Hayley is a Ghost

Rebecca Watson

Posted on: December 30, 2011

I bet some of you are already spoiling for a fight in the comments of this post simply because of the title.

How ridiculous of you.

I was going to write down my thoughts about the recent ‘Reddit makes me hate atheists’ article written by Rebecca for Skepchick, but it seems so many people have summarised what I wanted to say in a much better way than I could.

I am truly saddened to see people I count as friends completely dismissing a genuine problem (sexism, and rape comments aimed at a 15 year old) because they don’t like Rebecca Watson. I think the below articles are important.

Greta Christina – Why ‘yes but…’ is the wrong response to Misogyny

Jason Thibeault – Why is Rebecca Watson so damn polarizing

Skepchick – Why chicks gotta be so dumb?

Sasha Pixlee – A conspiracy of crybabies or the comfortable shelter of apathy?

Also worth a read, is ‘Not a touch’ by Ophelia Benson


18 Responses to "Rebecca Watson"


You’re right. I thought Greta Christina’s post was especially powerful. The list of ‘Yes, but…’ responses she gave was saddening because you see them all the time.

Thanks Hayley!

I seem to have jumped into this fray and got a lot of criticism for “poor arguments” and “generalisations” just for tweeting Greta Christina’s article. I didn’t see what was so poor about the argument or what the generalisations were. I hope to be enlightened.

Nice snow, by the way – can we have some here in Wales?

Greta Christina hit another one out of the park…when I grow up I want to be just like her.

This was something I noticed during Elevatorgate…a whole lot of people saying Rebecca was wrong because “I don’t like her”. From people that I had considered rational, logical skeptics! Whether or not you like someone has no bearing on the validity of their arguments. Then again, I hear that kind of think about Dawkins and the late, great Htich all the time, so I guess she’s in good company.

1st Link: Just because an argument uses the phrase ‘yes but’ doesn’t mean it is wrong. Maybe someone else doesn’t think that your point is the most important one.

2nd Link: Basic trolling, with a little strawman thrown in for good measure.

3rd Link: Pissing people off doesn’t strengthen your argument

4th Link: Idiotic strawman. Same kind of irrational crap Myers spews.

Considering there is a lot of misrepresentation of peoples arguments here, my only suggestion to you would be that you (and a lot of other people, on both sides) need to do a bit more listening.

Uh huh….

That response, if its meant in the tone I think it is, kind of undermines any complaints you may have about anybody being dismissive of your viewpoint.

If you want to ask for good faith, please show some.

Sorry, I didn’t mean for it to have a tone. I just wasn’t sure if you were joking or being serious. A lot of people have made responses elsewhere that are the same, but they were jesting.

Pete, you should take your own advice and do a bit more listening. I’m reminded of something ELyse Anders tweeted several months ago: My favorite thing about discussing sexism is that the conversation always turns into how girls are too stupid to get that it’s not sexist.

The irony burns!
“If you want to ask for good faith, please show some.”

so why the ad hominem?

Yes, but… you missed the point.

Yes, but… it’s silly that you apparently need it explained to you that Greta was not asserting that all Yes, but… phrases are wrong, her assertion was that those specific Yes, but… phrases were wrong.

Yes, but… you used the word straw man and I don’t think it means what you think it does. Especially since you just made a straw man argument yourself.

Yes, but… you did an excellent job of illustrating EXACTLY what the real point is about … blame shifting, goalpost moving and dissembling. Well done, sir!

…and for having an opinion that differs from the feminist one, I am once again talked to with utter contempt. How can you lot seriously be complaining about the tone of these debates?

Utter contempt? That seem a tad bit over wrought.

I mean, no one here out of hand dismissed you as a contributor because your gender makes you irrational, illogical, stupid, senseless or whiny. Or called you a cunt, whore, dyke, twat, bitch, fuckhole, slash or gash. It’s not like anyone suggested that you should be raped or killed. Or that you might want to watch yourself when you are home alone because we know where you live. All of those strike me as being examples of being talked to with utter contempt.

In fact, I didn’t notice anyone saying anything about you as a person at all.

Are you perhaps confusing lack of appreciation for the logic of your comments as a personal attack?

[…] here: Rebecca Watson « Hayley is a Ghost Share and […]

I’m sure there are many things one can legitimately disagree with or dispute with Rebecca about. That it’s wrong to spring surprise sexualization on an underage girl? That’s NOT ONE OF THEM.

Seriously, how do you get to be an adult – or even a teenager – without learning these sort of things are inappropriate?

I’m not sure what the geographic representation of sexist waste of space is.

And, yes, this does come down to tolerating it. Once a culture of misogyny develops on a site, it’s very hard to change it, because anyone who comes up to basic standards of decency isn’t going to want to be on that site.

I think some of the solutions proposed might be a little facile: If the culture is such that this sort of thing is tolerated, there’s going to be a lot of slime to clear out, and some of that slime is going to be in positions of power. One person isn’t going to clean out such murky pits easily, and it’s easy for the slime to drive out the decent people. (I personally have left a site for that reason: RationalWiki kept censoring attempts to stop discussion of wanting to rape the Conservapedia founder’s sister, because it would be censoring free speech. I’ll do a post later detailing the situation, it might be good to have a second example).

In places where the slime haven’t taken over, and where decent human beings congregate, objecting to such behaviour is absolutely and completely necessary, of course.

I agree there. I’m finding it hard to understand why people are arguing about her article and even making personal comments about her.

She pointed out that a bunch of atheists were being mysoginistic and hateful on Reddit, the only reasonable responses I can imagine are;

1- Agreeing that they’re terrible human beings.
2- Discussing the issue in a sensible way.

This backlash against her has completely lost me.

Never finished the thought about geographical representation, largely because my mind came up with reasons it wasn’t that useful, but, since I started saying it: Basically, I suspect that he lever of tolerance for this is going to vary somewhat between cultures and regions, simply because some cultures are more tolerant of bad behaviour, like how some areas have relatively high BNP support. I’m not really sure how much it’d help to know the trends, although it might allow a little peer pressure to be applied if there’s a couple really problematic locations. I doubt this is particularly practical, though.

Your third link is wrong. It links to the post via Facebook. Here’s a direct link: http://skepchick.org/2011/12/ai-why-chicks-gotta-be-so-dumb/.


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Hayley is a ghost

Hayley Stevens is an advocate for science-based research into seemingly paranormal experiences and occurrences. With a background in the pseudo-scientific research into ghosts, Hayley offers a unique insight into the strange world of ghost hunting through her experience.

She describes herself as 'a ghost hunter who doesn't hunt for ghosts' and this is her personal blog where she writes about ghosts, people, and other interesting things. Read more here.

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