…this year only about 18% of TAM registrants so far are women, a significant and alarming decrease, and judging from dozens of emails we have received from women on our lists, this may be due to the messaging that some women receive from various quarters that going to TAM or other similar conferences means they will be accosted or harassed…I think this misinformation results from irresponsible messaging coming from a small number of prominent and well-meaning women skeptics who, in trying to help correct real problems of sexism in skepticism, actually and rather clumsily themselves help create a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe, and I find that unfortunate.
Very true. I’ve noticed it myself. A woman says something – “don’t call me a cunt,” perhaps; “guys, don’t do that,” perhaps; “don’t shout at me on the street for not smiling,” perhaps. The possibilities are endless. So a woman says something like that, and by saying it, she helps create a climate where women — who otherwise wouldn’t — end up feeling unwelcome and unsafe, because of the torrent of raving bile that erupts all over her when she says one of those things.
And yet – and yet, DJ seems to be blaming the women who say things rather than the people who respond with torrents of raving bile.
I find that unfortunate.
Rebecca: Off the top of my head, your quote in USA Today might suggest that the freethought or skeptics movements are unsafe for women. This is from the article:
“I thought it was a safe space,” Watson said of the freethought community. “The biggest lesson I have learned over the years is that it is not a safe space. . . ”
If we tell people that our events or our movements are not safe for women, some women are bound to believe that.
Yes, but then they will be believing what is true. Threats. Campaigns of vilification that have been sustained for almost a year now. Demeaning hostile contemptuous sexist language used throughout. That’s not a safe space.
Is DJ saying Rebecca shouldn’t say that? Is he saying she shouldn’t comment on the way she’s been treated?
If so, I find it unfortunate.