One atheist girl ventures into the male-dominated realm of atheism and gives a talk that includes a bit about not liking being treated as a sex object.
Add one atheist boy who has no idea that after you see the atheist girl give a talk you may feel you know her a little but she doesn't know you from ... uh... Adam.
Put them together in an elevator late at night.
Stir in one ill-conceived pick-up line in which geeky boy invites geeky girl to his hotel room.
She says no. He shrugs. She blogs about the irony of being sexualized right after giving a talk about not liking being sexualized. Boys who could have been him blog that it's no big deal. Girls who could have been her blog that it is too a big deal. A few atheists who have actually had sex weigh in. A few men who imagine themselves equal to atheists who have actually had sex put their foot in it because they think that watching porn has taught them what they need to know about how to pick up women in elevators.
The pot boils over.
Oh what fun!
Here's the funny part: most of the people who are frothing at the mouth over this actually know a little about evolution. Some have even studied evolutionary psychology - you know, the science of why we have courtship rituals instead of using rape to further the species and how we differ from bonobos or chimpanzees.
Our courtship ritual involves approach and rejection or approach and reciprocation. We all know that. Why is it such a big deal that 1) a man approached a woman and 2) the woman rejected the advance?
Apparently, it needs to be spelled out. As a student of krav maga and veteran of the dating scene in a big city, I am going to explain it to the clueless among you. (You don't know who you are!)
Further, most men do understand this. Asking a woman to your room out of the blue is just plain stupid and indicates that either 1) the man is just plain stupid or 2) the man thinks the woman is just plain stupid. Men, this should be your last move, not your first one! So right there, Rebecca was absolutely correct to think something was very wrong. Going to someone else's territory would have put her in a very vulnerable position. She was already away from home, so her own room was barely a sanctuary for her.
It's actually been demonstrated that women have a harder time identifying a rapist than men do. Rapists' success comes from giving the appearance they are as safe as non-rapists in order to gain trust (think Ted Bundy). They can also be successful by trapping a woman in a vulnerable place (such as the serial killers who attack prostitutes). And in case we forget that some men are rapists and murderers, we have the news (formerly called "gossip") to remind us. Notice that nobody ever finds naked men in ditches or ponds. If there aren't enough real life rape-murders to remind women how vulnerable they are, we'll make up stories and call them "Criminal Investigation" or "Law and Order."
|85-year-old woman getting mugged in an elevator|
This happened late at night, and night time is dangerous for humans. We don't see well at night and we don't react well at night. If you are out late at night and someone wants to mess you up, you're kind of screwed just because of that. Your brain is swimming in melatonin, and possibly alcohol. Even if you could run away, could you take that first step before you get grabbed? Could you run faster than your attacker? Probably not.
My conclusions (based on my experiences and insight):
- Atheist gatherings need more women in attendance to teach clueless men how to behave!
- Being an atheist doesn't render one any more or less capable of doing something really stupid.
- Being a scientist doesn't make one particularly smart about male-female relationships. Possibly the opposite!
- Being taken seriously for your opinions about atheism doesn't mean that people of the opposite (or even same) sex won't also find you attractive. Again, possibly the opposite!
- She should be congratulated for merely being insulted and then blogging about the experience. He's lucky she doesnt' know krav maga!
- Atheists disagree about things. We only really agree on one thing, which is actually a non-thing. Everything else is up for debate.
- Women are correct in assuming that all men are potential rapists until proven otherwise. It's in our DNA to protect our DNA.
And p.s. about that krav maga video, I've learned all those techniques except for the last one, so if you meet me in an elevator, keep the conversation above the neck, m'kay?