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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?

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shaenon
10 years ago

So Richard Dawkins is at an atheist convention, where he’s on a panel about how activists can encourage more people to join the community. He argues that atheists may chase away new recruits by acting inappropriately and getting into people’s personal space, adding that he doesn’t like it when people he doesn’t know act overly familiar with him. Some of his fellow panelists disagree, but Dawkins feels like he makes some good points. Afterwards, he holds court in the hotel bar for hours, expounding on the same subject.

At four in the morning, Dawkins announces that he’s tired and wants to go to bed. A man follows him out of the bar. Dawkins vaguely recalls that the man was watching his group at the bar and may have been at the panel before that. The man follows Dawkins down the hall and into an elevator. As the elevator door closes, the man steps up as close as he can get. It suddenly occurs to Dawkins that he’s alone at night in a city he doesn’t know very well. The man probably isn’t dangerous, but it wouldn’t be the first time a prominent atheist was targeted for attack.

The guy says, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

Depending on the guy’s size, build, and demeanor, Dawkins may be frightened, or he may just be annoyed. Didn’t he spend the past six hours explaining that he doesn’t like this type of behavior? Either way, there’s no way in hell he’s going to this man’s hotel room. He excuses himself and hurries to his own room.

The next morning, it occurs to Dawkins that the incident could be a teachable moment. It’s a perfect illustration of exactly the off-putting behavior he complained about at the panel. Reporting on the convention, he devotes a brief paragraph to the elevator incident, without including any identifying details, and advises his readers not to act creepy toward strangers.

The atheist community erupts in rage. How dare Dawkins hurt that poor anonymous man’s feelings by calling him creepy? Where does he get off telling someone how to act around people? And how paranoid is he, thinking everyone who gets in an elevator with him is going to attack him? Why, he all but called the guy a murderer and demanded that he be thrown in prison, just for offering Dawkins a cup of coffee! What was Dawkins doing in an elevator at four in the morning, anyway? And hey, why couldn’t he go back to the guy’s hotel room? Didn’t he consider how much his rejection would sting? He probably would’ve done it if the guy had been good-looking enough, which proves that Richard Dawkins hates ugly people!

And for the love of nothingness, why does he think he has the right to complain when there are Islamic countries where people have no hotel bars at all?

It just proves that atheists are a bunch of stupid, hysterical misanthropes who want to have you thrown in prison for drinking coffee. He used the word “creepy,” after all. The nerve!

shaenon
10 years ago

I bet Mr. T wouldn’t complain if the doo came from a really handsome dog.

Sarah
Sarah
10 years ago

So true shaenon, so true. *nods sagely*

Kave
Kave
10 years ago

Shaenon

Very well thought out and I will also tag in the say so true.

Erl137
Erl137
10 years ago

I’d also like to point out, re “I remain convinced”: so what if a hot guy could get away with creepy behavior?

That would simply show that some people have unfair advantages that allow them to bend social norms. Big. Fucking. Whoop. It doesn’t mean that everyone holding those social norms or even promulgating them is a hypocrite: some flexibility is implicit.

Consider, for example, a restaurant a no free refills policy. Could someone attractive, or young, or vulnerable-looking, or old, or whatever tugs on the waitstaff’s heartstrings get around that policy? Sure. That doesn’t make the policy somehow dishonest. If a waiter gets on their vlog and says “hey guys, don’t ask for free refills if we’ve got the sign up. seriously. It’s annoying.” then that waiter is a fine person making a reasonable point, EVEN if they themselves have stretched the policy in the past.

So: suppose that it is true that if EG had been stunningly handsome, or obviously comically-well-endowed, or if he’d propositioned Rebecca by reference to a fetish that she’d never admitted to anyone before (Coffee at night? Take me now!). Even in this strange nega-world, Watson’s response to EG is thoughtful, accurate, honest and reasonable.

katz
10 years ago

Can I just say that Dawkins totally looks like a rapist? Or some kind of malevolent alien entity. His eyes are a weird color.

ClioPersephone
ClioPersephone
10 years ago

As I am reading through the comments left by Dawkins defenders (mainly Ion’s) all that’s running through my head is a particular quote.

On YouTube there is a series called ‘The Joker Blogs’ that tells the story of the Joker in Arkham Asylum after the ending of ‘The Dark Knight.’ At one point the Joker says, “You have lovely eyes! I’d like to pop them out of your skull and wear them on a keychain. … It’s a compliment.” This quote basically illustrates everything I think about the EG incident. Just because someone says, “It’s a compliment” or “Don’t take this the wrong way” doesn’t entitle you to say/do whatever you like. It also doesn’t mean that whatever you say/do won’t set off alarm bells in someone’s head. I guess it just breaks the brains of these guys that women have *gasp!* thoughts! And *doublegasp!* propositioning someone doesn’t entitle you to sex/coffee/conversation!

And on another note, Ion will be going on my “List of Creepy Individuals I Hope Never to Meet Ever.” Seriously Ion you’re coming off pretty creepy yourself in your comments here.

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

@katz
Maybe he’s wearing yellow colored lenses to look more creepy. Watson should use them, too. I bet if she stares with creepy yellow eyes at a dude he suddenly loses all interest in”coffee”.

@clio
I agree. Offering to poke someones eyes out and offering a cup of coffee is roughly the same.

Serious suggestion: You angry feminists could agree on some kind of identification, for example a funny hat or purple trousers or something. So every (privilege denying, white) dude could easily distinguish and avoid you. Win win!

Pecunium
10 years ago

Thomas: You miss the point. It’s not the eye-gouging, it’s the idea that some magical phrase (e. g. No offense, I mean this in the best way, etc.) will somehow make a creepy thing not creepy.

I’m amused that you think someone saying that = angry, but telling someone they ought not be bothered by something which happens to them personally, because somewhere someone else is being tortured, that’s just a reasonable response to unwarranted provocation.

ClioPersephone
ClioPersephone
10 years ago

@Thomas: I realize that popping someone’s eyes out of their head does not equal offering coffee. It was what was honestly going through my head and I thought it was kind of funny. I’m also kind of exhausted so I realize that my explanation came out very incoherent. Sorry for that incoherency.

On another note if reading comments by “angry feminists” bothers you so much. Perhaps you should avoid this site. That way we could avoid each other! Win, win!

ClioPersephone
ClioPersephone
10 years ago

@Precunium: Thanks for explaining that. I’m glad I made some kind of sense lol

evilwhitemalempire
evilwhitemalempire
10 years ago

“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.”

And whoever made this blog evidently thinks that the very notion that a RAPIST would make a profem blog with the intent of sucking up to feminists and later inviting them to in-person get togethers to get it on with them is so inherently and self-evidently hilarious that you don’t even have to explain why it’s so hilarious.

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

@Percunium, Clio

I did understand Clio’s point, but I have a hard time to comment on this thread in a non-sarcastic way. No offense, but I can be an asshole sometimes 😉 .

Ok, serious now:

It’s obvious that you can’t make a clearly creepy or rude remark acceptable due to adding some kind of disclaimer. But creepiness or rudeness work on a spectrum. A remark can be from slightly creepy to extremely creepy. Also, creepiness is perceived differently. In the case of EG some atheistic women claimed such an offer would be acceptable for them. So this is not a case of clear cut creepiness like telling a women “ I can smell your cunt”, to cite the uber-creepy cellmate of Hannibal Lector.

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.

The part about angry feminist wasn’t directed specifically at Clio. I’m just a little surprised at the overall reaction from the feminist blogosphere to the elevator gate. It’s a bit like Chinese whispers, every time someone retells the story it gets altered and EG looks worse and worse. For example in Marcottes version EG corners Watson and there is a whiff you threat in the air and Marcotte implies that EG implies that he might rape Watson if she says no. On another site an elderly professor and popular blogger, who’s married forever, gives pick-up advice for Atheist Conferences. I mean, seriously?

@Percunium

I remember the lengthy discussions with Men Rights Lieutenant on this blog. A lot of people told him that his problems are minor compared to real hardship. That’s essentially the same argument Dawkins made. And yes you can always argue that way, because someone else always has it worse. Still, I think it has some merit to put things in perspective once in a while. That’s what Dawkins did, though in a very sarcastic way.

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

Am I on moderation now because I suggested that angry feminists should wear funny hats?

Cmon David, the batshit crazy trolls get away with much more here. Isn’t there a law that all trolls must be treated equal. After all this is a feminist blog.

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

Sorry, I realized it’s probably because I used a vulgar term for the female genitalia. In my defense I cited a movie.

Ami Angelwings
10 years ago

@Thomas I think the difference is that MRAL said that his problems were some of the worst ever and said they were worse than all sorts of other things and situations (incl downplaying assault victims) that is why Pecunium and others responded. xD Watson did not. (also the retelling of what she said has been rly broken telephone w/ her critics to, to be fair xD and also that the feminist blogosphere was reacting to the reaction to her, and as I said, I think everybody is overreacting since she didn’t do nething but turn him down then say that the situation was creepy and gave advice xD )

vacuumslayer
10 years ago

And whoever made this blog evidently thinks that the very notion that a RAPIST would make a profem blog with the intent of sucking up to feminists and later inviting them to in-person get togethers to get it on with them is so inherently and self-evidently hilarious that you don’t even have to explain why it’s so hilarious.

Hey, if that’s his aim, why are so angry? Shouldn’t you be cheering us on?

Hey, ladies. Did you know that all this time your bloghost was just tryin’ to rape you? What a a cunning plan!!!

vacuumslayer
10 years ago

So every (privilege denying, white) dude could easily distinguish and avoid you. Win win!

It sounds like you’re afraid of us. Are you afraid of us? I’m not afraid of you. So this is unnecessary. It’s also unnecessary because the vast majority of men I encounter are pretty lovely people and not hateful, needle-dicked, insecure, petty, childish dumbfucks like you.

vacuumslayer
10 years ago

And whoever made this blog evidently thinks that the very notion that a RAPIST would make a profem blog with the intent of sucking up to feminists and later inviting them to in-person get togethers to get it on with them is so inherently and self-evidently hilarious that you don’t even have to explain why it’s so hilarious.

Misandrist! Assuming all men are potential rapists!

Oh, don’t you fucking it HATE it when you’re hoisted on your petard?

Joanna
10 years ago

Thomas: In Germany the “j” is also pronounced as a “y”, so it’d sound like Yo-hanna. lol

And ladies I think it’s time to come clean here. The incident in the elevator is no coincidence. Us women are only seeking the finest of mates so that we have perfect offspring and thus perfecting the human race for future generations. In fact, we plot to eradicate the seed of guys like creepy elevator dude because we can’t risk impurities in our species. There’s no point pretending anymore. Ion was right all along.

=D

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

The part about angry feminist wasn’t directed specifically at Clio. I’m just a little surprised at the overall reaction from the feminist blogosphere to the elevator gate. It’s a bit like Chinese whispers, every time someone retells the story it gets altered and EG looks worse and worse. For example in Marcottes version EG corners Watson and there is a whiff you threat in the air and Marcotte implies that EG implies that he might rape Watson if she says no.

Thank you. It wasn’t even Watson’s own post as much as the hysterical reaction from the fems and their male lapdogs that annoyed me. And BTW, I love how people here are starting to call me creepy and ‘rapey’. Because personal attacks are such an effective form of argumentation. It’s all part of the “if you’re not with us, you’re against us! we think this guy is a rapist, and if you disagree, YOU must be a rapist!” feminist mentality.

Joanna
10 years ago

We only question your mentality Ion.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

And whoever made this blog evidently thinks that the very notion that a RAPIST would make a profem blog with the intent of sucking up to feminists and later inviting them to in-person get togethers to get it on with them is so inherently and self-evidently hilarious that you don’t even have to explain why it’s so hilarious.

Indeed.

titfortat
10 years ago

Has anyone wondered what would have been Watson’s feeling if it was a woman asking her back for coffee? If that has been asked already disregard this. I was too lazy to read all the comments.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

That’s an interesting question. Since women are, by definition, perfect, who would be wrong? Probably the male who designed the elevator. 😛

karalora
10 years ago

Hey, Ion, the “perfect princess” bit belongs to NWOslave. Don’t go stealing it!

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

@vacuumslayer

I wouldn’t say afraid but this big, pink bunny ears are kind of intimidating. On a second thought, you and me in an elevator, yes I would be afraid. On a third thought, pink bunny ears are a great idea for an identification for angry feminists. Though, Hugh Hefner might sue you, which is actually hilarious. Angry feminists vs. Hugh Hefner, most awesome law suite ever.

@Joanna

Yes. Johanna sounds like “Yo! Hanna, what’s up?” (without the “what’s up” obviously but it adds to the context). If you ever become a rapper you should call yourself “Yo! Hanna” written in a speech bubble.

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

@Ami

I think I agree. I’m still unsure if it’s always wrong to argue like Dawkins did (don’t you have bigger things to worry about, others have it worse). Admittedly, his tone was shitty and I believe sarcasm is generally a bad form of communication, because it pisses people off, even worse on the internet. Though, I’m often guilty of using sarcasm myself. Anyway, I believe arguments like that are sometimes valid, especially if they are targeted at someone with a very self-centered perspective. On the other hand I don’t like the idea of building a hierarchy of victimization or trauma or pain. It also doesn’t make much sense, because this is highly personal and experiences one person might shrug off without a second thought might deeply bother another person.

I also agree with your second part. This whole story is driven through a lot of miss-communication. Watson’s initial remark on the video was fine. I personally think the elevator anecdote is not very helpful in terms of what she’s trying to accomplish. As far as I understand, she wants to make the atheist movement more welcoming for women. This is an old problem many male dominated spaces had and still have to face. Anyway, she was annoyed about EG and called him out. What almost always happens if you tell an anecdote rather vaguely is that people will fill the gaps in their heads. Now, the discussion about EG (sinister creep vs. socially awkward, good guy) overshadows her actual point about sexism and a women friendly atheist movement. Then MRAs jump in the discussion, feminists strike back, Dawkins adds fuel to the fire, white knights come to rescue the damsel, etc. Maybe the whole story was even helpful for Watson’s career, kind of a happy ending 😉

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

Has anyone wondered what would have been Watson’s feeling if it was a woman asking her back for coffee?

Annoyance at the semi-stranger asking her to take stimulants at 4 in the morning when she wanted to sleep, I imagine. Further annoyance that this person waited all night and followed her into an elevator to hit on her when she’s been in the bar (i.e. a more appropriate place to approach someone) all night, so now neither of them can exit the situation gracefully if she says no.

Probably a bit of concern, since following someone into an elevator at 4 a.m. to ask them back to your room is just plain creepy behavior, but probably less so than with a man, since there’s a lot less precedent for lesbians physically attacking women who reject them than there is for heterosexual men (though I’m sure there’s some – people can be evil).

Did you really think the answer would be different?

captainbathrobe
10 years ago

Has anyone wondered what would have been Watson’s feeling if it was a woman asking her back for coffee?

I’m imagining an awesomely sexy catfight, complete with hair pulling and clothes tearing. Sadly, if it happened in an elevator we would be denied such a spectacle. Further proof that an elevator is a poor venue for such an invitation.

captainbathrobe
10 years ago

Dave, were you planning on raping all of us, or only those in the Chicago area?

Titfortat
10 years ago

Did you really think the answer would be different?(Seraph)

Actually, I question if there ever would have been a blog post about that. Somehow I dont think she would have been “Creeped out” by someone of her own gender.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
10 years ago

Feeling that a stranger has boundary issues is not gender specific. I have fairly distinctive hair and a lot of women will stop me to give me compliments about it and/ or ask me what kind of products I use. If I’m not in a hurry, I don’t really mind. Some of them want to touch it. That’s weird as fuck; especially if they don’t ask first.

So, you’re speculation is wrong.

But since the avenue is open: how would you feel about being in an elevator at 4 am with a strange man who asks you back to his room for coffee?

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
10 years ago

Your speculation. Not “you’re.” Stupid iPhone.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

captainbathrone: How dare you objectify women, you misogynist pig! I’m sure that if they decided to have a hair-pulling, clothes-ripping catfight ending in a sweaty, passionate makeout session, they’d do it for themselves! Not to be objectified by the male gaze, but as strong individuals who own their bodies and their sexuality! It’d be empowering, I say!

vacuumslayer
10 years ago

On a second thought, you and me in an elevator, yes I would be afraid.

Thanks for admitting it.

BTW, kudos for not coming across as nearly as deranged as your counterparts here. The humorous shtick–while I think it’s meant to disguise and/or provoke anger–is still more pleasant to read than the usual MRA verbal stew of vomit and diarrhea. Here’s a tip, though: if you want to do the “hey, I’m just a funny guy teasin’ you uptight feminists thing,” try not to refer to us as monolith of “angry young feminists.” First of all, not everyone here qualifies as young, second of all it kind of belies the whole casual “i’m just playin’ devil’s advocate” thing.

Nobinayamu
Nobinayamu
10 years ago

You know, finding a woman attractive, sexy even, and wanting to get to know her better is not objectification. Fantasizing about a woman is not objectification. Trying to figure out a way to talk to/ask out/ have sex with a woman you find attractive is not objectification.

Forgetting, and especially not giving a shit, that the woman in question is entitled to her own feelings and opinions about you, your intentions, and your approach? That’s objectification.

Joanna
10 years ago

@Nobinayamu: Well said. I also share your hair related experiences. I get girls that are like “I just spent an hour ironing my hair straight but I wish it could be curly like yours.” And then I get hit on instead of them and they’re like “Pfft! Poodle haired freak.” God I hate gender politics.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

Let me fix that for you, CSI Miami-style:

Forgetting, and especially not giving a shit, that the woman in question is entitled to her own feelings and opinions about you, your intentions, and your approach?

*puts on sunglasses*

That’s objectification.

YEEEAAAHHHH

Joanna
10 years ago

@Thomas: Haha! I’ll certainly consider it XD

cynickal
cynickal
10 years ago

And whoever made this blog evidently thinks that the very notion that a RAPIST would make a profem blog with the intent of sucking up to feminists and later inviting them to in-person get togethers to get it on with them is so inherently and self-evidently hilarious that you don’t even have to explain why it’s so hilarious.

David, will we be getting coffee before raping? Or at least a signed copy of The God Delusuion?

Thomas
Thomas
10 years ago

@vacuumslayer

I actually regret using the word “angry”. It’s think it’s too harsh and I honestly don’t want to offend anybody. Just poking a little fun on certain kinds of feminist arguments. I realize that there’s a fine line between being funny and hurtful and I try to stay on the funny side. Maybe snarky feminists would have been better. You certainly already noticed that English is not my first language, so nuances get lost in translation, easily.
Regarding the age thing, I know that. In fact, I already made friends with Ithiliana . She said she’s an older woman (of course, I wouldn’t call a woman older unless she’s like 70). We both love Viggo Mortensen and she calls me honey, which is a bit patronizing, but whatever.

Last but not least I have a tip, too: The small penis insult really gets old. I heard that one too many times 😉 Though, the word needle-dick is creative. I suppose it’s the superlative of pencil-dick?

Seraph
Seraph
10 years ago

Actually, I question if there ever would have been a blog post about that. Somehow I dont think she would have been “Creeped out” by someone of her own gender.

I can’t speak for her, of course, but I certainly would be.

Besides, wasn’t she there at least partly for the purpose of explaining how more women could be brought into the atheist movement? But she gives an answer they don’t like (“Don’t hit on us at 4 in the morning when we’re trapped in an elevator with you, m’kay?”), and this shitstorm begins.

mediumdave
mediumdave
10 years ago

Oh dear, Ion. If you don’t want to be seen as “creepy” or “rapey” then demonstrating that you understand the difference between…

1) Meeting someone you like in a public place and at some point “getting it on” (assuming that both parties are good with this), and

2) Raping an unconscious woman after gaining her trust by pretending to be a feminist

…would be a crucial first step

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

Wait, what? have we reached the ‘making things up about me out of thin air’ stage already?

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

edit: Oh, you mean the link I posted. I just thought it was funny, in response to EWMA’s comment, to point to an article detailing the wacky adventures of another self-styled ‘male feminist’ blogger. To which you predictably responded with “Oh BUT it’s not really the same because blah blah blah I’m boring”. Let me guess, when somebody makes a joke about a talking muffin, you’re the type who has to explain for 20 minutes that it’s not actually funny because muffins don’t talk, lacking vocal apparatus and so on and so forth, right?

mediumdave
mediumdave
10 years ago

Muffins aren’t all that funny, but they’re a lot more funny than rape.

Ion
Ion
10 years ago

*facepalm*