Dawkins Being a Dick

Atheist champion Richard Dawkins has managed to halve his fan base in a matter of days with some comments he's made this week. The brouhaha started innocently enough, with Skepchick blogger and co-host of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe Rebecca Watson's anecdote about being propositioned in an elevator at 4am during an atheist conference.

“So I walk to the elevator, and a man got on the elevator with me and said, ‘Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?’

Um, just a word to wise here, guys, uh, don’t do that. You know, I don’t really know how else to explain how this makes me incredibly uncomfortable, but I’ll just sort of lay it out that I was a single woman, you know, in a foreign country, at 4:00 am, in a hotel elevator, with you, just you, and–don’t invite me back to your hotel room right after I finish talking about how it creeps me out and makes me uncomfortable when men sexualize me in that manner…”

This minor opinion took on a life of its own, and soon escalated into a bit of a confrontation between a few skeptics/atheists, as P.Z. Myers explained at Pharyngula. The legitimacy of Watson's complaint provoked plenty of hot-tempered debate in the comments section to Myers' blog post...when all of a sudden, Richard Dawkins turned up and posted the following 'imaginary letter' aiming to point out the discrepancy between Watson's encounter and the kind of situations faced by oppressed Muslim women:

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and ... yawn ... don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, Richard Dawkinsand you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so...

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Most commenters were unwilling to believe that this was the real Richard Dawkins posting ("Does anyone seriously think that the Richard Dawkins posting here is actually Richards Dawkins?"), but Myers soon confirmed that it was indeed he. Dawkins then went on to jump from the rather warm frying pan into the blazing hot fire by posting two follow-up comments, the first of which compared the complaint to Catholic complaints about P.Z. Myers defiling a communion cracker, while his second comment noted his surprise at the fiery reaction to his entry into the debate.

I'm not going to get into the entire debate...the comment threads at Pharyngula alone are on the larger side of a thousand - so if interested, follow the links and get reading. However, following are some of the responses from various prominent skeptics:

Ahem...

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Grail-seeker's picture
Member since:
25 November 2004
Last activity:
1 hour 57 min

Not an appropriate response to Rebecca Watson's challenge.

Grail-seeker (a.k.a. Perceval)

@grailseeker

kamarling's picture
Member since:
26 June 2005
Last activity:
2 days 17 hours

Perhaps Ms Skepchick prefers a different Dick?

http://skepchick.org/2009/12/how-to-have...

... Sorry, couldn't resist.

martyL23's picture
Member since:
10 June 2009
Last activity:
2 years 50 weeks

Couldn't have happened to my favorite couple of Skepdicks...
While I agree with the "Guide to the Puniverse's" little sidekick that MAYBE it was a inappropriate elevator faux pas I completely disagree with Whinemans characterization of the whole deal, proving what a turd he is

Pass the popcorn.

-Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

Kat's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
1 week 17 hours
red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

So the modern atheist movement is mainly composed of angry young men with really poor social skills ("you believe in God? you're such an a-hole!" "Hey you, woman with vagina: wanna screw?")...

Tell us something we didn't already know.

This is the logical conclusion of taking the argument that one does not have the right to feel insulted —when someone mocks one's belief in the afterlife, for example— to the rudest extremes that often characterize the most vocal members of the Antitheist community.

It also shows how Internet social rules *do not* translate really well in meatspace. In the web, trolls get tolerated; in the real world, they might end up in jail ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 3 weeks

Look long and hard enough at what we think of as 'real', and it evapourates into steam.

Yet these ephemera that we create are very powerful -- justice, mercy, meaning, self, money...

The internet just brings all these different worldviews into contact with one another quicker than most media -- tis the closest thing we have to global telepathy ;3

So, some people of a certain tribe will interpret the 'kerfuffle' in one way and find similar-minded minds, some people will interpret in a different way, and so on and so forth, as their thinkers think and their provers prove.

Interpretations built upon the original (and only one that 'counts', really) -- the experience of that lone domesticated primate.

Carry on, sentients!

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

undrgrndgirl's picture
Member since:
9 February 2009
Last activity:
10 weeks 23 hours

does not mean you have surrendered your paternalistic, misogynistic hegemony...and this just proves it, again...sigh.

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

... or surrendered their man-hating prudishness and feminist victim syndrome. Please be patient, the gods are still crazy and not finished with Atheists yet ... chagrin!

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
14 hours 44 min

I think the dearth of truly disinterested skeptics after the truth and nothing but the truth indicates a crisis of confidence in the current platform which is mainly all about going after the paranormal. The fact that we are plagued with so many disingenous dickheads like Dawkins and Amazing Randi is precisely what one would expect if their cause had no legs to stand on. They would not be engaging in all these theatrics and personality cultisms if they were really confident of their position. The real skeptics with a real penchant for the truth have mostly fled the field in regard to the paranormal because they know damn good and well that the science supports it. That then leaves the dickheads playing games and acting up. The field is rife with second raters. It is disappointing because it disrespects the subject and the subject does demand truly scientific scrutiny. These sideshows are a total waste of time, and I still suspect that many of these carnival barker type skeptics are working for people who are terrified of the prospect that homo sapiens should become truly sapiens sapiens.
These skeptics are mainly all about ridicule and shouting matches and other diversionary tactics. That is what people on the losing side usually do when all else fails.

Mashimaro's picture
Member since:
21 December 2009
Last activity:
39 weeks 2 days

Someone else said it before, the response to Rebecca's comment seems entirely overblown. Especially Dawkins' entirely uncalled for rant which makes it seem like Rebecca is comparing her suffering to something as significant as physical abuse. Her comments were really straight forward, "I got creepy sexual vibes from a guy in an elevator. Try not to be a giant creeper if you want women to like you, especially if they just gave a talk about not liking it when they're sexually objectified."

This is what happens in a community which is used to making hyperbolic statements on everything religious or paranormal (or anything else they don't agree with). The difference between Bill O'Reilly's rhetorical style and *some* skeptics is not significant.

Do you use your powers for good or for awesome?

Greg H.'s picture
Member since:
12 June 2009
Last activity:
3 weeks 2 days

Dawkin's letter exemplifies the problem with so many "celebrities" whether they be politicians, movie stars, or...they get so caught up in their own perceived self-importance and often surround themselves with sycophants that they lose touch with normal common sense and reason, making the unreasonable even extreme ideas or commentary seem acceptable - especially if streaming from their brain.

Greg H.

Delaiah's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
20 hours 11 min

It strikes me that the "skeptic" community is composed almost entirely of jerks with axes to grind looking for victims. I don't think anyone should be surprised at this little cannibalistic fray. Being a "skeptic" apparently gives one license to vent their irrational views and even hatred all over the next person (conveniently degraded as automatically stupid). Once this sort of behaviour becomes casual, it is bound to spiral out of control.

Jerk in elevator - has decided he is the center of the universe. Also suspects victim as a feminist may be "sexually liberated" (loose) and will be too ashamed to hunt him down after he legs it in the morning.

Dawkins - a hopeless case if there ever was one. Has also decided he is the center of the universe and, being unsatisfied with pillorying the religious, has his bile ready for anything even mildly annoying. Dawkins a misogynist? Who would have guessed?

My advice for Rebecca: Find a better class of people to associate with because "skeptic"land is not going to get any better.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

My advice for Rebecca: Find a better class of people to associate with because "skeptic"land is not going to get any better.

There might be hope just yet, as can be seen by the comments below:

If Dawkins — a leader in the critical thinking movement and a man known for defending women against religious oppression — can take such a dismissive stance, it’s clear that we have a long way to go. I don’t know if it was sexism on Dawkins’ part or just plain obtuseness, but this attitude is shared by far too many men. It trivializes the justifiable fear women have to live with as well as their point of view, and that’s just plain wrong.

Phil Plait

And even Myers himself

We aren't just going to see Rebecca Watson diminished as an asset to atheism, but all the other women who seek common cause with atheism will watch how we treat our own and find this community significantly less attractive.

Maybe, just *maybe*, this little incident will make the leaders of the modern atheist/skeptical community to take a long, hard look at themselves. Maybe they'll realize a large majority of their devoted followers decide to join their ranks for all the wrong reasons —not because they want to engage in critical thinking, but because rudeness is not only tolerated, it's encouraged... provided it's aimed at the other side.

You cannot moderate dickishness, no matter how hard you try; and in the end it won't win you the kind of adherents you are really seeking.

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Leibowitz's picture
Member since:
3 September 2009
Last activity:
2 years 33 weeks

Maybe it speaks more to our current narcissistic habits of publicly posting every single last thing that occurs in a given day, and realizing that, even though she was creeped out, maybe not every woman would be. It also portrays any advance by a male as a potential rape, even when she politely refused, and he quietly went on his way. In other words, sometimes people just need to keep their mouth shut, skeptics and believers alike.

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 3 weeks
Leibowitz wrote:

Maybe it speaks more to our current narcissistic habits of publicly posting every single last thing that occurs in a given day, and realizing that, even though she was creeped out, maybe not every woman would be. It also portrays any advance by a male as a potential rape, even when she politely refused, and he quietly went on his way. In other words, sometimes people just need to keep their mouth shut, skeptics and believers alike.

There is definitely this aspect to "it" as well :3 Really, the only person who gets a say to say what "really" happened is the woman in the elevator and that's it. The rest is us barking/making territorial marks.

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

kamarling's picture
Member since:
26 June 2005
Last activity:
2 days 17 hours

My comment/link earlier in this thread was frivolous and a little mischievous but I'd like to add a more serious observation if I may.

Phil Plait said:

At first I thought I had misread this. Surely, Dr. Dawkins, who has written and spoken eloquently in the past on the plight of women suffering under religious intolerance wouldn’t trivialize what happened to Rebecca, would he?

Doesn't all this suggest that Dawkins' motive in highlighting the suffering of women under religious intolerance was more about attacking religion than any concern for the women? The tone of his "letter to Muslima" shows the same obsession. He could have framed it in a cultural way but chose a religious context instead.

It confirms what we already know about the man: that he is driven, not by compassion for his fellow humans but by a pathological hatred for all things religious.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

The sad fact of the matter is that, even if the atheists' wet dream came true, and someday they managed to strip and outlaw every single bit of religious thought in society, there would still be idiots that would exploit women, abuse power, and act like the douchebags they are.

Religion has nothing to do with it. People just use whatever they can find to justify their douchebaggery --holy books, scientific theories, polls, you name it :-/

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 3 weeks

An unenlightened life leads to suffering indeed :3

(especially as long as people are allowed to have their own categories of the blasphemous and sacred)

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 3 weeks
kamarling wrote:

It confirms what we already know about the man: that he is driven, not by compassion for his fellow humans but by a pathological hatred for all things religious.

Good one; another to add to Elevatorgate :3

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Georgehants's picture
Member since:
28 November 2010
Last activity:
32 weeks 3 days

Unfortunately these people would never get away with their irrational skepticism of everything beyond the Carnot Cycle, if the media where not completely taken in by he's an "expert".

When will they wake up and start reporting "the truth" and not the establishment version of the truth

georgehants

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

Wow, there has been some serious over-reaction here, not just by Dawkins. Dawkins actually made a very powerful point, albeit at the expense of provoking feminist sensitivities. Who are we to judge him for not being perfectly politically correct, or for taking a more militant rather than passive approach to changing cultural mindsets. Religion is in fact the source of much ignorance and dysfunctionality in the world. It needs to be vigorously attacked. It's not ok for religions to mislead people and over-reach in their claims of divine inspiration and knowledge. My personal approach has been to better understand religion and its origins/development in ancient times. But at times I certainly feel the impulse to grab people by the collar and smack them around a bit. The Civil Rights Movement involved both passive and active/militant elements. Both were evidently required to deal with entrenched prejudice. Being nice didn't entirely get the job done.

There's a fine line between tolerance and apathy. There is also a fine line between activism and terrorism. Where do you draw it?

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

But don't you see? that's just it: Dawkins is so accustomed to the use of blunt humor and satire in order to support his arguments, with no regard whatsoever for the sensibilities of his adversaries, that when he aimed his angry mouth at (supposedly) a member of his home team, everybody felt shocked.

It was the same old Dawkins doing what he does best. The difference is that Skepchick found herself on the wrong side in the line of fire. Maybe she should take this opportunity to evaluate the arguments used by her then-hero that she actually celebrated in books like The God Delusion and such, and maybe she'll find they are not so different from the 'letter to Muslima' Dawkins chose to write in response to her reaction (or overreaction, if you choose to judge it that way, which is besides the point by now) in regard to that elevator incident.

Take this response, for example:

Words matter. You don't get that because you've never been called a c%&$, a f#$%%&, a n#$%&#, a k#$%&. You don't have people constantly explaining that you're subhuman, or have the intellect of an animal. You don't have people saying you shouldn't have rights. You don't have people constantly sexually harassing you. You don't live in fear of rape, knowing that one wrong misinterpretation of a couple words could lead down that road.

I would have added "you don't have people telling you how stupid you are because you believe in an invisible old man who lives in the sky."

But I guess that one is TOTALLY OK for these guys... right?

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
1 day 3 hours
red pill junkie wrote:

But don't you see? that's just it: Dawkins is so accustomed to the use of blunt humor and satire in order to support his arguments, with no regard whatsoever for the sensibilities of his adversaries, that when he aimed his angry mouth at (supposedly) a member of his home team, everybody felt shocked.

It was the same old Dawkins doing what he does best. The difference is that Skepchick found herself on the wrong side in the line of fire.

This.

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

prismeyes1226's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
3 years 12 weeks

It's sadly clear that there are many emasculated men here. Rebecca Watson is, obviously, a bitch. Hopefully, she never procreates.

A man say she is "interesting", he tries sincerely to be polite, and he invites her up to his room for coffee. RAPIST!

He may have been awkward, it's true. He perhaps could have invited her to have lunch with him at a public location rather than come to his room. BUT...

You jackasses are actually going along with this hatred of "sexualizing" a woman? Dawkins, with whom I often disagree vehemently, makes a perfectly valid point here. Watson, again, is a bitch. She is unworthy of being sexualized. May she die young, and not have any kids herself.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my objective is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

May she die young, and not have any kids herself.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my objective is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.

If I were you, I might wanna check out my compass, and the map someone sold you, because you seem to be heading in the wrong direction...

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

Watson's right to feel "sexualized" isn't the issue. Even tribal women in remote Amazon (that have never heard of an elevator) complain that their menfolk are lazy and selfish and don't respect them. That isn't the point I'm taking away from this trumped up scandal. Rather, I think what Dawkins was trying to convey is that humanity has a profoundly warped sense of priorities and desperately needs to gain perspective. The Universe is filled with violence and we all (male and female) live perpetually on the brink of disaster. Religion may help some cope with that, but it doesn't make it go away. It may take a couple of more "bitch-slaps" from outerspace to get that through our thick skulls.

kamarling's picture
Member since:
26 June 2005
Last activity:
2 days 17 hours
red pill junkie wrote:

If I were you, I might wanna check out my compass, and the map someone sold you, because you seem to be heading in the wrong direction...

This too.

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

It's interesting that very few of the interminable posts on this debate (on the other sites Greg links) try to view the encounter from a purely evolutionary biological perspective. I'm no sexpert, but sexually assertive ("insensitive") men seem to do much of the procreating. The rules of engagement have changed, but men will still push the envelope of what society considers tolerable behavior. Regardless, even by the standards of the US, possibly the most paranoid, uptight developed nation on the planet, the action of "Elevator Guy" did not qualify as Sexual Harrassment. So, that inevitably leads to a backlash against Ms. Watson by men (and even Ayn Randian women) who feel that enough change has already been made to make women comfortable, and by Dawkins who probably thinks that feminists are detracting from more important Atheist agendas.

I really have to defend everyone involved, even Elevator Guy.

I'm personally not the type to be in a hotel bar at 4 a.m., much less following a feminist speaker onto an elevator. But then again I have only produced one child and that took place when I was still very religious and felt an obligation to God to have a family no matter how terrible the marriage. I no longer have much interest in the "mating game", and do carry around a considerable amount of "baggage" from my failed marriage and various subsequent strange encounters of the embarrassing kind. Sensitive guys like me are evolutionary dead-ends! But seeing that our species is not in danger of going extinct due to the lack of sexual reproduction, I'll continue spending most of my time and energy on other things. And if other men want to continue obeying their evolutionary urges, then knock yourselves out knocking them up! If this episode proves anything, then it is that nothing gets people more worked up than sex!! Who are we kidding?

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

I tell myself that I'm so sensitive to women's needs and sensibilities, that I decided to extricate myself completely and voluntarily from the mating game ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

kamarling's picture
Member since:
26 June 2005
Last activity:
2 days 17 hours
red pill junkie wrote:

I tell myself that I'm so sensitive to women's needs and sensibilities, that I decided to extricate myself completely and voluntarily from the mating game ;)

Actually, I'm just too old, portly and probably ugly too.

lesfrogs's picture
Member since:
23 January 2011
Last activity:
3 years 12 weeks

Guy in the elevator was being honest, Watson's actions are hubris, and Dawkin's is, in a very clever and humorous way, pointing out how ridiculously sensitive women's 'creepy meters' are these days. Or am I seeing this wrong?

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

How many drinks at the bar before an outspoken feminist becomes sexually "interesting"? The more I think about it, the more I think we should give Elevator Guy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he really did just want to talk. When is he going to hold a press conference? Nonetheless, I can't say anybody is being honest here. Lots of denial all-around.

In related news ... (other) Darwin Award candidates this week include:

-An Australian man who was badly gored in the annual running of the bulls in Spain.

- An American man who fell to his death (while his young son looked on) at a Texas Rangers baseball game after reaching over the railing for a ball.

I wish the working women of the world all the luck in the world! This is what you are dealing with.

Mashimaro's picture
Member since:
21 December 2009
Last activity:
39 weeks 2 days

It's difficult to say if the guy in the elevator was or was not out of line. As we were not present, it is difficult to assess the way in which he attempted to communicate his interest and whether it was done in a way we would consider to be culturally appropriate. Communication is more than the words used, it involves body language, tone, facial expression. He may have very well implied with other methods of communication, other than his choice in words, that he was not just interested in talking. He may have made aggressive body gestures or not and we would not know. Additionally, his unconscious body language, if present, may or may not have been intentional - in which case, the gentleman in question would truly be innoncent of any wrong doing towards Watson.

However, the subjective experience of Watson was unpleasant for whatever reason. This may be because of intentional or unintentional communication that the gentleman in the elevator directed towards her, or it may be a product of her own psyche over reacting to the situation at hand. Her explaination of the event, however, is not filled with hyperbole, she simply states how the incident made her FEEL (subjective and personal) and advises men, especially in the skeptical community, to avoid making women FEEL the way she did in the elevator because it drives them away. Her statement is simply an explanation of her subjective experience and feelings about that experience.

The problem is Dawkin's reaction. He could have made a reasoned, tempered response to Watson's experience and attempted to point out that the man in the elevator seemed reasonable enough to him. If he had done this, it's possible that the whole scenario would have worked out differently. Instead, he chose the reaction he usually does - very similar to political pundits - and mock Watson for feeling how she did about the incident in the first place. What is revealing is that Dawkin's reaction is no different than how he "debates" with others that do not share his viewpoint. His approach, and others who approach any debate or disagreement similarly, is not conducive to creating any kind of understanding or healthy discussion between the parties involved.

To summarize: We cannot possibly know what happened in the elevator, so that is not something we can reasonably debate, being that we lack any facts. Watson is entitled to express her subjective experience of the incident and appears to have done so in a reasonable manner. Dawkins, like most times when he disagrees with someone, has chosen not to engage Watson in a reasonable discussion of the events and feelings described, but mock her for feeling or thinking a certain way in the first place.

Do you use your powers for good or for awesome?

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

It's kind of ironic, if you think about it, just how much electricity and time has been spent trying to weigh in the subjective reaction of a given person, for an event that is solely anecdotal, inside a community that is always preaching in favor of purely empirical and tangible evidence.

So now you figured it out, my dear skeptics: Subjective appreciation matters! Glad to see you're catching up with us woo woo anti-Science guys ;)

It's so strange that no one has demanded to see a copy of the elevator camera footage by now! But I guess Miss Skepchick's word is enough for many of these überskeptics... unless she had claimed the clumsy Don Juan had glowing red eyes and hairy feet :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 3 weeks

*giggle* Yuppers, universe is an ironist :3

I believe things not because of their truth, but because they are meaningful to me, where I am emotionally involved.

Worship of the G_ddesses 'truth' and 'rationality' are always revealed to be that...worship :3

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Greg's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
1 day 3 hours
Mashimaro wrote:

To summarize: We cannot possibly know what happened in the elevator, so that is not something we can reasonably debate, being that we lack any facts. Watson is entitled to express her subjective experience of the incident and appears to have done so in a reasonable manner. Dawkins, like most times when he disagrees with someone, has chosen not to engage Watson in a reasonable discussion of the events and feelings described, but mock her for feeling or thinking a certain way in the first place.

Your entire comment is probably the best summary I've seen on this whole saga. Bravo.

Kind regards,
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things
@DailyGrail

deredder's picture
Member since:
28 March 2010
Last activity:
3 weeks 6 days

Some of the comments here appear to miss the point. Surely the post was addressing predominantly Richard Dawkins response to the incident and not Elevatorgate itself. Come on - critical-rational thinking people, if you wouldn't mind.

Rebecca Watson's blog, as far as I can tell, was simply relaying an anecdote and providing an opinion. On her blog. Her personal bloggage. Anything wrong with that? Personally the incident itself doesn't stir up massive amounts of righteous indignation in me and I'm happy to devote my attention elswhere. However Richard Dawkins input could not evade my full attention and surely must be seen for what it is, namely misogynistic, irrational and insulting vitriol and, might I add, directed toward all humans.

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

Inannawhimsey's picture
Member since:
14 April 2009
Last activity:
1 year 3 weeks

As always, the replies, to me, say a lot more aboot the writer than aboot the subject being written aboot. We have our libertarian pov, we have our identity politics pov, we have our hippie pov, we have our socialist pov, we have our american pov, the list goes on and on :3

Indeed, the internet as a grand game of Chinese Telephone, where an interpretation becomes a 'fact' around which more interpretation happens.

I can chuckle at Dawkins' manstruation and try to come up with at least 5 interpretations as to what he was trying to do...

Just part of the Global Humanity that is being born right here right now.

---------
All that lives is holy, life delights in life.

--William Blake

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

Yes, people see what they want to see! This one pushed all kinds of hot buttons! Kudos to the posters here for not losing it. Greg was sorely testing us.

Reverend Slug's picture
Member since:
29 June 2006
Last activity:
24 weeks 6 days

This demonstrates that the skeptic and or atheist movements are just like religions well at least the leaders use the same tactics. Its always about people with a sense of moral, social, intelligence,etc superiority dictating to people they feel that are beneath them how to think or how to act or how to feel. its the same for skeptics as it is for "believers" they always tell the other side that they are wrong and stupid for not thinking just like them. it makes me sick. people cant understand that the main point of all was just a little helpful advice for men to think abouy there surroundings and such before opening there mouths. Dawkins missed this point big time because he is out of touch with the common person. Just like the political and religious leaders are out of touch. in the end he is just like his adversaries. maybe he will learn to think about something other than his own "intellectual superiority"

Do the ends justify the means? Stated generally, the problem lacks a solution.

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

I have actually come away respecting Dawkins a little more than before simply for daring to interact with the group and be non-PC. We need a jolt from time to time. This one certainly was revealing in many respects. I don't look upon Dawkins as a role model or leader. It has been evident from this thread (and others on this site) that the paranormal crowd resents him somewhat as being closed-minded and even adverse to their particular line of research. So, it must be good fun to see Atheists and Skeptics crash and burn over this incident. I guess I'm just not that closely identified with any particular group to enjoy it in that way. I just do my own thing and nobody seems to care about that either! I don't want to be called anything ending with -ist.

I'm a middle-aged American male that was turned every which way but loose by a former wife's "feelings". Although I still like and respect women, my eyes have been opened so to speak. Also, I have been required by my employer (along with the entire staff) for many years to take Prevention of Sexual Harrassment training on a regular basis. It's been interesting to see how policies have formed and evolved on this topic over time. Anyway, it's mostly academic for me in that I no longer date. I spend most of my free time doing esoteric research, so in that sense I'm as out of touch as anyone regarding gender relationships. And I wouldn't know what to do with a groupie if I had one. Apparently Ms. Watson was shocked to find that she had one of her own!

Reverend Slug's picture
Member since:
29 June 2006
Last activity:
24 weeks 6 days

On the other hand I also despise the tactic of labeling people whom you don't agree with as sexist, racist, anti-semite, denier,misogynist,homophobic, idiot,nutcase,etc ad naseum. It seems like this tactic is used more and more all the time and it really is very harmful to the process of logicaldebate. please stop!

Do the ends justify the means? Stated generally, the problem lacks a solution.

badeye's picture
Member since:
30 April 2004
Last activity:
25 weeks 6 days

I am confused, ( not unusual for me by the way )
Was mr. dawkins at the conference? Was he the man in the lift with
the complainant?
Why would he get so upset......

Badeye

Charles Pope's picture
Member since:
23 October 2009
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

We don't know who the Elevator Guy (EG) is, whether or not he was a bonified conference attendee, how long he chatted and shared drinks with Ms Watson prior to 4 a.m., or anything else, but everyone has an opinion about him and his mad pick-up skills. Dawkins used the uproar over this incident to make a little noise of his own, and has been mostly condemned as a Sexist Mysogenous Dynosaur (sic). This may lead to a split in the Skeptic/Atheist movement along gender boundaries, after which they will hold boys-only and girls-only meetings and get together sporatically (at Pep Rallies) to co-mingle. You heard it here first.