Saturday, September 7, 2013

Skepchick Standards

Eventually we'll get back to writing about feminist topics.

For now we're stuck on the Skepchick trainwreck, as the Skepchick bloggers have outdone even the ridiculousness that is tablegate ( Posts 1 2 3 4 5 )

How? By reviving the ridiculousness that is elevatorgate.

In a new post, Sarah M (of "MRAs don't care about black folk" fame) writes:

My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols)
At this time (September of 2011), Dave Silverman was heading up the Reason Rally Committee. There was still quite a bit of planning and promotion that needed to be done, so Dave asked Richard, Elizabeth, and Sean to make videos to promote the Reason Rally. (The video Richard ended up making is still viewable.) Richard was standing behind the podium, and he asked Dave something along the lines of, “What exactly is the Reason Rally?” Dave started explaining it, and as he did, someone who was waiting in the line outside opened the door to peek inside and we could all hear a lot of noise. I rushed up the aisle and made frantic “shut the door” gestures at the people peeking inside, and they did. As I walked the ten feet back, I couldn’t hear everything Dave was saying, but I heard the name “Rebecca Watson.” Richard suddenly had a very angry look on his face and I heard him almost shout, “No, absolutely not! If she’s going to be there, I won’t be there. I don’t want her speaking.” and then Dave immediately replied, “You’re absolutely right, we’ll take her off the roster. It’s done.” Richard huffed for a moment, Dave continued to placate him, and then he made the video.
I think the head of every single organization would have done the same thing, had they been in Dave’s position– and that right there is the problem. Yes, Richard Dawkins is a big draw. Yes, the Reason Rally was (for the most part) successful. But at what cost? Are we okay sacrificing the voices of some people in order to get others involved? Do we have too much of a culture of celebrity, so that we are willing to do things we otherwise wouldn’t do in order to get those celebrities involved? Is this indicative of a mindset that some people’s opinions are more important than others?
I think the atheist movement has reached a critical point that will determine whether it succeeds or whether it flounders. I think we need to take a long, hard look at what we’re doing and decide if our actions truly line up with our values. Do we want to be a movement that refuses to change, simply because we think it’s too hard? Do we want to become a movement that doesn’t critically question people in leadership roles? Do we want to become a movement that only pays lip service to minorities, instead of actually working to include them? What do we want this movement to become, and how can we really achieve that?
As for me? I’m sorry it took me two years to build up the guts to share this story publicly. I’m sorry I didn’t have the courage to speak up when I saw things I disagreed with. I’m going to stop making excuses for why I haven’t been living up to my values and start actually doing it. I hope you’ll join me.

Wow. Everyone should understand how absolutely absurd Sarah's reasoning is.

Please take the a moment to learn.

Let's add some background.

First, in 2011 sometime (June?) the elevatorgate debacle happened. A man asked Rebecca Watson for coffee. Rebecca Watson thought he was creepy. That's pretty much the story.

Richard Dawkins writes a post dismissive of Rebecca Watson's chastising of the "creepy" male, essentially saying that if this is the worst problem white godless women have then it's not really the end of the bloody world.

In July 2011, Rebecca Watson writes in a post titled "The Privilege Delusion":
So many of you voiced what I had already been thinking: that this person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experiences as an atheist woman and therefore will no longer be rewarded with my money, my praise, or my attention. I will no longer recommend his books to others, buy them as presents, or buy them for my own library. I will not attend his lectures or recommend that others do the same. There are so many great scientists and thinkers out there that I don’t think my reading list will suffer.

Before we get into the timeline that Sarah M shares, let's take a moment to point out that David Silverman (head of American Atheists) has already come out and stated Sarah's statements reflect a reality that never existed:

While Mr. Silverman does not dispute that an exchange with Dr. Dawkins took place in Miami in September of 2011, there was no acquiescence on Mr. Silverman's part. At the time the exchange took place, Ms. Watson had not in fact been invited to speak at the Reason Rally, and that decision had already been made. The Reason Rally had many more requests from prominent atheists to speak than speaking slots to offer.

The claim from American Atheists is essentially that it didn't matter what Dawkins may or may not have wanted - Watson was already not on the list of invited speakers.

However, for a moment let's pretend that Skepchick facts are true facts.

In September 2011, the following things are true:

  1. Rebecca Watson states she is no longer buying Dawkins' books 
  2. Rebecca Watson states she is no longer attending Dawkins' lectures
  3. Rebecca Watson states she is no longer recommending anyone purchase Dawkins' books
  4. Rebecca Watson states she is no longer recommending anyone attending Dawkins' lectures
  5. Rebecca Watson states that Dawkins is blind his privilege and will be "stinking rich until the end of his days"

In this context, Dawkins would be found saying similar to:

"I'd rather stay home than share a speaking engagement with this person that hates me."

It would appear that this was already not a possibly given Watson's own non-endorsement of Dawkins' lectures.

In this view, Sarah Moglia and Rebecca Watson are mad because they did not get a chance to say no first.

How would this work?

  1. Dawkins has no objections to Rebecca Watson speaking
  2. David Silverman extends an invitation for Rebecca Watson to speak at the Reason Rally
  3. Rebecca Watson asks who is sharing her stage/session/time slot.
  4. David Silverman says "Richard Dawkins"
  5. Rebecca Watson says "Hell no! He's a evil privileged bastard!"
  6. Rebecca Watson posts an "activist" article about how the Reason Rally hates women

It's not unreasonable to think that this is a sufficient alternative reality to the false reality that Sarah describes. For Watson already stated that Dawkins' "lectures" were now a non-event in her books.

We have a world in which Watson publicly states her resentment of all things Dawkins, while Dawkins allegedly shares in private a preference to not working with her.

Which of the two is being cast as a villian?

Not Watson, because she's an untouchable hero.

From Skepchick comments:

Itchy Fisher Price 
After reading Sarah’s post, I’m more convinced that Richard is basically a douchenozzle. When I read Rebecca’s account of what Dawkins said, I thought he was being a jerk and maybe a one-time thing. You know how you ask a celebrity’s opinion on something and it turns out their take is pretty much worthless? Exactly.
Now with this account, it isn’t a one-time thing. Richard *IS* a misogynist prima donna. Someone ought to get him a diaper and a pacifier.
I don’t want to pile on Dave – but I also do not want to give anyone the idea that being spineless in the face of powerful celebrity and exertion of privilege as an OK thing to do if you are “a nice guy”….Nice guys need to be checked just like everyone else.
I am disappointed as HELL to hear this about Dave S.
I would also like to ask Mr. Dawkins to get over himself.
What a prima dona!
Dawkins is as big a blowhard as Rush Limbaugh. He also seems to look at women the same way as Rush…only Rush says women are inferior because of God, whereas Dawkins would say women are inferior because of Evolution.
manuelmoeg:Bleh, some men in the atheist movement are incredibly self-entitled with impossibly fragile egos, ultimately to their own detriment – how could it be otherwise; it is the opposite of maintaining an attitude of capability. That the “senior” leaders of the atheist movement see fit to indulge this jibber-jabber is nauseating.
Nathan:I want to second Melanie, here. Silverman isn’t the bad guy on this one. It’s Dawkins’ petty childish grudge-holding and the abuse of his celebrity to stick Silverman into a rather horrid position. I wish Silverman had given a better response, but I also can’t yell at him for it because… to be entirely honest… I’d fail when put on the spot like that, too. I think that’s common, in fact. So this certainly is not an attack on David Silverman (which is actually part of my problem with AA’s response… they act as if Silverman was cast as the bad guy, and he clearly wasn’t).
Joerg:American Atheists have issued a statement that dances around the main question at hand (what did Dawkins say, how did Silverman react) in favor of some strong self-aggrandizing. I’m very disappointed and will reconsider donating to them again.
I’m very willing to believe it wasn’t obsequiousness on David’s part and merely reflective of a decision which had already been made. I’d RATHER believe that in fact.
What IS problematic still is the imperious demand on the part of Dawkins which no amount of Febreze could unstinky-fy.
Cygore:Welcome to the major leagues of blogging Sarah. Good job!
sevlevboss: Not all that surprising really, it’s no secret that RD and RW do not like or respect each other. If those were indeed his exact words, that’s pretty childish. I think RD has done lots of admirable things, but that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of being childish or petty on occasion.

In support of the argument that Dawkins supports the "pwnage" culture of "dudebros", cityzenjane links to this video:

Which was pointed out in the thread as a reference to this meme - however such facts did not get in the way of blasting Dawkins for saying "bitches" at a lecture.

For committing the crime of not waiting to appear in public of Rebecca Watson, the Skepchick peanut gallery has stated the following things:

  1. Richard Dawkins is exactly like Rush Limbaugh and views women as inferior due to evolution
  2. Richard Dawkins is a "misogynist prima donna".
  3. Richard Dawkins has a fragile ego and has a self-entitled attitude
  4. Richard Dawkins is indulging in "jibber jabber" and holding a "petty" and "childish grudge" about a dispute that at that time was only about four months old
  5. American Atheists does not deserve donations because of something Sarah overheard in two years ago
  6. Sarah is now in the "major leagues", seemingly simply for admonishing a famous person

Ponder how ironic it is for a frequent commenter to point out that it makes Sarah a "major league" player to cut down a famous person's rep in this way.

All in a thread that is supposedly asking why a famous person may have refused to give these clowns a platform. 

Is it really such a mystery? Where is the self-awareness in this thread?

How silly is this going to get? Is logic out the window here?

It is already absurd, but then PZ Myers and the FreeThoughtBlogs party chime in!

In a post titled "Time to make a promise", PZ writes:

OK, here’s my deal: a promise. I’m not an important speaker, and I’m not the kind of make-or-break participant that any conference might want, and I’ve got a lot of haters out there who want nothing to do with me anyway, but this is how I will approach speaking invitations from now on.
I will decide whether to accept only by considering my availability and the purpose and execution of the event. I do have some restrictions: I’ve got a heavy teaching load and limited available time. I also expect some reassurance that significant effort will be made to promote diversity; if I’m one more white guy in a roster already overloaded with white guys, I’ll step aside and suggest that you invite someone who doesn’t look like me instead. If your conference doesn’t have a harassment policy or treats attendees poorly, I won’t be interested.
But otherwise, I will not discriminate on the basis of who else you’ve invited to speak. So sure, you can also invite Ray Comfort to your conference, and I won’t use that as an excuse to back out. I won’t necessarily get chummy at the event, and I might even aggressively speak out against that other person, but I’ll do my part to make your conference interesting and a good experience for the paying attendees. 
One more thing: conference organizers, I expect you to have the spine to refuse to cave in to suppressive demands from other speakers. I’m promising not to make those demands, I’m expecting you to refuse to honor them from others.

PZ Myers has done a 180.

And commenters catch on:

It was claimed a while back (am just trying to find the link) that you had stated you wouldn’t speak at a con where Abbie Smith was also a speaker. I don’t know if that’s true but if so, I guess that is no longer the case?
Here it is!
Policies can change, embertine. It’s allowed.

The story has changed.

Previously, it was cool to prevent certain women from being speakers - PZ public stated this as policy and it was accepted as good.

Here is PZ Myers saying he'd prefer staying home than speaking with Abbie Smith (posted May 2012):

For instance, I will not participate in any conference in which Abbie Smith is a speaker. If I’m invited, and later discover that she is also invited, I will politely turn down the offer. 
I could find myself spending a lot more time at home, which wouldn’t be bad at all, except that she doesn’t get invited out that often, and her coterie of slimy acolytes are virtual non-entities, too. It is a positive aspect of the growing atheist movement that it tends to be progressive, egalitarian, and not particularly supportive of shrieking over-privileged children. 
Now I have to stroll out to a b├Ąckerei for coffee and pastries.

Now that it comes to light that someone might not want to speak with one of his "friends", suddenly it's the most evil thing an invited speaker can do.

It's also weird now PZ Myers' about-face changes in light of their previously accepted dogma from Skepchick: 

Q. What usually happens when the event inviting you doesn’t already have an anti-harassment policy or 35% women speakers?
So far, every conference organizer has leapt at the chance to institute these things. Often it’s something they were considering anyway, but maybe they needed a little push and a little help. I offer to help them (or find them someone more qualified to help them) if they need. I have a thick Rolodex (not actually a thing anymore) full of smart, funny, entertaining women who can sell tickets so it hasn’t been an issue.

Of course, any conference could simply add more female speakers to fill the 35% quota.

However what is more cost efficient is to simply swap speakers out in-place - just adding a woman does not change the percentages as fast as adding a woman and dropping a male.

Basically it all works out like this:

The Social Justice Warrior speaker rules (effective ~2010 to September 2013) 
[insert some legalese here] The Social Justice Warrior will speak at your conference if:
  1. You can guarantee that Abbie Smith, Justin Vacula, DJ Grothe, Michael Shermer, Paul Elam, "Chris H", Paula Kirby, Ron Lindsay, JT Eberhard, Paul L, Cat B and Justin G or anyone named in Appendix A, Table 1 (also known as the "harassers" or the "Block Bot table") are not attending your conference 
  2. At least 35% of your speakers have genitals similar to those pictured in Appendix A, Figure 1
  3. You need to have a set of rules similar to those outlined in Appendix B

Then the document was updated!

The New and Improved Social Justice Warrior speaker rules 
[insert some legalese here] The Social Justice Warrior will speak at your conference if:
  1. At least 35% of your speakers must have genitals similar to those pictured in Appendix A, Figure 1
  2. You need to have a set of rules similar to those outlined in Appendix B

Meanwhile let's look at the competing document.

The Richard Dawkins speaker rules 
[insert some legalese here] Professor and NYTimes Bestseller Richard Dawkins will speak at your conference if:
  1. You do not book somebody that wishes to injure his career.

How outrageous, right?

Seems like there is a double standard. People want to get away with any demand - especially the demand that Dawkins have no demands of his own.

Someone who picks up on a double standard but completely confuses the poles of this dispute is Stephanie Zvan.

In a post titled "Defending Dawkins, or How Many Standards Do We Need?", Zvan writes:

In case you missed it, there was a bit of a to do at DragonCon this last weekend around the Skepchick fan table selling their Skeptical Robot and SurlyRamics to raise money to promote skepticism at an event that doesn’t cover their travel costs. There are as many versions of why the conference abruptly found these sales objectionable after four years of them happening (and were willing to be abusive about it) as there have been con representatives talking about why Skepchick shouldn’t have the table anymore. The rules for fan tables (distinct from vendor tables) are appallingly vague and not consistent with any of the complaints made.
One of the most ridiculous things that they’ve said, however, is that if Rebecca or Amy can’t afford to pay for their own travel to do this outreach, they should get a job. Yes, apparently selling merchandise that people want is somehow wrong now. Ophelia has given that idea even more attention than it deserves, so I won’t repeat any of it. Instead, I’ll contrast that attitude to another one.
Grants to other organizations are a small part of what the foundation does. The website has been central to the foundation, but the costs involved are not huge. The larger part of the foundation appears to be underwriting Dawkins’ notorious willingness to speak to student groups at very little cost. If the groups don’t pay the cost, someone still has to. In the case of the tour Sarah wrote about, the book’s publisher likely covered the cost of Dawkins’ travel, but Sarah had a year’s salary and Faircloth had travel expenses for the whole tour, while Cornwell accompanied them for about half of it. Similarly, the foundation was a sponsor of the Reason Rally. It’s quite likely that it covered the costs for all the foundation employees who spoke, as well as Dawkins.
That’s right. Dawkins’s foundation didn’t pay to have him travel, but they did pay to have his entourage travel with him–partly funded by their merchandise sales–to allow him to speak to audiences he felt needed it. To be clear, I don’t have a problem with this, though a little more transparency about this purpose of the foundation would be nice and would help avoid situations like the unfounded accusation. No one I discussed this with in the course of laying the rumor to rest had a problem with this. 
Now, however, when it’s Rebecca, suddenly people have problems with selling merch when someone doesn’t want to put the costs of travel directly on the audience. I wonder why that could be. Hmm. 
Isn’t it about time we got a single set of standards for this movement?

Stephanie Zvan has failed in a multitude of ways in understanding the ridiculous event that is the tablegate situation

The only description of the event is a quotemine of sorts copying a regrettable statement made in one of the posts on this blog.

Here's how the FreeThoughtBlogs information train works:
  1. A blogger on the DailyDot quotes you
  2. Ophelia Benson quotes that quote
  3. Stephanie Zvan links to the quote of the quote
  4. Stephanie Zvan believes she now understands things, and continues to leave out details and misrepresent critics

Stephanie Zvan honestly wishes to spin Sarah Moglia's post into some lame attempt to point out the hypocrisy and double standards of the critics of Atheism+.

The relevant facts of tablegate, summarized so even Stephanie Zvan can grasp them:

  1. Nobody has criticized Watson and Roth being able to sell their merch online
  2. Rebecca Watson never had an opportunity to charge attendees at DragonCon more for her appearance. Terms of her appearance were simply a free pass to the convention. She was not granted a vendor table.

Understanding just these two elements of the situation is enough to grasp where Zvan has gone wrong, but those that want all can read the entire mess again.

Dawkins' foundation may fund his lectures through merchandise sales. 

However what the foundation has not been known to do is camp free tables and piss off vendors at events that are unquestionably not a party created for them.

Only people that are well and truly idiots would see a double standard when it comes to secularists selling merchandise.

Fellow Greta Christina chimes in on her blog:

"September 5 [the date of Sarah's post] is not the first time I heard reports about Richard Dawkins blackballing Rebecca Watson."

So now what Dawkins is apparently doing is "blackballing".

However when PZ Myers publicly stated his intention to stay home instead of speaking with Abbie Smith, as well as slandering her fans as "slimy acolytes", this was known in "social justice" circles as "supporting the local progressive b├Ąckerei" or some such euphemism.

It's as if these Atheism+ thugs advocated for land mines and sarin gas, and then found that the workers at the weapons factory were non-union.

Atheism+ here is denouncing the morality of their own tactics once they get one inkling of their opponents doing precisely the same thing.

Of course, there is another reason PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson want to walk away from the "social justice" boycotts of conferences.

It hurts them professionally.

This hullabullo with Dawkins provides a good pretext for PZ Myers and Rebecca Watson to backpedal from their previous statements of what conferences they're willing to attend.

By many accounts, they were breaking their own rules before Sarah even wrote the post:

  1. PZ Myers is attending the Paradigm Symposium, Oct 17-20 2013. It's a quack conference that he's already booked (Posted about it back in April, but leaves off his calendar on Pharyngula)
  2. Rebecca Watson has seemingly broken her "35% women" rule several times, most recently sitting in otherwise all-male panels at DragonCon. But it doesn't matter - she got a free ticket!

Previously, refusing to speak at a conference was merely the Atheism+ good guys kicking out the "C.H.U.Ds" (as Richard Carrier would say) that have no conscience

Now that it may have happened to one of their tribe, it's "the harassers" that are "blackballing".

Let's go over the multitude of Atheism+ privileges:

  1. Atheism+ can show up at your conference and sell what they want
  2. Atheism+ can publicly refuse to buy your merch
  3. Atheism+ can publicly refuse to attend your lectures
  4. Atheism+ can blast your fans as "slime" and "harassers"
  5. Atheism+ can call you a misogynist and racist
  6. Atheism+ can publicly refuse to speak at conferences you attend (i.e. "blackball" you)

You're a bestselling author, professor and scientist. You would rather spend a weekend with the family than attending a political conference headlined by a bunch of your detractors.

But too bad, Atheism+ is entitled to your appearance.

How would Atheism+ book its con?

Presumably this is how it would engage its speakers:

Con-woman: "Hello, is this <famous philosopher from now on called FamousDudeBro>?"
FamousDudeBro: "Speaking."
Con-woman: "Yes Daniel, we'd like to invite you to speak at Atheism+ convention 2014"
FamousDudeBro: "That's interesting. Would it be a large time commitment?"
Con-woman: "Oh no, not at all. Just a 15 minute panel session."
FamousDudeBro: "That's great, as I'm not as young as I used to be! Which session would this be?"
Con-woman: "This is just the short welcome panel to the conference."
FamousDudeBro: "I see. Who would I be speaking on the panel with?"
Con-Woman: "We plan on inviting Brad Pitt, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Noam Chomsky, Bill Clinton, David Beckham, Tony Blair, Sam Harris, Malcom Gladwell, Sam Harris, Stephen Pinker, Paul Krugman, Ben Bernanke, Vladimir Putin... it's a sizable panel"
FamousDudeBro: "Oh, wow! And this is just the opening act!"
Con-woman: "Yes, the rest of the afternoon will be great. Hour-long speeches from Janeane Garofalo, Ingrid Newkirk, Lindy West, Meghan Murphy, and then our headliner!"
FamousDudeBro: "Who is the headliner?"
Con-woman: "Rebecca Watson!"
FamousDudeBro: "I'm not familiar with this person, what will she speak about?"
Con-woman: "The great thing about Rebecca Watson is that she's a very dynamic speaker. She rarely tells anyone what she's going to speak about! And a lot of the talk is improv! She might talk about internet trolls, HBO's Game of Thrones,  Prometheus, or critique evolutionary psychology!"
FamousDudeBro: "It's about time someone applied a critical eye to evolutionary psychology. Is she coming from a background of biology or psych?"
Con-woman: "She's has the perspective of a feminist activist blogger!"
FamousDudeBro: "Oh."
Con-woman: "Yeah! It'll be great!"
FamousDudeBro: "And the talk about Prometheus? Is this a feminist analysis of Greek mythology?"
Con-woman: "No, it's the movie that came out last year. You know, the one with Charlize Theron?"
FamousDudeBro: "Oh."
Con-woman: "I'm surprised you didn't know about Rebecca Watson. She's written at length about your privilege."
FamousDudeBro: "My what?"
Con-woman: "Privilege. Essentially how your identity, wealth and success has led to a sense of entitlement and inability to relate to disadvantaged groups."
FamousDudeBro: "That's... interesting, I guess."
Con-woman: "So can we count on you to show up? Note that we can't comp expenses, you will need to figure out how to pay for most of your travel expenses."
FamousDudeBro: "Actually I think I'll stay home."
Con-woman: "Oh, really? You don't like the panelists?"
FamousDudeBro: "The panel is amazing. The rest of the event is... well... the rest of the event is a little suspect."
Con-woman: "You hate Rebecca Watson?"
FamousDudeBro: "It's not that I hate Rebecca Watson, I'd rather sat home and see how this plays out instead of putting my rep on the line. I think the rest of the invitees on your 'panel' will say something similar."
Con-woman: "Wait, are you guys conspiring to blackball Rebecca now?"
FamousDudeBro: "What? No, I just think it's not my scene. We don't necessarily see eye-to-eye."
Con-woman: "I'm blogging about this!"
FamousDudeBro: "This? What is 'this'?"
Con-woman: "You're a misogynist prima donna, obviously!"
FamousDudeBro: "I think I'll hang up now."
Con-woman: "Shitlord!"

That seems to be the general dialogue happening at Skepchick headquarters right now.

This is a long post, so let's reiterate some items:

  1. Atheism+ speakers (Myers, Watson) are the kings and queens of rejecting speaking engagements for subjective and political reasons. (But now it's apparently the worst thing anybody could ever do!)
  2. Atheism+/Skepchicks are miffed that in this scenario they didn't get first chance at saying "No".
  3. Atheism+/Skepchicks forget basic elements of their last manufactured drama in a hope to catch opponents in a "double standard"
  4. Atheism+/Skepchicks are enraged that Dawkins had the courage to say "No" to someone that seemingly hates him

There's something that these "progressives" need to learn. People, even if they are old rich white males, have something called "rights" and "choices". They are not obligated to share a stage, meal or bed with you.

There's a simpler way to state this.

No means no.


  1. Thanks for the outline. I know it's nearly impossible to keep up with their bullshit, but it is appreciated.

    Of course I can hardly wait for them or their (t)oolon to come in and rebut your points....instead of just having you "check your privilege" or calling you a rape apologist....yeah, right.

  2. And yet, rational logic and facts lose out to SJW bullshit again and again and again when these stories are discussed at major media websites.


  3. Thanks for setting the record straight.

  4. Here's how the FreeThoughtBlogs information train works:

    A blogger on the DailyDot quotes you
    Ophelia Benson quotes that quote
    Stephanie Zvan links to the quote of the quote

    This is a core component of circular referencing that is so beloved of conspiracy theorists. The aim is to build authority with non-existent substance. In it's simplest form -

    1. Loon A proposes gibberish and cites Loon B as supporting evidence.
    2. The reference to Loon B repeats the same gibberish and offers a further citation to Loon C.
    3. Looking up Loon C, you find a repetition of the same, this time citing Loon A as evidence.

    Voila! The loop is complete and the evidence is now infinite and irreproachable.

    For the "I'll believe anything as long as it's what I want to hear" crowd that reads FTB/Skepchick, this is the equivalent of proof carved in granite.

  5. I enjoyed reading this. Hit a bunch of nails on the head here didnt ya?

  6. Franc is here!
    Uberfeminist has stepped up to provide the valuable public service Greylining once did. Maybe Franc'll be inspired to start blogging again. Whenever FTB critics reach a certain critical mass, they become a target that must be taken out. A former "friend" of Franc's leaked his personal info to FfTB, who gleefully doxxed him.
    After Intragralmath/The Justicar's YouTube channel drew the ire of PZ Myers, PZ wrote a hit piece threatening to dox him as well. All he needed was the ok from Jen McCreight, since she is who Justi was criticizing in the last video he made about FfTB. He barely posts new videos now, even about the myriad of topics about which he is much more passionate.
    I hope you get more readers. But I'm also afraid that FfTB will silence you too. I don't comment most of the time. But I read every post as soon as it pops up in my feed reader.
    Anyway, hi Franc!

  7. "Do we want to become a movement that only pays lip service to minorities, instead of actually working to include them?"

    No. And that's exactly what these drama bloggers do. That's why people like Rebecca Watson are toxic. They pretend to give a shit, but any attempt at discussing any meaningful social issue is ALWAYS transformed into petty blog drama between the same handful of narcissists.

  8. I love the complete hypocrisy of the commentators at certain FTB blogs. Richard uses the funny meme "SCIENCE WORK, BITCHES" and it is condemned by the Horde, but when Rebecca Watson and the Novella's use it on the SGU, not a single word is said.

    I tried to post this fact on Ophelia Benson's Butterflies and Wheels in response to a poster who was complaining about Dawkins' use of said meme. Guess what? It didn't find its way through moderation!

    Then again, Ophelia Benson is a nasty, little liar only to happy to allow her minions to slime and slander people in her comment sections.

  9. Don't apologise for the "regrettable" statement; it was perfectly clear what was meant. It's like arguing with creationists: you can't make posts idiot-proof against quotemining (they can always build a better idiot).

  10. I <3 @Uberfeminist
    ok, that's done.


  11. I'm of the personal opinion that Rebecca Watson can safely be excluded from platforms because she's the kind of person who would claim to receive death and rape threats(both of which are legally actionable, and neither of which she has taken legal action on, or even published), then go on to make a misandrous and self-serving joke about "male atheists" where she was supposed to be helping an awareness campaign for blood cancer research.

    We don't have to censor her, but we also shouldn't have to go out of our way to invite her to sulley our cause on stage with us.