Follow-Up to Yesterday’s Post About ‘Lack’ of Female Atheist Leaders

Yesterday, I mentioned that Ms. Magazine posted a poorly-researched article by Monica Shores that essentially stated there are no female leaders in the atheist movement.

Jen McCreight‘s rebuttal is now posted on the magazine’s website:

And don’t assume that women are relegated to working behind the scenes, or only come in the form of the “gentle storyteller.” Dozens and dozens of women authors, journalists, bloggers, podcasters and comedians are producing amazing work, some of them gnashing their teeth even louder than Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. (Check out the list at the end of this piece).

Then why, you may ask, are so few as well known as the male firebrands? Is it because, as Shores suggests, that “there’s little indication that atheists are receptive to the suggestion that they might benefit from diversifying in color or gender”?

If you’ll momentarily excuse me for lapsing into religious language: Hell no.

Note to Jen: Take a hiatus from your PhD program and go write a book about feminism and religion. There have been other books written on the subject before, but I get the feeling yours would have far more popular appeal…

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  • benjdm

    Kudos to Ms. Magazine for posting the rebuttal! And congrats to Jen McCreight!

  • Trust me, if I would have known people were going to suddenly become interested in my writing over the spring/summer, I may have considered taking that one year hiatus. Oh well 😛

    Thanks though!

  • ShavenYak

    It looks like the Ms. Magazine website is melting down. Or is it just me?

    I second the suggestion for Jen to write a book.

  • Anonymous

    Good on Ms for taking their criticism and addressing it. As a feminist, I would encourage them to keep their journalistic standards high. Shooting from the hip just doesn’t cut it, we want evidence! Women are already fed a load of bollocks from female-oriented media, Ms should counter that.

    (And yes, the Ms website is loading really slowly right now.)

  • Take a hiatus from your PhD program and go write a book about feminism and religion.

    If you’ll momentarily excuse me for lapsing into religious language: Hell Yeah!

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    Then why, you may ask, are so few as well known as the male firebrands?

    One cannot enter the skeptic/atheist movement for very long without running into the many great speakers/writers/bloggers who happen to be women.
    They are not as well known to the general public because “fame” (or infamy) comes through coverage by the popular press. And I suspect some old attitudes still linger on (“Is she a firebrand or just a bitch?”)
    Much of the popular press has taken a conservative swing in the last few years, trying to emulate FOX and keep customers. Articles about them damn anti-family, anti-god, feministy atheist wimmen who don’t know their place, won’t sell papers.
    Whereas, people relish stories about those anti-god menfolk, who can be villified as the devil’s lesser minions, if not the anti-christ himself.

  • siveambrai

    I’d love to encourage the writing but maybe not the quitting the PhD. Once you leave it’s hard to get started again cause I know that momentum is often the only thing that keeps me going.

    Great article. You addressed the original article well without making that the entire point. Informative and interesting. 🙂

  • justanotherjones

    Well done, Jen. Thank you for writing that. And kudos to Ms. magazine for publishing it.

  • mai

    A decent book about feminism and atheism needs to happen, seriously.

  • Heidi

    I suppose Monica Shores can’t find her ass with both hands, either?

    Jen, if you can’t take time off the PhD, start making notes now, and write the book afterward.

  • That was excellent. And I’d have to say that Monica Shores could use a little history lesson as well. At the time of Robert Ingersoll, there was also Elizabeth Cady Stanton and little known Josephine K. Henry (elected VP of American Secular Union in 1901) who happened to help develop The Woman’s Bible.

  • Oz Tilson

    not to keep harping a point or anything Jen- but seriously

    Hell yeah write that book!

    when you do- please don’t try to be polite
    YOU and YOUR WORDS are what we need to hear/read

    but finish the PHD first if you must 🙂

  • Valhar2000

    One cannot enter the skeptic/atheist movement for very long without running into the many great speakers/writers/bloggers who happen to be women.

    I wonder how many people would be scared away from skepticism by that statement alone?

  • Jen,

    Busy talented people always seems to find time to do multiple things at the same time… Finish your Ph.D. (without stopping) and also start on a book. In all likelihood, different hemispheres of your brain will be involved with either enterprise and you might enjoy the balance.

  • muggle

    Just when you write that book, don’t overlook both Anne Gaylor and her daughter, Annie Laurie; Butterfly McQueen or Vashti McCollum as you did here.

    Also in history, in addition to Tom’s point, Margaret Sanger. To whom we owe not just Planned Parenthood but even the right to be informed about birth control.

  • Or we try to speak up and are mistaken for being men. I write an atheist/political blog that’s partially contributed to by my male partner. But the voice of the blog is essentially mine. I use a photo of Bertrand Russell as our profile picture and people always assume it’s just a guy who writes.

    Maybe it’s about time I put my own photo up?