Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#61  Postby MattHunX » Jul 06, 2011 11:44 am

Fallible wrote:Matt, feeling a bit uncomfortable when alone in a lift at 4 am is not an overreaction. Add a man asking if you want to go back to his place and it becomes a bit more uncomfortable. It doesn't really matter what his intentions were, or what her 'nature' was (it's pure speculation to say that she would have reacted in exactly the same way wherever she had been anyway - I certainly would feel differently depending on the circumstances, and I certainly would feel uneasy in a similar situation). The simple point is that being a woman (hell, just a person) alone in a lift at 4 am can make one feel rather uneasy anyway, and it might be a good idea to have a bit of empathy, exhibit a bit of common sense, in such a situation.


But, what do women, like her, who get so easily upset expect? Of men? For them to be less forward, less horny, less direct? Many man are like that. And many women, as well. The men, of such nature, don't objectify women or consider them cheap youknowwhats, and women, of similar nature, don't consider such man jerks, but find them, and their personality rather attractive.

This woman didn't. For her, the guy was acting like a jerk (even though he wasn't being forceful in any way, and I'm, going to keep stressing this). Why was she reacting this way, because the guy was her opposite, in personality, in certain aspects. That's it. I do think the nature/personality of the individuals in these situation should be considered.

The place (elevator, closed space) and time (4am) are of no real importance, or wouldn't have been, but for the "victim's" nature. It could have been an office elevator at 8pm , after work, or in a booth (or whatever they're called) in a club, and the reaction of the woman would have been the same, because she still would have been approached by a complete stranger with obvious enough intentions. Had she been a more hot-blooded, bold, out-going...etc. individual she would not have felt uncomfortable, and consequently wouldn't have considered the guy a jerk and his behavior rude. But, because she wasn't, she complains about the situation and overreacts claiming she was objectified. Oh, please... :nono:
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#62  Postby nunnington » Jul 06, 2011 11:51 am

I was in the feminist movement in the 80s, although I am a bloke, and reading some of the comments here and elsewhere on other sites, fucking A, there is still a long way to go. 'She's over-reacting' - how many men in history have said that about a woman?

Well, it seems to have touched a raw nerve, so it is good it is out in the open. Maybe there is a new wave of feminism, I'm not sure, certainly I think in France now there is a big debate about Strauss-Kahn and so on.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#63  Postby MattHunX » Jul 06, 2011 11:53 am

Doubtdispelled wrote:
virphen wrote:
MattHunX wrote:
Such behavior from men, in Western society can be considered mundane.


Yes!!!!!

And that is the fucking problem.

Yes again, Virphen.

I'm getting the feeling that Matt is refusing to see what the rest of us can see because it makes him feel uncomfortable. I may be wrong, but it seems that for him to agree with the majority viewpoint is somehow - unacceptable.

Why? Well, only he can answer that.

And my answer is:

As if the viewpoint of a majority, automatically makes it valid/right. Please...

And I don't feel uncomfortable at all. I lack empathy. That may be the problem. I don't find such a situation to be something worth fussing over, simply because such instances in Western society are so mundane there's surely one for every day, with both women and men feeling uncomfortable by the bold approach of someone in such a manner. We just don't here from every single one of them, simply because it would be ridiculous.

Admittedly, to get into a situation of this sort, after just giving a presentation on it, as it being the issue, can be rather upsetting and it only agitates the person more, thus their reaction will be more severe than normal. That's a problem, but again, what do they expect to be done about it? Realistically?
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#64  Postby Wilde » Jul 06, 2011 11:58 am

Matt, if you lack empathy, maybe you shouldn't hold forth on what other people should or shouldn't feel.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#65  Postby timtom » Jul 06, 2011 12:04 pm

If it was Brad Pitt in that elevator, would she have reacted the same?
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#66  Postby Doubtdispelled » Jul 06, 2011 12:08 pm

MattHunX wrote:As if the viewpoint of a majority, automatically makes it valid/right. Please...
Where did I say that?

How do you know you lack empathy, Matt?

Here's another man's take on this, for those who still don't get it. Women in Elevators: A Man To Man Talk For The Menz
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#67  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2011 12:10 pm

Men just need to become more concious.

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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#68  Postby MattHunX » Jul 06, 2011 12:12 pm

Wilde wrote:Matt, if you lack empathy, maybe you shouldn't hold forth about what other people should or shouldn't feel.

I don't.

I don't understand the "should" part, here, either.

The woman was self-admittedly upset, felt uncomfortable with the situation? What is there to hold fort about...

I'm not telling here, how she should have reacted. Everyone acts and reacts according to their nature. If she reacted this way, then she reacted this way. In my opinion, she overreacted. But, I'm not telling her how she should have reacted. It's pointless. It's done. There would be no point in me trying to tell her how she should react.

What I am telling her, is that she should realize that there are lots of guys and gals out there with such personalities and obvious lack of inhibitions, and perhaps lack of social-skills (even though it should be proportional, really), who will act this way, and that she will not be able to help but react in the same fashion as she did in this particular situation, because that's how she is. I cannot change that.

And I show empathy for those who deserve it. She deserves a minimal amount. If the man had been forceful in any way, she'd have more, and her argument would be valid, for me. Now, let's look at muslim-women, starving children...etc., they have my empathy, a lot of it. This skepchick person, deserves little. She should get a reality a check and perhaps propose a realistic solution to the Jerk Problem.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#69  Postby MattHunX » Jul 06, 2011 12:22 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
MattHunX wrote:As if the viewpoint of a majority, automatically makes it valid/right. Please...
Where did I say that?

How do you know you lack empathy, Matt?

Here's another man's take on this, for those who still don't get it. Women in Elevators: A Man To Man Talk For The Menz


Well, my apologies if I have misconstrued your post, but the way you were pointing out how I refuse to agree with the viewpoint of the majority, implied to me that you thought I should be convinced by and accept the viewpoint of the majority.

As for how do I know that I lack empathy, I more precise way of putting it would be, that I only show empathy where I think there should be some. If I want to be generous I'd say the woman deserves some empathy. If I want to be honest I say she deserve very little, from me. I see or read about someone dying in an accident or committing suicide and depending on the circumstances I may or may not show empathy. Often with certain cases, not only do I not feel empathy, but I positively feel joy that e.g.: some idiot bit the dust (e.g.: the guy who was protesting some helmet-law). I feel empathy with the family, as far as I can achieve that, but for a lot of people I just don't. See my earlier post, which you may have read by now.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#70  Postby Fallible » Jul 06, 2011 12:23 pm

MattHunX wrote:
Fallible wrote:Matt, feeling a bit uncomfortable when alone in a lift at 4 am is not an overreaction. Add a man asking if you want to go back to his place and it becomes a bit more uncomfortable. It doesn't really matter what his intentions were, or what her 'nature' was (it's pure speculation to say that she would have reacted in exactly the same way wherever she had been anyway - I certainly would feel differently depending on the circumstances, and I certainly would feel uneasy in a similar situation). The simple point is that being a woman (hell, just a person) alone in a lift at 4 am can make one feel rather uneasy anyway, and it might be a good idea to have a bit of empathy, exhibit a bit of common sense, in such a situation.


But, what do women, like her, who get so easily upset expect? Of men? For them to be less forward, less horny, less direct? Many man are like that. And many women, as well. The men, of such nature, don't objectify women or consider them cheap youknowwhats, and women, of similar nature, don't consider such man jerks, but find them, and their personality rather attractive.


Women expect what people in general expect - a bit of respect and forethought. This also has nothing to do with how men view women or how women view men. It is simple. Some women might enjoy being approached in this way, some women might not, some men might, some men might not. You won't know that until you do it. In order to show a bit of respect in certain situations, it might be a good idea not to go there if you cannot be sure of how you will be received. We all do that all the time. I might feel like saying any number of things to someone else, but a lot of the time I refrain because of the circumstances, and because I don't know how my remark will be received. There's nothing difficult there.

This woman didn't. For her, the guy was acting like a jerk (even though he wasn't being forceful in any way, and I'm, going to keep stressing this). Why was she reacting this way, because the guy was her opposite, in personality, in certain aspects. That's it. I do think the nature/personality of the individuals in these situation should be considered.


I know you do, but I'm not sure why. It's not about the woman's nature or personality (by the way one can be a real jerk without at any point being forceful). I'm not that shy. I would feel very uncomfortable in the same situation. I know men who would also feel uneasy in a strange place alone in the early hours. While there is nothing inherently threatening or jerk-like in his words or behaviour when looked at in isolation, there is evidence of a lack of some basic nous in employing those words and that behaviour in that particular situation.

The place (elevator, closed space) and time (4am) are of no real importance, or wouldn't have been, but for the "victim's" nature. It could have been an office elevator at 8pm , after work, or in a booth (or whatever they're called) in a club, and the reaction of the woman would have been the same, because she still would have been approached by a complete stranger with obvious enough intentions. Had she been a more hot-blooded, bold, out-going...etc. individual she would not have felt uncomfortable, and consequently wouldn't have considered the guy a jerk and his behavior rude. But, because she wasn't, she complains about the situation and overreacts claiming she was objectified. Oh, please... :nono:


I really do think you're not getting this at all Matt, and I don't know why that is. You are just asserting the point that it's all down to her nature, but you don't back that up at all. You have absolutely no idea whatsoever whether her reaction would have been the same no matter what the circumstances were. My own reaction to such a thing would vary greatly depending on the situation. I would probably laugh it off in a club, turn away, talk to my friends and I would feel pretty uncomfortable, even a little frightened, in a lift on my own in the early hours with no one around to help me IF I needed it. If you cannot see the difference between alone in a lift (an enclosed space) at 4 am and with friends or many other people at a club with bright lights I don't know what to do about that. And many people have made the point already that what the man did was no massive crime, the woman in question was not screaming and shouting about being violated. The issue is the way things like this are frequently poo-pooed by certain people because other people have it worse somewhere else, like that was ever a good reason for having to shut up about something that makes you feel uncomfortable.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#71  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2011 12:33 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Here's another man's take on this, for those who still don't get it. Women in Elevators: A Man To Man Talk For The Menz

Yuck! Sorry but that story was a bit grovelling for me. Almost as bad as the vid I posted. The last line in particular is ignorant.

But I only have the dog story to help you emphasize with Rebecca because I'm a man.


As if men don't have similar stories (hell I even gave one myself). It's one thing to be considerate to another person. It's another thing to pander.
As for the crossing the street lark - not many of us like walking behind lone women at night. Especially if they start acting nervous. That makes me nervous. I have crossed the road myself on occassion or turned a corner and took a detour just so I could relax so let's not pretend to be considerate men here. He more likely did it so he won't feel awkward.

EDIT: to add 'at night'.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#72  Postby Charlou » Jul 06, 2011 12:36 pm

Matt, I get where you're coming from, although I've yet to see a conclusion that 'elevator guy' was actually being a Jerk.

So far the time and the location of his proximity and address of her are the key points of contention on her part.

I understand her discomfort given the physical situation, but to try to extrapolate that into a concrete charge of sexualisation ...

... to take the stuff she had earlier vaguely alluded to about atheist men being sexist, adding in the simple (as she describes it) invitation, and to conflate the two into sexualisation of her person ...

... well, that smacks of bias, not objectivity ... of looking for examples to highlight for the cause, rather than seeing a situation for what it really was.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#73  Postby Doubtdispelled » Jul 06, 2011 12:38 pm

Animavore wrote:Yuck! Sorry but that story was a bit grovelling for me.
Ah, but it's for the ones who don't get it yet, Anim. :grin: I haven't watched the vid yet. I only have ½meg connection. :(
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#74  Postby Animavore » Jul 06, 2011 12:45 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Animavore wrote:Yuck! Sorry but that story was a bit grovelling for me.
Ah, but it's for the ones who don't get it yet, Anim. :grin: I haven't watched the vid yet. I only have ½meg connection. :(

You can read their website.

http://consciousmen.com/

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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#75  Postby MattHunX » Jul 06, 2011 12:47 pm

Fallible wrote:I really do think you're not getting this at all Matt, and I don't know why that is. You are just asserting the point that it's all down to her nature, but you don't back that up at all. You have absolutely no idea whatsoever whether her reaction would have been the same no matter what the circumstances were. My own reaction to such a thing would vary greatly depending on the situation. I would probably laugh it off in a club, turn away, talk to my friends and I would feel pretty uncomfortable, even a little frightened, in a lift on my own in the early hours with no one around to help me IF I needed it. If you cannot see the difference between alone in a lift (an enclosed space) at 4 am and with friends or many other people at a club with bright lights I don't know what to do about that. And many people have made the point already that what the man did was no massive crime, the woman in question was not screaming and shouting about being violated. The issue is the way things like this are frequently poo-pooed by certain people because other people have it worse somewhere else, like that was ever a good reason for having to shut up about something that makes you feel uncomfortable.


I do see the difference between a club and an elevator, and I didn't specifically say that she has to be surrounded by people to feel confident in rejecting such advances. She could have been dancing around or sitting at the bar, and the same guy could have walked or danced up to her with the same line, approaching in the same manner. Would her reaction been different? Especially, and I stress this again, if the guy wasn't forceful? I really don't thinks so, she would have rejected him the same way she did in the elevator or sitting in a random bar on a stool. Things would have only turned serious/worsened if this particular guy had been forceful. Which he wasn't.

She should have kept her composure a bit more (which she did to a certain degree, anyway, because she wasn't running out of the elevator screaming), and looked at the guy, saw that he was only talking, TALKING, and nothing else, and left it at that, rolled her eyes upon exiting, called the guy a pig, mentally and there. There was no reason for her to feel objectified or threatened.

But, I'm not going to tell her how to react, it is pointless at this point, anyway.

She was clearly overreacting, which was, apparently, due to her having delivered a presentation on the subject, which only made her reaction a lot worse than it may have been otherwise, had she not been a public speaker (and on the issue).

And I've already said that this issue shouldn't be ignored simply because other women have it a lot worse elsewhere. And I'm not objecting to her voicing her concern over the matter, either. I'm only objecting to her apparent lack of realism and lack of consideration that this (common) behavior, in both men and women, isn't something that can be just changed. And I'm all ears for her proposal of a realistic plan to solve this societal issue.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#76  Postby rJD » Jul 06, 2011 12:51 pm

Animavore wrote:As if men don't have similar stories (hell I even gave one myself). It's one thing to be considerate to another person. It's another thing to pander.
As for the crossing the street lark - not many of us like walking behind lone women at night. Especially if they start acting nervous. That makes me nervous. I have crossed the road myself on occassion or turned a corner and took a detour just so I could relax so let's not pretend to be considerate men here. He more likely did it so he won't feel awkward.

EDIT: to add 'at night'.

Yep, done the same myself. I'm a big softy and people who know me would find the idea of me being threatening as laughable, but, to people who don't know me... well, I'm hefty enough and I have a 'skinhead' cut. :bat: I did once catch up to a female colleague walking in the street from work and she practically had kittens as I overtook her before she realised it wasn't a dangerous stranger - and that was in the middle of a city centre full of people.

Given that women (and men, too, for that matter) do have reasonable cause to be apprehensive of men they don't know, it's just a question of good manners to not unnecessarily spook people.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#77  Postby Fallible » Jul 06, 2011 12:54 pm

I just see a lot of conjecture, Matt. You still have no idea whether she would have reacted differently in different situations. I don't know why you think she was clearly overreacting. People here disagree with you, which suggests that the issue is not that clear-cut. What you think she should have done has no bearing on how she felt. One can acknowledge that something is a common behaviour and still be justified in complaining about it, so I don't see what your point is there either. And it can indeed be changed. All that has to happen is that we as people give other people a bit of consideration, think a little bit before acting. I don't see anything very difficult there.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#78  Postby Charlou » Jul 06, 2011 1:09 pm

rJD wrote:
Animavore wrote:As if men don't have similar stories (hell I even gave one myself). It's one thing to be considerate to another person. It's another thing to pander.
As for the crossing the street lark - not many of us like walking behind lone women at night. Especially if they start acting nervous. That makes me nervous. I have crossed the road myself on occassion or turned a corner and took a detour just so I could relax so let's not pretend to be considerate men here. He more likely did it so he won't feel awkward.

EDIT: to add 'at night'.

Yep, done the same myself. I'm a big softy and people who know me would find the idea of me being threatening as laughable, but, to people who don't know me... well, I'm hefty enough and I have a 'skinhead' cut. :bat: I did once catch up to a female colleague walking in the street from work and she practically had kittens as I overtook her before she realised it wasn't a dangerous stranger - and that was in the middle of a city centre full of people.

Given that women (and men, too, for that matter) do have reasonable cause to be apprehensive of men they don't know, it's just a question of good manners to not unnecessarily spook people.

Such a simple point ... I do hope RD may read this and get it.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#79  Postby MattHunX » Jul 06, 2011 1:17 pm

Fallible wrote:I just see a lot of conjecture, Matt. You still have no idea whether she would have reacted differently in different situations. I don't know why you think she was clearly overreacting. People here disagree with you, which suggests that the issue is not that clear-cut. What you think she should have done has no bearing on how she felt. One can acknowledge that something is a common behaviour and still be justified in complaining about it, so I don't see what your point is there either. And it can indeed be changed. All that has to happen is that we as people give other people a bit of consideration, think a little bit before acting. I don't see anything very difficult there.

Well, tell that to the men and women who act that way, then. It's their nature. They won't change it simply because a few offended individuals get vocal, or because some people around might get uncomfortable, same with a lot of other stuff. Yes, it's inconsiderate, but (part of) society isn't ready for that shift, yet.

Guy 1 might walk into an elevator with a woman, alone, at night, and the woman would get nervous because the guy is awfully chatty, perhaps a bit intoxicated.

I would be in the same situation with a woman, in the elevator, at night, I would be my usual passive, dead-pan self, practically stomping in the elevator, by appearances annoyed/agitated, deep voice, flat-tone...etc. and the woman might still be nervous, when I personally couldn't and wouldn't give a damn about her presence, except ask (in a deep, dead-pan voice) which floor should I press. Well, picture a guy, completely in black, 6'4, good built, looking annoyed, agitated, heavy steps? Would you feel nervous, at night, in the elevator, with a guy like that? Not necessarily, but some might very well would. :dunno: And I personally wouldn't bet an eye at them, let alone make a conversation, and they still might feel uncomfortable.

And I don't know why you think I believe this situation is in any way "clear-cut". I don't. Hence why I speculate why the woman reacted the way she did and what the guy actually did or might have done, where and under what circumstances and what was said and in what manner. And I conclude that the woman was still overreacting, considering all that.
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Re: Atheism and Feminism (or, Watson v. Dawkins)

#80  Postby Fallible » Jul 06, 2011 1:43 pm

MattHunX wrote:Well, tell that to the men and women who act that way, then. It's their nature. They won't change it simply because a few offended individuals get vocal, or because some people around might get uncomfortable, same with a lot of other stuff. Yes, it's inconsiderate, but (part of) society isn't ready for that shift, yet.


:what: I said that in response to you asking what the woman suggests should be done. Thinking before acting would be a good thing to do, and I find it a bit silly to say that people are 'not ready' to do that yet. Everyone is capable of thinking before acting. 'It's in their nature'? You can say that about anything. Not only is that not backed up by anything, it's also not a get out of jail free card for behaviour. It's in my nature to gorge from morning till night on pies and crisps. That doesn't mean I just carry on and relinquish all responsibility for being a massive blimp.

Guy 1 might walk into an elevator with a woman, alone, at night, and the woman would get nervous because the guy is awfully chatty, perhaps a bit intoxicated.

I would be in the same situation with a woman, in the elevator, at night, I would be my usual passive, dead-pan self, practically stomping in the elevator, by appearances annoyed/agitated, deep voice, flat-tone...etc. and the woman might still be nervous, when I personally couldn't and wouldn't give a damn about her presence, except ask (in a deep, dead-pan voice) which floor should I press. Well, picture a guy, completely in black, 6'4, good built, looking annoyed, agitated, heavy steps? Would you feel nervous, at night, in the elevator, with a guy like that? Not necessarily, but some might very well would. :dunno: And I personally wouldn't bet an eye at them, let alone make a conversation, and they still might feel uncomfortable.


That's exactly the point! You don't know how that person feels, so you don't go on to do the thing. A PERSON alone in a lift in the early hours might already be feeling uneasy, whatever you do or don't do, because of the circumstances. The PERSON cannot read your mind, know whether you are interested in their presence or not, know what you are going to do or not do. Why then compound that? It's a sad state of affairs but nevertheless, a PERSON is justified in feeling uneasy being somewhere they don't know, alone, in the early hours of the morning, in a confined space, with a strange man. Considerate people will acknowledge that fact and do what they can to avoid discomfort. Which in this case would be to just get where they are going without asking the person whether they want to come back to his place for coffee.

And I don't know why you think I believe this situation is in any way "clear-cut". I don't. Hence why I speculate why the woman reacted the way she did and what the guy actually did or might have done, where and under what circumstances and what was said and in what manner. And I conclude that the woman was still overreacting, considering all that.


Your statement 'she was clearly overreacting' suggests that this is clear ('clearly'). This is not clear. What you mean is that you think she was overreacting. Others disagree.
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