I've Moved!

Atheist Morality is now West Coast Atheist at Wordpress. Stop on by and feel free to comment over there!

01 April, 2013

A New Leaf? Updated


Cool! She answered me and approved my comment. I'm still a little careful about what I'm saying because she felt I was "veering into derailment territory," which was not my intention at all. It's actually really, really refreshing to see someone open up to discussion on the topic of civility in comments. Baby steps. I hope Michael Nugent is watching! I know he's trying to create a place for common ground right now, too. It's all so fragile right now, but if we get some people opening up dialogue without fear of being slammed, maybe we can finally have some peace.

Original post: posted at 2:30

EllenBeth Wachs put a post up about her experience being hammered by the commenters on FtB. I've tried to comment, but my comments keep getting lost in moderation, so I'm going to copy and paste it here, for posterity. I don't know why I'm being moderated and other people aren't, so it's hard for me to see this as genuine if she's purposely restricting what I can say, but I'll go ahead and give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that there is something wrong with Wordpress.

Here's my comment:
I was trying not to have to use my old wordpress account to comment, but it seems that avoiding such has lost my comment to the ether. I had a bad feeling about it (wordpress is weird like that, hence why I don’t use it anymore), so I’ll just copy/pasta it here. My comment sought to clarify some things that you may have, in the past, felt were attacks on women. I hope to hear your thoughts.

Original comment:


The very treatment you received has been what most in the slymepit and on twitter have been complaining about. It started with Steph McGraw being called out unprofessionally by Rebecca Watson at a conference as we all know. This same treatment you describe is the similar to the attacks on Sara Mayhew, which iirc, you supported Hensley and Roth for doing. I’m not here to bash you for that, just pointing out that you could be seen as an active participant. I want to clarify for you some positions that the “anit-ftb slymepitter” (as we are all now known, whether we’ve been to the slymepit or not) crowd has taken.

Some in the slymepit make really crude jokes and photoshops. You’re right, it’s not valid criticism but I don’t think those that participate in it believe it is.The photoshoppers were mainly doing it to push buttons because the concentration on what words one can and can’t use was so ridiculous and so against the idea of free speech that is ingrained in our culture. They were pushing the envelope, so to speak, just to show they could. Does that make it right or wrong? I don’t think there’s an easy answer. What it was was a protest against ideologues who wanted to shut down and silence any debate about it. You’re going to feel about it how you’re going to feel and that’s okay, I’m just trying to provide a perspective you might not have considered, before I move on to my next point.

Rape threats and name-calling on twitter is not okay. The slymepit never said it was. What we know from being on the internet is that there are some vicious douchebags out there who have no problem backing up their arguments with “I should give you my dick. You’d like it, you dirty whore.” I get it from Creationists all the damn time. I don’t consider them valid threats. Most of us there would probably agree that the best tactic we’ve found for addressing these trolls is to block, report for spam and ignore them. This was the point that was being made when we started getting told we were “rape apologists” and being banned from continuing discussion further. There was no difference between the way the trolls were being treated and the way people with honest opinions and arguments were being treated. I hope you’ll take another look at what they’ve done to Justin Vacula for an excellent example.

The very existence of these trolls and photoshoppers was an excuse to disregard anyone with any criticism against your friends. Rebecca Watson’s Evo Psych talk was not sound and had a lot of room for improvement, but the criticism she received was treated as woman-hating misogyny. How can we, as women, expect to advance in fields of science when our work is defended no matter how bad it is just because we are women? That is a problem a lot of women atheist feminists have had to deal with lately and they have been called “chill-girls” and “sister-punishers” for it.

You are absolutely right to think, “Who else could they be wrong about.” I really hope you consider what I’ve written here. I’ve written it in good faith, to try and clarify what the “Great Rift” has been about for “our side,” because neither side seems to be able to agree with what we’re arguing about and many have noticed there are feminists on both sides of the rift saying very similar things but getting very different results. Thank you for your consideration.

1 comment:

  1. "There was no difference between the way the trolls were being treated and the way people with honest opinions and arguments were being treated. I hope you’ll take another look at what they’ve done to Justin Vacula for an excellent example."

    Excellent point!