Biologist author Richard Dawkins has been stripped of an honour awarded to him by The American Humanist Association in 1996, following tweets that he says merely called for a discussion on transgender issues.
The AHA issued a statement that claims “Regrettably, Richard Dawkins has over the past several years accumulated a history of making statements that use the guise of scientific discourse to demean marginalized groups, an approach antithetical to humanist values.”
“Consequently, the AHA Board has concluded that Richard Dawkins is no longer deserving of being honored by the AHA, and has voted to withdraw, effective immediately, the 1996 Humanist of the Year award,” the organisation added.
Professor Donna Hughes, the director of graduate studies in the Gender & Women’s Studies program at the University of Rhode Island, is now facing backlash and calls to resign for a blog post she wrote about the transgender movement.
Professor Hughes published an opinion column on 4W, an “explicitly radical feminist website,” titled: “Fantasy Worlds on the Political Right and Left: QAnon and Trans-Sex Beliefs.”
Hughes argues that “trans-sex fantasy has imagined–and is enacting–a world in which how a man feels is more real than his actual reality. And now the fantasy has the weight of the federal government behind it.”
The gender studies professor says that the “American political left” is getting seeped into its world of “lies and fantasy.”
Hughes said that the trans-sex movement is not like the “imaginary world of QAnon” and that “real children are becoming actual victims.”
Professor Hughes also stated that the biological category of women’s sex was being “smashed.”
Alexi McCammond, the newly hired and already fired editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, a publication that teaches teenage women about the joys of promiscuous lifestyles and anal sex, was forced to resign after “racist” tweets she wrote in 2011 resurfaced. McCammond, a woman of color, made allegedly racist statements against Asians in the decade old tweets.
In one 2011 tweet, McCammond wrote, “Outdone by Asian. #Whatsnew.” In another, she wrote, “Now Googling how to not wake up with swollen, Asian eyes…” In a third, McCammond mused, “Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what I did wrong… thanks a lot stupid Asian TA [teaching assistant]. You’re great.”
Despite the tweets being a decade old, and despite McCammond herself being a black woman, this warranted a media frenzy that ultimately resulted in her early departure from Teen Vogue, despite a public apology from McCammond.
“I should not have tweeted what I did and I have taken full responsibility for that,” wrote McCammond. “I wish the talented team at Teen Vogue the absolute best moving forward. Their work has never been more important, and I will be rooting for them.”
Bill Maher made an interesting point on his show last Friday, arguing that America’s obsession with political correctness is crippling its institutions, leaving the country hobbled in the geopolitical race with China. That’s an accurate assessment, one that also tasks the defenders of cultural sanity with resisting wokeness while not getting bogged down by trivialities at the cost of basic efficiency.
That’s an impossible balance to strike. Despite the left’s false but emergent narrative that conservatives are foolishly and disproportionately obsessed with the culture war, I’d contend the response is largely proportionate. That isn’t to say flashpoints like the fight over Dr. Seuss are never milked or depicted inaccurately by some. Of course they are.
But it’s clear that ignoring and conceding perceivably small battles like, for instance, six Dr. Seuss books or Mr. Potato Head is what empowers the left’s culture warriors to take control of everything. By dismissing flare-ups of insanity on college campuses or in the legacy media, leftists normalized their radical new standards before the public even saw it coming. It’s like the metaphor of the boiling frog. Death by a thousand cuts.
Standards are set in the small dust-ups. The legacy press covers them from the left, then corporations and government institutions respond to the pressure, sometimes convinced the cost-benefit analysis suggests it’s easier to roll over. But rolling over sets the standards, and the standards are unjust.
But those standards are also now the ones by which we’re forced to live, lest we face social and professional consequences for alleged bigotry. Bear in mind that workers without the financial means of a canceled celebrity or journalist are hurt most by those rigid strictures of cancel culture, forced to violate their consciences or suffer financial consequences for perceived transgressions.
Speedy Gonzalez, along with several other cartoon characters, came under scrutiny on Wednesday after Charles Blow, a columnist for The New York Times, wrote a defense of those businesses and groups that have canceled six books by Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Dr. Seuss, over allegations of racism. Blow included in his column a handful of cartoons and other shows that he claimed pushed toxic culture. As Blow writes:
Some of the first cartoons I can remember included Pepé Le Pew, who normalized rape culture; Speedy Gonzales, whose friends helped popularize the corrosive stereotype of the drunk and lethargic Mexicans; and Mammy Two Shoes, a heavyset Black maid who spoke in a heavy accent.
Reruns were a fixture in the pre-cable days, so I watched children’s shows like Tarzan, about a half-naked white man in the middle of an African jungle who conquers and tames it and outwits the Black people there, who are all portrayed as primitive, if not savage. I watched the old “Our Gang” (“Little Rascals”) shorts in which the Buckwheat character summoned all the stereotypes of the pickaninny.
And of course, I watched westerns that regularly depicted Native Americans as aggressive, bloodthirsty savages against whom valiant white men were forced to fight.
Blow’s column sparked backlash in defense of the cartoons that millions of Americans grew up watching. Many spoke out in defense of Pepé Le Pew, a cartoon skunk famous for his numerous failed attempts to woo a black and white cat.
“[Right wing] blogs are mad [because] I said Pepe Le Pew added to rape culture,” Blow tweeted on Saturday. “Let’s see. 1. He grabs/kisses a girl/stranger, repeatedly, [without] consent and against her will. 2. She struggles mightily to get away from him, but he won’t release her 3. He locks a door to prevent her from escaping.”
“This helped teach boys that ‘no’ didn’t really mean no, that it was a part of ‘the game’, the starting line of a power struggle,” argued Blow. “It taught overcoming a woman’s strenuous, even physical objections, was normal, adorable, funny. They didn’t even give the woman the ability to SPEAK.”