A Quick Note on Speaking and Acting Up

I just wanted to pop in and throw my support at Rebecca, Jen McCreight and all the other outspoken people who have been targeted with the ridiculous amounts of trolling and outright hate that we have seen escalate over the past few months.

Did you guys hear how they posted my home address with a photo of where I live on at least TWO different hate sites? Yeah, that shit actually happened. This from within the so-called rational skeptic and atheist communities.

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog about any of my experience with these types of behaviors because my solution to all the negativity that gets vomited daily into my online existence is to make art and do good deeds. I fight the hate by finding positive activities to participate in. Gotta keep it balanced! That goal of fighting the negative with the good is one of the main reasons why I have been doing the series with men who are leaders in secularism speaking out against hate directed at women. More of those articles are coming soon.

And right now, I am working on multiple art projects to help good people do great things. Want to yell at me and tell me how horrible you think I am online? Fine, but it just encourages me to raise money for the people you want to see fail. Probably best not to poke me with a stick if you want social justice orgs to fail.

So what am I currently up to?

First of all, in honor of Jen’s efforts I am making and selling A+ necklaces with 50% of proceeds going to the Secular Student Alliance. You can find them in my etsy shop. I will be posting and making more over the next few weeks. I asked Jen to pick her favorite non profit. SSA was her choice and I am thrilled to help support them! About SSA:

The mission of the Secular Student Alliance is to organize, unite, educate, and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics. We envision a future in which nontheistic students are respected voices in public discourse and vital partners in the secular movement’s charge against irrationality and dogma.

I will be posting these in my shop tonight and donating 50% of money raised to the SSA. I will be making more over the next few weeks.

I am also making limited edition necklaces for SkeptiCon which is a fantastic event that is happening In Springfield, Missouri, November 9-11. I will be donating 50% of the proceeds of those necklaces to the event so they can keep on offering free admission while maintaining a kickass line up of speakers. I will be there with a table. Jen will be there. Rebecca will be there. There will be a lot of other fantastic speakers. You should be there too.

50% of proceed will be donated back to SkeptiCon to help keep that event going strong.

If time allows, I am also going to make some necklaces to help the org Secular Woman raise money for travel grants to that event as well. SO if you need help getting to SkeptiCon check out their site!

AND I have started some custom necklaces for CSICon happening on October 25-28 in Nashville, Tennessee. A whole huge handful of the Skepchicks will be attending and will be speaking on a panel there. Last year, CSICon was the most fun I ever had at a conference. I bet this year will top it. Be there.

Custom necklaces for CsiCon with the approved slogan, “Skepticism. The Empirical Strikes Back.” 50% of proceeds will be donated to the event.

The moral of this story is, when internet trolls threaten, harass and stalk me, I do more to help causes that I think are important.

So congrats haters! Rebecca is louder. I am more productive.

And we are just getting warmed up.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. It’s unbelievable the amount of abuse you guys have been subjected to.
    I have to wonder if denialists realize that they’re not defeating feminists, they’re creating more of us? Every campaign of abuse, every nasty, obnoxious JAQing comment, every ‘but what about the men?’, every blame-the-victim-and-shoot-the-messenger statement just proves the point they’re trying to argue against.
    I think they’ve done more to wake people in the movement up to the pervasive sexism than anything feminists have said or written.

  2. Cyber-Stalking is a crime in many jurisdictions. Posting your home address/house photo seems (to me) to fit the definition.

    Would it make sense to report these cretins to the authorities? If they’re so bold to do it to you, surely they’ll do it to others. That behavior is WAAAAY out of bounds and must never be tolerated.

  3. I’m just a guy. I don’t have a following. I don’t have daughters. I’m just a guy.

    I don’t understand how people can be so willing to treat other people as less than people.

    I don’t understand how a group of people that has been told their whole lives that they should sit down and shut up can respond to some criticism by telling the critics to sit down and shut up or we’ll shut you up.

    Please, Amy, Rebecca, Jen, Greta, Ophelia, and everyone I can’t think of the moment, don’t stop.

    Stopping didn’t put a laboratory on Mars. Daring Mighty Things put a laboratory on Mars.

    Well, we can Dare Mighty Things on this planet too.

    It’s just a damn shame that having people treat people like people is a Might Thing that needs to be Dared.

    1. > Every time an atheist harasses another atheist a creationist get its wings.

      True that.

      Plus … this is the main advantage we have over the hidebound religious. We get to use all the people.

      Unless we’re, you know, dickheads.

  4. Awesome, Amy. Amy is awesome. Along with RW and Jen and all the others standing up to the irrational hate and abuse. I can only imagine it being an old white guy. But I don’t want my daughters to put up with it and I know you all are role models to them. Thank you.

  5. Last night my wife wore one of her new Surlyramic pendants to an event. It got lots for compliments, which provided the opportunity to hype Surlyramics in general. That created an opportunity to talk about Surly Amy and Skepchicks, which led to a discussion of feminism and skepticism in general, which veered into rape culture and its expression on the internet, which led to Rebecca and Jen and A+, and, well, we covered some ground.

    The takeaway was that everyone was appalled by the explosion of misogyny in general in the last few years, and newly appalled to learn what’s been going on in the online world. I’m sure last night’s discussion will bring new folks to and other fellow online travelers.

  6. You reminded me of the time back in, oh, 2005, when I said something on my podcast someone didn’t like. He made up a webpage about my husband and I and made a countdown clock for when we were going to get a divorce. It had lovely little comments about how my husband was going to beat me, and that would have been the reason for our divorce. He had a small following, and embarked on an anti Hellbound Alleee campaign. I’m glad it was against the two of us, because it took an awful lot of the pressure off. I think his downfall was that not enough people were part of his fanclub or something, or maybe he found someone else to hate.

  7. I’m a little afraid I’m going to get this kind of treatment if I ever get popular online.
    I mean really, people. Once I was in a bar where a woman was being ejected for being a twat. She actually threw herself on the floor so the bouncer had to drag her out. I walked right now and yelled at her like a grandmother to behave like a grown woman FFS, not like a bloody toddler. I used my very best shame-on-you voice. It worked. I wish I could use my voice-powers for good on the interwebs and give those people harassing you a good bothering.

  8. Thanks for taking a sucky situation and pulling something positive out of it. The Men in Secularism series has been a great program, and a reminder that not everyone wants to drop communication to the lowest common denominator. As you know from your experience as an artist and running a business, while the world outside of the online secular/atheist community is not all rainbows, in most of the educated, democratic world, threatening anyone with violence, rape, or other physical endangerment is not blindly tolerated (or even endorsed) by the rest of the community members. This whole uproar, ever since Rebecca got her first threats from strangers after she posted the video about being hit on in the elevator, has been baffling and disturbing. It escalated so quickly from people having a heated– though still kind of reasonable– discussion to thuggery. This is so bizarre, and the only time I have seen anything even a little like it was 30 years ago as a kid in the rural South, living in a military environment with neighbors who attended a racist, absolutist Christian church. I did not expect to see anything like this in the skeptical community. The Men in Secularism series points up that there are people who know that this is not normal, is not acceptable.Thank you for taking the initiative to have them present their view.

    At some other time I may write about this more, but a lot of people I know who, like me, are not scientists or full time activists for atheism, but who are smart skeptical atheists/secular humanists working in the arts, humanities, academia, social work, museums, libraries, politics, and in a range of roles in the liberal arts and fine arts have gotten so turned off by what has happened that they no longer regularly follow the sites and podcasts they once did. Even when the site/podcast itself is not a party to the hostility, the message boards get hijacked. Many of us who once wanted to maybe someday attend a convention, or do more than just donate to CFI or American’s United, now lukewarm about increasing participation. I think what you are doing is taking a step towards turning it around.

    The Secular Student Alliance is a great organization. Thanks to you and Jen for raising money for them!

    1. Yeah, this is a big problem. I don’t think that the people who are aggressively attacking the people like like Jen and Ophelia and Rebecca and me realize how many people that they don’t see on the sidelines that are turning and walking away from the community. Their targets are not what is being destroyed.

      It’s like the advice we give when have an argument about skeptical topics such as homeopathy. The argument you have with the steadfast homeopath you will probably never win, but the people on the sidelines watching the argument, those are the people you might help.

      The same thing is happening here.

      Fortunately, there are good people who still care about building the community and who care about moving past this tsunami of negativity. Hopefully we will be able to find the ways to do so.

  9. I think the best way to do this is to name and shame. If misogynists are not anonymous, then their misogyny will come back to haunt them. Make up some unique character string, and attach it with a link to every misogynist post, screen shot, tweet, picture, etc. Something unique like misogynisttrollssuck (which as of this posting has zero Google hits.

    Then when you want to find out if someone is a misogynist, you google their name and the character string.

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