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Spreading the good word!

Jane Clare Jones

Over the last few months I’ve received quite a few emails from people expressing their frustration about the lack of feminism they are receiving in their university studies, or asking me if I would be able to offer any teaching… and it got me thinking…

So, to mark International Women’s Day I’m announcing the first phase of The Institute of Feminist Thought, an online feminist school offering courses in feminist history and philosophy, which I hope will grow into a forum for all kinds of feminist thinking…

I hope as many of you as possible will join me on the journey.

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A slightly different tone from the usual DWR Sunday Disservice, but an important insight into the value of a change of contextual frame for those still mired in religion.


Woman sneeringDecent people don’t jeer at others who are functioning poorly in some part of life.

With religious belief holding such an outsized influence on our society, it is reasonable that atheists, humanists and other freethinkers push back against religious superstitions, outdated social scripts and archaic rules. But one way we often do this is by ridiculing believers themselves, which is less reasonable.

We give ourselves permission to sneer because we tend to think of religious belief as voluntary and lazy, irresponsible, and harmful. We often see believers as people who have chosen not to do the work of examining their faith and asking the hard questions that could show them wrong. Their sloppy thinking frustrates us, but what really gets us going is this: Having not done their homework, they seek to impose iron age beliefs and scripts on not only themselves and their families but on the rest…

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Six important questions for the Genderqueer.


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Laurie Penny is a compelling writer.

Her smackdown of the Charlatan-Known-As-Jordan-Peterson is a joy to behold, as was her behind-the-scenes look at the Milo Yiannopoulos phenomenon.

What makes her worth reading isn’t just her facility with words, but her well-honed bullshit detector, which she wields like a knife. Cutting through nonsense is her superpower.

Except when it isn’t.

As in her essay on being a genderqueer feminist. I’m not going to discuss the bulk of her essay, leaving it for others to parse her uses of femininity, gender, deviance and womanhood.

What I want to focus on is this:

Many of the critiques of trans politics from feminists through the decades have been openly bigoted…

Buried under the bullshit, though, are some reasonable critiques. One is that people who claim a trans identity are only doing so because gender roles are so restrictive and oppressive in the first place.

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Just sayn’. Happy New Year folks. :)

Scribbles In The Corner

I don’t know how to draw but I made this because I’m tired of people thinking we don’t need feminism. These are just everyday examples of patriarchy, sexism and toxic masculinity. The tip of the misogynist iceberg.


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Pornography is not free speech. It is a teaching tool for toxic patriarchal values that hurt women. Need to start looking into the topic of the harms of pornography? This list isn’t a bad place to start.

Seasons greetings folks. Tim Minchin snuck a new recording of this atheist hymn out last year. It’s good.

A personal message as well this year. Take stock of what is around you and enjoy the relationships that you have, nothing is forever as much as we’d like it to be. Be kind to others and demonstrate what that looks like so people can follow a good example.

Thank you to everyone who follows and comments here on DWR – we’re a small put plucky bunch. Take care and be well.

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