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“We’ve become too easy as viewers. We’re like a ditched cheerleader captain who has had two too many daiquiris and is lost on the wrong side of town ... tell me you don’t feel date-raped.”
Really, John Howard? Tell me you I don’t feel date-raped? How about I tell you what an insensitive clod you must be to think for even one second that this is an acceptable thing to say, never mind publish for an audience of several thousand people.
I would like to think, Mr. Howard, that especially in a piece focusing heavily on female movie-going habits, you would stop to think about the people you’re writing for.
Not once did it cross your mind that maybe rape jokes aren’t funny? That date-rape is one of the most common types of rape? That victim blaming is an issue that rape victims face on a daily basis?
Because inferring that an intoxicated woman (she is a woman, not just a “cheerleader”) stranded in a bad place is “easy” is straight up victim blaming, not to mention the most vile piece of trash I have ever read in the Reporter.
Now, I’m sure John Howard didn’t know that every two minutes, someone in America is sexually assaulted, or that an estimated one in five college women experience completed or attempted rape (both according to surveys conducted in 2000). And I’m sure that he didn’t realize how triggering his “jokes” could have been for survivors of sexual abuse, or the kind of long-lasting effect being attacked could have on someone’s mental health.
I hope that I’m not the first person Reporter has heard from about this article, and I pray that I won’t be the last.
Reporter’s editors need to take responsibility not only for what they write but for one another as well. Because when one closed-minded article like this is allowed to be published, it reflects poorly on your whole staff.
Please, dear reader: do not conform to John Howard’s low quality product.
I’m “letting the system know that I’m mad as hell,” and I will not take it anymore, Reporter.
Former RIT Photojournalism major
For a time, letters
Were written in haiku form
Can we bring that back?
In your article “Health Care Reform To Impact Students”, a student was quoted as saying that “If you don’t have insurance, you go on the government’s plan.”
This is false. There is no government plan. The idea of a government plan (the so-called “public option”) was in a few early versions of the bill, but was not in the later version that actually passed.
Reporter has an obligation to fact-check the people its writers quote, especially when they are not experts or professionals in the subject matter. By not doing so, you have published something this week that is fundamentally untrue.
International Business and Economics
As of 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2010, we received 100 Web comments about our April 9, 2010 views piece on the RIT Skeptics and Rochester Atheists’ guest speaker, P.Z. Myers. Here are a few excerpts and a breakdown of what they said (including unapproved comments):
- 54 Approved
- 21 Rejected
- 5 Pending
- 11 Thumbs Up
- 263 Thumbs Down
“He just did it to offend Catholics.”
So it’s very obvious that you didn’t bother to read any further about the actual reasons for why this happened. There is a back story, you know. And if I am to believe PZ ¾ who writes in his blog that he did indeed tell you these things when you talked with him ¾ you chose to ignore him as well. And I certainly have more reason to believe him than you.
How about you go further than just reading the Wikipedia page the next time you write about someone? It is generally not considered a very reliable source, and you need to dig a bit more if you want to call yourself a journalist ¾ at least visit the sources the page links to.
And how about, if you interview someone at the end of a talk you listened to, you write more about that talk and less about a very old event that has been talked to death already? Aren't real journalists there to find some new stories, not just re-hash the same lies and exaggerations that have been said before? How about some journalistic professionalism and integrity?
You have a point at the start of your article saying that "people shouldn’t be jerks to each other about religion." Fair enough. But when a young man is getting death threats, accusations of kidnapping, and threats of expulsion because he wanted to show a cracker to his friends, some old biology professor might decide to mistreat some of those crackers to make a point about what a horrible overreaction took place.
If you read Myers' blog, it isn't just with the Catholic church he points out things like that. Many religions use their immense influence, power and wealth to do horrible things and because the majority of their members are such good people, people seem to have difficulty calling them on it.
There are millions of good, nice, non-bigoted, not child-abusing, wonderful Catholics. Just like with the millions of great, nice other Christians, Muslims, Jews, et cetera. That's obvious. After all, most people in the world are religious. But this also makes it difficult for most people to criticize religious institutions.
I mean, some Muslims suicide bomb a building because they think God wants them to? Or kill a bunch of people because some Danish people drew cartoons to make a point about self-censorship? Well, we certainly can't make a point that the religion can in some ways be dangerous, then we'd insult all the millions of nice Muslims.
Some evangelical Christians shoot an abortion doctor, beat a gay man to death, march with signs that say "God hates fags"? Well, we certainly can't tie that to their religion, that would insult all the nice Christians.
Not all bad things religious people do are because of their religion of course. But sometimes they hide behind their holy books when they oppress people; sometimes they really think that they are doing right by God when they kill people; and sometimes they are just doing what their preacher told them to when they are picketing a gay man's funeral.
Regardless of the specific reasons, there are some times when religion is really linked to real, dangerous, bad acts in the real world. Some people have the guts and the bad manners to call them out on that behavior, even when they are part of a group that mostly consists of nice people. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
"P.Z. Myers is famous for... "
...nothing? He hasn't published an influential scientific article in almost a decade, and he's been absent from the most influential Intelligent Design fights. If simply ranting and raving on a blog makes one a remarkable scientist worthy of being booked to give talks, then we can all be remarkable scientists worthy of being booked to give talks.
Recently, Myers has suggested on his blog that someone stab or attack the Pope "sideways with a rusty knife." Comments on his blog suggest that religious people should be killed or assaulted by various violent means (including being set on fire, beaten in the head with tire irons, and nailed to crosses) because they are "worthless, nothing. We don't need their useless, irrational genes polluting the Earth." This is all just for being religious, of course. Myers argues for the right to free speech but, apparently from this talk, tells religious people they have no right to it. And he seemingly feels threatened enough by the words of a student columnist to try and drag his name through the mud on his blog, just for uttering criticism. Nice.
People book P.Z. Myers because he preaches to the choir. The groups get a little bit of hate mixed with intellectual self-gratification that gets their juices flowing and ends with some hearty "attaboys!" and pats on the back. Then they feel rejuvenated to go out and spread hate and intolerance that they would otherwise decry by throwing a rope around religion and declaring it exempt from hate and intolerance ¾ thus falling prey to the same exemptionalist bullshit that delusional creationists use when trying to hold religion above being able to be criticized.
There is atheism, and then there is an ideological stealth religion disguised as atheism. Myers falls prey to the latter.
I think you should actually go to P.Z.'s website and read the article about the nailing incident. It really is a good read and has a lot to offer to everyone on both sides of the religious debate. The point wasn't to offend, but rather show that all ideas in this world should not be held sacrosanct. This idea is no different than Thomas Jefferson's Marketplace of Ideas.
I suspect this is an idea you would probably agree with as a fellow blogger, but it is probably the method he picked that you dislike. If that is the case would you rather he use everyone else's religion instead of yours to make the example?