What About The Other Side of the Anne Frank Accusation?

Instead of continuing down that path, I propose we simply refer to Mr. O’Flaherty as “Paul ‘Fuckwad‘ O’Flaherty’.

It has all the deservedly mean-spirited “you are a violently stupid person” ring to it, and it’s easier to get through than a half-dozen pages worth of “I have obviously never cracked open a book on abuse, or even had even a single conversation with a survivor about their experiences. However, my wife says I’m qualified to talk about what the proper behavior for a victim is, and I feel as though I got taken in by some bullshit about the TSA once.”

To address the Fuckwad directly: is it possible this is complete bullshit? Of course it is. It is possible that Ms. Shirley has decided that she never wants to be trusted, respected, or listened to again. Ever. Of course, it’s also possible a guy at a conference got drunk and couldn’t bring himself to understand the word “No.”

Take a wild guess which one Occam would pick.

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17 thoughts on “What About The Other Side of the Anne Frank Accusation?

  1. It is a delicious irony that Liebert is suffering death by a thousand Tweets, served up by Google.

  2. Bob,

    I commend Jono for his efforts to introduce civility into discourse. However, I pay to host this site, and if I wanted to post nothing but gotse, it is certainly my right and privilege to do so.

    Bluntly, I believe that some opinions deserve ridicule and incivility. For example, if you tell me you understand foreign policy because can see Russia from your house, I will laugh in your face. If you tell me the holocaust never happened, my response may get a bit darker. If you write pages of cowardly aspersions against a woman who accused someone of sexual assault, then I’ll call you a Fuckwad, and hope it gets indexed.

    – James

  3. Thank you for calling this behavior out–blaming the victim of rape and sexual assault happens way, way too often in society, and this needs light cast on it whenever possible.

    So, thank you for your “Incivility”, James. We need more of it.

  4. Yeah. The idea that all people deserve respect is flawed. The mascot for that site should be Barney the purple dinosaur.

    Besides, I much prefer the haphazard judgement and moralism of the Bible. For example, Ephesians 5:22.

  5. “However, I pay to host this site, and if I wanted to post noth­ing but gotse, it is cer­tainly my right and priv­i­lege to do so.”

    Fine, but you explicitly posted this on Planet Gnome as well. With that in mind: http://live.gnome.org/CodeOfConduct
    If you don’t want to follow the code of conduct, don’t send your post there.

  6. Dylan,

    If you’ll read the page you linked to, you’ll notice that the code of conduct applies to Bugzilla, the mailing lists, and generally to the signatories.

    I’m not a signatory to that page, and this isn’t on Bugzilla or the mailing lists—where I behave courteously and professionally anyways.

    – James

  7. You might call bullshit on O’Flaherty, but I call bullshit on your false dichotomy.

  8. toshok,

    Either she’s lying, mistaken, or telling the truth. If it’s either of the first two, she has decided not to be trusted going forward.

    I’m ignoring the possibility that she’s suffering from a hitherto undiagnosed schizophrenic disorder, of course, because I consider that pretty unlikely to show up in this case.

    – James

    Update: Hopefully it’s evident that I don’t consider “mistaken” to be a reasonable choice here.

  9. James,
    I couldn’t agree more with you. It seems like, when a woman accuses a man of sexual assault or rape, she is guilty until proven innocent…

  10. When someone claims rape – there are two possiblities – she is lying and he is innocent, or she is telling the truth and he is guilty. Two possibilities. In either, there is a victim. Why should be always defend the woman, but not defend the man as well.

  11. James,

    With regard to your comment:

    “Dylan,

    If you’ll read the page you linked to, you’ll notice that the code of conduct applies to Bugzilla, the mailing lists, and generally to the signatories.

    I’m not a signatory to that page, and this isn’t on Bugzilla or the mail­ing lists — where I behave courteously and professionally anyways.

    – James”

    Planet gnomes own rules require that you respect the code of conduct: See the section “Being on Planet GNOME” on the FAQ page – http://live.gnome.org/PlanetGnome

    Just because you have signed the list, does not make it invalid towards you.

    “Be respectful and considerate:
    Disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour or personal attacks. Remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable is not a productive one.”

    I think this respect is needed – not necessarily to the person who did wrong, but to the people who read planet gnome and should not be subjected to this.

  12. Bob,

    The definitions of the word “lying” all involve intent to deceive, so the third option of “honest but incorrect” is always possible—ethics and accuracy are two different axis.

    The thing is, I don’t believe Noirin would call someone out publicly on an assault if she had any doubt in her mind about what actually happened—unless, as noted, she had decided she didn’t want to be listened to ever again.

    I’m not saying what I’m saying because I haven’t considered the possibilities, I’m saying it because to take Flaherty’s implied and unrepentant position—based on at least one obvious misreading, a “gut feeling,” incomplete information, and background slander—you’d have to believe that Noirin is involved in a dark or mentally unstable conspiracy to ruin some guy’s life. Conversely, to believe her accusations, you need to believe that a guy is capable of copping a feel on a stranger while drunk at a bar at an out-of-town conference.

    Jussi,

    There is a checkbox on the bottom of PGO next to my name if you’d rather not read my posts as part of it.

  13. Fuckwad. That’s nice, intelligent and highly mature.

    As I’ve said before I will not apologize for NOT taking an unsubstantiated blog post at face value and attempting to use my brain, rather than having an emotional response and crucifying a possibly innocent person on the strength of that emotional response.

    I haven’t said that Noirin is lying, I have have said that I don’t believe her. The two are fundamentally different when you are dealing in matters of truth.

    Leibert may have done it. If he did, he deserves his punishment. That said, it is not up to the mob to dispense it, nor is it up to them to condemn him without asking “what if?”

    Finally, and perhaps the most personal to me.

    Get off your high horse. Seriously. How dare you say something like:

    I have obviously never cracked open a book on abuse, or even had even a single conversation with a survivor about their experiences. However, my wife says I’m qualified to talk about what the proper behavior for a vic­tim is, and I feel as though I got taken in by some bull shit about the TSA once.

    I have first hand experience of abuse.

    First hand, not out of a book, but first hand, being on the receiving end experience.

    Forgive me for not flaunting that as a reason why my argument may be valid, instead pointing to a high profile (in terms of the blogosphere) example of other people actually lying and making false accusation, and noting that I actually discussed this accusation with other people (including my wife) before putting fingers to keyboard.

    But I guess, that now I’ve said that, lets see if you let this comment be posted on your blog.

    (BTW – if you read the comments on my post you would have seen where I alluded to this already.)

    So again, I don’t believe Noirin. She MAY or MAY NOT be lying. I can’t prove that either way. I am not interested in proving it, but I am amazed that most people don’t even question it. Naivety is one word that come to mind. The mental block that makes people completly ignore the possibility of another side to the story is shocking to me.

    I will not condemn someone based on an unsubstantiated post. I will not be part of a mob. Look at the comments on my blog for many, many reasons as to why…

    Fuckwad.. Hmm.. maybe I’ll change my gamer tag to that.

  14. I read http://pauloflaherty.com/2010/11/06/what-about-the-other-side-of-the-noirin-shirley-accusation/ ..and the comments there.

    Innocent until proven guilty. Guilty on two or more witnesses.

    This wouldn’t have happened if everyone recorded every bit of sound throughout their entire day. So many things would be simpler if we just did away with privacy. Anyways, my verdict is that the man who posted that isn’t a “fuckwad”. As for the rest, I don’t know, I’m pretty far removed from the situation. But Paul O’Flaherty wrote in a respectful, level headed manner as near as I can tell. He acknowledged the other side of the arguments he was making.

    What he was SAYING is that what we’ve got here is a witch hunt; a situation where the knee-jerk reaction of people is risking the proper course of actual justice. –and I agree with that. This is a criminal matter, and wild speculation should be set aside for police investigation.

    I will also say that the use of namecalling, even when completely deserved, raises my blood pressure, and I don’t come to planet gnome for that kind of things to stress me out.

  15. There’s a long, LONG history of women being ostracised for coming forward when they’re assaulted, and an equally long history of “official” behind-the-scenes channels going precisely nowhere.

    There is NO other crime where a victim can be ostracised for merely reporting it.

    That’s why this behavior has to be called out whenever it happens. It only enables rapists and pushes women away

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