Friday, January 4, 2013

A reply to Justin Vacula's latest video.

Because someone brought it up in a thread, here is a response to
11 minutes by justin vacula… ok I’ll watch and respond.

around the 2:40 mark
Idea that the atheist community is particularly hostile for women, followed by Justin not knowing how to prove this.
Atheist community is probably no worse then other communities when it comes to women this is not saying much as many online communities are not terribly inviting to women. Look at the gaming community, spend some time on FUoS . Women face a higher level of harassment then men just for stepping into the conversation. I will let some personal information out of the bag. I was a moderator of a no longer existent fetish site. The women there took a hell of a lot more abuse then the men, men treating them badly, ignoring repeated requests to leave them alone etc. This is not something unique to atheism but it’s something we’d like to address.
As to how you would even prove it’s harder for a woman, change the gender of your username and try to say the same stuff you would have before the same way you would have said it before. You will be treated differently.
Slyme pit is disappointed at the continuation of these claims that the atheist community is hostile to women
We are disappointed with the continued harassment and bullying that comes out of the slyme pit. From photoshopping pictures of their critics, to taking glee in the misfortunes of those critics and their families.
can we really take comments to the effect of you should get rapped seriously. 

I don’t know about where you live. In Canada were I live it’s illegal to utter threats even if you are unable to or have no interest in carrying them through.
“To secure a conviction at trial, the Crown must prove that the person making the threat did so knowingly. That is, the prosecution must show that he was aware of the words used and the meaning they would convey. It also must show that he intended the threat to be taken seriously, that is, to intimidate or strike fear into the recipient. It is not necessary that the person making the threat intend to carry it out or be capable of doing so. The motive for making the threat is equally irrelevant.”
So it really doesn’t matter. The intent is the try to intimidate women and make them feel unsafe and that’s fucking wrong. Justin Vacula SHOULD not be brushing this off or offering casual defense of these actions. One nice step would be to say “hey people Knock this illegal shit off”.
people say mean things about Justin vacula calling him fat, a loser etc
People should not be fat shaming him etc but this is not an argument against taking threats and bullying online seriously this is just further evidence that we need to try to change internet culture and make it less harmful.
talking about problems at conferences lead to people avoiding conferences
This is a bad argument. It’s like saying we shouldn’t talk about murders or the murder rate in our city because it will scare off tourism. Well how do you expect to address the problem if you can’t talk about it? There may be a short term drop in attendance but it will lead to work on solutions that will make our conferences stronger in the long run. Just think of the loss of attendance from people who go to a conference have something bad happen to them and people don’t take it seriously. Are they going to want to go to future conferences, probably not.
where’s the evidence

Well here’s a post by Rebecca on some of the abuse she got for example
here’s an example of harassment at conventions
That’s from a couple minutes googling if you’d like more from me I’d like to start getting paid for the time I spend researching for you.
report threats to the police
While I don’t know your situation there are logistical problems reporting anonymous threats to police. This does not mean it is not a problem. I had chairs stolen from my cottage while we were away for several weeks. There seemed little the police could do if I reported the theft so we didn’t. That doesn’t mean the theft didn’t happen, that it wasn’t a problem or that I shouldn’t talk about it cause it might hurt property values around my cottage.
Amy shouldn’t be immune to criticism 

There’s a difference between criticism and personal attacks.
conferences shouldn’t be banning free expression 

I at least agree here but conferences should also try to be a welcoming place for all their conference goers. How best to do that is another conversation we can have and a harassment policy would even provide a framework for such a discussion.
Why are we spending so much time on Amy I think Amy’s role in thunderf00ts video was almost 30 seconds long.
the incident with amy is why skepchick/FTB was attacking TAM
No one was attacking TAM over this. People were talking about about the problems of harassment they were experiencing in the community and at conferences. DJ Grothe made a post about how this was hurting TAM and that TAM was good and these were damaging discussions. That’s when the discussion became about TAM in particular and it’s sometimes lousy track record of taking harassment seriously.
There’s the time line go read it full of links.
Attacking the conference so you shouldn’t expect a great response
Again no one was mentioning TAM specifically. Just to point out Amy was at the time also volunteering and fundraising to send women to TAM.
don’t see how thunderf00t is mocking a natural vulnerability to the point of misrepresenting the reason she was upset.
Yeah no thunderf00t boiled the incident down to Amy see’s shirt makes her upset she cries wants it banned. Leaves out things like, the harassment she’d been receiving, the fundraising she’d been doing for TAM, the reasons she was upset. Here read for yourself
I don’t think I would be reduced to tears
Good for you Justin, you know there’s a big nasty social pressure on men not to show emotions especially vulnerable emotions like crying. But you and thunderf00t are both diminishing how upsetting this was to someone cause you wouldn’t cry and that’s something to prod her with instead of
its not women exclusively being criticized
Harassment is not criticism. There’s a difference between this post that I’m making going through your video and addressing your point and just unleashing a barrage of hate, slurs and threats at you. Please get that into your head.

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