Oh look, PZ got to the Dawkins interview before I did. I didn’t see it until now, so it didn’t influence what I wrote. Funny, we said the exact same thing about Dawkins’s claimed “passionate feminism.”
Richard Dawkins is a feminist like Christina Hoff Sommers, who he praises, is a feminist … that is not a feminist at all, scarcely understanding what feminism is, and detesting every feminist cause they encounter. Anti-feminists love Sommers and Dawkins because they create a lovely gray zone in which even misogynists get to claim nominal status as being all for equality, when they aren’t.
Dawkins and Sommers should form a partnership. Peter Boghossian could be their intern.
Also this, which I didn’t say:
Islamism and jihadism are serious problems, no question there. But having great big problems does not diminish the smaller problems into nonexistence — that women in Africa are being burned as witches does not mean there is no pay gap between the sexes; you don’t get to use a ranking of social ills to pretend that the lesser ones are to be ignored.
Guess how much working to end workplace harassment in the West harms the the effort to end female genital mutilation in other parts of the world? Not at all. Empowering women at home gives them the clout and the freedom to act for others. So who the fuck are you to tell American women to grin and bear it when they get fondled at the water cooler, in the name of Islamist oppression? This is a right-wing tactic, to use an external fear to silence criticism and efforts to correct inequities at home, and is a formula for futility — when you trivialize local, incremental changes that people can make, demanding that they instead deal immediately with larger problems directly, you get paralysis. Hey, you, stop working in that women’s shelter and instead get a gun and go fight ISIS!