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Do Atheists Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?

Postmillennialism —  1 Comment

Religion News Service — As skeptics, atheists and humanists prepare to gather for their largest meeting in Las Vegas this weekend, attendance by women is expected to be down significantly.

Officials for The Amazing Meeting, or TAM, said Wednesday (July 11) that women would make up 31 percent of the 1,200 conference attendees, down from 40 percent the year before. A month before the conference, pre-registration was only 18 percent women, organizers said.

The explanations are many — the bad economy, that women, as caregivers, are less able to get away, and that more men than women identify as skeptics, whose worldview rejects the supernatural and focuses on science and rationality.

But in the weeks preceding TAM, another possible explanation has roiled the nontheist community. Online forums have crackled with charges of sexism in TAM’s leadership and calls for the ouster of D.J. Grothe, the male president of the James Randi Educational Foundation, TAM’s organizer. In June, Rebecca Watson, a skeptic blogger and speaker, canceled her TAM appearance because, she said on her blog, she does “not feel welcome or safe.”

Other nontheists — both male and female — have shared stories of unwanted sexual attention at nontheist gatherings, including propositions for sex and unwelcome touching. Chatter has ranged from calls for more women to attend nontheist events to personal attacks on prominent female skeptics for discussing harassment. Meanwhile, two more skeptic/feminist bloggers announced they will not attend TAM.

The debate has had two major impacts — a call for cooler tempers and the immediate implementation of sexual harassment policies by all of the major nontheist organizations, both national and regional.

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One response to Do Atheists Have a Sexual Harassment Problem?

  1. How enlightening about what atheism really is!! Atheism is nothing but an invented anti-belief that promotes the acceptance of tyranny and sexual perversion. Christianity has failed on those two areas but has repented, learned and corrected course, however slowly or imperfectly, moving mankind and women forward. Atheists don’t feel ANY need of moral correction but feel entitled to do anything, the more low and repulsive, the better. A high moral standard of women is the biggest marker for true civilization and progress. Men are forced to live up to it. Atheists, men and women, have degraded women to a sexual object, turning the few payment prostitutes into the many, available, willing, free ones. Women have NEVER been the slaves of men as they are today. Not the plan of God!!

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