Richard Dawkins believes that the severity of individual cases of rape and abuse can be gradated, and he doesn’t like people to point out to him that there are many reasons why he is wrong about that. He has clearly been mulling on this for some time, because this morning he took to twitter with this:
X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of X, go away and don’t come back until you’ve learned how to think logically.
Mild pedophilia is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think.
Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.
Whether X or Y is worse is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of LOGIC that to express that opinion doesn’t mean you approve of either. @RichardDawkins 29.07.2014
Dawkins would, I know, like us to believe that he is not a rape apologist. And in his fervour to apply logic to absolutely everything, he has created an equation which – he thinks – proves that not only is he right, but that those of us who state that his position is one of ignorance (to put it mildly) are emoting not debating.
It is clear that he does not understand what sexual violence is – he reproduces common myth and misconception immediately, working as he does from the false premise that rape and abuse have any gradation of severity at all. His formulae (which I am sure he feels is terribly logical), in fact is not; in not accounting for the most important factor – the effect of the sexual violence on the victim – he erases the voice, knowledge and experience of the victim, thereby excusing one or other form of rape and abuse. Which is exactly what his supposed fevered logic purports to disavow.
Logic is an important tool which humans use, as we navigate through our lives, trying to figure out the world in which we live and our place in it. But it is not more than that – used incorrectly it is, at best, a blunt object that mangles, obfuscates and erases (as in this case).
Rape and abuse are not logical – those of us who have suffered at its claws, or who work in support and advocacy of those who are, do not learn to navigate the violent landscape in the wake of an attack with logic, because logic is useless to us in those circumstances. We understand and know better than Dawkins the facts and realities, because he chooses to remain ignorant of our knowledge; he does not value it because it does not fit in to any ‘logical’ box.
Your over heated (dare I suggest religious) fervour for logic Mr Dawkins is useless: you do not understand the subject on which you speak. Let those who know, speak. Let those who don’t, shut up and listen.
UPDATE: Richard Dawkins has produced this ‘non-apology-apology-whilst-still-trying-to-maintain-the-moral-highground’. This man’s arrogance knows no bounds.
Apparently us thinking feeling people unleashed a ‘tsunami of hate’. I taste man tears…