What are we Talking About

What are we Talking About? Sapiosexuality, Feminist Spotting, Disaster Recovery

What are we Talking AboutThere are many interesting and insightful conversations happening in the Members Only Facebook group.  Want to know what we are talking about?  This weekly series highlights a few articles that members found interesting.

This week in the member’s only group we were talking about (curated links):

  1. The Top 10 Ways to Spot a Feminist
  2. Religious Groups Vow to Break DC Anti-Discrimination Law
  3. Religion is no Excuse for Discrimination
  4. A Gendered Perspective of Disaster Recovery
  5. ‘Men Should be Able to Veto Abortions’
  6. Why Sapiosexuality is Bad
  7. What Kind of Mother is 8 Months Pregnant and Wants an Abortion?
  8. The Sexist Formula for Dressing “Professionally” as a Woman That I Learned Running a Website
  9. 2015 State of Atheism in America
  10. “Game Face” Official Documentary Trailer

Secular Woman Endorses Drive to Fund The Women’s Foundation Nepal


Media contact: Kim Rippere ([email protected]) or Elsa Roberts ([email protected])

Secular Woman, an organization for non-religious women, is pleased to endorse Foundation Beyond Belief’s first beneficiary for response to the Nepalese earthquake. The Women’s Foundation Nepal was already providing shelter to women and children before the disaster, making them well-positioned to aid in recovery.

Foundation Beyond Belief cited The Women’s Foundation Nepal’s work with women and emphasis on the immediate needs of women in explaining its choice. As their statement says, “[R]esearch has found that women face more and unique challenges throughout response and recovery including needs related to health, safety, and economic stability. After disasters, access to women’s health resources are especially difficult to find, gender-based violence increases, and women are often unable to access recovery related employment opportunities and aid.”

Secular Woman president, Kim Rippere, added, “Secular Woman is thrilled at Foundation Beyond Belief’s choice of The Women’s Foundation as their local beneficiary in Nepal. Research also demonstrates that working to stabilize women helps stabilize the community. We are pleased that Foundation Beyond Belief’s data-based approach factors in both the added risks to women and the rewards of supporting them.”

Noelle George, Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, says: “Foundation Beyond Belief is pleased to be able to achieve two compelling goals by funding the Women’s Foundation Nepal: Aiding in the general relief effort and providing specific resources to help women and children in that country, who are so often the hardest hit after such a terrible disaster. We appreciate Secular Woman’s support of this important effort.”

Secular Woman urges everyone who wants to help ameliorate the immense suffering in Nepal to give through Foundation Beyond Belief’s Humanist Disaster Recovery program. Funds have been raised, but far more will be needed as Nepal works to rebuild.



Secular Woman is an educational non-profit organization whose mission is to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. For more information about Secular Woman visit: www.SecularWoman.org.

What are we Talking About

What Are We Talking About? Hobby Lobby, Bush, Sexism in Science

What are we Talking About

There are many interesting and insightful conversations happening in the Members Only Facebook group.  Want to know what we are talking about?  This weekly series highlights a few articles that members found interesting.

This week in the member’s only group we were talking about (curated links):

  1. How to Tell Someone They Sound Racist 
  2. Bush Rejects Family Tradition, Opposses Planned Parenthood
  3. Ask if Birth Control is Right for You
  4. Finally, Atheists are no Longer just Old White Men
  5. ‘Hobby Lobby on Steriods’
  6. 10-year-old Girl Raped by her Stepfather Denied Abortion
  7. Sexism in Science:  Peer Editor Tells Female Reseachers Their Study Needs a Male Author
  8. Red Lipstick and Rape Culture
  9. Ron Lindsay and the Myth of the Feminists Who “Cry Sexist”
  10. Shit People Say to Women Directors





Florynce Rae “Flo” Kennedy Secular Woman FFRF

Florynce Rae “Flo” Kennedy

Florynce Rae “Flo” Kennedy Secular Woman FFRFIn 1916, lawyer, activist, civil rights advocate and feminist Florynce Rae “Flo” Kennedy was born in Kansas City, Mo., to parents Wiley and Zella Kennedy. The second of five daughters, Kennedy grew up in a mostly white neighborhood, in which her father once stood up to members of the Ku Klux Klan with a shotgun. Kennedy wrote, “My parents gave us a fantastic sense of security and worth. By the time the bigots got around to telling us that we were nobody, we already knew we were somebody.” Finishing high school at the top of her class in 1934, Kennedy opened a hat shop, performed on a radio show and operated an elevator. Her first political protest involved helping to organize a boycott when the local Coca-Cola bottler refused to hire black truck drivers. She moved to New York in 1942, graduating from Columbia University in 1948. In 1951, Kennedy became the first black woman to graduate from Columbia Law School, where she was admitted after threatening legal action on the grounds of racial discrimination. Kennedy ran her own law practice, representing the estates of jazz greats Billy Holiday and Charlie Parker, and the black power leader H Rap Brown, among other Black Panthers. Despite tending to take on cases related to feminism and civil rights, Kennedy eventually realized that she needed to employ broader strokes to battle oppression and effect the kind of social change she had in mind. Turning to political activism, Kennedy cofounded the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. That same year, she established the Media Workshop in an effort to influence the representation of black people in journalism and advertising, threatening boycotts and pickets. At a 1967 anti-Vietnam War convention in Montreal, her speaking career was launched by a fiery invective against the refusal to allow Bobby Seale to discuss racism. Kennedy became known for her vitriolic tirades and incendiary comments, delivered in her characteristic cowboy hat and boots.

Along with feminism and racial equality, Kennedy also championed gay rights, as well as rights for prostitutes and other minorities. In 1971, Kennedy founded the Feminist Party, nominating Shirley Chisholm, a New York Democrat, for president, and helped to found the National Women’s Political Caucus. She founded the National Black Feminist Organization in 1975. Throughout her life, Kennedy championed pro-choice legislation, organizing a group of feminist lawyers to challenge New York State’s abortion law in 1969, influencing the legislature to liberalize abortion the next year. With Diane Schulder, she coauthored a book called Abortion Rap in 1971. While Gloria Steinem is often unwittingly credited with the clever slogan, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament,” Flo coined it. The two were warm colleagues, once going on a feminist speaking tour together. Kennedy was known for her quick repartee. When asked by a male heckler, “Are you a lesbian?” she replied, “Are you my alternative?” Kennedy launched a suit against the Catholic Church in 1968 for spending money illegally to influence abortion legislation, arguing that its campaign violated the separation of state and church. Furthering her efforts to rescind the church’s tax-exempt status in 1972, Kennedy filed tax evasion charges against the church with the IRS. Kennedy was briefly married to Charles Dudley Dye in 1957, but he died soon after. D. 2000.

“It’s interesting to speculate how it developed that in two of the most anti-feminist institutions, the church and the law court, the men are wearing the dresses.”
—Flo Kennedy, from her book, Color Me Flo — My Hard Life and Good Times

Compiled by Noah Bunnell

This profile was provided courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

© Freedom from Religion Foundation, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

What are we Talking About

What Are We Talking About? Cancer, Non-Viable Fetuses, and Makeup at the DMV

What are we Talking About


There are many interesting and insightful conversations happening in the Members Only Facebook group.  Want to know what we are talking about?  This weekly series highlights a few articles that members found interesting.

This week in the member’s only group we were talking about (curated links):

  1. Dr. Paul Connett gets Schooled
  2. New Blood Test Could Preduct Cancer Five Years Before It Develops
  3. Texas House Proposal Would Force People to Carry to Term Non-Viable Fetuses
  4. No One Showed UP to March for Rekia Boyd Last Night
  5. Transgender Teen Wins Case to Wear Makeup in DMV Photo
  6. Recent Supreme Court Rulling Confirms that Republicans are Trying to Disenfranchise African-Americans
  7. Laverna Cox gets Naked, Exposes Radical Feminist Exclusionism
  8. Sistah Vegan Conference
  9. Monette Richard on Butterflies and Wheels:  Priorities
  10. Alabama GOP Bill Would Force Women’s Clinic to Close by Treating it Like a Sex Offender

Announcing New Board Members

Secular Woman is growing again! We are pleased to announce the addition of three new board members to our organization who have already begun to do important work behind the scenes. Our new board members are Bria Crutchfield, Marian Melby, and Felicity Kusinitz – if you are active in the secular community, especially the part of it that focuses on social justice you have probably heard of all three.
BriaBria is the founder of Minority Atheists of Michigan and the Detroit affiliate of Black Nonbelievers, recently returning from tabling at the American Atheists convention in Memphis for Black Nonbelievers. She is active on issues related to advancing opportunities for minority youth, working against police brutality, and creating space for black and other minority atheists in our community. Having been disfellowshipped from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, she also speaks on leaving the faith and her journey to atheism, most recently she talked about her experiences on Atheist Analysis.



FFelicityelicity is involved with the Boston Skeptics and works on issues of church and state separation, such as reproductive rights. With a background in biochemistry, Felicity currently is employed in the field of scientific instrumentation. Geek culture is also a home for Felicity, and she spends much of her free time at conventions like CONvergence.


M.A. Melby




Marian, or M.A. as many know her, teaches physics in Minnesota and is very active on secular and trans equality issues. She spent her early years as a devout Lutheran, but questions regarding her faith led her to atheism. Marian is an avid writer and has her own blog, Sinmantyx. She is also part of the Secular Woman Salon and writes for The TransAdvocate. Marian also works to lessen harassment of marginalized people on Twitter through her involvement with the Block Bot.

We are thrilled to welcome these women to our board and we look forward to the work they will do as part of Secular Woman.


What are we Talking About

What Are We Talking About? Swingers Club=Church, Nominations, Prescriptions

What are we Talking About


There are many interesting and insightful conversations happening in the members only group about a variety of topics.  Want to know what we are talking about? This weekly series will highlight a few articles that members found interesting.

This week in the member’s only group we were talking about (curated links):

  1. Scientists Perturbed by Loss of Stats Tool to Sift Research Fudge from Fact
  2. Christians Furious After Tennessee Swingers Club Rebrands as Church to Sneak Around Zoning Laws
  3. Anita Sarkeesian: The World’s 100 Most Influential People
  4. Long Island Transgender Male may be the First to Grace Men’s Health Cover
  5. Submit Your Nominations for Most Valuable Volunteer and Article of the Year
  6. Two Atheist Movements – And the One I Want to Be Part Of
  7. Barbara Bergmann, Leader in Gender-Based Economics, Dies at 87
  8. An 11-year-old Reported being Raped Twice, Wound up with a Conviction
  9. 5 Insane Realities at my Fundamentalist Christian College
  10. Georgia Walmart Pharmacist Refused to Fill Woman’s Medication After Miscarriage
SecularWoman Logo

Where We Stand – Voicing Our Priorities

SecularWoman LogoRecently Michael Nugent’s organization, Atheist Ireland, issued a statement formally disassociating from PZ Myers, alleging hateful and abusive rhetoric. This led to others supporting this statement to varying degrees (such as Hemant Mehta of the Friendly Atheist, Ron Lindsay of CFI, and the Secular Policy Institute). The concept of formally disassociating from a person one has no formal ties with seems unusual to us, and we have no desire to take an official stand regarding what appears to be an extremely belabored personal disagreement regarding tone. We encourage others, in the spirit of fairness, to read Myers’ statements in their original context to independently assess Atheist Ireland’s claims.

However, one issue that has surfaced during this dispute demands our attention due to our understanding of events. Our stated values make it clear that we stand with survivors of sexual assault and those who believe and support them. We choose not to associate with those who align themselves with abusers rather than victims:

We affirm that everyone has the right to feel safe, confident, and secure in their personal and emotional interactions.

We oppose harassment, bullying, objectification, and other forms of aggression both physical and nonphysical in all settings.

We strongly assert that people in positions of authority within any community or organization should not attempt to dictate to victims of sexual assault and rape how or where they are allowed to share accounts of those experiences.

Although we take Michael Nugent at his word that this is not his intent, he has contributed to an environment that encourages victims of rape and sexual assault to remain silent. By insisting that PZ Myers was irresponsible for helping a woman publicly disclose that she had been raped by Michael Shermer, a disclosure that has subsequently uncovered a pattern of inappropriate behavior, Nugent appears to be focusing on making judgments concerning the victim and her choices, as if she is the problem to be solved.

Nugent has written post after post concerning his disagreement with PZ Myers, repudiating Myers as being “hateful”, and encouraging Atheist Ireland to disassociate from Myers. Nugent, however, appears to have spent little or no effort to visit such harsh judgments on those who have continued to obsessively ridicule and harass specific targets within the atheist and skeptic communities for years.

This is an extension of a systemic problem, by no means limited to the words of Michael Nugent, which has become brutally apparent within the atheist and skeptic communities in recent years. Women who speak about assault, sexism, or simply assert their own personal boundaries have been targeted by hate campaigns [tw] while a sobering number of our proclaimed leaders become defensive, insist that the victims remain silent to avoid embarrassment, and prioritize the reputation of men above the safety of women.  

The message that we are receiving is that “boys will be boys” and we had better shut up about it. Our answer is “No.”


Her•Story Secular Woman

Introducing the Her•Story Project

Her•Story Secular Woman

The mission of Secular Woman is to amplify the voice, presence and influence of non-religious women in all aspects of society. Ironically, one formidable obstacle to accomplishing this is a perception among some in the broader secular movement that women activists are some new and exotic species whose insistence on being heard and recognized as equals can be ignored or even brutally punished without any great loss to the secular movement itself. While this perception is plainly incorrect, the obstacle nevertheless persists.

It can take many shapes and forms. One particularly illustrative example is the pushback to instituting anti-harassment policies at secular conferences in order to address and mitigate the harassment and sexual assault many people have experienced in these venues, and that many others say drove them from the movement entirely. In one of the more hilarious and revealing instances, a prominent atheist dude proclaimed that such policies are fun-prohibiting rules promulgated by “dull,” “hypersensitive pencil-necked PC jockey” “killjoys”—despite the fact that conferences in virtually any other area of endeavor have instituted anti-harassment policies for the safety and enjoyment of all participants. Well, all participants except toxic and entitled creeps.

The Her•Story Project aims to counter the ahistorical narrative underlying this obstacle with an ongoing series of posts highlighting the contributions of secular women throughout history and into the present day. A second but no less important aim of The Her•Story Project is to inform and inspire younger generations of secular women activists. A chance encounter proved just how necessary this effort is.

Presentations at a CFI Women in Secularism conference by both Susan Jacoby and Jennifer Michael Hecht touched on contributions of women being routinely written out of historical narratives in favor of (no more or less worthy) men. A woman’s erasure turns out to be even more likely when she is a nonbeliever or otherwise unorthodox. (Similarly, atheist men also tend to be erased from historical narratives in favor of believers—this is religious privilege at work.) On a break after the talks, several attendees were perplexed—a few actually incensed—that they had never even heard of the extraordinary women discussed by Jacoby and Hecht. One way to remedy this is to read the book No Gods — No Masters: Women Without Superstition by Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), as well as FFRF’s daily e-newsletter Freethought of the Day, which regularly highlights secular women. Thus we are positively thrilled that FFRF has agreed to contribute profiles of secular women to The Her•Story Project. Said Annie Laurie Gaylor:

“We all owe a debt to the freethinking feminists who have dared speak truth to patriarchal religion, and who sparked and have nurtured the feminist movement. I’m delighted to see attention to the contributions and lives of secular women.“

Kim Rippere, President and Founder of Secular Woman added:

“The last place these women belong is the dustbin of history. Their contributions stand as a ringing testament to their wisdom and strength, all the more so for obstacles they so often faced solely on account of their gender. We celebrate their lives in the hope that each new generation of secular women activists need not keep fighting the same battles, over and over again, for the recognition and respect they deserve.“

We are committed to telling these stories, even as we forge our own. We will dispel the myth that secular women activists are a new phenomenon, and simultaneously expose the truth that women in the secular movement have been—and will continue to be—forces to be reckoned with. Our activism has always been a source of tremendous power, and like our many sisters who came before us, we fully intend to unleash it in the service of a more just, more secular world.

For everyone.



P.S. If you have read this far, consider this your invitation to contribute a profile of the secular woman of your choice. See here for publication guidelines and to submit a profile. For more information, contact Kim Rippere at [email protected].

What are we Talking About

What Are We Talking About? History, Homeless Women, Birth Drive

What are we Talking About

This week in the member’s only group we were talking about (curated links):

  1. This App Makes Your Phone Buzz When You Approach Places Where Women Made History
  2. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  3. A Christian Nation?  Since When?
  4. 11-Year-Old Girl was Raped Twice – She was the one who went to Jail
  5. Transmen Bathroom Selfies
  6. The Uncomfortable, Taboo Reason Why Homeless Women Have it Harder
  7. Barbara Blaine: Exposing Prients’ Sexual Abuse
  8. Experience the Powerless, Daily Drudge of beign Street Harassed in Statsis
  9. Amnesty Condemns Iran Birth Drive
  10. Transgender girl is a Role Model for Women