Enlightenment Reactionaries: Sexism and Racism in the Atheist Community

Disrupting Dinner Parties

This is a guest post by Robin Marie. 

In the beginning, there was “Elevatorgate.” Rebecca Watson, a feminist atheist blogger, politely explained how not to hit on women. Richard Dawkins, the most famous leader of the “New Atheists,” decided he needed to condescendingly explain to Watson that since she is not a Muslim woman, it was self-indulgent of her to speak about her experiences of sexism. Not coincidentally – as far as I am concerned – Dawkins decided this after sitting on a panel with Watson where she extensively explained how being a skeptic and a feminist netted her the delightful catch of dozens of e-mails every day – from other skeptics – offering alternatively to pleasure her like no one else had before (the “fan mail”) or, to rape her violently to set her straight (the hate mail). I think all this talk about sexism in the atheist community…

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