Jim Underdown puts in a good word for this funny new-fangled plan of having a conference that puts secularism and women together, and for the general idea of reaching out to particular groups by, you know, reaching out to them.
I look forward to being at the Women in Secularism conference next week. The line-up is chock-full of smart, interesting speakers, many of the attendees are friends and colleagues, and D.C. is a great place to spend a weekend.
Not everyone feels that way. Some of the people who are not going are not just passing on the conference, they’re also criticizing that it’s happening at all. It’s not needed; it’s a waste of resources; it dilutes our mission, they say.
That’s a polite version of what they say. The versions I see feature a lot of phrases like “professional victims” and “sisterhood of the oppressed” along with claims that we all (all we crazy feminazis) say all men are rapists, call nearly all women “sister punishers,” and steal all the money.
Underdown points out that religion has been shitty to women and there is every reason to encourage women to fight back.
ANY large group who feels like they have a particular beef with religion (or pseudoscience, or other wacky beliefs) has a legitimate interest in addressing that problem as a group.
At CFI-L.A., we’ve hosted Black Skeptics, Spanish-speaking atheists, gay and lesbian humanists, and others who’ve had specific troubles in our society based on who they fundamentally are. And I say, welcome to our tent.
And why not? Eh? Never heard of outreach? There are a lot of ways to do outreach. I say let’s have more outreach, not less.