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Men's Rights activists outraged that Richard Dawkins has never heard of them

The Men's Rights Movement: To silly even for Richard Dawkins?
The Men’s Rights Movement: To silly even for Richard Dawkins?

Richard Dawkins, I think it’s fair to say, is a bit of a dick. Though he’s an expert popularizer of science he seems to be a bit of a blithering idiot on every other topic he tries to address; his broadsides on religion are patronizing and profoundly ignorant, and his forays into gender politics are even more cringey.

He puts his foot in his mouth so often on Twitter that it’s sometimes difficult to tell the difference between his real account and this absurdist parody.

In a recent interview, he doubled down on some of his most appalling earlier remarks, reaffirming that he believes there is such a thing as “mild pedophilia” and that pregnant women who discover that they are carrying a Down syndrome fetus should probably “abort and try again.” And in that interview he reminded us all again just why so many feminist atheists have turned against him, telling his interlocutor that

I occasionally get a little impatient with American women who complain of being inappropriately touched by the water cooler or invited for coffee or something … .

ELEVATORGATE – NEVER FORGET!

Given how often he comes down on the wrong side on gender issues — heck, he recently suggested to his fans that they follow “Based Mom” Christina Hoff Sommers on Twitter — you might assume he would have a certain degree of fondness for the upside-down-and-backwards politics of the Men’s Rights movement.

But you’d be wrong.

At a recent event at Kennesaw State University – yep, the same place where a student organization tied to A Voice for Men held a little conference not long ago – Dawkins offered a surprising, if somewhat limited, defense of feminism. And he reacted with puzzlement when he was asked about the Men’s Rights movement.

“I didn’t, I hardly knew — is there a men’s right movement?” he commented. “If there is discrimination against men, then that’s bad too,” he conceded, only to add that “I haven’t heard of it.”

The audience responded with laughter.

To AVFM head boy Paul Elam, this was the equivalent of shots fired. In a post today, Elam excoriated Dawkins for not having heard of his little movement, and not being aware of the terrible gynocentric injustices being heaped upon the world’s men.

Richard Dawkins has not heard of discrimination toward men? Really? Sorry, Richard, but please tell me this is because you have invented human teleportation and have managed to remain in an academic setting constantly for the past several years. Tell me that you have so successfully avoided the real world that you are unaware of the ongoing problems of fathers and children in family courts, the egregious and blatant discrimination against men in criminal sentencing, and the transparent sexual double standards applied against males in the domestic violence and sexual assault industries. Perhaps you have actually done so well with insulating yourself that you have managed to exist completely within the walls of interdisciplinary studies departments, lest you may have actually heard of the loss of due process for young men now rampant across college campuses. Or maybe it was harder to notice, even for the great scientist-skeptic, because there are so few young men left?

Yeah, I’m sure that’s it, Paul. Dawkins can’t find any male students to talk to.

That is the problem with living the insulated life. Not only do you end up making foil-hat-worthy observations that translate to ideology being good for science, but eventually the insulation becomes so thick, so protective and muffling, that whatever tiny spark remains in the wire is of little use to science or to society.

Says the man who lives in an ideological bubble of his own making. The irony, it burns.

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Puddleglum
6 years ago

Technically it didn’t. It changed the first three periods into the ellipsis character and kept the fourth period a period. In many typefaces, including the one for the theme here, an ellipsis looks significantly different than a period.

My problem was that I was almost positive I had only put in three dots. I glanced, thought I had counted 3, and hit post. Sigh. My version of the blockquote monster.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

Well, allman’s post gets a +1 for using paragraphs!! But it’s still a teel deer, so I didn’t really read it. Just enough for my impression of it to be ‘MRAs are awesome cuz I don’t have to pretend to be a decent human being!’.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Yeah, it’s like dealing with fundies (of any stripe). The ones who have all the talking points memorized and just pivot to the next pre-loaded contextless verbal vomit are no fun, what you really want is to engage with a true believer, because they are the ones who will really start shaking the wingnut tree until the good stuff falls out.

I recently took a completely unexpected trip down the rabbit hole when I got to chitchatting with a fellow volunteer about palm oil. Twenty minutes later we’d been over the river and through the woods from clearcut rainforest plantations to industrial agriculture toxins released into groundwater when sound weapons are secretly deployed for rural mind control to antivaxing to chemtrails, coming to rest on how homeopathy and regular enemas would heal every health problem facing modern society.

It was quite illuminating, let me tell you.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

Puddleglum, just think of it this way:

You are storing up companions for the lonely 2 dot ellipses so that they may be completed in comment heaven.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I love conspiracy theorists, at least when they’re willing to really share all the hilarious details.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

The thing I love about conspiracy folks is that they always have an answer, and if you just pull the cord and let them go, it’s worth HOURS of entertainment!

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

And this is why we need our new Antz/Owly.

sparky
sparky
6 years ago

gillyrosebee said:

Twenty minutes later we’d been over the river and through the woods from clearcut rainforest plantations to industrial agriculture toxins released into groundwater when sound weapons are secretly deployed for rural mind control to antivaxing to chemtrails, coming to rest on how homeopathy and regular enemas would heal every health problem facing modern society.

Regular enemas? Do…do they know what an enema actually is? I mean, I guess if a person believes in antivax and chemtrails, they’ll believe in anything, but still.

I see christopher allman is still trying to drum up traffic to his blog.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Oh, she did, sparky. She even had a theory about what you need to put up there to “leech out” the particular bad stuff you were afflicted with. Homeopathy for both ends, you might say.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

So, just out of curiosity, what did she have in mind for the, um, non-talking end?

schwadevivre
6 years ago

Awww, Christopher “so insecure he has the screen name All Man,” want to try and play psychological games, poor ickle diddums.

I get so pissed off by people claiming that rape is a non-existent problem. Over many years I have found that if you talk to people and listen to them a few will admit that they have been the victims of sexual assault and/or rape. Of course you have to be trusted by the person concerned, which (I suspect) is completely alien to the experience of the deniers.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

I have a few Infowars/Prison Planet DVDs that my mom’s old coworker gave her for some reason. They are a whole lot of fun. My favorite was the one that asserted that George W Bush had JFK Jr. assassinated by turning someone on his plane (a flight instructor IIRC) into a Manchurian candidate.

The only evidence they had for this was that Bush took a campaign break around that time and was unaccounted for and George H. W. was the head of the CIA and they killed President Kennedy. That’s it.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I wouldn’t tell these guys I’d stubbed my toe, they’d probably stomp on it just for fun.

schwadevivre
6 years ago

Whoops, forgot to mention the Dawk …

There’s a guy who knows what privilege is, he has benefited from it for his whole life. Of course he cannot recognise the problems facing women or that the global nature of misogyny means you must work against all of the oppression – not just concentrate on the most serious instances

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Well, she insisted that, although she’s heard all the talk of mint and apple cider vinegar, she herself swears by a chamomile tea concoction, which was way more information than I really wanted already, and my brain shut my ears down pretty hard somewhere in the middle of the range of things that call for treatment with coffee (black, of course, only the seriously mislead would put a dairy product up there, and those folks who use yogurt? Well…)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Couldn’t one insert the coffee in the other end, as is traditional, or is there a reason why searing pain* is necessary to the whole cleansing experience?

*An assumption, as I’ve never attempted to put coffee up my butt because seriously, why?

Puddleglum
6 years ago

@gillyrosebee, but I thought for sure the only true choice was coffee…

(please let there be three dots only!)

Puddleglum
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty, *drinking* coffee is evil, doncha know!

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

No, no, no! If you DRINK the coffee, you might get addicted to the caffeine! If you “cleanse” with the coffee, you will stimulate the liver and rid the body of fungi that cause cancer.

(okay, she actually said “funguses” but I am not going to type that)

(oops)

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Funguses! They’re good for your kidneyses, presumably.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

One rationale for coffee enemas is that the caffeine is in some way beneficial to the bum. I have heard about people getting serious caffeine ODs that way, because the colon is really good at absorbing stuff.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I was going to say, if the goal is not to absorb the caffeine that might not be the way to go.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

(Nope, I’m not going to make a “preciouses” comment. Not going to do it. Not even going to think about typing “preciouses”)

(oops)

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Yeah, too much credit for rational thinking being given giving there, cassandrakitty!

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

I remember reading how some shamans in South America make a tea out of tobacco and ingest it via enema. This enabled them to use tobacco in psychoactive doses without calling Ralph Buick on the porcelain telephone. Haven’t had the nerve to try it myself.

Regarding sound weapons – one of the SF elements in Atlas Shrugged was the Thompson Harmonizer, a sonic weapon that could destroy buildings at a distance. Curious how little we’ve heard from Randroids about it becoming science fact.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

Honestly, my favorite part of the whole interaction was finding out that people are now marketing a homeopathic nasal spray that can help treat the deleterious effect of chemtrails. Apparently, the way to deal with the scourge of breathing in minute traces of chemicals released into the air by airplanes is to breathe in distilled water laced with minute traces of chemicals.

ququasar
6 years ago

Huh. You know… maybe, (and I realise this is somewhere between “maybe I bleed ice cream” and “maybe the conservative party aren’t as bad as all that” on the optimismeter), just maybe, this will be a wakeup call for Dawkins.

Maybe he’ll look up the mens right movement and go “Sweet Atheismo, that’s fucked up. Oh shit, do I sound like that? OH SHIT.”

No, wait, he’s from Britain, he’d say “shite”.

gillyrosebee
gillyrosebee
6 years ago

And it is now my observation that conspiracy folks are pretty much all obsessed with sticking things in themselves to overcome the horror of the fact that they keep getting other, undesirable, things stuck in them.

It’s like they didn’t understand that General Ripper’s rant about the Soviets and his precious bodily fluids was intended as a joke.

grumpyoldnurse
grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ christopher allman – It’s very thoughtful of you to give us your web page, again, so as to help straighten out our thinking with regards to the MRA’s and what they really say.

Thing is, we’ve got that covered. See all the little blue words on the right side of the page, under the heading ‘Misogyny Central’? They’re called ‘links’ and if one ‘clicks’ on them, the internet will move the ‘user’ to that web page! Then, the user can read all about what real, live MRA’s say, in their very own words!

Or, we can ‘Google’ MRA and read even more words!

It’s like magic! Except that it’s technology. But, still magical!

Thanks, though, for thinking of teh poor wiminz (and our allies).

Noadi
6 years ago

asshole atheist bros

Brotheists?

skiriki
6 years ago

I’d like to present the award for the Neologism of the Year to…

@Noadi, for

Brotheists?

Congratulations! Please come and pick up your award, it is a scented candle in form of a cat!

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Okay, folks, lift up your hands and say it with me three times:

“DIRECTLY ON THE BEACH!”
“DIRECTLY ON THE BEACH!”
“DIRECTLY ON THE BEACH!”

OMG…OMG…OMG…

I don’t know if I should say this but…I think Mikey…is MIKE FUCKING CERNOVICH!

Think about it: He’s in Venice, CA. Where’s Venice? DIRECTLY ON THE MOTHERFUCKING BEACH!

And he’s a lawyer. A crap lawyer. With abusive and rapey tendencies, too. And full of Alpha Male Shit™. Just like you-know-who.

Holy shit…holy shit…holy shit…suddenly it all makes sense!

I think I’mma go lie down now. Please send kitties.

contrapangloss
6 years ago

I dunno: Does Mike Cernovich also run a farm and Visit North Carolina in the middle of planting season?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Finally the mystery is solved!

FossilFishy
6 years ago

Can I say just how happy I was that on a post about Dawkin’s idiocy the first comment visible was about coffee enemas? Yup, that’s about the level of contemplation and respect he deserves these days. #absurdisthumourFTW

mildlymagnificent
6 years ago

schwadevivre

There’s a guy who knows what privilege is, he has benefited from it for his whole life.

I don’t think so. I think he’s the classic, paradigm even, case for oblivious privilege.

Ask a fish what water is and you’ll get no answer was made for Dawkins and people like him. His whole life he’s swum in distilled essence of invisible privilege and he’s never acquired the skills or the insight to figure out that it’s there, let alone what it’s made of. He can’t even see that other people are obliged to swim in much murkier, stickier surroundings that inhibit their progress rather than smooth their way.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I dunno: Does Mike Cernovich also run a farm and Visit North Carolina in the middle of planting season?

Oh Great Googly Moogly, show us the way!

(And let me say in advance that I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where he gets the raw materials for his Super Sperminator Juice™.)

katz
6 years ago

I blame katz for this. She said she wouldn’t mind smacking this imbecile around a bit more! 😛

My sincere apologies. Of course this one would be a grepping loon.

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

We really need a stock image to represent that frowny, confused face that most people make when they first find out about the MRM. Even Dawkins probably made it, it’s an almost universal reaction.

http://branain.com/consciousness/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/ConfusedCat.jpg

thebewilderness
thebewilderness
6 years ago

I am pretty sure Dawkins is lying. I don’t care enough about either him or the MRA brigade to do the research but I don’t think it would be hard to find.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Tracy, that’s it! That’s The Face!

I shall actually be really sad if Mikey is Mike Cernovich. Because Mikey was weird and creepy in a troll way, the sort of troll you didn’t mind having around too much, but Cernovich is … ewww.

seraph4377
6 years ago

Forgive a bit of blog-pimping, but a few months back I did a writeup on a series of fantasy novels where the primary setting was a matriarchal culture (and not a grotesque caricature of one like the Drow, either). In such a culture, a Men’s Rights Movement would actually make a goddamn lick of sense. But note how different that culture is from the one we actually live in.

tiffany267
6 years ago

As an atheist, I love Dawkins, although his ideas about gender are frankly stupid, and for my own sanity I try to ignore them. He also, like many other atheists, has some bizarre ideas about ethics (though perhaps no more bizarre than most religious people living out of a book of violent superstitious fables).

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

Who was the fella with all the dolls? I miss him. Meller?

And no troll has ever surpassed Owly. I was a mere lurker in those days… but oh, that was good stuff. He really put an effort in. *mutters* trolls these days *grumps*

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

I shall actually be really sad if Mikey is Mike Cernovich. Because Mikey was weird and creepy in a troll way, the sort of troll you didn’t mind having around too much, but Cernovich is … ewww.

Need…more…kitties…STAT! Maru! Simon’s Cat! Where are youuuuuuuu?

Tracy
Tracy
6 years ago

Did someone send out the MoarKitties signal?

kittehserf
6 years ago

Tracy, yep, Meller was the creeptastic doll owner. And Owly … ah, there was the troll of trolls.

Maru and Hana!

http://youtu.be/pDL5nYyrjQI

DJG
DJG
6 years ago

One of my cats used to get a look like that when I tried to brush his teeth. He’d permit almost anything else, but that was off the table.

booburry
6 years ago

I am suddenly reminded of an enema craze a few (maybe more than a few…) years back. I remember watching shows on MTV or VH1 about how en vogue it was to go and get colonics at fancy pants health spas. I think a lot of people were using it as weight loss as well as pretending it was some amazing cleansing ritual. Strange times.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Wheeee! Catnip!!! Skoo-weeeeeee!!!

And I, for one, welcome our Japanese hovercat overlords. And their jellybean toes and little pink tongues licking the force-field, too.

(Whew. Gross-out crisis averted.)