Monday, 26 September 2011

The Unknown History Of Misandry

Another website I've just discovered - an amazing treasure trove of historical newspaper cuttings, photos, documents all relating to The Unknown History Of Misandry .

It's very mysterious, just seems to have appeared on the net from nowhere about 3 months ago, yet already has so much up there. I have no knowledge of who it is has put it together but I can tell I'm going to be wading through it for quite some time.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sexism Busters

Just a quick one to plug a new site, which you may have heard about on AVFM last night. Its creator, Tom Martin, is currently suing the London School Of Economics Gender Studies department for sex discrimination, which will be quite a landmark case, should he win. There's more background information at his site, which I recommend you check out. And donate if you are able, it's for a very good cause.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

20th Century Notions Of Gender

Reading the latest, as always, superbly concise & thought-provoking post by The Damned Olde Man I was struck by how good an overview of the 20th century's conceptions of gender it is, how the pendulum swinging back & forth through the 1950's & 60's - the rabid anticommunism of the McCarthy era leading to rebellious youths embracing of Marxist theory a generation later - ended up with the widespread normalization of first Marxist then Feminist thought. By the mid-1980's feminism's bizarre conspiracy theory of history became that of society at large.

But the other thought that strikes me about this is that the pendulum has kept swinging & that seems to now have changed: The kind of discussion we are now having about these matters in the manosphere & increasingly in mainstream media simply couldn't have been had anywhere 25 years ago. I hadn't really noted it as that before - the turn of the century being the actual cut-off point of the hold of that ideology - but it seems to me right now that that is the case. Feminism is so 20th century.

That feels quite revelatory to me. I hope TDOM doesn't mind me reproducing so much of his piece here, out of context - I was going to just use a paragraph or two but it works much better as a whole. The full article can be found here.

I’ve often viewed feminism as neither left nor right by nature. Instead it is, as many feminists freely admit, a gender issue and there are members of both genders on either side of the political spectrum. 
I think early feminists adopted the leftist view as a matter of strategy and for recruitment purposes. The Marxist approach to economics was easily adaptable to cultural practices. All it took to draw in membership was to convince people that women are disadvantaged. With societal structures predominantly populated with men, this was easy enough to do. The term “patriarchy” was redefined and used for this purpose. first wave feminists laid the groundwork and second wave feminists became the foot soldiers.

Aligning themselves with cultural Marxist idealism served another purpose as well. The communist witch hunts of the McCarthy era resulted in a popularization of Marxism during which time, it became chic to be openly Marxist and difficult, if not destructive, for opponents of Marxism to speak out against them; the fear of being identified as a “hatemonger” keeping opponents in line.

At first, feminism was only a part of the liberal movement of the 60s but by the mid-80s it had eclipsed the movement itself and liberalism had become more or less synonymous with feminism to the point that one could not be leftist and not be feminist.

On the right, the movement was more subtle. Women were already being pedestalized by white knight chivalry as standard practice. The leftist acceptance of the women as victim model was simply transferred to the right. One did not have to adopt the value system to accept the model. In fact, on the right women were already seen as helpless. All that was needed was to turn “helpless” into “victim.” The second wave feminist could fight the battles and the conservative feminist would move out of the way and then reap the rewards.

The chivalrist ideal was prevalent on the left as well. For more liberal chivalrists it was easy to accept feminists because of their Marxist position. They simply incorporated feminism into their own leftist idealism and became collaborationists (manginas as they are sometimes called). The right wing chivalrist (the white knight) picked up on the woman as victim mantra and rushed to her rescue.

Feminism transcends left and right. It is neither and it is both. It favors wealth and cultural redistribution from male to female while seeking to establish a totalitarian police state to control the “oppressor class.” To that end it has abandoned the liberal ideal of personal freedom and liberty for all, in favor of personal freedom and liberty for the new feminist oppressor class while restricting liberty and freedom for the new oppressed class (male). It seeks to replace what it calls patriarchy with matriarchy (which can now be equated with female supremacism). Thus while claiming to hold the liberal ideal of “equality” feminism has in reality adopted the conservative ideal of a ruling class superior to that of the working class and with more rights and privilege and the full force of the state to enforce that privilege.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Men Are From Mars. Women Are From Venus. Sun-Ra Was From Saturn.

As a follow-up to the last post, a recent article in New Scientist by Laura Spinney caught my eye. Called Mars and Venus Collide it took a look at the current state of play in regards to biological differences between men & women. In my opinion it tried to play it too safe in regard to the Nature/Nurture debate to really have much of a position at all but here's a couple of extracts I found of interest:

Why do girls prefer dolls and boys cars? Some put it down to cultural influences that prepare children to take on stereotypical gender roles as adults. Now consider this: male vervet monkeys prefer cars even though they have never been primed to do so (Evolution and Human Behavior, vol 23, p467), and girls who have a hormonal disorder that means they produce too much testosterone prefer them, too. This suggests an innate component to toy choice, which may be amplified by socialisation processes after birth.

Intriguing new research by Margaret McCarthy at the University of Maryland in College Park points - to the neurobiology underlying sex-specific play preferences - in rats, at least. Her group found that the amygdalae, twin brain structures that are important for processing emotional and social cues, contain between 30 and 5O per cent more of a type of brain cell called glial cells in female rats than in males. Male brains, meanwhile, had higher levels of endocannabinoids - naturally occurring molecules that stimulate the same neural circuits as the active ingredient in cannabis. However, when the researchers injected day-old female rats with a dose of a cannabis-like substance, they found that after three days the proportion of glial cells in their amygdalae was the same level as in males. These females now played like male pups too - they played 30 to 40 per cent more than regular females, and indulged in much more rough-and-tumble play (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol 107, p 20535). The main structural differences between male and female rat brains all have parallels in humans, and researchers believe that all mammals have the same neural mechanisms underlying key survival behaviours.


For years, the accepted view was that all embryos start out the same - the default sex being female. Then during the first trimester, in individuals that have inherited a Y chromosone, a gene called sry, for sex-determining region Y, switches on the development of the testes. These start pumping out testosterone and by the time a baby boy is born, the "default" female brain has become masculine.

We now know that's not quite how it works. As it turns out there are "pro-female" as well as "pro-male" genes, and that sexual differentiation is governed by a delicate balance between the two. In 2006, for example, Pietro Parma at the University of Pavia in Italy, and colleagues, reported that a gene called r-spondin1 promotes the development of the ovaries, and that without it individuals who are genetically female grow up physically and psychologically male, although they have ambiguous external genitalia and are sterile (Nature Genetics, Vol 38, p 1304).


There are clear differences in the types of mental illness and learning difficulties that males and females experience. Boys are much more vulnerable to developmental difficulties than girls. For example, boys are between six and 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, four times as likely to be affected by language disorders such as dyslexia, and a conservative estimate suggests that boys are twice as likely to suffer from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The picture is more chequered for adults, but the differences are still dramatic. Major depression is twice as common in women, while men are more susceptible to alchohol dependence and antisocial personality disorder. Even in conditions for which the prevalence is the same in both sexes, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, there are differences in age of onset and symptoms.

Melissa Hines, who studies gender development at the University of Cambridge, reckons sex differences in such conditions are the result of different vulnerabilities due to the distinct ways in which those brains are wired. We know, for example, that the amygdalae, a pair of brain structures important for processing emotions such as fear and aggression, are bigger in men, while the hippocampi, critical for memory, are bigger in women. Such brain differences are shaped by a combination of genes, hormones and the environment. "It's all of these things together that make the final outcome." says Hines.


As for Sun Ra , he doesn't have very much to do with this post at all. But the Mars/Venus thing always makes me think of him. And he did come from Saturn. Here's my favourite tune by him, anyway:

Friday, 9 September 2011

Sex Differences In The Brain

Recently I got into a debate with someone in cyberspace about the biological differences between the brains of men & women, during which I made what I thought was a pretty  safe statement by saying studies show there are innate differences in place in the structure of male & female brains even while still in the womb. I was asked, with some annoyance, what studies? 

So, in response, I put together a list of studies & scientific papers relating to differences most specifically between the brain structure & function of males & females, but also a few that are related to the wider question of innate sex differences. There were obviously many more I could have included but kept with the ones that most clearly referred to this specific issue & whose titles made plain their position.

I reproduce it here as it may be found useful to others in similar situations.


Arnold, A. P. (2004). "Sex chromosomes and brain gender." Nat Rev Neurosci 5 (9): 701-8.
Arnold, A. P., J. Xu, et al. (2004). "Minireview: Sex chromosomes and brain sexual differentiation." Endocrinology 145 (3): 1057-62.
Bachevalier, J., C. Hagger, et al. (1989). "Gender differences in visual habit formation in 3-month-old rhesus monkeys." Dev Psychobiol 22 (6): 585-99.
Baron-Cohen, S., R. C. Knickmeyer, et al. (2005). "Sex differences in the brain: Implications for explaining autism." Science 310 (5749): 819-23.
Bayliss, A. P., G. di Pellegrino, et al. (2005). "Sex differences in eye gaze and symbolic cueing of attention." Q J Exp Psychol A 58 (4): 631-50.
Berkley, K. (2002). "Pain: Sex/Gender differences." In Hormones, Brain and Behavior, ed. D. W. Pfaff, vol. 5, 409-42. San Diego: Academic Press.
Brody, L. R. (1985). "Gender differences in emotional development: A review of theories and research." J Pers 53:102-49.
Buss, D. M. (1995). "Psychological sex differences. Origins through sexual selection." Am Psychol 50 (3): 164-68; discussion 169-71.
Canli, T., J. E. Desmond, et al. (2002). "Sex differences in the neural basis of emotional memories." Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99 (16): 10789-94.
Carter, C. S. (1992). "Oxytocin and sexual behavior." Neurosci Biobehav Rev 16 (2): 131-44.
Collaer, M. L., and M. Hines (1995). "Human behavioral sex differences: A role for gonadal hormones during early development?" Psychol Bull 118 (1): 55-107.
Derbyshire, S. W., T. E. Nichols, et al. (2002). "Gender differences in patterns of cerebral activation during equal experience of painful laser stimulation." J Pain 3 (5): 401-11.
DeVries, G. J. (1999). "Brain sexual dimorphism and sex differences in parental and other social behaviors." In C. S. Carter, I. I. Lederhendler, and B. Kirkpatrick,
eds., The Integrative Neurobiology of Affiliation, 155-68. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Dluzen, D. E. (2005). "Estrogen, testosterone, and gender differences." Endocrine 27 (3): 259-68.
Fernandez-Guasti, A., F. P. Kruijver, et al. (2000). "Sex differences in the distribution of androgen receptors in the human hypothalamus." J Comp Neurol 425 (3): 422-35.
Giedd, J. N., F. X. Castellanos, et al. (1997). "Sexual dimorphism of the developing human brain." Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 21 (8):1185-201.
Gizewski, E. R., E. Krause, et al. (2006). "Gender-specific cerebral activation during cognitive tasks using functional MRI: Comparison of women in midluteal phase and men." Neuroradiology 48 (1): 14-20.
Goldstein, J. M., M. Jerram, et al. (2005). "Sex differences in prefrontal cortical brain activity during FMRI of auditory verbal working memory." Neuropsychology 19 (4): 509-19.
Goldstein, J. M., L. J. Seidman, et al. (2001). "Normal sexual dimorphism of the adult human brain assessed by in vivo magnetic resonance imaging." Cereb Cortex 11 (6): 490-97.
Gur, R. C., F. Gunning-Dixon, et al. (2002). "Sex differences in temporo-limbic and frontal brain volumes of healthy adults." Cereb Cortex 12 (9): 998-1003.
Gur, R. C., F. M. Gunning-Dixon, et al. (2002). "Brain region and sex differences in age association with brain volume: A quantitative MRI study of healthy young adults." Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 10 (1): 72-80.
Gur, R. C., L. H. Mozley, et al. (1995). "Sex differences in regional cerebral glucose metabolism during a resting state." Science 267 (5197): 528-31.
Halari, R., M. Hines, et al. (2005). "Sex differences and individual differences in cognitive performance and their relationship to endogenous gonadal hormones and gonadotropins." Behav Neurosci 119 (1): 104-17.
Halari, R., and V. Kumari (2005). "Comparable cortical activation with inferior performance in women during a novel cognitive inhibition task." Behav Brain Res 158 (1): 167-73.
Halari, R., T. Sharma, et al. (2006). "Comparable fMRI activity with differential behavioural performance on mental rotation and overt verbal fluency tasks in healthy men and women." Exp Brain Res 169 (1): 1-14.
Hines, M. (2002). "Sexual differentiation of human brain and behavior." In Hormones, Brain and Behavior, ed. D. W. Pfaff, vol. 4, 425-62. San Diego: Academic Press.
Hines, M., S. F. Ahmed, et al. (2003). "Psychological outcomes and genderrelated development in complete androgen insensitivity syndrome." Arch Sex Behav 32 (2): 93-101.
Hines, M., C. Brook, et al. (2004). "Androgen and psychosexual development: Core gender identity, sexual orientation and recalled childhood gender role behavior in women and men with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)." J Sex Res 41 (1): 75-81.
Hines, M., and F. R. Kaufman (1994). "Androgen and the development of human sex-typical behavior: Rough-and-tumble play and sex of preferred playmates in children with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)." Child Dev 65 (4): 1042-53.
Hittelman, J. H. (1979). "Sex differences in neonatal eye contact time." Merrill-Palmer Q 25:171-84.
Jausovec, N., and K. Jausovec (2005). "Sex differences in brain activity related to general and emotional intelligence." Brain Cogn 59 (3): 277-86.
Jordan, K., T. Wustenberg, et al. (2002). "Women and men exhibit different cortical activation patterns during mental rotation tasks." Neuropsychologia 40 (13): 2397-408.
Knaus, T. A., A. M. Bollich, et al. (2004). "Sex-linked differences in the anatomy of the perisylvian language cortex: A volumetric MRI study of gray matter volumes." Neuropsychology 18 (4): 738-47.
Kruijver, F. P., A. Fernandez-Guasti, et al. (2001). "Sex differences in androgen receptors of the human mamillary bodies are related to endocrine status rather than to sexual orientation or transsexuality." J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86 (2): 818-27.
Lee, T. M., H. L. Liu, et al. (2002). "Gender differences in neural correlates of recognition of happy and sad faces in humans assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging." Neurosci Lett 333 (1): 131-36.
Lee, T. M., H. L. Liu, et al. (2005). "Neural activities associated with emotion recognition observed in men and women." Mol Psychiatry 10 (5): 450-55.
Li, C. S., T. R. Kosten, et al. (2005). "Sex differences in brain activation during stress imagery in abstinent cocaine users: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study." Biol Psychiatry 57 (5): 487-94.
Li, H., S. Pin, et al. (2005). "Sex differences in cell death." Ann Neurol 58 (2): 317-21.
Li, Z. J., H. Matsuda, et al. (2004). "Gender difference in brain perfusion 99mTc- ECD SPECT in aged healthy volunteers after correction for partial volume effects." Nucl Med Commun 25 (10): 999-1005.
McClure, E. B. (2000). "A meta-analytic review of sex differences in facial expression processing and their development in infants, children, and adolescents." Psychol Bull 126 (3): 424-53.
McClure, E. B., C. S. Monk, et al. (2004). "A developmental examination of gender differences in brain engagement during evaluation of threat." Biol Psychiatry 55 (11): 1047-55.
Maccoby, E. E., and C. N. Jacklin (1973). "Stress, activity, and proximity seeking: Sex differences in the year-old child." Child Dev 44 (1): 34-42.
Madden, T. E., L. F. Barrett, et al. (2000). "Sex differences in anxiety and depression: Empirical evidence and methodological questions." In Gender and Emotion: Social Psychological Perspectives: Studies in Emotion and Social Interaction, ed. A. H. Fischer, 2nd series, 277-98. New York: Cambridge University
Mogi, K., T. Funabashi, et al. (2005). "Sex difference in the response of melaninconcentrating hormone neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area to glucose, as revealed by the expression of phosphorylated cyclic adenosine 3', 5'- monophosphate response element-binding protein." Endocrinology 146 (8):
Muscarella, F., V. A. Elias, et al. (2004). "Brain differentiation and preferred partner characteristics in heterosexual and homosexual men and women." Neuro Endocrinol Lett 25 (4): 297-301.
Naliboff, B. D., S. Berman, et al. (2003). "Sex-related differences in IBS patients: Central processing of visceral stimuli." Gastroenterology 124 (7): 1738-47.
Nawata, H., T. Yanase, et al. (2004). "Adrenopause." Horm Res 62 (Suppl. 3): 110-14.
Nishida, Y., M. Yoshioka, et al. (2005). "Sexually dimorphic gene expression in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and cortex." Genomics 85 (6): 679-87.
Oatridge, A., A. Holdcroft, et al. (2002). "Change in brain size during and after pregnancy: Study in healthy women and women with preeclampsia." AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 23 (1): 19-26.
Overman, W. H., J. Bachevalier, et al. (1996). "Cognitive gender differences in very young children parallel biologically based cognitive gender differences in monkeys." Behav Neurosci 110 (4): 673-84.
Plante, E., V. J. Schmithorst, et al. (2006). "Sex differences in the activation of language cortex during childhood." Neuropsychologia 44 (7): 1210-21.
Putnam, K., G. P. Chrousos, et al. (2005). "Sex-related differences in stimulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during induced gonadal suppression." J Clin Endocrinol Metab 90 (7): 4224-31.
Qian, S. Z., Y. Cheng Xu, et al. (2000). "Hormonal deficiency in elderly males." Int J Androl 23 (Suppl. 2): 1-3.
Rahman, Q. (2005). "The neurodevelopment of human sexual orientation." Neurosci Biobehav Rev 29 (7): 1057-66.
Roalf, D., N. Lowery, et al. (2006). "Behavioral and physiological findings of gender differences in global-local visual processing." Brain Cogn 60 (1): 32-42.
Romeo, R. D., H. N. Richardson, et al. (2002). "Puberty and the maturation of the male brain and sexual behavior: Recasting a behavioral potential." Neurosci Biobehav Rev 26 (3): 381-91.
Romeo, R. D., and C. L. Sisk (2001). "Pubertal and seasonal plasticity in the amygdala." Brain Res 889 (1-2): 71-77.
Rose, A. B., D. P. Merke, et al. (2004). "Effects of hormones and sex chromosomes on stress-influenced regions of the developing pediatric brain." Ann NY Acad Sci 1032:231-33.
Rotter, N. G. (1988). "Sex differences in the encoding and decoding of negative facial emotions." Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 12:139-48.
Routtenberg, A. (2005). "Estrogen changes wiring of female rat brain during the estrus/menstrual cycle." Society for Neuroscience meeting, Washington, DC.
Sa, S. I., and M. D. Madeira (2005). "Neuronal organelles and nuclear pores of hypothalamic ventromedial neurons are sexually dimorphic and change during the estrus cycle in the rat." Neuroscience 133 (4): 919-24.
Schirmer, A., and S. A. Kotz (2003). "ERP evidence for a sex-specific Stroop effect in emotional speech." J Cogn Neurosci 15 (8): 1135-48.
Schirmer, A., T. Striano, et al. (2005). "Sex differences in the preattentive processing of vocal emotional expressions." Neuroreport 16 (6): 635-39.
Schirmer, A., S. Zysset, et al. (2004). "Gender differences in the activation of inferior frontal cortex during emotional speech perception." Neuroimage 21 (3): 1114-23.
Seeman, T. E., B. Singer, et al. (2001). "Gender differences in age-related changes in HPA axis reactivity." Psychoneuroendocrinology 26 (3): 225-40.
Seidlitz, L., and E. Diener (1998). "Sex differences in the recall of affective experiences." J Pers Soc Psychol 74 (1): 262-71.
Shaywitz, B. A., S. E. Shaywitz, et al. (1995). "Sex differences in the functional organization of the brain for language." Nature 373 (6515): 607-9.
Shirao, N., Y. Okamoto, et al. (2005). "Gender differences in brain activity toward unpleasant linguistic stimuli concerning interpersonal relationships: An fMRI study." Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 255 (5): 327-33.
Sininger, Y. (1998). "Gender distinctions and lateral asymmetry in the low-level auditory brainstem response of the human neonate." Hearing Research 128:58-66.
Sokhi, D. S., M. D. Hunter, et al. (2005). "Male and female voices activate distinct regions in the male brain." Neuroimage 27 (3): 572-78.
Spelke, E. S. (2005). "Sex differences in intrinsic aptitude for mathematics and science?: A critical review." Am Psychol 60 (9): 950-58.
Staley, J. K., G. Sanacora, et al. (2006). "Sex differences in diencephalon serotonin transporter availability in major depression." Biol Psychiatry 59 (1): 40-47.
Stroud, L. R., G. D. Papandonatos, et al. (2004). "Sex differences in the effects of pubertal development on responses to a corticotropin-releasing hormone challenge: The Pittsburgh psychobiologic studies." Ann NY Acad Sci 1021:348-51.
Swaab, D. F., W. C. Chung, et al. (2001). "Structural and functional sex differences in the human hypothalamus." Horm Behav 40 (2): 93-98.
Swaab, D. F., L. J. Gooren, et al. (1995). "Brain research, gender and sexual orientation." J Homosex 28 (3-4): 283-301.
Wager, T. D., and K. N. Ochsner (2005). "Sex differences in the emotional brain." Neuroreport 16 (2): 85-87.
Walker, Q. D., M. B. Rooney, et al. (2000). "Dopamine release and uptake are greater in female than male rat striatum as measured by fast cyclic voltammetry." Neuroscience 95 (4): 1061-70.
Wallen, K. (2005). "Hormonal influences on sexually differentiated behavior in nonhuman primates." Front Neuroendocrinol 26 (1): 7-26.
Weinberg, M. K. (1999). "Gender differences in emotional expressivity and selfregulation during early infancy." Dev Psychol 35 (1): 175-88.
Witelson, S. F., H. Beresh, et al. (2006). "Intelligence and brain size in 100 postmortem brains: Sex, lateralization and age factors." Brain 129 (Pt. 2): 386-98.
Witelson, S. F. (1995). "Women have greater density of neurons in posterior temporal cortex." J Neurosci 15 (5, Pt. 1): 3418-28.
Wrase, J., S. Klein, et al. (2003). "Gender differences in the processing of standardized emotional visual stimuli in humans: A functional magnetic resonance imaging study." Neurosci Lett 348 (1): 41-45.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Esther Vilar

"Someday it will dawn on man that woman does not read the wonderful books with which he has filled his libraries, and though she may well admire his marvelous works of art in museums, she herself will rarely create, only copy."

- Esther Vilar, author of The Manipulated Man.

Reminds me of that other favourite quote of mine, by Camille Paglia. I like it so much let's hear it again:

“Let us stop being small-minded about men and freely acknowledge what treasures their obsessiveness has poured into culture.We could make an epic catalog of male achievements, from paved roads, indoor plumbing, and washing machines to eyeglasses, antibiotics and disposable diapers. We enjoy fresh, safe milk and meat, and vegetables and tropical fruits heaped in snowbound cities. When I cross George Washington bridge or any of America’s great bridges, I think: men have done this. Construction is a sublime male poetry. When I see a giant crane passing on a flatbed truck, I pause in awe and reverence, as one would for a church procession. What power of conception, what grandiosity: these cranes tie us to ancient Egypt, where monumental architecture was first imagined and achieved. If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.”

We haven't lived in a world where mens unique & astonishing achievements have been acknowledged & praised in quite awhile. I hope some day we will again.

Interview With Barbara Kay

This is great. An interview with the writer Barbara Kay from Canadian TV a few years back. Wonderfully clear-headed overview of the extent of feminisms influence on the courts, education, government policies, & society in general.