There is this awesome “Empowering Women through Secularism” conference scheduled to happen in Dublin at the end of June, and I’m severely tempted to go. Partly because I have such great memories of my last time there a couple of years ago, when we somewhat inadvertently made internet history by breaking the atheist movement, and partly because it was just such a blast.
But note the name, “Empowering Women through Secularism“, and if there’s one thing that secularism has enough of, it’s old white dudes like myself. So I was kind of thinking of not going, not only because my disillusionment with the whole atheist and skeptic movement, but also because I figured that the last thing this conference needs is a majority of old white guys.
But, you know, maybe what this conference also needs apart from energetic women, is old white dudes like me to give their support to them, to send a signal that I care more about the truth of what someone says than the gender of the person saying it, that I value anyone’s contribution the same no matter what their genitalia are, and that sexual harassment and unwanted advances at our conferences should be banned and prosecuted just as they are in the corporate world. You know, pretty uncontroversial stuff.
Two years after Rebecca Watson made her moving house video there are still people in trenches in the atheist and skeptic movement over “Guys don’t do that”. It’s also been 2 years that Paula Kirby sat on a panel on female atheists in the same venue in Dublin and gave an argument from personal incredulity with regards to harassment of women in the movement.
So, if I can make it, I will go to this conference. I think it’s important.