Have you ever gotten a chance to sit down and talk with Rebecca Watson in one of those rare times when she isn’t overcommitted and rushing off to the next thing? I have. If you haven’t, you might not understand that she’s a rarity among people who do a lot of public speaking. She’s a good listener. Yeah, she’s funny as hell and will crack you up at almost any opportunity, but at the same time, she’s quieter than you’d expect. Sadly, she’s quieter than she was a little over a year ago.
Have you ever talked to Surly Amy? Wow, does that woman have passion. Enough for three people. Enough that it can be a little uncomfortable if you’re not agreeing with her, but oh, well. Much of that passion is compassion, and it drives her to accomplish an amazing amount, much of which benefits anyone but her.
Speaking of accomplishments, have you met Elyse? If you’re on Twitter and you don’t follow her, you’re missing the person who may have pioneered tweeting about poo and actually making it interesting. That’s not her big accomplishment, though. That would be Women Thinking Inc., which runs the Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated campaign and which has just completed research on vaccination behavior that will be coming out shortly. She did that while raising two kids (and giving birth to the second) who require more than an average share of care. Oh, and losing her stomach to cancer. She’s kinda badass.
Then there’s Kammy. Ask Kammy sometime about her adventures in running her own small business. If Kammy isn’t in the middle of running the most popular programming track at CONvergence, encouraging a crew of dedicated volunteers and spreading science and skepticism among the geeks, she’ll make you snort your drink out your nose with her stories. Choose your beverage wisely.
When I met Maria, she was preparing to cosplay as Death from the Sandman series and planning to crash a pro-Twilight panel at CONvergence. The Death costume was lovely. The panel crashing never happened, because Maria showed up to a room with three sincere tweens in it and couldn’t stand to harsh their squee with points more appropriate to an older audience. Also, she went to a book signing with a Wil Wheaton puppet that she probably made herself.
I don’t think you have to buy Debbie a drink to get her talking, but it might be worth doing anyway. I’m not sure anyone, much less anyone as young as her, knows as much of the ins and outs of the history of the atheist and skeptical movements. Then, once your head is full with that, get her started talking about regional differences in word usage across the U.S. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, a state with multiple odd regionalisms, then moved to Buffalo, New York, she’s becoming something of an expert. Plus it makes her laugh.
Mindy was afraid she’d be too shy to introduce herself to Marian Call at CONvergence this year. After a Twitter conversation, in which Marian herself took part, that turned out not to be a problem. I did, however, have to drag Jason Thibeault from the FtB party room to the Skepchick room next door because Mindy was to shy to come over and introduce herself. Also, she has the most awesomely geeky Twitter handle ever.
Bug Girl is one of the small number of people who have left me breathless with laughter. Despite a brain trauma, she is a fount of knowledge on bugs and related critters. She’s endlessly patient with people who want to know more about creepy crawlies, she tirelessly promotes others with knowledge and talent, and she’s one of the bravest people I know, even when it costs her.
Heina has to hide much of who and what she is from her family and the community in which her family lives. She does this for the sake of her own safety as an ex-Muslim woman and for the comfort of those family members who want to understand her but can’t quite. Despite that, she is not only an enthusiastically vocal atheist but an enthusiastically vocal pervert who speaks about both on a very public stage. I had no idea anyone could speak with their hands as much as Heina does.
Nicole is one of those tiny women who apparently stores energy and determination in an extra-dimensional pocket somewhere. Alternately, because she’s an astronomer, she manages to be getting into the swing of things just as I’m winding down. In any case, she was one of those doctoral students who decided that just getting her PhD wasn’t going to be good enough. She had to blog and share her education and her love of science with an audience at the same time.
Those are the Skepchicks with whom I’ve spent any significant amount of time, mostly at CONvergence. There are others I’ve interacted with on Twitter or met mostly in passing (Sam is so very Texan, but in the good way; Felicia speaks English with a British, not Swedish accent). Every single one of them is actively involved in making the world a better, and better understood, place. Every single one of them is a distinct human being.
So how the hell does anyone begin to think that something like this is acceptable?
Would it be immoral to rape a Skepchick?
Post by Pappa » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:46 am
Not for sexual gratification or power or anything like that, just because they’re so annoying.
I’m really torn on this one. :dunno:
The easy question, of course, is how does someone think that (presumably but hardly certainly) joking about raping anyone is the least bit okay. Then there’s the question of how someone would think that making such a suggestion, which has repeatedly been slung at at least one of the Skepchicks for exactly the same reason for over a year, would possibly be “funny” instead of stupidly tired and unoriginal.
The question I’d like people to devote some brain power to, though, is how anyone could look at that statement and not see the blatant dehumanization of a group of people. Nor am I even talking about the “joke” that rape might not be immoral. How can anyone look at the group of people and decide that they are interchangeable, that you can just grab any of my friends mentioned above at will and have someone who is somehow everything that a Skepchick is?
Then, seeing how far this dehumanization has gone, think about what it means to be one of the people telling the Skepchicks they just need to stop whining about the situation in which the last year has placed them. Think about what it means to be someone who tells the Skepchicks–not the kind of assholes who make this sort of “joke”–that they need to shut up. Then drown any impulse along those lines you might find yourself having in a shallow bath and count that as your contribution for the day toward making the world a little better.