Feminist atheists as far back as the 1800s?

Feminist atheism: well, you may be surprised but the first known feminist Ernestine Roseis was also an atheist and in a general way feminist atheism is a momentum within feminism that advocates atheism, opposing religion and its manly make gods as a main source of female oppression and inequality, believing that the majority of the religions are sexist and oppressive to women. Atheist feminists object to the fact that women are not eligible to be equal members as well. The first known feminist who was also an atheist was Ernestine Rose, born in Poland on January 13, 1810. Her open confession of disbelief in Judaism when she was a teenager brought her into conflict with her father (who was a rabbi) and an unpleasant relationship developed. In order to force her into the obligations of the Jewish faith, her father, without her consent, betrothed her to a friend and fellow Jew when she was sixteen. Instead of arguing her case in a Jewish court (since her father was the local rabbi who ruled on such matters), she went to a secular court, pleaded her own case, and won. In 1829 she went to England, and in 1835 she was one of the founders of the British atheist organization Association of All Classes of All Nations, which “called for human rights for all people, regardless of sex, class, color, or national origin”. She lectured in England and America (moving to America in May 1836) and was described by Samuel P. Putnam 3 as “one of the best lecturers of her time”. He wrote that “no orthodox [meaning religious] man could meet her in debate”. In the winter of 1836, Judge Thomas Hertell, a radical and freethinker, submitted a married women’s property act in the legislature of the state of New York to investigate ways of improving the civil and property rights of married women, and to permit them to hold real estate in their own name, which they were not then permitted to do in New York. Upon hearing of the resolution, Ernestine Rose drew up a petition and began the soliciting of names to support the resolution in the state legislature, sending the petition to the legislature in 1838. This was the first petition drive done by a woman in New York. Ernestine continued to increase both the number of the petitions and the names until such rights were finally won in 1848, with the passing of the Married Women’s Property Act. Others who participated in the work for the bill included Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Frances Wright, who were all anti-religious. Later when Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton analyzed the influences which led to the Seneca Falls Convention on women’s rights in 1848, they identified three causes, the first two being the radical ideas of Frances Wright and Ernestine Rose on religion and democracy, and the initial reforms in women’s property law in the 1830s and 1840s. Ernestine later joined a group of freethinkers who had organized a Society for Moral Philanthropists, at which she often lectured. In 1837, she took part in a debate that continued for thirteen weeks, where her topics included the advocacy of abolition of slavery, women’s rights, equal opportunities for education, and civil rights. In 1845 she was in attendance at the first national convention of infidels [meaning atheists]. Ernestine Rose also introduced “the agitation on the subject of women’s suffrage” in Michigan in 1846. In a lecture in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1851, she opposed calling upon the Bible to underwrite the rights of women, claiming that human rights and freedom of women were predicated upon “the laws of humanity” and that women, therefore, did not require the written authority of either Paul or Moses, because “those laws and our claim are prior” to both. She attended the Women’s Rights Convention in the Tabernacle, New York City, on September 10, 1853, and spoke at the Hartford Bible Convention in 1854. It was in March of that year, also, that she took off with Susan B. Anthony on a speaking tour to Washington, D.C. Susan B. Anthony arranged the meetings and Ernestine Rose did all of the speaking; after this successful tour, Susan B. Anthony embarked on her own first lecture tour. The most prominent other people to publicly advocate for feminism as well as atheism in the 1800s were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage. In 1885 Elizabeth wrote an essay entitled “Has Christianity Benefited Woman?” arguing that it had in fact hurt women’s rights, and stating, “All religions thus far have taught the headship and superiority of man, [and] the inferiority and subordination of woman. Whatever new dignity, honor, and self-respect the changing theologies may have brought to man, they have all alike brought to woman but another form of humiliation”. In 1893 Matilda Joslyn Gage wrote the book for which she is best known, “Woman, Church, and State,” which was one of the first books to draw the conclusion that Christianity is a primary impediment to the progress of women, as well as civilization. In 1895 Elizabeth Cady Stanton wrote The Woman’s Bible, revised and continued with another book of the same name in 1898, in which she criticized religion and stated “the Bible in its teachings degrades women from Genesis to Revelation.” She died in 1902. Later, in October 1854, Ernestine Rose was elected president of the National Women’s Rights Convention at Philadelphia, overcoming the objection that she was unsuitable because of her atheism. Susan B. Anthony supported her in this fight, declaring that every religion—and none—should have an equal right on the platform. In 1856 she spoke at the Seventh National Woman’s [Rights] Convention saying in part, “And when your minister asks you for money for missionary purposes, tell him there are higher, and holier, and nobler missions to be performed at home. When he asks for colleges to educate ministers, tell him you must educate woman, that she may do away with the necessity of ministers, so that they may be able to go to some useful employment.” She appeared again in Albany, New York, for the State Women’s Rights Convention in early February 1861, the last one to be held until the end of the Civil War. On May 14, 1863, she shared the podium with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Antoinette Blackwell when the first Women’s National Loyal League met to call for equal rights for women, and to support the government in the Civil War “in so far as it makes a war for freedom”. She was in attendance at the American Equal Rights Association meeting in which there was a schism and on May 15, 1869, she joined with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone to form a new organization, the National Woman Suffrage Association, which fought for both male and female suffrage, taking a position on the executive committee. She died at Brighton, England, on August 4, 1892, at age eighty-two.

More current feminist atheists?

Atheist feminist Anne Nicol Gaylor cofounded the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 1976 with her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor, and was also editor of Freethought Today from 1984 to 2009, when she became executive editor.[10] Aside from promoting atheism in general, her atheist feminist activities include writing the book Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So, first published in 1981, which is now in its 4th printing. This book exposes and discusses sexism in the Bible. Furthermore, her 1997 book, Women Without Superstition: “No Gods, No Masters”, was the first collection of the writings of historic and contemporary female freethinkers. She has also written several articles on religion’s harm to women. No gods, no masters comes from a pamphlet handed out by the Industrial Workers of the World during the 1912 Lawrence Textile Strike. The phrase is derived from the French slogan “Ni dieu ni maître!” (literally ‘Neither God nor master’) coined by the socialist Auguste Blanqui in 1880. First feminist usage was in 1914, Margaret Sanger launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan “No Gods, No Masters”. Margaret Sanger insisted that every woman was the mistress of her own body. ”Women without superstition: No gods – No Masters!” by Annie Laurie Gaylor is a collection of writings by women freethinkers during the 19th and 20th century. Contemporary usage sees the slogan continuing mainly in use in anarchist politics but some unaware atheists may say it not wishing to express a support for anarchism or feminism for that matter. An anthology of anarchist writing was collected under the title “No Gods, No Masters: An Anthology of my anarcho-humanism or Anarchist Humanism: Anarcho-Humanism, to me is atheistic humanism with an unconditional social awareness expressed as Anarcho (anarchism): “No Gods – No Masters” and Humanism: “No Harm – Do Good.” My “Anarcho-Humanist” Non-aggression axiom is self-ownership and respect for other people who are fellow “dignity beings” who also have self-ownership rights just like me and are equal in human worth. As well as Anti-Violence, Anti-Spanking, Anti-Circumcision, Anti-Bullying, Pro-Ethics, Pro-Body Sovereignty, Pro-Empathy and Equality. Let positive change begin with me, for I realize I am responsible for there is no god to save us or protect us. Anti-sexual Violence, Anti-Spanking, Anti-Circumcision, Anti-Bullying, Anti-Violence, Anti-child maltreatment, Anti-animal cruelty, Anti-Domestic Violence, and Anti-Verbal Violence (Threats, Character Assassination, Intimidation), Pro-Ethics, Pro-Body Sovereignty, Pro-Empathy and Equality. For those who think attacking religion is some kind of Character Assassination because its people that are religious. You are confused because character assassination is attacking people with abusive name calling not confronting religion dishonesty. Character Assassination is not being justifiably mentally aggressive as in one challenging, holy figures, gods, religions, myths, superstitions, beliefs, or deluded or misinformed ideas. Character Assassination is not meaning strong stances, aggressive challenge in rational arguments, or pitilessly exposing injustice, harm or oppression. It is our passion and an honored chosen duty to promote Non-Aggression and speak the truth of atheism and ethical behavior so people don’t stay misinform abused or oppressed. I value anti-violence (I am not a pacifist at all, I am actually a fighter by nature) unless the aggression or violence is for direct self-defense or other-defense. Check out: Atheists for Non-Aggression

Here is a few other atheist feminists include Ayaan Hirsi AliMandisa L. ThomasOphelia Benson, Amanda Marcotte, Greta Christina, Dr. Karen Gorder Garst, Libby Anne, Jenn Ramirez, Lavada Luening, Heina Dadabhoy, Rachel M Johnson, Jen McCreight, Sikivu Hutchinson, Amanda Knief, Linda LaScola, Jennifer Bardi, Valerie TaricoRebecca Vipond Brink, Sikivu Hutchinson, Trav MamoneM.G. Lord, Ruth Ann Jenkins, Callie Wright, Beth PresswoodMatt DillahuntyAron RaLilandra Ra, Bridgett “Bria” CrutchfieldDaniel FinckeJames Gray, Crystal Marie, Billie Burnham, Steve Shives, Steve Hill, Haley Renae, Spoony R Quine, Elena Allen, Marissa Torres Langseth, Rich N Allison, and Taslima Nasrin.

Facebook: The Feminist Atheist 


Pro-feminism and Atheism Article

“At first blush, it would seem that an atheist movement would be exactly the sort of thing that would attract many women. After all, much of the oppression of women—from forced veiling to restricting abortion rights—is a direct result of religion. Unsurprisingly, then, feminism has a long tradition of outspoken atheists and religious skeptics within its ranks. Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton preferred “rational ideas based on scientific facts” to “religious superstition.”  Major feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir argued that belief in God exists in part to “repress any impulse toward revolt in the downtrodden female.” Modern feminist writer Katha Pollitt received the “Emperor Has No Clothes” award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation in 2001, where she said that religion is dangerous because “it connects with very terrible social energies that have lain in civilization for a very long time.” But despite the natural and cozy fit of atheism and feminism, the much-ballyhooed “New Atheism” that was supposed to be a more aggressive, political form of atheism has instead been surprisingly male-dominated. The reason has, in recent years, become quite apparent: Many of the most prominent leaders of the New Atheism are quick to express deeply sexist ideas. Despite their supposed love of science and rationality, many of them are nearly as quick as their religious counterparts to abandon reason in order to justify regressive views about women. Sam Harris, a prominent atheist author who has previously been criticized for his knee-jerk Islamophobic tendencies, recently came under fire when he added women to the category of people he makes thoughtless generalizations about. Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein interviewed Harris, and during the interview she asked him why most atheists are male. “There’s something about that critical posture that is to some degree instrinsically male and more attractive to guys than to women.” He added, “The atheist variable just has this— it doesn’t obviously have this nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe that you would want by default if you wanted to attract as many women as men.” There was an immediate uproar among female atheists, and understandably so, as Harris didn’t even consider that it could be atheism that has a problem, instead immediately assuming that the problem is women themselves. His reaction to the criticism, which was immediate and probably a bit overwhelming was not, however, a demonstration of the tough “critical posture” he characterized as “instrinsically male.”  Harris replied to his criticswith a hyper-defensive and tediously long blog post titled, “I’m Not the Sexist Pig You’re Looking For.” His strategy for disproving accusations of sexism was to engage in more sexist declarations, in the time-honored bigot strategy of saying it’s not bigotry if it’s true. First, he warmed up with the “women are humorless” gambit, declaring his “estrogen vibe” comment a joke that simply flew over female heads. He then moved on to produce an awesome cornucopia of sexist blather: Women’s value is their service to men. (“I was raised by a single mother. I have two daughters. Most of my editors have been women, and my first, last, and best editor is always my wife.”) Women’s inherent desire to serve rather than lead explains their second-class status. (“For instance, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women…How much is due to the disproportionate (and heroic) sacrifices women make in their 20s or 30s to have families?”) Putting women on a pedestal is better than treating them like equals. (“I tend to respect women more than men.”) Women who don’t defer to men are bitchy. (“However, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the mixture of contempt and pity my words elicited from this young woman.”) Needless to say, for women who reject religion because it so frequently portrays women as mentally inferior helpmeets who exist to serve men’s needs, Sam Harris is not offering any hope that atheism will give them a meaningful alternative. It would be nice to dismiss Harris as an outlier, but sadly, pompous sexism followed up by defensive posturing is the order of the day for the dominant male leadership of the loosely organized world of atheism. In a lengthy investigative piece for Buzzfeed, Mark Oppenheimer demonstrated that the problem extends beyond sexist condescension. Instead, the bros-before-hos attitude of much of atheist leadership is quite likely serving to protect actual sexual predators. While Oppenheimer focused on a number of prominent sexists in atheism, such as Penn Jillette and now-deceased Christopher Hitchens (who also was a fan of the “women are humorless” trope), he focused most of piece on accusations against prominent skeptic writer Michael Shermer. Oppenheimer quoted two named women accusing Shermer of sexually harassing them. A third named women had a more alarming accusation: That Shermer had taken her to his room while she was too drunk to consent to sex and had sex with her anyway. The reaction to Oppenheimer’s story was swift and did much to support the claim that the atheist community protects sexual predators, much like the Catholic Church did during the priest pedophilia scandal. Richard Dawkins, possibly the most famous atheist in the world, immediately went on a tear on Twitter, blaming victims for their own rapes if they were drinking. “Officer, it’s not my fault I was drunk driving. You see, somebody got me drunk,” he tweeted, comparing being forced to have sex with the choice to drive drunk. When called out on it, he doubled down by suggesting that rape victims are the real predators, out to get men put in jail: “If you want to be in a position to testify & jail a man, don’t get drunk.” For someone who is a supposed rationalist, Dawkins refused to even acknowledge the basic difference between making the choice to break the law and being the victim of a crime. But only for rape, of course. It’s unlikely Dawkins would think it’s your fault if you are standing there minding your own business, while drunk, and someone hits you for no reason. But if the assault occurs with a penis instead of a fist, in Dawkins’ mind, suddenly the victim is the person at fault. Again, this situation is no outlier. Dawkins has spent the past few years using Twitter as a platform to rail against feminists for daring to speak up about sexual harassment and abuse. He not only rushed to Shermer’s defense regarding allegations of sexual assault, but rushed to Harris’ defense regarding allegations of sexism, even though Harris’ sexism is so off the charts it becomes downright comical. Dawkins used to cling to the idea that he was an outspoken critic against the oppression of women, but lately he’s more occupied with praising professional anti-feminist Christina Hoff Sommers. There are many excellent feminist speakers and writers in the atheist movement, men and women who bring the same critical eye to sexism that they apply to religion. Most of them, however, are mostly known only within atheist circles. People like Dawkins, Shermer and Harris are the public face of atheism. And that public face is one that is defensively and irrationally sexist. It’s not only turning women away from atheism, it’s discrediting the idea that atheists are actually people who argue from a position of rationality. How can they be, when they cling to the ancient, irrational tradition of treating women like they aren’t quite as human as men?” Ref


Anti-feminism and Atheism Article

“The word Feminism in this article is intended to describe modern Feminism, as this is the most common form and which I consider to be radical Feminism. If you identify as a Feminist and genuinely use the term to mean equality for all, if you genuinely fight for Women’t rights worldwide and not simply complain about how far apart Men’s legs are when they sit down, AND if you actively acknowledge and condemn your fellow Feminists when they do so then know you are in the minority, and also know that this is not aimed at you…also, you are probably Christina Hoff SommersRecently, yesterday in fact, I was in a discussion about Feminism on a news story by the Telegraph through their Facebook posts, they post a lot of pro-Feminism stories because it’s considered to be politically correct and I often reply to them and end up arguing my points with feminists who invariably leave the conversation once facts are brought into play. On this occasion however, the chap I was debating against decided to go a step further than usual and check out my Facebook page for ‘ammunition’. This led to what he must have thought was a brilliant question: “HOW CAN YOU BE AN ATHEIST AND NOT A FEMINIST?” Don’t those two things go together? He asked smugly, explaining that he felt that all Atheists should be Feminists because of the inherent levels of misogyny in religious texts and how religion often attempts to perpetuate the traditional Male-Female dynamic. I found this logic flawed and felt compelled to write a rather lengthy reply, explaining exactly why I believe that Feminism is equally worthy of my disdain as religion. Naturally, he promptly disappeared from existence after this, but it did inspire me to write this piece to explain my feelings regarding Atheism, Feminism and religion and why I find it perfectly natural to feel about Feminism as I feel about religion. It seems that wherever I look there are Atheists who identify as Feminists and I recently learned of an attempt to subvert Atheism into the Feminist agenda (which seems incredibly silly, considering that Atheism is simply a lack of belief in God/s) called Atheism+, which appears to mean Atheism plus misandry from what I can tell. As such, I expect that this article will alienate anyone who arrived here thinking that I might feel the same way, or support such a ludicrous and bizarre idea as Atheism+ but I’ve never been afraid of alienating those who don’t want to hear opposing arguments so let’s get started by asking a question: “IS FEMINISM A RELIGION?” Feminism, historically speaking, was intended as an equality movement, during a time when Women were not always given the same rights as Men in the Western world and in this sense it was a noble enough cause (if you ignore the hypocrisy of some of those who paved the way, I suppose) and if this was still the intention of Feminism then today we would be seeing modern Feminists bravely tackling the subjugation of Women in cultures such as Islam and I’d be right there with them, supporting their efforts and cheering them on in their noble cause! Instead though, modern Feminism has no real intention of doing anything quite so fraught with the danger of being deemed politically incorrect or which might simply be too difficult to deal with. What we see from Feminism these days is a movement which picks its fights carefully for the most part, sure there are those who fight the good fight as best they can, but those who are identified as Feminist leaders are far too concerned with furthering their own cause to bother actually trying to help Women who actually need help. Much like religion these days, Feminism is a business and, for the professional victims who appear daily on our TV and PC screens, business is good! But is Feminism a religion? Well, in a literal sense, no. But there are plenty of parallels to be drawn between Feminism and cults, and what is a religion but a cult which has simply outgrown the term? DRAWING PARALLELS? OK, so perhaps Feminism isn’t a religion per se, but there are plenty of parallels to be drawn between the two, in fact, many of the reasons for my dislike of feminism are the same as for my dislike of religions in their various forms. Both assume that Men are potential rapists. Feminism makes no bones about this one of course, buzzwords and phrases such as ‘rape culture’ and ‘teach Men not to rape’ are used to sow the seeds of suspicion in followers, the idea, which has been said in so many words, is that all men are potential rapists (in fact, try typing “all men are” into Google and you’ll find a whole world of hate fuelled articles and propaganda from Feminists). This is something which religion is known for believing too of course. A great example, without even needing to flick through holy scripture, is the Niqab in Islamic culture. It is used predominantly to subjugate and control Women but the general idea is that if a Muslim Woman doesn’t cover up then she may expect to be raped by sex-crazed Men who simply cannot contain their urge to rape any longer. Both refuse to acknowledge or condemn extremists. Feminism, like religion, has its extremist element. Most movements do, the key similarity here is that, while both are more than happy to proclaim extremists to be ‘not real feminists/members of said religion’, they are less eager to condemn their actions because in both cases, the moderate element realise that what the extremists are enacting is precisely what their religion or movement has prescribed and that ultimately, speaking against these actions will result in a backlash. While they may not agree with the methods, they realise that in-fighting will be detrimental to their overall aims. Both operate as a marketable brand. As previously mentioned, it’s common knowledge that religion is business, there is money to be made from religion and people have been doing so for many years to great success. More recently however, Feminism has become a brand in itself. radicals such as Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu have successfully made a very good living as ‘professional victims’, offering little to society other than the ability to blame their shortcomings on sexist attitudes rather than their own ineptitude in their chosen fields and yet, managing to become inexplicably successful and famous as a result (thus completely disproving much of Feminist theory). Feminism is also being marketed in the shops with such theoretically ridiculous premises as ‘Feminist lingerie‘ (I think they misunderstood the point of lingerie with this one since it’s just regular underwear) suddenly bursting onto the scene. Both use fear to control. If you do not subscribe to our religion then you will burn in Hell is the general gist of religion. If you are an infidel you will die horribly or some other awful threat. We all know that religion has used fear as one of its main tools as a form of control since religion was first invented. Feminism too uses fear as a device to keep people in line because let’s not forget that all Men are potential rapists and that without Feminism they’d simply run rampant, subjugating and having their way with all Women. In fact, for a movement which claims to be focused on empowering Women, Feminism seems to spend much of its time telling Women how weak they are, how child-like they are that they should be completely unable to handle criticism like the rest of us and how afraid they should constantly be of the big, bad Men. Neither work without perpetuating myths. Once again, religion works exclusively based on myths and fairy tales and once again, Feminism follows suit here. We hear a lot about the gender pay gap as well as rape culture and most supporters of Feminism never really seem to stop to wonder if these things might be true. There’s no statistical proof for either of these things and in fact, the statistics that are often used to ‘prove’ them have been refuted and disproven many times over already, and yet, these same myths are perpetuated daily as though they were facts. Sound familiar? Both are oppressive. Not only that, but both oppress Women, ironically. While religion is well known for its oppression of Women, Feminism is widely regarded as either being about equal rights for Women or for being a hate group against Men. Either way, it’s hard to imagine that Feminism itself would ever oppress Women right? Well, try telling a Feminist that you don’t identify as a Feminist! Just ask the various unsuspecting celebrity Women who did so, they were portrayed as being stupid and lacking common sense in the Feminist and regularly asked to reconsider their foolish decision until, more often than not, they were forced to cave in and accept Feminism as their personal saviour. Much like apostasy is a crime in some religions, not being a Feminist will see you tarred and feathered in the media. Reason and logic are their natural enemy. Of course, when you have a religion or a movement which employs tactics such as media manipulation and myth perpetuation, reasoned discussion and logic are their natural enemy. To demonstrate this, try to have a discussion about evolution with a religious zealot or better yet, try to explain to a Feminist how having a movement for ‘gender equality’ and calling it FEMinism is akin to having a movement for racial equality and calling it Whitism, and see how long it takes before they result to name calling and/or outright ignoring you. They both have a Devil: Beware the evil Patriarchy. This sinister and completely fictional organisation is always out there, trying to hold down Women in our society because, while we marry and spend our lives with them, we obviously secretly hate them and want them to stay out of our jobs, our places and our nerd cultures because reasons. This is the true face of evil and if you’re not a good Feminist then you’ll spend your days trapped in a world of rape culture, eternally tortured by the Patriarchy monster. And so, fellow Atheists and Dudebros (I’m taking that word back since I can’t seem to find it offensive), can we at least accept that Atheism and Feminism do not go hand-in-hand? Feel free to let me know your thoughts.” Ref


Atheism Plus and Feminism?

It’s time for a new wave of atheism … that cares about how religion affects everyone and that applies skepticism to everything, including social issues like sexism, racism, politics, poverty, and crime.
—Jen McCreight[1]

Atheism Plus (also rendered Atheism+) was a movement proposed in 2012 by blogger Jen McCreight. Its original definition was rather nebulous, but in general, it encouraged progressive atheists to move beyond the question of (non-)belief and to address additional issues, including critical thinkingskepticismsocial justicefeminism, anti-racism, and combating homophobia and transphobia. The idea originated as a reaction to the nastiness flung about during a controversy over (sexual) harassment policies at atheist/skeptical conferences, which in turn was a re-ignition of the controversy over sexism in those two movements that had been smoldering since Elevatorgate. The initiative largely went nowhere, and even proponents don’t really use the term anymore. The phrase remains current, deployed as a snarl word by Reddit anti-feminists, Gamergate, the Slymepit, fans of Thunderf00t and other assholes who are active in atheist circles. According to McCreight’s original “Atheism+” blog post: “Atheists plus we care about social justice, Atheists plus we support women’s rights, Atheists plus we protest racism, Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia, Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.” The concept originated in August of 2012 from a blog post by Jen McCreight. McCreight, who is an atheist plus a feminist, had previously spearheaded a protest known as “Boobquake“, in which women dressed in revealing clothing on a specific day to lampoon the claim of Kazem Seddiqi (Iran‘s answer to Jerry Falwell) that earthquakes were caused by women dressing in revealing clothing. (Islamic leaders were noticeably quiet when no remarkable seismic events happened on that day.) Many atheists, particularly those on the Internet, assumed that McCreight would only dress revealingly or call attention to her breasts if she were a slut. McCreight was swamped with invitations from strangers throughout the U.S., not to talk about atheism or anything of that sort, but to have sex; and on the occasions when she was invited to give a talk, online comments centered around her appearance and her breasts. This is sexual harassment, and McCreight asked people to stop, but Internet cranks and such types are notoriously bad at doing what they are told, and things continued much as before. Furthermore, McCreight recounts being told that she could not credibly object to all this attention being paid to her breasts because she had drawn attention to them herself during Boobquake; according to these adversaries, “a joke about my boobs was eternal ‘consent’.” The misogynistic backlash she experienced caused McCreight to become more political on her blog. However, each post she made about feminism attracted floods of hostile comments describing her in highly gendered and less-than-flattering terms. This caused her to realize that many atheists were also misogynists, a realization that crystallized in the wake of the Elevatorgate controversy and the more egregious antics of that eminent YouTube jerk, TheAmazingAtheist, after which she felt less safe in the atheist movement than she did “walking down the fucking sidewalk” (emphasis hers). This caused her to conclude that the atheist movement needed to re-brand itself in order to shut these unruly and vain talkers up. Drawing an analogy with the three waves of feminism, she called this proposed re-branding a new “wave” of atheism. The first wave she identified as being “the traditional philosophers, freethinkers, and academics.” The second wave were those who broke bold new ground by publicly criticizing religion, who are generally identified as Richard Dawkins and the other New AtheistsThe latest wave, then, would be the new wave McCreight was proposing, a wave that focuses more on sociopolitical issues and “applies skepticism to everything.” Very surprisingly, the deluge of hostile comments that had graced her similar articles on these topics abruptly ceased, and 95% of the comments on this post were positive. Her hand strengthened by this show of support, she officially kicked off her proposed third wave of atheism, calling it “Atheism+”. After these two posts, however, the hostile comments resumed, reaching such a fever pitch that it caused her to step back from blogging regularly for an indeterminate amount of time. It didn’t stop the hatestorm. There have been some questions as to how Atheism Plus would differ from secular humanismAccording to PZ Myers, Atheism Plus represents an attempt at a new variant of secular humanism that does not appropriate the religious trappings of many secular humanist groups. Alternatively, Atheism Plus represents a wedding of the New Atheist‘s in-your-face attitude about religion with social justice concerns. Either way, Atheism Plus is secular humanism that explicitly takes a skeptical approach to common social prejudices such as misogyny and racism; the specific reference to atheism acknowledges that atheism itself is only a small part of a skeptical take on the world. In response to these questions, Jen McCreight wrote a blog post to clarify her position. McCreight maintained that not all humanists are atheists or skeptical, and that not all skeptics are atheists or humanists. She further argued that general public does not really understand what “humanist” means. Furthermore, the humanist community puts a lot of focus on replicating church-like communities and having chaplaincies, a standard that atheists could be opposed to. In general, atheists are united by one factor: disbelief in deities. While many atheists share similar views (skepticism, humanism), not all of them do; atheists may be superstitiousselfishfanatical, or bigoted. The fact that atheism is not a framework of values leaves individuals seeking such a framework with few options. While humanism is popular, the term itself has a long history, with attendant baggage, and historically most humanists were not atheists. Atheism Plus, like humanism, presents itself as a set of values not only concerned with the general morality or goodwill but also with more explicit attitudes regarding social equality and justice; but unlike humanism, it includes atheism as an essential component. In addition to the continuing personal attacks against McCreight, Atheism Plus itself has provoked fierce opposition from groups that see it as a feminist incursion on atheism, especially misogynist groups like the Men’s Rights movement. Their critiques misrepresent Atheism Plus as a simple repackaging of old-school feminism, or at least a straw-man version thereof, in which feminists are leading a secret and powerful conspiracy to cut men’s gonads off and/or spoil their fun, a la Andrea Dworkin or Valerie Solanas. Under this belief, they have launched massive broadsides of abuse at Atheism Plus supporters, specifically the women among them, who became the targets of, i.a., sexualized insults and rape threats. In contrast to this straw-man vision of feminism, Atheism Plus is explicitly not sex-negative, although it is emphatically opposed to creepiness and sexual harassment. Thus, while those who bring such flak against it probably think they are arguing for Free Love or something of the kind, in the real world it works out to arguing for the legitimization of sexual harassment. Although Atheism Plus began with a strong emphasis on the feminist part of its formal agenda, this was partially due to its roots in a response to sexual harassment and sexually violent language being tossed at women within the atheist community, and partially due to the actions of the misogynists themselves, who have kept the focus on gender issues. For example, there has been nowhere near this level of controversy over the anti-racist plank of the Atheism Plus platform (but no doubt there are some Bell Curvers out there waiting to inject some “race realism” into the matter). There have also been objections from atheists who believe that atheism, as a concept, should not be tied to a specific socio-political agenda, including some humanists who support the agenda in question. McCreight has also described how some atheists believe that the concept is needlessly tearing the atheist movement apart, or that the atheist movement should be tackling more relevant issues, such as “debunking homeopathy for the 983258th time or thinking up yet another great zinger to use against Young Earth Creationists,” rather than engaging in socio-political advocacy. Shortly after the introduction of the symbol it came to light that the Atheism Plus symbol is almost identical to a symbol that’s been used by Non-Believers Giving Aid for at least four years. This may be intentional plagiarism, cryptomnesia (unintentional plagiarism), or (most likely) coincidental. Adding a + sign to the atheism symbol is fairly obvious and perhaps two groups can think that up independently. In any case, the Atheism Plus website wound up picking a somewhat different symbol resembling an @ sign with a + in it. Several other bloggers/writers have advocated nearly identical viewpoints, adopting names like Positive Atheism (as distinct from positive atheism) or Ethical Atheism. It is commonplace for people who don’t like Atheism+ and don’t like RationalWiki to assert that RW is A+ or was taken over by A+. However, there are still 0 people we know of in common between them. Ref


Atheism, Feminism, and Equality?

I am not shy with what I think is right, especially about equality.

I have strong opinions when it comes to women’s equality, LGBTQIA equality, race equality, as well as class equality and it amazes me how many atheists are still not on the same page. What the hell is up with that? Here is one of my blog posts: Atheism and LGBTQI rights or support? And yeah, I am a feminist. I am not cool with the so called Men’s rights movement is mostly an anti feminism movement. Here is an article about: 5 Uncomfortable Truths Behind the Men’s Rights Movement. As a humanist and a secularist I also have a hard time getting how other that see value in such labels don’t hold equality as a must in any aware humanity; now I know many do but why not all? Also as a one who is found of socialist anarchism which I know almost all are supporters of equality as well as often feminist, maybe not in some specific feminist movement (though they may be anarcha-feminists), I too am in this anarcha-feminist line of thinking so for me and many others its about the no gods no masters and women should not be seen as equal, they are actually equal and should never been treated as less than equal. And just as we still have racism today we still have sexism. To me we all should see a reason to be feminist just as we all should see a reason to be for LGBTQIA equality, race equality, as well and yes to me, the so called Men’s rights makes even women feel ashamed to say they are a feminist (I am not saying everyone claiming feminism holds values I agree with but in life this is true with most groups or movements. I can’t stand that its just bullying, oppression nor discrimination and am pro-equality for all.

More about Feminism

“We Rise by Helping Each Other”

I am a feminist, and I am an Axiological Atheist, which roughly can be understood as a value theory or value science Atheist. Axiological to Atheism is meant to denote an atheistic rejection of the existence of gods or supreme beings in favor of a “higher absolutes,” such as humanity, formal axiology, or naturalistic or universal ethical principles. Axiological Atheism can be thought to involve ethical/value theory reasoned and moral argument driven atheism, anti-theism, anti-religionism, ignosticism, apatheism, secularism, and humanism. However, as an atheist who is also an anarcho feminist, when I say this many other atheists say they are a humanist or that I should just use the term humanism instead. I am a humanist too and that has nothing to do with me also seeing a need to use the term feminism. I am more specifically an anarcha feminist which generally views patriarchy as a manifestation of involuntary coercive hierarchy, that should be replaced by decentralized free association. Anarcha-feminists believe that the struggle against patriarchy is an essential part of class conflict and the anarchist struggle and contrary to a perceived association with radical feminism, anarcha-feminism is not an inherently militant. Anarcha-feminism, also called anarchist feminism and anarcho-feminism is described to be an anti-authoritarianism, anti-capitalism, anti-oppressive philosophy, with the goal of creating an “equal ground” between males and females. The term “anarcha-feminism” suggests the social freedom and liberty of women, without needed dependence upon other groups or parties. In essence, this philosophy sees anarchist struggle as a necessary component of feminist struggle and vice versa. L. Susan Brown holds that as anarchism is a philosophy that opposes all relationships of unequal power, it is inherently feminist. Ref L. Susan Brown is a Canadian left libertarian socialist who believes this philosophy Libertarian socialism sometimes called socialist libertarianism is a view which holds that all social bonds should be developed by individuals who have an equal amount of bargaining power, because, in Brown’s view, an accumulation of monetary wealth leads to the centralization of economic and political power in the hands of a small elite, reducing the bargaining power—and thus the liberty—of the other individuals in society. Ref

Anarcha-Feminism Origins?

Well, Mikhail Bakunin opposed patriarchy and the way the law “[subjected women] to the absolute domination of the man.” He argued that “[e]qual rights must belong to men and women” so that women could “become independent and be free to forge their own way of life.” Bakunin foresaw the end of “the authoritarian juridical family” and “the full sexual freedom of women.” Proudhon, on the other hand, viewed the family as the most basic unit of society and of his morality and believed that women had the responsibility of fulfilling a traditional role within the family. Since the 1860s, anarchism’s radical critique of capitalism and the state has been combined with a critique of patriarchy. Anarcha-feminists thus start from the precept that modern society is dominated by men. Authoritarian traits and values—domination, exploitation, aggression, competition, etc.—are integral to hierarchical civilizations and are seen as “masculine”. In contrast, non-authoritarian traits and values—cooperation, sharing, compassion, sensitivity—are regarded as “feminine”, and devalued. Anarcha-feminists have thus espoused creation of a non-authoritarian, anarchist society. They refer to the creation of a society, based on cooperation, sharing, mutual aid, etc. as the “feminization of society”. Anarcha-feminism began with late 19th and early 20th century authors and theorists such as anarchist feminists Emma GoldmanVoltairine de Cleyre and Lucy Parsons.]In the Spanish Civil War, an anarcha-feminist group, Mujeres Libres (“Free Women”), linked to the Federación Anarquista Ibérica, organized to defend both anarchist and feminist ideas. Stirnerist Nietzschean feminist Federica Montseny held that the “emancipation of women would lead to a quicker realization of the social revolution” and that “the revolution against sexism would have to come from intellectual and militant ‘future-women'”. According to this Nietzschean concept of Federica Montseny’s, women could “realize through art and literature the need to revise their own roles”. In China, the anarcha-feminist He Zhen argued that without women’s liberation, society could not be liberated. In Argentina, Virginia Bolten is responsible for the publication of a newspaper called La Voz de la Mujer (English: The Woman’s Voice), which was published nine times in Rosario between January 8, 1896 and January 1, 1897, and was briefly revived in 1901. A similar paper with the same name was reportedly published later in Montevideo, which suggests that Bolten may also have founded and edited it after her deportation. “La Voz de la Mujer” described itself as “dedicated to the advancement of Communist Anarchism”. Its central theme was the multiple natures of women’s oppression. An editorial asserted, “We believe that in present-day society, nothing and nobody has a more wretched situation than unfortunate women.” They said that women were doubly oppressed by both bourgeois society and men. Its beliefs can be seen from its attack on marriage and upon male power over women. Its contributors, like anarchist feminists elsewhere, developed a concept of oppression that focused on gender. They saw marriage as a bourgeois institution which restricted women’s freedom, including their sexual freedom. Marriages entered into without love, fidelity maintained through fear rather than desire, and oppression of women by men they hated were all seen as symptomatic of the coercion implied by the marriage contract. It was this alienation of the individual’s will that the anarchist feminists deplored and sought to remedy, initially through free love, and then more thoroughly through social revolution. Free love advocates sometimes traced their roots back to Josiah Warren and to experimental communities, which viewed sexual freedom as a clear, direct expression of an individual’s self-ownership. Free love particularly stressed women’s rights since most sexual laws discriminated against women, such as marriage laws and anti-birth control measures. The most important American free love journal was Lucifer the Lightbearer (1883–1907), edited by Moses Harman and Lois Waisbrooker. Ezra and Angela Heywood’s The Word was also published from 1872–1890 and in 1892–1893. M. E. Lazarus was also an important American individualist anarchist who promoted free love. In Europe, the main propagandist of free love within individualist anarchism was Émile Armand. He proposed the concept of la camaraderie amoureuse – to speak of free love as the possibility of voluntary sexual encounter between consenting adults. He was also a consistent proponent of polyamory. In France there was also feminist activity inside French individualist anarchism as promoted by individualist feminists Marie Küge, Anna Mahé, Rirette Maîtrejean, and Sophia Zaïkovska. Brazilian individualist anarchist Maria Lacerda de Moura lectured on topics such as education, women’s rightsfree love, and antimilitarism. Her writings and essays landed her attention not only in Brazil, but also in Argentina and Uruguay. In February 1923 she launched Renascença, a periodical linked with the anarchist, progressive, and freethinking circles of the period. Her thought was mainly influenced by individualist anarchists such as Han Ryner and Émile Armand. Voltairine de Cleyre (November 17, 1866 – June 20, 1912) was an American anarchist writer and feminist. She was a prolific writer and speaker, opposing the state, marriage, and the domination of religion in sexuality and women’s lives. She began her activist career in the freethought movement. De Cleyre was initially drawn to individualist anarchism but evolved through mutualism to an “anarchism without adjectives.” She was a colleague of Emma Goldman, with whom she respectfully disagreed with on many issues. Many of her essays were in the Collected Works of Voltairine de Cleyre, published posthumously by Mother Earth in 1914. In her 1895 lecture entitled Sex Slavery, de Cleyre condemns ideals of beauty that encourage women to distort their bodies and child socialization practices that create unnatural gender roles. The title of the essay refers not to traffic in women for purposes of prostitution, although that is also mentioned, but rather to marriage laws that allow men to rape their wives without consequences. Such laws make “every married woman what she is, a bonded slave, who takes her master’s name, her master’s bread, her master’s commands, and serves her master’s passions”. Although she was hostile to first-wave feminism and its suffragist goals, Emma Goldman advocated passionately for the rights of women, and is today heralded as a founder of anarcha-feminism. In 1897 she wrote: “I demand the independence of woman, her right to support herself; to live for herself; to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. I demand freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love and freedom in motherhood.” In 1906, Goldman wrote a piece entitled “The Tragedy of Woman’s Emancipation” in which she argued that traditional suffragists and first-wave feminists were achieving only a superficial good for women by pursuing the vote and a movement from the home sphere. In it she writes that in the ideal world women would be free to pursue their own destinies, yet “emancipation of woman, as interpreted and practically applied today, has failed to reach that great end.” She pointed to the “so-called independence” of the modern woman whose true nature—her love and mother instincts—were rebuked and stifled by the suffragist and early feminist movements. Goldman’s arguments in this text are arguably much more in line with the ideals of modern third-wave feminismthan with the feminism of her time, especially given her emphasis on allowing women to pursue marriage and motherhood if they so desired. In Goldman’s eyes, the early twentieth century idea of the emancipated woman had a “tragic effect upon the inner life of woman” by restricting her from fully fulfilling her nature and having a well-rounded life with a companion in marriage. A nurse by training, Goldman was an early advocate for educating women about birth control. Like many contemporary feminists, she saw abortion as a tragic consequence of social conditions, and birth control as a positive alternative. Goldman was also an advocate of free love, and a strong critic of marriage. She saw early feminists as confined in their scope and bounded by social forces of Puritanism and capitalism. She wrote: “We are in need of unhampered growth out of old traditions and habits. The movement for women’s emancipation has so far made but the first step in that direction.”[23][24] When Margaret Sanger, an advocate of access to birth control, coined the term “birth control” and disseminated information about various methods in the June 1914 issue of her magazine The Woman Rebel, she received aggressive support from Goldman. Sanger was arrested in August under the Comstock laws, which prohibited the dissemination of “obscene, lewd, or lascivious articles”—including information relating to birth control. Although they later split from Sanger over charges of insufficient support, Goldman and Reitman distributed copies of Sanger’s pamphlet Family Limitation (along with a similar essay of Reitman’s). In 1915, Goldman conducted a nationwide speaking tour in part to raise awareness about contraception options. Although the nation’s attitude toward the topic seemed to be liberalizing, Goldman was arrested in February 1916 and charged with violation of the Comstock Law. Refusing to pay a $100 fine, she spent two weeks in a prison workhouse, which she saw as an “opportunity” to reconnect with those rejected by society. Goldman was also an outspoken critic of prejudice against homosexuals. Her belief that social liberation should extend to gay men and lesbians was virtually unheard of at the time, even among anarchists. As Magnus Hirschfeld wrote, “she was the first and only woman, indeed the first and only American, to take up the defense of homosexual love before the general public.” In numerous speeches and letters, she defended the right of gay men and lesbians to love as they pleased and condemned the fear and stigma associated with homosexuality. As Goldman wrote in a letter to Hirschfeld, “It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals and is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their great significance in life.” Milly Witkop was a Ukrainian-born Jewish anarcho-syndicalist, feminist writer and activist. She was the common-law wife of Rudolf Rocker. In November 1918, Witkop and Rocker moved to Berlin; Rocker had been invited by Free Association of German Trade Unions (FVdG) chairman Fritz Kater to join him in building up what would become the Free Workers’ Union of Germany (FAUD), an anarcho-syndicalist trade union. Both Rocker and Witkop became members of the FAUD. After its founding in early 1919, a discussion about the role of girls and women in the union started. The male-dominated organization had at first ignored gender issues, but soon women started founding their own unions, which were organized parallel to the regular unions, but still formed part of the FAUD. Witkop was one of the leading founders of the Women’s Union in Berlin in 1920. On October 15, 1921, the women’s unions held a national congress in Düsseldorf and the Syndicalist Women’s Union (SFB) was founded on a national level. Shortly thereafter, Witkop drafted Was will der Syndikalistische Frauenbund? (What Does the Syndicalist Women’s Union Want?) as a platform for the SFB. From 1921, the Frauenbund was published as a supplement to the FAUD organ Der Syndikalist, Witkop was one of its primary writers. Witkop reasoned that proletarian women were exploited not only by capitalism like male workers, but also by their male counterparts. She contended therefore that women must actively fight for their rights, much like workers must fight capitalism for theirs. She also insisted on the necessity of women taking part in class struggle. Housewives could use boycotts to support this struggle. From this, she concluded the necessity of an autonomous women’s organization in the FAUD. Witkop also held that domestic work should be deemed equally valuable to wage labor. Mujeres Libres (English: Free Women) was an anarchist women’s organization in Spain that aimed to empower working class women. It was founded in 1936 by Lucía Sánchez SaornilMercedes Comaposada and Amparo Poch y Gascón and had approximately 30,000 members. The organization was based on the idea of a “double struggle” for women’s liberation and social revolution and argued that the two objectives were equally important and should be pursued in parallel. In order to gain mutual support, they created networks of women anarchists. Flying day-care centres were set up in efforts to involve more women in union activities. The organization also produced propaganda through radio, traveling libraries and propaganda tours, in order to promote their cause. Organizers and activists traveled through rural parts of Spain to set up rural collectives and support for women. To prepare women for leadership roles in the anarchist movement, they organized schools, women-only social groups and a women-only newspaper to help women gain self-esteem and confidence in their abilities and network with one another to develop their political consciousness. Many of the female workers in Spain were illiterate and the Mujeres Libres sought to educate them through literacy programs, technically oriented classes, and social studies classes. Schools were also created for train nurses to help injured in emergency medical clinics. Medical classes also provided women with information on sexual health and pre and post-natal care. The Mujeres Libres also created a woman run magazine to keep all of its members informed. The first monthly issue of Mujeres Libres was published on May 20, 1936 (ack 100). However the magazine only had 14 issues. The last issue was still being printed when the civil war battlefront reached Barcelona, and no copies survived. The magazine addressed working class women and focused on “awakening the female conscience toward libertarian ideas.” Lucía Sánchez Saornil (December 13, 1895 – June 2, 1970), was a Spanish poet, militant anarchist and feminist. She is best known as one of the founders of Mujeres Libres. She served in the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and Solidaridad Internacional Antifascista (SIA). By 1919, she had been published in a variety of journals, including Los QuijotesTablerosPluralManantial and La Gaceta Literaria. Working under a male pen name, she was able to explore lesbian themes[35] at a time when homosexuality was criminalized and subject to censorship and punishment. Writing in anarchist publications such as Earth and Freedom, the White Magazine and Workers’ Solidarity, Lucía outlined her perspective as a feminist. Although quiet on the subject of birth control, she attacked the essentialism of gender roles in Spanish society. In this way, Lucía established herself as one of the most radical of voices among anarchist women, rejecting the ideal of female domesticity which remained largely unquestioned. In a series of articles for Workers’ Solidarity, she boldly refuted Gregorio Marañón‘s identification of motherhood as the nucleus of female identity. An important aspect of anarcha-feminism is its opposition to traditional concepts of family, education and gender rolesThe institution of marriage is one of the most widely opposed. De Cleyre argued that marriage stifled individual growth, and Goldman argued that it “is primarily an economic arrangement… [woman] pays for it with her name, her privacy, her self-respect, her very life.”[40] Anarcha-feminists have also argued for non-hierarchical family and educational structures, and had a prominent role in the creation of the Modern School in New York City, based on the ideas of Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia“The Fine Art of Labeling: The Convergence of Anarchism, Feminism, and Bisexuality”, by Lucy Friedland and Liz Highleyman, is a piece in Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out (1991), an anthology edited by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Ka’ahumanuwhich is one of the seminal books[42] in the history of the modern bisexual rights movement. Contemporary anarcha-feminism has been noted for its heavy influence on ecofeminism.”Ecofeminists rightly note that except for anarcha-feminist, no feminist perspective has recognized the importance of healing the nature/culture division.” Contemporary anarcha-feminist writers/theorists include Maria MiesPeggy KorneggerL. Susan Brown, the eco-feminist Starhawk and the post-left anarchist and anarcho-primitivist Lilith. In the past decades two films have been produced about anarcha-feminism. Libertarias is a historical drama made in 1996 about the Spanish anarcha-feminist organization Mujeres Libres. In 2010 the argentinian film Ni dios, ni patrón, ni marido was released which is centered on the story of anarcha-feminist Virginia Bolten and her publishing of the newspaper La Voz de la Mujer(English: The Woman’s Voice). Ref


Planned Parenthood and Anarchy

“Margaret Higgins Sanger (born Margaret Louise Higgins, September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966, also known as Margaret Sanger Slee) was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. Sanger popularized the term “birth control”, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 1911, after a fire destroyed their home in Hastings-on-Hudson, the Sangers abandoned the suburbs for a new life in New York City. Margaret Sanger worked as a visiting nurse in the slums of the East Side, while her husband worked as an architect and a house painter. Already imbued with her husband’s leftist politics, Margaret Sanger also threw herself into the radical politics and modernist values of pre-World War I Greenwich Village bohemia. She joined the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist party, took part in the labor actions of the Industrial Workers of the World (including the notable 1912 Lawrence textile strike and the 1913 Paterson silk strike) and became involved with local intellectuals, left-wing artists, socialists and social activists, including John ReedUpton SinclairMabel Dodge and Emma GoldmanSanger’s political interests, emerging feminism and nursing experience led her to write two series of columns on sex education entitled “What Every Mother Should Know” (1911–12) and “What Every Girl Should Know” (1912–13) for the socialist magazine New York Call. By the standards of the day, Sanger’s articles were extremely frank in their discussion of sexuality, and many New York Call readers were outraged by them. Other readers, however, praised the series for its candor. One stated that the series contained “a purer morality than whole libraries full of hypocritical cant about modesty”. Both were published in book form in 1916. During her work among working-class immigrant women, Sanger met women who underwent frequent childbirth, miscarriages and self-induced abortions for lack of information on how to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Access to contraceptive information was prohibited on grounds of obscenity by the 1873 federal Comstock law and a host of state laws. Seeking to help these women, Sanger visited public libraries, but was unable to find information on contraception. In 1914 Sanger launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan “No Gods, No Masters“. Sanger, collaborating with anarchist friends, popularized the term “birth control” as a more candid alternative to euphemisms such as “family limitation” and proclaimed that each woman should be “the absolute mistress of her own body.” In these early years of Sanger’s activism, she viewed birth control as a free-speech issue, and when she started publishing The Woman Rebel, one of her goals was to provoke a legal challenge to the federal anti-obscenity laws which banned dissemination of information about contraception. Though postal authorities suppressed five of its seven issues, Sanger continued publication, all the while preparing Family Limitation, another challenge to anti-birth control laws. This 16-page pamphlet contained detailed and precise information and graphic descriptions of various contraceptive methods. In August 1914 Margaret Sanger was indicted for violating postal obscenity laws by sending The Woman Rebel through the postal system. Rather than stand trial, she fled the country.” Ref


Anarchy and Atheism?

Anarchy atheism: advocate of freethought and anti-religious activism. If you don’t believe any god should control you, you shouldn’t believe any other human being should believe in a sky king or supernatural master and more than human kings or masters. An anarchist would most likely be atheist, anti-theist, agnostic or apatheist believing there should be no rulers thus reject god whether they think one does or doesn’t exist. Certainly excludes rulers like gods, kings, or the state. Anarchy atheism likewise could be anti-religion as well seeing parallels between organized religion external control instead of the individual (even if god was removed) and the state (the primary target of most anarchists) are striking thus rejected. Politicians and preachers are one and the same: both work for a higher power than you, money and power. Ultimately, anarchy to atheism, goes past a simple atheism tendency to only attack god, while ignoring the state, capital, and other possible forms of domination, when anarchy atheists believe they have to attack all of it. Ref


Why not just “Humanism”?

Back to the statment on Humanism which is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). However, the meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated, according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of a “human nature” (sometimes contrasted with antihumanism). Ref
 
To me saying I need to use the term humanism instead of the term feminism, is like when I say I am an atheist someone saying they are a skeptic or rationalist or that I need to use those terms instead of the term atheist. Sure, I am a rationalist, a methodological skeptic and an atheist too, it all has different and needed meanings. One can be all the above but one does not enplane the other and also be a feminist. To reference this further like when I say I am for LGBTQI rights, them saying they are a humanist and that should cover everything leaving no need to say anything more, like singling out LGBTQI rights. To me feminism and LGBTQI rights both fall under multiculturalism. To me after taking multiculturalism classes in collage for my degree in psychology it was like 15 to 20 people and it was all women and only three who were not and I was surprised that when I brought up feminism and issues of limited sexual binary thinking (homophobia, internalized homophobia, transphobia, genderqueerphobia and intersexphobia) I was attacked and challenged especially about feminism which some said was not even needed anymore. Likewise, they seemed to feel they were being multicultural just focusing on race. And one man the only person openly gay started to support me some but manly on homophobia, however, even he had not heard about genderqueer; though he was open to learn. What I started to think is one cannot truly be multicultural unless they are culturally multiple and even then we must realize we are often culturally encapsulated and thus bit only must listen and learn from others of other cultures or countercultures we must see we may even if unintentionally be culturally biased in our thinking or approach to multiculturalism in general.

Here is a complimentary blog post: Rhetoric & Stereotypes: Rethinking How We Think


I was once asked: Damian where do you stand on a man’s rights to choose to be a parent?

I responded: I am not totally sure I get what you mean? Do you mean me can decide he wants an abortion and she wants the child? If that is what you are asking, no one has rights over the woman’s body but the woman. I would not support making her keep the baby nor should she be forced to abort the baby. I support father’s rights just as I support mother’s rights but not rights over another’s body. If the man became a father because he was a rapist, then fuck him he has no rights as a parent to me.

Questioner: no. I was referring to how we of the mentality of equality have become quite accepting of a woman’s rights to an abortion if she chooses to not be a parent at the time versus a man’s right to walk away without child support or ramifications of him being a horrible person. .our a dead beat. Do you feel that is fair and equal?

I responded: it’s two different things. One is her body the other is parental responsibility.

Questioner: yes, but she gets to choose weather or not she is ready for parental responsibility. He doesn’t get that choice. I’m not saying he should have any choice over her body. But how do you make that choice fair.

I responded: everyone owns their own body, so it’s not favoring anything it’s about self-rights why women are the only ones to decide. I would say the same if men got pregnant.

Questioner: But it’s not technically equal. .and there is no way to make it equal. Not without infringing on a woman’s right to decide what she does with her own body.

I responded: it is fair and equal everyone owns their own body. Nothing special is in play that is in fare.

Questioner: now think. If I have a fling with a girl. She doesn’t want an abortion. I’m cool. I won’t argue but what if I don’t want to be a parent? There is actually Damien. Many states will force that man to pay child support even though he doesn’t want to be a parent. Is that not forcing him to change his entire life? Work his BODY harder? go to school. .get more money? It changes everything he does. And sometimes against his will.

I responded: you don’t have to be a parent but you do have to support the child you created. Your “mistake” is going to bring responsibility for at least monetary care. Do not like the danger then take steps to be safe. Me I have an open marriage so I can have flings but I didn’t want a child so I got a vasectomy. Problem solved.

Questioner: then shouldn’t she have to if he wants the child? No. That would infringe on her rights. Therefore we return to unequal. Some things are just impossible to make equal, and yes I’m pro choice. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could be pro choice for everyone though?

I responded: they both have equal body ownership. They both have equal responsibility for any child. That means its equal, nothing special.

The men’s rights movement (MRM) is a part of the larger men’s movement. It branched off from the men’s liberation movement in the early 1970s. The men’s rights movement is made up of a variety of groups and individuals who are concerned with issues of male disadvantage, discrimination and oppression. The movement focuses on issues in numerous areas of society (including family lawparenting,reproductiondomestic violence) and government services (including education,compulsory military servicesocial safety nets, and health policies) which purportedly discriminate against men. Some scholars consider the men’s rights movement or parts of the movement to be a backlash to feminism. Men’s rights activists contest claims that men have greater power, privilege or advantage than women do and argue that the women’s movement has “gone too far” and harmed men, especially in areas related to child custody, child support, and in division of marital assets during divorce. Claims and activities associated with the men’s rights movement have been criticized by scholars, the Southern Poverty Law Center and commentators. Some sectors of the movement have been described as misogynisticRef


I will begin the discussion on sexism in the Major World Religions

which roughly mirrors the beginning of sexism and how it is evident in all the Major World Religions.

From the ancient past, evidence shows that sexism was near nonexistent than today’s which has become so pervasive and females were highly valued. Currently in the world with the male dominant and centric religions and the many cultures of current and past historic societies, which often seem to devalue, give a lesser status, or limited the value of women. Moreover, before there were any male god myths, there were only or mainly female goddesses and animals or aspects of nature, which were held as spirits or something like deities. Many present day thinkers may find it difficult to comprehend that women could have been valued, be equal to some extent, or even hold a position of power, especially political power in early historic or prehistoric times. Around 6,000 years ago, women were documented as leaders and other positions of political authority starting with Legendary Queen of Ethiopia. According to a scientific study, there is further confirmation which shows that sexual equality is nothing new, even if it is something long forgotten but is still be fought for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, evidence shows that men and women tend to have equal influence on important decision-making. Such findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, which suggests that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history. At least by 12,000 years ago, female goddesses and not male gods were created; however, the female goddesses may have been created as early as 40,000 years ago or earlier. Furthermore, I surmise around 12,000 years ago the possible beginnings of the hints of sexism and latter patriarchy began. Before 12,000 years ago, women seemed to have a special power of giving life but then things started to change, women started to lose this perceived special or magical status. However, as time went on women were starting to be seen as an object, since animals were being domesticated and humans started understand birthing. But don’t get me wrong, this was not a dramatic shift, it was a slow process of sexism gaining power that took thousands of years to reach full fruition as we think of it today. One of the oldest written religion is of the Sumerians who’s creator being was a Female and not a Male. The Sumerian religion is around 6,000 years old but it could be much older 7,000 to 8,000 years old. In human history, when did the religious subjugation of goddess and by extension all women occur? Around 6,000 years ago, it can be hypothesized that male gods hit the scene in full force and about 5,000 years ago, women started to lose more, and eventually all value. In Turkey, archeologists found 4,000-year-old tablets that cite women’s rights. However, more progress sexism continued to develop after 4,000 years ago. Even today, women hardly have any value or even regained a fully equal status.. The devaluing, disrespecting, and degrading of women came before societies developed the more fixed class/sex structures as we think of today. Around 2,000 years ago, the manmade god concept took time to develop and finalized completely as the only or main gender of gods. It can be said that one of the male god concept’s goal was for male control and domination of female sexuality and their reproductive potential. Once the male god is established and by extension men with the promotion of patriarchy, it was relatively easy to maintain and enforce through holy books and laws written by men which established women’s lower status that deny women of education, their rights to their bodies, and exclude them from decision-making. Eventually, male dominance and its sexism were establish in nearly every known human society and has lasted for a few millennia. All religions have or are prone and promote sexism, some more than others but it is a shame they all share. Although though there is much more that can be said, I will only offer a few things as evidence of sexism in each of the current major world religions:

Sexism in Judaism (Old Testament):

Exodus 21:7 God not only sanctions selling ones daughter into slavery, but he also gives out laws on how it should be done.

Leviticus 27:3-7 God places a dollar value on human life; with women worth less than men.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 women who are raped and fail to “cry out” likely enjoyed the attack thus should be killed.

 Sexism in Christianity (New Testament):

1 Corinthians 11:7 – 9 “For a man is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

Romans 7:2 “For the woman who hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives.

Titus 2:4-9 “Train the young women to be submissive to their husbands.

Sexism in Islam:

Qur’an (4:11) – (Inheritance) The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females (see also verse 4:176).

Qur’an (4:24) and Qur’an (33:50) – A man is permitted to take women as sex slaves outside of marriage.

Qur’an (4:34) – Men are in charge of women and good women are the obedient, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other.

Sexism in Hinduism:

Manusmriti 5.148. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.

Manusmrti (9:2-4) – Men must make their women dependent day and night, and keep under their own control those who are attached to sensory objects. A woman is not fit for independence.

Rig Veda (8.33.33-34) – The mind of woman cannot be disciplined; she has very little intelligence.

Sexism in Buddhism:

Historical Buddha said the female’s defects greed, hate, delusion, and other defilements are greater than the male’s.

Historical Buddha who refused to ordain women as nuns. He said that allowing women into the sangha would cause his teachings to survive only half as long.

A popular belief in Buddhist countries is that negative karma results in a man being reborn as a woman and in Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra (Pure Land Buddhism) women must be reborn as men before they can enter Nirvana. Theravadan Buddhists claim a woman could never become a Buddha. The Ecclesiastical Buddhist Council of Thailand, announced publicly that any monk who supports the ordination of women will be subject to severe punishment.

Sexism in Shintoism:

The Kanamara Matsuri (“Festival of the Phallus”) is a Shinto celebration centred on a local penis-venerating shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. The legend being that a sharp-toothed demon (vagina dentata) hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights. As a result, the young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon’s teeth, which led to the enshrinement of penis-venerating.

A spiritual practice specific to women involves a relationship to sight because they are always blind or visually impaired. Male sight, specifically women out of the public eye, occupies a privileged position in everything from ancient myths to the modern wedding ritual and continually exerts an oppressive influence on the lives of women, monitoring and impeding their public movements.

“Feminine Pollution” involves the idea in Shinto ritual, which has been used in the past to justify discrimination against women. Therefore, women have historically been pushed out of the public eye and out of public religious spaces because of their supposed impurity and to this day women are haunted by the belief in their inherent pollution.

Sexism in Sikhism:

The Gurus’ teaching on the role of women is stated as, “we are conceived and born from women. Woman is our life-long friend and keeps the race going. Why should we despise her, the one who gives birth to great men?” – Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the third Guru). Well, that still is saying its men that are great because of whom they are and women great only because they can produce great men still sounds like sexism to me.

Only Men as Guru only Men as the five Panj Pyare yes try to tell me of how Sikhism is completely equal to women…

Shiha Kaur a self-clamed feminist Sikh states,“ ancient cultural traditions sometimes take precedence over the principles of in Sikhism. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, one of the most famous Sikh Kings in Moghul India often considered a model Sikh, had seven wives. Not only does polygamy go against Sikh beliefs but also half of his wives committed sati (widowed woman commits suicide by fire) when he died in 1839. In India today, school attendance of Sikh girls is lower than that of Sikh boys. The Asian Network has reported in the rise of Asian couples travelling to India to abort female fetuses and no sweets are shared among Sikh relatives to celebrate the birth of a girl, as usually happens when a boy is born.”

Sexism in Jainism:

Jainism does not teach that women can gain ultimate spiritual liberation, though a woman could strive to become a man in her next life so she could then reach enlightenment.

Jains believe, for example, that even microbes in the air and water are sacred life and any action that impacts other living things – such as driving or using electricity – can add to bad karma. Therefore, to Jains the bleeding which occurs in menstruation is thought to kill micro-organisms in the body, making the female body less nonviolent than the male body and the female body more prone to bad karma.

Digambara texts like Yuktiprabodha say that women’s genitals and breasts are sources of impurity and have many micro-organisms living in them. Digambara Jain theologians have written that due to bodily secretions, women suffer from itching which gives them uncontrollable sexual urges. They believe that women cannot take higher vows of ascetic renunciation, because naked women would have two deep emotions: shame of being naked and fear of sexual assault which they might face.

Sexism in Confucianism:

Confucius about women is “Shaoren and girls are difficult to handle. If you get familiar with them they cease to be humble. If you keep them away, they get resentful.” (Analects 17:25) This sure sounds insulting to women.

A well-known sexist Confucianism commandments is “Since the age of seven, men and women should not share a room or food” and “When young, a woman should obey the father, when married, the husband, when old, the son” are creations of later generation of Confucian scholars who developed a greater sexist tendency since the Tang dynasty era (618-907 C.E.).

According to the Confucian structure of society, women at every level were to occupy a position lower than men. Most Confucians accepted the subservience of women to men as natural and proper.

Sexism in Bahaism:

Highest leadership of the religion where only men Central figures: Bahá’u’lláh The Báb `Abdu’l-Bahá aso all men.

Women are excluded from serving on the religion’s highest governing body, the Universal House of Justice, which is confined to men only is sexist and does constitute evidence of the Bahá’í Faith support of superiority of men over women.

In 1997, a Canadian fantasy writer was disenrolled, primarily for his outspokenness on email forums for women’s full inclusion in Baha’i administration. Furthermore, in the Baha’i Faith there are particular cases of assignment of different roles to women and men at the level of individual life, family, and society.


Rape, Sexism and Religion?

Here is a comment from my Axiological Atheist page:

“Cmon rape sucks I’m sure. But let’s not make it something it’s not. Religion however is a scourge on our society and needs to be eliminated.“ – Challenger

“Oh yeah…rape is a piece of cake. No big deal. Don’t even know why it’s illegal….said no rape victim ever.” – A female page member

“I’ve never heard a male rape victim claim it “ruined his whole life” 😄😄- Challenger

My response, rape is a big deal. Rape often destroys one’s long-term internal well being and is a violation of one’s dignity at a core level disrupting one’s sense of body integrity commonly producing possible lifelong PTSD symptoms and emotional hijacking responses in even some loving relationships. So, it is a very big deal.

“Rape trauma syndrome (RTS) is the psychological trauma experienced by a rape victim that includes disruptions to normal physical, emotional, cognitive, and interpersonal behavior. The theory was first described by psychiatrist Ann Wolbert Burgess and sociologist Lynda Lytle Holmstrom in 1974. RTS is a cluster of psychological and physical signs, symptoms and reactions common to most rape victims immediately following and for months or years after a rape. While most research into RTS has focused on female victims, sexually abused males (whether by male or female perpetrators) also exhibit RTS symptoms. RTS paved the way for consideration of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, which can more accurately describe the consequences of serious, protracted trauma than posttraumatic stress disorder alone. The symptoms of RTS and post-traumatic stress syndrome overlap. As might be expected, a person who has been raped will generally experience high levels of distress immediately afterward. These feelings may subside over time for some people; however, individually each syndrome can have long devastating effects on rape victims and some victims will continue to experience some form of psychological distress for months or years. It has also been found that rape survivors are at high risk for developing substance use disorders, major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and eating disorders.” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_trauma_syndrome

“Well, here’s your first, then – it’s had serious effects on my life and relationships for the last two decades.” – Another male page member

My response, here is my video on my life and I was a victim of sexual abuse too and it affected me a lot even when I did not realize it I was not great at being touched during sex as it felt too unsafe, a mental issue lasts after one’s dignity has been so violated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMIeuzfus9Q

The concept of rape, both as an abduction and in the sexual sense (not always distinguishable), makes its first historicalappearance in early religious texts. The rape of women or youths is a common theme in Greek mythology. Among the rapes or abductions committed by Zeus, the supreme deity of the Greek pantheon, are Europa and Ganymede. In Roman lawraptus (or raptio) meant primarily kidnapping or abduction; sexual violation was a secondary issue. The “abduction” of an unmarried girl from her father’s household in some circumstances was a matter of the couple eloping without her father’s permission to marry. Rape in the English sense of “forced sex” was more often expressed as stuprum, a sex crime committed through violence or coercion (cum vi or per vim). Raptus ad stuprum, “abduction for the purpose of committing a sex crime,” emerged as a legal distinction in the late Roman RepublicThe Lex Julia de vi publica, recorded in the early 3rd century AD but dating probably from the dictatorship of Julius Caesar, defined rape as forced sex against “boy, woman, or anyone”. Although Roman law in the historical period recognized rape as a crime, the rape of women is a pervasive theme in the myths and legends of early Rome.

Attitudes toward rape changed when the Roman Empire became ChristianizedSt. Augustine interpreted Lucretia’s suicide as a possible admission that she had secretly encouraged the rapist, and Christian apologists regarded her as having committed the sin of involuntary sexual pleasure. Augustine’s interpretation of the rape of Lucretia (in The City of God Against the Pagans 1.19) has generated a substantial body of criticism, starting with a satire by Machiavelli. Historian of early Christianity Peter Brown characterized this section of Augustine’s work as his most vituperative attack on Roman ideals of virtue. Augustine redefines sexual integrity (pudicitia) as a purely spiritual quality that physical defilement cannot taint; the Romans had viewed rape and other forms of stuprum (“sex crime”) within a political context as crimes against the citizen’s body and liberty. The first Christian emperor Constantine redefined rape as a public offense rather than as a private wrong.Since under Roman law raptus could also mean cases of abduction or elopement without the head of household’s permission, Constantine ordered that if the female had consented, she should be punished along with the male “abductor” by being burnt alive. If she had not consented, she was still considered an accomplice, “on the grounds that she could have saved herself by screaming for help.” As a participant to the rape, she was punished under law by being disinherited, regardless of the wishes of her family. Even if she and her family consented to a marriage as the result of an elopement, the marriage was legally void. Ref

Women have historically been considered second-class citizens who were not thought to deserve the same rights as their male counterparts. Rape laws existed to protect virginal daughters from rape, often through their fathers. In these cases, a rape done to a woman was seen as an attack on the estate of her father because she was his property and a woman’s virginity being taken before marriage lessened her value; if the woman was married, the rape was an attack on the husband because it violated his property. The rapist was either subject to payment (see wreath money) or severe punishment. The father could rape or keep the rapist’s wife or make the rapist marry his daughter. A man could not be charged with raping his wife since she was his property. Author Winnie Tomm stated, “By contrast, rape of a single woman without strong ties to a father or husband caused no great concern.”

In the United States, during slavery, the law focused primarily on rape as it pertained to black men raping white women. The penalty for such a crime in many jurisdictions was death or castration. The rape of a black woman, by any man, was considered legal. As early as the 19th century, American women were criticized if they “stray[ed] out of a [dependent] position…fought off [an] attacker…[or] behaved in too self reliant a manner…” in which case “the term rape no longer applied…”. Similar to rape myths and double standards applied to women today, description of rape in the 1800s depicted women who needed to behave or else face the inevitable consequences.

In the United States, prior to the 1930s rape was considered a sex crime that was always committed by men and always done to women. From 1935–1965, a shift from labeling rapists as criminals to believing them to be mentally ill “sexual psychopaths” began making its way into popular opinion. Men caught for committing rape were no longer sentenced to prison but admitted to mental health hospitals where they would be given medication for their illness. Because only “insane” men were the ones committing acts of rape, no one considered the everyday person to be capable of such violence. Transitions in women’s roles in society were also shifting, causing alarm and blame towards rape victims. Because women were becoming more involved in the public (i.e. searching for jobs rather than being a housewife) many people believed that these women were “loose” and looking for trouble. Giving up the gender roles of mother and wife was seen as defiant against traditional values while immersing themselves within society created the excuse that women would “not [be] entitled to protection under the traditional guidelines for male-female relationships”. So to me religious culture is very involved in “Rape culture,” a sociological concept used to describe a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexualityBehaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blamingslut shamingsexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by some forms of sexual violence, or some combination of these. Ref

Until 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) still considered rape a crime solely committed by men against women. In 2012, they changed their definition from “The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” to “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The previous definition, which had remained unchanged since 1927, was considered outdated and narrow. The updated definition includes recognizing any gender of victim and perpetrator and that rape with an object can be as traumatic as penile/vaginal rape. The bureau further describes instances when the victim is unable to give consent because of mental or physical incapacity. It recognizes that a victim can be incapacitated by drugs and alcohol and unable to consent. The definition does not change federal or state criminal codes or impact charging and prosecution on the federal, state or local level; it rather means that rape will be more accurately reported nationwide.

Health organizations and agencies have also expanded rape beyond traditional definitions. The World Health Organization(WHO) defines rape as a form of sexual assault, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes rape in their definition of sexual assault; they term rape a form of sexual violence. The CDC lists other acts of coercive, non-consensual sexual activity that may or may not include rape, including drug-facilitated sexual assault, acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, intoxication where the victim is unable to consent (due to incapacitation or being unconscious), non-physically forced penetration which occurs after a person is pressured verbally (by intimidation or misuse of authority to force to consent), or completed or attempted forced penetration of a victim via unwanted physical force (including using a weapon or threatening to use a weapon).

Some countries or jurisdictions differentiate between rape and sexual assault by defining rape as involving penile penetration of the vagina, or solely penetration involving the penis, while other types of non-consensual sexual activity are called sexual assault. Scotland, for example, emphasizes penile penetration, requiring that the sexual assault must have been committed by use of a penis to qualify as rape. The 1998 International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda defines rape as “a physical invasion of a sexual nature committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive”. In other cases, the term rape has been phased out of legal use in favor of terms such as sexual assault or criminal sexual conduct. Some laws have eliminated the term rape altogether.

Some research purposes, incidence of rapes are classified into a number of categories. These can be gender, age, ethnicitygeographical locationculture or historical periods. Other categories of rape describe the relationship of the perpetrator to the victim and the context of the sexual assault. Rape is categorized as date rapegang rapemarital rapeincestual rapechild sexual abuseprison rapeacquaintance rapewar rape and statutory rapeVictims of rape or sexual assault come from a wide range of sexual orientations, genders, ages, and degrees of impairment or disability. Perpetrators sometimes use objects for penetration, force the victim to penetrate the perpetrator, force the victim to perform oral sex or assault the victim with anal penetration. Those experiencing non-consensual, forced sexual experiences and sexual assault include women, heterosexual men, homosexual men, boys, adolescent males, spouses, girlfriends, boyfriends, prepubescent girls and boys, adolescent girls, children, the elderly, and even infants. Forced sexual activity can be committed over a long period of time with little to no physical injury.

In an early study of U.S. 1,632 students from 79 different schools, boys and girls were surveyed and asked if they had, at some time, been asked to engage in unwelcome sexual behavior. 85% of the girls and 76% of the boys said that this had occurred. The boys and girls indicated that the behavior they experienced included pinching, grabbing, touching in a sexual manner. One fourth of the girls had been forced to kiss someone and 10% of both the girls and the boys reported having been forced against their wills to do something sexual other than kissing. Students reported that 80% of the unwelcome sexual behavior had come from other students, and 20% had come from teachers, coaches, or other adults. Out of the total of child abuse rates, slightly more than 75% were neglected, 18% were assaulted and slightly more than nine percent were sexually abused. Ref

There is a heavy influence of sexism in the Major World Religions

From the ancient past, evidence shows that sexism was near nonexistent and females were highly valued. Currently in the world with the male dominant thinking, male centric religions, and the many cultures of societies marginalizing women and promoting of sexism, which all seem to devalue, give a lesser status, or limit the value of women. Moreover, it should be understood that before there were any male god myths, there were only or mainly female goddesses and animals or aspects of nature, which were held as spirits or something like deities. Many present day thinkers may find it difficult to comprehend that women could have been valued, be equal to some extent, or even hold a position of power, especially political power in early historic or prehistoric times. However from some of the earliest writing we see that as far back as at least around 6,000 years ago women were documented as leaders and other positions of political authority that went on for thousands of years starting with Legendary Queen of Ethiopia. Likewise, according to a scientific study, there is further confirmation which shows that sexual equality is nothing new, even if it is something long forgotten. In contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, evidence shows that men and women tend to have equal influence on important decision-making. Such findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, which suggests that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history. Getting back to the timeline, by at least by 12,000 years ago, female goddesses and not male gods were created; however, the female goddesses may have been created as early as 40,000 years ago or earlier. Furthermore, I surmise around 12,000 years ago the possible beginnings of the hints of sexism and latter patriarchy began. Before 12,000 years ago, women seemed to have a special power of giving life but then things started to change, women started to lose this perceived special or magical status. However, as time went on women were starting to be seen as an object, since animals were being domesticated and humans started understand birthing. Nevertheless, do not get me wrong, this was not a dramatic shift; it was a slow process of sexism gaining power that took thousands of years to reach full fruition as we think of it today. One of the oldest written religion is of the Sumerians who’s creator being was a Female and not a Male. The Sumerian religion is around 6,000 years old but it could be much older 7,000 to 8,000 years old. In human history, when did the religious subjugation of goddess and by extension all women occur? Well, this can also be conserved to happen around 6,000 years ago also. Although, it can be hypothesized that male gods hit the scene in full force around about 5,000 years ago, when women started to lose more, and eventually all value. The introduction of Proto-Indo-Europeans marked the patriarchalization of agrarian culture. The earliest extant written sources demonstrate that these invading patriarchal peoples accommodated their divinities to those of the indigenous goddess-worshiping cultures, and they did not immediately belittle the importance of the great mother. Instead, the literature from the 5,000 years ago, recorded after the invasions, demonstrates the fusion of the goddess worshiping with the god worshiping culture. In Turkey, archaeologists found 4,000-year-old tablets that cite women’s rights. However, more progress sexism continued to develop after 4,000 years ago. Even today, women hardly have any value or even regained a fully equal status.. The devaluing, disrespecting, and degrading of women came before societies developed the more fixed class/sex structures as we think of today. Around 2,000 years ago, the manmade god concept which had taken time to develop finally started to be finalized completely as the only or the main gender of believed gods. It can be said that one of the male god concept’s goal was or seems to be for male control and domination of female sexuality and their reproductive potential. Once the male god concept is fully established and by extension men with the promotion of patriarchy, it was relatively easy to maintain and enforce through holy books and laws written by men, which established women’s lower status that deny women of education, their rights to their bodies, and exclude them from decision-making. Eventually, male dominance and its sexism were establish in nearly every known religion as well as every human society and has lasted now for a few millennia. All religions have or are prone and promote sexism, some more than others but it is a shame they all share.


The Bible and Rape?

By Evil Bible.com

1) Murder, rape, and pillage at Jabesh-gilead (Judges 21:10-24 NLT)

So they sent twelve thousand warriors to Jabesh-gilead with orders to kill everyone there, including women and children.  “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Completely destroy all the males and every woman who is not a virgin.”  Among the residents of Jabesh-gilead they found four hundred young virgins who had never slept with a man, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh in the land of Canaan.

The Israelite assembly sent a peace delegation to the little remnant of Benjamin who were living at the rock of Rimmon. Then the men of Benjamin returned to their homes, and the four hundred women of Jabesh-gilead who were spared were given to them as wives.  But there were not enough women for all of them.  The people felt sorry for Benjamin because the LORD had left this gap in the tribes of Israel.  So the Israelite leaders asked, “How can we find wives for the few who remain, since all the women of the tribe of Benjamin are dead?  There must be heirs for the survivors so that an entire tribe of Israel will not be lost forever.  But we cannot give them our own daughters in marriage because we have sworn with a solemn oath that anyone who does this will fall under God’s curse.”

Then they thought of the annual festival of the LORD held in Shiloh, between Lebonah and Bethel, along the east side of the road that goes from Bethel to Shechem.  They told the men of Benjamin who still needed wives, “Go and hide in the vineyards.  When the women of Shiloh come out for their dances, rush out from the vineyards, and each of you can take one of them home to be your wife!  And when their fathers and brothers come to us in protest, we will tell them, ‘Please be understanding.  Let them have your daughters, for we didn’t find enough wives for them when we dest60royed Jabesh-gilead. And you are not guilty of breaking the vow since you did not give your daughters in marriage to them.’”  So the men of Benjamin did as they were told.  They kidnapped the women who took part in the celebration and carried them off to the land of their own inheritance.  Then they rebuilt their towns and lived in them.  So the assembly of Israel departed by tribes and families, and they returned to their own homes.

Obviously these women were repeatedly raped.  These sick bastards killed and raped an entire town and then wanted more virgins, so they hid beside the road to kidnap and rape some more.  How can anyone see this as anything but evil?

2) Murder, rape and pillage of the Midianites (Numbers 31:7-18 NLT)

They attacked Midian just as the LORD had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men.  All five of the Midianite kings – Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba – died in the battle.  They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword.  Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder.  They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived.  After they had gathered the plunder and captives, both people and animals, they brought them all to Moses and Eleazar the priest, and to the whole community of Israel, which was camped on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.

Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the people went to meet them outside the camp.  But Moses was furious with all the military commanders who had returned from the battle.  “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded.  “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the LORD at Mount Peor.  They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the LORD’s people.  Now kill all the boys and all the women who have slept with a man.  Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves.

Clearly Moses and God approves of rape of virgins.

3) More Murder Rape and Pillage (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace.  If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor.  But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town.  When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town.  But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder.  You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

What kind of God approves of murder, rape, and slavery?

4) Laws of Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NAB)

If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her attacker?  Answer: God.

5) Death to the Rape Victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

It is clear that God doesn’t give a damn about the rape victim.  He is only concerned about the violation of another mans “property”.

6) David’s Punishment – Polygamy, Rape, Baby Killing, and God’s “Forgiveness” (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB)

Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.  I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor.  He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.  You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’

Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  Nathan answered David: “The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.  But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.”  [The child dies seven days later.]

This has got to be one of the sickest quotes of the Bible.  God himself brings the completely innocent rape victims to the rapist.  What kind of pathetic loser would do something so evil?  And then he kills a child!  This is sick, really sick!

7)  Rape of Female Captives (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)

“When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house.  But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb.  After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife.  However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.”

Once again God approves of forcible rape.

8)  Rape and the Spoils of War (Judges 5:30 NAB)

They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera’s spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil. (Judges 5:30 NAB)

9) Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.  But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her.  And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter.  If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife.  If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

10) God Assists Rape and Plunder (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst.  And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)


Islam and Rape

By The Religion of Peace.com

It is against Islam to rape Muslim women, but Muhammad actually encouraged the rape of others captured in battle. This hadith provides the context for the Qur’anic verse (4:24):

The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain.  They met their enemy and fought with them.  They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers.  So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Abu Dawud 2150, also Muslim 3433)

Actually, as the hadith indicates, it wasn’t Muhammad, but “Allah the Exalted” who told the men to rape the women in front of their husbands – which is all the more reason to think of Islam differently from other religions. Note also that the husbands of these unfortunate victims were obviously alive after battle.  This is important because it flatly contradicts those apologists who like to argue that the women Muhammad enslaved were widowed and thus unable to fend for themselves.  (Even if the apologists were right, what sort of a moral code is it that forces a widow to choose between being raped and starving?) There are several other episodes in which Muhammad is offered the clear opportunity to disavow raping women – yet he instead offers advice on how to proceed.  In one case, his men were reluctant to devalue their new slaves for later resale by getting them pregnant.  Muhammad was asked about coitus interruptus in particular:

“O Allah’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?”  The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it. No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari34:432)

As indicated, the prophet of Islam did not mind his men raping the women, provided they ejaculated within the bodies of their victims. As one might imagine, Muhammad’s obvious approval of raping women captured in battle and his own personal participation as recorded in many places is of intense inconvenience to the Muslim apologists of our time.  For this reason, some of them attempt to explain away these many episodes and Qur’anic references to sex with captives by pretending that these are cases in which women have fled bad marriages and sought refuge with the Muslims.  Some apologists even refer to them as “wives,” even though the Qur’an makes a clear distinction between “those whom thy right hand possesses” and true wives (see Sura 33:50). Beyond the desperation of the 21st century apologist however, there is absolutely nothing in the historical text that supports this rosy revision of Muslim history.  The women of the Banu Mustaliq were sold into slavery following their rape:

“We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter(Sahih Muslim 3371)

In fact, female slaves were traded like any other simple commodity by Muhammad and his band of devoted followers:

“Then the apostle sent Sa-d b. Zayd al-Ansari, brother of Abdu’l-Ashal with some of the captive women of Banu Qurayza to Najd and he sold them for horses and weapons.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham/Hisham 693)

Is it Islamic to sell one’s wife for horses?  Clearly these were not wives! More importantly, by definition a “captured” woman is not one who is fleeing her husband.  She is fleeing her captor (ie. the Muslim slave raider).  This hadith describes a typical raid, in which the women and children are captured as they are attempting to flee the attacking Muslims:

“…and then we attacked from all sides and reached their watering-place where a battle was fought.  Some of the enemies were killed and some were taken prisoners.  I saw a group of persons that consisted of women and children [escaping in the distance].  I was afraid lest they should reach the mountain before me, so I shot an arrow between them and the mountain.  When they saw the arrow, they stopped.  So I brought them, driving them along” (Sahih Muslim 4345)

The Muslim narrator sees the women trying to escape (following the massacre of their men) and cuts off their route by shooting an arrow into their path.  These aren’t women trying to seek refuge with the Muslims.  They are trying to avoid capture by the Muslims. The same hadith goes on to recount that Muhammad personally demanded one of the captured women for his own use:

I drove them along until I brought them to Abu Bakr who bestowed that girl upon me as a prize.  So we arrived in Medina.  I had not yet disrobed her when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) met me in the street and said: “Give me that girl.”(Sahih Muslim 4345)

The prophet of Islam and his companions used war to collect women for personal sexual use and for trading.  Unless she was arbitrarily declared as someone’s wife, the woman became a sex slave.  In no case was her fate tied to anything that she had personally done, nor was she given a choice about her future.


Sexism, Prejudice, and Killing in Vedic Culture (Hinduism)

There are some points about Vedic society brought out by this text of Gita, which are difficult to swallow in this regard: There does exist social distinctions between women and men. There are no such thing as women being of the four varnas and ashramas, it is only for men. Women obtain varna practically as a result of who they marry. This point is not entirely true – as we will find that when a brahman lady marries a kshatriya, the child is considered a hybrid. Therefore the caste of the woman does have some independant status. There does exist social distinctions between various types of men. “Those who take shelter in Me, though they be of lower birth — women, vaiśyas [merchants] and śūdras [workers] — can attain the supreme destination.” – Krsna in Bhagavad Gita (9.32) Ref Bhagavad-gita (16.7) “Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them.” So who are they talking about well unbelievers (us atheists) those who do not follow the scriptural injunctions are supposed to be demons. So to the Bhagavad-gītā demons neither like nor follow all these rules for external and internal cleanliness and because they do not follow the experience of great sages and the rules and regulations laid down by the sages, the social condition of the demoniac people is very miserable.  Ref Bhagavad-gītā has an appeals or call for violence such as how Krishna exhorts a confused Arjuna, “that taking up war and killing is the duty of a Kshatriya (casteist call) and that not waging war and killing his enemies is unmanly (sexist bias) and that since the people killed in the violence do not really die as only their body dies and the soul cannot be destroyed (metaphysical argument) and that the death of the enemies is already ordained by him as the Lord (fatalistic super naturalism) and that since body is unreal, violence and killing is of the unreal body or matter and not of the soul which is the only real thing (metaphysics again), so war, violence and killing are all fine and indeed a duty to be carried out.” Of course the Bhagavad-gītā does not care to bother or explain that if the soul cannot be killed, what is the point of killing the body and how is the destruction of a so-called unreal thing, a righteous victory for the protagonist engaging in war and killing. Ref

How Religion Might Influence Rape Culture

Sexism is that evil weed that can sadly grow even in the most well tended garden of the individual with an otherwise developed mind. Which is why it particularly needs to be attacked and exposed; and is why I support feminism.

Women are True Heroes?

“Hero: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.”

Often it is forgotten that Women are True Heroes. We must look back to see a new future. Women started out as the first hero now hidden by time and a desegregating of women’s true value. “Hero” became famous as a Greek female name. In Greek Mythology the origins of the word was “Hero” (do you see the often missed her in the word) “Hero” was a priestess of Aphrodite beloved by Leander. I wish all women were seen as heroes again, they offer such worth to the world and are a needed equal part of our shared caring humanity. I try to be this now and wish to inspire such new egalitarian thought in others, as both women and men can be and often are heroes. I am proud to say I see the Hero in women and value them for who they are.

Who is My Hero?

Is there a hero who inspired me? No, there was no one person who changed my life or gave me inspiration to be more. For me it is everyone around me, ones who reach for the stars, as well as those who are still lying on the floor. To me the flight of the ‘human will’ is not a one-way trip, not a one-time journey, nor a one-time slip. I gathered whom I am from everyone around me from ones who struggle to ones who are strong. I can learn from ones who think they know little to ones who think they are never wrong. I strive to learn from children and adults alike for it is the goal of becoming someone I like. I strive to learn from the suffering who teaches me the need to understand, show compassion, and never forget how to cherish every happy moment to its end. I strive to learn from the sure and empowered who remind me to hope and see happiness is not pretend. I strive to learn from the ones who are arrogant, loud, and forceful to be heard for they remind me of the need to be humble and not to be so limited wanting only to be understood that I forget to actively work in understanding others. Most of all I try to learn from every child’s wonder. How their feelings of wonder guide their perception so even old things can be seen as new. May I be an eternal seeker and learner, willing to be a part of every good thing around me, giving back freely all of me where and when I can, and enjoy life as if it is a wonderment without end. May I become my own Hero.

Atheist and feminist Philosopher James Gray from Facebook posts:

“People who say they want to protect human rights and equality often have sexist and racist views and/or think such people are treated well enough on average already. That’s one reason I think feminism and other empowering moments are important. Saying you are a humanist could mean you have terrible views. I haven’t met many humanists who reject feminism that accept what I am saying. They almost always think there is no major problem in the USA for many minorities. They might advocate for feminism in the middle East. The fact that feminism is contentious seems to mostly be because men deny that sexism is hurting women, or they think sexism hurts men as much as women. The idea of empowering women to them is that it’s unfair because women are already doing just as good as men. Egalitarianism and humanism are not an alternative to feminism or the interest to empower any group that is treated badly because everyone thinks they are egalitarians. They think women need to be treated as equal to men. They will say they are against sexism, and even they will likely agree that certain obvious types of sexism are bad. But their idea of what it means to treat women as equal to men is often wrong, and they often deny that sexism hurts women more than men. They also often deny that women who say how they experience sexism know what they are talking about. That is not the egalitarianism I want. Yes, the focus of feminism is on women, but that is how it should be when we need to look out for any injustice done to women. When we need to make sure women are empowered. That does not mean we don’t need to look out for injustice or try to empower other groups that are also unjustly discriminated against. It doesn’t mean that feminism can’t help men either. It can be empowering to men as well. Note that feminists do not have to be entirely and exclusively defined as feminists. They can also spend a lot of time being concerned about the well-being of nonhuman animals, children, starvation in other countries, racism, and so forth. Some of the concerns people seem to have against contemporary feminism and social justice warriors (and what some sociologists now call the ‘culture of victimhood’ as opposed to a ‘culture of honor’ or a ‘culture of dignity):

  1. Censorship. That happens sometimes, but almost no one wants that. Merely criticizing behavior is not censorship.
  2. Disadvantaged groups hating advantaged groups. (e.g. feminist women hate men). I am sure that does happen sometimes, but the norm is hating disadvantaged groups (or at least viewing them as inferior). To have the opposite view (i.e. that advantaged groups are inferior) could very well increase as society makes progress because we should expect prejudice/hatred to be more “equal” as people become more equal.
  3. Disadvantaged groups get more power than the advantaged ones. (e.g. Homosexuals become more powerful than heterosexuals). Sometimes disadvantaged people are better off — it is a generalization. People from advantaged groups aren’t always being better off, it depends on the context to some extent. Advantaged groups have unfair advantages and being equal means not having those advantages anymore, so they could very well be worse off as people become more equal. That’s one reason equality can look like prejudice to a privileged person. However, equality could bring many advantages to everyone. Having more qualified presidents, for example, will help everyone. Automatically rejecting the most qualified president because they are from a disadvantaged group is not helping anyone. Feminism is about empowering women and taking away unfair advantages that men have, and most feminists say that women and men are equal in value and should have equal rights. There are respectable feminist philosophers. A lot of people are looking at what some crazy feminists say and deciding that feminism is dumb, but those feminists do not represent feminism as a while, which involves several different perspectives. To decide that feminism is not worth pursuing, you should reject the best that feminism has to offer and read actual feminist philosophy. There are multiple pages on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy that discuss various types of feminist philosophy. Feminism is a focus. There is a lot of different types of prejudice we can focus on. Feminists are often willing to focus on racism, prejudice against various religious groups, and lots of other types of prejudice. Being a feminist mainly has to do with the recognition that women face prejudice and are more often at a disadvantage. Men can also face prejudice, but it tends not to be as bad as the prejudice women face.” – James Gray

Feminist Political Philosophy

“Feminist political philosophy is an area of philosophy that is in part focused on understanding and critiquing the way political philosophy is usually construed—often without any attention to feminist concerns—and on articulating how political theory might be reconstructed in a way that advances feminist concerns. Feminist political philosophy is a branch of both feminist philosophy and political philosophy. As a branch of feminist philosophy, it serves as a form of critique or a hermeneutics of suspicion (Ricœur 1970). That is, it serves as a way of opening up or looking at the political world as it is usually understood and uncovering ways in which women and their current and historical concerns are poorly depicted, represented, and addressed. As a branch of political philosophy, feminist political philosophy serves as a field for developing new ideals, practices, and justifications for how political institutions and practices should be organized and reconstructed. While feminist philosophy has been instrumental in critiquing and reconstructing many branches of philosophy, from aesthetics to philosophy of science, feminist political philosophy may be the paradigmatic branch of feminist philosophy because it best exemplifies the point of feminist theory, which is, to borrow a phrase from Marx, not only to understand the world but to change it (Marx and Engels 1998). And, though other fields have effects that may change the world, feminist political philosophy focuses most directly on understanding ways in which collective life can be improved. This project involves understanding the ways in which power emerges and is used or misused in public life (see the entry on feminist perspectives on power). As with other kinds of feminist theory, common themes have emerged for discussion and critique, but there has been little in the way of consensus among feminist theorists on what is the best way to understand them. This introductory article lays out the various schools of thought and areas of concern that have occupied this vibrant field of philosophy for the past forty years. It understands feminist philosophy broadly to include work conducted by feminist theorists doing this philosophical work from other disciplines, especially political science but also anthropology, comparative literature, law, and other programs in the humanities and social sciences.”Ref