Over on Maria Maltseva’s blog, she’s been discussing the “abuse” that Rebecca Watson has been getting and suggests a lot of reasons why she’s likely getting it. I happen to agree with most of what she says, but in the comments, I start to have problems.
This is hardly the first time I’ve talked about this, but it keeps coming up everywhere I read. Apparently, Rebecca is hitting the tour circuit, spitting out the same old, tired and likely entirely false claims from the past. Some guy she can’t identify might have asked her out for coffee in an elevator, if it ever happened at all, and she just knows he could have been a rapist so guys shouldn’t do that. People are mean to her, never mind that she started off by calling men misogynists and suggesting that they’re unable to control themselves around her amazing feminine wiles. Women shouldn’t be objectified, except when she makes money off of posing in nude calendars. Don’t call her on her hypocrisy, she’s a self-empowered woman… except she’s not, she’s a terrified little girl who sits in fear and changes her routine because people on the Internet speak mean to her.
This is all nothing new, it’s why the Atheism+ movement needs a “safe place” where they can hide and comfort each other that the big bad world isn’t out to get them because, let’s be honest, they all think we are. They claim there is rampant sexism in the atheist community and I will agree with them wholeheartedly. The problem is, it’s not coming from us, it’s coming from them. The radical feminist bullshit that has taken over the Atheism+ movement is blatantly sexist. Of course, they don’t see that, as far as they’re concerned, sexism can only be perpetrated by men, usually wealthy white “privileged” men. The same thing happens in the liberal racist circles. Racism can only be perpetrated by white men. Even if a black man is doing exactly the same thing, it’s not racism. Usually, it’s “social justice”.
But let’s start at the beginning and examine why Rebecca gets so much abuse. First off, most of it is hardly abusive, it’s well-deserved criticism, but let’s be honest, for many of these precious little flowers with delicate egos, any challenge to their belief systems is viewed, almost exclusively, as a personal attack. Secondly, as I’ve discussed before, as hard as it is to believe, there are trolls on the Internet and Watson’s group has turned responding to these trolls into an artform. Most people simply recognize trolls for what they are, refuse to feed them and move on without giving the morons a moment’s notice. Not Watson. No, she and her cohorts set out a 12-course feast for the trolls, they wholeheartedly embrace the trolls. Why do they do that? Because the longer the trolls stick around, the more she can point at their trolling as proof that she must be on to something! It’s a reciprocal relationship. She whines about sexism. The trolls show up and act sexist. She brings attention to the trolls as proof that she must be right. Lather, rinse, repeat.
So why are these attacks “sexist”? Because Rebecca Watson and her ilk framed the entire debate that way! I’m sure that had she and her compatriots decided they wanted to have a dispassionate, calm, rational discussion of sexism as it might apply to some within the atheist community, things would have been different. Like tends to be met with like. However, she and her group went out, started attacking every male in the group, calling them misogynists, suggesting they might all be rapists, seeing every disagreement as a threat, etc. What the hell does she expect? They set the ground rules, they fire the opening salvos and they get an appropriate response. Of course, this is the typical liberal mindset, “nothing I do is ever wrong, it’s got to be someone else’s fault!”
Someone pointed out that PZ Myers doesn’t get sexist threats, he gets religious threats. Yup, for the same reason. He’s a general asshole to the religious so they respond in kind. Rebecca Watson and the feminist brigade are general assholes to men so they get responses in kind.
It’s all been part of the giant Rebecca Watson attention-whore machine. She’s spent a year jumping up and down screaming “Look at me! Look at me! I got raped… um… accosted… um… propositioned… nothing at all happened to me in an elevator! Look at me!” She’s been on a Pity Party Parade through the atheist community and now that most people are tuning her out, she’s off to non-atheist venues like Slate and Huffington Post, desperately looking for even more attention from people who aren’t sick and tired of listening to the same old stories time and time again.
In the end, I can’t find anywhere to place much, if any blame but with the Rebecca Watson camp. If they are really so convinced that the atheist community is such a horrible, sexist place to be, why are they still here? Do I see them cancelling their paid speaking engagements? Nope. Do I see them voluntarily walking away from places like FreeThoughtBlogs? Nope. Do they stop whining about sexism on their blogs? Absolutely not. It’s their way to preach to the faithful and bring in that all-important ad revenue.
Let’s be honest, getting attention and making money is what this is all really about.