Whence the vitriol?

At the Center for Inquiry conference, skeptic Rebecca Watson, of the Skepchick blog, commented on someone else’s critique of her reaction to the Elevator Incident, which was, “Guys, don’t do that”—hardly inflamatory.

I have seen people write that Rebecca Watson insulted the blogger who had named her and criticized her reaction, and whose whose comment her she dissected.

She named her, a writer who had already publicly associated herself with the discussion. She “insulted” her. And yet “ignorant of a certain subject” is a description, not an insult? Rebecca Watson didn’t insult the person who had already publicly called her out by name, who pointed out that the writer was ignorant of sexism as it exists now and that she had absorbed a lot of misogynistic ideas. Both conditions are fairly common in young women who have been sheltered in a fairly egalitarian educational system and immersed in popular culture. And any young woman who showed a spark of feminism would be showered with disincentives–case in point: Rebecca Watson. Young women are likely disavow feminism as unfeminine, at least until they get older and wiser.

So, there wasn’t any insult. The writer of the critical blog post was there and could respond during question period if she so chose.

Now, can anyone explain the 8-week storm of insults, accusations, and threats—not reasoned arguments and counter-examples—that has been hurled at our clear-thinking feminist?

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