Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born feminist and former politician. Ali is known internationally as a staunch advocate for the self-determination of Muslim women and opponent of forced marriage and female genital mutilation. In 2007, Ali founded the AHA foundation to fight these heinous crimes against women. Recently, Ali has called for the reform of Islam by defeating the Islamists and instead turning the focus to enduring peace.
Ben Shapiro is a conservative political commentator and editor-in-chief for The Daily Wire. Shapiro is a frequent critic of the imaginary 'hierarchy of victimhood' that leads to identity politics and constantly stresses the need for greater diversity of thought in the American university. His outspoken ideas have drawn the ire of countless individuals on the Left. He also hosts the Ben Shapiro Show.
Bret Weinstein is an American biologist and evolutionary theorist. For most of his career he served as a professor at Evergreen State College. In 2017, Bret began a political firestorm when he objected to the college's 'Day of Absence' which asked for white students and professors to stay off campus for the day. After facing accusations of bigotry, Weinstein would resign and begin championing free speech on college campuses. He is a self described 'left-libertarian' and is married to fellow member Heather Heying.
Christina Hoff Sommers is a scholar most known for her critique against modern feminism. Her two books, Who Stole Feminism? and The War Against Boys, lay out her arguments against "victim feminism". In them, she contends that contemporary feminists have undue hostility towards men and that, while both sexes are equal, there are differences between the two. She currently hosts the video series The Factual Feminist.
Graduating with a major in Psychology, Claire Lehmann has always been interested in intellectual debate and cultural criticism. In 2015, Lehmann founded Quillette, an online magazine known for presenting ideas not in line with the contemporary intellectual consensus. The so-called 'Mistress of the Intellectual Dark Web' is best known for taking on the ideas of Critical Theory and Postmodernism. She is married with two children.
Coleman Hughes is a philosophy student at Columbia University and contributor at Quillette. After growing up in a Liberal household and buying into the Black Lives Matter movement for much of his life, Hughes started to see fractures in the racial narrative presented before him. As such, Hughes' major works delve into these cracks to explore the racial double standard and the African-American cultural phenomena that society is too scared to talk about. He is the youngest member of the IDW.
After starting off as a stand-up comedian in New York, Dave Rubin meandered his way into TV, radio, and politics. Now best known for his YouTube talk show, The Rubin Report, Rubin has no fear tackling the issues of political correctness, free speech, and the Regressive Left. Other members of the IDW are frequent guests of the show, as it has become a kind of home base for the movement. He currently is touring the country with Jordan Peterson.
Debrah W. Soh is a Canadian science journalist who has made a career fighting for free speech in transgenderism. Her arguments on the biological differences between men and women, gender dysphoria in children, and sexual dimorphism have thrust her into the IDW. Attaining her Ph.D from York University, Soh is a constant critic of gender quotas and of discrimination against Asians in the application process. She currently hosts Quillette's Wrongspeak podcast.
Douglas Murray is a British author and Associate Editor at The Spectator. Murray is most known for his neoconservative stances on free speech and immigration. In his most recent book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, Murray argues that immigration and colonial guilt is causing Europe to lose its way. Murray is also a vocal critic of Islam, contending that it is not a peaceful religion. As a result, he has faced considerable public scrutiny.
Eric Weinstein is an American economist and managing director of Thiel Capital. After his brother, Bret, resigned amid a political firestorm at Evergreen State college, Eric coined the term 'Intellectual Dark Web' to refer to the emerging figures of the movement. The IDW was born. Weinstein has recently begun experimenting with long-form media as a means to discuss economics and other ideas at a significant level of complexity.
Born in Lebanon in 1964, Gad Saad fled the war-torn country for Montreal where he is now an evolutionary scientist and professor at Concordia University. Saad is a continual critic of the modern feminist movement, political correctness, safe spaces, and postmodernism. In his popular YouTube series, The Saad Truth, Saad uses his unique sense of humor as a tool to reduce many of these ideas to absurdity.
Heather Heying is an American evolutionary biologist. She served as a professor at Evergreen State College for most of her life. In 2017, she found herself amidst a political firestorm when she objected to the college's 'Day of Absence' which asked for white students and professors to stay off campus for the day. After facing accusations of bigotry, Heying would resign and begin championing free speech on college campuses. She is married to fellow member Bret Weinstein.
Joe Rogan is perhaps the most unique member of the Intellectual Dark Web. Rogan is a modern day Renaissance Man, finding himself involved in stand-up comedy, the UFC, and YouTube. His podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, is perhaps his most successful venture and has become one of the most successful in the world. Rogan's intellectual curiosity has attracted many of the members of the IDW to his show, while his wide ranging audience has served as a springboard for the ideas of the movement.
Jonathan Haidt is a moral psychologist and professor at NYU's Stern School of Business. Haidt is a staunch critic of the modern university and its campaign to scrub away words and ideas that may cause discomfort. Haidt is a co-founder of the Heterodox Academy, a project hoping to expand diversity of opinion in the classroom. A political centrist, Haidt is involved in many efforts to reduce polarization in the United States.
A vehement critic of the Postmodern movement, political correctness, and the infringement on free speech, Peterson perhaps embodies the Intellectual Dark Web the most. A clinical psychologist and professor for most of his life, Peterson's fame skyrocketed when, in 2016, he released a series of YouTube videos criticizing the Canadian government's Bill C-16, a law which added gender identity as a ground for discrimination. Since then, Peterson's videos have garnered almost 100 million views, and his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, has become a multi-million copy bestseller. He is currently traveling the world on his book tour.
Maajid Nawaz is a political activist and critic of Islamism. Nawaz is a former Islamist himself but, after being imprisoned for five years in the early 2000's, had a change of perspective. Upon his release, Nawaz renounced his Islamist past and started Quilliam, a liberal think tank that focuses on counter-extremism. Nawaz has also criticized the term Islamophobia which he believes is deployed as a shield against genuine criticism of the religion. Nawaz co-authored his book, Islam and the Future of Tolerance, with fellow IDW member, Sam Harris.
Sam Harris is an American neuroscientist and philosopher. A self-described Liberal, Harris is best known for his critique of religion and is aptly a member of the 'Four Horseman of Atheism'. His five New York Times bestsellers focus on his strong stances on free will, Islamism, and science's role in human well-being. He currently hosts the Waking Up podcast.
Steven Pinker is a psychology professor at Harvard University and an advocate of evolutionary psychology. As such, Pinker argues that the sexes are not identical and that any policy designed to provide equal outcomes for both will naturally discriminate against one or the other. Pinker's most recent book, Enlightenment Now, argues against the social media-fueled dystopian view of the world and highlights the fact that health, prosperity, peace, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world.