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Re: [atheists-27] MISOGYNY IS NOT Trouble with American Skepticism

From: Don W.
Sent on: Monday, August 12, 2013 8:42 PM
Thanks for joining in the discussion.  I think we should understand that American skepticism as a movement will be very much alive and well going forward.  My post referred to three very high level leaders in the movement.  And as pointed out there are men's rights groups that are quite rational and fair.
 
That said, if you go over to the slymepit there will be many hundreds of comments all believing that the allegations are without foundation, that PZ Myers will be sued for libel, that his blog and perhaps the entire Freethought Blog complex will implode over this, etc.  There will not be one comment noting the confirming evidence, nor any note of the careful way PZ disavowed any personal support for the claim, nor the extreme difficulty in winning a libel case under these dircumstances, nor any societal need to protect women from attack or even warn them of possible danger.  I am sure that there are a number of MRA sites that will emulate this imbalance.
 
Perhaps the comments on the FtB are equally imbalanced the other way.  I am quite happy with the relative balance and civility that is brought to this issue here.  As Larry CARTER CENTER points out there are many elements of a rational policy that should be in place in all of these institutions.  Given the various claims that issues have been brought to the attention of CFI and JREF boards of directors there is high likelihood that reasonable policy is not in place or is not being properly followed.  The management level issue is arguably much more important than the claims against these three leaders of the skeptic movement.
 
Don
 
 

From: Larry CARTER CENTER <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, August 12,[masked]:27 PM
Subject: Re: [atheists-27] MISOGYNY IS NOT Trouble with American Skepticism

there is a bit of incompetence and broad brush statements here.... 1st, there are a great many MEN's RIGHTS groups who are not the least misogynistic and are instead feminist focusing on equity divorce, child custody as well as marriage equality for gay men..... the "Woody" below is obviously incompetent and a misognynist crying wolf.....sexual harassment is a very clearly defined crime by perpetrators and constitutes a HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT on the part of employers... there is no vague nature of this crime nor is the duty of ALL EMPLOYERS to post policies as to ZERO TOLERANCE of employees AND SUPERVISORS making any employee gay or straight MALE OR FEMALE feel obliged to tolerate sex crime.... misogyny is the feeling if not action of anyone who claims ENTITLEMENT over women, this ranges from rape, demands for sexual favors, rapists rights to force women to stay pregnant, violent porn industry, pedophilia as most victims are females under age 18, the
completely 100% bankrupt claim of casual sex partners pretending no obligation to pay child support and all laws that discriminate against women, 15 states refuse to RATIFY E.R.A. are misogynist bastions pretending "special" laws against women are ok....AND WHAT ALL THIS HAS TO DO WITH AMERICAN SKEPTICISM I was not able to scroll down to find below
--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 8/12/13, friend of Smokey the Bear <[address removed]> wrote:

Subject: Re: [atheists-27] Trouble with American Skepticism
To: [address removed]
Date: Monday, August 12, 2013, 6:39 AM

"No."
is a complete sentence.

Little is more
irritating than an adult who cannot comprehend that.


just my two
bits.
Ms. chandler
wiland



On Mon, Aug 12, 2013
at 2:43 AM, Martin <[address removed]>
wrote:


 
 
    Don - Agreed.

     

      Office romances are alive and well, and work or school
is still
      the most common place people meet their future spouse
(at around
      20% of marriages, through friends being the next most
common). If
      someone is attracted to a co-worker, the typical way
things work
      is they try to engage in friendly conversation now and
then at
      work and if the other person shows interest in them
then they ask
      them out, often for lunch initially. If they are
rejected then
      time to move on and the other person has no reason or
grounds for
      a complaint. This is hardly rocket science, it is a
basic and
      universal element of human interaction.

     

      But we are not discussing office romance here. We are
discussing
      sexual harassment ranging from: sexual jokes and
innuendo;
      unwelcome sexual advances, both verbal and physical;
ploys of
      suggesting promotion/reward at work for sexual favors,
or
      conversely demotion/penalty for lack thereof; sexual
assault; to
      statutory rape. It is quite alarming that Woody, and
whoever these
      MRA guys are, seem unable to distinguish normal
romantic behaviour
      from such predatory sexual harassment.

     

      Martin.

     

      On 08/12/[masked]:43 AM, Don Wharton wrote:

   
   
     
         
            A great many if not most women
appreciate an
                appropriate communication of interest. 
The

                point is to graciously cease showing that
interest if
                requested and not include any threats or
inappropriate
                touching in the process.  The notion that
relationships
                between the sexes need to cease because of
legal risk is
                a strawman created by the MRA
crowd.
             
            I fully agree that (as I said before)
that as
                evidence all of this is extremely thin.  A
major problem
                is that in most cases of real rape or
sexual harrassment
                the perpetrator is usually very careful to
not leave
                much evidence.  They choice of time and
location is
                calibrated to minimize any chance of
witnesses.  The

                he said/she said situation that normally
results is
                never satisfactory in court of
law. 
             
            Of all of the people cited in this
story Michael
                Shermer is the only one that I have
appreciated on a
                routine basis over recent years.  I would
be very sad to
                lose the insight and wisdom from that source
if the
                force of law removes him as a leader of the
skeptic
                community.  I passionately want him not to
be hurt if
                the charges are false.
             
            It seems to me that what we want is a
system that
                follows up on reasonable claims of abuse and
makes the
                best use of available evidence.  This is
not easy to
                do.  It is immensely complex.
             
            Don
             
           

             
               
                 
                     
From:
                        Robert W Ahrens <[address removed]>

                        To:
                        [address removed]
                       

                        Sent:
                        Sunday, August 11,[masked]:52 PM

                        Subject:
                        Re: [atheists-27] Trouble with
American
                        Skepticism

                       
                   

                     
                       
                         
                              I'm sorry, but this
is just wrong.
                             

                             
                              It is perfectly fine to
approach a
                                woman, as long as one does
it in an
                                appropriate manner, place
and time.  If
                                one takes one's cue from
the lady, she
                                should be able to make it
perfectly
                                clear when a touch is
welcome and when
                                it is not.  To survive, a
man must be
                                come sensitive and should
COMMUNICATE
                                while listening to
what the lady
                                has to say.  Your
accusations are
                                exactly what many
misogynistic "Men's
                                Rights Activists" (or
MRA's) say to
                                accuse women of these things
and try to
                                shut them up!
                             

                             
                              Woody, your statement is
the precise
                                way to fail, and is exactly
how
                                organizations and men in the
past have
                                failed to do it right.
 Your statement
                                is exactly WHY many women
DON'T report
                                these things to the police.
 Because
                                they are not taken
seriously, and are
                                immediately accused of false
                                accusations.
                             

                             
                              This is not a court of
law, this is
                                the court of public opinion,
and the
                                rules are different.
 Organizations that
                                wish to attract a larger and
more
                                actively loyal following
MUST attract
                                women, and they will never
manage that
                                by acting as CFI has managed
this
                                fiasco.  In the end, it
doesn't matter
                                if the allegations against
these guys
                                are true or false, what
matters is that
                                their employers stop
stonewalling the
                                allegations.  There are
plenty of very
                                public examples of how to do
it right,
                                and at the same time
protecting the
                                rights of both parties.  A
properly
                                conducted investigation will
tell the
                                truth of the situation, and
heavily
                                influences the opinions of
women in the
                                future as they see how an
organization
                                has conducted itself.
 
                             

                             
                              If this movement wants to
grow and
                                attract more people,
CFI's statements
                                and actions (and Woody's
reaction) are
                                NOT the way to go about
it.
                             

                             
                             

                             
                             

                             
                             

                             
                                On Aug 11, 2013, at
7:33 PM, Woody
                                  Lipinski <[address removed]>

                                  wrote:
                               

                               
                                  As
                                      long the women did not
report to
                                      police with some sort
of
                                      "witnesses"
or proves we should
                                      not discuss the issue
because it
                                      can be only
accusations for some
                                      sort of benefits. This
days you
                                      unable to ask women
for anything
                                      because she can take
advantage of
                                      your questions. But
when you will
                                      touch her you can be
prosecuted
                                      and accused of raping
her.  To
                                      survive, men must
loose not only
                                      aggression but also
their sex
                                      interest in women.
                                       

                                     
                                      Woody
                                     

                                       

                                        On

                                          Sun, Aug 11, 2013
at 1:38 AM,
                                          Don Wharton <[address removed]>
                                          wrote:

                                         
                                           
                                               
                                                 
There are three
                                                    leaders
of the
                                                    skeptic
community
                                                    that
have had
                                                   
astonishing
                                                   
allegations thrown
                                                    at them
in the last
                                                    few
days. It started
                                                    when
Karen Stollznow
                                                    posted a
piece
                                                   
reporting on four
                                                    years of
sexual
                                                   
harassment including
                                                    sexual
assaults.
                                                    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/2013/08/06/im-sick-of-talking-about-sexual-harassment/

                                                 

                                                  She declines
                                                    to name
who it was
                                                    or the
                                                   
organization(s)
                                                    within
which it
                                                   
happened. However,
                                                    there
were a number
                                                    of
people who knew
                                                    the
story and it
                                                    came out
that the
                                                    person
was Ben
                                                    Radford,
deputy
                                                    editor
of Skeptical
                                                    Inquirer
science
                                                    magazine
and a
                                                    Research
Fellow at
                                                   
CFI.
                                                    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/06/no-it-could-never-happen-to-her/

                                                   
                                                    The next day
                                                    Carrie
Poppy
                                                   
confesses that she
                                                    had a
similar
                                                   
experience at the
                                                    JREF
with D.J.
                                                    Grothe.
Given that
                                                    D.J is
gay the
                                                    misogyny
is likely
                                                    to be of
a much
                                                   
different character.
                                                    This
report confirms
                                                    aspects
of the case
                                                    with
Radford and
                                                   
Stollsnow at a
                                                    couple
of TAM
                                                   
meetings. Carrie's
                                                    email
included
                                                    copies
of a number
                                                    of
emails
                                                   
documenting the
                                                    history
of the
                                                   
complaints.
                                                    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/07/carrie-poppy-tells-all/

                                                 

                                                    To
top off this
                                                    there
are several
                                                   
allegation that
                                                    Michael
Shermer is a
                                                    serial
rapist.
                                                    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/

                                                 
 
                                                    We
have only
                                                    modest
confirmation
                                                    of any
of these
                                                   
allegations and we
                                                    have not
heard from
                                                    those
who are
                                                    accused.
However,
                                                    the
quality of these
                                                    claims
suggest
                                                    strongly
that
                                                   
something is very
                                                   
wrong.
                                                   
                                                    For those who
                                                    do not
know there
                                                    has been
a very
                                                    stupid
culture war
                                                    in
secularism ever
                                                    since an
event
                                                    called
Elevatorgate.
                                                    There
was a strong
                                                    feminist
component
                                                    and the
other side
                                                    that can
be loosely
                                                   
associated with MRA,
                                                   
men's right
                                                   
activists. At its
                                                    worst
many women who
                                                    are
secular bloggers
                                                    or
leaders are
                                                   
subjected to rape
                                                    threats,
death
                                                    threats
and
                                                   
grotesque twisted
                                                    insults.
DC's own
                                                    Melody
Hensley is
                                                    only one
of many
                                                    that
have been the
                                                   
recipient of this
                                                   
mistreatment. I have
                                                    been
ignoring this
                                                    culture
war as much
                                                    as
possible under
                                                    the
theory that if I
                                                    am not
personally
                                                    tripping
over this
                                                    junk we
can have our
                                                    local
sense of
                                                   
community uninfected
                                                    with
this nonsense.
                                                    Just as
the Westboro
                                                    Baptist
Church
                                                    should
not be used
                                                    to
define all of
                                                   
Christianity, this
                                                    ugliness
should not
                                                    be used
to define
                                                    American
skepticism
                                                    or
secularism.  My
                                                    guess is
that there
                                                    are
relatively few
                                                    people
responsible
                                                    for the
ugliness of
                                                    this
war.
                                                   
                                                  With

                                                    that as
a
                                                   
background, my
                                                    reading
of MRA
                                                   
contingent is that
                                                    they are
being
                                                   
remarkably silent
                                                    with the
current
                                                   
revelations. There
                                                    seems to
be too much
                                                   
substance and
                                                   
credibility behind
                                                    these
allegations.
                                                    This
might be a
                                                    major
historical
                                                   
transition point. I
                                                    may be
wrong but I
                                                    think
organized
                                                   
skepticism will need
                                                    to see
some major
                                                   
changes.
                                                   
                                                    Don
                                                 

                                               
                                               

                                               

                                               

                                               

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                                                    POB 4668
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