Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sexist Esoterica

I was spending some time earlier wondering about why there are so few women as compared to men in esoterica.

Yeah, first off is the fact that many women have children and families that come first, but then something else hit me --

All of my life I have been sure that women are really more interested in the paranormal than men. However, being interested and investigating are two different things. It occurred to me that maybe women, unlike men, don't care about trying to seek out the actual answers. I am that way myself, I am attracted by the mystery, not the hope of finding the answers. So instead of being out there trying to dig up clues most women sit happily at home reading books and thinking out their own theories, but not at all caring about publishing or sharing them with others. Maybe for most women it is a personal thing.

Perhaps it has to do with the male survival and domination instinct that more of them are investigating ufos and other paranormal topics. Maybe it is their manly instinct that they feel they have to find out what these things are so they can try to protect against them if necessary. I am not saying that women don't have survival instincts, but probably not at the level of men. I don't believe most women perceive every unknown as a threat, but I think many men do.

I am speaking in broad generalities.

Still, maybe that sounds sexist. It probably does, but I think there may be some truth in it.

Assuming earthmen really do have the need to defend earthwomen -- taking their eggs without the necessary paperwork would be a perceived threat and whether true or not would result in men trying to figure out the entire mess. Women on the other hand know they have plenty of eggs, if a few are taken maybe it is no big deal -- especially if they don't remember it happening.

Now I am sure I am being sexist so I will go away.


R. Lee said...

"It occurred to me that maybe women, unlike men, don't care about trying to seek out the actual answers. I am that way myself, I am attracted by the mystery, not the hope of finding the answers."

I think there's a lot that's true about that (always being careful to say this is also general; treading softly on that gender specific fringe).

As you know Lesley, debunkers, skeptics, as well as many UFO and paranormal researchers, attack others for not having answers, or getting close to answers, or, "the" answer.

there's knowing, and there's knowing. You can know without always getting some kind of "answer" at the end. Exploring the thing itself is an answer. And who's to say it's the answer anyway, when one thinks they got it? Anyone who studies any of this stuff knows that it's layer after layer of things that are found . . .

I think there are some gender differences (again, generally, or, um, broadly) and maybe it's also related to a creative mind set. There are men who don't think in such formal terms; and women who do. (The few women I've come across in this field who follow a traditional, mainstream, rigid path have been just as, hmmm, "uptight" I guess, as any male. A couple have been completely bonkers, over the edge psycho -- and vindictive -- as much as any male creep out there)

Gender differences, artistic or creative wiring, and the fact we're all people too -- all play into it.

But I would agree that generally speaking, there is a difference in perception.

DJ Dual Core said...

Men, as a group, have always resisted letting women into "their" space. Historically men have had the time and money to pursue these things. Like professional music or computer science or any other male dominated field the boys' club perpetuates itself.

R. Lee said...


That's true too.

And the money issue; what I wouldn't give to do all this full time.

Thanks for stopping by.

Lesley said...

Yes, the money thing. I don't know many men with enough money to pursue ufology full time, but I do know more of them than women with the same advantage.

Ray said...


Just finished a book regarding events after 9/11 from a feminist POV: The Terror Dream by Susan Faludi. Interesting take on sexism against women as part of American culture and values.

Getting back to women and the paranormal, what about this gang of gals?


Lesley said...

I feel the same way about it as I do most skeptic blogs, blah. From what I saw it really is more of a debunking type blog.

I always find it funny that debunkers are really zealots, who spend their time griping about other people being zealots. They are like zealots of non-belief in anything that doesn't go along with the most likely (to them) explanation. They push their agenda just as hard as the religious fanatics, which makes them religious in their own strange way.

R. Lee said...

Skeptchicks, blah, like Lesley said. They're skeptic debunkers. Skeptchick posts a lot at JREF. (Jame Randi forum)

I don't think much either way. they're skeptics. . . :)

Ray said...


I do agree with you that generally speaking women seem to be more attuned to mystical/religious/spiritual topics. For example, when there’s a local event with a psychic or new age teacher, almost all of the participants are women. And the psychic or teacher is a woman.

I was wondering if you had any ideas or speculations about skeptical women like the skepchicks, how they fit into the general scheme of things.


R. Lee said...

"I was wondering if you had any ideas or speculations about skeptical women like the skepchicks, how they fit into the general scheme of things."

Hi Ray, I know you asked Lesley this but I'll jump in. Female skeptics "fit in" in a good sense, I begrundingly admist, only because of gender. More female scientists, and the presecence of females who think like that prove that women are academic/intellectual/scientific, and have a place, and a voice. But to my mind, it's like a Margret Thatcher .. .yeah, it's good there's a female head of state, except the problem is, well, her politics suck.

And here's something really political incorrect: I think some female sketpics try extra hard to be even more obnoxious than their skeptibot male peers, to prove a point.

Lesley said...

I really don't know how to answer that question. I don't keep up on the skeptic world at all.

The only female skeptic that even comes to mind is the one who wrote that book about alien abductions being sleep paralysis. She did her job well in trying to convince people of her theory. I found her terribly annoying when she was doing all that promotion for her book. Then again, I find them all annoying when they are constantly promoting something, otherwise I hardly notice them.

Ray said...

Regan and Lesley:

ThanX for the feedback. I do check out blogs like Skepchick or read magazines like The Skeptic to see what The Other Side has to offer.

At the same time I do read a lot of freethinker material. I sift through it all, mainly to find facts. Yes, skeptics are debunkers, but sometimes they do expose bunk. And sometimes their explanations are bunk. That's when a skeptic acts like a cynic.