Amanda Marcotte shares a success story in the struggle against casual sexism, and also plugs this great conference coming up this weekend.
I bring this up because I’m one of the speakers at Women in Secularism, which starts on Friday in D.C. (There’s still time to register, if you want to come!) The very existence of this conference is threatening to a lot of people who either believe that women should remain a small minority in secular activism, that they should embrace the role of disempowered harassment objects, or that feminist ideas—i.e. the belief that women are equal human beings—have no place in secular spaces, despite the long history of secularism and feminism being intertwined. I’ve been made to understand that many of these folks have been upping their already obsessive levels of harassment and making threats of showing up simply to harass people for holding the offensive belief that women have something to contribute as people and not just as sex objects. So I wanted to remind people not to let those bastards get you down. They don’t speak for the majority. They exploit the anonymity of the internet to make themselves seem greater in number than they are, mainly by posting non-stop and having no life outside of being angry that feminists are engaged in secular activism. But as this story shows, the fuck-you-women-are-objects-n0t-people attitude is not inevitable, and conversations can actually be had and good faith does exist. So, a bit of optimism!
Oh, yeah, the other side is ramping up the freakout as the conference date comes ever closer. I expect the #wiscfi hashtag on twitter is going to become completely unusable and uninformative as the kooks become angrier and more obsessive about women talking about women’s issues (and generally human issues!) under the banner of secularism.
It’s going to be interesting as the rational side calmly and dispassionately watches the haters melt down.