I hate watching election news on TV or reading it in certain publications. It makes me angry. In a futile quest to make elections interesting, the drummed up fake balance reporting is in fact hurting our democracy.
There have been some news reports about young women in middle school and high school being sent home because the administrators have deemed their clothing inappropriate. An article, from 2013, on ThinkProgress gave me pause to reexamine my views on dress codes and the treatment of young women. While I feel any dress codes need to apply to all genders equally, I do believe that teens need some boundary setting.
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.
Being an atheist, I have spent a lot of time debating religious people about all sorts of things such as my freedom to be an atheist to the US motto (In God We Trust) being printed on our money. The theist is on the wrong side of the debate all the time but they seem to believe my equality and freedom is subject to debate. No one would rationally support that kind of injustice. Imagine my shock when a fellow atheist, trying to support debating the equality of women, used a line of argument we atheists dismiss out of hand when fundamentalist Christians use it against Evolution.
This all stems from the unending internal Internet arguments over sexism in secular groups that I’ve written about before in this blog. The fighting has devolved into unproductive name calling and whining one sees on the middle school playground. I try to avoid reading blog posts specifically about the conflict because those posts just seem to be attempts by the authors to feel superior to a straw man and no one really listens to what is being said. The signal to noise ratio is very low.
On Tuesday, leaders of most of the secular groups in the United States issued an open letter addressing the ongoing internal firestorm over social justice, sexism, and diversity in the freethought community taking place mainly in online forums and comment sections. I applaud the leaders wanting to take on this serious issue in the community and while it doesn’t go far enough in addressing the real issue in the dispute, I hope the letter does open the door to further progress.