Posts Tagged ‘elevatorgate’

Skepchick go approval seeking from ‘White Male Privilege’

August 1, 2012

So having gotten roundly called for her shameful behavior at TAM (The Amazing Meeting), Amy ‘crying over a T-shirt’ Roth from Skepchick has gone approval seeking! Not from female bastions of the secular community like Harriet Hall (who clearly was distancing herself from folks like the evermore erratic and fringe Skepchicks), but ironically from what under almost any other circumstances the Skepchicks would call the ’white male privilege’ of the secular community.  However in reality she has not actual got any! NONE!

Ronald Lindsey, Dave Silverman and Nick Lee have all ‘spoken out against hate directed against women’ on Skepchick.


Y’see this is one of those ‘dissent from Darwin’ type stunts that the Discovery institute would pull.  For those who don’t know the dissent from Darwin thing was done to create the appearance of dissent when in fact essentially none existed, just like skepchick are suggesting that there is all this ‘hate against women’ when in fact essentially none exists (beyond criticism and/or trolling).  So how did the Discovery Institute and Skepchick achieve such a remarkable feat? Why by using language so broad that anyone and everyone, including myself, could agree with it.

In the case of the dissent from Darwin the statement was basically that all theories including evolution should be subject to critical scrutiny (well of course! who could disagree?), and in the case of Skepchick it’s ‘speak out against hate against women’ (well of course! who could disagree?).  Now firstly, if someone had asked me this question, my immediate response would be ‘why is Skepchick embracing sexism on this issue? Shouldn’t we be against all hate, irrespective of gender?’  Indeed at least two of the respondents actually elucidated to this. Kudos to:

Dave “American Atheists stands by all its members, supporters, and allies, and we will not tolerate hate directed at any of us. Period” Silverman, and Ronald “Hate-filled invective has been directed at many different people, male and female” Lindsey.

Then of course my second question could be, ‘why are you asking me such loaded questions?’  Really what do you expect me to say? is there ANYONE who would disagree with that position?  I mean if these people had been asked to speak out against hatred against males? or blacks? or puppies? how would they have responded? “No hatred against all of the above is obviously okay”?, of course they wouldn’t.  It’s such an obviously manipulative question.  Thankfully most of the respondent gave measured answers not far off where I would have planted my banner.

I would have started with the obvious and fair first question.

“do you think there is a real problem with ‘hate against women’ in this community? “

I’ve got to say I’ve seen essentially NONE.

I’ll tell you what I have seen, I’ve seen people get called idiots for saying and doing stupid things, y’know stuff about elevators (Rebecca Watson) and T-shirts (Amy Roth), although it is very conspicuous to those who can read what is obviously not said, that NONE of those who speak out against ‘hate against women’ actually specify that they think either Amy Roth or Rebecca Watson had a valid grievance in either case.

Indeed, while Amy Roths introduction to Nick Lee was glowing, if she had actually bothered to read what he wrote, she might have found precious little support for either her or Rebecca Watson.

“Not every flirtation is unwelcome attention, until one side announces it is, and then it should stop.”

So according to Nick there was nothing wrong with what happened to Rebecca Watson in the elevator. NOTHING.

“It is also complicated by the right of people to say what is on their minds even if it makes us feel uncomfortable.”

And there’s Amy ‘crying over the T-shirt’ Roth CLEARLY rebutted in the very next sentence.

Calling someone an idiot for acting like an idiot does not become ‘hate against women’ simply because the person in question was a woman.  This is one of the two general categories of the ‘hate against women’ that Skepchick encounters.  Look it’s obvious, how would people respond if I ‘embraced victim-hood’ like the Skepchicks.  That is any time anyone said anything ‘nasty’ against me I simply claimed that this was just sexism and misandry?  Yup, I would expect exactly the mockery that the Skepchicks get.  Far from sexism, this treatment represents equality in the secular community in that these people (the Skepchicks) are being judged on what they say and do, rather than on their gender.

The second general category of ‘hate against women’ Skepchick encounters is people trolling them.  Now it’s my reckoning that of the three ‘leaders’ Skepchick have thus far got to ‘speak out’ on this, two probably have no idea what trolling is.  Trolls do not hate anyone; they just get off on how easy it is to control people, particularly people who are hypersensitive on an issue (e.g. feminism) by pushing the right psychological buttons.  Skepchick is grade A trolling material and are seen to be some of the most easily puppeteered people on the webs.  What trolls will do is type some manipulative reactionary shit into a comment box and then laugh as those being trolled dance like puppets on strings.  With experience it’s easy to spot most trolls.  To be honest it is shameful that the Skepchick are so easily trolled as it shows their grotesque naivety to the interwebs.  So how can I be so sure that the Skepchick is just getting trolled?  Well it’s very easy, unless you actually think that there are really hundreds of atheists who are looking to rape Rebecca Watson (in which case the atheist community would have a huge fractional population of folks intending to be rapists and the ‘leaders’ response would be ENTIRELY inadequate), SHE’S BEING TROLLED!  Her ‘rape threats’ are exactly as valid as the ones I got on my first video that addressed this,

I’d just like to say thunderf00t should be raped, and I want to rape thunderf00t so he loosens up a little bit, and also thunderf00t is too ugly to rape.
Oh Noes, I’ve got multiple rape threats.  Where are all the atheist leaders speaking out against hate directed against men in the secular community?

and to be honest her parading these around like a ‘trophy proof’ of misogyny in the atheist community at conference after conference makes her, and anyone else who is taken in by it look as stupid to the new internet savvy generation of atheists as Oprah and the 9000 penises that she was worried a pedophile syndicate had ready to rape children.

Really leaders, you are showing your age in the internet generation to be taken in by this sort of thing.  There is only one way to win against a troll.  DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

Skepchick do not only openly violate this law, they put up glowing neon signs saying ‘we seek out and feed any and all trolls’.  On the internet this is almost as bad as feeding the gremlins after dark then throwing them in a lake Superior, then complaining about the gremlin infestation, it’s the equivalent of putting a big sign on your own back saying ‘kick me’ then crying about the ‘sexism’ of those who kick you.

Ana from the Young Turks pretty much calls it like it is on this segment.

Other than that, where are these people who ‘hate women’?  Does anyone actually have any evidence for this ‘hate against women’ that is NOT someone being calling out someone for saying or doing something outrageously stupid, or being trolled, or some mixture of the two?

In which case I have to ask these Leaders, who exactly are these people that they talking out against?  Where are they?  If no one actually knows, then why are they speaking out against a problem that doesn’t exist?  Inquiring minds need to know!

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Freethoughtblogs and PC Lyers

July 13, 2012

So PZ Myers is the man who gave me his personal assurances that Freethougthblogs really didn’t have any interest in controlling the content.

This was evidently a verbal assurance made in bad faith.

The rough time-line is one week before I was banned, PZ sent this to some mailing list Freethoughtblogs has:

Pretty much speak for itself!

Well that’s basically what I did, and what’s more I even told them on their mailing list.  Then ~1 week later, PZ kicks me.  Maybe he wasn’t joking about that ‘Except me. I’m perfect, don’t you dare say otherwise‘ bit, or maybe this was one of those ‘many a true word spoken in jest’ type things.  Indeed how quickly opinions can change when it’s him who is getting ‘ripped into’

There was no open consultation in this group about what anyone else thought of my ideas prior to my expulsion, giving this a very totalitarian ‘execution by fiat’ type feel.  Everyone else on the groups was told of my ‘expulsion’ AFTER it happened, I mean hell, they wouldn’t have wanted an actual discussion or to give anyone the possibility to dissent about what is permissible ‘freethought’ on ‘freethoughtblogs’ now would they!

Now I really didn’t care about offending these people at this point as on their mailing list I had already been accused of being a ‘rape culture apologist’ (FFS, I don’t think I’ve even touched on the subject), guilty of ablism, devaluing addicts, an not being careful between challenging islam and outright racism.  All of this based on NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER (well that’s unless you are happy to count rumors as evidence).

Heard a rumor? Not a problem on FTB where rumor are fact until proven otherwise. Napoleonic Justice reigns, Guilty till proven innocent!

To be honest, I was hoping that there would be a higher standard of conduct than that, but the chatter made it clear that FTB really was somewhere between a bitching slimepit, and StrawmanCentral.  It was also plain to me from just watching the chatter on this mailing list that there was a significant amount of bullying of weaker members/ opposing viewpoint.  If this was an academic environment I would have called bullshit on them in an instant, however by this time it was clear the standard of people that I was dealing and that as a group they were essentially a lost cause.  I was happy to write a blog there, but I certainly wasn’t going to waste my time ingratiating myself with such people.

Incidentally FTB claims that it can deliver ~150 k ad impressions per day, which could mean as little as ~15k hits per day (~10 ads per page).  I was pulling in ~ 10-15k hits per day on my blog until I was blocked. FTB never paid me a penny **EDIT Ed Brayton contests this point, see comment below** (again something that PZ said they would), but to be honest I have little interest in such things.  Integrity is MUCH more important than money on such issues.

So I blogged about something which, I thought they were way off base on, namely the disproportionate amount of time they gave sexism compared to other subjects, and the way they attacked, strawmanned and demonized people who bought up sensible concerns.

I had expected that PZ Myers (an university lecturer) would at least keep his word on the academic integrity thing, but to be honest, after about the 3rd day after posting my second article, it was clear that wasn’t worth spit.  When a man is willing to jettison the value of his word so readily, I was under no illusions ‘ If you see something you don’t like, rip into it. ‘ in reality meant that you should only rip into it as long as PZ thought it was okay.

However, I was not going to be bullied into submission by a bunch of second raters, and so despite a series of threats, and Ed Brayton making it clear that if I felt PZ hadn’t kept his word I was free to leave ‘and not let the door hit your ass on the way out’, and that ‘no one would miss me’.  That’s right, the fact that PZ was lying to people faces to get people into the blog really didn’t phase anyone at freethoughtblogs at all!  Nor did such explicit threats on the mailing list seem to phase anyone else (no one stepped forward to question such action), which I think shows that bullying is just so widespread on FTB that it is just the socially accepted norm (that’s unless like me, any of the competent people there simply regarded FTB as a lost cause, or at least a cause not worth fighting for, and just got on with their own thing).

Y’see this is the slippery slope of becoming intolerant to criticism, eventually it will consume you to the point where you cannot take any criticism…. where you become intellectually soft and are happy to strawman people en mass for simplicity, then ban them when they call you on your bulk strawmanning!

Strawmanning: it’s easier than addressing the actual arguments.
Banhammering: a great way of getting rid of those who call you on your strawmanning!

Anyways, it turns out the ‘cover story‘ for PC Myers banning me was that I made an argument that existed nowhere outside of his head.

Look, I wanted to present a ‘first inspection’ case with some real data, that FTB really wasn’t representative of the wider community that I had experienced.  To me it was obvious that the community I was aware of at conferences, and on youtube was widely different from FTB on the issue of feminism.  People like Rebecca ‘Rape Threat’ Watson were widely regarded at conferences as a toxic asset (no matter if she had been an asset previously) who left a bad taste in the mouths of most people.  This is certainly true on youtube, where ZOMGitscriss can put up a video with her in, and her ratings go from something along the lines of 95 % positive to something along the lines of Venomfangx.

Association with the likes of Freethoughblogs or Skepchick is about as toxic to a videos reception as some of VFXs less savory opinions.

Unremarkable claims require unremarkable evidence, and so I did what was sensible, I simply put up a spoken word version of my blog, and PZs reply (who views really are seen as vanilla on freethoughtblogs) and asked people who watched to the end who they thought was nearer the mark, my views or the views that could pass as the plurality on freethoughtblogs.  Sure there will be some bias in the data, but not enough to nullify the point that FTB are widely seen as off base on this point.  I mean it could be easily examined.  PZ could read both my post, and his reply on his YT channel and see what the voting would be like, I would guess that he might make 60:40 in his favor (not far off his post-hoc justification for banning me video).  But of course, PZ was mostly interested in challenging the methods, rather than the conclusion.  Personally I think this is an unremarkable claim, and as such requires unremarkable data, which it has is scads!

Anyways, that’s pretty much my experience of the slimepit of ‘Freethoughblogs’ the PC Lyars.  It’s not the whole story yet though.  It turns out that freethoughtblogs are not only happy to ban people as a typical creationist would (for something that they never actually said), but are perfectly happy to actively support the abuse of copyright specifically used to stifle active debate.   More on that later.