Categories
misogyny MRA rape rapey reddit sluts that's not funny!

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?

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

267 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

@ 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?

darksidecat
9 years ago

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.

Marc
Marc
9 years ago

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 😀 … 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.)

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
9 years ago

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.

Pecunium
9 years ago

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.

Marc
Marc
9 years ago

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.

Pecunium
9 years ago

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.

darksidecat
9 years ago

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?

Marc
Marc
9 years ago

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)?

Pecunium
9 years ago

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.

Marc
Marc
9 years ago

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.

Holly Pervocracy
Holly Pervocracy
9 years ago

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?

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

@ 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. 😀

summer_snow
summer_snow
9 years ago

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

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

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 )

Ami Angelwings
9 years ago

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

Marc
Marc
9 years ago

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 😛
And if you can’t, you should understand that some people are angry.

1 4 5 6