As she said on Facebook recently:
"My views on the question of women in Secularism are, I think, fairly well known. But I have mostly been keeping them to myself over the last year, in the hope that the nonsensical furore would die down of its own accord and we'd all be able to go back to doing what we're SUPPOSED to be doing: promoting science and rationality. But clearly that hasn't happened: on the contrary, the situation has deteriorated still further, and has recently reached depths that even I wouldn't have thought it capable of. Since keeping quiet has done nothing but create the false impression that most people in the movement think the way the mob do, I have decided that it is time to speak out. There comes a point where I cannot and will not simply stand by and watch in silence.
I know this is a divisive issue. I know some of my FB friends will love what I have written, others will hate it. But let me say this very clearly: I mostly use FB for fun, for chilling, for relaxation. I will have no FTB/Skepchick-style comments on my FB wall. If you hate what I've written and want to say so, or abuse me, or whatever, you have every right to do so - but do it on your wall, not mine. If you want to unfriend me, that's fine too. Thank you.
Well said Paula!
Just to decode some of the terminology:
- 'Nonsensical furore' - a fuss stirred up by certain women in the skeptical/secular/atheist movement over the last year or so, discouraging women from attending the conferences because of alleged discrimination and because the men present might be sexual predators. (Google for 'Elevatorgate' and 'Rebecca Watson' for more details - although I'm not necessarily saying that she is to blame for all this.)
- 'FTB' - Free Thought Blogs, where some of the antagonists have their say, and perhaps get rewarded in cash for doing so.
- 'Skepchick' - probably something to do with a 'personality' called Rebecca Watson. A few of her friends and fellow Skepchicks (oh how I hate that word!!!) might not agree with her.
- FB - Facebook (of course)
Now I strongly recommend you to go to this address to read the letter that Paula wrote, called Sisterhood of the Oppressed.
If you are a regular reader of Something Surprising, and understand my views about equality - that I'm all for it - you will almost certainly like it. You will also understand why I have not spoken about it before, except in oblique references. This is the type of topic that men can never be right about. Whatever a man might say, one of 'the accused' might take issue with, and indulge in cherry-picking of sentences to turn it back on the man that wrote it.
This is why Paula's robust and feminine approach has to be lauded.
Now you might see why I thought she might be a candidate to be the fourth horseman in a recent post.
Small note: You might also imagine that this is linked to my small note that nobody called Rebecca was on the list.