Bad form, Rebecca Watson.

Note from ERV– Like all posts on ERV, I wrote this one the night before (Thurs) and scheduled it for the next day (Fri). But with this post, I wrote it, but then just saved it, intending to completely alter the tone of the post as I was eating breakfast. But then I woke up to an extremely cognizant, articulate post by Stef McGraw, complete with a shockingly arrogant, jackass comment by Rebecca Watson, and I was like “Ah, no. No ‘Full House’ heart-warming conversation with Watson. She wanna act a bitch, she gonna get a bitch.”

One of these days, theyre going to come for my Vagina License.

Theres no way to summarize this, but because this is the internet, I will just link to things:
This.
This.
This.

I left a comment on that last link yesterday morning, but the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I was.

I have no idea who Stef McGraw is (*shrug*). Nor do I have any opinion of the Skepchicks (*shrug*). But I have been in Stefs position before, as well as Rebeccas. And because this is the internet, I can leave a long, detailed reason why I think what Watson did was bad form, and if she wants, she can leave a long, detailed response here, or her blog, or ignore me, or whatever. Im not going to bring this up in a random speech where Watson is in the audience, and run off.


Rebecca broke one of The Rules of the internet: Do not bring MySpace drama into MeatSpace.

Do not do this.

Ever.

No one gives a crap about what treefrog72 said about you on livejournal. No one gives a crap about what Stef McGraw said about you on YouTube. No one. Unless you are PZ, no one reads your blog or watches your YouTube channel. You bring that crap up in a speech, and literally two people in the audience know wtf you are talking about. Its no more appropriate to do that in a speech than it is to tell inside jokes most of the audience wont get, or use scientific jargon the audience wont get. Its just bad speaking.

Furthermore, because the audience has no clue what youre talking about, they just kinda have to take your word for it that the situation is what it is.

But thats not always the case, is it?

Chis Mooneytits and his partner in crap, Sheril Whatever
, completely misrepresented Crackergate (internet) in their MeatSpace book, ‘Unscientific America’.

Caseytits Luskin completely misrepresented the ERV blog (internet) when he brought the Discovery Institute Circus to Oklahoma (MeatSpace).

How does anyone in the audience know that Watson didnt do the same damn thing? How would they know if Watson totally quotemined McGraw? You cannot provide links irl, or wait 20 minutes for everyone to watch a stupid YouTube video and read all the appropriate links and get up to speed in a speech (assuming anyone in the audience had the inclination to do so, which is unlikely).

And so what if she didnt? What if what Watson posted was a 100% accurate depiction of McGraw?

This wasnt a fucking debate. McGraw was called out, but was never and would never be given the exact same platform to respond. Very bad form, Watson. Curious that Caseytits Luskin pulled the exact same stunt on me. ProTip: when giving speeches, its probably best to avoid behaviors identical to that of Creationists.

Lucky for Watson, McGraw does not have (though I hope will develop with time) my killer instinct. See, when Casey pulled that shit on me, I went straight to the mic, confronted him about calling me out, and flipped him off when it became clear I was talking to someone with the mental acuity of a strung out cow.

But thats kinda the crux of the matter, isnt it? I am who I am on this blog. Others appear to be in-your-face-gangstas made of meringue.

Watson did not confront her male proposition-er, nor did she ‘NAME NAMES!’. Personally, I would have said “Dude, did you hear my speech today? Cause you are being super creepy. LOL. Peace out, Dude, Im going to sleep.” I wouldnt trundle off to bed and write a post about it in the safe shelter of my blag. But fine, I recognize that not everyone has my self confidence and quick wit (DUDE!). But why the hell did Watson make the very poor, split-second decision to ‘call out’ McGraw in the safe shelter of a podium?

When I spoke at the TX Freethought Convention, I probably said something a bit too casual about epigenetics. A speaker later in the day, Michael Newdow, took issue with that phrase. So he came up to me after my talk and said flatly “I want to use something you said as evidence of how even scientists can be woo-y when it comes to medicine.” I was like “WTF!” and we spent about 30 minutes straightening things out. I learned things, he learned things, the people listening in on our conversation learned things.

HOLY CRAP!

What a novel concept!

Someone says something you disagree with, so you actively try to discuss the issue with said person in a reasonable manner!! THE SECOND SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE!!!

Who the hell thinks Watsons behavior will ‘get through’ to McGraw better than a 30 minute discussion with McGraw on why Watson was hurt/disappointed/whatever by what McGraw said? On what planet would Watsons behavior have resulted in a net positive? Someone with Watsons speaking experience and internet experience should have done better.

Even granting the premise that what Watson did was technically 100% ‘not wrong’, what she did was bad form.

And worst of all… dammit worst of all– Watsons comments in her speech re: McGraw were apparently completely unnecessary. The audience appeared to view her McGraw comments as separate from her actual speech, and Watson herself said that it was leik, only two minutes, for reals. So why the fuck did she bring it up at all? Why??? Cause it was the bitchy thing to do! McGraw said something Watson thought was bitchy, so Watson did something bitchy right back. Goddammit. As a woman in skepticism, Rebecca Watson, thank you so much for that. I really appreciate it. I really do. Irony is one of my favorite sources of lulz, and nothing is more ironic than someone embodying the stereotype they purport to be combating, especially when I myself am trying to combat those stereotypes. Faaaaantastic.

If I were McGraw, I would have been surprised, hurt, and frustrated by Watsons behavior.

If I were the audience, I would have been confused and annoyed.

If I were McGraws friends, I would have been disappointed and pissed off at Watson.

And if I were Watson, I would have recognized in retrospect that while my actions were not ‘wrong’, they were bad form, and would try to do better in the future. Id also try to have a discussion with McGraw instead of, once again, retreating to the safe, padded walls of my blag. Fucking pathetic. Cant even *fathom* that ones actions might not have been ideal…

Buuuuuut I am Abbie. So Im pretty much where I was before. *shrug* But the same shit that got pulled on Stef has happened to me, and I am a female science/skeptic speaker, so I had to say something.

On with the science.

Comments

  1. #1 Jerry Coyne
    July 1, 2011

    Yes, it was very bad form, dragging that stuff into a completely different talk. I’m always amazed how easily small sparks get blown up on the internet into huge conflagrations. Some people love to blow on the embers.

  2. #2 Rob Monkey
    July 1, 2011

    The thing that really bugs me about this whole kerfluffle is that the original issue was certainly one people could debate. I get why Rebecca was put off by the elevator proposition, but a woman disagreeing with her is hardly a betrayal of all feminist kind. Reasonable people can disagree on whether the guy was a douche, clueless, or a clueless douche, but this doesn’t even hold a candle to the kind of anti-feminist bullshit that regularly falls from the mouths of Palin or Bachmann.

    As far as calling someone out in a speech? Talk about a circular firing squad. If Rebecca wanted to call people out in her speech, how about some ENEMIES of skepticism and feminism, not people who disagree with you on minutiae? I love Skepchick and Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, which is why this even more disappointing.

    Any blog post that uses that anteater photo is immediately my favorite for the day ;)

  3. #3 madder
    July 1, 2011

    Count me as in favor of the proposition that we should be able to proposition one another. This one seems to have been handled awkwardly. We don’t know what conversation occurred on the way to the elevator, and if someone were to proposition me, I’d prefer that they do it in private.

    But I’m just baffled by Watson’s approach here– lumping McGraw in with the misanthropic Youtube commenters is just plain weird. “There are people on the internet wishing that I’d get raped– and some people even have the nerve to disagree with me!”

    I always thought that the whole point of feminism was that women could do/think/be/say anything they wanted, and as a result, there is no Correct Way to be a feminist. Insisting on ideological purity is a sure way to kill a movement that still has a lot to offer.

  4. #4 peg
    July 1, 2011

    I was checking out Watson’s blog again and there are a lot of people who disagreed with her interpretation of the elevator incident. They were immediately shouted down by Watson fans, even though they seem to be regular readers of the blog.
    So, Is Rebecca going to start keeping a list of everyone that is in her circle of readers and call them out by name? Why did she choose two women to call out, one with a real name? There were lots of people who did not identify their gender (and of course anyone questioning Watson was automatically considered a mean, evil, man).
    Of all the commenters who did post, only about 10% actually posted about Stef’s comment or the conference. The rest are still discussing he elevator incident. I think this just proves that Watson’s decision to call Stef out was a poor one. No one gives a crap about someone who disagrees with you on the internet, except YOU (Rebecca).

  5. #5 daedalus2u
    July 1, 2011

    Thank you Erv. As someone who really, really, really, really doesn’t want to be a dick or to do something dickish to a woman (or to anyone unless they have done something worse to deserve it, usually to someone less empowered than me). When people are dickish to me, usually I just avoid them in the future until I have forgotten the details and then it doesn’t matter to me anymore.

    If I ever do something that can be interpreted that way, I would really like it to be pointed out to me so that I can understand what it is I did wrong, and so I can learn to not do that in the future, and so that I can generalize from the specific case into broader cases. That helps me to be a better person.

    I really like your example of epigenetics. The best thing you can do for any scientist is to point out a mistake they are making and flaws in their conceptualization of reality. That helps someone be a better scientist. If someone doesn’t like that, then they are not a scientist and don’t want to be one.

    That should be how human relations work too. If you do something hurtful, you should be told about it so you can change and not do it again. That is unless you wanted to do something hurtful and you will want to do something hurtful again, and again, and again, and again.

    One of the reasons I am drawn to science and to skepticism is that I know how to do it and I do it very well, much better than I do human relationship stuff. Science and skepticism is trivial for me because it is only about facts which don’t change (unless they are found to be in error) and the relationships between those facts which are always compatible with logic. Facts and logic, what could be simpler, things that are all connected and which pretty much never change. That is why I always LOL when “skeptics” try to “prove” my nitric oxide stuff is bogus using rhetoric. If they could prove it bogus, I would thank them profusely, but they need to use facts and logic.

    People are much more complicated and relationships are much more complicated squared. But because people can interact, they can provide feedback when you are doing it rong. Without that feedback, mutually satisfactory relationships would be impossible. One sided relationships are possible, but that is anathema to what feminists are trying to accomplish.

    It does sadden me to see Rebecca trying to use her status as the Skepchick to put other people down. That is a Kyriarchy driven thing to do. It is not pro-feminist, it is anti-feminist. But good that you saw it and pointed it out so she can change and become a better skeptic and feminist.

    Your vagina license is in no danger of being revoked. ;)

  6. #6 Atheist in the wings
    July 1, 2011
  7. #7 daedalus2u
    July 1, 2011

    I had another thought about this and how it relates to PZ and the accommodationists. The accommodationists want to be at the top of the atheist social social status hierarchy, PZ says “what hierarchy?” The accommodationists are trying to accomplish this by disagreeing with the style with which PZ interacts with non-atheists and pulling him down so that they can move up.

    Social power hierarchies are all zero-sum. You can only move up by moving other people down. There are no equals in a social power hierarchy. Everyone who is higher has more power, status, authority than everyone who is lower.

    True feminists (of which I consider myself to be) don’t want to replace the Patriarchy with a Feminiarchy, or a Matriarchy or a Skeptiarchy, or any other kind of Kyriarchy with some people having privilege over other people. True feminists want no one to have any kind of privilege over anyone but themselves.

    I don’t want to have privilege over anyone but myself. I don’t want my ideas to be considered other than on their merits. If my facts or logic are wrong, tell me so that I can correct them. If I am acting as if I have privilege over someone, tell me so I can change my actions.

    This is much of what is wrong with science, when scientists use their social position to bully other scientists, rather than using facts and logic. This is what is wrong with the way that funding is done in science, the way that kudos is earned and to whom kudos is given. It really needs to be done based on science and not on social power.

  8. #8 Reckoner
    July 2, 2011

    I just thought of something weird about the elevator incident that I haven’t checked to see if anyone else brought up. She basically said “Hey guys, don’t come up to me at conference late at night when I’m alone and start flirting with me.” And yet, that is exactly how she met her ex-husband. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

  9. #9 Rorschach
    July 2, 2011

    Hm. As someone who was at that bar that night and only left minutes before Rebecca(taking the same elevator), so knowing the lay of the land somewhat, I have to say it would have been extremely easy for someone to time it right to get into an elevator with her to do the creep thing. And to remind dimwits like Reckoner @ 8, it is a creep thing to do to propose coffee in your room to a lone woman inside an elevator at 4am. Rebecca is a public person, and we were at this bar for hours and hours with high-profile folks like PZ, there would have been plenty of opportunity to approach her during this time to discuss what he wanted to discuss. I therefore totally agree with what Rebecca says here :

    It’s pathetic when someone hits on a person (who has been talking nonstop about how much she loathes the sexual advances she’s subjected to at conferences) by saying absolutely nothing to her before inviting her to his hotel room.

    So while you can argue about whether it’s worth bringing this up in an unrelated talk where the audience doesn’t quite know the details, I think Stef is wrong in her assessment of what happened there.

  10. #10 Claus Larsen
    July 2, 2011

    @Rorschach,

    Stef McGraw could be wrong or not – although it seems like a matter of opinion, not a matter of evidence.

    If she is wrong, does that justify what Rebecca did to her, lumping her together with would-be Rebecca rapists, in front of an audience, and later write about it on her own Skepchick blog?

  11. #11 Rorschach
    July 2, 2011

    Claus Larsen,

    it seems even Abbie is not making that argument :

    I also imagine Rebecca had the ‘best’ intentions with her anecdote, but it appears the anecdote was only tangentially related to her actual presentation topic.

    That’s also what I think is the worst allegation here, that it was not really related to her speech topic, and that the students ended up not listening to her actual talk afterwards, and instead had the dorms erupt with enebriated communication about this “anecdote”.

  12. #12 Claus Larsen
    July 2, 2011

    @Rorschach,

    I wasn’t talking about Abbie. I was asking you:

    If McGraw is wrong, does that justify what Rebecca did to her, lumping her together with would-be Rebecca rapists?

  13. #13 Rorschach
    July 2, 2011

    If McGraw is wrong, does that justify what Rebecca did to her, lumping her together with would-be Rebecca rapists?

    McGraw is wrong. As to RW, where did she do that exactly, got a quote ? I think if you choose to blog, you better be prepared to cop some flak, and that might include being mentioned in someone’s talk. But, I am sympathetic to the gist of Abbie’s post, and to what McGraw said as well :

    had Ms. Watson instead chosen to write a scathing review of my position on her blog (with a link to mine, of course), I honestly would have no complaints. My reasoning in saying this is that in the blogosphere, we are on an equal playing field. Given we both give links (which we have) to other’s blogs, there is not the obvious imbalance of power which is present in the speaker/student attendee situation.

    I actually agree with that to a degree. I don’t know what the opportunities were on the night to rebut what she said, but she has a point that there was a power imbalance.

  14. #14 Claus Larsen
    July 2, 2011

    I would have thought you had read McGraw’s account by now:

    “Then, a day later at the conference, Watson delivered a keynote speech on the religious right’s war against women. Before she got to her main content, though, she decided to address sexism in the secular movement, which she views as a rampant problem. I shared her disgust as she showed screenshots of people online calling her demeaning names, making comments about her appearance, and, worst of all, making rape comments.

    Then, switching gears, Watson made a remark to the extent that there are people in our own community who would not stand up for her in these sorts of situations; my name, organization, and a few sentences from my blog post then flashed on the screen before my eyes. She went on to explain how I didn’t understand what objectification meant and was espousing anti-woman sentiment.

    My first reaction was complete shock. I wasn’t surprised that she had seen my post, but I didn’t think she would choose to address it during her keynote, let alone place it in a category with people advocating for her to be raped. In fact, I was excited to possibly speak with her afterward in order to discuss the matter face-to-face. Instead, all I could do was just sit there and watch myself being berated for supposedly espousing anti-woman views and told that I wouldn’t stand up for women in sticky situations with men, as one hundred of my peers watched on. I found both of those accusations to be completely and utterly incorrect, as anyone who actually knows me could tell you I care deeply about fighting sexist thought. I started thinking, how can I respond? It didn’t feel right to have to endure a widely respected keynote speaker’s accusations that I was a living example of what was wrong with our movement while I sat there unable to defend my position.”

    Fursdays wif Stef #33

    Since you think McGraw is wrong, does that justify what Rebecca did to her, lumping her together with would-be Rebecca rapists?

  15. #15 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    Rorschach– So while you can argue about whether it’s worth bringing this up in an unrelated talk where the audience doesn’t quite know the details, I think Stef is wrong in her assessment of what happened there.

    I dont care.

    If Watson had a problem with McGraw, she should have talked with McGraw. To bring up a personal disagreement with an individual in a speech in front of a LOT of people, where the other person would not be given the opportunity to tell their side, explain their reasoning, refute the others comments, especially when the comment was only tangentially related to the topic of the speech is BAD FORM.

    It was a bitch move.

    Which is relevant to Watsons proclaimed area of ‘expertise’.

    No good came to female skeptics from Watsons bitch move. Furthermore, her reaction to McGraw has taken my opinion of Watson, “*meh* internet personality, whatever”, to “Oh, so shes Rook, Sapient, and the Prostitute all wrapped up into one. This is going to end well.”

    Some good could have come from Watson engaging McGraw in a 5/30/120 minute discussion. Possibly a lot of good. If I would have heard about this interaction, my opinion of Watson would have improved.

    Even if Watson was 100% right, she absolutely went about addressing this issue the wrong way. That is unquestionable. And the problem is, Watson is so goddamn arrogant she wont even learn anything from this. Which means she will do it again. Which means I would be entirely uninterested in inviting her to speak anywhere. I dont want to listen to someone bitch about internet drama I dont care about for two fucking hours.

  16. #16 Rorschach
    July 2, 2011

    nd the problem is, Watson is so goddamn arrogant she wont even learn anything from this. Which means she will do it again.

    We could give her the benefit of the doubt, don’t you think !

  17. #17 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    Did you read my post? You think someone who responds to McGraws account of the events with “I HAVE OVER 10,000 READERS YOU FLEA!!!” is going to learn from this?

  18. #18 Rorschach
    July 2, 2011

    You think someone who responds to McGraws account of the events with “I HAVE OVER 10,000 READERS YOU FLEA!!!” is going to learn from this?

    On that note. My post on it from a while ago just got pharyngulated, so expect some incoming traffic lol. I agree with you, this argument from popularity also struck me as strange, especially seeing that a loser blog like mine has 30000 readers a month.

  19. #19 Claus Larsen
    July 2, 2011

    Rorschach,

    “We could give her the benefit of the doubt, don’t you think !”

    Rebecca did not give the elevator guy the benefit of the doubt.

    Nor did she give McGraw the benefit of the doubt.

    Are you going to answer my question?

  20. #20 daedalus2u
    July 2, 2011

    Erv, I have met Rebecca, and I don’t think she is to arrogant to change. I think she has a lot of “stuff” going on and doesn’t have a good framework to deal with it, the framework of “skepticism as war” not being a good framework to do relationships in.

    The tactics that one needs to use to deal with misogynist Creationists, who are incapable of arguing or dealing in good faith, even with themselves, are different than the tactics one needs to use to deal with fellow skeptics and feminists, people who are trying to do things honestly and in good faith and would if they understood what they were doing wrong.

    Not to excuse bad behavior, but also not to hold bad behavior over someone for the rest of their life. If people understand they did something bad and want to change, they can change. If people are trying to change, then we should help them change and give them encouragement, feedback and cut them a little slack when they backslide.

    The whole point of skepticism is that when you find out that you believe in something that is wrong, you change your belief until it corresponds with reality better. If you find out that a certain type of behavior pattern in relationships doesn’t work, a skeptic would change their behavior. A non-skeptic would externalize the problem and blame everything else.

  21. #21 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    Oh good. Now PZ is positively reinforcing the negative behavior. Yeah, no Watson is totally going to learn from this.

    Shes going to learn that she is AMAZING and she can use her platform as a ‘skeptic’ speaker to get back at WHOEVER SHE WANTS. SHE HAS OVER 9,000 READERS!

    Hey, you guys remember a group of internet personalities called ‘The Rational Response Squad’? A few random people with no education in theology, or history, or womens studies, or anything really, who traveled round the country speaking at atheist/skeptic conferences? Had the total support of Dawkins, Randi, Hitchens, and hmmm, PZ? What happened to those internet personalities with no relevant education, bolstered into celebrity in the skeptical movement? What happened to them? Hmm… cant remember…

  22. #22 Irene Delse
    July 2, 2011

    erv, count me as another one who disagrees. When someone is mostly known for their internet-related activity, like Rebecca Watson, it’s pointless to demand that they don’t “bring MySpace drama into Meatspace”. Of course, they are going to talk about what goes on in their online neigborhood when giving a speech at a meeting! And it’s weird to pretend that Stef McGraw couldn’t answer: wasn’t McGraw at the same meeting? Didn’t RW’s speech include a Q&A session where contradictors could have taken her to task? Let’s have a little perspective, here. Not to mention common sense.

  23. #23 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    Ya, 1 minute in a Q&A (where Watson would still be given the Final Word) is leik, TOTALLY equivalent to Watsons 60 minute, uninterrupted platform.

    But youre right– Im sure it is hard for Watson to differentiate her internet and real world, because playing on the internet and speaking at conferences what she does.

  24. #24 Miranda Celeste Hale
    July 2, 2011

    Thank you for writing this, Abbie. It’s spot-on.

    And PZ’s post is facepalmingly ridiculous. Good lord :/

  25. #25 John C. Welch
    July 2, 2011

    I love PZ, but he really has a bad case of “more feminist than thou” some days. Watson wasn’t wrong for being creeped out, annoyed, scared, whatever she felt. You get to feel what you feel in a situation, there’s no right or wrong there, it just is.

    But when you control a mic, and you’re a speaker, you don’t get to play the game Watson did. That was a total dick move, because she knew, *knew* that there was no way Stef could actually counter her argument. At best, stef could have asked a one minute question, and then hoped watson wasn’t still feeling dickish. Barring the entire audience taking her to task, which I doubt would have happened. Even when they disagree, fans won’t say the person they’re fans of is wrong during a speech or public Q&A, it’d be rude, or a dick move.

    Disagreeing with Stef McGraw is not a dick move, disagreeing on her website is not a dick move. That shit during the speech? Total dick move.

  26. #26 Prometheus
    July 2, 2011

    “What happened to those internet personalities with no relevant education, bolstered into celebrity in the skeptical movement?”

    The geologist is leaving which means when Buggirl finally gets sick of their hooey and leaves, any two of the half dozen atheists women I work with will have more combined degrees, years of education and speaking/writing/comprehension skills than the entire Skepchick “task force”

    I am becoming increasingly repulsed by indolent undereducated hipster assholes using atheism and post modern feminist theory as a cover for false claims of autodidactic superpowers and abusive attention seeking behaviors.

    I guess we didn’t learn that lesson from Donkey, Shreck and the Colgate twins.

    In the interest of full disclosure I managed to get through only small portions of those video links over the course of a day because I kept going out in the alley to yell and kick things.

  27. #27 Anonymous
    July 2, 2011

    “any two of the half dozen atheist women I work with will have more combined degrees, years of education and speaking/writing/comprehension skills than the entire Skepchick “task force””

    Yeah but, can they sell you jewelry and “merch”? Didn’t think of that one, did ya, Prometheus? ;)

  28. #28 Mary
    July 2, 2011

    I un-subscribed from that site a while ago..

    10,000 readers… awful ego driven statement..

    and if a woman asked her for a private talk, alone in a room,@ 4 am?

  29. #29 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    Anon– Maybe next conference they could throw some thongs down on Dawkins autograph table?

    LOL!!!

    Ah, internet.

    Prometheus– I was actually referring to the RRS, a group composed entirely of uneducated attention whores elevated to the status of ‘atheist celebrity’ for no apparent reason. Dawkins was the first to wise up, and they promptly accused him of having an affair. Rook eventually got called out for giving presentations on topics he had *zero* relevant education on. Brian Sapient got beaten up by an atheist rapper he ripped off, and had a mental breakdown. And Kelly became a stripper–>prostitute (was fired. not joking)–>now makes porn. Like I told Watson, the internet is fickle… One day youre hanging with Richard Dawkins, the next day you are getting airtighted in Scott Lyons living room.

    Mary– *points to Mary* *points to ERVs nose* We dont know if this man was, in fact, a masculine woman. Maybe it was, and Watson didnt want to look like a homophobe, so she took ‘artistic license’ with the story. Maybe Watson genuinely thought it was a man, but she was in fact a woman. We dont know. The mystical ‘man in the elevator’ could be anyone. HE COULD BE IN YOUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!!

    Good thing Watson casually attacked some chick in her keynote speech, just in case. We can all sleep safely now.

  30. #30 Petria
    July 2, 2011

    ‘Rebecca broke one of The Rules of the internet: Do not bring MySpace drama into MeatSpace.

    Do not do this.

    Ever’

    Why not?

    Can you please tell me what the other ‘Rules of the Internet’ are?

  31. #31 Steve Caldwell
    July 2, 2011

    Reckoner said:
    -snip-

    She basically said “Hey guys, don’t come up to me at conference late at night when I’m alone and start flirting with me.” And yet, that is exactly how she met her ex-husband. Sounds a bit hypocritical to me.

    … or she’s learning from experience that it’s not the best situation for starting a new relationship (you did say that she met her ex under similar circumstances).

    :^)

  32. #32 Peg
    July 2, 2011

    I really want to hear the man’s side on this.
    We know nothing about the incident, including what words he used, was he really alone etc, all we know is what Watson has said.
    And even though he was at this conference, and even though he apparently knows Rebecca from the skeptic community, he has yet to make a peep about being called a probable rapist and definite misogynist from hundreds of people.
    You would think he would at least want to give his side of the story.

  33. #33 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    Youre operating under the assumption that ‘he’ exists.

  34. #34 Peg
    July 2, 2011

    ERV, that was actually my last line, “assuming that he does really exist” but I took it off, lol.
    What if the guy had actually said:
    “Don’t take this the wrong way but I find you interesting My mom loves your work, would you like to come up to our room and have a cup of coffee?” ( or Partner instead of Mom, maybe he was gay)
    or if there was actually 4 people in the elevator and he said it to everyone present “I find this conversation very interesting, would anyone like to continue it over coffee in my room, don’t take that the wrong way ha ha ha.”
    Or if the guy said “You are an interesting speaker, would you let me interview you over coffee in my room for the new Micheal Moore documentary I am working on?”
    or maybe English is not his first language and was really trying to say “This is an interesting hotel, do they offer coffee in the room?”
    Or maybe he did say it exactly as Rebecca stated but he was actually in the elevator first and she followed him out of the bar, and he took it to mean she was interested because he had already left for the bathroom when she said she was getting sleepy.
    Maybe he has Aspergers Syndrome and simply has shitty social skills.
    We have really only heard one version of the conversation and there is no video tape for us to examine. I just think if you are going to call someone a possible rapist, you should be given both view points before you crucify him and anyone else who sees the incident differently than you do.
    It is very rare for two people to have the same experience and both see it the exact same way. Ask any cop.

  35. #35 Cory Albrecht
    July 2, 2011

    “Do not bring MySpace drama into MeatSpace.”

    Since when is that a rule? It’s about as ludicrous as the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” canard, not no mention naive.

    It’s doesn’t matter whether you talk trash about me at the office or whether you do it on Facebook – I’m still going to be pissed at you.

    A person in Vegas for work cheats on their spouse – because it “happened in Vegas” means this cheating is off the books and the spouse is not going to care? Unlikely.

    If somebody makes a blog post or a youtube video to which you respond via blog or ‘tube, it’s just silly to be suprised at finding yourself mentioned – in any form.

    And from this post by somebody who saw Rebecca’s talk – http://malimar.livejournal.com/412658.html – it seems as if the anecdote of mention McGraw was germane to the topic at hand.

    Though I must admit I’m surprised find myself agreeing with Rebecca instead of ERV. I never thought that would happen. :-)

  36. #36 Sili
    July 2, 2011

    “Ex-husband”?

    Huh.

    I guess that explains a little something, since I’d been wondering how anyone could not know Rebecca was married. But apparently it’s me who’s out to the loop.

    –o–

    Anyway, I take her word for it that she was accosted in the elevator, that was indeed a dick move.

    And calling out people from a bully pulpit is also a dick move.

  37. #37 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    “Do not bring MySpace drama into MeatSpace.”

    Since when is that a rule?

    Things might be easier for you if you read the rest of the post, where I explained precisely why it is unwise to bring up internet drama in the real world ;)

    Remember PepsiGate? Have you tried to explain that to a normal human? Its hysterical.

  38. #38 dexitroboper
    July 2, 2011

    “Do not bring MySpace drama into MeatSpace.”

    Since when is that a rule?

    It’s never been a rule. Even if you don’t do it, someone will do it for you.

  39. #39 Peg
    July 2, 2011

    The topic Watson was supposed to discuss was
    “The Religious Right’s War on Women”.
    As an example she used the people who commented “this atheist bitch needs to be raped” etc.
    She then derailed her own speech by moving onto how people in the secular movement were just as bad, like the guy who talked to her in the elevator.
    And Stef’s blog post.
    So, No, it was not germane to the topic she was supposed to speak about as Stef is not part of the religious right, she is not conducting a war on women and she is not making violent and misogynistic comments about Rebecca.
    She was, however, called a misogynistic sympathizer because she disagreed with Rebecca.

  40. #40 jose
    July 2, 2011

    From the naming names post:
    “I added a paragraph of that response to a slide for the intro to my talk, in which I hoped to call out the anti-woman rhetoric my audience was engaging in … when ancient anti-woman rhetoric like the above is repeated verbatim by a young woman online, it validates that misogyny in a way that goes above and beyond the validation those men get from one another.”

    It looks to me like she used that quote as an example to illustrate a point, not as a way to attack the specific person who wrote the paragraph.

    I did the same thing at Ophelia Benson’s blog in a post about submission in Malaysia. I only wanted to comment that that happens here too, and as an example I linked to a post in which a christian blogger was talking about how a christian wife should be submissive to her husband (her boss). I didn’t do it to attack the blogger, I used her post as an example.

    In this case, it doesn’t really make sense to say “if you have a problem with that blogger you talk to her instead of quoting her elsewhere and talking to other people about her post, people who probably have no idea what’s that all about”, because I don’t have a problem with anyone, her post was a good example of a point I wanted to come across so I quoted it. It’s not personal, it’s an illustration of a general problem. I think that’s more or less what has happened with Watson.

    From the same post:
    “criticizing a person’s words is not the same as criticizing the person. At no point did I ridicule McGraw, and I even started that part of my talk by stating that I had no desire to embarrass anyone — only to use actual, relevant examples to show the anti-feminist thought that seems so pervasive.”

  41. #41 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    I dont mean to embarrass anyone, but Im going to go ahead and embarrass someone sitting in the audience right now, and not give her an opportunity to respond.

    Im not racist, but black people smell funny.

    Im not homophobic, but I wish gay people wouldnt be all up in my face about it.

    With all due respect, you mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.

    YAY! Just preface bullshit with some platitude and you can say ANYTHING!

    But lets pretend Watson is not being disingenuous– Howd her little plan work out for her? This is what she wanted? The internet shitstorm? McGraw totally writing her off (along with a bunch of other people)? Alienating allies? The point of her speech being completely ignored? Me thinking she is a Kasey-Grant-in-training? Wheres the ‘Holy crap I didnt mean for this to escalate like this!’ post? All we have are arrogant comments on Stefs blog and her running to PZ for help.

    Fuck that shit.

    Oh wait– I mean, “I dont mean to degrade the potential benefits of fucking and shit, but fuck that shit.”

    Rebecca is a proxy of me– female atheist speaker, and you all better fucking rake me over the coals if I pull a stupid stunt like this. I swear to god if I get the kind of pathetic excuses Watsons people are throwing up, I will shut this whole thing down.

  42. #42 lido209boi
    July 2, 2011

    @40

    Did you do the same thing as in illustrating a point, then calling Ophelia a misogynist sympathizer knowing full well that Ophelia was in the audience, and knowing full well that she had to sit there and be lumped with rapists and misogynists with no way of rebutting or arguing her case. I guess it was okay right? Because if Ophelia objected to anything she could have just gotten up right when you mentioned her and yelled “point of clarification!” in the middle of a damn presentation.

  43. #43 jose
    July 2, 2011

    “But lets pretend Watson is not being disingenuous– Howd her little plan work out for her? This is what she wanted?”

    I think what she wanted was to illustrate her point with an real example. The point was:

    “when ancient anti-woman rhetoric like the above is repeated verbatim by a young woman online, it validates that misogyny in a way that goes above and beyond the validation those men get from one another.”

    “you smell funny” is a personal remark. It’s not the same thing as “you are wrong because your post is a pretty standard parrotting of misogynistic thought”. I agree with her when she says “criticizing a person’s words is not the same as criticizing the person.” When you say “you mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries”, you’re making a personal attack, instead of attacking an argument. That’s why I don’t think you’re making fair analogies. She didn’t paste a pic of the blogger in her slide to say she’s ugly or that she smells bad; she quoted a paragraph and argued against it, and that paragraph happens to be written by a person with a name and an occupation and I think when you quote something you should always give the reference.

  44. #44 jose
    July 2, 2011

    @42, you can see what I did right here.

  45. #45 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    As a woman, I did not find McGraws blog post anti-woman or misogynistic. McGraw did not find her statements anti-woman or misogynistic. But Watson told, apparently 100 people, that Stef McGraw was anti-woman and misogynistic, and did not give McGraw a platform to state “Actually, I dont think my statements are anti-woman or misogynistic…”

    How the fuck is that not personal to McGraw?

    If someone called me racist, homophobic, sexist, etc by quoting something I said on the internet without any back story, you bet Id be pissed.

    Oh wait, that is EXACTLY WHAT CASEY LUSKIN DID TO ME.

  46. #46 Peg
    July 2, 2011

    “I hope the Atheist bitch gets raped”

    “Since when are respecting women as equals and showing sexual interest mutually exclusive?”

    This is the pure basics of what Stef said:

    It’s possible the man actually just wanted to talk and do nothing more, but I’ll even give that point to her; I obviously wasn’t there, and don’t know what sort of vibes he was giving off. Fair enough. My concern is that she takes issue with a man showing interest in her. What’s wrong with that? How on earth does that justify him as creepy? Are we not sexual beings? Let’s review, it’s not as if he touched her or made an unsolicited sexual comment; he merely asked if she’d like to come back to his room. She easily could have said (and I’m assuming did say), “No thanks, I’m tired and would like to go to my room to sleep.”

    Watson is upset that this man is sexualizing her just after she gave a talk relating to feminism, but my question is this: Since when are respecting women as equals and showing sexual interest mutually exclusive? Is it not possible to view to take interest in a woman AND see her as an intelligent person?

    when ancient anti-woman rhetoric like the above is repeated verbatim by a young woman online, it validates that misogyny in a way that goes above and beyond the validation those men get from one another

    Do you really think that what Stef said rises to
    “anti-woman rhetoric and misogyny”? in the same way “The bitch needs to be raped” does?

  47. #47 lido209boi
    July 2, 2011

    @jose

    Wow … dude you didn’t fucking read this blog nor Stef’s blog at all. You’re honestly going to fucking compare you writing a comment on Ophelia’s blog (an open forum where anyone can post comments) to this ordeal? I mean fuck, ERV and Stef has made it quite clear that the problem is exactly that Rebecca didn’t respond in a blog post or an open forum where Stef could rebut the accusations that Rebecca made of Stef. They have both said that if this exchange was done through blogging with links to each other it would have been fine. Or that perhaps if Stef was sharing the stage somehow with Rebecca this would allow for a fair exchange.

    I mean fuck, did you even bother to read this blog?

  48. #48 SC (Salty Current)
    July 2, 2011

    Personally, I would have said “Dude, did you hear my speech today? Cause you are being super creepy. LOL. Peace out, Dude, Im going to sleep.”

    You are so cool and totally different from those other bitches. And he would’ve been all “LOL, good form, dude! Peace out!”

    Or raped you.

    Either way, you’d be so cool and totally different from those other bitches.

  49. #49 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    For realz, Watson was liek, TOTALLY in fear of rape, which is why after she escaped from the elevator, she immediately contacted the conference organizers to ID the perp, arrange for escorts to/from other conference events, and to warn other women at the conference!

    Oh WAIT!

    She just made a YouTube video!

    How BRAVE!

    To think, all I had to put up with with my measly little stalker was someone following me to/from work, trying to get into my apartment when I was home/not home/asleep, dude having delusional conversations with neighbors in attempt to get them to let him into our apartment building, him getting into my mailbox, trying to contact me at work, blah blah blah.

    All then all I did was go to the campus police, go to the city police, consulted a lawyer, filed for an emergency restraining order and the associated court dates (three times) where I was terrified of seeing him, take self-defense lessons where I learned how to kill a fellow human with my bare hands, hide every piece of cutlery in my apartment, stash weapons in every room of my apartment (and always carry one), take my pit bull with me everywhere (oh, one time dude hid in our parking lot behind our apt and leaned on my car door so I couldnt get Arnie out, LOL), and warned all of the females in my neighborhood to stay away from him.

    But Watson bravely stood down her imminent rapist in a YouTube video and did absolutely nothing to protect other women at the conference, or at future conferences.

    Im so glad she survived. Someone asking you if you wanted coffee is so much worse than actually being in fear you are going to be raped or killed.

    lol, Salty Current, the ‘feminist’. LOL!!

    Maybe you should leave a comment with my alpha, Jerry Coyne. I mean why cant he control his female, I mean REALLY.

  50. #50 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    LOL!!!

    This went on for so long, I got used to opening my door a crack, waiting to hear Arnie run to the door, and then opening the door. I figured if he got in my apartment, he would kill Arnie, so if Arnie was alive it was safe to go into my own apartment. If I didnt hear Arnie, he was dead, and he gave his life to protect mine– exactly what he would ever do.

    The stalker is ‘gone’ now, but I still do that.

    I cant even comprehend how Watson adjusted back to normal life after the elevator incident.

    God you are such a fucking joke, SC.

  51. #51 SC (Salty Current)
    July 2, 2011

    For realz, Watson was liek, TOTALLY in fear of rape, which is why after she escaped from the elevator, she immediately contacted the conference organizers to ID the perp, arrange for escorts to/from other conference events, and to warn other women at the conference!

    Are you crazy?

    To think, all I had to put up with with my measly little stalker was someone following me to/from work, trying to get into my apartment when I was home/not home/asleep, dude having delusional conversations with neighbors in attempt to get them to let him into our apartment building, him getting into my mailbox, trying to contact me at work, blah blah blah.

    All then all I did was go to the campus police, go to the city police, consulted a lawyer, filed for an emergency restraining order and the associated court dates (three times) where I was terrified of seeing him, take self-defense lessons where I learned how to kill a fellow human with my bear hands, hide every piece of cutlery in my apartment, stash weapons in every room of my apartment (and always carry one), take my pit bull with me everywhere (oh, one time dude hid in our parking lot behind our apt and leaned on my car door so I couldnt get Arnie out, LOL), and warned all of the females in my neighborhood to stay away from him.

    So you didn’t just “bravely” confront him and say “Dude, you’re being seriously creepy” and have him slink off sheepishly? Hiding behind the police? A restraining order? Where were your self-confidence and quick wit?

    Maybe you should leave a comment with my alpha, Jerry Coyne. I mean why cant he control his female, I mean REALLY.

    Oh. You are crazy.

  52. #52 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    And youre a mindless bitch! Huzzah!

    Go eat some Haagan Daas! You earned it!

  53. #53 grung0r
    July 2, 2011

    ERV:
    To think, all I had to put up with with my measly little stalker was someone following me to/from work, trying to get into my apartment when I was home/not home/asleep

    All then all I did was go to the campus police, go to the city police, consulted a lawyer, filed for an emergency restraining order and the associated court dates (three times) where I was terrified of seeing him, take self-defense lessons where I learned how to kill a fellow human with my bare hands

    I totally agree. A person must be sold into sexual slavery, and be gang raped daily for at least 5 years before one has the right to feel uncomfortable and fear rape in potentially unsafe situations. How dare RW feel threatened in this instance? She didn’t even have to buy a pit bull! Of course you are completely aware of her entire sexual history, and know that she has never been raped or even been in a potentially rapey situation. After all. how many women have really ever been stalked or….oh….right.

  54. #54 SC (Salty Current)
    July 2, 2011

    I’ll try to explain something:

    You’ve acknowledged that the guy was being “super creepy.” In an elevator alone at 4 AM, “super creepy” is threatening. The best thing is to try to get out of the situation safely; later, you can confront the person and/or address the creepiness as a larger phenomenon, but getting out of that situation is paramount. That’s what Rebecca Watson did. Your argument was that she should have gotten out of the situation and then proceeded to ignore the super creepy behavior, despite its having been threatening and part of a pattern and a larger problem. People could say the same thing about your being stalked: could’ve been much worse, so shut up about it and stop overreacting (“a pit bull – really?”).

  55. #55 jose
    July 2, 2011

    @44, The same way my link to that “your-husband-is-your-boss” blog post is nothing personal against the blogger. I think it illustrates something that is very wrong (submission to the husband) so I quoted her post. I don’t know that person, I wish her best of luck in life. It’s her post what matters to me, not her, because quoting her post as a real example helps me get my point across.

    It also works if I quote something in a positive way (it should go “appreciating a person’s words is not the same as appreciating the person.”). Let’s say I’m talking with friends about pop sci and style and I think lolspeak is very effective to get science to lay people. I quote one of your posts and provide a link. But I don’t know you. Even if I specifically say “this was written by ERV who is a scientist who does HIV and epigenetics research”, I’m not making a flattering statement about your persona by quoting your post, only about your style. What’s important to me is that that lolspeak post is a good piece of science communication, so I use it as an example to illustrate my point.

    Also, I don’t think she said “McGraw is anti-woman and misogynistic”, but “McGraw’s post is a pretty standard parrotting of misogynistic thought”. Note how it’s about McGraw’s post (in my previous example that would be your style), not McGraw. There’s once again the difference between criticizing a person’s words and criticizing the person.

    About giving McGraw a platform to respond. I think it would have been appropiate if Watson wanted specifically to refute McGraw and only her, so the comment on that paragraph was aimed to her in particular, instead of it being an example of a general point aimed to the whole audience. But this was not personal nor was it aimed to McGraw in particular, so Watson quoted the paragraph the same way people cite anecdotes; just cite the relevant part, provide the source so people can make sure you’re not making stuff up, and comment on what you’ve cited. I think Watson should have given McGraw a platform if this whole thing were about McGraw: about how she’s wrong, about how she in particular is sexist (she specifically), etc. But in my opinion it wasn’t. Instead, it was about a post Watson used which just happens to be written by McGraw. She wanted to make a point about how bad things are if not only old men are misogynistic but also women, even young women! And to illustrate the point, she quoted a real young woman saying stuff Watson thinks is wrong. This woman happens to be McGraw. It could have been anyone else in the world. That’s why I think this isn’t about McGraw, but about misogyny being pervasive, so I don’t think Watson had an obligation to give McGraw a platform to discuss the example.

  56. #56 Peg
    July 2, 2011

    SC
    You are completely missing the point.
    Rebecca was not almost raped. No where does she say he did anything that can be construed as attempted rape.
    ERV is talking about someone who was not just propositioning her on an elevator one time, she is talking about someone who was routinely stalking her. Who followed her to work, who followed her home, who tried to force his way into her apartment.
    That is the problem with this whole fucking thing. Not every man is a rapist. Not every man is even a potential rapist. If you really think someone is trying to rape you, the fear is overwhelming, especially in a stalking situation. Rebecca says nothing about being afraid when she was on that elevator, she is “uncomfortable” for being sexualized.

    Had he followed her to her room, been waiting outside her door the next morning, etc, then yes, she should have been worried. She would have been afraid.
    She doesn’t even say “He followed me to the elevator” She says “He got on the elevator with me.” He could have been there first, he could have been walking with her.
    It’s ridiculous that you are choosing not to see the difference between someone asking you out for coffee (even if it DOES mean sex) and someone who is following you around over a period of time and hiding in parking lots to wait for you.

  57. #57 ERV
    July 2, 2011

    LOL!

    Look at all the ‘feminists’ of not only equating, but talking over and dismissing a very real case of stalking/potential rape/murder in favor of a guy asking a girl for coffee!!

    AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Why oh why does no one take you seriously?? IM SUPER CEREAL YOU GUYS!!!

    AAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Thank GAWD Watson protected all of us w00myns with her brave YouTube video! Got that perp right off the street! She iz SUPER W00MYNS!!!

    That means she totally has a license to abuse her position as a keynote speaker to personally attack someone.

    FAIL.

  58. #58 Peg
    July 2, 2011

    Jose
    I appreciate you trying to be thoughtful about this, but it was about Stef personally and specifically because Stef was the only one in the audience who was there and whose full name/position was used to make a point that had been made my several others. If she wasn’t meaning this to be about Stef in particular, then why did choose her in particular knowing she was there, prior to using that quote. Why not use one of the dozens of other quotes of someone who was not there to make her point?

  59. #59 SC (Salty Current)
    July 2, 2011

    Look at all the ‘feminists’ of not only equating, but talking over and dismissing a very real case of stalking/potential rape/murder in favor of a guy asking a girl for coffee!!

    Oh, please. Stalking? Potential rape/murder? How melodramatic! I’m sure he just liked you and wanted to hang out. I mean, did he assault you? Do you have scars? What a hysterical overreaction on your part. And of course the police went along, because they always believe helpless, whining women, even when they have no real reason to be afraid.

  60. #60 jose
    July 3, 2011

    Peg, it was not her name what was used to make a point, but her paragraph. Her argument. Her name was given as well because when you quote something, you should give the reference.

    She was attending the talk, but I don’t think that changes anything. I agree with PZ when he says when you’re up there you’re actually subject to attack. That’s how I feel whenever I have to give a presentation in front of a critic audience.

    As for why her and not others, I think Watson explains it. First, she was told several people were disagreeing with her, but nothing specific. She says: “When I was discussing the video with friends the next day, I was blown away to be told that there were other student leaders who had expressed similar dismissive attitudes recently on Facebook and on other blogs.” You can’t really quote “other leaders on facebook and other blogs”.

    Then, one hour prior to her talk, someone didn’t just tell her about some blog, but she was sent a link, something specific she could work with: “An hour or so prior to my talk, someone sent me this link to a post by Stef McGraw on the UNI Freethinkers site. I added a paragraph of that response to a slide for the intro to my talk.” That would be the reason why she quoted McGraw. Had the person who sent the link sent another different link to another blog criticizing her instead, she would have quoted that other blog.

  61. #61 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    This post is about Watsons irresponsible behavior regarding Stef McGraw (thanks, jose, for keeping it on target).

    I choose not to care about Watsons ‘incident’ for numerous reasons.
    1– We do not know what happened. I am not ‘acknowledging’ anything regarding that incident, SC. However I am willing to grant the premise that the incident occurred how she represented it, and her emotions were as she reported.
    2– If I believe the incident, I do not care, because I have actually feared for my safety/life before, and it is not the kind of emotions or situations Watson conveyed.
    3– If I grant the post-rationalization-of-behavior premise, that Watson feared for her life/rape in that situation, my response is to get pissed off beyond mortal comprehension. She let a potential rapist/murderer loose on her fellow skeptics. She warned no one. He could have gone downstairs, lured some woman left in the bar up to his room, and raped/killed her instead of Watson. He could be at the next conference I attend. He could be at the next conference you attend (anyone, as ‘you’). I would have to believe Watson was terrified, but did nothing to protect other people, then went home, made a YouTube video, and declared herself a WINNER!!!! … I couldnt sleep at night knowing a pathetic, self-centered, self-absorbed monster like her was ‘speaking’ for ‘atheist women’.

    SC– The first detective I spoke with said just that. “Its not a big deal.” So he closed the case. I filed for protective orders anyway. Sometime later, the DA called and apologized– the guy was not from their normal department, and they would file criminal charges against my stalker. But by that time, my stalker disappeared, so they never had to reopen the case.

    I dont think you could FAIL harder if you actively tried. But try anyway. It will amuse me.

  62. #62 Peg
    July 3, 2011

    Jose,
    “You can’t really quote “other leaders on facebook and other blogs”.”
    Except that she quotes Tweets, Email messages, youtube comments and video responses without citing them correctly.

    All of which she says are from Male and female Atheists, and almost never calls them by name or even screen name even though some of their names are also their screen names.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W014KhaRtik

    One really interesting point in that video is that she says she disagrees with someone who was on an earlier panel, a woman atheist who does not think sexism is a problem in the atheist community- and she calls THAT woman out by name and says that she did not decide what to talk about until she heard that woman speak.
    She also says that she did not want to address it in the Q and A session because I wanted to give “an hour long lecture.”
    Do you not see the hypocrisy here? She says that Stef could have responded to her criticism in her own Q and A, even though she chose to use her panel presentation to address what she disagreed with, because the Q and A did not offer enough time.
    The two women she chose to call out by name from her podium were women who disagreed with her and yet she gave a pass in naming names on hundreds of other comments/blogs/etc who were much, much more misogynist.
    So, I still don’t think this “it’s not personal or specific” argument works here.

  63. #63 Jack
    July 3, 2011

    @59 Even if that is an attempt at irony – your post is shocking. Piss off now. Thank you.

  64. #64 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    This post is about Watsons irresponsible behavior [sic] regarding Stef McGraw

    I guess I was confused by “thats kinda the crux of the matter, isnt it?”; “Watson did not confront her male proposition-er,”; “Personally, I would have said…”…, and the fact that McGraw was responding to Watson’s posts about the incident in the elevator.

    I choose not to care about Watsons ‘incident’ for numerous reasons.

    I can guess at the major one. You’re young. Younger than Rebecca and certainly younger than me. You think you have a lot of experience, but you don’t. It’s difficult for you to put yourself in other women’s shoes. I hope this will change.

    3– If I grant the post-rationalization-of-behavior premise, that Watson feared for her life/rape in that situation, my response is to get pissed off beyond mortal comprehension. She let a potential rapist/murderer loose on her fellow skeptics.

    If she had gone to hotel security, you’d have mocked her. There’s no way for a woman in a “He’s super creepy” situation to act short of laughing everything off that’s acceptable to you, and the very fact that she feels threatened, doesn’t know the guy’s intent, but can’t assume it to be harmless is held against her. So instead of pointing out that in that situation the guy’s behavior was creepy and there was no way to know, she must assume that either he was harmless or he was a predator, and either way she loses.

    You’re saying she had no valid reason to feel threatened by being propositioned by a stranger alone in a hotel elevator at 4 in the morning. That’s stupid, Abbie.

    SC– The first detective I spoke with said just that. “Its not a big deal.” So he closed the case.

    Here’s what you don’t understand: You’re the first detective.

  65. #65 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    Jack– No, I want to see how far shell take this.

    I think its some kind of ‘feminist communism’– Reminds me of the scene from ‘The Simpsons’:
    Little Vicky: Im sorry, but giving everyone an equal part when they’re not clearly equal is what again, class?
    Class: COMMUNISM!

    ‘Feminist communism’– All potential attacks are equal attacks. There is no spectrum. A guy asking a disinterested girl for coffee is equal to my stalker is equal to being sold into sex slavery. Thus saying being asked out for coffee is not a big deal is exactly like saying sex slavery isnt a big deal.

    Explains why PZs people freaked out at PseudoDawkins– he implied that coffee is less-than sex slavery, which means he is trivializing the entirety of the female experience.

    But they dont see coffee=sex slavery as trivializing sex slavery.

    Thats why SC freaked out at me saying coffee is less-than stalking experience. Everything is the same, so was ‘trivializing Rebeccas life experiences’ (technically, trivializing Rebeccas theoretically possible but no reason to believe have occurred life experiences).

    But they dont see coffee=stalking as trivializing stalking.

    Its intriguing.

    SC– You think you have a lot of experience, but you don’t.
    *yawn* Ageist. Totally dismissive of my life experience, including what I revealed to you in this comment thread. Good job, feminist!

    SC– If she had gone to hotel security, you’d have mocked her.
    *yawn* Oh you are SO RIGHT about that theoretical Abbie in an alternative universe! Way to go, Ace!

    SC– You’re the first detective.
    *yawn* And there was no crime, given Watsons own account of events! So I get to go to sleep. Huzzah.

    Try harder. Youre still failing.

  66. #66 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    - You acknowledge that the guy was being “super creepy.”

    - In this situation, “super creepy” is threatening.

    - Trying to get out of the situation is most important.

    - There are two later options: 1) Publicly saying “Guys shouldn’t be super creepy, and here’s why…” 2) Publicly saying nothing.

    - You choose 2. This makes you complicit with threatening super creepiness.

    Which of these do I have wrong?

  67. #67 John C. Welch
    July 3, 2011

    ERV, dude, you know the rules. If you get into a bad sitch, manage your fear, and handle it like an adult, even though you’re scared, CLEARLY, it wasn’t that serious. After all, if that stalker had been SERIOUS, you’d have spent your days cowering and wondering WHY THE INTERNET WASN’T DOING SOMETHING.

    But because it was a situation that could be handled by a woman, obviously, not that serious.

    Clearly, rebecca’s case was a far worse problem, because she, a strong, empowered womyn, was so oppressed by the evil agent of the phallocentric patriarchy that not even her innate connection with life, the earth, and the Goddess could help her.

    WHAT ELSE COULD SHE DO but make a video and then call out one of her cohorts who had clearly been brainwashed by the phallocentric patriarchy? WHAT WORSE SIN COULD THERE BE THAN NOT STANDING WITH YOUR SISTER??OMGWTFBBQKHAAAAAAAN!!!!

    If you want support the answer isn’t to handle the situation, it’s to do fuck all nothing but whine, and pull dick moves on any “girl” who dares disagree.

    Well, if you want the support of idiots who show that in the end, they do not in fact view adult women as grown-assed adults who are able to handle life’s fucked-up moments and don’t automatically need to be protected from all the eeeebul men around them.

    Your “sin” here was competency. Funny how that’s worse than helplessness.

  68. #68 John C. Welch
    July 3, 2011

    - There are two later options: 1) Publicly saying “Guys shouldn’t be super creepy, and here’s why…” 2) Publicly saying nothing.

    - You choose 2. This makes you complicit with threatening super creepiness.

    Oh i’m sorry SC, did we miss the part where Rebecca called out creepy guy by name? It seems to me she’s been too busy bagging on stef to do that. I guess when you’re an intarweb celebrity, you only have time to bag on so many people in a day. I’m sure she’ll get around to calling out the person who ACTUALLY CAUSED HER PROBLEMS soon enough. Right after she puts stef in her place.

    Because that’s more important.

  69. #69 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    ‘Feminist communism’– All potential attacks are equal attacks. There is no spectrum.

    Were you attacked? You’re crazy. And illiterate – the point was not that all attacks were equal, but that all women are potentially threatened, and some situations are especially threatening. But this is a joke to you, because you’re an ignoramus.

    A guy asking a disinterested girl for coffee is equal to my stalker

    What stalker? Some harmless guy. Don’t be a hysterical pussy.

  70. #70 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    Oh i’m sorry SC, did we miss the part where Rebecca called out creepy guy by name?

    What does “Publicly saying ‘Guys shouldn’t be super creepy, and here’s why…’,” which she did, have to do with that?

  71. #71 John C. Welch
    July 3, 2011

    Oh i’m sorry SC, did we miss the part where Rebecca called out creepy guy by name?
    What does “Publicly saying ‘Guys shouldn’t be super creepy, and here’s why…’,” which she did, have to do with that?

    “Water should be wet”

    No shit sherlock, guys shouldn’t be super creepy. That’s not the same as calling someone out BY NAME from a podium where you control responses to your statement. Again, because you appear to be really fucking bad at this:

    At what point has Rebecca Watson called out the actual guy who was super-creepy? By name, appearance, accent, or lack thereof. Anything that is actually specific to that guy in an identifying manner, not just random obvious bullshit.

    How far up her ass ARE you, or are you just all sandy-vag’d at ERV.

  72. #72 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    At what point has Rebecca Watson called out the actual guy who was super-creepy? By name, appearance, accent, or lack thereof. Anything that is actually specific to that guy in an identifying manner, not just random obvious bullshit.

    Wut.

    or are you just all sandy-vag’d at ERV.

    Gosh, Abbie, your fans are such feminists.

    You might want to think about this.

  73. #73 Lobo
    July 3, 2011

    Why is it so hard for people to understand that what Watson did was wrong independent of what the elevator guy did?

    His bad behavior (regardless of how egregious you think it is) does not excuse her bad behavior. The elevator guy is irrelevant to the unambiguously petty and unprofessional conduct she displayed. What she pulled transcends gender. It’s wrong when a man does it, it’s wrong when a woman does it, it’s wrong when a dog does it, and it’s wrong when an alien does it.

  74. #74 lido209boi
    July 3, 2011

    @Jose

    Yeah dude, that was so hardcore of you. You commented on someone’s blog and openly disagreed with them. Bravo, bravo.

    Now imagine this; Ophelia in response to your disagreeing comment then goes in front of people and call you a wife beating sympathizer. She does this during an invited speech knowing full well you’ll be there. She flashes a bunch of wife beating pictures and then pulls up your comment and says, “See this, this guy Jose in the audience is a wife beater sympathizer and a danger to women’s right!”. Then she goes on to talk about her presentation at hand which is ‘women inequality in religious communities…..”.

    That would be a much more analogous example, like seriously I can’t believe you’re fucking using your example of posting a blog comment to equate to this whole thing.

  75. #75 Agent Smith
    July 3, 2011

    I don’t want to weigh on this specific “event” because I don’t really care or get it- but can anyone explain why Rebecca is a prominent skeptic and on great podcasts like skpetics guide to the universe? She has no science background, a TTT communications degree and literally has zero knowledge of substantive scientific matters. She repeats, often without elegance or nuance, the conclusions of certain experts ad nauseum and calls it skepticism. Granted, we cannot be experts in every field and should defer to experts when we have reason to, but it seems like she doesn’t even try. In method, I don’t see how she is much different from her intellectual opponents (religion, pseudoscience, quackery).

    I also can not stand how she readily mixes her politics with science- as if politics are scientific in nature and those with diverging opinions are engaged in pseudoscience. Her BFF, PZ (someone I actually kinda like), seems to largely agree and plays the same game. Those of us with different views are alienated.

    Am I way off-base?

  76. #76 Mary
    July 3, 2011

    I am going to bow out now cuz even after all these comments..I still do not equate that a man, at 4 am, getting on an elevator with me, asking me for private time = creepy… I just don’t. Not every one with a penis is evil…

    and none of the arguments have yet to convince me that what RW said from the stage “alright”..

    sorry..guess I’m thicker than most..

  77. #77 John C. Welch
    July 3, 2011

    Ah yes SC of course. Now feminism is defined en toto by the werds u uze. Lemme guess, you’re all about the b-word, the c-word et al. Because banning words has done SO MUCH TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    The problem with you SC is that you’ve bought into the “women must live in fear and they can’t fix that until men change it for them” that the idea of women who say “go fuck yourself, ima fix my problems my own damned self and not be afraid my whole fucking life” short-circuits your brain. Not only can’t you comprehend it, but it fucks with your orthodoxy so much, you have to actually oppose it, because what happens to your helpless “feminist” contingent if the idea that women can, by not waiting around, make things better themselves?

    Bah. YOU and Watson are the problem as much as the dude in the elevator.

  78. #78 Jason
    July 3, 2011

    or are you just all sandy-vag’d at ERV.

    Gosh, Abbie, your fans are such feminists.

    Oh… SC… might have a point here or something…

    What stalker? Some harmless guy. Don’t be a hysterical pussy.

    Oh… and there it went. Hypocrisy (or at the very least, some serious illiteracy)…

    To wit: In the Western world, until the seventeenth century, hysteria referred to a medical condition thought to be particular to women and caused by disturbances of the uterus (from the Greek ὑστέρα “hystera” = uterus).

    In all honesty, SC, you were asked a simple question, and following from the thread’s progression, it seemed both an obvious and essential point, and you answer with… “wut”

    Ok, then. To reiterate: RW calls out a blogger known to be there and not given an equal opportunity for discourse – merely for dissenting opinion. This is a dick move, but whatever. Why doesn’t RW call out creepy-dude? She didn’t call security, fine, but she could have called him out during that talk and did not? Why give him his anonymity and not a fellow blogger with dissenting opinions that anonymity, or at the least, 5 minutes of her time to discuss the contention instead of making big, bold assertions to the audience and no opportunity to defend herself? Really? We’re cool with this approach?

    I don’t understand the false dichotomy of being for/against someone, as though some people are beyond reproach (even/especially when you agree with them most of the time)… why the need to be a sycophant? Is RW’s shit really so fragrant?

    Case in point: I don’t know if I’ve let a single thread on here go where Abbie brings up “junk DNA” (*shudder*) because of my background in genomics.

  79. #79 John C. Welch
    July 3, 2011

    Why is it so hard for people to understand that what Watson did was wrong independent of what the elevator guy did?

    I wish I knew

  80. #80 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    Agent Smith– I don’t want to weigh on this specific “event” because I don’t really care or get it- but can anyone explain why Rebecca is a prominent skeptic and on great podcasts like skpetics guide to the universe?

    You sir/madame, win a cookie.

  81. #81 RR
    July 3, 2011

    I find it depressing (and frustrating) that so many people who are supposed to be for reason can’t seem to use it on this. It seems to me that most of those siding with RW are unable (or unwilling?) to separate the Elevator Guy issue from RW’s response to someone who disagrees with her:
    “RW was wrong in attacking Stef the way she did because XYZ.”
    “But Elevator Guy was creepy! Objectification! Rape! Wah!”

    Others seem to have been made blind because someone used the “tone argument” against RW – but the point isn’t about what she said or how she worded it, it was about when and where – why is that so hard?

    Personally, I would have felt very uncomfortable in the elevator situation, but I think the way RW overreacted to a difference of opinion is ridiculous.

    Also, I must obviously be against women because I don’t see oppression in every clueless dude who does something stupid that can somehow be linked to sex.

  82. #82 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    Oh… and there it went. Hypocrisy (or at the very least, some serious illiteracy)…

    The dumbest comment I’ve read this year. It’s just stupid on so many levels. Hilarious.

    You know, Abbie, when the people agreeing with you are like Welch and those at Pharyngula with a long history of blatant misogyny, you might want to think about why. I really wish you saw your experiences in terms of solidarity with other women; instead, you seem to want to use them to trivialize other women’s. It’s unfortunate, and I hope you eventually recognize the problem.

  83. #83 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    Hey dumbass. Remember that time I defended YOU. Ironically against self-proclaimed, self-righteous ‘feminists’? No? What about a few examples of when I stood by other women being attacked by self-proclaimed, self-righteous ‘feminists’ like yourself, linked to in this post that you were too self-righteous to actually read?

    Oh WHEN will I start standing with WOMEN! And of course, by ‘women’ I mean ‘women who have passed Salty Currents official test of real w00mynhood’, not like, actual women who exist.

  84. #84 John Marley
    July 3, 2011

    @RR (#81)

    I find it depressing (and frustrating) that so many people who are supposed to be for reason can’t seem to use it on this.

    QFT.

  85. #85 Galwayskeptic
    July 3, 2011

    Kudos for a great blog, Abbie and on having the courage of your convictions. It’s particularly inspiring in this context, where people you have acknowledged as being influential in molding your own thoughts/attitudes -like PZ- are in strong disagreement. This is the *essence* of critical thought, in my opinion (don’t have 10,000 readers anywhere, so I can’t quantify the value of that opinion. Soz.)

    The people trivialising her stalking experience or using it to provoke her on the internet are pathetic, spineless cowards. I can’t express my contempt for you. I made several attempts, but I had to delete them all as they were insufficient.

  86. #86 Phil Hand
    July 3, 2011

    Wow.
    That’s a lot of anger on this thread. I’m glad that at the end there people are trying to separate out the two issues again, the elevatorgate and the podiumgate.
    Because I get the argument about podiumgate. I disagree with ERV, in that I think when you publish, even just on a blog, you should be prepared to be quoted. But I see that there is a potential issue of courtesy and right to reply.
    But there should be no doubt about the elevator incident. I honestly think that ERV and others questioning Watson’s honesty when she tells the story of the elevator incident is very nasty. “Youre operating under the assumption that ‘he’ exists.” Why on Earth would you say such a thing? That strikes me as a gross discourtesy to Watson. Surely it is normal to at least grant that the people with whom we disagree are talking in good faith. If you can’t do that, there really is no debate. And of course, in this context, it is doubly poisonous: a woman’s testimony about a sexual situation being dismissed as fabrication is an integral part of the problem of rape.

    I hope the discussion and the disagreement will be a bit more civil than that.

  87. #87 John C. Welch
    July 3, 2011

    Really SC? I have a “long history of blatant misogyny”? Oh DO share with us. Please. With proof and citations of course. Given my verbosity, you should have zero problems finding AMPLE evidence.

    I eagerly await your mountain of proof.

  88. #88 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    I honestly think that ERV and others questioning Watson’s honesty when she tells the story of the elevator incident is very nasty.
    Oh, unquestionably! I absolutely agree. I am trying to be nasty. I would rather Watson use me as a target than a random student, if she is running out of material for her speaking gigs. In other words, I want her to pick on someone her own size.

  89. #89 Peg
    July 3, 2011

    Phil,
    “…a woman’s testimony about a sexual situation being dismissed as fabrication is an integral part of the problem of rape”
    Again this situation is being compared to a rape. Which begs the question:
    If you were the target of all this hatred and being accused of being a potential rapist/acting “rapey” as part of the secular community at large, would you not chime in at some point over the period of a week and say
    “Hey,
    a) I apologize or
    B) that’s not what happened or
    c) I am not a rapist.
    Would you allow the entire community to erupt in flames over your actions and just sit back and watch what happens?
    There were a lot of people at the conference and the bar who have been commenting and yet no one has said, “Oh, THAT guy, yeah he was x”
    x= drunk, creepy, stalkery, rapey, 87, blonde, European, Charlie, gay, reading from a bible all night etc etc.

    “Surely it is normal to at least grant that the people with whom we disagree are talking in good faith”

    We don’t know who this guy is.
    We have not been given his view of the incident, and yet hundreds of comments who disagree with his actions refuse to take his words/actions in good faith.

    Watson did not do this with Stef, nor did she do it with the guy in the elevator. Should she be given a courtesy that she refuses to give to others?

  90. #90 Phil Hand
    July 3, 2011

    Peg,
    Thanks for replying calmly.
    I just posted this on another blog:
    “I think it’s important to note that Watson hasn’t actually said much about this guy. She hasn’t accused him of being a rapist or potential rapist. She hasn’t said she thinks what he did was terrible or nasty. She just said ” this makes me incredibly uncomfortable”, and advises other men not to do it. No-one was demonised, no-one was labeled. She experienced something which didn’t feel good to her, and she told us about it. Responsible men will say, Oh, OK, I’ll be careful not to make other women feel uncomfortable this way in future. Some others appear determined not to accept the reality of the situation.”

    I haven’t heard Watson’s talks, but she has not made any online comments about him directly. Her *only* comment (that I’ve seen) has been to say that she felt uncomfortable. Others have called him a creep or a freak; but that’s hardly Watson’s fault. She just talked about her own experience.

    I didn’t mean to imply anything about the situation when I mentioned rape. The problem that women face is much more general than rape: it is the problem of any sexual violence or coercion. And again, a large part of the problem is our willingness to imagine that a woman who says anything negative about a sexual situation is lying or attacking men. I this case, where Watson has made no allegations about the man at all, hasn’t labeled him, hasn’t speculated on his intentions, there is nothing to disbelieve. And that makes the attacks on her honesty by ERV (and you? I haven’t checked back over the thread) very nasty indeed.

    Is this what you want? A culture where a woman who makes any negative comment about a sexual situation is subject to doubts and attacks on her character? Because that’s what we’ve got, and you just seem to be adding to it.

    The podium/McGraw issue is a separate one, and we can argue that, too. But why this automatic jump to “she must be lying”? It’s so poisonous, and completely proves the point to me that feminism has a long way to go yet.

  91. #91 Phil Hand
    July 3, 2011

    NB. Clumsy wording there. I don’t speak for women, I don’t know all the problems women face. I’m told sexual violence is a major one.

  92. #92 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    Really SC? I have a “long history of blatant misogyny”?

    Those were separate: you / those commenters. As for you, I’ll let your comments on this thread stand on their own.

    Remember that time I defended YOU. Ironically against self-proclaimed, self-righteous ‘feminists’? No?

    Defended me? You mean when you joined in the laughter about Dr. Isis, using her stupidity about me as a club to slam another feminist?

    What about a few examples of when I stood by other women being attacked by self-proclaimed, self-righteous ‘feminists’ like yourself, linked to in this post that you were too self-righteous to actually read?

    Actually, I think that’s what you do a lot. You use these situations to bash feminists. There was no attack on McGraw by Watson. Watson made a video, McGraw cluelessly criticized it in a blog post, and Watson responded in a conference talk. It’s one of many platforms people have to air their views, and it doesn’t preclude anyone from responding via any number of means.

    Oh WHEN will I start standing with WOMEN! And of course, by ‘women’ I mean ‘women who have passed Salty Currents official test of real w00mynhood’, not like, actual women who exist.

    I don’t know when. Hopefully soon you’ll at least stop posting things like this:

    Other people are so much nicer than me.

    There is no excuse for what the accuser did, from any perspective. I would be plastering their pussy name and what they did everywhere, and fuck if I would refer to them as a ‘colleague’.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/05/bat_sex_is_not_protected_by_ac.php#comment-2515103

    That was in response to a petition from one party (the man) that misrepresented the facts, about which you knew very little. Evans didn’t show himself well on that thread, and in the course of it, it appears, took your “advice” and released internal documents including her name, a violation for which I believe he’ll be held accountable. (The court, by the way, upheld the harassment finding but quashed the original penalty, which was later reduced to counseling and one year of monitoring.)

    I’m done here. This is making me sad.

  93. #93 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    Yup! The time I defended you against Isis. Or the time I defended Isis from the PI attacking/degrading her online when she had the audacity to critique his work. Or the time I defended Jen against some random ‘feminist’ ass. Or the time I defended a fellow female PhD student from online harassment from HIV Deniers.

    And wait– you used an example of *me* taking one sides account of a series of events, which turned out to be incorrect, to defend you taking one sides account of a series of events, that may or may not be incorrect?

    Jesus Christ you are dumb.

    Im not saying that because youre female.

    Im saying that because youre dumb.

  94. #94 SC (Salty Current)
    July 3, 2011

    *whoosh*

    Sad.

  95. #95 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    WAIT!! WAIT guys! I think itll be okay! I just remembered Watson is bffs with Amanda Marcotte!!!! DUH! Oh Im sure Marcotte is all over IDing the ‘elevator guy’. Oh sweet– this will be cleared up any minute now. I actually bet thats what Marcotte and Watson have been doing all weekend!

    Good– thats one less bit of drama we need to worry about.

  96. #96 skeptifem
    July 3, 2011

    Yawn. Enjoy your fate as a gender traitor, erv. You’ll find out eventually, same as the rest of us, that its a game you can’t win. You’ll never really be one of the guys and you can never really overcome what being a woman in this culture means. The high fives and social approval you get from sexist jackasses won’t be worth it in the end.

  97. #97 ERV
    July 3, 2011

    OH NOOOOOOO!

    Does that mean we cant get mani-pedis and watch Oprah together anymore????

  98. #98 Robert S.
    July 3, 2011

    WTF Gender Traitor???? “Enjoy your fate”???

    I always thought the accusation of being a femnazi was strictly invented by asshole MRAs. Sorry, mind blown, waiting for new fuses. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that are assholes in every group.

    As this blog seems to be mostly sane, please, someone correct me if I get the background facts wrong

    RW was approached by a guy, who made her feel threatened. Some time later posts a video referencing how she felt.

    A speaker at the CFI conference said that the skeptical feminism movement wasn’t getting their message across.

    RW decided that the Q&A was inadequate to respond to that, and changes the topic of her talk.

    Some time during this she is told women are responding to her video in a way she wouldn’t like. She finds that some of them are student attendees at the conference, and starts getting mad.

    RW decided to publicly shame someone she KNEW was a student attendee, from the position of keynote speaker, and justified it by saying SMcG could have used the Q&A as a response.

    Queue shitstorm.

  99. #99 Doug
    July 3, 2011

    It’s a known fact that Rebecca is married. Therefore I’m lead to believe someone of the male persuasion made advances/flirted with her. If that’s the case then she’s a hypocrite. If it was the case he did the old Sparta marriage routine and kidnapped her and raped her then I take back my comment about hypocrisy; she’s just an old-fashioned gal who doesn’t like weak men who bother with consent.

  100. #100 Robert S.
    July 3, 2011

    @Doug:
    The Elevator Guy (lets call him EG for short) was at best being a jerk. EG != McGraw. McGraw’s comments that EG might be a non misogynist jerk does not mean EG = McGraw. RW stirred up a shitstorm over the way she went after McGraw, not that she stated that she felt threatened and cornered by a guy proposing she come back to his room.

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