Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Watson inconsistency and the real outrage!

(For background, see the links below)

I have little interest in 'the Rebecca Watson/Skepchick controversy', mainly because I don't care much about her personal opinions.  Unfortunately I do care how these opinions divide the so-called 'atheist community' even if I personally think that to call it a community is something of a misnomer.  I also have a particular aversion to the word Skepchick, and the egregious use of a rising tone at the end of every spoken sentence.

Watson is particularly good at sounding off about things without considering whether her public opinions are consistent with her own public behaviour.

For example, she famously complained about being propositioned by a man in an elevator at a conference, but even her own claim never suggested that she was in any danger.  (The man in question has wisely kept out of the argument.)  Richard Dawkins was drawn into this argument after making a parody of her whinging and regrettably has lost some supporters as a result (although not me).

At other times she herself can hardly be accused of being whiter than white.  A seemingly endless stream of suggestive sounding, innuendo-laden comments come from someone sounding just like her on the SGU podcast, and on her own blog and Youtube videos.  And then there was the matter of her provocative appearance in the Skepchick calendar - in the name of art and protest of course.  When it suits her, she flaunts her femininity.

Now I don't disapprove of any of these behaviours individually, nor do I say that provocative behaviour in any way invites unwanted sexual advances, but I have an uneasy feeling that her behaviours are not exactly consistent with each other.  If I spoke to my female colleagues at work in the way that she speaks, there could be a flurry of complaints.  It is a simple matter of professionalism.  Similarly, my most respected professional female colleagues make progress in life in spite of their femininity - in the sense that they would rightly be outraged if I suggested that they had gained some advantage by being female.

The problem is that being white and male, my opinion does not count for much, but after keeping quiet for so long I feel that I have to say what I think, in response to the ridiculous emergence of Atheism+.

Of course it should go without saying that I agree that it is outrageous for women in atheism and skepticism to be targeted and threatened with rape or murder by some tiny minority of lunatic extremists.  But this isn't a matter of personal opinion.  It is unequivocally a matter of law and order!  Those who threaten violence should be dealt with appropriately by the police and the court system.

Nor do I agree with any form of discrimination, positive or negative, for or against any subset of the human race. 

But it is even more outrageous that this small vocal bunch of atheistic zealots who have their heads too far up their own arses effectively accuse the majority of men of being guilty of all the above.

Isn't it?

See also:
Which Atheism plus is the right one?
Not what you say but how you say it!
Atheism is not a religion, but perhaps Atheism+ IS! 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's a double edged sword. When I say flirty, suggestive, and even inappropriate things all the time at the cafe I work at-totally in jest-and 9 times outta 10 it's met with a laugh, eye contact, smile and hair flip (It's a tuff job next to a college). The 1 time someone doesn't get my joke, then it's "I'm telling my boyfriend" kinda stuff. I guess there is a time and a place for everything...awesome,