Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bullies bully their arses clean off, Natalie Reed has had enough

It’s an outrage. It’s an outrage against human decency.

I’ll be stopping writing here on March 15th. The blog will stay up for three or so weeks afterwards, so people can enjoy the archives for a bit before they disappear.

The reasons for this are complex and numerous, but most of them relate to feeling a lot of alienation from the Atheist Community, a lot of fear about the increasingly hostile attacks on women within that community, and the fact that my efforts to distance myself from all that while keeping my blog here haven’t really worked out. I’m still a target, and some of the stuff that Jen, Ophelia and Greta have had to deal with lately have been outright scary. Skepticism and Atheist just aren’t important enough to me to feel comfortable putting myself in the way of that for their sake.

This was written by Natalie Reed, who has been bullied out of the atheist/skeptical community.  The bullies have consistently attacked her person rather than her message. It doesn’t take much random googling to see the sort of thing she’s had to put up with.  For instance:

Jack Rayner@JackTheRayner

@ElevatorGATE Natalie Reed is a psychotic#cunt. I have no idea why he's even bothering with her. #feminism

JREF Saviour@ElevatorGATE

I think someone is running short on delicious heroine! LOLZ http://storify.com/ElevatorGATE/conversation-with-stefanelli-and-nataliereed84 …

JREF Saviour@ElevatorGATE

@thunderf00t Remember the smack head’s flounce? (Natalie Reed). Did you not ALREADY have her IRL name?#FTBullies

And more @elevatorgate:

1:58 PM – 3 Dec 12

You earned it from… your radfem friends. Great achievement. you must be so proud. buy yourself some smack. lolz

Natalie was trying to help people. This was the thanks she got: her message was silenced because she was relentlessly bullied in deeply personal ways.

Natalie made herself vulnerable by talking in public about some of her problems, in the hope that it might help people.

This is how we should treat people who are vulnerable: we should support them. Basic human decency.

Among the things not to do to vulnerable people are: Ridicule them. Insult them. Make their lives miserable. Gloat at their vulnerabilities. BULLY THEM OUT OF A COMMUNITY THEY SHOULD FEEL SAFE IN.

And fuck it, we’re all vulnerable. The crime here wasn’t that Natalie was vulnerable but that idiots deliberately, systematically and persistently picked on her vulnerabilities because they wanted to silence an intelligent, outspoken woman. Because she is intelligent and outspoken and a woman.

I know that all you bullies know this behaviour is wrong.  You cannot possibly believe that bullying someone into silence is a worthwhile tactic or an end that justifies the means. I know that you realise that Natilie’s message has been consistently positive, that she’s guilty of nothing other than giving a lot of herself in order to help others. You know this. And yet you make her give more and more and more until she can’t take it any more and her voice is silenced.

Well fucking done.

I’ve no doubt at all that Natalie will continue to help people  It’s inconceivable that she could do anything else. But she’s not going to benefit the atheist/skeptical community any more and it is very much OUR LOSS.

You idiots – you FUCKTANGLES – who have done this:

TELL ME why you are happy that you’ve bullied Natalie into silence. I cannot wait to hear your brilliant justifications. Bring them the fuck on.


  1. Anonymous11:47 am

    It isn't too surprising. Pick a random post with the slightest bit of controversial content on Pharyngula, then just count the number of insults. After about fifty you can stop counting and get the general idea - people don't like to disagree on the internet. I don't know much about Reed, but clearly for Free Thought Blogs, you reap what you sow. I'm hopeful we can get the people there to stop acting like jerks.

  2. People.... don't... like to disagree... on the... Internet?

    Have you *seen* the Internet?

    But aside from that, way to blame the victims. *Why* is it "clear" that FtB bloggers deserve the abuse they're getting? Oh, you can't provide any examples? Oh, it's the people at FtB who are acting like jerks?

  3. Anonymous12:52 pm

    I've seen it a lot - people disagree all the time, but they sure don't know how to be civil about it.

    But this "victim-blaming" stuff is irritating. All of these people seem to want to be victims, then they can say "don't blame me" because they are victims as victims are never, ever responsible for anything. Like I said, count the insults on a typical post. Calling people stupid idiots seems to be the nicest thing anyone there says to one another. When did calling people stupid become an atheist tradition? Anyway, sorry, you can't treat people like garbage then claim to be the victim. Well, you can, but that makes you an FtB blogger.

  4. You are a stupid idiot.

    Let's be clear about this:

    1. You are stupid.
    2. You are an idiot.

    You claim that 'all of these people seem to want to be victims'. Fine. Which people? In what way do they want to be victims?

    You have lots of evidence, right?

    In what way do any of these people claim that they are never responsible for anything?

    You have lots of evidence, right?

    Calling someone a stupid idiot seems a lot nicer than calling someone a cunt, threatening to rape her, systematically bullying....

    You are a truly stupid idiot.

  5. And by the way, Anonymous Coward, why not identify yourself? Are your points so stupid that you have to hide?

    Come on, tell me who you are. What's your name? What other things have you written? In what online forums do you spend your time?

    I won't tell anyone. I won't tell your parents or future employers what an idiotic fuckbag you are. I won't sustain long-term personal attacks against you because I don't like your views.

    What I'll do is engage with you. I'll argue with you. And we'll see who wins.

    But if you remain anonymous, that obviously can't happen.

  6. Anonymous5:30 pm

    Nah. I'm not wholly interested in all the petty namecalling. In any event you don't know me and I don't know you, so who I am is quite irrelevant to anything. You've concluded I'm a stupid idiot for whatever reason that you think people are stupid idiots. This seems to be a theme for the Free Thought Blogs. Everyone is stupid; everyone is an idiot. On an on it goes.

    1) Why are all these people stupid, including me?

    2) You are clearly upset that one of your (friends? colleagues?) is leaving the Free Thought Blog community, by her statement that she doesn't like the bullying. Doesn't that seem like a call to dial down the stupid idiot rhetoric? It has been my experience that calling people stupid idiots does not get them to respect your point of view. So why not be nicer to people?

  7. You see, the thing is, fuck off.

  8. Anonymous7:55 pm

    Good work.

  9. Anonymous Asshat's view is when being bullied you capitulate to the bullies idea of what is considered "being nice" to get them to stop... You are right about one thing, idiot is not appropriate in your case, it doesn't come close to being insulting enough.

    1. Anonymous idiot can and will run off and use this exchange as a justification for bullying. After all, he came around here telling me how to behave and I told him to fuck off, therefore it's perfectly clear that *I'm* the bully.

    2. Anonymous6:08 pm

      Who is being bullied? I've yet to see much evidence of anything except a bunch of people with huge egos calling each other names. Not exactly a thriving community, us atheists. A little humility goes a long way.

    3. Right. So you didn't read any of those tweets then?

    4. Anonymous12:53 am

      I read you post, and like I said, clearly people in our community like to call other people names. They called her names, you called me names, name calling seems to be the atheist national sport. What I don't get is that people who complain about the name calling seem to have no problem engaging in it themselves. If it is wrong for Elevator Man to call Natalie Reed names, why is it right for you to call me names? I don't get this. It's not that I am offended - I really don't care. But I'm trying to understand while all these people call each other names and also claim that they've been victimized by the name calling.

    5. It's not as difficult to understand as you make out. Bullying is the systematic singling out of someone for abuse, generally for arbitrary reasons. For instance, Natalie has been singled out for abuse on the grounds of arbitrary things like gender, feminist outlook and the ultimate crime of being outspoken while being female. Name-calling can be horrible, but constant name-calling, for arbitrary reasons, by many people, is an outrage. It is especially outrageous when those people exploit a person's vulnerabilities because they want to damage her. That is what happened to Natalie.

      I called you an idiot on the basis of your idiotic behaviour here and the advanced stupidity you have displayed. This is not the same thing as bullying. For one thing, it is not arbitrary. It is based entirely on what you have said. For another, you are not being hounded out of any communities. You are not being made to feel worthless or threatened. You are not being made to feel that silence is better than speaking.

      You are being challenged to explain your idiotic opinions in the cold light of day by one person. And so far, everything you've said in reply is coming up stupid.

    6. Anonymous12:04 pm

      Nope. What you have is what afflicts so many of us (and people everywhere, really). You see something that doesn't agree with your views exactly, or doesn't line up exactly with what you think, and your first impulse is to insult whomever disagrees with you. You have failed to present any case that I'm stupid, or that somehow it is ok to insult me for what I've said, but somehow terribly wrong to insult some other person for what they have said.

      This impulse can be seen in all message boards on the internet everywhere. Just check out some sports team pages and see how they treat other teams' fans. It is in interesting phenomenon, but until we beat it, the atheist community remains quite fractured.

    7. No, I didn't do that. My case was that bullying is a different thing to calling people like you names. What I'm doing isn't bullying, it's just rude. You seem to want to pretend that name-calling is all there is to bullying so that either prolonged and systematic bullying doesn't seem so bad in comparison (it's only name-calling, like me calling you stupid) or that every instance of name-calling is equal to systematic bullying (like the tweets I already quoted, threats of rape and other violence, for example).

      Consider this my case that you are stupid. You either don't understand this distinction or you pretend you don't. Either one looks like stupid to me.

      This is not remotely similar to supporting sport teams. Support of teams is arbitrary. Regardless of how much people love their team, they are not actually hurt if someone says the team is bad. What we are talking about here is direct, personal insults, deliberately designed to hurt individuals.

    8. Anonymous12:38 am

      Hmm, well it's for me to see the difference between someone being rude and intentionally trying to hurt my feelings v. someone who is bullying me and trying to hurt my feelings. I see your website and don't think you are a stupid person, so obviously you would know it is foolish to try and judge someone's intelligence over the internet based on a few messages. Obviously, your only intent in calling me stupid is to hurt my feelings, presumably because I don't agree with you. I imagine whomever is trying to do the same to Natalie Reed.

    9. The difference - as I have made perfectly clear - is this:

      1. I'm responding to something YOU posted on MY blog. It's insulting, but based on the actual things you've said here and the principle that people who say stupid shit seem fairly likely to be stupid. By all means blow me away with an extraordinary and brilliant argument, but it hasn't happened yet.

      2. The bullies I'm referring to aren't responding to people on their blogs. They are going right out there and attacking people they don't like, often systematically, obsessively and attacking the person rather than the argument.

      Let's examine the difference: you woke up to a couple of scrawled comments from me accusing you of being stupid and inviting you to prove me wrong.

      The people I'm talking about wake up EVERY DAY to dozens of comments from random people who wish harm on them, call them far worse names than 'stupid' and are usually not related to their arguments, but to some arbitrary feature, such as their gender, sexuality, politics or whatever.

      It is very easy to see that one of these is bullying, one of them is not and that they are NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL.

  10. Anonymous5:45 am

    Ooooooooooolon... Mention a professional victim, like magic, he's there to suck ass.


  11. Aw, do you think you're taunting me? How sweet.

    1. Ah, I see now that you were trying to taunt Oolon. My mistake.

      Well, I imagine it had about as much effect on Oolon.

      Either way, if you want to attack someone else, feel free to do so anywhere other than here. If you want to engage with me, this is the place to do it. If you want to insult or attack other people, fuck off somewhere else.