last week I wrote about how petty controversies within the online atheist community tend to explode into all-out take-no-prisoners no-holds-barred flamewars.
It happened again shortly thereafter, like a forest fire breaking out just after a Smokey Bear PSA. This time it involves pretty much every blogger whose blog I read; even Richard Dawkins himself felt the need to get involved in the melee by making snide comments on Pharyngula. And I can't help but #smh at PZ's Twitter feed.
Really, people? We seem to get angrier with each other over tone and word choice when we disagree than we do at the religious establishment for their usual nonsense. Maybe it's because we're used to it from the pious ones and expect better of one another?
To sum up "Elevatorgate" for the uninformed: Atheist and skepticism advocate Rebecca Watson was propositioned in an elevator at a skeptics conference. She wasn't interested and was kind of creeped out, and mentioned the incident in a video essentially saying "guys, don't do stuff that creeps women out. It makes them not want to come to conferences." Another atheist and freethought advocate, Stef McGraw, wrote a blog post accusing her of overreacting to the elevator guy's advances. Watson then called McGraw out on it in her keynote speech at the conference, and then the internet exploded into a storm of rage, feminist and misogynist and everything in between, on a scale unprecedented even by the earlier Gendergate row.
Drama, drama, drama. I'm hoping that this has finally blown over, and that the next gender-related faux pas doesn't flood the secular/skeptic movement with even more venom than this.