Sometimes, it's just a cigar

This is our truth, tell us yours

Richard, Your a dick.

Content note, this post discusses rape, pedophilia, victim blaming and rape apologist myths 


You have to have been living under a non wifi enabled rock for the past twenty four hours not to have heard that Dawkins has yet again seen fit to give us his views on rape, pedophilia and sexual assault. Anyone who has read the God delusion already knows that Richard struggles once he gets outside of science. He seems to think that philosophy is superseded by science, rather than understanding it is the base on which his heroes stand. It is no wonder therefore that he fails to understand things such as subjectivity or false equivalence.

He is however far better at publicity than philosophy and so always couches these tweets in what some might call common sense. I have seen such reactions on twitter, we have different sentences for different crimes, so surely they are different they cry. Dawkins is just a victim of a feminist witch hunt where cis (made up word) white (reverse racism exists) men (most oppressed minority) are too afraid to voice what everyone (cis white men) is thinking.

Here I have a confession to make, and we have to go back to an earlier story this summer. When the reporting on the trial of Rolf Harris said that one of the victims had her life ruined by being touched by him my first reaction was bloody hell didn’t take much to ruin your life. This is what I assume Dawkins meant by “mild pedophilia”. Now being a person who prefers to be empathetic I examined my reaction, after all our first principle when it comes to people talking about their lives is the wonderful quote Carter lives by “This is my truth, tell me yours“. My truth is that had an adult touched me in a sexual manner as a child I would not have been surprised, indeed I doubt it would have registered. I did not think adults were wonderful places of safety who I could trust and feel comfortable around. My truth was that adults had a sexual interest in children, exploited that interest and did what they wanted with children. What a shock it must have been to Harris’ victim to have all of that shattered. Her truth was that she could trust and be safe, and in a moment that was taken from her.

This is why terms like mild pedophilia mean nothing, what would have been mild to me was only based on the fact that my life experiences contained events that Dawkins would no doubt feel were “proper” pedophilia. Is this what he, and his supporters are arguing for? That only those who have already had trust ripped from them can be the benchmark of whether abuse is damaging? If so they create a world where children like me, who didn’t even know they were being abused become the worlds worst moral arbiters.

Which brings me to the second tweet of Dawkins, and the idea stranger rape is worse than date rape. Part of me wonders if I even need to list the reasons the why this is so wrong, then I remember the common sense tweets of support, and it becomes clear I do. Again to personalize things (my truth) my childhood sexual abuse happened, as if usually the case, at the hand of a family member. It was the very fact it was not a stranger that meant I did not report. To claim as Dawkins did that somehow the abuse of trust does not add to your suffering is his usual, say what the man in the pub (assuming Paul Gadd drinks in your pub) is thinking. Whether child or adult to be hurt by someone who you believed cared, to have those bonds of trust destroyed is devastating. It also leads to people hiding what is happening to them, believing they must be responsible, blaming themselves rather than the abuser. Add in the fact that society as a whole tends to support the victims of” real rape“, and tells women they must fight back in order to be treated as worthy victims and we have simply more rape myths being perpetuated by men who see this as playground debate to gain publicity.

There is no right response to rape or sexual assault. There is no rule book to being a survivor. The only universal truth is that your story, and your reaction are unique and you no one can demand you should do this or feel that. However there is one universal truth we can I hope all agree on, Richard, your a dick.


11 comments on “Richard, Your a dick.

  1. Pingback: Arrogance, thy name is Dawkins | Valery North - Writer

  2. Spinning For Difficulty
    July 31, 2014

    “…..Add in the fact that society as a whole tends to support the victims of” real rape“, and tells women they must fight back in order to be treated as worthy victims and we have simply more rape myths being perpetuated by men who see this as playground debate to gain publicity…..”

    There are almost as many male victims of rape as female. Some studies now claim more men are raped in the US per year than women.

    Portraying rape victims as female and rapists as male is no better than portraying criminals as black and victims of crime as white.

    Defining the wide spectrum of rape scenarios as an equal crime (and an equally severe crime) is inconsistent with how we treat other crimes.

    Take theft for example…. If masked thieves break into your home, threaten to kill you and then make of with your home cinema that is classed as a severe crime. Technically it is no different to you going away for the weekend and leaving your front door wide open and returning home to find your home cinema has been stolen.

    They are both examples of theft. Theft is theft. Nobody has the right to take your home cinema which is your property.

    However, in practice we treat these crimes as being very different. And we give the victims of the armed robbery a lot more sympathy than we do the idiot who left his house wide open.

    And so do insurance companies and the police.

    This lack of sympathy for the second scenario encourage people to not INVITE crime by acting irresponsibly and foolishly.

    I’m sure if your neighbours left their house wide open and had their TV stolen you would call them idiots. But this would not mean you condoned the crime – or condoned property theft in general would it?

    If society, insurance companies, the police and the courts all treated invited crimes as the same as uninvited crimes then there would be much less incentive for people to act responsibly, and this would encourage more crimes.

    You could in theory leave your house wide open all the time and just file insurance claims every day and keep replacing your stolen electrical goods.

    Why should we have a different attitude towards rape than we do towards theft – ESPECIALLY given the fact that this kind of attitude helps to reduce instances of rape by encouraging people to behave more responsibly so as to not invite rape?


    • Comparing rape with theft? “Invite rape”? How about fuck off, and sit on a pineapple.


      • jemima2013
        August 2, 2014

        pretty much what i wanted to say!


      • Spinning For Difficulty
        August 3, 2014

        “…Comparing rape with theft?…”

        Yes. You own your body. Rape is most definitely a violation of your property rights for this reason. I cannot think of a more blatant violation.

        “..“Invite rape”?..”

        Yes. Rape is no different to any other crime in that we can do things which will decrease the risk of becoming a victim of that crime, or we can do things which will increase the risk of becoming a victim.

        People who refuse to promote sensible behaviour (such as not getting hideously drunk and grinding on a guy’s dick all evening before going back to his place and passing out) are ensuring that there are more rapes committed than there would otherwise be.

        Do you want to have less rapes committed or not? Apparently not. The fact that you insulted me with a rape imagery (the thing you said about the pineapple) is telling.

        Suppose people were in the habit of getting drunk and flaunting their cash in town centres, teasing poor people with it and then passing out in alleyways. Should we recommend they reduce the risk of being mugged by NOT behaving in such a reckless and irresponsible way?


        Is offering that kind of advice (ie “don’t pass out in an alleyway with wads of cash sticking out of your pockets”) the same as condoning muggings or shifting the blame onto the victim?


        Is offering similar advice to reduce the risk of rape any different?


        Making potential victims safer is only one strategy. Another strategy is to eliminate the causes of rape altogether. Science is clear that people who abuse, assault, rape and generally act like sociopaths were damaged by childhood abuse, trauma and neglect.

        Without exception rapists and abusers will have been beaten, abused and humiliated as infants and young children. So the way to prevent rape is to stop abusing, hitting and humiliating children. 90% of mother admit to still beating their infants and children. And of course, hitting a child on the bottom is humiliating and it is in a sexual area.

        It’s very simple. The way to stop men and women from becoming rapists is to stop abusing them as children.

        But people like you who pretend to be morally outraged by rape never actually DO ANYTHING positive, practical, effective to (a) protect potential victims or (b) stop rapists from being created in the first place.

        All you ever do is feign outrage so you can use it as an excuse to be hostile and obnoxious towards others.


        • cartertheblogger
          August 3, 2014

          Let me start with a few observations about comment moderation. The best argument for comment moderation is it stops people from making complete and utter dicks of themselves. The best argument for not moderating comments is it lets people explain for themselves what complete and utter dicks they are.
          BTW, I’m not feigning outrage – it’s more a bored disbelief that people still talk such complete and utter bollocks.

          The idea that ‘without exception’ rapists will have been victims of abuse as children is bullshit. Pure, unadulterated, unevidenced bullshit. That shoddy piece of argument is not only feeble, but it leads to the inevitable excusing of the rapist. They’re excused their immoral choices because of their upbringing, their parents, or, a la Ted Bundy, because of the porn they watched.

          There’s a huge problem however with your argument that you’re probably not bright enough to see; every abuse victim who isn’t a rapist, or a sociopath, or both, refutes you by their moral choices in a way I never can.

          The shoddy stupidity of your arguments is highlighted by the way you equate the efforts of insurance companies to avoid paying out with the choices made by the police about which crimes to investigate.The fact you think the two equate to each other suggests your thinking is as shallow as a puddle in summer.


          • Spinning For Difficulty
            August 4, 2014

            “..The idea that ‘without exception’ rapists will have been victims of abuse as children is bullshit. Pure, unadulterated, unevidenced bullshit….”

            The studies and the science are absolutely clear about this and have been for a long time.

            All you are doing is attempting to dismiss the overwhelmingly conclusive studies into the causes of rape using the ‘exception to the rule’ argument. Of course there will always be exceptions to the rule. ut that is not a valid argument. Exceptions to rules do not invalidate the rule. Horses have four legs, despite the fact that occasionally horses are born with five or six legs.

            My question to you is why are you trying to pick holes in the overwhelming conclusive body of evidence which shows that rapists are ‘created’ by adverse childhood experiences?

            What is it that makes you want to deny the evidence, the studies and the science?

            The only answer which I can think of is that you feel uncomfortable about the finger of responsibility being pointed at parents, and especially at women (mothers). You’d much rather keep the finger pointed at rapists – and specifically at male rapists (ignoring all the female rapists out there). That is how your reaction comes across to me.

            People who want to actually eliminate rape, rather than exploit it for ‘political’ gain look to parenting as the main issue which needs addressing. That is where the solution lies, as uncomfortable as that might make you feel.

            Strictly speaking I probably should have said ‘ALMOST without exception’, but only to safeguard myself against nitpickers! 😉 Any normal person would have understood the point I was making.

            “..They’re excused their immoral choices because of their upbringing, their parents,…”

            I sense a bit of projection here. What about the immoral moral choices of parents who hit their children, neglect them, abandon them and (sexually) abuse them – or allow them to be abused by others?

            Who is more morally responsible? Infants and children or adult parents?

            Of course to some extent it is chicken and egg. Neglectful and abusive parents tend to be that way due to a neglectful and abusive upbringing themselves.

            This is why playing the ‘blame game’ is so totally unproductive – assuming the motive is to actually improve society.

            All we can really do is implore parents to stop hitting/ abandoning/ abusing their children. Each generation raised with less violence and abuse grows up to be better parents for the next generation … and so on. This is all we can do.

            “..There’s a huge problem however with your argument that you’re probably not bright enough to see; every abuse victim who isn’t a rapist, or a sociopath, or both, refutes you by their moral choices in a way I never can…”

            I’m afraid that is a flawed argument. Not everybody dies of smoking, but that does not mean smoking is not harmful. There are many factors at play including genetics. If you’re genetically predisposed to cancer and you smoke as well then you are likely to get cancer.

            In the same way some people are genetically predisposed to have psychopathic tendencies, and if they also suffered abusive childhoods this can trigger them into becoming full blown psychos. It’s called ‘epigenetics’. Again, the science is clear about this.

            “…The shoddy stupidity of your arguments is highlighted by the way you equate the efforts of insurance companies to avoid paying out with the choices made by the police about which crimes to investigate…”

            Once again, you’re evading the point I was making. My point had nothing to do with equating police with insurance companies. I can make the same point again without them.

            Let’s say the neighbours on each side of you had their TV’s stolen. The TV’s were identical and worth the same amount of money. On one side some armed thieves broke in and threatened to kill your neighbours at gunpoint before stealing their TV. On the other side your other neighbours went away on holiday and left their house wide open. When they got back their TV was gone.

            Obviously ‘theft is theft’ and the stolen TV’s were worth the same. So in that respect the crimes were identical. But most people would agree that the neighbours who had the TV stolen at gunpoint deserve more sympathy than the neighbours who left their house open. Most people would say the people who left their house open were irresponsible and reckless and ‘inviting’ thieves and they deserve less sympathy.

            The same logic can apply to all crimes, including rape. The way we choose to behave can make us either more at risk of being raped or less at risk of being raped. Recognising this obvious fact is not the same as condoning or excusing rape (or theft or any other crime).


            • cartertheblogger
              August 4, 2014

              You haven’t cited a single piece of evidence for your bizarre and overblown claims. Want an example of how to use evidence? Here’s piece of research that might appear to support your foolish, exaggerated claims

              It shows, when you look at the numbers, t that one in three rapists did not experience violence, one in four did not experience parental violence, and three out of ten did not experience emotional abuse.
              Now, that’s a poor quality study, but it illustrates the point well, that rapists are a heterogeneous group with more than one etiological root for their behaviours.

              You’ve made some pretty offensive jibes about my motivation, and about my anting to blame rapists, not their parents. Think about that again. I want to blame rapists for the choices they make. You want to blame their parents.If I were to adopt your preferred tactic, and question your motives, I’d say ‘I wonder why that is…’


              • Spinning For Difficulty
                August 5, 2014

                The paper is hidden behind a membership firewall. Even the figures you quote are compelling (I don’t know why you think they are not). I’m sure the study does not rate ‘ordinary’ smacking as violence so that would take the figures up to as close to 100% as makes no difference.

                “…You want to blame their parents…”

                You are obviously locked in a ‘blame’ mindset. I am simply pointing out the root causes.

                Let’s be generous and say that ‘only’ 90% of rape is the result of abuse/ trauma/ neglect / violence in early childhood. Well, that means we can eliminate 90% of rape by advocating peaceful, rational, loving, non authoritarian, non abusive parenting.

                I don’t now what you are trying to achieve with this denial of the facts, outrage and blame-obsessed attitude.


  3. cartertheblogger
    August 9, 2014

    One answer – correlation is not causation, and the less complete the correlation the less complete the relationship you can infer from the correlation.


  4. st3reo1som3r
    September 18, 2014

    Great post, thank you. I got involved perhaps a little recklessly in the Richard Dawkins/rape debate – I tweeted saying ‘I demand the right to get drunk as f**k and not be raped’ and he tweeted back saying ‘fine but don’t expect the jury to believe you [young lady]’.. the most annoying thing was that about 50 dickheads favourited Dawtwat’s tweet, meaning I had to spend ages individually tweeting as many of them as possible calling them c**ts. It’s ironic really that my own experience (nowhere near as bad as yours) happened when I was pretty sober and involved a man I thought was a friend. It just goes to show there’s nothing you can do to avoid being sexually taken advantage of, other than never be alone with a man ever. Even if you trust them- you might have been wrong about them. Which is absurd. I still trust most men. The vast majority of them are fine.


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