Apparently Richard Dawkins Is a Jerk and Miscarrying Is a Crime: Editors’ Picks, July 3-July 9

World-renowned evolutionary biologist/atheist/smarty-pants Richard Dawkins showed his true colors this week (which, one assumes, are the colors of the official flag of privilege) when he instigated a comment war with feminists after leaving a particularly clueless and vile sarcastic response to a post on activist Rebecca Watson’s blog. The Atlantic Wire has the play-by-play.

A 15 year-old Mississippi girl is currently facing life in prison on murder charges for having a miscarriage. AlterNet reports on the latest frontier in the war on abortion–the criminalization of pregnant women.

This week in The Guardian, Meredith Tax asks if Afghan women can count on Hillary Clinton to make sure women’s rights in Afghanistan are no longer regarded as simply a “special interest” as the U.S. engages in talks with the Taliban.

Jaclyn Friedman gets to the heart of the DSK case and the media’s coverage of it, asking:

Why are we so unwilling to consider the possibility that an imperfect, possibly criminally-involved woman, whose status in the U.S. is precarious at best, was raped on the job by a very powerful man?

Read more at GOOD.

Unlike Friedman, not everyone can hold those two ideas–that a woman might have lied and she also might have been raped–at the same time. DSK has his staunch defenders, like Bernard-Henri Lévy, who’s been busy this week explaining why we’re wrong about his pal.

At Sociological Images, there’s a global progress report on the status of women in the form of several informative infographics.

The American Independent reports on a case we’ve been following from the beginning–that of notorious anti-abortion extremist Flip Benham. Benham was convicted last week of misdemeanor stalking after plastering an abortion provider’s face and name on WANTED-style posters in Charlotte, N.C. Benham’s extremist counterparts are apparently unfazed by the conviction; Operation Rescue is gearing up for the “Summer of Mercy 2.0,” a seven-day event in Germantown, MD, targeting Dr. LeRoy Carhart, former colleague of the late Dr. George Tiller, and his abortion clinic later this month. Abortion rights and clinic defense groups, including the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), will be there to counter-protest and help provide defense for the clinics, doctors, staff and patients. You can support the FMF’s clinic-defense efforts here.

ABOVE: Richard Dawkins at a signing for his book The Greatest Show on Earth at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, CA. Photo from Flickr user Mark Coggins under Creative Commons 2.0


  1. I’m sorry to learn of this situation with Dawkins appearing to be rather callous and insensitive. May he wake up and apologize. My guess is that he’d already had several alcoholic beverages and was not in a correct frame of mind.

    What irritates me about this particular article is the author’s use of the initials ‘DSK’, without identifying what/who DSK refers to.

    Initialism alienates. A skilled, well trained writer always identifies the meaning of the initials when first used in an article. Why wasn’t that fixed before publication?

    There seems to be an epidemic of uncaring writers these days; those who don’t care enough to have their copy proof-read or okayed by a knowledgeable editor. Phooey.

    • Hi Dan,

      Thanks for pointing out the fact that I did not spell out Dominique Strauss-Kahn. My editor and I both overlooked that, whoops!

  2. Eh. What Dawkins said was stupid, but totally blown out of proportion. I don’t think it calls for a complete boycott of his works. Just because he didn’t sympathize with Watson doesn’t make him anti- woman.

    Let’s be grown ups.

  3. Well, just to point out one glaring inaccuracy in the coverage. Richard Dawkin’s comment was not on Rebecca Watson’s blog. It was on the blog of PZ Meyers.

    Also, Rebecca Watson was silly to conflate a respectful, yet awkward, come on with misogyny.

Speak Your Mind


Error, no Ad ID set! Check your syntax!