I was thinking it might be a nice idea to try and have a book club. I know it’s hard to get everyone to co-ordinate and read the same book at the same time but I thought given that this is a forum rather than a face to face meeting the time differences aren’t so much of a problem.
I thought it could work by one person nominating a book - by which I mean starting a discussion about it giving the title, author and preferably a link to an online seller of your choice and then people could join in if and when they’d read the book. There’s no reason multiple books couldn’t be discussed at the same time, as long as each post made it clear which book they were referring to. If it gets too confusing we can always start new threads, with the title ‘book club - [book title]’ or something.
To start I want to recommend ‘Delusions of Gender’ by Cordelia Fine. It’s a thoroughly researched book that is a devastating critique of ‘neurosexism’ - the research into gender-based brain differences and the idea that these are the route of social gender differences. The main conclusions are that 1) the evidence for gender differences in the brain are negligible - they aren’t consistent and aren’t predictive (i.e. you can’t look at part of the brain said to be different in men and women and reliably tell from that brain part which gender the person is) and 2) despite the claims that differences in the brain cause gender differences there’s no evidence to distinguish which is the cause and which is the effect (i.e. it could just as easily be that the different ways men and women are treated in society shape the way their brains develop).
There’s a lot more than that and it’s had me go WTF on many occasions. The book is divided into several sections but the final section, that of gender and society, was the most fascinating to me as it showed just how early in life we become aware of gender differences and how fully segregated our society really is, even though we claim to be ‘post-sexism’.
There’s loads more that could be said and I probably will be but hopefully that’s been enough to spark some interest and get others reading it. I’d love to know what you think!