Rebecca: Get fat! Sexists and Shunners: Get Stuffed!

I read following comment at skepchick that was linked by Ophelia Benson in a post on 31st May 2012 called Rebecca explains

I have the solution for you Rebecca. Get fat.

As a plus size woman (UK size 22) who went to the last TAM London expecting to be able to meet new people, exchange ideas and talk about what action I could take to help stop pseudo science etc, not only was I NOT harassed, molested or spoken to in an inappropriate fashion, I was completely ignored. The few attempts I made at conversation with different people (men and women) were acknowledged politely, then brushed off. My boyfriend of seven years tells me I’m pretty, I have an arts degree and a job in desktop publishing and I have bright red hair, so I’m not shy or retiring. I think I’m pretty bright and can hold an intelligent conversation, so I can only put it down to being fat. Get stuck into the burgers and chips and trust me, they’ll leave you alone. Completely alone.

Rebecca Watson had said:
“So it’s odd for me to be announcing that I will not attend TAM this year, because I do not feel welcomed or safe and I disagree strongly with the recent actions of the JREF president, DJ Grothe.
See: here and here for the discussion regarding same. However, I just want to concentrate on the comment made by miss blue, as I so much empathise with her when she says:
not only was I NOT harassed, molested or spoken to in an inappropriate fashion, I was completely ignored. The few attempts I made at conversation with different people (men and women) were acknowledged politely, then brushed off.
I know exactly how miss blue feels when she says that she was completely ignored. As I too have been ignored for five years and more by a lot of atheists and sceptics in the blogosphere. However, I somewhat got consolation from reading her comment and finding out that one does not necessarily so have to be a survivor of an industrial *school* with zilch education to be shunned by those who should know better. I thank Jessica Anderson and Alain de Botton who are the only two who thought fit to follow me on twitter. Those two atheists gave me hope. At least I know that I’m good enough to be also followed by a political minister and a politician who are presently in power in my country. I’m so sorry that these people gave miss blue the brush off. They ought to be ashamed of themselves; the same people who go to conferences to learn about the world at large and treat people in their conference midst like mere nonentities. So contradictory. So utterly pathetic. So unworldly. So unfriendly. So cold. So shunning. It makes me shudder just thinking about them and how she must have felt. Sexism is nasty. So too is shunning of people at venues that should be welcoming. That’s the kind of thing that is bred into some religious sects. There should be mechanisms in place to make people like miss blue feel more welcome. Say something like a rotating floating welcoming team manouvreing around during the course of conferences to make people feel included and not left out. Some attendees I would surmise could form clicques because of annual attendance at conferences and probably feel like they’re school reunions and block out those whom they don’t know. I don’t know at all. In all the excitement too that goes on at these conferences there could be the tendency to be so wrapped up in oneself and ones friends that the rest of the conference attendees such as miss blue could be so non-existent. She continued on to say:
I think I’m pretty bright and can hold an intelligent conversation, so I can only put it down to being fat.
Exactly, they more than likely could have ignored miss blue because they found fault with her appearance. Just like I feel very strongly that I was/am ignored at the very outset and to this very day because some atheists and others who should know better found/find me boring and uneducated and not part of the intellectual set. I rebelled in a negative way towards a few of the most obnoxious ones. I think I gave one of them food for thought. And a good reason to ignore me. Besides, I’ve lived with being ignored from early childhood. Some of the educated classes can have the propensity to stick to their own kind. Or those whom they perceive to be their kind. Perhaps survivors of industrial *schools* frighten them off because they do not have the wherewithal to comprehend their institutional mindsets. Their trained scientific minds probably don’t go that far? Some of them should remember their innings. They must surely know how oppressed people suffered in the past at the hands of a dictator who wanted a perfect race. The same people, it appears, would bend over backwards to get acknowledged by those who’ll enhance their careers and trip over the rest of us to arrive at the top. They also seem to have the insatiable need to let the blogosphere world know how bright and clever they are, yet by the same token, they don’t know how to treat people properly. Now that calls for intelligence, doesn’t it? One has to look at their blogs only to see that for all the brains that they brag about, they’re not frightfully popular. We all know that there are many varieties of intelligence. They might be shining in some aspects, but in others terribly lacking. They come across as seriously wanting to refuse to mix with the marginalised, or only maybe when it suits them for study purposes? I just don’t know. Perhaps as well as miss blue telling Rebecca to get fat by getting stuck into the burgers and chips… people such as ourselves should stand up and be counted, and tell those preener people who ignore us to GET STUFFED.
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