UK’s Science Museum forced to re-think transgender ‘Brain Sex’ exhibit after feminist complaints

September 14, 2016

blog-who-am-i3.

For the last six years London’s Science Museum has been indoctrinating children into the false pseudoscience of “Brain Sex” via an exhibit designed by transgender activists called “Boy or Girl?” The exhibit was dually funded by the UK government and drug company GlaxoSmithKlein

According to the website of transgender lobbying youth group Gendered Intelligence the creation of the exhibit was overseen by Dr. Jay Stewart, whose doctorate was awarded in art by Goldsmiths College. Stewart is a testosterone-injecting woman who identifies as transgender.

From the Gendered Intelligence website:

“Dr. Jay Stewart

Jay is co-founder of Gendered Intelligence and chairs the Board of Directors. Jay carries out and oversees the main activities that take place across the organisation. Recently Jay has lead on the projects: ‘What makes your gender? Hacking into the Science Museum’ – a £10,000 project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund with the Science Museum, London – and ‘GI’s Anatomy: a life drawing project for trans and intersex people’ – a £30,000 project funded by the Welcome Trust carried out in collaboration with Central School of Speech & Drama, London Drawing and the Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock Clinic, NHS Trust. Jay also delivers much of the youth group sessions and is a mentor.”

 

The ‘Boy or Girl?’ exhibit at the Science Museum taught visitors falsehoods about the science behind sex-stereotypes, claiming traditions of ‘gender’ which privilege males and subordinate females through social rituals of male domination and female submission are ‘hard wired’ in the brain. The museum also presented displays of pharmacology and sex-based prosthetics (breast implants, silicone penises) to children as examples of medical interventions to help them conform to stereotypes of gender.

sciencemuseum-pink-brains

 

Included in the exhibit is a ghastly ‘test’ that children can take to determine if they have ‘Pink’ female brains or ‘Blue’ male brains. You can take the test here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/b6ac84f6af9d96f07bbec691a393145faeedeb5b.swf

Feminists have criticized the display for years but recent complaints from the feminist parent’s groups FourthWaveNow and TransgenderTrend have succeeded in raising public awareness widely on the issue.

Today the ScienceMuseum announced it would finally take steps to modify the anti-scientific and offensive exhibit.

Excerpted from the ScienceMuseum blog post “A question of sex, gender and how to keep museums up to date” By Alex Tyrrell | 14 September 2016:

“In the past week many of these questions and challenges have been playing on my mind, following a lively discussion on social media about an exhibit on the science of sex and gender in our Who Am I? gallery, which explores the wealth of scientific ideas that inform our understanding of human identity.

I worked on Who Am I? when it was last refreshed back in 2010 and the aim at the time was to present the cutting-edge scientific knowledge of the day on what makes us us, me me and you you. I headed up a team of researchers (we call them Content Developers) who spent many months scouring scientific journals and interviewing countless inspiring researchers from around the world. We also worked with a vast network of eminent geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists and other experts to create the gallery.

Scientific accuracy is vital to the Museum – our reputation depends on it – and we put in place rigorous processes to ensure we get things right, from expert advisory boards who look at the broad messages in an exhibition, to subject specialists who are invited to scrutinise every word we write.

It is now six years since Who am I? was updated – and much of the research featured in the gallery is a decade older. The exhibit in the gallery that has recently received attention on Twitter is titled Boy or Girl? It features stories, objects and research including studies into sexual preference and behaviour, tests to see the sex of an unborn baby, and a section looking at gender identity and the evidence for biological differences between the sexes.

The thinking behind Who am I? – and the sex and gender display in particular – was to communicate the latest research clearly and accurately, but we also believe that featuring contributions from other viewpoints and disciplines is essential when examining a question as complex and profoundly personal as ‘who am I?’.

With this in mind, we chose to include work from numerous artists (including, most famously, Antony Gormley’s Iron Baby) and stories from a range of people who are personally involved in the issues covered. In the sections of Who am I? that examine gender and sex, for instance, we collaborated with a transgender person – ‘Alex’ – whose experiences feature in one of the gallery exhibits.

Some of the comments we have received question the accuracy of the science in the exhibition – and the words and images we chose to explain it. Words such as ‘hardwired’, for instance, which feature on several labels, are today especially and understandably controversial when used in combination with ideas like gender.

Other concerns have been raised about an interactive game in the gallery that explores the male and female brain. Specifically, the game presents studies scientists have carried out to investigate if there are small differences on average in the way that men and women complete certain tasks, largely based around the recognition of abstract shapes and patterns. This game – which dates back 16 years to the gallery’s inception – was designed to be tongue in cheek and provocative (think silly voices akin to a Pathé news reel) and visitors are invited to take some of the real tests that scientists used, scoring male or female ‘brain points’ on a ‘sex-o-meter’ that is coloured pink and blue.

As a Museum we always attempt to present ideas in different ways – labels and objects but also games, animations and ‘interactives’ – and in this case the artistic licence taken in the year 2000 to create a provocative exhibit appears outdated. Certainly from preliminary work looking at the latest scientific evidence, the ideas presented are now in question.

Social attitudes also change. We have received responses from visitors who are concerned about how we feature transgender issues, which are now very much more in the public consciousness than they were back in 2010, let alone the year 2000.

The idea of Who am I? was always to raise questions. We present issues in ways that provoke debate, however we would never want to compromise the accuracy of the content on display.

Of course we would like to keep all of our galleries and exhibitions up-to-date, but with many thousands of objects on show and finite resources and time this is not always possible.

However, with an issue of such scientific and cultural importance as this we have decided it is essential that we look again at the exhibit. We are now talking to leading experts in neuroscience and clinical psychology to consider whether the latest scientific evidence warrants making changes to our exhibit.

Science moves fast, and while it isn’t always possible for us to keep up, on some issues it is essential that we quicken our pace to make sure we haven’t been left behind.

Watch this space for further details.”

 

Read the full post here:

https://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/a-question-of-sex-gender-and-how-to-keep-museums-up-to-date/

 

science-museum-brain-sex[Actual screencap of Science Museum test administered to youth]

57 Responses to “UK’s Science Museum forced to re-think transgender ‘Brain Sex’ exhibit after feminist complaints”

  1. 4thwavenow Says:

    Thank you for this excellent post. Even Pink News managed to report this without calling us all a bunch of TERFs.

    And the Guardian, too!
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/14/science-museum-under-fire-exhibit-brains-pink-blue-gender-stereotypes

    • GallusMag Says:

      That’s interesting- the Guardian posted as I was composing mine apparently. Both of those articles managed to “trans wash” the exhibit and solely report on the complaints about the pink and blue brain test. Perhaps that is why they didn’t call you TERFs.

      Even the Science Museum post managed to respond to complaints about “hardwired” gender identity (the photo I use was taken from their blog). Yet both the Guardian and Pink News failed to report. Interesting.

      • Hedda Gabler Says:

        Whoever wrote the sign clearly wasn’t quite sure about the hard-wired gender identity either. It comes across as more of an endorsement that this is the position of some people, but not necessarily as a statement of it being an established scientific theory that is considered to be true unless conclusively proven to be false. I think the whole sign comes across as some poor soul being told to come up with something about gender and the brain and they tried very hard to not offend people – apparently and predictably not entirely successfully.


    • Pink News states that it’s the Green Party that has forced the museum to rethink its “science”. While that may be true, it’s trying to write out feminist criticism of transgenderism.
      It’s Like, they’re being forced to admit they’re wrong, but they refuse to admit feminists were the ones who were right all along.
      Annoying.

  2. Anemone Says:

    How is the test ghastly? I’m not keen on the graphics, but the tests are tests that scientists have given that have found small sex differences at least some of the time. I personally would love to do the one that tests fine motor coordination (something that either women are better at, or people with smaller fingers are better at, or both – I don’t think there’s consensus), mostly because I’d probably be really really bad at it. If they could also demonstrate stereotype threat somehow (in a way that test takers could see happening, for example pretest-exposure-posttest), that would be better. I’m not sure how you would make that fun, but I’m sure there’s a way. Maybe pick something arbitrary that has nothing to do with social status, like having someone do a test, then randomly tell them that people with names starting with the first letter of their name tend to do better or worse, then test them again to see how that affects their score, then show them accumulated scores for the two groups.

    My concern would be anything that gives the message that differences that might exist would be relevant in any way. I mean, it’s more of a curiosity than anything that women distinguish colours a bit better on average than men do, or have a better sense of smell, for whatever reasons, genetic or environmental. (And I don’t think it’s part of popular stereotypes on sex differences, is it?) Unless there’s an actual difference that affects how people function in the world and women are discriminated against because of it. (I can’t think of anything off the top of my head that would qualify, except perhaps noise sensitivity, but I don’t think any differences are big enough for that.) There are plenty of people who think extroverts are superior to introverts, but the solution to that isn’t to say there’s no such thing. Extroversion is well-established (and is slightly higher in women – we talk too much, amirite?).

    I’m more concerned about “But whether you feel male or female is a part of your identity only you can define.” How does one feel male or female???

    [Yes, I’ve read Cordelia Fine. She says we know there are sex differences between the ears, just that it’s really hard to figure out what they are.]

    • Marm Says:

      Tests that allegedly distinguish differences between male and female brains cannot remove the socialization damage.

      If boys and girls were taught the same things, the same way, from an early age, and also treated the same way by the culture at large, I suspect that the differences between XX and XY brains would be very, very slight.

      I also suspect that none of these tests/research were performed on other cultures to contract the “differences” in very patriarchal v.s. more egalitarian societies, and how that affects the brain.

    • Siobhan Says:

      I’m really, really good at visualizing things in 3-dimensions and also in mentally rotating things. It is really insulting to me to be told that these are “male traits.” Because I am not male, I am a woman (bio female, egg-producing, menstruating, baby-birthing, all the things that are the exclusive domain of females) and have been reminded of my femaleness my entire life. While it is true that the bell curve may vary between male and female subjects when measuring certain traits, it is insulting to just declare these sexed traits.

      • Dogtowner Says:

        My mother was an anthropologist and made an excellent point. Whenever differences are recorded between any two groups of people (and Cordelia Fine points out how differences SELL better than similarities), it is important to remember that the differences are minute and the similarities overwhelming.

      • Anemone Says:

        I’m good at those too, but as an autistic woman, I don’t have a problem with being labelled with a “masculine” brain. I mean, I’m not typical for a woman regardless, because my language/communication is weak, and I have often ended up in male-dominated domains, but I’m still a woman and could never pass for a man, no matter how much T I took. All it means is that some environments will probably have more men than women no matter what, while others will have more women than men, no matter what. (Though if the world were fair they’d be less unbalanced than they are now.)

        The part I object to is where some people assume “masculine” is superior. Like how girls who were good at science/not so good at English in my high school were praised for it. That’s gotta go. And how feminine domains pay less. The solution is to see “feminine” as just as good if not better (women make better managers, on average), rather than push women to enter “masculine” domains.

      • ByJove Says:

        I like your last reply here, Anemone.

    • Dogtowner Says:

      Thanks so much for this link!

      One must be very wary of so-called science. It is often heavily infused with religion and social norms — the utter specialness of human beings, heavy genderism, racism, etc. Unfortunately, Glosswatch’s absurdist exhibitions are not that far from reality as we can see from this post. Pink brains, indeed! And, no, I do not have a male brain (thank god), I have my brain, neither male nor female.

      • brandi1986 Says:

        Every brain either belongs to a male or female, so saying that a brain is neither is just silly. The idea that there are no differences between the male and female brains when differences can be seen through out the male and female body is just ridiculous.

        Males and females have different kinds of bodies, different reproductive systems, yet I’m supposed to believe that males and females can’t have different brains? Am I supposed to believe that humans just stopped evolving differently above the neck?

        I think two things are going on. You have transgendered people saying that the differences in the male and female brains are based on some superficial crap like what your favorite color is or what kind of clothes you wear. All so they can claim to have a female brain the minute they slap on some pink lipstick and a purple dress. This is what transgendered people want to believe because it goes along with the trans narrative. If there are any real differences between the male and female brain, then it will go far beyond this superficial silliness that transgendered people push.

        Then on the other hand you have some feminist who will completely deny that any real difference exist between the male and female brain. They deny any differences exist because it doesn’t fit in with the political views they have. They acknowledge the difference between the male and female body, but are in complete denial when it comes to any possible differences in the brains of the different sexes.

        They are both ridiculous. I refuse to take either seriously.

    • lin Says:

      “[W]e explore what it means to be anorexic or bulimic … and listen to the story of Mary, a young woman who discovered her true identity by starving herself down to five stone and dying of heart failure.

      “Our display includes objects selected by members of the community: laxatives, scales, an actual toothbrush used for self-induced vomiting, carrier bags of actual bulimic vomit, Mary’s daily diet (two Polo mints) and some age seven jeans worn by Mary shortly before her death.

      “A fun way for young people to explore issues of identity and self!”

      It sounds like a real blast.

      “Discovered her true identity” … where have we heard that before?

  3. IronBatMaiden Says:

    The fact that it was partially funded by a big corporation is very telling. It’s obvious that they want to brainwash them to create future consumers. Absolutely appalling!

    • What Ever Says:

      Exactly. Follow the money. The same reason the O administration is plowing right ahead with Transagenda 2016 despite all of the opposition to it.. It’s ALL about creating and keeping new patients/customers. There is an enormous amount of money to be made with all of this and no amount of opposition will stop it. (That is the horrible part and the part I hate to admit) It is allllllways about the $.. It is extremely appalling. Anything that is being THIS promoted to this extent MUST be about money.

      • GallusMag Says:

        It’s about creating a market. A (large) niche market of highly motivated lifetime dependent pharmacology consumers. Then having the hormones approved for “on label” use by the FDA and other international regulating authorities. At that point big pharma can start marketing designer cocktails and specialized formulations and they can charge whatever the market will bear. Trans folks are already doing these experimental cocktails on themselves:

        Can you imagine the sort of drug company advertising directed at those desperate to achieve their “authentic identity” via pharmacological “empowerment”?

        Gendered Intelligence: “The [Gendered Intelligence youth] group developed a temporary display case [for the Science Museum] using objects important to their journeys, showing how science/medicine can be empowering.”

        https://mobile.twitter.com/Genderintell/status/776043891392909312?p=v

        If one percent of the population can be persuaded to hormonally “transition” (which isn’t such a long shot. 1-3% of high school aged youth now identify as transgender) that market would be HUGE. Bigger than the highly profitable HIV market. Bigger than the Type 1 Diabetes market.

        Think FDA approval can’t happen due to absence of scientific studies demonstrating therapeutic outcomes and safety? Wrong. UK trans activists have already succeeded in getting injectable testosterone regulated as “on label” specifically for women who want to appear more male- despite a complete absence of data. They just put cancer warnings on the data sheets*:

        http://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/medicine/28829

        “Transgender Medicine” is going to be a HUGE multi-billion dollar industry. Buy stock!

        *ETA- actually looking over it, they don’t even mention cancer risk for females, atrophy of reproductive system, etc. They only mention not to take it if pregnant. Sounds safe!

      • IronBatMaiden Says:

        @GallusMag, The FDA is owned by big pharma for sure. Horrifying.

        @What Ever It shows me that greed knows no bounds. Makes me sick.

  4. Rachel Says:

    To think that when I visited the Science Museum as a child in the ’80s, there was an exhibit about aviatrixes that our teacher wanted us to see.
    Someone really needs to sit down and consider what the role of “activists” should be in public displays such as this. An art historian is not a neuroscientist or a sociologist, no matter how many testosterone jabs she’s had.

    • Dogtowner Says:

      I wouldn’t trust the neuroscientist nor the sociologist any more than the art historian. You can buy someone with the right letters after her/his name.

  5. rheapdx1 Says:

    For one….looking at who sponsored the exhibit, SURPRISE SURPRISE it is GSK. Now where have we seen their name connected with this pseudoscience before???Hmmmmm ….this would be like Exxon/Mobil sponsoring exhibits or studies claiming fracking is ‘safe’ and we should embrace the gift of more energy that is found as a result. Sure…and Jimmy Hoffa was buried at the old Giants Stadium site.

    What is telling here is that perhaps those at Pink News in their upset over this display MAY have had a slight Scrooge-like epiphany. As in some may…even if this is at a nano level….be seeing how science and fact have been twisted, by those who want to erase others to increase the size of their pie in the social realm. There is nothing ‘terf’ about waking up, little by little and seeing the trans agenda being about erasing, via trying to use ‘respectable’ avenues. (outrage over this type of BS being passed off as ‘fact’ is universal..no matter the background..be that from me or @GallusMag or others…common sense anger trumps t-insanity anyday)

    At the risk of really showing my age, many years back, one would have expected to see an exhibit like this at the MOMA or any of those little galleries near NYU. If only due to this being less about science and more like made up science, as much as it is “performance art’…(the inclusion of the sex toys is why this looks to these eyes to be again ‘performance art’…but with the tinge of those creepy stores that would be near the bus depot).

    And while there is the issue of free speech…which is all well and good….there are also the issues of the venue AND the sponsorship. That this is being rethought, shows someone had the light bulb go off.

  6. donesoverydone Says:

    Reblogged this on stop trans chauvinism.

  7. Bev Jo Says:

    Actually, this is one of the ways they get feminists to work against ourselves, so in an effort to deny that men can be women, many feminist deny basic and massive biological differences between females and male. But feminists need to think further and not be conned.

    We DO have different brains, and that is exactly why men can never be women. Men can never have women’s brains. Men who claim to be women can’t even explain what a woman is other than bizarre superficial comments that are all about their fetish with hair, dresses, makeup, high heels, etc.

    For one thing, there is more of a connection in women between the right and left half of the brain. There are so many differences, including of course in every cell…

    • NYCAlison Says:

      Definitely see your point, Bev Jo. My take is this: when feminists do this, and it’s NOT a byproduct of pomo trans-insanity (so we’re not talking about funfems here), it’s to make the point, however awkwardly, that we are not and should not be limited in life, economically, socially, or psychologically, by our reproductive biology.

      Of course, taking this tack lands women in groups with less-than-ideal “allies.” Because some of the very same women who subscribe to the pomo transinsanity logic are the women you’ll see rushing around, shushing those of us who, for example, do not adore our monthly cycles — we may grudgingly acknowledge their existence as a testimony to all being well down there, while finding them otherwise useless, especially if we don’t want kids or are done with that part of our lives. Often, we’re frustrated by the frank and clearly intentional limits of patriarchal, woman-hating medicine (gynecology), which offers two “cures” for cycles that hurt, exhaust, or lower quality of life (surgery, hormones), both of which are often worse than the so-called “disease.” (I’m not saying our bodies are a disease, just that U.S. Western medicine sees them that way.)

      For the pomo crowd, denial of basic biological realities helps their case, or so they think, that “transwomen are women, period” (LOOOOL). But witness that there’s almost always a palpable undercurrent of fear driving their behavior too. It’s a fear shared by many women whose feminism denies biology but who don’t subscribe to the New Trans World Order. And it’s fear that we on the Gender Critical side of things can relate to as well. Even women who aren’t well-versed in classical feminist theory and don’t feel passion for studying science/human biology will intuit, on some level, that their biology is used by patriarchy to consign them to second-class status. In the case of the pomo crowd, it behooves their cause to wave away any pesky manifestations of biology in our female-sexed bodies that may betray their motto of “total equality.” But it hurts us all by obscuring or downplaying the very root of our oppression.

      Those of us seeking liberation, of course, handle this differently. One major difference between us and the pomo crowd is, we aren’t forced by necessity into denying female realities and twisting truths so that we may enable illogical, incoherent theories and narratives to “stick.” So we’re free to say, for example, that we can and sometimes DO fee physically ill before/during our menses, or that we experience dysphoria around our female reproductive capabilities and cycles, while still trusting in the truth of our basic humanity and worthiness as adult females undeservedly, unethically, inhumanely bound by patriarchy. We trust that our biology is insufficient reason to consign us to an inferior caste, a second-class citizen status, and so we speak of it freely. Many, many women aren’t there yet, and the horrors of patriarchy make it so some will never get there, even if they don’t subscribe to the convoluted logic of pomo-fem.


      • We can’t know for sure if it’s nature or nurture, I guess. Just throwing it out there that there’s a possibility that men are simply born that way, and that patriarchy is a manifestation of natural male behavior.
        Women are terrorized into a state of docility, which is not our natural state, and most likely changes how our brains develop. Outside of patriarchy perhaps women would be more assertive, and perhaps aggressive. Maybe not.


    • I agree with you that they’re trying to catch us out. It bothers me.
      We are now being forced to fight for the idea that there are no brain differences- when most likely there *are* innate differences. The killer male is born that way, like certain dog breeds. It’s got nothing to do with nurture.
      But then that is used as a justification for female oppression.


      • I don’t think there are much in the way of innate differences. The role of socialization is huge. Huge.

        The most nurturing person I know is a man. There would be more of them if male stereotypes allowed. Upbringing can make a difference but I assume some of it is the temperament that everyone has at birth.

      • NYCAlison Says:

        I think we can make a convincing argument for biological and physiological differences between the sexes. Those are indisputable among most rad-fems and scientists as well. Personalities, as well as various skills that don’t rely on brawn or physical aggression, however, seem to exist on a continuum. Cordelia Fine’s book is mentioned often on here and is great testimony to that. Another excellent example of how skills thought to be “innate” in males — logic, spatial rotation, mathematical ability — are really socialized can be observed when spending time among women in the software industry. I am one and keep the company of a growing number of females in this profession. We are the type to always score “male brain” on ridiculous tests like the one linked above, and wipe the floor with males in various logic/spatial rotation tasks, not just in school, but in real life and on the job as well. What we typically share are these commonalities, often shared with males in the profession:

        + an upbringing, often working-class, where STEM studies were emphasized and dating was downplayed or even suggested to be detrimental to adult success

        + hours spent working on logic puzzles and playing video games that increase hand-eye coordination and spatial rotation skills (Tetris, which I had on Game Boy in high school comes to mind; surely by now the offerings are quite sophisticated.)

        + application of the 10,000 hours rule, which basically says that the way to get good at a thing is to practice it. Males’ “success stories” always downplay the effects of the 10,000 hours rule but when you strip out their boastful, blustering bullsh1t, it’s the biggest determining factor in every single case. Alas, male arrogance in patriarchy demands that the real arbiter of talent be downplayed in favor of “innate male ability” just-so stories.

        The IQ test is another interesting comparison of male-female abilities. Obviously, the current model and prior tests are predicated on a white, well-off student body or group of testing subjects, but the test itself was actually edited twice before being inflicted on the public because its male creators thought it “unfair” that female test-takers outscored males. So the IQ test is just more patriarchal bullshit of the type we expect from patriarchal societies. And YET. Despite the test having a heavy spatial abilities component, i.e. the subject area this exhibit and MRAs the world over claim we are “bad at,” recent findings show females are once again outscoring males on the IQ test — and that is DESPITE us being discouraged, held down, and told we lack innate abilities for a century. This news, of course, is met with the predictable male whining, sobbing, and all the other usual sorts of tantrums that they throw each time women throw off our patriarchal bindings (mindbinding or physical or psychic or whatever type) and succeed according to male rubrics and models.

        That leads me to believe that many other personality/social/intelligence traits associated with femininity –particularly those that are encouraged in us during girlhood to be used in deliberate oppressions as we come of age — are the result of socialization in patriarchy. Aggression could be innate in males, to the extreme degree that it shows up in some, and there’s certainly evidence of a gene or gene cluster that makes some males the most extreme aggressive-sociopathic type, but I think if it were possible to control for upbringing and socialization (and it obviously is impossible), we’d be surprised at just how many traits that are said to be innately sex-linked aren’t at all.

        Curious, isn’t it, that every time males succeed, it’s “innate” and “just the way it is,” but when females succeed, despite the barriers erected (yes, word choice is deliberate!) against us, it’s “misaaaandryyyy” and “matriarchyyyyyy”? The current round of Peak Trans insanity crumbles to dust each time this nonsense is pointed out.

      • Nina Says:

        There is probably some argument to be made for innate male aggression, due to testosterone. For the rest of the supposed male/female differences, it’s hard to say for sure. AFAIK there’s no known “spatial logic” hormone. How can we really be sure that’s not socialization? This dumb test relied on spatial logic –> masculine, observant –> feminine. Really anything that thinks blue/pink and 1950s imagery is acceptable is not unbiased.

        (Studies have shown that girls reminded of their “proper role” will behave more poorly on standardized tests than they otherwise would, so showing 1950s imagery is ignorant at best and misogynist at worst.)

      • GallusMag Says:

        Cordelia Fine’s upcoming book is called ‘Testosterone Rex’. Should be interesting!

      • Dogtowner Says:

        The spatial logic thing is a bunch of crap. How can you test someone’s spatial logic with a couple of cartoons? I can estimate the correct size container for whatever and the distance to the barn, the fence, whatever, much better than my husband. This may be a left-brain (me) versus right-brain (husband) capability or it may not.

        One can only say that whoever made up this test is moronic and irrational if for no other reason than thinking that six questions tell anyone anything.

    • Anemone Says:

      And if there are differences between male and female brains, even if they’re small, socialization would naturally increase those differences because people tend to hang out with their own sex above starting about age 3. And then you end up in a world where “masculine” is considered superior to “feminine”. Knowing there are differences would mean being able to push to see those differences as valuable, rather than defective. For example, girls usually are ahead of boys in developing language and communication skills. The tests given to adults don’t show an advantage to women, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the (originally male created) tests had too low a ceiling, and women maintained a superiority throughout life. So we could see that as a talent to tap into to make the world a better place, or we could just moan and groan about women talking too much, especially about feelings. Or we could argue the differences are simply due to men not trying hard enough. But what if men are, on average, disabled compared to women in some domains? We would need more women in leadership positions to compensate.

      And then there’s testosterone, which does more than make sperm. Testosterone can be dangerous, and we need to talk about it.


      • I just think that women hang onto some false hope that if men were socialized differently, we’d all be okay. I feel that by now I’ve seen and heard enough in this world to say: no, men are very different animals to us, unfortunately. There’s no socializing it out of them.
        The depths of their perversions, the extent of their violence, the creativity of their torture, the GLEE they derive from female suffering… There’s no socializing men out of that. It’s what they are.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        And it’s more than testosterone. Women and girls would be better able to protect themselves from male violence if they felt less guilty for being afraid of males. And knowing male violence is innate as well as a choice should free women who keep devoting themselves to helping men be less oppressive, decade after decade of proof, when it’s girls and women who need their energy and support.

        There are massive difference in males of other species also, with males, especially mammals, being extremely rape and murder-oriented. Sea otters are adorable, but not only do the females have to deal with being raped and injured, and have their babies stolen by the males to force them to catch food for them, but male sea otters rape baby seals to death and keep raping the body until it rots. Male koalas will kill babies and females when trying to rape the females. It is all around us. Some females have developed ways to live together with their babies away from the adult males, but have to be on constant guard. A very few non-mammal species have cleverly almost eliminated males.

        It’s men and boys’ responsibility to stop raping and killing and destroying the earth, but they won’t change. So whether it’s innate or not, it’s up to us to stop helping them because it’s females who need support. And women especially need to stop policing and bullying those who dare to say no to the lie that some men are women or even Lesbians. They could do very little if all women stopped playing their game.

      • Nina Says:

        @cherryblossomlife,

        At the risk of Nigeling… mine’s mind is really nonviolent relative to my own mind. Like seriously. Maybe it is a recessive gene or something but… AFAICT he is perfectly respectable to the women core to his life, he doesn’t mistreat the women in his periphery, and his kinks are… maybe unusual but not misogynistic, and he’s never pressured me to help satisfy them. My kinks fail the feminism purity test way harder and faster than his do, guaranteed. We’ve been together for nearly a decade now, so I’m pretty sure this is the “real him”.

        I would definitely not describe him as a “killer”. I’m thinking hard now to remember if I’ve ever seen him kill anything… and I don’t think so. Not even a bug. I get to kill those. Not saying he’s a feminist saint, but neither am I.

        I know I’m supermegabiased on this but maybe it’s useful to remember that any biological differences between sexes are likely based on bell curves… there will be more overlap between natural male/female behavior than the stereotypes suggest. But these overlaps don’t erase the social advantages/disadvantages bestowed by social norms.

        (Zzz it’s late here, so ignore me if this post makes no sense.)

      • Branjor Says:

        I have my doubts about innate brain differences too, but I absolutely agree with Bev that “whether it’s innate or not, it’s up to us to stop helping them because it’s females who need support.” I read something on echidne blog a long time ago that men are more forceful in asking for pay raises than women are. Men in general are more forceful than women are and the reason isn’t because forcefulness is more innate to men than women, it is because girls from their earliest days are not getting enough feeding in terms of time, energy and attention the way boys are and therefore do not grow up with enough “supply”, if you will, to be as forceful as men. That’s why men dominate in this world. We need to “feed” girls and women more, boys and men less or not at all.

    • Nina Says:

      But many “transgender” people use supposed male/female brain differences as their reasoning to why they’re “really” male/female despite their apparent physiology. If male and female brains are intrinsically different, it’s possible that someone with a male body/socialization has a “female-pattern” brain, just like some people are born with intersex genitalia.

      Most studies of male/female brain patterns I’ve seen haven’t been able to prove any innate pattern of male/female differentiation. From what I understand, the recorded differences between men and women’s brains are essentially equivalent to the differences between taxi driver’s brains and everyone else’s brains. I.e., the differences are completely explainable through nurture rather than nature.

      As a woman with many typically-male interests, “womanhood”, to me, is a result of genitalia + socialization. No matter what I liked or what I cared about and put my efforts into, my genitalia never changed and neither was the way I was treated. Someone who was born with male genitalia and treated as a male until adulthood… how can that person understand what it feels like to be born and raised “a girl” in our society? Makeup and dresses, even surgery, is not enough. Nobody who ‘transitions’ at age 25+ can understand what it feels like to be sexually harassed on the streets by men from 12+. The childhood years are the formative years, and I firmly believe that a child who’s raised with male privilege will retain it throughout their life.

      As an aside, I absolutely don’t believe there is a difference in “every cell”. That’s just absurd. Male and female fat cells are different? Male and female scalp cells? That must be hyperbole, right…?

      • ByJove Says:

        Nina said:

        “As a woman with many typically-male interests, “womanhood”, to me, is a result of genitalia + socialization. No matter what I liked or what I cared about and put my efforts into, my genitalia never changed and neither was the way I was treated. Someone who was born with male genitalia and treated as a male until adulthood… how can that person understand what it feels like to be born and raised “a girl” in our society? Makeup and dresses, even surgery, is not enough. Nobody who ‘transitions’ at age 25+ can understand what it feels like to be sexually harassed on the streets by men from 12+. The childhood years are the formative years, and I firmly believe that a child who’s raised with male privilege will retain it throughout their life”

        YES. You said it.

  8. justamum Says:

    Completely unrelated, but where to start with this article??!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37312338

  9. Siobhan Says:

    I say this as someone who failed the pink/blue test (I am more blue than pink, yet female) but perhaps pinknews is more outraged because the guys who insist that they are wimmenz all failed it too? Implying that they aren’t really women, even if they have womanlee feels?

    • Dogtowner Says:

      Haven’t they properly studied how to “pass”? I simply cannot imagine what a test consists of that determines the sex of one’s brain. Maybe I should go search for that link!

      • Nina Says:

        Don’t you know, being a woman is about the hair and the clothes and the makeup and the walk. Actual female psychology is irrelevant. At the end of the day, women are just men with extra tits and glitter.

    • Anemone Says:

      A lot of them WOULD fail it, wouldn’t they. Some of them are sooo masculine. Discovering that was my peak trans moment.

  10. Rachel Says:

    Jemima Lewis has written a column about this for the Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/15/why-is-it-suddenly-considered-progressive-to-say-men-and-women-h/

    A sensible voice in a mainstream publication.

  11. CKDexterHaven Says:

    And, in more breaking news from the UK, you will all be delighted to hear that our first ever, front-line, woman soldier is ….. yep, a man. He does have a bobbed haircut though, so obviously not a bloke. Nope, definitely not a man.

    Sorry, can’t link to the story at the moment, but if you google ‘Chloe Allen’ you can see the story.

    • Justamum Says:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37391807

      Here it is – I saw this earlier.

      So if a genuine woman ever does serve on the front line she won’t be considered the first, and this MAN gets to be a trailblazer! Unbelievable.

      I’m in the UK though and this is par for the course for the BBC – every other day there is a trans story in the news with no alternative view ever provided.

  12. lin Says:

    I took the brain test. Wow, all ya gotta do is take six multiple choice questions and whammo! You can determine your brain’s sex! Science!

    Hmm. They say I think like both a male and a female because I scored equally well on both types of tests. (I’m female, btw.)

    FWIW, I typically score very, very closely on tests that supposedly skew for the sexes. I had the exact same verbal and quantitative score on my GRE, in fact I took it twice and both times the pairs of scores were exactly alike, tho different from each other. (IOW the first time I got 770 on both, the second time I got 790 on both.)

    So, does that make me intersex? LOL.

  13. atranswidow Says:

    Gallus, OT so feel free NOT TO PUBLISH.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/17/transgender-soldier-is-first-female-to-serve-on-the-front-line

    The British army spent 2 years studying whether to open direct combat positions to women……..http://www.army.mod.uk/news/28632.aspx

    If Chloe/Ben wants to serve on the front line then good for him. But reporting this as the ”first female” or ”first woman” is at best inaccurate and at worst totally a kick in the face to any female soldier who may be putting herself forward for such a role and the rigorous training it involves.

    All those generals must be twirling their mustaches and patting themselves on the back…..problem solved relabel ”woman soldier” as any man who wears silver earrings and paints his nails.

  14. Trish Says:

    In the 19th century, mental hospitals were full of people claiming to be Napoleon, Joan of Arc, the Pope – basically powerful political or religious figures. The thing is, there wasn’t one guy claiming to be Napoleon, there were wards full of such people – even the seriously mentally-disturbed seem to be vulnerable to trends/memes and incorporating these trends/memes into their constructed “identities”.

    How is it any different to claim to be the opposite of one’s biological sex instead of claiming to be a powerful religious figure? If someone’s kid started claiming to be the pope, would the mom start a blog to publish the kiddy’s encyclicals?


  15. @Siobhan,

    I looked at the photos, and he is just an oridnary bloke with a tiny earring who is letting his hair grow out. They must think we are both blind and stupid.

    The article says he is a married man, and he defintely looks like any guy one would meet on the street. He is a rather strapping tall man with obvious male features. So, we have a heterosexual cross dresser. For some reason, they seem to be over represented in the military. I wish they would stop insulting our intelligence. I swear to God I think I’m living in some Orwellian alternative universe. He joined the military as a male. He is not a woman.

    Mainstream news sources like the Guardian and Sun are spitting in the face of every female soldier who served. He is not a female. He is male. No one in the military should be forced to call males women, or “she”. Did anyone ask female soldiers how they really feel about calling an obvious looking heterosexual male who still has his penis and testicles “she”. I mean how they really feel, not what they will be forced to say. I see this as a violation of the human rights of female soldiers. Anyone can see that this person is male, and female soldiers are supposed to ignore what they can see with their own eyes. It’s such a mind fu**. Rape and sexual harassment of female soldiers is rampant in the US military. Now, females who have been raped in the military are told that they must address an obvious looking male as “she”. This is just more mind fu** inflicted upon female service members. Biological males who definitely still look like men will be sharing intimate spaces such as sleeping quarters with females who have been raped. It makes me sick. There will be no place in the military where females will be able to escape from males. Not in the barracks, not in the showers, no where. It’s a gross violation of their human rights.

    This military source says 1 in 20 women.

    “The estimated rate of sexual assault varied dramatically by gender: fewer than 1 in 100 men but approximately 1 in 20 women,” it states.

    http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/12/04/study-female-marines-sailors-at-higher-risk-of-sexual-assault.html

    One in three women raped according to this source.

    Study says 1 in 3 Women RAPED in the Military

    http://www.arlingtonwestsantamonica.org/MST.html

    The majority of cases of PTSD in female service members are caused by trauma from sexual harassment and rape. Some women were victims of repeated acts of sexual harassment. Most of the women were retaliated against for complaining to their superiors.

    There is also the issue of honor. Woman is an honorary title that many women refuse to relinquish to males. Our identity has been stolen from us. It feels like a form of colonization because they are taking something they do not deserve.

    If heterosexual male cross dressers want to play dress up while in the military, then maybe the military should just let them get their thrills from cross dressing. Let them wear earrings, and paint their nails. I don’t care, but it doesn’t make them women. Calling them female soldiers, and referring them to “she” is an insult to female soldiers everywhere. Where are they going to house him? Do they house him with males or females? Where will he shower? He hasn’t had surgery yet, but he is taking hormones. How will the female hormones impact his muscle mass? What happens to him if he is captured by an enemy?

    Moreover, this exercise in political correctness is sexist on its face.

    “The Guardsman was still living as Ben when a fellow serviceman discovered her dressed as a woman”

    What does “dressed as a woman” mean? It makes the assumption that women are supposed to dress in stereotypical “feminine” clothing.

    Gallus, I apologize for going off on a wild tangent. I know that this doesn’t have anything to do with the Science Museum. I looked at the photos of this “female” soldier, and it outrages me.

    • Nina Says:

      “There is also the issue of honor. Woman is an honorary title that many women refuse to relinquish to males. Our identity has been stolen from us. It feels like a form of colonization because they are taking something they do not deserve.”

      Yes, thanks. People who grow up male simply don’t understand what it feels like to go through adolescence as a female, socially or biologically. This whole “biology is a meaningless social construction so trans and cis women are the same” thing ABSOLUTELY infuriates me, because it erases everything I had to go through to make it to adulthood. Nearly all of my female friends, in adolescence, were raped or sexually assaulted, whether by a relative, a stranger, or a shitty so-called “boyfriend”. Once, when I was about 13, buying CDs in a public place, a 30+ year old man said he would fuck me in the ass if only he had a condom (consent not required, apparently). Once, when I was 14, I had a detailed argument with a booter about how old he was, while (unbeknownst to me) his 21+ friend was apparently molesting and/or raping one of my own 14 yo friends. (I had to work up the nerve to buy a pregnancy test for her afterwards, because she felt too afraid and “slutty” to do for it herself. Of course the booter’s shitty-ass child-rapist friend had disappeared at this point, so he wasn’t around to take responsibility in any respect.) Once, when I was a few years older and my car ran out of gas, there was a creepy man in a white panel van who aggressively insisted he give me a ride in his truck, even though I was going the other way and knew there was no turnaround point for the next 30 miles. Yes, I refused, bc I’m not suicidal. So he called me a bitch.

      These are only a few incidents in a long list of childhood sexual traumas inflicted by adult men who should have known better, and I GOT OFF EASY, and I know that I did. Guaranteed, this will sound made up to most men. To women… I doubt it. Most of you have experienced very similar things.

      Trans “women” who lived as male until adulthood will NEVER really have to experience what it feels like to be A Girl. AFAICT this is Not Normal for social groups of boys, even the poorest boys.

      I was fine with the existence of trans women when they were just males who wanted to live their adult lives as women. I am not fine with the current state of things, where trans women deny that there’s any discernable difference between living your most vulnerable years out as a boy vs a girl in modern society. That’s just a straight-up failure to accept reality. There is real hardship and suffering involved in growing up female in this world. Anyone who denies this is just being straight-up ignorant.

      • kesher Says:

        I have to disagree with you that anyone who denies this is ignorant. Real women who deny it in defense of M2Ts may be ignorant (although I think more likely they’re self-hating), but M2Ts who say it are lying, they know they’re lying, and their lies are completely in service of their own objectives–to erase real women and institute their new male supremacy of M2Ts lording over real women.

      • ByJove Says:

        Nina, you are saying so much truth. And I just don’t understand how any woman who has grown up in this culture can support the transanity of men who want to claim the label of womanhood; because, as you say, the vast majority of us have had such experiences.

        Early into my college years, at age 19, I came to realize I was lesbian. Along with this came the associated realization of just how much my identity and self-worth up to that point had been concerned with being attractive to the male gaze, being thought of as appropriate by men. How would I be considered attractive and valuable if not being guided by these standards? Before becoming aware of this, I would never have consciously thought I was perceiving things this way. …How sad is that? It is such an unconscious, yet all-pervasive soup we swim in, that has girls and women programmed to be beholden to this way of defining themselves.

        I am so grateful that I was able to break free of that programming at that time and allow myself to evolve into a more complete and genuine expression of myself. It saddens me that so many women, even into their later years, seem to still base their worth on this two-dimensional construction of how women should appear and behave and never grow into the full expression of their person.


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