Monsters and Men in Morals of Money and School

3 04 2011

“There’s nothin’ worse than a monster
who thinks he’s right with God.”

–Firefly captain Malcolm Reynolds, episode 13,
seen on Netflix last night with Young Son

Closing the computer down for the night later, I spotted this in my feed reader:

“I guess all I want at this point in the debate
is a little intellectual and moral honesty.”

–Conservative Christian homeschool dad Ben Bennett,
Admit It, Liberals, You Hate School Choice

And this morning the Sunday NYT business section has just given me Cornell economics professor Robert H. Frank’s thoughts on gauging the pain of the middle class with The Toil Index:

Context matters because the brain requires a frame of reference to make any evaluative judgment.

Yep, just like a frame of reference to define the difference between monster and man.

Rising inequality has shifted the context that governs. . . the cost of achieving basic goals, like sending one’s children to a good school. School quality is an inherently relative concept, too, and good schools tend to be in more expensive neighborhoods.

The toil index rests on the positive link between a neighborhood’s average housing price and the quality of the school that serves it.

This link implies that the median family must outbid 50 percent of all parents to avoid sending its children to a below-average school. Families that failed to rent or buy a house near the median of the local price range would have to send their children to below-average schools. The only alternative to seeing their children fall behind is to keep pace with what others are spending.

How long must the median earner work to achieve that goal?

The answer is discouraging: most of us are working much longer hours than our parents did, to keep that same relative foothold on average house in average neighborhood with good-enough public schools. The Toil Index has risen 62% since 1970 when I was the middle-class schoolchild and our mothers began working for pay along with our fathers.

Read the column for more on that idea.

But right now, rather than grappling yet again with how monstrously the very rich and powerful have systematically screwed the rest of us, I’m wondering if the economics professor (much less the self-righteously disaffected dad yearning to be free of us all) understands exactly how money makes relative school quality.

School quality isn’t made of the money spent in the school, not even the money directly applied “in the classroom” — no, the money coming into the homes and neighborhoods of the school’s students most clearly correlates with student achievement.

So the most meaningful context for understanding this “positive link between a neighborhood’s average housing price and the quality of the school that serves it” is realizing it’s not a link between two things, but one thing plus an echo or reflection. Wouldn’t it be more “intellectually and morally honest” to approach school quality issues less as related to neighborhood income, than AS neighborhood income?

Location, location, location!

The economist’s take on the relationship between income, the work to achieve it and the school success of a family’s children is useful but there’s a contextual hole in its translation to public school policy. The competitive opportunities we tend to believe that quality education creates for all regardless of income, really aren’t — they are not quality, not competitive, not true opportunities. And certainly not for all.

In that context, maybe the disaffected homeschooling dad turns out to have the better real-world strategy. To improve his own children’s achievement relative to everyone else’s kids, he demands more money coming in for his own, less money going out for other workers’ homes, neighborhoods and children.

He’s not wrong if our sole context is Charlie Sheen’s winning.

But I’m sitting here trying to think of any other context in which that’s not monstrous.



21 responses

3 04 2011

Is your homeschool dad a Christian? I spent a little time at his blog (glancing around and reading the post linked by you), but my fun-dar (fundie radar) never went off. (Perhaps I’m just getting rusty.) In fact, as a homeschooler, he seemed a little “man without a country.”

3 04 2011

Hmmm. Nance and I know him from way back at NHEN and later discovered our dear departed liberal Christian friend Betty Malone knew him in eclectic Indiana homeschooling. I think she mentioned that Christianity had become more openly a part of the discussions there as some new folks got involved, and it was making others (including herself) uncomfortable.

But I agree when I went looking for it at the blog, I didn’t see much of it coming through the political arguments. I just knew it was there so I never thought to look. (It was a little more apparent in this July conversation between the two of us, maybe?)

Ben said then:

For Christians, the “war” is spiritual. (Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.)

4 04 2011

Lynn… I encourage you to read the entire thread where I used the Bible as a source of information for what many Christians believe, not what I believe personally, because that was not the point of my post. Actually, other than calling for generic “moral clarity” or honesty (which I’m pretty sure is something religious and non-religious people agree is good… I don’t tend to promote my faith, nor do I tend to force it upon people. You’ll find that the only one who drudges it up (Maybe she has better “fun-dar” than you?) Is her. Which is fair enough, we do go back awhile and she does in fact know I’m a Christian. But as your post suggests, bringing that up every time she contributes to the conversation (with me) tends to muddy the waters a bit.

Yup… pretty much every time I try to keep to a political topic, my friend JJ, tends to make my faith a weapon by which my arguments are instantly made invalid and even worthy of ridicule. A monster? Really JJ? I’ve been called worse, and I’m certainly not offended, nor surprised.

You (once again) took an opportunity to glibly and in your trad-mark elitist tone, paint me as someone who because of his faith, isn’t worthy of entertaining his ideas. You didn’t even mention the IDEA of my post, so that your point could be proved.

Then when you are “called out” on your over emphasizing my faith via a blog where my faith isn’t a component at all, you crawl to the safety of our mutual, but sadly deceased friend who, true enough, had disagreements with “some” people I allowed to voice an opinion on our STATEWIDE discussion list. (Being the inclusive person that I am!) — but until she died, I had ALWAYS called her one of IHEN’s and IndianaHomeschoolers’ Biggest Fans. And she was! I was always reminding her that if one is to be truly inclusive and fair, one has to allow the uncomfortable ideas and opinions just as much time as you allow your own comfortable ideas.

[I could write a good little book on how ‘inclusive backlash’ probably doomed NHEN from the start, but frankly it’s not a topic I care much about. Fact is, NHEN is nowhere and the statewide org I started is doing okay and has been helping hundreds of people a year for over ten years.]

If you are offended that I used the word “Liberal” and Darwin knows, you are one!!! Then get over it and read the post with some common sense. I’m not talking about you…. Unless you are totally in favor of spending more money on the failing system of factory schooling we have now. Then, I might be trying to reach you. But it’s not to bash your particular beliefs or anything. I would just like people to admit that they really don’t want to pay for every child to get a great education… just the poor kids. All the rich kids can go to private schools or homeschool, but only after paying for the poor kids to go to public district schools… oh!!! But not a public charter school, and God forbid we give those poor kids a voucher. Nope… best we keep them in failing schools in poor neighborhoods.

Ooopsie… I mentioned God. Sorry sweetie. I’ll give Darwin a shout-out next time.

In conclusion… I somehow still like you enough to put up with you, but I really wish you’d use that brain of yours to stick to a point without bringing people’s religion into it. Especially when they aren’t wearing it on their sleeve. I’m grateful you thought well enough of me to include me in your thoughts. A little more plugging next time, though. It’s Where you can learn about how to skip school and not become a criminal or a welfare cheat or anything like that. And I promise not to say that God or Darwin, will do it all for you.

4 04 2011

Ben, I am SO glad you came by for some intellectual and moral honesty. Seriously. The more (painfully) honest you and I have learned to be about our ideas and ethical reasoning in education politics, the less we seem to agree on — but at least we agree to do it anyway and “put up with” each other and keep talking.

Your comment here is packed with ideas I think parents and taxpayers should be talking more about, not less, being painfully honest (with each other but with ourselves most of all) about why we disagree when we do. I don’t see how any education conversation can be honestly separated from our intellect, ethics and convictions about how to live. Context!

The economist wrote: “Context matters because the brain requires a frame of reference to make any evaluative judgment.”

To me context is Power of Story. Can’t read human meanings into politics or religion or education without it.

In this case I saw a real-life School story hurting helpless families and kids who weren’t being told the truth, the same weekend I saw you writing about School as moral hypocrisy. To blog the power of that, I chose two fictional examples, the sci-fi Firefly and the Disneyfied Hunchback of Notre Dame, because they both tell the story of how even good can be made monstrous in the mind of man. The Firefly episode tells how unchecked authoritarian power can oppress poor women and children, especially monstrous done in the name of love. The Hunchback song is about a wealthy, well-positioned religious man with a monster inside, driven to similar abuse of others rationalized as love and charity, called out by the role of the cryptic “jester” speaking truth to power and calling it monstrous.

(I suppose cryptic jester is my best fit? 😉 Fine by me.)

The starship captain and the misshapen bell-ringer were downtrodden yet morally and intellectually good, all the better for not thinking themselves superior. You had quoted their power of story as Christian in context: “against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

None of that was about you personally, Ben, not calling you or anyone else a monster, nor calling anything you believe in (homeschooling, Christianity, conservative politics, acerbic bloggery) inherently monstrous. It’s the real-world effects on each other of applying our beliefs that can become monstrous and for which if we’re honest, we bear moral responsibility.

The literal subject of your original post, school choice politics, is one example of an orthodox hypocrisy we do agree is monstrous, to demand and defend for yourself and your own kind what you neglect to offer or outright refuse to others.

THAT was the whole point of my post too. I agree and have written about it many times.

Except I don’t take much literally, nor compartmentalize ideas and beliefs. My context connects everything!

Yes, it’s true for liberal opponents of so-called school choice. But conservative-libertarian politics work against choice in many parts of life, from book-banning to sex policing to voter repression to making economic choice real and accessible. They tend toward prosperity gospel storytelling, being chosen rather than choosing, you know the type (I am rich and powerful because I am chosen . . . you are poor and miserable because you deserve it.)

There’s plenty more, just in what you posted. But for me it’s all connected by something universal that I’m pretty sure we agree is of ultimate concern, regardless of whatever political and religious specifics we fight over and however we choose to explain it: honestly and morally doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.

(Lynn, there’s my moral musical chairs again!)

5 04 2011

The very Christian conservative pastor Mike Huckabee, frontrunner for the presidential nomination if he enters his party’s race, plays moral musical chairs to WIN and right here [humming] on earth and not as it is in hea-a-ven:

Despite the opacity surrounding Huckabee’s political and pastoral record, he has at times fashioned himself as a staunch advocate of government transparency.

Running for president in 2007, Huckabee put forth a bold open-government proposal. “There’s an old rule that says that when the sun shines, the germs disappear,” he said in one video clip (watch it below). “Well you know, frankly, there are a lot of germs in government.” So he proposed disclosing every federal government expenditure online within 24 hours.

. . .Discussing this plan at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (better known as CPAC) in February 2008, he said, “We should demand transparency and accountability from our government.”

Yet Huckabee’s calls for transparency did not extend to his own records.

5 04 2011

Ummmm. I’m at the library right now, and can’t be on long, JJ… but something came to mind and hopefully in context while reading your comment: There is a book I’m reading (at my daughter’s suggestion) called Boys are Waffles Girls are Spaghetti, (I was putting the link here, but it’s too long. Google it.) It could very well explain why I can’t understand why you think the way you do (Musical chairs actually starts to explain it) and why I’m sure, you don’t understand what I’m trying to say most times.

In my little waffle compartment… I have one thought I’m dwelling on: Compulsory attendance laws, and the forced payment for “some” children to attend “certain” (public) schools is wrong. Everything else that causes problems with our educational system flows from there.

That’s all I have for now. Maybe more later.

5 04 2011

Good, I like it, come back when you can — I’ll be here slurping pasta or licking syrup off my fingers or something. 😉

5 04 2011

Here is co-author Chad Eastham talking about that book, which he wrote for 12- to 16-year-olds.

I see there’s an adult (??) version too, surely more our speed?
Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti

It’s by Chad’s co-authors, a married couple named Farrell. Here is the man’s (waffle’s) bio at

Bill Farrel is an international speaker, relationship expert, and author of over 30 books including bestselling Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti. He has experience as a Sr. Pastor, youth pastor, and more recently pastor of small groups on the team of Dr David Jeremiah. He and his wife, Pam have co hosted radio, as well as co-authored numerous books to encourage and enhance interpersonal relationships. Bill’s newest release is 10 Best Decisions a Man Can Make. Bill is a seminar and conference speaker and a frequent guest on radio and television. Bill and Pam live in Southern California with their three sons. When he is not helping people with their relationships, he enjoys reading a good mystery or suspense novel, or cheering for one of his sons as they compete in sports.

Some links identify Chad Eastham as a popular Revolve speaker:

There’s way more to The Revolve Tour than just a fun time with the girls. Since it began, more than 35,000 girls have indicated they made first-time decisions for Christ at a Revolve Tour event. In addition, more than 16,000 children have been sponsored through World Vision as a result of The Revolve Tour.


Then here’s my connection to what I think is the same idea: not from a Christian inspiration but from a holistic neuroscience perspective, I’ve seen videos and read similar descriptions of the typical male/female brain differences, by Dr. Christianne Northrup. I got one of her books for MY daughter! 🙂

In fact on page 32 of this book, she says the mind itself can’t be compartmentalized just in the brain, that “mind” is in every cell and the system as a whole, how’s that for spaghetti science? 😉

5 04 2011

SInce everything’s connected for me, Ben now has me thinking about the different books we exchange with our daughters. And not just about gender but actual sex. And how male and female brains and bodies must think about sex differently AND (ta-da!) how therefore the patriarchal compartmentalized good-bad, just say no, purity ball and true love waits teachings are very not-suited to females, not to free-and full-thinking ones anyway.

My everything-is-complex-and-connected systems thinking otoh, looks more like this when translated into sex education:

Forcing a moral divide in the way we sexually categorize girls and women as good or bad harms us all. Whether we’re abstinent or sexually engaged . . .[t]here’s so much more to our sexual identities than getting laid or refraining from having sex.

5 04 2011

All that said though, back to Ben’s one driving thought:
Compulsory attendance laws, and the forced payment for “some” children to attend “certain” (public) schools is wrong. Everything else that causes problems with our educational system flows from there.

So much syrup to pour over that waffle! It would almost make a good formal debate resolution for us, hmmm. I think Snook should start a new post for that tomorrow, and see where that takes us! (If I can keep the electricity on here long enough . . .)

5 04 2011

Well, my fun-dar may be on the fritz but, hey, I remember the “God designed male and female brains dramatically different” thing. God did it for a reason, as I was taught. The (spaghetti) brains of women make them great moms, homemakers, and helpmeets; the (waffle) brains of men make them pragmatic, level-headed and decisive business leaders, clergy and heads of household. Since male and female brains are anatomically, chemically, and physiologically different, men and women have fundamentally different ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. That’s why God has assigned the two distinct, non-overlapping genders different roles and spheres of influence. Fascinating, yes? If you want to learn more, check out the “science curriculm” of your local (voucher-worthy?) Christian private academies, charters and homeschools. 😉

(Here’s a short article to hold you over in the meantime.)

5 04 2011

Oh dear.
Perhaps another example of the right and true being all twisted up to hurt real people then.

5 04 2011

From the original moral musical chairs post:

For Kohlberg, the most adequate result of both operations is “reversibility”, where a moral or dutiful act within a particular situation is evaluated in terms of whether or not the act would be satisfactory even if particular persons were to switch roles within the situation (also known colloquially as moral musical chairs)

When I question this in homeschooler discussions, it’s discouragingly rare to find reversible reasoning, and the most dogmatic “religious” homeschoolers refuse to even acknowledge reversibility as a legitimate test for moral reasoning. Science-minded folk are much better about this.

I do admire “Religion” as moral reasoning when it does transcend its own Rules and Ego and Vengeance, to put itself in the place of its offender, like Jean Val Jean being sheltered from the gendarmes and their bayonets, by the very bishop he’s just robbed of precious silver artifacts. The bishop LIES for him, breaks a commandment! And then, this transcendently moral (but fictional, alas) Catholic official openly gives him MORE silver than what he’d stolen.

Imagine if this Catholic Church specifically ministering to college kids whose moral development is still a work in progress, had treated the “offender” that way instead of disrupting the service to grab him, threaten him and then gang up to continue screaming for his head, along with anyone who dares stand up for him.

Why didn’t Religion itself stand for its young misguided worshipper rather than against him?

8 04 2011
Desperate for Control? Abusive Parenting, Abusive Politics « Cocking A Snook!

[…] for Control? Abusive Parenting, Abusive Politics 8 04 2011 As we talk more about morals and monsters in politics and schooling, check out this comment from discussion last year that might speak to Ben […]

13 04 2011

“Then here’s my connection to what I think is the same idea: not from a Christian inspiration but from a holistic neuroscience perspective, I’ve seen videos and read similar descriptions of the typical male/female brain differences, by Dr. Christianne Northrup. I got one of her books for MY daughter! :)”

Ben: Interestingly, my daughter bought the book on her Kindle, then told me *I* should read it!! It worked out better, IMO, because I can’t imagine her wanting to read a book about the brain strictly from a neuroscience perspective. Kind of dry, don’t you think? 😉

“In fact on page 32 of this book, she says the mind itself can’t be compartmentalized just in the brain, that “mind” is in every cell and the system as a whole, how’s that for spaghetti science? 😉 ”

Ben: Probably about as scientific as the theory that mankind has more power to pollute and warm the planet than volcanoes and the sun.

Does she really go into the “mind” rather than sticking to the ‘chemistry’ and electronics that goes on in the brain? How does she use science (re creatable experiments that prove or disprove an hypothesis) to prove that the “mind” is in our cells? Seems to me, it’s not too far a leap to just admit the “mind” is the soul or “spirit” of the person and just start going to church to find the answers.

13 04 2011

Let’s unpack that, shall we?

Meaning, let’s reach into all the separate little compartments and get everything we’re traveling with out on the bed, in one big heap of “our stuff” where we can see it as one whole with common purpose —

You can tell so much about where someone thinks they’re going and plans to do on the journey, by what they pack to bring along.

I think Ben opens a very important suitcase: What Church does isn’t science but philosophy. What Philosophy does can be about anything including science and not necessarily through Church. All religion is philosophy but not all philosophy is religion. (Nor is all religion theist. Some climates require a completely different wardrobe.)

Further, thinking is not feeling and feeling is not thinking, but that doesn’t mean humans are waffles! Or maybe we are, and the syrup that when poured liberally over us makes life worth living as a funny-looking brown breakfast food, is systems theory.

Cartesian thought about thought is compartmentalized like waffles, not big on philosophy and not packed for big-picture travels. Systems theory science is philosophy and systems theory philosophy is scientific. Its power of story is more integrated than a pot of spaghetti and the wine that best complements it. (Some of my hard-science friends sneer at the philosophy of science, but even they buy systems theory and besides, everyone sneers at something, including the wine I prefer.)

Past Snooking we could pack for this trip:
Physics Professor on Science, Religion and Compartmentalization

The Brain Will Take the Witness Stand

Alvin Toffler Has Lesson [in School Systems Theory]:

I think Toffler thinks about much more than practical Cartesian systems and making the machinery of school work better. His thinking about business and systems ecology integrates psychology, the human mysteries of mind and spirit . . .

It’s what you might call “perspective history” –-
the female author Jay Griffiths sees the tyranny of time and measurement in modern society as enforced by heavy-handed conservative men and their self-serving systems of control, assisted by their defeminized handmaidens,
fierce guardians of the status quo like Old Lady Wheelwright.

As I wrote last June, “the keeper of my time is my keeper.”

Quitting and Going Home: Success, Failure or Complicated?

The whole story is about aggressive and insulated data analysts crunching endless numbers to create operational models that are statistically attractive to their own part of the “enterprise” but unfit for human consumption, thereby infuriating regular, responsible people just trying to participate in the system in good faith, in their own private, statistically insignificant roles. . .

He’s doing a couple of smart, real, practical things. He has his priorities in order (family first) and he knows that not everyone is equally good at every task, “entitled” to it by system formula or not. And he knows that politics and government do not constitute leadership; it’s service.

. . .None of which is to say that individuals against the big bad system are always right, or even a better alternative for the public than government. Individuals can be our best hope when they are critical-thinking individuals, and public policy can be progressive and productive. Both are possible and desirable. I’m not anti-government or anti-system or anti-institutional. I’m certainly not anti-peace or anti-mom! 🙂

But I am anti-Logic of Failure.

I know we have huge problems in the world; tornadic activity is tearing us apart all over the place. I am working toward finding ecologically sound human-serving solutions with the same fervor that I believe drives most activists. But it takes more than passion. Spinoza AND Descartes?

13 04 2011

Oooh, ooh, I forgot the Ant and the Peacock, and the Fox and the Hedgehog! Thinking AND feeling, science AND philosophy!

And all in a home education suitcase for our traveling independently yet as companions . . .

The Freeing Discipline of Wonder:

. . . So today I’m remembering Mortimer Adler’s oxymoronic definition of education as the freeing discipline of wonder, and wondering myself where learning without schooling can catch the most light without throwing off too much heat, across the full spectrum of individual and institution?

Two books came to mind in this context –
“The Hedgehog, The Fox, and the Magister’s Pox” by Stephen Jay Gould is about reconciling science with the humanities, or how to understand them as an integrated whole, and “The Ant and the Peacock” is about reconciling this seeming paradox in nature: are individuals or collectives favored?

Is home education the single-minded and prickly hedgehog or the lithe, inventive fox? (“The fox devises many clever strategies; the hedgehog knows one great and effective strategy.” )

The Hedgehog/Fox suggests our human tendency to make every question a simple dichotomy between two opposite choices is probably just baggage from caveman decisions like fight-flight, sleep-wake, mate-wait.

I suggest that tendency itself should be evidence against institutionalized education! – look what “school” does to knowledge and wisdom by breaking it up into little disconnected learning “standards” with forced choice right-wrong answers and discrete disciplines. Okay, that’s a whole nother thread, clearly connected though. . .!

The “ant” could be home education in this discussion — insignificantly small, renouncing tooth and claw — but as easily could be schooling, because it lives in the “public-spirited ways of the commune.”

Or is learning beyond school the flamboyant peacock? Cocky, hardy souls renouncing the collective to strut their own path into Harvard, never mind the nattering peahens all about?

The question isn’t simple. It goes deeper than choosing between individual and institution. The only right answer seems to be that unschoolers, indeed all humans, are both and neither, which makes the real trick being able to appreciate the full spectrum of individual and collective characteristics, in all its complexity.

13 04 2011

Ben brought up compulsory attendance as polluting everything that flows through School from that origin, and most of us agree, I think. Then he made the environmental metaphor literal, dismissing systems theory in human mind with this: Probably about as scientific as the theory that mankind has more power to pollute and warm the planet than volcanoes and the sun.

Which taken together, reminded me of my own connections between environment and education, for example in Unschooling the Public [In Unhealthy Education Climate Change]:

Thinking Parents can create healthier education environments for ourselves, for our own children and families, for our neighbors and communities. I’ve been struck at almost every stop by the connections, how the ideas and information are the same and how opening your eyes to one can open your mind to the other.

(Hey, maybe that explains the liberal media’s virulent bias for schooling over real education, that their own K-12 schooling was like childhood lead poisoning, an insidious and invisible environmental killer of brain cells? And maybe that in turn suggests the breakthrough formulation of a real solution — get the lead out, before another whole generation loses its mind! )

See also Education Ecology Has Its Own Climate Crisis

14 04 2011

Is Capitalism good or evil? Is Marxism? Christianity? Government? Public schooling? Homeschooling? How about those who believe or disbelieve in any of the above: good or evil?

Wrong-headed questions all, thus all possible answers will be somehow wrong. Certainly not right. Like War Games wisdom, the only way to win with questions like these is not to play.

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

The truth is that Marx was no more responsible for the monstrous oppression of the communist world than Jesus was responsible for the Inquisition. . .The selectiveness of political memory takes some curious forms.

This ought to sound eerily relevant right now:

. . . It was because of the peculiarly contradictory way in which the capitalist system generated its fabulous wealth. Equality for some meant inequality for others, and freedom for some brought oppression and unhappiness for many. The system’s voracious pursuit of power and profit had turned foreign nations into enslaved colonies, and human beings into the playthings of economic forces beyond their control. It had blighted the planet with pollution and mass starvation, and scarred it with atrocious wars.

18 04 2011

For this year’s federal tax-paying deadline day: Only Little People Pay Taxes

Why a janitor ends up with a higher tax rate than a millionaire, and seven more charts that show how the richest Americans beat the IRS [and all the rest of us Americans] . . .

21 04 2011

I happen to agree with you about the way in which people question and categorize political models. I can hear other readers though–*gasping! Shocked! at your invocation of relativism.

Any method of crowd control presents the potential for abuse. In other words, any kind of socio-political structure presents the potential for abuse. It’s a system, and there are ways to game systems.

There are no guarantees in life. Anyone who wants to create a society that will run itself while they fall asleep at the wheel is promoting a utopia while putting the pieces in place for a dystopic society.

As for how male and female brains are different and why. As someone who calls in the inbetween category brainwise–I quickly become resentful when others expect me to emulate other females simply because I look like them.

But it is painfully clear to anyone who has known me or lives with me that I have more masculine traits than feminine in the brain department. Even after having children.

Things I would offer to that discussion: Neuroplasticity for starters, and foetal brain development inutero is affected by the chemistry of the mother’s body. And that has been linked to structural differences that affect how individuals express gender and sexuality.

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