Author Topic: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year  (Read 19647 times)

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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #405 on: June 03, 2012, 02:37:26 PM »
I hope they take the very polite letter well rather than as a sign of weakness.

I just learned the Con she is promoting over TAM has been around for a few years. So I may have misspoken on her launching a new Con.


It's called SkepchickCon.


[edit]


The way she is promoting it seems to be as a safe alternative to TAM.

Oh okay, that puts things back.
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Offline goodthink

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #406 on: June 03, 2012, 02:41:32 PM »
I like Grothe's response. It's contrite and conciliatory. Let's hope this puts the fuss to bed and steers matters into more constructive directions.

Reading the comments on the Skepchick blog beneath the DJ response I would not count on it. [...]

Just browsed those comments. Wished I hadn't. Looks like what a lot of those people want is for him to grovel.


Do you think they would accept DJs castration as long as he watches Watson eat his testicles?

Offline Mark7300

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #407 on: June 03, 2012, 02:44:35 PM »
it is interesting the harassment policy on Skepchick Con talks about nobody will be harassed on religion. I wonder how that would work out if a few very religious christians would decide to attend the event and make their views known. Rebecca is not one to usually mince her words when it comes to religion... Reading the comments on the Skepchick blog I would also say I have little confidence those people would be able to be non-harassing to people with different beliefs.

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Offline Tatyana

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #408 on: June 03, 2012, 03:01:09 PM »
I think this is where the sex trafficking allegations came from:

Lawrence Krauss Defends a Sex Offender, Embarrasses Scientists Everywhere
http://skepchick.org/2011/04/lawrence-krauss-defends-a-sex-offender-embarrasses-scientists-everywhere/

Quote
A few days ago The Daily Beast reported that Epstein’s high society friends are closing ranks around him in much the same way we saw high profile actors and others defend Roman Polanski despite the fact that the director admitted to drugging and raping a 13-year old girl.

One of the friends defending Epstein is none other than Professor Lawrence Krauss, famed physicist, writer, skeptic, former guest on my show The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, recent Pharyngula guest blogger, and upcoming speaker at JREF’s Amazing Meeting 9 in Las Vegas. And here’s the kicker: he’s invoking the name of science to do it.


I may  not be remembering this correctly, but there may have been call to ban Lawrence Krauss from TAM 9 because of his comments about his friend who was accused of trafficking under aged girls for prostitution.



Offline Anders

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #409 on: June 03, 2012, 03:09:57 PM »
Just shows that because a person is a great scientist doesn't mean he can be totally clueless in other areas. Really, Lawrence? He has admitted. That's empirical evidence. The game is over. Go directly to jail, do not collect $200.
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Offline kikyo

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #410 on: June 03, 2012, 03:14:02 PM »
I really appreciate DJ's reply and I think it's a great step toward putting this particular controversy behind him and moving on to the next step.

That said, I respectfully disagree with his assertion that public conversation is the wrong way to handle issues of sexual harassment and treatment of women in the skeptical community. I respectfully disagree with his assertion that handling this issue by dealing with issues only as they come up or in private conversations with the people who run groups will solve this issue on a community wide basis.

Women did not get the right to vote by having private discussions with their husbands about it. Slavery was not abolished by slaves complaining privately to their masters of their poor treatment and lack of pay. Sexual harassment policies were not implemented in offices because secretaries complained privately to human resources people and wrote private letters to their bosses with suggested ideas for sexual harassment policies in the workplace. Community-wide change only happens when the conversation is a community-wide conversation. Having these private conversations MAY lead to better policies being implemented at conferences, but if women are truly being subjected to unwanted behavior the only way to lessen that overall is to talk about it and make people aware of what is appropriate and what is not, publicly.

While his letter is very apologetic to Rebecca, it still comes off as "but let's not talk about this out loud." Whether this is really his intention or he still just isn't choosing his words carefully, this sounds like something from the 1950s and I can understand why the commenters on Skepchick, who are men and women fairly devoted to feminism in skepticism would not be totally happy with the letter overall.



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Offline goodthink

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #411 on: June 03, 2012, 03:23:11 PM »
I really appreciate DJ's reply and I think it's a great step toward putting this particular controversy behind him and moving on to the next step.

That said, I respectfully disagree with his assertion that public conversation is the wrong way to handle issues of sexual harassment and treatment of women in the skeptical community. I respectfully disagree with his assertion that handling this issue by dealing with issues only as they come up or in private conversations with the people who run groups will solve this issue on a community wide basis.

Women did not get the right to vote by having private discussions with their husbands about it. Slavery was not abolished by slaves complaining privately to their masters of their poor treatment and lack of pay. Sexual harassment policies were not implemented in offices because secretaries complained privately to human resources people and wrote private letters to their bosses with suggested ideas for sexual harassment policies in the workplace. Community-wide change only happens when the conversation is a community-wide conversation. Having these private conversations MAY lead to better policies being implemented at conferences, but if women are truly being subjected to unwanted behavior the only way to lessen that overall is to talk about it and make people aware of what is appropriate and what is not, publicly.

While his letter is very apologetic to Rebecca, it still comes off as "but let's not talk about this out loud." Whether this is really his intention or he still just isn't choosing his words carefully, this sounds like something from the 1950s and I can understand why the commenters on Skepchick, who are men and women fairly devoted to feminism in skepticism would not be totally happy with the letter overall.


Ah no... I think he's saying, stop lying about the state of TAM and talk about the real risks and real problems in a realistic, non-sensationalist, hyper-drama whore way.


Please, the fact child trafficking was brought up and people actually think it's legit points to the damage certain bloggers have done.

Offline Plastiq

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #412 on: June 03, 2012, 03:49:18 PM »
Women did not get the right to vote by having private discussions with their husbands about it. Slavery was not abolished by slaves complaining privately to their masters of their poor treatment and lack of pay. Sexual harassment policies were not implemented in offices because secretaries complained privately to human resources people and wrote private letters to their bosses with suggested ideas for sexual harassment policies in the workplace. Community-wide change only happens when the conversation is a community-wide conversation. Having these private conversations MAY lead to better policies being implemented at conferences, but if women are truly being subjected to unwanted behavior the only way to lessen that overall is to talk about it and make people aware of what is appropriate and what is not, publicly.

I'm not sure I understand the problem with the current sexual harassment policies at TAM. Especially not to the degree that it could be compared to women's suffrage and slavery.

Offline Tatyana

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #413 on: June 03, 2012, 03:58:38 PM »
I really appreciate DJ's reply and I think it's a great step toward putting this particular controversy behind him and moving on to the next step.

That said, I respectfully disagree with his assertion that public conversation is the wrong way to handle issues of sexual harassment and treatment of women in the skeptical community. I respectfully disagree with his assertion that handling this issue by dealing with issues only as they come up or in private conversations with the people who run groups will solve this issue on a community wide basis.

Women did not get the right to vote by having private discussions with their husbands about it. Slavery was not abolished by slaves complaining privately to their masters of their poor treatment and lack of pay. Sexual harassment policies were not implemented in offices because secretaries complained privately to human resources people and wrote private letters to their bosses with suggested ideas for sexual harassment policies in the workplace. Community-wide change only happens when the conversation is a community-wide conversation. Having these private conversations MAY lead to better policies being implemented at conferences, but if women are truly being subjected to unwanted behavior the only way to lessen that overall is to talk about it and make people aware of what is appropriate and what is not, publicly.

While his letter is very apologetic to Rebecca, it still comes off as "but let's not talk about this out loud." Whether this is really his intention or he still just isn't choosing his words carefully, this sounds like something from the 1950s and I can understand why the commenters on Skepchick, who are men and women fairly devoted to feminism in skepticism would not be totally happy with the letter overall.

Do you really think the current situation with sexual harassment in the sceptical community is comparable to the Suffragette movement or Emancipation?

I don't.

I also think that equating the current society that exists for Western Woman with these previous movements degrades and denies the significant sacrifices that have been made by those who have come before us.

I think that there are still issues in feminism, but I don't think that the same tactics employed by the Suffragettes or the Emancipation are appropriate to the situation today.

Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #414 on: June 03, 2012, 04:04:22 PM »
It's also a matter of proportionality, choosing the right tactics, etc.  If they were opposing the kinds anti-abortion policies that work only to kill women then by all means, on every level, go hog wild and feel free to make such equivocation.  In this instance, such comparisons show a lack of perspective commensurate to degree to which this is all mired in personal feelings.
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Offline Ajzzz

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #415 on: June 03, 2012, 04:23:07 PM »
No one is complaining when people like Ashley Miller blog about being harassed by a guy, being touched, followed, and propositioned after being told to stop. Actually, I don't think it was a good idea for Ashley Miller to not report the incident for fear of making TAM look bad, I'd want the opposite and DJ Grothe didn't complain when it was finally reported (even though it was not directed to him or TAM), he thanked her. There is absolutely no problem with blogging about what happened to you.

Taking the same example, the problem is that when DJ Grothe states he had no report about the incident of sexual harassment (which isn't surprising considering Ashley Miller decided not to report it)  she states she is upset that no one at TAM remembers it or made a note of it, and accuses TAM of thinking it doesn't count because a report wasn't made in writing, or that they were speakers. That's exactly the kind of fucked up, ignorant, sensational, bat shit interpretation that's the problem. If that was actually the case, and it isn't, there's a way bigger problem than one drunken asshole that deserved to be kicked out of TAM and banned (which he wasn't, because it wasn't reported).

That's not a particularly bad example of this kind of behaviour, Rebecca and her friends are much worse than that. Their posts aren't about isolated incidents of sexism and harassment, they're about framing and creating a narrative. The problem is about turning events into things they are not, like turning awkward polite propositioning into threatening situations when they're not. No one is saying it shouldn't be criticized on a personal level, or that people shouldn't talk about them.

The hilarious thing about this is that Rebecca et al. are asking for more consideration, understanding, and for people to be more sensitive when they are completely unwilling to act in an appropriate manner. They're acting in a way that suggests they're far more interested in gaining blog hits and generating anger towards others than they are of solving problems and working with people. It says it all that their definition of "listen" to us, is "accept whatever we say without question" because whenever someone doesn't, well you've seen the reaction, you get accused of horrendous stuff like "gaslighting". That's some nice mob-mentality and bullying they've got going on, not that they'll apologise for any of it.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 04:46:14 PM by Ajzzz »

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #416 on: June 03, 2012, 04:55:25 PM »
Haha, I didn't know she was launching her own con.  That explain this goofy horseshit so much better than stress and harassment.  Do you remember any details on that?

SkepchickCCON isn't a new thing. This is its 3rd or 4th year, IIRC, and every year it's been the weekend before TAM.

It's part of CONvergence, whatever that is, and pretty much follows the same rules as CONvergence does.
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Offline chexuma

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #417 on: June 03, 2012, 05:22:20 PM »
CONvergence is a sci-fi/fantasy/other conference attended by 5,000+. SkepchickCON manages to reach out to a lot of people who wouldn't have heard of the skeptic movement before. Which is nice -- it certainly helps the movement.
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Offline Fast Eddie B

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #418 on: June 03, 2012, 06:40:59 PM »
If they were opposing the kinds anti-abortion policies that work only to kill women...

A terrible politicization and hijack, but I can't let it stand without balance.

How about pro-abortion rights policies that work only to kill female embryos in the womb before they even have a chance to become women?
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Rebecca Watson to Not Attend TAM This Year
« Reply #419 on: June 03, 2012, 06:47:41 PM »
If they were opposing the kinds anti-abortion policies that work only to kill women...

A terrible politicization and hijack, but I can't let it stand without balance.

How about pro-abortion rights policies that work only to kill female embryos in the womb before they even have a chance to become women?
I'm not exaggerating or using hyperbole.  The anti-abortion policies persued by the American right demonstrably do not reduce fhe frequency of abortions but do increase fatalities associated with unsafe practices.  I'd get you some data but I'm posting from a kindle and the data isn't hard to find, anyways.

edit: By the way, if you want to continue this without derailing, set up a thread in Politics and I'll happily continue
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 07:13:12 PM by Rembrant Q. Einstein »
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