Author Topic: Richard Dawkins is not my hero  (Read 4534 times)

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Offline Dante

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2013, 07:43:26 AM »
Does anyone else here find it ironic that Dante has a tendency to smite women in this forum for naming sexism or discussing sexual assaults?  And that he did so again in this thread?

A tenedency, you say? Wanna prove it? You know, back up your assertion? I've dished a whole 2 smites in the past year, and 1, count 'em, 1 was to a female. In this thread.

Maybe it's just you.
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2013, 08:52:04 AM »
Does anyone else here find it ironic that Dante has a tendency to smite women in this forum for naming sexism or discussing sexual assaults?  And that he did so again in this thread?

A tenedency, you say? Wanna prove it? You know, back up your assertion? I've dished a whole 2 smites in the past year, and 1, count 'em, 1 was to a female. In this thread.

Maybe it's just you.

I'm afraid he's got you there, Quesi.  I guess it's just us.   :(  I guess we'd better take up knitting,   :-\
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2013, 09:30:05 AM »
Then, I can wholly imagine her preception being skewed. Thanks for the backstory, I was unaware. It's immature, to be sure, but methinks that's some of the baggage that unfortunately comes with fame. And she seems to have sought out that fame, regardless if it was within the "rational" community or not. It doesn't mean I condone it. Rather it means she should have seen it coming.

1. I think it is debatable as to whether she sought fame.  If someone has something to say or wants to be involved in something, I don't see that as seeking fame.  I don't see Dawkins as necessarily having sought fame.  He wrote a few books that were popular and fame came with that.  Maybe fame was his motive, but I don't know and I don't think it's fair to assume.  Same with Skepchick.  Maybe she wanted to be famous.  Maybe she wanted something else and it did not occur to her that a small degree of celebrity would be included.

2. I am not sure she should have seen that coming.  Do atheists who disagree with Dawk threaten to rape him?  If not, then that sort of makes her point. And even if she should have seen it coming, that does not make it easier to deal with.  I think I recall seeing another female atheist blogger who was more or less run off by misogynistic harassment.


"Guys, don't propostion me, under any circumstances." Is that really all she's saying?

I don't think that's what she said.

it still seems a mountain was made from the proverbial molehill.

I agree.  I think Dawk blew it out of proportion.  He could have disagreed without being a dick or just ignored the whole thing.  But he seems to have gone after her in a very public and personal way.  And why?  I dunno.

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Offline Dante

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2013, 10:07:58 AM »
Then, I can wholly imagine her preception being skewed. Thanks for the backstory, I was unaware. It's immature, to be sure, but methinks that's some of the baggage that unfortunately comes with fame. And she seems to have sought out that fame, regardless if it was within the "rational" community or not. It doesn't mean I condone it. Rather it means she should have seen it coming.

1. I think it is debatable as to whether she sought fame.  If someone has something to say or wants to be involved in something, I don't see that as seeking fame.  I don't see Dawkins as necessarily having sought fame.  He wrote a few books that were popular and fame came with that.  Maybe fame was his motive, but I don't know and I don't think it's fair to assume.  Same with Skepchick.  Maybe she wanted to be famous.  Maybe she wanted something else and it did not occur to her that a small degree of celebrity would be included.

Perhaps. But most people that create blogs want others to read them, no? So there is some level of attention seeking at the very least. Not that there's anything at all wrong with that, with wanting to share your thoughts and feelings with the world.

2. I am not sure she should have seen that coming.  Do atheists who disagree with Dawk threaten to rape him?  If not, then that sort of makes her point. And even if she should have seen it coming, that does not make it easier to deal with.  I think I recall seeing another female atheist blogger who was more or less run off by misogynistic harassment.

Yeah, it's completely immature and idiotic to threaten anyone with physical and psychological harm for their thoughts, or for most any other reason. And I too am disappointed that rationalists/atheists/et al would resort to such tactics. It should be beneath us, as humans.


"Guys, don't propostion me, under any circumstances." Is that really all she's saying?

I don't think that's what she said.

Going by what Lori told me a few posts ago, I think you may be right.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2013, 12:07:26 PM »
I suppose I am touchy on the subject after getting in trouble for looking at women in high school....because I was unpopular.

Said women were doing thing that were primping for attention, I looked. I was deemed unacceptable and therefore reported to school authorities. If the men they wanted to look at them, no such action would have occured.

School authorities sided with the women. I was in trouble for having the audacity of looking, because the women attracted my eyeballs and not of the popular jock they were going for.



Peeping Tom or just staring? Because if the latter: what medieval high school you go to?

The latter. It was a Catholic School.

So sad for you and those like you. You would have loved my high school. Good times.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2013, 12:32:05 PM »

The latter. It was a Catholic School.

So sad for you and those like you. You would have loved my high school. Good times.

-Nam

I still cannot fathom the reasoning behind taking all the women out of class to have a 90 minute lecture on sock length. I am not kidding. 90 minutes to say "Don't be a hussy and wear short socks" essentially.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2013, 12:47:27 PM »
^^^ well, that is in Leviticus, right? :)
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Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2013, 01:03:24 PM »

The latter. It was a Catholic School.

So sad for you and those like you. You would have loved my high school. Good times.

-Nam

I still cannot fathom the reasoning behind taking all the women out of class to have a 90 minute lecture on sock length. I am not kidding. 90 minutes to say "Don't be a hussy and wear short socks" essentially.

Guys,  help me out here... are legs sooo much less sexy in long socks?
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2013, 02:35:06 PM »
Depends on who's wearing them.

;)

-Nam
A god is like a rock: it does absolutely nothing until someone or something forces it to do something. The only capability the rock has is doing nothing until another force compels it physically to move.

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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #38 on: September 06, 2013, 02:39:24 PM »
Depends on who's wearing them.

;)

-Nam

And nobody looks that great in thigh high yellowish brown woolen socks.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #39 on: September 06, 2013, 02:54:36 PM »
Depends on who's wearing them.

;)

-Nam

And nobody looks that great in thigh high yellowish brown woolen socks.

What if that's all she's wearing?

;)

-Nam
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2013, 02:55:58 PM »
Guys,  help me out here... are legs sooo much less sexy in long socks?

They're just as sexy, if not more so.
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Offline neopagan

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #41 on: September 06, 2013, 03:23:55 PM »
Guys,  help me out here... are legs sooo much less sexy in long socks?

Only if I'm wearing heels...  ;)
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #42 on: September 06, 2013, 03:30:17 PM »
Depends on who's wearing them.

;)

-Nam

And nobody looks that great in thigh high yellowish brown woolen socks.

What if that's all she's wearing?

;)

-Nam

Then, while the lecture on sock length is no longer needed, the school heirarchy might have a few other things to speak about.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 03:43:37 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #43 on: September 06, 2013, 03:48:22 PM »
I think that it is important to realise that Dawkins is a biologist and as such will have a fair idea about the mating rituals of the human species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Watson#Elevator_incident has details and the subsequent reaction.

I support Hatter23’s approach. Ms Watson should have been confident enough to see the incident for what it was. Nevertheless, she used the incident as an example of male chauvinism within the atheist movement[1] I can hardly believe that she, like Dawkins, has been so far unaware of universally common, male behaviour nor that, given her intellect, she genuinely felt assaulted.

Set against real female oppression, savagery, and ill-treatment, this equates with being stoned to death by popcorn.

I do not know much about Ms Watson, but I now feel confident that she has an acute sense of victimisation that she sees as beneficial to her career.
 1. how often have we heard at WWGHA that atheists are like people who don’t collect stamps. As such, it is not remarkable that one or two less than gifted would-be lovers make crass remarks – how this can equate with atheism, I am not sure. Are there no awkard moments in Christianity, Buddhism, vegetarianism, the Democrat party, etc?
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2013, 03:56:54 PM »
I think that it is important to realise that Dawkins is a biologist and as such will have a fair idea about the mating rituals of the human species.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_Watson#Elevator_incident has details and the subsequent reaction.

I support Hatter23’s approach. Ms Watson should have been confident enough to see the incident for what it was. Nevertheless, she used the incident as an example of male chauvinism within the atheist movement[1] I can hardly believe that she, like Dawkins, has been so far unaware of universally common, male behaviour nor that, given her intellect, she genuinely felt assaulted.

Set against real female oppression, savagery, and ill-treatment, this equates with being stoned to death by popcorn.

I do not know much about Ms Watson, but I now feel confident that she has an acute sense of victimisation that she sees as beneficial to her career.
 1. how often have we heard at WWGHA that atheists are like people who don’t collect stamps. As such, it is not remarkable that one or two less than gifted would-be lovers make crass remarks – how this can equate with atheism, I am not sure. Are there no awkard moments in Christianity, Buddhism, vegetarianism, the Democrat party, etc?

Though given what her lecture was about, the man doing the hitting on her should have had a; "Hello, I'm Stupid" button pinned to his lapel in response.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline LoriPinkAngel

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2013, 05:16:32 PM »
I can hardly believe that she, like Dawkins, has been so far unaware of universally common, male behaviour nor that, given her intellect, she genuinely felt assaulted

She never claimed to feel assaulted.  The comment in question wasn't even the main part of her video.  All she said in reference to the incident was "Guys, don't do that."  I think she was just weary.  Weary that men never seem to have any boundaries when it comes to behavior toward women.  I don't want to re-quote her entire video or her response to Dawkins' comment.  Maybe few men can understand a woman's point of view.  Why should we accept boorishness as universally common, male behavior?  Guys, please, just don't do that!
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2013, 05:53:50 PM »
One of the main issues here is that men who behave like douches can be exposed as such to the entire world, for the first time in human history.

In the past women just had to put up with their crap. We had to pretend to like it, go along and laugh like one of the boys, or give in and be considered doormats and sluts, or quietly disappear out of shame, or report it officially and take our chances with the powers that be (good luck with that). No matter what the woman did in response, once a man took notice of her in a way she did not want, she was the one in trouble.

For every man who is mistakenly accused of misbehavior and got into trouble for something he did not commit, I am willing to bet that there are at least ten women who faced mountains of crap and just took it. I am talking about stuff as extreme as serious abuse and rape as well as the far more subtle and innocuous unwanted touching and badly timed inappropriate propositions. I have been in and observed more than enough of these situations in my 50+ years of life to know what I am talking about.
 
Now women can at least write about it and let other people know, with relative safety, what happened to them.

It will take time for such men who have been getting away with this crap to realize that many women are not willing to take this sh!t quietly anymore. Now, they have to think about and even modify their behavior. It is not easy for them. Thus the insults and the backlash as power relations get re-evaluated.

I wish some of these men could--for just one week-- endure the looks, touches, and remarks that even an average looking female is expected to accept as normal, and then see if they ever again mention "victimization" when a woman finally gets fed up and complains. &)
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #47 on: September 06, 2013, 06:31:19 PM »
She never claimed to feel assaulted.  The comment in question wasn't even the main part of her video.  All she said in reference to the incident was "Guys, don't do that."  I think she was just weary.  Weary that men never seem to have any boundaries when it comes to behavior toward women.

That was what I got from reading through her references to the incident as well.

It will take time for such men who have been getting away with this crap to realize that many women are not willing to take this sh!t quietly anymore. Now, they have to think about and even modify their behavior. It is not easy for them. Thus the insults and the backlash as power relations get re-evaluated.

I think that's a pretty good summation. Just as many Christians in the US are unused to having their position of religious privilege challenged, there are many men (atheists and skeptics among them) unused to women asserting themselves and getting challenged on their inappropriate behavior. Indeed, there are many who have been ignorant that their behavior is inappropriate.

I like this recent bit by PZ Myers on changing attitudes, in the atheist community and elsewhere:http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/09/06/the-future-will-not-be-the-past/

I do not know much about Ms Watson, but I now feel confident that she has an acute sense of victimisation that she sees as beneficial to her career.

Graybeard, can you point to a specific statement by Watson that you think shows that "sense of victimization that she sees as beneficial to her career"?
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Offline Quesi

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2013, 06:08:16 AM »
Does anyone else here find it ironic that Dante has a tendency to smite women in this forum for naming sexism or discussing sexual assaults?  And that he did so again in this thread?

A tenedency, you say? Wanna prove it? You know, back up your assertion? I've dished a whole 2 smites in the past year, and 1, count 'em, 1 was to a female. In this thread.

Maybe it's just you.

You are right.  You smited me for a comment on sexual assault, and you smited Lorie for a comment on sexual assault.  Two smites does not indicate a trend.  So I withdraw my original statement.

But I really do have to point out that when women talk about sexual assault, or when we talk about sexual objectification, or when we talk about the marginalization of women in any context, or when we talk about institutionalized male privilege or any other set of issues related to the power structures that impact on male and female relationships, men have a variety of reactions. 

Some men listen.  Ask questions.  Attempt to understand.   Some men even respond as allies, acknowledging their own role and privilege in an unequal system.  I count many of the allies among my personal friends, and there are many here on this forum. 

But a lot of men respond differently.  They are dismissive.  Or mocking.  They attempt to discredit the woman.  They might rally their friends against her, and isolate her.   Belittle her.  Or they might resort to comparative suffering, and point out that there are other people in different situations whose plight is much worse.   Sometimes men, perhaps in an effort to identify, talk about their own suffering, and try to establish that the inequities are in fact non existent. 

And sometimes, men respond by turning the woman into a sexual conquest.  This was one of the topics that Rebecca Watson had spoken about on the panel that day.  And that evening, in the elevator, at 4 AM, this man went into predator mode.    He did exactly what she had criticized others for doing in her panel discussion that day. 

You tell me that isn’t creepy. 

Yeah.  She didn’t say that he tried to assault her.  But you know something?  When she was in that elevator alone with this man at 4 AM, the thought occurred to her.  You see, here is the thing.  Women think about sexual assault.  Not because we are silly or frivolous or because we hate men or because we don’t like sex or because we have nothing better to think about.  Women think about sexual assault because a huge percentage of women are victims of sexual assault.  If we have not been victims ourselves, we know women who have survived attacks.  One in four women reports being the victim of sexual assault or rape between the age of 14 and 22.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics  Many more of us have been stalked.   And although I’ve never seen a study on the topic, I’m pretty sure that 99% of us have had that moment in which we thought… oh no… this is it.  It is going to happen to me. 

She was afraid in that elevator.  Just like I was afraid in college when a smart, dorky guy used to lurk outside of parties and wait for me to come out.  I was even more afraid when he left a note on my windshield that said “I want to fuck you right now.”  The man never touched me.  Never hurt me.  But he took away my freedom.   I was afraid to walk alone at night after that.  Afraid to be alone in isolated parts of my dorm. 

And Rebecca will never feel the same way when she goes to a conference.  She will never feel as comfortable sitting in a hotel bar until 4 AM and sparring with conference attendees.  He took away a little bit of her freedom.  Not like those who engage in female genital mutilation take away freedom from the women they mutilate.   No.  Not like that Richard.  But as we transition towards a more equal standing among the sexes, it is perfectly appropriate to name and talk about the actions that men take that perpetuate the imbalance of power and freedom. 

Offline Dante

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2013, 08:51:22 AM »
Does anyone else here find it ironic that Dante has a tendency to smite women in this forum for naming sexism or discussing sexual assaults?  And that he did so again in this thread?

A tenedency, you say? Wanna prove it? You know, back up your assertion? I've dished a whole 2 smites in the past year, and 1, count 'em, 1 was to a female. In this thread.

Maybe it's just you.

You are right.  You smited me for a comment on sexual assault, and you smited Lorie for a comment on sexual assault.  Two smites does not indicate a trend.  So I withdraw my original statement.

Thank you for that. It is appreciated. But, I didn't smite Lori for a comment on sexual assault. I smited her for being entirely too defensive to me personally, and not reading the entire thread.

Quote
But I really do have to point out that when women talk about sexual assault, or when we talk about sexual objectification, or when we talk about the marginalization of women in any context, or when we talk about institutionalized male privilege or any other set of issues related to the power structures that impact on male and female relationships, men have a variety of reactions. 

Some men listen.  Ask questions.  Attempt to understand.   Some men even respond as allies, acknowledging their own role and privilege in an unequal system.  I count many of the allies among my personal friends, and there are many here on this forum. 

But a lot of men respond differently.  They are dismissive.  Or mocking.  They attempt to discredit the woman.  They might rally their friends against her, and isolate her.   Belittle her.  Or they might resort to comparative suffering, and point out that there are other people in different situations whose plight is much worse.   Sometimes men, perhaps in an effort to identify, talk about their own suffering, and try to establish that the inequities are in fact non existent. 

And sometimes, men respond by turning the woman into a sexual conquest.  This was one of the topics that Rebecca Watson had spoken about on the panel that day.  And that evening, in the elevator, at 4 AM, this man went into predator mode.    He did exactly what she had criticized others for doing in her panel discussion that day. 

You tell me that isn’t creepy. 

Yeah.  She didn’t say that he tried to assault her.  But you know something?  When she was in that elevator alone with this man at 4 AM, the thought occurred to her.  You see, here is the thing.  Women think about sexual assault.  Not because we are silly or frivolous or because we hate men or because we don’t like sex or because we have nothing better to think about.  Women think about sexual assault because a huge percentage of women are victims of sexual assault.  If we have not been victims ourselves, we know women who have survived attacks.  One in four women reports being the victim of sexual assault or rape between the age of 14 and 22.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics  Many more of us have been stalked.   And although I’ve never seen a study on the topic, I’m pretty sure that 99% of us have had that moment in which we thought… oh no… this is it.  It is going to happen to me. 

She was afraid in that elevator.  Just like I was afraid in college when a smart, dorky guy used to lurk outside of parties and wait for me to come out.  I was even more afraid when he left a note on my windshield that said “I want to fuck you right now.”  The man never touched me.  Never hurt me.  But he took away my freedom.   I was afraid to walk alone at night after that.  Afraid to be alone in isolated parts of my dorm. 

And Rebecca will never feel the same way when she goes to a conference.  She will never feel as comfortable sitting in a hotel bar until 4 AM and sparring with conference attendees.  He took away a little bit of her freedom.  Not like those who engage in female genital mutilation take away freedom from the women they mutilate.   No.  Not like that Richard.  But as we transition towards a more equal standing among the sexes, it is perfectly appropriate to name and talk about the actions that men take that perpetuate the imbalance of power and freedom.

Good post.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2013, 12:23:18 PM »
Yeah.  She didn’t say that he tried to assault her.  But you know something?  When she was in that elevator alone with this man at 4 AM, the thought occurred to her.  You see, here is the thing.  Women think about sexual assault.  Not because we are silly or frivolous or because we hate men or because we don’t like sex or because we have nothing better to think about.  Women think about sexual assault because a huge percentage of women are victims of sexual assault.  If we have not been victims ourselves, we know women who have survived attacks.  One in four women reports being the victim of sexual assault or rape between the age of 14 and 22.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics  Many more of us have been stalked.   And although I’ve never seen a study on the topic, I’m pretty sure that 99% of us have had that moment in which we thought… oh no… this is it.  It is going to happen to me. 

She was afraid in that elevator.  Just like I was afraid in college when a smart, dorky guy used to lurk outside of parties and wait for me to come out.  I was even more afraid when he left a note on my windshield that said “I want to fuck you right now.”  The man never touched me.  Never hurt me.  But he took away my freedom.   I was afraid to walk alone at night after that.  Afraid to be alone in isolated parts of my dorm. 

I remember two particular incidents in college that made me aware of how differently women are compelled to act and think in certain situations. The first was when I casually said something to my sister about her meeting me at my dormitory after dark one night. We were both going to UCSC, a big campus where buildings are separated by hundreds of yards of forest, and we lived on opposite sides of the campus. She gently told me that was impossible, as she didn't have anyone to escort her along nearly a mile of winding, isolated, barely illuminated footpaths. I was stunned, both by that realization and recognizing my own privileged ignorance.

The other was when a college friend confided in me about a large, quiet guy who had been sitting at "our" (our immediate circle of friends and acquaintances) cafeteria table for a few days. I didn't know him (turned out no one else in the group did, either), but strangers often sat with us and unless they were blatantly rude, we welcomed them. This guy, my friend said, was stalking her: he seemed to always be where she was. In the hallway her dorm room was on, at our meals, near her classrooms, following her around campus. She said, trying to make it a joke, that she wasn't sure if he wanted to ask her out or rape her. She was literally shaking as she smiled and her voice almost broke.

Again, I was floored. She had also confided in some other friends, and we made sure she was escorted for awhile. One of the other women in the group may have had a word with campus security; I'm not sure. Her stalker gradually seemed to lose interest; I never heard of any further incident (which certainly doesn't mean nothing happened, just that I was out of the loop). But I was chilled by the similarities between his behavior and how I had acted in the past towards women I was attracted to. How being big, shy and struggling for the "right" words while intruding into a woman's personal space could be seen as having terrifying implications from the outside.

I was also angered by both those incidents, that these women that I knew and respected were having their freedom curtailed, their actions circumscribed by very real fears. It was a series of realizations that I've never forgotten.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #51 on: September 07, 2013, 10:06:51 PM »
I have witnessed both sides of this issue. Some women take it over the top, and so do some men. When either does so publicly, it's not usually in the best of circumstances. It usually makes either look ... stupid.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2013, 08:08:36 PM »
Quesi and wright have described how what may seem to a male to be neutral or even positive attention is interpreted very differently by females. Whenever I am in an elevator or other isolated area alone with a man between the ages of 17-70, the possibility of assault crosses my mind. It is not out of a vacuum. I have had negative experiences with men in situations far less isolated and seemingly innocent.

On my way to college on a greyhound bus, I had a very nice conversation with my seat mate, an older distinguished gray-haired white gentleman with daughters my age. When the lights of the bus were turned out, he proceeded to sexually molest me.

At first I thought, as women do, that I was misinterpreting what was happening. Of course this nice man was not feeling on me on a crowded public bus. Then when it went on even after I shoved his hands away, I was too terrified and stunned to react for a while. As a young black woman, I knew that anything I did to that man would turn into a nasty he-said-she-said. The black men on the bus might want to beat him up.  What if he told everyone I had agreed to something, but did not get paid enough?

 I recovered my wits enough to shove him off me and change my seat to one next to an older lady. And I remember feeling guilty and sick about it for a very long time. Should I have reported him?  To whom? Should I have stuck him with a nail file? Punched him in the nose? If there had been the internet in those days, maybe I would have reported it there.

I am not sure what action a woman can take that would not be seen as "over the top" after the fact and in the light of day.
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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2013, 09:57:51 PM »
On my way to college on a greyhound bus, I had a very nice conversation with my seat mate, an older distinguished gray-haired white gentleman with daughters my age. When the lights of the bus were turned out, he proceeded to sexually molest me.

At first I thought, as women do, that I was misinterpreting what was happening. Of course this nice man was not feeling on me on a crowded public bus. Then when it went on even after I shoved his hands away, I was too terrified and stunned to react for a while. As a young black woman, I knew that anything I did to that man would turn into a nasty he-said-she-said. The black men on the bus might want to beat him up.  What if he told everyone I had agreed to something, but did not get paid enough?

 I recovered my wits enough to shove him off me and change my seat to one next to an older lady. And I remember feeling guilty and sick about it for a very long time. Should I have reported him?  To whom? Should I have stuck him with a nail file? Punched him in the nose? If there had been the internet in those days, maybe I would have reported it there.

I am not sure what action a woman can take that would not be seen as "over the top" after the fact and in the light of day.

That account made me literally nauseous. And I know, from reading and listening to such stories from women I  trust, that such behavior is widespread. Now that women are speaking up and no longer being silent- or tolerating being silenced- about it, the sheer amount of sexual violence towards women is becoming known.

A lot of men, including myself, are stunned by not only the scope of it, but by our own ignorance and assumed privilege.  I thought of myself- and still do- as progressive, egalitarian, not particularly prejudiced. And yet it's now clear I had this blind spot in which some very ugly things were happening. That may not have been entirely my fault, but I need to acknowledge it and illuminate it.

No disrespect Chronos, but I'm wary of terms like "over the top" applied to topics like sexual harassment. Seems too close to some Christians describing outspoken atheists as "militant". Save for some brave, vocal exceptions, women objecting to being assaulted and abused have been largely unheard. Now things are changing, and part of the backlash against the greater profile of this topic is labeling such speakers "shrill", "anti-male", "militant", "over-sensitive", etc.

I find Watson's writing on this topic informative, ultimately uplifting to the atheist / skeptic community as a whole. I don't see someone playing the victim card; I see a woman refusing to be silent or silenced on a topic important to both genders.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2013, 07:56:00 AM »
I understand that I am a big bad male, but I'm going to put a different spin on it.

I have been shot at by a black person. Should I now treat all blacks as people who want to shoot me?

Because AFAIAC, that is THE SAME ARGUMENT, except it isn't the politically correct one.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2013, 12:30:58 PM »
I understand that I am a big bad male, but I'm going to put a different spin on it.

I have been shot at by a black person. Should I now treat all blacks as people who want to shoot me?

Because AFAIAC, that is THE SAME ARGUMENT, except it isn't the politically correct one.



If you have been shot at by a black person, then a reaction of fear or wariness when meeting another black person in similar circumstances would certainly be understandable. You still have the choice of how your actions are or are not influenced by that reaction.

I don't see Watson, or Quesi or the other women participating in this thread, arguing that all men are "big bad males". They're just pointing out that a lot of women have been abused by men and they want it to stop.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2013, 12:51:18 PM »
I understand that I am a big bad male, but I'm going to put a different spin on it.

I have been shot at by a black person. Should I now treat all blacks as people who want to shoot me?

Because AFAIAC, that is THE SAME ARGUMENT, except it isn't the politically correct one.



If you have been shot at by a black person, then a reaction of fear or wariness when meeting another black person in similar circumstances would certainly be understandable. You still have the choice of how your actions are or are not influenced by that reaction.

I don't see Watson, or Quesi or the other women participating in this thread, arguing that all men are "big bad males". They're just pointing out that a lot of women have been abused by men and they want it to stop.
by "big bad male" I meant that when a male objects to the line of reasoning of "all males should be treated as potential sexual abusers, i.e. suspects because of their DNA" their arguments are immediately dismissed because of their gender.



An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

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Re: Richard Dawkins is not my hero
« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2013, 02:18:55 PM »
by "big bad male" I meant that when a male objects to the line of reasoning of "all males should be treated as potential sexual abusers, i.e. suspects because of their DNA" their arguments are immediately dismissed because of their gender.

My bad, then. Apologies for the misunderstanding. And I don't doubt that such dismissals have been made; women are not magically immune to making sweeping generalizations. 

But AFAIK, Watson hasn't done so. And Dawkin's overreaction is disappointing and puzzling.

 
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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