Women are not asking for special treatment when they ask you to stop doing sexist things that discourage them from participating in the skeptical community. Nope. Yet people accuse them of asking for special treatment all the time, which is unfair because it is not what they are doing. What is happening is that they are being singled out for special treatment, and they don’t like it, and they want the special treatment to stop.
Here are some (very broad) examples of the special treatment that women get when they participate in the skeptical community that men do not get:
1. Strangers put their hands on them.
2. They get interrupted.
3. Their ideas are ignored.
4. Their physical appearance is commented on.
5. They are propositioned–directly and indirectly–for sex.
6. Their gender is used as an insult.
7. They are personally attacked instead of being disagreed with.
Here are some (equally broad) examples of the regular treatment women would like when they participate in the skeptical community:
1. For strangers to keep their hands off of them.
2. To be allowed to speak all the way through until they’ve completed a thought.
3. To have their ideas considered without some guy having to repeat what they just said and get credit for it.
4. To have their ideas and contributions commented on instead of their appearances.
5. To not be propositioned–directly or indirectly–for sex outside of social environments, and then not by complete strangers.
6. To not have their gender flung around as an insult to them or to other people.
7. To have intellectual disagreements stay intellectual.