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View Diary: Michigan country club cancels speaker due to his belief in God (242 comments)

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  •  I think you have this approximately backwards (2+ / 0-)
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    i like bbq, Nowhere Man

    I watched that portion of the video again. The most relevant part starts around 4:30. In no way did she say that what happened was "an example of rampant sexism." On the contrary, she said at the beginning and end of her story that this one man was an exception. And she didn't mention "sexism" at all. She said something close to "Guys, don't do that" -- in short, don't invite me to your room when I'm alone with you in a hotel elevator at 4 AM, especially when you just heard me say that I'm tired and want to sleep.

    That seems reasonable to me, especially in the fuller context. A lot of the reaction to it doesn't seem reasonable at all. Saying that "normal people would be flattered" in that situation... well, let me put it this way. If I ever find myself saying something like that to one of my daughters, I hope she yells at me. Telling my daughters that it is abnormal to feel uncomfortable in potentially dangerous situations is just not on. (No, I don't think the man had the slightest intention of being "dangerous," but that isn't the point.)

    Now, Dawkins took it to a whole 'nother level. Seems to me that a woman ought to be able to say that she feels uncomfortable in a situation without being caricatured as a martyr in her own mind, or however one wants to put it. If a supposedly great thinker can't even get that right, then I think less of him for it. And if lots of people know what Rebecca Watson actually said, and are bothered by it, then there's an issue here. Even if lots of people are willing to assume that they know what she actually said, then there's an issue here. Maybe characterizing the issue as "rampant sexism" isn't especially helpful -- but then again, I haven't seen where Watson did that.

    •  Thanks. I followed a lot of the (0+ / 0-)

      "ElevatorGate" discussions on Pharyngula and other blogs on ScienceBlogs and FreeThoughtBlogs. Defenses of Watson brought in hordes, and I do mean hordes, of furious men. There were literally four thousand comments in three days, just on Pharyngula, not to mention tons of comments elsewhere, at the time. This thread on the subject, more than two months after the initial blow-up, topped out at more than 1,200 comments.

      While not all "progressive" atheist men are innocent in this, I suspect it has much to do with the high number of libertarians in the atheist movement. Aside from the various levels of hostility they evince to legally protected rights for oppressed groups, libertarians are, typically as well as stereotypically, affluent white men who will gladly spend hours arguing with people who disagree with them just so that they can be "right." If you've ever seen the Ron Paul fanatics flock to an anti-Paul post and fill the comment thread, you know what I mean.

    •  You're completely ignoring that (0+ / 0-)

      what really sparked the heated debate was Watson's attempt to publicly shame Steph McGraw for daring to (politely) disagree with Watson's reaction to the situation.

      Watson took to a podium, displayed Watson's response for everyone to see (alongside comments from obvious trolls that said "Rape her!" and things like that), and actually stated (paraphrased) that McGraw was bad for feminism.  McGraw was in attendance but couldn't respond, she had to sit there while Watson publicly insulted and shamed her for daring to not fully agree with her reaction to the incident.  So yes, Watson did make the incident about feminism.

      That was the context of Dawkin's response--that a huge meta issue involving perhaps hundreds of people which should be part of a unified community to combat the insidious effects of religious totalitarianism was eating itself alive over an invitation to have coffee.

      And the fact that it was 4 AM is irrelevant.  The fact that Watson was herself "tired" is irrelevant.  Heck, the guy was offering coffee, which is as I'm sure you know a stimulant that tired people use to help them stay awake.  So it's entirely reasonable to assume that this schmuck was hoping that, despite her being tired, she'd reciprocate his interest and want some coffee so they could spend some time together.  All I can see, based on the information provided, is that he was maybe a little too eager and presented himself in a poor way.  

      I'm gay and I've had plenty of people, men and women, make unwanted advances on me.  I once had a guy approach me and ride up and down my leg like it was a fire pole (without a word).  I've had a guy wrap his arms around my neck and say "I want to take you home and f*** your brains out."  I've had a woman corner me outside a bathroom and ask if I wanted to get laid.  I've had a woman at a bar lean in and press her breasts against me as she "reached for a napkin" and then lick her lips at me.  So I'm not at all unfamiliar with uncomfortable and overaggressive acts of courtship.  But asking someone back to your room for coffee?  Meh.  

      However, the larger point is that even if Watson was discomfited by the incident, she had absolutely no call to treat McGraw as she did, and it was the ensuing flamewar over that which prompted Dawkin's exhasperated response over a coffee invite.

      •  I've addressed most of your comment (1+ / 0-)
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        Nowhere Man

        downthread. I don't think that anybody ought to be hitting on anyone else in overly aggressive and uncomfortable ways. That said, if you're a man, you are more than likely to be able to defend yourself against inappropriately amorous men, and certainly able to do so against inappropriately amorous women. Whole different ballgame when women are hit on by men — and not just size and strength differences, but a surrounding culture that insists we be "fuckable," then blames us for unwanted attention or assault.

        I call bullshit on the "bad for feminism" remark. As I said, I followed the entire thing on various blogs.

        Finally, I notice you are not defending the countless emails, Tweets, and other correspondence Watson got, even before the McGraw incident, that were full of misogynist slurs and threats. Not to mention the blogposts of Abbie "ERV" Smith, which, along with their comment threads, were absolute toxic sewers of woman-hating (Smith has, I'd say, a real problem with internalized misogyny).

        Tell me, if there isn't a problem with misogyny in the atheism community, why are so many men upset with the advice, "Guys, don't do that" that they feel the need to degrade and threaten the woman who said it?

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