I have treasured your company on those
occasions where you have joined us in person on on this email list.
If you value a general move toward atheism and secular humanism this
is precisely the time to stay in this group and make a contribution.
Our culture is still suffering under
the boot heel of patriarchal religion. One would think that an
atheist group would be able to throw off that shackles of this
religious history. However, the current discussion proves that we
have an enormous amount of work to do even within our group. It is
also arguable the single most important work that we can do to move
toward a secular world.
If you are not reading all of the posts
you may have missed the excellent contributions from Diana and
Rachel. It is simply not true our women are not participating in the
discussion. There is a general problem with the sex ratio among us
“nones” with polls indicating a 60/40 male/female ratio in
general. I have chosen to actively support atheism as a term of
choice because it seems to resonate most with the subset of the
secular community that is willing to tell it like it is. However,
there is an image of atheism promoted by theists saying that atheists
are strident, confrontive, uncivil, etc. Part of the process of
living under the boot heel of a religion saturated culture is that
our ratio is even worse than the 60/40 of more general polls. Males
by almost by definition of our more testosterone saturated bodies are
more willing to fight the fight defined by this theistic stereotype.
Our women are here largely because they they have figured out that
the theist spin is bunk. Atheism is just a lack of theism and
atheists can present their views will calm, thoughtful humanity. We
can create a community that is profoundly compatible with raising
happy children who will thrive in the less religion based world we
hope to create.
Revolution against our religion
saturated culture must of necessity start with what we have in the
here and now. If we are going to confront the misogyny stemming from
patriarchal religion that exists in our group we need to allow it to
come forth and be examined. It was only after I figured out that the
perceived culture war in secularism is created by an extreme
minority that I had the courage to address it. The passion that they bring might be similar to that of
NRA gun rights activists. It is not easy to confront such intensity
from others. However, this is similar to the fight against slavery
that was occurring in 1850 or the civil rights efforts of the 1960s.
Note that prior to the male priests of
Yahweh succeeding in creating monotheism, Jewish culture had Asherah
as the female goddess who was the consort of Yahweh. She was
worshiped on hilltops by priestesses who valued the principles of
healing and fruitfulness. There were hundreds of naked pregnant
ceramic figures unearthed that symbolized this aspect of early Jewish
worship. Women had power and respect in the culture by virtue of how
religion allocated that power and respect. We are still suffering
the aftereffects of women losing a culture war of roughly 2600 years
I am convinced that the tide of history
is on the side of feminism. The problem is religion based
historically. An understanding of feminism is central to a fight
against religion. The misogyny we have in our group now goes
directly back to this history. Clarity of thinking about this does
not happen because any leader defines it. It must go through the
messy process of many different people talking about it. Beth, I
hope you will have the patience that is needed for us to prove that
we can create the inviting community that you want us to be.
From: Beth Kantrowitz <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 3:19 PM
Subject: [atheists-27] Re: DC Atheists Meetup Mailing List Daily Digest
As soon as I can figure out how to, I will be unsubscribing from this list. Already I rarely read it because of the endless philosophical discussions and arguments, which are not what I expected when I signed up. Today's incredibly sexist, misogynistic argument about women and sex had only male participants, had only an initial and tangential connection to the topic of the list (atheism and secular humanism), and should have been taken off-list as soon as the moderator mentioned that the poster's comments were potentially grounds for banishment from the list.
I am greatly disappointed.
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