“Creep” and Other Ways to Oppress Men

“Creep” and Other Ways to Oppress Men

Trigger warning: racist and sexist slurs

A few days ago, a person named Wayne tried to post this comment on my post Mom, Don’t Read This:

Rebecca, Isn’t “creep” one those dehumanising words you speak of?

I laughed, forwarded it to Melanie for her Un-censorship Project, and deleted it.

The next day, we received an email from the same person. I responded. This was our full conversation.

Wayne:

Comment: Hi

I tried to make a comment on one of Rebecca Watson’s older posts in which she uses the term “creep” whilst simultaneously decrying the use of dehumanising labels. I would really like to hear Rebecca’s response to the use of this term but my comment seems to have been not accepted.

Me:

Minecraft creeper with sunglasses saying

Wayne:

Wow is this the way you treat people who read your pages?

I guess its consistent with not wanting to admit to Rebecca’s dehumanising characterisations of men.

Me:

Please don’t read our pages anymore. We find your creepiness dehumanizing.

Wayne:

I have tried to ask a legimate reasonable question.

In response I have no idea why you feel the need to be abusive.

Me:

We have tried to send you legimate reasonable gifs. In response we have no idea why you feel the need to be abusive.
Mariachi band playing sound of silence

Wayne:

Reasonable would be simply answering my question.

Being evasive just suggests that you know that “creep” is being used by rebecca to be dehumanising.

Mocking is not reasonable, it is abusive.

Wayne (again):

There is amazing irony in the fact that Rebecca travels the world and online gives lectures mentioning abusive emails she receives and when I send a polite request for an opinion based on her story I get responded to with abuse.

To me it eats at your credibility.

Me:

Sloth saying

Wayne:

Hi

There is a certain irony that Rebecca travels the world and publishes online lectures where she complains about abusive emails from men whilst skepchick in response to a simple straight forward polite question responds with abuse. Abuse that seems from the follow up responses seems to be the policy of the organisation.

Me:

Man with keytar saying

Wayne:

Thanks is good to know that you don’t give a fuck about being abusive.

Consewquently it is surprising and hypocritical that Rebecca gives a fuck about the abuse she receives.

Amazingly, I got bored of posting gifs before he got bored of saying the same thing over and over again, so our correspondence ended there.

Equally amazingly, Wayne is a full-grown adult (I checked) who thinks that it is polite and reasonable to equate the word “creep” with comments from my post like “you’re a cunt” or that I left a “vagina-shaped hole” when I left an organization I founded. And he lumps a gif response to his email into the category of “abuse,” a category that I have put campaigns to have me arrested or fired from my podcast, and relentless online stalking and rape and death threats.

It’s a testament to men’s place in the world that a man crying “abuse” over a few cute gifs won’t result in anyone saying, “Men are so sensitive! Welcome to the Internet!” Instead, this persecution complex is taken as evidence that women are hypocrites, because they can’t complain about rape threats while at the same time calling someone a creep or a jerk or an asshole or an obsessive stalker.

It’s quite interesting, really – most male supremacists have given up trying to argue that women don’t suffer immense abuse at the hands of misogynists online, because the evidence has grown too great to ignore. So now, they’re focussing on jumping onto the oppression train. They have attempted to appropriate the word “bully,” for instance – just check out the #FTBullies hashtag, which is a, um, clever play on “Freethought Blogs” where most of the bloggers have some interest in social justice issues. The people using the hashtag do so while using dozens of parody Twitter accounts they created specifically to harass freethinkers with an interest in social justice, like Martin Robbins, Ophelia Benson, and me. The irony doesn’t even seem to occur to them.

And so now we have men desperately searching for a word that they can claim is used to marginalize and oppress them in the same way that women “get” words like cunt and bitch, and Jews “get” words like kike, and African Americans “get” words like coon and nigger. And the best they’ve come up with is “creep,” which happens to double as the title of two great songs, both of which I enjoy performing at karaoke.

What distinguishes “creep” from a word like “cunt” or “bitch”? Well, for a start, “creep” isn’t exclusively directed at men. When a man is called a “bitch,” he’s being called a low, weak woman. Calling a woman a creep doesn’t imply that she has any inherently male characteristics that are considered distasteful. You’re saying she’s being creepy, which is a nongendered state of being. See?

Ringu girl

Girl is literally creeping out of the TV.

No, “creep” describes a behavior, and it’s often an abusive behavior, at that.

But most importantly, “creep” is not a word that marginalizes and dehumanizes men because men are not a marginalized class. For some reason, this is a very difficult fact for anti-feminists to accept. I’ve never had a problem understanding that I’m not marginalized for being white, or for being straight, or for being cis-. Yet some men simply cannot abide the idea that they are not disadvantaged specifically for being men. It is truly baffling.

There you have it, anyway – an answer much more complete than Wayne deserves. But at least the next time someone bothers me with a similar question, I can send them a link to this post instead of using it as an opportunity to procrastinate on my work to look through my gif library and giggle.

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+.

70 Comments

  1. I had a similar experience with a Mormon on another blog who had the gall to accuse anti-Mormons of being bigots, when in fact Mormonism itself is one of the most bigoted religions ever invented. First read this:
    http://dalehusband.com/2010/09/14/the-book-of-mormon-is-a-p-o-s/

    Then read this which I made many months later:
    http://dalehusband.com/2014/01/03/more-mormon-idiocy/

    Learn what bigotry is, religious hypocrites! It’s about hating people for things you are BORN with and cannot change. No one is born with a religion and we always have the option to change it.

    • Even just knowing the many reasons the Book of Mormon is wrong, or reminding them of the time God changed his mind about black people qualifies as “anti-Mormonism”. Or Mountain Meadows. Or the abusive foster homes Indians were put into, often Mormons who wanted to bring the lost Israelites back into the fold.

  2. Rebecca Watson

    Where do you find these people?

    • Unfortunately, they find me.

      • Rebecca Watson,

        I’d imagine that it must be unpleasant when they do.

      • Rebecca Watson,

        Speaking of misogyny and creeps, did you see this thing on collage MRA’s Arthur Goldwag wrote for Hate Watch awhile back.

        Men’s Rights Activists Battle ‘Misandry’ on College Campuses
        http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/12/18/mens-rights-activists-battle-misandry-on-college-campuses/

        • My favorite part is that they’ve decided to put up a whole bunch of false accusations of rape to battle the ‘misandry’ of accusations of rape. The real irony being, a man is more likely to be struck by lightning, win the lottery, become an NFL star, or (bringing it down to a serious level) actually be raped than to be falsely accused of rape. And you know what? Having ‘men’s rights’ idjits spam rape hotlines with false accusations just makes it harder for legitimate male victims.

          • Jon Brewer,

            Couldn’t agree more, it also gives people a very good reason not to trust so called “men’s rights activists.” I mean if this was really a movement about protecting the rights of men, at the very least, wouldn’t a lot more of them be upset by this behavior?

          • I had a (protracted) Facebook fight with someone over that Buzzfeed post wherein they said false rape accusations were horrible and ruin lives and put men in prison where they get raped. Funny enough, I got no response when I pointed out that rape of men is two to five times (depending on area and prison) more likely outside of prison than in.

          • The big problem is that, for every spam accusation of rape filed by an MRA, it makes it difficult for the real rape victims. I mean, we can, at best, filter out MRAs, but only by filtering out every deep voice (which also causes problems for gay men). Seriously, it…doesn’t work easily.

            The problem is, even when something like Steubenville happens, and the rape is ON FRICKIN’ VIDEO!, they still talk about how the conviction ruined those kids’ lives. Yeah, don’t rape. It’s not that hard. Somehow I’ve managed to live my entire life without raping anyone. Shocking, but true. I mean, we’re not talking about making the threshold of evidence for a conviction anything less than “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but “reasonable” is the operative word here.

  3. There’s another good “creep” song from back in the ’80s. All-women punk band with “Too Many Creeps.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqn-1z-B4CM

    • M. Fenn,

      One of the nice things about the eighties was the music.

      • When I was in high school, the military recruiters had a band, and they played “99 Luftballons” (with English lyrics). You know, one of the more antiwar songs out there? We all chuckled at that.

  4. “men are not a marginalized class” And herein lies the disconnect. There is a subset of men (primarily MRA’s and their fellow travelers, but not exclusively) who genuinely and in the face of all fact and reason believe that men are in fact a marginalized class, particularly middle class white men. The detachment from reality required to honestly believe this is astounding, but there it is.

  5. I love the way Wayne refers to you in the first person and then in the third person in quick succession.
    Muddled creep is muddled.

  6. My mom used to tell me the problem with public transportation is that there’s always one creep on every bus. But I could never spot him.

  7. Is there a Patreon level where I can just cruise your (and Elyse’s) gif library? Because, fer srs.

  8. That sloth really packs on the abuse!

  9. Rebecca Watson wins.

    Flawless victory!

  10. Of course, this reminds me of when I had someone argue that “jerk” was comparable to “retarded” during an objection to that word. I had to explain that dehumanizing words pretty much point to a recognizably distinct class of humans that one actually dehumanizes by using a derogatory description of said class of humans. Thus, when I call someone a jerk, I don’t expect someone to claim all of a sudden “That’s our word!” As an ethnic minority, I too find this amusingly too stupid for response sometimes. Although, I’ll try. Tilting at windmills etc.

  11. Oh god damn it…

    Part of the reason this sort of shit irritates me so much, is because I don’t really like the word “creep” either. Not for any of those stupid reasons, but because it often gets applied to people who are socially awkward (by which I mean socially awkward in non-threatening ways) or autistics. It kinda feels like it lumps in people who don’t deserve it with much worse people, while being a little too easygoing on those people. But every time some shithead like this says something stupid, it becomes harder to say anything reasonable about it. At least I think my issues with the word are reasonable.

    Of course, since the word isn’t that oppressive, I don’t feel very strongly about it anyway.

    • Hmm… I don’t doubt that people who are intolerant of difference unfairly accuse socially awkward and/or autistic people of being creepy. But there are socially awkward people (who may or may not be autistic) who seem to feel that it is other people’s responsibility to deal with the socially awkward person’s inappropriate behavior, and that calling them out on it (saying “you are being creepy”) is somehow unacceptable.
      As a socially awkward person myself, I would of course be mortified and upset if accused of being creepy, but I also spend an enormous effort to try to gage how appropriate my behavior is (since my instincts in that regard aren’t great). And I think that is as it should be.
      So I don’t think the word “creep” is an unfair term to use, even if the creepy behavior is not done consciously.

      • You may a good point. I wasn’t really thinking of openly inappropriate behaviours, so much as benign mannerisms that fall out of the range of behaviour considered socially ordinary. To call someone out for legitimate harassment or misbehaviour is fine, obviously. I generally hear the word more when there is someone who is disturbing to someone for reasons that are hard to put a finger on. Which could be things like facial features, or speech patterns. I knew a person who sold popcorn at a community college once. He was there some time. There was never an incident that involved him. He was perfectly polite to everyone. The worst I ever heard about him was he handed out religious material with the popcorn, which isn’t great, but not really creepy. Yet I still heard him called “creepy” by several people. I think it was his eyebrows.

        It may be I just don’t like labeling people as “creepy” full out. I’m much more comfortable with saying a certain behaviour is creepy, or even that “[person] creeps me out.” But that’s really more of my person take on it. That’s how I would use the word, and feel most comfortable with it, but I don’t really fault other people for not using it the same way. The topic kind of related to some of the issues I had with the word, and I’m always disappointed to see someone express a similar viewpoint (“I have issues with this word.”)… and then have entirely stupid and awful reasons for holding that viewpoint. Kind of like people who want to legalize marijuana for no other reason than being stoners.

    • “It kinda feels like it lumps in people who don’t deserve it with much worse people, while being a little too easygoing on those people.”

      Yes, and this article starts out with an example of exactly this. Wayne asked a simple question. Rebecca called him a creep. Wayne didn’t overstep any boundries. He wasn’t overly sexual. I don’t see any dehumanizing creepiness coming from Wayne at all. Just a genuine effort from a critical thinker to fully understand Rebecca’s position.

      Now this doesn’t make Rebecca an oppressor. As she rightly points out, men are not a marginalized class. But it does weaken the word creep when it’s thrown around like that. Save it for the creeps who leer at women at the gym, or won’t take no for an answer at the bar.

    • I’m socially awkward myself, and honestly- if I’m being a creep, I want someone to tell me about it. Sooner rather than later.

      Granted, I’d prefer something a little more gentle than “you f-ing creep”, but sometimes I’m too dense for that and need a more aggressive approach. It’s not fun to be on the receiving end of such comments, even the gentler forms, but it’s important to call people on their bullshit even if they are otherwise a totally awesome person.

      I’m not meaning to say that people have an obligation to point out my failings- they don’t. Just, when you do decide to correct someone you think is ok but having honest difficulties navigating a social situation, sometimes getting a bit harsh, and dropping words like creep, is actually the best way to get them on track. I’d generally advise more gentle nudges as a first resort, but sometimes letting loose with how much of a creep the person is being will help tremendously.

  12. When I first started reading feminist authors, the whole “men are not a marginalized class” thing was actually really hard for me to understand. If you have a religious/cultic background (which I did) you have these really high expectations for men: a man should work 40-60 hours a week, a man should be able to fix anything for his wife, essentially having simultaneous near professional level skills in auto mechanics, carpentry, plumbing, etc., he should know more than she does on every subject (finances, child raising, etc.) because he is the head of the house and that’s his job. If you believe that being stronger, smarter, wiser, more logical, more reasonable, and all ways just better than a woman, is your god given duty, it seems like women are held to lower standard and all there is for you in life is working your ass off. Hence, men are the disadvantaged ones. When I put the idea behind me that I was the sole source of intelligence and income and accepted that my wife is an equal partner in those things, suddenly it was clear that getting facts and getting paid are easier for me because society makes it easier for me. Oh…I’m privileged.

    Apparently Wayne hasn’t gotten that yet. Since he thinks women get such a better deal he will grasp at any straw to pull them back down. OH GOD SHE SAID ‘CREEP’! THAT TOTALLY MAKE IT OK FOR TO SAY BITCH AND CUNT!…sigh…no, Wayne, let’s start from the top again. Good post, Rebecca.

  13. My only beef with the word “creep” is that it isn’t specific enough. I think we need to give women and girls the vocabulary, permission and power to accurately describe the creepy behavior so that there is no uncertainty what said dude did wrong. I did a whole series on this in my Polimicks blog because of a bunch of bullshit about how using the word creep “demonized” men’s sexuality. Bullshit, if it demonizes anything it’s bad behavior that may or may not have anything to do with sexuality. Let’s face it, some behaviors are fucking awful and need to be called out. I just think we need to be more specific.

    “Hey, it’s not ok to keep staring at my tits while pretending to be interested in the words coming out of my mouth.”
    “No, it is not ok to lean in and invade my personal space when I don’t know you.”
    “No, nice rack is not a compliment.”

  14. Rebecca, I’m a big fan and I love this post! But I was pretty disappointed that you typed out the oppressive racial slurs instead of using n**** and k*** or some variation. I have heard a lot of POC say that reading those words, even when being discussed critically, is triggering and disrespectful. Would you consider editing the post?

    Other than that — yes to everything you’ve said! If some guys feel oppressed by being called creeps, they should stop doing creepy things!

    • Thanks for the note. I’ve put in a trigger warning at the top of the post (rather than remove the slurs…since I’m discussing the meaning of the words, it’s important to be able to use the words for clarity).

    • I’ve never heard such things, personally. Mostly because linguistic determinism has its own racist history. (Eskimo words for snow, anybody? Or Hopi tenses, which got Hopi tenses, Hopi ideas about time, and the contemporaneous understanding of physics all wrong in one sentence.)

  15. One positve outcome of Wayne’s complaint, we got to see some clever GIFs that Ms Watson had hidden away.

    I like that ‘creep’ refers to a behaviour rather than labelling a person as an object such as the words frequently used to denigrate women.

  16. I would like for you to clarify where you find such awesome gifs.

  17. It might be more respectful/less triggering to write k[slur] and n[slur] instead of spelling them out? I write as someone who has been called one of them.

  18. What’s a good rebuttal to these guys? The gif’s seem to be the only way to deal with these guys, because it’s not like you can reason with them on any level.

  19. I like to think of myself as a person dedicated to ending sexism, racism, homophobia and various entitlements.

    In that respect, I would like to say that the last paragraph was the only part of this post that actually illuminated what you mean the word ‘creep’.

    Perhaps ‘creep’ is a regional term but I’ve only heard it applied to men who are either actively ‘hitting on’ women in an unwelcome fashion (sometimes from gay men), or applied to men whom women would not enjoy being approached by. I’ve never heard a woman referred to as a ‘creep’. (This doesn’t mean it’s a purely gender-less term everywhere. I’m not a creep expert. Just in my experience.)

    • Miketv,

      Good luck getting rid of those things. I’d love to see the day when those things are gone. However, bigotry, especially sexism has existed in one form or another throughout time.

    • Mike, in my experience as a lesbian with a well-rounded social circle, I assure you “creepiness” is not limited to men.

      • I’m referring only to the word “creep” (noun) and not “creepy” (adjective). Any person or inanimate object is normally referred to as “creepy” in modern parlance. ‘That’s a creepy house.’, ‘Those creepy twins from The Shining.’, ‘That creepy girl from the ring.’

        I never meant to imply that ‘creepy’ can only be applied to men. What I meant was that there are likely some people for whom the noun “creep” is an exclusively male term. If I said “Go get that creep”, most people I know wouldn’t attribute that to anyone but a male.

        • Right, I too am referring to the concept of creepiness and being a creep. I get that a lot of folks have a very limited view on who is associated with being a creep, and I’m saying that is their own ignorance and, further, insisting that the word dehumanizes men serves to erase a large swath of the population’s lived experiences. Talk about dehumanizing.

          • Izilari, I never said insinuated word dehumanizes men, nor women. I certainly didn’t ‘insist’ it. I’m only saying that some people have a strong male connotation to the noun ‘creep’.

            I’m a nice guy, I promise… I want to help the cause.

          • Mike, I didn’t say you did. I said “folks” and “their” and then I added to my original point with a further statement about the folks with the limited view. You were talking about other people (like Wayne) having a different connotation of the word creep and so was I.

          • Jeez, izilari, will you stop being a shrieking man-hating lesbian please for one second and let miketv mansplain this to you?!

          • Will, are you calling me a ‘shriek’? I’m confused because in the regional dialect of my lady-separatist commune “shriek” (noun) has a different connotation than “shrieking” (verb).

    • I used to date a woman, many years ago, that turned out to be a huge creep. I call her “Angie the Creep”. A few friends that knew her back then also call her a creep.

      because she is a total creep. Or at least was back then.

      so….try again?

      • I’m sure there are many instances where women are referred to as a ‘creep’. I’m only saying that ‘some’ people may have that connotation.

        • Okay. So you’ve said that. So? What’s your point?

        • This is so disingenuous. You are not “only saying” that some people “may” have that connotation. Let’s quote exactly what you said:

          Perhaps ‘creep’ is a regional term but I’ve only heard it applied to men who are either actively ‘hitting on’ women in an unwelcome fashion (sometimes from gay men), or applied to men whom women would not enjoy being approached by. I’ve never heard a woman referred to as a ‘creep’. (This doesn’t mean it’s a purely gender-less term everywhere. I’m not a creep expert. Just in my experience.)

          You said this in response to Rebecca. You were trying to assert that you’ve never heard it applied to women and this comes across as implying that you find it hard to believe that creep is aimed at women because, by golly, you’ve never heard it used that way! Perhaps without even realizing it, you’ve entered into this thread with a privilege disclaiming statement, mansplained to someone, called yourself a “nice guy” (not really a good thing to call yourself in feminist circles), and ultimately have backed off to essentially say you came in to inform Rebecca (and the other women commenting here) that SOME people MAY think creep only refers to males.

          My unsolicited advice to you is to take a step back and look at what’s happening in this thread. You are not acting like a person who is dedicated to ending sexism. You’re acting like a person who regularly discounts women’s views and experiences and instead believes that your own views and experiences are superior.

          • I’m a nice guy… not a ‘nice guy ™’. I have no interest in ‘hitting on’ women. I have no interest in romantic relations with women. I have no interest in sex with women. I don’t use sex or good deeds to be a weapon or a tool.

            As for the word ‘creep’, I fully admit that people can (and likely do) use this word for both men and women. My only point was that it’s a engendered term to some. I don’t feel particularly dismayed by baseless accusation of ‘regularly discounts women’s views’. and ‘believes my own views… are superior’.

            I ended my previous comment with “This doesn’t mean it’s a purely gender-less term everywhere. I’m not a creep expert. Just in my experience.”

          • Baseless? You’re still fucking doing it.

            “I fully admit that people can (and likely do) use this word for both men and women.”

            What do you mean CAN and LIKELY DO? You have had multiple women in this thread tell you, in no uncertain terms, that they use the word to refer to people of all genders. You’re still being dismissive with this kind of language. It comes across as that you don’t entirely believe them because it doesn’t fit with your experience.

            You’re being a creep.

          • Mike, if you have to insist that you’re a nice guy — you promise! TRULY! You’re totally a nice guy! What? You don’t see it? I AM OH SO NICE! — …. maybe you’re not so nice after all.

            In other words: How nice you are or are not is irrelevant. We don’t really give a shit.

            This has nothing to do with you!

  20. I don’t expect to end bigotry 100%. But that’s not why we try.

    • Miketv,

      Good point.

    • The quote you left out of your dismissal was “My only point was that it’s engendered term to some”.
      If that’s being a creep, then I’m a creep.

      • Ah, yes, way to become a martyr! Who called you a creep? Why are you making this out to be all about you?

      • Ah. He did call you a creep. Well, you kinda are being a creep. But yeah, way to make this all about you and YOUR personal experiences when this is about the EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN. Good job, man. Good job.

      • You’re a weirdo. What the hell are you doing here? You don’t belong here.

  21. “Trigger warning: racist and sexist slurs”

    I really appreciate the trigger warnings for both the sexist and racist slurs used in this post because I find it hypocritical when only racial slurs, homophobic slurs, transphobic slurs, etc. are censored, but somehow it’s okay to throw the b-word (and other female slurs) around at women (especially) relentlessly. All marginalized groups should be treated with the same respect.

    Similarly, in an instance like this that implies it’s okay to call or hint at calling women misogynist slurs, but any kind of act of homophobia must be forbidden at all costs! http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/father-disowns-homophobic-daughter-in-epic-letter-230436549.html

    Again, thank you.

  22. I <3 those GIFs, Rebecca. Mind if I steal them? (I will give proper credit, of course, but I could really use the "like I give a fuck" one at times.)

  23. I’d like to thank everyone for such unwelcoming, vitriolic, sexist responses. It threw me. It confused me. It made me actually ask questions, and has opened my eyes.

    I didn’t come here from some forum nor youtube channel. I don’t pay attention to the currents of ‘atheist culture’. I came to skepchick with only good intentions as a fan foolishly expecting skeptical discourse. A fan of the SGU Podcast, of Atheism, of Feminism, of Skepticism, and of Rebecca Watson (from what I knew of her on SGU) Before I actually knew her rhetoric…

    We’re told feminism is somehow the ‘real pro-equality’ movement. Any other position must be bigotry. I just believed that as a fact, before I came to this blog. Very unskeptical of me. Rebecca and the community on this blog have inspired me to do my due diligence and changed my mind on a lot of matters.

    • Also, PS: Intention isn’t magic, ya know.

    • Creepy is definitely not the exclusive province of men. Women get called creepy too.

      Real world example, my ex roommate (a friend living with my wife and I) turned out to have a big crush on me and coming into my room and laying on my bed with me. I’m married with kids. I definitely called her creepy.

      I mean srsly haven’t you seen Nicky Minaj in “do the creep?” – video documented proof.

      • Another real-life example, a middle-aged woman who used to call me up and ask me all kinds of sexual questions. I don’t even know how she got my number. I know she had a mental illness, but I still ended up blocking her number.

        I’d assume most creeps are men, for various cultural reasons, but it’s not the exclusive province of men.

    • Miketv, just stop. Even if you are the most well-meaning nice guy in the world, your on the wrong headed side of things here. Being a fan doesn’t mean you “get it” all the time. Part of acknowledging privilege is listening when folks tell you when you have it wrong, and then learning from it.

      As far as unwelcoming, vitriolic, and sexist? Did we read the same posts? People went out of their way to explain several times that creep is not the sole province of male descriptors.

  24. Sexist? Vitriolic? Really? In a post about women getting death threats? Are you serious?

    You come across as whiny. And here you are again. Trying to reassure you that you’re a swell guy and a great ally.

    Allies shouldn’t spend their time trying to assure the groups they claim to be allies of that they are, in fact, allies and super-nice guys. DON’T YOU SEE?

    Also, trying to guilt Rebecca and the rest of us into feeling bad because you’re a fan is, well, there you are again: Waaaah.

  25. My point was never “women can’t be or aren’t called creepy”… that’s an easy point to argue against, but a straw argument, since that was never my point. It was always that some people might have a different notion than you (Perhaps Wayne)… Both he and readers would have benefited from a real answer to his question, and perhaps even see another point of view if someone explained it to him like a person. If not for Rebecca’s abrasive, dismissive responses, that’s not likely to happen with that guy now, nor other readers with skeptical sensibilities. I was curious, offered my point of view, admitted fallibility and this community echoed Watsons abrasive, dismissive tone. This isn’t the type of rational discussion I’m into… but I do see people very interested in hurling high-school insults and notices of unwelcome to anyone in the out-group, rather than equality and skeptical inquiry. I’m a guy. I mentioned feminism. I must be a creep. If I point that out… I’m a martyr… or a weirdo. Privileged… I don’t belong here.

    I take no real offense to all these words, I’m gay…
    I hear people ‘name calling’ like it’s my job…
    I hear people say “What the hell are you doing here?” like it’s my goddamn WWE intro song,
    they’re called ‘bullies’… that’s not the team I’m on.

    Once again, I take no real offense… I was just taken aback at how acerbic and dismissive a ‘skeptical’ community can be. And how wildly different Rebecca is in real life, compared to the podcast.

    It’s always upsetting when people I liked to listen to are actually jerks. It ruins it for me. We need strong women in skepticism. But if ‘feminist skepticism’ is this hateful, I’m rather glad not to be considered an ally to it.

    • So, your point was to school Rebecca on proper deportment and effective communication.
      The defensive pedantic dismissiveness in the comment thread was just incidental.

      Well, that’s all right, then.

    • miketv – Context is important here. Wayne came into a post about death and rape threats to ask if creep was a “dismissive word”, it was a derailing tactic that used all the fucking time by trolls who wish to make the narrative about them. Could it have had a sincere and innocent question on his part? Sure, but as a skeptic I am sure you are familiar with Occam’s razor. He either was a sincere and naive person who truly wished to ask an innocent question or he was a troll deliberately wishing to once again derail the conversation. If he was innocent then he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and that would be unfortunate, but given the fact that this shit happens over, and over, and over and over again the safe bet was on troll and the response was not only appropriate but decidedly less cruel then it could have been.

      As for the “names” that you were called… You were called a martyr because you were setting yourself up as one, you were called privileged because you possess privilege (and it’s a fact, not an insult), and you were called a creep and a weirdo and told you don’t belong here because Radiohead said so. Watch the embedded video, you just had a joke whiz well over your head.

      Also, please remember that being disagreed with, even vehemently, is not bullying. You don’t need to agree with Rebecca to post here, you don’t have to like here tactics, you can believe all that crap about how “different” she is on SGU, but what you can’t do is tell her how to run her blog. Seriously, it’s her party and she can roast a d-bag if she wants to.

    • Both he and readers would have benefited from a real answer to his question, and perhaps even see another point of view if someone explained it to him like a person.

      Unlikely. His ‘question’ was false-equivalence trolling, the MRA equivalent of BSABSVR*. If he had been asking in good faith, he could have shown it in several ways – adding his own thoughts and reasons why, for one. Instead, he throws a hissy fit about not getting the individual pampered attention he believes he is owed. Rebecca does not have a responsibility to respond to every single comment, but Wayne thought he was owed this.

      If not for Rebecca’s abrasive, dismissive responses, that’s not likely to happen with that guy now, nor other readers with skeptical sensibilities.

      One of the very, very first things I learned when dealing with people with nonprivileged viewpoints is that it’s not their responsibility to teach you anything. I made the same mistake that Wayne did (and that you’re arguing for here), and asked somebody else to spend their time to go through Racism 001 (Remedial Racism, not even 100-level racism) with me. Because if nobody ever taught ME, then how could I learn? It’s so MEAN of them to expect me to know this stuff!
      We have a responsibility to learn the basics on our own. If you disagree, and can actually make a case for your disagreement (tip: saying “But nobody I know has done this!” doesn’t actually make a case) then you can have an actual discussion. Otherwise, you’re just asking somebody else to do your work for you (and you’re never the first person to ask this); and the right response is derision and mockery.

      It’s always upsetting when people I liked to listen to are actually jerks. It ruins it for me. We need strong women in skepticism. But if ‘feminist skepticism’ is this hateful, I’m rather glad not to be considered an ally to it.

      If your ‘allyship’ is dependent upon the nonprivileged being nice to you, then I’d question how much of an ally you were to begin with. Everybody screws up, everybody has people get annoyed at them. But this looks like the people you’re trying to be allies with are telling you, “Whoa, no, you’re wrong, listen to us,” and your response is to take your ally ball and go home.
      If you don’t like the conclusion I’m drawing, it’s up to you to change it. Please note that I’m not saying this conclusion is right or accurate about you as a person, I’m saying it’s what your actions here have shown us. (It’s just like when one person doesn’t understand what you wrote, it’s on them, but if everybody doesn’t understand, it’s on you.)

    • So like, you should probably watch and listen to the “Creep” song posted. JUST SAYIN’.

      WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH

      But hey, way to make it ALL about you and how awful we’re being to you.

      White, straight cis male creeps are SO OPRESSED.

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