Afternoon Inquisition

AI: What do Women Really Want?

In a week and a half, I’ll be at the Women of Reason Dallas’ Feminine Faces of Freethought conference speaking on What Atheist Women Really Want… as  I happen to be a woman who wants things.

This will actually be a panel discussion, so there will be other women around, who also want things, to discuss the topic.

I’m pretty excited for this panel, and conference, because there’s a lot of feministing and social justice-ing going on around these parts lately. The timing couldn’t be better!

A quick scan of Twitter tells me that atheist women want a gynocracy, all men dead, man slaves, cats, DIY insemination kits with EZ-Spermjack® Technology, chocolate, special treatment, yogurt, shoes and tons of abortions. I’m fairly sure that’s accurate since that’s what I want… except the cats, but that’s okay, we’re not a monolith.

Is there anything I should add to the list? What do you want from the atheist/skeptical movements? What do you want to see happen? What are you excited to see happening? What isn’t happening that you WANT to see happen? What do I have to say on the panel?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

Related Articles


  1. At this exact moment, I want a chocolate milkshake. I wouldn’t mind a full tank of gas and a back massage.

    After that, I’d like to be recognized as a human being and have my opinions taken as seriously as anyone else’s. That is about all.

    I think possibly part of the problem is defensiveness. I’m noticing from the posts that Amy’s been doing that most of these men who are supportive are older. They have worked with women, they may live with women. They may even have daughters that they wish were going to be taken seriously. I have a feeling that some of the people, though not all, don’t have those types of intimate relationships with women. Additionally, older people in general, both men and women, tend to not be as defensive and more open to listening for new ideas.

    I’m not sure exactly what you should say, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will be powerful and inclusive.

    1. It all seemed quite reasonable until I got to this:

      “After that, I’d like to be recognized as a human being and have my opinions taken as seriously as anyone else’s. That is about all.”

      Whoa there, now you’re just getting silly! :-)

      Elyse, I think you left out unicorns.

    2. Faith said:

      After that, I’d like to be recognized as a human being and have my opinions taken as seriously as anyone else’s. That is about all.

      You know, this really sums it up. Everything else is pretty much going to vary from person to person (well, chocolate may be fairly universal). But I think if women were recognized as human beings first (and women second) and if their opinions were taken as seriously as anyone else’s, a whole lot of problems women experience in the atheist and skeptic community would go away.

  2. I try to give them equal treatment as human beings. Bitches love equal treatment as human beings.

    Joking (and basic human rights) aside, I have not a clue. I have enough trouble figuring out individuals, much less trying to generalize from a dozen people to several billion.

  3. Um… Where does the line for the man slave start? I could use one or two of those. Do I get to pick? Because I don’t just want any old man slave.

    Massive eye roll.

    Why does “I don’t want to be your slave” get translated into “I want you to be my slave”?

  4. Treated as a person first and a gender second. Makes me particularly deeply cranky when people assume they know who and what I’m about based on my gender identification and relationship status, and then tune out when I start talking about what actually matters to me.

    Why yes, I’d love to engage in a conversation with you, person who seems to think I’m my partner’s appendage. No, no, I’m not serious at all about not giving a flying frell about jewelry, cosmetics, shoes or fashion! Aren’t I such a kidder, dear? /sarcasm

    Cats I can get behind, though. Priorities! Or Toxoplasma gondii. Whichever.

    It really comes down to the other person’s willingness to listen, engage, and recognize that women’s concerns are human concerns, same as anyone else’s. Thankfully, more of that seems to be going around lately; I sincerely hope it stays that way.

  5. For my FWB dude to give me a back rub without wanting one in return? HEH. I have an ex-boyfriend in my past and the one thing I miss about him is that he loved to give back-rubs, but generally didn’t like receiving them because he was a rather large fella and most people just couldn’t do it firm/hard enough (me included). LOL

  6. The abortions should be free. And paid for by taxpayers. In fact, women should be paid (by the taxpayer) for coming in and getting an abortion.

    I first wrote this as tongue-in-cheek, but I’ve changed my mind. Taxpayers _should_ pay for women to come in and get an abortion.

  7. A large preserve, say in Alaska, where men can be allowed to run free and be men.

    And women can go and hunt, so they can have a trophy to mount over the fireplace.

  8. Exactly $13,752.

    Oh, you mean relevant to the topic of women in skepticism? People to actually listen and understand so we don’t have to keep making the same arguments over and over again. Can you deliver that?

    For real: The conventions and conferences that specifically talk about the intersection of Skepticism and social justice to keep happening so I can go to one instead of TAM next year. I’m excited about A+, but that label doesn’t have to be included for the principle to take hold.

  9. Tangible: I want the occasional accessible, child friendly venue preferrably during daylight hours with low relative monetary cost. I can either come to a meeting at night, or I can come without my kids, but I can’t do both. So bars on Friday at 10 PM? That’s out for me. As are conferences.

    Intangible: To dispell the myth that the second a woman bears live offspring for which she is primary caregiver, she becomes nonessential to atheism. Hi. My name is not So-and-so’s mommy, and I am not invisible.

    1. “child friendly venue preferrably during daylight hours”

      Definitely something to work on. But, as a single male, I’m not allowed in Chuck-e-Cheeses.

      1. Chuckies are neither child friendly nor affordable. They are kid stimulant production factories. Plus, I get enough screaming and flashing bright lights in my regular job!

      2. Kid friendly does not mean it has to be kid centered. People make this mistake all the time.

        Kid friendly: Casual dining restaurant at lunch time.
        Not kid friendly: Bar, any time of day.

        Hold an event at a local buffet (not great cuisine of course but generally pretty affordable and there is usually something for picky eaters) or hold a picnic at the park.

        1. I second your comment that “kid friendly” needn’t mean “kid centred”. But not all bars are hostile environments for kids, and not all bar-goers are incapable of welcoming a small number of well-behaved children.
          The bars I like best are the ones were I can bring my 3-year-old so that I can also enjoy socializing with my adult friends and drink good beer. My kid’s presence means I can’t stay very long or late, and that I have to be ready to leave if he stops behaving well. But him being welcome means I can go at all.

        2. What do to you mean by bar? The meetups here in Phoenix meet at two locations. One is in Tempe at the Sleepy Dog which is a true bar and probably not apppropriate for kids. The other is in central Phoenix at the George and Dragon English pub. It has a bar of course but it is also a rather tasty restaurant and totally kid friendly. The meetups are usually even held in the fancier area because the tables are bigger. I see kids in there a lot. It is only a mile away from my apartment lol.

      3. Our schools do fundraising nights at Chuck e Cheese. We’ve never been. Kid-friendly doesn’t have to mean adult-torture. How about a family-friendly coffee shop or bakery? Or bring our own snacks on a hike or nature walk or museum or botanic garden tour? Part of it for me is timing. There are some great events here in Denver that meet at a kid-friendly pub. Unfortunately, the ability of my 4 yr old to remain relatively sane declines sharply after about 7:00PM.

        1. Yah it occurred to me after I hit submit that while G&D is kid friendly, the meetup starts at seven.

          I think mothers and fathers are going to have to take ownership of this, tho, and create day time and kid friendly meetups.

    2. Yes, please!! Having low-cost child care at skeptic meetings or at the very least the occasional child-friendly event would, I think, do wonders for getting more women (including me) involved.

  10. I could use about $7000 right now, but I’ll settle for being able to go to a skeptic/atheist gathering and not feel like “the other.”

    1. Just curious – is there anything beyond simply being a woman that makes you feel like “the other” at those gatherings?

  11. “I’m fairly sure that’s accurate since that’s what I want… except the cats, but that’s okay, we’re not a monolith.”

    So you’re not a rectangular slab with the ratios of one by four by nine? :)

    I think Faith says it best with this:

    “After that, I’d like to be recognized as a human being and have my opinions taken as seriously as anyone else’s. That is about all.”

    I think that’s what most human beings want (those that don’t want that, I’m not sure, nor would I know who such people might be).

    When visiting this website, I often find myself wanting to do more to help others. Or at least to fight back against the haters.

    I suppose that’s what I’d like want to see happen: a show of force against haters.
    How, I have no idea, short of an army of homicidal psycho jungle cats.

    1. I think that’s what most human beings want (those that don’t want that, I’m not sure, nor would I know who such people might be).

      Sadly there are people who don’t want that. Manboobz posted recently a woman who thinks that women’s suffrage was a bad idea. That is some serious self-loathing.

      1. You have not seen self-loathing until you have been to India. Many men even self-loath themselves for various cultural reasons, but women due to how they’re oppressed and thought of in culture, 5x the self-loathing. It’s a terrible epidemic over there.

  12. Right now: I want a new laptop. This one is on it’s last (imaginary) legs. I’m just hoping it will hold on long enough for people to start holiday shopping on Etsy so I have the extra cash.

    Long term: People to stop being sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. would be pretty awesome.

  13. I’d like complaints of harassment to be dealt with in a meaningful way that doesn’t include being given excuses for why reporting or dealing with such harassment would be a bad idea.

    It would also be nice to not be shamed for overreacting when I don’t just want to deal with harassment.

    Also pink jackboots.

  14. Anyone who says, “all feminists have sticks up their bums,” has to name 10 prominent feminists and then watch Sheryl Wudunn’s Ted talk.

  15. Right now I want the system that is support to be in place to support people like me (was previously working but incapable due to a serious injury) to actually, you know, support people. Not to be treated like I’m trying to “pull one over” on the system. Also not to be treated like I’m being a wimp and just making it all up so I can “scam” the system because they haven’t officially diagnosed my problem. Being told by a doctor that there’s nothing wrong with me and I should just “suck it up” makes me wonder if he treats all women that way. I went to see another doctor. Jackass.
    I also want there to be a way to both identify and either cure or remove all sexists twats from polite company. They should wear t-shirts. If I made a shirt that said “I’m a sexist twat” do you think anyone would buy it?

    1. @carovee and you just reminded me:

      I would like to wear a Rebecca Watson amulet (as suggested by PZ)so I can identify and call out all sexist twats – or at least a large section of them.

      Did he actually go through with that idea? It sounds like a good one!

    2. Also, I hope your second doctor wasn’t a jackass too? That sort of thing makes me mad too – bloody victim blaming.

      In my time, I have been able to help a couple of people in your situation.

      We have this system called “Workcover” and it seems to make permanent invalids out of people by its incompetence and mismanagement.

      Like all bureaucrats they want to have a continuing reason for their own existence rather than to help people recover.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button