They claim to have been warned by unnamed people that certain male speakers, as McCreight puts it,
"often make unwanted and aggressive sexual advances toward young pretty women and that I should not be alone with them."
Now, she and some of the other femtheists, want to create a list. A collection of anecdotal harassment/assault claims, naming privately, the speakers who they are accusing. The event organizers will be asked not to invite them, for the sake of women's safety.
The speakers would have no opportunity to explain/defend themselves, and they wouldn't even know they're on a list. They'd simply stop being asked to speak. The femtheists want to surreptitiously take away these men's speaking income without having to present any evidence for their claims of why they shouldn't be invited to speak.
This is insane. Stephanie Zvan is saying, without any actual names, that many of the men who the femtheists have already publicly named for doing various supposedly sexist things, are the same ones doing even worse bad things behind the scenes at conferences. She tells us what subset of the community the allegedly offending men are from:
"Let me let you in on a little secret, though. When I have heard speaker names attached to this, there have been no surprises. If you pay attention to the people who are named and shamed for public behavior, it isn't hard to deduce that many (though not all) would have private behavior that was as bad or worse."But she doesn't name names or specify what behaviours. We are to believe it all, and accept as a good thing, that they will be named and banned behind the scenes, without evidence or trial.
And here's her method of collecting 'evidence'. She actually thinks she's being logical here.
"If you're in a position to do so, scream it to the rafters. If you're not, try to add your story to the ones traded behind the scenes. More stories = more credibility = more weight."'Anecdata' passed along in some whispered game of Telephone (aka Chinese Whispers). That looks real good on women, Zvan. Makes us look like illogical, paranoid, crybaby accusers.
If you have some specific bad behaviour to accuse any specific persons of, spit it out or shut up. This kind of behaviour is whine and tattle without even a tale to tell. Utter malicious nonsense.
Zvan clarifies in the comments, with an absolutely ridiculous example of what she sees as bad, sexist behaviour:
"See something happening where a woman looks like she might want to get away from a public figure? Now is a great time to ask said public figure a question, tell them you've read their book, thank them for something else they've done, and just generally monopolize their attention for a minute. You may feel like an ass for invading a speaker's privacy, but someone who has been looking for an opportunity to break away can do so. If she's fine in the conversation, you've kept your intervention to a minimum, and you can apologize to her for the interruption."I see. If a public figure talks with you, it's an assault most likely. And also, let's remember how weak women are, how unable we are to break away from an unwanted conversation. Zvan, you really do make women look like inferior humans. Way to be feminist!
Why don't femtheists just institutionalize all of us women? We don't seem to have any agency or ability to control/direct our own lives, if we accept Zvan's above example as an actual danger. The femtheist view of women is of infantilized, hyper-vulnerable, hyper-sensitive, fragile people, not adults. Being seen as weak and picked on, makes it all the better for them to cry victim over any spilt or imaginary milk. That's the whole point of it.
And should I ever meet in person, any of the public figures in the atheist community, and if we have a conversation, instead of thinking "oh wow, I just met ___ and had a great little chat", I should instead report him to security and event organizers, as it's most likely an assault.
In Zvan's article, she has an "FAQ", which is a little questions and answers segment that she made up from a conversation in her head. She makes it very clear that none of this is to be questioned. It is NOT to be subject to skepticism. My bold below:
"Q: Do famous atheist speakers really act like assholes to women? A: Yes.Sure, it's been proven that not everyone in the world is a nice guy, but that doesn't mean that it's unquestioningly true of any particular individuals within the subset of unnamed male speakers she's accusing here. So far, the 'crimes' seem so vague, abstract, and absurd, that of course she won't even name one name or the actual behaviour. She must know on some level that her claims would be laughed at if examined. The closest she comes is hinting that public figures are forcing their fans to talk with them a while. That doesn't even make sense. She's paranoid and malicious. Wanting revenge for perceived wrongs. She even hints at what should or shouldn't cost people their jobs.
Q: Really?! A: I said, "Yes." I've experienced some of it, in front of witnesses. I've talked to other women who've experienced it personally. I've talked to conference organizers who have strategies for minimizing the damage when they have to invite one of these men to one of their conferences. Also, did you just express "skepticism" over this? It's a completely uncontroversial statement. Unaccetable [sic] gendered behavior exists."
Her claim of "Unaccetable [sic] gendered behaviour exists." is not something that anyone disputes, but she's pointing her accusing finger at a category of people (public figures) within a specific community (atheist/skeptic), so I would expect her to at least publicly state what her case is against who.
This hush/hush stuff is not for private safety away from the bad man (whoever he is today), but instead, they know if they show any anonymously authored anecdotes and claim that that is evidence, they'll be laughed at and thought of as idiots. These nasty little backstage gossipers have decided that they are victim, judge, and jury. There are to be no fair trials or means by which the accused have a chance to defend themselves.
They don't want to confront or tell the allegedly offending person that they've done something wrong. That person is assumed to know they've committed a horrible sexism, and likely did it on purpose due to being a sexist man. Often the story is that they are afraid to confront men, and rather than see that as a trait to get over, they act as though overcome with fear that the man might retaliate and endanger her if she dare speak up. This is their excuse as to why the accusers MUST remain anonymous and given an automatic assumption of credibility.
And what's to stop any women from abusing this system with false stories accusing men they are competing with for speaker roles, or who they simply don't like? Nothing. There are no safeguards against false claims or even multiple false claims, much less any opportunity for the accused or others to examine any claims to see if the alleged bad behaviour really is bad or not, and if so, how bad.
As a female, what McCreight, Zvan (and now other femtheists too) have done this time, makes me sick.
I almost can't believe that they've started such a witch hunt. Are they trying to destroy the movement/community? To paraphrase the message I'm getting from this is: "Come, come, women, come to our conferences, but first let me scare you all off, with no evidence but our scary, whispered tales, by alluding to vague ominous sexism done by famous people (who, perhaps, we are just trying to knock down off the ladder so it looks like we've climbed higher)."
They are accepting whispered names and alleged crimes as factual harm, making a big production about it, but claiming they can't say details. I think they know that they have no substance to their claims. Other feminists will believe them outright though, since feminists are frequently duped by emotional appeal fallacies.
If this were even close to a real problem, they’d name names AND behaviours. And then, both sides could fairly defend themselves. It would give hearing to all sides.
This reminds me of the satanist pedophile conspiracy believers in the 80s and 90s, who "recovered" memories (a nightmare about plumbing really means your dad raped you when you were 1 yrs old at a satanic meeting – nonsense like that). A big newsworthy scandal was made from a constructed, unreal problem. Proof (dreams unrelated to sex or incest) was seen everywhere. Many men spent years in prison, and some are still there. I knew a couple of cases personally where the women's families were torn apart and fucked up forever by the daughter claiming satanic incestuous rape happened to her when she was too young to remember (sometimes without the satanic stuff).
When Zvan tells people specifically to NOT be skeptical on this matter, that's a huge clue to do the opposite. Be VERY skeptical. She doesn't want anyone knowing that she's blown things out of proportion to the extreme where she thinks public figures cause harm by FORCING their fans to talk with them. You see, us weak little victim girlies are too scared to break away from a conversation. A conversation that, for some unknown reason, we're suppose to consider a sexual assault or harassment.
They especially do a disservice to any women anywhere who really have been harassed or assaulted, by causing people to assume that ALL claims must be made up after seeing what these malicious, paranoid femtheists have done.
I see this as yet another severe manifestation of our atheist/skeptical community's infection with radical feminism. It's this infection that needs to be removed from the community, not the unnamed men they are accusing.