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shhh…it’s supposed to be a secwet

As you may know, Rebecca Watson has been getting a lot of rather nasty flak tossed her way — the kind of over-the-top hatred I thought we were reserving for…oh, wait, no one. A couple of people are organizing a little surprise (which is why they asked me to post this on an obscure blog which Rebecca never bothers to read) affirmation for her. If you want to join in the recognition, write to oniongirl for suggestions. Quietly. Don’t let any Skepchicks know.

Anything is fine. A quick positive note; a postcard; she probably wouldn’t turn down a chest of pirate treasure. It’s the thought that counts.

It’s not really going to be a surprise, is it? Unless somebody does deliver the pirate treasure.

Comments

  1. syggyx says

    I don’t understand why PZ would support such irrational and hysterical person as Rebecca Watson revealed herself to be.

  2. syggyx says

    hysterical=irrational from fear, emotion, or an emotional shock, unable to control your behaviour or emotions because you are very upset, afraid, excited etc:

    That pretty much sums up Rebecca Watson and her idiotic reaction for which she now receives hate mail..

  3. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    It did not take long for a loathsome troll to show up.

    What RW said was hysterical? And she deserves all of the hate mail?

    You are not fit for human company.

    (Watch as this thread turns into yet an other thousand comment toxic sludgefest.)

  4. says

    I dashed this off straight away:

    Dear Rebecca,

    I am pleased that oniongirl has made this opportunity for us, the “silent majority”, to let you know how much we love, admire, and support you and all you do. The poo and venom that has been flung your way has been astonishing. Maybe the internet is an adult toy, and these tribulations show how much we, as a culture, are still growing up.

    You have done as much as anyone to encourage me, in my small way, to be an atheist and skeptic activist. I’m sure there are untold thousands of people, all around the world, who would enthusiastically say the same thing. Thank you.

  5. says

    Um, so I’m a little confused. I’m supposed to e-mail oniongirl with suggestions on affirmation for RW? I mean, would it be something like, “Doug says he thinks you’re swell”? Or “Doug thinks you deserve a nice trip to Honolulu”? I’m not asking for advice on what to suggest, mind you, I just don’t quite grasp what we as supporters and fans of RW are sending to that e-mail address.

  6. Gregory Greenwood says

    I vote for something cute to show our affection and respect. And since ‘cute’ naturally equals ‘tentacled’, perhaps we should get her a pet cephalopod? The pretty, dancing chromatophors of a squid would be a nice bonus.

    As for names, well, Cthulhu has to be a good start…

  7. Japheree says

    That pretty much sums up Rebecca Watson and her idiotic reaction for which she now receives hate mail..

    From what I have read from her reaction to that hate mail, I’d say it was anything but idiotic. I would say it is more a wholly sensible reaction to her blog being taken over by her perfectly reasonable reaction to ‘you know what’.

  8. F says

    Doug:

    I’m not asking for advice

    Guess who you won’t be sending a email, then. Problem solved.

  9. jaranath says

    I second Doug @ #11:

    What exactly am I writing oniongirl about? To make arrangements to send a package (I would like to do this, if practical)? To have my positive words included on a card?

  10. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    In b4 that guy shows up to complain about every post on Pharyngula being about Rebecca Watson! (Except this time it actually is, at least. Does that make is less funny or more funny?)

  11. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Any time you have a response all out of proportion to the stimulus, it is telling you much more about those reacting than about their target.

    Elevator guy makes a clumsy and creepy and inappropriate pass. RW calls him on it as well as pointing out the sort of atmosphere it creates when half of the skeptic/atheist community is forced to deal with such impositions.

    At the most, it ought to have generated a response of “I think you are wrong, and here’s why…” Instead of a reasoned discussion of issues of sex and gender and privelege, etc. we get vitriol so over the top as to be beyond belief.
    It has been my experience that people only exhibit such over-the-top reactions when they are scared…very scared… as in scared that they are about to lose their privelege.

    Compare the reaction to RW with the rethuglican reaction to Obama. RW’s protestation was hardly overwrought, and yet it has generated such hatred that I actually fear for her safety.

    And just so, a right-of-center Democrat has generated accusations of being a socialist, an angry black nationalist, even a noncitizen or a terrorist!

    It is my hope that ultimately, the bigots in both cases will look at the hatred and fear they have externalized–and either do something to heal it or die of shame.

  12. says

    Write to oniongirl with any questions — she’s in charge of everything, not me. Don’t leave comments here asking what to do, ’cause I don’t know either.

    If all you want to do is write a note saying ‘Yay, ‘becca!’ that’s fine — email it to oniongirl and she’ll put them together. If you want to do anything more ambitious, write to oniongirl and ask.

  13. Pteryxx says

    To clarify so oniongirl doesn’t get flooded: oniongirl is using that email to coordinate physical items, such as cards. This is for a surprise project supporting Rebecca. As far as I know, she’s not collecting online messages of support (I could be wrong though.)

    After all, I know absolutely nothing about any Sekrit Project and I’m totally not constructing anything involving paper and scalpels. Nope.

  14. Alverant says

    I listen to Watson on Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast. But I only know the basics of the scandal. I’m on her side with this and we owe her some thanks for what we did and showing us how our community can improve and be aware of our actions and how they can be interpreted.

  15. Brett says

    I can’t believe that people are still ragging on Rebecca Watson over that idiot making an unwise pass in the elevator. It was several months ago now! These assholes need to find a new obsession.

  16. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    These assholes need to find a new obsession.

    I fear that will only happen when they find a new target.

  17. Curt Nelson says

    It was not RW’s problem with the elevator guy that was at issue (or deserved to be), it was her reaction to RD’s post, which was nuts. Dawkins was insensitive and Watson was nuts.

  18. Ing says

    I fear that will only happen when they find a new target.

    Oooh ooh! Are they taking job applications for “lightning rod of hate”?

  19. Ing says

    It was not RW’s problem with the elevator guy that was at issue (or deserved to be), it was her reaction to RD’s post, which was nuts. Dawkins was insensitive and Watson was nuts.

    “Dawkins was wrong and I’m not going to personally support him because he was outrageously offensive and nasty out of no where, but he’s still a fine thinker and speaker for rationalism” is nuts?

    Funny how Dawkin’s problem is defined as a lapse (ie insensitive) while RW’s problem is inherently discrediting (She is nuts). Why is it that Dawkin’s was a matter of tone but RB has a mental issue?

  20. chigau (meh) says

    Ing

    Why is it that Dawkin’s was a matter of tone but RB has a mental issue?

    I like this question.
    I’m making popcorn.

  21. says

    Well, Curt, I was one of those people disappointed with RD’s reaction. I’m not a regular listener of RW’s podcasts, but I found her reaction entirely justified. I had been hoping that RD would apologise to RW during TAM but it didn’t happen.

    I still think RD should play an important role for all he has done for the movement, and I would probably still read his books and so on, but it saddens me that a prominent atheist has such a blind spot when it comes to sexism..

  22. Ing says

    Also what the hell is with the assholes who insist on saying “well yes *obviously wrong person* was wrong but *person wronged* is also a bitch/pussy/whiner/whatever”?

    It’s like the definition of minimizing.

  23. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    If you have questions, please email me–or just read #21 & #22. :)

    It’s not really going to be a surprise, is it? Unless somebody does deliver the pirate treasure.

    Yeah, it’s not really going to be a surprise–but exactly what’s in the pirate treasure will be a surprise. I hope. :)

  24. Curt Nelson says

    “Richard Dawkins believes I should be a good girl and just shut up about being sexually objectified because it doesn’t bother him. Thanks, wealthy old heterosexual white man! ”

    I think that (above) reaction is nuts. And she said she would also stop recommending his books. It’s a huge overreaction. Not rational. He thumped her with his finger and she clobbered him with a chair. They were both out of line to me, but her far more.

  25. Ing says

    I think that (above) reaction is nuts. And she said she would also stop recommending his books. It’s a huge overreaction. Not rational. He thumped her with his finger and she clobbered him with a chair. They were both out of line to me, but her far more.

    You’re insane.

  26. Ing says

    Richard Dawkins told her to shut up because “at least you wern’t raped (Oh THANK you)” and RW called him an old white guy.

    Ummmm….no seriously by your criteria you are nuts.

  27. Ing says

    LAnd she said she would also stop recommending his books. It’s a huge overreaction. Not rational

    I must also be insane since I stopped recommending Frank Miller due to his absurdly fucking racism.

  28. chigau (meh) says

    But just think of the power involved in not recommending RD’s books.
    The poor man will starve.

  29. Pteryxx says

    And I must be insane because I stopped recommending Orson Scott Card due to his raging homophobia.

  30. says

    “Richard Dawkins believes I should be a good girl and just shut up about being sexually objectified because it doesn’t bother him. Thanks, wealthy old heterosexual white man! ”

    I think that (above) reaction is nuts. And she said she would also stop recommending his books. It’s a huge overreaction. Not rational. He thumped her with his finger and she clobbered him with a chair. They were both out of line to me, but her far more.

    Whoa! You think that reaction is “nuts”? What adjective do you reserve for people who make death threats against people who draw cartoons of Mohammed, or don’t immediately swallow communion wafers?

  31. says

    I would probably still recommend his books, but sadly with the caveat that he has a sexist blind spot.

    Actually I think this is a complex issue. I once had a discussion about whether one should read Goethe considering the fact what a womaniser he was, and basically a sexist pig. So I do think maybe one has to take into account the period the people grew up in. RD is of a different generation than PZ or college-age people of today, and my expectations would be different based on that.

    Feel free to tell me this is wrong.

  32. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    Oh man, you mean if someone insults you, it’s totally irrational to then stop telling people how awesome they are?

    Wow! Think about that. You know, Marc Antony was TOTALLY overreacting and irrational when he went to battle with Brutus. I mean, Brutus is such a likable guy! He may have been insensitive with the whole stabbing Julius Caesar thing, but come on, that was one little incident. That’s no reason to brand the guy a traitor to Rome and withdraw all your support!

    Marc Anthony, man. Was he nuts or what? What’s he whining about, he isn’t a slave in the arena being eaten by tigers! So what if his friend got stabbed? He could be having his entrails nommed by a big cat!

  33. Pteryxx says

    Whoa! You think that reaction is “nuts”? What adjective do you reserve for people who make death threats against people who draw cartoons of Mohammed, or don’t immediately swallow communion wafers?

    Well, were those death threats made by real people, or just women?

  34. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Also what the hell is with the assholes who insist on saying “well yes *obviously wrong person* was wrong but *person wronged* is also a bitch/pussy/whiner/whatever”?

    It’s for balance. *nodding knowingly*

  35. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    @Ing #28: Applications are always being taken, but those with “lightning rods” need not apply.

  36. What a Maroon says

    I don’t know much about Rebecca Watson, but from what I’ve read she does seem to have a sense of humor. I don’t know if she’s ever actually hysterical(ly funny); I guess I’ll just have to take syggyx’s word.

    Anyway, if I thought RW was reading this, I’d just tell her to stay strong, keep up the great attitude, that she’s shown herself to be a better, more rational person than all the people throwing shit her way, that she’s clearly been in the right all along, etc., etc.

    But I guess she’ll never hear that from me….

  37. says

    @37 Curt Nelson

    “Richard Dawkins believes I should be a good girl and just shut up about being sexually objectified because it doesn’t bother him. Thanks, wealthy old heterosexual white man! ”

    I think that (above) reaction is nuts. And she said she would also stop recommending his books. It’s a huge overreaction. Not rational. He thumped her with his finger and she clobbered him with a chair. They were both out of line to me, but her far more.

    Yeah … how dare she speak to a man like that. A white man, and a professor non the less. Who does she think she is? An equal or something?

    Dawkins has a blind spot. And so, it appears, does a lot of skeptics. Last Friday at our local “Skeptics at the pub” one guy actually passed around his notebook asking to sign up under “Team Rebecca” or “Team Dawkins”. Dawkins won 6 to 5. As some of those 5 were women and one was me, it is quite obvious Curt represents a good number of people.

  38. David Marjanović, OM says

    It’s for balance. *nodding knowingly*

    “We’re unbalanced! That’s unfaaaaaaaaaaaair!!!”
    – Fox News helicopter pilot in The Simpsons while falling to his death or something. His passenger has just left.

  39. says

    People, people, please. She also called for a boycott of Dawkins’ books on feminism. (Which don’t exist.)

    What A Maroon @49: bear in mind the word itself is sexist. Thus why I called syggyx clueless. Why’s it sexist, you ask? Well, what’s the root word?

  40. says

    @43 coleslaw

    Whoa! You think that reaction is “nuts”? What adjective do you reserve for people who make death threats against people who draw cartoons of Mohammed, or don’t immediately swallow communion wafers?

    Coconuts?

    … they’re bigger …

  41. Evil atheist says

    ^[I can’t believe that people are still ragging on Rebecca Watson over that idiot making an unwise pass in the elevator. ]

    Well you guys are still ragging on those who disagreed with Watson so many months ago, pot, kettle.

  42. What a Maroon says

    What A Maroon @49: bear in mind the word itself is sexist. Thus why I called syggyx clueless. Why’s it sexist, you ask? Well, what’s the root word?

    Yes, I know the history of the word. I’m just playing off the double meaning of it to poke fun at the likes of syggyx. And I suspect that RW can be a very funny person.

  43. Julien Rousseau says

    I wonder if Richard talked about elevatorgate with his wife as she is the person most likely to both have some understanding of what Rebecca felt (being a woman herself) and to know how to explain it to him (being his wife for almost 20 years now).

  44. says

    Well you guys are still ragging on those who disagreed with Watson so many months ago, pot, kettle.

    @54: seriously? You think anyone would need to defend Watson from the people who have continued to rag on her if there was no contingent intent on carrying the I Hate Watson banner?

  45. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Well you guys are still ragging on those who disagreed with Watson so many months ago, pot, kettle.

    No, we’re not. We’re “ragging” on people who are still going on about it. The people who disagreed long ago but realized why they were wrong are just fine by me. The people who pop up in threads like this to reveal their idiocy after having months to come to their senses, not so much.

  46. Curt Nelson says

    I am sorry I used the word nuts to describe RW’s reaction to RD. I didn’t mean it as a clinical diagnosis. I should have said her response was irrational. To title a post on her blog “The Dawkins Delusion” and suggest that he can have nothing to say on the matter because he’s old, white, a man, and that he thinks it’s okay for her to be sexually objectified… It’s not literally true, is it? None of that can be supported, can it?

  47. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I should have said her response was irrational.

    But his was just “insensitive”?

    and that he thinks it’s okay for her to be sexually objectified… It’s not literally true, is it? None of that can be supported, can it?

    Well, that’s not a terrible paraphrase of what he said, actually. What’s the difference, really, between “okay” and “zero bad”?

  48. Ze Madmax says

    Evil Atheist @ #54

    Well you guys are still ragging on those who disagreed with Watson so many months ago, pot, kettle.

    Of course. Because those people who have sent death threats to RW only did it because teh evil wimmenz (and their gender-betraying lackeys!) started this whole ordeal! It’s not like there is one clear agent behind this issue! Everybody is at fault!

    Side note in hopes your head is not irrevocably up your ass: the outrage against RW stems from a system that hurts people. People like PZ are trying to shed light on the issue of structural sexism in order for more people to understand that it exists, and it’s a bad thing.

  49. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Yes, Curt. Please follow pelanum’s advice. Reading your posts, it’s kind of difficult to believe that you have actually ready both RD’s posts and RW’s response to them. You seem to reacting to caricatures of them.

  50. Rey Fox says

    To title a post on her blog “The Dawkins Delusion” and suggest that he can have nothing to say on the matter because he’s old, white, a man, and that he thinks it’s okay for her to be sexually objectified

    You’re still insane.

  51. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    he can have nothing to say on the matter because he’s old, white, a man,

    He can say anything he wants, as long as it starts with “I’m an old white guy who has no idea what it’s like to be a woman or minority, but…” or contains something to that effect.

  52. says

    @59 Curt Nelson

    To title a post on her blog “The Dawkins Delusion” and suggest that he can have nothing to say on the matter because he’s old, white, a man, and that he thinks it’s okay for her to be sexually objectified… It’s not literally true, is it? None of that can be supported, can it?

    Of course he can have an opinion about it. But that opinion has revealed a rather large blindspot.

  53. Shadowin says

    This is one issue that should go away. RW seems to think humans should be prudish animals akin to Vulcans, but what does it really matter? Many of us disagree with her reaction to one incident, but she’s still an important person in the atheist community. She has done a lot more than most of her objectors.

  54. Patrick says

    @20

    “At the most, it ought to have generated a response of “I think you are wrong, and here’s why…””

    This was an extraordinarily unpopular position/tactic with both “sides.” I know because it was very similar to what I was saying during the whole thing. I’m a bit leery of the whole business because I was on the verge of losing a friend IRL simply by having a point of disagreement with Ms. Watson’s original statement (and NOT objecting to the fact that she made it at all).

    The vitriol directed at Ms. Watson kind of renders the whole original source of discussion trivial by comparison. In fact I recently tweeted her a message of support. Though I disagree with elements of what she has said, what she said was well within the boundaries of good taste. A rough-and-tumble comment thread or blog is one thing, but cyber-stalking and harassment are quite another. It grieves me that any of my fellow males, or fellow humans, would behave in such a manner and think that they are providing a service to “skepticism” or “atheism” by doing so. I have a suspicion that *some* of Ms. Watson’s trouble is now caused by misogynist Internet communities attracted by the kerfluffle.

    @56

    This may not be as relevant as you think. My (very liberal, feminist, Smith-attending, atheist) girlfriend has a somewhat less charitable view of Ms. Watson in the wake of “Elevatorgate” than I do.

  55. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    RW seems to think humans should be prudish animals akin to Vulcans,

    Complete bullshit. At least your last sentence was true.

  56. Tethys says

    This is one issue that should go away. RW seems to think humans should be prudish animals akin to Vulcans,

    Now that you have shown to possess zero understanding of the actual issues involved, I suggest YOU should go away cupcake.

  57. Horse-Pheathers says

    Curt @59

    Dawkins’ response was a prime example of “male privilege”; he not only minimized her concerns because they were outside of his realm of experience, he never even bothered to try to understand what she was talking about.

    Watson responded with, essentially, “if my concerns matter so little to you, then so do my money and my support”. How is that irrational?

    Could it be that you don’t understand what was going on in the larger scope, that you yourself are judging from a position of privilege where you have conveniently ignored any facts outside your own immediate personal concerns?

    Nutshell recap:

    RW: “….and, oh, yeah, on an unrealted note, minor problem X.”
    MRAs: “WAAAAAGH! Sexist woman! How dare she! She’s irrational and overreacting! (diegetrapedgetahangnailbitch)”
    RW: “Guys, thanks for proving my point.”
    RD: “Shaddup. At least we let you keep your clit.”
    RW: “….wow. Okay, D, respect for all you’ve done, but that was just plain uncalled for. Guess I’m not buying your books anymore, if you’re going to be such a jerk.”
    MRAs: “*EXPLODEHATEFROTH*DIEDIEDIEDIEDIERAPEDIE!!!!”

    At no point did RW deserve the negative responses she got, and you are just adding to the problem by not bothering to look rationally at what happened yourself. What a thunderblunce.

  58. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Shadowin

    RW seems to think humans should be prudish animals akin to Vulcans

    Nope! She has not said anything like that.

    Also I wouldn’t call Vulcans prudes, they will murder you if you get between them and the sexxorz. Also they die if they don’t get sex.

    Also what does prude even mean. Seriously.

  59. Matt Penfold says

    RW seems to think humans should be prudish animals akin to Vulcans,

    Odd then that she offer advice to men who are unable to get women to sleep with them unless they accost them in a lift in the early hours of the morning along the lines they should invest in a blow-up doll.

    Not really something a prude would suggest is it ? Do you want re-think what you said ?

  60. Julien Rousseau says

    @68: That’s why I tried to qualify it with “some” understanding as it is not a sure thing that she would understand the reaction but if I was in the same situation I would ask the women closest to me what their take on things are.

    Just because something might not work does not mean it should not be attempted or at least considered.

  61. Shadowin says

    @69-@72

    Watson has explicitly stated that men should wait to be hit on by women so that women aren’t uncomfortable. Not completely Vulcan, but non-human enough.

    If you agree with her view, then you’re promoting the converse of the patriarchal view that women shouldn’t initiate sexual advances.

  62. scriabin says

    Curt,

    There are a handful of reasonably supportable things here:

    1. RW experienced something that made her fearful. No one but her gets to decide what her reaction to the situation should have been: bottom line is that it made her fearful for her safety.

    2. She gave voice to No. 1 above, and in doing so expressed what a lot of females feel. This, too, is real.

    3. There was a startling backlash against her, mainly (I assume) from males in this “community”.

    4. Part of No. 3 above was a belittling dismissal of her experience from someone who has been an inspiring and visible leader in the fight to lead people out of the darkness of religion.

    Maybe part of the reaction against RD in the skeptical community was the fact that so much was expected of him, making his ill-judged and myopic reaction even more painful. I still read and enjoy RD. Hell, I can also be a Richard Wagner nut because I can separate the man from his work.

    But, Curt, the bigger problem has been the staggering level of hate and vitriol shown towards RW. One cannot defend the misogyny that has surfaced, and one cannot cover it up again – it’s got to be faced, confronted, and changed.

  63. Sally Strange, OM says

    Errr, Vulcans are hardly prudish. They just have 7-year mating cycles.

    /nerd nit-pick

    Anyway…

    Curt, you seem to be new to this whole controversy. That’s a generous reading on my part, so I hope you appreciate that. It seems that the RW/RD dust-up has exposed a major weakness in the atheist community, namely, that it’s dominated by men and a lot of these men (and a fair number of women) are actively sexist and don’t see how this contradicts principles of skepticism, rationality, and humanism.

    To your comments:

    I am sorry I used the word nuts to describe RW’s reaction to RD. I didn’t mean it as a clinical diagnosis. I should have said her response was irrational.

    This doesn’t really change your meaning much. Rebecca Watson’s response to Richard Dawkins was hardly irrational. She was pointing out a problem that keeps women from participating fully in the atheist community, and he bumped in and said, “Nope, no problem here.” On what grounds do you characterize her reaction as “irrational”? Please use concrete examples and lots of detail in your response.

    To title a post on her blog “The Dawkins Delusion” and suggest that he can have nothing to say on the matter because he’s old, white, a man, and that he thinks it’s okay for her to be sexually objectified…

    You are mischaracterizing her response. She did not say that Richard Dawkins is not allowed to have an opinion. She noted that his opinion reveals a huge blind spot about sexism. And the reason that he has a huge blind spot is because he is a wealthy, white, straight man. Men like Dawkins lack experiential data on what it’s like to be sexually harassed and/or objectified. Do you dispute this?

    It’s not literally true, is it? None of that can be supported, can it?

    What’s not true? That being the target of sexual objectification alienates women and prevents them from participating fully in atheist community events? That Richard Dawkins compared being the target of unwanted sexual advances to being in the same elevator with a person who’s loudly chewing gum? That Richard Dawkins specifically said that there is “zero bad” involved in being the target of unwanted sexual advances? That Richard Dawkins specifically said that this was NOT a problem, and that we should be concentrating on the problems Muslim women in foreign countries face? That Rebecca Watson reacted to all of this by simply saying, “Richard Dawkins has a blind spot about sexism and I’m not going to buy his books nor recommend them to friends anymore”?

    Sorry, all of that is literally true. And your characterization of Rebecca Watson’s eminently reasonable response as “irrational” is offensive and quite frankly reeks of sexism and unexamined privilege.

    Any more questions?

  64. Sally Strange, OM says

    Watson has explicitly stated that men should wait to be hit on by women so that women aren’t uncomfortable.

    If she has “explicitly” stated this then it should be simple to provide the direct quote and a link to the source of the quote where she says this.

    Immediately.

  65. Amphiox, OM says

    hysterical=irrational from fear, emotion, or an emotional shock, unable to control your behaviour or emotions because you are very upset, afraid, excited etc:

    That pretty much sums up Rebecca Watson and her idiotic reaction for which she now receives hate mail..

    You know what’s REALLY HYSTERICAL?

    HATE MAIL.

    That would be true in response to pretty much anything, let alone something as mild as what Watson did.

    I wonder if syggyx the odious twerp that (it does not deserve the appelation ‘who’) failed its qualification examination in basic human decency knows that hysterical and hysterectomy share the same root.

  66. Matt Penfold says

    Watson has explicitly stated that men should wait to be hit on by women so that women aren’t uncomfortable. Not completely Vulcan, but non-human enough.

    I think you need to support this claim with evidence, and do so quickly.

  67. Matt Penfold says

    @79 @80

    http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/

    “I started suggesting to the men that maybe they relax a little and not try to get in the pants of every woman who walks through the door. Maybe they could wait for her to make the first move, just in case.”

    Sorry, that does not say what you said it does.

    Now please provide evidence that actually supports your claim.

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Methinks Shawdin speaks out of his ass when he says RW says women should make the first move. Not even close to what I have seen on the subject. But then, such hyperbola for Shadown is SOP for him, as he appears to have problem with the truth.

  69. Matt Penfold says

    Nerd,

    Of course he is talking out of his arse. He admitted as much when posted his “evidence”. It does not say or mean what he says it does.

    His claims was total bollocks, and he knew that before he even made it.

  70. Sally Strange, OM says

    “I started suggesting to the men that maybe they relax a little and not try to get in the pants of every woman who walks through the door. Maybe they could wait for her to make the first move, just in case.”

    Oh wow. Yes, I stand corrected. That certainly calls for Vulcan-like levels of stoicism and self-denial.

    /snark

    People like you prove Rebecca’s point, dude. If you think that “MAYBE” (i.e. sometimes, just in case you are worried she’s not into it) waiting for a woman to make the first move requires inhuman levels of self-restraint, then I suggest the problem lies with you and your inability to exercise self-control. Because a majority of the humans I know would have no problem with this.

  71. Ze Madmax says

    Shaowin @ #83

    “I started suggesting to the men that maybe they relax a little and not try to get in the pants of every woman who walks through the door. Maybe they could wait for her to make the first move, just in case.”

    Highlighted an important part for ya.

  72. Matt Penfold says

    You know, I am not sure which makes Shawdin more stupid. Making the claim he did, or thinking it would fool anyone.

  73. Matt Penfold says

    Highlighted an important part for ya.

    Can I add a few more highlights ?

    “I started suggesting to the

    men

    that maybe they relax a little and not try to get in the pants of every woman who walks through the door. Maybe they could wait for her to make the first move, just in case.”

  74. Matt Penfold says

    “I started suggesting to the men that maybe they relax a little and not try to get in the pants of every woman who walks through the door. Maybe they could wait for her to make the first move, just in case.”

  75. Matt Penfold says

    Shadowin gets the 9.5

    For a leap into the dark with excretions from the backside, no doubt to be followed by a huge flip-flop.

  76. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    See I think the real travesty here is how Shadowin keeps bashing Vulcans. Vulcans are awesome, okay. I bet there are a lot of men out there that could benefit from becoming more Vulcan-like, after all, Spock has plenty of fangirls/boys. I mean, Kirk/Spock was the original slashfic.

    If I may make an analogy, I think the problem is that most of us rebutting these comments are humans, and think Vulcans are pretty okay. But Shadowin is a Romulan who thinks that Vulcans are ZOMG WORST THING EVER. How dare they show any emotional restraint out of respect for others!?!?!?!?!

    What do you think, other ST fans? Good analogy?

  77. Shadowin says

    You’re right, I should not have used the word “explicit” without finding an exact quote first. Her words do imply what I stated, and I find it amusing that you are attacking me for generalizing her view when the quote I gave generalizes male behavior.

  78. Horse-Pheathers says

    Shadowin @83 –

    “And I got messages from women who told me about how they had trouble attending pub gatherings and other events because they felt uncomfortable in a room full of men. They told me about how they were hit on constantly and it drove them away. I didn’t fully get it at the time, because I didn’t mind getting hit on. But I acknowledged their right to feel that way and I started suggesting to the men that maybe they relax a little and not try to get in the pants of every woman who walks through the door. Maybe they could wait for her to make the first move, just in case.”

    Context matters, asswipe, and here the context clearly is “if guys want women to attend these events, they’re going to need to tone it back a little…maybe let the women make the first move”. You know, because by mobbing the ladies like dogs in rut, they’re making these meet and greets a damned uncomfortable environment for the womenfolk.

    Oh, and it’s telling that you gloss right past the bolded text in order to try to paint Watson as a sex/man-hater. The problem clearly isn’t “getting hit on”, the problem is more “getting fucking piled on like the first salmon up the river”.

  79. Matt Penfold says

    You’re right, I should not have used the word “explicit” without finding an exact quote first. Her words do imply what I stated, and I find it amusing that you are attacking me for generalizing her view when the quote I gave generalizes male behavior.

    You really do not get this reading comprehension thing do you ? Or the intellectual honesty thing either. Maybe you just give up.

  80. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I find it amusing that you are attacking me for generalizing her view

    No, I think you’re being attacked for not understanding what all those words meant.

  81. Sally Strange, OM says

    You’re right, I should not have used the word “explicit” without finding an exact quote first. Her words do imply what I stated, and I find it amusing that you are attacking me for generalizing her view when the quote I gave generalizes male behavior.

    Translation: Yes, it’s true that I lied about what Rebecca Watson said. But since I’m a liar, I don’t care about what she really said. Telling lies to make it seem like being a misogynist is totes reasonable is fun! WHEEEEE!

  82. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    The problem clearly isn’t “getting hit on”, the problem is more “getting fucking piled on like the first salmon up the river”.

    … At “pub gatherings and other events”.

  83. Chris Lawson says

    Curt, I’m a big fan of Richard Dawkins, but if you go and read his comments there’s no way around it. What he said was much worse than just insensitive.

    Has this affected my admiration for Dawkins? Yes it has. Does this mean I reject everything Dawkins has ever or will ever say? Of course not.

    People can be heroes in one respect and villains in another. Voltaire was a drooling anti-Semite. Bertrand Russell was a narcissist and a high-order hypocrite (having multiply broken the rules he laid out in “Marriage and Morals”). Rousseau abandoned his children to the orphanage because his lover was too low class and ill-bred to educate them (but apparently it was all right to schtupp her). And yet “Candide” remains a great (and hilarious) novel; Russell’s “Why I Am Not a Christian” was instrumental in helping me think through some difficult problems; and Rousseau’s “The Social Contract” was instrumental in the emergence of democracy in the West.

    And this works both ways. Not just for Dawkins, but for Watson. Even if you think she over-reacted (and I’m not saying she has), you can still see that she has been treated abominably (I mean, we’re talking about threats of death and sexual violence here…how is this not obvious?) and send her a message of support. Or at least not find fault when other people want to send her that message.

  84. Horse-Pheathers says

    Erulora @102

    Yup, pretty much that.

    Well, that and being a general shitstain on society’s undershorts. But mostly for not understanding the words on the page directly in front of his nose while leaping to his predefined conclusions without a net.

  85. Gingerbaker says

    “Dawkins’ response was a prime example of “male privilege”; he not only minimized her concerns because they were outside of his realm of experience, he never even bothered to try to understand what she was talking about.

    Watson responded with, essentially, “if my concerns matter so little to you, then so do my money and my support”. How is that irrational?”

    That’s not what Watson said. She herself initially did not make overmuch of what happened in the elevator. It wasn’t until she ramped up the rhetoric and started calling what happened (a mere very politely worded invitation for a cup of coffee, it bears repeating) ‘misogyny” that Richard Dawkins quite rightfully, IMO, made a playful post about keeping what happened in its correct perspective. (That ‘misogyny’ is a term properly used to describe really horrible stuff done to women often by men in patriarchal cultures, not nervous invites for a cup of Joe.)

    That’s when RW over reacted, announced a boycott of RW, and then happily published hundreds of hysterical comments by her supporters which called for activism against Richard Dawkins, including more than one call for an end to his career.

    She did real damage to the atheist community with that ill-conceived tantrum. She also incurred shame, by many accounts, when she publicly aspersed, at that conference, a panel mate, who also evidently said something she didn’t like.

    Rebecca Watson is far from being completely on the side of the angels in this whole affair.

  86. Horse-Pheathers says

    Gingerbaker @107

    You’re clearly baking _something_ and it ain’t ginger.

    When you come down from your trip, I have this little friend called Reality I’d like you to meet….

  87. Matt Penfold says

    (what sport is this?)

    Troll-bashing.

    Normally I do not like sports which involve violence, but in this case no sentient organisms are harmed.

  88. Horse-Pheathers says

    Chigau @109

    I dunno, but it certainly seems to involve shooting an awful lot of fish in an awful lot of barrels.

  89. says

    She herself initially did not make overmuch of what happened in the elevator.

    You’re right about that. But then you chose to omit what happened next.

  90. Horse-Pheathers says

    Pelamun @115

    Yeah, the bit where the threats and condemnations started rolling in following her initially not-making-overmuch of the incident that actually drove the rhetorical ramp up proves mildly inconvenient to their case. Just…mildly.

  91. Sally Strange, OM says

    She herself initially did not make overmuch of what happened in the elevator.

    You’re right about that. But then you chose to omit what happened next.

    Indeed. And that’s really where the misogyny comes in.

    This thread is going to be a clusterfuck, isn’t it?

  92. Shadowin says

    Rebecca Watson isn’t here to state whether or not she holds that view in general or only in the context of attracting more people to pub gatherings and other events, so I will withdraw my extrapolation of what was stated until such time I encounter further evidence.

    I am curious about those engaged in this conversation: do you think it’s okay for men to invite women back to their hotel rooms for coffee? Vice-versa?

  93. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @pelamun
    [OT cont'd]

    Sure Spock is half-human, but that really makes the case better, because if a human were to attempt to emulate a Vulcan it would be like a mix, right?

    Besides, Sarek is all right, too. He likes the human ladies and the human ladies like him, so he must be doing something right.

    Or you could go for the Klingon approach, and seduce your mate with BATTLE POETRY. At least, I think that’s how the Klingons do it, I’m a bit fuzzy because that gets semi-retconned a few times.

  94. Kelvin Pauli says

    RD’s original post was excellent imo (and I am fully in agreement with Rebecca’s message of “Guys, don’t do that.”).

    Through sarcasm he attacked the fact that a breach of etiquette was being conflated into a moral atrocity.

  95. says

    Forget whether Dawkins was out of line (I think he was, but ignore that); he was also wrong.

    So women are raped. Sure. And other women get their voices ignored. Not the same thing, but the difference is in scale. Rape is an extreme version of not hearing the “NO!”.

    I think we women should be crying foul on all the instances of misogyny, minor and major, because it all forms a pattern.

    Think about it; if someone learns to listen to a whispered “no”, then automatically he/she will hear the shout. If ignoring a woman’s voice in a social setting is understood as wrong, then how much more is it wrong to pass her over for promotion because of her gender? If making an unwanted and previously rejected pass is wrong, rape is doubly, triply, nthly so.

  96. Shadowin says

    Yes, it’s true that I lied about what Rebecca Watson said. But since I’m a liar, I don’t care about what she really said. Telling lies to make it seem like being a misogynist is totes reasonable is fun! WHEEEEE!

    Misogyny is bad, as is misandry. Who is telling lies again?

  97. Markle says

    It’s NEVER okay for a man to invite a woman back to place for coffee. Unless by “coffee” you mean a “completely platonic, intellectual, serious conversation while politely sipping a brew of a thick Turkish caffeinated beverage. Platonicly.” Then it’s all right.

    And the worst thing you could do is try to persuade this woman if she initially refuses. That’s like … well, I won’t say it here, but it starts with an “r.”

    No, that’s not the worst thing you could do. The WORST thing you could do is approach a woman you don’t know and begin a conversation with her. Can you imagine? A WOMAN whom you don’t ALREADY KNOW and who doesn’t belong in ANY of your social circles. Only approach women who are related to you, are in your immediate circle of friends, or is a woman whom a friend can vouch for.

    Tut, tut. Men.

  98. Sally Strange, OM says

    I am curious about those engaged in this conversation: do you think it’s okay for men to invite women back to their hotel rooms for coffee? Vice-versa?

    Why? Is this a recurring problem for you? Keep getting turned down in the elevator, can’t figure out why? Seriously, that’s the only reason I can think of as to why you’d even care.

    Through sarcasm he attacked the fact that a breach of etiquette was being conflated into a moral atrocity.

    Testerical screaming to the effect that guys have the right to ask any woman for sex, anywhere, at anytime, and any suggestion to the contrary is reverse sexism, and women who are worried about being sexually assaulted are man-hating paranoid idiots, qualifies as a “breach of etiquette” to you?

  99. Hairhead says

    Jesus H-Fucking Christ on a Pogo Stick, @122!

    Through sarcasm he attacked the fact that a breach of etiquette was being conflated into a moral atrocity.

    It is not merely “a breach of ettiquette” when one person is made uncomfortably aware that she is in a possible rape situation. And this was NEVER conflated into a moral atrocity; she merely said, “Guys, don’t do that.” It was the RW-haters who made her reasonable statement into a “moral atrocity”. Fuck me, after six months you’d think that the simple FACTS would be clear!

    And as for you, Shadowin, your disingenuous fuck,

    do you think it’s okay for men to invite women back to their hotel rooms for coffee?

    She wasn’t asked for coffee. She was accosted in a windowless room at 4am and asked to come to his hotel room for sex. Disingenuous.

    Look it up, shithead.

  100. ChasCPeterson says

    a breach of etiquette was being conflated into a moral atrocity.

    ffs.
    I just can’t stand it.

    It’s Red Queen action: talk as fast as you can as long as you can yet end up in the same damn dumb place.

    (btw, I guess you meant ‘inflated’?)

  101. Sally Strange, OM says

    Markle deserves an entry in on the “Trollwatch” page. He’s one of those that only shows up in the threads relating to feminism and women’s rights.

  102. Horse-Pheathers says

    Shadowin @120

    In the proper context, hells yes it’s okay. What’s not okay is cornering a tired woman in an elevator to proposition her on her way up to her room after she’s quite publicly announced she’s exhausted and going to go sleep, especially after you’ve had all fucking evening to try to talk to her but never quite managed it.

    EG screwed up by 1) not spending some time chatting with RW so they get to know each other, 2) behaving stalkerishly by waiting to approach her alone in a goddamned locked box, and 3) showed he was an inconsiderate lout by figuring his desire to get his rocks off trumped her desire to get some sleep.

    If he’d hit on her at the bar after spending some time chatting to her as a fellow human being and after detecting that there just might be some mutual interest there, if he’d shown some sensitivity and asked her someplace where she was unlikely to feel at all vulnerable, like in the bar proper, and if he’d had the common sense to realize that when the woman said she was tired, she meant she was _tired_, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

  103. says

    On the subject of Vulcans:

    T’Pol

    Yeah, I know, most Trekkies hate Enterprise. But it’s a bit like the last movie: Star Trek, just not quite Star Trek.

    Enterprise had two good character (played by two good actors) T’Pol and Phlox.

  104. Sally Strange, OM says

    Through sarcasm he attacked the fact that a breach of etiquette was being conflated into a moral atrocity.

    Testerical screaming to the effect that guys have the right to ask any woman for sex, anywhere, at anytime, and any suggestion to the contrary is reverse sexism, and women who are worried about being sexually assaulted are man-hating paranoid idiots, qualifies as a “breach of etiquette” to you?

    To be clear, I’m referring to the reaction to RW’s admonition, not to the actions of Elevator Dude himself. Which is what was at stake by the time RD inserted himself into the conversation.

  105. Arkady says

    Shadowin, once again, context matters. An out-of-the-blue proposition in an enclosed space with no easy escape route? Inappropriate and somewhat scary. Chatting to someone in a bar, getting to know them and maybe then ‘inviting them to coffee’? Not so scary, can be politely refused (or even accepted!) with little harm done (will add that it gets rather grating and impolite if you’ve made it clear you’re not interested, and if it’s not the first time it’s happened that evening).

    How about I ask you a question in response? Was it ok for a taxi driver to proposition me at 3am? Once again, enclosed space, no easy escape route and praying that the ‘no’ will be peaceably accepted (and tensing oneself up to attempt to force a way out of the car if it goes bad…)

  106. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Gingerbaker #107

    a mere very politely worded invitation for a cup of coffee, it bears repeating

    It wasn’t an invitation for coffee, it was an invitation to get fucked. If Elevator Guy had wanted to have coffee with RW then he should have got some at the bar before she announced she was going to bed. You must be quite blind if you think the invitation was for coffee.

    Richard Dawkins quite rightfully, IMO, made a playful post about keeping what happened in its correct perspective.

    The word is not “playful,” the word is “patronizing.” And Dawkins wasn’t putting things in “correct perspective,” he was dismissing her concerns in a quite condescending way.

    That ‘misogyny’ is a term properly used to describe really horrible stuff done to women often by men in patriarchal cultures, not nervous invites for a cup of Joe

    You’re not only ignorant about 4AM invitations for “coffee,” you’re ignorant about what misogyny is. Last July Sally Strange gave a good comparison of misogyny and racism:

    Yeah, the whole misogyny thing is completely parallel with clueless white people thinking that because they’ve never personally burned a cross on someone’s lawn, nor used the word “nigger,” they are totally insulated from accusations of racism. See, because they know in their hearts that they harbor no personal animosity towards black people, therefore their subtle and unconscious preference towards, say, a white loan applicant over a black one, is a totally isolated incident and in no way relates to systemic racism, institutional racism, implicit bias, or any other manifestations of racism in the real world.

    That’s when RW over reacted, announced a boycott of RW, and then happily published hundreds of hysterical comments by her supporters which called for activism against Richard Dawkins, including more than one call for an end to his career.

    RW responded to a supercilious, contemptuous insult by saying if Dawkins didn’t care about her concerns then he had lost her support. Dawkins showed that for an intelligent, educated man he can be quite blind about other people. Also the insults towards RW started long before she responded to Dawkins.

    She did real damage to the atheist community with that ill-conceived tantrum.

    Citation needed. Show where anyone besides misogynists claim any damage.

    She also incurred shame, by many accounts, when she publicly aspersed, at that conference, a panel mate, who also evidently said something she didn’t like.

    Citation needed.

    I ask the regulars to please note I’m following the three post rule here and not writing what I’m really thinking.

  107. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Markle

    If all you can comprehend of the world is black and white extremes, then nope! You should not ask anyone to your room for coffee. Or approach strangers! You should probably just stay at home, alone. Because you clearly lack the intuitive and empathic abilities necessary for successful interaction with other human beings.

    And as a side note, as someone who loves coffee, no, do not invite people to your hotel room to drink that shitty hotel coffee that (I am pretty sure) people only ever drink out of sheer desperation. If you want to enjoy coffee with them, ask them to a proper coffee shop, ferzeussakes. And that goes for any time of the day, in any situation, as far as I’m concerned. Hotel room coffee sucks, the only thing it has going for it is that it’s tolerable if you must get your caffeine fix.

  108. Jack Rawlinson says

    The people who pop up in threads like this to reveal their idiocy after having months to come to their senses, not so much.

    And it’s this sort of insolence that makes the pro-Watson people as guilty as the anti-Watson people of keeping the fire burning. The abusive shouting down and dismissive belittling of anyone who dared to even politely suggest that Watson might have been just a little out of order here and there was, and is, sickening. Watson did not behave entirely honourably or entirely reasonably during this debacle, and while she most definitely received a lot of outrageously excessive and unjustified flak as a result I will not lose sight of the fact that she also received some valid criticism.

    So, no, I won’t be offering any comments to her, positive or negative. I haven’t commented at all on this issuse for weeks. In fact last time I did, it was because PZ brought it up, yet again, and yet again Watson’s defenders here started in with the patronising dismissiveness of anyone who dared to portray Watson as less than a righteous feminist martyr. And here he and they are, doing it yet again. If Watson’s defenders really want this to stop then stop that, or stop disingenuously pretending you’re innocent of blowing on the embers by refusing to do so.

  109. says

    RW seems to think humans should be prudish animals akin to Vulcans…

    No, Shadowin. That is a falsehood that you and you alone are imagining. Luckily for you, it is easily correctable by actually reading what Watson wrote instead of relying on hearsay.

  110. says

    I am curious about those engaged in this conversation: do you think it’s okay for men to invite women back to their hotel rooms for coffee? Vice-versa?

    What Sally said.

    I also assume you’re taking about people who don’t know each other. Because with friends, that wouldn’t be an issue either. Let’s have coffee, doesn’t really matter where, whereever is handy. But talking about strangers, I try to get to know people when I first meet them. That can be done in a more public setting, I don’t have to get them into my hotel room for that.

    Markle deserves an entry in on the “Trollwatch” page. He’s one of those that only shows up in the threads relating to feminism and women’s rights.

    Be bold

    [OT]

    Alukonis,

    I’m mostly into DS9, not that many Vulcans there ;). But there are Klingons of course, and I seem to recall that it was the many hours in the holosuite replaying historic Klingon battles that made Worf fall in love with Jadzia. Also her and Curzon’s interest for all things Klingon. Actually not that bizarre from a human p.o.v..

    Oh Species8472, I did like the couple seasons of ENT too. And T’Pol was a good character.

  111. Shadowin says

    Why? Is this a recurring problem for you? Keep getting turned down in the elevator, can’t figure out why? Seriously, that’s the only reason I can think of as to why you’d even care.

    Really, that’s the only reason you can think of when we’re talking about someone (RW) who raised a shit storm because she was asked back to a room for coffee?

    She wasn’t asked for coffee. She was accosted in a windowless room at 4am and asked to come to his hotel room for sex. Disingenuous.

    She was asked back to the guys room for coffee. RW decided that the guy was asking her back for sex (high likelihood). That question allows someone to turn the other person down for “coffee” rather than “sex.” From my experience, women ask the same type of question if they’re interested in a sexual encounter. So, my question remains…

  112. Horse-Pheathers says

    Jack @136

    *ahem*

    False equivalency much?

    In your warped worldview, RW’s alleged misbehaviors are apparently on par with FUCKING DEATH THREATS AND RAPE FANTASIES POURING INTO HER MAILBOX BY THE HUNDREDS.

    You wonder we we belittle people like you? Because your perspective is so fucking skewed you clearly have your heads screwed on backwards and inserted neck deep up your own nethers.

    RW did absolutely nothing that deserved the response she has received, nor the response she continues to receive AFTER SIX HORUSDAMNED MONTHS.

    Get fucked.

  113. Sally Strange, OM says

    And it’s this sort of insolence that makes the pro-Watson people as guilty as the anti-Watson people of keeping the fire burning.

    Ooh, “insolence!” You usually don’t hear that word outside of melodramatic movies featuring some sort of unhinged tyrant whose authority is being challenged.

    There’s a reason someone came up with a name for the Golden Middle fallacy. You seem to be intent on demonstrating that reason.

    The abusive shouting down and dismissive belittling of anyone who dared to even politely suggest that Watson might have been just a little out of order here and there was, and is, sickening.

    Citations, please. It’s sickening to label people who demonstrate misogynist behavior as misogynist? And where was Watson out of line?

    Watson did not behave entirely honourably or entirely reasonably during this debacle,

    Again, citation needed.

    and while she most definitely received a lot of outrageously excessive and unjustified flak as a result I will not lose sight of the fact that she also received some valid criticism.

    Valid criticism that you are conveniently unwilling to produce. Because that would open you up to fact-based criticism, and then it would become clear that your “valid criticism” of RW in this matter is non-existent.

    So, no, I won’t be offering any comments to her, positive or negative.

    Which is a lie, because you’ve already stated your unsupported opinion that Watson behaved “out of line,” dishonorably, and unreasonably.

    I haven’t commented at all on this issuse for weeks.

    You must possess Vulcan-like levels of stoicism and self-control!

    In fact last time I did, it was because PZ brought it up, yet again, and yet again Watson’s defenders here started in with the patronising dismissiveness of anyone who dared to portray Watson as less than a righteous feminist martyr.

    It’s all our fault for forcing you to have an opinion and share it with the world. You poor, poor thing.

    And here he and they are, doing it yet again.

    PZ! Stop holding a gun to Jack Rawlinson’s head and threatening to kill him if he doesn’t share his opinion about Rebecca Watson with us! Bad form.

    If Watson’s defenders really want this to stop then stop that, or stop disingenuously pretending you’re innocent of blowing on the embers by refusing to do so.

    Translation: if Watson’s defenders want misogynists to stop sending threats of death, rape, and other severe bodily harm, the we need to shut the fuck up about feminism and stop calling out misogynists.

    Yeah, that’ll work.

  114. says

    @138 pelamun

    I’m mostly into DS9, not that many Vulcans there ;). But there are Klingons of course, and I seem to recall that it was the many hours in the holosuite replaying historic Klingon battles that made Worf fall in love with Jadzia. Also her and Curzon’s interest for all things Klingon. Actually not that bizarre from a human p.o.v..

    Jadzia, definitely my favourite character in DS9, her and Sisko perhaps. DS9 is by far my favourite ST show, and Sisko my favourite captain.

    Jadzia626 is a nym I have used once or twice. She died in season 6 episode 26.

    Oh Species8472, I did like the couple seasons of ENT too. And T’Pol was a good character.

    I more or less liked the whole 4 seasons. Especially season 3. But then I like long storyarcs. The season 4 episodes with Dr. Soong (Brent Spiner) were excellent.

  115. Therrin says

    It’s kind of pathetic that so many “skeptics” turn out to be advocates of Fox Newz-like evaluations of incidents.

    If Watson’s defenders really want this to stop then stop that, or stop disingenuously pretending you’re innocent of blowing on the embers by refusing to do so.

    Way to close your eyes to evidence you don’t like to see. Hint: they never stopped.

  116. says

    Sorry, I prefer talking Star Trek over discussing “Elevatorgate”. I support Rebecca Watson in this matter, and don’t really have more to say about it.

  117. Therrin says

    who raised a shit storm because she was asked back to a room for coffee?

    Hurray for reinterpretation of historical events. Please collect your check from Koch at the door on your way out.

  118. Shadowin says

    @Arkady

    Yes, that sort of propositioning is best done either at the bar or on the way back from the bar. Elevators in 4/5-star hotels aren’t too creepy because they have cameras,and emergency buttons, and security personnel. Of course, creepiness is dependent upon circumstances and the one propositioning.

    As for the taxi driver: I don’t know the entire situation. If it was a simple number exchange then not so bad. If it was a full sexual proposition while you’re confined with no escape… yea, that’s scary and wildly inappropriate.

  119. Shadowin says

    @Therrin

    Hurray for reinterpretation of historical events.

    Her original video wasn’t too bad, but it did culminate in a shit storm. What is the point of the post this thread is in response too if not the shit storm?

  120. Sally Strange, OM says

    If it was a simple number exchange then not so bad. If it was a full sexual proposition while you’re confined with no escape…

    BZZZZZT! What’s the functional difference between “What’s your number?” and a full sexual proposition? There is none, at least when you’re getting the request from a complete stranger who has near-total control over whether or not you make it to your destination at that time.

    “What’s your number” leaves a woman in the position of thinking, geez, does he want it because he’s hitting on me? Probably. Okay, if I give it to him will he stalk me? Possibly. Don’t want to take that risk. Okay, if I say I don’t want to give him my number will he react violently? Possibly. Okay, quick, what’s a fake number I can give him? If he catches on that it’s fake, will he he react violently? and so on. Extremely inappropriate and inconsiderate.

  121. says

    Species8472,

    Actually, we should probably take this discussion over to TET, but let me just answer:

    I agree. The Sisko rules! About ENT, I dislike science-fiction shows that make time travel a major plot-line. You can’t avoid the occasional time-travel episode in most shows, and a very excellent show such as B5*) also has a time-travel twist, but more than that, I don’t know. That said, I haven’t watched the last two seasons, I might just give it a try.

    *) to everyone, especially Caine, who recommended B5 over Andromeda to me, thx!

  122. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    [Moar OT]

    I never got into DS9, and I haven’t even seen any of Voyager or Enterprise. But this Klingon holodeck battle romance intrigues me! Perhaps now would be a good time to give DS9 a serious try.

    Orrrrr I could wait until after I finish grading this giant stack of lab reports. (I’m totally using Pharyngula to procrastinate)

    Personally I think my inter-species romance would go Klingon rather than Vulcan. This may or may not have anything to do with long flowing hair and leather/chainmail outfits. But on the other hand, there is that whole Vulcan mind-meld thing. DECISIONS DECISIONS.

    Of course I also have a big ol’ soft spot for TOS because it’s so deliciously cheesy. A friend of mine and I have a theory that there is a bar at the edge of the universe where all the different versions of Captain Kirk hang out and get drunk, and then we laugh about how Mirrorverse!Kirk and Angry!Kirk both pick on Wimpy!Kirk, while Robot!Kirk just sits in a corner, PLOTTING.

    Fandom is a strange and wonderful thing.

  123. says

    As for the taxi driver: I don’t know the entire situation. If it was a simple number exchange then not so bad. If it was a full sexual proposition while you’re confined with no escape… yea, that’s scary and wildly inappropriate.

    Yeah, the fact that you seem to find it ok for a taxi driver to consider harassing female passengers part of his job REALLY makes my head hurt. You really seem to lack empathy.

  124. Hairhead says

    Shadowin, lying again.

    . . . we’re talking about someone (RW) who raised a shit storm because she was asked back to a room for coffee?

    RW did not raise a shitstorm. She mildly said, as an aside, “Guys, don’t do that.” The shitstorm was from lying, abusive, misogynists who, in response, screamed that she should be raped and killed. They were the shitstorm, and you know it.

    You are a lying turd.

  125. Sally Strange, OM says

    Shadowin seems intent on discovering precisely how much sexism he can get away with before it’s considered “wrong” by a larger audience. Like the dudes after the “Hot Chick of Wall St” controversy who were like, “Well, if I get her consent and THEN do a Hot Chicks video, is THAT sexist? What if I include older women too, is that sexist? What if…”

    The point is that it’s a sexist thing to do, from the get-go. Shadowin, if you’re in doubt about whether it’s appropriate, then don’t do it. Don’t try to push boundaries. Pushing women’s boundaries is what men are trained to do in this sexist society, and it’s why this issue crosses over into discussions of rape culture so easily. If you’re scared that you can’t get sex without pushing boundaries, well, then tough luck. But your orgasm isn’t worth the pain and annoyance caused to women by such behavior.

  126. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Shadowin #149

    Her original video wasn’t too bad, but it did culminate in a shit storm.

    Yeah, that’s when assholes like you started telling lies about her.

  127. Shadowin says

    @Therrin

    She did not generate the “shit storm”.

    The article and video concerning the elevator incident most certainly was the source of the shit storm.

    @Sally Strange

    What’s the functional difference between “What’s your number?” and a full sexual proposition?

    One means “I would like to see you again sometime and get to know you” and the other means “let’s fuck.” In the context of the cab, the important distinction is the immediacy of the latter.

  128. Tim Groc says

    Oh no, it’s turboliftgate.

    Anyway, generally speaking, it is a good thing to support those who are receiving abuse from bullies. Even if they have their faults.

  129. Arkady says

    Shadowin, assaults do happen in elevators (they feature in a few ‘how not to get yourself raped’ guides that women get told ad-infinitum). Emergency buttons are only as much use as your ability to reach them when you need to (and if anyone’s actually listening.. remember that story of a guy who got stuck in an elevator for 2 days over a weekend because no-one was listening?). Cameras are unlikely to be much use, can help catch the guy, yes, but hardly much of a deterrent. I remember my mum commenting on changes to dole offices in the UK where they switched from barriers to security cameras, in her day they used to have nothing that could be hurled at staff behind the counters. I’m sure the staff felt so safe with cameras to protect them…

    As for the taxi driver, his exact words were: ‘You want sex tonight, I can see it in your eyes’. Not that it particularly matters since women get harrassed whatever they wear, but I was dressed as Harry Potter at the time. And propositions in clubs, whilst they don’t feel as physically threatening can still be pretty unpleasant, I’ve had ‘BITCH!’ screamed in my face at full volume on more than one occasion for turning down a 2am-guy (2am guys are guys who’ve already unsuccessfully hit on every other woman in the club, so go for the last-ditch one who isn’t dressed up to the nines (yay jeans and baggy t-shirts!) and get terribly disappointed when the woman who should be desperate enough to take them turns them down)

  130. Horse-Pheathers says

    Riiiight, Shadowin. Her original EG post was the source of the shitstorm just as assuredly as she is pushing for “Vulcan-like” restraint of our sexuality.

    I don’t know that you’ve said one thing that was right in this thread yet.

    “She burnt the toast. That was the source of the twenty minute beating that culminated in her getting pushed down the stairs.”

    Can you blame the victim any harder, you contemptible fuck?

  131. Sally Strange, OM says

    She did not generate the “shit storm”.

    The article and video concerning the elevator incident most certainly was the source of the shit storm.

    BZZZT! Wrong: the source of the shitstorm was the angry misogynists who were affronted that a mere woman had the insolence to suggest that their behavior was a problem and they should change. The source of the shitstorm was the multiple angry responses that RW’s mild admonition to avoid making unwanted sexual advances was an unconscionable attack on men in general.

    What’s the functional difference between “What’s your number?” and a full sexual proposition?

    One means “I would like to see you again sometime and get to know you” and the other means “let’s fuck.” In the context of the cab, the important distinction is the immediacy of the latter.

    BZZZZT! Wrong: both communicate the message, “Hello, I am supposed to be providing you with a professional service but I am willing to compromise the requirements of my job, and your personal level of comfort as my customer, in order to service my boner, which is the Most Important Thing.”

    I notice that you deliberately ignored the fact that stalking and harassment are an easily predictable, not unusual outcome of sharing your number with a complete stranger. Suppose I did share my number with a taxi driver and it turned out he was a stalker. Would you be one of the people saying that it was stupid of me to share my number, because I should have know, etc.? Because I guarantee you that there would be a not-insignificant number of people expressing such sentiments.

  132. says

    And this works both ways. Not just for Dawkins, but for Watson. Even if you think she over-reacted (and I’m not saying she has), you can still see that she has been treated abominably (I mean, we’re talking about threats of death and sexual violence here…how is this not obvious?) and send her a message of support. Or at least not find fault when other people want to send her that message.–Chris Lawson

    Thumbs up to that!

  133. chigau (meh) says

    Shadowin

    The article and video concerning the elevator incident most certainly was the source of the shit storm.

    Let’s face it, Rebecca Watson was the “source of the shit storm” because she exists.

  134. Shadowin says

    @pelamun

    the fact that you seem to find it ok for a taxi driver to consider harassing female passengers part of his job

    You think asking someone for their phone number is harassment?

    @Sally

    Shadowin seems intent on discovering precisely how much sexism he can get away with before it’s considered “wrong” by a larger audience. Like the dudes after the “Hot Chick of Wall St” controversy who were like, “Well, if I get her consent and THEN do a Hot Chicks video, is THAT sexist? What if I include older women too, is that sexist? What if…”

    I don’t even know what you’re talking about.

    The point is that it’s a sexist thing to do, from the get-go. Shadowin, if you’re in doubt about whether it’s appropriate, then don’t do it.

    You’re talking to me like I pick up women (not interested). In any case, what I consider appropriate applies to both men and women: I do not discriminate. From my observations at bars, however, men who are very forward are more likely to leave with someone.

  135. says

    She did real damage to the atheist community with that ill-conceived tantrum. She also incurred shame, by many accounts, when she publicly aspersed, at that conference, a panel mate, who also evidently said something she didn’t like. –Gingerbaker

    Is it time to break out the hand mirrors or what!? Hey, Gingerbaker, why don’t you take your pitiful little tantrum about how you have been so wronged over something you don’t like that has nothing to do with you and move on? Here is a mirror for you…

  136. says

    You think asking someone for their phone number is harassment?

    Idiot, read what Sally wrote

    BZZZZT! Wrong: both communicate the message, “Hello, I am supposed to be providing you with a professional service but I am willing to compromise the requirements of my job, and your personal level of comfort as my customer, in order to service my boner, which is the Most Important Thing.”

    and try to understand what she meant by that

  137. Sally Strange, OM says

    The point is that it’s a sexist thing to do, from the get-go. Shadowin, if you’re in doubt about whether it’s appropriate, then don’t do it.

    You’re talking to me like I pick up women (not interested). In any case, what I consider appropriate applies to both men and women: I do not discriminate. From my observations at bars, however, men who are very forward are more likely to leave with someone.

    Then what is your explanation for the nearly obsessive level of interest you are showing in cataloging various types of interpersonal interactions into “harassment,” “not-harassment,” and so on?

    And why do you even care about which men are more likely to leave a bar with a female companion at the end of the night?

    You are coming off as dishonest and super creepy.

  138. Sally Strange, OM says

    You think asking someone for their phone number is harassment?

    If the asker is a taxi driver and the askee is the passenger? Yes, absolutely. Full stop.

  139. says

    Also,

    A very common refrain here includes a lot of explicit wishes for the people that you disagree with to die. ERV and Grey Lining posters generally tend to not actually do that; we tend not to tell people to die, or anally fuck porcupines or rusty knives.

    Since you say it is “very common”, please provide us with let’s say links to 20 comments by different pro-Watson posters on this blog to that effect.

    Since it’s so common, it should be very easy for you to do, right?

  140. Ze Madmax says

    John Greg @ #171:

    A very common refrain here includes a lot of explicit wishes for the people that you disagree with to die. ERV and Grey Lining posters generally tend to not actually do that; we tend not to tell people to die, or anally fuck porcupines or rusty knives.

    Here’s a key difference between both groups: the Pharyngula horde is not threatening to shove porcupines up peoples nether parts. They are telling people to do that by themselves.

    Or to put it in a different way: There is a difference between saying “go jump off a bridge” and “I’ll push you off a bridge”. Pharyngulites do the first.

  141. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Elevators in 4/5-star hotels aren’t too creepy because they have cameras,and emergency buttons, and security personnel.

    Yeah, because women never get attacked in elevators with cameras or emergency buttons, or in buildings with security personnel.
    *epic eyeroll*

  142. Shadowin says

    @Sally

    Suppose I did share my number with a taxi driver and it turned out he was a stalker. Would you be one of the people saying that it was stupid of me to share my number, because I should have know, etc.?

    It’s up to the individual whether to share a number or not. It’s not an excuse for the person doing the stalking.

    Then what is your explanation for the nearly obsessive level of interest you are showing in cataloging various types of interpersonal interactions into “harassment,” “not-harassment,” and so on?

    I asked a question, and responded to someone who asked one back. What is your obsession with classifying everything a male does as harassment?

    And why do you even care about which men are more likely to leave a bar with a female companion at the end of the night?

    I suppose you observe nothing when in a bar, or maybe you don’t go to bars?

    You are coming off as dishonest and super creepy.

    I’m convinced that you consider every male dishonest and super creepy.

    @pelamun
    I do not consider inquiring for a phone number to be for the purposes of “to service my boner, which is the Most Important Thing”

    @Matt Penfold
    Why are you still here?

  143. MGM says

    I’m starting to think that the MRAs are some kind of really impressive Platonists. They’ve managed to contemplate truths so deep that they don’t have any connection to the crude material reality the rest of us inhabit. It must be nice to escape the prison of empiricism we’re trapped in.

  144. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Okay, John Greg, show us the massive support Watson is getting at ERV’s slimepit. If it’s so prevalent, you should be able to get a whole bunch of examples. Or are you just talking out of your asshole about something you’re fucking ignorant about?

  145. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    Shorter John Grey:

    Most of us are totally awesome nice people that only respectfully disagree, so you shouldn’t lump us in with all the frothing-at-the-mouth haters (that we do nothing to condemn)! Besides you guys use really strong language ALL THE TIME so you are WAY bigger jerks for telling me to sit on a porcupine! Plus there’s only like a handful of women (really prominent female atheist/skeptic bloggers with lots of readers, plus many commenters agreeing with them) that are SO REACTIONARY we can TOTALLY dismiss what they say, so therefore we have the moral high ground and totally win!

    Now I’m going to sanctimoniously expect you losers to get angry at me even though I’ve said nothing wrong, misleading, or stupid at ALL!

    HERP A DERP DERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP

  146. says

    @148 Shadowin

    As for the taxi driver: I don’t know the entire situation. If it was a simple number exchange then not so bad.

    Really? REALLY?

    A taxi driver, a professional driver, driving a woman home late at night asks her for her private phone number. That is quite OK to you? It is very inappropriate. It is exactly like the elevator-situation that is the problem here. And you clearly do not get it.

    Taxi drivers raping tipsy female passengers late at night is unfortunately not that uncommon. Will refusing to give the taxi driver the phone number provoke him? Can you not see how such a situation can be very uncomfortable or even dangerous?

  147. says

    It’s up to the individual whether to share a number or not. It’s not an excuse for the person doing the stalking.

    This post alone exemplifies that you completely lack empathy to understand the situation women can find themselves in.

  148. Markle says

    Gentlemen and gentlemen,

    Don’t you get it? What’s most important here is a woman’s comfort. Does she feel comfortable by your coffee invitation, or request for phone number, or inquiry as to her marital status? Or does she feel creeped out? Of course, those feelings are not easily quantifiable and vary from woman to woman. The best way to find out is to ask her!

    Oh dear! But you see, that won’t work either. You gentlemen, the patriarchal ruling class, have deemed that good girls don’t dissent. Women won’t indicate their comfort level to your propositions. Even independent and strong women won’t tell you that you’re making her feel uncomfortable. So you’ll have to read her mind.

    But, sir, I’m not a very good mind reader! you cry. My advice for you is to brush up on those telepathic skills. For if you don’t, she’ll decline your coffee request and go her merry way, acting as if nothing were wrong and that she were very comfortable. Then she will call our your folly at a publicized panel meeting and say that in reality, she was very uncomfortable! Causing a huge media fallout.

    It’s patriarchy’s and men’s fault, of course.

  149. Shadowin says

    @Erulóra Maikalambe

    Yeah, because women never get attacked in elevators with cameras or emergency buttons, or in buildings with security personnel.
    *epic eyeroll*

    In the past decade, I can find three bonafide cases of women being attacked in hotel elevators. Considering how many people ride hotel elevators every day compared to the number of sexual attacks against women every day, the probability of being attacked in a hotel elevator is miniscule.

  150. says

    Watson did not behave entirely honourably or entirely reasonably during this debacle

    I don’t fucking care. I don’t care if Watson completely made up the EG incident. I don’t care if Watson is as evil a fucking liar as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Pauline Hanson and Margaret Thatcher rolled into one.

    No-one deserves this kind of sustained campaign of abuse with rape and death threats. Not even Ann Coulter.

    Not even the motherfucking Pope.

  151. says

    Markle,

    you don’t have to be a mind reader to know that asking a woman you haven’t met before to have sex with you at 4am in a confined space is inappropriate.

  152. Horse-Pheathers says

    Alethea @186

    Exactly. That.

    There is no excuse for the deluge of threats stuffing Watson’s in box. None. Zero. Nada. Anyone even remotely intimating otherwise is worthy of nothing but our explicit and vitriolic contempt.

  153. Sili says

    She did not generate the “shit storm”.

    Well, if only she’d kept her purdy little mouth shut, the shitstorm would not have happened.

    It’s like the butterfly-effect: The only way to avoid hurricanes is to spray DDT on all insects.

  154. Shadowin says

    @Species8472

    It all depends on circumstances. The main point is that someone asking for a phone number is typically innocuous. Appropriateness and danger alert really depend on circumstances:

    1) You have a great conversation with the cab driver. Driver asks you for phone number to follow up at a cafe after work.

    2) It’s late night and you just want to go home. Driver is staring at you during the entire trip. Pulling up to your house, you notice your lights are off and no cars are in the driveway. The driver slows down and asks you for your phone number but doesn’t completely stop.

  155. Dr. R says

    I’ve been silently watching this for a while now, and though I’ve never been able to appreciate Ms. Watson’s work personally (I do count myself as a feminist though), I can appreciate the significance of her position in the community. Professor Dawkins’s contributions need not be enumerated. That said, here are my opinions:

    1. Watson’s reaction to the individual in the elevator seemed mostly rational.
    2. Dawkins’s reaction was irrational (though it is true that Women in the Middle East suffer terrible atrocities, that doesn’t completely nullify issues of misogyny and misandry here in the West)
    3. Watson’s reaction to Dawkins was more rational than than his initial reaction, but I cannot credit her with a totally rational response in my opinion.
    4. The response of the community on both sides ranged from intelligent discussion to ignorant squabbling (sadly, I’ve seen the latter predominate in this thread, and many others that relate to gender issues here). Our community needs to hold itself to a higher standard of rational discussion
    5. Agents provocateur exist on both sides, and are making the situation much, much worse.
    6. The issue of gender merits more discussion within the atheist/skeptic community.
    7. Neither Dawkins’s or Watson’s past, present or future works have any more or less significance or relevance to the community. Both still have major roles to play.
    8. We need to stop slapping the (in my mind rather offensive) label of “MRA” on anyone who makes a post even remotely contrary to our views. Please make this decision with much rational consideration and forethought.

    To answer any questions before they start, I have read the relevant comments, and posts.

  156. says

    Shadowin,

    no. It’s just unprofessional crossing boundaries like that. If they really enjoyed themselves, it’s up to the passenger providing their phone number on their own account.

  157. Shadowin says

    @Markle

    What’s important is how much Person A is attracted to Person B. Person B can do something would be considered creepy if done by Person C. But if Person A is sufficiently attracted to Person B, it’s not creepy: it’s cute or romantic.

  158. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    In the past decade, I can find three bonafide cases of women being attacked in hotel elevators. Considering how many people ride hotel elevators every day compared to the number of sexual attacks against women every day, the probability of being attacked in a hotel elevator is miniscule.

    So only hotel elevators count? So if a woman finds herself trapped at 4am with an unknown man who begins making unwanted sexual advances, she should remind herself “oh yeah, I’m in a hotel! Women only occasionally get attacked in situations like the specific one I’m in.”

    I dunno, I think it makes more sense for the guy to say to himself, “hey, this woman doesn’t know me and it’s 4am, so maybe I shouldn’t corner her in a place where she can’t get away in order to let her know I’d like in her pants.”

  159. says

    I dunno, I think it makes more sense for the guy to say to himself, “hey, this woman doesn’t know me and it’s 4am, so maybe I shouldn’t corner her in a place where she can’t get away in order to let her know I’d like in her pants.”

    STOP WITH THE VIOLENT DEMANDS THAT EVERY MAN BE CASTRATED WITH A RUSTY BUTTER KNIFE!!! STOP IT! WHAT KIND OF EVIL PERSON ARE YOU!?!?!

    Etc.

  160. says

    Shadowin@195: then here’s a tip. Get to know the person first, so they like you and consider you cute and/or attractive before propositioning them.

    Ya damned fool.

  161. Markle says

    Would you then the situation is ambiguous and could be interpreted in several different ways depending on the attraction and interaction between Person A and B or Person A or C? The best solution would be for all persons to clearly communicate their levels of attraction and comfort to each other, thus ensuring mutual happiness.

    Hahaha, who am I kidding. Upfront, clear communication! Hahahaha!

    Better to assume everyone is creepy.

  162. says

    5. Agents provocateur exist on both sides, and are making the situation much, much worse.

    Ahem. Who might you be talking about?

    3. Watson’s reaction to Dawkins was more rational than than his initial reaction, but I cannot credit her with a totally rational response in my opinion.

    What do you mean? How was her response not totally rational and why should it have been totally rational?

    8. We need to stop slapping the (in my mind rather offensive) label of “MRA” on anyone who makes a post even remotely contrary to our views.

    We shouldn’t call people MRAs who whine about men’s problems every time women’s topics are brought up, but it’s totally OK to call people misogynistic epithets? Dr. R, it’s clear that you are not on anyone’s side in this for sure. Nope. And you’re definitely not an agent provocateur.

  163. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’m convinced that you consider every male dishonest and super creepy.

    I bet you say that to all the girls.

  164. Sally Strange, OM says

    We need to stop slapping the (in my mind rather offensive) label of “MRA” on anyone who makes a post even remotely contrary to our views.

    This is kind of funny, because “MRA” should not be offensive, if you take it at face value. There’s nothing wrong with advocating for men’s rights. The only reason the label is offensive is because of the despicable, clearly misogynist behavior of the men who claim that label for themselves.

  165. Hairhead says

    Hi John, prepare for fisking:

    In all seriousness, though, Jack Rawlinson has posted what may be the soundest, most honest and accurate, and the most rational post in this thread.

    You can’t be serious. Honest? Accurate? Calls for more fisking-within-fisking.

    Jack R: And it’s this sort of insolence that makes the pro-Watson people as guilty as the anti-Watson people of keeping the fire burning.

    The choice of words is very revealing. “Insolence is something done to defy one’s superiors. If the pro-Watson people are guilty of insolence, then they are, by definition, the inferiors in the debate. Nice framing, there, Jack. Very “honest”, very “accurate.”

    Jack R: The abusive shouting down and dismissive belittling of anyone who dared to even politely suggest that Watson might have been just a little out of order here and there was, and is, sickening.

    The calls for Rebecca Watson to be raped and killed are quite a bit more sickening. And for me, I surfed the ERV thread, and read all 6,000 or so posts on Pharyngula, and there were *very few* polite suggestions that RW was out of order. The vast majority of anti-Watson posts were outright lies and compounded hysteria. Polite suggestions, if they were not polite misogyngy, were responded to politely.

    Watson did not behave entirely honourably or entirely reasonably during this debacle, and while she most definitely received a lot of outrageously excessive and unjustified flak as a result I will not lose sight of the fact that she also received some valid criticism.

    Please point out RW’s lack of honour and her unreasonableness. She was mild in her original remarks, and rather restrained, in my opinion, in her reaction to the physical threats and shrieking denunciations, not to mention the conversion of her name into sexist insults. I’ll point out this: RW, despite all of the attacks on her, has never named or described Elevator Guy; that shows a massive amount of stoicism and restraint on her part.

    So, no, I won’t be offering any comments to her, positive or negative.

    You just called her dishonourable, unreasonable, out of order, and called her supporters insolent, abusive, dismissive, and belittling. That’s quite a record of comments. Followed immediately by your saying you won’t be offering comments. I see there is a partial explanation for your cupidity and inaccuracy. You’re a dolt who cannot be consistent in words or actions.

    . . . yet again Watson’s defenders here started in with the patronising dismissiveness of anyone who dared to portray Watson as less than a righteous feminist martyr. And here he and they are, doing it yet again. If Watson’s defenders really want this to stop then stop that, or stop disingenuously pretending you’re innocent of blowing on the embers by refusing to do so.

    Jack, as soon as someone stands up and starts calling RW unreasonable, irrational, dishonourable, hysterical, to name only a few of the insults posted on this thread, people who know that these characterizations are at best, inaccurate, or at worst, lies, will of course gainsay them. And our comments are not some knee-jerk shrieks: time and again the insulters have been asked for proof, and time and again have not received it.

    (Sigh) And as for the “righteous feminist martyr” — another lie. I’ve read the posts and have not seen a single positive description of RW which matched this. Fucking lying. Oops. I used a “bad word”.

    John: Yes, there are some anti-Watson posters on ERV, Grey Lining, and other blogs who use teh bad werdz . . .

    There are words and words, John. Telling someone to go fuck him or herself, is, yes, rude. Telling someone she *OUGHT* to be raped, but only before being killed is not rudeness. I cannot think of one anti-Watson rapist-threatener who has received the hundreds of threats that Watson has.

    . . . and yes post some pretty intense and hostile anti-Watson rhetoric, but most anti-Watson posters are, for the most part, generally polite is using plain English to express their mistrust of and/or dislike for Watson.

    As has been noted, polite expressions of mistrust or dislike which are not distorted by misogyny have been answered in a like manner. These polite expressions have been drowned out by the sheer number of posts of threats and abuse.

    And, to lump all dissentors into one grab-bag of angry hostility seems awfully close to a form of poisoning the well and/or false dichotomy, or something along those lines.

    This goes to the new technique of “calling me a racist is even worse than actually being a racist” used by Tea Partiers, Republicans, and Neo-Nazis. Time and again, the pro-Watsons have carefully named rape-and-death threateners, abusive name-callers, and obsessed stalkers and harassers as problematic. Oh, and I did forget to mention the liars, people who base their arguments on things that RW didn’t say. Yes, those people get trashed.

    It is also blatantly false to accuse anyone of misogyny for nothing more than disagreeing with and dislike for a small handful of reactionary women (Watson, Benson, Christina, Marcotte, et al).

    Reactionary? Reactionary? I don’t think you know what the word means! Reactionaries are the hide-bound traditionalist conservatives, of all stripes! Greta Christina? Reactionary? Amanda Marcotte, vegetarian feminist, reactionary? Please! Accusations of misogyny have been accompanied by actual evidence of generalized dislike or belittling of women.

    Now, while this has been a polite, reasonabley well argued post, I suspect it will receive some very hostile reactions

    Hem. What you are saying quite clearly here is: “I am better than you; and your posts have been impolite and unreasonable.” Wonderful way to start a debate, insulting the persons you wish to engage!

    — if PeeZus even allows it to go through.

    Once again, we are told we are an unthinking cult; this is the kind of self-pitying, passive-aggressive quote which usually comes a post or two before a threat to leave and flounce. Please, show us something we haven’t seen before.(Peezus is a little clever, though — haven’t seen that one before.)

    I am not telling anyone to fuck off, or any of the other common debate stiflers used here; I am simply disagreeing with the general theme.

    And . . . signing off with another “I am better than you.” A common way to declare a victory and leave, without answering the comments which will come your way.

    I know this is a lot, and I don’t usually do this, but the unthinking repetitious sewage just begged to be cleared out.

  166. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Shadowin

    Your person A/B/C logic is the reason people think bullshit like Twilight is “romantic” even though it’s CHOCK FULL of classic abusive/stalking/controlling behavior. Certain behaviors are problematic, no matter what your “attraction level” is. The end.

    Furthermore can we please stop trying to extrapolate specific situations into “NEVER ASK FOR ANYONE’S NUMBER”?? What the fuck is wrong with you people. That’s like if I were all “you can’t use the ideal gas law for water vapor if you’re at atmospheric pressure below 273 K, and furthermore you need to use Clausius-Clapeyron if you’ve got different phases present” and you go “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN NEVER USE THE IDEAL GAS LAW!?”

    I mean, really.

  167. Shadowin says

    @Erulóra Maikalambe

    So only hotel elevators count? So if a woman finds herself trapped at 4am with an unknown man who begins making unwanted sexual advances, she should remind herself “oh yeah, I’m in a hotel! Women only occasionally get attacked in situations like the specific one I’m in.”

    An extremely suspicious acting person boarding a plane might be cause for alarm, but you’re the jerk if you refuse to board simply because a fellow passenger speaks Arabic.

  168. Dr. R says

    Aratina Cage: I shall respond to your comments in an organized fashion:

    1. Well certainly individuals like Shadowin might count? Would you not say. I’ve seen individuals on other blogs make comments about Dawkins being comparable with certain Islamic clerics as well. (Will search for and post links if possible)

    2. She seemed to dismiss his entire future as a contributor to the community (near the end of her “Privileged Delusion” post) due to perceived (and likely present) ignorance of privilege. I disagree fervently with Bill Maher on his views on medicine, but he is still an important contributor to our community. The same applies to Dawkins.

    3. Please avoid quote mining. My comment included a recommendation to use the label after careful consideration. And of course I oppose sexist epithets, but I felt it unnecessary to include that here.

  169. says

    I don’t think people here necessarily think that RW did everything completely right, especially regarding the Stef McGraw situation. But that doesn’t mean that her original issue was without merit, or that her reaction to RD’s f*ck-up was inappropriate.

    And most of all, that doesn’t make this hate campaign right, the enormous level of vitriol and threats and so forth. As so many have said, this is something you wouldn’t wish your worst enemy. And thus many MRAs seem to think it’s just fine, a deserved reaction for “reacting hysterically”. And seemingly disinterested observers trying to make it all seem balanced are not neutral at all, they’re ultimately contributing to minimising and relativising the enormous misogynist hatred that has been unleashed.

  170. Shadowin says

    @Alukonis

    To be clear, I agree with your comments on the A/B/C logic. It’s only an observation on what people seem to consider creepy/romantic.

  171. Sally Strange, OM says

    An extremely suspicious acting person boarding a plane might be cause for alarm, but you’re the jerk if you refuse to board simply because a fellow passenger speaks Arabic.

    *sigh*

    Perhaps part of the reason MRAs like Shadowin (who clearly corresponds to the identifying characteristics of an MRA, especially the bit about “It’s only harassment if she thinks you’re ugly!”) love about this is that it gives them a chance to play the martyr.

    Yes, you’re just like an innocent Arab man who was profiled and prevented from getting on his flight. You martyr, you. Just because that woman didn’t realize that your intentions were totally innocent! You are so oppressed.

    By the way, Shadowin, I have a well-worn quote that I’m going to pull out just for you. I came up with it in high school.

    “I don’t hate men, I hate assholes. It’s not my fault if you think being a man is the same thing as being an asshole.”

  172. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    An extremely suspicious acting person boarding a plane might be cause for alarm, but you’re the jerk if you refuse to board simply because a fellow passenger speaks Arabic.

    I’ll take False Equivalencies for $600!

    Upwards of 1 in 6 women in the US (sorry I don’t know the stats elsewhere) are raped. A much larger number are otherwise sexually assaulted. Almost always by men. Terrorist attacks are extremely rare and are committed by people of all skin tones. So you can’t really just swap the two and claim victory.

  173. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sally Strange: I of course did not mean the face value, but the reality of the situation.

    So what? It’s only an insult if you consider hating women to be a character flaw. If you are demonstrating, through your choice of written words, that you harbor hostility towards women, then you get slapped with the label. If you feel it doesn’t fit, then it’s your opportunity to change your behavior so that the ordinary observer can more easily distinguish you from the sincere woman-haters out there.

  174. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Pelamun,

    Those weren’t hotel elevators, though. So they totally don’t count. And they weren’t in Dublin. Or at 4 am.

  175. says

    Again, A and B flirting are in a different situation than B and C. A might find B’s flirting to be attractive if A is interested in a one-night stand with a random stranger, or if A and B are better acquainted than B and C. Why A might find B’s suggestion okay but C doesn’t, is not entirely dependent on whether or not A finds B attractive alone.

    And if D, E, F, G, H, I, J, et cetera, all say “yeah, no, what you did is creepy”, then B is shotgunning everyone to see if he can find the one A in the alphabet. That’s also a pickup artist technique — proposition a thousand completely unknown women, and maybe one might be okay with it and you get laid.

  176. says

    2. She seemed to dismiss his entire future as a contributor to the community (near the end of her “Privileged Delusion” post) due to perceived (and likely present) ignorance of privilege. I disagree fervently with Bill Maher on his views on medicine, but he is still an important contributor to our community. The same applies to Dawkins.

    (First off, give us the precise quote and link of where she said that, in order to avoid quote mining.)

    I disagree. Bill Maher’s views on medicine make him unacceptable to many, and his role in the community should be diminished. Some also hold the same view for Richard Dawkins, and I don’t blame them. And this is a natural thing. RD’s actions and unwillingness to set matters straight have alienated a certain portion of the movement, and this will translate into a diminished standing of some sort. Heck, the fact that as of now I’d only recommend his books with a caveat that he has an unfortunate blind spot, diminishes his standing in some way. Some even boycott him for that. So their individual actions also diminish his standing.

    No-one is conducting a witch-hunt to have him “thrown out of the movement”, that is quite preposterous. And no-one has failed to recognise his enormous contributions to the movement.

    But words have consequences, and the Muslima comments unless retracted will continue to haunt him, and rightly so.

  177. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Shadowin

    @Alukonis

    To be clear, I agree with your comments on the A/B/C logic. It’s only an observation on what people seem to consider creepy/romantic.

    Protip: writing shitbrained things as if it is your opinion when it is not your opinion is trolling.

    What is even the steak, man.

  178. Amphigorey says

    I notice how several commenters, John Greg being the most recent, claim to oh-so-civilly disagree with Rebecca Watson and the rest of us feminists, but they never say exactly what the disagreement is.

    So what is it you disagree with, John Greg? Do you think men should ignore the “Guys, don’t do that” suggestion? Do you think that she should buy every book Dawkins ever writes, just because he’s an atheist? Be specific and cite examples when you outline your “disagreement,” please.

  179. says

    Dr. R,

    And of course I oppose sexist epithets, but I felt it unnecessary to include that here.

    I’m not sure why you would do that since it is directly related to the usage of the label MRA.

    2. She seemed to dismiss his entire future as a contributor to the community (near the end of her “Privileged Delusion” post) due to perceived (and likely present) ignorance of privilege. I disagree fervently with Bill Maher on his views on medicine, but he is still an important contributor to our community. The same applies to Dawkins.

    But Dawkins was rude to her so it isn’t really comparable to your disagreement with Maher’s woo-beliefs. Dawkins dismissed her and reduced the problem she was identifying down to nothing. I’m not sure why you think that she needs to put up with that crap. Besides, how much would one really be missing by cutting Dawkins out of the picture? Atheism and skepticism will go on with or without Dawkins. There will still be plenty of things to do and causes to stand for without him or his contributions. It’s not the end of the world because she doesn’t want to have anything to do with a person who was cruel to her. I mean, come on, you are basically saying that if she doesn’t partake of the Dawkins-cake, then she isn’t being rational, which just isn’t true!

  180. Dr. R says

    Sally Strange: Not sure if you understand my point, so I’ll clarify. We need to carefully consider the words (over more than one post unless blatant) of any individual before labeling them as an MRA. I’ve found that many individuals who make what look like MRAish comments simply have issues inditing their level pr privilege.

  181. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    By the way, Shadowin, I have a well-worn quote that I’m going to pull out just for you. I came up with it in high school.

    “I don’t hate men, I hate assholes. It’s not my fault if you think being a man is the same thing as being an asshole.”

    Of course Shadowin thinks being a man is the same thing as being an asshole. He’s a man AND he’s an asshole.

  182. Sally Strange, OM says

    Protip: writing shitbrained things as if it is your opinion when it is not your opinion is trolling.

    Well, Shadowin has already demonstrated that he’s totes cool with lying to get his point across. Whatever his point is. It seems to change from moment to moment. Trolling is an excellent label for his behavior.

    Oh noes! Have I discredited the movement by slapping him with an unfair label? How hysterical of me.

  183. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’ve found that many individuals who make what look like MRAish comments simply have issues inditing their level pr privilege.

    I repeat:

    If you feel it [the "MRA" label] doesn’t fit, then it’s your opportunity to change your behavior so that the ordinary observer can more easily distinguish you from the sincere woman-haters out there.

  184. Heliantus says

    @ Horse-Pheathers 99 & 130
    @ Chris Lawson 105

    +1

    @ Rebecca Watson, if she happens to read this

    For what it’s worth, you have my full moral support.
    This whole event has been an eye-opener for me. For one thing, it made me realize that everybody, from Richard Dawkins to humble me, have blind spots on one topic or another.
    For another, it lowered my opinion of the skeptic community. Oh, not because of you. The offended MRAs did all of it by themselves. There is no excuse for hate mail and threats of bodily harm.

    @ Shadowin

    Elevators in 4/5-star hotels aren’t too creepy because they have cameras,and emergency buttons, and security personnel

    “Not too creepy” is not much comfort when you are boxed with some weird stranger. Even assuming someone is watching and ready to come to your help, which at 4am, even in a 5-star hotel, is not a given, this rescuer is not here with you. The weird stranger is.

    As for emergency buttons, they are not much comfort either. To start with, making sudden moves during a weird encounter doesn’t seem like a good idea, in the heat of things. And emergency buttons are overrated: at best, you go from a closed box to a most likely empty corridor. Especially around 4am. At worst, the weird guy is between you and the control panel. Or the lift stops between two floors (and you don’t look stupid then this happens, not at all).
    Sure, the few times I had a lunatic with me in a lift, I was feeling better because of the camera and the stop button. But I would have preferred the guy not to be here. Or not to be so lunatic.

    Hence making RW’s suggestion “Don’t do this guys” perfectly understandable to me. If you don’t want to be seen as a creep, don’t act like one.

  185. Dr. R says

    Aratina Cage:

    On the MRA’s: I suppose I should have used the word misogynist, not sexist.

    You have something of a point on Maher, and I agree that she has the right to take offense. And would we go on without someone like Dawkins? Yes. (Unfortunately with Hitchen’s cancer, this just may happen) Ignoring a major contributor to the Atheist community on the basis of a few offensive comments, and insinuating that her readers would be best to do so as well? I’ll allow you to decide if that is rational or not.

  186. gator says

    I don’t believe Elevator Guy exists. I think Rebecca Watson made it up and it blew up in her face.

    I don’t believe she is getting a deluge of death and rape threats. I think she’s running with the ball.

    I think there are a lot of people here who like to make mountains out of molehills.

  187. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Sally Strange

    Le gasp! How dare you throw such dreadful labels about willy-nilly like that! Don’t you realize that adhesive is really gummy and hard to get off?! I mean, if you don’t have long fingernails, you’re pretty much doomed. DOOMED! How will the movement EVER SURVIVE!?

    Oh wait, all the atheist websites didn’t just magically poof away into nonexistence. Looks like it was a false alarm! Carry on!

  188. Sally Strange, OM says

    Dr. R: Thanks.

    ——-

    @ Alukonis:

    How ironic that broken fingernails would spell the end of the atheist movement. :-/

    ———

    Shorter gator 228:

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!”

  189. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    I was training my volunteers yesterday on domestic violence, and we got into a discussion on couples counseling. I explained to them that it is NEVER recommended to engage in couples counseling if there is domestic violence in the relationship. Aside from the biggest issue of safety, the other issue is that couples counseling presumes that both parties are partially at fault, and that both parties are responsible for changing their behaviors to fix the problem.

    The issue, of course, is that when domestic violence is concerned the victim is NOT at fault, and is NOT responsible for the violence.

    Every time I read over one of these threads, that keeps popping up in my head:

    We must admit OUR culpability in the problem and we must accept responsibility for fixing OUR behaviors. Oh, and of course, as soon as we do so, the other part of the equation will be HAPPY to do likewise. And then we can all hold hands and sing.

    Obviously, we are being hysterical and reactionary for identifying and opposing the sexism in the atheist community. Obviously, we are attacking and vilifying the anti-Watsonites, devoting entire threads and creating webpages to hurl gendered insults and threats to them. Obviously, we are ignoring the diligent efforts of the anti-Watsonites to have a calm, rational, and–above all–polite discussion of the issues at hand. Obviously, we are continually and consistently lighting fires to keep the invective going.

    *snort* What a load of horseshit.

  190. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Dr. R

    Um… which part?

    @Sally Strange

    Broken fingernails are like atheist kryptonite, I guess. Who knew?

    And ditto your gator 228 summary. Hard to make a pithier statement than that.

  191. says

    Ignoring a major contributor to the Atheist community on the basis of a few offensive comments, and insinuating that her readers would be best to do so as well? I’ll allow you to decide if that is rational or not.

    There is a solid reason behind the action she took. I fail to see how it isn’t rational, and you have not demonstrated that it wasn’t.

  192. Dr. R says

    Alukonis, metal ninja:

    I suppose I overreacted, but dismissing a request to apply a somewhat offensive and stigmatizing label with references to broken fingernails is rather bizarre. Though I do agree that fingernails are atheist kryptonite. =)

  193. Dr. R says

    Aratina Cage: It’s an ad homenim dismissal. “He offended me, thus everything he says means nothing anymore to me or anyone else.”

  194. Shadowin says

    @Erulóra Maikalambe

    I made an analogy about riding a hotel elevator to getting on a plane. Both are miniscule that you will be raped or blown up, but it’s still good to have a good filter for true danger.

    @Alukonis

    You have an odd way of reading into what I said. I observe the A/B/C logic, it doesn’t mean that as an outside observer I agree with A. No, as an outside observer I am somewhat amazed that A is okay with or even encourages B’s behavior.

  195. Ray Ladbury says

    Look, the atheist movement could survive without Richard Dawkins, though loss of his eloquence would be a blow. It will not survive and prosper if we exclude or make it unhospitable for 50% of humanity.

    Dawkins does not get this. I have friends who were told they couldn’t be engineers because they did not possess male genitalia. My wife was forced out of her first engineering job by a sexist priveleged pig of a supervisor when she wouldn’t sleep with him. And one friend was hounded not just out of her profession, but ultimately to her death by misogynic bastards from the “old guard” in physics who couldn’t see giving a fellowship to a woman. There is a little more to attaining equal status than merely being “allowed” to keep one’s clitoris. Dawkins not understanding that raises huge questions in my mind about his judgment.

  196. says

    Dr. R, no, that is not a logical fallacy. It would be if she had said that everything Dawkins has written is now wrong, but her deciding she’s done with him? That’s pretty much how it works out there. Fuck me, but do you honestly go around telling people they are irrational for not wanting to be verbally abused, mocked, put down, or told their problems amount to a hill of beans?

  197. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Dr. R

    I think you were confused about which comment I was replying to. Mine was a reply to Sally Strange’s #223 reply to me:

    Protip: writing shitbrained things as if it is your opinion when it is not your opinion is trolling.

    Well, Shadowin has already demonstrated that he’s totes cool with lying to get his point across. Whatever his point is. It seems to change from moment to moment. Trolling is an excellent label for his behavior.

    Oh noes! Have I discredited the movement by slapping him with an unfair label? How hysterical of me.

    …which was why I made a joke about slapping labels ruining the atheist movement.

    Sssssssssssssssso yeah. *pokerface*

  198. Dr. R says

    Ray Ladbury: I don’t think he was equating a lack of female circumcision with a lack of misogyny…

  199. Sally Strange, OM says

    It’s an ad homenim dismissal. “He offended me, thus everything he says means nothing anymore to me or anyone else.”

    This is a pretty blatant mischaracterization of RW’s actual response, and a misuse of the ad hominem dismissal.

    Here’s what Watson actually said:

    So many of you voiced what I had already been thinking: that this person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experiences as an atheist woman and therefore will no longer be rewarded with my money, my praise, or my attention. I will no longer recommend his books to others, buy them as presents, or buy them for my own library. I will not attend his lectures or recommend that others do the same.

    PPPS: Nope, I didn’t call for a boycott. I’m relaying the fact that I have no interest in giving this person any more of my money or attention. Other people have independently told me they’re doing the same. This is not an organized campaign, and no one is going to be vilified for continuing to give their own time and attention to Dawkins.

    Are we clear now?

    What exactly about this response is irrational? The only way I can fathom of seeing it that way is if you are in agreement with Dawkins that being the constant recipient of unwanted sexual advances is “zero bad.”

  200. Therrin says

    Shadowin,

    The article and video concerning the elevator incident most certainly was the source of the shit storm.

    Ah I get it, to you it’s her fault that she said something that precipitated death threats and hatred to be leveled against her. Have you heard about the nasty shit storm stirred up by Michael Mann? He made the mistake of proving anthropogenic climate change. He gets death threats, too. What a terrible person he is!

    gator,

    I think

    Liar.

  201. Sally Strange, OM says

    …which was why I made a joke about slapping labels ruining the atheist movement.

    Sssssssssssssssso yeah. *pokerface*

    Well, I thought it was funny. I mean, broken nails… stereotypes about ladies…

    Oh well.

  202. Adafuns=^.^= says

    @Shadowin

    “2) It’s late night and you just want to go home. Driver is staring at you during the entire trip. Pulling up to your house, you notice your lights are off and no cars are in the driveway. The driver slows down and asks you for your phone number but doesn’t completely stop.”

    And you cannot see how someone stepping into an enclosed space with no windows alone at 4AM, after specifically saying to a bunch of people “I’m tired and going to sleep”, and begins to proposition for sex (coffee at 4AM is never coffee) without talking to her personally is not in line with your number 2 scenario?

    I’m completely baffled by your lack of empathy.

  203. Sally Strange, OM says

    it’s still good to have a good filter for true danger.

    That’s exactly what we’re talking about doing. The setting–a hotel elevator–is relevant, but even MORE relevant is the man’s obvious disregard for RW’s preferences. That disregard of a woman’s “NO” is a flashing red warning light for any woman who has ever been sexually harassed, assaulted, or raped. And there are a LOT of us who have experienced this. That’s what you don’t seem to get.

  204. Ze Madmax says

    Dr. R @ 243

    I don’t think he was equating a lack of female circumcision with a lack of misogyny

    No. But he claimed that, compared to the level of oppression that Islamic women face, what RW faced was “zero bad”. Which is a statement that can only come honestly from someone who is blind to the pervasiveness of institutionalized sexism. Someone that, say, enjoys the benefits of such sexism. Such as an older male who grew up in a time when this institutionalized sexism allowed him extra opportunities to succeed at the expense of women. The same institutionalized sexism that caused the damage Ray Ladbury described.

    “Zero bad” my ass. An ass that should get in gear and go back to readings, by the way. Social cognition, you’ll be the death of me.

  205. Dr. R says

    Sally Strange: Actually, this is a perfect example of ad hominem (Because x said/does/did/believes y, x’s point/beliefs/contributions/opinions on/about z are incorrect/wrong.) But to get closer to the point:

    “But those of us who are humanists and feminists will find new, better voices to promote and inspire, and Dawkins will be left alone to fight the terrible injustice of standing in elevators with gum-chewers. So many of you voiced what I had already been thinking: that this person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experiences as an atheist woman and therefore will no longer be rewarded with my money, my praise, or my attention. I will no longer recommend his books to others, buy them as presents, or buy them for my own library. I will not attend his lectures or recommend that others do the same. There are so many great scientists and thinkers out there that I don’t think my reading list will suffer” (I’ve quoted the entire relevant section here to avoid charges of quote-mining)

    A single comment thread makes him ignorant to the concerns of women? (To clarify, I was rather disgusted by his comments as well) And if it did, does it make his writings on science and atheism moot? Perhaps we are viewing this from different perspectives (perhaps I have a form of privilege as a scientist, I don’t know), but I see a hint of irrationality here.

  206. Akira MacKenzie says

    Great Cthulhu! I might be an obcessive, anti-social, misanthrope with nihilistic tendencies and very poor “people skills,” but even I can figure out that the amount of stupid, sexist, umbrage directed toward RW is atrosciouly bad form.

    Leave the woman alone, you fucking bastards… present company included!

  207. Hoku says

    I disagree with Rebecca, on the substance. I’m not sure I agree with Dawkins either.

    But for fucks sake people, agree or disagree, what the fuck is wrong with you that you devote so much energy into attacking her over it?

  208. Sally Strange, OM says

    A single comment thread makes him ignorant to the concerns of women? (To clarify, I was rather disgusted by his comments as well)

    A single comment… followed by a prolonged silence in response to thousands of letters and emails asking him to please clarify, or better yet apologize. Yes. Dawkins clearly is ignorant about the concerns of women if he really thinks that (as I said before) constantly being the target of unwanted sexual advances is “zero bad.” To date, he has not retracted that statement. So, I deduce that he continues to hold that opinion. From that, I deduce that he is ignorant about the concerns of women.

    And if it did, does it make his writings on science and atheism moot?

    Nobody ever said that. Since we’re naming logical fallacies, that one would be the straw man.

    Perhaps we are viewing this from different perspectives

    Golly, ya think?!?

    (perhaps I have a form of privilege as a scientist man, I don’t know)

    Yes, you are speaking from a position of privilege as a man, just like Dawkins did! Also, your male privilege has apparently led you to assume that I am not a scientist! A better tell-tale of male privilege one could hardly ask for. (To be fair, I’m more of an aspiring scientist, thanks to the lousy job market.)

    but I see a hint of irrationality here.

    That’s funny, because I see more than a hint of irrationality in your determined insistence on interpreting Rebecca Watson’s eminently reasonable response as irrational.

  209. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    @Sally Strange

    Thank you, I’m glad you thought it was funny!

    @Dr. R

    Saying (paraphrase) “I’m not going to give Richard Dawkins any more of my money because he straight-up insulted me” is not an ad hominem. At no point does RW say that Dawkins is WRONG about biology or that his views on atheism are crappy and not well-reasoned, she’s just saying, essentially, dude’s a jerk and I’m not giving him any more of my money.

    Totally justified, imo.

    I must now leave this comment thread, however, because these lab reports aren’t going to grade themselves, and my grading speed is absolutely snail-like when I keep checking back here after every page. So good day/afternoon/evening/night, as applicable.

  210. Tim Groc says

    Sally Strange:

    A single comment… followed by a prolonged silence in response to thousands of letters and emails asking him to please clarify

    He did clarify. He didn’t see it as an issue.

  211. The Devil's Towelboy says

    #171 – A very common refrain here includes a lot of explicit wishes for the people that you disagree with to die. ERV and Grey Lining posters generally tend to not actually do that

    Here’s a great summary of the civilized discourse that is promoted as acceptable around here.

  212. Philip Legge says

    Here’s a short list of evil things Rebecca’s done, for which she obviously deserves four months of continual abuse and character assassination:

    1. Years ago at the JREF forum, Rebecca banned another user and deleted/altered some forum posts as a joke after being mistakenly given moderator privileges.
    Measured and proportionate response: “[t]he willful destruction of other users’ identities is the online equivalent of cold-blooded murder².” “Rebecca Watson is a criminal.” [Source: greylining.com]
    Unreasonable response: the admins at the JREF forums banned her.

    2. Rebecca Watson responded to Paula Kirby’s comments on the “Women in Atheism” panel at Dublin by suggesting Paula’s experiences do not hold generally for all women. The worst that can be levelled here is that Rebecca did state that Paula’s not having been affected by sexism might be termed an argument from ignorance in sceptical circles, or an argument from privilege in feminist discourse.
    Measured and proportionate response: Rebecca derailed a panel to launch an attack on another speaker! [Source: Butterfly & Wheels*]
    Unreasonable response: PZ talked to Kirby after the panel, “she didn’t seem mauled at all, and conceded that she’d been given food for thought”. (Same thread as above, #105.)

    3. Rebecca Watson criticised part of a blog about her posted by Stef McGraw, who was writing in her official capacity as a leader of the UNI Freethinkers & Inquirers, on the UNIFI website.
    Measured and proportionate responses: Rebecca broke the laws of the Internet by bringing Internet drama into meatspace! [Source: ERV] Or, Watson took the opportunity to attack McGraw from the podium (See B&W again, as above, comment #54).
    Unreasonable response: Stef McGraw responded with another blog post detailing her objections more to the venue of the reply, rather than the argument.

    4. Rebecca Watson responded to Richard Dawkins’ comments on Pharyngula by saying that in the absence of an apology she would not buy any of his books in future, and Skepchick posted examples of letters written to RD (which he himself more or less invited: “if somebody will […] explain to me what it is that I am not getting”).
    Measured and proportionate response: It’s baseless scapegoating. It’s vindictive and self-serving. It’s bullying. It’s viciousness and nastiness of the highest degree, and it’s a perfect example of groupthink at its worst. [Source: Miranda Celeste]
    Unreasonable response: Various letters written in many forums that argue contra RD “without using the word fuck in every sentence”.

    In addition to that, she has a Bachelor of Communications from Boston University which again, obviously makes her a completely inappropriate person to be part of the sceptical and atheist communities. Riiiiiiight.

    </sarcasm mode="off">

    * The comment linked at B&W is by Jean Kazez, whose view I would like to clearly state is much more nuanced than the hyperbole that has been spoken about Watson’s Dublin panel. There have been responses of the same basic character as Kazez’s, which I can respect – but expressed with far more misogynistic vitriol, which is not worthy of respect. I for one cannot see how pointing out that “communicating atheism” as a woman and thus as a result receiving masses of misogynistic threats and other inappropriate comments was off-topic considering the premise of the panel and the other panellists’ talks, and likewise that such abuse would be a massive disincentive for women participating in atheism similarly being off-topic in terms of the earlier panel on “women in atheism”.

  213. Sally Strange, OM says

    He did clarify. He didn’t see it as an issue.

    If he did, it’s not on his blog. I’d appreciate a link if you’ve got it.

    But please explain to me: if his original position was that sexual harassment and objectification of women at atheist conferences are non-issues, then how is saying that he doesn’t see it as an issue a “clarification”?

  214. Tim Groc says

    Sally Strange,

    No, what I mean is that his last comment clarified what his thoughts on the matter were – that it wasn’t an issue.

    He either thinks it is or isn’t an issue – that if he still thinks the former, he has clarified his position.

  215. Dr. R says

    Sally Strange, OM:

    Actually, I’ve determined that you are not a scientist from your comment history on other threads, not your gender. (I hope you find a job in the sciences, it’s great fun) I do have to ask why you assume that I am a man (I’ve never to my knowledge stated my gender). I respect Watson’s right to boycott Dawkins (I suppose that was a bit of a straw man) She did however state that his contributions were no longer worthy of consideration by her (within her rights). I suppose I just don’t like the idea of dismissing someone based on a single negative quality. With regards to an ad hominem dismissal, perhaps my logical faculties are failing me tonight due to a lack of sleep (you try and get enough sleep when you’re going through peer review! :)).

  216. Sally Strange, OM says

    Well, silly me, Tim–since I specifically mentioned Dawkins’ silence in response to the many emails and letters sent to him asking him to clarify/apologize, I assumed that you also meant that his clarification was in response to the many emails etc.

    Thanks for adding so much to the discussion!

    Blergh. Too much sarcasm for the night. I’m off.

  217. Sally Strange, OM says

    I do have to ask why you assume that I am a man

    Why, from your comment history on other threads, darling, how else?

    *bats eyes coquettishly*

    I’m right, aren’t I?

    G’night.

  218. Tim Groc says

    Sally Strange,

    Since he hasn’t responded to any of the emails and letters, we can presume he still thinks as he did three months ago.

    Therefore, we can conclude that his position is clarified. Right?

  219. Dr. R says

    I’ve actually made a grand total of 15 or so comments on three or so threads, most of which were on a thread about a religious troll on Facebook. Not sure how you can determine my gender from that. You are correct though, I am a man, though I like to count myself a feminist.

  220. Dr. R says

    Going off for the night, those cell culture plates in the lab aren’t going to replace their own medium!

  221. The Ys says

    The main point is that someone asking for a phone number is typically innocuous.

    Really? In my experience, that means one of two things:

    1) I don’t want to fuck you right now, but I might change my mind later; or

    2) You don’t want to fuck me right now, and I’m going to keep pushing you and harassing you about it until you give in.

    I don’t want strangers calling me because I have no idea if they’ll fall into that second category. If the person I’m chilling with can’t come up with an alternative, then he’s the one with the problem…not to mention a limited imagination.

    You want my email address? Fine. I may give you a throwaway email address because those are free, and it won’t cost me anything if I have to change it. Changing a phone number is a pain in the ass. My phone is there for my convenience, not yours, and not for other random people I don’t know.

  222. Hairhead says

    Graham, I went to the link you posted, and as usual it’s all Watson-hate, all the time. They claim she is a liar, a raving egomaniac, that she is an actual detriment to the skeptic movement, that is a *gasp* feminist, and that calling someone “a giant vagina” is simply funny, and not misogynist in the least.

    But no-one has posted her supposed lies. No-one has talked specifically what it is about her positions that drives them crazy. One thing that does come up is “prostitute-themed party” at TAM. They believe that because she consented to participate in the one specific party, that one event, that she has clearly given permission to every man to sexualize her. Forever.

    It’s sad to see women acting as the pawns of misogyny.

  223. chigau (meh) says

    Sally Strange, OM

    But please explain to me: if his original position was that sexual harassment and objectification of women at atheist conferences are non-issues, then how is saying that he doesn’t see it as an issue a “clarification”? (my bold)

    Not an issue then, still not an issue.
    Not an issue.
    Clear?
    ——
    Why did Dawkins post his Muslim and gum on Pharyngula?
    Why not his own blog?
    Or Rebecca’s?

  224. julian says

    They believe that because she consented to participate in the one specific party, that one event, that she has clearly given permission to every man to sexualize her.

    To be fair some have argued that this is an example of Ms. Watson encouraging the kind of atmosphere that lead to EG propositioning her in the event that shall not be named.

    How this excuses the harassment she’s endured is still beyond me, however. Maybe they don’t realize they’re bordering on vindictive with their feelings of schadenfreude.

  225. julian says

    The main point is that someone asking for a phone number is typically innocuous.

    Depends on who’s asking as you yourself have admitted. A phone number is something that could easily be used to harass you and be very dangerous information in the hands of a creep. Why you consider it ok to simply hand that out to everyone who asks is beyond me.

    And, to be frank, who cares who leaves with the most women at the end of the night? If the tactics that get them all those dates and numbers involve harassing a woman, cornering her to make her uncomfortable and generally dismissing what damage might be done to her, how can you possibly think that’s ok?

    Or are the results the only thing that matters here?

  226. Philip Legge says

    Having in the past consented to be photographed completely naked for a publicity/fundraising calendar (which, yes I have done) does not mean that I have assented to or given tacit approval for all future opportunities for people to objectify and/or sexualise me.

    Oblivious people referring to the Skepchick calendar or the theme party, guess what’s the difference between things like those, and the elevator scenario? There’s a big hint in the first paragraph I just wrote.

  227. The Ys says

    Look, the atheist movement could survive without Richard Dawkins, though loss of his eloquence would be a blow. It will not survive and prosper if we exclude or make it unhospitable for 50% of humanity.

    Bolded for emphasis.

    That’s the crux of the situation: if men want women to participate more fully and in greater numbers at atheist meetings/conventions/etc., then it is logical for men to listen to women when women describe their experiences and why those experiences have deterred them from participating.

    The more certain people protest against listening to the voices of women, and the more that rational women are painted as ‘hysterical’ and ‘irrational’ by those certain people, the more clear those people make it that they do not wish to have us here.

    IOW, skepticism fails when skeptics fail to examine their own biases.

  228. julian says

    then it is logical for men to listen to women when women describe their experiences and why those experiences have deterred them from participating.

    Rolled a 20 on my init check. Plus 4 for dex, sweet! In before ‘we are listening to women just not you.’

    It’s no good just to listen to the women who don’t feel there’s an issue or to selectively promote those women who despise feminism. Honestly where would that get us? These women obviously don’t feel there’s an issue so they aren’t going to provide any insight into answering any potential issues, are they?

  229. The Ys says

    Rolled a 20 on my init check. Plus 4 for dex, sweet!

    Do you have a wisdom modifier, Julian? The GM would accept that as well on this particular roll.

    It’s no good just to listen to the women who don’t feel there’s an issue or to selectively promote those women who despise feminism. Honestly where would that get us? These women obviously don’t feel there’s an issue so they aren’t going to provide any insight into answering any potential issues, are they?

    Exactly.

  230. chigau (meh) says

    What?????
    Women who do not think there is a problem are to be discounted?
    Women who despise feminism are to be discounted?
    These women aren’t going to provide any insight?
    Really?????

  231. mouthyb, whose brain is currently melon-balled says

    Sent mine along, as well.

    And really, internet? The information to help you understand what’s wrong with what Elevator Guy did and what’s wrong with the situation is there. People have spent months carefully, meticulously explaining what is wrong, using examples from various situations. Hell, I’ve posted easily twenty study links substantiating the various things we’ve been talking about, substantiating that these phenomena are well studied and well documented by (you know) science, and the same bullshit objections come up from people who refuse to read back and look at the massive time and energy spent explaining this situation.

    It’s not their fault or mine that you won’t read it.

  232. Pteryxx says

    Lest we forget, harassment of women at atheist gatherings has been a problem for a long time: see PZ’s “The Woman Problem” discussion, a year before anyone mentioned Dublin or elevators.

    Lest we forget, Rebecca was already giving talks on encouraging women’s participation by addressing how men often treat them, and the Elevator Incident was simply one typical example, which she presented as such.

    Yet we can’t even have a thread about supporting her in the face of ongoing harassment without a swarm of supercilious douchebuckets making the same tired accusations about her rationality, stability, and credibility.

    The point; you jackholes are demonstrating it.

  233. Sally Strange, OM says

    I’ve actually made a grand total of 15 or so comments on three or so threads

    I recall reading the first one, and thinking two things:

    1. Informative!

    2. Dudely.

    I dunno why, just an impression. No, actually, I ran your posts through that gender-determining program. No, actually, it was just an impression. Haha. Subsequent postings confirmed my impression. Though the gender text analysis program apparently agrees with me.

    In any case, your only real objection boils down to this:

    I suppose I just don’t like the idea of dismissing someone based on a single negative quality.

    And really, you must admit, “I just don’t like it” is a far cry from “it’s irrational.”

    So why DID you insist that it was irrational? Couldn’t possibly some of that implicit bias, could it?

    Naaaahhhhhh.

  234. says

    @chigau, I assume Julian’s point is merely poorly phrased, and does NOT mean “don’t listen to them bitches”.

    To unpack:
    If you want to solve problem X, then who should you listen to in considering your solution?
    A. People who say that X is a problem for them.
    B. People who say that X is not a problem for them personally.
    C. People who say that X is not a problem for ANYONE.

    Group A, of course. Group B quite possibly may have some useful observations. Group C? Highly unhelpful. Denialism isn’t a useful approach to problem-solving.

  235. Dr. R says

    Sally Strange:

    First, thanks for the link to that awesome app.
    Second, I suppose I tend to unconsciously link ideas I don’t like to irrationality (most of the time I’m right: religion, IDiots, Islamism, totalitarianism, etc) I support Watson’s right to respond personally to a perceived affront in any manner she chooses. Though she might consider that she has a large readership which may be influenced by her posts. I still read Dawkins, and post regularly on RDNet (also as Dr. R). I actually feel sorry for Watson, since she is missing the Magic of Reality (read it, buy it for your family members, coworkers, random people on the street. Its that important!) .

  236. julian says

    I assume Julian’s point is merely poorly phrased, and does NOT mean “don’t listen to them bitches”.

    Yeah sorry. Poorly phrased and way more dismissive than I want to come across. My bad. Apologies to anyone who was offended. I definitely do not mean to say that those women who don’t experience sexual harassment or are affected to them extent as those who are vocal about it should be discounted. Again, sorry.

  237. Pteryxx says

    Dawkins also has a large readership who may be influenced by his posts. Some of us felt betrayed or humiliated by his ignorant and insensitive comments, directly. Regardless of anything Rebecca had to say about it.

  238. Ichthyic says

    Shadowin:

    I made an analogy about riding a hotel elevator to getting on a plane. Both are miniscule that you will be raped or blown up, but it’s still good to have a good filter for true danger.

    well, there actually have been quite a few rapes in 5 star hotels.

  239. Sally Strange, OM says

    First, thanks for the link to that awesome app.

    No problem.

    Second, I suppose I tend to unconsciously link ideas I don’t like to irrationality (most of the time I’m right: religion, IDiots, Islamism, totalitarianism, etc)

    If you can admit that this is a possibility, why can’t you admit that it’s a possibility that you unconsciously link “female/femininity/feminism” with “irrationality”? Do you dislike feminism? Or do you dislike dismissing people based on a single negative characteristic? How can you separate the latter from the former if that “single negative characteristic” is sexism? I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but I do think that your comments are a pretty good example of how implicit bias functions, and I don’t want to let you off too easy (especially since you are actually a decent guy, unlike, say, Shadowin).

    I support Watson’s right to respond personally to a perceived affront in any manner she chooses.

    This really shouldn’t even be in question. Obviously Watson has “the right” to stop buying books from a guy who was a jerk to her on a personal level. The fact that this is even up for debate reveals how much of a double standard we have for women’s behavior. Watson is being assertive and principled, not hysterical and irrational. Women are often derided as being hysterical and irrational when in fact they are expressing principled opposition to the status quo. Coincidence? You tell me.

    Though she might consider that she has a large readership which may be influenced by her posts. I still read Dawkins, and post regularly on RDNet (also as Dr. R).

    Why shouldn’t Dawkins consider that Watson has a large readership which may be influenced by her posts? He’s the one who has to worry about selling his books, not her. Again, there’s this double standard.

    I actually feel sorry for Watson, since she is missing the Magic of Reality (read it, buy it for your family members, coworkers, random people on the street. Its that important!)

    Well, I feel sorry for Dawkins, because apparently he’s such a giant ass about these issues that he can’t be bothered to just apologize for acting like a sexist jerk towards a fellow atheist activist, thereby regaining the support of her and her supporters and followers. Why miss out on the chance of educating more people about the awesomeness of science, just because you are totally committed to maintaining the fiction that women at atheist conferences have “zero bad” to complain about when it comes to sexual harassment and objectification? Not rational.

    Just to be clear: I don’t think you or Dawkins qualify as active misogynists. I just think you and he are ordinary, well-meaning men who are blinded to certain uncomfortable truths by your privilege.

    I note that PZ supports Watson, but has also promoted The Magic of Reality, and that Watson has given no indication that this bothers her at all. A very rational response, wouldn’t you say? As for myself, I may yet purchase the book, as a Christmas gift for my two baby nieces. I don’t expect my heroes to be perfect. And Dawkins didn’t personally insult me.

  240. Sally Strange, OM says

    Dawkins also has a large readership who may be influenced by his posts. Some of us felt betrayed or humiliated by his ignorant and insensitive comments, directly. Regardless of anything Rebecca had to say about it.

    This, too. Though I may be contradicting what I just wrote above. Fuck, but this shit isn’t easy. And well-meaning guys who reproduce sexist memes, like “Women who are vocally angry about real injustice are just being irrational,” as Dr. R. just did, don’t help matters much either.

  241. mouthyb, whose brain is currently melon-balled says

    I’ll echo that; Dawkins is read by women. Women do read science and atheist authors, and it is entirely possible for them to be alienated by his words.

  242. says

    @Dr. R

    I suppose I just don’t like the idea of dismissing someone based on a single negative quality.

    I know you’re trying to be reasonable about this, Dr. R, but it isn’t a single negative quality she is reacting to; it’s that he treated her with contempt in at least three ways (acting as if sexism in Europe doesn’t matter, pretending that someone chewing gum is comparable to disrespecting the boundaries of women by men, and saying that what happened to her was zero-bad) and in doing so stoked the MRA flames. Why should she waste her time considering the things said by a person who treats her that way? His arguments may be inspiring and often clearheaded, but he is hardly the only one making them; she can get them elsewhere.

    @Hairhead #271

    One thing that does come up is “prostitute-themed party” at TAM.

    It was nothing more that a Wild West costume party. Photos from it can be viewed on Flickr. A kind of snarky report on it can be found at The Bolingbrook Babbler:

    The only complaint came from a man who wished not be identified.

    “When they said it was a Wild West Bordello Party, I thought they were literally creating a bordello for the night. After I got smacked a couple times, Rebecca said it was just a costume party. They should have been clearer in their advertising!”

  243. says

    @julian #273

    To be fair some have argued that this is an example of Ms. Watson encouraging the kind of atmosphere that lead to EG propositioning her in the event that shall not be named.

    Yes, but it really isn’t fair at all. Look at the photos from the party. The people making that claim simply don’t know what they are talking about.

  244. Shadowin says

    @248

    No, it’s not the same. By the pictures PZ posted, if the guy never talked to her it’s doubtful he heard her say she was tired and going to sleep (unless she shouted it to everyone in the bar). A 5-star hotel elevator has cameras and an emergency button, and there have been only 3 confirmed incidences of attacks in hotel elevators in North America (only info I could find). If you’re in the back of the cab, there are usually no cameras, no emergency button, and the driver has much more control over you.

    @247

    I never said it was okay to hand out your phone number to anyone. I said it was typically innocuous to be asked for your number.

    @290

    People are making the claim that hotel elevators are dangerous. Your google search shows that you are much more likely to be assaulted in most other parts of the hotel (presumably away from cameras).

  245. mikee says

    Good Lord (pun intended) a request from PZ for ideas to affirm Rebecca Watson because she is being harassed by some rather nasty pieces of work has turned into a rehash of elevatorgate.

    Whether or not you think Rebecca contributed to elevatorgate or not, there is no excuse for people to make nasty comments about raping her, harming her etc. No matter what the reason, these sorts of comments are just sick. Anyone with even a shred of empathy must understand that.

    As to those who suggest or expect Rebecca to be completely rational in everything she says or does, why should she be different from the rest of humanity? I bet even PZ makes the odd irrational comment. On the whole, I find Rebecca to espouse many intelligent, well thought out arguments on skeptical and other issues and I think she deserves respect for the skeptical, atheist and feminist issues she talks about.

  246. says

    Even if the party had been a fucking ORGY (fucking orgy? heh!)

    I’ll start again. Even if the party had been an orgy it wouldn’t make a difference.

    Women being sexual is NOT the same thing as encouraging sexism.

    knock it off with the madonna/whore bullshit.

  247. julian says

    Yes, but it really isn’t fair at all. Look at the photos from the party. The people making that claim simply don’t know what they are talking about. – Aratina Cage

    I know. When I said I meant ‘fair to what they were trying to argue’ not fair as in ‘they have a legitimate point.’ I’m not Ms. Watson’s biggest fan but arguing as many have that she’s used sex to ‘rise to the top’ (one of the nastier iterations of this was “fuck her way up the skeptic ladder” said by one of the ‘moderates’ over at ERV) and is switching gears now that it isn’t working does not sound ‘fair’ to me at all.

    Now I do think she’s tried to put forward a very sex positive persona and that she has done some silly things to make skepticism seem like less of an old stuffy university club but honestly there’s no reason to dismiss a woman’s no just because she’s done something ‘naughty’ elsewhere.

    And fuck anyone who’s tried to argue if EG had been hotter she would have said yes. Fuck you for being such an oblivious asshole. I guess women who get raped by attractive men really consented, right?

    Yes, but it really isn’t fair at all. Look at the photos from the party. The people making that claim simply don’t know what they are talking about. – Shadowwin

    Perhaps at a job interview or after you’ve gotten to know someone. There’s nothing inocuous about asking a stranger for their phone number. Especially the way I’ve seen some men go after it. There’s no reason to defend that sort of thing so I don’t get why it’s so important for you to be able to walk up to strangers and request personal contact information.

  248. Ichthyic says

    People are making the claim that hotel elevators are dangerous.

    it was actually addressing your “5 star hotels are safe” claim you made earlier upthread; I was just too lazy to find it amongst the rubble.

    be that as it may, there are three things that you need to consider that you haven’t:

    -hitting on people in enclosed public spaces like bathrooms and elevators makes MOST people uncomfortable. This should not be hard to figure out, unless the people arguing against that are just morons looking to waste time on the internet.

    -Hotels are NOT known for their security wrt to making people safe from being hit on by other people. They are reactionary, not proactive.

    -When someone tells you they feel it’s inappropriate for someone to proposition them in an elevator…

    WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO QUESTION THEIR PREFERENCES?

    sweet jesus, this single minor incident has really exposed some seriously dumb people.

  249. Beatrice says

    A post calling for support of a woman who has been insulted, threatened and verbaly abused on the internet for months generates even more shit to be flung in her general direction. Nice. It totally makes me rethink my stance on the whole issue. I mean, if enough assholes say that she’s a hysterical bitch and explain how women are totally irrational when we say anything they don’t agree with, our feeble minds might finally realize who’s supposed to do the thinking.

  250. Hertta says

    Shadowin:

    By the pictures PZ posted, if the guy never talked to her it’s doubtful he heard her say she was tired and going to sleep (unless she shouted it to everyone in the bar).

    So if you’ve never talked to someone and just saw them heading for the elevators presumably to go to their room (it is, after all 4 am), you think it’s not creepy at all to follow them in to the evevator and ask them to come with you to your room? What’s the matter with you?

    I have to conclude that you and a formidable number of atheist men just don’t care if women feel uncomfortable in atheist gatherings and as a result stay away. You guys just don’t give a shit.

  251. Ichthyic says

    I have to conclude that you and a formidable number of atheist men just don’t care if women feel uncomfortable in atheist gatherings and as a result stay away.

    hell, I concluded that after the FIRST thread Man-Splosion that happened, months ago.

    still, I think while there appears to be a largish number of them, I don’t think they are the majority at these meetings, either.

    well, I’d like to think that, anyway.

  252. Muzz says

    Great summary up there by Philip Legge. Just reprint that next time this comes up.

    Anyway, I see a few safety based arguments floating around here and there, that the elevator is “safe” because it’d be a bad place for a successful sexual assault and escape by a perp or some rationale along those lines. I’m reminded of swimming lessons when I was a little kid and one of the instructors phrased their reassurance rather badly, saying “Don’t worry. If you start drowning I’ll be here to rescue you”. Gee thanks! I and most others really didn’t want to “start drowning” at all.

    I am willing to say that technically speaking a fear of elevator encounters (not that it’s really relevant but bear with me) is ultimately irrational. Technically speaking. Like most unease and fears we might have, and most feelings and moment to moment human behaviour for that matter, it doesn’t spring from a place of reason.
    But, BUT!, it doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that it is explicable and worthy of consideration.
    Really, why is this even a debate? Someone mildly suggests in a video that unsettling a woman is a bad way to proposition them, and not going to help you get what you want out of the situation in any case. The reaction to this is to argue “Oh yeah, well you shouldn’t have been unsettled in the first place and here’s why!”.
    I’m sorry? That’s the real reason (apart from the abuse) that this is still being talked about. It is to this day so stunningly dumb it blows my mind. It would be pretty amazing coming from 4chan, frankly. Springing from this supposedly brainy corner of the net is truly astounding.

    There is one dimension the feminist “side” should consider more, however. I think anyway. It’s the use of terms like sexist and misogynist. They might want to be careful in throwing those around because people generally don’t understand them and get pissed off at the suggestion. To most people, even highly educated, they are big nasty and obvious features of a personality to the point of being willful and conscious. In the more academic sense they represent a broad spectrum of behaviours and cultural attitudes that aren’t necessarily consciously employed by people in the culture.
    Similar to racism, the terms have been refined in academic circles to the point that sexism and misogyny can describe implicit social mores, the source of tiny shaping attitudes and corrections in the way people develop gender roles. Much of which is not employed intentionally or with any over arching awareness, but a “just the way it is” attiude.
    So in this case people react badly to suggestions, say, that ElevatorGuy is sexualising or sexist. To people without much social theory under their belts those ideas are saying a nervous and ill timed elevator proposition (that they sympathise with terribly, I might add) is equivalent to the worst, most crass behavior available and he might as well be the semen flinging Multiple Miggs from the cell next to Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. All the bad things they’ve heard about extreme feminism are confirmed. All the Rush Limbaugh memes they osmosed in their youth are suddenly remembered.
    So to with saying that there is a lot of Misogynists around the atheist community. I’m sure this refers to the subtle cultural version, mostly (there’s a few who aren’t but say with me). But again what most people hear is being called someone actively trying to make The Handmaid’s Tale a reality, someone no better than the most insane fundamentalist christian or muslim.
    There is a cavernous comprehension gap between the use of these terms inside feminism and academia and pretty much everyone else. And it’s bound to upset people simply because they don’t really understand it. I would not be surprised if Richard Dawkins mouthed off unnecessarily because he is one of these people too.
    I think the feminist position is a reasonable one, one that a lot of people who seem to be MRAs in the EG debate could ultimately embrace. But I think the feminist are going to have to explain the things a bit better to help bring them along. Yeah it’s time consuming and no one has a right not to be offended by their own ignorance etc etc. But in the interests of outreach this communication problem and its enraging properties is worth keeping in mind for everyone.

  253. julian says

    So if you’ve never talked to someone and just saw them heading for the elevators presumably to go to their room (it is, after all 4 am), you think it’s not creepy at all to follow them in to the evevator and ask them to come with you to your room?

    The whole line of inquiry is irrelevant and one cheap trick.

    The reasoning seems to be ‘Ms. Watson did not make her wishes explicit. EG did not have 100% certainty his proposal would be rejected. Therefor she was wrong to feel uncomfortable or creeped out.’

    It’s bullshit but it’s bullshit that appeals to a lot of skeptics who don’t want to adjust or examine their behavior.

  254. Beatrice says

    Muzz,
    I have absolutelly no training in social theory, but I do have a dictionary, a thesaurus and google. Yes, people might react emotionally and get upset if they are called on their sexist behavior, but that is not a reason to stop using appropriate words.

  255. Muzz says

    Beatrice
    If you can find where I said stop using the words I would be grateful. The dictionary definitions are the singularly unhelpful ones as they generally connote the more extreme and specific usage I described and would confirm how inappropriate they seem to someone reacting badly to their use by a feminists in this debate. Which isn’t what I want at all.
    And Google is where Jenny MacCarthy got her education on vaccines so I’m not confident directing people there for explanations on anything is guaranteed to do other than reinforce their current prejudices most of the time.

  256. Hertta says

    hell, I concluded that after the FIRST thread Man-Splosion that happened, months ago.

    Yeah, well, so did I. But there are people who appear on these threads endlessly analysing one incident in an elevator six months after it happened asking essentially why they should care how women feel when they proposition them. The answer is, of course, that you should care… if you care. If you don’t, there’s no point to this discussion. No one will be able to explain to you, why you should care about other peoples’ feelings or look at things from their perspective if you just don’t.

    And if after the months long RW hatefest and the frightening levels of misogyny we’ve witnessed, someone says that they don’t think there’s a sexism problem in the movement, it’s just useless to argue. If they don’t see it or don’t think it’s a problem, where does one begin to explain what the problem is? People who insist on myopically picking apart a single incident or the actions of a single person whenever someone tries to have a discussion of a larger phenomenon will obviously never see the bigger picture.

  257. Beatrice says

    Muzz,

    But you have some issue with the way they are used. On every thread about sexism on Pharyngula, there are at least ten links to various articles explaining sexism. People write long posts describing what exactly is sexists in a given situation, like this whole elevator affair. Terms are not being thrown around without explanation. At some point, it becomes people’s own problem if they can’t understand(or are deliberately not understanding) things.

  258. says

    I regularly argue with some of the most vile disgusting humans on twitter.

    Assholes like Peter Labarbera and others from NOM. People who want gay sex criminalized. Who say gays are a cancer. Who say gays cause all child sexual abuse. Who say that being gay is the most immoral thing a person can be – who say that our culture is under attack. Who say that they are “defending marriage.”

    Who say that the military will crumble if gays aren’t forced out.
    Labarbera tweeted just tonight of the “Homosexual Tyranny” he feels he lives underm controlled by the “gay thought police.”

    You know what REALLY pisses LaBarbera and his cohorts off? Being called a homophobe.

    Yes, these people whose main preoccupation is their mind-bogglingly insane and irrational FEAR of gay people hate being called homophobes.

    Would you suggest that maybe we should stop calling them that? Of course not.

    If you do something based on a fear of gays (or lets even just call in “unease,”) that behavior is homophobic. Would you argue that the best way to confront discriminatory behavior would be to avoid using language that those discriminating might DISLIKE?

    That’s idiocy.

    You do not teach people how to discern colors by showing them only blank and white. You do not teach people to let go of binary thinking by making sure you only speak in ones and zeros.

    There are degrees of racism and sexism and homophobia – you do not make people aware that there are degrees of these things by using the labels only for the extreme cases.

    Yes, most people do not actively hate whole groups of others. They don’t want to go burning crosses on lawns, but just because they don’t that doesn’t mean you avoid calling their actions racist if they won’t rent their upstairs apartment to “coloreds.”

    Everyone is prejudiced. Anyone can display bigoted behavior. To make them recognize that, it must be acknowledged and pointed out.

    Sure, kind words might be in order at first. Is anyone going to argue at this point that this will work in this case? Seriously?

    We are faced with a group of people belligerently clinging to their particular bigotry.

    The “nice” approach FAILED. It failed from the very start – the genesis of this entire controversy was the VIOLENT rejection by misogynists of the nice approach. “Hey guys, by the way, don’t do this…” was the nice approach that set the whole fucking thing off.

    At this point it is well beyond fair time to start metaphorically bashing foreheads with a clue-bat labeled “sexist.”

    A handful of people might (and have) recognized the resulting ache in their skull and have come to their sense and said “oh yeah, I get it, sorry, I was being clueless.”

    More will likely just run away from the headache and hide in some shithole like ERV that tolerates them. Not as good a solution, but better than nothing.

    CODDLING sexist attitudes and behavior is a fucking non-starter.
    What other words are you proposing? Impolite? Not-so-nicey-depending-on-your-gonads? Shit – even appealing TO their sexism (hey guys, here’s a better way try to get laid) hasn’t worked.

    These are supposed to be fucking grownups we’re dealing with. If they can’t handle the reality of public recognition of their failings, that’s just their tough luck.

  259. tushcloots says

    Philip Legge says:


    25 October 2011 at 3:19 am

    Having in the past consented to be photographed completely naked for a publicity/fundraising calendar (which, yes I have done) does not mean that I have assented to or given tacit approval for all future opportunities for people to objectify and/or sexualise me.
    Oblivious people referring to the Skepchick calendar or the theme party, guess what’s the difference between things like those, and the elevator scenario? There’s a big hint in the first paragraph I just wrote.

    No, of course, it’s the same as if you’d consented to being photographed in a tweed suit reading a book by Voltaire(which, yes you could have done…sheesh) for a PUBLICITY/fundraising calender. You certainly wouldn’t expect anyone to objectify/stereotype you as an intellectual. Why, without your written contract proffering explicit consent, that would just be wrong.
    Slight difference to a costume party with a wild west theme. Wait a sec. Anyone listen to the words? 2007 Skepchick Calendar

    This is bullshit. How many people are moaning about objectifying people as sex objects?
    I 100% agree, in almost all cases where I haven’t met someone before. But if you use your sexuality – blatantly!?
    Don’t be complaining about it. She is fucking promoting it, she is making money doing it.

    There is so much more than meets the eye here. I just now found out about all this.

    She don’t support anything Dawkins does? I just lost a little bit of respect for her. There’s no missing what this argument is for.

    You know another thing. We haven’t heard the other side of the story. Yeah, asking her to come ‘chat’ is transparently bullshit, probably. But it’s a nerd party, and some nerds are pathetically awkward and incompetent socially. For all I know, the guy was pinned into a corner and looking down and feeling embarrassed and didn’t know how to handle a sudden situation to actually talk to her and he blew it.
    I am not, repeat NOT, saying it was that way, but where does everyone get the knowledge that the guy is a fucking misogynist? A premeditatedly opportunistic weasel? (Hmmm, spell check don’t agree with premeditatedly lol). Everyone don’t, I know, now I’m over-blowing shit! But, the consensus does seem to be that he was being a threatening jerk that needs to have his elevator riding license revoked.
    I’ll say what she did wrong. She could have said, “Please.” As in, “Just so you know, I feel very uncomfortable in that situation and I’m asking people to please refrain from making passes on the elevator? I’m freaked out because x reasons, I think you can understand. I imagine most women would agree with me.”

    She could have brought a friend and approached the guy personally. That’s generally how you treat people respectfully, not airing your laundry in public, and especially not so contemptuously as when speaking to a large audience with no chance of allowing his side.

    I would never, never in a fucking thousand years, ever, use a situation like that to fucking put someone down like that, and be curt and bossy(moo) about it.

    Phillipe, send her a naked picture of yourself, you know, the one you consented to have taken and publicized and quit being such an androgynous freak. I suppose you never masturbate, either, huh?

    Sheesus, RW should have gotten off the elevator when he got on if she feels that vulnerable in that situation. Phillipeh and RW shouldn’t publish blatantly erotic and/or sexual photos if they are so against ‘objectifying’ people.

    Did it occur to some of you people that behaving sexually/flirtatiously is part of being a human being? It just sounds like many here equate being forward with misogyny or insensitivity. You don’t have to ‘get to know’ anything first. Fuck you. It is not a law of courtship written in some manual.

    I’m sure I’ll get torn to shreds now, and rightfully so.

  260. says

    I’m sure I’ll get torn to shreds now, and rightfully so.

    thanks for the self-refuting post and the admission that your arguments can’t stand up, but next time save all of us a lot of trouble and only use your summation.

  261. Beatrice says

    Phillipe, send her a naked picture of yourself, you know, the one you consented to have taken and publicized and quit being such an androgynous freak. I suppose you never masturbate, either, huh?

    The rest of your bullshit arguments have been rehashed and torn down about a million times already, so I won’t even bother. So, let me just comment on the quoted part : fuck off, you hateful asshole.

    Ok, I ignored the three comment rule, but there was so much stupidity in one post, I figured it counted as three.

  262. julian says

    Just so you know, I feel very uncomfortable in that situation and I’m asking people to please refrain from making passes on the elevator?

    You would be funny if weren’t for the reality of what happens to some women who say no and how we treat them afterwords. But I doubt you care.

    Ms. Watson said no. She never named him, never called him anything (to my knowledge.) She explained what made her uncomfortable and advised others not to do that. She was polite, more polite than someone who feels entitled to proposition a stranger for sex out of the blue deserves.

    He made her uncomfortable. He came to her for sex. He ignored every indication she had given up to that point (her talk, her behavior at the bar, a good portion of her vlogs and blog posts) of not wanting to be approached for sex. That alone should shift the burden on to him. But time and time again we keep making her the bad guy. Because she the gall, the audacity!, to share a story about someone asking her for sex and expressing her discomfort with being put in that situation.

    For that she is “anti-sex” and “demonizing men.” (according to one Stef McGraw) For that she’s drawing legitimate attention away from ‘real’ suffering suffered by ‘real’ victims. (according to Richard Dawkins) For that she’s a fucking cunt who hates all men. (according to the internet.) All because she said (paraphrased) “Hey, guys. Don’t do that, ok?”

    Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    So glad, these are the people who’re supposed to be combating the prejudice that religion has left in society. Ha! What a joke.

  263. Akira MacKenzie says

    I have to conclude that you and a formidable number of atheist men just don’t care if women feel uncomfortable in atheist gatherings and as a result stay away.

    I have my own hypothesis about this attitude. Feel free to pick it apart: There is a general assumption among some non-theist men that since they are not under the constraints of the draconian sexual mores of religion, that atheist women should be more willing to have casual sex than most. While this might be true as far as it goes, the hormone-adled mind of the Great Horny Male Atheist (Nonbelievius dickheadicus) can’t seem to comprehend that “sexually liberated” DOES NOT equal “easy.” Therefore, when confronted with that fact, they fly into a frustrated rage, resort to internet harrassment and character assasination, and accuse the offending female of being a “slut” or some “anti-sex” gender feminist of the Dworkin/MacKinnon school of thought.

    Sad really.

  264. Muzz says

    Beatrice
    I don’t have issue with how they are being used, exactly. I’m suggesting people recognise and be aware of the differences in usage between common parlance and more feminist oriented discussion.
    Granted there’s a lot of overlap and there are attempts to educate, but on this point specifically I can’t say I’ve seen it more than implicitly addressed or illustrated. As such I don’t think it hurts to point it out (or discuss whether it matters or exists at all).
    I’m not telling people how to argue. Some people will bludgeon or caress as to their wont. People’s arguments have to play themselves out however they will. Some people will never accept social conceptions for anything, ever and so this would have no impact whatsoever. But I can think of situations (mostly in real life actually) where it was plain to me people were getting their blood up and talking/yelling past each other over this. So I throw it into the mix in case there’s any around now.
    Most people don’t understand sexism and misogyny as things that can underpin attitudes and behaviours without any real awareness; that if someone calls you that or the usage offends you or seems extreme, they aren’t necessarily referring to an active hatred of women or conscious wish to abuse and subjugate them but something perhaps more subtle; this doesn’t mean they are likely to be less angry or forceful about opposing it, but there is a broader spectrum of meaning to consider in a lot of cases.
    Some people will never get it. But I do think this information being more present in people’s minds could change how they approach a debate and what the outcome was for people involved, even if it doesn’t apply to any going on right now.

  265. julian says

    @Akira MacKenzie

    I doubt that’s it. The behavior is to common outside of atheist circles. I’ve seen the same ‘holy shit look at the picture of this slut. alright, boys, let’s make this bitch famous!’ in communities as different from the atheist community as the atheist community is from the Quiverfull.

  266. Matt Penfold says

    I was listening to The Life Scientific this morning. It is a radio program in which Jim Al-Khalili, a physicist who has presented some excellent BBC documentaries on science, interviewed the astronomer Jocelyn Bell-Burnell.

    In the program she revealed that following the discovery of pulsars the press asked her not what had led her to notice the anomaly in the data that led to the discovery, but what her vital statistics were. It is well worth a listen, as are the two previous programs with Paul Nurse and Steven Pinker.

  267. Beatrice says

    Muzz,
    Yes, we are aware of the fact that not everyone understands everything that is meant by words sexism and misogyny. That’s why people often explain them, link to relevant articles and give detailed explanations of why an action that is being discussed is sexist, as well as the distinction between being sexist and doing something sexist. People are regularly putting much effort in giving explanations, more often than not to people who are deliberately misunderstanding.

  268. Philip Legge says

    M’dear tushcloots,

    even if I were open to being photographed in a tweed suit reading Voltaire, it again does not provide open season in the future for “mendacious intellectual pornographers” to take any other pot shots of myself without my knowledge for the benefit of vigorous hoggling by a bevy of internet trolls (if the paparazzi stalk me reading books in the street, well, so be it). You missed the fucking point my friend, even though it was the only word writ large in my post (consented). People choose what clothes to wear for a photo shoot or a theme party. They choose what behaviour is suitable for… ahem, candid photography. There is already a relationship (not necessarily a contract) established there.

    The rest of your comment is rather desperate wailing and flailing. We don’t know elevator douchebag’s intentions, and until he comes forward (as if he would, now!) his intent is completely irrelevant. Adults take responsibility for their behaviour. You apparently want to absolve elevator guy from any consequences of being an opportunistic (yes!) douchebag because he was led to believe Rebecca’s photos in calendars or at theme parties would allow him to take some liberties of a stranger. Uh, no.

    Your unwillingness to call anti-social behaviour for what it is has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on Rebecca’s total freedom and discretion to do so, and decent human beings do not subject people like her to a months-long campaign of abuse for exercising freedoms.

    Your suggestion, later in your post where you address me as “Phillipe” (sic), for me to send my collection of naked pictures of myself to a complete stranger (for I have never met Rebecca; she is merely the friend of a friend to me) is interesting, but I cannot possibly accept. It would be very strange for me to begin a friendship by sending someone nude photographs – almost as strange, one might say, as making a veiled proposition of sex with the very first words to leave one’s mouth uttered to someone who doesn’t know you from Adam.

    As for masturbation, the tender mercies of the readers may consider your question TMI, but I am not especially worried by such disclosures.

    I must ask though, what the hell is your problem? Rebecca merely said, “a word to the wise: guys don’t do that” referring to one extremely unintelligent piece of social interaction. She did not, contrary to naïve interpretations such as Rose St Clair’s or Stef McGraw’s, rule out all possible avenues of sexual flirtation or interest available to aware and empathetic beings. If you want sexual relations with other people, there’s this socialising thing that most of us social animals want to do first, so that we get to know you at least a little bit before we get on with the “wanna fuck”. Your whole post is a pæan to wanting to fuck whatever you see as soon as the optic nerve communicates to your limbic brain the image that some sexy thing left on your retinas.

    (In case you weren’t aware: in social dominance hierachies, an ejaculation like “Fuck you” usually has an implicit “I” at the start of that assertion. Sorry dear, but on the basis of this short social interaction, I don’t think we’re compatible.)

  269. julian says

    It would be very strange for me to begin a friendship by sending someone nude photographs

    And sexual harassment.*

    *My prediction of rebuttal to that statement ‘Hey! Some women like seeing men’s naughty bits and would totally respond to that kind of flirting! How can you be so anti-sex as to say that something as innocuous as sending them a pic of my junk is sexual harassment?!’

  270. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    People are making the claim that hotel elevators are dangerous.

    Jesus Hussein Christ! You’re thick. People are making the claim that cornering a woman in an enclosed place, after she’s already both implicitly and explicitly stated she’d rather not be hit on, so you can hit on her*, makes women uncomfortable. And why the fuck shouldn’t it? By this point you’ve made them a captive audience with no reasonable avenue of escape, and ignored their stated preferences. What would this say about you? They are certainly traits shared by rapists and other creeps. Why should there be anything wrong with being uncomfortable with this, or with pointing out to others that this makes you uncomfortable?

    * Yes, he was hitting on her. Leaving a place that serves coffee in order to ask somebody to go back to your room where there’s no coffee pot (unless you packed your own) in order to have coffee suggests that coffee is not your intent**.

    ** Even in the incredibly unlikely event that he did actually mean coffee and either had a coffee maker or had instant, it was 4am and she’d already said she was tired and going to bed, so the last thing she needs is caffeine, which again means the guy was not listening to her. There’s really no way around the whole “putting his preferences above hers” thingy.

  271. Ing says

    I 100% agree, in almost all cases where I haven’t met someone before. But if you use your sexuality – blatantly!?
    Don’t be complaining about it. She is fucking promoting it, she is making money doing it.

    Troll Hunt!

    The Puritan.

  272. Ing says

    Yes, he was hitting on her. Leaving a place that serves coffee in order to ask somebody to go back to your room where there’s no coffee pot (unless you packed your own) in order to have coffee suggests that coffee is not your intent

    REALLY!? WOW! I *NEVER* knew that! I guess that explains why so many people were upset over the GTA Hot Coffee Mod!

    All this time I thought it was just a cut scene of sipping lattes!!!!!

  273. Ing says

    Also please check out my latest paper in Duh: The Journal of Bldingingly Obvious. It’s titled “Self Proclaimed Skeptics Typically Just Anti-Superstitious: The Failure of The Skeptic Community to Address Difficult Preconceptions of it’s Members”

  274. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am still amazed at the deliberately obtuse idiocy shown by Shadowin, et al, since they seem to be unable to grasp the concept of “context” to what was said by RW. It wasn’t the proposition itself that RW found obnoxious (and she never said don’t do it), but the context of 1) an enclosed space without easy exit that made it inappropriate, and 2) not making an effort to get to know here prior to offer, which also made it inappropriate. Only if the above two conditions are met, namely spending some time getting to know the woman, then making the proposition where there is easy escape and witnesses, should such a proposal be offered. Simple really, but then, it is too complex for their feeble non-working brains.

  275. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Ing,

    Yeah, I thought I’d preemptively beat that dead horse. I’m pretty sure I saw it pop up at least once on this thread. I’m also pretty sure others dismantled it, but I figured I’d get it out in my own words so I can copypasta later if needed.

    But, yeah, it’s pretty amazing how many of the objections raised could be answered by reading a copy of Duh.

  276. Ing says

    Homeopathy? Clearly magic woo woo
    Anti-Vax? Dangerous propaganda hysteria
    Moon Landing Hoax? Mindless dribble
    Fortians? Cool stories but not real
    cancer from smoking? Mostly accepted but you see a decline the closer you get to Kato
    Global Warming? We firmly insist there is an actual debate just like the rest of the non-skeptical world
    Religion? We do not speak of the forbidden lore, praise Jebus.
    Feminism? Well MODERATE feminists who wear lipstick and suck cock are good, but fuck those uppity cunts!

    Other than a rejection of the childish superstitions I’m not seeing a huge difference between the skeptics and the credulous plebeians they look down on.

  277. Pteryxx says

    I have to conclude that you and a formidable number of atheist men just don’t care if women feel uncomfortable in atheist gatherings and as a result stay away. You guys just don’t give a shit. -Hertta

    I keep thinking of this comment (from a philosophy discussion) the other day:

    My strong impression is that the problem is worse in the younger generation. It seems to me that a lot of men were attracted to philosophy (especially certain sub-disciplines thereof) precisely because it was so hostile to women; this has created a critical mass of philosophers who like the culture the way it is, and strongly resist any change. -JennieL

    source

    If that’s even somewhat accurate, and it does seem to fit the disproportionate behavior we’re seeing, then atheism really might have a worse misogyny problem than average. These guys may have wanted a woman-free zone.

  278. Dr. R says

    Jafafa Hots: I’m afraid you’re simply wrong. Intellectual violence and indiscriminate labeling is not the way to raise consciousness of gender issues. Perhaps a similar tactic to that used by some of the less strident atheist activists is better suited. Remember, we don’t go out and attack the Anglicans on a regular basis, and individuals unaware of their privilege deserve the same respect. Educate, raise consciousness, engage in rational argument. Don’t engage in the intellectual equivalent of a Jihad.

  279. Matt Penfold says

    Remember, we don’t go out and attack the Anglicans on a regular basis

    If we don’t we should. Unless you think the Anglicans should get a free pass on their bigotry.

  280. Dr. R says

    Matt Penfold: That’s why I said regular, we’re somewhat nice to the Anglicans because most of them are already borderline atheists (they just don’t realize it yet), they don’t do anything particularly nasty, and most of them are nice people (I used to be one). Not saying that they’re guiltless or that they get a free pass, but we have much more important things to focus most of our attention on, like the Catholics.

  281. Hairhead says

    Dr. R. you’re wrong.

    Intellectual violence and indiscriminate labeling is not the way to raise consciousness of gender issues. Perhaps a similar tactic to that used by some of the less strident atheist activists is better suited.

    First, we have had too, too many people who have gone through religious-to-athiest “conversion” and credited blunt-spoken challenges by athiests for their education and coming-around to give your unfounded assertion any credit.

    Second, where, on the many threads and thousands of comments on Pharyngula, ERV, and others have you seen the violent sexist trolls respond positively to accommodationist tactics such as you promote? Nowhere, that’s where. Similar tactics by “less strident” atheist activities have not stemmed the wave of fundy attacks on free speech, education, science, et al.

    Educate, raise consciousness, engage in rational argument.

    Third, please note that time and time and time again reasonable comments by unwitting sexists have been answered with calm rationality and links to sexism, Nice Guys, Mansplaining, etc., all places where unconscious sexism and misogyny is dissected and explained without naughty words or personal attacks. We have done this. Many, many tiresome times. It works for some. For the most objectionable, the most violent, the most dangerous, the most deluded, the most entrenched in misogyny and sexism IT DOESN’T WORK!

    Bigoted trolls, unrepentant sexists, misogynists full of hate and lies, these people do not, and will not respond to any “softly, softly” approach. They won’t. We’ve seen it.

    Dr. R, your assertions have little to no basis in evidence. Furthermore, you mischaracterize our multiple approaches to this problem of misogyny by simply ignoring all of the calm responses and educational links we have and do post. As you do not have any basis to attack us on facts or content, you attack us on tone and style. We’ve heard this chorus hundreds of times before, too.

    Mischaracterization, assertions without evidence, and tone-trolling. You are not representing yourself or your views well.

  282. Matt Penfold says

    Dr R,

    No they are not. Just look at the homophobic attitudes of the Anglican church in Africa for example.

    Why base an argument on something so obviously not true ?

  283. says

    tushcloots #313, I hope you enjoyed your hoggling! That’s the most ironic thing about it all is how you and others like you try to paint Watson as an anti-sex prude. No, you fuckers are the real anti-sex, prohibitionist prudes. Y’all get so worked up about every piece of skin shown and every party attended. You’re the ones promoting the dangerous and dogmatic patriarchal line of thinking that she was asking for it. The whole lot of you can fuck off!

  284. Matt Penfold says

    Dr R,

    You can even forget Africa. Just look at the number of Anglicans in the UK who reject the idea that gays are deserving of equal rights.

    It is true many, but by no means all, of the Anglican Bishops are nice liberal pro-gay men, but a lot of their flock ain’t.

  285. Dr. R says

    Hairhead: Did I ever suggest treating trolls and outright misogynistic pigs kindly? The answer is no. For most people unaware of their privilege, rational approach tends to work best. I’ve had a similar experience with borderline theists, and intellectual violence simply forces them into a defensive mode. And did I attack the current approach? No, I simply explained my objections to a universal application of outright intellectual violence. Less strident approaches, in my experience work quite well on borderline theists, but more aggressive action seems to work on the more hardline individuals. I’m simply advocating a tailored approach. I deplore your “us vs. you” tone in addressing me, it is unnecessarily divisive and offensive.

    Matt Penfold: Perhaps the Australian church is different from the English one that I am familiar with. The English church has openly homosexual Bishops.

  286. Dr. R says

    oops, brain muddle on the Australia/Africa thing. The clergy is generally harmless, the congregations vary, but in my experience (at least 6 or so congregations in my pre-atheist lifetime) most of them are decent people.

  287. The Ys says

    @ Species8472

    Thanks for the link. That was a very powerful and moving post.

    ———————————–

    @ Dr. R:

    I’m afraid you’re simply wrong. Intellectual violence and indiscriminate labeling is not the way to raise consciousness of gender issues. Perhaps a similar tactic to that used by some of the less strident atheist activists is better suited. Remember, we don’t go out and attack the Anglicans on a regular basis, and individuals unaware of their privilege deserve the same respect. Educate, raise consciousness, engage in rational argument. Don’t engage in the intellectual equivalent of a Jihad.

    Have you ever bothered to pick up a history book? Like…ever?

    1) we are combating thousands of years of entrenched bias, hatred, and ignorance. So…which side of the jihad are we on? The one that’s brainwashed humanity into believing that women are inferior, weak, ignorant, and only worthy of serving men, or the side fighting that mindset?

    2) I don’t understand what you mean by the term “intellectual violence”. Do you mean ‘honesty’? If so, we’re not the people who need to review our methods of engagement.

    3) I don’t know who this “we” is of whom you speak. Most of us here attack all religions, not just the ones you think we should take on.

    4) If honesty and bluntness upset you, how and why did you go into the sciences? We don’t sugarcoat it if someone messes up their research, nor do we tread softly when reviewing other people’s work. Why should we do that here?

    Oh right. Because women can’t upset the menfolk. That would be mean.

  288. Matt Penfold says

    Perhaps the Australian church is different from the English one that I am familiar with. The English church has openly homosexual Bishops.

    I was talking about the Anglican Church in the UK.

    And just look at the problems the suggestion that an openly gay man, a man since women are not real people yet for the C of E, should become a Bishop caused. John Jeffrey’s was forced to stand down before his ordination as the result of protests by the bigots. The bigots won.

  289. Matt Penfold says

    And look at the C of E position on women bishops. They have decided to keep on talking about it, rather than actually start treating women as being fully human. Again, the bigots won. And the bigots are going to get all kinds of concessions should women ever be allowed to become bishops. Pandering to bigots is not really something decent folk should be doing.

  290. says

    DR. R., your stupidity is entertaining.

    because it’s only been explained a thousands times, I’m going to repeat it again for you three more.

    Be prepared to keep your mind tightly closed usual.

    A person we are talking about TRIED your nice way and GOT DEATH THREATS as an answer.

    Again:

    NICE was tried and received DEATH THREATS.

    one more fucking time…

    The very fucking controversy we are discussing is in itself PROOF that you are WRONG.

    JIHAD? A woman tried your nice approach and got rape and death threats. THERE is your fucking Jihad, shithead.

    The VIOLENT rhetoric, actual threats of actual violence, has come solely from the people you’re pleading that we treat nicely. Good job enabling, asshole.

  291. Dr. R says

    1. I am quite aware of the history of misogyny and feminism, but the idea of equating it to a violent holy war disgusts me. Rational argument and nonviolence always wins eventually. And it is a better victory for it.

    2. I define intellectual violence as outright “clubbing” of people with insults, labels, etc.

    3. I am opposed to religion as a whole as well, I simply feel that some deserve more of our limited attention than others.

    4. No we don’t sugarcoat anything, but we don’t (or at least shouldn’t) club people over the head with their errors; we point them out, suggest how they might correct them, and move on.

    Matt: I suppose I haven’t paid enough attention to church matters recently, but then why would I? :) I agree that there are practices of the Anglican church that are inexcusable, and must be addressed. But do we really need to equate them to the Catholics and Islamists in our derision? (All three are pretty close together in my mind)

  292. Gregory Greenwood says

    Pteryxx @ 333;

    If that’s even somewhat accurate, and it does seem to fit the disproportionate behavior we’re seeing, then atheism really might have a worse misogyny problem than average. These guys may have wanted a woman-free zone.

    It’s a worrying thought, but the sheer level of wilfully obtuse and offensive mansplaining and dismissal of women’s perspectives going on in the community several months after the whole ‘elevatorgate’ thing blew up makes it difficult to come to any other conclusion. There is a vocal subgroup in the sceptical, atheist community who want to turn godlessness and rationalism into a boys club. It is stupid. It is shortsighted. It is self defeating. It is precisely the kind of exclusitory, misogynist behaviour I have come to expect from religious groups, not atheists. And it is very, very depressing.

    —————————————————————-

    On the subject of mansplaining…

    tushcloots @ 313;

    No, of course, it’s the same as if you’d consented to being photographed in a tweed suit reading a book by Voltaire(which, yes you could have done…sheesh) for a PUBLICITY/fundraising calender. You certainly wouldn’t expect anyone to objectify/stereotype you as an intellectual. Why, without your written contract proffering explicit consent, that would just be wrong.

    And;

    This is bullshit. How many people are moaning about objectifying people as sex objects?
    I 100% agree, in almost all cases where I haven’t met someone before. But if you use your sexuality – blatantly!?
    Don’t be complaining about it. She is fucking promoting it, she is making money doing it.

    Here is a clue:- there is no such thing as a ‘standing consent’. She appeared in that calender, consenting in that instance to the creation of sexualised images of herself. This does not mean that she has now consented to the sexual objectification of herself in all circumstances by any random person who happens along. Consent is required in each context and instance where such an event comes to pass. Even if a hypothetical woman was an adult actress or other sex worker, and explicitly made her money via the sexual objectification of her own body for profit, this does not make it OK to objectify her in all contexts and circumstances. Even within such an industry there are (or should be) standards of behaviour and professionalism to be observed, and just because the hypothetical woman in question has chosen to put certain choreographed images of her body out there does not mean that she has forfeited her personhood.

    The fact that a woman expresses her sexuality does not mean that it is suddenly ‘open season’. That kind of ‘slut shaming’ mentality is an old trick of misogynists, and plays into a false good girl/bad girl dichotomy that legitimates misogyny, and even sexual assault, against women who supposedly ‘ask for it’.

    You know another thing. We haven’t heard the other side of the story. Yeah, asking her to come ‘chat’ is transparently bullshit, probably. But it’s a nerd party, and some nerds are pathetically awkward and incompetent socially. For all I know, the guy was pinned into a corner and looking down and feeling embarrassed and didn’t know how to handle a sudden situation to actually talk to her and he blew it.

    I am not, repeat NOT, saying it was that way, but where does everyone get the knowledge that the guy is a fucking misogynist? A premeditatedly opportunistic weasel? (Hmmm, spell check don’t agree with premeditatedly lol). Everyone don’t, I know, now I’m over-blowing shit! But, the consensus does seem to be that he was being a threatening jerk that needs to have his elevator riding license revoked.

    So, he’s so ‘socially awkward’ that he deliberately ignores her statement that she is tired and wants to go to sleep, and the fact that she has said that unsolicited objectification makes her uncomfortable, and follows her into an elevator, a confined space with no ready means of egress, in order to proposition her? Unless you are seriously contending that he was just ‘offering her coffee’ with no subtext at four in the morning after she just stated that she wanted to go to sleep?

    I have heard of offering the benefit of the doubt, but you are struggling to reinterpret events to place clearly out of line behaviour in some kind of mitigating context. What this man did was wrong, even if he didn’t realise the fact.

    Also, no one is saying that he shouldn’t be allowed to ride elevators, simply that he shouldn’t act in a fashion that makes women uncomfortable while doing so. Schrodinger’s rapist is the critical point here – this guy may have simply been an epically clueless prat, but Watson had no way of knowing whether that was the case, or whether the man was potentially dangerous.

    I’ll say what she did wrong. She could have said, “Please.” As in, “Just so you know, I feel very uncomfortable in that situation and I’m asking people to please refrain from making passes on the elevator? I’m freaked out because x reasons, I think you can understand. I imagine most women would agree with me.”

    She could have brought a friend and approached the guy personally. That’s generally how you treat people respectfully, not airing your laundry in public, and especially not so contemptuously as when speaking to a large audience with no chance of allowing his side.

    I would never, never in a fucking thousand years, ever, use a situation like that to fucking put someone down like that, and be curt and bossy(moo) about it.

    How is the sentiment ‘guys, don’t do that’, without any personal identification of the man in question, ‘putting someone down’ or being ‘bossy’? Has it occurred to you that Watson addressed this issue publically because the issue is bigger than this single instance? The attitude and patterns of behaviour behind this event, and all the other multitudes like it, create an environment that provides cover for rapists and excludes women from the discourse. It is an expression of the patriarchy, and needs to be opposed as such. It cannot simply be brushed under the carpet because discussing it may hurt the fragile feelings of insecure men.

    Phillipe, send her a naked picture of yourself, you know, the one you consented to have taken and publicized and quit being such an androgynous freak. I suppose you never masturbate, either, huh?

    Firstly, sending a naked picture of oneself to someone one doesn’t know as a first point of introduction is not comparable to publishing a nude calender. Such an act would justifiably be seen as importuning at best, threatening at worst.

    Secondly, employing the term ‘androgynous’ as an insult is unjustifiable. It is exclusitory to intersex individuals, and carrys the rank stench of homophobia, in the form of the much abused ‘real man’ normalised heterosexuality trope.

    Thirdly, the mastubatory habits of Philip Legge arre utterly irrelvant to this discussion. Don’t try to make the crude point that just because he doesn’t objectify women, he must be some kind of repressed, sex-hating puritan. The point is incoherent, offensive, and once again exclusitory, in this case to asexuals.

    Sheesus, RW should have gotten off the elevator when he got on if she feels that vulnerable in that situation.

    So, men have no responsibility to behave in a civilised fashion around women, and if ‘teh wimminz’ don’t like it, they should just get the hell out of the way?

    Oh no, that doesn’t come across as misogynist at all

    Phillipeh and RW shouldn’t publish blatantly erotic and/or sexual photos if they are so against ‘objectifying’ people.

    Surely you understand the fundamental difference between publishing a sexualised image of yourself and sexually objectifying someone else? It’s the whole consent point again, it is kind of fundamental to the discussion.

    Did it occur to some of you people that behaving sexually/flirtatiously is part of being a human being? It just sounds like many here equate being forward with misogyny or insensitivity.

    Context is important. Consider the following example; for some people, being tied up and lightly struck with an implement such as a riding crop is the height of eroticism in the right context. Doing the same thing in a different context, even when dealing with someone who self-identiufies as a ‘sub’, would not elicit the same response, and would justifiably be seen as abusive. In all human interaction, context is significant. In matters of sex, it is vital. And the way to determine the proper context for behaviour? Read the enviroment, consider the degree to which you know the person in question and thus can judge their response in those circumstances, and ultimately make sure that you secure free, enthusiastic and informed consent.

    You don’t have to ‘get to know’ anything first.

    Why? Because women are all just convenient, living penis massagers? If you want to be more than the kind of pick up artist jerk who treats women as prey to be stalked, then you do need to get to know them. If you want to put that woman at her ease and have anything approaching a mutually fulfilling relationship, then you need to get to know them.

    If all you are looking for is a convenient sheath for your penis, then you are objectifying women. You are treating them as less than human. You are acting as a misogynist, whether you like it or not, and whether you recognise the fact or not.

    Fuck you. It is not a law of courtship written in some manual.

    No, it is not a ‘law’ or courtship, but it is good practice. It is all a question of how you view women. For those of us who bear in mind that women are people first, and remain so when they arouse sexual desires in us, then this kind of approach is the bare minimum that is expected of civilised individuals. The only way to behave otherwise is to tacitly acknowledge a belief that women are lesser humans. That they are less important than your own needs and desires, of lower priority than your sexual gratification. That is the act of a misogynist.

    I’m sure I’ll get torn to shreds now, and rightfully so.

    You said it. Perhaps if you listened to why you are getting torn to shreds, and in particular paid attention to the perspectives of women*, you would have a better grasp of why this kind of behaviour is considered so offensive.

    * You know, the people who apparently you don’t need to get to know in order to use them as living sex toys have sex with them.

  293. Dr. R says

    Jafafa Hots: I am sorry that you are unable to engage in discussion without resorting to insults and caps lock, thus I will simply disregard your further comments, and will not respond to your current one other than to say that there are plenty of reasonable people out there who are unaware of their privilege and would come to our side if we simply made them more aware of it.

  294. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For most people unaware of their privilege, rational approach tends to work best.

    CITATION NEEDED!!! Really, really needed, as to date, no one has shown that theory to be true.

    Whereas a two pronged approach has been shown to be effective time and time again (i.e. women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights). A vocal contingent (Pharyngula), which is lewd, rewwd and crewd, that gets peoples attention, and a second softer group to rationaly explain the first, and showing why they are angry. That is often some other blog, but we can do that too..

  295. Hertta says

    Dr. R:

    For most people unaware of their privilege, rational approach tends to work best.

    I’m really starting to hate the word rational. For a lot of people it just seem to mean “something I would do”.

  296. Dr. R says

    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls: I’m not talking about the crazies, I’m talking about the borderline people. Sure, aggression works on the crazies, but the people I’ve deconverted all responded well to well-presented reason and rationality. Thus my citation. And by the way, just how much has Pharyngula done to change people positions on sexism? I see little evidence.

  297. Dr. R says

    I uses rational to mean an argument based on good evidence, free of “faith,” violence, insults, and one that is generally reasonable in nature.

  298. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I define intellectual violence as outright “clubbing” of people with insults, labels, etc.

    If I intellectually “club” you enough, will you intellectually “pass out” and stop intellectually “vomiting” in the thread?

  299. Hairhead says

    Dr. R, I haven’t cursed at you and called you bad names, so let me just say — you don’t get it. You don’t listen, you don’t read, you don’t think.

    I deplore your “us vs. you” tone in addressing me, it is unnecessarily divisive and offensive.

    The irony here is that I posted the remarks you didn’t like because I found your tone-trolling (my god, you even use the word “tone” in your complaint!) divisive and offensive.

    Now I have to explain the insulting descriptions I have made of you in this post.

    I simply explained my objections to a universal application of outright intellectual violence

    And I pointed out in my post, the one which you responded to, that there are HUNDREDS of examples in the threads of the last few months in which reasonable, calm responses with educational links were made to less-offensive misogynists. And you have COMPLETELY IGNORED those statements. That is why I said, and say again: you do not read, you do not listen, and you do not think.

    You have your point of view which you simply repeat and assert, without properly defending it, you simply repeat your insults of “intellectual violence” and “jihad” and without acknowledging contrary information presented to you. You are a tone-troll, and as you continue to play your one-note contentless drone my interest and respect for you continues to diminish.

    And please note, my tone has been civil, my language polite, without any that “intellectual violence” you accuse us so freely of.

  300. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I uses rational to mean an argument based on good evidence, free of “faith,” violence, insults, and one that is generally reasonable in nature.

    Since when does rational have to be free of insults? That’s just your definition that you pulled out of your ass. The word already has a definition (which does not have anything to do with insults), you don’t need to make one up. What you are describing is rational plus. In this case, rational plus civil. If that’s what you mean, then it’s what you should say. Otherwise, you are just unnecessarily obfuscating the dialog.

  301. Dr. R says

    I do read (in fact, I’ve actively attempted to read most of the related comment threads since I’ve started participating), I do listen (look up-thread for a concession of mine after a rational argument) And I most certainly do think (That’s why I take a few minutes to compose an research my posts, and don’t just write what’s on the top of my head). Are there otherwise rational people who don’t respond to rational arguments on the topic of sexism? Yes, I’ve not denied this. I’m simply advocating a scaled approach: Try reason, then try blunt facts and explanations of bias. If that fails, then simply ignore them.

  302. Dr. R says

    Erulóra Maikalambe: I suppose I was amalgamating the to an extent, wasn’t I? I do mean rational plus civil then. But then again, when I think of rational argument, I tend to associate it with civility. Anyway, going to my lab now.

  303. Hertta says

    Dr. R:

    I uses rational to mean an argument based on good evidence, free of “faith,” violence, insults, and one that is generally reasonable in nature.

    No, you don’t. You use it to judge other people’s behaviour and to dismiss the approaches you don’t like as “irrational”.

  304. Hairhead says

    Try reason, then try blunt facts and explanations of bias.

    Dr. R., once again, you have failed to acknowledge evidence presented to you that we here have done this many, many times; and in failing to acknowledge this, you have continued to insult us. In fact, each time you ignore such evidence presented, your insult to us is squared, cubed, etc., and the hostility to you grows.

    The hypocrisy is galling. You accuse us of intemperate, trollish behaviour, and you indulge, time and again, in direct insults to us. Your lack of self-awareness in this matter matches the lack of self-awareness shown by some of the misogynist trolls here.

    And here’s the funny (peculiar) thing: you do allow being rude and blunt to unrepentant bigots, yet you persist in your own insulting behaviour to the point where I am strongly tempted to curse you out — but your own response to being cursed at is NOT TO THINK ABOUT YOUR POSSIBLE OFFENSE AT ALL, BUT TO DIG IN YOUR HEELS AND GET IN A HUFF.

    For fuck’s sake, look in a mirror, will you?

  305. says

    I’d respond to Tushcloots but I’d rather hit my head against the wall, repeatedly. As a female skeptic, his attitude depresses me. Heck, it’s downright scary. How can it be so fucking difficult to understand that being propositioned in a confined environment feels threatening to some women? That consent given to one action in one context to a particular set of people (photo shoot) does not imply consent to other actions (sex) in a different situation (elevator) with different people (EG)?

    Once a women has had sex with one guy, she can’t refuse sex with anyone else, is that how it works?

  306. David Utidjian says

    Markle @ 183:

    Nice hyperbolic little rant there.

    You don’t have to be a mind reader or telepathic or whatever because, if you have been reading (and comprehending), this blog and all the others that have weighed in elevatorgate you may have noticed that they tell you explicitly what women are thinking. In what must be on the order of 6,000 posts on this blog alone (and countless others) the women have been telling you what they think. They have been telling you what they think is creepy, and why. They have been telling you what they feel, and why. They have been telling you what makes them feel uncomfortable, and why.

    If you read many of these discussions you have hours and hours of exactly what you are complaining you can’t get. You have hours and hours of reading answers to questions you claim you can’t even ask. All without you even asking.

    There have even been posts on some blogs with specific tips on how to relate to women.

    You don’t have to read between the lines to understand any of it. It is all in plain and unambiguous language.

    You may not agree with what they are saying or how they say it. You can not claim they haven’t been telling you.

    You should be thanking Rebecca Watson and all the other women (and a few men) for doing all this. For bringing it up in the first place. For explaining it all so well and so thoroughly. For answering every single question, doubt, and complaint that has been brought up. For giving you a lifetime of wisdom about what women have to deal with and how to deal with it. All of this for free.

    All you have to do is shut up and listen.

  307. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dr. R, you failed to provide a citation when requested. You are therefore full of shit until you back up your allegation with third party evidence. Try looking here.

    Welcome to science, where you are wrong until you can show, not just opine, yourself right.

  308. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    But then again, when I think of rational argument, I tend to associate it with civility.

    Convenient, since it lets you dismiss anything that you don’t like.

  309. The Ys says

    But then again, when I think of rational argument, I tend to associate it with civility.

    Convenient, since it lets you dismiss anything that you don’t like.

    He/she seems to think that anything along the lines of “you’re wrong” qualifies as uncivil.

    Which once again makes me wonder how this person managed to get into the sciences…

  310. says

    “Which once again makes me wonder how this person managed to get into the sciences…”

    …and what the hell he’s doing in a discussion on the internet.

  311. illuminata says

    I’m afraid you’re simply wrong. Intellectual violence and indiscriminate labeling is not the way to raise consciousness of gender issues. Perhaps a similar tactic to that used by some of the less strident atheist activists is better suited. Remember, we don’t go out and attack the Anglicans on a regular basis, and individuals unaware of their privilege deserve the same respect. Educate, raise consciousness, engage in rational argument. Don’t engage in the intellectual equivalent of a Jihad.

    LOL. Here we go again. Dude tells the bitchez how to do feminism correctly cuz he totes knows better. Nevermind all the times its been pointed out how completely wrong you are, just keep plugging on with the bullshit. I’m sure, if you repeat your failed approach enough, you’ll start to believe in it yourself.
    (Nice racist touch at the end)

    I am sorry that you are unable to engage in discussion without resorting to insults and caps lock, thus I will simply disregard your further comments, and will not respond to your current one

    Translation: Dr. R is a fucking coward.

    Jafafa points out that your way has been tried and spectacularly failed and your chickenshit response is “lalala can’t hear you, sweet tits, you aren’t nice enough!”

    With faux allies like these . . .

  312. Sally Strange, OM says

    For most people unaware of their privilege, rational approach tends to work best.

    Apparently, it isn’t working with you. So far, you’ve been unable to acknowledge, or even discuss, that it was sexism that led you to label Rebecca Watson’s response to Dawkins as “irrational,” even after you yourself admitted that there was no factual, logical basis for labeling her actions that way.

    And now you are doing it again. YOU YOURSELF are reproducing sexist ideas and memes right now, by demanding that women be nicey-nice in the face of injustice, and by perpetuating the meme that mere words can constitute violence.

    Here’s an essay that seems to have been written specifically for you: Words Are Not Fists.

    But one thing I remember from my own college days that I see played out over and over again is this male habit of making nervous jokes about being attacked by feminists. In my undergrad days, I often prefaced a comment by saying “I know I’ll catch hell for this”. I’ve seen male students do as they did today and pretend to run; I’ve seen them deliberately sit near the door, and I once had one young man make an elaborate show (I kid you not) of putting on a football helmet before speaking up!

    All of this behavior reflects two things: men’s genuine fear of being challenged and confronted, and the persistence of the stereotype of feminists as being aggressive “man-bashers.” The painful thing about all this, of course, is that no man is in any real physical danger in the classroom — or even outside of it — from feminists. Name one incident where an irate women’s studies major physically assaulted a male classmate for something he said? Women are regularly beaten and raped — even on college campuses — but I know of no instance where a man found himself a victim of violence for making a sexist remark in a college feminist setting! “Male-bashing” doesn’t literally happen, in other words, at least not on campus. But that doesn’t stop men from using (usually half in jest) their own exaggerated fear of physical violence to make a subtle point about feminists.

    There’s a conscious purpose to this sort of behavior. Joking about getting beaten up (or putting on the football helmet) sends a message to young women in the classroom: “Tone it down. Take care of the men and their feelings. Don’t scare them off, because too much impassioned feminism is scary for guys.” And you know, as silly as it is, the joking about man-bashing almost always works! Time and again, I’ve seen it work to silence women in the classroom, or at least cause them to worry about how to phrase things “just right” so as to protect the guys and their feelings. It’s a key anti-feminist strategy, even if that isn’t the actual intent of the young man doing it — it forces women students to become conscious caretakers of their male peers by subduing their own frustration and anger. It reminds young women that they should strive to avoid being one of those “angry feminists” who (literally) scares men off and drives them away.

    (Emphasis in the original)

    Now, Dr. R, you are trying my patience.

    Ing said earlier that vocal misogynists are only a minority in the atheist community. Indeed, they are a minority in society. However, as long as men like you spend more time and effort defending their feelings rather than defending women’s rights, it doesn’t matter: the effect is as if the misogynists were a majority, and women lose out.

    So cut the crap. If you personally are not a misogynist, then stop defending them. Stop worrying about their feelings. Because those are not the actions of a feminist, which you proclaimed yourself to be. And I really don’t give a fuck if that hurts your feelings.

  313. Sally Strange, OM says

    Try reason, then try blunt facts and explanations of bias. If that fails, then simply ignore them.

    What a moron. *bam!* Ignoring bullies and bigots NEVER gets them to go away, you pusillanimous cretin. *smash!*

    You are either ignorant of the history of the struggle for equal rights, or, more likely, too entrenched in your own hurt feelings and male privilege to be able to think rationally (you love that word!) about this, you piece of intellectual offal. *biff! bam! smak!*

    Was that too “intellectually violent” for you? Shall I throw in a few curse words for good measure? Misogyny-enabling asshole. *krak!* Fucking privileged lackwit. *kapow!*

    Have I knocked out your intellectual teeth? Are you bleeding from your intellectual nose now? Are you going to go to the intellectual ER?

    I hope you now realize how fucking idiotic terms like “intellectual violence” are, especially when applied to a group that’s struggling to end thousands of years of institutionalized inequality. Dickshit.

    *K. OOOOOOOOOOOoooo!*

  314. Hairhead says

    Sally, I am lucky I was not eating or drinking in front of the monitor.

    You win the internets today!

  315. Gregory Greenwood says

    Dr R @ 335;

    Intellectual violence and indiscriminate labeling is not the way to raise consciousness of gender issues.

    Sometimes you just have to call a misogynist a misogynist. Any number of commenters (myself included) have attempted the calm, patient, explain-it-all-a-hundred-times approach, only to find our comments consistently ignored, or our arguments wilfully misrepresented as laughable strawmen, or have simply been faced with a wall of patronising condescension – usually taking the form of a man telling the female pharyngulites how to do feminism properly.

    Tone trolling (the use of such a ludicrously florrid and all but meaningless* term as ‘intellectual violence’ being a case in point) has also reached epidemic levels.

    Perhaps a similar tactic to that used by some of the less strident atheist activists is better suited. Remember, we don’t go out and attack the Anglicans on a regular basis…

    ‘Strident’? I think you missed out ‘shrill’. The tone argument just doesn’t fly here. Content is what matters. If a man (or a theist) is more interested in protecting their oh-so fragile ego than in actually addressing the issue, then they are unlikely to be open to any approach.

    As for Anglicans, as other commenters have stated, that is a bad example. Anglicanism as a religion is still riddled with homophobia and misogyny, and very few pharyngulites are going to cut them any slack for that.

    …individuals unaware of their privilege deserve the same respect. Educate, raise consciousness, engage in rational argument. Don’t engage in the intellectual equivalent of a Jihad.

    It is one thing to be genuinely unaware of one’s privilege. It is another to have your privilege explained to you at length, several times, and still respond with the equivalent of “Na uh. Lalalala – can’t hear you” or with a condescending three point plan on how women should go about engaging on feminist issues. Much as you have done above, in fact.

    As for the ‘Jihad’ reference, this is one of the most blatent examples of false equivalency I have seen in a while. We are the ones struggling against a worldview that paints women as disposeable pieces of meat that serve no function beyond accommodating the sexual urges of men, and we are the ones behaving in a fashion akin to a military expression of oppressive patriarchal religion**?

    Please do not employ language that can so comprehensively ‘poison the well’. The use of such a phrase, in the context you were employing it, is clearly hyperbolic to say the least.

    @ 342;

    I deplore your “us vs. you” tone in addressing me, it is unnecessarily divisive and offensive.

    Why should we ‘play nice’ with misogynists and their apologists? Once again, tone trolling is going to do nothing to advance your argument here, and harping on about supposed ‘crimes of tone’ is far more divisive and offensive than anything Hairhead has written.

    @ 350;

    I am sorry that you are unable to engage in discussion without resorting to insults and caps lock, thus I will simply disregard your further comments, and will not respond to your current one other than to say that there are plenty of reasonable people out there who are unaware of their privilege and would come to our side if we simply made them more aware of it.

    Casually dismissing the statements of a commenter whose style you don’t like does nothing to address the substantive points they have raised.

    @ 354;

    I uses rational to mean an argument based on good evidence, free of “faith,” violence, insults, and one that is generally reasonable in nature.

    Words like ‘rationality’ already have meanings. You don’t get to redefine them to suit your polemnical needs.

    @ 359;

    But then again, when I think of rational argument, I tend to associate it with civility.

    Can’t you see that conflating ‘rationality’ with ‘civility’ makes it that much easier for you to dismiss an argument on the grounds that you dislike its tone, and yet at the same time claim that your objection to the post is based on a lack of rationality?

    I am not saying that this is what you were consciously doing, but your chosen form of words certainly seems to leave the avenue open, especially considering your multiple earlier appeals to the importance of ‘tone’. Such behaviour is bound to antagonize pretty much everybody here.

    —————————————————————-

    * How, exactly do you go about being intellectually violent? How many cases of truly and solely intellectual GBH have their been? Does intellectual violence result in lacerations, compressive fractures, internal injuries or all of the above? The idea that there is any kind of parity between calling someone out on bigotry and physically assaulting them goes beyond being merely ridiculous; it leads me to wonder whether or not you are deliberately employing words with a negative connotation in a bid to discredit the feminist argument by association, the same kind of technique that we encounter whenever we hear someone talking about ‘militant’ feminists and ‘feminazis’.

    ** Here I am using ‘jihad’ in the fashion it is employed in the common vernacular, as a ‘holy war’, and in the same context that you used it in your post. Of course, the meaning of the term is actually somewhat more complex than this.

  316. Gregory Greenwood says

    Sally Strange, OM @ 370;

    Sally Strange wins by a (purely intellectual) decapitation.

    Your Bastard Sword of Intellectual Maiming +4, +5 Vs MRAs is sharp indeed…

  317. Ing says

    Ing said earlier that vocal misogynists are only a minority in the atheist community. Indeed, they are a minority in society. However, as long as men like you spend more time and effort defending their feelings rather than defending women’s rights, it doesn’t matter: the effect is as if the misogynists were a majority, and women lose out.

    Actually I think my criticism was that formalized skepticism seems to be, contrary to it’s presented image, very safe and doesn’t encourage criticism of beliefs that would be inconvenient to loose. Religion is the big one that gets noticed but skeptic communities also seem depressingly hospitable to global warming denial, economic illiteracy, and anti-feminism. I remember a few months ago posting how I found a sexist blogger who was gleefully hand clappingly misogynist and owned the title…and was shocked to see he had written for Skeptic Mag. Now a days I would not be shocked.

  318. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sorry, Sally, but someone has to do it…

    No apologies needed, I love that song! Extra bonus points for me because I primarily associate that song with Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis, and the film of same name. It’s about growing up as a girl in Iran, during the Islamic revolution–it has a strongly feminist bent. Check it out.

  319. says

    Groan. Meanwhile a former colleague of mine, who fulminates endlessly on Twitter about “The New Atheists” and PZ in particular, tweets that

    “Hilariously, those great defenders of rationality, the pharyngulites, are still bickering about the elevator thing!”

    Sigh. Yes, still, because it’s still going on. Rebecca and other women are still being called bitches and cunts day in and day out because…well because, that’s why. So yes, we’re still “bickering” about it.

  320. Dr. R says

    I suppose I shall concede many of my arguments purely for the sake of thread length and my time. I can vouch only from my own experience with theists, and it is entirely possible that misogynists are of a different character (though I should think that those groups would show significant overlap). I’ve never been a particularly eloquent debater (that’s why I’m in a rather obscure branch of virology) so my arguments my be somewhat poor. I still hold however, that civility is a critical prerequisite for debate, and that a lack of civility does indeed damage the impact of an argument (look at some of the theists for wonderful examples). Sure, argue with entrenched misogynists with disregard for civility (they’re likely to change their minds anyway), but when you are trying to talk to a person unaware of their privilege, and who has not displayed a disregard for rational, civil argument (using the dictionary definition here, that is, a fact based, logical argument, and something that both I and others on this forum have occasionally failed to produce), what real reason is there for not at least trying (even if it does not always work)? I’m aware of and have seen instances where this approach has failed, but as a person who was in that position once a very long time ago (I actually became a feminist before I became an atheist), I can assure you that those who will respond appreciate it greatly. And with that I will leave no further comments unless they are directed specifically to me as a question.

  321. Hairhead says

    Dr. R.

    And with that I will leave no further comments unless they are directed specifically to me as a question.

    Well, at least that was a flounce with a bit of style.

    But wait! He has to add the last little dig, the last little pronouncement of ignorance, the last demonstration of his unwillingness to look at evidence and listen to others who have a far greater store of knowledge and experience in this field. (I have removed parenthetical remarks and replaced them with ellipses for clarity and concision.)

    Sure, argue with entrenched misogynists with disregard for civility . . . but when you are trying to talk to a person unaware of their privilege, and who has not displayed a disregard for rational, civil argument . . . what real reason is there for not at least trying.

    Dr. R., I am telling you for the third, or perhaps fourth time, this approach has been tried over and over in this thread and many others, and will continue to be tried whenever doltish misogynists and clots of other kinds show the slightest tendency to listen. Third or fourth time, Dr. R. You’re not listening, you’re reading, you’re not observing, you are giving us FAR less respect than some of us (me in particular) are giving you.

    And that makes you, though not a bigot, a clueless troll.

    Feel free to lurk and read. Perhaps, perhaps, maybe you will open your mind actually look at the evidence we present, perhaps you will actually watch the totality of all of the activity and posts on the thread, instead of obsessing over the &*%^*%^’s.

  322. Dr. R says

    “and will continue to be tried whenever doltish misogynists and clots of other kinds show the slightest tendency to listen” Unless I’ve been totally blind or rather forgetful (it’s been known to happen to me when I’m busy), I’ve never seen anything to this effect before. I suppose then that my argument is redundant. Thank you for clarifying your position. I suppose it is somewhat odd for a scientist to have such a devotion to civility, but I have spent some time as a Wikipedia mediator, so I suppose that may be the origin. (Wikipedia has a policy requiring civility, and that may be where my tendency to associate rationality with civility came from)

  323. Sally Strange, OM says

    Dr. R, as far as I can tell, you never answered this question which I posed directly to you:

    If you can admit that this is a possibility, why can’t you admit that it’s a possibility that you unconsciously link “female/femininity/feminism” with “irrationality”? Do you dislike feminism? Or do you dislike dismissing people based on a single negative characteristic? How can you separate the latter from the former if that “single negative characteristic” is sexism? I’m not trying to be an asshole here, but I do think that your comments are a pretty good example of how implicit bias functions, and I don’t want to let you off too easy.

    And indeed, I am right to not let you off too easy. I believe you when you say you WANT to be a feminist, but I hope you can HEAR me when I tell you: you’re doing a horrible job. Most people who are feminists or anti-racists or whatever easily reach the understanding that they are capable of perpetuating the very prejudice they fight against, thanks to the ingrained cultural nature of these biases. It seems as if you haven’t yet reached that point.

    Good luck to you, but you’re not much of an ally.

  324. Sally Strange, OM says

    “and will continue to be tried whenever doltish misogynists and clots of other kinds show the slightest tendency to listen” Unless I’ve been totally blind or rather forgetful (it’s been known to happen to me when I’m busy), I’ve never seen anything to this effect before.

    It is, in point of fact, happening right now. With you as the subject. But you seem to be convinced that you couldn’t possibly harbor any traces of sexist thought yourself (what, you have woman friends? you call yourself a feminist? big whoop–show, don’t tell) so it’s going right over your head.

  325. Dr. R says

    I’m sorry I meant to answer your question, but I forgot. Yes, it is entirely possible, and indeed likely that I harbor implicit bias (like all of us (try it yourself: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/) do). Whether this led to my distaste at Watson’s response I cannot say, but it is possible. With regards to your questioning my feminism, I suppose I may not have the level of revulsion at the patriarchal culture that someone who suffered at its hands might, but I do still shudder when I read what many MRAs and theists have to say on gender issues. I am reviled by things that that vile video game PZ blogged about a few weeks ago. Whether this makes me a feminist or not by your standard, I am not sure, but I am no misogynist (as others have claimed here).

  326. The Ys says

    @ Dr. R:

    Whether this makes me a feminist or not by your standard, I am not sure, but I am no misogynist (as others have claimed here).

    Whether you think of yourself as a feminist or not, your actions here are not those of a feminist. You have repeatedly sought to stifle the voices of women (and men) who explained what they’ve gone through and the attempts they’ve made to discuss sexism and misogyny with various people on this blog and in other places.

    If you want to be a feminist, do not use silencing techniques. Do not say things to the effect of (paraphrased):

    1) I’d listen to you if you’d speak in a fashion I approve of.
    2) I’ve never seen this happen, so I think you’re exaggerating or making it up.

    And let’s not forget that you’ve flat-out ignored explanations of why this discussion needs to happen. That’s not the act of a feminist. That is the act of someone who doesn’t see a problem and refuses to believe it exists…or the act of someone who doesn’t want things to change.

    Which are you?

  327. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I still hold however, that civility is a critical prerequisite for debate, and that a lack of civility does indeed damage the impact of an argument

    Spoken like a true tone troll, who can’t respond with cogency, and must hide behind being nice to pretend cogency. *hands Dr. R a strand of clutching pearls* The fainting couch is in the next room. Make use of it.

    but when you are trying to talk to a person unaware of their privilege, and who has not displayed a disregard for rational, civil argument (using the dictionary definition here, that is, a fact based, logical argument, and something that both I and others on this forum have occasionally failed to produce), what real reason is there for not at least trying (even if it does not always work)?

    To get their attention by not taking them seriously. In fact, laughing at their idiotic prose. That can get peoples attention when they aren’t interested in true discussion, but rather preaching their idiocy. Laughing at their idiocy (and yours) should get their attention. *Hands another strand of clutching pearls to Dr. R*

    I can assure you that those who will respond appreciate it greatly.

    This is why we try a three post rule before letting loose, except for egregious behavior. Those who are polite are responded in kind. Those who insult and act like arrogant MRAs are responded to in kind. Good old Golden Rule in action. Tone trolls like yourself are scorned until they stop tone trolling….

  328. Sally Strange, OM says

    Wow. Dr. R, you keep getting stupider and stupider. This is very disappointing.

    I’m sorry I meant to answer your question, but I forgot. Yes, it is entirely possible, and indeed likely that I harbor implicit bias (like all of us (try it yourself: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/) do).

    Gosh, that’s the very same link I put in my post the FIRST time around! Guess you didn’t read it very carefully, did you?

    Whether this led to my distaste at Watson’s response I cannot say, but it is possible.

    Possible… so… what? You’re just going to leave it there? Not interested in finding out whether what is possible actually happened? This isn’t that hard, you know. Just takes a tiny amount of honesty and self-awareness. You seem unwilling to take those very small steps.

    With regards to your questioning my feminism,

    Awww, you poor dear. How uppity of me to question your feminism! In fact, I believe I said that I believe you that you want to be a feminist, that is, I believe your intentions are sound. But your actions aren’t matching up to your stated intentions. If that doesn’t seem like a problem to you, then I’ll be forced to conclude that you’re not sincere in your intentions. That’s rational, isn’t it?

    I suppose I may not have the level of revulsion at the patriarchal culture that someone who suffered at its hands might, but I do still shudder when I read what many MRAs and theists have to say on gender issues.

    Congratu-fucking-lations, you’re not a sociopath. I shudder at images of lynching and tales of separate water fountains. Yet I still accrue advantages due to white privilege, so I try to remain aware of that, admit it when I have done or said something racist, and don’t get all huffy when someone points it out to me.

    I am reviled by things that that vile video game PZ blogged about a few weeks ago. Whether this makes me a feminist or not by your standard, I am not sure,

    It makes you a decent human being. A feminist is someone who not only is reviled, but stands up and speaks out about it, even if it means risking his ego or his friends’ approval. I don’t know if you do those things or not. I can only judge you by your words here. So far, you seem like a basically ordinary dude who doesn’t personally HATE women, but can’t be troubled to go beyond that.

    but I am no misogynist (as others have claimed here).

    I have no idea whether you, in your heart of hearts, hate women. But I can tell you that some of the things you’ve said, for example, irrationally insisting on labeling Rebecca Watson’s reasonable response to Richard Dawkins as “irrational,” and holding her, rather than Dawkins, responsible for the fallout of that, are actions that closely resemble actions that a misogynist would take.

    As I said to you several times before already, this is your opportunity to modify your behavior so that it is easier for us to tell you apart from the genuine misogynists. If this is too much trouble for you, well, don’t get upset if people mistake you for a misogynist in the future.

  329. Dr. R says

    Must have missed the link to the implicit bias site. (I again fault my occasional post blindness). I’ve actually taken the Female/Career test, and discovered that I have a mild association between masculinity and career. I suppose that’s fairly typical for Westerners though. I’ve actually though about the relation of implicit bias and my opinion on Watson’s response to Dawkins, and it is highly likely that there is a correlation. Not sure if I can chalk this one up to privilege or implicit bias. (I took PZ “Privilege checklist” and got 40/45, not sure what this means exactly). When I read PZ’s post on that video game, I actually reposted on my Facebook profile, to some interesting responses from my friends and family. I had more than a few less than civil debates over that post. (Who knew that MRAs don’t always act like MRAs offline?) Not sure if I ever held anyone to account over the fallout, but I suppose Dawkins would hold most of the blame for inflaming the argument.

  330. The Ys says

    @ Sally:

    I’ve tried out several of the Implicit tests. From the way they’re set up, I think they’d wind up with their results reversed if they reversed the order of the patterns. Do you know if they’ve tried that to see what would happen?

    At least, I hope they’d see the results reversed. If not…argh. :/

  331. The Ys says

    Must have missed the link to the implicit bias site. (I again fault my occasional post blindness).

    No.

    You are again attempting to excuse or minimise your behaviour instead of simply acknowledging that you missed something…or didn’t think something through.

    Own your mistakes, apologise when necessary, and work on making sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.

    That’s the rational and mature thing to do.

  332. Dr. R says

    The Ys: I’ll have to look for the paper they published. I think they did control for that particular variable.

  333. Sally Strange, OM says

    The Ys: I’ll have to look for the paper they published. I think they did control for that particular variable.

    See? My initial impression was incredibly accurate: informative, and ever so dudely.

    Listen to the Ys, Dr. R. Own your mistakes. You keep trying to avoid admitting you were wrong. Or sexist.

    That is, as they say, irrational.

  334. Dr. R says

    ChasCSPeterson: I’ve discovered that you only learn these obscure terms when you do you undergrad at a liberal arts school and are forced to take philosophy classes.

    The Ys: Found the paper: Bar-Anan, Y., De Houwer, J., & Nosek, B. A. (in press). The Role of Contingency Memory, Intentional Processes and Number of Pairings in Evaluative Conditioning. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
    Otherwise not sure how to respond other than to say that the post blindness remark was my crude attempt at a joke I realize that I probably skimmed over the link (I tend to skim long posts, it’s a personal fault of mine).

    Sally: Are you implying that I am explicitly sexist? I assume not, in which case I do (and have) admit(ted) to implicit bias.

  335. Sally Strange, OM says

    Sally: Are you implying that I am explicitly sexist? I assume not, in which case I do (and have) admit(ted) to implicit bias.

    I am stating that you are exceptionally thick, and something of an intellectual coward.

    I am stating that you have said and done things that make it hard to tell you apart from a misogynist.

    I am stating that you suck as a feminist ally.

    Take that as you will.

  336. Sally Strange, OM says

    Oh, yes, and–sorry, I accidentally deleted this and forgot to put it into my last post:

    You have admitted to implicit bias only in the context of the Harvard implicit bias test, which showed that you associate “career” with “male.” Other than that, you’ve refused to admit that your implicit bias may have affected your response to the RW/RD dust-up. The closest you’ve come is saying that “it’s possible” that implicit bias may have caused you to say and do sexist things. You’ve yet to even address whether those things you did which seem sexist to me also seem sexist to you. Seems like you are doing your damnedest to avoid actually talking about things you did which appear sexist to other people. Which is why I think you’re a coward, and a fucking lousy ally.

  337. The Ys says

    @ Sally:

    To go along with your sword:

    Athena’s Helm: +5 to saving throw vs stupidity and obtuseness
    Logic Shield: Deflects attempts to derail arguments back at the derailers

    And a plate of chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies for good measure.

  338. Dr. R says

    Thick? Perhaps stubborn? I’ve been told that before, but I feel that that is an unfortunate quality of many scientists. Misogyny? Well I’m not sure what definition you’re using but most feminist theorists define misogyny as: “prejudice against all women, or disdain for women who do not fall into one or more acceptable categories” (adapted from the Wikipedia article on misogyny) Perhaps you mean gender biased? In that case, some of the things I have said do unfortunately reflect a degree of gender bias.

  339. Dr. R says

    Oh, forgot to mention that according to the article, the prejudice must be overt and consistent.

  340. Sally Strange, OM says

    In that case, some of the things I have said do unfortunately reflect a degree of gender bias.

    So what the fuck are you going to do about it?

  341. Sally Strange, OM says

    Also, trusting an article over the authentic voices of many women telling you about their personal experiences? Another thing a person acting on his misogynist biases would do.

  342. The Ys says

    Thick? Perhaps stubborn? I’ve been told that before, but I feel that that is an unfortunate quality of many scientists.

    You realise you’re far from the only scientist here, right? That’s only been pointed out a lot. That’s not an excuse for intellectual laziness.

    Misogyny? Well I’m not sure what definition you’re using but most feminist theorists define misogyny as: “prejudice against all women, or disdain for women who do not fall into one or more acceptable categories” (adapted from the Wikipedia article on misogyny) Perhaps you mean gender biased? In that case, some of the things I have said do unfortunately reflect a degree of gender bias.

    Here, let me give you a new term to read up on: passive-aggressive.

  343. says

    Dr R: you are pretentious, tedious, and a very poor writer. You must know that I have access to more information about you than is shared with others, and there don’t seem to be any scientists by your name working at the university you’re posting from. Please stop the pompous authority game, ‘k?

    You’re giving real scientists a bad name.

  344. Dr. R says

    I am a student scientist (currently researching the effects of ebolavirus sGP on neutrophil Ig superfamily proteins. Anything wrong with that? I concede poor writer, and pretentious. Possibly tedious. Perhaps dictionary definitions are not best in these situations, but I do prefer to rely on published data.

  345. Sally Strange, OM says

    Perhaps dictionary definitions are not best in these situations, but I do prefer to rely on published data because I am uncomfortable with simply listening to real live women due to my ingrained implicit sexist bias.

    Since you’re unable to own up to your assholishness, I did it for you.

    Have you heard of the first rule of holes?

  346. Carlie says

    I am a student scientist (currently researching the effects of ebolavirus sGP on neutrophil Ig superfamily proteins. Anything wrong with that?

    Are you actually a doctor yet? Then yes.

  347. Dr. R says

    Uncomfortable listening to a real live woman? Not really. Implicit sexual bias? Yes, absolutely. Most pepople have some bias, and it is important for them (as well as me) to try to counteract that as much as possible

  348. The Ys says

    I am a student scientist…

    I’m not a doctor, but I play one on the internets!

    Perhaps dictionary definitions are not best in these situations, but I do prefer to rely on published data.

    Do you require a published paper from your family/friends before you’ll believe that they interacted with other people? Or before you’ll believe they went to work or to the grocery store? Or before you’ll believe them when they tell you about what happened while they were at work? Would you require a published paper in order to believe them if they were telling you what one of their bosses said to them? Really?

  349. Dr. R says

    I hate to be onerous, but a scientist is simply an individual who uses the scientific method to elucidate truth about the natural world and share it with others. Doctorates need not be involved (but since you ask, I’m well on my way to MD/PhD).

  350. The Ys says

    You call yourself a doctor. And yet you do not have a grad degree.

    This is highly ironic considering some of the things you’ve said here.

  351. Dr. R says

    It’s a username that declares my academic goals, not a declaration of degree. Aspiring to be Dr. R is a little long, don’t you think? It may be potentially misleading though.

  352. The Ys says

    The Ys: I require published data for assertions of scientific or academic fact.

    You’ve been applying this standard to every account presented to you of the sexism that women deal with on a daily basis. You refuse to believe these accounts are exactly what we way they are unless we can give you irrefutable evidence.

    How is that possible when you don’t know us IRL? Oh yes. If only we’d published papers on the harassment…then you’d agree with everything we say! If only we’d made that effort in order to convince you!

  353. Sally Strange, OM says

    Dr. R, if you’re not a doctor, is a lie. A self-aggrandizing lie.

    You’re just interested in stroking your ego. What an asshole. We’re just props in your little self-involved play about how awesome you are. Since you decided that being a feminist is cool, that means you’re cool, and we’re only useful if we confirm your coolness. Otherwise, you just dodge and weave and avoid actually applying the principles of rational inquiry to your own biases.

    You can fuck off now.

  354. The Ys says

    It may be potentially misleading though.

    Potentially?

    There you go with attempting to deflect criticism and responsibility. Again.

  355. Dr. R says

    This will be my final post here, as I do not wish to further drag this out. I suppose I have applied a rather high standard. I’m not sure I denied the existence of sexism, but if I did, I apologize. I also apologize for any perceive offense I may have caused. I am quite aware of the social disadvantages women face, and have on more than one occasion attempted to affect what little change I can as a mere student who’s views seem to be constantly dismissed in real life. Long story short, I apologize, I would like to end this discussion with what little credit I have left on this blog intact. Thank you for your patience.

  356. Carlie says

    Even though this blog is now on freethought blogs, it is still a science blog. With scientists. People who declare themselves to be such are claiming a certain amount of training. Even though many of us have fanciful usernames, none of them are blatant untruths with regard to credentials, because in this environment it means something to say you have certain titles. In truth most people here with advanced degrees don’t go advertising it because the degree itself has no bearing on the strength of the person’s statements or arguments, but to go the opposite way and put on airs as though one has degrees one doesn’t have is, in short, bad form.

  357. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am a student scientist

    Then drop the Dr. bullshit. You can refer to several of us a Dr., but you aren’t there yet, which brings your honesty, or lack thereof, into play. Your problem cricket, not ours.

    It’s a username that declares my academic goals, not a declaration of degree.

    In other word, a lie. If you lie about that, what else will you lie about. And if you are a scientist, your honor, honesty, and integrity is compromised. Very important for a scientist to be scrupulously honest, when dealing with other scientists.

    Here’s the suggest of a 30+ year professional scientist. Shut the fuck up until you can apologize for you unprofessional behavior to date…and if you can’t, never post here again…

  358. Dr. R says

    Carlie: I suppose I will make on more comment: I agree, I will change my user name if I ever comment again (similar though so as not to be accused of socking) I do actually have several years of scientific training, but I’m not sure if that qualifies me a scientist in your opinion. I apologize for the misleading nature of my username.

  359. Carlie says

    I do actually have several years of scientific training, but I’m not sure if that qualifies me a scientist in your opinion.

    Probably, but that’s a non-sequitur. Dr =/= scientist. There are lots of scientists who don’t have doctoral degrees, and lots of people with doctoral degrees who aren’t scientists.

  360. A. R says

    I need to amend my former comment, under my new username:

    I apologize for misleading the commentors with my username, I apologize for my unprofessional behavior (I agree it was unprofessional) I hope I can recover some of the credit I have lost here.

  361. Sally Strange, OM says

    I do actually have several years of scientific training

    According to this standard, I’m just as much of a scientist as you are, which makes your previous posturing display of superiority even more egregiously offensive.

    This is probably way over your head, but you are a perfect example of how easy it is to be incredibly rude and offensive while using a polite tone, and without uttering a single curse word.

  362. says

    A.R.: You’re a student at a small liberal arts college, a perfectly respectable position with promise for the future. You do yourself no favor by pompously inflating your status at this point in your career.

  363. Sili says

    Aspiring to be Dr. R is a little long, don’t you think?

    That’s why the good Lord invented the two small words “in spe“.

  364. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    A. R. keep in mind people post here under false credentials. They deliberately lie to us for effect, as you did. We once had a MS scientist (a creobot) claim to be a full professor, and his lie was found out shortly after he first posted here. So far, your damage is minimal, as you have corrected yourself. Good first step. But I also think you have something other than sheer tone trolling that is bothering you, as someone else noted above. Get that out in the open now. We know you are young, and those of us with experience can forgive that. But you can’t be dishonest.

  365. Badland, delurking for a bit says

    good lord Nerd, that’s the politest thing I’ve ever seen you write. You feeling okay?

  366. A. R says

    I’m not sure what you mean by bothering me, but I will attempt to explain what I think you mean. I suppose what caused me the most discomfort was the reaction to RD’s comment by RW. I suppose I’ve just liked the idea of an intellectual boycott. I actually understand her position now, and can respect it, after some careful research, and thanks to the contributors on this thread. I may have attempted to explain this above. The rest of my issue here was tone trolling, as you would say.

  367. Pteryxx says

    I was just thinking that. I had to double-check the name: “Is that really Nerd?” ~;>

  368. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    good lord Nerd, that’s the politest thing I’ve ever seen you write. You feeling okay?

    I was just thinking that. I had to double-check the name: “Is that really Nerd?” ~;>

    I can be polite on occasion. Usually it backfires on me though. We’ll see if it does this time. I just got the feeling this afternoon AR wasn’t a real Dr., either MD or PhD. And I did teach for several years, was getting a college student vibe in the back of my mind. Maybe AR will learn the proper lesson now that his duplicity was caught.

  369. Friday says

    Sorry, but I’m still a bit miffed at her for this (read the latter bit of the second paragraph for why I’m upset).

    You DO NOT drop dox, unless there is sufficient reason to believe that a crime has been committed, like kidnapping or murder, and you do not bring internet arguments into meatspace unless it cannot be avoided. It does not matter if their handle is their name, you treat the string “Paul Zachary Myers” as if it were the string “goddlessheathen” as if it were the string “anonymous” when online, unless, as I stated, you have reason to believe that that person committed a crime. Unless disagreeing with Ms. Watson is a crime now, Ms. Watson broke one of the cardinal rules of internet chivalry and safety.

  370. illuminata says

    Oh yes. If only we’d published papers on the harassment…then you’d agree with everything we say! If only we’d made that effort in order to convince you!

    Only if you have a penis. No penis, nothing you say is right or true.

    Unless disagreeing with Ms. Watson is a crime now,

    Troll flavor: Testerical Strawtroll.

  371. Matt Penfold says

    Oh, and Friday, If McGraw is not willing to stand behind what she wrote on line, why did write it ?

  372. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why does Friday think that we are interested in its opinions? I know I’m not.

  373. julian says

    Sorry, but I’m still a bit miffed at her for this

    Really? I’m still a bit miffed over Ms. McGraw’s characterization of women who don’t want to be or feel intimidated when approached by complete strangers for sex as “demonizing men” and being “anti-sex” and how Ms. McGraw is now a martyr for the MRA cause.

  374. julian says

    Oh, and Friday, If McGraw is not willing to stand behind what she wrote on line, why did write it ?

    Meh… I doubt it was the disagreement that made her feel so hurt.

    Having been in situations where my superiors have singled me out for the sole purpose of humiliating me in front of my peers, I get why it was such a big deal to Ms. McGraw.

    Still, I don’t understand why we shouldn’t call one another out during talks. Ms. Watson did not mischaracterize Ms. McGraw’s remarks and represented her argument in full (from what I remember at least.)

  375. Matt Penfold says

    Julian,

    The impression I got from Friday was that it is unreasonable to expect people to defend comments they make online in real life, and that is what I was trying to get at.

    Like you, I am at a loss to understand why what is said online cannot be mentioned when giving a talk in real life. Personally I had never heard of such a rule before this came up.

  376. Amphiox, OM says

    Ms. Watson broke one of the cardinal rules of internet chivalry

    Rules according to who? You?

  377. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    You DO NOT drop dox, unless there is sufficient reason to believe that a crime has been committed

    Huh? McGrew posted what she did on the Internet under her real name. Watson didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already public, therefore she did not “drop dox”. Therefore your argument is absurd.

  378. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Personally I had never heard of such a rule before this came up.

    The MRA’s are playing calvinball.

  379. The Ys says

    Ms. Watson broke one of the cardinal rules of internet chivalry

    Chivalry? On the internets? Irony level = extremely high

    I guess that’s proof that there’s no girls here, amirite?

    ————————-

    Ms. Watson did not break any ‘rules’. She didn’t out someone who was keeping her name private. She didn’t out someone who blogged privately. She discussed a piece written on a public blog – more specifically, a public blog post written about her and her comments – and addressed the author’s points in a public forum where the author could defend her work.

    If I were on the receiving end of that, I have no doubt I’d feel humiliated…but I’d also try to figure out whether the speaker had cause to discuss the issue in yet another public forum. If I’d tackled someone with a public blog post, I’d expect that person to respond publicly as well. It’s rather short-sighted to think that you and you alone are the only person who can address other people publicly without getting called on your behaviour.

  380. says

    McGraw blogged publicly in an official capacity on her organization’s (CFI On Campus) blog. Rebecca Watson mentioned this at the CFI Student Leadership conference where she was in attendance. I can think of no better example of how not to be a leader, and no better venue.

  381. julian says

    Personally I had never heard of such a rule before this came up.

    I have. It was something come up to protect trolls and assorted creeps from ever having to face the consequences for being creeps and douchebags.

  382. julian says

    I can think of no better example of how not to be a leader

    I don’t think that’s fair. Ms. McGraw was commenting on a very public and important issue. She was dismissive and more than a little insulting (even though she clearly did not mean to be) but she was right to bring it up.

    Had she not automatically disappeared behind the wall of raving loons who sprouted up and been quicker and more forceful in telling them to shut up something like an interesting conversation could have been had.

  383. says

    julian: I don’t deny that it needed to be brought up, but McGraw treated her organization’s blog like a private blog the way she brought it up. While that might be fine with some organizations, her unprofessional dismissal and mischaracterization of Watson’s concerns were far from leadership material. And disappearing behind the wall of loons, well, that’s not very leaderish either, is it?

  384. julian says

    McGraw treated her organization’s blog like a private blog the way she brought it up.

    How so? She quoted Ms. Watson and linked to her video. Ms. McGraw’s post, despite being incredibly dismissive, was as professional as you can expect a blog to be.

    unprofessional dismissal and mischaracterization of Watson’s concerns were far from leadership material.

    I think we have different definitions of unprofessional. And I’m not sure one stupid blog post disqualifies someone from leadership material.

    And disappearing behind the wall of loons, well, that’s not very leaderish either, is it?

    Yeah, that’s really it right there. Leaders are supposed to put a stop to that sort of stuff. Ignoring it especially when it’s done in your name is a pretty big failing for a leader.

  385. says

    That’s just the thing, Julian. I’m fairly certain the CFI On Campus organization blog is generally used for organization functions, not for airing petty grievances. Putting her dismissal of Watson on that blog kind of makes it the official stance of the CFI On Campus org. Is that okay? I don’t know. Maybe. I think probably not, but CFI On Campus may disagree. I haven’t seen any policies saying that their org blog can be used like someone’s personal blog.

    Then again, I post videos of turtles on my FtB blog. I dunno.

  386. julian says

    I’m fairly certain the CFI On Campus organization blog is generally used for organization functions

    There’s no reason the blog couldn’t be used for commentary but you’re right. If that’s what the site is for then it wasn’t the best venue for her post.

    not for airing petty grievances

    Did Ms. McGraw do this? Both the initial post on Ms. Watson’s video and the follow up on how Ms. Watson responded to it were on topics important to a student group. I don’t think she was petty about it. Just wrong. Really, really wrong.

    Putting her dismissal of Watson on that blog kind of makes it the official stance of the CFI On Campus org.

    No more than any editorial piece represents a newspaper’s position.

  387. Pteryxx says

    And disappearing behind the wall of loons, well, that’s not very leaderish either, is it?

    If I may… these are pretty vicious and stalkery loons, as shown by how they’ve treated Rebecca. I could see why someone, particularly a woman known by her real name, might hesitate to cross them once the sheer scale of their reaction became obvious. How this intersects with leadership responsibilities, a public voice, or the support of one’s group, gets complicated by the sort of endemic sexism we’re trying to discuss in the first place. Anyway, just something to keep in mind. (To be clear, I don’t know anything about McGraw or CFI On Campus past this incident, and I don’t intend to imply any specific mindset.)

  388. KG says

    Shadowin@195: then here’s a tip. Get to know the person first, so they like you – Jason Thibeault

    I think you’re overlooking something Jason, making your tip impractical: how likely is it that any woman who gets to know Shadowin will like him? I’d guess his best chance of a positive response would be before a word had been exchanged.

  389. Curt Nelson says

    On how RD responded to RW’s comment about the elevator guy (Guys, don’t do that), I think he either didn’t actually see it, only heard some slanted version of it, and so was dismissive, as in “We have bigger fish to fry! Why are you wasting time on such a trivial incident?” (I think the incident was trivial but worth RW’s commenting on.) If RD’s response was based on having actually seen the video, then he was being kind of a dick. So I’d say at worst RD was kind of a dick, and it would have been appropriate for RW to comment back along the lines of, “Hey, why are you snapping at me over a simple observation?”

    Instead her reaction was unhinged. Her banner post The Dawkins Delusion was way out of proportion to his slight and it was irrational besides. This is what I find astonishing, that a skeptic would engage in such fallacious arguments (he thinks it’s okay for me to be sexually objectified and is obviously unqualified to voice an opinion on the matter because he’s old, white, and male. Plus I want to float the idea that his intellectual contributions should be ignored from now on because of this).

    Another commenter was “offended” by my saying RW’s response was irrational in one of my earlier posts. What about the dismissal of old–white–men?

    The female in this situation needs some kind words, huh PZ? That is so sexist.

  390. Ing says

    @Curt Nelson

    Why do you bend over backwards to find ways for Dawkins to be less wrong (ignoring of course that if your situation was true he still SHOULD HAVE APOLOGIZED which he did not, so yeah fuck him) but insist on blasting RW?

    May a weasel fuck you in the eyes.

  391. Pteryxx says

    What about the dismissal of old–white–men?

    *yawn*

    When old-white-rich-men publicly dismiss and display their ignorance about the experiences of women (or other groups they don’t belong to)? Yep, that was a snarky but appropriate response.

    Short version: the Elevator Incident was just one example of a pattern of sexist, chilling behavior. Similarly, Dawkins’ comment was just one example of a pattern of ignorant dismissal of said sexist, chilling behavior.

    Go read “Is it cold in here” (link), if you haven’t already.

  392. The Ys says

    Instead her reaction was unhinged.

    Dawkins posted a note that started out with “Dear Muslima” here on Pharyngula – and apparently without bothering to learn the details of the incident – and Watson is the one that’s unhinged?

    “Things that make you go: ‘Hmmmmm.’”

  393. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I consider what RW said to be civil, well within bounds of public speech, and appropriate for fuckwits who proposition women everywhere. I found RD’s response to be unnecessary, off topic, patronizing, and made me embarrassed as a man. Especially from someone who has done a lot of things to be respected for. He should have kept his mouth shut on the issue. But I do understand why he did it. The MRA response to RWs appropriate remarks was utterly and totally out of line, and way, way, over the top, and he was trying get posters to settle down. Instead, he set off another shitstorm.

  394. Curt Nelson says

    Yeah, he was a dick. The Dear Muslima thing I see as a literary device to focus attention on what he thinks are real problems, not name calling.

  395. The Ys says

    The Dear Muslima thing I see as a literary device to focus attention on what he thinks are real problems, not name calling.

    Fortunately, Dawkins doesn’t get to decide what problems are ‘real’ enough for the rest of us to discuss and correct.

  396. says

    The idiot formerly posting at 461 has been banned. He has used a couple of names here, though, so I can’t list him in the Dungeon without also revealing his email address. Just consider him walled up namelessly in the oubliette, never to be mentioned again.

  397. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He has used a couple of names here, though, so I can’t list him in the Dungeon without also revealing his email address.

    I can respect that.

  398. Rey Fox says

    What about the dismissal of old–white–men?

    Aww, and all he has is his riches, position of privilege in society, and all the attendant fora thereof to comfort him and give him a voice.

  399. says

    You DO NOT drop dox, unless there is sufficient reason to believe that a crime has been committed, like kidnapping or murder, and you do not bring internet arguments into meatspace unless it cannot be avoided. It does not matter if their handle is their name, you treat the string “Paul Zachary Myers” as if it were the string “goddlessheathen” as if it were the string “anonymous” when online, unless, as I stated, you have reason to believe that that person committed a crime. Unless disagreeing with Ms. Watson is a crime now, Ms. Watson broke one of the cardinal rules of internet chivalry and safety. –Friday #435

    Who in Duck’s name made that rule of not dropping dox? Was it you, Your Highness?

    Anyway, as I have discovered while trying to sort the beginning of this whole mess out, Trevor Boeckmann is one of the main instigators here. He was the one at UNIFI who prodded Stef McGraw to blog about it and stclairose to vlog about it. Then he went on to write a really nasty hate letter to Watson after her CFI speech on the official UNIFI blog.

    Watson had been, in effect, defending herself from a bunch of trash-talk about her going on amongst UNIFI members by confronting McGraw, Boeckmann and other students at the CFI conference who were gossiping about her behind her back. They all likely knew she was going to be the keynote speaker since the CFI conference happened only a week after McGraw’s first critical blog post.

    Watson’s addressal of the matter at CFI wasn’t something that happened out of the blue, and the back and forth wasn’t something that was happening only on the Internet. And no one should be denied a chance to defend themselves before the group of people criticizing them, especially not because of some stupid rule you made up.

  400. says

    Re

    Stef McGraw: I used to think that Rebecca Watson could have handled it better, what with the asymmetries involved etc, but after what Jason said above about her blog being a more or less official CFI blog, I now think calling her out was totally justified. Just because of the bad example it sets for students leaders.

    So this discussion has been helpful for me. Thanks.

  401. Philip Legge says

    Curt Nelson, if you haven’t seen the Dublin panel on “Communicating Atheism” in which both RW and RD spoke, I highly recommend watching Dawkins’ talk. While discussing a variety of stuff he makes two main points about his style of communication:

    The first is ridicule and sarcasm. He isn’t trying to ridicule people directly, he’s trying to mock their ideas, and the fundamentalist religious ideas are the best target for this, as opposed to moderates who may well be wavering on the cusp of non-belief in any case.

    The second point is consciousness-raising, and he starts with an example of gendered language before turning to his particular trope that children should not be identified by the religion of their parents: “you wouldn’t talk about a libertarian child, or a Marxist child”.

    So what are we to make of Dawkins’ performance on the Pharyngula discussion? By employing ridicule that Skep“chick” had been asked by a guy for coffee, he presumably views Watson’s right to mention the subject of harassment with as much respect as his religious opponents such as William Lane Craig – perhaps even less. The last line of his post, directed to the hypothetical “Muslima” but rhetorically directed to Rebecca, said, “For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.” That’s missing the point by light years. That’s not how you treat allies.

    Secondly we may legitimately speculate that he presumes to have had his consciousness raised by feminism in the past to such an extent that he considers no further cogitation is required on his part regarding any novel situations or circumstances that comes to his attention. He entered the thread by theorising why an encounter in an elevator could only be harmless and ‘zero bad’, just as many trolls without his credentials have also done, and the flaws in this approach were swiftly pointed out. As I’ve said elsewhere, consciousness raising isn’t a case of, ‘I’ve gotten my trophy, all I need do is put it in the trophy cabinet and remember to give a bit of dusting and polish every so often’. It should be an active process of review and monitoring.

    I think he wandered into the thread without his brain switched on and used the wrong tactic. And then continued to dig himself into a hole.

    Seriously, drop the Dawkins worship – he isn’t a lesser person because he has feet of clay, and his reputation is something for him to worry about, rather than you.

  402. says

    Aratina Cage @470: This is the first I’ve heard of this Trevor Boeckmann character. Or his “fuck you” letter. Isn’t that special. If he’s legitimately influenced McGraw and stclairose to dogpile on Watson shortly before the CFI conference, then wrote that letter afterward, then he’s the match that lit the powderkeg. I’d honestly like to know why. What’s your evidence for behind the scenes gossiping prior to the CFI con?

  403. julian says

    McGraw, Boeckmann and other students at the CFI conference who were gossiping about her behind her back

    If this is true whatever sympathy I felt for Ms. McGraw will vanish. I despise those kinds of people.

    But I think I’m getting why people think she used her keynote speaker position to ‘settle the score.’ Her talk was entirely on topic and her using Ms. McGraw’s post was still worthwhile but I can see how knowing the drama might color someone’s vision. They’d be more inclined to interpret everything as an insult as opposed to focusing on the substance of what was actually discussed. It explains why so many people jumped the gun with the whole viciousness thing.

  404. Curt Nelson says

    Philip Legge, I just called RD a dick. That’s not exactly worship. I’ll watch Dawkins on Communicating Atheism.

    May a weasel fuck you in the eyes. (Just kidding)

  405. julian says

    The Trevor Boeckman claim seems legit.

    This guy sounds like a precursor to Franc Hoggle.

    And I guess I gotta take back my point about Ms. McGraw’s piece. It itself might have been fine but if this post by Mr. Boeckman is an indicator of how they were using the site it was definitely about settling personal grievances.

  406. Orange Utan says

    @Curt Nelson

    I just called RD a dick

    Like that’s an insult for some called Richard.

  407. says

    Ah, that last nasty comment was enough to zero in on the username he used most heavily: Halostarbucks. Now I can put a name on his cell in the dungeon.

  408. Philip Legge says

    Jason, your douchnozzleness at post #461 is noted. :-)

    Seriously though, if you’d watched Rose St Clair’s vlog some months ago, then you would heard the name “Trevor Boeckmann” as being mentioned as one of the people (there’s another name I can’t parse that Rose mentions very quickly, and it’s not anyone I’m familiar with) who brought Rebecca Watson’s comments to her attention.

    Amongst her references, she also cites another CFI institutional blog, posted on 21 June and entitled: “Guys, listen. That? Stop Doing That.” The writer, Chris Burke, comes down on Watson’s side of the argument and is immediately countered by Boeckmann. Turning up in the comments as well is a recent Pharyngula drive-by poster named “Shadowin”. It rather feels like the thread is going full circle.

    Most of the posters in that thread display similar levels of rampant stupidity as “Shadowin” too. The sexism and misogyny is so ingrained in these people that any comment to draw attention to it is like setting a match to a naked gas jet: of course it’s perfectly reasonable for men to do whatever they want, and as for you, girlie, you can just STFU. (No kidding, one of the posters nym is “Damn You’re funny girl.”.)

  409. Philip Legge says

    Curt, it must have been someone else I saw making excuses and rationalisations for RD. But, yes, I do recommend watching the panel – both Rebecca and Richard are entertaining, on-topic, and have worthwhile things to say, but it really jars to see what Richard wrote in Pharyngula only a couple of weeks later. For example, Rebecca points out that there is a far more vicious character to the type of abuse that she receives (it regularly includes rape threats, which I rather doubt Richard gets) compared to her fellow podcasters on the Sceptic’s Guide to the Universe. Richard should be well aware of the vindictiveness of this type of invective, yet his response is more in common with, “toughen up women, men aren’t obliged to clean up their shit”.

  410. says

    What’s your evidence for behind the scenes gossiping prior to the CFI con? –Jason Thibeault

    Funnily enough, it was furnished by Boeckmann himself within the post linked to by Alethea H. Claw in #478. But stclairose also mentions in her video about it that Trevor and her discussed the elevator incident before she made her video. You can find out about more of it by reading Watson’s blog post responding to the upset students post-CFI con (On Naming Names at the CFI Student Leadership Conference), in which Watson writes:

    When I was discussing the video [of stclairose's] with friends the next day, I was blown away to be told that there were other student leaders who had expressed similar dismissive attitudes recently on Facebook and on other blogs. An hour or so prior to my talk, someone sent me this link to a post by Stef McGraw on the UNI Freethinkers site. I added a paragraph of that response to a slide for the intro to my talk, in which I hoped to call out the anti-woman rhetoric my audience was engaging in.

    So it wasn’t just McGraw–it was many people, and none of them seem to have attempted to reach out to Watson directly.

    But I think I’m getting why people think she used her keynote speaker position to ‘settle the score.’ –julian

    A better way to think about is that she was attempting to stamp out a fire.

  411. says

    I see people are finally catching on to the Trevor Boeckmann connection. How many months did it take?

    Yeah, he was the original Offended Man Who Could Not Believe That He Was Asked to Not Hit on Women. He was extraordinarily strident about it, too.

  412. julian says

    I get the impression Richard Dawkins (and many skeptics) view Rebecca Watson as illegitimate. She’s a ‘chick,’ an occasional party girl and not a real scientist or critical thinker. You saw a lot of that (or are seeing a lot of that) among the people who are distributing photos of her drinking and saying ‘look how easy this was to find. does this person really warrant such an important role in our community?’

    Similar things were said about how she dyes her hair.

    Richard Dawkins was polite on that panel because he’s sorta the statesman of atheism at this point. I don’t get the impression he considered her input valuable. But, then again, that’s just me.

  413. julian says

    A better way to think about is that she was attempting to stamp out a fire.

    An even better way is she was bringing to light an example of how sexism infiltrates even otherwise egalitarian circles. My personal favorite, anyway.

  414. Philip Legge says

    Sorry PZ, some of us aren’t as clued in as you! This TB adds another name to the collection of idiots with those initials (I can think of at least two others :-)

    Oh, and more spam infestations in the recent posts:

    Glenn Shoun on The abuse thread
    Devin Hewko on The Houston meetup

  415. says

    Yeah, I’m only cluing into his importance in this because beforehand, all I knew him from was the oblique mention of him tweeting that Rebecca “spent her keynote” talking about McGraw when it was a 2-minute section of a 60-minute talk. As far as I knew, he was just some random background person, not someone worth actually checking to see whether or not he was engaging in playing Grima Wormtongue to some of the other players like McGraw and stclairose.

    If he had a hand in turning what was a simple suggestion to guys on how not to pick up, into a gigantic conflagration that has turned Watson into a target of opportunity by every MRA fuckwit in the world, then I want to name names.

  416. Amphiox, OM says

    Richard Dawkins was polite on that panel because he’s sorta the statesman of atheism at this point.

    Dawkins was polite because he’s always polite. (It makes the creationists’ “strident screaming atheist” caricature particularly ludicrous).

    But that doesn’t mean that everything he always politely says is necessarily right.

  417. Carlie says

    Huh. If there was that much drama, I’m even more impressed with Watson for not discussing it or using it as justification for any of her actions (e.g. “those meanies made me”)

  418. julian says

    @Carlie

    yeah, regardless of what Ms. Smith or Dr. Coyne have been pushing, Ms. Watson has behaved like a public figure should. She’s been professional throughout most of this.

    That’s not to say if she did lose her temper it’d be make the harassment ok. Just that it’s impressive to see that level of restraint when everyone you considered friends and allies decides you’re a useless, evil monster who needs to be kicked out of the community.