A wise man once said:
the Internet community of atheists is racked with these paroxysms of argument over, of all things, the status of women. We’re trying to decide whether women are fuck toys and eye candy for the privileged white men, or whether we are colleagues together in this movement.
Truer words were never spoken. Strident feminists like PZ Myers and Richard Carrier and Jason “Lousy Canuck” Thibeault have all begged the misogynist majority of atheism to cut it out with the sexism at conferences so women will feel welcome.
For example, no more nudie calendar fundraisers and brothel parties. You need to cut that out, misogynist atheists.
The issue truly came to a head in the summer of 2013, when PZ Myers began his brave campaign to accuse a named prominent skeptic of serial rape. His brave colleagues followed suit, accusing Lawrence Krauss, Bill Nye, David Silverman and others of being “creepy” around women at conferences.
Jen McCreight, the brilliant creator of Atheism Plus, a powerful movement that continues to increase in influence, pointed out that there’s a clear power differential when it comes to conference speakers or staff members having sex with the rank-and-file.
One of McCreight’s points demands repeating:
Full stop. No discussion.
Similarly frustrated with speakers who take advantage of female event attendees, Stephanie Zvan has issued a similar dictate:
Yes, conference organizers, take these steps now. You need to treat your female attendees with respect and let the men know that they are not allowed to take advantage of women anymore. Zvan advises organizers to post very clear signs at large conferences.
“Don’t Harsh the Squee.” What’s unclear about that, men?
I call upon Zvan, McCreight and all other active atheists who want to stop speakers from taking advantage of female congoers to take the PZ Pledge.
When you take the PZ Pledge, you affirm that you are not going to be, as Ophelia Benson labeled Richard Dawkins, a “sexually predatory thought leader dude.”
I am calling this the PZ Pledge because PZ Myers has been at the vanguard of saying he doesn’t sleep with the many, many, many women who threw themselves at him when he still went to atheism conferences. One can safely assume that PZ Myers maintains this policy of not having sex with women who attend his lectures at the Artist Formerly Known as CFI.
Do you care enough about women to take the PZ Pledge? All you need to do is agree with the following:
Will you publicly take the PZ Pledge? If not, why not? Do you want to keep taking advantage of female conventiongoers with impunity?
You creepy sexual predator who uses polyamory as an excuse for taking advantage of the woman who supported you for many years.