• Three Sexist Myths About the Brain, Debunked, by Murali Doraiswamy and Tara Swart

For those who, for some strange reason, place much stock in Scandanavian studies (because Scandanavia is supposedly the most gender fair set of nations in the world), one of the points on this list references a Scandanavian study.

I notice a lot of people like to attempt to defend treating women unfairly by pointing to so-called scientific studies which supposedly show women as a whole are worse at X or Y than most men. I find this tendency to be deplorable.

I don’t wish to reproduce 100% of the article on my blog here, so I would ask that you please use the link below to visit their page read the page in its entirety.

Three Sexist Myths About the Brain, Debunked – published October 2016


 Written by Murali Doraiswamy, Professor, Duke University Health System

Tara Swart, CEO, The Unlimited Mind. She is also a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and coauthor of Neuroscience for Leadership.

….From succeeding in a man’s world, perhaps it is now women who are wired for success? As technology disrupts and levels the playing field, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent, able to handle competing demands and intuitive – traits more traditionally associated with women.

But is there any neuroscientific grounding behind these gender stereotypes?
What is clear from extensive research from institutes such as McMaster University, the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge University is that there are physical differences between a man and a woman’s brain – in structure and chemicals, as well as function.

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• A Letter to Pastors in the Age of #ChurchToo By Maggie Konstanski

A Letter to Pastors in the Age of #ChurchToo By Maggie Konstanski

A few highlights from that page:

… While I have personally found God’s redemption and love for women in these difficult biblical stories, I know countless women who remain frustrated and confused about how God views women.

… Women’s experiences with violence and marginalization inform how we read the Bible; how we relate to God; and how we interact with our brothers.

And for survivors of violence, the church’s unbiblical teachings on gender roles are confusing and harmful.

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• #MeToo Movement Helps To Shed Light on Depression in Men

Some of what this article is discussing some liberals refer to as “Toxic Masculinity,” which is not, contrary to what some conservatives believe, saying that all men are abusive or that masculinity itself is toxic.

Toxic Masculinity refers to rigid societal gender expectations for boys and men, ones which can harm males (as well as females), such as what is discussed in this article.

#MeToo Movement Helps To Shed Light on Depression in Men

In the shadow of #MeToo revolution there is a quieter evolution occurring in the world of men: Famous men are coming forward to discuss their battles with anxiety and depression.

Just this Tuesday, NBA superstar Kevin Love penned a powerful pieceabout a panic attack he suffered during a game on Nov. 5, 2017. It is easy to miss the connection between Love’s story and the fight for gender equality. Males, from boys to old men, are prisoners of our own perceived indestructibility.

Love’s revelations about his battle with anxiety are part of a larger movement to destigmatize mental health and treat it as something more than the blues. Love was inspired by a former teammate, DeMar DeRozan, who himself came forward to discuss his depression in late February.

There are many obstacles to confronting mental health, but a common barrier for men is masculinity and gender expectations of male toughness, which Lovehighlighted, “Growing up, you figure out really quickly how a boy is supposed to act. You learn what it takes to ‘be a man.’ It’s like a playbook: Be strong. Don’t talk about your feelings. Get through it on your own.”

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• Men Depicted as Victims Part 2 – “Depressed, Repressed, Objectified: Are Men the New Women?” by E. Day – Or: Is it Scientifically Plausible That Men Are Innately Dumber Than Women And Do Men Biologically Prefer to Fail School?

 Men Depicted as Victims Part 2 – “Depressed, Repressed, Objectified: Are Men the New Women?” by E. Day – Or: Is it Scientifically Plausible That Men Are Innately Dumber Than Women And Do Men Biologically Prefer to Fail School?

If you’ve seen the blog heading, please do me a favor and read the entire post before tweeting or posting nasty comments at me. Thank you. (Do I seriously think that all men are born dumber than all women, and so on? No. I’m trying to make a point that will become clearer as the post continues.)

I recently found this web page by E. Day below – it was published in 2008. It’s a report filled with quotes by men (and if I remember correctly, a few women) complaining that today, men are victims, that men have life so, so very difficult, those poor things.

What was I just saying in an older post?

I was just saying that my fellow conservatives disparage feminism for one reason of several because they claim that feminism creates a perpetual victim-hood status or victim-hood mentality in girls and women.

But, I noted in that older post, this anti-feminist and conservative supposed disdain for victim-hood mentality sure does not halt all the men in “men’s rights groups,” or conservatives, or other types of anti-feminist men and women, from pitying men, and depicting all men as victims.

Some of the things some of the men complain about in the article below – about how men are supposedly treated so unfairly by women or by culture, or how men have this or that aspect of life more difficult – are actually products of a patriarchal culture – not of feminism.

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• Toxic Femininity, the Flip Side of Toxic Masculinity, and the Love of Scientific- Sounding Jargon to Endorse Sexism – Sexist Beliefs and Practices are Acceptable so Long As There is a Scientific Study That Defends Them

 Toxic Femininity, the Flip Side of Toxic Masculinity, and the Love of Scientific- Sounding Jargon to Endorse Sexism – Sexist Beliefs and Practices are Acceptable so Long As There is a Scientific Study That Defends Them

This is somewhat of a follow-up of a post I just published,

The Flip Side of Toxic Masculinity: Conservatives and Anti-Feminists Have a Desire and Tendency to Depict All Women as Needy, Weak Vessels In Need of Perpetual Rescuing By Big, Strong, Capable Men

I’d say one way Toxic Femininity can be understood or defined would be that it’s Codependency for women.

American culture encourages girls and women to act in a codependent fashion (which encompasses but is not limited to being passive and lacking boundaries). Being a passive, docile, sweet, shy, empathetic, giving doormat are just some of the traits that are considered feminine for women, and are so encouraged in girls and women.

Christian conservatives also have their own version of Toxic Femininity, which is also Codependency for women, which they refer to at this point in time as “Gender Complementarianism,” and sometimes by the terms “Godly Womanhood,” “Biblical Womanhood” or “Biblical Femininity.”

The Christian version of Codependency for Girls and Women is buttressed by arguments, and is supported, by the false rationale and justification that the God of the Bible allegedly designed girls and women to be or act in this passive manner and play followers to male leaders.

Your secular counterparts to this type of outlook tend to base their sexist assumptions and arguments on evolutionary psychology, gender essentialism (or which some refer to as biological essentialism) and biology, usually by way of quoting or citing questionable, open- to- interpretation, or shoddy,  studies or scientific- sounding terms.

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• The Flip Side of Toxic Masculinity: Conservatives and Anti-Feminists Have a Desire and Tendency to Depict All Women as Needy, Weak Vessels In Need of Perpetual Rescuing By Big, Strong, Capable Men

The Flip Side of Toxic Masculinity: Conservatives and Anti-Feminists Have a Desire and Tendency to Depict All Women as Needy, Weak Vessels In Need of Perpetual Rescuing By Big, Strong, Capable Men

I believe I have a post about the subject of Toxic Masculinity on this blog that has been sitting in draft status for the past few months. I don’t know when or if I’ll finish it and post it.

A lot of my fellow conservatives misunderstand the phrase “Toxic Masculinity.” They seem to think that the phrase, which is used by feminists, means that all men are toxic, or that masculinity itself is toxic.

One thing I can say here and now is that when feminists use the phrase “Toxic Masculinity” they are not arguing that all men are abusive, toxic, or that masculinity is necessarily itself bad, wrong, or toxic.

But I don’t care to get into a protracted description or primer on what the term means in this post.

Around the time two hurricanes hit the United States in 2017, one in Texas, one in Florida, other conservatives began circulating photos on Twitter and other social media of male first-responders carrying women through flood waters.

(By the way, I recall seeing a handful of photos at that time of men helping OTHER men who were hurricane victims.  For instance, I remember seeing photos of one young, black gentleman escorting an elderly, white gentlemen through flood waters.

There was even one photo of a woman first-responder assisting a male hurricane victim from his house and through the flooded streets.

I did not see my fellow conservatives make any comments or conclusions about gender in regards to  such male- on- male help or in regards to the female- on- male help photos; they only did so in regards to the photos of male- on- female help.)

The caption under such photos of male- helping- female victims, or commentary accompanying such photos by conservatives, usually conveyed a messages such as,

“Oooh, I bet the Feminists would hate this photo! They would complain! How dare a MAN save and carry a WOMAN through a time of turmoil, such as a flooded street after a hurricane! Such ‘Toxic Masculinity’! Here is your Toxic Masculinity: a man helping a woman, oooh, how wrong that is!”

The problem, of course, is that the dispute with Toxic Masculinity by feminists is not that it’s bad or wrong for a man to help a woman in need.

To say that feminists would object to any man helping any woman who legitimately needs help in a time of tragedy shows a complete ignorance of what the phrase “Toxic Masculinity” means.

Conservative and anti-feminist critics of the concept of “Toxic Masculinity” chaff at the idea that Toxic Masculinity presents all men as being abusive, domineering, cave-men like brutes. (But again, that is not what the term of Toxic Masculinity is saying, but that would require another post for me to explain.)

I was just reading a 2008 book review by Geraldine Bedell about two books, one by an author who I consider to be at least partially anti- feminist, Susan Pinker, (who promotes the notion that all differences between men and women are biological in nature), and one by Susan Faludi.

I was fascinated by the part of the review that discusses Faludi’s book.

While conservatives and other anti-feminists ridicule feminists over the concept of “Toxic Masculinity,” (a concept most of them continue to misunderstand, so that they end up attacking a straw man version of it), the flip side of the coin is that American culture, and other cultures that are heavily biased in favor of men (patriarchal in nature), like to present women as being forever in needing of rescue. It’s a “Damsel in Distress” view of women.

This is so because many to most conservatives and anti-feminists think all women are too physically or mentally weak to save themselves.

If women are capable enough on their own, and if women come to realize that they are generally strong enough on their own, this undercuts the anti-feminist and conservative cherished view of ‘Man As Hero, Protector, and Provider.’

Perhaps they think if women realize they are strong on their own that this puts men out of a job.

In this thinking, women need big, strong, daring men around to guide them in life and rescue them.

Furthermore, in such thinking, the accomplishments of women go ignored or under-reported. Only the heroics of men in national news stories or in history get celebrated or recalled.

Here are excerpts from the 2008 page by Geraldine Bedell, In search of the visible woman

Snippets from that page by Bedell:

…There may well be useful conclusions to be drawn from this [i.e., some of the arguments by Pinker in Pinker’s book].

But the one Pinker draws, that women are naturally more empathetic, is a huge and unsubstantiated leap. Even if it were true on average (and how to tell, given the pervasiveness of culture?), it takes us no further in accommodating the millions of empathetic men and driven women.

Pinker first sets up what is probably a false opposition (public success and empathy are not in fact mutually exclusive) and then wholly fails to account for high-profile women such as Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton or all the women who are running companies and law firms.

Neither, I suspect, could she explain the pioneer-era women profiled in Susan Faludi’s The Terror Dream, who bravely and often viciously fought Native Americans after their menfolk had failed them, usually by running away. These women, Faludi argues, have been airbrushed out of the founding-of-America myth, just as a similar airbrushing is now distorting our accounts of 9/11.

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• Let’s Say Good-Bye To The Straw-Feminist by Cordelia Fine

Let’s Say Good-Bye To The Straw-Feminist by Cordelia Fine

I would really hope that the reader of this blog post clicks on the link I am providing to this editorial, because the few excerpts I provide don’t do it justice.

(Your primer about me: I’m an ex-Republican who is a moderate conservative who disagrees with feminists on some topics but who agrees with them on others.)

I typically try not to excerpt too much from an author’s page, but sometimes, it’s hard for me to know when and where to stop quoting, if a page or article is so very good. This is one of those times.

Let’s Say Good-Bye To The Straw-Feminist by Cordelia Fine, published in 2011

“This was not a permissible hypothesis”.

That was social psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s recent explanation of the outrage that followed Lawrence Summers’ speech at a conference on the under-representation of women in science and engineering, in which he suggested that women are on average intrinsically less capable of high-level mathematical and scientific thinking.

Haidt’s depiction of the way in which scientific thinking can be distorted by “sacred values”, and his portrayal of Lawrence Summers as the victim of censorious political correctness, evoke two familiar protagonists in the sex differences debate. There’s the hero, who doesn’t let political values get in the way of the search for scientific truth. And then, there’s the villain of the piece.

That bogeywoman – the truth-fearing feminist – haunted me during a photo shoot I endured shortly after my book, Delusions of Gender, was published last year.

…In the interminable sex differences debate it always seems to be those who are critical of scientific claims of essential differences who are accused of allowing political desires to blinker them to the facts of the case.

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