January 8, 2012

Sexism in the Atheist Community: Introduction

Sexism"Oh, come on! Not another blog writing about sexism in the atheist community!" Yep. I have been thinking about this subject a great deal lately. This is certainly not a new problem, but a growing number of atheist women I respect have come forward and explained that many women do not feel welcome in the atheist community. They have shared more than enough evidence to erase any skepticism I might have had. I've been asking myself how I have contributed to this problem. I've been asking myself what I have done to be part of the solution. Needless to say, I was not satisfied with the answers.

I approach the subject of sexism in the atheist community with some trepidation because the stakes are high. I know that some men bristle at the very mention of sexism, immediately feeling defensive and attempting to dismiss the entire discussion. I have also encountered a very small number of women do not think that a man could possibly offer anything of value on the subject of sexism. And of course, I certainly know that I may say something stupid that will be interpreted by my audience as sexist (toward women or men), misinformed, or simply moronic. At the same time, the issue of sexism in the atheist community is important enough to me and to our community that I have concluded that ignoring it is the least desirable option.

I am writing this post to open what I intend to be a series on sexism in the atheist community. I have not written any of the other posts in the series yet, so I am not sure how many there will be or what form they will take. What I am sure of is that this is a subject that needs to be addressed if we want a healthy community in which atheists feel welcome.

Next post in the series: we have a problem.

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