A good article by one of the founders of the FFRF: it seems there have been many concerns simmering for some time. I was a little surprised by this bit of news.
That Silverman is accused of saying to a woman fighting him off, “You don’t get to say no to me,” however, unfortunately rings true to me. I felt “bullied” while attempting to work with Silverman on the speakers committee for the second Reason Rally. I say “attempting” because I was summarily booted from the committee he was chairing and denied a voice in the planning (but at least not before I was able to secure Julia Sweeney as a speaker, I’m pleased to say).
Also, the FFRF has been leading by example for a long time.
At FFRF, all staff and volunteers must sign an anti-harassment policy, which also instructs on how to report any such harassment. This has been in place for decades.
In 40 years, there have been only two reported or known occasions of sexual harassment. One involved a friend, then in her early 20s, who was accosted by one of our Board members, a middle-aged man, in an elevator as she left an FFRF convention in the late 1970s. He restrained her in a bear hug and forcibly kissed her as the elevator went down several flights. She was a rape survivor, and this repugnant encounter unfortunately summoned back that trauma for her. She told me what happened, I immediately informed my mother, the president of FFRF, who immediately confronted the Board member and demanded (and got) his resignation.
About 12 years ago, I learned that a young staffer, another woman in her 20s, was accosted at our office by a new volunteer, an elderly man. As she walked past him, he slapped her behind with a post-it note containing a weird message. As soon as I learned of this, I immediately contacted and confronted him, and he too was “fired.”
A commitment to women and equality means nothing unless the freethought movement makes clear it will not tolerate sexual misconduct or sleazy behavior by leading nonbelievers.
One disappointment, though: don’t read the comments. Like many of the atheist sites on Patheos, the FFRF page is infested with known slymepitters and miscellaneous sexists/misogynists. One of the only suggestions I’d offer to them is that you ought to curate your comments sections, because they’re pretty much unreadable.
Also, the first comment is from a guy threatening to withdraw from the FFRF because he’s annoyed about the grammar in the post, and talks about how he “could go on for hours”, nitpicking. Yeah, let him withdraw.