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Elevatorgate: Moving Forward

I know, we are all sick of this topic but it seems that the elevatorgate situation is a symptom of a larger issue. As a point of fact, there are more men in atheist groups, meetups, conferences, etc. then there are women. So how can we as a community get more women engaged in the community?

As I have read a lot of people’s opinions on this whole elevatorgate thing and had discussions with several people over the last few days it has occurred to me that the longer this goes on the more people are going to forgo logic and reason and start attacking each other’s gender stereotypes.

Not all men are the same and not all women are the same. The more we start treating each other as our gender stereotypes merely the more we loss focus on the fact that we are all on the same side. We all want to be treated fairly and equally with respect, compassion, and empathy.

Being involved in politics, I have noticed that whenever I have been to a political meeting it usually also had far more men than women engaged. This is a problem with our society and there is nothing any single person can do to change it overnight. But if any community of people can change it, it will almost certainly be the atheist community of reason.

We tend to be pretty progressive and humanistic and as rational thinkers, we are much more likely to step back from our emotions and work together to solve a problem. So what is going on here? Well, conversations across the blogosphere have gotten everyone emotionally hyped up and cause people to be careless with their language. This in turn has made some people act in a very defensive manner and has further enraged other people’s emotions.

Both men and women are equally at fault here. Women are not all man-haters and men are not all part of the evil white privilege conspiracy. We all need to treat each other as individuals and try to understand each other’s point of view. Most men have not considered the concerns that women face in society and most women don’t realize the expectations placed on men by society. So we all need to take a breath and think about this stuff rationally.

Now, let’s try to solve the problem together. How do we get more women engaged in the community? Let’s get some ideas on the table in a rational and non-judgmental manner. Let’s be constructive here.




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  • http://www.atheistrev.com vjack

    I am very curious about the handful of people who have claimed that they are leaving the atheist community because they are disappointed with Dawkins. I don’t get that at all, but I suppose that is the price of hero worship.

  • http://beltwayatheists.org ES

    “Let’s get some ideas on the table in a rational and non-judgmental manner. Let’s be constructive here.”

    Why not just plan activities that women enjoy doing?(not stereotypically)

    A best bet would be to ask the already active atheist women what they think would entice their [girl/women/lady]friends to participate, and then, you know… listen to them, and then help plan/organize said activities where needed (if needed).

  • John

    I am curious why some are disappointed with Dawkins.

  • Willa G. Cartwright

    I’m a woman and I am absolutely appalled and the outrageous reaction many of these women have made.

    It’s absolutely juvenile, excessive, thoughtless and idiotic.

    Dawkin’s only crime was being insensitive.

    It’s been totally ridiculous