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Elevatorgate

Now I wasn't there, so I don't know; only Rebecca Watson and the unnamed man in the elevator know for sure.
And I know that I'm male but I'm also a fully fledged human sceptic. My scepticism means I'm not going to wade in on one side or the other in the contretemps which has arisen.

And it's my scepticism which urges me to consider, did this conversation actually happen, Rebecca? Or was it perhaps a canny, media savvy way to raise awareness of the feminist-atheist point? It if was, fair does, it’s a brilliant, if unscrupulous, manipulation. Like I say, I don't know because I was not there. Is there a recording of the conversation from the elevator video camera? Where's the evidence? So we can see for ourselves what the mood was. Even if someone saw you both enter the elevator, so far, and I have no reason to doubt you, your demeanour in your video seemed honest, but so far we only have your perception of what happened.

If you'd said you'd had a conversation with god in the elevator 'everyone' would have thought you mad, you said you had a conversation with a man but there is as little evidence of his words as there would be for a god. Currently the validity of your perception of the conversation stands alongside a religious person’s assertion that a god exists or an alien abductee's story.
I'm not saying your perception is wrong but merely, how am I to know it is right?

If how you have relayed the events are the facts of the matter then I don't condone Richard Dawkins' mockery of you discomfort. Nobody in the 21st century should be promoting the Victorian viewpoint of "Don't complain about the bread & jam you are having for dinner because there are people starving" or, more succinctly, "Stop complaining, it could be worse" however truthful, is not helpful. I do however understand his desire to place your 'non-event' (nothing happened) in context against a global backdrop of endemic female persecution. I wonder, however, if Richard's comment may have been more fuelled by the usurping of the overall news of the conference by this debate prompted by your video log.

I wonder also, what would your answer have been to a woman, had she offered continuation of conversation over coffee in her room? If you can't honestly say 'it would have been exactly the same', can it be honestly stated that you reacted to the situation in a non sexist manner? If the man believed he was your equal, and you his, then where does that place your subsequent video response?
Hey, if it was 4am and you were tired, then that's one acceptable answer to male or female but if you were just refusing what, going only by the words you've furnished us with, without their all important inflections and accompanying body language, seems a reasonable, if inconveniently timed, imprudent request from an equal human because of your own sexist position, then that's another.
His 'reasonable'(ish) request was followed by your reasonable refusal; that should have been the end of the matter. What would have been his response had you suggested meeting to discuss further at breakfast?

I am concerned that there's some poor man who had a genuine desire for further communication cringing in a corner somewhere, feeling like one who is accused of rape, and mortified that his approach 'creeped you out'. Men can be clumsy in conversation, I know, I've been so, and I'd be mortified if that was thought of me.

The origin of your discomfort is key here, if it was the man's demeanour which prompted your creepedness then that is valid but if it was your previous experience, then that is an invalid a reason to besmirch a genuine attempt at contact.

I'd like to mention blasphemy here.
Blasphemy is a crime felt only by the offended, if the man was genuinely only asking to further discuss then you were perceiving a crime which only could occur in your perception of events, not in actuality, and damning him for it.

Now, like I said, I don't know coz I wasn't there, but if I'd said "don't take this the wrong way" and then "you took it the wrong way", however sexist this may sound ( and I'm not btw, ask anyone) doesn't that re-enforce, even engender the viewpoint, "typical woman always over thinking everything"?

Did you feel uncomfortable because of your past experiences/expectations of men or because there was actually the suggestion of more than just coffee and chat? Was the origin of your discomfort, the specific man (would you have had the same reaction to a different man), in his demeanour or in your assessment of the situation, it was 4am as you said, there had been drinking as you said; are you sure what you inferred was implied? Does "do you want a coffee" now automatically mean “I’d like sex with you”? because if it does, I missed a memo (and quite a lot of nooky). As I said before, I'm not saying you are wrong but merely, how am I to know you are right?

Was the man perhaps leaving early and wanted to take his last opportunity pick your brains out of respect for your opinion?

It strikes me that this is some poor timing, poor judgment (of the situation and of your likely discomfort) on the man’s behalf and a little overtired, oversensitivity followed by your own bad judgement at mentioning being hit on. Is it sexism to hit on someone now?

There are way too many questions here for me to make a conclusion as to the rights and wrongs of the situation. So instead something in general.
You (females) claim you are equal and I do not disagree; you and I, male or female, have the same capacity for learning, understanding or whathaveyou, but can you truly feel free of the chains you once bore as the subjugated portion of humanity while you carry them with you?
I have a wife and daughter, both of whom are more equal than many men I've met, but also both would no doubt feel apprehension in the situation you outlined. My fear is that while you (women) carry the concerns of a hundred thousand years of experience you will not be able to fully consider yourselves equal. You (females) are a brave bunch; you stood up against the big-bad-male society for equality and votes, and are still fighting your corner, I know, I stand with you in the hunt for equality for all, but while you are flinching at shadows are you truly seeing yourselves as equal?
While you assume 'all' men rapist you do the vast majority of good men a great disservice for the steps we have taken personally to adjust to the rationality of equality but you also do the future of equality a disservice.

Of course if the conversation didn't happen in the way you perceived or you just made it up for ratings then forget everything I just said; after all I'm only a sceptical man.

Finally, if the man in the elevator reads this, or you know that man, please get him to contact me with his side of the story. I'll keep his identity protected, I just want to know his view, was there a conversation and did it go as Rebecca Watson suggests because when it comes down to it, in any conversation there's always more than one perception.



This is one of the Too Many Questions

PEACE
Crispy
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