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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:17 pm
by malvolio
Hi bipedalhumanoid
some instant thoughts...
Stef McGraw Rebuts RW
Disagreeing is not rebutting. You can't rebut someone else's experience.
By your reasoning, Dawkins is part of the fallout.
Yes. It all looks like fallout, rather than any attempt from McGraw onwards to understand what Rebecca was feeling and saying.
She did not say anything in her talk that could be interpreted as "don't hit on me" or "don't approach me in a confined space" or anything of that nature. Her examples of misogyny in the atheist community were emails, the worst of which came from men threatening to rape her. Nothing of the nature of elevator etiquite or how women in general should be approached by men.
So it's OK if it's not emails? I would have thought that intelligent humans could understand and extrapolate that intrusive and unpleasant approaches via any medium are unwelcome from any quarter.
a community where we can normally debate anything, has descended to a point where any opposing view can be shut out by labelling it "misogynistic" or by saying "you don't get it" or "thanks for mansplaining that to me".
That was my point about all "communities": physics, music, education, journalism, psychology, kayaking, etc, etc... If empathy fails at the first fence, people's deep unconscious feelings are exposed and so sensitive that these divides ALWAYS erupt.
What she is doing is presenting women as feeble, weak and precious creatures that need special protections. Dawkins treated her like he'd treat anyone else he disagrees with. PZ treated her like a feeble creature who needs a big strong man to protect her.
No, what she was doing initially is suggesting that someone might learn something from listening to her experience, that women have to put up with this stuff all the time and if they dare to suggest that the (usually) men in question could learn something about another person's experience they are called "feeble, weak and precious creatures that need special protections... who needs a big strong man to protect her." You have made my point for me.

It might help if some of the men offended by her initial video go back to the start and try to imagine what it might feel like to live with the need to be alert to attacks in this way, and to ask, nicely, for it to stop, and to get trashed for it.

As I mentioned earlier, requiring Rebecca to be a saint and explain all of this patiently without retaliating against attacks indicates a wish for her to be a saintly figure - this, I believe, is where the madonna/whore stereotype comes from, along the lines of: "if you do as I tell you you're a saint, a perfect mother, but if you even once suggest that my reading of your feelings is ever so slightly off, you'll break the precious pure image I have created for you, be sullied, and I'll have to think of you as bad, then I'll hate you."

Thanks for the opportunity to think more about this - it's good exercise for the mind!

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:38 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
malvolio wrote:Hi bipedalhumanoid
some instant thoughts...
Stef McGraw Rebuts RW
Disagreeing is not rebutting. You can't rebut someone else's experience.
Try watching McGraw's video. She rebutted the idea that Men shouldn't approach women in elevators as some kind of objective feminist no no. It wasn't a disagreement, it was a rebuttal. A rebuttal that this is a feminist issue and that the man's behaviour is up there with what she equted it to, ie. people threatening her with rape in emails.
malvolio wrote:
By your reasoning, Dawkins is part of the fallout.
Yes. It all looks like fallout, rather than any attempt from McGraw onwards to understand what Rebecca was feeling and saying.
It doesn't take much to understand what it feels like to feel the way she did. The constant suggestion that people don't understand is a red herring... especially considering there are men and women on both sides.
malvolio wrote:
She did not say anything in her talk that could be interpreted as "don't hit on me" or "don't approach me in a confined space" or anything of that nature. Her examples of misogyny in the atheist community were emails, the worst of which came from men threatening to rape her. Nothing of the nature of elevator etiquite or how women in general should be approached by men.
So it's OK if it's not emails? I would have thought that intelligent humans could understand and extrapolate that intrusive and unpleasant approaches via any medium are unwelcome from any quarter.
And here's the part where you exit from reasoned debate. This is a Strawman argument and in the interest of civility I'd invite you to withdraw it.

I didn't say it was ok to threaten a woman with Rape if the medium used is not an email. RW did not complain that people asked her to their room for coffee via email.
malvolio wrote:No, what she was doing initially is suggesting that someone might learn something from listening to her experience, that women have to put up with this stuff all the time and if they dare to suggest that the (usually) men in question could learn something about another person's experience they are called "feeble, weak and precious creatures that need special protections... who needs a big strong man to protect her." You have made my point for me.
Had she relayed her experienced, stated how it made her feel and left it at that, then you'd be corect. Unfortunately, she attempted to use it as evidence for misogyny in the atheist community and equted it to what she discussed in her talk.
malvolio wrote: It might help if some of the men offended by her initial video go back to the start and try to imagine what it might feel like to live with the need to be alert to attacks in this way, and to ask, nicely, for it to stop, and to get trashed for it.
Just the men? What about all the women who also disagree with her?

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:18 pm
by malvolio
Hi again, thanks for responding.
Try watching McGraw's video. She rebutted the idea that Men shouldn't approach women in elevators as some kind of objective feminist no no. It wasn't a disagreement, it was a rebuttal. A rebuttal that this is a feminist issue and that the man's behaviour is up there with what she equted it to, ie. people threatening her with rape in emails.
I don't think McGraw rebutted anything. Whatever category of issue 'it' is, telling someone their experience is wrong or invalid isn't a rebuttal. McGraw doesn't think this issue matters; clearly Rebecca does. I do too. We disagree.
And here's the part where you exit from reasoned debate. This is a Strawman argument and in the interest of civility I'd invite you to withdraw it.

I didn't say it was ok to threaten a woman with Rape if the medium used is not an email. RW did not complain that people asked her to their room for coffee via email.
I haven't exited from reasoned debate, nor have I said what you impute.

What I was trying to say - forgive me not being able to make my argument hermetically clear - was that Rebecca seemed to have been talking about getting unrequited approaches (all the way up to threats) when trying to conduct her normal business (including intellectual debate but, presumably, not excluding getting in an elevator to go to her room). She seems to have imagined that the man concerned would have the ability to extrapolate from extreme cases presented in conference to a relatively minor one at 4am.

The straw seems to be in disputing emails vs conversation - it really is irrelevant, I think, but perhaps you don't. Getting bogged down in squabbles over medium used seems to me a distraction from the meaning being communicated. The point is, I believe, about empathy. But the heat coming off your post suggests we're in danger of making this forum unworkable, like all the others, which would be a shame.
she attempted to use it as evidence for misogyny in the atheist community and equted it to what she discussed in her talk.
It seems to me to fall into the same ballpark - as I said in an earlier post: there's a continuum, from Rebecca's experience all the way through to Dawkins' examples.
Just the men? What about all the women who also disagree with her?
You're quite right! Thanks for picking that up.

And thanks for the debate. I'll follow, but probably won't post any more as I think I've said all I want to say. I've entered into debates remarkably similar to this many times in 50+ years and don't enjoy the ad feminam attacks that always seem to boil up and take over.

Best wishes with the atheist campaign!

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:49 pm
by bipedalhumanoid
malvolio wrote:Hi again, thanks for responding.
Try watching McGraw's video. She rebutted the idea that Men shouldn't approach women in elevators as some kind of objective feminist no no. It wasn't a disagreement, it was a rebuttal. A rebuttal that this is a feminist issue and that the man's behaviour is up there with what she equted it to, ie. people threatening her with rape in emails.
I don't think McGraw rebutted anything. Whatever category of issue 'it' is, telling someone their experience is wrong or invalid isn't a rebuttal. McGraw doesn't think this issue matters; clearly Rebecca does. I do too. We disagree.
Except she didn't tell anyone their experience was wrong.
malvolio wrote:
The straw seems to be in disputing emails vs conversation - it really is irrelevant, I think, but perhaps you don't. Getting bogged down in squabbles over medium used seems to me a distraction from the meaning being communicated. The point is, I believe, about empathy. But the heat coming off your post suggests we're in danger of making this forum unworkable, like all the others, which would be a shame.
That's where your strawman lies. The argument I made had absolutely nothing to do with the medium and yet you choose to rebut it as if it did. Where we seem to disagree is in that I consider asking a woman for coffee in my hotel room a completely different situation to telling her I want to rape her. Nothing to do with medium.

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:39 pm
by mkaobrih
malvolio wrote: And thanks for the debate. I'll follow, but probably won't post any more as I think I've said all I want to say. I've entered into debates remarkably similar to this many times in 50+ years and don't enjoy the ad feminam attacks that always seem to boil up and take over.

Best wishes with the atheist campaign!
I hope you wont stop posting here malvolio your very welcome.

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:17 am
by Tulip1
mkaobrih wrote:
malvolio wrote: And thanks for the debate. I'll follow, but probably won't post any more as I think I've said all I want to say. I've entered into debates remarkably similar to this many times in 50+ years and don't enjoy the ad feminam attacks that always seem to boil up and take over.

Best wishes with the atheist campaign!
I hope you wont stop posting here malvolio your very welcome.
+1 It was a joy reading your posts even when I did not agree with all of it.

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:36 am
by Beebub
bipedalhumanoid wrote:That's where your strawman lies. The argument I made had absolutely nothing to do with the medium and yet you choose to rebut it as if it did. Where we seem to disagree is in that I consider asking a woman for coffee in my hotel room a completely different situation to telling her I want to rape her. Nothing to do with medium.
Yep. I'm with bip on this one. I fully accept that he shouldn't have done it in a lift and the Rebecca was perfectly entitled to publicly state that it made her uncomfortable. The problem lies with her equating what he did to the nasty stuff she mentioned in her talk, particularly given that it was only in the aftermath of criticism that she started to suggest that she had been talking about men making gerenal advances to women at atheist conferences and meetings, when if you look at the video of her speech, she did no such thing. The only topic she discussed which relates in any way to men from the athiest community making advances on her were ones in explicit and graphic sexual detail. Again, what elevator guy did was not comperable.

I'll echo the pity that you don't intend to stick around. It has been an interesting dscussion.

The story made the 'Atticus' column in yesterday's Sunday Times.

I see also that Dawkins has written a children's bok on evolution with illustrations by a Harry Potter artist. Looking forward to that. He's doing a reading in the Albert Hall. Wonder will there be protests??

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:40 pm
by Feardorcha
The only good thing about Malvolio's contribution was the name.

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:46 am
by bipedalhumanoid

Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:09 am
by chemicals