Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Blame Michael Shermer

There was a line I missed in Rebecca Watson's rant about objectification:

On the topic of receiving pornographic MS Paint art:

I want you to think about [the pornographic MS Paint cartoon] the next time you hear Michael Shermer complain that Ophelia Benson’s mild criticism of his words is a “McCarthy-like witch hunt,” or when Paula Kirby complains that she’s being persecuted by feminazis because women are asking for better treatment, or when anyone complains that PZ and others are “Freethought Bullies,” or when anyone complains that I complain too much because once every few months I provide examples of the harassment I receive. Shermer, Kirby, and the others have no idea what it’s like to be hunted and harassed, because “our side,” the people who are speaking out against harassment, don’t do this to them.

Somehow, people sending MS Paint cartoons to Rebecca Watson are doing so under the direct instruction of Michael Shermer and Paula Kirby. They're on the same "side" as someone who spends time drawing people naked in MS Paint.

Remember: If you deny being a misogynist, then you must condone harassment. Right?

Ophelia responds in Skepchick thread:

Shermer, Kirby, and the others have no idea what it’s like to be hunted and harassed, because “our side,” the people who are speaking out against harassment, don’t do this to them.
Funny how she is so excited about the sentence that pegs it all on Shermer.

Shermer is mentioned in Watson's article four times, and she even goes out to mention his line of work:
Instead, they focus on his words and on his arguments and they offer an opposing viewpoint. If that’s what Shermer thinks of as a witch hunt, then a single day of the treatment I get would have him boarding up the windows at Skeptic Magazine faster than you can come up with a bigoted nickname based on his name.
 A person in the thread tries to clarify comments Shermer made:

jacksonp  writes,

That is what Shermer said:
“So we should hang together in our fight against real discrimination, bigotry, racism, misogyny, and homophobia wherever we find it.” This kind of crap that Rebecca received, is what he was talking about.

To which user marilove replies:
He doesn’t seem to be applying what he said to Rebecca. He doesn’t seem to care about that sort of harrassment. He only cares about made-up “witch hunts” that really aren’t directed at him.

It seems to be that Shermer's greatest crime is not seeming to care about Rebecca enough.

Ophelia reblogged Watson's writings, with the criticism of Shermer reproduced in its entirety.

Marikta Lynda comments on Ophelia's blog:

Thank you for this very cogent reminder of the power differential and sexism that the privileged such as Michael Shermer don’t have to face.
He’s so privileged that he didn’t bother to reply when I pointed out to him that one of the articles he published in Skeptic Magazine was plagiarized almost entirely from one of my blog posts.

Now apparently Michael Shermer hates women so much he doesn't even reply to their emails!

Hamilton Jacobi adds:
Somehow I doubt if Michael Shermer is paying attention to any of this. His cognitive dissonance disposal system might get clogged up, so it is much more convenient if he just doesn’t notice.
Shermer doesn't even realize this is all his fault! Christ, what an asshole!

Richard Carrier picked up the story on his blog:
She correctly defines and identifies a real problem, identifies from empirical and scientific findings why it’s bad

Apparently a habitual body monitoring talk from a PhD in gender studies and politics is hard science now.  Richard, did your leave your brain at the door?

Included in Carrier's rather half-assed arguments reasoning that porn stars need not be objectified and high heels are not necessarily bad, is this epic line:
"Why so many men in our movement (and even some women) are not taking this seriously as a problem to speak out against and fight I don’t know."

Yes, why didn't Michael Shermer make a statement previously?

Examples of what one might say:
"I don't condone pornographic MS Paint cartoons being sent to women" 

Or perhaps,
"I am opposed to photoshopped pictures depicting women as furniture"

Why indeed, Richard Carrier, do more men not come forward and state these things?

Since Michael Shermer hasn't come out and stated without a doubt that he doesn't want Ophelia Benson to be thrown into a volcano, that must be something "his side" desires.

To his credit, Richard Carrier did not include any reflection upon the work of Michael Shermer.

Didn't Richard Carrier receive the talking points? Every other branch of this discussion mentions Shermer at least three times. It's like he doesn't understand the political aspect of any of this.

And he forgets Rule #2434.

Rule #2434 of receiving harassing emails: Pin it on Shermer and his friends.

Yes, Shermer, what have you done for us lately?

Let's state facts: If you receive an MS Paint cartoon of you being bound and gagged, and it inspires you to criticize Michael Shermer numerous times, you might be off your meds.

Similarly, if multiple women being shot a university drives you to try to make a point on your blog, you might be a crazy asshole PZ Myers.

Stay classy all. You're all being so progressive it's hard to keep up.


  1. Okay...so basically, "They don't demonize people and pick out witches of the week because people photoshop pictures of them!"

    Uh, no. And photoshop isn't harassment. They wouldn't care if it was a photoshop of someone theydon't like, like WBC (just the automatic first choice off of my head.) In fact, most stuff they label harassment happens to WBC in person and they don't care about it.

    Why? Because the types of things they're talking about (mocking, commenting on someone's blog when you think they're wrong or even morally wrong who kicked you out, etc) are things people approve of if it's someone they don't like...however, SOME people want to claim it's harassment when done to them- no one cares, tbh. You deserve to be told off and mocked just as WBC does in your eyes, because you're sucky people spouting BS and doing BS things.

    And don't even get me STARTED on the misogyny claims! They BLATANTLY IGNORE the fact that both their men and women are hooked and claim people are deliberately going after their women specifically because they are misogynists. Incredible.

  2. I don't want to complain, but there aren't enough photoshop pictures of me screwing donkeys from my perspective. I've tried to be "the guy" that everybody wants to photoshop screwing a donkey but have failed miserably in that regard. I guess I set my sights a little too high? I'd settle for a photoshop of me screwing a goat if people are having a hard time finding donkey pix.

    No way I'm ever going to get a charge of #flirty rape to stick. You can't rape the willing. I tweeted your web post in my own usual creative and brilliant fashion. Yes you are indebted to me. Try not to forget that.