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← Where Are All The Atheist Women? Right Here

opposablethumbs's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by opposablethumbs

Comment 17 by blitz442

Even if every trace of sexism favoring men was erased from the world, I would not expect the numbers of prominent female rationalists, skeptics, and atheists to rival those of males, just as I would never expect the number of female posters on this site to rival those of males.

Begging the question. Sexism is very deeply ingrained - I suspect that it is actually very difficult even to imagine a society free of it, just because none of us have ever experienced one. It's perhaps our most "common sense" prejudice, the one where we can't see the wood for the dense forest in which we've all grown up. But we do know that human beings are at least capable of shedding blinkers - after all, racism used to be just as much a universal "common-sense" position based on "facts" about inferior/superior intelligence, lack of intellectual capacity etc. Religion used to be almost universal, and just look at us now... (well, better than we used to be, at least!).

Some of Ursula K. LeGuin's sci-fi and short stories for adults are quite good at imagining a new way of seeing, which often just brings out how difficult it is to question or even be aware of our own almost unconscious assumptions, let alone untangle the subtlety with which they influence people's thinking and behaviour.

Not an absolute there-can-be-no-differences-EVER position, by the way - just that I think we're not very good at seeing what if anything they might be in that hypothetical sexism-free world

Thu, 04 Nov 2010 17:56:14 UTC | #542664