Tag Archives: sexism

More Women in Skepticism

I’ve started a new blog!

More Women in Skepticism: A Handy Guide to Addressing Sexism within the Ranks

I’ve started a blog to list strategies skeptics can employ to increase the number of women within the ranks. Each day I will post one recommendation that will hopefully provide insight into a woman’s experience within the skeptical movement and a suggestion for a behavior (either to engage in or refrain from) that skeptics can perform if they want more women working for their cause. I have found that it’s always easier to have a productive discussion if it is limited in scope, which my blog is. If all goes according to plan, it will be a space in which people can discuss a woman’s experience without hyperbole and derailment, and maybe open a few minds. I welcome comment and suggestions, especially from people who have experience recruiting members to organizations.

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Feminist Friday–How to Identify Sexism

It’s a handy guide!

So here I am with a self-imposed deadline of one hour and I desire to knock out some post on Feminist Friday instead of on Sunday, and because I’ve been caught up in “ElevatorGate” (Team Rebecca!), it seems like a good topic. But I don’t want to get into this whole big thing where I explain the situation again, or where I list my reasons for joining Team Rebecca (as far as I know, there’s not a real Team Rebecca–I’m just saying that), but I have spotted a point of confusion amongst the chatter and diatribes, and I want to clarify it. The skeptic and atheist communities are involved in a conversation that includes a description of said communities as sexist. It is distressing to many people within the communities that sexism is a possibility, including people on the receiving end of sexism and people who don’t want to think that their preferred behaviors are sexist even if they don’t intend them to be. The dialogue has included a lot of goofy assertions, too, and one whine in particular is repeated often:

So now feminists are telling men that it’s sexist to ask women out on dates. (Wah is unstated but implied.)

No, feminists are not telling men that it’s sexist to ask women on dates. It’s not sexist to ask women on dates. Find out why below!

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Feminist Friday–Creepy Behavior Is Creepy

Yes, I’m Going Rogue. The Transatlantic Blonde is on vacation, and without a deadline I got behind. True, it’s Sunday, but “Feminist Sunday” lacks a certain panache.  Besides, I didn’t really have a post topic specific enough to write about until basically today, and I was tired of glurging all over the computer. And then a few things that have been brewing in the skepticism movement about sexism and feminism bubbled to a pitch heated enough for me to actually sign in and comment on the Pharyngula blog and so I realized I did have some simple points to make about men and women and behavior in general.

Can't Help Being Creepy

At the end of this post is the wordy explanation for what convoluted path through the Internet inspired me to write today. Long story short, I am interested today in the simultaneous denial and justification of creepy behavior of men towards women, which is a topic I feel lends itself towards a numbered list.

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Decisions, Decisions

My life isn’t all naps and Diet Coke. Here are some decisions I made today.

7 Things I Decided to Do
1. Get up early and take the trolley to go cheer on runners at the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. First of all, what a beautiful day. Second of all, watching the runners was very inspiring, even if I never did manage to see my first cousin once removed go by. (Yes, I know how to calculate cousins and removedness, and that’s our actual relationship.) And better still was riding the train a little further west to Old Town for breakfast with all the runners who had participated in the relay half-marathon and were riding on to the finish line to meet their racing partners. Everyone was in such a good mood! Plus the restaurant wasn’t crowded at all, and the handmade corn tortillas at Old Town Mexican Cafe were as delectable as I wanted them to be, even if the salsa there is a little frothy. Tasty, but frothy. It’s not something you see every day. Nor are giant bowls of menudo, but the icky parts were floating below the surface of the soup, so I could pretend everyone was just eating tomato soup.

Not Tomato Soup

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Skepticism, Sexism, and the Party Line

On the Skeptical Movement
Last week I stepped out of character and got involved in an Internet drama, or ruckus, or brouhaha, or morass, or cluster, or whatever word you want to use to describe it. On an episode I haven’t heard (#211, from August 4, link opens a Quicktime page/file) of a podcast I listen to (The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe), the panel of Skeptical Rogues (which includes one woman, Rebecca Watson) interviewed a woman, Carrie Iwan, who is a co-author of a blog I don’t read (Skepchick)–for no particular reason; I just don’t really read blogs as a rule–about her impressions of a skeptical event I didn’t attend: The Amazing Meeting #7, presented by the James Randi Educational Foundation. A rough transcript of the interview (with commentary and editorializing), should you not want to listen to the whole podcast or even download it, can be found here.

On Sexism in the Skeptical Movement
So this interview happens that I don’t even know about for a while, because I didn’t go to The Amazing Meeting and thanks to still having a lost iPod I am behind on my podcasts. But I’ve been a faithful and reliable participant in the SGU forums, and eventually a conversation that started in the thread about Episode #211 was splintered off to address the more general topic of Sexism in the Skeptical Movement. You can read those links at your peril; I’m not really going to refer to them, but wanted to link to them for context. They are very long, and a mess of topics on which different people stay focused to varying degrees.

Long story short, the average listener/participant/TAM attendee is shocked and outraged that anyone–particularly a woman–would suggest that the skeptical community is sexist to any degree, and then they turn around and say that women who suggest it are looking for problems and are fracturing the community and distracting it from its larger purposes.

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