Posted on | August 6, 2013 | 256 Comments
Karen Stoltznow and Ben Radford at a December 2012 conference.
You may recall that in 2011 Rebecca Watson — the total smokin’ hotness of atheist chickdom — celebrated her victimhood after some guy tried to hit on her at an atheist conference. The silliness of it all prompted Vox Day to comment on the misery of atheist guys:
No wonder they’re so furious at God. He created all those lovely women with those beautiful breasts and they aren’t even allowed to even talk to them.
Basically, atheism seems to attract a lot of game-deficient Gamma dudes who figure atheist chicks are easy (correct), but then presume this might mean some hot action for Gammas (incorrect).
OK, so fast-forward, and the New Total Smokin’ Hotness of Atheist Chickdom, Karen Stoltznow steps forward to tell her tale:
Sexual harassment is an uncomfortable topic to discuss with colleagues, especially when you’re the victim. . . .
(As if it is easy for the guy she accuses to discuss it.)
According to gossip about me, I gave him mixed-signals, I led him on, I’m flirtatious, and I’m a dirty little slut. . . .
(Is this true? I mean, was it only “gossip”?)
Five months after I lodged my complaint I received a letter that was riddled with legalese but acknowledged the guilt of this individual. They had found evidence of “inappropriate communications” and “inappropriate” conduct at conferences. . . . They assured me they were disciplining the harasser but this turned out to be a mere slap on the wrist. . . .
(He wasn’t burned at the stake.)
Those who didn’t know the extent of the harassment reacted as though we simply don’t play well together in the sandbox. “Why don’t you two just get over it and move on!” The matter was misconstrued as a lover’s tiff, or that we were a couple in an on again, off again relationship. . . .
(Were you ever a “couple” at all?)
To some people the news didn’t come as much of a surprise. They “knew” there was something wrong, especially with the benefit of hindsight. “I thought something was up when you two stopped working together.” Others felt they could finally admit to me what they think about him. “I never liked him.” “I’ve always thought he was a creepy guy!”, “He’s a weirdo!” and, “I unfriended him on Facebook because of the sexist shit he says and the perverted stuff he posts.” One woman confessed, “No wonder my female friends roll their eyes at me when I tell them he’s single!” . . .
(OK, I’ll stipulate this guy is creepy. But you have not yet told us whether you were ever in a “couple” with him, or explained why people may have thought you were.)
This man is a predator who collects girls of a certain “type”. His targets are chubby, shy, lonely, and insecure, just like I used to be.
(Oh. You used to be his “type,” but now you’re the Total Smokin’ Hotness of Atheist Chickdom, and so — under the bus!)
In the early days I looked up to him and was flattered that he seemed to respect my work. I quickly spotted some red flags but I disregarded them. These became too big to ignore, so I called it all off. The rejection was ego shattering to him at first, and then met with disbelief.
(Hell hath no fury like a Gamma dumped.)
This was followed by incessant communication of a sexual nature, including gifts, calls, emails, letters, postcards, and invites to vacation with him in exotic places so we could “get to know each other again”. He wouldn’t leave me alone. This wasn’t love. It was obsession. His desperation only increased when I met another man. He continued his harassment as though my boyfriend (who is now my husband) didn’t even exist.
(Excuse me for interrupting again — now we’re getting to the good part — but why not have your boyfriend tell the creep to buzz off?)
From late 2009 onwards I made repeated requests for his personal communication to cease but these were ignored. He began manipulating the boundaries by contacting me on the pretext of it being work-related. Then came the quid pro quo harassment. He would find opportunities for me within the company and recommend me to television producers, but only if I was nicer to him. One day the company offered me an honorary position that I’d worked hard for, but he warned me that he had the power to thwart that offer. I threatened to complain to his employer, but he bragged that another woman had accused him of sexual harassment previously and her complaints were ignored. According to him, she had been declared “batshit crazy”. Then, he saw me at conferences and took every opportunity to place me in a vulnerable position. This is where the psychological abuse turned physical and he sexually assaulted me on several occasions.
“Officer, arrest that man!”
Well, isn’t that what you think Karen Stoltznow would have done? If somebody “sexually assaulted” you, wouldn’t you call the cops?
For some reason, she didn’t, but instead complained to her employer, who gave her sort of a runaround, and she published her account without ever naming her harasser. But it seems everybody in Atheist World knows this creep, and his modus operandi is not exactly a secret, so arch-Darwinist P.Z. Myers outs him:
Something strange happened after I posted this. People started emailing me. They all said the same thing: they knew exactly who the harasser was, and they named him, and eerily, they all named exactly the same name, and they were all 100% on the money. I’m starting to believe in psychic powers.
The accused harasser was Ben Radford.
Wait. Maybe it’s not psychic powers, it’s privileged ignorance. Almost all of the people writing to me are women, and some of them also tell tales of their husbands or boyfriends not believing them at first.
Great: “Benjamin Radford is deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and a Research Fellow with the non-profit educational organization the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry,” and he is also apparently “a predator who collects girls … [who] are chubby, shy, lonely, and insecure.”
Sorry about your reputation, Mr. Creepy Obsessive Stalker.
Perhaps you can tell us why people thought you and Karen Stoltznow were a “couple” and what those “sexual assaults” were about.
Have a nice day. And good luck praying to nothing.
UPDATE: I Tweeted this post to the attention of some atheists, and set of World War III. Also, I find myself accused in the comments of “blaming the victim,” whereas my point generally was that atheist guys are creeps, and no woman is safe around them. Attending an atheist conference is kind of like having a sleepover with Julian Assange, it seems, but let’s not revisit that controversy just now, eh?
UPDATE II: A feminist blog comments:
As other atheist feminists might be unable to forget, Center For Inquiry is a fairly large skeptic notprofit which came under fire after CEO Ron Lindsay made some pretty thoughtless comments during his “welcoming” address at the Women In Secularism 2 conference held in DC this past Spring. CFI still hasn’t apologized or taken action against Lindsay. Here’s to hoping they have something more to say now that we know they’ve been doling out honoraria to an individual accused of spending 4 years making an equally famous female skeptic’s life a living hell.
So, it’s all-misogyny, all-the time with these guys, and you might think this would cause some of these “atheist feminists” to reconsider their worldview, go to church and fix me a sammich.
But no. Once they go atheist feminist, they never go back . . .
Or something. Rebecca Watson denounced the Center For Inquiry this year, because those atheist men are all hateful misogynists.
This means no more sammiches for you atheist guys, either.
And next? I guess there will be Atheist Lesbian Feminists conference, which then will split into Maoist and Stalinist sects, followed by the rise of a genuinely radical Underground Atheist Feminist terrorist group, blowing up shit and issuing jargon-laden manifestos.
The progress of such tendencies always follows a historical pattern.