Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rebecca, the joke was not funny

Earlier Richard Carrier posted on Facebook:

"This is why Rebecca Watson is awesome. She is generally. But this video in particular is a must watch. It says it so much better than I've ever done. And it still has to be said. And heard. Plus, her wit and determination, totally makes me happy for the world."

The video was this:

If you have more time than sense, you can watch the video.

It's the typical "people that tell me to stop 'feeding the trolls' are worse than the trolls themselves!" Skepchick philosophy that remains as half-baked as ever. This is followed by a plug for her Patreon page, which remains full of male supporters paying a male-guilt sin tax of sorts. 

Apparently instead of rendering ten hail mary's after a confession, males today can have their past behaviors forgiven by being on Team Watson and flipping her a few dollars for each video she makes. Forgiveness is difficult for secular people.

The video you may actually want to watch is the actual joke itself:

"I've heard that if male atheists on YouTube go too long without calling a woman a cunt his balls will actually shrivel up and tuck up inside of him forming what some call a 'mangina'"

Why Rebecca Watson thinks the joke is funny:

It's a jibe at all the comments she has received over the years on YouTube. She expects all the same people to show up and watch her videos, and she thinks it's funny to counter-troll them while her 'real supporters' giggle at her antics.

Why the joke is stupid:

It's already tired. The "YouTube comments are awful" gag can only be rehashed so often.

It directly antagonizes her audience. If there were any "male atheists on YouTube" that weren't previously dropping the c-word on her videos, there aren't now. Which is interesting as her Patreon supporters list is presumably full of male atheists on YouTube.

Also interesting is the fact that a lot of people hurling abuse online are women themselves. Even though there is plenty of evidence that plenty of females despise her, Watson projects this idea that the most vile criticism comes from male atheist YouTubers. The result is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's as if she said:
"Look at how awful male atheists are to me when I say they are awful people." 
Which is similar in thought process to:
"Look at how bitchy chicks get when I call them bitches!"
Not really a breakthrough here.

It deflects from the cause at hand.  Do not forget the topic of the video - cancer fundraising. Watson believes her joke is similar to telling jeans wearers that their clothes are made in a sweatshop.

Watson believes her joke is similar to telling bacon eaters that pigs are treated inhumanely.

However, this is not really the whole picture. A more accurate depiction of the scene is Watson telling cancer survivors that she really stuck her head out there for them by making a YouTube video.

Forget the chemotherapy, forget that tumor, forget the mortality rate.

The first thing the viewer should know that is that Rebecca Watson is the one being victimized, first and foremost.

It shows an inability to not poison every issue with drama. There is a reason that Richard Dawkins doesn't always bring up the never ending pissing match (Examples: 1 2 3) with Skepchick and Atheism+ ideologues when he's trying to raise money for his foundation.

It's hard to imagine Shermer or Dawkins with the snarky opener:

"Hello, I'm on YouTube again, it'll probably piss off the FreeThoughtBlowhards! Tee-hee! What are we talking about today? Oh yes, golly, cancer!"

This is not suggesting that the critics of the social justice warriors are innocent in regard to expanding the sphere that is the toxic cloud of drama slowly enveloping all things that we hold dear.

This is simply stating that it would be just as annoying, perhaps even more annoying, if and when Watson's critics cross the streams in a similar manner.

It reveals a deeply narcissistic personality. Let's make things all about Watson, shall we?

Recall Carrier's review:

"This is why Rebecca Watson is awesome. She is generally. But this video in particular is a must watch. It says it so much better than I've ever done. And it still has to be said. And heard. Plus, her wit and determination, totally makes me happy for the world."

How proud can you get? The video is a 7 minute diatribe from a comedienne and the message in essence is "I'll do what I want" followed by a reminder that people can give her money. It's quite a coincidence that her brave return to YouTube coincided with a monetization strategy.

Surely what could have served the world better than a self-congratulatory chastising of an anonymous male could have been something like - for example - a quality video about a cancer fundraiser. Maybe that's setting a high bar, in which case we could have a video about about the sweatshops and pig farms that Watson says are bad. Hopefully these issues will get some coverage on a Gawker owned media site so we can all learn more about it.

It is a wonder what the world would do if it were not kept up to date of all the times some internet user questioned Richard Carrier's machismo or Rebecca Watson's beauty. How could we even ponder human rights in the 21st century without thinking first about their plight?

In fact, how dare secular people criticize the burqa when western women very literally don't have a place at the [DragonCon] table?

It all points to secularism being morally bankrupt and needing to be put back together by the social justice philosopher kings. At least this is the narrative we're given.

Things are improving though.

At least Rebecca is no longer using borrowed jokes about genital mutilation.



  1. I am really enjoying reading your blog, but I also hate it.

    I have been a fan of the SGU podcast for quite a few years, I thoroughly enjoy it, but I had never really engaged with the show in any other way other than being a regular listener.

    Reading about all this drama-stirring and irrationality that comes from Rebecca makes me cautious to investigate any of the other members of the show. I fear that I will discover more information like this, and won't be able to stand to listen every week like I have done for a long time now.

    On principle, I feel like I should stop listening to the show. It feels very in-genuine to continue to listen and recommend this podcast, but I likely still will.

    This is why I feel a disdain towards your blog, but it's really a disdain toward truth. I feel that ideally, community leaders, which I admit I looked up to RW and the whole cast of the SGU as, shouldn't lower themselves to these kinds of squabbles and dramas.

    That felt good to get off my chest, but the real reason I wanted to comment was to let you that I am reading and enjoying your writing and bullet-point analysis.

    1. New Fan- don't feel bad, I was in the same boat as you but knowledge of bias is a good thing. It lends context when they go off on something that might be some sort of self promoting ideology (I need to be careful of confirmation bias myself). So I still listen to the show. I don't want to act like the #FTBullies and censor good info just because I don't particularly like one of the host.

    2. I was very much a fan of SGU, and then I found out about the whole ElevatorGate, Atheism+, and other online scandals that have revolved around RW and FreeThoughtBlogs, I was kinda shocked and dismayed about it and dug into these scandals trying to find out about as much as I could from both sides. It was kinda downplayed on SGU, but mentioned. Which was kinda weird since they like to steer away from atheism in general.

      In the end, I have lost respect for RW, and in some part for the rest of the SGU crew. Because when people raised these concerns about RW and how they thought it would only tarnish them, they stood behind her citing they didn't want the show to devolve into a 'sausagefest'.

      The more I dug into all the various scandals, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she didn't contribute much to the show other than snarkiness and a haughty attitude whenever she showed disdain or disinterest in doing any kind of serious research or input into the show. Which is generally her modus operandi for everything. She is flippant and irreverent to everything she thinks is beneath her, which tends to be a lot of things, especially criticism.

  2. Good article. I think the work you and others do to shine a light on her (getting obvious) ploys for money is spot on. Unfortunately some people are falling for her baiting. On Thunderfoots channel, I tried to get through to a guy, who was spouting that she should be raped (stupid comment). I told him that he was just making her more money by lame rape threats, so he dug through my profile to try and insult me. These bozos are playing right into her hands, while the 'shamed' men try to pay her for their weird post-religion man guilt.

    1. Kinda almost makes you wonder if these hate-filled trolls are legitimate or not.