How To Recruit Women Into Your Atheist Group January 31, 2011

How To Recruit Women Into Your Atheist Group

Watching this video by Spontatheist is like peering into a woman’s (non-existent) soul…:

What did I learn from the video?

If group leaders simply advertised on paper like this, they would have a hard time keeping the ladies away!

And I’m sure there was something important in the last ten seconds of the video, but I had turned it off by then. Oh well.

(via Blag Hag)

***Update***: Lesle Mora created this tongue-in-cheek symbol that is sure to be welcoming to atheist women everywhere 🙂

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  • OK, if she lives within a 100 miles of me, I’m totally meeting her for coffee and “girl talk”.

  • Andrew Morgan

    “If we see enough pink, we will stop the car.”

    Wait what? Women drive?

  • Canadian Atheist, eh!

    Is she making fun of atheists or women? (Or maybe “womyn”? Or Christian women?) I’m totally lost, and for all that I didn’t even get to “lol”. Bummer.

  • Kudzuma

    Does she mean, “pink, scented paper” or, “pink scented paper”? There’s a distinct difference. And one of them is more likely to attract more men than women.

    ::ducking:: ::running::

  • @Andrew: Of course we do! We have to get groceries to take back to the kitchen somehow!

  • Revyloution

    Blanket dismissal of her comments.

    Insensitive sexist comment about personal appearance.

    Half apology.

  • Valhar2000

    I don’t get this video. What is everybody else seeing here that I am missing?

  • NotYou007

    Not all women love the color pink. I’ve known some that hate it. My daughter isn’t that big on pink either and it’s far from her favorite color.

  • Denise

    Um… please see the last 10 seconds of her video. This is totally tongue in cheek.

  • Lesilu

    That was good–I liked her final point, though I wish it had been longer.
    Atheist groups don’t need to change their content or advertising to appeal to women and minorities. It will repel more than it attracts.

  • Miko

    While she is, of course, correct overall, this doesn’t mean that the issue isn’t worth discussing. The gender disparity in atheist groups (and in other radical groups) is troubling and does need to be approached dialectically. There are serious reasons why women are underrepresented in such groups, often relating to their treatment by men in the groups. For example, it’s common in many groups for the un-fun tasks such as stuffing envelopes, xeroxing fliers, etc. to get labeled as “women’s work” and foisted off on a few hapless female volunteers. Needless to say, this sort of attitude doesn’t really draw women into the movement. Also, the larger-scale gender dynamics of society tend to place responsibility for children in the hands of women more often than not, while (typically male) event organizers often overlook the need for provision of childcare services, making attendance problematic for many women.

    It’s worth noting that these same gender dynamics are at play in many other socially institutions, including ones that have a more even gender distribution in membership. Usually this is because women are more active in the leadership of these organizations and so are better able to anticipate the needs and desires of other female members. Beyond the individual level (i.e., don’t be a jerk), atheist groups need to do a better job at involving women (and other groups) in leadership decisions if they want to diversify their memberships.

  • Vas

    Atheists for adorable things…
    Kawaii!! I love it.

    Also you might want to lay in a supply of herbal or fruity teas, much preferred over icky coffee.

    Did she cover glitter… yeah… great.

    Stuffed animals were left out of the discussion even though they appear in the background of the video, offer them as door prizes. The best kind are the ones won by guys throwing softballs at metal milk bottles, gals really dig that, conciser setting up a booth so they can watch the guys winning them.

    Really they are simple creatures, easily corrupted, followers by nature. We should have no problem luring them in. As a bonus they are handy for cleaning up after meetings, they enjoy it, you would be doing them a favor.

    Or that other thing at the end.

  • cutthroatjane

    atheist groups are wanting more female members are here I am all girlie and looking for an awesome local atheist group :/
    dumb missouri!!!!

  • Steve

    She reminds me a bit of Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  • That was really funny.

    A friend of mine said once that women are easy, they all like the same things — unicorns, the color pink, and California Pizza Kitchen. Which was particularly funny after when he said it when his wife, who was only half-listening, piped up with, “I love California Pizza Kitchen!”

    And yeah, I think the last ten seconds had kind of a change in tone there.

  • There are plenty of women in my atheist group, and no pink scrapbooked ponies to be found, unfortunately. Easiest way to recruit women into your group, especially if there are a ton of men? Men have wives, girlfriends, sisters, and other acquaintances with two X chromosomes. Just encourage them to let them tag along to meetings or shindigs or what have you. No posters of George Clooney needed.

    However, you might want to have a Tetris tournament once in a while to draw in a flock. Women love Tetris.

  • You know she is joking, because she is not wearing pink.

  • Anonymous

    cutthroatjane: ?

    Maybe someone here can work for you? (check the right hand bar)

  • cutthroatjane

    i will defiantly do some searching. thank you

  • Lynniegirl

    If she thought she was going to get her last point across more effectively by prefacing it with the first three points, she miserably failed!

  • NotYou007

    So this was a huge joke and nothing more? I couldn’t make it past 45 seconds to find out. Not well done.

  • Richard Wade

    I really liked it, and I thought she made a good point. I only wish she would have expanded on the last part a couple of sentences more, but perhaps the extreme simplicity and brevity was her point as well.

    I already treat all people of any of the many genders as she described at the end, but the problem remains that I can’t treat them one way or another if they don’t show up.

    Over half of my atheist meetup group are women, but I guess that’s atypical. Is the problem that women don’t show up for atheist groups at all, or they do and are driven off by some dumbass male, or what?

  • Ubi Dubium

    Kitties! Some of us girls like kitties better than ponies. You just need to be sure to have some adorable kittens at your meetings. That, or maybe intelligent conversation or something.

  • Rachael Newman

    Bad satirical joke…?

    Coming from a woman, please don’t take this seriously.

  • Stephanie

    Hey, slap a horn on the forehead of that pwnie you’ve got in the second picture and I think it would be an ideal invisible pink unicorn! 😀

    Also, women love smileys. Loads of smileys. 🙂 And exclamation points!!!!

  • I kinda figured that she was being sarcastic and laughed all the way through it.

  • Ms. Crazy Pants

    “I love California Pizza Kitchen!”

    I had a point until I read that. Now I’m craving California Pizza Kitchen. 😉

    It was painful to get to the end, but the last 10 seconds fixed everything. I’ve been watching too many makeup videos and reviews over the past month in preparation for an event, and this just seemed so in line with the women telling me how important having one color of makeup over another is that I was really fooled at first. (BTW…the one that seemed to know makeup the best was a guy.)

    oh oh…gotta run. I think my pores are showing, and women aren’t allowed to have pores.

  • I’m a stupid male and didn’t get it till right near the end. I kept thinking “I’m going to show this to my daughters so they can be more outraged than me.” Then I got it. The last 10 seconds clinched it.

  • Jennifer T

    Wait, did people really not get she was joking until the last ten seconds?

    Sheesh… Americans

  • From what I saw there are very few atheist women.
    This can be a problem.
    As for recruiting I believe that independent women are more likely to join.

  • Claudia

    Glitter is the one evidence we have for the existence of Satan. Seriously, you can’t get rid of it. It. Gets. Everywhere. Use glitter once and you will be removing little points of light from odd places in the house for a month.

    More seriously, though I think we still have a ways to go, I also think the inclusion of women in the movement is getting notably better at least at the foot-soldier level. In leadership, we still have a lack of women and we still don’t have a super-star like Dawkins or Hitchens (Hirsi Ali is close, but her single-minded focus against Islam, while understandable makes her appeal less broad). Personally I see the lack of people of color as a much more urgent crisis.

  • inmyhead

    OMG PONIES!!!!!!!!!!! WTF!! ok. I am done with exclamation points. Not all chicks love the shit out of ponies or scrap booking or pink and btw that was not muave it was like totally lavender for sure. I will agree on the sugar and would come to an Atheist meeting for an invisible unicorn. I don’t take anyone seriously with a floral print couch.

  • Psh. Pink is for girls. Purple is my favorite color.

    Oh right, I’m not a woman.

  • Loved her and the vid.

    We certainly would not use pink again because it just attracted loads of gays who wanted us to all wear floral shirts at every meeting and to decorate all meeting places with flowers, balloons and ribbons.

    One guy I met told me that he was sick of girls at meetings because they just kept hitting on him. Nice bloke named Brad Mitt or something like that. Anyway he left the group and went to California. So I guess that is the last we’ll here from him.

    Just trolling.

    Oh and on the subject of women driving. In Saudi Arabia they don’t. Well at least not on their own.

  • ursulamajor

    Our meetings range from 40% to 60% female. This is in the mountains of Virginia. Not a usual hotbed of intellectualism or feminism. But we somehow manage.

    I thought the video was great. Of course she was being sarcastic! How could anyone not know that right away. Seriously guys?

  • Stacy

    As if having SE Cupp represent us on the national stage wasn’t bad enough, now we have Hemant mocking the movement to draw in more atheist females. Well, he’s not so much mocking the movement as mocking this person’s advice, but it has the same end effect – making a joke out of female atheists.

    At most atheist meetups I’ve been to, there’s roughly one female for every 5-10 males, and sometimes the odds aren’t even that good. I was the sole female in my local group, until I stopped going, largely because one member in particular made neverending chauvanistic, sexist, and offensive comments about women (for example, telling his 10-year-old son that any woman in the military must be a “bull dyke” and saying that Christian women were nothing more than “brainless baby factories”).

    The incredibly lopsided representation of women in the atheist community is a real problem, and it’s something that I think needs to be addressed more in depth.

    (Hemant says: Stacy, I’m not mocking this video at all. I think she makes a great point. There are some things people do to reach out to women that are downright offensive to many of the women who might be inclined to join our groups. It’s not always easy to do, when a group is overwhelmingly male, but we do need to put serious thought into the issue if women are feeling excluded.)

  • “How do we encourage women to participate?” is a legitimate question. My concern is that it may be tempting to assume that the gender disparity has more to do with women than it does with social factors and the current state of the movement. On a grassroots level, you see a lot more women than you do with a cursory view of atheism internationally or nationally.

    I’d like to see atheists take more interest in promoting feminist goals (which many do, but there’s always room for improvement!), and I’m hoping to see more female “rising stars” in the media and speaking at large-scale events.

  • elricthemad

    No offense meant to anyone of any gender, but i saw this as obvious satire from the beginning and taken as such nearly laughed myself off of my chair. At our local free thinkers group there is a slight disparity in men to women, but it isn’t bad. It likely helps that the group was primarily started by a woman (thank you again for doing so Syrah) and for those with children there is often childcare available at most gatherings and meetings. Far from the only consideration, but something to look into for groups trying to attract more women to their group. Did some people really think a suggestion of using more pink to appeal to women wasn’t in jest? Really?

    “We just love the shit out of ponies.” Still makes me laugh just remembering it.

  • captsam

    hey no one is perfect, i thought she was very good.

  • I’m SO starting a Scrapbooking Atheists group.

  • Kristi

    As an atheist female… I must say I hope no one believes this girl… Is she serious or trying to insult women? Or trying to insult atheist women? Or both? I couldn’t even watch the last minute of it.

    1st: I HATE pink. If I see enough, I will speed up to get past is faster.
    2nd: Ponies are cute, but they do nothing for me.

    3rd: Scrapbooking is too “girly” for me.

  • Ubi Dubium

    Kristi, best go back and watch the last minute. That’s when she makes her point,and a very good one it is.

  • trixr4kids

    People. Irony. Look it up. (Hint: it does not mean, “containing or resembling iron”.)

  • gsw

    Miko Says:

    “The gender disparity in atheist groups (and in other radical groups) is troubling and does need to be approached dialectically”

    Actually, nope!

    As a female atheist, I can speak only for myself and a few friends, but here is our consensus:
    Not having a heavenly life to look forward to – we are making the most of this one.
    With jobs, university, home, garden, social life, hobbies, children and shovelling snow (arggh), who has time for more than the occasional blog, support of people like Elisabeth S-Wolff and Geert Wilders, spending cash for a good cause etc?

    p.s. Before I get jumped on for the children coming so far down on my list -once they are grown – they don’t need me most of the time.

  • Ironically Alliance of Happy Atheists here at UO has more female members than male and our posters do have unicorns and shit on it. We either look like we’re insane or an extension of LGBTQ, I’m not sure.

    Really the key is having female members in charge, and keeping the meetings light hearted.

    I hate to say it, but atheist groups tend to attract a lot generally weird people. The magic really occurs when you have a bulk of relatively normal members. There’ll always been those socially awkward types, that one old dude who stares just a little too long at the freshman girls and such…

  • Has anyone seen Conservapedia’s essay entitled “Ponies vs. atheism – Ponies win” at

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