Thursday, October 11, 2012

Watson vs. creeps

I've blogged about Rebecca Watson and "elevatorgate" before. Here is the woman herself delivering an amazing speech about the hardcore misogyny in the atheist/skeptics movement.

This conference was overwhelmingly attended by old people, many of whom were out of the elevatorgate loop, since it happened almost entirely online, and so Watson has to explain it to them in the Q&A portion at the end.

And immediately after she finishes her account of what happened, concluding with Dawkins' douchebag commentary on the Pharyngula site, some old guy has to start on the old "boys will be boys" routine. And to my immense gratification and admiration, Watson handles his comments directly but with skill and grace.

That part is at 00:50:40, and you can see from Watson's expression that she knows exactly what's coming as he gets started:

There is a point of view there on the other side frankly... I personally think honest and truly I mean this sincerely that women are better than men... 
I actually disagree... 
There is a case where fella... men are sexual sons a bitches and they're always looking out for a little piece... and you just say 'no thank you'... you carry it too far and pretty soon there won't be any sex left in the world. 
How often do you get groped at a conference like this? 

And then she explains the situation.

Mind you, that's actually what she did do, tell the guy no thank you. And then she mentioned on a video that it had made her uncomfortable. That's all. That's what this guy thinks is going to put an end to sex. Oh the manity!

But this old guy has the exact same attitude as old man Richard Dawkins - how dare a woman presume to tell a man that his natural manly right to hit on a woman anywhere, any time, makes her uncomfortable? Doesn't she know that men are sexual sons a bitches?

Because in the mindset of male privilege it is a male birthright to be rude, obnoxious, intrusive and insensitive towards women in the quest of getting laid. How dare Watson express an opinion that it's uncomfortable to be propositioned in an enclosed space at 4AM? That goes against what I like to call "the splendiferousness of being a man" which is used to excuse all bad behavior on the basis that men just can't help themselves. And seriously, that's what made Richard Dawkins go ballistic - Watson said "guys don't do that." She, a mere woman! Questioning male privilege! No wonder Dawkins' hordes of fan-boys had to descend upon her with their threats of rape. Bitch had it coming.

Sadly I was not at all surprised when the shitstorm hit - based on my own harassment from a gang of allegedly liberal men and their female enablers - although in my case there was only one rape threat, and the harassment was mostly the work of a single grotesque middle-aged man-baby. But also based on my own encounter in the Pharyngula comments with Dawkins. Nobody could believe it was Dawkins then either, at first, because he comes off as so petty and nasty. Really, he's a horrible person. Watson mentions a few more of his douchey behaviors in this video.

It's absolutely a sign of male privilege to dismiss female concerns of rape, which is exactly what Dawkins did in his following to his initial "Muslima" email attacking Watson. Dawkins can't or won't imagine himself as anything other than a rich old upper-class white man, and so any woman who feels uncomfortable in a situation that he wouldn't feel uncomfortable in is just craaaaazy.

I remember in the early days of the TV show MASH, before it became a little more serious, when Margaret Houlihan was mocked as a racist fool for worrying about being raped by North Korean soldiers. As if the idea of soldiers raping women is just so far-fetched. As if the Japanese "comfort women" never existed.

But also the claim that men are sexual sons a bitches has a flip side - the idea women are not so sexual which is why women don't behave badly but men do - why men are allowed to behave badly. It's just their "nature."

Because if a woman behaves badly - which includes questioning male privilege - she gets called a "slut" as Watson was many times. And of course that's why this guy thinks that women are "better" than men - he believes they are naturally less sexual and that's why they don't understand why it's the right of every man to push himself at any woman, no matter how she feels about the situation. If men can't do that THERE WOULD BE NO MORE SEX!

I remember a conversation I had once with a male actor and I asked him if he got into acting because it was a good way to get laid. And his response was "hey, I'm a guy." As if no woman would do anything like that to get laid. And of course in his mind it would be shameful for a woman to admit to doing something to get laid. Women aren't sexual sons a bitches - unless of course they are "sluts."

And all these "new atheists" like to imagine they're so superior to religious guys when actually they are just as likely to be misogynists - a point that Watson makes in her speech.

Well done, Rebecca Watson.