"Checking my privilege" to be here

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Stretchycheese
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"Checking my privilege" to be here

#1

Post by Stretchycheese » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:39 am

Hello everyone,

Lurker here, for the most part. But I've been following the Great Schism since the Elevatocalypse.

I really like Paula Kirby's recent letter. I noticed this comment:
In the case of the -stasi suffix, it draws attentions to behaviours associated with the thought police, for whom anyone who dares to hold non-approved attitudes is automatically persona non grata and to be treated as an enemy of the people. I am referring, of course, to the unfailing response on certain blogs whenever someone has had the temerity to challenge the claims that have been made there. Any suggestion, no matter how mildly phrased or how in keeping with the principles of skepticism, that The Sisterhood might not be automatically and wholly right by default has been met with torrents of abuse, and a pot-pourri (actually, dung-heap would seem a more appropriate metaphor) of accusations ranging from troll at the lower end, through slimebag, douche etc, right up to misogynist or even rape-apologist.
This was a vibe I picked up on right away when the conflict began. It was appalling to me to see so many supposed "rational skeptics" act like demagogues or dogmatic religious fundamentalists hell-bent on smearing "heretics". I think we'll always have this tribalistic element in human nature, but it's really awful to see it come from educated and intelligent people.

Edit: fixed duplicate text in quote
Last edited by Stretchycheese on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LMU

Re: Lurker Here

#2

Post by LMU » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:33 am

Hi All,

Another lurker delurking. I was a Pharyngula reader when Elevator Gate occurred and eventually realized PZ et al weren't being reasonable. I looked in every so often but started following more closely again once TF joined FTB.

FWIW: I was predisposed to agree with PZ et al and I read their feminism 101 etc. links at the time of EG, but I still had questions that I wanted cleared up. (For example I wasn't convinced that EG asking RW for coffee in an elevator was sexist.) Luckily other people asked many of my questions for me in the comments of the appropriate threads. Unfortunately, rather than having their questions answered, they were all treated with abuse, and their questions were either insufficiently answered or they were banned for being "pedantic," or if they responded in kind to the abuse. I kept following in the hope that the questions would eventually be answered, but after multiple threads the thoughtless abuse became nauseating and I stopped. That was enough for me to realize they were not representing something I wanted to be a part of. I would still be interested in having my questions actually answered, but it is clear that a reasonable discussion can't happen on FTB.

Some questions:
In addition to ERV, what other skeptical/science blogs do people recommend?

Is Paula Kirby planning on getting a blog at some point? (Please tell me if she already has one, I'm under the impression that she does not, hence her Sisterhood of the Oppressed not being a blog post.)

To Rah Xephon if he still has interest and has migrated: You mentioned wanting an armistice or truce of some sort, what do you think that would look like? What would have to change?

Additionally, I read Cracked and they recently posted a request for new writers. I think some of this debacle is humorous or could be represented in a humorous manner, but I'm not a writer. Some of you have written significantly about this subject already and might be interested expanding your audience. If you are interested: http://www.cracked.com/article_19955_we ... te-us.html

Be well!

Stretchycheese
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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#3

Post by Stretchycheese » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:30 am

FWIW: I was predisposed to agree with PZ et al and I read their feminism 101 etc. links at the time of EG, but I still had questions that I wanted cleared up.
When I first read about the conflict, I was initially sympathetic to Watson's view regarding guys propositioning her in elevators at 4am. But then I was appalled by her response to McGraw, calling her views "anti-woman" and "parrotting misogyny." A red flag went up for me and I sensed that some ideological dogmatism was afoot.

LMU

Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#4

Post by LMU » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:40 pm

Right. I agree that it was probably inappropriate, but I wasn't convinced that it was necessarily sexist. RW's other actions seemed like misbehavior to me, but people misbehave and I didn't see why I should care until PZ started supporting her so strongly.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#5

Post by Saint N. » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:14 pm

Hi, I don't want to intrude (that's a lie :D ) but as a fellow delurker from the ERV thread I thought it would be polite to say hello. When elevatorgate happened, I was pretty nonchalant about it, thinking along the lines, "Yeah, that guy was kind of a doofus, but thankfully not dangerous." However, my problems with PZ started a good year before the whole elevator thing, during his weird "I hate dictionary atheist. They need to just go away." presentation. It wasn't even so much that he did the speech (even though I thought it was silly and pointless, he still has the right to present and argue whatever points he wants), but the way he refused to acknowledge even the possibility that his position was possibly a bit (let's say) "uninformed", and ridiculed anyone who took an opposing view on the matter. I don't think the guy is capable of critical thought when it comes to protecting his personal sociopolitical beliefs; he just can't entertain the idea that there exists any possibility that what he knows to be the "Truth" about the world could possibly be even slightly false. Even if I agree with everything he has to say (and, on many fronts, I do), the way he goes about formulating and expressing his positions is, in my view, antithetical to critical thought.

Anyway, just saying hello. Hello.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#6

Post by Stretchycheese » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:36 pm

I wasn't convinced of it being a sexism issue either. It could have been some socially awkward geeky admirer of hers who just wanted to get to know her better and chat about Dr. Who or Game of Thrones or something. Social awkwardness doesn't imply misogyny.

That's the other thing I noticed about the FTB/Skepchick radfem point of view. Many seem to have a dogmatic "gender-centric" outlook on social issues, where they tend to see the world in terms of male/female relations to the exclusion of other factors and nuances (i.e. gender coloured goggles). There's a good 2005 Swedish documentary called "Gender War" that documents this sort thing on radical feminism in Swedish politics. In Norway, Canada, and other countries, they found that men's mental illness was a major factor in domestic violence issues and programs providing therapy successfully reduced domestic violence incidents. Swedish policymakers wanted to bring similar programs but Swedish radfems in powerful positions vehemently opposed this, insisting that domestic violence was only about "gender power". The radfems eventually got their way.

Also,here's a perfect example of this sort of dogmatic gynocentrism from a prominent FTB/Skepchick supporter, Jacqueline S. Homan:

Every Crisis on the Planet Today is the Result of Unearned Male Privilege, Sexism, Misogyny and the View of Women as Disposable Property to be Exploited
Last edited by Stretchycheese on Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#7

Post by Lsuoma » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:37 pm

Run for your lives! Someone has invoked the Balrog!

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#8

Post by John Greg » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:47 pm

:lol:

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#9

Post by Dilurk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:11 pm

As I have said beore:


http://sparkcharts.sparknotes.com/women ... ction4.php
There are like a gadzillion branches of feminism out there.
Blu and I are closer to equity feminism, liberal feminism etc.
Read the note " Often at odds with radical feminism."

It is hard enough fighting the religious without fighting a battle on a branch of feminism with each other.

LMU

Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#10

Post by LMU » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:12 pm

Saint N. wrote:Hi, I don't want to intrude (that's a lie :D ) but as a fellow delurker from the ERV thread I thought it would be polite to say hello. When elevatorgate happened, I was pretty nonchalant about it, thinking along the lines, "Yeah, that guy was kind of a doofus, but thankfully not dangerous." However, my problems with PZ started a good year before the whole elevator thing, during his weird "I hate dictionary atheist. They need to just go away." presentation. It wasn't even so much that he did the speech (even though I thought it was silly and pointless, he still has the right to present and argue whatever points he wants), but the way he refused to acknowledge even the possibility that his position was possibly a bit (let's say) "uninformed", and ridiculed anyone who took an opposing view on the matter. I don't think the guy is capable of critical thought when it comes to protecting his personal sociopolitical beliefs; he just can't entertain the idea that there exists any possibility that what he knows to be the "Truth" about the world could possibly be even slightly false. Even if I agree with everything he has to say (and, on many fronts, I do), the way he goes about formulating and expressing his positions is, in my view, antithetical to critical thought.

Anyway, just saying hello. Hello.
Hi! No worries (:

I didn't necessarily agree with PZ on everything before EG, but with EG I wanted to know more. I hadn't actually looked at the comments before then, so I don't know how people before that were treated. After EG it seemed to me that if they were right, then it was only by coincidence.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#11

Post by Saint N. » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:56 pm

LMU wrote:Hi! No worries (:

I didn't necessarily agree with PZ on everything before EG, but with EG I wanted to know more. I hadn't actually looked at the comments before then, so I don't know how people before that were treated. After EG it seemed to me that if they were right, then it was only by coincidence.
Oh, believe me, I can sympathize with that. Even after I was annoyed by his "I hate dictionary atheists" speech, I still chose to turn a blind eye and say, "Yeah, he's being an unreasonable jerk here, but he's probably a good guy deep down, so whatever." After EG, PZ's antics and irrationality are just too apparent too be ignored anymore. It's hard to turn a blind eye to something that's staring right in the fact.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#12

Post by welch » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:12 pm

I honestly didn't care that much about EG per se. Rebecca has the right to feel how she feels, she's not wrong for that.

However, if someone disagrees with her conclusions and recommendations, they aren't wrong either. Nor are they bad people.

The stunt she pulled on McGraw was where I got pissed. Then it was just the logarithmic curve of hypocrisy from FFTB that kept me caring. Unlike most, I've had Laden pull stuff. The twerp accused me of trying to DoS his SciBlog site by posting an OVERLY LONG COMMENT.

Yes. i sat there and typed out a long-assed comment to DoS him. Sigh. Then he started in with the "Well, I hope he doesn't attack my site, he probably beats his dog" etc., yadda. Funny how someone with no ethics assumes everyone else has none as well.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#13

Post by CommanderTuvok » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:21 pm

welch wrote:The twerp [Greg Laden] accused me of trying to DoS his SciBlog site by posting an OVERLY LONG COMMENT.
What a twonk Osama is.

:lol:

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#14

Post by Git » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:32 pm

Aye, the stupid thing is that if RW had kept to the "I felt uncomfortable being propositioned in such a close environment" aspect, then every one of us would have sympathised and agreed. EG whilst within his rights to ask her for coffee in such an environment should have had a titter of wit and known that it could have been misconstrued.

But no. Her arrogance and big-headedness took over from there...

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#15

Post by John Greg » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:44 pm

Hiya JCW. Have you seen this yet: http://www.slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=43

It is, um, interesting.

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Re: "Checking my privilege" to be here

#16

Post by Badger3k » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:51 pm

Git wrote:Aye, the stupid thing is that if RW had kept to the "I felt uncomfortable being propositioned in such a close environment" aspect, then every one of us would have sympathised and agreed. EG whilst within his rights to ask her for coffee in such an environment should have had a titter of wit and known that it could have been misconstrued.

But no. Her arrogance and big-headedness took over from there...
Well, even her "Guys don't do that" I took to just be her opinion and didn't have any problem. She's free to say whatever she wants. No one else has to listen or agree with her (as many people, including women, didn't). It was only when she acted an unprofessional git to McGraw that got me involved. I did find it a bit hypocritical that someone who was most famous for drunken parties at conventions and "sexualizing calendars" acting like a prude, but she's like a lot of people her age (young, dumb, and full of themselves thinking they know how the world works - even when they don't). Her privilege was showing. I do think the "Skepster" label applies to her perfectly.

Gilmarvag

#17

Post by Gilmarvag » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:48 pm

Last edited by Aneris on Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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