Thunderf00t’s post: Poorly thought out, poorly made, and he owes an apology

Tunderf00t, a very new addition to the Free Thought Blogs stable of ponies, unicorns, Atheists and Skeptics, is being a dick.

He has taken the position that all this talk and all this consternation about sexual harassment strategies at conferences is not important and sexual harassment at these venues is not an issue. Fine. He’s wrong, but he is certainly entitled to think that as long as his credibility isn’t that important to him. (I say this last bit because he’s basing his arguments on invective and flourish and not reason, which makes him look kinda like an idiot. I also don’t feel a need to counter his “calm and rational” arguments here because his post was obviously written with only a glancing reference to all the prior writing on this topic. Perhaps if he spends the time to catch up to the rest of us I’ll take the time to address what he has to say.)

At the same that he’s made a poorly executed and incorrect, and rather breathless argument, he’s chosen to place it in an obnoxious frame. He’s made it clear that the only venue for discussion, really, is YouTube, where his gazillion admiring fans can listen to him, and that “the conference scene” isn’t really important. What he is missing here is this: YouTube, where you make the video and everyone else listens, is not a dialog and the vlogger doesn’t really learn much from the experience. Conferences are where people get together face to face and talk to each other in various venues, from the formal (scheduled events) to the less formal (at the bar, lounge, etc.). In this context people come to appreciate and understand other people’s ideas. Most people I know who go to conferences come away from them transformed, or reset, or inspired, or something. Tunderf00t, apparently, has not had that experience (or he would not so denigrate the venue as worthless). Rather, he goes to conferences and chews on a woman’s leg. (If you don’t know, don’t ask…)

In his epically awful blog post on the topic, he chose to use a graphic from the web site of a famous skeptical artist, Amy Roth. He took a copyrighted graphic of her work without permission, and when he was asked to take it down his response was very disrespectful.

Hey, Thunderf00t, I want you to go right now and apologize to Amy. That was uncalled for. You do not get to decide the rules of intellectual property (really, who the fuck do you think you are?). Also, just so you know, the opinions expressed in this blog post were here in my head already, but I had decided to avoid this fight for now because as usual things were being handled well by my colleages, andI have some other commitments. But then you dissed my friend. I know, I know, it is not rational, and it is emotional, for me to decide to tell you off because of a personal connection. In your mind this makes me a lesser person. In my mind it requires the aforementioned apology and you can kiss my ass. If you don’t get that, then you are hopeless.

And now a word from Huxley:

And now back to the post:

Thunderf00t’s argument is ignorant and wrong and made in a mean spirited unproductive way that has lost him in one fell swoop a large number of potential allies. You’ve got to be on drugs to fuck up that badly in one hour’s time.

Anyway, this may be the worst part of it all: There is no way that Thunderf00t could have not known two facts that were at hand at the time he joined Frethougthblogs.com: 1) That the present issue, about sexual harassment and such, was very much part of the current dialog and 2) that the majority opinion at FTB.com, while not homogeneous, is that we take these things seriously. This does not mean that Tunderf00t should not have joined our network. It doesn’t even (necessarily) mean that he should not have been asked to join our network. But it does mean that producing such a poorly thought out dickhead piece of crap blog post which explicitly brings into question everyone’s motivations and intelligence can only be taken in one way: As a very purposeful slap in the face. A person who had any sense of collegiate or any social intelligence would have waited at least a week. A person who wasn’t most comfortable being the dickhead in the room would have let enough time to pass for there to be a “hello how are you” or two amongst us before putting up a post that arguably could make everyone regret we know him.

I still welcome Thhunderf00t to Freethoughtblogs.com. But not as a colleague. I don’t have that much of a problem being on the same network as people with whom I disagree even strongly. I am, after all, blogging at scienceblogs.com and that is a tradition there. But until I see some sincere apologies and some real thought put into the logic of his augments which will necessarily result in a certain degree of backtracking, forgetabout the Mr. Niceguy thing.

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85 Responses to Thunderf00t’s post: Poorly thought out, poorly made, and he owes an apology

  1. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    You make a number of claims about what Thunderf00t said in his YouTube video.

    I have to admit that I have a hard time finding the corresponding quotes to each of your claims.

    Could you post quotes along side of your claims, please?

  2. dogeared, spotted and foxed says:

    Wait, he messed with Amy Roth? Duuuuuuuude. Bad move.

    First off, her tireless efforts to bring art, imagination and all that wonderful messy right brain stuff into the freethought movement have had far more positive impact than some racist’s prattling on Islam.

    Secondly, they don’t call her Surly for nothing.

  3. Greg Laden says:

    You make a number of claims about what Thunderf00t said in his YouTube video.

    No, I don’t. Not one. I’m pretty sure I’ve not watched a ThuderfOOT video beyond few seconds here and there in months, and even then, just some of his creationism ones, IIRC.

    And no, do read the post. I’m not going to engage in a substantive argument with him until he demonstrates that he’s read what has already been written, if then. That is simply not the point here.

  4. Thunderf00t has always liked ripping off copyrighted stuff to use in his work. That’s why he can’t put ads on his YouTube videos.

  5. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    Yes, you have. I’ll list them here:

    1. “He has taken the position that all this talk and all this consternation about sexual harassment strategies at conferences is not important and sexual harassment at these venues is not an issue.”

    Where does he take that position?

    2. “He’s made it clear that the only venue for discussion, really, is YouTube, where his gazillion admiring fans can listen to him”

    Where does he make that clear?

    3. “and that “the conference scene” isn’t really important.”

    Where does he make that clear?

    • Thunderf00t Is Awsome says:

      Thunderf00t just says what people dont like hearing. he tells the blunt truth and all those haters i.e professional Victimhood feminists, and PZ meyers, get butthurt whenever ppl say stuff they disagreee with so go head flag my comment. And live down the fact that the secular community is dieing cause of half of these “victims” and Pisshead
      Meyers FLAG IT PUSSY

  6. CyberLizard says:

    Claus, are you really that dense? You see those blue words in that first quote you use, “taken the position”? That’s called a hyperlink or a link for short. You click on them. You read the words posted at the other end of the link. And you stop acting like a pedantic weasel.

  7. Greg Laden says:

    Claus, I am not referring to a YouTube video. I am referring to the blog post to which I linked.

  8. Sarah says:

    Claus, the answer to all of your questions is here (directly quoted from TF’s post):

    “Now first let me say from a strategically point of view sexual harassment at conferences really is a non-issue…indeed to a large degree the conference scene is mostly redundant. A large conference is a couple of thousand people. In terms of viewership, a mediocre channel such as mine would pull in several tens of thousands of views for a video. Then of course many of these lectures are repeated from conference to conference, and virtually all of them are available online. Put simply if your primary focus is on the conference scene, then in the internet age, it’s probably misplaced. Further it’s my personal experience that sexual harassment affects only a very significant minority of attendees. Indeed I personally know prominent women who went to TAM last year who said from a harassment point of view, it was the cleanest TAM yet (battle fought and game won?). So the full scope of the problem is a minority of a minority. As such do you really think this is the priority target where you will get best bang for your buck in terms of focusing hard won resources, or focusing the attention of the online community?”

  9. michaeld says:

    Sure Claus its in his blog post. http://freethoughtblogs.com/thunderf00t/2012/06/25/misogynist/

    Greg’s not misrepresenting anything unless you’re quibbling what words he chose.

  10. Greg, you don’t say “kiss my ass” too much enough. For some reason you deploy that common phrase at precisely the proper times. I love it!

  11. CT says:

    See that Freethought Blogs header up there? click it. Go to Thunderf00t’s page and read the #### blog post Greg is talking about. I think it’s named MYSOGINIST!!1111 or some such BS. All those claims are right there in the post.

  12. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    I know you are.

    Can you please point to the evidence of your claims?

    Thank you.

  13. Gnumann, quisling of the MRA nation says:

    Tunderf00t, a very new addition to the Free Thought Blogs stable of ponies, unicorns, Atheists and Skeptics, is being a dick.

    Please don’t insult my dear organ by comparisons to the likes of Thunderfoot.

  14. Greg Laden says:

    Claus, I provided a link to the post to which I’m responding. Are you saying that you would prefer that I use the “fisking” approach of providing a sentence or two then commenting on it, then another sentence or two then commenting on that?

  15. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    I am not “saying” anything. Please do not assign motives to me that I haven’t got. I am merely asking you to provide evidence of your claims.

    I didn’t ask you for a link to the post you were responding to.

    I was asking you for evidence of the claims you made in this post.

    So, once again, I am asking you to provide evidence of your claims.

  16. dogeared, spotted and foxed says:

    Um, yu guise, Claus Larsen shtick is JAQing off. You’ll never get a good faith answer or a response formed as a statement. Kind of a weird power trip but we all have our little quirks.

  17. pentatomid says:

    Claus,

    All the evidence one needs is here and in the linked posts, including the quotes you asked for earlier. Are you really this dense?

  18. karmakin says:

    You know, I’m a person who generally wishes that we could be a little more slow to throw down the “troll” hammer on these things, be a little more open to people asking questions and so on.

    And then Claus comes along and shows us why we can’t have nice things.

  19. Greg Laden says:

    OK, I get it, no problem.

    I made some claims in the above blog post. They are about stuff Thunderfoot said. Which is here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/thunderf00t/2012/06/25/misogynist/

    Sarah agrees that this is the stuff that he said: http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2012/06/26/thunderf00ts-post-poorly-thought-out-poorly-made-and-he-owes-an-apology/#comment-77158

    There you go.

  20. What exactly are you trying to get a citation for? The only thing I’m not seeing any direct support for is the claim that TF was rude to Amy Roth, but his edited post has her copyrighted material still with some added mockery of her and her claim of copyright, so I think that’s in evidence, even if we don’t know what he specifically said to her.

  21. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    No, I’m afraid that links to what other people have said is not evidence of what you have claimed.

    So, once again, I am asking you to provide evidence of your claims.

  22. gwen says:

    I saw his post when it first went up. I could only stomach the first few paragraphs. I was SO excited he’d joined FtB, and SO disappointed in that post/rant…

  23. Greg Laden says:

    Claus. I. am. talking. about. what. he. said.

  24. So are you going to specify what Greg said that was so unsupported or is this just grandstanding?

  25. Mr. Laden, a link to what he said isn’t evidence that he said it! Where’s your evidence he said it? And no, allowing us to read his words doesn’t count! We need EVIDENCE!

  26. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    OK, it is clear by now that you simply do not have evidence of what you have claimed. Fair enough, we have cleared that point.

    If you will allow me to address another of your complaints, namely that thunderf00t is using copyrighted material in his video.

    Here is a list of posts on Skepchick.org, where they use material (images) that they *clearly* do not have permission to use:

    http://skepchick.org/2012/06/skepchick-quickies-6-14-3/ (Fred Flintstone)

    http://skepchick.org/2012/05/sex-and-the-keynote/ (The Joker)

    http://skepchick.org/2012/05/skepchick-quickies-5-24-3/ (Batman)

    http://skepchick.org/2012/05/skepchick-quickies-5-23-2/ (Batwoman)

    What is your response to that?

  27. Greg Laden says:

    Do you people think you look smart doing this? Because you don’t. You look like fools.

  28. Pandademic says:

    I am not “saying” anything.

    QFT.

    You’re a gem, Claus Larsen.

    More on topic, thanks for the update, Greg. Hadn’t realized that Thunderfoot updated his post just to whine about how Amy is a stupidhead, because she won’t let him play with her toys. He’s really on an entitled asshole streak, isn’t he?

  29. Greg Laden says:

    Oh, Tabby, you were joking. Right, sorry. Ha ha.

    Of course, I don’t really have EVIDENCE that you were joking.

  30. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    Surely, if you find thunderf00t’s use of copyrighted material reason to speak out against such (ab)use, you must also find reason to speak out against the very same thing, when it happens on Skepchick.org.

    So, do you denounce Skepchick.org’s use of copyrighted material, yes or no?

  31. Dagda says:

    @David Attenborough
    Brilliant a living genuine Troll

  32. Greg Laden says:

    Claus, wow. Please provide evidence that Skepchick.org ever posted something (accidental or otherwise) that was copyrighted, was asked to take it down, and refused to do so, then was forced to take it down and then got all snarky and insulting and told the person who owned the material that they were being unreasonable.

    I’m starting to think you have something to hide. Can you provide EVIDENCE that you are not one of the people these anti-harassment guidelines are trying to put in line? I’m asking that because you are protesting an awful lot, and in a manner that is downright desperate.

  33. pentatomid says:

    Fuck. I had not seen the edited post yet where he mocks Amy like that. What a pathetic little shite he is!

  34. Greg Laden says:

    OK, it is clear by now that you simply do not have evidence of what you have claimed. Fair enough, we have cleared that point.

    Nope. I wrote a comment about something someone said, and the way they said it. I provided a link to what they said.

    If you will allow me to address another of your complaints, namely that thunderf00t is using copyrighted material in his video.

    I never made a claim about any of Thunderf00t’s videos. Ever. If you think I made such a claim, prove it. Meanwhile, Imma dial 911 becuase I think you are having a stroke.

    Here is a list of posts on Skepchick.org, where they use material (images) that they *clearly* do not have permission to use:

    And you told them to not use them and they fucked you over? Can you provide evidence for that? Oh, wait, you don’t have copyright of Fred Flinstone. So you really don’t know.

    When you say “clearly” about something is that … EVIDENCE?????

    No, I don’t think so. It is clear by now that you simply do not have evidence of what you have claimed. Fair enough. Point cleared.

    Is that ambulance there yet? You might want to have an aspirin.

  35. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    I refuse to participate in your conspiracy theories. All I am interested in is evidence.

    If you can determine that thunderf00t has illegally used copyrighted material in his video, you can likewise determine if Skepchick.org has illegally used copyrighted material on their website.

    So, the question still stands: Do you denounce Skepchick.org’s use of copyrighted material, yes or no?

  36. Greg Laden says:

    Claus, this would be a good time for you to shut up.

  37. Wow. Claus made no sense before, but this is just…wow.

  38. Claus Larsen says:

    Greg,

    What do you mean?

  39. Kels says:

    Brilliant derailing by Claus, no worthless human being could do it better. You’ve successfully made the conversation all about you and Skepchick (for some reason) rather than Thunderf00t being a total jerk to Amy Roth and generally making a growing series of ill-informed posts followed by overreactions to criticism. Which is, as I’m sure you know, the actual subject of the blog post.

    Kind of a shame when this is the greatest achievement of your life, though.

  40. Matt Penfold says:

    I refuse to participate in your conspiracy theories. All I am interested in is evidence.

    It is clear you are not at all intelligent so I will make things as simple as I can.

    If you want to know what Thunderfoot said read what he wrote. You have been given the links (ask an adult if you need help on how to use a link) but here it is again:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/thunderf00t/2012/06/25/misogynist/

    There you will find Thunderfoot saying the things Greg says she did.

    Once you have found a grown-up to help you with the big words, make sure to come back and apologise for being such an idiot. Then take your computer back to where you bought it from and tell you are too fucking stupid to use one.

  41. Greg Laden says:

    We’re taking the conversation about Claus over here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2012/06/26/claus-larsen-and-skepticreport/

    The conversation about Thunderf00t, if there is any, can remain here.

  42. Greg, I was joking.

    But you can’t just point to where I just admitted I was joking. Where is your evidence that I was joking?

  43. Greg Laden says:

    I admit I don’t have any. I am a bad skeptic.

  44. skeptifem says:

    Claus does not argue in good faith. I implore anyone deciding to waste time on him to google him and see the kind of shit he does on other boards/forums.

  45. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says:

    Claus doesn’t seem to understand that the point he’s JAQing off about isn’t that Thunderfoot used a copyrighted image and that’s BAD! BAD THUNDERFOOT.

    The point is that he used a copyrighted image, then was told by the owner of said copyright to take it down, then refused to take said image down, then was forced by said owner to take said image down, then ridiculed and belittled said owner and acted in a way that even my five-year old knows is ridiculous and will require an apology later.

    Claus is staring only at the plot point of the denouement (Thunderfoot acted like an asshole and should apologise) while saying “I don’t get it. Why was he an asshole? EVIDENCE!??!??!?!” and ignoring the rest of what came before. Like tuning in to Buffy after she and Angel broke up and being all “I don’t get it, they’re not together, WHY THE ANGST?” and shouting down those who try to tell the history.

    Claus either doesn’t know how plot, narrative and basic argumentation – no, fuck that, COMMUNICATION – works or Claus is “arguing” in bad faith.

  46. Kels says:

    Back to Thunderf00t, between the bizarre leg-gnawing stuff (there is no cannibalism in the British Navy!), his resistance to codes of conduct and this sordid business with Ms. Roth, it seems to me that his primary motivation is nothing more noble than wanting to do whatever he wants and to hell with how anyone (who’s not friends with him) thinks or feels.

    An attitude which pretty much underlies how necessary codes of conduct and the like really are. Ironic, eh?

  47. Greg Laden says:

    Good point about the irony.

  48. Matt Penfold says:

    (there is no cannibalism in the British Navy!)

    Indeed. The Royal Navy has got by for centuries with rum, sodomy and the lash.

  49. Louise says:

    Wow. I am not sure I really want to jump into this fray at all. Just for the record, I am a 56 year old female, grew up in the East Bay Area in CA, and certainly know about harrassment, rape, etc.

    I happen to agree with Claus and sort of with Thunderfoot. Granted, Thunderfoot isn’t very erudite and does lack a bit of charisma in his writings.

    I did wonder about Greg’s accusation which is why I clicked to Thunderfoot’s link. Previously, I did watch some youtube stuff where about 7 of you were discussing this TAM problem, but I listed for a bit and still didn’t learn much of anything specific. More in a bit.

    Back to Thunderfoot. Ok, he isn’t graceful about his comments, but I do understand what I think he is trying to say. You can’t get away from every guy who is a jerk. You do have to confront them. A workplace is a different situation from a conference. Work is a place you spend most of you daytime hours at to earn money. A conference is, well, for whatever you are going there for – to learn something, hear a famous speaker, to meet like minded peoplo, etc. I don’t think putting up harrassment policy is a good thing at a conference unless it is a HUGE MAJOR problem especially if it is happening after the conference (speakers, etc.) is over and you are at a restaurant, bar, or in your hotel. Then it is back to everyday life.

    Ok, back to what happened to skepchick. I still have not heard exactly what happened. I heard at 4am a guy wanted to either go to her hotel room (or did he invite her to his?) to chat. Did he force her? Follow her to her room ? Try to push her in? Or what? All I heard was that she gave him a lecture in the elavator about being a dick. Did she say ‘no thanks’ and he continued attempting the ‘pickup’ as it sounded like she thought it was? Or did she just give her opinion after his invite? These are the things I know nothing about.

    And I saw that photo where Thunderfoot was ‘chewing’ on a leg. That woman did not look like she was protesting. WAs she protesting? I don’t know, so i cannot judge. I know when I was young (probably Skepchick’s age) I have flirted with men in bars. There was even one time where I put my feet into the lap with someone. I was flirting. If a man did something I didn’t like, I would say something or walk away or ignore him.

    Well, that’s all I have for know.

  50. Matt Penfold says:

    Ok, back to what happened to skepchick. I still have not heard exactly what happened. I heard at 4am a guy wanted to either go to her hotel room (or did he invite her to his?) to chat. Did he force her? Follow her to her room ? Try to push her in? Or what? All I heard was that she gave him a lecture in the elavator about being a dick. Did she say ‘no thanks’ and he continued attempting the ‘pickup’ as it sounded like she thought it was? Or did she just give her opinion after his invite? These are the things I know nothing about.

    Just where was this rock you have been living under for the last year ?

  51. Daz says:

    Indeed. The Royal Navy has got by for centuries with rum, sodomy and the lash.

    Which was quite a feat, given that it wasn’t recorded until 1985.

    I’ll get me coat…

  52. Louise says:

    OK, I misspoke. Did try to preview and it didn’t work.

    I typed – I don’t think putting up harrassment policy is a good thing at a conference unless it is a HUGE MAJOR problem especially if it is happening after the conference (speakers, etc.) is over and you are at a restaurant, bar, or in your hotel. Then it is back to everyday life.

    It should be ****** I don’t think putting up harrassment policy is a good thing at a conference unless it is a HUGE PROBELM and it IS happening during the conference – where the speakers are, buying stuff at tables set up, eating a mean AT the conference et. AFTER it is over and at a restaurant, etc – THEN you are back to everyday life. THAT is what I meant to day.

  53. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says:

    Just where was this rock you have been living under for the last year ?

    Also, where can I buy one?

  54. Rob says:

    Louise? You’re mis-characterizing things badly. If you really want to participate, then you need to go spend some time catching up. If you’re just here to troll, you’ve made a fine start.

  55. Louise says:

    Excuse me Matt? Is that your way of insulting me? Huh? How grown-up of you. Maybe I need more clarification from you. Are you insulting my knowledge of harrassment and rape in general? Or are you insulting my lack of knowledge about TAM or what?

    I have been an atheist since 2009. I read Austin Cline’s blog. I have had a subscription ot American Atheists org. That is pretty much my atheist crap that I get involved with. I am not an activist.

    I have read Greg’s blog for a couple of months.

  56. Matt Penfold says:

    I typed – I don’t think putting up harrassment policy is a good thing at a conference unless it is a HUGE MAJOR problem especially if it is happening after the conference (speakers, etc.) is over and you are at a restaurant, bar, or in your hotel. Then it is back to everyday life.

    Meeting up in the bar after the formal events of the day is a huge part of being at a conference.

    This has been explained many times already, so I really should not be having to do so again.

  57. Matt Penfold says:

    Excuse me Matt? Is that your way of insulting me? Huh? How grown-up of you.

    Sorry, are you complaining about being insulted ? After you posted what you did ?

    I think that requires an apology on your part.

    Maybe I need more clarification from you. Are you insulting my knowledge of harrassment and rape in general? Or are you insulting my lack of knowledge about TAM or what?

    I’m pointing that it is extremely rude to post when you are as ignorant of what has happened as you are. Clearly you think you can be as rude as you like, but I cannot be a little sarcastic when it comes to pointing how badly you are behaving.

    I suggest you go away and learn what happened first, and then come back, but maybe you would like to apologise first.

  58. Matt Penfold says:

    Oh, and can you explain why you were so ignorant of the importance of the evening bar meet-up ? A good number of bloggers, including several here on FtB have explained it, so really, there is no excuse for such ignorance.

  59. Louise says:

    How can I be rude? All I was saying is that I don’t have all the information to make a judgement. And you turn around and call me rude. Like I said, I have read Greg’s posts about this, but there hasn’t been any specific information about TAM harrassment. The talk has been about there being harrassment.

    I appologize, but prior to, what, a week ago?, I had never even heard of TAM. So please forgive my ingnorance.

    I have been to conferences of various sorts. And yes, people do go to bars afterward, but the bar atmosphere technically is not ‘the conference’. It is after conference activities. As far as I know, the ‘after conference’ activities whehter a bar, restaurant or whatever is never attened by very many participants. Everyone goes their own way. If you have a conference of 1000 people , there is no way they can all fit in the same bar.

  60. scrutationaryarchivist says:

    Louise,

    The “Elevator Incident” was first related by Rebecca Watson in the video here: http://skepchick.org/2011/06/about-mythbusters-robot-eyes-feminism-and-jokes/ It happened in Dublin, Ireland, in 2011.

  61. Willow says:

    I am sorry he used her work without permission, and also that he replied to her request in a not polite manner.

    However, point is most of us are guilty of going “oh you know that’s a GREAT graphic, photograph, quote, cartoon… I’m going to use it.” Unless it’s wikipedia, beware. Many science sites that host blogs, demand their bloggers use any material with full permission. Or they lose their blog. It makes blogging a lot harder, but also is the only fair way to go.

    Skepchick does a pretty fair share of “lemme post this” as they do not have an editor that keeps an eye out for this stuff. So far, they have been lucky. You just can’t post that photograph of that really cool buy, or that cartoon that really proves your point, or even that nice photograph of a girl rolling her eyes. Even that photograph of a woman in a burkha belongs to someone.

    So, fair point here, we all need to be more careful. One thing about skepchick which may not have changed is that they do allow fair use (I think that is the term). If you print something on skepchick, anyone can use it for any reason without asking permission. It helps get the word out, so when someone uses a graphic that has appeared on skepchick, it’s covered under the “fair use” they at least used to have. I’ve heard complaints about “wait, how did that get THERE?” from someone that wrote a few posts for them. It’s perfectly ok, under their terms to use anything they write or put up, much like wikipedia. So if he borrowed it from skepchick, it’s not covered. (MadArt or any other site, it would depend on what their policy is).

  62. coupdefoudre says:

    All I was saying is that I don’t have all the information to make a judgement.

    So… why even bother writing a comment? You aren’t bringing anything new to the table.

    I don’t think putting up harrassment policy is a good thing at a conference unless it is a HUGE MAJOR problem

    Others disagree, and think that publicizing a harassment policy would improve their conference experience. Can you explain why doing so would actively be a negative thing? Are you one of those people that thing that talking about the problem IS the problem?

  63. Matt Penfold says:

    How can I be rude ?

    By expecting us to do your homework.

    All I was saying is that I don’t have all the information to make a judgement.

    But you then made one anyway.

    Like I said, I have read Greg’s posts about this, but there hasn’t been any specific information about TAM harrassment. The talk has been about there being harrassment.

    There has been plenty of information about specific incidents of harrasment at TAM. PZ Myers, Jen McCreight and Greta Christina are just three blogger on this very network who have done just that.

    If you had bothered to look you would have found it.

    I appologize, but prior to, what, a week ago?, I had never even heard of TAM. So please forgive my ingnorance.

    It is very hard, when so much of it seems wilful.

    I have been to conferences of various sorts. And yes, people do go to bars afterward, but the bar atmosphere technically is not ‘the conference’.

    And yet that is where the incidents of harassment have nearly all taken place, so excluding such socialising from an anti-harassment policy would both mean such a policy is pointless, and give a green light to the MRAs and PUAs. Which is hardly going to improve the situation with regards increasing the attendance of women at such events.

    Everyone goes their own way. If you have a conference of 1000 people , there is no way they can all fit in the same bar.

    Again, you are letting your ignorance show. Most atheist/sceptic events are nothing like that large, and a good number of the participants will crowd into the same bar.

    None of this should be news to you. It has been blogged about here at FtB within the last couple of days. And I for one am getting sick of people who cannot be bothered to appraise themselves of what has happened demanding that others provide a summary.

  64. marilove says:

    I don’t think putting up harrassment policy is a good thing at a conference unless it is a HUGE MAJOR problem

    That doesn’t make a lick of sense. There should always be a harassment policy in place when there is any sort of event with a lot of people.

    The point of a harassment policy is to make it clear to people what is and isn’t acceptable, which can sometimes help prevent harassment. But prevention really isn’t the point of such a policy. The point of a harassment policy is to make it clear what the procedures are to report and respond to harassment.

    One of the problems from past TAMs is that there really wasn’t a harassment policy and no one new what the fuck to do when problems arise.

    Why should we WAIT for it to become a problem?! That’s bullshit.

  65. marilove says:

    I should have been more clear: The point isn’t *only* to prevent harassment. It’s also put in place so that people know how to report harassment, and to whom. Then, a good policy also outlines how such reports should be handled by conference officials.

  66. Matt Penfold says:

    I should have been more clear: The point isn’t *only* to prevent harassment. It’s also put in place so that people know how to report harassment, and to whom. Then, a good policy also outlines how such reports should be handled by conference officials.

    And to keep records, so that 12 months later no one can claim there were no reported incidents.

  67. marilove says:

    And to keep records, so that 12 months later no one can claim there were no reported incidents.

    And if Louise had been paying attention, she’d remember that one of the biggest complaints from people (male and female) was that TAM never really enforced their harassment policy. So, even though a complaint was made, it was never written down, so now Dj Grothe can just say, “They are lying! It never happened! There are no records of it! LIARS!” That is exactly what happened.

    I just don’t understand the, “Well, we need to wait until a lot of women are harassed. Then we’ll put up a policy.” How are you supposed to keep track of the harassment in the first place without a policy?!

  68. marilove says:

    I just don’t understand the, “Well, we need to wait until a lot of women are harassed. Then we’ll put up a policy.” How are you supposed to keep track of the harassment in the first place without a policy?!

    Also, it’s kind of shitty to demand that “enough women” (or people) are harassed before you deem it necessary that a policy be put in place or that something be done about it.

  69. dogeared, spotted and foxed says:

    Here’s the fun thing about a harassment policy – If you put one in place and it isn’t necessary, it isn’t used. It’s as if it didn’t ever exist. If you don’t need it, it doesn’t matter whether it exists or not. If you do need it, having it there prevents things from getting out of hand.

    If you don’t like the idea of a policy just treat everyone with respect and you can pretend it isn’t there.

  70. Pandademic says:

    Louise, Rebecca Watson and Elevator Guy aren’t really the topic here; though you can be forgiven for thinking so, since Thunderfoot couldn’t resist making an offhand reference to it in his companion video. If you want to know what happened, here’s the original source:

    http://skepchick.org/2011/06/about-mythbusters-robot-eyes-feminism-and-jokes/

    Skip to around 4:00, stay in until about 5:50. Watson calmly explains what happened and why it made her uncomfortable. And this was immediately followed by INTERNET RAGE about her daring to give men advice about flirting.

    Moving on:

    And I saw that photo where Thunderfoot was ‘chewing’ on a leg. That woman did not look like she was protesting.

    No, it looks like she’s enjoying herself. That isn’t the issue. The issue is that Thunderfoot pretends the harassment policies are about preventing this behavior, even in cases of enthusiastic mutual consent:

    If I want to chew on some womans leg in a bar, I don’t want to have to consult the conference handbook to see if this classes as acceptable behavior!

    If there is mutual consent, it isn’t sexual harassment. If one or the other doesn’t consent, why the hell would you need a book to tell you it’s inappropriate?

    It gets worse in his rebuttal to PZ:

    I enjoyed it, she enjoyed it (she left a comment specifically saying so, just to remove all doubt (see MyLegMYCHOICE!)), AND I NEVER HAD TO CONSULT HER, NOR APPLY FOR PERMISSION FROM THE CONFERENCE, IN ORDERS SIGNED IN TRIPLICATE SENT IN, SENT BACK AND BURIED IN SOFT PEAT FOR THREE MONTHS AND RECYCLED AS FIRELIGHTERS etc etc. Indeed had I had to fill in the paperwork along with ‘permission to bite your leg in a horseplay photo’ form under conference interpersonal contact rule 144 b) 2, it would have probably kinda killed the moment, and neither I nor she would have got our mild thrills for the night.

    See, that’s hyperbole. Any reasonable reader could recognize it as hyperbole. And hyperbole is fine. The problem is that he isn’t exaggerating what the harassment policies that are being proposed and enacted actually say. He’s exaggerating something that he made up in the first place.

    Harassment policies aren’t primarily designed to prevent bad behavior before it happens; insofar as it does prevent it, that’s a happy side effect. They’re primarily designed to create a structure that is welcoming to reports and can promptly and effectively deal with incidents after they have occurred. There will never be any case where a moment is killed because a con-goer was required to get up and ask staff for permission to engage in a consensual activity. That just isn’t how the policies operate.

    The only role that anti-harassment policies play in preemption is when they factor into an individual’s decision-making process about whether a given activity would be appropriate.

    So yes, as you say, jerks are everywhere and bad behavior will inevitably happen. Anti-harassment policies are there to ensure that when it does happen, it is dealt with fairly and efficiently, in a way that makes the con safer and more enjoyable for everyone.

  71. Another thing Tunderfoot has done, before the paint was dry on his new place, was provide yet another outlet for The Gang Of Raving Misogynists to do endless comments complaining about how INSANELY UGLY I am and how I do this thing they made up called parallel logic and how I should be DRUMMED OUT OF EVERYTHING.

    He’s right off my Christmas card list, I can tell you.

  72. GMM says:

    Thunderfoot does seem to have an issue with getting a woman’s consent, in more ways than one. It spoils his fun, apparently.

    Reading that shit is what would motivate me to not be anywhere near any conference of people like that. No female blogger has to say anything, you get it to see it for yourself in the comments and from the pros.

  73. skeptifem says:

    Another thing Tunderfoot has done, before the paint was dry on his new place, was provide yet another outlet for The Gang Of Raving Misogynists to do endless comments complaining about how INSANELY UGLY I am and how I do this thing they made up called parallel logic and how I should be DRUMMED OUT OF EVERYTHING.

    I made a comment about the issue and some dude said in reply how unfuckable I was (???). It is a real cesspool there for sure. Coming from Youtube though it probably looks pretty normal to him.

  74. Sassafras says:

    Ok, back to what happened to skepchick. I still have not heard exactly what happened.

    Well, you have it almost completely wrong. What happened was, at 4am, she told a group of friends she was going to bed, and someone from outside that group followed her to the elevator, said he found her interesting and invited her to his room for “coffee”. She didn’t lecture him or insult him or freak out, she just declined, and then in a later video blog (at 4:20) she related the story, said how it made her uncomfortable and offhandedly advised guys not to do that.

    Then the gates of hell opened up and spilled horror and boiling blood all over the internet.

  75. Pingback: Stay Classy, Thunderf00t | StealthBadger.net

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  77. Grarr McGrarr says:

    Honestly… when will people realise that arguments amongst tenacious intelligent people will never end in an online forum. EVER… at least not without some authoritarian ban hammer from the sky.

    It should be absolutely fucking obvious to anyone allowed out in public that there is no tolerance for harassment ANYWHERE!

    What Rebecca Watson ‘endured’ was a close encounter with a social retard that lasted for the duration of a trip in a lift. It made her feel really uncomfortable so she mentioned it in a vlog. ALL she said was ‘yeah this happened… it was creepy. Guys, please don’t do that shit’.

    In any RATIONAL group, that should really have been the end of it. It’s a helpful rule of thumb for the general population of socially inept that following women you don’t know into a lift and propositioning them is a really dumb thing to do. It has a very low probability of success and many, much more likely, worse outcomes. (Women have been known to carry mace and tazers, you know).

    However, because these arguments take place between people who have embraced the mantle of rationalist and are on the internet, the debate becomes the Jason Vorhees of topics. It just won’t fucking die.

    It really needs to.

    Like… now. Holy shit it really needs to.

    Can we get some holy water, stakes and a fucking chainsaw for this everliving bitch?

    In short, treat each other with respect, don’t be a douche and if you need to be reminded what harassment is and why you shouldn’t do it then get a capable adult to hold your hand when you go out in public.

    Sanity, Where art thou?

  78. Tony says:

    Good grief. Do you people know how annoying and bratty you all sound when you bicker like this?

  79. Greg Laden says:

    Tony, I hear you. But there is a fine line between obviating an argument, sushing, and not feeding trolls. A complex multidimensional fine line.

  80. Doug says:

    Do free thinkers automatically think ideas are property now?

  81. theoddoneisherenow says:

    Talk about a “piece of shit blog”, this has to be the worst written thing I have seen in some time.

    First, you make little mention of what Thunderfoot actually said (I didn’t see you quote any of it). Basically you’re just pissed off that he disagrees with you and that he insulted your intelligence. Get over it. What do you expect from Thunderfoot? Have you ever seen him on Youtube? He’s a complete fucking dick! It’s his way of doing things! You can’t tell me you didn’t know this before you had him come to this site.

    Secondly, about the “Sexual Harassment” at conferences, you really should specify about this more. I don’t know what’s going on there, as I’ve never been, but if it is anything like the stupid nonsense I saw a year or two ago about this girl whining and calling sexual harassment because some guy asked her if she wanted coffee upstairs in an elevator, then no, it’s not an issue. People making sex jokes, asking women on dates, or even to go upstairs (presumably for sex), is not sexual harassment, and to call it such is a freaking joke and a farce of the highest order. What is sexual harassment? Touching or fondling someone without their permission, or, after they have let you know they aren’t interested in you sexually, continuing to direct sexually charged rhetoric or activity toward them. I implore you to quit bending these sorts of terms to encompass things you simply find somewhat uncomfortable. It’s annoying, it’s stupid,and it makes the real thing look less and less serious with every new addition to the definition.

    Third, if there is sexual harassment, as it was defined above, then that is an issue, and should be dealt with. You know what the simplest way to do it is? Let it be known that if you are fondling people without their consent, you will be arrested/sued. As for people propositioning others, well, get over it. Just tell them you’re not interested. If they persist, there are two courses of action. The first is what women used to do in the past when a man was ticking them off, and that is to slap them. The second is to inform the person that is bothering you that if they persist, you will inform the authorities or that you’ll sue them. It’s not as complicated as you people are making it. It’s not some issue for the conference to have a big meeting on. It’s more along the lines of personally handling it.

  82. Greg Laden says:

    odd: Yes, we know, we are doing that and have mostly gotten that in place as a community across most conferences. Both you and Thunderf00t are coming in late and are reinventing the wheel. In his case, the wheel is not very round. Regarding how much I knew about Thunderf00t prior to him coming here, I’ve addressed that.

  83. Will Ross says:

    https://www.facebook.com/derek.colanduno/posts/318550174925616

    Claus Larsen is a fraud. In this thread he pretty much proves he doesn’t have the huge global audience he claims to, and refuses to put his claims of audience to skeptical inquiry.

  84. StevoR says:

    @theoddoneisherenow :

    “if it is anything like the stupid nonsense I saw a year or two ago about this girl whining and calling sexual harassment because some guy asked her if she wanted coffee upstairs in an elevator, then no, it’s not an issue. “

    This girl I presume is named Rebecca Watson and you refer to the Rebeccapocalypse? You left out a few key details there mate.

    It wasn’t just being asked for coffee in an elevator – it was a lone woman being pestered for sex inside an elevator at 4 am when she’d already made it really *really* flippin’ clear that she didn’t want to be approached for that and was on her way to bed already – to sleep.

    Rebecca Watson, an intelligent woman with that thing misogynists most hate, a strong mind of her own, would later say simply and calmly without identifying the pest in question, “Guys, word to the wise, don’t do that.” Which piece of basic advice on how and when to approach or not approach women would subsequently spark a colossal firestorm of hatred, rape and death threats and many an internet meltdown.

    So if you’re going to drag out the whole sorry episode then drag it *all* out and not just a few mucky cherries you picked from a rotting corpse okay?