The Atheist’s Self-Help Blog or How – With a Little Remodeling – You Can Prevent Your Views From Being Laughed At All The Time, Part I Being The Obtaining of Women

Get some girls. I understand the joy of having a Boy’s Club, I really do, but the lack of beauty at your conferences is seriously limiting. It might seem like a trifle, having women on your side, but you must realize – dear atheism – that the world will never go where women aren’t. Women are awesome. Think back to your high-school days, remember those invitations to parties or hang-outs or study groups, and remember the only thing on that really mattered: “Will there be any girls there?” This same question, when applied to atheism, has particularly damning – by which I mean negative – results.

“Hey! Come be an atheist!”
“Do it, there’s no objective morality!”
“Oh, sweet! Are there any girls?”
“Well, there’s some.”
“Very few actually, but-”
“Wait, what’s the point of subjective morality if there aren’t enough girls to be subjective with?”
“Well it’s the princip-”
“Hey, look! Catholicism! Oh man, they have pretty girls.”

And so on. Now there was a time, not long ago, when atheists were proud of their lack of women. And why not? Biologically speaking, women are the ‘less-fit’ sex. Given that intelligence – like every other human characteristic – is simply a result of Darwin’s survival of the fittest, it made sense that women would not subscribe to the wisdom of atheism. They simply were not intelligent enough. This rational held firm with the great, atheistic, “All universal moral principles are idle fancies” philosopher; The Marquis de Sade. Of course, he was also responsible for the less than ad-campaign-worthy statement: “Woman’s destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she-wolf; she must belong to all who claim her.”

What irony. When Darwin’s Law becomes the Moral Law women are treated far more harshly than any Leviticus passage could manage.

Now I know Ayn Rand would have agreed, certainly one Atheist Woman you like to keep under wraps (though whether Ayn Rand counts as an Atheist woman is a minor question compared to whether she’s a human) but regardless, and anyways, and to get back to the point, the whole “woman are dumb sex objects” idea just doesn’t quite fly these days. You and I know that. And if you don’t know that, just quote Sade to the next girl you find attractive. Let us know how you hold up.

I have some advice. Instead of belittling women, and otherwise lacking their presence, try opening doors for them (I know there are no moral imperatives, just think of it as a mating thing), tell them that they’re beautiful (I know beauty is a subjective, relative concept that doesn’t actually exist, but just pretend), and please, for the love all things holy – that means important – don’t pull a Richard Dawkins, what with his whole don’t-whine-about-creepy-atheist-men spiel. It’s embarrassing for men in general, never mind the atheist movement. You might even mention love (strictly within the understanding that love does not exist outside of chemicals in our brain and is ignorable as such). Just do something, for the love of G0d – that means pleeeaaase do something – because clearly the inherent truth of atheism isn’t truthy enough.

You are aware of the impression this gives those examining your cause, right? I’m a big believer in the theory that you can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse, and a lot about everything else from Google. So it’s seriously disconcerting that upon googling ‘atheist women’ I get the following results: “16 Sexiest Female Atheists (With Pictures)”, “Sexy Atheist Women”, “Where Are All the Atheist Women?” “Where to Find Agnostic/Atheistic Women” “Meet Single Atheist Women” – with a special plea from ’0rgasmD0nor’, (she especially would love to be met) – “How to Meet Atheist Women”, one – thank God, I was worried they didn’t care – list of actual female atheists who did something for atheism besides a sexy photo shoot, and at the bottom of it all, irony of ironies, lies an article in which atheists confront their “woman problem”. Yes, please confront your woman problem. Because you’re taking your cues from the Mormon church, spending a lot of time and money trying to look like this:

When in reality, you look like this:

And anyone searching for ‘atheist women’ comes back with the impression that atheism is a breeding ground for sexism, darwinian gender roles and a general lack of estrogen. So atheists, find your feminine side. And I don’t mean your feminine side, I mean atheism’s feminine side. Because right now, by all appearances, you can scarcely muster up a feminine handful, and you’ll need more than that to save Atheism from the patriarchal monster that is the Roman Catholic Church. Let me know how it goes.

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  • Anonymous

    Actually, Patheos is bringing over a blog by a very pretty atheist…who has a Catholic boyfriend:

  • Even worse Catholic

    Hey you forgot that big time atheists, namely christopher Hitchens, also think that women aren’t funny. Betcha Hitchens hasn’t been laid since. I think that’s pretty funny.

  • Quasar

    Actually, the atheist community is rapidly recognising that yes, we do in fact have a problem with gender ratio’s. We’re working to reverse that: seriously, all your points are things that have already been put out by there by Jen McCreight, PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, etc. And since we don’t give our sarcastiquote “leaders” any inherent authority, Dawkins, Hitchins and others have been thoroughly chewed out by their own fans every time they show their privilege blindness. Can you say the same for your authority figures?

    Biologically speaking, women are the ‘less-fit’ sex.

    Bullcrud. Biologically speaking, women and men have slightly different body parts and hormones. If you were to perhaps try speaking to a few atheists, rather than telling us what we think, perhaps you’d not make mistakes like this?

    “I have some advice. Instead of belittling women, and otherwise lacking their presence, try opening doors for them … tell them that they’re beautiful …

    Or maybe we could, I dunno, treat them as human beings? I’ll open doors for other people if it helps them. I’ll even tell people they’re attractive if I find them to be. But I’m not going to arbitrarily always do so for half the population and never for the other half just because of differences in genetalia. That’s not being nice, that’s applying arbitrary habits because it’s easier than thinking.

    “Because right now, by all appearances, you can scarcely muster up a feminine handful”

    How can you write this when you even mentioned (and thus presumably have perused) Jen’s list. There are more than a hundred influential, vocal atheist women on there.

    PS: If PZ’s estimates are to be believed, the percentage of women at atheist conventions has been growing over the last decade, from something like 1 in 10 to something like 1 in 4. That includes the speakers. This doesn’t mean we don’t still have a problem, but we’re definately improving.

    PPS: Given how many times I’ve had to bite back an extremely sarcastic “Vatican” joke while compiling this comment, I’m starting to think you might have a problem with projection.

    • Laura

      Whoa, serious lack of humor, that doesn’t attract women either let me tell you. Great post Marc!!!

      • Quasar

        “Humor”? What is this “humor” of which you speak?

        Seriously though, what part of Marcs post was funny? Was it the part where he stereotyped all atheists as misogynistic women-hating sexists?

        … actaully, fairs fair, the part where he called Ayn Rand inhuman made me smile. I suppose that’s because the post was filled to the brim with what Urban Dictionary calls “Clappy Humor“: it’s only funny if you already agree with it. If you don’t, it’s just insulting.

        • Quasar

          Clappy Humor“: it’s only funny if you already agree with it. If you don’t, it’s just insulting.

          (Many apologies for the HTML Fail. Forgot a quotation mark)

    • Lauren

      “Biologically speaking, women and men have slightly different body parts and hormones.”

      You lost me at ‘slightly’. Slightly?? Slighty….Far out. O.O

      • Anonymous

        I’m assuming he means, other than the directly-sexual-characteristics. Build, upper-body-strength, etc.

    • Anthony S. Layne

      “Dawkins, Hitchins and others have been thoroughly chewed out by their own fans every time they show their privilege blindness. Can you say the same for your authority figures?”

      Absolutely. If you actually tried reading up on Church history instead of consulting atheist memes about the “sheep” mentality of Catholics, you’d see that we’ve criticized leaders all throughout our history, from Peter and Paul about the Gentile converts to the National Catholic Reporter on just about every current topic.

    • Marc Barnes

      Truthfully, I am happy that you are working on the problem! Keep it up, and let me know when you’ve fixed it!

    • David Meyer

      “Given how many times I’ve had to bite back an extremely sarcastic “Vatican” joke while compiling this comment, I’m starting to think you might have a problem with projection.”

      Actually, over half of Catholics are women. The point is we realize each sex was created for different roles. Women know this intuitively, which is why they do not like atheism, which sees the sexes as merely having… how did you put it… “different genitalia”?
      Only years of intense university training can create that kind of Orwellian thinking.

      • Austine

        As a woman I am aghast at your sexism….no wonder people are leaving the church in droves.


        “women know this intuitively…..”

        My intuition is telling me that you are a scary thing for women. You claim to speak for us and place us in a certain “role” all in the same post.

        I pity the women in your life and that of the author. They are patted on the head and told their pretty instead of regarded as equals.

        Yuck! Nausea inducing .

  • Anonymous

    I’m so glad I read that linked thread, or I’d never have gotten the memo that a woman getting propositioned (or if not, something that sounded a whole lot like one) in an elevator late at night is supposed to respond like a perfect rational automaton. If it wasn’t serious it would be hilarious.

    Quasar, I think you should go try to talk some sense into *them.*

    • Quasar

      I did, elsewhere, when it was actually happening. Elevatorgate was over a long time ago by the standards of internet drama. Nobody cares anymore about that particular incident, except, apparently, Marc Barnes.

      If you’d looked up PZ Myers blog during the incident you would have seen the massive outpouring of support for Rebecca Watson and the savage arguments between the privilege-blind MRA types who show up whenever PZ writes anything on the subject of gender issues and those who were actually willing to acknowdge the problem. Like I said: Yes, we have a problem. It’s not a problem unique to our community, we inherited it from the societies atheists largely derive from (sciency, nerdy types), but it’s still a problem. So yeah, we might be over Elevatorgate, but we’re that much more aware of the issues it raised, and we’ll never stop trying to fix them.

      • Anonymous

        Glad to hear. Okay, maybe by the standards of internet drama, but not by the standards of festering social issues (seems like we’re agreed on that).

        As for my part, I wasn’t aware of it at the time, and I could always be wrong but I felt like there was more left to be said…if they don’t want people stumbling across it later and adding their $.02 then there is an easy way to fix that, close comments. :)

  • Anonymous

    Uh, did anyone take DeSade aside and explain about wolves mating more or less monogamously, more or less for life? That was already fairly well known by the 18th century (we bred it out of dogs because, well, obviously, monogamous animals are harder to breed).

    But atheists’ woman problem has nothing to do with atheism as such, and certainly nothing to do with them coming from a “science background”, since the hard sciences have almost the precise same religious demographics as society at large. Besides, Dawkins’ and Myers’ only actual quantifiable research may be summed up, virtually without exaggeration, as “beekeeping” and “aquarium fancy”, respectively.

    Personally I think it has to do with how the New Atheists are what Nietzsche called Last Men: flaccid, pathetic little creatures who will risk nothing for anything. Myers is precisely as loathsome and pettily nasty as the Westboro Baptist Church, but not even that brave. At least Fred Phelps physically goes to soldiers’ funerals, risking the wrath not only of grieving relatives and fellow soldiers but, occasionally, of the Hell’s freaking Angels. Myers? He desecrates the Host from the comfort of his own home, and puts it on YouTube. When the bravest public witness to atheism is Christopher Hitchens, who risked a lot more by telling the truth about Bill Clinton than he ever did by telling lies about Mother Teresa, the New Atheists are officially the most pathetic movement that ever existed.

    And women don’t like whiny little cowardly bullies who posture as if they’re defying mobs, when they’re really just (literally) spitting on the graves of dead nuns. They also don’t like idiots who can’t even skim the chapter headings of the Summa Theologia and then name their movement “Brights” (again, named on the same basis as Democratic People’s Republics) but that’s a different issue.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get all the grrrr against atheists. I don’t really hate atheism so much as feel sorry for it. Poor things.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get all the grrrr against atheists. I don’t really hate atheism so much as feel sorry for it. Poor things.

  • Tour86rocker

    I don’t think the phrase “the less fit sex” has any meaning. “Fitness” is one’s ability to pass down their genes to the next generation, impossible without women.

  • ds

    The world wont go where women arent? Read the crescat’s column about “shrews”. I was dumbfounded by the number of angry men that want nothing to do with women.

    On a less serious note:
    “Hey, look! Mormonism! Oh man, they have pretty girls.” /fixed.

    Sorry but its true. That religion is goofy as hell but they got the hottest chicks.

    Not to say catholic girls dont have their appeal… just ask Frank Zappa.

  • Ciaochristy

    Yikes! These comments seem to be missing the whole humorous point.

    I think it’s more than obvious that atheism denies the beauty and importance of femininty while at the same time being patonizingly arrogant in assuming they know what women want i.e. the Catholic Church.

    Thanks for the great laugh.

  • Anonymous

    Eww, eww, eww and, eww. As an agnostic atheist (and someone who, last time I checked the bra and panties, is a woman) I’ll take the guys who can be blind to their own privilege and at least try to not be giant asshats (ie PZ Myers and the rest of the atheist community) over the Catholic church and their STELLAR feminism record. Thanks, but I’ll choose my belief structures because of evidence and logic, and you can go kvetch about your neighbors’ motes some more.

    (Quick points, not that I think it’ll make a difference: Not all atheists believe in moral subjectivity (I’m a moral absolutist myself), De Sade was raised Catholic (so, good job on that) atheist =/= libertarian in any way, shape, or form (or any political belief for that matter) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with valuing what goes on in our head, including love. )

    • Anonymous

      Hmm. Well.

      By one century after Constantine, the Catholic Church had managed to outlaw honor killing, sexual exploitation of slaves, selling girls to brothels, and leaving daughters other than the first out for the wolves (again, Roman girls didn’t have first names, they just used the feminine of their clan-name).

      In France between say 1100 and 1300, the era of the Catholic Church’s greatest influence, not only could women own property, practice trades, file lawsuits, and vote in any assembly men could, but they also were taught to read just as often as men. They also bought more books.

      The Church deliberately increased the forbidden degrees of consanguinity, for marriage, in order to make it easier to refuse arranged marriages among the nobility. Noblewomen frequently led armies, along with all the other powers of noblemen, and abbesses wielded as much power as bishops, in practice sometimes more.

      So there’s the Catholic Church’s stellar record on feminism. Without us you’d still be the absolute ward of your father until he died, or of your brother or husband, subject to death at his slightest whim. You might want to read up on what the West was like, before Christianity, or on the fact that all of those rules being changed, to the conditions found in the 19th century (which you doubtless mistake for the age-old tradition of humanity), was the result of the Renaissance bringing back pagan Greek and Roman mores. And every achievement the feminists crow about was merely restoring to women the legal status every medieval Frenchwoman took for granted.

      As for evidence and logic, what is the evidence for atheism? How does one prove a negative? Are you perhaps asserting that absence of evidence is evidence of absence? When you say that you are an agnostic (which precludes you being an atheist), are you perhaps offering the novel epistemological dictum that absence of evidence is evidence of the impossibility of evidence? Because those seem like logical fallacies to me.

      • Anonymous

        And now the Catholic church thinks that raping little kids is not something you can excommunicated over, but boy howdy it’s an immediate thing if you ordain women. Or, a little girl, her mother, and her doctor all get excommunicated since she gets an abortion but her stepfather that raped her is peachy keen after a little confession. Or heck, let’s move away from the rape- owning your own body is big no-no, if you’re female.

        And, during all of this blatantly obvious stuff that you should be doing anyway (Yay, we outlawed honor killings- what the fuck do you want, a cookie?) they were still not letting women into any position of any power, and slut-shaming with the best of them. The reason I’m not a ward of my father or husband? Feminist- most of which were not even religious at all. In the United States it wasn’t until the 1970s that women were allowed to sign their own contracts in most states, and it sure as heck wasn’t the Catholic church that was beating that drum.

        As for agnostic atheist:

        Do a 30 second google search before you look like a moron.

        As for logic, I’m not talking about the logic FOR atheism, in any form. I default to atheism. I’m talking about the logic AGAINST Christianity. We can go with the classics if you like (Russell’s Teapot, Extraordinary Claims vs. Extraordinary evidence, problem of evil) but I”ll just go with my own, personal reason for not buying what you’re selling: if god were real, I’d have to jump on the anti-theist bandwagon way before I’d sign up for his team.

        • Anonymous


          Oh I’m sorry I thought I was talking to an adult.

          Never mind. How come your middle school doesn’t block sites like this, brat?

          • James H, London

            Sophia, well-named!

            Thou rockest!

          • Penny Farthing1893

            Indeed, see, excommunication is done more for doctrinal errors, since it makes you not Catholic (religions being largely defined by their doctrine). Whereas moral errors (sins) do not make you no-longer-a-Catholic, just a sinful Catholic, like all human beings. Sin (including abortion) can be forgiven, though obviously if a law has been broken the truly repentant person should turn himself in.

            Another interesting point is this: Catholic diocese and organizations in the US are at the forefront of pushing for child abuse mandatory reporting laws in states that don’t have them yet, and implement safe environment training voluntarily for all their employees and volunteers. The biggest lobbyists against mandatory reporting? Teachers unions and Planned Parenthood. Reporting that a minor was raped and her rapist drove her to a clinic to have an abortion violates her privacy, apparently.

        • Penny Farthing1893

          Do you have proof of the excommunication of the girl in your first paragraph?

      • Rich

        SF, do you have more sources I could use to explore the moral innovations w/ respect to women you list out? This is good stuff :)

  • subversivepink42

    Great post! It’s really distressing seeing what atheist guys will go through to try and impress women. On the couple of dates I’ve been on with some (granted this is not the most scientifically useful sample size) I’ve heard boasting about how they think chivalry is sexist (lost a second date), men and women have only biological differences, one guy who self-identified as a feminist (even less attractive than a vegan, who I also will not date, since I like to cook for my dates on occasion – call me old fashioned), and even one guy who said he liked how I didn’t care how I looked. Seriously. That’s not what girls like to hear, but sadly I think he really meant it as a compliment….

    There are probably some very sweet atheist guys out there, but I have yet to meet one who wasn’t gay….

    I hope you enjoy my political incorrectness, but it’s true.

  • Penny Farthing1893

    The second linked article was a bit odd. They seem to say that a possible reason for many atheist women having been treated badly by creepy guys is because there are so few women in the religion (yes, it is a religion). But why does the simple fact that there are fewer women make guys act creepy towards them? Is it that they haven’t met enough women to know that we don’t like creepers? They must not be too bright then. One could hypothetically live his entire life without actually meeting a woman, and still know not to proposition her when they’ve only just met. I believe this is a basic social skill. It seems more likely that it’s the reverse – there are fewer atheist women (who hang out with other atheists) because the guys turn them off. I personally think there are many atheist women who are content to be atheists and don’t feel the need to convert others/pat themselves on the back/denigrate other faiths/posture, and so we just don’t see them. I actually work with two of them, and they know I’m Catholic, and they’re very respectful and lovely people.

    • Joe

      Thank you so much for saying that. Blessed are the peacemakers ;)

  • Wassuppl
  • David Carlon

    Absolutely friggin hilarious! Yay! for hot, smart and intellectual Catholic babes!