Watch any crime drama series on television and, sooner or later, an episode will feature a woman in an enclosed space, such as an elevator, being attacked. This scenario may or may not happen often in real life, but a woman propositioned in a hotel elevator at 4 a.m. has every right to feel uneasy. It doesn’t matter that the man’s approach is innocent, if clumsy and thoughtless, the fact that this is a staple of crime fiction makes any unease, even fear, perfectly understandable.
So when Rebecca Watson, of the blog SkepChick, posted a video on YouTube explaining, quite calmly, why she felt uncomfortable about being propositioned in a strange city, in a hotel, in an elevator, of course she was fully supported by all the rational atheists that saw her video.
Or so you’d think.
Here’s the video (the relevant bit is about 4 minutes 30 seconds in):
Richard Dawkins, who ought to have known better, had this to say:
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and . . . yawn . . . don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.
Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so . . .
And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.