Statement Re My May 18 Blog Post

May 23, 2013

The decision to issue the following statement is my own decision, and is not the result of any instruction or pressure, direct or indirect, from anyone, including, but not limited to members of the CFI board of directors.

To the extent anyone influenced this statement, it was my colleague and friend Debbie Goddard, with whom I had a productive conversation last night. However, I remain solely responsible both for the decision to issue this statement and for its contents.

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.

To be clear, I still firmly believe Ms. Watson’s blog post mischaracterizes my talk, specifically by characterizing my abbreviated discussion of the phrase “shut up and listen” as the “crux” of my talk.

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.

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