#Elevatorgate is all the rage in the #atheist twittersphere at the moment. In what has to be seen as a rather crass and uncharacteristically hurtful post, Richard Dawkins (a man whom I hold in rather high regard, actually) wrote a very disparaging and frankly sexist and dismissive set of comments in response to Rebecca Watson's perfectly sensible and reasonable post dealing with the fact that she dislikes being propositioned in an elevator (that's a "lift" for those of us in the UK).
Now it seems things have got a bit out of hand, and I think everyone should just step back a bit and calm the heck down. Richard, please read over the comments you have received, and apologise. It's not that you are wrong in that the injustices and abuse that many women have to suffer are far worse than being propositioned in an elevator - they are. It is that your post was dismissive of a problem that is real and distressing - and *dangerous* - in our current cozy Western society. And that is the objectification of women. The notion that treating them as sex objects is OK, and they don't have a right to be upset about it. The bottom line is that religious thoughtlessness cannot reasonably be condemned for the same sorts of lapses that we perpetrate ourselves. If we are criticising others for their unacceptable behaviour, we need to recognise it in ourselves. Sometimes it needs to be pointed out to us, but when it is, we have to be gracious enough to accept it when it's correct, suck it up, apologise and move on.
I think this is my floor.
We've done it again! This time we biked from Petra in Jordan up to Nazareth in Israel, to raise money for the Nazareth Hospital CT Scanner appeal. Nazareth is the largest Arab town in Israel, but they still don't have a dedicated Stroke Unit to cope with this devastating condition and major cause of death. Click here to find out more, and please help this fantastic cause. Thanks!