Surly Amy has a Sad

Over at Skepchick, SurlyAmy has a nice long ‘poor me’ + begging post.  I honestly don’t mind the begging.  If you’re willing to beg, like Justin Vacula who excels at this, to get to where you want to go to further your skeptic career and people will support you, do it.

However, the poor me is damn annoying. It’s like a bully crying in the Principal’s office of how unfair it is that someone finally kicked his ass and he’s the one suffering for a change:

Unfortunately, TAM and the Skeptic community has changed a whole heck of a lot over the years and is no longer a welcoming place for me.

I would agree, SurlyAmy. TAM and Skeptic community have changed a lot. The reasons for it though aren’t because people have just ‘decided to be mean.’

In the nine-months I’ve been active in the Skeptical community, after a long hiatus, I have witnessed the constant attacks on the rest of the community by you, PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, and many of the FTB bloggers and their commentariat over their trivial, or imaginary, first-world problems blown up into major-crises level events.  All while repeatedly slandering and deliberately misrepresenting the positions and attitudes of your erstwhile allies as well as the community at large.

So, without further ado:

Dear Surly Amy,

At this point in time,  you and your friends have repeatedly shit in the Skeptical Community Punch bowl and are now complaining that it tastes bad.  No kidding!

While I can see some pushing might be useful (such as against bigotry), your pushing is not even over worthwhile issues.   You, and your friends, seem to live in some glorified middle-school-like world where the trivial slights (real or imagined) you ‘perceive’ (or just make up) get so much more weight in your twitter feed, in your Skepchick column, in your little closed-community of like-minded ‘professional victims’ than things that a so much more important that it’s clear you have no fucking perspective.

On a weekly, sometimes daily basis, you and your friends are picking fights, playing the victim, defaming and bullying people over things you make up or even actual, real-world things that are trivial, like your little flounce from DragonCon* where you were in the wrong after cheating the system for four years.  Meanwhile, we live in a world where an 8-year-old girl was raped to death by her ‘husband’ to whom she was sold.

Strangly, I’d thought someone at Skepchicks might have blogged about it seeing as that it’s a ‘core-feminist, patriarchy-is-bad’ issue.  Yet not a mention of it on Skepchicks even though, in my eyes at least, your feminist leanings should make it prime story material and I was sort of curious to what the Skepchicks might have said about the issue.  Instead what we have, at the time of my writing this page are articles about:

  • Richard Dawkins and the willful and dishonest interpretation of what he said. (And since you don’t get it, crimes do have relative levels — manslaughter is not the same as capital murder.)
  • A contrived argument about ‘consent’ that blames men for a woman’s giving ‘consent’ when she actually didn’t feel like it. (Seriously, if you can’t say ‘no’ you need to stop dating and spare the male population your potential rape accusations because guys can’t read minds.)
  • An ant-VAX attack. (At least this one wasn’t a complete fuck-up though it had it’s childish digs.)
  • An article defending Muslims over 9/11 myths. (That was over a decade ago, people who agree, agree. Those that don’t, probably don’t give a shit.)
  • A hack article on the vaccine study done by WT. (Ironically repeating (by reference) another stupid Skepchick article that’s attacking DJ Grothe because you people can’t accept maybe there’s something wrong with the study and you’re using events of the past week to pretend that’s why he hasn’t released it for the year since submission. Hint — if it’s been sat on for a year, what happened last week is likely to be completely irrelevant.
  • Four more articles I just gave up on, though I note there were a lot of links about Dawkins, all of which seem to have also deliberately misunderstood what Dawkins said.

Lack of perspective.   It’s all about trivial shit, being toxic assholes and not liking the consequences of being toxic assholes.

But what I try to remember is the reasons of why I got involved in that community in the first place. And the reason I did, was that I wanted to learn more about science and I wanted to find like-minded and inspirational people to spend my time with and I wanted to help promote and share good information with the public through my art to help make the world a better place.

But that’s not what you do.  You may have started that way, but you became a prisoner of the narrow, inflexible worldview that is FTB/Skepchick Radical Feminism.  In function, though not name, you’ve become the intellectual equivalent of a creationist as you suffer from same disease — asymmetrical moral absolutism.**  And moral absolutism, in case you’ve failed to notice its function in the real-world, breeds/reinforces rigidity, intolerance, tribalism and bigotry.

So, yes, the community has changed SurlyAmy.  You and your ‘friend’s have become rigid ideologues and bigots.  You routinely inflict your bigotry on the community.  Now we all suffer the consequences of your bigotry in personal attacks due to the substantially fractured community you and the A+ bigots have made.   Perhaps if you and the A+ bigots did not spend all your time attacking others from your position of ‘moral superiority’ while refusing to see that your arguments are (mostly) based on lies told to you by others you, and the rest of us, might not have these problems.

But you don’t.  So we have these community problems because (naturally) people in the community don’t like it when they’re attacked.  Especially when they’re being attacked over lies.  Lies, that if you’d bothered to become a skeptic instead of a science groupie kidding yourself that you’re a skeptic, you’d be able to over-come with any honest research.

But, as we’ve seen, you don’t.  You just wield those lies like a club, not caring who you hurt, who you slander, who you libel, who you tear down.  And so you get push-back.


* DragonCon Life Hint:  If I do 40 MPH in  a 20 MPH school zone Monday through Thursday, I don’t get a free pass on Friday’s ticket when the speed trap catches me.  I pay my fine and get my lumps and change my self-obsessed behaviors (or suffer the consequences) because I am not the center of the universe.

** It’s wrong for you to do it, it’s okay when we do it.


PS: This really bugged the shit out of me:

Without science to back it up, skepticism is just another philosophy.

No.  Skepticism is a tool.   Science is a process that uses skepticism as one of its tools.   You really don’t know anything about this, do you?  It’s just all buzzwords and nerd cred to you, isn’t it?

3 thoughts on “Surly Amy has a Sad

  1. ThePrussian

    Very well said. Very detailed and careful post. Would like to see the 9/11 post the SCs have put up…
    I also find it interesting that Amy wants science to back it up. You may be interested to see how that goes with Myers recent rejection of science and reason.

  2. Simon Wright

    Marcello Truzzi said, “the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything.”

    Feminism isn’t a science, it’s a collection of philosophies and ideologies that change by continuously being challenged by those inside and outside the feminist community. If Amy and Rebecca’s position is that feminism requires skepticism to evolve, I don’t disagree. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be their position.

    If the skeptical community is to remain skeptical, shouldn’t Amy and Rebecca leave their -isms at home? Isn’t challenging some of the more extraordinary “skeptic feminist” claims of Amy and Rebecca pretty much what skepticism is all about.


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