Ladies,

  Listen up. I have a bone to pick. We are an under represented population. (Women who are also Atheists that is.) In school we are taught to be nice and lady-like. (I know this is a generalization, but just roll with me here...) In the church, which we have now left, we are taught to submit to our husbands and keep silent. Once an Atheist...NOW WHAT? How do we break free from the constraints that religion has placed upon us? How do we remain feminine, beautiful, and yet be strong and forthcoming about our beliefs and why we hold them? I'm hoping to create some discussion around what it means to be Atheist for us ladies.

Ladies, what have been your experiences having left a male dominated religion and venturing into a belief system which truly defines us as equals when it comes to all human rights?

Do any of you still struggle with aftermath of religious thinking about yourself or your role as a wife/mother, etc?

Men: Feel free to chip in with your insights as well. This isn't battle of the sexes so I don't want to hear anything about that. Your insights are valuable to the discussion. Thanks!

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Therefore, subtracting line 2 from line 1, we have:

experience = wisdom - beauty

(experience is wisdom without beauty)

experience - wisdom = - beauty

(experience without wisdom is ugliness)

wisdom - experience = beauty

(wisdom without experience is beauty)

Oooh, excellent point llse! I didn't even pick up on that until you pointed it out. Simon I think you need to re-do the list, lol!!!

For me personally, in theory I might but in reality I don't...If that makes sense. The concept of an Alpha is a leader. While I am capable of doing so, I do not like or want the responsibility. Nor do I want to be a follower. I'm more of a loner. I think this woman is an excellent example of an Alpha female.

I don't think Alpha has to mean "leader" at all.  It just means someone who's strong and in control.  Those people tend to be naturally magnetic and people want to follow them, but they don't seek to be in charge.  I think they would welcome equal help from equals too, since they are happy about sharing the power (as in, effectiveness/realism/good humour/coping skills).  It's just that there tends to be a shortage of other people who step up. 

She sounds cool.  I wouldn't like to get on the wrong side of her.  How about Calamity Jane?  I have a friend of this name (aka. The Iron Lady) and I share CJ's birthday. 

There's this too.  I tend to make a habit of these things. 

BBC Radio 4 has the programme Woman's Hour.  It's on Monday to Friday, I like to stay abreast of the issues.  (you've got to give me that.) 

I was also raised to be feminine, submissive and all that other stuff, but rebelled at a very young age (I don’t actually like to think of it as rebellion since that makes me seem petty, but more of me asserting my independence).  I remember getting punished by my parents because my dresses would always come home dirty and often with tears and rips in them because instead of sitting off to the side with all the other little girls I would be playing whatever game that the boys set up.  I hated dresses and even just getting me to wear them was a battle (I eventually won).  As I got older this rebellion only became more pronounced.  I refused to switch to the new Xian school my father’s church set up when I was in 8th grade, I dated someone who they did not approve of (because he wasn’t saved) and then much later married that same guy (but they then, they accepted him for the awesome person he is and thus thought of him as a Xian O.o). 

One time, in high school, I was helping my father set up something at his church (I was still pretty religious back then) and he started talking about how I should break up with Sam because when the time was right he was going to pick someone out for me that would be perfect (I think he was joking).  I told him that there was no way that was going to happen (also jokingly, but serious).  Some lady who had walked by flew at me and said “NOOOOOOO! You must be submissive!” (Completely serious)  I was taken aback but told her that, no, I did not have to be submissive in this case, or any other.  She stared at me wide eyed and then left.  My dad was embarrassed but he should have known me better to know that that wouldn’t fly.  Later, he wanted me go to BJ for collage (even had an admissions officer call my house to talk to me and when I said I wanted to study Psychology the women said: “Well we don’t have that as a major, what about history?”  I shit you not) or some other Xian school and I told him that I would not wear a skirt every day and went to a state school (another rebellion, I was the only child in my family that did not go to a Xian school at some point in their lives).

There was always a lot of pressure on me to be submissive but I just couldn’t do it, no matter how hard I tried.  I knew that it was wrong for them to expect me to curb my behavior just because I was a girl when my actions would have been fine if I had been a boy.   This has gotten me into a lot of disagreements with my family and still affects me to this day. There are times when we are with my family and one of the male members will say something about “a woman’s place” and I will rip them apart. I say all this because I believe that this independent streak has only gotten more pronounced with the development of my Atheistic beliefs. Reading this you probably would think that I’m always confrontational and bitchy but this is far from the truth, I think I’m a pretty nice person. I had to rewrite this twice because I felt that it was too attention begging.  I’m not an ass…honestly.  ;-) 

That makes sense Amanda. I think that many women are not bitchy...but sometimes that's what we have to become to be heard....I've actually been learning a lot about being assertive...I think I could learn something from you. A lot from you actually. I think it's TOTALLY amazing that you stood your ground all of those years and didn't let them push you around. I'm sure it was hard but I can hear in your voice (typing voice, lol) that you withstood it all with a mature attitude and matter of fact manner that speaks volumes to your character. I also think it's awesome that you didn't give in to the expectation of where to attend school or what to study. A lot of people can fall into that trap and end up miserable later in life. You however knew what you wanted and went after it. Good for you! You go girl ;)

Aww thank you Belle!  But, I'm sure that I wasn't always mature about it ;-)  I was in high school after all. 

I know!  It's even more hilarious because when confronted by my parents we have told them that we don't agree with what they believe (but didn't go into being atheists...did not want to go there yet) and they just brushed it off and forgot about it.  Once again, xians choosing to believe something that they have no evidence for. 

'A woman's place'

Three words that instantly get my blood boiling. Grrrrr!

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