Monday, November 8, 2010

Where are the atheist women?

This asinine article garnered some harsh responses:

Will “New Atheism” Make Room For Women? by Monica Shores, Ms. Magazine Blog, November 1, 2010

It was an accusatory article about the alleged domination of the (new) atheism by old white men.

Here is what I wrote on Facebook in response to a news feed:
This article is quite dishonest. We can start with the fact that it was the press, not the atheist movement itself, that coined the bogus concept "new atheist" and chose the "four horsemen" as the stars. Who invites these people on talk shows and writes about them in the press? Who stopped the media from featuring Ali more and giving Jacoby more than a column on the Washington Post web site? As for the atheist/humanist movement itself, it too is held hostage to celebrity culture in order to pay the bills. There are far more intellectually astute people of any race or gender behind the scenes than people likely to become superstars. And were one to look at the history of the freethought movement, women were never the meek and passive individuals they are made out to be here. As for the ideological notions most prominent in the movement, there's a lot worse than Hitchens' cracks about women, and they are driven--sociobiology is a prime example--by an ideology more profoundly rooted than sexism. How small and shallow. Incidentally, I recall a number of feminists who invested a fair amount of energy defaming Edwards & Obama because they thought getting a white woman in the White House really mattered. This is the shallow ideological level at which this country operates.
Various published responses more directly assaulted the misstatements of this article. This one appeared on the Ms blog itself:

Where Are All The Atheist Women? Right Here by Jen McCreight, Ms. Magazine blog, November 3, 2010

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