At the June 2011 “World Atheist Convention”, on a panel which also included Richard Dawkins, Watson spoke about her experiences with sexism within the atheist movement. Among the topics in a vlog posted following her return from the trip, she described how after the talk and extended discussion with a group of attendees, a man from the group followed her into an elevator and asked her back to his hotel room. She cited various contextual reasons why this felt inappropriate, and advised, “…guys, don’t do that.” The ensuing discussion across several websites, including reddit and the Pharyngula blog, became highly polarized and heated to the point of vulgar name-calling and some personal threats, including rape and death.
The controversy increased when Richard Dawkins joined the discussion, describing her response as an overreaction since she had not been harmed, and then comparing the “elevator incident” to the plight of women in Islamic countries. In response to Dawkins’ comments, Watson stated that she would no longer buy or endorse his books and lectures. The result of this exchange led to an extended internet flame war. In the wake of this and other instances where female atheists reported being met with gender bias and inappropriate behavior, organizations including the Richard Dawkins Foundation have reviewed their policies regarding sexual harassment and non-discrimination.
to his current female fiasco – mild sexual abuse….. over to Greta Christina...
we are never gonna move forward in conversatin
when all we do is go in circles, repeating the same things
at different magnitudes
cognitive understanding, pragmatism is one thing, but emotional matters
how I am supposed to think there’s any good people out there
when the role models are so fucking flawed
the reality of having to constantly fend off
is something Dawkins must not deal with
I doubt he’s gonna have a lot of female groupies