The Humanist

The Humanist is a magazine focusing on critical inquiry and social concern from a humanist perspective. Published by the American Humanist Association, The Humanist covers everything from science and religion to politics and popular culture.

Articles from Vol. 72, No. 5, September-October

1flesh: Putting the "Sexy" Back in Abstinence
High divorce rates. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Abortion. The world is in bad shape, and the sorry state of affairs can be traced to one invention: birth control. If we didn't have to fuss with condoms, rings, patches, and pills, our marriages...
A Woman's Place? the Dearth of Women in the Secular Movement
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The following article is adapted from a speech given at the Women in Secularism Conference sponsored by the Center for Inquiry and held in Washington, DC, in May 2012. THE UNDERREPRESENTATION of women in the expanding American...
Building Bridges or Blowing Them Up? Secular Americans and the Future of Humanist Activism
Polls indicate that some interesting shifts are under way in religious life in the United States. The number of people identifying their religion as "none" has crept upward again, now hovering at around 20 percent. At the same time, trust in institutionalized...
Editor's Note
"WE ARE NOT at war with men," writes the new co-chair of the American Humanist Associations Feminist Caucus, Zelda Gatuskin. "We are at war with history--a history defined by a patriarchy so tenacious and entrenched it feels almost dangerous to say...
Feminist Author Advocate Icon: The Humanist Interview with Gloria Steinem
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 2012 Humanist of the Year Gloria Steinem sat down with the Humanist magazine at the 71st Annual Conference of the American Humanist Association, held June 7-10, 2012, in New Orleans. The following is an adapted version of...
Florynce Kennedy (1916-2000)
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] An unconventional civil rights lawyer and feminist, Florynce Rae Kennedy was born on February 11, 1916, to Zella and Wiley Kennedy. Her father was a Pullman porter and waiter who later owned a taxi service and, other than...
Free Will and the Anders Breivik Trial
ON THE FIRST day of his trial, Anders Breivik admitted to planting a bomb that killed eight people outside the Norwegian prime minister's office in Oslo on July 22, 2011, then shooting dead sixty-nine people, most of them teenagers, hours later at...
Gore Vidal (1925-2012)
"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn;' Gore Vidal famously said. I came across the quote in his Los Angeles Times obituary. It wasn't the first time I'd heard it; Gore said it to me himself. Really, it's a humanist...
Higgsology
At $7 billion, the discovery was a bargain. The money went mostly to building and staffing the world's most complex machine, buried deep beneath the French-Swiss border at Geneva. The discovery was actually an affirmation of the idea that the visible...
How Confrontationalism Can Open Doors
A woman walks into a cafe, orders a coffee and, before she pays, crosses off "In God We Trust" on her $20 bill. The woman is me, and scratching the motto off money is something I often do. This time the woman behind the counter gave me a look. Irritated,...
Interpersonal Dimensions of Humanism
This is a tough world where our heroic selves emerge from our wounded selves in order to help us survive. Still, studies of what makes humans thrive shows that our intimate relationships are what really matter to us. Deep, trusting, supportive relationships,...
Let's Deal with It! A Rational Response to Sexual Harassment in Secular Spheres
At one point in my career as an engineer in the aerospace industry, my duties included delivering training for, and ensuring compliance with, our organization's sexual harassment policy. As you may imagine, the emotional responses from my all-male...
Nonreligious and Pro-Life: The New Normal or Same Old, Same Old?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE AMERICAN ATHEISTS' annual convention held this past March had some surprising attendees. Between the usual suspects in the exhibit area selling secular literature and soliciting memberships to various groups was a table...
Seen & Heard
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] "If the recipient of a friendly, non-pressuring, non-institutional (and OK, let's say clumsy or even stupid) sexual invitation isn't grown up enough, she (or he) will feel assaulted. And with today's heightened consciousness--and...
The Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association: A Brief Herstory
IN 1977 professional writer Gina Allen realized a disparity in the numbers of women versus men in leadership positions within the American Humanist Association (AHA), of which she was a member. Men and men's issues predominated, and few women ever...
The "Return" of the Welfare Queens: Feminism, Secularism, and Anti-Racism
"The percentage of white feminists who are concerned about racism is still a minority of the movement, and even within this minority those who are personally sensitive and completely serious about formulating an activist challenge to racism are fewer...