A few weeks ago, our lovely Jen tweeted that she’d recently had a conversation with a woman who was turned off from attending atheist and skeptic meetups because of the men who attend these events. I chimed in to say that yes, this is a problem, and it’s not just this one woman and it’s not just the men in Columbus.
And this is a very big deal to me, personally, as I’m launching a women’s skeptical outreach organization. While the female to male ratio at WTF events is impressive for skeptic groups in general, it’s not really impressive for a women’s organization. So we have a lot of work to do.
One of the first things that needs to be addressed is the “creepy dude factor”. However, it’s not easy to institute a “creepy dude policy”, especially since women are more likely to just stop showing up as opposed to complaining about being creeped out. It becomes even harder when your group becomes social outside of the events, and adding in Facebook and Twitter and email… it makes it easy to go douche undercover.
Asking a guy to stop being creepy is a difficult thing to do, especially since it’s not something most people do on purpose, and often times it’s an issue of personal presence or a lack of ability to understand social cues. However, I still believe the onus is on the individual to at least make an attempt to not freak people the fuck out.
How do you or would you handle the issue of weird dudes at your meetups? Have you ever stopped attending skeptic events because of unpleasant individuals? What would you like to see done to address this issue? Â How can we work together to get more women in the room… and not for sexy time?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.