EllenBeth Wachs

My Cats are My Gods

Elevatorgate collides with Pharyngulagate or How Not to Build Community 101

with 8 comments

So, I will let the readers decide who is being reasonable and rational and who is being abusive. Fun fact, I have never posted in the slymepit. I have never even registered at that forum. I haven’t even read it in months. Additionally, I am not sure how to disavow a video by Renee that she didn’t make. Oh, I also learned that I spend my time harassing Skepchik through twitter. WHO KNEW??












Written by EllenBeth Wachs

February 1, 2014 at 9:11 am

8 Responses

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  1. Kind of interesting, if deplorable, that “Elevatorgate” has become a watershed event, the diverse interpretations of which are a kind of litmus test, and which shows some amusing similarities with the parable of the blind men and the elephant. However, I can sort of see the point of Sally Strange and company that Watson’s original comments (transcript here) and, notably, her “guys, don’t do that” were only referring to her circumstances and was not a blanket “Papal Encyclical” directed at all men as Bart, and others including myself, have argued.

    But, on the other side of the coin, one might reasonably wonder why she would have brought that incident up unless it was to suggest that it was paradigmatic and representative of sexism in general. And I’ve often wondered what sort of evidence there is that said “elevator guy” was actually in earshot of Watson when she made what was presumably only general comments about being sexualized. And while I can sympathize about being hit on, complaints about it seems to have an air of “poor little rich girl”, of “how dare those bums and panhandlers have their hands out asking for spare change!!”

    In any case, kind of amusing how “The SlymePit!!!11!!!” gets tagged for every crime of sexism, at least if not everything else from spitting on the sidewalk to genocide, ever committed by any atheist or skeptic since the dawn of time. But, in passing, that one comment about a video of Renee’s seems also to have been confused in conflating her with WoolyBumbleBee – not the same person. Illustrates the general problem, I think, with people misinterpreting things left, right, and center.


    February 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

  2. Reblogged this on insecular.


    February 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm

  3. Oh wow. My hear hurts. :-/

    What’s the video you posted that you said was abusive?

    Cathy Young (@CathyYoung63)

    February 2, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    • I hate giving her more attention but if any video should be watched, it’s this one.

      EllenBeth Wachs

      February 2, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    • The Cathy Young who took Amanda Marcotte to task for being a leader of a “cyber-lynch mob” in the Duke lacrosse case? 😉 If so then bloody good show; if not then I still sympathize with your point.


      February 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm

  4. Yes, c’est moi. 😉 and thanks.

    (Of course I meant to say “my head hurts,” not “my hear.” The headache must have affected my spelling.)

    Cathy Young (@CathyYoung63)

    February 4, 2014 at 7:02 am

    • De nada. 🙂

      But I wonder whether you might have a moment to clarify something from that article of yours that’s come up on a FreethoughtBlog site (1) – although, as I think EllenBeth would probably attest, many of the blogs on that network show precious little “freethought” and may also well justify the term “cyber-lynch mobs”. Specifically, you had said (2):

      It seems that, in Marcotte’s eyes, the real crime of the “independent feminists'” is helping preserve the idea that the presumption of innocence applies even in cases of rape and sexual assault.

      While I have noted there that you did say “It seems that …”, the discussion has revolved around the question of to what extent she might have said something that was equivalent or tantamount to it. Consequently, I was wondering whether you might have something fairly specific – perhaps a record of her original but now-deleted post – to justify that impression, that conclusion, of yours – a conclusion that several other credible commentators (3) seem to have also reached so I’m happy to see that you’re not a lone voice in the wilderness.

      As for why that might be of some relevance or value, while I think Marcotte might be commended for eventually conceding that someone is innocent until proven guilty, her recent screed on Woody Allen (4) suggests that she is still somewhat unclear on the concept, that the leopard most definitely has not changed its spots; seems that her “court of public opinion” still looks an awful lot like a kangaroo-court, a lynch-mob. But she does write reasonably well, and she may well have her heart in the right place: it really is rather deplorable that there are, apparently, something like 200,000 cases of sexual assault and rape every year in the U.S., and gawd-knows how many cases of sexual abuse in families, not to mention false accusations thereof, each with no small amount of grief attending it. As one of the other commenters there put it, “… trying to make a case after the evidence has disappeared, or when the evidence is inherently sparse … sucks”.

      But, considering the proliferation of “nanny cams”, and “cop cameras” (5), and other “always-on recording devices” (6), one would think that a potential solution is staring us in the face. Part of the reason why I’ve been attempting to promote the idea (7) of iPhone applications to record various “encounters” as in the Duke case.

      Seems that changing people’s sense of morality may be substantially harder than implementing technological solutions to promote if not enforce more rational and ethical manifestations.

      1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2014/01/30/marcotte-pretty-much-destroys-hannity/”;
      2) “_http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/06/21/feminism_and_amanda_marcotte_106038.html”;
      3) “_http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/186032.php”;
      4) “_http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/04/in-the-court-of-public-opinion-lets-try-preponderance-of-evidence-as-the-standard/”;
      5) “_http://www.cnbc.com/id/100971859”;
      6) “_http://lawrenceserewicz.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/political-discourse-in-the-age-of-always-on-recording-devices-the-death-of-statesmanship/”;
      7) “_http://atheismplus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5336”;


      February 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm

  5. Well, that was……

    … that was….


    Just curious, where she did give this presentation?

    Can you imagine the response if a male speaker talked about a woman he had a sexual encounter with in such demeaning terms?

    Also, this video makes me think of something that has always bugged me about the whole “elevatorgate” thing. RW objects to being “sexualized,” but her self-presentation is highly sexualized (clothing, manner, etc.). Of course I understand that just because a woman presents herself in a sexualized way doesn’t give any man the license to sexually harass or assault her, but it’s a bit hypocritical to sashay onstage in a miniskirt and high boots and complain about being viewed in a sexual way.

    Cathy Young (@CathyYoung63)

    February 4, 2014 at 7:34 am

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