So let’s hear you out then, John Greg.

Over on my post about the UK rape survivor campaign, John Greg threadjacked the entire comments thread to be about the ongoing so-called Great Rift between various factions in the skeptic and atheist blogosphere over Rebecca Watson’s trip to Ireland and into the “right to flirt” rabbithole, which I’ve covered extensively in the past. Part of this fight is about feminism, about the inclusion of feminist ideals in the skeptical and atheist communities, and about splash damage that some ostensible supporters of these ideals are taking during fights with various trolls.

I sympathize that good people might be getting hurt by the pushback against misogyny in our community when they point out that some folks are being emotional rather than rational, but I empathize (which is significantly stronger than sympathy) with the people who are getting emotional because I get emotional when I see my friends and allies getting shit on over nonsense, and other friends and allies not even lifting a finger to rebut.

So this stuff needs to be talked about. Yet again. And yet again, at the explicit demand of the people who claim that we’re the ones stirring the pot.

However, it was cluttering up a perfectly good thread about helping rape victims get the help they need, so I’ve moved it here.

I’ll make this very clear up front — I believe John Greg is very wrong about a lot of things, especially about his full-throated support of Christina Hoff Sommers who believes that there’s such a thing as a “gender feminism/equity feminism dichotomy” where every feminist who recognizes that women are getting the shaft (err… so to speak) in society and point such out, are in actuality advocating that men are somehow the enemy. A corollary to this is that anyone who advocates for anything less than treating men and women identically in all circumstances is somehow also the enemy. Both of these positions are, as far as I can tell, strawmem, or should I say strawwomen — I have never encountered even the most radicalized (in the other sense) of radical (in the “get to the root” sense) feminists who hold these positions.

So I don’t believe the “gender feminism/equity feminism” construct is in any way useful, especially not in dealing with people who do not in fact want to kill or subjugate all men to the evil gynocracy — down that road lies MRAs of the sort that Manboobz covers. So it really surprised me to read that John Greg largely agrees with a good number of things that many feminists here at Freethought Blogs and elsewhere in the skeptic/atheist blogospheres actively espouse, myself included. I’ve moved this thread here because, while it was wrecking the post on rape, it probably deserves to be read.

The comments I’ve moved are here:

  1. John Greg says:

    Jason, perhaps hell just froze over, or something like that. Anyway, I thought you’d be interested to know that I agree 100% with this statement:

    “However, I do have to take issue with the idea that there’s such a thing as a “real man”. This idea of masculinity drummed into us of stoicism, taking our “lumps” and walking them off, is nothing short of toxic. And the adjoining idea, that if you are unable to “walk it off”, you are not a real man, is every bit as toxic. The demand that men, if they are to conform to the gender roles to which they are consigned, must show no emotions and no weakness if they are to be considered appropriately manly, damages these very men. It puts them into an unwinnable situation when they are emotionally injured, where they are forced to compound their own injury.”

    Glad to see someone stating this issue clearly and with a reasonable amount of eloquence fairly devoid of sensationalism.

    Now, please don’t do a PeeZus and ban me for agreeing with you.

  2. John Greg @9: You might find you agree with me about a lot, if you weren’t so fixated on your disagreement with those posts where I’m defending women.

  3. John Greg says:

    Jason said:

    “You might find you agree with me about a lot….”

    Yes, and no.

    Yes, because only a true blue fool would claim that sexism and misogyny do not exist in the world. And I have certainly never made any such stupid claim. Also, for the record, I tend to not post when I am in agreement with a post for the simple fact that I believe that, for the most part, posts stating agreement are kind of empty and meaningless rhetorical gestures.

    No, because where we fundamentally disagree is not about the existence of sexism and misogyny, but, for lack of better words, the location and instances of them.

    “… if you weren’t so fixated on your disagreement with those posts where I’m defending women.”

    But that is where you really do me an injustice by misrepresenting my position. I don’t disagree with your so-called defense of women. That is far, far too broad a brush. It is the specifics of certain instances of what you label sexism and misogyny that I frequently disagree with. I really do wish you would pay closer attention to my supposed sins and maintain some accuracy in your pointing them out and call a spade a spade, rather than labelling the entire deck as evil black.

    For example, you and other FfTB bloggers and commentors have labelled me sexist and misogynistic because I disagree with and do not trust a small group of gender feminists. And such labelling is misrepresentation of my position. Disagreeing with and not trusting a small group of gender feminists is no more sexist nor misogynistic than not wanting to sit beside the smelly and unwashed homeless tramp on the bus is racist because as well as being smelly and unwashed he also happens to be black.

  4. John Greg says:

    Jason, here’s an idea. Why not post a list of the top ten, or five, whatever, issues you think define feminism and/or feminists. I’ll respond by noting which issues I agree with and support, and which issues I do not agree with and do not support. And I absolutely promise to play fair. That should help clarify whether or not I meet your, not my, but your definition of what a feminist is.

    You can even have fun with it by perhaps posting a second list: Top ten reasons why John Greg is an anti-feminist.

    C’mon, give it a go, Jason. You’ll have fun.

  5. PZ Myers says:

    Greg, you’re a disgusting fraud.

    You cruise FtB, pretending to be the voice of reason, only to scurry back to your lair to giggle over “twats” and snicker over those stupid people on “freefromthoughtblogs”. You’re a two-faced slimeball.

    Don’t even try to pretend. When you “promise to play fair”, I know you’re just going to lie harder.

  6. John Greg says:

    PeeZus, do grow up won’t you? Stop projecting your own juvenile neuroses onto others. I do not giggle over twats; don’t even use the word. And I don’t snicker over FfTB bloggers and posters. Some of them I roundly disagree with and say so; some of them I sometimes agree with, though I usually don’t. I have even posted some agreement here with some of the things Jason has pointed out.

    And as for my playing fair, I will. And how about pointing to some of these supposed lies I am just going to tell more of? Hmm?

    I think my comment to Jason is more than reasonable and fair, and is in point of fact a productive and constructive way to set up a running commentary on different individuals’ concept of feminists and feminism.

    Jason has called me an anti-feminist several times. I am only suggesting he take advantage of the medium and, you might say, prove it by listing what he considers to be the primary characteristics of feminism and/or feminists. Does that really upset you so much?

    Anyway, if he doesn’t wish to do so, for whatever reason, then so be it.

  7. Nice. “Where have I lied?” Well, how about you see the other thread you were commenting on where it was pointed out to you where you lied. Or do you thinking asking the question repeatedly will change the answer?

  8. Marshall says:

    And as for my playing fair, I will. And how about pointing to some of these supposed lies I am just going to tell more of? Hmm?

    I suggest you stop doing this, seeing as how you still haven’t taken the time to defend yourself the last time you did this and got called out.

  9. John Greg says:

    Marshall and Zvan: links, quotes, and citations are your friends girls and boys.

    I did answer Jason’s claim that I had lied; I answered it specifically. To wit:

    As I said to Jason, in regards to the post where I supposedly told a lie:

    “Yes, I remember the post too, but I do not remember what its title/Heading was, so I cannot find it, so, sorry, but no linkage. Anyway….

    “Well, I think calling that a lie is a bit of a thin stretch. I would say that my statement that you “explained on one of [your] other blog posts a few weeks ago why masculine/male gender epithets are completely harmless, tons of fun, and when judiciously applied quite appropriate, whereas feminine/female gender epithets are bad, bad, bad mojo and proof of indefensible horribleness” is more of a slight misrepresentation and a somewhat egregious exaggeration than a lie. But, if you insist, okay, I lied. Nasty evil me.

    Link for that exchange: ()

    Myers, as is his way, has implied, without providing any evidence, that I am a pathological liar (“Don’t even try to pretend. When you “promise to play fair”, I know you’re just going to lie harder”). It could be argued that he has also implied, without providing any evidence, that I have and/or will tell serial lies. He has not, as is also his way, provided any proof. How you can accept such groundless inflammatory accusations from someone claiming to be an authority and an academic in any field is beyond my understanding. But, so it goes. You claim to be critical thinking skeptics, not a horde of frightened theists. Prove it.

    Myers’s hysterical rant is irrelevant anyway, and is clearly an intentional attempt to stir up irrational anger to derail my highly reasonable comment. I provided Jason with what could be a productive and constructive opportunity to to set up a running commentary on different individuals’ definitions of feminists and feminism. That such a reasonable comment for such a reasonable dialogue would cause so much fear is quite interesting.

    Lastly, after having made accusation after accusation for months now about my habitual and continual telling of lies, I think both Jason (and Myers who has provided no evidence) needs to provide something more than one simple, basic misrepresentation as evidence of my evil nasty self.

  10. Marshall says:

    John, have you ever considered that part of the problem might be the way in which you act in a consistently condescending manner towards people? That you make statements and then refuse to back them up while hypocritically insisting that anyone who calls you a liar back up that statement even after you have admitted yourself to misrepresenting people’s statements (which you’ve done SEVERAL TIMES, by the way)? Personally, my problem with you began when you called me a ‘hymen’ in response to a post that wasn’t even directed at you in the first place. I suggest you stop acting like you’re better than everyone else and start thinking about WHY you might be receiving the responses you are.

    In any event, you DESERVE to be banned at the nearest opportunity. You’ve been dismissive and mean spirited from your first appearance on this blog. You’re shitting all over threads that could be opportunities for worthwhile discussions with your patronizing nonsense. That you haven’t been banned yet is a testament to what Jason is willing to put up with in order to allow open comments. I would not have lasted so long.

  11. John Greg says:

    Marshall said:

    “John, have you ever considered that part of the problem might be the way in which you act in a consistently condescending manner towards people?”

    Sure. But at least I don’t shriek at people and groundlessly accuse them of being disgusting frauds who scurry back to thier lairs to giggle over bad words and snicker over those stupid people on other blogs, or of being two-faced slimeballs who only pretend to promise to play fair when really they’ll just continue lying harder.

    Marshall, I am willing to provide back-up, evidence, quotes, citations, and links when and where I can.

    Here is another completely reasonable request: How about you provide a top five list of which specific statements of fact or other claims (other than basic opinions) I have made that you would most like to see backed-up?

  12. My comment, with the highlighted salient point that John is “challenging” me over, as well as a link to clarify something I said:

    I can call you bigoted, mean-spirited sophists who aren’t afraid to stretch the truth, or even lie, to make the case that certain people are calling out as bad behaviour certain behaviours that you yourselves enjoy far too much. I can call you ponces, pseudointellectual assholes, possessing of precious little actual worldly knowledge except how to offend, and so steeped in your various antifeminist dogmas that you can’t come to common ground with anyone to argue honestly about it. I can call you arrogant and foolish bloviators. I can even go so far as to call you assholes.

    While I was generalizing, John was very helpful in saying this:

    Well, I think calling that a lie is a bit of a thin stretch. I would say that my statement that you “explained on one of [your] other blog posts a few weeks ago why masculine/male gender epithets are completely harmless, tons of fun, and when judiciously applied quite appropriate, whereas feminine/female gender epithets are bad, bad, bad mojo and proof of indefensible horribleness” is more of a slight misrepresentation and a somewhat egregious exaggeration than a lie. But, if you insist, okay, I lied. Nasty evil me.

    Except that I said “stretch the truth, or even lie”. This easily counts as the former, and the latter only by John Greg’s own admission. Several clauses in the italicized bit are blatantly wrong. Mischaracterizing someone intentionally is certainly falsehood, and I presume the tactic is intended to distract from the fact that the type of behaviour we’re calling out is your own.

    Regardless of whether you think Sommers’ idea of feminism (that people who want equality are good, but people who think women actually have it bad in some ways right now are in actuality trying to tear down men instead of elevating women) is the correct way of looking at things, and regardless of whether you believe she, your intellectual forebear, did not engage in calling people “gender traitor” by titling her book Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women while anyone who claims to be a feminist saying “I disagree with you” to a woman is engaged in calling them a “gender traitor”, it doesn’t honestly matter. I know I’m not going to convince you of anything. Bystanders, on the other hand, might benefit from seeing you demonstrate, time and again, how you’re an intellectually dishonest troll at every instance.

    Marshall is wrong. The only thing this shows is that I’ve been working too damned much these past five days, and simply haven’t had the will or energy to play John Greg’s ridiculous games. If you want to write up five points about my feminism and how it’s “gender feminism”, and how Sommers’ idea of feminism (or hell, about *anything*, given her conservatism) is valid in any way, you feel free. You don’t get to come on my blog and dictate what I must spend my precious little time doing if I’m to drag a rational and intellectually honest debate out of you. Especially since at this juncture, I seriously doubt that you’re capable, your exhortations to the contrary notwithstanding.

  13. Marshall :

    Hey Jason, I apologize for presuming to know things I could not possibly have known. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, and I shouldn’t be trying to speak on your behalf.

  14. Stacy says:

    This was an interesting thread until John Greg tried to make it all about him.

    Anyhoo, back on topic–I very much agree with Giliell, here:

    …feminism 101 is fine and dandy but probably not the right time when the main goal is to reach out to a male rape survivor who identifies with traditional masculinity.

    The ad’s targeting men who do so identify. It’s OK to simplify the message a bit in order to reach people–trying to say too much or unpack the “real men” trope would dilute the ad’s power.

  15. John Greg says:

    Except, Stacy, if you read my actual comments you will see I really did no such thing until I came under attack.

    My first comment, currently #9 (#comment-50829), stated full agreement and support with some things Jason said. That is certainly not about me.

    My second comment, currently #16 (#comment-50829), was in partial agreement, partial disagreement with Jason, and included a bit where I tried to clarify what I felt was an inaccurate representation of my socio-political outlook. That’s not making it about me; that’s trying to answer a previous comment’s innaccuracies.

    My third post, currently # 17 (#comment-50936), was a playful invitation for Jason to join in a sort of round-robin dialogue trying to create a definitive list of characteristics that define feminism. That’s certainly not about me.

    And then the Bullfrog arrived and started telling his porkies and misrepresenting me in an altogether unpleasant and slanderous way (which, as was his intent, opened up the gates for others to follow suit), so of course I had to try and defend myself. That’s what we do when unfairly attacked, don’t we?

    So c’mon Stacy, stop telling porkies and stay with the program.

  16. Stacy is dead on, you narcissistic piece of filth. That first comment isn’t about the issue but about whether you approve of Jason, just like the rest of your commentary on this blog, John. You could have left a comment without that. Or, rather, a decent human being could have left a comment without that. You didn’t. You just kept going with the same crap that’s been clogging up Jason’s comments for months now. On a post about getting help to rape victims.

    No, I’m not going to link to where you were told you were already told where you’d lied. Everyone who cares in the least knows where it happened. Your objections don’t change the fact that you’ve characterized Jason’s statements in ways that simply aren’t true and that it was easy to point out the moment you tried to adopt a mantle of innocence.

    Just like the five people who give the tiniest of shits already know that you know nothing about feminism but have latched onto the manufactured objections of the right wing without understanding that they give you nothing more than labels. Funny how you’ll reply to Stacy, John, but can’t be bothered to do the work Jason set you.

    You realize you’re only here because he enjoys testing himself against your ideology, right? Fail to actually produce anything of substance (again, still), and he has no reason to keep you around. He’s not intimidated by your pretensions of being arbiter of all that is fair and honest in the atheist blogosphere. He just wants to hear your arguments.

    Though probably not on this thread. It was here for a different reason, asshole.

  17. John Greg says:

    “Funny how you’ll reply to Stacy, John, but can’t be bothered to do the work Jason set you.”

    Patience young Steph, patience.

    Like Jason, I happen to be quite busy this week, and Jason’s comment requires a lot of response. My reply to Jason, including my list of some issues that I think characterize and/or define feminism and feminists, at least the feminist paradigm I support, is in the works.

  18. Stacy says:

    lol. “It’s not all about me…I said this…then I said this…then I….”

    Men’s Rights Activism. Because somehow, somewhere, someone thinks the world doesn’t revolve around you.

  19. John Greg says:

    For the record, here are some issues that I feel are critical to (and should define and characterise) feminism, whether it’s equity feminism, gender feminism, or radical feminism.

    1. There is no doubt in my mind that sexism exists in many ways and places throughout the world, and effective concsiousness raising and awareness education should be the goal of anyone who claims to be, or wants to be, a feminist.

    2. I believe that birth control, and other critical issues of family planning such as abortion, should be provided free of charge to all women (and men), and should absolutely be free of moral and or social shaming and/or condemnation.

    3. I believe that equal pay for equal work is an obvious, and to ignore such an obvious is profoundly wrong (I would expand that this issue should cover all such disparities, not just between women receiving less pay for equal work than men, but the obverse/opposite of that as well as class, colour/race, and other such socially constructed instances). I believe that there exists a wage gap in some places, in some careers, and to varying degrees around the world; however, I have not yet found any unambiguous evidence of consensus of how severe and to what varying degrees and specifically affecting whom the problem exists.

    4. I believe that feminism should encompass a broad range of humanist disparity issues, and not focus solely on women-only issues to the expense and cost of critical issues of disparity involving men, colour/race, class, and other socially consturcted divisions and disparities.

    5. I think that all people, of all genders, sexes, colours/races, social classes, and so on, should be provided the same opportunities to employment in light of having the same capability to do the job.

    6. I believe that all people, of all genders, sexes, colours/races, social classes, and so on, should receive the same general rights as determined and provided by a democratic, non-gender biased political process.

  20. Wow. I agree with everything but the “however” clause in 3, and the distinction of “gender feminism” vs “equity feminism” considering they are entirely constructs built by Sommers and are largely in opposition with every wave of feminism with which I’m familiar, John.

    So, what the living hell do you hate so much about the Freethought Blogs feminists that you must disparage us as baboons and “free from thought” at every possible juncture? Is it just the language thing, the disdain for certain people who use certain verbal “tells”, for being very likely to be significantly misogynistic in certain thought and action patterns because they defend words that most women consider to be slurs?

    I have the feeling I’m going to regret asking this, mostly because this is the first glimmer of humanity and decency I’ve seen from you.

  21. John Greg says:

    “I have the feeling I’m going to regret asking this, mostly because this is the first glimmer of humanity and decency I’ve seen from you.”

    No, no, I don’t think you’ll regret it. Except maybe for my usual long-windedness.

    In all honesty, Jason, I think the biggest problem, not the only one, but the biggest comes down to the challenges of effective online communication.

    For example, the issues between people who do not share a specific localized culture and language (you’re IT; I’m English degree with a decade of technical writing — not worlds, or nations apart, but sometimes far enough), and a strong sociological, and/or socio-political agreement.

    Another of the biggest challenges of effective online communication is the lack of the unspoken visual cues — nods, head shakes, smiles, frowns; all those little things that help immensely to facilitate smooth communication. There’s a shitload of research pointing out how important all those online unattainable things are to effective communication.

    And let’s not forget about all the subtle sub-vocalisations that take place in personal communications, the grunts of disagreement, which don’t ruffle feathers, but which help guide the conversation in a different direction; the quiet hmms of tentative agreement which give the speaker extra confidence to extend their thought processes and to experiment with things they never thought before, like maybe even agreeing with an opponent’s heretofore disagreed-with position.

    “So, what the living hell do you hate so much about the Freethought Blogs feminists that you must disparage us as baboons and “free from thought” at every possible juncture? Is it just the language thing, the disdain for certain people who use certain verbal “tells”, for being very likely to be significantly misogynistic in certain thought and action patterns because they defend words that most women consider to be slurs?”

    I think that series of questions, and the answers that would go with them, are actually much more complicated, or perhaps convoluted and sophisticated, than they appear on the surface. And in all seriousness, I suspect each one of them could take us through an hour’s worth of conversation at the pub because in each instance they would bring forth from each of us calm yet strongly held disagreements and agreement that would expand the conversation into sophisticated territories that cannot be convered here, and which our slightly different cultural language — IT; tech writer — leads to confusion online, but a confusion that can be straightened out in person. We live in different provinces, though, so that’s a no-go.

    But I do not think this is really the ideal place to answer those questions. Aside from the issues of the challenges of online communication versus face-to-face, I also have little doubt that folks like Myers, Zvan, Laden, Aratina, julian, etc., are champing their bits in the wings just itching like poison ivy to charge forth and call me a sick liar, a disgusting skuzzball, a narcissistic piece of filth, a disgusting fraud, a two-faced slimeball, etc., ad infinitum — and maybe even to accuse you of having been taken in by John Greg’s pathetic fraud.

    If you have any interest in it, I’d be glad to carry this on over email, but I know that that is probably even a less effective approach.

    If you really, really want me to put myself in harm’s way (an exaggeration and stretch of the truth, I know, but it is intended as sardonic irony) I can even carry on in this comment thread.

  22. Tristan says:

    You may be surprised to know that I too agree with pretty much everything in John’s #32. As for why I seem to find myself “on the other side”, well… I’ve said it a few times already, but I’ll try again.

    It’s pretty much the same reason that courts will throw out evidence, no matter how damning of the defendant, if it was obtained illegally: because if you’re willing to abandon the rules for a specific cause, then those rules become meaningless – and in the long run, you’ll do damage not only to your own cause but to other worthy causes as well.

    No matter how important you think the cause is, it’s never ok to abandon honesty in its favour. Wait, strike that. The more important the cause, the more important it becomes to stick to the rules of honest discourse.

    Now, this next is going to sound incredibly harsh, but try to believe me when I tell you that this is my honest opinion.

    What I saw with elevatorgate and everything that followed afterwards was a wilful, even gleeful shedding of all standards. Blatant misrepresentations, guilt-by-association, fields of strawmen, all the tactics that would chewed up and spat out by the regulars here if coming from a creationist… suddenly were coming from the regulars here. As long as there was a merkin of deniability, certain leaders were quite happy even to misrepresent their own past selves – and the followers lapped it up (I’m looking at you, Stephanie Zvan and “Dear Dick”). Everything and anything was suddenly a-ok, as long as it was in support of the tribe.

    Yes, there were a few (a very few) really nasty characters arrayed against you. Yes, they deserved to be slapped down. But they should have been slapped down honestly – not for their sake, but for your own. Instead, a wave of shit was sloshed in all directions – it was certainly effective on most of the real nasties, but a whole bunch of it got onto people who really didn’t deserve it, and a remarkable quantity splashed right back onto your own community.

    I have a challenge for you (and for anyone else who’s interested): go back to some of those old threads, and read through them with fresh eyes. Don’t read for content so much, though: try to ignore the names on each comment, and just focus your attention on who’s being honest and who’s just decided to lose themselves in the fight. Then come back and tell me I’m wrong.

  23. PZ Myers says:

    Like Jason, I happen to be quite busy this week, and Jason’s comment requires a lot of response.

    And then the self-centered asshole blathers on and on. Seriously, Jason, he’s just made this whole thread all about him, at length, and he’s no doubt reveling in all the attention paid to him. Shut him down.

  24. We have a difference in styles, PZ. To my own sanity’s detriment, I feed trolls.

    However, everyone has a point in that this “tribal warfare” stuff has no place on this thread about getting male rape victims the help they need. Expect a bunch of comments here to disappear into their own post as soon as I can manage.

So let’s hear it, then, John. What exactly — specifically, with links, if you can manage — caused you to side with Franc Hoggle et al, those nasty nasties who “should have been slapped down honestly” who believe Rebecca Watson is somehow either a liar about what happened to her, or is cynically manipulating the situation, or is overzealous about her feminism to the point where it’s getting in the way of all the serious man-business of skepticism and atheism? Why would you sacrifice your pretensions toward intellectual honesty at the altar of delusion about Watson rather than actually just listening to what she has to say, considering so many others are saying the same damned things — that there are certain actions, like hurling sexist slurs for instance, that create a chilly climate for women in the skeptic/atheist movements? And that folks like you are evidently more concerned with intellectual honesty coming from the people who are reacting emotionally and negatively to instances of that tonedeafness to sexism, than from your own side?

I fully realize I’m feeding the troll, and that if John Greg is any bit as narcissist as he’s shown himself in past threads on FtB, Scienceblogs and elsewhere, all I’m going to do is invite more bloviating and unsubstantiated nonsense about past butthurts at best, and at worst invoke yet another incursion from the folks at ERV’s slimepit threads to tell me that I’m a “long-winded prat” (I’m looking at you John). Or call me a baboon. Or “free from thought”. Or my personal favorite, “Justin Bieber”. But whatever. If you commenters don’t want to participate in the shitstorm this post is going to cause, more power to you.

But do remember, this is my pub, so I set the topics of conversation. I’d actually like to hear what John Greg thinks is the core problem here, and if he’s honestly willing to engage in some bridge-building, I’d be very pleasantly surprised. I don’t pretend he’s going to, though.

And as the pub owner, expect this topic to be heavily moderated for my own sanity’s sake, whether I actually engage in proactive moderation or not. If you don’t like that possibility, fuck right off. That comment field is not for you.

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So let’s hear you out then, John Greg.

96 thoughts on “So let’s hear you out then, John Greg.

  1. 51

    To the point: sorry Jason, but these commenters are the reason why no rational discussion is possible. Sure, we could ignore Aratina and Tis, and others, but the argument gets drown in it. And it saddens me more as there surely is a way to settle things, but ego (mine included, largely) get in the way…

  2. 53

    Santorum, n: the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes a byproduct of anal sex.

    … and I, too, am done here. There is no communication possible.

  3. 55

    Notung, I mistook you for another FtBer named Nutmeg. Sorry about that.

    “There are more important bad things (y) to worry about than x” is reasonable if and only if (y is worse than x) and (y can be directly dealt with at the time)

    I think what you are missing in that equation is who holds y true and important, and who holds x true and important. Those make it much more complicated.

    You begin to dismiss a person’s life when you start discounting every little thing they do that could be suppressed for some larger cause. For instance, their money, no matter how small an amount, would do better going to a secular charity than toward that special thing they’ve wanted to purchase for awhile or that thing they just happened upon that is tempting to obtain.

    But I think you’ve hit on something here that has long bugged me about this whole fiasco. The times when one really should suppress one’s desires are when one is harming another person. Of course, that is more complicated than what I’ve just said, too, but I think at least such times call for us to be a bit more thoughtful on what it is we are doing.

    And I don’t mean to say that we should always be nice–not at all; nor do I want that to be taken as some kind of self-serving statement that I am always nice (see above for how nice I am). But it is good to sometimes take a step back and think about the harm one is going to cause or is causing to others and perhaps prevent it or do something about it to stop being harmful and/or make amends.

  4. 56

    Aratina:

    Nope, but you did dismiss any and all ERV “members” without any basics. Slimeballs from the slimepit?

    I happen to post there, as others do, and we are now all lumped together as a type of alien slimestuff congregation. It is weird, to say the least, to see skeptics acting your way…

  5. 57

    That’s where you are wrong, though. Go check the Pharyngula “Dungeon”. What other category does hold a neverending and burning-in-eternal-flames place for those who don’t agree? (even including some that never posted there…)

    Internet dungeons (or ways to block a random commenter) are necessary. The fact that you irritated PZ and got thrown into his dungeon does not make Internet dungeons a bad thing.

  6. 58

    Aratina:

    What has santorum got to do with this issue? Did I miss some erased comments? If so, screencaps would be most welcome.

    And what about this:

    ““What’s that plopping sound?” “Oh, nothing but some slimeballs from the slimepit bubbling up to the surface.””

    Santorum? That was you at 25. Was that a Santorum attack? Sorry, I honestly don’t get what you’re going at…

  7. 59

    What other category does hold a neverending and burning-in-eternal-flames place for those who don’t agree?

    Ye gads! I had no idea that being banned from commenting caused you such neverending eternal physical torment! You poor souls!

    I happen to post there, as others do, and we are now all lumped together as a type of alien slimestuff congregation. It is weird, to say the least, to see skeptics acting your way…

    “You Free From Thought Bloggers and baboons, you tribalists who take orders from PZ and the Queen Bee Rebecca Watson, should stop lumping us all together!”

    I am underwhelmed with your attempt at actually building bridges. I suspect in fact nobody who has come to visit from the aforementioned slimepit is actually interested in that!

  8. 66

    Even Chuck Testa stepped in it big time:

    On September 16th, rumors began circulating that the skull on Testa’s hat was actually a Nazi SS Death’s Head symbol.

    It turns out it was! He is one of those people who do historical reenactments of wars, and his troupe does WWII. In one of his fake battles, he had “retrieved” the SS Death’s Head symbol that had been seen pinned on his hat in his ads.

  9. 67

    Phil, you were banned for baiting PZ and also for repeated personal attacks on victims of sexual violence. I was there, remember? I said I hoped you’d eventually learn better.

  10. 68

    So, if pissing off the blog owner is sufficient, consider all of you in moderation for that reason.

    If you want further reasons, they’re all over the place throughout this thread. Tristan and Concentratedwater are gone for contra-reality in dogpiling Stephanie, Tuvok for being illogical (and for his bizarre PZ fixation — who even mentioned him before then?), Phil for failing to recognize a “shorter X” construction and thinking my mocking him and the tribalists at ERV’s was somehow a direct quote (as though anyone would display their hatred for the Freethought Blogs denizens so nakedly), Welch for spamming about how much more awesome your blogs are than mine, and John just for slapping my hand away.

    If any of you want to try again, feel free. Moderation means you’re sending whatever invective you want directly to me, rather than to the rest of the intertubes. If in your bizarre reckoning this is like being tortured for all eternity or being censored by the government, I feel more sad for you than anything else, really.

  11. 69

    Phil – “Santorum” has developed a new meaning – it doesn’t necessarily mean Rick Santorum, although the references of the two meanings aren’t dissimilar… Google ‘santorum’ – the top two results should tell you what you need to know!

    In response to the responses to my question:

    Julian – I think that’s a good reason why we might say that there are more important bad things. What about the final example, where I remind my friend about starvation? I can’t do anything (or much) to help starving kids.

    Aratina – Yes, perhaps everybody will have different intuitions about these examples. I find that if I were to get stroppy about a bit of food, someone reminding me about the troubles of others would be a sobering thought. In this case, their empathy would be directed at the starving, and perhaps worrying about my chewy steak would do those with far worse problems a disservice.

    Suppose you still disagree – would you then agree with this biconditional:

    “There are more important bad things (y) to worry about than x” is reasonable if and only if (y is worse than x) and (y can be directly dealt with at the time)

  12. 71

    Notung: “Santorum” has developed a new meaning – it doesn’t necessarily mean Rick Santorum, although the references of the two meanings aren’t dissimilar… Google ‘santorum’ – the top two results should tell you what you need to know!

    So, my bad for not being up to date with internet memes and such? My bad then, internet memes…

  13. 73

    Phil:

    When did I do that, prior to me outing my own childhood rapes and being drawn as a liar?

    You were attacking multiple victims before you said anything about your own history. Nevertheless, victim status doesn’t excuse making personal attacks based on the history of other victims; and I said so at the time.

    #244

    Posted by: pteryxx Author Profile Page | July 28, 2011 6:43 PM

    @Phil Giordana:

    Speaking only for myself here: My consideration of you is based on many things you’ve done and said, because you were and are hurting others. What happened to YOU is a separate concern. I won’t mock you for it, but I still will call you out for victimizing other people. You are responsible for your own actions. You’re still responsible for everything you have said; and you will be held responsible for what you say from now on.

    If you want that old thread dragged out and dissected for morsels to complain about, do it yourself. I didn’t rake you over then and I won’t do it now, either.

  14. 74

    For now, yes, but once you’re done this tangent, the only stuff I’m allowing through from anyone I just modded is that which pertains to the core of our disagreements, and very probably only from John Greg. Otherwise, I’m done with bridge-building only to find some people consider it an open invitation across the bridge with gasoline to pour on old fires they themselves set. I’m no patsy, thanks.

  15. 75

    “But it is good to sometimes take a step back and think about the harm one is going to cause or is causing to others and perhaps prevent it or do something about it to stop being harmful and/or make amends.”

    Yup! That’s where you are wrong, though. Go check the Pharyngula “Dungeon”. What other category does hold a neverending and burning-in-eternal-flames place for those who don’t agree? (even including some that never posted there…)

  16. 78

    Phil: No I would not care to post specifics. I don’t care about re-hashing personal offenses and running down misinterpretations. It’s off-topic and threadjacking. Anyone who cares can search for my comment text and read for themselves. I was there, I think you were banned for good reason, and my personal involvement adds nothing further to the discussion about it.

    Personal vendettas are not conducive to rational discussion. You or anyone could be talking about comment policies, correcting misinterpretations, or simply focusing on a topic other than how wronged and persecuted y’all are. You could even say “That’s not how I saw the situation” and leave it at that. You’d get far more respect around here if you did.

  17. 81

    @Phil Giordana, FCD
    Freethought. I don’t find the words censorship or moderation or dungeon in that Wikipedia article. Your internal definition of freethought might very well be wrong.

    Also, “likewise another MRA”? this needs justification.

    I think that ship has sailed.

  18. 83

    Being banned from a blog I once loved is no medal of glory. Being banned from such with false reasons such as “likewise another MRA” is no more acceptable. Now, “don’t piss off the blog owner” might have virtue,and I admit I pushed PZ. But me being “likewise another MRA”? Nooope! Chuck Testa (at best)!

  19. 87

    If Jason will allow me to answer to Pteryxx:

    WTF?!? Where did I intentionaly attack a rape victime, knowing about their experience?

    Being an asshole, I can agree. especialy in the evening with a few Jamesons up the nose. But would you care to post whatever you responded to from me? I really don’t feel like searching (and the burden of proof is not mine, just in case)…

  20. 88

    For context, my comment right before Pteryxx:

    “Ok, fine, I’ll bite:

    If every time I use a gender slur it hurts a rape victim (and I won’t ever use one again. Damn! I mean slur, not rape victim. I won’t use a gender slur again.), every time you tell me to shut up, or call me a fucker, or better yet a little fucker (I think I’ve seen it in some other thread here, gotta use my search-fu)it brings back nasty memories. I’ve grown to let it behind, because, hey, shit happens, don’t let it get in the way. Some have problems with it. And I understand that POW as well. Now, I should add. I didn’t think it would be so hurtful to someone in an internet discussion. Now, I really know better.”

  21. 89

    Good on you. The skeptic community will be much more efficient if we don’t care about all those facts and specifics and such.

    It will save lots of trouble.

    Jason, I feel like I’m threadjacking your post. Sorry about that. But please, if you hold out my comments, do the same with my interlocutors.

    All aside, good evening (yep, it’s late here)…

  22. 90

    Yes, you were threadjacking, but since nobody’s actually interested (least of all John Greg) in explaining what it is you find so execrable about me, FtB, and the various feminists who won’t put up with your constant giggling about “cunt” over at ERV, I tolerated it, Phil. Obviously no need for it any more. John had his chance, after threadjacking far too many posts of mine, but he declined.

    Yes, everything I wrote here, everything including the top-level original post, I took into account everything that the duplicitous fuckwit wrote over at ERV’s slimepit as well. I knew and know all the nasty bullshit he’s written about me, Stephanie, and others. And I still gave him a chance. He slapped my hand away by flouncing. So, yeah. It sucks, but he’s chosen tribalism.

    Whatever. I won’t cry over this.

  23. 91

    Why did I look? Why did I follow the link to ERV? Why??? It’s almost nothing but cunt stamped one way up the wall and down the other. They’ve (well, the odious illogical slimeball from above has) even managed called you that, Jason. Such wonderful people the likes of which I have never seen before!

  24. 92

    Jason, you done good.

    JG: Listen to me, listen to me, listen to meeee!!!

    Jason: John, I think you’re wrong about some stuff, but, OK–what do you have to say?

    JG: You’ve sabotaged the stage! I bid you good-day, sir!

    It is illustrative.

    Also, John Greg and Tristan are now both on record saying that they see no point in posting their thoughts here, since, in Tristan’s words, the well is “irrevocably poisoned.”

    So Greg has no shadow of an excuse for threadjacking you ever, ever again.

    (Wait–was that your fiendishly clever plan all along?)

  25. 93

    I left for the weekend with a little hope that JG would post something thought-provoking. Came back disappointed.

    I would have been interested in an example of an instance in which advocating for a feminist issue was at the expense of, say, the skeptical movement.

    Ah well.

  26. 94

    Indeed – so why don’t you let go of all that baggage, leave the ghetto and come and discuss things like adults over at ERV?

    *Takes a look out of morbid curiosity. Instantly regrets decision.*

    Wow, that’s what passes for adult conversation? Constant, daily whining about what the ‘baboons’ are up to? Sharing a hearty guffaw about the sort of puerile imagery that you’d expect from 4chan? Every fifth comment is a bash directed towards Rebecca Watson?

    These people make me sick with their hypocrisy and stupidity. I wonder if they are the ones that make sock puppet accounts on youtube and trash RW in every video she shows up in?

  27. 95

    4. I believe that feminism should encompass a broad range of humanist disparity issues, and not focus solely on women-only issues to the expense and cost of critical issues of disparity involving men…

    When women were denied certain jobs and not allowed into most colleges, how many men lifted a finger to help?

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