I've been rather depressed over the fact that Dawkins has maintained his silence on his dismissal of Rebecca Watson's concerns over how women are treated as sex toys within the atheist community (post #75). After yesterday's release of this truly horrific report, I emailed him as polite a letter as I could manage.
Dear Professor Dawkins,
Do you understand now why your dismissive words were so deeply hurtful to so many women...and not just on this side of the Pond?
“Nearly 20% of women in the US are raped or suffer attempted rape at some point in their lives, a US study says. Even more women, estimated at 25%, have been attacked by a partner or husband, the Centers for Disease Control said.”
You are a scientist. If you do not fully understand the issue, it is your responsibility to research the topic before weighing in with an opinion, especially with such a dismissive opinion that led women to understand that you had no regard for our presence within the atheist community. It is not our responsibility to spoon-feed you an answer. It was not our responsibility to lay bare the violence done to us or our pain, but we did - only to have you completely ignore those of us who shared our concerns with you.
Your silence on this is appalling. To many of us, it signifies one of two things: a continued lack of concern, or a complete refusal to admit error. I suppose there’s always the option that you think we deserve what happens to us, but I sincerely hope you’re not that type of human being.
I hope that Dawkins reads this report. I hope that Dawkins begins to learn of the issues facing women regardless of with whom we associate. And I sincerely hope that Dawkins is enough of a decent human being to admit he did not fully understand how women must view a world where men inflict such staggering amounts of sexual violence upon them.