Women in the atheism community, or lack thereof

Hello! I am a member of Freethought Fort Wayne, a small but rapidly growing freethought community in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We are pleased with our member base, but we are concerned about one thing: we don't have very many women. For the most part, we seem to fit the stereotype of the angry white 30-something male atheist.

Can anyone comment on this? Are women less prone to be atheists, or at least to actively engage in a community of atheists and secular humanists? I'd love to get someone's take on it -- maybe even — GASP — a woman. (-:

Tags: atheism, community, demographics, freethought, marketing, women

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Unfortunately, since that site's administrator openly stated in a blog last month (after other women complained about rampant unchecked misogyny on A|N) that feminists/feminism are merely "a political ideology" rather than a reaction to systemic discrimination, human rights and civil rights violations that target women and girls, he wasn't very sympathetic to the way women might feel seeing posts like that.

Searched the entire site and could not find this or your bold response.
The original thread that sparked that still exists - I can't find the admin's response any longer, either.
So you are saying the mods were doing their job by deleting offensive comments good.

And what is the problem with your quoted statement of the guy in charge? I agree with it. Also, from my recollection, it was deleted not by admin but because it was a response to someone who left the site. Again, when someone leaves their stuff is removed. And the comments on their stuff. This is a Ning thing.
What in the quote is either not true or anti-feminism? It is quite true. There is a difference between women and feminism. There are feminists who are conservative and liberal. There are feminists who are Republican and Democrat. It is a "philosophy and political viewpoint."

Check out the way Ning does stuff. It is the same here, there and all Ning sites. If someone leaves their comments and those made to them all disappear. I think Ning improved this a little recently.
You are right Jeff. I just took Ralph's word for it. The admin's response is still there in full and was not removed. It must not have been a comment to someone who left.
You're certainly entitled to agree or disagree all you want. However, the issue I have with that quoted statement you're referring to is in his definition of feminism. Feminism is a reaction against human and civil rights violations against women that have not left the building — even today in the 21st century, if you get me. Women are still an oppressed group. In one major way, if not the most major way, women are being oppressed is in the recent spate of "fetal personhood" laws and extended "conscientious objector" laws that have served to place access to reliable contraception and abortion out of reach for a significant number of American women. Fighting against the retaliatory backlash resisting equal rights for women is why feminism is not as simply defined as the quotee claims. The death of the ERA Amendment in the early 1980's is why it was made possible for women to be deprived of bodily autonomy/integrity today.
Thanks for making my point. I agree with you totally. Now the solutions to fix things things are quite different for various people. Which makes it a philosophical and political position.

See we all can get along. :)
Oppression isn't a form of natural order, it is socialised status; the restoration of women's status to equal to that of men is, for this reason, a right.

Only the application of feminism is a philosophical and political position.
Emekan, right. That is what I was trying to say. You worded it much better. Thanks
This topic of women in atheism has been talked about by prominent atheists. But I don't think it has been tackled with the seriousness it deserves(at least not to my knowledge). Perhaps this is due to the fact that white male atheists do not know why this is. It could be a form of mysogyny that they are oblivious of. While I think it is a subject to be reckoned with, I do not fault male atheists for not making it a cause. There are many good causes that people like Dawkins do not publicize in their writings or speeches. This does not mean that they do not care. I think the person that is in the best position to tackle this issue is a female atheist/skeptic, not Hitchens or Harris or any other male.

I am a white, heterosexual male atheist, too. However, I am very pro-woman and am happy to be involved in a community like T|A where very many smart and strong women fill our ranks.

I hope you find T|A as inviting as I do.
Well, I wasn't trying to imply that women need men to detox them from mental aroma therapy religion. Maybe there's a lot more women who are atheists are flying under the radar. I never really thought about it because I would find it presumptuous to speak for another woman.

And many others might be picking and choosing their battles per se, and see that other more pressing issues are directly impacting them every day — issues that are not esoteric abstract concepts.

So, maybe the "missing" women atheists are really busy in other realms: like slogging it out with anti-choice tampon terrorists who harass, stalk, and threaten patients, clinic staff, and doctors at abortion facilities.
Well, I wasn't trying to imply that women need men to detox them from mental aroma therapy religion.

That is okay, I wasn't trying to imply that you were implying that.

So, maybe the "missing" women atheists are really busy in other realms:

Quite possibly. But, I would like to see more women and minorities in the forefront of public atheism. But I can only speculate about why it seems to be currently dominated by white males.

I have heard of a talk about women in the sciences having it rough and being discouraged from science starting in school and lasting up into professional careers. I do not know how valid that is or if it has any impact on the number of atheist women.

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