I’ve just finished reading neuroscientist Cordelia Fine’s insightful book, “Delusions of Gender”. I thoroughly recommended this if you’d like a counterbalance to the Backward Focus ‘neurosexism’ that abounds. As Fine puts it, our cultural beliefs are a ‘messy tangle of mental associations that interact with the social context…when the context activates gendered associations, that tangle serves as a barrier to nonstereotypical self-perception, concerns, emotions, sense of belonging and behaviour.’
When associations are ingrained so strongly from such a young age, it’s hardly surprising that certain combinations sit together uncomfortably – like ‘masculine’ and ‘sensitivity’, or ‘feminine’ and ‘leadership’ – and have far-reaching consequences. Sociologist Michael Kimmel wrote (2008) ‘love, tenderness, nurturance; competence, ambition, assertion – these are human qualities, and all human beings – both women and men – should have equal access to them.
Say “no” to neurosexism…”yes” to breaking barriers!