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Dawkins, Bin Laden, and the Little Honey Pot

Honey Defender

Richard Dawkins: Honey Defender

by Ilisha

Richard Dawkins recently got a little taste of his own bitter medicine.

In the summer of 2011, Rebecca Watson found herself alone in an elevator with a man at an atheist convention. The man propositioned her, and the encounter made her uncomfortable. She decided to use the incident as an example of how not to behave at a public event, where she believed women were entitled to feel safe and comfortable.

Richard Dawkins thought her complaint was petty, so he publicly ridiculed her. Watson is a fellow atheist, but for Dawkins, apparently anything objectionable is all about religion, even when it’s not. So he ridiculed Watson’s concerns by belittling her, and simultaneously insulting Muslims:

Dear Muslima

Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and … yawn … don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with.

Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so …

Rebecca Watson was not amused.

But the torment didn’t end with Dawkins’ condescending Dear Muslima taunt. His apparent fans picked up the torch and began a campaign of relentless harassment:

Dawkins’ seal of approval only encouraged the haters. My YouTube page and many of my videos were flooded with rape “jokes,” threats, objectifying insults, and slurs. A few individuals sent me hundreds of messages, promising to never leave me alone. My Wikipedia page was vandalized. Graphic photos of dead bodies were posted to my Facebook page…

A man planning to attend an upcoming conference with Rebecca Watson even threatened to assault her, stating on Twitter that if he saw her on an elevator, he would “cop a feel.” Watson wrote about her disappointment at the sexism and harassment coming from what she referred to as the “skeptic community.”

Keep in mind that the Richard Dawkins who spawned this hatefest against Watson is the same Richard Dawkins who routinely complains that Islam is misogynistic. In response to a report on British women converting to Islam, he wrote:

Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why, having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity.

Once again, evidence atheism does not make one immune to sexism, hypocrisy, or any of the other human flaws Dawkins often attributes to the faithful. Despite his dismissal of Watson’s concerns as petty, it seems Richard Dawkins is not above pettiness himself, on matters far more trivial than sexual harassment.

Despite knowing it was against the rules, he apparently tried to smuggle a little jar of honey onto flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow. The honey was confiscated and discarded, prompting Dawkins to Tweet his consternation:

Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day. I had a little jar of honey, now thrown away by rule-bound dundridges. STUPID waste.

Yes, Osama Bin Laden has won. The singular goal of his existence was clearly to deprive the very bitter Richard Dawkins of his sweet little jar of honey. And to make us have to take our shoes off every time we go through airport security. He wins. Every. Day.

One of the world’s foremost evolutionary biologists was trifling over a little jar of honey. Instead of rallying troops to his campaign as he had with Watson a couple of years back, he was subjected to ridicule, as he explained to the Guardian:

I tweeted to the effect that every time I see an incident of this kind I sense it as a victory for Bin Laden. However calamitous the destruction of the twin towers, doesn’t the bureaucratically imposed vexation to airline passengers all over the world mount up to a prolonged and distributed, albeit far less traumatic, victory? And aren’t our rule-merchants playing into Bin Laden’s dead hands by their futile displays of stable-door-shutting?

But because the honey was mine not a young mother’s, my motive could surely not be other than selfish. “Stop whining about your lost honey.” In vain did I protest that I couldn’t give a damn about my honey. I was making a point of general principle, trying to be public-spirited. “If you weren’t so ignorant, you’d know the rules about liquids.” In vain did I reassure the tweeting twerps that I know the rules all too well. That’s precisely why I’m campaigning against them.

I say nothing of the feeble jokes on “bee” and “be” and Pooh Bear…

Maybe it’s time to write Dawkins a letter that starts out something like this: “Dear Brother Dawkins, stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, we know you had your little jar of honey confiscated….”

Dawkins was not only mocked and ridiculed on Twitter. A site called Us vs Th3m even created an online game, Richard Dawkins: Honey Defender. This time it was Dawkins who was not amused. He waxed indignant over what he described as, “a puerile display of sniggering frivolity” in response to his concerns.

A puerile display of sniggering frivolity is not the same as a relentless, frightening campaign of hate. Dawkins did not face an onslaught like the one he and his fans unleashed two summers ago. Nevertheless, Rebecca Watson must feel at least a little twinge of vindication.

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  • Talking_fish_head

    I got 15

  • Talking_fish_head

    My My, looks like someone’s off the meds again

    Please get back to us when you’ve found this mysterious country called F***stan along with some dragons

  • Talking_fish_head

    Shoo, don’t tell them of our secret reptilian shapeshifting technology

  • Tanveer Khan

    I guess you’re talking about us seeing as you used “ you f**kstains “l. I’m sad that you don’t wish to see me exist : / Just being a human is pretty boring.

  • Lulli ka Moot

    All you fuckstains, scum of the earth, it would be far better if you concentrate on being a human first rather than being this or that. If that is too much for you then die early as I don’t wish to see your existence…really.

  • Mehdi

    Who said muslims couldn’t have fun???

  • Helfrink89

    I know Richard Dawkins is an intelligent man, accomplished in the field of life sciences. However that just makes it even more sad that an intellectual could act so childish and bigoted, especially towards an individual.

    Also, you can be intelligent in one field, but an ignoramus in another. Dawkins is clearly not well-verse in the study of history. The invasive security at the airports is not Bin Laden’s doing (and we could argue that Bin Laden was the west’s doing, especially as a result of our support for the Mujahiddeen in the 80s, in which the Taliban and Al-Qaeda were an outgrowth of), but the fault of the neoconservatives and police staters who used terrorism as an excuse to deprive citizens of their rights.

  • Helfrink89

    Richard Dawkins at least has credentials in the sciences, which I can have some respect for. Sam Harris is a political pundit, and I freakin’ hate pundits.

  • Chameleon_X

    31 for me, and 25 on my cell phone. Part of it is luck in terms of how close the honey jars pop up vs. where you are, but a big part of it is CHEATING. If you decrease the screen size to an optimal level, you can minimize the time travelling between honey jars without crowding the “clerical obstacles” too much, which is what takes up most of the time. If you are working on a very large screen, I would imagine you might still have trouble hitting even 12 or so with practice.

    Anyway, it was a good way to let off some anti-Dawkins bigotry steam – I feel better already!

  • Stoned Gremlin

    Maybe unlocking the secret to shapeshifting will finally get him a Nobel prize.

  • HeGG

    It is a bit random. In one play there was a cluster of like 4 honey pots that really blew up the score.

  • Jon Diamond

    mmmm delicious marvelous out of time.

  • Talking_fish_head

    Dorkins should just stick to Biology before he makes an ass of him self even more.

  • moraka

    I am not surprised one but. Richard have always been a nutter. No doubt in the future, he will be seen as nothing but a male Pamelar Geller.

  • Tanveer Khan


  • CriticalDragon1177

    I don’t think so.

  • Tanveer Khan

    Is there anything on skepchick which would make a tyrannical internet safety thing class it as porn?

  • Tanveer Khan

    16 : /

  • Pingback: Dawkins, Bin Laden, and the Little Honey Pot | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper()

  • Mehdi

    18 was my best score so far

  • Seeker

    Oh My God !!! I just realised.
    Dawkins sounds like Geller in that tweet of his !!! *gasp*

  • Seeker

    Totally made my day. Last night I went to sleep disappointed in the human race and now I’m reassured.
    I’m glad this guy is getting it back ! Seriously, after the treatment that was meted out to Rebecca Watson, I have to call this ‘Divine Justice’ !
    I’m surprised that more people did not catch his hypocrisy at the time or call him out for it. Especially atheists. You guys are supposed to be the thinkers among us.

  • Seeker

    “Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in bafflement…. But for a woman (especially a woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity.”
    This. From a scientist. I’m shaking my head in bafflement. I say we get someone to check over his research.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    By the way, you’re not the only people who have been talking about this. The ladies at Skepchick take issue with Dawkins over it as well.

    The Top Ten Responses to Richard Dawkins’ #Honeygate

    Dawkins Has It Pretty Good, Honey: An [Ex-]Muslima’s Perspective

    Note that you will have to scroll down a bit to get to the comments on the second post.

  • Seeker

    Now, now. “Divo”. Let’s not turn a Dawkins and insult the women any further.

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