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Thu Feb 18, 2016, 11:59 AM

Beware of the angry white male public intellectual

Richard Dawkins is a bestselling author and atheist pundit who’s been credited with “redefining the role of the public intellectual in Western culture.” As recent events have shown, he’s also part of a largely unacknowledged problem with online harassers.

Late last month, Dawkins approvingly posted a video of a feminist activist known as Chanty Binx, blasting it to his more than one million followers. The video, created by men’s rights activists, features a cartoon caricature of Binx singing a duet with an “Islamist” about how similar they are. It concludes with the cartoon Binx inviting the man to rape her, because “it’s not rape when a Muslim does it.”

When feminist writer Lindy West noted on Twitter that Dawkins was actually pointing his followers at a real woman who’d received death threats for her views in the past, Dawkins deleted the post. Then he apologized for deleting it and went right back to name-calling, declaring that Binx was probably lying about her (documented) harassment. “I was momentarily persuaded, probably wrongly, that a human life (however vile) might be threatened,” he wrote. (Dawkins has since had a minor stroke and has yet to respond to requests for comment. He said in a message recorded Feb. 13 that stress related to his involvement in recent controversies–and his subsequent disinvitation from an upcoming conference–may have contributed to his stroke.)

Men with real power are giving online harassment campaigns the stamp of intellectual seriousness. When we talk about online trolls, we tend to cling to the stereotype that they are anonymous types who wield little power offline. These are the kinds of trolls we associate with GamerGate or the men’s rights movement. But we need to start acknowledging that men with real power and authority are fostering online harassment. Such public intellectuals are perhaps even more dangerous—both because they give online harassment a larger and more mainstream audience, and because they give those campaigns the stamp of moral or intellectual seriousness.

http://qz.com/613574/beware-of-the-angry-white-male-public-intellectual/

bloody brilliant...

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Reply Beware of the angry white male public intellectual (Original post)
Blue_Tires Feb 2016 OP
DURHAM D Feb 2016 #1
mgmaggiemg Feb 2016 #2

Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Feb 18, 2016, 12:06 PM

1. This.

"That shows us exactly how entrenched ancient attitudes about authority really are. What’s at stake is not simply one election, or what a few people have to say on the Internet. It’s whether marginalized people have a place in the public conversation at all."

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Thu Feb 18, 2016, 04:34 PM

2. misogyny is everywhere

from the most elite institutions to religion to government and industry...it's cultural. it's what people teach eachother. the only way out of it...is to keep calling it out and educate, educate, educate.

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