So… Rebecca Watson was recently propositioned in a lift, at an atheist conference, by a strange man, at 4am. She quite rightly complained that this was (at best) a little creepy, and made her uncomfortable.
Richard Dawkins posted on the Pharyngula comment thread about the incident… well, read it yourself.
I’m horrified by this. Does Dawkins seriously mean to tell Watson, in effect, to stop complaining because other women have it worse? Hey, Richard, apostates can be executed in Saudi Arabia, so you can shut up about creeping creationism in the UK and USA. The argument doesn’t work that way around, does it? So why should it work the way round you did it?
Worse still are the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of comments on three comment threads on Pharyngula actually defending creepy elevator guy, the vast majority of which are privileged clueless males defending male privilege (go figure).
For the terminally clue-impaired, here’s a link about why women have to treat all interactions with men with suspicion. And while you’re there, check out this guide to ignoring your privilege in online discussions.
Sometimes I despair of my fellow men.
Update: Phil Plait has weighed in on the issue here, saying the same as what I think, but in a much more eloquent fashion. Go Phil!