Were the goings on unpardonably sexist? To begin with, this wasn't a panel of five men and one woman specifically set up to discuss the under-representation of women in the atheist movement. That would certainly have been ridiculous. It was an "attendees choice" panel designed to respond to attendees questions, whatever they might be. The second question was about under-representation.
The video (see first link) doesn't, to my mind, reveal men behaving badly. It actually just reveals that a regional atheist meeting is run by "just folks." Whereas academic, urban types consistently say "men and women," these people say "guys and girls" or (mostly) "males and females." Good heavens, I bet they don't read the New York Times either! When an audience member gets up and complains about the term "female," the panelists aren't quick enough to point out that they've consistently paired that term with "male." No harm, no foul.
A panelist makes a klutzy joke about calling women "the
As to the one woman on the panel being drowned out. I really don't see that. She's given a chance to speak, but doesn't use it well. She doesn't seem to have much to say or maybe she's just not a confident public speaker. It doesn't look to me as if she's bullied or interrupted.
So--I see no special problem with the session, but what about this issue of women being under-represented in the atheist movement? I know lots of women who don't believe in God, but can't imagine any of them going to an atheist meeting. Why not? I think the belief is just not important to them. It's not central to their lives, doesn't define who they are. They affiliate based on other interests--in culture, politics, books, and (drum roll) being Jewish. But not based on thinking there ain't no deity. That's a big "who cares?"
To get them to go to atheist meetings, you'd have to get them to care more. But would it be good for them to care more? Would they be better off, or would the meetings just be more gender balanced? Hard question!
I'm a little different. Being an atheist is not central to my life and doesn't define who I am. If I want to make the world a better place, I'm going to choose a different focus. But I like ideas, philosophy, debate. For "public intellectuals," atheism is one of the lively subjects of the day. I'm attracted to corners of the internet where atheism is discussed, and likewise I'd be attracted to real world venues. Plus, I teach classes where atheism comes up, and both of my books have a connection to the topic. Plus, I've written a few articles for Free Inquiry and written a fair amount about atheism at this blog.
So: "Pick me, pick me!" I'd be happy to speak at an atheist meeting--about religion and the good life; or about animal rights and atheism; or (fun, fun, fun) about accommodationism. Conference organizers could increase the number of female speakers if they put their minds to it.