Atheism and women's rights

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Studies indicate that women in the Western World tend to be more religious than men.[1]

Studies indicate that women in the Western World and the world at large tend to be more religious than men.[2] See also: Atheism and women and Atheist women statistics

Concerning atheism and women's rights, atheism offers no basis for women's rights because atheism provides no basis for human rights (see: Atheism and human rights). See also: Atheism and human rights violations and Christianity and human rights

Daniel Philpott, Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies and Director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame wrote:

At least three ingredients are critical to the validity of human rights. First, human rights require universal moral norms, since they are claims that every human makes upon every other human being. No person, non-state group, or political regime may torture another person or deliberately take the life of a civilian, for instance. These claims must be true for everyone, or they are not human rights.

The second ingredient is human dignity—the inestimable worth of each and every person. It is because human beings have this worth that they can justifiably demand that certain kinds of actions never be performed against them.

The third ingredient, which philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff describes brilliantly in his book, Justice, is what might be called the “trump card” status of human rights. To say that a person has a right is to say that her claim cannot be overridden by simply balancing it against a competing basket of goods. Even if governments can realize great gains in war by targeting civilians or torturing suspects, they must refrain from these actions if they are respectful of human rights...

What traditions of thought, then, assert universal norms, human dignity, and trump card status? Religions holding that God revealed certain commandments to be binding on everyone, essential for human flourishing and dignity, and admitting little room for violation or exception are strong candidates.

Theologians and philosophers in these traditions have derived a right to life from the commandment to not murder, a right to property from the commandment to not steal, and so on. In these religions, the ingredients for human rights are cemented in an eternal and unchanging being who takes an interest in every person...

It is no accident, therefore, that historically, most of the great articulators of human (or natural) rights have been theists: the early Christian fathers; medieval canon lawyers; the Spanish scholastics; Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant; Woodrow Wilson; most of the architects of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Jacques Maritain; and contemporary Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers like John Finnis, David Novak, and Abdullahi An-Na’im.

Likewise, most of the great deniers of human and natural rights have been atheists: the philosophers David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Friedrich Nietzsche; Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin; and the postmodernist pioneers, Michel Foucault and Richard Rorty.

Just ask history’s most influential thinkers: God and human rights really do go together.[3]

The atheist philosopher Peter Singer defends the practice of bestiality (as well as abortion and euthanasia).

Despite Singer holding these immoral views, the liberal and pro-evolution academic establishment rewarded his views with a bioethics chair at Princeton University.[4] See: Atheism and bestiality

The website Premier Christianity features a 2018 article by Andy Bannister which states:

It is 70 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations. Following his Big Conversation debate with [atheist] Peter Singer, Andy Bannister says the document still poses a significant problem for atheists...

Free and equal

We’re passionate about human rights, we award Nobel Prizes for them, but a fairly basic question is often overlooked. These rights, this dignity that human beings are claimed to have—where is it located? What is its basis, its foundation? In short, however noble the UDHR may sound, is it true?

These are trickier questions to answer than you might imagine, and the options are limited. Perhaps one might suggest that human rights just are; they just exist. This was the route taken by the secular human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell whom I once debated on Premier Christian Radio’s Unbelievable? show. Tatchell is passionate about human rights, but when I pressed him on why we have them, he basically said they exist because they exist. This is hugely problematic, not just because it’s a circular argument, but because the racist can use the same rationale—they can claim to be superior to other races and[,] when we ask why, reply: 'I am because I am.'...

Invented or discovered?

But what if ethics, human rights and human dignity aren’t made up? One of the brilliant insights that the world leaders, philosophers and theologians who crafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights had was the assumption that human rights and dignity aren’t invented but discovered. During our conversation, Singer actually admitted this, remarking that he increasingly thinks that moral values and duties exist independently of us, in a 'similar way to mathematical truths existing'.

That’s a massive step for an atheist like Singer to take, for it means that as well as physical things (atoms, particles, tables, chairs, chocolate éclairs etc[.]) you also have invisible, non-physical entities floating around, principles such as 'love your neighbour'. For somebody like Singer, who believes human beings are the unpurposed product of time plus chance plus natural selection, this looks remarkably peculiar...

Where are we going

As the conversation with Singer shows, if you ultimately believe that the universe is just atoms in motion, that there is nothing intrinsically valuable about human beings, and if some humans have more value than others, because the metric you use to measure ‘worth’ or ‘personhood’ assigns them a greater score, then you have a problem.

But by stark, beautiful contrast, if the Christian story is true, then we were made with a purpose. We were made for something. Indeed, made for someone. We were made to discover God’s love, to love God in return, and to love our neighbour. If Christianity is true, love is the supreme ethic—that’s what it means to be human[,] and it gives a value, a purpose, a direction to human life—and a basis not just for human rights but also for our duties to one another.

This is why atheists face such a sharp dilemma. Only if the Christian story is true do humans have dignity and worth. And only on that basis can you talk meaningfully about rights and about responsibilities. Who created human rights? The one who created humans.[5]

Contents

Atheist feminism

See also: Atheist feminism and Christianity and women's rights

Annie Laurie Gaylor is an atheist feminist. She is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Gaylor’s husband, Dan Barker, who heads the organization along with her, is usually the person invited to speaking engagements, despite her longer tenure as the organization’s leader and her many books on atheism.[6]

Atheist feminism is a type of feminism whose advocates are atheists (see also: Atheism and women).

Feminists who are theists often belong to religious bodies which practice liberal theology. In addition, some feminists practice goddess worship.

Ernestine Rose was a feminist and an she was also an atheist - well before today's label of "atheist feminist" existed.

An example of a modern atheist feminist is Annie Laurie Gaylor. She is co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Gaylor’s husband, Dan Barker, who is co-president of the organization along with her, is usually the one invited to speaking engagements, despite her longer tenure as the organization’s leader and her many books on atheism.[7]

Atheism, women, men and atheist feminism

Since most atheists lean left politically (see: Atheism and politics) many atheist women are feminists. However, atheist feminism is rejected by a large segment of atheist men given that a significant majority of atheist are men and that the men's rights movement has many atheist men within it (see: Atheism and women).[8] Reddit is a popular place for atheists and a Reddit survey found that 94% of Men's Rights Movement supporters indicated that they had no religion (see also: Reddit atheism).[9] YouTube's most popular atheist is TheAmazingAtheist who is a men's rights activist. Another popular YouTube atheist Thunderf00t is very critical of feminism within atheism (See also: Atheism plus).

Atheist feminism and sexism within atheist population

See also: Atheism and sexism

Atheist feminism criticizes the widespread sexist beliefs/behavior by atheist men (See: Atheism and sexism and Atheism and rape and Atheism and social skills).

Atheist feminism and its commonalities to feminism in general

Atheist feminism, like all feminism, denies or downplays differences between men and women. Most atheists support abortion (see: Abortion and atheism). In addition, like all feminism, it is an ideology that causes an alienation in affection by women for men.

Elevatorgate and friction between atheist men and women

A 2011 portrait of Rebecca Watson. Watson is an atheist and a feminist.

See also: Elevatorgate and Atheist conferences

Elevatorgate is a term commonly used to describe a scandal involving new atheist Richard Dawkins' 2011 comments made to atheist Rebecca Watson which are perceived to have been inappropriate by a sizable portion of the atheist community and to the public at large.[10] Watson is a feminist.[11]

Within the atheist movement post New Atheism and the Elevatorgate controversy, there has been a lot of conflict between atheists concerning feminism. One of the results of the conflict was Richard Dawkins losing a lot of public support and support among the irreligious (see: Richard Dawkins' loss of influence).

The new atheist Sam Harris has also angered many feminists. In 2014, Harris said that atheist activism lacks an “estrogen vibe” and was “to some degree intrinsically male”.[12]

Atheist feminism related online schism

See also: Atheist factions and Atheists and antisocial behavior

The forerunner of the feminist Atheism plus movement was the online Elevatorgate controversy.

The Guardian wrote about Atheism plus and the reaction of many atheists on the internet:

In the passionate world of American atheism, the venom usually directed at believers has now been turned against the wrong kind of atheists...

It took 700 years from Constantine renaming Byzantium in his own honour to papal legates circulating letters of anathema that split the Roman and Orthodox churches. Atheism, in its public, online life, has started exchanging internet anathemas – perhaps we should call them inathemas – in little more than a decade.[13]

Post Elevatorgate and Atheism plus, the conflict between atheist feminism and anti-feminism atheists continues. Two of the most anti-feminism atheists are YouTube atheists Thunderf00t and TheAmazingAtheist.

Wendy Marsman leaves atheist movement due to sexual harassment within the movement

In 2018, the atheist Wendy Marsman, founder of the Women Beyond Belief podcast, left the atheist movement due to women being sexually harassed within the atheist movement and fellow atheists being reluctant to speak out about it.[14]

Atheist feminism and its view of religion

When told that Red Army soldiers sexually assaulted German refugees, the atheist Joseph Stalin declared: "We lecture our soldiers too much; let them have their initiative."[15] See: Mass rape of German women by the Soviet army

See also: Atheist feminism and religion

It is extremely common for atheist feminists to see religion as the main source of sexism and oppression in the world despite: the widespread sexism within the atheist population/atheist movement; irreligious men engaging in more domestic abuse than religious men (See: Irreligion and domestic violence); the most secular countries of Europe have significant domestic violence problems (see: Secular Europe and domestic violence); and atheistic communists regimes have been the most murderous and repressive regimes in world history (see: Atheism and communism and Atheism and mass murder and Atheism and forced labor and Communism and religious persecution).

Many atheists have a poor knowledge of atheist history and/or engage in historical revisionism (see: Atheism and historical illiteracy and Atheism and historical revisionism).

Atheism and mass rapes

Atheism plus

See also: Atheism plus

Atheism plus is a largely defunct faction of atheism which holds to a liberal/progressive political agenda. It developed out of the atheist and political ideology of Freethought blogs and was partly a response to the New Atheism and to the Elevatorgate controversy.

David Silverman scandal

See also: Atheist nonprofit scandals and Atheist hypocrisy

David Silverman served as the President of the American Atheists organization. [16] Silverman was fired due to allegations of financial conflicts and sexual assault.[17] In his book, Fighting God, Silverman indicates that he is a “proud feminist.”[18] See also: Atheism and sexism

Concerning Silverman's scandals and subsequent firing, atheist and feminist PZ Myers said, "It's a terrible day for organized atheism."[19] Myers spent $1200 for a lifetime membership with American Atheists because he was impressed by the way Silverman went after the “anti-feminist” atheists.[20] See also: Decline of the atheist movement

Atheism and the Me Too Movement

See: Atheism and the Me Too Movement

On February 1, 2018, Caroline Matas wrote in an article at the website Religion Dispatches:

Anyone familiar with the Internet’s “Manosphere” will be unsurprised to learn that “Red Pillers” and Men’s Rights Activists are fed up with the #MeToo movement.

What is, perhaps, more surprising is the number of New Atheist figureheads in which Men’s Rights Activists are finding unlikely allies.[21]

On March 2, 2018, Amanda Marcotte wrote in Salon about atheist feminism and the Me Too Movement:

In mid-February, #MeToo came to the community of activist atheists and science promoters, known as skeptics... Buzzfeed published an expose of Lawrence Krauss, a physicist who became a minor celebrity due in part to his outspoken atheism, in which multiple women shared tales of his alleged sexual abusiveness. Krauss denies the multiple, separate accounts painstakingly detailed by Buzzfeed's reporters. However, Krauss is still facing a litany of professional repercussions: cancelled appearances, disavowals (most prominently by the American Humanist Association) and investigations into the accusations.

But for many in the skeptic movement, Krauss's reckoning, while welcome, feels like too little, too late. For years, these activists told Salon, they've been agitating against sexual harassment in the community and trying to expose the abusive behaviors of many prominent figures. For their efforts, they have been harassed, demoralized and often shunned — while the accused, including Krauss, continue to enjoy honored status in the community. Some of these atheists hope that Krauss' outing represents a turning point in their movement, but others worry that the hostility towards women speaking out is calcified and nothing substantial will change...

Rebecca Watson, the founder of Skepchick, tried a slightly different approach. In 2011, she put out a video detailing how a man followed her into an elevator at 4 a.m. at a conference and hit on her, which she said made "me incredibly uncomfortable"....

"There was a big rise of people who decided that wasn’t good and that feminism was bad and that they had to harass women," explained Monette Richards, the president of Secular Woman, which was created in large part as a response to the hostility that feminists were experiencing.

Richards called it the "Great Rift," a divide that erupted between women who "were saying, no, we are not debating feminism," and those who were either outright anti-feminist or those afraid "to embrace the feminists or feminism, because they felt that they would be shunning a lot of the people who were anti-feminist."...

Still, Richards felt that there is still a huge amount of institutional resistance to feminism, noting that Secular Woman got disinvited from an annual meeting of secular organizations, after members spoke up about these issues. The reaction to Buzzfeed's story about Krauss is disheartening, as well. While the American Humanist Association issued a statement of support for Krauss' accusers, Center for Inquiry still has Krauss as an honorary board member. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science have been silent.[22]

David Silverman took feminist Rebecca Watson off the speakers list for the Reason Rally after Richard Dawkins objected to her speaking at the event.[23] See: Elevatorgate

Tris Mamone wrote on April 19, 2018:

To be fair, several prominent atheist organizations and activists severed ties with Krauss shortly after the article’s publication. The American Humanist Association released a statement on March 9 saying they would no longer invite him to speak at any upcoming conferences, and they are considering rescinding his 2015 Humanist of the Year Award. The Center for Inquiry likewise announced that they were suspending their association with Krauss “pending further information,” as did evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne after doing his own investigation.

However, author Sam Harris, whose 2004 book The End of Faith first launched the so-called New Atheist movement, voiced his doubts about the accusations against Krauss on his “Waking Up” podcast, saying “there were many things obvious about [the BuzzFeed article] that suggested that we shouldn’t rush to accept all of these allegations,” and that he hoped Krauss “finds some way to redeem himself.”...

And Krauss isn’t the only prominent skeptic with allegations against him. News broke last week that David Silverman had been “abruptly fired” from his role as the president of American Atheists due to both financial and sexual misconduct allegations. On top of this, much has been written about the multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Skeptic Magazine editor-in-chief Michael Shermer and historian Richard Carrier — yet they are still invited to speak at atheist and skeptic conferences.

What is most troubling about the Krauss story is how many in the atheist movement knew about his reputation before the BuzzFeed article came out, including this writer. If secular communities want to provide a better alternative to religious institutions, why didn’t anyone confront Krauss sooner? Why are Shermer and Carrier still given a platform despite having similar accusations to those levied against Krauss?[24]

Femen

Oxana Shachko was one of the founders of the radical feminist activist group Femen. In 2018, Shachko committed suicide.[25]

Femen’s members consider atheism to be a fundamental tenet of the group’s ideology.[26] See also: Atheism and suicide

See also: Femen

Femen is a Ukrainian radical feminist activist group which is now based in Paris. According to the Washington Post, "Femen’s members consider atheism to be a fundamental tenet of the group’s ideology."[27]

Femen engages in topless publicity stunts/protests. Femen was one of the first radical feminist organizations to gain transnational media publicity.

Peter Baklinski and John Jalsevac wrote about Femen:

If the topless protests organized by the radical feminist group Femen - typically featuring skinny, attractive women - have sometimes seemed like a dirty man’s dreams come true, there might be a good reason for that. According to a new documentary, the mastermind behind the group, members of which earlier this year assaulted a Belgian Catholic bishop for his views on homosexuality, was, until recently, a man with a penchant for pretty girls, and a habit of belittling the feminist warriors he led into battle.

“It’s his movement and he hand-picked the girls,” filmmaker Kitty Green, who was given intimate access to the feminist group, told the Independent in reference to Viktor Svyatski’s influence on Femen. “He hand-picked the prettiest girls because the prettiest girls sell more papers. The prettiest girls get on the front page... that became their image, that became the way they sold the brand.”

Femen, whose slogan is, “Our mission is protest, our weapons are bare breasts”, is famous for staging numerous incendiary protests, such as attacking Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard with water, shouts, and curses in April; chanting "Pope no More" in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican; protesting against government plans in Ukraine to outlaw abortion in some circumstances; and chainsawing Orthodox crosses in the wake of the conviction of a Russian punk band.

The revelation of Svyatski's leadership, which has since been confirmed by the group’s current leader, has sparked a furor, generating dozens of headlines in leading newspapers, with some commentators declaring that the group has lost credibility.[28]

Academic study on feminism and American, atheist men

The abstract for the 2013 academic journal article Do Atheism and Feminism Go Hand-in-Hand?: A Qualitative Investigation of Atheist Men’s Perspectives about Gender Equality published in the journal Secularism and Nonreligion declares:

Drawing upon semi-structured interviews with 10 self-identified atheist men in the

American Midwest, this qualitative study explored their perspectives regarding atheism, gender, and feminism. The data was analyzed using consensual qualitative research methodology (Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997). Results indicated these men had a proclivity for freethought—a commitment to questioning things and prioritizing reason over all else. They believed gender differences were primarily due to cultural and social influence in society. Gender inequality was highlighted as a problem within the U.S. and throughout the world, however this belief did not necessarily lead to being feminist-identified. There appeared to be a pathway linking their intellectual orientation, atheism, and belief in gender equality.[29]

Atheism and sexism

See also: Atheism and sexism

James Randi is a prominent atheist. Brian Thompson, former James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) Outreach Coordinator, wrote:

But I no longer identify with this community of benevolent know-it-alls, because not all of them are the best folks in the world. In fact, a good percentage of the top ten worst humans I’ve ever met are prominent members of the skeptics’ club. They’re dishonest, mean-spirited, narcissistic, misogynistic. Pick a personality flaw, and I can probably point you to someone who epitomizes it. And that person has probably had a speaking slot at a major skeptical conference.

I grew particularly disgusted with the boys’ club attitude I saw among skeptical leaders and luminaries. The kind of attitude that’s dismissive of women, sexually predatory, and downright gross. When I first started going to skeptical conferences as a fresh-faced know-it-all, I started hearing things about people I once admired. Then I started seeing things myself. Then I got a job with the JREF, and the pattern continued.[30]

In 2018, Kimberly Winston wrote in The Washington Post:

Organized secularism has been struggling with charges of misogyny, sexism and sexual harassment for almost a decade. The problem went public in 2011 when... [an] atheist blogger, Rebecca Watson, described unwanted sexual advances from a man at an atheist conference who followed her into an elevator and to her hotel room.

She was flooded with both supportive and haranguing comments. World-renowned atheist Richard Dawkins told her to “stop whining” and “grow up.” Dawkins — whose appearances at secularist gatherings can make or break attendance — has been called out multiple times for sexist statements but remains much in demand as a speaker.

Richard Carrier, a science historian and popular secularist speaker, has both apologized for and denied accusations of unwanted sexual advances at secularist and atheist events. He has been banned from at least one conference.

Michael Shermer, who has denied allegations of sexual harassment and assault from several women, remains editor of Skeptic magazine and a top speaker at secularist events.

Most recently, cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, another star speaker and best-selling author, was suspended in the spring by Arizona State University for what it described as a decade of inappropriate behavior, some of it at secularist events.

The alleged misconduct of these leaders, “was tacitly co-signed by an atheist leadership that is largely hostile to social and gender justice and complicit in the marginalization of women’s issues,” said Sikivu Hutchinson, an activist who is often critical of organized atheism on the subject of women and people of color. “The atheist movement is no different from other male-dominated bastions in which sexual harassment and predatory behavior toward women are part of the culture.”[31]

Atheist women currently experience a considerable amount of sexism and harassment from atheist men. For example, in 2014, the prominent atheist PZ Myers said of fellow New Atheist Richard Dawkins' attitude towards women: "At a time when our movement needs to expand its reach, it’s a tragedy that our most eminent spokesman has so enthusiastically expressed such a regressive attitude.”[32] In 2014, the prominent New Atheist Sam Harris said that atheist activism lacks an “estrogen vibe” and was “to some degree intrinsically male”.[33]

Writing on the sexism within the atheist community, atheist Victoria Bekiempis wrote in a Guardian article entitled Why the New Atheism is a boys' club:

Annie Laurie Gaylor, who founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation with her mother, Anne Nicol Gaylor, in 1978, sums it up succinctly: “One word — sexism.” Gaylor’s husband, Dan Barker, who helms the organization along with her, is usually the one invited to speaking engagements, despite her longer tenure as the organization’s leader and her numerous books on atheism.[34]

Katie Engelhart in her July 21, 2013 Salon article Atheism Has a Women Problem wrote:

Around the time that the Dawkins-Hitchens-Harris tripartite published its big wave of Atheist critique, historian Jennifer Michael Hecht published “ Doubt” and journalist Susan Jacoby published “ Freethinkers“—both critically acclaimed. And yet, these women, and many others, failed to emerge as public figures, household names. “Nobody talked about [Doubt] as a ‘phenomenon,’” Hecht has noted. “They just talked about the book.” What gives?

The lady Atheist has a troubled history....[35]

Atheism and rape

Atheism and mass rape

Irreligion and domestic violence

See also: Irreligion and domestic violence

Research suggests that irreligiousity is a causal factor for domestic violence.[36]

The abstract for the 2007 article in the journal Violence Against Women entitled Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence indicated:

The authors explored the relationship between religious involvement and intimate partner violence by analyzing data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households. They found that: (a) religious involvement is correlated with reduced levels of domestic violence; (b) levels of domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; (c) the effects of religious involvement on domestic violence vary by race/ethnicity; and (d) religious involvement, specifically church attendance, protects against domestic violence, and this protective effect is stronger for African American men and women and for Hispanic men, groups that, for a variety of reasons, experience elevated risk for this type of violence.[37]

Also, a quote from the journal article Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence:

Another line of thought suggests that religious people may be less likely to perpe- trate domestic violence (Fergusson, Horwood, Kershaw, & Shannon, 1986). A 1999 study of U.S. couples found that both men and women who attend religious services regularly are less likely to commit acts of domestic violence than those who attend rarely or not at all (Ellison et al., 1999). A follow-up study identified three pathways through which religious involvement may operate; namely, increasing levels of social integration and social support, reducing the likelihood of alcohol or substance abuse, and decreasing the risk of psychological problems (Ellison & Anderson, 2001). However, even after considering such indirect effects of religion through the use of sta- tistical controls, that study found that regular religious involvement still had a protec- tive effect against the perpetration of domestic violence by both men and women (Ellison & Anderson, 2001). In addition, that study showed that evidence of such pro- tective religious effects persisted regardless of whether domestic violence was measured using data from self reports or partner reports, which makes it difficult to attribute these observed religious effects to simple social desirability or other response bias.[38]

The Journal of Family Issues also reported that religious belief diminishes the likelihood of domestic violence.[39]

Rebecca Watson and harassment from atheist men post Elevatorgate

Post Elevatorgate controversy, at an atheist convention, Rebecca Watson claimed:

Hundreds of atheists have informed me that either they wanted to rape me, someone should rape me so that I will loosen up or that no one would ever rape me because I am so ugly".[40]

In July 2012, Watson declared: "It get regular rape threats. I get regular rape and murder threats".[41] Furthermore, in August 2013, Rebecca Watson said that post Elevatorgate she received a flood of rape threats and she continues to receive rape threats (see: Atheism and rape).[42]

Additional information

For more information please see:

Atheist Lawrence Krauss and sexual abuse allegations

David Silverman, former president of American Atheists, fired due to sexual assault allegations

See also: Atheist nonprofit scandals and Atheist feminism and Atheist hypocrisy

David Silverman served as the President of the American Atheists organization. [43] Silverman was fired due to allegations of financial conflicts and sexual assault.[44] Silverman, through his lawyer, denies any wrong doing and indicates he has never had a non-consensual sexual encounter.[45]

In his book, Fighting God, Silverman indicates that he is a “proud feminist”.[46]

Concerning Silverman's scandals and subsequent firing, atheist and feminist PZ Myers said, "It's a terrible day for organized atheism."[47] Myers spent $1200 for a lifetime membership with American Atheists because he was impressed by the way Silverman went after the “anti-feminist” atheists.[48] See also: Decline of the atheist movement

American Atheist replacement of David Silverman. Commentary by atheist Ed Brayton

See also: Atheism and leadership and Western atheism and race

When David Silverman was replaced by Nick Fish who is also a white male, the atheist Ed Brayton wrote:

In the wake of the firing of David Silverman after allegations of sexual and financial misconduct, American Atheists has named Nick Fish, formerly the national program director for the group, as the new president to replace him. I find this news to be quite disappointing and it has nothing to do with Fish personally.

...I’m disappointed that they didn’t take the opportunity to appoint a woman to lead the group. Especially in the wake of Silverman’s actions that led to his downfall, I think that would have sent a very important message. More than that, it would have helped bring a perspective that is far too often ignored, dismissed and even denigrated within the broad atheist community.

We need more women in positions of leadership, and more minorities as well. We need to stop being a community led mostly by old white men like me.[49]

Atheist Jen McCreight on sexual harassment at atheist conferences

See also: Sexual harassment at atheist conferences and Atheist conferences

Jen McCreight, who founded the Atheism plus movement, stated concerning sexual harassment at atheist conferences:

When I first started going to atheist conferences, I was warned to avoid certain speakers because they were known for going after younger women. I was often approached after I gave talks, and people would make really lewd, sexual comments to me or basically be talking to my chest.[50]

For additional information, please see: Sexual harassment at atheist conferences

Sam Harris and charges of misogny

Like his fellow new atheist Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris has raised the ire of feminists.[51][52][53]

In 2014, Harris said that atheist activism lacks an “estrogen vibe” and was “to some degree intrinsically male”.[54]

On October 3, 2014, Salon magazine published an online article titled, Atheism’s shocking woman problem: What’s behind the misogyny of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris?[55] On September 20, 2014, the feminist blogger Libby Anne wrote an article entitled Is Sam Harris Sexist?[56] Atheist Sam Fincke wrote a piece entitled On Sam Harris’s Reply to Feminist Critics.[57]

In his defense, Harris published an article on his website titled, “I’m Not the Sexist Pig You’re Looking For”[58]

Wendy Marsman leaves atheist movement due to sexual harassment within the movement and her fellow atheists being silent about it

In 2018, the atheist Wendy Marsman, founder of the Women Beyond Belief podcast, left the atheist movement due to women being sexually harassed within the atheist movement and fellow atheists being reluctant to speak out about it.[59]

Melody Hensley and harassment from atheist men

On May 15, 2014, the Washington Post reported that Melody Hensley, executive director of the Washington branch of the Center For Inquiry, was "diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after a vicious flood of online and social media attacks that included threats of rape, murder and photographs of dismembered women. Many of her harassers, she believes, are men in the secular community."[60]

Nontheist Jex Blackmore on The Satanic Temple and sexual harassment

See also: Atheist organizations and Atheist nonprofit scandals and Atheism and rape

The nontheist Jex Blackmore, who had been a national spokesperson for TST, wrote about The Satanic Temple and sexual harassment:

As one of the few visible and prominent female voices in TST, I endured countless threats, harassment, and violations...

Over the years, members and chapter heads have requested and proposed the implementation of a gender, sexual, and racial diversity policy to ensure equity within TST leadership and alignment to the mission. The demand was not simply ignored but completely dismissed. The demand was not hollow; there was a clear and pressing need for this policy. While I was part of the organization, I witnessed male members of the organization exploit their position and influence to behave inappropriately and disrespectfully towards women. I myself experienced harassment and abuse from members who have now left the organization. I was not supported by leadership during these times, but was asked to let it all “blow over.”[61]

Atheism and the sexual exploitation of women and children

The infamous pornographers Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt are both atheists.[64][65][66]

In 2003, Arena magazine magazine listed Flynt as #1 on the "50 Powerful People in Porn" list.[67] Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down due to injuries sustained from a 1978 assassination attempt by the serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin.[68][69]

For more information, please see: Atheism and pornography

Barna Group study

The Barna Group found that atheists and agnostics in America were more likely, than theists in America, to look upon the following behaviors as morally acceptable: pornography; obscene sexual behavior; illegal drug use; excessive drinking; sexual relationships outside of marriage; abortion; cohabitating with someone of opposite sex outside of marriage and obscene language.[70]

For more information, please see: Atheism and pornography

Atheism and child pornography

See also: Atheism and child pornography

Historically, atheistic societies/individuals have played a significant role in the production and usage of child pornography (See: Atheism and child pornography).

Atheistic China and gender discrimination

The New York Times reported: "According to corporate records examined by The New York Times, fewer than 1 in 10 board members of China’s top 300 companies are women. That measure, significantly smaller than the proportion of women on corporate boards in the United States..."[71]

See also: Atheistic China and sexism and Atheistic China and gender based workplace discrimination

China has the world's largest atheist population.[72][73] See also: Asian atheism

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia primarily among whites.[74] See: Western atheism and race

The New York Times reported:

Chinese women are losing ground in the work force compared with men, their representation falling steadily with each rung up the professional ladder. Women make up 44.7 percent of the work force, but just 25.1 percent of people with positions of “responsibility,” according to China’s 2010 census.

At the very top, their share falls still further.

According to corporate records examined by The New York Times, fewer than 1 in 10 board members of China’s top 300 companies are women. That measure, significantly smaller than the proportion of women on corporate boards in the United States...

“Chinese law doesn’t define gender discrimination, so how do you even argue a case?” he asked. “It’s very, very difficult to get one into court.”

Companies need not bother with subtlety in job advertisements. A maker of security cameras seeks sales managers: No women need apply. A company that sells box cutters is looking for a human resources manager: male, age 25 to 35.[75]

Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher born in Lu (modern day Shandong province).

Yi-Ling Liu of the Associated Press reported in 2018 about atheistic China and sexism:

Activists say the decline in women's status that began with the economic reforms of the 1980s accelerated as the party set aside leftist politics as a unifying message for the country and instead promoted more traditional, male-dominated Confucian beliefs.

The gulf between the sexes is especially pronounced at the highest levels of politics: The ruling party's Standing Committee, the inner circle of power, has never had a female member. In the next tier, a single woman sits in the larger 25-member Politburo...

Still, in a 2011 survey the federation also found women's wages were on average two-thirds lower than men's. And the share of women in the labor force dropped to 61 percent last year from 72 percent 20 years ago, according to the World Bank.

Party leaders are worried China is producing too few children to support its aging population, said Leta Hong-Fincher, a sociologist and author of "Betraying Big Brother: The Rise of China's Feminist Resistance," due out later this year. "The government launched a propaganda campaign referring to single, over-educated women over 30 as 'leftover' to stigmatize women into returning home, getting married and having babies," Ms. Hong-Fincher said...

In the more conservative countryside, women who suffer from domestic violence and sexual assault "tend to blame themselves rather than speak out publicly," said Li Maizi, a women's rights activist who was detained in 2015 for handing out stickers protesting sexual harassment.

Chinese leaders are trying to suppress feminist activism as a source of potential unrest, Ms. Li said, adding that even the term feminism has become politically sensitive.[76]

Christianity and women's rights

See: Christianity and women's rights

See also

References

  1. Multiple references:
  2. Multiple references:
  3. Philpott, Daniel [Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame] (May 28, 2014). "No human rights without God" Open Global Rights
  4. Who created human rights? (and why it's a problem for atheists)
  5. Bekiempis, Victoria (Summer 2011). "Why the New Atheism is a boys' club". Bitch Magazine, no. 51. Retrieved from September 26, 2011 edition of The Guardian/CommentaryIsFree.
  6. Bekiempis, Victoria (Summer 2011). "Why the New Atheism is a boys' club". Bitch Magazine, no. 51. Retrieved from September 26, 2011 edition of The Guardian/CommentaryIsFree.
  7. Confirmed: “Men’s Rights Activism” Is For Misogynists Without God, Raw Story
  8. Confirmed: “Men’s Rights Activism” Is For Misogynists Without God, Raw Story
  9. Rebecca Watson (July 5, 2011). "The Privilege Delusion". Skepchick
  10. Atheist writer Sam Harris faces backlash over 'estrogen vibe' comments by Heather Tomlinson, Christianity Today, September 17, 2014
  11. Is American atheism heading for a schism? by Peter McGrath, The Guardian
  12. Leaving the Atheist Movement - New Focus for the Podcast by Wendy Marsman
  13. Roberts, Andrew. "Stalin's army of rapists: The brutal war crime that Russia and Germany tried to ignore", Daily Mail, 24 October 2008. 
  14. http://www.atheists.org/about/Board_of_Directors
  15. This Firebrand Atheist Was Just Fired After Allegations Of Financial Conflicts And Sexual Assault
  16. David Silverman was a “Proud Feminist”
  17. David Silverman fired from American Atheists by PZ Myers
  18. David Silverman was a “Proud Feminist”
  19. HOW MEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ARE FINDING UNLIKELY ALLIES IN NEW ATHEISM: #METOO, THE MANOSPHERE, AND THE “CHURCH OF FEMINISM” by Caroline Matas, Religion Dispatches, February 1, 2018
  20. For atheists, #MeToo might be too little, too late by Amanda Marcotte, Salon, March 2, 2018
  21. My Time With Richard Dawkins (Or, Why You Should Never Meet Your Idols) by Sarah at Skepchick, September 5, 2013
  22. Why Are Secular Skeptic Communities Failing To Address Sexual Crime? by Tris Mamone, Medium, April 19, 2018
  23. *Feminist group co-founder ‘commits suicide’ in Paris, South China Morning Post, 2018
  24. Meet Femen, the ‘naked shock troops of feminism’ who greeted Trump with a topless protest in Paris, By Antonia Noori Farzan, Washington Post, November 12, 2018
  25. Meet Femen, the ‘naked shock troops of feminism’ who greeted Trump with a topless protest in Paris, By Antonia Noori Farzan, Washington Post, November 12, 2018
  26. RADICAL FEMINIST TOPLESS PROTEST GROUP FEMEN MASTERMINDED BY MAN ‘TO GET GIRLS’: DOCUMENTARY By Peter Baklinski. Co-authored with John Jalsevac, Source: http://orthochristian.com (SOURCE: LifeSiteNews.com)
  27. by Rebecca D. Stinson, The University of Iowa; Kathleen M. Goodman Miami University; Charles Bermingham, The University of Iowa; Saba R. Ali, The University of Iowa, Secularism and Nonreligion, 2, 39-60 (2013)
  28. Myers, P. Z. (March 31, 2014). "When will this situation improve?". Freethoughtblogs.com/Pharyngula.
  29. America’s leading atheist, accused of sexual misconduct, speaks out by Kimberly Winston September 6, 2018, The Washington Post
  30. Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name by Adam Lee, The Guardian, September 18, 2014
  31. Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name by Adam Lee, The Guardian, September 18, 2014
  32. Why the New Atheism is a boys' club
  33. Katie Engelhart, July 21, 2013 - Salon article Atheism Has a Women Problem
  34. doi: 10.1177/1077801207308259 Violence Against Women, Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence, November 2007 vol. 13 no. 11 1094-1112
  35. doi: 10.1177/1077801207308259 Violence Against Women, Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence, November 2007 vol. 13 no. 11 1094-1112
  36. doi: 10.1177/1077801207308259 Violence Against Women, Race/Ethnicity, Religious Involvement, and Domestic Violence, November 2007 vol. 13 no. 11 1094-1112
  37. Why Religion Matters Even More: The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability By Patrick F. Fagan, Ph.D., Heritage Center website
  38. PZ Myers and the Art of Shameless Dishonesty
  39. FreeThoughtBlogs and PZ Myers
  40. Sikivu, Ophelia, and Rebecca — who says atheism lacks women stars?
  41. http://www.atheists.org/about/Board_of_Directors
  42. This Firebrand Atheist Was Just Fired After Allegations Of Financial Conflicts And Sexual Assault
  43. American Atheists President David Silverman Fired After Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Christian Post, 2018
  44. David Silverman was a “Proud Feminist”
  45. David Silverman fired from American Atheists by PZ Myers
  46. David Silverman was a “Proud Feminist”
  47. Nick Fish is New Leader of American Atheists, Ed Brayton, 2018
  48. Atheism - Sexism = Atheism +, Vice News, 2012
  49. Atheism’s shocking woman problem: What’s behind the misogyny of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris? by Amanda Marcotte, Salon magazine, October 3, 2014
  50. Is Sam Harris Sexist? by Libby Anne at the blog Love, Joy, Feminism, September 20, 2014
  51. Atheist writer Sam Harris faces backlash over 'estrogen vibe' comments by Heather Tomlinson, Christianity Today, September 17, 2014
  52. Atheist writer Sam Harris faces backlash over 'estrogen vibe' comments by Heather Tomlinson, Christianity Today, September 17, 2014
  53. Atheism’s shocking woman problem: What’s behind the misogyny of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris? by Amanda Marcotte, Salon magazine, October 3, 2014
  54. Is Sam Harris Sexist? by Libby Anne at the blog Love, Joy, Feminism, September 20, 2014
  55. On Sam Harris’s Reply to Feminist Critics by Daniel Fincke, September 16, 2014
  56. “I’m Not the Sexist Pig You’re Looking For” by Sam Harris, September 15, 2014
  57. Leaving the Atheist Movement - New Focus for the Podcast by Wendy Marsman
  58. Women in secularism: Got a problem with that?
  59. Will the Friendly Atheist Ever Learn?, September 2018
  60. Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt and Ross
  61. "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." Larry King Live, January 10, 1996
  62. 10 celebs you didn't know were atheists, Salon 2-23-2010
  63. Flynt writes, "I have left my religious conversion behind and settled into a comfortable state of atheism": see the epilogue of Flynt and Ross
  64. "I am not saying he don't believe in God. I am just saying I don't believe in God. That puts me at odds with him." Larry King Live, January 10, 1996
  65. Larry Flynt - One News Page
  66. Flynt and Ross, pp. 170–171.
  67. Larry Flynt - One News Page
  68. http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/58-practical-outcomes-replace-biblical-principles-as-the-moral-standard
  69. In China’s Modern Economy, a Retro Push Against Women by DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW and MICHAEL FORSYTHE, New York Times, FEB. 20, 2015
  70. Top 50 Countries With Highest Proportion of Atheists / Agnostics (Zuckerman, 2005)
  71. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, Washington Post By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey May 23, 2013
  72. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  73. In China’s Modern Economy, a Retro Push Against Women by DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW and MICHAEL FORSYTHE, New York Times, FEB. 20, 2015
  74. Chinese activists decry so-called 'female morality schools'