Sam Harris said something… well, interesting is a word.
There’s something about that critical posture that is to some degree instrinsically [sic] 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.”
Of course, as soon as some of us took to the Intertubes to call people’s attention to its wildly gender essentialist nature, others took to our corners of the Intertubes to tell us that we were wrong. Nothing sexist or misogynist — I’m sorry, “misogynistic” — about it.
The pedant who so bravely corrected me on my misuse of “misogynist” for “misogynistic” very misandrically asserted that the statement made sense because men are naturally more violent than women. Furthermore, he cited the term “evolutionary psychology” but provided no citations. Since neither assertion is very credible, how could such a blatantly generalizing statement be neither sexist nor misogynistic? It seems to blame hormones for a lack of participation by women in a community in the grand tradition of hysteria.
I think I have a theory: sex toys.
Now, stay with me, here. The line “nurturing, coherence-building extra estrogen vibe” could have easily been a reference to a vibrator used to build solidarity and community. After all, human beings socially resemble bonobos, and those delightful apes use sexual activity to resolve conflict.
Perhaps we all misinterpreted poor Sam Harris. Just before he mentioned the vibe, he brought up his self-perceived “overwhelming lack of sex appeal”. Maybe he’s trying to, in his poor confused head, make up for his belief in his inability to turn atheist women on with a line of sex toys. Perhaps, given his Four Horseman status, it could be scientifically-developed and peer-reviewed? Is the Extra Estrogen Vibe an upgrade on the standard model?
I really hope he knows that he doesn’t have to do this.
You don’t have to be sexually appealing to foster inclusivity in the atheist movement. You, as a thought leader, don’t exist for sexual objectification. Furthermore, you don’t have to make up for perceived inadequacies in your sex appeal by providing a line of sex toys for the women of atheism, especially not ones that have some rather ciscentric assumptions behind them. You can promote your ideas rather than your sex appeal and shine on like the star that you are.
We believe in you.
Update: Commenter =8)-DX has posted a few designs for the sex toy line (link mildly NSFW)