Now, when you're in a community like that, and the overwhelming majority, the rationalization is always that it's a choice - academics will insist conservatives and Republicans are perfectly welcome in university jobs, even though the number of tenured faculty in science academia that votes Republican can be counted on one hand, but if under 50% of jobs in science academia are women, there must be sexism. That argument can only be made because there are already a lot of women. There are no Republicans to make it and any that tries to make the case and does not have tenure will never get tenure. The horror stories about the partisan groupthink change in the last 40 years are spoken of in hushed tones.
The Elevatorgate issue that the three echo-chamber science and progressive politics sites that live for that sort of drama are still going on about, despite the fact that few people outside their drama departments cared, at least revealed what outsiders always knew - a lot of people under that banner are just as intolerant, hate-filled and prejudiced as any Republican or religious person they dislike. Unless you are in the huge majority of them and match their cultural and anti-religious fundamentalism, you are unwelcome, and they will turn on you as they did uber-skeptic James Randi when he said people should be skeptical on global warming models just like they are anything else, and Rebecca Watson when she irrationally believed being hit on in an elevator was a big deal and the community that reads her agenda-based stuff went into whatever spasm they went into over it.
Greg Laden at Scienceblogs (The Skeptical Movement as a Dysfunctional Corporation with a Nightmare HR Problem) makes some good points, even if he can't help but fawn over fellow believers...
The Sketpics Movement (and notice I'm not saying "The Atheist Movement," because I think this may be one way in which the two are different) is one that includes a lot of sexism. If it was revealed that a significant proportion of the executives and workers at Target Corporation were calling women "twats" there would be outrage.Academics are 'politically enlightened' he claims, yet they are far more skewed against conservatives than the skeptic movement is against women - Scienceblogs has called Republicans and conservatives far worse things than anything said about a woman who was essentially creating a problem to solve, which by lucky happenstance revealed a problem that does need solving, though only those inside didn't already know it existed.
Well, fellow members of the Skeptics Movement, we've got this problem. We could legitimately be seen as an organization (or a loosely knitted together set of organizations and informal groups) with a sexism problem.
Our allies include academics. Academics tend to be "politically enlightened" (though not to the same degree in all fields). If the skeptics movement becomes identified as essentially sexist, academics will not continue to show up at Conventions and other venues to speak about science and stuff.3 This would be a problem.
The odd thing is he thinks being progressive or skeptic (where are the non-progressive skeptics? Everywhere, they just don't like the politics and hate-filled invective) means there can be no prejudice. Many woman and minorities disagree and think progressives are more prejudiced because they insist without progressives no one can ever get ahead. But progressives certainly can't see that argument because they have the same blinders on.
Skepticism doesn't have an HR problem, it has a PR problem, and it's due to trying to increase the size of its umbrella by throwing off rationalism and embracing cultural fundamentalism and declaring moral equivalency for anyone who might feel slighted by virtually any thing.