How well do any of us know Rebecca Watson?
This isn’t a mystique-building exercise or a trick question, nor do we need remind our readers of the millions who have apprenticed themselves to The Greatest Skeptical Mind of our generation.
It’s a genuine question. We count ourselves among the legions of Rebecca loyalists, we rush to Youtube every time Rebecca posts a new vlog, and we hold our collective breath during SGU, waiting for the moment when Steven Novella will finally shut the fuck up, drop the pretense, and hand the show over to the woman everyone wants to hear.
But really, how many of us can claim we know what it’s like to be Rebecca Watson? We skeptics are undoubtedly more considerate and empathetic, but could we ever know what it’s like to be the center of attention? The annoyance of being recognized in public? The creepy gaze of sexualizing men? The frustration of imparting knowledge to the retarded masses?
None of us have experienced a coattail-rider emerging from the murk of obscurity to nip at us in a misguided attempt to get attention.
These are realities faced by Rebecca Watson every day, significant concerns piled on to a list that already includes worries about anti-rape footwear and the efficacy of discount pepper spray.
Simply put, when you have to contend with sleazy men constantly sexualizing you, it sucks to wake up every day to the jealousy and backbiting of lesser minds hatching ill-conceived plots to syphon your hard-earned fame. It must especially suck when you loathe drama, yet catty little college bitches won’t stop nipping at you.
And so it becomes clear why Rebecca Watson was curt and weary when she dismissed Stef McGraw, an unimportant blogger who bit off more than she could chew with her sloppy criticism of Ms. Watson. Viewed through the lens of a giant of the movement, it’s evident McGraw was just another tiresome leech with laughable blog traffic and all of 23 Twitter followers to speak of. (Rebecca has 17,461, more than twice the amount of people who follow Michio Kaku and Jim Parsons combined.)
In truth, Watson shouldn’t have dignified McGraw with a response. As diehard loyalists, we agree with those in the Watsonian Subculture who believe Rebecca gave this obscure nobody a gift by acknowledging her existence. The poor girl’s blog was probably Slashdotted from the millions of readers following the link from Skepchick.
But far be it from us to criticize Rebecca, because we’re well aware of the consequences. And that’s, ultimately, why McGraw’s ploy backfired. In a year, Rebecca Watson will vault to new heights, and McGraw’s 15 minutes will be a distant memory.
Lesson learned: You don’t fucks with Rebecca Watson.