Feminism

Anti-Feminist Vlogger Jaclyn Glenn Plagiarizes YouTube & Twitter Comments

There have been many recent examples of high profile plagiarism scandals, from Jane Goodall to Slavoj Žižek to Shia LeBeouf to Jonah Lehrer.

Add to that noteworthy list Jaclyn Glenn, who you probably don’t know unless you are super into YouTube anti-feminists or if you follow Richard Dawkins on Twitter.

I first became aware of Glenn about a month ago, when I saw links to her videos popping up here and there on social media. The joy I felt at seeing another outspoken atheist woman on YouTube quickly dissipated after I tried and failed to make it through a single video without uncontrollable cringing. I found her videos poorly written, produced, and acted, but seeing as that’s how I feel about 99.9% of YouTube videos, I didn’t think it was exactly newsworthy. From what I could tell, she saw the hundreds of thousands of hits that people like The Amazing Atheist and Thunderf00t are getting for their videos and decided to emulate them in a camisole: make a few videos mocking Christians, add in a few mocking feminists, and presto! YouTube/Adsense Partner success.

Her most recent video is about “Atheism+” and “pussies,” and previous efforts have included videos about how Elliot Rodger’s killing spree was about his mental instability and not about misogyny (which Christina Rad responds to here).

Outspoken advocates for both atheism and male supremacy have been eating it up, with many fawning compliments from the likes of Dawkins:

As well as American Atheists:

(This includes, as Ophelia Benson points out, frequent plugs specifically for Glenn’s anti-feminist videos from AA mouthpiece Dave Muscato.)

Yesterday, Benson also pointed out that Glenn posted a rant to her Facebook page that was directly lifted from an earlier YouTube comment posted by Mikkj1. Here’s the YouTube comment:

mikkj1 glenn

While a lot of us hardcore atheists are subscribed to any number of vloggers, we’re not really the target demographic. We’re (they’re) trying to reach the undecideds, the a-curious. Each vlogger reaches, or speaks to, a different demographic. If Jaclyn can reach some that wouldn’t click on Thunderf00t or TheAmazingAtheist or CultofDusy, then good. With people who have been indoctrinated for the majority, if not all, of their lives, repetition is necessary. Also, this subject is not as infinitely variable as you might think, and videos are going to always be somewhat derivative. I’m not sure why you felt the need to post a criticism, but that’s your right. I suspect it’s for the same reason that your channel is full of anti-feminist videos, but that’s just supposition. Have a good one.

And here’s Glenn’s Facebook post:

While many “hardcore atheists” are subscribed to any number of vloggers, you’re not always the target demographic. I’m trying to reach the undecideds, the a-curious. Each vlogger reaches, or speaks to, a different demographic. If I can reach some that wouldn’t click on Thunderf00t or TheAmazingAtheist or CultofDusy, then great!

With people who have been indoctrinated- for the majority, if not all, of their lives, repetition is necessary. Also, this subject is not as infinitely variable as you might think, and videos are going to always be somewhat derivative. I’m always trying to do things in a creative way- either by humor, including guests on videos, doing skits, or singing songs.
Why do people find it necessary to say I’m unoriginal and only achieve success because of my gender or looks? I’m fine with *constructive* criticism, I appreciate it. But if you’re determined to hate me then just don’t watch my videos. I’m not Dawkins or Hitchens, and I’m not trying to be. I’m contributing in the best way I know how. If it doesn’t work for you, move on. The infighting within the atheist community is on my last nerve. We don’t always have to agree, but constant polarization is suffocating our voice. Divided we fall.

To be absolutely clear, yes, that is Glenn quite clearly plagiarizing a YouTube comment in order to complain about being called “unoriginal.” The irony is astounding.

After I Tweeted a link to Benson’s article, Ryan Bailey replied to tell me that Glenn also plagiarized from him in one of her videos:

Sure enough, here’s what Glenn says in her video, posted March 27:

It seems like religious people every year are getting more and more desperate. They staunchly oppose science up to a point and then jump ship and they try to take it on as their own.

And here’s Bailey’s Tweet, sent directly to Glenn on March 24:

Funny how the religious staunchly oppose science up to a point where they jump ship and take it on as their own.

It’s an incredibly strange little nugget to copy word-for-word – surely anyone with an ounce of creativity could think of an alternate way to express the same idea without lifting it. It makes me wonder how much of Glenn’s script just sounds like rehashed drivel and how much of it actually is directly plagiarized from other sources. Personally, I can’t bear to dig through her videos to find out, but perhaps one of you has the time, patience, and sense of moral outrage necessary to take on the task.

If you think you’re up to that challenge but haven’t yet actually seen one of Glenn’s videos, let me just remind you that this is a person who plagiarized a YouTube comment. May the FSM be with you.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. 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+.

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50 Comments

  1. July 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm —

    Are you daring to imply that Jaclyn Glenn’s cultural impact might match that of Shia LeBeouf?

    • July 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm —

      I should hope not. The Beef’s already wrecked so much of my childhood.

  2. July 19, 2014 at 5:51 pm —

    I’m sorry, but this article seems very petty to me. Who CARES if she stole some text from a comment? Seriously. She is out there fighting on behalf of Mankind to help rid the world of religion. We need more people doing it. And if they take some words from a comment here or there it is a non-issue.

    • July 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm —

      Seriously, we need WAY more people plagiarizing, and calling other atheists, “pussies” from their bedrooms if we are going to convince more people to join us.

      • July 21, 2014 at 12:59 am —

        Hmm. Sadly, her “video” isn’t a pro-PUA version of Naked News. I am sure the target audience would adore her even more for it. Me.. I would still go for something less demeaning, like.. any of the videos on certain “adult clips” sites, or a copy of one of the “raunchier” adult mags. Some of those might actually contain something not pro-misogynistic. And, what does that say about how F-ed up the world seems to be?

    • July 19, 2014 at 9:31 pm —

      Right on! Plagiarism schmagiarism! if we have to lather, rinse repeast until the cows come home and religion is as quaint as knitting clubs then, go for it Jaclyn Glenn! I, for one, welcome our non-pussy overlords!

    • July 20, 2014 at 6:26 am —

      “She is out there fighting on behalf of Mankind to help rid the world of religion.”

      Great, so I agree with neither her aim nor her method.

    • July 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm —

      Yep. She’s fighting on behalf of Mankind alright. The other half of humanity? Not so much.

      • July 20, 2014 at 2:58 pm —

        I was thinking Mankind the pro wrestler, a.k.a. Mick Foley.

        Or the ManKind Project, an unrelated ‘get in touch with your inner wild man’ woo.

        • July 21, 2014 at 2:05 am —

          Good point. I didn’t pay enough attention to the capitalization. Clearly Jaclyn Glenn and Mankind have formed a tag team duo. Who do you think is in Rebecca’s corner? I’m guessing The Rock.

          • July 21, 2014 at 7:30 am

            Jericho, I would definitely say Chris Jericho.
            Or maybe CM Punk, they’re both pretty geeky.

        • July 21, 2014 at 11:45 am —

          Mick Foley is totally a feminist, though. He’d be on my side!

          • July 23, 2014 at 3:49 am

            So Mick’s actually a double-agent for the feminist agenda? I knew it!

    • July 22, 2014 at 4:03 pm —

      That plagiarism is wrong is something taught in middle school. Whether it’s legally actionable or not is irrelevant (unless you’re the party pursuing it), it’s morally reprehensible to any writer. It’s even more of a sore point considering this is an atheist and so many religious types argue that atheists have no morals. So I, for one, care.

    • October 5, 2015 at 4:35 pm —

      I came to read this piece after all the new cases of plagiarism Jaclyn was busted on. I don’t think the end justifies the means. I as an atheist value intellectual honesty above everything in discussion, and I don’t think it’s right to toss that just to get the message through. That’s what stands between me and the religious preachers: they will say anything, no matter how dishonest or absurd, to win converts, I will not. I’ll stick to the truth and I want the atheists representing our view to do the same. Otherwise we’re no better. Jaclyn has been calling religious people out on their hypocrisy and intellectual laziness, while being an absolute hypocrite by being an intellectually lazy plagiarist herself. She doesn’t deserve to be a face for atheism.

  3. July 19, 2014 at 6:54 pm —

    If she were adding something significant to the conversation I could think that that was why she was popular in spite of being a mean-girl anti-feminist atheist, but… I’m not seeing it, and it tends to make me think instead that she’s becoming popular *because* of being a mean-girl anti-feminist atheist.

    • October 5, 2015 at 4:42 pm —

      Honestly, I’m not sure whether she even is an anti-feminist, or if that’s just something she picked up as trendy. When you look through her video titles it’s easy to notice that pretty much every issue she covers has been covered by the Amazing Atheist, Thunderf00t, MrRepzion or some other atheist Youtuber way before. She mainly regurgitates the content and views of tAA and Repzion. Her channels description could be “Want to hear Amazing Atheist’s thoughts presented by a pretty girl instead of a chubby guy? You’ve come to the right place!” She even said in an opinion piece, that she doesn’t feel necessary doing one, because tAA has already done it. So tAA has already made a video about Jaclyn’s views. LOL

  4. July 19, 2014 at 8:10 pm —

    <make browsers happy/>

    “Personally, I can’t bear to dig through her videos to find out, but perhaps one of you has the time, patience, and sense of moral outrage necessary to take on the task. “

    But moral outrage is boring!

  5. July 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm —

    I used to subscribe to Thunderf00t and Amazing Atheist videos. Unfortunately their tone changed and they developed a zeal for a very fundamentalist, literal kind of “free speech”, and I could not stomach them anymore. They profess to be anti-feminist but their definition of feminism bears no resemblance to actual feminism. It’s a shame that yet another YouTube atheist has gone down this path and that they also dishonestly plagiarize.

    In my YouTube travels female atheists are still quite rare. The only other female atheist YouTuber I know of goes by the name Lee Lemon ( http://www.youtube.com/user/leelem0n ). Unfortunately, she also professes an anti-feminist sentiment in a one or two of her videos. :( YouTube could definitely use more Rebecca Watsons and Christina Rads.

    • July 19, 2014 at 9:21 pm —

      Oh, and few more Surly Amys would rock as well.

    • July 21, 2014 at 10:47 am —

      BionicDance, ThePeach, WeissApple, WildwoodClaire1, Lacy Green?

      Does ZinniaJones count as a female atheist YouTuber? Or is the Skepchick commentary community only recognize individuals with 2 X chromosomes as female?
      I also have encountered rad fems who are insulted if you use the term “female”. Not sure why that is, but feel free to refer to me as female or a female. I’ve always liked that word, personally. I never had the opportunity to ask someone who actually feels this way. My follow-up question would be whether she is ok with referring to the other half of the human population as male or males.

  6. July 19, 2014 at 11:10 pm —

    I’m with PZ, until she plagiarizes her apology for plagiarism, she’s no Shia LeBeouf. I’ve never heard of Lee Lemon, but I do like Futurama references. I’ll have to check some of her videos out.

  7. July 20, 2014 at 2:30 am —

    That Dawkins twitter is like the internet’s bigoted, embarrassing old grandpa that everyone wants to ignore, but there he is at Thanksgiving complaining about how the girls today shouldn’t dress all slutty if they want to get a husband and telling that one story about the funny Chinese down at the market. He’s like the anti-Takei.

  8. July 20, 2014 at 9:21 am —

    I wonder if the APA has a guide on Facebook statuses and plagiarism of Youtube comments. In any event, she has attributed credit to “Mikkj1”, so this should probably be updated.

    • July 21, 2014 at 8:46 pm —

      When you get caught, it doesn’t count any more if you try to cover up what you did.

  9. July 20, 2014 at 10:45 am —

    As if by magic, this morning my YouTube “What to Watch” suggestions included a female atheist named MinorityAtheist ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCchZAQbtHEcyvRZphDNmNhA ). Looks like she only started posting videos back in March.

  10. July 20, 2014 at 11:44 am —

    I always thought she was atheist click bait. There was probably a bit of ageism going on, as I assumed she was too young to have much personal experience or expertise to go into much depth, and would be saying things I’ve already heard. I hate it when my prejudices turn out to be a little too true.

  11. July 20, 2014 at 12:23 pm —

    Interesting that in the original part of the comment she actually makes an important point about not judging female vloggers on their gender and looks. Too bad her actual video content undermines that goal.

    • July 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm —

      What am I saying–she’s being perfectly consistent. She wants people to not judge HER by her gender or looks, other women be damned. The essence of the anti-feminist woman.

  12. July 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm —

    Also, it appears Ophelia Benson herself may have plagiarized Anthony Stanley, who seems to be the one who caught the copy paste job itself. Blog posts copying Facebook comments of Facebook statuses copying Youtube comments. It truly is a dire world.

    • July 20, 2014 at 8:51 pm —

      Are you are saying she took his word by word response or that she had a similar idea that may have been prompted by someone else’s catch? I ask because there really is a difference.

    • July 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm —

      I just love when you come on here and say things like this but provide no links or context.

      • July 21, 2014 at 2:08 am —

        gemmer v. to babble vehemently and incoherently without providing any context whatsoever

        “I posted one photo of a firefighter on my blog and suddenly there were Truthers gemmering all over the place.”

      • July 21, 2014 at 6:35 pm —

        Careful, Will. It’s almost like you’re…demanding he provide proof of his assertions, rather than taking him on faith. There’s got to be a word for that kind of episteme, it’s on the tip of my tongue…

  13. July 21, 2014 at 9:43 am —

    Following this article i viewed several videos of jaclyn now and can’t for the live of me find a single shred of evidence that she is anti-feminist. So, i honestly don’t know where all the anger comes from. She prefers the view to have totally equal rights for all genders (not just male and female). If that’s anti-feminist than maybe i don’t know what feminist is. To me she comes across as a very bright person with a very social and inclusive world view.

    • July 21, 2014 at 10:14 am —

      I suspect you are right, you don’t know what feminist is.

      • July 22, 2014 at 3:21 am —

        Then please enlighten me what is anti-feminist about jaclyn. I am honestly curious.

        • July 22, 2014 at 5:25 am —

          Two things spring to mind. Firstly, she seems to not realise how much society supports misogyny. That I can understand to some degree. Certainly I’m blind to a lot of the subtle signals society sends me. However, if intelligent people keep telling me that I’m missing something, then at some stage I stop denying them and digging my heels in and instead start to question my own perception.

          Secondly, another thing and something that really makes me angry about her posts is that I get the feeling that she’s telling me what I believe because I self-identify as a feminist. This despite many many people commenting that her definition of feminism is not representative of that used by self-identifying feminists.

        • July 22, 2014 at 9:57 am —

          She has a straw-feminist character (that looks and acts a lot like Christina Rad though she denies it is) and she has attacked a version of Atheism+ that simply does not exist. That is really the whole thing, I wouldn’t personally label her as anti-feminist but rather anti-feminism with a side helping of not understanding exactly what feminism really is.

          It’s funny how even women can misunderstand the term, for example she has misconstrued the “recent drama” as simply “writers” trying to concoct a story about her while dismissing the criticisms of her view as “there’s just no winning with them” (the them meaning feminists), so completely missing the point while dismissing it all as “those darned feminists”. All in the same video where she admonishes her critics for not acknowledging her criticism while not actually acknowledging their criticism of her, it’s all very meta. Any time you categorize your critics (not just your opponents) as monolith you have already decided to not be serious about the topic.

          Plus, though it’s not a specific reason that she is wrong, she reads Men Are From Mars, and Women Are From Venus and seems to take it seriously and she uses the word whenever when she means when, but then that’s just a pet peeve of mine I guess.

          • July 23, 2014 at 4:37 am

            For me she looks quite feminist, but maybe not the same brand of feminism that you prefer and defend (what i understand). The harshest critics of the shiite muslims are the sunnite muslims. Same goes for protestants and catholics. I think the same mechanism is at work here. In reality Jaclyn has very similar positions to yours, but the differences that do exist (i agree) get exaggerated to a point where she is now “anti-feminist”, like a protestant calling a catholic “anti-christ”. Just some food for thought. There are lots and lots and lots of people where the term “anti-feminist” would be more appropriate.

          • July 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

            Not mocking people who don’t fall directly in line with your way of thinking would be a step toward not being seen as against those people.

            Just saying.

          • July 24, 2014 at 10:49 am

            pyrion – I find those comparisons rather…interesting. Those are groups that have been known to kill each other over their differences. That is indeed “harsh” criticism! So, let us hope that the “same mechanism” is *NOT* at work!
            Ultimately, it seems your point is that there are people out there that are more anti-feminist. So what? Does that mean we should completely ignore the weaker instances of anti-feminism? No, I think that would be a bad idea. Actually, I would expect it to be easier to win over those who are the weaker anti-feminists than those that are strong anti-feminists, so the focus *should* be on people like Glenn.

  14. July 22, 2014 at 6:46 pm —

    Ah mrmisconception, you arrived to the conclusion that I had also come to after thinking about this today. She sums up anyone with different ideas about the movement as one dissenting voice and mocks them. So if you don’t agree with a particular point of view of the atheist movement you can be othered. She sets the scene up as a personal debate. But her one disagreeable person is not just one voice, but a chorus of voices. Some reasonable, some quite frankly not.

    Maybe she is confusing atheism and skepticism and free though and and the feminist movement and ableism and racism and so on and trying to wrap them all into one neat package, that all atheist should?/could? get behind. Real life is filled with oppression and it isn’t going to separated from any social movements, ever.

    Of course I don’t think that the front lines of atheism represents me these days. Where is this *sides* thing coming from? I have MOSTLY believer friends. So being atheist does not make me want to ‘side’ with anyone. I want atheism to be accepted in society and for religion to not oppress me and my family, but I don’t consider all nor even most of my religious friends, folks that ‘reject science’. I think such phrases are like some sort of marketed ploy and are meant to be decisive. Most of my friends would go to the doctor if sick or would call a repair person over scheduling a prayer meeting, not that they wouldn’t do that too but just saying they do not reject science as I know it to be logical though through use of the scientific method. Not that there aren’t terrible consequences from religion, but to say there are these clear *sides* and I should be on one feels ridiculous.

  15. July 22, 2014 at 8:06 pm —

    This seems so petty to me. You just seem really jealous of Jaclyn’s success. You also seem to label anyone who doesn’t agree with you as anti-feminist. Stuff like this is the reason I’ve limited my atheist subscriptions on things like YouTube.

  16. July 25, 2014 at 10:09 am —

    You just seem really defensive of Jaclyn’s success. You also seem to label anyone who doesn’t agree with her as petty or jealous.

  17. September 29, 2015 at 9:55 am —

    Has the feminist movement gone so wacko that a female who’s not a right-wing fundie could be anti-feminist?
    We couldn’t vote a century ago.
    Girls still get their genitals cut off with sharp rocks.
    They get raped and murdered because of sins of the male family members.
    Women in the US are not allowed to get jobs, have opinions, think for themselves, etc.
    I mean what’s not to love about treating women like brood mares who have no brain and no rights?

  18. October 5, 2015 at 5:19 am —

    Most likely Skepchick is just jealous because the FreeThoughBlogs freakshow which she’s affiliated with is so dead that the site hasn’t even been updated since 2014.

    What’s truly ironic is that Skepchick’s FreeThoughtBlogs website was busted for plagiarism itself quite awhile ago. Rebecca Watson herself is was also guilty of committing a criminal act – abusing administrator privileged to delete rivals’ accounts on the James Randi website (which she’s now banned from).

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2015/01/03/after-plagiarism-charges-atheist-blogger-removed-from-freethought-blogs-network/

    Basically FreeThoughtBlogs is just a quasi-Marxist, radical feminist soapbox masquerading as an “atheist community”. It’s so on the fringe that it drove all of the sane people off after it started employing McCarthyist tactics against any atheist who dared to say anything which might offend the likes of Valerie Solanas.

    One of its contributers literally said that she wished she was a lesbian so that she didn’t have to be attracted to “her oppressors” (males) – that’s all you need to know about how on the fringe this website is – it’s to the left what Stormfront.com is to the Republican party.

    This is why someone like Glenn who is clearly left-wing, pro-abortion, anti-religious patriarchy, etc gets labeled an “anti-feminist” – since their definition of “anti-feminist” is fairly close to Andrea Dworkins.

    And yes this is a low blow, but part of me strongly suspects that Watson is jealous because her face is more likely to end up on Animal Planet than Playboy, lol. I’m not even an atheist or a fan of Glenn or the “new atheist” movement at all, but the FreeThoughtBlogs mafia is the worst of the bunch and anything that comes its way is schadenfreude to me.

    (Most likely this comment will be censored and never post, but might as well cast some pearls).

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