The lying has got to stop

That “Elevatorgate” bullshit got an article in USA Today recently. The actual content was a dead non-topic from the get-go because as Richard Dawkins said, “zero bad happened”, so I don’t care to rehash something the Watsonites lost long ago. What I want to talk about is this from PZ:

What this one incident did was expose a small, fringe group of obsessive sexists who suddenly had the privileges they took for granted questioned…and oh, how they did squeal, and continue to squeal.

There are two points to be taken from this. First, it is a blatant, bald lie to say it has been those who disagree with Watson and PZ that have been making this into a big deal. Who watches Rebecca Watson videos? Who re-blogs those videos (prior to controversy)? It certainly isn’t all those “obsessive sexists”. No, it is people who are fans of Watson, those who support her, those who wanted to make this into a big deal. How anyone can say it is the other side that has made this into something it isn’t – and PZ has said so at least twice – astounds me. It is obviously the fault of Watson’s side – especially the guy with a blog that regularly cracks the top 100 blogs on the Internet – that anyone beyond a few dozen people even know about this.

Second, “obsessive sexists”? Really? PZ obviously means those who have been vocal about disagreeing that anything bad happened here. After all, that is the majority of the dissent – not those who say disgusting things or make it a point to publicly comment on Watson’s appearance or gender. And who else is included in that majority dissent? Why, Richard Dawkins, of course. Has PZ called him an “obsessive sexist”? Nope. In fact, he has explicitly said he doesn’t think Dawkins is sexist. (PZ instead condescendingly said Dawkins was just removed from the situation, as if that wasn’t the case for every fucking person on the planet except two.) Weird, huh? It’s almost like a certain someone isn’t able to stand back and be objective when it comes to sex and gender issues.

13 Responses

  1. This entire thing has been blown way out of proportion including this blog post, Michael. Everyone should just let it die. I won’t even select notify here because I don’t want to see more about it.

  2. 1. You are now part of the “keeping it alive” and “making it a big deal” problem.

    2. To accuse either side of being the one to make it a big deal doesn’t make sense, it became a big deal because both sides passionately disagreed with one another and there are plenty of Watson haters who watch her videos to say mean things or disagree on principle. I only got involved because of Dawkins, at which point I couldn’t believe someone that high in the movement would be so dismissive of the situation – I’m sure that’s true for plenty of people. Certainly the media is only interested in dawkins.

    3. People who think what happened is an example of a problem aren’t necessarily Watson fans, and to call them Watsonites is dismissive and demeaning, I imagine intentionally so, but doesn’t really give you any believability here. I, for one, am not a watson fan, but agree with her initial point that the behavior was creepy and wrong. It sort of seems like you hate Watson so much you can’t stand back and be objective.

    4. When the side you disagree with is giving major media coverage and happy to have caused what they think is a productive discussion about sexism in the movement, I’m not sure how you’re classifying that as a loss.

  3. 1. Yes, and The Daily Show re-airs stories about artist Common and issues about Ground Zero mosques.

    2. It became a big deal when those on Watson’s side re-blogged her video, emphasizing a 30 or so second side-point from a nearly 10 minute video. I can see your point that it takes two to tango, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. My point here is to counter PZ’s lie that the reason this is being discussed is because of “obsessive sexists” like Dawkins. (Of course, PZ isn’t about to be consistent and apply that term to Dawkins, but I digress.)

    3. As for “Watsonites”, I would use the exact same term to distinguish two groups if this was an issue dividing James Watson and others.

    I don’t hate Watson. I actually prefer to go after her supporters because they have been the ones who have been blowing this out of proportion. (Skim through Pharyngula to see how much those who disagree apparently love raping women.)

    4. The Westboro Baptist Church is given a lot of coverage, too.

  4. Here’s my recap. Rebecca posted a video, put in a line about being weirded out my someone hitting on her. Either Dawkins posted saying there are bigger fish to fry in a dismissive, rude manner and Watsonites said it was weak evidence of sexism, OR Watsonites said this incident proves there is a sexism problem and Dawkins made a rude, dismissive post.

    There is all kind of nonsense in this whole incident, and I’m very willing to move on, but if USA Today is writing about it in September, than a smaller blog like this can respond without “keeping it alive.”

    I’m with Michael here that the problem wasn’t Watson so much as the silly feminists she caters to.

    Ashley, I disagree with you when you said this caused a productive discussion on sexism. I haven’t seen anything productive at all, am I missing something?

  5. “I’m with Michael here that the problem wasn’t Watson so much as the silly feminists she caters to.”

    Anybody capable of writing this sentence with any seriousness is a sexist. You’re the problem. Own it.

  6. It’s almost schticky how these caricature feminists call any dissent sexist. You do realize that sometimes you can be wrong, right?

  7. And Wafflecurry proves my rule for me. Words mean things, and you are making light of sexism. Shame on you.

  8. I was all over it way back when it was a mildly amusing diversion, but to see it get legs like this can only be the result of the American Girlyban PR machine, so I’ll remind folks what I thought about it back then (Disclosure-I like PZ, but I loves me some RD!!)

    My original smack-down got more blog comments than any other I’ve ever written about (which is sad in and of itself).

    Then I saw that Watson had also gone after Lawrence Krauss and I began to see a pattern:


  9. PZ Myers is a skeptic on some issues, but his brain shuts down whenever gender issues pop up. At that point, critical thinking not only disappears, but is actively discouraged in favor of the radical-feminist agenda, which brooks no dissent from the sacred dogma.

    That’s why I dropped his blog; the chorus of foul-mouthed believers screeching “SEXISM” any time someone wanted to explore gender issues logically and critically is the OPPOSITE of skepticism. Myers’ hypocrisy was transparent and pathetic.

  10. The “P” in PZ is for pussywhipped.


  11. Did PZ say that “it has been those who disagree with Watson and PZ that have been making this into a big deal.” because if he did it wasn’t contained in the passage you quoted. I would tend to agree that PZ made helped make this the big deal it became by publicizing it, but I would also agree with Greta Christina that by allowing the “obsessive sexists” and their arguments to be scoured by daylight PZ did something good.

    I would also say that obsessive sexists are a subset of the people who disagreed with Watson on the whole Liftgate issue but not the whole set and I would think PZ would think similarly, since he said Dawkins wasn’t sexist and he disagreed with Watson. But maybe PZ Myers meant to make the blanket statement you attribute to him even though it conflicts with his statement about Dawkins.

  12. The debate at least raised some interesting questions and for that I am thankful.

  13. PZ blamed those “obsessive sexists” in the post to which I linked above. He also has this post in which he takes the time to declare how calm his side has been. There was also one more post, but I can’t seem to find it since chronologically ordered posts is too much to ask for when using a search function.

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