This article I read yesterday got me thinking about the general state of the atheist movement. (I refuse to succumb to calling it the “New Atheist” movement, because there really is nothing new about the fact there’s never been any good reason to believe in a god)
The first thing I thought is that the author is quite wrong: I can think of more than a few strong female atheist leaders. Annie Laurie Gaylor, Rebecca Goldstein, Rebecca Watson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Susan Jacoby, and Eugenie Scott come to mind.
But it does seem that there are fewer women who express disbelief in god than men. I’ve always wondered why. I refuse to believe that it has anything to do with the false contentions that women are less rational than men, or that women rely much more on emotions than on intellect. Thousands of years of human history should serve as testament that this isn’t the case.
Women are every bit as insightful as men, and from my own experience, women are also a lot better at knowing bullshit when they hear it. So why the lapse?
Perhaps there are just as many disbelievers in the female population as there are in the male population, but males are simply more vocal about it?
It would be a little upsetting if this were the case. One place I do agree with the author is in this particular passage:
Given the immense harm many organized religions inflict on women through outright violence and institutional oppression, it seems women may have more to gain than men from exiting their faith. Yet no women are currently recognized as leaders or even mentioned as a force within the movement.
Religion (the world’s major ones in particular) deals women the worst hand possible. If they’re not treated outright as property, then they’re commanded to keep quiet and obey their husbands in modest servility. Time after time, I see religious women actually defending these passages and commandments. I would think women would be the first ones waiting to break free from the chains placed on them by an imaginary deity invented by prehistoric misogynists, and the first ones to speak out against this rubbish.
So I pass the question onto you, ladies. Do you believe in a god or not? Either way, why do you think women aren’t as vocal about atheism as men are?