Let’s Talk About Privilege

The Turing Test is ongoing (two more entries going up today, and more through the week), but I want to interrupt that for a second to try to talk about privilege and sexism one more time. In the two posts about Rebecca Watson’s experience at an atheist conference, some discussions about whether women are being ‘oversensitive’ when we talk about privilege got tangled up in disputes over the way Rebecca had called out the people she disagreed with. Let me give a different example (that hasn’t been … [Read more...]

Handling Sexism Among Skeptics

This is a continuation of a post from this morning about an incident of possible harassment at a skepticism conference.  Read that one FIRST.Even among people who agreed that not all harassment has to result in physical assault to be threatening and dangerous, there was a lot of disagreement about the appropriate way to handle the incident and the ongoing discussion in the atheist blogosphere.  Some of the people I disagree with have premises about privilege and gender that are too out of tou … [Read more...]

Sexism Among Skeptics

If you follow the atheist blogosphere, you're probably aware of an internal debate about sexual harassment and the appropriate way to respond to it.  Very briefly: skeptic activist Rebecca Watson gave a speech about religion's "War on Women" at an atheist conference.  During the conference, she and a group of people hung out in the hotel lobby sharing stories until around 4am.  When she left to go to bed, one man followed her and buttonholed her in the elevator, asking her to come back to his roo … [Read more...]

Fast and Loose with Family Facts

First Things has started a new online feature I enjoy called "Family Facts." The series is described as "an occasional series of data presentations about family and religious practice and analysis of their role in maintaining civil society."  Given how much I love data and data visualization, I'm delighted.I'm not so delighted with the most recent installment on who children live with.  Here's the chart:See that note on the side, where it says "Figures for 1961 to 1967 have been i … [Read more...]

Covenant Marriage: What about Women?

This post is part of a series on covenant marriage.Mason was troubled by my last post on marriage and raised some objections that are definitely worth addressing. Mason wrote: So my problem with covenant marriage has always been that I don't see how it gets around exactly the gender-power-dynamic problems that we see in not allowing divorce in the first place. If covenant marriage becomes popular in Christian communities, what I see happening relatively quickly is the emergence of two … [Read more...]

Don’t Let Social Science Raise Your Children (debating Justin Martytr)

It's finally time to return to my argument with Justin Martyr over procreation policy.  [Quick recap of the story so far: Justin was debating gay marriage, I butted in, Justin responded (twice), I answered his challenge, he responded.  Though you can certainly follow along by clicking only those last two links.]My procreation rubricThe last time we spoke, I was outlining why I though four hypothetical possible procreation plans were moral or immoral.  Using my responses, Justin ge … [Read more...]

If I were in charge of your childbearing (A reply to Justin Martyr)

Quick Recap: Justin and RustBelt debated gay marriage, I butted in, Justin responded (twice).Justin's most recent salvo is to ask me to weigh in yes or no on four hypothetical and then explain the consistent framework that led to my decision.  Given some of the ambiguities that crept into his discourse with RustBelt when they were discussing legality versus morality, I'm going to give two answers for each scenario:Do I think the government should ban it? Do I think it is wrong for … [Read more...]


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