Ok, just to start here; this needs to be addressed:
(and if reading that has just pushed some buttons, I want you to calmly unplug those emotions and put them in a box, then take a deep breath, relax and read the rest of this reasoned argument)… breathing calmly yet? good!, then we can continue….
Regardless of the content of his arguments and whatever validity they do or do not have, did he really expect this to inspire people who disagree with him to take what he has to say seriously? I wound up agreeing with a lot of what he said and this still bugs the hell out of me. Especially saying that readers were likely emotional in a conversation about sexism and misogyny... damn that's dumb. Anyhoo, onto the content. I think statements worded like the above and like the statement it was meant to address have caused some distraction over what he was saying so because I love analogies so much, I'm going to first share my interpretation of what his point was in that form:
Let's say that the skeptical movement is the body of a man, TAM and other conferences are a man's nipples (i.e. fun to play with but ultimately not all that important), the movement's goals are the major limbs, the skeptical celebrities are the head, and cases of sexual harassment are mosquito bites.
Skeptical movement = A man's body.
TAM and other conferences = The nipples
Skeptical movement's goals = Major limbs
skeptical celebrities = the head
Sexual harassment = Mosquito bites
Now mosquito bites suck; they are irritating and at the specific point where they occur there are some very uncomfortable results. Ultimately though, depending on where they are, they are not going to do much harm to the rest of the body or its operation so the response to them should be measured to match the problem. Since in the cases that are getting the most attention, the mosquitos seem to be biting us on the nipples, he'd likely recommend some anti-itch cream (helping the victim after the fact) and killing the mosquito (punishing harassers) after the fact as well as taking some reasonable preventive measures to hopefully stop it from happening again (like spraying mosquito repellent).
What he sees happening is more like taking a sledgehammer to not only the bite-area but also repeatedly to various parts of the head and body, causing the limbs to not operate correctly and the voice to become weaker and distorted. He sees the reasoning for doing this being false claims of hundreds of mosquitoes biting the nipples and causing portions of the body to not work properly and in some cases die. He believes that possibly, just possibly the reason parts of the body are getting damaged and dying is because of the repeated hits from the sledgehammer which happened well after the mosquitoes were killed and the bites treated
Does that sound about right to everyone?