Monday, January 21, 2013

What Skepchicks want in a conference

Repost of yesterday's content, with a more "work safe" title and some spelling fixes.
Apparently, this was SkepchickCon '09

As a contingency plan for if the day ever comes that Rebecca Watson grows up, decides to remove this rather bizarre video from YouTube, I will document its contents here.

First, there is a Star Wars-esque intro in text:

SkepchickCon '09

The 1st SkepchickCon took place July 2-5 at CONvergence, a sci-fi/fantasy convention in Minneapolis.
In addition to panels and speakers, the Skepchick crew hosted a Mad Science Party, in which guests were given test tube shots of our signature drink, The Buzzed Aldrin (tang and vodka).
The following video was recorded at that party. It wasn't set up, and if we were more credulous ladies, we'd say this is the result of the Universe expressing It's ultimate love for us.
But we're not. So it's just a hilarious coincidence.
Depending on how cool your boss is, this may be considered NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

The video starts.

The camera is panning around a dark noisy room of mixed gender. Obviously drinking is happening.

The room either has glow-in-the-dark stickers or is lit in a strange way. There is a bed. Probably an after-party of sorts. The type where "anything" can happen - by design.

The cameraperson (Rebecca Watson) walks into a bright room which appears to be the bar.

The first thing the viewer notices is that there is a male with no shirt on that is wearing a tie.

Two women are wearing lab coats (no pants) and laughing hysterically.

One lab coat woman shouts "REBECCA!" and points to the direction of the male. (in the background: "please, don't miss this!")

The camera pans, to discover the male is holding a drink in each hand. The male is not wearing shorts, but is instead wearing some sort of bizarre loincloth outfit.

A woman (maybe 30-ish?) in a low-cut top has her hands clasped where the male would have a belt buckle, if he was wearing anything substantial.

PAUSE - In case you're wondering, max temp that day was 80F, but the day's low of 60F means he would have had a pair of clothes for the cab ride home. Minneapolis is not Cancun, there isn't very many reasons to find oneself in a loincloth.

The woman's head bobs, comes back to reveal that she has a test tube shot in her hand (presumably a "Buzzed Aldrin"). She knocks her head back, leaving one hand on the man's waist.

She opens her eyes, and connects with the camera for a moment, with an expression that says "Who the hell would be stupid enough to film this?"

The man, smiling (perhaps a bit nervously), gestures as if to return the woman's drink.

One woman in a lab coat shouts "I'll be in my bunk!".

PAUSE -  CONvergence is a sci-fi convention, and "I'll be in my bunk" is a Firefly reference. Firefly happens to be a show about a rather conservative starship captain leading a crew that contains a sex worker. During the course of the show the captain finds himself in a false marriage to a manipulative character played by Christina Hendricks. Someone ought to do a study and find out how this content became so popular among would-be warriors for political correctness and critics of the patriarchy.

Camera cuts to text -

Come to Our Next Party

That's a wrap.

This was July 2009. Nearly two years later, elevatorgate happened.

There really is too many words to write about all the elevatorgate nonsense. But this YouTube video does a good job of distilling how ridiculous Rebecca Watson is in that regard:

From the video, she is quoted as saying this June 24, 2011 in Amherst:

You know, since starting Skepchick, I've heard from a lot of women who don't attend events like this because of those of you who have this attitude. They're tired of being objectified, and some of them have actually been raped; quite a number of them have been raped, or otherwise sexually assaulted. And situations like the one I was in, in an elevator, would have triggered a panic attack. They're scared, because they know that you won't stand up for them. And if they stand up for themselves, you're going to laugh them back down. And that's why they're not coming to these events.

 What else has Rebecca Watson said?

Well, December 2012 she tweeted:
If you have sex w/ someone who is drunk, they are unable to consent & that is rape.
And she packaged up all the responses she got in a blogpost titled "Twitter Users Sad To Hear They May Be Rapists"

Later she called someone on Twitter an "angry virgin".

And then there is this:

The photo (and its caption) is not mine, so here is a text description of what it shows: a woman who looks quite a bit like Rebecca Watson kissing a long haired man wearing a JREF shirt in what appears to be a hotel bedroom. On the nightstand in the background is a bottle of Glenfiddich and a bunch of cups.

What does this give us?

A bunch of questions.

Questions for the "SkepChicks":

  1. The text from the SkepchickCon said it wasn't "set up" and was just a "hilarious coincidence". Just what is so funny about the video, and who in their right mind would be so weird as to fake those actions?
  2. How can you presume to be able to make a safe space, when it is readily apparent that no secular organization would find itself endorsing your alcohol fueled toga parties?
  3. When you say females aren't coming to "these events", just what events are you talking about? Are people afraid of being assaulted at a lecture, open panel discussion, or Rebecca Watson's fratboy afterparty?
  4. If the man and the woman in the "Buzzed Aldrin" video had sex shortly after the party, would that have been a consensual act?
  5. What would your legal responsibility be, as host of the party, if the act was not consensual?
  6. How inclusive do you feel your own events are?
  7. How do you reconcile the idea that women are being sexualized and objectified, when you have created this content, "hug me i'm vaccinated" t-shirts, pin-up calendars, and labeled males as 'angry virgins'?
  8. SkepchickCon aligns with CONvergence, a sci-fi event. Is the sci-fi event more or less sexist misogynist than secular conferences?
It is a wonder what would make SkepchickCon align with TAM or a CFI meeting. Perhaps secular organizations need more cosplay?

In fact we may have narrowed it down here:

Cosplay + alcohol = SkepchickCon

(science and skepticism largely optional)

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