Stand by for the latest in the ongoing mess that is the drama in the skeptic movement! First, a little context: you may remember that a few months ago there was a big brouhaha regarding harassment policies at skeptic conferences, in particular the granddaddy of them all, The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM). After reading something from DJ Grothe that she didn’t like, Rebecca Watson decided to boycott TAM, and the rumor went around the “skeptifem” clique that TAM wasn’t safe for women. In response to this, Dr Harriet Hall (the SkepDoc) turned up at TAM wearing a t shirt proclaiming that she felt safe and welcome at TAM (pics courtesy of the wonderful Sara Mayhew’s blog).
Naturally, Dr Hall’s t shirt drew a barrage of snidy sniping from the SkepChicks, and Surly Amy gave it as a reason why she left the conference early.
That’s the history, now on to the present day! Dr Hall has decided to write a post defending herself against the privilege police, and the “fearless leader” of the Skepchicks, one Rebecca Watson, has decided to chime in with a nasty, snarky, sarcastic comment. Check it out:
Fortunately, another commenter by the name of Captain Janeway was on hand to address Rebecca’s childish petulance, but I’d like to take this opportunity to add my two cents.
This comment by Rebecca Watson shows why she is so intensely disliked by many skeptics. It’s not because she is a woman, but because she is arrogant, sarcastic and precious.
Firstly, the “queer” thing. Yes, it’s true that some people have re-appropriated the term and some like to add it to the LGBT acronym to make it LGBTQ. However, some haven’t and still see it as an offensive term. “Will” falls into the former category, and therefore Rebecca raises him above Dr Hall. Pure arrogance there!
You didn’t mention me as a person included amongst your feminist critics, but I suspect many people reading this will assume I’m in there somewhere
Rebecca assumes it’s about her. Arrogant and egotistical!
After coming up with a flawed analogy where she suggests that Dr Hall would be offended by a t shirt saying “I am not a SkepDoc” Rebecca then repeats the biggest unsubstantiated myth in the skeptic movement:
Your hurt feelings would be completely understandable, especially if he did this following a year in which you received a nonstop avalanche of insults, slurs, rape threats, and death threats from skeptics.
For certain non-skeptics, the idea that Rebecca gets rape and death threats from skeptics has been repeated so much that it has been accepted as true. Well, that which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. I know people ask this all the time, but where is Rebecca’s evidence that these unknown “threats” she faces are coming from skeptics and not Internet trolls who have read her Encyclopedia Dramatica page? Moving on…
I came to the realization that while a week prior I held an immense amount of respect for you, I suddenly had lost that respect so completely that I had no interest in getting it back.
Once again, it’s all about Rebecca Watson. Rebecca will never think that there might be something wrong with the way she thinks, there must be something wrong with the person that has done her wrong. Rebecca finishes with her trademark snark and petulance:
So, having now spent ten precious minutes on the subject, it’s once again time for me to move on to more interesting things.
Typical asshole behavior: insinuate that their precious time has been wasted. And what are these “interesting things” Rebecca? Skepchick hasn’t been interesting for a long time, and most of Rebecca’s tweets are about video games. Rebecca Watson has a vastly over-inflated sense of self worth, and close to zero humility. The best scientists have the ability to consider the views of others, respectfully disagree, apologize where necessary, and contribute to an environment where everybody learns. Rebecca Watson is so far away from this that she might as well be on another planet. Her opinion is always correct, any disagreement is “harassment”, and she never apologizes for anything. She is toxic to the skeptic movement.