The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics
If you read a lot of atheist blogs, you probably already heard about what happened over the weekend at a rapture-themed skeptics conference. Basically: white guy gets up on stage, makes a lot of comments that more-or-less reduce the value of atheist women to their sex appeal (complete with boob jokes), and gets his ass handed to him during Q&A.
This was actually one of the more minor blowups over misogyny in the skeptics movement. There have been worse. But these things just keep happening, demonstrating that there’s a lot about white male privileged that the movement as a whole has yet to absorb.
So here’s what’s been bothering me lately: the difference between the diversity of our Facebook members and the diversity of our actual meetings. Eyeballing the Facebook list, it looks pretty evenly split gender-wise, and there’s some racial diversity, but the meetings are 90-100% white guy.
I know individuals have reasons for not coming to meetings. I understand that people have class/work/family responsibilities. But isn’t it a little bit worrying the overall split between those who do and don’t show up falls so sharply along gender and race lines?
SASHA is trying to be the public face of non-belief on this campus. We can’t perpetuate the myth that non-believers are all white males. This is not ok. We need to be seen as the diverse group we really are.
I have my own thoughts on what we could do better, including the way we act at meetings, but I’m another white guy. So I’d like to ask all of the women and all of the people of other races: what would make a SASHA meeting enjoyable for you?
What activities do you like to see the group organize?
What topics do you want to see discussed?
What issues do you want to see SASHA take up?
What opportunities are we missing?
And if you’ve ever come to a group and had a bad experience, or just felt generally ill at ease (or even bored), by all means share your story. Tell us how to serve Mizzou’s freethinkers better.