Sam Harris Responds to Misogynist Fan — Well, Sort Of – UPDATED

Me on Twitter:

#mencallmethings: “ugly dyke,” “irrelevant whore,” “just die.” (Note that this was in defense of @SamHarrisOrg .) http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2014/09/22/mencallmethings-ugly-dyke-irrelevant-whore-just-die/

Sam Harris, in response:

@GretaChristina And you’re holding me responsible for that? (Meanwhile, look at what you said about me on your blog.)

Where did I say I hold Sam Harris responsible?

It would be nice, however, if he’d speak against it, and tell his readers not to do that. It’d be nice if atheist leaders answered misogyny in movement with concern for targets and censure for perpetrators — not with defensiveness. It’d be nice if atheist leaders told their misogynist fans, “Guys, don’t do that.”

Waiting…

****

UPDATE:

Me on Twitter:

. @SamHarrisOrg Where did I say that I hold you responsible? It would be nice if you’d speak against it, tell your readers not to do that.

Sam Harris on Twitter:

@GretaChristina You tagged me with it (as though these attacks on you reflect on me).

Still waiting…

*****

UPDATE:

Me on Twitter:

. @IanNieves @SamHarrisOrg So when one of his fans defends him w/ misogynist slurs, shouldn’t be hard for him to say, “Guys, don’t do that.”

Sam Harris on Twitter:

@GretaChristina One of my “fans” called @mboorstein a “kike.” I’m Jewish. Should I own that slur too?

Still waiting…

****

UPDATE:

@jenbphillips on twitter:

@SamHarrisOrg @GretaChristina really Sam? You are equating Greta saying “stop patronizing sexist bullshit” with violent gendered slurs?

Sam Harris on Twitter:

@jenbphillips @GretaChristina Is that really all she said?

Still waiting…

****

UPDATE:

Me on Twitter:

. @SamHarrisOrg @mboorstein I am not asking you to own the slur. Quite the contrary. I am asking you to speak out against it.

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?

Note that this is now five responses to misogynist hatred, all of which consist of either defensiveness of why he’s not responsible for this misogynist hatred (which I never said he was), or hostility against the target of it. Still hasn’t just come out and said, “Guys, don’t do that.” I mean, I get that the guy is busy, and if he hadn’t responded at all I’d understand. But he clearly has at least some bandwidth to respond to this today. Why is this where that bandwidth is going?

Still waiting…

****

UPDATE:

Me on Twitter:

. @Zetherin @SamHarrisOrg So what if it’s not particular to atheism? It’s happening in our community…

Sam Harris on Twitter:

@GretaChristina So, Greta, how often must I do that to keep you from reflexively tarring me with views I don’t hold?

That’s now six Tweets in this conversation in which Sam Harris is defensive, and none where he just comes out and says that making hateful misogynist comments is wrong.

Still waiting…

*****

UPDATE:

Finally, finally, FINALLY:

Sam Harris on Twitter:

I’m told that certain of my “fans” threaten my critics with violence when defending my views. If you are one of these jerks, unfollow me.

That’s all I was asking for. Thank you.

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Sam Harris Responds to Misogynist Fan — Well, Sort Of – UPDATED
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51 thoughts on “Sam Harris Responds to Misogynist Fan — Well, Sort Of – UPDATED

  1. 1

    He literally can’t look at what you’re actually saying. (When did you ask him to “own that slur”?)

    But really, Greta, come on. You should know that “guys, don’t do that” are words of great and terrible power, not to be uttered casually.

  2. 2

    ‘Does *anything* go without saying’

    Yes, that’s exactly the problem. Those slurs nearly go without any speech from ‘thought leaders’ like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Michael Nugent etc.
    On the other hand, pushback against people speaking out about sexist tendencies in those ‘thought leaders’ go with lots of speech from said ‘thought leaders’.

    So maybe someone who regularly complains about muslim ‘thought leaders’ not speaking out against terrorism (as if that doesn’t go without saying) should give a good example and speak out about this!

  3. 3

    Jebus. Why do these guys always make it worse? Make a sexist remark; say “I’m sincerely sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” Instead we get pages of rationalizations that exacerbate the perception that they’re deeply committed to defending sexism. One of their defenders says misogynistic things, or throws around racist slurs; instead of just saying, “I don’t support that! Stop saying those awful things, people!” they have to dodge it and get hypersensitive about being personally accused, when they’re not.

    When someone says “kike”, your first impulse shouldn’t be to leap up and announce, “I DIDN’T SAY THAT”, but to rebuke the racist.

    This shouldn’t be so difficult. Why does Sam Harris find these simple little responses to bad ideas so impossible to do? Does he feel like he has to write a book about them, that explores the benefits and penalties of expressing hatred of others?

  4. 4

    Well, he’s seen what happens when someone says , “Guys, don’t do that.” So I can totally understand why he wouldn’t want to step up to the plate.

    Besides, it doesn’t really have the right testosterone vibe……

  5. 5

    The statement: “Does *anything* go without saying?” implies he finds this whole rationalism thing rather bothersome and wishes people would just have faith.

    Trust in the unspoken benevolence of the sky father because it certainly wouldn’t do to require *evidence* from such a superior being!

    *sigh*

  6. 11

    Oisin @7, the trail of Tweets above is short, so this should be incredibly easy for you to answer: What specific orders were given to Sam or to people who read his books? Feel free to use quotations marks around the exact orders given. (Note: If your quotes don’t include the words “it would be nice” or “I’m asking you to,” you have failed.) Good luck.

  7. 12

    And I’ll elaborate a bit.

    “Does anything go without saying?”
    Depends on who is doing the “not saying.”
    From some people, based on past statements, for me – no some thing do not go without saying.

    Based on Sam Harris’ past statements, for me at least, it does not go without saying.
    Now add that he’ll “speak” repeatedly by not only continually not saying it but apparently doing his damnedest to AVOID saying it and from my perspective he is making his priorities very clear.

    This reflects poorly on him to say the least.

  8. 13

    Oisin, are you trying to suggest that maybe Harris approves of the slurs “kike” and “whore”? Because, while I’m not a fan at all, I apparently think better of him than you do.

  9. 15

    Meanwhile, look at what you said about me on your blog.

    Yes, Mr Harris, let’s look. She said you were factually wrong. She gave citations, and data, and reasoned words to explain WHY you were factually wrong. And she told you to knock it off.

    Oh, wait, did you mean the bit where she said “fuck you”? GASP! She said a SWEAR!

    Obviously that means that you’re entirely justified in NOT defending her from rampant misogynistic abuse by your “fans”…because the two are totally the same thing.

  10. 16

    Sigh…. I’ll bite.

    The initial post that Greta references is an obvious troll post. It was meant to offend and hurt, not to “defend” Sam Harris. The poster was a troll, looking to get a reaction, and you have given it to him in spades.

    Sam Harris is not responsible for stating his agreement or disagreement with anything one of his supposed “fans” decides to post on another website, where he has no control over moderation.

    He has no responsibility to denounce even a particularly egregious comment.

    By tagging him in the original Tweet, Greta could be interpreted as attributing some level of responsibility to Sam.
    Greta responded implying that she does NOT attribute any responsibility to Sam, but she then adds “It would be nice if you’d speak against it, tell your readers not to do that.” This suggestion also implies some level of responsibility for Sam, which is completely unfair.

    Sam cannot be expected to police what people who happen to read his book may say in the public square. Public figures do not need to put out a statement to their followers advising them not to make death threats or post abusive comments. If Sam Harris DID put out such a statement, it would be ridiculed on sites like this.

    I can see it now…. “Isn’t it a shame, and yet very telling, that Sam Harris has to issue a statement pleading his followers NOT to make death threats and misogynistic posts?”

    The reason why Sam isn’t doing what you want Greta, is that you are being unfair. You will be waiting a long time.

  11. 18

    Well, I was wrong. I guess Sam decided that it wasn’t worth arguing over.
    I still feel that its a poor precedent to set, and it is unfair to expect someone to have to tell their “fans” not to behave poorly.

  12. 19

    it is unfair to expect someone to have to tell their “fans” not to behave poorly

    Seriously? When you’re a so called “leader” in the atheist community it’s unfair that you might have to tell your supporters to stop being dicks in your name?

    Fuck that.

  13. 20

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

    Well, yes. Threats of rape and murder are despicable.

    Does *anything* go without saying?

    Perhaps, and in some contexts. But threats of rape and murder are exceedingly common, so it cannot simply be assumed that everyone or even most people agree that threats of rape and murder shouldn’t be made. Entirely too many people are actually making them, frequently, and they have been doing so for years. They feel emboldened to do so in part because there are not enough other folks saying, “cut that out.”

  14. 21

    Honestly, Jeff S, I’m at a loss. What exactly would Sam’s argument have been, do you think? In what way has he set a poor precedent? Now that he has spoken, what has he lost or what might he lose? And what has the movement lost or what might it lose?

    Further, what exactly is “unfair” about asking someone to ask their fans to behave better? In scenarios where behavior is poor, what would you recommend we do to make it better? Or is that even a goal of yours? (That’s an honest question, by the way; I’m not being snarky.)

    Turning it around, let’s say Greta had fans that were known to make violent threats against others; suspecting/hoping that Greta doesn’t approve of the behavior, would you consider it to be unfair to ask her to ask her fans to stop?

    And I guess the more fundamental question I keep coming back to is this: If you have a chance to influence your supporters to stop acting poorly — especially when you are known to call out religious people for acting poorly — why would you not do it?

  15. 22

    Jeff S,

    Some time ago on this blog I made a quite unpleasant comment to another poster. Greta told me, politely but strongly, that she did not approve of that kind of behavior. I apologized to her and the other poster, owning my mistake, and that was the end of it. So for her to tell me “don’t do that” was reasonable and had the desired effect.

    If Harris had said “don’t do that” right at the beginning then his tarnished reputation would have actually improved among certain people including me. But since “don’t do that” had to be dragged out of him then I’m still convinced he has little regard for the rest of humanity, especially women.

  16. 24

    Sam Harris is not responsible for stating his agreement or disagreement with anything one of his supposed “fans” decides to post on another website, where he has no control over moderation.

    Would you mind repeating that to everyone who blames me for everything ever said by anyone who has ever posted on Pharyngula? Thanks.

  17. 25

    Far be it from Sam Harris, of all people, to understand that atheists might need some guidance on the moral landscape. I mean, it’s all pretty obvious, it’s not like you’d need to write a book about it or anything.

  18. 26

    Hi Greta,

    I’ve read the exchange 3 times now. Seems pretty clear to me that you were drawing Harris’ attention to his fans responding to your criticism with hateful, sexist, gendered slurs. Specifically, “ugly dyke,” “irrelevant whore,” and “just die.” (the latter isn’t a gendered slur, of course; more the tweeter’s way to underscore the disdain with which his sexist sentiments ought to be taken).

    “I’m told that certain of my “fans” threaten my critics with violence when defending my views. If you are one of these jerks, unfollow me.”

    It’s just… just so plainly clear that his attention was being brought to sexist slurs, and yet he read those, and begrudgingly admonishes his fans to… not threaten violence?

    I speak for myself here – I almost can’t help but feel many of his fans, based on the original tweet you cited, and his actual admonishment, will see a certain subtext to his tweet, “[but calling those critics out for their ugly dykish whorishness ; that’s A-okay!]”.

    Maybe I’m just too cynical as of late, and should take Harris’ (eventual) tweet as intending to address that kind of crap too. After all, surely his astute fans will take it that way.

  19. Lea
    29

    Now we have outrage over Sam Harris not policing comments on other people’s blogs? Well, that’s enough junior high school drama for me. /* backs out and firmly closes door */

  20. 31

    Jeff S

    I still feel that its a poor precedent to set, and it is unfair to expect someone to have to tell their “fans” not to behave poorly.

    Of course you do. Gods forbid we set the precedent that changing one’s behavior for the better is a reasonable expectation, amirite? How awful would that be?!

  21. 32

    Jeff S

    The poster was a troll, looking to get a reaction, and you have given it to him in spades.

    Not the “don’t feed the trolls” line again. We’ve all seen how well that works.

  22. 33

    These guys are the same people who tar all Muslims with the words and acts of radical jihadi terrorists and demand they DENOUNCE them constantly…or imply all Muslims approve of radical jihadi terrorism.

    I think they can handle setting some boundaries for their fanboys….as there’s actually a connection between themselves and their fans.

    Not so much with the radical jihadis and the average liberal Muslim….who the jihadis are doing a massive job of killing in great numbers.

  23. 34

    I don’t know, I can see where he is coming from with the “holding him responsible” thing. That’s how I interpreted it at first so it doesn’t surprise me other people might too. What we mean and how it comes out sometimes gets muddled, you know?

  24. 35

    I think part of the issue here is that some of you guys are internet famous, but Harris is famous famous. When you’re famous famous, you would need to devote your life to putting out the fires started by the dimwit section of your audience. Harris probably gave up doing that a looooong time ago.

  25. 36

    Some comments about your exchange with Sam Harris.

    In the initial tweet we read:

    Note that this was in defense of @SamHarrisOrg .


    When I started reading this, I myself wondered immediately why it was important to add such an information. Why does it matter what the jerk was defending? What were you trying to convey? What can one think after reading something like this?

    You ask:

    Where did I say I hold Sam Harris responsible?

    And the answer is: nowhere. But if I said “Look at this lousy thief! And note that he voted for Obama!” I also wouldn’t be claiming that I held Obama responsible. (Or would I? Please, tell me where.) But I understand pretty well that such a remark would indeed make Obama supporters defensive. Really, you don’t get it?

    You could think that the initial reaction of Harris reflects that much, and nothing else. Indeed, immediately he is getting defensive. And yes, it’s a pretty understandable reaction. Evidently he suspects something. Understandable … and nothing special. But just wait, later it’s getting worse.

    You send the message:

    Where did I say that I hold you responsible? It would be nice if you’d speak against it, tell your readers not to do that.

    You could hope that it clarifies the situation. In fact it does not help. He answers “You tagged me with it (as though these attacks on you reflect on me)”.

    Alright, I ‘m not going to review the whole conversation. I think the picture is clear enough. You find it problematic and puzzling that Sam Harris is defensive and it takes him a long time to just come out and say that making hateful misogynist comments is wrong. From my point of view, it’s not puzzling at all.

    The simple and sad explanation is: *he doesn’t trust you*. He doesn’t believe in your stated motives. He is not buying them. All the time he suspects a trap. He is not sure what the trap is, but he feels it is there alright, and waiting.

    Would Harris “do anything to avoid saying the decent thing”? Does he have “little regard for the rest of humanity, especially women”? From my point of view, it’s not the moral of this exchange. The real moral is: he distrust you. In fact he distrusts you so deeply, that when asked by you to do a decent thing, he will start looking for traps instead of doing it right away. His immediate reaction is to think that you are planning something bad, and he continues thinking it no matter what you say and how you explain.

    Greta, you stressed many times the advantages of having a rift. What you presented here is a depressing example of a disadvantage. The depth of mistrust is appaling. He prevaricates because of that, then you blame him for prevarication, then he will trust you even less … and so on, and so on. A never ending story.

    But please, do continue.

  26. 37

    Nobody is asking Sam Harris to address every individual incident of someone doing something shitty in his name. The request was for a simple statement that he doesn’t condone such behavior. I’m sure it took him all of 30 seconds to compose that tweet, considerably less time than he spent going back and forth with Greta making excuses for not doing it.

  27. 38

    Ariel @ 35

    When I started reading this, I myself wondered immediately why it was important to add such an information. Why does it matter what the jerk was defending? What were you trying to convey? What can one think after reading something like this?

    It matters what he was defending because he called Greta those things on Sam Harris’ behalf by way of letting her know that Harris is more relevant than she is. I mean I understand that you’d rather decontextualize it so it looks like Greta dragging Harris into something that doesn’t involve him, but that’s not what happened.

    But if I said “Look at this lousy thief! And note that he voted for Obama!” I also wouldn’t be claiming that I held Obama responsible.

    That’s not the same thing that happened here. He didn’t call Greta those things at random. He called Greta those things in service of defending Sam Harris. You’re trying to make it like she took some random abusive comment and drew Sam Harris’ attention to it completely apropos of nothing.

    Evidently he suspects something. Understandable … and nothing special.

    Why is that understandable? Do tell.

    The simple and sad explanation is: *he doesn’t trust you*. He doesn’t believe in your stated motives. He is not buying them. All the time he suspects a trap. He is not sure what the trap is, but he feels it is there alright, and waiting.

    So you’re psychic then? Have you collected your million dollars from James Randi yet? Do Sam Harris and Greta get a cut since you’re using their conversation to prove your ability?

    The real moral is: he distrust you. In fact he distrusts you so deeply, that when asked by you to do a decent thing, he will start looking for traps instead of doing it right away. His immediate reaction is to think that you are planning something bad, and he continues thinking it no matter what you say and how you explain.

    Why does this seem reasonable to you? What horrible thing do you imagine Greta is going to do that Sam Harris is so afraid of? Criticize him more? The horror.

  28. 39

    Seven of Mine #37

    It matters what he was defending because he called Greta those things on Sam Harris’ behalf by way of letting her know that Harris is more relevant than she is.

    This is so convoluted that I don’t even know how to start. The jerk might have various ideas, no one is denying it. But why should his ideas about Sam Harris matter? That was the question. You didn’t even start answering it.

    That’s not the same thing that happened here. He didn’t call Greta those things at random. He called Greta those things in service of defending Sam Harris.

    Of course there are differences between my example and the Twitter case. And yes, one of them is that the thief didn’t steal for Obama. You think that this difference is important? I wonder how. Certainly even stealing for Obama wouldn’t make Obama responsible. But maybe it would put on Obama extra moral demand to disown the thief? Maybe in such a case it would be particularly wrong for him not to say anything? If you think so, please quarrel with Greta, because she doesn’t seem to agree with you: see her “if he hadn’t responded at all I’d understand”.

    So you’re psychic then? Have you collected your million dollars from James Randi yet? Do Sam Harris and Greta get a cut since you’re using their conversation to prove your ability?

    Sorry to disappoint you. This special psychic ability is called “reading and interpreting what you read”. As a matter of fact, we all do it here. After all, the key question – in PZ’s formulation – is “why does Sam Harris find these simple little responses to bad ideas so impossible to do?” Every attempt to answer this question will be just that: interpretation. As for me, that’s how I interpret his reaction to Greta’s “Where did I say that I hold you responsible? It would be nice if you’d speak against it, tell your readers not to do that.”. As you should know, the reaction was “You tagged me with it” and later “So, Greta, how often must I do that to keep you from reflexively tarring me with views I don’t hold?”. It’s evident that he doesn’t believe Greta’s explanation. Does the application of the term “distrust” in such a situation really involve mind reading?

    Why does this seem reasonable to you? What horrible thing do you imagine Greta is going to do that Sam Harris is so afraid of? Criticize him more? The horror.

    The word „this” in your question refers to my discussion of constant distrust, even in the face of the clear and unambiguous explanations of one’s motives. Why does it seem reasonable to me, you ask? Short answer: it doesn’t. After checking I see that I called it in my comment “appaling” and “depressing”, not reasonable. Another question, please?

  29. 40

    Ariel @ 38

    This is so convoluted that I don’t even know how to start. The jerk might have various ideas, no one is denying it. But why should his ideas about Sam Harris matter? That was the question. You didn’t even start answering it.

    If you find “X matters because X is why he did this” to be convoluted, you’re beyond help.

    Of course there are differences between my example and the Twitter case. And yes, one of them is that the thief didn’t steal for Obama. You think that this difference is important? I wonder how.

    It matters because in your example you were dragging Obama into something that had nothing to do with him. As opposed to this situation where Greta is not, in fact, dragging Sam Harris into something that has nothing to do with him.

    Certainly even stealing for Obama wouldn’t make Obama responsible.

    Nobody said Sam Harris was responsible for this abusive commentor’s words either. So your analogy fails on another point.

    If you think so, please quarrel with Greta, because she doesn’t seem to agree with you: see her “if he hadn’t responded at all I’d understand”.

    The point of that comment was that Sam Harris did, in fact, respond to her so his excuse couldn’t be that he was too busy. If he had time to make excuses, he had time to repudiate the person being abusive in his name. Protip: we’re all quite capable of scrolling up and seeing for ourselves the context you keep deliberately leaving out.

    It’s evident that he doesn’t believe Greta’s explanation. Does the application of the term “distrust” in such a situation really involve mind reading?

    Given that “is misunderstanding Greta” and “is misrepresenting Greta” and “is being needlessly defensive” are also perfectly plausible explanations of his reaction, yes. Claiming that it’s definitely distrust would require you to read his mind.

    After checking I see that I called it in my comment “appaling” and “depressing”, not reasonable.

    I asked you why you thought it was reasonable to assume that Sam Harris is afraid of Greta doing something bad to him. I asked you what bad thing you thought Greta was going to do. Again, you deliberately remove context to make it look like I said something I didn’t. You know that term “cherry picking” that all you Brave Heroes accuse everyone else of all the time? That’s what it actually looks like.

  30. 41

    Very quickly (leaving in a moment):

    Given that “is misunderstanding Greta” and “is misrepresenting Greta” and “is being needlessly defensive” are also perfectly plausible explanations of his reaction

    “being needlessly defensive” is no explanation at all. The key question is *why* this happens. Well, so why is he so defensive, in your opinion?

    “misunderstanding” is also poor. Greta’s explanations were quite unambiguous. What was there to misunderstand? How did he misunderstand her? Sorry, it doesn’t hold water.

    I asked you why you thought it was reasonable to assume that Sam Harris is afraid of Greta doing something bad to him.

    Then I misunderstood your question. Seriously. But if that’s the one, here is the answer. Please, reread:

    You tagged me with it (as though these attacks on you reflect on me)

    In addition, we have this:

    look at what you said about me on your blog

    and this:

    how often must I do that to keep you from reflexively tarring me with views I don’t hold?

    How would you behave in dealings with someone who – in your opinion – is “reflexively tarring you”? Caution? Distrust? No, no, it’s unnatural. People are not like that! Proposing such an explanation would definitely require mind reading.

    See you in the evening!

  31. 42

    “How would you behave in dealings with someone who – in your opinion – is “reflexively tarring you”? Caution? Distrust?”

    In his opinion. But of course, he’s wrong. It isn’t “reflexive” except insomuch as calling sexist statements sexist might become a reflex. Seems like the only solution to your proposed model is that feminists have all responsibility for both pointing out sexism AND then making sure no one feels bad when it’s pointed out that they are participating in it, because apparently feeling bad about being called out on sexism completely disables someone’s ability to rationally evaluate the criticisms. While, simultaneously, the people, you know, *actually participating in sexism* don’t have any responsibility to think critically before assuming it’s “just those feminists tarring me for no reason”.

    That seems fair.

  32. 43

    Ariel @ 40

    “being needlessly defensive” is no explanation at all. The key question is *why* this happens. Well, so why is he so defensive, in your opinion?

    Why is it no explanation other than because you say so? As for why he’s defensive, because it’s natural for people to be defensive when they’re criticized. At the same time, however, people who claim to be rational, should be able to step back and consider the validity of the criticism.

    “misunderstanding” is also poor. Greta’s explanations were quite unambiguous. What was there to misunderstand? How did he misunderstand her? Sorry, it doesn’t hold water.

    What do you mean how did he misunderstand her? She said explicitly multiple times that she wanted him to simply speak up against that behavior and he repeatedly demanded to know why he should take responsibility for what some fan said. “Speak up against” and “take responsibility for” are not synonymous. If he thinks she means the latter when she’s explicitly saying the former, he’s misunderstanding. That’s kind of the definition of the word.

    Then I misunderstood your question.

    Bullshit. I quoted you repeatedly insisting that Harris doesn’t trust Greta and asserting he fears she’s going to do something bad to him and asked you why you thought that was reasonable and what you thought she would do. Don’t insult my intelligence by asking me to believe you thought I was asking you if Greta’s behavior is reasonable when I was clearly referencing Harris’.

    How would you behave in dealings with someone who – in your opinion – is “reflexively tarring you”?

    I would consider the possibility that they are not, in fact, reflexively tarring me but are instead making a very simple request of me to take 30 seconds of my time and say “guys, don’t do that.”

  33. 44

    Why did that take so damn long?  Did he really have to act as if he was getting a tooth extracted with pliers but without novocaine?

    (FYI: I know why.  I’m just rhetorically asking this question to demonstrate how entrenched some people get in their privilege rather than doing the minimally decent thing.)

  34. 45

    So, the There’s-No-Misogyny-Here crowd literally get tons of evidence that there is,indeed, misogyny here and their response is to basically throw up their hands and act like there’s nothing they can do about it. Like, maybe post a piece about how fans who want to threaten feminists are making it obvious why feminists need to speak up. I mean, when Muslims try to shut feminists up, they object, right? Do they think that atheist men get to threaten feminists without condemnation? Is it different when the threats are on behalf of defenders of rationality instead of a deity’s clerics?

  35. 47

    I think part of the issue here is that some of you guys are internet famous, but Harris is famous famous. When you’re famous famous, you would need to devote your life to putting out the fires started by the dimwit section of your audience. Harris probably gave up doing that a looooong time ago.

    Re Hunt Stoddard @ #34: Some Clarifications on the Mythology Springing Up Around My Recent Twitter Exchange with Sam Harris

    Also, he has been blocked before, and is apparently trying to come back under a new IP address. This should give a pretty clear idea of what he thinks about people’s right to set boundaries. He has, naturally, been blocked again.

  36. 48

    I am a big fan of yours, but Sam Harris is an adult, and nobody has the right to force him to say anything. You might wish he would, or think it would be swell if he did, but to demand his time and demand that he do your bidding in order to avoid being labeled as a terrible human just seems wrong. Obviously he condemns violence and rape. Nowhere has he ever even hinted that he doesn’t condemn it. In fact, he has spoken out against it for a very long time, and very powerfully. The “still waiting” stuff just seems immature. He doesn’t owe you anything. Let it rest.

  37. 49

    Colin Wright @ # 47 – You might have a point – if Harris hadn’t devoted several of his precious minutes, several distinct times, to “replies” (that weren’t replying to the point) for the sake of defensiveness & cluelessness.

  38. 51

    I am a big fan of yours, but Sam Harris is an adult, and nobody has the right to force him to say anything. You might wish he would, or think it would be swell if he did, but to demand his time and demand that he do your bidding in order to avoid being labeled as a terrible human just seems wrong.

    Colin Wright @ #47: Nowhere did I “force” Harris into saying anything, state that if he didn’t do my bidding I’d label him a terrible human being, or even demand his time at all. This might be enlightening: Some Clarifications on the Mythology Springing Up Around My Recent Twitter Exchange with Sam Harris.

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