• Women In Secularism 2, An Unsafe Place

    Due to the alleged unsafe spaces and misogyny in the Atheist/Skeptic community (?), the Center of Inquiry created Women in Secularism, a supposedly safe place from harassment.

    Sadly, I’ve come to realize this isn’t true. Women in Secularism is an unsafe space where harassment is quite much tolerated and advocated for.

    How can I say such a thing? Well, taking a look at the WiS2 speakers, you can find names such as Ophelia Benson, Melody Hensley and Stephanie Zvan.

    I find it strikingly odd that these three women -and others- have been very much vocal on their hate of a fellow Humanist, Justin Vacula, just because.

    Benson has been campaigning against Justin for months in a hate-mongering fashion I have only seen in the most fundamentalist Islamists.

    She even threatened Justin to have him kicked out of the conference if he tried to engage in rational dialogue (that’s stretching the “harassment” definition way too far, even by their ever-changing standards)! How is “How, how are you doing?” any sort of harassment, by any standard?

    But that was just the beginning.

    Zvan had yet to come in and play the victim, quoting a convenient part of a letter she sent to CFI’s president Ron Lindsay, where she accused Justin of who-knows what and then went back to her drama queen role:

    On the other hand, if he attends, I will have a much less productive conference. Everything I do or say will be observed and reported on by a hostile party.

    I understand why Zvan is so annoyed with the idea of having Justin at WiS2 – we’ve seen what is it like when an actual skeptic sees bullshit at a skeptic conference! Yes, I guess reality-based criticism is bad for your productiveness… but I digress.

    In that same post, Zvan quoted Hensley as saying this:

    Hi, this is Melody, the organizer of Women in Secularism. I can assure you that Women in Secularism is a safe place for everyone and I promise that every speaker and attendee will be taken care of. Comfort and safety is one of my biggest concerns.

    As some of you might know, I have been the victim of cyberstalking and online harassment and it has affected me greatly so I take this matter very seriously.

    You know what? I don’t believe so. Not for a second. I have a serious concern about Justin’s safety there and I have serious reasons as to why!

    Ignore for a second that three of the WiS2 speakers are creating a threatening and unwelcoming environment for Justin.

    Let’s go to the puppet-master, PZ Myers, who has weighed in and is directing hate specifically towards Justin and “his fellow travelers“.  Let’s take a quick look at the perils of disagreeing with PZ Myers on anything and have him state at his blog (or one of those of his minions).

    You can be harassed, you can loose your job, you can be silenced and you can be bullied, just to name a few. And let’s not forget, Justin has already been a victim of these group of people, when he was forced to resign to the position of co-chair for the SCA, on baseless made-up grounds!

    They hate his guts, and he’s going to the lions’ den, a conference of theirs where speakers are already spitting hate and venom to his presence there, having their fandom ready to attack and be hostile and aggresive, and WiS2 organizers seem to be looking the other way.

    I fear for his safety and that of “his fellow travelers“. This is a poisoned environment and I’m afraid he could be in more danger than just being asked for a cup of coffee (which, oddly enough, some people think is harassment – go figure)!

    Category: Uncategorized


    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker