White Chivalric Phallacy

[content note: discussion of violent hate crimes, e.g. lynching; quoting white supremacist killers]

On June 17th, a white supremacist murdered 9 black people at a historical black church in Charleston, NC. A survivor of the massacre reported that the killer told the church: “I have to do it. You’re raping our women and taking over the country.”[1]

So, first of all, let me make it absolutely clear that I categorically repudiate this use of my body as a justification for racist violence. I am hereby publicly stating my rejection of the spurious and racist “protection” from people who are no harm to me, by people who are much more likely to be a danger to my bodily integrity. And I urge white women everywhere to take that very same public stand.

But, as stated in what I believe is the facebook post that started the #NotInMyName / #NotInOurNames hashtags[2], the public rejection of this argument can only be a beginning. We white women need to talk about this; we need to talk about the fact that “raping our women” has been a tool of white, colonialist patriarchy for a very long time[3]. The racial and sexual “purity” of white women, the chivalric protector-role of white men, and the imagined animalistic aggressiveness of non-white men together constitute an important framework for the hierarchies of white patriarchy. When these hierarchies are threatened, anti-black violence in white woman’s name becomes the means to re-establishing them:

Lynching for rape upheld white privilege and underpinned the objectified figure of white women defined as “ours” and protected by “us” from “them” (Fraiman 1994, 73). These beliefs formed what Fraiman (73) calls the white chivalric phallacy: preservation of what masculine supremacy was refigured as protection of white females for white males. […] In this view, interracial sexuality destroyed what it meant to be a man because white masculinity was inextricably linked to race: To be a man was to be a white man who had sole access to, and the duty to protect white women. The lynching and castrating of African American men, founded on the protection of white women, was central to securing white male power and identity and, thereby, reconstructing a hierarchical masculine difference between white and African American men. [4]

Meanwhile in Europe, the same sentiment appears additionally as anti-immigrant xenophobia and islamophobia. Anders Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, was a white supremacist. Part of the extensive copypasta that is his manifesto dealt with the notion of an epidemic of Muslim immigrants raping white women:

The incidence of rapes carried out by Muslim men in Norway against non-Muslim women is many times higher than rapes by non-Muslim men. The rape frequency in e g Oslo per capita is said to more than five times higher than in New York City. And two thirds of these rapes are committed by immigrants even though they still constitute a rather small part of society.
In Brussels, Belgium, gangs of Muslim immigrants harass the natives on a daily basis. We have had several recent cases where native girls have been gang raped by immigrants in the heart of the EU capital. [5]

And let me repeat that this “white chivalric phallacy” is inherent to white colonialist patriarchy. It’s not just fringe elements and “lone wolf” mass murderers; it’s not just something from the history books of Reconstruction in the US. It is found ubiquitously, with not even much of an effort to hide it via dogwhistles. To use one example from the secular/atheist/skeptic community: Pat Condell, a YouTube personality once heartily endorsed by e.g. Richard Dawkins and still disturbingly popular in some atheist/skeptic spaces was one of the voices popularizing the meme of Sweden as the new “rape capital of Europe”[6] far and wide enough that it can still be commonly found in atheist discussions on any vaguely related topics. Similarly, the effects of this white chivalric phallacy are everywhere: George Zimmerman not being convicted of murder[7]; misogynoir and the tolerance of violence against black women[8][9]; the entitlement-and-hate aspect of a lot of MRA/PUA toxicity[10], violence targeted at white women who’d date an “inferior, ugly black boy” over someone like Elliot Rodger who is, after all, “descended from British aristocracy”[11]; et cetera. Silence in the face of all this will let it continue. We need to have an ongoing conversation about how to destroy the white chivalric phallacy instead of being its acquiescent tool.

TL;DR: this was a white patriarchal mass murder. It was textbook “white chivalric phallacy”. White women have a responsibility to stand up and refuse to be used like that; not just as individuals rejecting such violence being done in our names, but as a social class rejecting, uncovering and ultimately deconstructing the systemic role in the oppression of men and women of color assigned to us by white patriarchy. That is solidarity; that is intersectional feminism. Let us not be silent and remain complicit with white patriarchy on this.

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Women Against Birth Control

Recently there has been a series of images circulating the internet depicting a number of women holding signs explaining why they do not utilize birth control. While one or two of the reasons given can be seen as rational (e.g. they want to be “organic” and hormone free), there are many of the statements that are not only highly illogical, but also downright offensive. Among those that fall into the latter category are statements like “because my body is a gift to my future husband and that gift includes motherhood” and “because [birth control] allows men to use women with no consequences.” There are nearly two dozen more images with proclamations like the aforementioned including “because I can control myself,” “because I am responsible and make mindful decisions accepting the consequences for my actions,” or better yet “because children are not an inconvenience, they’re a gift”. What these women seem to be forgetting, what a lot of people on the anti-birth control band wagon have forgotten, is that what is good for them is not good for everyone else, and how you act is not how everyone else acts, and it really is just that simple.

A favorite of mine that was posted is “because I don’t have to give up my womanhood to be a feminist.” By the time I got to this statement, I was already scrambling to pick my jaw up off the ground, but when I finished reading it, I was dumbfounded. I’m not exactly grasping what this woman seems to know as truth. First, since when does having children mean one cannot be a feminist, and second, since when does feminism require you to not have children and to use birth control? The answer to these questions is since never. Never have I heard the feminists I know say or imply that being on birth control is a requirement to be a feminist. The statement she made is just further proof to me that there are still an incredible amount of women who have been mislead about feminism, albeit what “feminism” means to an individual tends to be quite subjective.

Also referenced in a few of the photos in the series, although not cited or peer reviewed, were some interesting science and medical facts. Apparently, at least according to one of the women pictured, women get cervical cancer from birth control alone, and not from things such Human papillomavirus (HPV), which using protection and getting vaccinated can prevent. There is no link between the use of general birth control and developing cervical cancer. The link here is from an increased risk for developing cervical cancer due to long term use of birth control pills in women who already have HPV and leave it unchecked and the symptoms untreated. While I can’t address every single absurd claim of phony science in the photos, I feel like it should also be noted that the same sign also mentioned a link between birth control and breast cancer. This link is also an increased risk, but this was back in the 1970s primarily, when birth control had high amounts of estrogen, not so much with the low dose pills these days. But if hormones are what are deterring these women from birth control there are alternative no-hormone options.

A running theme amongst the images that I found to be exceptionally flabbergasting is the way the word “womanhood” is used, for example “because womanhood and fertility are a beautiful gift and I want a love that is self-giving and life-giving.” What saddens me is how many of the women pictured define womanhood not by the fact that they have vaginas, or feel themselves to be women, but are dictated by ancient value systems of whether or not they reproduce, as though having children is a measure of merit to how worthy one is of their womanhood. Womanhood does not equal motherhood. The two are not synonymous, will never be synonymous, and have never been synonymous. People who say or believe things like that are essentially reduce the countless number of women throughout history who have been unable to have children or have chosen not to have children to what? What exactly is it that these women are implying? Is a woman who does not have any children but is accomplished in other aspects less of a woman because she has not bore children? Many of these same women in the photo series also mentioned how they don’t use birth control because they only plan to have sex for the purposes of producing life (e.g. the one who said that her body essentially belongs to her future husband, and should be fertile and ready to reproduce).

Throw in the reference to Roman Catholic family planning and I can hear the church bells a-ringing.

Remember Women’s Equality Day

By Elsa Roberts, Follow her on Twitter

One woman struggles on a table while five prison guards hold her down and shove a feeding tube up her nose. 

During another prison stay her hands are handcuffed above the door for the night after she was beaten.

Another woman, another feeding tube forced on her, and raw eggs poured down her throat.

These women, described above, endured painful indignities and intermittent imprisonment to help secure the right to vote that women currently enjoy in the U.S. today; their names were Alice Paul and Lucy Burns.

They were part of what is known as the Suffrage movement, which began in the mid 1800s and continued through the Victorian era until women finally secured voting rights after August 18, 1920, after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment.  

Paul and Burns were preceded in the movement by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and numerous other women, many of whom convened the Seneca Falls convention in 1848 to put forth demands for the rights of women. One of those rights was the right to vote, and so the Suffrage movement got underway. Anthony and many other activists pushed for women’s right to vote through education campaigns, picketing the White House, attempting to vote in elections, and lobbying congress. In 1878, Stanton and Anthony drafted what would become the 19th Amendment. It was presented to the Senate where it spent several years in committee before being voted down in 1887.

It took many more years of action and the civil disobedience of women like Paul and Burns, who organized the National Women’s Party in 1917 to begin to picket the White House in protest of President Wilson’s opposition to suffrage. The women picketing, known a the Silent Sentinels, picketed every day except Sunday until 1919. Wilson eventually bowed to pressure and supported the 19th amendment, and, after a failed attempt in 1918, it passed Congress in 1919.

Now, when women head to the polls or fill out their absentee ballot, they are fulfilling the legacy left by women ready to die for the ability to have their voices heard and participate fully in the political process through voting. Today, on August 26, 2013, Women’s Equality Day, let us remember these women and celebrate our right to participate in the democratic process while remaining vigilant to protect our voting rights, which are again under attack.

Today, as we take note of our progress we must also again take up the mantle of our foremothers and fight to retain our rights, as they are slowly being eroded away via removing protections from the Voting Rights Act, shortening early voting days and times around the country, and burdening erstwhile voters with ID requirements. Celebrate the women who worked to gain the vote by becoming involved in your local elections and state politics, demand expanded early voting days and fight against the ID requirements which disproportionately impact people of color, women, and the elderly. Together we can take back our rights!


Secular Woman Welcomes More New Board Members


For more information, please contact:

Kim Rippere, Secular Woman President: 404.669.6727 E-mail

Elsa Roberts, Secular Woman Vice President: 906.281.0384 E-mail

Secular Woman Welcomes More New Board Members

Secular Woman is pleased to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors: Becca Thomas, longtime human rights advocate and Secular Woman volunteer, and Julia Burke, a writer with an interest in social justice.

Becca ThomasBecca Thomas brings to Secular Woman over two decades of experience in advocacy, organization and fund development, as well as a passion for reproductive freedom. She is a former marketing executive and Sunday School teacher. Her journey from theism began in third grade while arguing with a classmate who insisted that if you do not believe in Santa, then you can not believe in God. Thomas continued delving into philosophical questions and became an avid student of world religions. In her late twenties, she made a break from the Church as well as the corporate world, and is now an adamant advocate for human rights. “Humanity would be better served by more compassion and less judgment, the very antithesis of what religion offers,” she says. Thomas will be leading Secular Woman’s project, @AbortTheocracy, a campaign to terminate the intersection of religious power over bodily autonomy and sovereignty by opposing religious influence in government.

Julia BurkeWriter and editor Julia Burke became a feminist at the age of twelve, when she visited her cousin, a law student, and found Susan J. Douglas’s Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media on her bookshelf and asked to borrow it. Atheism took a little longer; raised liberal-Protestant but exposed at a tender age to the fundamentalist beliefs of a reborn Christian relative, Burke was fascinated by faith but disturbed by its implications. She avidly researched several religions throughout her teen and college years before realizing that “none of the above” was not only a viable option but the only choice that made sense. While working as assistant editor at the Center for Inquiry she came to know and admire many prominent figures in the secular community, and became interested in the intersection between skepticism, secularism, and social justice. She joined Secular Woman in the fall of 2012.

“Secular Woman’s first year was filled with exciting growth and activism within the atheist community,” says Kim Rippere, president of Secular Woman. “With our expanding reach, increased infrastructure, and additional leaders we are looking forward to becoming part of other communities focusing on feminism and reproductive rights.”


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.

Senator Wendy Davis Leads “Unruly Mob” in Exercise of Democracy

Thanks to the bravery of Texas senator Wendy Davis, the Texas democrats, and hundreds of Texans in attendance at the capitol yesterday, Senate Bill 5––a bill that would have legislated widespread restrictions to abortion access––is dead. Secular Woman applauds this brave stand by Davis, whose filibuster last night that made national news and quickly garnered massive support on social media (including a tweet linking to the livestream from President Obama, using the hashtag #StandWithWendy.).

Though Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst suspended the filibuster at 10 p.m. last night, claiming Davis digressed from the topic at hand with her discussion of mandatory ultrasounds, the Democrats appealed the decision immediately, and the already-inspired crowd became even more animated.

Spectators filled the chamber gallery, chanting “Let her speak” for several minutes after the filibuster was suspended. The Austin Statesman reported that the senate struggled to vote on the bill “over the sustained and screaming protests from spectators in the gallery,” especially when Republicans motioned to call off all debate. Senators tried to vote on the bill, but the crowd continued its protests, exploding into cheers when State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, challenging the ruling against Davis, asked, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” The "people's filibuster" delayed the vote until the clock ran out on the session, the Statesman reported this morning; Secular Woman donated to RH Reality Check’s call for funds to help provide food for the protestors. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst expressed his frustration to the Statesman, remarking, "An unruly mob, using Occupy Wall Street tactics, disrupted the Senate from protecting unborn babies.” If the “tactic” he is referring to is democracy, he couldn’t be more correct.

Monday night, Davis tweeted, "The leadership may not want to listen to TX women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill. #SB5 #txlege" Beginning at 11:18 a.m. on Tuesday, and sporting pink tennis shoes, Davis began an eleven-hour filibuster against a bill that would have closed all but five of the state's abortion clinics, prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, forced clinics to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers, and restricted access to medication abortions, reported the Huffington Post. The bill also would have required any doctor at a clinic to obtain admitting rights at a local hospital, reporter Ben Philpott told NPR. “In rural Texas… you don’t have a hospital within 30 miles of some of these clinics, let alone one that would then be able to give you admitting privileges.” While Republicans argued that the bill would help ensure women’s safety, it would effectively have shut down all but a handful of clinics in the state.

Secular Woman supports every person's right to bodily and sexual autonomy and opposes all attempts to criminalize or limit access to comprehensive reproductive services such as contraception and abortion. Our @AbortTheocracy campaign, which covered the session proceedings until the wee hours via Twitter, is specifically focused on the intersection of religious power and women's bodily autonomy and sovereignty and dedicated to terminating that connection by opposing religious influence in government. We stand with Wendy Davis and applaud her activism to protect women’s health in Texas. “Women are entitled to full and complete ownership of their bodies,” says Secular Woman President Kim Rippere.

The connection between full bodily autonomy and religious influence in government must be terminated so that women are free, empowered, and in control of their lives and their futures.

Davis began her filibuster by accusing the GOP of "a raw abuse of power," citing their decision to allow the bill to be debated without the required two-thirds support and accusing them of placing a political agenda over the well-being of Texans. “The reality of this bill is not to make women safer … it’s to force the closure of facilities across the state of Texas that would provide proper care to women,” Davis said. “The actions intended by our state’s leaders hurt Texas; they hurt Texas women and their families.”  

Texas rules for a filibuster prohibit leaning on one's desk, pausing, or straying off subject; warnings work on a three-strike system, reports NPR. Davis took no bathroom breaks, spoke with no food or water, and wore a back brace to avoid needing to lean. At one point Republican Sen. Tommy Williams  attempted to have her filibuster suspended because of the back brace. Democratic Senator Kirk Watson expressed support for Davis's filibuster, telling the Statesman,

There’s an assault on women in this state and this legislation is a prime example of that. It’s important that a woman who’s the mother of two daughters will be the one standing. We will all be there providing assistance and help.

Though The Texas Legislative Service originally listed SB5 as having passed on “6-26-13,” the listing was changed shortly after 1 a.m. to reflect passage before midnight; at 3 a.m., Dewhurst announced that although the bill passed on a 19-to-10 vote, it was dead.

“Today was democracy in action,” Davis told her crowd of supporters last night. “You all are the voices we were speaking for from the floor.” In response to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s “unruly mob” remark, Davis retorted, “I think that’s a disservice to the people who were here. The people who were here were justifiably upset about an attempt to infringe upon a constitutional right they hold dear, primarily one that would have an impact on women but also on the men who love them.”

I Hide Inside

Second article for Secular Woman's Sexual Assault Awareness Month series

by Shanna Wells, follow her on twitter

A follow up to her first article on Street Harassment.

It’s summer in Philadelphia. The sky scraper in which I work is just three blocks from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Behind the Hall is a shaded green space, an enviable place to be on my lunch hour. But to get there I must pass a construction site. As a large woman, I’m not sure which comments are worse from the all-male crew: being told I’m a hideous excuse of a woman, or being told how my body will be used for the man’s pleasure. I dissociate, seeing myself through their eyes. Just steps from where the Declaration of Independence was signed, I am a prisoner – in my office, in my body, in my gender.

I Hide Inside

The drills and jackhammers

Sting my blossom ears.

Next door, men are erecting

Another giant penis to themselves.

It juts skyward, dry humping the Universe.


I hide inside.


At noon, workmen dominate

The passive sidewalk.

They practice the manly art

Of visual molestation, connoisseurs,

Testing for body, bouquet and breasts.


I hide inside.


My buttocks and teeth clenched,

I pass, watching myself pass,

Watching them watching me pass.

I suck in my stomach, tensing for the blow.


It makes me look thinner, too.

Street Harassment: An Inconvenient Truth?

First article for Secular Woman's Sexual Assault Awareness Month series

by Shanna Wells

“Hey baby, shake that thing.” “Mmmm, I like ‘em that size.” “Ugh, you’re a dog!” “Nice ass!”

For women, the simple act of walking down the street can become an exercise in navigating a minefield of unwanted comments. According to Author Deborah Tuerkheimer, “street harassment occurs when a woman in a public place is intruded on by a man's words, noises, or gestures. In so doing, he asserts his right to comment on her body or other feature of her person, defining her as object and himself as subject with power over her” (1).

According to one study, 87 percent of American women between the ages of 18-64 had been harassed by a male stranger, and over one half of them experienced “extreme” harassment, including being touched, grabbed, rubbed, brushed or followed by a strange man on the street or other public place (2).

The right of men to control the female body is a cornerstone of patriarchy. Street harassment “frightens women and reinforces fears of rape and other acts of sexual terrorism” (3). It is a human rights violation in that it restricts the free movement of women in public spaces.

For years, women have tolerated street harassment as a fact of life. But recently, a number of organizations have developed to address the issue. www.stopstreetharassment.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending gender-based street harassment worldwide. The website provides strategies for women to address street harassment directly and to train bystanders, men, and boys as advocates against this form of sexual terrorism.

According to ihollaback.org, Street harassment is one of the most pervasive forms of gender-based violence and one of the least legislated against. It is rarely reported, and it’s culturally accepted as “the price you pay” for being a woman or for being gay or gender non-conforming. With the now common prevalence of cell phones, Hollaback encourages women to use the cameras on their phones to document cases of street harassment and share their stories on the Hollaback website. According to a study Hollaback completed in conjunction with the Workers Institute at Cornell, “Taking action generally has a positive influence on a target’s emotional response to the experience of street harassment. Targets who chose to take action, whether while experiencing street harassment or afterwards (e.g., taking a photo of the harasser, reporting harassment to officials), appeared to experience less negative emotional impact than those who did not” (4). Of course, the decision to take action against street harassment must be left to each individual woman, as safety should be her first priority.

Street harassment is a clear a violation of women’s human rights. Fortunately, there are now organizations working toward its eradication. To see what you can do to help wipe out street harassment, visit www.stopstreetharassment.org or www.ihollaback.org.

1. Street Harassment as Sexual Subordination: The Phenomenology of Gender-Specific Harm, Fall, 1997, 12 Wisconsin Women's Law .Journal 167.

2. Oxygen/Markle Pulse Poll, “Harassment of Women on the Street Is Rampant; 87% of American Women Report Being Harassed on the Street By a Male Stranger,” June 22, 2000.

3. Thompson, Deborah. “‘The Woman in the Street:’ Reclaiming the Public Space from Sexual Harassment.” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 6 (1994): 313 – 348.

4. “The Experience of Being Targets of Street Harassment in NYC: Preliminary Findings from a Qualitative Study of a Sample of 223 Voices who Hollaback!”,http://www.ihollaback.org/fact-sheet-the-experience-of-being-targets-of-street-harassment-in-nyc/

A Response to “An Open Letter to the Secular Community”

4/13/2013: UPDATED***

Today, the leaders of several prominent secular organizations published a document titled “An Open Letter to the Secular Community.” Our name is not attached, and our members may be wondering why Secular Woman declined to endorse this document. As a secular organization, our mission is to amplify the voice, presence and influence of non-religious women. We recognize that part of our mission takes place in online communities. Although promoting better online communication is a worthy goal, we reject the current statement’s conception of civil discourse because we feel that it gives equal voice to the sexist ideas and beliefs that have been perpetuated as differing “interpretations” of feminism.

The Open Letter contains a textbook definition of feminism.

The principle that women and men should have equal rights flows from our core values as a movement . . . We seek not only civil equality for everyone, regardless of sex, but an end to discriminatory social structures and conventions – again often the legacy of our religious heritage—that limit opportunities for both women and men.

It is confusing, therefore, that this same letter suggests that a significant problem with online communication is centered on the “debate” about the “appropriate way to interpret feminism.” At Secular Woman, the principle that “feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression” (Hooks, 2000, p. viii) is taken as a given, and not a topic for debate.

As a secular feminist organization committed to understanding and exposing societal constructs that contribute to the inequality of women and other oppressed groups, we have no desire to listen to, respect, or continuously debunk overtly sexist viewpoints. Just as most scientists are not interested in debating the beliefs of creationists, we are not interested in debating gender-biased, racist, homophobic, or trans*phobic beliefs. Although the document contains reasonable recommendations for increasing effective communication, some of these techniques have been used to silence women (and other oppressed groups). When people express opinions that challenge sexism ingrained in social structures and conventions they receive a significant amount of pushback and harassment. Those of us working to challenge systemic sexism should be under no obligation to listen to or be more charitable to our opponents.


The Board of Secular Woman

Kim Rippere, President

Elsa Roberts, Vice President

Corinne Zimmerman, Secretary

Brandon Chaddock

Nicole Harris

Charlotte Klasson

Monette Richards


UPDATE (4/15/13):

1. The idea that “feminism is a social movement to end sexism” is a textbook definition. We are not interested in participating in diversionary conversations about ‘gender feminism’ or ‘equity feminism’ or whether the SCUM Manifesto represents our definition of feminism. It does not.

Feminism – defined simply as being against sexism – is one of our values. As such, it informs the way we approach the mission, vision, and strategic goals of our volunteer organization.

Proving that feminism is a valid worldview is something Secular Woman is not interested in pursuing. What we are interested in pursuing is the strategic goals that we have set for our organization.

2. Because of our Response  to the Open Letter, we have been criticized for not wanting to “listen to” or “be more charitable” to our opponents. This criticism suggests that we have shut down the dialog before even listening to the “opposing” side. The dialog concerning feminism and its role in atheism/secularism has been going on for some time now and we are aware of the great number of related conversations that have taken place in countless online forums, at secular conferences, and other venues. The formation of Secular Woman was a response to the ongoing “debate” about whether feminism has a place in the secular movement and community. We assert that it does. Because of this core value, we work from a viewpoint that takes the defining principles of feminism to be “self evident” (meaning we are not going to debate feminism’s validity; but are very open to discussions within a feminist framework).

Since conversations about the nuances of feminism are happening elsewhere, Secular Woman chooses to focus on its mission: promoting the voice and presence of non-religious women. We also choose to take the advice of Ron Lindsay (CFI President and CEO):  "Or, if one thinks enough effort has been spent on rebuttal, simply ignoring them."  

Women’s History Month Recap

Over the course of Women’s History Month, Secular Woman was pleased to run a series of articles written by women in the secular community on women’s history that was of interest to them. Below is a roundup of all the articles we published.


Women’s Contributions to Science Fiction Literature

Just imagine: the twenty-first century, a time in which all people across the Terran globe enjoy lives of equality, peace, and freedom. A time in which discrimination based on gender, race, and culture is a thing of a dark and distant past. A time in which secular humanism guides all people to treat each other fairly on the home planet and on colonies on distant worlds. And, if you can, just imagine a time in which the achievements and interests of men and women are held in equal esteem and made available to all…


Herstory of U.S. Women’s Right to Vote

The struggle for enfranchisement in the United States, a woman’s right to vote, actually began in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, led by Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony (Judy Pehrson NY Times 2001). The Declaration of Sentiments adopted at the convention demanded the right to vote, as well as equal rights in education, industry, the professions, political office, marriage, personal freedom, control of property, guardianship of children, making of contracts, the church and in the leadership of all moral and public movements…


Marie Souvestre, Freethinker

It took around seventy years of relentless organizing, struggle, and solidarity for women in America to win the right to vote in 1920…


Lucy Parsons, Revolutionary

Lucy (Lucía) Eldine González Parsons was a woman of Hispanic, Native American, and African American heritage, married to a white Southerner who would later become one of the Haymarket Martyrs; a woman who fought against specific oppressions of women and people of color, but who also believed that class oppression was the cause of all other oppressions; a woman who, over the course of her life, would be a socialist, an anarchist, and lastly, a communist…


Choosing my Future

Life without choices is simple. As a young woman, when faced with what seemed to me to be an overwhelming question: What am I going to do with my life? — although I knew that the possibilities were practically unlimited, I made the choice to narrow my options by devoting my life to Jesus as an evangelical Christian…


The Strong Atheist Women who Led History

Women have played a vital role in the historic forward movement of the Atheism. The impression is often given in society that atheists have always been men, and they have led the charge, but the reality when uncovered is something completely different. It was women who pushed back religion first…


Women in STEM

The history of women in STEM fields–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is a history of women overcoming gender discrimination. A number of recent studies have highlighted the gender disparity in these career fields. The US National Science Foundation’s 2013 “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering” report notes that while women have studied STEM subjects in greater numbers since the early 1990s, and more women graduate from college than men, women still earn far fewer STEM degrees than men…


If Clara Schumann Had Only Been a Man!

Although Clara Wieck Schumann was a world-renowned concert pianist whose career spanned over 60 years and whose influence is still felt today in concert repertoire, the piano keyboard which forms the bottom border of the doodle almost seems like an afterthought. The focal point of the doodle is a woman so thoroughly surrounded by her children that they are literally hanging off her body and hampering her freedom of movement. Even a woman like Clara Schumann, who had managed to carve out a bit of personal fame in a thoroughly masculine world, was ultimately depicted primarily in the role which her patriarchal culture insisted was the only legitimate one for women…


Susan Epperson

One of the biology teachers who was going to be required to teach the EVILUTION chapter was a classy young lady by the name of Susan Epperson. The AEA asked her to be the plaintiff in the case they were going to bring against the state law…