Would you folks mind if I ask you to fill me in about Rebecca Watson and the whole "skepchick" thing? I've read a fair bit on the subject and I still have a hard time making heads or tails of the whole thing
Well, that’s really two questions. One is “what’s up with the ‘skepchick’ thing”, the other is “what the hell was the ‘elevator incident’ all about.”
The “skepchick” community is basically another iteration of the classic “we need a movement within X community specifically dedicated to women.” In practice, it’s largely served as a platform for the introduction of feminism, gender-based advocacy and a bunch of other stuff that has nothing to do with skepticism into the skeptic community. Overall, it’s caused a strong split within the community between people who are basically going along with it and people who are applying the basic tenets of skepticism to the issues raised and watching them fall apart. Most SJW statistics do not fare well in a room of critical skeptics, and this hasn’t been much of an exception.
Watson is overall better known for the “elevator incident”. In short, during the World Atheist Conference (2011) in Dublin, Ireland, Watson decided she was tired of drinking and wanted to head up to her room. She got into an elevator. Another person (a man) entered the elevator with her, and politely asked if she would be interested in talking over coffee in his room. It’s not 100% clear whether this was a simple invitation to chat or if there were further implications, but what is 100% clear is that Watson declined, and the other person made no further comment. That is, he politely asked her for coffee, she said “no”, and he proceeded to respect her declination.
Watson’s reaction to the incident was proportionate in roughly the same way a Tomahawk cruise missile is a proportionate response to a fly on your window. To wit, she proceeded to say a bunch of nasty things about the guy for doing precisely what most feminists have been claiming they want men to do: politely display interest verbally rather than physically, and politely and respectfully accept a “no” when given.
Then the atheistsphere slightly exploded. Lots (and lots, and lots) of people called her an idiot, highlighting her disproportionate reaction. In fact, Dawkins himself, an a moment of vitriol, basically shredded her. Shit hit fan. In the end, the overall incident and accompanying backlash was a huge portion of what has created the current divide within the skeptic movement between feminists and skeptics. (I would personally submit that mainstream feminism is inherently incompatible with true skepticism. You can’t be skeptical and still peddle the level of bullshit statistics that we see there, you just can’t.) Regardless, at least for the moment, the issue has created a major schism between those in the skeptic community dedicated purely to skepticism, and those who believe the skeptic community should be folded into the growing bubble of “social justice” advocacy.
On Monday, I was HECKA PMSy and I was upset at Jo because he blew up at me that I wasn’t in his room he got back from running an errand, when I said I was going to be there….so here’s what happened while he was gone..
I needed to print some things from my printer so I decided to take Jo’s keys and place them in their “usual hiding place” so he could get to them if I was gone. I tried calling him on my way up to my room, but he wouldn’t answer! So I went up and did my thing and came back down within 10-15 minutes. During that time, Andrew was messaging me telling me that I needed to come down and give the keys to Jo so he could get in. And he was hecka rushing me! I finally came down and Jo totally blew up at me and seemed hecka frustrated. I could understand why he was so angry, but that doesn’t me he has to freakinn blow up at me like that. WTF? So I was really quiet around him and wouldn’t really acknowledge him, not even during our relationship class. Finally, by the end of class, I was cooled off and ready to talk again. HOWEVER….. when we went to the C store to get subway, he would ignore me and just constantly mess with his phone. That got me mad. Then, as we were walking back to Emerson, he totally walked like 40 feet in front of me …and that really got me mad. So, when he opened the door for me to the stairs in Emerson, I just brushed by him and walked straight up to my floor and to my room. I cried on my way down the hall to my room and while I was eating subway alone in my room while watching “We got married” on my laptop.
I realized that my laptop was running out of battery and that I had left my charger in Jo’s room. I then realized that Jo had messaged me on facebook and I messaged him back, but he didn’t respond. Then my screen went black. I had run out of battery. So I decided to go down to his room and talk about what happened..and get my charger. So I walked out of my room, down the hall, and pressed the Down Elevator button. Then I heard the bell ding and some whistling coming from the elevator. As the door opened, you’ll never guess who was standing right in front of me….JO. WTH?! What are the chances of us running into each other like that. SO BIZARRE. We freaked out for like a minute and then finally talked it out and we were all good. What a crazy moment for the both of us. But at least we worked it out! And now we have a cool epic moment that we can always remember and talk about!
I was riding the elevator by myself down to my floor from the seventh when a big group of guys got on at the fifth.
I thought nothing of it until one of them went to hit the “door close” button and they accidentally hit the “call for help” button. The elevator started ringing like a phone and they all started screaming while the one who hit the button was slamming the cancel button.
They all stopped screaming when they heard: “Hello, 911. What is your emergency?”
I whispered for them to just say it was an accident but they all ended up running out of the elevator once it opened at my floor.
If you haven’t been following this sitch, you should be - it is a prime example of how women are treated differently than men on these here innerwebs. In short: Rebecca Watson is a really smart, sassy woman philosopher (founder of Skepchick.com) – not so long ago, she was speaking at a skeptics convention about how to make women feel more welcome in the skeptic community, to which she encouraged people NOT TO sexualize women before speaking to them/hearing their thoughts… Common sense, right? I guess not so much - because following her speaking engagement and holding discourse on this topic in a bar (until 4am) some guy (who had been present both at the lecture and hotel) cornered her in the elevator of her hotel and asked her back to his room… This, of course, was a guy who had NEVER SPOKEN TO HER prior to that moment. Following this, Watson made a pretty innocent remark via a YouTube vlogcast, describing what happened and saying “Hey, you want more women in the skeptics community? Then don’t do that." And, as it is wont to do, the Internet exploded with vitriol, anger and misogynistic calls for Watson’s head on a platter… Including shitty comments from physicist Richard Dawkins. (WTF, seriously, Richard?) All-in-all, the response to her remark is pretty indicative of how women are treated differently than men in any (and most) Internet communities. This is her follow-up to the first vlog and I have to say, it’s f-ing brilliant! Kudos! My favorite quote from the comments is "Women are people. Treat them like people, not like potential cum-dumpsters.” It defies logic that this statement isn’t common sense. [Thanks to Lynne and Paul Taylor for telling me about this story…]
Over the weekend, Beyoncé released a remix of her song, “Flawless,” featuring Nicki Minaj. Beyoncé raps on this, and she REFERENCES THE ELEVATOR INCIDENT — whaaaaaat! Of it she says, “Of course sometimes shit goes down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” Oh… Okay. I guess…
The original “Flawless” was more of an all-inclusive feminist anthem, while this version is more self-centered on Beyonce and Nicki’s behalfs — lots of “I woke up like this” talk. One wonders, when will songs with that phrase/general outlook on one’s waking state address eye boogers and bad breath? Because, #iwokeuplikethat.
I really have been wanting to get your guys’ opinion on this song. Now I know The Vamps aren’t exactly our favorite people (although this song is quite catchy and I do kind of like it), but I do wonder if this song was actually aimed at Lauren and if it was was it just meant to add fuel to the fire of the entire Camren speculation or did it actually go down like the song says? I do find the mention of an elevator to be a bit ironic considering the Camren fanbase’s correlation with the elevator incident. But like I said I wanted to get your guys’ opinions on this once a studio version had been released. So feel free to stop by and tell me what you think.