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XX at Common Sense Atheism: Harmful or Harmless Fun?

The IntersectionBy Sheril KirshenbaumJuly 18, 2010 12:36 AM

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Several long-time Intersection readers have emailed asking how I feel about being included on a list of "sexy scientists" at Common Sense Atheism. On that thread, someone named "Hansen" noted:

Oh dear, you may be in serious trouble now for placing Sheril Kirshenbaum on that list.

The link leads to Singled Out: My response from March 2009 to the hullabaloo and broader discussion in the science blogosphere after I joined the Discover Network. Blogger Luke Muehlhauser followed up with a second post asking whether he's sexist based on what I wrote back then. [The context on why I composed it could have been clearer.] Initially, I hesitated to get involved because it's an area that has been discussed in detail here already. But Luke took the time to contact me himself and seems polite and genuinely interested in my perspective. I looked back at Common Sense Atheism and the growing discussion that's now over 300 comments. It's mostly a thoughtful discourse and you can follow along here. Since so many people seem to assume they know what I'd say or how I feel, I've decided it's worth weighing in myself. Luke appears to be open-minded, so I will think on this over the weekend. I'll have a response on Monday, but please remember that I can only express my individual perspective, not serve as some kind of representative for any "camp." In the mean time, I invite our readers to share your opinions in comments. Would you call Luke sexist? Be offended or flattered to land on a "sexy" list? Do you feel these are harmful or harmless fun?

[Update: Luke's follow up post]

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