I have to catch up with all of my classes now, but I also have to prepare for the next couple of weekends. Next on the agenda:
I’m flying off on Friday for the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism in New York. I’ll be talking about squid.
Next weekend is the Freethought Festival 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin. I shall be talking about the scientific method, and why it’s incompatible with religion.
Then I get a few weekends to stay at home and get through finals week. Yay!
On 18 May, I’ll be at Imagine No Religion 2, in Kamloops, British Columbia. I forget what I’m talking about there, something sciencey, I’ll figure it out later.
Also on 18 May, I won’t be attending the Women in Secularism conference in Washington DC, because I can’t be in two places at once. However, my daughter Skatje will be my proxy there and will be reporting back on it in her own cantankerous and independent-minded style (I have no idea where she gets that from).
I do have to say something about the Women in Secularism conference: some people are being condescendingly stupid about the fact that we can have a special purpose conference within the broader domain of secularism. It is embarrassingly idiotic that we actually have clueless atheists who are demeaning the idea that there is worth in dedicating conferences to specific issues: would there be any of this dismissal if it were a conference on secular parenting, separation of church and state, secular lobbying, race and religion, or the pernicious influence of religion on education? Because these are all pressing concerns, as is the importance of involving women in atheism, and it is a mark of the growth of atheism and secularism and humanism that we do have focused conferences. Expect to see more of this sort of thing in the future.
But somehow, macho assholes seem to think women are unimportant. Sorry, guys, this is the future coming at you: institutions will be egalitarian or die. And the only thing that’s unimportant is addressing the whines of spoiled man-children who break into tears and rage at any diminution of their privilege. Bye-bye, testosterone-addled dinosaurs.
See also this article at CFI.
Look, people, and yes guys, I’m talking to you specifically. This conference is not about “separating” women from men, it’s about having the spine as a movement to say that women deal with prejudices and oppression that are unique to them, thanks to religion, and at the same time recognizing that our own community has a LOT of work to do in how we treat, acknowledge, and highlight our female half. It’s not a conference exclusively FOR women, but yes, about them. Our boss Ron Lindsay says men absolutely should attend. PZ Myers says men should attend. And I’m telling you, too. If you think it’s a problem to have a conference like this, I challenge you to buy a ticket, show your face, and talk about it like a grownup. No more nameless Internet thuggery.
By the way, there are a limited number of $25 student registrations still available for the women in secularism conference.