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Apparently there are now degrees of pedophilia and rape.

By REBECCA SPARROW

“Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.”

That’s it.

Controversial commentator Richard Dawkins.

That’s the tweet that Professor Richard Dawkins (author of the best-selling book The God Delusion) sent out on Tuesday night. That’s the tweet that made the Internet lose its mind and rain merry hell on the renowned British atheist, academic and professional pot-stirrer.

Now what precisely prompted Dawkins to tweet this opinion is so far unknown but he didn’t stop at the topic of rape. Dawkins, 73, went on to tweet:

“Mild pedophilia [sic] is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think.”

Followed by: “’Mild date rape is bad. Violent date rape is worse.’ Is it really so hard to understand that that doesn’t constitute endorsement of either?”

According to the Huffington Post, Dawkins comments were met with “incredulity by a charity, which delivers services to end violence against women and children.”

“Jody Woodward, a spokesman for East London Rape Crisis, a service within thecharity NIA, told Huffington Post UK: “Rape itself is a violent act regardless of whether any physical force is used. For survivors there is no hierarchy as to what constitutes ‘better’ or ‘worse’ rape. Rape is rape; there is no such thing as mild rape.

“Around 90% or rapes are committed by men known to the victim/survivor, these worrying myths around ‘real’ rape being committed by strangers at knifepoint can impact on women feeling they can come forward to report the abuse and feeling they will be believed.

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“The impacts and consequences of rape for victim/survivors are no lesser because there was no knife involved and to suggest this is the case is discrediting the voices of survivors.”

I’m baffled as to what prompted Dawkins to randomly express those sentiments and I’m glad that Jody Woodward said what she did.

Comparing victims’ experiences diminishes what a person has gone through.

I’d also like to add this.

Tragedy is not a competition. Nor is horror. Or grief. Or trauma.

There are no winners or losers.  No better or worse, regardless of how a situation looks to an outsider.

The truth is, the FACT is, each situation is unique. And unless you are there in somebody’s head experiencing a trauma as they go through it – you really have absolutely no idea of what they have gone through.

‘Rating’ rape or paedophilia or any other horror from the loss of a child to cancer helps no one. Achieves nothing.  Comparing victims’ experiences diminishes what a person has gone through.

Does one person deserve more sympathy? More understanding? Are there gold stars and reward charts involved?

So to Richard Dawkins, I say this:  Your comments are pointless at best and incredibly damaging at worst.  You want to make a statement about rape and paedophilia?

How about this:  No means no. End of story.

What do you think of Dawkins’ tweets? 

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