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Incredible Politeness of Being: Women in the Secular Communities

2022-04-26

Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/04/07

By Way of Digression: Tip-Offs and Tips of the Hat

I stumbled across a discussion between Susan Jacoby and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein (Center for Inquiry, 2016; Jacoby, 2018; Goldstein, 2018; Jacobsen, 2016a; Center for Inquiry, 2012; Center for Inquiry, 2013).

Jacoby has spoken articulately on Robert Ingersoll; indeed, she has spoken in an articulate and informed manner on the need for women to change their image of themselves, the dumbing down of the public within the education system, the further dumbing down of the general populace through language simplification, on the importance of the clear meaning of facts, and the need for more political clout amongst secular people including non-religious women (Jacoby, 2012; Jacoby, 2018; FORA TV, 2015; JamesRandiFoundation, 2014; FFRF, 2017; BSGSpeakers, 2015; cunytv75, 2017; LibertyPen, 2012).

If you would kindly please indulge some time today, I would like to take a winding journey from within the context of the dialogue between Jacoby and Goldstein, where this sparked a modest international conversation with some women in the secular community to be explored in the second part of this article.

After one commentary and presentation on the insightful dialogue between the two of them, this article will present qualitative and limited, though international and in-depth, commentary from interviews with secular women. The interviews from several regions of the world, where the complete interviews will be in the first footnoted reference to each individual interviewee.

“Secular” in this context means “non-religious” in some traditional meanings. That is, it means the rejection of the traditional religions here, though colloquial in interpretation, which is a weakness in a metric of precision of the qualitative research.

As many inside and outside of the non-religious community remarked about some modern atheists, it is mostly comprised of young white men in the following and older white men in the leadership.

“White” here meaning “Caucasian with a European heritage.” “Young” here meaning 18-to-35-year-olds. Not good or bad but a factual observation, a larger grouping of young Caucasian men looking for easy answers in an increasingly complicated, uncertain, diversifying, technologically advanced, and changing world.

The branch of atheism known for an impolite tone, tenor, even vernacular, and a peculiar, obvious, and understandable lack of awareness about the ways in which this appears to others within the secular communities and the communities of the religious. It remains palpable and a marker of some of the newer brand of atheism, or some of, in short, the New Atheism.

New Atheism experienced ascendance in the 2000s with a denouement, in most regards, in the 2010s. Similar arguments to the older atheism, but more assertive, sometimes aggressive, and certainly impolite argumentation and presentation at times, for example, alcohol increases aggression and disinhibits drinkers. One revered New Atheist, Christopher Hitchens, may have been an alcoholic.

Other movements grounded in mythology and centred on Christian narratives and implicit apologetics, and the imagery and life of Christ as penultimate, leech off the membership and the talking points, at this point, of New Atheism.

Its implicit or tacit endorsement within the movement remains Western flavours of Christianity linked to right-wing libertarianism from the social and economic values to the messaging to the language to the imagery to the literature considered central.

It is mostly in Western Europe and North America while gathering mutual followings from some of the New Atheist movement membership or has been throughout the latter 2010s.

Something akin to some ideological components of the New Atheist movement with the emergence in the second decade of the 21st century. It may be properly titled the New Mythologist movement with a secular emphasis on myths and a centrality, in sum, of what they deem or see as the essence of Western civilization. Not so strangely, all with implicit Christian narratives, imagery, apologetics, and so on.

For the most part, it is comprised of white men aged 18-to-35-years-old in Western Europe and North America. Those with what seems like a Christian family and cultural heritage, who, without doubt, find interest in, and to no surprise, affirm the absolute orientation of the movement in the notion of Western traditions with Christianity alone as supreme.

Again, not as a judgment but an observation, older white men from the same advanced industrial economies appear to comprise most of the leadership of the New Mythologist movement if the descriptor seems accurate or may be permitted at this time.

Some can be observed. The individuals decrying the insistence of marginal individuals and peoples in society for their human rights to be implemented while also lambasting the violation of their own free speech rights as an individual. The former seen as collectivists; the latter seen as individualists. Both, whether knowingly or not, arguing for human rights and equality.

Human rights exist as individual rights by their nature with the inclusion of various forms of collective rights at an emergent level, e.g., individual rights of a Palestinian child to clean water and the collective right to self-determination of the Palestinians.

The apparent or tacitly asserted separation between individualism, collectivism, and fundamental human rights, freedoms, and responsibilities remain illusory.

This misapprehension or misunderstanding becomes the basis of some modern movements focusing either on rights solely, responsibilities solely, or one or the other mostly, und so weiter.

For one example, an implicit assumption as “pro-free speech rights, for us, and anti-human rights, for others,” where, of course, freedom of expression remains a human right. Not often used in this language; however, this remains the implication of the points.

In fact, the movements across the spectrum take the public platforms to speak on the right to “free speech” when outside of an American context, which seems factually and, even tactically, wrong. As a technicality, the human right remains right to freedom of expression with speech as part of it.

Whereas, the focus of the individuals travelling the lecture, debate, and panel circuit is “free speech” within a “free speech crisis” framework, which exists as a misnomer in a way. This means a misnomer within an entire social justice movement narrowly focused on free speech rights alone.

“Social justice” defined as “human rights and equality,” where freedom of expression remains a human right in numerous national contexts and, certainly, in an international one. They should mean freedom of expression in most countries and in an international context; only freedom of speech within an American context.

As with the ill-conceived and oxymoronic “Postmodern Neo-Marxist” epithet or descriptor, there will need to be backtracking to clear their names and terminology, such is the nature of ideologues unable to see their ideology, e.g., “I knew the meaning all along of Postmodern Neo-Marxist. Here’s what I meant after formal criticism,” and having been shown to be flatly wrong and ignorant. If one knew, as a safe assumption, one would not use the term; one would use a different word or set of them.

Anyhow, Jacoby and Goldstein brought forward some internal dialogue for me. The discussion between two of the most prominent and respected secular women within the Western world centred on the polite conduct of some women around the subject of religion and in the company of the religious in contrast to some men.

Some in observation of the religious institutions raise legitimate and valid questions about the place of women within the faiths. Where are the women in the positions of influence?

Where are the leaders and prominent figures in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or in the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, in the Islamic communities around the world – Shia, Sunni, Ahmadiyya, and otherwise, the Freemasons (leaving aside the issue of their “no atheists” policy too – no specification as to the flavour of atheism), and so on?

We can see the emphasized imagery in the Virgin Mary and Mother Mary, as one example. This simply provides an example of the two attributes most valued in the women within the faith, which, in turn, determines, and has determined, their value within the community of the faithful with the virginity, or chastity, of the woman and the motherhood of the woman as their most important capacities.

Many secularists adhere to the Utilitarian ethic expounded and propounded on by John Stuart Mill, in chapter 2 of Utilitarianism, where he explained:

I must again repeat, what the assailants of utilitarianism seldom have the justice to acknowledge… In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as you would be done by, and to love your neighbour as yourself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality.[1](Mill, 1863)

Insofar as I can discern, if we want to employ an “ideal perfection” of the Utilitarian ethic or the Golden Rule in its fullest or truest sense, then the questions about the women leadership and representation within the churches, the mosques, the synagogues, the temples, and other places of worship, and in the general organizational structures of the religious institutions should extend to home turf of the secular.

Is this desired? Or, more properly, what would be a preferable expression of this ideal perfection in secular communities around the world on this specific question? Indeed, the answers will differ, and have differed.

In fact, the answers may reflect different emphases on the tacit question for communities within the framework of leadership, governance, the Golden Rule, high ranking of some secular and humanistic values, low ranking of other of the self-same values, removal of other values, or addition of novel ones, and so on.

Of course, individuals harbour the right to freedom of belief and freedom of religion. If they deem fit for their lives, then they can worship as they wish without qualms, as a human right.

Which implies, the same for the secular in nations killing them for existing or punishing them for questioning tenets of the faith, or, in the utilization of freedom of expression, punished with the fundamentalist religious crime of blasphemy.

Thus, the emphasis on the equality of women becomes social and legal equality or a sociological question about the equitable structuring or ordering of secular society for the benefit of the non-religious and the religious, especially as the benefits for women in a variety of contexts will benefit the men.

Women’s rights, as human rights and inseparable from one another, become beneficial on, at minimum, three levels: women, men, and societies.

Back to the dialogue enquiry formed by Goldstein and Jacoby, in one framing of the questions, where are the equal proportion of women leaders in the non-religious or secular in general communities and movements, especially the modern ones given the disproportionate representation of men in the membership and the leadership?

Sincerely, I ask this in an inquiring tone and in the most inviting terms possible, as I observed this as a sensitive and charged topic within the community of the secular (and the religious): the subject matter of equality. A legitimate and valid question as to why this is the case. Many women exist in or out of the non-religious movement working to instantiate equality in a variety of ways or working with the non-religious movements on topics of import to the irreligious community.

Aside from the few known dead, some of the living, from personal archives, who fight for secularism, women’s rights, medical assistance in dying and dying with dignity, sex positivity, evidence-based sexual education curricula, secular evidence-based recovery programs, and the equality of the formal non-religious exist around the world – and who may adhere to a faith but remain tolerant, accepting, and progressive regarding the non-religious.[2]

One of the early points from Jacoby came from the women without religion, reluctant to describe themselves as such to their children, family, and community out of terror. Fearful their children might get bullied because parents and even a single parent, not both, and potentially the kids, do not harbor the preferred faith of the neighborhood and the community possibly finding out about their disbelief.

As many have experienced in work and school, whether someone who is known to you or, indeed, yourself, this happens to be the case from kindergarten through postsecondary school right into the workplace, whether positions of menial labor or public influence. The non-religious women’s politeness, in this domain, emerges in the form of protection.

The care and concern by women for the well-being of their children in educational institutions and within community social networks because of the simple potential for bias, bullying, and generalized prejudice against children with non-religious parents or, potentially, kids who identify as the formal non-religious, too.

Goldstein remarked on the next subject: women being more religious. Why do some women identify as more religious than men, especially in religious activities including attendance at places of worship (Powell, 2017)? Indeed, even in the university system, women, to the detriment of professional progress, work in service to others more (Flaherty, 2017).

In the United States, Christian women are more religious (Fahmy, 2018; Carter, 2018). Nature and nurture explanations exist for attempts to explain the gender gap in religiosity (Pew Research Center, 2016a). The World Economic Forum reported on the higher religiosity of women in contrast to men around the entire globe, not simply a single nation (2016).

Some researchers claim the gap remains “clear and consistent” (Zuckerman, 2014). Indeed, the global phenomena into the present reflect the total population of the religious and the religious leaders and supposed holy figures (Pew Research Center, 2016b).

In Canadian society, even, women of all ages do more chores, e.g., housework and childcare (Hawkins, 2017; Tejada, 2017). Women head most single-parent families (OECD, 2016). In Canadian society, about ¼ of citizens totally agree or somewhat agree “men have a certain natural superiority over women, and nothing can change this” (CROP – PANORAMA, n.d.).

According to Ipsos MORI, in a survey of 24 countries, the research discovered 9 out of 10 men and women believe in equal opportunities, ¾ women believe inequality existed within their nation, ¼ men and women fear to speak of equal rights, and 1/5 men and women believe in the inherent inferiority of women with the number rising to ½ in Russia and India (Ipsos MORI, 2017).

Some women may, or may not, cling to this hope that there could be a better world as dictated by religion, administered by males, and in their acceptance that their personal actions have the power to bring about this nirvana, they take far more punishment and harsh treatment for the better good of all.

Some women come to these areas of life with different epistemologies in a way. Although, Jacoby considers the phrase “spiritual but not religious” (SBNR) vomit-worthy. The comment earned applause. She clarified on the probable meaning of SBNR: someone without religious practice/belief but wanting to be a good person. Of course, other less often mentioned religions exist in the rubric of SBNR.

Of course, even on issues seen as unanimous such as pro-choice concerns in the secular community, the landscape remains complex; secular women hold pro-life positions too (Fetters, 2019). There is more discussion, too. Jacques Berlinerblau, Director of Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University, talked about the representation of women in secular communities, decently (Berlinerblau, 2017).

Some positive trends exist. Some secular women are rising in Pakistan (Su, 2018). There is Secularism is a Women’s Issue (Secularism is a Women’s Issue, 2019). Women remain more tolerant of homosexuality (Pew Research Center, 2019).

These manifest, potentially, as aspects of feminism in the modern period; however, Elsa Roberts, Co-President of Secular Women, notes feminism in the current period does not differ substantially from feminism 100 years ago (United Coalition of Reason, n.d.).

Some ongoing negatives include impacts on the internal decision-tree of dating (Saxton, 2017). Some find the notion of secular white women as partners beyond the pale or within the dark (Judge, 2015). Secular Jewish women may retain senses of modesty, thus their covering hair (Pockrass, n.d.).

Why? It can be a personal choice. Also, it could be based on public and social reproval seen easily in public opinions, from the frame of many women, with the public expression of denigration based on religious authority (TOI Staff, 2017).

Jacoby continued to note the – with Goldstein affirming non-verbally – ways in which SBNR statements and declarations amounted to some women placating – read: some women being polite – about what they believe, think, and feel about some sensitive topics including religion, and spiritual beliefs and practices.

She continued to add nuance to the argument with the admixture – rather intellectually sloppy of people – of the concept “soul” and the idea “consciousness” with one another. When they say, “Soul,” they mean, “Consciousness,” and vice versa. A consistent flippancy with the meaning of terms or asserted interpretations of words.

Regarding the politeness of women in religious communities, women, according to Jacoby, with these terms and others remain polite and in good social favor, some women, in a way, say, “I am more than this body and brain. I have something eternal. I am spiritual but not religious. I am a good person.” My translation and words, not hers.

Goldstein extended the thought. Maybe, there exist belief structures behind them. In other words, a social acceptance argument from Jacoby plus an epistemology and ontology about the world, and the woman’s relation to the universe, behind them – from Goldstein, too.

Goldstein noted the belief in existing as more than an animal. Jacoby clarified; something beyond the genes and environment to produce the brain and its neural patterns and electrochemical activity.[3]

In Biblical terminology, this becomes something higher than, on another plane from, the “birds of the air and beasts of the field.”

Although, Goldstein noted the outlier men who think in dualistic ways, including Rene Descartes – as seen in one long rationalistic argument in Meditations on First Philosophy, in Which Is Proved the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul (Skirry, n.d.; Watson, 2018).

Goldstein makes an intuitive leap in the middle of the conversation with the connotation of the term “spiritual” used by some women meaning something more than the physical brain. Then this may explain the lower levels of women entering the “hard sciences” compared to the soft sciences (Center for Inquiry, 2016).

The hard sciences defined by astronomy, geosciences, functional biology, and cellular biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and logic, and so on. The soft science shown in social sciences including psychology and sociology, and associated fields. It seems instructive to note the surpassing of boys and young men at most educational levels now. Something short in the historical record. Now, we seem to harbour boys and young men with a motivational ceiling, as girls and women existed with a deliberate and derivative glass ceiling.

That is, a connection exists between the lack of belief in the complete scientific picture and the fields some women feel more drawn towards in professional life. Jacoby, intriguingly, spoke to the fewer numbers of women in surgery, but more in family medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, and so on.

This led to the next interesting question around sex as a factor. Jacoby thinks, women, whether old or young, “think, feel, and expect” sex to be more than the physical alone (Ibid.). She argues this relates to religiosity.

Jacoby talked about the roles imposed on them, to be women as females, where this creates strain and difficulty in leaving the faith. Goldstein cited the work of Jonathan Haidt on the want for purity and immortality, where the body represents impurity and mortality.

To have a body, to be having sex, we begin to identify intimately with ourselves as bodies, which makes the want to control this extended into the desire to, socially and communally – and religiously, control women – women’s bodies.

Thinking of control as a non-conscious aspect of modern theology and religious outreach is not necessarily the case, it can be extremely cynical and dangerous, in terms of reaching out to the men in order to control the families and the children with the religious institutions controlling the fathers in these families as, for example, heads of the household.

Let’s take the example of Pastor Mark Driscoll from the collapsed Mars’ Hill Church praised by Pastor Rick Warren, before, in Seattle, Washington who, after the implosion of the Mars’ Hill Church moved to Arizona to re-constitute the Driscoll ministry with the Trinity Church, if you get the men, you get everything.

As stated by Pastor Driscoll:

…You got around Paul when he was a young guy. You got around John the Baptist or Elijah, these dudes seemed pretty rough to me. They do not look like church-boys wearing sweater vests singing love songs to Jesus. I mean, guys like David are well-known for their ability to slaughter other men. I kind of think these guys were dudes, heterosexual, win a fight, punch you in the nose, dudes. The problem in the church today is it is just a bunch of nice, soft, chick-i-fied church boys. 60% of Christians are chicks. The 40% who are dudes are still sort of chicks. It is just sad. When you walk in, it is seafoam green, and fuschia, and lemon yellow. And the whole architecture and the whole aesthetic is feminine. The preacher is kind of feminine. The music is kind of emotional and feminine. We look around and [are] going, “How come we aren’t innovative?” Because all of the innovative dudes are home watching football, or out making money, or climbing a mountain, or shooting a gun, or working on their truck. They are going to get married, make money, and make babies, build companies, buy real estate. They are going to make the culture of the future. If you get the young men, you win the war. You get everything. The families, the women, the children, money, the business, everything. If you do not get the men, you get nothing. (Brody Harper, 2007)

Again, it can be extremely cynical and a conscious tactic among the more hyper-masculine religious movements with an emphasis on hyper-masculine male authority, magical thinking, and mystery. The male as the head of the household with reflection in the church leadership as male-only or male-dominated and God as the Father, where this becomes the hierarchical metaphysics of the movements.

The magical thinking in the purported efficacy and reality of sin and healings, and prayer, and immaculate conception, and the divine inspiration of writers of supposedly holy books, where these form a particular psychological torture chamber for many followers through, as the late Christopher Hitchens astutely noted, being created man from dust, and woman from Adam’s rib, unfixably or “incurably” sick and then commanded to be well (NIV, 2018a; NIV, 2018b).[4],[5]

The mystery about the workings of the world – usually insinuated – rather than the best-known and widely accepted by relevant experts’ considerations on the operations of the world, instead focus on these narratives and mythological authority figures purported to have existed in the past.

Modern movements reflect this, potentially as a similar conscious and cynical tactic seen in the hyper-masculine religious movements – of which Pastor Driscoll amounts to a derivative form in the Evangelical Christian sect or tradition of Christianity.

It affects the level of belief in evolution, too. Although, we can see the positive trends in the evidence for belief in evolution, in its proper definition within the modern framework of evolutionary theory with the unguided national selection (Archer, 2018; Masci, 2019; Pew Research Center, 2016c; Miller et al, 2006; Pew Research Center, 2019; Evolution News, 2018; IFLScience, n.d.; Erasmus, 2019).

Even on morals, where this amounts to a large focus for the Evangelical community, religion does not provide protection against pornography viewing. It merely adds to moral incongruence (Dolan, 2017).

As well, a belief in hell motivates leaders and, therefore, followers. As noted by Pastor Rick Warren in conversation with Pastor John Piper, “love compels us” or love compels them to prevent individuals from entrance into the fiery doom pit of torture and terror found through hell (pastorsdotcom, 2011).

Francis Chan states, “We’re talking about real people here. We can’t just have these theological discussions about a doctrine, when we’re talking about people’s eternal destinies here” (David C Cook, 2011). Hell is real, to Chan and Warren.

The manly man culture continues: Francis Chan argues against more modern standards for men (Keith Thompson, 2017; venetable, 2011). It comes in the form of crying, which gets the pejorative “sissy.” The men are told to “man up.”

Chan explicitly mentions what others insinuate or indicate; that he represents God. This provides a basis for excusing much behavior in history and right into the present. Pastor Brian Tome remains part of the “man up” culture in American Christianity as well (Northview Church, 2014).

As one of the most prominent pastors now, Chris Hodges, notes, Christians live in a world rejecting everything they believe (Christianbook.com, 2017). However, as with others, he makes a call to action rather than a live-and-let-live stance.

This is a common story and stance. Religious people seeing others not living to their lifestyle and then working to impose on them but not vice versa. And they talk with one another; they issue public warnings about the culture, from their point of view, but in the language of “the Enemy” (BRMinistries, 2018).

That is, this amounts to a battle between good and evil, the enemy around the corner working to thwart God’s Divine Plan (always 1.0, unchanged). His concerns are worship songs are not about God. Also, the belief in one thing not being possible in the Bible extending to others in the Biblical narratives.

As he further explains how Christians are not interested in their own culture as far as they are interested in the control of the whole culture, especially as the culture “shifts”: Hodges calls this the “Daniel Dilemma” (Crank Ministries, 2017).

Even if prominent pastors, such as Andy Stanley, come out in new interpretations around homosexuality, some Christian talk and radio will call him out, often speaking about the “Homosexual Agenda” (TM) (AFRTALK, 2014).

Others work within the context of a perspective of a “homosexual lifestyle” rather than homosexuals, which amounts to the denial of an individual’s self and replacement, based on theological and not scientific views, with the affirmation of an individual’s behaviour without the linkage with gay or lesbian person’s self as a homosexual (Brandon Branson, 2015).

There is a reason to never hear of a straight lifestyle, as this remains assumed as part of some Christian fundamentalist unscientific and mistaken belief.

Homosexuality, and gay marriage, become core social issues considered of the highest import within the community (Premier On Demand, 2013; Christ Community Chapel, 2015; Matt Robinson, 2014; DrOakley1689, 2013; Steve Yamaguchi, 2009; Seedbed, 2012; The Veritas Forum, 2011; Seedbed, 2017; Reveal, 2013; Desiring God, 2015; GlobalVisionBC, 2015).

Tony Campolo remains a marginal improvement, but noteworthy (Premier Christianity, 2016). Others see intellectual – or “intellect” – predators on campus coming to de-convert the faithful on university campuses (Clint Loveness, 2013). Pastor Robert Morris is bold and blunt in the assertion no atheists exist; or if they do, they hold a foolish position (Taylor Eckstrom, 2015).

Dr. Andy Bannister and others posit how best to share their faith with atheist friends on postsecondary institution campuses (RZIM Canada, 2012). Some argue for “witchcraft” as a problem and claim the Holy Spirit speaks to them, “Tell the Church, so far, Trump has been telling with Ahab, but Jezebel is fixin’ to step out from the shadows” (LocalRadioFrance, 2018).

A man who claims to be a prophet, in fact, who then went on to speak in tongues, to the perspective of the believers, or enacted glossolalia, to the view of the skeptics (Ibid.).

So it goes, these provide the basis of the issues talked about within some of the Christian community, which, in the end analysis, have real social, legal, and other impacts on the lives of the secular and others; same for secular women and the dialogues had within community exported to the general culture, explicitly or implicitly.

Continuing from the dialogue between Jacoby and Goldstein, Goldstein spoke to the tradition in family heritage with the Jewish tradition, where the men read Talmud and the women were modestly dressed and in the home. Jacoby spoke to many cultures where modesty is the only means by which women can protect their livelihoods.

Some cases involve honor cultures. In that, if the woman is raped, it is the woman’s fault; many times, it becomes a family dishonoring, extending Jacoby’s thoughts. Although, Jacoby knows religious feminists. She feels sorry for them.

As many have heard, and Jacoby relates, “That is not the real Islam.” An argument for some Platonic abstract notion of a perfect version of the religion applicable to any extant religion (RationalWiki, 2018).

Then Jacoby makes a central discovery or point within the dialogue with Goldstein. The degree to which moderated forms of religious faiths – e.g., Reformed Judaism, Unitarianism, Liberal Catholicism, and so on – are not dangerous to women is the degree to which they have been altered and reformed through the secular ideas coming from the outside into them, and not vice versa.

Goldstein continued the line of reasoning with the argument of this coming from the Enlightenment and continuing right into the present with, for example, few or no people truly wanting to stone others, based on purportedly holy scripture, or to keep slaves.

She continued to argue the secular values and secular reasons coming forward and then forcing religion to modernize, liberalize, and become progressive in orientation – to adapt to the modern industrialized world’s perspectives on the nature of the universe and human beings in relation to it. Our genomes remain, for the most part, the same.

Our environment changed drastically since the Industrial Revolution right into the present with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as observed in anthropogenic climate change or human-induced global warming.

As you know, our views come with deep time to the Earth and the universe, gradual development of human beings from prior species, and a decentering of both the Earth in the Solar System and the Solar System in the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Milky Way Galaxy in the cosmos, and then, even in the modern period of asserted enlightenment, things become even weirder and, in many respects, uncertain.

The reforms happen, apparently often, outside and then innervate the operations of the faiths for updates and changes. Secularism buffers fundamentalism. Jacoby notes the reforms took place in 19th century Protestantism within the United States and happened in dialogues, discussions, and debates, mostly, with men.

It amounted to a wide-ranging debate of men based on the advances of Charles Darwin with the Theory of Natural Selection posited in the 1859 text titled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (Desmond, 2018).

By the way, if you get the chance, the strong form of the Watchmaker Argument/Analogy in the 19th century emerged from William Paley’s 1802 text entitled Natural Theology, or Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity collected from the Appearances of Nature (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018a).

It provides one of the older sources to see the robust effort taken for the construction of a text and reason to believe in God. In particular, the text exists within a reasonable span of time, and had some influence, relative to the publication of Darwin’s most know publication, On the Origin of Species.

Also, not a trivial anchor point in the history of Western thought and dialogue, in an interview with Professor Francisco Ayala several years ago, he mentioned the 1802 book as one source of analogy-based-argument for God (Jacobsen, 2014).[6]

Jacoby seems correct. The 19th century remains a vigorous era of debate and subsequent reform. “Appearances of Nature” seems like the giveaway: something seems one way by observation and, therefore, implies not only a singular Deity but also the aspects or traits of its character.

The argument for centuries comes from peculiar perspectives on the nature of the world inculcated over generations and formed within the framework of the Abrahamic religion and theology.

Goldstein makes another plausible point about the 19th-century debates. Women were there. However, their voices were ignored. They may not have been recorded at all. Jacoby retorted with Elizabeth Cady Stanton (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018b).

Jacoby explained how Stanton was published while writing nothing about evolution. Same with Matilda Joslyn Gage (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018c). Gage wrote, was published, and said nothing about evolution.

Goldstein stated some women wrote about evolution in the 19th century without a specific statement as to the individuals who wrote and were published as women in this regard. Nonetheless, she fell back on the original position: women of the 19th century had more trouble getting published than the men.

This phenomenon may explain why women of the period had to publish under pseudonymous identities – male personas. In short, women published less, had more trouble publishing, published under pseudonyms often if published, and almost never on evolution.

To Jacoby, in the freethought literature of the time who got published, their attitudes and interests can be inferred through their written work. She also remarked on the greater interest in contraception, in an outspoken way, of Robert Ingersoll compared to Stanton.

Goldstein brought Margaret Fuller into the discussion. Fuller was a progressive-minded woman. However, when women come out, they undergo mockery and ridicule and dismissal, far more often compared to men. This may amount to another form of social control to make the women feel less secure in their thinking, in their actions, in their right to make statements of thought.

Jacoby then argued more atheist women exist today than indicated by the current statistics. Interjecting some personal research here, the statistics – some old and some new – on the belief in supernatural and non-scientific phenomena differ by nation.

For example, the belief in haunted houses, witches, astrology, purported communication with the dead, extraterrestrial visitations, and so on, are different depending on the nation in question (Lyons, 2005).

Furthermore, this differs via sex or gender. Someone’s identified sex associates with a disparity in the number of believers and disbelievers in supernatural and paranormal phenomena. (If interested, please see the second image in the Lyon article.)

Back to the dialogue, Goldstein remarked on being in conversation with a believer who “laid it all out on the line,” where she felt protective and thought, “Your poor person. I want to protect you” (Center for Inquiry, 2016).

Jacoby quipped, while laughing, nothing could be said to smash their beliefs anyway. She relayed a professional experience of a debate about the existence of God, where the debate is ridiculous and would not change anyone’s belief about the existence of a Theity or even a Deity.

Goldstein disagreed and considered debates useful, especially in potentially turning the marginal people – the fence-sitters. She raised the question about seeing polls taken before and after. The views when attendees entered and then when they left the debate.

This would most likely depend on the charisma of the speakers, the influence of their delivery of message and how they played the audience. How lasting would it be? Do people really keep the same intention of thought going or is it fluid and subject to constant revision?

As some or many of you know, the Intelligence Squared debates do this. It does function as an indicator of the willingness of a decent-sized audience to change its mind in real-time based on the back-and-forth of a debate format.

Jacoby recalled a personal story in 2004 after Freethinkers was published at the time. She was giving a lecture at a “historically Lutheran college,” Augustana College. It is a half-Catholic student population now. Parents send the kids there to protect them from secular education. However, they receive a secular education with a wide range of exposure to a variety of academic subject matter.

Jacoby encountered a student and began a conversation. The topic was a separation of church and state. The young man, a first-year student, wanted to be a minister and then switched into wanting to be a teacher.

He said, “I understand what you’re saying. That this is necessary in a democratic society. But how can I believe that that should be allowed when I know I have the truth?” (Ibid.) This amounted to someone with a firm upbringing in faith and not an “idiot,” according to Jacoby (Ibid.).

Jacoby recommended a few books to him. A young man only recently in life, at the time, being exposed to a series of latest ideas. The next query from the audience was about the subject of room for emotionalism in religion and secularism.

She interpreted the implicit idea in the question was that some women are more emotional. Emotional intelligence – or, more properly, emotional sensitivity – to a degree, is only now being recognized as a valued commodity.

Goldstein remarked on the possible veracity in interpreted implicit assumption about women’s more expressive and varied emotional states. However, she firmly disagreed with the premise of the question about religion providing a basis for more emotionalism than secularism or more expression of emotion compared to secularism.

Goldstein noted secular art, dance, music, and poetry in the world. Truly, if you miss the areas of culture – most – with non-religious expressions of the self and the community, and the ‘human spirit,’ then one may be aesthetically impaired, blind and unable to see the beauty of the world.

These forms of expressing emotion and more. Jacoby agreed with Goldstein. However, she affirmed the perception of secularists among many of the religious. The emotionless nature of the secularists. Jacoby even remarked on receiving many letters with the opinion, after writing a piece about Newtown, of the president only being able to comfort people via religion (Jacoby, 2013).

Jacoby argued another way as well. The non-religious parent who had a child die. The idea that parents could have comfort in human empathy only through Jesus Christ seems absurd to Jacoby, who thinks no one since Ingersoll in modern society among the prominent atheists conveyed the warmth and human passion seen in Ingersoll.

It is normal human sentiments, which means freethought as a positive ideal. Because women are not slaves to the home but free, as having “intellectual freedom and reason,” is the basis for relationships of “equality and sharing” rather than a master and slave dynamic (Center for Inquiry, 2016).

Goldstein took this as a reflection point, and pivot, into the feeling as if one matters. She recalled coming out as an atheist for the first time. She received letters asking about the motivation for getting out of the bed in the morning.

She explained how the idea never occurred to her because she had too much on the day’s plate. Goldstein felt taken aback by the query. Jacoby loved the similar comment, stated on American radio stations often as a trite trope and convenient negative insinuation, on not believing in God leading to committing murder.

That is, the assertion of religion as a bulwark against murderous tendencies and motivations and eventual actions. Of course, many with Christian upbringings or theological training may recount images in the Bible of horrific bloodletting, rapacious murdering and raping, and even the genocide of most animals and people on the planet at once.

Goldstein joked with a hypothetical witty repartee or raillery in response to needing God to prevent murder. Goldstein said, “Or at least, they could ask, ‘Why aren’t you spending all of your time in an orgy?’ That, at least, I can imagine.” Her comedy received an instant big laugh from the Center for Inquiry audience. An image of the Greco-Roman bacchanalia come to mind for me.

She continued the motivation behind the questioning about mattering in the world. People feel as if they do not matter in the world. They live lonely and meaningless lives, but they matter to the God of the Bible, of the universe, or otherwise. Goldstein considers this a possibility for the fundamental basis for the motivations of the questions about meaning in life without God.

Goldstein explained:

Obviously, I am going to pursue my life. I am going to pursue it with everything I have. But that, I get, and you get, and many of us who have the courage of living secular lives, get, a lot of reassurance that we matter, that we are doing work that matters. That we have relationships that matter. This is why I do feel the secular movement demands that we also address issues of social justice. That when there is this inequity among us. You know, some of us feeling, not giving it a moment thought; of course, we live lives that matter, and so many people not and turning to religion to fill that vacuum. I think that is a lot of the force for of the emotional support for religion. It demands social justice. (Center for Inquiry, 2016)

Jacoby posed the question from the audience about part of the problem for some women in atheist and humanist communities is the men relying on the religious involvement of women for a prominent social benefit. She continued the insight of the question. The reliance of some women to pass on the religion.

She relayed her personal experience with her brother. Jacoby’s brother sent his children to Catholic instruction, baptism, and so on. Jacoby could not be godparent as a non-Catholic. She asked about the inclusion of the kids in religious instruction and communal activities despite his (Jacoby’s brother) being an atheist.

He responded, “I didn’t feel that they should grow up without religion” (Ibid.). Jacoby remarked how her brother relied on his wife – “who I don’t think is any more religious than he is” – to decide for this (Ibid.). She then linked this to the earlier statements from some men in correspondence, “Women are stupider than men” (Ibid.).

Jacoby asked about what could be more stupid than thinking to bring kids up in something not believed by you. Then Jacoby’s brother caused surprise when his last wishes, after death, were for having no priest and to be cremated. The children did not know what their father thought about these religious issues.

The next question posed about women being potentially more masochistic and self-sacrificing. Both Jacoby and Goldstein did not like the question. However, Goldstein remarked on the possible truth of the claim.

Goldstein then posed other questions, “Why do women seem cross-culturally to be more religious than men, even though religion is often not good for them? Why are they politer when they are no longer believers? The other question is, ‘Why are they less likely to join freethinking, atheist, secular organizations?’”

Jacoby then followed with another question leaving the previous one open. The query posited the privilege to who becomes an atheist, especially in public, where the expectation imposed on women creates some dependency; whereas, for the men, there exists the good reason to assume, culturally speaking, for independence of them, simply for being males.

Jacoby commented on the “Village Atheist” in the folk, frontier stories (Ibid.). Goldstein noted the real lawlessness of the men “carousing, having a hell-of-a-good-time” (Ibid.).

The women, as they travelled from the East to the West, carried the religion and civilization with them. Jacoby remarked on the reason for social control by men because the men wanted access to these women. Goldstein concurred.

Jacoby concluded, “I want to say one thing. I was itching to say this morning when everyone was commenting on Male Genital Mutilation (MGM), which I call circumcision. I hate to disagree with Katha Pollitt, who, I admire enormously, but I don’t think women get a vote here” (Ibid.).

Evaluative Stories: Narratives and Valuations

Secular women retain the same rights and responsibilities as others, including freedom of speech or freedom of expression dependent on the bounded geography for, at least, one of the terms there.

Here, in Canadian society, we have Article 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms with the phrase “freedom of expression.” In Article 10 of the United Kingdom Human Rights Act, we have “freedom of expression.”

In Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is “freedom of expression.” In the European Convention on Human Rights as well, it becomes Article 10 for “freedom of expression,” und so weiter.

Individuals may best direct efforts internal to the nation-state in which they inhabit to optimize efforts for human rights and equality, whether from a conservation of culture or a progression of civilization perspective. One should work within the culture, simply as a pragmatic or practical matter.

To gripe about crimes millennia ago or in another country without the clear purpose of the empowerment of the national populace, it can seem intrusive and not effective – even nothing other than grandstanding.

No value appears absolute by necessity, especially with the existence of numerous values competing with others in some instances. At the same time, a value in truth and logical consistency may remain two absolutes necessary for a foundational conversation of solutions and in conversation.

Freedom of expression with qualifications in Canada. Free speech via the First Amendment in the United States. Article 2(b) seems clear in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for Canada. The First Amendment seems clear in the United States Constitution. Article 19 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights represents the international framework. In America, more freedom of speech has been won.

No place is at an obligation to host someone. I heard an analogy of a radio, probably attributable to George Carlin. If a station is on, and if you do not like the music, and if it is in this sense non-coercive, then turn the dial to another station or turn the radio off.

It is like the UN in a way. Member States live and let live but with the freedoms for nontheists and the freedom of theists to believe and such, in theory.

For violations of those rights, the courts can help. But it will never be perfect. It can be approximated, the ideals. But the ideals are set, each vying for priority but each balancing one with the other past rhetoric.

It may be boiling down to values differences. One likes free speech more. Another likes social justice more. Although, if social justice gets defined as human rights and equality, and if the argument for freedom of expression is a human right and the equal protection of it for every Canadian citizen, then this would imply different streams of social justice at work in societies now. A simple emphasizing of different rights more. We may be witnessing a widespread misunderstanding.

Perhaps, a reasonable preliminary middle position with belief in the same right in this country – freedom of expression, or freedom of speech if American – and then the balance with other rights.

Something kin to religious, belief, and conscience objections to reproductive rights for women and the abortion rights for women – non-absolute, contingent upon one another, where this means not being left apart from the consequences of one’s expression or speech, not being automatically deserving of a platform or having a platform kept, and if something is not particularly interesting as a topic simply don’t go to the talk.

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech become important for these women in secular communities considerations. Within the overarching framework or structure provided within the dialogue between Jacoby and Goldstein, I reflected on the commentary and began to embark on the collection of some preliminary perspectives of women in secular communities in a position to make overview comments on the experiences and observations within the aforementioned community set.

What follows amounts to a representation of some of the narratives of secular women from different regions of the world working within different domains of the secular communities, if one looks at some of the narration on the religious communities around the world, then the stereotyping of a complete set of members self-identifying as a participant and believer of the faith due to bad leadership or immoral acts of individuals seems unfair to some extent.

Similarly, this analysis, by logical implication, should apply to the world of the secular. Some of these experiences expressed in the written word through interviews, commentary on figures and readings, and narratives of difficulties in lack of representation can be shared within religious communities by women, where this raises, as noted, the questions about secular women not only in a historical context of the intelligentsia of the West or the prominent American intellectuals, including Rebecca Newberger Goldstein and Susan Jacoby.

The interviews were conducted through email, mostly, with a relatively standardized question set. The weaknesses of the research are the email basis for the interviews, the wordiness of the questions, the qualitative nature of the research, the limitations in the sample size, the asymmetry in places of the world represented, and the self-selection of participants to take part in the research.

Nonetheless, this can give glimpses into the community. The strengths will depend on the reader interpretation of the honest reports provided on a serious subject matter.

In a rational analysis, and without the intrusion of pejoratives or epithets in place of rational thought, the reportage here provides some modicum of windows into the experience of some women in secular communities from multiple regions and nations of the world.

The interviews, henceforth, will continue in a linear order with a description of experiences. One interviewee was the American Marissa Alexa Lennex-McCool, who is a Podcast Host of “The Inciting Incident Podcast” and “The Cis Are Getting Out of Hand” and the Co-Founder of The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative.[7]

When I asked about the expression of economic, political, and social concerns of women, McCool spoke to how many women feel tired of being talked over, not represented, being told they’re too emotional or to enter the kitchen and raise the children alone, or to serve the husband, even simple condescension.

McCool stated, “While many women may not agree with each other, a good percentage of them are sick of having things decided for them without a say, especially when men make decisions about women’s bodies without the faintest idea of what it’s like.”

Another set of questions asked about economic, political, and social domains in the secular communities. The first response from McCool centred on the increased awareness of a social pathology seen in sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace in addition to the mechanisms for reportage on sexual violence.

“Even with people being temporarily inconvenienced by allegations, they’re often free to come back whenever they want with few, if any, repercussions for their actions,” McCool said, “The political conditions see evangelicals returning to power and asserting their theocratic views over others under the guise of religious liberty, among many others. Making sure women’s healthcare is dictated by their specific religious beliefs and everything else puts an undue burden on them, not to mention the queer, trans, and women of color who are disproportionately affected by the religious right’s influence on the government.”

The #MeToo hashtag and Me Too movement is diverse, expands women and men, not women alone with a rejection of victimized men, and present a unique opportunity to express openly about the problem of sexual violence as a widespread social pathology needing opening discussion, dialogue, and ears on it.

As you will see in the presentation of the interviews in this second section of the article, the presentation represents the #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, and so on, sub-movements within the general work of Me Too started humbly by Tarana Burke.

On the main concerns of North American non-religious or secular women, McCool stated, “That this behavior has consequences, that it’s not just a temporary hiatus or vacation from the spotlight before they try to return like nothing happened. But, and more importantly, that it isn’t just celebrities who face any consequences for these allegations.”

McCool expressed the opinion that the individuals who may be worse are the “perpetual defenders” of the men credibly claimed to have sexually assaulted, who stand in defiance of the presented evidence and the allegations – “no matter how much evidence or credible allegations.” She notes how this can create a sense in many women or non-men within the secular community to remain silent or to leave it.

One of the reasons for leaving religion is to remove this mindset from their lives, according to McCool; however, within the community of the secular, many non-men or women continue to find this behaviour played out, which remains reflective of the mindset.

In the presentation of the overall conversation of secular values on the international scene, McCool remarked on how she, at the time, recently, spoke at a convention with eight women speakers, or a line-up comprised completely of women. The reason for the panel of women arose from the previous year being all men.

“Other voices in the community are often attacked, harassed, silenced, or bullied out of the movement, and when platforms are often given preferential treatment to white men, it can make it discouraging,” McCool said, “Marginalized communities need to be given the opportunity to speak, and given the chance to speak on more than just the experience of being marginalized.”

She continued to state women of color will have more authority to speak on race issues. In that, someone from a relevant and appropriate background can speak more properly and accurately from experience on the backdrop while, also, acknowledging the ways in which members of a specific demographic does not represent some homogeneous blob known as the demographic, the abstract.

McCool continued to mention queer and trans on queer and trans issues. The frustration in the inability to speak or the pigeonholing within an identity by the wider community or set of communities. She remarked on three degrees from Ivy League schools earned by here: “None of those three are degrees in Being Trans, Being Queer, Being a Woman, etc.”

Within this framework of issues or concerns for women in the non-religious or the secular communities, there may become a personal adaptation to the rejection by the wider community, whether inclusion in speaking engagements or the ability to speak more openly about experience within specific communities: the adaptation of secular women speaking to secular women more frankly about experiences and not to secular men.

McCool described, “I belong to a women’s-only Facebook group, because often the regular ones are intolerable. Women are harassed and spoken down to, queer and trans women are bullied, mocked, doxxed, and virtually treated like the religious communities treat them, but science and logic are the words of defense rather than God and Jesus. Often, we discuss things in those places because we are sick of being ignored, spoken over, or having to stop every six seconds and educate someone who might just be JAQing off (Just Asking Questions.) Often that comes from someone not actually interested in learning, but just disrupting, and it is hard to tell the difference. We don’t owe anyone an education.”

The final question within the interviews tended to focus on the actionables. Once the opinions and recollections and summarizations of experiences and observations have been presented, one next possible logical line of questioning revolves around recommendations or suggestions to the secular communities: for equality, things to be done.

This can range from women, people of color, individuals from a wider range of nations within the global non-religious or secular community, and in a variety of domains including community, literature, media, and the like. McCool opened with simply allowing others than whites and men the chance to have a platform, provide personal experience, relay personal views, and so on.

“People who aren’t given a certain level of privilege have perspectives, experience, and opinions that weren’t formed in a place that men, especially white men, can understand and empathize with. The experience is not the same for everyone, and we need to stop pretending the perspective of a white man is universal or speaks for everyone. Men can turn down opportunities to speak if others aren’t being represented, and some have made it a practice to do so,” McCool stated.

In that, with the most power within the community, the men may have more power to influence the trajectory of the community or to alter the conversations within the secular community for the betterment of secular women of color, queer and trans people, and others desiring individuals who reflect them and their backgrounds to represent them, who look like them, have their background, and so on, too.

“The white men of the movement have the power to change that by advocating for others, and not just checking off a list (see: have the person of color talk about being a person of color, a trans person talk about being trans, etc.) The secular movement is as diverse and complicated as the population itself; the experience of being an atheist goes beyond just white men speaking about it,” McCool concluded.

Another interviewee was the Founder and President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., Mandisa Thomas, who is American.[8] Black Nonbelievers, Inc. which may be the large African-American atheist and nonbeliever organization in the United States. Mandisa remarked on women being more assertive through the creation of organizations relevant to specific issues. For example, the organizing and work done around protests, marches, online media campaigns perhaps, and so on.

Mandisa remarked on how women have begun to get “more involved in the political process by voting and running for office. This is important because while being a woman doesn’t necessarily equal effective change, it does show that women are more likely to consider factors that will benefit the masses as opposed to special interests, especially when working together.”

To Thomas, the main concerns for women in America are subjection to harassment, complete objectification by men, lack of equal consideration in the creation of policies impacting their lives or in the workplace, and the access to contraceptives or birth control. When these related to the Me Too movement, Thomas had more to explain about it.

“The main concern IMO is the entitlement that men feel to say and do whatever they want without consequences, which has been the case for many years. Such entitlement and power have kept women silent and enduring harsh treatment, and now that more are speaking up, there’s a concern that there will be more backlash by men AND other women,” Thomas stated.

Thomas reflected on the domination of the conversations around the world by secular men, noting the historical production of this domination. The fact of men owning conversations with men assumed as the ultimate authority on secular matters.

Where this should be changed, according to Thomas, is looking at the record of what has worked and what has not, this historical perspective could gift a basis for change or reform.

On the question about things secular or non-religious women discuss with one another and men, Thomas explained, “Nonreligious women are definitely discussing their concerns with the men. Discussing and debating. The responses range from many men being supportive and changing their actions, to many others becoming combative and remaining obstinate. But they are hearing our concerns for sure.”

The inclusion of secular women in the conversations came with a singular answer from Thomas: “first and foremost – LISTEN.” The point of open ears plus an attentive to meaning mind. An act of listening to understand without dismissiveness, reactionary acts, connected with actions including more secular women in the discussions, in the events policymaking, and so on.

Thomas concluded, “…and it should be consistent. Not one-time initiatives, or when issues fade from the spotlight. Support the organizations that are working on these efforts, financially and with resources. And work with them too. That is where the difference is made, and where it counts.”

A further interviewee was Yasmine Mohammed, a Canadian author and the Founder of Free Hearts, Free Minds.[9] Mohammed spoke on the higher assertiveness of women in the present moment. Secular women pushing for their rights and further equality in more domains of life.

“It is important because there seems to be this prevailing fallacy that the work of feminism is done-that we have achieved equality. Unfortunately, this is an untrue statement. To varying degrees, there is still a lot more work to be done,” Mohammed, “In the West, women have fought and succeeded in achieving equality in many ways, but social changes do not occur at the flip of a switch. Just like in the fight against racism, winning civil rights battles did not ensure that there is no longer racism. Of course, there is.”

Mohammed observes the fights as having been fought and won, and admirably so, in fact; furthermore, she sees large strides made in Western societies on the advancement of rights and equality. She views some other societies in the Middle East and North Africa as never having made the strides seen in some Western societies.

“Women in Saudi Arabia have recently won limited permission to drive cars (they still need their male guardians’ permission to obtain the license, purchase a car, or even leave the house). It is important for people to understand that not only is the battle not over, in some places the battle has not even begun,” Mohammed stated.

For the economic, political, and social conditions of women, Mohammed spoke about Canadian women and North American women in general with the fight for equality with mal counterparts. In that, as a female or as a woman, she observes the attacks as “far more and far more” vicious.

Mohammed said, “A specific example would be when I was a co-host on Secular Jihadists podcast. In that podcast, one of my male peers made a controversial statement ‘Islam is worse than Nazism.’ My other male peered agreed and added ‘I think all religions are worse than Nazism.’ Although I was present, and agreed with my co-hosts, I said nothing. However, even though I never said a word, the resounding backlash on social media was entirely in my direction. It is easier for men and women to attack a woman for her views than it is to attack a man. We are still perceived as weaker – even by our non-religious community which purports to know better.

She – Mohammed – began to comment on the economic aspect of the question. She noted the lack of an economic offering in terms of speaking engagements. Other times, no financial incentive or reward existed for speeches by Mohammed. She relayed a delayed set of talks by two other female speakers and herself. She felt summarily ignored and disrespected – in addition to the other two females – that this would not happen to a male, in the opinion of Mohammed.

On the Me Too movement, Mohammed stated, “I think all women, religious or not, have the same concerns. We just want to be regarded as equal human beings. We would love for people to treat men and women with equal respect.”

When the subject or topic matter of men dominating the global secular communities’ conversation, Mohammed started with an affirmation of the fact. By the historical record, too, men could become and remain atheists more easily than women, as atheism exists with the reputation of confrontation and controversy as its mode of being.

“Women are generally expected to be the caregivers and the social/community support of a religious group aids in family cohesion. There are many reasons why men far outnumber women in our community. And that is exactly why more women need to be given the opportunity to speak publicly. ‘You cannot be what you cannot see.’ If all our atheist talks are all male speakers, how will that encourage more women to see themselves as having the courage to be open about their atheism?” Mohammed asked.

The women in the secular communities, according to Mohammed, should see examples of women and mothers making the successful transition to inspire others. It becomes an aspect of liberation through observation; it becomes an act of freedom incarnating through the example of others. They need to see examples of women, of mothers, successfully making that transition. Then they will be inspired and will then they will know that it is possible.

On only speaking about some issues with women and not with the men, Mohammed spoke about religious patriarchy, in her terms, and the ways in which women police other women through religious environments. It becomes women oppressing other women. In her view, men made religions for men. Women have different experiences under religion compared to the men, by implication.

Mohammed stated, “It is not just an intellectual epiphany for us. As a woman, you have been bred to see yourself as lesser-than. The modesty and shame culture thrust upon you from an early age – all those poisons need to be cleansed from our bodies. Our experiences are more like that of LGBT people who have left their faiths. We were raised to think that we are dirty sinners and that our existence provokes more sin.”

On the actionables or the things-to-do, Mohammed relayed the difficulties and the failures as the same as in any other industry. In that, the solutions remain the same, where a vicious cycle can begin with male writers and speakers preferring to read and hear males. In this, women will fight an uphill battle for the right to be heard and read.

“Women need to fight for our seat at that table. Make ourselves heard. Make ourselves known. It is a battle we are accustomed to. We just should not be lulled into thinking that, as atheists, we are immune to the same social ills as all other human beings,” Mohammed stated, “Of course our issues are nowhere near to the same extent, and I am very grateful for that, but if we are unaware of the fact that women are fighting tooth and nail in our community, then we won’t be sensitive to reaching out a hand. Knowledge is key. I think if more men understood that it is a problem, then they would be more than willing to do what they can to change the landscape.”

An American director, feminist, novelist, and playwright is Sikivu Hutchinson.[10] Bear in mind, the prominent women involved in these investigative and coda statement serious interviews remain highly respected within their domain of expertise and nation. Sikivu remained crunched with other projects at the time of correspondence.

In this, she answered two of the main question sets: one on men dominating the global conversation for the secular; another on modes and limits in the conversations representation of secular women, secular people of color, and so on, in the leadership of the non-religious organizations.

On the ways in which men dominate the international conversations of secular, Hutchinson specified, directly, the demographic in question within men: white men. Those who continue to hold most of the cards in the international conversations around the secular communities in structure, and so function, to determine the course or trajectory of the communities around the world.

The simple reason for this comes from the marginalization of women in the atheist communities, in the humanist communities, and in the secular communities. Overall, the general trend for the history of the secular and freethought communities remains the ways in which men harbour the power and influence, and positions associated with said “power and influence,” for the guidance of community life.

Hutchinson stated, “Non-religious contexts share the same sexist, misogynist conventions, ideologies and hierarchies as religious contexts. Although recent sexual abuse ‘scandals’ involving high-powered white male secular leaders are the most egregious examples of this, these hierarchies have always existed in the non-religious sphere. Simply removing god-belief from the equation does not eliminate hierarchies based on the sexual objectification, commodification and occupation of women’s bodies and the devaluation of women’s work.”

Whether in fundamentalist religious contexts stewing in supernaturalistic assumptions and tribal conflict or in the white supremacist colonial notions held in the secular liberated West, the constants of men holding the deck comes back into the central observation, as a factual matter, where men have the most prominent positions, and more often work – even live and speak from – the more dominant decision-making stations.

“Moreover, women of color have traditionally been under-represented in non-religious discourse and leadership due to the ways Black and Latinx female morality/respectability is tethered to religiosity and god. In addition, women of color are more likely to be connected to religious institutions because of the social, economic and political resources that they provide in capitalist nations with minimal social safety nets,” Hutchinson explained.

The next arena of questions becomes the aspects of representation and some of the interrelated notions problems, and so solutions, for the secular communities. Hutchinson first spoke on the international success of the New Atheism with the “best-selling white atheist rock star authors” and the “cult of personality like the Four Horsemen.”

“Unfortunately, this kind of idolatry has eclipsed recognition of and attention to the ground work being laid by grassroots humanist organizations in their local communities. Progressive atheists organize around issues that go far beyond the usual church/state separation and ‘science and reason’ agenda,” Hutchinson stated, “You can’t fight for economic justice in communities of color without advocating for reproductive justice, unrestricted abortion rights and access to universal health care. You can’t preach ‘equality’ of genders without redressing the heterosexist lack of representation of queer and trans people of color in K-12 curricula.”

For the LGBTQQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) enfranchisement, there, similarly, needs a confronting of the mechanisms criminalizing aspects of queer and trans youth of color, which places them at a greater range of risks in terms of health and wellness, incarceration, placement in foster care, and even becoming homeless.

“Coalitions that form around these intersectional issues should be actively promoted—especially those that cultivate ties with progressive believers and non-atheist secular community-based organizations. Further, non-believers who write about and organize around these issues should be tapped for leadership positions in humanist and atheist organizations,” Hutchinson said.

In that, few people of color exist in the executive-level managerial stations in the central atheist, humanist, and secular organizations, including AHA, AA, CFI, and so on. The lack of cultural responsiveness by humanist and associated secular institutions producing a lack of comfort in non-believer people of color; an inability to exist openly secular.

Hutchinson stated, “Where are the humanist institutions that support the realities of our lived experiences in a “Christian nation” based on capitalist, racist, sexist, heterosexist class power? When atheism is primarily associated with academic elites patronizingly condemning believers as primitive and backward—while systematically profiting from racial segregation and straight white male privilege—then many people of color will see no compelling reason to ally with atheist causes and organizations by coughing up hundreds of dollars to attend navel-gazing conferences.”

An American Founder of Minority Atheists of Michigan, the Detroit Affiliate of Black Nonbelievers (2013), and Operation Water For Flint (2016), Bridgett “Bree Crutchfield, spoke to me, too.[11]Her commentary focused, at first, on the increased assertiveness of women in three important domains: economics, social life, and the political world.

The initial commentary focused on oppression and the intolerance of the oppression over time. In that, eventually, and in any case, a voice or set of them will rise for women, where, in Crutchfield’s opinion, the greatest advocates for women have been and continue to be women.

Crutchfield stated, “Men have subjugated, oppressed, judged, demeaned, humiliated women since the dawn of time. Why would we as women expect men to have a long awaited, well overdue, epiphany and do right by women? Women have ALWAYS been vocal. We gain strength by watching others share similar truths as ourselves. We’re no longer ‘alone.’”

On North American women in general and American women, as the interview was conducted in 2018, Crutchfield remarked on women continuing to wait for a “Mr. Maybe Right.” A sense of incompleteness without a child or a man in their lives, or to share their lives. In addition, the right to have a vote in personal reproductive rights – that is to say, a fundamental, unquestioned, and autonomous decision regarding reproduction – can be limited or restricted, if not denied.

She also noted the fight for equal pay and non-religious women being fed up with their identity as women – their “womanhood” – questioned or judged if they do not attend church. This becomes particularly true for women of color in general, and African-American women in, in

On the concerns of secular women, “The concerns are the same as religious women. Misogyny, sexual predators and rape apologists have been the subjects of many a think piece. Initially, I was embarrassed as I assumed secular men were…different. I have learned since then, it could not be further from the truth,” Crutchfield stated, “We want to survive romantic relationships. We want to NOT be victims of domestic violence. We want to NOT fear for our lives when we turn down the advances of men. We want to not fear for our daughters and not force them to live a life in hopes of not getting raped. We WANT LAWS that protect women and PUNISH MEN and their brutality REGARDLESS of their socioeconomic status. Is that too much to ask?”

On the male domination of the international conversation, Crutchfield passed on the question, as her focus remains on the women’s conversations. As well, she described how the conversations of the secular women correspond or parallel the dialogues of the religious women. Wherein, the oppression of some subpopulations, on average, lead to the requirements of some areas, or safe spaces proper, to discuss interactions with men without the second-guessing or explained by men rather than women.

In terms of the solutions, Crutchfield posed the first premise of the slow development of secular culture. In that, some progressive organizations exist within the secular community; however, not all secular groups or organizations adhere to a progressive philosophical standpoint, where the mistreatment of secular women is well-documented.

Crutchfield concluded, “Suggestions, ideas and proposals have been presented in doses and the disenfranchised are STILL disenfranchised. The secular community is not as open and freethinking as it purports to be to the religious. The community is disproportionately white male, conservative and I don’t see that changing anytime soon especially in the roles of major leadership.”

Marquita Tucker, M.B.A., is a Senior IT Business Analyst and the Co-Founder of Black Nonbelievers of Detroit, spoke on the increasing political, social, and economic activism of women in the current moment.[12] Her first remark stated the basic fact of women being half of the world’s population.

“We have been hushed and dismissed for so long and look how things have turned out. It is important and it is time for us to be more assertive and vocal about our ideas on social, political and economic concerns. Our input should be valued and taken seriously. You can’t run a nation let alone any part of the world with just one half of the population’s view and say on everything,” Tucker said.

On the main concerns of American women and North American women, Tucker spoke about one idea brought forward through two words. Reproductive rights as the central issue as a combination of economic, political, and social conditions. On the political side, the conservative political class work to restrict women’s rights. In social life, the right-leaning religious work to prevent women the right to bodily autonomy.

Tucker stated, “Economically, if a woman does need an abortion, that woman has several barriers in place from transportation to paying for the procedure. A woman’s right to choose sometimes makes the difference between her and her child(ren) living a life of poverty and poor education with little upward mobility or her being able to make moves that will improve her life and thus the life of her future children.”

Then this leads rather smoothly into the Me Too movement connected to the hashtags. Tucker sees the issue across ethnicities, political stripes, social classes, and so on. Another consistent problem coming in the form of men thinking that they know everything best, not as a fact of nature but as nurturance of poor behaviour.

On the domination of men in the global or international conversation on secularism on a variety or most issues. Tucker sees one main reason for the dominance of the men coming through the acceptability of men speaking as they wish. Men are the philosophers and the sexes. There have been plenty of female philosophers, scientists, writers, and the like.

“I know in the black community, when you go to a black church, you will see the church filled with mostly women. When you think about it, there are a lot more rules and conditions when it comes to being a woman in religion than there are for men,” Tucker stated, “So I guess rules are socialized into women from birth and not so much into men, giving men more of a chance to freely think outside of the box and express their disagreements with sects or religion as a whole and act upon those disagreements than women. I mean, how many female religious sect founders or cult leaders can you think of?”

When women speak only to other women, Tucker exclaimed that, of course, women speak to one another about things without men present; items of dialogue, trialogue, or what have you, never or rarely discussed with the men. She notes the ways in which the family treats her. She receives differential treatment compared to others in the family.

One reason is not believing in Jesus. In the black community in America, one cannot wash their hands without thanking God Almighty. For a black woman to not rely on a blond-haired and blue-eyed white male for all things, she can be an “outcast” in several ways. Tucker finds this a common experience for the non-believing black women.

In contrast, Tucker remarks, “I’ve come across many black male non-believers who state that they simply just never believed. That they were never really forced to go to church or required to pray or anything like that. So, when I bring it up, black male non-believers kinda say things like, “well, I just wouldn’t have done it. I just wouldn’t have gone.” Like, you do not get it. Girls are not given the level of autonomy that boys are most of the time. I’ve yet to meet an American black woman who wasn’t conditioned to have to believe in god.”

On solutions, though, and arguably the most important section of each interview, Tucker recalled the ways in which openness to learn from others different than oneself, to be vulnerable, becomes an important part of life. This can mean a basis for listening to understand the other person on a variety of topics.

Tucker mused, “It’s funny how the non-religious proclaim to be the opposite of those ‘closed minded religious people’ when there are parts of the non-religious community who are just as closed minded in different areas. Non-religious men can start by having a seat sometimes and not always having something to say about everything. Sometimes you learn more by listening to others.”

The different perspectives and ranges of knowledge were not heard in the light of the historical trend of a dominant group not hearing others out. Tucker believes the era of not listening to women in the secular community should end, and the sooner the better.

Another American was Samantha A. Christian.[13] As an individual woman speaking for herself, as she makes clear in the interview, Christian believes more women feel empowered to speak in an honest, confident, and unapologetic manner. Within this culture or set of cultures in which gender roles or sex-defined roles become restricting in some manner, Christian finds this form of freer expression of women, now, as much more liberating, as if a cool glass of water on a hot summer day or an open window in a stuffy apartment.

Christian stated, “It takes even greater courage to do that! This also means that more women are finally realizing they deserve to be treated better and with respect for a change. So, when I see someone not allowing themselves to be ‘mansplained away,’ bullied and taken advantage of, it gives me hope for humanity.”

Speaking for herself on the concerns of American women and North American women, Christian does not participate in the formal secular or non-religious community or communities as a rule while sharing the concern for the attempts to normalize rape in America, North America, and other parts of the world.

Another grave concern based on the observations of Christian was the attempts to make individual citizens as ignorant and fearful as possible. Where there exist distinct and perpetual attempts to make the general populace hate the truth, despise facts, retreat in repulsion from knowledge, and fear education, she finds this highly scary.

“The psychological community is doing nothing about this while simultaneously enabling toxic majorities (religious people, god gullibles, bigots of all kinds) and ignoring the toxic influences that make them that way in the first place,” Christian stated, “There is this idea that if a lot of people say or believe something it must be true or even respected. I do not want a democracy I want a meritocracy. In the last question it was mentioned that women are becoming more empowered all over the world. I have noticed that there is one group of women that seem to feel less empowered as time goes on: white women.”

Christian described how this demographic – white women – voted for “abusive husbands and candidates” in the recent election. She thinks something needs to be done about this. A place where white women can fee empowered, safe, and supported. As far as Christian analyzes the situation in the United States of America, most of the domestic terrorism in the USA comes from the white men while those self-same individuals via the demographic retain positions of power.

On Me Too as a movement, Christian admitted, “I wasn’t aware that these other movements existed. Again, I can only speak for myself but sexism towards women and men is a fundamental problem. I think the sexism against men can be more suffocating which leads so many guys to fear being honest or being themselves. This means that, whether it is in cult communities or non-religious ones, you will have the same toxic behaviors.”

A concern for Christian comes from the non-religious communities with “many men” developing a certain hatred and distrust of women. It shows in the ways in which rape and abuse claims become not believing the women and then blaming the victim. She gets responses equivocating with not believing in gods blindly and, therefore, not believing women in rape claims blindly.

“This is absolutely ridiculous. People are supposed to recognize gods are fictional. If you do not believe, then the consequences a minor. You can easily pretend that you do as a survival tactic if you must,” Christian stated, “In terms of rape and abuse it is so important to believe the victim. If you do not, then horrid acts of humanity go unpunished. There is no justice. So, many people’s lives are literally destroyed while it enables the rapist/abuser to keep raping/abusing other people, because they were not properly punished and held accountable. People do not really lie about rape/abuse. Maybe 4% tops. So, they should be taken seriously.”

In other words, when someone makes a claim of abuse towards them, the overarching probability is the individual telling the truth than not; this does not imply a disrespect for due process or a naïve believe the victim, but a strong probability as the basis for the outreach phrase of “believe the victim.” The consequences of not believing in a god tend to be mild. However, the consequences of simply being rejected offhand for claims of rape become “far worse,” in the opinion of Christian.

Next came the subject matter of the en dominating the international conversation of the non-religious or the secular, Christian said, “I do not think it is a problem, but it depends on the guys speaking. Have they internalized sexism on such a deep level? Do they feel they can be themselves 100%? Or do they feel they must act a certain role to survive in society? That is the problem. Whether the community is religious or not, we need to do something about this.”

Christian believes a positive general contribution would be the rejection of the false notion of the opposite sex, as men and women have far more in common than not. Here, most of the differences between the 2 common sexes – male and female – “are minor at best.” The genitalia remain homologous too.

“If we have a lot of men abused by sexism in society representing the atheist community, that is not good. If we have men who have overcome it and feel empowered enough to be their authentic selves, then it would not matter if there are a lot of men talking or a lot of women talking. People like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris make the non-religious community look bad while people like Daniel Dennett, Neil Carter and Darrel Ray do so much to help the non-religious and anti-religious communities,” Christian said.

Christian went back to the ways in which white women apart from other women, in general, tend to feel less empowered; whereas, other secular women, and women generally, feel empowered more than before. She notes this in the secular communities, too, where white men dominate the discussion.

She feels more diverse faces for atheism would be a plus. In that, in an interconnected and globalized world, there are black men atheists, Latin men atheists, white women atheists, black women atheists, Asian women atheists, and so on, where no singular demographic best represents atheism as atheism inhabits all cultures to various degrees.

Speaking for herself once more, on the issue of isolated conversational groups via sex or gender, Christian does not have this experience because, as an individual, she remains upfront and direct.

“I am upfront with everyone no matter their sex or if they are a cult addict (religious) or not. I cannot think of anytime when I was not upfront or honest about a subject, especially online. I am really the only non-religious, anti-religious, atheist person in my family, friends and daily life. My mom and BGF (boy-girlfriend, my lover was born intersexed. We use this nickname to protect her identity online.) are not into religion but have not called themselves ‘non-religious’ or ‘atheist’ officially. My point being, I really do not have many in person conversations about religion,” Christian stated.

In the internet-based or online conversations, Christian remains frank and upfront with them. Sex or gender does not restrict the expression and the conversation for her. She mused on the fact of more men reaching out than women to her. They reach out to Christian about the sexist expectations placed on men including around sexual orientation, desires, and identity.

Christian said, “Religion usually comes up because that is what is pushing those sexist ideas and destroying their lives to begin with. As mentioned earlier, at lot of women (except white women) feel empowered but the sexism against men is still very strong (at least in the USA). It is still on the same level. It is so important to help people realize that women are men are the same (with only minor differences). Thus, we should be treated the same way.”

Christian proposed a change in the expectations of the culture from gender expectations or roles to age expectations or roles. If someone, including oneself, is at a specific age, then there should be some role expectations of the age. When someone is less comfortable in honesty with someone because of their sex, she wonders why this becomes the case in the first place.

“I get the same thing from the guys I have spoken too saying they feel they cannot be honest or open with the women in their lives. Why the disconnect when we (women and men) have so much in common? Feel free to read about the gender similarities hypothesis and the persistent disconnect with the high level of sexism in society,” Christian said.

On the solutions to the problems, Christian sees this as the easy part of it. It would be the divisive labels as the problem. That is, one can label oneself in one way or another; however, it becomes important to become educated about demographics to comprehend the statistical trends in various populations of a society.

Christian described how research over time shows the vast number of commonalities compared to differences, where the differences between people remain “minor and insignificant.” It becomes akin to the commentary, by Christian, on the issues of the biological sex categorizations of male and female – at least 2.

“…homosexuality and heterosexuality (monosexuality) are both the same thing. Gay men = straight women. They are both androsexual, the proper term to describe those attracted to men. Lesbians = straight guys. They are both gynesexual, those attracted to women. Same thing,” Christian stated, “Another thing people obsess about and cause trouble over when the reality is, they are the same. Even more research shows that monosexuality is a myth and that humans are either part of the bisexual spectrum or asexual spectrum. What is my point? The quick spread of misinformation about race, sex, human sexuality and humanity in general is what is preventing a more inclusive system or community. Not just for non-religious groups but ALL groups.”

The focus should not be on more people of color or women. The emphasis should be more agnostics, atheists, humanists, and secular people together for a natural unity. That is one problem. A larger problem comes in the form of the misinformation abounding around secular people. The lies about God and religion; the lies about race; the lies about sex. There should be more educational opportunities to combat this.

In addition, there should be a stoppage to the shaming because of a demographic, where there should be an allowance – open permission – for individuals to feel comfortable as themselves. One of the biggest dangers, according to Christian is the deep need among human beings to feel needed, to fit in, and desired in some social way.

“That is why people join religions, create toxic group, do not stand up to bullies, bigots, etc. Therefore, we get the bystander effect, why so many men (especially white men) are just brutal to women and each other. To fit in, to be accepted. If humanity evolved past the need for such things, we would be more moral, happier, healthier and better friends to each other,” Christian concluded.

Judy Saint is the Founder and President of the Sacramento Chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.[14] She remarked on the general nature of women becoming more involved and assertive with one another. For example, the fight for universal suffrage in place of suffrage to make women legal persons in a democratic society; as in, women harbour the right to vote.

Following this, things died down. Women began to focus on resembling the men in “clothing, competition and executive function.” The women began to stop talking to one another. Until sexual harassment took a crucial point among the numerous foci of concern for women, “women again found each other as mutual combatants.” She sees this work of women asserting themselves as fundamentally important because women’s rights are fundamentally important, simple as that.

To American women, Saint stated, “American women are not all concerned with their rights in any of these domains. We only see a portion of women out there advocating in these spheres. The concerns of those not fighting for rights seems to be to ‘fit in’ and fulfil society’s mandate of being a quiet servant to men. As for those who are out there fighting for women’s rights, their concerns are that women have all the advantages men are routinely given, and the ability to change society to a more cooperative world, away from the testosterone-laden competitive world men created for us.”

Saint provided the example of a survey of women. Women voted against women’s rights by voting for the presidential candidate – at the time – Trump, who is now President Trump. In Saint’s analysis of the situation, the women voted in the favour of the husbands, the “husbands’ needs.”

She also directed attention to the sponsoring of local businesses by Bill and Melinda Gates with the differences between the men and the women. It creates a statistically stark difference in the investment patterns, conducive to the health, or not, of the community. On the side of investing in the men who start local businesses, they tend to “take all the money with them away to larger cities so they can make more”; for the women, when they succeed, they invest in the local communities and one another.

Saint had thoughts on the Me Too movement, too, stating, “Secular women want responsibility to be placed on perpetrators of aggression toward women, rather than abusing women’s rights as a cover for poor behavior. Responsibility and early training of little boys are the main concerns.”

On the domination of the international conversation by the men, Saint described how atheism remains trivial as an issue, until the communities of the religious pose a threat. In these circumstances, men rise to become protective and combative – reflecting the out and vocal atheists, where she sees this type more common in the men than in the women.

Secular women may become subliminally influenced through a man asking the questions of the secular women. As Saint stated, “I could say the obvious: we can’t tell you because you are a man. Seriously, being a male asking this question could subliminally influence the answers you get from women. But, let me try, anyway. Mainly it would be about cooperative and supportive efforts that men don’t want to help with.”

The notion of “women’s work,” including the provision of food for a meeting, garments in post-disaster, or assistance in leaving an abusive partner. Saint views this in the difference with women as cooperative and men as competitive. In this, men are not included in some of the conversations for women, because, for the women, it is, fundamentally speaking, not about the competition or the winner-take-all mentality. like providing food for a meeting or gathering clothing for disaster survivors or helping other women leave abusive husbands who are religious. Women are cooperative; men are competitive. That has why men are not included in women’s discussions – it is not about competing or winning, and therefore of little interest.

On the actionables, Saint said, “We have in Sacramento a Black Humanist Group. They want their own secular organization because their discussions and concerns are not addressed in groups where they are in the minority. So, supporting more smaller groups that address unique subgroups of interests could give more people a home where they feel understood and listened to. Publicity of their unique problems could keep them energized and supportive of those groups.”

In the African region, one member of the Atheist Society of Nigeria – and recalling the preliminary data points in the commentary here – was Jummai Mohammed, who had some time to provide some basic comments or statements, or observations and experiences, with a different question set, though.[15]

In the description of the family background for her, Mohammed said, “I am a Hausa lady from the northern part of Nigeria. I was born into a muslim home but in a predominantly Christian society. I was born and bread in the southern part of Nigeria which is mostly dominated by Christians.”

This upbringing and background had some interesting impacts on her. She was born in a Muslims home within a Christian majority nation. In Mohammed’s view, this has impacted person views of atheism right into the present day. In addition, she was able tot, potentially, some of the starker distinctions and contradictions in the different religions on offer. Nigeria is a diverse and interesting nation – dynamic.

“I never love Islam schools since the ustaz in those schools always look and act mean. The way in which children are beaten up, young boys tied into poles while being flogged mercilessly in the name of punishment made me hate going to Islamic schools; on the other hand,” Mohammed stated, “whenever I have the opportunity of following my Christian friends to church, I tend to enjoy the less tensed environment, the songs, the dance and everyone smiling faces and that paved my way into converting to Christianity in the later years. So, I have practised and experienced the two most popular Abrahamic religion.”

Yet, for the earliest moments of life or the early school times, Mohammed enjoyed the private nursery and the primary school. Religion, naturally given the prior facts, was part of the educational system. Then, into high school, there was more religion, as the high school was privately owned and religious. She, understandably, converted to Christianity in secondary school or high school. Not as an open Christianity, she was a “closet one.”

In questioning religion, Mohammed said, “I have always question religion right from primary school, I always question bible/Quran stories right from time, because the stories don’t add up. I ask questions like why God created us, why placing an apple tree in the garden when he doesn’t want humans eating from it.”

She found some solace in going into the online world. It is entitled nairaland, which influenced the decision to become an atheist. Now, as many with the privilege of an earlier life access to the internet, one of the common statements by atheists, agnostics, and such, about the formation of the non-religious beliefs came from the internet. On one level, it was the access to new perspective, added information. On another level, the ability to interact with others as per Mohammed’s interactions with others in the Nigerian online forums of nairaland. Both become important to relinquishing fundamentalist strains of faith.

On women in religion, Mohammed stated, “Yes, it is a glaring fact that religion preaches subjugation of women and it is very evident in the Nigeria society. Women are being treated more like a semi human or should I say slaves in Nigeria, most especially in the northern part of the country which I come from.”

She experiences this in personal and professional life. Religious fanatics will not make friends or do business with her or get close to her. She lives in a bit of a haven, in Lago. However, as she reports, if she were to live in the north, Mohammed would face death threats. When asked about some prominent female atheists, she listed Jummai Pearl, Neshama, Dorris, and others; on prominent atheist Nigeria men, she noted Mubarak Balah, Azaya, Calistus, Juwon, Dr. Leo Igwe, and so on. In other words, there are some, but few prominent male or female atheists in Nigeria.

On further treatment, “Discriminations varies, depending on the atheist environment. In the southern and eastern parts, the discriminations are; family and friends rejecting one, people not wanting to make friends or involve in any sort of business with one, relationship/marriage breakups…” Mohammed said, “In the northern part which is predominant by Muslims, atheist faces death threats, lynching and co, together with what I listed up there faces by southern atheist.”

Over in the Philippines, Marissa Torres Langseth, the Founder of the Humanist Alliance Philippines International, took the time to speak, too.[16] (Please note links exist in the footnote for Langseth with further information through the responses or interspersed in the responses of the straight question-and-answer interview.)

On the opening salvo about the equality of women as a more assertive push than before, Langseth commented on the importance of women seen as equals and partners, not only in an intimate setting but in a societal perspective. Within this perspective, we can come to the economic, political, and social enfranchisement of women in general.

Langseth said, “Misogyny is common in the Philippines because of patriarchal orientation, and upbringing. We were brought up thinking that a male is more dominant in any household and women should just stay home and take care of the children. Women are treated like baby factories in the Phils with the RH or Planned Parenthood on hold due to the religious nature of the Philippines, these women succumb to high morbidity and mortality rates.”

According to Langseth, who is a professionally trained Post-Master’s Adult Nurse Practitioner, South East Asian or SEA women, such as Indonesia, have a large Islamic population and place women “lowest in the totem pole” of the society. She notes the ways in which Islamic nations subject women to arranged marriages, gender discrimination of various forms, honor killings, and mutilation of sex organs.

Equality in the contexts described by Langseth become a distant goal, especially with the death penalty for apostasy. SEA women, Langseth reports, who travel to another country become subject to rape or abuse if working as maids or other service personnel based on “the belief of others that women n the third world countries will do anything to put food on their table including prostitution.”

Langseth lamented the women who do not acquire an education, or have the privilege of the opportunity, will become prostitutes and then get used and abused in this manner, even the most careful women can be raped or killed, or both. She recollected reading many stories about it.

On Me Too, it is an international story. It is a global movement. Interestingly, Langseth noted the lack of this movement for equality in social and professional life in SEA, “quite frankly.” In fact, she notes, directly, the SEA secular or non-religious women will not resist the men due to early indoctrination and fear. She stopped commentary on Me Too in SEA at that point.

For the comments or remarks on the domination of the non-religious conversation by the men, Langseth stated, “More and more women nowadays are empowered and unafraid of coming out as nonreligious. The stigma is waning and fading away. My take is that, if they can see us women as successful without gods, we can be notable examples of how to live decently and practice clean living with high ethical values. Documentation and the advent of social media are just examples of how we can show to the religious world that we are equal to those who profess ‘good moral compass.’”

Akin, also, to some of the speaking on the issues of the isolation of some secular women in dialogue with some secular women apart from some secular men, the secular women who tend to feel able to speak more openly simply adhere to a principle of open discussion and saying what’s on their mind, regardless of the individual in the conversation with them.

“I am not afraid to divulge to anyone that I am nonreligious. I even said that to the church members where my husband and I go to occasionally. I have even said that to my husband’s male friends who are Italian, and Jewish. I did not care what their opinions are,” Langseth said, “and who cares anyway about their opinions. I know who I am. If my husband values me and sees me as an equal. That is enough for me. My husband is even ready to leave his church, if the church members will ostracize me, truth be told. He is a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP).”

On the greater inclusion, or the solutions for the disparate representation or lack of representation of secular women in a variety of ways, and others, within the secular communities, Langseth pointed to more awareness and education about equality. Perhaps, with an assumption of goodwill, education can solve part of the issue observed by many secular women and some secular men.

Langseth proposed more social media coverage, more coverage from young women and old women, fewer men in the spotlight – “maybe,” and an emphasis on women leaders holding “higher and better positions in nonreligious societies.” Some of the problems come in the interpersonal and sociopolitical dynamics of the secular communities with the backstabbing, infighting, and attempts to outsmart others “due to immaturity and vanity and self-aggrandizement.”

In conclusion, Langseth described how some men backstab due to insecurities and low self-esteem. Another Filipina was Alexus Jean Black[17] Given some limitations, she provided some short commentary, which can supplement some of the more extensive and authoritative remarks and observations of Langseth.

Black, on the more outspoken times for women, stated, “I think that women especially now a days have been very vocal about those subjects it’s because we have more freedom than what we used to have. Although, in some parts of Asia, the Middle East, for example, have still some kind of discrimination towards the women. It is important for women to be included… as we also are a part of the nation. I don’t really know a lot of people who are non religious in my country as Philippines is one of the most religious countries in the world.”

She – Black – noted how the Christian subjects remained mandatory within the elementary schools, how some laws take their cue from religion, and the ways in which, for example, divorce in the Philippines remains illegal, which becomes something anathema to some new generations in other nations.

On the dominance of secular men in the international secular conversations, Black described, in her opinion, that the dominance of men in the non-religious or secular conversations does not come from more secular men, but, instead, from the ways in which women are more conservative in their thoughts.

Black noted not talking too much about the subject of religion, as the surrounding culture remains highly religious. The note about a highly religious culture does not come from a place of denigration; she does not mean to “disrespect” members of the Philippines citizenry with the descriptor. Nonetheless, she identifies as an atheist – no mention of the flavor of atheism there. When asked about being an atheist, most of them are men asking the questions.

On some brief thoughts about the ways in which to bring more women into the secular fold, she simply suggested or recommended engaging women more, allowing them to become engaged more, as she does not feel oppression is helpful in discussion on topics sensitive to people.

Another America, Alisha Ann, from Pennsylvania.[18] On the reasons for the increasing prominence of women’s voices in the public sphere, Ann stated the level of safety women feel now; women felt too unsafe, before, to speak out. With an increased level of safety, women feel more confident to speak on negative experiences and observations in terms of the treatment of secular women and, in turn, to articulate their thoughts in the public sphere with lesser physical, social, professional, and intimate-setting reprisals.

Ann stated, “We’re no where near as safe as we should be. We have fought long and hard for the right to vote, earn a living outside the home and control our own reproduction. Those rights are not secure and are constantly threatened. As usual, we stand on the shoulders of the giants before us. We have the bravery of the feminist activists in generations prior and feminist voices today to build on. We are stronger together. And when one stands up, we tend to stand with them. Their fight is our fight.”

She noted how this was only in the United States and North America. Other countries in the world keep women highly repressed and oppressed in many ways, whether by law, by custom, by family, or other forms of force. Ann has noted the progress, though. The more progressive countries can serve as a “contrast to regressive ones.”

On Me Too and other aspects of social life, Ann said, “I’m concerned about male violence against non-males. From clergy raping children, to intimate partner violence, to attacks against the transgender community. Men have a problem. And only men can fix it. So, far, we have stuck band-aids on a mortal wound by asking women and children to take steps to not get raped and killed. Which is to say, ‘Make sure he rapes them instead of you.’”

This becomes a men’s issue, as they are the majority perpetrators. The responsibility of the abuser is to stop abusing, not on the abused to appease them, and on us to prevent the continued abuse and garner justice for the abused. As stated by UN Women, around the world, 35% of women endured “either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives. However, some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime” (UN Women, 2018).

650 million women and girls, currently alive, have been married prior to their 18th birthday, which is stating the 9-figure numbers of women undergoing child marriage – partnership prior to the age of consent (UNICEF, 2018). About 200 million women have been subject to female genital mutilation (UNICEF, 2016). For ages 15 to 19, 15 million girls around the world have endured either forced intercourse or forced sexual acts (UNICEF, 2017). Women and girls are 71% of the human trafficking victims (UNODC, 2016). 82% of women parliamentarians “who participated in a study conducted by the Inter-parliamentary Union in 39 countries across 5 regions reported having experienced some form of psychological violence while serving their terms” (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2016).

Ann continued to explain the main issue in the social domain is rooted in male violence. Furthermore, on the political angle, Ann explained how “patriarchy lives on in the old white men” who run the country. In her opinion, they fear being treat the way women and minorities have been treated in the past. Therefore, they will resist progress in various forms.

Even worse, according to Ann, the blindness to injustices and inequalities, where simple equality can feel as if oppression from a privileged placement in society. This becomes the basis for resistance to the equal treatment for women, minorities, and themselves, e.g., the denial of reproductive freedom, voter suppression, poverty wages, and so on.

“Economic – poverty. We have consolidated power to a few, which disenfranchises us all. The economic system we have in place will fail. And the people who will suffer the most are not the 1%, they will just be the loudest,” Ann explained, “That they will not be better in my lifetime. That the standard bearer of meaningful change will not be retired with my generation and will require passage to my children to complete. If we cannot convince men to be better, we not only pass the responsibilities of progress to them, but the dangers of our failings.”

In terms of the domination of the men within the international conversations and discourses of the secular, Ann was firm on the position of the need for a change in the diversification of the landscape of opening, where the more diverse pinion set in a community becomes better rather than worse. The ability to relay one’s own experience in a community of others provides a democratic basis for allegiances and a form of genuine community-building the secular movements desperately need in a modern period shaken by the infusions of communications technology.

“Unless we only care about improving the experiences of white men, then we must include women and minorities. The way we do that is by checking ourselves and our privilege. We actively overlook an ethnic sounding name when hiring. We do not assume a woman cannot speak on a topic. We seek out and value the opinions of those not like us. We listen to each other and validate,” Ann said.

For those things that the secular women will speak about with one another, or not, Ann spoke about things existing not as whisper networks in a precise manner, but, rather, a certain comfort in common sub-community experiences. Women can feel more comfortable speaking with women on subject matter of common experience.

These can include abuse, inequality, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and violence. Many do not believe the level of the mistreatment within the secular community, as with other communities. There exists a denialism, where soft ball concerns of skepticism can be homeopathy; the hard ball questions become internal issues within the community.

There is a tendency to blame the victims for what happened to them rather than place responsibility on perpetrators, or highly likely perpetrators, where this, in a sense, necessitates whisper networks for secular women – and, potentially, women in general – to protect themselves from the problems associated to some extent with the in-community secular men. It becomes a whisper warning network, in a manner of speaking, about “repeat or egregious offenders” for secular women to protect themselves.

On the questions about inclusion, Ann described the social failures as indicative of larger social failures of inclusion. Some come from the mostly male appointment to leadership with overlooking of women and minorities while also assuming women are less knowledgeable on topics, where this can become seen the lack of speaking gigs and resources for women.

“Assuming a man is better able and tasking him with more high-profile gigs – like public speaking or media events. Assuming women and minorities just do not want to be in certain fields, like science or philosophy, and therefore not seeking out those candidates,” Ann stated, “However, the secular community suffers from a lack of diversity for a unique reason in my opinion. It is been an older white man’s club because older white has historically retained their social, political, economic, and religious privileges regardless of their allegiances. Their survival does not depend on their adherences to certain groups.”

A Ugandan woman, and the Managing Director and Programmes Coordinator of Malcolm Children’s Initiative, Susan Nambejja, explained how the increased assertiveness of women comes from the continued struggle for women to act independently in the world with or without men.[19] She noted the efforts of single mothers determined to raise their children alone.

Nambejja stated, “Politically women have engaged into leadership positions, at various levels, they are now community leaders, presidents, ministers and so on, for example our Kampala capital city authority Director is a woman. (Jennifer Musisi) Economically: women are now entrepreneurs nationally and internationally; they now operate big businesses worldwide. Importance of this is that: the time when women were considered as domestic slaves is now over, women are now enjoying liberty than in accent days hence boosting their esteem and lack of respect.”

On the concerns of Ugandan and African women, Nambejja relayed how many challenges still confront women in general. As a non-religious person, in Uganda, this becomes the basis of being “evil, immoral, inhuman.” This can create real-life impacts damaging to both personal and professional spheres of life for the woman.

For example, the knowledge of a woman as a non-religious or secular person can limit the ability of a woman to become a minister – secular minister exists in numerous religious traditions at this point – or a community leader, too. Individuals may vote for someone; however, religion becomes a large basis upon which to vote for this person.

“Socially marriage may not be a success for a non religious woman, and, but economically if a non religious woman sets up for example a business, most strict religions may find it hard to support such a business for example the Muslims have a tendency of supporting fellow Moslems on a belief that any thing from a non Moslem is considered unclean (haraam),” Nambejja stated, “This makes it difficult for operate well businesses. All this means there is a lot of segregation in Uganda between the religious and non religious, this is because Uganda is a highly religious populated country. Non religious are still very few.”

The Me Too movement, as noted earlier, about being one global phenomenon, but not necessarily hitting every region as much or equally – as per the insightful commentary of Langseth about SEA. Nambejja described how the men in Africa cherish the African cultural practices, where some put women as inferior. Even among the more educated classes of men, many still consider themselves as something akin to kings.

Nambejja said, “Most cultures men are still dominating, leadership is still for men in most cultures in African traditions. Women are still lacking self esteem due to the fear of how the society will interpret their actions, few women have come up to speak for others in our countries.”

Then there was the near-unanimous factual observation and agreement of men dominating the secular conversation. Secular men, according to Nambejja, remain more open to different issues. The secular men do not have to fear speaking out about who they are, what their values are, and the women tend to remain hidden to a certain extent in which self-protection becomes more paramount for the secular women because of the potential negative impacts on them.

“For example, speaking about being non religious in Uganda is not safe unless if you have enough ways to protect your self. Men have no fear for segregation, women mind about it a lot. This should be changed, by giving more chance to women more than men, by supporting their causes, invite women as speakers at conferences, those who get a chance to speak will end up becoming more confident of their non religious beliefs. And hence others will get inspired, and do the same way,” Nambejja stated.

On the isolation or siloing of some conversations more than others, Nambejja described how, in a social setting, a woman married to a religious man may speak about some of the problems with the non-religious woman friend rather than a man. The main reason is fear of judgment from the men.

“If it is an initiative, like projects on girl child, menstrual education, a non religious woman will feel more speak to fellow non religious woman more comfortably than woman to man. We have a tendency of thinking that this should be told to fellow woman. Yet, in a non religious way, I think this should stop. That is according to my thinking please it is just according to my assumption,” Nambejja stated.

On the all-important question of actionables or action items as a global community, Nambejja, spoke about giving women more of an audience, e.g., work to provide an equal representation in the panels, in the speakers, in the hosts, in the topics of interest to community, and so on. The empowerment of women through causes of more interest to them, too.

Nambejja stated women can feel inferior without an inclusive initiative. Without this balance, women can lose hope. The spirit of togetherness, of communal solidarity, does not exist in a global context for the secular; Nambejja nailed this concern. Part of the problem there lies in the fact of women simply not incorporated into the discussions and the groups.

“…if we can’t support ourselves, invite women by showing them the benefits of public talks, include them in media discussions, if a mistake is made by a woman, correct her silently, don’t criticize, educate women in different areas,” Nambejja said, “for example NGO management, business, leadership among others. In our non religious communities encourage women to get involved and aspire for or stand for leadership positions.”

Non-religious or secular communities “have failed” in giving this sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and community. There should be gatherings bringing everyone together in a single umbrella. These could “transform us into more useful citizens,” where can help those most in danger in a true spirit of humanism.

Nambejja concluded the interview by saying, “Our non religious communities have failed to initiate universities for non religious, have failed to have institutions which support the non religious in different areas for example banks for non religious where people can acquire loans and so on, scholarships for non religious, among others just to mention but a few.”

In the discourses provided, and the analyses – albeit qualitative in many regards, the secular community appears to present a unique opportunity with a singular problem of full inclusion and equality of approximately half of its constituency.

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Jacobsen, S.D. (2018av, December 2). Ask Kavin 1 — The Demarcation Problem in Food. Retrieved from https://medium.com/question-time/ask-kavin-1-the-demarcation-problem-in-food-c40d9edd46f5.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019al, January 6). Ask Sally 1 — Drawing the Lines for Progressivism in 2019. Retrieved from https://medium.com/question-time/ask-sally-1-drawing-the-lines-for-progressivism-in-2019-3985c7842b44.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bb, October 12). Ask Sarah 1 — The New Media. Retrieved from https://medium.com/question-time/ask-sarah-1-the-new-media-bcad12c82eab.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018aw, November 10). Ask Shireen 1 — Reformers. Retrieved from https://medium.com/question-time/ask-shireen-1-reformers-b6ef85ccfd55.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ba, October 17). Ask Tara 1 — The Crossroads of Thailand, Iran, America, Journalism, and Women’s Rights. Retrieved from https://medium.com/question-time/ask-tara-1-the-crossroads-of-thailand-iran-america-journalism-and-womens-rights-2328f674dc15.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bo, January 28). Charlotte Frances Littlewood on Radicalization, Extremism, and Counter-Extremism. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/littlewood/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ai, May 5). Chat with Angelique Anne Villa — Member, Humanist Alliance Philippines, International. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/chat-with-angelique-anne-villa-member-humanist-alliance-philippines-international-bd81f59c81df.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017al, September 30). Chat with British Christian Suzie Mason, Ph.D. Candidate, on Christianity and Atheism. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/suzie-mason/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018d, August 1). Claire Klingenberg on Education and Atheism – President, European Council of Skeptic Organizations. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/08/klingenberg-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017h, October 2). Conversation with Cheri Frazer – Winnipeg Chapter Co-Coordinator, Dying With Dignity. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/10/cheri-frazer/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018y, October 5). Conversation with Felicia Cravens – Founder, Unfakery. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/10/cravens-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017f, September 24). Conversation with Professor Tina Block on the Secular Northwest. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/tina-block/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017aj, November 20). Conversation with Reva Landau – Co-Founder, Open Public Education Now. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/11/landau/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017k, November 15). Conversation with Sophie Shulman, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci. – Director, CFI-Victoria. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/11/shulman/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017e, September 18). Conversation with Terry Murray on Sexual Minorities, Religion, and the UK. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/conversation-with-terry-murray-on-sexual-minorities-religion-and-the-uk/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017ag, December 22). Critical Thinking About New Age Spiritualism With Jessica Schab. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/12/schab/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017w, August 22). Danielle Blau, Process, Poetry, Aloneness and Fear, Weeping, and Philosophy. Retrieved from https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/danielle-blau-2-sjbn/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bj, March 14). Diana Bucur on Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/diana-bucur/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ag, January 8). Dr. Azra Raza, M.D.: Professor and Director of MDS Center, at Columbia University. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/dr-azra-raza-m-d-professor-and-director-of-mds-center-at-columbia-university-c190e564d047.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017ad, September 15). Dr. Barbara Forrest: Philosophy Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University & Member, NCSE Board of Directors. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/dr-barbara-forrest-philosophy-professor-southeastern-louisiana-university-member-ncse-board-99218108a9ae.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ah, January 20). Dr. Carol Tavris: Social Psychologist, Writer, Lecturer; Fellow, Center for Inquiry. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/dr-carol-tavris-social-psychologist-writer-lecturer-fellow-center-for-inquiry-30d0a7f4315e.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017v, August 20). Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, Expert Witness, Unlimited Funding and Research, and the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. Retrieved from https://goodmenproject.com/uncategorized/loftus-2-sjbn/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2014, June 15). Dr. Francisco Ayala: Donald Bren Professor, Biological Sciences; Professor of Philosophy; and Professor of Logic and the Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine (Part One). Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2014/06/15/dr-francisco-ayala-donald-bren-professor-biological-sciences-professor-of-philosophy-and-professor-of-logic-and-the-philosophy-of-science-university-of-california-irvine/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ag, January 15). Dr. Maryanne Garry: Psychology Professor, Victoria University of Wellington; Fellow, Center for Inquiry. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/dr-maryanne-garry-psychology-professor-victoria-university-of-wellington-fellow-center-for-209cdb9b414d.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ak, February 1). Dr. Susan Blackmore: Visiting Professor, University of Plymouth; Fellow, Center for Inquiry. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/dr-susan-blackmore-visiting-professor-university-of-plymouth-fellow-center-for-inquiry-4aec8d2c17d5.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017f, September 22). Exclusive Interview with ​Stephanie Guttormson ​- Operations Director for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/stephanie-guttormson/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018k, January 26). Exclusive Interview with Writer and Producer Leslea Mair. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/mair/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016h, October 24). Extended Interview with Maryam Namazie. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/extended-interview-maryam-namazie-2/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018s, July 13). Ghada Ibrahim: Sharia is a Threat to Human Rights and Democracy.. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/ghada-ibrahim-sharia-threat-human-rights-democracy/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017u, August 14). Helen Pluckrose, Windows and Mirrors – Views from the Outside In. Retrieved from https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/helen-pluckrose-sjbn/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018m, January 28). In Conversation with Angie Johnson – Executive Director, Salt Lake City Oasis. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/johnson/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018a, January 12). In Conversation with Atheist Minister Gretta Vosper – Current Context. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/vosper/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018x, September 9). In Conversation with Diane Burkholder – Co-Founder, One Struggle KC. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/09/burkholder-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018m, January 31). In Conversation with Dr. Ellen Wiebe – Physicians Advisory Council, Dying With Dignity Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/wiebe/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018l, January 26). In Conversation with Helen Austen – Executive Director, Kansas City Oasis. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/austen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018e, February 16). In Conversation with Joyce Arthur – Founder and Executive Director, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/02/arthur/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bn, January 24). In Conversation with Lita Bablitz on a Two-Tier Education System. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/01/bablitz/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018h, March 10). In Conversation with Melissa Krawczyk – Atheist, Secular Humanist, and Skeptic. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/krawczyk/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018f, February 23). In Conversation with Professor Colleen MacQuarrie, Ph.D. on Abortion Rights Activism. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/02/macquarrie/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018i, March 27). In Conversation with Professor Sarah Wilkins-LaFlamme on Secularism, Religion, and Atheism. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/in-conversation-with-professor-sarah-wilkins-laflamme-on-secularism-religion-and-atheism/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018r, February 6). In Conversation with Tammy Pham – Founder and Former Co-President, Dying With Dignity Canada (U of Ottawa). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/02/pham/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bd, May 18). In Conversation with Vidita Priyadarshini – MA in Political Science Student, Central European University. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/05/priyadarshini/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017ak, October 24). In the Heart of the Catholic Education Trans Controversy – Anonymous Interview with Trans Child Mother. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/10/trans/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ao, September 11). Interview with Agnes Vishnevkin, MBA — Co-Founder & Vice President of Intentional Insights and Pro-Truth Pledge. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-agnes-vishnevkin-mba-co-founder-vice-president-of-intentional-insights-and-730db8e1d244.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ak, January 9). Interview with Ann Reid – Executive Director, National Center for Science Education. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/interview-with-ann-reid-executive-director-national-center-for-science-education/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ab, October 22). Interview with Aradhiya Khan — Pakistani Transgender Activist. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-aradhiya-khan-pakistani-transgender-activist-48e3e9afb082.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018z, August 13). Interview with Arya Parsipur – Author, Limu Shirin, The Bitter Story of Life After the Iranian Revolution. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/08/limu-shirin-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ae, February 18). Interview with Asuncion Alvarez del Río – Advisory Council Member, DMD Mexico. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/alvarez-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019o, March 15). Interview with August Berkshire – State Director, Minnesota American Atheists. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/berkshire-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018aj, February 23). Interview with Brenda Germain — President, MASH Ft. Bragg. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-brenda-germain-president-mash-ft-bragg-f3c3936dc224.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019x, January 31). Interview with Carly Gardner – State Director, American Atheists Nevada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/gardner-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019t, January 27). Interview with Carmenza Ochoa Uribe – Executive Director, Fundación Pro Derecho a Morir Dignamente. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/uribe-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018g, February 24). Interview with Catherine Dunphy – Author & Former Executive Director, The Clergy Project. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/02/dunphy/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ah, February 21). Interview with Claudette St. Pierre – President, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Metro Denver Chapter. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/pierre-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017af, September 3). Interview with Cleopatra Yvonne S. Nyahe — Co-Cordinator, Humanist Services Corps. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-cleopatra-yvonne-s-nyahe-co-cordinator-humanist-services-corps-bf7773f1f817.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017s, September 17). Interview with Cynthia Todd Quam – President of ‘End of the Line Humanists’. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-cynthia-todd-quam/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019i, March 14). Interview with Dorothy Hays – President, Atheists, Skeptics, Humanists Association (ASHA). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/hays-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ad, February 8). Interview with Dr. Meredith Doig, OAM – President, Rationalist Society of Australia. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/doig-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019w, February 1). Interview with Faye Girsh – An Activist for the Right to a Peaceful Death. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/girsh-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019p, January 19). Interview with Frances Coombe – President, South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/coombe-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bk, March 4). Interview with Frances Garner – Member, Central Ontario Humanists. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/frances-garner/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bl, March 2). Interview with Gauri Hopkins on Cult Upbringing and Contemporary Feminism. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/hopkins/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ai, January 6). Interview with Gayle Jordan – Executive Director, Recovering from Religion. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/jordan-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018al, November 3). Interview with Gissou Nia on Becoming Involved in Human Rights Work. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-gissou-nia-on-becoming-involved-in-human-rights-work-3e568bdd96bd.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019n, March 19). Interview with Haafizah Bhamjee – Executive-Administrator, “Ex-Muslims of South Africa”. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/bhamjee-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019aj, January 5). Interview with Heather Pentler – Committee Member, Edinburgh Skeptics. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/pentler-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019m, March 22). Interview with Hope Knutsson – Former President, Founding Member, and Board Member, Siðmennt (Félag Siðrænna Húmanista). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/knutsson-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018as, May 12). Interview with Jean Karla M. Tapao — Member, Humanist Alliance Philippines, International. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-jean-karla-m-tapao-member-humanist-alliance-philippines-international-816bdb95564e.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019k, March 10). Interview with Jeanne Arthur – President, Dying with Dignity ACT. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/arthur-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016b, February 16). Interview with ​Jennifer C. Gutierrez Baltazar – Executive Director of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI)-. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-%E2%80%8Bjennifer-c-gutierrez-baltazar-executive-director-humanist-alliance-philippines-international-hapi/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019y, February 7). Interview with Judith Daley – Board Member, Dying with Dignity NSW. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/daley-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018c, July 25). Interview with Karen Garst – Founder, Faithless Feminist. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/07/karen-garst-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019v, February 2). Interview with Karis Burkowski – President, Society of Ontario Freethinkers. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/burkowski-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016g, October 25). Interview with ​Kate Smurthwaite. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-%E2%80%8Bkate-smurthwaite/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019f, April 7). Interview with Kelly – Brights Community Clusters (BCCs) Coordinator, The Brights’ Net. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/04/brights-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, 2019u, January 30). Interview for Kim Newton, M.Litt. – Executive Director, Camp Quest, Inc. (National Support Center). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/newton-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019q, January 14). Interview with Kristine Klopp – Assistant State Director, American Atheists Alabama. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/klopp-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018af, January 11). Interview with Lee Sakura — Administrator, Atheist Republic Manila Consulate. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-lee-sakura-administrator-atheist-republic-manila-consulate-d2953395bedb.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016c, December 5). Interview with Linda LaScola – Editor of Rational Doubt, Clinical Social Worker, Psychotherapist, & Qualitative Researcher. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-linda-lascola-editor-rational-doubt-clinical-social-worker-psychotherapist-qualitative-researcher/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019g, February 24). Interview with Lucie Jobin – President, Mouvement Laïque Québécois. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/jobin-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017y, December 16). Interview with Lucille V. Hoersten. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-lucille-v-hoersten-9b07bef9d96d.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018j, April 22). Interview with Mandisa Thomas – Founder, Black Nonbelievers, Inc.. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/04/thomas/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ab, February 11). Interview with Margaret Downey – Founder & President, Freethought Society. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/interview-with-margaret-downey-founder-president-freethought-society/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ap, August 28). Interview with Marianne De Guzman Tucay — Member, Humanist Alliance Philippines International. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-marianne-de-guzman-tucay-member-humanist-alliance-philippines-international-a892482525bd.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ar, May 14). Marieme Helie Lucas on Noura Hussein Hammad. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/marieme-helie-lucas-on-noura-hussein-hammad-61510cf2b115.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019s, January 25). Interview with Marquita Tucker, M.B.A. – Co-Organizer, Black Nonbelievers of Detroit. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/tucker-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019r, January 23). Interview with Megan Denman – Assistant State Director, American Atheists Ohio. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/01/denman-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018aq, July 31). Interview with Melanie Wilderman — Author, Faithiest. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-melanie-wilderman-author-faithiest-571e3f410750.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ag, February 13). Interview with Merja Soisaari-Turriago – Secretary, EXITUS ry. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/turriago-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019a, April 6). Interview with Miriam de Bontridder – Board Member, Foundation The Einder. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/04/bontridder-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018be, May 10). Interview with Molly Hanson – Editorial Assistant, Freedom From Religion Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/05/hanson/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017l, November 26). Interview with Monica Miller – Senior Counsel, AHA Appignani Humanist Legal Center. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/11/miller/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018am, October 24). Interview with Muriel McGregor — Former President, SSA (Utah State University). Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-muriel-mcgregor-former-president-ssa-utah-state-university-1f2d142c57af.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019c, April 1). Interview with Ngaire McCarthy – Past President and Trustee, New Zealand Association of Rationalists & Humanists (Inc.). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/04/mccarthy-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019b, April 3). Interview with Nicole Infinity – Camp Coordinator, Camp Quest North. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/04/infinity-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017r, February 16). Interview with ​Nicole Orr -​ Branch Manager at CFI-Portland. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-%E2%80%8Bnicole-orr-%E2%80%8Bbranch-manager-cfi-portland/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016, November 2). Interview with Professor Rebecca Goldstein — Novelist, Philosopher, and Public Intellectual. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-professor-%E2%80%8Brebecca-goldstein%E2%80%8A-%E2%80%8Anovelist-philosopher-public-intellectual/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018an, October 21). Interview with Raghen Lucy — President, Minnesota State University, Mankato SSA & Council Member, National Leadership Council (SSA). Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-raghen-lucy-president-minnesota-state-university-mankato-ssa-council-member-b79e3e3ff7db.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016i, October 21). Interview with Reba Boyd Wooden ​-Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry-Indiana. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-reba-boyd-wooden-%E2%80%8B-executive-director-center-inquiry-indiana/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016d, November 11). Interview with Rebecca Hale – President of The American Humanist Association. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-rebecca-hale-president-american-humanist-association/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018aa, July 30). Interview with Rizalina Guilatco Carr on Humanism. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-rizalina-guilatco-carr-on-humanism-2f85343f4f5c.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019aa, February 4). Interview with Robyn E. Blumner, J.D. – President & CEO, Center for Inquiry & Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/blumner-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016e, November 2). Interview with Roslyn Mould -​ President of the Humanist Association of Ghana; Chair of the African working group (IHEYO). Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-roslyn-mould-%E2%80%8B-president-humanist-association-ghana-chair-african-working-group-iheyo/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019ac, February 10). Interview with Ruth von Fuchs – President, Right to Die Society of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/interview-with-ruth-von-fuchs-president-right-to-die-society-of-canada/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019af, February 17). Interview with Sandra Z. Zellick – Secretary, Humanists of Sarasota Bay. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/zellick-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018b, August 14). Interview with Shanaaz Gokool – CEO, Dying With Dignity Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/08/gokool-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018at, June 3). Interview with Shif Gadamsetti – Former President, SAMRU; Support Staff, Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/06/gadamsetti-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018i, March 28). Interview with Sikivu Hutchinson-Feminist, Humanist, Novelist, Author. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/03/sikivu-hutchinson/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019z, February 5). Interview with Silvia Park – State Director, American Atheists Virginia. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/02/park-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018bf, May 9). Sodfa Daaji on the Urgent Case of Noura Hussein Hammad. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/05/hammad/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019j, March 13). Interview with Susan Nambejja on Malcolm Childrens’ Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/nambejja-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2016f, October 26). Interview with Tara Abhasakun on the Baha’i Faith. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/interview-tara-abhasakun-bahai-faith/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017x, March 21). Interview with Tehmina Kazi. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/interview-with-tehmina-kazi-de839b823d62.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2019l, March 4). Interview with Zenaido Quintana – Chair & Acting Executive Director, Secular Coalition for Arizona & Secular Communities for Arizona. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2019/03/quintana-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017ai, November 24). Janet French on the Catholic Education System. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/11/french/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ae, January 18). Kathy Dawson — Board Member, Alberta Pro-Choice Coalition and Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/kathy-dawson-board-member-alberta-pro-choice-coalition-and-abortion-rights-coalition-of-canada-e9d9a8bf60d1.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018w, July 3). LGBTQ2IA+ and the Undergraduate Postsecondary Learning Environment with Aria Burrell. Retrieved from https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/aria-burrell-sjbn/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018r, April 13). Liberal Islam and Migrant Integration with Seyran Ateş. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/seyran-ates-faith-feminism-law/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018au, June 18). Loss is Love Suffered: An Ode to Marie Alena Castle. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2018/06/castle-jacobsen/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018ac, November 9). Maryam Namazie on activism and ex-Muslims. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@scott.d.jacobsen/maryam-namazie-on-activism-and-ex-muslims-c5298c89fb28.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018q, March 11). Mina Ahadi: Abuse of Women’s Rights in Iran Calls for a New Revolution. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/mina-ahadi-womens-rights-revolution/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017a, August 28). Q&A on International Youth Humanism with Marieke Prien — Session 1. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/08/international-humanism/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017m, April 29). Q&A on Life in London with Pamela Machado. Retrieved from https://conatusnews.com/qa-life-london-pamela-machado/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017aa, October 19). Question with Patricia Grell, B.Sc., M.Div.: Trustee, Edmonton Catholic School Board (Ward 71). Retrieved from https://medium.com/humanist-voices/question-with-patricia-grell-b-sc-m-div-trustee-edmonton-catholic-school-board-ward-71-76ffb4700d1b.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018az, October 17). Sara Al Iraqiya on Bad and Good Writing. Retrieved from https://medium.com/question-time/sara-al-iraqiya-on-bad-and-good-writing-f469adada5d7.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017am, September 25). Short Chat with Pirate Jen Takahashi – Administrative Coordinator, Lethbridge Public Interest Research Group (LPIRG). Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/pirate-jen-takahashi/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017b, January 5). Short Chat with Violine Namyalo – HALEA and UHASSO. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/violin-namyalo/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017d, September 18). Talk With Sarah Mills – Assistant Editor and Contributor, Conatus News. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/sarah-mills/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2017g, September 30). The Calgary Pride Parade with Christine M. Shellska. Retrieved from https://www.canadianatheist.com/2017/09/the-calgary-pride-parade-with-christine-m-shellska/.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2018u, July 15). Three Administrations of Humanist Student Leaders Dialogue About Humanism: Hari Parekh, Hannah Lucy Timson, and Angelos Sofocleous. Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2018/07/15/parekh-timson-sofocleous/.

Jacoby, S. (2012, August 16). A Woman’s Place? The Dearth of Women in the Secular Movement. Retrieved from https://thehumanist.com/magazine/september-october-2012/features/a-womans-place-the-dearth-of-women-in-the-secular-movement.

Jacoby, S. (2018). Susan Jacoby. Retrieved from http://www.susanjacoby.co/.

Jacoby, S. (2013, January 5). The Blessings of Atheism. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/opinion/sunday/the-blessings-of-atheism.html.

Judge, M. (2015, April 6). Why I Won’t Date Secular White Women. Retrieved from https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2015/04/07/why_i_wont_date_secular_white_women.html.

Masci, D. (2019, February 11). For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/11/darwin-day/.

Mill, J.S. (1863). Utilitarianism: Chapter 2 What Utilitarianism Is. Retrieved from https://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm.

Miller, J.D., Scott, E.C., & Okamoto, S. (2006, August 11). Public Acceptance of Evolution. Retrieved from https://science.sciencemag.org/content/313/5788/765.full.

NIV. (2018a). Genesis 2:7. Retrieved from https://biblehub.com/genesis/2-7.htm.

NIV. (2018b). Genesis 2:22. Retrieved from https://biblehub.com/genesis/2-22.htm.

Northview Church. (2014). Man Up!. Retrieved from https://www.northviewchurch.us/sermon/man-up/.

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

OECD. (2016, June 12). OECD Family Database. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/els/family/SF_1_1_Family_size_and_composition.pdf.

Pew Research Center. (2016c, February 11). Belief in evolution by religious tradition. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/02/11/darwin-day/ft_16-02-12_darwinday_640px/.

Pew Research Center. (2019, February 6). The Evolution of Pew Research Center’s Survey Questions About the Origins and Development of Life on Earth. Retrieved from https://www.pewforum.org/2019/02/06/the-evolution-of-pew-research-centers-survey-questions-about-the-origins-and-development-of-life-on-earth/.

Pew Research Center. (2016b, March 22). The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2016/03/22/the-gender-gap-in-religion-around-the-world/.

Pew Research Center. (2016a, March 22). The Gender Gap in Religion Around the World: 7. Theories explaining gender differences in religion. Retrieved from http://www.pewforum.org/2016/03/22/theories-explaining-gender-differences-in-religion/.

Pew Research Center. (2019, April 24). The Global Divide on Homosexuality. Retrieved from https://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/.

Pockrass, A. (n.d.). Why These Secular Jewish Women Are Covering Their Hair. Retrieved from https://www.heyalma.com/secular-jewish-women-covering-hair/.

Powell, R. (2017, August 2). Fact: More women go to church than men. Retrieved from https://www.eternitynews.com.au/australia/fact-more-women-go-to-church-than-men/.

Premier Christianity. (2016, October 26). Tony Campolo: Why gay Christians should be fully accepted into the Church. Retrieved from https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/Tony-Campolo-Why-gay-Christians-should-be-fully-accepted-into-the-Church.

RationalWiki. (2018, April 16). No True Scotsman. Retrieved from https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman.

Saxton, E. (2017, April 27). What the church taught me about dating as a secular woman. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/soloish/wp/2017/04/27/what-the-church-taught-me-about-dating-as-a-secular-woman/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fbb677045ad5.

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Su, A. (2019, February 8). The Rising Voices of Women in Pakistan. Retrieved from https://pulitzercenter.org/reporting/rising-voices-women-pakistan.

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Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

[1] Utilitarianism: Chapter 2 What Utilitarianism Is (1863) states:

I must again repeat, what the assailants of utilitarianism seldom have the justice to acknowledge, that the happiness which forms the utilitarian standard of what is right in conduct, is not the agent’s own happiness, but that of all concerned. As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator. In the golden rule of Jesus of Nazareth, we read the complete spirit of the ethics of utility. To do as you would be done by, and to love your neighbour as yourself, constitute the ideal perfection of utilitarian morality. As the means of making the nearest approach to this ideal, utility would enjoin, first, that laws and social arrangements should place the happiness, or (as speaking practically it may be called) the interest, of every individual, as nearly as possible in harmony with the interest of the whole; and secondly, that education and opinion, which have so vast a power over human character, should so use that power as to establish in the mind of every individual an indissoluble association between his own happiness and the good of the whole; especially between his own happiness and the practice of such modes of conduct, negative and positive, as regard for the universal happiness prescribes; so that not only he may be unable to conceive the possibility of happiness to himself, consistently with conduct opposed to the general good, but also that a direct impulse to promote the general good may be in every individual one of the habitual motives of action, and the sentiments connected therewith may fill a large and prominent place in every human being’s sentient existence. If the, impugners of the utilitarian morality represented it to their own minds in this its, true character, I know not what recommendation possessed by any other morality they could possibly affirm to be wanting to it; what more beautiful or more exalted developments of human nature any other ethical system can be supposed to foster, or what springs of action, not accessible to the utilitarian, such systems rely on for giving effect to their mandates.

Mill, J.S. (1863). Utilitarianism: Chapter 2 What Utilitarianism Is. Retrieved from https://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm.

[2] These include Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Rev. Gretta Vosper, Shanaaz Gokool, Allie Jackson, Karen Garst, Claire Klingenberg, Joyce Arthur, Colleen MacQuarrie, Catherine Dunphy, Melissa Krawczyk, Sarah Wilkins-LaFlamme, Sikivu Hutchinson, Mandisa Lateefah Thomas, Leslea Mair, Helen Austen, Angie Johnson, Ellen Wiebe, Wendy Webber, Marieke Prien, Shari Allwood, Violine Namyalo, Emily Newman, Sarah Mills, Terry Murray, Stephanie Guttormson, Tina Block, Christine M. Shellska, Cheri Frazer, Anya Overmann, Sophie Shulman, Monica Miller, Houzan Mahmoud, Tammy Pham, Ajomuzu Collette Bekaku, Pamela Machado, Julia Julstrom-Agoyo, Amanda Poppei, Kim Gibson, Marieme Helie Lucas, Nicole Orr, Jennifer C. Gutierrez Baltazar, Linda LaScola, Rebecca Hale, Roslyn Mould, Tara Abhasakun, Kate Smurthwaite, Maryam Namazie, Reba Boyd Wooden, Cynthia Todd Quam, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Morgan Wienberg, Anissa Helou, Marissa Torres Langseth, Hannah Lucy Timson, and others, including, and some repetition, Marissa Alexa Lennex-McCool, Mandisa Thomas, Yasmine Mohammed, Sikivu Hutchinson, Bridgett “Bree” Crutchfield, Marquita Tucker, Samantha A. Christian, Judy Saint, Jummai Mohammed, Marissa Torres Langseth, Alexus Jean Black, Alisha Ann, and Susan Nambejja from this article (Jacoby, 2018; Jacobsen, 2016a; Jacobsen, 2018a; Jacobsen, 2018b; Jacobsen, 2018c; Jacobsen, 2018d; Jacobsen, 2018e; Jacobsen, 2018f; Jacobsen, 2018g; Jacobsen, 2018h; Jacobsen, 2018i; Jacobsen, 2018j; Jacobsen, 2018k; Jacobsen, 2018l; Jacobsen, 2018m; Jacobsen, 2018n; Jacobsen, 2018o; Jacobsen, 2018p; Jacobsen, 2017a; Jacobsen, 2018q; Jacobsen, 2017b; Jacobsen, 2017c; Jacobsen, 2017d; Jacobsen, 2017f; Jacobsen, 2017g; Jacobsen, 2017h; Jacobsen, 2017i; Jacobsen, 2017j; Jacobsen, 2017k; Jacobsen, 2017l; Jacobsen, 2017m; Jacobsen, 2017n; Jacobsen, 2017o; Jacobsen, 2017p; Jacobsen, 2017q; Jacobsen, 2017r; Jacobsen, 2016b; Jacobsen, 2016c; Jacobsen, 2016d; Jacobsen, 2016e; Jacobsen, 2016f; Jacobsen, 2017s; Jacobsen, 2017t; Jacobsen, 2018q; Jacobsen, 2018r; Jacobsen, 2018s; Jacobsen, 2018t; Jacobsen, 2018u; Jacobsen, 2018v; Jacobsen, 2017u; Jacobsen, 2017v; Jacobsen, 2018w; Jacobsen, 2017w; Jacobsen, 2019a; Jacobsen, 2019b; Jacobsen, 2019c; Jacobsen, 2019d; Jacobsen, 2019e; Jacobsen, 2019f; Jacobsen, 2019g; Jacobsen, 2019h; Jacobsen, 2019i; Jacobsen, 2019j; Jacobsen, 2019k; Jacobsen, 2019l; Jacobsen, 2019m; Jacobsen, 2019n; Jacobsen, 2019o; Jacobsen, 2019p; Jacobsen, 2019q; Jacobsen, 2019r; Jacobsen, 2019s; Jacobsen, 2019t; Jacobsen, 2019u; Jacobsen, 2019v; Jacobsen, 2019w; Jacobsen, 2019x; Jacobsen, 2019y; Jacobsen, 2019z; Jacobsen, 2019aa; Jacobsen, 2019ab; Jacobsen, 2019ac; Jacobsen, 2019ad; Jacobsen, 2019ae; Jacobsen, 2019af; Jacobsen, 2019ag; Jacobsen, 2019ah; Jacobsen, 2019ai; Jacobsen, 2019aj; Jacobsen, 2019ak; Jacobsen, 2018x; Jacobsen, 2018y; Jacobsen, 2018z; Jacobsen, 2018aa; Jacobsen, 2018ab; Jacobsen, 2018ac; Jacobsen, 2017x; Jacobsen, 2018ad; Jacobsen, 2018ae; Jacobsen, 2018af; Jacobsen, 2018ag; Jacobsen, 2017y; Jacobsen, 2017z; Jacobsen, 2017aa; Jacobsen, 2017ab; Jacobsen, 2017ac; Jacobsen, 2017ad; Jacobsen, 2017ae; Jacobsen, 2018ag; Jacobsen, 2018ah; Jacobsen, 2018ai; Jacobsen, 2018aj; Jacobsen, 2018ak; Jacobsen, 2018al; Jacobsen, 2018am; Jacobsen, 2018an; Jacobsen, 2018ao; Jacobsen, 2018ap; Jacobsen, 2018aq; Jacobsen, 2018ar; Jacobsen, 2018as; Jacobsen, 2018at; Jacobsen, 2018au; Jacobsen, 2018av; Jacobsen, 2018aw; Jacobsen, 2018ax; Jacobsen, 2018ay; Jacobsen, 2018az; Jacobsen, 2018ba; Jacobsen, 2019al; Jacobsen, 2018bb; Jacobsen, 2018bc; Jacobsen, 2018bd; Jacobsen, 2018be; Jacobsen, 2018bf; Jacobsen, 2018bg; Jacobsen, 2018bh; Jacobsen, 2018bi; Jacobsen, 2018bj; Jacobsen, 2018bk; Jacobsen, 2018bl; Jacobsen, 2018bm; Jacobsen, 2018bn; Jacobsen, 2018bo; Jacobsen, 2017af; Jacobsen, 2017ag; Jacobsen, 2017ah; Jacobsen, 2017ai; Jacobsen, 2017aj; Jacobsen, 2017ak; Jacobsen, 2017al; Jacobsen, 2017am).

[3] Now, this stands apart from theories of consciousness and conscious mental activity found with, for one instance, Sir Roger Penrose and Stuart Hameroff with the Orch-OR Model of Consciousness or Orchestrated Objective Reduction Model of Consciousness, where Penrose remains one of the more prominent and respectable individuals positing stretches in the scientific methodologies and epistemologies for explanation of a difficult phenomena (some say epiphenomena) – consciousness – and did receive a tip-of-the-hat from Edward Witten (The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2018d; Артём Журавель, 2016). Penrose argues the comprehension of non-computable facets of the basic operations of the universe by the human mind in the case of being capable of knowing the truth of the Godel Incompleteness Theorems, and their relationship between axioms & the truths of mathematical formal structures and the computations of the human mind, creates the basis for the expanded model of space-time and physics to include consciousness and space-time geometry as fundamentally interrelated with one another. This creates the basis for models of the universe & consciousness, and the brain and so the mind, with non-computable aspects because of the implications, within the perspective of Penrose, of the realization of some human operators being capable of understanding the Godel Incompleteness Theorems. Something which should not be possible if human computation involved only systems with formalized axiomatic mathematical structures and systems. The mind does; so, new models needed, argues Penrose. He posits isolated collapse of a quantum wave function superposition into a single state in a closed system as not simply a reduction of the system or a collapse of the wave function – as is seen in open systems – but as an Objective Reduction or OR. In complex closed systems or isolated systems, this may become an orchestrated phenomenon as in, for example, consciousness and, therefore, the Orchestrated (Orch) OR or Orch-OR (sorry for that one) Model of Consciousness becomes the possible bridge. The potential state selected from the superposition links to spacetime geometry as non-random and non-algorithmic and non-computable. You see the idea there. To Penrose et al, the span of time until the quantum wave function collapses/the quantum superposition of states reduces to one/objective reduction or OR occurs approximately equates to the simple division function with the gravitational self-energy of the space-time object as the denominator and the reduced Planck constant as the numerator, where the implication of the eventual computation amounts to the bigger the object or the more self-energy then the faster the gravitational self-collapse or the smaller then the slower the rate of the process through time. Important things have more energy; small things have less; thus, big thing OR faster than small thing OR. OR needs isolation. That is, an isolated system for OR. The brain and even neurons are too big and non-isolated for OR in Orch-OR. However, the neuronal microtubules have the approximate correct size and system isolation for OR. They may orchestrate massive OR. That is Orch-OR. Witten believes consciousness will remain a difficult problem despite the advances in the coming decades in knowledge about the detailed structure and function of the brain with modern neuroscience and other disciplines in brain science. Witten remains skeptical of purported forthcoming solutions to the problem of consciousness, taking the position, probably, of consciousness not being a problem with a potential answer but as a mystery with no solution given the structure of the human mind and sciences used to discover the basic nature of the cosmos. Most professional researchers hold skepticism about Orch-OR. With the assumption of a discrete rather a continuous fundamental state of the universe, the proposition in Orch-OR equates to the quantity of self-energy in a given spacetime volume necessary to collapse a quantum superposition – a set of associated states co-occurring or mutually existent; the collapse would occur within a reasonable amount of time into a single new state with smaller objects taking longer and bigger objects taking shorter to self-collapse for a collapse to connect the non-computational aspects of decision-making [read: Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, where “all consistent axiomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable propositions” (Weisstein, 2018)] to associate with the experiences – let’s say qualia and other facets – somehow embedded into the fundamental substructure or even superstructure of the universe – in some Platonic theory about the lowest possible rung of the existent (makes sense as Penrose is a Platonist or a Neo-Platonist), where the neurons of the brain for this form of consciousness would be too large but the microtubules within each neuron – thousands in each neuron – would suffice in scale for sufficient self-energy and also isolation from potential decoherence effects impacting the functional quantum superposition collapse. As far as I know, no or very few minor evidences support, and no major evidence supports, this Orch-OR Model of Consciousness.

[4] NIV (2018a) Genesis 2:7 states:

Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

NIV. (2018a). Genesis 2:7. Retrieved from https://biblehub.com/genesis/2-7.htm.

[5] NIV (2018b) Genesis 2:22 states:

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

NIV. (2018b). Genesis 2:22. Retrieved from https://biblehub.com/genesis/2-22.htm.

[6] Dr. Francisco Ayala: Donald Bren Professor, Biological Sciences; Professor of Philosophy; and Professor of Logic and the Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine (Part One), in part, states:

Prior to Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, Priest William Paley in the 19thcentury argued in his book, Natural Theology (1802), he provided an analogy of the watch and watchmaker to reason by analogy for the existence of a designer. In your book from 2007, Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion, you discuss some of the larger theological aspects related to some modern biological debates, especially those relating to modern creationist and intelligent design theory. In it, you argue against creationism and intelligent design as scientific explanations. Dobzhansky makes note of this in his 1973 essay. He argues science and theology do not conflict. In that, science on the one half; theology on the other half. They deal with different subject-matter. Could you discuss some of the larger, brief historical aspects of the design arguments that have come around? In particular, how did they come to the fore?

Yes, the sign of design in nature. Obviously, I have the eyes to see, hands can manipulate, and leaves can photosynthesize, and on and on. Organisms give evidence of being designed. That tended to be explored in classical Greece among the great philosophers of the 5th and 4th century BCE. They were looking at the signs this way. These signs were attributed to the gods, but not in the modern sense of a modern God – not a universal god. This was very much taken up in the Greek tradition. That organisms were designed because there seemed no other way you explain such design. Thomas Aquinas, a great Christian theologian in the opinion of many people, he used this as one of five arguments that God exists. Since the organism is designed, animals and plants, only a universal creator could explain it. That tradition continues. There are very important works including books written about it. The most complete elaboration of the argument was written by William Paley, published in 1802. He was an author of several books of Christian theology. Also, he was known in the latter part of the 18th and 19th centuries. You may have read this in the book. He was known mostly as a public speaker for abolitionism. He was fighting against slavery. He had to give up his public speaking career. Instead, he decided to study biology. He produced his book Natural Theology, which is the most complete book on the argument for design. He provides the most complete argument about design in organisms in nature such as plants and animals. It is a beautiful book, 350 pages or so. There was no other argument until Darwin came with the Origins of Species (1859). Well, first of all with the two earlier long essays written by him. However, the 1859 book was the greatest contribution to science and one of the most important discoveries of science was being able to provide a scientific explanation of the design of organisms. Because everything else, we have the Copernican revolution with Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton, and others in chemistry, but the design of organisms seemed impossible to explain in terms of science. In terms of natural causes, the great contribution of Darwin was to provide the scientific explanations of design, which makes it one of the great scientific revolutions of all-time.

Jacobsen, S.D. (2014, June 15). Dr. Francisco Ayala: Donald Bren Professor, Biological Sciences; Professor of Philosophy; and Professor of Logic and the Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine (Part One). Retrieved from https://in-sightjournal.com/2014/06/15/dr-francisco-ayala-donald-bren-professor-biological-sciences-professor-of-philosophy-and-professor-of-logic-and-the-philosophy-of-science-university-of-california-irvine/.

[7] Interview with Marissa Alexa Lennex-McCool:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important? 

Marissa Alexa Lennex-McCool: This has happened because women in many of them are affected by the social, political, and economic conditions and are tired of not being represented and spoken over. In many instances, if we are not told we are being too emotional, told to get back in the kitchen or focus on raising children, or serving a husband, we’re condescended to or pushed aside for the good ol’ boys clubs. While many women may not agree with each other, a good percentage of them are sick of having things decided for them without a say, especially when men make decisions about women’s bodies without the faintest idea of what it is like.

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning. 

Lennex-McCool: All those domains, and the women within them, are as diverse as the populations themselves. I think it is fair to say one of the biggest and most prevalent in recent memory is sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, not to mention the processes by which one can report those things, both at work and in general. Even with people being temporarily inconvenienced by allegations, they are often free to come back whenever they want with few, if any, repercussions for their actions. 

The political conditions see evangelicals returning to power and asserting their theocratic views over others under the guise of religious liberty, among many others. Making sure women’s healthcare is dictated by their specific religious beliefs and everything else puts an undue burden on them, not to mention the queer, trans, and women of color who are disproportionately affected by the religious right’s influence on the government. 

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Lennex-McCool: That this behavior has consequences, that it is not just a temporary hiatus or vacation from the spotlight before they try to return like nothing happened. But, and more importantly, that it is not just celebrities who face any consequences for these allegations. Perhaps even worse are the perpetual defenders of these men who defend the perpetrators no matter how much evidence or credible the allegations are, and that alone causes many women/non-men in the secular movement to either stay silent or leave it. Part of the reason we left religion was to get away from that mindset, but many seemingly have not left it behind. 

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Lennex-McCool: I just spoke at a convention that had eight women speakers, an all-women lineup. This convention booked it that way in response to the previous year’s lineup being all white men. Other voices in the community are often attacked, harassed, silenced, or bullied out of the movement, and when platforms are often given preferential treatment to white men, it can make it discourage. Marginalized communities need to be given the opportunity to speak and given the chance to speak on more than just the experience of being marginalized. Women of color can speak on more than race issues. Queer and trans people can speak on more than being queer and trans. The frustration comes from not having the chance to speak, but also being pigeon-holed as to only being invited to speak on your identity. I have three degrees from an Ivy League school. None of those three are degrees in Being Trans, Being Queer, Being a Woman, etc. 

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

McCool: I belong to a women’s-only facebook group, because often the regular ones are intolerable. Women are harassed and spoken down to, queer and trans women are bullied, mocked, doxxed, and virtually treated like the religious communities treat them, but science and logic are the words of defense rather than God and Jesus. Often, we discuss things in those places because we are sick of being ignored, spoken over, or having to stop every six seconds and educate someone who might just be JAQing off (Just Asking Questions.) Often that comes from someone not actually interested in learning, but just disrupting, and it is hard to tell the difference. We do not owe anyone an education.

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Lennex-McCool: Give more than just the white men a chance to speak and be heard and give them a chance to speak on more than just their identity. Book more women, women of color, queer women, trans people, non-binary folx, indigenous activists… People who are not given a certain level of privilege have perspectives, experience, and opinions that were not formed in a place that men, especially white men, can understand and empathize with. The experience is not the same for everyone, and we need to stop pretending the perspective of a white man is universal or speaks for everyone. Men can turn down opportunities to speak if others are not being represented, and some have made it a practice to do so. If they are given the most credence within a community, they also have the power to change it. There are plenty of secular women of color, queer people, trans people, and others who are not religious, but many actively avoid the community because they are sick of seeing only white men represent them. The white men of the movement have the power to change that by advocating for others, and not just checking off a list (see: have the person of color talk about being a person of color, a trans person talk about being trans, etc.) The secular movement is as diverse and complicated as the population itself; the experience of being an atheist goes beyond just white men speaking about it. 

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Marissa.

Marissa Alexa Lennex-McCool

www.rismccool.com

University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017, LPS, Cum Laude

English/Cinema and Media Studies/Anthropology

Podcast Host

The Inciting Incident Podcast

The Cis Are Getting Out of Hand

Co-Founder

The Trans Podcaster Visibility Initiative

Author

The PC Lie: How American Voters Decided I Don’t Matter

False Start

Silent Dreams

Voice in the Dark

Passing Cars: The Internal Monologue of a Neurodivergent Trans Girl

Once Unspoken: A Series of Monologues From The Previously Unheard

The PC Lie: Can We Stop Giving Him A Chance Yet?

[8] Interview with Mandisa Thomas:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important? 

Mandisa Thomas: Women are being more assertive by creating organizations that address relevant issues, organizing protests, marches, as well as getting more involved in the political process by voting and running for office. This is important because while being a woman does not necessarily equal effective change, it does show that women are more likely to consider factors that will benefit the masses as opposed to special interests, especially when working together.

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning. 

Thomas: Concerns include access to birth control, equal consideration in the workplace and policy making, complete objectification by men, and subjection to harassment.

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Thomas: The main concern IMO is the entitlement that men feel to say and do whatever they want without consequences, which has been the case for many years. Such entitlement and power have kept women silent and enduring harsh treatment, and now that more are speaking up, there is a concern that there will be more backlash by men AND other women. 

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Thomas: This is a product of historical male domination, and the thought that men are the final authority. It absolutely should be changed, which can be done by everyone reconsidering what has been done previously, what has worked and what has not, and then work towards reform. 

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Thomas: Nonreligious women are discussing their concerns with the men. Discussing and debating. The responses range from many men being supportive and changing their actions, to many others becoming combative and remaining obstinate. But they are hearing our concerns for sure. 

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Thomas: First and foremost – LISTEN. Do not just hear what we are saying, listen. Do not be dismissive or reactionary when we bring up legitimate concerns. Do include more of us in discussions, events policy making, etc, and it should be consistent. Not one-time initiatives, or when issues fade from the spotlight. Support the organizations that are working on these efforts, financially and with resources. And work with them too.

That is where the difference is made, and where it counts. 

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Mandisa.

[9] Interview with Yasmine Mohammed:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important?

Yasmine Mohammed: It is important because there seems to be this prevailing fallacy that the work of feminism is done-that we have achieved equality. Unfortunately, this is an untrue statement. To varying degrees, there is still a lot more work to be done.
In the West, women have fought and succeeded in achieving equality in many ways, but social changes do not occur at the flip of a switch. Just like in the fight against racism, winning civil rights battles did not ensure that there is no longer racism. Of course, there is. Though those battles that have been fought and admirably won have undoubtedly made huge strides in our Western societies, there are other societies, like in the Middle East and North Africa, where those strides are virtually unheard of. Women in Saudi Arabia have recently won limited permission to drive cars (they still need their male guardians’ permission to obtain the license, purchase a car, or even leave the house). 

It is important for people to understand that not only is the battle not over, in some places the battle has not even begun. 

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of Canadian women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning. 

Mohammed: In a general sense, for Canadian women, and for all women in North America, the fight is for equalitywith our male counterparts. For a social example, as a female, I am attacked on social media far more and far more viciously than my male peers. A specific example would be when I was a cohost on Secular Jihadists podcast. In that podcast, one of my male peers made a controversial statement “Islam is worse than Nazism”. My other male peered agreed and added “I think all religions are worse than Nazism”. Although I was present, and agreed with my co-hosts, I said nothing. However, even though I never said a word, the resounding backlash on social media was entirely in my direction. It is easier for men and women to attack a woman for her views than it is to attack a man. We are still perceived as weaker – even by our non-religious community which purports to know better.

For an economic example, as a female, I am quite often not offered any speaking fee at all or I am offered significantly less than my male counterparts. As well, when I had a talk scheduled with two other female speakers that unfortunately had to be postponed, the three of us were so disrespected and summarily ignored in a way that would never happen if we were male.

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of Canadian non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men? 

Mohammed: I think all women, religious or not, have the same concerns. We just want to be regarded as equal human beings. We would love for people to treat men and women with equal respect.

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Mohammed: Yes, this is true. It is historically easier for men to be atheists as it is considered a confrontational or at least controversial stance by most people. Women are generally expected to be the caregivers and the social/community support of a religious group aids in family cohesion. There are many reasons why men far outnumber women in our community.

And that is exactly why more women need to be given the opportunity to speak publicly. “You cannot be what you cannot see”. If all our atheist talks are all male speakers, how will that encourage more women to see themselves as having the courage to be open about their atheism? They need to see examples of women, of mothers, successfully making that transition. Then they will be inspired and will then they will know that it is possible.

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things?

Mohammed: Yes, I think we talk about our experiences with religious patriarchy. Our experiences with women policing other women in religious contexts-and worse, women oppressing other women. Because religions are made by men for men, it is obvious that women would have very different experiences under religion. It is not just an intellectual epiphany for us. As a woman, you have been bred to see yourself as lesser-than. The modesty and shame culture thrust upon you from an early age – all those poisons need to be cleansed from our bodies. Our experiences are more like that of LGBT people who have left their faiths. We were raised to think that we are dirty sinners and that our existence provokes more sin. 

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Mohammed: I think the failures and the uphill battle is no different than that of any other male-dominated industry. And the solutions are the same. We are stuck in a vicious cycle where people only know of the dominant male speakers/writers, so they only want to hear from the dominant male speakers/writers. Women need to fight for our seat at that table. Make ourselves heard. Make ourselves known. It is a battle we are accustomed to. We just should not be lulled into thinking that, as atheists, we are immune to the same social ills as all other human beings. Of course, our issues are nowhere near to the same extent, and I am very grateful for that, but if we are unaware of the fact that women are fighting tooth and nail in our community, then we will not be sensitive to reaching out a hand. Knowledge is key. I think if more men understood that it is a problem, then they would be more than willing to do what they can to change the landscape. 

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Yasmine.

[10] Interview with Sikivu Hutchinson:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Scott Douglas Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Sikivu Hutchinson: More men, specifically, white men, dominate secular conversation because women have historically been marginalized in secular/atheist/humanist power circles and organizations. Non-religious contexts share the same sexist, misogynist conventions, ideologies and hierarchies as religious contexts. Although recent sexual abuse “scandals” involving high-powered white male secular leaders are the most egregious examples of this, these hierarchies have always existed in the non-religious sphere. Simply removing god-belief from the equation does not eliminate hierarchies based on the sexual objectification, commodification and occupation of women’s bodies and the devaluation of women’s work. And it certainly does not disrupt white supremacist, colonialist notions of the liberated secular West versus “backward” “third world” cultures steeped in superstition and tribalism. Moreover, women of color have traditionally been under-represented in non-religious discourse and leadership due to the ways Black and Latinx female morality/respectability is tethered to religiosity and god. In addition, women of color are more likely to be connected to religious institutions because of the social, economic and political resources that they provide in capitalist nations with minimal social safety nets.

See my comments below on how this could be changed.

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Hutchinson: Part of the global success of New Atheism has been best-selling white atheist rock star authors and the popularization of cults of personality like the Four Horsemen. Unfortunately, this kind of idolatry has eclipsed recognition of and attention to the ground work being laid by grassroots humanist organizations in their local communities. Progressive atheists organize around issues that go far beyond the usual church/state separation and “science and reason” agenda. You cannot fight for economic justice in communities of color without advocating for reproductive justice, unrestricted abortion rights and access to universal health care. You cannot preach “equality” of genders without redressing the heterosexist lack of representation of queer and trans people of color in K-12 curricula. You cannot advocate for LGBTQQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning) enfranchisement without confronting all the mechanisms that criminalize queer and trans youth of color and make them at greater risk for being incarcerated, placed in foster care and/or becoming homeless. Coalitions that form around these intersectional issues should be actively promoted—especially those that cultivate ties with progressive believers and non-atheist secular community-based organizations. Further, non-believers who write about and organize around these issues should be tapped for leadership positions in humanist and atheist organizations. There are currently little to no people of color in executive management positions in the major secular/humanist/atheist organizations (i.e., CFI, American Atheists, American Humanist Association, etc.). As a result, it is precisely because of the lack of culturally responsive humanist organizations and institutions that most non-believers of color do not feel comfortable openly identifying as atheist. Where are the humanist institutions that support the realities of our lived experiences in a “Christian nation” based on capitalist, racist, sexist, heterosexist class power? When atheism is primarily associated with academic elites patronizingly condemning believers as primitive and backward—while systematically profiting from racial segregation and straight white male privilege—then many people of color will see no compelling reason to ally with atheist causes and organizations by coughing up hundreds of dollars to attend navel-gazing conferences. 

[11] Interview for Bridgett “Bree” Crutchfield:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important? 

Bridgett “Bree” Crutch: ‘Sooner or later when oppression can no longer be tolerated a voice or chorus of voices will rise up. This has ALWAYS been important. I cannot think of greater advocates for women other than…women. Men have subjugated, oppressed, judged, demeaned, humiliated women since the dawn of time. Why would we as women expect men to have a long awaited, well overdue, epiphany and do right by women? Women have ALWAYS been vocal. We gain strength by watching others share similar truths as ourselves. We are no longer ‘alone.’

In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning. 

‘FREEDOM AND FAIRNESS. 

In 2018, women are still awaiting their “Mr. Maybe Right.” They are still led to believe they are incomplete if their child-free and/or manless. Our womb, our reproductive rights continue to be put to a vote. We’re still fighting for equal pay and nonreligious women are tired of our womanhood being judged if we don’t attend church.’

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men? 

Crutch: ‘The concerns are the same as religious women. Misogyny, sexual predators and rape apologists have been the subjects of many a think piece. Initially, I was embarrassed as I assumed secular men were…different. I have learned since then; it could not be further from the truth. 

‘We want to survive romantic relationships. We want to NOT be victims of domestic violence. We want to NOT fear for our lives when we turn down the advances of men. We want to not fear for our daughters and not force them to live a life in hopes of not getting raped. We WANT LAWS that protect women and PUNISH MEN and their brutality REGARDLESS of their socioeconomic status. Is that too much to ask?’

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Crutch: ‘I have no thoughts regarding the male dominated conversations, as my focus is on the women-centered conversations.’

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Crutch: ‘These conversations parallel those of religious women. Like most oppressed groups, women require safe spaces. A space where we can discuss our interactions with men and not have our statements second guessed or worse explained to us by men. 

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Crutch: ‘The secular community is slow to change. While there a couple of organizations that are progressive, the community is not. The treatment or rather the mistreatment of oppressed groups, women and people of color within the secular community is well documented. Suggestions, ideas and proposals have been presented in doses and the disenfranchised are STILL disenfranchised. The secular community is not as open and freethinking as it purports to be to the religious. The community is disproportionately white male, conservative and I do not see that changing anytime soon especially in the roles of major leadership. 

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Bree.

[12] Interview with Marquita Tucker, M.B.A.:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important?

Marquita Tucker: Women are half of this planet’s population. We have been hushed and dismissed for so long and look how things have turned out. It is important and it is time for us to be more assertive and vocal about our ideas on social, political and economic concerns. Our input should be valued and taken seriously. You cannot run a nation let alone any part of the world with just one half of the population’s view and say on everything. 

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning.

Tucker: Two words: reproductive rights. This one issue is an amalgam of social, political, and economic conditions concerns. Socially, we still have the religious right attacking a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. Politically, conservative politicians are still confusing birth control pills with actual abortions. Economically, if a woman does need an abortion, that woman has several barriers in place from transportation to paying for the procedure. A woman’s right to choose sometimes makes the difference between her and her child(ren) living a life of poverty and poor education with little upward mobility or her being able to make moves that will improve her life and thus the life of her future children.

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Tucker: Isn’t it the same issue across any and all countries, religions, races, politics, etc.? One consistent thing: men think they know everything; and I do not think it is a nature thing, I think it is a nurture thing. Men often take up more space, men often talk over women when, men disregard women when they have an idea or suggestion. Its conditioning. That does not change no matter where you are from or what you believe or do not believe.

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Tucker: I think that more men dominate the non-religious conversation because it is more acceptable for men to do what they want. Men are perceived as the thinkers, philosophers of the sexes (funny, because there have been female thinkers and philosophers, but they have been dismissed or disregarded because they were… female). I know in the black community, when you go to a black church, you will see the church filled with mostly women. When you think about it, there are a lot more rules and conditions when it comes to be a woman in religion than there are for men. So, I guess rules are socialized into women from birth and not so much into men, giving men more of a chance to freely think outside of the box and express their disagreements with sects or religion and act upon those disagreements than women. I mean, how many female religious sect founders or cult leaders can you think of?

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Tucker: Of course, there are! I cannot tell you about it because then you will know our secrets. Just kidding. As a non-believing black woman, I talk all the time about how my family treats me differently because I do not believe in Jesus. In the black community, we cannot wash our hands without thanking god. So, for a black woman to not rely on a blond haired, blue eyed white male for everything… I am a bit of an outcast. And this is a common situation with other non-believing black women I have conversed with. I have come across many black male non-believers who state that they simply just never believed. That they were never really forced to go to church or required to pray or anything like that. So, when I bring it up, black male non-believers kinda say things like, “well, I just wouldn’t have done it. I just wouldn’t have gone.” Like, you do not get it. Girls are not given the level of autonomy that boys are most of the time. I’ve yet to meet an American black woman who was not conditioned to have to believe in god.

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Tucker: I think that an openness to want to learn about people different from yourself without judging is a good start to more inclusion in the global non-religious community. If we do that, then we are open to hearing what they have to say in various discussions. It has funny how the non-religious proclaim to be the opposite of those “closed minded religious people” when there are parts of the non-religious community who are just as closed minded in different areas. Non-religious men can start by having a seat sometimes and not always having something to say about everything. Sometimes you learn more by listening to others. We have missed so many opportunities to hear great perspectives and vast knowledge from non-believers simply because they were female and thus never given a chance to be heard. It is time that that stops. 

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Marquita Tucker.

[13] Interview with Samantha A. Christian:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important?

Samantha A. Christian: I think more women are feeling empowered and have become apologetically honest and confident. Which I think is amazing, especially in countries where sexism/gender roles are so suffocating. It takes even greater courage to do that! This also means that more women are finally realizing they deserve to be treated better and with respect for a change. So, when I see someone not allowing themselves to be “mansplained away”, bullied and taken advantage of, it gives me hope for humanity. ^^

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning.

Christian: I honestly have no idea and can only speak for myself. I purposely do not join non-religious communities or any community for that matter. The things I am worried about is the creepy attempts to normalize rape here and other parts of the world. Then trying to make people as ignorant and fearful as possible. Making them hate truth, facts, research, knowledge and education. That is extremely scary. The psychological community is doing nothing about this while simultaneously enabling toxic majorities (religious people, god gullibles, bigots of all kinds) and ignoring the toxic influences that make them that way in the first place. There is this idea that if a lot of people say or believe something it must be true or even respected. I do not want a democracy I want a meritocracy. In the last question it was mentioned that women re becoming more empowered all over the world. I have noticed that there is one group of women that seem to fee less empowered as time goes on: white women. They even voted for their abusive husbands and candidates in the election recently. I think we need to do something about that. Have a place where white women can feel safe, supported and empowered, especially since their husbands (white men) are the ones who commit the most domestic terrorism in the USA and yet still are in positions of power.

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Christian: I was not aware that these other movements existed. Again, I can only speak for myself but sexism towards women and men is a fundamental problem. I think the sexism against men can be more suffocating which leads so many guys to fear being honest or being themselves. This means that, whether it is in cult communities or non-religious ones, you will have the same toxic behaviors. The thing that worries me from what I have observed in non-religious communities is how many men have a deep hatred and distrust of women. So, much so that when a woman reports being raped or abused, they do not believe her, and victim blame her. I get a lot, “Well, people shouldn’t blindly believe gods are real, so why should I believe women when they talk about rape?” This is ridiculous. People are supposed to recognize gods are fictional. If you do not believe, then the consequences a minor. You can easily pretend that you do as a survival tactic if you must. In terms of rape and abuse it is so important to believe the victim. If you do not, then horrid acts of humanity go unpunished. There is no justice. So, many people’s lives are literally destroyed while it enables the rapist/abuser to keep raping/abusing other people, because they were not properly punished and held accountable. People do not really lie about rape/abuse. Maybe 4% tops. So, they should be taken seriously. When someone comes to you saying they are bullied, abused, or raped, the moral and humanitarian thing to do is to believe them and support them. The consequences if you do not are far worse than anything religious or god belief related.

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Christian: I do not think it is a problem, but it depends on the guys speaking. Have they internalized sexism on such a deep level? Do they feel they can be themselves 100%? Or do they feel they must act a certain role to survive in society? That is the problem. Whether the community is religious or not, we need to do something about this. Help educate people that there is no such thing as an “opposite sex” because women and men have far more in common than differences. Any differences between these 2 common sexes (female and male) are minor at best. Even our genitals are homologous. If we have a lot of men abused by sexism in society representing the atheist community, that is not good. If we have men who have overcome it and feel empowered enough to be their authentic selves, then it would not matter if there are a lot of men talking or a lot of women talking. People like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris make the non-religious community look bad while people like Daniel Dennett, Neil Carter and Darrel Ray do so much to help the non-religious and anti-religious communities. Once again, I go back to how white women seem to be the one woman in the world who feel less empowered. It is the same in the non-religious community too. Which is also dominated by white men. It would be great if we had more people as a face of atheism. It would humanize us more in the world. See more black men, Latin men, white women, black women, Asian women. All of us. That there is no one demographic that is dominant in our communities.

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Christian: In my case, nope. I am upfront with everyone no matter their sex or if they are a cult addict (religious) or not. I cannot think of anytime when I was not upfront or honest about a subject, especially online. I am really the only non-religious, anti-religious, atheist person in my family, friends and daily life. My mom and BGF (boy-girlfriend, my lover was born intersexed. We use this nickname to protect her identity online. ) are not into religion but have not called themselves “non-religious” or “atheist” officially. My point being, I really do not have many in person conversations about religion. My online ones, I have with everyone and am upfront/honest with everyone regardless of their sex. The funny thing in my case more men reach out to me than women do. About sexist expectations on men, their sexual orientation, desires and identity. Religion usually comes up because that is what is pushing those sexist ideas and destroying their lives to begin with. As mentioned earlier, at lot of women (except white women) feel empowered but the sexism against men is still very strong (at least in the USA). It is still on the same level. It is so important to help people realize that women are men are the same (with only minor differences). Thus, we should be treated the same way. There should be age expectations/roles not gender expectations/roles. If people feel uncomfortable about being honest with someone because of their sex, I am more inclined to wonder why that is. I get the same thing from the guys I have spoken too saying they feel they cannot be honest or open with the women in their lives. Why the disconnect when we (women and men) have so much in common? Feel free to read about the gender similarities hypothesis and the persistent disconnect with the elevated level of sexism in society. https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/amp-606581.pdf

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Christian: That’s easy, the divisive labels. It is all right to label yourself in a way, but it is also important to educate yourself about each of our demographics. Research over time keeps showing we have vastly more in common and that any differences are minor and insignificant. Same mentioned above about biological sex. The 2 common ones (female and male) have so much in common that it is beyond ridiculous for sexism to exist or for anyone to think there is an “opposite sex.” homosexuality and heterosexuality (monosexuality) are both the same thing. Gay men = straight women. They are both androsexual, the proper term to describe those attracted to men. Lesbians = straight guys. They are both gynesexual, those attracted to women. Same thing. Another thing people obsess about and cause trouble over when the reality is, they are the same. Even more research shows that monosexuality is a myth and that humans are either part of the bisexual spectrum or asexual spectrum. What is my point? The quick spread of misinformation about race, sex, human sexuality and humanity in general is what is preventing a more inclusive system or community. Not just for non-religious groups but ALL groups. Don’t’ focus on getting more POC or women into the fold. Focus on getting more non-religious people, humanist, agnostics, atheists into the fold and naturally people will unite. The bigger problem is the misinformation going around. That is what we need to focus on. Putting an end to all the lies we are forced fed since birth, not just the religion/god lies but the ones about race and sex. Create more educational opportunities. Stop shaming people for being a demographic, this will allow them to feel more comfortable being themselves. The biggest danger that poses a threat to all of humanity is the need to fit in or be accept. That is why people join religions, create toxic group, do not stand up to bullies, bigots, etc. Therefore, we get the bystander effect, why so many men (especially white men) are just brutal to women and each other. To fit in, to be accepted. If humanity evolved past the need for such things, we would be more moral, happier, healthier and better friends to each other.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Samantha.

[14] Interview with Judy Saint:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important? 

Judy Saint: How: Women are more assertive by talking with each other, as women did in the USA when fighting for the right to vote. That died down as women focused on resembling men, in clothing, competition and executive function. They stopped talking with each other until sexual harassment took center stage. Women again found each other as mutual combatants. Why it is important: I cannot imagine a woman ever asking why asserting women’s rights is important.

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning. 

Saint: American women are not all concerned with their rights in any of these domains. We only see a portion of women out there advocating in these spheres. The concerns of those not fighting for rights seems to be to “fit in” and fulfil society’s mandate of being a quiet servant to men. As for those who are out there fighting for women’s rights, their concerns are that women have all the advantages men are routinely given, and the ability to change society to a more cooperative world, away from the testosterone-laden competitive world men created for us. One example, a survey of women who voted against women’s rights (and for Trump) said they voted in ways that supported their husbands’ needs. Another example, Bill and Melinda Gates sponsor helping women start local businesses because they found that when men succeed, they take all the money with them away to larger cities so they can make more, but when women succeed they invest in their local communities and in each other.

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Saint: Secular women want responsibility to be placed on perpetrators of aggression toward women, rather than abusing women’s rights as a cover for poor behavior. Responsibility and early training of little boys are the main concerns.

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Saint: Atheism is a non-issue unless the religious community becomes a threat. In that case, it is men who rise to combat and protect, which is reflected in the makeup of out and vocal atheists. Being out and vocal is combative, more natural to men.

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Saint: I could say the obvious: we cannot tell you because you are a man. Seriously, being a male asking this question could subliminally influence the answers you get from women. But, let me try, anyway. Mainly it would be about cooperative and supportive efforts that men do not want to help with. “Women’s work” like providing food for a meeting or gathering clothing for disaster survivors or helping other women leave abusive husbands who are religious. Women are cooperative; men are competitive. That has why men are not included in women’s discussions – it is not about competing or winning, and therefore of little interest.

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Saint: We have in Sacramento a Black Humanist Group. They want their own secular organization because their discussions and concerns are not addressed in groups where they are in the minority. So, supporting more smaller groups that address unique subgroups of interests could give more people a home where they feel understood and listened to. Publicity of their unique problems could keep them energized and supportive of those groups.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Judy.

[15] Interview with Jummai Mohammed:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was family and personal background regarding geography, culture, religion, and language?

Mohammed: Good evening.

My name is Jummai Mohammed. I am a Hausa lady from the northern part of Nigeria. I was born into a muslim home but in a predominantly Christian society. I was born and bread in the southern part of Nigeria which is mostly dominated by Christians.
Jacobsen: How did this impact early life? What was early education like for you? Was religion a part of that education?
Mohammed:
I will say being born in a Muslim home in a Christian dominated society tend to shape my being an atheist this day. As a young girl, I was practically confused on the contradictions in both religions, yet they both claim to serve the supreme God. I never love Islam schools since the ustaz in those schools always look and act mean. The way in which children are beaten up, young boys tied into poles while being flogged mercilessly in the name of punishment made me hate going to Islamic schools; on the other hand, whenever I have the opportunity of following my Christian friends to church, I tend to enjoy the less tensed environment, the songs, the dance and everyone smiling faces and that paved my way into converting to Christianity in the later years. So, I have practised and experienced the two most popular Abrahamic religion.

Early education for me was fun. I attended a private nursery and primary school. Yes, religion was part of the education. I later proceed to a church owned private high school for secondary education. I converted to Christianity while in secondary school, but a closet one.
Jacobsen: When did you first start to begin questioning religion, or were you always an atheist?
Mohammed:
I have always question religion right from primary school, I always question bible/Quran stories right from time, because the stories don’t add up. I ask questions like why did God created us, why placing an apple tree in the garden when he does not want humans eating from it.
Jacobsen: Are women treated differently than men and religions? How is this difference manifested in Nigeria?
Mohammed:
However, joining a popular Nigeria online forum known as nairaland influenced and fasting my decision of becoming an atheist.
Jacobsen: What has been your experience as an adult atheist in Nigeria?
Mohammed:
Yes, it is a glaring fact that religion preaches subjugation of women and it is very evident in the Nigeria society. Women are being treated more like a semi human or should I say slaves in Nigeria, most especially in the northern part of the country which I come from.
Jacobsen: Who are some prominent male atheists in Nigeria? Who are some prominent women atheists in Nigeria?
Mohammed:
My experience as adult atheist is just religious fanatics unwillingness to get close, make friends or do business with me. I do not live in the north where most atheist are likely to face death threat; I reside in Lagos.
Jacobsen: Can you recommend any books on atheism that are popular within Nigeria? Those that are written by non-Nigerians. Also, those that are written by Nigerians, or a Nigerian.
Mohammed:
Prominent female atheist:

Jummai pearl, Neshama, Dorris etc

Mubarak Balah, Azaya, Calistus, Juwon, Dr Leo. Etc

No.
Jacobsen: What are the main forms of discrimination against atheists, especially open ones, in Nigeria?
Mohammed:
Discriminations varies, depending on the atheist environment. In the southern and eastern parts, the discriminations are; family and friends rejecting one, people not wanting to make friends or involve in any sort of business with one, relationship/marriage breakups. etc..
Jacobsen: How can people become involved in the atheist movement or community in Nigeria? If outside Nigeria, how can people support those that are atheists inside of Nigeria?
Mohammed:
In the northern part which is predominant by Muslims, atheist faces death threats, lynching and co, together with what I listed up there faces by southern atheist.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Pearl.

[16] Interview with Marissa Torres Langseth:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important? 

In each of those domains – social, political and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of Filipina women? What about women in Southeast Asia? Please give examples or reasoning. 

Marissa Torres Langseth: ***It is important that women be partners and equal in any societal norm, be it economic, political or social, because women population is about half or the population in this world. Population, female (% of total) | Data). 

 Population, female (% of total) | DataPopulation, female (% of total) from The World Bank: Data

Misogyny is common in the Philippines because of patriarchal orientation, and upbringing. We were brought up thinking that a male is more dominant in any household and women should just stay home and take care of the children. Women are treated like baby factories in the Phils with the RH or Planned Parenthood on hold due to the religious nature of the Philippines, these women succumb to high morbidity and mortality rates. : Maternal Mortality in the Philippines – The Borgen Project

   Maternal Mortality in the Philippines – The Borgen ProjectFor the Philippines, improving maternal health was an extremely important MDG since the maternal mortality rate …

SEA women like Indonesia has the biggest Muslim population, therefore, women are subjected to being the lowest in the totem pole and Sharia law.http://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/indonesia-population/

Women in Islamic nations are subject to honor killings and gender discrimination, arranged marriages and mutilation of sex organs. Equality is a far cry due to religious implications, whereby death is the punishment to apostasy (Gender Discrimination in Southeast Asia – BORGEN

   Gender Discrimination in Southeast Asia – BORGENGender Discrimination in Southeast Asia impacts women’s health, psychologically and physically

Women from SEA who go to other countries as service personnel or house cleaners are at risk of being raped and abused due to the belief of others that women in the third world countries will do anything to put food on their table including prostitution. Unfortunately, a lot of these uneducated women end up as prostitutes and taken advantaged of. Even the most careful women end up raped and dead. I have read a lot of horror stories about this. Maid in Saudi Arabia ‘died of rape’

   Maid in Saudi Arabia ‘died of rape’Woman reportedly pointed at employer when asked who abused her

Arrests made in Kuwait murder of Filipina house cleaner

   Arrests made in Kuwait murder of Filipina house cleanerBoth two main suspects in case of house cleaner whose body was found stuffed in a freezer in Kuwait have been held

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of Southeast Asian non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

**This Me Too movement became an international outcry, however, I have not seen it in SEA quite frankly.

The nonreligious women in SEA will not resist to whatever men would do to them due to fear and early indoctrination. (I cannot comment more regarding this Me Too movement in SEA)

More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how

Langseth: increased women nowadays are empowered and unafraid of coming out as nonreligious. The stigma is waning and fading away. 

My take is that, if they can see us women as successful without gods, we can be notable examples of how to live decently and practice clean living with high ethical values. Documentation and the advent of social media are just examples of how we can show to the religious world that we are equal to those who profess “good moral compass”.

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Langseth: am not afraid to divulge to anyone that I am nonreligious. I even said that to the church members where my husband and I go to occasionally.

I have even said that to my husband’s male friends who are Italian, and Jewish. I did not care what their opinions  and who cares anyway about their opinions. I know who I am. If my husband values me and sees me as an equal. that is enough for me. My husband is even ready to leave his church, if the church members will ostracize me, truth be told. He is a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP).

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Langseth: **More awareness and more education about equality. More social media coverage, more inputs from women old and young alike.

**Maybe less men to be at the spot light and emphasize more women leaders to hold higher and better positions in nonreligious societies.

Failures are the usual backstabbing from groups, infighting and trying to outsmart the others due to immaturity and vanity and self-aggrandizement.

Some men also back stab women due to their insecurities and low self-esteem.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Marissa.

Langseth: Thank you for this opportunity, Scott.

[17] Interview with Alexus Jean Black – Philippines:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important? In each of those domains – social, political and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of Filipina women? What about women in Southeast Asia? Please give examples or reasoning. #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of Southeast Asian non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men? More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how? Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man? What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Alexus Jean Black: I think that women especially now a days have been very vocal about those subjects it is because we have more freedom than what we used to have. Although, in some parts of Asia, middle east for example have still some kind of discrimination towards the women. It is important for women to be included in all sort as we also are a part of the nation. I do not really know a lot of ppl who are non religious in my country as Philippines is one of the most religious countries in the world. But there are some concerns I want to address like «christian subjects» are mandatory in elementary schools, some laws are based on religion, ex: divorce is still illegal.

Having men dominate the non religious community does not mean there are more non religious men but shows that mostly women are very conservative about their thoughts which I will explain in a bit. I do not talk a lot about religion or being a non-religious in the Philippines. As I said they are very religious, and I do not want to disrespect them, so I just do not simply talk about it. Although there are lots of people who would ask me about being an atheist , most of them are men. I think that the non religious community, to engage the women more, is to just let them. I do not think we should oppress anyone about topics that are sensitive for them.

[18] Interview with Alisha Ann:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important?

Alisha Ann: Because we feel safe enough to. We are no where near as safe as we should be. We have fought long and hard for the right to vote, earn a living outside the home and control our own reproduction. Those rights are not secure and are constantly threatened. As usual, we stand on the shoulders of the giants before us. We have the bravery of the feminist activists in generations prior and feminist voices today to build on. We are stronger together. And when one stands up, we tend to stand with them. Their fight is our fight.

And that is just here. Many women in other countries are still heavily oppressed. We help them by progressing. Progressive countries serve as a contrast to regressive ones.

Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of American women? What about women in North America? Please give examples or reasoning. #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of North American non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Ann: Social – life. I am concerned about male violence against non-males. From clergy raping children, to intimate partner violence, to attacks against the transgender community. Men have a problem. And only men can fix it. So, far, we have stuck Band-Aids on a mortal wound by asking women and children to take steps to not get raped and killed. Which is to say, “Make sure he rapes them instead of you.” Because we have not solved the root issue: male violence. Political – rights. The patriarchy lives on in the old white men who run our government. And they are so afraid of being treated the way they’ve historically treated women and minorities, that they resist progress. Or worse, are blind to injustice all together. Equality feels like oppression to the privileged. So, they resist everything women and minorities do to level the playing field. From denying reproductive freedom, to voter suppression, to poverty wages. Economic – poverty. We have consolidated power to a few, which disenfranchises us all. The economic system we have in place will fail. And the people who will suffer the most are not the 1%, they will just be the loudest.

That they will not be better in my lifetime. That the standard bearer of meaningful change will not be retired with my generation and will require passage to my children to complete. If we cannot convince men to be better, we not only pass the responsibilities of progress to them, but the dangers of our failings.

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Ann: It absolutely must change. Diversity of opinion has always been better. We can only speak to our own experiences. Unless we only care about improving the experiences of white men, then we must include women and minorities. The way we do that is by checking ourselves and our privilege. We actively overlook an ethnic sounding name when hiring. We do not assume a woman cannot speak on a topic. We seek out and value the opinions of those not like us. We listen to each other and validate.

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other non-religious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Ann: Not necessarily whisper networks, but things women are more comfortable discussing amongst and between themselves rather than with men. Anything involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, abuse, violence and inequality. Because, as a block, they do not see it or believe it happens. Those that do, are still routinely shocked by the extent of it. And all of them tend to default to victim blaming and responsibility shifting. It is why we have whisper networks. We cannot depend on men to protect us from themselves or believe our stories. So, we warn each other about repeat or egregious offenders behind the scenes to protect ourselves.

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the non-religious community?

Ann: The failures have been the same overall social failures we see on a larger scale. Appointing men to leadership and overlooking women/minorities. Assuming women are less knowledgeable on certain topics and overlooking them for speaking gigs or as resources. Assuming a man is better able and tasking him with more high-profile gigs – like public speaking or media events. Assuming women and minorities just do not want to be in certain fields, like science or philosophy, and therefore not seeking out those candidates. However, the secular community suffers from a lack of diversity for a unique reason in my opinion. It is been an older white man’s club because older white has historically retained their social, political, economic, and religious privileges regardless of their allegiances. Their survival does not depend on their adherences to certain groups.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Alisha.

[19] Interview with Susan Nambejja:

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Women have been increasingly assertive about their concerns about the social, political, and economic conditions within their own part of a country, in their respective nations, and, indeed, regions of the world and on the international scene. How? Why is this important?

Susan Nambejja: Women have been more assertive by getting involved into different activities, socially women have struggled to act independently or combine efforts with men for those who are married, and single mothers have more determined to bring up their children meeting all needs alone. Politically women have engaged into leadership positions, at various levels, they are now community leaders, presidents, ministers and so on, for example our Kampala capital city authority Director is a woman. (Jennifer Musisi) Economically: women are now entrepreneurs nationally and internationally; they now operate big businesses worldwide. Importance of this is that: the time when women were considered as domestic slaves is now over, women are now enjoying liberty than in accent days hence boosting their esteem and lack of respect. Jacobsen: In each of those domains – social, political, and economic conditions, in the non-religious communities, what are the concerns of Ugandan women? What about women in Africa? Please give examples or reasoning. Susan: much as I have explained in different domains, non religious women in Uganda are still facing a lot of challenges. Being non religious in Uganda is considered evil, immoral, inhuman, that may hinder a woman’s chance to become a minister, community leader and so on, people may not cast a vote for such a person. Leadership is highly based on religion.

Socially marriage may not be a success for a non religious woman, and, but economically if a non religious woman sets up for example a business, most strict religions may find it hard to support such a business for example the Muslims have a tendency of supporting fellow Moslems on a belief that any thing from a non Moslem is considered unclean (haraam). This makes it difficult for operate well businesses. All this means there is a lot of segregation in Uganda between the religious and non religious, this is because Uganda is a highly religious populated country. Non religious are still very few.

Jacobsen: #MeToo led to #ChurchToo, #MeccaToo, #MosqueToo, #SynagogueToo, and so on; these have been replicated in consequences and call-outs of poor behavior by men in the non-religious communities. What are the main concerns of African non-religious women as regarding the behavior of the men?

Nambejja: Men in Africa are still cherishing African cultural practices, and some put a woman as inferior, much as many are educated, they still consider them selves as (kings). Most cultures men are still dominating, leadership is still for men in most cultures in African traditions. Women are still lacking self esteem due to the fear of how the society will interpret their actions, few women have come up to speak for others in our countries.

Jacobsen: More men dominate the non-religious conversation, globally. What are your thoughts on this? Should it be changed? If so, how?

Nambejja: Yes, it is because men are more open towards different issues, they have no fear to speak out who they are and what they stand for, women tend to protect themselves silently thinking more of the out comes of the effects. For example, speaking about being non religious in Uganda is not safe unless if you have enough ways to protect your self. Men have no fear for segregation, women mind about it a lot. This should be changed, by giving more chance to women more than men, by supporting their causes, invite women as speakers at conferences, those who get a chance to speak will end up becoming more confident of their non religious beliefs. And hence others will get inspired and do the same way.

Jacobsen: Are there some things non-religious women simply only talk about with other nonreligious women that non-religious men just do not hear? If so, what are these experiences? If so, what are these things? If so, why only the discussions like those happening woman-to-woman rather than woman-to-man?

Nambejja: I will put this more on social setting, for example if a woman is married to a religious man, she will talk about this with a non religious woman probably facing same challenge than talking about it with a man. Why? Due to fear of judgement she speaks to fellow woman. If it is an initiative, like projects on girl child, menstrual education, a non religious woman will feel more speak to person non religious woman more comfortably than woman to man. We have a tendency of thinking that this should be told to fellow woman. Yet, in a non religious way, I think this should stop. That is according to my thinking please it is just according to my assumption.

Jacobsen: What can the non-religious communities do to include more women, people of color, and people from a wider variety of nations in the global non-religious community? What can we do to include more women’s voices in the mainstream dialogues, discourses, and discussions? What are the ways in which the non-religious community and men can help these efforts? What have been historic failures of the non-religious, and of men, to include women in the talks, the community, the literature, the media, and the important philosophical, scientific, and ethical discussions of the nonreligious community?

Nambejja: I think women should be given more audience, for example, if it is an event try to balance the number according to sex of speakers, empower women by supporting their causes. Women feel inferior if their initiative s are not supported hence loose hope. Our non religious communities still lack a spirit of togetherness, if we can’t support ourselves, invite women by showing them the benefits of public talks, include them in media discussions, if a mistake is made by a woman, correct her silently, don’t criticize, educate women in different areas, for example NGO management, business, leadership among others. In our non religious communities encourage women to get involved and aspire for or stand for leadership positions. Our non religious communities have failed to work as sisters and brothers of same spirit, we should have gatherings that can transform us into more useful citizens, we should support those who are seriously in great danger, an earnest heart of humanism means acting not t

Our non religious communities have failed to initiate universities for non religious, have failed to have institutions which support the non religious in different areas for example banks for non religious where people can acquire loans and so on, scholarships for non religious, among others just to mention but a few.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Susan.

Nambejja: Thanks for giving me a chance to be interviewed.

Susan Nambejja

Managing director and programmes coordinator

Malcolm Childrens Foundation Uganda.

https://malcolmchildrensfoundation.wordpress.com

Email: snambejja@gmail.com

Malcolm Childrens’ Foundation

Saving little lives

License

In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.in-sightpublishing.com.

Copyright

© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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