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Originally posted by Jenna
Over the years since I first joined ATS, something has been bothering me. There seems to be a persistent belief that women are somehow incapable of understanding some issues or that they should essentially know their place. This isn’t an opinion voiced by all male posters, nor is it my intention to imply such a thing, but it has been voiced on occasion and it typically shows up in the middle of an otherwise civil discussion. What I’d like to understand is why this view is held at all. How did it come about? Why, in this day and age, is it still held at all?
I’ve never considered myself to be much of a feminist, though I suppose this thread would indicate otherwise. I don’t believe that women are oppressed (not any more anyway), that we are victimized or exploited by men daily, or that women are in any way the superior sex. Nor do I believe that we should need to prove ourselves anymore than a man does in order to be taken seriously. I’m not out to demonize all men or call them all sexist pigs, though I’m sure someone will inevitably post without fully reading what I’m saying and claim that I am. In my mind, gender is not an indication of intelligence or worth and no one gender has a monopoly on either. Men and women are equal, different but equal. But I digress, back to the topic at hand.
Literature, mythology, and folklore from virtually every part of the globe contains tales of women who were fierce in battle, leaders of armies, revered leaders of their people, heroines, goddesses of war, etc. Women were not always seen as weak, helpless, and incapable of intelligent thought. This seems to be a relatively new development in the history of mankind. One that I find irritating in general, but significantly more so on a website such as this where we all come to discuss and learn.
As much as I’d like to do otherwise, I’ll refrain from providing direct quotes to avoid pointing fingers at any one poster. The comments that I’m referring to either flat out state or infer that:
- Women are incapable of understanding an issue so complex as the one being discussed;
- They should stick to neutral topics where they will be better capable of contributing;
- Men in a group will each speak their own mind, women in a group will just develop mind-think and agree with the majority because they have no individual opinions;
- Women cannot have an independent/rational/correct thought without first having it explained to them by a man;
- Claims of sexism are unfounded because women irrationally believe that everything is a conspiracy against them.
That’s to say nothing of the rest of the sexist comments one can find here with a quick google search. My focus for this thread though isn’t sexism in general, but the mistaken belief that being female makes someone incapable of original thought and/or incapable of understanding a topic put forth for discussion. What is it that has caused some posters to believe that's true? More importantly, why is it brought up mid-discussion in an attempt to invalidate and demean female posters for doing nothing more than discussing the topic at hand?
The brain is made primarily of two different types of tissue, called gray matter and white matter. This new research reveals that men think more with their gray matter, and women think more with white. Researchers stressed that just because the two sexes think differently, this does not affect intellectual performance.
Psychology professor Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine led the research along with colleagues from the University of New Mexico. Their findings show that in general, men have nearly 6.5 times the amount of gray matter related to general intelligence compared with women, whereas women have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence compared to men.
"These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior," said Haier, adding that, "by pinpointing these gender-based intelligence areas, the study has the potential to aid research on dementia and other cognitive-impairment diseases in the brain."
The results are detailed in the online version of the journal NeuroImage.
Men and women are actually from the same planet, but scientists now have the first strong evidence that the emotional wiring of the sexes is fundamentally different.
An almond-shaped cluster of neurons that processes experiences such as fear and aggression hooks up to contrasting brain functions in men and women at rest, the new research shows.
For men, the cluster "talks with" brain regions that help them respond to sensors for what's going on outside the body, such as the visual cortex and an area that coordinates motor actions.
For women, the cluster communicates with brain regions that help them respond to sensors inside the body, such as the insular cortex and hypothalamus. These areas tune in to and regulate women's hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and respiration.
"Throughout evolution, women have had to deal with a number of internal stressors, such as childbirth, that men haven't had to experience," said study co-author Larry Cahill of the University of California Irvine. "What is fascinating about this is the brain seems to have evolved to be in tune with those different stressors."
The finding, published in the recent issue of the journal NeuroImage, could help researchers learn more about sex-related differences in anxiety, autism, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.
I am a strong feminist. Frankly I don't see this as sexist in any way because it is humour and is not meant to be taken seriously. It made me laugh when I needed a good laugh. You can find sexism in everything if you look for for it but all that happens is you end up miserable. Lighten up! Have a laugh at this it is what is intended.
Originally posted by LadySkadi
reply to post by Aeons
Ah c'mon, you didn't find the information about the Man Cave interesting?
Actually, that's all that I remember from that book. Lol.