Skepticism and Secularism Have a Serious Sexual Harassment Problem

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Most mainstream media stories about women in the growing skeptic/secularist/science education movement (the boundaries between the three are pretty porous) usually begin with articles and videos asking, „Where are all the women?“ But people within these circles know that there are actually a lot of female leaders, and the real woman problem is sexual harassment.

By Amanda MarcotteSlate

As Rebecca Watson, a major writer and speaker on the skeptic/atheist circuit wrote in Slate last year, the amount of sexual harassment aimed at women over even the tiniest suggestions of how to make the movement more female-friendly is absolutely stunning. Watson herself has been subject to two years of nonstop online harassment because she made a video where she casually suggested that cornering women in elevators in the middle of the night is not best practice for making them feel safe. When the Center for Inquiry, a major free-thought organization, held a conference titled Women in Secularism (full disclosure: I was a speaker at this conference), angry anti-feminists in the movement deluged the Twitter hashtag for the conference with so much misogynist garbage that it became unreadable. While sexual harassment is used as a weapon to strip women of their dignity and sense of safety in nearly all corners of society, for some reason it’s particularly bad when it comes to the skeptic/secularist community.

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