In November 2006, Wired magazine identified Richard Dawkins, Daniel C Dennett and Sam Harris as a “band of intellectual brothers”, whose bestselling books on atheism, published between 2004 and 2006, heralded an era of 21st-century nonbelief. The media quickly dubbed this “the New Atheism”. What differentiates this movement from more old-school atheism (besides the mainstream media’s ever-present need to anoint, brand and categorise thought leaders) is that New Atheists take a vehemently zero-tolerance approach to faith, mysticism and even agnosticism. Though the basics are the same – non-belief in a god or gods – the new system also calls for pushing non-belief on others, almost to the point of abject proselytisation.
Anyone who evangelizes and proselytizes is a member of a ‘religious organization as far as I’m concerned. Hence, these angry atheist are hypocritical in that they too are religious. It’s just that their religion is their own intellect (and what a sorry, weak, pale, empty, silly god they serve!). If these angry sad-sacks weren’t religious, why would they care so much what others believed and why are all the loudest angry atheists (like Hitchens and Dawkins and Avalos and Ehrman and the rest of the merry band of god-haters) men?
Tom Flynn, editor of the secular humanist journal Free Inquiry and executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism, agrees that there’s a strong gender skew in the atheist movement. Though organisations like his have worked to recruit and retain female members – with mixed results – he’s aware that more men are recognised as atheist leaders. That said, he won’t necessarily concede that there’s sexist intent behind that recognition, saying:
“The numbers [of atheist authors] are so small, it’s largely coincidence that these authors who are all men emerge as superstars.”
Felicity, however, doesn’t fully explain female atheists’ under-sung presence.
Read the remainder of the essay. It’s quite interesting, and it makes the point quite well that the problem with angry atheism is its practitioners sense of impotence and hence their need to express themselves more rambunctiously than normal folk. Or in other words, if these insipid droolers would just buy a sportscar, they wouldn’t feel so impotent and they would abandon their silly ‘let’s rid culture of God’ ignorance.