The Guardians of Tone

Image via.I was tipped off to this excellent essay by a reader (thanks, bbk, even if it was unintentional!) and since it got buried in the comments on the other thread, I wanted to call special attention to it. It's about the virtues of anger, specifically with reference to the feminist movement, but it contains some valuable lessons that are applicable to atheism and other progressive social causes as well.The one thing that absolutely terrifies a prejudiced majority is anger, no matter … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

• Witchcraft is now a recognized profession in Romania, subjecting its practitioners to income tax. Witches who are unhappy about this are responding pretty much like you'd expect.• A female activist in Israel faces prison time for praying at the Wailing Wall. The telling quote:"The religious world in Israel has become more and more extreme," Mrs Hoffman said. "Much like in Islam, religiosity is now measured by the distances at which women are kept from society."• A … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

If blogging was my full-time job, I'd probably have written a post about each of these stories! As it is, I leave you with some food for thought - and there's a virtual banquet this week:• In the U.K., more and more decaying churches are being converted into homes - a fitting use for these still-beautiful buildings, in my opinion.• According to a study in the journal Pediatrics, gay teens are more likely to be punished by schools and courts than their straight peers. One wonders if … [Read more...]

Where, Oh, Where Are the Atheist Women?

Last week, I noticed a pingback on my blog from a post on Ms. Magazine by Monica Shores, "Will New Atheism Make Room for Women?"There are some good things about this piece. I have to say that I'm glad to see the atheist movement making an impact in wider, more traditional media circles. The need to diversify the atheist movement and ensure that we encourage and fairly value the contributions of women and people of color is a valid one, and I've written about it before as well. I welcome more … [Read more...]

Gender Desegregation Wednesdays

By Sarah BraaschIn loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (01/28/86 – 02/02/10)Kat and I were working on an English translation of a section of the French website for the women's rights organization, Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS – Neither Whores Nor Submissives). We were struggling with the word mixité. We toyed with "the mixing of the sexes". But, that sounded like one of those speed-dating events. We settled on "desegregation". But, then we included the antecedent "ge … [Read more...]

Creeping Fundamentalism in Israel

Israel, like America, is a modern secular democracy with a noisy religious minority that desires the creation of a theocracy. And as in America, religious fundamentalists in Israel exert political influence disproportionate to their numbers. But Israel's fundamentalist minority, the ultra-Orthodox or haredi Jews, have had some worrying successes lately in imposing their vision on the country.First, there's this article, about the construction of a light rail in Jerusalem. Yair Naveh, the … [Read more...]

Why Atheists Should Be Feminists

I've been writing since the beginning of Daylight Atheism about the unique ways that religion harms women. Although men have also suffered innumerable harms from religious beliefs, they're not singled out, treated as an underclass uniquely deserving of condemnation, the way that women are in almost every major religion's sacred texts. That's why I wrote in posts like 2006's "Religion's Harm to Women":There is only one realistic way to end religion's harm to women, and that is to cut it off at … [Read more...]

Ensuring Access to Abortion

As a neutral observer of religion, one of the most striking characteristics I find is the rampant misogyny in nearly every religion in the world. Worldwide, women are denigrated as lesser beings, barred from positions of leadership, commanded to be subservient, and told that they're weaker or more sinful than men. Even in the relatively few religions where women play a significant role, it tends to be a late-arising development brought about by modern moral progress. By comparison, just consider … [Read more...]

The Bechdel Test for Religion

If you're an informed observer of media, you may have heard of the so-called Bechdel test, popularized by cartoonist Alison Bechdel, that's used to judge the female-friendliness of movies and other media. For a movie to pass this test, it has to have:(1) two or more female characters; (2) who talk to each other; (3) about something other than a man.Despite this being such a low hurdle - it doesn't establish that the movie is in any way feminist, merely that it treats women as something more … [Read more...]

Anarchy in the U.K.: The Anglican Crackup Continues

I've written before about the ongoing schism within the Episcopal church, but those posts only concerned the goings-on in America. Now that battle has spread across the Atlantic and into the heart of Anglicanism, and it's looking more and more likely that the church will be cloven in two at its roots. As reported by the Telegraph, the Anglican General Synod has rejected a last-ditch compromise brokered by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and nominal head of the Anglican church, to … [Read more...]


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