NOTE: Though anecdotal observation can have real merit and truth in its foundation it is understood that I have no peer reviewed data to support the initial premise that, there is a huge issue with male dominance in the atheist/humanist community.
So, for the sake of argument about this reality lets accept this as fact and continue with the core of my point; Male dominance in our atheist/humanist community is absolute conflict with the Humanist ideals and harmful to a reason agenda.
I know not all atheists claim humanism as a paired partner in their pov but many do and I want to point out that humanism and atheism are both logic base ideals of free thought and reason with the goal of a better society as a whole for everyone.
However, the logic fail and denial of this issue (atheisms male dominance) in and of itself is as harmful as the logic fail of myth believing and religious control. As a humanist I submit that you cannot be a humanist and not be a feminist (supporting equality for women) because as humans we all deserve equal treatment and respect. It is in our best interest to support the human ideals that best serve our human needs and that can’t be done without equality.
So, what is to be done about this male dominance attitude and even overt misogyny that permeates the atheist/humanist community? How can such logical people be so completely clueless on this issue and how do we make effect change?
The following is an experience I suffered at the hands of the local male dominated atheist community. This cannot continue or we will not evolve into a viable force of reason in our society.
The things I have seen and heard for myself as well as directed at myself and others were so harmful and toxic that they literally threw me out of my local atheist community as effectively as riding me out of town on a rail for asserting myself to organize an atheist women’s support system run and organized by only secular women. I and we were vilified and called horrible names, had lies spread about us, told we were sexist because we didn’t want to discuss our most intimate female issues with men. We and our male supporters (yes, there were several but not nearly enough) were kicked off of the groups social network page so our voice of dissent could not be heard and we were refused the right to vote in the groups election even though we were members in good standing.
I have been absent from my atheist community for two years now. I was very active and loved the community I needed so much. When I was drove out I suffered the loss of friends, community and I was so vulnerable by the disassociation that I became depressed and could barely function except to work and give myself basic care. Slowly I worked my way back to normal life with my therapists help and my shear determination not to let others break me but I miss it terribly. There are several friends who are still in the local group who say the core group of people who were so nasty and mean have all been pushed out after their control agenda was finally found out. Though there are still several of them within the group but not in positions of leadership any longer. My few friends still active have tried to get me to come back into the group again.
I have a strong desire for the community but fear a repeat of the betrayal, because I do feel betrayed. They talked of reason and yet misogyny is not reasonable. They talked of how horrible the control that the church dominates over it’s flock yet they fought for that same control over our group and over me and nearly crucified me for defying it. Loyalty and truth are my most respected virtues they crushed both. So far my fear has outweighed my desire to belong but my loneliness is weakening my resolve. I want an atheist family. I want to be able to have the ability to seek a life partner from among secular like minded people and in Oklahoma that is so difficult.
I want this male dominance to go away so I can feel safe in my own community.
I am at sea and I still fear the natives on the only land in sight.
(Sorry, this issue took so many turns. It’s been churning in my head for some time now and once I started spewing it sort of just all came up. Please just respond to what interests you, if any, and leave the rest as flotsam and jetsam. Thx)