Rebecca Watson

How it all began: “Sexism in the skeptic community.” This is a simple, straightforward story that has been distorted and misrepresented all over the Internet. It has also spawned proper harassment policies at many events and a new movement, Atheism plus.

Man burns woman to death in elevator

Hello, Richard Dawkins! Let’s hear you be sarcastic about this as you convey that Muslim women have it worse so the problem doesn’t exist. Let’s hear you explain how safe elevators are because a woman can always press the stop button if she wants to get away from someone: Man burns Dolores Gillespie to death in elevator. He waited on her floor and then stepped into the elevator when she tried to get off.

The woman, who had grocery bags in her arms, turned about 180 degrees and then crouched in an attempted to protect herself, he said. But the man sprayed her directly in the face and continued to spray her “sort of methodically” over her head and parts of her body as the bags draped off her arms. She turned around and retreated to the back of the elevator….

Neighbors reported a fire in the building, unaware that the woman, whom police declined to identify, was burning to death in the elevator.

That elevator kerfuffle

Not everybody wants to be accosted in an elevator, whether it’s an invitation to a date or a debate.

For context, see Rebecca Watson’s “The Privilege Delusion.”

Common sense says, Don’t make people feel uncomfortable. And if you’re a confident sort, don’t belittle those who are nervous. Your landscape is not their landscape. Richard Dawkins has probably never been raped in an elevator. Or a stairwell. Or a washroom. Or a car. Or at work. Or at home. Or in the street. Or behind a church, or in a church.  And from his security, he can be sarcastic about people who don’t want to be propositioned in a moving steel box in the dead of night.

Is this supposed to be a serious debate?

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You wouldn’t know it from the way John McCain treats it. Women’s health is the issue of abortion: women are ten times more likely to die in childbirth than from legal abortion.

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