People who Call Others "Denier" Deserve to be Raped

This title is a bit of an exaggeration of the point I want to make today but only a bit of one. And that worries the hell out of me.

No, I am not saying anyone deserves to be raped. Quite the opposite. I think that is about the worst thing you could wish upon anyone. I think even saying it "as a joke" is beyond the pale. People who do it or defend doing it disgust me. That's why I am bothered to see the reactions of Judith Curry to a discussion by one Sarah Myhre, who wrote things like:

As a student and then a professional scientist, I have been assaulted, raped, harassed, demeaned, belittled, and threatened on the job. That is right. Every single professional gig that you might read on my CV comes with a litany of backstories of abuse and violence.

And spoke in a podcast about how she received many misogynistic responses when she publishes things/posts on the internet, including "jokes" about raping her. I would like to think we could all get behind condemning misogyny, sexual harassment, rape "jokes" and especially rape. Unfortunately, Curry chose this response on Twitter:

Because Myhre had tweeted this about her:

Myhre called Curry a "denier" and said she is "irresponsible." Curry calls this "bullying," portraying it as equitable to what Myhre expressed outrage over. This wasn't a one-off tweet from Curry either. She followed it up with a blog post where she wrote:

Is this category of female scientists particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment? Probably not. However, owing to their strident and often irrational behavior, they are very vulnerable to not being taken seriously by males in the scientific community and viewed as undesirable for faculty or other leadership positions.
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The video by Sarah Myhre and Jacquelyn Gill referred to earlier: #MeToo: The Harassment of Women Scientists Online – and Off raises the prospect of online bullying of women.
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Hmmmm . . . such as what Michael Mann has done to me? Wait, Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill) spotted a tweet from Sarah Myhre from last spring,

Myhre discussed misogyny, sexual harassment, assault, rape "jokes" and rape. Curry dismisses everything Myhre said about these issues because Myhre engages in "bullying" by doing things like call people "deniers." The message this sends if you call someone a "denier," you don't have any room to complain about misogyny, sexual harassment, assault, rape "jokes" or even rape.

This is pathetic and disgusting.

29 comments

  1. That all said, I would like to take a moment to say while I had never heard of Myhre before Curry tweeted about her, spending a bit of time reading and listening to what she says has convinced me she is an intellectually vapid coward. If someone wants to write about her conspiratorial ideation and delusional thinking in regard to climate change controversies, I would fully support that.

    Because really, if you think a massive disinformation campaign is the reason global warming advocates haven't managed to make more headway, you're nuts.

  2. This kind of thinking and form of argumentation are nothing new for Judith. See, for example where she compared "realists" to Jihadists, or "realists" to McCarthyism...

    However, owing to their strident and often irrational behavior, they are very vulnerable to not being taken seriously by males in the scientific community and viewed as undesirable for faculty or other leadership positions.

    That seems even more vapid to me than the previous argument. It, effectively, justifies the notion that males would respond to women being "strident" and "irrational" differently than other females would.

    Because really, if you think a massive disinformation campaign is the reason global warming advocates haven't managed to make more headway, you're nuts.

    So do you think that McIntyre is "nuts?" People believe things that you think are categorically and provably wrong for many reasons other than because they are "nuts." Perhaps before pronouncing judgement on someone's sanity, you could collect information that provides you with a wider basis for evaluation - for example, how she leads her life in a wide range of contexts?

    My guess is that neither she nor McIntyre are "nuts."

  3. From Judith's post:

    After what I had faced over the years, I had developed a hide as thick as an alligator’s — all of this cr@p just rolled off me and I ignored it.

    Not to diminish her toughness in overcoming the obstacles she encountered - what is funny about that comment is that at this point, Judith's advocacy in the climate wars seem (to me) to be largely fueled by a juvenile reaction to being called a denier.

  4. Joshua:

    So do you think that McIntyre is "nuts?" People believe things that you think are categorically and provably wrong for many reasons other than because they are "nuts." Perhaps before pronouncing judgement on someone's sanity, you could collect information that provides you with a wider basis for evaluation - for example, how she leads her life in a wide range of contexts?

    My guess is that neither she nor McIntyre are "nuts."

    Yes, McIntyre is nuts when he does things like portray the Russian invasion of Crimea as a peaceful secession led by a popular uprising. One nice thing about the English language is I can call people "nuts" when they express loony views without having to attempt to make a clinical assessment of their mental state and/or call for them to be institutionalized.

    It's strange to see you say things like this so soon after calling me pedantic. I hate to imagine what you'd say if you heard me at my last family dinner where I said, "It drives me nuts when you talk with your mouth full."

  5. Joshua, sometimes it seems you try very hard not to understand people. I don't think anyone but you would have difficulty understanding what I've meant.

  6. I don't see that Curry portrayed Myhre's bullying as 'equitable'. Just highlighting the irony of someone complaining about being bullied doing some bullying herself.

  7. Peter Green, suppose I am a female and I say I was sexually harassed by misogynists online. You respond by saying:

    But the irony of a bullying female scientist complaining about online bullying of female scientists is a bit much .

    Would you say this is okay because you did not directly say sexual harassment is equitable to calling a person a denier? I hope not. This is a classic rhetorical trick where you respond to what someone say by discussing a much milder issue than what they focused on (one which might have been raised amongst other issues they discussed) to pretend that is all they said.

    If I give a podcast where I say, "People keep making misogynystic remarks like suggesting someone should rape me," would you respond in a fashion like:

    The video by Sarah Myhre and Jacquelyn Gill referred to earlier: #MeToo: The Harassment of Women Scientists Online – and Off raises the prospect of online bullying of women.
    .
    Hmmmm . . . such as what Michael Mann has done to me? Wait, Andrew Montford (Bishop Hill) spotted a tweet from Sarah Myhre from last spring,

    Simply because with some ridiculous semantic twisting you could claim what I referred to was a type of "online bullying" thus discussing online bullying of any sort is appropriate?

    This is a classic, and pathetic, rhetorical trick. Imagine a person says, "He broke into my house and raped me!" You wouldn't respond, "That's ironic. we have a police report showing you trespassed on private property before."

    On top of all this, what Curry quoted wasn't even bullying. (Now, a person can respond to this comment of mine by arguing what Curry quoted was bullying without acknowledging I said anything else in the comment. That would demonstrate the same rhetorical trick I describe in this comment.)

  8. Brandon, you need to look at the context of the conversation. Curry's remark is not in isolation, and cannot realistically be interpreted in isolation from the remark it is in response to.

    She is responding to a comment which is directly bullying herself, (the term 'denier' is a pejorative and used as an insult - that is bullying) from someone who has complained about receiving bullying. If you are a bully - then your complaints about bullying are hypocritical.

    If you were a female who complained about receiving online misogyny, and then bullied me (as a putative other female) I would be absolutely within my rights to call you out on your hypocrisy. That does not in any way condone the misogyny or bullying you have received, and I don't see Judith condoning any bad behavior.

    Too much extrapolating for mine.

  9. Brandon, You are missing the point entirely. Myhre has claimed that she is a victim of all these things, but there is evidence she may be lying or at least misrepresenting them. Her encounter with Cliff Mass for example. Myhre's version does not fit with Cliff's persona. It fits a pattern that some angry people use to intimidate people they don't like. If you push back against my intimidation tactics, then you must not care that I am a self-described victim. And you fell for it.

  10. Peter Green:

    She is responding to a comment which is directly bullying herself, (the term 'denier' is a pejorative and used as an insult - that is bullying) from someone who has complained about receiving bullying. If you are a bully - then your complaints about bullying are hypocritical.

    Well, the good news is this did answer my question. I'll have to try to remember not to expect sympathy from you should I ever be assaulted or have people say I should be raped since I have, on more than one occasion, called people names. I'll also try to remember if I discuss such things, you will ignore them, choosing to instead discuss only how I say I was "bullied."

    I don't see Judith condoning any bad behavior.

    The most common way to condone any wrongdoing is to pretend it didn't happen. That's exactly what Judith Curry did by pretending Myhre only discussed bullying. If you don't see why that's a problem, I'm not sure I can help you. One thing I can do is suggest you consider the difference between accusing a person of being a hypocrite and using such an accusation to misrepresent what they've said.

    I'd also suggest looking up what the word "bullying" means as calling a person a name once doesn't qualify, but that'd probably be silly of me. Actually caring about the meaning of words we use is rather passé. Still, there's a reason I can call people idiots despite having never been a bully.

  11. I feel the need to stress this point. If someone makes a remark saying I should be raped/murdered, I will speak up and point out that is bad. I will then hold in contempt anyone responds who by saying, "You're a hypocrite since you called me an idiot!"

    I'm just not sure if it'd be more because of the infantileness or the stupidity.

  12. If you assault me, and want sympathy from me when someone else assaults you, it would be human of me not to feel sympathetic. It would be fair for me to claim both assaults are wrong, but I would still call you a hypocrite for complaining about being assaulted whilst assaulting others.

    I actually don't see anyone claiming its OK to be raped, what I do see is someone saying that its hypocritical for rape victims to rape others.

    Of course these days the term 'rape' is so often misused that these conversations rapidly degenerate (case in point - looking at someone is not rape').

  13. Peter Green, while that may be what you're seeing, it aint what's there. I don't now why it is, but for whatever reason, you're failing to even discuss the issue I've raised.

  14. I think people over use "tu quoque" quite a bit, just like they do "ad hominem." A lot of people seem to think any instance of, "They did it too/first" is an example of a tu quoque logical fallacy, but that's not true. It is only a logical fallacy if one uses that statement to see something was not wrong. Simply pointing out a person's hypocrisy doesn't qualify. Saying, "He complains about people insulting one another, yet he insults me all the time," isn't using a logical fallacy. You're not drawing any fallacious conclusion.

    Which is why I have not been writing about that in Myhre's case. In Myhre's case, she complained about a number of things including physical assaults. Curry wrote it all off as online bullying akin to calling someone a "denier." Whatever one thinks of the legitimacy of the rhetorical tu quoque approach is largely immaterial to that. This can be seen by considering what Peter Green said to me after I wrote:

    I feel the need to stress this point. If someone makes a remark saying I should be raped/murdered, I will speak up and point out that is bad. I will then hold in contempt anyone responds who by saying, "You're a hypocrite since you called me an idiot!"

    The issue this raised was the disparity between calling someone an idiot and saying a person should be raped/murdered. The two are not equitable. Portraying them as such would be wrong. When confronted with this idea, Green responded:

    If you assault me, and want sympathy from me when someone else assaults you, it would be human of me not to feel sympathetic.

    I've discussed at length the disparity of things being compared, yet Green responded by comparing like to like - an assault to an assault. This reinforces the narrative Curry has been running with, that Myhre complains about bullying while engaging in bullying herself.* It's intellectually bankrupt and consists of nothing but misrepresenting what a person said. In defending Curry's misrepresentations used to downplay what Myhre said to score cheap rhetorical points, Green has misrepresented what I have said in a way that creates an obvious strawman.

    *Though again, I'll note a single pejorative remark does not come close to constituting bullying.)

  15. Using WordPress to audit scientific claims = good for humanity. Using WordPress to audit each others claims of micro-aggressions (or unreported victimizations) = boil on universe's butt.

  16. Brandon -

    My reference to Tu Quoque was to point out that referencing hypocrisy, at least in some circumstances, has nothing to do directly with the validity of the a prior assertion being made.

    If someone refers to online bullying, saying "you so it too," tells us nothing about the original assertion. Even worse, if someone refers to rape or sexual harassment, saying "you're a bully" is not materially responsive. It's kind of a combo of Tu Quoque, ad hom, and a non-sequitur.so then it gets even worse if the person saying "you do it too" is equating name-calling to "bullying" and equating name-calling to rape.

  17. R Graf, it's been well-established you'll defend "skeptics" pretty much regardless of what they do, but surely you can understand why a person might be displeased with a "skeptic" playing down things like misogyny, assault and threats of rape. If people could actually agree to some basic standards of civility, then perhaps we could resolve other issues. But if people can't reach any sort of understanding/agreement on this, why would you think they could reach any sort of understanding/agreement on scientific claims? If biases are too great to resolve something this small, they're almost certainly too great to resolve something much larger.

  18. Joshua, the problem with what you say is hypocrisy can tell us something "about the original assertion." A person being a bully wouldn't necessarily tell us anything about their claim that other bullying happened, but it could tell us something about their complaint that the other bullying (which supposedly happened) is wrong. Odds are, if you are a bully, you don't believe bullying is wrong. If you complain about bullying, odds are you're just being opportunistic. If you don't believe what you complain about is wrong, it is relevant for people to point that out.

    The logical fallacy of tu quoque isn't that you point out a person's hypocrisy. It's that you use their (supposed) hypocrisy to say their argument is wrong. Tu quoque would be saying, "You say bullying is wrong, yet you bully people therefore bullying must not be wrong." Tu quoque is not saying, "You say bullying is wrong, yet you bully people therefore you must not actually believe bullying is wrong." Tu quoque is not saying, "You say bullying is wrong, yet you bully people therefore you're a hypocrite and people shouldn't listen to you."

    Statements like, "You do it too" are often too non-specific as to their intended meaning to be sure if there was a logical fallacy involved or not. I suspect that is often intentional. After all, you can often get some people to dismiss a claim by tricking them into a tu quoque fallacy while having the deniability of saying, "I'm just calling them a hypocrite."

  19. Brandon, I wasn't comparing 'like to like' with what Judith said to what Myhre claimed. I fabricated an example which did compare an like to a like, 'assault', in an attempt to illustrate a point.

    You may not think 1 perjorative remark is bullying, but a person who has been the object of that particular remark repeatedly in public would be well within the bounds of normality to consider someone broadcasting that same remark into the public to be committing an act of bullying. Joining into the dogpile as it were.

    A person who has been bullied, who then behaves like a bully (or joins the dogpile), is acting in a way that is adequately described as hypocritical.

    Whether Myhre has actually been bullied and or threatened with rape is actually immaterial to the point I am making. Lets postulate that both are true. What effect does that have on the point I am unsuccessfully making? None at all.

    Judith has written quite a lengthy article herself on the issue, I don't know whether you have seen or read it, but here is a direct link for those who may be interested. https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/10/girls-rules/#more-23660

  20. I still haven't seen any evidence that Myhre's claims are actually true. This is symptomatic of our current fascination with current "all women must be believed" dogma. Some women make stuff up and/or exaggerate. Is there any collaboration at all or is it just her word vs. say Cliff Mass's word? Brandon, this is a critical question in determining whether you are over reacting (yet again). I am surprised that you are so focused on criticizing certain individuals almost as if you have nothing better to do with your time. Get a life and move on to important questions and issues.

  21. Peter Green, I'm tired of dealing with this sort of nonsense. I made a point about how Judith Curry compared disparate things in a way which distorted what Myhre said. You chimed in to co draw a comparison similar things. You now say:

    Brandon, I wasn't comparing 'like to like' with what Judith said to what Myhre claimed. I fabricated an example which did compare an like to a like, 'assault', in an attempt to illustrate a point.

    The point you say you were attempting to illustrate is a point which has no bearing on what I said. If it is the point you were trying to make, it was a non-sequitur. By doing nothing to inform people it was a non-sequitur, you caused the natural interpretation to be that it was intended as a response to what I said. If you're going to respond to people by ignoring what they say in order to discuss a different point, you should at least say that's what you're doing so people don't think you're actually responding to anything that has been said.

    Judith has written quite a lengthy article herself on the issue, I don't know whether you have seen or read it, but here is a direct link for those who may be interested. https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/10/girls-rules/#more-23660

    You go a long way in supporting my suggestion what you see isn't what's actually being written by people when you say you are not sure if I have seen or read a blog post I explicitly quote in the post you're commenting on. For the record, yes, I have seen the post I quoted when creating this page. I even commented on that post before publishing this post of mine.

  22. David Young, I would say your latest comment is idiotic drivel which makes your biases abundantly clear. Actually, I am saying that. I don't know if you expect people to listen to, agree with or believe anything you say in these sort of comments, but I don't think anyone will. You might as well just post, "Virtue signal." Because honestly, that's all your comment is. It's nothing more than a "me too" comment to express your allegiance to a particular narrative.

    I mean, come on, whether or not Myhre's claims of what has happened are true has absolutely no bearing on anything I've said. Any unbiased reader should be able to recognize that.

  23. Brandon, Your original point is so convoluted that few could understand it. Judith obviously does condemn threats of violence. Just because she chose to say something else in a tweet about Myhre is a giant nothing berger. Judith is aware of the Myhre Mass dispute and says the comment of Mass is telling. I suspect Judith is operating on the theory that Myhre is exaggerating and that her claims might be vastly exaggerated in which case, Myhre is to be doubly condemned, both for lying about an important issue and for hypocrisy.

    Your point is a giant Schollen-nothing-berger.

  24. David Young, that you find things you dislike difficult to understand does not make them convoluted or difficult for other people to understand. From what I've seen, the only people who have found my point difficult to understand are those who try very hard not to understand it. That's why not a single one of them has made a substantive remark that addresses anything I've said. It's likely also why nobody responding to me asked questions to clarify what my point was. Typically, people who don't understand something ask what it means rather than just say it is wrong.

    The fact people can act dumb doesn't mean what I say is wrong or complicated. It just means people can act really dumb. And who knows? If they fake it long enough, maybe they can make it. You certainly seem to have.

  25. The way I see this, there are a series of steps to the process, and you are drawing a connection, where I am not.
    To wit:
    1) Various persons bully Myhre. (stipulated)
    2) Myhre complains about 1) (reasonable)
    3) Myhre tweets about Curry - (presumed by Curry to be bullying)
    4) Curry Tweets about 3) highlighting irony in the light of 2)

    You seem to think that 4) indicates Curry is expressing an opinion about 1) (alluding to tacit approval because of omission).

    Respectfully, I disagree. I think that Curry is expressing an opinion about 3) in the light of 2).

  26. Peter Green, you are just digging yourself deeper. I don't know how someone decides to write off things like assault as mere "bullying," but you and Curry keep on doing it.

    This is almost as silly as someone saying Roy Moore bullied teenage girls rather than saying he molested them.

  27. Curry dismisses everything Myhre said about these issues because Myhre engages in "bullying" by doing things like call people "deniers." The message this sends if you call someone a "denier," you don't have any room to complain about misogyny, sexual harassment, assault, rape "jokes" or even rape.
    This is pathetic and disgusting.

    Agreed. Nobody deserves that. Kudos for pointing it out.

    Because really, if you think a massive disinformation campaign is the reason global warming advocates haven't managed to make more headway, you're nuts.

    NASA has done quite a lot to tell the public about climate change. So have a host of scientific communities out there.
    It's a bit like the CDC trying to tell the public about the safety of vaccines or the Surgeon General telling people about the dangers of smoking.

    Disinformation campaigns to confuse the public on scientific issues are a thing. They do happen. They copy each other.

    Merchants of Doubt: What Climate Deniers Learned from Big Tobacco
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJIW5yVk__w&t=14s

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