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?
the controversy stems more around the fact that Richard Dawkins commented on her blog, calling her out on her dramatic stupidity and telling her to worry about real women's problems like being forced to wear burqa or involved in honor killings or brutally raped, than being invited to coffee awkwardly.
Well those other problems are more important than feeling awkwardness right? The way you put it I agree with Dawkins...I think I read his post and I remember thinking: "Wow that was totally uncalled for and mostly off topic".
Well if you know anything about the guy, he wasn't some random creep, like I said. A lot of people don't realize that he was also a notable Atheist guy that tweeted a response to her absolutely freaking out over nothing. And yeah, she could have made the point that 'Hey, you shouldn't ask girls back to your hotel room in an elevator, okay?', but to make the guy out to be a total creep just because he's awkward/nervous and not thinking straight in front of a girl is retarded. I'm sure any of you guys would be considered creeps if that were the standard, and certainly any guy at all that has Asperger's Syndrome, which I personally find offensive because I've been called 'creepy' when I've acted completely innocuously. Dawkins is absolutely right-- it's not like the guy attempted to rape her, put a move on her, got uncomfortably close to her, or anything other than just saying 'Hey, do you want some coffee?' after a tiring seminar. She should be worried about more severe women's rights issues unless her health really was in danger. If it was some random creep on the street breathing down her neck, sure. But she's the kind of girl that makes me ashamed to ever consider myself a 'feminist' Atheist, because that's how I picture feminists when I think about them--- writing an entire blogpost about how anti-woman Twilight is. She needs to get over herself.
After watching what Dawkins had to sit through and listen to from this woman i am a little less disappointded in his comments. Not completely but a little less. This woman spends a great deal of time tearing down another atheist womans observations and conclusions that atheism has nothing to do with sexism and is not rife with misogyny and then seeks thru example to supplement her own viewpoint.
I still find the whole thing ridiculous. But i can see a bit more where he was coming from having watched this. Try and watch with an open mind as a woman associates reactions to her Youtube videos and equates those reactions to the atheist male community. You can see Dawkins holding back and maybe upon seeing the comment he had just had enough.
Dawkins was still wrong.
The Elevator guy was still creepy
But at this point i have a better understanding of Dawkins comment and the motivation.
Actually the only thing I found 'wrong' with her talk was the point where she used the word 'misogyny'. Guys sending fan male talking about what they would like to do sexually to her is not misogyny - it's just extremely inappropriate and an incredible insult considering the intellectual format of her blogs.
To me, this actually makes Dawkins e-mail seem worse since she was actually putting out a plea for support to her fellow Atheists - apparently he missed that.
That "only thing" though spoke directly to her perspective. She briefly touched on reproductive rights issues in america and went straight into how guys say lewd things to her on the internet.
Sexually motivated behavior does not equal sexism or misogyny.
Like i said dawkins was wrong, elevetor guy was creepy, but i cannot deny the fact that listening to a panel member squander the oppurtunity, to discuss real misogyny in the world and why it should be communicated by atheists that this behavior is deplorable, so they can talk about how someone sent them a dirty email, would color my viewpoint of them as a person. Then witnessing the same behavior in a wrap up video about the panel by relating another non misogynistic story but more a poor etiquette story it would add to that distaste.
She isnt pleading thought to atheists, her plea is against being hit on by Youtube followers.
Im not saying right or wrong by any party. Im saying i can see a bit more motivation then previously.
That 'only thing' seems to me to be a misunderstanding on her part as to the difference between misogyny and sexism. The point of the presentation was to talk about the mediums through which each person spreads their Atheist messages and the issues that come with that - so talking about the content of her podcast and then pointing out that it gets several sexist responses is 100% on target.
And she is pleading thought as far as I'm concerned. She's pointing out that many male Atheists can be spot on with their skeptical thinking until it comes to women's issues and then they turn away from the issues and onto a message of 'shut this woman up'.
If the presentation were on world issues I could see your point - but it was specifically about Atheist media/community issues.
Your right it was about communicating atheism and i hadnt thought of it from the perspective of her talking about her medium and the issues with it. But she didnt frame that very well either.
I have read various comments on various sites about this and have often felt that the tone and context of many of the comments by feminist female atheists makes me wonder if I really am a feminist female atheist myself, for I am finding nothing in common with most of them. I have always considered myself as one, but now, I do wonder.
This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. I don't see anything horrible in what Dawkins said or in what "elevator guy" did, nor do I think all men who disagree with Ms. Watson need to be labelled "insensitive", "rapists", "evil", "supporters of the rape culture", and so on. Watson certainly had a right to ask men not to approach her in a particular place or at a particular time of night, but she does not speak for all women.
It really depends on the definition of feminist...Personally I believe in equality... Some feminists also believe in equality. Some feminists genuinely believe women are better than men.
Haha, there's no doubt in my mind that the world would be a better place if there were significantly more women than men!
Those are my thoughts exactly. I think she's guilty of taking her standard for how men should behave towards her and deciding that it's a general standard that all men should just automatically know.
I spent a good portion of my life thinking that all these feminists and their standards for my behavior were what I should be following. I ended up suppressing my sexuality in a major way. Everybody has some behavior they don't like when it comes to being approached sexually, and much of the time they decide that somehow it's morally wrong (or anti-feminist) for anybody to approach them in that way.
I think the only rigorous standard anybody has a right to expect is consent to physical contact, and the ability for someone to take "no" for an answer without being noticeably angry or upset. Men and women both are guilty of seeing the other as a sexual object, and this will continue as long as there is sex.