Skepchick's huge controversy over late night proposition.

In case you are not currently aware, Skepchick Rebecca Watson attended some conference recently and, when she finally went to bed after talking for hours, found herself in an elevator with a strange man who asked her if she would like to go to his room for coffee to talk some more. In her recent video she said "Guys: dont do this...".


The problem is she is not really clear what the problem is. Some people are saying all men are evil rapists. Some people are saying she is over reacting to what was an innocent proposition. Having read a few of other peoples comments I believe the main problem was that she was trapped in an enclosed space with a strange man who just propositioned her and she declined. So the proposition itself was not bad(personally I would consider it flattering), but the timing and location of the proposition put her in uncomfortable situation. I think if he had asked her the same question in a more open space, she would of felt more secure that her answer would be heeded. Like if he asked her the same question just as she got off the elevator rather than when they were alone in the elevator, it would of not been such a big deal because if she says no: the doors close and they both go on their merry way.


What do other people think? all men are evil-psycho-rapists? she over reacted? what this guy did is totally fine?

Tags: elevator, feminism, propositioned, skepchick

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I think this is where the problem is. Interpretation of the situation. I feel there is a time and place for coffee and it is not at 4 a.m. in someone's hotel room. Maybe he really did want to just talk to her and was just socially inept. But why invite her to his room? And why right then? Why not ask to meet for breakfast or lunch or dinner or at any other more appropriate time?


I feel like the circumstances (in an elevator, at 4 a.m. and asking her to come to his hotel room) alludes to something else. He may have asked for "coffee" but it really sounded like code for sex.

I agree an offer for breakfast or lunch would of been a more appropriate proposition if he just wanted to talk to her.


Having recently become less socially awkward myself, I can easily view myself getting into a similar situation and similarly completely screwing things up.

This whole thing about 'thinking of what kind of woman she is ' is pissing me off to the extreme.  


Men don't think ' oh , this girl is a total slut , I'm gonna take advantage of her ' 


I can't believe I even have to comment about it.  When a man asks you out or invites you over , it should be a damned compliment.  It means they think you're either interesting or pretty .... or if neither , the guy is just desperate for sex or a total horn dog.  


Either way , the guy isn't judge you ,women.  Stop thinking men are always sexually objectifying you when they find you interesting.  Ugh.  

You know i really wanted to refrain from this topic once again...


But im still seeing the same lunacy here.


For a community of skeptical analytical people all im seeing in comments is gender bashing, finger pointing, agenda pushing, and whining about each other.


The truth is she tells stories for a living, and some guys do creepy things.


In the end of all this the only thing accomplished by discussing this is giving a mediocre blogger a name and giving men paranoia about talking to women in an elevator.



Why did you remove this comment after you read UsuallyScarlett's post? or is this a fresh comment?


gender bashing

I hope you are not referring to me? If so, please point out where and I will clarify.


agenda pushing

Again, I hope you are not referring to me? granted I could of posted alot more clearly what I actually wanted out of this thread but I don't see how calling for other people's opinions on a topic can be considered agenda pushing.


In the end of all this the only thing accomplished by discussing this is giving a mediocre blogger a name and giving men paranoia about talking to women in an elevator.

If you didn't want to discuss this why did you comment at all?

I commented on the comments of all the community not even just this site. Im not discussing cussing or debating this. Ive said my peace. Its gotten more attention then it deserves and that is that.

I skimmed through most (emotional) comments and feel there's a bigger picture here. Many years ago I had the experience of a female jogger running away from me in a panic, just because I happened to be going the same direction. I felt offended, then immediately concerned for this poor woman.

Of course not all males are rapists, and there's no black and white prescriptions here. But it's certainly clear that there are rapists, and that you can't usually predict which stranger it is. I'll bet we see women every day who have had various traumatic experiences. Is it safe to say that there are probably a hundred times more male rapists than female rapists? A thousand times? More?

Humankind could use a little extra male sensitivity and empathy, just for kindness and compensation. All it takes is a few extra minutes of pretty normal, two-way conversation. 

I felt offended, then immediately concerned for this poor woman.

I usually try to speed up and go past so then she is the one following me...kinda sucks I even consider it.


Is it safe to say that there are probably a hundred times more male rapists than female rapists?

It's probably safe to say there are more but quantifying it is difficult because of under-reporting.

Ok, I'll jump in.  In her original video where she said, "Guys, don't do that," she gave more background.  She had been doing a lot of travelling, was out of country at a big conference, had just spent the evening with a number of people in the bar, and then decided she was off to her room.  The guy followed her from the bar, into the elevator, and then waited until it was moving to invite her to his room to 'talk more and have coffee'.


It's a creepoid thing for him to do because it makes him seem like a spineless little creep.  He had all evening to talk to her and there was plenty of coffee in the bar so it would seem he just didn't have the courage to approach her in the bar - spineless, but hey, nobody's perfect.  Following her to the elevator to get some 'alone time' for the proposition is creepy.  Under the circumstances, her being in an unfamiliar town far from family/friends, the situation is mildly unsettling.  And so, she offered some advice, "Guys, don't do that."


Now a real player might pick up on that and say, "Hmm, scoping some alone time in the elevatro ain't so cool, huh?  I'll adjust my game and make my propositions in more open spaces."  I'm assuming the real players did just that, but a lot of other men got all emo-hurt and objected to the advice, taking it as a personal attack.  What really blew the issue out of the water, though, was Dawkins letter.  If you haven't read it then go find it because without reading it you have no idea why the issue got so big so fast.


Dawkins was a dick about it, and Skepchick stood up for herself, which is apparently the 'big dumb bitch dyke' thing to do.  A couple men suggested she should be raped for being such a 'cunt' and the prevailing attitude was 'put up AND shut up'.  I, for one, am glad she did neither.


So if you don't want any comments on your game then stop playing.  If you want to play, then either continue to do so badly or take a tip once in a while and don't get all emo about it.  Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

You don't think the "game" analogy might be a bit wrong?


Now a real player might pick up on that

As opposed to us fake/un-real players who genuinely just want to meet new and interesting people? It's not a game, it's real life. There are no players, just genuine people and people faking it to get what they want. (hint: the fakers are what you call "players")


Dawkins was a dick about it

Yes, I don't know what possessed him to make such comments. Thoroughly uncalled for.


For the record, I take far more offence from the use of the game analogy than the fact Rebecca gave advice about talking to strange women in elevators.

"So now Rebecca's mild comment about men being "creepy" if they approach her in elevators at 4am is alright"

Did I ever say it wasn't alright?


"saying that SOME men might be players is completely offensive?"

I take offence from the game analogy - it implies women are a prize(something I both agree and disagree with on various levels) and turns socialising into something with winners and losers.


"It seems like you would take offense to just about anything that a woman might voice about a man."

I may take offence if I was the man she was talking about, however, I think you meant to say "men" instead of "a man"


EDIT: gah! the editor ate a whole bunch of stuff I wrote! attempt to recreate it below:


Wouldn't you take offence to a blanket statement about women? Hell, I would take offence of behalf of the women in my life.


I don't know if you intend to use the aggressive tone I read in your posts to me. I consider myself to be educated, literate, and articulate yet I seem to continually fail to convey my feelings to you. I am genuinely interested in equality and openness. There are no (intentional) hidden meanings behind my words. Maybe one day we will understand each other better.


Damn that editor, my original reply was so much better than this but I can't remember what I said exactly... I'm going to start copying my posts to notepad incase this happens again.

Some men are players , I am one of them.  I am not offended in the least.  I like the challenge , the pursuit , the end prize.  Emotions and relationships come second.  


But the word creepy has a negative connotation to it ... it usually is defined as "Anytime a guy makes a sexual advance towards a woman that she doesn't want."  


If she wants it , then it isn't 'creepy'.  


Let's remember here that 'playing the field' is not just a term used by men.  Women use it too.  



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