The new issue of Free Inquiry is out. It has a special section on the Women in Secularism conference. I did an article for that section, based on my part at the conference but not restricted to it. It is online.
The basic idea is that the stereotypical idea of women is not very well suited for overt rebellion against god.
The main stereotype in play, let’s face it, is that women are too stupid to do nontheism. Unbelieving in God is thinky work, and women don’t do thinky, because “that’s a guy thing.”
Don’t laugh: Michael Shermer said exactly that during a panel discussion on the online talk-show The Point. The host, Cara Santa Maria, presented a question: Why isn’t the gender split in atheism closer to 50-50? Shermer explained, “It’s who wants to stand up and talk about it, go on shows about it, go to conferences and speak about it, who’s intellectually active about it; you know, it’s more of a guy thing.”
It’s all there—women don’t do thinky, they don’t speak up, they don’t talk at conferences, they don’t get involved—it’s “a guy thing,” like football and porn and washing the car.
Dude, your shit was in our way. It’s as if you’ve never heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy. That seems impossible for a skeptic, but there you go – dudely skeptics seem to misplace their skepticism when explaining why you don’t see so many women in the Atheist Clubhouse. No, it’s not because it’s more of a guy thing; it’s because so many people think it’s more of a guy thing and keep saying so and keep forgetting about the many many women who do stand up and talk about it, go on shows about it, go to conferences and speak about it, be intellectually active about it. (Can you say “do be”? No. But sometimes you need to, so I do it anyway.)
It’s not more of a guy thing. Move the fuck over, and you’ll find that out.