The downfall of Richard Dawkins’ credibility

The atheist community, of which Richard Dawkins has been seen as a leader for many years, has been rocked by this latest controversy which has shown, once and for all, that just because you are atheist doesn’t mean you leave behind all your outdated attitudes and become consistently rational. If anything, Dawkins’ blatant sexism has only made him and his atheism look worse.

He wrote this in response to a complaint by Rebecca Watson about her and other women being mistreated and disrepected at atheist and freethought conferences.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/always_name_names.php#comment-4295492

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

Talk about missing the point!

Others have denounced Dawkins and defended Rebecca on this, including Rebecca herself:

http://www.blaghag.com/2011/07/richard-dawkins-your-privilege-is.html

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/oh_no_not_againonce_more_unto.php

http://skepchick.org/2011/07/the-privilege-delusion/

Dawkins is dead wrong about this! Indeed, he couldn’t be more wrong if he were to suddenly endorse Young Earth Creationism. And since his position is so repulsive, the only honorable thing for him to do at this point is for him to state, in a public forum or even on his own website: “I’m sorry, I was being sexist and hypocritical and I will never make such foolish statements again.” And then shut the hell up afterwards for a long time.

Until he does that, I will never listen to him again.

7 thoughts on “The downfall of Richard Dawkins’ credibility

  1. Oh my God!

    I had to re-read that letter just to make sure that I did not misunderstand. How could he act as if the suffering of a woman who could be stoned to death and who has actually been raped even compare to the experience of someone else who HAS NOT been raped?

    And then to tell her to stop “whining?”

    What the hell is wrong with that man?

    • It was sarcasm and badly worded at that.

      What happened was that, while attending a conference, Rebecca made clear at about 4 AM that she was going to finally retire for the night and she left the bar she had been drinking at with some of her friends. She was immediately followed to an elevator by a man she didn’t know who had the gall to ask her if she wanted to come with him to his hotel room and drink coffee with him and talk some more. At FOUR IN THE MORNING???

      No excuse for that, ever! Rebecca has as much right to denounce such a thing as Dawkins and others do to condemn female genital mutilation. Rudeness should never be excused.

  2. Pingback: Richard Dawkins Shows His Misogynistic Side | Homebrewed Theology

  3. Pingback: Rebecca Watson vs Stef McGraw « Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

  4. Hey, umm I hate to be a spoil sport, but you DO realize that he didn’t ACTUALLY say that right? you guys really shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. I just thought I should let you know…

    (Dale Husband: I approved this comment only to show the denial of some of Dawkins’ fans. P Z Myers DID confirm this comment came from Richard Dawkins.

    Here is the location of the comment: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/always_name_names.php#comment-4295492

    P Z Myers then said: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/07/oh_no_not_againonce_more_unto.php

    I can confirm that those comments were actually from Richard Dawkins.

    So are you saying P Z lied?)

  5. Pingback: The Skepchicks vs. the Asses of Evil | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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