To the ‘ALL DOWN TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU’ commentators…


Let me get this clear (and hopefully through some rather thick skulls).  It’s not due to ‘people like me’, that women’s rape cases are thrown out, its due to the mass hysteria produced by people like you who managed to turn a very minor and badly timed come-on into a serious infringement of personal rights.

I myself refuse to be treated or thought of as a permanently potential victim because I happen to be female.  It’s patronising and very irritating.   I have a right to my body as does everybody else but I have no right to expect others to pussy-foot around me desperate to not ‘make me uncomfortable’ but nor does anyone else.  Don’t make the hysteria my fault when all I an others have done is pointed out how stupidly irrelevant it all really is.  I have never suggested that women ever deserve to be raped or assaulted.  As far as I am concerned ‘No’ means ‘no’ and no qualification or reason is ever needed or should ever be expected and this applies to partners and husbands too. Miss Watson had every right to feel uncomfortable, it’s not for us to say what she or anyone should or should not be feeling but nor are we responsible for the ‘feelings’ of others.  It would in no way have been her fault if she had been assaulted.  So just what happened in the lift?  SHE said NO, he didn’t push it.   He didn’t touch her or harm her in any way.   That should have been the end of it.  Clear? Good.

You have ALL refused to think critically about the whole situation and instead decided to lambaste everyone who doesn’t instantly agree with you and Plait on every point and I’m truly embarrassed for you.

There are certain rules and expectations of common courtesy to be held in account, like offering one’s seat on a train or bus to someone less able to stand than you, holding doors for the next person or just offering to help someone you can see is struggling. This is not because they are male, female (or bug-eyed alien) but because it is an item of decent things to do on a very long and complicated list of little things which help make the world a nicer place to live in.  Adding relative and arbitrary items and terms to that list like ‘don’t be creepy‘ is not in the least bit helpful to the real cases of sexual assault and nor is it fair to apply it only to men. It makes it harder, not easier, to see that justice is done when the slightest word at the wrong time and wrong place by someone with zero grip on appropriate social interaction can blow up into this.

Yes, people are awkward.  That is not a crime (not everyone is the same and it is just wrong-headed to be angry that someone doesn’t instantly just agree with you or see things exactly as you do), and rather than laugh at them or so fiercely condemn them for making what is for us such an obvious error (and tit of themselves, because that’s all EG really did wrong), how about helping them to not make the same mistake again. You do this by having the decency and good manners to state your objection to their face calmly and at the time. What you do not do is increase EGs humiliation in a couched reference on a YouTube video so that everyone knows about it and those at the conference are left speculating about who it might have been because he was possibly already kicking himself over it.

To deliberately embarrass EG like that was just a cruel and nasty thing to do.   If we use your logic, commentators, that ‘mere moment’ in the video has infringed HIS rights ‘not to be made to feel uncomfortable‘ unless that’s a one way gate which it seems to be at the moment.   One might say that they were ‘even‘ in this case but oh NO, its managed to become not only a man-bashing exercise but a mission to ‘condemn all the women who don’t see it automatically our waywithout being allowed to think about it for ourselves let alone openly disagree with you.    (When did the feminist-fundies emerge?)  Can you not see how you all  resemble the same religious fundies we come up against on a daily basis?  The same ones who refuse to acknowledge that any but their personal views are valid and that all the worlds problems are all down to we morally repugnant individuals who dare to disagree openly with them. This is another reason that I’m embarrassed for you as a group.  Last time I checked it was okay for us to disagree with each other but it seems along with the Atheists who condemn other atheists for speaking out to deal with, we now have sceptics who won’t tolerate others being sceptical of them.

That it can cause this amount of hysterical posturing from the PC crowd is also embarrassing (buttock-clenchingly so) because it’s making the whole critical-thinking movement look like a bunch of hypocrites.

Making this as bad as actual assault does nothing to help women.  It hinders us, more importantly it hinders the women who are trying to hold their assailant to account and NOT be thought of as one of those ‘hysterical feminists‘ because what this does is it puts people like you directly in the minds of the people who make those decisions: important decisions.  If there is the smallest scrap of doubt or suspicion that the victim blew anything out of proportion, their assailant will walk free rather than risk sending an innocent man to prison.  That is also one of the joys of living in a free western society: you cannot be thrown in prison without actual and certain proof that you did anything wrong.

As we have seen, what someone considers ‘creepy’ varies vastly from person to person. Define ‘creepy’.   This is one of the costs of  living in a FREE WESTERN SOCIETY.  It means that other people are allowed different views and to express them.  (I shouldn’t have to explain that to you people.)  To attempt to make all terms mean exactly the same to all people regardless of whether it’s a social construct or legislated law would be to put an end  to that freedom.   Would any of the naysayers (who really have not listened to a word have had to say before now) ever be happy to be forced to apply that restriction to their own lives?  I will quote myself here from the last paragraph of my original post and this time I hope people will try to listen and take it in.

“We as women no more have the right ‘not to be made uncomfortable‘ than the followers of the religions we criticise have the right ‘not to be offended’.”

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12 thoughts on “To the ‘ALL DOWN TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU’ commentators…

  1. silkworm says:

    Hi Steve

    No, I am not on Facebook, nor do I follow anyone on Facebook. I am thinking of getting together with some of the local Sydney atheists / rationalists / freethinkers and starting a new website or joining an existing one. My input would be along the lines of Jesus skepticism and its relevance to secularism. But perhaps the following account will help explain why I don’t have my own Facebook page.

    Yes, Godfrey did have verbal diarrhoea, and I was very restrained in my responses to him, until the very end, when I could handle him no more. Unfortunately I am not always that restrained or objective. Yesterday I flew off the handle on a supposedly progressive Australian blog, Larvatus Prodeo (LP), and I got banned for 24 hours for responding immoderately to the provocations of the site owner, one Dr Mark Bahnisch (I called him a joke as a progressive, and then a fascist), and later, those of the thread author, a woman called Kim. The thread was about a TV show the previous night on the relationship between atheism and religion.

    I have a reputation at LP as a firebrand New Atheist (though I described myself yesterday as an ignostic (“there is no coherent definition of God, so discussion is meaningless”), and the “progressive” Christians at LP have it in for me. My persona there is quite different from the objective and cautionary one I present here and at the Tim Channel. In any case, Mark and Kim are hostile to me (and I to them), so when the opportunity to attack The New Atheists presented itself, they seized on it. I sensed that I was being set up for a trap, and I stupidly fell into it.

    Now, both Mark and Kim are traditionalist Catholics and Kim is also Jewish (go figure). Both of them hate modernity and continually attack, criticize and provoke New Atheists, and the thread was set up by these two Catholic defenders so that their fellow commenters could do just that. It’s a dishonest but effective tactic that they’ve developed. This became apparent in the second comment, which was from Mark, who quoted one of the atheists on the panel, prominent Australian feminist Eva Cox, criticizing Richard Dawkins (who was not mentioned in Kim’s opening comments about the TV panel). To his dismay, Mark was immediately taken to task by atheist blogger Lachlan O’Dea, who accused both Kim and Mark of missing the point of New Atheism in trying to disentangle ethics from the traditional domain of religion.

    Mark had to contend with this threat to his authority, and was unable to get in his attack on Dawkins, whom both he and Kim despise. It had to wait until halfway through the thread before Mark could launch his planned attack, in which – surprise, surprise – Mark would side with pseudo-feminist Rebecca Watson in the elevatorgate scandal. At the end of one of his long and laboured comments, Mark dropped the following throwaway comment:

    I also agree that pinging religion for having the sole responsibility for misogyny (for instance) is wrong. Richard Dawkins certainly demonstrated he’s far from immune to it in Elevatorgate.

    This comment was highly misleading and inflammatory, but I did not want to spark a flame war which is what I suspected Mark wanted. Instead I commented that Mark’s comment was both sneaky and off topic (misogyny was off topic, but apparently Dawkins bashing is OK). However, I was castigated for acting like a moderator by one of the mods, Tigtog, who is an “accommodationist” atheist, the type of atheist with whom Mark and Kim have an enjoyable relationship. Mark’s insinuation that Dawkins was a misogynist showed he had fallen for Skepchick’s argument, but it was obvious to me that Mark only agreed with Skepckick because her argument was the type of Dawkins bashing that Mark wanted to hear from an accommodationist atheist.

    After my castigation by Tigtog, I realized that it was a setup and that I was being provoked, so I composed myself and changed tack. I adopted the objective liberal argument that Mark’s and Kim’s positions were that of supporting Christian privilege, and that’s when Kim began her attacks on me. I persisted in pointing out, quite gently I thought, that Kim was reasserting Christian privilege and she accused me unfairly of being irrational and of using slogans. I was not able to respond to these clearly biased accusations, as by that time all my posts were put into the moderation bin. Today some of the posters have continued their attacks on me, but I can’t complain. I literally can’t!

    Here endeth my sad confession.

    BTW, I forgot to acknowledge your link to Kraussgate, so a belated thanks for that.

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  2. Steve Williamson says:

    WOW! That Godfrey is a bit of a verbal diarrhoea sufferer!! Also simply does not get it that what a lot of people object to is not necessarily WHAT she said but the way she said it. Interestingly – I believe around 80% of the original “batch” of critics at what she said were actually feminists / women.

    She should not have used Stef’s texts knowing she was in the audience. Most of what Godfrey wrote in the later stages of he comments on there for me at least was simply tl;dr .

    Loved the amended TAM9 schedule and the memegenerator links! You on FB at all?

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  3. silkworm says:

    There is a brilliant satirical expose of Rebecca Watson’s hypocrisy over at the Tim Channel where Tim posted a Skepchick video from a few years ago in which Watson’s sexual narcissism is on display. Watch the second video and read the text in it for a real eye-opener.

    http://thetimchannel.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/attack-of-the-american-girlyban/

    Her recent scandals of Kraussgate, Elevatorgate, Podiumgate and Dawkinsgate may be due to her coming under the influence of Amanda Marcotte.

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  4. silkworm says:

    The Skepchicks have form on these shenanigans. In 2006, one of the Skepchicks, Amanda Marcotte, displayed an even more hysterical disregard of the facts in the Duke University lacrosse team rape trial. According to Wikipedia, even after the three accused were found innocent, Marcotte declared on her blog that people who defended the wrongly accused Duke students were ‘rape-loving scum.’

    And in April this year, Rebecca Watson led a campaign against prominent atheist Prof. Lawrence Krauss when he defended his friend Jeffrey Epstein against charges of soliciting underage women. Some of the people on Watson’s blog called Krauss a paedophile.

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    • Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? That’s another wonderful thing about living in a free western society: everyone has the right to defence in a free trial.

      I’m sure Ms Watson and her ilk would be the first to speak out if one of them had been accused of something terrible which they new they hadn’t done. Though considering their past conduct, they’d drop them like hot coals and be calling for them to be locked away without a trial simply for being accused of such a thing.

      (There’s a reason I used the term ‘Band-wagon’ in my original post)

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  5. I dont understand , ” Not only was Rebecca cruel and nasty in deliberately humiliating Elevator Guy, she was also cruel and nasty in deliberately humiliating Stef McGraw from the podium. There is a pattern here. “

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  6. silkworm says:

    Not only was Rebecca cruel and nasty in deliberately humiliating Elevator Guy, she was also cruel and nasty in deliberately humiliating Stef McGraw from the podium. There is a pattern here.

    Like

  7. Callie K. says:

    Re: “We as women no more have the right ‘not to be made uncomfortable‘ than the followers of the religions we criticise have the right ‘not to be offended’.”

    In the sense that neither is illegal, yes. However, suggesting that Americans don’t have the right to exert social pressure against a behavior they see undesirable is also the same as saying the Christians have no right to voice their opinion of what their ideal society would be like.

    You can agree with or, as you’re doing, argue against those behaviors, but the woman in question has just as much right to stick to her guns and give an accurate representation of her feelings and impression online and elsewhere. She doesn’t need your permission.

    Personally, I’d be incredibly uncomfortable with a man making a pass at me if we were alone in an elevator and, yes, I think it’s the man’s responsibility to be aware of why that’s uncalled for and, yes, creepy. An apology wouldn’t be out of order afterward.

    I’m not out in public to be ogled, I am using an essential means of transport by riding a public elevator and there are really few circumstances I can imagine where an individual I had /no prior contact with/ would ask me to get off that elevator with them that aren’t inherently creepy.

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    • Not just Americans, but anyone. Raise awareness by all means but ‘exerting pressure’ means to attempt to force people to see it all one way. If you want the freedom to move and act as you please, fine but that comes with a price tag: OTHER PEOPLE GET THE SAME FREEDOM. Why is it so offensive to be spoken to in a lift by a stranger? Think you’re deserving of some sort of deferential ‘respect’? Respect is earned,lovely, not owed.

      We all have a right to express our views including the Christians we argue against. We nor them, however, do not have the right not to be offended by the fact that others hold different ones such as the way you have come across in your own comment; that Ms Watson was well within her rights to ‘speak out’ about EG but I’m not allowed to speak on a subject unless my view(s) concurs with her, you or the hysterical masses. I didn’t say she didn’t have the right do do what she did on YouTube. I said what she did to further embarrass someone who had done her no harm was cruel and nasty. So public an act invites public comment whether good or bad. If you look back you will see that I did state outright that nobody had any business telling her what she should or should not feel about it. That is her prerogative but nor are the rest of us responsible for making sure those ‘feelings’ are all snug and protected.

      Fair enough you don’t want to be ogled, but here’s the thing: YOU don’t get to police other people’s thoughts (or line of sight). Personally I couldn’t care less if someone stares at me – not that they are likely to – as nobody’s ever died from a look. I suggest you remember your own words next time YOU happen to spy a stranger that you quite fancy: they didn’t go out to be ‘ogled’ either. What you are calling for is an arbitrary halt to normal, natural human behaviour. ‘People’ don’t need to start being scared to look away from their own feet or speak just in case they get sued or charged with some kind of ‘potential’ assault for ‘making someone uncomfortable’. YOU and and the rest of the hyper-sensitive PC-whiners need to grow up and take a huge dose of reality. You can have the first dose on me: the world does NOT revolve around you.

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  8. Is it possible that some people are militant atheists BECAUSE they need to deny their tendency to rigid thinking, and also deny their wish to impose this thinking on others? Sort of a crude Freudian projection/Jungian “shadow” thing?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_%28psychology%29

    Does that seem plausible to you?

    Glad you’ve written these posts. In a way it’s good that this has happened, because it’s forcing people to think (!) about the cultures of group-think and ideological mutual-policing that’s going on…

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