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Seriously, r/atheism. You're awful.
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+Rebecca Watson, don't hate atheists, they're simply a subset of humanity like any other, filled with wonderfully intelligent and engaging people, bigoted idiots who are so pathetic they spend their time sexualizing a 15 year old girl online, and mostly people in between.

Plus, feeding the trolls, and all that.
 
+Carl Draper And it doesn't strike you as a bit fucked up that people see a fifteen year old girl in a non sexual context and the immediate reaction is to sexify her? 'Cause that strikes me as being pretty fucked up.
 
Tell that to Lunam, who was just trying to tell people about the unexpected gift in a subreddit specifically for atheism discussion, not juvenile sexual innuendo.
 
And look at the 15yr old OP's comment: "bracin' ma anus"
 
is that not inviting sexually orientated comments?
 
Wow, it took like no time at all for some shithead to say she had it coming. Good job, +Carl Draper! You're a terrible person.
David K
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It's ok guys, she was asking for it, she posted a meme.
 
I'm not saying she asked for it, just that was as an inappropriate comment for a 15yr old as all the others
 
its not that she invited it, its that she set the bar for what was acceptable.
 
and i hate it when people post a cute pic of themselves with the item, male or female, it is not relavent to the item
 
which is not to say that some of the comments were uncouth, unacceptable, and over the top. There were clearly comments that were way too much, but imo, the preponderance of the comments were at the bar she set.
 
A man is supposed to set the terms of what is acceptable based upon his character. The bar is raised by one's self-respect, not by a lowest common denominator.
 
So let me get this straight. You're saying that a fifteen year old girl--hardly a child, but still--has seen enough of this shit on Reddit that she knew when she posted that she'd get it. AND YOU THINK THIS IS A DEFENSE OF THE SHIT?

It's not. It's a condemnation of the ubiquity of the vile.
 
Wherever you go or post as a female, you can be sure you’ll meet the same idiots all over again—same shit, different names. Well done, fellow atheists.
 
There is a difference between actually having sex with a 15 year old and internet posts.
 
"I'm not saying she asked for it, just that was as an inappropriate comment for a 15yr old as all the others" Seriously? Saying all that shit ok because she made an inappropriate response to "Brace yourself, the compliments are coming"?

Oh, but you just hate it when girls post cute pictures of themselves that aren't relevant to the item; you know, unlike how joking about raping her is totally relevant to the item. Gotcha.
 
+William Tatum Yes there is and that's why we're calling people vile and not calling the police.

Being better than a pederast is not exactly high praise.
 
Oh good, now Carl has a shitty friend. You and William even look alike! I'm sure your shitty, bigoted bromance will truly be one for the ages.
 
I thought the Insanity Wolf one was pretty funny.. (bracin' mah anis...)
 
+Gregory Lynn Nor is being a Pharisee. Do comments that are over the top, and even beyond the pale happen? yes, do they on this page rise to the level of needing a post by Skepchick railing against men on /athiesm? IMO no. It comes off as high and mighty, if you want to rail against something legit, why not bring up fashion, or workplace rights, or the fact that women globally still own something likes less than 10% of property, wealth, etc. Talk about the lil girl who went on a rant in a toy store about gender roles in toys. There are variety of issues that need more journalistic attention. posts on reddit, imo, don't rise to that level. Seriously subreddits are like one step above 4chan.

+Rebecca Watson If you want a Pulitzer, write about the Indian Microfinance debacles happening where men are profiting from the loans they are supposedly giving to women to help them get out of poverty.
 
Reddit is a cesspool in general. Completely unrelated communities are full of assholes, too.
 
Yes, Carl, by your looks I can judge that you and William will be very happy together, like people who look like their dogs or old married couples who look like siblings or shitty sexists who pat each other on the back for being so smart.
 
I didn't read Rebecca's post as railing against men. I read it as railing against douchebags, of which most of these were probably men.

A 15-year old girl makes a post with a photo and represents herself in a completely non-sexual way, and she's instantly pounced upon with sexual comments that have absolutely nothing to do with anything other than her physical appearance.

Do these people deserve to be called out for this? Absolutely. I think to say otherwise is to condone their behavior.
 
+Rebecca Watson keeps holding up the mirror, people keep hating what they see, and yet continue blaming her for the stupid shit they do.

Please don't stop Rebecca.
 
Carl: I know you think a 15-year old deserved to be pushed out of the atheist community for posting a picture of her face and then making one stupid meme reference. That's all I need to know atm, thnx.
 
+Grant Whitesell I more or less agree, I just think if you've really got a problem, create a reddit account and go down-vote the comments and rail on the website. Most redditers are never going to see her article. So if the reason for this is to change behavior its not being done very efficiently.
 
A comment that was made after the initial torrent of bullshit. Looks to me like an attempt to "roll with it." Do you think that by that comment she's somehow justifying the crap directed at her?
 
+William Tatum Pretty sure you don't get to dictate what people find important. A year ago I would have assumed that women who take strong opinions and put them on the internet get their fair ration of shit because everyone does. And I figured that some of it was sexual because people are often pigs.

Then I started paying attention, looking around, and asking a few questions, and the sheer volume of hate directed at women for the crime of being women has sickened me.

The internet is a fucking awesome place where things of astonishing awesomeness can and do happen. It shouldn't also be a wretched hive of scum and villainy so vile that half the world's population would seriously have to consider being completely anonymous just to avoid threats of rape.

Yeah, it's not doing a damn thing about sex slaves, poverty, AIDS, or Justin Beiber but you don't have to be trying to fix everything to point out something that's wrong.
 
Dan: No, I will get caught up in a thread that denigrates a 15-year old girl and makes her feel like shit for being a girl, driving her out of the atheist community. Fuck that. Why should we look the other way?
 
+Rebecca Watson I am already married, and my wife and I were actually just talking about this. She doesn't 100% agree but she agrees more with mine and carls position than yours.
 
Goodness Carl, you get quite defensive when the attention turns to you. And William, yes yes, you're so learned and intelligent. We should all do you as you suggest and quit talking about a subject if someone feels a more important subject is being ignored. Just because there are worse examples out there doesn't mean you must ignore everything else.

Why are those damn cops going after speeders? Don't they realize there are nazi war criminals out there?!!!11!!?
 
Right. Girls shouldn't be on the internet, or assert facets of their personality during the formative teenage years. They should be in home economics class learning to bake pies.
 
Oh hey everybody? Everybody? +William Tatum 's wife agrees with him and Carl, so let's all just forget this ever happened. Stupid 15-year old female deserved to get buried in rape jokes! She posted her face! Ha ha, what a bitch. ETC
 
In all seriousness, has anyone talked to her? There are some far more supportive internet communities for atheists than...reddit.
 
And it shouldn't, is the point. Those comments should be downvoted into invisibilty but they aren't they are upvoted.
 
People still read /r/atheism? It's been pretty much limited to boring reposts and inane comments for years.
 
I think commenting on an internet article is like playing Grand Theft Auto for a lot of people. Most people wouldn't pull a stranger out of his car, run over dozens of pedestrians, and kill half a dozen cops.

That said, I seriously doubt that most of the people throwing those comments up there would do anything like they're suggesting - the anonymity and feedback of the situation allows them to express a hyper-machismo that some part of their superego aspires to, but cannot express in a civilized society.

Don't mistake that last paragraph for condoning it - they're still leveling horrendous and violent comments at another person, which is disgusting and shouldn't be tolerated.
 
While we’re at it, I don't even know what it means to call oneself an atheist while at the same time being so full of patriarchal shit that even the fundagelical crazies would pay their respect. Isn’t holding two or more mutually exclusive convictions at the same time exactly what believers are proud of? Way to go, guys.
 
Next time just keep downvoting, what next, a post about the morons on YouTube comments?
 
No, I'm thinking a post about the morons on G+ comments would be more topical.
 
+J. Martin It's always good and necessary to remember that good things and batshit assholery and and often do inhabit the same body.
 
Sponsor Meaningful Societal Change!

Downvote an Offensive Internet Comment Today!
 
+Tony Blaha Actually going after speeders makes more sense because most Americans are most likely to die either of Heart Disease or a Car accident.
 
+Rebecca Watson I was defensive because this isn't Reddit, what I say on here is my personal view, most comments on Reddit are just jokes that go a bit over the top, trying to out do each other, sometimes it goes a bit far
 
So, Rebecca should hold her tongue on something that really offends her and that she felt moved to write about in favor of writing a scathing post about...speeders?
 
+Grant Whitesell No, I just don't feel like this is important. I am not advocating a policy that says people can only write what I think is important. i am just saying that I don't think it is.
 
you know what I wish I hadn't read this post in the first place.
 
Good news everyone! If we ignore grossly misogynistic behavior it'll just go away!
 
+William Tatum Just stop talking, you just keep making yourself look worse.

Because, you realize that you just referred to people who are calling for a little simple human decency as trolls.

I'm pretty sure that just makes you an idiot of epic proportions.
 
That they were jokes (and some were even funny) does not change the fact that there is a distinct difference between how these people treat males and how they treat females in the EXACT same circumstances. This girl's ultimate reaction is heartbreaking.
 
I have a daughter that's turning ten in February. With a little luck, she's also got five years before douchebags start making rape jokes about her and then claim it's her fault for being cute.
 
Oh man, I love how it's totally the 15 year old woman's fault people are verbally abusing and objectifying her. OBVIOUSLY she was asking for it. Doesn't she know that the internet IS ONLY FOR MEN? And that rape is HILARIOUS? Nothing like a bit of sexual violence, or the threat thereof, to really tickle the funny bone!

And how DARE anyone point out that women are constantly being threatened sexually online, by men; that it's a basic, common tool used to silence and shame women and control them and keep vast chunks of the internet male-only! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE ARE IMPORTANT THINGS TO TALK ABOUT! Like genital mutilation and speeding? This is absolutely not part of a larger pattern of behavior by men, including atheist and nerdy/geeky men, toward women. It's completely isolated and also her fault. For having a vagina. Or something.
 
A non-friend-friend on Facebook posted an anti-Rebecca screed after the last dust up and got pounded so thoroughly he ultimately deleted it. I believe in the power of social pressure and stigma - there should be public consequences for being an idiot.
 
I used to respond to the likes of +Carl Draper and +William Tatum by offering to incapacitate them before committing acts of sexual violence on them, then murdering them.

What I found was that, in general, while they did admit that they felt mildly threatened (their senses of humor having suddenly and mysteriously departed), they utterly failed to turn that sense of outrage to anyone's case but their own. I don't do that any more, though; escalation only leads to further polarization, and tends to drive off whatever tasteful and compassionate people are still sticking around. 
 
Raunchy online indecency is now mainstream. It is perhaps less mainstream to sexualize a minor, but it is squarely in the politically-incorrect realm of the South Parks and Always Sunny corner of our culture (which I imagine is heavily overrepresented on Reddit). Those comments are indecent, but they are merely pushing boundaries, not exploding them. The key difference is that they are clearly meant to be funny - I read those comments and didn't sense any real threat. If anything, the more ridiculously outrageous the comments were the thicker the irony. It was like the posters were saying, "Yeah, objectifying a 15-year-old is really stupid. Let me go over-the-top to show you how stupid."

You could make the more interesting argument that the cultural acceptability of these comments a warning sign that the culture is dysfunctional. Personally, I admire the Victorian era culture of politeness, deference, and study, where perhaps experts were given too much weight but at least those with ignorant opinions were properly put in their place.
 
Sometimes I think the Internet creates a sort of Asperger's-by-proxy syndrome that robs people of any empathy they would have if they were in the room with the people they were talking with. The Internet is a solipsist dream to them. Once the monitor is off, the aggrieved cease to exist.

I wonder what would happen if all these people were put into a room together- perhaps at convention for assholes? They're sociopaths online- would they still be if they had name tags and catering?
 
+James Womack It's very loosely moderated by official moderators. Moderators rarely step in. And when they do, often it's because without intervention then reddit.com might get sued, or overrun by spammers. To be fair, /r/atheism has 350k members and they're not all as bad as what conspired on this one thread. It's sad that things got so vile that it drove this girl away.

Users are allowed self-moderate all posts and comments using up/down votes, but the website guidelines strongly recommend not to down vote simply because you disagree/dislike what is being said. Users are instead encouraged to up vote posts and comments they like to drown out comments they dislike/disagree with. Unfortunately that doesn't always work, as was the case here.
 
+Carl Draper I was talking about Facebook - separate incident - a month or more ago. (Still a Reddit-related incident)
 
If you were the person who published a post showing you and the book your super-religious mother gave you for Christmas, and then you read the kind of comments you got in return, how would YOU feel?
 
+Josh Rehman Rebecca has often pointed out how the 'cultural acceptability of these comments is a warning sign that the culture is dysfunctional' and gets flayed, branded a cunt (among other names), and told that 'it's just jokes' for her efforts.

This very thread is testament to that.
 
+Chris Green woah, no way do I hate women, if you actually knew me you'd know i am a nice guy, and if you look back through my posts there's nothing offensive at all
 
r/Atheism is no different to many other areas of Reddit. Reddit is a renowned Ghetto full of morons looking for self-gratification and to connect with other people who are also really fast one-handed typists.

Want good discussion without that kind of crap? Avoid Digg/Reddit/<other firehose> and use something like G+ and Blogs.
 
I don't think that assuming +Carl Draper hates women is the right path the take. At the same time, Carl, I think it's important to note that there's a clear line between "funny comments" and "disgusting comments". This thread clearly steps over it.
 
I repeat, +Carl Draper and +William Tatum, if you were the person who published a post showing you and the book your super-religious mother gave you for Christmas, and then you read the kind of comments you got in return, how would YOU feel? Would it still be harmless fun? Would it still be something only idiots got upset about?
 
+Rupert Neethling Girls write crazy sexual shit to me ALL THE TIME I ignore it mostly, because it just means they are beneath me.
 
Well If posted on Reddit I'd expect at leasta bunch of low brow comments
 
I think it's perfectly clear that the comment thread is totally out of line.
 
Guys, go easy on Carl, things have been rough on him since Nelson broke up. Also you are a sexist piece of shit. +Rebecca Watson
 
Ok, weird, someone just deleted a comment saying i was a sexist peice of shit, i saw it in notifications, now that's totally out of line
 
The first thing that came to my mind when I saw that picture was, Wow, I've never heard of that book. Second thought: My mom was like hers--never understood me, but supported me in everything. Third thought: I'm 36, so I suppose I can't begin to judge the comments on that thread reflecting the meandering, juvenile, perverse, and sadistic thoughts of immature widdle boys and girls living with their parents. Fourth thought: Fuck that, yes I can. Grow up, idiots.
 
I don't necessarily think the comments came from r/atheism. It is a default subreddit, and with over 1000 upvotes it surely made it to the frontpage. Having said that, the comments were definitely uncalled for
 
I really hate "the internet is bad/has bad people, therefore you should know you're going to be treated badly and it's your fault for going there." If the criteria for places I should "know to stay out of" is where people behave shitty to me in a sexist fashion, I'd have to lock myself in the fucking closet. Maybe, just maybe, the burden for not being an asshole should be on the assholes.
 
Also, "bracing mah anus" is a variant on "bracing my ass," which around my area of the US is not related to sex. "My ass" can be used informally in place of myself, and the girl was obviously trying to indicate a willingness to have a sense of humor.

It's quite possible to start with a sense of humor that withers in the face of vicious sexism. It's not funny after awhile, and there's considerable pressure on women to laugh at shit which is just scary, which she may have started out trying to do.
 
I'm pretty sure it's possible to have a society where women are neither locked into a corset nor pissed on for expressing an opinion in a public forum.
 
That would be the point of exerting social pressure on people who make having that society difficult.
 
+Carl Draper: your comment about Rebecca ranting in the future over the Angry Towers picture was very distasteful. If you see the picture and then go beyond a stifled laughter from the absurdity and the sublimation of pain (and most of that pain is empathy; I'm not even from the US), you should worry. You don't invite pals to look at the picture and laugh it up in a bar while sharing a beer. Unless you're a complete sociopath.

The jokes and laughters in the repudiated Reddit threads were not about gasping in confused shock. They were the celebration and enjoyment of a mental masturbation in which the 15 y.o. girl was the victim of a rape. The jokers certainly seemed to enjoy picturing themselves in a situation of sexually abusing a minor.

It's not about censorship. It's about a group of "internet buddies" rejoicing in how depraved they are and how much they enjoy being so depraved. Some things are never funny. If you laugh at rape, or the Holocaust, or 9/11, you're missing something of what makes you human.
 
Ugh... it's annoying that people are like that... I do wonder how one goes about dealing with sites like that, as it seems an inevitable product of a site's popularity. I'm sure this speaks to a greater societal trend, but nothing I want to think too hard about, as I don't have any alcohol in the house to dull the pain...
 
Sorry, +Carl Draper, but that is exactly the brush I'm tarring you with. Or was that a different Carl Draper who remarked about people overreacting to a joke, right up there in the first comment?

And just to clear up another bit of confusion: Saying things like, "I don't hate women," "I'm a nice guy," "I'm not a sexist," "I'm as respectful as anyone," etc., is about like saying, "I don't snore." It ain't your call to make, bro. If someone says that you are sexist or whatever, the appropriately humble response is to at least consider the possibility that they might be right. 
 
When people say "it was all jokes" I can't help but think of Micheal Richards screaming the n-word at black people in the audience at his stand up routine and trying to pass it off as humor. Offensive is offensive. I personally think that joking about it is worse because it implies that you think the mistreatment of other human beings is funny. Sexism is not funny.
 
Your exposure of the worst sides of humanity often makes me sad. It needs to be done, but damn this is pathetic.
 
I enjoy reddit because the community of any subreddit seems to be very good at getting large groups of people behind a particular cause. Sometimes it's a good cause, and sometimes it isn't. Sometimes the cause is ridiculing someone, or in this case making misogynist jokes. The hivemind isn't picky, unfortunately. I guess the reason reddit is good is the same reason reddit is not good.
 
+Carson Myers The post you linked to is a perfect example of the problem. The OP is an atheist, and a member of a community that he loves. His response to a post which points out a deep and widespread flaw within the community is not to react with outrage and disgust at something that should not be considered acceptable (and it is both widespread and acceptable, one only has to compare the number of upvotes to downvotes to see that) but instead to go into defense mode. +Rebecca Watson is attacking a negative culture, and "DoctorOMGWTF" has taken this personally and decided that this is the same thing as attacking him. It isn't.

Look, the internet is not longer a rugged frontier. We live our lives on the internet now. It's our backyard. Our grandmothers are here! This is suburbia, not the wild west, and that means that the rules need to change. Lumos' only crime was showing her face (which men are allowed to do without harassment). Imagine a girl walking down the street receiving this kind of treatment from a passerby: you would probably punch anyone who said this kind of thing in the face. If it's not acceptable in real life, it shouldn't be acceptable online.
 
I've noticed a profound difference between athiests and agnostics, not just in how they act (agnostics are usually more easy-going, better informed, more emotionally mature, and have more logically sound arguments for their position) but it's striking how different the reaction of others is. Atheists are reviled, but agnostics are often considered very trustworthy. I suspect this is because everyone, theists and atheists alike, harbors some doubt and thus more strongly identifies with agnostics than anyone other than those who believe the same thing they do.

This is why I tell people I'm agnostic even though most people would probably say I'm an atheist if they knew exactly what I believe.

Also, slashdot is 1000 times more mature than reddit.
 
Man - what a bunch of sickos on r/Atheism! I read through some of the comments that Rebecca posted, and I was thoroughly disgusted.
 
That Reddit response completely misses the point. If someone points out something appalling in your community, whether it's misogyny or racism or anything else, "Not all of us are like that!" is not any sort of relevant response. The point being made wasn't that all of r/Atheism is this bad, it's that the problem exists in the community and should be noticed and discouraged by those who don't want any part of it. If any non-misogynistic people in the community don't want to get labeled as misogynistic, they should go after the members who are making inappropriate comments, not the people who are noticing them.

The irony of this, of course, is that the Redditors whose first reaction is to get defensive when misogyny is noticed in their midst are probably the same folks who go around saying feminists go looking for things to be offended by.
 
+James Salsman I don't think that +Rebecca Watson 's goal is to malign atheists at all: she's an atheist herself, and has taken up the goal of trying to make the atheist community slightly less unbearable for other women like herself. The point is that this sort of thing is considered acceptable and funny instead of disgusting (as evidenced by the up votes for the most degrading comments far outnumbering the down votes). We need to stop defending misogynist culture, and start shaming people like +Carl Draper, +Chris Green , and +William Tatum until they can't show their faces on the internet. The world is less racist today than it was fifty years ago not because people are more enlightened and kind and less evil than they used to be, but because we as a society decided that racism was unacceptable. We need to do the same thing with misogyny.

To +Rebecca Watson : +A.V. Flox has come up with an excellent way of chronicalling/shaming the individuals who say blatantly misogynistic things on google +. She takes a screencap and puts all the disgusting comments into an album that is publicly available to view. Given that ignoring the trolls has clearly not worked, I think we should all take up a similar strategy...here on google+ the trolls have names: lets burn their reputations to the ground.
 
I don't want to malign atheists either, since again, most people would say I am one even though I say I'm agnostic. In my experience self-identified agnostics would be far more likely to take a firm opposition to misogyny but a personally supportive, growth-oriented approach to misogynists than a confrontational shaming approach. I am willing to say that agnostics absolutely have a far more sound logical footing, and the psychological results of evading the best logic may cause problems similar to the necessity to harbor contradictions we see in theists. Does that result in more abrasive personality issues? I think it is within the realm of possibility.
 
+Aaron Engler - Sometimes I think the Internet creates a sort of Asperger's-by-proxy syndrome that robs people of any empathy they would have if they were in the room with the people they were talking with. The Internet is a solipsist dream to them.

Maybe, just maybe the best way to make a point about the acceptability of near-sociopathic assholish behavior online is not through disablist comparisons which rely heavily on stereotyping and are also not very considerate of other people's feelings.

+Hannah Grimm - We need to do the same thing with misogyny. _ Definitely agreed. Ignoring or otherwise tolerating hateful behavior only encourages people to think it's fine and dandy. Changing attitudes might be nice, but in the meantime making it far less socially acceptable to spew hatefulness will have to do. Though I am not necessarily optimistic about shaming _per se working on some individuals who seem to be proof against it, just not having as many others egging them on would probably make a big difference. Very much like public expressions of racism, indeed.
 
+Jake McCollum "bromance" means gay, to you? Perhaps if you're not sure what a word means you should actually look up the definition instead of deciding that you somehow magically know? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromance - it's specifically about a really close emotional connection between men who spend a lot of time together/share common interests - it's emphatically not about teh buttsecks.
 
+Jake McCollum Yup, you've completely misunderstood the meaning of the term "bromance." It's a reference to frat-boy behavior, not to gay men.
 
Correct. Obviously the way to win is by continuing to say stupid things long after everyone else has given up on you.
 
And yeah, I never insulted anyone by saying they're gay, Jake. Learn to read. <-- not an insult! A helpful suggestion!
 
Well I've pretty much given up on you too, overreacting at the everything, just to get more traffic to your blog
 
As one Redditor put in the comments, many of the comments could have been from 15 year olds, male or female. Actually I'm amused you call me a kid, I'm 30! :)
 
Such a shame. The MSF fund raiser they did stood as an example of how atheists can be "good without God." This, however, shows how idiotic many still are. Way to undo your own goodwill campaign guys! Thanks for continuing to out the morons Rebecca, we can't ever present a positive humanist face without dealing with these people.
 
I'm about one Rebecca rant away from calling myself a feminist. The worst part isn't the initial issues you're bringing up, the worst part is the beatings you take for bringing them up. Which beatings serve to prove the broader point.

A 15-year-old boy could have posted the same thing and nothing remotely sexual would have been said.
 
I'm finished with this thread, only causing me grief, goodbye
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