Finding the Men in Feminism

On the 20th of September 2014, Emma Watson declared before the delegates of the United Nations, “Feminism by definition is: The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes”. This was said as part of her speech declaring the launch of ‘HeForShe’, a campaign to convince males to join the feminist movement because “men ought to stand up for the rights of the women of the world who are their mothers, sisters and daughters”. This fight for the rights of women has utterly changed the face of the world since it began, and these changes have been overwhelmingly positive. Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, credits this movement not only with the changes to the justice system that respect the rights of both sexes, but also with a huge decrease in violence in society. In his book, The Better Angels Of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, the feminization of society has had this effect because “Since violence is largely a male pastime, cultures that empower women tend to move away from the glorification of violence and are less likely to breed dangerous subcultures of rootless young men”. Continue reading

Sam Harris: The Global Conversation

Sam Harris is a polarizing figure.

Standing at the forefront of what has been called the “New Atheist” movement, wielding a degree in English, a Masters in Philosophy, a decade of Buddhist meditation, and a PhD in Neuroscience, Harris has made a career out of attacking taboo and promoting a rational, empirical view of the world. His lack of regard for tact around highly sensitive issues such as religion and war has earned him legions of supporters around the world. This has provided him with a livelihood through which he can raise a family.

His lack of tact has also earned him enough death threats to cause him to fill his house with guns, hire bodyguards, and encourage all of his family (including his young daughters) to study martial arts. He regularly interacts with his critics, and has a page on his blog dedicated to correcting misrepresentations of his writing. He claims that many of his critics lie on purpose about his work, and that this only increases fears of violent retribution. He is regularly called a racist and accused of stoking the flames of intolerance towards people of religions from different countries, particularly Islam. Continue reading