#mencallmethings: “NO chance of being raped “

Content note: misogynist harassment, rape

On Twitter:

Sam Harris on Twitter:

@GretaChristina You really think I should take a public position against threats of rape and murder? Does *anything* go without saying?

Asshole on Twitter:

@SamHarrisOrg @GSpellchecker @GretaChristina it’s ok Greta you’re NO chance of being raped #sithlord

#mencallmethings

I’m reminded once again of Lewis’s Law: “Comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.”

Note: The #mencallmethings hashtag does not say #allmencallmethings, or #mostmencallmethings. If you want to learn more about the history of this hashtag and why people started using it, please read But How Do You Know It’s Sexist? The #MenCallMeThings Round-Up and Why Are You In Such A Bad Mood? #MenCallMeThings Responds! on Tiger Beatdown, where the hashtag originated. And please do not start a “but not all men are like that, so the #mencallmethings hashtag is reverse sexism!” argument. That has been addressed, at length, in the comments in the #mencallmethings: “FUCKIN HOE,” “FUCKIN FEMINAZI SLUT” post, as well as elsewhere. Please read Why “Yes, But” Is the Wrong Response to Misogyny if you’re wondering why I will not take kindly that that particular line of conversation.

I’m also going to issue the standard request that I always issue when the #thing that #menhavecalled me is some version of “ugly”: Please, unless you’re a personal friend or someone I’m having sex with, don’t try to make me feel better by saying that I’m not ugly. If I write about fashion or post the hot pic of myself in the Skepticon calendar, you can say nice things about how I look… but please don’t do it here. I’m not calling this out to garner reassurance about my appearance. I’m calling this out to show people the kind of shit women routinely deal with. I have a thick skin, and I don’t get my feelings hurt by sexist jackasses calling me names. That isn’t the point.

The point isn’t that I’m not ugly. The point is that it shouldn’t matter.

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#mencallmethings: “NO chance of being raped “
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25 thoughts on “#mencallmethings: “NO chance of being raped “

  1. 1

    Seeing the list of what is thrown at you I do have to say that you don’t have a thick skin. That doesn’t do it justice anymore. I’ve seen people crumble under less of a torrent of abuse.
    Granted that not caring on whit about what these guys think probably helps.

    Also isn’t this a reverse version of slut shaming? I mean you don’t look like what they think they have a right to fuck (I believe that that currently would be a clone of Emma Watson) so they can dismiss what you are saying. Which compliments perfectly with the “Hey hotlips you can’t join in on this conversation since you clearly look like you have no brains.”

  2. 2

    The tacit end of this sentence is “… but if you were pretty, you *would* get raped.” It is fascinating and deeply disturbing that this very common comment is meant to make a woman feel bad about herself. It is a testament to the way in which rape is used to casually insult women. However it’s more than that. It’s also a threat. The menacing subtext, is that the speaker is just fine with rape, and considers it a normal consequence for women who “deserve it,” either through being disliked, or apparently, being pretty enough. I am so confused about why this isn’t universally seen as a gigantic problem.

  3. 3

    Thanks for being very clear in that last paragraph. A lot of us dudes don’t know what to do with this sort of shite situation, which intersects with our conditioned feeling that women are validated by our opinions about their appearance (yeck), & it gets awkward or worse from there.

  4. 5

    Hey Harris, would it be too bothersome for you to actually take a stand against rape? You’ve whined how people are accusing poor, misunderstood you of being sexist but your anti-sexist pronouncements are few and far between. From what I’ve read of you in the past few days, for all I know you support the rape culture endemic in our society.

  5. 6

    The sad thing is that I’ve seen examples of people repudiating bigotted supporters. There’s actually a whole school of thought that public figures who are interested in ideas should repudiate “fanboyism” at every step and ask their most avid listeners/readers to respond with arguments and positive feedback, not hateful attacks.

    People: it works! If you are criticising X it’s not that hard to at the same time reject hateful supporters and their harmful comments! People get the message when you do that (for instance supporters of your idea then attack the haters and repudiate them)!

  6. 7

    @Al Dente: I’d say to reject rape culture you have to know what people are talking about. And to know that you have to have at least a basic knowledge of the terminology, sociology and people’s experiences with rape culture. I’m sure Sam Harris doesn’t support rape culture – but I’m also pretty sure he doesn’t know what is meant by that term and would reject the notion out of hand – that or denigrate it’s importance.

    The odd thing for me is that I don’t have a problem calling myself sexist – I live under a huge number of uncoscious and semi-conscious biases, with everyday prejudice and reducing much of my experience to harmful stereotypes. But I try to do it as little as possible, to reevaluate, to take myself to task.

    They think we want: “I’m not part of the problem!!! Now I’ve proven it by being super feministic!!” Instead of admitting: “I’m part of the problem, and I see where and how! I’m learning, listening and trying to change!”

  7. 8

    It’s also a harmful myth that ugly women won’t get raped. Yeah, even people who are far outside conventionally attractive get raped, because rape doesn’t happen because the victim is just SO attractive, it’s because the rapist cares SO little about the victim’s consent.

  8. 12

    Both him and GSpellChecker said nothing to the person who made the tweet, Harris only made that vague passive aggressive statement. They were both still following him when I last checked as well…

  9. 13

    You really think I should take a public position against threats of rape and murder?

    Given that quite a few of your followers seem to be in such threats, yeah, it might not be such a bad idea.

  10. 14

    @ =8)-DX, #7:

    They think we want: “I’m not part of the problem!!! Now I’ve proven it by being super feministic!!” Instead of admitting: “I’m part of the problem, and I see where and how! I’m learning, listening and trying to change!”

    Since Shakesville was linked to already upthread, I think another link there with more on your point of view does not hurt: Process Model Ally Work.

    If only people like Harris and Dawkins could be bothered to reflect a little on that.

  11. 15

    Ban me from posting! Ouch. how can such simple stuff like that get you mad, if you have thick skin? Well I’m sorry for questioning your feminism. And I honestly would appreciate it if you don’t ban me, I have so much I want to talk about, the problem is it’s not about today’s topic, and it won’t always be agreeable. But since I have your attention…
    In your articles, you are constantly speaking out against the sins of religious believers, as evidence to support your parent claim, that religion does harm humanity. Yet when someone says the good things religion does, up pops the topic of how religion doing good isn’t a good reason to hold religious beliefs, is it possible you’re mistaking counter arguments for something else? And more importantly if you really do share the belief that one shouldn’t believe something based on what that belief will do for them, then what are so many of those articles for? They can’t then be made to convert people to atheism. I assume they are made for already atheist people, but they don’t appear to be informative.
    I’m not trying to insult you I just want you to think about the question.

  12. 16

    It seems to me that saying “Guys, don’t do that” is the very least they could do in response to seeing actual, blatant threats of violence.

    I mean, honestly.

  13. 17

    …because, if within your social group, when someone says “you ought to be raped” or “you’re too ugly to rape” or “just go die already”, to not even say “dude, not cool”? Seriously? Have they ever thought about what this would be like in a face to face interaction? Picture it – standing in a group at a mixer, and someone comes out with one those gems – everybody is just going to look away and pretend it didn’t happen? And they think that makes them any kind of group that anyone would want to hang out with? It boggles the mind.

  14. 18

    Ooops, when I said they were and are following him, I mean he is still following them. The abusive tweep that is, indicating neither of them bothered to block him. Shouldn’t comment before my second tea of the day…

  15. 19

    Sam Harris sez:

    You really think I should take a public position against threats of rape and murder? Does *anything* go without saying?

    Given the pretty substantial number of people (primarily men) who are apparently just fine with threats of rape and murder… no. No, it doesn’t ‘go without saying’.

    More to the point, why should it?
    Does it really cost you that much to say something along the lines of, “people who threaten to rape and murder other people are behaving disgustingly. It’s reprehensible. Stop it.”
    If it does, what does that say about you?
    If it doesn’t, what does that say about your objection to doing so?

  16. 20

    You really think I should take a public position against threats of rape and murder? Does *anything* go without saying?

    This is incredibly unperceptive of Harris. Or rather I’m hoping that it’s unperceptive because he can’t deal with his own motivated reasoning, if he’s deliberately avoiding the point that makes things worse. “Does *anything* go without saying” is clearly a stupid remark when people are actually making rape and murder threats because of the criticism of him.

    Harris and his supporters keep missing (maybe intentionally) our point. It’s not about thinking Harris wants people to harass, demean, lie about, and disparage others.
    It’s about the fact that as an authority figure people that consider themselves on his side will do things for him in this conflict no matter what he thinks. If he and Dawkins et al. had any ethics or morals about leadership they would already be condemning people taking such actions in their name. A neuroscientist should be able to take social psychology and hierarchical group behavior seriously, but given his casual use of sex, gender and more complex behavior like criticism…

  17. 22

    @abear

    Yeah, we all remember how Osama bin Laden dedicated his terror campaign to Greta Christina (phuh). How could she have never said anything about it, ever, in her entire time blogging since that incident. I’m sure you’d find not a single instance even if you actually bothered to comb the last thirteen years of archives.

  18. 23

    And I honestly would appreciate it if you don’t ban me, I have so much I want to talk about, the problem is it’s not about today’s topic, and it won’t always be agreeable.

    cass @ #15: Please take note of my comment policy if you want to comment here. In particular, please take note of #3 and #4, and what they say about trying to keep comment more or less relevant to the posted topic.

    Greta; I don’t recall you criticizing Al Qaeda for flying airplanes into buildings.
    When will you stop supporting terrorism?

    abear @ #21: Some Clarifications on the Mythology Springing Up Around My Recent Twitter Exchange with Sam Harris.

    Also — you’re trolling, and you’re banned.

  19. 24

    This makes me think of shows/movies where they have two childhood best friends start to grow apart. Best friend A just stands there doing nothing while her new friends torment or even physically assault Best friend B. They don’t show these things to make Best friend A look good. They usually make me cringe. Later in the movie Best friend A usually ends up totally regretting that they were such huge jerks just to fit in with the cool kids.
    Anyone else get what I’m saying? I know other people are far far more eloquent than I.

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