The elevator thing again?

PZ has insisted on rehashing the elevator incident one more time. Now he has two more things to be wrong about:

Let’s stop the shouting that Richard Dawkins is some kind of raving misogynist. What’s happened here is that he is at some remove from all of the details, and this issue got blown up by lunatics who felt their manhood threatened and who exaggerated the situation to an absurd degree. I think he is wrong, but what he was arguing against was a cartoon of feminism which far too many people have been peddling on the blogs.

No one is about to doubt the intelligence of PZ Myers, but to be such a condescending little prick to someone like Richard Dawkins is risible. Dawkins is not “at some remove” from anything. He had access to the video. He used details provided in that video when he wrote about it. If he’s short on any detail it’s only insofar as everyone else who wasn’t on that elevator is short on detail. Including PZ.

The second place where PZ is wrong is where he pretends that it’s been those who disagree with Rebecca Watson that have been blowing this out of proportion. Go take a look at the comments on all the blogs, including Pharyngula. It hasn’t been the dissent that started drawing connections with rape and deep-seated misogyny. No, what has happened here is that everyone except caricature feminists has been saying that the elevator guy made a bad move, he should have been paying better attention, but we don’t know what his intentions were. It would be no surprise if he hoped for something sexual, but all he did was ask Watson for coffee in his room, which was in the general direction they were already heading. As Dawkins said, “zero bad” happened here.

What I find really interesting about this is PZ’s defense of Dawkins. If any non-celebrity male said the exact same thing, there would be zero defense from PZ. And he knows it. If anything, he would join in the chorus of feminists who portray those who disagree with the Designated Feminist Position as women haters who are against first and second wave feminism. As I’ve said elsewhere, it is that sort of reaction – and we all know it’s a common one – that leads to Internet feminists being seen as caricatures. This isn’t some big crazy patriarchal conspiracy. (No, really, I swear. It isn’t my penis talking.) Overreacting to minor situations (or even non-situations, as is the case here) is why so many third wave feminists get portrayed as cartoons.

You can’t blame this one on men.