Susan Jacoby opened the talks at the Women in Secularism with a talk titled “The Dearth of Women in the Secular Movement”. Some of the talk was a clear, uncompromising, and remarkably funny look at what faces women who do participate in the movement face from their fellow secularists. Some of it was a good look at what secular women have done outside the movement.
There were a couple of rough moments in the talk, as it is still fairly new. Still, I enjoyed the whole thing. Also, I find it appalling that more major conferences don’t have Jacoby in as a speaker. She’s highly entertaining.
Also, this talk provided the background for one of the more controversial tweets of the conference.
Jacoby’s Q&A: “Why aren’t there more men here?” I wish she had said, “Maybe they don’t have the capacity for rational thought.” #wiscfi
A small number of guys, one clueless nitwit in particular, were all up in arms that Rebecca would make a sexist joke like that. The nitwit was very confused when I told him it wasn’t a joke. Now that he can see the context, do you think he’ll still be upset about the sexism involved?
No, I didn’t think so either.
It’s a good talk and it’s a depressing talk. None of this fight is new. None of the failure to recognize that female atheists are doing twice the activist work is new. None of the disrespect for or erasure of the work of women is new. That just leaves one question.
When does it end?