At the World Atheist Convention in June 2011 in Dublin, Ireland, prominent atheist and skeptic Rebecca Watson appeared on a panel about communicating atheism, during which Watson talked about women's experiences and sexism in atheism. At the same conference, late at night, upon entering an elevator, a man asked if she would like to have coffee in his room.
After arriving home from her travels, she posted video blog about this, sparking a controversy involving responses from many dozens of sources on the web, which eventually became know as "Elevatorgate". Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins, whom Watson had been a fan of, posted some sarcastic comments to the effect that Elevatorgate was much ado about nothing. Dawkins' comments further escalated the controversy, with Dawkins himself become a target of criticism, including from Waton who blogged that she was no longer a fan of his.
In September 2011 Watson reported that she was still being harassed, including by several blogs. The incident was somewhat revived in June 2012 when Watson opted to skip that year's "The Amaz!ing Meeting" because of a failure by the organizers to provide her with a copy of their policy or plan about handling harassment.
- Watson's original video post
- Commentary on incident by Melissa McEwan, including transcript of the video.
- Recap and link roundup at the Geek Feminism blog
- Watson's Encyclopedia Dramatica entry
- A video chat roundtable, and rambling about harassment