Friday, July 29, 2011

SSA Conference!

Just a short post, as I'm leaving soonish and still need to pack (curse you, procrastination!), but I'm heading off to the Secular Student Alliance's annual conference in Columbus, Ohio today, and I am excited!

As far as what I hope to get out of this, I'd really like to learn more about how to make a group female-friendly... but not in a way that's just targeting females. I'd also like to hear any opinions on making to whole "ladies' issues" engaging to guys without resorting to "it might get you laid." Quite frankly, I'm of the opinion that most problems are "human issues," rather than men's or women's specifically, but there I don't run into a whole lot of agreement on this.

To put it frankly, how the hell do I get a (mostly male) group to talk about something like the proposed requirement for health insurance providers to provide birth control free of charge without having them think that the only reason it's important is because they're less likely to knock someone up if it's put into effect?

Also, how to run better events. How to strike the right balance between what some people want and what others disagree with. How to forge good relations with faith-based groups. How to figure out whether something's a rumor or not, and how to keep it from spreading while we find out (more on this later). And whether anyone knows if Rock Beyond Belief is actually going to happen (seriously, I want to go)!

All that said, I'm mostly excited to meet everyone else there. I mean, c'mon, it's a conference which, if I extrapolate based on previous experiences with the Freethinkers, will be full of awesome people. Also, the awesome speaker list.

And I can't lie; I really just want to hug PZ Myers.... he just looks so huggable!


  1. Have fun at the conference!

    Whenever I engage in a men's rights issue, people will ask me why I give a crap, being a woman. It boggles the mind to me that people would even question it. I have brothers, I have male friends, I have a husband, I have nephews, I may someday have sons.

    This is how I would approach the subject of getting men to engage with women's issues. They have sisters and mothers and aunts and nieces and daughters and female friends - not just girlfriends and wives with whom they would like to have sex. At the same time, if a man wants to have a healthy relationship with a woman, it makes sense to be educated and active in the issues that affect her happiness and well-being too. How much fun is it to be in a relationship with someone who lives in a culture that oppresses and abuses them?

  2. I think with most men I know, it's not that they're anti women's issues, it's just that they don't think about it. And that seems to be increasingly the case with younger women. The more people talk about the benefits of treating each other equally, the better the chance of eventually getting through.

  3. The biggest problem, I think, is that I feel that the guys in the group dismiss the problem if I bring it up, since I'm female and therefore it is my problem. It's entirely possible that this is simply my perception, and the reality is not quite as I'm representing it, but I feel like the male members of the group would be more likely (as a whole) to take interest if another male were initiating these kinds of conversations. As a non-male, I feel like it's difficult to bring these topics up in a way that doesn't end up sounding like me just whining about my personal problems to people who have and likely will never experience them.