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Dawkins sounds off. Lots of atheists upset.

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Comments

  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,879 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    Sharrow wrote: »
    /facepalm

    talk about over simplifying and missing the point and asserting that men have the right to hit on any woman they feel inclined to and women should just suck it up.

    like I said in tLL

    The lady was here to talk to skeptics and atheists.

    Thus far such groups/associations have been predominately male (like this forum).
    There have been issues when more women have been joining, instead of seeing them as fellow sceptics and atheists the guys have been hitting on them.

    When you are the minority gender in a group/association and a substantive percentage of the other gender uses the gatherings as a chance to hit on you, they are sexualising you and making an issue of your gender.

    When this happens enough to a person they will leave as the group/association becomes a sexual intimidating place to be, which means less people join up and it's harder for the group/association to achieve it's goals, it's a behaviour which is holding the group/association/cause back.

    Part of her talk was about this and about her experience as a woman who has had this happen to her time and time again. And then some idiot does exactly that.

    This is a pretty big issues within certain sub cultures which are/have been mostly made up of men, who on seeing a woman who has some of the same interests make a move. The women are not there to be chatted up they are there to take part and men chatting them up gets in the way of this and undermines them.

    There had been at that very same conference a panel on this, and yet this genius still perpetuated this behaviour.

    As for Dawkins, he doesn't get it, he's trivialising it and has never experienced it and doens't see it as a problem. He's as much of a genius as the other guy. He has no comprehension of what it's like and so is dismissive.

    But this stuff if not just prevalent in sceptic/atheist groups/associations.
    It can and does happen in any gathering which has more men then women esp young single men, when a single woman turns up. The issue is the behaviour of the men and not the presence of the women.

    The issue isn't the women's sexuality it is that of the men and how they choose to act on it or express it.

    I get what you're saying, but it just sounds like normal male behaviour to me, if the women were in the minority then it's kind of naive not to expect to be hit on. If a single man meets an attractive like minded woman that's also single why would he not hit on her? Maybe he should have asked her out rather than back to his room i suppose.

    I'd understand if the guy was anyways pushy but she said no and that was that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,489 ✭✭✭ axer


    Einhard wrote: »
    However, I read Watson's blog comment and, not having heard of her before, did a little bit of googling. One of the first results is her personal page on The Skeptic's Guide website (http://www.theskepticsguide.org/bios.aspx), in which she appears in a rather alluring pose, reading a book, apparently naked. Nothing wrong with that at all of course, except it might be considered a tad rich to complain of sexual objectification of women, whilst posing in such a titilating fashion.
    and she is also in a skepchick pin-up calendar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bc7uRF_JZI
    Its just such a ridiculus argument coming from her that she doesn't like being sexualised.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,489 ✭✭✭ axer


    Mickeroo wrote: »
    I get what you're saying, but it just sounds like normal male behaviour to me, if the women were in the minority then it's kind of naive not to expect to be hit on. If a single man meets an attractive like minded woman that's also single why would he not hit on her? Maybe he should have asked her out rather than back to his room i suppose.

    I'd understand if the guy was anyways pushy but she said no and that was that.
    Its not just that it is normal behaviour but it is the fact that if there are more men than women then any hitting on (if it even happened in this case) would be more condensed.

    I see it in work too where there are a lot of women in the customer services department and only one or two guys. The guys were hit on by the women a number of times and one ended up going out with one of them. Its a numbers game and happens both ways - while everyone has the right to hit on each other and be accepted or rejected nobody has the right to be pushy, aggressive or just impolite.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,873 ✭✭✭ strobe


    If so, you'd have to demonstrate how his failure to take the thoughtlessness of his proposition into account before making his request was in some way not rude. Making up all kinds of reasons why we might view his failure to consider how rude if not threatening his request was as unintentionally rude or threatening doesn't change the fact that most women would indeed find it rude and if not downright threatening.

    Basically, to me, failing to consider how that come on would be seen as rude or threatening, and going ahead with the request, shows a very fundamental lack of respect. I'm not saying it was intenionally rude or disrespectful, just that it is almost guaranteed that such a request will be perceived that way by the majority of women.

    As this is a situation where a man was apparently coming on to a woman (bending over backwards here to avoid every possible 'but what if' excuse), it stands to reason that the majority of women's reactions or opinions would dictate whether or not the come on was rude or disrespectful.


    Well we aren't going to agree here. (again, maybe it's an age/generational thing, I dunno). Disrespect implies something about the mindset of the person being accused of it. {"respect: Admire (someone or something) deeply, as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements", disrespect being the absence of that}. I don't consider propositioning a women disrespectful anymore than I think a woman propositioning me would be disrespectful on their part. I find the mindset quite quaint if I'm honest.

    [Just a general comment not to do with your post above but the discussion as a whole ...]
    I also find the accusation of sexism that has been a part of the discussion pretty odd (bordering on the ludicrous so closely that it appears parody at times). An ever present aspect of modern western feminism in the last 20 years had been addressing the difference in how men and women are viewed and judged in how they conduct themselves sexually. "A man has a one night stand, he's a legend, a woman does and she's a slut"...etc. If one of my female peers were to sleep with someone they just met that night I don't think anyone I know would raise an eyebrow, anymore than if one of my male friends were to. I don't think we are unusual in that for 21st century western 20 somethings. Similarly a product of that egalitarianism is that not all men feel obligated to send a handwritten, wax sealed letter to the father of a girl they find attractive requesting permission to commence courting (initially chaperoned of course), and not all women expect it.

    It's not sexism, it's the polar opposite.
    Yes, and again I truly was not intending to point at a group of women and accuse them of being desperate for attention - just presenting that as a possible reason why they'd put up with being treated that way.

    K, cool, and again I am just presenting another possible reason they would "put up with being treated that way". Because they did not view it as disrespectful as it wasn't disrespectful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,920 ✭✭✭ Einhard


    To tell the truth, I can understand to a degree where the reaction from Watson et al is coming from. Sure, it's alright to hit on girls, and chat them up and, to be crude, try to get in their pants, but I think context is important. Have you been speaking with the girl? Did you get positive vibes from her? Where are you? It seems more than a little inappropriate for a strange man to proposition, for sex, a woman he has had no encounter with previously. I mean, would that be acceptable in a supermarket, in a library, walking down the street? I hope not. I don't really think it's acceptable in a hotel lift either.

    Now, the situation changes if they do know each other, had been chatting etc. I don't know the full details, but I'd have no problem with the latter, but the former seems to me to cross the line.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 295 ✭✭ bipedalhumanoid


    sink wrote: »
    Amusing or not, it's a very poor argument, essentially it boils down to 'worse stuff happens, so you have no right to complain'. It's not even an argument it's simply dismissive.

    Either the man who propositioned her in the elevator was wrong to do so, or he was not. Anything else is a red herring.

    No it doesn't. What it boils down to is "as activists, we have bigger fish to fry".

    Rebecca Watson is milking this for everything she can. She is clearly loving the attention. When this passes over and everyone forgets who she is, she'll go back to her other attention seeking activities such as posing naked in calendars and publicly humiliating anyone who disagrees with her.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Einhard wrote: »
    I don't know the full details
    The problem is that nobody knows the full details. While there are plenty of circumstances in which a guy following a girl into a lift is way out of order, there are others in which it's quite ok. Until Watson comes clean and says exactly what happened, and elevator-guy comes forward and corroborates her account in every detail, it's inappropriate to make any final judgement about that event in particular. It's doubly inappropriate to extend that to men in general.

    What has happened is that one side of the debate has fixed upon a single interpretation and extended that interpretation way past the point at which it's either useful or honest.

    If the debate rumbles on, I've no doubt some helpful person may well make a flowchart listing possibilities and that may go some way towards highlighting the narrowness of the corridor into which Watson has backed herself.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Einhard wrote: »
    One of the first results is her personal page on The Skeptic's Guide website (http://www.theskepticsguide.org/bios.aspx), in which she appears in a rather alluring pose, reading a book, apparently naked.
    To wit:

    rebeccawatson.jpg
    Rebecca is the founder of Skepchick (www.skepchick.org]), an online magazine focused on women and critical thinking. Her articles and essays have appeared online and in newspapers and magazines across the United States. Her daily ramblings can be found at www.skepchick.org/blog. She occasionally poses in skeptic pin-up calendars.
    Hamlet, Act 3, Scene II

    /thread


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,212 fatmammycat


    robindch wrote: »

    Oh but of course: that she posed for something she was happy to do, NATURALLY, means she cannot be against something she did not agree. After all, being compliant once means being compliant at all times.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 46,938 ✭✭✭✭ Nodin


    Oh but of course: that she posed for something she was happy to do, NATURALLY, means she cannot be against something she did not agree. After all, being compliant once means being compliant at all times.

    She stated that she objected to being 'sexualised in that way' when referring to a person asking her if she'd like to join him from coffee......

    I wasn't aware that being asked a civil question made one "compliant" to anything.


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  • Administrators, Computer Games Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 30,879 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Mickeroo


    Oh but of course: that she posed for something she was happy to do, NATURALLY, means she cannot be against something she did not agree. After all, being compliant once means being compliant at all times.

    Is that not what being a hypocrite means?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,188 ✭✭✭ pH


    Oh but of course: that she posed for something she was happy to do, NATURALLY, means she cannot be against something she did not agree. After all, being compliant once means being compliant at all times.

    As far as I know, no one attempted to remove her clothes and take a picture of her naked in a lift. Do you know different?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,780 liamw


    She hates being sexualized but posts this stuff on Flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/skepchick/3679877386/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,873 ✭✭✭ strobe


    axer wrote: »
    and she is also in a skepchick pin-up calendar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bc7uRF_JZI
    Its just such a ridiculus argument coming from her that she doesn't like being sexualised.
    robindch wrote: »
    liamw wrote: »
    She hates being sexualized but posts this stuff on Flickr:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/skepchick/3679877386/



    So she poses in a few sexualised photos and that means it's ok to repeatedly rape her in an elevator!?!

    You people sicken me. :mad:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,780 liamw


    axer wrote: »
    and she is also in a skepchick pin-up calendar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bc7uRF_JZI
    Its just such a ridiculus argument coming from her that she doesn't like being sexualised.

    Top Comments

    "Stop sexually objectifying women! Now buy my pin up calendar!" - Rebecca Watson
    aoakampfer 1 week ago 74


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Yeah, but those photos are in black and white, therefore it's 'art'


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    strobe wrote: »
    So she poses in a few sexualised photos and that means it's ok to repeatedly rape her in an elevator!?!

    You people sicken me. :mad:

    She had it cuming to her.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    axer wrote: »
    and she is also in a skepchick pin-up calendar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bc7uRF_JZI
    the backing music is by George Hrab (visited Dublin recently!) and here's an excerpt from the lyrics:
    what I need is a two-sided coin
    she better satisfy my brain as well as my loins
    she better wear a tight dress and have a mind that’s strong
    I want brains and a body is that so wrong?
    when she shows me her brain cells
    then my pride suddenly swells
    like a Botticelli chick she’s on the half shell
    but she likes gettin’ nasty like Tori Welles

    brainsbodyboth… I wanna eat my cake and have it too
    Indeed.

    Meanwhile, while I'm not an expert on Watson's back, but I think the last girl in that video is Watson herself (seems to be her hair, please correct if wrong). And here's how that model posed:

    167689.png
    liamw wrote: »
    She hates being sexualized but posts this stuff on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skepchick/3679877386/
    And this photo's marked as one of her favourites:

    3882883805_82824a86eb_z.jpg

    She complains about being sexually objectified while seemingly posing naked on a video and also apparently selling and signing her own line of skeptical knickers for men?

    Words fail me. They really do.


  • Registered Users Posts: 899 ✭✭✭ Overature


    what happened? you say, why the situation elevated


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean


    Wow, I wish we hadn't gone through dozens of pages of rigorous debate before finding out about all the saucy hypocrisy. Turns out, pointing and laughing was the correct thing to do.


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  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Wow, I wish we hadn't gone through dozens of pages of rigorous debate before finding out about all the saucy hypocrisy.
    Kudos to Einhard, axer and liamw for finding that stuff.
    Galvasean wrote: »
    Turns out, pointing and laughing was the correct thing to do.
    It certainly is now :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,038 sponsoredwalk


    I'd just like to point out there are now 98 posts in this thread mentioning
    rape when the conversation is about a guy telling a girl that he found her
    interesting in the elevator of a 4 star hotel after a party.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 Ickle Magoo


    How depressing that this has to be one of the few forums that turns into something more resembling a Bevis and Butt-head episode than a group of adult skeptics accepting that a number or women are trying to explain why there is a distinct lack of women in their movement, if not their forum.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 560 virmilitaris


    How depressing that this has to be one of the few forums that turns into something more resembling a Bevis and Butt-head episode than a group of adult skeptics accepting that a number or women are trying to explain why there is a distinct lack of women in their movement, if not their forum.

    Is it as depressing as discovering that one of us refuses to see they might be wrong ? You haven't responded to several points made and you also don't seem to have listened to what we are saying about the incident.

    In short form.

    I agree that the guy in the elevator made a mistake. It's not right to simply ask for sex like that straight away in those circumstances.

    I agree Dawkins' reply was overly dismissive and rude regardless of whether or not he was right.

    I agree that there is an issue in bringing women (and minorities) to and keeping them in our community.

    Have we got that much straight ?

    I don't agree that the guy in the elevator was misogynist, or a threat to her. He made a bad pass at her. End of.

    I don't agree that men (or women) should not make passes at the opposite sex at these meetings. Even in an elevator at 4am if that matters.

    Ok ?

    There are more men who attend these conferences than women. This is a simple fact. In environments where there are more men than women or more women than men then the minority will always get more attention from the majority. It's simply a numbers game and it's part of being alive. If I was a man/woman and I was surrounded by men/women and not getting hit on then I would be worried.

    How many men to women ratio were at the conference ? How many men hit on her ?

    Take a man and stick him in a all-female office and see how many times he gets hit on. I'd bet the numbers wouldn't be that dissimilar.

    RW et all are talking about limiting one gender in what they may or may not do. The problem isn't that men can't chat up a women at 4am in an elevator in Dublin using the line "Don't take this the wrong way but ...". The problem is that once you start this nonsense of what is and is not appropriate in such a vague manner you open the floodgates to more nonsense.

    I gave you my example of how I met my wife. You said it wasn't the same, how many of RW et al would agree ?

    This is what is sexist. RW et al are living with this idea that women need to be treated with care when sex is mentioned. This stems from the old belief that women shouldn't sleep around, that women who do sleep around are 'dirty' whereas a man who does it is a 'legend'.

    Well f$#! that. A woman has every right to sleep around, a woman has every right to say yes or no to such proposals and she has every right to make such proposals herself.

    I don't know what the age gap is between us but I see my peers, female and male, as equals sexually, intellectually and otherwise. I don't see my female friends who sleep around as any different to my male friends who do so.

    But that is not what RW et al are proposing or complaining about. They aren't talking about equality, they are taking about dividing people into groups.

    I read the same **** from some of these so called rationalists (skepchick blog but not by RW) regarding minorities in our community. That a 'white man' should step down from a panel if a minority or a woman wanted to be on it.

    My philosophy with this is the same as it is with sexism. I don't care what colour you are, I don't care what is in your pants. If the best people for the panel are 10 middle aged white men then that is who should be on the panel. If the best people for the panel are 10 black women then that is who should be on the panel.

    I have no loyalty to my gender or race or financial class. I have a loyalty to my fellow human beings.

    RW is talking about giving 'minorities' special rights which goes against the whole notion of equality both regarding race and sex.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,489 ✭✭✭ axer


    How depressing that this has to be one of the few forums that turns into something more resembling a Bevis and Butt-head episode than a group of adult skeptics accepting that a number or women are trying to explain why there is a distinct lack of women in their movement, if not their forum.
    The problem is it is hard to take Rebecca Watson seriously from the way she behaves. On one hand she obviously likes being sexualised (how else can you explain the pin-up photos and other photos and also the signed and branded thong and calling herself "skepchick") on the other hand a guy very politely asks her back to his room for coffee (maybe it was a proposition, maybe not - maybe she made the whole thing up, maybe we are hearing a biased one sided account of an event [yes, I am skeptical]) and she gets all worked up. She is obviously sending mixed signals here. Please dont suggest I am making a "oh she wore a short skirt so it was her fault she got raped" type of argument since nothing of the sort happened here - it was all very polite.

    The point is that she gives out about a guy "sexualising her like that" (even though it really wasn't an event at all) but at the same time she gives the impression that she doesn't mind being sexually objectified (she has even posted on JREF forums saying she doesnt mind random strangers hitting on her - granted I wouldn't do it in an elevator considering the violent harm she threatens).
    stranger.PNG

    It is also obvious that she is using all of this for self promotion:
    twatson3.PNG

    So what are we supposed to think here? Its amazing that considering we are supposed to be a skeptical community (as such) that firstly her story was accepted by so many people just based on her version of events without any corroboration.

    Surely you must be furious at Rebecca Watson for her hypocritical behaviour since her hypocrisy overshadows any points being made about encouraging women into the athiest/skeptical movement?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 Ickle Magoo


    As if it's not already glaringly obvious, it's already been stated by pretty much every female poster on this thread that the issue goes well above and beyond RW and her comments - as the rape jokes and boys club stuff here demonstrates amply; dismissing RW's specific points completely ignores the wider issue that many women who haven't been in calenders or sells their underwear identify with.

    No, I'm not furious with RW in the least, she's one woman, I'm another - we are not part of some hive-mind, however on this topic we, along with many others, both see an issue. She has much more clout to deal with it - all I can do is report posts and try in vain, outnumbered 20-1 on demographics alone never mind the dismissive retorts that relate to gender and ironically highlight the very issue in question, to put my perspective across.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    How depressing that this has to be one of the few forums that turns into something more resembling a Bevis and Butt-head episode than a group of adult skeptics accepting that a number or women are trying to explain why there is a distinct lack of women in their movement, if not their forum.
    In all fairness, it was Watson who brought up the topic of rape in the first instance, after having made a number of highly dubious (and quite insulting) comments about the nature of the guys in the skeptic and atheist movements. I suspect that most guys (at least, and I suspect many women too) find what she claimed to be as completely tasteless as most people find these rape "jokes".

    While one of the rape "jokes" has been quite rightly deleted, I think it's arguably appropriate to leave in the others. Not because they are in the slightest bit funny, because they certainly are not. Nor because the topic of rape itself is in any way amusing, because it is not. But because they ably demonstrate what happens when somebody chooses to radicalize a debate.

    Watson started off this debate with a good degree of public support for a reasonable point of view, but instead of building upon that for the good of the excellent aim she claimed to be supporting, instead, she chose to create an ugly "us and them" debating environment before being shown to be a complete and total hypocrite.

    I think she's done a fair degree of damage to her professed goal (though not what her actual goal, which appears to be the promotion of one Rebecca Watson), I suspect that most people will learn that the kind of disjunctive, spit-in-your-face debating style that Watson has engaged in, and tacitly encouraged, over the last two weeks or so, really does nobody any good.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 Ickle Magoo


    Is it as depressing as discovering that one of us refuses to see they might be wrong ?

    Lol.

    Yeah, definitely - and only slightly less depressing that several posters repeatedly addressing the same fallacious straw-men continually trotted out by the same posters as new and impressive argument.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 24,240 Mod ✭✭✭✭ robindch


    [...]
    Do any of the following concern you:

    Her comments about men in the skeptics and atheist movements?
    Her comments about men and rape?
    The fact that she's been shown to be a complete hypocrite?
    Her nasty debating style?

    The justice of her original cause is one topic, and it's one I broadly (if not completely) agree with you. Her subsequent and background conduct is a disgrace and it's this latter stuff which is what most of the guys on this thread are cheesed off, or amused, by.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,485 Ickle Magoo


    robindch wrote: »
    In all fairness, it was Watson who brought up the topic of rape in the first instance, after having made a number of highly dubious (and quite insulting) comments about the nature of the guys in the skeptic and atheist movements. I suspect that most guys (at least, and I suspect many women too) find what she claimed to be as completely tasteless as most people find these rape "jokes".

    I think it was RD who brought rape into it - RW had made no mention of rape. I think it was then brought into the discussion to try to show that women feeling vulnerable consider rape a very real threat.
    robindch wrote: »
    While one of the rape "jokes" has been quite rightly deleted, I think it's arguably appropriate to leave in the others. Not because they are in the slightest bit funny, because they certainly are not. Nor because the topic of rape itself is in any way amusing, because it is not. But because they ably demonstrate what happens when somebody chooses to radicalize a debate.

    So why not leave them all in? All I see is a thread where women have been trying to give their perspective as to why they are a minority in a movement and that movement has then lapsed into rape jokes as if to demonstrate exactly why many women would want to give such a movement and it's members a wide berth.

    I've defended atheists and this forum more times than I care to remember from those claiming it was immaturity and puerile humour for a privileged few. Way to prove their point.
    robindch wrote: »
    Watson started off this debate with a good degree of public support for a reasonable point of view, but instead of building upon that for the good of the excellent aim she claimed to be supporting, instead, she chose to create an ugly "us and them" debating environment before being shown to be a complete and total hypocrite.

    She didn't create an us and them. Those trying to give clear and concise reasons for women feeling differently in specific situations and to a group claiming to be welcome to them ridiculing, making gender based comments and rape jokes is what turned it into an us and them.
    robindch wrote: »
    I think she's done a fair degree of damage to her professed goal (though not what her actual goal, which appears to be the promotion of one Rebecca Watson), I suspect that most people will learn that the kind of disjunctive, spit-in-your-face debating style that Watson has engaged in, and tacitly encouraged, over the last two weeks or so, really does nobody any good.

    I disagree - I think a lot of people look at a small island in which this all kicked off in and seems to contain the majority of those defending quite pitiably. I also think it's blown open an issue that until now has just been muttered about, written off as "the way things are" and brushed under the carpet - whatever her motives or how RW comes out of this I don't really care, I don't think that changes that a lot of people are quite grateful that someone at last got up and said something.


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