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Dave W.
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USA
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Posted - 05/23/2013 :  13:59:33  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On May 17-19, 2013, a conference called Women in Secularism 2 (WIS2) was held in Washington, DC. This event was sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, and widely advertised by CFI and subsidiary groups, partners, conference speakers and interested bystanders. Reports say that some three hundred people were present, talking about women's roles and concerns within the larger secular movements, including both skepticism and atheism.

Ronald Lindsay, CEO of the Center for Inquiry, gave an "introduction" to the conference which didn't really introduce any of the speakers or welcome the convention-goers. Instead, he talked about "the critical importance of advocacy for women's rights, and how this advocacy was integral to CFI's mission," at least at the start and end of his talk. In the middle, he took a huge dump on the Atheism+ crowd, personally welcomed an infamous serial harasser of feminists, and - to an audience full of feminist and sociology experts - demonstrated his rank ignorance of feminism, privilege and what "shut up and listen" means. The blogosphere, Twitterverse and elsewhere exploded during and after Lindsay's speech, and Lindsay not only doubled-down on his foolishness, but tripled-down, comparing one of the invited speakers at this conference to a North Korean propagandist.

Understandably, this cast a pall over the weekend. But despite that, the reports I've heard about what else went on at WIS2 were nothing but positive. Things along the lines of, "it's a shame what Meoldy Hensley and other CFI staff have to deal with thanks to Lindsay's speech, but the rest of the weekend was awesome!"

Of course there are calls for Lindsay to apologize or resign (or both), for the board of directors to fire him, and plenty of people announcing that they are no longer going to support CFI in any way so long as Lindsay remains at the helm (or, rarely, even if he gets the boot).

(Please note that these sorts of disputes are no longer something that's just going on "on the Internet." This was not just a meatspace incident, but live on stage, in the limelight, and completely unprovoked.)

Below is a link-filled timeline of blog postings related to this event (I hope I've got everything correct, chronologically, but some blogs don't timestamp their posts fully). To really grok the situation completely, we need to step back in time a little bit past last weekend...

April 2nd, 2013

CFI: An Open Letter to the Secular Community
...Here are some things that we plan to do to make our online secular community a place where we can exchange ideas and views instead of insults...
  • Moderate blogs and forums...
  • Go offline before going online: pick up the phone...
  • Listen more...
  • Dial down the drama...
  • Be more charitable...
  • Trust but verify...
  • Help others along...
...By improving our online culture, we can make this movement a place that engages, fulfills, and welcomes a growing number and increasing diversity of secular people...

[Signed]
...Ronald Lindsay, President and CEO, Center for Inquiry
My bolding.

May 17th

Ron Lindsay: My Talk at WIS2 (includes the transcript of the talk)
But it's the second misapplication of the concept of privilege that troubles me most. I'm talking about the situation where the concept of privilege is used to try to silence others, as a justification for saying, "shut up and listen." Shut up, because you're a man and you cannot possibly know what it's like to experience x, y, and z, and anything you say is bound to be mistaken in some way, but, of course, you're too blinded by your privilege even to realize that.

This approach doesn't work. It certainly doesn't work for me. It's the approach that the dogmatist who wants to silence critics has always taken because it beats having to engage someone in a reasoned argument. It's the approach that's been taken by many religions. It's the approach taken by ideologies such as Marxism. You pull your dogma off the shelf, take out the relevant category or classification, fit it snugly over the person you want to categorize, dismiss, and silence and ... poof, you're done. End of discussion. You're a heretic spreading the lies of Satan, and anything you say is wrong. You're a member of the bourgeoisie, defending your ownership of the means of production, and everything you say is just a lie to justify your power. You're a man; you have nothing to contribute to a discussion of how to achieve equality for women.
This part in particular is entirely wrong. It is factually incorrect, despite its author later emphasizing "reason and evidence."

Jason Thibeault: Women In Secularism 2 – Opening Remarks liveblog #wiscfi
I have to disagree with a lot of this. Ron, what about when people are dominating the conversation and refusing to let women discuss these ideas by talking so damn much and not letting women actually do any talking themselves? Can a woman tell a conversation-dominating man to shut up and listen to them? That's sort of the problem here, you know. The problem your conference is trying to defray.
May 18th

PZ Myers: Women in Secularism is going strong
It didn't help that the opening remarks (by a bearded white guy, no less) were basically a high five to the people trolling the con — Ron Lindsay tut-tutted the attendees for using the concept of privilege to shut down conversations with…who? The thugs who hate the whole idea of Women in Secularism? It was the most inappropriate, uninspiring, wrong-headed conference opening ever. The director of CFI trolled a conference built by his own organization, and offered words of encouragement to the people trying to disrupt it!
Ron Lindsay: A Few Examples of "Shut Up and Listen"
...a number of people took strong exception when I expressed concern during my talk that the concept of privilege sometimes was being invoked to tell people to "shut up and listen."
No, Mr. Lindsay, you said that "shut up and listen" was being used to silence people. You still think that, apparently, since you think it's "the rule" and you go out of your way to say that it's not enforced on CFI employees, who can "express their opinions."
Tweets during and after my talk complained I offered no specific examples.
And despite linking to a few people saying, "shut up and listen," he offered not a single example of it being used to silence anyone.

Rebecca Watson: The Silencing of Men
...[N]owhere in Lindsay's speech did he mention feminists like Jen McCreight, who has been so bullied and harassed that she did in fact quit attending conferences and she quit blogging and being active on social media in the hopes the anti-feminists would finally leave her alone. They didn't. That is silencing...

When faced with my criticism of his tone deafness, Lindsay didn't hesitate to include me in the list of feminists trying to shut him up. He seems to be confused, assuming any discussion about how race, gender, and other attributes influence our outlook and our biases is a call for people of privilege to have no say. This is quite obviously absurd...

It's a shame that with so many wonderful, inspiring women on stage at this event, the gut feeling I'll be taking home is yet more disappointment and disillusionment in the leadership of the organized secular/skeptic movement.
Ron Lindsay: Watson's World and Two Models of Communication
Rebecca Watson inhabits an alternate universe. At least that is the most charitable explanation I can provide for her recent smear. Watson has posted comments on my opening talk at Women in Secularism 2. It may be the most intellectually dishonest piece of writing since the last communique issued by North Korea.
The hyperbole machine is in full swing again. At least it wasn't a Nazi analogy (see the Shermer Affair).
No extended argument or analysis of this issue is needed, and I do not think the choice could be starker. Either you believe reason and evidence should ultimately guide our discussions, or you think they should be held hostage to identity politics.
Lindsay actually had the gall to write that after actively dismissing the real meaning of "shut up and listen," which is that you should collect evidence from the less privileged before making pronouncements about them.

PZ Myers: Who's Getting Silenced?
It is perfectly legitimate to tell someone to shut up when you've heard their voice in a thousand variants many times before, and you need some small space in which to express yourself, too. This conference should be that space for the many who have been shushed.
B. Spencer: Stop Oppressing Men, Meanie Skeptic Women!
Furthermore, shutting up is actually a great thing to do sometimes. You might learn something if you do. I know–it's worked for me.
Digital Cuttlefish: For The WiS2 Crowd

May 19th

PZ Myers: It's 4am and people are really annoyed
I had a crowd of people descend on my hotel room after the evening's events at Women In Secularism and a good day of wonderful and inspiring talks from strong women, and besides just wanting to talk and celebrate, they wanted to complain. These are people who came here for a conference on women's issues, and they were really annoyed that the head of CFI, Ron Lindsay, chose to use the opening talk of the conference to basically chastise the attendees and instruct them in how to behave, and I've had more than one person tell me that they were irate that their introduction to an event that they paid a considerable sum of money was to be greeted by a talk that pandered to people who hated the event, and were volubly complaining on the internet throughout the day about it. The impression they had was that the organization was unhappy to be sponsoring this conference.
Adam Lee: Some Sadly Necessary Remarks on the #wiscfi Intro
His job was emphatically not to begin the conference by haranguing a feminist audience about what he sees as the deficiencies in modern feminism, and then, when he received a wave of fully justified and deserved criticism for this, to respond immediately with a barrage of personal attacks directed at one of his critics, who happens to be an invited speaker at the conference to boot!
Stephanie Zvan: An Alternate Universe
Somehow he has managed not to hear what we've been saying over and over and over. Something he's been doing–or not doing–has kept him from picking up this information that, as the speaker opening this conference, is crucial.

I could speculate about what that is, but Lindsay used his position to tell me that this is unwelcome.
Ashley Miller: Taking it Personally: Privilege and Women in Secularism
[Linday's lecture] was a poorly expressed, poorly timed message delivered by exactly the wrong person for the message.

For stating that, I have been accused of being sexist, of having it out for men, for having it out for Ron Lindsay, of quote-mining, of being dismissive, of shutting down dialogue by calling people names, and just good old "fuck you" and "fuck off" from strangers. I am dogmatic and hateful and trying to tear people down.
May 20th

Amanda Marcotte: An Open Letter to the Center for Inquiry
...As the CEO of CFI, his job is put the best face of the organization forward and offer leadership people can unite behind. (Needless to say, he's also there to make potential donors more eager to give money.) Instead, he hijacked a conference that was supposed to be about highlighting women's voices in secularism, and made the conversations mostly about a man's anger that men are sometimes asked to follow the ordinary rule of human discourse to listen to the evidence before you render a judgment on it.

In doing so, he angered many prominent and important members of the secularist community and I suspect embarrassed his staff, though anti-feminists who have spent years harassing and abusing women for daring to promote a feminist view of secular activism were delighted.
PZ Myers: Which path shall we take?
This was Justin Vacula's response [to Amanda Marcotte] on twitter:
Get out, Amanda, you not welcome here. Take your dogma elsewhere (you too, Ophelia)
This is the same guy who couldn't get anyone to pay attention to him at the Women In Secularism conference — we had more interesting people to talk to — so he spent his Saturday doing an interview for that misogynist hate site, A Voice For Men.
Jamie Kilstein on Citizen Radio
If Ron Lindsay was opening an NAACP conference, he'd be the guy who's like, "Welcome! WHERE'S WHITE HISTORY MONTH?"
Stephanie Zvan: The Hand That Feeds Me?
There was an interesting (in the Minnesotan sense of "interesting") thread running on the Women in Secularism hashtag briefly during the conference. According to people who weren't there to hear Ron Lindsay's opening speech, criticism of that speech was "biting the hand that feeds" us. Fascinating, isn't it?

The implications for what those tweeters believe are just a wee bit staggering. First of all, the majority of those complaining about Ron's remarks were paying customers. A conference like this isn't something an organization like CFI pays for out of the goodness of its heart. It's a promotional event.
May 21st

PZ Myers: CFI's Michael De Dora
Some people have considered the recent criticisms of the CEO of the Center for Inquiry to be a wholesale attack on the organization (well, "some people" meaning "freakin' loons"). Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm a supporter; I think many of their causes are essential; I appreciate the work of many of the people there. Let's not forget that the whole of the organization is not the brain of the CEO, whether it's Paul Kurtz or Ron Lindsay, both of whom have also done good work. We have to trust in the quality of the group to overcome the flaws of the individual.

So I thought I might throw out an occasional post to let you know about a few of the commendable efforts of CFI — you know, try a little positive reinforcement in addition to my usual spiked bludgeon of criticism.
Ophelia Benson: #RDFBullies
...[W]e're the bullies. Never forget that. We use our immense ruthless power as bloggers to argue with other bloggers, while poor tiny powerless meek obscure humble shoemaker Richard Dawkins simply tries to stamp Rebecca Watson into the ground a little bit more by re-posting Ron Lindsay comparing her to North Korea.

We're the bullies. How does that work again?
oolon: Big collection of Tweets during/after Ron's intro. Fascinating stuff.

May 22nd

Secular Woman: Statement of Objection to Center for Inquiry CEO Ron Lindsay's Actions Regarding Feminism
Not having seen an apology, retraction, or other followup to these official communications, we are forced to arrive at several conclusions:
  • that Dr. Lindsay's actions are endorsed by the CFI Board of Directors as consistent with its mission and expectations of leadership
  • that CFI supports ad hominem attacks on individuals who disagree with CFI staff
  • that CFI is content with its limited diversity and doesn't value the support of Secular Woman or our thousands of members and supporters
  • that Dr. Lindsay's, and by extension CFI's, endorsement of the Open Letter, which Dr. Lindsay's blog violates in every way it could, was a sham
CFI: On Twitter
The CFI Board of Directors and CEO Ron Lindsay are aware that his recent talk and blog posts have generated much debate and discussion. CFI & Board are in ongoing discussions over this matter, which will be also be considered at Board's regularly scheduled June meeting. Further comments on this issue will be made once the Board has had an opportunity to discuss and consider it in full.
Richard Carrier: What Do Ron Lindsay and an Oklahoma Tornado Have in Common?
Lindsay could fix this. He could start listening instead of ignorantly preaching about what he knows little about and offending and outraging half his constituency. He could also take criticism seriously, as an opportunity to improve his organizational message, instead of dismissing that criticism as North Korean propaganda. He could do all that. But he does not appear to be trending that way. And I cannot see that as a sustainable behavior if he hopes to keep his job.
Jason Thibeault: Listen more, be more charitable, moderate blogs and forums
I pity the poor sod who has to wade through and moderate all the comments over at CFI’s blog. Frankly, they’ve got possibly the worst job in the world right now. However, I’m going to push that fact aside for a moment, mute that in-built empathy for my fellow human being for just long enough to complain that they’re not actually doing that job to any degree one can call reasonable.
Greta Christina: If You Have Something To Say, Say It To the CFI Board
If you have something to say about Ron Lindsay's insulting and contemptuous talk at the Women in Secularism 2 conference, and/or about his insulting and contemptuous follow-up post responding to the controversy... say it to the CFI Board of Directors.

Don't just say it on Twitter, or on Facebook, or on blog comments, or even on your own blog. Say it to the people who can do something about it. If you’ve already said something on some other forum, please copy and paste it, edit as appropriate, and send it to the CFI Board of Directors.
May 23rd

Monette Richards: A Very Uncomfortable Place
...I found a home in CFI and did the best I could to make it a great one.

This is why I was so thoroughly disappointed in the actions of Ron Lindsay this past weekend at Women in Secularism2. To watch the CEO of the organization I've come to love undermine all the work his female employee, Melody Hensley, had done, use his position to belittle a room full of people who paid to attend a conference about women, personally welcome a known harasser, thereby validating all the harassment and abuse women have been getting, and throw a temper tantrum when faced for criticism of it all was maddening.

I cannot keep putting my time and effort into an organization that condones such behavior from its leadership.
And while I was working on this post...

Ronald Lindsay: Statement Re My May 18 Blog Post
In my blog post of May 18, I complained about Ms. Rebecca Watson's characterization of my May 17 talk. In doing so, I expressed my points in intemperate language, e.g., the comparison of her blog post to a press communication from North Korea, and for that I unqualifiedly apologize. This apology has been conveyed to Ms. Watson.

...

As to my May 17 talk, I have nothing to say. The CFI board will decide whether my talk was contemptuous of women, as some have alleged, misrepresented CFI's commitment to women's rights, or in some way committed CFI to a course of action inconsistent with CFI's mission.
So that's a step in the right direction. It's been pointed out that if it's a step, it's a really teensy tiny step.

Josh, Official SpokesGay: Comment at B&W
No, Ron did not apologize to Rebecca. He notpologized for his "intemperate" language. He's apologizing for picking up the wrong fork while ignoring that he puked in the soup tureen.


[Edited a lot, I'm not going to bother to keep track - Dave W.]

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Siberia
SFN Addict

Brazil
2316 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2013 :  16:04:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So in essence, Lindsay greeted women and feminists there to talk about "shut up and listen" by telling them to... "shut up and listen" to him.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2013 :  17:21:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Siberia

So in essence, Lindsay greeted women and feminists there to talk about "shut up and listen" by telling them to... "shut up and listen" to him.
Indeed. The mind boggles.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
12673 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2013 :  19:59:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah. Been watching this business develop over the week. Bla! I hate when this stuff happens.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2013 :  22:01:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Yeah. Been watching this business develop over the week.
That's one reason I've been so quiet lately.
Bla! I hate when this stuff happens.
I know. But they say daylight is the best disinfectant. Publicizing incidents like this makes it more likely both that they will happen less often in the future and that "closeted" people with privilege-blindness will "out" themselves so that they can be avoided.

Unfortunately, the guy who surprisingly outed himself this time had so much privilege that he could pretty much demand microphone time at a major secular event and nobody could say squat about it (had it been known beforehand). I daresay the "surprise factor" here was even larger than the Harriet Hall thing at TAM 2012, because Lindsay had even done a Speaking Out against the Hate Directed at Women piece a mere ten months ago. You'd think he'd be a little more circumspect than to personally welcome to the conference one of the most prominent haters around, A Voice for Men pal Justin Vacula.

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alienist
Skeptic Friend

USA
210 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2013 :  08:55:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send alienist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I went to the conference on Saturday and had a good time. (I missed the whole Ron Lindsey speech on Friday). I started to get into arguments on facebook with a couple of men, the decided it wasn't worth my time. It's too bad there is all this attention on 30 min speech. People have an automatic reaction of getting defensive with criticism. I have also read reactions to the controversy by people assuming that they are being told men can never speak. Of course, this is not true. But if you are director of an organization giving a speech at a conference, you had better be aware of what you are saying and who you are saying it to.

In any case, the whole controversy has been frustrating and interesting in terms of studying group processes, individual psychological issues

The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well! - Joe Ancis
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/24/2013 :  19:22:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knew I missed something big, and it was Greta Christina's If You Have Something To Say, Say It To the CFI Board. It's been added, above.

Originally posted by alienist

I went to the conference on Saturday and had a good time.
<Envy>
I have also read reactions to the controversy by people assuming that they are being told men can never speak.
It's a persecution complex, of sorts, isn't it? If these people are told that they shouldn't (not "can't") speak under certain conditions, they're being horribly oppressed and having their free speech rights stripped from them! The freakin' world is ending!

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2013 :  13:49:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Greta Christina is... angry:

A Blatant Misrepresentation — And An Insulting One: The Content of Ron Lindsay’s WiS2 Talk
[T]his particular straw feminist is one of the most commonly-used ones by the most hostile opponents of feminism. This is one of the chief anti-feminist talking points: that feminists are hostile to all men, that we’re uninterested in the experiences of any man, that we think everything men say about feminism is wrong, that we don’t think sexism affects men or that feminism has anything to do with them. This image of the ball-busting, man-hating feminist is one of the primary ways that feminists get demonized, marginalized, trivialized, and ignored.

To hear it coming out of the mouth of the person hosting the Women in Secularism conference, in his welcoming speech to the conference’s speakers and attendees and financial supporters… it was appalling. It was reprehensible. It treated us with contempt.
He Treated Us With Contempt: The Context of Ron Lindsay’s WiS2 Talk
I will make this very clear: I don’t think Ron Lindsay consciously intended to treat the attendees and speakers at Women in Secularism 2 with contempt. I just think he didn’t particularly care. And that, in itself, is a serious form of contempt. He treated the very people the conference was being held for as trivial, far less important than him getting to use our platform to spout his opinions. He treated the women at that conference — and the men and non-gender-binary people — as if the patronizing insult he had to know we would take from his talk, and the derailment of one of the few events we have that’s specifically devoted to our concerns, was obviously of less concern than his own personal opinions about our work. He took the space that was set aside for us, and he used it against us. And he did this with no apparent concern for how this might affect us.

He treated us with contempt.

If Ron Lindsay had chosen to simply post this talk on his blog, totally separate from the Women in Secularism 2 conference, I don’t think there would be this level of fury, disappointment, and sheer “What the hell was that?” shock. I think a lot of people would have been angry and upset: but I don’t think the conversation about it would have been eating the Internet.

But that wasn’t the context in which this happened.

And the context in which this did happen was reprehensible.

He treated us with contempt.

And it is absolutely unacceptable.
Greta ends both pieces with this:
Ron Lindsay owes every person at that conference, and every feminist in the secularist movement, an apology. And it needs to be a real apology. It cannot be a bullshit, half-assed, “I’m sorry you were upset by my entirely reasonable actions,” “I’m going to spend one sentence apologizing with ten paragraphs on defenses and excuses and counter-accusations” not-pology. It needs to be a real apology. It needs to demonstrate an understanding of what exactly was wrong with his actions, and a promise to not act like this in the future. If he doesn’t, I think it will be very hard for feminists in the secular movement to trust and support CFI again.

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
12673 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2013 :  18:25:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By the way. Travis Roy has distanced himself from Justin Vacula, because of Vacula's association with A Voice for Men. In fact, he pretty much came right out and called him a bigot.

I've removed Vacula from my friends list too. I didn't even know he was on it. I mean, he was never on one of the lists that I frequent. Just some random atheist out of about 1000 others.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2013 :  22:12:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

By the way. Travis Roy has distanced himself from Justin Vacula, because of Vacula's association with A Voice for Men. In fact, he pretty much came right out and called him a bigot.
I'm less than impressed. Distancing oneself from an in-denial-but-obvious bigot is easy. Repudiating one's own asshole behavior is much more difficult. Travis Roy claims, in no uncertain terms, that Rebecca Watson does what she does for "drama" and page views. He claims that she and her "cronies" have driven un-named and un-evidenced people away from conventions like TAM (ironically expecting us to believe that while Roy's "cronies" won't believe that Watson has been threatened until they see a police report). This despite the fact that Rebecca Watson no longer goes to TAM! What would anyone have to fear from her?

Travis Roy is also willing to reference serial daily harassers like "ElevatorGate," so his distancing himself from one jerk while embracing another is not a particularly compelling argument that he's somehow seeking to better himself. His advice to block or ignore the "vile" people has been proven to be ineffectual, and so he's obviously making pronouncements about the subject from a Dunning-Krugeresque pinnacle of ignorance. He is not someone to be lauded for making a tiny step in the right direction while tap-dancing his way in the other.

Travis Roy is a jerk who is obviously unwilling to shut up and listen, even for a moment. He is someone whom feminists should mock and shun until such a time that he distances himself from all forms of harassment and bigotry, including his own.

(Almost every name appearing on those two linked Facebook threads is going into my "jerks to be avoided" mental Rolodex, including Barbara Drescher.)
I've removed Vacula from my friends list too. I didn't even know he was on it. I mean, he was never on one of the lists that I frequent. Just some random atheist out of about 1000 others.
I've actually thought about friending Vacula just so I could de-friend him, and/or opening a Twitter account just so I could block him. Either mini-protest against him seems like more effort than he is worth.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
12673 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2013 :  23:44:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welp. Sigh... There is a lot of bad blood out there. That's for sure. I happen to like Barbara. I don't have to agree with everything she says. Reed Esau, Rachal Dunlap and Tim Farely are all good people. That's why I hate this. I hate that people are drawing a line in the sand and saying you are either with us or against us. I'm with skepticism. And I really hate to be told how I'm supposed to be for skepticism. What can I say? It's pretty hard to not be on somebody's shit list anymore. When Travis got on my case for linking to FtB I told him that I will link to anything that I think should be of interest to skeptics. And I still feel that way. I just brought up Travis Roy to point out that there is a rift in the rift.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Free The West Memphis Three
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  05:00:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When they're engaging in a blanket character assassination of the FtB/SkepChick/A+ crowd, they are not being good people. This isn't a case of them being seen as against "us" because they're not with us, these folks are actively against us. Roy, Drescher, Esau and Dunlap aren't innocent bystanders or unwilling to take a side, they've actively taken the side of the assholes. Those comments are the rift.

(Tim Farley is why I said "almost all." He's in that thread, but not joining in.)

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
12673 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  07:24:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think Rachel Dunlap is guilty of anything. What she did was to disagree with Roy by saying the vibe (at TAM) wasn't good because she was "made to feel like a sister hater for going" by people who weren't there. We don't know how that was done. I take her at her word. But she's also saying she doesn't want to be involved in this war. Travis is, of course, involved and egging her on. But she has clearly declined to get into it. She came into the thread to disagree with Travis about how women, specifically her, felt at TAM.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  09:25:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil, I take her at her word, too. It is precisely because Dunlap refuses to get into it (further than she just did, of course) that we are left with the clear impression (so clear, in fact, I'd have a hard time believing it was accidental) that she was harassed by Rebecca Watson and other feminists who boycotted TAM. Because she has declined to get into it, she will neither disabuse us of that notion, nor will she specify who made her "feel like a sister hater," and thus her statement can be seen as nothing but a broad-brush character attack against the people Roy is complaining about.

She may have piped up to disagree with him about the "vibe" at TAM last year, but she stuck around to also join the dogpile of hate.

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
12673 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  10:11:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If she gets more specific, she's in it. It's as simple as that. That's not what she wants. (Apparently she's in it now anyhow, for not being more specific.) So I respectfully disagree with your analysis.

Her mistake was to comment in that thread.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Free The West Memphis Three
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
24851 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2013 :  11:36:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil, if it was not the intention of the unnamed others to make Dunlap feel like a sister-hater (and if I'm right about who those others are, it wasn't), then Dunlap was picking a fight. Nobody gets to pick a fight and then claim to not want to get into a fight.

If it was their intention to make Dunlap feel that way and shut her up, then they're bullies who need to be outed as bullies, specifically and loudly. Dunlap refusing to do so allows the bullies to win.

In neither case was Dunlap making a mistake.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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