Why aren’t there more women atheists? According to Harris, because atheism lacks that estrogen vibe.
I also asked Harris at the event why the vast majority of atheists — and many of those who buy his books — are male, a topic which has prompted some to raise questions of sexism in the atheist community. Harris’ answer was both silly and then provocative.
It can only be attributed to my “overwhelming lack of sex appeal,” he said to huge laughter.
“I think it may have to do with my personal slant as an author, being very critical of bad ideas. This can sound very angry to people..People just don’t like to have their ideas criticized. There’s something about that critical posture that is to some degree instrinsically male and more attractive to guys than to women,” he said. “The atheist variable just has this – it doesn’t obviously have this nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe that you would want by default if you wanted to attract as many women as men.”
But…but…I seem to know an awful lot of atheist women — I would question the premise of the question, that the vast majority of atheists are male, and suggest instead that what we have instead is a great many loud male atheists who are oblivious to the women who are eager to participate in the movement, or were eager, before they discovered all the asshats who are apparently rendered oblivious by testosterone poisoning.
Critical thinking is not intrinsically male.
As the Cuttlefish explains, you could try looking around places like Freethoughtblogs and discover that there are a great many atheist women, and atheist men who don’t fit Harris’s model of atheists lacking in coherence or ‘nurturing’, that he misses when he goes looking for them in the mirror.
Or maybe we should consider Heina’s interpretation, that he’s deploring the lack of atheist-branded sex toys. Makes about as much sense.