Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism

I suppose my last post hit a nerve with Skepchick founder, Rebecca Watson, with her response as a post titled “Sara Mayhew Returns to Spread More Lies” (I’m not sure where I’ve returned from). Wow, got my name right in the headline. The post is pretty vitriolic. She goes as far as to use the old “she’s just jealous” trope, implying I want to become like her:

“I’m a bit torn, because I do worry that giving Mayhew attention will only encourage her obsession with me until we reach a Single White Female-situation where she dyes her hair red, buys a pair of Warby Parkers, and develops a cutting sense of humor in an attempt to kill and replace me”

This is simply another example of the negative attitude Skepchicks like Watson, Anders, Roth, and the other faux-feminist, faux-skeptic bloggers included in their group (they scooped up some women who are actually talented and have real careers and accomplishments, like Nicole Gugliucci and Debbie Goddard).

The Mean Girl bullying appears in their supporters as well.


“The SWF thing, ha! Sadly it seems like an apt prediction, she really seems to need help. It’s like she’s the Lindsay Lohan of skepticism, complete with enablers apparently.”

What Katie is doing is reducing me to a character (Lindsay Lohan) so that it’s easy to dehumanize me. She’s using the “she’s crazy” trope, using the common disingenuous concern that I “need help”. This are common tactics used by women against other women. We’ve seen it from Rebecca Watson, Amy Roth, Elyse Anders, and Melody Hensley; Founder of Skepchick, Mad Art Lab founder, founder of Women Thinking Free, and CFI DC Director. They call women “chill girls”, “sister punishers”, “Stepford wives”, and use sexist tropes like “she’s obsessed with me”, “she’s just jealous”, “she’s crazy/needs help”, “she just wants attention from men”.

Watson tries to point out that Dr. Hall and Carol Tavris do indeed have work focused on women’s issues, in response to my comment that they are examples of women in secularism/skepticism who rarely focus on speaking about women’s issues. Perhaps, I was simply unclear about the difference; Dr. Hall and Tavris are accomplished professionals who talk about broader topics that relate to gender studies and the science related to it. They don’t spend their time on anonymous trolls, talking about MRA boogeymen, or rage tweeting. What Skepchick does is neither skepticism nor feminism; it’s manufactroversy and blog posts that are little more than glorified comments.

So continue supporting the work of real role models, who do real work, and don’t focus on mean girl drama:

Sharon Hill

Barbara Drescher

Harriett Hall

Carol Tavris

Rachael Dunlop

Cherry Teresa

Wendy Hughes

Bridget Gaudette

Emily Dietle

Miranda Celeste Hale

Deborah Feldman

Kylie Sturgess

Robynn McCarthy

16 Responses

  1. saramayhew Says:

    Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  2. RichSandersen Says:

    RT @saramayhew: Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  3. callum Says:

    haha, I’m loving all this banter

  4. DieuwertWubbe Says:

    RT @saramayhew: Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  5. Foobar Says:

    How about actually linking the post so that people can see the email conversation with the person allegedly “blown off” by Rebecca Watson? But no, that would mean people could see through your lies…

  6. EdwardGemmer Says:

    RT @saramayhew: Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  7. Neil Says:

    Why is it that self-obsessed people can’t just be self-obsessed and leave others out of it? Why do they have to constantly remind us all of their delusion that everyone else is obsessed with them as well?
    It’s like when religious fanatics assume that atheists hate god and are obsessed with destroying him, because they simply can’t believe that other people just wouldn’t give a damn about their delusions. It gets very annoying when somebody else believes that they know what you REALLY think better than you do yourself. And then, of course, they spin one’s mild annoyance into “proof” that you really are obsessed…a vicious cycle for a simple(or simply mendacious) mind.
    Sad, really, but still annoying.

  8. stumpymccripple Says:

    RT @saramayhew: Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  9. gbarajas3 Says:

    RT @saramayhew: Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  10. mateus_justino Says:

    @cherryteresa You made it onto @saramayhew’s “real role model” list: http://t.co/52MBrxIFO6 Congrats. lol

  11. Arthur Says:

    I don’t know how I stumbled upon this nonsense, but it is pretty clear that the original post, claiming that Rebecca Watson was rude to attendees at a conference, was based on a lie.

    Watson wasn’t rude. This was demonstrated by her reply.

    Which begs the question: who are you Sara Mayhew? And why do you feel the need to post regularly about this other woman? Even going as far as to post demonstrable lies about her? What’s in it for you?

  12. Sara E.M. Says:

    You seem very emotional about this. The email Watson posted seems to be a polite message about what happened. I don’t think the sender wanted to be vitriolic toward Watson.

    So, you have Watson posting a dramatic headline (SARA RETURNS! SPREADS LIES! *spinning newspaper*) on a blog that’s supposed to be about skepticism, versus me posting messages I received on my personal blog.

    Or is Skepchick *supposed* to be Rebecca’s personal journal too? I think it’s obvious this hit a nerve for her, for her to dedicated a whole post and headline about me. But she’s full of red herrings and sexist tropes.

    Exactly the things women complain about; Skepchics using stereotypical woman-woman hate tropes to push out women they don’t like.

  13. lvlln Says:

    RT @saramayhew: Un-Skepchick: More Mean Girls of Skepticism – http://t.co/8NTzsp7OM5 Sexist tropes from @rebeccawatson @katiehov

  14. David Jones Says:

    Foobar – you know where Rebecca Watson blogs. Just go there and have a look.

    When you’re there, take in the glee & vitriol of Watson & Benson in the comments; and then of the obsessive Svan’s post over on FtB that Watson linked to; then remind yourself of Svan, Benson and Watson’s almost constant complaints about harassment & Storify and wonder why the standards and behaviour they demand from others shouldn’t apply to themselves.

    My answer is that the limited-talents need this permanent drama to feed the appetites of their slightly dimmer followers else they’d fade into well-deserved Internet obscurity.

  15. siamesecatsrule Says:

    She’s just picking on you because she’s jealous. You’re beautiful 🙂

  16. Female misogynists and false consciousness | insecular Says:

    […] and then you attack them for not seeing the truth. Among other things, you’re just plain mean, regardless of how noble your intentions might be, and perhaps most importantly, you do your […]

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