Introduction

Melody Hensley

To organize an event with a focus on issues affecting a particular group, be it religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation, is to endure accusations of tokenism—the idea that inequality and tensions can be papered-over by the superficial inclusion or promotion of a particular group for the sake of appearances. Such insincerity and posturing can make an event or organization seem unserious, even desperate—and in the reality-focused skeptic and secular movements, doubly so.

Suffice it to say that the idea of a conference made up exclusively of female speakers (save for Center for Inquiry [CFI] President Ronald A. Lindsay, who spoke at the opening reception) and focused entirely on the concerns of women in the secular movement ruffled the feathers of those whose insincerity alarms are easily tripped.

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