I Like This Lindsay Guy

The first time I talked to Ron Lindsay was when he called in to Atheists Talk while I was talking to Melody Hensley about the Women in Secularism conference. Neither Melody nor I had any idea he’d be calling, but he thought it was important to tell everyone that CFI strongly supported the conference for a number of reasons. Given the pushback to the announcement of the conference, this was both important and particularly welcome.

He made CFI’s support every bit as clear when he spoke at the conference itself. This wasn’t a project he’d just greenlighted then looked on from afar. Ron was clear that CFI had much to offer secular women and would benefit much by their participation. While he was speaking to a friendly audience, it was once again refreshing to see this understanding treated as an obvious, though reasoned, fact.

When I contact the CFI Management Committee about anti-harassment policies, Ron responded himself. Once again, his response was both welcoming and deeply professional. The same goes for CFI’s making the policy available to interested parties through More Than Men before CFI was ready to post it, although I understand the pdf provided didn’t come from Ron directly.

Now Ron’s done it again in releasing the CFI policy. Ron has written a great post on why he feels such a policy is needed and how the CFI policy was shaped by the mission and the concerns of the organization. Once again, it is welcoming, focused, and highly professional.

I know (!) the last month or so has been rough for some people in our movements. I know that dealing with a vocal and hostile minority is wearing. I know it’s tiring to explain the same basic things over and over. I know it’s difficult to deal with indifference or condemnation from people who claim to be on our side. I know that some people have felt like giving up and going to find someplace else to spend their time and energy.

I really hope that all these people have stuck around at least this long. I hope they’re paying attention as the leaders in our movements make these changes. I hope they’ve seen American Atheists responsiveness in creating their policy. I hope they read Ron’s post. I hope they understand that the future of our movements lies with these people–men and women–who are working together to make strong organizations that are welcoming to all.

That, after all, is what makes all this strain worth it.

I Like This Lindsay Guy

7 thoughts on “I Like This Lindsay Guy

  1. 1

    I am definitely paying attention to which organizations have responded positively, and which have not. This will be a major factor, if not the deciding factor, in where I spend my conference-going money in the future.

    Thank you, Stephanie, for all you have done and continue to do.

  2. 2

    I’ve also been extremely impressed by Ron Lindsay’s leadership of the CfI and by the direction of the organization under his leadership. We don’t agree on everything, by any means, but I’ve always found him professional, engaged, smart and welcoming. His strong response to this issue is characteristic of him, I’d say. And the CfI runs exceptional conferences. So he gets my +1 =)

  3. F

    I’m liking the good news. It’s inspiring. I have a lot of respect and admiration for people like you, Stephanie Zvan, who have fought so long and hard, right in the center of this, and made things happen.

    Here’s hoping that more people have it in them to understand that there is a problem (or just stop listening to the Limbaughs of the sexist atheist world) and come around to reconsider their attitudes.

  4. 5

    Good news 🙂

    This is one more example of how tireless advocacy can pay off. These anti-harassment policies are a fundamental part of staking out what the “culture” of a conference will be.

    I’ve learned a helluva a lot about this (‘this’ being feminism) in the past few months, mostly due to the feminist posters on this site (feministe gets a shout out too).

    I also gave DJ Grothe as much benefit of the doubt as I could. Hopefully the fact that so many of his peers are doing the right thing will be the push he needs to do likewise.

  5. 6

    Great news, indeed!

    And again, many thank yous to you and Greta and Ophelia and Rebecca and Jen and all the others who stood firm against the abuse to focus more attention on the issues.

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