Richard Dawkins disinvited to conference

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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:05 pm

Richard Dawkins disinvited to conference

Post by Kit »

Richard Dawkins was disinvited to a conference on science and skepticism after retweeting a YouTube video described as “highly offensive” which compares feminists to Islamists. ... ference-2/
If you elect to watch the video, don’t hold me responsible for the two minutes of your life you can’t get back.

I’m wondering what other atheists think...

Personally, I could see his tweet as a reason to disinvite him to a conference on feminism, as it could be particularly divisive to that target audience. I do not see it as a valid reason for disinviting him from a conference on science and skepticism because I see no reason why Richard Dawkins’ value to the atheist community would be dependent on his views of feminism. Nietzsche wrote far more offensive things about all of womankind; does that mean we need to smite him from any philosophy textbooks that don’t vilify him??

Additionally, I consider myself a feminist, but I don't think the feminist movement should be protected from social criticism. The video depicts a feminist character as a "whiny little spastic", but suggesting that some feminists exist under this characterization is a far cry from asserting that all feminists do. Two decades ago, I attended an all-women’s college, where political involvement in women’s' issues was the most popular campus-wide activity. I have definitely met my share of feminists with a victimization complex. This is not to say that I don't recognize current and historical injustices to women; it's just that I don't presume the right to inherit injustices committed against my female ancestors, nor do I think that constant depiction of women as long-suffering victims will empower women or promote gender equality.
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Re: Richard Dawkins disinvited to conference

Post by greerl »

I know from posts I've seen elsewhere that some would be predisposed to question Dawkin's feminists credentials.

However, without researching that issue I'm inclined to take the Dawkin's posting at face value. The piece appears to be humor (political satire? I'm not sure of correct terminology.) and Its not obvious to me that it really is anti feminist. In any case, Dawkins explicitly states that his comment (pernicious behavior) applies only to a small minority (the set of those not part of the "vast majority"). This (pernicious behavior) could probably be said about some of any group; is not that of what Dawkin's is being accused?

I see this mostly a PC issue. This was perhaps opportunity lost to seriously discuss PC and the specific behavior that some think pernicious.

But perhaps the starting point would need to be understanding the video. I certainly don't some parts and others don't seem to me offensive, other than maybe to Islamists or just the sharing the stage.
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