Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Hypocrisy of Ophelia Benson

Atheist, Feminist Blogger Ophelia Benson of Butterflies and Wheels selectively deletes comments on her blog where people try to defend themselves against personal attacks on their honesty, and to make it appear as if a commenter made an argument they never made.  She leaves up the comments with false personal attacks, but deletes the rebuttals. She then uses double standards for herself and others regarding what is acceptable as far as one's tone and use of swear words.

You would think, as someone who is frequently and deliberately misquoted, that she would have some empathy and not want to treat others the same way. No. She doesn't.  You could be a loyal supporter or a harsh critic, feminist or antifeminist, or anything in between...once you get on her bad side or say things she doesn't like, she has no qualms trashing and misrepresenting you. If you disagree with an important writer friend of hers, she will tar and feather you as rude, or as she labeled me personally, "shitty and vindictive." 

What awful thing did I say that completely derailed her blog with my shitty vindictiveness? 
I didn't agree that the word 'female' is "degrading, other-ing, and patronizing." Yes. I actually said that. And she didn't like the tone I used. I expressed the opinion that the actual, technical term for people of my sex, derived from the Latin word for woman, is not dehumanizing, not "degrading and othering." I made no personal attacks on her friend, but I disagreed when she told a male commenter that female is a "dodgy" term and that he shouldn't use it. I personally think being offended by the word is plain silly. I suggested that maybe people who were complaining about being told that 'female is degrading' on Twitter had a point. God, and I said people and not men, because only evil woman-hating men would not agree "female" is an insult to women. 

Ophelia accused me of using "verbal sleight of hand" to deliberately change the word men to people...because? I'm just sneaky like that. Shitty and vindictive.  I am a woman, but it doesn't count that I and other women disagree, because there are men who are abusive jerks on Twitter. Therefore female is a slur, because...look at their reaction. Forget that these types of men are abusive pretty much to any woman who says anything about anything on Twitter. Let's twist that fact and use it to vilify women who disagree with Benson.

She outraged when people call her a rage blogger, but disagree with her and she will call you an enrage commenter. She took it upon herself to delete only specific comments I made where I clarified my position, that I think female is not a slur either as a noun or an adjective, and defended myself against accusations of lying. But left up others I made to make them look totally out of context, and as if I didn't disagree with the accusations of dishonesty. She didn't announce that my posts were so ugly and ragey and derailing that they would be deleted, which she would have had the courtesy to do for an actual troll or even an harasser. But not me, because Ophelia says I am a shitty, vindictive low-life, not worthy of any good faith.

There are plenty of words out there that are used to put down women, but by god let's create a new one, or vilify an existing and completely non-offensive term, so she can continue her hobby of being professionally offended.

And when I saw what she did and called her on it, she didn't reply, but later my comments mysteriously re-appeared with no warning. When I mentioned that she responds:

I deleted your final comments simply because they were ugly. I think the only way that deletion “misrepresented” you is by making you seem less enraged over a minor issue than you in fact were.

That’s it. Since you feel so strongly and as you say you have a long history here, I put them back. Rejoice: now everyone can see what a disproportionate rage you were in on Sunday.

After telling me to "go away," she goes digging through ancient comments in an attempt to trash talk me where I can't defend myself.  She insinuates that I sort of but 'not exactly' sock-puppeted because I used to post under a couple different 'nyms years before FTB required you log in and stick to one. I TOLD people that I did. (oops, all caps! and italics! good god, think of the children!).  
I used the same email, which means I didn't exactly sockpuppet , but close enough for her. So not exactly the "gotcha!" as she portrays it. I didn't really comment that much when I first started reading her blog, so I didn't think it mattered. (Because no one has ever changed their 'nym on the FTB network. Like, ever).  And she doesn't clarify that once I've stuck to a 'nym, I've used it consistently. I haven't been using different names in the same time period, but she lets people assume that I have. Pretty rotten, Ophelia. And she calls me shitty and vindictive.

She openly makes personal attacks on my character. She says that it is a fact that I was "enraged", not pure speculation on her part. Which of course discredits anything I say, because emotions.  

She goes sifting through a years of my past comments trying to find something to discredit me, and can only find one which she believes (or pretends to believe) totally exposes me as someone worthy of contempt and dismissal. Or that it justified her personal attacks on me, or something:
Ophelia Benson
I’m going back through theoreticalgrrrl’s previous comments, which were made under a few different names (but the same email address, so not exactly sock-puppeting) and I found one of amusing relevance:
I used to belong to a Yahoo group and the moderator was completely anti-moderating in the name of free speech. It was a complete mess, mostly dominated by a paranoid guy who thought the government was using his microwave to control his thoughts. No one could have a normal conversation or debate about anything. It was draining and pointless. But no one could convince the moderator to do something about the trolls, he was so convinced it was some sacred duty to let people be free to spew whatever nonsense they wanted and constantly derail discussions.

The quote she found amusing and relevant? Ha.  Yes, I totally dominated the conversation. The irony! I'm just like the guy who thinks the government microwaves his brain and derails every discussion and thread to the point where no one can have a normal conversation or debate about anything.  

She insinuates that I'm a hypocrite because of my past comment complaining about a Yahoo group that had zero moderating (since I now complained about my disappearing comments, which is only moderating). She's "amused" at the "relevancy." Right Ophelia. She not only tone-trolls me for my opinion that "female" isn't an offensive word, she flat out compares me to a troll. 

I have been posting at B&W for a while, you'd think that would earn me some good faith? You'd be wrong. Totally meaningless. What other 'dirt' did she dig up to prove she's justified in treating me with contempt and ridicule and trivialization? None. (Is bolding words a sign of rage, too?)

Since you feel so strongly and as you say you have a long history here, I put them back. Rejoice: now everyone can see what a disproportionate rage you were in on Sunday. It was the accusations of twisting words and "verbal sleight of hand" that I was responding to, justifiably defending myself, but leave all that out. And mock that I said I have a history of posting in good faith, because I'm so forgettable and stupid she hadn't even noticed or cared. She kicks me to the curb without batting an eye. She should make a list next time so we all know which topics are so trivial that she will have absolutely no problem completely trashing and alienating a long-time reader and supporter and fellow feminist over it.

Ophelia talking about me:
Another big reason was just the total disproportion – the disagreement was over a very minor point, and thus not worth all the caps and exclamation points and accusations of lying. I think I probably cut more slack for disagreements over more important issues, but this? Shouty fury over a very minor point? No thanks.

Why don't you just go right ahead and call me an hysterical, emotional female, Ophelia?...oops, I mean woman. We can't use that other word lest it offends the professionally offended.

If it was a "minor point," why the selective deleting? How we use words to denigrate women isn't a minor point. Has she forgotten how many times she's been called the C- word, and how people keep telling her it's a minor, unimportant issue? When Ricky Gervais used that word, she wrote quite a few blog posts complaining about his dismissive attitude.

Expressing the opinion that if one uses 'female' as a noun they are degrading and othering women is something worth discussing and possibly disagreeing with. It was totally on-topic, since her friend Maureen was the person who brought it up. Yet, she could barely handle me disagreeing with Maureen and had to wipe my comments clean to protect her and her fragile readers' minds from my "ragey" comments. Well, not exactly clean....again, very selectively. 

And to top off her caricature of my opinion as just enraged "shouty fury," she throws in There Are More Important Things So Shut Up, ala Dear Muslima.

Then a gallant white pony steps in to scold me on behalf of Ophelia:

She does not have to put up with yelling when comments devolve into arguments.

How does one yell on the internet?  It's purely your own perception that someone else is "yelling." Someone can read this sentence and think I am yelling, while someone else will see it as...not yelling. 
She does not have to put up with direct angry insults (yes comments were ragey) when comments devolve into arguments.
Yeah, we covered that already. Ragey is your perception. I could easily call him "ragey" for the above quote. ("She does not have to put up with..."? Thanks Brony, you make it sound like she's Tina Turner standing up to Ike). 
*Direct insults “Fuck off, fuck you"

I said that to another commenter, not Ophelia, after that person used direct insults by calling me a liar and intellectually dishonest.  And when I objected to those direct insults towards me,  they shot back with "if the shoe fits..."  But I have no right to respond to that with a fuck off or you, because FreeThought Bloggers and commenters are so Anti-F-Bombs. They never use bad words or argue, the delicate creatures that they are. 

White pony adds:

Your first comment shows that you realize that you may have crossed a line there “Yeah, I used some exclamation points and all caps, deal with it.” and that comes with consequences.

I was being sarcastic. A couple words in all caps and a few exclamation points....the humanity! I crossed the line there, there are consequences for that! It was such a serious derail that it destroyed the whole thread and made Ophelia super sad and almost made me spontaneously combust in a haze of purrre rrrage. Interesting that Ophelia left up the comment someone left after mine about civil rights workers and anal sex. That's fine with her? She vilifies me because I showed that she selectively deletes comments to make others look bad, and she got called on it.

My "enraged" comments, that were "wildly abusive" and "ugly," and said in "shouty fury" that needed censoring, according to Ophelia The Delicate:
  1. 60
    “Many people, myself included, find its use as a noun when referring to women to be offensive and othering.”
    So then, I wasn’t “twisting” your words. I was spot on, Mr.FancyPants.
  2. 61
    Terms like ‘male privilege’, is that dehumanizing, turning men into inferior beasts?
    That phrases uses “male” as an adjective, so no, it’s not offensive. If you can’t understand this fundamental difference which is the basis of the entire debate, then I don’t know how else to try to enlighten you.
    But it doesn’t prove the original point that female is a slur.
    You don’t get to decide what other people find offensive.
    You are accusing me of being dishonest.
    If the shoe fits…
  3. 62
    “Many people, myself included, find its use as a noun when referring to women to be offensive and othering.”
    So then, I wasn’t “twisting” your words. I was spot on, Mr.FancyPants.
    It is intellectually dishonest to leave out the sentence that preceeded that quote. As such, I am through engaging you.
(So I added the sentence @64 that preceeded the quote that made no difference):

    1. 63
    1. Oh, fuck off Mr.FancyPants. It’s not a slur when used as an adjective or a noun.
      You don’t get to decide what words women should be offended by.
      But fine, be offended by words that accurately describe people, and translate from the Latin word , in noun form, for “woman.”
      Knock yourselves out.
      “If the shoe fits…”
      FUCK YOU.
    2. 64
    1. Fine Mr.FancyPants:
      ‘Nowhere did I (or anyone else, as far as I can see) say that the word “female” is offensive or degrading in and of itself. Many people, myself included, find its use as a noun when referring to women to be offensive and othering.”
      It’s not a fucking slur when used as a noun either. But keep trying to paint me as some horrible, dishonest person.
    2. 65
    1. It’s totally fine with you Ophelia, when people are being rude to me by calling me dishonest, with zingers like, “if the shoe fits”. But disagreeing with Maureen makes me a horrible rude person. Fine, I’m gone, I won’t sully your blog with my evil, lying presence. You don’t even have to ban me. I’ll leave willingly and gladly.

Notice all the caps and exclamation points? Dear God!

Brony the white pony adds:
"These are my thoughts and Ophelia can feel free to say if I am right or not."

Oh, goody for you. I didn't stop her from saying if I'm right or not, she just deleted comments without telling me or anyone else, to make it look like the conversation went in a way that it didn't.

And telling a female commenter she is "ragey" and in a "furor", why that's not sexist and patronizing at all. Nope. It's a common tactic, discrediting or dismissing a woman's opinion based on whether or not she said it in an appropriately soft ladylike tone.

She conveniently deleted the "fundamental difference which is the basis of the entire debate," that I was saying "female" is not even offensive when used as a noun. She deleted my rebuttal comments against being accused of dishonesty, but left up other comments.

As if Ophelia doesn't react negatively to people pulling a Shut Up Because There Are More Important Issues. And tone trolling. And selective erasure.

And she gets upset and...in a "furor" of "shouty ragey rage"...or whatever she calls it when it's other women and not her...repeatedly demands an apology on Twitter from an organization that once called her 'Ofie' instead of Ophelia. 

And I'm "wildly abusive"?
She's a hypocrite.

In Shouty Rage
Yours Truly,

**Update: I actually took down this post for a while because I know Ophelia Benson has been attacked by anti-"SJW's" unfairly.  I didn't want to give them 'ammo' in attacking her. Wow, that was stupid. She's an asshole, plain and simple. I will speak the truth, she deserves no special treatment since she has no problem abusing long-time, supportive women commenters and using ridicule and ganging-up tactics on other women, policing other women's speech.  She's a smug, self-important and is the real "wildly abusive" asshole.

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