Monkey See, Monkey Do
This story made me chuckle:
Can you imagine that? Atheist women complaining they're being sexually harassed at atheist conventions. I thought atheists were now considered the "brights." That sort of primitive behavior only takes place among sexually repressive patriarchal religious groups.
A few things here:
First, and at the great risk of receiving a severe wedgie from the readers in the combox, most of the atheist women I've encountered throughout my life ought to be flattered that any guy would want to "harass" them in the first place. They're not known for their womanly femininity, if you know what I mean. As my aunt's brother Kermit use to say, "Someone’s done fallen out of the ugly tree and hit every branch coming down."
Yes. I realize that could be taken as a mean-spirited, generalized stereotype. Just as I'm sure there are plenty of Asian women race car drivers, I'm sure there are plenty of gorgeous free-thinking babes out there who've read all of Isaac Asimov's collected works. I'm just merely pointing out that atheism, as a philosophy, gravitates towards the anti-traditional in American society. For the atheist women, they ain't too keen on fashion and beauty tips. They lean more toward the stringy haired, unshaven, pants wearing view of life.
Second. When it comes to the atheist men, we're not necessarily dealing with suave, debonair gentleman dressed for success. Its mostly a room full of scruffy, ponytail guys with borderline Asperger's. Think Ted Kaczynski wearing a fanny pack and a "Three wolf/moon" tee shirt.
These are guys notorious for their conversational ineptitude, so they're not smooth with the ladies to begin with. Get them going about Larry Niven and they'll provide you with an eloquent discourse on why he's the greatest sci-fi writer to ever live. But have them talk with a woman and they flail about like the robot from Lost in Space when danger was near.
Third. Of course, this makes me wonder if what we have happening at these conventions is a bunch of goofy guys trying their socially awkward best to pick up women. The women don't necessarily want to be picked up because … well … They’re socially awkward atheist guys who are going to bore you to death about Larry Niven. It's the classic, if the guy is a weirdo it's sexual harassment; if he's attractive, he's flirting. A guy like Sam Harris probably falls in the second category.
Fourth. As for the atheist women, I am at a loss as to why they are all bothered about being "sexually harassed." Atheists, by default, believe in Darwinian evolution as the explanatory mechanism for life existing and thriving on the planet. The main tenet of evolutionary theory is a species getting its genetic information into the next generation.
I recall watching some documentary on NOVA, or maybe it was a BBC thing, that told about this large group of monkeys that live in an old abandoned Thai Buddhist temple. All the male monkeys would gather around themselves female monkeys that were like his "harem." The male monkey with the biggest "harem" was like the alpha male and was able to spread his seed far and wide on to the next generation.
So, wouldn't these men be fulfilling their evolutionary function with the women folk attending the conference? Seems logical and natural; at least as far as atheism is concerned. They're just trying to get their genetics into the next generation, right? Why all the outrage? They're just like those male monkeys trying to see who can get the most seed into the next generation. It's just a clear case of monkey see, monkey do.