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← Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell and many other leading women speaking at Women in Secularism Conference

Dr. R. Elisabeth Cornwell and many other leading women speaking at Women in Secularism Conference - Comments

Ophelia Benson's Avatar Comment 1 by Ophelia Benson

Yeah! I'll be there.

I met Liz Cornwell in Orlando last month; she's great.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 00:45:18 UTC | #934977

AnthropicConstance's Avatar Comment 2 by AnthropicConstance

I'd love to be there, but whyohwhy is it the same weekend as the Atheists Alliance International Convention?

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 01:36:39 UTC | #934983

MarcusA1971's Avatar Comment 3 by MarcusA1971

This is absolutely ridiculous. All the speakers are WOMEN! Shouldn't the secular movement take a page from the book of the Republican Party, like when there was a legislative discussion on women's reproductive rights. The conservative knew not to trouble any women about their thoughts on sexual health issues (http://www.thenation.com/blog/166311/republican-hearing-contraception-no-women-allowed). Surely women are too precious to trouble there pretty little heads with politics?

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 03:23:00 UTC | #934989

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 4 by susanlatimer

I'm glad to see an event like this is being organized.

I was also glad too see that daycare is free, thanks to the Richard Dawkins Foundation U.S.

Comment 3 by MarcusA1971

Surely women are too precious to trouble there pretty little heads with politics?

Don't worry. I'm sure it will be mostly make-up and hair tips. :-)

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 04:29:53 UTC | #934993

old-toy-boy's Avatar Comment 5 by old-toy-boy

Would it be sexist to have a "Men in Secularism" event?

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 09:31:45 UTC | #935023

papa lazaru's Avatar Comment 6 by papa lazaru

Comment 5 by old-toy-boy
Would it be sexist to have a "Men in Secularism" event?

.

MASCULINISM AND SECULARISM. Given the role religion has played in the repression of men, they would seem to be natural allies, and, indeed, many men have been outspoken and influential secularists. However, the relationship between secularism and men’s issues remains largely unexamined.

hmmm don't think it would work quite so well.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 10:17:30 UTC | #935031

Ophelia Benson's Avatar Comment 7 by Ophelia Benson

There have already been a few Men in Secularism events.

:- )

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 12:46:42 UTC | #935045

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 8 by aquilacane

When is the Men is Secularism Conference? I want to help maintain this separation of men and women, I think it's important in a secular society.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 13:37:31 UTC | #935054

mmurray's Avatar Comment 9 by mmurray

Comment 8 by aquilacane :

When is the Men is Secularism Conference? I want to help maintain this separation of men and women, I think it's important in a secular society.

Who is talking about separation?

Michael

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 13:56:36 UTC | #935057

SimonSays79's Avatar Comment 10 by SimonSays79

Men and women are encouraged to attend and indeed they will.

Just curious, what other secular/atheist/skeptic conferences have you attended?

Comment 8 by aquilacane :

When is the Men is Secularism Conference? I want to help maintain this separation of men and women, I think it's important in a secular society.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 14:23:33 UTC | #935064

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 11 by aquilacane

Just a joke. Always a hook

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 15:56:13 UTC | #935075

The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst's Avatar Comment 12 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst

Well, well, Emmeline old thing. I did tell you, didn't I, m'dear? There were you and those other gallant young lasses, throwing yourselves in front of horses and demanding equal treatment for women and all that, but you see what's happened? 100 years on, they've decided they need special treatment after all. Y'know: all-women speaker lists, special help given to the gals, special rules about how the ladies should be treated, how they should be addressed, when and where it is acceptable to invite them for coffee without the presence of a chaperone and all that kind of thing. And quite right too, m'dear. You can't deny I always said they'd come to see that Victorian values were the best values in the end. The idea that ladies could make a success of life without a special helping hand from us chaps was always one of the sillier notions held by you and those other bright young things. Very nice gals they were and all that, I'll give you that: that young Vera made a very good Victoria Sandwich, what? But I'm relieved to see those lasses in the 21st century have finally come to their senses and now realize their limitations. I mean, they really couldn't be expected to just speak up for themselves a bit more, could they? Not in mixed company! It wouldn't be decent, m'dear, it wouldn't be ladylike. The very idea of them competing with men on equal terms! Ha! Ah well, they've abandoned all that nonsense now and have accepted they just need to be kept separate in their own fragrant little world, I'm jolly glad to say.

There there, m'dear, don't take on so: you win some, you lose some, as they say. Here, I've brought your smelling salts. (I expect they'll be putting smelling salts in the speaker packs at the conference too: you can't fight facts, m'dear - ladies find speaking in public much more terrifying than men do, and what can you expect? They're only lasses, at the end of the day. Can't be expected to act like proper grown-ups. Bound to get a touch of the vapours, what?)

Well, well, m'dear, look on the bright side. At least there's no excuse for the religious confusing atheism and secularism any more. Atheism is the lack of belief in gods, and secularism is the belief that women need special treatment in order to succeed in life. I'm sure it used to have a different meaning, but what do I know? The world has changed beyond all recognition since my day.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 19:11:09 UTC | #935102

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 13 by ZenDruid

Comment 12:

Assuming you are not a troll, I'd just like to point out one thing.

Special treatment? Why not? Biologically, women are fine-tuned vessels of creation, whereas men are (hormonally) one-dimensional meat hammers.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 19:45:36 UTC | #935108

Ophelia Benson's Avatar Comment 14 by Ophelia Benson

Blegh.

Mon, 16 Apr 2012 21:38:54 UTC | #935118

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 15 by AtheistEgbert

I don't find sexism at all funny.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 10:20:42 UTC | #935170

SimonSays79's Avatar Comment 16 by SimonSays79

Comment 12 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst :

The idea that ladies could make a success of life without a special helping hand from us chaps was always one of the sillier notions held by you and those other bright young things ...

...The very idea of them competing with men on equal terms! Ha! Ah well, they've abandoned all that nonsense now and have accepted they just need to be kept separate in their own fragrant little world, I'm jolly glad to say.

May I ask if you have attended a secular/skeptic/atheist conference?

1) Your insinuation that this conference depends on a "helping hand from us chaps" clearly shows your sense of male entitlement.

2) The separation argument is ill-informed. All the conference speakers are highly sought after in their own right as is apparent from their presence on the rosters of other conferences. They don't need CFI to give them a platform.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 11:12:14 UTC | #935181

The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst's Avatar Comment 17 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst

May I ask

Be my guest, dear chap. Have a cigar while y're at it, why don't you?

… if you have attended a secular/skeptic/atheist conference?

Oodles of 'em, dear boy, oodles of 'em.

1) Your insinuation that this conference depends on a "helping hand from us chaps" clearly shows your sense of male entitlement.

Yes, it's jolly interesting, isn't it, how easy it is to confuse the attitudes of today's "feminists" with the attitudes of the bigoted old men the first feminists set out to oppose? Just what I was sayin' to m' dear ol' Emmeline, old chap. We old buggers thought women couldn't make it in a mixed environment either, or at least, not on equal terms, not without the chaps bending over backwards to make it easy for 'em. Used to drive the early feminists up the bally wall, don't y' know! I remember m' dear ol' Em getting quite hot under the collar about it. "We're as good as you are!" she'd cry. "We don't need to be treated like hothouse plants, we just want the chance to compete with men on equal terms!"

Well, well, I always hoped the ladies would see sense in the end, so it's very gratifying to find 21st century "feminists" agreeing with us Edwardian gents at long last and asking for the special helping hand that we chaps always knew they needed! Have you seen some of their blogs, dear boy? The ol' internet connection's a bit dodgy on The Other Side, but I never miss 'em if I can help it. Better than The Simpsons, don't you know. Honestly, not even m' dear ol' Victorian dad thought the ladies were as feeble as some of today's "feminists" seem to think. One of 'em was even suggesting the other day that having "one size fits all" t-shirts at conferences was another example of misogynist attitudes! Perhaps she thinks secular conferences should be selling corsets for the ladies, what? You should have seen me, dear boy. I was laughin' so hard, me bally monocle fell orff.

2) The separation argument is ill-informed. All the conference speakers are highly sought after in their own right as is apparent from their presence on the rosters of other conferences. They don't need CFI to give them a platform.

Ah you've got me there, dear boy, very well put. You mean the ladies don't actually need special treatment after all? That the ones who put their mind to it, just like the chaps, can make it in the secular movement too, by virtue of their own efforts? Well, you would seem to be making an unanswerable point, old man. If these female conference speakers have all been speakers at 'standard' secular conferences too, it just goes to show how excluded the ladies are from the movement, what? And how hard it is for them to get their voices heard! And how no one in the movement takes 'em seriously!

How well you illustrate what a vital issue this is and how urgently this "Women in Secularism" conference is needed! You've completely sold me on the idea, don't y' know. What could be more vital for the secularist movement than a conference to give a platform to women with a platform in the secularist movement to discuss the lack of a platform for women in the secularist movement? Where do I sign up, dear boy? I've just suggested it to m' dear ol' Emmeline too, but I'm grieved to say she responded with a string of epithets of a most unladylike character.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 12:40:58 UTC | #935193

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 18 by aquilacane

I don't want my daughter to ever think she has to look at the successes of other women to be inspired. Being inspired by other people should be enough. I can tell you, my mother didn't coach men's rugby at college because of all the fantastic female rugby coaches who came before her. She did it because she bloody well wanted to and could.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:18:14 UTC | #935200

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 19 by Peter Grant

There is a cure for poverty. It is a rudimentary one, it does work, though. It works everywhere, and for the same reason. It’s colloquially called ‘the empowerment of women.’ It’s the only thing that does work. If you allow women control over their cycle of reproduction, so that they are not chained by their husbands or by village custom to annual animal-type pregnancies, early death, disease, and so on. If you will free them from that, give them some basic health of that sort—and if you are generous enough to throw in, perhaps, a handful of seeds and a bit of credit—the whole floor, culturally, socially, medically, economically of that village will rise. It works every time.

-Christopher Hitchens

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:28:26 UTC | #935201

mmurray's Avatar Comment 20 by mmurray

I really don't see the problem with particular groups holding their own conferences. We've been over and over this issue with African-American or Black Atheist groups. Do we have to thrash it out again with women? What is the problem with particular groups, who feel they have particular issues, holding their own conferences?

Ex-Catholic Atheists, Ex-Muslim Atheists, Ex-Muslim Women Atheists, British Atheists, Australian Atheists, Indigenous Atheists, Army Atheists, World of Warcraft playing Atheists, Jane Austen reading Atheists, ... maybe one-day Tau Ceti IV Atheists

If they have particular issues they want to discuss let them hold a conference. I don't even care it they don't invite me. In my field of science invitation only conferences are really common.

The answer by the way to the question "when is the Men in Secularism event" is I imagine "whenever someone wants to organise it". If someone thinks there are particular issues relating to men and secularism make your case to RDF or similar, organise some money, invite some speakers and book a location.

Michael

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:31:47 UTC | #935203

The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst's Avatar Comment 21 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst

By Jove, that Christopher Hitchens chap was right, of course, though I can't help wishing he'd gone further still. I mean, lacking control over one's reproductive cycle, being chained to annual pregnancies, early death, disease and so on pales into insignificance compared with the calumnies perpetrated on women by the secular movement. I mean, one size fits all t-shirts, dash it!

Contraception, medicine, education, a handful of seeds and a little credit can only achieve so much, what? What's really needed is a conference to tell western, articulate, educated, thinking women that it's the responsibility of the chaps to ensure they achieve their goals in life. That was the problem with ol' Hitch. Too inclined to take his eye orff the really important issues.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:49:02 UTC | #935205

SimonSays79's Avatar Comment 22 by SimonSays79

Comment 17 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst :

at long last and asking for the special helping hand that we chaps always knew they needed!

Again, who are these "chaps" and what form does this "helping hand" take?

Comment 21 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst :

What's really needed is a conference to tell western, articulate, educated, thinking women that it's the responsibility of the chaps to ensure they achieve their goals in life.

Straw-man. Who is saying it is the "chaps" responsibility?

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 15:06:59 UTC | #935226

SimonSays79's Avatar Comment 23 by SimonSays79

It's not just about role models and personal strengths. Good for your mother for trying and succeeding. Would you say that she had a harder time doing so than a man in her position?

Comment 18 by aquilacane :

I don't want my daughter to ever think she has to look at the successes of other women to be inspired. Being inspired by other people should be enough. I can tell you, my mother didn't coach men's rugby at college because of all the fantastic female rugby coaches who came before her. She did it because she bloody well wanted to and could.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 15:16:30 UTC | #935227

Ophelia Benson's Avatar Comment 24 by Ophelia Benson

Yo, unfunny "Ghost" - what makes you think this conference has anything to do with "special help"? It has a subject, which is women in secularism. How is that "special help"?

Maybe you think it's not a real subject? But how could it possibly not be, given the role of religion in keeping women voluntarily subordinate and compliant?

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 20:51:32 UTC | #935322

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 25 by susanlatimer

There is a particular individual who showed up here in various sock-puppet manifestations on many occasions. He liked to assume roles, male and female, and he liked to push buttons.

I still think I see him here from time to time, although I can't prove it. It's probably a product of my imagination, like seeing ghosts.

When I think I see him, I just ignore him. Even if it isn't him, I hate to waste time responding to posts that remind me of his. Time wasted is time wasted.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 21:01:30 UTC | #935323

The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst's Avatar Comment 26 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst

Comment 24 by Ophelia Benson

Ah, I see. So it's not going to be about how the secularist movement excludes women and how those horrible men and the gender traitors keep women off the agendas and don't take what they have to say seriously, then? No one going to be accusing the movement of misogyny? Plenty of self reflection perhaps, and encouragement to consider what women can do for themselves to give themselves more of a voice in mixed company rather than just whinging that they haven't got enough of one, perhaps? In other words, it's going to be nothing whatsoever like the many "feminist" secularist blogs all over the internet? How perfectly splendid. That will make a most refreshing change.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 22:13:53 UTC | #935335

The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst's Avatar Comment 27 by The Ghost of Mr Emmeline Pankhurst

Comment 25 by susanlatimer

Quite right, m'dear. Always safest to dismiss a dissenter as a troll. But no, no, I'm being unfair. You're quite right to object to my tone. After all, all those "feminist" secularist bloggers and their fans who've been keeping this topic nice and hot for months on end now have been such perfect examples of rational, intelligent, reasonable, good tempered, articulate debate on the subject that they've really given no excuse whatsoever for taking the piss.

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 22:19:17 UTC | #935337

Ophelia Benson's Avatar Comment 28 by Ophelia Benson

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is another reason such a conference is needed - because there are so many jerks like the would-be wit who has taken over this thread. "Women? Women?? How dare they? I'll just jump in and talk over them until they stfu and go away."

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 00:27:32 UTC | #935354

mmurray's Avatar Comment 29 by mmurray

Comment 18 by aquilacane :

I don't want my daughter to ever think she has to look at the successes of other women to be inspired. Being inspired by other people should be enough. I can tell you, my mother didn't coach men's rugby at college because of all the fantastic female rugby coaches who came before her. She did it because she bloody well wanted to and could.

Your mother sounds like a remarkable women. But how are you reading into the advertisement for this conference that it is saying that young women cannot do something unless another women has done it already. I don't see that at all.

Michael

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 02:05:51 UTC | #935374

i_am_user's Avatar Comment 30 by i_am_user

Comment 18 by aquilacane :

I don't want my daughter to ever think she has to look at the successes of other women to be inspired. Being inspired by other people should be enough. I can tell you, my mother didn't coach men's rugby at college because of all the fantastic female rugby coaches who came before her. She did it because she bloody well wanted to and could.

I think the reality is that humans have a tendency to relate to people with similar characteristics and fill roles based on expectations. Perhaps not ideal, but ideally everyone would also come to the logical conclusion that god likely does not exist (at least in the form of most major religions), making sites like these obsolete. To help break stereotypes and make women feel more welcomed, I suppose, is the purpose of these events.

Wed, 18 Apr 2012 04:08:00 UTC | #935391