Update! Plus, Dating Advice

Update! Plus, Dating Advice

A lot of people who viewed my previous video have asked for dating advice along the lines of “Well if we can’t corner women in a hotel elevator and ask them back to our hotel rooms before we’ve said anything else to them, how are we ever going to get laid??” So I’ve decided to offer some advice in that regard.

Avatar of Rebecca Watson
Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

291 Comments

  1. Avatar of AdamVonWillis

    Again… wonderful response. I am constantly impressed by how hard you pwn these sexist jerks. So much win. Keep up the great work! And make more videos… they’re awesome.

  2. Avatar of backgroundbob

    Priceless!

  3. Avatar of BeardofPants

    I will never think of watermelons the same way again.

    • Avatar of klasbo

      I never liked watermelons to begin with.

      Now they’re disgusting on a whole other level…

  4. Avatar of opheliabenson

    Oh it’s even more tragic than that. It’s “Well if we can’t corner women in a hotel elevator and ask them back to our hotel rooms before we’ve said anything else to them, how are we ever going to meet any women at all and avoid being sad pathetic lonely tragic nerdy dorky neglected moldy guys forever and ever? And if everybody doesn’t see the merit in this argument, how are we ever going to get sympathy and empathy and understanding of our issues and our sad fragile trembly selves?”

    You think I exaggerate. Ha. Ha, I say. I got actual comments like that at my place.

  5. Avatar of Andrés

    What I don’t understand is, how did these people manage to preserve their lineage before there were elevators?

    • Avatar of MarianLibrarian

      Elevator creeping must not be a hereditary trait.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Linen closets? Wherever a man can corner a woman and use the implied threat of confrontation or force to get their way. Ten thousand years ago it might have been cornering a woman in a cave, but the principle is the same.

    • Avatar of yb42

      CotW

  6. Avatar of pamxpam

    I can’t believe the amount of idiocy one can find in the internet. I mean really…
    Anyway all I wanted to say is that Rebecca and all of the AMAZING ladies in Skepchick have had a profound impact in my life. Do no let idiots like these get under your skin, your work in promoting skepticism and science is far too important. I’ve learned a lot from you. Thank you!

  7. Avatar of kingryan

    As a man with a rather impressive track record of being unsuccessful with women I just want to offer one minor perspective that maybe hasn’t been talked about, at least as much.

    Most women are primarily attracted to guys who are “confident.” This comes up again and again and seems to be the most important “feature” for many women. I have been told by women in the past, for example, that I am not “aggressive enough” with them. And that’s true, I’m not an aggressive guy. For example, a few months ago one woman told me that she basically likes to be pressured into sex, and didn’t feel like I was the kind of guy who would “force the issue.” Those were her words. Maybe that’s a bit of an extreme example but doesn’t seem to be all that uncommon, at least in my experience with women.

    My point is that guys are dumb and it’s a hard balance sometimes to come across as being “confident” and maybe even “aggressive” without also being a scumbag. Sometimes it seems like you have to take a risk and invite a girl up to your place because even though she acted like she wasn’t interested, maybe she wants you to “force the issue” a little. Do you know what I mean? That sounds stupid and it is stupid, but men (myself included) are stupid and sometimes it’s just tough. I’m not really defending the guy because he missed a few red flags, but I can at least somewhat empathize I suppose.

    Not wanting to re-ignite a debate just thought I would throw that out there. Women are complicated and guys are dumb.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Bro… maybe you’re just “dumb”, or need a wingman, or better yet a wingwoman. There’s nothing better than having one or more women friends to help you translate signals.

      Here’s some practical advice. When women say that you need to be more confident, they generally still don’t mean that you need to corner then in an elevator. You might have met one, but you really shouldn’t base your behavior on an exception to the rule.

      What women mean (if they aren’t jerking you around) is that they expect you to be confident enough to match their moves, to flirt back with them, to do the “mating dance” as an equally bold partner. Whether you know it or not, women are also at least as shy and awkward and timid as men, and they are looking for you to confirm your interest as much as you should be looking for them to confirm their interest.

      That doesn’t mean you need to go from zero to sexual proposition. It means that you say hello, and she says hello, and you take it up a small notch with your flirting, and if she’s interested she’ll take it up another notch of flirting… and women want you to be confident enough to match them in that flirting, but not so oblivious that you skip their steps and go straight to the sex thing. Sometimes they might skip your last few steps and get straight to sex but that’s a good thing, right?

      It is a delicate line, but women aren’t too shy when they are interested. Be bold, but within the obvious limits. Take each step as a specific step, whether it takes a wee=k or a month or one night… but be willing to move forward. And if you’re taking those small steps, no woman who is remotely interested in you will take offense if you take one tiny step further than she’s interested it, because you’ve already taken a dozen other small steps. She may want you to slow down, but if you really like her and care about her then you won’t mind.

      • Avatar of kingryan

        I agree and don’t see how this contradicts anything I said. Your comments in this thread have been pathetic; get over yourself buddy.

        • Avatar of jynnan_tonnyx

          This sort of defensiveness and hostility may very well be factors in your social troubles.

          Just sayin’.

      • Avatar of Kammy

        I like the cut of your jib, Joe. Seriously, guys, if you’re having trouble figuring out how to relate to women, this comment has practically everything you need to know.

    • Avatar of thebewilderness

      kingryan, your comment is made of fail!
      Confident does not equal force, srsly dood, get help. See a therapist.

    • Avatar of Crip Dyke

      Actually, this topic did get talked about quite a bit.

      Here’s something to think about:

      Rebecca said multiple times: Do Not Hit On Me. She said it during her presentation & during the 4 hours she was hanging out in the hotel bar. Elevator Guy was there for both presentation & 4 hours of talking. He heard her say, “Don’t Hit On Me” like, 1.785*10^48 times.

      A confident guy would say to himself, “Obviously, that very intelligent & well spoken woman over there with the great analysis of the confluence of religion, atheism, and sexism doesn’t want a piece of my very hot body. However, I am quite confident that a woman who hasn’t said no to me and who might like a piece of my very hot body exists somewhere. Thus, if my goal is getting laid tonight, I will look elsewhere.”

      A guy with no confidence would say to himself, “Obviously that woman from the stage is really hot & lots of other people like her so she must have something to offer. If she would ever love me then other people wouldn’t think i am a dweeb. She keeps saying something about something or other, but it doesn’t matter what comes out of her mouth – her diction is good and other people listen to her, and boy are her lips pretty. I will hit on her – which is a very, very, good plan. I will spend the next 4 hours working my courage up to talk to her. I will certainly fail to say one word to her before she leaves, completely and utterly exhausted, but that’s no matter: I have decided to ask her out and if I don’t do it this time, if I don’t get this girl into my bed, I am a loser for ever. Did she say something about guys not hitting on her? Fortunately I am a lowly dweeb and she certainly doesn’t assume that I am a person like everyone else, so when she is asking everyone not to hit on her, she must not be talking about me. That’s good, because I haven’t noticed a single other girl in the hotel since working up my courage takes hours & hours & I would have to start completely over if I switched my target to another girl. Oh! Now she’s leaving. I’m sure she’ll hate me so I’ll have to ask her out in the most isolated, witness-free place I can find. I know, when she’s alone in the elevator, she’ll have to listen to me AND no one will no of my humiliation when she turns me down. Okay, here I go…”

      Do you see how confidence leads to NOT cornering women in elevators? Do you see how confidence leads to NOT asking out someone who has already said “No” repeatedly, and for hours? If you are confident, you are aware that there are plenty of women to ask out and so you don’t have to throw yourself awkwardly at the ones who have already said no.

      Also, even if they haven’t said no, if you’re confident, you don’t have to get a woman alone to ask – everyone gets turned down sometimes & if you’re confident it doesn’t matter whether it happens in public or not.

      If you are not confident, you think that you have to get women alone, that you have to ignore their nos, etc. etc. It happens because your lack of confidence seems like HER problem, She doesn’t owe you the time of day. You don’t deserve a chance to ask her for sex. She has no responsibility to you.

      And yet, men & women have sex all the time. And, many times a man actually asks the woman out first!

      Be confident, sure. Confident people don’t have to ignore women’s desires, because another opportunity is always around that next corner.

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        … and as a currently confident guy, and a formerly shy guy, I seem to remember trying to be MORE aware of signals and signs, because I was looking for an opening to even say hello. As a really shy guy, I certainly wasn’t trying to jump straight to getting a woman alone. What the hell was I really going to do with a woman if I got her alone, anyways? Show her my lucky rock and explain why Robotech was the coolest cartoon of the 1980s? It doesn’t have to be 4AM for that conversation, although it might possibly need to be 1987.

    • Avatar of ebrooks

      “Women are complicated and guys are dumb.”

      That’s the patriarchy talking, and proof positive that it hates men almost as much as it hates women.

      People are complicated, and people do dumb things. These aren’t gendered characteristics.

      • Avatar of penguinofhonor

        except this is the kind of dumb that says “men aren’t responsible for their actions, it’s okay that they harass women and stuff because they don’t get the signals”

        it’s not like the kind of dumb where women and other oppressed groups are kept out of careers because people don’t think they’re smart enough to be scientists

        when men are dumb, the people who they do things to suffer. when women are dumb, they suffer. there’s a big difference.

        • Avatar of ebrooks

          Yeah, absolutely right.

          The whole mysterious women/stupid men narrative contributes to that imbalance, then adds insult to injury by pretending to be compliment to women. Grrr.

      • Avatar of catcres

        My husband has been saying “I’m just a dumb guy” for 25 years now. Actually, he’s right. He’s science smart, socially awkward and just goes ‘deer in the headlights’ when he’s around me or any other female. He has improved a lot over the years, but I have to keep in mind he’s scared stupid most of the time when he’s around me. I have been a very patient woman, and what I have failed to teach him, 3 daughters have taught him more effectively.

        I don’t think it’s ‘male privilege’ with him. He really is just clueless. But, he’s my clueless dork, and I love him.

    • Avatar of lazyskeptic

      I understand the confusion faced by socially awkward guys. I am a socially awkward woman and have probably made a guy or two feel uncomfortable with my tonedeaf flirting, which really just is about as subtle and graceful as a bat in the face.

      I feel sorry for elevator guy. He probably did not mean anything, he just had no idea what he was doing I hope he takes all this contriversy and learns a better way to flirt instead of feeling like a sexual predator. lot of people have accused Rebecca of implying he is one, but he is not and I don’t think Rebecca ever implied it. I feel bad for him that a quick aside in a video has exploded like this.

      Still, regardless of this I may have felt a bit uncomfortable in that situation too that does not mean I cannot sympathise with the guys fail.

      • Avatar of kingryan

        Yes, lazyskeptic, that’s all I was trying to say. The rest of you guys need help. I think they still print See spot run. Back to the drawing board.

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          You know, for someone who is trying to throw himself a pity party at how bad he is at meeting women and how just plain sad it is that he doesn’t know the right way to act, it’s pretty damn rich that you suddenly feel entitled to tell the rest of us that we need help.

          Could it be that your inability to get it has something to do with your attachment to entitlement and a desire to have plausible deniability when you treat people badly?

    • Avatar of hapaxlegomina

      Pal, I got no idea how to date. I’ve done plenty of it but I never got the hang of it. That small fact didn’t stop me from respecting and finding the love of my life and future spouse. Zero excuses. Zero.

  8. Avatar of gworroll

    And of course, Youtube once again decides to compete with 4chan for the lowest common denominator.

  9. Avatar of Cabbageman

    It’s ridiculous that people got so worked up over you calmly correcting a very stupid mistake. You weren’t kicking the guy in the goulies, you were just telling people that that is not an appropriate way to ask somebody up to your room.

    I don’t see the issue with you correcting him. Isn’t the whole… “thing” behind the skeptical community to try our best to correct our mistakes and to allow others to correct them? Isn’t that basically what you did? I don’t get people, sometimes.

    But you sounded quite disappointed, so keep up the good work, Rebecca! I am (and have to be) certain that those of us who get what you are saying are a silent majority, but a majority all the same! I would never subject anybody I respect to the comments section on YouTube. It is a vile place and it says volumes about how awesomely tough you are for entertaining a response to it. I can’t think of a way to adequately express how much respect I have for that.

    • Avatar of Finn McR

      Some might consider it unreasonable for the community, not RW, to be so ready to round up a posse to lynch “elevator guy”.

      The spastic response that it is the “perceived” intent of the invitation that is creepy/male privelegey/rapey is a problem. When the opposition gets to define the intent of the other side, where is the objectivity? Ok. So Any woman any where gets to define what is an acceptable soft-come-on by a male? So that means that the Skepchicks are ok with wearing Burkhas? Some women think that any male attention is per se naughty. Also, that women can’t be out in public without a male relative.

      This ridiculously over-blown issue points right back the the Islamo-bullcrap about women being “protected” by their restrictions. There was no force, no physical intimidation (based on commentary so far). Maybe if RW was wearing a burkha and being chaperoned by a male, this would not have occurred. We should acknowledge that the Islamic world is right in this case. It is definitely not possible for a secular female to deal with the tragic circumstance of being hit on when she does not want to be; we should protect the fair flowers from such insults.

      • Avatar of exarch

        And once again someone fails to see the point. Rebecca didn’t say you shouldn’t hit on women. She didn’t say elevator guy should be arrested for doing so. She didn’t say you couldn’t take that route if you wanted to. She just said you SHOULDN’T if the result you desire is something other than being labeled a creep.

        You go ahead and hit on women in elevators all you want. Whether they’re wearing bhurkhas or not. Just beware that you may eventually end up with a knee to the testicles because that shit creeps women the fuck out.

        So take it or leave it, but if someone ignores the advice, they don’t get complain that “some frigid bitch got all up in their face about an innocent come-on”, because they’ve now been warned. I think that is the message the rest of the community is trying to stress.

      • Avatar of borealys

        Yes, because saying “you should take a step back and consider how you look from the other person’s point of view” is *exactly* the same as saying “we must protect the fair flowers.”

        I have never been hit on in an elevator, but I have had to deal with my fair share of guys who came across as creepy. And you know what? I avoided the hell out of those guys ever after. That behaviour not only doesn’t get you laid, it is literally repellent.

        Here’s the message: If you want more women in your life, don’t be that guy. And the best way to avoid being that guy is to take a step back and consider her point of view before you approach.

        If you don’t care about being liked by women, of course, you can take this advice and chuck it.

  10. Avatar of Bookitty

    That is so weird. I too have been thinking that those who don’t get it should go copulate themselves.

  11. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    I assume you’ve monetized all of this attention, because there’s little else in the way of profit for you otherwise. Satan knows that this is just going to fan the flames even more, and the same rapists-in-waiting will pile on again. The same folks who have a grudge against you for other reasons will see this as an excuse to go at you. The same sociopathic men who are incapable of considering any else’s POV will complain that you are restricting their right to violate a woman’s space and attention so that they can
    “hit on chicks” without any regard.

    Jeez, I REALLY hope you’re at least getting a check for all this.

    • Avatar of Rebecca Watson

      Well, I used to have ads on videos, but then Google Adsense made me switch from a UK to a US account, and then they deleted my account, and then they reinstated it, and now there are no more ads on my videos. I’m not sure why. I’ve sent them an email but I imagine I won’t hear back for awhile.

      In the meanwhile, directing people to the video embedded here will at least improve my ad revenue via Skepchick.

  12. Avatar of davew

    You are so awesome! I love these videos! I have no idea how many more you can wring out of this subject, but I’ll be looking forward to each and every one!!!

    • Avatar of Brian G

      This seems like a very un-Davew-like comment. Though I hope you mean it :)

      • Avatar of davew

        I totally mean it. Rebecca is awesome and she is awesome upon us and we feed it back so she can be even more awesome. It’s like an awesomeness accelerator.

  13. Avatar of BeccaTheCyborg

    This is the best response that could possibly be given. You are made of 100% pure awesome.

    Also, I love your hair, it’s making me miss when mine was almost exactly the same. (looks better on you, though.)

  14. Avatar of henry111

    Posted this on youtube, but am reposting it here.

    It’s so sad that some people:

    a) don’t under stand that just because something is not illegal, does not preclude it from being VERY creepy

    b) have a sense of humour!!

    I love yours (sense of? humour, not creepyness) Ms Watson.

    • Avatar of Azkyroth

      Wait, why is it sad that people have a sense of humor?

      • Avatar of killyosaur

        I think he meant b) don’t have a sense of humor. I assume that to be a mistake. Could be wrong though.

  15. Avatar of ianf

    A wonderful response Rebecca. I’ve watched the shit storm that followed your very straight forward and reasonable off hand comment about the elevator experience with amazement. In my youth I was about as clueless as that guy, and received similar advice from a good friend. Unlike many people on the internet I listened and it made a huge difference. Really guys, if you want to get laid treat women with respect; don’t corner them; don’t scare them; behave like a decent human being. You won’t score with most of them, but that won’t matter, because you’ll make friends and have fun times without having sex. And when things do work out and it goes further it’ll be so much better than a drunken fumble!

  16. Avatar of teafortess

    Very funny, in a sad way.

  17. Avatar of Amy

    Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Really? I thought real love can only happen when a person corners a stranger in an elevator. 4AM is best, European hotel is optional. Also, you’ll have to be a guy… sorry, those are the rules. *rolls eyes*

    • Avatar of Kammy

      Ditto. I honestly didn’t think I could admire you more. You’re boss, Boss.

  18. Avatar of noophy

    The awkward sarcasm made me laugh so much I had to watch it twice. Great vid.

  19. Avatar of rcreative1

    Thanks a LOT, Rebecca! My local Safeway had plenty of watermelons on hand just last week, but now they are suddenly sold out.

  20. Avatar of bug_girl

    Once again, you rock, fearless leader.

  21. Avatar of surgoshan

    How long before the first trog talks about naming his melon after you?

    Oh, and just pondering, based on nothing but texture, I’d think cantaloupe would be better than watermelon.

    And it turns out Craigslist agrees with me! (you might not want to read the following; not entirely NSFW, but it’s certainly not Dr Seuss) http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/phi/80712647.html

  22. Avatar of mimeparadox

    Is that a Gamecube on the bookshelf (third row/second column)? It distracted me throughout the video, particularly since it makes little sense for it to actually be a Gamecube. In any case, well played, Ms. Watson!

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Nope… looks like a Dirty Thirty guitar amp from Danelectro.

      • Avatar of mimeparadox

        I have no idea what that is. Thank you.

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          Guitar amps are things connected to speakers that you plug electric guitars into so that you can hear the sound of the strings. The “good” ones are filled with vacuum tubes/valves, the “less-good ones” are solid-state… more on that later.

          Danelectro is a company that started producing electric guitars and amplifiers in the 1940s, often for sale under various brand names(Silvertone, Airline) through catalog sales companies like Sears-Roebuck and Montgomery Ward. They died out by the end of the 1960s, but returned to the market in the late 1990s with a line of budget guitars, amps, and effects pedals. None of it is fancy, but all of it is sort of retro-cool and pretty decent for the very low prices.

          That particular amp is I’m pretty sure solid-state, but it is a neat little noise-maker capable of producing more than acceptable sounds especially if you live in a small space and can’t abide a larger amplifier.

          Here endeth the lesson… I’m sure it is about 1000% more than you ever cared to know! :)

          • Avatar of mimeparadox

            Hee! Pretty much. Thank you for taking the time, though. “Jeopardy!” skill: +1. :D

  23. Avatar of Maki

    I spit cereal at the watermelon thing. Love the hair/glasses match-up you have going btw!

  24. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    … and now that I’ve made three barely on-topic posts, and since nobody asked, let me make one comment on the actual damned topic. You’re welcome! :)

    This is for the fellas:

    Guys. There’s something you need to get through your heads before commenting here, let alone talking to women in real life. YOU AREN’T ENTITLED TO GET LAID, NOT EVEN ONCE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. You don’t even have any specific entitlement to approach women with the intent of having sex with them. In the grand scheme of things, if one or more of you never have sex ever, that’s fine and awesome and possibly better for the gene pool. If you are forced by social construct and circumstance and the way of the world to wait your whole life for a woman to approach you for sex, and it never happens? Too bad, so sad, it isn’t any great fucking loss for anyone but you.

    If you think you’re entitled to force a woman to hear your pitch, you’ve disqualified yourself. If you think women owe you their time to hear your awkward, clumsy pick-up lines, you deserve to spend “quality time” with nobody except yourself. If you are convinced that it is somehow unfair for a woman to say she’s not interested in anyone tonight until she hears what you have to offer, what you have to offer isn’t worth having.

    Guys, seriously. Take it from a guy who knows from vast experience, even if you can’t hear it when a woman says it. Women are people. Treat them like people, not like potential cum-dumpsters. Just relax, and maybe squeeze one out before you go out, to take the pressure off. Talk to women, flirt with women, listen to what they say and learn to read the pretty obvious cues they give. Never assume that you’ve closed the deal, or that you’re guaranteed sex… and that’s true even when you’re dating. Play the long game, except play a game so long it doesn’t even count. When you learn to play the game so that friendships with women count as a win, and you’re not faking it with them or secretly trying to get in their pants, you’ll get so comfortable talking with women as people that you’ll never ever feel shy or awkward.

    You’ll never have to corner a woman in an elevator at 4AM to try to make your case, or make a clumsy pass, or ask her to your hotel room. If there’s a woman you click with after a few hours, days, or weeks of talking and flirting, by 4AM you’ll be in HER room by HER invitation.

    • Avatar of chirez

      Speaking as a guy who has never gotten laid and very probably never will, I tend to find this comment offensively condescending.

      Life without any kind of intimacy is deeply unpleasant, and while it doesn’t rank as high as air or food, sex is a fairly central part of life.

      I consider this view the equivalent of saying to a homeless guy, ‘You’re not entitled to food, or shelter. Get a job, buy a house. Stop being pathetic. Look at me, I’m not begging on street corners.’

      Privilege comes in many forms, and you appear grossly unaware of yours.

      As for the advice, under other circumstances it might be useful, but when you take that superior tone it just turns into a lecture on ‘How to be as awesome as me’. No matter what you may believe, you are probably not Don Juan.

      All of which is entirely off topic, for which I apologise.

      • Avatar of ebrooks

        “Privilege comes in many forms, and you appear grossly unaware of yours.”

        Dude. That wasn’t privilege. Privilege is a man thinking that his need for sex equates to an obligation of some sort for a woman, which is the dynamic that Improbable Joe was addressing with that.

        The difference between that and your homelessness metaphor is that it requires the involvement of another human being — and no matter what the circumstances (even if you’re, say, a war hero on leave, and you’ve never gotten laid before, and you’re leaving in an hour to face a heroic but inevitable death, and you can therefore say with confidence that this is this only chance in your entire life you will ever, ever have to get laid, EVEN THEN) there is no obligation on the part of the other person to serve your needs.

        • Avatar of chirez

          ‘Privilege is a man thinking that his need for sex equates to an obligation of some sort for a woman’, na, that’s just blunt objectification. Privilege as I understand it is simply living a life in which certain problems never arise, which tends to lead to a blindness to those problems.

          Male privilege in this case is a tendency to not worry in the least about sexual assault, ever.

          But if you are privileged to be sufficiently neurotypical to date, form relationships and all that jazz I at least would consider it a favour if you recognised that there are people less fortunate.

          And yes, the difference between the needs for food and sex is that the former can be satisfied alone, the latter requires complicity. Also going without sex probably won’t kill you. Certainly not as fast.

          The position of privilege is similar in both cases, however. An inability to conceive the circumstances of the other. That was my intent.

          • Avatar of ebrooks

            “‘Privilege is a man thinking that his need for sex equates to an obligation of some sort for a woman’, na, that’s just blunt objectification. Privilege as I understand it is simply living a life in which certain problems never arise, which tends to lead to a blindness to those problems.”

            That’s a fair point, and a useful way to think about privilege, but I think the definition is a bit narrow. Maybe I should rephrase that statement to “Privilege ALLOWS a man to think…”

            “Male privilege in this case is a tendency to not worry in the least about sexual assault, ever.”

            Yes! And also a tendency (actively encouraged by our culture) to see women as fair game in any situation, as the “sex class”, as prizes, etc., etc. That’s where the sexual obligation comes in.

            “But if you are privileged to be sufficiently neurotypical to date, form relationships and all that jazz I at least would consider it a favour if you recognised that there are people less fortunate.”

            It actually had occurred to me that that’s what you meant, and I tried not to imply otherwise in my comment… but I obviously went and did it anyway, and I’m genuinely sorry.

            But I do think there’s a major difference — like, all the difference in the world — between participating in sex and dating and participating in the male privilege of behaving as though one is entitled to sex, and entitled to try to get sex, regardless of the feelings of the other person involved. If being neuroatypical keeps a person from the former, as you’ve written about, then it is the height of privilege (and assholery) to blame or to ridicule that person.

            But as for the latter, all rules most definitely still apply.

            “And yes, the difference between the needs for food and sex is that the former can be satisfied alone, the latter requires complicity. Also going without sex probably won’t kill you. Certainly not as fast.

            The position of privilege is similar in both cases, however. An inability to conceive the circumstances of the other. That was my intent.”

            Privilege is certainly at work in the ways you’re talking about, but especially in the context of this ongoing debate, where many, many people have been actively defending the unadulterated male privilege to ignore the wishes of women, it’s a bit dangerous to compare women to, well, groceries. ;)

            There’s a brilliant article here on relative and situational privilege that you might like:
            http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2011/03/feminism-101-situational-and-relative.html

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        “As for the advice, under other circumstances it might be useful, but when you take that superior tone it just turns into a lecture on ‘How to be as awesome as me’. No matter what you may believe, you are probably not Don Juan.

        All of which is entirely off topic, for which I apologise.”

        Seriously? This is a non-trivial chunk of the topic, and you completely missed the point of it PROBABLY not “Don Juan”? Try “nowhere in the same time zone as Don Juan”!!! I’m short and lumpy and have a big round head like Charlie Brown. I can’t dance or sing, I have no cool moves, I got nothing special going for me. What you missed is that I’m not talking about 9 smooth lines guaranteed to work, or 7 steps to getting laid by 4AM, or any sort of pick-up strategy at all. Just the opposite; I’m saying guys need to stop treating women like a getting-laid game for which you would find an online walkthrough.

        I’m not “superior,” I’m just on the far end of it and have managed to navigate my way through dating without getting anyone accidentally pregnant, without getting accused of rape, only occasionally getting punched by an angry boyfriend/husband/father, and just one time losing my job, apartment, and everything I owned and having to move back in with my parents over a woman. I was a very late bloomer, but I dated a bunch and I’ve been married since 2005. I’ve had LONG spells of not dating, by choice and not by choice.

        I’m just sharing what I’ve learned, not because I’m so super awesome and everyone should be like me, but because of the simple fact that when someone says they are “a guy who has never gotten laid and very probably never will” maybe I know something that you don’t? I hate that you think that’s arrogant or privileged, but that’s how it is. If I were buying my first car, I’d probably get advice from someone who has bought a lot of cars.

        • Avatar of pteryxx

          Heck Joe, after that description and all the insightful and patient commenting you’ve been doing here, now *I* think you’re hawt.

          • Avatar of Improbable Joe

            pteryxx, it was the decription of the amp… right? :)

        • Avatar of chirez

          I realise the original comment was directed at an entirely different section of society, but while ‘if … it never happens? Too bad, so sad, it isn’t any great fucking loss for anyone but you.’ is of course entirely true, it is also unpleasantly unsympathetic. Should my hand be accidentally severed from my arm, it is also no great loss for anyone but me. It doesn’t necessarily follow that the appropriate response from others is to regard it as trivial.

          You may regard yourself as having nothing special going for you, but if you have dated, if you are married, you are significantly more blessed than I. That is my point, you have a degree of privilege I cannot hope to attain. When reading that comment I personally found the proposition ‘In the grand scheme of things, if one or more of you never have sex ever, that’s fine and awesome and possibly better for the gene pool.’ deeply unpleasant.

          Again, I understand you were not adressing your comment to me or those like me, but it does seem that you consider it ‘awesome’ that certain people will go through life deeply unhappy. It’s terribly mean, and unworthy of you.

          • Avatar of Improbable Joe

            Chirez, if you lose your hand because you keep getting drunk and running your shop saw with the safety guard off, and people keep telling you not to do it over and over again, and you ignore everyone’s advice for years and years… guess how many times you’re going to hear “I f***ing told you so!”?

            And spare me the “neurotypical” business, please and thank you. People with Down syndrome date and get married. My older brother has Aspergers and has been dating for most of his life, and has been with the current girlfriend since 2002. My younger brother’s wife has ADHD and dyslexia. My wife is bipolar, I suffer from pretty severe depression. My father has PTSD from Vietnam, and he and my mom have been married for 40 years. My mom is a drama queen but otherwise “normal” as far as I know.

            Unless multiple experts across disciplines have told you that you can’t have a normal life, you have no reason to say it yourself. Even if they have told you that, there’s no reason you should have to accept it as set in stone. If you’re agoraphobic, then you should respond to directions to the shop by asking for the phone number of a therapist that does house calls, instead of bemoaning the fact that you can’t go shopping and expecting someone to do it for you forever.

          • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

            Most people when they are upset about losing their arm are not expecting another person to turn around and give them a new one. When people complain about not getting enough sex, however, they generally expect someone else to step in and be involved in fixing it. Well, you aren’t entitled to another person like that.

            Perhaps you should become an activist in the legalization of sex work and advancing the rights of sex workers if you want to have more people available to you and you don’t think you are capable of making someone actually want you.

          • Avatar of ebrooks

            @Improbable Joe: I think it’s really important, as we’ve been spending so much time discussing the ways that lived experience is ignored because of privilege, that we don’t turn around and do the same thing to someone else…

      • Avatar of Andrés

        Life without any kind of intimacy is deeply unpleasant, and while it doesn’t rank as high as air or food, sex is a fairly central part of life.

        I consider this view the equivalent of saying to a homeless guy, ‘You’re not entitled to food, or shelter. Get a job, buy a house. Stop being pathetic. Look at me, I’m not begging on street corners.’

        Worry not, man. I’m sure that, upon hearing of your plight, the government will submit an Intimate Care Bill to the congress so the underprivileged like you can have their basic rights acknowledged and enjoy state-sponsored sex.

        • Avatar of chirez

          I’m British, Andres.
          Pretty sure you can get it on the NHS.

      • Avatar of exarch

        You know chirez, the hardest thing to do as a skeptic is, when you realiz you’re wrong about something, to swalow your pride and learn from the person who had it right all along.

        On this occasion, you might want to accept the knowledge handed to you with both hands rather than dismissing it because in your ears it sounds like someone is insulting you personally and flaunting their success in your face.

        If you’ve never managed to get laid so far, and everyone else, including most women, is telling you what NOT to do to achieve that goal, it pays to listen to those who actually DID manage to get laid, because clearly, they did something right along the way …

        • Avatar of chirez

          Exarch, you’re assuming my world is the same as yours. When I say probably never will, it’s not because of some flaw in my approach. Unless you consider lack of any approach to be a flaw.

          I appreciate that Joe’s comment was not a personal affront, but there was an implication that anyone not getting any is somehow not doing it right.

          Without wanting to go into detail, I’ve already said more than I’m entirely comfortable with, no amount of knowledge would make the slightest difference. I am incapable of forming intimate relationships, very nearly incapable of forming casual ones.

          I resort to simile because I often feel like I’m trying to explain bicycles to fish. It’s like an agoraphobe telling you he can’t get to the shop, so you try to help him by giving directions.

          • Avatar of killyosaur

            Alright, then maybe you need to consider seeing someone about your issues. I am in the exact same boat as you, but instead of allowing myself to take on a defeatist attitude about it, I am trying to do something about it. there are services out there that help match you up with people to get around some of the awkward crap if that is what is the problem, and if it is deeper, see a psychiatrist about it. your problem seems to be is that you are allowing your damage to get the better of you, it’s an attitude thing, and it is within your control to correct if you choose to correct it.

    • Avatar of Fluxosaurus

      I cannot agree with Improbable Joe enough! Seriously this guy should run a course or write a whack of blog articles educating the male populace.

      Your comments Improbable Joe have been IMHO the most reasonable and considered in this entire debate so far.

      I think in any conversation, it is really important to start from the assumption that the other person is not exactly the same as you, they may not have had the enlightening and socialising experiences you may have had. Maturity is reached by different people at different times and it is important to realise that men are socialised into all sorts of expectations and assumptions – media induced and possibly enhanced by the penchant for some of our community for reading articles on a Friday night rather than socialising with others.

      The male members of this community need to be a part of this conversation, and I think it is a lot more productive to give people a space to speak and further elucidate the problem.

      Thanks Improbable Joe for responding to these comments with reasonableness and really useful suggestions. I know I, and perhaps many others in this community can learn more from you.

    • Avatar of jonn

      Can I add something else? Advice to guys on how to get laid is not a feminist issue. It just isn’t. Asking people not to be creepds doesn’t need to be followed up by “but here’s how to get into my pants in a non-creepy fashion.” Getting laid is the guy’s problem, not the problem of the woman telling him to buzz off.

      If feminist guys want to discuss dating strategies among themselves, fine. If a woman is willing to discuss it, fine! But coming up with a feminist Neil Strauss is not a prerequisite for calling out cruddy behaviour.

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        I really hope you’re not referring to me as some sort of “feminist pick-up artist”…

        • Avatar of jonn

          Hardly. I was hoping the idea was absurd on the face of it; sorry if it seemed aimed.

    • Avatar of taiki

      I’m sorry but, chirez makes a pretty good point in this thread.

      Don’t get me wrong, Rebecca’s 100% right; and there’s no right to sexual congress.

      However, I think you’re treating chirez pretty poorly. I think his point is on a different track than the point of, “don’t be creepy.” Seeing though as how this particular part of the thread has gone on so long, I feel like I should chime in because this whole thread struck a chord.

      Your post Joe, isn’t horribly ableist; but your replies sure are.

      When you’re living a life where you didn’t get the skills necessary to get by dating, male or female, life is pretty damn difficult. Learning how to date and deal with people isn’t like carpentry or learning Mandarin. You can’t just pick up a book and figure out the nuance from it. I’m willing to bet even those who are lucky enough to get by really don’t get the whole picture. Might have most of it, but with divorce and breakup rates as high as they are, I think it’s fair to say that dating and romance are pretty damn tricky.

      Thus, I think cutting those of us who’ve had problems with it a little slack is in order. It doesn’t get us off the hook for being creepy, nothing does, but, when we come out in threads like this and say something like, “I’ve got emotional or neurological issues that keep me from forming bonds and dating I find your post to be condescending to me” the answer shouldn’t be, “Tough shit.”

      Though this is being pretty presumptive about chirez’s experience and I think chirez needs to be way more specific about his experience. Let me explain my experience.

      My experience has been 8 schools in 12 years, constant emotional and physical abuse from your peers, unstable home life and continued issues stemming from those initial years of damage going into my 20′s. I found out the hard way that therapy in my case was a giant waste of time and money. You don’t get those years back. You don’t get to undo all of that and be normal. You get to be a less fucked up and you’re still left with triggers. Which is probably the shittiest consolation prize I’ve ever seen.

      I’m willing to believe I’m the problem is me, since I’m the most common denominator here. Although when it’s something you’ve experienced from ages 8 until 28, it starts to really smack of victim blaming.

      • Avatar of BrieCS

        I really have to take issue with this. See, if you really have that much trouble with social interactions, and you feel as though you’ve never been given the option to develop the ability to date, then there’s more of a problem than you are acknowledging.

        In that instance, first, you CAN learn about that kind of stuff by picking up a book. Self-help books are out there for a reason, and for interpersonal skills, they’re typically intensely useful. There are also tons of blogs and websites for that sort of purpose.

        If therapy absolutely doesn’t work for you and you’re still having intense issues, then medication and therapy could work, or medication alone. I’m bipolar and have anxiety, and I have had a LOT of trouble with social interactions for the past decade (starting when I was 13 and began having panic attacks and having depressive and manic phases), but I got married when I turned 18 and have a great marriage (5 years in!). You know how I managed it?

        I took interpersonal skills classes. I read books. I went on medicine. I did therapy. I cleaned up my life and worked on learning how to be better with people. I now have a job at a conservative corporate company and work daily with customers and employees.

        Now don’t get me wrong, it was HARD. SUPER hard, and stressful, and for a while I was even worse at social interactions (even with my husband, which was really difficult). But I kept working at it, and I still am.

        Nothing can stop you from learning how to be a better person, or from learning how to be with people or date or get married, if you really want to and you’re willing to work for it.

        • Avatar of taiki

          I’m sorry, but I thought this was skepchick.org, where’s the skep part? Self help? Seriously?

          Also, I was willing to work at it. Self help was one of the big things that pushed me into the skeptical movement. None of it worked. I put in the effort, but, I still didn’t get anything out of it. You saying, “if you really want to and you’re willing to work for it” smacks of the pseudo motivational crap you’ll hear from schmucks blaming their “associates” that they didn’t sell enough Amway that month.

          You got married at 18. I was having the crap beaten out of me at 18. I don’t think you’ve got the same scope of what’s going on here.

        • Avatar of taiki

          Also, I can get by in social situations. I can get by with friends, work colleagues and other associations.

          Forming the deeper bonds and being boyfriend/husband material to someone else is something no book can teach me, and something I get to figure out on my own.

  25. Avatar of Billy Clyde Tuggle

    IMO, what Ms. Watson has failed to create is a “put yourself in my shoes” Golden Rule scenario that a male horndog can relate to (not that it would matter to the vast majority of Ms. Watson’s hopelessly disordered Trollo Sapien detractors). The one scenario I can conjure which might reach the least afflicted of the lot is a slight of build Trollo Sapien male being greeted on a hotel elevator at 4 AM by a 6′ 5″ gay man built like Mr. Universe with a whole lot of Rue Paul “Queeny” working on the personality side. If said, Steroid Queen then proceeded to invite our 20 something troll guy up to the “Queen Suite” for coffee (with an “I’m looking through your clothes/violating you with my eyes” POWER STARE thrown in for good measure) then perhaps troll guy could finally appreciate the feelings of discomfort reported by Ms. Watson. Heck, why not a play-acted skit at the next Skeptics convention with a big beefy gay guy to “drive the message home” (pun intended).

    \BCT

  26. Avatar of scribe999

    There’s always those anime body pillows…apparently you can marry them in South Korea.

  27. Avatar of Makoto

    It’s rather sad how hard “hey, this made me uncomfortable, you might want to remove it from your pick up attempts” is for some people to understand… I think you’ve brought up some excellent points, in a calm, informative manner. What more could someone ask of you? Thank you, I think this discussion is important.

  28. Avatar of blissed

    Rebecca such a cruel shitstorm over a reaonable request.

    000000000000000_000000000000000
    00000000000000___00000000000000
    0000000000000_____0000000000000
    000000000000_______000000000000
    00000000000_________00000000000
    0____________ YOU ___________00
    000_________ …….._________ 0000
    00000 _______ROCK!_______ 00000
    0000000_________________0000000
    000000_________0_________000000
    00000_______0000000_______00000
    0000_____0000000000000_____0000
    000___0000000000000000000___000
    00_0000000000000000000000000_00

  29. Avatar of lihpappil

    I met my husband getting on an elevator – true story! He helped me with some chairs I was wrangling down to the basement after a night shift! Turns out he was starting work that day at the same store as me…

  30. Avatar of duckolicious

    I really can’t wait for that great someday when google captioning works worth a damn, so I can actually hear these awesome videos.

    From reading the comments, sounds like I’m missing a great thing. As much as I could make out, I think I agree with you, Rebecca – keep up the good work!

  31. Avatar of starstuff91

    The YouTube comments on this video are ridiculous. I commented and ended up getting into an argument with two men that lasted about 25 posts. I’m starting to become jaded with how women are treated in society, particularly online.

  32. Avatar of halincoh

    People who I’ve almost laid at skeptical events:

    1. Brian G. Come on Brian, you wanted it. I didn’t. Kelly, your lovely wife didn’t either, but you did. I’m certain that this is why you gave me one of your pieces of art. To lure me in. And I’m certain that Kelly gave me two pieces to make sure I never returned. ( By the way, all three are up on the wall now and look awesome!) If only you are I weren’t both heterosexual and completely un-attracted to each other, magic coulda happened.

    2. Maki. Come on. We both felt the earth move when I borrowed your pen.

    3. Jacob V. Actually, I’m pretty sure Jake and I did lay each other.

    Wait? Where are the women on my list? How tragic that a happily married , skeptical, middle aged, heterosexual man can’t go to a conference and not get laid by a woman? Wait a minute. I had an awesome time at TAM. I had an awesome time at all three TAMs I have attended. I had a great time at both NECSS events I attended and I didn’t get laid then either even though I’ve met many sensational women at every event. What is wrong with me? By now you sense I’m bustin’ chops. Ok, I know some of the young adonis skeptics are thinking, ” hey old man – get off of my cloud ( that’s a Rolling Stones reference – they played when dinosaurs roamed the Earth , or so I read in a young creationist pamphlet ), I can lay whoever I want.” And to that I say , “true … if the feeling is mutual.” Now they might say, “oh yeah?” And to that I say, ” lighten up Frances ( another quote from the Paleolithic era film named STRIPES ).” What I’m trying to say is, it’s truly ok if you don’t get laid at a skeptic conference even if you’re 25 years old. Don’t make it a mission ( and I doubt many, if any, here have that mission ) and hey, if it happens, it happens. Either way, these people are our people and it’s a great, great time each and every time.

    Now kiss me Jake. I’m wearing tafata.

    • Avatar of Buzz Parsec

      “Taffeta, darling” (Young Frankenstein
      .
      You were at TAM and NECSS? How come I didn’t meet you? Or maybe I did.
      (eyes shift slowly back and forth, like the evil dog plotting the downfall of humanity in The Simpsons.) (Is there a smily for that?)

      • Avatar of Brian G

        @Halincoh: You’re always naked in my mind :D

        @BuzzParsec: I think we already established this but, we didn’t get to meet at NECSS either. A sad, sad oversight.

    • Avatar of James Fox

      If you insist, and I do like a nice taffeta summer frock. Three TAM’s and no sex here either. Some damn hot phone calls to my wife during TAM; but alas, no skeptical amazonian femnazi overlord submissive sex.

  33. Avatar of java6nerd

    Watermelon? Aparently Rebecca has never heard of warm apple pie. lol

  34. Avatar of JeffGrigg

    It’s easy to find the dolls online. $15 to $45 + shipping, typical.

    This blog is such a wonderful public service.

    >;->

    • Avatar of chirez

      Pretty sure she was talking about RealDolls, which are… googling… $6,000?!

      Holy shit… how many hookers could you get for that?

  35. Avatar of ebrooks

    I’m in awe of your willingness to shake the hornet’s nest like this, but so glad that you did!

  36. Avatar of Jack99

    “BLFS – huge confidence booster – this most seminal recipe”

    Deeply disturbing!

  37. Avatar of alumiere

    Thank you for making me smile and snort once. I think I’m in love – with your brainssss.

  38. Avatar of hkdharmon

    Perhaps this is one explanation for this sort of behavior (hitting on women inappropriately, and then losing one’s shit after being called on it).

    So, I am a middle aged married guy, and my upbringing taught me that women do not like sex, and that women only get with guys for other reasons (security, popularity, wanting a family, and other bullshit).

    Therefore, in this scenario, there is no appropriate way to hit on a woman. All ways are improper and it is an inherently rude act, because you are asking her to do something that she cannot actually want to do. I know it is incorrect, but it explains my personal history of extreme trepidation and awkwardness with women considering that I was taught (not explicitly, of course) that ANY attempt to flirt with or proposition a women under any circumstances was rude. Therefore if there is no right way to do it, there is no wrong way to do it. The more I liked a woman, the less likely I was to ask her out, because I did not want to hurt a friend. Is there a wrong way to be a jerk?

    I can’t be the only man who has this feeling, or was taught this, so it may explain some of the bizarre behavior of men when it comes to flirting with woman. Perhaps they are thinking “Well, if I am going to make an ass of myself by propositioning this woman, I might as well do it where no one else can see me and she can’t easily run screaming. Oh, look, an elevator. Perfect!”

    So, if my hypothesis is correct, that many men think they are misbehaving by flirting with or propositioning a woman, then extreme reactions to a woman saying “That is not the way to do it” may be based on the shame of being called out on something they are embarrassed about doing at all. They may see elevator man (who is surely living under a rock in his mother’s basement by now) as having been brave for inviting Rebecca to his room at all, and hearing him told that he screwed it up may offend them in the extreme. “How dare you sully the reputation of this brave man? He should get a medal for his efforts!”

    I dunno. What do you think?

    • Avatar of sallystrange

      I think you should read Amanda Marcotte’s piece, “Buyers and Sellers” over at Pandagon.com. It’ll clear a lot of this up for you.

      Yes, there are men who think that women don’t like sex. Those men need to be educated. This is part of the process.

      • Avatar of hkdharmon

        1) There is nothing at Pandagon.com, just a logo.
        2) That is my point. A lot of guys seem to act as if flirting, propositioning, etc is an aggressive act that needs to be treated like a crime. You use trickery, mind games, and tactics (wing-men) instead of it being a nice thing that people might enjoy.

    • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

      I think there may be some truth to that (insert your standard “The Patriarchy hurts men too!” here), and it is valuable to see how these attitudes come about and are perpetuated, AS LONG AS we understand that the men with these attitudes are not the ones having the most harm done to them, their safety and their agency is not compromised to the same degree, and that understanding some of the psychology behind this behavior does not in any way mean we have to condone it or excuse it.

      Another little quirk is that because women are perceived to never want sex, this social pattern insists that men just plain **have to** harass women or they’ll never perpetuate the human race and love would be otherwise impossible. And think of how much culture shows women falling in love with the men who sexually harass them. I’m on an old musical kick right now, so consider Guys And Dolls, An American In Paris, The Music Man, Silk Stockings, etc.

  39. Avatar of magnolia

    I just don’t get it. I do not get why it is such a big ass deal.

    I mean it. I really don’t understand why everyone and their momma is out there flipping their shit about this.

    It’s like they were -looking- for an argument or something.

    • Avatar of magnolia

      and I mean that I agree with Rebecca and do not understand why it is her comment brought on this -massive- shit storm of epic proportions.

      I don’t get that part, why the people are getting all cray-cray about a small suggestion. I don’t get it.

      • Avatar of thebewilderness

        I can explain.
        This is what happens when myth and reality collide.

      • Avatar of exarch

        magnolia, it’s because there are, even now, a whole lot of people out there who STILL don’t even understand why rebecca found that situation creepy. Even after everyone and their mom has tried to explain it to them (and warn them that it’s not appropriate behavior).

        Of course, it didn’t help that Dawkins got mixed up in it along the way and landed himself on the wrong side of the argument trying to downplay the whole thing.

        But it’s good that it’s getting this much attention, because this problem is long overdue for being addressed. In fact, the main reason this blog exists is because about 6 or 7 years ago, people started asking the question: why aren’t there more women at skeptic events?
        Well, this is why …

    • Avatar of wet_bread

      This is exactly how I feel. I’ve been viewing this kerfuffle passively since it started and haven’t commented anywhere until now.

      It seems so bloody obvious to me why the behavior of douche-in-elevator-guy was inappropriate. I say this as a guy with a horribly cliche hetero libido. (E.g., I still find black stockings and high heels impossibly sexy, try as I might not to. I’m sorry.) But even I, garterfetishboy, think it is COMPLETELY FUCKING OBVIOUS why Ms Watson was displeased and found her response quite measured and appropriate.

      The lads have not been covering themselves in glory on this one. Very embarrassing.

      Oh, and thanks for the tip on the watermelons. Haven’t tried that one yet.

  40. Avatar of truthwalker

    I just want to say “Sorry” to Rebecca. Not sorry in the “its my fault sense” but “I’m sorry this is happening to you” sense. I think finding out that so many people you considered friends hate people like you (women) at some level, for some reasons, is tragic and I’m sorry.

  41. Avatar of kingryan

    I am not trying to condone anything. I’m just saying that it’s not always easy, and especially for some people it’s not as easy as it is for some of you who have the gift of being super outgoing and social. If you suck at life and will probably be alone forever then it’s tough to read people sometimes and sometimes you make really dumb mistakes. That’s all.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      You seriously need to grow up, cut the “boo-hoo poor me” act, and stop sucking at life. It is a good thing no one is dating you, since you’re declaring yourself to be an unfit partner and all.

      Maybe you should give up on dating entirely and work on some self-improvement and self-esteem stuff. Not to get better at “bagging hot chicks”, but for your own damn sake. Maybe the dating/sex will happen, and maybe it won’t, but isn’t it important to feel worth a damn just because that’s a good thing?

      • Avatar of kingryan

        Go fuck yourself, Joe. You have no idea who I am or what my situation is. I am just saying that this guy in the elevator is probably just an awkward dude who made a dumb mistake, that’s all. Happens to everyone. You seriously need to get some fucking perspective and stop commenting as if you are God’s* gift to women. It’s pathetic.

        *pardon the expression; just an expression.

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          You might want to work on your anger issues, as long as you’re dealing with your inferiority complex. Whatever your problems are, they are YOUR PROBLEMS, and you should stop inflicting them on other people.

          • Avatar of kingryan

            I wasn’t trying to “inflict” anything and I hardly have an inferiority complex. I was just trying to share the perspective of a single male that sometimes reading women isn’t always easy and, unfortunately, when they say things like “I’m tired” or even “I don’t want to be hit on,” it really doesn’t mean they are actually tired or don’t want to be hit on. Would be a lot easier if that were the case! I am not condoning elevator guy, as I said he missed many red flags, but I just can empathize with his situation a little bit.

            Joe, if you actually want to have a discussion on this please send me an email. This is going no-where and I hardly want to get banned from this site just because your condescending posts are successfully getting a rise out of me.

          • Avatar of kingryan

            Sorry, meant to say “always mean.” Sometimes it obviously does, lol.

        • Avatar of Rebecca Watson

          Allow me to help clear something up: there was nothing — not a single thing — that led me to believe that the man in the elevator was “awkward.” He was bold, direct, and confident.

          I assume a lot of people will say I’m lying about that, as they’ve said I’ve lied about everything else, but there you have it.

          • Avatar of Improbable Joe

            You totally could have cleared that up weeks ago, and then none of the rest would have happened…

            …and no, I don’t really believe that. I also don’t understand why there would be anything shy and awkward about what you described, and I saw that as a bunch of projection on the part of guys trying to rationalize away your feelings.

            I’ve been shy and awkward. I’ve awkwardly tried to buy women drinks, or shyly handed over a business card with my name and number on it. I’ve told jokes badly, nervously spewed out non sequiturs, sang karaoke in my strangled bulldog voice, all sorts of awkward and embarrassing stuff. Asking a stranger to go from hello to hotel room isn’t “shy and awkward” at all… that guy’s got some cojones on him!

          • Avatar of kingryan

            Thanks, Rebecca.

          • Avatar of braindonut

            I sincerely appreciate that being cleared up. Throughout this entire hub-bub, I haven’t been able to shake the thought that it was some socially handicapped guy who did actually just want to chat over coffee and was completely unaware of how uncomfortable he made you. And, if that were the context, then this recent video would be an exceptionally mean thing to say to someone who probably is going to spend the rest of his life fucking something made of rubber. Especially since you do point out that some people aren’t normal and sincerely don’t understand social situations. (Say, for instance, people with aspergers…)

            So, with this being cleared up, I feel far less uncomfortable about your position and videos. Before, I bounced between amusement and guilt, because I didn’t know whether the entire community here was bullying someone who really can’t defend themselves.

            And I mean this sincerely. Thanks for clearing it up.

    • Avatar of borealys

      If you happen to be someone with poor social skills who isn’t very good at reading people, resulting in dumb social mistakes, you ought to be happy that Rebecca said something. Because now, there’s at least one dumb social mistake you’ll know not to make. And if you filter out the uglier parts of this whole debacle, you can learn even more, and generalize what you’ve learned to avoid even more dumb social mistakes. It’s win-win!

      Seriously, this is an opportunity for people who have those sorts of problems to learn something about how to avoid being perceived as a creep. If you can avoid the creep factor, you’ll find that there are plenty of women who think a bit of awkwardness is endearing.

      Unless, of course, you want to continue being alone and sucking at life, in which case, you can just join the chorus of guys complaining about how unfair it all is. Your choice.

      • Avatar of kingryan

        Where did I complain about how unfair it is? I am completely on board with Rebecca, just trying to share some perspective. Motherfucker, some of you guys are worse at reading comprehension than the Creationists.

        • Avatar of thebewilderness

          Your perspective that when women say no they mean yes is the problem being addressed.

          • Avatar of chirez

            Would you say there are no women in the world who do indeed say no and mean yes?

            Personally I figure that since you can’t know either way you’re better off assuming the literal interpretation is the correct one. Not least because if everyone acted like that, my life would be a lot easier.

            I still very much doubt it’s always the case.

            Clarification : I don’t agree with disregarding the stated desires of any other person, but I am pretty certain they do not always coincide perfectly with the actual desires of said person.

        • Avatar of borealys

          If you, personally, aren’t one of the people you were describing in your comment, then mine wasn’t directed at you personally. So why take it that way? My point was only that the kinds of people you were talking about are among the ones who *should* benefit the most from Rebecca’s comments.

          I don’t think anyone ever denied that such people exist. And I’m certainly not claiming it’s wrong to empathize with them. I’ve always been pretty awkward myself. But shouldn’t any empathy include a sincere wish for them to get something out of this — a chance, perhaps, to take a step away from being that suck-at-life, forever-alone guy?

      • Avatar of chirez

        Speaking as someone who is indeed not ‘normal’, I’d say that when you live in a world of social interactions you very quickly become aware that you are walking in a minefield.

        I very much doubt that anyone with an ASD would behave in that manner, though naturally there’s plenty of drift in that loose categorisation.

        And yes, this whole conversation is very useful as a mine-detection manual.

    • Avatar of pteryxx

      kingryan: Also, there’s a vast difference between hitting on chicks for sex, and looking for someone to share your life so you won’t be alone. If you’re NOT using “will probably be alone forever” merely as a euphemism for “won’t get laid”, then consider changing your approach toward actual socializing. Being social does in fact tend to result in having friends, some of whom might even be interested in sex with you.

      • Avatar of exarch

        Possibly: “will probably be alone forever” is often also a euphemism for “will never be able to land a supermodel as a girlfriend”.

        If you only take an interest in the girls who get hit on thirty times a day, then you will simply be the thirty-first guy they turn down. If you want to meet the right woman, you have to be willing to talk to EVERY woman, because wit, intelligence, likes/dislikes, etc… can only be gaged in actual conversation, and not by merely staring at her boobs.

        • Avatar of kingryan

          Just to be clear:

          I have never “hit on” someone or approached a women with the intention of having sex with her. I am not sure why this discussion has turned to the point where we are discussing my shitty life but there you go.

          • Avatar of exarch

            Hey, nobody is saying that’s what you’re after. We’re just saying that usually, when self-proclaimed nice-guys-who-finish-last are complaining about women, they are complaining about how they’re not getting what they want from those women.

            But YOU are the one who brought up the subject of your shitty track record with women, and using that as an excuse for possible bad behaviour. So don’t complain now that people are not buying the excuse. Especially if you’re ignoring the advice people give you about how to possibly improve it because you dislike the fact that it would take an actual effort on your part or not provide you with any instant results.

  42. Avatar of truthwalker

    I have to agree. No person can make you happy, man. You got a learn to be happy on your own, and then people male and female will start looking for you. When someone, male or female loves you, they want to give you what makes you happy…including sex.

  43. Avatar of truthwalker

    Also, thanks Rebecca, for trying to make the skeptical/atheist community a better place, sorry it means you have to get a lot evil comments.

  44. Avatar of kvoneerie

    Not that I condone bestiality but there is that old bit about female sheep. Perhaps, that would be a great way for them to get laid.

  45. Avatar of Anthony

    Bravo!!

    This has probably been said (I didn’t read any of the comments) but I just wanted to say how much you continually amaze me with how you respond to stupid shit!

    Some day, perhaps I’ll be able to congratulate you in person for the wonderful job that you do!

  46. Avatar of theted

    I think the real question here is not about whether the skeptic community wants advise about sexism or male/female relations and more about whether the skeptic community wants or is even willing to accept advice of any kind.

    Advice can’t be given with hard and fast rules, it can’t be placed in logical rational terms. Having every male skeptic accepting a rule about elevators past midnight obviously won’t solve the problem.

    Is the skeptic community capable of having a debate about empathy and considering the subjective psychological viewpoint of others? Does it even want to have that debate?

  47. Avatar of grognard

    You stay classy, Rebecca.

  48. Avatar of pablo4sanity

    Awesome advice Rebecca. Loved how you kept a straight face throughout the doll advice!

  49. Avatar of pteryxx

    I took the liberty of attempting a transcript (errors are my own):

    ——————–

    Hello Youtube! I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting this update, so here you go! Yes, I unpacked some boxes (waves to partly filled bookshelves) and there they are. Looking much better I think. Um, so, yeah. Oh, and also I dyed my hair since the last time you saw me, so that was fun; and… (pause) Oh yeah! And in my previous video, I remember how I, like, politely suggested that guys might not wanna, corner a woman… in an elevator…(pause) at 4 in the morning…(pause) that you’ve never met…(pause) and invite her back to your hotel room… Um, that, that got some feedback, some really interesting feedback. A LOT of feedback, actually.

    I just wanted to thank all of you who took the time to leave comments on my video. They were, they were very interesting, um… Things like, y’know, how I’m, um, a “retard”, and a “faggot”… (headshake and disbelieving smile) …One of you called me a faggot… uh, a “man-hater”… Which, now that I think about it, if I’m a faggot who hates men, I’d probably have to be retarded just by default. (shrug) But anyway, I just wanted to thank you, and also thank the, uh, Youtubers who have a large audience of idiots, who, who sent these people TO my video to make those comments. Because, it finally convinced me to do something that I can’t believe I didn’t do earlier, after years on Youtube it never occurred to me… to turn off the notifications that Youtube sends every time there’s a comment on your video. (headshake) I dunno why I didn’t do this sooner; I’ve been on Youtube for years, and, it only just occurred to me… last week. Or so. And, it’s been brilliant, it’s been like this Zen calm in my inbox now, compared to… prior to that time. So, thank you, for pushing me to do that, that’s a very positive impact on my life.

    And I just wanted to, ah, to address some of the questions you’ve all had. Um, I don’t really have a lot of time right now, but I thought I would just address the one BIG question, (serious look) the one that I keep seeing over and over and over again. Which is something along these lines: “I’m a man, and I don’t see, uh, the PROBLEM, in cornering a woman in an elevator and inviting her back to my room, despite the fact that she said she’s tired and going to bed, despite the fact that she said she didn’t want to be hit on (shrug) and, despite the fact that I’ve never talked to her before; I don’t see a problem with the situation. So if you say I can’t do THAT, then, HOW can I possibly get laid?”

    And (headshake) the answer to that, is that… you probably can’t. (wry look) You probably can’t get laid. Because, I think most normal people see that situation, and they realize “Oh okay, yeah, that’s not an appropriate time to, uh, ask a woman to come back to my hotel room.” And those of you who didn’t see that right away, y’know, there’s another subset of normal people, who said “Oh, well, it didn’t occur to me that that would be seen as creepy or weird or undesirable. So thank you for pointing it out; I will not do that in the future.” So y’know, most normal people get that, and they can then go forward and flirt with members of the opposite sex in a normal manner that may or may not result in sex for them.

    But y’know, those of you who are asking that question obviously can’t do that. So, I would recommend that you look at OTHER ways to maybe get your rocks off. Like, I dunno, maybe one of those dolls? They, they sell those… (indicates vague shape, wry-faced) They’re kind of expensive I think, I dunno, I’ve never priced one myself, but I’ve seen a documentary on it, and they’re really… They’re LIFELIKE, but… their mouths are only used for sucking (pinchy hand gesture and chuckle) y’know, so no worries about them… very calmly… giving you advice on how to approach a woman or how not to approach a woman. You don’t have to worry about that. They would pretty much just lay there, and you can have sex with them. If you don’t have the money for that, there are other… (intent look)…tools… you can get… Fleshlight, I’ve heard, is very good…um… (pause) Maybe, maybe there are other things you could do. I’ve heard that you can like cut a hole in a watermelon or something? Is that a thing? that guys do? (slightly squicked smile) I dunno. But yeah, there are other options out there… for you. So y’know, I only throw this out there because a LOT of you have been asking me for sex advice.

    Y’know, the point of me uploading the video previously wasn’t necessarily to GIVE sex advice, but to give advice on how we, as a community, might go about making our community a more inviting one to women. But, a lot of you just have no interest in that (headshake)… you just wanted the sex advice. So there it is, my advice to you is to buy one of those really expensive dolls, and… fuck that! (smile) So I hope that helps. Thank you again to everybody who’s commented. I haven’t really read any of them, in the past, uh, few weeks, but hey! Keep it up, because you seem to… You seem to really enjoy it. (warm smile) So, thanks.

  50. Avatar of Niki M

    I love this post, Rebecca. Pity the whiners are just going to keep whining about it instead of freakin’ THINKING about it.

    btw, how do you get an icon on this thing?

    • Avatar of utakata

      I want to know that myself. :(

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      “Avatars
      Skepchick uses Gravatar.com. If you’d like a picture next to your posts, register on Gravatar using the same email address you use on Skepchick, and whatever image you upload there will automatically appear here.”

      • Avatar of Niki M

        Thanks a bunch, Joe! I’ll give it a try once the coffee kicks in!

  51. Avatar of tol32

    Brilliant. I can hear the bawwing of enraged manchildren rising like a dull roar.

  52. Avatar of

    When arguing with users on the YouTube video, I was having a heated conversation with someone. If anyone would like to read it, here it is. I know it’s long but I would like to hear people’s input on this.
    (PS I will post my message first, and then her response. Notice how I try to be respectful, and if it is rude in any way, it is not on purpose.)

    I will first say that I don’t think Ms. Watson was wrong in voicing her opinions. She of course has every right to do so.

    Secondly I do know what it feels like to be sexualized, and in my own personal opinion, it does not bother me. I have been ass-grabbed many times at parties, and I never chalk it up to the other being a sexist. I understand that the person is probably drunk, and humans make mistakes. And that if I were to run into them when they were sober, they wouldn’t act in such a manner. However I will not tell a woman that her experiences aren’t important. I will not, however, agree with someone simply because they are a woman, and I don’t want to be seen as a sexist. If a woman is saying something I don’t agree with, I will comment on it.

    Thirdly, calling me a sexist if I disregard your feelings is uncalled for. In fact, the only way you can call me a sexist is if you disregard my feelings on the topic. Which makes you a sexist, you see what I’m getting at? It’s a vicious circle

    Next, the definition of sexism is discrimination based on gender. The act of disagreeing with someone, or ignoring their personal experiences (which I did not intend to do) is not inherently sexist, although it is disrespectful

    Now on the issue with the elevator guy. It is not morally right to assume he just wanted sex. He was at a convention with a group of people who held his beliefs, if I were there, I would be excited to talk to my fellow peers. On top of that he was drunk and probably understood that Ms. Watson would be leaving and, to a drunk person, thought it was his only chance to have a conversation. He approached and asked her in a polite manner if she wanted coffee. She refused and he did not push on the subject. His reaction to the rejection proves that he respected her. However socially awkward he was, in no way will I see him as being a sexist. Because I understand he is human, and that sometimes we just act stupid.

    I also don’t mean any disrespect or insult towards you, I like debating topics like this, because it gives perspective.

    • Avatar of

      Dear Michael,

      No, you do not know what it means to be sexualized. You have had a few isolated incidences of boundary violations that you could easily brush off. That is not the same as being repeatedly told that your appearance is relevant to how you do your job, as having totally sober people in public spaces intrude upon you and try to touch or threaten you, as being threatened with sexual assault for disagreeing with someone, as being told your body/hormones/biological clock make your opinions and experiences suspect and irrational, as being groped and touched by someone who was formerly a trusted friend and berated you when you said no, as having people repeatedly ignore your refusals of sexual attention as they press for more, as being told over and over again that if you walk alone it’s your fault if you get assaulted, as being mocked and catcalled BY YOUR UNIVERSITY PROTECTIVE SERVICES because you are walking home, as being told by your professors that you should shape your career goals around being a woman and not around your talents, or as having to limit your schedule and activities based on where you can go safely. ALL of these things have happened to me, many repeatedly, and I am actually comparatively lucky considering what lots of other women go through.

      Nice try with the false equivalency. What you don’t seem to realize is that women get their experiences disregarded on account of their gender ALL THE TIME, and the fact that the male perspective and entitlement is seen as the “valid” viewpoint, whereas the female perspective (e.g., “please don’t hit on me or try to corner me when I’m alone.”) is seen as “unreasonable,” “shrill,” etc. Also, when I have told you something multiple times about how a situation feels for me and for many women, and why it is completely consistent with cultural norms (an invitation to someone’s hotel room is sexual THE VAST MAJORITY of the time!), when you refuse to acknowledge that, you are disregarding my feelings and I have the right to call you out on the behavior you have shown. When you further insult my viewpoint and my needs by making a ridiculous strawman that I (or RW) am somehow saying that we believe all men always want sex, it shows even more that you are not arguing honestly and that you don’t care about my point of view or my feelings. There is also a very specific pattern of denying someone’s experiences and talking down to them simply because they are female, and we are experts at recognizing it because we have to deal with it often. You are privileged and you have been taught all your life that your point of view should be taken seriously and there are tons of implicit cultural cues that have shown you that women’s viewpoints are not to be taken seriously, so maybe you don’t realize that you’re being sexist in how you think more highly of your own opinion than what other people tell you about what it’s like to be female, but I assure you you’re following that very pattern (and it’s not inherent to being male, for the umpteenth time. Men who are considerate and thoughtful do not treat their interlocutors that way).

      A big part of what makes your disagreement sexist and offensive is that you are so, so sure that there couldn’t be any sexual intent for this guy, and you are spinning tons of ridiculous excuses. You are repeatedly refusing to see why his behavior is objectionable, and you are taking a ridiculously literal view of what he said, ignoring the fact that LOTS of human interactions have subtext and euphemistic phrases. When you specifically and repeatedly ignore that after it has been pointed out to you multiple times shows that you don’t really care about paying attention to a very real problem in how women are treated, and so you deny and deny and deny. So, he was excited to talk to his fellow peers? He could do that at the bar. IT IS NOT POLITE–EVER–to invite someone you don’t know back to your hotel room at 4am. This is basic common decency. Most normal people know this. When you ignore this basic common decency because the person you’re dealing with is female, it’s sexist. And, as Ms. Watson said, if they didn’t know this they don’t dig in defensively and insist on their privilege to make other people feel uncomfortable so they can have as much access to people as they want. Trust me on this one, women have A LOT more experience than you in encountering and identifying sexist behavior, so maybe you should acknowledge that you are out of your depth and listen.

      Moreover, when you willfully disregard obvious cues of dangerous behavior that have real-live consequences for women (and I HAVE had someone touch me inappropriately in an elevator, thank you very much!), and chalk our apprehensiveness up to someone just being male, and then have the audacity to call us “sexist” for being afraid for our safety when there are very real danger signs, is to show an astonishing disrespect for what women actually go through. It also severely demeans our experience of actually dealing with sexism, when you so blatantly show that you don’t know what it means.

      A word to the wise, NEVER try to excuse poor behavior to a woman with “well, he was drunk so he couldn’t help it.” This is privilege, and it is sexism. It shows that you feel affinity to an Old Boys Club where men should get a pass on their actions, and it doesn’t matter to you if they hurt women. Please stop.

      Thank you for your attention to this matter.

      • Avatar of

        Sorry for the long posts but this is the last one. This is my reply to her reply, it is full of her quotes to make it easy to understand my reply to each comment……

        I’m going to start by saying that I find the tone in your reply demeaning. I think you should show a little more respect to someone who hasn’t been hostile towards you. For someone who seems to know what the definition of polite is, you sure don’t show it.

        FYI I’m going to quote you a lot to help with the context of my replies.

        “No, you do not know what it means to be sexualized. You have had a few isolated incidences of boundary violations that you could easily brush off.”

        First off, were you not the one who said, “Also, when I have told you something multiple times about how a situation feels for me and for many women…when you refuse to acknowledge that, you are disregarding my feelings and I have the right to call you out on the behavior you have shown.” Are you not disregarding my feelings here? Do you get to tell me my experiences with sexualization are isolated incidences, and that they don’t count? Considering how much time you spent telling me I’m disregarding yours, this road goes both ways.

        “When you further insult my viewpoint and my needs by making a ridiculous straw-man that I (or RW) am somehow saying that we believe all men always want sex.”

        I did not say that. I said that when you assume that a man wants sex, it is BASED on a prejudice that all men want sex. And I never insulted your viewpoint. When one is involved in a debate or argument between two opposing sides, very few times do people agree.
        So when I disagree with you it’s insulting, but when you disagree with me its OK? I’m sorry, again, the road goes both ways. Welcome to the age of equality.

        “There is also a very specific pattern of denying someone’s experiences and talking down to them simply because they are female, and we are experts at recognizing it because we have to deal with it often.”

        I’m sorry. Were you not denying my experiences? You literally told me to brush it off. Not only that but you are talking down to me in the very letter you wrote. Maybe you shouldn’t deny someone elses experiences if you don’t want them to deny yours.

        “You are privileged and you have been taught all your life that your point of view should be taken seriously and there are tons of implicit cultural cues that have shown you that women’s viewpoints are not to be taken seriously”

        Yes men are privileged, but we are not taught that. I’ve only really learned of my privileges recently whilst visiting an anarchist blog over the past year. There we deal with white male privilege all the time. Actually we are taught that women are smarter than men. It’s in commercials and talk shows all the time. When there’s a commercial of husband and wife, the man is portrayed as some idiot dunce who can’t do anything right, while the woman is portrayed as the all-knowing queen of the household. I just don’t let it bother me because I know it’s just a commercial.

        “so maybe you don’t realize that you’re being sexist in how you think more highly of your own opinion than what other people tell you about what it’s like to be female, but I assure you you’re following that very pattern”

        Of course I think more highly of my opinion, because it’s unique to me. It has nothing to do with your gender. Do you think my opinion is wrong? Of course you do, but I don’t call you a sexist because you don’t agree, I understand that you just don’t agree with me.
        You do know what it’s like to be female, but that doesn’t mean you can speak for all of them. Everyone is different, and what you find rude or sexist, others don’t. I can say you don’t understand men, but that doesn’t mean that I do. I only know what it’s like to be me, not any other guy can relate to me. I am the only version of me that will ever exist, and my experiences are unique to me. So don’t tell me the views I hold are sexist because they don’t coincide with yours. Again, two way street.

        “A big part of what makes your disagreement sexist and offensive is that you are so, so sure that there couldn’t be any sexual intent for this guy, and you are spinning tons of ridiculous excuses.”

        And a big part of your disagreement being sexist is that you are so, so sure that there is sexual intent. And you are throwing in your experiences into a situation that is unrelated to you in anyway. Just because you’ve been sexualized often doesn’t mean you have an all-knowing understanding of peoples intentions.

        “ignoring the fact that LOTS of human interactions have subtext and euphemistic phrases.”

        I agree, I find yours to be full of demeaning and degrading comments towards me.

        “He could do that at the bar. IT IS NOT POLITE–EVER–to invite someone you don’t know back to your hotel room at 4am. This is basic common decency. Most normal people know this. When you ignore this basic common decency because the person you’re dealing with is female, it’s sexist.”

        I agree, and so would thousands of others. I doubt more than 1 in 1000 men (or women for that matter) would invite someone to their room at 4 AM. It is strange and I wouldn’t do it. But being rude is not the same thing as being sexist. Again, sexism is discrimination based on gender. When you ask someone politely (location and time aside) for a chat over coffee, and they so no, then that’s it. If he were to press further then it would be harassment. However that didn’t happen. And when you call some fools lame attempt to get to know someone sexism, it really degrades the meaning of the word.

        “Trust me on this one, women have A LOT more experience than you in encountering and identifying sexist behavior, so maybe you should acknowledge that you are out of your depth and listen.”

        Like I said before, just because you’ve experienced loads of sexism doesn’t mean you can speak for all women. I really doubt that ALL women have had more experience encountering and identifying sexist behavior. All through high-school I was told I was too skinny, by both men and women. Even girls skinnier than me told me I was skinny. It is sexist because they are discriminating against me based on my gender. And that men can’t be skinny but women can. This happened all 5 years through high-school. So yes, I know what sexism is. Not only that but I’ve been told that men can’t drink breezers, because men only drink beer, and I would get laughed at otherwise. (This is not only sexist to me, it is also sexist to women, because it’s based on the prejudice that men drink beer and women drink mixed drinks.)
        I have listened. And I do acknowledge white male privilege. However that doesn’t mean that everything you say is correct because, “women have it harder.”

        “and then have the audacity to call us “sexist” for being afraid for our safety when there are very real danger signs”

        I don’t call you sexist for fearing your safety. I called Ms. Watson a sexist, because, after elevator guy was rejected and didn’t press further, and after Ms. Watson was home and safe, no longer afraid. She made a video saying to how she was so sure she was sexualized. How would you feel when you ask someone for a conversation over coffee, and they treated you like some sexual predator. I see that as sexist behavior. Even if you think you know someone, jumping to conclusions based on prejudice is sexist behavior.

        “It also severely demeans our experience of actually dealing with sexism, when you so blatantly show that you don’t know what it means.”

        I know exactly what it means. It’s you who doesn’t, as you so clearly showed, that you think my disagreeing with you makes me a sexist, shows your lack of understanding to what the actual meaning is.

        “A word to the wise, NEVER try to excuse poor behavior to a woman with “well, he was drunk so he couldn’t help it.” This is privilege, and it is sexism. ”

        It is only a privilege if it is one-sided. It is a privilege of both genders. I’m not going to call a woman sexist when she says she only acted that way because she was drunk. When people are drunk they behave poorly in general. And I don’t have to excuse this man’s actions, he knows it probably wasn’t the best idea in hind-sight. And I’m not saying that it’s the alcohol’s fault. I was saying how social ineptness is multiplied by the effect of alcohol.

        “It shows that you feel affinity to an Old Boys Club where men should get a pass on their actions, and it doesn’t matter to you if they hurt women. Please stop.”

        How would you feel if i said you feel an affinity to a Old Girls Club where women are right and if men don’t agree they are sexist, even if it demonizes men. Again, you fail to see that sexism is a two way street. Don’t talk about how I don’t understand you, and I don’t treat your feelings with respect, when you respond with sexist gibberish.

        I’d like to state again that I only replied in a somewhat harsh manner because I felt your message to be mean-spirited against me, or do my feelings not matter?

        • Avatar of utakata

          Um…what’s the tl,dr version of all this? Or are you just having a conversation with yourself?

          • Avatar of

            This was between sphinooccipital (<—Youtube username) and I. I'm not sure what a tl,dr is.
            You can go to the video comments and see some comments that were made there made by her and I. You will see her tone is the same in the comments and personal messages. Not sure what else to prove here…

          • Avatar of utakata

            tl;dr stands for “too long, didn’t read.” It’s used inpart as an insult to those who post very long diatribes on internet forums such as these. But in your case and it is also used as a joking way to ask the writer to abbreviate or summerise a lengthy post (or in this case posts), so the readers get the gist of it before they decide to spend time to read it further. Some peeps just don’t have the time or luxury to read threw mounds of paragraphs. So making something short & sweet, or making a short & sweet summery after the fact is usually good internet etiquette. I hope that makes sense.

            From what I’ve read of your copy and past, I am also not sure why you are bringing this conversation here. Instead of debating it there, when we who so choose to can look at it over there with the other comments for context at our leisure. By reposting it here…it just becomes spammy. Which is also not good internet etiquette. Just saying.

          • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

            The tl; dr version of all of this is that Mike repeatedly insists that cornering someone in an elevator is “polite,” that it is unreasonable of us to assume someone had sexual intent when he asks a woman he’s never met before to come over to his hotel room for coffee at 4am and that this is the same as us declaring that “all men always want sex!” (instead of, you know, reading the obvious warning signs that he cornered her in an elevator against her stated wishes at 4am)) and that apparently WE are the ones being sexist for thinking that this has to do with sex.

            Apparently Mike believes that him being touched on the ass by drunk girls–which he EXPLICITLY SAID did not bother him–makes him an expert in what sexual objectification feels like. When I said, this experience that didn’t bother you is not the same as what lots of women experience, he told me I was “denying his experience” by saying it didn’t bother him–when he actually said that it didn’t bother him in his prior letter.

            Apparently Mike believes that ALL women (caps his) need to find something offensive before he needs to respect it, change his or others’ behavior, or listen to them.

            Apparently MIke has decided that it is perfectly okay to follow a woman who has said she wants to be left alone into an elevator and ask her to be alone with him, and it’s only further pressing the issue that makes it a problem, because apparently Mike gets to draw the line at what is an acceptable way to treat a woman, not women themselves.

            He is adamant in denying that any of his silencing or willful obfuscations have anything to do with sexism.

            Apparently real sexism is that husbands are not glorified enough in commercials, and that high school guys are teased for being too skinny, when “girls can” be skinny, so guys are the ones suffering. He then assures us that “I know exactly what it means. It’s you who doesn’t, as you so clearly showed, that you think my disagreeing with you makes me a sexist, shows your lack of understanding to what the actual meaning is.”

            Apparently “when you call some fools lame attempt to get to know someone [i.e., cornering RW in an elevator--sphino] sexism, it really degrades the meaning of the word.”

            I think that covers all the high points…

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          And here is my reply to that, since that seems to be a happening thing. Thanks, Mike, btw, for not bothering to mention that you want to share this discussion. I mean, I don’t mind, but you know, you could have just told me that you wanted a greater audience, or asked me if I minded re-posting…common decency and all!

          Also, why on earth did you delete “BTW it’s my birthday” from the end of your last message?

          ***

          You have in fact been hostile to me. Your continued insistence on being willfully ignorant of the incredibly obvious sexual implications of this man’s behavior, especially when people who ARE REGULARLY HARASSED tell you that this is very often how harassment starts, shows that you don’t care about my life experience and that you are acting like a know-it-all denying the real risk and real harm that people are experiencing. This is hostile. Similarly, when multiple people have explained in multiple ways how the situation of cornering someone is inconsiderate, violates boundaries and common social norms, etc., and you insist on calling it “polite” you are being hostile to the people who really have been threatened (and some of us physically!) by this type of behavior. When you say that someone should be 100% sure that a person has ill intent rather than respecting the fact that the recipient of the attention (who did not ask for it!) was made to feel uncomfortable, you are being hostile to the feelings of the person who is being intruded upon, because you are showing that their well-being is less important to you than your entitlement. When you say that a person who has been treated badly because of their sex is being “sexist” in creating a measured response and asking to be treated with respect, and criticizing the social mores that lead to this poor treatment, you are being hostile to people who actually experience sexism by trivializing what it means, and showing that you will be suspicious of their attempts to stand up for themselves, and that you will vilify them for doing so. When you put up a ridiculous strawman that if not ALL (caps yours) women are offended by something, you shouldn’t have to change it or examine it, you are being hostile to the many, many people who are offended, and you are showing that you are extremely hostile to the idea of people’s personal experiences being valid to them and to the idea that you should care about even the RISK of hurting someone’s feelings (because, you know, hurting people’s feelings is bad and good people actually care about not doing that!). You know, not **everyone** will be offended if you say “Wow look at those fat nigger motherfuckers,” but enough will that you should consider that outside the bounds of acceptable behavior. When you say that your being touched a couple of times in a bar by women who obviously mean you no harm means that you can extrapolate what it feels like to be constantly ridiculed, threatened, and harassed even in spaces that are supposed to be safe and from people who are supposed to be trustworthy, you are being hostile to people who really have suffered discrimination and you are showing you can’t even be bothered to empathize with them or even try to understand them. THAT is why you are being hostile, and THAT is why my tone is “demeaning”–because you are so wrapped up in your privilege and entitlement that you can’t even deign to see things that are obvious to most people, and you obfuscate and deny instead of listening. This is wrong and insulting and you deserve to be called out on it.

          As for your other points: YOU were the one who said those women touching you didn’t bother you, not me. (To wit: “Secondly I do know what it feels like to be sexualized, and in my own personal opinion, it does not bother me.”) I repeated YOUR description of YOUR experiences. While we’re talking about disregarding experiences, can we note how in your reply you conveniently ignored EVERYTHING I wrote about my experiences being harassed? I listed (I went back and counted) no fewer than 10 examples of how I personally have been sexualized and demeaned on account of my gender, and you just plain skipped over it–didn’t acknowledge, didn’t even bother with “I’m sorry to hear that,” didn’t think about how common this is to women and how this context necessarily informs our interpersonal interactions, didn’t ask how this affects women’s lives, NOTHING. You are simply refusing to learn, and refusing to hear what people are telling you, because you are totally wrapped up in your male privilege. I have known more than enough people like you to recognize sexism when I see it (no, I know, don’t tell me again–you don’t **think** you’re sexist–guess what? NO ONE DOES. You are just so used to acting that way, and you so reflexively dismiss what I’m telling you–and come up with absurd justifications and strawmen for obviously harmful behavior. There is just no other conclusion that matches your behavior than to identify you as privileged, insensitive, and sexist.). The only very bare mention you made of my harassment was immediately undercut with “I doubt ALL women have experienced it” (there you go again with your “ALL” strawman!), and you blatantly ignored the fact that I said my experience with harassment was LESS than most women I know. Also, “Just because you’ve been sexualized…” is not a phrase you should ever EVER say. Don’t do it. Are you so devoid of empathy that you don’t realize how insulting and demeaning this is? Wow.

          This has NEVER been based on a “prejudice that all men want sex.” This is based on very specific threatening behaviors that this man employed–he ignored her abundant public statements, ignored her desire to be alone, followed her until she was alone, and with NO prior conversation or positive signals from her asked to be alone with her. That is such flagrantly inappropriate behavior that it’s absurd NOT to see it as sexual. When you whine, “but you just assume all men want sex!” you are being very hostile to how it actually feels to be treated this way, and what women have to deal with when we are forced into these situations and worse. I’ve told you this multiple times (and other posters have as well!) and you still ignore this and pretend we’re unreasonably suspicious of all men. This is incredibly disrespectful not only of our experiences with harassment, but also disrespectful of the time and effort we have taken to educate you on this topic. It’s not sexist or offensive just because you disagree with me, but because you repeatedly ignore and misrepresent what we are telling you, and then obfuscate and diminish what we say. This is not “just disagreeing”; it is being intellectually dishonest, and since your intellectual dishonesty is in service of your male privilege and at the expense of women’s ability to feel safe and respected, it is by definition sexist.

          Commercials: I strongly suggest you actually look up feminist commentary on domestic-themed commercials–we are seriously NOT okay with it. Sarah Haskins’ “Doofy Husbands” on YouTube is a good place to start. Simply, the way women are portrayed as good housekeepers is NOT flattering. It is a reflection of the Victorian “separate spheres” that places women in the home. The humorous portrayal of guys who don’t know how to manage basic life skills actually REINFORCES the fact that it’s the woman’s responsibility to do all the housework and childrearing, and shows that he’s *entitled* not to care about being competent at home (thus leaving all the work for her!). Also, these same advertisers love to suggest that there is something desperately wrong with us women if we are not devoted to the household.

          I never said I was all-knowing about people’s intentions, but I have amassed enough life experience in this area to identify really obvious patterns and make a confident claim that there is a very, very high probability (so high as to be acceptable as given) that this was a sexual situation. You just want to discount my experience when in fact you should step back and listen. I have spent time and effort to explain to you why these undertones are so obvious, and you willfully refuse to see them. Furthermore, the fact that this attention is SO, SO often sexual means that the person who is approached in this way will very reasonably be upset, and–newsflash!–upsetting people is wrong. It is perfectly fair to criticize someone for doing something that a very large proportion of recipients would find unpleasant and threatening. It is wrong **because of the harm it causes** not his intent. I don’t give a fuck what is in the deepest realm of his psyche–I can make a damn good guess, but it’s irrelevant. What he did hurts people, and that’s wrong.

          You know what? I don’t know how it would feel if a total stranger rejected my advance in an enclosed elevator to have coffee in my hotel room at 4am, because I would never do something so incredibly tactless and creepy, because it IS sexually predatory behavior. Furthermore, your phrasing it as though it were just about the asking for coffee and ignoring the highly, HIGHLY questionable circumstances under which he did it (which were the whole POINT of everyone’s objections!) shows that you are not arguing honestly and that you do not respect women who speak up for themselves about inappropriate behavior (because you minimize and twist their words and insist that WE’RE the sexist ones, all because you selectively ignore the main point).

          Who the fuck are you to say what is too much harassment or what is acceptable? (Yeah, I’m being hostile–fucking deal with it! Your attitude is so patently offensive I insist on making my outrage heard.) Who the fuck are you to say that apparently approaching a woman in a crowded space in violation of her stated wishes at 4am is okay, and that it only becomes a problem after he presses the issue? Who the fuck are you to draw that line? Approaching someone in a vulnerable state IS BAD ENOUGH. Many women have said so (and many men have agreed with them). The idea that you can say for us that you don’t think it’s a big deal and therefore you don’t have to respect their experiences is so chock-full of entitlement and so damn sexist I don’t even know where to start. You are making it abundantly clear that you don’t give a fuck if women are intimidated, upset or hurt by men’s behavior–you are so entitled that you think you get to draw the line for them and tell them what they are or are not allowed to be upset about? This is totally unacceptable. I don’t see how you can respect your fellow human beings and act like that when they tell you about their very real and repeated concerns.

          Body image: OH MY GOD. You did NOT just say that!! What? Really? You DID?! What a colossally ignorant, offensive thing to say!! “Girls can” be skinny? FUCK YOU. Just plain FUCK YOU. Girls are told over and over again we MUST be skinny. Do you understand what the incidence of eating disorders are in the adolescent female population? Do you understand girls fucking DIE because of the pressure to be thin? Do you understand how many times, how many ways, even from family, lovers, and trusted friends we are demeaned and insulted if we’re not thin enough? Just apologize and shut up about it.

          Also, sexism is NOT a two-way street–sexism is fundamentally rooted in major social power differentials that means that the group that has power (hint: it’s the one that makes more money, gets elected to public office more often, runs most major companies, gets called as experts more often on television, gets groomed to believe they are entitled to make their wives do housework and childcare for them, etc., etc.) gets to determine how people are perceived and valued, and this results in systemic inequality that affects the less-powerful group in hundreds of regular, subtle and not-so-subtle ways that the powerful group doesn’t even need to see, acknowledge or understand. A woman being mean or objectifying to you is not the same thing as a man being mean or objectifying to me, because I have to deal with the broader context of limited opportunities and repercussions (which includes the incredibly hostile attitude women get from people like you when we try to explain that we’re having a problem and why we’re having a problem).

          Furthermore, when I have taken great pains to explain WHY your behavior is rooted in sexist attitudes, WHY it is offensive, and WHY your logical fallacies show an amazing lack of respect, don’t respond by calling my critique of your behavior “sexist gibberish.” It only reinforces the degree to which you are willfully refusing to hear the arguments of someone who knows a lot more about this than you and who is really, really trying to explain where she is coming from.

          Oh, is it your birthday? It is YOUR FUCKING CHOICE to comment on a YouTube video on your birthday. It was YOUR FUCKING CHOICE to send me a personal message, to which I replied in great detail out of respect for the effort you took to explain yourself. To tell me like that is passive-aggressive and you ought to be ashamed of yourself for stooping to that.

          • Avatar of exarch

            I decided to pop back in after a few days seeing the amount of comments has nearly doubled, and wasn’t planning to leave any more comments on an old thread like this. But I felt like I had to at least acknowledge the fact that I agree with everything you wrote (and yes, I did read the whole thing). Thanks for making the effort to write it, it wasn’t wasted.

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          Oh, look what just popped up in my inbox! It’s pretty short, too, and I think it gives a pretty good insight into Mike’s attitudes towards others and towards being criticized:

          “Sorry your wall of text hurts my eyes, and I’m done trying to show any form of respect towards you.
          The fact that you are so sure my behavior is sexist proves you’re a misandrist. You can’t accept that people have different views. It’s clear to you that, “It’s my way or you’re a sexist!”. You’re pathetic. Good luck getting anyone to really give a shit about you when you act so hostile to people with opposing views. It’s clear to me that you’re the sexist, and you hate men. You hate men because you’ve been treated poorly, and you think women deserve to be treated better than men. It’s clear that you think a mans view means nothing and that you only give a shit about yourself.
          And it isn’t my birthday. I was trolling you because i think you need to lighten the fuck up. To see your comments on the YouTube video clearly show you don’t mind harassing and insulting other people. You’re a pathetic excuse for a human being and you need to grow up. Not every man in the world is trying to oppress women, not every man is sexist just because they don’t fucking agree with you. I can see how pathetic your life is by the way you choose to present yourself. You may be the victim of sexism, but you’re also the cause. Now fuck off.”

          • Avatar of Kaloikagathoi

            Hi sphinooccipital – your initial response that MikeFromCanada reposted from YouTube was very clear and, I thought, exceptionally courteous (so that his reaction to your “demeaning” tone struck me as bizarre). And your subsequent angry resopnses were SO justified (and also very informative and persuasive).
            Thanks for taking the considerable effort and time to reply. Even though he has shown himself closed to any ideas but his own, I’m so glad he doesn’t just get to pretend to himself that silence must equal agreement with his ill-informed arguments.
            So thanks – and don’t let one bozo get you down.

        • Avatar of ebrooks

          FWIW, since you asked for opinions on this conversation, it looks to me like you’re not even trying to understand what she’s saying, as your responses seem to almost wilfully misconstrue her points. Your tone comes across as baiting and defensive, and her (actually REALLY articulate) post seems like she’s rightfully frustrated at your minimisation of systemic cultural misogyny.

          If you are genuinely, genuinely trying to understand (as opposed to trying to win an argument), this is a good resource:
          http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/search/label/Helpful%20Hints

          One thing to remember — you get to walk away from this discussion and these issues whenever you want to. Some of us don’t have that luxury because it’s actually *our lives*, so please understand why we might get a little upset at what seems to you an abstract and distanced exercise in theoretical notions.

          • Avatar of

            Again, more people who don’t know what misogyny even means. It is the hatred of women.
            When one tries to converse with someone, regardless if I was baiting or not (which I wasn’t she replied to my comments first), she falsely accused me of being a sexist. How do you not see what is wrong with this? Feminism is equal rights for both genders, but when one tells me that my experiences don’t count, that is discrimination based on my gender. Which is sexist. And for the record I never minimized her experiences, I told her to think critical and realize that sexism runs both ways.

            I’m not trying to understand her, because I already understand where she is coming from. I acknowledge the white male privilege, and make it repeatedly clear that I will not agree with everything someone says when they state, “I know what sexism is because I experience it.” IF you know what sexism is, than don’t call people sexists who aren’t being sexist. It demeans people, and pushes them away.

            And where is this cultural misogyny coming from? There is cultural sexism, but not misogyny. (unless you are referring to underdeveloped countries, such as Iraq, Iran, etc.) <— Again before you reply to me saying that misogyny is everywhere. It is the hatred of women. I'm sorry but that doesn't exist in the cultural norm.

            When a women compliments a man, it isn't sexist. When a women touches a man, it isn't sexist. When a woman hits a man, it isn't sexist, nor is she called a beast. When a woman verbally abuses her husband, it isn't sexist. These are cultural norms that make me scream, "WTF THIS IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU PEOPLE, LOOK!"
            Sexism is a two way street. When I was replied to, I was basically told that my street isn't as important as hers. And that I'm sexist for being on my side. When I reply I am not saying her side isn't as important, I'm telling them to look at both sides evenly.

            Sexism is not defined by feelings. You can't call someone a sexist just because they made you feel uncomfortable. It has to be a discrimination based on gender.

          • Avatar of exarch

            Mike, I think ebrooks has a point here, this is not an argument you can win, only lose.

            While you made some good points in your last post about gender equality in a perfect world, this is not a perfect world, and any demand for men to be treated fairly is undarstandably going to be considered insulting when the issue being discussed is women NOT being treated fairly.

            As for your experiences being discarded, well, you yourself discarded them by saying it didn’t bother you that much, thereby essentially admitting that your experiences weren’t of the same caliber as those that women face every day.

            So there’s no need to tear into her like that.

          • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

            Mike: let’s clear a few things up, shall we?

            Firstly, I only replied to you with the public YouTube reply function. YOU were the one who decided to take this to my personal message box (and then posted it here without even having the decency to ASK me if I wanted to share it!).

            Baiting also doesn’t depend solely on who contacted whom: when you repeatedly stonewall, misrepresent, and create strawmen, it is rightfully perceived as baiting.

            “I’m not trying to understand her, because I already understand where she is coming from.” NO YOU DON’T. You make that abundantly clear by misrepresenting my points and your refusal to listen to what I have to say. Don’t you understand how ridiculously entitled and insulated from other points of view this is?

            And, for the umpeenth time, I am not calling you a sexist “simply because you disagree with me.” Your continued insistence of this shows yet again how you are failing to consider my arguments with thoughtfulness or respect. In both my letters, I took great effort to explain WHAT about the manner of your argument and your repeated logical fallacies in trying to silence women and defend male entitlement actually MAKES your argument sexist. I went into great detail because I actually do want you to see the error in your ways and I do not call your attitude sexist lightly. If there was something in my substantiation that you did not understand, then ask me about it–but you have not refuted or sought clarification on how I elaborated on the signs of your sexism, and instead you keep falling back on your “you just call everyone who disagrees with you sexist!” strawman.

            WHY do you refuse to listen to people who say “I know what sexism is because I’ve experienced it”?? Could it have something to do with denying people’s experiences and considering them less than your own?

            By the way–”I’m not sexist -> You don’t know what sexism means because you’re calling me sexist when I’m not -> Your assessment of my sexism can’t mean anything because you don’t know what sexism means -> ergo I am not sexist” is a circular argument. You have not provided any external validation of your assessment of your sexism, and you have ignored many reasons I have given you as to WHY you are being sexist.

            Who the hell are you to unilaterally declare that misogyny is not the cultural norm? Can you at least see that this is incredibly self-serving, and simply begging the question? Not to mention, totally denying the experiences of people who have tried to tell you otherwise! The only reason you’re so sure there is no misogyny is that you pointedly ignore and deny every example that is presented to you.

  53. Avatar of anfractuous

    “If you want to meet the right woman, you have to be willing to talk to EVERY woman, because wit, intelligence, likes/dislikes, etc… can only be gaged in actual conversation, and not by merely staring at her boobs.”

    Yeah, that! Perfect pitch,exarch. Thanks. Women as actual people instead of targets, prey, products for sale, etc ad infinitum: what a concept!

  54. Avatar of kingryan

    Random question: Has anyone figured out how to get this site’s RSS feed as a Firefox Live Bookmark? It doesn’t have the icon doodad.

    • Avatar of kingryan

      Nevermind, got it. Why do I always figured things out immediately after asking for help with it? Happens every time.

      And since I just saw it now …

      [quote]Quote: “If you want to meet the right woman, you have to be willing to talk to EVERY woman, because wit, intelligence, likes/dislikes, etc… can only be gaged in actual conversation, and not by merely staring at her boobs.”[/quote]

      What an insulting strawman. As if you have any idea what kinds of women I’ve dated.

      • Avatar of exarch

        Dude, while that post was made in response to a response to something you wrote, it was by no means a response directed towards you. It wasn’t even a direct reply.

        Unlike what you may believe, this blog and its comment section don’t revolve around you, despite your best efforts to make it all about your trouble with the ladies, then followed by you complaining when everyone is talking about your trouble with the ladies.

        It was a general remark about some common existing attitudes towards women in reply to a post highlighting some other common existing attitudes towards women.

  55. Avatar of huxli

    Am I the only person who sadfaced/winced at the pejorative use of the word ‘retard’ in this video?

    Particularly by someone who identifies as a feminist and is attempting to point out issues of privilege?

    Cognitive dissonance. I has it.

    (Rebecca, I love what you’ve had to say and appreciate the dialogue you started, even if it was by accident. Thanks for sharing the process with us. Your choice of words here–even as a ‘touche!’ aside–was kind of of counterproductive, though.)

    • Avatar of Rebecca Watson

      I was called a “retard” by the idiots. I don’t use it as an insult, myself.

      • Avatar of opheliabenson

        I see “femtard” used a lot in comments on Abbie Smith’s most recent post about all this. Cute.

      • Avatar of tr78

        http://www.youtube.com/user/AronRa?blend=1&ob=5#p/u/5/7RLcu_tcf78

        “Idiotic Retard?”

        As someone with a mentally handicapped sister, this has really been bothering me.

      • Avatar of huxli

        I understand that was the idea, but the other phrases you noted were different: ‘faggot’ means faggot regardless of the intent behind the person who’s calling the name; the word’s also been reclaimed by a portion of the LGBTQ community to simply mean a man who fucks men. (That reclamation still doesn’t excuse its usage against you or anyone else in an abusive context.) It made sense to use it in your logic-fail joke.

        The phrase “man-hating” also means what it means. Made sense to point that one out in contrast, and it was funny.

        “Retard,” however, doesn’t just mean what it means when applied to people — it’s a word that’s been historically used to categorize folks with developmental differences, disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, and others. It’s a noun that’s been used in the medical and academic community, though not recently. As a pejorative, it’s been extended to mean someone (or thing) is stupid, slow, ineffective, generally dumb, somehow broken, and so on.

        By using the word in your logic-fail joke otherwise meant to point out imprecise use of language, you’re lending power to that pejorative definition. The commenters using “retard” could have been indicating that they thought you generally dumb; they also could have been trying to ‘accuse’ you of having Down’s Syndrome.

        By flipping that word around to automatically translate into ‘retard must mean stupid or nonsensical’, you’re lending power to the pejorative. Did you mean ‘must be stupid’, or did you mean ‘must have Down’s Syndrome’/some other developmental difference? (I’m pretty sure you meant the former.) Which definition were you agreeing with?

        Either way, it’s a poor choice of words.

        Like it or not, you’ve now been placed in a position (by some) to indicate ‘what is OK/not OK’ on issues of privilege, language, and women in the skeptical community. That’s NOT because you’ve decided to make those calls — this is an issue of tokenization. By simply being a minority and addressing relevant issues in a public forum, you will be expected by some to ‘show them the way’. “Don’t tell us what not to do,” they’ll say, “Tell us what we *should* do.” This is, of course, NOT your responsibility — but you’ll get asked anyhow. And people are obviously listening, even if they don’t agree.

        Considering that position of projected authority, I’d hate for some otherwise smart, self-aware skeptical person to walk away from that video with the idea that ‘retard = stupid’ was an acceptable translation. That was the feeling I got, and it distracted from the message of the rest of the video.

        • Avatar of bug_girl

          That is a very important point huxli. Thank you for reminding us.

  56. Avatar of giraffe107

    Thanks for the video Rebecca, hilarious as always.

  57. Avatar of huxli

    Unrelated to my previous comment, I’m just thinking out loud here here:

    Does being a part of the skeptical community require certain political or ideological agreements? Is a skeptic–male, female or otherwise–expected to ‘logic it out’ that feminist thought and deconstructions of privilege systems ‘make sense’?

    The most fascinating thing about this whole debacle (trolls excluded) has been an all-around exposition of people’s blind spots. Dawkins’s comment was a great example of this. He’s considered something of a genius in the skeptical community, yet his comment demonstrated his complete ignorance of basic concepts of privilege, power, and sexism. (And manners, IMO.) It was clear that a Women’s Studies 101 class would have put him in short pants conceptually, regardless of whether or not he agreed with any of the material therein.

    It was like he had encountered a completely foreign language and, since he couldn’t decipher it, decided to proclaim Rebecca was speaking gibberish.

    Do we expect our scientists to also be fluent in Portuguese? Is that even a fair comparison to make? I’m not sure.

    The bumping-up of ideologies in the skeptical community is interesting, though. Take, for instance, the burgeoning ‘men’s movement’ communities. A lot of these groups have an overlap with the skeptical community–from an interest in science and atheism to intense focus on evolutionary biology and cognition. Many explore issues of what they consider to be “misandry” and see the men’s movement as a direct skeptical ‘debunking’ of the social and emotional impact of feminism. I wouldn’t be surprised if a chunk of the comments leveled at Rebecca were coming from this camp–their rhetoric is easy to spot once you know what to look for.

    There’s also a connection between the men’s movement folks and the pick-up artist communities. (Google ‘PUA’, ‘Mystery Method’ or ‘The Game’ for examples, but be prepared to be squicked and possibly triggered re: issues of consent.) This mindset sometimes gets re-labeled under the much fancier and friendly-sounding heading of ‘social dynamics’. These groups are almost by definition anti-feminist.

    Being a feminist, a woman, and having had male friends who were heavily involved in the PUA community… when Rebecca first told her story I immediately thought I recognized a PUA ‘approach’. Whether or not it was, only Elevator Guy knows.

    It does make me wonder, though. Is there a portion of the skeptical ‘community’ that consider themselves anti-feminist? Is there another portion that believes that agreeing with feminist thought is *required* in order to be a ‘really good skeptic’? I don’t think there’s any way to quell the friction between the two without making it EXTREMELY difficult for women to talk about what it’s like to go to cons, sit on panels, etc.

    And don’t even get me started on the issue of tokenization. IMO, this wasn’t Elevatorgate — this was Tokengate. It’s a huge blind spot for the skeptical community, and at any con in general.

    It’s a big ol’ thought-provoking knot. Thanks for the space, Rebecca.

    • Avatar of chirez

      I’ve always considered skepticism to be the antithesis of ideology, in the common usage of both terms.

      Ideology is usually intended to mean a set of beliefs held to the exclusion of any contradictory evidence.

      While feminism can be held ideologically, it should be impossible to be a skeptical ideologue, regardless of the specific set of beliefs involved.

      • Avatar of huxli

        Chirez —

        Thanks for clearing me up on word-definitions. I think “ideology” was a clumsy choice on my part.

        What would be a better term? Say — if someone considered themselves a feminist, liberal skeptic?

        Or a Libertarian, humanist skeptic?

        Or an anarchist, atheist skeptic? Etc.

        Should we refer to those other frameworks as political affiliations? Philosophic leanings? I need a better vocabulary, I think. :)

        Re: my earlier post, I guess I was wondering if those other frameworks fall beyond the reach of skeptical inquiry. A Democrat skeptic and a Republican skeptic will both think they’ve got it ‘right’ according to their logic, so what happens when you bump them together in a ‘skeptical community’ setting? (Please hold the bumping jokes.) What about a feminist and an anti-feminist? Where can a conversation even start?

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      That’s some interesting food for thought.

      While I’m not sure there can be a direct link between any political and/or social ideology and skepticism, I’m of the mindset that skeptics should accept or reject ideologies for rational reasons. They should also be able to sift the wheat from the chaff, and accept any good ideas even if they come attached to generally bad sources. I don’t except several medium-sized swaths of “feminist philosophy,”(I’m a big skeptic whenever anyone brings up philosophy in general, not just the feminist kind! Engineering school and all that…) but it is for grounds that I feel like I can defend, that other people who identify as feminists seem to generally agree with, and not because I think feminism as a whole is worthless, invalid, or “misandrist.” By the same reasoning, I feel like even though the “men’s rights movement” is mostly an excuse for sexist assholes to get together around the cyber-campfire and hate on women in a safe environment, I feel that there are valid points being made about child custody and societal expectations on men that aren’t fair. You don’t have to throw out the baby with the (sometimes toxic) bathwater.

      Richard Dawkins? My impression is that his response is based on behind-the-scenes politicking and personal issues that also explains the ridiculousness from Abbie of “ERV” fame, and since I’m not privy to that I can’t comment on it.

      As far as a conflict between feminism and anti-feminism… there shouldn’t be one. There shouldn’t be anti-feminism at all, IMO. Like I said at the start of this, there’s tons of disagreement that I have with certain feminists and certain ideas proposed as feminism, and I still don’t consider myself to be anti-feminist. Maybe that’s because I’m some sort of humanist, females are humans, so I’m all for them too. :)I can’t easily imagine any sentences that start with “I’m against feminism because…” that would be followed by anything worthy of a skeptic, with the exception of some sort of weak-sauce “… I reject all -isms on principle.”

      • Avatar of huxli

        Improbable Joe —

        Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. :)

        So many good points, and very well put.

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          Well… you can click on my name to see my blog. If you’re interested in seeing an interesting sort of evolution, you should check out the earlier entries calling rude, hateful, ignorant “radical” feminists a bunch of “c*nts” and then my later realization that as mad as they made me I didn’t need to go there with my language. After all, they didn’t piss me off because they possess vaginas, and reducing them to that didn’t make my specific position any stronger and made me a little weaker overall every time I did it.

  58. Avatar of taiki

    Actually I met an awesome lady once who had a Carl Sagan quote tattooed on her left boob. Otherwise though, I think that’s an exception, not the rule.

    Awesome video!

  59. Avatar of dhasenan

    Quite droll. I appreciate it.

  60. Avatar of maggot

    The entire “elevatorgate”-shitstorm made me so angry, so thanks for making this video, it had me laughing out loud. Also, your hair looks great.

    YouTube commenters are some of the very worst trolls you can find on the internet, don’t let them get to you.

  61. Avatar of The Central Scrutinizer

    Do you have a link for where one can buy those dolls? My friend…uh…I mean my cousin…wants to know.

  62. Avatar of goldbricker

    Interesting that this whole kerfuffle has not resulted in talking about what women want from a woman’s perspective and needs. I mean, the message gets in there, but it’s kind of through the topic of what men want and their perspective–”gee, I don’t know how to get laid, so tell me.” Instead of women being able to say “Dude, it’s not about that and I shouldn’t even have to address that. I should be able to say ‘I don’t like this, stop it,’ we have to get our points in while (as usual) humoring men and making them think we’re talking about them when we’re really talking about ourselves. Am I the only person annoyed at this?

    • Avatar of huxli

      +10, goldbricker. I agree.

      And I just imagined a conversation:

      Lady: Hey, when you do X because you’d like to get into my pants, it makes me uncomfortable. Please don’t.

      D: Well, if *I* can’t do X, how *else* am I supposed to indicate that I’d like to get into your pants?

      L: If you can’t even attempt to answer that question on your own, you probably don’t belong in my pants.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Well it isn’t just about women, is it? It is about that intersection of men and women, and the friction… crap, this is starting to sound unintentionally dirty! :-)

      Seriously though, I get your point about how it can be unfair that the “male viewpoint” becomes the focus. In this case, it makes some amount of sense, because the “male viewpoint” is the problem. And unfortunately for everyone, the positive “women want and need these things” issues tend to get eclipsed by the negative “how do we keep guys from doing harmful things to women?” issues. The male focus is due to the fact that it is men inflicting themselves on women, instead of men interacting with women and women interacting with men as equals.

      And maybe I’m wrong and talking out of my ass about the reasons… but I totally agree with you that it isn’t even a little bit fair.

      • Avatar of huxli

        FRICTION IS DIRTY! :)

        Joe, I agree that the positive constructive conversation gets eclipsed by the ‘how do we avoid the bad stuff’ conversation.

        I also see the problem as analogous to the burden of proof fallacy — that is, if a woman says something is wrong/bad/not OK, she should as an extension be able to tell people what is right/good/OK. It’s just not that simple.

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          Well, yeah! And we’ve seen a ton of false dichotomy fallacy on this issue, leading to Rebecca’s video where she’s giving alternatives for the either/or idiots who are all like “give me cornering women in elevators in Dublin, or GIVE ME DEATH!”

          As an aside, even if every combination of man and woman in Dublin hotel elevators leads to a live birth, if that’s the ONLY option for sex on the entire planet, how the hell did we get to almost seven billion people?!?!

          I’m going to say “reptilian alien cloning banks disguised as Starbucks coffee joints.” Why else would there be so damned many of them?

    • Avatar of ebrooks

      So. Much.

  63. Avatar of s50plus

    Huxli,

    Great comments. I was surprised that Dawkins was so out of it in terms of feminism 101, because he compares the process of consciousness raising (in feminism) to adults becoming atheists in “The God Delusion.” I remember being very surprised that a man like him would get this, but my first suspicion was correct… just your ordinary sexist.

    But really, and think about this a bit… when have you ever seen men (on panel discussions or conferences) who are the majority of attendees ever really trying to get over the collective idea that women are objects to be “picked up” in elevators or anywhere? Males in large groups don’t change voluntarily, so these conventions should be also about large groups of like minded skeptic women to gather, and help build larger female attendance. This is essential. Women in minority attendance positions won’t be listened to, nor are their safety concerns in hotel elevators a concern either. In fact, we know that women get raped in hotels all the time.

    Dawkins just shows the typical blindness of most men in his position, and now Rebecca has simply exposed this. Men don’t like it when women are upset at having their boundaries violated, they don’t like it when women point out that they are not fair game in elevators. Men don’t like to know that we often see them as pervs, preditors and rapists… men could really step up… and many do. I think a lot of women these days think of feminism as old fashioned, as unnecessary. But this one little incident should speak volumes. No privileged group ever volunarily changes without a lot of constant pressure from the oppressed. Women worldwide are oppressed, killed and raped by men. They do it all the time. Men have so little empathy for women it is downright scary.

    • Avatar of huxli

      s50plus,

      Thanks for replying to my comment. However, I have to disagree strongly with *lot* of the things you said re: “Males in large groups” being unable to change, a total disregard for women’s safety, the “typical blindness of most men”, and the broad statement of how much empathy all men have for women.

      You’re stating gross generalizations as fact. It may be that some of the above is your personal experience and observation. But statements like the ones above are detrimental to the other *valid* points you’re trying to make.

      Saying “All men are X” is just as counterproductive and fallacious as “All women are X”.

      And I’d like to argue that there is no such thing as “your typical sexist” — sexism is VERY individual, specific in its expression, and varied across the board. Women can–and do–perpetuate sexism, too.

  64. Avatar of

    So because being sexualized doesn’t bother me means I haven’t ever experienced it? What I gather from all your responses towards me is that I should treat women better than I treat men. When in fact I should treat people the same, regardless of gender, as they treat me. So when you tell me you’ve been sexualized, and it bothers you, I won’t tell you that it doesn’t matter, or that your experiences don’t count. And I’m going to expect the same treatment in return, regardless if sexualization bothers me or not, I know what it is.

    In fact this whole thing started in the first place by me being discriminated against because of my gender and stance of the Rebecca Watson debacle. I’m being called a sexist for no good reason because of my opinions regarding the elevator situation. How are you going to get people to understand you, when you won’t understand their views? And in fact alienate, demonize, and call them sexists because you think the definition is different for you.

    “While you made some good points in your last post about gender equality in a perfect world, this is not a perfect world, and any demand for men to be treated fairly is understandably going to be considered insulting when the issue being discussed is women NOT being treated fairly.”
    So we both know that sexism occurs for both genders, (and I’m well aware the worse end of the stick belongs to females) and yet if I bring up male problems, WITHOUT minimizing the female ones, is it somehow sexist? Does it mean I don’t think that females are treated unfairly? NO!
    I would think that as a feminist, which in fact is for equality for both genders, you would stand for equal attention to both gender problems. If you can say you know I haven’t been sexualized, or I haven’t been objectified, than that makes you a sexist. Because apparently if I said that to you, I’m one.
    And yes, when regarding EQUALITY, it’s always a two way street.

    “Apparently Mike believes that him being touched on the ass by drunk girls–which he EXPLICITLY SAID did not bother him–makes him an expert in what sexual objectification feels like. When I said, this experience that didn’t bother you is not the same as what lots of women experience, he told me I was “denying his experience” by saying it didn’t bother him”

    Never said I was an expert, I stated that I know what sexism is because I personally have experienced it. Regardless of whether it bothers me is irrelevant.

    Do you want a definition?
    Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument (object) towards the person’s sexual pleasure.
    So yes I’ve experienced it before, no it does not just happen to women, (which you never said it did, I’m just clarifying this.) and no, it doesn’t mean I didn’t experience it because it doesn’t bother me, because I did experience it on numerous occasions.
    And asking a woman for coffee is not sexual objectification, unless you were to assume he wanted sex, than you would be the sexist for acting on male prejudice. In fact I would assume asking someone for coffee would be grounds to start an excellent relationship. It’s clear your problem with the situation is that she was “cornered” in an elevator. It’s clear you think he’s sexist because this behavior bothers you. When in fact you’ve failed to address what the definition of sexism really means. You don’t get to change the word to fit your experiences.

    Being a part of a certain blog in the past year, and reading the websites posted here on Skepchick, I understand male white privilege. Having commented on other sites, as well as YouTube, it’s clear that women are called whores, sluts, a fat dykes when they claim to be feminists. This is of course is wrong, but is not a solitary problem. When as a man, I try to shed light on male problems, regardless if they bother me, to broaden the horizons for people. That maybe in fact, we shouldn’t be ignoring male views on sexist behavior because, “you don’t know what it’s like to be female.”

    It seems to me that because I haven’t experienced as much sexism as you my views aren’t important as yours. And although scale is important, each persons own experiences regardless of number, play into the problem of sexism. And yes, I never said RW’s experience didn’t matter. In fact I said she had every right to voice her opinions. The problem I have is being called a sexist for defending an action that may have been rude, but wasn’t sexist. Maybe you should learn to be a real feminist and learn a little about male prejudice.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Ummm…

      If you admit that women generally have more problems then men, and you declared that your own “problem” didn’t bother you in any significant way, don’t you feel just a little bit silly equating the two?

      By the same token, don’t you feel at all narcissistic in insisting that whenever a woman talks about her issues and larger issues that affect women, you should be able to shift the conversation away from her and from women in general, and make it all about men in general, and you in particular? I’m sure that 90% of the people here, men and woman, would be willing to read about and discuss your issues in your own space, in their own time, if you presented them separately. “But men have it rough too” is a valid discussion in its own right, but no one is obliged to ignore the actual topic to discuss your sideline. If you insist on that, you come off as a jerk… and since you’re dismissing women’s issues to do it, you come off as a sexist jerk.

      In the general direction these conversations are going, I have to ask you: do you really care about having your issues discussed rationally and fairly on your terms, or are you just trying to derail the discussion? If it is the former, you’re doing it wrong and at least a few people are politely trying to inform you, FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, how you’re on the wrong path. If it is the latter, then there’s nothing at all to discuss is there?

      • Avatar of

        “If you admit that women generally have more problems then men, and you declared that your own “problem” didn’t bother you in any significant way, don’t you feel just a little bit silly equating the two?”

        The only reason I brought it up in the first place was when I was told I don’t know what sexualization is. When in fact I do know what it is. I will now put the nail in the coffin and say that I have no problem with being sexualized. And that me bringing up my personal experiences will not have anything to do with me trying to lessen someone elses experiences. (like what was done to me)

        “By the same token, don’t you feel at all narcissistic in insisting that whenever a woman talks about her issues and larger issues that affect women, you should be able to shift the conversation away from her and from women in general, and make it all about men in general, and you in particular?”

        Would that not make the person who brought in their personal experiences when I was talking about the RW incident a narcissist as well? No, it means that it’s much easier to explain or get across your point when you use examples. My examples were merely to point out that just because I don’t have a problem with sexualization, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

        “I’m sure that 90% of the people here, men and woman, would be willing to read about and discuss your issues in your own space, in their own time, if you presented them separately. “But men have it rough too” is a valid discussion in its own right, but no one is obliged to ignore the actual topic to discuss your sideline. If you insist on that, you come off as a jerk… and since you’re dismissing women’s issues to do it, you come off as a sexist jerk.”

        Never insisted on ignoring the topic to discuss mine. In fact, the only reason I brought up my experiences was because I was called a sexist for having an opposing view. Which of course I defended myself because I don’t like being labeled as such. Where did I dismiss women’s issues? I was actually offering my issues in unison with hers, and mine were dismissed.

        “In the general direction these conversations are going, I have to ask you: do you really care about having your issues discussed rationally and fairly on your terms, or are you just trying to derail the discussion?”

        Like I said before, no, my experiences don’t bother me. What bothers me is being called a sexist when I’m not. And to give the definition of sexism for the umpteenth time. It is discrimination based on gender. Which I have not done. I’m for equal treatment. And so when I’m called sexist for defending my personal views, it goes to show me that my opinions of stance does not matter.

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          YOU were the one who showed you don’t know what sexualization is because you presumed your few incidents that didn’t bother you allowed to diminish others’ experiences. You tried to use them as a silencing tactic to give your “but what she went through wasn’t sexualized” more weight. Yes, those women in the bar behaved inappropriately, and in a sexual manner. But, if you have only had experiences which have not bothered you, you really do not understand what it means to be sexualized–because sexualization is by definition objectification and denial of sexual agency, and if you’ve never really had to face that because these events didn’t bother you (which YOU said) then you don’t know what we’re talking about.

          Moreover, this was not the only way in which you diminished my experiences (and those of many other women). For instance, you just flippantly said you doubted ALL (caps yours) women went through what I had, and then you said “Just because you have been sexualized…” Totally dismissive. Totally inappropriate.

          Yes, sexism may be moderately well-defined as discrimination based on gender, but I think that’s a fairly limited definition. Also, who are you to decide what the definition is? Who are you to ignore what other people tell you is a problem in their lives? Another key point in sexism is the pervasive attitude that women are somehow less than men, that their opinions and experiences don’t count as much, that their experiences are the “exception” to the male default, to the erasure of women from history and public spaces, etc. It’s actually a fairly complicated set of problems, and for you to insist on narrowing it only to the most simplistic self-serving one is ignorant.

          Moreover, YOU HAVE discriminated based on gender. You have declared that people’s experiences don’t matter, you have set yourself up as the arbiter of what is or is not appropriate behavior TOWARD OTHERS and denied those others the respect of listening to what they themselves perceive as appropriate. You have willfully and repeatedly misrepresented arguments to make fallacious points that try to preserve male entitlement to hit on women, which contributes to our discrimination. You have become extremely angry and projected your prejudices on others when we have corrected and tried to explain things to you, and you have admittedly trolled to try to win arguments and make your opponent “lighten up” because you view women’s experiences and opinions as less-than (which is a form of discrimination).

    • Avatar of weatherwax

      As has been pointed out, some of us don’t have the time or the patience to wade through long posts, much less a series of them, but here’s one problem right off the bat. A woman grabbing your ass at a druken party, where presumedly people go to hook up, is not the same as a woman getting her ass grabbed at work, at the grocery store, on the bus, on the street, etc.

      Also, when a woman grabs your ass, are you afraid of the response if you tell her to knock it off? Does the situation place you in physical fear for your safety? It’s just not a valid comparison.

      Second

      “Now on the issue with the elevator guy. It is not morally right to assume he just wanted sex. He was at a convention with a group of people who held his beliefs, if I were there, I would be excited to talk to my fellow peers. On top of that he was drunk and probably understood that Ms. Watson would be leaving and, to a drunk person, thought it was his only chance to have a conversation. He approached and asked her in a polite manner if she wanted coffee. She refused and he did not push on the subject. His reaction to the rejection proves that he respected her. However socially awkward he was, in no way will I see him as being a sexist. Because I understand he is human, and that sometimes we just act stupid”

      Again, it’s plain moronic to argue he only wanted to talk. He’d spent several hours hovering nearby, and made no attempt to talk. Was he sexist? I don’t know. Did he completely ignore everything Rebecca had said all evening? Yes. Does being socially awkward excuse that? No.

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        “Again, it’s plain moronic to argue he only wanted to talk. He’d spent several hours hovering nearby, and made no attempt to talk. Was he sexist? I don’t know. Did he completely ignore everything Rebecca had said all evening? Yes. Does being socially awkward excuse that? No.”

        And here are all of the main issues, stated yet again. Can yet another elaboration make a difference? I doubt it, but here I go anyway… and thanks for cutting it up into neat and simple chunks.

        “Again, it’s plain moronic to argue he only wanted to talk.” Yeah, because if we think about it we all know that in real life all people use various codes to state their desires without stating their desires, and other linguistic tricks to create deniability. Stephen Pinker posted a video( http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3-son3EJTrU ), I think it was Ophelia Benson who turned me on to it, describing how we all use commonly understood euphemism to say things without saying them, so that if you get rejected you can pretend you weren’t making an offer.

        “He’d spent several hours hovering nearby, and made no attempt to talk. Was he sexist? I don’t know.” That’s already weird behavior, and also spells out that he could have made some sort of move or moves over the space of several hours. The hovering is worse, the situation is worse, because EG had ample opportunity to join the group and join the discussion. It is almost always easier to address an individual when you’re addressing a larger group too. That would have been great place to break the ice.

        “Did he completely ignore everything Rebecca had said all evening? Yes. Does being socially awkward excuse that? No.” And here’s the big problem. Some guys like to play the “no means no, but she never said no to me yet” card, but this is different. Rebecca said no to everyone, always, never an exception. I’m thousands of miles away, and I know not to try a line on Rebecca Watson. Anyone actually interested in her as a person knows that she’s not interested in that sort of interaction. And then she said it on a stage that day. And then she made a declaration on exiting the bar that she was done, finished, and interested in nothing but sleep in her own bed. Alone, based on everything she has said for years and years, and also on that day.

        He wasn’t listening to her as a person. He wasn’t interested in her thoughts or feelings, or what her plans were for the rest of the night. He was focused solely on what he wanted to take from her. Whether that was conversation or sex, he didn’t bother to take her into consideration as a person at all. HE wanted coffee/talk/sex, and HE DIDN’T CARE WHAT SHE WANTED.

        Maybe that’s not sexism. Maybe it isn’t. If it isn’t, that makes EG a sociopath instead of a sexist. Is that a better label?

        • Avatar of weatherwax

          “…we all use commonly understood euphemism to say things without saying them, so that if you get rejected you can pretend you weren’t making an offer. ”

          Also, as other posters have pointed out, you know dammed well that after the rape, he, and everyone else, is going to say “Oh course coffee meant sex, everybody knows coffee always means sex.”

      • Avatar of

        “As has been pointed out, some of us don’t have the time or the patience to wade through long posts, much less a series of them, but here’s one problem right off the bat. A woman grabbing your ass at a druken party, where presumedly people go to hook up, is not the same as a woman getting her ass grabbed at work, at the grocery store, on the bus, on the street, etc.”

        Just because you’re at a party does not mean you can sexually assault everyone you want. This is comparable to (not comparable on scale, on comparable on logic) that if you wear slutty clothes you asking to get raped. (again going to point out that on scale these two are different.) But by that logic you are telling me that if I anyone were to go to a party, others have a right to harass them.

        “Also, when a woman grabs your ass, are you afraid of the response if you tell her to knock it off? Does the situation place you in physical fear for your safety? It’s just not a valid comparison.”

        Again, I’m not sure where you are getting this from. I’m not saying my experiences are the same as hers. I’m saying that it is INDEED sexualization BY DEFINITION. That is all, so don’t tell me I don’t know what it is. And just because it doesn’t bother me, does not take away that fact.

        “Again, it’s plain moronic to argue he only wanted to talk. He’d spent several hours hovering nearby, and made no attempt to talk. Was he sexist? I don’t know. Did he completely ignore everything Rebecca had said all evening? Yes. Does being socially awkward excuse that? No.”

        No, it’s plain moronic to argue that he wanted to fuck Rebecca that very night. Perhaps he really wanted to chat with her over coffee. Maybe that would lead to a second and third date. And eventually lead to a sexually satisfying adult relationship. Who knows? Except you are pinning with indefinite certainty, that he was a sexual predator who stalked Rebecca in order to use her for his sexual pleasure. If that is what you got from this situation, than that makes you ignorant.

    • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

      No, you are NOT treating women as well as you treat men. I will also be the first to tell you that it would be wrong of you to corner a man in a hotel elevator at 4am and ask him to come to your room “for coffee.” I sincerely doubt you would even consider doing that, if you’re straight (because, the invitation was sexually charged!!)

      STOP SAYING WE’RE CALLING YOU SEXIST JUST BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE. This is flagrantly untrue. We’ve said how your tactics are dishonest, silencing, and obtuse. It is also wrong to stonewall, misrepresent, use strawmen, and troll when arguing with men. We’re not asking you to treat women “better” than you treat men, we’re pointing out that you are using poor behavior–which is wrong when used against ANYBODY–to entrench your gender privilege and demean women and the problems they face, which is sexist.

      Also, you DID say our experiences being bothered by sexualization didn’t matter. You are using phrases like “just because you have been sexualized…” and you proclaimed that you yourself are entitled to decide that Elevator Guy’s actions weren’t sexist, and that we are apparently only allowed to be upset once he presses the issue past your magical threshold (but apparently not because he ignored her wishes ALREADY and followed her into a confined space and made inappropriate comments!), and who the fuck are you to declare you get to set that line? You have declared THIS ISSUE of sexualization doesn’t matter, despite how often people with more experience than you have told you that it DOES. And your insistence that a few events of sexually inappropriate behavior that didn’t bother you makes your view equally valid to those who have experienced multiple difficult, threatening, painful, and pervasive effects of sexualization SO THAT YOU CAN DENY THEIR EXPERIENCE and say that certain things do or do not “count” as sexualization is incredibly minimizing.

      • Avatar of

        “No, you are NOT treating women as well as you treat men.”

        Please tell me how? I treat everyone equally, and that is a fact.

        “I will also be the first to tell you that it would be wrong of you to corner a man in a hotel elevator at 4am and ask him to come to your room “for coffee.”

        And I would be the first to tell you that it isn’t wrong. You see what I’m getting at. I’m not telling you (although I am hoping to convince you, not the same thing) to change your view by calling you names. I am merely showing my view on the situation.

        “STOP SAYING WE’RE CALLING YOU SEXIST JUST BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE.”

        THE STOP CALLING ME ONE

        “This is flagrantly untrue. We’ve said how your tactics are dishonest, silencing, and obtuse.”

        And so are yours…. I could say your tactics are racist and filled with hate for homophobes. However by definition yours aren’t. It’s the same with mine about sexism.

        “It is also wrong to stonewall, misrepresent, use strawmen, and troll when arguing with men. We’re not asking you to treat women “better” than you treat men, we’re pointing out that you are using poor behavior–”

        You are stonewalling and misrepresenting me right now. And you are using poor behavior as well.

        “to entrench your gender privilege and demean women and the problems they face, which is sexist.”

        GENDER PRIVILEGE is something that is the privilege to only one gender. In fact you don’t realize that you are demeaning the problems I faced, which is sexist. Again, you are shaping the meanings of words to fit your feelings, and not what they actually mean.

        “Also, you DID say our experiences being bothered by sexualization didn’t matter. You are using phrases like “just because you have been sexualized…”

        No I use phrases like that to say that just because you have been sexualized, doesn’t mean to can tell me that I haven’t. I have never told you that you haven’t been sexualized. In fact, that’s what you told me

        “and you proclaimed that you yourself are entitled to decide that Elevator Guy’s actions weren’t sexist”

        No, I have felt that his actions do not relate to the real definition of sexism. And if it were a man asking another man for coffee, it would not raise an issue except that perhaps, maybe, it wasn’t the best place to invite someone to coffee.

        “and that we are apparently only allowed to be upset once he presses the issue past your magical threshold (but apparently not because he ignored her wishes ALREADY and followed her into a confined space and made inappropriate comments!),”

        Actually I never told you or RW how to feel. I just said that once she did not give him legal consent, no further issue was made. When dealing with equal representation, this is within proper treatment of a human being.
        “I find you interesting, and would love to chat over some coffee,” is hardly inappropriate.

        “and who the fuck are you to declare you get to set that line? You have declared THIS ISSUE of sexualization doesn’t matter, despite how often people with more experience than you have told you that it DOES.”

        I do not believe it is sexualization. To sexualize someone you must give or associate sexual desires. Telling someone to not take something the wrong way, whilst asking for a coffee and a chat, is not sexualization by definition. Despite, what you make think his intentions were, you cannot make up your own definition.

        And your insistence that a few events of sexually inappropriate behavior that didn’t bother you makes your view equally valid to those who have experienced multiple difficult, threatening, painful, and pervasive effects of sexualization SO THAT YOU CAN DENY THEIR EXPERIENCE and say that certain things do or do not “count” as sexualization is incredibly minimizing.

        I WILL POST THIS IN ALL CAPS SO YOU WILL PAY ATTENTION. I DO NOT POST MY EXPERIENCES TO DENY OTHERS THEIRS. I POST MINE TO SHOW THAT I INDEED DO KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE, AND THAT FOR YOU DO DEMEAN MINE IS INCREDIBLY HYPOCRITICAL OF YOU TO DO.

  65. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    Wow, MikeFromCanada is such a narcissist that he can ignore a month’s worth of posts explaining why he’s stupidly wrong, and still insists that he’s one of a tiny percentage of people who “really understand” what is going on. The fact that he’s forced to ignore reality, human nature, and honest discussion to do so just proves how awesome he is, and how far the other 99% of humanity needs to go to reach his level.

  66. Avatar of LeftSidePositive

    Also, MikeFromCanada, you’re being deliberately obtuse to think that the offer wasn’t sexual even if only coffee was involved that night (which we have already shown is in all likelihood bullshit anyway!). But, to most straight people who don’t know each other, being alone with someone in an intimate space (and, yes, a hotel room is definitely that!) can be very sexual/romantic/flirtatious/etc. even if he didn’t necessarily intend to have penetrative sex that night. Even if his invitation only suggested “coffee” (*cough*bullshit*cough*) that could definitely be a cup of coffee leading to some kissing, another date, trying to get her number and leading to a relationship and/or sex at a later date. Just because a person doesn’t actually intend to (or succeed in) sticking his dick in a person at a given time does not mean you cannot possibly interpret the situation as sexualized.

    And, again, the harm is done based on who is affected, and her experiences matter. Saying something that is so incredibly often used as a come-on will make a person react to it like a come-on, and may trigger fear, revulsion, annoyance and lots of other things (not to mention good old fashioned frustration that she hasn’t been listened to, which is in itself a form of disrespect and boundary violations!), especially in an unsafe space. If you were a decent person, you wouldn’t want to inspire such feelings, and you would be mindful of the fact that these feelings are a very reasonable response to a very common situation.

    • Avatar of

      “Also, MikeFromCanada, you’re being deliberately obtuse to think that the offer wasn’t sexual even if only coffee was involved that night (which we have already shown is in all likelihood bullshit anyway!). But, to most straight people who don’t know each other, being alone with someone in an intimate space (and, yes, a hotel room is definitely that!) can be very sexual/romantic/flirtatious/etc. even if he didn’t necessarily intend to have penetrative sex that night. Even if his invitation only suggested “coffee” (*cough*bullshit*cough*) that could definitely be a cup of coffee leading to some kissing, another date, trying to get her number and leading to a relationship and/or sex at a later date. Just because a person doesn’t actually intend to (or succeed in) sticking his dick in a person at a given time does not mean you cannot possibly interpret the situation as sexualized.”

      If this is the way you see it, than anyone to ever ask someone out is a sexual predator. Just observe your logic for a minute. Would it be different if they have known each other for over a year? I would garner you and most people would say yes, and so would I. But if a stranger asks you out, they’re intentions will be no different than if a friend asks you out. You have to realize that in the context of the situation and the way he tried to present himself, that he was genuinely trying to be respectful. However ignorant he was of her wishes, he no longer bothered her when she refused.

      Now I know you will not agree with this, and I understand that, but I don’t understand that because I hold a different opinion, I am somehow a sexist.

      • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

        “If this is the way you see it, than anyone to ever ask someone out is a sexual predator.”

        Oh, God WHAT A FUCKING STRAWMAN!!! Please don’t insult our intelligence like this. If you refuse to see the difference between cornering someone who HAS ALREADY SAID she wants to be alone, in a confined space, at an inappropriate time, and skipping SEVERAL appropriate get-to-know-you steps (meet in public, talk, spend time together THEN be alone in a hotel room!) is the same as garden-variety asking-out, you are so pathologically dishonest I don’t know how you fucking sleep at night.

        “But if a stranger asks you out, they’re intentions will be no different than if a friend asks you out.”

        This is one of the most fucking stupid things I have read in a long time. What do you think you’re going to gain by being so stupid? A friend knows who I am, presumably respects me as a person, knows my signals and my opinions well, has a reasonable chance of liking me for my personality rather than my appearance (which is all a stranger has to go off of). I’m not saying it’s wrong for a stranger to ask someone out (in appropriate circumstances!), but saying it’s the same as a friend is just stupid on way too many levels.

        “You have to realize that in the context of the situation and the way he tried to present himself, that he was genuinely trying to be respectful.”

        I don’t “have to realize” anything, you fucking worthless pompous mendacious dipshit! Stop acting like you get to set the terms of the debate when you so clearly know nothing about what the matters at hand are. It reeks of privilege. It’s offensive. We have told you OVER AND OVER again how this behavior IS NOT respectful, and no, saying “don’t take this the wrong way” is no more fucking “respectful” than “I’m not a racist, but…” prevents someone from being racist.

        “However ignorant he was of her wishes,”

        Since she had stated them so many times, and he acknowledged he was there to hear them, his ignorance is pretty obviously willful, just like your ignorance of how wrong this situation is HAS TO BE willful given how many times you’ve been educated about it.

        “he no longer bothered her when she refused.”

        NOT FUCKING TRUE. She said she didn’t want to be hit on AT THE CONFERENCE, which he said he heard. She said she was going to bed. SHE ALREADY REFUSED and if you actually valued listening to women as full and complete beings you would see that. Furthermore, who the fuck are you to decide it’s only disrespectful if you have to surpass a *refusal* to blatantly intrusive behavior, and not the behavior itself?

        • Avatar of

          “Oh, God WHAT A FUCKING STRAWMAN!!! Please don’t insult our intelligence like this. If you refuse to see the difference between cornering someone who HAS ALREADY SAID she wants to be alone, in a confined space, at an inappropriate time, and skipping SEVERAL appropriate get-to-know-you steps (meet in public, talk, spend time together THEN be alone in a hotel room!) is the same as garden-variety asking-out, you are so pathologically dishonest I don’t know how you fucking sleep at night.”

          Did she say that? Or are you making it up? I don’t recall Rebecca saying, “I want to be left alone now.”
          I really want you to understand that the place and time you ask someone out is not sexist.

          “This is one of the most fucking stupid things I have read in a long time. What do you think you’re going to gain by being so stupid? A friend knows who I am, presumably respects me as a person, knows my signals and my opinions well, has a reasonable chance of liking me for my personality rather than my appearance (which is all a stranger has to go off of). I’m not saying it’s wrong for a stranger to ask someone out (in appropriate circumstances!), but saying it’s the same as a friend is just stupid on way too many levels.”

          Obviously a friend has a better chance of knowing who you are and loving you for you personality. But when they ask you out, their sexual intentions are the same of that of a stranger. However much one more may know you better, sexually, their destination as males will be the same. So in the end even if someone who knows you asks you out, in the end their sexual intentions are that of anyone else, which makes them a predator by your definition.

          “I don’t “have to realize” anything, you fucking worthless pompous mendacious dipshit! Stop acting like you get to set the terms of the debate when you so clearly know nothing about what the matters at hand are. It reeks of privilege. It’s offensive. We have told you OVER AND OVER again how this behavior IS NOT respectful, and no, saying “don’t take this the wrong way” is no more fucking “respectful” than “I’m not a racist, but…” prevents someone from being racist.”

          Again, privilege is something enjoyed by only one group. The fact is your exercising this privilege as well, does not make this an issue of male privilege.
          And when someone tells you “dont take this the wrong way” you cant assume with utmost certainty that he means it in the wrong way 100%. The only reason I am not agreeing with you, is because to agree I would have to assume that he saw RW as an object.

          “Since she had stated them so many times, and he acknowledged he was there to hear them, his ignorance is pretty obviously willful, just like your ignorance of how wrong this situation is HAS TO BE willful given how many times you’ve been educated about it.”

          Ignorance =/= sexism. Consent cannot be given in a blanket statement. In the end, when he asked her for coffee, and when she said no, there were no issues. I don’t see myself calling a human being a sexist for asking someone to coffee in a place that probably wasn’t the best.

          “NOT FUCKING TRUE. She said she didn’t want to be hit on AT THE CONFERENCE, which he said he heard. She said she was going to bed. SHE ALREADY REFUSED and if you actually valued listening to women as full and complete beings you would see that. Furthermore, who the fuck are you to decide it’s only disrespectful if you have to surpass a *refusal* to blatantly intrusive behavior, and not the behavior itself?”

          Exactly. She said she didn’t want to be hit on. Who’s deciding he hit on her? Perhaps he knew she didn’t want to be hit on, and so he just wanted to chat. If a man asks her for a chat over coffee, she should react the same way if a woman were to do the same.

      • Avatar of borealys

        Here’s the thing I can’t get past: attempts, here and elsewhere, to characterize the Elevator Guy as “polite” and “trying to be respectful,” presumably because the actual words he used were not rude ones.

        Seriously?

        When you put someone in a potentially threatening situation, against their stated wishes (and no, I don’t buy the argument that what Rebecca actually said was in any way unclear), *nothing* you say, no matter how elegantly phrased, can make that situation anything less than really fucking rude and creepy.

        If someone approaches me with a knife, and says “Pardon me, but may I please have some money,” that is not polite. If I say no, and he says “Oh, well, thank you anyway” and leaves, that does not make it polite either.

        It is never polite, or respectful, to make another person feel threatened. If it is done unintentionally, that does not change the fact that it is not polite.

        And really, how hard is it to understand that a woman alone, with no witnesses, in an enclosed space with only one exit, with a man she doesn’t know from Paul Bernardo, is likely to feel threatened? Especially when said man appears to have put her in that vulnerable situation deliberately? In a society where rape is endemic and girls are taught from early childhood to always, *always* have their guard up to avoid it, it’s pretty much inevitable. A little consideration for that reality would be, you might say, polite. Respectful, even.

        • Avatar of

          Maybe the man thought that as her equal, he wouldn’t be thought of as a rapist just for being a man. Stop being a blatant sexist.

          Woman: We want to be treated equal.

          Man: gets in elevator. Would you like to get coffee?

          Woman: DONT SEXUALIZE ME!

          Man: wtf? I just wanted some coffee.

          Woman: Oh please. How can a man just want to talk, that would never ever happen. By the way even though you are polite, it doesn’t change the fact that some rapists are polite. So I will assume you are a rapist.

          Man: Wait, how is that fair? What happened to being treated equal.

          Woman: sorry, my feelings of comfort come before your right to be treated as my equal.

          Man: This seems sexist.

          Woman: No it isn’t. It’s a fact that most men are rapists and they are probably nice to people before they rape them. So it’s not sexist I’m just fearing for my safety.

          ……successful ignorant sexist troll is successful.

          • Avatar of borealys

            Did *anyone* say “It’s a fact that most men are rapists?”

            Anyone at all?

            And are you still seriously claiming that asking someone up to your hotel room, at night, for “coffee,” is not a nearly universally recognized euphemism for sex?

            Are you honestly saying that pointing out the ubiquity of that euphemism (really, it is so freaking cliche), under those circumstances, is the same thing as saying “How can a man just want to talk, that would never ever happen?”

            And are you really still using the word “polite” here?

            Really?

          • Avatar of

            Welcome to, “Failure to understand satire 101″

            I’m your professor for today, so let’s get started.

            I am saying that asking for coffee is not universally known for wanting sex. And to claim that he sexualized her 100%, is ignorant.

            And I would even go so far as to argue that asking for coffee is more comparable to a first date, where people actually just get to know each other and chat. Do you know anyone who gets laid on their first date having coffee?

            “How can a man just want to talk, that would never ever happen?” is again, satire. And by you stating that whenever men ask for coffee, and depending on the time of day, there is some universal rule known by all that they want sex. When, by golly, someone may just want to have a chat.

            And considering how the definition of being polite is showing respect or consideration, then I can safely say that no one here has the right to use the word polite.

            I sincerely suggest you look up the definition of satire. Or better yet, start with the definition of equality, it seems a few people here don’t quite understand this one.

  67. Avatar of

    “Wow, MikeFromCanada is such a narcissist that he can ignore a month’s worth of posts explaining why he’s stupidly wrong, and still insists that he’s one of a tiny percentage of people who “really understand” what is going on.”

    Never said that I’m one of the only people to truly understand. I’m offering my view on things, as part of a skeptic blog, you would think opposing views are welcome. I’m not ignoring a month’s worth of posting either, I’m offering my view on things. Is anyone who posts an opposing view seen as a narcissist? So wouldn’t your post be narcissistic as well because you are convinced I’m wrong and you’re right? Your logic is so out of tune.

    “The fact that he’s forced to ignore reality, human nature, and honest discussion to do so just proves how awesome he is, and how far the other 99% of humanity needs to go to reach his level.”

    How am I forced to ignore human nature and honest discussion? In fact, I’m trying to make an honest discussion, and instead of replying to my view points, you’re replying to that fact that I even dare have different view points to begin with. Couldn’t I say you’re just trying to prove how awesome you are by posting a passive aggressive response littered with sarcasm?

    “In the general direction these conversations are going, I have to ask you: do you really care about having your issues discussed rationally and fairly on your terms, or are you just trying to derail the discussion?”

    Seems to me that by you posting sarcastic comments on the fact that my views are different, is an attempt to derail the actual conversation.

    • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

      Opposing views are plenty welcome. Placing yourself on the same plane as people who have to deal with this shit day in and day out IN ORDER TO SILENCE THEM is not appropriate. Strawmen arguments are not welcome. We don’t have to pretend they’re welcome just because they’re “opposing” and you have a martyr complex. Intelligent opposing views are welcome, but your views as presented here are dishonest, untrustworthy, self-entitled, and insensitive. Twisting people’s arguments is not welcome.

      You are ignoring human nature when you declare a situation whose implications that THE VAST MAJORITY of people understand can simply be interpreted simplistically and literally to suit your ends. We are ignoring your experiences only because you are trying to use them as a battering ram to silence others. The whole point of your “I’ve experienced sexualization!” is to try to give yourself credibility when you claim it’s no big deal and the discount others. That doesn’t make it insight. It makes it self-serving. You may be so used to diminishing others’ points of view that you don’t even realize you’re doing it, but DAMN are you ever! It’s your silencing, willful ignorance, and disrespect, not the mere fact that you disagree, that makes you a narcissist. It is also irrelevant because, as we’ve already stated, saying that something has to offend ALL (caps yours) people in order to be actually offensive is total nonsense, and privileges those who wish to offend lots of people with impunity.

      • Avatar of

        “Opposing views are plenty welcome. Placing yourself on the same plane as people who have to deal with this shit day in and day out IN ORDER TO SILENCE THEM is not appropriate. Strawmen arguments are not welcome. We don’t have to pretend they’re welcome just because they’re “opposing” and you have a martyr complex. Intelligent opposing views are welcome, but your views as presented here are dishonest, untrustworthy, self-entitled, and insensitive. Twisting people’s arguments is not welcome.”

        Not trying to silence them. I wonder if you even read my comments. I post my experiences to stop you from telling me I don’t understand. When in fact I don understand. I understand it because I have experienced it. Just like you understand it. But you do not understand me just because you’ve experienced it before.

        AND like I said, I find your comments to be dishonest, self-entitled and insensitive to me. You see how out personal feelings of each other offer nothing to the conversation. We could throw insults at each other all day. (which I won’t be doing)

        “You are ignoring human nature when you declare a situation whose implications that THE VAST MAJORITY of people understand can simply be interpreted simplistically and literally to suit your ends. We are ignoring your experiences only because you are trying to use them as a battering ram to silence others. The whole point of your “I’ve experienced sexualization!” is to try to give yourself credibility when you claim it’s no big deal and the discount others. That doesn’t make it insight. It makes it self-serving.

        Where is this majority? So far it’s two of you. And if you notice that people who post on the RW recent video, people share my opinion. So in fact, I could say that these two sides are equally represented. I will put my fist down and say I am only using my experiences to silence you calling me a sexist. In what manner does me telling my story silences others? In fact, it just puts them all beside each other. Wow, I never thought equal representation would be considered bad by a feminist.

        “You may be so used to diminishing others’ points of view that you don’t even realize you’re doing it, but DAMN are you ever! It’s your silencing, willful ignorance, and disrespect, not the mere fact that you disagree, that makes you a narcissist. It is also irrelevant because, as we’ve already stated, saying that something has to offend ALL (caps yours) people in order to be actually offensive is total nonsense, and privileges those who wish to offend lots of people with impunity.”

        Again, more insults. I could say you are so used to diminishing my points of view, which you are. I am not determining what offends you. I actually stated about three times so far that you must feel however you want about something. But I am saying that you cannot call someone a sexist because they made you feel uncomfortable.
        I’m actually starting to think you want to offend me, and slander me as a false, misogynist and a sexist without me doing either. You fail to show any compassion, in fact, show incredible hostility.

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          People “share your opinion” that the coffee invitation wasn’t sexual because they share your entitlement to disregard sexism. When they have a vested interest in this opinion–because it allows them to discount and diminish a point of view that challenges their entitlement, their “opinion” that this invitation and behavior wasn’t sexual is incredibly self serving.

          “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

          Substitute “social status” for “salary” and you’ve basically got it.

          Instead, imagine a poll where you ask people off the street, without any attachment to the allegiances people have formed in “Elevatorgate,” what they think of an out-of-the-blue invitation to coffee in a hotel room at 4am. I’d bet large sums of money the vast majority of people would select “option (a): sexual in intent.”

  68. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    @ sphinooccipital:

    “Saying something that is so incredibly often used as a come-on will make a person react to it like a come-on, and may trigger fear, revulsion, annoyance and lots of other things (not to mention good old fashioned frustration that she hasn’t been listened to, which is in itself a form of disrespect and boundary violations!), especially in an unsafe space. If you were a decent person, you wouldn’t want to inspire such feelings, and you would be mindful of the fact that these feelings are a very reasonable response to a very common situation.”

    There’s something important there, whether people realize it or not. All of us adults realize what the “come to my hotel room at 4AM for coffee” looks like. We know it might mean something else occasionally, but we also know the most frequent meaning of that phrase. We adults also understand how such a request, with its most common usage, will make other people feel.

    A clever person can come up with a million justifications for using that phrase in that situation. A WISE person understands what it generally means and knows well enough to use one of the millions of other situations and phrases possible to express interest in another person.

    A fool mistakes cleverness for wisdom.

    • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

      Well said, sir, well said!

    • Avatar of huxli

      @ Joe —

      “Adults”? With the amount of fourth-grade-level ‘I know you are, but what am I?’ going on, methinks we might need to start carding. ;)

      But no, seriously — why on *earth* would anyone think that suggesting a post-con-marathon, post-bar, post-drinky encounter with a stranger of their preferred gender alone in an anonymous hotel room at 4am be even possibly sexual?!

      Clearly, he was interested in playing the customary game of non-sexual 4am stranger-Yahtzee. With coffee.

  69. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    Jeez, Mike… how many times can you be told that you’re on the wrong track, and you ignore what people are telling you, before we’re allowed to assume you’re being intentionally dense instead of honestly wrong?

    And my other question: how often do you have to be told that you come off as wrong and stupid and entitled and sexist and creepy and all the rest, before you realize that you’re on the wrong path, and that you’re arguing from the wrong perspective? That even if you can prove that you’re correct from your perspective, because most other people in real life don’t share your perspective it means that you’re wrong from any useful standpoint?

    Is it so important that you “win” that you put yourself completely out of the mainstream view? Is that good for you, are you happy to win if that’s what it means to claim victory? Your perspective isn’t useful when dealing with the majority of other people, and if you would prefer to win on your terms than to be able to converse with the rest of decent humanity, then why the hell are you even posting?

    • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

      Have I mentioned how much I enjoy your posts? You have a great clarity about how you approach your arguments!

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        The feeling is mutual, and I just wish that it hadn’t taken an oblivious goon like Mike to get us to cross paths… although I guess that’s how most of these “meet-cutes” happen. Speaking of which, do you mind if I use you as an example of a meet-cute? Just for educational purposes?

        (I’ve got “The Replacements” on in the background, so movie cliches are on my mind!)

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          Yeah, I only learned of Rebecca Watson from Amanda Marcotte (whom I read religiously, no pun intended!), and started reading here when I heard about Elevatorgate. The catalyst to my de-lurking, though, was seeing my words from a private conversation splashed here without my consent. What a lout!!

      • Avatar of Improbable Joe

        BTW, when I made my request I had no idea whether you’re male or female, and it doesn’t matter… I just wanted to make a point. If you’re bothered, I can substitute “Captain Jack Harness” for you. :)

    • Avatar of

      “Jeez, Mike… how many times can you be told that you’re on the wrong track, and you ignore what people are telling you, before we’re allowed to assume you’re being intentionally dense instead of honestly wrong?”

      How many times can I tell you you’re on the wrong track and that you ignore what I’m telling you? Maybe you’re the one being intentionally dense?
      You see what I did there? Personal attacks garner no contribution to the actual issue here. And in fact, you fail to address the points I make, and only address the fact that I made them in the first place.

      “And my other question: how often do you have to be told that you come off as wrong and stupid and entitled and sexist and creepy and all the rest, before you realize that you’re on the wrong path, and that you’re arguing from the wrong perspective? That even if you can prove that you’re correct from your perspective, because most other people in real life don’t share your perspective it means that you’re wrong from any useful standpoint?”

      I think both you and sphino come off as demeaning, forceful, abusive and negative. I find your comments ignorant, and have less to do with the points I present, and more with the fact that I dare present them. Who’s to determine my standpoint is wrong? You? Well of course you would, you disagree with me. Well my brother and I disagree with you. Which makes you exactly what you called me. You see why personal insults don’t contribute? They’ye vicious circles.

      “Is it so important that you “win” that you put yourself completely out of the mainstream view? Is that good for you, are you happy to win if that’s what it means to claim victory? Your perspective isn’t useful when dealing with the majority of other people, and if you would prefer to win on your terms than to be able to converse with the rest of decent humanity, then why the hell are you even posting?”

      Again you say this like you are not trying to “win” even though you are. You are so willfully ignorant (oh, there’s the personal insults again) that you fail to see your own hypocrisy.
      I have been trying to converse. If you actually read my posts and try to understand, like you have told me to try and understand. You would see that they are filled with valid opinions of an opposing viewpoint.

      • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

        We have tried to understand. We have labelled every one of your logical fallacies, explained to you why they’re wrong, and quoted the errors in your ways chapter and verse to you. Saying someone is being willfully ignorant is not a personal attack, it is a fair assessment of a repeated stubborn lack of understanding. So please stop pretending to be so unfairly maligned!

        • Avatar of

          Again, I could say you are being willfully ignorant as well. You’re a hostile person. Where as you may construe my posts as passive aggressive and ignorant. I see yours and arrogant and pissy. Not to mention you are acting like a jerk.

          • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

            Okay, in that case name a logical fallacy I’ve made and defend your argument, because you’ve hitherto failed to do so.

      • Avatar of magnolia

        annnnd the award for the most obtuse concern troll to troll these threads is….Mike from Canada!

        Come and get your award you great cockmonkey from the north!

        Thanks for playing..’How my opinion is so much more important than yours and let me explain why to you in a thousand illogical dishonest and creepy ways!!!!”

        And now a word from our sponsors!

  70. Avatar of LeftSidePositive

    Has anyone else noticed that Mike’s whole arguing strategy has now devolved into an incredibly wordy version of “I know you are, but what am I?!?!?”

    • Avatar of

      *This is your comment when translated in a rational persons mind*

      Has anyone noticed that when I insulted Mike personally, he insulted me back?

      How your logic dumbfounds me.

      • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

        I wasn’t talking about “insults.” I was talking about how you are mendaciously declaring that we’re all silencing you and demeaning our experiences you when we have actually done is point out the flaws in your arguments that you use to silence us and demean our experiences.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Yeah, pretty much… just about projecting his flaws on everyone else, while ignoring the multiple places where he’s proving himself to be the exact sort of “bad guy” everyone is describing.

      After all, the original issue, the primary problem, came down to “someone declared their interests and lack of interest in certain approaches, and someone else thought it was OK to ignore that person’s declared position.” On a fundamental level, it feels like Mike doesn’t understand when other people say “NO!”, there’s no amount of wordplay on his part that can turn their “NO!” into a “… yes?”

      • Avatar of

        Everyone has flaws Joe. And as for everyone (all of what, 10 people?) who think I’m a bad guy, my family and friends disagree. In fact, I’m always there for them, and understand them to the fullest. And I will never demonize them for the mistakes they make.

        And as for you two thinking I’m a bad guy, I will not lose sleep over it. Because we are all human, and I love you both for being the way you are, and standing up for what you believe in.

        • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

          Do you need me to tell you how many criminals and mass murderers ALSO had family and friends who thought they were good people? I am, of course, not suggesting for a moment that you really are that bad, but I would like to point out that family and friends opinions may actually be pretty unreliable in assessing whether someone’s behavior is actually inappropriate.

          Put another way, since we’ve had so much fun pointing out your egregious logical fallacies: this is a pathetic and transparent ad hominem argument to try to make yourself look good. Nonsense. Your arguments should stand on its merits, and the personal opinions of your family and friends do not preclude you from having harmful attitudes that demean other people in your society.

          I am unbelievably amused by your telling us how much you love us. Why do I think your private comments to my YouTube channel (quoted above), where you told me I’m a misandrist, I don’t deserve any respect from you, and that I should go fuck off are considerably more in line with your actual views? Why do I get a sneaky suspicion you’re being transparently manipulative when you publicly declare your love for us?

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          You don’t love me. You don’t love sphinooccipital. You’re a deluded moron if you think we’re going to believe that, and you’re a twisted psychopath if YOU believe it!

          … or, most likely, you’re a dishonest and condescending twit. Wow, sucks to be you, that you’ve stupidly worked yourself into that sort of corner. Wouldn’t it have been easier to STFU a few steps back and just announced that you needed to think more on the subject? Instead you’ve announced for the world that you are one of a couple of different varieties of jackholes. Congrats. You’re DONE!

  71. Avatar of huxli

    …Epic shouty Canadian love-trolling is epic.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      This is all off-topic.

      Yeah, I know I’m a guy and I’ve got the guy privilege, and it is balanced by the short round Hispanic lack of privilege and I still come out ahead most ways except in Georgia where they read my name and thing I speak worse English than their stupid ignorant redneck asses, or in Arizona where a driving mistake could get me deported…

      … what was I saying? It was off-topic, feel free to ignore it…

      … but holy crap I want to move to Canada where the climate is reasonable, instead of Florida where I run the AC 24-7 to keep my household temps under 80+ degrees, and I pay $250 a month for the privilege.

      • Avatar of huxli

        @ Joe —

        And then you could hang out with Mike, who loves you!

        (Seriously on the off-topic train with you, though: yes. Give me poutine and free healthcare.)

        • Avatar of Improbable Joe

          Yes, well, if you force feed me delicious fried potatoes covered in cheese and sauce, I’m in. I’ve been a life-long fan of Waffle House hash browns, scattered & smothered & covered & chunked & diced & peppered & capped & topped & beaten with a stick & forced to vote Republican & taken on a tour of a colonial town & dipped in lard & called mean names by an octogenarian Nazi with a speech impediment.

          Fried potatoes topped with stuff? SOLD!

    • Avatar of utakata

      We’re not all trolls over here. :(

  72. Avatar of Improbable Joe

    Wow, Mike thinks we’re all worthless, and I’m a loser. Cool!

    Hmmmm… I’m a happily married guy who most people here agree with. sphinooccipital and huxli seem pretty well adjusted, and not apologizing for creeps like Mike is so desperately devoted to defending. Rebecca Watson is an awesome chick with a long reputation for being on the right side of issues.

    Maybe Mike is leaning on Canada’s gravy-covered potatoes? That’s a pretty strong position, but not enough to tip the scales in his position.

    • Avatar of

      Hmmm married huh? God, what is that old fashioned religious tradition? Where the father transfers his ownership of his daughter to another man. Forever making her a household slave. Oh yea, it was marriage wasn’t it?

      And you think someone against sexism wouldn’t stand for something if it related to anything sexist is nature. In some states, men must be 18 to get married. Where as women can be as young as 15, as long as the parents agree. Hmmmm, this seems very similar.

      Not to mention that married couples get tax breaks, and unmarried couples don’t! Wow, this is unconstitutional at best. Seems to me like the state wants us to fulfill stereotypical roles based on gender. And as someone who supports equal rights, how can you support marriage.

      Not to mention gays still can’t get married in the majority of states (and the world) and yet, you still support this? God, such hypocrisy.

      And I heard somewhere that some women still can’t get credit unless their husband is the co-signer. Not sure if this is still true today, but I digress.

      I would say that changing the source of sexism is much better than supporting it by getting married.

  73. Avatar of thebewilderness

    By now, Mike, everyone sees what you are doing.
    There is a written record of it upthread.
    You have demonstrated for everyone to see that you are an enormous mendacious disembodied anus. If your family and friends really cared about you they would give you a heads up to get your head out of your ass. Then again they probably tried and were greeted with the same passive aggressive manipulative whining that you have indulged yourself in here.

    In my opinion “in all honesty” ranks right up there with “don’t take this the wrong way” as passive aggressive ass covering on the part of those who ought properly to know better.
    Mike’s comments in the thread and at the link are loaded with “tells”. KWIM?

    • Avatar of

      I’d like to say I’m glad you’re here; I’d like to say it.

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Nah, no one can say anything about Mike. He’s such a completely empty phony troll that it is literally impossible to say anything about him. “He” might be a “her”. All we know is that “Mike” is so desperate for attention that they are willing to say the nastiest things in the hope that someone will notice.

      Let’s move on, shall we?

      • Avatar of

        This coming from a man who supports a tool of sexual oppression, this is comedy gold!

      • Avatar of huxli

        Indeed. I need to go prepare for my non-sexual post-alcohol 3am rendezvous with a stranger in a hotel.

        We’re going to play with Legos. And drink coffee.

        Meanwhile, Mike is busily posting away on the Youtube thread.

        Because, y’know. Duty calls: http://xkcd.com/386/

  74. Avatar of big_lunch

    I’m kinda pissed off so I’m gonna vent a bit.

    During the last week, I checked out one of my favorite podcasts, in which what they had to say was some about elevatorgate was that Rebecca’s a dude. And then one of my favorite You Tube Channel goes off and says “hey, there’s no one right answer here” and we shouldn’t throw Dawkins under a bus.

    And then the Skeptics Guide chimes in, and Jay scolds Rebecca for talking about sexism in the first place! Really JAY?? REALLY?

    Now forgive me, but I saw Rebecca’s Ireland speech, and I’m pretty sure the whole thing was a rebuttal in the first place. Someone claimed Skeptaworld was amazingly sexist pig free. Rebecca begged to differ. This is knocking down an argument. This is presenting evidence to knock it down. This was textbook skepticism at work.

    So I’ve been depressed about this. And angry. And yeah, I’m a little late to the party I guess. Rebecca was one of the first voices to electrify a thirty nine year old man’s perspective with applied critical thinking, so yeah, she’s a hero of mine. But that wasn’t something lightly given, it was big time earned.

    So what I do about being so pissed off? Well, thanks Rebecca, the doll video was golden for the moment. It really helped. Like you have so many times you speak for me too.

    It’s just that this whole shitstorm–we all know what it is. This shitstorm of human ugly at its worst. The stuff you look at and wonder how human beings can treat other human beings like this–without any justification whatsoever. It’s this shitstorm of human ugly that’s been at the center of this from the beginning. And all Rebecca did was point a finger at it and say, “Well, there’s this to consider.”

    So when I get depressed and angry about this shitstorm what do I do? I come to Skepchick, that’s what I do. I turn on Skeptic’s Guide to hear their voices, but my favorite skeptic I have to say has always been Rebecca. A woman’s strong voice was such an inspiration for lots of different reasons. Against this shitstorm Rebecca, I am always always and forever on your side. And against this shitstorm I will say this–there is a right answer. A very right answer. If someone needs to be thrown under a bus to get it, let it be a steamroller.

    • Avatar of pteryxx

      —-
      “Now forgive me, but I saw Rebecca’s Ireland speech, and I’m pretty sure the whole thing was a rebuttal in the first place. Someone claimed Skeptaworld was amazingly sexist pig free. Rebecca begged to differ. This is knocking down an argument. This is presenting evidence to knock it down. This was textbook skepticism at work.

      “And against this shitstorm I will say this–there is a right answer. A very right answer. If someone needs to be thrown under a bus to get it, let it be a steamroller.”
      —–

      *applauds* This doesn’t get said often enough: that at core, this whole mess is “Phenomenon is real. Phenomenon contributes to undesirable result. Here’s one way to alleviate it.”

      It’d be obvious if intentional ignorance weren’t involved.

  75. Avatar of jim1138

    Rebecca, business opportunity! Get Sex Doll ads! Also, a USB training attachment that uses Rebecca’s calming, sultry voice to teach clueless guys to treat their sex dolls properly so they might get laid by a real woman.

  76. Avatar of lygypsy

    Its perfectly clear that there are A LOT of pseudo- skeptic dudes who could care less about women, unless or until they want to get laid. While Watson is clearly mocking the douchebags here, she’s onto something.

    Yes, no one is entitled to sex with anyone but their own selves and yes, feminism does not exist to teach dudes how to get laid. But, the simple fact is, there’s been plenty of advice to the supposedly “awkward” dudes out there whining about always getting turned down on how to be less unsuccessful across a lot of threads on a lot of blogs.

    And they have ignored, mocked, dismissed, belittled and misrepresented all of it.

    Conclusion:

    They don’t want to be successful with women, and, they don’t want other men being successful with women.

    Because, if they listen to the advice given, they: 1) can’t lay all the blame on women, 2) might have to make some changes in their own lifestyles, 3) if other men do listen, they might be successful, meaning that women were right and that’s not possible – they don’t have penises!

    So, despite the obvious mocking, this vid *really* is just one more piece of advice to the dudes having a testerical fit over this issue. Specifically, if you refuse to listen to women – even when they are flat out telling you how to improve your chances with them- do a great service to the human race: get a real doll, get a fleshlight. Get your genes out of the gene pool.

    • Avatar of

      Saying testerical fit to certain men, is like saying hormonal fit to certain women. Which I garner wouldn’t be viewed nicely by some women.

      • Avatar of lygypsy

        *facepalm*

        Hysterical – from the Greek ?????? “hystera” = uterus.

        Should I have used that word to describe men behaving in childish, self-centered, irrational and illogical ways?

        • Avatar of

          What’s that overused logical fallacy that gets thrown around, and is vastly overused?
          Successful Straw man troll is successful.

          • Avatar of lygypsy

            Congratulations on the knee-jerk evasive maneuver. Def better than trying to justify your idiotic attempt at a gotcha!

          • Avatar of

            Congratulations on the knee-jerk defensive maneuver. Definitely better than actually understanding as to how using an adverb based on the persons gender could be construed as sexist. It seems you think you typed, “hysterical fit” when in fact you typed, “testerical fit” Unless I’m wrong and you weren’t using a reference pertaining to a mans testosterone somehow contributing to his view on the situation.

          • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

            Yes, Mike. You’re wrong (as usual). You also have an amazingly simplistic grasp of other people’s communication. I really think you should sit back for a while and try to learn something, because it just looks sad when you try to talk down to people when they know a lot more than you do.

            lygypsy was commenting on the fact that “hysterical” is a common word that is rooted in misogyny. It was believed that women’s wombs were “weak organs” and that they were responsible for irrational behavior, and the use of this word implies that the state of being a woman leads to mental incapacity. lygypsy was using a very obvious technique to turn the tables and show how or language and thus our frame of reference for discussing the world has centuries of built-in misogyny and that we notice it when this sort of sexualization is turned against a man (since men are the “normal”/”human” group in our culture) while it doesn’t even raise an eyebrow when a woman is sexualized in this manner (because women are treated like the “deviation”/”sex object” group in our culture). And, certainly the word “hysterical” in the pejorative sense (not in it’s more benign evolution into “really funny”) tends to be used more often against women even today.

            So, when you loudly complain that you don’t like having your gender tied to your craziness, realize that women go through this all the time and it’s so ingrained into our language that you don’t even realize it–until the tables are turned on you and then it’s a great injustice, of course!

          • Avatar of

            The current definition of hysterical has nothing to do with gender. In present society, the accepted definition relates to uncontrollable emotion, irrational fear, or shock. As well as something that is extremely funny. When you take some ancient definition and try to justify using testerical as ‘payback’ for people using hysterical. It shows you’re grasping at straws, and really have no real point to make.

            The current urban dictionary definition of testerical, (because it is not officially accepted in the English language) is defined as behavior caused by testosterone. So when one uses this term, it is clear that it is an attempt to state how men only act in the way the do because of testosterone.

            The current definition of hypocrite is a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

            You: Oh poor me, when people use the word hysterical it is sexist towards women. But I’ll defend the use of testerical, because I don’t actually believe in equality. There is so much built-in misogyny, society oppresses women!

          • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

            Mike, who on earth are you to say that “hysterical” is now gender-neutral? Do words and cultures change immediately when you want them to? It’s really enlightening that you, who have absolutely no experience living as a woman, can tell all of us how society does or does not treat us, rather than our knowing how we have been treated.

            And, no, I am not defending “testerical” as a general-use put-down. I am saying that it is used here to ILLUSTRATE that in this context, our language would usually put “hysterical” and its connotations about women.

          • Avatar of

            I’m confused as to what to do now. I mean, some women say that it’s gender neutral, and you don’t. So I think I will go with what the English dictionary says.

            I think you’re grasping at straws, and I find it hysterical. And no, not in your definition of the word. You know, the actual definition, which means funny.

        • Avatar of

          Well, yeah, because etymology is one thing, and meaning is another.

    • Avatar of borealys

      “the simple fact is, there’s been plenty of advice to the supposedly “awkward” dudes out there whining about always getting turned down on how to be less unsuccessful across a lot of threads on a lot of blogs.

      And they have ignored, mocked, dismissed, belittled and misrepresented all of it.

      Conclusion:

      They don’t want to be successful with women, and, they don’t want other men being successful with women.”

      Yes. Thank you. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking. For “awkward guys” I have sympathy. For “awkward guys” who react to advice on how to make things a bit better with open hostility, I have none. Enjoy your forever-aloneness, guys, because we are not your mommies and it is not our job to save you from yourselves.

      And I like “testerical.” Of course, I know the origin of the word “hysterical,” so I actually, y’know, get the joke. :)

    • Avatar of Improbable Joe

      Yeah… it is hard to come to another conclusion, isn’t it?

      –”I can’t succeed!”

      –”Here’s some things you can try…”

      –”Arrogant jerk!”

      –”no, really, here’s some things that work for me…”

      –”You can fuck right off!”

      Why post that you’re unsuccessful at socializing, if you’re not interested in doing anything about it? So people will feel sorry for you? So you can turn the topic to you, for no purpose other than getting people to pity you?

      I just don’t get it. At all. Even a little bit. “I’m not happy and I’m not going to try to change” seems like a bizarre thing to post in the middle of a conversation like this.

      • Avatar of doctressjulia

        OK, WOW. I just registered to comment. I’ve been watching this from the start and…. (speechless)

        So, I just read this book called The Sociopath Next Door:
        http://www.amazon.com/Sociopath-Next-Door-Martha-Stout/dp/076791581X

        I had a really bad friend(?!) and roomie a while back- it got really, really bad, that’s all I can say- and it helped me a lot.

        The people that do the things you’re talking about, Joe, are sociopaths. All the way. There’s a quote from the book when the author is interviewing this guy… oh, I can’t find the page right now- but, out of all the things sociopaths want, more than money, power, or whatever- they want pity. It exempts them (I can’t articulate right now, read the book!) from having to look at their own reprehensible behavior.

        Ms. Watson, you are cerebrally awesome. Does that make sense? :) Your cynicism is so refreshing, like a pint of Lake Louie APA. Ah. Thanks. :P

    • Avatar of cherries

      hi rebecca,there’s been an over 90 page long discussion about this whole incident on the rationalskepticism forum right here: http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post939752.html#p939752

      would you care to join?

      cheers cherries

  77. Avatar of redjenny

    Thanks for ruining watermelon.

  78. Avatar of ebrooks

    There’s a difference between calling out the BS of social awkwardness (when it’s being used as a disingenuous excuse to ignore women’s voices) and ignoring the lived experience of people with genuine disabilities. It’s not that there’s never crossover there, but it feels like there’s a little too much of the latter happening in this thread. It’s not a zero-sum game, ya know?

  79. Avatar of orchidroom

    …..holy cow. I’m here by way of Steph Zvan at Almost Diamonds – and I cannot turn away from the train-wreck that is the Rebeccapacolypse. I’m just….stuck on the uglyness. I’m stuck on how her (RW) effort to help women feel more safe has made her – likely – feel less safe. I’m stuck on her humor, strength, and grace. I’m a committed Christian, and I’m here to understand discussions of privilege – how the hell would I know if benefiting from privilege if I don’t look for how it affects others? I’m not going to be comfortable with what I find, but if I don’t listen, I can’t learn. And then I can’t improve a thing in my own congregation, can I?

    I may not be threatened by atheism, but I don’t want to unthinkingly threaten others – or be a party to anything that does threaten others. I’d hope that most men in the skeptic community would be of a similar mindset. And I think it’s utterly idiotic to take a ‘teachable moment’ and turn it into a ‘mean ol’ feminists’ attack. Nice job blaming the whistleblower, (addressed to: Mike from Canada.)

  80. Avatar of gregladen

    I think you should switch entirely to dating advice. Forget skepticism. Just do dating advice for clueless men, and no matter how the podcast starts, what the initial question (and yes, you could take questions, I suppose) is or the topic of the week is, you can end with the same double entendre for dummies:

    “Just get one of those plastic dolls. And fuck it.”

  81. Avatar of LeftSidePositive

    You know what just struck me as really funny about MikeFromCanada, and his insistence that we are oppressing him just because we can’t bear to hear opposing views? In fact, at about the same time Mike wrote to me through YouTube, another YouTube user messaged me with questions about my comments on the vid…in fact this second guy seemed at first even more willfully obtuse than Mike! I won’t name or quote him here because 1) that would be too long, and 2) I don’t have his permission–and because of #1 I’m not going to bother to ask. But, this guy was actually initially annoyed that the “Dating Advice” vid didn’t contain any real dating advice, used the but isn’t avoiding guys you don’t know sexist against men? line, etc. However–the really amazing thing is, this other guy takes my replies and actually seems to think about them. While he doesn’t agree with me on everything, he replies to a reasonable interpretation of what I meant, not strawmen, and seems genuinely pleased to get an answer to his questions, even if he disagrees or has further follow-up. We’ve exchanged no fewer than six longish messages EACH, and you know what? No raging feminazi has burst forth to hate him because he disagrees with me. My two opponents are so dramatically different that I had them compartmentalized to the point that I didn’t even realize that while Mike was screeching that we hate anyone who disagrees with us, here I was this whole time having a thorough, thoughtful, respectful disagreement with someone!

    Funny old world, isn’t it?

  82. Avatar of

    I wanted to ask you, Skepchick, if being “cornered” was part of the original story, or is that something you added now? I went back and watched your original video, and read your early blog posts about it. There was no mention of the elevator guy “cornering me” in the elevator. You had previously said he got into the elevator with you, and then said, “don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you interesting…” or words to that effect.

    To me, being cornered is quite a significant factual change.

    Moreover, you had previously stated that you hadn’t talked to this fellow before. He was at the convention, and in the bar, but you hadn’t talked to him. Now, however, you, in not so many words, suggest that you had told him that you did not want to be hit on. Did you tell him that? If so, then you had spoken to him previously, yes? If not, how was he informed of this?

    • Avatar of lygypsy

      Horace: 2 questions:

      1) What, exactly, is confusing about the word “cornered”? He waited until they were alone together in a confined space to talk her – even prefacing it with “don’t take this the wrong way” (meaning, he knew it wasn’t cool to do it). That is being cornered.

      I’m at a loss how that is confusing.

      2) Did you miss the part where she talks about how shes given talks about not wanting to be hit on and he told her he was a fan (therefore, implying that he’d know her body of work)?

      • Avatar of LeftSidePositive

        Yeah, that’s totally the trolls’ new thing. There are tons of them on this video saying “But she changed her story!” exactly like this one above. Either they don’t understand the meaning of the word cornered (or they think sexual harassment only “counts” if it is violent enough for their own spectator standards), they don’t understand that her video BOTH says that she had said she didn’t want to be hit on AND that she had never spoken to this particular guy before, or they’ve collectively decided to be willfully ignorant. Kinda makes me wonder where they’re getting their marching orders, doesn’t it?!

        • Avatar of Jack99

          I bet MFC is now beginning to regret bringing you to this site for your debate! But now, I’m so glad he did!

          @MFC, @HR : you flunk EG101, LURK MOAR!

  83. Avatar of skepmaam

    The video just cracked me up. You have a great dry wit and sarcasm. Good deadpan delivery with just a hint of a wry smile.

  84. Avatar of Fenchurch

    That was brilliant! :D

  85. Avatar of catcres

    I keep coming back here to Skepchick hoping for an apology fro Richard Dawkins. I sent him an email explaining what he did wrong. I have no real hope that he read it (I’m a nobody), but I keep looking for the “I’m sorry, Rebecca”. Hopefully PZ Myers has been nudging him. I will keep watching this space……….

  86. Avatar of doctressjulia

    OK, I didn’t mean to seem armchair psychologist-y. What I should’ve said is that they sound like sociopaths… not necessarily that I KNOW they are?

    Sorry bout that…

  87. Avatar of doctressjulia

    To apologize, you first have to admit you made a mistake. :/

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