My latest column on the Guardian is up: “Finally, atheists are no longer just old white men“.
The atheist community, in America at least, has long had a reputation for being dominated by geeky white men. I have no onus against geeky white men – I happen to be one myself – but the data suggests that if we stick with this strategy, we’ll needlessly alienate potential allies and end up in a demographic cul-de-sac. If the atheist movement wants to succeed in the long run, it’s essential that we start broadening our appeal to women and people of color. Happily, the latest evidence suggests that this is already happening. In the column, I discuss what we’ve started doing right that may be contributing to this result:
The real reason for atheism’s monochrome public image has nothing to do with the subtle effects of testosterone on the brain or natural selection. The fault lies with past generations of leaders who didn’t address the issues that matter most to women and minorities.
It’s only in the past few years that major atheist and humanist organizations have started to make a collective effort to reach out to women and people of color, to include them, to listen to them and to take their concerns seriously. And despite the inevitable backlash, tantrums and harassment from atheism’s regressive faction, this effort is bearing fruit…