Thunderf00t and Wasps and Mountain Lions and Rape

Thunderf00t and Wasps and Mountain Lions and Rape

Two videos in two weeks! Can this be the restart of something special?? I’ve even typed out a transcript for those of you who want/require it.

Pretty obvious I guess but TRIGGER WARNING for talk of rape and rapists and rapey beasts of the wilderness!

This video is inspired by Graham “SomeGreyBloke” Murkett’s blog.

I reference this study, which you can read in full:

CONVICTED RAPIST’S VOCABULARY OF MOTIVE EXCUSES AND JUSTIFICATIONS
by Diana Scully and Joseph Marolla

This is also interesting.

Okay, here’s the video!

Transcript:

Good news, ladies! Your days of being raped are over, thanks to the advice of one Phil Mason, aka “Thunderf00t,” a YouTube vlogger who hates feminism and loves awesome analogies involving animals. I was just reading the blog of a fellow YouTuber called SomeGreyBloke who spent nine posts going into everything that’s wrong with Thunderfoot’s 18-minute long treatise on why women need to be careful of what we wear and how we behave in order to not be raped.

So I’m not going to go into all of it but there were just a few points I wanted to expand upon like this awesome analogy involving an animal that Thunderfoot makes:

“By far the best weapon you have to fight against a stronger, more powerful adversary is psychology.

Point in question, the simple wasp. The wasp is typically a factor of a millionth smaller than a man or a woman and yet they manage to effectively discourage people from attacking them.

Women are typically only ten percent smaller than their male counterparts, and for those who find this a little too cryptic, people know that a wasp will fight to defend itself. That’s its self defence mechanism, and that fact alone will discourage most attackers.”

This is 100% true. I am at least a million times bigger than a wasp and those are terrifying. So this is great advice ladies. If you are confronted with a potential rapist, you should channel your inner wasp. That potential rapist should not know whether you’re just buzzing around for a bit before taking off or whether you’re about to stab him to death with something popping out of your butt. Who knows?

And because 80-85% of all rapes are done by acquaintances, you should channel that inner wasp literally all the time. And this should have no social consequences for you at all.

Just a few months ago I was at a party outside and there was a wasp was there. Everyone was like, “Oh my god, who invited the wasp? What a GREAT idea that was.” And that wasp went from group to group, making lifelong friends, and at no point did anyone try to rape that wasp, not even the guy who went to the hospital in anaphylactic shock.

Phil moves on to another analogy to prove that he is speaking from experience when telling women how to not get raped:

“And I know what many of you’ll be saying “Oh that’s easy for you to dob out such advice, you’ve never been in such a situation” – well actually, I have. All alone. In the very late evening, in a mountain pass, with no one around for miles. I faced a predator. A mountain lion, with a cub, that was stalking me. I played the game for real stakes.

Had I given off the body language of the victim – of the prey – there is a very real possibility that I wouldn’t be here making this video.”

That’s right: a mountain lion tried to rape Thunderf00t. He doesn’t say that explicitly but why else would he be using this story as an example of how women shouldn’t be raped. So yeah, Tfoot is out there in the wilderness with a larger beast and he had a choice to make: he could have been the victim uh he could have dropped to all fours and started munching on some bits of grass and then made an alarmed “maaaaaaaaa” noise and then run away but no, that would be prey behavior.

So Instead he well I don’t think he really goes into what he did but I assume he made himself as large as possible using his jacket, blew his mountain lion rape whistle, and called a park ranger. And that’s what we should all do when faced with potential rapists. Also when you run away maybe use a zig zag pattern.

I know all of this seems very silly to those of you who don’t know as much about preventing rape as Thunderfoot, but let me tell you, I’ve done a lot of research into this and a lot of what Thunderfoot says in his video is indistinguishable from the words of wisdom offered by actual admitted rapists in prison. There have been several studies looking into their stories and what they have to say and let me tell you Thunderfoot has done a great job of sounding exactly – exactly- like those rapists.

For instance, there was a study done in 1984 that included in-depth interviews with rapists in prison and these rapists went into their justifications for why they raped. And the researchers found several major themes throughout all of the answers, one of which was that many of the rapists believed that the women they raped didn’t do enough to convey the fact that they did not want to be raped. Even though many of the rapists were holding deadly weapons at the time, they still believed that the women just didn’t fight back because they secretly wanted it.

One woman one of the rapists described she was abducted at knifepoint in the middle of the night and gang-raped, and actually they interviewed two of her rapists, and they reported that she didn’t resist it so she was probably into it. They don’t go into detail on what would have happened with the knife if the woman had resisted but many of the other rapists mention that they only got violent with women because of resistance but who knows maybe if she had resisted they would have just left her alone.

Another common theme in the study was the idea that nice girls don’t get raped. A large percentage of rapists in prison vociferously agreed with many of Thunderfoot’s points here, using their victims’ dress and behavior as a way to excuse raping them. Their comments ranged from pointing out that a woman they raped was wearing tight black clothes or wearing a skirt, or that a woman spread her legs when exiting a car, or that a woman claimed she was a virgin but seemed much more experienced while being raped, or this gem: “She was a waitress and you know how they are.”

One rapist claimed that his victims deserved it because they had been prostitutes, even though pre-sentence reports indicated that none of them were prostitutes.

Much like Thunderf00t, these rapists believed that these traits made their victims more rapable. So to follow Thunderf00t and the convicted rapists’ thinking, women can avoid being raped by not wearing tight black clothing or skirts, by keeping their knees locked while exiting cars, by not being waitresses, by not being mistaken for a prostitute by a deranged rapist, or even by not having sex, ever. By not being experienced in bed. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a very good chance you’ll get raped, but at least there will be fewer ways for Thunderf00t and your rapist to blame you for it.

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

47 Comments

  1. Thuderfoot parrots not just convicted dedicated rapists, but every Imam in every little shithole and palace across the Middle East arguing that women belong in burquas and niqab for their own safety and so men will not be bothered with rapey thoughts.

    I wonder if the irony of that will ever sink in to the airy cavity protected by the three inch thick cranial bone his neck supports.

    • This is why there was no rape or prostitution in Victorian times, when women were covered from head to foot. Even piano legs were covered to prevent impure thoughts (the Ripper murders may well have been triggered by the sight of an exposed piano leg in Jack’s youth).

    • And nobody* ever gets raped in Saudi!

      *”One of the men brought a knife to my throat. They told me not to speak. They pushed us to the back of the car and started driving. We drove a lot, but I didn’t see anything since my head was forced down.” Sounds like she was giving off conflicting signals, right Phil?

    • Cityzenjane,

      If you limit that statement to the Muslim extremists, I’ll agree with you.

    • Cityzenjane,

      Actually strike my last comment, I should have said fundamentalists.

  2. Right, no one ever tries to kill wasps. That’s why there are no products on the market for killing wasps. What a great analogy! http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_5?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=wasp%20spray&sprefix=wasp+%2Caps%2C449&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Awasp%20spray

    • Hey now, this is how not to get raped, not how to not get murdered. WOMENFOLK, jeez.

    • One of the insecticides is Tanglefoot brand. Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidence!

  3. If he were more clever I would say he might be making an allusion to Shakespeare.
    Well no, obviously not, but it still seems relevant.

    PETRUCHIO: Come, come, you wasp, i’faith you are too angry.
    KATHERINE: If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
    PETRUCHIO: My remedy is then to pluck it out.
    KATHERINE: Ay, if the fool could find where it lies.
    PETRUCHIO: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
    KATHERINE: In his tongue.
    PETRUCHIO: Whose tongue?
    KATHERINE: Yours, if you talk of tales, and so farewell.
    PETRUCHIO: What, with my tongue in your tail?

    Thunderf00t has done one better and put his whole head in his tail.

  4. One of the many reasons I admire Rebecca Watson so much is that she can take a situation that would reduce me to nothing but expletives and unfocused fury, and focus her fury into making a wonderfully ironic video leading to a devastating last sentence that pretty much destroys Thunderf00t and his ilk. That’s art, and it’s great. Thanks for continuing to fight the good fight.

  5. I think this is a little unfair because a lot of those rapists were clearly lying, delusional, or engaging in the natural human defense mechanism of denying (to yourself) that you did anything wrong even in the face of overwhelming evidence. It’s not really fair to compare the two. Thunderf00t’s comments are much more vile because he doesn’t have any excuse.

    • He is speaking from the experience of almost being raped by a mountain lion….

      • Cityzenjane,

        Even if his story was true, most likely the mountain lion was trying to eat him, not rape him and for the most part he was probably just lucky. If a mountain Lion attacks you, and no one else is around, assuming you can’t run away, which most likely you won’t be able to, and no one else is around, chances are, you’ll be dead. Also even if Thunderf00t’s anti rape strategy would work with people ( which it won’t most of the time ) it definitely wouldn’t work with a wild animal trying to kill you. Its a horrible analogy and if Thunderf00t thought about it for even a moment, even he would probably realize it.

    • Is this a … No True Rapist argument?

      clearly lying

      Why is it clear? How do you know this? Do you have access to their minds via some method no one else on the planet knows about?

      delusional

      This is ableist and makes it seem like their raping isn’t an agentive act. Means the rapes they committed aren’t their fault because they are mentally ill.

      engaging in the natural human defense mechanism

      Natural? Really? How do you know this is a “natural” defense mechanism? Can you please tell me which gene codes for this?

      OR, you know, they know exactly what they’re saying and they’re being honest. I think you need to ask yourself why you feel the impulse to deny that that could be the reality of the situation.

      This kind of shit is really annoying. This is rape apologia and it helps reinforce rape culture. Cut it the fuck out.

      • Wrong logical fallacy. It isn’t “natural” to lie about it when you are caught doing something horrific, because “natural” doesn’t really mean anything. That’s the core of the naturalistic fallacy: attributing an effect to a meaningless, non-existent, or magical cause (i.e. “nature”), or simply assuming such an effect without evidence it exists. It’s only natural that someone who has been raped by a mountain lion would understand the naturalistic fallacy, so TF must be lying about that.

        As for genes coding for lying when caught, you’re equating “natural” with “genetic”. It might be epigenetic or learned or cultural. But most likely, you are right, it is genetic. We just haven’t found the gene yet.* When an early human hunter saw a rustling in the grass and he knew he was faster than at least one of his companions, he would say, confidently, “there is no lion” and then slowly edge away from the group in the opposite direction He didn’t need to faster than all the other huters to escape the mountain lion, he only needed to be faster than the slowest hunter, or to have a positional advantage (head start)**. It takes lots of genes to code for “faster”, but it probably only takes one to code for “lying”, so that must be what happened. We haven’t discovered that gene yet, but it could be there since we haven’t discovered what most genes do.

        [*] This is called “the Evo-psych of the Gaps.”
        [**] It also helps to have genes for solving “If a train heads East from Pittsburgh at 48 mph and another train heads West from Philadelphia at 63 mph, which one will get to Albuquerque first?” problems. Hunting explains why men are better at math.

        • Argh!
          “He didn’t need to faster than all the other huters…”
          “He didn’t need to RUN faster than all the other huNters…”

          Anyway, what’s a huter? Why didn’t Firefox complain about the spelling by underlining it in red, but it does now? Is it ableist for Firefox to assume I can see and notice when it’s underlined a misspelling? Is it derailing to ramble on about my failure to proof-read my own comment? I’m just asking questions.

        • Wrong logical fallacy. It isn’t “natural” to lie about it when you are caught doing something horrific, because “natural” doesn’t really mean anything. That’s the core of the naturalistic fallacy: attributing an effect to a meaningless, non-existent, or magical cause (i.e. “nature”), or simply assuming such an effect without evidence it exists. It’s only natural that someone who has been raped by a mountain lion would understand the naturalistic fallacy, so TF must be lying about that.

          That’s what I was getting at by pointing it out….

          As for genes coding for lying when caught, you’re equating “natural” with “genetic”. It might be epigenetic or learned or cultural.

          I’m not equating natural with genetic. If this is a “natural” trait that humans possess in the sense that this person is using it, then it must be inherited in some way. If it is epigenetic, then it may not be natural (could be influenced by environment/culture). And culture ? nature. If they had said “engaging in the cultural defense mechanism,” that would have meant something entirely different than “engaging in the natural human defense mechanism.” Natural implies that it is universal to the species.

          Basically, my point in responding was to point out that they are making an argument from incredulity that is rape apologia.

          • I know you’re making the “nature vs. nurture” distinction, and your argument is entirely correct. I also know this is the common parlance. But this language annoys me. I know, it’s a weird pet peeve. Culture is as natural as genetics, though. It’s just collective animal behavior. We’re as natural as anything else on this planet. Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m sick of our “genetic” behaviors being “natural” and “culture” being “synthetic”. They’re both products of nature.

          • I hate the language, too, actually.

            But I’m actually not equating “nature” with “genetics” as Buzz thinks. If anything, I’m equating “nature” with “biology” in this particular instance. Biologically inherited vs. socioculturally learned. A horribly false dichotomy to be sure.

            Of course culture is a “natural” part of what it means to be human. But the problem I have with that language (as long as we’re being persnickety) is that it has the effect of subsuming culture under biology/nature, with biology/nature always as the ultimate cause and culture always as the proximate cause. I think this language obfuscates the role of culture both in shaping biology and in shaping human behavior. Why not say that biology is culturally contingent for humans? For humans, biology is always already cultural. We are biocultural beings.

            I do not see culture as “synthetic” at all, and I agree completely that this nature/culture, or biology/culture dichotomy has many problems and is quite untenable.

            Just for clarification, the point I was making to lofgren was that just because something seems natural does not mean it is natural. Humans have a really weird way of naturalizing culture, making it seem as if what is actually a culturally derived trait or belief is based in human nature. What they did there was create a mythical narrative about human nature (which is itself another meta-mythical narrative in Western civilizations) under the guise of making a skeptical argument.

      • Is this a … No True Rapist argument?

        I’m not even sure how that question makes sense in the context of my statement. A “no true rapist” argument would presumably say that a “true” rapist does X, and the subject is not a true rapist because he didn’t do X, i.e. in the same vein as the “no true Scotsman” fallacy. That’s so far afield from what I actually wrote that I don’t even know where to begin.

        All I’m saying is that if you ask for narratives from a bunch of people with a vested interest in diminishing their own responsibility in the narrative, you’re going to get narratives that diminish their responsibility.

        If somebody says it’s OK to rape waitresses because “you know how they are,” there are only three explanations available. They don’t believe it, but they are saying it anyway, i.e. lying. They have a belief about waitresses – that they are acceptable targets for rape because of some shared characteristic inherent to waitressness – that is demonstrably at odds with reality. Or they have rationalized their crime, either before or since, to minimize their own culpability for not only assaulting another person with a weapon (something they presumably understand is wrong because that’s the one thing the courts actually care about) but also for getting caught.

        We see, and Rebecca comments on, a strong trend in the data that suggests some kind of manipulation of the story on the part of the rapists. Among the rapists who used weapons to intimidate their victims, those who never actually used the weapons said they carried the weapons for show and if their victims had only resisted a little they would have been set free. But those who did use their weapons say they didn’t really want to use the weapon, but the victim struggled so much that what choice did they have? Those are pretty damn convenient interpretations of events.

        Rapists engage in rape apology. That shouldn’t be a shocking revelation to anybody.

        You’re going to have to actually connect the dots for me to explain how this simple (OK, it’s a little complicated) fact of life is ablist or rape apologia or helps reinforce rape culture.

        OR, you know, they know exactly what they’re saying and they’re being honest.

        That’s not really the other option, though. The rapists all know exactly what they are saying, and aside from the outright liars they are being honest. The question is how likely is it that what they are saying reflects reality. When a person offers data that contradicts known statistical odds and established patterns in the data and that serves their own interests in a dramatic way, it’s a safe bet they are manipulating the information in some way, either subconsciously or consciously.

        I think you need to ask yourself why you feel the impulse to deny that that could be the reality of the situation.

        Because the chance that a bunch of busted rapists have sufficient awareness of their own thought processes and are honest enough to give accurate accounts of their own crimes is vanishingly tiny.

        • I was being facetious about the “No True Rapist” thing. But thank you for explaining the fallacy to me! I had no idea how it worked. I’m so glad you came along to straighten that out for me.

          Oh, and by the way, that was sarcasm.

          If somebody says it’s OK to rape waitresses because “you know how they are,” there are only three explanations available. They don’t believe it, but they are saying it anyway, i.e. lying. They have a belief about waitresses – that they are acceptable targets for rape because of some shared characteristic inherent to waitressness – that is demonstrably at odds with reality. Or they have rationalized their crime, either before or since, to minimize their own culpability for not only assaulting another person with a weapon (something they presumably understand is wrong because that’s the one thing the courts actually care about) but also for getting caught.

          Believing something that is “demonstrably at odds with reality” is not equivalent to being delusional. Now you’re moving goalposts.

          Rapists engage in rape apology. That shouldn’t be a shocking revelation to anybody.

          They are not the only ones who engage in rape apologia. Many people who are not rapists do that because we live in a society that is steeped in rape culture.

          You’re going to have to actually connect the dots for me to explain how this simple (OK, it’s a little complicated) fact of life is ablist or rape apologia or helps reinforce rape culture.

          Really? Okay. Going to Wikipedia to see what we can find out about the word “delusional,” we find this:

          A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.[1] As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.

          Delusions typically occur in the context of neurological or mental illness, although they are not tied to any particular disease and have been found to occur in the context of many pathological states (both physical and mental). However, they are of particular diagnostic importance in psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, paraphrenia, manic episodes of bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression.

          Can you not see how calling them delusional is ableist now?

          The way that reinforces rape culture is because you have sat here and given three different justifications for why rapists give these explanations, and insisted that those are the only explanations, which completely ignores the possibility that they are not mentally ill, they are not lying, and they are not denying that they did anything wrong. How do you know that some of them, for example, aren’t telling the truth about what they believed at the time, and have now come to the understanding that what they did and how they thought was wrong?

          There are implications for the reasons you are giving. For example, if they are lying and don’t actually believe what they are saying, you are reading intentionality into their words that you have no possible way of knowing. You said they are “clearly” lying, and I asked you how that was clear. Your response was an argument from incredulity–it’s only “clear” because you cannot think of other reasons for why they say what they say. Or, for another example, if you say they are delusional (mentally ill), then you are saying that they were living in an alternate reality from the rest of us. How can you expect to hold them responsible if they had no understanding of the rules of reality? You also make it seem like these aren’t beliefs that a large segment of our society holds, but we know that’s not the case, or we wouldn’t need a term like “rape culture.”

          Because the chance that a bunch of busted rapists have sufficient awareness of their own thought processes and are honest enough to give accurate accounts of their own crimes is vanishingly tiny.

          Oh? According to what statistical analysis? And are you really saying that YOU are more aware of their own thought processes than they are? Based on what???

          You are starting to come across as one of those hyperskeptics who sees everything through statistics and evidence but never actually provides any of that to back up their claims.

          • Will, thanks for explaining “delusional”. I always took it to include false beliefs based on the other things that are specifically excluded (except belief based on false or incomplete information.) Since the specific definition you gave defines it as a pathology (or more precisely, would it be a symptom of a pathology?), this obviously doesn’t include many other forms of false belief that could be in play. Also, it stigmatizes people with delusions by conflating them with other people with false beliefs and with rapists, so I now think I understand why it is ableist.

            Lofgren, does this connect the dots? Will, if I’ve garbled this, let me know.

          • I was being facetious about the “No True Rapist” thing. But thank you for explaining the fallacy to me! I had no idea how it worked. I’m so glad you came along to straighten that out for me.

            Then you can explain the joke to me. From my perspective it appeared to be an actual accusation. You never gave any indication that you understood the fallacy, nor why you were using it in a clearly inappropriate way, so I had no way of knowing you were being facetious.

            Believing something that is “demonstrably at odds with reality” is not equivalent to being delusional. Now you’re moving goalposts.

            Really? Okay. Going to Wikipedia to see what we can find out about the word “delusional,” we find this:

            We find what? Let me quote it again because you seem to have a serious deficit when it comes to reading comprehension:

            Quoth Wikipedia:

            A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.[1] As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.

            As a general rule, I don’t like going to the dictionary, but as your comment suggests that you are only familiar with a very narrow use of the word within the context of mental health, I’ll just point out:

            Merriam-Webster

            : a belief that is not true : a false idea

            Google:

            an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument

            The Free Dictionary:

            2. A false belief or opinion:

            In almost every case, the vernacular definition appears before the technical definition. As this is not a medical treatise, nor even a medical site, nor even a post about a medical topic on a blog that occasionally deals with medical conditions, the vernacular seemed wholly appropriate.

            Can you not see how calling them delusional is ableist now?

            Bet let’s say I do accept that the only reasonable definition of “delusional” in this context is the medical definition. How is it “ableist” to point out the existence of disabled people amongst a population. Some of those rapists are probably gay. Some of them are probably black. Almost all of them are probably white. Am I a homophobe, a racist and a misandrist now? How does it disenfranchise disabled people to acknowledge their existence? How does it privilege able people to say that some racists are probably delusional? Is it your contention that rapists, as a class, do not suffer from delusions and therefore to suggest that they might is an insult to people who do? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim that delusions amongst rapists are rare to nonexistent?

            Oh, and by the way, I meant natural as in:

            : having an essential relation with someone or something : following from the nature of the one in question his guilt is a natural deduction from the evidence

            Or the closely related:

            a : occurring in conformity with the ordinary course of nature : not marvelous or supernatural natural causes
            b : formulated by human reason alone rather than revelation natural religion, natural rights
            c : having a normal or usual character events followed their natural course

            Nothing have to do with genetics at all.

            Is there a word for the fallacy of deliberately choosing the least charitable possible interpretation of another person’s word, even when there are available interpretations that make far more sense in context?

            The way that reinforces rape culture is because you have sat here and given three different justifications for why rapists give these explanations, and insisted that those are the only explanations, which completely ignores the possibility that they are not mentally ill, they are not lying, and they are not denying that they did anything wrong.

            I didn’t that they are denying that they did anything wrong. I said that they are forwarding a narrative that diminishes their responsibility. Those are two different things.

            But even if I accept your inability to deal with words that have more than one possible use and your obvious inability to handle any kind of nuance whatsoever, How does this support rape culture? You can’t just say, “this supports rape culture because” and then restate my argument. Connect the dots for me. How does my claim – that rapists lie, labor under delusions, and engage in motivated reasoning at least as much as the general population – somehow translate into excusing their crimes? Thieves lie, suffer from delusions, and engage in motivated reasoning. Am I thief apologist now? Murderers do the same, as do doctors, lawyers, professors, garbage men, and disc jockeys. This becomes especially true when you give those people a vested interest in denying the truth, for example if they are accused of a crime.

            How do you know that some of them, for example, aren’t telling the truth about what they believed at the time, and have now come to the understanding that what they did and how they thought was wrong?

            Here is my actual quote, for the record:

            A lot of those rapists were clearly lying, delusional, or engaging in the natural human defense mechanism of denying (to yourself) that you did anything wrong even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

            1. “A lot” means “many, probably most, but not necessarily all.” So I did not “completely ignore” the possibility that the rapists are not engaging in these behaviors.

            2. I don’t know that some of them aren’t telling the truth about what they believed at the time. On the contrary, I’m 100% sure that some of them are. “Sure, I’m going to take this gun with me to go rape somebody, but I would never actually use it!” sounds exactly like the kind of thing that a person tells themselves in order to convince themselves that something they know is wrong is OK. I’m not really sure how this in any way hampers my argument. The fact that the motivated reasoning was premeditated doesn’t change the fact that it occurred.

            You said they are “clearly” lying, and I asked you how that was clear. Your response was an argument from incredulity–it’s only “clear” because you cannot think of other reasons for why they say what they say.

            Actually I mentioned two other possible explanations for why they might say those very same things. My incredulity was to your counterpoint – that NONE of these rapists were lying. If rapists, as a class, are more honest than the general population, that would be really important to know. Is that your contention?

            Or, for another example, if you say they are delusional (mentally ill), then you are saying that they were living in an alternate reality from the rest of us. How can you expect to hold them responsible if they had no understanding of the rules of reality?

            This shows misunderstanding of BOTH the medical and vernacular definitions of delusion. Just because a person is delusional in one way does not mean that they are wholly irresponsible for their actions in all other ways. Ironically, by denying agency to those who suffer from mental illness, your own claim disenfranchises disabled people significantly more than my suggestion that some of these rapists were laboring under false beliefs. Delusional ? “not responsible for your actions,” in either definition.

            But if that’s your belief, that delusional people are not responsible for their actions, that’s on you, not me. You’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that, yeah, some rapists probably suffer from delusions (in either the medical or vernacular definition). If we were to find that rapists, in fact, are immune to delusions, it would be a major psychological and neurological breakthrough. We should be studying them intently to determine why they are unaffected by conditions that the rest of the human race seems to suffer from.

            You also make it seem like these aren’t beliefs that a large segment of our society holds, but we know that’s not the case, or we wouldn’t need a term like “rape culture.”

            Show me. Quote where I say this. Identify even a hint that I suggested this anywhere but in your own mind. I dare you.

            Oh? According to what statistical analysis? And are you really saying that YOU are more aware of their own thought processes than they are? Based on what???

            I’m sure I’m more aware of their thought processes than some of them. Specifically the delusional ones and any of the rest who don’t have a layman’s understanding of basic skeptical concepts. I’m sure I’m less aware than some. I believe this based on my knowledge of the fallibilities of human memory and reason.

            Oh? According to what statistical analysis? And are you really saying that YOU are more aware of their own thought processes than they are? Based on what???

            Based on the fact that when a person has a vested interest in diminishing their own responsibility for something, and offers a narrative that conveniently does just that, while contradicting known facts, lying, delusions, and motivated reasoning are the most plausible explanations.

            Let me be clear about what you are arguing here:

            1. You are saying that rapists, as a class, do not lie or lie infrequently, even when they have a significant emotional interest in doing so.

            2. You are saying that rapists, as a class, do not harbor delusions, in either the medical or vernacular sense of the word, and that suggesting that they might is inherently insulting or disenfranchising to people with mental disorders.

            3. You are suggesting that rapists do not engage in motivated reasoning in order avoid cognitive dissonance and diminish their own responsibility in events that have a negative impact on their lives or violate their own image of themselves as a good person.

            THEREFORE

            4. You are suggesting that the statements made by these rapists are in fact a useful, reliable guide on how to behave for women who wish to avoid being raped, because of course everything these rapists say accurately reflects reality.

            5. You are suggesting that Thunderf00t, in echoing the assertions of these rapists, is entirely correct and justified because what appears to be rape apology to the rest of us is in fact just good advice based on reliable anecdotal data gathered from rapists (who rarely lie, dissemble, or believe inaccurate things).

            6. And finally, you are suggesting that it is “rape apologia” to even suggest that rapists would engage any of these behaviors that are ubiquitous to the rest of the human race. Although to be honest I still don’t understand this one. Rapists advancing false narratives in no way diminishes their culpability for the crime. In fact, if the claims made by these rapists are accurate, if their victims WERE partially responsible for their own rapes, that would be pretty much the definition of rape apology, yet it appears that is exactly what you are claiming.

            DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

            1. Do you agree with Will that waitresses are inherently rapable, as claimed by this rapist and defended by Will as an accurate description of reality? Why or why not? Which is the first waitress you plan to rape? Should we begin a scientific study to determine which waitresses are the most rapable, based on the assertion of this convicted criminal who, despite having every reason to do so, would never lie or engage in motivated reasoning, since rapists are immune to those conditions?

        • “Rapists engage in rape apology.” Exactly. What’s Thunderfoot’s excuse?

          • Exactly what I am saying.

  6. I only have a few seconds, but thank you very much for the transcript. I don’t literally require it but because of the amount of effort it would take to watch the video I probably wouldn’t have ever watched it. This way it’s no trouble to hear you and consider your words.

  7. Creationism is true! No natural process could have come up with such a perfectly colossal asshole! He must have been intelligently (and malevolently) designed!

    • As an atheist, I feel this justifies and reconfirms my worship of Satan, our Dark Lord.

  8. The fact that someone with such a poor ability to think critically has the gall to call themselvesa Skeptic…blah.

    • Let’s not be too hard on Phil. He’s provided the skeptical community with a useful tool. “Do you like Thunderfoot?” is now a perfect shibboleth for detecting assholes.

  9. All this stuff of the body language of the pray. Also reminds me of… the secret: http://www.netplaces.com/law-of-attraction/the-impact-of-negativity/victim-mentality.htm

  10. *wipe tears of laughter*
    You knocked it out of the park, Rebecca.
    He so had that coming.

  11. I predict that the Youtube comments will be well-reasoned, reality-based, and not at all vitriolic and bigoted!

    Also, my nose is on fire, and I have fifteen wild badgers living in my trousers.

  12. Brilliant and hilarious. I could only watch about 4 minutes of the Thunderf00t video before I felt sick. And his followers on Twitter were all “You should be grateful that he cares about women enough to help them”. Thank goodness you were able to show me the funny side. Well bloody done!

  13. Thunderfoot typically uses the word “typically” by a factor of a ten times more than he should. Thuderfoot typically thinks he sounds a thousand times more scientific than he does when he uses this word and follows it with a random irrelevant number. Thunderfoot is typically obviously bullshitting by a factor of 63 times more when he uses this word. Thunderfoot typically talks about things outside his comprehension 8,212 times more often than he should. Thunderfoot should typically shut the fuck up by a factor of a billion times more than he does.

  14. Women! If you see Thunderfoot, do NOT assume the posture of a victim. Be proactive, and leave no room for ambiguity or confusion. Hit him in the face repeatedly with a baseball bat until you feel confident he won’t rape you. Otherwise, you’re pretty much asking for it.

  15. Awesome video. Thanks, Rebecca

  16. I’m no expert on mountain lions, but it probably wasn’t trying to eat or rape T-foot – it was probably just scared of him, and it remembered that advice it saw on a youtube video that one time about how to ward off a potential assailant.

    Maybe it’s too mean to pick on him for facing down a wild animal. I’m sure that was scary. But that comment “I played the game for real stakes” – as if people who are raped aren’t “playing for real stakes” – as if being coerced to do something against your desires in no way makes you fear for your safety? He had an opportunity to learn to empathize with people who fear for their lives more regularly than he (apparently) does, and he blew his opportunity.

    This is totally anecdotal, but I’ve had a few moments-of-terror out in nature on group trips (ok, maybe some of them involved someone saying “is that a rattlesnake?” and everybody kind of flinching just a bit, not the worst kind of terror, but whatever) and occasionally there’s that one person who, after it’s over, says something like, “hooo, boy, did you guys ever freak out! It was hilarious – I was totally calm, actually kind of a natural leader in that sort of situation, but you people, you totally panicked. Good thing you had me there with you to keep everything together.” Of course, this is the person who was all like “Ack! We’re all going to die!”

    You have to take any self-aggrandizing nature-stories with a grain of salt, is all I’m saying.

    • Reminds me of a case when I worked security somewhere. Kid gets heatstroke, passes out & has a seizure. Control Freak takes charge and starts screaming out random instructions. I happen to be first aid certified and the Humidex is in the low 50s Celcius. Kid is passed out, seizing, flushed, and not sweating, though her shirt is soaked with sweat. I put two and two together and say, “She probably has heat stroke. We should take her inside and cool her down.”

      He screams at me to shut up and that he’s got it under control while fussing over her in the open sunlight and doing exactly nothing to cool her down. I wait around for a bit since I’m scared he’ll hurt her by mistake if I try to take her from him and get her inside, and finally when I see he’s not doing anything to treat her heat stroke, I ask, “Should I call an ambulance?”

      He yells at me to shut the fuck up and tells me to do whatever I want. So I call an ambulance. Because heat stroke is a medical emergency.

      (I was new. Turns out I broke procedure – I was supposed to call first aid tent, who would call ambulance if needed. They said it was a good call, though, and Kid spent two days in hospital, one on dialysis because heat stroke and dehydration made her kidneys poop out)

      CF hauls me in to his office the next day, under false pretenses and despite me not being his employee, and reams me out for 20 minutes about how I shouldn’t panic and he had it under control and people like me are how dangerous fuckups get made and blah blah blah (yeah… I wanted to take Kid inside an air-conditioned building and douse her with water for her heat stroke, yet somehow I’m the one making a dangerous fuckup… right). He was half right, though: People like me, who can get intimidated into shutting up when we know better than the person doing the fucking up, are how dangerous fuckups get allowed to continue.

      … Later I found out that he told around the whole place that he had everything Under Control until I panicked and fucked it up. Because new and female, total panicbrain, amirite? *eyeroll* Fortunately for me, everyone already knew what kind of dude he was, so I was told of the appropriate procedure and that was the extent of my action, while he got told to stay away from me since I wasn’t his employee and so he had no right to pull me off my job under false pretenses (“We need your help with some paperwork”) so he could scream at me for twenty minutes.

      I imagine his bosses yelled at him for not applying proper first aid, and since I was there, he decided to make shit roll “downhill”. He struck me as a bully in my admittedly few interactions with him. Problem for him: he forgot that I wasn’t actually downhill from him.

      Point of this story: you’re exactly right that self-aggrandizing stories should be taken with a grain of salt. Most people I’ve met who tell the “I’m so great, I’m so macho, I’d tell that asshole what-for” stories are those whose machismo and bravery evaporate in the face of real crisis and/or danger.

  17. Kudos for doing this Rebecca. Just in case you didn’t know, your video is a wonderful example of internet pwnage and entitles you to all the internets for the next week or so.

    Great job!

  18. Rebecca Watson,

    Thunderf00t is one of those people that I’m really ashamed that I was ever dumb enough to admire or even take seriously. He’s giving “skeptics” and “critical thinkers,” a bad name.

    • He gives “human beings” and “all sentient organisms” a bad name.

  19. Thunderf00t’s videos keep turning up in my “What to watch” YouTube feed because I’ve been watching Anita Sarkeesian’s videos and its algorithm tells it that if I enjoyed those, then I’ll probably get a kick out of Thunderf00t’s “I hate Anita Sarkeesian” videos. And I can’t find a “never recommend me videos from this user again” button.

  20. I’ve written a whole blog post just on this exchange. I tried to be fair as possible, but it’s against my nature to be totally objective. After all, it’s better to be an arrogant self-important slug that a well groomed intellectual… right?… http://thelotdaily.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/thunderf00t-in-mouth.html

  21. Ahahahahhaha. I lost it at “A mountain lion tried to rape Thunderf00t”

  22. You know what I love about all this? In their desperation to deny that feminists have a point, the likes of Thunderf00t are painting all men as potential mountain lions. Yeah, women need to protect themselves because men? Nah, men just can’t be taught. We get rapey thoughts just being in the same building as women!! Heavens forbid we’re ever near one when she’s not in full-on rape prevention mode! …But it’s feminists who are “misandrist.”
    Seriously though, Thunderf00t, go fuck yourself. Or take some time to apply a little self reflection and skepticism to the situation. I might actually prefer the latter since you do have an army of loyal followers who might actually follow you into reason, but, really… nah.

  23. The problem with Phil Mason’s argument is that rape is not necessarily about sexuality, but seemingly about control and domination, and, therefore, his ‘remedies’ are unlikely to be effective. But, rebecca, you too fall into several traps, which sugegsts to me that you should really start familiarising yourself with the literature before suggesting others also do the same (and citing an article from 1984? Really?). To be clear, it is a fact that, actually, psychology is relevent to the discussion – and a rapist’s assessment of his wouldbe victim, and their ability to ‘challenge’ his attempt at domination and control, is far from the risible point you imply it to be. Indeed, the debates regarding the motivations of rapists consider the issue of the rapist’s perception of the ‘strength’ of character of a potential victim, and tend to choose ‘weaker’ victims. To take a relatively recent example from a relatively recent article (well, 23 years more recent than the article posted by Rebecca):

    “If, as studies of rapists suggest, harassers look for more passive or submissive women, women who are provocatively dressed may appear more confident and are therefore less likely to be considered appropriate targets by potential harassers. Indeed, the cases involving requests that women dress more professionally or tone down their sexy attire suggest that people are generally uncomfortable with women who dress provocatively in the workplace. The power dynamic involved in telling women to dress less provocatively (essentially trying to control their attire) is also interesting. It suggests that there is power in dressing provocatively, and that employers are uncomfortable by such assertions of this power by women.”

    Theresa M. Beiner, ‘Sexy Dressing Revisited: Does Target Dress Play a Part in Sexual Harassment Cases?’ (14), Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 125-152 (2007).

    http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=djglp#B139

    Of course, the conclusion here also throws doubt onto Phil’s remedies, but I’m not convinced, Rebecca, that you are qualified to critique his point, when you are, what? 30 years out of date?

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