Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Commentary on and links to religion or atheism in the media
Beebub
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by Beebub » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:38 pm

She's persistant. I'll give her that...

http://skepchick.org/2011/07/frequently ... questions/

So saying that she will no longer buy his books or attend events he is talking at and will no longer recommend others to buy his books or attend events he is talking at is not the same as calling for a boycott. Okaaaay.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by Feardorcha » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:49 pm

I suspect she has been looking for a crusade for some time and has now found it. Being an anti-Dawkins campaigner gives her the notoriety she craves.

The Skep Chick business is a glugger with any thinking feminist and she can't cut it as a public speaker on atheism. What better then than to be an anti-Dawkins campaigner?

I, myself, am vehemently opposed to the work of Madonna and have instructed all my followers not to attend her shows or buy her CDs. I bet she's sorry now she didn't answer my letters.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by zenbuffy » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:41 pm

Just thought I'd mosey on here to check if anything had been said, and lo and behold, a nice big thread to catch up on. I've been following some of the debate on a boards.ie thread too, and just waded in today to give my two cents. It's gotten a bit messy over there, with a lot of personal clashes making it a bit difficult to follow.

I've just finished blogging about this myself, I took a long while thinking about it before I finally committed something to print. I think that RW is just being far too sensitive, and I say this from my position as a female computer scientist and martial artist (i.e. a woman who is, most often, in a man's world). As per the point I recently made on the boards.ie thread, it's fine for her to say "guys, don't do that to me because I don't like it", but it's an entirely different thing to say "hey, every guy, don't do that to any woman ever", which is a lot more like what she did.

The whole mess has resulted in an awful lot of male apologist claptrap, where people with male genitalia seem to want to pro-actively apologise for possessing it in case it might offend my delicate female sensibilities. It's ok though, it probably won't. I don't wear my gender as a badge, and I don't treat it like a disability, so I don't expect anyone else to either. What Dawkins said was crude, but broadly, I'm inclined to agree. I'm lucky enough to live in a society where I am afforded so many rights and privileges that I couldn't even count them, but a plane journey away, there are women who are mutilated for trying to escape abusive husbands and in-laws. With this in mind, I don't discount modern feminism, but I do absolutely think carefully before branding something sexist. To brand this non-issue as sexists lends it gravitas that it doesn't deserve, and also, diminishes the importance of the struggle that many women must endure to enjoy the rights that most of us take for granted.

I know that, as a woman, I'm more likely to be paid less and overlooked for promotions in the workplace, and I'm less likely to be taken seriously as a martial artist. And yes, this is sexism, but the way to combat that is to continue to strive for equality in these areas where equality is still not seen, not to bandy the words feminism or sexism around at the drop of a hat. It diminishes the impact of the words, it diminishes all those who fought for the freedoms that we enjoy, and frankly, it diminishes those who do it themselves.

Rebecca's response to this whole mess hasn't really raised her in my esteem. I don't have much respect for someone who uses their gender as a crutch, and I don't respect her reactions to it. To brand the guy a creep who doesn't get it, simply because she felt uncomfortable, is overkill. To further speak about McGraw in the same context as rapists and other sexual offenders was unfair, and an abuse of her position, especially given that McGraw was a) misrepresented, and b) given no opportunity to respond. To do all this under the banner of "feminism", well, that's just insulting.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by chemicals » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:34 am

Beebub wrote:
So saying that she will no longer buy his books or attend events he is talking at and will no longer recommend others to buy his books or attend events he is talking at .
i'm sure he's worried :lol:
والقس هو مجنون
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:43 pm

Image
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by aZerogodist » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:23 am

I've been thinking about the RW/elevator-guy (________?)

Basically it was inappropriate of him to ask her to his room (for coffee). If he was interested in her or just wanted to talk, why didn't he just ask her if they could meet for coffee in the morning, in the lobby.


After such a successful and well planned event, it's a shame.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by bipedalhumanoid » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:20 am

aZerogodist wrote:I've been thinking about the RW/elevator-guy (________?)

Basically it was inappropriate of him to ask her to his room (for coffee). If he was interested in her or just wanted to talk, why didn't he just ask her if they could meet for coffee in the morning, in the lobby.

After such a successful and well planned event, it's a shame.
I think there are much bigger issues here than whether or not elevator guy was being innappropriate.

Do you think this man's actions are evidence of widespread misogyny in the atheist community, or misogyny at all?

Do you think RW said anything in her panel discussion at the event that should have lead Elevator guy to not ask her to his room for coffee? If so, what? If not, do you think RW is being honest in her claim that she did? Also keep in mind that in her latest video she goes as far as to claim he did this after her telling everyone not to hit on her. This was not mentioned previously and certainly didn't happen in the discussion panel.

Do you think RW was right to use her position as an activist and spokesperson for skepticism and feminism to personally name and attack Stef McGraw when invited to give a speech about "the war on women" at Stef's university as a response to Stef anonymously giving an opposing view in a you tube video?

Do you think RW's subsequent attack on Richard Dawkins was warranted either in spirit or proportion?

Do you feel comfortable seeing people in our community who, many of us would normally consider to be champions of reason, use dismissive one liners like "you don't get it" in place of actual arguments?

Do you feel comfortable with RWs response to date, which has been to focus solely on the nasty comments she gets and fail to engage with any serious questions about the incident or her actions since the incident?

I think the discussion has evolved way past elevator ettiquite at this stage.
"The fact of your own existence is the most astonishing fact you will ever have to face. Don’t you ever get used to it." - Richard Dawkins... being shrill and offensive again I suppose.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by aZerogodist » Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:14 pm

bipedalhumanoid wrote:Do you think this man's actions are evidence of widespread misogyny in the atheist community, or misogyny at all?
more conversation/proposal/drucken-slur than 'action'.
From anyone I know in the Atheist-community, the answer would not only be no, but would be frowned upon.
As regards the rest I don't like soap-operas.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by Rob611 » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:08 pm

I was disappointed with Dawkins' argument, mainly because of his proportional view of offenses. Yes, it is terrible that women suffer worse persecution elsewhere due to the religious atmosphere they were born into, but it doesn't mean that a lesser injustice should be ignored. By that logic, he should abandon his campaign to rid the world's population of their various imaginary friends and start putting his efforts into helping to fight malaria, starvation, aids, cancer...

As for the incident itself I'm not sure where I stand. I do not believe being viewed as a sexual object at any given time necessarily equates to that being your established position in society. I have been viewed as a sexual object by women plenty of times. Sometimes it was welcome, sometimes it was unwelcome. I've also been objectified by homosexual men. While being approached by women I find unattractive or men can be uncomfortable, I will never demonise these people for their efforts because it is only human to attempt to act on physical attraction. Once people understand the meaning of the word no I think being propositioned is not an inherently unpleasant experience.
So yes, I've been sexualised, but I'm also respected by my peers for my opinions on my areas of interest and among those communities in which I choose to immerse myself. My sexual identity is not my only identity but context determines how I am viewed by others.

So can this guy be forgiven for his actions given the context? Probably not. It was a meeting for academics and like minded people to have a voice in a professional setting. As such, he should have continued to treat her as a peer and afford her that professional courtesy.
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Re: Rebecca Watson v. Richard Dawkins

Post by Feardorcha » Sun Jul 31, 2011 4:29 pm

it doesn't mean that a lesser injustice should be ignored
What injustice is that?
So can this guy be forgiven for his actions given the context? Probably not.
The poor sap said he only wanted to hear more of her drivel.
he should have continued to treat her as a peer and afford her that professional courtesy.
He did. And what profession is that? The Skeptic Chick profession or the spoiled American rich kid conference-junkie profession?
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