Summary of “Male brain vs female brain: Is there a difference?”

Her research led her to an experiment by a professor at the University of Maryland that demonstrated how characteristics of certain neurons in animal brains could change from male to female, or vice versa, when exposed to a stressor for 15 minutes.
“I realized that if certain areas of the brain could change from the typical ‘female form’ to the typical ‘male form’ under stress, there was no point in talking about the female brain and the male brain,” Joel told Haaretz.
Sax’s guide, she says, presents as fact the idea that “Hardwired sex differences in the brain mean that girls and boys should be parented and educated differently.” Fine had studied brain structure during her PhD work at Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, so she looked into the studies Sax cited.
Rippon and others have called also attention to brain plasticity, which complicates evidence from brain imaging tests since men and women are both saddled with gender expectations from the time of infancy, and develop skills and behavioral tendencies accordingly.
These learned behaviors could be responsible for literally changing the shape of certain structures in one’s brain, in the same way that memorizing London’s streets alters the physical structure of cabbies’ hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with memory.
Where there are plenty of studies that show sex hormones affect the brain, and that there are some group-level differences between male and female brains-for example, on average, women have more gray matter then men-what’s not proven, according to Joel, “Is that these effects add up to create two types of brains: male and female.”
By contrast, he tells Quartz, his work for the last 17 years has been focused on defining sex differences in the brain -which he says exist on every level and vary in size- because neuroscience had been treating male and female brains as if they were the same.
In her new book about women in science, British journalist Angela Saini speaks to Paul Matthews, a neuroscientist at Imperial College London who agrees with Joel and others, saying, “There’s a lot of variability in individual brains. In fact, the anatomical variability is much greater than we ever realized before. So the notion that all people of the male sex have a brain that has fixed characteristics that are invariant seems less likely to me. In fact, so much less likely that I think the notion of trying to characterize parts of the brain as more male-like or more female-like actually isn’t useful.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Rebecca Solnit: if I were a man”

Back in the 1970s, when some men were figuring out how their own liberation might parallel women’s liberation, there was a demonstration at which guys held a banner that said, “Men are more than just success objects.” Perhaps as a girl, I was liberated by expectations that I’d be some variation on a failure.
Success can contain implicit failure for straight women, who are supposed to succeed as women by making men feel godlike in their might.
As Virginia Woolf reflected: “Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”
I have met a lot of brilliant men whose spouses serve their careers and live in their shadows, and marrying a successful man is still considered the pinnacle of women’s achievement in many circles.
One often hears statements implying that it’s generous of a man to put up with a woman’s brilliance or success, though more and more straight couples are negotiating this as more women become principal breadwinners or higher earners.
I’ve been insulted, threatened, spat on, attacked, groped, harassed, followed; women I know have been stalked so ferociously they had to go into hiding, sometimes for years; other women I know have been kidnapped, raped, tortured, stabbed, beaten with rocks, left for dead. It impacts on your sense of freedom to say the least.
Who we are, I realised as I co-created an atlas of New York City, is even built into the landscape, in which many things are named after men, few after women, from streets and buildings – Lafayette Street, Madison Avenue, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center – to boroughs – nearby Paterson, Levittown, Morristown.
There are more subtle advantages about the range of expression I’m allowed in my personal relations, including in my close, supportive, emotionally expressive friendships with other women – and, through all my adult life, my friendships with gay men, many of whom who have boldly, festively, brilliantly broken the rules of masculinity and helped me laugh at the gaps between who we are and who we’re supposed to be.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ellen Pao: This Is How Sexism Works in Silicon Valley”

I had been working for six years at the Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a junior partner and chief of staff for managing partner John Doerr.
A person might offer to vote in favor of investing in another partner’s investment so that partner will support his upcoming investment.
As a junior partner you faced another dilemma: Your investments could be poached by senior partners.
Women were admonished when they “Raised their voices” yet chastised when they couldn’t “Own the room.” When I was still relatively new, a male partner made a big show of passing a plate of cookies around the table – but curiously ignored me and the woman next to him.
One CEO I had been working with, Mike McCue, called me to relate how John and another managing partner, Bing Gordon, had met with him and asked to invest more money in his start-up Flipboard.
One partner told me that when she happily announced her third pregnancy, a male senior partner responded, “I don’t know any professional working woman who has three kids.”
Juliet de Baubigny, one of the partners who had helped recruit me, had warned me that taking time off would put my companies at risk of being commandeered by another partner.
Kleiner’s managing partners flouted hiring rules, too, asking inappropriate questions in interviews like: Are you married? Do you have kids? How old are you? Are you thinking about having kids? What does your husband do? What did your ex-husband do? It was noted at some point that such questions created a giant legal risk, and the response was, effectively, Well, who’s going to sue us?

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Maddeningly Simple Way Tech Companies Can Employ More Women”

He tells us he’ll have a booth at the Grace Hopper conference, the largest annual gathering of women in tech.
Will women have any input in the hiring process? Will the interview panels be diverse? Will current female employees be available to speak to candidates about their experiences? Many times, the answer to each of these questions is no, and the resistance to make simple changes in these areas is striking.
I remind them that when it comes to gender, they have to play catch-up, after long histories of eroding trust by grilling women about how they’ll be able to do the job with children at home and years of negative stories in the press with tales of how women are mistreated at tech companies.
Silicon Valley companies are in love with themselves and don’t understand why the love isn’t always returned by the few women to whom they extend employment offers.
That’s why they’re so proud of so-called boomerangs – candidates who have left a company for reasons that may or may not be related to how it treats women and, after advancing their careers elsewhere, return.
They want to know, what policies have changed for us? Is the environment more inclusive? Can I have a family without compromising my career? When tech firms in Silicon Valley and beyond decide to proactively answer those questions as part of their regular processes, they have a chance to successfully recruit and hire more women.
The company realized it needed to take extra time to convince women that it truly valued them.
The women hired through that effort are all still at the company.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Motherhood Isn’t Sacrifice, It’s Selfishness”

One male character declares that the woman must “Learn in silence with all subjection” and that “She shall be saved by childbearing.” In this scenario, the act of motherhood is subverted for the benefit of those in power, and they get away with it because of the concept of motherhood as sacrifice.
Motherhood is not a sacrifice, but a privilege – one that many of us choose selfishly.
By reframing motherhood as a privilege, we redirect agency back to the mother, empowering her, celebrating her autonomy instead of her sacrifice.
There are many mothers who would not have chosen motherhood, for financial or personal reasons.
Calling motherhood “The hardest job in the world” misses the point completely because having and raising children is not a “Job.” No one will deny that there is exhaustion, fear and tedium.
Calling motherhood a woman’s “Job” only serves to keep a woman in her place.
If we start referring to motherhood as the beautiful, messy privilege that it is, and to tending to our children as the most loving yet selfish thing we do, perhaps we can change the biased language my mother used.
Only when we stop talking about motherhood as sacrifice can we start talking about mothers the way that we deserve.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Health Law Isn’t Enough, the Desperate Line Up at Tents”

Ms. Neal had driven six hours from Hickory, N.C., with her wife, Angel Neal, 35.
Robin Neal has fought Type 1 diabetes since age 10, she said.
Angel Neal, who drives a forklift, has pancreatitis.
In a backward baseball cap with a tattoo of stars and musical notes on her neck, Robin Neal, looking unwell, was interviewed by a triage nurse.
“You need to go to the E.R.,” she told Ms. Neal.
Angel Neal was suffering abdominal pain and nausea.
After an hour in the tent hooked up to intravenous drips, the women were discharged.
Robin Neal, whose vision was tested at 20/100, desperately needed a pair of the free eyeglasses RAM offered.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The Big Sick,’ South Asian Identity and Me”

Starring and co-written by Kumail Nanjiani, who was born in Karachi, it explores the South Asian identity in depth, and speaks to conflicts that many of us face growing up in America.
A number of South Asian women have expressed a reaction completely different from mine, seeing “The Big Sick” as yet another movie that portrays South Asian women as inherently less desirable.
For the website Jezebel, the Brooklyn artist Aditi Natasha Kini wrote a critique of the film, titled “I’m Tired of Watching Brown Men Fall in Love With White Women Onscreen.” On Vice, Amil Niazi wrote, “I found myself growing increasingly frustrated and then infuriated with the clich├ęd, stereotypical depictions of South Asian women that have unfortunately become the norm in the growing onscreen narratives of brown men.”
Tanzila Ahmed, writing for The Aerogram, a South Asian culture site, summed up the critique this way: “Once again, Muslim Brown women were crafted as undesirable, conventional and unmarriageable for the Modern Muslim-ish Male.”.
I didn’t see “The Big Sick” as a rejection of South Asian women, but rather a rejection of arranged marriage, a difficult and searing subject for some of us who have experienced it up close.
Of course, Mr. Nanjiani, Mr. Patel and many, many other South Asian children who grew up in the United States didn’t have an experience like mine.
The critique of “The Big Sick” as contributing to stereotypes of South Asian women is surely understandable.
In my eyes, the point wasn’t to relegate South Asian women to a punch line, but to add levity to a story in which Mr. Nanjiani struggles with a choice that could isolate him from his family.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Turning The Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women”

This list, of the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present, is an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation.
The self-titled 1979 debut album by The Roches made consciousness-raising into music.
Nestled confidently between jazz and R&B, her album The Mosaic Project was at turns brainy, sassy, soulful and revolutionary – rather like the women it celebrated.
Carrington’s project, which spawned a sequel album in 2015, remains a necessary intervention in a musical community whose presumed leading lights still allege that women don’t care for solos.
About the era during which she released her second album, the electrified Flaming Red, Griffin said: “I always felt like I was a rock singer. It was all I listened to. I felt like, ‘Don’t call me a folksinger.'” Her stance and sound have both mellowed since 1998, but Flaming Red remains a testament to the fire simmering under all of her work preceding this album, and what came after it.
How good must it have felt for Kim Deal to release the eclectic masterpiece Last Splash with her band The Breeders? Throughout the seven years prior to the album’s 1993 release, she had made influential music alongside Frank Black in the Pixies, a band in which she never received credit she deserved.
While Pixies is often name-checked for inspiring the likes of Nirvana to embrace dramatic dynamic shifts, Kurt Cobain bemoaned that more of Kim’s songwriting wasn’t featured on their albums.
It left no question about her talents, as the album sold more than Frank’s solo debut or any of the Pixies’ albums.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s, According to Women Who Almost Were”

After years of biting their tongues, believing their ranks would swell if they simply worked hard, many senior women in business are concluding that the barriers are more deeply rooted and persistent than they wanted to believe, according to interviews with nearly two dozen chief executives, would-be chief executives, headhunters, business school deans and human resources professionals.
A Lean In/McKinsey & Company survey in 2016 of 132 companies and 34,000 employees found that women who negotiated for promotions were 30 percent more likely than men to be labeled intimidating, bossy or aggressive.
“They can smell it in the water, that women are not going to play the same game. Those men think, ‘If I kick her, she’s not going to kick back, but the men will. So I’ll go after her.’ It’s keeping women in their place. I truly believe that.”
In a Korn Ferry survey in April of 786 male and female senior executives, 43 percent said they thought that continued bias against women as chief executives was the primary reason more women did not make it to the top in their own companies – and 33 percent thought women in their firms were not given sufficient opportunities to become leaders.
The bleakest perceptions are from minority women; only 29 percent of black women think the best opportunities at their companies go to the most deserving employees, compared with 47 percent of white women.
Many women work in companies with public commitments to diversity and clear policies against discrimination, with many men who sincerely believe they want women to advance.
She and other women describe a culture in which men sometimes feel hesitant to give women honest but harsh feedback, which can be necessary for them to ascend, because they fear women may react emotionally.
The fury and revulsion aimed at Mrs. Clinton – as well as the more open misogyny in some quarters in the wake of the election – has led many women to question whether they’ve underestimated a visceral recoil against women taking power in any arena.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Real Men Might Get Made Fun Of”

If you care, how often do you say something? Maybe you’ll confront your close friends, but what about more powerful men, famous men, cool men, men who could further your career?
One of the subtlest and most pervasive is social ostracism – coding empathy as the fun killer, consideration for others as an embarrassing weakness and dissenting voices as out-of-touch, bleeding-heart dweebs.
Women, already impeded and imperiled by sexism, also have to carry the social stigma of being feminist buzzkills if they call attention to it.
In contrast to these “Warriors,” promises a world in which you can have it both ways: You can be good without ever seeming uncool in front of your buddies, you can be an advocate for social justice without ever considering there might be social forces beyond your ken, you can be a crusader for positive change without ever killing anyone’s buzz, you can be a progressive hero without ever taking identity politics seriously.
It’s an ambitious contortion, and one that affords straight white men a luxurious degree of stasis.
What if fixing Pao’s toxic workplaces hadn’t fallen to her alone? I’m frequently contacted by young women weighing the benefits and costs of calling out sexism in their male-dominated industries.
One of my podcasting friends told me that he does stick up for women in challenging situations, like testosterone-soaked comedy green rooms but complained, “I get mocked for it!”.
I know there’s pressure not to be a dorky, try-hard male feminist stereotype; there’s always a looming implication that you could lose your spot in the club; if you seem opportunistic or performative in your support, if you suck up too much oxygen and demand praise, women will yell at you for that too.

The orginal article.