I think it ironic that my critics so often accuse me of demanding that everyone in this movement must agree on every point. Because I’ve never said anything like that. Quite the reverse in fact. For example, I’m constantly accused of having said that “you’re either feminist or you’re sexist”, even though that’s not what I actually said; I said we’re all sexist to some degree. I’m still accused of promoting divisive dichotomies even by those who know and admit that I said it’s not a dichotomy.
I’ve said many times that I rarely agree with anyone completely, that we should be able to express disagreements respectfully, and that we should be able to strategically overlook some differences in opinion in those who would otherwise be useful allies. We don’t have the resources to do otherwise, not when we’re outnumbered, out-gunned and out-financed as much as we are. I have also come to the defense of some prominent person who said something dumb once, or who wasn’t very knowledgeable of some issue well outside their expertise.
So Dawkins didn’t know about the Men’s Rights Movement, and he occasionally alternates between supporting feminism and sounding sexist. Thus he is criticized from both sides, even though gender equality is obviously not his primary focus or area of interest. So I hardly think it fair to say that “Dawkins has lost it“, just because he’s not up to speed on that topic. Yeah, I know. “Dear Muslima’ wasn’t his best moment. He’s said a few other things I don’t agree with, and not just about that. I wish he’d stop using the word, ‘Darwinism’ -for example.
I don’t expect anyone in this movement to agree on all philosophies, policies, or politics, just like I don’t expect science nerds to understand fashion statements. Being critical thinkers doesn’t mean that we should criticize our associates more than our adversaries. Because I also don’t like when our opponents publish comments that “the atheist movement has petered out“, based on the impression that “even atheists think Dawkins is a joke”. Not only is that overwhelmingly not the case, but believers don’t know that it doesn’t really matter what any of us thinks of Dawkins or anyone else. However we don’t seem to understand how infighting diminishes our own capacity. For that and many other reasons, I would rather give credit where it is due. respect where it was earned, and reasonable criticism when and wherever necessary. But then, I’m not trying to sell my blog with sensational headlines.