Talk:Rebecca Watson/Archives/2013/June

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As well as being the founder of Skepchick, a co-host on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe and a winner of the PRTQ, Rebecca Watson has been mentioned in several dead-tree media articles:

Articles about Rebecca Watson:

Articles mentioning Rebecca Watson:

Ole Eivind (talk) 16:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)


Make sure you mention the nude calendar :) Mindme (talk) 19:23, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Done =) Ole Eivind (talk) 23:29, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Very tastefully done. Mindme (talk) 00:52, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Speaker for Various Randi Adventures

This would also help with notability is a listing of the various JREF events she's been an invited speaker. Mindme (talk) 12:53, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Would an "other appearances" section be good? Ole Eivind (talk) 15:28, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
I've googled a bit, and so far I've only found her talk at TAM 5.5 (and her TAM 5 paper). Are there others?
We also have her lecture for the NYC Skeptics, The Tank Vodcast and her interview for an upcoming documentary by Gregory Walsh. Is this enough to add a new section, or should it just be added to the external links section? Ole Eivind (talk) 17:15, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and she was on the "Next Generation of Humanism" panel at the New Humanism conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 20-22. link. Ole Eivind (talk) 19:19, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Requested move

I've requested that the article be moved to Rebecca Watson, which is currently a redirect to the SGU article. Ole Eivind (talk) 02:39, 2 November 2008 (UTC)


Seems to be a bit of a revert war going on the image. The original is fine. Her tshirt communicates something important about her views. It is not just a "joke" tshirt. It might be akin to cropping out Abbie Hoffman's flag shirt claiming his shirt is just a joke. Mindme (talk) 17:27, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I have already discussed this with the person doing the cropping on his Wikimedia Commons user talk page. Unfortunately he is insistent. I have reverted twice, but won't be pushed into a third. Not sure what other measures can be taken. He appears to be winning in his efforts to discourage editors of this article.MArcane (talk) 19:34, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Out of my own curiosity, how do you revert a picture? I have no clue. ---Brendan White (talk) 18:18, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Skeptics in the Pub lecture

I undid revision 285922166 by Damiens.rf. His revision was removing Watson's lecture for London SitP from the Speaking Engagements section. His description was "rv advertisement of obscure event". I undid his revision since:

  • The Skeptics in the Pub lecture series is a well known event that has been going on since 1999, and has featured numerous notable speakers. Just to name a few: Jon Ronson, Ben Goldacre, Phil Plait, Simon Singh...
  • It's so popular that it has inspired similar events in other countries.
  • The event is partly run by The Skeptic (UK magazine) which seems to be notable enough to have their own article.
  • Being flown from the US to speak in the UK is obviously worth noting among the other speaking engangements Damiens.rf didn't deem unimportant enough to remove.

Ole Eivind (talk) 01:09, 25 April 2009 (UTC)


seems like there's an exploit in wiki. The page looks different from the edited code.Or am I hallucinating? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

I don't see anything. Can you explain what you see? Could it just be that the beginning of the code is for the infobox and the actual text of the article doesn't start until further down in the editing box? --Icarus (Hi!) 02:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

It could be a bug in Wiki. I'm getting this in the info box, then it reverts back when I refresh: Cory Rebecca Watson 80.jpg Background information Born June 28 1999 (age 10 Halifax,Canada Spouse(s) Sid Rodrigues Internet activity Web alias(es) The Skepchick Period active 2005 - Present Subjects {{{music,dance}}} Official site {{{[1]}}}

Might be time to run do some housekeeping on your system. I seen nothing of the sort here. --Krelnik (talk) 19:02, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Skepchick: Origins

The references regarding the founding of Skepchick and the launch of Skepchick Magazine are broken or something is messed up in the wayback machine. I'm having trouble finding any replacements that aren't merely copies of the paragraph in this Wikipedia entry. Little help? comment added by Schaef (talkcontribs) 05:05, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

The term "Skepchick" was originally used by Sheila Gibson in 1999 or earlier, when she was "chairchick" of the New England Skeptical Society and created the first Skepchicks calendar in 1999, which is still online at
Gibson used the term and referred to the calendar in an October 1999 article for NESS, lamenting the scarcity of females in skepticism. That article, titled "Where the Girls Aren't," is still on the NESS website:
Gibson's role in the creation of the concept and term should be acknowledged. Lippard (talk) 23:33, 5 November 2010 (UTC)


People are going to be fighting over the wording of elevatorgate until someone locks it, or whatever it is that wiki-masters do to end these sorts of fights. The summary should be unbiased. That is the goal. It should not have an agenda, and it should be brief. It is a significant event, however, so it should have som substance. (If you go to google trends and search 'skepchick,' the organization was hardly even on the charts until elevatorgate. Additionally, 'elevatorgate' is a significant term. It is what it is known as. Not 'elevator incident.' It deserves its own section, considering this is what made her famous relative to her relatively very marginal internet fame prior to elevatorgate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aaronwayneodonahue (talkcontribs) 17:47, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

It's about WP:Verifiability. Find a solid third-party account that establishes the term as notable. A hashtag and a few blogs don't cut it. As is, there is an over-reliance on primary sources.Novangelis (talk) 18:03, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Well I hope that my wording will make people less inclined to make any more major changes. I tried to cover it properly, to be even-handed and to properly back it up with references, so that there would be less possibilities to find fault in it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ZarlanTheGreen (talkcontribs) 08:09, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

The word 'elevatorgate' is not contentious material. And if you're going to consider 'elevatorgate' as a term to be unotable because it hasn't been published in a newspaper or a book, you'll have to forget about not only the entire elevatorgate event, but half her page as well. Aaronwayneodonahue (talk) 20:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually, "-gate" is considered a Contentious label.Novangelis (talk) 20:49, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
If you think there needs to be more to back up the use of "elevatorgate"... Try googleing it--ZarlanTheGreen (talk) 08:18, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Google is not a reliable source. There are a variety of terms used in blogs, also not reliable sources, but none have been picked up by a reliable source to date. It is not the job here to establish one here. Flash in the pan events (which this still may turn out to be) are subject to WP:RECENTISM. Wikipedia is not a newspaper.Novangelis (talk) 11:35, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you seriously saying, that you believe I was suggesting google as a source? Where has this incident been covered? The same kind of places, as where it's been called elevatorgate ...and if you won't accept them as reliable sources... Why? This isn't about what is scientifically true about the genes of a ostrich. It's about what people are commonly calling this incident. What would be better for that, than the blogosphere?--ZarlanTheGreen (talk) 13:01, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

What about a redirect link in the section, that way if someone is searching for 'weingergate' they can find the section but also hve it still say 'incident'?Aaronwayneodonahue (talk) 12:55, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

That seems like a reasonable approach. Users currently looking for it will find what they want. Should some public figure get caught in a compromising position in an elevator, and the phrase is stale with respect to this incident (which could be true next month), the redirect is easily diambiguated or reassigned as deemed appropriate. The principle of least astonishment and neutrality in the article (on this matter) are both satisfied. Because they are somewhat transparent, redirects do have more latitude. WP:Redirect offers Attorneygate as an example. I think this fits the pattern to a T.Novangelis (talk) 13:29, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Make sure to mentio that at List of scandals with "-gate" suffix. --damiens.rf 14:52, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to assume that this is a general comment about the can of worms that list opened. To make it clear, this will not come anywhere near the criterion "widely recognized", and this article should not be added to the list.Novangelis (talk) 15:12, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

People are agreed on a redirect link for 'elevatorgate' and keeping the title of the section 'elevator incident,' correct? If so...does anyone know how to make a redirect link? (talk) 23:15, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Agreed overrates my acceptance of the action. I would consider it "ill-advised", but within policy guidelines. That said, the procedure is fairly straight forward.
  1. Go to Elevatorgate
  2. In the edit window, enter "#REDIRECT [[Rebecca Watson#Elevator incident]]"
  3. Add an informative edit summary; in this case, the policy "WP:RNEUTRAL" is the basis ("represented by some sources outside Wikipedia in non-neutral terms").
  4. Decide that you believe it will be useful, not just "could be useful, in theory"
  5. Save
I don't believe it meets criterion #4, but that is my opinion.Novangelis (talk) 00:00, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Looks like User: Robofish is someone in favor of censorship. When one gets into a brouhaha with Richard Dawkins to the extent that many atheists felt they had to "choose sides", AND when there isn't even a separate article on the subject, removing it , in toto from this biograpy is disgusting. I wonder if Robofish is a RW fan? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:48, 3 August 2011 (UTC)


Would someone more talented please rewrite the lead? It mentions a radio contest and a surprise marriage (and a subsequent divorce). Isn't that just trivia? --damiens.rf 17:36, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Seems to have been done, so I'm removing the warning template. —Tom Morris (talk) 21:00, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Money from the calendar

Is there any source for the claim that the money they earned from the calendar was used "...provided the attendance fee for several female applicants..." as described in the article? The reference currently used implies that something on this direction was planned to be done: "'[the money] will go toward a fund to help support more women attending the ...".

If no reference can be found to support this, maybe the text must be fixed to say no more that what we have here.--damiens.rf 17:43, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Also, the current reference is not neutral, as it's from the one getting the money. Third party coverage would be appreciated. --damiens.rf 17:45, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

The relevance of comments about rape.

InverseHypercube, could you please explain how talking about rape, in any conceivable way, is relevant to the accusation of sexism? Sexism isn't rape. Rape isn't sexism. Accusing someone of being sexist does not make rape relevant. Where does rape come into it? How?--ZarlanTheGreen (talk) 22:03, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I was talking about accusations of sexism directed towards Watson; many people thought that she implied that the man was a rapist or that all men were rapists. The possibility for sexual assault was underlying the discussion the entire time; Watson mentioned feeling uncomfortable getting propositioned at 4 A.M. in a foreign country in an elevator; I think the implication that she felt threatened is pretty obvious. Even if it isn't, though, many people did interpret it that way. Richard Dawkins said "No escape? I am now really puzzled. Here's how you escape from an elevator. You press any one of the buttons conveniently provided". PZ Myers said:

Try googling "elevator rape". What you will find is an unpleasant combination of stories about real crimes in which women were raped in elevators, and porn about women being raped in elevators. It is a small confined place in which a woman can be made helpless. Elevators aren't exactly romantic or even comfortable; what a man might consider utilitarian transport can be seen as a cage to a woman alone.[1]

Phil Plait also talked a lot about this subject, but I can't seem to load his post "Richard Dawkins and male privilege" at the moment. InverseHypercube 22:26, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
I am not ignorant of the discussion. I have read Phil Plait's post on the subject, and then some. I have read, and even participated a while, in the comments section of Watson's video (though I tired of it, after a while). This is, however, still irrelevant. Nowhere in this article, was rape mentioned, or even implied, so to mention a denial of such is a non sequitur and merely confusing. Rebecca Watson never even implied that rape was ever a consideration, and it is rather ironic to imply that she did, seeing as you are the one who included her expressly denying such a thing (and there are quotes that make it even more clear). As far as I can tell, the only ones that bring rape into it, are those who defend Watson, but never Watson herself. Many of her critics thus get the false idea that Watson herself considered the possibility of rape to have been a significant factor, and call her out as someone who sees men as rapists, for no good reason. None of this is in this article, preceding the comment about her denying that he was a rapist and all men being monsters, so it makes no sense to put it there. It has no relevance to anything preceding it, nor indeed anything that comes after. The issue of rape, in the elevatorgate discussion, is also an irrelevant factor, included by ignorant bystanders, and I therefore do not really consider it worth mentioning in the article.
So I ask you again: InverseHypercube, could you please explain how talking about rape, in any conceivable way, is relevant to the accusation of sexism? Where does rape come into it? How?--ZarlanTheGreen (talk) 04:37, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Elevator incident section removed

I have removed this section entirely, as it had a general lack of reliable sources. In general, blogs are not reliable sources: the only source given in this section that might be considered reliable was this one[2]. I don't dispute that the events described happened, and the section was written fairly neutrally, but it's not clear that this 'controversy' was significant enough to deserve mention in a Wikipedia biography. If it received virtually no coverage from the media outside the atheist blogosphere, then it's safe to say it doesn't: internet disputes are not usually worth including in biographical articles. Please don't restore it until more/better sources have been found. Robofish (talk) 10:19, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

If we were to restrict ourselves to "the media outside the atheist blogosphere", the whole article would have to be deleted. Where more else could that lady be considered "notable"? --damiens.rf 15:00, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to second that. If one is to ignore the atheist blogosphere, Rebecca Watson isn't worth mention. It's what she does. Without that, she is nothing. A nobody. The blogosphere is a rather significant media entity nowadays, that cannot be ignored. While it shouldn't be regarded as a reliable source of information about, say, the structure of lactase or the history of the Roman empire... What source about what Rebecca Watson has said, is more reliable than a youtube video and a blog post which have her exact words? What better source exists, to know the reactions that others had, and what they said, than the blog posts and such, that those others made in response?--ZarlanTheGreen (talk) 01:37, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
For a number of policy reasons (WP:V, WP:N and WP:BLP foremost), Wikipedia does not use blogs as sources on their own. Content is built from third-party reliable sources, and primary sources are only used within the context of what is reported, and very little beyond that. For example, a quote directly related to content found in a reliable source, but not explicitly mentioned by the source, might be used under the provision of WP:ABOUTSELF, so long as it is germane. The Atlantic Wire is a reliable source. Other potential sources include and Wall Street Journal. This story is not restricted to the blogosphere.Novangelis (talk) 02:05, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Considering some of the names involved, this is definitely notable enough to warrant a mention. OhINeedANameNow (talk) 04:40, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Novangelis: thanks, I didn't see those sources earlier. OK, I was a bit over-hasty in removing this - it does seem to have received enough attention to be worth mentioning - and I think the current version of the paragraph is acceptably neutral and in line with the requirements of BLP. Robofish (talk) 10:43, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I think there is still a question about where in the article the section belongs, though. I've just put it at the end, simply because it's the most recent thing mentioned in the article, and it's easier on the reader to keep it in rough chronological order. I don't feel very strongly about this, it's just a matter of 'what's least confusing to read?' Robofish (talk) 10:48, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

More blogs...

A lot of stuff is being added to this section today but it seems again to be based on blogs and bloggers opinions. The overall tone is also inflammatory ("controversy exploded" and " A second important controversy building event...".

We need reliable sources that cover the controversy itself, and not blog posts that were themselves part of the so called controversy, being used to support some Wikipedian's opinions about the controversy existence.

The unsupported original research will be removed shortly. WP:BLP is not optional. --damiens.rf 18:52, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't entirely agree with the policy, but I do agree that the many edits went against them. I dunno what I think of the edits, but I guess someone with the power to do so, can restore the page to it's state before them?--ZarlanTheGreen (talk) 22:06, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
If a reliable source has not reported it, it is not notable. Primary sources are only used where directly associated with editorially regulated secondarily sourced material, especially when dealing with living persons. Blogs associated with a title are not automatically under such an aegis.Novangelis (talk) 22:54, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
      • PLoS and Discover Magazine are reliable per WP:NEWSBLOG. Pharyngula is cited in over 100 articles ([3]). Gawkers is a RS. LegrisKe (talk) 23:00, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
        • The point is that your text synthetises from primary sources, what an encyclopedia shouldn't do. We should use sources that talk about the controversy and not those that were part of the controversy. --damiens.rf 14:27, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Infobox image

I gather there was some drama about the image previously, but the current picture seems overly "internet diseasey"--can anyone locate an alternative that reflects what she actually looks like as a human being? The current picture is overexposed, seemingly photoshopped, accessorised and apparently gurning for her wikipedia page, which is distracting from the article and less useful than an ordinary picture would be. (talk) 01:42, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I found another one; does it look better?
Thanks for pointing it out! InverseHypercube 00:44, 1 October 2011 (UTC)


She's just said on the Skeptic's Guide podcast episode #441 that she has Prosopagnosia. Is it worth putting in? Hammerfrog (talk) 16:54, 1 June 2013 (UTC)