Sasquatch Coffee

Homophobus mysognistis xenophobus ignoramus

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 12th, 2007

Bigfoot Crossing Sign

Why would someone use the above sign to throw homophobia my way? See below.

Some rather stupid people haunt the world. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you can ignore what is happening all over the news these days, regarding the discussion of Don Imus’s outrageous remarks. Insensitive people even exist in Bigfoot studies.

Perhaps they should be classified with the Latin name, Homophobus mysognistis xenophobus ignoramus for the homophobic, demeaning sexist, racist stupidity they give forth as if they know what they are talking about.

The women of the Rutgers basketball team are the focus in this latest round of soul-searching occurring in America due to the most recent racist, sexism, and mysognistic comments (“nappy-headed hos”) of a certain radio show host on MSNBC.

Don Imus has faced criticism in the past for making remarks that were considered racist or homophobic. Most recently before the Rutgers incident, on February 8, 2007, Imus said “Besa mi culo … Gordo, [to New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson] not me.” The Spanish phrase loosely translates into English as “kiss my ass, fat one.”

Imus has apologized, has been fired by MSNBC and CBS, and has been claiming to be personally hurt by all of this. If you are confused and think that the victim is this melodrama is Don Imus, you are to be excused for what often happens in these matters. Those who say abusive or thoughtless comments often wish to act like they are the ones victimized because people are upset with them.

I have been struck by one yardstick that was a good one mentioned in this Don Imus affair. It was simply, “How would you feel if one of the women basketball players was your daughter?” I think this brings this nicely home, and can be applied to what happens in Bigfoot circles, especially with how some men talk about women in the field and men that seem to make them uncomfortable.

I certainly know that I can think about the same analogy with reference to my sons and what I have heard thrown at some young men, whether they are playing lacrosse or have unconventional Bigfoot theories. But this yardstick does apply quite literally to how women in our field certainly sometimes feel.

Right before the Imus flap, a lively 2007 series of exchanges by two Bigfoot researchers, Lisa Shiels in her blogs, “The Single Girl and the Sasquatch” and “Wild Women of the Woods”, and Regan Lee in her “Wild Women: More on that Elephant in the Room” occurred. I am outraged but not surprised that someone would say to these women or any other woman who might be interested in Bigfoot research that they must be “lesbians.”

Frankly, do you know of any serious researchers, whether a father or a mother, who would not be proud to think their daughter might pursue the quest for Bigfoot? To consider the mindset of someone who would call someone else a “lesbian” because they are out in the woods looking for an unknown hairy hominoid is unfathomable, but not without a history in this field.

Shiels has pointed out:

One man told me women don’t want to get involved in Bigfoot research because they’re afraid of the woods. Come on!Lisa Shiels

Lesbians* would naturally be a minority of females looking for Bigfoot. If they are among the seekers, of course, they are strong women who just happen to love and enjoy the company of other women. However, one’s sexuality has nothing to do with being a good Bigfooter. Why Bigfooters would feel the need to try to demean the few women in hominology by some type of name-calling is beyond understanding. (*A major ancient Greek island in the Aegean Sea, Lesbos was noted for its lyric poets, including the most famous, Sappho, in the seventh century B.C. Various of Sappho’s love poems were addressed to women, and she has long been considered to have had homosexual inclinations. The word lesbian itself is derived from the name of the island of Lesbos from which she came.)

Of course, I have seen such behavior bring forth it’s ugly head before, mostly in 2003, when I openly discussed this issue of intolerance in my Bigfoot!! book’s chapter, “Sex and the Single Sasquatch.” Without the hecklers even reading that chapter, I was labeled by a few as a “homo” and worst. Most vicious critics felt it would be a smear if they said I was “gay” or used the “f-word,” in my regard, without any information on me or ever even meeting me.

On one Bigfoot forum, here are some of the remarks left, after I brought up the homophobia in Sasquatch studies:

Coleman can expound all the gay bigfoot theories he likes, but at this point, i think my theory that the angry purple unicorn on the other side of the moon is lesbian is just as valid and significant. :rolleyes: Coleman has pretty much become a total cuckoo in my eyes now. I hope his progressive dementia doesn’t give the whole Bigfoot community a bad name, but i’m afraid it will. The press would much rather report on the crazy ones than the serious ones, and even better, a serious one that turned out to be crazy (Coleman).robo

After someone attempted to counterbalance the remarks with some reality about what my chapter was about, this same individual, robo, returned with these remarks:

Unless you’re Loren Coleman, in which case you frequently see groups of male Squatches disco dancing. ;) robo

And…telling more about himself than me…he continued:

You know your in the territory of a gay male sasquatch when you see matching curtains on redwood trees .. the light green ones to match the carpet of moss .. and potted fernssss. :P :lmao:robo

Plus, robo aimed his remarks at a variety of people…

Bigfoot lesbians ?? … boy, talk about Hairy Bull Dykes :lmao:
In all fairness to Coleman … has anyone (!!!) got any reports of being in the deep wilderness, and hearing a deep voice (really deep) singing Village People songs ???? :lmao:
*in the navy …. *
*Ohnooo just had a bad bad bad visual of Sailor village people squatch and leather policeman squatch :blink: :blink: …. help * robo

Or with the following image posted and along with the following comment:

Bigfoot Crossing Sign

This just in !!!! Coleman may be right !!!! As evidenced by this pic of a road sign near his house …..robo

Needless to say, although this sign is not in my museum’s collection, I would not be ashamed to have it there, mostly because I think it looks like a unique route marker. Frankly, robo knows nothing about me and merely reveals himself to be a Homophobus mysognistis xenophobus ignoramus.

There is no justification for this kind of environment to be reinforced, laughed at, or supported in our field.

People who have disagreed with me even use words like “rants” to close their ears. This was done, for example, when Michel Raynal and I felt it was important to point out that racism was behind the de Loys’ photograph’s misuse or when I pointed out the use of the “d-word” being used by some for California Indians.

I won’t soon stop how I view the importance of expunging “evidence” and “theories” with xenophobic, homophobic, and racism backgrounds from cryptozoology and hominology. It is one thing to criticize people based on their theories or thought-process (like Mary Green, for her continued lack of evidence, or Jack Lapseritis, for shaky less than concrete thinking), and quite another to go after people because they, for example, are women, Native, African-American, or Jewish.

So instead of just complaining, what can we do? We all are required to do our part in changing the legacy of subtle colonial and cultural oppression to be found even within the study of hidden animals and hairy hominoids. You can do something about making the right choices in your cryptozoological work. Let me give you an example, one I constructed very consciously in the mid-1990s.

In Cryptozoology A to Z (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999), understanding what occurs for young people through descriptions of role models, I (along with coauthor Jerome Clark) presented biographies of men and women that would inspire girls and boys. To counterbalance any sense that this was an overly celebrity-filled Caucasian American male-dominated field, I liberally sprinkled my book with biographical examples that were as diverse as is the global field of cryptozoology.

I purposefully highlighted women (e.g. Ruth Harkness, Roberta “Bobbie” Short, Eugenie Clark, Ramona Clark, Barbara Wasson, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Odette Tchernine, Arlene Gaal), non-Americans (e.g. Arlene Gaal, Dmitri Bayonov, Odette Tchernine, Rene Dahinden, Boris Porshnev, Michel Raynal, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Tan Hong Viet, Lars Thomas, Gerald Russell), and forgotten historical individuals (e.g. Ruth Harkness, Forrest Wood, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Gerald Russell, Odette Tchernine, Bruce S. Wright, Ramona Clark). Also, remembering this was in 1999, I also pointed to the up-and-coming stars (e.g. Arlene Gaal, Jeff Meldrum, Bobbie Short, Bill Gibbons). Of 200 entries in Cryptozoology A to Z, some 60 biographies in all were written on those who had contributed to cryptozoology by the end of the 1990s. Most were men, of course, because the field is mostly male, but that did not stop us from gathering as many women in the book as the publisher’s space would allow us.

For those individuals for whom I was unable to obtain more complete biographies or due to editorial limitations, I made certain that other female role models (who were researching hairy unknown hominoids) were mentioned in the entries on specific cryptids. Examples include British travel writer turned fulltime field cryptozoologist Deborah Martyr (under “Orang Pendek”), medical doctor Anne Mallasse (under “Barmanu”), and Myra Shackley (under “Almas”).

I did and do my writing in an unspoken expression and commitment to the fact that the fields of cryptozoology and hominology can be open to whomever wishes to engage in the pursuit and research on cryptids and unknown hominoids. There need not be any barriers in the way of those that dream, those that do, and those that wish to achieve, other than the normal, routine, and unfortunate cultural, societal, racist, ageist, and sexist roadblocks that are thrown up in the way of any human who wishes to break past traditions and forge ahead. It is time for us, in this realm too, to commit to break those barriers down.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


43 Responses to “Homophobus mysognistis xenophobus ignoramus”

  1. swnoel responds:

    Loren it seems interesting how people see these things in a different light. Take for instance “diggers” , it means absolutely nothing to me, I had no idea it was suppose to be demeaning to Californian Native Americans. I have alot of respect for the American Indian and they have endured many generations of torment from their suppressors. It is truly sad to see how many still suffer.

    In regards to Don Imus, he has made his living for years doing this kind of thing. Speaking for myself, it went in one ear and out the other. I don’t care what Imus says or for that matter what CBS or MSNBC has to say. I’d like to see them all unplugged.

    What is really interesting is how Rap music is so popular and accepted. Have you ever listened to the lyrics of most songs?

    It makes Don Imus look like a Boy Scout. It truly is disgusting, but why stop it, there’s so much money to be made selling this trash!

  2. Rillo777 responds:

    swnoel makes a very valid point.

    While people like Imus should be held accountable for their remarks, I find it very interesting that rap, hip-hop, and certain ethnic personalities are never censored for their racist, demeaning remarks. If we apply the standard to one it must be applied across the board. To allow it in one form and not in another is hypocrisy. To protect one under free speech and not the other is also hypocrisy.

    This issue goes a whole lot deeper than “political correctness” or “racial sensitivity”. There is a serious fragmentation happening in American culture. The acceptance of who can use the “N” word, or the “L” word and who can’t is only a symptom of it, as is the use of “(fill in the ethnicicity here)-American.”

    As far as name calling by certain bigfoot researchers, their slurs are more a result of puffing themselves up by attempting to lower the status of legitimate researchers. I really don’t care what the sexual orientation of any researchers is, only that they do good research!

  3. joppa responds:

    I hope that maybe, just maybe, America turned the corner this week and has had enough of the the vulgarity we have saturated ourselves in the past twenty years. If you can’t say it in front of your grandmother, don’t say it. If you wouldn’t want her to read it, don’t write it.

  4. catvmex responds:

    I think we all are taking ourselves too seriously. I don’t know where this will end. Censored movie scripts? Filtered e-mails? Watch out what you say, what you write, what you hear, – Who knows. I wish we could get as excited about supporting our troops as we have over Imus’ silliness.

  5. robzilla responds:

    I think that we should start calling ourselves just plain old Americans and forget all the other stuff is a good start.

    I was born here, I’m American.

    Freedom of speech is great, but just because they talk, doesn’t mean we have to listen.

  6. Bob K. responds:

    As far as Don Imus goes, up until about a year and a half ago, I lived in NJ (now WA-thank God, but thats another topic). I often would listen to “Imus in the Morning” on my way to work. Imus has been making remarks such as this for years. Thats his ‘schtick’, and has been for decades-he was one of the original shock jocks. Imus is a crude, rough, Texas boy who isn’t politically correct. He has a rough sense of humor, and frequently insults or lampoons many different ethnic groups, or whatever individual is getting under his skin at the moment. Imus is not a “RACIST”-he’s a curmudgeon. The problem that a lot of people have is that Al Sharpton-a virulent anti white and anti-Jewish racist, is acting like some great moral arbiter in all this, and he is decidedly not qualified to take that position. I heard the remarks made by Imus-they were not said mean-spiritedly, it was said humorously-crass humor, certainly, but in jest nonetheless. When Mr. Sharpton fanned the flames of a NYC race riot some years ago, telling mobs to get the “white interlopers”, people died. Nothing humorous about that. I agree that we all should be wary of persecutorial or derogatory speech and behaviour, when its ill intended and potentially has some teeth to it. I don’t believe when a Don Imus makes a dumb crack consistent with such coarse humor as he’s used in the past toward vitually every ethnic/religious group/person under the sun- that it’s consistent with that description. If we’re not careful, we run the risk of jousting at windmills while the real culprits manage to sneak in under the radar.

  7. shumway10973 responds:

    I think that this reflects one of the major problems today and in the future–no one wants to take responsibility for anything they either said or did. They believe they have the freedom to say these things (ok, they have the freedom to do so) without being held responsible. There have been a few who use such words loosely and without thinking. Give me a beautiful woman who loves the outdoors anytime to a city girl (not that there’s anything wrong with being a city girl). I love the outdoors, so I would do better with someone who also loves it like me. Also, just to set the records straight, I have met plenty of straight women who love going on hikes and the such that are beautiful and attractive and I have also met some lesbians wouldn’t stand a day in the woods. What matters to me is the way people interact with others. I have friends of every sexual orientation you can think of, and as long as they don’t preach to me that their way is better or push it on me we are fine. Some of the homo and bisexuals friends I have have been better friends than those that I am categorized with. People are people, some are good and some should be sent away to a colony where they all have to deal with each other and away from the rest of us, all determined by the way they treat others, not race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.

  8. DavidFredSneakers responds:

    While it’s probably true that we pay more attention to these matters than is necessary, I think that any group of scientific minded individuals needs to present themselves in a clean and unbiased matter. Comparing people studying the sasquatch to rappers really doesn’t help. Hip-Hop artists, being in the entertainment industry, really aren’t looking for “respect.” At least not by the majority of middle-class adults.

    Trying to prove the existence of an unknown primate is a completely different ball game, and it would be unwise to act in a manner that would discourage public interest in the subject by promoting prejudiced ideals. As for “sasquatch sexuality,” if it is indeed a real animals why would this be a problem? Nobody seems to complain about discussion on Bonobo sexual habits, but in this field it’s somehow tabbo? Shouldn’t make a difference, I think your right to openly discuss such matters.

  9. Justncredible responds:

    We allow our freedoms to be stripped over the fear of offending others. Is not this country based on the ability to voice being offended as well as being able to offend?

    His comments were derogatory, but not racist. It is not right or fair that sharpton incited a blatant murder with his anti-jewish propaganda and was not censored as well. Also make note that “nappy” means “fuzzy” and is not exclusive to a certain race of humans. Also note that there is 4 distinct races of humans, Caucasoid (or Caucasian), Mongoloid, Negroid, and in some systems Australoid, there is no such race as “african-American”. This type of racism was not what Martin L. King preached, he preached for equality not special rights. Does not “redneck” parallel the N-word??? Both words denote certain traits for each race.

    This board discusses the possibility of a 5th race that may be considered human or semi-human. If found he will already have his derogatory slang name: Bigfoot. They might also sue for extra land and the right to privacy after being chased around by a bunch of rednecks, or force schools to adopt their language also enforcing no little bigfeet left behind policies. Politically correct is insanity. Being free is based on risk, the risk of offending others and the risk of being offended. There is plenty of options for places to live where the government makes sure no one is offended, almost all of europe.

    Imus had low ratings, he is a lame guy, does not change the fact he did nothing wrong in a free country.

    Loren loved the book. Also my first post filled with misspellings, due to me being a hillbilly.

  10. Capt. Jack responds:

    Okay, let’s get realistic here. The broader point is that yes, Imus echoed the words of his cohort on the show and said something that could be *construed* as racist. I’m not defending him, but there are far more black comedians and other personalities that spew forth the “N” word and hoes and bitches towards black people that are never, ever, held accountable.

    Was he wrong? Yes. Did he apologize from the heart? Yes. Were Sharpton and Jackson on a white witch hunt, as usual? Yes.

    These two so-called frontmen for “civil rights” are hypocritical pukes whose time needs to end. This is the opinion of both black and white activists. It’s disgraceful. If you are of European (eg. white) descent in this country, you can’t fart without incurring the wrath of these two publicity hounds.

    However, it’s okay for them to call New York “hymieville” in reference to the jewish population there. Gimme a break.

    It’s far overdue for these type of people (Sharpton/Jackson) are allowed to continue with this crap. The hip-hop culture and the degenerate youth it has spawned is causing far more damage to the african-americans of this country than a stupid 3-word utterance from Don Imus will ever do.

    And let’s not forget that the millions of dollars that Imus raises on a yearly basis for *all* children and people of any heritage was basically called “inconsequential” by Sharpton.

    Imus is not an angel, but he and the recipients of all his charity work do NOT deserve this.

    Respectfully,

    Capt. Jack Mahanglin

  11. fuzzy responds:

    CRYPTO-SOCIO-POLITICO-HOMO-MYSO-XENO-IGNO-SEXIST-RACIST-STUPIDO-PSYCHO-MUNDO!

    The world is coming apart at its seams, yet the Media keeps jabbering about some stupid shock-jock’s crass comments, or the identity of the father of some tart’s latest child, or some other artificial “Crisis-of-the-Week!”

    Why don’t we all just grow up?

  12. elsanto responds:

    Let us not forget that the term “politically correct” is rooted in rightist ideology as an attempt to set left ideals counter to one another. That said, the issue here is not one of censorship. The issue is of individuals using slurs as an attempt to diminish other researchers. A researcher’s personal life is irrelevant to his or her research if the research is thorough, properly conducted, and well presented. Ultimately, however, it is those who use such slurs (as Loren’s example of robo illustrates so pointedly well) who diminish their own selves, rather than the researchers they are attempting to attack.

    In the same way that we learn to filter good research and evidence from bad, so we can choose to ignore or counter comments based in ignorance. No outside source should censor them. We must learn to be our own censors.

  13. bill green responds:

    hey loren good interesting article. thanks bill .

  14. jayman responds:

    It seems this board is diverging more and more from a focus on crypto, the common interest which brings us here in the first place. These contentious public controversies only drive people apart.

  15. Pentastar responds:

    -Loren! I deeply feel with you regarding this heavy issue. I hurt when I read about people attacking others because of race, looks, sexuality etc.

    Unfortunately it seems that these narrow minded (and often poorly educated) people get a lot more attention than good people. Homophobia and xenophobia are among the most horrible things I can think of.

    I have confronted a lot of these kinds of people and in 90% of the cases it’s really hard to have a serious discussion without an intelligent and sensible content. When I think about it I just wanna lock my door and throw away the key.

    However, there are some good news from us in Sweden. The Swedish church has as the first church in the world accepted homosexual marriages.
    Now I have two heavy unarguable things that make me happy that I was born in the country of IKEA. Those are:

    A: We have not been in a war for almost two hundred years.

    B: homosexual couples can have a fully valid wedding in the church.

    Minus for the lack of bigfoots here.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this.

  16. size 13 responds:

    If you call me a name, does that make me a victim? It just shows what you’re thinking and pretty much what you are.

    Some like to play the victim and some of us can take a crass shot for crass humor’s sake. Nowadays I think we could all use a little thicker skin.

    Lighten up and fire back.

    Just my little 2 & 1/3 cents.

  17. Loren Coleman responds:

    It appears some people who are leaving comments have made it through about two or three paragraphs of this blog, and then have decided to post a comment.

    We do not live in a vacuum in this world. Many different issues impact on cryptozoology, and I’m sorry people feel compelled to try to exclude the political or cultural topics which certainly need to be discussed. To take advantage of evidence and events occurring within cryptozoology, and skeptically review them, we need to be clear on the context in which they exist and are being presented.

    Hoaxes attempted and the exclusion of cryptocommunity members because of the use of racism or homophobia are best to identify and not ignore.

    Everything about cryptozoology is not just cheery stories, funny pictures, new discoveries, and comic books. Some of it is about hard stuff to read.

    Are some commenting here saying you can’t stomach criticism of how a very few fringe people within the field use cryptozoology to demean women and men, promote their racist agendas, and use cryptids to support their xenophobia?

  18. sasquatch responds:

    Phobo-phobia, that’s what I’m getting…If I should be percieved to have a phobia and just be joking around someday, I could lose my job even! I think folks need to lighten up considerably. No-one can take a joke anymore, whaz-up?

  19. btgoss responds:

    The number of people who are homosexual is thought to be less then 10% of the population. Taking the standard 50% male to female ratio, that would make 5% female homosexuals, i.e.: lesbians.

    Cryptophiles would make up a significantly smaller portion of the entire population. Perhaps around 0.1%, so we get a value that is so small a number is effectively nothing.

    So.

    Lesbian Cryptophiles do not exist, and we should not speak on this matter further.

  20. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    As one NPR commentator noted, Imus, and the others who have gotten away with or gotten in trouble for degrading racists/sexists comments in the past, are a product of their listeners.

    They can only get away with it as long as are not offended enough to change the dial. Only when advertisers worry about the impact causing a significant loss of listeners or a boycott of their products being large enough to counteract that pool of prospective customers do the much needed firings occur.

    Perhaps it is a positive sign of changing mores that these types of comments are beginning to lead to the firing of “shock jocks” (although personally I look for him to jump to satellite radio the way that Howard Stern has).

    Ethical cryptozoologists and crypto-fans should do the same and refuse to support those who support racists and sexists commentary.

    As for the chapter of “Sex and the Single Bigfoot”, I’ve always found the controversy over that odd. Especially considering that the overtly sexual aspects of bonobo culture, for instance, is a main area of interest in the study of those chimps.

  21. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    catvmex, et al.:
    I don’t think it is a matter of censorship, per se. (I don’t think any of us want any more peering into our personal lives, e-mails, artistic endeavors, etc.)
    It is a matter of the public saying, “you know, I don’t like this anymore, so I’m going to turn it off.”
    When that happens enough, the sponsors don’t make money, the show can’t afford to support itself, and it goes off the air.
    That isn’t censorship. It’s taking responsibility for the results of even small actions like which station you turn your radio dial too.
    Imus isn’t being “censored”. He isn’t being jailed or persecuted by the government for his ignorant speech. The listeners and the sponsors have simply said they don’t want to be associated with such ignorance anymore.

  22. fuzzy responds:

    “Cryptozoology” is the stated focus of this blog, and I guess that does include “Cryptozoologists’” collective idiosyncratic eccentricities, no matter how infantile, and their effect on the public perception of the subject, direct or indirect, intended or accidental.

    Every para-anything arena is distorted by internal and external ego- and hormone-driven conflicts, and after a lifetime of trying to climb above that muck, it is disappointing to still encounter energy vampires at every turn.

    We just need to learn to turn away from them.

    A mantra to remember: “Turn Away”

  23. btgoss responds:

    Shouldn’t the potential stigma and embarrassment from believing in things that others attribute to folk lore (at best) be enough to raise us above being concerned what other’s think? Aren’t we already demonstrating a thick enough skin to keep the faith, that nothing short of actual threats of violence should effect us?

    Yes these things happen, and may in very specific instances cross over into our science, but we should be smart enough to understand they cannot cause us real harm.

    Paying attention to people who thrive on these controversies is what gives them power. So as I implied in a previous post. It doesn’t happen, ignore it and move along.

    I am more insulted by some of the more recent hoaxes than anything a bunch of grandstanding idiots have to say.

  24. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    btgoss:

    But when racists or sexists comments serve to further detract from what we feel should be given a more serious look, and to denigrate the work of those researchers who are working to get the field taken more seriously, doesn’t it behoove the members of the community to react?

  25. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Choosing to boycott or turn off the program of someone with whom you do not agree is NOT the same as censorship. It is one of the purest forms of democracy.
    No one is threatening to send Imus to jail for what is, clearly, racially based rhetoric (when was the last time you heard someone call a blonde nappy-headed?). This isn’t Germany where the just as wrong-minded, in my opinion, neo-nazis can actually claim they are being censored because their unpopular rhetoric is punishable by jail time.
    This is the American people and the sponsors speaking out about what is and is not going to be considered acceptable in “polite society”, or even on the margins of polite society.

  26. Bob K. responds:

    Fine, Jeremy-as long as it applies to ALL people across the board, EQUALLY. That means if I am black, and I call New York City “Hymietown”-repeadedly as he did-that means I can no longer be taken seriously as a major “civil rights leader”. That means when an absolute, unrepentent white and Jew hating bigot like Al Sharpton commits makes hateful and destructive racist comments, he does not become a respected democratic party presidential candidate who can castigate others about their supposedly racist comments. That means young black hip-hop artists and comedians are held to the same standard of accountablity as are white shock jocks. NO-DOUBLE-STANDARD, period. Any fair minded person will tell you that we are light years away from being at such a place. Some groups of people are presently exempt from any and all criticism, while it is open season on others. And until this situation is rectified, the LAST thing I’m going to do is join the “lets to pile on Imus” bunch just because its been made to be the socially and politically correct thing to do by the liberal intellligentsia.

  27. Loren Coleman responds:

    I most appreciate those comments that attempt to discuss cryptozoology, cryptozoologists, and the dimensions of this issue as it impacts how we review and reorder our field.

    Thank you.

    BTW, are any female Bigfooters reading these exchanges and having reactions?

  28. Jerome Clark responds:

    Loren, you’ve written an excellent piece.

    It’s my experience that many anomalists tend to live in their own little worlds, with little interest in, knowledge of, or concern about the larger one we share with our non-anomalist fellow humans — in other words, the vast majority of human beings. Yet anomalists do live in that larger world, and it affects their perceptions and attitudes in ways of which they are often unaware.

    Here and elsewhere you’ve done a fine job of educating your — our — colleagues. It’s not, sigh, “political correctness,” a phrase that once had actual meaning but is now just a tired wheeze expelled when somebody doesn’t want to hear about a subject that may make him or her uncomfortable. Of course, there’s a reason such subjects may discomfort people, and that’s perhaps all the more reason they need to be addressed. What you’re addressing is more like a moral imperative all of us, anomalists and ordinary folk alike, and that’s to be decent people.

  29. Bob K. responds:

    Yes, Jerome-to be decent people. I believe that if enough people adopted the moral imperative to “Love Thy neighbor as Thyself”, it would go a long way toward achieving that goal. As to how that might apply here? Well-I would pose this to the individual who impugned a female bigfoot researchers sexuality-suppose YOUR daughter was involved in Bigfoot research, and had close contacts with other female researchers-would you like some slob calling HER a lesbian? I thought not. Then you shouldnt slander other peoples daughters that way. Sounds simple enough, isnt it? Well, it IS. And as simple as is, thats how important and profound it is. Common kindness and consideration really doesnt cost much, yet pays big dividends.

  30. Regan Lee responds:

    Wow, Loren, great post. And, thank you! I agree with all your points, but I’ll just comment on the issue of researchers. Whether it’s UFO research or Bigfoot, or any of the anomalous areas, it seems that much of it gets littered by the insults (often which don’t even make sense) and sure, yes, we all should get a “thick skin,” and “not play a victim,” etc. But you know what? After awhile, it stinks. After awhile, it’s enough already. After awhile, by allowing it to continue without response is a sort of approval — particularly when it is sexist, racist, classist, – as in the case you pointed out regarding the use of the word ‘digger’ and Native Americans. (As someone who’s worked in Indian education, and is part Cherokee and Lenape, I do find things like that offensive.)

    Regarding the whole sexual thing: it’s just too stupid, but after awhile, you gotta say something. As I said over on my blog, most female researchers and writers know it’s a given, ignore it, and move on. We don’t often discuss it. But every now and then. . . you’re just not in the damn mood for that stuff.

    Anyway, Loren, great piece, and thank you for writing it.
    R. Lee

  31. Regan Lee responds:

    Loren, are the comments moderated? I had posted but didn’t see mine.

    Thanks,
    R. Lee

  32. Loren Coleman responds:

    R. Lee – This is the first comment that I’ve seen pop up here by you, so no, your comments have not been moderated. It seems they have become lost in cyberspace.

    Short of death threats, all comments have been posted, for if people want to show their continued racism, sexism, and such, those usually moderated remarks merely reinforce some points in this blog.

    I have appreciated the level-headed comments left by a majority of people here, and would enjoy seeing what you, Ms. Lee, have to say.

    For example, it is good to see my old friend, Jerry Clark, who rarely leaves comments on blogs, take the time to record his thoughts here.

  33. fuzzy responds:

    Powerful stuff here – one would hope that this emotional commentary reaches all the right people, effecting some needed changes, but alas…

    But wait, there’s more! What if we were to email Links to this Post to people and organizations we think need exposure to this point of view, perhaps we could…

    Maybe not.

  34. Rillo777 responds:

    The comments here have certainly been interesting. As far as the cryptozoologists who make such disrespectful comments–it shows more about their world view than it does their interest in cryptids. They simply are coming from the the some place they do when their discussing politics or religion. So what do we do? I agree there is a time to ignore them, but there is also a time to stand up to their derogatory remarks. The question is how? An on-going flinging of accusations back and forth does not serve the hunt for cryptids. It detracts from the research and wastes valuable time. I think maybe a better strategy is to critically examine their research. Not resort to name-calling or even spending much time on defending against their allegations, but show that their “research” has a hidden agenda, if that’s the case. Again though, it is questionable how much time someone would want to take from their research to indulge in this.

  35. Regan Lee responds:

    I admit I learned the hard way; I used to engage in all kinds of “right back at yous” and the like. (I’m not proud of it, just the way it is.) Got us nowhere. That’s one of the many reasons I use my real name now; I’m responsible for what I say, and to whom. (not that I wasn’t before, but for some reason, it’s easier to get sucked into non-productive nonsense behind a screen name, I think.) Anyway, I agree that sticking to the research — which for myself, includes the personal experiences — and ignore the rest. Which I do for the most part. Every now and then though, I think it’s valid to say “Hey! Knock it off, I don’t appreciate that.” We’re human, we can.

    Particularly when it comes to racist, classist or sexist crap; hold the person accountable. There’s a civil way to do it, but I think it’s neccessary and appropriate to do so.

  36. Spoon Nose responds:

    As someone who has been in the bigfoot field for a long time…I just haven’t seen a whole lot of racism. OK, so I once heard someone refer to an African-American bigfooter (yep, him) referred to as “the colored guy”, but that’s about it. The term was not used with any sense of malice behind it. The guy who said it is a likeable guy, he just didn’t know any better. In my profession I hear a certain racial pejorative about my particular hypen group all the time by people who just don’t grasp how offensive the term is. Some people are not bad people, but–not to be patronizing–there’s only so much you can expect from them.

    People who are open to the reality of Bigfoot being real are, in my opinion, more likely to be tolerant of others. Except the pro-kill folks. Just kidding. Not.

  37. Kathy Strain responds:

    I have several comments.

    As a female bigfoot researcher (who is also part native), I have never ever been mistreated by fellow researchers due to my gender. I have been questioned, challenged, fought with, slapped around, etc., but it certainly had nothing to do with being a woman.

    I have indeed seen some issues related to ethic background (digger indian being one) but I have chalked that up more to a lack of knowledge than to racism.

    In fact, I have seen more bias against my college degrees (and being a professional anthropologist) than anything else (same issue that I have seen about comment on Meldrum and Krantz…damn Ph.D.’s!!!).

    And, if we were going to be honest here (just not politically correct) I take offense to Lisa Shiels, Linda Martin, and Regan Lee’s blogs that besides themselves and Autumn Williams, they are the only female bigfoot researchers they know. For crying out loud, what rock have you been living under??? If you don’t know who Bobbie Short, Diane Stocking, me, and a whole host of other women are, then I don’t know what else to say. Your world is as big as you want it to be…as well as your experiences.

  38. Regan Lee responds:

    Kathy, like many of us, we are always learning. I have never said that the names you listed were the only female researchers — they are the only ones I know of at this time. I am always finding out more, and when I do, I list them (as soon as I can get to it) on my blog.

    I’ve been propelled by a variety of events into Bigfoot study, and so, no, I don’t know everything and in fact, know very little. I’ve never said otherwise. (For the record, I do know of Bobbie Short, as well as others.)

    However, my personal interest isn’t so much in field researchers — male or female — but those that take seriously the “high strangeness” elements within Bigfoot encounters. (That includes men too, by the way.)

    Forgive me if I haven’t yet heard of you, but as I say, I am new to this area of Forteana; the main focus of my studies has been UFOs and Fortean studies in general.

    I want to make it clear that I don’t believe all men are sexist, all women are purer than the driven snow, that there are only a few female Bigfoot researchers, or that I know everything. I’ve never said otherwise, and have never meant to give that impression.

  39. LAShiel responds:

    This was an excellent post by Mr. Coleman, and has obviously opened up a can of emotional worms here. I’ve already said my piece about sexism over on my blog. But I had to comment on Ms. Strain’s statement that I think Regan Lee, Autumn Williams, and myself are the only female Bigfoot researchers.

    I never said such a thing, nor do I believe it. I listed a few names of the most prominent women researchers I could think of at the moment I wrote the piece. If you read my blog post carefully, you will realize that I was discussing publicly visible researchers whom the the average person might know about–i.e. women who have appeared on TV documentaries, written articles or books, or similar things.

    The cold, hard fact is that women are not publicly visible in this field of research. I have high hopes that this will change in the near future.

    And yes, I do know of Bobbi Short and Ms. Strain. I would hope that, rather than attacking one other, we women could support each other. My message about sexism is one of empowerment, not victimhood.

    Sincerely,
    Lisa A. Shiel
    Michigan Upper Peninsula Bigfoot Organization
    Bigfoot Quest blog

  40. Kathy Strain responds:

    Hello Lisa and Regan:

    Maybe I misunderstood, but statements such as this from Lisa’s blog: “More women are getting involved in Bigfoot research, though their efforts go mostly ignored—save for the work of Autumn Williams, who has appeared on the series “SciFi Investigates” and also had her own series for awhile” and from Regan’s “As Shiel points out, there are very few women in Bigfoot research. There’s herself, and Autumn Williams, and that’s about it” certainly give the impression that no other women are doing bigfoot research and getting credit for it. I understand that wasn’t your intent, but that is how it came across.

    As for Lisa’s statement above of “The cold, hard fact is that women are not publicly visible in this field of research,” I again have to beg to differ. There are a LOT of women doing LOTS of visible work and I could list them if you would like to see the accomplishments.

    I too am all for supporting fellow researchers, but not because they are of a certain gender. I’ll support any researchers that is doing good scientific research….regardless of race, gender, or anything else. No one should expect any less.

  41. LAShiel responds:

    Kathy,

    You are, of course, free to disagree about anything I say. And if you would like to list some of the women researchers you know, I would love to read about them.

    Sincerely,
    Lisa A. Shiel
    Michigan Upper Peninsula Bigfoot Organization
    Bigfoot Quest blog

  42. Kathy Strain responds:

    Hey Lisa!

    A great place to start would be Melissa Hovey’s blog that has a nice section on women researchers. Melissa and Teresa Hall are starting a new blog radio show called “Let’s Talk Bigfoot” that will additionally feature women researchers. Several organizations have a very strong representation of women, including the Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers (which I am the chair and three other women are on the Board); the TBRC (a woman is on the board and I am on their Advisory Board); the Michigan Bigfoot group was co-founded by a woman; and the Ontario Sasquatch group was also co-founded by Pat Barker.

  43. Regan Lee responds:

    One of the good things that’s come of this is my exposure to more female BF researchers, like Kathy Strain and Melissa Hovey, for example.

    As I say, I’m mainly interested in the “high strangeness” aspects of BF encounters — from both male and female researchers. As we all know, not many of either gender want to go there much!

    (And Kathy, I was just over at the Alliance site, after reading your post. I’ll be going back there to explore further.)



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