AHA News |  

Let's Recognize and Reignite Humanism's Feminist Legacy

Today there are many fronts in this struggle that humanists are leading in favor of civil rights and against the war on women.

By Roy Speckhardt, September 02, 2012

Popular bloggers such as Jen McCreight and Greta Christina are vocal proponents of a more feminist-oriented atheism. While a few see those involved in this new push for change as misunderstanding sexual harassment, encouraging censorship, or treating people monolithically as bullies or misogynists, others see the focus as a more general struggle to eliminate secular sexism of all stripes, thus getting our own house in order as a pre-requisite for further advancement of nontheist aims. Objectively, it appears that atheism isn't immune from the influences of the broader culture, and that atheists and humanists experience the effects of online hostility to women as well as face-to-face sexism at freethought conferences and other gatherings. As those in the secular movement seek solutions to the real problems we're facing, it's worth taking a moment to realize that humanists have an honorable feminist legacy and that the feminist movements themselves were in fact led by a majority of atheist humanists who set aside patriarchal religions in order to seek equality for all.

Most folks have a sense today that humanism has historically supported feminism, but few realize how deep that connection is. The American Humanist Association (AHA) supported elective abortion in the 1950s long before NARAL existed and before Planned Parenthood expanded beyond contraceptive services. Among nearly two dozen AHA resolutions spanning seven decades that specifically promoted feminist ideals is the latest, released just August 24, which calls for final passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. The AHA's Humanist magazine was carefully prepared in gender-neutral English in the 1970s, long before most newsstand magazines even considered the issue. In response to this issue, past AHA President Bette Chambers said, "The AHA always recognized men and women as equals in all matters and has always been 'feminist.'"

To read the rest of this Patheos article from AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.

American Humanist Association

Today, the American Humanist Association will be hosting our first Congressional...

8 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

9 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Here is a video from Harvard's Making Caring Common Project. 5 Ways to Raise M...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why the Way We Live is More Important. Get TheHumanist.com by email once a week...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hey, have a laugh! http://hmn.st/1sFRZ33 Get TheHumanist.com by email once a we...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

No matter how right or how wrong, religion can not establish morality for the ma...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

I have come across this many times. While this topic may not be important to all...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Jesus Cones! A new way to violate church-state separation, in Gwinnett County, G...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Well this is rad! AHA Board Member Herb Silverman is featured in this short (10...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

It may seem silly, maybe even a blatant mockery, but if you really think about i...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

A Blessing in Disguise for Atheists? Check out AHA Legal Director David Niose's...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

This is a very interesting interactive chart explaining bible contradictions, sh...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Have you seen the new FYI Network show Married At First Sight? Tell us what you...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Vaccination Exception; God doesn't want me to receive vaccines... Luis Gran...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

With Corporations becoming "people", they will obviously be exploring religion.....

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

An Invocation for Everyone: What the Secular Invocation in Greece, N.Y., Means f...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

What religions make Americans feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Here is another re...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

This is unacceptable! Check out the preview of Kidnapped for Christ. Check out t...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out the latest Humanist Hour Podcast with guest Chris Stedman, author of...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA legal director David Niose was in Greece, NY, tonight for the town board's f...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA intern Josh Myers reviews the new HBO series: The Leftovers

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Wall Street Journal covers David Williamson's and Dan Courtney's secular inv...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt's latest article in the Huffington...

7 days ago