Ophelia Benson

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Ophelia Benson
Ophelia Benson at CFI WIS-May 18 2012.JPG
Ophelia Benson at CFI WIS-May 18, 2012
Residence Seattle, Washington, USA
Nationality American
Occupation Writer, editor, blogger
Religion None (atheist)
http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/

Ophelia Benson is an American author, editor, blogger, and feminist.

Benson is the editor of the website Butterflies and Wheels and a columnist and former associate editor of The Philosophers' Magazine.[1] She is also a columnist for Free Inquiry.[2]

Her books and website defend objectivity and scientific truth against the threats to rational thinking posed by religious fundamentalism, pseudoscience, wishful thinking, postmodernism, relativism and "the tendency of the political Left to subjugate the rational assessment of truth-claims to the demands of a variety of pre-existing political and moral frameworks".[3]


Benson was born in New Jersey and attended university in the USA before working in a variety of jobs, including being a zookeeper for several years,[4] before becoming an author.

Published works[edit]

In 2004 Benson co-authored The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense[5] with Jeremy Stangroom. It is a satire on post-modernism, modern jargon and anti-rationalist thinking in contemporary academia. The Times Literary Supplement said "With wit and invention, Benson and Stangroom take us through the checklist argot that so often litters postmodern texts."

In 2006 Benson and Stangroom published Why Truth Matters,[6] which examines the "spurious claims made for creationism, Holocaust denial, misinterpretation of evolutionary biology, identity history, science as mere social construct, and other 'paradigms' that prop up the habit of shaping our findings according to what we want to find".[6]

In 2009 Benson co-authored Does God Hate Women?[7] with Stangroom. The book explores the oppression of women in the name of religious and cultural norms and how these issues play out both in the community and in the political arena.

Statement with Richard Dawkins[edit]

In July 2014 a joint statement by Benson and atheist activist Richard Dawkins was issued stating, "It’s not news that allies can’t always agree on everything. People who rely on reason rather than dogma to think about the world are bound to disagree about some things. Disagreement is inevitable, but bullying and harassment are not. If we want secularism and atheism to gain respect, we have to be able to disagree with each other without trying to destroy each other. In other words we have to be able to manage disagreement ethically, like reasonable adults, as opposed to brawling like enraged children who need a nap. It should go without saying, but this means no death threats, rape threats, attacks on people’s appearance, age, race, sex, size, haircut; no photoshopping people into demeaning images, no vulgar epithets." [8] [9] Richard Dawkins added, "I’m told that some people think I tacitly endorse such things even if I don’t indulge in them. Needless to say, I’m horrified by that suggestion. Any person who tries to intimidate members of our community with threats or harassment is in no way my ally and is only weakening the atheist movement by silencing its voices and driving away support." [10]


  1. ^ Benson, Ophelia. "Ophelia Benson columns". The Philosophers' Magazine. Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ophelia Benson columns". Free Inquiry Magazine. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "About Butterflies and Wheels". Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "The normblog profile 7: Ophelia Benson". Retrieved 30 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Benson, Ophelia; Stangroom, Jeremy (28 October 2004). The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense: A Guide for Edgy People. Souvenir Press. ISBN 978-0285637146. 
  6. ^ a b Benson, Ophelia; Stangroom, Jeremy (16 February 2006). Why Truth Matters. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 978-0826476081. 
  7. ^ Benson, Ophelia; Stangroom, Jeremy (4 June 2009). Does God Hate Women?. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 978-0826498267. 
  8. ^ http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2014/07/joint-statement-by-ophelia-benson-and-richard-dawkins/
  9. ^ http://richarddawkins.net/2014/07/joint-statement-by-ophelia-benson-and-richard-dawkins/
  10. ^ http://richarddawkins.net/2014/07/joint-statement-by-ophelia-benson-and-richard-dawkins/

External links[edit]