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Richard Dawkins, Lindy West, and the Cartoon Video of Great Hatefulness

Is Richard Dawkins using his bully pulpit to bully feminists?
Is Richard Dawkins using his bully pulpit to bully feminists?

Almost three years ago, a feminist activist committed what many not-so-impartial observers apparently see as an unpardonable sin: she was less than polite to a small squad of Men’s Rights activists at a demonstration in Toronto. At least one of these gentlemen caught her outburst on video, and uploaded it to YouTube.

You know the rest: the video went viral, and the activist, a red-headed woman known as Chanty Binx (or “Big Red,” to the douchebag army), found herself suddenly transformed into “The Posterchild of Everything Wrong with Feminism,” as one of her haters put it. Her face has become ubiquitous in antifeminist memes, and she’s endured nearly three years of harassment.

Earlier this month, antifeminist YouTuber Sargon of Akkad — who makes his living pandering to some of the internet’s worst lady haters — posted an animated video by another antifeminist YouTuber in which an angry Islamist and an angry feminist sing a song explaining that they pretty much believe all the same things. (For some reason, this nonsensical theory is something that a lot of antifeminists have convinced themselves is true.)

The angry Islamist in the video is a familiar racist stereotype, complete with “funny” accent. [Correction: He’s evidently supposed to be a parody of this guy, known as Dawah Man, a legitimately terrible person you wouldn’t think atheists would have to strawman in order to criticize..]

The angry feminist, meanwhile, isn’t a generic figure; she’s an especially crude caricature of Binx, spouting nonsense that neither Binx nor any other feminist actually believes: the video ends with her encouraging the Islamist to rape her, because it’s not really rape if a Muslim does it, dontchaknow.

It’s a vicious, hateful little cartoon made worse by the fact that these words are being put in the mouth of a real woman who’s been the target of a vast harassment campaign for years.

Yesterday, Richard Dawkins, apparently seeing this horrendous video as a clever takedown of some brand of feminism that he must think actually exists, shared it with his 1.3 million Twitter followers:

Dawkins-tweet

Dawkins, a well-respected scientist-turned-embarrassing-atheist-ideologue, has become notorious for his endless Twitter gaffes. But this is plainly worse than, say, his famously pathetic lament about airport security “dundridges” taking his jar of honey; his Tweet contributed to the demonization of a real woman who’s already the target of harassment and threats.

The awesome Lindy West pointed this out to him in a series of Tweets and linked to one of my posts cataloging some of the abuse Binx got after the video of her went viral.

In a series of eloquent and angry Tweets, she made clear to Dawkins how and why he was misusing his huge platform and contributing to an atmosphere of hate online. Dawkins, alternately indignant and defensive, ultimately took down the offending Tweet, but not before making other Tweets that were nearly as bad. Dawkins can’t even do the right thing without being a dick about it.

Let’s watch Lindy at work:

 

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest like literally what is wrong with you @RichardDawkins RETWEETS 47 LIKES 337 Lamentation Smythethank god it's overMargaret PlessAllison ElaineRachyAlice Pinegabs ❁GORILLA SUITNINA 5:19 PM - 26 Jan 2016 Reply Retweet Liked More Tweet text Reply to @thelindywest @RichardDawkins Who's in these photos? Lindy West ‏@thelindywest Jan 26 the complete ideological horror show aside, that is a caricature of an actual real woman and you are feeding her harassment @RichardDawkins

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 7h7 hours ago @thelindywest I didn't know that. Who is the real woman? 1 retweet 5 likes Reply Retweet 1 Like 5 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago Here: https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2013/04/15/canadian-feminist-activist-receives-death-threats-and-other-abuse-after-being-targeted-by-mens-rights-activists/ … @RichardDawkins View summary 16 retweets 55 likes Reply Retweet 16 Liked 55 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago It would serve you well to research the people & movements whose support you accept & whose propaganda you disseminate. @RichardDawkins

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago One might even argue that it's a basic responsibility concomitant with wielding such a large and powerful platform. @RichardDawkins 21 retweets 114 likes Reply Retweet 21 Liked 114 More View other replies Show more Zoë “Shitpost” Quinn ‏@UnburntWitch 7h7 hours ago @thelindywest @RichardDawkins oh good he's promoting a guy who built a career off of stalking and harassing me and my family 19 retweets 86 likes Reply Retweet 19 Like 86 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago Richard, this is not a thought experiment for us. It's not an ideological pissing match. @UnburntWitch @RichardDawkins

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago It is a constant, violent, unprovoked, psychologically damaging barrier to full engagement with the world. @UnburntWitch @RichardDawkins 21 retweets 83 likes Reply Retweet 21 Liked 83 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago You make yourself complicit in that system by validating and amplifying the voices of our harassers. @UnburntWitch @RichardDawkins 22 retweets 100 likes Reply Retweet 22 Liked 100 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago Please stop, or at least do so with full knowledge of the scope, history, and implications of your actions. @UnburntWitch @RichardDawkins

After what was apparently an unsatisfactory response from Dawkins — I couldn’t find his Tweet, if there was one — West repeated and expanded upon her basic points. [EDIT: The unsastisfactory respose, West tells me, was that Dawkins posted a link to one of the videos of Chanty Binx at the Toronto demonstration.]

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest If this is your response, please go on record, explicitly, that you believe women you dislike deserve rape & death threats. @RichardDawkins

Well, that got his attention:

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 7h7 hours ago @thelindywest What the hell are you talking about. When have I ever said any such thing? 7 retweets 34 likes Reply Retweet 7 Like 34 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago Did you read the link that I sent? Posting this video implies an endorsement of her abuse (and will definitely amplify it). @RichardDawkins 9 retweets 71 likes Reply Retweet 9 Liked 71 More View other replies Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 7h7 hours ago @thelindywest No. What link? Somebody told me who she was. I was about to delete my original tweet. Then I looked up the Toronto vid . . .

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago I sent you a series of tweets. Feel free to read them in my TL. Here is the link again: https://wehuntedthemammoth.com/2013/04/15/canadian-feminist-activist-receives-death-threats-and-other-abuse-after-being-targeted-by-mens-rights-activists/ … @RichardDawkins View summary 16 retweets 67 likes Reply Retweet 16 Liked 67 More View other replies Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago Then you looked up the Toronto vid and...felt like that woman deserved what she got? That's exactlly what I'm talking about. @RichardDawkins 7 retweets 77 likes Reply Retweet 7 Liked 77 More View other replies Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 7h7 hours ago @thelindywest I think she deserves nothing more than ridicule. I would never shriek "Fuckface" at her. But I would laugh at her. Ridicule.

So there you have it: when informed that a tweet of his will almost certainly worsen the vicious harassment faced by a young woman whose only “crime” was being rude to a couple of MRAs in public, Richard Dawkins, a one-time winner of  the American Humanist Association’s Humanist of the Year Award, replies by saying that “she deserves nothing more than ridicule.”

West replied:

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest Please don't insult me by pretending you don't comprehend the gravity and scope of this conversation and your complicity. @RichardDawkins

Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago Great. Good job. If you leave those links up you are fomenting further abuse, and that's a choice you should own. @RichardDawkins

Dawkins then decided to suggest that perhaps Binx was, you know, crazy:

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 7h7 hours ago @FulcrumAmber @thelindywest Perhaps mentally ill, to be charitable. Anyway it's disgraceful that she's apparently received violent threats. 1 retweet 8 likes Reply Retweet 1 Like 8 More Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago First of all, mentally ill people are fully capable of holding and expressing valid, well-considered, justified opinions. @RichardDawkins 48 retweets 214 likes Reply Retweet 48 Like 214 More Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago 2nd of all, you know nothing of this woman's mental state but her anger. Armchair diagnoses are presumptuous and insulting. @RichardDawkins 37 retweets 159 likes Reply Retweet 37 Like 159 More Lindy West ‏@thelindywest 7h7 hours ago And thirdly, it's exactly this spectrum of misogyny--dismissiveness to outright abuse--that feminists are angry about. @RichardDawkins

Dawkins ultimately agreed to take down his Tweet linking to the execrable video. But he offered no apology. And he went on to suggest that just maybe Binx had … threatened herself.

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 7h7 hours ago Having learned that the woman in the joke song is a real person who has been disgracefully threatened with violence, I'm deleting my tweets. 65 retweets 436 likes Reply Retweet 65 Like 436 More Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 5h5 hours ago Maybe I'm naive. Can't believe anyone's as nasty as her. Nor that anyone would threaten her. Nor that anyone'd lie about being threatened.

User Actions Follow Richard DawkinsVerified account ‏@RichardDawkins Richard Dawkins Retweeted Boltzmann Is this really true? How depressing. But it would explain a lot. Richard Dawkins added, Boltzmann @NameIsBoltzmann @RichardDawkins People lie about being threatened all the time these days. Some have gotten caught threatening themselves.

We’ve seen this, er, argument before.

sharkethics

Does Dawkins have any conception of just how much abuse women like Chanty Binx get? If she were sending herself all the threatening and harassing messages she gets, she wouldn’t have time to eat or sleep.

And I wonder if Dawkins thinks she drew the caricature of herself that was used in the video he retweeted.

Thoughtful as ever, Dawkins made sure to remind his 1.3 million followers that Binx still deserved all the mockery they could deliver. Just not the death threats please!

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 8h8 hours ago @YourSluttyGF Yes, she deserves abundant mockery, the more the merrier. But she doesn't deserve violent threats. Nobody does.Richard DawkinsVerified account ‏@RichardDawkins @cleanpulse @YourSluttyGF I don't feel the smallest bit guilty. She deserves mockery. But if there's a risk of inspiring violence, NO NO NO!And he begged his readers to think about the real victims here — those people, like him, who might have to curtail their mockery somewhat because their terrible, terrible fans might be inspired to hurt someone.

Richard DawkinsVerified account ‏@RichardDawkins PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't EVER threaten anyone with violence. We should be free to use comedy/ridicule without fear it may inspire violence

RIP, Richard Dawkins’ comedy career.

Is Dawkins actually unaware that by punching down at a woman who’s already been the target of a three year harassment campaign he almost certainly is contributing to the threats he claims to deplore? It’s hard for me to believe that he could be so naive. But the alternative explanation — that he knows full well that he’s encouraging the harassers — is even more disquieting.

One good thing has come out of this ugly episode today: The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism has un-invited Dawkins from its event this year. A post on the group’s website today explains:

The Northeast Conference on Science & Skepticism has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016. We have taken this action in response to Dr. Dawkins’ approving re-tweet of a highly offensive video.

We believe strongly in freedom of speech and freedom to express unpopular, and even offensive, views. However, unnecessarily divisive, counterproductive, and even hateful speech runs contrary to our mission and the environment we wish to foster at NECSS. The sentiments expressed in the video do not represent the values of NECSS or its sponsoring organizations.

We will issue a full refund to any NECSS attendee who wishes to cancel their registration due to this announcement.

The NECSS Team

Good for them. The atheist movement needs to stand up to the haters and harassers in its midst, including those like Dawkins, who may not directly harass or threaten but who use their huge platforms to amplify and embolden this hatred and harassment.

It would be nice if Dawkins were to actually learn something — a little humanity, a little humility? — from this incident, but when it comes to the subject of feminism Dawkins seems incapable of taking in new information, much less learning anything from it.

EDITED TO ADD: And now, as if to prov what I just said in that previous paragraph, Dawkins is now second-guessing his decision to take down his tweet linking to the video, because GamerGaters are telling him that Chanty and I made up the evidence of the abuse she got.

dawktakeback

NOTE: Lindy West has a book coming out soon. Pre-order it below!

CORRECTION: I added  a bit noting that the Islamist in the cartoon video is supposed to be a parody of a real person.

EDIT: I added a line about Dawkins tweeting a link to a video of Chanty Binx at the Toronto demonstration.

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Tulse
Tulse
4 years ago

I really wish Dawkins weren’t such profound and clueless embarrassment to the atheist movement. And I really wish the atheist movement didn’t seem to have so many like him.

sevenofmine
sevenofmine
4 years ago

Yes, she deserves abundant mockery, the more the merrier.

The.
More.
The.
Merrier.

“Oh but gawsh, I would never encourage my followers to harass anyone.”

*pukes forever*

Helenawelena
Helenawelena
4 years ago

His withdrawn invitation from the NECSS is gunna cause another ‘omg Femanazis taking away our freedom of speech!’ shitstorm within the Yianoppolous/MRA fandom.

Dal
Dal
4 years ago

As an atheist, I have officially run out of patience with this man.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
4 years ago

I wish I could feel surprised or shocked or anything much. But nowadays when I see the Dawkins name come up, it’s dead set to be yet another witless attempt at being edgy or mocking or ridiculing which — every single time — has all the punch of a bowl of wet noodles with all the charm of a sticky doorknob.

Someone should do him a kindness and take his twitter account away.

Meredith
Meredith
4 years ago

Online celebrities in this atheist sphere need to realize many of their followers are going to have really biased views and major vendettas against someone.

They can’t afford to just retweet without looking into it.

I think its ridiculous that he said “Mockery and ridicule” is FINE but death threats aren’t.

Are both not attempts to make another person miserable?
With the amount of followers he has, he needs to realize people don’t just make light hearted jabs and forget about it, a mob mentality emerges, the negative views of the person overwhelm their judgement, and they become incapable of seeing them as a real, whole person with good intentions.

When a mob whips up based on a strong dislike of any person, someone is going to end up feeling threats are justified. Every bully, or harasser justifies their own actions by convincing themselves the person they targeted is bad and deserves to feel bad.

I think if I had to between thousands of people ridiculing me – making gross comments about me, following my every move online, sharing my imagine with other for the purpose of mockery, and attempting to silence and humiliate me constantly – and one person saying they want to cut my throat. I’d probably choose the death threat.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

This seems quite timely. A judge’s comment from a case today:

“That includes the tweet from the present health secretary that I’ve been shown. These days it is hard to have the word ‘tweet’ without ‘ill-advised’ before it.”

Miss Andry
4 years ago

I love Lindy West. She cracked me up when she was writ in for Jezebel.

Kularanini
Kularanini
4 years ago

Obviously doesn’t apply to vast majority of humanists/atheists, among whom I count myself. But the minority are pernicious.
https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Lindy West 5 eveah!!!!!!

dhag85
dhag85
4 years ago

Can he at least stop pretending to be a feminist?

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Mereidith,
Not much of a choice though. 😕

Kularanini
Kularanini
4 years ago

@Helenawelena

I’ve always hated that reaction, because nobody is silencing these individuals or denying their freedom to express any good/bad thought they have and nobody is obligated to give them a platform for that expression. Essentially the withdrawn invite is the organization expressing their own opinion of ‘we don’t want to hang out anymore because we discovered you’re a bit of a jerk’. And that is their right. By telling people they can’t do that is actually an attempt to infringe upon the same right they are claiming is being denied in the first place.

C.S.Strowbridge
C.S.Strowbridge
4 years ago

I”m glad he got disinvited from NCESS. More people need to stand up to him and tell him his behavior in unacceptable.

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

Gesu!

(Pauses to contain swearing).

The more the merrier.

Well, I saw Dawkins name on the post and thought much the same as mildlymagnificent, but much cruder: “What’s shitbiscuit up to now?”

Suffice it to say the professor has comfortably exceeded my expectations.

(Unless he’s just a Fundamentalist plot to discredit science, rationality and atheism by spouting off this kind of stuff whenever he gets a chance? I mean, NoTrueScientist would really spout the kneejerk rubbish he does? Someone trained to spot confirmation bias, cherrypicking evidence, acknowledging sources etc?)

arash
arash
4 years ago

also this video is another product of MRA hate and propaganda machine
but dawkins reaction is explainable
dawkins himself receives a lot of threats, but most of the time his reaction is laughing at them, maybe he expect the others to be like him
and i can assure you religious fundamentalists are not less serious than MRA members

ikanreed
ikanreed
4 years ago

I really wish Dawkins weren’t such profound and clueless embarrassment to the atheist movement. And I really wish the atheist movement didn’t seem to have so many like him.

It’s been exacerbated by the fact that his group has merged with the center for inquiry, putting him at the forefront as an explicitly selected leader.

If you want a skepticism/atheism blog that doesn’t build itself on hating religious minorities and smug condescension, I highly recommend Rebbecca Watson’s skepchick network.

Bina
4 years ago

antifeminist YouTuber Sargon of Akkad

How ironic that he’d choose that name, considering that what once was Akkad is now part of a majority-Muslim middle east. And that before Islam came there, the predominant religions were all Goddess-worshippers. And in the earliest days of Mesopotamia, women had much higher status than they would later on. An imbalance which early Islam later sought to redress, BTW.

And trust him to be totally perception-impaired when it comes to said ironies, among others.

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Bina,
History is misandry!

Ravn Thor
4 years ago

Dawkins is such a fucking ass and a huge reason why the athiest community is such a hotbed of MRA neckbearded anti-feminist rape apologists (The Amazing Atheist, Thunderf00t).

I was involved in a small secular group last year and was in for a rude awakening. I had no idea how misogynistic and sexist it is. I got into an argument about rape culture and of course atheist “wanted proof” and when i spent hours providing cited sources and statistics of how vital it is to dismantle it and call it out I was met with that same dismissive smugness. The group has since split because of that because many of the men in that community creeped on women that were involved and passionate about atheism, and we formed a secular women and allies group. The small secular community really fell appart after that because the only thing those men wanted to do online was troll people and get into ideological pissing matches while theorizing about whether or not rape was really ‘that bad.’
It’s fucking sad is what it is. And a real shame.
But Lindy West is a fucking bad ass feminist goddess and I raise my coffee mug to her!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ Bina

And that before Islam came there, the predominant religions were all Goddess-worshippers

Are you familiar with the ‘Satanic Verses’ (the bits in the Koran, not the overrated novel)?

For those who don’t know, the Koran contains verses specifically acknowledging that the old goddesses exist and it’s fine to pray to them to ask them to intercede.

(If you believe the Koran is the work of humans rather than god, the reason for that was to make Islam acceptable in a goddess worshiping culture. Pretty much how the Virgin Mary became equated with pagan goddesses in Ireland)

After the conquest of Arabia such concessions were no longer necessary, but it became a problem explaining why the verses were in the, inerrant, Koran.

So the explanation put forward was that Satan had whispered these verses into Muhammed’s ear whilst he was listening to god dictate, and he didn’t realise. (Men eh? You give us one simple task…)

One of my many annoyances with ISIS is that they are systematically destroying everything related to the original goddess worshipping culture.

Dr Hoveiny
Dr Hoveiny
4 years ago

I’ve gone to NECSS in the past and have some friends near where it’s held. They’ve been trying to get me to come for it and I’ve been dragging my heels. Kind of considering it now…

It’s like Elevatorgate II, Son of Coffee Guy.

Jen
Jen
4 years ago

Bluecat, it’s because he’s so sure of his use of scientific merit in science stuff that he doesn’t think to apply it to the personal biases and thinking errors he has in daily life. It doesn’t help that he’s extremely privileged, so he’s never truly been one to understand oppression from experience.

arash
arash
4 years ago

I mean, NoTrueScientist would really spout the kneejerk rubbish he does? Someone trained to spot confirmation bias, cherrypicking evidence, acknowledging sources etc?

well actually scientists are prone to biases just like us in fields they are not specialised

Bina
4 years ago

Bina,
History is misandry!

Yes, and so is awareness of irony!

Are you familiar with the ‘Satanic Verses’ (the bits in the Koran, not the overrated novel)?

For those who don’t know, the Koran contains verses specifically acknowledging that the old goddesses exist and it’s fine to pray to them to ask them to intercede.

(If you believe the Koran is the work of humans rather than god, the reason for that was to make Islam acceptable in a goddess worshiping culture. Pretty much how the Virgin Mary became equated with pagan goddesses in Ireland)

After the conquest of Arabia such concessions were no longer necessary, but it became a problem explaining why the verses were in the, inerrant, Koran.

So the explanation put forward was that Satan had whispered these verses into Muhammed’s ear whilst he was listening to god dictate, and he didn’t realise. (Men eh? You give us one simple task…)

Heh. I hadn’t read those, even though I’ve a copy of the book. (And the boring-ass Rushdie novel, too, alas.)

No doubt those verses were initially included, and widely accepted by Muslim believers, only to be later suppressed as “satanic” by would-be leaders jockeying for power as Islam grew in popularity. Paleo-theistic stuff usually is…just as depictions of the Greek god Pan were later proclaimed to be of Satan. Really it was just a catch-all label for anything inconvenient to power-hungry fundamentalists.

Long pedantic dissertation cut short: All religions are man-made, but only some of them are made for the convenience of men only…and early pagan stuff most definitely was not!

Lady Mondegreen
Lady Mondegreen
4 years ago

So Chanty Binx deserves continued mockery and ridicule over that one incident several years ago–

–OK, even if you believe that, why would you retweet that video? Does it actually represent her views? Like, at all?

I think not.

I’m all for the mockery of repugnant views, but Mr. Rational should at least make an effort not to disseminate strawmen.

Dreadnought
Dreadnought
4 years ago

I used to look up to Richard Dawkins and I remember feeling so betrayed during the Elevatorgate incident. As a man who prizes scepticism and intellectual thought, how could you make such atrocious comments towards a woman who only decided to express the creepiness of being propositioned in an empty elevator?

I no longer identify myself as an atheist due to the likes of Richard Dawkins, Phil Mason, and the rest of the misogynistic ilk that pervades the atheist movement.

tinyorc
4 years ago

World Famous “Skeptic” Taken In By Trolls Telling Him What He Wants To Hear

zoon echon logon
zoon echon logon
4 years ago

@Lady Mondegreen

I was going to point out the difference between mockery (the point of this blog), based on the horrible things people have actually said, and harassment based on someone yelling once. But, you beat me too it. Well put!

Bazia
Bazia
4 years ago

Chanty Binx, if you read this, please know that you have my greatest admiration and respect. I have followed the organized hate movement against you from the start feeling great concern for your health and wishing I could contact you to tell you many of us were thinking of you. I saw the original video, which had already been cut by the MRA who shot it, but which showed that you were attempting to read a statement regarding how men and women could work together to fix problems affecting us all. I saw how the group of men surrounding you verbally harassed you to the point that you told them to fuck off, and I watched them decide to magnify that a million-fold and distort it into some kind of wrongdoing, which it was not.

I watched for years as more edited and parodic videos and images were widely published to make you a symbol of feminist “wrongdoing”. Your only “wrongdoing” was to resist, to fight back when you were harassed, to refuse to kowtow. Many of us understand that this is the ultimate and real threat to male supremacists. This is the reason for the malevolence directed at you. I want to apologize for not doing more to defend you out of fear, and salute Lindy West for her bravery.

Richard Dawkins indicates that he detests some feminists for unknown reasons. The reasons are the same: some feminists won’t kowtow. They resist. They fight back. They are real threats to male domination. He is transparent, as are his handlers.

I wish you good health and a bright future.

David N-T
David N-T
4 years ago

Dawkins’s ego’s growth in size is commensurate with his output’s decrease in quality. The guy doesn’t learn, because he’s somehow gotten within his head the notion that he can do no wrong in practice. Ironic that an atheist would grow a god complex.

Lost in Lindsey
4 years ago

I really don’t like Richard Dawkins. He gives atheists a bad name with his intolerance.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

There is no correlation between atheism and being an asshole, on both direction.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

This sort of thing is, ironically, why I got into feminism. I’ve identified as an atheist for a while; I used to go along to atheist meetings and read atheist blogs, and it was a huge eye-opener to see that there were people whose atheist politics I agreed with, but who were total douchnozzles to women. After Rebecca Watson and Jen McCreight got as harassed as they did, I couldn’t carry on being a clueless privileged white STEM guy any longer.

That was the point where I first really understood that there are no simplistic “good guys” and “bad guys” and there is no clash of cultures, but rather a clash of humanity against itself. It isn’t about defeating anyone so much as admitting to ourselves that we as a culture and as a species are sick, and need therapy to unlearn harmful mental habits.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
4 years ago

Lindy West linked to this site, so of course someone is now trying to poison Dawkins against David and linked to AVFM to do so. Dawkins replied, “Interesting. I’d like to hear detail on that. Thanks”.

He might be about to go full MRA.

dust bunny
dust bunny
4 years ago

@ bluecat

(Unless he’s just a Fundamentalist plot to discredit science, rationality and atheism by spouting off this kind of stuff whenever he gets a chance? I mean, NoTrueScientist would really spout the kneejerk rubbish he does? Someone trained to spot confirmation bias, cherrypicking evidence, acknowledging sources etc?)

White guy science is all about considering all phenomena in a vacuum/sterile laboratory setting/through a mathematical model. Those are the ways to get to the Objective Truth. It’s easy to disprove feminism (and in fact everything women or poor people say) starting from first principles using white guy science, I’ve even done it myself as an exercise.

I Forget What Name I Use Here
I Forget What Name I Use Here
4 years ago

This is why the atheist movement is a fucking disgrace. I don’t know how we became co-opted by MRA dudebros and assorted reactionaries, but it happened. Now the self-proclaimed prophets of reason sic their frothing-at-the-mouth hate mobs on people (mostly minorities, of course) whose ideas are too uncomfortable for them to think about; excuse me while my irony meter explodes. Organized skepticism is going to have to seriously clean house or every decent human being they have left is going to abandon them – if the atheist movement continues it’s current trajectory it’ll merge with gamergate and the rest of the alt-right within the next couple of years. I can’t believe I actually used to like this guy… ugh.

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

Aw, this post left out one of the funniest parts of the Twitter exchange; it went a little something like this:

West: like literally what is wrong with you
Dawkins: “Like literally what’s the matter with you?” Why do you like it? And are you sure you need that “literally”?
West: lololololololoollololl oh my god you tried
West: nothing says “cutting edge intellectual” like mocking youth vernacular

I used to look up to Richard Dawkins and I remember feeling so betrayed during the Elevatorgate incident. As a man who prizes scepticism and intellectual thought, how could you make such atrocious comments towards a woman who only decided to express the creepiness of being propositioned in an empty elevator?

And not only were his comments derisive and mean-spirited, they were also just stupid – indulging deeply, as they did, in an extended relative privation/’not as bad as’ type of logical fallacy. IIRC, people asked him to clarify – as in, ‘is this eminent man of science really debating politics like a 14-year-old YouTube commenter, or are we misunderstanding somehow?’ – and he just doubled-down on his bad logic.

Nathan Hevenstone
4 years ago

Every day, I am more and more embarrassed by the fact that “The God Delusion” is what really made me an atheist.

I mean, I also read the Bible, plus extant gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Talmud, etc, and that cemented it, so that’s what I tell people made me an atheist these days because any association with Dawkins is embarrassing at this point.

Lindy West, on the other hand, is the greatest.

I have to second Skepchick, BTW. It is absolutely incredible. I also want to offer a recommendation for Freethought Blogs. They have amazing bloggers like Greta Christina, Miri Mogilevsky, Heina Dadhaboy, Jason Thibeault, Alex Gabriel, Dana Hunter, The Digital Cuttlefish, Zinnia Jones, and others (they have a few you may want to avoid, as well, but the majority are awesome).

Songthe
Songthe
4 years ago

Well, I’ve been a feminist for over a decade, and I for one LOVE Chanty Binx. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her. I actually wish more feminists were like her, at least online anonymously where they wouldn’t get harassed. Feminism isn’t supposed to be appeasing or conciliatory. It’s not only okay if men dislike feminism, it’s imperative.

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Dawkins is not ready for what is about to go down. In a battle of wit, he is unarmed.

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
4 years ago

I used to look up to Richard Dawkins and I remember feeling so betrayed during the Elevatorgate incident. As a man who prizes scepticism and intellectual thought, how could you make such atrocious comments towards a woman who only decided to express the creepiness of being propositioned in an empty elevator?

Yap. When it happened, at first I couldn’t believe that was really him. I own several books written by him and The God Delusion had been really important for me when I developed my atheist understanding of the world and of society.
And then the guy turns out to be an ignorant jackass who is so enamoured of himself that he can’t see past his own ego and realize that he doesn’t know everything.
Asshat.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

Richard Dwakins is a disgusting bucket of pigshit. He thinks that being an atheist means he is Enlightened and has nothing left to learn. I looked at his twitter feed and it’s all people telling him how great he is and to pay no heed to the nasty feminist b*tches who are bullying and censoring him. How wonderful for Dicky Dwakins that he need never fear running out of toilet paper – there are plenty of people willing to thoroughly lick his shit-encrusted asshole till it sparkles.

Noseflower
Noseflower
4 years ago

This is the exact moment I decided Lindy West is teh awesome. I know many of you have heard it before, but it bears replaying.

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

Well, I’ve been a feminist for over a decade, and I for one LOVE Chanty Binx. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her. I actually wish more feminists were like her, at least online anonymously where they wouldn’t get harassed. Feminism isn’t supposed to be appeasing or conciliatory. It’s not only okay if men dislike feminism, it’s imperative.

Hmm…

http://static.srcdn.com/slir/w570-h300-q90-c570:300/wp-content/uploads/Good-Luck-Trolls.jpg

dust bunny
dust bunny
4 years ago

@ Mike

was it the “Well, I’ve been a feminist for over a decade” for you, too?

brian
brian
4 years ago

sigh. fucking Dawkins. he’s about as bad as nearly every asshole atheist youtuber (which seems to be at least 90% of them). worse, actually in that while i think he’s not QUITE as bad, he has a MUCH bigger audience.

Rafael
4 years ago

I find Dawkins and their Neo-Atheist brethren no so different from the very religious figure heads that they claim to criticize, in as much as their arguments boil down to a tribal defense of The West, which was once called Christendom against the same “enemies” and using the same arguments. Simply removing any mention of, “The Lord” from said arguments doesn’t change them one bit.

Oh, and why do Neo-Atheist fear feminism so much?

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
4 years ago

David, you did a great job covering this multi-layered garbage heap. I didn’t know much about Lindy West before but now I’m a fan.

There’s one other layer of this that pisses me off and that’s the myth that feminists didn’t care about the sexual assaults in Cologne. This has been bouncing around the manosphere echo chamber and that’s what the video was about. Right after the Cologne attacks, racists and Islamophobes jumped on it to justify blocking Syrian refugees. I and other feminists pointed out that the identity of the perpetrators was unclear. Sure, out of the handful arrested some were refugees but the attacks appear to have been coordinated and no one knows by who. Attacks like this happened long before the refugee crisis. For all we know, it could have been instigated by people who wanted to discredit and keep out refugees. In the mind of the manosphere, not condemning refugees = condoning the Cologne sexual assaults.

https://twitter.com/RichardDawkins/status/692685586277273600

Dawkins wrote about his reaction to being disinvited. He and his fanboys don’t have a clue. To him it’s just the fact that Chanty Binx is a real person and to his fanboys (including GamerGate) it’s a free speech issue. (No one is censoring him, assholes.) They conveniently overlook the racism, ableism, and rape joke in the video.

Emcube
Emcube
4 years ago

So, Dawkins’ followers on Twitter are now saying WHTM is a propaganda site, that David Futrelle is a liar out to ruin careers, and one of them even called him a serial harasser of women and linked to an AVFM article about Cassie Jaye.

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