Friday, January 29, 2016

Do Feminists Love Islamists?

Oxford biologist and world-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins just stepped in it again. His crime: retweeting a YouTube video that feminists found to be especially repugnant and offensive.

The Independent has the story:

Professor Richard Dawkins has had an invitation to speak at a science event withdrawn by organisers for sharing a "highly offensive" video mocking feminists on Twitter. 

Dawkins was scheduled to speak at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism which will take place in New York City in May, but on Thursday organisers issued a statement concerning his participation.

“The NECSS has withdrawn its invitation to Richard Dawkins to participate at NECSS 2016.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 organisations.”

One cheers the organization’s ringing affirmation of free speech. And yet, one is obliged to note that it is a completely meaningless… when it is censoring Dawkins for retweeting—not quite the same as expressing—views it finds offensive.

One notes with chagrin, as one has often noted, that the feminist paradise of Sweden is among the most tolerant of sex crimes committed by Muslim men against Swedish women and that girl power reigns in Germany and Norway, places where Muslim men who rape women are more likely to be greeted with multicultural sensitivity than with prison time or expulsion.

If the NECSS were half as upset over the way women are routinely treated in the woman-run feminist paradises in Europe we would find their umbrage easier to swallow.

In truth, the group can invite or disinvite anyone it wants. But it is also clear that many forces in the culture will be more than happy to shut up and to shut down Dawkins and his ilk.

Finally, Dawkins summarized his view of the incident:

Dawkins later responded to his “de-platforming” of the NECSS conference: “De-platformed for tweeting an irrelevant joke song? Ah well, ‘Always look on the bright side of life.’ Incidentally, would Monty Python have been de-platformed for that? No, don’t be silly, Life of Brian was only satirising Christianity.”

Apparently, Dawkins, who has made a second career out of defaming religion, has just discovered that contemporary ideology is far worse than Christianity. Ideologues cannot even take a joke.

Naturally, I always try to avoid posting offending and offensive videos, but this time, in order to allow everyone to draw their own conclusions, I will post it. (Thanks to S.M. for sending it along.)


Ares Olympus said...

The fight between the atheists and feminists has been building for a while. It started so well, atheists and feminists both reject fundamentalist religions as sexist, God being male, or God existing, both equally offensive ideas.

But their divergence apparently comes in their victimology, so feminists support everyone who is oppressed, while atheists actually want to judge victims based on the content of their character as much as their oppressed state, as MLK prescribed. And according to atheists, all believers fail good character, and therefore don't deserve sympathy.

As to the offending video, I'm curious who the red-headed feminist is supposed to be. I'm guessing its feminist blogger Rebecca Watson, of the infamous 2011 "elevator indicident" at an Atheist convention where she was cornered by a nerd in an elevator and had to feel uncomfortable for 30 seconds while she declined his offer to come to his room, his crime being unattractive.

So Richard found her complaint so preposterous he wrote an mocking letter to a Muslim woman facing real problems...
The controversy increased when Richard Dawkins joined the discussion later in 2011, describing her response as an overreaction since she had not been harmed, and then contrasting the "elevator incident" with the plight of women in Islamic countries, in a post titled Dear Muslima:

Dear Muslima,
Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and...yawn...don't tell me yet again, I know you aren't allowed to drive a car, and you can't leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you'll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you.

Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with. Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep"chick", and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn't lay a finger on her, but even so...

And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.

— Richard Dawkins

You can read more if you like in the Wiki article section, but that's why Feminists and Atheists had to have a divorce, and why Feminists have to defend Islam, or so the Atheist strawmen will say.

Mocking radical feminists is slightly safer than mocking radical Islamists, although this may not stay true forever, so I'd recommend apology, but the Atheists are having too much fun being radically self-righteous in their own deconstructions to worry about consequences.

Ares Olympus said...

Here's a more recent blog from a Feminist, critical of his tweet last summer: "Islam needs a feminist revolution. It will be hard. What can we do to help?"
...But beyond the arrogance of assuming all women experience Muslim life the same way is the ignorance of assuming that Muslim feminism doesn’t already exist. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As Noor Al-Sibai wrote earlier this year:

"Muslim feminisms, feminist movements in Muslim regions, and Muslim feminists in the West are as diverse and contradictory as their mainstream, white counterparts."

...Dawkins is way late to the party. The Muslim feminist revolution is well underway, and even a cursory amount of research (Richard? Meet Google.) would have demonstrated as much.

His prior arrogance is compounded by the fact that he somehow thinks he is bringing something new to the table, the implication being that these poor non-Western women of color could not possibly have figured this out before now and without his help.

In this sense, at least, Dawkins is in good company. Western feminists have historically, erroneously, assumed they are the only ones up to the task.
If Dawkins wants to help, here are some practical suggestions. He should educate himself on the rich history of Musawah. He should donate some of his wealth to the efforts of existing Muslim feminist organizations. He should use his wide network to signal-boost Muslim feminists advocating on Twitter. But most importantly, he should start by listening to the people he aims to assist.

I wonder if Dawkins cares enough to listen, or if his offer to "help" was just polite politically correct pandering in a moment of imagined sympathy?

Sam L. said...

The Stupid is strong in these ones.

Anonymous said...

The truest definition of a feminist is the absolute LOVE (NOT love-hate) of the role of being a victim. Islamism is feminine vinctimhood on parade. Er, rather, it's a sado-masochistic draw to imagined vivenhood. Still, let's be clear: without victimhood, feminism is nothing. Thusly, Mohammed Grey-al-S&M is clandestinely sexy. Dakota Johnson spoke of actual whiplash during filming. If only feminists had romps in the hay so exciting, heterosexist might be in their future. -$$$

Anonymous said...

Ever wondered why feminists haven't led the Occupy Mecca movement? They'd be savagely raped, tortured and stoned (sans marijuana). This is where courage ends. -$$$