Rebecca Watson was on a panel at an atheist conference in Dublin where she spoke about sexism, misogyny and objectification in the atheist and skeptic movement, how it makes her uncomfortable, and also about the threats of rape she gets. She continued talking about this to some people at a hotel bar until 4 am when she said "I'm exhausted, going to bed". A man followed her into the elevator and propositioned her for coffee in his room. So he knew that she doesn't like sexualisation, that it makes her uncomfortable, that she is tired and wants to sleep in her bed, and that she probably doesn't feel too swell alone with a stranger in a hotel elevator in a foreign country, yet still overrode her express wishes in at least four, likely even five direct instances, thus showing that he doesn't care about her preferences. If that doesn't creep you out, what does?

This is why Watson said, very briefly in a long vlog, that guys shouldn't do that. She didn't say that the man was a rapist or that all men are monsters, just that this situation made her "incredibly uncomfortable". The offended raging in internet comments in response to this innocuous statement is completely disproportional and very revealing. I am especially disappointed in Richard Dawkins' responses, a man I admire for his great intellect and brilliant writing. I genuinely thought he would be as liberated in the rest of his thinking as he is in his thinking about religion. Alas, the privilege of a 70-year-old Oxford-educated English ivory tower toff seems to be hard to unlearn ...

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