Those of you who are friends with me on Facebook may have noticed my status earlier today. Sometimes things get a little overwhelming for me and I just want to curl up in a little ball and hide. Between the new Ben Radford/Rebecca Watson kerfluffle and the DJ Grothe/Greta Christina thing, I’d had enough for one day.
The disagreements themselves were one thing. Everyone has opinions and the fact that they differ simply means that those people have different ideas. This is a good thing. As was pointed out to me, it means our community isn’t full of cultish automatons.
The comments that some people have made after said opinions were voiced is something else totally different. Personally, I find it frightening and intimidating when I read threats of violence and misogynistic words leveled against another woman that I have a passing acquaintance with. I’m a female blogger and skeptic too so, to my mind, I could also be targeted by these same people simply because I share the same anatomy. That’s not an unreasonable concern. I’ve already received a death threat by Mabus (Yeah, I know…who hasn’t?). But the point is that when people stoop to that level, it makes me feel unsafe, as though, if I dare to voice my own ideas, I will be treated the same way.
Fortunately I have good friends who remind me almost daily that all men are not like that. Matt Lowry, who writes for me at the JREF blog, wrote an excellent post about this on his blog, The Skeptical Teacher. I fully support his new project, “More Than Men” and urge you to do the same.
My other friend, Gregory ‘Gerg’ Perrine of the Skeptic Wire Podcast, had the greatest response to my status update. When I explained why I felt like a kid whose parents were divorcing (ie: infighting, name calling, etc) he posted the following:
OH YEAH!?!?! WELL SCREW YOU TOO!!! MY ALL CAPS SHOWS JUST HOW SMART I MUST BE, HOW MUCH I DISAGREE WITH YOU, AND HOW STUPID I THINK YOU ARE PERSON-I-JUST-MET-ON-THE-INTERNET!!! ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME DESERVES TO BE THREATENED WITH HORRIBLE THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER, EVER SAY IN PERSON!!! HA, I WIN THE ARGUMENT!!! SO THERE!!!
And this is why Gerg is my hero of the week. Honestly I laughed so hard I was sneezing my comfort food of choice – caramel popcorn. Gerg said that this makes an excellent blog comment “safe word” when things have gotten out of hand. I couldn’t agree more. It’s an excellent tension breaker.
So to all you doo-doo heads out there who think it’s okay to call a woman a bitch or cunt because you disagree with her, I say ~~~~~