All Too Common


There’s this idea going around a (small and generally self-congratulatory) circle of people that in order to be “good skeptics” or “good freethinkers,” we must somehow doubt Rebecca Watson’s story about being propositioned in an elevator in the middle of the night at a conference after making it clear that this was not what she wanted. The idea that this would ever happen is somehow an extraordinary claim that requires signed, notarized affidavits or somesuch.

The problem with that line of argument is that there is nothing at all uncommon about guys who behave that way, as this report from this year’s World Fantasy Convention can attest.

I was very sad to show up to their quartet after they’d spent quite some time talking about rape culture. But when the obligatory offensive, too drunk guy came up to harass us – I kid you not, he presented himself to the five of us with “give a woman a compliment and she will sleep with you every time” or something equivalent – he was met first with silence, then polite suggestions he should go to bed and then, “you know, we don’t HAVE to put up with this, please leave” and finally Jonathan gently removed him from our group after Kirstyn nearly punched him in the head after very firmly telling him to leave because he was bothering us.

It was sort of fascinating to watch that he both thought he was deeply attractive (Deb and I were giggling about how even if we hadn’t had sex for 10 years we wouldn’t do it) and also that he had some right to continue standing in our group, harassing us, being offensive and ruining our otherwise enjoyable night. And when told that he actually wasn’t charming or appealing and that in fact he was bothering us, he got more stubborn and more determined that he would only leave on his own terms. Eventually Jonathan got him to move to the other side of the patio but he did yell out at us 15 minutes later “I’m still he-re.” Like it was some principle of his freedom and had no idea that he was more than quashing our own right to stand in our own space and not be harassed or that we even had the right to choose who *we* wanted to talk to. He had become the victim in his own mind. But eventually, Chris and Jonathan escorted him off the premises. It was both a very beautiful moment and also deeply sad because he left because two big guys showed him the door and not because five women had asked him politely, and then more bluntly, to leave us alone.

It wasn’t the first time that’s happened to me or to women around me. It wasn’t even the first time this week that’s happened to me. But it’s fascinating how some men behave that way, completely oblivious to the concept that women should be able to stand in their own group at a party and not be forced into being propositioned for sex or be forced to have to talk to men they don’t want to and that they also have the right to be able to tell them not to bother them and that they should respect that, whether they want to or not. Like, the idea that our experience of the situation was unimportant, even irrelevant to him, and that he would have pressed the point, had he not had another male remove him from the situation. It wasn’t harmless in that he quite clearly told one of us that if she didn’t tell him her correct name, he was going to feel her breasts. And he moved in to kiss her without her permission or any encouragement or invitation. We were mostly in a situation where it could be taken care of. But honestly? What’s that guy like in a room alone with a woman? That’s what we were asking ourselves.

Not even the first time this week. Or do we need affidavits for that too?

Of course, that isn’t the skeptic movement. That’s one of them geek conventions, where them people with no social skills hang out, right?

No, actually. Those people with no social skills are us, the movement that started screaming that Rebecca was ruining skepticism and atheism by saying, “Guys, don’t do that.” The F&SF geeks have been quite supportive of Alisa. The Tweets and comments aimed at her are uniformly positive, which is a joy to see.

Pity our group can’t be as civilized as the folks who wander around wearing swords, isn’t it?

Comments

  1. Michael Fisher says

    I don’t have doubts for the reasons that you gave
    I doubt Rebecca Watson’s story because it is Rebecca Watson who is telling the story & I do not trust her

    I agree with everything else you have written about the behaviour of men

  2. julian says

    I doubt Rebecca Watson’s story because it is Rebecca Watson who is telling the story & I do not trust her

    And that seems reasonable to you?

  3. julian says

    But honestly? What’s that guy like in a room alone with a woman? That’s what we were asking ourselves.

    I’m sure this just means these women are engaged in anti-male thinking that assumes all men are rapists and that these women embraced an atmosphere of fear that cripples them and makes them unable to care for themselves./MRA

  4. Michael Fisher says

    Julian:

    And that seems reasonable to you?

    Give me a bit more to work on & I will reply best I can. My purpose in posting comment #2 was to point out that there are people who doubt her story, but agree with her message. I didn’t give my reasons for not trusting her because that leads away from my point.

  5. says

    Michael:

    My purpose in posting comment #2 was to point out that there are people who doubt her story, but agree with her message. I didn’t give my reasons for not trusting her because that leads away from my point.

    I don’t understand this line of reasoning. I really don’t.

    Watson mentioned it in a casual, offhand manner. She didn’t make a big deal out of it. If she was going to lie, why make up something that’s all-too-commonplace for many women to go through, and why give it so little air time? That makes zero sense.

    What do you propose she had to gain from doing something like that?

  6. says

    Michael, I believe what Julian is saying is that your doubt of Watson’s story is unreasonable. I happen to agree. There’s nothing particularly out of the ordinary about her story to suggest that it’s wrong. It would take a serious level of distaste for a person for me to doubt a mundane story. For instance, I doubt most of what Rush Limbaugh has to say, but if he says, for instance, that he was headed to the store to pick up some milk, I wouldn’t demand to see the receipt, the milk, cross-reference with the video cameras in the store, investigate the shipping serial on the milk container to track it back to the manufacturer’s batch, and confirm with them that this shipment of milk actually exists.

  7. scenario says

    I don’t understand why we need to be skeptical. The incident with Rebecca is a common situation that any woman could face. Unless there is a reason to doubt it, why should you? Even if the story was made up, what difference does it make? The situation is very common, and if she didn’t experience it at that time, I’m sure something like it has happened to her in the past.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Ordinary claims require ordinary proof. This is such a common situation that her word is enough proof for me.

    How any person could defend the drunk guy is beyond me. The initial encounter is stupid and rude, but keeping it up shows his contempt for women. I’m not sure what the appropriate reaction to this would be, if I were there. Condemnation, of course. Threatening to touch one of the women is assault, so calling the police would be appropriate. Throwing him out would be appropriate. You probably wouldn’t get through to him but positive and public action to stop this kind of behavior might make third parties who see it realize that it is totally wrong.

  8. RowanVT says

    @#2

    You don’t know me. You have no reason to trust me. So if I tell you I was stalked, are you going to say I’m lying? If I tell you that I had an “alone at night in an elevator with a creepy guy” moment, where the guy turned to me and asked “This the dorm where the hos at?” you are not going to believe me? Or how about the drunk Irish guys climbing up to the balcony outside the rooms of the inn I and a bunch of other highschool girls were staying at to invite us all out to the pubs? How about that story?

    Because clearly if you can’t trust me, no situations like these could occur?

    Every one of those stories is true.

    But you’re not going to believe me. Your reasoning for not believing Rebecca is stupidly flawed. You don’t *want* to believe it’s true simply because you don’t like her.

  9. julian says

    Michael, I believe what Julian is saying is that your doubt of Watson’s story is unreasonable.

    Not so much doubting the story as doubting the story because you doubt the person. It reads to much like ‘I don’t like x therefore what x says automatically goes into the rubbish pile.’ (which I get isn’t what was said.)

    For me, the only times it becomes reasonable to be this suspicious of someone’s entirely mundane experience is when they have a long established history of making up similar stories (which I don’t see in Ms. Watson’s case). And even then it seems a stretch to dismiss them without reason to believe that particular story is gibberish.

    The event is commonplace. Accepting it happened shouldn’t require a paper published in Nature regardless of who’s relating it.

    But honestly busting out the CSI kit over getting hit on on an elevator seems ridiculous. Do the same for any story (even from people you trust) and you’re going to sow an equal amount of doubt.

  10. Kiwi Sauce says

    I don’t know whether the worst of it is (response type 1) disbelieving Rebecca or (response type 2) the guy had more rights than Rebecca. :(

  11. says

    I doubt Rebecca Watson’s story because it is Rebecca Watson who is telling the story & I do not trust her

    Ironically, Michael Fisher’s saying the above has caused me to move him from the category of “people I’ve never heard of” to the category “sources unlikely to be reliable.”

  12. julian says

    I doubt Rebecca Watson’s story because it is Rebecca Watson who is telling the story & I do not trust her

    Another thing about this attitude I find problematic (in the context of sex and sexual harassment) is how easily it leads to dismissing sexual harassment.

    Determining the validity of something should not be dependent on your perception of who it is done to. What you think of them has absolutely no effect on what happened or what the ‘truth’ of the situation is. It does not become less likely or more likely depending on how attractive someone is or how amicable they are.

    Honesty is a unique case in that it determines how likely we should be to accept someone’s words against another person’s. But that does make assuming everything someone says is suspect in anyway reasonable.

  13. says

    Stephanie: Your examples were ones of harassment and attempted assaults, showing a stubborn, impolite man. That is NOT comparable to Watson’s situation. Elevator Guy ACCEPTED her no, without fuss,

    Until you can see the difference between the situations, you are not going to be able to ‘get’ what happened and what didn’t happen.

    1. Your various examples in this article: Beligerent, stubborn and threatening guy = valid fear leading to a valid admonition to “guys…don’t do that”.

    2. Watson’s elevator event: Polite offer, total acceptance of her “no”, absense of any harassment or warning sign behaviour = invalid admonition to all guys, since the fear was based on a “creepy” look, which is the perception that the man is ugly, but also comes with the ‘feeling’ (with no actual evidence) that the person is a danger/predatorial.

    Why do you keep comparing real harassment situations with the type Watson had?

    ____________

    Scenario: The only extraordinary claim here, is that EG threatened or harassed Watson. He was polite and accepted her decline of his offer with no fuss. Did he bug her to try and change her mind? No, we would have heard about that from Watson if that was the case. Did he get mad? No, we would have heard about that too. Basicly, all EG did was what we WANT guys to do, accept no without hassling us for saying no. So, the extraordinary claim in this whole thing is: that EG did something bad.

    And how do you know he was drunk? Had he been at the bar the same length of time Watson was, and so therefore must have been drunk? They were likely both drunk. You may think it tasteless to come onto a fellow drunk, but it happens all the time in bars. As long as consent is always respected, there’s really no harm to anyone.

    At least EG had the courtesy to ask her privately so that no one else would hear the offer. That would have been very awkward for both of them, had it been in front of everyone else. Especially if her answer was going to be yes, since everyone would know that she was about to have sex. And with the no answer, EG would have gotten teased and ribbed about his failure in the lady’s dept.

    Speaking of Watson’s drinking, was EG night right after the same day that Dawkins spoke? If so, then Watson was probably more drunk than everyone else, since she avoided his talk by going to the bar.

    I have nothing against drinking by the way, even frequent drinking, but it’s not something one can pretend isn’t a factor in things sometimes. Her lack of inhibitions may have let her get carried away in finding EG offensive to the point where she later wants no one to do what he did.

    This has resulted in at least 2 atheist/skeptic conventions to add a stupid rule of no one being allowed to talk about sex unless the other people invite them to. And TAM put theirs on the same page as REAL harassments and problem behaviour. Watson’s overboard tantrum has resulted in screwing things up for everyone else. They’re scared more women will throw tantrums if they don’t add new PC rules.

  14. Axxyaan says

    Personnaly I find whether Rebecca’s original story was truthful or not, to be completely unimportant. Rebecca came with a message and whether the story used to bring this message was true or something based on real experience but made up for the purpose of bringing her message is unimportant. It doesn’t change how people reacted to this message, which was simply a request to the men to behave better than the behaviour illustrated in the story.

    The outrage of those to the suggestion that men could behave better than illustrated in the story, doesn’t become less problematic if it should turn up Rebecca’s story was made up. Those reactions made bare an enormous attitude problem with a number of man with regards to woman. An attitude that is independend on the veracity of Rebecca’s story.

  15. debaser71 says

    There are two aspects to my post.

    1) I used to subscribe to rkwatson’s youtube but RW irked me three times. That got her onto my ‘do not take anything she says seriously’ list. Her first strike was “don’t be a dick”. Her second was her “don’t talk about circumcision when she is talking about women”. And three, when RW practically called for a boycott of Richard Dawkins.

    2) What irks me about some feminists who are also self proclaimed skeptics is how they generally represent the stuff on finiallyfeminism101 as absolute truth; dogma. And if anyone tries to challenge their dogma, well they get cursed at, insulted, threatened, banned, and excommunicated from that site. This is not freethought.

    I will not discuss this here any further. If you want to, find me at feministcritics.

  16. julian says

    debaser77, I honestly doubt your input will be missed but here’s one point I just can’t let go

    Her second was her “don’t talk about circumcision when she is talking about women”.

    Calling for people to stop off topic discussions on a very sensitive and important topic is wrong how?

  17. julian says

    I have nothing against drinking by the way, even frequent drinking, but it’s not something one can pretend isn’t a factor in things sometimes.

    What things and what sometimes?

    Her lack of inhibitions may have let her get carried away in finding EG offensive to the point where she later wants no one to do what he did.



    How often do you drink, Scented Nectar?

  18. says

    I doubt Rebecca Watson’s story because it is Rebecca Watson who is telling the story & I do not trust her

    1) Did you mistrust RW before the incident that must not be named, or was it that story that moved her into the “totally untrustworthy”?

    2) What in her story is so extraordinary that you think it values extraordinary skepticism and isn’t a perfectly ordinary story, experienced around the globe every day?

    Scented Nectar

    Scenario: The only extraordinary claim here, is that EG threatened or harassed Watson.

    So, who, apart from you and your buddies, made that claim?

    He was polite and accepted her decline of his offer with no fuss.

    Only, of course, that he wasn’t, since he ignored her clearly voiced wish to go to bed now, i.e. not spend any more time doing anything else but sleeping.
    Tell me, if you had just finished telling everybody that you’re a tee-totaler, would you consider me polite for offering you a beer?

    At least EG had the courtesy to ask her privately so that no one else would hear the offer. That would have been very awkward for both of them, had it been in front of everyone else.

    So it was only very uncomfortable for her, yes, that makes total sense. Ignore if she might have been scared, as long as he hasn’t been humiliated.

    Especially if her answer was going to be yes, since everyone would know that she was about to have sex. And with the no answer, EG would have gotten teased and ribbed about his failure in the lady’s dept.

    What, wait, it was about sex after all? I thought you were all still claiming that he wanted coffee…

  19. says

    The only extraordinary claim here, is that EG threatened or harassed Watson.

    Watson never claimed that. Nor have any of us here. What we’ve claimed, however, is that EG’s tactics are straight out of a Pick Up Artist playbook and were predatory and creepy. Neither rises to the level of “threatening” or “harassing”, though certainly some people might find predatory pick-up tactics to be threatening.

    As Giliell just pointed out while I was typing this (subscribed via email you see!), you’ve shot holes in a number of pieces of contra-Watson argumentation by suggesting that a) others in the bar would hear the cold-proposition to know to tease EG about being shot down, b) the request for coffee was a request for sex, since there’s coffee at the bar.

  20. daenyx says

    Hey now. We sword-wearing skeptics resent the implication that our sword wearing is somehow indicative of a lake of civility.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

    ..wait, what? *cough* Sorry.

    (In all seriousness, great post. My fantasy convention experience anecdata align with this observation – the general attitude when a woman is harassed is ‘…Really, dude? This is why we can’t have nice things, like social acceptability’ rather than ‘WE’RE NOT SEXIST AND YOU HATE MEN FOR SAYING WE ARE.’)

  21. says

    My fantasy convention experience anecdata align with this observation – the general attitude when a woman is harassed is ‘…Really, dude? This is why we can’t have nice things, like social acceptability’ rather than ‘WE’RE NOT SEXIST AND YOU HATE MEN FOR SAYING WE ARE.’

    I’m in the Society for Creative Anachronism, and it’s much like the fantasy world – harassment is unacceptable and is dealt with quite swiftly.

    The SCA attracts a lot of computer geeks and history buffs. Somehow, even though quite a few of them are socially awkward, they have no problem getting to know women – and getting dates – without being abusive jerks.

  22. 24fps says

    I can’t help but be puzzled at how much Rebecca Watson’s story has had so much staying power. The tantrum-throwing seems to be on the side opposing her view more than from Rebecca – certainly the level of vitriol over her story has far exceeded what she and those who defend her have said.

    This is an uncomfortable truth: what EG did was harassment. Granted, it was relatively light harassment, but it was harassment all the same. It is aggressive in the same way a mean joke is aggressive – you can wiggle out of it by denying you meant anything by it. Why we accept either form of aggression as harmless in our culture is a mystery to me.

    Thereof also a big difference between asking someone if they’d like to grab a coffee sometime and asking someone back to your room at four in the morning. Personally, I wouldn’t find the former threatening, but I would find it inappropriate. And I think that is more to the point. Men were asked to behave appropriately. They responded as if they’d been asked to wear vise-grip shackles on their testes.

    I am in my mid-forties and have worked in a male-dominated field for a long time. I’ve been in situations similar to Rebecca’s and in the post above many many times. You learn to deal with them but you still have to wonder why it’s okay that women are still expected to be nice about or accommodate harassment, whether it’s at threat level or mere irritation level. I can’t imagine men doing the same.

  23. says

    I want to draw the attention to another aspect of the story, which is that of the two good guys who finally kicked the creep out.
    By turning the decent guys into protectors, both men and women are reinforced in patriarchal roles, the helpless princess and the white knight.
    I experienced this when I went to college in Ireland, when we were told to never walk home alone in the dark, which meant that in those cases one of the guys would walk us home.
    Which was nice of them.
    They were the good guys.
    Not only were they not raping us, they also made sure nobody else did!
    So, in the light of rape culture, I was reduced from a capable adult into a girl who needed to be protected and taken care of and they were elevated from equals to protectors.

  24. Pteryxx says

    I want to draw the attention to another aspect of the story, which is that of the two good guys who finally kicked the creep out.
    By turning the decent guys into protectors, both men and women are reinforced in patriarchal roles, the helpless princess and the white knight.

    *nod* It’s reinforced when the creepy guys will listen to another man telling them to knock it off, when they won’t acknowledge women saying the same. Which just sets up another catch-22 by giving disproportionate credibility to men.

    I take evening classes and I’ve often had women ask me to walk them to their cars. A few times, they’ve asked after some fellow has publicly offered (who might be an actual well-meaning nice guy, or a Nice Guy.) Almost always, a woman who asks me for escort will do so when we’re the last ones left in the room. Why? The one classmate I asked, said it’s so she doesn’t get Nice Guys competing to follow her around whether she wants them or not. So even when a woman WANTS a companion for safety, it’s risky to ask for one. Gaaaah. Sometimes I’m glad to be a freak.

  25. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Julian #17

    Calling for people to stop off topic discussions on a very sensitive and important topic is wrong how?

    Because the off-topic discussion was about The Menz™ while the original topic was on mere women. Which is more important? The Menz™ obviously. Therefore MRAs like debaser should be able to highjack a discussion from some trivial, insignificant topic like women’s concerns and start discussing important, vital stuff concerning The Menz™.

  26. says

    1) Say genital mutilation is wrong, show examples of women having their clitorises removed outright
    2) MRAs show up claiming male circumcision is far more important, despite the fact that the analogous act for men would be removal of the frenulum
    3) Point out that male circumcision is also wrong, but off-topic and less wrong than the removal of the primary sexual sensation gland entirely
    4) MRAs cry censorship
    5) ????
    6) PROFIT!!

  27. scenario says

    To Scented Nectar, the drunk comment was regarding the second story, not the elevator story.

    There are levels in harassment. A guy cornering a woman he doesn’t know in an elevator late at night, politely asking her and accepting her no is pretty low on the harassment scale, but it is harassment. The guy at the convention who refused to take no for an answer is a lot higher on the list.

    My impression was that she related this story as an example of a fairly innocuous event that shows how woman and men can view the same situation differently.

    The people who went over the top in saying that the guy obviously hated women were wrong but so were the people who said it was nothing.

    You may agree or disagree with her view of the event but it is so common that there is no reason to doubt that it happened.

  28. cmv says

    How can people seriously question whether or not things happened in the manner laid out by Ms. Watson? I mean, really, how? What possible reason could she have to make it up? If she wanted to say “Don’t hit on women.”, why stage the event in an elevator?

    As far as the challenge goes, I think there are too many lines requiring stipulation; it could be knocked back to 2:

    1. Elevator Guy had never spoken to Rebecca before.
    2. Elevator Guy chose an otherwise empty elevator at 4AM as the place to break the ice by inviting her back to his room.

    Explain how that is “Zero Bad”.

    It is quite possible that this has been covered in that thread, but I’m finding it harder and harder to wade through the garbage that comes up on all of these threads.

  29. says

    cmv@32: by simply doing so, that’s how. These people don’t need an excuse to doubt the stories, they simply want to believe they’re false, so they’re checking the kerning. It’s the same “skepticism” evinced by people who desperately want something to be false, so they grasp at straws.

  30. cmv says

    @Jason: I know. It really is as simple as asserting that the story cannot be trusted, then looking for reasons to back up your assertion. That’s not skepticism, it’s denialism.
    I made the mistake of following your link to the photo, and that made my brain hurt. The arguments just don’t follow logic. It is just sad.
    I started reading some of the blogs in this movement just a little while before all this blew up, and I just … I’m saddened by the whole mess. Where at first I saw community, now I see a whole lot of ugly.

  31. says

    Oops. Yes. Switched from Chrome back to Firefox recently, FF7 started stripping the http:// out just like Chrome, only when you copy it in Chrome it puts the http:// back into what you copied to the clipboard. Firefox ain’t doing that. Whargarbl.

  32. dizzlski says

    My favourite part of the comments on this post has to be the poke by Michael Fisher.
    ‘I don’t trust her.’
    ‘Why not.’
    ‘I’ll run it by my people and get back to ya.’
    ‘What?’
    ‘Nevermind, it doesn’t really matter. I just don’t trust her, leave me alone.’
    It’s hilarious!

  33. says

    cmv, the challenge could have been simplified by breaking it down to just one part of the bad. However, the other bits are individual bads too, and they’re all things Rebecca has said that people trying for “zero bad” have left out.

  34. cmv says

    Stephanie, I read the other parts as being aggravating factors to the badness, and so fairly irrelevant. I notice that the assholes who tried to answer the challenge ended up having trouble stipulating to those, and thought that boiling it down to the barest of bare bones might expose the argument: approaching strangers while they are isolated in order to invite them back to your hotel room is creepy, and therefore bad.

  35. says

    I’ve been spending a long time trying to figure this ElevatorGate thing out.
    It seems as though some people can’t see what is wrong with propositioning people in elevators. I don’t remember ever commenting on this issue before- though it has become a staple on almost every single blog I follow. I’d like it if we could all just agree that there is something a little (or a lot) creepy about the whole thing, but sex seems to be standing in the way.

    How about this: You are a guy. You are getting into an elevator at 4 in the morning and another guy is sharing the elevator with you. He is about 5 inches taller than you, kind of mean looking, and has a visible tattoo on his neck. The guy turns to you shortly after the doors close and asks you if you could lend him $40 dollars. Do you think this situation is discomforting? A bit creepy, maybe? Why?
    Because he is intimidating?
    Because people shouldn’t ask for money if they don’t know you?

    The problem with the EG situation is either that some people think that a)they have some kind of privilege whereby they can ask for something that requires a prior trust level without earning it or b)that being larger and physically intimidating shouldn’t mean that people ought to notice the power dynamic when alone and isolated from help.
    Asking a stranger for a sum of money in an isolated place is creepy- why shouldn’t asking for sex?
    Being larger and intimidating is going to exacerbate an already uncomfortable situation.

    For crying out loud people, why are we still talking about this?

  36. cmv says

    @George – This is the analogy I was mulling over, too. I don’t think we even have to posit that the guy is mean looking, just that he has 5″ and 50lbs on you. Maybe with the tattoos.

  37. Charlie DX9 says

    “”I was very sad to show up to their quartet after they’d spent quite some time talking about rape culture. But when the obligatory offensive, too drunk guy came up to harass us – I kid you not, he presented himself to the five of us with “give a woman a compliment and she will sleep with you every time” or something equivalent – he was met first with silence, then polite suggestions he should go to bed and then, “you know, we don’t HAVE to put up with this, please leave” and finally Jonathan gently removed him from our group after Kirstyn nearly punched him in the head after very firmly telling him to leave because he was bothering us.””

    This is just incredibly irrelevant.

    Most intelligent people can see the flawed reasoning if they want to.

    EG didn’t make a pass at RW. Anybody with an ounce of intelligence can easily see that.

  38. says

    @cmv- Yeah, I tried to craft the analogy so that it was as parallel as possible to how I imagine most women feel around a strange man. The mean thing wasn’t necessary, maybe- but I like the tattoo part. I think it helps men understand that women make immediate judgement of strange men as possibly being a danger- and for a rational if not always empirically vindicated reason.

    I have met guys who are 6’7 and tattooed that are the nicest people you could hope to meet. I don’t immediately get nervous when I’m alone with someone like that, but if they asked- even cordially- for something that they could easily take by force in a place where they could easily take it- I think caution bells are going to go off.

    What gets me every time is that there are people who feel it is “zero bad” to invite someone to your hotel room at 4AM in a place where they are isolated from everyone- when you hardly know them and they don’t know you. Even if our culture doesn’t think that there is something wrong about that (and I think it does)- it ought to.

  39. Thylacine says

    The best thing to come out of Elevatorgate is that if anyone approaches me at any sceptic conference, I can ask them what they thought of it. If they say anything negative about Rebecca’s actions, or support the backlash against her in any way, I can instantly recognise them as a misogynistic asswipe I want nothing to do with.