Richard Dawkins has spoken foolishly. This is not news to me. I think that statement to be redundant as I think whenever Dawkins speaks it is both foolish and utterly non-necessary.
That being said, he has drawn the ire not only of this feminist but of other feminists – those that are of the same religious belief that he is; none to speak of. I won’t try to explain to you what it is that he has done since it is summed up here better than I could any time of day, especially at this hour (it is currently 1 a.m.).
There are two quick things I would like to note about this linked story:
First, the author cites a direct quote from Dawkins, and it struck me that he makes a very ignorant, very broad assumption about the misogyny that Muslim women suffer. He wrote “Muslim women suffer physically from misogyny, their lives are substantially damaged by religiously inspired misogyny. Not just words, real deeds, painful, physical deeds, physical provisions, legally sanctioned demeanings.”
I had to, I would like to say, take two deep breaths as I tried to figure out where to start on this I found it so utterly foolish. Is it entirely incorrect? No. It is not untrue for all Muslim women. Nor is it true for all ______ (insert a religion here) women. But it is true for a number of any ____ (insert a religion here). It is certainly true of my own background, that of Evangelicalism, sadly.
What gets me here is, first, that the misogyny is not only nor solely religiously inspired – certainly it is not inspired nor sanctioned by God, or Muhammad, or Allah. It is often justified by religious persons, unfortunately, but never religiously inspired.
Dawkins is all to eager to blame every evil in the world on religion, but I am so sorry to disappoint him – we religious people are just as much to blame as anyone else, but no more.
Second, and finally, I am somewhat in awe of the perpetual state of religious bigotry in which Dawkins himself operates and that in so doing he dares to utter such a statement. He is one of the posterboys for Christians are Idiots campaigns and yet he sees fit to speak of bigotry based on one’s religious beliefs? You can not have a religion to speak of and still be a total religious bigot, Mr. Dawkins. Give me a call and we’ll talk about it. Should you take me up on it I promise you I will try to speak slowly and use small words – I am smart and quick. You may have met a lot of Christians, but since you think we’re stupid you haven’t met many like me. I may be more than you can handle. In fact, I’m quite sure of it.