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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Beware of Girls in Elevators

I know I am blogging about an incident that happened several months ago (June in fact), about a topic that is well past its shelf life, but see, I just read about it. And this one really irked me, and affected me enough it made me want to go visit my Shrieking Tree, i. e., this blog, to  rant and bluster, albeit in a somewhat wussy manner.
Here’s what happened (as Inspector Monk used to say): A woman was invited to speak at a skeptics’ conference held in a hotel in Dublin. Later, as she was in the elevator going up to her hotel room after the conference, a male attendee followed her to the elevator and invited her to his room for coffee. She rejected the offer, and that was that.  They both went their separate ways.
Should have invited my right hand instead

The woman then posted a video that mentioned her apparently creepy and harrowing experience.
After the video got posted, things in the skeptics’ and atheists’ blogosphere got interesting, which, as you may have surmised (you smart thing, you), I read about only today, to my everlasting regret. 

Anyway, the “elevatorgate” (as some bloggers refer to the incident) was in fact a non-event; it was an incident that’s been played out millions of times, an incident that will surely happen again.
Really, it was just a woman who thought that being propositioned in an elevator in a hotel in Dublin at 4 am is not appropriate, then somehow being interpreted by others as an assault on women in general. The man, we must remember, invited her to his hotel room for (gasp!) a cup of coffee. Yeah right—coffee. A rape coffee, she must’ve thought. 

Men, according to these people, have sex always on their minds, and approaching a woman is an indication of intent to rape. 
No matter that she rejected elevator guy and the poor sap didn’t even press on (guy just left, probably thinking that he needed better pickup lines), he was still considered as a (potential) rapist, foiled only by her dislike for coffee at 4 in the morning.
Which makes me wonder what the elevator guy looks like. Or if he even exists at all—nobody really stood up and admitted that he is the pathetic loser in the elevator.
I for one don't blame him

Everybody and his Granny blogged about it (except me, who is blogging about it only now). Then a prominent evolutionary biologist and atheist, Richard Dawkins, weighed in, and  posted a few comments on one of those blogs. Dr. Dawkins’ original post was in the form of a letter to a Muslim woman (comment #75):

Dear Muslima
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so . . .
And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

Now that is pawning! But really, I think what Dr. Dawkins is pointing out here is perspective, with a hint of sarcasm.
And to make things more exciting, feminists of all shapes and sizes (as well as other “enlightened” males) got on the bandwagon and accused Dr. Dawkins of using all sorts of logical fallacy. They even referred to him as Dick (get it? Dick?!).
Sound logic, we must remember, is a big deal to atheists. 

But one blogger really got on my nerve when she said that “women are correct in assuming that ALL men are potential rapists.” 
Not true

Then, to make it even more surreal, commenters on her blog agreed with her, even the males (pussies).
This may be a surprise, but when we look at women we do not always think of introducing our juniors to them. 
Come on! We do not automatically think that we want to engage in a little game of pokin’ whiskers when we look at women. 
Sure we think that sometimes, but not all the time, and only in passing.

But with these women, one would think that all they think about is SEX. 
Did it ever occur to them that maybe elevator guy was just being kind to her?  

Just because we have a penis does not mean we want to bone all women we see. Women have mouths; do we accuse them of wanting to fellate us all the time?
Yeah, you wish.

The debate went on, with both sides (to be fair) making valid points. However, I’m with Dr. Dawkins on this one. 
And I'm not alone.
Dr. Dawkins on a bus

Rebecca Watson’s (the woman who refused elevator guy's "coffee") experience is trivial, but got turned into a big deal by over-zealous feminists and white-knighting assholes. It was just an incident of a woman claiming to have rejected a stranger's offer of a coffee that somehow became a feminist issue. An ill-timed and somehow a bit creepy gesture, perhaps, but he accepted the rejection, didn't he? He didn't threaten her, or even touched her.  
Who knows, maybe it was all just a misunderstanding.
Now Rebecca Watson is calling for atheists and skeptics to boycott Dr. Dawkins. Does she really wield that kind of power in the atheist community?

And all this because of a coffee invitation.

Also, the generalization that that female dog of a blogger (who shall remain unlinked) did? That really pisses me off big time.
Her generalization is idiotic and offensive, not to mention false.
All men are rapists? Seriously?

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