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Posted by on Apr 29, 2013 in Secularism | 24 comments

She said what now?

Just yesterday, I sarcastically lamented the lack of drama around here. Really, I should have known better than to do that. From Stephanie Zvan’s latest post:

  This bit about soliciting harassment complaints, however, is flat-out, ahistorical nonsense.

Now where in the World Wide Web could I possibly have gotten this ahistorical nonsense into my head?

How to use friends to influence people

How to get friends to influence people

I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine precisely what Stephanie believes would be better done sooner than later, but given the context, I think that it is abundantly clear what is going on here. If you’ve a different view, please feel free to let me know in the comments, but please remember I always expect a certain amount of civility here on my site. Dehumanizing comments like “dumb as a pulverized brick” won’t help anyone learn anything or move the conversation forward in any way.


ETA: The Twitter convo excerpted above continues here.

  • http://twitter.com/Eshto Ryan Grant Long

    Evidence that Justin would harass someone in public: nothing

    Evidence that drama bloggers like Zvan use social media to slam people they don’t like: abundant

    At this point I’m only wondering if there is any sincerity at all to their claims about fearing “harassment”; or whether they are 100% flat-out faking it, just because they know it’s easy to stir up drama and blog hits this way.

    • corpsepants

      In my direct experience, it was completely manufactured. My “harassment” literally had nothing to do with the person who inserted itself into a conversation having nothing to do with it, where it was not mentioned, spinning this into yet another blog post about how much it and they are followed around and abused. Literally said nothing TO nor ABOUT it.

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

      You’re wondering! I admire you! You give them so much more credit than they have earned in their whole lives!

    • MosesZD

      I don’t wonder. But I’m an old man and have seen this kind of smear-campaign play out hundreds of times before. Even, once, with myself being the victim of the campaign.

  • http://www.facebook.com/edward.gemmer Edward Gemmer

    If these guys held themselves to the same standards they hold everyone else, they would never speak.

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

      Not gonna happen anytime soon, I guess.

  • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

    Yes, about this helping “anyone learn anything” and moving “the conversation forward” – they’re not interested!

    They’re for the drama and being appointed gods of the Atheist community!

    • http://dpreviewsucks.blogspot.com/ The whole truth

      You’re right of course about the drama and being appointed gods of the so-called atheist community. What I don’t get is why anyone thinks for even one second that any of the shit that those feminazis and their supporters spew has anything to with being an atheist. Frankly, the whole “Atheist community” thing is BIG FAT MESS and a PATHETIC SOAP OPERA that is doing way more harm than good.

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      Hyperbole also does more harm than good. No one is goose-stepping around and herding people into death camps.

    • http://dpreviewsucks.blogspot.com/ The whole truth

      Speaking of hyperbole, maybe you can show where I or anyone else said anything about “herding people into death camps”?

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      Tell you what. You explain why “feminazis” is such an impactful term, and why you think it is justified in this case.

      While you’re at it, please read my comment policy.

    • Theo Ffensivatheist

      Rather this “BIG FAT MESS” than have those fools speak on my behalf!

    • ool0n

      Wow what a beaut of an example of your “sides” thinking… They are atheist leaders so by speaking at conferences they are speaking on your behalf as ministers of the first Slymepit atheist church. I’m not allowed to be incivil here but I actually like most of the FTB’ers speaking and they can go [censored] themselves if they think they speak on my behalf.

      None of the atheist “leaders” speak for me, they have interesting things to say, sometimes. That stops, I move on… Surely in a freethinking community that should be the case and we should have no idols that need protecting from feminazis or ftbullies or whatever bogeyman u invent. They live and die by the quality of their output, if its not of interest, move on ffs.

    • Theo Ffensivatheist

      While i could have worded my comment better ( i would have if i knew you’d respond & being aware how anal you can be). I recently saw the Richard Carrier vid on A+ & have still got the image of him wishing that he & those he considers “worthy” could be the spokespeople for Atheism.

    • http://de-avanzada.blogspot.com/ Daosorios

      For me it’s crystal-clear: one of the main products of religion is treating women like second class citizens, so one would think the same way we defend gays’ rights, we’d stand up for women’s rights.

      Instead, these people insist on crying because they were asked for coffee!

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      I grew up in a religion that unashamedly preached patriarchy and womanly submission. The best thing I can do for most people here in the Bible Belt is to help free them from the hobbling shackles of faith, which include all that rubbish along with the poisonous suggestion that to question doctrine is to lose all.

  • Pingback: Women In Secularism 2, An Unsafe Place | Avant Garde()

  • ool0n

    So you are happy to make a definite statement that she was “soliciting harassment complaints” based on that….? Your definition of “civility” is clearly different from mine as I generally do not prognosticate unclear throwaway statements to a couple of friends on Twitter to be anything like as serious as making false claims of harassment. Even when I’m not being civil…. Is it now fine to make serious claims against people based on pretty much nothing? I know you are a totally unbiased observer whose *interpretation* is clearly untainted, oh wait!

    Was there an addendum to Finckes civility pledge I missed that said “Of course if you are dealing with the FTBullies, do what thou wilt”

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      It seems obvious to me what is happening here, but I’d be quite interested in hearing your alternative theory. If “sooner would be better” does not refer back to “speakers/attendees can file a complaint” then what exactly is it that Stephanie believes would be better done sooner than later?

      (I’d ask her myself, but she has me blocked.)

    • MosesZD

      Ah, the FTB troll has spoken. Yes, because ‘friends’ would never, ever, ever discuss things of this nature with each other. Nope, it’d just be about Sex in the City, Friends , or some other vapid TV show rerun…

      It’s like, you don’t even try to make sense out of this, but just deny, deny, deny…

      As for civility, nobody in their right mind, for even a minute, believes your passive-aggressive enablement and defense of these movement-hijacking trolls is ‘civil.’ Rather it’s just the ‘fake civility’ game’ where you get to be a condescending asshole and insult the intelligence of those around you while being ‘polite’ and clutching your pearls at the merest hit of ‘incivility.’
      Well, Fuck You Dick Cheney. This is how they roll. This is what they do. Destroy others in a culture war of their creation.

    • ool0n

      Not making sense of that one statement on Twitter is the sensible position. The conspiracy theorist uncivil position is to take an extremely unclear statement, apply your own veneer of dislike for the people involved and shit out a serious accusation. I know this is the meat and potatoes of the Slymepit but I live in hope someone there will get how scepticism works one day.

      For example me saying I am unconvinced of Damions serious accusation is not a denial. Any more than being an atheist is a denial of anything other than the positive assertion god exists, it does not mean I am asserting the negative is true. I’m not convinced by his accusation given its based on interpretation and personal animus with little evidence.

      So who is insulting the intelligence of those around them? Someone who thinks the sceptical position is to believe on the flimsiest of evidence allied with a lot of dislike and butthurt? Someone who insults the intelligence of thousands of fans of FTBs, freethinkers and atheists all of them, by saying they have been “hijacked” by “trolls”. All because your personal mind-projection fallacy disallows you from believing anyone can rationally respect some bloggers and activists just because you don’t like them. You and the pit are the one true source of truth, right?

      BTW we seem to agree all this civility stuff is a load of shit. Damion has used very civil language but been incredibly insulting. So who cares about civil language? Fuck that bullshit.

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      I care about civil language, and if you don’t, then this just isn’t the place for you to post. That goes for you too, Moses.

      As to my so-called “serious accusation,” James, it is merely that the tweets documented in this post (and in my follow-on Storify link) demonstrate clearly that some of the leaders and speakers of WiS 2 were encouraging people like Josh to write to CFI about barring Justin from attending. That’s clear enough from a plain reading of the entire dialogue, taken on the whole.

    • ool0n

      You said “soliciting harassment complaints”. Now you’ve backed down to; implied Josh etc should write to CFI to have him kicked out? Josh is many things but coy and evasive he isn’t, if he had any complaints of harassment from the Vac to him personally I don’t think any backhanded double dealing is necessary. You’d know about it, along with any complaints to CFI.

      People can write all they want surely? Where is your evidence of her urgently asking for instances of harassment to be compiled and sent to CFI? That’s what you alleged not this implied stuff…

      As an aside do you not think that anyone with a harassment complaint against a conf attendee should report it? Or should they shut up about it since it didn’t happen at the conference?

    • http://skepticink.com/backgroundprobability/ Damion Reinhardt

      What do you think Stephanie was asking people to do sooner rather than later, James?

      Here is the sequence of events:
      1) Josh and a few others complain that Justin may be allowed to attend.

      2) Melody says they cannot simply ban him, there is a specific harassment policy in place. She tells people to do what they need to do. *wink* *nudge*

      3) Stephanie encourages all due speed. She also argues against Julian’s claim that Justin should be allowed to attend.

      4) Josh and several others write letters to CFI warning them about Vacula. Whether those letters referred to him as a “harasser” (or compared him to Fred Phelps, or what have you) is not a matter of public knowledge.

      I forget exactly at what point in the sequence of events Melody announces that attendees will be held responsible for following the con policy prior to the con, but that might figure in here as well.

      Of course, there is also the background information that Stephanie already ran one successful petition against Vacula respecting his attempts to further secularism in his home state.

    • Theo Ffensivatheist

      Answer the question, what do YOU think it means?