April 15th, 2015
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Very good, Author. Of course, their skeletons have been hiding in plain site right there in their “Holy” books. It is unfortunate that one has to don Reason-glasses to see them. Keep producing those glasses, author.
Errrr, make that, “Sight”
He he – another gem from Author :- )
Now for phase 2 – ‘The Shaggy Defence’
We need another character in the strip – Xenu or Hubbard maybe?
From time to time it occurs to me that the foundation story of Christianity is of an itinerant Jewish preacher who managed to get up the nose of the hierarchy and was put to death by the Romans, died, came back to life and went to heaven! Islam would have us believe that an illiterate trader went to a cave for serial visits lasting twenty years. In the cave he met the Angel Gabriel who dictated the Koran to him. This same trader was schlepped off to heaven on a horse!
The faithful ask us to believe this stuff. What are they smoking?
The evil infernal internet
Allows people, to anytime get
A look at the faithful’s actions
Like dissent and murder between factions
And watch infidels blood be let.
Nailed it yet again, Author. And the hits keep coming.
Scientology is in the news lately because Neil DeGrasse Tyson made the point that its dogma is no more ridiculous than Christianity so you can’t call it a cult, not so much an endorsement of Scientology as a slap at Christianity. Rebaca Watson disagreed, only that it is more cultish and dangerous, not more believable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl6ASCalGa8
I’ve yet to encounter a religion with believable dogma. It’s wonderful that the Internet makes the “sacred mysteries” transparent to the masses. ’bout time.
Well, to be fair, the skeletons of Christianity and Islam have been known for centuries. And even with the internet, it doesn’t seem to hurt their popularity all that much.
Trigger Warning: Chauvinist Ignorance
Okay, here goes. This is gonna be another long one, but please bear with me, because I really would love your opinion on this. I just now read last weeks discussion (and linked articles) about PZ Meyers and skepchicks and the freethought movement and stuff, but since I actually want someone to explain this to me, I’m going to post this here, this week.
I don’t get it. No matter if it was Shermer being a needy, male slut, or Dorkins being an awkward old dweeb in the elevator, or even Thunderfoot being a weird, obsessive misogynist, I don’t get the… politicum (if that’s the word I am looking for.) I totally see how certain forms of sexism are violence. If you rape someone – and by that I mean actually coerce them, be it with physical violence or the threat of firing them from a job or doing some other real harm – yeah, that’s a crime. Not because it’s sex, but because it’s coercion. Because it’s violence. If you don’t give someone a job, or discount someone’s opinion solely because of their gender, or race, or family, or sexual orientation, yeah, that’s discrimination. Hardly anyone in the West of remotely sound mind would dispute that, right? Those who do are clearly not worth talking to or working for.
That being said, don’t we all here agree that one of the big issues with religious folks is that while they have the right to believe whatever bullshit they chose to believe in, we have the right to mock it, call it bullshit, and generally be offensive about it? Isn’t that, like, a core point here, that while they certainly have the right to be offended, they have no right to be protected from being offended? Am I missing something here?
I am honestly not trying to troll, or be a jerk. This is a genuine question. (I tried asking it on PZ Meyr’s blog. Haha, that was a funny. But I couldn’t get a straight answer.) How is women asking not be eyed up, or hit on, however awkwardly, or not having to hear the word “cunt”, and all of it, how is that different from Christians and Muslims not wanting to see cartoons of their prophets having sex with goats or dogs?
I get why it’s unpleasant. I really do. I totally get why you think someone who hits on you in a bad, clearly unwanted and unasked for way, is a stupid prick. I get how you can think that someone like Penn Jillette is a childish moron if he leers at playboy bunnies and can’t stop cussing. Personally I think it’s kinda hilarious, and I believe him that he would find it just as cool to give Randi lapdances from cute guys as he would enjoy them from cute women. But I understand how you can think it’s annoying and pathetic. Personally I think any woman wearing high heels and a push up bra and any man wearing tight leather shoes and tie are utterly pathetic. But I’m not going to call for some rule that they can’t wear that.
I get where the rule “do not use violence or treat people unequally in important matters (like employment)” comes from. I see the ethical necessity in a society to uphold that rule. But where does the rule “do not treat sex casually or be an awkward dick about it” come from? I am honestly perplexed by that. Is there any other basis for such a rule except Abrahamic religion? Again, you can dislike someone for doing that, sure. You can dislike someone for sporting a douchbag haircut. But call for public rules prohibiting it? That’s… odd, isn’t it?
In my mind, when someone tells these supposedly shocking stories I usually reverse genders in my head and listen to what they sound like. I imagine a famous and successful She-mer boozing with a hot young Elias Smith and dragging him to her hotelroom. Is it vaguely creepy? Yeah, I guess so. But young Elias was an adult, capable of knowing his own limit when drinking? There was no violence involved? Would it really enrage someone? Or think about Daisy Dorkins awkwardly hitting on some young dude in an elevator and later being all prissy and stiff about it. We know that Dorkins is prissy and stiff and an annoying know-it-all who can’t admit when (s)he’s wrong. But would anyone start an elevatorgate about mature ladies being cheeky with boyish twinks?
And even those truly vitriolic comments and tweets from the 4chan crowd… I mean, saying someone should get a rotting porcupine stuffed up their ass or that you really wish someone would experience rape… it’s words, people. Not sticks and stones. It’s the bleeding internet. Are the guys writing that stuff from their mum’s basements ridiculous dweebs? Of course they are. But are they a public menace? Come on…
So, I can’t help feeling that in many of these cases, the sexism isn’t so much in the leeriness and fumbling groping, but in that assumption that for women sex must be something horrifying and that their virtue requires some special memetic SWAT police to protect.
Maybe I am too young (22), or too queer (100% guy fixated), or too uneducated (no school degree whatsoever), or lived too long amongst criminals, Gypsies, and hardcore muslims. But I really don’t get it. So, please someone explain it to me (preferably without tearing me a new one).
TL;DR: Why do women need protection from non-violent dirty old men and awkward virgin nerds?
1. How do women know which dirty old men and awkward nerds are non-violent?
2. There’s a concept called microaggressions. Follow the link to discover how harmful they are.
3. Why shouldn’t women be treated like human beings? Do you like being harassed, pestered and bullied? Do you think women like those things either?
And the difference between treating women like that and treating someone like that because of their religion is pretty obvious, the vast majority of women did not choose to be women.
Michael, thank you for your post, especially for your link to info. about microaggressions.
FreeFox, let me see if I can help you see this from a woman’s viewpoint. You asked, How is women asking not be eyed up, or hit on, however awkwardly, or not having to hear the word “cunt”, and all of it, how is that different from Christians and Muslims not wanting to see cartoons of their prophets having sex with goats or dogs? How a woman reacts when being hit on or when hearing the word “cunt” depends on the context. In this post, the context I’m thinking of is one where people who do not know each other are interacting with each other. If a religious person hears that a certain issue of a certain periodical has a cartoon that s/he finds offensive, s/he can choose not to buy or read that issue. If s/he is walking down the street and sees a billboard with that cartoon, s/he can simply look away. S/he might feel offended by the cartoon because s/he feels that her/his religion is being insulted, but s/he probably doesn’t feel personally threatened. Yet when a woman is walking down the street and is being hit on by men she doesn’t know–especially if the men are using words like “cunt”–her just looking away doesn’t stop the comments; indeed, instead of leaving the woman alone after she has walked past them, some men follow her, and even continue making comments. (See http://7online.com/society/hidden-camera-woman-faced-with-catcalls-harassment-as-she-walks-through-nyc/369471/ and http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/5ndnit/jessica-s-feminized-atmosphere .) There is no way for the woman to know whether the men are well-meaning but socially inept adults, deliberately offensive jerks, or potential rapists. In the U.S.A., at least, if someone calls a person with dark skin a “nigger,” that person probably feels insulted (“disrespected”) at least, and threatened at worst, especially given the country’s history of lynchings and the recent spate of incidents where light-skinned police officers have killed dark-skinned men. FreeFox, how would you feel if you were walking down the street in some town in the Bible Belt of the U.S.A, and someone called you an offensive name? (“Faggot?” “Fudgepacker?” I’m not sure which epithet packs a gut-punch that is the equivalent of cunt’s). My guess is that you might be worried that you might end up like Matthew Shepherd (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard).
You wrote, But where does the rule “do not treat sex casually or be an awkward dick about it” come from? … You can dislike someone for sporting a douchbag haircut. But call for public rules prohibiting it? That’s… odd, isn’t it? Again, it depends on the words are used and the context in which they are used. When a man talks to a woman, and they don’t know each other, what he considers “treating sex casually” can be taken by her as a threat. Just as there are public rules (rules of etiquette) about using the f- word (probably OK when talking with your buddies, probably prohibited when talking with your grandmother) or the n- word (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oN2LJTCBPtg ), there are and have been rules of etiquette about men hitting on women and calling them “cunts.” Those rules have never been followed 100% of the time, but in countries where women have some freedom, they are growing more vocal about the right not to be harassed when they are walking down the street.
You wrote, And even those truly vitriolic comments and tweets from the 4chan crowd… I mean, saying someone should get a rotting porcupine stuffed up their ass or that you really wish someone would experience rape… it’s words, people. Not sticks and stones. It’s the bleeding internet. Are the guys writing that stuff from their mum’s basements ridiculous dweebs? Of course they are. But are they a public menace? Again, there is no way for the woman who is the target of the comments to know whether the commenter is a boy who is aping his elders without knowing what he’s saying ( http://www.onthemedia.org/story/little-trolls/ ) or whether the commenter is making a serious threat. Trash talk that is spoken may be dismissed if the tone of voice or other non-verbal signals indicate that the words are not meant literally. But someone posting rape or death threats on the Internet has threatened someone in writing. A woman is likely to take such threats seriously, especially when the commenter adds that he knows where the woman lives or works.
You may be relieved to know that many women do not find sex “horrifying.” On the contrary! It’s just that they prefer to be treated, not as sex toys, but as individual human beings who have the right to consent to sex or to decline it, just like men. (If you’d like to know more about how women value their equal significance and volition, I recommend The Just City, by Jo Walton.) Also, before they have sex, most women want to know their partner well enough to feel safe with him.
I hope this helps. If you have further questions about this, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Freefox: Of course I take your points and mostly agree with you. Just one comment: “it’s words, people. Not sticks and stones”.
Words have power. At the risk of going all Godwin here, the only thing Hitler used was words, no sticks and stones and guns, at least not personally.
I’m luckily not a delicate flower. Words mostly bounce off me. Others apparently are not so…hardened. Jennifer McCreight, for example, was driven into a year long bed ridden PTS depression by the constant abuse and harassment.
I’d be the last person to suggest censorship. But freedom of speech does not include freedom to be heard. We don’t need to provide platforms for the haters. Let them rant on a soap box in the local park.
Freefox, the issue, it looks to me, was that Ms. Watson justifiably felt threatened. That is, cornering someone in a small space with no potential exits is inherently threatening, especially in a society that has a strong tendency to condone sexual assault (even though the fellow probably meant no threat). And I’m sure men are sometimes given similar treatment, but society doesn’t consider that threatening and wouldn’t support them (as with male victims of domestic violence).
Jazzlet, that’s a slim difference. The vast majority of people did not choose their religion either.
I can’t see why such a difference should matter. Treating people like shit is not a good thing, no matter what the motivation or justification.
And that said, there’s a difference between mocking religious dogma and marginalizing or disenfranchising members of a religion. Mocking has value. It’s part of an education strategy.
“Yeah, we’ve got nothing to hide.”
OK, so just how is that statement meant? “There is nothing that we need to hide,” or “We have nothing and that is to be hidden.” Or, just maybe, could that statement be intentionally ambiguous? Ah! The glory of English syntax!
Author, it may be more succinct if you show the guys reading about Scientology in the third frame, thus putting more emphasis on their reading material in the fourth frame?
AlexanderTheGoodEnough, I, too admire the “glory of English syntax.” 🙂 “Yeah, we’ve got nothing to hide” can also be taken as “We’ve already hidden everything that needs to be hidden.” (Of course, as Max+T.+Furr pointed out, it’s not hidden very well.)
I also appreciate the rich definitions of some English words. For example, if evangelists for J were to say, “Our goal is to spread the gospel to every person on earth. We’re trying,” it would be true for multiple senses of the word “trying”–making an effort to reach the goal, and taxing our patience close to the breaking point.
One of the things I find trying about Scientologists is their rejection of psychology and psychiatry. To me, this is just as irritating as the way some fundamentalist Christians reject the theory of evolution. But I also find it ironic that Scientologists reject the scientific field devoted to the psyche, especially since they are known for their brainwashing indoctrination/re-education techniques.
I tried to use html tags in my previous post to strike out “brainwashing,” but it didn’t work. Please consider “brainwashing” visible in the comment, but crossed out 🙂 .
Apologies for not replying in full, but there’s two points I’d like to make in haste:
“Dorkins being an awkward old dweeb in the elevator”
It wasn’t Dawkins in the elevator, but some other conference attendee. The issue was that Dawkins later belittled the episode, not that he initiated it.
“How is women asking not be eyed up, or hit on, however awkwardly, or not having to hear the word “cunt”, and all of it, how is that different from Christians and Muslims not wanting to see cartoons of their prophets having sex with goats or dogs?”
The former relate to personal interactions – treating others with respect as people. The latter refers to how we see other peoples’ ideas. A better analogy to said cartoons would be cartoons making fun of feminist icons of the past. And while I’m sure such cartoons would annoy and upset some people, I doubt they’d lead to any cartoonists getting murdered, or for any leading figures in feminism to call for their murder.
SteveC, and there you go, telling grandma how to suck eggs. 🙂
I’ll just add re, the elevator incident.
When I saw Rebecca Watson’s original video when it 1st came out, my impression was that her points were A) he was probably just awkward, but she did’t *know* that. and B) hey guys, if you actually want a woman to meet with you, that isn’t the way to do it.
Even if you disagreed with her on these points, the internet blow up over it was way over the top.
@ Jim+ : I hear you. Good old media/internet/twitter et al
I can’t believe that a lone woman not caring to be potentially propositioned in an elevator late at night, by a possible male `fan’, and stranger, and said so, and gave reasons for her thinking, is STILL being talked about and dissected.
“Isn’t that, like, a core point here, that while they certainly have the right to be offended, they have no right to be protected from being offended? Am I missing something here?”
Personally I try to distinguish between satire and harassment – and granted the line might be subjective and depend on your background. But generally satire will attack a concept and not individuals. It should also have some sort of point and there should be some intelligence to it. Calling someone a cunt or suggesting that they deserve to get raped doesn’t exactly qualify… nor does attacking (verbally or non-verbally) a muslim woman wearing a veil in the street. Sometimes there is a point to shock just to expand borders (mainly because they tend to shrink if you don’t), but there is also the mechanism of sliding values if you don’t oppose bullying. I read a newspaper article somewhere that quoted a person who, while years later reading from his diary from the second world war, noted how things that upset him wildly at the beginning were a complete non-issue a few years later, since things had gotten so much worse. To on a large scale and for a prolonged period of time call a group of people names and demeaning them tends to make it possible to later turn that also into physical abuse, since you get used to the idea that they are objects and worth less. It also runs the risk of silencing them, since you can only take so much verbal abuse and threats. It is currently a reality that women who publically express an opinion get floods of hatred. Like a male journalist put it – he might be called grumpy, but people generally don’t on a regular basis respond by threatening to nail his genitalia to a barn wall. So what exactly are the long term effects? Is it contributing to making the world a better place? Is it even promoting free speech? A small group of males get to exercise their free speech completely without restrictions while half the population loose theirs. A threat is sort of half-way to violence – can it be called just having an opinion? And how does physically groping someone fall under free speech?
“So, I can’t help feeling that in many of these cases, the sexism isn’t so much in the leeriness and fumbling groping, but in that assumption that for women sex must be something horrifying and that their virtue requires some special memetic SWAT police to protect.”
I however also agree that exaggerated protection of virtue contributes to sexism. The extreme case perhaps being the “honour killings” that men in certain sub-cultures commit on female relatives who have the audacity to fall in love with the wrong person. And there is something weird about the fact that it sometimes seems that in movies, any amount of violence is ok, whereas showing skin is deemed outrageous. I have a feeling that the more you make sexuality an issue the more problems it causes and the more fumbling morons you get.
Some satire on the subject:
Good points both of you.
The silence in your fourth frame is a stroke of brilliant punctuation, Author!
Some more viewing:
(like the textbook at 1:41 – “Is porn a Pakistani conspiracy” 🙂
And as for Christianity – not what you expect:
wnanig, good to hear your voice on this thread. Cheers mate.
re: “Abhijeet says: We need another character in the strip – Xenu or Hubbard maybe?”
May I suggest “L. Ron Howard, Opie-ate of the people”?
No need to shove, I’ll be leaving now……
@ Jim Baerg and oldebabe:
You’re making it sound as if the big internet Elevatorgate blowup was solely triggered by Watson’s little “guys, don’t do this” video. I would suggest that if she had stopped there, there would have been no blowup at all.
The blowup really got going after Watson publicly called out Stef McGraw — and lied about what McGraw had said, in order to give her callout more force.
McGraw had simply made the rather obvious point that a single sexual proposition, however awkward and badly timed, does not constitute harassment or imply objectification. Watson twisted this into a claim “that a woman’s reasonable expectation to feel safe from sexual objectification and assault at skeptic and atheist events is outweighed by a man’s right to sexually objectify her” — a severe misrepresentation.