In an amazing act of bravery, Brian Dalton (aka Mr Deity) has made a video that sternly criticizes the community of people on the internet who vocally denounce rape and rapists. In it, he finally says what the rapistists (those who are prejudiced against men for no reason other than their sexual preference for women who are unwilling/unable to consent) need to hear:

1. Rape allegations are JUST FUCKING RUMORS
and
2. DON’T DRINK IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE BACKBONE TO STOP A RAPIST FROM RAPING YOU

Now, I admit that this is the only part of the video I watched because FUUUUUUUCK YOU, so I freely admit that I could be taking Dalton completely out of context in what could be one of the greatest, most profound and thought-provoking pieces of pro-feminist satire ever to hit the internet. But I’m putting all my money on misogynistic dickbag given that he has a video on the front page of Michael Shermer’s Skeptic Society featuring himself with Shermer in a MythBusters “parody.” (Which I watched long enough to see them putting a strange woman in the backseat of their car to drive her around parking lots to, I guess, bust her myth. *wink wink*)

(trigger. fucking. warning.)

Another shining example of atheists being “good without God” and not at all living up to their reputations as horrible smug assholes. Well done, Mr Deity. WELL DONE!

Elyse

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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160 Comments

  1. Avatar of Amy Roth
    August 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm —

    In the wise words of my grandfather, “You can go shit in your hat.”

  2. Avatar of Improbable Joe
    August 14, 2013 at 4:14 pm —

    WTF is this? Bros before… women who your bro raped?

  3. Avatar of marilove
    August 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm —

    What a condescending ass. He’s talking to women as if they are children and don’t know how to handle their alcohol. “You can just leave the glass full.” OH MY GOD did he not watch this before posting it?!

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe
      August 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm —

      Basically, he’s saying that if you don’t wear your seatbelt, it is OK for another car to crash into you… plus he has contempt for women and thinks getting raped is funny.

      • Avatar of cityzenjane
        August 14, 2013 at 6:29 pm —

        Not just funny….but the obvious and natural outcome of not being able to handle your liquor….which of course is a constant at all times having nothing at all to do with biochem or hormones or anything…you know involving science.

      • Avatar of scribe999
        August 15, 2013 at 1:49 am —

        So, let me get this straight. This is just gossip, and there’s little danger in anything bad happening to you. So stop being so distrustful and paranoid. However, responsibility is on you to take precautions because something bad can probably happen if you don’t. Therefore, don’t pay any credence to potential danger, but pay credence to potential danger.

        • Avatar of cityzenjane
          August 17, 2013 at 2:59 pm —

          …except in cases involving men in the skeptical community because…bitchez be lyin!

          (Nevermind that the atheo/skeptic community doesn’t have an anti-rapist/harasser protecto-dome that keeps the creepers out….and makes it an exceptional community which is male dominated but totally free statisticly speaking of any of the normal demographics you would expect to find….)

  4. Avatar of Ginger
    August 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm —

    Thank you for the demo with the wine glasses, Brian, but I’ve mastered Piaget’s third stage of cognitive development.

  5. Avatar of Infophile
    August 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm —

    …I freely admit that I could be taking Dalton completely out of context in what could be one of the greatest, most profound and thought-provoking pieces of pro-feminist satire ever to hit the internet.

    I watched it through, and there’s nothing that indicates an attempt at satire. Even if it’s supposed to be satire, it doesn’t matter. Scalzi’s Law: The failure mode of “clever” is “jerk.” (Original quote adjusted to remove the body-shaming implications of “asshole.”) Either it’s not parody – in which case he’s a flaming misogynist and lending cover to rapists – or it’s a failed parody – in which case he’s lending cover to rapists despite his intentions. Parody is tough to do right; even All in the Family got misinterpreted by racists to support their preconceived views, and The Colbert Report by conservatives. In this particular case, it’s not anywhere near that quality.

    • Avatar of cityzenjane
      August 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm —

      ….trying to wrap my head around the “body shaming implications of asshole”…..because you know everyone’s got one?
      - This is a genuinely curious inquiry….

      • Avatar of Infophile
        August 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm —

        It’s like calling someone a “cunt” or “dick” as an insult. It implies that, since it’s bad to be a cunt/dick/asshole, there’s something bad about the body parts themselves. Cross-reference the use of “gay” as a pejorative.

        • Avatar of Melanie
          August 14, 2013 at 9:01 pm —

          I think “cunt” and “dick” are problematic because they are specifically gendered insults, which asshole isn’t.

        • Avatar of Nathan
          August 14, 2013 at 10:05 pm —

          But cunt and dick are gendered. Asshole is not.

        • Avatar of Jon Brewer
          August 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm —

          My cousin’s started saying “Using ‘gay’ as an insult is so heterosexual.” Luckily, Shannon County is one of the bluer parts of a red state. But yeah, sexualized insults are just stupid.

          I’ve always said “Say ‘cunt’ again and see if you ever see one.”

        • Avatar of cityzenjane
          August 17, 2013 at 3:02 pm —

          Ah…. OK…I guess I don’t see them as the same but willing to learn.

          Is fuckwad OK?

  6. Avatar of Avery
    August 14, 2013 at 5:09 pm —

    Oh, what’s that? After you’re finished with that absurd tirade, you ask for donations to keep the show going? Hmm, let me think about tha-NO.

  7. Avatar of Rebecca Watson
    August 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm —

    Utter contempt for women who have been raped? Mr. Deity gets more like God every day.

  8. Avatar of Stephanie Zvan
    August 14, 2013 at 5:13 pm —

    Maybe this is just me. Maybe I’m a bit hypercritical about my media. But I do tend to think that “That totally didn’t happen” and “It’s totally your fault that happened” might be better served as messages by being put in two separate videos, maybe even delivered by two separate actors. Anyone else?

    Fucking asshole.

    • Avatar of Andrés
      August 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm —

      I have been noticing that too. It reminds me of that people who believe at the same time that global warming is a hoax and also a totally natural phenomenon. Or that the Moon landings were faked and aliens were found on the Moon. Or that Osama was dead long before he was found, and yet he’s still alive. It’s that kind of conspiracy way of thinking where claims don’t need to be consistent with each other, just with the general underlying general idea that someone is lying: scientists, government, women…

  9. Avatar of Bjornar
    August 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm —

    Dang, I wish I was still subscribed to that channel so I could unsubscribe. Whatever message he wanted to convey he handled it badly there.

    • Avatar of cityzenjane
      August 14, 2013 at 6:33 pm —

      inorite…my first question was “who?”…. kind of glad I have no knowledge of him… but I imagine he is part of a sub-constellation of scummy circle jerking youtubers…who are all blocked..and have been for years now…

  10. Avatar of ulgaa
    August 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm —

    Unsubscribed from his channel this morning after just a small taste of that crap.

  11. Avatar of Besomyka
    August 14, 2013 at 5:44 pm —

    Well, up until now I had a pretty high opinion of Mr. Deity.

    Dude, people saying the shit you just did are WHY people have to be anonymous. Never mind that some of the accusations aren’t from anonymous people and are well documented.

    I’ll hold on to hope that his personal relationship with Shermer is clouding his judgement. I could accept an apology, but… wow.

    • Avatar of Alvaro Ibañez
      August 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm —

      I am pretty convinced his personal relationship with Shermer is severely clouding his judgment, because he appears to be someone who can be convinced by rational arguments and whose core values would likely make him an ally in fighting the abusive culture which seems to permeate the upper levels of the skeptic movement.

      Which is why this article infuriates me so much. A piece so devoid of common sense that it actually makes the absurd claims that the slymepit is filled with regular guys who just got turned off by the feminist voices in the movement sound semi-plausible, is NOT going to help in trying to get Mr. Dalton as an ally.

      And I would sincerely hope no one is more interested in continuing to be outraged rather than gaining an ally in the fight for women’s rights in the movement, So, why take this absurd road?

  12. Avatar of dexeron
    August 14, 2013 at 5:52 pm —

    Argh. I kept waiting, HOPING, for him to say something like “Just kidding. See how ridiculous I sounded? That’s how you hyper-skeptics sound.” It would have still been in terrible taste, but at least it would have been an attempt at satire. Nope. Not even that. So done with Mr. Deity.

  13. Avatar of magicthighs
    August 14, 2013 at 6:03 pm —

    Hey, come on, if you don’t want to get raped, tell your soon-to-be rapist that you don’t want more wine. It’s that simple.

  14. Avatar of JP
    August 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm —

    I’m baffled by who he’s trying to convince here. He spends a lot of time bragging about his Awesome Skeptical Abilities, but is staggeringly tone-deaf about the people he’s attempting (and failing) to persuade.

    • Avatar of cityzenjane
      August 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm —

      Oh I don’t think this display is for the ladies so they can you know better protect themselves….this is providing rhetorical cover for creepy men. If it was advice he would clearly have more experience with an active interest in avoiding rape himself, and therefore perhaps be qualified in some way.

      This is a performance for his friends…for back slapping purposes at the next meeting of the That’ll Learnem, Stupid Hoes Camp.

  15. Avatar of Tom Foss
    August 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm —

    Now, I admit that this is the only part of the video I watched because FUUUUUUUCK YOU,

    I love that independent clause so much. Elyse, you’re amazing.

    • Avatar of Tom Foss
      August 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm —

      Not sure what happened there. I was trying to quote this: “Now, I admit that this is the only part of the video I watched because FUUUUUUUCK YOU.”

  16. Avatar of ryang
    August 14, 2013 at 6:22 pm —

    It’s nice of him to tell us so clearly not to give him any more money. I wonder if I can get a refund?

  17. Avatar of cityzenjane
    August 14, 2013 at 6:23 pm —

    …..oh…that guy looks like my dear dead dad! EEEP!

    (shake it off uck!)

  18. Avatar of cityzenjane
    August 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm —

    ….love the bit about confirmation bias….

    YES I *really* want it to be true that trusted people in my community are seriously morally compromised doucheweasels…. This has all been such a joyous ride…

    WHAT.AN.ASS.

  19. Avatar of Kerry Maxwell
    August 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm —

    I always got a strong waft of narcissistic dingleberry from this guy, but I thought it was all part of the act. “Just keep your legs closed ladies!”. The problem with organized skepticism isn’t the herding cats problem, it’s that too many of the shepherds are assholes.

    • Avatar of Felicity
      August 14, 2013 at 7:04 pm —

      “The problem with organized skepticism isn’t the herding cats problem, it’s that too many of the shepherds are assholes.”

      QFT

      • Avatar of maggie
        August 14, 2013 at 11:03 pm —

        “The problem with organized skepticism isn’t the herding cats problem, it’s that too many of the shepherds are assholes.”
        re-QFT

        Dammit, and I was just fucking raising a (not wine) glass to Brian because of his remarks on Ashley’s video. Trolls were practicing their Justicar-brand Junior Hypserskeptical Crash Investigator method on her and Brian was arguing against their ridiculous demands. And when he pointed out he was a witness, he got the same treatment . It’s difficult for me to reconcile that with this video.

  20. Avatar of onamission5
    August 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm —

    Listen, Mr. Deity,
    Ain’t no mountain high enough
    Ain’t no vally low enough
    Ain’t no rift that’s deep enough
    Ain’t no river wide enough, Mr. Deity,

    To keep you the fuck away from me.

  21. Avatar of Cygore
    August 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm —

    In the beginning, I thought it might have been satire, but it wasn’t. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that his wife divorced him.

  22. Avatar of Mike Haubrich
    August 14, 2013 at 7:02 pm —

    I have a picture of myself with Brian K. Dalton on Facebook. I think I need to take it down now.

    I do have an idea of what “confirmation bias” is. I don’t think it means what he thinks it means. I am getting sick of the people I really like, the public figures turning out to be such jerks.

  23. Avatar of notinmyname2050
    August 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm —

    This is particularly disappointing given Mister D’s own recent exchanges in the comments section of Ashley Paramore’s (helathyaddict) Sexual Assault at a Conference video. Even after he came forward as a witness to the event people continued trying to undermine Ashley’s version of events. Given that he has first hand knowledge of the level of rabid, unhinged vitriol being aimed at someone who gave up their own anonymity while not releasing their attacker’s identity, how is it so hard to imagine that people don’t want to add insult to injury by having their personal lives turned into the movement’s political football when they try to warn others about predatory behaviour?
    Then, of course, there’s the victim blaming. Fuck that shit. If a woman out for a weekend of fun with friends she hardly ever sees wants to cut loose this does not for one second shift blame from the kind of sick, pathetic fuck that would prey on women in that way. In his attempt to protect his buddy he has just insulted every victim that has ever been coerced or taken advantage of after having a few drinks. If I could, I would sit him down and make him watch coverage of the Steubenville case on a loop with his own words playing over to see how long it would take for him to just fucking get it already.
    RRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWRRR!!!!!!

  24. Avatar of notinmyname2050
    August 14, 2013 at 7:21 pm —

    Final thought that popped into my head after I hit submit.
    What does it imply when his defense of this is not to claim that it did not happen, but that the person could have stopped drinking anytime they wanted? Has he just unwittingly lent credence to the facts of the accusation (Shermer got someone shitfaced and had sex with her), if not the conclusion (it was rape).
    Not stating that that is definitely the case but I’m having a hard time to see how it can be taken any other way.

  25. Avatar of Robert Schenck
    August 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm —

    Why is it that seemingly every guy connected to the skeptic/atheist community is turning out to be a huge douche? I’m really disappointed by Mr. Deity, enjoyed his other stuff, but now he reveals himself to be a horrible creep.

  26. Avatar of Artemisia
    August 14, 2013 at 7:57 pm —

    The fact that as a person drinks, their ability to make an informed decision about continuing to drink is actually recognised in law here (Australia) where it is an offence to continue to supply drinks to an intoxicated person. So our laws actually recognise that people who are drinking can not simply make the decision to stop, and are not a good judge of their own level of intoxication.

    • Avatar of Will
      August 15, 2013 at 10:08 am —

      So simple, yet so brilliant.

      Wake the fuck up, USA.

      • Avatar of onamission5
        August 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm —

        In some US states,* if a person drinks, drives, and has an accident in which someone is harmed regardless of whether the victim was sober or drunk, the person who served the driver can be found liable for this very reason. Funny how that is the case for being a victim of driving but it is not the case for being raped. Oh wait, no it isn’t funny at all.

        *well, at least OR for sure because liability was part of my beer and wine server’s training

  27. Avatar of scribe999
    August 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm —

    Isn’t this the same guy who said that Rebecca was somehow curtailing “free speech” with her video that-shall-not-be-named?

  28. Avatar of LawnBoy
    August 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm —

    If he had reserved his comments only to the anonymous nature of the Gospels, I wouldn’t have had a problem with that, because I would have assumed he was addressing the anonymous name-naming Tumblr. I know there’s a diversity of opinion about that Tumblr even on the pro-feminism side of the debate, and I don’t have a firm opinion on it myself, so it wouldn’t have bothered me.

    However, he didn’t leave it there. Instead, with his talk about wine, etc., he was obviously addressing the Shermer allegations, which were _not anonymous_. Names were withheld, yes, but that doesn’t mean the allegations were anonymous. For the Tumblr, anyone could have submitted anything, and it would have been easy for completely invented stories to become widespread (maybe some were). But for Shermer, PZ and Poppy (and maybe others?) had some information and corroboration. Sure, to Shermer, the difference might not matter since he doesn’t know who to respond to, but morally it is different.

    And that doesn’t even get into the wine bullshit.

  29. Avatar of notinmyname2050
    August 14, 2013 at 8:36 pm —

    From the video:
    “The other problem here is confirmation bias: the tendency to see only what we wanna see.”
    Never has anyone been so right AND so wrong at the same time.

  30. Avatar of DrJen
    August 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm —

    Yeah, ‘cus when I’m hanging with my friends, there’s usually this point in the evening where I say to myself, oh, shoot…it’s rape o’clock. I’d better stop drinking so I don’t get raped by my friends.
    That’s why I’m going to stop making money. I don’t want to tempt the robbers.

    • Avatar of maggie
      August 14, 2013 at 11:21 pm —

      @DrJen “Yeah, ‘cus when I’m hanging with my friends, there’s usually this point in the evening where I say to myself, oh, shoot…it’s rape o’clock. I’d better stop drinking so I don’t get raped by my friends.”

      Comment and phrase of the week. We need a shirt – “Could someone please tell me when it’s Rape O’Clock so I can stop drinking, dressing like a slut and ‘asking for it’?”

    • Avatar of Stephanie Zvan
      August 14, 2013 at 11:31 pm —

      CotW

    • Avatar of delphi_ote
      August 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm —

      Friends? Please! We’re talking about an incredibly minor celebrity here. You should be honored by his unwanted attention.

  31. Avatar of Nathan
    August 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm —

    I saw this when I got the update in my email since I’ve been subscribed to Mr. Deity since season 1.

    I unsubscribed immediately.

    Then washed my hands, ’cause that’s what you have to do in these situations.

  32. Avatar of daedalus2u
    August 14, 2013 at 11:28 pm —

    I thank all of you who watched the video so that I don’t have to.

  33. Avatar of Chris
    August 15, 2013 at 12:27 am —

    It really hurts to see how these people (who I have admired and quoted and skeptic-atheist-worshipped) really think of me, as a woman. When these same sorts of things happen in the religious community I don’t see them saying ‘oh those people totally deserved to be assaulted’ or ‘they’re lying’. I think I’m just about done with the skeptic ‘community’ on the national/big name level. My local groups don’t seem to have issues like this. Crap.

    • Avatar of ufischer
      August 17, 2013 at 3:53 pm —

      Chris: “t really hurts to see how these people (who I have admired and quoted and skeptic-atheist-worshipped) really think of me, as a woman. When these same sorts of things happen in the religious community I don’t see them saying ‘oh those people totally deserved to be assaulted’ or ‘they’re lying’. I think I’m just about done with the skeptic ‘community’ on the national/big name level. My local groups don’t seem to have issues like this. Crap.”

      Actually, Chris, This is exactly what happens in many Catholic and Jewish communities and what routinely happens and is even enshrined in Sharia Law in Muslim communities. The priest is the mouthpiece of God and any suggestion that he (and it is always a he, of course) is less than perfect is taken to be inspired by the Devil and obviously false. Prior to Dawkins’ deplorable response to Rebecca’s video on her IEI, I thought we were better than that. Evidently, I was a tad over-optimistic.

  34. Avatar of biogeo
    August 15, 2013 at 12:37 am —

    Wow. I always enjoyed Mr. Deity: it’s a bit mean, but basically fair, and clever. I don’t have a lot of spare cash to contribute to projects like this right now, but Mr. Deity has been on my list of things to support once I can afford it.

    So much for that. I won’t be able to watch those videos any more without thinking that this is the guy who said “It totally didn’t happen, and anyway, she deserved it for drinking so much.” And then, demonstrating a stunning lack of self-awareness, invoked confirmation bias (as though the belief that skeptical leaders are rapists was ever anyone’s default position). It kind of undercuts the whole message of the show.

  35. Avatar of KRS
    August 15, 2013 at 1:32 am —

    It doesn’t appear to be satire. Brian Dalton’s Facebook page is public and comes up in an internet search for “Brian K. Dalton” (without quotes). His most recent post at this point is a critique of PZ Myers and his commentors for forming opinions about Shermer without the benefit of a trial. Given that he’s clearly picked a side in this dispute, this video probably represents his true feelings.

  36. Avatar of Christopher Shelton
    August 15, 2013 at 3:04 am —

    The part about spine was pure hatred. His friend got accused so he got mad at the accuser and unloaded that hatred, with a thin veneer of “wit” smeared over it. Maybe he isn’t a misogynist (ha!), but he’s vindictive and irrational like a motherfucker when it comes to backing up his homies.

    Add me to the “Dude wasn’t even fucking funny” list. Haven’t wasted time watching one of those in a while. The soundtrack and all the reaction shots of deadpan expressions were using production and vamping to cover for a fundamental lack of funny. The most played out of played out shticks.

    BTW, I’m a decent artist and I’ve noticed a serious lack of good art supporting the atheist and skeptic communities. (I care more about the atheism side, seeing it as a social justice issue almost more than a “keepin’ it real” thing.)

    Anyhow, I’d might be willing to do pro-bono work for someone who is a good writer, if they wanted to make a comic or two. Because as the Skepchicks keep demonstrating, the progressive side of atheism and skepticism doesn’t have a shortage of good writers.

    • Avatar of punchdrunk
      August 15, 2013 at 4:03 am —

      The ‘ART’ tab at the top of the page will take you to Mad Art Lab. You can contact the skepchick artists there.

      • Avatar of Christopher Shelton
        August 15, 2013 at 6:30 am —

        Haha, that’s egg all the hell over my face. You got mad artists in the cabinet. In fairness to me, I am close to totally unfamiliar with this site. I only end up reading articles here when linked to off FtB or the like.

        I was just thinking of how low the bar is on the atheist side of things that this guy was able to stretch this particular joke this thin – that this is what passes for humor. I get that Jesus and Moe – for example – is not meant to be a laff riot, but why don’t we get something more fun, outside of occasional nods by smbc or xkcd? I know naught of ye cool skeptic types.

        • Avatar of punchdrunk
          August 15, 2013 at 8:19 am —

          Well, you can’t ‘win’ an argument about art, and arguing seems to be the main sport of skepticism.
          And scientists are just terrible comedians.

  37. Avatar of Ziggy66
    August 15, 2013 at 7:41 am —

    I’m disappointed as I’ve always enjoyed his work. I guess you can leave the Mormons, but the mormon doesn’t always leave you.

  38. Avatar of mrmisconception
    August 15, 2013 at 8:18 am —

    I would be curious to see how his other friend, Carrie Poppy, feels about this.
    Can someone ask her?

    I am getting tired of having to move people from the respected to the previously-respected side of the ledger. There you go, Brian Keith Dalton, right between Penn Jillette and Harriet Hall. Now you behave yourself Gervais, don’t want to have to move your ass too…

    *sigh*

  39. Avatar of John Meredith
    August 15, 2013 at 8:32 am —

    I don’t know very much about Mr Deity and I realise that this whole discussion is liable to get heated, but, to be fair, I think he is only suggesting that all adults are capable of deciding to get drunk or not in the face of some commentators who seem to want to deny this. He doesn’t suggest that it is ever OK to rape a woman (or man), drunk or sober.

    • Avatar of mrmisconception
      August 15, 2013 at 9:18 am —

      To be fair, he did strongly imply that people who don’t refuse a refill have no self control. And that anonymous accusations are merely gossip. And that believing anything that you don’t personally witness makes you “no real skeptic”.
      All of this ignoring the truths of this case (the report was not anonymous, predators ply people with liquor, liquor inhibits self-control, skeptics rightly believe all kinds of things on the say-so of trusted sources, etc., etc., etc.)

      No, his friend was attacked so he attacked the attackers. I’ve heard things from him that were misogynist before, I wrote them of as being part of the Deity character. I’ve gone back and reviewed earlier videos and it spills over into the addendum quite often.

      • Avatar of onamission5
        August 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm —

        And…

        People should be able to drink however much they want without getting raped, because other people don’t rape them, because that would be wrong.

        If I am drunk so I forget to lock my front door and someone comes into my house and kills me, I’m not partially to blame for my own murder. If I am drunk and someone follows me out of the bar then beats the hell out of me, I’m not partially responsible for my own assault. Why is the standard different for forced sex than it is for a forced beating or a forced ending of my life?

        • Avatar of lofgren
          August 19, 2013 at 1:23 am —

          If you are drunk and forget to lock your door and somebody comes into your house and rapes you, nobody would say you are partially to blame for your own rape, either. The bedroom is one of two places a woman is supposed to be. Unless the rapist is your husband. You did fight back hard enough that you had to be brutally beaten into submission, right?

          A better analogy would be if you went out and got drunk and then started waving a giant wad of cash around the bar and bragging about having tons of cash on you. If somebody then mugs you, I think a lot of people would in fact say it was partially your fault for being so stupid. “Having a vagina” is like “waving lots of cash around,” and “dressing slutty” is like bragging about all your money.

          I know this can get confusing, so let me break it down for you.

          HOW TO TELL IF YOU ARE TO BLAME FOR YOUR OWN RAPE

          1. Were you in a completely private place like your own home, or a completely public place like a busy grocery store? Private places accessible to the public, like your car, or public places that afford privacy, like a dark alley, do not count. If the answer is no, give yourself one point.

          2. Have you ever met your rapist before? Think hard. Your rapist may have mistaken a friendly smile while standing in line at the bank as an invitation to have sex. If the answer is yes, give yourself one point. If you have ever had sex with your rapist before, give yourself two points. If you are married to your rapist, give yourself infinity points.

          3. Were you dressed appropriately? Appropriate dress starts with undergarments, which should be either long underwear or pantaloons. On top of the long underwear, add your frumpiest sweatsuit. On top of the sweatsuit, you should be wearing an ankle length dress. If you were not dressed appropriately, give yourself one point. If you were dressed appropriately, but didn’t look sexy enough, give yourself one point because you probably needed to be taught a lesson.

          4. Were you a virgin at the time of your rape? Have you had sex since your rape? If the answer to either question is yes, give yourself one point.

          If your score is higher than zero, you are probably to blame for your rape.

          So rich people, leave your giant wads in your pocket. And ladies, leave your vaginas at home. It’s the only way to be sure.

          • Avatar of Otoki
            August 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm

            I love this post so hard I reposed on FB with your username. Too amazing.

    • Avatar of delphi_ote
      August 15, 2013 at 5:11 pm —

      “to be fair” Quite the contrary. Try again. Maybe something along the lines of “to completely miss the point of the video” or “to demonstrate that I don’t get the ‘joke’ Brian made” or even “to run cover for all this victim blaming.”

  40. Avatar of dr. dr. professor
    August 15, 2013 at 10:45 am —

    Things like this is why I don’t want anything to do with a formal skeptic movement. Because it’s full of ranting, babbling fools like this one who make ego-masturbation videos and then, some years later, turn around and destroy all of their own skeptic credibility by being horribly sexist or racist. And there are thousands of non-famous skeptics who follow suit, lame.

    I think Skepchick is different because it doesn’t just challenge sexism in the so-called “skeptic community”, but in general in the political left, STEM, and non-religious circles who think themselves immune to sexism.

  41. Avatar of jthewonderllama
    August 15, 2013 at 10:56 am —

    God, what an asshole! Thanks for the heads up. I actually had to figure out my youtube password just so I could unsubscribe.

  42. Avatar of TheWireMonkey
    August 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm —

    Perhaps we need to change the narrative completely when talking about rape to point out that there are consequences for men too for getting drunk and/or not being able to say no…

    We say to young men: The world is a dangerous place for young men. If a person is drunk, they cannot consent to sexual activity, therefore you might rape someone so don’t have sex with people who are intoxicated. Would we then hear, upon an accusation being made, “Well, what did he expect, she was drunk?” or “Why was he drinking so much that he got out of control and couldn’t stop himself? It’s his fault that he couldn’t comprehend that he was raping someone.” How about: Avoid social situations in which you might be pressured into sexually abusing someone–if you do not have enough willpower to stop an assault that you are witnessing, or to say no to a gang-rape, you should not put yourself in that situation.

    I don’t know if I worded that correctly, but the onus is always on the victim to somehow be omniscient to the motives of everyone around her/him. Teaching men not to rape because it has devastating consequences for the victim doesn’t seem to be all that effective–men who rape clearly don’t give a shit about their victims, so maybe appealing to their own self-interest would work.

    • Avatar of ufischer
      August 18, 2013 at 11:59 am —

      I completely agree, TWM, the idea that rape is no big deal has to be stamped out and it begins with educating young men. Dalton in his rebuttal video to all the vitriol on this site among others also appears to agree with you. From everything Dalton has actually said, it is pretty clear that he agrees that “No”, no response (possibly because the woman has passed out), or “Yesh, do whatcha gotta do” all count as “No, I have not given you permission to fuck me”. Men should only have sex with the enthusiastic and willing participation of a partner or simply whack solo. If they don’t have that enthusiastic participation, but still have sex with another person, it is rape, and rape is never the fault of the victim, no matter what the circumstances. As Dalton and some people here point out, Dalton was completely supportive of Ashley Paramore. He also left the Mormons (I always thought there were too many “m”s in that word :) ) over their completely immoral dogma about rape. I find this piling on to Dalton as if he was the one accused of being a sexual predator kind of repulsive. There is nothing reprehensible about not wanting to believe a friend is acting badly and wanting to defend that person (regardless of the person’s gender). As others have pointed out, the accusations coming out one at a time alleging sexist and harassing behavior by men in leadership positions in skeptical organizations will likely continue and eventually become a flood as more women are emboldened by the courage of their sisters in the movement to tell their stories. Dr. Stoltznow and Carrie Poppie both have considerable credibility and it is extremely difficult to believe the hypothesis that they are making their stories up for some nefarious purpose. It is far from obvious what they might gain from coming forward and extremely obvious what they stand to lose. So far no-one seems to have come forward in person (not anonymously) to accuse Shermer. When (and at this point this is still not a foregone conclusion) dozens of other victims come forward with their own stories about bad behavior by Shermer — even if they remain anonymous, if Dalton is still clinging to the hypothesis that Shermer and whoever else is shown to be acting badly are being framed, THAT’s the time to pile on and call Dalton an ass-hole. At this point, all he is guilty of is supporting a friend and supporting the principle that rumors and gossip are not adequate bases for coming to a conclusion about someone’s character. Points with which I would hope all skeptics could agree. If all I read was what was posted here and didn’t actually review Dalton’s two videos, I might be inclined to withdraw my monthly pittance from his video production funds, but at this point, IMHO, Dalton has done far more good for the skeptical movement and by extension humanity than several gigabytes of comments like the ones I’m seeing here.

      • Avatar of Melanie
        August 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm —

        From everything Dalton has actually said, it is pretty clear that he agrees that “No”, no response (possibly because the woman has passed out), or “Yesh, do whatcha gotta do” all count as “No, I have not given you permission to fuck me”.

        Unless you’re drunk, in which case you need to take personal responsibility for not drinking so much. No matter how many “nevers” he put in after the fact, that was the point of the drinking segment of his first video. What other possible reason did he have for including it? And what possible reason could he give that would make it any less insulting, condescending, and belittling of women in any context? If he wanted to demonstrate that he does indeed unequivocally support rape victims, that he is not victim blaming, he would need to at a minimum start by apologizing for doing the wine glass schtick in the first place. It was demeaning and sexist AT BEST.

        His disclaimer followup said that he was only responding to the woman describing Shermer’s MO of keeping her wine glass full without her realizing it, but that story was corroborating the original woman’s story, that he coerces women with alcohol into a position where they cannot consent. And he misrepresented the entire situation by role-playing it as someone *asking* if they can refill a person’s glass, which is not what Shermer is accused of doing.

        His whole leaving Mormonism story demonstrates only that he is against victim blaming if he believes it was rape-rape. Clearly, it’s not rape if a woman is drunk, if there aren’t witnesses to the rape itself (there are witnesses to Shermer’s tactics and witnesses to the woman’s state afterward and to her filing a report, but that’s clearly not enough).

        Simply calling these accounts rumors and gossip is itself dismissive in a clearly sexist way. The word “gossip” is as common as the word “hysteria” to dismiss women. A firsthand account is not gossip or a rumor. Anonymous women aren’t gossiping about their own experiences, FFS.

        He supported Ashley after the fact only because he witnessed it. That makes it rape-rape to him. A woman saying she was raped clearly doesn’t count.

        He didn’t just do a piece about supporting his friend and believing him to be innocent or wanting to withhold judgment. That would have been understandable. He chose instead to mock women and rape victims. There’s no clarification that could make this defensible. An apology for doing it in the first place should have been the centerpiece of what was essentially a CYA second video.

        • Avatar of cityzenjane
          August 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm —

          ….the “it’s just gossip” meme has been especially virulent….

        • August 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm —

          What is the Mormon attitude toward rape? I know more of their bizarre racial views (See? Both Lakota and Hebrew have a lot of velar sounds! LOL), and the fundamentalist LDS groups that would rather marry three ten-year-olds than a thirty-year-old, but not their attitude toward rape.

          Oh, wait, *googles it* Nasty stuff. The BOM teaches that virginity is more important than your life.

  43. Avatar of Ubi Dubium
    August 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm —

    I had always liked Mr. Deity videos before. While watching this one, I was scratching my head wondering whether he was really being so awful, or whether it was meant as a satire. Sometimes he’s done some really good satire, but this one seemed not to be heading that way. I kept waiting for the punchline, for the camera to cut to Amy/Lucy standing nearby with her arms crossed and scowling, followed by an abject apology from Brian. But it never came.

    Then I thought about the recent video with Dalton and Shermer. And that I got the video link from an e-skeptic email. (I’ve now unsubscribed from e-skeptic) I am extremely disappointed. But I guess I’m not surprised. This whole thing has left a sour taste in my brain, as more and more people I once thought were pretty OK turn out to be jerks. Crap.

    • Avatar of cityzenjane
      August 18, 2013 at 7:57 pm —

      Whenever you are wondering “is this satire (or comedy)”….. check to see if the satirist or comedian is punching up…or down.

      Satirists take on the powerful not the oppressed.

  44. Avatar of delphi_ote
    August 15, 2013 at 5:16 pm —

    If anyone ever sees Brian Dalton drunk, take his wallet.

  45. Avatar of Susannah
    August 15, 2013 at 7:08 pm —

    But it’s all “gossip”! Ugh. But I didn’t turn off the video there; too horrified to act. So I went on to see his smug, condescending advice about turning down a refill.* And then his plea for money. No, no, no, no, never!

    I forgot, until just now, that I’m subscribed on YouTube. I’ll unsubscribe immediately.

    *My daughter, who rarely drinks, had her punch spiked in a college party. She woke up hours later, lying on the lawn, with no idea how she got there. But anything that happened in the interval would have been entirely her fault, wouldn’t it? She should have refused that second glass. She should have noticed the odd taste. She should have …

    Good riddance, Mr. Deity.

  46. Avatar of ryan72
    August 16, 2013 at 3:50 am —

    Is that video for real? I’m finding it really difficult to get this into my head without frying all the circuits.
    Surely it must have been satire? If not, then fuck you Mr Deity.

  47. Avatar of Christopher Shelton
    August 16, 2013 at 4:39 am —

    Sorry Ryan. I’m sure you didn’t want to deploy that “fuck you Mr Deity,” but deploy it you must.

  48. Avatar of John Meredith
    August 16, 2013 at 7:47 am —

    ” If a person is drunk, they cannot consent to sexual activity”

    But you can and, I am guessing, we all have (I have at least). I think there is a misunderstanding here which is generating a lot of friction. As far as I can tell, nobody is suggesting that it is acceptable to have sex with someone who is incapacitated with drink, but if a drunk adult CONSENTS to sex, well that is different entirely. If a person consenting to sex while drunk cannot be held accountable for their actions, how can we hold accountable people who rape while they are drunk? Would anyone really want to say that a drunk rapist has no choice?

    • Avatar of Ms. Daisy Cutter
      August 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm —

      John Meredith, you fucking idiot, people cannot legally consent to sex while drunk. Buzzed sex is not drunk sex. Rapists rely on assholes like you spouting this shit to cover up their crimes.

      Fuck you, and fuck your disgusting comparisons of rape victims to rapists.

      • Avatar of John Meredith
        August 19, 2013 at 8:27 am —

        Yes, people can legally consent to sex while drunk, unless you have a special definition of drunk such as ‘incapacitated with drink’.
        As to your other point, you didn’t read carefully enough. Or perhaps you were a little ‘buzzed’?

        • Avatar of Melanie
          August 19, 2013 at 10:01 am —

          In the US, it is rape if the victim is incapacitated by alcohol: criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-charges/sexual-assault-overview.html

          In general, sexual assault is involuntary sexual contact that
          occurs through the actors use of force, coercion or the victim’s
          incapacitation. The law will consider the victim incapacitated
          if they do not have the mental ability to understand the nature
          of the sexual acts, or if they are physically incapable of
          indicating their unwillingness to participate in the sexual
          conduct. Common examples of these charges may arise from
          the use of alcohol or date rape drugs, both of which can make
          it impossible for a victim to legally consent to sexual conduct.

          • Avatar of John Meredith
            August 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

            Yes, in the UK too. But simply drinking so much that your usual judgement is impaired and then consenting to sex cannot be rape. I am not sure in this case, but that latter state of affairs does seem to be what is being implied.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            August 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

            It can be and *is* rape. Impaired judgment is part of the legal meaning of “incapacitated.” A contract is void if one party signed while intoxicated, not because they were physically incapable of signing but because their judgment is impaired. A drunk person cannot legally give medical consent except in very specific emergency situations. The blood alcohol minimum for DUI is not set where a person is incapable of driving but at where their judgment is too impaired for them to drive safely.

          • Avatar of John Meredith
            August 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

            “A contract is void if one party signed while intoxicated, not because they were physically incapable of signing but because their judgment is impaired.”

            No, it isn’t, not in the UK. You can apply to a court to void a contract on the grounds that you were incapacitated, but the court will consider all circumstances. If you were voluntarily drunk and the other party had no reason to believe that you were unable to make reasonable judgments (and this can be quite a high barrier) the court is unlikely to allow the cancellation. You can understand why.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            August 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

            So you’re arguing that a man who is drinking with a woman and supplying her alcohol can reasonably not know she is drunk? Or even that a person not drinking with a woman but having sex with her does not know that she is drunk? So Shermer is mentally incompetent? Or he’s so insensitive to his sexual partners that he can’t tell if they are drunk? That alone presents a strong case that he didn’t care whether he got consent or not. That’s your argument?

            Or should I say, that’s your argument now, because before, it was just that it’s not rape if the woman’s judgment was impaired by alcohol. Your goal posts have some sweet wheels on them.

          • Avatar of John Meredith
            August 20, 2013 at 6:22 am

            I am saying that contract law isn’t going to help us much here, it has been designed for a very different purpose. But my view is that it cannot be rape if a woman consents to sex, even if she has been drinking alcohol. This is for many reasons, not the least of which is respect for the autonomy of women. Obviously, the situation is completely different if the woman is incapacitated by alcohol, or is in such a condition that she cannot be said to understand what she is consenting to, but that does not seem to be what is being claimed.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            August 20, 2013 at 10:09 am

            The contract example, among others, just illustrates that legally, across law domains, “incapacitated” includes having your judgment impaired. In this case, she was incapacitated by alcohol and could not consent. That is exactly the case here. Respecting the autonomy of women means respecting that they have the right not to be raped, whether they are drunk or not.

          • Avatar of John Meredith
            August 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm

            “Respecting the autonomy of women means respecting that they have the right not to be raped, whether they are drunk or not.”

            Absolutely it does. But it also means accepting that women who have been drinking are as capable of making autonomous decisions about their sex lives (and other things) as men who have been drinking. I am assuming that in the case we are talking about the woman gave her consent but later regretted it because she felt she wouldn’t have consented if she had not had wine. If that is the case, she was not raped. If she was unconscious through drink or so drunk she did not know what was happening to her or what was being said to her, it would be rape.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            August 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

            The woman said she was unable to consent. Full stop. Being incapacitated does not mean being unconscious, although it includes that as well as including impaired judgment.

            The assumption you are making is that she is lying about being unable to consent. What reason do you have to make that assumption? It’s extraordinarily far fetched. Your Occam’s razor needs sharpening.

          • Avatar of John Meredith
            August 21, 2013 at 5:53 am

            I am not assuming anyone is lying, although, honestly, lying is not such an unusual thing as to need to bother Brother Occam with it (if it were, what need would there be for skeptics?). But the impression I took from the comments made so far seemed to indicate that she had been drinking, but not that she was incapacitated by drink. I may be wrong, but I am pretty sure that that is the interpretation that people like Mr Deity jumped to as well, which is why I think there is a large dose of misunderstanding infecting this debate. People can be, and often are, poor witnesses, even of their own actions.

          • Avatar of mrmisconception
            August 21, 2013 at 7:47 am

            Oh, absolutely.
            People lie there is nothing extraordinary about that, I just have to wonder why you would assume that the victim is lying while not even considering that Mr. Shermer might be lying?
            Perhaps a question you should ask yourself.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            August 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

            Lying is not unusual, but lying about rape is. Out of 6% of false accusations, 1.5-2% are women lying, and most are in cases of stranger accusations, not acquaintance rape. The others include parents making accusations on behalf of minors, women subjected to further abuse for reporting rape by abusive partners, and similar. If your default assumption is that she consented and regretted it, you are assuming she’s lying because she said she was unable to consent. She said she was raped. You are making the least likely scenario your default assumption. To assume she is lying is an extraordinary claim. Do you have extraordinary evidence to support it? Or do you just assume she’s lying because she’s a woman?

            The “poor witness” bit is more goal post shifting. She can’t be both telling the truth but just misremembering that she was raped (which is absurd with a rape) if she knows she consented and just regrets it. So which is it? And what extraordinary evidence to do you have to support either extraordinarily unlikely assumption?

          • August 21, 2013 at 10:28 am

            To suggest that someone may be lying is not an extraordinary claim, but we needn’t argue about it because I am not making that suggestion. But, yes, she may be wrong about whether or not she was raped (although I don’t think she uses the word ‘rape’ does she? That might be significant). If she simply drank enough to act in a way that she would not normally act, and then consented to sex, she was not raped even if she believes she was. If, on the other hand, she was so drunk as to be incapable and while in that condition someone had sex with her, she was raped.

            The arguments from stats aren’t helpful, in fact I think they are a bit silly. If you insist on them they lead in all sorts of uncomfortable directions.

            Again, I don’t have a view on thee truth or otherwise of this claim, but it seems obvious to me that there is a bit of static causing confusion. Nobody seems to be suggesting that a drunk woman can be or should be raped with impunity, instead, some people are arguing that consent given when drinking, even drinking very heavily, still amounts to consent and therefore not rape against what they see as an attempt to blur that particular line. I have some sympathy with that, partly because I think there is a tendency to infantalise women in these discussions, from the impulse to protect.It is not a trivial point because it is essential, in a free society with pretentions to equality, to insist on the personal autonomy of adults, and especially women (whose autonomy is most likely to be challenged), and that includes when drinking or while drunk (with the previously mentioned caveats).

          • August 21, 2013 at 10:29 am

            ” I just have to wonder why you would assume that the victim is lying while not even considering that Mr. Shermer might be lying?”

            I don’t assume anything. See above.

          • August 21, 2013 at 11:30 am

            Would you be making these same arguments if the drug involved was rohypnol or ecstasy or lsd?
            Just because alcohol is a legal drug that is allowed (and even expected) to be used to soften up a possible victim sexual partner does not mean that it is correct or that a rape didn’t occur.
            The fact that you are trying so hard to find a bright line between what is and isn’t rape makes me question your sincerity. If a person gives you consent while sober there is no rape, if ze consent only after incapacitated with drink (regardless of who was pouring) it is rape, and somewhere in between there is a line where it moves from the former to the latter and if you really do not wish to be a rapist it is best not to venture into that space.
            Period.

          • Avatar of Rebecca Watson
            August 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

            To suggest that someone may be lying is not an extraordinary claim, but we needn’t argue about it because I am not making that suggestion.

            I said that assuming she is lying about rape is an extraordinary claim. But great, so you have changed your mind about your assumption that she consented to sex and now regrets it. Good. Because that is an accusation that she is lying when she says she was unable to consent and that she was raped.

            I don’t think she uses the word ‘rape’ does she? That might be significant.

            So you’ve been arguing about this this entire time without having read the original post? She did say she was raped:

            I reached out to one organization that was involved in the event at which I was raped, and they refused to take my concerns seriously.

            Emphasis mine.

            If she simply drank enough to act in a way that she would not normally act, and then consented to sex, she was not raped even if she believes she was.

            You keep asserting this despite my having shown you that legally, in the US, this is rape. If you are going to continue making this assertion, back it up, please.

            The arguments from stats aren’t helpful, in fact I think they are a bit silly. If you insist on them they lead in all sorts of uncomfortable directions.

            Making assertions without backing them up is a bit silly. Continuing to make those assertions despite evidence to the contrary is more than a bit silly, especially with the seriousness of the accusation. Making any sort of argument when you clearly didn’t read the original post or you read it and did not comprehend what you read is a waste of your time and mine. And yes, as mrmisconception pointed out, your sincerity is in question, for these reasons as well as the the shifting of your argument throughout this discussion.

          • August 21, 2013 at 12:34 pm

            ” If a person gives you consent while sober there is no rape, if they consent only after incapacitated with drink (regardless of who was pouring) it is rape, and somewhere in between there is a line where it moves from the former to the latter and if you really do not wish to be a rapist it is best not to venture into that space.”

            I am not quite sure what to make of this this. Yes, there may be marginal cases, very difficult to call, but generally we can agree that if a woman (or man for that matter) consents to sex whilst drunk, but not incapacitated with drink, there is no rape. If not a bright line, it is a pretty luminous one. Otherwise you are on a slope that slides towards some very uncomfortable conclusions, such as men being as vulnerable to rape by women as the other way around, or women being biologically less capable of independent thought than men.

            It’s pointless debating the sincerity of an argument (and not very interesting either) because we have nothing to go on but speculation. Best take each other at our word, and examine the ideas rather than the woman behind them.

          • August 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

            “You keep asserting this despite my having shown you that legally, in the US, this is rape. If you are going to continue making this assertion, back it up, please.”

            Melanie, you haven’t shown this. The law in the US is that consent given, even when under the influence of alcohol, is consent, unless the victim is incapacitated to the point where he or she cannot understand the nature of the acts he or she is entering into. There is no argument about incapacitation, but before that, it seems to me (and the law agrees) consent is consent.Think of the ramifications for women if it were otherwise. At what point before incapacitation, should we agree that a person is no longer capable of making his or her own decisions because they have been drinking?

          • August 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

            First, you didn’t answer whether other drugs would change your argument.
            Second, men are more vulnerable to drunk rape but saying that it makes them equally as vulnerable is simply a false dichotomy and while I can see an argument that I am taking away the agency of women (which is not true) I can see no reason why that would have to be a biological effect.
            I am not saying that the entire space between the two extremes is equally problematic, for most people a drink or two would not preclude a clear consent however there are so many variables (how a person handles alcohol, how strong the drinks are, how much you have had to drink, etc.) that the safest bet is to obtain consent before drinking or waiting until sobriety before having sex.
            As for uncomfortable conclusions… well, truths are sometimes uncomfortable.

          • August 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

            “First, you didn’t answer whether other drugs would change your argument.”

            I didn’t want to get bogged down answering every point, but I think the situation is, or should be, the same for any intoxicant: if it incapacitates, you cannot consent, if it doesn’t, you can. Rohypnol, for example, incapacitates by definition.

            And I think the conclusions we end up with are beyond uncomfortable. For example, unless we agree that only women are unable to make decisions while drunk (which is where the biological point comes in, because this cannot be a cultural incapability), then we have to accept that drunk men cannot be capable of rape. So if he has been drinking too, he is in the clear. Other absurdities quickly arise too, such a the possibility of both people in a sexual liaison being the rape victims of each other. But I am surprised that this is so contentious. I have spent a fair amount of time around drunk people and a fair amount of time being drunk myself, it has always been very clear when a person has been ‘past it’ and when they haven’t. I have also, on a number of occasions, slept with women I would have preferred not to, because I was drunk and they came on strong, but I don’t believe that I was raped.

          • Avatar of Rebecca Watson
            August 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm

            Melanie, you haven’t shown this. The law in the US is that consent given, even when under the influence of alcohol, is consent, unless the victim is incapacitated to the point where he or she cannot understand the nature of the acts he or she is entering into. There is no argument about incapacitation, but before that, it seems to me (and the law agrees) consent is consent.Think of the ramifications for women if it were otherwise. At what point before incapacitation, should we agree that a person is no longer capable of making his or her own decisions because they have been drinking?

            Really? You’re going to make me quote myself from these very comments? I quoted US federal law defining sexual assault as occurring through “the actor[']s use of force, coercion, or the victim’s incapacitation,” and the law even give these examples: “Common examples of these charges may arise from the use of alcohol or date rape drugs, both of which can make it impossible for a victim to legally consent to sexual conduct.” I demonstrated that “incapacitated” refers to impaired judgment across legal domains–contract law, personal injury law, and criminal law. Incapacitated does not just refer to being unconscious. Oh, but what are we doing to the autonomy of women and men when we tell them they are not capable of driving when drunk? How infantilizing, right?

            I have shown that drunk consent is not legal consent. You have simply asserted that this is not true, without backing up your assertion at all. The law clearly does not agree that consent is consent. Again: “the use of alcohol . . . can make it impossible for a victim to legally consent to sexual conduct.” And again, incapacitation does not mean passed out or unconscious.

            generally we can agree that if a woman (or man for that matter) consents to sex whilst drunk, but not incapacitated with drink, there is no rape.

            Being drunk is being incapacitated. And if by “we can agree” you mean rapists and people who condone rape, sure. That does seem to be the case. The rest of us, and the law, do not agree. And yes, you can say you don’t condone rape, but your arguments so far paint a different picture. You don’t condone rape because you don’t define rape as rape. That’s condoning rape, John.

            such as men being as vulnerable to rape

            Men aren’t as vulnerable as women, no, but men are vulnerable to rape when drunk. Men do get raped when drunk. Men do get raped by women. The numbers are much smaller, but those men are no more at fault because of their drinking than women are.

            It’s pointless debating the sincerity of an argument (and not very interesting either) because we have nothing to go on but speculation.

            Bullshit. We have evidence that you are not being sincere. Several instances of you goalpost shifting (including two arguments that contradict each other, that she consented and regrets it and then that she was a poor witness). No instances of backing up any of your assertions. When asked to do so directly, you responded with an assertion. Clear evidence that you did not read even the bare minimum about this subject, the single paragraph of testimony from the woman herself, much less any of the corroborating testimony. Clear evidence of you cherry picking (e.g., noting that contract law wasn’t relevant and ignoring the other legal domains I mentioned, not to mention ignoring the actual point I was making with those examples, that impaired judgment is legally part of what incapacitated means).

            When you have to resort to insincere arguments, goalpost shifting and the other fallacies you’ve demonstrated, don’t you think that maybe it’s time to question your own arguments?

          • August 21, 2013 at 2:35 pm

            You are forgetting a very important part of the equation, THE RAPIST IS AN ACTOR, as in they are committing an act. That is why a drunk driving analogy falls apart (a vehicle can not provide consent) the actor/driver is at fault regardless of their level of drunkness.
            As for drunken sex, both partners could be rapists but they would both need to be maneuvering the other toward sex while not wanting it themselves, very unlikely but I guess possible, maybe in a sitcom.
            Having sex with a very drunk person (and I think part of the problem here is having only one word represent all degrees of drunkness) is problematic, unless it is agreed upon ahead of time and reaffirmed throughout, because you can not accurately assess the other person’s consent level and while you can determine your own consent level it too has been compromised. A person can consent and truly believe it at the time and have that assessment chance once the effects of a drug wear off, if the drug caused a coercive effect (that’s why the ecstasy question was so important since it so obviously effects desires) then a rape, by definition, has occured whether it is claimed or not.
            And let’s not forget that you can be raped even if you don’t realize it or don’t think you were.

          • Avatar of Rebecca Watson
            August 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

            You are forgetting a very important part of the equation, THE RAPIST IS AN ACTOR, as in they are committing an act. That is why a drunk driving analogy falls apart (a vehicle can not provide consent) the actor/driver is at fault regardless of their level of drunkness.

            I know, the analogy can be taken to say the woman is just as much to blame, which isn’t at all what I’m saying because the rape is the criminal act just as the driving is, not being raped any more than being driven. I’m only mentioning it because it’s a clear criminal example of how the law defines incapacitated to mean impaired judgment, not just being unconscious.

            Other absurdities quickly arise too, such a the possibility of both people in a sexual liaison being the rape victims of each other.

            As mrmisconception pointed out, this hypothetical is so divorced from reality, that it’s not an issue at all. Here. In reality. Where the rest of us live.

            But it’s also not absurd. Two people get into a physical fight, say a bar fight, and mess each other up. According to you, it would be absurd to charge them both with assault, correct?

          • August 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

            Mealnie, you are just wrong on the law, and the part you quote shows it. A victim must be incapacitated to the point where he or she is unable to understand the acts they are entering into. Perhaps we are just getting tangled up by using the word ‘drunk’ in different ways, it is an inexact term. I mean that you can consent while being affected, even seriously affected by alcohol, so long as you are able to understand what acts you are consenting to.

            And you are wrong that I have ‘shifted the goal posts’ too. I have been, unusually for me, consistent in the whole thing.

            But I don’t think you have properly thought through the implications of your view (if this is your view) that women but not men are unable to make autonomous decisions when they have been drinking.

            Mr misconception, yes, rape is an act, but it is an acct that a woman can perform as well as a man. If having sex with someone who is drunk is rape, then many men have been raped by women. I have certainly been raped many times by that definition (one reason I think it is absurd). Even in the case that has thrown up this argument it would create absurdities. The man in the case would only have to claim that he would not normally have chosen to have sex with this woman except that he drank so much, encouraged by her flirting, for him to be able to claim to be the rape victim (unless you take the view, as Melanie seems to, that only women lose the ability to make decisions when drunk, but that has nasty consequences for women too).

          • August 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

            If what you have said is true you have indeed been raped whether you wish to believe it or not.
            Melanie has not stated that only men can rape or that only women are effected by alcohol, stating that time and again shows that you are not arguing in good faith. I wish you well but I have better ways to spend my time then trying to force understanding in someone who doesn’t wish to understand.
            Good day.

          • drken
            August 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm

            Rapists convince non-rapists to fight anti-rape campaigns by convincing them it’s possible to accidentally rape somebody. Let them think that they could go out to bar, meet somebody who expresses interest in them (using both verbal and non-verbal cues), invites them back to their place, and initiates sex, but end committing rape despite having an active, enthusiastic partner. Even if you asked “do you really want to do this?” before starting and she wasn’t slurring her words, stumbling, or showing other signs of intoxication. As long as she decides that she wouldn’t have slept with you sober, you’re a rapist. That’s a scary prospect because it makes regretted sex rape and lets the guy who uses alcohol to make sure the woman can’t stop him make somebody who would never do that think he’s fighting for him.

          • August 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

            Rapists convince non-rapists to fight anti-rape campaigns by convincing them it’s possible to accidentally rape somebody.

            That’s why this “how drunk is too drunk” debate is so insidious, it convinces people who never would rape someone that they just might.
            It’s incredibly demeaning and dismissive of victims while at the same time gives cover to bad actors.

          • Avatar of Rebecca Watson
            August 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm

            unless you take the view, as Melanie seems to, that only women lose the ability to make decisions when drunk, but that has nasty consequences for women too

            Switching from dishonest tactics to outright lies now? Especially since I’ve explicitly said the opposite:

            Men are vulnerable to rape when drunk. Men do get raped when drunk. Men do get raped by women. The numbers are much smaller, but those men are no more at fault because of their drinking than women are.

            You’re done on this thread, John. Dishonesty and lies, especially in support of rapists, are not acceptable here. Stop or you’re risking a ban.

          • August 21, 2013 at 5:03 pm

            And John, if you really care to know this is what a consensual partner looks like. Read it, remember it, and don’t pick nits about “what if I, what if I?” again.

          • August 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

            Melanie, I haven’t been dishonest and I haven’t told any lies, I have just tried to make sense of your position which seems to me incoherent. I certainly haven’t supported any rapists or rape in principle, in fact I have done just the opposite.

            If you want to call it a day, fair enough, but you can just say what you mean without the smear. I think you are probably right that there isn’t much further to go with this anyhow.

          • August 21, 2013 at 10:19 pm

            Oh, so that is why the Patriarchy pushes the meme that women don’t like or want sex. So rapists don’t have cognitive dissonance when they have sex with someone who is not liking it or cooperating.

  49. Avatar of BigDaveSB
    August 17, 2013 at 8:08 am —

    Such a shame to see Mr Deity do this. It’s not much, but I’ve stood up against it on my blog too http://furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.com/2013/08/poor-form-mr-deity-very-poor-form.html

    • Avatar of vexorian
      August 21, 2013 at 8:46 am —

      meh. The whole concept about about rape victims being possible liars assumes that they have much to win and little to lose from making such an accusation, when it is the other way around. Take a look to Steubenville, even with video evidence, most of the backlash went against the victim.

      • Avatar of vexorian
        August 21, 2013 at 8:53 am —

        Sorry Dave, I clicked the wrong Reply button.

      • August 22, 2013 at 2:44 pm —

        And how the rapists’ lives were now ruined.

        Yeah, you should’ve thought of that before you went raping. I have no problem ruining the lives of rapists.

  50. Avatar of lindalk
    August 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm —

    This is a clarification by Dalton.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gXloqvGehqE
    No apology or anything like that. Not sure what to make of it.

    • Avatar of Melanie
      August 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm —

      Brian Dalton Translation: “Oh, that part about the alcohol? That wasn’t victim blaming. That was a condescending, belittling insult to women everywhere, but it wasn’t victim blaming. The context of it being the single most common rape technique and likely the MO in Shermer’s case? Context? I don’t even know what that means. Words are hard.”

      • Avatar of delphi_ote
        August 19, 2013 at 1:02 pm —

        Didn’t you know, Melanie? It’s not considered offensive as long as you explicitly deny it later.

        “When I wore blackface, I wasn’t doing it in a racist way. That was never my intent.”
        “That time I said Jews run the banks wasn’t anti-Semitic. That was never my intent.”
        “I know I told you that only beautiful women should be allowed to have babies, but I wasn’t supporting eugenics. That was never my intent.”

        Works every time!

  51. Avatar of ufischer
    August 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm —

    Hmmm. Until I read Amanda’s post about this video, I had no idea Dalton was referring to the recent spate of accusations of rape and sexual assault against prominent skeptics. He seemed to be just making reasonable points about why he doesn’t believe the gospels and why he doesn’t like gossip and witch-hunts. None of the things Amanda accused him of saying were at? all obvious in this video. I can now see (I saw this video before the latest accusations) how Amanda interpreted this the way she did, but I’m not at all convinced that Mr. Deity is condoning rape. What he actually said is merely pointing out the value of due process and the dangers of gossip.

    IMHO, the evidence of Dr. Stoltznow’s SciAm article and posts (and Carrie Poppy’s post) is adding up to a whole lot more than unsubstantiated rumors. As “doubthat” (I doubt that’s his real name :) ) pointed out in another forum on this issue, “This is how it starts, rumors and dribs and drabs of stories leaking from behind a big dam of fear of reprisals until someone with sufficient credibility breaks the silence. It happened in the Catholic Church and in numerous other religious cults and now it is happening here.” I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of doubthat’s pretty clear assessment of what is happening with the current scandals.

    The latest accusations seem to be pretty credible,? coming from Dr. Stoltznow, a prominent female skeptic whose credibility in the skeptical community would be at least as good as Shermer’s if she were a man, so I think we’ve gone beyond plausible deniability and hiding behind accusations of rumor mongering. Being drunk is not an excuse for rape. If a guy is an a-hole while drunk, he’s an a-hole period. Nor is a woman’s inebriation an invitation for sex. Only “Yes!” means yes. Passing out means no. “Yesh, whaever, do whatcha gotta do…” means no. No response also means no. It’s pretty simple, guys. If you don’t have the enthusiastic? agreement of a woman for sex, and you still have sex with her, you’re at the very least an a-hole, and you are opening yourself up to accusations of rape. You, as a man, have a way of shutting that whole thing down. :) Just walk away and if necessary, whack away (at your own member, NOT at the woman :) ) . Over half the population is female. You will be able to find a willing partner. Trust me. :)

    I agree that Dalton’s video wasn’t his finest hour, but there is always a tension in cases like this between not wanting to believe a personal hero is in his private life is behaving in a manner antithetical to the values of humanism, and denying credible accusations of bad behavior. Given the inevitable shitstorm falling on women who make such accusations, the “witch-hunt” hypothesis is pretty flimsy, and the reasons why many such accusations only come out years later are pretty obvious. Due process and disregarding gossip and rumors are a centerpiece of liberal justice systems with good reason. A false accusation can cause a lot of damage and women can be bullies too. It always comes down to who are you going to believe? One person coming forward could be revenge or regret or covering up “slutty” behavior. (Yes, I agree “slutty” is only ever applied to women, never to men and that’s not fair.) In this case, I suspect what happened is that Dr. Stoltznow was afraid to step forward while her credibility within the skeptic movement was not comparable to that of the men she was accusing, but was also feeling guilty that these guys were getting away with inflicting trauma on other women while she was silent. … and finally decided that it was worth the risk to step forward. If there is a prolonged pattern of bad behavior by the men who stand accused, it will only be a matter of time before more victims step forward, so the “it’s just a rumor” defense will crumble.

    That said, I don’t agree with burning or boycotting Shermer’s books, demonizing Dalton, or boycotting conferences to which these people are invited. The books and conferences promote a skeptical outlook which is an important first step toward a more equal society. For example, despite Dawkins’ deplorable “Dear Muslima” response to The IEI*, his books have done much to promote rational thought and rational thought destroys any possible ideological justification for sexism, racism, anti-gay sentiment, etc.

    *IEI – Infamous Elevator Incident Sticking “-gate” to identify any and all scandals just seems so stupid! :)

  52. Avatar of ufischer
    August 17, 2013 at 3:42 pm —

    Hmmm. My previous post sat around waiting for the anti-DDOS system to finish with it for about 15 min, so I backed up and hit submit again. Then the post went in with “?” inserted randomly in the text and with multiple spaces reduced to single spaces. Maybe there are still some bugs in the anti-DDOS system.

  53. Avatar of BigDaveSB
    August 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm —

    Mr Deity’s issued a clarification vid. It’s here with my thoughts on it ( tl, dr it’s not good enough) http://furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/mr-deity-responds-but-its-not-good.html?m=1

  54. Avatar of Ken Marable
    August 20, 2013 at 4:08 pm —

    As someone new to the skeptic community, this is a great reminder that anything you publicly say might be someone’s first impression of you. This is the first I have heard of Brian Dalton/Mr. Deity, and I gotta say – “Helluva first impression, asshat!” Nice to know that everything I ever see form this guy will be colored by his great first impression on me today. I really hope jerks like this aren’t the norm for the community.

  55. August 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm —

    A couple thoughts.
    1) Obviously, the skeptic community has an enormous problem with sexual harassment. The original elevator incident was an example of one person acting like an ass, but the subsequent community response, from Dawkins (who made the bizarre argument that we aren’t allowed to try to make Americans comply with basic decency until we had freed the Arab world from all its misogony) to Thunderf00t (who went full MRA and hasn’t stopped since), was embarassing. Idiot commentators were acting like asking a man not to go out of his way to make a woman uncomfortable was somehow equivalent to the Nazis, and it was fucking terrible. Something similar will happen here. The problem has not gone away since then, but the skeptic community (shamed into it by feminists and PZ Myers) is trying (faultingly and imperfectly) to correct the issue. This process will probably take decades.
    2) If Shermer actually sexually assaulted a woman (in this case meaning any sexual contact that the woman hadn’t given explicit permission to), then there isn’t a pit in Hel cold enough for him, and I hope his family leaves him, his business fails, and he dies, unloved and forgotten, of one of those horrible rotting diseases.
    3) There is not enough information to make a judgement about what actually happened one way or another. We have one anonymous report of a rape without any detail in it, and another account of Shermer acting in a way that seems pretty creepy after you have just read a rape accusation, but that also has another more innocent explanation (he playfully flirted with a woman who wasn’t showing obvious discomfort and kept topping her up). This isn’t enough evidence to decide he’s innocent or that he’s guilty, and although we’re all free to say he is or isn’t a rapist, it’s going to be a conjecture either way. There are good and bad reasons for making the conjecture (good reason: The description of how he acted towards the drinking woman sounds like a rapist. good reason: women don’t lie about getting raped very often. good reason: I don’t know enough to decide and generally think people are innocent until evidence suggests otherwise. Bad reason: women lie about getting raped all the damn time.) Until we know more, it seems like a place where reasonable people can disagree.
    4) I understand why PZ published this (sunlight is the third best weapon against rapists, after fire and gardening shears), but I think going to the police would be a better call. He apparently has evidence of a serious crime, and getting proof and having Shermer arrested (if he’s guilty) or not publishing a false accusation (if he’s innocent) would be a better call.
    5) Joking about this shit is a bad idea.

    • August 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm —

      Lawrence, I would like to point a few things out to you.
      1) I don’t think the skeptical community has a problem that is bigger than any other community, we do tend to think we are smarter and more logical which can lead us to believing that we are above such things as biases, prejudices, and faulty thinking which exacerbates the problem.
      2) It is not up to you or me to decide whether police should be involved. It has been reported that the victim does not wish to prosecute and I think that honoring her wishes should be paramount, especially given how further traumatic entering the legal system could be.
      3) The victim is not anonymous, she is unnamed. PZ knows her, the person who put her in contact with PZ knows her, and several others have said they know who she is (though that may be incorrect speculation).
      4) There is not enough information to make a judgement, FOR YOU! There is evidence, the same evidence that would come forward in court, personal testimony. If that is not enough for you that’s fine, but do not say there is no evidence, epecially when a warning is all that is being sought.
      5) The purpose of the original post was to disseminate in a more broad way the same information that was being passed in the back channels that already existed among those who had to spend time with Mr. Shermer.
      6) If Mr. Shermer is innocent the harm done to him is minimal, he may miss out on a few speaking fees and perhaps some conversation as well as a hit to his rather substantial ego. If he is innocent Mr. Myers’ career, even outside of skepticism, is finished and he would owe Mr. Shermer a huge apology as well a, I would guess, a large settlement. But if Richard Shermer is guilty, Mr. Myers has saved an unknown number of women the pain and anguish of sexual assault and possibly rape.
      7) Given all that the stakes for this being not true are to high for me to plausibly believe that PZ would level such charges lightly.
      8) Joking about this may be in bad form but has yet to be determined whether it is a bad idea, I guess it depends on the joke and the intent.

      I would like to ask you (and anyone who thinks this is a matter for the courts and is open until such time it is tried).

      With the information that is now available would you be more likely or less likely to warn anyone who may be spending time close to Mr. Shermer?
      -If your answer is that you would be more likely to warn them, then congratulations, you have just proved that the post did what it was meant to do.
      -If your answer is you would be less likely (or even as likely) to warn them then I would say that you are either a liar or a fool and I would hate to have a friend like you who would allow me to go into a possibly dangerous situation as a stubborn matter of principle.

  56. August 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm —

    Mrmisconception,
    Thank you for your reasonable response. I was expecting much more vitriol, and you make some very good points. My responses (please note that I am going to refrain from using the word victim, because I am unsure of what happened. Instead, I shall opt for claimant, as accuser has negative connotations. Claimant is imperfect as well, but is the least prejudicial term I can think of. A claim may be true, after all):
    1) We’re just going to have to disagree on the relative woman problems of the skeptic community. I suspect we come from different enough backgrounds that our idea about normal bias levels are different. I’m used to dealing with mostly female English professors, and behavior and harassment of the sort reported by women at skeptic conferences is so far beyond anything that I have encountered that I find it almost impossible to countenance.
    2) Obviously, honoring the wishes of the victim in a rape case is a very important concern, and the fact that our species hasn’t figured out a better way of trying rape cases is a matter of universal shame. But the idea that a rapist might go free to rape again or that an innocent man might be accused of the worst crime imaginable is so abhorrent to me that I am torn on this. I would err on the side of police reporting, but again, understanding why PZ went with the accusation.
    3) PZ knowing the woman and vouching for her doesn’t really make her less anonymous to anyone but PZ, since we are unsure of the claim’s source.
    4) is very little evidence available to me (the writing of PZ Myers and copies of two anonymous e-mails, and I apologize if I have missed something), and I do not find it terribly persuasive. If the matter were brought to court, a great deal more would emerge (what conference this took place at, for instance. Whether Shermer had an alibi. If other people had similar complaints about him),
    5) The information passed in back channels presumably had more specifics attached to it, and it was therefore much easier to know how seriously to take it. Shearing it of context (although necessary to protect the claimant) also robs it of most of its power to influence.
    6) Because the matter is not being handled by the courts, we will probably never know if Shermer is innocent or not. Shermer’s reputation will take a hit and he will spend the rest of his time in the skeptical community with some people convinced that he raped a girl and others arguing loudly that he was not. As with everything else Myers has ever done, the consequences for him will be minimal, with people who find him abrasive citing this as more proof if his irresponsibility, and those who love him thinking he took a brave stand against a rapist.
    7)Even if the charge is false, the stakes for PZ are probably low. It’s hard to blame someone for issuing a warning (and indeed, although I would have reported the matter, I again understand why he decided on a warning instead, even if doing so might have caused significant harm to an innocent man). Still, he is a conscientious man, and would not publish these charges if he did not believe them.
    8) There are an infinitely large number of things to joke about. Why pick something that requires so much effort and produces something that is so open to misinterpretation and can make you look like a fool in so many ways?

    I reject your final premise, as my advice on spending time with anyone is always the same: all humans are inherently vicious and untrustworthy, and must be avoided. Crowds are alright as humans restrain their worst impulses when they are being watched, but one-on-one time will never end well. I also try not to give people advice if I think they will listen, as I think imposing my will on another person is inherently immoral.

    • Avatar of Rebecca Watson
      August 22, 2013 at 12:45 am —

      *sigh*

      please note that I am going to refrain from using the word victim, because I am unsure of what happened.

      Way to minimize that woman’s experience.

      1) We’re just going to have to disagree on the relative woman problems of the skeptic community. I suspect we come from different enough backgrounds that our idea about normal bias levels are different. I’m used to dealing with mostly female English professors, and behavior and harassment of the sort reported by women at skeptic conferences is so far beyond anything that I have encountered that I find it almost impossible to countenance.

      Argument from ignorance. Also depends on your confirmation bias.

      2) Obviously, honoring the wishes of the victim in a rape case is a very important concern, and the fact that our species hasn’t figured out a better way of trying rape cases is a matter of universal shame. But the idea that a rapist might go free to rape again or that an innocent man might be accused of the worst crime imaginable is so abhorrent to me that I am torn on this. I would err on the side of police reporting, but again, understanding why PZ went with the accusation.

      It would seem to me that the shame should be that there is rape before the fact that our legal system routinely ignores and downplays the claims of rape victims. It is also not PZ’s decision to report to the police or not. And I think you give our legal system too much credit if you think anything positive would come out of her reporting her rape to the police.

      3) PZ knowing the woman and vouching for her doesn’t really make her less anonymous to anyone but PZ, since we are unsure of the claim’s source.

      This is y’all arguing past each other. Anonymous and unnamed are synonyms.

      4) is very little evidence available to me (the writing of PZ Myers and copies of two anonymous e-mails, and I apologize if I have missed something), and I do not find it terribly persuasive. If the matter were brought to court, a great deal more would emerge (what conference this took place at, for instance. Whether Shermer had an alibi. If other people had similar complaints about him),

      Again, I feel you put too much faith in the legal system. Just because a case goes to court does not mean all possible evidence is allowed in. Maybe more of the details would emerge, but you can be sure that Shermer–whom I’m assuming has access to more resources than the victim–would find a way to exclude as much evidence as possible. Only about 3/100 rapes result in the convicted rapists spending time in prison, and only about 5/100 rapes are actually convicted. What makes you think someone with Shermer’s resources would be convicted, much less face a day of prison? The odds are very much in his favor.

      I reject your final premise, as my advice on spending time with anyone is always the same: all humans are inherently vicious and untrustworthy, and must be avoided.

      That’s bullshit. Humans are not inherently vicious and untrustworty. It is not some genetic, in-born component of all humans. I know many people who are quite the opposite of vicious and untrustworthy. And it is also impossible for us to avoid other humans. We are a social species.

      Crowds are alright as humans restrain their worst impulses when they are being watched

      Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

      I also try not to give people advice if I think they will listen, as I think imposing my will on another person is inherently immoral.

      Giving advice is not the same thing as forcing someone (“imposing your will”) on them. What an idiotic statement. “Oh, I didn’t advise my kids to wear a seat belt as I didn’t want to impose my will upon them.” *big fucking eyeroll*

      • August 22, 2013 at 7:33 am —

        Thank you Will. I was taking Lawrence to be an honest player rather than the lawyering, misanthropic, devil’s advocate that he turned out to be.

        As for unnamed vs. anonymous, I’ve always thought (and I could be wrong) that unnamed means a person known to the reporter that has their name withheld to protect them (like this case) while anonymous means someone who is known only indirectly (like a caller to a tip line or that horrible tumblr).
        But I guess that all just depends on who uses the word and when, so your point is taken.

        • Avatar of Rebecca Watson
          August 22, 2013 at 11:34 am —

          I think you are correct about the distinction as far as journalism goes, and thus it would be a valid distinction to make concerning PZ’s post. I also think that it’s a distinction that readers of articles won’t necessarily care about. Either way, to me as a reader, the source is anonymous and unnamed. To PZ, as the writer, the source is not anonymous but is unnamed. So, yes, I think you’re right that it is a matter of who is using the word and in what context. =)

  57. chalupabatman
    August 22, 2013 at 10:52 am —

    Hi everyone,

    First time posting here and I appreciate that this is one of the more sensitive topics to be posting on. So, I hope that this post conveys the tone and respect that is intended.
    I’m curious whether people think that a woman in the situation that Mr. Deity is referencing bears some measure of personal responsibility to either communicate her discomfort with the situation OR to refrain from continuing to drink the wine (if the person pouring it will subsequently be faulted for doing so).

    It seems pretty clear to me that Mr. Deity was only referencing the story of the woman which only resulted in more wine being consumed than might otherwise have been desired… not rape. Although I could be wrong.

    Thanks for your time.

    • chalupabatman
      August 22, 2013 at 2:28 pm —

      Follow-up question. Does anyone know whether Shermer or any other entity are considering/engaging in a legal response to this accusation?

      As a skeptic and law student, I’m fascinated by this kind of occurrence.

      Thanks again.

  58. Avatar of skylancer
    August 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm —

    While I am unclear what the actual law says, I am disturbed by the idea espoused in this thread that a person cannot consent to sex while drunk (just drunk– not incoherent, not passed out)– thereby making any sex with a drunk person rape? In fact, this seems so wrong to me, I feel like I must be misunderstanding, so if someone can clarify, please do so. As mentioned by others earlier, this definition of rape would make almost everyone, male or female, a rapist. And what to make of situations where both people are drunk?

    I personally feel that I am responsible for my decisions, whether I’m drunk or not. I would never accuse someone of raping me after I willingly had sex with them, even if I later realized it was a poor decision only fueled by alcohol. That seems terribly unfair.

    (Note that this has no bearing on the actual situation with Shermer, as I do not know nearly enough details about the incident to comment.)

    • Avatar of daedalus2u
      August 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm —

      skylancer, the problem is that misogynists don’t care about consent, so they will construe what ever someone who is drunk says to be consent, even when it isn’t.

  59. Avatar of skylancer
    August 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm —

    Yes, that is a problem, but I think we all agree that having sex with someone who did not consent, drunk or not, is rape. My question is whether the people on this thread think that someone who consents to sex while drunk, then regrets doing so, has been raped.

    • Avatar of punchdrunk
      August 25, 2013 at 11:24 pm —

      Not rape unless they were too incapacitated to give *meaningful consent*.

      http://www.rainn.org/get-information/types-of-sexual-assault/was-it-rape
      “I was drunk or they were drunk – does that mean it isn’t rape?

      Alcohol and drugs are not an excuse – or an alibi. The key question is still: did you consent or not? Regardless of whether you were drunk or sober, if the sex is nonconsensual, it is rape. However, because each state has different definitions of “nonconsensual”, please contact your local center or local police if you have questions about this. (If you were so drunk or drugged that you passed out and were unable to consent, it was rape. Both people must be conscious and willing participants.) ”

      If you’re not aware, your question reeks of disingenuous anti feminist talking points. If you’re really ignorant, you can start with RAINN (linked above).
      See also:
      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-rape/#Conc
      http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/Readings/ConstructingRape.html
      http://slutwalkdiscussion.wordpress.com/a-feminist-redefinition-of-rape-and-sexual-assault-historical-foundations-and-change/

      • Avatar of skylancer
        August 26, 2013 at 8:21 am —

        That is a reasonable definition of rape. However, that does not sound like what was being said earlier on the thread (in particular, in a discussion involving mrmisconception and Melanie.). Perhaps I have misunderstood them; that’s why I was attempting to clarify what is possibly meant by rape. Definitions are important; we should be able to honestly and openly discus these issues without being berated.

        • Avatar of mrmisconception
          August 26, 2013 at 11:24 am —

          While I can’t speak for Melanie I was speaking of drunk as being unable to act in a normal fashion not just merely tipsy, much the way there is a level for drunk driving. There is an actual limit for driving because we need a cut-off point to be able to decide on guilt, it’s not nearly as clear cut when it comes to giving consent to sex.
          I was simply pointing out that if you don’t have prior consent, and then continuing consent, it is best not to risk being accused of (of actually committing) rape. That was all in the face of someone who was trying to lawyer a clear line that doesn’t exist.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            August 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm

            Yes, that’s what I mean as well. And even drunk sex isn’t rape if everyone involved consented while sober and this consent did not change (or, preferably, was enthusiastically given throughout). If the person would not have consented while sober, then consenting while drunk is not meaningful consent.

          • Avatar of skylancer
            September 2, 2013 at 4:09 pm

            Thanks for clarifying. Again, I do think its important that we know what is meant when someone says “rape.” I think we all agree that there is a line of drunkenness beyond which any sex is considered rape. AND I agree that it is wise to err on the side of caution and not continue if you’re unsure of your partner’s mental state and/or their willingness to sleep with you.

            However…. I have a problem with Melanie’s qualification that “even drunk sex isn’t rape if everyone consented while sober.” My view is that if everyone consents, period, its not rape (and I mean really, actively consenting, not incoherent-half-passed-out “consenting”), even if they are very drunk. Doing otherwise seems to put undue responsibility on a person to understand their partner’s mental state (some people can be very drunk, but act relatively normal!), particularly when they’re likely to be impaired as well.

          • Avatar of Melanie
            September 3, 2013 at 9:41 pm

            Sorry. Just seeing this.

            (some people can be very drunk, but act relatively normal!), particularly when they’re likely to be impaired as well.

            Which is an excellent argument for getting consent when sober.

  60. Avatar of Otoki
    August 29, 2013 at 2:36 pm —

    OK, why does it seem like Rebecca’s avatar and name are on comments that people are responding to with other names? Confused.

    • Avatar of mrmisconception
      August 29, 2013 at 2:48 pm —

      There was a server migration that made Rebecca’s name and avatar show up in place of some Skepchick members, after the fact. It was not consistent so it is confusing, I don’t know if there is a plan to fix it or not.

      • Avatar of Melanie
        August 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm —

        Working on it, but Rebecca is headed to Dragon Con, so there might be a delay in the fix.

  61. Avatar of Tualha
    August 31, 2013 at 5:16 am —

    Helpful context for those who, like me, follow the skeptical blogosphere very sporadically, and whose first reaction to watching the Dalton video, like mine, was “What are they talking about? He doesn’t mention rape at all!”

    Michael Shermer has been accused of getting women drunk in order to rape them:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/08/08/what-do-you-do-when-someone-pulls-the-pin-and-hands-you-a-grenade/

    Note that the victim, witness, and other would-be victim are all known to PZ, but all asked PZ not to reveal their names. Given this context, it’s pretty clear what Dalton is doing here.

    There’s a pretty good takedown of Dalton’s “argument” here:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2013/08/15/mr-deity-and-the-victim-blaming-and-dismissiveness-of-serious-allegations/

    Pity I didn’t stumble across this a week ago, I could have stopped this month’s donation. Oh well. No more money for you, Dalton.

    • Avatar of lefrench
      September 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm —

      thanks, like you, am sporadic. wtf was exactly my thoughts, until your helpful links.
      glad to be clued up again.
      Can’t say i’m surprised by Shermer. The first first time i did a background read on him, his economic libertarianism is the core of his identity.
      and anyone who bothers to familiarize themselves with that sort of economic philosophy will realise it’s a very predatory, narcissistic philosophy.
      I’m inclined to believe PZ and others who spoke out.

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