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The first ever Women in Secularism conference

The Center for Inquiry has just announced an exciting new event for next year – the Women in Secularism conference. It will be May 18 – 20 2012 in Washington, DC, and the speaker lineup looks amazing:

  • Ophelia Benson
  • Jamila Bey
  • Greta Christina
  • Elisabeth Cornwell
  • Margaret Downey
  • Annie Laurie Gaylor
  • Jennifer Michael Hecht
  • Sikivu Hutchinson
  • Susan Jacoby
  • Jennifer McCreight
  • Wafa Sultan
  • Rebecca Watson

Look! Somehow my name snuck in there! Woohoo!

This conference is a wonderful idea – hats off to Melody Hensley of CFI for creating and organizing it. No longer will people be able to say that men outnumber women as speakers because there just aren’t as many deserving or interesting women. …Well, people will still say that because people can be frustratingly dense, but now we can hold up this event as evidence.

I also hope that it’s well attended. The other argument I hear a lot is that we need to keep inviting the Big Names, not because they’re old white men, but because they’re popular and otherwise no one would come to the conference. But frankly, as much as I enjoy hearing Dawkins and PZ speak, seeing them for the 49839847th time gets a little old. I’m way more excited about seeing a bunch of people I’ve still yet to see – Annie Laurie Gaylor, Susan Jacoby, and Wafa Sultan. And usually I never see these amazing women all at the same time – I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when you stick us in a room together.

But really, I see the goal of this event is to make itself obsolete. We shouldn’t need specific women in secularism conferences in order to get the voices of women heard. We shouldn’t be shocked when conferences occasionally have more women speaking then men – we certainly take the opposite to be the norm. So while I’m greatly looking forward to it, I’m being optimistic that we won’t always need it.

Of course, some people are already whining in the comments of the announcement, claiming that the atheist movement obviously has no problems recruiting women or dealing with sexism. Surprise, surprise. My favorites so far are by John D:

“A conference just for women featuring several very vocal self described “Liberal/Progressive Feminists”… I have a feeling that trouble is brewing. I suspect I will enjoy the free flowing man bashing that will come from this event. I also look forward to the blog explosion which will result.”
“I will listen if only because I have respect for Susan Jacoby. Inclusion of Watcon, McCreight, and Christina insure that the pot will be stirred with great vigor and that the misandry will be served up rare!”

Stuff like this cracks me up. Yes, I am that radical, man-bashing, misandrist! And so is Greta (though we all obviously knew Rebecca was one). Seriously, do these men know that I’m kind of Feminism Lite? A Feminism Gateway Drug? I’m the type of feminist that’s one of the easiest for outsiders to tolerate – I’m extremely sex positive, pro-porn, have written about how we shouldn’t suspend skepticism in all rape cases… If you think I’m a man-hater, just wait ’til you meet the feminists who don’t like me! Your brain will surely explode.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to the conference, and the pre-freakout from insecure men is just going to fuel my fire.

Comments

  1. Gretchen says

    “But really, I see the goal of this event is to make itself obsolete. ” That right there identifies your priorities.Also, typo– 2012, not 2011.

  2. AlwaysGabe says

    When will be the synchronized time traveling? Also, that’s two days before my birthday! I wish I could attend, it seems like it’s going to be amazing.

  3. says

    To be dreadfully honest, I’d much rather go to this conference than one headlined by the “big names.” You just seem to get kind of the same thing over and over with them. That, and Sikivu Hutchinson’s book is one of the most intellectually stimulating books on Atheism and its relation to culture that I’ve read in a long time. I do rather hope she gains more prominence.

  4. says

    Ooh, Sikivu Hutchinson had escaped my radar. Now it’s my next to-read!Really hoping I can make this conference. I might start campaigning for the time off now.

  5. Ejk says

    John D fits a lot of stupid in a few words, but this is not a conference “for women.”  It’s a conference about women in secularism.  Maybe Mr. D thinks that’s so uninteresting to men that none would attend, but as someone working on the organizing committee I hope he’s wrong.

  6. says

    “A conference just for women”? what, are there going to be chromosome/genital/”passing” checks at the entrance?fucking idiot. It’s not “just for women”, it features women

  7. GrahamMartin_Royle says

    Now that awesome list of names, plus the many, many who aren’t on it, should give the lie to the claim that there just aren’t that many big name female atheist speakers out there.I also agree that it will be a great day when something like this is no longer needed.

  8. says

    Once again, I must curse being a poor Scottish student and missing the conference. Make sure someone gets it all on video in May – and I mean none of this filmed on garbage handheld cameras, I want a nice sturdy, good quality camera with good audio to hear you lot! If they could get it in Glasgow for PZ, surely someone in DC can do it xD

  9. jose says

    “I see the goal of this event is to make itself obsolete. We shouldn’t need specific women in secularism conferences in order to get the voices of women heard. We shouldn’t be shocked when conferences occasionally have more women speaking then men – we certainly take the opposite to be the norm. So while I’m greatly looking forward to it, I’m being optimistic that we won’t always need it.” You hit the nail on the head with that one, Jen.The great paradox of social justice movements is that they exist to eradicate themselves.  Think, for instance, of the abolitionist movement.  Once the goal of ending slavery was achieved, there was no more abolitionist movement.  This is what we all want for our movements.

  10. says

    I saw Sikivu Hutchinson speak at an Atheist meetup in San Francisco a few months ago. I was really moved by what she had to say and think she’s an excellent writer. Wish I could make it to D.C. for this conference :(

  11. says

    Thank you Casimir. And Rene, why would you think that conference full of female speakers would do any worse of a job staying “on topic” than a conference full of male speakers?

  12. Jasen Tracy says

    “I also hope that it’s well attended. The other argument I hear a lot is that we need to keep inviting the Big Names, not because they’re old white men, but because they’re popular and otherwise no one would come to the conference. But frankly, as much as I enjoy hearing Dawkins and PZ speak, seeing them for the 49839847th time gets a little old.”You’re practically a professional conference goer, it makes perfect sense that you tire of certain speakers.  For the people who go to one conference a year at the most (who likely make up a sizable portion of attendees), who do you think they’re more excited to see?  Dawkins or someone they haven’t heard of?Of course that only pushes the problem back a step.  Why aren’t there women in the skeptical community as well known to the general public as Dawkins?

  13. ckitching says

    Because there’s only room for one person as the most well known?  It’s a bit like complaining all of the current presidents of the United States are men without noting that there is only room for one person in that slot (versus the very real problem that there have never been any women presidents).  I mean, there is definitely a problem, but let’s aim just a touch lower.  I believe the problem is that they’re often not even as well known as PZ Myers or any of the other primary speakers people look at getting. I hope this conference has an effect, as we ought to hear from all of those people more often.

  14. says

    Agree. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a secular movement other than to congratulate ourselves on being so very smart for not believing in gods. If your goal is to displace religion as a hegemonic force in society, then it behooves you to actually consider what kind of society you’re going to replace it with. Quite frankly, it’s not enough to just replace religion with the same shitty social order, we ought to do a damn sight better in order to demonstrate our ideology as far more deserving of being followed. Secularism in a vacuum makes about as much sense as claiming the Pope only has influence over the Vatican.

  15. Azkyroth says

    Hardcore man-haters basically don’t exist.  The perception that someone is a “man-hater” stems in 95% of cases from people simply having become accustomed to men’s privileged status in society and seeing that privilege as a right and/or the natural order of things, and willfully misinterpreting attempts at challenging the status of men or those societal assumptions as simply spiteful, in order to handwave them away (not that certain feminists don’t insist on communicating in a fashion that unnecessarily simplifies such misinterpretation, granted…).A small minority of self-labeled “feminists” do appear to genuinely hate men as a class, but since they invariably hate women who don’t agree with them 100% at least as much as they hate men generally, there’s nothing particularly special about their hatred of men and thus no point in singling it out as a label for them.  Also, the vast majority of them are arguably not actually feminists, since feminism is fundamentally premised on the principle that men and women are, generally speaking, mentally and morally equal, and the everyone-else-haters tend to take positions that are only intelligible under the assumption either that all men are irredeemable psychopaths and all women except them are gullible morons, or that everyone else of both sexes are functionally children requiring the guidance of the hater in question, whether they like or realize it or not.  And I’m throwing in the “vast majority” qualifier to be generous; I’ve never met one who didn’t.  (And the same goes for anti-porn and sex-negative “feminists” so I disagree that Jen is “feminist lite” – I’d argue her positions are more consistently feminist, not less so).

  16. says

    Yay! Good for you! I’d certainly attend if it was going to be closer to where I’ll be then…By the way, keep calling the “boys-who-shout-misandry” insecure! I think this is hilarious, and quite accurate! I suspect this crowd is the same as the my-dick-will-never-be-big-enough crowd. Bunch of idiots…

  17. says

    Is the man-hater ‘men are rapists’ stereotype based on a small number of ‘feminists.’  If you compare me with my sisters, they are subservient to their husbands as per the bible.  Even when I used to believe, I thought that was crap. I am married and my husband considers me an equal (he jokes I wear the pants).  I work part-time and I have a child.  Some women are homemakers by choice.  I’m not particularly maternal.  I find it annoying how women judge each other for their choices.  I don’t like how men are seen as rapists etc – many men won’t teach in school for fear of being accused of molesting someone.

  18. Azkyroth says

    That depends a bit on whether, by “men are rapists” you mean the belief that the vast majority of men are actually likely or eager to commit rape, or the realization that men who are rapists don’t generally identify themselves as such and thus as a survival measure women will need to treat all men as potentially dangerous for as long as the structure, institutions, and attitudes of society allow epidemic levels of sexual violence to persist.  Because there’s kind of an important difference between the two.

  19. says

    It’s actually rather simple. How many women are in science these days? A lot in biology and medicine (in some cases outnumbering men) but in the other two science fields? In mathematics, computing and engineering? In the 70s and 80s people were still rather sexist and society as a whole didn’t encourage women to do “science”. However it was this period during which feminists of the 60s and 70s began to have children. It is their girls who were encouraged to take an education to be as good as the boys.If one carefully notes, many new atheists who are female are biologists. It’s because biology has a normal gender ratio in most western nations unlike the other two sciences. As the gender ratio is normalised with more and more women entering science, I am sure their representation in atheism will increase. Basically the issue was that minorities weren’t well represented in science and now that’s changing resulting in more women and minorities from coming out of hte woodwork to change the demographic of atheism with consequences both good and silly.

  20. Tom says

    Xanthe, I’ve rarely seen this expressed by feminists, in most cases I see this expressed by MRA’s (see Scott Adams’ amazing explosion, etc.)Being a guy who chooses to move in almost exclusively feminist (and pretty rad-feminist) circles, I really don’t see this supposed world of man-hating going on. I do see a lot of patriarchy-hating, and many men take that to mean them.

  21. says

    Jen is the feminist in the public eye whom I most identify with. I see nothing wrong with this idea, especially the goal…to make itself obsolete. That’s a wonderful thought.I wish I had more disposable income so I could support these things personally and financially. The speaker list looks simply fantastic, and something tells me we’ll get awesomely interesting and unique viewpoints.

  22. Kevin Zimmerman says

    At the American Atheists convention in Des Moines this year, there was a bit of discussion about needing more women’s voices. Have you seen the video, “50 renowned academics speaking about God?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…I was really struck how only one of the academics was a woman: Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. This really is a problem, I think. My wife is Mormon, and I value every female skeptic or atheist I come across because, in general, my wife is more receptive to women. Anyway, you’re doing some valuable work, so thank you! 

  23. jose says

    “If you think I’m a man-hater, just wait ’til you meet the feminists who don’t like me! Your brain will surely explode.” You’re right about that. For instance, I’d like you to explain why you’re pro-porn one of these days. That sounds more like woman-hater to me, unless porn is something radically different to what I think.

  24. Ben Crockett says

    ‘But really, I see the goal of this event is to make itself obsolete. We shouldn’t need specific women in secularism conferences in order to get the voices of women heard. We shouldn’t be shocked when conferences occasionally have more women speaking then men – we certainly take the opposite to be the norm. So while I’m greatly looking forward to it, I’m being optimistic that we won’t always need it.’Well said!

  25. Setar says

    It’s the same problem with nuclear power: the problem is not -porn-, it is -the porn industry- — and that’s a result of the existing kyriarchy in the first place (there are a LOT more problems with the porn industry than just the treatment of women…realism, anyone?)!Saying that women being treated badly in porn means porn is bad is no different from saying that shitty/outdated nuclear reactor designs resulting in meltdowns mean that nuclear power is bad =/

  26. HughInAz says

    This sounds like the No True Scotsman argument. Let’s face it, there have been feminists whose feminism was all about hatred of men – Andrea Dworkin and Valerie Solanas spring to mind.

  27. Stan Brooks says

    What a great list of speakers!!  I’m hoping I’ll be able to attend, but I’m so glad CFI is sponsoring this event, while echoing the sentiment that it will be a good day when events like this are unnecessary.  Until that time though I look forward to this.

  28. Melody says

    Those two women are the examples that most people would think of… because they are so extreme… and dead.

  29. ckitching says

    They’re quite rare, but they’re out there, and their really noisy and always eager for an outlet to promote their own bad ideas.  But even they are often misquoted by those with an anti-feminist axe to grind.  A better word for these people might be authoritarian.  They might seek to overthrow patriarchial structures, but they seem to want to replace them with ones just as rigid.The MRA loons are annoying as hell.  They sometimes stumble across a legitimate issue, but it seems like the only thing they’re driven to is blaming everything on feminists and feminism.

  30. Mike says

    I mean, to some extent, it’s not surprising that women who hated men would end up in the feminist movement, they’re just not particularly representative of it.  There are atheists who join up because they’ve got a grudge against Christians when one was mean to them in high school, members of the civil rights movement who loathe whites, etc.  Feminism is an ideology and not a club, and you can’t really point and announce that someone is not one of them.  But The vast majority of feminists, both in public, on the internet, and in the academy are not misandrists and obviously do not hate men.

  31. rem says

    Because Jen is the only person in the world who could ever have a logical opinion on the subject, of course, so nobody else can possibly chime in on a public comments board.

  32. jose says

    Casimir and rem, I’m sorry if that earlier comment sounded mean (now I’m reading it and it does, so Setar, please accept my apologies), but I’d like to know Jen’s opinion, that’s why I didn’t pose an open question or talked about it in a general way, but said concretely “You’re right about that. For instance, I’d like you to explain why you are pro-porn”.It’s not that other people don’t have valid views; it’s simply that I’m interested in Jen’s take in particular.

  33. Azkyroth says

    The parsimonious answer is that it is, in fact, something radically different to what you think, or at least can be.  And [EDIT]“what you think it is” is[/EDIT]* in fact genuinely arousing to a significant minority of women, who are grown adults and do not need you or your faction to shepherd their desires for them.*(That was embarrassing. No, I’m reasonably certain that what you think is arousing to no women anywhere).

  34. says

    I had a friend who was mostly vegan but she ate organic free-range beef on rare occasions.  She called herself a “jack vegan” (similar to a “Jack Mormon” aka a lapsed or non-practicing Mormon).

  35. jose says

    Jeez, looks like I can’t direct a comment specifically at one person, even after making it very, very clear in a follow-up comment which is just above, without someone else stepping in and deciding that I must read their opinions as well.

  36. carovee says

    Unfortunately, way to many people make that very mistake.  Anything “about women” is immediately placed in the “for women” category and then by association in the “not of interest to men” category because why would men be interested in women’s issues?  I really hope secular/humanist/atheist men show up in droves.

  37. HughInAz says

    I’d love to watch you telling Andrea Dworkin that she was not a True Feminist (TM).

  38. Rieux says

    Jeez, looks like I can’t direct a comment specifically at one person … without someone else stepping in and deciding that I must read their opinions as well.

    No, of course you can’t. As you’ve already been told at least once, thus is a public forum. Ask an open-ended question like that, and you’re very likely to get responses from more than one person. If you don’t like that, it is passing odd that you decided to post your question in this forum.If you seriously wanted an answer from McCreight alone, there’s this swell new thing called “e-mail” that you might have considered using. McCreight might have ignored you anyway, bit at least you would have been spared the horrible burden of being subjected to the crime of having other people answer your precious question.Speaking of which (since you asked, and then tried to un-ask, but too bad): as a feminist, I thunk porn can be, and not infrequently is, a good and valuable thing for the same reason that any other kind of human expression is. Graphic depictions, and not just on video, of human sexual activity can be life- (not to mention woman-) affirming. Notable portions of the porn industry are afflicted with sexism and misogyny, as is the case with nearly every other industry–but that’s not an argument against porn, it’s an argument for more and prouder feminism. Feminists like fucking, too–and free expression that celebrates that, graphically or not, is a good thing.

  39. says

    tl;dr Some porn is bad, but not all porn is. Examples of not women-hating: gay porn, masturbation, amateur, porn specifically made by women for women, consensual bondage and kink, etc, etc, etc.

  40. MrsAtheist says

    This conference fails to pass the two anti-sexism tests1) Neutrality – can you describe the purpose of a rule/event/remark/etc without describing the class being discriminated for/against2) Inversion – if you swap the class being discussed with its opposite does it become ethically wrong?For #1 the answer is obviously no. One can not describe this conference without mentioning women. For #2 a “Men in Secularism Conference” would likely be considered unethical . As a result this conference is unethical and I will not be attending.—–On a more general note there is a problem among us feminists. We routinely speak out against anti-female sexism and about male privilege. But we don’t speak out against programs that try to “bring more women into” some field. This sort of “benevolent” sexism causes women to be treated as a different class and they expect that there will be differences.A second example of this sort of sexism is when we say “there are not enough women role models.” Why can’t we have women use male role models for their career? By using gender as a key attribute we create the sexism we try to avoid.It shouldn’t matter if a role model has large round things on their chest (like I do) or have something a bit longer between their legs. We need to stop using gender as a differentiating factor in order to eliminate sexism. 

  41. says

    Your “anti-sexism test” is ludicrously stupid. You can’t just play the opposite game, because in today’s society, the sexes are not equal. This isn’t a perfect world. Men have privilege and women are raised with very different environments and socialization. We can’t just pretend this isn’t a problem and enforce strictly equal treatment – we need to be proactive about solving problems.

  42. MrsAtheist says

    “”Your “anti-sexism test” is ludicrously stupid””Sexism is “discrimination solely based on sex”.  You might argue that pro-women sexism is required to counter the anti-women sexism we encounter. I’d argue you are wrong. The “opposite game” as you call is how we identify sexism. If a male says “men are good better at math than women” then we can switch the two and see that “women are good better at math than men” is just as unethical. On the other hand if he says “smart people are good better at math than stupid people”  then switching the two does not result in an unethical statement. As much as you dislike it this is the most correct test to use that I am aware of.  Do you have a better one?””Men have privilege and women are raised with very different environments and socialization””This is precisely the point we need to counter. We need to eliminate male (and female) privilege. We need to call out men when they hit on women on elevators. We need to call out men whey they are only only speakers at a general conference.  We also need to call out women they encourage the sexism they want to avoid. We need to call out programs that give extra money to people just because they are a female. We need to call out men that won’t give women C-level positions. “”We can’t just pretend this isn’t a problem””I agree. By ensuring that gender come into play when we act and by calling out people that do we could help to stop sexism.””enforce strictly equal treatment””Is precisely what we are aiming for. Do you not practice what you preach?I understand that many feminists do not agree with me. I wonder why that is. Have they ever researched the harms of benevolent sexism?

  43. MrsAtheist says

    eek – just noticed a typo “good better” should have been “better”. I can’t edit my reply :-(

  44. says

    Gay pride parades. Would you suggest we need straight pride parades? I hope not, because every day is a straight pride parade. It’s the same reason we have stuff like black history month, or a women in secularism conference. Because every other conference basically IS a Men in Secularism conference, and we’re putting an end to that by being proactive.We’re aiming for equal treatment eventually. We get there by working toward it, not closing our eyes and wishing.

  45. MrsAtheist says

    I have analogy that might help you understand.Imagine someone does research and finds out that most women and very few men take the first offer given to them when negotiating for a job. The typical feminists take on this is “Oh my FSM!” we need to teach women to negotiate for their salaries. My response is: “We need to teach the people that don’t negotiate to do so”. As you could see my response will end up teaching mostly women, but I don’t care. The goal is not to get an equal distribution, but to solve the underlying problem. I would consider the first version sexist: it discriminates based on sex without reason.

  46. MrsAtheist says

    I’d argue that instead of “Gay pride parades” we should have “My sexuality pride parades” and that instead of “black history month” we should have “my culture history month” or something similar. If this can’t work out we should at least have _both_ gay and straight; have all of the white, black, native American, and blue.””Because every other conference basically IS a Men in Secularism conference,””This is the root of the problem. We need to get more quality speakers before the crowds. Instead of looking at the numbers: “do we have 50% woman and 50% men” we should be asking: “do we have the best speakers around?”If the answer to the latter is “no” then we should be inviting the better speakers or even starting our own conference with the best speakers around.”” We get there by working toward it, not closing our eyes and wishing.””I am not advocating closing our eyes – far from it. I am advocating that in our discussions of gender we focus on the problem, not the symptom.Problem: The best speakers are not being chosen to speak at our conference. Women are being arbitrary limitedSymptom: we don’t have enough women speakers.Solution: Invite the best speakersNot a solution: Lets only invite women.

  47. says

    Your analogy complete ignores the fact that much of sexism is institutionalized. Programs that target women in particular are there to counteract the initial ill effects society has inflicted upon women. It’s trying to undo negative socialization. There will always be some men who just naturally suck and negotiating. There will also always be some women who suck at negotiating, even if you try to teach them. The goal is to undo the harm, not to harm men more.Maybe if we lived in some foreign perfect universe…but we don’t. Your solutions are totally impractical, and ultimately do more harm than good.

  48. says

    Your “problem” steps are a complete strawman. Here’s what’s actually happening:Problem: People claim conferences lack women speakers because there are no good women speakers.Solution: Hold successful conference highlighting women speakers to prove these people wrong.Result: People now know all of these women are excellent speakers who can also be invited to their conferences.Did you miss my point about trying to make this conference obsolete? No one is calling for the completely segregation of male and female atheists forever and ever.And I’m sorry, but I can’t take anyone who thinks we need “Straight pride parades” seriously. Are you a poe or what?

  49. MrsAtheist says

    “”Your analogy complete ignores the fact that much of sexism is institutionalized””Yet you seek to institutionalize even more sexism. We should be targeting anti-women rules and customs and replacing them we “we don’t care” rules and customs. “Programs that target women in particular are there to counteract the initial ill effects society has inflicted upon women”Maybe if we lived in some foreign perfect universe…but we don’t. Your solutions unfortunately  practical, and ultimately do more harm than good. What you are not seeing here is that benevolent sexism creates a further rift and exasperates the sexism we are seeing. Remember that separate but equal is inherently unequal.”” and ultimately do more harm than good. “Wrong. Anti black racism was largely reduced, not when we had programs for the blacks to have their own better schools but when we integrated the schools together.We need to do what we can to make gender a non-issue. We don’t do this by ignoring or looking the other way, but by calling out sexists and lobbying for gender to not come into play.

  50. says

    Uh, citation needed, please.And I suppose you’re also “color blind” and against affirmative action, huh? Try to read up on how much your ideas have failed before arguing them. You have privilege. Ignoring it is not the solution.

  51. MrsAtheist says

    “” Uh, citation needed, please.””Ok, lets do a basic search. (I note that since I am not at a college computer right now I only have access to the abstracts)First hit: http://www.springerlink.com/co… — if I read this correctly the more isolated  blacks are from other ethnic groups the quicker they dieFourth hit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com… — this appears directly on topic but I can’t read itI’m certain that you are capable of finding more sources on your own (especially if you have university access)””And I suppose you’re also “color blind” and against affirmative action, huh?””Of course. It is pure racism.””Try to read up on how much your ideas have failed before arguing them. “”I have (while I was university). They have not failed. Why don’t you? “”You have privilege.””So do you. Wonderful. The ad-hominem argument is generally considered a fallacy.”” Ignoring it is not the solution.””Straw man. I am not arguing for ignoring the problem. I am arguing for solving the problem and not a symptom.

  52. says

    “Of course. It is pure racism.” *facepalm* Alright, I’m done with you before I lose more brain cells. It’s not my job in life to educate you on racism and sexism 101. Google that shit.

  53. MrsAtheist says

    Problem: People claim conferences lack women speakers because there are no good women speakers.Your solution works, but causes more harmSolution: Hold successful conference highlighting **the best** speakers to prove these people wrong. Result: People now know all of these women are excellent speakers who can also be invited to their conferences.””And I’m sorry, but I can’t take anyone who thinks we need “Straight pride parades” seriously. Are you a poe or what?””This was not a serious remark.

  54. MrsAtheist says

    I have. I’ve probably read more about these issues than most other people (although I have little evidence to back this up). The best qualified candidate should get the position. People *should* be color-blind. . It’s not my job in life to educate you on racism and sexism 101 either, and yet I try.I know that direct debates with people rarely change people’s minds but hopefully the independent rational readers out there will take a look at the arguments, research issues, and come to a data backed conclusion.

  55. Tim DeLaney says

    I think it would be awesome to recruit Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the last moment, with minimal publicity (for her security).

  56. Azkyroth says

    “I’ve probably read more about these issues than most other people (although I have little evidence to back this up).”You know, you could just have said that at the outset and saved all of this time…(I note that we don’t yet have any evidence to support this assertion, either.)

  57. Azkyroth says

    Let’s put it this way.The current situation is such that dtreatment/dgender is nonzero.It has been this way for some time.If we arbitrarily set dtreatment/dgender to zero, the definite integrals of treatment over the gender ranges will not magically become equal.Follow?

  58. Azkyroth says

    You’re not seriously suggesting that how rancorously or vigorously a person would deny a description should be our primary metric of its accuracy, are you?

  59. HughInAz says

    What?? Good grief… I’m simply (a) pointing out the fallacy in your claim that no feminist can ever be a man-hater, and (b) disproving it with a very prominent counterexample.

  60. Azkyroth says

    As I pointed out, the idea that one sex is by nature, or otherwise categorically, morally inferior to the other violates the core premise of feminism.  I don’t understand what there is to debate about this.

  61. Azkyroth says

    I’d certainly go if it wasn’t finals week and on the other side of the country and my funds through the start of next summer weren’t already spoken for >.>

  62. Rabidtreeweasel says

    I entered the skeptical movement 5 years ago. Dawkins and Harris were both instrumental in my induction into “new atheism.” Despite my interest in their work I’ve never been to a conference before because I feel I have a pretty good idea of what they’d have to say. This conference I’ve already begun planning for since there are a few women on the list I hadn’t heard of. I’m always excited and grateful to be exposed to new voices :-D

  63. Rabidtreeweasel says

    Ahem, my apologies. It is clearly not August. I thought I was commenting on the main blog. I forgot that I’d clicked away from the article I was reading. Oops!

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