.” (sorry - no attribution)

And, in reality, this has always been the case. Men have always been the disposable ones, the ones who fight the wars, the ones who hunt, the ones who protect - from an evolutionary standpoint this makes sense. A woman is pregnant for nine months. Males, well...

(Compare this to racism or the struggle for gay rights - we don't have a special name for those movements.)

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 7:54 AM

730

Windy @ 727,

- What Phil said.

Posted by: Daniel Kolle | August 10, 2011 8:01 AM

731

700:

In defense of Ms. Benson, the comment moderation policy makes a lot more sense if you don't rush in with an accusatory and confrontational manner.

That was my experience there, anyway.

Really. How does editing someone else's comments to only show the bits you want them to show make any fucking sense whatsoever unless you're justifying dishonesty to suck up to Benson.

(Benson? Wheres Clayton?)

723:

According to Mooney, she was banned because she was sending e-mails to him demanding other's comments be deleted. That is really fucking stupid if true. I know this comes from Mooney, but his recollection is probably accurate given her behavior these past days. Hannity and Co. could only wish for this level of self-unaware righteousness.

Ophelia's quite the entitlement queen, isn't she.

(BENSON! THE GOVERNER CAN'T FIND HIS PANTS AND KATY'S LATE FOR SCHOOL!)

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 8:06 AM

732

@ 725 Steven: mostly wrong, huh> Thanks for guiding me back to the lord! I will amend my ways, now that I know the moral imperatives are firmly cemented in place there at the site of the golden calf!

I didn't even know they had cement way back then--I thought we had to wait for the Romans to come along andsave us from adobe huts...

Imagine that: all of written history; all of paganisms, and animisms, atheisms, and theisms, and feminisms, and catechisms, and aphorisms--boiled down to what we ALREADY KNEW!

Right and wrong DO still exist after all of this conversational space was tore up over one white girls self aggrandizing yelp into the great big people transporting opening of a scary elevator shaft.....

I am born again, Mary!

Well praise the Gawd you is out there to know the difference, Steven. Now forward! Guide the sheeple!

here's a cliff:----------------------
/88
/ 888
8888

686 Pornonymous is nuts?
"I initially started reading his posts as if they were jokes I was somehow wasn't getting. In the back of my mind, I'd think "Is he crazy, or is he making a point that's going over my head?"
But I eventually concluded there's some worrisome bad wiring in his brain.

O.K.: define nuts, would ya? "jokes I was somehow wasn't getting" o.k, that sounds about right, but thanks for reading;-/

Then let me tell you the joke about the feminist: have you heard the joke about the feminist with a sense of humor? Neither have I.

and while we're on that topic: " making a point that's going over my head?"

here is that picture *

Hey wait, that's a clown hat!

Posted by: pornonymous | August 10, 2011 8:15 AM

733

I guess what I'm getting that is that not all women want to be men. Those who want to, they can be. Those who don't want to, don't have to be. Women, men, trans-people - all should have the right to define their own roles.

Two young women who didn't fully subscribe to a certain unscientific ideology attended an atheist conference. One was publicly humiliated for her ignorance of unscientific dogmatic feminism. Even if this woman were ignorant (and that's not the case), she had no obligation to read an interpretation of feminist theory in someone's blog. Women in the U.S. and in Europe are not oppressed. Those who think they're oppressed are showing their privilege, because they obviously have no idea what oppression means.

That said, men and women's dry-cleaning should cost the same. This is the complaint I hear most frequently from working women. Something should be done about this great injustice ASAP.

Those days are probably gone for me, but when I was young and construction workers whistled at me as I walked by, it felt great, and I'm not ashamed of that.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 8:19 AM

734

Did PZ mention David Attenborough and Rebecca Watson in the same breath? Did he?

I suggest he should tongue the twat of a tauren then go bash balls with a bovine.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 10, 2011 8:25 AM

735

@697 KiwiInOs: Thank you for the sweet compliment.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 8:29 AM

736

@725 Peter:I think the adjective you were straining for was "non-normative."

And I do appreciate your first three, and the fact that you took the time to post that, much less indulge me in my "deviant" perceptions of "normal" people--which of course, is not "normal." I do write about the"normal" folks though--they are so, um, not nuts, like me, apparently--until you come to the stunning conclusion thatI did: wow do normal people have a lot oftime on their hands to write about Rebbeca Watson!

She's not "normal" either...

Normal, of course, is the standard we use to decide if someone can 'qualify' for military service, any 'average' college, or truck driving school or qualify as homogenized, sterilized, and, by a stretch cauterized and neutered from being "better than average," beyond average, or even sub-average, for that matter; you know, the R.P.McMurphy kind of "not normal?" I kind of strive for that, and I am 'normally' o.k. with being "not normal".

I think there is even a mid sized town out there in a mid sized state somewhere, um, in Illinois called Normal: I am NOT from there.

And If I were to make a bet? I bet that in one of the next six years, the town of Normal, Illinois will feature "Our Town" byThornton Wilder as its school play, as a way to re-inforce "normality." Butthey will probably cast it "color-blind" due to social pressure....

Posted by: pornonymous | August 10, 2011 8:32 AM

737

Woden @ 700
I didn't see your post there, so I can't comment on it or your banning. If it is what you describe, then it sounds deplorable, but that was decidedly not my experience there.

John Greg @ 706

Initially, I agreed with you, but when I finally commented over there, I was able to have a discussion without being banned. That was the reality of my situation, which is all I claimed.

Bluharmony @707

What I said above.

Posted by: Rlearn | August 10, 2011 10:02 AM

738

Rlearn:

There is to factor the fact that you never posted here before. This is a banning offense over at OB's.

So, "sense"? Doesn't make any...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 10:20 AM

739

Hi Abbie,

New fan here. I think you owe Salty Currents an apology, since you wrongly identified her as the anonymous commenter at Stef's blog (the culprit turned out to be Stacy Kennedy).

Other than that, I just want to voice my support to you guys and girls for your principled resistance against the bullying and disingenuity by PZ/RW/OB camp.

All the elevatorgate-related posts here have been very entertaining reading materials for me for the past week. Keep up the good works!

Posted by: Heintje | August 10, 2011 10:32 AM

740

I had posted here once, to be fair, but you are correct in that I am not at all prolific here.

If she is banning people who have made comments here that she finds objectionable, it makes sense as a pre-emptive method of sanitizing her blog.

I vehemently disagree with it, but I can see her rationale.

Posted by: Rlearn | August 10, 2011 10:32 AM

741

To quote (again) from B&W's about page:

Anybody who post supportive comments at ERV is likely to be blocked from posting comments here.

http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/about/

Now, read this aloud, think for a second, then try to make "sense" of it in relation to anything and everything approaching skepticism, atheism, logic and rationality.

Have great fun!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 10:33 AM

742

"Sommers claims Wellesley, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Mills and the University of Minnesota are "extreme" examples of U.S. colleges where gender feminists exert a major influence on curricula."

http://bobmartin.posterous.com/equity-and-gender-feminism

OH MY GOD

That explains everything 0_0

Posted by: Phyraxus | August 10, 2011 10:35 AM

743

Well, that's new.

Posted by: Rlearn | August 10, 2011 10:43 AM

744

even more despicable than banning dissent is the altering of a post to suit O's own agenda.

eventually she, pz and laden will look back and be ashamed of their actions in this matter.

Posted by: tybee | August 10, 2011 10:48 AM

745

The New Orleans CSICon promo video made me headbutt my desk, but it also made me look back at some of my previous notes regarding CFI. I found correlations for things that I found profoundly unpalatable. It may be a bit long, but it does have a central thesis -

http://greylining.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/cficsiskepchick-theory-of-courtiers/

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 10, 2011 11:02 AM

746

Tybee@744:

Your are the optimistic type, aren't you?

;)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 11:09 AM

747

Here's the Phil Giordana MRA (Myers is a Real Assclown) Challenge: Find a single instance of PZ admiting he's wrong on something and presenting an apology.

The price will be a single bottle of Malt, provided by Dr^2 Dumbski.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 11:16 AM

748

tybee @744:
No, I sincerely doubt "she, pz and laden will look back and be ashamed of their actions in this matter." It would take being honest for that to happen. It would take the ability to accept the possibility they could be wrong. It would take the courage and moral strength to admit to publicly making a mistake.

It has been my experience that many people, who are otherwise good and kind, would rather saw off their own limbs rather than say "I'm sorry, I was wrong." Particularly after they've heatedly made a jerk of themselves while being wrong. The louder and angrier they were being wrong, the less likely they will ever admit it -- even years later.

That is another sad aspect of this debacle. So much posturing. So much refusal to do even the most basic checking -- as skeptics should. As scientists should. As professors should. So much fail.

There is very little to look back at with pride for them in this unfolding situation which doesn't show them at their worst.

Posted by: gr8hands | August 10, 2011 11:19 AM

749

Here is a timely article, regarding the wage gap:
http://city-journal.org/2011/21_3_gender-gap.html

Posted by: frank habets | August 10, 2011 11:20 AM

750

Franc Hoggle, I have you in my rss reader, so I just want to say, I nearly pissed my pants with glee at the gratuitous shirtless picture of Hitchens for the ladies. You just keep giving and giving.

Posted by: Karen | August 10, 2011 11:38 AM

751

Frank @749:

Thanks for the link, I will get into it.

Anecdote: When I was professionaly working in skydiving as an instructor for a drop zone, I earned 800 euros a month. This was the minimum low income at the time in France, and I used to sometimes work 70 hours a week (mostly from June to September). My girlfriend is now working in Monaco, and earning 2400 euros/month for 25 hours weeks. Should I think she is privileged? She works as a live-in carer fo the elderly. I used to jump off perfectly functionning aiplanes at 11 000 feet. Was I being discriminated?!?

Humor Inside(c)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 11:40 AM

752

Rlearn:

I reposted my comments from B&W here in the "Monument" thread, so feel free to read them yourself and decide if the deletion was called for or not. Just do a Ctrl+F search for "Woden"; there won't be many results.

After spotting her comment saying that she removed my first comment there because of what I said about her here, I went back and looked at my comments here. I couldn't find a single comment in which I mentioned her or her blog. Given that I can't edit my comments here, and Abbie isn't in the habit of deleting or altering comments... well, the most generous explanation is that she can't tell us apart, and the worst is that she is simply lying.


If the "Well, that's new" is in regards to Benson's About page, well... that was apparently provoked by an anon calling her out on censorship, it looks like. I think it was in the comments on "More Dog Whistle," username "AntiCensorship," "Anti-Censorship," something like that. He said something about how she should post some rules instead of just banning at whim, and she replied with her new "golden rule."

Posted by: Woden | August 10, 2011 11:48 AM

753

@Karen - you are more than welcome.

I love that Hitch pic. Tragic he's proving to be a mere mortal.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 10, 2011 11:53 AM

754

739:

New fan here. I think you owe Salty Currents an apology, since you wrongly identified her as the anonymous commenter at Stef's blog (the culprit turned out to be Stacy Kennedy).

Without knowing SC's real name?

740:

If she is banning people who have made comments here that she finds objectionable, it makes sense as a pre-emptive method of sanitizing her blog.

I vehemently disagree with it, but I can see her rationale.

Yeah.

If you're a SEVEN-YEAR-OLD. "You weren't mean to poopyhead ERV, so you can't be MY friend either."

That's exactly the logic, and level of behavior she's using in here. So no, as a grown adult, I cannot see her rationale at all, unless Benson is secretly seven.

(I HEAAAAR YOU!!!)

Seriously, the fact anyone is taking Ophelia even vaguely seriously or ascribing ANY form of "superior" morality to her actions shows just how fucking stupid people can be.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 12:07 PM

755

Could I just raise a mug O' Grog to Axxyaan over at B&W for posting a rather rational post?

New people have no more a moral obligation to the people here, than in reverse. If new people go by their first impression and think a place feels too uninviting for them and don’t care to spend more time to investigate the group further, they can do just that. And if once in a while some of those new people makes a mention of that, I think that is useful information. And making a mention of that choice is not a demand to have it all explained.

As I already said, you don’t have to care about this. If you don’t regret wasting a chance to hang out with people like this, just continue as before.

I just hope I won't get him/her into trouble for that...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 12:31 PM

756

And Myers at 554 (yes, I'm a bit late):

Oops, yes, David Attenborough. Aren’t all brits named Richard?

Who would have guessed the old bearded fucker was an ethno-centrist, ethnic-stereotype wanker?

I like this game!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 12:35 PM

757

@ gr8hands #748:


It has been my experience that many people, who are otherwise good and kind, would rather saw off their own limbs rather than say "I'm sorry, I was wrong." Particularly after they've heatedly made a jerk of themselves while being wrong. The louder and angrier they were being wrong, the less likely they will ever admit it -- even years later.

Yes. For a great introduction into the psychology behind this, Dissonance Theory, read "Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)," by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. Can't recommend it highly enough - should be on every skeptic's bookshelf.

Posted by: The Armchair Skeptic | August 10, 2011 12:35 PM

758
Find a single instance of PZ admiting he's wrong on something and presenting an apology.

But...but...but...the great PZ is never wrong. About anything. He's an Expert On EverythingTM, don'tcha know. Some nerd with a redhead told me.

Posted by: Someone Or Other | August 10, 2011 12:41 PM

759

SOO @758:

Well, that was a close call for Dr^2 Dumbski, then. Wouldn't want to waste that single Malt...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 12:46 PM

760


No, I sincerely doubt "she, pz and laden will look back and be ashamed of their actions in this matter." It would take being honest for that to happen. It would take the ability to accept the possibility they could be wrong. It would take the courage and moral strength to admit to publicly making a mistake.

It has been my experience that many people, who are otherwise good and kind, would rather saw off their own limbs rather than say "I'm sorry, I was wrong." Particularly after they've heatedly made a jerk of themselves while being wrong. The louder and angrier they were being wrong, the less likely they will ever admit it -- even years later.

That is another sad aspect of this debacle. So much posturing. So much refusal to do even the most basic checking -- as skeptics should. As scientists should. As professors should. So much fail.

There is very little to look back at with pride for them in this unfolding situation which doesn't show them at their worst.

An the most charitable this works out to be is, if we know and like you, then you're right; but if we don't know you or don't like you then you're wrong -- without doing any sort of basic research, fact-checking, or analysis at all, IMO.

And men, "who couldn't possibly understand the experiences of a woman" are shamed into feeling that they're wrong. I am not sexist. I believe that we are all inherently of equal worth, and have equal rights -- at least until we show otherwise, through our socially contemptible behavior, to be worth anything different.

Life holds no guarantee that we are to be free from discomfort. I assure you that feeling marginalized and ostracized for holding a different opinion is uncomfortable. Really, really uncomfortable. But I managed.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 12:49 PM

761

bluharmony @760: Tse pravda.

I can easily excuse non-skeptics, non-professors and non-scientists for not "doing any sort of basic research, fact-checking, or analysis at all." The typical human being may not engage in that sort of questioning as their first response to hearing a story.

But skeptics? Science Professors? Scientists? No, if those words are to have any meaning, then they have to be responding with some sort of internal questioning about whether the story is supported by evidence or not.

Their failure to do so on their own, and their refusal to do so when challenged to, demonstrates a tremendous breakdown.

Posted by: gr8hands | August 10, 2011 1:17 PM

762

Watch the fur fly as the screech monkeys attack: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/a_y_chromosome_is_worth_the_sa.php

Several people made good points about looking at the breakdowns, trying to get to the real issue, but (at least in the beginning, they are getting pushed down). PZs point "why are engineering more valued than artistic" - that's a cultural question, PZ - why are teachers paid so much less than politicians? Why are football players paid more than most other professions? Why are neurosurgeons paid more than GPs? All three will not have the same answer, which is part of the point. You can't look at one thing and make a huge overarching conclusion. Not with data that does not break it down to the simplest bits. I am sure, though, that biologist PZ is not really claiming he's in his element reading into the nuances of the social sciences, is he? Is he competent to judge the methodology of the study?

Ok, I downloaded the paper, and am not that impressed on a quick skim. I'm not saying it's wrong, just that by lumping all degrees in together, they blur the important distinctions. They justified lumping MBAs (of which there are fewer) with MEd (I think that's the abbreviation for Masters of Education - which are in larger quantity) - well, now that I think of it, they say it keeps the median low due to the difference in quantity, which is true, but what does that tell us? Not much. It fails to get to the heart of the problem - as a preliminary study, ok. As some final proof, there's more going on than "Woman make less, Menz make more" as it seems to be portrayed. But I somehow don't see any spirit of inquiry being accepted over there, since you see the first "mansplaining" comment early on to quash any challenge to the ideological purity.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 1:17 PM

764

BTW, I cited a blog post of John C. Welch's in my weekly blogs round-up, out today.
_____

It's been a fascinating two weeks. I've been flamed from all sorts of unexpected directions. One for not being whatever the fuck enough (it never was really made clear), and just now I get flamed on Twitter by snooty middle-class Englishmen for saying I am going to the Science Online London despite the riots, and saying everyone else should too (one even tweeted angrily, "My post was better", which got me rolling in laughter). The snobs didn't like my blog post from yesterday about the London/UK riots. They would like to point out that in their (far more upmarket) parts of town things weren't at all bad for them. They then extend that to say no-one should be worried at all, or should have ever been, which is both irrational and immensely stupid (I guess they dobn't give a shit about the workingclass in Tottenham, but hey).

*snert* I gave as good as I got, actually better. Never did like hoity-toity social-climber snobs.

Now I really should do a blog post on Ophelia Benson and How Not To Do Da Rulezzz. Too good to pass up. Thanks to Justicar for the alert.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 10, 2011 1:35 PM

765

This is a big win for OB. So much attention!

Posted by: gator | August 10, 2011 1:45 PM

766

This is a very interesting read, and one that the MRAs will surely latch onto. It is basically what Cristina Rad says in her video on the issue, though when she says it, people aren't offended:

Here is a timely article, regarding the wage gap: http://city-journal.org/2011/21_3_gender-gap.html It's not that simple, though, as one commenter points out:

"Of course, this all assumes that raising a child isn't work. As Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan once pointed it, American society does not recognize home making and child rearing as productive work to be included in the national economic accounts. Of course, all those "productive," "overworking" men weren't raised by wolves.

Well maybe the bankers were..."


But that's beside the point. Women do most of the spending and participate in purchasing decisions.

Also, women can opt not to have children, or to have the father stay at home.

Another woman argues that all the top positions go to the men, and that's *not* how women want it. If that's true, it is an issue, but I don't know if her assertion is true or not. What can we do to find out?

There are fields where there aren't enough women participants (film directors, classical - even classical/contemporary composers, conductors). Why is this? If this is discrimination what can be done about it?

We need to change the *perception* that women are unequal or illogical, and won't do that, as women, if we keep making unreasonable demands. Demands necessitated by biology are always reasonable. But demands necessitated by perceived gender inequality require actual evidence, not just theory based on unproven presumptions. This is a complicated topic, and everyone, men included, deserves to be in the discussion.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 1:54 PM

767

Sorry for the block-quote fail, above.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 1:58 PM

768

@ 723

I know this comes from Mooney, but his recollection is probably accurate given her behavior these past days.

She's being fascistic to be sure. This claim of yours, however, is complete nonsense. Irrespective of what Orwellphia Buttsin is doing now, this says nothing whatever about Mooney's recollection.

To take Orwellphia to task is a narrow issue, and handily addressed at that scope. It is not necessary to start finding a different faction of people to ally with; be your own person.

She's promoting a blacklist in the atheist movement because someone lit the fuse on her tampon. This implies nothing whatever about Mooney (for the record, I've never read a word he's written, so I have no opinion on him).

Why people have all of the allegiances is confusing. Stick with reality, what is demonstrably true and you'll find yourself always allied with the "right" people. Anyone who is not in the neighborhood of truth is, by definition, not an ally so long as it's the case one has a care for what is true.

I happen to care about that quite a great deal. Einstein's razor immediately dispenses with the rest of the shit.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 1:59 PM

769

Brad@717:

Do the two positions make sense?
Sure.
Is sexism "rampant" in the AE?
No.
Now I'm not following, as it's not clear whether you are talking about two different things, here. I don't know what "the AE" is. Do you mean 'AC', which I think is 'Atheist Community'?

In the hypothetical, do you think that some people could reasonably conclude that sexism was "rampant"? Do you think that the hypothetical could to some reasonable degree accurately represent some people's experiences at an atheist/skepic event? If so, then how do you conclude, categorically, that sexism is not "rampant" -- "Occurring without restraint and frequently"?

Maybe I can try to be less dialectical.

You ask:

Am I supposed to magically agree with some as yet unstated conclusion?
If the answer were yes, what would that imply?
Why?
The point is that the answer doesn't seem to be a simple "yes" or "no". As in many things, what you see depends upon where you stand. To be sure, one can assert that sexism is not "rampant", because only a small number of those present are sexist jerks. That said, a lot of the women present will conclude (quite reasonably, I think) that, whether or not sexism is "rampant", there sure seems to be a lot of it, because they seem to run into sexist jerks in every room they walk into. In such a situation, one can respond that its not really that way, and talk about the numbers and so on, and one wouldn't even be incorrect in doing so. But if one's goal is to have more women attending, and something like some form of "equality", then I submit that responding in that way would would be counterproductive, because a lot of the women are just going to decide that attending events just isn't worth all the crap they have to put up with when they do.

Certainly you can hold onto your position on sexism. That's your privilege. You are technically correct, after all. But that isn't likely to improve the situation.

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 10, 2011 2:00 PM

770

@ John
"(Benson? Wheres Clayton?)"

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 2:06 PM

771

@Badger3k


Their failure to do so on their own, and their refusal to do so when challenged to, demonstrates a tremendous breakdown.

This.

Watson is not the new feminist superhero, as she proclaims to be in her response to Dawkins. The fact that someone would even make such a claim is megalomania. Is she being serious? I can't tell if it's a joke or not, but I don't think she's joking.

Also, the gnu atheism assumption that ridicule and contempt are the solution to all problems is, well, um, ridiculous. Churches works because they are community builders and they offer participants social benefit. People are attracted to religion because they get something from it, not because their bashed on the head with it. Any atheism movement has to take this into account, at least to some degree.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 2:09 PM

772

@ 732

O.K.: define nuts, would ya?
see 732.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 2:09 PM

773

@ Rlearn:

I vehemently disagree with it, but I can see her rationale.

Really? That's awfully broadminded of you.

On an unrelated note, I vehemently "disagree" with this, but I can see his rationale.
http://www.kevinislaughter.com/wp-content/uploads/2083+-+A+European+Declaration+of+Independence.pdf

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 2:22 PM

774

Has Ofeelya Bumsome told spanish actor Quim Gutierrez that he must change his name? The man is a walking gendered insult!

Reminds of the Portuguese goalkeeper Quim: very adept at defending his box. During the final minutes of one game against England however, he rushed forward for a corner kick, attacking the ball... the English keeper Seaman shot out and smothered Quim according to the commentator. This sort of thing is not on!

Posted by: munkhaus | August 10, 2011 2:23 PM

775

greg@769:

That said, a lot of the women present will conclude (quite reasonably, I think) that, whether or not sexism is "rampant", there sure seems to be a lot of it, because they seem to run into sexist jerks in every room they walk into.
Ummm, citation needed?

There's an easy way to tell what's going on here. You say that women may be reluctant to attend these events because of all the sexism they have to put up with when they do. So, then, do we have any data on how many women attend these events just once and then say "never again"? Or do most women keep returning? (Note: I don't know the answers to these questions).
There are a couple of separate issues here:
- Are we attracting more women to atheism events?
- If not, is sexism the reason they stay away?

The RW faction seem to claim, without proof, that the answers to these questions are "no" and "yes", respectively: par for the course for a crowd who find misogyny behind every door, and sexism under every rock.

I'm not so sure.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 10, 2011 2:43 PM

776

Skepticism and reason are incompatible with radical (aka gender) feminism. This is patently obvious to those who are not yet devout.

Do people really want to live in the limiting framework established by Dworkin and her progeny? Their work is not science, it's not empirical, it's not the truth.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 2:48 PM

777

@Justicar:

"O.K.: define nuts, would ya?

see 732."

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Although he certainly has the right to express himself and his rape switch analysis, if read as a parody, was quite good, some of those posts do get a tad distracting. I imagine the the rad fems see all of us like that.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 2:59 PM

779

@Badger3k

Several people made good points about looking at the breakdowns, trying to get to the real issue, but (at least in the beginning, they are getting pushed down). PZs point "why are engineering more valued than artistic" - that's a cultural question, PZ - why are teachers paid so much less than politicians? Why are football players paid more than most other professions? Why are neurosurgeons paid more than GPs? All three will not have the same answer, which is part of the point. You can't look at one thing and make a huge overarching conclusion. Not with data that does not break it down to the simplest bits. I am sure, though, that biologist PZ is not really claiming he's in his element reading into the nuances of the social sciences, is he? Is he competent to judge the methodology of the study?

This is actually a valid complaint and something I'd like to see changed. Why are the jobs that seem to be preferred by women less valuable? My personal feeling is that this can be addressed through a partially socialized economy. But this is a political viewpoint. What does it have to do with atheism or skepticism? There's no way to to have an ideologically pure group of critical thinkers because different people have different values and perspectives. Tolerance is, in fact, important.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 3:18 PM

780

@ 778, Scented Nectar: vid bookmarked for use in later blog post. Thanks!

Posted by: Gurdur | August 10, 2011 3:22 PM

781

Ron Murray @775:
Simple. Count the number of women attendees at various events. Compare them with the actual count of women attendees at previous events and at previous years. Compare them with the actual count of male attendees at the same events. Observe what the data tells you.

Only then, will you have something to discuss from the basis of evidence. Otherwise, it is just opinion. "I think" there were less/more/same numbers of women.

Do the same comparison with race, to see what those numbers are as well. Perhaps also compare the numbers of hearing, visual or mobility impaired people attending as well.

Also, it might be instructive to have the ages of the attendees, and lots of demographic information.

What? They didn't mark that down anywhere? Nobody keeps track of those kinds of things? Really? What does that say?

What you don't track, you can't improve.

If any good comes from this debacle, it might be a greater awareness of who is participating, who might have a legitimate reason to feel excluded (if, for instance, there was no wheelchair access to some events, or it was held in a location where you had to be at least 21 to attend [like a bar]), and where resources might be put to good use for outreach.

Posted by: gr8hands | August 10, 2011 3:22 PM

782

Gurdur, do you think there are fines for vee-jay-jay-walking? :)

Posted by: Scented Nectar | August 10, 2011 3:38 PM

783

Gurdur, do you think there are fines for vee-jay-jay-walking? :)

Posted by: Scented Nectar | August 10, 2011 3:38 PM

784

Arrgh, need new mouse. Spontaneous double clicks, like on the 'post' button for my last comment.

Posted by: Scented Nectar | August 10, 2011 3:40 PM

785

@773, Bluharmony, and 782, Scented Nectar:

I would immediately organize a male choir to wolfwhistle for you both and not to vjjaywalk, but I'm too worried the Saints Of Perpetual Martyrdom would only cite it as further evidence of the Grand Misogynistic Conspiracy.

Every day this goes on I can feel my sense of humour being further and further suppressed.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 10, 2011 3:47 PM

786

By the way, @CondeElevator. A tiny bit apropos.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 10, 2011 3:50 PM

787

bluharmony@#778

"Skepticism and reason are incompatible with radical (aka gender) feminism. This is patently obvious to those who are not yet devout."

This is a fertile topic for discussion.

I would postulate (unoriginal as it is) that magical thinking constitutes a proposition that is incompatible with skepticism and reason.

Thus, it is not some of the bizarre proposals of post modern rad fem theory, as much anthropomorphizing and gendering evil as a man-beast named Patriarchy that is a problem.

Shoving the ills of the word and your own sins/failings in a figurative wicker man and relying on HIS figurative destruction to bring about utopia/achievement is a religious (magical) precept.


The bizarre proposals of post modern rad fem theory are based on a variant of sympathetic magic and....let's be frank (francine?)....a less sophisticated one than your garden variety cargo cult.

Let's face it, if you suggested a man shaped cake with the word "Patriarchy" written on massive genitals and vagina shaped cake servers, Skepchick would start the keg party fundraiser tomorrow morning.

Posted by: Prometheus | August 10, 2011 3:57 PM

788

Punk@626 :"what is wrong with you people? Rebecca Watson was just trying to bring necessary dialogue to our skeptical communities and you respond with hate? WTF?"I seen yer, y'little scamp! 'Avin' a giraffe in't yer?

Blu @628 : It's OK blu, Somebody's been irritating his piss and vinegar gland again.

It's alright Punk, I heard the "whoosh" every time you done that, throughout the threads, even if nobody else did, and I must confess I did grin each time.
Cor yore a sly one and no mistake, Mary Poppins! (/Dick van Dyke)
Carry on.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 10, 2011 4:00 PM

789

764:

BTW, I cited a blog post of John C. Welch's in my weekly blogs round-up, out today

Thanks! Some of the comments were rather interesting, esp. the ones that were obviously trip-wiring because I didn't relentlessly bag on religion, and even pointed out that when it comes to the community thing, local churches do a rather good job.

OMG, U SAY U NEED RELIGION FOR MORALITY.

No you dumb fuck, I said nothing of the sort. However, I did depart from the PZ party line that no religious group anywhere can ever do any good, because that's kind of blind and stupid. Nor do i think the ONLY reason local churches spend a lot of time doing very decent things is because they want to "consolidate their hold" on people. I think it's entirely possible that just like atheists can be assholes or decent folk, theists can also be assholes or decent folks. Always assuming the worst is neither rational or particularly intelligent.

OMG, NOT MY PROBLEM

Okay, maybe it isn't. But if you're one of the dawkinsians trying to 'convert' people, community is something to bloody THINK about. Sigh.

768:

She's promoting a blacklist in the atheist movement because someone lit the fuse on her tampon. This implies nothing whatever about Mooney (for the record, I've never read a word he's written, so I have no opinion on him).

Exactly. Orphelia is wrong because what she's doing is wrong, with a heaping helping of fucking stupid. "If you're nice to erv, YOU CAN'T BE MY FRIEND". Um...right, fuck off then. Mooney's opinion on things is irrelevant other than he happens to agree. But said agreement doesn't make Orphelia more or less wrong.

779:

This is actually a valid complaint and something I'd like to see changed. Why are the jobs that seem to be preferred by women less valuable? My personal feeling is that this can be addressed through a partially socialized economy. But this is a political viewpoint. What does it have to do with atheism or skepticism? There's no way to to have an ideologically pure group of critical thinkers because different people have different values and perspectives. Tolerance is, in fact, important.

If you're going to start "women make less than men for the same job", then you have to stay with that. You can't say "a woman teacher makes less money than a male bank president". Well, you CAN, but it's fucking stupid. There's a lot of women at my office making less than me. Most of them DON'T have 20 years in any field, much less mine. That's not sexist.

Now, if there were a woman with the same position, experience, skillset, and duties as me, and she made less for no objective reason, yes, that's fucked up.

But seriously, a football player makes more than a teacher so sexism?

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 4:06 PM

790

Here's how irrational shit is.

Let's be clear, I *personally* now dislike PZ. I think he's a lackwitted, overmoralizing, sermonizing dipshit of the highest order. Yet, when I read this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/08/10/time-to-institutionalize-dennis-markuze/, I thought "You know what, PZ's right. I don't have to like him to think that Markuze/Mabus long ago passed harmless nutter, and needs to be taken seriously. So I signed the petition, and posted a comment that basically said what's in the previous sentence. Essentially "Signed. Personal feelings about PZ aside, ignoring Mabus is dangerous, and lines have been crossed." Comment took and was posted. I saw it there.

Because even though I think PZ's a dipshit, I most emphatically do not want him, his family, friends, or people standing next to him to be harmed because some fucking nutbag finally took the actions he keeps threatening. I live in FL, i'm not too worried, but PZ is a fuck of a lot closer to montreal.

I go back to the thread to check it, and comment gone. I really, really want this to be a blog mistake. Because otherwise...Seriously? That's what this now is?

Yeah, I don't like PZ.

Yeah, I think he's a flaming shithead.

But now, because I'm...what, on "scabby abby"'s side, now I can't even say "Even though I think you're a douche, I do not want this nutcase to cause you actual harm, or more problems than he already has"?

Dude, how fucked up can you get? If I had someone threatening me and mine aka Mabus, even if Greg Fucking Laden wrote a post or an email or a comment saying "Yeah, you're a putz, but that shit is wrong, and I signed the petition to get people to take it seriously" my ONLY thought would be "Wow man, thanks. That means a lot coming from someone who doesn't like me, really. You have no reason to be nice, and yet you were. I won't forget that."

This is what Ophelia and PZ and the rest are becoming: no retreat, no surrender, all-out war.

Christ, what the fuck?

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 4:24 PM

791

@John: No, I don't think that's sexism. I think it's a matter of social value, and that some parts of the argument may be valid. I don't necessarily see it as a problem, although I think that certain government positions - like teachers, specifically - should be paid more. But that's a political/economic issue, and I favor a mixed economy with caps on wages. This would certainly take care of the perceived problem.

For example, why are male football players paid so much? This is fuel for gender feminists because women can never be male football players, and there's no corresponding high-paying position for women. But I think the real issue is uncontrolled free market economics, and I favor a mixed economy. I guess I'm just saying that all the arguments need to be heard and considered lest we become the Ladens and Bensons of the world. And yes, the fact that there are more high-paying opportunities for men due to physical strength can be perceived as sexist.

I'm guessing that we have different views on economic policy, but we can save that argument for another day. On the issue of gender feminism I think we're in full agreement. It's nonsense and just the fact that it exists IS sexist (although gender feminism defines sexism against men out of existence).

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 4:30 PM

792

Blu@779 - I work in teaching, and I suspect that as a male & am in the slight minority (our school is large, but seems fairly equal in representation, and I never really concerned myself with it before). We obviously have no wage discrimination - we are all paid the same by number of years teaching, with some bonuses for particular fields, etc. We, as a profession, is seen as much less valuable than sports players - and I think money is the reason. People are willing to pay to see movies, so actors (at least the big names) draw higher money. Bit players...not so much. Businesses make money, so the pay is more. Artists and nurses and such don't bring profit to the companies, not normally, so the pay is less - this is all just conjecture, without data to back it up, and is not 100% in any case. Supermodels make a lot, most models...probably not. I think that we are so caught up with money as the end-all, that jobs that do not directly support making money, such as most service industry jobs, are seen as less. Without secretaries, many managers probably couldn't find their arse with both hands, yet their jobs are treated as less. All the little supporting details that make work possible get less pay. I always make time to talk to our maintenance/janitorial staff - in part because they are people, and I've been there, so I can relate...and that without them, our school would look like shite and wouldn't function right. But it's not a glamourous job, and if you have a lot of people who need money and will take it despite the pay...people will keep paying it. Now I'm going into a minimum wage argument, so I'll let that sidetrack go, but that's just my thoughts on why some jobs (and professions) are valued less.

Just a few thoughts.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 4:47 PM

793

Yikes. It should be "they're" not "their" in some post above, there's an unattributed quote in post @760 because I forgot to blockquote an earlier comment in the thread, and somewhere I say that Ophelia was part of the dear Richard letter campaign (I already apologized for this on her board). That's incorrect.

I fully own up to these errors (and any others I've failed to account for) because they are my errors, and I sincerely apologize.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 4:56 PM

794

Gurdur: A choir! That's kind of nice. Wolf whistles would impress me much more than they do now if they were done as a choir type thing. Barbershop style, perhaps. :)

Posted by: Scented Nectar | August 10, 2011 5:09 PM

795

@Ron: "- If not, is sexism the reason they stay away?"

Great suggestion as to actually getting some support for an assertion before making in. If RW is asserting that women don't come because of the rampant sexism and rape at our conferences (watch the introduction to the CFI speech), then I'm asserting that it's because of some of the main personalities involved. She claims she knows because "women told her," well, I know because women told me. See how this works? (Except when I try to share what women actually told me and offer links to the blog posts where they express the same sentiments, I get ridiculed and shamed.)

Also, at this point, why do we care? Women are more than welcome as long as they conform to the ideology, and most women don't.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 5:12 PM

796

@John:

However, I did depart from the PZ party line that no religious group anywhere can ever do any good, because that's kind of blind and stupid. Nor do i think the ONLY reason local churches spend a lot of time doing very decent things is because they want to "consolidate their hold" on people. I think it's entirely possible that just like atheists can be assholes or decent folk, theists can also be assholes or decent folks.

It's not only possible, it's a prove fact. I loved that blog post. Ridicule is not a good method in community building. Making the community a great place be, that's what we need. And I think we're as far from that as we can be right now. We, everyone involved in this, look utterly ridiculous.

@Prometheus:

The thing I like about gender/radical feminist theories is that not only are they wrong, but they're wrong on so many different levels. You can take almost any concept and find a million problems with it, including false facts. And you know why these concepts are taught in colleges and universities today? Because that's what the poor suffering and oppressed Western women wanted. I'm so glad we made this valuable contribution to sexism. Sigh.

Under Blog 101 gender theory, a white straight male beggar has more privileges than a female black celebrity superstar. Clearly that's not the case. The most important privilege in American society is money. Everything else is secondary, and varies from person to person.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 5:30 PM

797

Greg @769

I don't know what "the AE" is. Do you mean 'AC', which I think is 'Atheist Community'?

[Face turns red in embarrassment] Yeah, I meant AC.


Maybe I can try to be less dialectical.

This helps me understand what you're saying a little better. I've already stated that the situation is dialectical (no reason you should go back and read that) and has already sublated.

Result: Consciousness raising. I would be very surprised if more men were not more self conscious about hitting on women at this point. And yes, this slime pit has contributed to that.

Unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee that something like the elevator incident won't happen again.

The point is that the answer doesn't seem to be a simple "yes" or "no". As in many things, what you see depends upon where you stand.

Um, no.

T: There is rampant sexism in the AC. (Damn, I almost did it again)

A: Sexism is not rampant in the AC.

S: There is some sexism in the AC.

This is not rhetorically engaging, is it? It also says nothing about the truth of either proposition, does it?

To be sure, one can assert that sexism is not "rampant", because only a small number of those present are sexist jerks.

Yep. Still, this is a little confusing. I thought we'd already established that privilege could lead to a kind of blindness, not everybody being a sexist jerk.

That said, a lot of the women present will conclude (quite reasonably, I think) that, whether or not sexism is "rampant", there sure seems to be a lot of it, because they seem to run into sexist jerks in every room they walk into.

No. They don't have to conclude anything at all (not enough data). Their experience was bad. That's generally enough to avoid the next outing.

In such a situation, one can respond that its not really that way, and talk about the numbers and so on, and one wouldn't even be incorrect in doing so.

Actually, I think one would be incorrect as well. The numbers have nothing to do with personal experience (see Justicar).

But if one's goal is to have more women attending . . . then I submit that responding in that way would would be counterproductive, because a lot of the women are just going to decide that attending events just isn't worth all the crap they have to put up with when they do.

Counterproductive and wrong. Apples and Oranges.

Certainly you can hold onto your position on sexism. That's your privilege. You are technically correct, after all. But that isn't likely to improve the situation.

Because it's irrelevant. Also, I do not see how one can relinquish privilege. It's always already there.

To stop the hypothetical for a moment, this is certainly one reason some of us are pissed off right now. This confusion between methodological socialism and methodological individualism is, um, er, rampant.*

By the way, setting up the thesis and its negation is not dialectical, it's a dichotomy. No sublation, no dialectic.

*The terms are Arthur C. Danto's and their clunky. There's gotta be a simpler way to describe this mistake.

Posted by: Brad | August 10, 2011 5:39 PM

798

Engineers get paid more than school teachers because if engineers fuck up, the results are often fatal, usually expensive, and always embarrassing.

In contrast, it takes a lot of screwing up or the outright screwing of a student to get a teacher fired.

Posted by: History Punk | August 10, 2011 6:15 PM

799

Brad@797

To be sure, one can assert that sexism is not "rampant", because only a small number of those present are sexist jerks.
Yep. Still, this is a little confusing. I thought we'd already established that privilege could lead to a kind of blindness, not everybody being a sexist jerk.
How is this confusing? What you've quoted states explicitly "only a small number [...] are sexist jerks", not "everybody".

That said, a lot of the women present will conclude (quite reasonably, I think) that, whether or not sexism is "rampant", there sure seems to be a lot of it, because they seem to run into sexist jerks in every room they walk into.
No. They don't have to conclude anything at all (not enough data). Their experience was bad. That's generally enough to avoid the next outing.
Well, of course they don't have to conclude anything. But it is not at all unreasonable for women in such a case to conclude that -- at least in relation to them -- sexism is indeed rampant. Maybe in relation other people it is not, but that hardly helps. Indeed (and in some ways this is the kicker), saying "it's not that bad, really, when you look at the numbers", is effectively saying, "if you were a man, then your experience would be different, and it wouldn't be so bad." And this is just where the issue of 'privilege' rears its head, because it is again their sex that makes a difference, which can seem just as sexist as the sexist jerks under discussion (if not in exactly the same way).

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 10, 2011 6:18 PM

800

greg byshenk @799:,

No, if one woman has a bad experience it is not reasonable to conclude that every other woman is likely to have a bad experience in the future. It is not in effect saying anything about what men experience.

Posted by: gr8hands | August 10, 2011 6:26 PM

801

Blu:

We, everyone involved in this, look utterly ridiculous.

No, not me. I look fabulous!

:p

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 6:49 PM

802

o blu. That Gurdur beat me to it.
#733"Those days are probably gone for me, but when I was young and construction workers whistled at me as I walked by, it felt great, and I'm not ashamed of that."
I would.
I totally would. I'll wear my hardhat, and my fall-arrest harness and hi-viz tabz, if you like?

I kin do it 4 reelz. My lezzer auntie taught me when we was fossil-hunting. Two-fingers-in-the-gob, full-on wolf-cry, kill a squirrel at 40 yards. That one.

Just around the time me balls was droppin'.
Kind of spoiled the magic tho', with all the Gitanes she'd light, and pass on to me, made me hurl.
A terrible woman, total sexist.
But then I grew up, and learned to appreciate her wisdom.

Posted by: dustbubble | August 10, 2011 6:57 PM

803

Sigh, now someone's speculating that Abbie might in the future invent data because of her language or runs her blog. I mean it's speculation and hypotheticals and I don't understand the thought process of that comment, but still. This whole thing has become a telenovela of epic proportions.

http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2011/more-dog-whistle/#comment-105970

And I like B&W cause Ophelia often links to (news) articles I would otherwise miss. And the small amount of profanity in comments is something I dig too. (And I'd never intentionally violate comment policies, so I'm fine with it if she doesn't want specific words on her blog.)
I mean, Pharyngula can become unbearable to read because of the signal to noise ratio - quite often it devolves into simple shouting matches.
I even applaud SkepChicks for their involvement in vaccination drives and their donation drive to get people to TAM who can't otherwise afford it.
But 'Hug me, I'm vaccinated' shirts are fucking stupid, I mean, it takes some time until the immune system has produced enough antibodies.

Oh well, I'm mostly enjoying my time here. There was some absurd humour, sometimes a bit over the top gratuitous name-changing, views I agreed with - others not, etc. but most importantly some interesting conversation where people got harsh, but still managed to ask for clarification when wording was unclear.

I forgot where I wanted to go with this or what my point was, but I rather post at a place where people engage what I wrote instead of assuming bad intent and asking me strange questions which could have been reworded to "are you racist?". So, I hope to keep sticking to my words: I gave up on commenting at B&W, at least on ElevatorGate and related topics. I'm under no illusion that anyone will miss irregular poster 'lost control' over there, though.

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 7:01 PM

804

@myself *or the way she runs her blog* in first paragraph. Damn.

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 7:03 PM

805

Its true.

Im going to fake curing AIDS.

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 7:04 PM

806

Robert Guillaume and Rene Auberjonois are awesome.

That is all.

Posted by: cthellis | August 10, 2011 7:09 PM

807

803:

Welcome to fair game dude. that's what this shit is. "She is against us, all forms of attack are okay"

Tom Cruise would be proud.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 7:10 PM

808

In reply to lost control #803 and ERV #805.

Yes, they are upset mostly over the "sex addicted Monkeys" quip. They cannot find Myers actually saying those specific words, so therefore, Abbie is making everything up.

Posted by: John Greg | August 10, 2011 7:20 PM

809

Oh, I'm hip to it now. You're going to fake a "cure" to a the fake disease called "aids". Well, isn't that just plum handy?

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 7:22 PM

810

Wow, takes a while to catch up on this stuff after taking a couple of days out.

Ugh. The "you are for us or against us" stuff makes me puke. Irrational and unsceptical. So pretty much as might be expected at butterflies and wheels.

@ John Welch, I checked over at Pharyngula, and your comment seemed to be there. Perhaps you are under preemptive moderation?

While over there, I stumbled across this post from a few days ago. In it, Atheistcartoons (who did the dawkins/elevator/banana guy cartoon) posts up some arguments from privilege. Unintentionally, the artist brilliantly skewers the privilege argument by showing how ridiculous it is, using the vacuous privilege argument to justify vegetarianism. The pharyngulites get busy rationalising why the privilege argument doesn't apply when it comes to bacon sandwiches, but does apply elsewhere. The squirming is most entertaining.

Posted by: Spence | August 10, 2011 7:27 PM

811
Its true.

Im going to fake curing AIDS.

Join the club.


...it pays better!

Posted by: cthellis | August 10, 2011 7:27 PM

812

Greg@799

But it is not at all unreasonable for women in such a case to conclude that -- at least in relation to them -- sexism is indeed rampant. Maybe in relation other people it is not, but that hardly helps. Indeed (and in some ways this is the kicker), saying "it's not that bad, really, when you look at the numbers", is effectively saying, "if you were a man, then your experience would be different, and it wouldn't be so bad."

But both conclusions, "sexism is rampant" and "but if you look at the numbers" are unreasonable. Neither validates nor invalidates personal experience.

Other women have spoken against the "rampant sexism" view from their personal experience. How is their personal experience any more or any less valid than others?

Even if you discount the opinions of men because of privilege, the issue still remains.

Posted by: Brad | August 10, 2011 7:28 PM

813

@ Brad 797

Unfortunately, that doesn't guarantee that something like the elevator incident won't happen again.

The elevator incident???
won't happen again!???

Bwahahaha! Such drama! Think of the children! Remember the Alamo! Remember the Holocaust! Never again! 9-11! My cat barfed!

Seriously, Brad, get some perspective.

Posted by: frank habets | August 10, 2011 7:33 PM

814

Yeah, sure it was just 'speculation' and 'prophecy'. But that is still fucked up.

It's like if someone would insinuate that I misuse my administrative privileges. And in a former job I had quite a few accounts with power... but, funny thing - I actually adhered to data/privacy regulations. Me got work ethics, you know. And more than once did I turn down requests to "look stuff up" in other employees personal "drives" cause those employees were sick or on vacation.
After pointing those idiots to the correct procedure to request such data (it's possible under certain circumstances) they almost always backed away and realized "Oh, it's not that important to go through so much hassle".
Fuckers, thanks for wasting my time.

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 7:35 PM

815

810:

I can't see it, but I'll be quite happy if it's a browser problem or what not. I'd really rather be wrong in this case.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 7:38 PM

816

YAY! I WAS WRONG! The comment IS there.

Never been happier to be wrong in my life.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 7:40 PM

817

At least Olivia runs a classy joint over there. I mean, they don't use bad words (often) (without editing them out afterwords) so that totally makes up for the fascism, bigotry and slander.

Posted by: JohnV | August 10, 2011 7:44 PM

818

At this point its safe to assume website-borkiness over maliciousness. Their system is really that borked :-/

Not that PZ isnt also really petty.

He has commenting privileges over here, but is posting over at B&W in response to *you all* so I dont get the extra $5 from the page-views.

*Petty*.

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 7:44 PM

819

gr8hands@781:
Yeah, that's where I was going with it (shortly before I discovered that a smartphone is not an ideal platform for writing long, boring comment posts). We are, after all, supposed to be skeptics, insisting on proof: why not do the same here?
Yes, compare the numbers. See what the return rate is. Perhaps ask them why they did or didn't come back. If sexism does turn out to be a problem, then let's fix it (as much as we can). It's bound to be better than having somebody tell us what we have to do because she's identified the problem and, surprise, surprise!, it fits her agenda perfectly.

bluharmony@795:

Also, at this point, why do we care? Women are more than welcome as long as they conform to the ideology, and most women don't.

I dunno. If they're really not coming because they don't want to come, then that's ok. But if people in the AC (see, I've learned a new acronym) really _are_ doing something to piss them off, and that's why they're staying away, then we really do need to do something about it. If RW's antics had a point, then that's it.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 10, 2011 7:46 PM

820

It has been brought to my attention by an anonymous commenter at my blog that Ophelia has said, in short, hahaha disregard that, I suck cocks

The Rules
Anybody who posts supportive comments at ERV is likely to be blocked from posting comments here.
Note: this is not a genuine “rule.” It is an explanation for the ostentatiously obtuse, added in a spirit of levity. It won’t be here long.

As is my new habit, I screen capped it since shit changes over there so quickly. I swear, when this shit is all said and done, I'm hiring her to edit a website I'm going to open; she's quick at disappearing and changing shit. In a way, between one page view and a refresh, you're really kind of reading an entirely different blog.

What an asshole.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 7:54 PM

821

Abbie, I've already said it once; perhaps you missed it (or chose to ignore it), but you should throw up a paypal button.

Buying a cup of coffee (from the safe distance the internet provides to avoid any future problems - amirite?) is the least I could do to say thanks for being, um, not like them. *points thattaway*

The most I could do is refuse to write a letter on your behalf (trust me, it's in your better interest. lol)

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 7:57 PM

822

OB has a strange concept of 'spirit of levity'.

Posted by: frank habets | August 10, 2011 8:00 PM

823

relevant - here's real sexism, to me - what do you think?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/08/10/woman-with-a-mancard-my-night-at-kirk-camerons-marriage-strengthening-event-2/

Kirk Cameron has a "Mancard" that has "My Wife Rocks, our marriage is worth fighting for, I will...

Spend time with her.
Study her.
Honor her.
Protect her.
Open up to her.
Pray with her."

It leaves out some things like: I will listen to her, I will respect her, I will ask her opinion, I will compromise some times, I will agree with her sometimes

Of course, this doesn't fit into his concept of Biblical Marriage, and he hints at more Christian Revisionism as well. What a tool.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 8:01 PM

824

I wonder how he describes having sex with her? Data collection for the "wife study"?

But it's all taken care of, he'll pray with her. *tears up*

Honey, I love you so much that I'm going to talk to you AND your imaginary friend too!

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 8:05 PM

825

I like Justicar's idea of a PayPal button.
Better yet(?), make it a Paypal to a charity. This way, donors will know to which good cause they're contributing to. As opposed to, say, the poor suckers who gave money to Rebecca T. Watson so that she could take her bosom-buddies on cross-country boozefests.
Is there a fund for retired elevator repairmen? That'd be ideal!

Posted by: frank habets | August 10, 2011 8:10 PM

826

Justy @824:

Celestial threesome*! HighFive!!!


*Or should that be a fivesome? I get confused with the holy trinity...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 8:12 PM

827

Frank @825:

Great idea! I will donate the shit out of my girlfriend's credit card! (can I say that here?)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 8:15 PM

828

Justicar, frank-- I get paid by SciBlogs/NatGeo per page view. You all reading and commenting on my blog actually 'pays' me, without you having to give me a dime of your own :)

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 8:16 PM

829

Abbie- if you do decide to put a charity button up might I suggest the fact that everyone here is a misogynist should definately influence the nature of the charity to be supported? Apologies if I am speaking out of turn.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 10, 2011 8:16 PM

830

Note: this is not a genuine “rule.” It is an explanation for the ostentatiously obtuse, added in a spirit of levity. It won’t be here long.

Ermmm... since we have direct evidence of this Orwellian rule being applied, I'm not sure how branding it as being in a "spirit of levity" helps. It would be like Trofim Lysenko saying, my rule about having geneticists imprisoned is just a bit of a lark really.

Posted by: Spence | August 10, 2011 8:18 PM

831

Well, I think the money should go towards whatever Abbie cares for it to go to - if it's tuition, fine. If it's coffee, fine. If she chooses to send it to a charity, fine.

It's not a charity drive that I'm suggesting though. She really has taken a lot of heat for this, and I admire that she's been uncompromising in her resistance to that fascism.

Of course, it's her decision to have it, or not, and direct it to whatever she chooses. Unlike the Watson camp, she hasn't said ahead of time that she wants money to make a 501(c)(3) and then pocketed the money for her own ends. If she puts up a button for her own use, it's perfectly transparent.

John C. Welch has one; I have one, many others have one on honest terms - hi, here's a button to send me money if you appreciate what I do, use it or not as the mood strikes you.

That some of the money which comes in turn goes to various things I support is immaterial since I'm not claiming that I'm doing a charity drive for a charity. (Although, next month I will be mildly associated with an MSF charity event dprjones does every year).

Again, it's entirely Abbie's decision; it's just a suggestion from me to her.

*pipes down*

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 8:19 PM

832

Lost Control @ 803 - it's precisely that all she does is link to other sites that annoys me the most. I' currently have 124 feeds in my rss aggregator, which includes some massive feed dumps, and a lot of what she posts is to the same news articles that many other sites link to. Only, they add something to it. I'm not a big fan of 'Oh, here's a post you should read..." posts. At most we get a one-line summary. To me that's just lazy - especially when I get three or four posts in a row, all dealing with the same subject, all with one line comments going elsewhere. Do a round-up, put all the links in one post. I don't know, it just seems sloppy or lazy. If I want news links, I have BBC and some other news sites.

Personally, the 'Hug me I'm vaccinated" implies a vaccine for STDs more than anything else, unless they are giving the shirts to little kids or babies.

Abbie @ 818 - does your hits go up when I refresh? I hope so, since that's how I've kept up with these last two threads.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 8:21 PM

833

lawl @ skepcheck. Indeed. Let's all donate to one of those shelters where they batter women. I think they call them "battered women's shelter".

It's like this guy who called one day asking if I'd like to donate to some organization to, "support AIDS and cancer". I told him that in good conscience I can't support either AIDS or cancer as I think both of those are absolutely horrible things, and he should find a line of work that stops supporting either of them.

He was struck dumb, I guess never having thought of what the words he used really meant.

I was amused.

Well, Abbie, it's up to you, of course. I'd have no problems letting you take yourself out on my "dime". =^_^=

Or we could buy rotten eggs and lob them at Ophelia's blog - maybe I should rethink the logistics of that.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 8:23 PM

834

Skepcheck-- I normally dont give to human charities. I am spending my life trying to cure HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Personally, I think that is enough.

I do however give to local animal shelters. After what I learned about The Humane Society of the United States (shorter: HSUS confuses people into thinking they help animals and rescued the Michael Vick pits etc, but they dont give jack shit of their $$$$$$$$ to shelters) I do only give local, and I normally donate items (blankets/shampoo/towels/food) that I get on sale or with coupons. I encourage others to do the same, if you are feeling charitable right now.

I care a fuckovalot more about homeless dogs dying in this heat from dehydration and exhaustion than I care about Watsons fucking elevator *trauma*.

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 8:24 PM

835

Frank @ 813 - "Remember the Elevator! We will not go Down!"

er....

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 8:24 PM

836

Erv @828: "I get paid by SciBlogs/NatGeo per page view"

F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5 F5

Posted by: frank habets | August 10, 2011 8:27 PM

837

Badgy @832:

Abbie @ 818 - does your hits go up when I refresh? I hope so, since that's how I've kept up with these last two threads.

I was wondering the same. If that's not the case, I have to remember opening a new tab and going to ERV everytime I refrsh. Tedious? Yes. Worth it? You betcha!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 8:29 PM

838

It looks like the Freethought blogs is working, but gah! It looks cheap and ugly (like something I'd do, using a pre-made template). At least there isn't any flash video or music. However, after I went there I closed the tab, and gee whiz - one of those annoying pop-under ads had shown up. Wasn't here earlier. At least they have a combined feed for me to get.

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 8:32 PM

839

Justicar-- Totally fine for you all to have a tip jar-- you all have to do GoogleAds and such to get paid. I however, have an entire group of professionals who work for advertising here on SciBlogs and NatGeo to make sure Im paid :) You gotta hussle fo yo munny, hunny. I just gotta sit back and the dollas roll in, yo!

But this is why its funny that Myers wont comment here. He maxes out the SciBlog pay scale, but Im just a peon that normally gets a tiny fraction of his traffic, thus a tiny fraction of what he makes from blogging. If he commented here when he were addressing you all instead of B&W, then *I* would be getting like $5 for the conversation. Hes so petty, he doesnt want me having that $5, so hes commenting at B&W.

Thats how pathetic PZ Myers is.

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 8:35 PM

840

I must say of Abbie's new article that it's a good read. And it has some good accoutrement to complement her butt reference. See this figure to which she links:
http://scienceblogs.com/erv/Alltehantibodybutts.png

Anyone else see what's she's trying to do to all those menz out there?

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 8:40 PM

841

Badgy @838:

It looks cheap and ugly (like something I'd do)

Don't you mean "like SOMEONE I'd do"?

Shit, I kill myself tonight!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 8:41 PM

842

I can't do google ads, Abbie. I'm a "threat" to their advertisers because of the "shock" my blog can cause.

Meh. Who knew I'd grow up to be a shock jock!

I don't want to brag, but I can totally bankroll that 5 dollars. lawl.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 8:43 PM

843

Abbie, you wrongly guessed who 'Unknown' was over at McGraw's post. Please, think of SC and make her happy by acknowledging it and maybe retracting that.

http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2011/more-dog-whistle/#comment-106120

And SC, I don't comment on every link posted in here. I don't even look at every single link. But to make you happy: I found that link cringe worthy, and I doubt there's anything worth my attention at the linked website.
But, instead of going on a tirade about that link, I simply ignored it. And the thread moved on... (And, as you noted, some expressed dismay at it and I didn't think it was necessary to do a 'Me, too'.)

So, instead of playing psychic mind-reader you could have come in and asked us about our thoughts on that. I don't know if my fellow misogynists and gender traitors would've bothered to answer you, but you could've been surprised by the answers, or they could've affirmed your views. Who knows?
But somehow I've got the feeling that you don't really care, and it's actually not really important to you, otherwise you would have come and simply asked. But my feeling might be false.

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 8:45 PM

844

Lost Control @843:

Abbie, you wrongly guessed who 'Unknown' was over at McGraw's post. Please, think of SC and make her happy by acknowledging it and maybe retracting that.

Since SC hasn't confirmed he/she isn't Stacy by giving his/her RL identity, there's no way in this fucking world Abbie should aretract anything.

Anonimity comes at a cost. We've had that talk before, around here...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 8:51 PM

845

I'll speak for myself, Lost Control (and I'm unanimous in that), but I am not in the habit of responding to people who ask me to condemn or support something. It's immature, and is wrought from a fallacious reasoning of silence on a topic being either for or against it.

I address the issues I want as they come up organically. If SC came over here to demand a condemnation, I'd laugh at her/him. I am categorically opposed to that kind of nonsense.

I wish I could find a video of a CSPAN video where some congresscritter called on the party opposite to condemn something, and a member raised a point of order that, in essence: point of order, as the member well knows no one is required to distance themselves from a position they've not endorsed, and this violates the house rules on ethical conduct.

Yes, there are several ironies there. Chief among them is "ethics" in politics.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 8:52 PM

846

Justicar, I'm aware of that, but I'm ok with someone asking me what I think of something.

My reaction could be along the spectrum of "aweful - don't care - awesome" or silence, or even changing the topic.

Meh, I actually wanted to point out that it's not really thoughtful to conclude approval just because no condemnation was given. ;-)

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 9:01 PM

847

Phil, you're right that there's no way to be sure.
Heck, even you could be an elaborate imposter, but even the misanthrope I am trusts people enough to think, yes you're actually the Fairyland guy.

SC & Stacy could be the same person, of course, but I sincerely doubt they're sock puppets. I'm sticking to the hypothesis that those two are distinct people posting.

Anyway, it's not really important in relation to the size of the universe. And I forgot to bring my towel, but I'm getting another coffee.

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 9:10 PM

848

Phil @ 841 - ok, then I'll rephrase it "it's cheap and ugly, like someone Phil would do"

Better?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 9:19 PM

849

So, there are a number of people with science channels on youtube whom I follow almost religiously. Here's a an embed to a research scientist who does pwnage right. I'm posting it here because Abbie has a cameo in the video towards the end.

I bet she didn't even know she would get a titular role. Alas, it's a strange universe.

http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/pwn-factor-10-mr-sulu.html

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 9:30 PM

850

Lost Control @847:

SC & Stacy could be the same person, of course, but I sincerely doubt they're sock puppets. I'm sticking to the hypothesis that those two are distinct people posting.

This is really, really not a skeptical/rational stance. If somebody starts posting on a white supremacy blog as I_hate_the_jews, and never reveal their RL identity, what could stop people attributing their words to somebody else? There is no hypothesis here. there is nothing. For all we know, SC could be Stacy. Not the problem, though. Abbie doesn't have to clarify. If SC wants to make it clear he/she is not Stacy, then he/she should move a step up and declare his/her IRL identity. Not that it would help much, he/she could be lying. I don't don't do lies, that's not my stuff. But hey, this is the internet!

Badgy @848: somehow, yes. Ali will love to read this in the morning... :)

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 9:36 PM

851

Me @850:

I don't don't do lies, that's not my stuff. But hey, this is the internet!

Yeah, that should be a single "don't". Funny how meanings can change for a single word, sometimes...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 9:42 PM

852

This statement about me at Ophelia's forum is priceless:

Blueharmony came here as a troll, worse an obvious troll, And anyone who calls someone a nigger is a racist anyone who calls someone a twat is a misogynist. Make whatever arguments you like but make the argument or attack the argument don’t try to denigrate half the population because of what they were born. It has no bearing on the argument. All of the examples you cited were people who were attacked for what they did or said, not for what they were born as.

This is a lie.

It actually says that I'm both a racist and a misogynist for saying words I've never used in my life (or in this thread).

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 9:43 PM

853

Oh, the above remark was made by "David," who obviously isn't the sharpest pencil in the bunch, during their discussion of gendered epithets. Apparently telling gendered epithets is bad, but telling lies is not. No one even questioned his remark.

On the other hand, the fact that I objected to Porno's link bashing women for being women was never mentioned. Not to mention the fact that Porno appears to be ill, as many have noted, and I'm no longer engaging in any discussion with him.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 9:49 PM

854

What hope hath mankind in the face of such derp.

(goes for most of this ordeal)

Posted by: DownThunder | August 10, 2011 9:51 PM

855

Ophelium:

"All of the examples you cited were people who were attacked for what they did or said, not for what they were born as."

Forever delusional.

Posted by: TylerD | August 10, 2011 9:52 PM

856

Someone should submit a MDPA request to the University of MN system for PZ's email. I've had a template created by which any of you can get these records. It should also work on Greg Laden as well.

(insert name)
(Insert address)
(Insert city, state, zip)
(insert telephone address)

Records Manager
University of Minnesota
Records and Information Management
360 McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455-2006

Dear Whoever:

Pursuant to the Minnesota Data Practices Act , I request copies of all email sent by or to the official, university-provided email address of Paul Zachery Myers at the University of Minnesota, Morris between (insert date of elevator gate) and the date of this request featuring the following search terms "Pharyngula," "Rebecca Watson," "blog" or "elevator."

You can add other search terms or change the default ones. However, more search terms mean more time looking for records and probably more money spent.

I request that the records be sent by email attachment.

I agree to pay reasonable duplication fees for the processing of this request in an amount not to exceed $25. However, please notify me prior to your incurring any expenses in excess of that amount.

Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

(insert name)
(Insert address)
(Insert city, state, zip)
(insert telephone address)

Posted by: History Punk | August 10, 2011 9:55 PM

857

@852
Neither have I, but I said "hygiene" on her blog and was "banned".

"Shudder"

I didn't know suggesting someone take a bath once and a while was such bad advice.

Posted by: wildlifer | August 10, 2011 9:56 PM

858

Thats annoying when Creationists do it.

Thats annoying when Global Warming Deniers do it.

Dont do that.

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 9:57 PM

859

Dear Abbie,
The next time that I step in to an elevator, and the person next to the row of floor-buttons asks me "Going Down?", should I take it as a threat of oral rape?
Yours, "Confused" of Skepchix.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 10, 2011 10:00 PM

860

I don't play that way. I'm quite content to restrict myself to publicly available data. Besides, there's nothing in there I can imagine that would change my view of him over this.

Unlike PZ, I don't do that whole private data shit. Granted, it's public e-mail and anyone is entitled by law to have access to certain parts of it, I have no interest in knowing what he writes that he doesn't choose to make public.

Besides, what would it do? Show him to be a hypocrite? An asshole? Religious? None of it matters to me; he says enough in public as it is.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 10:00 PM

861

blu@853

No one even questioned his remark.

It might be wiser to say that no contrary remarks survived Orwellia's lightning-fast editing-skillz.
Given her track record of Soviet-style revisionism, one cannot say that no-one questioned the remark!

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 10, 2011 10:05 PM

862

Justy:

Besides, what would it do? Show him to be a hypocrite? An asshole? Religious? None of it matters to me; he says enough in public as it is.

That!

/Kwok

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 10, 2011 10:05 PM

863

blu - I noticed that comment and rolled my eyes.

But I love the 'logic' in there, and follow it as presented, therefore I'm now going to denigrate the entire human population (and a lot of animals, too):

Assholes! All of you.

*rolleyes*

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 10:08 PM

864

Fine,

But you're all missing out. FOIA requests are a fun, low-cost way to learn about history, the government, and keep the man in check. It's a truly awesome thing. For example, I'll soon be getting FBI records regarding an effort by Hoover to convince the media that former head of the OSS and Medal of Honor winner William Donovan died of syphilis, not dementia.

Posted by: History Punk | August 10, 2011 10:09 PM

865

I absolutely agree with Justicar on the topic of private data. Whatever documents are there are irrelevant to this discussion.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 10:11 PM

866

Yeah. I find things like that pretty disturbing.

I realize it might be legal since it's a publicly owned e-mail address, but there are many things that are legal which I wouldn't do for ethical reasons. Even if it weren't a matter of ethics, it's bad form to my mind. When I find myself doing the same things my opponents are doing in that way, it's time to pause and evaluate my position.

Fortunately, the tactics used by my opponents that I also use tend to be common everywhere: I write what I think. Unlike many of my opponents, I try to make sure that it's an honest representation of my thoughts, and that my thoughts are well-considered.

Sifting through someone's e-mail? Bad form, to say about the least of it.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 10:11 PM

867

What PZ Myers says about his blog, Rebecca Watson, elevators, or whatever is of precisely no historic value. Plus, it's a different matter altogether when the subjects of an inquiry are not conveniently dead. (I just know this line is going to get some play somewhere)

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 10:14 PM

868

Oh dear god.

I just thought of something.

What if there are n00ds, History Punk?

WHAT IF THERE ARE N00DS???

U WILL DIAAAAAH!!!!

DONT DO IT!!!

Posted by: ERV | August 10, 2011 10:16 PM

869

lawl. My older brother had nightmares for weeks after we watched that in the theater.

What a wimp.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 10:19 PM

870

History Punk, I really don't see what you hope to achieve by doing that. Nothing in PZ's emails is likely to have the slightest bearing on what's been happening. I believe he's entitled to his privacy, just as you and I and everybody else here is, regardless of the legality of what you're thinking of doing.
I assume you want to do it just so it'll piss him off. That's just childish.
Don't. Just don't.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 10, 2011 10:33 PM

871

I'm European, so I guess they'd laugh me off if I tried that.

FOIA is something awesome, I don't think we have something like it where I'm living, but please, misusing it for such a minor non-event? That's ridiculous, petty and annoying. If not worse.

Hmm, I just remembered my hygiene standards education for my operating room training a long time ago.

Abbie, as you're working on HIV... have you ever done a post on hygiene regulations you've got to adhere to? (I'm assuming you might work with infectious material at times.)
Maybe it's uninteresting to most, but I'd be interested what routines and precautions you've got to go through.

That's also something that's often forgotten, imho.
EMTs, health professionals, researchers, etc. put their life at risk because of increased chances of exposure to pathogens. HepC infected patients made even the most stubborn surgeon wear full face shields.

Posted by: lost control | August 10, 2011 10:33 PM

872

818:

At this point its safe to assume website-borkiness over maliciousness. Their system is really that borked :-/

Just a little. They spent a fucking gob of time in dancing baloney like gravitar, and nothing on operational details. But then, no one on that site understands how IT really works. Planning, there wasn't much of it. Looking at some profiles on just the main page, it's really unimpressive.


820:

I fixed it for her again.


828:

Really? It's that easy to game the system? Wanna Porsche?

839:

Thats how pathetic PZ Myers is.

Well, that and since you're not kissing his ass until it's soda-cracker white, he's sure as fuck not going to bless you with his awesome awesomeness.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 10:45 PM

873

856:

Someone should submit a MDPA request to the University of MN system for PZ's email. I've had a template created by which any of you can get these records. It should also work on Greg Laden as well.

Yeah, no. That's just a little over the line. There's very little either one of those prats has done that makes me think that's not kind of wrong.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 10:51 PM

874

#870 Ron Murray: PZ's emails is likely to have the slightest bearing on what's been happening. I believe he's entitled to his privacy

Bollocks. The Naked Emperor is a public figure who makes a habit of publicly attacking and abusing individuals, many who have posted here (like me). Fuck him. He is entitled to jack shit. Pillory the asshole in public just as he does others. He deserves no less.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 10, 2011 10:54 PM

875

874:

Oh I will, but for his public statements. Private emails, even on this subject, are for me, off-limits. (I HAVE to occasionally read other people's email as part of my job. I hate it. It always sucks and makes me feel icky.)

PZ and Laden shoot themselves in the foot jes' fine in public. I've no interest in cornholing their privacy just because they're assholes.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 10, 2011 10:57 PM

876

John C. Welch:
Between your efforts and Batman's presence, my blog will remain safe.
http://integralmath.blogspot.com/2011/08/h4xx0r5-beware.html

One to scare off Benson, Myers and other creepy crawlies, and the other to deal with the hackers.

I will sleep safely tonight!

Franc, he deserves to be taken to task. There is plenty of public information to do that. Going through someone's private conversations I find repugnant.

It's not my place to tell other people what they may and may not do within the bounds of the law. But that's my position on it.

Posted by: Justicar | August 10, 2011 10:58 PM

877

Well, I am not going to do it. At this time, I have cocked the old cyberpistol and I am leaving it here. If one of you want to take it up and use it, feel free. If not, that's your right too.

Posted by: History Punk | August 10, 2011 11:01 PM

878

@ #856, History Punk:

An extremely bad idea, History Punk, extremely bad. Guaranteed to win PZ a huge amount of sympathy, and far too close to Tea-Party tactics.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 10, 2011 11:02 PM

879

878 - I agree. Bad enough they stoop to banning and editing. We don't need to stoop to that level. But you want to bet that the "threat" gets posted about and none of the dissenting comments will be given?

Posted by: Badger3k | August 10, 2011 11:24 PM

880

Justicar: "Franc, he deserves to be taken to task. There is plenty of public information to do that. Going through someone's private conversations I find repugnant."

Oh, I agree. But then we are ethical creatures. I was just pointing out the absurdity that Myers is "entitled" to privacy considerations. The guy is a fucking pig with rabies that attacks indiscriminately. As far as I am concerned, he has forfeited all rights we would reasonably afford to other human beans.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 10, 2011 11:28 PM

881

This one for Ophelia's readership, as well:

Rebecca initial complaint about the elevator incident was sexualization, but then she proceeded to accuse McGraw of not recognizing objectification. Pick any dictionary you like, but these are vastly different concepts. Have people forgotten how to use the dictionary or is this a comprehension thing? Let me help you.

sex·u·al·ize/ˈsekSHo͞oəˌlīz/
Verb: Make sexual; attribute sex or a sex role to. (In other words this is what happens when you notice that someone is of a different sex.)

ob·jec·ti·fy/əbˈjektəˌfī/Verb
1. Express (something abstract) in a concrete form: "good poetry objectifies feeling".
2. Degrade to the status of a mere object.

So yes, the elevator incident was sexualization; but no, it wasn't not objectification. This is a basic category error made by Rebecca, and her changing position on this matter is the key. Moreover, she attempted to reconcile over 30 years of feminist debate in one lecture. And this is not mentioning her other errors, such as an error as to Irish law, and the suggestion that rape occurs at atheist conferences and no one does anything about it BECAUSE of people like McGraw. How can you not see this as a serious problem?

There has been sexism in this thread, and serious sexism, at that. A link was posted by Pornonymous (who appears to be mentally ill) that had nothing but sexist content: criticism of Rebecca solely for her looks and gender. This content came from a site ADVOCATING MALE DOMINANCE OVER WOMEN. There was no reason provided as to why Rebecca might be wrong, or why she may have a point. THIS IS MISOGYNY. And Rebecca does have a point, the conduct in question was in poor taste; it was a bad decision, but it was not objectification. The fact that intelligent people can't recognize sexism when it happens is because of people like you, who cry wolf at nothing.

I'm posting at Abbie's because any discussion of this matter was immediately shut down in major forums. The only place I could actually be heard is here. This thread exists in its present state at least partially because all of you. Think about it.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 11:29 PM

882

Franc@874: As I see it, the issue is this: we're trying to present ourselves as the reasonable ones here. We may use bad language (shudder!), but Abbie doesn't censor posts, and we (politely, I think) try to answer others' questions (until they prove to be trolls, then all bets are off). Pulling crazy shenanigans like this is not going to help anybody.
Yes, PZM's a prime grade-A arsehole. He still doesn't deserve to have his private email ransacked. Nobody does. Would you like it if somebody did it to you?
Anyway, I've said my piece, and I don't want to get in a long discussion about it. We may have to differ on this one.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 10, 2011 11:31 PM

883

Ron, for the sake of clarity, see #880 - I was not advocating any such action. Just pointing out absurdity.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 10, 2011 11:46 PM

884

I wish they would remove David's defamatory statement about me from Ophelia's site. Everyone online knows me as bluharmony. This my email address and my domain name, and it can be tracked to my full name via Facebook and Twitter. I have never used the terms in questionm nor have I said anything racist or anti-woman in this thread. This is seriously disturbing.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 10, 2011 11:51 PM

885

@Blu -

#852 - this kind of accusation of "trolling" is what I call a "get out of jail free" card. It is lameness of the highest order.

#881 - Pointing these folks to the dictionary is pointless. As futile as pointing them to -

mi·sog·y·ny
noun
hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

I have no idea what link it is from Pornonymous that has upset you, nor its context. But misogyny is an overused word and I am yet to see an example of actual hatred (of the Westboro or Stormfront* variety) be provided.

* - conversely, there is much evidence of Stromfront style hate speech consistently spewing from the Watsonista camp.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 11, 2011 12:06 AM

886

I don't want to direct more traffic to the site by re-posting the link.

The site suggests dominance over women for purposes of attraction. Then it ridicules an outspoken woman based on little more than her looks. While this is legal, I do not in any way condone such behavior. I think it does stem from a dislike of women or the belief that they're inherently inferior to men. My criticism of Rebecca here is substantive. It has nothing to do with her gender, appearance, intelligence, education or anything of the sort. I think she's attractive and very smart. I have many arguments in addition to those in #881, but I think that argument is dispositive. Rebecca's first video complains about sexualization. Then she goes and accuses McGraw of being unable to recognize objectification, when she apparently did not view it as such from the outset.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 12:19 AM

887

To be absolute clear, it's a gender feminist type of misogyny that I'm referring to. So I'm using their definition, not mine. What happened to Rebecca doesn't even rise to that level. But think about it like this: If there were a class of people who were physically stronger than you, and thought you and those like you needed to be dominated against your wishes, would you like it? I realize that it's not as bad as what happens in the Middle East and elsewhere, but it's a valid complaint. Here's an excerpt from Wiki:

Michael Flood defines misogyny as the hatred of women, and notes:

"Though most common in men, misogyny also exists in and is practiced by women against other women or even themselves. Misogyny functions as an ideology or belief system that has accompanied patriarchal, or male-dominated societies for thousands of years and continues to place women in subordinate positions with limited access to power and decision making. [...] Aristotle contended that women exist as natural deformities or imperfect males [...] Ever since, women in Western cultures have internalised their role as societal scapegoats, influenced in the twenty-first century by multimedia objectification of women with its culturally sanctioned self-loathing and fixations on plastic surgery, anorexia and bulimia."[2]

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 1:00 AM

888

Completely off topic question for any scientists who've been participating here:

any of you get 9-11 questions?

I got them from time to time, but I normally ignore them (I have no expertise in structural engineering or collapse). But I've decided to start answering them with a "toolkit" that involves "a small, partially coordinated" child as an element. Hey, don't look at me that way, it's good critical thinking practice for kids.

If you have suggestions, or have pictures of your kids debunking something stupid, I'd be keen on hearing/reading/seeing about it. I might decide to make a regular addition to my blog on this kind of thing - debunking made simple, children's edition. =^_^=

Sorry for the hijack, Abbie - I'm just having a good laugh about this stupid truther shit!


Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 1:16 AM

890

@Blu,

Wasn't poking you and I know that we are generally in agreement as you have just expanded (886/7). The reality is there - as far as this circus goes, and as you have experienced, there is far more evidence of woman on woman misogyny than of misogyny from atheist/skeptic males. Just received a feedback on my blog from a chick that actually said she was reluctant to post her comment publicly precisely because she felt hunted by Watsonistas for making public comments elsewhere. What a great win for the movement. Women cowed into silence.

As for the link, yes I have no doubt that content exists, but I still don't know the context that the link was presented in or for what reasons. This material has also existed since forever occupying a niche smut market, mostly in highly religious cultures, but it has only really been since the '90s that it has become prevalent to the point of appearing mainstream. Which begs the chicken-and-egg question. Is gender feminism a response to this material, or is this material produced for men that are sick of being whipped for no reason by gender feminists and are descending into revenge fantasy porn? There never was a major market for Max Hardcore style filth prior to the '90s. Now it is entrenched, and, mostly confined to the US market which is also the home of most gender feminist lunacy. I asked this question on this rape/porn culture rant blog -

http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2011/06/11/there-is-more-than-one-dick-implicated-in-the-weiner-scandal/#comment-19224

Of course I got no answer and my comment was deleted.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 11, 2011 1:25 AM

891

@Justy: On the 9/11 topic --

1) I think the video footage, the phone calls from the plane in the air, lost friends, recovery of plane parts and other items, are extremely persuasive. This is clear evidence.

2) Then there's the part that you're probably interested in: the engineering. The buildings were constructed in such a way that their collapse due to the explosions was imminent. But this is way beyond my level of knowledge. However, almost all qualified expert engineers confirmed how it happened. This is also evidence.

3) Finally, there's Occam's Razor. It seems quite obvious what happened. There's no evidence to contradict the official account, and all the evidence in the world to support it.

4. Thus, we can conclude that what happened is consistent with the official account. Debunked.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 1:28 AM

892

Glad to see the discussion continues here.
bluharmony,
I enjoy much of your writing here, including your penchant for dialogue and civility. I want to criticize you on a couple points. At #719, you characterize Susan Pinker as Steven Pinker's wife. She is in fact his sister. His partner instead is atheist philosopher and novelist Rebecca Goldstein, who is worth reading. Also, the author whose blog you link to in that comment is a source of dubious reliability, given some of his other writing. More to the point, his post reads like something produced by an insular anti-modern religious extremist. "[M]odern feminism is evil..." There is very little interest in nuance in this post, and the alleged anti-feminist implications of the Wolfers and Stevenson work has been widely critiqued, points that are not so much as mentioned in the post.

More broadly, the equity feminism versus gender feminism binary is a superficial dichotomy that simply doesn't do justice to the wide array of liberal, radical, conservative, centrist, libertarian, and other varieties of thought within the feminist tradition. It was, in my view, sloppy labeling when first put forward and it offers a misleading framework for analysis today. I think it's much more useful to speak of specific lines of argument and approaches to debate that are useful or destructive, as the case may be, wherever along the ideological spectrum they appear, and to try to focus praise or criticism on the specific writers and subcultures within social movements as carefully as possible, rather than to trade in classification schemes that obscure more than they illuminate.

Finally, Steven Pinker's work outside of linguistics and psychology has come in for a lot of thoughtful criticism. See, for instance, http://nyr.kr/9ahWhW.

Posted by: seaside681 | August 11, 2011 1:33 AM

893

Well, I'm not an engineer, and I know nothing about building design other than I've noted buildings don't ordinarily fall down. But for some reason, I get questions on youtube (I didn't one "debunking" video there, which was all snark and no substance - the video it was a response to was stupid as shit. Some dude had a high school physics book and trouble with reading out of it), which I routinely just ignore. I'm not competent to talk about it in any detail.

But some of the questions that arise are really, really simple to answer. Like, say, the ones about fall rates. All you have to do is watch a video and, well, count. I can do that in a way that Rosie O'Donnell and Charlie Sheen cannot do it - 1 to 16, people!

None of that "evidence" is compelling else there wouldn't be truthers. Phone calls? They actually don't prove anything. Missing people. This isn't evidence of death. Spare parts? I'm sure the government has those lying around. They're not conclusive evidence.

Buildings collapsing on live television. Well, that's evidence I can see and evaluate. The rest of it I kind of have to accept at face value, but it doesn't matter to me either way because if it's not evidence of one version of events, it's not evidence for another. So, I ignore it. =^_^=

I prefer Einstein's razor; it's far more useful. Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler. =P

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 1:35 AM

894

Justicar - I'm assuming you're familiar with "screw loose change" http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/

It takes on the truther nonsense if you're not familiar with it. I know Popular Mechanics did a great article (or more), you could try that.

Frank @ 885. The two links (for context) can be found at 635 & 638. I only read the second, didn't see the first post. The second is pretty stupid, the kind of shit a bunch of us might have said when drinking and using very low-brow humor. It is sexist - kind of like watching the Man Show. I didn't do more than look at the first page of the first link, but it looked stupid as well.

Posted by: Badge3k | August 11, 2011 1:57 AM

895

@Franc: I have no problem with consensual BDSM and pornography. But that's the key. It has to be consensual. Of course, some feminist theories will tell you that women are so oppressed that they're not able to fully consent, consent, so...

I believe in free speech. I don't agree that women are oppressed, but sexism still exists, and the site in question is a perfect example of it. Some men view women as inferior. It's subtle, but it's ALWAYS present: women like dominant men, and many believe that that this is, in fact, true (it may or may not be, it depends on the individual). A woman's feelings don't matter just because she's not as hot as others, she's clearly stupid, etc. While I think there's good reason to criticize Rebecca for what she's done both now and in the past, this article goes too far. One of the comments is particularly disturbing, as it is a full on expression of contempt for women, and it's scary that this still exists in modern day society. That's why it's so important to be careful with one's accusations.

EG treated RW as an equal. He treated her the way he would want to be treated, and he didn't violate any specific laws or rules. Some women may be frighted by that because of rape and the type of material that you mention; thus it's a vicious circle feeding on itself. But I believe that to be equal you have to behave like an equal, and that women *are* equal, thus they have no right to demand special treatment.

If you saw an assertion somewhere that a particular race liked to be dominated and then instructions on how to catch one of those people to serve you or your sexual desires, that would bother you, right? It's this type of situation that makes feminists angry. And that's why I respect requests to avoid gendered slurs; because if I err, I'd like to err on the side of caution. But I'm not here telling people what to do.

If you're wondering why there's so much support for Rebecca, I think this site gives you at least one of the explanations. While the men didn't notice, I was shocked when I saw it. It was posted by Porno, who is a nutter, but few people even recognized that there's a problem. This is what gender feminists call privilege. And this is why the feminists are so angry and hold us in contempt. They think we're encouraging this behavior. I want to be clear - I am not.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 2:06 AM

896

Perhaps I've been insufficiently clear. I'm not looking for resources to debunk things . . . I can do research just fine.

I am looking for stupid ways to debunk things, preferably in ways that are so abecedarian that it's available to everyone, even children. For instance, I did a write-up earlier on the collapse of WTC 7 using nothing more than the video in question, a snipping tool (for screen captures), and establishing a scale on it. I worked it out with my eleven year old, and she was able to figure out that they were wrong with very little input from me.

So, it got me to thinking about various ways perhaps some of the science-minded folks could start working/thinking about ways of dealing with "adult" problems that reasonably bright children actually solve, or make good progress towards.

It's an idea worth floating even if goes nowhere and doesn't work. Methinks anyway.

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 2:10 AM

897

Justicar: The National Geographic Channel has done some shows on this. Check out

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/9-11-science-and-conspiracy-4067/conspiracy-vs-science#tab-conspiracy-vs-science

I think this is the one that Ardent and I watched when it first came out a couple of years ago. It did a good job of presenting the science and engineering in an understandable way.

There used to be a site called ae911truth.info that specifically addressed the claims of the Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth people (one of them contacted me a couple of years ago to see if my local skeptics group would be interested in hearing a talk by them, meh). Unfortunately, it looks like that site has fallen into disrepair.

Posted by: The Armchair Skeptic | August 11, 2011 2:19 AM

898

@seaside681: Thank you so much for your helpful corrections. Thank you for actually taking the time to engage and consider what no one else has considered. All the criticism you gave is valid and true. The reason I chose gender and equity feminism is that I wanted to illustrate the distinction clearly, but I've said many times (and on many sites) that there are various schools of thought on these issues, and I think if someone is lecturing on the topic, she should at least be aware of them.

This is exactly the sort of discussion I was hoping for at the outset, and everyone simply said, "no, you're too stupid." You hate women. You hate Rebecca. Those are insulting ad homs. To be clear, however, nothing you've said changes my analysis of the actual elevator incident. Pinker is irrelevant to my argument, but the other side brought him up, so I responded. I think he would support my position, but I concede that argument from authority is not necessary in this situation.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 2:24 AM

899

@Justy: Let me summarize -

1) The video and photos show that everything happened as is told by the authorities.
2) Experts have confirmed that the buildings collapsed from the explosions.
3) Most of the time, the simplest explanation is the best (you don't need this item, but if you want to introduce kids to Occam's Razor.\
4) Debunked.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 2:31 AM

900

Addendum: You might want to add that *qualified* experts agree as to what happened. (The experts the conspiracy theorists use are not.)

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 2:39 AM

901

I am aware of what the experts say. I don't care about that. I am trying to do this type of debunking stuff in a way that is available to everyone, including children. Clearly, the methods available for that end will have to be simple, otherwise it will take experts.

For instance, there's this nonsense running around out there that one of the buildings collapsed in something like 9 seconds. Ok. Fair enough. How could a child test that claim?

Oh, right. Grab a stopwatch and count. After the stopwatch passes 9 seconds, look to see if the building is still falling, or if it's stopped. If it's still falling, then an 8 year old has rebutted the claim.

I am unaware of any explosions but for the planes' exploding.

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 2:51 AM

902

@Seaside681:

I think it's much more useful to speak of specific lines of argument and approaches to debate that are useful or destructive, as the case may be, wherever along the ideological spectrum they appear, and to try to focus praise or criticism on the specific writers and subcultures within social movements as carefully as possible, rather than to trade in classification schemes that obscure more than they illuminate.

I have said similar things at various points in this thread, but never so eloquently, so I'd like to emphasize again that the above is true - there are many schools of thought on feminism, and the divide between gender and equity feminism in not necessarily clear, though some writers have presented them as such. That said, I don't typically call myself a feminist because the word is an antagonist, but my views most closely resemble that of a liberal equity feminist (I've also stated this previously in the thread). But even that's not a precise definition because I have ideas that overlap with my desire for a partially socialized economy, and I don't think full equality is possible without some wealth redistribution. Again, these views are irrelevant to the matter at hand. The broader point is that it's not acceptable for a speaker to criticize a young adult audience member for holding different political or philosophical views. I find such conduct despicable and unnecessary.

When I tried to argue the matter at Ophelia's, I stated that my beliefs belonged to another school of feminist thought. The response was, "What school of thought is that, clown school?" When dealing with this sort of insulting ignorance, I wanted to simplify the matter as much as possible. I'm also walking a very fine line between feminism and equality on this issue. I don't think we're at the point where we can say equal opportunity will take care of everything. There's much more to consider than that.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 3:06 AM

903

@Blu - I know you don't want to publicise the link but perhaps you could email it - franc.hoggle@gmail.com. This stuff interests me. In any case. making an issue out of this stuff without placing it alongside the loopier misandrist stuff is unfair (I am not saying you do - but there are fem-bot taliban do), because it couldn't be any worse than say Solanas. It is naive to think that you will not find this kind of thing if you dig for it with sufficient determination, not just about Becky, but any issue really.

And I wasn't raising the issue of BDSM. There's fully consensual smut of that kind out there using air rifles, hammers and nails. I was referring more to gonzo porn which at its fringes is quite vile, demeaning and decidedly unerotic (at least to most non-US guys). I have noticed that this style of deliberately degrading porn only entered the mainstream after the gender feminist nonsense we are dealing with really took off in the '80s/'90s - so my chicken-and-egg question is actually serious. Pornography is as old as cavemen - gonzo porn is not.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 11, 2011 3:13 AM

904

@Justy: OK, fair enough, but I think you need to clarify which claims you want tested or present the actual conspiracy theory. Then we can take it apart bit by bit.

I was addressing 9/11 from the point of view of a lawyer -- as to what I would need to prove that it happened the way that it did. The visual evidence confirms it, as do the needed experts, and the truthers have only bogus unreliable assertions against. There's no case.

Frankly, I always thought the conspiracy idea was too silly to take seriously.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 3:16 AM

905

@Frank: I have my doubts about that kind of porn and don't know if it's consensual, so I don't have enough information to evaluate the issue. Nor have I seen it myself. ;) I realize that "gender" or "radical" feminists antagonize people, so I try to avoid similar behavior.

I realize that lots of sites like the one were talking about exist, but it's still demeaning when you see one. Women are people, and they're far more complex than a stereotype. "She would have liked it if he was hot." -- I hate that, and it's not true. I'll email you the link.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 3:27 AM

906

Blu@895

While the men didn't notice,

I have been told that I am a man, but I didn't notice because I didn't pursue the links! (On purpose, BTW, as whilst I might agree with parts of what this porno person says on odd occasions, I tend to agree with your assessment that there are more than a few hints of some sort of sex-based disturbed pathology in his remarks.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 3:32 AM

907

@Justy: The planes were the only explosions as far as I know.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 3:36 AM

908

I still refer to myself as a feminist, by way of summarising a more complex stance into a single word, and used to be confident of what that term meant, but am now having second and even third thoughts about it.
Perhaps I should cease condensing my approach into a single word, and distil it until it becomes a phrase?

I believe passionately in the availability of equality of opportunity for all[1] sexes, where this makes sense.[2]

It is from then on, when presented with the ability to accept or reject this default, up to the individual concerned as to whether to take up the opportunity.[3]

But, for practical reasons, that is too sesquipedalian by far.
Are you (bluharmony) able to classify my attitude into one of the pre-defined "feminisms" please?
___________________________
[1] Including transgendered, sex-chimeric etc.
[2] Where it does not make sense is, for example, in the areas of reproduction and breast-feeding of infants, & cetera.
[3] Lots of caveats go with this phraseology!

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 3:52 AM

909

Justicar,

I think I may have an answer you're looking for. A friend of mine who is a materials engineer with a PhD in Powdered Metallurgy explains 9/11 this way:

"Tall buildings are never designed and constructed to withstand an impact from a fully-fueled jetliner because it would be stupid. Why, stupid? Because it is a highly unlikely event. They are not designed and constructed to withstand being stepped on by Godzilla either - also a highly unlikely event."

If they give him an argument, he insists that they name another occurrence like 9/11 either before or since.

He says he came up with this answer because he got tired of trying to explain the science to the non-scientific.

Is this what you're looking for?

Posted by: An Ardent Skeptic | August 11, 2011 3:57 AM

910

Sorry, gang. I didn't mean to derail a thread; this will be my last major mention of this.

I said

If you have suggestions, or have pictures of your kids debunking something stupid, I'd be keen on hearing/reading/seeing about it. I might decide to make a regular addition to my blog on this kind of thing - debunking made simple, children's edition.

It needn't be 9-11 related. I'm talking about any old crazy woo type stuff. Instead of doing some long, protracted, erudite analysis, I'm hoping to get started a way of handling these type things (anything where skepticism is necessary and fruitful) in a way that it's at a level accessible to ordinary people, to include children.

Like the way I was working on that WTC building 7 collapse thing. Nothing particularly difficult there. Worked with one of my kids, to answer questions as she went along to develop some process she as an 11 year old could fully understand which also wholly sufficient to demonstrate the claim being made as false.

So, I was hoping maybe some scientist type people might have stuff, or be interested in working on some stuff.

It's all fine and well have to scholarly works out there; those works are, however, nearly impenetrable to most people.

Back on topic here with respect to some of the people who comment . . . Unlike my counterparts at other blogs, I'm capable of applying an internal noise filter and scooting past certain posters. And all without feeling the remotest inclination to ask our fair hostess with the mostest to censor anyone. Apparently, other people lack this ability, and thus need to beg for people to be banned because they can't restrict themselves to ignoring that which they find useless. =P

Hi, Salty Cu***nt!

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 3:59 AM

911

@Michael: I'm certainly not accusing anyone of any intentional wrongdoing. One of the things that was so disturbing about the article is that the guy writing it didn't even know the story. He started with the elevator incident and ended with Dawkins' dismissive response. And he concluded that she needed to be called ugly and disparaged in various ways based on just that. This isn't an issue with Rebecca, it's an issue with women in general. It made me cringe, and I sincerely, fully empathized with Rebecca for the first time. If that had been written about me, I'd be extremely upset. I know that Rebecca is used to this, but she doesn't deserve it. Men who don't like her or her views are constantly telling her how ugly she is. Instead of saying they dislike her opinions, they threaten her with rape and criticize her appearance, which is fundamentally related to a woman's worth in our society. So it's not like insulting a man in that respect.

While the Dublin speech bothered me, I didn't get upset with Rebecca until the vicious Dawkins boycott and her attacks on Stef and Rose. She didn't behave properly, but she's not wrong to be to be saddened by this type of behavior.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 4:07 AM

912

@813

Frank said:

The elevator incident???
won't happen again!???

Bwahahaha! Such drama! Think of the children! Remember the Alamo! Remember the Holocaust! Never again! 9-11! My cat barfed!

Seriously, Brad, get some perspective.

Um, good point. Consider me perspectivized.

Posted by: Brad | August 11, 2011 4:08 AM

913

Justy:

->- II II = *

Easy as pie...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 4:10 AM

914

Brad@812

But both conclusions, "sexism is rampant" and "but if you look at the numbers" are unreasonable. Neither validates nor invalidates personal experience.
Other women have spoken against the "rampant sexism" view from their personal experience. How is their personal experience any more or any less valid than others?
Even if you discount the opinions of men because of privilege, the issue still remains.
I don't see why you consider either conclusion unreasonable, unless you are basing thing upon some absurdly strict definition of reasonably that doesn't apply to anything in normal human experience. Certainly the conclusion is not scientifically demonstrated; then again, something like "there is rampant sexism at/in X" is not a well-formed scientific hypothesis (at least not without significant elaboration), so that can't be the problem.

As for the matter of "other women", that seems (I welcome additional information) to be merely the fact that some people are more troubled by the problem than others. If I recall correctly, one of the issues in this whole mess involved Watson(?) claiming that someone else on some other panel (?) said that there was no sexism, when in fact the claim was only that it wasn't as bad as some suggested. Maybe I've missed something (certainly I haven't read everything that's been said on the subject), but I don't recall seeing any woman saying that there is no problem. And, in my opinion, focusing overly on the word 'rampant' seems to be avoidance, as its application to the situation is pretty much necessarily a judgment call, about which reasonable people certainly can disagree.

In any case, I at least hope that I've explained how experiences can differ significantly even in the same environment, and how people can draw quite different conclusions about the same environment based on their differing experiences. And also why focusing on one group's experiences as somehow the "right" ones while disregarding others is privileging the first group.

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 11, 2011 4:28 AM

915

Greg:

I don't think there is any right or wrong on this issue. It's all extremely subjective. Would you mind if I get hypothetical?

Let's imagine a set population of 100.

70 males
30 females

Of those 70 males, 5 are trully sexist, or perverts.
Of those 30 females, 5 are trully attractive (and do nuddy calendars).

The pervs all flock to the nuddy girls.

The nuddy girls conclude that there is rampant sexism in skeptic conventions because they always get hit on (by the 5 pervs).

The 65 males left are bagged in with the pervs.

Profit!

This is bacisally what has been going on, I think...

Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 4:39 AM

916

Forgot to add:

and the 25 females left don't have a single problem with sexism at skeptic conventions.

How do we fix that?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 4:41 AM

917

@Michael: I think feminism is individual to each woman, and each woman has the right to define it for herself. However, it's more complicated than mere equal opportunity. There are still barriers to overcome. That said, I think just calling yourself a feminist and saying that you believe in the equal worth of every human being is just fine.

The other "side" has a point, and it doesn't only have to do with Rebecca. Women do have experiences that men can only understand by listening and trying to empathize. There are women like Abbie & Paula Kirby, who are strong, assertive, successful and don't need anyone's help. There are women who constantly feel victimized. And there are women who are actually victimized. Most of us fit somewhere in between.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 4:48 AM

918

bluharmony @911 (!)

Are we addressing the same thing?
I am confused by your response to my request for your considered idea(s) for terminology for my outlined 'brand' of feminism, as I am a neophyte in such things, when compared to your studied expertise.

I understand that some people, (mostly male it seems), berate RW for what they perceive as her attractiveness to them, as though made a lick of difference to anyone else's expected opinion of her.
I find this behaviour unnecessary, puerile (if not )infantile, insulting, alarmingly self-absorbed & self-important, and utterly beneath contempt.
I agree with you 101%.

We must have our wires crossed somewhere along the line!

I'll try again: #908 has an embedded question in which I (humbly) request the assistance of your expertise.
I should be most grateful were you to proffer same! :)

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 4:56 AM

919

Blu @917:
Ah, I see that I, at least, got my wires crossed!
Apologies for any confusion.
You may rest assured that I do listen and empathise. Self-reported, that would be unreliable, but I have 3 sisters, (no brothers), who tell me that that I do listen & empathise, (but because they have trained me well!)

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 5:02 AM

920

First a disclaimer: I am not an expert - I am more aware than some and less than others.

I think I responded to your post while you were typing, but just in case: you can call yourself a feminist and say that you believe in the inherent equal worth of all people. Then you can address specific issues if asked.

I know you're empathetic to the situation, and I know you haven't done anything wrong. No one has. I just wanted to write a bit more on the issue in case anyone wants to hear a woman's perspective. Warmest hugs.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 5:04 AM

921

@Michael: Warmest hugs. I'm just sharing a woman's perspective for anyone who might be reading. :)

I'm not an expert on feminism - I know more than some, less than others. But I am an expert on being me.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 5:10 AM

922

@Michael: And then I posted the same thing twice.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 5:14 AM

923

Blu@920:
Thanks, and understood. :)
If anyone wants to hear a male perspective, don't ask PZ/GL/RW!
If only we could locate the mythical face-shifting non-Irish/Irish sober/drunk existent/phantom person referred to as EG, this trivial[1] side of things would be done with.

_________________
[1] From the concept of the Trivium (tri=3, via=path) of the three basic subjects in which a learned Medieval European person was first educated, vis:
Grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
To an educated person, familiarity with these 3 artes was considered to be so obvious, that cognitio doctrina became 'tri-vial'.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 5:21 AM

924

Michael @923:

From the concept of the Trivium (tri=3, via=path) of the three basic subjects in which a learned Medieval European person was first educated, vis: Grammar, logic, and rhetoric. To an educated person, familiarity with these 3 artes was considered to be so obvious, that cognitio doctrina became 'tri-vial'.

Well, snip my pickle and call me Schlomo! I've learned something new. It is a good day!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 5:25 AM

925

#905 Blu: @Frank: I have my doubts about that kind of porn and don't know if it's consensual, so I don't have enough information to evaluate the issue. Nor have I seen it myself. ;)

There is real BDSM "community", it is fairly evenly represented by both genders,and it is very tight knit and very enthusiastic about its hobby. It's not my cup of tea, but having dated the odd professional domme or two, I have been given a deeper glimpse than many. I would often joke that "consent defeats the purpose", but have always been reassured that consent is everything, and I could ruin your dinner by describing some of the more outre pursuits, but I won't. Pretty much the only thing they don't get into for consensual play is amputation (though I'm sure even that could be arranged for a price at the more exclusive dungeons). And they do like to document their "play" for the more top shelf smut vendors. Yes there is gutter smut where the question of consent is dubious - but all of the real whacked out stuff is from the real enthusiasts.

As for commentary, I need to read it and see. I would think its more likely mindless than malicious though. One of the first private discussions I had about all this is with an old female friend in Frisco who has been in the community since before Skepchick was even conceived and knows all of the parties involved from the conference circuit (and on the receiving end of Skepchick misogyny herself on several occassions). One of her first private comments, even before Dawkins sent things off the rails, was "she deserves to get raped. she needs to wake up in the real world". Callous comment? No doubt. A drop of weary wisdom in it? You decide. It's not just boys... As has been generally agreed here, it's not the words, it's the intent.

Posted by: Franc Hoggle | August 11, 2011 5:35 AM

926

Schlomo @924:
I have some hedge-trimmers here.
They are a bit rusty, but I expect that you've had worse treatment by your roadies.
Now, where is your pickle?
As a responsible Mohel, I must obtain your assurance that you are on or above the age of consent in the relevant jurisdiction, and that you are of sound mind before I perform the gherkinal mutilation.

Sign here:


----------------

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 5:36 AM

927

@925
No-one "deserves to get raped".
Even if it was hyperbole, such a remark is quite inexcusable.

Were I present, the person making such a remark would have received more than an earful of education from me.

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 5:40 AM

928

Michael @926:

Don't dis my roadies! They've always been very kind. Which reminds me of the old joke:

What are the music business's 3 most common lies?

-We'll fix that at mastering
-Yes, I've sent your paycheck two days ago
-I promise, I won't cum in your mouth

Aaaahh, Those roadies...

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 5:45 AM

929

blu@920
It seems to me that there is an impedance mis-match between us.
I have HF Asperger's Syndrome, so it is usually my not responding as per neurotypicals' pigeon-holes that is the crux of the fault, and for that I apologise. :)
If it helps, you might trying (when reading my posts) envisioning me as the character "Sheldon" from the "Big Bang Theory" situation comedy. Although by no way a perfect fit in real life, the actor manages to mostly convey my personality when I write.
I generally take things literally, and when I say things they are usually literal, (unless fairly obvious comedy, parody, or extremely poor puns).
If I mean to insult someone, it will NOT be via sideways implications:- it will be a direct and obvious insult.
So, should feel that I may have slighted you in a sideways manner, fear not! :)

Anyhoo:

…you can call yourself a feminist and say that you believe in the inherent equal worth of all people. Then you can address specific issues if asked
Which is what I (pretty much) do. Because I am intrinsically fairly lazy, and know that I could pursue this myself but choose not to do so because it appears that you have it pretty-much down pat, well far more than have I, anyway! But, and this is the crux of my enquiry, is there a term for my feminism? Is it:-
1) gender-feminism
2) equity-feminism
3) mansplainin'-feminism
4) EG-feminism
6) Innumerate-feminism
7) Nun of the above
???

Posted by: Michael Kingsford Gray | August 11, 2011 6:05 AM

930

887 - bluharmony, where are you reading about Michael Flood? If youre talking about the same guy Im thinking of, he is an academic feminist who functions to discredit male victims of abuse and violence, female violence denier and perpetuator, general misandrist, manipulator and liar.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Michael_Flood/archive1

A few years back he peddled this story in the media about a study which supposedly said that boys found it acceptable to hit girls, when it showed that it was girls found it acceptable to hit boys.

Take reality, turn around 180 degrees = Gender feminist reality.

The media retraction was meek at best.

He also tries to cover his mistakes and bigotry, alas, the internet is eternal.

Posted by: DownThunder | August 11, 2011 6:17 AM

931

No comments at Ophelia's since posting this (forgive the typos). Interesting to see how they'll get around it:

’ve posted this at Abbie’s and I’m posting in here. This is the issue that keeps the thread alive. Please check your privilge, listen to the other women, stop saying she deserved it, and try to empathize and understand. People have been emailing me because they’re afraid to speak up. This is not a good thing. Aside from the fact that feminism if political and there are many different schools of thought here are the specific reasons why Rebecca was wrong:

Rebecca initial complaint about the elevator incident was SEXUALIZATION, but then she proceeded to accuse McGraw of not recognizing OBJECTIFICATION. Pick any dictionary you like, but these are vastly different concepts.

sex·u·al·ize/ˈsekSHo͞oəˌlīz/ Verb: Make sexual; attribute sex or a sex role to. (In other words this is what happens when you notice that someone is of a different sex.)

ob·jec·ti·fy/əbˈjektəˌfī/Verb 1. Express (something abstract) in a concrete form: “good poetry objectifies feeling”. 2. Degrade to the status of a mere object.

So yes, the elevator incident was sexualization; but no, it wasn’t not objectification. This is a basic category error made by Rebecca, and her changing position on this matter is the key. Moreover, she attempted to reconcile over 30 years of feminist debate in one lecture. And this is not mentioning her other errors, such as an error as to Irish law, and the suggestion that rape occurs at atheist conferences and no one does anything about it BECAUSE of people like McGraw. How can you not see this as a serious problem?

There has been sexism in this thread, and serious sexism, at that. A link was posted by Pornonymous (who appears to be mentally ill) that had nothing but sexist content: criticism of Rebecca solely for her looks and gender. This content came from a site ADVOCATING MALE DOMINANCE OVER WOMEN. There was no reason provided as to why Rebecca might be wrong, or why she may have a point. THIS IS MISOGYNY. And Rebecca does have a point, the conduct in question was in poor taste; it was a bad decision, but it was not objectification. The fact that intelligent people can’t recognize sexism when it happens is because of people like you, who cry wolf at nothing.

I’m posting at Abbie’s because any discussion of this matter was immediately shut down in major forums. The only place I could actually be heard is here. This thread exists in its present state at least partially because all of you. Think about it.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 6:30 AM

932

@DownThunder: I'm using their definition to prove a point. See the post above.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 6:48 AM

933

@Michael: There isn't a clear answer that people will understand, so saying feminist works best. Equity feminism is the closest to what you've expressed as believing, but there are different types, and it's not a universally recognized term.

Saying that you believe in equal rights and equal opportunity is another option.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 6:56 AM

934

Blu:

I personally think "feminism" has taken quite an ugly turn is this debate. Maybe we should go for "equalism", or something?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 7:00 AM

935

Humanism pretty much fits the bill if you are into isms. Personally I'm not a big fan of labels like these, but I understand that from a purely pragmatic stance they can be useful.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 11, 2011 7:16 AM

936

Skepcheck:

Yeah, that works too.

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 7:30 AM

937

Phil Giordana: refer to my posts where bluharmony effectively labels me "nuts" but convieniently never answers my questions about her privileged magic carpet ride to America.

That is where the thing definitely turns into vagina sniffing bonobo feminism; but really way up there at the top ( these people depend on short memories to insert their propaganda like a motherly enema--for which, BTW Justicar bends over--oh--I better back that up: Justicar begibnds the ass crack widening here: "Women have different health concerns than men do because they have different parts. It is a nonsense to say that because women have to worry about ovarian cancer and men don't that men are in some privileged position of having to have concern over it. We do. Men know women.")

When was the last time any of these doggy style pundits looked up stats about prostate cancer? Never.

Meantime, back on point about that icky feminism: I called bluharmony out earlier, way up there( actually on the last thread at the bottom) because she was subtly laying down the "I am a crypto misogynist' card for any who had played that game before.

Then, much much later, I was labelled as crazy after Italked about white female privilege, and threw out the Ukraine card on bluharmony--she's really, really sneaky, I might add.

Worthy ofnote is that she hasn;'t answered me since--I didn't expect her to, because she has clear 'agenda'==or should I say " agynda".

Haven't heard from Justicar since then either, but then again, Justiicar is way too busy in between stroking his/its meat with the false flattery and adulation being heaped on it here, and writing lots and lost of missives pandering to the " I need to get laid crowd," of feminist listener who need a 'good young boy-figure' to idolize before thekillingat the corn ceremony.

bluharmony--egalitarian like a mantis--or a robot with an agenda.
Women have different health concerns than men do because they have different parts. It is a nonsense to say that because women have to worry about ovarian cancer and men don't that men are in some privileged position of having to have concern over it. We do. Men know women.

Posted by: pornonymous | August 11, 2011 7:30 AM

938

The robots are INVADING!!!
SOMEBODY STOP THE PROGRAM!!!!
FENBOTS arrive in bluharmonies newly refurbished, pimped out fembot ride...

https://pornalysis.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/western-women-afraid-of-robots-and-the-out-sourcing-of-sex/pornalysis

[clump, clump, clump....sound of men running fior the hills.....click click click....sound of man boys running tomeet bluharmony at the threshold of 'equality', pinstriped on her man-boy limo]

Posted by: pornalysis | August 11, 2011 7:35 AM

939

You must be pretty honked off to let your typing turn that poor. I can just see sitting there steeped in range playing faster fingers McGee to tell me off. *kisses on the cheek*

I hadn't been aware that I was being flattered. People, can you please step it up a notch to let me know you really, really for realz mean it!

Porn, here's a protip (free of charge): when one is consistently making good sense, one finds that one is disagreed with a lot less often. Go ahead - give it that old college try.

I suppose in one our worlds making sense only happens accidentally. =P

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 7:37 AM

940

Apparently, his mad rage is contagious. Even mentioning it has the ability to reduce one's typing ability.

That should have read: I can just see you sitting there steeped in rage*

*note to self - the crazy, it's infectious*

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 7:39 AM

941

Porno:

I like your wrtings, I really do. Sometimes I disagree strongly, but I take them as humorous pieces.

We are not forced to agree with each others, which is what I like here. But "her privileged magic carpet ride to America"? I definitely disagree with that.

I don't know if you are trying to be humorous or if you are being direct, but this comes out as a "Gangs of New York" kind of xenophobia. And you're from Ukraine, for Darwin's sake!

Is there some kind of underlying ressentment towards Russia and the Soviet Block?

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 7:40 AM

942

Pornalysis:

That link is not working.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 11, 2011 7:40 AM

943


Pornalysis- I admit, sometimes I find what you write confusing and I don't always understand the point you are trying to make. Sometimes what you say I find funny, sometimes I find myself agreeing with you, sometimes disagreeing but I can never be certain because it can be difficult to decipher what you mean to say.

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 11, 2011 7:48 AM

944

"I have been given a deeper glimpse than many. I would often joke that "consent defeats the purpose", but have always been reassured that consent is everything"

Actually, there's ALWAYS a "safe word". A word that REALLY means "NO". Taking the word "no" as meaning "no" in BSDM WOULD defeat the purpose. But there can still be occasions where the activities are not working or a mistake occurs that could easily become fatal (e.g. you've just sat on the knife and cut your inner thigh), and so there IS a word for "no". And when given, that's the rescinding of consent in BSDM activities.

Posted by: Wow | August 11, 2011 7:53 AM

945

"1) The video and photos show that everything happened as is told by the authorities."

Well, except that there are three planes into two buldings, but three buildings fell down.

"2) Experts have confirmed that the buildings collapsed from the explosions."

However, the buildings were designed to withstand such an event.

At least that was what was paid for (see end of post).

"3) Most of the time, the simplest explanation is the best (you don't need this item, but if you want to introduce kids to Occam's Razor."

But that falls down (no pun intended) when you have to include all the other things that need working out. After all, God is the Ultimate Razor. Until you have to include the complexities of adding God into the mix...

"4) Debunked."

Only some versions, and not really debunked, more precluded as remotely likely. After all, nothing is DISproven by those points. Points which omit things like "when this happens, there's supposed to be a clean-up crew who look through the wreckage and work to find out what happened and what went wrong, but here the pieces were all taken off and destroyed and no biopsy of the incident happened".

Now, on to a scheme that DOES reflect a more plausible reality.

Someone important/rich/connected scammed the people who paid for the construction.

1) Then the buildings would NOT withstand the effects. The rationale would be "yeah, like someone's going to fly a plane into the building!!!". Shoddy workmanship could mean that the buildings were so unsafe that they may fall down even when not hit by a large passenger plane.

2) This would mean masses of egg-on-face and a massive lawsuit for trillions and possibly the collapse of the company and the arrest of the people in charge. Being well connected, they got the evidence of sub-standard building materials and shortcuts hoovered up and thrown away.

3) No scam to get PATRIOT act through, this was just a happy incident that allowed the people in charge to do it. If the embassy bombing in Germany had been real, rather than staged as most consider it to be, the Nazis would still have done the same things they did because the incident was still useful, even if it's not manufactured.

4) No desire to kill Americans or raise tensions, just simple greed and fear and a desire to protect "the good people" who are friends of the people in charge. After all, the collapse of a corporation won't bring those people to life, will it.

Posted by: Wow | August 11, 2011 8:07 AM

946

Porno:

I just wanted to add something. You need to change the captain of your brainship, because he's clearly drunk at the wheel.

(Sorry, I needed a target, just heard that in a Scrubs episode).

Levity, I has it!

Posted by: Phil Giordana, FCD, aka Schroedinger's Dog | August 11, 2011 8:19 AM

947

Ok, I'm going to suggest a new donation cause. We need to pay for Bluharmony's sex change operation. According to the some of the gutless wonders over at B&W, Bluharmony is just one of the "guys".

Man, I'm sure glad they despise gender epithets, right men? (and soon to be men too!)

Here's a quaint little nugget where someone takes Blu to task over misinterpreting what he said. He goes on to explain that she's missing the context because the comment which inspired the remark from her was . . . wait for it . . . disappeared.

I can see why you would think that, but if you look at my comment immediately before David’s, you’ll see that I quote a post that no longer exists.

Orwellphia Buttsin is over there playing fucking Magical Trevor.

http://www.weebls-stuff.com/songs/magical+trevor/

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 8:28 AM

948

945:

"2) Experts have confirmed that the buildings collapsed from the explosions."

However, the buildings were designed to withstand such an event.

At least that was what was paid for (see end of post).

That's a partial truth. Because of the airspace traffic, and the 1945 B-25 crash, the towers did have some design features for impact with an airplane:

a 707.

Keep in mind that the original design for the towers happened in 1964, with groundbreaking in 1966. The first "wide-bodied" airliner, the 747 did not fly until 1969. So there was no way to design for impact based on planes that weren't flying. The 747 development effort didn't even start until 1965, so they didn't even have theoretical designs.

What they had was a much smaller airplane.

A 707 is smaller than the 767, (the model of plane flown into the towers). They're wide body airliners, the 707 is not. The 767 is somewhat longer and wider than the 707, as it was designed to be a smaller 747, not a larger 707.

Secondly, the assumption was that a plane impacting the towers would do so at an angle, as the pilot would be trying to avoid such a collision, not full throttle, almost full fuel, dead center strikes.

Thirdly, the bloody fires burned for 56 minutes and 102 minutes (south and north respectively). JP4 does not start minor fires. That shit was burning wicked hot, not enough to melt, but enough to weaken, and cause the destruction.

So yes, aircraft impact was a design factor, but THOSE impacts could NOT have been anticipated.

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 11, 2011 8:29 AM

949

ALso keep in mind that in 1966, the ability to model a plane crashing into a building rather sucked, to the point of effectively not existing. (Computer hardware of the time was rather limited.)

Posted by: John C. Welch | August 11, 2011 8:31 AM

950

Another thing they didn't factor in (related to the assumption an air strike would be accidental, thus a glancing blow) is that the fire suppression system wouldn't be immediately rendered inoperative.

But none of this deals with anything I brought up! People don't read! *sniffle*

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 8:53 AM

951

Yep, bluharmony, you're right.

Nuts.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 11, 2011 8:58 AM

952

So PZ Myers is narcissistically causing yet another shitstorm. Mabus sends him spam, so Mabus should be locked up in a psych ward, according to Myers. More than that, Myers then attacks ZenBuffy for allegedly excusing Mabus.

Far fucking out. #MabusGate has been born as a hashtag, and I feel some blog posts coming on.
______

I'll point out Mabus sends me spam too, and on the two boards I run, it used to be a real drag to have to delete multiple spam posts or edit & meld them. It doesn't mean I want the entire medical jurisprudence twisted to suit myself.

Posted by: Gurdur | August 11, 2011 8:59 AM

953

Justicar: Why did you bring it up here in the first place?

Posted by: Skepcheck | August 11, 2011 9:00 AM

954

They're trying to avoid admitting they're wrong in Ophelia's thread, but no one is attacking me anymore. At least not yet.

Posted by: bluharmony | August 11, 2011 9:01 AM

955

Well, I didn't think it what I was saying would be completely not understood; I thought what I said with respect to scientists, children, debunking was fairly straightforward.

So, I kind of expected it to be a one off to let people know who might be interested in doing something similar within their fields, or what not.

If I thought it would take a dozen comments to clear up a completely unambiguous post, I wouldn't have posted it.

Posted by: Justicar | August 11, 2011 9:04 AM

956

Franc@883:
Sorry, mate. I got carried away.
I work in IT, and, as some others have said, reading others' private emails is a major ethics issue for me. Hell, I even hate having to remote into somebody's computer, while they're watching, on the rare occasions that I've had to do it.
I like my privacy, and I assume others like theirs.

Posted by: Ron Murray | August 11, 2011 9:07 AM

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Phil@915 Ok, I think you're wrong.

I'm not sure what the breakdown is, but I'm reasonably sure that "truly sexist" and "perverts" do not describe the same set. Additionally, I'm very close to completely certain that the sexist jerks don't limit their attention only to those who do "nuddy calendars".

Finally, I'm pretty sure that no one is saying that all men attendees are sexist jerks. Part of what I'm trying to show is how the environment can be oppressively sexist for women -- even though most of the men present are decent enough.

And that a really decent man who is aware of his privilege, upon learning this, does not say something like, "well, you know, when you sit down an crunch the numbers objectively, it turns out that the problem is not really as bad as you women seem to think...", but instead something like, "that kind of sucks; let's see if we can do anything about it."

Posted by: greg byshenk | August 11, 2011 9:09 AM

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bluharmony,
Thanks for your typically considered responses. Since I haven't posted on RW-related issues in a while, I'll note that I completely agree with you that her use of the podium to criticize an audience member who would not have an adequate opportunity to respond was unfair; I do disagree with you and most people here about EG. But I find the tone and language used by many of RW's supporters on that point, including assumptions of sexism, alienating, counterproductive, and at times inaccurate.

This conclusion, however, raises the point that I do disagree to an extent with most people here about the language issues discussed a while back. I think the quality of one's language matters quite a bit ... but not as much as the degree of good will one brings to a discussion, and I think comment censorship should not be bloggers' primary method of promoting civility. It removes a certain amount of nastiness, perhaps (unless it's simply hiding dissent), but it, and especially the more extreme route of banning commenters, tends to divide readers into insiders and outsiders, polarizing them and reducing opportunities for mutual learning and persuasion. I think there's a good case for censoring at the margins, with respect to content that's off-the-charts nasty, but the issue is debatable. Either way, I think the best way to foster civility is through modeling it, especially by welcoming disagreement.

Posted by: seaside681 | August 11, 2011 9:14 AM

959

Greg:

Finally, I'm pretty sure that no one is saying that all men attendees are sexist jerks. Part of what I'm trying to show is how the environment can be oppressively sexist for women -- even though most of the men present are decent enough.

No, sorry, I don't get it. Unless everybody is walking around with their dicks out, or rape is a common occurence at skeptic events, I really don't get how the environment is oppressively sexist. Mind you, I must admit I never went to any such event. I just get my experience from other popular meetings (concerts and such).

And that a really decent man who is aware of his privilege, upon learning this, does not say something like, "well, you know, when you sit down an crunch the numbers obje