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Atheist Elevator Redux

Found on the Men's Rights subreddit on Reddit

Here, found on Men’s Rights Reddit, is a “demotivational” poster that illustrates just why Rebecca Watson’s comments about that now-famous elevator incident, and the ensuing discussions that erupted amongst feminists online (and here, in our longest  thread ever), were actually, you know,  necessary: whoever made this evidently thinks that the very notion that a RAPIST would ask someone out for coffee first is so inherently and self-evidently hilarious that you don’t even have to explain why it’s so hilarious.

Never mind that, er, rapists often DO invite their future victims out for coffee, to the movies, out for a kebab, etc, etc first. Never mind that if some hypothetical woman had accepted a 4 AM “coffee in my room” invite and been raped, many of the very same guys now ranting about how she’s calling all men rapists would be blaming her for being a “slut” who “was asking for it” by agreeing to said “coffee” date.

(And I’ll just note that Watson did not in fact accuse her admirer in the elevator of being a rapist or even a creep; she simply mentioned that propositioning someone in an elevator at 4 AM is a creepy thing to do.)

And yes, that is Richard Dawkins in the picture. I’m not sure why someone who presumably agrees with what Dawkins said about the case would want to feature him in a poster next to the word “rapists,” but what do I know?  In any case, Dawkins is now being hailed as a hero by more than a few of the regulars in the Men’s Rights subreddit — not for his scientific work, or his science writings, or even his atheist activism, but for his douchebaggery towards Watson. The Flying Spaghetti Monster works in mysterious ways, I guess.

Speaking of which — the mysterious ways thing, I mean  — can anyone explain the logic behind this comment to me?

Specifically, could you explain the bit about “smack[ing] the shit out of” feminists who’ve stood up for Rebecca Watson? It seems to me that if you’re trying to make the point that Watson and her supporters are reacting hysterically to an innocent invitation to coffee, and that women have no reason to  be fearful or concerned or even just mildly creeped out by men propositioning them in elevators at 4 am, it does not exactly help your case to talk about doing physical harm to feminists (or children, for that matter). Doesn’t that suggest, rather, that women should be concerned about strange men in elevators — because of the off chance that one of these strange men could turn out to be, you know, the sort of dude who posts shit like that on the internet?

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Posted on July 11, 2011, in misogyny, MRA, rape, rapey, reddit, sluts, that's not funny!. Bookmark the permalink. 267 Comments.

  1. Ion

    Thanks, I will sleep better tonight knowing someone loves me. Even if you are a misogynistic MRA. ;)

    So did you think the vid was funny? I thought the Kids in the Hall guys were freaking hilarious

  2. Tit for Tat, this is not one of my preferred Kids in The Hall skits. I loved the sketch show, own Brain Candy on DVD, and thought Foley was hilarious on News Radio.

    This bit? Didn’t really have a lot of layers and was kind of one note. It also didn’t really go balls to the wall, and lacked the kind surreality that a lot of their other stuff had. I still laugh to the point of tears at the “crushing your head,” sketch. And, yeah, I were dresses so I don’t think that “dude in a dress” is the height of hilarity.

    So, now: strange man in an elevator asks you back to his hotel room at 4 o’clock in the morning. How do you feel?

  3. It was, actually. Pretty catchy too. :)

  4. Nobinayamu

    I would have told the man that I was tired and going to bed. If he persisted I would have said I am not generally into guys. If he continued, well, something else might have happened. If it was a woman and I was single I may have been energized for a cup of coffee if I found her attractive, afterall you know us men, we always want sex with a good looking woman.

  5. @Elizabeth

    Lol. That’s entirely possible. I like to picture Dawkins as a catalyst, he lowered the activation energy and the blogosphere goes booom. I guess as a biologist he would prefer to be an enzyme, but enzymatic reactions don’t make booom!

  6. Yeah, Ion, I didn’t ask you what you would have done. I asked you how you would have felt. Rebecca Watson said “no thank you” and indicated, after the fact, that the encounter was a little creepy to her.

    I asked you how you’d feel? For example, would you be flattered?

  7. Sorry, that was meant for Tit for Tat. The unfunny guy.

  8. Nobinayamu

    Well you need to flip the scenario. Afterall, wouldnt it be a woman asking me? If so, then I would probably be somewhat flattered and baffled considering Im not the best looking guy out there. Also, creepy is not a word I would use. I may have said fucking weird and obviously that has a very different context.
    By the way, you dont need to keep insulting me, I may be slow ,but I am aware you dont like my humour.

  9. So now we’re speculating even more on this whole situation xD If it’d been a girl, she’d have done X! It’s bad enuf we have ppl who think she thought he was a rapist, and ppl who think that he was thinking “assault” on his mind… how about we speculate if Watson was a guy? o_O Or if elevator guy was a trans man? Or if Watson was a trans woman? o_o

    There’s an entire cottage industry that can be created out of speculating about EG and Skepchick! xD

    Hrm… other suggestions? :3

    What if… Watson were an decepticon and EG was a autobot? :D Then it’d be awesome! Or if Watson were actually Baroness and EG was one of the GI Joes!

  10. Tit for Tat, you speculated -one thread page ago- that Watson’s reaction may have been entirely different if a woman had asked her back to her hotel room at 4 in the morning for coffee. It was completely baseless speculation and I and other posters provided examples and reasons why boundary issues are not gender specific.

    You asserted that gender was a likely factor. I asked you to back that up by telling us how you’d feel, in the same situation as Watson, if it were another man.

    I don’t need to flip the scenario. I’m directly addressing your assertion about gender.

    As for “creepy,” vs. “weird”… you can’t be serious. What’s the substantive difference between the two?

    And I don’t think you’re slow. I just think you’re not funny.

  11. Weird means strange to me or unusual. ‘Creepy’ has a dangerous component to it. Like creeping into my room. Night prowler kind of idea. BIG difference.

  12. Thomas: No offense, but I see you are proud of being a dishonest person.

    Ok, less serious now.

    You don’t get to define creepy for other people. It doesn’t matter if Mother Teresa would have thought it not creepy; that doesn’t change that for Rebecca Watson, it was.

    And people get to talk about what creeps them out.

    In the gray area of what’s socially acceptable, saying something like “I don’t want to be rude, but…”, “Don’t takes this the wrong way, but…”, actually shows good social skills. It shows that the speaker is aware of the social rule he’s about to bend. It’s less awkward if he points it out.

    That’s an acceptable out, if you know the person and have some social credit to spend in making a comment that might be taken the wrong way.

    That Marcotte, and Meyers, see the lessons to be learned differently is perfectly normal. People are the sum of their experience.

    I remember those conversations with MRAL too. The difference was this: he was saying his hardships were worse than other peoples.

    Watson didn’t do that. She didn’t even say it was horrid, just creepy. Moderately offensive.

    That’s where Dawkins went off the rails. He brouhgt the issue of relevant hardship intot the equation.

  13. Seriously?

    Main Entry: weird
    Part of Speech: adjective
    Definition: odd, bizarre
    Synonyms: awe-inspiring, awful, creepy*, curious, dreadful, eccentric, eerie*, far-out, fearful, flaky*, freaky, funky*, ghastly, ghostly, grotesque, haunting, horrific, inscrutable, kinky*, kooky, magical, mysterious, occult, oddball, ominous, outlandish, peculiar, preternatural, queer, secret, singular, spooky*, strange, supernal, supernatural, uncanny, uncouth, unearthly, unnatural

    Creepy has a slightly different connotation. Slightly. But it’s fascinating how finely you’re willing to parse this in order to keep from admitting that you pulled the whole (and I’m paraphrasing) “Watson wouldn’t have felt this way if it had been another woman”-thing out of your ass.

  14. She wouldnt have. You know it and I know it. The post would NOT have been written had it been a woman. Of that I am sure. I dont know if she was scared or freaked out but obviously she did not like his advances. I have no problem with her account. My initial remark was only about how I believe that if the gender of the person was the same we wouldnt even be talking about this shit.

  15. titfortat: You asked a question*: “What if it had been a woman”.

    Nobinayamu posed the same question to you, “What if someone of the same sex asked you?”.

    You dodged. Your dodge, however, is actually quite revealing. You imply that were he to be pushy, you would have attacked him.

    So we can see that were it a guy, you’d have been at least a little bothered. So we see that you interpret the interests of men as being different to the interests of women.

    *and all of us knew your answer in advance, and your probable reaction to anyone who didn’t give one in a similar vein

  16. And your point in bringing that up was…

  17. titfortat: Actually, if it hadn’t been for Dawkins’ (et sequalae) we’d not be talking about it.

    It’s not really about Rebecca Watson and the guy in the elevator. It’s about people like you being so worked up that she gave advice that said, “I found this creepy. Other women might find it creepy. If you want more women to be skeptics/atheists with you, try not to be creepy.”

  18. Completely. Baseless. Speculation.

    I have had women make me feel uncomfortable by not being respectful of my boundaries and personal space. I have had men make feel uncomfortable by not being respectful of my boundaries and personal space.

    You just said that if it had been you and another man, in the exact same scenario presented by Rebecca Watson, you’d have felt “weird.” Not “creepy,” – heaven’s no. Just “weird”. You presented a bullshit hypothetical and then debunked it yourself.

    Ridiculous.

  19. Sorry, that was directed at Titfortat. Sure, it’d be different if there were two women in the elevator… it would also have been different if elevator guy had been (as I quipped a few days ago) a bear in a man suit. RW would’ve been concerned about literally being eaten if that were the case (sorry for getting silly, but this situation is getting silly).

  20. damnit… sequelae

  21. Victoria von Syrus

    She wouldnt have. You know it and I know it. The post would NOT have been written had it been a woman. Of that I am sure. I dont know if she was scared or freaked out but obviously she did not like his advances. I have no problem with her account. My initial remark was only about how I believe that if the gender of the person was the same we wouldnt even be talking about this shit.

    I’ll agree with you there. If Watson had been speaking about a woman trying to hit on her in such a way that completely ignored her clearly stated boundaries, then I doubt Dawkins would have gotten as upset and offended. As a result, it is highly unlikely that the hordes of angry, offended men would have reacted with the hysterics they did. As a further result, this whole thing would not have gone viral. Most women probably hearing Watson’s experience would have just nodded their head and gone ‘yep, that’s a bit creepy’ without interpreting her words as a scathing indictment of all womanhood, everywhere.

    So, yeah, the gender matters, but not for the reason you think it does.

  22. Yeah, i KEEP TRYING to remind ppl how this started -_-;; The “feminist blogosphere” did not pick up her video and then start talking about rape and etc.. they were reacting to Dawkins et al…

    it’s like the DIckwolves thing, or all sorts of other things… a lot of ppl (me incl) had no problem w/ the original comic… what WAS a problem was after Shakesville talked about it, they got bombarded w/ trolls and rape threats, and Liss got emails threatening her w/ rape, and etc etc etc -_-

  23. I think David should post Ion’s call to action for trolls btw… just in case they missed it xD SOLIDARITY!

  24. @Pecunium

    “You don’t get to define creepy for other people. “

    I’m not interested in defining anyone’s feelings, I’m interested in dismissing feelings. There has to be some common standard what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. This standard is not defined through a single persons feelings. If many people disagree about the social acceptability of a situation there is a good chance that this situation is located in a gray area. I’m not talking about ethics here, I’m talking about social norms.

    “And people get to talk about what creeps them out. “

    Do they talk with their friends about what creeps them out or do they broadcasts on the internet with a huge audience? Nobody cares if Watson tells her bff about that situation, but it’s entirely different if she tells the anecdote to make a point about sexism in the atheist community.

    “That Marcotte, and Meyers, see the lessons to be learned differently is perfectly normal. People are the sum of their experience. “

    Ok, but neither Marcotte nor Meyers argue from experience. Both mainly argue from a feminist framework. Marcotte never dated as a men and the last time Meyer dated was probably before I was even born. So excuse me but I don’t trust in their expertise. Also Marcotte is first and foremost interested in pushing her political agenda. She’s interpreting the actions of EG in the worst possible way, she is not less biased than the author David mocks in his last post ( http://manboobz.com/2011/07/12/atheist-elevator-redux-part-deux-the-return-of-the-nice-guy/ )

    “I remember those conversations with MRAL too. The difference was this: he was saying his hardships were worse than other peoples. “

    Ok, this point is interesting. The first claim you made is that creepiness is subjective and I get not to define what’s creepy or not. When we say creepiness is subjective we also have to expand this to other negative feelings. Now you say, the fact that the well-known-poster claimed he’s more suffering than someone else allows us to establish a objective, comparable scale of suffering. Why? Either we agree that some suffering is worse than others or we don’t. The fact that a person draws a comparison changes nothing.

  25. Just to clarify, he’s saying that the situations you compared aren’t the same because Watson didn’t say “what happened was worse than what’s happening to women in the Middle East!” and MRAL was making direct comparisons.

    Whether or not general statements should be open to comparison is another debate, he was just telling you why it’s different, b/c Watson didn’t bring it up, Dawkins brought up the comparison. MRAL brought up his comparisons, Pecunium didn’t.

    If Watson had compared her situation to those in the middle east, and Dawkins had then called her on it, that would be more comparable to what you are saying Pecunium did to MRAL :]

    That’s not to say I dun think you can argue the point you made, but that particular comparison doesn’t rly work v well :] (you may disagree xD)

  26. Or if, on a thread about Middle Eastern women talking about things they have been through, Watson shows up and says they are lying and exaggerating. Then saying “hey, aren’t you the one who complains that some guy hit on her in an elevator?” would be comparable to the MRAL/Pecunium/et al situation :]

  27. Skipping over the silliness about Marcotte and Meyer not speaking from experience…

    Wrong, Thomas. No one denied that MRAL was suffering. Clearly, he was. We said that the factors he blamed for his suffering (such as his supposed deformity) were not the actual things causing his suffering.

  28. @Ami

    Well, I don’t really trust in my own argumentation, but still think I’m more right ;-) But I stop now, because I don’t really feel comfortable to use another poster as an example to make my point. It was a bad idea from the start.

  29. Too bad Ion flounced off-I would have explained to him that pretty much every woman on here (except me because I think a guy hitting on me at 4 in the morning has *got to be joking because guys do not hit on me*) and most of the men, including him, would be bothered (creeped out) by someone asking them to a hotel room at 4 in the morning.

    Ion even said he thought he would wake up without a kidney. So the complaining that the trolls are doing is not that they think she was wrong, it was that she was being honest and up front about it. That all women, at all times, should keep their mouths shut and accept whatever crap the man wants to dish out.

  30. So, here is a story. The last time I saw Richard Dawkins was after my boyfriend, friend, and I saw him across the hotel bar we were sitting at, enjoying a drink after one of his talks. We offered to pay for his drink (we asked our waitress — who was also his waitress — to tell him we wanted to pay for it because we had enjoyed his talk), and, momentarily, saw him scurry out of the room, after throwing some money on the table.

    It was around six or seven, if it matters, and there were a group of three of us (two men, one woman) in a fairly populated room, and we didn’t even try to talk to him. And he freaked the fuck out.

    So I’m finding it a little weird that he’s making all this noise now like Watson is being unreasonable.

    Oh, by the way, I’m on vacation. Hence the not posting lately. It’s been pretty fun though, so far. if anyone’s wondering.

  31. A … bratwurst … snowglobe?

  32. ClioPersephone

    Actually Ion I’m pretty sure that people are finding you creepy because of comments like this:

    “This may offend your feminist sensibilities, but I’ve found that it’s usually much more useful and accurate to observe what women do rather than what they say. So yeah.”

    Yeah, less to do with you disagreeing and more to do with the fact that you apparently wouldn’t care much about consent or a woman’s feelings.

  33. What I never understand by stuff like that, and also the trolls who tell us what women think when we’re women here right now is do they think we’re naive.. or lying? o_O

    Like is it more useful to observe us cuz we know not what we do, and we don’t understand our own thought processes, or it’s cuz women lie? o_O;;;

  34. Yay snowwurst! bratglobes!

  35. @ Thomas
    “There has to be some common standard what’s socially acceptable and what’s not. This standard is not defined through a single persons feelings. If many people disagree about the social acceptability of a situation there is a good chance that this situation is located in a gray area. I’m not talking about ethics here, I’m talking about social norms.”

    See, there is actually a lot of agreement about the social acceptability of the situation. Women, for the most part, agree that this guy’s choice of time, place and social context to hit on Watson was terrible, and the sheer number of cues of disinterest he deliberately or accidentally ignored in the process of hitting on her was unsettling. Not terrifying, but offputting. MRAL and others on this thread have agreed that the guy’s attempt to pick her up at 4 AM in an elevator (after she was a guest speaker giving a speech on how she didn’t want to be hit on by strangers at this conference), was poorly thought out, and he would have done better in another time and place. So it’s generally agreed-upon that trying to pick a woman up in a situation in which she feels unsociable and kind of vulnerable is usually not a smooth move.

    Many men seem to identify strongly with the figure of the awkward guy who fumbles his attempts to hit on women. That’s understandable; everyone loves an underdog. But if I were a socially awkward guy trying to pick up women at conferences, I’d appreciate some advice on the best time and place and social context in which women are amenable to being picked up. I’d want some examples of doing it wrong (Watson’s anecdote) and doing it right (PZ’s list of tips). What confuses me is that Rebecca Watson was not mean to him, but a lot of guys are reacting as if she were. She just politely turned him down. She never mentioned him by name. She just used the whole awkward encounter as an anecdote to illustrate a point in a vlog and offer awkward guys some advice on paying attention to the cues this guy missed. I don’t understand why so many men are angry about her advice. Do you?

  36. Thomas If many people disagree about the social acceptability of a situation there is a good chance that this situation is located in a gray area. I’m not talking about ethics here, I’m talking about social norms.

    So is everyone else. The norm one part is pointing out is that hitting on someone in a place they can’t get away, is creepy, and should be avoided. Dismissing that is what you are doing.

    So your norm is, “when people are trapped, it’s ok to make them uncomfortable,” got it. I disagree.

    Do they talk with their friends about what creeps them out or do they broadcasts on the internet with a huge audience? Nobody cares if Watson tells her bff about that situation, but it’s entirely different if she tells the anecdote to make a point about sexism in the atheist community.

    When making points about sexism in the atheist community is part of her social role, then it’s perfectly appropriate. More to the point, (to keep in in the conversational envelope you want to work in) I think that discussing it in her blog would have been completely appropriate no matter whom she happened to be. When something bothers me enough to want to share it, I am not going to say, “gee, some asshat might be offended, I ought to take his/her feelings into account and stifle my anger.”

    Fuck that noise. I am entitled to share my opinions as I see fit. So are you, so is she, so is everyone. I am then free to opine about those reactions. Which is how social norms like not chatting people up in elevators become norms.

    Norms require consensus. Consensus requires communication.

    Ok, but neither Marcotte nor Meyers argue from experience. Bullshit. You want to argue that, then you need to prove it. Show that none of the opinions they shared on this topic come from personal experience. PZ Meyers, in the, “Decent Human Beings” post listed his experience, so it’s patently false in his case. I’ve not read the specific post of Marcotte’s, but I’ve read enough of her work to doubt that it was purely theoretical either.

    Ok, this point is interesting. The first claim you made is that creepiness is subjective and I get not to define what’s creepy or not. When we say creepiness is subjective we also have to expand this to other negative feelings. Now you say, the fact that the well-known-poster claimed he’s more suffering than someone else allows us to establish a objective, comparable scale of suffering.

    No. What I said was MRAL introduced the question of the relative merit of the suffering. He said he had suffered more than anyone else here. That invited comparison.

    Watson did no such thing, so the introduction was both a non-sequitor, and irrelevant. It was meant to make shut her up by saying her problems were unimportant on their face.

  37. ClioPersephone

    @Ami: You know, I never really understand either. I mean are women evil masterminds who enjoy hurting men and screwing them over? Or are women naive children who need to be looked after because we can’t make decisions ourselves? You’d think there’d be some kind of consensus over this.

    But then again, being able to pick one or the other based on the situation works much better. That way it’s easier for them to “prove” feminists/women are … EVIL!

  38. Did she do that? o_O

    No she didn’t… but do you know the concept of an EXAMPLE or an ANALOGY?

    I was just arguing that just because X justifiably (!) creeps you out (that means everybody understands your feelings!) it still often can be ridiculous to complain about X and ask people to change their behavior.

    The example of asking men not to use elevators at night makes that hopefully clear.

    And imho that’s also the case with Rebecca Watson. It’s just ridiculous to complain about guys making awkward proposition (even at 4 am) exactly as it’s ridiculous to rant about drunk people having a good time, people with dogs that bark at you and pull the leash or about “there must be something wrong with that guy”-guys etc. etc.

    Come on, please!! In the US… aren’t they showing up with loaded guns at the Tea Party rallies? Now, there I would draw the line… there you have a moral right to complain about this behavior.

  39. Btw, Ami, where’s your nitpicking now?

    Rebecca Watson said…

    “Don’t do that, guys!”

    GUYS…!!
    Would a girl propositioning her at 4 am not make her uncomfortable to?

    soo….. why didn’t she use gender-neutral language?? => SEXIST!!!!!!

    And that’s how the nitpicking would continue:

    You: “Women don’t use sexual violence!”
    Me: “They do ”
    You: “but it’s a proven fact that men are more likely…”
    Me: “Drug dealers are also more likely to be Blacks or Hispanics than Whites. Wouldn’t someone ranting “Please, Blacks and Mexicans, get real jobs, don’t be drug dealers!” not be racist? Of course he would be, and so Rebecca Watson is sexist!”
    You: “But it’s so much less likely for a woman to use sexual violence, it’s extremely unlikely.”
    Me: “Yes, but where exactly do you draw the line…? What’s ‘extremely unlikely’ 10% of all cases ? 5% ? 1%? ”

    oh god, Internet arguments are a waste of time :-D

  40. @ Marc

    “It’s just ridiculous to complain about guys making awkward proposition (even at 4 am) exactly as it’s ridiculous to rant about drunk people having a good time, people with dogs that bark at you and pull the leash or about “there must be something wrong with that guy”-guys etc. etc.”

    You compared Watson’s anecdote to complaining about barking dogs and loud drunk people. If you’re just grouching about it to your friends, it’s just one of those things that you commiserate with and then move on with your lives. If you’ve been hired to give a speech about loud drunk people at an international conference, then it’s actually on topic.

    Watson was invited to the conference to give a speech explaining why more women aren’t attending atheist conferences, even though many women are atheists. She gave a bunch of reasons, including the fact that an awful lot of men hit on women at these conferences, and many women are uncomfortable being hit on by a lot of men while they’re just trying to go about their business. She requested, in her speech, that men stop hitting on her, specifically, because she herself did not want any sexual attention at all.

    After she got hit on again after the speech, in a situation that made her uncomfortable, she mentioned, while vlogging her impressions of the conference, that this was an example of a guy going out of his way to hit on her while ignoring the situational context that made her (and most women who would be in this situation) feel vulnerable and uninterested in flirtation. Since men in the atheist/skeptic movement were essentially asking her advice on how to make women feel more comfortable and welcome, she suggested that atheist men ought to pay more attention to situational contexts while hitting on women at this kind of conference, and she made her point by illustrating it with this anecdote of a terrible attempt at a pick-up. So her anecdote about this one guy who hit on her was pretty on topic. It’s really related to what she was paid to do at that conference. Why do you think she shouldn’t have mentioned it?

  41. Interesting point, when people from queer nation went into hetero bars and started hitting on people as part of a political point about how normative heterosexuality was in public spaces, they often got arrested. Queer people are often far more circumspect about what situations they come on to people in. Ditto for people of color hitting on white people. It is only people who are more privileged than their “target” who can get away with this shit in the first place and feel entitled to behave this way.

    Also, it is not true that POC use drugs at higher rates than white people, or that POC are more likely to be drug dealers. There is not a huge difference between black, latino and white drug use rates.

    “The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that the highest rate of current (past month) illicit drug use was among persons reporting two or more races (14.7%), followed by blacks/African Americans (10.1%), American Indian/Alaska Natives (9.5%), whites (8.2%), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (7.3%); and Hispanics (6.2%). The lowest rate of current illicit drug use was among Asians (3.6%).”

    Amoung youth (teens), whites actually dominate drug use:

    “According to 2006 findings from the Monitoring the Future study, African-American 8th, 10th and 12th grade students have substantially lower usage rates for most illicit drugs when compared to white students. Hispanics generally have rates of use for many drugs that tend to fall between usage rates for whites and blacks.”

    http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/drugfact/minorities/minorities_ff.html

    There is a lot of evidence that black people and latinos face incarceration for drug use at higher rates, but zero evidence that they actually use drugs at markedly higher rates. Stop pulling make believe racist stats out of your ass in your attempt to accuse others of racism.

  42. So her anecdote about this one guy who hit on her was pretty on topic. It’s really related to what she was paid to do at that conference. Why do you think she shouldn’t have mentioned it?

    The problem is that she made it to a “Guys, don’t do that” thing. Why didn’t she tried to explain it in a more concrete manner?

    I think the she just sounds way too smug, to some extend I can understand why people dislike her, take this “I wanna thank all the misogynists for commenting on the video … thank you for not hiding your misogyny … ” oh please…

    Also, it is not true that POC use drugs at higher rates than white people, or that POC are more likely to be drug dealers. There is not a huge difference between black, latino and white drug use rates.

    Well, it was not about drug use. It was about drug dealing, that’s a huge difference, but I’m not defending this claim, because it only served as an analogy.

    Stop pulling make believe racist stats out of your ass in your attempt to accuse others of racism.

    This is a perfect example why any discussions here are doomed to fail and one might just go back to troll-mode. Where have I accused others of racism? Where have I claimed that they use drugs more often than whites? Nowhere! Besides that, it was just an ANALOGY.

    And while skepchick complained our other Cenk Uygur, jokes about a guy who was repeatedly groped by his female coworker. He laughs at him for having a problem with that. But who cares about that? Nobody.
    So I don’t see the “privileged” “get away with this shit”.

    (btw, I’m a privilege-denier :-D … because one central point of the privilege theory (that when women have/had advantages in society it’s just “benevolent sexism” and not “privilege”) is just ridiculous sophistry for me.)

  43. Tabby Lavalamp

    Cenk Uygur, jokes about a guy who was repeatedly groped by his female coworker. He laughs at him for having a problem with that. But who cares about that? Nobody.

    I do. And there’s a reason the word “fauxgressive” exists. I haven’t seen the video where Uygur laughs at the man, but I’ve seen enough from fauxgressives to believe it. I wouldn’t denounce him until I’ve seen the video for myself, but I wouldn’t be surprised by it and if true, then that was wrong of him to do so.

  44. Marc: This is a perfect example why any discussions here are doomed to fail and one might just go back to troll-mode. Where have I accused others of racism? Where have I claimed that they use drugs more often than whites? Nowhere! Besides that, it was just an ANALOGY.

    There are lots of choices for analogy. One’s that might be more relevant (say a Jehovah’s Witness coming to one’s door on a Sunday morning). You chose to say, “Me: “Drug dealers are also more likely to be Blacks or Hispanics than Whites. Wouldn’t someone ranting “Please, Blacks and Mexicans, get real jobs, don’t be drug dealers!” not be racist? Of course he would be, and so Rebecca Watson is sexist!”

    Your analogy fails because it’s not analagous in the behavior (one is socially inept, the other is criminal), and it’s inflammatory. You brought in an accusatory stereotype and now are saying we should ignore that and focus on why Watson ought to have just suffered in silence.

    Where should we draw the line on assholish behavior, 10 percent of the time? 5 percent? 1 percent?

    So, explain why Watson: who was invited to talk about why it is that there are not more women active in the atheist community should refrain from pointing out that immediately after she gave a talk on that subject someone in that community chose to engage in behavior that many women would find off-putting?

    What made it inappropriate? Why do you think it’s about “shaming men” instead of making it more pleasant for women to attend such conferences (and so make it more likely that men will have the chance to interact with them? Which might lead to more people “having coffee” in their rooms)?

    See that’s the part that amuses me. These guys are all upset (you among them) because she’s trying to help them get more women to their conferences. Which would make it easier for them to get laid. Environments where women are at a premium tend to have more women who sleep alone; because the pain in the ass factor of dealing with asshole men turns them off.

    More women would make the men less aggressive, because they wouldn’t feel as pressured. That, in turn makes women more likely to express interest. Everybody wins. But you, and they, seem to think that letting off-putting behavior continue is a better idea.

  45. Your analogy fails because it’s not analagous in the behavior (one is socially inept, the other is criminal), and it’s inflammatory. You brought in an accusatory stereotype

    Please, what’s your problem? It was an example of an hypothetical bad and useless Internet argument. I haven’t said “Drug dealers are also more likely to be Blacks or Hispanics than Whites.”, I simply didn’t, nowhere ever, look at the original post: It was an hypothetical argument in which I would never have participated in anyway because I hate senseless nitpicking to no end. Just because something begins with “Me: ” doesn’t mean that I really said that or would say such a thing, especially if the offending sentence is between the line
    “And that’s how the nitpicking would continue:”
    and the line
    “oh god, Internet arguments are a waste of time :-D”

    and now are saying we should ignore that

    Yes, why not?
    (It already was ridiculous waste of time to even bother with darksidecat’s arguments… but now I really have enough of that)

    and focus on why Watson ought to have just suffered in silence.

    I just wanted to remind you that the topic is Watson.

    What made it inappropriate? Why do you think it’s about “shaming men”

    I don’t think it’s about shaming men, but I think it’s about complaining about men in general instead of being more concrete and just complaining about those who behave in that way. Why didn’t she just say “When I had finished my talk a few minutes later unfortunately a guy gave me a perfect example of the behavior…” probably the reaction would have been much better.

    instead of making it more pleasant for women to attend such conferences (and so make it more likely that men will have the chance to interact with them? Which might lead to more people “having coffee” in their rooms)?

    So you think that hoping for an increased probability to get laid is a honorable motive to encourage participation of women?

    See that’s the part that amuses me. These guys are all upset (you among them) because she’s trying to help them get more women to their conferences. Which would make it easier for them to get laid. Environments where women are at a premium tend to have more women who sleep alone; because the pain in the ass factor of dealing with asshole men turns them off.

    I don’t care if there are more or less women at conferences. I really absolutely don’t care if we have 80% women or 80% men.

    More women would make the men less aggressive, because they wouldn’t feel as pressured. That, in turn makes women more likely to express interest. Everybody wins. But you, and they, seem to think that letting off-putting behavior continue is a better idea.

    No, I don’t think that. I just think that she doesn’t need to be surprised if she gets bad reactions if she presents her problems in such a way.

  46. So you just think it’s her fault? She said, “this guy did this thing” Concrete example. She didn’t say “all guys do this thing”.

    She then said, “doing things like that is creepy. If you really are concerned with getting more women to attend conferences not doing that is a good start.”

    As to the issue of analogy: it has to be analogous to be useful; that’s why I recommended something about people making unwanted approaches.

    It’s sort f like your problem with Watson: if you hadn’t done it badly, no one would have commented on it.

    As to the issue of is having more women at conferences so there is more chance of sex a good reason? It’s neutral. I suspect that part of the reason guys wish there were more women is because they would like to meet more women who share their interests; which is presumptively more likely in a conference setting. Given the general hostility atheists face, I can see them being reluctant to approach women when they risk getting evangelised, as well as rejected. So, were I they, I’d think it a useful thing; and probably a good thing for all involved.

    But that’s just me. I’m an egalitarian.

  47. There is no evidence that people of color are the bulk of drug users or dealers (in fact, there is plenty of evidence that white people, surprise surprise, generally buy drugs from other white folks http://cmc.sagepub.com/content/6/1/122.extract). However, there is a huge amount of evidence that men make up the majority of sexual assault and rape perpetrators. I know you MRAs might not like it much, but reality matters. A privileged group being afraid of the oppressed group based on bullshit stereotypes is not analogous to the oppressed group being afraid of the privileged group based on a culture of threats against the oppressed group. Let me give a better analogy. An acquaintance of mine is a darker skinned black woman. Her and her parents (also black and not light skinned), were going to visit relatives and got lost near Lynchburg Virginnia. Her father refused to stop to ask for directions out of fear that they would be poorly received or even attacked as a black people approaching white people in fucking Lynchburg. So, they arrived at their destination hours late. Is the best response to his fear to tell him that he is being unreasonable and surely not all white people in Lynchburg are violent racists? That he should give the white people the benefit of the doubt and take the risk or it is a sure sign that he hates all white people?

  48. know you MRAs might not like it much, but reality matters.

    1. I am not a MRA for Christ’s sake.

    2. Reality doesn’t matter anything, absolutely ANYTHING if I tell a story.

    This time I told a story, the story was about how Internet typically arguments look like.

    I explained this, but still you don’t understand…

    Now I naturally wonder why this is the case…?

    Haven’t I explained it clearly enough?

    Do I have to explain this in PICTURES to you?

    A privileged group being afraid of the oppressed group based on bullshit stereotypes is not analogous to the oppressed group being afraid of the privileged group based on a culture of threats against the oppressed group.

    PLEASE!

    There were no analogies.

    THE ANALOGIES you accuse me exist ONLY as part of MY STORY.

    DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THIS!?!?!

    When I write a story in a first-person point of view and this first-person narrator claims wrong things in this story, that doesn’t mean I believe these wrong things myself! Get it?

    Get it?

    However, there is a huge amount of evidence that men make up the majority of sexual assault and rape perpetrators.

    So and why do you think is this so? Biological reasons?

    Biological reasons seem very probable for me, from the Czech Republic we know that sex offenders (like Ludek Jirak) had a nearly irresistible urge to rape and intrusive fantasies of raping children and women until they were castrated…

    So what are we gonna do? Any suggestions?

    What about aborting male fetuses (only keeping some for sperm-production)?

  49. Marc: THE ANALOGIES you accuse me exist ONLY as part of MY STORY.

    So there were analogies.

    While you may wish to say (now) that there weren’t intentional analogies about this situation, that’s what it was, and you didn’t start saying that it wasn’t until later.

    You were the one who defended it, as an analogy

    No she didn’t… but do you know the concept of an EXAMPLE or an ANALOGY?

    I was just arguing that just because X justifiably (!) creeps you out (that means everybody understands your feelings!) it still often can be ridiculous to complain about X and ask people to change their behavior.

    That was before you started trying to talk about the way the conversation would go, if you decided to make analogies about things more irrelevant than the one’s you had already used.

    Your “example” fails because the issue doesn’t change. You may want to change the subject to how poor debaters engage in debate. We are still talking about your defense of EG.

    I hope you enjoyed your week off.

  50. While you may wish to say (now) that there weren’t intentional analogies about this situation, that’s what it was, and you didn’t start saying that it wasn’t until later.

    No, I said it right from the beginning.

    I made it crystal-clear that this is not something I seriously believe in.

    If you don’t get this, that’s not my problem. I will not explain it to you again and again and again.

    You were the one who defended it, as an analogy

    Nonsense. You cannot be more wrong.

    I never defended the black-people-drug-dealers-analogy (which was only a part of my story!) anywhere.

    The text you quote here (the “No she didn’t… but do you know the concept of an EXAMPLE or an ANALOGY?”) was meant to defend a different analogy that was not part of a story… and you know that, because it was posted in an earlier post.

    That was before you started trying to talk about the way the conversation would go, if you decided to make analogies about things more irrelevant than the one’s you had already used.

    No, that wasn’t the content of my story. The story was complete fiction, it wasn’t about a real discussion I would participate in. How often do I need to explain this? It wasn’t about “the way the conversation would go, if you decided to make analogies”, because it wasn’t about analogies at all, it was about a special nitpicking argument one could make (the argument that she should have used gender-neutral language).

    I can’t believe that you have that much problems to understand this because it’s really not that difficult.

    Really, I don’t have any more time to explain this to you (honestly I think you are unworthy of my time in general, because there was never anything of any value in what you said, it was always just substanceless nitpicking, something I find incredibly boring and unproductive).

    So you just think it’s her fault? She said, “this guy did this thing” Concrete example. She didn’t say “all guys do this thing”.

    She then said, “doing things like that is creepy. If you really are concerned with getting more women to attend conferences not doing that is a good start.”

    All this is wrong, and you know that. This is what she said:

    Just a word to the wise here, guys, don’t do that. I don’t know how else to explain how this makes me very uncomfortable, but I’ll just sort of lay it out: I was a single women in foreign country in a hotel elevator with you, just you, and I—don’t invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner.

    I can only repeat myself:

    She really said “guys, don’t do that.”. How many guys were in the elevator? One. So by saying “guys, don’t do that”, she implies that this is something that most guys need to be taught and that comes pretty close to your “all guys do this thing”. It wasn’t just a concrete example, that’s the problem.
    And why does she say: “in a hotel elevator with you, just you”. … why “you” please? Again, clearly she makes it to a “all guys”-thing.

    As to the issue of is having more women at conferences so there is more chance of sex a good reason? It’s neutral.

    And if they don’t get the sex they hope for, what’s then? Will they stop or reduce their support for those programs? That would be the logical conclusion.

  51. Holly Pervocracy

    It’s been forever. Is Mark still deathly insulted that being told “don’t pee in the pool” is a horrible accusation of pool-peeing, because you should know he’s not a pool-pee-er, and the right thing for pool owners to do is to simply let it go unsaid, and even if someone does pee in their pool they shouldn’t say anything, and maybe that guy was just pouring out apple juice, and anyway it’s just fine to pee in pools?

  52. @ Ion:

    “Do I have to explain this in PICTURES to you?”

    Yes! Please do! Graph out your opinions and post them to the Chartbreakers thread, please! Bonus points for correct use of flowchart arrows. :D

  53. Oops, I mean Marc. Ion, feel free to do that too, but Marc was the one offering.

  54. I didn’t even realize Marc went after me xD

    “Women don’t use sexual violence!”

    You haven’t paid attn to nething I wrote have you xD Or even that I said that men can feel creeped out by women too? o_O

    If you feel she is lacking you are welcome to make your own video saying “girls don’t do that!”

    I find it amusing how that convo w/ me is the opposite of all sorts of things I’ve said here and on my blog xD

    He does seem pretty upset at me and my “nitpicking” tho xD (i dun even remember what he’s referring to nemore but I’m pretty sure he’ll remind me XDDD )

  55. This is a perfect example why any discussions here are doomed to fail and one might just go back to troll-mode.

    I like how there’s just those 2 options to him xD

  56. It’s been forever. Is Mark still deathly insulted that being told “don’t pee in the pool” is a horrible accusation of pool-peeing, because you should know he’s not a pool-pee-er, and the right thing for pool owners to do is to simply let it go unsaid, and even if someone does pee in their pool they shouldn’t say anything, and maybe that guy was just pouring out apple juice, and anyway it’s just fine to pee in pools?

    That’s wrong. It’s more that it’s been forever that you are not getting it.

    Pretty slow in you mind, mmh? Well no, you can’t be that slow, you just don’t know how to counter and now you’re in distorting-mode again.

    I am not insulted by “don’t pee in the pool”, because the sign targets all people, all people, not just a group of people.

    If you ask only a certain group of people to change their behavior, even if it is statistically proven that this is a problem that is more likely to be associated with this group, you change the focus from the offending behavior to the group. If you really only care about the behavior why the change of focus?

    “You haven’t paid attn to nething I wrote have you xD Or even that I said that men can feel creeped out by women too? o_O”

    Ok, good for you…
    So then, explain to me, why you don’t feel she should have used gender-neutral languages :P
    And if you can’t, you should understand that some people are angry.

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