Adam Lee notices that William Lane Craig has a lot in common with Sam Harris and Michael Shermer. Craig wrote a column about the “feminization” of Christianity, and well you’ve guessed the plot already, haven’t you.
[H]e’s noticed that the audiences for his lectures are nearly all men:
First is my observation that apologetics seems to have far more interest for men than for women.
That observation is based upon an enormous amount of experience in speaking on university campuses, at apologetics conferences, and in classroom teaching… It became very evident to me not only that the audiences which came to these events were largely male but that in event after event only the men stood up to ask a question.
Oh dear. We all know what’s coming. It’s so easy to guess the plot when they start that way. We could recite the rest in our sleep by now.
And why should apologetics classes appeal predominantly to men? To explain this, Craig dusts off the old saw, “women don’t do thinky“:
Second is my hypothesis that this disparity is to be explained by the fact that men respond more readily to a rational approach, whereas women tend to respond more to relational approaches.
Bingo! We have bingo. We have so much bingo we’ve run out of places to put it all.
Once again I will point out that he probably wouldn’t say that if the comparison were not women : men but blacks : whites. He would probably come up with a different intuitive explanation, perhaps equally wrong and uninformed, but not invidious in quite that way.
Yet man after man after man after man has no inner check whatsoever on saying that about women. “Women don’t do rational.” They think it and say it and don’t even notice how glaringly sexist it is. They think it and say it and don’t even notice how barely separated it is from saying “women are stupid” or “women can’t think.” All that, and they respond with outrage and indignation when women say yo that’s sexist.
It’s striking how much Craig, a staunch Christian apologist, sounds like some of our male atheist “leaders”. They, too, have fielded questions about the gender imbalance in their audiences; and they, too, have often responded with clueless, patronizing, armchair answers about how they’re just too unimpeachably rational to appeal to women – that is, when they’re not snarling about “social justice warriors”, or pining for the good old days before political correctness when men could grope women with no repercussions.
It is striking, isn’t it. It never stops surprising me. I always – naively – think they must know better, so I’m always surprised to see that they don’t.