Thursday, March 22, 2012

Female Atheism

  Before I start here, let me say that I know this sounds a bit insensitive to the LGBTQ community, but it is not intended as such.  I am in no way attempting to diminish the contributions to our species by homosexuals in our branch of the Tree of Life, but for simplicity's sake, I'm sticking with the very basic, primitive idea of a family unit here.  Please forgive me if it offends...

  It is statistically proven that there are far fewer female atheists than male. After reading about that, I also came across a statistic regarding prayer, which says that the women polled prayed more often than the men polled.  There's a very simple explanation for this and thank you, Dusty, for your post about Atheism needing more women because you got me thinking about it and about how true your conclusion really is.  I think you're 100% right.  Humans are still evolving, though the changes are very subtle these days.  Women have begun to turn away from using their prefrontal cortices to chose mates and, in some cases, have started looking for an intellectual connection, or, to put it more plainly, the smart guys.  Times have changed and the primitive needs of a male's family don't really exist anymore.  They don't need to hunt, nor do they need to be the protectors of the family anymore.  We have grocery stores and houses with locks and alarm see where I'm going with this.  It's the innovative guys we're looking for now.  The guys we need are the ones who can fix a problem or help solve a puzzle (not a literal one, of course, but maybe those too). There's something more, however, and it goes much deeper than guys trolling girls and scaring them off.

  I've blogged before about empathy and morality and how it is encoded into us.  Now let's take that just a bit farther.  Let's pretend for a moment.  Let's imagine a family of early hominids: There's an adult male and an adult female and they have a baby.  Now we're pretty sure that these families lived in groups, but let's just use one family in this scenario.  The male, being the larger and stronger of the two, would be the one to protect the family and bring home the bacon, literally.  The female is responsible for making sure the offspring have what they need to grow and thrive in order to eventually pass on the genes to the next generation, which is the ultimate goal for all living things.

  Because of those divided roles being passed on in our genes, it only makes sense, to me, that there be a discrepancy in the male to female ratio in Atheism.  Ours is a brand of survival that has worked incredibly well for a large portion of species for a long time.  As Sir David Attenborough put it, in essence: a species encountering no change sees no cause for change.  That brand of survival has led to more emotional females and more dominant males. Before I get bashed for that, I don't think that men are more primitive, they just evolved slightly differently for the good of the species.

  When a female reacts (I'm talking about primitive reactions here) to an offspring that expresses a need for something, they react, first, by getting a worried kind of feeling, just plain empathy perhaps, that doesn't go away until the problem is fixed.  A female's secondary reaction would be defensive if the need exists to be so.  Males, again, in a primitive sense, react first by getting agitated, ready to defend his family and the secondary reaction is an empathetic one if no danger is present to defend against.

Women have an encoded need to be emotional and Atheism, having a marketing campaign of being "logical and reasonable" doesn't, in the mind of a LOT of people, leave any room for a spiritual side.  That's one of the main arguments I've been battling lately.  smh  I have, thankfully, been able to find an incredibly spiritual side in Atheism and, no, it doesn't have anything to do with me having a soul.  That's something I'll address in a little more detail later on.  Since there is that mindset, however stereotypical it may be, it makes it difficult for women to get behind Atheism in some aspects.  If that deep, emotional feeling I used to get when I went to sing with the congregation at church, for example, doesn't exist in Atheism, then that's one mark against it without even taking into account any doubts concerning "conversion" that may exist already.  When I went to church, I got that feeling of connectedness, that warm feeling in my chest, the tears streaming down my face and the feeling of amazement.  I am in no way saying that men don't get that feeling, nor am I saying they don't need it, however, it's a more deep seeded need for women, in my opinion.  If more women are to come to an atheist viewpoint, we'll have to work with that, I think.

  Men, having the strong defense reaction, automatically get "pumped up" by an attack, be it a physical attack or an intellectual one.  I've watched enough male Atheists vlogs and blogs to know that's true.  I think that maybe Atheism, being dominated by males, has gotten the "angry" label because of this.  Again, but on the opposite side, I'm not saying women don't get angry for the cause of Atheism.  One listen to Madalyn Murray O'Hair or Greta Christina will affirm that women are very capable of expressing their anger. Again, the ratio of men to women is what makes it seem like an unfeeling way of thinking. Yes, I know how oxymoronic that sounds, but it's true, I think.

  As to the things I get emotional about, you can read my "Poetry of Reality" blog here for a longer list.  Since it's not the intended purpose of this blog, I'll just share one of my favorites.  I said it once before and I'll say it again: Neil DeGrasse Tyson says it best with this quote:

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”

  Right behind that is the amazing, lottery-winner feeling I get when I think about the fact that, in evolutionary terms, we are the 1%.  About 99% of the species that ever lived are now extinct, but we were lucky enough to be part of a branch of the family tree that flourished.  I find that pretty fucking amazing.

Thanks for joining me!  Noodles be with you!  R'Amen!

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