8. Richard Dawkins
Dawkins is the guy who came up with the theory of social memes in his book, The Selfish Gene way back in 1976. The book was an instant classic and is still considered by many as required reading for anyone interested in evolutionary biology or social theory.
However, despite this, Dawkins is mostly known today as the author of The God Delusion, which is a shame. Instead of being known as the guy who developed a massively important theory which helps explain cultural evolution and why we as humans act the way we do, he’s known as the guy who wrote the book on being a turd online.
Field Of Awfulness: Being A Turd Online
Dawkins has a reputation for being a very active and avid user of the Internet. However, rather than use his many years of scientific experience, and his deep knowledge of human and evolutionary biology, to educate people, he’s taken to basically becoming a comment troll.
For example, when Rebecca Watson, the founder of the mega-popular Skepchick blog, attended a conference on skepticism, a random guy cornered her in an elevator and asked her if she’d like to come to his room. At 4 in the morning, meaning he likely did not have movies and board games in mind. Watson firmly told the guy to do one, and wrote about the experience online. In a nutshell, she said that what that guy did was creepy as all hell. Which to be fair, it totally was.
Dawkins, for some unknown reason, then appeared in the comment section of her site and made a wildly sexist and demeaning comment addressing a fictional Muslim woman called “Muslima.” Essentially, he said that Watson’s experience was trivial in comparison to other things that are happening in the world, so she had no right to complain about something that made her feel massively uncomfortable. Yep, according to Dawkins, you have no right to complain about stuff that’s important or personally affects you, unless you are literally the single most oppressed person on the planet.
Unless, of course, you’re Dawkins, and you want to act super butthurt about people calling you out on proposing a sliding scale for sexual assault. Then you can complain all you want, because that’s way more important than raising awareness about sexism.