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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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LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

@Scildfreja
I think the problem with the atheist movement right now is that there’s too many boys and men in it and not enough girls. Not to mention almost ALL of these guys are sexists. It’s an unfortunate thing that just sort of happened…

“you at least avoided the amazing atheist, right?

… Why are there SO MANY prominent atheist misogynists?”

He is HORRIBLE. >.< All he does is bash Anita Sarkeesian, he doesn't even talk about religion or atheism anymore. I really have no idea why so many atheists are like this.

“He’s been retweeting misogynists for literally years. Stop being stupid.”

I’m not stupid, I’m just thinking about this from another perspective. I also don’t appreciate the personal insults.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
4 years ago

Guyyys, he’s totally not a misogynist!

I know! ElevatorGate was just a misunderstanding. It’s been explained to him time and again yet he refuses to see how hostile he is toward women.

Ugh, now Dan Perrins has joined the Twitter shitstorm. All of Dawkins’ defenders are making this about Chanty Binx and (a) her credibility re death threats she received and (b) what she said at the Toronto rally as though she might have deserved the threats. Never mind about Dawkins’ persistent Islamophobia and the other problematic elements of the video. Pesky details, amiright?

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
4 years ago

D:

Dawkins’ feed is a total train wreck at the moment.

Also, he’s retweeted a couple of people with the surname Yiannopoulos.

Hmm. What a coinky-dink.

(But he’s not a misogynist, no siree)

TheLulzWatch
TheLulzWatch
4 years ago

If feminists were as crazy as they claim to their followers, something bad would already have happened to some of them.

Kirbywarp, no, you are so right. Telling them how to be more harmfull to those they want to harm is the way to stop them from doing just that. Even easier, tell them to stop being racist.

The law of unintended consequences is just a story to scare small children and can thus be safely ignored.

sevenofmine
sevenofmine
4 years ago

@LinkxZeldaFan

I see it more as ignorance.

Bigotry is ignorance. These are not different things. He assumes himself to be inherently rational and impartial and thus assumes all his preconceptions are accurate reflections of reality. He uncritically believes anything that affirms his preconceptions. He doubts everything that fails to comport with his preconceptions. This bias (i.e. bigotry) results in him being ignorant of how the world actually works. You are drawing a distinction without a difference here.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

The lame thing is that most misogynists are going to use this incident to fuel their anti-feminist agenda.

“Dawkins’ feed is a total train wreck at the moment.

Also, he’s retweeted a couple of people with the surname Yiannopoulos.

Hmm. What a coinky-dink.”

‘Aight, he may be turning a misogynist.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

@LinkxZeldaFan,

@Scildfreja
I think the problem with the atheist movement right now is that there’s too many boys and men in it and not enough girls. Not to mention almost ALL of these guys are sexists. It’s an unfortunate thing that just sort of happened…

Atheism has always been sexist, as far as I can tell, and it seems like it’s positively selecting for sexism. Men are rewarded for being contrarian and standing up for positions, however unsavoury. Women are punished for doing the same. To change the balance, change the beliefs.

“you at least avoided the amazing atheist, right?

… Why are there SO MANY prominent atheist misogynists?”

He is HORRIBLE. >.< All he does is bash Anita Sarkeesian, he doesn't even talk about religion or atheism anymore. I really have no idea why so many atheists are like this.

Misogyny is sugar for atheism. It’s an unpopular opinion (in their minds, at least), it makes them feel like martyrs and underdogs going up against society-wide injustice, and (most importantly) it lets them feel superior. Absolute honey-trap for people with a bit of smarts and enough privilege in life that they need to invent bad guys to go after.

“He’s been retweeting misogynists for literally years. Stop being stupid.”

I’m not stupid, I’m just thinking about this from another perspective. I also don’t appreciate the personal insults.

Linkx, Dawkins wrote Dear Muslima in 2011. His tone hasn’t changed since – if anything he’s doubled down.

I know it’s hard to do, but it’s vital to do so – see him for who he is and not what you want to see him as. I hated doing it too, but shedding those blinders is important in so many ways. There is a preponderance of evidence that he holds misogynistic beliefs. As has been said earlier, kill your darlings.

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/couples/files/2014/07/tumblr_n1zi5rWB2V1r7b6cio1_500.gif

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

I’m more disappointed with Dawkins than anything else. I do like his work and even beyond his usual topics he can be an engaging speaker.

But this is a guy who evangelises about making decisions based on evidence.

Even if he was genuinely ignorant of the true situation (by which I mean both the instant case and the prevalence of misogyny generally) he’s been presented with the facts now.

It’s the mark of a true rationalist that when the facts demonstrate your previous assumptions were false you accept that and modify your position accordingly.

It’s somewhat disheartening that he refuses to do that.

Andalusa
Andalusa
4 years ago

I went to the same school as Dawkins (although many years later), so I feel a vague sense of responsibility. I have to say, the English public school system is brilliant at two things: reinforcing the idea that women are weird and “other”, even when they go co-ed, and instilling a strong sense of intellectual arrogance in its finished product.

I was certainly an arsehole (in the way I carried out my academic pursuits) by the time I left that school, and it took some time to become a halfway decent person afterwards – as always, work in progress.

But yeah, Dawkins needs to go stick his head in a pig.

Valentine
Valentine
4 years ago

A better person would know she doesn’t deserve even ridicule. She lost her temper. So did those mras in the videos and I don’t lie awake at night thinking about them. It’s just a vid of an altercation. I’d save my riducle for the manboobz that David writes about here. That’s constructive cathartic ridicule that actually acheives something more than just making one person feel like shit for your own amusement.

Kirbywarp
Kirbywarp
4 years ago

This article chronicles a few of Dawkins’s past statements of note, in case people don’t know about them.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

@Scildfreja
There was a time when I believed that if religion was gone, all sexism, racism, and everything else would be gone. But it was being in the atheist movement that taught me that sexism is not a religiously-exclusive thing, that most of our species is unfortunately programmed to prey on the weaker (women being, in general, physically weaker than men) and that hatred of women has always been a thing. Religion was just used to justify it. Humans haven’t finished evolving.

“This article chronicles a few of Dawkins’s past statements of note, in case people don’t know about them.”

Thanks, Kirby. ^_^ XD

katz
4 years ago

Dawkins is certainly ignorant, but it’s deliberate and consciously maintained ignorance intended to uphold his preexisting beliefs. It’s not as though he simply hasn’t had feminism explained to him.

Notice how when West provides him with a series of well-documented articles demonstrating harassment, he hems and haws and pretends he didn’t see it, but when some rando tweets that she made up the harassment, he accepts it at face value. That’s a deliberate choice.

guest
guest
4 years ago

What I’ve never been able to figure out about these logic-dudes is that they wear their emotions on their sleeves all the damn time. Irritation, anger, scorn, dejection (when girls won’t fuck them), disappointment, pride, and even exultation, wonder and delight (when the thing they’re working on finally works) are all emotions.

It’s more embarrassing for them, though, that they’re not even aware they have and exhibit emotions. A friend of mine told me a while back she was chatting in a group that included an elderly well-respected engineer who sounds a lot like one of these logic-dudes…she happened to say something slighting about a topic that is important to him, and she said for a split second all she saw in his face was a consuming rage. I’m sure he wasn’t even aware of it.

dhag85
dhag85
4 years ago

Notice how when West provides him with a series of well-documented articles demonstrating harassment, he hems and haws and pretends he didn’t see it, but when some rando tweets that she made up the harassment, he accepts it at face value. That’s a deliberate choice.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Lorcan Nagle
Lorcan Nagle
4 years ago

I think my first moment of “maybe this guy’s not so awesome” was during The Root of all Evil, when he wouldn’t even find a middle ground with the Church of England member who laid out that they agreed with evolution and the Big Bang, but thought that maybe their God kicked off the process. Dawkins basically equated a relatively reasonable position, with that of the American crazies he’d been arguing with earlier in the show.

And then Elevatorgate happened, and his Muslima post just disgusted me. And then I saw more and more people talking about the misogyny that was rampant in atheist circles, and it boiled my blood.

Just a week or two ago, Adam Savage had Rebecca Watson on his podcast, and the comments below it on Youtube were full of people going on and on about how Savage should vett his guests more carefully and she was a horrible, horrible person. And all because she didn’t want to be cornered in a lift by a guy who creeped on her (whether he was creepy or just socially awkward is immaterial at this point). Dawkins doesbn’t understand how shitty his attitude towards women is, and how much of a signal boost his ill-advised public persona is for truly awful people.

Mike
Mike
4 years ago

@Songthe

@Mike, I fail to see what about my comment was trolly. Seriously, I have commented here before under this name. I’m not a troll, and I am certainly not a troll for admiring a feminist woman, thanks.

Well, the thing that struck me as troll-y wasn’t your professed admiration for Chanty Binx; it was this part:

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.

That sounds pretty bait-y to me. As you know, anti-feminists come to this blog (and other feminist-oriented spaces), pose as feminists, and then make contentious statements as a way to goad feminists into agreeing with potentially inflammatory or offensive positions; it’s a sort of ‘gotcha’-style tactic to discredit feminism in general (and to be fair, it’s not just an anti-feminist thing: posing as one’s ideological opponent in order to expose some dark, hidden element of their worldview is something that well predates the internet).

So, it’d be very easy for someone to interpret your statement as ‘I think it’s important for feminists to be anonymously, intentionally nasty to men on the internet’ – exactly the sort of behavior that anti-feminists perpetually accuse feminists of engaging in. Following from that, if anyone agreed with you, it would then be easy to use those assenting posts as ‘proof’ that feminists routinely do this sort of thing.

So, if you weren’t trying to troll and were just expressing an earnest belief, well, in that case I do apologize. But, that said, I would like to know what you mean exactly when you say “It’s not only okay if men dislike feminism, it’s imperative.”

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@ Katz

it’s deliberate and consciously maintained ignorance intended to uphold his preexisting beliefs

That’s what is so bewildering and disappointing. He’s acting like a Creationist being presented with a Tiktaalik fossil (actually, more like one meeting an actual Tiktaalik going “Hi, I’m a Tiktaalik”).

Tyra Lith
Tyra Lith
4 years ago

I think another problem that is inherent in every (online and offline) space that is mostly inhabited by men is that men seem to be taught by society not to trust women.
This here describes pretty good what I mean by that:
(Warning: some use of ableist language)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/damon-young/men-just-dont-trust-women_b_6714280.html

It’s clear for me that this is a major issue with men who think that they are oh so rational and have it all figured out – when women tell them about their experiences and what happens on a daily basis to them, they think to themselves “well, I have never experienced this and a lot of men say that they have never seen this happen either so those overly emotional women must have imagined it.” Add to it that it can be very uncomfortable to accept that you are privileged and have been your entire life – and yeah.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

“SJW”-haters complain that twitter and other sites are trying to censor the internet, but sending death threats and harassment mobs at individual people and self-proclaimed feminists isn’t “free speech”, it’s cyberbullying.
And an entire mini-industry set up to make money off of slandering and bashing a videogame critic, such as TAA’s and Thunderfoot’s nonstop hate videos at Sarkeesian? Even if they aren’t swearing or threatening her in their videos that can still be considered harassment because of the hate mobs they are sending to her and other people.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

There was a time when I believed that if religion was gone, all sexism, racism, and everything else would be gone. … Humans haven’t finished evolving.

What I’ve never been able to figure out about these logic-dudes is that they wear their emotions on their sleeves all the damn time.

Ohmigosh, this thing. Doods and Ladies, emotions are not separate from rationality or logics. Rationality is a thin smear of pretense overtop of a deep well of emotion.

All of those nasty womanly hormone things – the serotonins and the adrenalines and the things that make your emotions go all hysterical – guyse, those are neurotransmitters. Memory is dependent on a careful balance of adrenaline (or epinephrine or cortisol or whatever you want to call it) within the hippocampus, and dopamine is deeply intertwined with our ability to pursue truth. You can’t remove emotion from rationality. I’ll say it again, You can’t remove emotion from rationality.

Dammit Spock, you’re a trope, not a real thing!

isidore13
isidore13
4 years ago

@songthe, I have to agree with other people here that your statement that it is imperative that men dislike feminism is at least somewhat problematic. Could you elaborate or explain what you meant?

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

Wait, Mehta is in the atheist misogyny squad? Fuck. I thought I pretty knew who the big-name misogynists were in atheism after they uncloaked for Elevatorgate and the post-elevatorgate conflicts around Freethoughtblogs and Atheism+. I guess I missed one.
———–
Actually, it’s an odd coincidence that Dawkins turned up today, because I was already planning to bring up Elevatorgate in the thread about the Uber driver. Now it’s relevant like 3 times over. It’s relevant to Dawkins, because that’s when he really doubled down on his misogyny. It’s relevant to the side conversation EJ and I have been having about the Gaming Den. It’s a internet gaming forum we both used to frequent. During GamerGate, we learned there was a lot more misogyny there than we had thought, and EJ quit. (EJ — I wanted to ask if you remember the Elevatorgate threads on the Den, because that’s when the misogyny really popped on my radar)
————-
The original reason I was going to bring it up is that it was mass harassment action based in the same kind of status-obssessed insecurity that seems to motivate the guy who rants about the Uber driver. Men quaking in sheer terror at the thought that somewhere out there, a woman was telling them what to do.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

“Ohmigosh, this thing. Doods and Ladies, emotions are not separate from rationality or logics. Rationality is a thin smear of pretense overtop of a deep well of emotion.

All of those nasty womanly hormone things – the serotonins and the adrenalines and the things that make your emotions go all hysterical – guyse, those are neurotransmitters. Memory is dependent on a careful balance of adrenaline (or epinephrine or cortisol or whatever you want to call it) within the hippocampus, and dopamine is deeply intertwined with our ability to pursue truth. You can’t remove emotion from rationality. I’ll say it again, You can’t remove emotion from rationality.”

I don’t mean to say anything bad about guys here, because of course most men I know are definitely NOT like this, but why is it that most of the criminals, tyrants, dictators and sex offenders in the world are male? There are female scumbags of course but most have been male. This is a societal problem more than a basic gender problem IMO, I’m just saying that most of these “MRA”s have no logical stance to say that women or feminism are destroying the world. 0.o Education and equality of women in the workplace has been shown to reduce poverty and increase economies etc. This BS that “feminism destroys everything” is fucking stupid. >.>

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

Saying that “Men should dislike feminism” implies that all men like and want to keep their privilege, and will oppose anything that reduces that privilege.

This paints men as the monsters that toxic masculinity pushes them towards, and is unfair as painting women as the wilting lillies that femininity demands. We’re all human, we’re all struggling with a society that idolizes impossible ideals. There are plenty of men who want to destroy that system, too.

This is, at least, my view of what feminism is! Please correct me if I’m misguided, or if I’ve misrepresented myself.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
4 years ago

You know that by reporting the shenangians of Doosh V, Matt Forney or Heartiste, you inadvertently increase the harassment and death threats they are getting, right?

Here’s a tear.

No but seriously, David is very very careful to link to things these people have actually said, and have said very recently. Writing a true thing and linking to evidence that it’s true is not wrong. And people who spew hateful things deserve to be exposed as the hate-spewers they are. Boo hoo, poor Roosh got a beer thrown on his wig in Toronto. That’s what he gets for saying “legalise rape on private property, that’ll teach those fucking c**ts.”

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

Agreed, “patriarchy” is both a man and woman thing, not just male. There are female chauvinists such as some of the girl atheists I’ve seen on youtube who denounce feminism and don’t come to the aid of their fellow women getting harassed by woman-hating atheists.

Perd Hapley
Perd Hapley
4 years ago

Oh man! So good! I haven’t seen Lindy West go off the deep end over something so minor since Patton Oswalt dared to use the acronym SJW. Comedy gold!

Tessa
Tessa
4 years ago

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.

To be fair to Dawkins, he is a scientist, and it’s the heart of the scientific method, when presented with evidence counter to what you want to believe, to believe the folks telling you the evidence is all lies and you were right all along.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

The problem is that most of Dawkins’ fanbase are atheists, and most of them undoubtedly came from youtube, and we all know that place is a sh*t-pile. It would really show his courage of character to come out and defend feminists but I dunno…probably not gonna happen. That scumbag Sargon of Akkad already got to him. *sigh*

Temascos
Temascos
4 years ago

It’s sad and also horrifying to find out that someone whose material you genuinely enjoyed has a side such as this (I liked “The God Delusion” by Dawkins and on the other end I liked Adam Baldwin’s character in Firefly) .

He’s an educated guy as well, and surely he knows what he is doing by essentially sending groupies to go after a solo feminist activist.

I would be shocked, but after so many months of seeing this horrible pro-censorship movement against diversity in action it’s just leaving me feel empty. Like a no-end-in-sight kind of deal, and humanity is just addicted to hatred.

littleknown
littleknown
4 years ago

Re: songthe’s statement:

Would it be fair to say that:

While it’s not troublesome in the least to say that it is imperative that some men dislike feminism — that is, that feminism should not be meek and conciliatory —

It would be troublesome to say that it is imperative that all men or men in general should dislike feminism?

My guess is that songthe meant something more like the former, but I could be wrong.

Tessa
Tessa
4 years ago

LinkxZeldaFan:

The problem is that most of Dawkins’ fanbase are atheists, and most of them undoubtedly came from youtube, and we all know that place is a sh*t-pile. It would really show his courage of character to come out and defend feminists but I dunno…probably not gonna happen. That scumbag Sargon of Akkad already got to him. *sigh*

Stop treating Dawkins like a child. He’s a grown adult person. He is quite capable of forming his own views and expressing them. Sargon of Akkad isn’t some hypnotist controlling him. Dawkins wants to believe the things he says. These are Dawkins’s beliefs. Why would you respect him if you think he’s so malleable and susceptible to Sargon’s mind magic? Just accept that Dawkins is Dawkinsing.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

“Atheism has always been sexist”

That’s a strong case of confiscating a word (by the crowd of Richard Dawkin and co).

Atheism itself isn’t sexist. Being atheist (or agnostic) is about as relevant with misogyny than liking blue eye or agreeing with the theory that epigenetic factors allow transmission of obesity from the father to the children. It just mean you think there is no supernatural entity that created the world.

But annoyingly, there is a whole, frankly quite american, current of people who have an enormous corpus of ideas, who do include atheism, but a shitton of other, stranger and sometime disgusting, stuff. And now, some people think they are the atheists, which make me roll my eyes.

Good thing that in France, at least, that kind of people have next to no impact. That may be linked to how, in France, being atheist is the standard, not the exception.

guy
guy
4 years ago

I don’t mean to say anything bad about guys here, because of course most men I know are definitely NOT like this, but why is it that most of the criminals, tyrants, dictators and sex offenders in the world are male

Because they have the power to get away with it. Because either no one will stop them, or they believe no one will.

Lorcan Nagle
Lorcan Nagle
4 years ago
Reply to  Tessa

Stop treating Dawkins like a child. He’s a grown adult person. He is quite capable of forming his own views and expressing them. Sargon of Akkad isn’t some hypnotist controlling him. Dawkins wants to believe the things he says. These are Dawkins’s beliefs. Why would you respect him if you think he’s so malleable and susceptible to Sargon’s mind magic? Just accept that Dawkins is Dawkinsing.

Exactly. Assuming that Dawkins has been duped or whatever is no different from GamerGaters who expressed dismay when they discovered that Wil Wheaton or Felica Day or whomever they’d most recently reached out to had “gone SJW”

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

@Tessa”Stop treating Dawkins like a child. He’s a grown adult person. He is quite capable of forming his own views and expressing them. Sargon of Akkad isn’t some hypnotist controlling him. Dawkins wants to believe the things he says. These are Dawkins’s beliefs. Why would you respect him if you think he’s so malleable and susceptible to Sargon’s mind magic? Just accept that Dawkins is Dawkinsing.”
“Dawkinsing”??

I respect him for the books he written which was before he got a twitter account and started writing all these crazy things. You can’t blame a fan for being disappointed.

@Olhmann “Atheism itself isn’t sexist. Being atheist (or agnostic) is about as relevant with misogyny than liking blue eye or agreeing with the theory that epigenetic factors allow transmission of obesity from the father to the children. It just mean you think there is no supernatural entity that created the world.”

Exactly.

@guy “Because they have the power to get away with it. Because either no one will stop them, or they believe no one will.”

Yes that sounds about right. And, ermm..what is this sexual obsession many misogynists seem to have? Like the rape threats and that “cum tribute” they did on Anita Sarkeesian and Emma Watson? It’s really weird…

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

That’s a strong case of confiscating a word (by the crowd of Richard Dawkin and co).

You’re quite right – I was painting with too big a brush. I was trying to refer to the enlightenment roots of atheism, which was all about Big Thinky Men Thinking Big Thinky Things – the root of hyperrationalism, I feel. In my haste to make that reference, I knocked over some things I shouldn’t have. Atheism has much deeper, gentler roots, after all.

WeirwoodTreeHugger
WeirwoodTreeHugger
4 years ago

I’m not remotely caught up on this thread, but if anyone wants to read books by a non misogynistic douchebag atheist, I recommend the late Victor Stenger.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_J._Stenger

loquora
loquora
4 years ago

@TheLulzWatch and @Lorcan Nagle

Please read the comments policy. We don’t appreciate ableist language around here.

And sorry if someone else already got this, or if another of our visitors needs a reminder, this thread is moving quickly.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

@WeirwoodTreehugger “I’m not remotely caught up on this thread, but if anyone wants to read books by a non misogynistic douchebag atheist, I recommend the late Victor Stenger.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_J._Stenger

Thanks for the rec, I didn’t know there were others. ^_^ XD

dhag85
dhag85
4 years ago

@LinkxZeldaFan

Go read the comments policy before making more comments.

Lorcan Nagle
Lorcan Nagle
4 years ago

@TheLulzWatch and @Lorcan Nagle

Please read the comments policy. We don’t appreciate ableist language around here.

Sorry, I had to look back and see what I’d written that could offend. I’d sub in extremists in its place if the edit window was still open

Tessa
Tessa
4 years ago

LinkxZeldaFan:

“Dawkinsing”??

Dawkinsing: Gerund or present participle form of the verb, Dawkins.

Dawkins:
verb
1) To act as Richard Dawkins on the internet.
Dawkins gonna Dawkins
Synonyms: Harris

I respect him for the books he written which was before he got a twitter account and started writing all these crazy things. You can’t blame a fan for being disappointed.

The things he’s writing isn’t crazy, it’s callous, insensitive, cruel, and ignorant, but he’s totally sane. Don’t confuse being a bad person with being insane.

And being disappointed isn’t the same as making excuses for his chosen poor behavior.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

@dhag “Go read the comments policy before making more comments.”

I did. I was just thanking WeirwoodTreehugger for the recommendation. No need to single me out and assume I don’t know things. Thanks. ^_^

@Tess “being disappointed isn’t the same as making excuses for his chosen poor behavior.”

I know, I was just giving him benefit of the doubt but more evidence is coming out. It’s up to him to thoroughly research these things before choosing what’s right.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

This just popped up on my Facebook feed and it seems rather apt:

http://www.theonion.com/article/woman-probably-just-made-rape-story-order-get-thre-52255

dhag85
dhag85
4 years ago

@LinkxZeldaFan

I “singled you out” because you broke the comments policy, here:

I respect him for the books he written which was before he got a twitter account and started writing all these crazy things

It’s normal for people to suggest you read the comments policy when you are breaking it. Drop the attitude.

EJ (The Other One)
4 years ago

@Orion:
I joined the Den post-elevatorgate, so I missed those threads, but I can easily believe that it was a terrible mess of victim blaming and frozen peaches.

@WWTH:
RIP Victor Stenger. He drinks at Spinoza’s table now.

In terms of good male atheist speakers:

Daniel Dennett is the last of the Horsemen who’s worth reading. I’ve not heard that he’s a misogynist, although please correct me if that’s not true

Aron Ra is a feminist. He’s problematic in some other ways, especially towards Islam, but as far as I know he’s solid on gender issues.

Dan Barker and David Silverman seem to be allies too.

LinkxZeldaFan
LinkxZeldaFan
4 years ago

@dhag85 “I “singled you out” because you broke the comments policy, here:

I respect him for the books he written which was before he got a twitter account and started writing all these “crazy” things

It’s normal for people to suggest you read the comments policy when you are breaking it. Drop the attitude.”

It’s against the rules to use the word “crazy”? Other people here have used worse words to describe Dawkins, how was I supposed to know that “crazy” was a banned word?
I don’t have any attitude, I’m simply defending myself against your assumptions and comments. It’s your attitude I actually don’t appreciate. I hope we can get along here, I’m a feminist and am very glad I found a great forum by David Futrelle here.