In Support of Feminism and Diversity: Atheists Speak Out

In Support of Feminism and Diversity: Atheists Speak Out February 12, 2013

In January, I created a petition calling on atheists to show their support for feminism and diversity. That petition, with more than 2,000 signatures, was delivered to the leaders of the largest atheist and secular organizations.

The petition also attracted over 400 comments from people who wanted to further explain why they were signing. Most of these comments were excellent, and I want them to be seen more widely. In this post, I’ll continue spotlighting some of my favorites.

A person doesn’t need religion to have morality. If the arc of the universe bends toward justice, then atheists and humanists should be the first to stand up and speak out for the equality and value of every single person.
—Jessica Banks

Atheist humanism should be about moving forward to a better future, not remaining mired in sexist, patriarchal nonsense.
—James Vogel

Feminism and atheism are not mutually exclusive ideals. Quite the contrary. They compliment one another as both seek to act humanely to ALL people, regardless of sex, race, creed, or color.
—Janet Potts

A small number of hateful people have been very outspoken and actively harassing those in the movement who dare to speak against misogyny. It’s time we all stood up and said enough is enough.
—Beth Kingsley

My interest and enthusiasm for participating in the skeptics and atheist communities has been chilled by the blatant sexism and ongoing attacks against women in these organizations. It is hard for me to understand how this has continued for so long.
—Beth Copenhaver

Ignoring minority concerns is for theocrats.
—Ronald Sly

I support this petition because the entire atheist/secular community needs to stand up and condemn these vile attacks on those trying to bring attention to a real problem. There is a serious conversation to be had on how to best increase diversity in our communities, but that conversation cannot take place with those who scream “witch hunt” and “atheist cult” and “you all just hate men” and other hyperbolic nonsense at those who are trying to affect change. Still less can it be had with those who deride those women who have rightly spoken out on this issue as “bitches” or “professional victims.” And it certainly can’t be had by those who think the right response is to publish the addresses of those women, or who send rape and death threats to them. It’s time that we all took a strong stand against such behavior in our communities.
Ed Brayton

It is abhorrent that my female friends, and my female heroes have to fear for their safety when attempting to work with ostensibly ‘enlightened’ atheists who are more concerned with keeping us white men in charge than they are with addressing any actual problems either within the movement or without.
—Nicholas Whelan

Tolerance, acceptance, recognition of diversity and basic human respect are the foundations of not only a successful movement but also vital components of human flourishing. Any movement that ignores social justice eventually marginalizes and renders itself obsolete.
—Chris Tygesen

Because a movement that marginalizes or ignores whole segments of the population “so as not to distract from the cause” is not a movement worth preserving.

Otherwise, good luck being the White Men* Who Don’t Believe In Certain Things club, because such a ‘community’ would be pretty much irrelevant–consisting of the people least affected by the harmful effects of religion and its institutions.

*cisgendered, often hetero, almost always middle or upper class

—Pedram Razghandi

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