Noted evolutionary biologist and atheist yellthinker Richard Dawkins, in his perpetual and incredibly grating quest for absolute rightness, has issued a curious series of thoughts regarding sexual assault. Because some things are worse than others, he reasons (sorry, Reasons. Must capitalize his thoughts. Too important for lower case.) that just as "mild pedophilia" is worse than "severe pedophilia" so too are stranger rapes worse than rapes where the victim knows her attacker.
Dawkins began his rant seemingly out of nowhere, harping again on a stupid thing he said about "mild pedophilia" last fall.
Dawkins, who himself suffered sexual abuse when he was fondled by a school staffer as a child, believes he has the right to quantify and describe the experiences of others who have also suffered sexual abuse. Which most people would consider ridiculous. But not Dawkins!
Ooh, all caps LOGIC. I'm so close to winning my Richard Dawkins Railing About Something He Has No Business Railing About Bingo. More!
Next in the Richard Dawkins Blowhard Cycle: accusing people who are angered by his pompous bullshittery of being emotional or illogical.
Following that, the backpedaling packaged as doubling down.
He also added that stranger rape was comparable to stealing an old woman's life savings, whereas date rape was more like stealing a small amount of money. Obviously one is worse than the other. Right?
If we're going to be generous, what Dawkins might have been getting at is that some rapes affect victims more profoundly than other rapes affect other victims and that he personally feels, as a man who has not been raped, that certain rapes must be worse than other rapes for people who are not Richard Dawkins. But the experience of rape is so subjective and personal to people — women and men — who experience it that speaking in absolutes about it is, to use an academic phrase, fucking asinine. Saying with laughable certainty that rape can be neatly categorized and quantified in terms of "bad," and that certain categories always affect victims more profoundly than other categories is about as logical as definitively ranking other sensory and emotional experiences. By that logic, a person could argue that because the most popular flavor of ice cream is vanilla, therefore everyone experiences the taste of vanilla ice cream as more pleasant than the taste of butter brickle ice cream. Because I feel like people should not be sadder about the deaths of their pets than they are of relatives they rarely see, pet deaths must therefore always less sad and traumatizing than the deaths of people. Ironically, in a quest to remove himself from the messiness of emotions, Dawkins has revealed his.
As Maurice Switzer said, "It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it." Replace "talk" with "Tweet," and we've got ourselves a modern cautionary tale.