Is It Bigotry When It Is Satire?

Recently, I’ve been following the concerns of Rebecca Watson about an incident on r/atheism and the subsequent commentary from Greta Christina and JT Eberhard.

Personally, I fully support all forms of egalitarianism, whether for race, sex, or sexual orientation. And I know that these bloggers do too. I couldn’t be more on the side of their cause.

Yet, as I read these blogs, I see them freely throwing around labels like “misogyny”, “racist”, “sexist”, and “bigoted”, without any reference to the terms “satire”, “sarcasm”, or “trolling”. And that concerns me.

 

Let me give you an example of real misogyny:

Two of my friends go to a bar. There they meet an older man complaining about the feminist movement.

“I don’t understand why women think they need men’s jobs all of the sudden. Executives? President? Can you believe a woman was running for president? We need a woman president like we need woman drivers.”

“Are you serious man?”

“Well, yeah. You don’t think a woman could really handle the same pressures as a man, do you? Am I right? Come on!”

“Uh, I don’t think about women that way, dude. Did you come to this bar via a time machine from the 1800′s?”

Let me give you an example of real racism:

As a child, I used to watch Saved by the Bell. In the show, there was a white teenager named Screech who had a crush on a black teenager named Lisa.

One time while watching the show, my grandpa witnessed this interaction and expressed disgust at the show for portraying it. It was at that moment that I realized, a little horrified, that my grandpa had racist opinions.

Let me give you an example of real homophobia:

In the movie Bruno, the protagonist stages a fake interview with Ron Paul in a hotel. During the interview, the writers fake a technical issue. Bruno then takes Paul to a room alone, where Bruno eventually takes off his pants.

Infuriated, Paul stomps out of the room and says “That guy’s queerer than the blazes… He’s queer, he’s crazy, he hit on me, he took his clothes off.”

Rather than merely denouncing the fact that Bruno had made an aggressive sexual advance, Paul emphatically denigrates his apparent sexual orientation.

This is real bigotry. These are people who, to greater and lesser degrees, truly do not see people of other genders, races, and sexual orientations as equals in society.

With this serious foundation in place, let me introduce a new concept: satire. Sarcasm.

Let me give you an example of satirical bigotry:

I have a friend with a professional degree and a professional job. His wife has the same degree and just as prestigious a job. They own a home together and share responsibilities. It is a relationship of mutual respect.

In any serious philosophical or social discussion, he vehemently defends equality of all kinds, including gender equality. He aggressively supports racial equality.

And, yet, he has made the following comments in conversation:

“That bitch just needs to get into the kitchen and make a sandwich.”

“Well, that’s just because they are lazy Mexicans.”

What just happened here? Did my progressive friend just transform into a bigoted monster right before my very eyes? Or was he clearly making statements that he knew that we, his fellow progressive friends, would interpret as satire?

Does he secretly and subconsciously actually think women are inferior? Or does he think it is so patently obvious that they should be treated as equals that his statements will be unambiguously interpreted as the height of absurd sarcasm?

Knowingly Pushing the Limits of Free Speech

Dead baby jokes. “Make me a sandwich” jokes. Rape jokes. To call these jokes extreme is an understatement. They push the borders of rhetoric in polite society. These jokes are so obscene that people typically only make them anonymously through channels like b and r/atheism or among the most personal of friends.

Personally, I’m not comfortable making jokes like these. Even though I know they are sarcasm, it just feels too wrong to say them, or even type them, publicly.

But am I comfortable labeling this behavior as “misogyny”, “bigotry”, and “racism”? No, I am not. This is something different. It is satire. It is some of the strangest and edgiest satire that anyone can imagine. And I think that is part of the appeal. But this is not real bigotry. These people do not actually believe these statements.

And that is an important distinction. I have carefully catalogued the real bigots above. They aren’t trying to get a rise out of anyone. They have real, bigoted opinions. And they actually believe them.

You may call the people on b and r/atheism horrible, horrible trolls who push free speech to the most profound limits out of morbid curiosity. And if you accused them of this, they would probably completely agree with you. But real bigots, they are not.

I think it is harmful to the cause of egalitarianism when its defenders do not recognize and address the presence of sarcasm. I think it is harmful when statements of satirical bigotry are treated as statements of real bigotry.

You may hate satirical bigotry. You may feel you can make a good argument for how it is harmful. But when you equivocate it with real bigotry, you look like you are tilting at windmills and fighting shadows. Which makes it more difficult for the people you are criticizing to take you seriously and cooperate with you. You have to show them that you understand the difference. And you have to make the argument for why it is still harmful, despite being satire. Which, honestly, is not necessarily an easy argument to make.

255 comments on “Is It Bigotry When It Is Satire?

  1. Gabby says:

    Good luck. I’ve tried this argument in the past and it’s just gotten me called racist and sexist for “defending THEM”.

  2. Adam Morva says:

    Thank you for pouring my thoughts into an eloquent form.

    Yeah, I’m sick of hearing about this, to be honest. I’m sick of the bigotry of Rebecca Watson and the Internet Warriors of Sexual Justice (women and men alike) who can’t differentiate between sarcasm and bigotry, between misogyny and (perhaps a bit childish) jokes.

    I’m fucking all in for egalitarianism. I consider human beings equal regardless of sex, sexual orientation, skin color and so on, and I am VERY vocal about it, BUT.. I laughed myself to tears at some of the jokes people made on that Reddit thread.

    I’m completely certain that RW and the Internet Warriors of Sexual Justice also made jokes like that and laughed at jokes like that. Perhaps they weren’t about women, but nazis, or minorities, or old people, or people with poor driving skills or whatever and I’m certain that those jokes probably weren’t made with evil intentions.

    I’m rather sick of this hipocrisy. And I’m tired of hearing about the “privileged white males” in the atheist/skeptict community who hate people with uteruses.

  3. Keef says:

    I think there’s an in-between that you’re missing: enablers. People who make “get in the kitchen” jokes towards women may not be pure sexists at heart, but they are enabling a hostile/sexist environment. Furthermore, they are indirectly piling discomfort onto women who, because our society is patriarchal and deeply sexist in actuality, experience tons of overt and subtle devaluations, unwanted sexualizing and discrimination. It’s like calling your friends “dead fags” near a crowd of bruised and battered homosexuals who have just lost best friends. It’s unnecessary. It’s insulting. It maintains privilege.

    Another factor in this is the fact that the girl was 15 *AND* female. This country has, and humans in general have, a long history of rapjng young women. It’s not just in bad taste and being edgy. It’s historical and sociological ignorance. It’s damaging. It’s the act of maintaining male dominance.

    Just for fun fact: I’m a white, heterosexual male.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Your arguments about enablers and social context are noted and acknowledged.

      However, I think you are mistaken when you claim the people making the jokes are “ignorant” of the history of rape. On the contrary, I think they are quite aware of it. Which is why they make the jokes.

      Again, it’s not a type of humor I personally am comfortable indulging in. But it is a mistake to blanket claim that the people making the jokes are ignorant of history or trying to maintain male dominance. On the contrary, in my experience, they are often quite liberal and supportive of egalitarianism. There are those who push the envelope of social taboos for the sake of humor and humor alone.

      • Keef says:

        Would you support the right of any person professing egalitarian/liberal beliefs to call a black person a nigger if they claimed to be only joking? Why or why not?

        Additionally, which do you feel is worse: the historical connotations of the word nigger or of rape? Or would you say there’s no comparison?

        • Keef says:

          More questions: why should jokes which mimic oppression get a free pass? Do jokes exist in a social vacuum?

          • evid3nc3 says:

            You are changing the topic to the morality of social taboo humor. You are also attributing stances to me that I never expressed (“jokes which mimic oppression should get a free pass”).

            I never said any of this. Knowingly or not, you are employing loaded questions.

            The moral consequences of social taboo humor is an important topic and one that deserves discussion. But I’m not interested in discussing it right now. My only goal with this blog was to ensure that satirical bigotry is not equivocated with real bigotry. If you acknowledge that, then the purpose of the blog has been realized.

          • classical cipher says:

            I’m sorry, but you’re not telling anyone anything they don’t know. What you’re not understanding is that in effect, satirical bigotry IS real bigotry. Turning oppression into a joke perpetuates oppression – making it a fundamentally bigoted act. Intent is not magic, and I don’t care what some moron who makes a rape joke truly believes in his heart of hearts about rape.

            If you’d like to explain to us that you aren’t excusing these jokes, just explaining what they are, you might try to explain that also to the people who are agreeing with you and taking the position that these jokes are excusable. Like Adam Morva above.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            “taking the position that these jokes are excusable”

            I NEVER said this.

          • classical cipher says:

            I didn’t say you did. Other people, who are posting in ostensible agreement with your article, *are* saying that.

          • Kele says:

            How can you hold this person responsible for how other people misunderstand and act?
            If I say to my wife, “go into the kitchen, woman and make me a sandwich!”, she would laugh and come sit on my lap instead. Where is the bigotry? She knows I’m just kidding, and I would never be hostile like that to her in real life.
            A misogynist walking by might hear this and feel vindicated. The fact remains that I was being satirical and parodying the misogynist walking down the hall, not being one myself.
            And you would hold me responsible if this misogynist goes out and rapes someone right after that, feeling he might get away with it again if there are so many like him around, based only on my saying something where he could hear and misinterpret, jumping to conclusions, and being prejudiced to do so.
            But he was already like that. My words may have changed his plans, but I might have done the same thing by making him mad in some other way, like putting him down for being a misogynist in some way. Or by pulling out in front of him at the grocery store. I am not responsible for their lack of empathy or their propensity for violence and hate so easily expressed because they are low on oxytocin or something.

            Being a caring person destroys these hateful ways, but we also need to keep a sense of humor or be destroyed by the harsh knowledge of real human weaknesses.
            In other words, I joke about it to not only show I am not like that for real, but to soften the harsh knowledge for me and my wife that there are other people like that really out there … but the two of us are at least free of that nastiness in our lives.
            Don’t worry, it’s not the only way I joke around. But I am still not responsible for what other people do. Neither is the op. Satire and parody have real therapeutic properties for trauma victims and witnesses sometimes. To joke around after a close call with death is a normal reaction to shock and trauma. Would you like some of those jokes? Probably not.
            You need to get out more. Interact with people. You are trying for absolutes in the realm of humor, commentary, and social dynamics.
            In short, you are barking up the wrong tree, bub.

  4. athyco says:

    They “push the envelope of social taboos for the sake of humor and humor alone.” Sounds like a blanket claim to me. How could you possibly know? Seemingly, in your view, are there no true bigots who have decided to slant their comment to hide behind a claim of humor so that they can derail concern about it to an argument about a lacking “sense of humor” in the other party. And could you explain at which target the satire of their jokes is aimed? Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” was aimed at the British, the ones holding the power in a flawed society. All through Gulliver’s Travels, you can link the story to his indictment of foibles and inaccuracies and pompous feelings of entitlement among those with or wishing power, some of which were calcifying into harmful tradition.

    What powerful yet flawed group or individual is targeted by the “satirical bigotry” in saying publicly to a 15-year-old girl one has never met before: “Bite the pillow; I’m going in dry!” or “Blood is nature’s lubricant”? How does “satirical bigotry” prop up those who are harmed by “real bigotry”? Your examples of “satirical bigotry” involve your friends–people who have a track record with you and to whom you give the benefit of the doubt through the acknowledgement of shared experience. I do not believe, however, that doing the same for strangers in the public sphere should be the default. There is a difference between individual bigotry and institutionalized bigotry. I believe your “satirical bigotry” can perhaps prop up the underdog on the individual basis–among people who have a track record of scorning such beliefs with one another. But I also submit that “satirical bigotry” presented to strangers who have felt the lashings of your “real bigotry” in other venues does exactly the opposite. The bigots find a place to hide and snipe. Their targets see the onlookers shrugging it away.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “They push the envelope of social taboos for the sake of humor and humor alone.”

      Correction:

      “There are those who push the envelope of social taboos for the sake of humor and humor alone.”

      I know this is an emotionally charged issue. But you are misrepresenting me. Repeating what I said to Keef above:

      You are changing the topic to the morality of social taboo humor. That topic is important and deserves discussion. But I’m not interested in discussing it right now. My only goal with this blog was to ensure that satirical bigotry is not equivocated with real bigotry. If you acknowledge that, then the purpose of the blog has been realized.

  5. Keef says:

    I don’t think you can neatly seperate the two. Especially without talking about context and the morality of social taboo humor. Are there plenty of people who satirically make sexist jokes, but not do not heavily participate in the oppression of women? Yes. But, I think that the very context within which the satirical joke is made determines whether or not the joke (and by extension, the person making it) escapes bigotry-free. White people using the word nigger is a shining example: you may not own black slaves, support black segregation or hate black people by openly using the word nigger as a white person (in a non-descriptive context), but by using it you are saying that the very unfunny horrors associated with white-on-black oppression are less important than your urge to attempt to be funny. The same goes with sexism. Even though you may love women and treat them equally in-person, by making a rape joke you have decided that getting a cheap laugh is more important than the stark realities women face. Making fun of something devalues it. It undermines its importance. That’s why using satire against white plantation owners or sexist bosses was effective. It’s not effective when used against the oppressed. It’s just part of the problem.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Well, you started with the claim “I don’t think you can neatly separate the two”. But then you proceeded to just make another argument about the morality of social taboo humor.

      Again: it is definitely important. But my only point is that there is a difference between the pursuit of humor and the pursuit of bigotry. And it seems that you clearly understand that.

      • Keef says:

        I get it. You want to point out that their humor may not directly stem from an internal hatred towards women. Important, but it begs for the complete story. Which is that a byproduct of the pursuit of humor in this situation can be prejudice. Not outright hatred, but damning disregard. Bigotry and damning disregard aren’t exact siblings, but they are close enough cousins to warrant more concern. I think that’s why others are attacking the morality of the situation instead of pointing out that many of the teen rape jokes were “satirical.” Priorities.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Sure. And that is where the important discussion begins. The point of my blog is that it starts correctly.

          As I point out in the final paragraph, when people equivocate bigotry and boundary-pushing humor, they immediately start off on the wrong foot and derail the conversation. The redditors aren’t going to take the egalitarianism defenders’ criticisms seriously because the distinction is not acknowledged.

          • WW says:

            I am not sure why I should take the redditors in question seriously with regard to how they think about egalitarianism. Burden of proof is on them. If they feel I do not understand satire because they are such obvious geniuses at it and clearly it is way above my little head…then the problem is very deep indeed.

            I don’t take their commitment to equality seriously based on how the ones in question respond to criticism….or their less offensive defenders.

            I also don’t think that the girl in questions response to go along to get along is all that critical to explaining the dynamic.

            If I am “starting on the wrong foot”…. They are doing the same to the tenth power…if their intent (as with satire) is to undermine that which they are attempting to satirize – in this case what is that again? The exposure of young people to rape and abuse online? Unequal power? Remind me.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Again, you are making an entry in the discussion of the morality of social taboo humor. An important discussion but not the point of the blog.

      • Jadehawk says:

        “But my only point is that there is a difference between the pursuit of humor and the pursuit of bigotry. ”

        well, no. effectively, there isn’t such a difference. Whether you tell a bigoted joke for the “pursuit of humor” or the “pursuit of bigotry”, the effect is identical. Hairsplitting over intent is nothing but a tedious distraction that serves no purpose other than make purveyors of bigoted humor feel better about perpetuating bigotry

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Acknowledging someone’s intent when trying to correct their behavior is unequivocally an effective and often necessary step to persuading them to change.

          • Jadehawk says:

            making them acknowledge the fact that their implicit attitudes (and the thusly resulting actions) are not what they themselves believe they are is absolutely necessary to effecting any counter-cultural change on said implicit attitudes. What you’re describing is change in explicit attitudes, which is not relevant to the topic of “sarcastic” bigotry.

  6. Pngwn says:

    The point of satire is to show how ridiculous someone is being, yes. But furthermore, it is to stop them from behaving that way.

    I see no reason to stop religion. The majority of religious people aren’t hurting anyone. The point of whether satire is bigotry or not is moot. The purpose of the satire is to clear.

    1) To show how ridiculous religion is (NOTE: This purpose has no purpose as it does nothing to advance society).

    or

    2) If one believes religion is dangerous, they want to stop it (via point 1)

    3) To vent, which serves only selfish means.

    I do not believe that religion per se is dangerous. I think that people can use religion to do horrible things (the inquisition), or to make the world a better place (mother teresa). The greatness or evil of a person is not determined by the religion, but rather in the person themselves. You may of course, disagree with me, but I believe that this makes purposes 1 and 2 purposeless.

    Which of course leaves purpose three. Now, if you want to continue on with purpose three, all power to you, but I choose not to do so.

  7. I get what you’re saying, and I even agree to a certain extent. I shared an office with a Korean man for almost a decade. Barely a day went by that I didn’t make some off color reference to asians. Of course, he got in some pretty good zingers about white guys, too.

    I can imagine saying to a friend about my wife, “that bitch needs to make me a sandwich.” There is no way I would say that anywhere close to where she could hear me. I think the context of the satire is important.

    I can even imagine being really sexually vulgar about women, minorities, and all the rest talking with a small group of close friends when we’re trying to out gross each other. That stuff happens, and it can be funny… in that context. However……………..

    I can not image ever, not in a million years, ever, ever, telling a woman I want to rape her bloody. Saying that to a 15 year old girl??? No.

    So maybe it’s not misogyny. But there ought to be some word we can use to describe why it’s unacceptable.

  8. WW says:

    Yeah no.

    The these threads started with 1700 redditers upvoting comments directed towards a 15 year old girl which included making her bleed from the anus “blood being a natural lubricant” and all.

    I am a huge fan of boundary breaking comic routines. This is not that.
    I know what satire is and so do the rest of the men and women saying this is absolutely unacceptable.

    Thanks for another classic example of “mansplaining.”

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Not once did I reference my position as a man to give me authority over other people and it is, frankly, sexist for you to invoke my gender as part of a personal attack.

      The purpose of the blog is to show the distinction between the beliefs of the redditors and the beliefs of actual bigots.

      You may make an argument against their choice of topic for social taboo humor. And I may well agree with you. I never would have made jokes like these myself. But, again, the purpose is to start the conversation off correctly by accurately identifying their actual beliefs first.

      • classical cipher says:

        You seem to be unclear on the definition of “mansplaining.” It doesn’t mean you verbally invoke your authority as a man. It means you, a man, go on at length about things women already understand because you assume you understand them better. It is most frequently used when you’re doing that in opposition to feminist arguments, but it can be used in other situations as well. Hope that clears it up.

      • SteveV says:

        “But, again, the purpose is to start the conversation off correctly by accurately identifying their actual beliefs first.”

        But what evidence do we have (other than their comments) that their comments are other than their “actual beliefs”?

        if there is no evidence to the contrary, the reasonable and prudent course is to assume that the words mean what they say.

      • Jadehawk says:

        “beliefs” are not relevant; consequences are. And the consequences of a bigoted joke are perpetuating bigotry, and therefore they ARE bigotry. I do hope my comment with the links to the relevant literature will make it through to underscore what I’m trying to say.

  9. athyco says:

    You are changing the topic to the morality of social taboo humor. That topic is important and deserves discussion. But I’m not interested in discussing it right now. My only goal with this blog was to ensure that satirical bigotry is not equivocated with real bigotry. If you acknowledge that, then the purpose of the blog has been realized.

    Sorry, I’ll be sure to copy/paste quotes next time. I do not believe that what turned out to be my paraphrase misrepresented you, but even if it did, how does it negate my thoughts on your definition/examples for “satirical bigotry”? I submit that “satirical bigotry” is not valid as the default assumption in a public venue. I submit that “satirical bigotry” does not have the wider value you claim for it since at the least–without an ingroup understanding–its use causes heightened concern for the victims of “real” bigotry. My definitions of satire and sarcasm do not include heightened fear and uncertainty for those without the power to change the situation. It is edgy to afflict the comfortable, not the afflicted.

    If the purpose of the blog was to indicate that you find “satirical bigotry” acceptable in your social circle, it has been realized. However, I do not accept your disassociation of real/satirical regarding institutionalized bigotry. Does it delve into the “morality of social taboo humor” to tell me at whom or at what the barbs of “satirical bigotry” are aimed when it is done outside the zone of ingroup understanding?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “If the purpose of the blog was to indicate that you find “satirical bigotry” acceptable in your social circle, it has been realized. ”

      I’m sorry, but you are misrepresenting me again. Let me repeat: the purpose of the blog is to show that there is a *difference* between satirical bigotry and real bigotry.

      Whether satirical bigotry is “acceptable” is another issue entirely. An important discussion, but not one I am interested in having right now.

      • The alleged difference exists entirely in the mind of the person making the remarks. To a casual observer, the distinction is so fine as to be nonexistent. That’s the problem with your position.

        • The difference is often present in my mind when I am observing Reddit casually. Do you feel that this poses any detriment to your position at all? I only ask because you speak in a lot of absolutes and I am having a hard time identifying whether you’re making any attempt to approach this discussion objectively.

  10. debbaasseerr says:

    So, “Yes, that was bigotry, but some of it was satire”?

    Satire is hugely powerful. One shouldn’t have to prove to bigots that they have a finely-tuned enough sense of humor to be allowed to be taken seriously. Especially since “Can’t you take a joke?” is the free square on the anti-feminist bingo card.

    Satire that is indistinguishable from “real true” bigotry – from the people on the receiving end – is still perceived as hatred. Isn’t that privileging the dude saying terrible things over the woman hearing them – because he doesn’t really mean it?

    Free speech is hardly an issue here, either. The only people crowing about free speech are the ones who want to use racist, sexist, etc language and not get called out on it.

    Satire isn’t exempt. Satire can suck, and be done poorly, potentially reinforcing the very thing it was trying to subvert. Why defend shitty satire, or the inept handlers of it? It isn’t the same as “sincere bigotry” sure – still not “good”, though.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      An important entry in the discussion of the morality of social taboo humor.

      However, again, not the purpose of the blog. Again, the purpose of the blog is that the distinction between satirical bigotry and real bigotry is made before that discussion begins.

  11. Mike says:

    I follow with everything you’ve written in your post and I agree I’d like to see more instances of the words “satire” and “sarcasm” at least being mentioned and the argument being addressed. (Claiming “trolling” seems to only be swapping one variety of asshole for another, IMHO.)

    But I think you hit on the rub when you recognize that rape jokes and dead baby jokes may be satire but they’re only acceptable in the most personal of gatherings where you’re sure no one will be offended. In large anonymous forums like reddit or /b/ people tell rape jokes because there are no repercussions for the teller, but that doesn’t make the jokes “acceptable.” They’re still offensive to women, and it creates an uninviting atmosphere such that women and other joked-about minorities don’t feel welcome to join in the public forum. And that in turn reflects badly on the entire movement.

    But I don’t think we need to examine the situation that abstractly to find unacceptable behaviour. The really troubling part to me, and it can be hard to point to specific instances because any particular line can be dismissed as “sarcasm”, is how the public sentiment in the thread was actually against Lunam. All the rape and sex jokes, the “this is how women photograph things” jokes were prompted by her merely having posted a picture of her face, and she was clearly the target of all the jokes and mockery. The mockery was to the point of derailing the original point of the thread, and when she complained about not being taken seriously, she was mocked for it. If this is how all discussions go when a woman shows her face, it is unacceptable. Even if each redditor is a actually a sophisticated satirist.

    I do want to make one aside, about a point that also isn’t being discussed much in the blogs. A large branch of rape jokes on the thread appears to have been seeded by Lunam herself saying she’s “bracin’ [her] anus” for comments. I think this is worth mentioning because it’s clearly a seed of satire and sarcasm, and she was signalling that she’s down with that. However I don’t want to take the tack that Lunam is therefore entirely to blame for the rape jokes because she gave acknowledgement that she knows dirty jokes. That kind of like a black person joining a group of whites and saying “Hey guys, hope you don’t mind a black guy/girl joining all you whiteys” followed by a solid hour of nigger, slavery and lynching jokes. There definitely needs to be some recognition of the scale of responses, but this tends to be hard or impossible in discussions where everyone is arguing in terms of black vs. white.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      That’s interesting. I didn’t know that Lunam had made a reference to dirty jokes. I completely agree that she shouldn’t be entirely blamed for the consequences but also agree that it is relevant.

      Also:

      “when she complained about not being taken seriously, she was mocked for it.”

      I think that is relevant as well. When someone is clearly upset and responded to with mockery, that is a different kind of situation.

      Another important entry in the discussion of the morality of social taboo humor.

  12. WW says:

    I like that you assert the ability to read the minds of redditors.

    Is there a magic potion for that?

    And again thanks for explaining satire… I suppose my degree in English Lit from a top school and that Phi Beta Kappa was for naught.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “I like that you assert the ability to read the minds of redditors.”

      This does not require mind reading. There are commenters on this very blog who demonstrably and vocally match the descriptions I am making (total egalitarian, total satire, no intentions of actual bigotry).

  13. WW says:

    Thanks for explaining that.

    What percentage of the 1700 upvoters voting on the comment regarding the desire to make the young girl bleed from the anus while being raped by the satirist in question were – satire sophisticates on the level of say Sarah Silverman, Johnathan Swift or Mark Twain or Chris Rock (obviously all total unquestionably – egalitarians) and what percentage run of the mill dirtbags?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I never said anything about the satire being sophisticated. Merely that it *is* satire and not genuine bigotry. You clearly have a strong distaste for the satire being invoked and I don’t blame you. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is satire. The evidence for this is manifest in the comments above.

      • WW says:

        Actually I am looking for percentages here in your estimation…not confirmation about what you understand my understanding of satire to be.

      • SteveV says:

        But, using this medium, with posts from people you know nothing about and with that are typically one liners, how can you possibly tell one from the other?
        The old saw about ducks and quacking comes to mind.

  14. WW says:

    80 % unsophisticated inept satire attempting to undermine ________________ (still want an answer there) and 20% actual dirtbag pedos?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      There were people expressing social taboo humor. We know they exist because they commented above. I never said anyone was trying to undermine anything or had any other goal than humor.

      As for whether there were pedophiles voting on these comments, I wouldn’t know. They obviously aren’t commenting on by blog. The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that reddit is a den of pedophiles who are doing actual tangible damage to young girls.

      • WW says:

        YOU stuffed the word “satire” into the convo…and now downgraded it to “humor”…. That upped the stakes.

        You don’t think there is damage being done? How about to the sense of community I have with regard to “egalitarian atheists”…

        How about to the sense of safety young people seek in such a forum while trying to escape households where religion and sexual abuse go hand in hand?

        You cannot imagine the damage? So that means it does not exist? But knowing your contributions on YT if you are who I think you are…I imagine you do and that you have a blind spot here.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          “You don’t think there is damage being done?”

          I never said this. I think you need to take a break, honestly, because you don’t seem to be retaining things that I say. Repeating:

          You are changing the topic to the morality of social taboo humor. That topic is important and deserves discussion. But I’m not interested in discussing it right now. My only goal with this blog was to ensure that satirical bigotry is not equivocated with real bigotry. If you acknowledge that, then the purpose of the blog has been realized.

  15. WW says:

    Feel free to elaborate the pie chart…there are not just two options…

  16. WW says:

    - well intentioned satirists of the gender dynamics online who are unsophisticated in their approach

    - sophisticated satirists undermining power dynamics with regard to sex and gender in real life

    - sophisticated satirists satirizing the freedom of expression of dirt bags online?

    I dunno divide that pie any way you want….

  17. WW says:

    are any of the 1700 upvotes representative of “genuine bigotry” …what slice of the pie do they get…seems none the way you have framed this…

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I never said that there were no genuine bigots on the page. You are trying to pull some kind of crazy argument out of this by spamming my blog.

      But the fact remains that my point was to facilitate constructive dialogue between people expressing social taboo humor and defenders of egalitarianism. Nothing more, nothing less.

  18. WW says:

    Spam?

    Criticism = spam.

    Got it.

    Objections to your logic = crazy.

    Check.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      3 comments in a row = spam

      • WW says:

        That is a really weird definition of spam…in fact in more than 25 years online I am not sure I have ever heard it. I am sorry I did not concatenate my thoughts into one post. It’s a thinking style..rather than an attempt to undermine your space here.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Okay. Some technologies can handle 3 comments in a row well (like the Facebook message system). But I wouldn’t say that WordPress is one of them. It places your avatar, name, and timestamp on each comment, crowding out other comments on the page.

  19. WW says:

    If you GENUINELY think I am spamming you. Block me.

  20. WW says:

    I take your intention by the way at face value.
    My intention is to suggest that it is wrong headed in hopes that you will rethink your stance…

    A genuine egalitarian might listen to why I (and others) might think that.

  21. Satire? Then it failed as satire, leaving only bigotry.

    Yes, this is an emotional issue, and people are getting emotional about it. Doesn’t make you any less wrong.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Wrong about what, exactly? I ask because a LOT of people so far have accused me of defending positions I’m not defending.

      • Wrong that the distinction between bigotry and satirical bigotry absolves the alleged satirist from responsibility in perpetuating bigotry, and wrong that it’s not worth criticizing them. In fact, these alleged satirists are our only hope. Actual bigots are unlikely to change their minds. People who spout casual bigotry because they think it’s funny contribute to a chilling atmosphere for minorities and encourage real bigots to continue being bigots. They’re probably the people with the most power to change the culture for the positive.

  22. debbaasseerr says:

    Does anyone really want to claim that even a bare majority of the people were engaging in satire? Look no further than greta’s post that you linked from – the mention of misogyny brings a HOARDE of dudes out of the woodwork dismissing or explaining it away.

    You went and did the same thing! You didn’t derail the thread there, but did the right thing and started your own post. “Yes, What about the satirists?” Satirical bigotry is not the same as strait-up bigotry. Let it be acknowledged, let this purpose of this post be declared to have served its purpose.

    It still seems besides the point. The satire problem is dwarfed by the sexism problem. And your take away from the things you’ve read recently which dealt with sexism – don’t really deal with sexism! Do you see how that is part of the problem? Every time someone talks about sexism, or even clear-cut outright misogyny, some dude pops up and says “actually, nevermind that! Allow me to explain. You see, (insert what is typically a long explanation of something most people already know about…..like say, satire).”

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “the mention of misogyny brings a HOARDE of dudes out of the woodwork dismissing or explaining it away.”

      I know you may get tired of me pointing out “the point of the blog” but here goes again:

      Why is it that those dudes are dismissing it and explaining it away, exactly? Could part of the reason be that they think you don’t understand that this was social taboo humor?

      This is the whole point of my blog. I want these discussions to be more effective. And the fact is, Rebecca, Greta, and JT did not acknowledge the fact that this was social taboo humor in their posts. They lumped it together with normal, ignorant misogyny. And that kept the discussion from being as productive as it could have been.

  23. athyco says:

    However, again, not the purpose of the blog. Again, the purpose of the blog is that the distinction between satirical bigotry and real bigotry is made before that discussion begins.

    I’m rejecting your definition of satirical bigotry in these cases on the following grounds:

    (1) You wish to differentiate it in public spaces where the “real,” believed-by-the-poster bigotry is also free to display. Here is a comment made on a recent blog post:

    A<blockquote:"I don’t know what’s going on or why you ladies is upset, and I am not going to find out. I just need to say talking about sexism is the real problem here and it’s sexist. Hope I’ve clarified it all for your lady brains.

    Without an ingroup background, how do you differentiate? What markers define it as “real” or “satirical” bigotry?

    (2) Sarcasm and satire have a long history of being on the side of the underdog, the side of less power. The above comment, if satirical, is poking fun at the idea of a human being thinking that he need not investigate; the matter is settled in his favor solely because “lady brains” are discussing it. The laughter (by the in-group) is at the expense of the bigoted when “satirical bigotry” is employed. (Not harmful; point for you, yay.) In the r/atheism case that spawned these blog posts, the bigoted are supported and provided with cover, approval. (Harmful, no point for you, boo.) I find the second case a perversion of satire and sarcasm into bullying and browbeating with onlooker support and/or apathy. It’s not broad satire that sends me ROFL at my own failings; it’s not nuanced satire that makes me think “hmmmmmmm,,,got a point there,” and it’s not pointed satire that makes me say “Ouch. I might have behaved that way before, but I don’t want to again.”

  24. “That bitch just needs to get into the kitchen and make a sandwich.”

    “Well, that’s just because they are lazy Mexicans.”

    You know what? Lots of ACTUAL bigots make comments like those. And from my perspective, it’s pretty near impossible to tell those comment apart from the ones you deem as ACTUALLY bigoted.

    I reject your distinction and suggest that the onus is one anyone who wants to avoid being perceived as a bigot to not make statements like that.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Well, if in all serious conversations and arguments, a person vehemently defends egalitarianism, you have pretty damn good evidence that they aren’t a bigot.

      • That’s nice. However, if your friend wishes to be perceived IN PUBLIC as an egalitarian rather than a bigot, then he should avoid making statements like that IN PUBLIC.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          I completely agree. I don’t make comments like these at all, public or otherwise. The point of the blog was to facilitate discussion with people who do.

          • And, apparently, to reassure them that it’s all okay–their lack if INTENT to cause harm MAGICALLY erases all the actual harm they did, and it’s totally okay to go in making bigoted statements, AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT SINCERE.

            If that wasn’t YOUR intent in making this post, then you need to completely rewrite it.

          • classical cipher says:

            What Sally said. ^ Your post is being read contrary to your intent by people on both sides of the issue. This is a problem on your end.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            “their lack if INTENT to cause harm MAGICALLY erases all the actual harm they did”

            I NEVER said this.

            “If that wasn’t YOUR intent in making this post, then you need to completely rewrite it.”

            It wasn’t.

          • classical cipher says:

            Well, then, here’s a tip for the rewrite: Please understand that by characterizing bigotry presented as humor as not “real” bigotry, you are effectively giving it a pass, as well as asserting something that isn’t true – because as I’ve stated here, turning bigotry into a joke IS bigoted. You can find a better word than “real.”

      • Also, I should say that a TRUE egalitarian will welcome advice on how to avoid appearing like a bigot, not resist it.

        • I think the need we all have to immediately label different concepts or statements as one type of thing or another leads to why there is so much of a divide in the discussions.

          When someone posts something with the intention of being satirical they may not necessarily see the harm in what they are doing because they do not bear the intent to do harm or actually have the opinions that they are playing on having. I believe the purpose of this post isn’t to say that you should not call out inappropriate remarks or lewd behavior for what it is.

          There is a place for satire of all kinds. Whether you think that girl’s post on /r/atheism were very inappropriate is a matter of opinion (and one I would mention I would share with you if that is how you felt). I have no doubt that Evid3nc3 would encourage you to express your dissatisfaction with those posts in your own comments/downvotes, however I also think that you do no one any services by falsely claiming non-bigots are bigots because they try to make a parody of actual bigots.

          Again, it all falls back to semantics, I guess. There is a difference between disapproving of a comment and saying that it could be construed as bigoted and that the comment poster should be cautious of the message that they may send versus saying, “stop that, you bigot”.

          • You don’t have to be a bigot to perform bigoted actions. If you’re really interested in not being a bigot, you won’t get defensive when somebody points out that you were doing or saying bigoted things accidentally. That’s all. It’s really pretty simple.

        • Even actions that you may regard as bigoted could likely not be perceived as bigoted by many other males or females alike.

          Back to the thought experiment; It would be entirely reasonable for the young woman to tell the black man that she did not need help and she feels comfortable bringing her burden on her own.

          When a man wants to help another individual for any reason, whether they are a man or a woman, no matter how the woman may perceive this as him being chauvinistic when a woman is involved as the recipient, it is not chauvinistic no matter how she wants to label it. That aside, in this situation if this woman chooses to label it as such she herself has now become demonstrably sexist because her prejudices have lead her to that determination merely because a bigger male offered her help which she she then presumed was an implication that he feels she was less capable because of her sex despite him never intending or communicating that notion.

      • classical cipher says:

        No, in that case, I have pretty good evidence that they don’t want to present themself as a bigot. There is a distinction and it matters.

  25. WW says:

    Let me suggest – it is not “constructive” to offer the *not new* idea that offended people do not understand that the intent (in what %? of interactions on that subreddit) was humorous – This “constructive intervention” implies a few things which stick in the craw:

    I am saying you do not understand humor
    I am saying you do not understand satire
    I am saying you do not understand the internet
    I am saying you do not understand free speech
    I am saying you do not understand hip young people who are “beyond” all this

    as a member of the group in question – humor is a survival tool which keeps me from killing people. < see what I did there.

    this is one of the reasons you are getting heat for this…

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “I am saying you do not understand humor
      I am saying you do not understand satire
      I am saying you do not understand the internet
      I am saying you do not understand free speech
      I am saying you do not understand hip young people who are “beyond” all this”

      I NEVER said this.

  26. classical cipher says:

    Evid3nc3, you’re misrepresenting all of us who care about this issue by implying that we don’t understand that some of these people are trying to be funny. We do – we just don’t care. Whether you mean to or not, you’re also providing support to people like Adam above, who take the position that because bigotry is presented as satire, it is necessarily morally excusable. This is destructive.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      On the contrary, I am trying to facilitate discussion with people like Adam, who obviously aren’t listening to you. If you want to change their minds, you need to make it clear upfront that you understand they are invoking social taboo humor and aren’t just some ignorant redneck who “doesn’t get it”.

      You may not care that they are trying to be funny, but they do. And if you want to change their minds, you need to show them that you understand they are trying to be funny and THEN make the argument for why you still think it is wrong.

      • Why is it incumbent on us to acknowledge their humorous intent? Because they will get angry if we don’t and go home? Sounds like the person you are describing really isn’t interested in egalitarianism after all, otherwise, he would quickly apologize for the fact that his humor failed and try something different.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Listen, if you aren’t interested in suggestions on how to make things go smoother between two conflicting groups of people, fine. Keep bickering. Keep fighting. Jam your opinions down their throats. Force them to extend the olive branch.

          They will just keep doing the same to you and there will never be any social progress on the issue.

          • classical cipher says:

            You know what else will result in absolutely no progress? People telling us all that we’re DOING IT WRONG rather than going out and DOING IT RIGHT themselves. (Here’s a spoiler for you: Most of us have tried what you’re advocating. It didn’t matter. You’re welcome to give it a shot, though. Honest.)

          • WW says:

            Because all social progress in the past has depending on women being nice to people who offend them?

            Interesting!

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Yeah, I was overgeneralizing to say “there will never be any social progress”. But I think that social progress is more efficient when people aren’t gouging each others’ eyes out and yelling.

          • classical cipher says:

            Glad you dropped the overgeneralization. Now drop the stupid hyperbole. Nobody’s gouging anybody’s eyes out. And I thought this was about making distinctions, not about being nice.

          • Smoothness? Fuck smoothness. I want straight up public shaming for people who make rape “jokes” (which are really threats) against a 15 year old girl.

          • classical cipher says:

            Also, that. ^ I care about stomping out bigoted behavior, not about reassuring people behaving like bigots that their feelings matter. If you want to give people cookies and hugs because they were only trying to JOKE about a horrible traumatic experience that has ruined people’s lives rather than actually threaten it, goody for you. Have at it.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            “(which are really threats)”

            Parenthetical insinuations of motive like these are unsubstantiated. And part of the reason you won’t be taken seriously. I’m not a concern troll. I’m honestly trying to make social progress happen more smoothly.

          • Oh please. Just stop it. “BITE THE PILLOW I’M GOING IN DRY” may well strike some rapey misogynist assholes as funny, but for a young woman on the internet, how is she supposed to NOT see that as a threat? Seriously, fuck you.

          • classical cipher says:

            No, again, something doesn’t need to be intended as a threat to have the effect of being a threat. Intent: It’s not magic. When are we going to be clear on this?

          • evid3nc3 says:

            threat: a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage

            An Internet comment is not a real threat. It is extremely lewd and unsavory. But calling it a threat is unsubstantiated. No actual physical damage was attempted. “threat” is not the right word.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Okay, classical cipher. I see. You are using a different definition of “threat” than I am. And probably a different definition than the guys you are criticizing are.

            You mean “threat” by the way it makes someone *feel*. I meant “threat” by what someone attempts to *do*.

          • classical cipher says:

            Yes, I realize that you and many bigots have placed a disproportionate focus on intention rather than real-world effect. That’s wrong of you, and again, this is 101-level stuff.

          • Your definition of threat is the one preferred by perpetrators of mental and physical violence. It lets people who threaten other people off the hook by giving them an “out”–that they didn’t MEAN to.

            Did you read the “Intent is Not Magic” post?

      • classical cipher says:

        If you think that will help, stop concern trolling everyone else – and, in so doing, acting as though you’re presenting some novel argument when in fact you’re playing in to misogynist apologetics – and go try your helpful tactics on them yourself. As a feminist, I have made my position on satire clear repeatedly in conversations with misogynistic morons. I have told them that I don’t care what a person is thinking when they say a sexist thing. I care that they stop saying sexist things. They don’t care a whole hell of a lot. And you’re ignoring the point that a bigoted act made with humorous intentions is just as “real” in its effects as the same bigoted act from an unapologetic bigot.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          If you have already made it clear in your arguments that you understand that this was social taboo humor and you don’t care, that’s great. That’s all I am trying to say.

          Rebecca, Greta, and JT did NOT do that in their posts. That’s the only reason my post exists. Maybe what I’m saying isn’t novel but it sure as hell wasn’t being utilized in those posts.

          • WW says:

            You really need to reREAD Greta –this time with your eyes open.

          • classical cipher says:

            We don’t actually need to explain Feminism 101 every single time we make a post. Good try though.

          • What you are saying is SO not novel that nobody else bothered to mention it because they had this crazy idea that other people wouldn’t think they were complete idiots.

            Of COURSE those rape threats were intended to be humorous. That’s why many, many people used the phrase “rape joke” repeatedly. SO WHAT? Bigots cloak their bigotry in humor all the time. That’s why it’s incumbent on non-bigots to avoid using that kind of humor.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            I know it may be frustrating for you, but sometimes you very well may need to re-explain your rebuttals to arguments you have already addressed. I have the same experience with the religious. But, unfortunately, I think it is a necessary process in social progress.

          • classical cipher says:

            That’s not what I was objecting to. We can choose not to write in a full explanation of all Feminism 101 concepts when we make a post on feminist issues. That doesn’t mean we need you to remind us all – badly, I might add – that sometimes people are trying to make a funny. Your concern is noted.

    • WW says:

      “gouging each others eyes out and yelling”

      hyperbole much?

  27. I think the best response to this idiotic post was written long before it was. Here you are: Intent is Not Magic.

    • WW says:

      Oh that IS good. Thanks.

    • Let’s have a thought experiment:

      There is a middle aged, very large, black male dressed in black who has gang tattoos that walks into an elevator along side a small nineteen year old white woman with some heavy grocery bags in her hands.

      The black guy notices that the young woman is getting off at the same floor that he intends to be getting off at. With nothing but good intentions in mind the black man offers to help her carry her groceries to the door.

      Immediately the girl feels threatened and scared because she is trapped in the elevator with this black male who she immediately thinks, for whatever countless possible reasons, intends her harm.

      Which of these two individuals is in the wrong? Based on this article you’ve linked I would be given the impression that this man should be judged for his poor choice of actions in this elevator. I should believe he should have known better than to offer a kindly hand simply based on the fact that the woman because of her own prejudices has perceived a threat and now feels that harm has been done.

      Many questions could be raised about how much generalizing is happening here on both sides, or if there was any at all, or how much of it was a result of racial difference or sheer body mass difference – whatever the differences. Which of these two is going about their lives thinking about social tolerance or acceptance? Is this man a potential rapist, or acting the part, or in the least a sexist bigot who doesn’t think a woman is capable of carrying her burdens just because he offers her a hand? Is the woman wrong for feeling frightened? Had the woman been elderly, and the male a white sixteen year old would you be calling down the sixteen year old? At what point do people stop blaming others for threats perceived on account of their own personal prejudices? Can we all try to begin to identify our own biases before calling down others?

  28. bubblewrap says:

    I’m not sure you can make this statement with any real certainty that the redditors are not “real bigots”, because although there are certainly people who make these types of jokes satirically, I think there are plenty of others who mean what they say (most likely not the rape comments, but other stuff.)

    So I’m not going to argue your point that one shouldn’t equivocate satirical bigotry with real bigotry (because I agree), but I’m not sure all those comments are really satirical, and I don’t think you can be, either. To me, a lot of it looks pretty literal.

  29. I’m sorry but people who are REALLY interested in not being bigots don’t use “You didn’t acknowledge my humorous intent” as an excuse to avoid listening to criticism about bigoted statements they may have made.

  30. Mike says:

    How many times do feminists have to explanations to those they disagree with that they’re misogynist, even though they’re misinterpreting/misrepresenting something and we don’t actually disagree, before we’re allowed to coin the term “womansplaining,” and not have it be sexist?

    • classical cipher says:

      I think it’s fair to say that if you think they’re misinterpreting or misrepresenting something, you actually DO disagree.

    • I don’t care if you ARE misogynist. I care if you publicly appear to be misogynist.

      • WW says:

        I love J Smooth.

      • Mike says:

        I think this is an excellent vid, and an excellent summary of why sincere bigotry and satirical bigotry are both bad. As evid3nc3 said, he “show[s] them that you understand they are trying to be funny and THEN make[s] the argument for why you still think it is wrong.” Great! love it!

        But if you don’t make that point, the jokers using satirical humour think you are making a “what you are” argument and will dismiss your complaint because they will not recognize how it applies to them, a non-bigot.

        I myself have learned now that this is a “not new” argument, and I’m glad that some people have this argument in mind when they condemn all the rape jokes. BUT, I don’t think it was helpful for everyone for blaming me for not knowing, telling me I should have known this argument was old and I should have hopped on board the denouncement train from the beginning. It is helpful to at least acknowledge the difference between sincere misogyny and satirical misogyny.

        I consider myself a feminist and I had never had this discussion, so it seems reasonable that others will not have had the discussion, and will not know that you have already thought through this argument.

        • WW says:

          Perhaps as a feminist you will understand the level of exasperation one might feel having your allies tell you to essentially “play nicer” in the context we are discussing this in…given some consideration to the shoes women and girls are having this convo in…

  31. WW says:

    OK now that you’ve made that clear lets see some real dissection of Adams position rather than a response to your critics.

    Or are we the real problem here?

  32. WW says:

    It’s not just “ignorant rednecks” that act like shitty people. But thanks for that lil bit oh bigotry! ;D

    • Yeah, that was real charming. Bigots–they are the OTHER! Not like me and mine.

      • WW says:

        Evid3nc3 actually possesses a very beautiful mind and a heart that I quite admire. I truly want to give him room to splash around here. I don’t mean to give him a pass on anything but I do trust his intent and more importantly his willingness to move through something not very comfortable…

        One might even say I have some faith in him…

        • Well, then it’s too bad for him that he made this post, because this is the first time I have ever heard of him. And he has made a TERRIBLE first impression. These are the dangers in publicly defending people who make bigoted remarks.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            “These are the dangers in publicly defending people who make bigoted remarks.”

            Actually, this was about trying to facilitate discussion between people who are defending egalitarianism and people who are using social taboo humor. I continue to be misrepresented.

          • classical cipher says:

            Nope. You continue to privilege your intent over the actual effects of your words.

          • Mike says:

            Classical cipher: What effect of his words? That you lot are misinterpreting his very clear point and painting him as a defender of bigots? How is that his fault?

            If I say “sexism is a complicated social problem” and you interpret this as a sexist thing for me to say, I’m sorry, you are the one who is guilty of misrepresentation.

          • ‘People who make bigoted remarks” are exactly the same people as “people using social taboo humor.” There is no distinction. There are two different labels, but the group of people, and the actions being described, are exactly the same.

  33. crowepps says:

    “Social Taboo Humor” — interesting phrase. Funny how in practice it sounds identifical to The Bigot’s Disclaimer: “I was just kidding. Don’t you know a joke when you hear one?”

  34. Confused onlooker says:

    This comment war is unnecessary and unproductive. There is a difference between satire and actual bigotry. The fact that they aren’t the exact same word proves that.

    The jokes that the people evid3nc3 knows made are very, very low impact and clearly lacked belief. With friends, and those who can appreciate that humour, it is absolutely harmless in that context. Those kinds of “satires” are not meant for the ears of the people it might offend are rarely heard by them. What the redditors and members of /b/ did, and do on a regular basis, wasn’t said because they believe in it but because they are generally mean-spirited.

    I can defend harmless words between those who understand the context but many of the members of reddit and /b/ bring the “satire” into the face of the vulnerable/affected with no other real purpose other than to cause a ruckus.

    Addressing the harmless, the mean and the bigots, all as the same group, is very damaging to egalitarian causes. If I am not mistaken, this last paragraph is all this blog was meant to point out. Reading any further into it than that is absurd speculation. Evid3nc3 has said that any further discussion about the morality or real effects of “satire” and bigotry are not meant to be discussed here.

    • classical cipher says:

      It actually doesn’t matter if the people it might offend don’t hear it. For instance, in the case of rape jokes, rapists would not be offended by the jokes, but hearing the jokes, they are reinforced in their belief that rape is okay. And, by the way, you have presented absolutely no evidence whatsoever that any proportion of the redditors who posted those comments don’t believe what they said was okay. Finally, while the actually harmless (I’d contend that’s a narrower group than you seem to think) can be safely left out of discussions of bigotry, people who are being bigoted for the purposes of being mean are, in fact, bigots. It doesn’t matter how they think of themselves, and insisting on that distinction without a difference provides them with support for their behavior and undermines efforts to shame them out of behaving like bigots.

      • Confused onlooker says:

        Re-reading my post, I realize now that I missed a point that you picked up on.

        I am not saying any redditors did it for satire. I am familiar with the site and I believe they did it with horrible intentions. I feel that those who masquerade as bigots and only say those things to try and ruin someone’s life are actually far worse than real bigots.

        Real bigots are often ignorant and choose to remain so. The redditors aren’t ignorant of the issue and choose to say those things regardless, knowing full well that they are saying it directly to a victim, and that is far worse in my book.

        • WW says:

          And it hurts worse – because these are supposedly the smart good people who probably do consider themselves allies… ignorant people are JUST ignorant!

    • WW says:

      What I hear you saying is “lalalallalalalala WHATEVS”

      • evid3nc3 says:

        Which is not at all what was said. Misrepresentations abound. This is about as devolved as my comment thread has ever become. But, again, I understand this is an extremely emotionally charged issue.

        • classical cipher says:

          Stop being passive-aggressive just because you wrote something that didn’t achieve your intentions for it.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Your comments are getting pretty damn ugly.

          • You mean to say that you’re not being passive aggressive? But that WAS a passive-aggressive remark. Are you sure you don’t mean “accurate” rather than “ugly”?

          • evid3nc3 says:

            It wasn’t passive agressive. It was completely genuine. This is where INTENT does fucking matter.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Listen, here’s the short and the long of it: I am your ally. You can utilize me or you can alienate me. You can give me information to be a better ally or you can insult me. How you spend your time is up to you.

          • What we’re trying to point out is that you really don’t LOOK much like an ally right now. In your head, sure. Out here in objective reality? Your intentions don’t match your actions. Just like the “satirical bigots” you wrote about. Which is why we say that intent isn’t magic.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Well then fucking TALK to me and ask me some questions. Get a feel for whether I am an ally before jumping to conclusions. No, we can’t help how we appear to others. And others can’t help how they perceive us. But others sure as hell can do some investigation before jumping to conclusions.

          • WW says:

            We are trying albeit often sharply and satirically to help those who profess to be allies!

          • WW says:

            …and we aren’t “jumping to conclusions” we are working with what you have said here…

          • evid3nc3 says:

            I have, multiple times already, been accused of supporting things I NEVER said by all three of you. That is not “working with what I have said”. That is jumping to conclusions.

            I know you guys deal with a lot of actual bigots. But, if I can offer a critique to your approach: ask more questions first before blasting someone. Get them to verbally commit to a position before presuming they hold that position and attacking them for holding it.

            I appreciate the information, ideas, and counter-arguments. I really do. But all of the insults and personal attacks really obfuscate the exchange of information.

          • WW says:

            You CAN actually help how you appear to others.
            You appear to me not to have taken Greta Christina’s post seriously AT ALL.
            That would be a start.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            I did read it. I have read it multiple times. Can you point out something concrete that I don’t seem to be grasping?

          • WW says:

            What I liked best about your video series was your dogged open ended search for enlightenment with regard to the truth and the characters you met along the way – especially the Professor.. I can’t remember his name.

            I liked that he did not hand your new position to you thoroughly premasticated.. You worked for it. And you worked hard.

            I hope you apply the same intensity with regard to these questions and do not expect me to spell things out for you…

          • evid3nc3 says:

            I really do appreciate the sentiment. It means a lot.

            As I said before, I am completely open to learning. But I’m also not yet convinced that I have actually missed anything in Greta Christina’s blog post. If you would rather exit the conversation, that is completely understandable. It has been a *very* long conversation. But I’m left unconvinced on that point, unfortunately. But total agreement isn’t always possible.

  35. Amblebury says:

    How did the subject of the ‘satire’ get to be the subject of the satire in the first place? Invariably, it is because there’s a history of subjugation, abuse, alienation or whatever of that grouping of people.

    Difference has, and is still, often perceived as threat. When that perception is that of a more powerful grouping, their response to that perceived threat of has devastating effects on the minority. Young gay men being violently beaten to death and having their bodies tied to fences, people from different cultures being captured and shipped in filthy vessels away from there own countries to servitude and death, etc.

    Jokes/satire in that vein only ever reinforce the memory and perception of inequality due to otherness.

    If there was nothing funny about those things at the time, there is nothing funny about it now. It’s just, at best, Bigotry Lite. Always.

    • Confused onlooker says:

      Being able to laugh about something negative later in life, takes away the power it holds on you and is how some people actually move past something tragic. Calling them bigots is an extreme point of view. Living in the past accomplishes nothing.

      • WW says:

        You got one thing right! You ARE confused.

        • Confused onlooker says:

          At why you are attacking someone who is a proven egalitarian. You honestly look just like militant athiests who are ostracizing themselves by taking extremist positions and refusing to acknowledge other people’s viewpoints. This is a discussion of a massive grey area in morality and you are making yourself appear poorly. I regularly fight for equality and you are making me dislike even having to be associated with you.

          • WW says:

            The appearance of non-chalance with regard to rape jokes aimed at a 15 year old makes me dislike your approach to this “massive moral gray area”. You are making yourself appear poorly. I am not sure I like you even a little bit! I am not even sure I want to be associated with you. I dislike it immensely. It reflects poorly on the atheist community of which I am a dedicated part. Harrumph.

          • Confused onlooker says:

            I actually 100% disagree with what reddit and /b/ did in regards to her and I believe I stated that in one of my earlier posts. I was actually not referencing them at all in the post you responded to.

          • Confused onlooker says:

            reddit and /b/ did was wrong* I agree with you that it is. Typed that wrong. My apologies for that. Hopefully I caught it in time.

          • WW says:

            OK …were not discussing “what reddit did” as much as this bloggers response to the climate there….and what it says about how some of our allies think…

          • WW says:

            I am sorry my snark about non-chalance could have given you that impression. The topic is broader.

      • classical cipher says:

        Confused onlooker, right now, you’re bordering on blaming victims for not “getting over” what’s happened to them. You might want to clarify your meaning.

        • Confused onlooker says:

          I’m saying there are people who require humour to get over a tragic event in their lives. The phrase, “If I didn’t learn to laugh at myself, I’d be dead right now,” comes to mind. I never said everyone feels this way, I’m saying that you are blaming victims along with real bigots.

          • classical cipher says:

            All right. You probably shouldn’t have said “Living in the past accomplishes nothing,” because people who are victims of trauma often can’t help it and find that advice extremely condescending. What I’m saying is that if you use humor in a bigoted way, you’re perpetuating bigotry and that is, in effect, a bigoted act. There are times and places and methods where it’s okay to make jokes about tragic things that have happened to you – and there are also times and places and methods where doing so is doing harm to other people. Like – for instance – regardless of my past, I don’t get to make jokes about raping other people, or about how rape victims deserve it, because that would be destructive. Trauma doesn’t give us a free pass, and traumatized people can still be bigots. (Depending on how I did it, also potentially bigoted.)

      • crowepps says:

        When “All In The Family” was on TV, liberals thought it was excellent satire and a great program that showed how stupid bigotry was. Norman Lear was appalled to find out people who were bigots loved it as well because they were delighted “there’s finally somebody on TV who tells the truth about those damn people.”

  36. Confused onlooker says:

    My apologies then. I used the phrase, “Living in the past accomplishes nothing,” to hopefully push the importance of how some victims require laughing at their past traumas to be able to go on. I guess I failed in that attempt.

    When you said, “There are times and places and methods where it’s okay to make jokes about tragic things that have happened to you”, that was all I was looking to see said. I felt like that one little phrase was all that wasn’t being acknowledged. Now that I know you agree with that point, I am able to view your posts more clearly and with more respect.

    I hope you enjoy the new year. =)

  37. WW says:

    Are you saying that of the oh 2000K upvoters a # were victims of rape and abuse and all they were doing was a cathartic psychologically freeing expression of triumph of laughs over that abuse? Really?

    Cause if that’s not what you are saying I could use some help understanding I guess.

  38. Bruce says:

    No-one has mentioned the authority of her highness Greta Cristina’s blog post for half an hour, what gives?
    You’re being swamped by authoritarian morons Evid3nc3; they’re not interested in discussion, only telling you that you are *wrong* over and over until you drink their Kool-Aid.
    They will use “mansplaining” to shut down conversation; they will misuse the word misogyny and abuse you with it; if you disagree, you are a sexist If you point out that threats of violence and genital violence on their blogs seems a little hypocritical in a post condemning threats of sexual violence, you are a misogynist.
    “You are part of the problem” is the mantra. The only way you can relinquish that status is by chanting yourself. Femi-McCarthyism: I’m not a misogynist, but by neighbours are!!

  39. WW says:

    By the way…. I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of scrutiny from people to whom I thought I was being an ally…

    It is damned frustrating and uncomfortable to believe yourself to be wholeheartedly on the side of all that is right and just and yet to be perceived and told that you are “not helping” even if that is your deep intent.

    It really does suck.

  40. ‘Yes, but it’s important to make the distinction between REAL misogynists and SATIRICAL misogynists!”

    Nope, it’s not.

  41. WW says:

    And here’s Bruce to sooth your wounded ego and confirm that yes… you have been attacked by a coven of she-harpies. Right on time Bruce!

  42. WW says:

    I meant it when I said you have a beautiful mind.

  43. athyco says:

    Evid3nc3 to Sally:

    Well then fucking TALK to me and ask me some questions. Get a feel for whether I am an ally before jumping to conclusions. No, we can’t help how we appear to others. And others can’t help how they perceive us. But others sure as hell can do some investigation before jumping to conclusions.

    I’ve been subscribed to your YouTube channel for quite a while. I understand WW’s desire to see you–from our point of view–grow in this regard. But I do see you as obtuse in this arena and can also understand Sally’s horrible first impression. I’ve asked you questions about the purpose of sarcasm and satire, because I can do “socially taboo humor” all day long that is scatalogical and/or sexual but self-deprecating or targeted at harmful attitudes–held by Martians or cephalopods! Plenty of societal shock value, but no sarcasm or satire that relate to real-life concerns of those who–through a lack of power or control (as in rape)–have a different experience from mine. No one has to entertain the thought that I could possibly dismiss the concern of a woman who heard whispered in her ear, “You’d be biting the pillow because I’d go in dry” said by a fellow at the bar because I’d ignored, dismissed, defended, or explained virtually those same words in an internet forum.

    I’ve asked how your examples of what your friends say (after a benchmark of egalitarian behavior has been set) can lead to the assumption of such benchmarks from strangers. With that possibility in mind, you were cruel in your depiction of the “scornful” old man in the bar, you know. He may have been pulling your leg; he may have been testing you, he may have been acting for the benefit of *his* eavesdropping friend at the next table, who knew all along that it was just culturally bracing, good ol’ satirical bigotry. Why do you think not? Because he defended his comments? Don’t the “satirical bigots” do that, too? He probably just had a dry, provocative humor that you didn’t understand. He was so sad to realize that he’d gone too far to explain it to you. Or maybe he was too angry at you for jumping to conclusions too soon.

    And your desire to have others perceive this difference aside, what evidence have you that the satirical bigots may consider innovative forms of socially taboo humor that get the barks of laughter from the surprise of a skewed perspective rather than the stale, tired, EASY, done-a-million-times-for-hundreds-of-years “jokes” about sexual violence?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I never said that there was anything “innovative” about social taboo humor. I’ve made it very clear multiple times that I’m not comfortable using it myself. I’m not actively defending it. The entire point of the post was merely to point out its existence and build a potential bridge between two warring communities. I resent being accused of anything more than that.

      Your arguments for why it is damaging are acknowledged and have been from the beginning.

      And, yes, I acknowledge that my observations may not have been novel. But the most effective response to that situation is to point me to videos, blogs, or books that specifically address it. Not to respond with 40 comments of personal attacks and insults. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time.

      • WW says:

        The need to “point out” and explain the existence of “socially taboo humor” and your advise to note that “we” “understand” that it exists before dissecting the culture around the event – to essentially “take care” of the delicate sensibilities of those who are making the jokes because, after all, they (most would you say?) are likely allies underneath it all is to say the least problematic.

        If we are to “be successful” at changing the culture we live in you suggest we must be nice about it and do it in a manner approved of by our allies which you seem to assume we do not practice day in day out in circumstances where being totally direct and aggressive would harm our prospects or our perhaps even threaten our physical safety…

        Your advise, such as it is, is noted.

        What do we say after we note that “you are using socially taboo humor…some with the purpose of undermining the status quo and more of you seemingly with the purpose of reinforcing it.

        When they tell me to go to the fucking kitchen and make them samiches. What am I to do?

        • evid3nc3 says:

          I’m not telling you what to do, but this is what I would do: make the argument for why what they are doing is damaging. Provide evidence. Discuss scenarios.

          The one that athyco used above about the “fellow at the bar” is a good argument. Unfortunately, it lacks direct supportive evidence but that is sort of the nature of the discussion right now, unfortunately.

          Again, in short, this is the approach I try to take: you acknowledge that you understand what someone is trying to do (social taboo humor). Then they have a higher probability of listening to you. Then you explain why you think it is damaging. If they are total dicks about it after that, bring on the insults if you think they are even worth talking to.

      • athyco says:

        I am gobsmacked by your reply to me

        First Evid3nc3 reply to athyco:

        “They push the envelope of social taboos for the sake of humor and humor alone.”

        Correction:

        “There are those who push the envelope of social taboos for the sake of humor and humor alone.”

        I know this is an emotionally charged issue. But you are misrepresenting me. Repeating what I said to Keef above:

        You are changing the topic to the morality of social taboo humor. That topic is important and deserves discussion. But I’m not interested in discussing it right now. My only goal with this blog was to ensure that satirical bigotry is not equivocated with real bigotry. If you acknowledge that, then the purpose of the blog has been realized.

        Second Evid3nc3 reply to athyco:

        “If the purpose of the blog was to indicate that you find “satirical bigotry” acceptable in your social circle, it has been realized. ”

        I’m sorry, but you are misrepresenting me again. Let me repeat: the purpose of the blog is to show that there is a *difference* between satirical bigotry and real bigotry.

        Whether satirical bigotry is “acceptable” is another issue entirely. An important discussion, but not one I am interested in having right now.

        and lastly

        I never said that there was anything “innovative” about social taboo humor. I’ve made it very clear multiple times that I’m not comfortable using it myself. I’m not actively defending it. The entire point of the post was merely to point out its existence and build a potential bridge between two warring communities. I resent being accused of anything more than that.

        Your arguments for why it is damaging are acknowledged and have been from the beginning.

        And, yes, I acknowledge that my observations may not have been novel. But the most effective response to that situation is to point me to videos, blogs, or books that specifically address it. Not to respond with 40 comments of personal attacks and insults. That’s just a waste of everyone’s time.

        None of that in response to me shows acknowledgement that I’ve been successful, let alone “from the beginning.” None of my comments have dealt with you not being “novel.” That’s someone else. I’ve written to this point 5 comments (one only noting a format error), not 40. And I want my “personal attacks and insults” quoted back at me, if you’ll be so kind. I assure you…I can evaluate my hurtful and wasteful errors as easily as satirical bigots can accept gentle pointers that they are harming others with their socially taboo humor.

        Oh…and the reference you made to my “fellow at the bar” scenario? You acknowledged that at 2:16, almost a half hour after your last comment to me. It would be interesting to learn why it counts.

  44. athyco says:

    Good grief. I asked you if there’s evidence for them to change, and you respond as though I’ve accused you of something? What exactly?

    If there is a potential bridge between two “warring” communities, then evidence that we can cajole them into having more fun with non-demeaning but still socially taboo humor would be a GOOD thing, wouldn’t it?

    I’m trying to point out that the only difference I can see between your real/satirical bigotry so far is that you ONLY know for certain when you have a history with the speaker–when you are positive that the joke is imitating the walk and quack of a duck. If you’re at a table with a friend who hides your wallet, it’s a joke when you see a corner of it under his leg. If you see a corner of your wallet under the leg of the stranger at the next table, is it so evidently a joke? Even if it were, isn’t the stranger deficient in his assessment of humor?

    I’m asking questions about your concept of sarcasm and satire because by definition they have a target. How do I tell someone who’s gone for “comedy” that (s)he’s more likely made people uncomfortable, unwilling to defend it, and concerned that it will cause inhibiting caution if not fear in others? I want to understand how you see satirical bigotry so that I can wrap my head around the possibility of saying/writing SOMETHING that would advance me along that potential bridge.

    Evid3nce, please. What would my first step onto that bridge look like? What would a step from the other side look like?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I gave a reply to WW above but I’ll develop it a little. Here is what the first steps of the bridge would look like for me, assuming I already have evidence for why social taboo humor is damaging:

      I understand that many of you may be egalitarians who are simply making socially taboo jokes for entertainment. But that is actually still damaging to the sexism situation and here is why: [Evidence], [Arguments].

      That’s it. That is pretty much the extent of what I meant to contribute to the methodology here.

      • WW says:

        Just curious….do you think Christopher Hitchens has been successful with his scathing rhetoric towards the moral make up of religious stuffed shirts? I know you have a very distinct approach from his…which you know I admire. I admire both. How about you?

        • WW says:

          Has he advanced the discussion ( how I define success)….

          • evid3nc3 says:

            As you may recall from my post after his death, I think Christopher Hitchens was a powerful and skilled debater. I think that both approaches have value and that it depends on the audience and the context.

          • WW says:

            Missed that post.
            I wonder what he would have said in this context… I can imagine he wouldn’t have spent too much time teasing out the actual misogynists from the people who’s actions are indistinguishable from actual misogynists. He’s pretty unrelenting when it comes to say Muslims who never in their lives would condone or support terrorism, who happen to remain Muslim after a terrorist blows something up. No quarter for them…

  45. debbaasseerr says:

    Egalitarians who want to make rape jokes in a society where rape is massively skewed to one sex can fuck themselves.

  46. athyco says:

    Romero-Sánchez et al. (2010) Exposure to sexist humor and rape proclivity: the moderator effect of aversiveness ratings
    The aim of this study is to explore the effect of exposure to sexist humor about women on men’s self-reported rape proclivity. Earlier studies have shown that exposure to this type of humor increases rape proclivity and that funniness responses to jokes are a key element to consider. However, the role of aversiveness responses has not been studied. In a between-group design, 109 male university students are randomly exposed to sexist or nonsexist jokes. Participants are asked to rate the jokes according to their degree of funniness and aversiveness. Participants’ levels of hostile and benevolent sexism were also measured. Results about the relationship between sexist attitudes and sexist humor and the relationship between sexist attitudes and rape proclivity are consistent with those of earlier studies. However, exposure to sexist humor affects rape proclivity only when aversiveness shown to this type of humor is low. The results are discussed in the light of the prejudiced norm theory. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20042541)

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Excellent! This is exactly the type of evidence that I think should be brought up.

      • WW says:

        Oh thank The Great VOID you had studies in hand. I hate to think what would have happened had the point of view that rape jokes upvoted by thousands in response to a young girl posting on the internet was harmful to the girl and the community she wants to be a part of – had not been validated by studies.

        ARG.

        Really? Do you wait to argue most points until the studies come in… What happens if the proposition is never studied?

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Once again being misrepresented. Not once did I say that “this behavior is okay unless there are studies.” I’m not really surprised by straw men being trotted out at this point though.

          I’m trying to respect you but the constant caricatures and venom make it very difficult. Anyhow, I’m done with this particular conversation, and I am done talking to all of you.

          Feel free to keep posting but you will be talking to yourself.

          • Wow, flouncing from his own blog.

            It’s really a pity that your defensiveness can’t permit you to empathize enough with your readers to understand that how you framed the discussion gives precisely the impression that until scientific evidence of how damaging sexism is is produced, you’re not really on board with fighting it. I understand that probably wasn’t your intention, but if you want to be honest with yourself and your readers, you need to acknowledge that your communication failed, and you need to be accountable for that.

  47. athyco says:

    Ford et al. (2008) More than “just a joke”: the prejudice-releasing function of sexist humor
    The results of two experiments supported the hypothesis that, for sexist men, exposure to sexist humor can promote the behavioral release of prejudice against women. Experiment 1 demonstrated that hostile sexism predicted the amount of money participants were willing to donate to a women’s organization after reading sexist jokes but not after reading nonhumorous sexist statements or neutral jokes. Experiment 2 showed that hostile sexism predicted the amount of money participants cut from the budget of a women’s organization relative to four other student organizations upon exposure to sexist comedy skits but not neutral comedy skits. A perceived local norm of approval of funding cuts for the women’s organization mediated the relationship between hostile sexism and discrimination against the women’s organization. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18056796)

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Great again. This is exactly what I personally think is the best kind of response. Formalized and controlled studies. I typically only see rhetoric with no evidential backup. Thanks for taking the time to dig these up.

  48. athyco says:

    Foubert & Perry (2007) Creating lasting attitude and behavior change in fraternity members and male student athletes: the qualitative impact of an empathy-based rape prevention program
    Fraternity members and male student athletes responded to open-ended questions assessing the impact of an empathy-based rape prevention program. All participants reported either lasting attitude or behavior changes; most reported both. Participants reported increased understanding of how rape might feel and attributed this change to seeing a videotape describing a male-on-male rape situation. Participants refrained from telling jokes about rape and reported feeling more effective when helping survivors seeking assistance. These behavior changes were attributed to the videotape and to a section of the program encouraging participants to confront rape jokes and challenge sexist behaviors. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17179405)

    • Adam Morva says:

      athyco, I’m so glad you are here to educate us.

      I mean, it’s not as if we already knew how horrible rape is. It’s not as if we already knew loved ones who were sexually harrassed in the past.

      I’m glad you are here and show no double standards. I mean.. You didn’t ever laugh or joke about.. death? Right? You never laughed about a Hitler Fall video or a nazi joke, right? You never laughed on a joke about nerds. You find ALL minority jokes unfunny. You hate EVERY SINGLE sitcom and comedy.

      Nope.
      I’m certain you did. Moreso, I’m certain you even made them. Good job on preaching water, kiddo.
      You are doing exactly what Evid3nc3 brought up in his opening arguments:
      You can’t differentiate humour, satire and so on from real sexism and misogyny.

      So chill the fuck out. Turn off your neurosis for a few minutes and reboot your brain.

      • Mike says:

        Actually, evid3nc3 asked for “evidence for why social taboo humor is damaging.”

        • WW says:

          Here’s an awesome chance to be an awesome progressive ally!

          • evid3nc3 says:

            Right. Adam, while I think that any sincere arguments (like yours) deserve to be fairly and respectfully addressed without insults or harassment, it is indeed relevant that there are controlled studies supporting the claim that social taboo humor has negative effects. At the very least, the studies should be acknowledged, discussed, and addressed.

            And I hope that you recognized that Mike is unequivocally being an open-minded ally, WW.

            But thanks again, athyco. This is what has been missing from the entire discussion. Hard evidence from controlled studies that I can present to people invoking social taboo humor. Now I have an evidential leg to stand on rather than mere rhetoric and speculation.

            And, again, for the record, I think that empathetically and sincerely presenting evidence is far more efficient than pure vitriol. While Hitch may have brought open criticism and conflict, he almost always brought evidence to back his points up. Either way, I think that evidence is the most important element.

          • So, I’m wondering… is this the standard? Rape jokes are okay until someone produces scientific evidence that they are damaging?

            How depressing.

          • evid3nc3 says:

            “Rape jokes are okay until someone produces scientific evidence that they are damaging”

            I NEVER FUCKING said this. Please stop misrepresenting me. Please. For fucks sake.

            Outrage is only valid if it is in response to something that was actually said. Otherwise, it is manufactured and only detrimental to your cause. Stop straw-manning people.

          • I didn’t say you said it. But that is what the series of events on this blog seems to be demonstrating. You asked people to talk to you and tell you how to be a better ally, well, you also need to listen and stop getting so defensive.

  49. athyco says:

    Adam, did Evid3nc3 not ask in an earlier comment for videos, articles, or books to make the case that such humor under discussion was harmful? Yes, he did. What, then, have I done wrong by complying with the host’s request?

    How do pubmed links fall in the category of telling everyone here (you did say “we”) things everyone already knows? Perhaps seeing that researchers have specifically included “a section of the program encouraging participants to confront rape jokes and challenge sexist behaviors” or “The results of two experiments supported the hypothesis that, for sexist men, exposure to sexist humor can promote the behavioral release of prejudice against women” is helpful information to append to the methodology of “I understand that many of you may be egalitarians who are simply making socially taboo jokes for entertainment. But that is actually still damaging to the sexism situation and here is why: [Evidence], [Arguments].” (Quote from our host.) None of the three, actually, imply that anyone here is ignorant of the pain caused by rape and sexual assault; they deal with the “jokes.”

    As for my sense of humor, you’ve challenged me to defend yet coupled the challenge with your certainty that anything I say is a lie. Better yet, I can’t claim improvement over a lifetime, and the last decade or so of my 55 years as virtually sitcom and comedy (I suspect you mean film) inert. There’s no nuance, Adam. You see, I DO loathe “Two and a Half Men,” but “Big Bang Theory” has, in my opinion, better writing and acting. I can forgive some of its unevenness, and my son and I discuss our different perspectives. I read Terry Pratchett–there’s humor. Ever tried Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon novels? I reread Don Quixote USA (Richard Powell, 1966) and still find it hilarious. I have a favorite joke about the hermit’s kid–never seen a woman in all his 20 years. And when the first one he sees is lying naked and unconscious from her car accident that he’s just witnessed, he drops to his knees beside her and begins smooshing on her breasts for all he’s worth. She comes to and says, “What the hell are you doing?” He replies, “Don’t worry, Mister, you got a bad cut down there. But we’ll get these balls back in place!”

    See? His ignorance of her anatomy is the joke, but it’s not making fun of “men” because his ignorance couldn’t apply to them as a monolith. It’s not making fun of “women” because she’s not being exploited or made to feel inadequate/ugly/stupid. Win-win, I think.

    And remind me again of why I take orders from you.

  50. athyco says:

    Right. Adam, while I think that any sincere arguments (like yours) deserve to be fairly and respectfully addressed without insults or harassment, it is indeed relevant that there are controlled studies supporting the claim that social taboo humor has negative effects. At the very least, the studies should be acknowledged, discussed, and addressed.

    Yeah, at the very least!

    Pardon me, but who addressed Adam’s argument with insult and harassment? Was it possibly the hypocritical, water preaching (?) “kiddo” with no ability to differentiate humor and satire from real sexism and misogyny who needed to chill the fuck out, turn off her neurosis, and reboot her brain?

    And Mike’s a nice enough guy and all, but if an onlooker quotes a request from you, Evid3nc3, that makes him an ally to…..WW….me? Naw, dude. He made a factually correct call with an instant replay to back him up. A referee is not an ally.

    Actually, I think WW was addressing YOUR opportunity to be an ally by addressing Adam’s dismissive and belittling insults to me. eeeep. Opportunity missed. Sucks to be you.

    But now I’ve been thanked for bringing the at the very least evidence to a discussion that started without it. Wonder why…if it was so necessary, why did the discussion start without it? Who would want to chide others for being wrong before he had, say, an evidential leg to stand on rather than mere rhetoric and speculation?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Seriously? Just wow. I am just blown away at your insistence on responding with unwarranted rudeness to sincere, supportive comments.

      • athyco says:

        Supportive? Adam’s argument was sincere and deserved to be fairly and respectfully addressed without insults or harassment. Why did you ignore the fact that he did NOT so address mine? Have you determined that it was insincere and undeserving?

        SUPPORTIVE? When you won’t acknowledge that you accused me of personal attacks and insults earlier when I NEVER FUCKING DID THAT? When you said that I put the word “innovative” into your definition of social taboo humor when I NEVER FUCKING DID THAT? When you said that I made 40 comments when I NEVER FUCKING DID THAT? When you said that you’d acknowledged the points I’d made earlier when YOU NEVER FUCKING DID THAT? WW gave you links to blogs that you dismissed, so I finally went to pubmed to see if anything could jar you. Unwarranted rudeness…not a single, solitary bit of it. You strawmanned me, you used one of my points in a “damn with faint praise” maneuver with WW. Your “blown away” assertion is manufactured.

        Does that look familiar enough to get through to you?

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Look back at your post. You used the word “innovative”. And look back at my post about the 40 comments. I didn’t accuse *you* of insulting me.

          If you don’t think that my positive responses to you posting those studies was supportive, then I think we are using different definitions.

          Anyhow, I am done corresponding with you. Feel free to respond with more unwarranted accusations. All I can say is that your insistance on hostility towards someone who is trying to be your ally makes me very sad.

  51. athyco says:

    Hooooooo! Ain’t you just slip sliding around? LOL…Darwin said that the eye was…”absurd in the highest possible degree,” didn’t he? If you won’t read the whole thing to acknowledge that I was saying current “social taboo humor” was that stale, misogynist, EASY stuff when it could be innovative, you are hugely dishonest, and I would be a fool to trust you as an ally.

    And I got a thank you for the studies. If I passed you the potatoes at dinner, you’d say “Thank you,” I bet. But when another diner at your table spits on me, you wouldn’t bother to comment?

    And I may have trouble replying to the right comment because I’m not used to your system, but your comment was spaced to the right directly under mine, and this is your joint. You don’t have that excuse. There was NOTHING that indicated the entire comment wasn’t directed at me, and you couldn’t be bothered to clear it up with “Ooops, the last paragraph wasn’t for you” when I first noted it.

    Now, calming and being fair, I note that you did comment briefly at 7:34 and 7:38 about two of the three studies. I am not used to nested comments (as my misapplied comments earlier testify) and did not see them. They don’t offset your ability to ignore Adam’s personal attack and insults to me when you’d complained about them before–from anyone at all. The hugely dishonest quotemining plus the “I’ll protest for me but not for thee”….no, you’re a lip-service ally. You won’t be sad for a moment longer than it takes me to flounce.

  52. Mike says:

    Jebus… I just commented on Greta’s blog about how athyco was right, and I should have given Adam more of a rebuke since I really didn’t agree with him.

    But now I come back and see this shit storm… Athyco, I still disagree with what Adam said. If he was sincere, I think he is at best disgruntled and not up to speed on what feminism actually stands for. (At worst he has a sincere hatred of feminists.)

    But I don’t even know if I agree with you or with evid3nc3. I find it as difficult to read your venomous posts as to read Adam’s.

    I appreciate the anger you must feel when it comes to misogyny and I think it is part of my privileged that I may never be as emotionally invested as you. But goddamn…

    “Whoa, dude.”

  53. Here’s how satire ACTUALLY works… note that it’s easily distinguishable from bigotry:

    http://www.quickmeme.com/Scumbag-Privilege-Denying-rAtheism/?upcoming

    ANd for the author–what straw man? No really, it’s a genuine question. I appreciate the evidence too, but I question the mindset of anybody who DOESN’T think that rape “jokes” are damaging to women and girls, particularly when, as in the case we are discussing, the “jokes” consist primarily of flippant speculation about what it would be like to rape this particular 15 year old girl.

    Seems like you, too, are getting emotional about this, but your emotions are less bound up in the injustice being done to women, and more bound up in the injustice being done to your ego.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      “I question the mindset of anybody who DOESN’T think that rape “jokes” are damaging to women and girls”

      More misrepresentation topped with a side of psychoanalysis. This has nothing to do with my ego. It has everything to do with me terminating conversations where I am constantly criticized for and expected to defend statements that I never made. It’s simply a waste of my time.

      • You are expected to acknowledge that whatever it is you tried to communicate, it didn’t come across. When one person says I’m wrong, and seems to think I said something I didn’t mean, I shrug and move on. When a LOT of people say it, I take a second look at what I said or wrote and try to clarify. I don’t understand what’s stopping you from taking the latter route, rather than doubling down on the wrong.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Let me remind you: I DID take the time to clarify. I spent at least 6 hours yesterday clarifying. It didn’t seem to get through. The misrepresentations continued, again and again, a new misrepresentation in almost every new comment.

          At that point, I conclude that this is not a matter of needed clarification. This is a matter of prejudice. It is a matter of people presuming they already know everything about my position without verifying their assumptions. Conversations like that are a waste of my time. And I’ve wasted quite enough.

      • I mean really, what else are we to conclude when you start off with statements that, regardless of your intent, perform the function of minimizing the bigotry of men who say things like “Tears are nature’s lubricant, haha,” to a teenage girl on the internet, then follow it up with “Oh, there’s STUDIES? Well stop the presses then!” It doesn’t change anything except provide scientific confirmation for what anyone with a brain and a sense of empathy should be able to see: it doesn’t matter whether a dude’s joking or not, when he says things like that to a girl or a woman, it alienates, excludes, and threatens her. I mean, you couldn’t even get on board with the obvious idea that hearing such comments would be perceived as threatening by a girl or woman, especially considering that the odds are 1 in 5 that this girl or woman has already been the victim of a rape or attempted rape.

        I truly don’t understand why you think it’s unfair for people to draw the conclusions that they have. What ELSE were we supposed to think upon observing this chain of events? You think it’s important to make the distinction between “real” bigotry and “satirical” bigotry. You’re wrong, and you’ve been given scientific evidence AS WELL AS well-reasoned arguments that you were wrong. The scientific evidence supports the arguments, but it’s still pretty galling that you wouldn’t accept the well-reasoned arguments until the evidence came along, making it far to embarrassing to continue rejecting those arguments.

  54. WW says:

    Perhaps he’s just trying to prove himself right. He’s under attack and hence he will buckle down rather than open up. Kind of genius really.

    • The studies support what the critics have been saying all along, which is that the answer to the title of the post, “Is it bigotry if it’s satire?” is simply, “YES.”

      In other words, he is simply wrong about the conclusion he drew in this case, and it’s never easy to admit that you’re wrong.

      I agree with him this far: it’s useful to acknowledge the lack of ill intent when none is present. But lack of ill intent doesn’t mean that bigoted statements aren’t bigoted. Even if a man doesn’t actively hate all women, making rape “jokes” like the ones that inspired this whole kerfuffle demonstrate that he doesn’t care enough about them to refrain using them as the butt of degrading jokes. Whether he means to or not, those jokes dehumanize women and encourage men to think of women as walking fleshlights rather than human beings, which is one of the major obstacles women face in trying to interact with the world. Indifference and hatred often have the same result, and “bigotry” is the name we assign to that result.

  55. Jadehawk says:

    how about some evidence for this shitpile:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/g451601664828vh1/
    http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/25/12/2339.abstract
    http://psp.sagepub.com/content/34/2/159.short
    http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1998-07621-003
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.56/abstract

    to sum up: “sarcastic” bigotry is still bigotry; it normalizes bigotry and validates bigots, and constitutes a form of aggression towards the targets of the jokes.

    but why let evidence get in the way of a good “it’s just a joke” rant, eh?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Please post this evidence in the blog post I dedicated to evidence:

      http://evid3nc3.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/evidence-for-negative-effects-from-social-taboo-humor

      (I hope this confirms to you that your prejudice that I don’t value evidence is unwarranted)

      • Jadehawk says:

        not prejudice; conclusion based on available data. there’s a difference. and your defensive tone of that post doesn’t greatly dissuade me from that conclusion. we’ll see.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          How could I have referenced and corrected your “why let evidence get in the way of a good ‘it’s just a joke’ rant, eh?” statement without sounding defensive?

          • WW says:

            and….. how can we who care about the dynamic over on reddit correct the situation without sounding angry….given we are really angry…at both the perpetrators and our allies for how a lot of them are reacting…

      • WW says:

        To be fair evid3nc3 didn’t really every say “it’s just a joke” Jadehawk- He acknowledged what he understood the problem to be (but I think his critics have a different understanding of what the problem is) and then went on to solve the problem as he saw it. Or to try….and then he acknowledged it was not really a solution and that perhaps he was wrong about it being one….

        And got frustrated at not being heard or understood as intended….which is where we all are at this point I think :D

        And then some assholes jumped in and blah blah blahed…
        with no intent to help. Not naming any names though.

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