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This Week: In Trouble

A Response to Ophelia Benson

I received a personal email from blogger Ophelia Benson around 5 pm on Tuesday:

Hi again Becky,

I want to ask you a direct question, since you’re the one who named me as one of the too-dogmatic and other bad things feminists on your podcast – can you quote something too-dogmatic etc that I’ve written on this subject? I’ve just looked through my posts on DJ and I don’t see anything that seems very dogmatic.

Could you give a specific example on my post on the podcast or on yours or here but with permission to quote you? I think that’s only fair. You accused me of things so I think you should point to at least one example.

Ophelia

By 8:30 am Wednesday, Ophelia complained about my absent response on Greg Laden’s blog:

Becky’s responses are sometimes so underwhelming as to be absent entirely. She emailed me late Monday to request the rescue of a comment in moderation (because of links)[1]; I replied yesterday to ask her for an example of “dogmatism” from me, since she named me as one of the “dogmatic” feminists in the podcast. No reply. I find that deeply unimpressive.

Underwhelming I’ll take, but absent responses?  After 6 comments prior having addressed Greg? Is 16 hours the time limit for whether I’m responsive on an issue?  In light of my multiple follow-up responses in multiple arenas?  I am interested in this topic, and dedicated to co-creating positive solutions, but I’ve got a day job!

 

To Ophelia:

You request that I quotemine for something “too-dogmatic”.  Is there a spectrum of dogma? My argument isn’t that a little dogma is ok as long as you’re not a “too-dogmatic and other bad things feminist.” My argument is that feminism applied dogmatically, along with employing shame and zero-sum tactics of approach, work at cross purposes to eliminating misogyny and harassment in the atheist/skeptics community(ies). So I’ll give a few examples of how I see your writing as part of that larger observation. I’m not going to go looking for “too-dogmatic” things because that was never my argument.

In my original editorial I state: “Is our womanhood and feminism so holy that we cannot and will not open ourselves to criticism, discussion, and questions? Because the tone I’ve seen is unforgiving.” I could very well have linked the following comment on your Misogyny?  What Misogyny? post as one example of this:

I don’t want to see [commenter] Justicar as a decent human being in one place despite knowing that he’s not one via what he’s said in other places.

This strikes me as dogmatically rejecting all ideas a person has based on experience/contact with them in another arena. If myself and a pastor got into a spat about evolution, but then the pastor said “I don’t even want to see evidence of you doing charity because I know that in another arena you deny the majesty and wonder of the Almighty Creator!” we’d easily identify that as dogmatic.

In your Both Sides post you criticize my saying that both sides are doubling-down. Your first commenter construes that to mean that I think both sides are equally wrong. You do nothing to dispel that and in fact provide tacit agreement by saying “I thought I’d try understatement for once.” You agree with commenter Deen that I think you’re too feminist, claiming, “Yep. All that misogyny stuff is bad, of course, but the really bad worrying terrible awful people are…the ones Becky named.” This dishonestly supports this narrative of “us” vs. “them” with me clearly on the “them” side. You have contributed to the narrative of 2 sides, “for” and “against”, affirming the very thing that I pointed out! When things are black and white (a characterization embraced by Stephanie ) it’s indicative of dogma.

In Stephanie’s post addressing our episode, you in three words reveal your tacit agreement with one of the most egregious characterizations of atheist men I’ve seen condensed into one paragraph (the 5th, if you’re following the links), bolstering an us-versus-them mentality.

I hope it’s clear that I don’t think feminism  equals dogma, but that its application can be dogmatic. FtB’er Natalie Reed has a fine analysis of this phenomenon, which was only recently brought to my attention, in more general terms (not related to its application in atheist/skeptic circles on the issue of eliminating misogyny).

 

[1] True, I contacted Ophelia about a comment being left in moderation on her blog because I was concerned that the content may have been deemed objectionable (since subsequent comments had appeared sans moderation).  Turned out it the links I’d included dumped me in the queue automatically, and Ophelia dropped me a quick email to say as much with a cordial explanation and apology.  I’m not really sure how telling folks that I had comments awaiting moderation bolsters her assertion that my response is absent.  This was a technical hold-up, just as were her comments on our post. Observe her similar request to Ask An Atheist on Monday just after 10 am (when incidentally all three producers are working at our paying jobs): “I have a couple of comments in moderation. Could you let them out? I’d like to set the record straight before a bunch more comments from the ERV gang come in.”  That Mike Gillis guy, who Ophelia surmised just might have something to do with Ask an Atheist, caught the email and let her know it was held up by the Spambot detector and he’d approved her comments.

 

Update: Some links fixed.

Categories:
Opinion

About the Author: Becky Friedman

Becky works on the Ask An Atheist production team, frequently appears on episodes, and lends her voice to commercial announcements. She speaks Spanish, works as an educator in the Seattle-Tacoma area, and sits on the Board of Humanists of Washington.

Feedback and Commentary

81 Comments 3 Trackbacks
Concentratedwater, OM June 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Greg Laden: I think you tread some pretty thin metaphorical ice when you compare a coffee shop near your trailer park, being overrun by kids, with a blog run and populated by adults who have proven strong critical thinking abilities.

As the baboons screech when upset by nannying comments similar to yours: this isn’t your blog, who are you to tell the owner/manger what/who to allow here?

Fabricio June 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Jeebuz Fucking Christ. How shallow and pedantic we became.

A “personal e-mail” was published with NO. PERSONAL. INFORMATION. WHATSOEVER. Suddenly, this is unaceptable, for some reason. Are you serious?! THIS is what we have to put up with nowdays?

Hitchens, please resurrect, we NEED you NOW. Or else, this will become an unbearable whinnyfest.

You people need some Third World problems to affect your stupid country to set your priorities straight.

Allison Kirkpatrick June 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm

So Ophelia Benson, Stephanie Zvan, Rebecca Watson and the rest, per AaA’s readership, do nothing for secularism, women or equal rights. They just sit infront of computers all day being bitchy

That is PRECISELY all that they have done for the last year or so (as far as I can tell). What a tremendous disservice to the cause of feminism (not to mention “skepticism”) by wasting so much time and energy on the most asinine and trivial of grievances – these women certainly do not speak on my behalf.

Becky, I would urge you to disregard the harassment of these people (Benson, Laden, et al). They are of no consequence anymore outside their own little social circle.

CommanderTuvok June 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Greg, you’re one to talk.

This is the person who recently had to take down most of one of his articles because it was seen to harass an individual (a woman, no less). He also had to ask the people who had posted comments to that thread, if they wanted their comments deleted, once Greg had realised he’d overstepped the mark.

Oh, and a couple of the ERVers are searching the memory banks over a private email Ophelia published from either Blackford or Coyne. Perhaps Ophelia could remind us.

As I said, hypocrisy and double standards are hallmarks of the FfTB crowd.

Melody June 14, 2012 at 6:21 pm

It’s called professionalism and decency, Fabricio. Learn it.

Fabricio June 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

And Mike, Becky, Sam, and everyone else: I hope you all see how stupid and unproductive all of this is. I’m prepared to put up with an “Aquaman Month” instead of five more minutes of all this BORING crap.

I know my opinion does not count, of course, but seriously. I’d rather hear people discussing World of Warcraft PVP; HUNTERS cry LESS than Ophelia and her “gang”, and I tought I would never see anyone complain more about bizantine things than the freaking Hunters.

Fabricio June 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm

Melody, I think the expression you want is “Much Ado About Freaking Nothing”.

dm June 14, 2012 at 6:34 pm

“Becky posted an entire email of mine in public without my permission. ”

She turned me into a newt

julian June 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

“You would have to ask the one person who said it. -Daniel”

Or those that agreed with them.

“This is getting way off topic”

No more than the series of posters who posted just to slam FtB or Ophelia Benson.

Yet I’m the one you have a problem with.

Greg Laden June 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm

This is the person who recently had to take down most of one of his articles because it was seen to harass an individual (a woman, no less).

That is not what happened. What happened is that Ed and I had a talk and decided that Bluharmony was out of control and for her own good best ignored. He asked me to consider taking down the post so I did. (or deleted the content or whatever, don’t remember.)

What was funny about that is this: I never used her name. It was a screen shot. I did that to avoid the problem she wanted to avoid (having any criticism of her use her name. Apparently she’s special and regardless of what she says or does she is immune to being called out on it). It was you, if I recall, that used her name, thus potentially drawing googly attention to the precious one. Or one of your friends did perhaps. Same thing, you’re a hoard.

Please try to get these things right.

I can’t believe I’m even talking to you. Jeesh.

Fabricio June 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm

I banned someone that banned me for banning someone else in a banned forum once, for discussing a banned topic in a banned time. Man, that was such a BANE!

KiwiInOz June 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm

Pot. Kettle. Meet Greg Laden.

Thaumas Themelios June 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Ophelia Benson: “A stupid pedantic distraction? Excuse me? Becky posted an entire email of mine in public without my permission. Since when is it stupid and pedantic to object to that?”

Since the time that copyright law has had a fair use exception, which would be in common law since 1740, according to Wikipedia, and more explicitly in the US Copyright Act since 1976. So, to be as generous to your complaint as possible, the answer would be 36 years.

“It’s common knowledge that you don’t publish other people’s emails without permission.”

Actually, no, it’s not. Nor should it be. Fair use should be common knowledge. Generally, it’s not. But it should be.

julian June 14, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Last comment I’ll be making here as it seems I’m derailing and unlikely to stick around to read much else.

It’s not helpful or constructive to tell someone ((as your posters have) being groped to nut up and deal with it or get in the face of their attacker. Not every situation lends itself well to that sort of physical confrontation nor are those accusations taken particularly seriously universally or by all authorities (one reason anti-harassment policies are so important).

And it isn’t uncommon for friends and other well meaning people to do more harm than good if you do come forward by making you question your memory, what happened and, sometimes, make you seem guilty for the event (because of clothing, time of day, amount of alcohol.) We do no one but harassers any favors when we take an issue like sexual harassment and try to be gung-ho about it.

OOO-RAH, YUT-YUT-YUT have never helped anyone with any real problems. Leave that at the drill field or at boot camp.

julian June 14, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Ok, so I lied

“Actually, no, it’s not.”

?????

Since when? Am I also allowed to post and hand out the phone numbers of people who’ve contacted me?

Thaumas Themelios June 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Greg Laden: “If you don’t keep the ERVites out of your comment section, … is not recommended if you want people to take you seriously.”

Funny. I see it in the exact opposite way. Dogmatically ‘keeping the ERVites’ out of one’s comment section (fallacy of Guilt By Association) is guaranteed to make me take someone less seriously.

julian June 14, 2012 at 7:16 pm

“fallacy of Guilt By Association”

Would you say the same about stormfront?

And please stop saying dogmatically. Your making the word meaningless. The way it’s used on this board the only definition I can ferret out is stubborn.

Chakolate June 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Hello,

May I ask if you asked the person who sent you the email for her permission to reproduce it? If so, you should definitely say so, since not getting the sender’s permission to use her words is considered a gigantic no-no. This goes back to the days of usenet, and before.

Anyway, I love the podcast.

Best,
Chakolate

franc hoggle June 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Greg Laden (#10211) June 14th, 2012 at 18:41: That is not what happened. What happened is that Ed and I had a talk and decided that Bluharmony was out of control and for her own good best ignored.

::cough::

You have a funny definition of “ignored”. Is this what you mean by “ignoring” someone? Cornering her on her own facebook wall, tag-teaming with PZ Myers. and branding her insane, knowing full well she is sensitive about people who treat mental health issues as a joke? -

http://i.imgur.com/1M5vK.png

Way too many denizens of freethoughtblogs treat mental illness as the secular equivalent of witchcraft. When someone asks too many uncomfortable questions or points out too many hypocrisies, they get branded “insane”.

Stop telling fibs Greg. You can modify reality and revise history on FFTB and no one can do anything about it. But you are now in the real world here – and you are expected to play by real world rules. Your slandering and vilification of Bluharmony, a female who questions your motives, has been well and truly off the scale.

Fabricio June 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Since Becky didn’t have the permission to publish the email, can you sya that Ophelia’s mail box… WAS HARASSED BY A MYSOGINIST?!

Anne C. Hanna June 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Becky, I’ve gotta agree that it was somewhat poor form for you to publish a personal email without asking for permission first. It’s a minor slip to be sure, not the worst thing that’s ever been done by anything ever — as some have pointed out, the email doesn’t contain anything *really* private — but it’s still generally considered polite to check with the emailer first, unless they’ve already revealed themselves to be an unmitigated asshole unworthy of even the most minor courtesy (e.g. a death threat emailer). I know you’ve been trying to engage in this in good faith, and I think Ophelia has too. Yet it’s these little niceties like asking first (or apologizing if you failed to ask and that bugs the other person), that help everyone remain confident that the discussion is being had in good faith rather than as a gotcha game. It’s *exactly* these kind of little failings of courtesy and charity that exacerbate the kind of blog wars that you’ve been deploring other atheists engaging in in regard to the behavior of DJ Grothe and others.

Also, I’ve got to ask, did you actually read the comment of Justicar’s that Ophelia pointed out in her “Misogyny? What Misogyny?” post? And, more to the point, did you read the comments up to the point where Justicar shows up and completely weasels around addressing his abominable behavior in any way at all, all the while trying to pretend that he’s being the reasonable and decent one? In fact, if you are not yet convinced that the feminist bloggers’ opponents are really not operating in good faith on this issue, it’s hard to find a better example of this than Justicar’s behavior on that thread. He is perfectly capable of presenting a facade of being incredibly ultra hyper Vulcan reasonable when it suits him to try to cozy up to one blogger or another (e.g. Jerry Coyne, and you guys), while at the same time engaging in unbelievably vile and childish misogyny where he thinks that person won’t be looking. If you’re really trying to address this issue in good faith, how can you honestly argue that *Ophelia* is somehow the villain here, all because she pointed out and objected to others’ denial of this tactic?

Anne C. Hanna June 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Erg. s/anything/anyone/

Thaumas Themelios June 14, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Julian: ““Actually, no, it’s not.”

?????

Since when?”

Since knowledge has been defined by truth. It can’t be common knowledge if it’s not true in the first place. Otherwise, theism would have to be considered common knowledge.

” Am I also allowed to post and hand out the phone numbers of people who’ve contacted me?”

Separate question. That would be a question of privacy law, not copyright law. Ophelia’s email contained no personal private information. She is protected by copyright law, but unfortunately for her, copyright law contains a fair use exception, which this clearly falls under: Becky posted the email (which is short) to provide context for additional commentary and critique, which she provided. It is clearly an instance of fair use.

Anyone who thinks emails are safe from publication may want to read this article, which I thought was quite thorough compared to many other sources: http://www.boston.com/ae/media/articles/2010/11/15/once_you_hit_send_you_can_forget_privacy/

Justicar June 14, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I am afraid that I am for once in perfect agreement with Ophelia Benson. It is immoral and unethical to post someone’s e-mail without his or her explicit consent. For more information, please see Ophelia Benson’s post on her getting email (which she then published to include full name without “Nigel’s” consent.

I must also extend an apology to the whole of FfTB for the way the outrage at Ophelia Benson’s publishing an e-mail without Nigel’s express consent (or request to publish it); the ‘calling out’ of Ophelia and ‘naming names’ serves to remind that they are nothing if not a principled, ethically consistent group of morally upstanding role models for young people.

http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/03/i-get-email/

As a follow up article, you should find out Ophelia Benson’s utter shock that someone would mention me in a blog post. For more information, please see Ophelia Benson’s blog post where she discusses how beyond bizarre it is that she wrote a blog post about me.

Thaumas Themelios June 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm

@Julian: “And please stop saying dogmatically. Your making the word meaningless. The way it’s used on this board the only definition I can ferret out is stubborn.”

I have previously explained what I mean when I use the word: http://askanatheist.tv/2012/06/12/dogmatic-feminism-discussion-podcast-part-1/comment-page-1/#comment-10111

Furthermore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogma

“Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization.[1] It is authoritative and ***not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from***, by the practitioners or believers. Although it generally refers to religious beliefs that are accepted without evidence, they can refer to acceptable opinions of philosophers or philosophical schools, public decrees, or issued decisions of political authorities.”

And: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dogma

“3. prescribed doctrine proclaimed as ***unquestionably*** true by a particular group: the difficulty of resisting political dogma. “

franc hoggle June 14, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Ophelia Benson (#10163) June 14th, 2012 at 15:15: A stupid pedantic distraction? Excuse me? Becky posted an entire email of mine in public without my permission. Since when is it stupid and pedantic to object to that? It’s common knowledge that you don’t publish other people’s emails without permission.

Of all of the psychedelic derangements I have seen ooze out of freethoughtblogs, Ophelia Benson complaining about “unethical” behaviour crowns them all. Simply staggering. It’s like Rupert Murdoch accusing The Guardian biased journalism.

I commented earlier on the “slimepit” that AaA having chosen to look at all of this would either drink the FTB snake-oil or be the next carcasses on the FTB altar. I am both glad and relieved that you have chosen the side of reality and it looks like the latter is now coming true. Keep strong – FTB are a very loud, but ultimately inconsequential minority. They are doing to secularism what militant islamism has done to the greater muslim world. Yes, they will try and destroy you. But in the long term, the actual damage they do is nil. You will probably gain listeners.

Becky June 14, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Anne:

If you’re really trying to address this issue in good faith, how can you honestly argue that *Ophelia* is somehow the villain here[...]?

I have never argued that Ophelia is the villain here.

Also, I appreciate your still being here, Anne, as well as the thoughtfulness of your posts.

I happen to think it’s more than a lack of courtesy that propels discussion like we’re seeing. And I’m honestly still confused about how I was supposed to write a response in an open medium to a question we’re not allowed to see… :/

Anne C. Hanna June 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Becky, I get that you might have been confused about what Ophelia intended for the email. We all misunderstand each other sometimes, and I’m not gonna be down on you for that; maybe the larger context of your emails back and forth made that misunderstanding more likely than it looks just from the text I saw quoted above. So I’m perfectly willing to believe that it was innocent. But I think this’ll go a lot more smoothly if you just say, “Sorry, Ophelia, I misunderstood what you meant for me to do with the email and I’ll try to communicate with you a little more explicitly about that kind of thing in the future. Do you want me to take it down?” As far as I can tell, although she’s somewhat annoyed right now, Ophelia’s overall a decent sort and will probably accept that. She may even be willing to agree that there might have been some ambiguity there. But the point is just to get the message across that you’re working in good faith and that you didn’t mean to do something that she felt was antagonistic, which I hope is indeed the case. And, hey, if she responds poorly even to a sincere and unreserved apology, then you’ll have proof positive that *she’s* the one not dealing in good faith, right?

Also, I’m glad you don’t see her as the villain here. I guess my objection is just that the sense I’m getting from your comments on this (and here I have to admit that I haven’t listened to the supplementary podcast yet, but it’s at the top of my queue) is that you’ve picked up on a few phrases that people have used in particular places that, taken by themselves, sound maybe not-so-great, but that, taken in the context of the larger discussion (or even, often, in the context of the rest of the post and comment thread they appear in), mean something very different from what you’re interpreting them to mean. Again, I’d encourage you to read these things with a bit more charity to the authors — try to dive into all of the links and get a full understanding of what they mean by that and why they’re saying it before you leap to judging their entire argument to be dogmatic due to a single potentially awkward phrase. I’ll grant that some of these phrases are indeed perhaps a little bit unfortunate, but suggesting that someone’s writing could perhaps benefit from a bit of editorial input in a few spots is a whole different order of magnitude of criticism from going after her for “dogmatic feminism”.

I’m reminded a little bit about the way climate change deniers (I’m *not* trying to imply that you’re like them, keep reading!) managed to massively confuse the discussion about anthropogenic global warming by making a huge deal about a few cherry-picked phrases from the so-called Climategate emails, like “trick” and “hide the decline”. A lot of people who hadn’t already been deeply engaged in the issue prior to that point, and who therefore did not recognize how overwhelming the evidence is that humans are messing up the climate, were understandably mislead by the denialists’ trumped-up claims and began to believe that maybe some climate scientists really were being less than honest. But without fail, every review board that actually went through and examined the entire context of the emails has come to the conclusion that in context those seemingly-nefarious phrases were indicative of precisely nothing. The review boards were able to recognize this because, unlike the denialists or those who had been mislead by the denialists, they came into the process without a prior assumption that the researchers were operating in bad faith. And all I’m asking of you here is to grant these feminist bloggers the same level of benefit of the doubt, and read the context again more a little more completely and carefully.

Anne C. Hanna June 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Becky,

I just discovered that Jason Thibault has put up a “101″ post on his blog and requested input from others to help get a good timeline going for those new to the discussion. In the comments, Pteryxx does exactly that. You might want to check it out:

http://freethoughtblogs.com/lousycanuck/2012/06/14/in-medias-res-how-to-find-the-plot-if-youre-just-tuning-in/

KiwiInOz June 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Anne C. Hanna – it might just be me, and it may be perfectly innocent on your part, but you come across as incredibly patronising.

You haven’t listened to the supplementary podcast, but you are asking Becky to do more reading in order to understand someone else’s perspective?!

Thaumas Themelios June 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

@Anne: “Also, I’m glad you don’t see her as the villain here. I guess my objection is just that the sense I’m getting from your comments on this … is that you’ve picked up on a few phrases that people have used in particular places that, taken by themselves, sound maybe not-so-great, but that, taken in the context of the larger discussion (or even, often, in the context of the rest of the post and comment thread they appear in), mean something very different from what you’re interpreting them to mean.”

Hi Anne, given what you have just written here, I am curious what you think of Ophelia’s earlier post about the email thing (http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/06/not-the-right-atheist-to-ask/), which reads:

“About an hour ago Mike Gillis also of Ask an Atheist responded to the issue of posting an email without permission:

This is such a stupid pedantic distraction from Becky’s actual response.

These are not good people.”

Is this an example of one of those phrases that “taken by themselves, sound maybe not-so-great, but that, taken in the context of the larger discussion (or even, often, in the context of the rest of the post and comment thread they appear in), mean something very different from what you’re interpreting them to mean.”? [Hereafter, abbreviated to 'not-so-great']

How should “These are not good people.” be interpreted, in your opinion?

How about this comment by Greg Laden?: “Amateur hacks. …”

Is that, perhaps, a not-so-great phrase? If so, how do you think it should be interpreted, other than as the literal phrase, “Amateur hacks”?

How about this comment from Melody?: “Wow! That’s horrible etiquette. I would never associate with someone like that.”

Is that a not-so-great phrase? If so, how should we interpret, “I would never associate with someone like that.”?

How about this comment from Ophelia, immediately following the previously mentioned comments?: “Aren’t they just pathetic? Drrgh.”

What does the not-so-great phrase “Aren’t they just pathetic?” mean in this context?

Justicar June 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I would just like to say, since everyone cares what I think, that Thaumas of all people I’ve seen appear here seems to be the most interested in actually trying to make progress. Of course, my personal endorsement probably just messed that up, but you keep doing what you’re doing, sir.

It won’t get you anywhere, but I admire the attempt.

Sam June 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

We’re closing comment on this debate as per our most recent blog post. Please feel free to continue discussion at the page regarding the episode: here.

Thaumas Themelios June 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

@Anne: “The review boards were able to recognize this because, unlike the denialists or those who had been mislead by the denialists, they came into the process without a prior assumption that the researchers were operating in bad faith.”

This is a very insightful point, Anne. I agree with you on this, completely. The review boards relied solely upon the hard evidence that was available, and did not come to their conclusions based on “prior assumption that the researchers were operating in bad faith.”

You ask that Becky approach the topic the same way, without prior assumptions about the feminist bloggers.

Question: Would you also symmetrically recommend that Becky approach the topic without prior assumptions about those who disagree with the feminist bloggers? Would you recommend that Becky rely only on hard evidence, rather than misleading quote mines and character attacks?