Friday, January 04, 2008

American Humanist Association Feminist Caucus

Yes, the AHA has a Feminist Caucus:

The Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association was established in 1977 as a coalition of both women and men within the AHA to work toward the advancement of women's rights and equality between the sexes in all aspects of society. Originally called the Women's Caucus, the new name was adopted in 1985 as more representative of all the members of the caucus and of the caucus' goals.

The Feminist Caucus continues to be the active feminist arm of the Association. Over the years, members of the Caucus have worked hard fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment and participating in various public demonstrations, including marches for women's and civil rights. In 1982, the Caucus established its annual Humanist Heroine Award, with the initial award being presented to Sonia Johnson. Other Humanist Heroines have been Tish Sommers, Christine Craft, Anne N. Gaylor, Patricia Maginnis, Fran Hosken, Cleo Kocol, Carolyn McDade, Sherry Matulis, and Sally Roesch Wagner. See a full list of Humanist Heroines from 1982 to the present.

I wish it was just a bad joke, but it's not. Just like the Green Party, the Feminists have latched onto a promising organization and managed to stunt its growth, nearly stopping it in its tracks - for decades.

I said my goodbyes, canceled my upcoming meeting(s), made plans to drop off some equipment, made myself available for technical assistance, erased my Humanist email signatures, and removed all my Humanist-related RSS feeds. Over the next couple of weeks I'll make sure any/all control I have over website operations is handed over (email lists and whatnot). I'm going to give my custom Humanist Community sweatshirt to Goodwill, and when I run out of this current batch of business cards I'll make sure my new ones don't mention Humanism - in fact, I will probably just get rid of this current batch.

At least things are starting to make sense. Just like the Green Party, I couldn't understand why this organization wasn't growing like gangbusters. And how had I never heard of it before? Well, now we know at least part of the reason why.

I'm not gonna battle this one. At some future date I might send a note of disapproval to the AHA for their overt and divisive politicization of what could have been a mass popular movement, but that's about it.

Feminists: 2
 humanity: 0

We might get a couple of updates in here as things finish up. I'm genuinely curious to find out if other national Humanist organizations have poisoned their platforms as well. I highly doubt it, because the Feminists wrecking all of these U.S. organizations are based in the U.S.

It seems Feminists based outside of the U.S. are more caring. They seem to actually want to make a positive difference in the world. They're not so concerned with getting their names in print as they are with guaranteeing health care for everyone, and other trivial concerns like that.

...cynical, corrupt, stupid.

...just so we're all sure what the purpose of the Feminist Caucus is:

Robin gave a strong feminist speech at her award ceremony, asking the question, “Why is a Feminist Caucus necessary at the American Humanist Association?” As we all know, patriarchal beliefs and practices have a way of insinuating themselves into any organization that is not specifically created as a feminist organization, and the AHA has had to acknowledge this and work to overcome it. of the myriad questions that arise after we discover that the AHA supports a Feminist caucus and not any other caucus is, why not? I found this result in Google's blog search - the original article appears to have been wiped from the originating site:

Religous Left Better on LGBT Issues Than We Might Admit
4 Jul 2007
I know that the AHA has a Feminist Caucus but there is no LGBT group in the AHA that I'm aware of. How are other other agencies reaching out to the gay and lesbian community? I know that the Human Rights Campaign. ...
Humanist News -

So AHA, why don't you have a LGBT Caucus? And why don't you have Caucuses to support the myriad other groups that deserve representation? After all, you can hold a conference and make a big deal about the lack of diversity in your organization and then not support that group with its own Caucus. So what's the answer, AHA?

To make it clear, allowing any group to caucus within the AHA is asinine. It automatically leads to divisiveness. It automatically overpoliticizes the organiation. There are myriad reasons why allowing caucuses within the formal structure of the AHA is an incredibly bad idea.

Allowing a group to Caucus with the tag 'Feminist' is on another level of shallowness and stupidity. I'd go so far as to say it indicates malicious intent - at least among the members of the caucus. I don't know how the Feminists managed to coerce the AHA into approving the Caucus in the first place, but it must have been something damning.

As far as what all is required to form a Caucus within the AHA, I suspect we'll find that out eventually - if anyone actually cares.

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