‘Over It’ Follow-Up: Why Would Anyone Criticize an Anti-Rape Poem?

February 18, 2013

In November 2011, award-winning playwright and feminist activist Eve Ensler wrote a poem about rape called "Over It" (the first line is "I am over rape"). A few days ago I wrote a poem based on "Over It," using the same title, the same structure, and some of the same lines-echoing, expanding on, and supporting many of Ensler's sentiments. In response, PZ Myers wrote a blog titled, "You don't get to be ‘over' rape," telling me (and, by extension, Eve Ensler) that "you don't get to be 'over' rape." I may disagree with Ensler's statistics and methods (while agreeing with her goals), but I would never question her motivations, nor tell Ensler that she doesn't "get to be 'over rape'." I am "over rape" in exactly the same way Ensler is "over rape."

Why PZ Myers (or anyone else) would presume to criticize an anti-rape poem (of all things) by a prominent feminist is beyond me, but at least one of us is terribly, terribly confused.

Comments:

#51 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:22pm

Actually, Renee, I was trying to keep this thread from being turned away from the topic of Ben’s confusion. However, Claus insisted.

#52 SkepticReport on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:26pm

Stephanie,

So you have never supported a campaign unless you actually worked for it?

#53 Renee Hendricks on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:29pm

“Actually, Renee, I was trying to keep this thread from being turned away from the topic of Ben’s confusion. However, Claus insisted.”

Then request the topic be discussed elsewhere. And then stop responding here. Simple

#54 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:30pm

Claus, it would be much simpler for you to say, “Oh, I guess working for a political campaign and ‘supporting’ an event in ways I still won’t specify are two different things.” Then you could move on and find something else to do with your day.

#55 SkepticReport on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:33pm

Stephanie,

It would be much simpler for you to just answer a question the first time it is put to you.

Have you never supported a campaign unless you actually worked for it?

#56 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:34pm

I did that, Renee. Note the comment where I talk about blogging on the topic. Claus interpreted this as being evasive. Perhaps you’d like to take that up with him instead of me.

#57 Renee Hendricks on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:36pm

“I did that, Renee. Note the comment where I talk about blogging on the topic. Claus interpreted this as being evasive. Perhaps you’d like to take that up with him instead of me.”

And yet, you keep responding. FTR - this is my last response to you regarding this very off-topic subject.

#58 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:36pm

SkepticReport, see Renee’s deep dissatisfaction with the ongoing argument here. I’ve already answered one of your pointless, distracting, derailing questions. I think I’ll stop there, especially as you don’t seem to care about the answer, just the argument.

Seriously, go do something nice with the rest of your day.

#59 SkepticReport on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:45pm

Stephanie,

It isn’t me Renee is dissatisfied with, it’s you. Nice try of rustling up some antipathy towards your critics, though. Classic Stephanie, I must say.

Look, if you don’t want to explain yourself here, then just stop. We shall never know why you hold contradicting views, when it comes to supporting some campaigns, but not others, but that is your choice.

If you want to take it up later, on your own blog, then do so. Since you have chosen to keep my posts there on perpetual “awaiting moderation” status, it will mean that I don’t have a chance participate there. Again, that is your choice.

#60 Jeff (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 2:13pm

How about this one not go round and round the freaking mulberry bush AGAIN?

#61 atheist-1973 on Monday February 18, 2013 at 2:24pm

@57 Renee Hendricks on Monday February 18, 2013 at 1:36pm

FTR - this is my last response to you regarding this very off-topic subject.

Of course it is

#62 Rocko2466 (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 4:05pm

I would like to point out that, while Ben has now removed reference to Hensley in the OP, my comment at the head of this thread related primarily to Hensley’s conduct on the thread of the prior post. I presumed Ben was referring to some re-post of Myers’ article by Hensley which I had not found so I did not point it out in order to make a larger point.

In any event, Zvan is one of the Hensley/Myers cohort of people who have no interest in reasoning matters through and instead wish to spread a rigid ideology. You can see this by her gruff approach to others here and acting as a Hensley et al surrogate.

I recommend to those who read their material to treat it as skeptically as leaflets for a political party. Just because they say it doesn’t meant it’s true. These people will be intellectually dishonest if it’s convenient.

#63 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 4:37pm

Stephanie I was specifically referring to the comments on Ben’s original article which were predominantly character assassination, demonisation and outrage that Ben dared question the stats or bring mens issues into the debate.

As for the debate following the initial dog pile of ad hominen attacks it is quite obvious that the radical feminist faction have taken statistics that involve “economic abuse” (whatever that may be) violence against women by other women and bundled that together with the stats on rape and violence against women by men to support the erroneous idea that Western women are living under the tyranny of “rape culture” and men are out of control.

PZ has proven himself to be highly intolerant of free thought when it comes to radical feminist ideology, Melody Hensley has is so hostile to free inquiry into feminist theory she proclaims it as harassment and you yourself have repeatedly pulled the harassment card. One has to ask time and time again what you lot are doing in a community which prides itself on it’s ability to look skeptically on any and all claims.

It’s quite obvious what is going on here, gender/radical feminists are skewing the stats to support the idea that men are a clear and present danger. That rape culture exists in the West and Western women are oppressed by an epidemic of sexual harassment, “objectification”, violence, rape and a culture which seeks to exclude women from status positions.

When anyone is skeptical of these claims or calls out the dishonest usage of statistics they are shot down as misogynists, rape apologists and traitors; if they persist out comes the harassment card, DMCA claims, boycotts and petitions to have them sacked and or ostracized. 

This is transparently a political campaign of misinformation and bullying being carried out by a hardcore of Utopian ideologues and bigots and has no place in a community whose core value is free inquiry.

The only reason why you are gaining any traction is because your position is presented as an opposition to oppression.

If CFI want to remain credible as an orginisation promoting and supporting free inquiry it should sack Melody Hensley as soon as possible. This conflict cannot be sustained.

#64 julian (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 4:52pm

“Why PZ Myers (or anyone else) would presume to criticize an anti-rape poem (of all things) by a prominent feminist is beyond me, but at least one of us is terribly, terribly confused.”

-_-

So now CFI outright lies about what people say and believe. Great org ya got re.

#65 julian (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 4:54pm

And while Hendricks is using this to instigate more fights (because slandering people isn’t enough for her) what ever happened to staying away from dichotomies. Didn’t this org and certain elements of the skeptical community beat up the same people Bradford is lying about over that?

#66 Renee Hendricks on Monday February 18, 2013 at 5:33pm

“And while Hendricks is using this to instigate more fights (because slandering people isn’t enough for her)...”

How do I instigate more fights? And exactly where did I slander? Instead of highjacking this post further, feel free to answer me on Twitter, my blog, or even my email - all are open to discussion

#67 atheist-1973 on Monday February 18, 2013 at 5:49pm

@63 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 4:37pm

Stephanie I was specifically referring to the comments on Ben’s original article which were predominantly character assassination, demonisation and outrage that Ben dared question the stats or bring mens issues into the debate.

Oh come on. Ben Radford wanted to rile people up and create pageviews so he wrote a long-form troll of Eve Ensler. Then folks heard about it and we came over and argued over it for days. Feminists got to vent their ire on Radford, and MRA’s got to say creepy stuff about feminists. Everyone got their licks in, and CFI got mucho pageviews. Win/win.

#68 John C. Welch (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 6:06pm

Renee,

just make sure you don’t call Julian the “s word”.

#69 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 6:26pm

Ah, as it turns out, I owe an apology to everyone following these comments. When I chose to engage with Claus, I was unaware of the “drumsticks” thread: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=54742

Had I been aware, I would have cut off the inevitable at the start. Sorry about that, and thanks to the person who clued me in.

#70 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 6:31pm

Atheist-1973 I’m serious. Ben Radford’s post was unambiguously anti rape yet he was attacked as a rape apologist because he criticised the gender/radical feminist ideology.

People who cannot take criticism of ideology from people who essentially agree with them on the core values without denouncing their critic as the worst kind of person have no business representing the skeptical community or CFI.

Melody Hensley has to go as for the rest of the radical feminist ideologues they are doing a fine job of excluding themselves and I wish them well in their descent into obscurity.

#71 J.D. (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 6:56pm

Atheist-1973, “Ben Radford wanted to rile people up and create pageviews so he wrote a long-form troll of Eve Ensler.”

Trolling for page views is the FfTB and Skepchicks business model. It’s what they do.

#72 J.D. (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 7:03pm

Julian, “So now CFI outright lies about what people say and believe. Great org ya got re.”

Not really, just Melody Hensley and her comrade ideologues: PZ Meyers, Ophie, and Zvan.

#73 SallyStrange (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 7:04pm

Why PZ Myers (or anyone else) would presume to criticize an anti-rape poem (of all things) by a prominent feminist is beyond me, but at least one of us is terribly, terribly confused.

Yeah, um, PZ Myers did not criticize the poem that Eve Ensler wrote. He criticized Ben Radford’s for propagating a number of objectively false tropes about feminists while attempting to satirize Eve Ensler’s poem. He also linked to an article which he felt offered constructive, valid criticism of One Billion Rising—in contrast to Radford’s criticism, which was poorly argued and misinformed.

#74 SallyStrange (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 7:07pm

Just remember, folks: feminists are ideologues! It’s a totally non-ideological position to say that you think that relations between the genders are copacetic and nothing needs to be done. Only those who push for change count as “ideologues.”

#75 J.D. (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 7:18pm

SallyStrange, “Just remember, folks: feminists are ideologues!”

There you go again, building strawmen (oh sorry, strawpersons). You know there are numerous brands of feminism. Some like the radical gender feminism espoused by FfTB and SkepChicks is clearly idelogical and rife with gender-based and far-left politics.

#76 Amphigorey (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 7:50pm

“Why PZ Myers (or anyone else) would presume to criticize an anti-rape poem”

Ben. Honey. He didn’t criticize your poem. He criticized your bizarre use of statistics. You haven’t argued with that, I notice, because you don’t have a leg to stand on, so instead you claim that Myers is criticizing your bold stance Against Rape.

Well, bless your heart, Ben, because that’s just a plain old lie.

#77 rocko2466 (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:05pm

Amphigorey said: “Ben. Honey. He didn’t criticize your poem. He criticized your bizarre use of statistics. You haven’t argued with that, I notice, because you don’t have a leg to stand on, so instead you claim that Myers is criticizing your bold stance Against Rape.”

Uh, what statistics did he use strangely? He just found what the statistics actually were and set them out in full, rather than presenting them in a misleading and over-simplistic fashion? What is wrong with that?

It’s “Center For Inquiry” not “Center of Feminist Ideology”. He doesn’t need to misleadingly play into the preconceptions of the FTB few.

#78 Steersman on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:09pm

Sally Strange said (#73):

He criticized Ben Radford’s for propagating a number of objectively false tropes about feminists ….

Really? I must have missed precisely where in that post of his he pointed to and proved that those tropes were “objectively false” – all I saw was some snarky and totally empty allusion to Ben beating up “a whole bunch of straw feminists”. As Hitchens put it, “what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”. But perchance, maybe you could point us to that analysis and those conclusions where PZ provides such?

And to assist you and PZ and the rest of the Horde in tackling those questions, I might point to one in particular that Ben raised:

I am over thin-skinned “feminists” who blithely and intentionally confuse legitimate questions and criticism of their facts or claims with misogyny and sexism; it is insulting to real victims of misogyny and sexism.

And to further assist you I might also point to a number of those quite credible and “legitimate questions and criticisms of [feminist] facts [and] claims”, the first one from Massimo Pigliucci:

That was more than half a century ago. If anything, the situation has got worse. Throughout the 1990s, postmodernist, deconstructionist and radical feminist authors (the likes of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Bruno Latour and Sandra Harding) wrote all sorts of nonsense about science, clearly without understanding what scientists actually do. The feminist philosopher Harding once boasted: ‘I doubt that in our wildest dreams we ever imagined we would have to reinvent both science and theorising itself’. That’s a striking claim given the dearth of novel results arising from feminist science. The last time I checked, there were no uniquely feminist energy sources on the horizon.

In addition, while Harding did later “regret” this “characterization”, she did refer “to Newton’s Principia Mathematica as a ‘rape manual’ in her 1986 book ‘The Science Question in Feminism’”.

In addition, do consider this quote from Dawkins’ take-down of postmodernism and that portion of feminist ideology which apparently depends on it:

The feminist ‘philosopher’ Luce Irigaray is another who gets whole-chapter treatment from Sokal and Bricmont. In a passage reminiscent of a notorious feminist description of Newton’s Principia (a “rape manual”), Irigaray argues that E=mc2 is a “sexed equation”. Why? Because “it privileges the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us” (my emphasis of what I am rapidly coming to learn is an ‘in’ word). Just as typical of this school of thought is Irigaray’s thesis on fluid mechanics. Fluids, you see, have been unfairly neglected. “Masculine physics” privileges rigid, solid things. Her American expositor Katherine Hayles made the mistake of re-expressing Irigaray’s thoughts in (comparatively) clear language. For once, we get a reasonably unobstructed look at the emperor and, yes, he has no clothes:

The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity. Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids… From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence. The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids (and of women) have been formulated so as necessarily to leave unarticulated remainders.

And, in effect summarizing the above, consider this book review – on a feminist site, I might add – of the book, Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women’s Studies, which has these cogent observations:

The book is a critique on Women Studies departments in the United States. The authors interviewed dozens of women, from staff to professors to students, all quite supportive of feminism, but all still sharing the same criticism of infighting, indoctrination, political correctness and a near total lack of objective discussion.
....
The authors, however, demonstrate that these problems have existed since their ideology’s inception, and were particularly common within Women Studies programs. The authors wrote of the isolationist attitude that dominates many of the programs, along with a virulent anti-science, anti-intellectual sentiment driving many of the professors, staff and students.

Didn’t you say at one time that you called yourself a scientist? If so then I would say you should be ashamed to be in any way associated with such egregious cases and manifestations of “anti-science, anti-intellectual sentiments” as exhibited by that brand of “virulent” feminism.

#79 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:11pm

SallyStrange, “Just remember, folks: feminists are ideologues!”

If you believe in equality between the sexes you are not necessarily an ideologue. Almost everyone involved in this dispute believes in equality. If you can find anyone in the skeptical community who disagrees with equality between the sexes I will eat my hat.


Being an advocate for equality is not what makes one an ideologue.

Believing in ideologies like “the patriarchy”, “rape culture” and the Marxist theory that the world is divided into oppressed and oppressor is what makes one an ideologue.

Advocating a political ideology = ideologue

#80 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:28pm

Oliver, you’re using very strange definitions of “patriarchy” and “rape culture” if you’re calling them “ideologies”. “Patriarchy” simply refers to a political and social system in which men hold the majority of power. “Rape culture” refers to the prevalence of ideas that excuse rape or leave it unchallenged. Operationalizing these ideas and then testing for their presence, as has been done repeatedly, doesn’t amount to an ideology. Saying so won’t make it so.

What kinds of inequality do you consider hat-worthy? Are you hungry when you run into the guy who says girls are innately worse at math? How about the one who continues to repeat that women aren’t as interested in casual sex two years after disconfirming research has been published? If those don’t count to you, what does? What kinds of belief in specific inequalities amounts to a general belief in inequality to you?

#81 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:31pm

Steersman, you seem a bit confused as to what a straw-man argument consists of. While it’s common to think that one can only be using a straw-man argument if the position referred to doesn’t exist anywhere, that’s not actually true. In fact, one is using a straw-man argument if one is attributing positions to one’s opponents that those opponents don’t actually hold. In this case, you would have to demonstrate that the positions of those philosophers (whom I’ve never heard of) were common to the feminist activists Ben is claiming to be “over”.

#82 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:47pm

The patriarchy & rape culture are theories that flesh out the ideology of radical feminism. Without these erroneous theories radical feminism falls flat so like all good ideologues you use “victim” status, bullying and denial of evidence to defend the theories which prop up your political ideology.

Radical feminists are ideologues; there is no hiding from that fact.

For me to eat my hat you would have to find someone who actively advocates rape, oppression, the exclusion of women from the skeptic movement, someone who actually refers to women as “f**k toys for privileged white men” or openly declares they think women are not people too.

Lucky for my hat that no such people exist.

Espousing an ignorant stereotype about women and maths or making a sweeping generalisation about womens views of casual sex (probably based on radical feminist demonisation of men who seek casual sex) does not equal an opposition to equality between the sexes.

#83 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 8:51pm

Oliver, you simply repeated what you said about patriarchy and rape culture. That’s argument from assertion, and it’s both pointless and transparent. Try reacting to what I said. Try telling me why it’s wrong instead of just stating again that you’re correct.

So your hat isn’t really on the line for inequality, just for straw monsters that think roaring is smart. Good to know.

#84 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:00pm

If someone makes the observation that white men tend to do be at a disadvantage to black men in the Olympic 100 metres; regardless of the truth or ignorance of such a claim it doesn’t imply that that person believes that white men don’t deserve equality.

It’s just an observation, admittedly it’s an observation which upsets the politically correct status quo but it doesn’t say anything about that persons actual views on equality.

Despite all of the cries of sexism and misogyny emanating from your radical feminist faction (other than some internet trolling) you have yet to provide any evidence of there being a serious -real world- issue in the skeptical movement.

My hat is safe

#85 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:02pm

I reacted to what you said. You chose to ignore my reaction and dismiss it.

#86 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:06pm

Oliver, do you really think these sorts of poor and repeatedly refuted arguments just come up out of the blue? No, of course they don’t. They’re use to justify why fewer women are speakers in our movements: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/13/welp-im-all-convinced-and-stuff-now/

You know, inequality.

#87 J.D. (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:08pm

Svan, see post #74 from one of your regular posters for a classic example of a straw-man argument. But then no one would doubt your familiarity with such arguments given yours and other FfTB bloggers frequent use of them.

Who could forget your egregious smear campaign against Dawkins? Including a letter you addressed to him as “Dear Dick” and signed by rape survivors. It was clear you were straw-maning him as rape apologist.

What made it even worse is Dawkins himself suffered sexual abused as a child. Not to mention your obvious use of “Dick” as a gendered-slur.

If you were actually self-aware, you probably wouldn’t want to castigate others about straw-man arguments.

#88 Stephanie Zvan on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:12pm

Actually, J.D., Sally’s ‘It’s a totally non-ideological position to say that you think that relations between the genders are copacetic and nothing needs to be done. Only those who push for change count as “ideologues.”’ is a pretty good encapsulation of Oliver’s repeated assertion. No straw necessary.

#89 Bruce Gorton (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:43pm

I have been where you are
Thinking my opponents bizarre
Not quite realising my argument
Has so much to its detriment
Thinking I am slaughtering some sacred cow
But really just missing the point anyhow

The thing is I continued to think
I was lead to water and I did drink
In the end I realised I could be wrong
Maybe to learn I took too long
Thinking myself so utterly infallibly correct
That I didn’t quite see the dots to connect

You speak of false statistics well
That left so many asking ‘what the hell’?
You misquoted a work of seventies fiction
Against feminists in current friction
And this sort of thing did your argument stain
And made your credibility begin to wane

You said criminals are to blame
And to at least my ears this rang lame
To call criminal doesn’t the issue address
Because who could the harm redress
Even when by courts the charge is legitimised
Who thinks themselves so categorised?

#90 J.D. (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:44pm

#86, Svan your posting a link to PZ Meyers blog? Really, that’s your choice as a source?

Meyers the guy who only became famous because he trolled Catholics; the same clown that straw-manned critics as budding Marc Lepines; who stupidly defined feminism as “the radical notion that woman are human” (as if anyone in the skeptic/atheism movement believes otherwise) and said the debate on the Internet was whether “women are eye candy and f*ck toys for privileged white men, or equal colleagues”.

He’s the Glen Beck of atheism. And some of you wonder why there’s a “Daily Show” forum for mockery of your group’s Fox News?

You would have had more credibility citing L. Ron Hubbard.

#91 Steersman on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:50pm

Stephanie Zvan said (#88):

Actually, J.D., Sally’s ‘It’s a totally non-ideological position to say that you think that relations between the genders are copacetic and nothing needs to be done. Only those who push for change count as “ideologues.”’ is a pretty good encapsulation of Oliver’s repeated assertion. No straw necessary.

Considering that Oliver acknowledged that “Ben Radford’s post was unambiguously anti-rape”, I find Sally’s response characterizing Oliver’s argument that way as one humongous case of strawmaning. Well done, Sally! And well done, Stephanie for your spirited defense of that fallacy!

#92 loyalb (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:55pm

Someday, atheists will be able to write posts that are mildly critical of feminists without provoking a massive tantrum from Minnesota. Someday.

#93 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 9:56pm

Absolutely JD. Svan can only refute the obvious facts by recourse to the ramblings of other fully paid up radical feminist ideologues who have proven themselves to be dishonest time and time again.

#94 Randy (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 10:05pm

Stephanie, is this your blog?

#95 Steersman on Monday February 18, 2013 at 10:07pm

@ 92; loyalb (Guest):

Quite true. Although I wouldn’t advise anyone to start holding their breath ….

#96 Steersman on Monday February 18, 2013 at 10:17pm

Bruce Gorton said (#89):

I have been where you are
Thinking my opponents bizarre
….
Thinking myself so utterly infallibly correct
That I didn’t quite see the dots to connect ….

Not bad – there’s more than a small amount of truth to the perspective. However, I think there is also quite a bit of asymmetry in the situation since any number of people here – Radford among others – concede all sorts of credibility to some aspects of feminism while I have yet to see a single “feminist” concede that there might be something rotten in the Denmark that encompasses all of feminist ideology. Although I will admit that even Sally Strange did concede – maybe in a moment of weakness – that “the few isolated good points that MRAs have are indeed good points”. But your comment reminds me of this observation by Michael Shermer in his The Believing Brain (highly recommended):

As we saw in the previous chapter, politics is filled with self-justifying rationalizations. Democrats see the world through liberal-tinted glasses, while Republicans filter it through conservative shaded glasses. When you listen to both “conservative talk radio” and “progressive talk radio” you will hear current events interpreted in ways that are 180 degrees out of phase. So incongruent are the interpretations of even the simplest goings-on in the daily news that you wonder if they can possibly be talking about the same event. Social psychologist Geoffrey Cohen quantified this effect in a study in which he discovered that Democrats are more accepting of a welfare program if they believe it was proposed by a fellow Democrat, even if the proposal came from a Republican and is quite restrictive. Predictably, Cohen found the same effect for Republicans who were far more likely to approve of a generous welfare program if they thought it was proposed by a fellow Republican. In other words, even when examining the exact same data people from both parties arrive at radically different conclusions. [pg 263]

Not that some people haven’t noted the phenomenon before as the parable of the blind men and the elephant attests – which goes back to at least 13th century Sufism. But I think that parable is well corroborated by many of the comments in Radford’s recent posts, and in PZ’s response. In the former case we have many – generally on both sides, although I think more on the “pro-gender-feminist” side – who grasp and loudly defend one element, differing by side, in Radford’s post while conveniently ignoring some truth to the other elements. And PZ, with maybe some justification, criticizes some of the interpretations of various statistics, yet thinks that Radford is only beating up on “a whole bunch of straw feminists”.

#97 Oliver (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 10:24pm

Loyalb the funny thing is by trying to silence dissent the radical feminists are provoking it.

In fact radical feminism is trying to deny human nature across the board.

From their opposition to male sexuality to their condemnation of skeptics penchant for being skeptical and their bewilderment when people use “offensive” language when they try to tell people what they can and cannot say; they are railing against reality then crying harassment when reality bites.

This shows their ideology causes them to have a deep ignorance of human nature and dislike of free inquiry. Reality is offensive to the radical feminist faction.

#98 Amphigorey (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 10:59pm

You realize, Oliver and others, that the concepts of “rape culture” and “patriarchy” are not radical feminist ideas. They are part of mainstream feminist thought. You will need to dig a little deeper if you want to encounter actual radical feminist thought.

It’s funny how people like you will often come in and say how you just have “disagreements” with feminism, but you never say exactly what those disagreements are. How civil of you, how noble, to have a skeptical disagreement! When pressed, though, you never say anything specific, because you know that doing so will expose your sexism. Reality, indeed.

How pathetic you are, to be frightened by the notion that women are people. How sad.

Anyway, back to Ben: His original criticism of Eve Ensler included a footnote accusing her of misusing statistics because she said “raped, beaten, or otherwise abused” to sum up the findings of a particular study. That’s a weird criticism, since everything in the list can be summarized as some form of abuse, so Ben’s criticism amounts to… well, not much, other than maybe complaining that Ensler doesn’t give the full list of almost twenty items every time. When PZ Myers pointed this out, Ben’s response was to complain that Myers criticized his poem. Again, this is a stupid response, and it only leaves bare the fact that Ben didn’t have a strong argument in the first place.

The other heart of Ben’s argument is, basically, that Ensler’s project won’t do much. Maybe, maybe not, but so what? Why on Earth should Ben care?

Lastly, though, I would really like to see Ben Radford acknowledge that his line about being “over” feminists who say that “All men are rapists” was an incredibly stupid thing to say. No feminist says that. That one line is why you’re getting so much pushback from people. Really, Ben, you should know better.

#99 HJ Hornbeck (Guest) on Monday February 18, 2013 at 11:45pm

Wow, did I just see a skeptic misrepresent his own writing and silently edit a post he made?


Radford, then: In response, Melody Hensley wrote a blog titled, “You don’t get to be ‘over’ rape,”

Radford, now: In response, PZ Myers wrote a blog titled, “You don’t get to be ‘over’ rape,”

Radford, now: I am “over rape” in exactly the same way Ensler is “over rape.”

Radford, then: I am over the male bashing often inherent in feminist writings and slogans; “All men are rapists” is neither true nor fair nor helpful.

Radford, now: Why PZ Myers (or anyone else) would presume to criticize an anti-rape poem (of all things) by a prominent feminist is beyond me…

Myers, then: You can tell he’s got all of his ideas about what feminists believe from listening attentively to anti-feminists — it’s rather like reading an anti-evolution rant from someone who has got all of his information from creationist web sites.


Yep, I totally did. You’re pretty good at research, Radford; perhaps you should spend some time studying what feminists actually think before criticizing them. Or could you instead grace us with some links to back up your claims?

#100 SkepticReport on Tuesday February 19, 2013 at 12:08am

Stephanie,

If you want to continue our discussion about why you have so conflicting views on which organisations you choose to support, I am more than willing to do so.

Unfortunately, you choose to engage in personal attacks instead. And then, go on talking about your favorite issue, how men are treating women (you) so badly.

Ah, well.

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