Sheesh, people, I’ve just come back from holiday, and this is what I have to deal with. Fellow blogger SC is rightly up in arms about the ongoing verbal abuse and more or less veiled threats of violence, not anymore just against Rebecca Watson, but also against anyone supporting her, in particular women.
This has gone on more than long enough. We don’t have immediate influence on those outside our community, but we need to stand together against veiled threats of the sort directed at Ophelia Benson.
What’s happened is that the ERV blog and its owner Abbie Smith is still sheltering a strange melange of women-hating internet losers the likes of one Franc Hoggle, who on that blog gets away with statements like this one about blogger and writer Ophelia Benson :
Ophelia is a poor woman’s Catharine MacKinnon. If I was a girl, I’d kick her in the cunt. Cunt.
Now, it’s academic to speculate whether this is a real threat against Benson, or just a lone woman-hating loser’s bilious and vitriolic fantasies of violence, but this and other comments in that and the previous threads on elevatorgate hosted by Abbie Smith on her blog in the last 3 months seem to be in breach of Scienceblogs’ Code of Conduct :
Do not post anything that:
- slanders, defames, threatens, or harasses another person
- is bigoted, pornographic, hateful, racist, sexist, intolerant, or excessively vulgar
- compromises the confidentiality of the forums or your fellow bloggers’ privacy
National Geographic has recently taken ownership of Scienceblogs. I have my doubts that this company is endorsing the woman-hating, sexist, violent and slanderous comments that have been allowed to be posted on the ERV blog for the last 3 months. Other bloggers, like PZ Myers, or myself, have managed to close comments on threads where these misogynist or hateful views were expressed, why not Abbie Smith ? Well, she has called it her monument, and openly endorses the comments made in the threads :
I love it.
It is a monument to everything I hold dear.
This seems to be in clear violation of Scienceblogs policies, if they in fact mean anything. Do National Geographic or Scienceblogs think the following statements are in their corporate interests, or in any way covered by their Code of Conduct ?
Exhibits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and I could go on finding examples of breach of SciBlogs CoC in those threads. Then there are those (ERV commenters ?) who impersonate Rebecca Watson on Twitter (the account has been suspended now).
What’s happening here is that a small group of misogynist retards is being given a forum on a popular Scienceblog to express their woman-hating and violence and hate-endorsing fantasies (including links to their own sad pathetic blogs), and those fantasies have long moved on from the initial focus on Rebecca Watson, to now include bloggers like Ophelia Benson, to PZ Myers, to Salty Current, and to anyone else who has the decency to speak out against this bullshit. It has to stop, and if Abbie Smith won’t do it, then hopefully NatGeo will.
As one commenter on Butterflies & Wheels put it :
Does National Geographic really want to have the largest collection of hate-speech this side of FOX News on one of its more visible blogs?
I don’t like doing this. But it’s gone too far. And it’s time now to finally say No.