One of the biggest victories I was really, truly hoping for in the harassment policies campaign came to pass. But rather than crowing about it like I did with the American Atheists and CFI policies, I can barely fathom what’s going on and can’t bring myself to celebrate at all. TAM’s harassment policy appears to have come to pass in one of those strange “but you won’t like it” sort of ways, like we’d all been wishing on a Monkey’s Paw instead of making cogent arguments for these policies.
I honestly hoped that DJ Grothe and/or other powers-that-be at JREF would realize that the people DJ claimed are trying to hurt The Amazing Meeting by discussing the harassment they’d experienced, and proposing countermeasures, were instead trying to help TAM, and him, rectify the situation. I had hoped that DJ et al would come to understand that it was not about painting his specific convention as an “unsafe space“, but rather as a place that SHOULD be better than background levels of harassment but WASN’T.
But, until now, nobody has shown any indication that harassment was being taken seriously. In fact, it looked quite a bit like they’d decided harassment policies themselves were the problem, when they removed all mention of the weak-tea and toothless policy that had existed the year prior.
Then a tweet tipped us off.
Continue reading “TAM’s harassment policy was secret. Why?”
Oh, the huge manatee! Suirauqa has taken it upon xirself to chronicle the origin of the DEEEEP RIIIIIIFT that the community has found itself in, between people who think Rebecca Watson magically ruins everything by her mere presence, and people who think she’s just another human being. Xir googling efforts are chronicled here, and the proceedings of the event now known as “elevatorgate” make a sort of prequel to the harassment policies campaign in how major forces in the skeptical and atheist movements decided to align for and against female bodily autonomy.
A friend of mine was curious about the ‘Deep Rift’ that has been cooking in the atheist-skeptic blogosphere for about a year now, culminating in the Twitter storm over the FTBullies hashtag. I offered to make a timeline with bullet points. Little did I know that chronicling those cataclysmic events was going to be such a monumental task, requiring the last drop of my Google-Fu and reading/listening comprehension. Anyhoo, I must admit it was eeriely fun revisiting those events, and consequently, wondering anew how, atheist-skeptic or not, we all are subject to the very human foibles and frailties of ego, prejudice, presumptions, and sadly, blind irrationality. Vraiment, the humanity of it all!
Well worth the read, if you’re unsure why people deluge Watson with hate for otherwise completely unobjectionable statements.
In case you missed the link the first time through, click here.
Matt Lowry was so kind as to post his notes on the Don’t Feed the Trolls panel, which while it’s not a full transcript, certainly pulls out a lot of the relevant details.
In Canada, you call that a “Coles Notes”, after the Coles bookstore from whence these synopsis books come. I hear in America, the same idea is called CliffsNotes. I like Coles Notes way better, not the least reason being the unpretentious space included between the two words.
I’ve also done an alternate audio recording from the panel, so if you’re interested in the original take by Cristina Rad’s friend which is uploaded to Youtube presently, but don’t have the tech to hit Youtube at the moment, or just want to grab the mp3 for posterity, you can use this podcast doodlybopper like what I done used for the other two panels.
Also, here’s the mp3 link (20 megs) if you’d like to download it for later listening. Again, lose the -lr if you want a 128kbps version that doesn’t add much in the way of lost audio.
Don’t forget to visit Cristina’s original at her blog in case the ridiculousness in the Youtube comments didn’t do it for you with regard to rampant trolling and misogyny.
I’m sure you’ve seen all the sturm und drang over Freethought Blogs being a cesspool of bullying and thought-policing hive-mindery. Despite this, a few people outside the network have voiced their support of people inside the network, and are picking off the worst lines of argumentation that people are using to try claim that we’re dogmatic bullies who do not tolerate dissent. What catalyzed this show of support? Why no less than Paula Kirby calling us all Feminazis and Femistasi (Ophelia’s take on that nonsense).
And where the hell is Orac to shout down this particular Godwinning?
It’s really great to know that some fantastic writers are not letting this slide, even though they’re not personally the ones being targeted. Several of them below the fold.
Continue reading “People say nice things about FtB, mean things about Paula Kirby’s vitriol”
This… this. A thousand times this. Hilarious. Badger decided to watch Thunderf00t’s attempt at strawmanning the entire harassment policy campaign and react in realtime for our viewing pleasure. You know, the video he made for his now-infamous “MISOGYNIST!!!!” post. This is clearly someone who knows the humour value of whargarbl, to put his own whargarbl on display for others’ consumption.
Badger blogs at Stealth Badger, which appears to have been bullied RIGHT OFF THE INTERNET. By the #FTBullies, no doubt.
Frankly, I’d be surprised if I was half as eloquent mere seconds after watching T-Footy stick his namesake in his mouth.
Like the bullies we are, we FtB bloggers (and our friends and readers) crashed a hashtag originally started by a few people who just absolutely hate that we talk about social justice so much and dare to moderate the comments sections on those posts. Hilarity ensued.
This is a snapshot of some of the funniest tweets from when I was participating yesterday. It is probably not representative of all the best tweets, so much as the ones that caught my eye (or that I said and therefore think are hilarious).
Sometimes some of those bloggers write posts about stuff I’m not personally interested in. The nerve of some people.
Continue reading “Crashing the #FTBullies Hashtag”
One of the main complaints we’ve seen recently about our ongoing conversation with regard to sexism in the skeptical and atheist communities, is one about mission creep — that we’re a community defined by our common ground, e.g. atheism/skepticism, and we shouldn’t try to hash out other differences about other things.
I couldn’t agree less.
Continue reading “Mission Creep”
David Silverman, Amanda Knief, and the rest of the crew at American Atheists have put together what I feel exceedingly comfortable in saying is absolutely the strongest anti-harassment policy implemented in this entire campaign. AA just closed a conference call (to which I was invited, though my day job impeded my participation). They have gone above and beyond my wildest expectations for delineating what actions are objectionable, and what might happen if you engage in those actions regardless. The policy hasn’t yet gone live but here’s what was apparently sent around to the conference bridge participants. In the event that this policy is significantly altered after I’ve posted this, I’ll amend.
Continue reading “HUGE news from American Atheists re harassment (now with link to press release)”
As I mentioned in my essay on safe spaces, sometimes bullies win.
Sometimes the bullies wear at a person’s resolve enough so that one little weird and probably innocuous incident from an unrelated source is enough to rattle that person. Enough to change the calculus used to determine whether something is worth doing, such that suddenly something that they were gung-ho to do (like Ophelia Benson speaking at TAM) becomes a headache just not worth undertaking.
Continue reading “Bullying the bullies into stopping bullying”