Category Archives: Women

Warren: What Does It Mean To Be A Progressive?

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Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

If Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts runs for President in 2016, I would love to vote for her. She doesn’t make excuses about what we should believe in and I wish all Democrats would have her backbone. Speaking at this weekend’s Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, Warren laid out some values that Progressives need to have today. I agree with all of them.
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Friendly Atheist Moves Goalposts On Pro-Choice Response

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image with the text Human Rights Are Not Optional
Human Rights Are Not Optional

Back on March 11th, Hemant Mehta, over at his Friendly Atheist blog, had a guest post by Kristine Kruszelnicki that attempted to give some secular arguments against abortion. Naturally Mehta received some heat for the post. However his need to ‘debate’ abortion didn’t include allowing a rebuttal from the group Secular Woman. I agree with Secular Woman that abortion shouldn’t be debated like some kind of flavor of ice cream.
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Why Can’t I Have A He-Man Woman Hater Atheist Club?

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image from Braveheart with No women in text
Not the kind of atheist meeting I want to attend

The secular community has been rocked by a firestorm over sexism in the movement. Blogs and tweets have flown back and forth between women speaking out about it and some men who disagree that it is an issue. Recently accusations of sexual assault have been leveled at some prominent men in the movement and at some conferences. Since there is such strong male privilege and a cult of personality in a lot of these groups, it seems these gender issues are beyond being fixed (at least until the current generation of sexist men die off). Maybe we need to have separate groups.
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As Some Dismiss Feminism In The Atheist Movement, They Fail To Know Their History

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image of American Atheist founder Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Before Richard Dawkins, Madalyn Murray O’Hair was THE public face of Atheism

As much as I get frustrated about the unnecessary backlash against atheist feminists, it makes me even more upset to see some well meaning opponents of feminism in the movement who fail to learn from history. Tom Flynn, the editor of Free Inquiry and the executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, points out the work of women on the front lines in the struggle of freethought in the last 40 years of the 20th century. Women have led the major atheist groups from the 1960′s to the present.
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CFI’s Ronald Lindsay Learns How NOT To Encourage Women In Secularism

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photo of Ron Lindsay President and CEO Center for Inquiry
Ronald A. Lindsay – President & CEO Center for Inquiry

The second Women in Secularism Conference was held in Washington, DC this weekend. The conference is a response to the struggle inside secular groups to reach out and encourage more participation by women. There has been a vocal minority of mostly men who have taken it upon themselves to defend the dominance of males and male-centric attitudes in the various secular groups. This political “debate”, at times, has not been respectful or rational. It seems the President and CEO of the conference sponsor, Center for Inquiry (CFI), Ronald A. Lindsay decided to use his opening remarks to light a match in the vapor enriched environment then complain when he got caught in the firestorm. I would hope he has learned how a community leader should NOT respond to criticism.
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