Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Feminist growth potential

More CFI drama, this time from "Secular Woman" (SecularWoman.org).

In a letter denouncing Ron Lindsay titled "Statement of Objection to Center for Inquiry CEO Ron Lindsay's Actions Regarding Feminism" it adds:

As a result of Dr. Lindsay’s actions, the past year’s conflicts have been further enflamed, continuing to alienate the demographic showing most growth potential within the secular community - women - not just from CFI, but from the secular movement. Secular Woman is hopeful that Dr. Lindsay and/or the CFI Board of Directors will offer a formal, complete, and deserved apology and retraction to Secular Woman and all secular women and feminists regarding his “welcome” statement and later blog comments. We trust that Dr. Lindsay and the CFI Board will now, and in the future, actively demonstrate their intolerance of all who harass, threaten, bully, and work to silence women and feminists. Finally, Secular Woman seeks open and honest in-person dialogue regarding women, feminism, and the secular community with the CFI Board of Directors.

This continues to chant the "feminist" line that if it secularism took reproductive rights more seriously, more women would join.

What "feminists" seem to mean when they make this statement is if the secular community more actively owned certain political viewpoints, women would flock to secular groups.

How is this viewpoint at all rational?

Presumably those that have unreservedly feminist views already belong to a liberal church.

The message sent to the Unitarian Universalists and Lutherans would be: "Hey, secularism is exactly like this but better!"

Meanwhile the message sent to Catholics and Mormons would simply remain: "F*** you, if you are going to say anything remotely neutral about the 'traditional' family structure you may as well keep tithing!"

The strategy seems to be to cannibalize whatever remains of the Christian left. Take whatever organization they already have in place around social justice issues, and throw it out the bloody window!

The person they're trying to recruit is the card-carrying NOW member that stays away from atheism because Christopher Hitchens was a bit too much.

There must be at least five of these people!

A winning strategy?

5 comments:

  1. Sorry, can't seem to blockquote here:

    "This continues to chant the "feminist" line that if it secularism took reproductive rights more seriously, more women would join."

    Really? It seems to me that it's saying what it says: I don't see a mention of reproductive rights. I'm confused.

    "What "feminists" seem to mean when they make this statement is if the secular community more actively owned certain political viewpoints, women would flock to secular groups.

    How is this viewpoint at all rational?"

    It isn't. But then it's an obvious strawman so why should anyone expect it to be rational? Do you have any examples of people making this argument? Because the text you quoted certainly does not.

    Haven't you conjured a strategy from a piece of text that doesn't even say what you say it says?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a valid criticism - the reference to reproductive rights was a carry over in my mind from Watson's previous endorsement of AU and Marcotte's discussion about Plan B. SW did not talk reproductive rights specifically in the quote provided.

      Yet I don't think this is a straw man - simply exchange "reproductive rights" with "women's issues" to correct the oversight. If SW wishes to encourage a brand of feminism that isn't entirely pro-choice, then by all accounts this article is bunk.

      However since SW's talking points are essentially the same as any other critique of Ron Lindsay, it is a safe bet they're in the same political camp.

      Also they have an opportunity to clarify how this growth is occurring and just what demographic CFI should hope to appeal to. As worded, SW seems to take it for granted that females all believe the same things.

      Delete
  2. As a woman, a feminist, and an attendee of the conference, I considered Dr. Lindsay's 20 minute opening talk entirely appropriate and found it refreshing and reassuring. Too often that small group of feminists who hang out a FTB use the privilege concept to attempt to silence anyone, male or female, who dares to disagree with their position. Dr. Lindsay's reassurance that that was unacceptable at the conference was entirely what I wanted to hear at that point.

    Rebecca Watson, PZ Myers and that group do not speak for all feminists, and while waiting in the Marriott lobby for our car to be brought around before we left, I discovered I was not alone in my feelings on this matter. I found that better than half the people I spoke to considered Ms. Watson's blog post offensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is rather encouraging. Thanks for the comment.

      Also consider sharing this feedback with CFI. The Watson crowd is very vocal and very negative about the Lindsay talk, even though I'm sure most of them did not bother reading/listening to what he actually said.

      Delete
    2. Hi spookiewon (and anyone else),
      there's now an online statement on this topic that you may want to consider signing.
      http://www.skepticwomen.com/

      Delete