US sees the launch of its first national organisation for secular women
FREETHINKER founder G W Foote once wrote:
It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible.
This quote always comes to mind when I ponder on the huge amount of unquestioning support the major religions, rampant with misogyny, receive from females. Christianity in particular.
Voula Papas, writing about Women in the Bible for the Atheist Foundation of Australia, said:
Any honest, thinking person reading through the Bible cannot ignore the blatant misogyny and barbarity towards women. The eminent ‘men of God’ who wrote the Bible were the product of patriarchal, tribal, violent, intolerant, monotheistic society.
But here’s some good news. This summer saw the launch in the US of the country’s first national organisation for atheist women. Secular Woman, Inc made its debut last month “to advance the interests of atheist, humanist and other non-religious women”. The organisation’s stated vision is:
A future in which women without supernatural beliefs have the opportunities and resources they need to participate openly and confidently as respected voices of leadership in the secular community and every aspect of American society.
Secular identity organisations, it declared in a press release, often struggle to attract and retain female members, lending weight to surveys which typically characterise women as more spiritual than men.
Secular Woman will offer its members conference travel grants, profiles of secular women, achievement awards and other programming designed to add gender diversity to secular events and bring more non-believing women out of the closet and into roles of leadership.
Secular Woman is headed by Kim Rippere, a lifetime atheist. She is a founder member of SW and the organisation’s first President. She was raised in a “loose” Catholic environment and attended parochial school for three years but she never “got” religion.
Through strategic partnerships, Secular Woman will also advocate for equal pay, reproductive choice, and marriage equality, addressing political trends the group sees as ideologically-motivated threats to its members’ freedom of conscience. ‘The ‘War on Women’ dovetailing with the rise of secular activism showed us the time had come for secular women to form our own distinct organization to support our vision of the future.
Bridget Gaudette, SW’s Vice President of Outreach, said:
With this organisation we plan to focus on promoting the secular female voice, but anyone who supports our mission can join. All are vital to the success of Secular Woman and to the overall secular movement.
Breaking news: Scotland is to introduce gay marriage. Catholics are outraged. More on this in a later blog.