In her post, Christina notes Benson now acknowledges the email 'seems not to have been intended as a threat — it seems to have been a sincerely well-meant warning...'
If I receive a missive which I consider includes threats and then, upon consideration, decide its writer did not intend it to communicate any threat--that it is 'sincere' and 'well-meant'--then, problem solved, right?
Not by a long shot!
By way of backstory, there's a lively atheist movement afoot, virtual and meated. Within New Atheism, one misguided, arch interpretation of the Rebecca Watson 'elevatorgate' incident has been deemed infallible and undiscussible--a party shibboleth.
If you disagree with Watson's elevatorgate yarn, atheism's mob will not rest until you have been declared untouchable.
A corollary posits that when a woman receives an email she perceives--however temporarily--as menacing, the woman is granted an unending interpretive monopoly on the document. If you read it and find no threat therein--even if the recipient herself has acknowledged, upon reflection, that no threat was intended--it is An Attack Upon Every Woman's Dignity for you to suggest that the matter may now be dropped.
So I left a comment on Christina's post:
The writer received a clumsily-written, weird, explicitly non-threatening email.Within minutes, commenters are lamenting my condesplaining--i.e. 'viewing a feminist-labeled perspective as unconvincing.' Discussion is forbidden and closed on elevatorgate-tangential ideology: Hearing a person dissenting in this area, the flock's job is to vilify and silence the critic--abjuring any substantive engagement, since that would suggest skepticism to be legitimate.
So apparently we’re re-working elevatorgate. Yawn.
In ‘elevatorgate,’ an offer of coffee was kookily interpreted as a grave attack upon female dignity. For sharing my viewpoint, Richard Dawkins was savaged by–among others–PZ Myers.
We miss you, Hitch.
I'm then accused of 'misrepresenting facts'--though no factual error is described. Soon Christina jumps in to warn me not to comment further, while numerous minions assassinate my character, eliciting not a word from the blogger. Commenters insist I am incorrect--Christina did not mean to suggest I may not defend myself, within her forum. A moment later Christina announces she's muzzling me, to protect her readers and decency.
Read the thread yourself here.