But we can see from this subthread how quickly these comments grow like weeds and choke out more thoughtful conversation. It's not the starting comment itself, but what it precipitates, that we all need to guard against.
While the OP's comment was unsubstantive, it highlighted an interesting quotation from the article to discuss, that a lot of people had opinions on and also wanted to discuss. Maybe the only appropriate response to a quotation like that is ridicule, which serves an important purpose in its own right.
I do appreciate this is a very difficult topic to moderate however(!) To be honest, I'm surprised the article itself was even allowed on HN and wasn't flagged for being too political.
Cycling can cause sexual impotence in men, yet we don't see anyone claiming men should be banned from cycling.
Arguments like this are toxic; even if true (which they obviously aren't), they expose an ugly underlying sexism with the implicit assumption that somehow it's okay for men to make these decisions for women as long as it's for a 'good reason.'
If enough people are credulous, it's absolutely newsworthy, as it reflects how deeply wedded some people are to a particular perspective. Confirmation bias is a powerful thing.
Pat Robertson was doing this 20 years ago, and I don't think he's really stopped: https://www.au.org/media/press-releases/tv-preacher-pat-robe...
From what I know about NYT - definitely yes. Probably not in every article on the topic, but at least in some. It is a sensational claim which generates outrage - bread and butter of modern journalism.
That's not how it works with clerics in Saudi. They have official standing with the government, have their own police force with the authority to enforce morality laws (the mutaween), and even get to decide who the next king will be.
Unrelated but ran across the following story: woman gets rare and slow developing cancer at 22, decides against surgery, gets on "Gerson therapy", runs lifestyle blog for years, credible (and credulous) media eat up claim she cured cancer. Mother gets breast cancer, uses Gerson therapy, dies in 2013 (horrible now removed blog posts where they discuss "flare ups" as symptoms of the therapy working, was actually symptoms of growing cancer). Down to her last days was hiding growing cancer and deceiving rabid fanbase, criticizing "bullies" who were pointing out her cancer was back. Of course after she died, her fans and Gerson therapy advocates now leave crazy comments about how she didn't do it right.
Gerson therapy vids are all over YouTube even today with the implication it is effective. I mean people are basically committing suicide because YouTube is making money.
If that's possible in open and connected societies, what's unscientific bullshit but the norm? We all believe delusional stuff, the question is, what seemingly accepted and reasonable views in our own societies are are actually delusional and harmful?
[Saad al-Hijri, head of fatwas (legal opinions) in Saudi Arabia’s Assir governorate], who said women should not drive because their brains shrink to a quarter the size of a man’s when they go shopping has been banned from preaching.
In a video this week, Hijri asked what the traffic department would do it if it discovered a man with only half a brain. “Would it give him a licence or not? It would not. So how can it give it to a woman when she has only half?” he said.
“If she goes to the market she loses another half. What is left? A quarter ... We demand the traffic department check because she is not suitable to drive and she has only a quarter.”
My favourite "I can't believe" is probably homuncular theory, that ejaculate contained a tiny little man [men?], fully formed, who grew to be a baby. Presumably it was homuncula all the way down?? [Not sure of the historical verity of that theory.]