You’re going to the Women in Secularism conference, right?

Atheism and feminism go together like peanut butter and chocolate.* While lots of us have been blabbering about it on the blogosphere or giving the occasional talk somewhere, there’s now a whole conference devoted to the intersection. The Center for Inquiry is hosting the Women in Secularism conference in Arlington, VA May 18-20.

(Side note: Isn’t that website snazzy as hell? Props to whoever designed it.)

Anyway, I’ll be speaking there along with some impressive and amazing women. I’m honored to be listed among them, even though I currently have no idea what my talk will be about. I may talk about the student movement since I seem to be the only speaker from that demographic, but that isn’t particularly feminism-themed. Ideas?

*Unless you’re one of those freaks who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate. For reasons other than allergies, that is. Though the metaphor doesn’t extend any further than that – I promise I’m not trying to call you a misogynist.


  1. Melody Hensley says

    For those who don’t know, Arlington essentially is Washington, DC. I hope to see you all there!

  2. says

    I’m sorry, but my mind is in the gutter for some reason, but the first joke response that popped into my head was

    “Will there be any chicks there?”

    I”l go in the corner and hang my head in shame now…

  3. jonvoisey says

    I’d love to except for the fact that it’s (a) half way across the country and (b) costs as much as I often make in a week.

    I’ll stick to Skepticon kthxbai.

  4. Steve says


    You really should not denigrate those poor, benighted souls who don’t like peanut butter and chocolate together with the appellation “freaks”. You should instead look at the bright side, and the favor they’re doing you:

    “More for me!”


  5. says

    I wish I could go. How about for the next one you folks have it on the west coast?

    Will there be any live streaming of the talks? I could totally be up for live streaming.

  6. Azkyroth says

    Given that eating peanut butter and chocolate together doesn’t require another person’s voluntary participation to be ethical or legal, this is excellent advice. >.>

  7. daenyx says

    Oof. I want to, but as a grad student who’s not a speaker, I can’t afford it. Maybe when I’m a post-doc. :S

  8. JT says

    Given that I live in DC, it’d be silly of me not to attend.

    Should I approach you at the conference, please try to ignore my glaring socially awkward penguin-ness.

  9. rjohnston says

    Peanut butter contaminates chocolate. It’s great for a spicy peanut sauce, but please keep it away from all cocoa products.

    Atheism and feminism go together like chocolate and more chocolate.

  10. JustMe says

    You forgot to mention the event is sponsored by the Center For Ideology and that it’s VerySerious. I think I’ll stick to Kim Jong-il’s Youtube channel myself.

  11. says

    Awesome website and ditto speakers. I wish that I wasn’t an ocean away. However, I look forward to lots of tweets and blog posts about it all.
    What to talk about? Why not women in science? How are womens’ ideas about a certain subject (like i.e. biology) treated as compared to mens’? What about career opportunities, funding, paper publishing and all those things where competition plays part? Is your gender ever used against you and if yes, how? Is your gender ever used as an excuse to abuse, exclude or treat differently from the current norm – the male scientist? What does it take, in your opinion, to arrive where “the norm” is without gender?
    Just a few tips from my grey hairs.

    You go girl!

  12. EcksLibris says

    I am sad that the Reason Rally is in March and the Women In Secularism Conference is shortly afterwards in May. For those of us who do not live close by (the secular-light land of Texas for example), one trip to DC in 2012 will be hard to swing, two will be impossible. I don’t want to have to choose! I know we are not always a cohesive group, but some coordination would have been helpful. I am not complaining to you in particular, Jen, just voicing a general concern.

  13. Melody Hensley says

    The Women in Secularism conference was being planned well before the Reason Rally was announced. I don’t think either event would have been postponed a year had we known. The Women in Secularism conference is long overdue.

  14. Ubi Dubium says

    Oh yes, OH YES, I will have to be there. Of course, I live in the area, so I really have no excuse.

    This is in Crystal City, which is really fun. It’s a big cluster of skyscrapers, (OK, as close as we get to skyscrapers in this area) that are connected up by underground concourses, which also contain two good size shopping areas, a food court, and a subway station. It’s only one station down from (Reagan) Washington National Airport. (If you have to fly in to Dulles Airport, transportation from there is not easy or cheap, since our subway line out there is just starting construction.)

    If you have some extra time in town, you can get almost anywhere interesting in DC via the subway.

    Parking in Crystal City tends to be expensive though. I don’t know if the hotel rate includes parking, do check on that if you are making reservations and plan to drive.

  15. astrosmash says

    How about the demographic breakdown of student atheist group members. What’s the women to men ratio for younger college age people.

  16. Joseph Langston says

    Jen, you gave a talk to Minnesota Atheists sometime this month called “God’s Lady Problem: Breaking Up With Abusive Supernatural Beings”. Is there any transcript or recording for that? I wrote a grad paper arguing that feminists have underappreciated the power of religion to bring about positive changes for women, empowerment and so forth. When I saw the description that M.A. gave of your talk, I was intrigued and wanted to know if there was a way to get access to it. Thanks!!

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