Rebecca Watson

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A 2011 portrait of Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson (born October 18, 1980) is an atheist blogger and podcast host. Watson founded the website Skepchick. Rebecca Watson has written about widespread misogyny within the atheist community and she has received threats of rape.[1]

Rebecca Watson and Sid Rodrigues were married, however, on April 8, 2011, she announced that she and Rodrigues were separated and seeking a divorce.[2]

Elevatorgate controversy

See also: Elevatorgate news stories and Blog posts on Elevatorgate

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a controversy involving Richard Dawkins' inappropriate comments made to fellow atheist Rebecca Watson. In 2011, Richard Dawkins was widely criticized within the atheist community and in various press outlets for his insensitive comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson about an incident which occurred in an elevator (see: Richard Dawkins' Elevatorgate comments).[3] The Elevatorgate controversy caused a very large loss of public influence for Richard Dawkins (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence). In addition, there were atheists who indicated that the Elevatorgate controversy caused the death of the atheist movement (see: Decline of the atheist movement and Atheist factions).[4] The Elevatorgate increased divisions with the Western atheist population (see: Atheist factions).

Rebecca Watson and Elevatorgate

As a result of Elevatorgate, atheist Rebecca Watson wrote concerning Richard Dawkins:

This person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experience as an atheist woman and therefore will no longer be rewarded with my money, my praise, or my attention. I will no longer recommend his books to others, buy them as presents, or buy them for my own library. I will not attend his lectures or recommend that others do the same. There are so many great scientists and thinkers out there that I don't think my reading list will suffer."[5]

Atheist Rebecca Watson and post Elevatorgate claim concerning harassment

See also: Elevatorgate and Atheism and women and New Atheism

Post Elevatorgate controversy, at an atheist convention, Rebecca Watson claimed:

Hundreds of atheists have informed me that either they wanted to rape me, someone should rape me so that I will loosen up or that no one would ever rape me because I am so ugly".[6]

In addition, Watson declared: "I get regular rape threats. I get regular rape and murder threats".[7]

According to Rebecca Watson atheist women are often punished for being outspoken - particularly when they speak about feminism.[8] In August 2013, Watson said the harassment she received from male atheists skyrocketed after Elevatorgate.[9] Furthermore, she said she still receives harassment from male fans of Richard Dawkins.[10] The atheist feminist Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson concurs with Watson and says that sexual harassment has been institutionalized within the atheist movement and that atheist men have an investment in censoring, controlling and policing women and also have an investment in "male privilege".[11]

See also:

Rebecca Watson was removed from the speakers list for the Reason Rally

See also: Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

An article by Sarah posted at Skepchick about a conversation between Richard Dawkins and David Silverman, the ex-president of the American Atheists organization, which took place during the planning phrase of the Reason Rally:

Richard was standing behind the podium, and he asked Dave something along the lines of, “What exactly is the Reason Rally?” Dave started explaining it, and as he did, someone who was waiting in the line outside opened the door to peek inside and we could all hear a lot of noise. I rushed up the aisle and made frantic “shut the door” gestures at the people peeking inside, and they did. As I walked the ten feet back, I couldn’t hear everything Dave was saying, but I heard the name “Rebecca Watson.” Richard suddenly had a very angry look on his face and I heard him almost shout, “No, absolutely not! If she’s going to be there, I won’t be there. I don’t want her speaking.” and then Dave immediately replied, “You’re absolutely right, we’ll take her off the roster. It’s done.” Richard huffed for a moment, Dave continued to placate him, and then he made the video.

I was crushed.[12]

For more information, please see: Elevatorgate

Allegation that Rebecca Watson was behaving hypocritically

Rebecca Watson

Amanda Read wrote in the Washington Times that she believed Watson was behaving hypocritically and declared:

The point is that because the issue is sexism in the atheist movement, perceptions of sexism are not based on absolute principle, but on relative emotion.

Watson speaks out against the sexual objectification of women, but she apparently sees nothing wrong with the pinup calendars that she and her female atheist friends publish. Myers defended her views on his blog, but only last year he linked to an interesting interview with Nina Hartley, a feminist atheist who sees nothing wrong with women performing as sex workers.

You see, sexism and the exploitation of women are not immoral to godless women as long as such things are on their terms.[13]

For more information please see: Elevatorgate

Rebecca Watson and Thunderf00t factions of atheism

See also: Atheist factions and Rebecca Watson and Thunderf00t factions of atheism

On July 1, 2012 Rebecca Watson wrote post Elevatorgate controversy:

Skepchick has been exposed for what it is: a totalitarian Nazi clique who created an anti-harassment policy specifically so that men could harass women in bars and Muslim could force us to wear burqas. I know it’s true because noted atheist intellectuals Paula Kirby and Thunderf00t said so!

I debated whether or not to write about this because the recent insults about Skepchick have been so self-evidently ignorant and wrong that I felt it would look like we were picking on tiny, angry babies. And no one likes to see that. I’m relenting only because the sheer amount and absurdity of the insults have reached a level that cannot be ignored, like a large mob of angry babies brandishing pacifiers and blankies as weapons.[14]

Rebecca Watson accuses the Center for Inquiry of sexism

See also: Center for Inquiry

According to Rebecca Watson, the atheist Lawrence Krauss sexually harassed a woman onboard a cruise ship conducted by the Center for Inquiry.[15]

Rebecca Watson indicates the CFI decided to bury this complaint and allowed Krauss to be on one of its subsequent cruises.[16]

Loss of web traffic going to website

Loss of global market share of the website

See also: Skepchick and Internet atheism

According to the website traffic tracking company Similarweb, the website was the 688,855th most popular website in the world in May 2022 and the website was experiencing a big drop in its global popularity.
According to the website traffic tracking company Alexa, the Skepchick website saw a large decrease in its global market share from October 2015 to September 2016.
According to Alexa, the Skepchick website continued to lose global market share in the latter part of 2016.
According to Alexa, on September 4, 2017, the Skepchick website was the 448,390th most popular website in the world in terms of its web traffic.
According to Alexa, on October 27, 2017, the Skepchick website was the 587,446th most popular website in the world in terms of its web traffic.

On August 8, 2019, Skepchick was ranked the 376,336th most popular website in the world according to Alexa.

Loss of Google referral traffic to the website

See also: Internet atheism

Since May of 2014, the website lost a high proportion of its Google referral web traffic according to the leading web marketing website SEMRush.

Google uses over 200 factors to evaluate the quality and the relevance of a website to various topics.

See also

External links


Criticisms of Rebecca Watson: