Vox Day: The Taliban’s shooting of Malala Yousafzai may have been “perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.”

Malala Yousafzai, survivor

Malala Yousafzai, survivor

Vox Day, the reactionary fantasy author and pickup guru who was recently expelled from the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America , has convinced himself that education for women leads to “demographic implosion” because uppity educated women don’t have enough babies.

Indeed, Vox — real name, Theodore Beale — is convinced that education for women is such a bad thing that he actually thinks that “the Taliban may not, in fact, be the stupid ones with regards to this particular matter.”

By this he means not only that they’re right to keep girls out of schools, but that they’re also probably justified in shooting teenage girls for the terrible crime of speaking up publicly in favor of education for girls like themselves.

No, really:

[I]n light of the strong correlation between female education and demographic decline, a purely empirical perspective on Malala Yousafzai, the poster girl for global female education, may indicate that the Taliban’s attempt to silence her was perfectly rational and scientifically justifiable.

It’s quite telling that it is the “shooting-girls-in-the-head” issue that turns Beale — a right-wing evangelical Christian — into something of a fan of the Taliban.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on October 23, 2013, in a woman is always to blame, advocacy of violence, antifeminism, evil single moms, evil women, hypergamy, mansplaining, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, PUA, reactionary bullshit, red pill, violence, vox day and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 304 Comments.

  1. @Kittehs I guess maybe I read it wrong, and/or it was a confusing sentence. Also, the whole comment felt ‘splainy to me, so I may have been extra defensive.

    I had a “spiritual but not religious” phase. Now I’m a religious atheist. I never did get the hang of doing religion “properly” 🙂

  2. Do it improperly, it adds interest!😉

    Can I ask what religious atheist means, to you, if it wasn’t a joke? I’m interested, ‘cos that seems like how someone like John Shelby Spong could be described.

  3. I’m religious because I regularly attend a church and am a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association, and because I still identify as Pagan and observe those holidays and think Nature is worthy of awe and reverence. But I’m also pretty sure there’s no god/gods, so theologically I’m an atheist (I prefer “pantheist” – see above about awe and reverence – but IMO that’s a subset of atheism).

    Fortunately, none of this is contradictory, since UU is one of those religions where belief in god(s) is not the point.

  4. ::smacks self on forehead:: y’know, I didn’t even think of UU … or Unseen University, which is probably just as well, considering.

    Thank you for explaining! Pantheism makes a lot of sense to me, and is sort of akin to the idea of Creator Spirit, which definitely isn’t something I think of in an anthropomorphic sense (ailuromorphic, maybe) let alone wanting or requiring worship. Deity of whatever sort is way down the list in things I think about regarding soul, the next world and so on. When Mr K used the term “a consciousness but not a personality” a few years back, he pretty much settled it for me.

  5. “…I still identify as Pagan and observe those holidays and think Nature is worthy of awe and reverence. But I’m also pretty sure there’s no god/gods, so theologically I’m an atheist…”

    Particularly Samhain, and only sorta cuz I love candy! But yeah, that.

    I use either the pagan or atheist label depending which I think will cause me less headache. But I like “religious atheist”, mind if I edit that to “pagan atheist” and steal it?

  6. Go for fishtheist, Argenti, it’ll cause great confusion!😉

  7. Holy Ghost in the Gospels:

    Luke 4

    4 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

    Matthew 1:18
    Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

    Matthew 3:11
    I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

    Matthew 12:31
    Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

    and more

  8. Mesides True Christian one, it seems you made yourself a candidate for hell fire:
    Matthew 5:22
    But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    I think it seems that the Holy Ghost was already a concept at the time of the writing of the Gospels, but the position of the Holy Ghost was not clear at that time.

  9. And let’s not even start on his obsession with John Scalzi.

    Bonelady, a while back before his mancrush on Scalzi, he was doing similar spew at PZ Myers. Somebody pointed out that this is his attention-seeking/fan-feeding MO: he finds some male liberal blogger with a large audience and tries to pick a feud with him. When that eventually peters out, because other people aren’t quite as interested in wasting time on him as he is on them, he moves on to another target. I’m sure once his circle-jerk of manlymen gets bored of patting themselves on the back about how much smarter he is than Scalzi, he’ll move on.

    Interesting that the new troll is screaming that VD isn’t a racist based solely on his self-serving attempt to avoid getting kicked out of SFWA, and cherry-picks VD’s attack on Jemisin to pretend it had nothing to do with her race. Troll also seems to be overlooking that VD is a vicious and rather stupid sexist, who was the subject of a pinata party on Making Light a while back for his insistence that women can’t write hard SF because ladybrains – repeatedly having to pull a lalalalacan’thearyou when it was pointed out that 1) in fact, many women do, and have, written popular hard SF, and 2) rather a lot of popular hard SF writers are not ‘science guys’ themselves, but engage in that sly trickery of “asking other people who know what they’re talking about.”

  10. Agnostic Pagan here. I don’t think it’s very useful to contemplate whether “God” exists until we know what we mean by “God.” But if you’re talking about an omni-being who created everything and knows everything and takes a special interest in human behavior, especially our sex lives…no, I don’t think there’s any such person. And although I revere nature I don’t think it’s much use as a moral guide. We have to develop morality for ourselves, and it will forever be a work in progress.

  11. Go for fishtheist, Argenti, it’ll cause great confusion!


    I grew up in the United Church of Canada (back in the early part of the last century, a bunch of protestant churches decided that their differences weren’t really enough to justify having separate buildings and preachers and such, and pooled their resources by combining). I never heard of the holy ghost until I saw some horror movie in my early teens. So that’s a big chunk of evangelical xtians who don’t hold the trinity as a core, non-negotiable, defining aspect of xtianity.

  12. Talacaris’s verses — the one in Luke and the first two Matthew ones use Spiritus Sancti, third just says spirit. (More Vulgate, might as well put my Latin to use!)

    Uh, no, on the worshipping fish thing. I was raised the sort of Christian that uses the fish symbol because of the story of Jesus and the fish and bread.

  13. jinx: The fundamental problem is one of testimony, vs. practice. In practice the actual idea of a unitary deity in three parts isn’t what the Right Wing-fundies believe.

    If you actually listen to what they say, this is plain. The manifestations of Jesus and the Father they profess are odd; and dichotomous. From a practical standpoint they also tend to Manicheaism.

    But since you aren’t actually showing any grasp of Christianity when you say: Making him not a Christian, evangelical or not. The Trinity — that God is the Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit — is a core, non-negotiable doctrine of the Christian faith. you are wrong.

    Unitarians, Arians, Nestorians, Manicheans, Deists, Quakers, are all Christians (Deists are tenuous, but it the context of a Christian culture they manifest a senese of Jesus the Christ (as opposed to Jesus the Man: who is a different person, and much harder to pin down, but I digress).

    Since he’s not a white supremacist both by his own admission and by undeniable facts about him,

    Oh… So Peter wasn’t a disciple of Jesus?

    The fact of the matter is that by his works shall we know him. His works are racist, and he stands behind them.

    Ergo, he’s a racist. He does try to whitewash it, but his core arguments are those of white supremicists.

    . I just don’t like it when people like you lie in order to try to smear individuals and, by proxy, larger groups.

    I’m not smearing a larger group by proxy. When I have something to say, I’m not afraid to stand behind my words. Putting me at a marked difference to the man you are choosing to defend.

    I was demonstrating your hypocrisy, fool. You are the ones who think self-proclaiming does cut it, except when someone says that they aren’t white or supremacist contrary to how you want to portray them, apparently.

    You don’t logic much, do you.

    1: There are measures by which racism/white supremacy, etc. can be measuered.

    2: By those measures Beale is such.

    3: Society, in a general way, disapproves of such beliefs.

    4: Beale therefore has an incentive to lie, should he have such beliefs.

    5: By examining his writing, and those who support him, one can come to some idea of what he believes, and what others take away from his works.

    6: Havig done that I conclude he’s a racist and a White Supremacist.

  14. mythago: He actually had two sessions as a supplier of candy to the Denizens of Making Light.

    Good times (for those who don’t, know, Making Light is where I really honed my skills in Speaking to Buffoons).

  15. Did some request candy? *opens bag of Halloween candy* I have plenty, enjoy!

  16. *someone

    You know, maybe candy for breakfast isn’t a good idea, real food might help my how not to grammar problem.

  17. Speaking of Halloween candy, I changed my mind. For seasonal appropriateness, I’m doing my writeathon on the idea of ‘the spook,’ whatever that means to you, and opening it on Halloween instead.

    This is to make up for the likelihood of not getting to do anything exciting or fun for Halloween.😦 A shame, the kids really love it. Gigi would be hanging her little spider, had we anywhere to put it.

  18. Ooo, can we see how that not a tree tolerates kids being all over its lawn? I’m too broke to sponsor one though (I, uh, kinda went all out on Halloween, besides the epic amounts of candy, the lawn has a graveyard and giant spider web)

  19. That would be AWESOME. And do feel free to prompt that; people sponsor things that aren’t theirs pretty regularly. (I have charts proving this!) And the writeathon will open on October 30th, so nobody’s trick-or-treating will be interrupted. (And neither will my pie-in-the-sky moving date.)

  20. Troll also seems to be overlooking that VD is a vicious and rather stupid sexist, who was the subject of a pinata party on Making Light a while back for his insistence that women can’t write hard SF because ladybrains – repeatedly having to pull a lalalalacan’thearyou when it was pointed out that 1) in fact, many women do, and have, written popular hard SF, and 2) rather a lot of popular hard SF writers are not ‘science guys’ themselves, but engage in that sly trickery of “asking other people who know what they’re talking about.”

    Which sends me on the tangent of why “hard SF” is so superior anyway.

    Argenti – no probs re fish, it was a Furrinati (Scalinati?) joke.

  21. Kitteh — yeah I got that, but all that fish = Jesus stuff kinda ruins it for me.

  22. Ouch. This is such a painful conundrum in MRA and the right-wing Christian evangelist movement. They hate women’s rights, abortions, women’s education, and non-believers…but they also hate sharia law.

    It must be such a struggle every day to figure out whether to go to the anti-sharia picket or the anti-abortion protest. Poor them.

  23. Can we be a little less ‘splainy about telling other people what their own religion teaches? Kthxbai.

    You know, I’ve been thinking a little bit about this over the weekend. We had a discussion a while back about atheists vs. asshole atheists, and I was thinking about the ways I react to discussions of religion and Christianity in particular.

    What I’m about to say is certainly true for me, but thinking about other atheists whose works I have read, it’s certainly not true for them, so I don’t know if this goes any further than me…

    But I came from an extremely fundamentalist strain of Christianity.

    And that upbringing always centered on one thing; I was the final arbiter of truth, and I should trust my ability to interpret the Bible head and shoulders above what every other person in the world said.

    In a very real way, I was told that the keys to the kingdom were mine, that I had ownership of the religion, that I was the ultimate authority for myself.

    This is a necessary component to building a fundamentalist congregation; if you don’t believe that, then you end up looking at all the billions of Christians who disagree with you and wondering if maybe they might be right and start being open-minded and stuff, and that’s poison. They need to be infected with Satan’s darkness or else you aren’t alone and persecuted and on the edge of destruction. (a bit of crossover with that discussion we had about the roots of fascism, yes?)

    So even now, having discarded that, I have this kneejerk feeling that if other people are talking about religion, whoa, hold on, I’m the authority on that, and my interpretation is at least better than the other six billion people who’ve read anything about it.

    And I tend to bleed authoritarianism and religion together in my mind, even though they’re clearly only related in those places where it’s convenient for the authoritarian–you’ll notice they walk all the way around the park to avoid those ideas in the original texts that might give their followers pause. See for example: people who say they follow Jesus, who fed the hungry and healed the sick, trying to take away food stamps for the working poor and deny health insurance to the uninsured. Holy cognitive dissonance, Batman!

    This has been a long wall of text, so I think I will wrap up with a link which has nothing to do with what I’ve just said, but that if you’ve read through what I just said while nodding might make you laugh out loud: http://startrekmademequeer.tumblr.com/post/64247510724/ding-dong-ding-dong-hello-sir-and-or-madam

  24. Which sends me on the tangent of why “hard SF” is so superior anyway.

    Well, yanno, there are days when I really want a book that explores the edge of what’s possible and tries to find the future, and find a way for humanity to survive it.

    And some days you just want a rollicking adventure with rayguns.

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