More Elevator Guy

My muse this morning says "more elevator guy," which is quite a bit like Christopher Walken saying "more cowbell" in that great Saturday Night Live skit.  So ... just a few little things.

I was truly amused when someone accused me of being an accommodationist yesterday, for being sympathetic toward Richard Dawkins in this Watson vs. Dawkins kerfuffle.  To which I say--


If I'm sure of anything, I'm sure that it's OK to try to understand people who have done something anomalous (what he said isn't so odd, but his tone was surprisingly sharp).  I'm especially sure that if an author has long struck you as intellectually and morally perceptive, then it's particularly reasonable to try to figure out "what gives?"  The wonder is that so many Dawkins fans are so much less charitable.  (My attempt to understand Dawkins is here.)

And another thing--setting aside Dawkins, whose reaction has a particular history, the male backlash against Watson certainly has been misogynistic and creepy, but what's with Greta Christina's pitch to them?  We want you to understand what not to do because "we're trying to help you get laid"?  I actually think men should treat women with respect whether or not it helps them get laid. Imagine that! Why must this sort of pandering be part of the official feminist line?

And another thing ...

Agh!  Life is short, and that's enough.


Faust said...

You mean there's a new kind of accomodationist? A Dawkin's isn't so bad accomodationism?

Jean Kazez said...

That's it, a "Dawkins isn't so bad" accommodationist. Another HA!

Faust said...

That's pretty awesome.

J. J. Ramsey said...

"Why must this sort of pandering be part of the official feminist line?"

I don't think it is. Greta Christina is about as much of a sex blogger as she is an atheist blogger, and her writing reflects this. Indeed, I doubt that she sees it as pandering at all.

Jean Kazez said...

In that post she's speaking as a feminist and as a member of a large, female "we" on the side of Rebecca Watson--she's representing that whole group, not speaking as one author of pornographic books and articles. Maybe Greta Christina the pornography author is constantly helping people get laid, but the group she's speaking for isn't--so pretending they are is pandering. Maybe there's a better word or two--patronizing might be better, or simply insulting. Because seriously, is it really true that you can't get men to take women's issues seriously without offering them more sex as an inducement? Ugh!

Greg Laden said...

I kinda had the impression that Greta and a few others (in comments mainly) who have said similar things are just trying to get the attention to and enlighten some of the males who seem to not want to hear suggestions about their own behavior.

People are expressing that they are tired of this argument. I'm not, and I think many of those expressing that thought are those who are also wishing Rebecca had kept her damn lady-mouth shut to begin with. But there are two arguments I'd love to see dry up and blow away: 1) Anything with the word accommodation in it and 2) anything with the word tone in it.

J. J. Ramsey said...

"is it really true that you can't get men to take women's issues seriously without offering them more sex as an inducement?"

Of course not. However, she is aiming much of her talk at the "the men who have been resisting and pushing back against the feminists," and she is pushing back against the myth of feminists as man-haters and prudes.

Jean Kazez said...

So...she's trying to reach out to neanderthals in a way that neanderthals can understand? And she's trying to make feminism seem sexy? OK... but she's sacrificed some truth in the process. Being respectful would be important even if it reduced your chances of getting laid.

J. J. Ramsey said...

If you want to call those pushing back against feminists "neanderthals", then I suppose that you can say that Greta Christina is reaching out to neanderthals.

"And she's trying to make feminism seem sexy?"

It's more that she's trying to break the notion that objecting to being propositioned, sexualized, etc. under particular circumstances is not the same as being anti-sex in general. That becomes clear when you read the paragraphs beyond the "trying to get you laid" line. Consider that a woman, Stef McGraw, even got confused on this point and criticized Rebecca Watson for "tak[ing] issue with a man showing [sexual] interest in her." No, the problem wasn't that he showed sexual interest at all, it was the circumstances in which he showed it. The point needs to be made.

IMHO, the "trying to get you laid" line is not so much pandering as it is a counterintuitive attention grabber, especially considering the mistaken notions among "neanderthals" and others that feminism is sex-negative.

Jean Kazez said...

I think the people she's reaching out to are men who have been saying misogynistic things for the last couple of weeks -I think "neanderthal" is a pretty fair term for them.

"Counterintuitive attention grabber..." Yeah, I guess so. I'm feeling unsympathetic and therefore not parsing this as I'm supposed to (I admit). The real reason I'm unsympathetic is really because she makes it seem as if there are exactly two important voices in this brouhaha--(1) female and feminist, supporting Watson, (2) males who need schooling and want to get laid.

That leaves out lots of important voices. In fact, I think it leaves out some feminist and reasonable voices, whether male or female.