Loop loop loop loop

Lots of fantastic people are coming to Women in Secularism. One woman is coming from Melbourne, another from Norway.

Jane Fae has a post at the New Statesman on “Misogyny, intimidation, silencing – the realities of online bullying.” The subhead is

The aggregated effect of floods of negative comments online can be enough to put opinionated women off appearing in public.

And thus we get a feeback loop. Opinionated women get floods of cunting and bitching and why the fuck are you so uglying, so they’re put off appearing in public, so dudebros look around and don’t see many opinionated women mouthing off and they conclude that opinionated mouthing off is more of a guy thing. And they say that, and opinionated women say no that’s not it, that’s a stupid sexist stereotype, think harder – and they get floods of cunting and bitching and why the fuck are you so uglying, so they’re put off appearing in public, so loop loop loop loop. [Read more…]

Just ask them

It was slightly surprising to see an article in USA Today that talks about atheism and feminism without sneering at either one.

Now, more than a month after “Elevatorgate” erupted, freethinkers are assessing its meaning. Many acknowledge they have a “woman problem” — men outnumber women at atheist gatherings, both at the podium and in the audiences.

In the audiences is tricky to fix. At the podium is dead easy – just invite them. Invite me, for instance. Invite Katha Pollitt, Wendy Kaminer, Kathryn Joyce, Michelle Goldberg, Janet Heimlich, Vyckie Garrison.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, notes that while men might fill their gatherings, women often lead freethought organizations. She has directed FFRF’s local chapters to use more women — at least 50 percent — in their billboard and bus banner ads.

“We want to be proactive and make sure there is diversity,” she said. “The movement is big enough now.”

That is reflected in a new “Women in Secularism” conference announced in August by the Center for Inquiry. The conference, billed as the first of its kind, will be held in May in Washington, D.C., and will feature an all-female lineup.

“A lot of us think it is long overdue,” said Melody Hensley, executive director of the center’s Washington office and the organizer of the event, which will include Jacoby, Watson and Gaylor*. “If you have women leaders, you are going to have more women. So this conference is a step forward to attract more women to the cause.”

*And me.