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Major Accusations
Posted: 18 August 2013 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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DarronS - 17 August 2013 03:00 PM
Lois - 17 August 2013 09:56 AM

Hadn’t heard, but people who are at the forefront of rational thought are always vulnerable to such accusations.  When the opposition (also known as christians) can’t think of a good argument, they turn to sex allegations.

Lois

These aren’t Christians making allegations, they are prominent women in the skeptical community. Instead of dismissing the allegations out of hand I suggest you and Occam read the back story about what has been going on and how CFI has blundered once again. Republicans misdeeds are irrelevant to how men in the skeptical community act toward women. That is not only a red herring it is a tu quoque fallacy.

I know the story but it seems to be an anomaly.  I attended many skeptical, Atheist and Humanist conferences over quite a few years and never heard of this kind of accusation. But anyone can attend any conference so you can’t be sure the perpetrator wasn’t an interloper and a troublemaker.

Lois

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Posted: 18 August 2013 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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DarronS - 17 August 2013 04:55 PM

It isn’t just Republican males who act like that. Politicians off all stripes, from FDR to Churchill to Bill Clinton have demonstrated a remarkable inability to keep pants up, but recent Republicans have shown an unprecedented disdain for women’s rights. I’m disappointed women get similar treatment from male leaders in the skeptical movement. There is no excuse for such behavior, but there also seems no lack of people willing to stand up for misogynists and excuse their actions. This has to stop.

I think that was Occam’s point. It’s certain men who are the problem and they can pop up in any venue, any political or religious or non-religious venue.

Lois

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Posted: 18 August 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Quoting Darron:

There is no excuse for such behavior, but there also seems no lack of people willing to stand up for misogynists and excuse their actions. This has to stop.

I know that most males who don’t engage in such behavior say they have self-control, however, it’s much easier for them to have self-control when they aren’t in an extemely powerful position. 

I seem to recall a S-F story a few years ago where all males were given a shot at about ten years old that completely shut down testosterone production.  Only when a woman wanted to have sex and/or get pregnant could she file a document with a govt. doctor who would then give a counteracting shot that would last for one day.  Maybe that’s how it will stop.

Occam

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Posted: 18 August 2013 01:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Occam. - 18 August 2013 12:50 PM

I know that most males who don’t engage in such behavior say they have self-control, however, it’s much easier for them to have self-control when they aren’t in an extemely powerful position.

That implies that all men in positions of power will sexually harass women, which is obviously not true. I know men who are not in positions of power who harass women. I also know men in powerful positions who do no harass women. Being in a position of power is no excuse. It may give men more opportunities to harass women, but I doubt it makes individual men more prone to harassing women.

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Posted: 18 August 2013 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Come on, Darron.  I’ve always admired your precision and accuracy, however, it seems that this subject may cause some problem.  If you check the paragraph you quoted, I used the words, “most males” and “much easier”.  Neither seems to imply “all men”.

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Posted: 18 August 2013 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I would even contest the use of “most males” in this context. Neither of us has any empirical data, but from my admittedly anecdotal observations most men, even those in positions of power, do not harass and grope women. We hear about the high profile cases, such as Ben Radford and others, but never hear about the majority of men who behave themselves and treat women with respect, with the exception of Alan Alda.

You seem to be saying that being in a powerful position turns men into predators.

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Posted: 18 August 2013 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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The reason why I doubt that most men in power harras women, is because it would be a bad strategy to achieve anything. Although powerful men do probably take more risks than the averag guy, it doesn’t imply that they must be a-holes. I agree wih Daron on this one.

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Posted: 18 August 2013 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Jeciron - 18 August 2013 08:59 AM

...As such, behavior among members of the group, particularly influential ones, may be scrutinized to evaluate the effectiveness of the philosophy.  When that behavior appears to be inconsistent or inappropriate, the effectiveness of the philosophy may be called into question, and the phenomenon and its relationship to the practice of the philosophy should be examined. ...

Wha??? How does this make good sense? If for whatever reason in the next few years, twenty cases of rapes occur due to firemen, is there a necessity to question the “philosophy” of firefighting?

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Posted: 18 August 2013 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I’m tired of the stereotype assumption that men are somehow innately guilty by nature of being male (or having testosterone, etc.) The truth is, women are as much to blame if not more so for usually being the most influential parent in a child’s life. I don’t think that I should have to point out the fact that large portions of our populations are made up of single mothers!! This doesn’t take away the fault of the usually ‘absent’ males. But I assure you, women are the deciding factor in what sexual relationships will actually occur or not. I still have yet to meet any woman yet who doesn’t have a preference for those very domineering and aggressive qualities that set the potential stage for abuse.
   
Even the fact that some people here seem to be assuming a trust for those claims, something else should be considered: While males have been preferentially evolved for physical strengths, women have been empowered by their more social aspects; this IS a strength just as powerful as physical force itself. When you consider how many more men are imprisoned over women, instead of just thinking that men are the culprit, who’s to say that women are just not the more clever?

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Posted: 18 August 2013 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Firefighting is not a philosophical stance.

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Posted: 18 August 2013 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Jeciron - 18 August 2013 06:54 PM

Firefighting is not a philosophical stance.

So you don’t agree to the philosophy that a community should have an emergency response department specialized in taking out fire?

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Posted: 19 August 2013 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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DarronS - 18 August 2013 05:33 AM
mid atlantic - 17 August 2013 07:40 PM

What if these women (and Myers) are lying?

In Lawrence Krauss’s case it appears he defended a person named Jeffrey Epstein from accusations of hiring underage prostitutes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Epstein

Bad judgement, perhaps, but not an immediate indication of being a sex offender.

Shermer is being accused of rape by PZ Myers, essentially - not much else to go on there.

Radford is accused of raping Karen Stollznow on more then one occasion question  excaim  This one is probably going to be deeper.

I can’t find anything specific about Nye, except that some female skeptics find him sleazy, and include him on the list of offenders.

Please stick to facts. No one is accusing any of these men of rape. They have been accused of sexual harassment. Spreading lies does not help. You need to read what the women posted, not third-hand misinformation.

At this point there are no “facts”; but, Karen Stollznow has claimed in “Scientific American”, that she was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by a man whom her associates have said is Ben Radford. This CFI link has several links to the situation. http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/what_i_wrote_to_scientific_american/

And PZ Myers has actually accused Michael Shermer of raping a female associate. http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/

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Posted: 19 August 2013 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Sexual harassment, while vile, socially unacceptable and potentially job ending is one thing, sexually assaulting someone is a serious felony with dire consequences. Meyers openly accused Shermer with the crime of rape backed by nothing but anecdotal evidence and the claim wasn’t even made by the alleged victim. I’m not implying that it didn’t or couldn’t have happened, but Shermer should be tried in a court of law, not of public opinion. First off the person making the complaint must come forward and make a formal accusation via her attorney, all the while gathering damning evidence against her assailant. If this isn’t done then Shermer has a slander suit against Meyers; Shermer will be forced to protect his reputation,  and he’ll probably win. Publicity like this isn’t good for the skeptic community anyway even if the allegations prove to be false.


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Posted: 19 August 2013 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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You’re right MA. I had missed the part about the rape allegation against Shermer, largely because I quit reading FTB. As for Stollnow’s sexual harassment allegation, CFI did acknowledge her complaint and suspended for two weeks. Ron Lindsay then sent Scientific American a letter of complaint demanding they publish an apology and corrections on three trivial points. In that letter Lindsay stated CFI has a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment, which is an obvious lie given the light slap on the wrist Bradford received for his misconduct.

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Posted: 19 August 2013 07:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Dead Monky - 17 August 2013 09:54 PM
skuld - 17 August 2013 09:00 PM

What would the women gain by lying?

[Cynicism Mode=On] Fame, money, knocking someone they dislike down a peg, discrediting a rival, street cred with the homies. Take your pick.

Or maybe we would all gain safer environments for gathering together and furthering the movement. Although difficult to sort through, I read quite a bit of the “Elevator gate” incident and some of the other recent soap operas. I don’t want to rehash the details, but I will say I found much of what Rebecca Watson said edifying. I wish I had some of that advice when I was much younger.

Besides that, these incidents are causing organizers to review their harassment policies and tighten them up. If you think that is unnecessary, please do a little research and find some of the stories of exactly what people have had to put up with. The skeptic movement has been dominated by white haired white men, and now that it is changing, and more women are telling their stories, it really is no wonder.

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