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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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VII. Our Earthuman Ascent: A Major Evolutionary Transition in Individuality

5. Half the UniVerse: A Woman's 2020 Wisdome

Szocik, Konrad and Rakhat Abylkasymova. Feminism and Gender in Thinking about Extraterrestrial Intelligence. International Journal of Astrobiology. February, 2023. Yale University, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics philosophers show how prior views of life’s celestial expanse can illustrate a masculine sense of a exo-civilizations as combative, alien, enemies, rather than peaceable cultures. We deign to offer an example that "Guardians of the Galaxy" could be amended by "Gardeners of the Galaxy."

In this paper, we offer an outline of a feminist approach to considering the issue of extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Dominant ways of discussing ETI, particularly first-contact scenarios and protocols, are characterized by what feminism terms male bias. As with other cultural texts and disciplines, ETI studies can also be enriched by a feminist perspective. In this paper, we propose two possible applications of a feminist approach to considering ETI, such as using feminist categories to analyse our discourse about ETI, as well as understanding ETI in terms of sex and gender. We also propose a vision of ETI as genderless. (Abstract)

Tadic, Bosiljka, et al. Functional Geometry of Human Connectome and Robustness of Gender Differences. arXiv:1904.03399. Jozef Stefan Institute, Lujbljana, Slovenia (search), University of Belgrade and Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada system mathematicians achieve a new phase of sophistication with regard to network cerebral relative to female and male genders. As the quotes say, a woman’s brain appears to have a more intricate, better connected, multiplex form than a man’s faculty.

Mapping the brain imaging data to networks, where each node represents a specific area of the brain, has enabled an objective graph-theoretic analysis of human connectome. However, the latent structure of higher-order connections remains unexplored, where many brain regions acting in synergy perform complex functions. Here we analyse this hidden domain using the simplicial complex parametrisation where the shared faces encode higher-order relationships between groups of nodes and an emerging hyperbolic geometry. By providing new insights into the internal organisation of anatomical brain modules as well as into the links between them that are essential to dynamics, these results also highlight the functional gender-related differences. (Abstract)

Our analysis has revealed that the human connectome possesses a hyperbolic geometry and a complex structure on the scale between the node’s edges and the mesoscopic anatomical communities within the cerebral hemispheres. This structure, composed of simplicial complexes of different sizes and cycles describes the higher-order connectivity among different regions of the brain, divided into anatomical modules. Therefore, it can provide a reliable basis for understanding the functional complexity of the brain. Moreover, the female connectome appears to have a structure different from the common F & M connectome, not only in the number of edges but also in its organization expressed by these higher-order connections. It might be conjectured that these excess connections imply additional functionality of the female connectome, which can have evolutionary, biological, biochemical, and even social origins. (11)

Tarnas, Richard. Understanding Our Moment in History. www.scottlondon.com/nsight/scripts/tarnas.html. In a 2003 interview, philosopher Tarnas contends that for many centuries human societies have been masculine in kind to a fault and that at this unique moment of planetary transformation, any hope of resolve and advance depends on a recovery of the lost, oppressed feminine.

My sense is that the crisis of modern man is a masculine crisis. The resolution of this crisis is emerging in our own time in a tremendous empowerment and resurgence of the feminine. It’s visible not only in feminism itself – in the empowerment of women and the new sense of the importance of feminine values in both men and women – but also in a whole new sensibility of the interconnectedness of all life – the ecological identity, the sense that my self is not me as a human being, but that I am rooted in a whole matrix that includes all of nature, the planet, the cosmos itself. (3)

Teich, Erin, et al. Citation Inequity and Gendered Citation Practices in Contemporary Physics. arXiv:2112.09047. Eleven scholars based at the University of Pennsylvania (5 women and 6 men) including Daniele and Lee Bassett post an extensive study of the deeply vested bias toward publications by men rather than by women. Search A. C. Grayling and Jessica Riskin herein for proof of a total male dominance across history in philosophy and science. In my regard, I was long involved in technical R & D day jobs and whence women were more often smarter than men. They stayed on message, got the task done, did not make mistakes. Nobel neuroscientist Eric Kandel also voiced this opinion in a TV interview.

The historical and contemporary under-attribution of women's contributions to scientific scholarship is well-known. One measure of this under-attribution is the so-called citation gap between men and women. We explore the citation gap in contemporary physics, analyzing over one million articles published in the last 25 years in 35 physics journals that span many subfields. Using a model that predicts papers' expected citation rates, we find a global bias wherein papers by women are significantly under-cited, and papers by men are way over-cited. We discuss several strategies for the mitigation of these effects, including conscious behavioral changes at the individual, journal, and community levels. (Abstract excerpt)

Thomson, Peninah and Jacey Graham. A Woman’s Place is in the Boardroom. Hampshire, UK: Macmillan Palgrave, 2005. The book was highlighted in a December 30, 2009 news note “Womenomics” in The Economist as a good survey of an historic change in business cultures. A point is made that if Lehman Brothers were Sisters, the banking debacle would likely have not occurred. Whereas men can be greedy competitors to a fault, women tend to more networked, interactive nuances able to notice and avoid such risk-taking before it is too late. The British business consultant authors here achieve a cogent capsule of a 21st century resolve of the “feminist revolution” that began in the 1970s. In the interim strident efforts tried to define and forge for women an equivalent role to men. But after decades of studies, examples noted in this section, it can be realized that, as we all really know, women are not men and do indeed have their own unique, archetypal qualities. But importantly these abilities are to be understood as not in competition with men, nor an attempt to replace, but to complement in a quite salutary way. Many case studies are then cited of enlightened, successful companies that now intentionally seek a gender balanced, more effective workforce. (See also Cynthia Darlington for a similar clarification of brain hemisphere attributes.)

Whatever their origins, these gender differences transcend cultures. Studies have shown that men in all cultures aspire to be seen as practical, shrewd, assertive, dominant, competitive, critical and self-controlled, while women aspire to be seen as loving, affectionate, impulsive, sympathetic, generous and of service to society. (22) She (Carlotta Tyler) regards these two models as manifestations of the “complementarity” of the sexes in nature. They’re yin and yang; two parts of a whole, rather than opposites. (116)

Tunc, Birkan, et al. Establishing a Link Between Sex-Related Differences in the Structural Connectome and Behavior. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Vol.371/Iss.1688, 2016. As the Abstract details, in a special Multifaceted Origins of Sex Differences in the Brain issue, a ten person team of University of Pennsylvania neuroscientists including Raquel and Ruben Gur and Ted Satterthwaite find relative degrees of neural network connectivities are an architectural basis for perceived male/female characteristic traits. See also an introduction with the issue title by Margaret McCarthy for a survey of these research-based endeavors, abstract below.

While the presence of sex differences in human behaviour is well documented, our knowledge of their anatomical foundations in the brain is still relatively limited. Using a large sample of healthy young individuals, each assessed with diffusion MRI and a computerized neurocognitive battery, we conducted a comprehensive set of experiments examining sex-related differences in the meso-scale structures of the human connectome and elucidated how these differences may relate to sex differences at the level of behaviour. Our results suggest that behavioural sex differences, which indicate complementarity of males and females, are accompanied by related differences in brain structure across development. When using subnetworks that are defined over functional and behavioural domains, we observed increased structural connectivity related to the motor, sensory and executive function subnetworks in males. In females, subnetworks associated with social motivation, attention and memory tasks had higher connectivity. Males showed higher modularity compared to females, with females having higher inter-modular connectivity. (Tunc Abstract)

Studies of sex differences in the brain range from reductionistic cell and molecular analyses in animal models to functional imaging in awake human subjects, with many other levels in between. Interpretations and conclusions about the importance of particular differences often vary with differing levels of analyses and can lead to discord and dissent. In the past two decades, the range of neurobiological, psychological and psychiatric endpoints found to differ between males and females has expanded beyond reproduction into every aspect of the healthy and diseased brain, and thereby demands our attention. A greater understanding of all aspects of neural functioning will only be achieved by incorporating sex as a biological variable. The goal of this review is to highlight the current state of the art of the discipline of sex differences research with an emphasis on the brain and to contextualize the articles appearing in the accompanying special issue. (McCarthy Abstract)

Veltman, Andrea and Mark Piper, eds. Autonomy, Oppression, and Gender. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. A volume edited by James Madison University philosophers that makes a definitive point about what personal independence means with regard to its feminine essence. As chapters by Catriona Mackenzie, Marilyn Friedman, and others explain, women prefer a “relational autonomy” as a nurturing, empathic balance of individuality and community.

Walters, James. Martin Buber and Feminist Ethics. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003. On the close accord between Buber’s I-Thou relational philosophy and feminine ethics of care and nurture.

Wang, Robin. Dong Zhongshu’s Transformation of Yin-Yang Theory and Contesting of Gender Identity. Philosophy East & West. 55/2, 2005. A Loyola Marymount University philosopher clarifies a distortion of the original Chinese correlative cosmology which finds the feminine and masculine principles to be engaged in a complementary harmony. But as widely known, in China and across Asia women have long been degraded and treated as inferior. This dissonance is attributed to the founder of imperial Confucianism, Dong Zhongshu (179-104 B.C.E.), who disparaged yin as associated with emotion, greed, and weakness, which served the male patriarchy. Professor Wang carefully reconstructs how cosmic energy is seen to flow equally through female and male, which ought and need to be reappreciated in their egalitarian balance and creativity.

This qi interpretation conceives yin and yang as dynamic and natural forms of flowing energy, a complementarity in the primal potency of the universe. (211) The concepts of yin and yang are initially tooted in balanced change and harmony. Neither is superior or inferior; both are equal. Yin-yang theory needs to be reconsidered if we are to take sufficient account once more of its dynamic and flexible complexity. (225)

Wang, Robin. Yinyang: The Way of Heaven and Earth in Chinese Thought and Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Reviewed more in An Anthropocosmic Code, Dr. Wang notes at the outset that while Asian history ought to be egalitarian, long ago men cast Yinyang to their own advantage so as to oppressively burden and rule women. Lately western male theologians cite a “complementary” marriage, of course as they define the roles. (I log this on November 7. While thank goodness Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren won, why can it not be seen that the “two parties,” which in post-election analysis divide in every aspect along gender lines, are the natural, archetypal polarity of Me men vs. We women?)

My research on the work of Dong Zhongshu (179–104 b.c.e.) in 2004 first awakened my interest in yinyang. I was investigating what appears to be a puzzling contradiction: on the one hand, yinyang seems to be an intriguing and valuable conceptual resource in ancient Chinese thought for a balanced account of gender equality; on the other hand, no one can deny the fact that the inhumane treatment of women throughout Chinese history has often been rationalized in the name of yinyang. These two conflicting observations are reflected in divisions within scholarly circles. Some scholars claim that the concept of yinyang can be a primary source for understanding Chinese gender identity and that it has much to offer to contemporary feminist thought. On the other hand, arguments have been given that the denigration and abuse of women in ancient China is a direct result of the idea of yinyang. This puzzle and the theoretical discussions around it led me to wonder what yinyang thought really meant in early Chinese texts, and why Chinese have for thousands of years continued to approach the world through the lens of yinyang. (xi)

Weisstub, Eli. Self as Feminine Principle. Journal of Analytical Psychology. 42/4, 1997. In this study, an integral personality is seen as a holistic complement to the rampant male ego.

Whatever the terminology agreed upon, it is important to go beyond the limitation which binds these principles to a particular gender and to realize that these principles are dynamically interdependent and universally applicable to the psychic reality of both men and women. I am extending the usage of these principles, contending that ego, hero and deintegration are part of the masculine principle: self, heroine and reintegration embody the feminine principle. (429)

Wilber, Ken. The Eye of Spirit. Boston: Shambhala, 1997. Chapter 8, “Integral Feminism,” contains a sensitive attempt based on Carol Gilligan’s work to perceive female or male propensities as either communion or agency, roots or wings, Agape or Eros, each open to the other, by which to aid a personal and planetary ascent of the stages of consciousness.

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