In the blog where to start Philosophy studies, a woman wrote Philosophy was patriarchal. I found this disturbing since I have believed one of the greatest characteristics of Atheism was its disconnection from ideologies that could justify sexism. I would like to believe, as an Atheist, I have treated women as complete equals.

At a staff meeting, at a school I taught at, I suggested reading Condorcet's 'The Nature and Purpose of Public Instruction" where Part 4 starts with the section 'Instruction Must Be The Same For Women As It Is For Men'. One of the Feminists on staff stood up and said "Why should I care about what some dead, old, white guy said." I thought this statement was sexist and racist and should never have been made in reference to someone who had died trying to promote Enlightenment policies, such as sexual equality, during the Reign of Terror.

Do women feel Atheist philosophers have done more to promote or hinder sexual equality? Does the gender of the person promoting sexual equality matter? If you believe it does, isn't this opinion sexist?

Views: 179

Comment

You need to be a member of Atheist Nexus to add comments!

Join Atheist Nexus

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 1, 2013 at 2:42pm

Thanks Glen. 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on November 1, 2013 at 2:23pm

Joan, good stuff..

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 1, 2013 at 1:01pm

Nature vs. nurture. How do we sort human thinking and behavior apart into categories? I have never been able to figure that out. 

One thing I do know, if a man beats his wife, look into his history and very often one finds he grew up in a violent family; not always, however, the probability is very high, statistically. Or, if a woman submits to a controlling husband, it is highly probable she grew up in a male-dominated family. She learned from the moment she opened her eyes and could see, how women respond to men and learns how to become a woman. Thankfully many girls rebel; family systems, education and society objects to rebellious girls, and boys. 

Working in boys' ranches, prisons, adult education, I discovered that if an individual learns how to assert oneself, actively listen to others, found ways to solve problems and conflicts without using aggression, domination, or control, he/she enjoys the power that follows. It is a soft power and sometimes hard power is required to achieve that end. 

People resist change and do so when they find a better way to live. Domination/submission creates a very problematic environment. When the acquiescent one rebels, the controlling one attempts to use more aggressive methods, often leading to tragedy. "Do as I say or else!"

Domestic Violence Statistics

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 1, 2013 at 12:38pm
Čenek, when you wrote:
"I think that skepchick and the other divisive fanatics are hurting both atheism and feminism."
I perceive that to be a statement of a man or woman who wants militant, rebellious, angry women to remain silent, the strategy of fascism. If there is an injustice that continues to this day, without awareness, it is the job of the rebel to confront it publicly in speech and writing.

Silence has never righted a wrong. How many very nice people with kind hearts use scripture to rationalize their prejudices, i.e. slavery, subordination of women, nationalism?

I am biased, and I know it and let it be known that prejudice underlies my comments. So? What else is new? ... One bias meets another bias, and we are both prejudice.

The point, for me, does a belief system provide the means to enlighten and expand perception? Does it call attention to something that needs tending? What empowers an individual to flourish? So, society or a movement faces a challenge! What is, is; get over it!
Comment by Glen Rosenberg on November 1, 2013 at 12:34pm

Loren, I agree about sexuality. The homophobic reaction is not natural. It is an advantage for a male to be in company of homosexual males and for females to be in company of homsexual females. 

Comment by Loren Miller on November 1, 2013 at 10:41am

Peter and Glen, your conversation just sparked something in me, to wit:

We are are born somewhere on the Kinsey scale (or some of us tangent to it!) regarding hetero- or homosexuality.  We each have a tendency to be attracted to the opposite sex, our own sex, a combination of both, or some other option.

But what about homophobia?  Is it, like fear of hell, something that is TAUGHT or is it a natural reaction?  The more I examine the question, the more I lean toward the former.  Again, I'm an engineer, not a psychologist or sexologist, so I don't necessarily know from Adam.

I can't help but wonder, though.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on November 1, 2013 at 9:52am

Peter, those are interesting ideas. And while I wish it were so, I suspect that their is a role for women and a role for men in meeting our needs and that biology plays as big a part as culture and religion.  Isn't it the case that cultures must reflect in some sense who we are and not just a distortion of our idealized wishes. 

Or perhaps this is another issue which is only a variation of nature/nurture and that biology v culture/religion are inextricably linked. 

Comment by Peter Martin Page on November 1, 2013 at 8:08am

I feel disappointment and anger at the degree our culture uses gender and sexuality to define who we are. I can understand religion needs to exaggerate the importance of our sexuality to be able to make us feel guilty and control us. After watching James Bond movies I feel angry at how shallow the heros and heroines are. They all seem no more mature than overly hormone addled adolescents. 

I question the importance gender and sexuality has in our identities and relationships. I believe our social and emotional needs are greater. Aren't the needs to have someone to share the joys of our thoughts and experiences, and the sadness of watching the sands of time run through the hour glass greater? My experiences of being human do not jive with the importance our culture gives to  gender and sexuality. I suspect they are remnants of control mechanisms used by religion.

Comment by Peter Martin Page on October 31, 2013 at 10:41am

I must admit I confuse philosophy with Atheism. Nearly all the philosophers I read are Atheists. Some, like Locke, were not openly. I suspect it may have been too dangerous in his time to admit Atheism. When I read a philosopher who is clearly religious, I tend to lose interest. I have to get used to the idea that many philosophers have been religious. I have a problem separating Atheism from philosophy since I experience the two as being naturally connected. I am working at getting over this personal, and subjective prejudice.

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on October 31, 2013 at 7:35am

Exactly Loren, and as a political institution created for men and by men, it exerts its power most to disenfranchise women  when its power is greatest.

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service