Shafer Gaston is a member of the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee and is married to Saratoga Springs County Supervisor Tara Gaston.
Mr. Gaston maintains a Facebook page. On May third in a thread regarding announced Republican candidate for Commissioner of Public Safety Robin Dalton, someone named Abe Viveros posted a comment in which he referred to her as “That c..t” .
Normally, as the readers of this blog know, I would have put up a screen shot documenting this but in this case I prefer not to. If anyone wants to confirm my accuracy they can visit Mr. Gaston’s Facebook page. The thread was on May 3rd beginning at 9:16 PM.
For those unfamiliar with Facebook, Mr. Gaston controls what goes up on his page and can remove any comments at his discretion.
In courtesy to Mr. Gaston, I emailed him giving him an opportunity to reconsider allowing this remark on his “page.”
He responded by expressing surprise that I was concerned because he could not understand why I would expect him to “prevent someone from saying what they want on a public Facebook page.” He went on to defend Mr. Viveros’ right to say anything he wanted “…as are you and all the other conservatives that come over to whine about being ‘bullied’ when they are being quoted.”
For all my criticisms of Mr. Gaston, I find it hard to believe that there is not some limit to his tolerance for what he allows to appear on his page. For example, I do not think that he would allow someone to publish a comment on his page that referred to Kendall Hicks, who is the Democratic candidate for Commissioner of Public Safety and who is black, using the “N” word.
I looked up the definition of mysogyny using Google and found the following:
“dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.”
It is regrettable that Mr. Gaston does not seem to understand that what he allows on his Facebook page contributes to the debasing of women which is all too common in our society.
To: Shafer Gaston
Date: May 5
Subject: Crude Epithet
On your Facebook page on Friday (May 3) night you allowed someone on your page to refer to Robin Dalton using the C word. People took you to task for allowing this kind of truly odious comment. In the thread you acknowledged the comment and rather than take it down you offered the following response:
“All I have done is posted the words that someone else said, and there are now a tone of people coming out of the woodwork to tell me to be more civil. Maybe I am in fact not cut out for this city.”
As of tonight (Sunday, May. 5th) the comment is still up there.
As the moderator, you control what appears on your page. Can you offer some kind of explanation for why you have allowed this?
To: John Kaufmann
Date: May 5
Subject: Re Crude Epithet
I am uncertain why I am supposed to prevent someone from saying what they want on a public facebook post. Mr. Viveros is free to write what he wants, as are you and all the other conservatives that come over to whine about being ‘bullied’ when they are being quoted. Apparently, someone has somehow bullied a fifteen year old girl as well, and I am somehow a party to that. The Fox News-style theatrics are truly over the top.
I will add you to the growing tally of people who are upset that Robin Dalton said something publicly and I noticed it.
I look forward to seeing you misquote me in your blog.
14 thoughts on “Shafer Gaston and the Issue of Misogyny”
Profane and vulgar language often reveals either a weak argument or a weak mind. Consenting to its use on a public Facebook site especially when it targets another individual only adds to the complicity by those who lack the basic decorum and language to provide a dialogue that is respectful to the reader, the subject of the missive and – themselves.
Stay the course John.
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Thank you, John, for bringing this to our attention. Shafer Gaston’s Facebook demeanor is distressing. I would think he’d want to focus on issues rather than supporting someone using their right to free speech for the purpose of debase a female candidate. I would think he’d be pretty upset if people spoke of his wife that way. Perhaps he doesn’t recognize that personal attacks such as his mischaracterization of you as a conservative (really?), a whiner, and a Fox News flunky, is actually a logical fallacy (ad hominem, to be exact). While most logical fallacies do nothing to promote discussion or increase knowledge, the ad hominem fallacy (or personal attack) is the use of aggression to intimidate one’s opponent into silence. Not a Democratic aim, to my mind. Certainly not progressive. It’s downright regressive. And of course, free speech is only free to those delivering the insults. To those receiving the insults, it is quite costly.
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Perfectly stated, laledavidson
Add Facebook to the growing list of things Shafer doesn’t understand.
Facebook pages aren’t public property, like a town square, they are private. The owner of the Facebook page is responsible for its content and also responsible that the content posted and otherwise comply with the sites rules and regulations.
Facebook is public only in the sense that the public can view the content, IF, the user/owner wants them too.
It’s clear that by leaving the vile term up on his page, Shafer wanted it seen by both Mrs. Dalton and the public at large.
Shame on him
Also, I’m pretty sure it’s against Facebook rules. I think you can go on the site and flag the comment to alert them.
Where is our Supervisor, Tara Gaston on this? She presents herself as a feminist but has been silent on the misogynist message her husband proudly leaves up on his Facebook page.
As I recall Shafer Gaston and his city manager buddies criticized the commission form of government saying it kept women from running for office and cited that there had never been a female Commissioner of Public Safety. So now we have a female running for this position and what happens ? She gets called the “c” word on the site of a so-called progressive guy no less and none of those people rise to her defense. Ann Bullock—where are you? Minita Sanghvi—where are you? And Beth Wurtman…and Barbara Thomas…and Laura Chodas. Not to mention Bob Turner and all the guys who profess to be feminists who sat on that charter commission. They don’t have to support Robin Dalton for Commissioner of Public Safety but they should at least be insisting that she be treated respectfully. Where are they? More hypocrisy.
Approving a post suggesting the insult people would reach for regarding SG’s wife is “lesbian,” and that calling someone is a lesbian is an insult.
On a blog post about how someone should moderate content better because approving dissemination of derogatory language about women is bad.
You fake Dems and your total lack of self awareness XD
You are right. I am taking it down.
I allowed a comment to appear on my blog. No_More_Fake_Dems took me to task for posting it. I.deleted the offending comment but for technical reasons his comment and my response were no longer visible so I am re-entering them here.
Approving a post suggesting the insult people would reach for regarding SG’s wife is “lesbian,” and that calling someone is a lesbian is an insult On a blog post about how someone should moderate content better because approving dissemination of derogatory language about women is bad.
You [JK: F word that I removed] fake Dems and your total lack of self awareness XD
You are right. I am taking it down.
“Ann Bullock—where are you? Minita Sanghvi—where are you? And Beth Wurtman…and Barbara Thomas …. Not to mention Bob Turner and all the guys who profess to be feminists who sat on that charter commission.” Well said.
How ironic, that so many of these individuals who profess progressive thinking have found themselves operating too familiarly like some of different stripes in our nation’s capital who too often, will obfuscate the truth in order to promote themselves and their variant partisan message. History will not be kind if they continue their disgruntled offensive that to date has demonstrated little more than questionable strategies and a discourse that at best, professes division.
So as yet another school year ends for some, does this experiential class exercise on the ‘science’ of politics for students who were given an opportunity to participate in a more tangible expression of their core studies, be left with little more than just a fleeting memory as they move beyond this city, worth the burden incurred by those left behind? At what price have the residents who have chosen to rattle their sabers and self-created chains for more than a decade paid – if only to realize solace amongst themselves and their aberration of the good fight?
If one truly believes in inclusivity, then I suggest bravely moving beyond the limits of prejudicial reactions be that of gender or politics (including those organizations that have that marched in exclusivity if only, in name only) in order to further those very principals that most all folks of all stripes share a high regard for.
It may also be time to stop to notice all the little things (and those big things) that make life in Saratoga Springs so worthwhile.
Kudos to you JK.
Thank you Jim, Lale, Rob; et alia.
But seriously folks?
What’s with this guy thinking he should let anything go on his (very accountable) community bulletin board: FACEBOOK?
Such childish behavior not fitting even for the brazen &.
This is ridiculous!
This is beyond ridicule. It is flat-out unacceptable behavior by all means.
Have these people NO SELF CONTROL??
Thank G-d this blog is MODERATED.
Where are the adults?
Whom are the adults?
Are there no respectful and mannered citizens left?
Especially those representative of “the trust” amongst the sheep?
For civility sake and that which societal order demands:
STOP THIS NONSENSE!
It serves no good end.
There are obviously no perceived negative consequences for their (his) reckless acts.
I like the way Shafer calls John a conservative! I guess words have no meaning any more.
I have noticed a theme among some of the local active “progressives” who are fairly recent arrivals to our fair city: they don’t bother to get to know the people that were already here when they arrived (only those that get to them first), relying instead on assumptions based on very imcomplete information and on biased arguments presented by hucksters such as the members of the Kane / Leidig / McTepsen axis. Its a shame, because many of these “progressives” have much more in common (in terms of world view and goals) with those they fight – like that terrible “conservative” John K – than with the local charlatans with whom they chose to afiliate.
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Love to see that in 2022, this is still up, years after the aforementioned facebook post isn’t even there anymore. Enjoying the rent-free space in the heads of all the political outcasts of Saratoga Springs. Consider getting jobs.