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A Public Service For Misogynist Trolls

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It is always a depressing experience to read a comment thread having anything to do with feminism and find out what professional and amateur misogynists think feminism consists of. For example, our newish troll curmudgeon:

Meanwhile, the historical arc of feminist argumentation on the Internet has reached its bimodal zenith with…the argument that any woman who believes that being spoken to by a man seeking consensual sex is not an objectifying act is pro rape.

The reference, as Mr. Mudgeon confirmed later, is to the Rebecca Watson elevator incident that revealed Richard Dawkins to be a world-class concern troll. Dawkins’s apologists have generally distorted Watson’s unassailable argument beyond any possible recognition, but rarely in this purely dishonest a form. Let us compare the troll summary…

any woman who believes that being spoken to by a man seeking consensual sex is not an objectifying act is pro rape.

…with a summary that actually attempts to bear some resemblance to what Watson actually said, with the crucial differences highlighted:

Being hit on by someone following you into an elevator late at night in the immediate aftermath of giving a talk in which you explain how you’ve been affected by the tendency of men in the skeptic movement to view women as sexual objects regardless of the context is creepy and inappropriate.

Note also that there is no suggestion that “seeking consensual sex” is wrong in any context, and also no argument that what happened to her was “rape.” You’re welcome!

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