It seems like every time I write about the intersection of atheism and feminism someone asks: “Why should atheists care about feminism? Atheism is just a lack of belief in gods!” This is a fair question and I think there are two simple points that answer it. I cannot take credit for these answers as I’m summarizing what I’ve learned from Greta Christina’s writing along with many other atheist women I’ve listened to.
1) Supporting feminism makes the atheist community a friendlier place for women
Sexism and misogyny are major problems in our world and they invade all sorts of spaces including the atheist community. It’s depressing how many women have told me that they don’t want to participate in atheist organizations or groups because of the sexism. Coming out as an atheist is hard enough without having a community that supports you. If we want a strong and healthy secular movement, then we need to make it a friendly place for all of its members, not just the cisgendered white men.2) Because there are no gods, it’s up to us to make the world a better place
Yes, atheism is only a lack of belief in god(s), but that lack of belief still leads to conclusions. If there isn’t a God looking out for us, then it is up to us to make the world a better place. Yes this includes the separation of church and state, but it also includes the removal of racism, sexism, homophobia, wealth inequality, and all other forms of inequality. Evidence is important to atheists, so when we come across evidence of inequality we should try to fix it and not bury our heads in the sand.
I hope this clears up some confusion with the link between atheism and feminism (and social justice in general). If we care about the secular movement and making the world a better place, then it logically and morally follows that we should care about these points as well.
[Featured image from @femirevolution “We ♥ feminism” via @PhotoRepost_app and edited under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic ]