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9 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - The Freethought Bullie... · 1 reply · +6 points

It is a little unfortunate that even this post contains the rather obvious falsehood that Rebecca Watson only said “Guys, don’t do that” and then all hell broke loose. She explicitly included in the same video the statement that the EG affair was indicative of “blatant misogyny”—which, btw, is exactly what Richard Dawkins reacted to with his “Dear Muslima” comment. Maybe I can just quote a comment at Jean Kazez’s place from when EG was still going on:

1. Rebecca said, in her video about the elevator incident, that this incident was indicative of “blatant misogyny” and that EG “sexualized” her. The thing is: we don’t know that. Even if EG was thinking about sex at some point during an encounter started off by coffee, that in no way implies he didn’t think of her as a complete and intellectual human being—indeed, he explicitly said he did. To suppose that EG saw in her the equivalent of a blow-up sex doll (as Rebecca suggested in a subsequent video) is in itself sexist (‘that’s what men are like’).

Richard Dawkins, in his original “Muslima” comment, explicitly reacted to the “blatant misogyny” bit, saying that if the elevator incident is misogyny, then that is belittling victims of actual, often enough violent misogyny. Which, on its own terms, is a fair point. Sadly, this explicit reference to ‘misogyny’, from both RW and RD, is never mentioned by supporters of RW, who are very fond of saying, ‘RW just told men not to do that kind of thing, that’s all’. It is not all, which is the only reason RD got involved in the first place.

2. In her talk at the CFI conference, RW not only spent more than one third of her time (roughly 17 min.) talking about the horrible things random commenters on the Internet say to her, which had pretty much nothing to do with her topic. She also abused her position as speaker to personally call out a member of the audience, who she knew didn’t have any opportunity to respond to the accusations and maybe point out errors in RW’s interpretation. We know RW knew because she said on the panel with RD that she had been in a similar situation during Paula Kirby’s talk, where she felt the Q&A was not adequate for a response, which is why she chose to do it when she herself was on the panel. Due to the setup of the CFI conference, Stef McGraw never had that choice.

And to add insult to injury, RW not only put Stef’s comment in the context of people promising to rape her (RW) and characterised Stef’s reaction as “parroting of misogynistic thought” (i.e. mindlessness), but then went on to say that Stef’s reaction made a lot of women who had experienced sexual assault be scared “because they know that you won’t stand up for them.” Which I find an outrageous accusation, made, in essence, simply because someone (strongly) disagreed with her interpretation of ‘sexualization’.