Delusions of Gender, by Cordelia Fine

November 29, 2012

Delusions of Gender. I have given this book as a present to a few people, and they were all interested in it, as they read. The translation into Spanish was published last year and it’s called “Cuestión de sexos. Ni los hombres son de Marte ni las mujeres de Venus.” The book is meticulous and very funny at times. She doesn’t use scientific jargon, but you need to have an Upper Intermediate level, or perhaps an Advanced level. Check! 😉  (you can borrow mine – got it in both languages)…

You should read it…

  • if you are a parent wondering why girls are so much into pink and boys into superheroes (watch Riley’s video here. She’s a 4-year-old girl analyzing market in connection to gender)
  • If you are a teacher
  • If you are someone interested in the human mind
  • or in why gender is a topic addresses by innumerable thinkers, artists and activists.

She won’t be giving you any conclusive evidence because neuroscience started developing at the end of the 20th century (the “science” we had before, saying that women’s brain was smaller and all that, was not Science). She will be showing you where they cheat (both mass media, never spreading accurate research) and how society puts pressure on gender roles.

If you don’t get a copy of the book, do please listen to her here (45 minutes): ABC is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. You’ll have a laugh and learn a lot of where we come from! and where it’d be nice to head to! Are sexual differences hardwired in the human brain? We have a habit of seeing danger in all the wrong places. … In the late 19th century, when women were pestering to have access to higher education, Edward Clark, of the Harvard Medical School argued that when adolescent girls and women think too hard energy rushes dangerously from ovaries to brain. His best-selling book, Sex & Education, which was subtitled … Or a fair chance for girls (!), is an absolutely terrifying catalog of the psychological and physical ills that can befall women … [because of this] competition between the female reproductive system and the female brain.” ! She moves on to the early 20th century, and quoting another eminent doctor, “Due to their more delicate nervous systems, if women achieve the feministic ideal and live as men do, they will incur in the risk of 25% more insanity than they have now,” which I think you’ll agree is admirably precise. In his view, policy makers should take seriously the distinct possibility that ...

Well, it’s too funny, and too outrageous: Why have they taken such pains to demonstrate women’s inferiority century after century? Why haven’t we missed women in History, why don’t we visualize them when we think of Prehistoric art? Why should we pretend none of this has happened, just because now some of us are able to choose who we want to love and have sex with, what we want to wear, our occupation, what lifestyle we want to follow…?

If you want to spread the word among people who do not speak English, here is info on this essay Mujer Palabra. And here is a video of her at TED Talks (with subtitles in Spanish)


  1. […] See how powerful? They want to kill her, like they did with us all and are still doing it with us all when we simply did not want and do not want to fit Man’s description (patriarchal society’s description) of what a woman is and what she has to do with her life. On this, just get some notions that will help you understand what we’re facing in Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender. […]

  2. […] Cordelia Fine […]

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