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Denialism: Watson call For Dawkins Boycott "Never Happened"

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Outright denialism posted on Freethoughtblogs September 30, 2011 -

PZ Myers says:

Liar
September 30, 2011 at 11:34 am '(quoting previous) Posting reams of hysterical posts demanding a boycott of Richard Dawkins in retribution for his alleged ‘misogyny’ was not only extremely damaging to the atheist cause and community, but did feminism no favors either. (end quote)

Which did not happen.

The only pattern here is that every event in this affair gets inflated into absurdity by the misogynists.

Directly contradicted by Rebecca Watson on Skepchick July 5 2011 -

Rebecca Watson, The Privilege Delusion -

So many of you voiced what I had already been thinking: that this person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experiences 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.

This clearly meets the definition of a boycott from the definition given, as an example, at answers.com:

To abstain from or act together in abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with as an expression of protest or disfavor or as a means of coercion.

Watson, on being consistent

Nope, I didn’t call for a boycott. I’m relaying the fact that I have no interest in giving this person any more of my money or attention.
Rebecca Watson - on literal interpretation source
For starters, most of his takedown involves literally taking the 4-year old’s words at face value instead of comprehending what she’s saying with her limited vocabulary.
Rebecca Watson - on non-literal interpretation source



John Greg's Analysis

I am pretty tired of arguing this point with people who are incapable of understanding English, rhetoric and rhetorical intent, and how communication works. So, for the record, here is my definitive analysis of Watson's statement of her intent to boycott Richard Dawkins.

1. Rebecca Watson made a clear and unambiguous statement declaring her intent to engage in a personal boycott of Richard Dawkins. That is unequivocally and inarguably what it means when you state that you will not buy product, listen to lectures, recommend to friends, and so on, of some person's or corporation's stuff: a personal boycott of that stuff. Here is a direct quote from Watson:

"So many of you voiced what I had already been thinking: that this person who I always admired for his intelligence and compassion does not care about my experiences 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."

2. Watson is fully aware of, and proud of, her power and affect at guiding many of her fans' behaviour through her statements and actions. I stand behind the claim I made directly to her that her intent in announcing her personal boycott of Dawkins included an implicit yet fully understood recommendation that her more malleable fans follow suit -- this was to some degree proven true when several commenters stated thier intention to follow Watson's actions and engage in their own personal boycott of Dawkins specifically because of Watson's declared intent.

3. Some folks argue that because Watson later claimed that her statement of her intent to personally boycott Dawkins was not intended to be understood as a general call for others to boycott Dawkins, she is, through the act of making that disclaimer, telling the truth: that the mere existence of the disclaimer somehow proves it to be true. Hogwash. To repeat: Watson, and others, believe that the existence of the disclaimer renders the disclaimer true. That is poppycock. Watson's disclaimer that it was not her intent to encourage a general boycott of all things Dawkins by no means proves that that is so. Watson is known to play hostile, disingenuous, and manipulative word games, and to fiddle the truth whenever it suits her cause.

4. One can also play with word definitions and rhetorical intent, as does Greg Laden. Laden vehemently insists that Watson's statement, as quoted above, did not even imply a plan to engage in a personal boycott of Dawkins. Clearly, such poor logic, and twisting of fact and meaning, requires debilitating cognitive dissonance and a rather thorough revising of the definitions of several of the words in her statement.

For more on Laden's word salads, see Greg Laden: Man of Mystery.

Related

This is taking on the aspect of the Big Lie - if repeated often enough, it will become "true" -

22 October, 2011, Freethoughtblogs/Greg Laden -

http://freethoughtblogs.com/xblog/2011/10/22/boycott11/

"...Rebecca Watson did not call for a boycott of Richard Dawkins’ books and stuff..."

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