Paul Fidalgo has a post on the next Women in Secularism, and how the last one didn’t actually eat your baby.
By now it’s clear, I’d say, that the Women in Secularism conference put on by CFI this past May was a milestone event in the secular movement’s history, as it raised consciousness for all in attendance—men and women—about all manner of issues affecting women both in and outside the secular and skeptic communities. Discussions and debates were spurred on a huge variety of subjects, from the personal to the political, and even if you had only been able to attend one session, you could not have walked away without a deeper understanding of what was being discussed.
It was such a success, that we’re thrilled to be able to say that a second Women in Secularism conference will take place May 17-19, 2013. After all, there’s so much more to talk about!
Mark your calendar!
But like many important events, some of this past conference’s content has been mischaracterized or misunderstood, especially by some who were not in attendance. That’s understandable; the conference sparked an enormous amount of ongoing discussion that continues today, well after the hotel staff kicked us out of the ballroom. Naturally, chatter on blogs and in tweets can be misconstrued or poorly expressed, and even the smartest and best-intentioned of us can draw the wrong conclusions.
And that’s especially true when the worst-intentioned of us are deliberately talking shite on the subject and misleading the underinformed and gullible. That has been happening. I have watched some of it happening right in front of my astonished eyes.
The main point of contention that we’ve seen revolves, predictably, around the topic of sexual harassment. (I know, you can’t get enough of this subject. Me neither. Just stick with me here.) If I may briefly sum up the idea underlying the biggest misunderstanding, it seems that many are under the impression that the sexual harassment issue—and more specifically, policing sexual harassment—was a central theme of the sessions, with most folks acceding to some kind of draconian solution to eradicate the problem altogether.
So not true. I can’t begin to tell you how not right that is. We talked about a squillion other things! My god, sexual harassment is boring; why would we have spent the whole time talking about it? And didn’t those people read my live blogging? Or Ashley’s, which was so vastly more thorough than mine? You can see what we talked about, and it wasn’t sexual harassment, except for one thing that Jen said.
It won’t be the only or main or large proportionally subject next year, either. I know that because I know the people organizing it aren’t stupid.