In case you have not heard we are having an internet-wide discussion of … well, just click on all of the links below and read everything then you’ll know. I’ve included all the current links that I know of. If I’ve left something out, please put it in the comments and I’ll add it.

Meanwhile a group of survivors of sexual assault spearheaded by Stephanie Zvan and Bug Girl have put together a Letter to Richard Dawkins. You are welcome to sign on to the letter if appropriate.

The following links are in chronological order by day (but probably mixed up within day).

Comments

  1. #1 Markita Lynda: Healthcare is a damn right
    July 6, 2011

    The link to En Tequila Es Verdad doesn’t work; it’s missing the h in http. Try this: You do not know….

  2. #2 Equisetum
    July 6, 2011

    You missed the “h” in “http” in your last link.

    Thanks for the collection and your posts on this subject. I’ve been following this for days and, man, am I tired of saying to myself “Oh, fuck! Yet another guy who doesn’t get it.”

    As far as I can tell, every guy who doesn’t ‘get’ this issue doesn’t want to get it. That includes Richard Dawkins. I was surprised, (Shocked! I tell you!) that so many in the atheist/skeptics community are so unwilling to see why what happened to Rebecca Watson is a problem. But that’s just me. I figured most of those people are going to be liberal, and we all know that liberals are nice, intelligent, empathetic people. I’m just too naive, I guess.

  3. #3 Quietmarc
    July 6, 2011

    Thanks for this list. I was following the thread on ERV and some people had noticed few were posting all sides of the issue. I’ve read everything and still pretty much agree with you, PZ, etc, but at least one of the valid concerns (that one side isn’t linking to the whole debate) can be put conclusively to rest!

  4. #4 sailor
    July 6, 2011

    Greg I told you in a previous post I thought RD should apologize, but I was not holding my breath.
    The letter to Dawkins increases the chances he might come though significantly. I hope so, because he is one of the four horsemen and it would better if he were not a certifiable jerk.

  5. #5 Raiko
    July 6, 2011

    Aside from the sparked discussion of misogyny in the atheist movement, concerning Richard Dawkins, we should probably give him time to respond now. Of course we are not going to wait forever, but give the man a moment to realize the mistake and hopefully come to his senses.

    This isn’t that easily excusable, but we wouldn’t be the rational, thinking, progressive movement we wish to be if we didn’t understand people can be wrong and think better after some reflection. Provided, of course, they decide to reflect and come to a more sensible conclusion.

    I, for my part, think Richard Dawkins is capable of that, though I am aware that he might coldly disappoint us.

  6. #6 bks
    July 6, 2011

    How extraordinarily human! Dawkins is going to be censured for his honesty about the Watson brouhaha while his ridiculous gene-centric view of Life will continue to poison the advance of biology.

    Well, Hell hath no fury, etc.

    To a first approximation the science of culture is the science of sex, as an objective review of your access logs will prove, Greg. Don’t fear the data!

    –bks

  7. #8 Confused
    July 6, 2011

    Wait a minute – if Dawkins is a sexist idiot does that mean God exists after all?

  8. #9 marky barfy
    July 6, 2011

    Great post!

    So much of this controversy centers around a simple concept: Some men unwittingly exercise ‘privilege’ in ways that make some women uncomfortable.

    So then we argue for thousands of posts about;
    – women who are hypersensitive
    -

  9. #10 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    Considering the veritable shitstorm that has ensued, and EG probably reads blogs since he was at an skeptic conference, Why hasn’t he come forward to tell his side of the story?

  10. #11 Pierce R. Butler
    July 6, 2011

    Phyraxus @ # 10 – My guess: because he has the brains to be terminally embarrassed by his own drunken blunder, and would rather not be branded for life as a desperate sexual & social failure.

    Given that two different would-be Dawkins impersonators have already been flagged and banned from Pharyngula, I do find it surprising that no Elevator Stalker fakers have so far emerged.

  11. #12 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    “Phyraxus @ # 10 – My guess: because he has the brains to be terminally embarrassed by his own drunken blunder, and would rather not be branded for life as a desperate sexual & social failure.”

    But this is the internet, no one in real like would KNOW that.

    I think that the longer this controversy goes without him stepping forward makes his existence increasingly dubious.

  12. #13 Raging Bee
    July 6, 2011

    Phyraxus: so now you’re saying the entire elevator incident was made up?

  13. #14 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    That’s not exactly what I said, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Considering we are a skeptical community, we should be skeptical.

  14. #15 Stephanie Z
    July 6, 2011

    It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but neither is the idea that you’re Elevator Guy and are just trying to stir up doubt because you’re upset that Rebecca turned you down. Now, grow up.

  15. #16 Raging Bee
    July 6, 2011

    Well, I WOULD be skeptical, if the story had not already been supported by multiple sources, and not credibly disputed by anyone. Are you disputing the story? Do you have reason to believe the woman was making up the entire incident? Got a motive in mind?

  16. #17 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    Oh damn, you got me. I’m elevator guy and I’m TROLOLOLing you. Your logic is irrefutable and isn’t an emotional appeal or ad hominem at all.

  17. #18 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    My previous comment was directed at stephanie z.

    Raging bee, can you link the multiple sources? So far, I’ve only seen the one source (i.e. RW).

  18. #19 Raging Bee
    July 6, 2011

    You ask for multiple links…on a thread that starts with multiple links? If you’re not Elevator Guy, you’re at least as clueless as he was.

    Why don’t YOU give us even ONE link that credibly disputes the original recounting of the incident? LOTS of people have been arguing about lots of things here, but you’re the only one kinda sorta maybe trying to insinuate that the actual events might be in dispute; and your only “evidence” is EG’s failure to participate in this blog. As a skeptic, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’m skeptical of your dodgy insinuation.

  19. #20 marky barfy
    July 6, 2011

    Sorry – finger malfunction

    So then we argue for thousands of posts about;
    – women who are hypersensitive
    – men who don’t know what ‘privilege’ means
    – ‘feminists’ and what that entails
    – jerks

    Please let me deconstruct the simple premise of ‘privilege’ because THAT is at the center of the controversy.

    If ‘privilege’ is a concept of power and/or status often granted through no effort on the part of the privileged, e.g. middle-aged white American male, then to what responsibility does the privileged owe in her/his social interactions?

    Before I attempt an answer to that, let’s face a social reality: the current whipping boy of the ‘under-privileged’ is the middle-aged white American male. Keith Olberman has no problem loudly denouncing glass ceilings/pay disparities/etc and Fox News has made a whole network out of playing the victim to that prejudice.

    Social realities count. We are social animals, and as can be clearly inferred by all the posts, the undergirding of the animus on BOTH sides stems from a very human and emotional response to the privilege of the male, in general, and at the top of the privilege heap – the middle-aged white American male.

    I bet, by this point, those of you well versed in privilege think that I don’t understand privilege. You want to object and say that all humans have privilege of some type and to some varying degrees. You want to tell me that we all – men and women – have a responsibility to have a working knowledge of their own privilege, so that they can avoid an inappropriate or harmful exercise of that privilege over those with less power. You also want to tell me that privilege, taken alone, is not good or bad.

    OK, I think I’ve got privilege down.

    What I also think is that you aren’t appropriately applying the principles of privilege.

    I’ll use myself as an example. If you met and talked to me, asked my background, etc, you would stereotype me as a middle-aged white American male. And you would be wrong. Way off. Big Time.

    I am middle-aged. I am not white – whatever the fuck that means to you. I became an American the day my son was born. My gender is male.

    So, now you’re confused. It seems, that other than my claim not to be white, that I fit on every other marker. So, I’m playing games with semantics?

    Hell, no. No games.

    The labels ascribed to me can only be accurate if they are accepted by me. This is privilege. The privilege to self-identify. I own my own labels. You have no privilege to assign labels to me. THAT would be an unjustified exercise of power on your part.

    Get it. It doesn’t matter what you want to call me. I get the choice to accept it or reject it.

    So, now you argue that we all have to live in the real world, and the real world, including you will assign privilege to me according to appearance/wealth/whatever whether I want it or not.

    I agree completely. We are social animals.

    So, finally to answer the question above: What responsibility does the privileged owe in her/his social interaction?
    1.) An acknowledgment of her/his assigned privilege.

    Hence, it is appropriate for a man to cross a street giving way to the concerns of a woman. And not to ask a woman in an elevator – of no previous social interaction – back to your room.

    2.) An acknowledgment that assigning privilege to people is crass stereotyping, especially in the arguably necessary case of Schroedinger’s rapist, and as such is, in itself an exercise of privilege that may be inappropriate.

    To finish, please stop using the middle-class white American male as the be-all and end-all of an example of privilege. I know we are social animals, and like to develop hierarchies, but this is as trite as using the Nazi’s as the ultimate example of human evil.

  20. #21 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    “if the story had not already been supported by multiple sources”

    I’m sorry, there seems to be some sort of misunderstanding.

    I didn’t ask for sources as in blogs to talk about stuff. I asked for sources as in some corroborating evidence. You know? Like the specific blog EG may have come forward in or, a blog of someone else who was there at the time and could say, “Yeah, I saw some guy go into the elevator with RW that night.” at the very least.

    It’s good that you are skeptical of me, but why bother blindly accepting the words of one person over another without any evidence for either position? Because at this point, it seems like we are simply taking RW word on it (I’m not trying to imply that she is untrustworthy either). I just want what any good skeptic would want, evidence.

    Asking me for proof of something that never happened (if it didn’t) is much like proving a negative (i.e. impossible).

  21. #22 Pierce R. Butler
    July 6, 2011

    Phyraxus @ # 12: … this is the internet, no one in real like would KNOW that.

    Unless ElevatoRomeo has the requisite mad skillz to spoof IP addresses and suchlike, he should feel no more confident in his ability to “speak out” anonymously than, say, Wally “Tom Johnson” Smith.

    And don’t try to convince us that you‘re the Dublin Elevator Stalker – we can tell you’re really Dominique Strauss-Kahn!

  22. #23 Stephanie Z
    July 6, 2011

    Nah, Phyraxus, it’s totally you. Now that you’ve *finally* joined the conversation, I’ve just got to ask. Why did you pull such a dick move?

  23. #24 Phyraxus
    July 6, 2011

    “And don’t try to convince us that you’re the Dublin Elevator Stalker – we can tell you’re really Dominique Strauss-Kahn!”

    Oh, well that’s called sarcasm. And Who? Oh, I see now you are accusing me of being a rapist. Nice…

    Spoofing IP addresses really isn’t that hard after a quick google search really, unless that is the requisite “mad skillz” you are talking about.

  24. #25 Jason Thibeault
    July 6, 2011

    Phyraxus: Why exactly would you demand empirical evidence (or eyewitness testimony) for something you yourself know you did, especially when you did it in such a way as to avoid any evidence or eyewitnesses?

    Trolololol.

  25. #26 Pierce R. Butler
    July 6, 2011

    “Phyraxus” @ # 24: And Who?

    Someone with an incentive to cast doubt on accusers’ accounts of he-said/she-said stories. “We should be skeptical.”

    Got any answers for Stephanie Z @ # 23 yet?

    An online search for “Rebecca Watson elevator Dublin 2011″ turns up a whole slew of further links that might be added to the O.P. The ones I looked at didn’t add anything useful to the discussion, alas…

  26. #27 Misaki
    July 6, 2011

    — I might as well paste this here as well.

    “Hi everyone, I found out what the problem is!

    This is a conflict between people who think that atheist and skeptic organizations are ways to meet new friends and interesting people, and people who think that the purpose is to improve the world by fixing problems.

    The former now dislike Richard Dawkins. The latter think that the former are stupid, and accordingly they should read http://pastebin.com/Q86Zhgs9 on how to address that stupidity in a very roundabout way.

    To clarify, the first type of person wants to eliminate poor behavior by males who attend atheist and skeptic conferences. The latter type of person puts priority on problems that affect the entire world, not just the social environment of a particular movement.”

    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
    http://wikileaks.org/id/92C2418B-423D-4561-53D7A158D5B5C640/

  27. #28 Misaki
    July 6, 2011

    — I might as well paste this here as well.

    “Hi everyone, I found out what the problem is!

    This is a conflict between people who think that atheist and skeptic organizations are ways to meet new friends and interesting people, and people who think that the purpose is to improve the world by fixing problems.

    The former now dislike Richard Dawkins. The latter think that the former are stupid, and accordingly they should read http://pastebin.com/Q86Zhgs9 on how to address that stupidity in a very roundabout way.

    To clarify, the first type of person wants to eliminate poor behavior by males who attend atheist and skeptic conferences. The latter type of person puts priority on problems that affect the entire world, not just the social environment of a particular movement.”

    http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/
    http://wikileaks.org/id/92C2418B-423D-4561-53D7A158D5B5C640/

  28. #29 Misaki
    July 6, 2011

    Ohh and for anyone interested in the extreme results of the feminist movement and controversies such as this one, look up “soushokukei” on google ^^

    “Many of the boys I’ve met told me they cannot go out of their house if their hair doesn’t look perfect,” she said. “They have also told me that their self-esteem goes up when their nails look nice.” …

    Apparently these herbivores do not want to reproduce because they are “too physically tired to have sex, let alone start a family.” Supposedly, they are substituting sex with women with internet porn and “do-it-yourself” gadgets! A supporting quant stat is that condom shipments have been falling since 1999, the start of the internet revolution.

    Be careful what you wish for! ^.^

  29. #30 SallyStrange
    July 6, 2011

    Skeptical of what precisely? And for what reasons?

    Possible answers:

    1. Skeptical of RW’s claim that a man hit on her in the elevator. She just made the whole thing up, because bitches be lyin’.

    2. Skeptical of RW’s claim that it was truly creepy. When she says, “creepy,” she really just meant, “unattractive,” because if Brad Pitt had followed her into an elevator and cold-propositioned her, she would have gone right back to his room and fucked his brains out, because bitches be lyin’.

    3. Skeptical of RW’s claim that this sort of behavior makes her uncomfortable, she just made that part up, she loves being propositioned at 4 AM, and was just lying during all that speechifying she was doing because bitches be lyin’.

    Am I close, Phyraxus?

  30. #31 Greg Laden
    July 6, 2011

    Phyraxus, I’m reasonably certain that the knowledge that this was Dawkins is not based on some guess from IP addresses.

  31. #32 LadyAtheist
    July 6, 2011

    I couldn’t resist weighing in: http://ladyatheist.blogspot.com/

    My qualifications: being female, taking krav maga, living in big cities for about 15 years. (I took krav maga because of being a female living in a big city, of course)

  32. Well,one woman’s complaint against a guy on an elevator sure is an effective smokescreen against discussing two headed depleted uranium babies in Iraq,and keep the kids talking, isn’t it?

    She should have immediately called the hotel concierge and filed a rape claim.That would get way more attention than a two headed depleted uranium baby.

    Ahhh, the pleasant old sound of white female privilege and whining females for rape awareness…

  33. #34 Raging Bee
    July 6, 2011

    It’s good that you are skeptical of me, but why bother blindly accepting the words of one person over another without any evidence for either position?

    I’m not accepting the words of ONE person, I’m accepting the apparent consensus of SHITLOADS of people participating in this argument over multiple threads, with NONE of them disputing the original facts of the incident as originally stated. Of all those people, who seem to disagree with each other on everything BUT the facts of the original incident, you, Phyraxus, are the only one even vaguely insinuating that there might be a dispute; and you’re not even offering an alternative set of allegations, let alone proof or corroboration of anything. In fact, you’re not even telling us who the fuck you are, or to what degree, if any, you were present or participating in the convention. So basically, it’s shitloads of people against one here.

    Ohh and for anyone interested in the extreme results of the feminist movement and controversies such as this one, look up “soushokukei” on google…

    After reading that bit of irrelevant nonsense (HOW MANY males have really been so emasculated as your article alleges?), I’m not inclined to bother with Misaki’s comments.

  34. #35 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “Phyraxus, I’m reasonably certain that the knowledge that this was Dawkins is not based on some guess from IP addresses.”

    What? I wasn’t disputing that Dawkins was actually Dawkins.

    I was saying that spoofing an IP address wasn’t hard, so EG could go on some skeptic blog and give his side of the story without disclosing his identity.

    As for those trolling me, I’m not going to bother responding to such bullshit. I’m not EG, get over it.

    To sally, I’ll take door number one.

    To Bee,

    “I’m not accepting the words of ONE person, I’m accepting the apparent consensus of SHITLOADS of people participating in this argument over multiple threads, with NONE of them disputing the original facts of the incident as originally stated.”

    To me, there is a difference between disputing a claim, and corroborating a claim. I seek the latter. The absence of dispute doesn’t suggest that the event actually took place nor does it provide a consensus (i.e. the lack of a negative does not a positive make), but corroboration clearly does, albeit to a certain extent. But given the “facts” of the story, it can’t be helped that someone wasn’t in the elevator with them to prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt (even conspiracy is still possible, but the word of another makes doubt less reasonable). But apparently, she has just left a group of people for the night, I would think at least one person might be able to say that EG followed behind shortly after she left.

    “HOW MANY males have really been so emasculated as your article alleges?”

    As an aside, somehow sexism against men is all well and good? I thought feminism was about equality.

  35. #36 bks
    July 7, 2011

    Medieval sex
    …Females could marry – legally, with or without parental consent – when they reached their twelfth birthday. The age for males was fourteen. Even before she had reached her teens, a girl knew that unless she married before she was 21, society would consider her useless, hence the yearning of female adolescence for the altar. Getting pregnant was one way to reach it. On Sundays, under watchful parental eyes, girls would dress modestly and be demure in church, but on weekdays they opened their blouses, hiked their skirts, and romped through the fields in pursuit of phalli. Another five centuries would pass before young women would so open in their pursuit of sex. (W. Manchester)

    Once the man was properly secured, they had a lot of fun in bed, thanks to the medical consensus of the day:

    …medieval writes accepted the Galenic theory that both a male and a female seed were required for conception. They believed that there was some sort of female sperm which gave pleasure in its emission, and had some influence on conception and the development of the fetus. This view worked to the benefit of married woman’s sexual pleasure, since men believed that to conceive their wives had to reach orgasm.

    BTW, being caught did not mean marriage… well, there was a caveat –

    …A common punishment for fornication [sex between unmarried partners] was ‘abjuratoio sub pena nubendi’, forswearing on pain of marriage: a couple who fornicated were were made to repeat marriage vows in the future tense. Under canon law, such vows, when followed by sexual intercourse, constituted valid and indissoluble marriage. Thus, if the fornicators were to repeat their offence, they would automatically be married. (RM Karras)

    It is interesting how puritanical and libertine attitudes go in circles, chasing each other. Few people realize that tomorrow is going to be VERY different from today or that the bicycles have been invented many times over.

    http://shkrobius.livejournal.com/318556.html

    HTH,
    –bks

  36. #37 utopia27
    July 7, 2011

    wow. just wow.

    apocolyptic indeed. seems like everyone should take a moment out of intensely caring about privilege to contemplate the privilege that permits them the luxury to deconstruct and analyse this incident to dust.

    And my goodness – sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  37. #38 StevoR
    July 7, 2011

    Linked on facebook. Crying.

  38. #39 StevoR
    July 7, 2011

    After reading the open letter to Dawkins from sexual assualt survivors – and the comments there.

    In this day and age to have such an astonishingly explosive and largely hosile recation to an individual just saying :

    “Word to the wise, guys, don’t do that. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable.”

    Wow. So much fuss over Rebecca Watson saying that.

    Don’t hit on women (anyone really) in a hotel elevator at 4 am when they have already made it clear they are tired and don’t want to be hit on and sexualised? Can *that* really be controversial? Is that a mean “feminazi” man-hating thing to say? There are people who really don’t get that?

    That baffles me. I’m not the brightest or most sociable people and that seems like the most basic bit of common sense and basic decency. I am disgusted at Dawkins comments. How can he and so many others NOT get it?

  39. #40 bibliovore
    July 7, 2011

    The link for “06-20 About Mythbusters …” doesn’t work because it has a close-bracket “]” at the end.

  40. #41 StevoR
    July 7, 2011

    To clarify # 34 :

    Linked [the open letter to Dawkins] on facebook. Crying.

    A woman says simply and calmly :

    “Guys, don’t do that. It makes me uncomfortable.”

    And all this gargantuan, colossal, oversized sturm und drang flaming fury erupts? In the 2011 and the Western world?

    How very depressing and how far we haven’t come despite maybe, once, thinking we have.

    And I am a bloke and only a mild feminist. What the women who have worked all their lives on making society a better more equal place where neither men nor women are oppressed and where a woman is allowed to say, “hey, this concewrns me, here’s why, don’t do it, please” and be heard and respected make of this, I hate to think.

  41. #42 sigh
    July 7, 2011

    What I learned from these blog posts…

    Scratch that. What I already knew and had reinforced by these blog posts is that sexism is perfectly OK if it targets men. Rebecca’s words are not disagreeable in the least. It’s people like Greg and Phil who chime in with whiteknighting and obvious bigotry against men that stings. Comments continue to reassure that it’s alright to assume all men are rapists. Worse, that men should bow down to insecurity stemming from bigotry and be considerate of it.

    All I can feel is utter melancholy.

  42. #43 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Yes, sigh.

    Greg’s argument that perhaps men should cross the street or wait for the next elevator just because we might make women uncomfortable screams of sexism. Much like blacks used to sit at the back of the bus because they made whites uncomfortable screams of racism. Then they hear the racism argument and simply declare by fiat that they aren’t comparable and that we should be more sensitive to women needs. I just imagine racists saying that blacks should be sensitive to the needs of whites… Oh wait, that’s why its not comparable, because their argument wasn’t in the name of progressivism. But since the rapist argument of all men is, it is A-OK and we should feel free to kick men to the back of the bus. I mean, why not, they had their time. amirite, ladies?

  43. #44 Peter
    July 7, 2011

    Skeptical of what precisely? And for what reasons?

    Possible answers:

    1. Skeptical of RW’s claim that a man hit on her in the elevator. She just made the whole thing up, because bitches be lyin’.

    2. Skeptical of RW’s claim that it was truly creepy. When she says, “creepy,” she really just meant, “unattractive,” because if Brad Pitt had followed her into an elevator and cold-propositioned her, she would have gone right back to his room and fucked his brains out, because bitches be lyin’.

    3. Skeptical of RW’s claim that this sort of behavior makes her uncomfortable, she just made that part up, she loves being propositioned at 4 AM, and was just lying during all that speechifying she was doing because bitches be lyin’.

    Am I close, Phyraxus?

    4. Sceptical because RW is dishonest (her attack on Stef is a form of dishonesty).

    5. Sceptical because it’s a single source that has not been verified by anyone else. AND WE’RE SCEPTICS.

    Nice false dichotomy though, reminds me of Lord, Lunatic, or Liar.

    Bigot.

  44. #45 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    5. Sceptical because it’s a single source that has not been verified by anyone else. AND WE’RE SCEPTICS.

    I had a previous comment explaining what I thought of this issue, but it seems to have not passed the filter (whatever that may be).

    Yes, her lying just might not be outside the realm of possibility. I think this entire fiasco would be quite ironic if it was a lie and the skeptic community just sucked it in hook, line, and sinker.

    And again, how is telling men to cross the street to prevent injury to someone else’s sensibilities different than telling blacks to sit at the back of the bus to prevent injury to someone else’s sensibilities?

    I have yet to find a cogent argument as to why that is. I’ve found nothing but ad hominems and hysteria.

    As for the lord, lunatic, or liar argument. I think its obvious that jesus wasn’t lord, so I’m not really sure how that’s supposed to be an argument FOR jesus and how that relates to my argument.

  45. #46 StevoR
    July 7, 2011

    @37. Sigh :

    Comments continue to reassure that it’s alright to assume all men are rapists.

    NOT true.

    Some men – NOT all but *some*are rapists.

    Women *do* have legitimate reasons to fear that in certain specific (& predictable) contexts – such as hotel lift at 4 am when they’ve been cornered by someone who has clearly ignored what they’ve said before – there is a risk (which can be higher or lower depending on specific context but *a* risk) that they could be raped.

    That’s the reality. We can hate it and work tochange it that is how it is and what many women have told us and will keep telling us if we actually listen to them. Read the open letter to Dawkins and its commenst and signatories.

    Therefore if someone wants to behave like a decent, considerate person rather than being a selfish, rude, jerk they will do what they can to lessen that fear.

    NO one is suggesting that men be oppressed. NO one is saying they have to sit at the back of the buses. This is NOT about that.

    This is about women and how they are treated. About having the basic courtesy, empathy and regard to listen to what women say and respect them – and to then think abit more and behave a bit more considerately.

    To make women’s lives less full of fear of being violated rather than more.

    Its also about the mostly male atheist community generally not creaming its pants whenever a woman walks into the room and ignoring her when she says “Don’t hit on me, don’t sexualise me, listen to and respect me.” And that too many atheist convention goers who doing those former two things and not those latter two make atheist conventions and the atheist community generally unwelcoming and hostile to women.

    Ye-non-existent gods! Is this really so terribly hard for you to fathom? What part of the above do you NOT understand?

  46. #47 Peter
    July 7, 2011

    Well, so-called “Phyraxus”, it bloody well relates to your argument, by … er, no, I just quoted badly.

    Everything that SallyStrange @ 30 didn’t write was supposed to be a reply to her, everything from 4. onwards.

  47. #48 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    We understand that plenty. Women have a biological imperative to fear men. There is no denying it.

    The fact that RD’s words are taken out of context from the inflammatory content of PZ’s blog makes it a lot worse than it seems. Because sending men to the back of the bus and accusing ALL people that DISAGREED with their assessment of the RW elevatorgate as sexist misogynists is exactly what they espoused. SO yes, RD was fucking pissed and rightfully so and was using an example of how they blew that shit WAY out of proportion and that they were demeaning ACTUAL rape victims by crying rape in this instance. And SOMEHOW, his example supports the rape of women? WTF? Are you fucking serious?

    I have a biological imperative to fear women because some women might be money-grubbing bitches. Does that mean I’m going to treat ALL women as money-grubbing bitches? O Wait, NVM, I mean POTENTIAL money-grubbing bitches. As if that some makes this argument acceptable…

    Such fucking bullshit and lack of critical thought displayed by the skeptic community makes me ashamed of being a skeptic.

  48. #49 Peter
    July 7, 2011

    Exactly, someone being a potential rapist justifies how you feel about someone, and justifies checking for exits, and justifies lots of things. You can’t make demands of the potential rapist though, they haven’t actually done anything wrong, and chances are, they won’t.

    I’ve been mugged by a bloke in a tracksuit, where I live, I have a high chance of being mugged, almost all muggers are guys wearing tracksuits. Whenever I see a guy, or a group of guys wearing tracksuits, I risk assess, whether or not I should cross the street, whether I should take a different street, whether I should turn back or if that would show weakness. I don’t do this alone, women, men, teenagers all do it. It’s biological, but not just biological, there are lots of cues to look for, sometimes I may make the decision to go a different way.

    We might even be grateful for them crossing the road, but we don’t expect it, we have no right to it, because we have a right to be comfortable, and a right to be safe, but only when that doesn’t impinge on some innocent and impact their innocent behaviour.

    I wouldn’t want a burly guy to feel he has to cross the road because of fashion or gender, nor would I demand it, nor would I accuse him of bigotry for doing so. I understand your argument, StevoR, and I reject it.

  49. #50 Jim
    July 7, 2011

    Peter (44), I could not have put it better myself. Thanks.

    Much as we would all wish the world to revolve around our own preferences and fears, rational or not, it doesn’t, and we have to live together in society without unduly impinging on the rights of others.

  50. #51 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    And the rapists support group is out in full force again this morning, crying about how awful it is that guys might be asked to *voluntarily* do something to reduce women’s stress levels. What’s the matter, boys, is this making it harder to find places to hide among the good guys in the skeptic community? Feel free to leave like Elevator Guy (now calling himself Phyraxus).

  51. #52 Raging Bee
    July 7, 2011

    The absence of dispute doesn’t suggest that the event actually took place nor does it provide a consensus…

    Actually, the absence of dispute does indeed strongly imply that no one has REASON to question the original account, which in turn strongly implies that the original account is correct. Also, your apparent inability to even make a specific alternative allegation, let alone back it up, strongly implies you’re talking out of your ass. Do you have anything factual to contribute here, or do you not? Put up or shut up.

  52. #53 Pierce R. Butler
    July 7, 2011

    After reading the majority of threads in the link farm above, and some not included therein, I strain my mind in vain to recall any case in which someone starting out with a semi-reasonable comment about Elevator Idiot’s possible innocence, if he or she continues to speak out, does not degenerate into openly sexist whining.

    There oughta be a Somebody’s Law – but I’m not going to try stating it in formal terms, due to the risk of having my name attached to it and thus linked to these loathsome losers.

  53. #54 Keir Liddle
    July 7, 2011

    How about adding this to the list:

    http://www.thetwentyfirstfloor.com/?p=2485

    ?

  54. #55 mad the swine
    July 7, 2011

    Goddamnit, people.

    Do you want the ‘organized’ skeptic/atheist movement to be the new He Man Woman Haters’ Boy’s Club? Do you want Conservapedia to be right about atheists and gender? No? Then, when women at skeptic conferences tell you that certain behaviors make them uncomfortable, don’t tell them that they have no right to feel uncomfortable.

    Christ.

    Look, the skeptical movement, as a movement, really has two choices here. It can support Rebecca Watson, and, as a result, alienate a great many of its male supporters (and I say a great many because of the massive volume of criticism). Or it can censure Watson and alienate most women.

    If this was a marketing decision, I’d go with censuring Watson. Atheist activism trends masculine, since atheism is an unpopular belief system, and (by and large) women are socialized not to express unpopular opinions. By supporting Watson, the movement alienates much of its core constituency in order to appeal to a demographic that it has been historically unable to successfully recruit.

    But this is not a marketing decision. It’s a moral decision. And with that, the question becomes: are we in favor of genuine human equality, or do we just want atheism and skepticism to be respected, while keeping the rest of the hierarchy in place? Your call.

  55. #56 Greg Laden
    July 7, 2011

    But Mad, don’t you understand? IF SKEPTICISM WAS TRUE THAN EQUAL-ALITY WOULD JUST HAPPENZZ!!11!!

  56. #57 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Thanks, mad. That was lovely.

  57. #58 Greg Laden
    July 7, 2011

    Oh, and IF YOU JUST STOP BEELEEVING IN GOD SOCIETY WILL BECOME JUST FINE ALL BY ITSELSVLSE!!!!!

  58. #59 Raging Bee
    July 7, 2011

    It can support Rebecca Watson, and, as a result, alienate a great many of its male supporters (and I say a great many because of the massive volume of criticism).

    That’s not likely to happen: I’m sure most male atheists are, at the very least, mature enough to understand that women get creeped out by certain actions, and that’s a fact of life they have to live with. If any men really leave the movement over this, they’re not the kind of men the movement needs.

    (Besides, the prevalence of a certain group on a Web site cannot be taken as proof of their prevalence in the real world. Also, I’m not an atheist, so we can’t presume that everyone who posts here is an atheist, let alone an active part of the movement.)

    Or it can censure Watson and alienate most women.

    This, however, is a real danger, especially now, when a) women are starting to be more of a presence in the atheist movement; and b) atheist men are starting to understand that their movement really does need to attract women — and practice what it preaches — in order to keep on growing and becoming relevant. Dawkins’ statements on this matter are so counterproductive to the atheist movement that I can’t help thinking he’s being manipulated by our enemies to say things that serve their cause, not ours.

  59. #60 Pierce R. Butler
    July 7, 2011

    Raging Bee @ # 59: Dawkins’ statements on this matter are so counterproductive to the atheist movement that I can’t help thinking he’s being manipulated by our enemies to say things that serve their cause, not ours.

    Rumor has it that Richard Dawkins has only two degrees of separation, at most, from the Daleks…

  60. #61 Greg Laden
    July 7, 2011

    Raging Bee: I’m sure most male atheists are, at the very least, mature enough to understand that women get creeped out by certain actions, and that’s a fact of life they have to live with.

    And, there is an important refinement: One must give broad latitude to others in making that decision for themselves. At this point I think I may have lost a couple of friends because they think (as women) that since they would not feel uncomfortable in that elevator that therefore anyone else who does is making something out of nothing. People get very touchy about that, but really have no right to .

  61. #62 Ruth
    July 7, 2011

    This is how I’ve often felt as a woman in science.

    Zorba the Greek

  62. #63 ophelia.benson
    July 7, 2011

    Great comment, mad.

  63. #64 Aratina Cage
    July 7, 2011

    Your tackling of this whole thing has been really awesome, Greg! Here is another really well written op-ed about it by John Rennie: http://blogs.plos.org/retort/2011/07/07/the-inhuman-response-to-rebecca-watson/

  64. #65 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    We understand that plenty. Women have a biological imperative to fear men. There is no denying it.

    Goddamn you are a stupid motherfucker.

    Apart from the fact that the average man is slightly larger and stronger than the average woman, this has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with culture.

    I know that if I could count on the justice system to bring a rapist to justice, then I would be a lot more relaxed about interacting with strange men.

    Your analogy between asking men to have situational awareness because women’s feelings and requests are worth listening to with asking black people to sit on the back of the bus because racist white people’s feelings and requests are worth listening to is another obviously stupid thing.

    A better analogy would be between asking whites to avoid wearing clothing with a “KKK” label on it, even though “KKK” merely refers to their favorite diner back home, the Kountry Korner Kitchen, and they know they’re not racist, so blacks should just deal with it and give whites the benefit of the doubt. And if a black person gets nervous in an elevator alone with a white guy with a KKK t-shirt on, wondering if the guy’s suddenly going to beat him up, why, that’s really unfair of that black guy because how DARE he just ASSUME that that dude is racist!

    Given that you are so supremely stupid, and as Raging Bee noted, you’ve failed to offer a compelling alternative explanation for RW’s account of the events, I feel fine in continuing to dismiss your pathetic attempts at swaying the conversation away from taking RW’s word as true.

  65. #66 Greg Laden
    July 7, 2011

    Sally, love the name upgrade!

  66. #67 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “Apart from the fact that the average man is slightly larger and stronger than the average woman, this has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with culture.”

    Yes, because our culture is progressivist (I refer to the skeptical movement), you and your kin don’t feel bad about asking men to the back of the bus or cross the street. Even though for all intents and purposes he is INNOCENT. Guilty until proven innocent much?

    Angry about rapists being set free? Reform the justice system (I agree). However, I find it odd that you wouldn’t mind strange men as much if they were convicted of the raped they committed against you. As though, the rape itself isn’t so bad, as long as they get caught.

    You say the analogy is OBVIOUSLY stupid. Please, give me a coherent argument as to WHY that is? Your counter analogy doesn’t translate, because it isn’t the white man’s very presence that troubles the black man, it is his shirt. Whereas, males very presence troubles females, and some of you are more than asking for us to change our behavior.

    “We might even be grateful for them crossing the road, but we don’t expect it, we have no right to it, because we have a right to be comfortable, and a right to be safe, but only when that doesn’t impinge on some innocent and impact their innocent behaviour.”

    ^^THIS peter

    “Actually, the absence of dispute does indeed strongly imply that no one has REASON to question the original account, which in turn strongly implies that the original account is correct.”

    I cannot personally refute RW story because I wasn’t there. Nor do I have any evidence to refute it. If someone could point me in the right direct to ANY evidence FOR or AGAINST her case, that would be mighty kind. But I disagree with your statement Bee, but perhaps some skeptics are better skeptics than others. I don’t blindly follow ANYONE. If I wanted to be a sheep, I would have been religious.

    To me, this is not about censuring RW nor belittling her experiences. If feminism is about equality for both sexes, don’t tell ALL men that they are POTENTIAL rapists. Or that we have a “rape switch” as though we are only animals and don’t have the presence of mind not to commit such atrocities. You are not only alienating bad men, but GOOD men.

    Notice how I have yet to resort to any name calling? Something that you hard line feminists are so readily capable of doing to anyone who simply DISAGREES with you.

  67. #68 Raging Bee
    July 7, 2011

    I cannot personally refute RW story because I wasn’t there. Nor do I have any evidence to refute it.

    So why the fuck did you try to insinuate that the story might be false, you moron?

    I gotta echo Sally’s comment here: Goddamn you are a stupid motherfucker.

    Notice how I have yet to resort to any name calling?

    Notice how you have yet to say anything honest or relevant, and can only brag about not calling anyone any names? Sorry, dumbshit, but the insinuations you’ve made, and then weaseled out of, are no better than name-calling.

  68. #69 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Way to address the bulk of my argument you dumb stupid motherfucker. Fuck you and your horse

  69. #70 Misaki
    July 7, 2011

    @ Raging Bee

    After reading that bit of irrelevant nonsense (HOW MANY males have really been so emasculated as your article alleges?), I’m not inclined to bother with Misaki’s comments.

    About 45%.

    So yes, it is possible for the feminist movement to succeed! Keep trying everyone!

  70. #71 Raging Bee
    July 7, 2011

    Misaki: care to back up your (totally irrelevant) assertion with a link that isn’t gibberish?

  71. #72 SallyStrange
    July 7, 2011

    Angry about rapists being set free? Reform the justice system (I agree). However, I find it odd that you wouldn’t mind strange men as much if they were convicted of the raped they committed against you. As though, the rape itself isn’t so bad, as long as they get caught.

    You don’t understand. Unsurprising, since you are about as dense as a singularity.

    I wouldn’t worry so much about rapists if our justice system did anything to aggressively prosecute and convict rapists because I would be assured that instead of being blamed for failing to take enough precautions (precautions which include “never take an elevator with a single man late at night,” this has been pointed out over and over again but of course your rampant stupidity prevented you from absorbing that information), I would be taken seriously and treated with respect and dignity by medical professionals and law enforcement. As it is, being raped means you not only have to deal with the trauma of being raped, you also now have a high risk of being re-traumatized by cops, nurses, doctors, the media, and anyone else involved in the process of reporting, investigating, and prosecuting a rape case. That means that when considering whether it’s worth it to take the risk of going off alone with a man I just met, I have to take into account that I will be violated not only by him, but also by the people who allegedly supposed to help me.

    It’s rather similar to a black man walking down the sidewalk in Jim Crow era Georgia, seeing a white man walking towards him, and wondering not only whether he should get off the sidewalk to avoid being violently assaulted, but IF he is violently assaulted, how many more further indignities he would have to endure at the hands of a racist police force and criminal justice system, supposing he chose to report that he was violently assaulted just for being black.

    I’m doing this since you really seem hung up on the whole “white men are oppressed by women’s requests to be treated as equals in the same way that black people are oppresed by white people’s demands (enforced with violence) to be treated as superiors” thing. It really is incredibly dimwitted. I feel sorry for you that you don’t see that.

    @ Greg – thanks!

  72. #73 SallyStrange
    July 7, 2011

    Also, I AM working to reform the justice system, so fuck you very much. What have YOU done lately to combat the problem of rape? Anything besides try to convince women to STFU about it all because anything else is too oppressive to the poor, poor menz?

  73. #74 suferable
    July 7, 2011

    Wow, I’ve been following this thread for awhile now and I can’t believe what this whole discussion has descended into. The thing that depresses me the most about this is I saw the the atheist conference posts from Dublin that AronRa had uploaded onto his Youtube channel. There was Richard Dawkins sitting right next to Rebecca Watson during a panel discussion, she remarked what a fan she was of Mr Dawkins and how she had used some of his quotes as ringtones on her cellphone. The later comment that Dawkins made on PZ Myers blog about the “elevator incident” seemed weirdly dismissive and hurtful towards someone who earlier said she liked him and was a fan of his. I’m also amazed by the reactions to what I originally saw as a relatively minor throwaway complaint in RW’s video about her experiences at the conference. This seemingly minor criticism seems to have touched a nerve with a lot of people and makes me believe that sexism is alive and well in our apparent enlightened society. Oh my God! A woman finds a man hitting on her in an elevator to be creepy! She must be lying to get attention, she hates sex, she hates men, she’s a feminazi, she doesn’t care about women being abused in other countries, she wants to destroy the reputation of other women by accusing them of being misogynists! After reviewing the many links, this is all seems to me to be a pretty gigantic departure from what she has really said and done. It all seems to have just become a springboard for other people’s (Mostly antifeminist) agendas. Apparently if a woman says something negative about a man (one man not ALL men), it’s a threat to society as we know it. I’ve had similar incidents happen to me and you know what? I found them creepy and I didn’t like them. Go figure.

  74. #75 Misaki
    July 7, 2011

    @ Raging Bee

    Misaki: care to back up your (totally irrelevant) assertion with a link that isn’t gibberish?

    Here, I’ll do the hard work for you. Translation:

    Herbivorous (K Zhuang) is a term coined to represent the type of human being used to refer to people who are thought to have fits in behavior and personality is what is the image as a herbivore common that.

    Generation Z (Generation Z), called the Internet, according to a survey aimed at people born from 1985 to 1991, women have to answer is 37.5 percent herbivorous. (Male respondents is that herbivorous 45.4%) [1]

    If you don’t want to know “totally irrelevant” things, why do you ask about them? Should people stop trying to assume you are a rational human being who is able to participate in a conversation?

  75. #76 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “I know that if I could count on the justice system to bring a rapist to justice, then I would be a lot more relaxed about interacting with strange men.”

    Yes, the victim blaming against rape victims is bad. But the argument that is being thrown out is that every man is a potential rapist and women ought to fear every man. How is it that if they get caught after the fact or if there were a lack of victim blaming, would be alleviating that fear? To me, the actual act of rape is more traumatizing than the prospect that justice may or may not be served or the victim blaming itself, however cruel as they are.

    “I’m doing this since you really seem hung up on the whole “white men are oppressed by women’s requests to be treated as equals in the same way that black people are oppresed by white people’s demands (enforced with violence) to be treated as superiors” thing. ”

    You are misrepresenting my argument. Here, I’ll write it again so you might actually read it this time.

    “To me, this is not about censuring RW nor belittling her experiences. If feminism is about equality for both sexes, don’t tell ALL men that they are POTENTIAL rapists. Or that we have a “rape switch” as though we are only animals and don’t have the presence of mind not to commit such atrocities. You are not only alienating bad men, but GOOD men.”
    AND
    “Greg’s argument that perhaps men should cross the street or wait for the next elevator just because we might make women uncomfortable screams of sexism. Much like blacks used to sit at the back of the bus because they made whites uncomfortable screams of racism. Then they hear the racism argument and simply declare by fiat that they aren’t comparable and that we should be more sensitive to women needs. I just imagine racists saying that blacks should be sensitive to the needs of whites… Oh wait, that’s why its not comparable, because their argument wasn’t in the name of progressivism. But since the rapist argument of all men is, it is A-OK and we should feel free to kick men to the back of the bus. I mean, why not, they had their time. amirite, ladies?”

    And good job trying to reform the justice system.

  76. #77 Raging Bee
    July 7, 2011

    But the argument that is being thrown out is that every man is a potential rapist and women ought to fear every man.

    Who, exactly, is throwing out that argument? The women here, and those who respect their concerns, are merely advocating taking certain routine precautions in certain very narrow ranges of circumstances. How does that translate to “women ought to fear every man?” Certainly RW never advocated continuous indiscriminate fear of all men; and she certainly wasn’t afraid of the men in her audience when she first mentioned the elevator incident. Once again, you’re getting emotional, misrepresenting what’s being said here, and insulting a lot of people (and embarrassing yourself) with your obstinate willful stupidity.

    Oh, and Misaki? The paragraphs you quoted are still gibberish, and totally irrelevant to ANY of the issues brought up here. Do you have any idea what anyone here is talking about?

  77. #78 Misaki
    July 7, 2011

    HOW MANY males have really been so emasculated as your article alleges?

    About 45%.

    So yes, it is possible for the feminist movement to succeed! Keep trying everyone!

    The paragraphs you quoted are still gibberish, and totally irrelevant to ANY of the issues brought up here.

    If you don’t want to know “totally irrelevant” things, why do you ask about them? Should people stop trying to assume you are a rational human being who is able to participate in a conversation?

    I’ll take that as a “yes, they should”.

  78. #79 DaveL
    July 7, 2011

    you and your kin don’t feel bad about asking men to the back of the bus or cross the street.

    Really? That’s not what I’m hearing from women at all. I understand that they do feel bad about treating strange men as potential rapists. It’s not that they want to do it, they’re not trying to lord it over you, it’s that they have to do it, because their personal safety is at risk. I’m sure Rebecca Watson would love to live in a world where she needn’t be concerned about being approached by a strange man in a confined space, or where “coffee in my room” really means “coffee in my room”. But that world isn’t going to come into being just by pretending it’s already here.

    Look, I’m a man. I know what it’s like to be treated as a potential rapist and I don’t like it (I know they don’t like it either). It’s unfair to me (and stressful to them). That’s partly why we have these social conventions like crossing the street. You avoid asking for a level of trust you know she can’t afford to give, and she avoids refusing. She doesn’t have to go to Red Alert, and you don’t have to watch her react to you like you’re a potential criminal. It’s not perfect but it helps grease the wheels of social interaction.

  79. #80 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Phyraxus, I don’t give a damn what you think is or should be the most traumatizing to rape victims. If you actually study rape victims, one of the primary factors in recovery is having good social support; i.e., being believed and taken seriously.

    You? You’re making things worse. Congratulations.

  80. #81 Misaki
    July 7, 2011

    “But that world isn’t going to come into being just by pretending it’s already here.”

    And this is what many people do not understand. Within a single community it may be possible to influence perceptions, and by doing so reduce the incidence of “uncomfortable propositions at atheist and skeptic conferences”. But for society as a whole, the primary reason of violent crime has always been economic. If people choose not to care about ways to reduce economic disparity and unemployment, there is only so much the rest of society can do to prevent unemployed males from committing crimes. The US already has by far the highest incarceration rate of developed countries, so a lack of interest in reducing the economic problems of the country is morally equivalent to accepting that the crime rate will remain about where it currently is.

  81. #82 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Way to move goalposts steph.

    I thought we were talking about the trauma of rape, not its recovery…

  82. #83 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Actually, we’re talking about what a persistently ignorant ass you are. But to be more specific, you were talking about comparing the trauma of rape to how rape victims are treated. This, in case you need it explained to you, Elevator Guy, is exactly what my comment addressed.

  83. #84 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Opps I was arguing with sally.

    As for steph, of course support should be given to all victims. I’m not arguing against that. What’s your point?

  84. #85 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “But to be more specific, you were talking about comparing the trauma of rape to how rape victims are treated. ”

    Sally brought that up. I was asking how, if all victim blaming stopped, why would that alleviate her fear of BEING raped?

  85. #86 Pete Rooke
    July 7, 2011

    I must, again, register my disagreement with some who castigate Ms Watson for her behaviour.

    Propositioning someone for sex (and I was not initially aware that the offer of ‘coffee’ was actually a thinly veiled request to begin an intimate liaison) at any time, let alone at 4am alone in a elevator, is immoral and wrong.

    The two were not married!

    Or indeed, even in an illegitimate relationship.

    That is not to say that Ms Watson is a moral/righteous person (she is most certainly not).

    But she is right to call people out for excusing this! The sexual mores of our times are abhorrent.

  86. #87 Shari
    July 7, 2011

    Phyraxus – It’s about the stakes (I don’t believe I’m joining this fray but Wow I’m ticked at you!) A woman Has to consider what is personally at stake for her in an interaction with a man she may OR may not know. There is unending proof that a woman isn’t always safe with her own kin, friends, lover, former lover, spouse, or complete stranger. In broad damned daylight.

    My neighbor was cornered, in Cub Foods, in front of witnesses, by two men acting with a third (waiting just outside the store) at 4:30 in the afternoon. With her kids in the cart. Are you saying it’s bigotry against men to treat any or all strange men as potential assailants? Until this crap stops happening Repeatedly, sorry dude, any strange man certainly is a potential assailant. And there are family members I won’t stand in the same room with either, so it’s certainly Not just strangers! A man’s embarrassment or annoyance is just not on par with the potential harm a woman may come to if she doesn’t guess right about the attentions of a strange man. The stakes aren’t the same.

    BTW – I am genuinely sorry if our glaring, defensive body language, or avoidance of men hurts your feelings, but it certainly doesn’t affect you the way racism affects black people. Or folks of other skin colors!

  87. #88 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    “Greg’s argument that perhaps men should cross the street or wait for the next elevator just because we might make women uncomfortable screams of sexism. Much like blacks used to sit at the back of the bus because they made whites uncomfortable screams of racism.Then they hear the racism argument and simply declare by fiat that they aren’t comparable and that we should be more sensitive to women needs. I just imagine racists saying that blacks should be sensitive to the needs of whites… Oh wait, that’s why its not comparable, because their argument wasn’t in the name of progressivism. But since the rapist argument of all men is, it is A-OK and we should feel free to kick men to the back of the bus. I mean, why not, they had their time. amirite, ladies?”

    Honestly, what a load of gibberish.

    I said that you seem to be arguing that women’s requests for men to treat them as equals oppresses men, much in the same way that white supremacists’ demands (which were enforced with violence) to be treated as superiors oppressed black people.

    In response you just re-stated what you posted before.

    I’m not seeing how my characterization of your argument is wrong. And you’ve done absolutely nothing to help me see that.

    Disappointing. Can’t you do better than that?

  88. #89 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Phyraxus, my name is Stephanie, and it has been throughout this discussion. Do yourself a favor and go look up “impugnity.”

  89. #90 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    Sally brought that up. I was asking how, if all victim blaming stopped, why would that alleviate her fear of BEING raped?

    1. Women become less afraid to report rapes.

    2. The reporting rate goes up.

    3. Law enforcement attention to the problem increases.

    4. More rapists are caught and prosecuted.

    5. More rapists go to prison.

    6. Fewer rapists are out and about, therefore decreasing the likelihood that any individual man I meet is a rapist.

    You really are this dense, aren’t you? Like I said: disappointing.

  90. #91 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Sally@89 – Oh ok, when you put it like that I see your point, but six steps from “down with victim blaming” is bit of a stretch for calling me dense. At any rate, the statement that all men are potential rapists still stands even if men that have committed rape are incarcerated.

    Sally@87 – Please explain to me how its gibberish. And how asking men to cross the road is considered equality for females and not inequality for males.

    And Stephanie Z, REALLY?

  91. #92 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    This deserves to be addressed.

    To me, the actual act of rape is more traumatizing than the prospect that justice may or may not be served or the victim blaming itself, however cruel as they are.

    You really don’t know what you’re talking about. You should grovel, beg forgiveness, and swear never to speak this way again.

    Firstly, it’s different for each person. Each rape is different. There is NO way to make sweeping generalities about the experience the way you just did. If you’d ever bothered to pay the slightest attention to what survivors say on the subject, you’d have realized that. So just know that you’ve outed yourself as a know-nothing who’s nonetheless arrogant to try to pass himself off as some kind of authority, apparently unself-consciously. Truly, the Dunning-Kruger is strong with you.

    Secondly, I was sexually assaulted at age 19. There are similarities to RW’s experience: I was invited, not to a room, but to a tent. “Okay,” I said, “but no sex.” Sure. Right. Later, I’m asleep and I wake up and he’s on top of me. Perhaps I wasn’t as drunk as he thought? Anyway, as soon as I started moving and saying, “No, no, you’re hurting me,” he stopped. So, terrifying for sure, but not super traumatic.

    However, when I got home, (I was traveling in Italy at the time) I told my boyfriend about it. He reacted as if I’d cheated on him. “YOU hurt ME,” I remember him saying over and over again, weeping as though his heart had been broken. And for a long time I believed him, that this was something bad that I had done to him.

    That what a lot more fucking traumatic than waking up with a strange guy on top of me, penetrating me with his fingers. Feeling as if I were a defective person for thinking that my “Okay, but no sex” would be believed.

    So this is just a final fuck you. Don’t say anything unless it’s to apologize, okay? Or just live with the fact that the name “Phyraxus” is associated with selfishness, stupidity, and general bad character around these parts.

  92. #93 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “To me, the actual act of rape is more traumatizing than the prospect that justice may or may not be served or the victim blaming itself, however cruel as they are.”

    Let me clarify. Victim blaming is cruel. Injustice is cruel. I believe, rape is crueler.

  93. #94 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Sorry that your boyfriend was a fucking idiot. If my GF told me she was sexually assaulted, my first instinct isn’t to blame her but to take justice in any way, shape, or form.

  94. #95 Jim
    July 7, 2011

    To Stephanie Z (51), I really object to being labelled as a supporter of rapists. Please don’t do that, it’s offensive. Nothing I, nor anyone has said here, is in support of rape or rapists.

    If it is all so simple for men to “be asked to *voluntarily* do something to reduce women’s stress levels”, then I propose that woman should be requested to voluntarily walk around topless. It would reduce men’s stress levels no end. How about it? No? Oops, I forgot, feminism is a one-way street. Women are to have absolute equality, except when it suits them and they decide they need special treatment. Doh!

  95. #96 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    Digging in rather than apologizing, eh? Why am I not surprised.

    I still stand by my characterization of your argument. You seem to think that it’s my responsibility to explain your position. It’s not. If you think my characterization of your comments is wrong, then that’s your claim and it’s up to you to defend it. I think my summarization of your train of thought on this is quite clear: You take it personally that many women evaluate ALL men as potential threats, and you refuse to acknowledge that this might be reasonable. Therefore you cast it as irrational prejudice. Not content with insulting the intelligence of 50% of the human race, you go on to (attempt to) make the case that a polite request to show some consideration on an individual basis(don’t hit on me in the elevator, don’t walk behind me down the street) enforced with nothing except social opprobrium from feminists, who are a somewhat marginalized group in this society is in the same category as insistence on public, group displays of inferiority, enforced with systematic violence. Which is quite insulting to the other half of humanity, as it seems to imply that men are incapable of hearing a polite request for consideration without interpreting it as a violent assault on their sense of dignity. It’s kind of weird, when you get right down to it.

    Again, if you think my interpretation of your remarks is in error, the onus is on you to demonstrate how and why.

  96. #97 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    I really object to being labelled as a supporter of rapists. Please don’t do that, it’s offensive. Nothing I, nor anyone has said here, is in support of rape or rapists.

    Well, that’s really rough, being called a rape apologist after offering arguments as to why women making polite requests of men to make it harder for rapists to hide in plain sight should STFU because such requests are tantamount to institutionalized violent assaults on the human rights of men.

    Pro-tip: if you don’t like being called a supporter of rapists or a rape apologist, then don’t engage in rape apology or advance positions that make it easier for rapists to rape and get away with it.

  97. #98 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “You take it personally that many women evaluate ALL men as potential threats, and you refuse to acknowledge that this might be reasonable.”

    No, I take issue with calling all men potential rapists. THAT is insulting to our half of the population.

    “you go on to (attempt to) make the case that a polite request to show some consideration on an individual basis(don’t hit on me in the elevator, don’t walk behind me down the street)”

    You really haven’t been reading what I’ve been typing.

    I don’t take issue that men should treat women as equals and vice versa. But telling me to not walk behind you on a public street if we just so happen to be going the same direction or to take the next elevator is NOT equality.

  98. #99 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    Dude, just to be clear: personally, I don’t care about people walking one way or the other down the street around me. But then, I grew up in a rural area, and still live in a pretty small town, so that’s just not an issue for me.

    What’s fascinating is that you are willfully incapable of hearing this request, or suggestion, which nobody has any means to enforce, as anything but an onerous imposition.

    1. It’s not mandatory. There’s no fine or jail sentence.

    2. It costs you nothing.

    3. It might make someone’s night go a little bit better.

    So explain again how this is comparable to forcing blacks to demonstrate their inferiority by (among other things) taking seats on the back of the bus, and enforcing this requirement with institutionalized, systematic violence.

  99. #100 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    No, I take issue with calling all men potential rapists. THAT is insulting to our half of the population.

    I really think it’s much more insulting to men to assume that they would be uninterested in tips about how to make rapists stand out more, and how to help women feel more at ease in various public spaces.

    It’s also insulting to men to imply that they are all as stupid as you are when you misinterpret the statement that “To women, who run a statistically significant chance of being raped by a man, all men appear as potential rapists.” to mean, “All men are rapists.”

  100. #101 Jim
    July 7, 2011

    To SallyStrange (96). I’ll repeat: I’m not a rape supporter nor apologist, and nor do I support ideas that make it easier for “men to get away with it”.

    You may characterize all men as rapists or potential rapists if you like. Rational or irrational as that may be, I believe it is unhelpful because it is too broad a statement. One could equally say that all women are murderers or potential murderers. Doesn’t really get me far either in protecting myself against being murdered or in life in general does it?

    You may also give advice to men as to how we should show special consideration to women. But if in doing so, imply that we are potential rapists anyway, don’t expect that it will make you popular to many men. Personally, I would stay well away, it’s just not worth the agro, and limiting yourself to having mainly female friends would be a crying shame.

  101. #102 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Jim, what SallyStrange said about rape apology. Don’t want to get called on it? Don’t do it.

    Also, I’m already plenty popular with men, thanks. If pointing out that you have options to behave unlike rapists keeps guys like you away, though, I’m all for it.

  102. #103 SallyStrange
    July 7, 2011

    Jim,

    just because you are too dumb to understand the distinction between perception and reality doesn’t mean that all men are.

  103. #104 SallyStrange
    July 7, 2011

    In other words, Jim,

    if you don’t like the fact that many women do regard men as potential rapists, then work to decrease the incidence of rape and of victim-blaming.

    Anything else is whining and rape apologia.

  104. #105 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree sally.

    Because you just don’t get it…

    The sole criterion for which you are giving suggestions is due to the bits between our legs. Regardless, if it is not enforceable in anyway, that is still sexism.

    “I really think it’s much more insulting to men to assume that they would be uninterested in tips about how to make rapists stand out more, and how to help women feel more at ease in various public spaces.”

    And just like you give me shit for saying what would be more traumatic to a rape victim, don’t presume to know what is insulting to men or me. These “tips” really don’t make rapists stand out more in any case.

    And, statistically, women are more likely to be raped by people that they know, so, statistically, strangers are the least of your concern.

  105. #106 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “In particular, one that made me want to either throw up or face-palm so violently that I lost consciousness, was the idea that the sensitive, feminist-aware male should cross over to the opposite side of the street, on spotting an unaccompanied woman so as not to alarm, intimidate or upset the lone female.
    Seriously, this is the epitome of a 100 years of feminism? Treating women like helpless, infantile victims? Thanks, but no thanks. I expect men to treat me like an equal, not like a half-witted invalid.”

    This was an argument presented by a woman (as though her gender would detract or add from her logic in anyway) presented on ERV’s blog.

    http://scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/07/the_decent_human_beings_guide.php

  106. #107 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    I’d really love to know how a suggestion for a voluntary action is comparable to a violently enforced demand for public displays of group inferiority.

    No explanation on that one, huh Phyraxus?

    You’ve got nothing, except whining that it’s unfair to target men with advice about how to ease a woman’s mind with regard to the risk of rape, just because 98% of rapists are men. It’s so sexist. You’re so oppressed. You’re the real victim here. Nobody understand how hard it is to be perceived as a possible rapist. It’s way way harder than continually evaluating one’s risk of being raped. Here’s a cookie, and now it’s naptime.

  107. #108 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    The only difference to that racism and this sexism is severity.

    FYI, Richard Dawkins is a victim of sexual assault.

    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/118

    “Happily I was spared the misfortune of a Roman Catholic upbringing (Anglicanism is a significantly less noxious strain of the virus). Being fondled by the Latin master in the Squash Court was a disagreeable sensation for a nine-year-old, a mixture of embarrassment and skin-crawling revulsion, but it was certainly not in the same league as being led to believe that I, or someone I knew, might go to everlasting fire. As soon as I could wriggle off his knee, I ran to tell my friends and we had a good laugh, our fellowship enhanced by the shared experience of the same sad pedophile. I do not believe that I, or they, suffered lasting, or even temporary damage from this disagreeable physical abuse of power. Given the Latin Master’s eventual suicide, maybe the damage was all on his side.”

  108. #109 Jim
    July 7, 2011

    SallyStrange and Stephanie Z. I realise that we disagree with each other, but that does not make me a rape apologist. Please stop calling me labels which are a) offensive, b) incorrect.

    Seriously, if you can give me one example of where I have been a rape apologist, please quote it. Otherwise, quit the name calling, unless you think infantile name-calling and ad hominem attacks are a good way to win an argument.

  109. #110 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    These “tips” really don’t make rapists stand out more in any case.

    Really? I agree with you about the walking down the street business, I just think it’s an understandable and considerate response to living in an area with a high crime rate. But I really do think that the elevator incident is a very good example of how making certain types of behavior less socially acceptable will make it harder for rapists to hide in plain sight. Why? Because of the research that shows that undetected rapists:

    -are extremely adept at identifying “likely” victims, and testing prospective victims’ boundaries;
    -plan and premeditate their attacks, using sophisticated strategies to groom their victims for attack, and to isolate them physically;
    -use psychological weapons – power, control, manipulation, and threats – backed up by physical force, and almost never resort to weapons such as knives or guns;
    -use alcohol deliberately to render victims more vulnerable to attack, or completely unconscious.

    I bolded the parts where Elevator Dude’s strategy mirrors that of undetected rapists.

    Are you still keeping up or do you need someone to draw you a diagram?

    Still working on explaining how requesting increased situational awareness from men is akin to violently forcing black people to engage in public displays of inferiority, I presume? I really can’t wait to see you try to tackle that one. Hopefully with something more interesting than just copy-pasting what you wrote before, as if it was the most brilliant thing ever written and the only possible reason anyone could interpret it as disparaging to both the civil rights movement and men’s intelligence and maturity is their own stupidity. Couldn’t possibly be your own deficient communication or cognitive skills.

  110. #111 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Aw, Phyraxus, that was you leaving the anonymous comment on my blog? How very brave of you. Yes, Dawkins was sexually assaulted as a child. This makes it fine that he doesn’t understand that grown men and women face different threats how?

  111. #112 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 7, 2011

    The only difference to that racism and this sexism is severity.

    Translation: “If I continue to insist that it is true, that means that it is true.”

    FYI, Richard Dawkins is a victim of sexual assault.

    Translation: “LOOK! Over there!”

    Pathetic.

  112. #113 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Translation: “If I continue to insist that it is true, that means that it is true.”

    LOL, hypocritical much?

    Well, I might as well be talking to a wall at this point.

    If anyone was supposed to understand nuance, you’d think it be skeptics.

    I mean really, I was born into this world as a male and wasn’t given any say in the matter. And you retort, “You’ve got nothing, except whining that it’s unfair to target men with advice about how to ease a woman’s mind with regard to the risk of rape, just because 98% of rapists are men. It’s so sexist. You’re so oppressed. You’re the real victim here. Nobody understand how hard it is to be perceived as a possible rapist. It’s way way harder than continually evaluating one’s risk of being raped. Here’s a cookie, and now it’s naptime.”

    Reminds me ALOT of the misogynist argument, “It isn’t that bad, so STFU.”

    VERY ironic to say the least

  113. #114 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    WOW censoring dissenting voices are we steph?

    Reminds me of tactics other fundies use on their blogs too.

  114. #115 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    What have you done, Jim? You’ve insisted that women’s fear of being raped is irrational and impinges on your fucking rights. “Nothing to see here, people. Move along.”

    You’ve fucking suggested that women should show you their tits to ease your stress, despite the fact that the way women dress is frequently used to excuse rape.

    You’ve insisted that any request to make it easier to sort out rapists from non-rapists be phrased such that your delicate fucking sensibilities couldn’t possibly be bruised, despite your continued demonstrations that this is an impossible demand, because the premise that sorting this out isn’t easy makes you need a lie-down.

    Those three examples are just from this thread. Need me to go over any others, rape apologist?

  115. #116 ERV
    July 7, 2011

    Aw, Phyraxus, that was you leaving the anonymous comment on my blog? How very brave of you. Yes, Dawkins was sexually assaulted as a child. This makes it fine that he doesn’t understand that grown men and women face different threats how?
    That is a *very* disappointing response, Stephanie.

    It makes a difference because in 2006, Dawkins wrote about his experience with this perspective *about his own molestation* “Yeah, it happened to me, but other kids had it worse, and kids have it worse right now”.

    Kinda puts it into context when he tells Watson that her molehill is an unimpressive mountain.

    Kinda doesnt make sense to scream how a “wealthy old heterosexual white man” doesnt understand sexual assault, when he himself was sexual assaulted.

    Kinda puts the people who didnt consider that a ‘wealthy old heterosexual white man’ could have experienced sexual assault in a poor light.

    Saying “I didnt know that. Let me think about this.” would have been an acceptable reply. You dismissing Dawkins very real, non-hypothetical molestation is not impressive.

    Its disappointing.

  116. #117 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    “Still working on explaining how requesting increased situational awareness from men is akin to violently forcing black people to engage in public displays of inferiority, I presume?”

    Well, now you are just moving goalposts. And your “increased situational awareness” to me is a “public displays of inferiority.” Such as, say, telling a man to take the next elevator simply because he is a man.

    And steph, really? Censoring dissenting arguments now are we?

    Reminds me of a tactic other fundies use on their blogs.

  117. #118 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    I’m not dismissing it, ERV. Dawkins has every right to say that for himself. He has no right to tell a bunch of other people how to feel. Also, my complaints with what he had to say have nothing to do with how consistent he is.

  118. #119 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Phyraxus, there’s an introduction to that letter. It tells you exactly where to argue if you’re not Richard Dawkins. I assume this is the case?

  119. #120 Phyraxus
    July 7, 2011

    Oh, I’m sure the other fundies have good reasons too. /sarcasm

  120. #121 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    It’s not my fault you can’t read and follow directions, dude. You’ve got a perfectly good place to argue, and anyone who reads my post can follow the link if they’re looking for an argument. Of course, you missed which post argument was supposed to go in, but that’s hardly my fault either.

    Would you like to try a little harder to claim victimhood?

  121. #122 Jim
    July 7, 2011

    To Stephanie (113). Thanks for your response.

    “You’ve insisted that women’s fear of being raped is irrational” – Sometimes it’s rational, sometimes it’s not. It depends on the situation. But that’s not being an apologist for rape.
    “…impinges on your fucking rights.” – Anything that affects my rights is a valid concern to me. It’s not an apology for rape.

    “You’ve fucking suggested that women should show you their tits to ease your stress, despite the fact that the way women dress is frequently used to excuse rape.” – For fuck’s sake. Please tell me you didn’t think this was a serious suggestion? It was merely to contrast how insisting that men should bend over backwards to ease women’s stress is absurd insofar as you would not, rightly, countenance the reverse situation of women behaving in a way that eases a man’s stress.

    “You’ve insisted that any request to make it easier to sort out rapists from non-rapists be phrased such that your delicate fucking sensibilities couldn’t possibly be bruised, despite your continued demonstrations that this is an impossible demand, because the premise that sorting this out isn’t easy makes you need a lie-down.” – I don’t like people making unfounded assumptions about me. I don’t like my presumption of innocence being denied. Fine, do so if you wish, but my right not to be thought a criminal is not an apology for rapists.

    “Those three examples are just from this thread. Need me to go over any others, rape apologist?” – Since you’ve conspicuously failed to prove your point, please do so, raving loony feminist harpy. I probably won’t read them though, because clearly your definition of being an apologist for rape is someone who does not agree with your views on rape.

  122. #123 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Being an apologist for rape is putting everything else ahead of rape in importance. Because, you know, rape–it’s just not that big a deal compared to, say, having to deal with “raving loony feminist harp[ies]”. Poor widdle baby.

  123. #124 Raging Bee
    July 7, 2011

    That is not to say that Ms Watson is a moral/righteous person (she is most certainly not).

    Really? What, exactly, is wrong with her conduct, Mr. Rooke? And what puts you in a position to judge her?

  124. #125 RebWatStar
    July 7, 2011

    I know how you ladies feel. I get nervous when a black guy gets on the elevator with me. Is he dangerous? How am I supposed to know? Could be a good guy, could be a bad guy. All I know is that black guys are statistically more violent than white guys, and statistically have much lower IQs. So while he may be nice, but I don’t know. The odds are that eventually a black guy is going to rob you. He should spare me the fear and wait for the next elevator. He should cross the street as well when I’m walking down the street. I shouldn’t have to fear getting mugged walking down a street in the middle of the night, nor should I fear getting robbed in an elevator a 4 AM because a black guy was inconsiderate enough to disregard my feelings. It’s a shame.

  125. #126 Jim
    July 7, 2011

    Stephanie Z (121), that’s an odd definition of being an apologist for rape. I can think of plenty of things that are unarguably more important than rape: murder, being healthy (as in not dying of cancer etc), the presumption of innocence until proven guilty… This does not mean that I think rape is trivial or that I am an apologist for it.

  126. #127 Stephanie Z
    July 7, 2011

    Jim, I already noted what you were comparing rape to. Murder it wasn’t.

  127. #128 JD
    July 7, 2011

    What a pathetic display of group think and mob mentality. People are actually suggesting (or at least strongly implying) Dawkins is a rape apologist? You tards have absolutely zero credibility and can’t possibly be taken seriously.

  128. #129 SallyStrange
    July 8, 2011

    Wait, moving goalposts? You really think that saying, “hey if you are going to proposition a woman, avoid doing it in an elevator at 4 am just after the woman in question has given a speech about how she doesn’t like that sort of thing” is substantially DIFFERENT from “increase your situational awareness”?
    Well, that’s telling. Mostly it tells how stupid you are.

  129. #130 Phyraxus
    July 8, 2011

    “increased situational awareness” could mean anything from not hitting on a woman in an elevator (reasonable) to crossing the street to spare her feelings (unreasonable). That is moving goalposts. I never justified what EG did in anyway whatsoever.

    But whatever, I’m not going to bother anymore because your lack of intellectual honesty (applies to steph also) makes me feel like I’m debating creationists. And with that, I will leave you with what I feel to be the tragedy of this discussion.

    “If anyone was supposed to understand nuance, you’d think it be skeptics.

    I mean really, I was born into this world as a male and wasn’t given any say in the matter. And you retort, “You’ve got nothing, except whining that it’s unfair to target men with advice about how to ease a woman’s mind with regard to the risk of rape, just because 98% of rapists are men. It’s so sexist. You’re so oppressed. You’re the real victim here. Nobody understand how hard it is to be perceived as a possible rapist. It’s way way harder than continually evaluating one’s risk of being raped. Here’s a cookie, and now it’s naptime.”

    Reminds me ALOT of the misogynist argument, “It isn’t that bad, so STFU.”

    VERY ironic to say the least”

    Hopefully you will read it this time. Notice the, “you’ve got nothing, except whining that it’s unfair” (at least you agreed it is unfair), but then you fucked up with the “It’s way way harder…”

    If that isn’t analogous to the “It isn’t that bad, so STFU” argument, I don’t know what I could possibly ever do to convince you about how unreasonable you are being.

    And some parting advice.

    “She who fights with monsters might take care lest she thereby become a monster”

  130. #131 waitwhat
    July 8, 2011

    He has no right to tell a bunch of other people how to feel.

    I honestly cannot believe I’ve just seen thus sentence used in this fashion during all this crazy but said with all earnestness.

    Thank you.

    For blowing my mind.

  131. #132 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 8, 2011

    Accusations of monstrosity from a guy who refuses to either explain or apologize for comparing being requested to refrain from making other people uncomfortable to being forced to sit on the back of the bus?

    Accusations of intellectual dishonesty who equates summarizing requests to be respectful of other people’s boundaries to being discriminated against just for being a man?

    Gosh. I’m hurt.

  132. #133 Raging Bee
    July 8, 2011

    “She who fights with monsters might take care lest she thereby become a monster”

    Yeah, better to let the monsters win, than fight them and risk being called one by an idiot who doesn’t see (or care) what the fight is about. Skip the “parting advice” and just part already.

    If it is all so simple for men to “be asked to *voluntarily* do something to reduce women’s stress levels”, then I propose that woman should be requested to voluntarily walk around topless. It would reduce men’s stress levels no end. How about it? No? Oops, I forgot, feminism is a one-way street. Women are to have absolute equality, except when it suits them and they decide they need special treatment. Doh!

    There’s really no point in wasting time arguing with someone so insistently stupid, self-absorbed and infantile as Jim. Where do these trolls come from, a right-wing-Christian blog? That’s about the only other place I see such intense, ignorant, small-minded, and downright babyish hostility toward women. Either man up or go to bed.

  133. #134 Composer99
    July 8, 2011

    I went digging around a bit and found this 2009 report from the DoJ on rates of victimization of several crimes, including rape/sexual assault.

    Per the report, it appears approximately 21% of women in the US in 2009 were raped/sexually assaulted by strangers. While this is not a majority, it is a significant amount (1 in 5 raped/assaulted by a stranger in 2009). I do not see it as unreasonable that women should take this into account when dealing with men they do not know (even at the risk of causing offence to strangers & friends alike).

    While it is certainly correct that current/former intimate partners (41%) and friends/acquaintances (39%) are more likely to rape/assault a woman (each at almost double the rate of strangers!), it seems to me that it is also certainly correct that acquaintances, friends, and intimate partners (current or former) will have gained a measure of trust and thus will be able to bypass the defences set up against strangers. That is, I dare say, the whole point of having friends & intimate partners – people around whom one can let down one’s guard, to some lesser or greater extent.

    In short, a big reason non-strangers outnumber strangers as perpetrators of rape/sexual assault by a factor of 4-1 is that they have earned – and then betrayed – a level of trust from their victims, trust which strangers did not earn.

    The bottom line here is that we can either demand increased vigilance among women against their acquaintances, friends, and former & current intimate partners, particularly where any of these are men – which seems like a sublimated form of victim-blaming to me (as well as a sure-fire way to corrode those relationships over the long-term) – or we can demand increased adherence by men to correct conduct when they enter into such relationships with women, knowing that on average they are the most common perpetrators of rape and sexual assault.

  134. #135 Composer99
    July 8, 2011

    One of the downsides of typing a comment in between midnight & 2 AM is leaving out bits, like this concluding remark:

    All of this is by way of saying that I agree with the assessment of Elevator Guy’s behaviour as creepy and even unacceptable.

    I also agree with criticism of Richard Dawkins in this case; his objection reminds me of critics on Ed Brayton’s Dispatches from the Culture Wars who complain about Ed blogging about gay rights struggles & Christian dominionist activity in the United States while (so goes the complaint) ignoring gay rights struggles or Islamic dominionst (so to speak) activity elsewhere. At worst, it is a form of tone trolling. At best, Dawkins appears to be unjustifiably minimizing the concerns raised by Watson and others that the atheist movement is insufficiently dedicated to gender equality (especially since perpetuating iniquitous gender norms is a staple of the organized religions & related political agencies against which atheists usually contend).

    Finally, I agree that, given the present sex-based inequality in rape/sexual assault (with an overwhelming preponderance of male perpetrators), the onus is on men to exercise greater restraint in their behaviour with women and to respect to a higher degree the boundaries that women may set. I dare say that the responsibility increases to the extent that a man’s relationship with a woman deepens, whether the relationship extends to sexual intimacy or no.

    In a perfect world, as I believe someone else has already stated upthread, women would not need to feel afraid of men, whether they know them or not, walking rapidly behind them at night, or getting on an elevator with them at 4 in the morning in a foreign hotel. This is not a perfect world. And since the burden of (for lack of a better term) perpetration (and perpetuation) of rape & sexual assault is on men, the burden of responsibility for redressing it is also on men.

  135. #136 Jim
    July 8, 2011

    To Raging Bee (129), I’ve explained by point further up, but I’ll repeat it for you. My comment about women walking around topless was a sarcastic remark to contrast how insisting that men should bend over backwards to ease women’s stress is absurd insofar as you would not, rightly, countenance the reverse situation of women behaving in a way that eases a man’s stress. Come on, you didn’t actually think this was a serious proposal right?

    I am not stupid, infantile or self-absorbed. I just have an interest in standing up for men’s rights in the face of a politically correct onslaught, where any viewpoints in the debate that diverge from feminist dogma are shut down with accusations of being an apologist for rape, a misogynist or any other loaded term of abuse. Please, stop hurling abuse at people who disagree with you, it’s pathetic, and I’m sure you are a better debater than that.

  136. #137 Christian
    July 8, 2011

    Why on earth would an open letter by rape survivors adressing Dawkins’ comments be open to sign only for those rape survivors, who are “atheists and sceptics”?

  137. #138 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    Bee, Sally, Steph: Are we still arguing that the guy in the elevator committed some kind of transgression? Does feminism really mean “Don’t ever tell a girl you’d like to spend some time alone with her?”

  138. #139 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    NeuralCulture, nobody’s has said that. And the name is Stephanie. Get it right.

  139. #140 Raging Bee
    July 8, 2011

    I just have an interest in standing up for men’s rights in the face of a politically correct onslaught…

    An “onslaught” that is pure fantasy, using tired old labels that have been shown long ago to have no real meaning or definition except as epithets. So yes, fighting an imaginary “onslaught” using meaningless labels like “politically correct” does indeed show that you are stupid, infantile and self-absorbed.

    (Oh well, at least you’ve unintentionally admitted that your enemies are “correct,” and you’re not. Argument over.)

    I noted in another thread on this subject that these threads were being infiltrated by extreme hateful anti-feminist trolls who only want to grab more attention for their own tired old pet peeves and axe-grinding, which has nothing to do with the original controversy. And lo and behold, the trolls are proving I was right. “NeuralCulture,” for example, clearly hasn’t even bothered to read ANY of this thread, which is why he’s asking a question that has already been answered, at least once.

  140. #141 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    Christian, because Dawkins is considered a leader in our (atheist and skeptic) community, what he has to say, and the license that others find in his words to dismiss our concerns, have a disproportionate effect on us.

  141. #142 rnb
    July 8, 2011

    People should google “black men falsely accused.” if they think men of color have no reason to be concerned about being considered a danger. It’s still a cultural meme. Whites still try to deflect attention from themselves by saying “It was a black man!”

  142. #143 Pierce R. Butler
    July 8, 2011

    Congratulations to NeuralCulture for making Phyraxus look smart (which, lest anyone misinterpret, should be seen as congratulating GWB for making GHWB seem presidential, or Lindsey Lohan for highlighting Paris Hilton’s decorum).

    See also:

    http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2011/07/a_pedestal_is_as_much_a_prison.php

    & (via above)

    http://gawker.com/5818993/richard-dawkins-torn-limb-from-limbby-atheists

  143. #146 Raging Bee
    July 8, 2011

    Pierce: thanks for the links. Bloody ‘ell, that Brandon K. Thorp guy is a fucking moron! He starts with a more-or-less factual recap of the events — then ends by trashing the atheists as irrational, after listing all the perfectly reasonable objections (by other atheists) to Dawkins’ idiotically tactless statements. Funny how a guy so hostile to atheists is so quick to, in effect, defend Dawkins and jeer at those who disagree with him, without addressing the substance of what they actually said. (He doesn’t even bother to acknowledge that not all of the respondents are atheists.) A bunch of atheists (and others) are questioning one of their leaders, and laboriously pointing out where he was wrong about something, and he wants to call that irrational? What are skeptics and atheists supposed to do, fall in line behind their leader without question?

    I predicted that Dawkins’ antics would serve his enemies more than his fellow atheists; and now I see my prediction coming true.

  144. #147 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    @Steph (get over the name thing, this is the internet): Thanks, just wanted to clear that up.

    @Pierce and Bee: Wait, now I’m confused again.

    Is no one saying that, or am I an idiot for asking because it’s obvious that _everyone_ is saying it?

    It can’t be both.

  145. #148 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    See, NeuralCulture, that’s exactly the kind of information women use to determine who those potential rapists are. Won’t comply with a simple point of etiquette, even when it’s pointed out to you and dead simple to do? Keep the fuck away from me.

  146. I finally had to mention it, emphasizing what for me was the core of the issue with respect to Prof. Dawkins’ comments: That Elevator Kerfuffle.

  147. #150 SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu
    July 8, 2011

    Neural,

    You devious motherfucker! I’m not supposed to admit this in public (goes against orders from the vagina hive-mind) but yes, feminism really is about ending sex. Forever.

    I don’t know how you figured it out, but you got us! Guess it’s all for naught now.

  148. In all these thousands of comments, one think I haven’t noticed is the training boys and men get to soldier on and keep asking new prospective partners despite any amount of rejection. That doesn’t mean all their choices are appropriate. But I think perhaps “anti-wallflower” training plays its part.

  149. #152 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    Steph, for “Keep the fuck away from me” to have any meaning, I’d probably have to be near you in the first place. This being the internet, I’m not, so I don’t really even know what that’s supposed to mean, except a thinly veiled attempt at labeling me a rapist.

    The thing about etiquette is that it goes both way. Show some, and you might receive some as well.

  150. Phyraxus @6, just in case nobody has pointed it out, one of the main factors that made the original incident creepy was that the accoster waited until there were no witnesses! That’s why there’s no corroboration for the original incident.

    I sure hope you’re never mugged while alone on the street. Your like-minded friends will be asking, “How do we know he didn’t just run into a telephone pole and drop his money?” which will add to your sense of frustration, rage, and worthlessness.

  151. #154 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    @Sally: In that case I guess I should inform the Rapist High Council that you’re on to our Elevator Attack Plan as well, huh?

    Truth be told, I needed a laugh. Thanks

  152. #155 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    Actually, I’m calling you a creep, which is a much smaller subset of humanity. However, it is the subset from which rapists emerge. But, hey, you’re the one who’s acting all proud of not being willing to be minimally polite about something as simple as a name. Wear it with pride, dude.

  153. #156 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    Stating “I would prefer you use my full name” is a good way to get someone to do just that. You elected for a more confrontational approach. That’s a choice you made, not one that was imposed on you, and it has consequences, such as not having the desired effect of making me type out your full name on this thread.

    As to being called a creep, well, let’s just say that I’m happy to be the bigger person and for my own part, find you charming in a spunky sort of way. Cheers!

  154. #157 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    Sorry, NeuralCulture, any consequences are ones you decided to impose, not some inevitable result of my not being obsequious enough for the fucking internet. Your choices are revealing. If you don’t like what they reveal, hide better.

  155. #158 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    The only thing my choices reveal are that I don’t like being told what to do so brazenly any more than you do. Let’s keep in mind I haven’t imposed anything on you at you all. I simply refused your imposition.

  156. #159 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    Oh, yes. My name. That terrible, frightful imposition. *pats head* How about you go play somewhere else, now. I don’t think you’re up for this.

  157. #160 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    Poor thing, are you getting tired?

  158. #161 Raging Bee
    July 8, 2011

    The only thing my choices reveal are that I don’t like being told what to do so brazenly any more than you do.

    Yeah, because people giving him information and telling him how to behave is JUST LIKE HITLER!!!

    I simply refused your imposition.

    Yeah, the “imposition” of facts, common sense, and corrective information.

    NeuralAsshat’s childish reacion just reinforces my earlier point that many of the feminist-bashers and creep-apologists are coming from the Randroid-perpetual-adolescent-rebellion persuasion.

  159. #162 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    Bored, actually.

  160. #163 NeuralCulture
    July 8, 2011

    Bee, forgive me for thinking you might have missed something, but she did supply an imposition (however minor) despite accusing me of having been the one to do it, and even with all that we’re managing to have a relatively civil discussion.

    You should, perhaps, strive to be more like her.

    In other news, Godwin’s Law has been satisfied.

  161. #164 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    For the record, Bee, I adore your style.

  162. #165 Raging Bee
    July 8, 2011

    I have a style? Nice to know that, thanks. You probably won’t see much more of it here, because the weekend is coming and, like you, I’m getting bored with the thin-skinned feminist-bashing concern trolls who keep on repeating the same old idiotic ravings about the feminizi boogeybitch terrorizing teh menz with their hairy legs or their inability to appreciate kindness or something. (Seriously, what color is the sky on this fabled planet full of of Yetis with tits?)

  163. #166 Jim
    July 8, 2011

    Raging Bee (140), what are you on about? There *is* currently an ongoing backlash against any man that dares question feminist orthodoxy. I can give you several examples of where a man in public life has made an objectively factual statement and the feminist lobby has demanded he be fired. Even this whole argument about Dawkins is proof of the lycnh mob mentality of hardline feminists. What he stated was the objective truth in that no-one can deny (surely, even you wouldn’t?) that Rebecca’s “ordeal” hardly compares to the far more serious situations women find themselve in, and there has been a huge backlash against him.

    I do think that political correctness is most certainly a huge issue. You can’t just deny it and say that it shows I’m stupid and hence your argument is won. That’s the dumbest proof I’ve seen in a long time. All it shows is that you are in denial of the reality that PC, to quote Peter Hitchens, is “the most intolerant system of thought to dominate the British Isles since the Reformation.” If you want a real example of a meaningless term, try “rape apologist”, which as I have learnt in the last couple of days, means pretty well anything a man-hating feminist wants it to mean, while smearing an opponent as being on the side of rapists.

  164. #167 Stephanie Z
    July 8, 2011

    Actually, Jim, I adore real men. It’s creeps like you I can’t stand. As for your idea the women are in control, go tell it to the GOP-dominated House.

  165. #168 Pierce R. Butler
    July 8, 2011

    Jim @ # 166 – Dude, if you think you’re doing the rest of us who share your gender a favor … don’t. You aren’t.

  166. #169 Raging Bee
    July 8, 2011

    I can give you several examples of where a man in public life has made an objectively factual statement and the feminist lobby has demanded he be fired.

    Examples, please? Also, there’s plenty of male idiots demanding both men and women be fired for saying things they don’t like to hear.

    Dawkins is proof of the lynch mob mentality of hardline feminists.

    Criticizing someone for saying stupid and insensitive things is “the lynch mob mentality of hardline feminists?”

    I do think that political correctness is most certainly a huge issue.

    Yes, being correct is important. If you’re against being correct, and think “correctness” is a vice, not a virtue, then you’re a jackass.

    …PC, to quote Peter Hitchens, is “the most intolerant system of thought to dominate the British Isles since the Reformation.”

    Please describe the specific tenets of this “system of thought” so we can recognize it.

  167. #170 Phyraxus
    July 8, 2011

    Damn, neural, I like your style. Don’t worry about steph, to her, “real men” are the ones that suck her cunt, bow at her feet and ask for more, like bee here.

    And that’s right, jim, apparently loaded words aren’t loaded when these feminazi misandrists use it. And apparently, your loaded words, like PC, don’t mean anything (huh?), and real words, like onslaught, don’t have meaning (huh?) and must be used with quote marks. And, no, they really aren’t good at debating, especially not bee he is the worst of all. I stopped responding to his nonsense first. He somehow thinks my Monsters quote is an argument against fighting monsters… WTF?

    Unless throwing around inflammatory rhetoric, personal attacks and emotional appeals is considered debate, they really haven’t debated or made their case at all.

  168. #171 Jim
    July 8, 2011

    Stephanie (167), more smearing I see. I am not a creep. I am someone who holds a different opinion than you. I never said that women are in control, but I think that the idea that society is still patriarchical is false or at least it’s not so simple anymore. Sure there are plenty of situations where men are in control, but the reverse is true in others.

    Raging Bee (169). You asked for examples where a man has made an objectively factual statement in the context of a rational debate and the feminist lobby has demanded he be fired. Happy to oblige. Here are two that I’m familiar with: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8520940/Kenneth-Clarke-questions-whether-date-rape-is-really-rape.html

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Alasdair-Thompson-Sorry-but-its-true/tabid/423/articleID/216242/Default.aspx

    Both comments were *true* statements, or at least rational observations, but since they conflicted with feminist orthodoxy, they were deemed politically incorrect and calls were made for resignations. Alasdair was fired in the end.

    The point about PC is that it is *not* correct. That is why it is a pernicious doctrine and against rationalism. The links above both show this. Correct statements were said to be not correct because of a political stance.

    Regarding your last point, I don’t pretend to speak for Hitchens, but I think the paragraph above outlines the basic tenet of PC: that is, it is sometimes unacceptable to tell the truth.

  169. #172 DuWayne
    July 9, 2011

    Jim & Phyraxis –

    If you object to being called creepy, rape apologists and the like, then shut the fuck up about how wrong it is for women to assume that strange men they don’t fucking know might be a rapist. We’re talking about the same assumptions you make about your fellow diners when you don’t leave your wallet sitting on the table unattended when you use the bathroom at a restaurant. When I avoid leaving my three year old on the playground while I run to the bathroom, it isn’t because I believe anyone around would steal my child, it’s because I know that is a possibility. That possibility is considerably lower than the odds of a lone women walking down a deserted street at night being raped – it’s just that the stakes are far too high to take that risk.

    More importantly, my refusal to take that risk isn’t a values judgement about the people at the park. It isn’t saying anything about them – even though I am assuming that any one of them is a potential kidnapper. Neither then, are women walking down the same deserted street as you are making a values judgement about you, when they assume you might assault them. However small the likelihood might be, the stakes are too high for them to risk it.

    That you somehow take from that simple risk assessment, some indictment of you personally, indicates you are either creepy as hell, really fucking stupid or – most likely, both. It most certainly indicates a bizarre, pathological need to offer cover for actual rapists.

  170. #173 Raging Bee
    July 9, 2011

    Two things, Jimmyboy: first, the statements you cite were offensive to many people, especially the bit where the union guy tried to justify keeping women’s pay below men’s because women took more sick leave — to take care of their kids. People get fired for offensive misstatements all the time, so this doesn’t exactly strike me as an example of the unusual power of your imagined “feminist orthodoxy.”

    And second, you still haven’t defined what “political correctness” even is. You called it “system of thought,” so you should be able to describe its major tenets — if you know what you’re talking about, that is.

  171. #174 Raging Bee
    July 9, 2011

    Phyraxus: you say “suck her cunt, bow at her feet and ask for more” like it’s a BAD thing. Have you ever actually tried it? I have, and there’s nothing unmanly about giving pleasure to a woman (or a man if you’re gay) that you care about. Sneering about such harmless intimate activity doesn’t make you sound manly or credible; it makes you sound like a junior-high mouth-breather who still thinks cuss-words make him sound tough and manly. It also shows (again) that the anti-feminist crowd really have no understanding or respect for women, and no idea how to act like men.

  172. #175 rnb
    July 9, 2011

    Since there seems to be agreement that the “Schrodinger’s Rapist” meme shouldn’t be used by law enforcement, what are we going to do about the police harassing every black man they can find when a white person tries to cover up their own crime by claiming a black person did it?

  173. #176 rnb
    July 9, 2011

    One thing I’m wary of is just replacing white men with white women. Probably got that from my mother, who was non white.

  174. #177 Chris Willett
    July 9, 2011

    Why I stand with Dr. Richard Dawkins:

    The skeptic community is embroiled in an acrimonious debate concerning whether “Elevator Guy” was obtuse and harmless or sexist and harassing in his overture to Ms. Watson in an elevator in Dublin. When I arrived to this debate, quite late, “Elevator Guy” had been repeatedly insulted and his motives thoroughly debated (in commentary long on assumptions and emotional intensity and short on facts). Some “feminists” derided his actions as sexist and emphasized the potential for sexual assault, citing statistics and research on rape. Others, siding with Dr. Dawkins, argued that this perspective constitutes “hysteria” (admittedly a sexist term) and serves not to elevate women, but to demean men by presupposing that they are all potential rapists. Some “feminists” shot back by accusing their opponents of ignorance on issues of sexism and male privilege.

    While I certainly do not doubt or have any desire to minimize the experiences of Ms. Watson and other women who repeatedly receive unwanted sexual advances (and threats), I believe that the entire issue is overblown.

    First, I disagree with the notion that this event was unquestionably an act of sexism:

    Sexism is the belief (and more importantly, the differential treatment that results from such belief) that one sex is superior to the other. In the American historical context, men have long been (incorrectly, obviously) regarded as superior to women. (Undoubtedly, Christian doctrine played a large part in promoting this view.) It is clearly apparent that “Elevator Guy” dismissed Ms. Watson’s statements concerning her discomfort with unwanted male pursuit and her intent to retire for the evening. He is thus rightly chided for being obtuse, selfish, and disrespectful. Concluding that his actions were sexist, however, requires demonstrating that he disregarded Ms. Watson’s stated intentions because of her sex. While there is certainly a long history of men ignoring women’s preferences concerning sexual advances, I am not convinced that the fact of this history alone is sufficient grounds to state with certainty that “Elevator Guy” is sexist or misogynist.

    I also resent the assertion that my position is patently callous or sexist. I recognize that I not only enjoy male privilege, but that I also experience what could be termed “double male privilege” due to my sexual orientation. As a gay man, I do not relate intimately with women and thus am unaware of the personal concerns that they may express only in the privacy of their romantic relationships. Nor must I heed such concerns when pursuing romance, since I pursue men. Nevertheless, I remain unconvinced that merely believing that this issue is overblown makes me (or Dr. Dawkins) ignorant or insensitive concerning issues of sex inequality.

    Certainly men must recognize the legitimacy of female discomfort in enclosed spaces. But when some “feminists” suggest that “polite” and “considerate” men decline opportunities to enter an elevator in which a woman stands alone, I do not see an argument promoting respect and equality for women. Instead, I see a rather insulting assertion that women are frightened, helpless, victims-in-waiting unable to defend themselves. This perspective also limits men – presumably even gay ones like me – by implying that a woman’s right to not feel any level of discomfort, whether justified or not, transcends a man’s right to ride in the elevator. This is not equality; this is a reversal of who has privilege.

    Second, and much more importantly, I believe that Dr. Dawkins has been unfairly pilloried:

    Dr. Dawkins entered the debate shortly after it began, sarcastically comparing the incident to the appalling oppression of women in fundamentalist Islamic societies. I believe he intended to express that the incident hardly merits the attention it has received. After his comment was widely panned, Dr. Dawkins clarified his position, requested additional information, and acknowledged that he could be mistaken. Whatever your opinion of his tone, a close reading of his three comments does not reveal him to be the domineering misogynist he has been made out to be.

    But I am no longer chiefly concerned with my ability to convince others of my perspective on whether or not the elevator proposition was sexist. A much more pressing matter is the extreme, divisive reactions that Ms. Watson and some of her supporters have recently posted on Skepchick. In “The Privilege Delusion,” Ms. Watson refers derisively to Dr. Dawkins as a “stinking rich” “wealthy old heterosexual white man,” states that she will boycott his work, and thanks her supporters for “bravely battling [Dawkins] and the hoards of clueless privileged people who didn’t get it.” The open letters to Dr. Dawkins are more severe: “I look forward to watching your legacy crash and burn,” wrote Mindy, who concluded with “you don’t get a second chance.” Another letter opened with “Dear Dick” and accused Dr. Dawkins of making the skeptic community “blatantly unsafe” for women.

    Language such as this, dripping with negative emotional reactivity, eclipses the legitimate perspective the writers wish to express, reveals as hypocrites those who have targeted Dr. Dawkins for his tone, and threatens to split apart a movement that already has more than enough challenges. (Dr. Dawkins now faces retribution in the actual press.) Further, the ferociousness of the accusations of sexism and misogyny directed at Dr. Dawkins and others only serves, rightly or wrongly, to provide ammunition to the real “men’s rights activists” out there who believe that feminism is about revenge rather than equality.

    We can do better than this. The first responsibility of any skeptic is to be skeptical of his own perspective. That ability, along with a healthy dose of modesty and humility, has been abandoned in recent days. It is long past time to let this issue go.

  175. #178 Jim
    July 9, 2011

    DuWayne (172, you misrepresent my view. It is perfectly understandable that women risk assess. We all do, all the time to protect ourselves against various criminals and other threats out there. My point is firstly that it is usually pretty offensive to tell the other person that that is what you are thinking, because it usually involves accusing an innocent person of being a criminal or potential criminal. That’s hardly polite is it. Secondly, moaning about uncomfortable situations is a bit pathetic, because you can’t stop them, and nor should you be able to, because they infringe on the rights of everyone else out there going about their normal business, from walking down the street at night, to waiting behind you at the atm, to owning a dog. There’s a spectrum though, and consideration by all parties would be a good thing.

    Raging Bee (173). You seem not to have read the link very well. Alasdair was *not* justifying keeping women’s pay below men’s. He is totally in favour of equal pay. He was asked in an interview why women’s pay was still below men’s and came up with a variety of possibilities, including that women take more sick leave than men. That is a statistical fact. The reasons for it are irrelevant. His argument was then that absenteeism affects productivity, and productivity affects pay. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. (BTW, I should also point out that he wasn’t actually a union guy, but an employers’ representative).

    Now, I thought I had explained to you what political correctness was. I’ll repeat. It is the idea that sometimes it is unacceptable to tell the truth. Alasdair was a victim of political correctness. He told the truth (or at least offered an opinion based on fact and logic); it was deemed unacceptable in a trial by media, and he was fired. The considerable power of the feminist orthodoxy is underlined by the fact that in a poll, 64% of people thought Alasdair should not have been fired, yet he still was.

    The fact that many people found the statements in the links I gave you offensive is irrelevant and merely shows they are in the thrall of PC. If the statements are not true, then they can and should be disproved. If they are true, then it is hardly appropriate to even complain, let alone call for someone to be fired.

    As (presumably) an atheist, you must understand that it is wrong to have your rational views deemed unacceptable and suffer personal condemnation as a result.

  176. #179 Delurked lurker
    July 9, 2011

    In my country,Australia, being a white male means that you are more likely to be a victim of a violent crime. Through all age groups in Australia 57% of violent crimes are committed against men. This peaks in the 18 to 24 year age group. So in actual fact men have more to worry about than women.

    I have been scared witless being followed at night on more than one occasion. Once in Amsterdam I narrowly avoided being mugged, if it was not for my knowledge of the local area I would have been in a very sorry position. Being a male does not make you immune to fear.

    EG was a very awkward acting person. I doubt he had the social skills to approach RW in any other way. RW was justifiably scared as she obviously did not have the skills to defend herself. If she did she would have probably told EG to get fucked.

    There in lies the solution people. Trying to get males to reconsider their privilege has a snowflakes chance in hell of getting off the ground especially as you have got one hell of a job in front of you trying to convince a lot of poor white men they are privileged. Develop the skills to look after yourself and you will walk down any street with confidence and you will never find yourself freaked out in a lift with a strange male again.

    Believe me it works

  177. #180 Greg Laden
    July 9, 2011

    So in actual fact men have more to worry about than women.

    If “violent crime that is not rape” vs “violent crime that is rape” is not different.

    But yes, men around the world are between slightly to significantly likely to suffer the effects of other men’s violent tendencies.

    RW was justifiably scared as she obviously did not have the skills to defend herself. If she did she would have probably told EG to get fucked.

    I wouldn’t assume she was scared, nor that she did not have the skills to defend herself.

    There in lies the solution people. Trying to get males to reconsider their privilege has a snowflakes chance in hell of getting off the ground especially as you have got one hell of a job in front of you trying to convince a lot of poor white men they are privileged.

    All of the men that I hang with and/or consider as a friend get it. No snowflakes were killed in the process.

  178. #181 Delurked lurker
    July 9, 2011

    Greg

    you said
    ‘All of the men that I hang with and/or consider as a friend get it.’

    bully for you Greg. Try and get the 3 and a half billion other men on the planet to agree with you, most of whom have not had the chance to get a good education like your white male privileged friends.

    I am just trying to point out that the solutions to this are personal as personal solutions are easy to start. Endlessly whining in an obscure blog is not an acceptable solution. Trying to get men to ‘get it” is just not going to work either as you can see by the numbers that have posted here that don’t ‘get it’, and they are educated ( at least I hope so )

    With proper training no one, male or female, need to feel uncomfortable in a lift with a threatening person. All it takes is to get off your Butts and do something about it YOURSELF

    for my part I will take all the advice from the female posters and endeavor not to threaten anyone with my behavior. No skin of my nose to walk on the other side of the street or wait for the next lift. Apart from that there is little else I can do personally.

    BTW I have not seen any proof anywhere that Richard actually said the things he was accused of saying. Does anyone have any links that prove this ?

  179. #182 Greg Laden
    July 9, 2011

    bully for you Greg. Try and get the 3 and a half billion other men on the planet to agree with you, most of whom have not had the chance to get a good education like your white male privileged friends.

    Actually, you might be less convinced that every single man on the planet except you, me, and my friends is a dick if you didn’t live in Australia, mate!

    I am just trying to point out that the solutions to this are personal as personal solutions are easy to start. Endlessly whining in an obscure blog is not an acceptable solution. Trying to get men to ‘get it” is just not going to work either as you can see by the numbers that have posted here that don’t ‘get it’, and they are educated ( at least I hope so )

    I would never whine on an obscure blog myself, but in fact voices are voices and what I hear you saying could be interpreted as yet another version of “shut up” but with the excuse this time that there is no hope!

    That’s probably not what you are saying, but it sounds a bit like that.

    BTW I have not seen any proof anywhere that Richard actually said the things he was accused of saying. Does anyone have any links that prove this ?

    I’m not sure what you mean but there’s lot of links here: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/07/elevators_and_privilege_a_lett.php

    In particular, this one:

    http://twitter.com/#!/pzmyers/statuses/87666607261884416

  180. #183 Raging Bee
    July 10, 2011

    Language such as this, dripping with negative emotional reactivity, eclipses the legitimate perspective the writers wish to express, reveals as hypocrites those who have targeted Dr. Dawkins for his tone, and threatens to split apart a movement that already has more than enough challenges.

    NONE of which would be happening if Dawkins had not chosen to belittle someone who had done no wrong (someone who, I must repeat, had previously sat next to him and spoken of him as a friend), over a matter of which he knew nothing and did not directly involve him, using, as you say, language “dripping with negative emotional reactivity.”

    Yes, the atheist movement has many challenges and enemies to overcome — which is why it was so stupid of Dawkins to alienate such a staunch ally and cause so much division, when he could have either said nothing at all, or just said something like “Yes, that behavior was uncalled-for, RW didn’t deserve to be treated this way, and we should all do our best not to cause needless offense.” Seriously, guys, how controversial, hard or costly would either of those options have been to Dawkins, or anyone else?

  181. #184 DuWayne
    July 10, 2011

    Jim –

    Sorry for the long delays, I am at the very end of a long remodel – and I am the only parent of two young boys.

    My point is firstly that it is usually pretty offensive to tell the other person that that is what you are thinking, because it usually involves accusing an innocent person of being a criminal or potential criminal. That’s hardly polite is it.

    Honestly? That completely depends on the circumstances. I can think of situations where it is entirely appropriate – including situations where making just such a commentary is a signal to someone she does trust, to please walk with her. There are also many situations where that would be a really shitty, mean thing to do. In the case of what I perceive as being acceptable reasons for doing so (another appropriate situation would be one in which the guy in question was engaging in unwanted advances and failed to get the hint, or even clear messages that said advances were unwanted) I have no problem with. There are also situations in which that might happen, where it would piss me off.

    But that is not what this conversation has been about. This has been about women watching out for themselves. In the case of elevator guy, I should think that he rather needed a good smack about with a clue. In the case of some reasonably nice guy who was just trying to be nice, a simple “no thank you,” would have probably been more appropriate – unless of course there is more to the story than has been mentioned here. And the context into which I entered this discussion, was the context of women assuming that strange men they don’t know might be rapists. We seem to agree on that point, but then, what the hell are you fucking arguing about?

    Secondly, moaning about uncomfortable situations is a bit pathetic, because you can’t stop them, and nor should you be able to, because they infringe on the rights of everyone else out there going about their normal business, from walking down the street at night, to waiting behind you at the atm, to owning a dog. There’s a spectrum though, and consideration by all parties would be a good thing.

    But that is not what this conversation has been about either. This is a conversation about what women are experiencing, so as to help clueless men understand what their actions might imply to women they don’t know. In some cases that might mean actually proactively deciding that easing the mind of someone else is worth the little extra effort – reading body language might indicate that a particular individual could really use some “above and beyond” consideration. I won’t wait for another elevator every time, but if a woman is obviously especially distressed at teh thought of me in an elevator alone with her (not that this happens often, I am rarely without my children) then I will generally wait for the next one. Likewise, when I had to ride an elevator a few months ago and a lone women appeared rather pleased by the prospect, I also chose to wait for the next one – men are allowed to express their feelings in these ways as well.

    What strikes me as whining, is this constant deluge of “that hurts my feelings” going on in this discussion. And you are engaging in some of that yourself – all indignant about that incident you witnessed and assuming that we all find that behavior acceptable. If all that was going on, is exactly what you said, then that was a shit thing for her to say. But according to you, many people who witnessed this thought it was – including, presumably, several women. Obviously this is not behavior that a lot of people think is acceptable.

    If that is all you have, then what teh fuck are you even arguing for?

  182. #185 Greg Laden
    July 10, 2011

    Jim … Ah,.. what DuWayne said. Thanks DuWayne.

  183. #186 WMDKitty
    July 11, 2011

    Something has been bothering me for a bit.

    It’s perfectly fine for men to tell women to be aware of and alter their behavior to (try to) avoid being raped.

    But it’s … NOT okay for us women to tell the men, “these behaviors are creepy, please be aware of them and stop doing them”?

  184. #187 WMDKitty
    July 11, 2011

    By the way, I am a DV survivor, and I am utterly appalled at the males (‘cuz honey, they sure as hell ain’t MEN) who keep insisting that EG was “just being friendly”, and RW was being “paranoid”.

    If a woman is raped, she is questioned repeatedly about what she wore, how she acted, was she drinking, and oh, if she didn’t want to be raped, she should have stayed home.

    If a woman displays caution towards men, especially strange men, dresses modestly, and stays sober, she’s “unreasonably paranoid.”

    Much love for the REAL MEN who are standing up and fighting against our society’s implicit acceptance of rape.

  185. #188 jennygadget
    July 11, 2011

    WMDKitty,

    I know, it’s almost like the rules are set up to benefit the privileged class or something, regardless of logic or consistency. :p

  186. #189 Pierce R. Butler
    July 11, 2011

    Lots more new links and feud fodder at Pharyngula, pholks!

  187. A few things: I don’t get where calling Dawkins a “rich, old, heterosexual white man” was an insult. It was a description of the bases of his privileged sense of security. “Stinkin’ rich” might be going a bit far, but you can see the gerund as an intensifier, which is how it’s usually used, rather than an insult, Now if she’d called him a senile miser, that would have been an insult! *He* called her a whiner. I’d say they’re even.

    Rapists live in our society as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Women have to watch their behaviour to peek beneath the wool. The guy in the elevator was acting in wolf-like ways by ignoring her previous statements. A rapist uses the sheep disguise to creep in on women–the basic definition of a “creep.” Rebecca was right to be cautious.

    The moral indignation of some commenters bewilders me. Where is your indignation that I have to lock my car–aren’t I calling you a car thief? Where is your indignation against the store that demands to see photo ID or a bank card before cashing a cheque? Isn’t the management calling you a forger? How dare they? Why can they set boundaries about property & money but women can’t set boundaries about their personal safety? Just as you’ve learned to stand the suspicions of car owners and store personnel, you can stand being thought formidable by women.

  188. A few things: I don’t get where calling Dawkins a “rich, old, heterosexual white man” was an insult. It was a description of the bases of his privileged sense of security. “Stinkin’ rich” might be going a bit far, but you can see the gerund as an intensifier, which is how it’s usually used, rather than an insult, Now if she’d called him a senile miser, that would have been an insult! *He* called her a whiner. I’d say they’re even.

    Rapists live in our society as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Women have to watch men’s behaviour to peek beneath the wool. A rapist uses the sheep disguise to creep in on women–the basic definition of a “creep.” Then they use, “Just being friendly, just wanted to talk, can’t you take a joke” to deny their incomplete forays. The guy in the elevator was acting in wolf-like ways by ignoring her previous statements. Rebecca was right to be cautious.

    The moral indignation of some commenters bewilders me. Where is your indignation that I have to lock my car–aren’t I calling you a car thief? Where is your indignation against the store that demands to see photo ID or a bank card before cashing a cheque? Isn’t the management calling you a forger? How dare they? Why can they set boundaries about property & money but women can’t set boundaries about their personal safety? Just as you’ve learned to stand the suspicions of car owners and store personnel, you can stand being thought formidable by women.

  189. Sorry for the double post: my computer is so slow I think it hasn’t done anything. Just read the second, it’s more coherent.

  190. Paul Bernardo, Canada’s most notorious rapist and murderer until the pig farmer, used to volunteer as a “safe escort” for women at his university campus. In his spare time he was the “Scarborough Rapist.” Yet to all outward appearances he was a “nice guy” and women, no doubt, would be castigated for wanting to be cautious around him. Ditto Jeffrey Dahmer.

    When will people get that You Can’t Tell by Looking? You have to wait for them to act. And if you’re in a vulnerable situation, that may be too late.

    So, please, enough indignation. Grow up!

  191. #194 bluharmony
    July 24, 2011

    “BUT the facts of the original incident, you, Phyraxus, are the only one even vaguely insinuating that there might be a dispute;”

    What a bunch of BS. There are tons of us, most afraid to speak up.

  192. #195 mk
    July 25, 2011

    So why the fuck did you try to insinuate that the story might be false, you moron?

    Because that’s the essence of skepticism … every story might be false. And claiming that no one else has questioned it (which isn’t) true is a fallacy of argumentum ad populum.

  193. #196 Vince whirlwind
    July 26, 2011

    It’s always funny seeing people who well into adulthood are still at school complain of others’ priviledge.

    This is the head of the nail that Dawkins so accurately hit with his very apt comment.

  194. #197 Stephanie Z
    July 26, 2011

    @194 Did you really just use the equivalent of “I’m supported in email”?

  195. #198 Raging Bee
    July 26, 2011

    There are tons of us, most afraid to speak up.

    Oh please. There’s a hard indignorant core of trolls who have been doing absolutely nothing BUT “speaking up” to RW, relentlessly (and pointlessly) trashing her on several threads for WEEKS now — and now you’re crying about people being “afraid to speak up?” What, you had a night-terror about a visit from the dreaded Waffen RWSS? You really expect to be taken seriously with that crybaby bullshit? I don’t care how many educated women you claim to represent — you’re a fucking hyperemotional idiot.

    I’ve met some educated women myself, and NONE of them sound as ridiculous as you. Must be something to do with their being, you know, educated.

  196. #199 Cara
    July 26, 2011

    Pathetic Dork @178: You made these two remarks in the same post:

    It is perfectly understandable that women risk assess. We all do, all the time to protect ourselves against various criminals and other threats out there. My point is firstly that it is usually pretty offensive to tell the other person that that is what you are thinking, because it usually involves accusing an innocent person of being a criminal or potential criminal. That’s hardly polite is it.
    ***********
    Now, I thought I had explained to you what political correctness was. I’ll repeat. It is the idea that sometimes it is unacceptable to tell the truth. Alasdair was a victim of political correctness. He told the truth (or at least offered an opinion based on fact and logic); it was deemed unacceptable in a trial by media, and he was fired.

    Soooo…it’s okay for a poor, pathetic male victim of the Feminazi Cabal to “tell the truth” (heh), but it’s not okay for women to be straightforward about their reasons for being wary of strangers.

    Gotcha.

    Dipshit. (Oh, my…how rude of me. I guess I lose the Tone Argument).

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