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Sunday, January 3, 2010

A large list of awesome female atheists

In a perfect world, we shouldn't have to have a separate list for female atheist activists. Some commenters even said such a list was "patronizing" by insinuating that women couldn't play with the big boys. But when other polls, lists, and posts seem to forget our existence, every little bit of awareness helps. We have just as insightful things to say, but we need people to listen. Once more people realize this, you'll start seeing more females listed amongst the likes of Dawkins, Hitchins, Harris, Dennett, Myers, etc...

So, without further ado, here is a list of some great female atheists who you should check out if you haven't already done so:

Authors/Journalists - Bloggers - Podcasters/Videobloggers - Activists - Comedians/Other

Authors/Journalists

Bloggers

Podcasters/Videobloggers

Activists

Comedians/Other

If you know someone who's missing and you think deserves a shout out, let me know in the comments and I'll add them. Or if I listed someone but didn't link to their blog or a more relevant site, let me know. Consider this a growing reference!

To clarify, this list is for living women who are known for their vocal support of atheism, skepticism, and/or scientific thinking - or, likewise, speaking out against religion and supernatural beliefs. There are plenty of women who simply happen to be atheists but never ever speak about it - this isn't intended for them.

A little backstory:

My previous post asked readers who they thought was the most influential female atheist of 2009 - and it has become very popular. All of the comments have reinforced one major theme:
Too many incredible female atheist voices are unknown.

When I started to make a list of influential females, I asked around for names. Half of them I hadn't even heard of, and some of them I was only vaguely familiar with. I did some Wikipediaing and Googling to try to figure out who should make it to the list. I didn't want to exclude people just because
I wasn't personally familiar with them, but I didn't want a list of 30 choices either. I tried to focus on active voices of 2009: those who had written new books, been consistently blogging, appeared on the news, etc.

Of course, I'm not perfect. Some excellent ladies didn't make my poll because of inadequate research, my own obliviousness, or most likely a combination of both. Apparently the list was also very US-centric, which I promise was not intentional, but again a result of my own biases. And for every atheist woman I missed, there was someone on my list a reader hadn't heard of. I think this lack of awareness speaks strongly. If a fellow godless lady who trumpets the importance of female voices in atheism doesn't know so many of these people, how will everyone else?

My best solution at the moment is to make a giant list. I can't make people click the links, follow the blogs, or even care - but I think it will help. In all the comments here and at other sites, I've seen a curiosity - a "Why haven't I heard of these people before? Time to check them out!" So hopefully people will click the unfamiliar names on this list and find a new favorite blogger, author, activist, or whatever.

105 comments:

  1. Diana Hsieh - www.dianahsieh.com

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  2. What an honor to be part of this list. I now have many more women to read and follow! Great job, Jen.

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  3. Oh yea, this is what I wuz talking 'bout. Excellent work .

    Heart Kriss

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  4. Quick note, Laci Green's link points to ZOMGitsCriss' youtube page.

    I think you meant it to point here.

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  5. Oops, correction, that's her old channel.

    New channel here.

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  6. Awesome list, must now go check them all out, while I contemplate how to become awesome myself (no I'm not hinting to get on the list, I've been blogging about atheism for about twelve and a half minutes so far, so I'm totally not worthy).

    But it is an inspiring list, and I thank you for compiling it :)

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  7. I think you have too many people now for a poll. So next year... A Mortal Kombat style tournament!

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  8. Yay, Leah! You're on the list. And deservedly so :)

    Hope my blog can be as outspokenly Non-Theist as these on the list someday too, when my f&f can see fit to not give me such 'hell' about it!

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  9. That is an impressive list. I've really been enjoying Attempts at Rational Behavior's blog lately. And I should probably turn in my skeptic card for not realizing that Podblack is Kylie Sturgis. Maybe I should start listening to their blog.

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  10. Signy ex-Muslim atheist blogger at http://ofglitnir.wordpress.com and defunct atheist ex-Muslim blog Kafir Girl http://kafirgirl.wordpress.com. I think it's especially important to support ex-Muslim bloggers, of either gender, because they speak out under threat and/or extreme pressure, and many of them give up blogging. Kafir girl's blog has an open comment area where other atheist bloggers have left links.

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  11. Hey thanks for including me! FYI it's singular Anti-Theist with no "s" on the end :)

    I'm also doing Videoblogging now at http://www.youtube.com/user/AngieAntiTheist I'm sure women here will be able to identify with how frustrating some of the feedback I get is. When a man can't actually keep up with me intellectually, invariably, he insults my appearance or calls me a whore. What the fuck does using my brain to think rationally have to do with being a paid sex worker???

    *ahem* Thanks again.

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  12. Thanks for the mention! I've just emailed you with corrected link to my blog. I'd suggest Desiree Schell of the Skeptically Speaking radio show? And the great Helen Razer, who is a writer, radio host and cultural commentator in Australia.

    There's also other great women who will be either speaking as individuals or as a part of a dedicated panel at the Global Atheist Conference in March. As well as the previously mentioned Catherine Deveny; Jane Caro, Taslima Nasrin, Sue-Ann Post, Lyn Allison, Leslie Cannold, Maggie Millar and Tanya Levin. :)

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  13. Very nice. You've compiled a great list of blogs to check out. I'm familiar with many, but there are several that are new to me as well. I'll have fun reading.

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  14. thanks so much for that excellent list. i'm always looking for new writers and bloggers, and it's hard to get a better combo than feminist atheists.

    of course, this means i'm going to get exactly no real work done today. ;-)

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  15. Great list.

    One more: Katha Pollitt. She rocks.

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  16. Heidi Anderson - not only an atheist but a parent, raising freethinking kids. She blogs at thefatoneinthemiddle.typepad.com

    And yes, Kylie Sturgess should also definitely be on this list. :)

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  17. Emma Goldman:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Goldman/

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  18. Here are a few more suggestions, though I don't think they ever had blogs :)

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_cady_stanton

    Rebecca West - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebecca_West

    Emma Goldman - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_goldman

    Margaret Sanger - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Sanger

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  19. The women of negative entropy are pretty awesome, if I may say so.

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  20. Wow, I'm flattered to be on the list. Thank you!

    Now, I'm off to check out all of these blogs!

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  21. Great List. Thank you. I was glad to see you included Jennifer Michael Hecht, who wrote a wonderful; book all atheists/agnostics/doubters/freethinkers/skeptics should read called "Doubt: A History". It will make you understand that the most interesting people (by far) in the history of human thinking have been the doubters.

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  22. Sastra, OM of Pharyngular fame needs to be on this list.

    So everyone get her to start/use her own blog.

    SC, OM is a voice to reckon with as well: http://saltycurrent.blogspot.com/

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  23. Thanks Jen, for including me on this list. I don't think I've seen a comprehensive list of women atheists anywhere. I'll be sure to check out many of these names who are new to me. What a great community of freethinking women.

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  24. Awesome list! There's also a band called Team Smile and Nod. The singer/songwriter is an atheist. I recommend their song "Scrooge". http://www.myspace.com/teamsmileandnod

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  25. Kafir Girl disappeared without a word 1 year ago. Disturbing.

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  26. btw, you totally should include Ms. Paula Z. Myers.

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  27. Where's Swoopy? www.skepticality.com! Need more Swoopy! :)

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  28. Wow!! Thank you so much for the mention!!!

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  29. Amanda Gulledge, winner of the Good Without God essay on raising freethinking children.

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  30. Hehe, you think I don't explode. I only explode in the privacy of my office. You should see it sometime. ;)

    Anyway, Maggie Ardiente is the Development Director at the American Humanist Association and she has done some really great work in that role.

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  31. Thanks so much for this extensive list! I'm always on the prowl for adding new atheist bloggers to read and it's a treat having a list of all women to choose from!

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  32. Thank you for the mention :) I really appreciate it!

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  33. This makes me all squishy. Thanks so much for the mention!

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  34. Please don't forget us - me and my team of atheist women over in Scotland: June Maxwell, Director of Humanist Academy. We're doing our best to educate people out of the god mire.

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  35. How about Dame Helen Mirren? You know, the Oscar winning actress.

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  36. Grrlscientist is also an atheist and blogger. I think she's awesome. But then I did marry her, so I might be biased.

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  37. Annie Margis at www.Godishness.com

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  38. How about Emma Thompson? You know, the two-time Oscar winning actress.

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  39. Zom Gits Criss on You Tube: Active vocal female atheist.

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  40. How about Amanda Donohoe? I don't she has won an Oscar. Yet.

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  41. I agree wholeheartedly. It is such a great list and painstakingly made, too. My reading list is much, much enhanced now.

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  42. Janeane Garofolo!

    A fine Atheist thinker.

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  43. Toni van Pelt and Lauren Becker of the Center for Inquiry.

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  44. Jes Constantine is co-host of the Humanist Network News podcast, sponsored by the American Humanist Assn.

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  45. http://www.evolvedrational.com/

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  46. I am noticed! Lol! Thanks for writing me down! (My last name is Talley. In case anyone cares, which they probably don't, haha)

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  47. Great list, but what about Ann Druyan?

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  48. Nice list. Here are three you don't have up:
    Madalyn Murray O'Hair
    Markella Hatziano
    Meera Nanda

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  49. Inspirational. Thanks for compiling this!

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  50. Is Barbara Forrest (sp?), from the Dover trial, a non-believer? If so, I'd definitely put her on this list, as she's the person who introduced us all to the "cdesign proponentsists".

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  51. Angelina Jolie? Jodie Foster? Meryl Streep?

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  52. Lois Porter, founding member and past president of Washington Area Secular Humanists

    Jennifer Kalmanson, coordinator of the MDC chapter of Washington Area Secular Humanists and board member, secular celebrant.

    Michelle Goldberg, author

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  53. Hello Jen,
    This is a great list. Thanks for including me.
    Marlene Winell

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  54. Do agnostics count?: Pam Spaulding

    The journalist who just interviewed PeeZed seem pretty awesome, too: Carrie Poppy

    (And, yes, I think she looks cute, but that's not why I suggest her.)

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  55. There are a lot of women involved in running camp quests and I don't think I saw their names www.camp-quest.org

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  56. Nevermind, I now see amanda's name. Missed it before

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  57. I did not read all the comments so I do not know if she was mentioned but you should include Mynga Futrell. She is one of the co-founders (along with Paul Geisert) of the brights movement. She is the president of Atheist and Other Freethinkers and a member of the board of directors for the American Humanist Association. She works in education and tries to improve ways in which separation of church and state can be more effectively taught in classrooms.

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  58. Just an update. Lauren Becker has been promoted to Vice President for Outreach for Center for Inquiry Transnational. Reba Boyd Wooden

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  59. Katharine Hepburn...

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  60. Why no "Educators" category? I'm somewhat afraid of the answer. Are we atheist educators "in the closet" because of the tenure process? If so, ouch!

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  61. Paula Poundstone...wish I knew more.  I'm sure they're out there.

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  62. you guys are embarassing

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  63. Amanda Marcotte a sceptic? Remember how she continued to scream about the Duke lacrosse players 'holding down someone down and f**ing her against her will' long after it became clear that the rape charge was a hoax?

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  64. I can not believe jennifer hancock is atheist he looks so religious! 














    Atraer Dinero                                    

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  65. Thanks, great review to the important points. Some really great thoughts here, very comprehensive.  I appriciate that!

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  68. Acharya S? Really? While she might be female, and an atheist, awesome is not a word I would use to describe her. She is most cited author in the 9/11 Truther community. The woman uses her time propagating insane conspiracy theories. She is most definitely not "awesome" by any stretch of the imagination.

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  69. Sarah Bernhardt - actress
    Kari Byron - actress (Mythbusters)
    Adrianne Curry - model/actress (America's Next Top Model)
    Diane Farr - Actress (Numb3rs)
    Katharine Hepburn - actress
    Cloris Leachmen - actress
    Butterfly McQueen - Actress (Prissy in Gone with the Wind)
    Dame Helen Mirren - Actress
    Sarah Silverman - Comedienne and Actress
    Emma Thompson - Actress
    Lalla Ward - Actress (Dr. Who)
    Here's a list of a bunch of famous atheists I got this information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_film,_radio,_television_and_theater

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  70. See the copy of this post at FreeThoughtBlogs, with over 200+ comments (with updated links, etc.) http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2010/01/a-large-list-of-awesome-female-atheists/

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  71.  Should I thank who - ''god" --
    If these lies were not fed to our ancestors - there would have been no Christianity and the Christians would not have killed Millions and Millions of people in the name of religion and till this day this slaughter is going on.
    The stories which are taught to us as facts in the so called Holy books - a kid will laugh at it and he/she can make up better and more believable stories. http://www.acaiberryforsale.org/

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  72. Don't forget Ayn Rand.

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  73. http://blog.1godlessvagina.com/ I am the new girl in town :D

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  74. That not true. They were murdered by 
    David Roland Waters, an employee of American Atheists who had a previous and very bad criminal record. The motivation for the murder was robbery. No christian fanatics are associated with the family's disappearance, and claiming otherwise only hurts the credibility of the atheist community.

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  75. Teresa Macbain - ED of the Clergy Project and activist

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  76. I would like to appreciate your work and would like to tell to my friends.

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  77. Rebecca Watson?   Seriously?  What contribution has she made to skepticism or atheism for the past 12 months?  All she is interested in is promoting her own celebrity at the expense of the wider movement.

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  78. /facepalm so you stumble across a list made 2 and a half years ago and hold it up to some abitrary standard you've set for the last 12 months?

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  79. A list of delusional hypocrits who ironically believe in sceptisism yet fail to apply it to the pseudoscience that is feminism. 

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  80. Agreed, this list is basically worthless if that's the level of vetting that went into it. It's like including that idiot who wrote "Chariots of Fire" on a list of awesome science dudes and then expecting people to take the rest of the list seriously.

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  81. Vidya Bal. She is a womens'  rights activist and openly atheist. 

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  82. Well I never knew either of them of course, but from what I have read the jury is still out on the motive and there is plenty of room for speculation. Life magazine referred to her as "the most hated woman in America. Regardless of all that, the claim doesn't have any effect on the "atheist community" whatsoever. We certainly don't need to go looking for examples of crimes committed in the name of religion.

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  83. Jessica Alquist

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahlquist_v._Cranston

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  84. Are you familiar with singer/songwriter/activist Shelly Segal? She is from Australia, and is a wonderful singer. Her song "Saved" has a great atheist message.

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  85. Leah Elliott Hague has apparently joined the Episcopal Church. http://leahielliott.blogspot.com/2013/01/time-again-to-speak.html?m=1

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  86. good list,

    http://taka.com.vn/thiet-ke-website

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  87. Angie Jackson? Seriously? When it comes to strong atheist women she is not who comes to mind. She whines, and complains, and jumps on band wagons. She targeted me on several occasions, and the last when I came back with facts, and reasoning, she no longer responds to me, but takes to whining on her page about it. Big problem was she left out a major chunk of the truth of the matter. She is no more then a ill informed, over the top attention whore.

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  88. Great work. http://www.arbona.hr/izrada_web_stranica.php

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  89. I think you missed Marlene Winell in your list.

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  90. thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou. I've been searching unsuccessfully until now for a sense solidarity. Halleh-thankyou-luiah. Hear that? It's the sound of me exhaling with relief...Peace!

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  91. Missing Monica Miller, lead counsel for American Humanist Association.

    http://americanhumanist.org/AHA/Contact/Monica_Miller_Biography

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