Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Experts Discover Men and Women Are Different!

My new column at SFGate:

Experts Discover Men and Women Are Different!

Who would have thought?

10 Comments:

Blogger bernalman said...

Cinnamon, when you wrote, "The attempts by the burgeoning transgender movement to prove that gender itself is meaningless add to the confusion," I think the confusion was yours.

Transgendered people don't believe gender is "meaningless," they just feel more comfortable not living in the gender role of the sex in which they were born. Many believe that their brains are more like those of the other sex-- and there is evidence that in some cases this may be true.

Brizendine's work on the differences between men's and women's brains does not mean that all men's brains are alike and all women's brains are alike. In fact, for any measured difference between men's and women's brains-- whether in terms of size of brain structure or in results on neuropsychological testing-- there are substantial overlaps between men and women.

Friday, December 29, 2006 2:09:00 PM  
Blogger Jen Larkin said...

You lost me when you made claims about hermaphroditic children. Do you think "hermaphrodites" are born with breasts and penises so you can tell from birth?

Doctors can sometimes tell at birth that a child has a problematic physical sex. Sometimes a child's sex changes after birth without a doctor being able to tell that it will happen. Sometimes doctors can't tell that the sex is problematic until late puberty. Sometimes genetic sex and physical sex are in conflict for a person's entire life.

There are many physical reasons that a person can present as female even though according to their genes they are male and those people are often wired as female for the same reason that they present as female-- hormones. Since you fail to even mention whether you mean genetic sex, physical sex, or gender, I can barely tell what you are trying to claim.

Yes, there are differences between the brains of men and women. This has been known for a very long time, since there are hormone receptors in the brain. (It has also been known for quite some time that the brains of gay men physically differ from the brains of straight men.) This researcher has merely been more specific about what these differences might be; you are reading things into the research that it certainly doesn't cover.

You assume that a person can not be genetically or physically male yet have a brain wired more like a female. Those people are not the norm but trying to say that it can't be true because it's not the norm is a serious logical fallacy.

Please learn more about genetic and hormonal disorders that can cause gender confusion and sexual misidentification before making claims about "hermaphroditism." I say this as the ex-girlfriend of a very hairy genetic male who had his mammary glands removed in high school and who's brain is more female than male according to the research in question, as well as saying it as a person who has studied intersex chemistry in university. Of course, as such, I am forced to put "hermaphroditism" in quotes, since in humans it usually denotes the simultaneous presentation of both sexes (especially in this case where you say "hermaphroditic children"), which is far more rare than the sum total of the intersex disorders.

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you don't intend to claim that this study applies to genetic males who present as physically female (as is true in severe cases of Androgen Insensitivity Disorder). However, such cases do exist and you fail to take them into account, probably because you didn't know that things like that exist. One would hope that before putting claims in print that you would do minimal research on the subject but I guess that making uninformed and biased claims is more your style.

Friday, December 29, 2006 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Ms. Stillwell,
I have no idea how extensive your personal history might be. If you didn’t live through the beginnings of feminism in the 1970’s, you might take a look at (but probably not actually read) Susan Brownmiller’s, “Against Our Will.”

It’s thesis: man = rapist, penis = weapon, and heterosexual woman = victim. Period. No matter what.

Perhaps stating the obvious, every movement has its own didactic beginning. When the status quo becomes outmoded and something still unknown (and probably scary) is just around the corner, confusion reigns. Nothing less than utter clarity can push us through to “the next thing.” That much is certain.

It is also certain that the old warriors who did all that pushing have a hard time “reinventing” themselves. No doubt, you are also now hearing from them – my certainly nasty, but critically important comrades from back then.

It seems to me that movements that survive, such as feminism, have to reach and beat their own logical culmination before shedding that simplicity in favor of something more real, more dimensional.

Dr. Louann Brizendine’s study, your article and the (maybe just a bit shrill) postings on your blog inform me that the dialectic of women’s/men’s history has now, finally, reached its logical counter-point to what Brownmiller memorialized 25 years ago.

As an anti-racist, anti-war, feminist (etc.) man who was once on those front lines, I can relax. Today’s transgender issues are something I can both respect and can comparatively easily take in stride.

What comes next is, of course, anybody’s guess??? Therein lies the contemporary challenge that will, inevitably, move us fully beyond what was a deathly status quo back then and also beyond our then didactic liberator to what’s just around the corner.

Perhaps properly, confusion seems to reign again.

Good work.
Robert Mueller
Bullyingbosses.com

Saturday, December 30, 2006 9:28:00 AM  
Blogger Robert said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 9:42:00 AM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

If men and women both wore unitards and the wearing of makeup was a no-no would transgenders exist? I think not.

Any man who cuts off his penis is mentally ill. Period. Any woman who cuts off her breasts is mentally ill. Period.

Trying to justify this behavior is the sickest thing of all.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

If you agree that women and men are fundamentally different, there are political implications.

Various studies show that women approach problems and organize differently than men. Poll after poll show that voting attitudes are significantly different. Under the present structure, women's voices are muffled and largely discounted.

In the political arena, women are always playing catch-up because they have to play by men's rules. The political problem and gender issue is ultimately structural.
I believe that women would be much further ahead by advocating and organizing for separate governance and parallel. political structures.

This would be an enormous task. But then, getting the vote was an enormous task. So was the abolition of slavery.

The open recognition of differences and points of view should lead to compromise,accommodation and mutual respect.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 1:38:00 PM  
Blogger diurnalist said...

"I believe that women would be much further ahead by advocating and organizing for separate governance and parallel. political structures."

Sort of separate but equal? Hmmm that sounds familiar.

Saturday, December 30, 2006 2:12:00 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

The question is rather whether the glass is half empty or half full.

If women had an assembly whose function was to develop policy initiatives and men had a similar assembly dedicated to developing policy initiatives, a third body would be required to prioritize and act on the recommendations. Each 'house' would send an equal number of people to this third, combined body. Perhaps it could be called a House of Advocates.

So let's see how would that work.
Women would send representatives to their 'house'; men would send equal representatives to theirs. Perhaps their respective assemblies would nominate those best capable of promoting their agenda. The third 'house', with equal representation from each sex, would then be forced to listen, compromise and accommodate or be faced with gridlock.

This type of structure automatically would assure that both sexes had equal representation and voice at last.

I suspect this type of 3-house structure, would result in less confrontation, more cooperation, more examination of ideas and, ultimately action based on policy that more closely recognizes the wishes of all of society.
If women organized and developed their part of the plan on an ad hoc basis--a House of Women elected by and for women to develop and advocate policy, they could demonstrate to the public the value of such a gathering and, if nothing else, put a new perspective front and center for public discussion.They could ultimately argue for a change in government structure--one that would have a better chance of returning government to the people.

Monday, January 01, 2007 5:37:00 PM  
Blogger Mark Richardson said...

A fine article. It's especially encouraging to hear this from the female side.

Keep up the good work!

Mark Richardson
Melbourne, Australia

Friday, January 05, 2007 6:14:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

There are average differences between the brains of men & women. That means nothing in terms of an individual. There's no way you can look at the individual brain & be able to tell reliably whether the person whose brain that is was male or female. So the concept of having the "wrong" brain for one's body's sex is absurd.

The same goes for the intangible preferences of males & females for certain things. I coach children's football. 99% of the players are boys. Does that mean that the 1% who are girls are really in some sense boys? No, it just means people are different & like different things.

People should explain to children or adults who seriously think they're of the wrong sex that they've drawn an incorrect conclusion. You are what you are. You are not responsible for what other people of your sex or the opposite sex do or think. The ones who think or act like you but are of the opposite sex won't like you any better if you tell them you're really the same sex as they are, and you won't like yourself any better either.

Consider also those intersexes who are arbitrarily assigned a sex at or near birth. If either sex can be picked for them, and it's not like half of them ever grow up to think they were of the wrong sex, then that shows there's nothing in the brain that makes you one or the other.

Friday, April 03, 2015 11:55:00 PM  

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