Let's not have another conversation about all "that", but this may interest commenters on my "Feminism and Atheism" post.
Today I gave a talk at the Fellowship of Freethought in Dallas, which meets one Sunday morning every month in a church-like manner, complete with potlock lunch, activities for kids, social justice initiatives, activism, and music. This month's meeting theme was the now famous elevator-gate brouhaha. My SMU philosophy department colleague Justin Fisher gave an opening presentation that included a clip from Rebecca Watson's YouTube video about elevator guy, and Richard Dawkins' notorious reaction at Pharyngula. His take on it: privilege can blind men to the experiences of women, whites to the experiences of blacks, and so on. A heavily white, male community needs to be as sensitive as possible to these issues, if it wants to become more diverse. Two other speakers gave presentations designed to increase sensitivity. A band called The Faithless Companions provided the perfect musical interludes, including a very funny song called 'Taylor, Latte Boy." Next up, on screen, this hilarious rebuttal song and "Hot Girl in the Comic Shop"--with a lot of relevance to the issues at hand. So--lots of good humor.
My talk was intended to get away from DawkinsandWatsonology and explore the question why there's a gender imbalance at atheist meetings--since that debate, starting at the Global Atheist Convention in Dublin, was the backdrop for the whole kerfuffle. But what with a verdict about Dawkins being presupposed--privilege blinded him--I kind of had to say a little about that. Who would want to disagree with the general point that people ought to be more aware of privilege and unprivilege, and how these things color our perceptions? Not me. But I'm not entirely happy with dismissing Dawkins as just blinded, rather than trying to understand what led up to his assessment of Watson. I think the gender debate that started in Dublin was probably relevant.
Anyhow ... the main goal of my presentation was to talk about the gender imbalance question. The powerpoint I used is below, and I think from the slides you can get a reasonably good idea what I said. You'll want to pause the slides now and again, because they move pretty fast. I tried adding narration, but it sounded so terrible I had to abandon ship. Instead: a little strumming from John Fahey. Certain readers of this blog will see that I found their input and links they provided very useful. Thank you!
There's a survey at the end of the presentation, and here are the results:
All (45)--15 say zero bad, 27 say slightly bad, 3 say more than slightly bad
Women only (19)--4 say zero bad, 12 say slightly bad, 3 say more than slightly bad
Men only (26)--11 say zero bad, 15 say slightly bad, 0 say more than slightly bad
As I said at the start--the idea isn't to start another big elevator-gate conversation, but just wrap up. Comments are open, but please bear that in mind!