Tuesday 28 August 2012

Transcript of "Are the Vaginas in the House?"

Note: The first few paragraphs of the transcript are not a word for word transcription. Damn my occasional on-camera ad-libbing!

I don't even know where to begin to start.

As far as vaginas go, I don't think I've ever heard that word uttered so many times in so short a period in my life. I think her 30 minute keynote speech might rival a gynecology textbook as far as mentions of vaginas go. At one point, she even came out and admitted she thinks with her vagina. Don't believe me?

"I'm gonna tell you something. Deep down, in my heart, in my soul, in my vagina, I know the women's spring is here."

I suppose this would be one of those "women's ways of knowing" discussed in feminist ethics, then.

Later on, she drops this bomb.

"You might even worship their vaginas!"

And there I am, in a room full of cheering, applauding women, wondering what the hell planet I'm on. These are grown women, for fuck sake. Anyway.

After showing us a video of herself giving a speech on the steps of congress in Lansing Michigan (because who doesn't love seeing oneself on video bellowing the word "vagina" in front of an adoring crowd?) she got down to the nitty gritty.

And that nitty gritty was, of course, rape. With Eve, you know it's gonna be vaginas or rape, right? The entire speech was a paean to female victimhood, a celebration of all the ways women and women alone are subjugated and subordinated and disempowered in society.

I'm going to link to the video in the lowbar for those who have the intestinal fortitude, and ask that you please resist commenting on NOW's channel since it won't do any good. For those who don't feel they can stomach 37 minutes of vaginas and rape, I'll give you a summary:

About midway through, Eve shared the story of Jean, a woman in the Congo who'd been the victim of rape as a weapon of war and economic conquest. If Jean had a husband or brother or son, we don't hear about him. Her village was attacked by militants, and she'd been raped. She sought help for her injuries at an NGO active in the area, and received surgery and treatment, after which she returned to her village only to be tied to a tree by these militants and repeatedly raped for a period of two months. When she was released, she found her way to another NGO, and received nine surgeries to repair the damage to her body. It was then that Ensler, founder of the 85 million dollar V-day charity, found her recovering from her surgeries and her trauma, and asked her what she wanted.

What this woman wanted was a village where women and girls could be safe from the violence. This village, City of Joy, was built in part by Eve Ensler's charity and outfitted by google, and is a place where women and girls can be safe and heal, learn, grow and become empowered--in her words, to become the future leaders of the DRC.

Now please, don't get me wrong. I have a great deal of sympathy for that woman, just as I would for anyone who had suffered what she did. I really do. It horrifies me, when I think of what human beings can do to each other. And if I hadn't swallowed a red pill a long time ago, I'd have probably been thinking exactly what every woman in that room was thinking. As it was, knowing what I know now about such things, all I could think as Eve was talking about the plight of women in the Congo was, if it's that bad for women and girls, I can't even imagine how it must be for men and boys.

There aren't many mainstream venues discussing male victims of wartime sexual violence, but I did stumble across a recent documentary on BBC radio, and I've collected a few other sources I'll link in the lowbar.

The BBC documentary reporter interviewed a Congolese man whose family was attacked by uniformed men in 2008. He was bound hand and foot and beaten for 3 hours, during which he watched as they killed his whole family, including his two children, before cutting off their heads. Then they left him for dead. In 2010, he was attacked again by men in uniform. He believes they targeted him specifically after discovering he was still alive. They took him blindfolded and bound in a van, to a barracks with other prisoners.

There, he was sexually tortured and raped, for 4 or 5 days. He says he was semi-conscious for much of it, the pain was so great. Then they loaded him into a van, drove him out into the bush, and raped him again. He asked them to kill him. They laughed and left him lying there.

When a passing car found him, he asked them to drive him to Kimpala, Uganda, where thousands of displaced people from DRC seek refuge.

Other male victims have been forcibly circumcised, raped with objects like screwdrivers, castrated, or had their genitalia completely amputated.

Unlike the woman Eve Ensler spoke of, there's no heartwarming story of triumph for any of these men to share. Not even one surgery, let alone nine, no City of Joy built for him and furnished with computers provided by Google, no armed guards patrolling his safe village to keep him from harm, no schools provided through the charity of the more fortunate to help him get back on his feet and make his way in life.

In fact, when interviewed, he said his injuries are not healed, and he would rather die than live.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 22% of all men in the Congo, compared with 30% of women, have experienced sexual violence as a weapon of war. Considering the higher rates of general violent victimization of noncombatant men and boys in conflicts like that in the Congo (at least 2 to 1), the numbers of men who experienced sexual violence before being killed by their rapists can't be determined by the study.

The men who survive almost never speak of their experiences to anyone, because under the law, they are guilty of a crime--the crime of homosexuality--and can face severe punishment. They don't typically disclose to family, due to fears of abandonment that are all too justified. One employee of the Refugee Law Project says it's common for a woman, upon discovering her husband has been raped, to pack up the children and leave him. "Is this a woman? Is it a man? If he can be raped, who is protecting me?"

According to Dr. Lynn Lawry of Harvard medical school, reaction within the academic, political and humanitarian communities to the JAMA's study on male rape in the Congo has ranged from shock to puzzlement to controversy to anger. She wasn't prepared for the level of hostility to their findings on the part of humanitarian NGOs. Not anger on behalf of male victims, but anger over the public being made aware of them.

The findings defy the cultural narrative--both that of patriarchy and of feminism. Dr. Lawry herself was shocked not just by the prevalence of male rape in the Congo, but at the level of female perpetration--some 40% of the sexual violence against women in the Congo, and 10% of that against men, was perpetrated by women.

The UN, the law, traditionalism and feminism all view rape as something that only impacts women and girls and something that is only perpetrated by men. According to Lara Stemple of the U of California's Health and Human Rights Project, out of more than 4000 NGOs reviewed, only 3% even mentioned the experience of male victims, and none mentioned them as more than a passing reference. I have to wonder if any of those NGOs mentioned female perpetrators at all.

And while Dr. Lawry sees the resistance of NGOs to address male rape victims as originating in a fear that resources will be diverted from their chosen issue, that male victims will take too big a piece of a finite pie, I think it's deeper and more complicated than that.

Feminist activism may have brought the issue of rape into the focus of human rights bodies in the 80s and 90s, but they weren't telling us anything we didn't already think we knew. Our ideas of rape, in whatever context it occurs, have always existed within a male perpetrator, female victim model. Rape of women has always been acknowledged as a weapon of war and political advantage, a means to demoralize the enemy and destroy communities. Propaganda during the early decades of the last century clearly demonstrates that it was a fear pervasive enough to be exploited, by convincing men to enlist, or by demonizing the opposition.

In her speech, Even Ensler calls rape "femicide", a systematic method of destroying women. And while the rape of women is a horrible thing, rape doesn't destroy only women. The systematic rape of women undermines their relationships and community. The systematic rape of men annihilates everything we believe about what men are and should be, and completely uproots them from their roles in family and community. In a traditional society, male rape tells people that ANYONE can be abused in this way, and that those who have always been seen as the protectors of women and children can no longer be depended on in that way, that the defenders of everyone can't defend even themselves.

A woman who's been raped is a damaged woman. A man who's been raped is no longer a man.

Eve Ensler claims that women's bodies are the landscape upon which all of human conflict and avarice is fought, but she can only believe this because the men upon whom these same terrors are wreaked are silent--the silence of death or the silence of social isolation.

She talks about the hundreds of thousands of women and girls: 2 year olds raped to death, women who are incontinent, leaking urine and feces through their wounds, the walking wounded riddled with infection and wracked with pain.

30% of women in the Congo. But no mention of the 22% of men--hundreds of thousands--who suffer the exact same things without voices and without help or healing.

Feminist theorists were preaching to the misinformed choir when they portrayed rape as at best, a byproduct and at worst the primary motive, of traditional social organization and male sexuality, and cast women solely as the victims of this form of "toxic masculinity" and male predation that exists to subjugate women. That there was ANYONE, in academia, the law or wider society, who believed feminist ideas about rape were revolutionary or novel or ground-breaking remains to me, one of the biggest mysteries in existence. It's the same bullshit people have always believed, and it's just as miguided.

Feminist theory in this area dovetails perfectly with our instinctive perceptions and expectations of gender, and traditional cultural and sociological memes that cast men as moral agents capable only of performing good and evil, and women as moral patients or objects, capable only of absorbing good or evil. Feminist thought concerning sexual violence was never innovative--it was always same shit, different pile.

Still, when you think of how feminists utilized these theoretical models of rape and domestic violence as supporting evidence for their overarching theory of how society works, it's pretty clear why someone like Eve Ensler would be resistant to acknowledging both male victims and female perpetrators of sexual violence. This will be especially true of wartime sexual violence, since everyone, especially feminists, views bloody conflict as a solely male domain.

And while this view is certainly not just a problem with feminism--after all, it wasn't feminism that passed laws in the Congo that punish the victim of a male rape as harshly as the perpetrator--feminist theory seems woefully inadequate to address any human phenomenon absent the lens of the male agent, female object dichotomy.

Ensler's speech at the NOW conference only hammered that nail home for me. Addressing the gathered women as "vaginas" and the male audience members as "vagina-friendly men" was freaky enough--referring to the men as men, but the women as body parts?--but when she spoke of what's going on in the Congo, her every word reinforced the idea that men act and women are acted upon, that the sum of woman is only what is done to or for her, and the sum of man is only what he does to or for others.

What are men to Eve Ensler? They are the evil white westerners out to rape Africa of its resources. They are the evil militants who brutalize and murder innocent villagers. They are the unwilling tools of those evil men--forced at gunpoint to rape their mothers and daughters, not to be mentioned by her again. They are the doctors performing the surgeries that saved that poor woman, the people who built the safe village where women and girls could escape sexual violence, the guards who undoubtedly march the perimeter of that village, and the people who supplied them with computers, internet and a shot at an education. The only mention of male victims in her entire speech was still framed in the context of perpetration--a father forced to rape his daughter, or the son his mother. Once she was done conveying what he did, it was like he didn't exist to her anymore.

The men are the doers, in Eve Ensler's narrative. The women are merely done to, or done for.

How the fuck is this challenging our gendered views on anything? How are Eve and her ilk going to overthrow patriarchy when all they ever seem to do is preach it?
And how will anything ever change when the people who are supposedly defying the status quo are only entrenching it ever deeper? Feminism is the privileged voice on gender issues, and its as silent about the suffering of sexually victimized men and the actions of female rapists in the Congo, as the staunchest trad-con, because feminism's entire body of work rests on the necessity of those men and those women not existing.

At present, there are no agencies providing funding to male victims of rape in the Congo. Dutch Oxfam has even gone so far as to threaten to pull its funding if too much is spent on the few male victims who do seek assistance. Other human rights advocates, few in number, complain that the focus of the UN and the media, on women as a monolithic victim-class and men as a monolithic perpetrator class, undermines not only their effectiveness in helping and protecting male victims, but in bringing female perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.

When Adam Jones examined the activities of five of the “female architects of the Rwandan genocide”, he noted they not only participated in selecting thousands of Tutsi men and boys to be killed, they were often the ones delivering death. Yet according to author Tim Goldich:

"These cases of female leaders represent only a small part of the story of women’s participation in the genocide. At the grassroots, “very often, groups of women ululated their men into the ‘action’ that would result in the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children, many of them their own neighbours.” Their role was dominant in the post-massacre looting and stripping of bodies, which often involved climbing over corpses (and those still alive and moaning in agony) piled thigh-high in the confined spaces in which many Tutsis met their end. Frequently these women assisted in administering the coup de grĂ¢ce to those clinging to life."

If Eve Ensler believes women are uniquely equipped to lead without descending into violence, she needs to open her eyes.

The model with which we as humans view gender makes us so reluctant to not only feel compassion for male victims of crime, hardship and suffering, but also to deliver accountability to women who do horrible things.

Just like Taslima Nasreen's childish narrative, "Men throw acid on us, but women still love men," ignores the 30% of acid attack victims who are men and boys and the significant number of perpetrators who are women, Eve Ensler's tale of Jean from the Congo ignores a very great deal of suffering and marginalization, simply because in her mind, all women are victims and that is all they are. And all men are is how they affect women.

And I'm sorry, but Eve Ensler, in her call for women to rise up--a billion of them worldwide next February 14th, to represent the 1 out of 3 women globally who will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes--is apparently thinking with her vagina. Because I'm almost positive she's never even thought to even ask the question, "how many men will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes?" for comparison. If she had, I wonder if she'd like the answer.

She really doesn't get the idea that humans--men and women--are in this together, and that the warp and weft created by our equilibrium is what society is built on. To her, men exist only to help or to harm women, and that means a man who's been raped is of no use to anyone, least of all her.

Eve Ensler is as much a slave to her hominid programming and traditional views of gender as anyone else--a slave to the idea that men do while women are done. And while she noted that since spending time in the Congo she's become fully radicalized, becoming a radical proponent of traditional ways of viewing gender doesn't make her any more special than Rush Limbaugh.

But I think the most cynical and stomach-turning part of the entire speech was the way she drew equivalence between the struggles and suffering of women in the Congo, a place where there is a war on EVERYONE, and the inconveniences of women in the west who are oppressed by lack of free birth control. It's all one big war on women, don'tcha know? And men? If they aren't harming women, or being useful to women, they don't exist at all.

This means war!

I just read an interesting article over at thunderf00t's blog on Atheism+ and the divisive and polarizing tactics they're now using to gain support for their splinter movement. The conflict that began with Elevatorgate has now overtly become "us vs them", with battle lines drawn by righteous feminists and vilification and exclusion of any who voice the slightest dissent. The "Four Horsemen" of atheism have been recast as the perpetually evil "old white patriarchs", an identifiable group which according to feminist agitprop should be dismissed out of hand. If a powerful, educated old white man said it, you can be sure it's garbage, right? Why? Because we say so! We're just trying to be inclusive!

The tone of the article was one of bemusement, which only tells me thunderf00t has not descended remotely as far down the rabbit-hole as he needs to to get a clear picture of what exactly is going on in his community. I know that someone posted my video on female hypoagency by way of explanation, and I've picked up a lot of new subscribers from the atheist/skeptic/rationalist community as a result of his attention. At the same time, he seems hopeful that all of this brouhaha will reach some impervious barrier of rationality, at which point, Atheism+ will fizzle, and I find I can't share his optimism.

He writes in conclusion:

I expect that they will now start trying to weasel their way out of this by any and all means necessary as long as the conclusion is ‘no, it’s okay for ME to attend mere atheist conferences, its just everyone else who should shun and marginalize these mere inferior atheists’

I'm sorry to break it to you, thunderf00t, but I don't foresee any "weaselling out" occurring anytime soon--only more "weaselling in". My prediction is that the conflict in your community will escalate, with the Skepchicks and other feminist "atheists", and Atheists+ pushing their dogmatic agenda ever harder in every single arena, and continuing to pit the men in the community against each other. Give it a few more months, and American Atheist will have a shiny new "plus" sign on their letterhead.

It's amazing how closely this collective aggression and irrationality mirrors what's known in the pick-up artist community as the "shit test". A shit test is basically an irrational, manufactured conflict, attack or complaint on the part of a female partner against her male partner. This is not a "real" complaint, though it may be based on actual annoyances (like leaving the toilet seat up), and though usually interpreted by a man as a sincere concern or upset on the part of the woman, the underlying goal of the shit test is to compel the man into setting reasonable boundaries and maintaining his autonomy--that is, a demand to have the man put his foot down and not be bullied. This has been posited as a subconscious psychological strategy on the part of women to test the mettle of their mates--"if he can't stand up to ME when I'm bullying him, then how's he going to fend off those sabre-toothed tigers?"

The more the man tries to appease the shit-testing woman, the more she will escalate the conflict. The only way to pass the shit test is to put one's foot down. A relationship where a man is easily bullied (by anyone) is one in which a woman will feel more insecure, not less. The more insecure she feels, the bigger and more overt the shit tests will become.

And the horrible thing about shit tests is that they are a subconscious behavior--the woman sincerely believes that what's bothering her is that her man keeps leaving the toilet seat up, and not that she needs reassurance that he's an adequate protector and therefore worthy of respect.

I mean, look at how the conflict in the atheist/skeptic community began--with Elevatorgate. For those not in the know, Elevatorgate was what ensued after a man politely asked Rebecca Watson up to his hotel room for coffee, and then politely took "no" for an answer. It culminated with a call from feminists to boycot Richard Dawkins' books, when he had the temerity to call bullshit on the whole debacle.

You now have Surly Amy, in a recent interview with Amanda Marcotte, explaining what a sexual harassment policy at TAM should look like. At one point, she claims that no one is saying people can't hook up at conferences, and describes "the appropriate way to hook up"--basically, to introduce yourself, to flirt a little, talk a little, and invite someone to have sex with you if they wish. What she's describing as "the appropriate way" is exactly what sparked Elevatorgate--a polite invitation. So what the hell was Elevatorgate all about, then? A months-long screaming match among atheists over a man who behaved appropriately?

Surly Amy goes on to say that the kind of inappropriate behavior she wants covered by the sexual harassment policy is, for example, walking up to someone and starting to have sex with them without asking. So basically, the sexual harassment policy at TAM must include the phrase, "No raping, please"? Seriously?

This entire fiasco is a classic irrational, manufactured complaint on the part of feminist "atheists". And though it may seem as if it's the "no-bullshit" response of rationals like Justin Vacula, integralmath, Richard Dawkins and you, thunderf00t, that is what's causing this splinter-group to escalate the conflict, it's actually the appeasement and supplication of men like PZ Myers that's driving the female psychology underlying this collective shit test to a fever pitch. Validation of the insecurity that lies at the heart of this conflict only generates more of the same.

Meanwhile, true to the tactics of the shit-testing woman, the Skepchicks' own conferences now include a panel discussion of how the male brain is a female brain that's been "damaged by testosterone" and that men are "defective women". Rebecca Watson's platform as a skeptic speaker has transmogrified from actual discussion of atheism/skepticism into a sermon railing against the misogyny in the atheist/skeptic community, an airing of grievances concerning the "thousands of rape threats" she's received from "hundreds of atheists", described in detail but never backed up with screencaps. Demands for evidence of the existence of these threats, and, further, evidence that if they exist they come from within the atheist community, are met with accusations of misogyny and rape apologia.

The women driving all of this are supported and validated in their efforts by supplicating men, men desperate to tell them, "We're the good men, we're not like those bad men over there. We understand why you're so terrified of this HUGE problem of sexual harassment and misogyny in our community, and it's all down to male badness. But not me, because I'm a good man, not like those guys over there, the bad ones..."

They're doing the equivalent of telling a child that the monster in the closet is real, and it's particularly interested in eating small children, and they aren't even doing it to protect the women in the atheist/skeptic community from that monster. They're doing it to distinguish themselves from the "defective male" rabble in the group--you know, the thunderf00ts and the Justin Vaculas--and they'll happily cast you all as monsters just for the opportunity to portray themselves as monster-slayers. They're quite prepared to burn the entire house to the ground to do it, even though the closet monster doesn't exist, and even though they aren't even conscious of why they're behaving in this way.

The people behind this schism are not behaving or thinking rationally. Look at this hypocrisy from FTB over one of hundreds of comments I've made over the last two years concerning domestic violence:

I used to live under a young couple with a baby. I’d listen as she followed him from room to room upstairs, stomping, slamming things, throwing things, screaming. After about an hour, he’d eventually hit her, and everything would go quiet. An hour after that, they’d be out with the baby in the stroller, looking perfectly content with each other.

Here is the response from FTB (complete with photo of man's head exploding) to such a comment made by an "enemy":

So, if you’re annoyed at a woman, that justifies hitting her?  In fact, you should hit her early in your annoyance, lest you beat the living shit out of her later when you’re reallymad?  Of course, the fault will be hers for annoying you, not yours for having the physicality of a grown man but an infant’s mastery of your emotions.
And here, from the comments:

I wonder if she has ever say gone out to lunch with that couple? If she has, I wondered if she noticed that the wife cowered like a fucking sheep when her husband spoke. I wonder if she just so happened to notice that the poor woman’s husband spoke for her, talked down to her, criticized her, all while she sat there and took it. Did she react when he made a swift movement? Does she carefully and painfully choose her words to avoid his wrath?
Okayyyy.... so a woman chasing her boyfriend from room to room, screaming insults and profanity, throwing heavy objects at him (in front of their infant, no less) while refusing to allow him to exit the situation is a clear sign that she's living in terror of him. Huh.

But it was the response to THIS comment that really told me who we're dealing with:

Normally I would say that violence towards women is never justified, however, I did see my dad hit my mom twice. He stayed and put up with her because of me, and every few years she would get in one of these moods where she would ride his ass and tell him what a loser he was for not making enough money, losing his hair, or whatever, put her finger in his face, scream at him, shove him, etc. This would go on nightly for weeks until he would beg her to stop because he was about to snap, which only encouraged her. She got off on it. He would try to go for a walk to get away from her before he lost it, and she would grab him and keep on and on, until he would start shaking and crying uncontrollably, and then he would snap. He said he would literally see red, then have no memory of what happened. I have snapped like this once after having been bullied for years and years, and I couldn’t remember, either. He felt cornered and tried to do the right thing and take a walk, but she wouldn’t let him. I can’t fault him for that. If anyone deserved a backhanding, it would have been her.
Go ahead and tell me I’m evil. I can take it. I think violence against women is deplorable, and I wouldn’t put up with it myself, and would tell anyone who is in an abusive relationship to get out. But I can also understand why someone would snap if they were incessantly poked and prodded and then reacted accordingly.

Wow, an almost identical (if more embellished) situation to the one I described, so you'd expect a TON of exploding heads, right? Oh wait, but that comment came from a "friendly", and is therefore "different":

Your mother was the one being abusive. Men are victims of domestic violence too, not as often, but it still happens. I do not know often women act like this in the US or around the world, but reported domestic violence case statistics say that men are more likely to be a the abuser.
I don’t think it was right of your father to hit her, because I don’t think that hurting anyone is okay. But I think he was justified to fight back.
That kind of situation is not what GWW is advocating though. And even if that’s -all- she was advocating I’d still encourage her to change her stance and encourage the men to get help instead of hurting the women they are with.

Um, wow. And this guy's mom didn't even throw anything at his dad, but somehow the commenters at FTB are prepared to accept that she was the abusive one! Couldn't they tell she was terrorized and cowed, living in such fear of his wrath that she barely spoke without permission?

And if we're to apply the same rules here as were applied to me, relating a situation you've observed means you advocate for it. This must be the case, since me attempting to have a frank, meaningful, grown-up discussion of the complexities of domestic violence--you know, how it goes down in the real world among real people, as opposed to how it goes down in Feminist Theory--is the same as me advocating beating women.

Therefore I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you, about how absolutely no heads exploded over this guy's domestic violence apologia! Look, here's another understanding comment:

Your mother was the abuser in this situation. Hitting her was probably not the *best* solution, but I certainly am not going to fault your father for it in this case.
I can't believe these three commenters at FTB are advocating for men being allowed to beat their wives! Where are the bits of brain and skull all over the place from everyone's heads exploding? Nary a fragment to be seen, which means they must not only be excusing violence against women, but actively supporting and encouraging it! Where is the outrage? If there's no outrage, that's exactly the same as endorsement!

So from what I gather, what is considered an abhorrent thought when it comes from an enemy is permissible and even apt when voiced by a friendly. For a community that supposedly prides itself on empiricism, universality, evidence and logic, rather than hyperbole, emotionality, and kneejerking, that's really all you need to know to understand how far gone these people are.

I'm sorry, thunderf00t, but your community is in huge trouble. There will be no retreats, tactical or otherwise, not at the American Atheist convention or anywhere else. Only an ever-widening circle of conversion into this new religion where the devil has been usurped by Patriarchy, and god by "women's feelings".

They are the "us" and you and any other rational person who attacks arguments rather than the people speaking them... you are the "them".

And as long as there are men--and yes, I mean men, not just people, but men--in your community who are prepared to preen as heroes by validating and reinforcing the irrational beliefs and closet monster fears of a few hysterical (yes, I said it, hysterical) women, the conflict will only continue to escalate until the entire house goes up in flames.

I'd advise you to call the fire department if I thought for a second that it would help.

Sunday 19 August 2012

Dost thou protest too much?

ZOMGitsCriss is all over my channel (and twitter, apparently, though I can't be bothered to go look--hearsay evidence so take it with a grain of salt) [HEARSAY EVIDENCE UPDATE: ZOMGitscriss is not accusing me of accusing her. She has been accusing me of accusing FTB and/or Skepchicks of the fraudulent DMCA claims, and others have been accusing me of accusing her specifically and demanding I "leave her alone".] demanding evidence of the accusations I've made against her. That is, the accusations I've made that she is behind the fraudulent DMCA claims against me that occurred earlier this week.

And I would be happy to provide evidence to back such accusations, if I'd actually made any such accusations. In fact, the only accusations I ever made regarding ZOMG is that she deleted my comments from the thread of her video. A cursory search for "neoteny" did not turn up my initial comment, nor other comments in which I had included this word, and I assumed, wrongly, that some or all of my comments had been deleted.

The instant I had ascertained that I was mistaken, I amended my video with a speech bubble, and posted edits on my blog post and the info section of my video to that effect. The edits in these two locations also included a disclaimer that I was not accusing ZOMGitsCriss of the attack on my channel, or of being personally involved in any of this.

More than that, I exchanged a brief series of personal messages with ZOMG, in which I said to her:

I also want to make clear to you (I've tried to publicly, as well) that I don't at all believe this is your doing, but I do consider it very likely that this might be fallout from my participation in your video thread. This is the first trouble I've had on YT, and there's been some serious resentment among atheists/skeptics of thunderf00t subscribing to "the tokyo rose of men's rights". 
If you like, here's a screencap of that message:

So what ZOMGitsCriss is demanding on my channel and (apparently) on twitter, and is criticizing me for not producing, is evidence of a claim I never made, and which I have conveyed in three places--two of them public and one of them directly to her--that I specifically was not making. 

What I HAVE done is note that this attack on my channel--an attack that occurred the exact same day Justin Vacula was dealt a false DMCA claim against one of his videos--is something all too common within the Atheist/Skeptic community, that stalking has been an issue there as well, and that this attack occurred two days after I made my first foray into the increasingly feminist environment of that community. My channel has been pissing people off since last October, and two days after a comment of mine received 117 upvotes in a thread where ZOMG was downvoted

I get (allegedly) two claimants filing false DMCAs against me with the implied threat that my channel would go down if I don't provide them my personal details.

I'm well aware that it could be any number of people within the FTB or skepchick communities, or none of them, or all of them, or someone completely different. But as I said, the timing is awfully iffy.

Again. I did not accuse ZOMGitsCriss of anything. In fact, I went out of my way to say I was NOT accusing her of anything--both in public and in a personal message. Yet she demands evidence of my accusations that she is the culprit behind the false DMCA claims filed against me.

Of course, it's not like I'm not used to this crap. Here is a screencap of a post on FTB (apparently they've acknowledged my existence now):

Now, let's consider what they're implying here. They're implying that by saying "I don’t really find too much in the article that strikes me as seriously ethically questionable," that I find nothing in the article that is seriously ethically questionable. More precisely, they post that comment immediately after posting the most seriously ethically questionable portion of the article in question.

I'm going to allow that these people are unfamiliar with the MRM's general sentiment toward Ferdinand Bardamu, which is that pretty much everything he writes is expected to be so awful that we no longer even remark on the awfulness, but concentrate our discussion on the things he occasionally says that are NOT awful. But let's deconstruct this a little.

"I really don't find too much in the article that is seriously ethically questionable." From this, we can infer that some of it IS seriously ethically questionable, but other parts are insightful or morally neutral or contributory to a discussion of the real dynamics of domestic violence. 

Yet my assessment that there was not "too much" in the article that was seriously ethically questionable was interpreted and portrayed as complete agreement with the most seriously ethically questionable portion of the article (and you know that the worst bit is going to be the bit posted, right?). 

So by essentially saying that I find a portion of the article seriously ethically questionable, while most of it is just observations of human nature, I am portrayed by the folks at FTB as condoning and agreeing with the most seriously ethically questionable part of the article. 

So here we have a group of people who claim I am accusing someone even after I have specifically and unambiguously stated, publicly in two places and privately to her face, that I am not accusing her, who then go on to impute beliefs and values on me based on the fact that I found some, but not all, of a Ferdinand Bardamu article ethically questionable.

The intellectual dishonesty, it hurts. It hurts SO BAD.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Abuse of Youtube's copyright infringement claim process for doxxing purposes

UPDATE: it appears that the pathetic cowards who perjured themselves filing these maliciously false copyright infringement claims have chickened out, and retracted their claims. My account is back in good standing, with zero copyright strikes, and the videos in question are back up for the illumination of the viewing public. 

I am currently under attack from one or two individuals who are attempting to gain access to my name, address and phone number, through claiming my videos are infringing on their copyright.

They have posted two claims against three of my videos, "LPS 2: the Rights of the Child"; "Fempocalypse!" and "LPS Part 1 - Men have an equal responsibility." These videos have been removed by YT.

Their claim is that I am infringing on their original works, "Femdompocalypse"; "The Rights of a Child - Part 2"; and "Men Have an Equal Responsibility", which they claim are not hosted on YouTube. Googling of these titles receives no relevant hits.

Copyright infringement claims by one more individual will result in the deletion of my YT account. Only two individuals have lodged complaints thus far, within minutes of each other judging by the fact that the notifications from YT hit my email account within minutes of each other.

As you can see in the screenshot, to file a counterclaim, I must make my personal information, including legal name, address and phone number available to the claimant.

There is NO unoriginal material in these videos. Anyone who has watched these three videos will know that in them I am sitting at my kitchen table reading from a script I have written. These are MY original works, with NO content from other copyrighted works in them. I own the copyright to these videos.

I am unable to contact the administration of YouTube. The system is now automated, removal is instant, and counterclaiming requires I disclose my personal information to the individuals who have made the claim against me.


I find it so very odd that this attack occurred only a day or two after the first highly upvoted (over 100 upvotes), and since removed, comment I left on the channel of Free[from]thoughtblogger and popular Atheist-turned-feminist vlogger ZOMGitscriss. According to people in the Skeptic/atheist community, there have been incidents of stalking and harassment of individuals in that community who do not toe the FTB feminist party line.

I am not going to cave in and provide my personal information to potential stalkers by engaging YouTube's counterclaim process. If these people want my personal information, here's the only process through which they I will give it to them:

I will engage an attorney and file a lawsuit against YT for their irresponsible automated copyright infringement claim process, which exposes individuals like me to the risk of real life harassment. At which point, I'm sure YT will be interested in determining who abused their system and saddled them with a law suit. I'm sure in the legal mayem that ensues, my real name will have to come out. But at least it will be worth it, you fucking cowards.

Edit: It seems my comments are still up at ZOMGitscriss's video--in my frenzy to deal with the situation, being unable to find the initial one in the slew of comments there, I did a search of a word I'd used that came up blank and assumed it was gone. And let me be clear--this post was in no way accusing ZOMGitscriss specifically for anything, other than posting a video I felt compelled to comment on, that brought me to the attention of a community known for stalking less than 48 hours before the notices hit my inbox.

Thursday 2 August 2012

a call to arms for a fellow soldier

Angel Clark, who interviewed me a few months ago on her libertarian radio show, just emailed me tonight to share a couple of press releases. Little did I realize that the subject of these press releases was a man I met at the False Allegations Summit in Washington DC a month ago.

Press Release: July 12, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A lawsuit has been filed against Delaware State Police and several other Delaware agencies and four individual officers for failing to arrest individuals who made proven false police reports, failure to conduct investigations prior to making arrests, and falsely entering the Plaintiff into DELJIS resulting in his false arrest and incarceration in a Delaware State Prison the day after he conducted a demonstration outside Kent County Family Court. 

The lawsuit was filed by Gordon Smith, in Superior Court seeking damages for numerous torts and civil rights violations. Had Mr. Smith not been able to prove his innocence, in the face of false reports by his ex-wife he faced a year in prison on each of the false charges.

Despite the fact that in one case he was able to prove that he was miles away when the ex-wife, her sister and her boyfriend told Delaware State Police that he was at her home, the Delaware State Police refused to arrest the individuals that made the false report that resulted in his arrest. In another case he was at Family Court, which is under video surveillance when his ex-wife alleged that he made a call to her in violation of an ex-parte protection order. The police officer that arrested him admitted that he saw Mr. Smith in the court at the time he was alleged to have been making the phone call but refused to review the video tape to confirm that he was not on a phone at that time. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in Delaware Family Courthouses. In another instance the ex-wife alleged that he called and text messaged numerous times, when he had not and he was charged with harassment by phone with the domestic violence modifier because he was a divorced spouse. The Delaware State Police failed to look at the complainant's phone records which would have shown her statement was another false report. His ex-wife had him falsely arrested twice in one day and three times in that one week period.

  According to Mr. Smith the pendulum on domestic violence has swung from thirty years ago when it was ignored as a private matter, where abused women were not protected to the same extent that non related individuals would be if victimized to a point now that men are not given the same due process or equal protection when accused of domestic related crimes in comparison to those accused of any other crimes that are not considered domestic. Smith says “in the instances where I was arrested the police didn't even contact me to see if I could prove that I was innocent, in other instances when my ex-wife made reports to police and they did investigate I was not arrested”. He said that “failure of the Delaware State Police to enforce Delaware law on filing false police reports encouraged his ex-wife to continue to file false police reports” in an effort to have him incarcerated because he had moved on in his personal life and was involved with another woman. Men in Delaware are subject to arrest at any time when they haven't committed any crime.

Smith stated, "You can get up and go to work and not know there is a warrant for your arrest on some made up allegation and be in prison that night for something that you didn't do. No evidence is required, all a woman has to do is say that you, a current or former spouse or domestic partner, did something and the State Police will run out and get a rubber stamp warrant from the JP Court. You have to prove that you're innocent instead of them having anything more concrete than verbal allegations that you committed a crime." 

For Mr. Smith this has resulted in five arrests that were nolle prossed but show on background checks preventing him from being employed in his field, despite no convictions and resulting in his being financially crippled. In Delaware, unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, it is not against the law for employers to consider arrest that did not result in conviction to make adverse employment decisions. 

     Mr. Smith is the co-founder and Executive Director of a family law reform and advocacy organization and the Delaware State Coordinator for an organization that lobbies for changes in Federal and State laws to address the proliferation of false allegations of domestic abuse and for enforcement of laws on filing false police reports. 

Smith said that he is looking for other men in Delaware who have been the victim of proven false police reports of domestic violence or violations of PFAs and would consider being part of a class action lawsuit, in Federal District Court. They can contact him at gordonsmith67@gmail.com

Second Press Release: 

Gordon Smith, the Delaware activist and man suing Delaware State Police and other agencies for false arrest has been arrested again on yet another false report to the police by the same individual, his ex-wife, of Dover, DE. She told police that he threatened to kill her. That is untrue and she had no substantiation or witnesses but Dover PD has a policy of mandatory arrest. He has been charged with terroristic threatening. All it takes is an unproven allegation of a crime if it's related to an intimate partner or former intimate partner and made by a woman against a man and they make an arrest. In the past this woman has made eight false reports to the police and up until now anytime the police agency investigated there was no arrest. Five times in the past, no investigation was made by Delaware State Police Troop 3 and once before by the Dover Police and they obtained warrants on the false reports. Twice other police agencies received false reports and investigated and did not make an arrest. Twice Mr. Smith had physical evidence, including video tape of his innocence that proved the reports to police were a lie in violation of 11DE1245 yet the perpetrator, his ex-wife,, was not arrested. 

Smith alleges in his suit that he and men in general are denied equal protection and that failing to arrest people who make false reports to the police encourages them to continue to maliciously file reports in the future. The Delaware Department of Justice has a no drop policy and despite exculpatory evidence continued the prosecutions of Mr. Smith up until the day of trial when previous charges were dropped. 

"It is a disgrace", says Catherine Gibson, Managing Director of FLAIR: Family Law Advocates Initiating Reform, "that innocent men are routinely thrown under the bus by certain but not all police agencies in Delaware and the Delaware Department of Justice in the name of protecting women from domestic violence". She said that it demeans the true victims of domestic violence and is unconscionable that when there is physical evidence that a police report was knowingly false the women are not arrested.

Mr. Smith has been on WBOC, WDEL and published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today as well as the Delaware State News, The News Journal and several other regional newspapers. Recently an opinion piece on Pro Se was published in the State News.
Anyone who was the victim of a proven false police report related to dv should contact Mr. Smith atgordonsmith67@gmail.com to discuss a class action lawsuit in Federal Court.

Anyone in Delaware (or elsewhere, frankly) who has a moment to spare is encouraged to contact Delaware's DOJ here: http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/office/contact.shtml to express their objection that this woman, who has made 8 proven false accusations for the purpose of abusing legal process to harass another individual, has faced no charges as yet.

And anyone in Delaware who has been the subject of a proven false accusation, please contact Gordon in regard to his class action lawsuit. I met this guy. He's sincere and seems decent, and he certainly doesn't deserve this bullshit.

Hugs, all.