This comment by Amber Surface from my earlier post was so spot on, I wanted to highlight it here:
What I find most disconcerting about pieces like this is that I know some young woman is sitting at her computer, wondering if she should even bother coming out of the religious closet.
She notes the similarities between her religion and new atheism. Her religion minimizes her contributions as a human being, but this article portrays the “new atheist movement” as doing the same. She can’t find a strong, female leader in her religion because of the patriarchal roots, but this article shows that she likely couldn’t find a female leader to whom she could relate, either. Her religion reduces her to chattel and objectifies her, but so do the new atheists with their “sexiest female atheist” lists.
She notes the differences. Her religion offers her community, but new atheism doesn’t seem to want to welcome her or provide a social network. Her religion is generally accepted by society and her friends and family, but new atheism obviously generates distrust and dislike.
The article in Ms., a largely respected and once incredibly progressively feminist magazine, illuminates these issues to help her decide. It doesn’t seem that difficult a choice once some journalist presents the arguments in this manner.
We have the potential to reach so many women when something like Ms. Magazine talks about atheism. I’m not even asking for editorials that try to convince people to become atheists. Right now I’d settle for honest representation of the atheist movement and acknowledgment that female leaders do exist. Making just one more person feel less alone in their disbelief is worth it.
But no, instead they’ve probably scared off the female atheists, not to mention ones who “aren’t religious” or who are generally skeptical of organized religion. And those new female allies are going to have a hard time finding blogs like mine when Ms. Magazine continues to delete (or moderate?) every comment that links to my rebuttal post.
Journalism at its finest.
EDIT: Some readers say comments are finally getting through moderation. I still can’t see any, but it may be an issue on my computer.
I was just contacted by Ms. Magazine about doing a guest post on the same blog about women in the atheist movement to “rectify” the lack of female atheists in the original article. Obviously I’m taking them up on their offer – now I just have to try not to screw it up.