Hi all---my new post is up.  Please leave some comments at my site, as well as here, so that we can promote a larger discussion.  You can read my post at: The Need for Dialogue

Thanks,

    RB

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Comment by bpansky25 on July 25, 2012 at 3:17pm

Your call for proper dialogue is quite welcome.

However, with the line " Let me start by saying that I have never been to an atheist conference, so really have no opinion on the matter," shows that you missed some vital components of the issue.  The main issue was not centered on whether some hard to measure level of "sexism" is to high at the conferences.  The issue started off by saying that harrassment at conferences happens, and could be handled a bit better.

First, it doesn't matter if you go to an atheist conference, a polyamory conference, or a video game conference.  Most of them already have systems set up to handle harrasment.

It was found that some of the policies for handling harrasment could be improved, and this was pointed out.

Then what happened next was that some people mistook this for an accusation that:

-there was more harrasment at atheist conferences than there is

-there was more of it at atheist conferences that at other conferences

-there was a certain level of sexism at atheist conferences (this is what you seemed to think)

-any flirting is harrasment. (false, polyamory hookup conferences have these policies too)

and many other misinterpretations.  These misinterpretations were backlash to the very real discussion about improving harrasment policies to better handle situations similar to the ones that we know were not handled well.

They were a tangent, an out-of-nowhere interruption to serious reasonable improvement of policy.

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