Tag Archives: Ophelia Benson

On sexism, Ophelia Benson, Michael Shermer, hyperbole, and my stumbles into the Rift

Why are atheists “militant” (as we are so often described)? Because we object to being treated as lesser humans just because we don’t believe in gods; because we don’t want the state to give extra privileges to the religious and treat us as second-class just because we are atheists. And speaking up, seeking only equality, gets us labelled as “militant”. Unfortunately, such is the history of religious privilege that most Western societies are still far from having a genuine secularism that treats everyone equally (and don’t even ask about the Islamic world).

Another privilege running through the history of most societies is male privilege. This is diminishing (at least in the West) and it has diminished largely because of the “militant” women who speak up and demand equality, that they not be treated any less favourably just because of their gender. Any atheist who supports secularism must — if they have any consistency — applaud them and fully support the equality of women. Unfortunately, such is the history of male privilege that most Western societies have still not arrived at full equality for women (and don’t even ask about the Islamic world). Continue reading