Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

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Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by erinlale on Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:53 pm

The "
does it matter"
part is because of a frustrating interaction I just had online. Back to that in a moment.

Background: as a child, when I dreamed, my dream self was always male. Yet, in my waking life, I fought for my girl-ness, always correcting people who got my gender "
wrong."
("
Erin"
was considered a male name during my childhood. It didn't become a common girl's name until I was an adult. Where I lived, "
Erin"
and "
Aaron"
were pronounced identically.) I was a tomboy as a teen and young adult, pursuing typically male interests (martial arts, electronics, Star Trek-- all those were "
boy things"
back then.) But, I did occasionally enjoy wearing a dress, especially at the Renfaire when I was playing a character. In my 20s, as an accidental result of therapy for DID, I began completely identifying as female. Only since Loki came back into my life and inspired me to get back in touch with my childhood self by writing Some Say Fire did I begin identifying as slightly non binary (but still basically female-- about 80% or so, the same as my actual body-- mostly outwardly female appearing but infertile and with a few male characteristics like hirsutism, related to PCOS.) I've taken multiple online tests designed to tell a person if they have a male or female brain, from answering questions about art to copying and pasting my writing into a writing analyzer, and all of them say I'm about 50% / 50%, or slightly more male brained than female brained.

OK. So I probably do have a "
male brain"
or at least a gender neutral brain.

But... does that matter?

I'm wondering if it matters because I recently responded to a friend's post about a god telling her to do something with an offer to help her decide whether to do it, and all the other women in the forum jumped on me for not being supportive and "
trying to stir shit."
My immediate response was, "
It's the human's responsibility to decide on the human's actions, regardless of what the gods tell one to do."
The forum admin jumped on me too. It made me really upset for a few minutes, while I went off and wrote an essay about human responsibility and considered quitting the forum entirely. I'm still thinking of quitting that forum. The only people on it that I really want to interact with are also my friends off that forum. I haven't decided yet. That's not the thing I need help deciding, though. I'm actually trying to decide if I should continue to identify as female. I actually already changed my Facebook gender to "
naditum"
a year ago (meaning the priestess gender, identified female at birth but infertile and dedicated to a god rather than to human marriage.)

Now that I've calmed down, I'm wondering: Is this a "
male brain"
thing? Was offering to help the wrong reaction? Would a "
real"
woman have reacted differently? Am I being jumped on because I don't have the "
right"
reactions for my perceived gender?

This has kind of brought some issues I've already been dealing with to a head. I already asked my god-husbands and got two different responses (why am I not surprised?) Loki told me it's OK to be non-binary and just to be myself and not worry about it. Odin told me I'm as much a real woman as anyone else whether I'm physically able to have children or not. (Honir hardly ever says anything.)

So... I still feel about 80% female, the same as my body. I'm just in a new round of questioning again. Does it even matter whether I can pick a permanent label or not? My internal pendulum has swung back and forth in my life. Sometimes I feel more female, sometimes more male, sometimes neutral. The entire idea of fluid or non-binary is a new concept that didn't exist during my formative years. Sometimes I identify with that, and sometimes I don't. I guess if I still feel about 80% female then that's what I should stick with?

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by erinlale on Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:53 pm

OK: the easy part: I left that forum. and all other women-only spaces. and some other forums too.

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:55 pm

Well, I'm not a fan of labels for exactly this reason. Labels are too specific and limiting. To me, things like gender don't really matter. You're an "
Erin Lale"
and that's all there is to it. Smile

And the "
human is responsible for the human's actions"
is spot on. Ultimately we are responsible for ourselves and making our own decisions. Of course, take what the Gods suggest into consideration. They have a better view of the situation from Their POV. But our lives are ours. I usually agree with Fen on most things, but it's my decision that I've come to. If I go with His suggestion, it isn't because He Said So. It's because what He said makes sense. If that makes sense. Smile
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by Just.Christine on Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:44 pm

I suffer from something similar but not over gender matters. I'm with journey on this one.
My personal thoughts in addition to the labelling problem are 'lotsa luck when you're DID or have other identity or personality disturbances.'
Also, my mom would say, Christine! Leave yourself ALONE!
I'm not going to tell you not to worry. Because if you do then you'll just be frustrated for not being able not to.
I avoid the gender nomenclarure politics.
Humans are highly individualized and our brains are like temperamental software. It might revert to autocorrect all by itself even if wemdisabled that feature. Like my fecking tablet right now.
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:24 pm

Temperamental software! Yes! XD

And I'm fairly certain that Loki had something to do with the invention of autocorrect. He messes with mine all the time. It's embarrassing sometimes!
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by Just.Christine on Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:50 pm

journeyintoinsanity wrote:Temperamental software! Yes! XD

And I'm fairly certain that Loki had something to do with the invention of autocorrect. He messes with mine all the time. It's embarrassing sometimes!

Both he and Odin troll me with it. Although with Odin it's more often than not, subtle and dry and dark.
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:15 pm

Loki got me good the other day. I was trying to say that I did something all by myself. And it typed that I DID myself! O.o it ate the "
it"
! LOKI!!! XD
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by erinlale on Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:54 pm

Lol temperamental software I love it. Also thanks, yes, I am just an Erin Lale. Lol

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by Moon Rouge on Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:32 pm

erinlale wrote:Lol temperamental software I love it. Also thanks, yes, I am just an Erin Lale. Lol

Yes, as all above, be easy on yourself! Smile

temperamental software
You telling me! And the autocorrect! I could tell stories (if I remember them all! Laughing )
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by Darkamber on Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:33 am

I have taken several tests, too, to see if I have a female or a male brain. It's always 50/50.
I wasn't a typical girl when I was little. I ran around in trousers and only dressed up in skirts or dresses for special occasions, like birthdays and Yule.
I loved to run around in the forest and climb trees.
I preferred playing with miniature animals and cars and clay when I was little. And I liked drawing aliens and spaceships, or knights. I always wanted to be the male character in fairy tales, the one who rescues or gets the princess, instead of wanting to be the princess. I liked to play male characters, too, inspired by comic books and tv series and movies.
When I was a little bit older and had found someone to play with, who also liked fantasy and science fiction, I always played the girl and my friend played the boy.
When I got older, I never felt like a typical girl, or a typical woman. I was 14 when I decided not to have kids, and I stuck with that. I was never interested in romantic stuff or in getting married.
I was a late bloomer, and I was 24 when I first kissed someone.
My family always thought I was a bit weird, but luckily I found friends when I moved down to Oslo in 1986, who were also into fantasy, science fiction and horror and roleplaying. I've been playing roleplaying games ever since 1986. It's so much fun! It reminds me of the roleplaying I did with my friend when I was little.

I think it's important to just accept oneself the way one is, to just be oneself.
I may be a bit weird and nerdy, but I'm happy the way I am.

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by ToriKitt on Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:39 am

I do think that regardless of anything else, what someone's gender is has nothing to do with their behaviors. It has to do with how they personally identify themselves. So if someone does things that are typically "
male,"
but believes themselves to be a woman or gender neutral or whatever, they ARE a woman, or gender neutral, etc. Behaviors can happen with any gender. There's no such thing as "
real women"
or "
real men,"
that's all gate-keeping bullshit to make people believe that a gender can only behave in a certain set of ways, and that stepping outside of it isn't right. Gender really IS a social construct, which means if a woman behaves "
atypical"
for a woman, they are still a woman, but they can change the way women are perceived.

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by erinlale on Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:14 pm

Yes. Good points. Thank you.

One of the things I liked about working in techsupport was that when I interacted with people, it was because they were having a problem with a machine and I was supposed to fix it. I didn't need to make them feel good, I needed to make their walkie-talkie work. Society views that as a "
male"
style, but there were actually a ton of women working in tech. I wasn't the only one or anything.

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:32 pm

I like tinkering and fixing things, too. At my house, I'm more of the fix-it person than my husband, although he's pretty good with carpentry. I like mechanical stuff and I enjoy seeing how things operate. Smile Not very "
girly,"
according to some folks. One of my other hobbies is fishing. Love it. Again, not particularly "
girly."
I don't care. Laughing
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by Just.Christine on Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:04 am

I never got into the D n D or more elaborate dress up RPG. The only role playing I got into was text-based in the form of turn- based, free form fiction. There were no dice or rules or particular structures other than just writing narrative and dialogue. Or perhaps a bit of script style, describing the scene, facial expressions, moods.

It can cause serious problems for people who want to write fiction because you develop bad writing habits, lol.
Most of mine were just fan- based yaoi RP's.

I was a bit of a tomboy at times but I never really cared much whether it was a dress or pants. I just cared that it was secondhand and got teased at school. Razz
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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by bsa on Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:39 pm

There are a number of questions within the question, the brain thing, there was some interesting work done by UCSD on gender based neural pathways, but in this case looking at the context of the forum question, it is most likely a sociological question and a response based on perceived shared gender based response, instead of listening and sympathising, you suggested action or a solution to a perceived problem, thus varying from a perceived gender based 'norm', in old fashioned language males see problem and fix problem and listening and emotional response is secondary. Does it make a difference? No, people are people, non binary identities are more common than generally thought. In this case as I said, it sounds like a socialogical response to a transgression of unspoken perceived gender based'norms'.

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by heathir on Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:35 pm

I personally identify as genderfluid/non-binary for several reasons very similar to yours.
I suppose that my parents have considered me a tomboy as my interests were often labeled 'male' interests - I was much more physical in my play with others; I never minded getting 'dirty' and I disliked wearing dresses, doing my hair or even playing with toys or games that girls were 'supposed' to like. My mom even tells me that I seemed convinced that I should have been a boy, as I often said that 'being a girl confused (me)' Heh. Even today, at age 45, I may present as a female, but that doesn't mean that I'm well-versed in female gender expression.
As well, I've taken several of those quizzes that are supposed to be able to define the gender of your brain, and I often score as 'male-brained' as well. But the thing that always kept me from transitioning/changing my gender in some way was that, thankfully, I've never suffered too much body dysphoria...and back in the early 90's that seemed to be the standard: if one was comfortable in zir own skin physically/mentally/emotionally then there was no need to change gender. But I've always felt sort of 'in between' about a lot of things, and my gender expression - like that of most folks - does lay on a spectrum rather than a clearly defined constant.
Other than that, I've learned not to worry about my own gender expression too much.

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Re: Do I have a " male brain" and does it matter?

Post by erinlale on Wed Apr 20, 2016 11:53 pm

Since then, both Freya and Odin have told me they want me to continue to identify as female. So that settles the label issue. But labels are for the outside, for demographic surveys, for bathrooms, etc. Inside my brain, especially on the net where the only relevant body parts are the eyes and the fingers, I have thinking styles and interests society has labeled male and inside here the labels aren't as useful.

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