One of my first comments to this video has long since scrolled out of sight, but I am pleased to repeat it here:
I conclude that Mr. Hitchens has unconsciously selected for women with no GAG reflex... and has unintentionally confused this trait with a lack of wit. Although perhaps these two traits evolved synergistically.
What really makes me sad is the sexist face he is effectively putting on atheism with this crap. I would have guessed you'd be hard pressed to find a sexist atheist, but damned if he didn't prove me wrong. Let us hope they are few and far between.
I'm sorry but that seems ridiculously naive to me. Being an atheist means nothing more than lacking faith. There can be a million different reasons for that lack, and even if most of us like to claim that we do so for intellectual reasons, how many of those claims would actually stand up to scrutiny? I'm sure many people are atheist because they were scared away from religion by a fundamentalist upbringing, others may simply find a sense of self-satisfaction from being rebellious.
Atheism is not a movement, "we" are not a group united under a set of principles of logical thinking and opposition against prejudice. Think atheists favor the scientific method as a basis of knowledge? Look into Bill Maher's crazy beliefs about medicine and his favor of the "alternative" variety of it! Think atheism goes hand in hand with a humanistic outlook? Take a look at Ayn Rand!
Seeing as there are no set of principles uniting us, we will be just as diversified as the general public on all questions besides that of the existence of god.
I'm not trying to stop anyone from forming a movement. I'm simply trying to point out the definition of the term atheism, which is of course debatable, but in my opinion, the best definition is simply "lack of religious belief". You can not form a movement simply around the lack of belief in something, you have to add an additional set of principles and beliefs the followers of that movement are supposed to follow. By expressing suprise upon learning that some particular atheist has a certain belief or opinion, or takes a stand on some issue which you take exception with, you are implying that the mere act of callign oneself an atheist entails an additional act of joining a movement with additional beliefs. If you want to form such a movement, that's fine, but since that movement will necessarily include additional principles, it can not be called simply atheism, you have to refer to it by some other name.
This is actually a reply to your next post but there seems to be a limit to the amount of levels of relies so I reply to this instead.
A think it is quite natural for a movement to form around atheism, many groups of people having a certain belief will tend to form a movement around it. But it is still wrong to call atheism itself a movement. Atheism, no matter how you define it exactly is still just a certain ontological (strong atheism: seeing as how strong atheists deny the existence of god) and/or epistemological (agnostic atheism: agnostics refuse to address the existence of god, prefering to instead address the possibility of answering the question) stance on the question of the existence of god.
Some people might see this as a form of nit-picking, but I think it's important to distinguish between those who take a certain stance on a question from those who belong to the movement surrounding it. Not all people who support a certain stance are interested in trying to convert people to it or even in publicly defending it.
Furthermore, apart from the question of atheism being a movement, the other point I tried to make was that even if atheism was a movement, it's followers would not be united in their stance on other unrelated question, such as that of sexism.
Certainly, there can be correlation between different seemingly unrelated opinions or characteristics. Some studies (sorry don't have any references right now) have suggested that highly educated people have a higher tendency to be atheists, but this certainly doesn't mean that high intelligence is part of being an atheist. No one should be suprised at finding an unintelligent atheist, even though there seems to be some sort of connection between intelligence, or at least amount of education and atheism. This is of course also the case with sexism, which makes it equally ridiculous for someone to be surprised upon finding a sexist atheist (and I'm not even certain Hitchens is sexist), and additionally, I don't think there is even any research that suggests a correlation between atheism and opposition toward sexism, making the connection not only weak, as in the case of intelligence/education, but completely unsupported.
Again, this is a reply to your latest comment, the one about homeopaths.
Yeah, sadly people are quite able of being reasonable on some issues and completely unreasonable on other. It's the same thing you see argued for by some so called post-modernists who claim that science is just one way of looking at the world. They fail to appreciate the soundess of the scientific method as a way of gaining knowledge. They seem to feel that in some areas, it's fine to forgo attempted objectivity and just believe what you feel like believing.
@ 1:17 Hitch says: "She (Allessandra)has been unable to write this piece (her rebuttal in Vanity Fair) without direct reference to the exceptions that I made, as well as the examples that I gave." and then @ 2:08 - 2:15, Hitch continues: "Female comedians tend to be either dykes or Jews or butch."
So although one can technically claim that Hitch didn't say that ALL or "the only" female comics were dykes and/or Jews, he most certainly DOES state, repeatedly, (and even by quoting himself), that "...female comedians tend to be either dykes or Jews or butch."
Those three little words "tend to be" manage to save him from making an absolute generalization and so allow for exceptions... but it is quite clear that he accepts very few exceptions to his categorization of most female comics as dykes, Jews or butch.
Back a few decades ago, scientists had a view that women shouldn't participate in science b/c "women are too emotional, and science is rational"--in other words a bias that women shouldn't be in science b/c they'll be too biased! Somehow Hitchens is reminding me of this.
People haven't exactly strictly adhered to biological functions. Some functions have been suppressed (anorexia and suicide go against some major instincts) and some are just used for things that are different than the original purpose (sex). Humor could be like that. Some behaviors are also ways to bond with others of the species. Men and women can have different senses of humor, and therefore I think humor is more a way of bonding with the same sex.
Men are usually funnier in a slapstick kind of way. Maybe they are also viewed as funnier b/c they tend to have a lower embarrassment threshold?