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Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Callie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:00 am

Yes, she's done a lot of damage with her manufactured drama and slander of others. She can die in a fire for all I care.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Callie on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:48 pm

Dar, I'm not going to play your semantic games. I tell it like it is. If you don't like it, put me on ignore. Or ban me. I don't give a shit.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Dar on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:55 am

Fine by me. Do as you like. Just don't expect me to respect it.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:28 am

It's not about semantics, Callie - it's about making valid points about how to judge the situation accurately on the one hand against your idiocy on the other.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Callie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:06 am

You asked if Rebecca Watson has harmed the way atheists are viewed.
When a person who is not a part of the so-called "atheist community" can't help but hear about elevator gate, when an entire "movement" forms and when it's ridiculed by thousands, I'd say yes, my views are valid. If you don't like them, it's your problem, not mine.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:48 am

Yes, that's a good point there Callie, well done.

Both questions are certainly valid. Whether the exposure of Elevatorgate was and is in proportion to the importance of the actual event, and the question of the 'guilt by association' of an entire community, especially when the main offence (the famous rape threats) was caused by anonymous eMails of dubious provenance.

I would also point to another question, that of conflation of several topics, these being elevatorgate itself, the reaction including 'Dear Muslima', Sexual Harrassment incidents at conferences, Sexual Harrassment policies at conferences, robust and possibly unkind dialogue on the internet, Anonymous threats including those of sexual violence, the question of reporting of said threats to the authorities, and the stance of the atheist community in general to women's issues outside.

I would say that the most untenable aspect of the radical feminist attack on the atheist community is that, while anyone genuinely interested in solving these problems would want to separate, clarify and simplify them, and deal with them one at a time, there seems to be a deliberate conflation of these into an insoluble mass with the common thread being an appeal to victimhood.

Thanks for taking the trouble to get your thoughts in order on this.


Last edited by piginthecity on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Callie on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:09 pm

Jesus christ, you are one condescending fuck.

Enjoy your self-congratulatory circle jerk with the feminazis. I've seen enough here. At least I figured out what the + stands for now. An inflated sense of self-importance in the absence of any concrete action. The only difference I can see between here and atheismplus.com is 25-30% less butthurt.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  nullnvoid on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Callie wrote:Jesus christ, you are one condescending fuck.

Enjoy your self-congratulatory circle jerk with the feminazis. I've seen enough here. At least I figured out what the + stands for now. An inflated sense of self-importance in the absence of any concrete action. The only difference I can see between here and atheismplus.com is 25-30% less butthurt.

Laughing

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  scott1328 on Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:42 pm

Wow! our first flounce!

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:04 pm

I'm officially claiming the credit for this one. I'm the 'condescending fuck'. I'm willing to give Dar 'an assist', though, (am i not merciful ?)

p.s. We've shown that, relative to A+ space we can deliver 25-30% more butthurt !


Last edited by piginthecity on Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:11 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added ps)

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Plop on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:51 am

Right here's my view on Rebecca Watson.
It looks like she tried to make it to top dog in the skeptic community, but lacking the intellectual prowess, she resorted to another strategy: "I'm a victim, look at how mean everybody is to me."
Well it worked, she's very much talked about online.
As to whether she is harming the skeptic community... I'm not sure, I suppose it depends where you live. Where I am the skeptic community seems to be doing just fine, and very few people give a flying fuck about Rebecca Watson.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  surreptitious57 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:04 am

I always try to be as objective as I can when discussing all things a la Rebecca as the lady herself is a bit like Marmite : you either love her or hate her. Well I certainly do not hate her - I do not do hate - but neither do I love her either. For I am somewhere in between, which should be the natural default position when you think about it now. But on one thing, the blue haired one and I agree and I bow to no one on this : she does not have the right to be permanently harassed by receiving rape threats. Now that is absolutely wrong and without justification. Those perpetrating such actions should stop and stop now. I have heard it said that they are trolls that do not really mean it. Well that is all the more reason to stop then. Even if the threats are not serious, they can still cause psychologoical trauma however, so deliberately inflicting it on another human being is wrong. End of. Now I know that there is only a snowball in hell chance of this actually happening. But shame that that is the case because with that out of the way, the two sides could then have an intelligent debate on all matters skeptical instead

If I could broaden the remit slightly, there is something that Rebecca is part of and Paul Zachary Myers and Jennifer Creight too : it is the way their respective sites are run. As skeptics, we should not have closed minds to anything. However, on all three of them - Skepchick - Freethought Blogs - Atheism Plus - zero alternative or opposing views are tolerated and anyone expressing any is denied freedom of expression there. You cannot call yourself a skeptic if you exist in an echo chamber. You must allow other viewpoints to be represented. This bunker mentality is negative and counter productive and denies genuine debate in the skeptical community and I condemn it for it is anything but that Now note how I am attacking an idea here and not an ndividual. And that is something many have forgotten. A skeptic does not engage in ad hom. Just ideas - nothing else

So to re cap : the abuse has to stop and absolutely so too. That is number one. And there needs to be a more open debate between everyone in the skeptic community not one on this side an another on the other side. Until those two criteria are satisfied now, we are never going to make any progress - at all - on anything. And the way things are going, It looks like that is not going to happen for a very long time, as things stand. We can either waste our time and energy attacking each other, or drop all that and have an open debate on everything. I think the latter would be better. If only everyone agreed
__________________________________________________________________________
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  mood2 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:01 pm

good post.

This board is supposed to give online atheists the chance to discuss these issues more openly and constructively and get away from the personal back-biting and one-upping crap. But I don't see much interest in getting away from it. And almost zero interest in doing anything constructive re social justice issues.

And it's been a pretty good demonstration that Sceptics are just as petty and emotionally motivated as everybody else.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:00 am

I got to say I think you're missing the point here, surruptitious.

I agree of course, that the anonymous eMailers of abuse are idiots with nothing of value to contribute. I have absolutely no more time or respect for them than you have. They are beneath consideration. And if it helps I'll say that they are scum-sucking vermin who belong in a sewer. But really they are just sad and an irrelevance.

But, here's the thing, the reality of this interweb-machine is that there will always be such people. They infest every single debate, every single forum and send their nonsense and garbage to every 'public' figure whose email address they can find out. Feminists and Atheists are two of their favourite targets amongst many others. But it isn't sensible to say that 'the abuse must stop !' that's silly. It absolutely never will. These idiots will always do their thing, and the more they are listened to and taken notice of, the more they are encouraged. Every sensible person just ignores them. This doesn't make them go away, but it doesn't give them a reason to continue either.

If we sensible people, on any side of the discussion, allow our discourse to be taken hostage by these morons, by focussing on them and caring whether or not they stop, or allowing them to interrupt us then we're fools. I do think, I'm afraid, that certain people on the feminist side have rather cynically focussed on these idiots, taking them seriously (or pretending to take them seriously), quoting the juiciest tidbits from the platform at meetings and believing (or pretending to believe) them when they claim, for example, to be atheists or skeptics, claims which are just as much garbage as the rest of what they say.

These 'anonymous abuser' types have absolutely no power to influence anything, unless we choose to pay them attention. They are not a problem. They are background noise of no more significance than the hum of traffic. People paying mind to them is the problem.

Don't wait for these idiots to change their behaviour before we speak. Whatever we have to say we can say now.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:33 pm

Skepticon Demonstrates That Pro-Fun Means Anti-Harassment | The Raw Story by Amanda Marcotte
This year, however, my interactions with men were universally pleasant, and I witnessed no incidents of harassment or anything bordering on it. I doubt very seriously that organizers had to intervene in any situations. I’m going to go out on a limb and say the preliminary evidence suggests that merely having a well-publicized policy helps create a situation where would-be harassers either stay away or tamp down their urges.
and after mentioning Skepticon 5's anti-harassment policy,
Arguments against this are usually centered around the idea that checking in and making sure you have consent for various interactions, only conversing with people who don’t hate every minute of it, and accepting people’s decision to walk away from you are somehow the same thing as a ban on flirting or humor. I can safely say that this was not the case. Indeed, I participated in many ribald conversations that involved lots of laughing. I’ll even be brave enough to say that my experience suggests that because people remember to monitor others to make sure they’re not uncomfortable, said conversations are even more fun, because there’s no undercurrent of hostility to them.
Guess who was there?
The female-to-male ratio seemed really good at this conference compared to others I’ve been to, a sense that was reinforced by the crowd’s enthusiastic response to Rebecca Watson’s speech denouncing the pseudo-science of “evolutionary psychology”.
Skepticon V Impressions | Daylight Atheism | Big Think by Adam Lee:
... Rebecca Watson's humorous talk on the sexist pseudoscience rampant in evolutionary psychology was immensely entertaining and got boisterous applause.

...

I also spent a while hanging out with Rebecca Watson, and I can personally testify that she's smart, incredibly funny, and probably a lot friendlier and more good-natured than I would be if I'd gotten as much harassment as she has.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:35 am


Civilised people behave in reasonable manner shocker !!!

(regardless of silly pieces of paper)

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:53 pm

piginthecity wrote:
Civilised people behave in reasonable manner shocker !!!

(regardless of silly pieces of paper)
Like laws?

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:18 pm

Nope. Laws are not silly. That's why i can tell you the number of laws which have been broken at atheist/skeptical events in the last ten years. Zero.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:51 pm

Here's the thing Ipetrech.

Actually, I don't care one way or the other about these anti-harrassment policies. I don't go to the conferences (though I'd like to) so it's clearly none of my business. Couldn't care less about what policies they have. It's up to them.

But I have been to many events for grown ups which have taken place in a law-abiding setting, and if you think then the considerate and reasonable behaviour you've described is because of some 'policy' worked out specifically for that particular event by some committee, without which people would have acted differently, then you're a chump. Cuckoo for coco-pops crazy. And that's why i got into this thread.

In my case, I assure you, by the time that elevator-style incidents happen I'm long tucked up in bed like the old fart I am. I don't care how you youngsters go about your weird 'dating' behaviour with each other. But I have described myself as an atheist for a few years now, and I do have a stake in the fact that this idea that without a god, we're these animals who need special rules and regulations applying only to us, in addition to the laws which we have to follow alongside everyone else, is being propagated with great enthusiasm by those both inside and outside atheism. And it seems to have all happened because of some verbal only incident between two tipsy kids late at night.

I know that 'ageism' is supposed to be bad and I'm evil for saying so, but isn't there an arrogance here about a certain age-group insisting that everyone focusses on issues paramount to them and remake everything in the light of drama based on these concerns.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:45 am

piginthecity wrote:Nope. Laws are not silly. That's why i can tell you the number of laws which have been broken at atheist/skeptical events in the last ten years. Zero.
Evidence given: {}

I meant my analogy with laws more generally.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Atheist Dude on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:01 am

piginthecity wrote:Nope. Laws are not silly. That's why i can tell you the number of laws which have been broken at atheist/skeptical events in the last ten years. Zero.

You know this, how?
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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:28 am

Hey, dude and Ipetrich.

The 'laws' thing was me just clarifying that i don't think that all pieces of paper are silly. I don't of course know for sure, but its a good assumption that if there had been criminality at an event we'd have heard about it. The religious types would have been all over it for sure. (not to mention the fuss made over one drunk's proposition in an elevator). Do give me your list of crimes committed, though and I'll admit an error here.

On the main point though, we can agree that scepticon V was successful, civilised and friendly, according to the picture painted in Ipe's post. I'm sure this is accurate.

Now, I've never been to either of these things, but apparently a few short weeks ago women at these events felt less safe than on the sidewalk (1), women had their 'asses grabbed' (2), the community contained MRA's who would viciously fight against [women who they consider to be] whores and silence by any means necessary (3), stalkers who had threatened to accost women were allowed in to the conferences because the organisers didn't care about their safety (3), police weren't interested in upholding the law at these conferences (3), women conference goers had to institute a buddy system to travel in pairs because of threats (3), women cannot trust people who they go to the conferences with(3), there was an ugly strain of sexism and misogeny within the atheist community(4).

And now, for scepticon V, these problems (which would certainly have taken years if not decades to fix) have now suddenly all gone away as if by magic. Everything is sweetness and light and the deep, violent, vicious strain of hatred has been vanquished, the violent threats have ceased, and everybody feels safe just because of a policy.

Can you see why I'm sceptical ?

refs.
1) is Jen MCreight's 'boys club' blog
2) Surly Amy podcast (can't remember who the interview was with)
3) Rebecca Watson Keynote speech to Florida CFI 2012
4) Greta Christina post on 'humanist.org'

All are checkable and in context, referring to Atheist/Sceptical events.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  lpetrich on Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:21 pm

piginthecity, is it really that complicated?

All that was necessary was to lay down the law about jerkish behavior, including threaten to kick someone out for jerkishness if necessary. I've had similar experience with messageboards, in which banning people for trolling and other forms of jerkishness has been a successful policy. Of course, the targets then moan and groan about authoritarianism and what a terrible thing it is.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  piginthecity on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:43 am

Making people fear for their safety is not jerkishness.
Grabbing sensitive areas of people's bodies is not jerkishness.
Viciously fighting to silence people by any means necessary is not jerkishness.
Giving people cause to complain to police is not jerkishness.
Causing people to institute a buddy system because of fears for their safety is not jerkishness.
Expressions of hatred are not jerkishness.

These behavious go well beyond jerkishness, into egregiousness and criminality. Not even on the same scale as jerkishness. Jerkishness isn't the issue.

I truly don't understand how you could be aware of these allegations, made consistently and publically, by speeches, blogs, podcasts and magazine articles, and then airily dismiss them as being nothing more than cases of jerkishness, and then complacently declare them all solved.

Also, I can't understand how you can even think they're anything like messageboard dickheaddery. These are real physical actions. There is real hurt and real danger in these. For myself I can cheerfully ignore a thousand messageboard jokers and not bat an eyelid, but one case of someone grabbing someone else's ass and I'd go to the police. Not compare it with silliness-by-text and declare it all solved.

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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

Post  Early Cuyler on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:20 pm

Rebecca Watson is out for herself and herself only. The sooner people realize that and just ignore her, the better.
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Re: Have Rebecca Watson's recent actions damaged the skeptical community?

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