"Atheism is not the problem. The problem is being a woman." Atheist Women and Reasonable Feminism

Marta Trzebiatowska (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While the percentage of religiously unaffiliated women is growing in the West, little is known about the relationship between atheism and feminism. This article redresses the gap by exploring women’s identification with atheism and feminism. The central argument draws on qualitative interview data from the UK, Australia, the US, and Poland and emphasizes the role of atheism as a background identity marker through which female subjectivity is enacted in everyday life. The findings are two-fold: first, atheism and feminism are both devalued identities when embraced by women; and second, identifying as an atheist affords the participants an impetus to invent a new vocabulary to account for their identity. In conclusion I argue that atheism provides a catalyst for the postfeminist discourse of independence, empowerment, and freedom of choice as the participants construct narratives of ‘reasonable feminism’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number4
Early online date1 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019



  • atheism
  • feminism
  • gender
  • strength

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