Legitimate anxiety

I’m not even going to pretend that you care about my opinion on the Rebecca Watson/Elevator Guy/Stef McGraw debacle. If you feel that Rebecca did not have a right to feel uncomfortable or speak out about it, then you should go read Greg Laden and John Rennie, while I weep for your soul.

I have been particularly troubled by the suggestion that female anxiety over being in an elevator alone with a strange man late at night is of a piece with the anxiety of a white person who finds themselves at an urban bus stop surrounded by black people and then approached by one. The suggestion is that the anxiety felt is the product of negative stereotypes. J. Earl Davis makes some good points in his article on this issue, but this comparison is not one of them. All analogies eventually break down. This one does not even get out of the starting gate. Continue reading “Legitimate anxiety”

Let’s talk it out

I can understand why some people don’t want to have public and detailed discussion about community standards about the appropriateness of an incident, rather than just gossip about it. They wind up looking like total assholes.

New Atheists Punks

The lovely and talented Greg Laden makes an admirable effort to make the “so-called New Atheists”[1] out to be totally punk:

The new atheist response to being told to quiet down is to point out that being told to quiet down (or be more civil or follow certain rules) is step one (or two) in a series of steps that the established religio-normative culture routinely uses to end the argument and let things get back to what they think is normal.

No one likes to be told to shut up. And, to be fair to Greg, he is primarily describing the way “so-called New Atheists” feel, not saying that this represents some objective reality. The rest of the post includes an excellent discussion of the beneficial diversity of opinions and approaches. Continue reading “New Atheists Punks”