Today I want to share Emily Willingham’s excellent article “The Non-Binary Brain.” The subhead makes the article’s politics clear: “Misogynists are fascinated by the idea that human brains are biologically male or female. But they’ve got the science wrong.”
There’s much more to this article than debunking the myth that there are male and female brains. For instance, Willingham connects the ideology of the binary brain to sexist theories about autism, and she compares doing neuroscience to being a blind person who only explores one part of an elephant—the trunk or the foot or the ear. Most importantly, the post features one of my greatest heroines: Daphna Joel.
I suggest you read it if you get a chance. Although I’ve long been familiar with each individual argument, I found the combination of topics and epistemological critiques refreshing.
We are finally, as a country, publicly acknowledging that men have been treating women like shit for ages. Now, even the science that lends support to our iconic gender stereotypes—the science that reinforces the idea that men are biologically programmed to be sex-crazed and that women are basically sex objects—is coming crashing down, too.
“Weltmeisterschaft 2014” by Jürgen Lousberg (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The World Cup is over, Germany gets the fourth star, and I get back to work.
My investigation into the extent to which cerebral plasticity researchers and brain sex/gender difference researchers talked to each other over the course of the 20th century is a bit challenging. I’ve been reading and thinking and emailing people and writing and thinking and reading and attending a Digital Humanities (DH) conference—and suddenly I realized that what I’m doing here is totally a DH project. More importantly, it’s one I need help with. Continue reading →
I want to draw your attention—again—to some fabulous work of others: an incredibly cute owl I encountered on one of the books I’m reading for my summer project, and two remarkable recent weblog posts on experiments in the life sciences. Continue reading →