Over at Skepchick, Amy has the latest responses from leaders in the skeptical/atheist community.
First up is Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of CFI:
Hate-filled invective has been directed at many different people, male and female, but of late women have been disproportionately targeted. What is especially sad and disgusting about this trend is that some religious skeptics seem to be mimicking religious fundamentalists: they want to intimidate women into silence and submission. What’s the point of discarding the Bible or the Koran if you retain the misogyny sanctified therein?
Members of the secular and skeptical communities should be distinguished by their respect for others, including those with whom they may disagree. Those who are incapable of treating others with decency and respect do not belong in our communities. To such individuals we should say with one voice: take your hate elsewhere.
And next up we have Nick Lee, president of Atheist Alliance International:
Because of biology and social conditioning, and as a remnant of the Judeo-Christian misogyny, women are generally more sensitive to social interactions than males. Most men get that, but some have not been completely socialized. Guys who feel that women are ‘over-reacting’ need an “empathy injection.”
Movement leaders frequently bemoan the gender imbalance in the movement and wonder what can be done to motivate more women to become active leaders. We need the diversity of thought and experiences from females (and minorities), not as tokens but as fully engaged leaders.
We do NOT need to be driving women away with frat house behavior.
Just Stop It!
Both responses are worth reading in full. It won’t take long and it will make your day a little bit better.
Once again, a big thanks to Surly Amy for reaching out and asking these leaders for comment. I wish they all would have spoken up earlier, but I wish I would have voiced my support earlier. Better late than never.
While Amy asks the leaders of the community where they stand, I urge the rest of us to speak up as well. Yes, it is a can of worms, but for those of us who love the skeptical/atheist community, it is a can worth opening. This community means the world to me. It literally changed my life. We have to power to change it for the better, to stop this problem now and build a community where we all feel safe and respected. But we do nothing by remaining silent.
If you have a blog, write a post of support, and if you want, link it here in a comment and I’ll highlight it in a post. If you don’t have a blog but still want to speak out, leave a comment and I’ll move it up into a post. (Not that being highlighted in a post on Foster Disbelief is any great honor or anything, but it is one more way to get your message out.)