If I’d told this story yesterday, you would be forgiven for thinking it was an April Fool’s hoax. But apparently Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of two people… and Catholic traditionalists are howling mad about it. Continue reading
Eric MacDonald at Choice in Dying has a post entitled “Men still don’t get it, do they?” MacDonald’s post is worth reading because it praises Julia Gillard’s speech to the (Joe posted the video on Canadian Atheist on October 10), and supports women against “the misogyny in the disbelieving community.” While I guess some women would thank MacDonald and the male commenters that support MacDonald’s stand, I find it difficult to do so. Therefore, in an act of shameless self promotion, I draw your attention to my comment:
“Men still don’t get it, do they?”
I guess they don’t, and this post is evidence of that fact. Every time I see a post written by a man on the topics addressed above, I cringe. This one in particular makes me cringe because this post and the ?all male? commenters have missed the point; Prime Minister Gillard’s speech is the point. Outspoken attacks on misogyny by a woman or women will solve the problem(s), not posts like this one by a male or posts like “Speaking Out Against Hate Directed at Women” written by men at
Rebecca Watson’sAmy Roth’s request.
Please read the rest of my comment, the responses to my comment and my response. I would like to see comments from women as well as comments from men. We woman can and should be as forceful in attacking misogyny as Gillard is, and each one of us should indicate by actions and words “I am woman, hear me roar.” Unfortunately, the post on Helen Reddy’s 1971 song received no reaction, but this
only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
It is definitely time to post and listen to this video of Helen Reddy singing “I Am Woman” (1971), the song that inspired a generation of young women:
Edited: I made a couple errors in my original post. I’ve edited it accordingly below.
First off, I want to say that am posting this because I think it’s important news about the secular community in Vancouver. I really want to avoid hearsay, rumours, and any other gossip, especially directed at any of the groups involved. Everyone involved in this situation is still friends (as far as I know).
A couple months ago, CFI Vancouver created a discussion group for secular women in Vancouver. Their goal was to provide a safe place for women in skepticism to gather and talk.
Whether or not you agree with segregated meetups is irrelevant to this story.
Yesterday the organizer of the group, tentatively called Reasonable Women (RW) Vancouver, posted this to her Facebook page:
We are no longer affiliated with CFI Canada, as of today. This changes some things for us when it come to financial support, organization of future events, recruitment of new members, etc. I think this is both a small set back and a great opportunity to help us redefine our goals, aims and procedures. As I stated at our previous meeting, we need to create something like a board of directors or a committee to help us manage Reasonable Women better. I would be in favour of an egalitarian, vote-based system, where all members participate.
I’m not sure the exact specifics that precipitated this change, but I think it had to do with a desire for greater autonomy for RW.
CFI has always had a corporate top-down structure. This helped it expand quickly, since a national strategy can be implemented, but it can be less responsive to local concerns. While CFI Vancouver has recently been very effective at promoting local community initiatives (with a number of successful meetups and events), those initiatives still fall within CFI’s branding and are expected to conform to the national vision. This can obviously lead to conflicts among freethinkers who each have their own goals and visions. The herding cats analogy comes quickly to mind.
While schisms like this can leave hurt feelings and frustrations, this may be a case where each group is better off focussing on their own goals. In some cases it makes sense for skeptics, humanists, atheists, etc. to pool our resources and work together, but in other cases it may be better to stick with what we’re each passionate about and try to not compete with one another.
There is also the chance that RW Vancouver can seek out support from other sources, or alternatively they can build their own membership base.
Some issues need to be kept in the spotlight, because without constant reminders we are apt to repeat past mistakes.
With that, the Huffington Post (I know, I can hear your boo-hissing from here) has some things to say about “Do Atheists have a Sexism Problem?” (The title is far more provocative than the article).
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.
Yet many, including Watson, say Elevatorgate is less a calamity and more an opportunity to welcome women and other minorities into a community that’s long been dominated by white men.
But it’s not all bad news.
But that is slowly changing. The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey found a 60-40 percent breakdown among men and women who say they who have no religion. Yet women make up 52 percent of the broader population.
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.
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.
The article also lists several prominent female atheists: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Greta Christina, R. Elisabeth Cornwell, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Melody Hensley, Susan Jacody, Eugenie C. Scott, Toni Van Pelt, and Rebecca Watson
There’s a great new campaign making the blog-rounds called “We Are Atheism.”
The premise, nearly identical to Dawkin’s Out Campaign, is simple and effective: the more people who are willing to call themselves atheists, the less discrimination we all face.
Their goal is to get people to make a brief video that pronounces their atheism, and what it means to them. It’s not an attempt to proselytize atheism, but merely to get the word out that we exist.
Why does diversity and making atheism a welcoming place for women matter?
How about because women are leaving religion in record numbers.
Women today are attending church and Sunday school less, reading the Bible less, and consider their faith less important in their lives, according to the new survey.
The Barna report also shows that over the last two decades women have become less likely to hold traditional views of God as the all-knowing creator and ruler of the universe. Women today are less likely to see the devil as a real person, considering him more a "symbol of evil."
The poll doesn’t say that these women are becoming atheists, and many are likely moving to the mushy “spiritual but not religious” category, but this shows huge promise for our organizations, provided we can avoid shooting ourselves in the foot.
Katie beat me to the punch, so I won’t rehash the excellent arguments she’s made as to why SlutWalk is problematic. She and I don’t usually agree on… well… anything, but as far as I’m concerned she’s hit the nail directly on the head.
This past Sunday, a group of skeptics from the Vancouver area participated in our local iteration of SlutWalk. For those of you unaware, SlutWalk was organized in response to the prevailing attitude that women are somehow responsible for sexual assault by virtue of the way they dress, partially triggered by the comments made by a Toronto Police Constable. The movement quickly spread to cities across Canada and the United States, and has been a lightning rod for both empowerment and criticism.
We arrived at the Vancouver Art Gallery on a very rainy Sunday, and were pleasantly surprised with the size of the crowd. People seemed to be genuinely engaged and interested in the issue. Yes, there were people dressed in silly costumes and being generally outlandish, but this is Vancouver, and the event was called SlutWalk – expecting anything different was foolish on my part. Continue reading
I’m actually really surprised when I hear people use that argument. It’s horribly disgusting and makes the men of our species out to be primitive primates who are unable to control any urge that runs through their bodies. I understand, we bitches be hot, but I don’t believe that women can hurl men into an uncontrolable sexual frenzy with short skirts.
Well… some police man in Toronto made this argument, saying women shouldn’t dress like sluts if they want to stop being abused and out of his asshole-ry there spawned a new phenomenon: “Slut Walks“.
While I don’t support women being told to cover up and while I certainly don’t support women being called sluts… I also don’t really support these slut walks. I find it hard to believe that after generations of fighting to be taken seriously modern-feminists movements have turned the reclamation of a derogatory word as something worth putting their time and effort into. But that’s not all I’m befuddled and disturbed by… Keep reading for all the arguments and I actually have to give credit to Feminist Frequency for listing a lot of great resources to find these arguements.
I should also say that I understand the Slut Walk is a form of activism against a rude and ignorant man in Toronto – but I still think its problematic.
At least according to a commitee of American Catholic bishops in response to a group of feminist scholars.
These are questions that theologians like Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a Fordham University professor, have been mulling for years. At 69, Sister Johnson is among the pioneers of a generation of feminist scholars who examine how cultural biases among biblical scribes may have led to women’s diminished roles in Western religious traditions, especially the Roman Catholic Church.
Johnson has a good point and any critique of Catholic doctrine is welcomed, especially from within their ranks, but it’s hard to take feminist scholars seriously when they ignore the general misogyny that regularly appears throughout Christian mythology.
Johnson’s book Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God isn’t high on my reading list but at least I’ll enjoy watching Catholics bicker among themselves.
h/t Holy Post