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FULL ISSUE of JOURNAL: British Mensa's ANDROGYNY - Volume 2 - Issue 2 - June 2018


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This is the FULL ISSUE of British Mensa's ANDROGYNY - Volume 2 - Issue 2 - June 2018 with contributions from various authors. The issue is being archived by myself as the Editor of this journal. Please see guidance notes, disclaimer and copyright information within, for the subsequent distribution of material contained within this journal. This issue marks the 1 year anniversary of the publication of this Journal.
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British Mensa’s:
Volume 2 (Issue 2) June 2018
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Editorial Advisory Board:
Sergio A. SILVERIO Psychologist, Institute for Women’s Health, University College London
Female Psychology, Femininity, Lifecourse Analysis, Gender Identity & Women’s Mental Health.
Artist Emerita:
Vanessa STONE Paper Cut Artist, United Kingdom
Commissioned Designer of the cover artwork for British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY
Peer Reviewers:
Emily ASHBROOK Philosophy Graduate of King’s College London
Philosophy of Gender, Embodiment, Gender-based Violence, Sex & Sexuality, Queer Identity.
Francesca BERNARDI PhD Candidate at Edge Hill University
Visual & Embodied Self-Representation & Agency, Autism, Identity & Art, Social Change.
Callum CAIRNS Psychology Graduate of the University of Liverpool, Rehabilitation Co-Therapist
Male Mental Health, Autism, Learning Difficulties.
Ana CARRETERO-RESINO PhD Candidate at the University of Brighton
Trans Health, LGBTI+ Pathologization & Medicalisation, Gender & Sexuality Across Cultures.
Lauren CORELLI Education, Culture & Society Undergraduate, Goldsmiths University of London
Inclusive Spaces for Non-Binary Identities, Femaleness, LGBT+ Education, Gender & Sports.
Claire FEELEY Midwife, Researcher and PhD Candidate at the University of Central Lancashire
Women’s Health, Midwifery, Politicisation of the Body, Reproductive Power, Labour.
Rosa FONG Filmmaker and Senior Lecturer in Film & Television, Edge Hill University
Race & Gender, Trans Identities, Gender Fluidity, The Body as Imagined Geography.
Anasztazia GUBIJEV Research Associate, Institute for Women’s Health University College London
Sexuality & Reproductive Health, Body Image & Diets, Older Parenthood, Culturally Gendered Toys.
Ronja JANSZ Documentary Filmmaker & University of Amsterdam Cultural Anthropology Student
Anthropology of Gender, Gender Identity, Sex & Sexuality, LGBT+ Rights.
Anica KARLIĆ Law Graduate and PhD Candidate at Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg
Gender & Law Policy, Gender and The Law, Women in Law.
Alison MACKIEWICZ Lecturer in Psychology at Prifysgol Aberystwyth
Gender Spectrum, Constructions of Gender, Body Image, Alcohol & Drug Use, Health & Sex.
Sabrina MATICA-HICKEY English Undergraduate at UCL, Editor-in-Chief of Shine Zine
Body Image, Sex & Sexuality, Visual .vs. Verbal Representations of the Body.
Shereen H. SHAW Lecturer in Further Education and Training, Edge Hill University
Existential Philosophy, Narrative & Literature, Gender Identity, Feminism, Body Image, The Self.
Charlie I. S. SMITH English and American Literature Graduate of the University of Kent
Gender & Literature, Sex & Sexuality, Sexual Abuse, Body Image, Media, & Health.
Sonia SOANS Member of the Asylum Magazine Editorial Collective
Gender & Sexuality, Mental illness, Nationalism, Cinema & Popular Culture.
Shamini SRISKANDARAJAH Integrative Psychotherapist and Bereavement Counsellor
Counselling & Psychotherapy, Intersectionality, Eating Disorders, Bereavement & Loss.
Emma TURLEY Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University
Gender Inequalities, Sexualities, LGBTQ+ Psychology, Feminism & Social Media.
Catherine WILKINSON Lecturer in Children, Young People & Families, Edge Hill University
Social & Cultural Geography, Body Image, Identity, Fashion & Dress.
Rachael WRITER-DAVIES Alumna of The University of Edinburgh, Artist, and Poet
The Body, Sex and Sexuality, Body Image Issues and the Creative Arts.
- ii -
Aims & Scope:
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY is an international, peer-reviewed publication which aims to
provide a vibrant and engaging collection of works in a publication dedicated to intellectual
debate, empirical research, and artistic expression centred on the topic of Androgyny. This
hybrid internationally peer-reviewed ‘journal x magazine’ offers a quarterly designated safe
space to discuss current affairs and topical issues first and foremost on Androgyny, but
reaches out to related contemporary areas such as gender differences, identity & society, and
discussions of equalities & equity. By collating pan-disciplinary works from contributors and
distributing to an international audience, both within and outside of the subscribed members
to this Special Interest Group, this ‘journal-zine’ brings together work from likeminded people
to propagate teaching & learning, generate discussion, and provide a supportive community
of contributors and readers who are passionate about this field. Authors should avoid using
discriminatory language (e.g. sexist; ageist; racist, heterosexist, or otherwise). References
should be in APA 6th Style (2009), and be used sparingly. All contributions will be reviewed
by the Editor and guidance will be offered if revisions are required. The aim is to publish
works, not turn contributions away, but if in doubt about a topic area or an article you wish
to submit, please contact the Editor on:
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY publishes three sections per issue:
Editorial & Letters (Joint or Guest Editorials will be considered upon enquiry;
Letters welcomed throughout year, but should be <500 words).
Articles (Empirical Research; Structured Literature Reviews; Theoretical
Debates & Position Papers all should be 1,500-2,500 words. Shorter Essays &
Technical Reports should be 1,000-1,200 words. Articles exceeding these limits
will be considered on an individual basis. Welcomed throughout year.)
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section (“Special Androgyny News, Dates, Reviews, & Arts”
(not necessarily in that order!) this will be a round-up of recent news &
upcoming events, plus media reviews e.g. book/journal/event/theatre/film etc.,
and interviews & monographs (both usually with interviewee’s/author’s picture),
poetry, art, & creative writing; limited to 800 words).
Copyright of each contribution to this newsletter remains with the acknowledged owner.
Permission to reproduce content in part or as a whole must be obtained from the
acknowledged owner. Contact the SIGSec/Editor in the first instance.
This publication acts as the newsletter of the Androgyny Special Interest Group (SIG) of
British Mensa, for controlled circulation within this SIG. Additional circulation is not
authorised unless sanctioned by the SIGSec/Editor. Published, printed and distributed by
British Mensa Ltd., St. John's House, St. John's Square, Wolverhampton WV2 4AH. Mensa
as a whole has no opinions. Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of
the SIGSec/Editor, the officers or the directors of Mensa. Unattributed articles are written by
the Editor, who may edit, defer, or omit contributions for space, legal, or other reasons.
Editorial Notices:
The cover artwork was personally commissioned by Sergio A. Silverio from the
cut paper artist: Vanessa Stone ( In his
capacity as Editor, and for the duration of his Editorship, S.A. Silverio has
permitted the use of this artwork for the cover of British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY.
The image must not be reproduced, replicated, or circulated, in part or as a
whole, under any circumstance.
By submitting to British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY it is automatically assumed
contributors consent to their piece being published, disseminated, and archived
by the Editor (on-line as part of the whole issue of this publication, here:
- iii -
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 1 -
Reflecting on the journal’s first year.
Sergio A. Silverio
It is with equal feelings of delight and relief I write this first-year
anniversary Editorial for ANDROGYNY. It seems the journal has
changed quite significantly even in just the four issues which have
been published to date, but I feel we are striving ever harder to meet
the aims of this publication. The adaptations which have been made
to the format, to the types of content, and now the way in which I run
the logistics of ANDROGYNY, I feel only strengthen and further cement
its presence in the empirical, theoretical, and practising professional
fields in which it is read. This latest logistical change has seen almost
twenty peer reviewers join the Editorial Advisory Board ranging in
background, profession, and expertise. I was overwhelmed by the number of responses
I received to the call for reviewers, but it speaks volumes about the quality of material
our contributors have submitted. It is therefore only right that I take the time at the
beginning of this Editorial to both thank and welcome the team on board.
IT is with great excitement I present
this issue to you, the readers of
ANDROGYNY, as this release marks a year
of growth as a publication and a new-found
confidence for the journal and the editorial
process. Striving for accessible articles;
broad readership; quality pieces whether
they be empirical, theoretical, or artistic;
and a dedicated safe space for discussion
and debate is a difficult feat, especially in a
niche area such as the one we are
attempting to assess. We have, however,
come quite a way since the initial
publication in June 2017. We have an
international readership, and contributors
from equally as far around the globe. There
is a better understanding of what we are
looking to publish, and we have seen many
contributors return to use ANDROGYNY as
a publishing outlet with which they are
happy to have their name associated. The
Editorial Advisory Board, I believe, shall
only work to maintain the core values of
this publication whilst improving its
diversity and the range of content we can
now cover. (We are, however, a bit lacking
in males though!) In designing this
issue and curating its content, I was
compelled to recall some previous
contributors and ask them to once again
pick up their pens or flick open their
laptops to capture some of the reasons
why gender is important to them or how it
is used in the work they do. The resulting
issue I hope you will agree is a shining
example of the principles on which this
publication was restored. Starting with
Ana Carretero-Resino who has been an
event reviewer in previous issues, we see
how gender practices can even affect those
who otherwise have a secure identity.
Charlie Smith, who wrote poetry for the
very first issue returns with her very
poignant questions over what the world
might be like without gender. Next up is
Shereen Shaw, continuing her authorship
on Arab women reflects on her upbringing
and education. In a compelling debate on
trans-inclusivity Emily Ashbrook returns
with her third article; which follows-on
after my article in which I have set out my
vision for women’s mental health. Sonia
Soans writes about her rediscovery of
psychology through feminism, and
Shamini Sriskandarajah returns with her
second monograph in ANDROGYNY. Last,
but by no means least, Olga Patiño an
avid contributor closes the issue with her
reflections on being a Professor, asexuality,
and non-binary acceptance. I truely
believe it makes for a magnificent read and
a marvellous insight into our contributors’
minds. There is nothing more to say than
a huge thankyou to all the contributors
and readers, that I hope you enjoy reading
this issue as much as I did in collating it,
Sergio A. Silverio Twitter: @Silverio_SA_
Editor & ANDROGYNY SIG Secretary
Please cite as: Silverio, S.A. (2018).
Editorial: Reflecting on the journal’s first
year. British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 1.
- 2 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: What does gender mean to me?
Ana Carretero-Resino
IT would be very tempting to
fall into the trap of defining gender
in academic and/or philosophic
terms, when personally I have
always felt it to be something that
runs through my flesh and bones
and is channelled through
behaviours, movements, ways of
feeling, and to an extent, sartorial
choices. To me gender feels like a
vehicle to access the world we live
in, and it is often imposed (and
regulated) from the outside rather
than something inherent and based
on biology, genetics, or anatomic
My first memories as a child
bring thoughts of playing with other
children without feeling any
different to them. That did not last
long, by the age of 3 or 4 I became
aware of my ‘gender’ through my
mother’s insistence on dressing me
as a girl and my relatives’ constant
questioning about boys a very
subtle way of introducing
heteronormativity into a child’s life,
by admonishing other possibilities.
This moment of epiphany felt pretty
much like an original sin cast upon
me. My genderless self suddenly felt
‘naked’ and in need of being covered
with gender labels and behaviours
imposed externally. No longer could
I look around at the other children
and adults without the same free
gaze I had enjoyed until then. At the
same time, I was made aware of
other things, including my friends
skin colour, their physical ability,
social class, amongst other factors.
I was urged to develop filters to see
people differently and they were no
longer companions in the
playground or adults that told
interesting stories about their
everyday lives. I had to classify
them and position myself in relation
to what they represented.
Needless to say, through the
years I learnt to work out these
norms and labels to my advantage.
Growing up between the
countryside and the city meant
splitting my time between the
urban every day, and the rural
family home during school holidays
& weekends. The heteronormative
urban routine was disrupted by the
time spent in the deep Manchegan
fields. A place torn by post-Civil
War antagonisms, cultural
paradoxes, sheer poverty, and
blurred gender roles. Strangely,
this context allowed me to safely
explore and enact my
tomboyishness without punitive
consequences, allowing me a sense
of how to live on the borders
without losing contact with
expected norms. I learnt to nurture
my masculine and feminine, not
always with perfect harmony and
balance, but rather conveying
something quite personal: The
chiaroscuro nature of my
personality, devoid of definite
truths when it comes to gender,
sexuality, politics, or spiritual
beliefs. I have the firm (and naïve!)
belief that we would have healthier
societies if we all learnt to
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 3 -
incorporate both masculine and
feminine in our gender expressions
and identities, allowing ourselves to
confront and navigate the
contradictions and paradoxes that
this blend could create. This may
not bring down patriarchal violence
or inequality, but in practical
terms, we would all feel more at
ease with our self-image and that of
Despite the many privileges
of being a cisgender woman, it took
me years to unravel gender and
state the obvious, gender means
different things to different people.
However, thinking of gender in
relativist terms in the best
poststructuralist fashion is
something I am wary of. Currently,
some academic and activist debates
propose a new post-gender reality
in which gender is ditched
altogether echoing the rise of
proponents of post-racial societies,
where the social, political and
cultural implications of our skin
pigments suddenly become a thing
of the past. My reluctance to accept
both comes not only from my own
experience, but from working and
sharing my life with trans people
and others embracing non-
normative gender & intersectional
identities. It feels as though these
potentially philosophical debates
advocate for overlooking the
embodied experiences related to
gender, and this inevitably comes
with a sense of loss, an identitary
This brings me to Agrado, one
of the coprotagonists in Pedro
Almodóvar’s masterpiece “All About
My Mother, and her unforgettable
monologue. Agrado recounts her
transition into womanhood through
various physical transformations
and finally reveals that her whole
process served her to portray her
authentic self. In short, this is what
gender means to me, a vehicle to
convey something genuine about
myself, something that lies behind
the many masks I use: A self which
is laden with ambiguity, half-
truths, mixed cultures, an
eagerness to learn from others and
walk with them along the borders of
the norm.
“It costs a lot to be authentic… And
one can’t be stingy with these things,
because you are more authentic the
more you resemble what you’ve
dreamed of being.”
~ Agrado (in All About My Mother, by P.
Almodóvar, 1999)
Please cite as:
Carretero-Resino, A. (2018). Monograph:
What does gender mean to me? British
Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 2-3.
Ana Carretero-Resino MA
PhD Candidate,
School of Applied Social Science,
University of Brighton
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The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: Questions about gender:
Neutrality, fluidity, and girl power.
Charlie Smith
WHEN babies are born they
are automatically defined by their
sex; stamped on their birth
certificate is ‘MALE’ or ‘FEMALE’
and from then on, they are dressed
in either blue or pink, surrounded
by toys selected from one side of the
shop or the other and thus the
defining of gender begins. There
have been rumblings on the
grapevine about whether or not this
has now become an outdated
process; should we be ‘deciding’
genders for our children? Or should
we raise them neutral and let them
decide for themselves at a later
Although I understand the
argument surrounding gender
neutrality and the ideology of
raising children to be completely
free to decide for themselves, I also
fear the confusion and animosity
such boundaryless upbringing
could cause. When I was younger, I
had no qualms about playing with
Barbies, dressing in Disney
princess dresses and other things
widely considered to be ‘girly’. In
many ways, this led to me positively
defining myself as a feminist and I
never feel that I have missed out on
things by being raised as ‘girly’
(though that is not to say I feel like
I have missed out on things by
being a girl, but that is another
argument altogether). Nevertheless,
as a child I constantly questioned
why half of Toys R US was blue,
the other half was pink, and what
this meant, but I remained happy in
my bubble-gum pink upbringing
until I was old enough to question
an alternative. I realise others do
not have this privilege and issues
arise from a much younger age,
which is often something dismissed
and addressed at a later date.
As someone who grew up
with the privilege of being secure in
my gender, my thoughts on when
problems with gender arise are with
the stereotypes which are decided
and ingrained when children start
secondary school. These tight
constraints of gender are
particularly evident in boys, where
even the slightest break from the
masculine straight-jacket leads to
endless bullying. The impenetrable
force of masculinity paves the road
for men, but confuses the road for
women, where if they step onto this
path they are shrouded by
hypocrisy and abuse. Within
schools, if a girl takes the same
reins as a man they are labelled a
slut, a whore”, or a bitch. I have
watched women be followed by
these bullying labels for years after
they leave school, the kind of labels
which waver decision making later-
on in life. These arguments against
pushing gender neutrality onto
children are often based on the
concept of those children being
bullied at school, and I see this as a
very important point. But does this
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 5 -
point avoid the reason that we are
bullied in the first place that these
children are stepping outside of
concrete social constructs shown to
us from birth? Or is it just that we
are naturally different, and we
should embrace this rather than
trying to raise everyone to be
Now, as an adult or pretty
close I see the definitions of
gender as more of a blurred line.
As people start to emerge from
adolescence and make sense of
themselves they make the decisions
to either be comfortable in their
gender identity, change it, or
become gender fluid. As a society we
have become more accepting of
these transitions which is an
excellent thing, whilst also keeping
the positivity around female and
male identity. This does not mean
there is not work which needs to be
done on the effects caused by ultra-
masculinity, the damaging effects of
which on men and women are
evident and have been defining both
for years: Men not being able to cry;
women not being allowed to not cry
On many levels there is a
political correctness problem.
People ask: “Where do we draw the
line?and I also query this. I am not
the most educated person on the
dynamics of gender and I do not try
to be. Do we draw the line at unisex
toilets? Unisex changing rooms? Do
we prioritise the majority and their
comfort needs over the needs of the
minority? I am sure nobody really
knows the answer as there are fair
arguments for both sides. If we
raised our children neutral to begin
with would they even suffer these
problems later in life due to the
social constructs disappearing, or
do they naturally occur within us
regardless? Gloria Steinem wrote
that: …a gender equal society
would be one where gender would
not exist at all…”, and whilst I
understand this view, I feel like
what defines each gender is also
worth celebrating, not forgetting.
Girl power would simply not be girl
power if no-one identified as female,
and while some people may view
this as ignorant, I believe that some
of what defines us in society is also
what makes all of us so unique,
powerful, and indestructible.
Please cite as:
Smith, C. (2018). Monograph: Questions
about gender: Neutrality, fluidity, and
girl power. British Mensa’s:
ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 4-5.
Charlie Smith BA (Hons)
English and American Literature Graduate
of the University of Kent School of English.
- 6 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: Why gender is important to me
and to the work I do: In the name of
freedom, health, and good education.
Shereen H. Shaw
GENDER has played a big
part in my upbringing and
education. I recall not being
satisfied with such female heroines
as Jane Eyre and Tess of the
D’Urbervilles. Both females
portrayed an image I was unable to
identify with; that of vulnerability
and perhaps eagerness to please
the significant Other. I felt their lack
of confidence and self-belief was
their downfall. Females such as
Zena from Greek myths and
Medusa attracted me. Their
characters had multiple sides and
dimensions. I knew from a very
early age that my gender was not
what defined me and certainly
others’ opinions have played a very
small role in shaping who I am
today. I had a strong female role
model to look up to: My mother who
I would say is an intellectual, an
avid reader, and writer.
It is fair to say that if parents
are well-educated in Egypt, equal
opportunities exist between males
and females in the family. I was
often reminded that I was privileged
as a young female brought up in
Cairo to have received a good
education and, more so, the
opportunity to venture in my early
20s to live and settle in the West.
The common Egyptian tradition
when it comes to gender is that men
provide for women and the role of
women is solely to bear children
and to nurture them. Often poorer
families make a choice between
siblings as to who will receive an
education and who will stay home.
Male offspring are expected to seek
a good education to be able to
provide for all family members,
whereas females are expected to
find a suitable suitor.
I was fortunate enough to be
surrounded by influential females
who left a lasting impact on my
character. To some extent, as I grew
up, I began to grasp that female
authors, teachers, and lecturers
seemed to struggle to justify their
existence in a predominantly
patriarchal society like Egypt. I was
a student of Ferial Ghazoul,
Professor of English & Comparative
Literature, who taught me about
the history of women in classic
narratives from the Eastern and
Western traditions. I recall writing
an essay once about Toni
Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eyes
and debating with Ghazoul the
protagonist’s strong emotions of
strength and liberation. At such a
critical age, and in what I can only
define as a period in which my
character was most influenced, I
felt empowered by women.
Ghazoul’s teachings, Nawal El
Saadawi’s writings, and Radwa
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 7 -
Ashour’s narratives have all shaped
the woman I am today.
The wider image of Middle
Eastern women sadly is somehow
controversial. The stigma is that
women in patriarchal societies are
oppressed. Though, to a certain
extent, this is true, there are a few
whose names have managed to rise
above all barriers and obstacles.
Their voices were heard and
resonate in young women’s minds
generation after generation.
Although Saadawi’s name is one
that received more criticism and
threats, than praise; her literary
talent in speaking out against
Islamic dogma, the governments’
malpractice and poor policies, have
allowed her to remain, both
nationally and internationally, a
pioneer in Egyptian feminism. Her
work is also widely read in many
languages and across every
continent. It may seem to many
that women, naturally, have a
bigger battle to fight than men. On
a closer look, the truth of the matter
is such that women are blessed
with so many talents that if put to
good use, can change the world.
It is common in Egypt to hear
as a young female, stories of daily
harassment, if not be subjected to
one; whether walking in the street
or on public transport. It is also
common to be reminded every now
and then at any special occasion
that your future is dependent on a
potential suitor who will one day
appear and ask for your hand in
marriage. One might feel a sense of
sympathy at what I can only
describe to be a burden on every
Middle Eastern woman: The burden
to justify one’s existence and
struggle for a sense of worth and
appreciation from the male Other.
The struggle is real and El
Saadawi’s writings capture
beautifully perhaps a fraction of the
issues that face women in the Arab
world. From being subjected to
female genital mutilation [FGM], to
rape and harassment, to the stigma
regarding divorce, and the sense of
shame assigned to the female body,
and to the struggle of the self and
identity in culture and religion.
Gender is a difficult topic to
discuss when you have grown up in
a traditional double standard
environment which un-Islamically
put so much emphasis on the
avoidance of shame and necessity
to maintain purity and chastity;
pressures women itself. I recall that
at sixteen years of age, I saw a scene
in an Arabic film where a female on
her wedding night presented the
stained sheets from her bed to her
in-laws and guests as proof of her
virginity. These customs and
traditions exist still to this day,
perhaps more so in poorer areas.
These scenes are common in
Egyptian films and seen by many
young females who will grow up to
follow and believe that their only
worth is in this specific moment
where they have to prove their
chastity and virginity.
Gender inequality continues
to be one of the key issues present
in the Arab world and it manifests
itself in different forms from abuse
of authority by subjecting women to
virginity tests during the Egyptian
revolution, to expecting full
obedience from women in marriage
- 8 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
to sexual harassment in
relationships and on the streets.
It is, therefore, paramount as
educationalists, writers, feminists,
and philosophers to continue a
gender discourse in order to
empower females to make well-
informed choices, and to put an end
to gender inequality and injustice in
the name of religion, family
traditions, and customs which limit
a women’s world.
Please cite as:
Shaw, S.H. (2018). Monograph: Why
gender is important to me and to the
work I do: In the name of freedom,
health, and good education. British
Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 6-8.
Shereen H. Shaw BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Lecturer in Further Education & Training,
Faculty of Education,
Edge Hill University.
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 9 -
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: ‘Female psychology’, lifecourse
analysis, and women’s mental health: A
new pathway to a better psychology of
Sergio A. Silverio
MATRIARCHAL figures have
always been a dominant feature of
my lifecourse. Strongly
opinionated, sharply tongued,
steadfast Apennine and Iberian
women have overseen the
migrations of both matrilineal and
patrilineal bloodlines across
countries, and from peasantry to
where I find myself today as an
educated researcher of
Psychological Science. In my
experience, women have always
ruled with an iron fist albeit one
which was always gloved in the
finest velvet. The tough decisions
families have to make, the
consoling families require in times
of bereavement and grief, and the
safeguarding of old fashioned
family values has always been
executed by the formidable force
which was, and continues to be, the
women in my family.
Growing up under their
collective watchful eye, I developed
a healthy respect for their ways of
‘knowing’, and their ability to
present different versions of
themselves when the time called for
it. From the maternal and
mothering always conscious if you
had been fed; to the ferocious when
defending their own; and when
required, an ‘ever-the-diplomat’
routine, if holding court or
negotiating difficult familial issues.
Women’s identities and especially
those of all the women I knew
always seemed adaptable,
changing, complex, and there was
certainly not one ‘feminine’ to which
they all subscribed. Whilst I found
this a point of interest, my life’s
plan initially did not involve a
career in psychological research. It
was only after having studied under
Prof. Franco Viviani whilst on
exchange in Italy I settled into a
mindset where this was in fact,
something I wished to pursue.
Franco is a Venetian-born,
somewhat eccentric, multi-lingual,
and eclectic Professor of
Anthropology one of only a few
across the whole of Italy and
whilst the main focus of his work
has been body issues, he taught a
programme which covered gender
identity, psycho-sexuality, and the
oppression of women through time.
This was where my passion for
gender and what I now find myself
researching every day, was
Gender identity is an integral
part of every person’s psyche,
whether consciously thought about
or sub-consciously ignored. What
fascinates me about gender identity
- 10 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
is the breadth which can be
displayed by persons who otherwise
behave in similar ways and also the
seemingly plastic nature of
gendered identities. They appear
malleable and able to be adapted to
the varying conditions and contexts
in which they are performed by
each and every person across the
planet. More specifically and in
line with my training as a
Psychologist my particular
interest lies with the intersection of
gender and mental health.
Stepping down from this macro-
level specialisation, my theoretical
work and some of my research to
date has tended to focus on
women’s mental health and social
wellbeing outcomes in relation to
changes in gender identity over the
lifecourse. It is a complicated
balancing act I maintain between
clinical and health psychology;
feminist philosophy; and gender
research and whilst the work is
not necessarily easy, the reasons
for doing it, certainly are.
Throughout history, women’s
mental health has been largely
disregarded as a hysteria-driven
response and in being so,
inconsequential to societal
zeitgeists; whilst women’s gender
(and sexual) identity has been
oppressed and shunned for just as
long, if not longer. The last one-
hundred years has seen the
advancement of women’s rights
increase significantly, and there are
undeniably more women taking a
seat at the table when it comes to
politics, business, healthcare,
leadership, and even religion. But
let us make no mistake there is
still a long way to travel before
women, and those who identify as
female, are treated equally to men.
Further still until we see a true
system of gender equity being
practised. Glass ceilings still exist,
accompanied by glass escalators,
glass cliffs, glass walls, and glass
doors as well as sticky floors, and
frozen ladders. The environments
in which women operate are still
undeniably governed and
constricted by the presiding
patriarchal society, making my
work as a male exploring women’s
mental health and identity issues
even more contentious.
In recent years we have seen
a ‘push-back’ or ‘rebellion’,
‘feminist uprising’, or ‘women’s
movement’ challenging the status
quo and rising to meet the
opportunities to govern and effect
change. Accompanying these
movements has been a wonderfully
rich, and often difficult to hear,
oppression discourse. Women
telling their stories, and sharing
their experiences of health,
financial, political, social,
educative, and sexual inequalities.
We have seen the advent of
women’s narratives being told by
women, for what is possibly the first
time in certainly the UK and USA’s
histories, since the women’s
suffrage movements. For some
countries, this has been the first
time ever women have been able to
have their voices heard and acted
upon. Mental health and gender
identity are present in the majority
of these narratives. They may at
times be only an undercurrent of
the messages, but they are most
definitely present, and it is
important to capture these nuances
to understand just how women’s
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 11 -
mental health in relation to their
gender has been affected.
In my time working, I have
interviewed widows, mothers and
women who have lost babies; and
those who are through choice, or by
circumstance never married and/or
remained childless. I have had the
privilege to teach Midwives; and
also work with colleagues on data
collected from women experiencing
varying levels of psychological
distress. In everything I do there is
the driver to offer a platform to hear
women’s voices and allow them to
discuss their struggles whilst they
remain the architects of their own
futures. To facilitate this, I adopt
‘Female Psychology’ as the basis for
my work: Examining the lived
experience of women's life-courses,
through narrative, in order to
explore patterns and trends in
mental health and social wellbeing,
whilst noting adaptations to gender
identity challenges over all life-
transitions and across cultures. It
is a ‘cradle-to-grave’ approach
allowing women to identify their key
life-changing experiences which
have shaped their psychology.
In adopting this method of
working, I believe women identify
what is important for them to share
and are able to do so using their
own voice, presentation, and
interpretation. It is then my job to
compile these stories into a neatly
woven collection and release it into
the world. My empirical and
theoretical standings are present in
readings of these data, but the
messages are data driven, and
therefore derived from the women
with whom I speak. It is my
sentiment that I shall happily teach
and continue to employ this
methodology for as long as it
continues to receive positive
feedback from the women who are
sharing their stories with me. I will
do this because it is my belief that
after centuries of women’s mental
health being written off as
exaggerated and insignificant, it is
only right that we now offer the
platforms from which they can
finally narrate their own stories,
and strive for a better psychological
Please cite as:
Silverio, S.A. (2018). Monograph: ‘Female
psychology’, lifecourse analysis, and
women’s mental health: A new
pathway to a better psychology of
women. British Mensa’s:
ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 9-11.
Sergio A. Silverio
MPsycholSci (Hons) MBPsS, RSci
Research Assistant in Qualitative Methods,
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for
Women’s Health,
University College London
- 12 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: Gender-Quake: What’s at
Emily Ashbrook
I AM writing this article in the
days following Channel 4’s ‘Gender-
Quake Debate’, a live debate in
which various panellists including
cis-, feminists, journalists, trans-,
models, artists, and activists, came
together to ‘debate’ what gender
means for us today. Many more
guests were invited, a number of
whom declined the invitation, some
publicly shaming the show for
essentially disputing their right to
exist. In the opening applause, my
partner and I admired the witful set
designer’s choice to position the
panellists as armchair
philosophers, sitting at varying
degrees of comfort in aptly
vintage recliners.
The content ranged from
time-constrained, limited debate, to
finger pointing, to derailing trans-
phobic heckles from the audience.
The host, Cathy Newman, seemed
to increasingly depend upon
television personality Caitlyn
Jenner to act as the voice of reason
who would continue to speak
despite heckles, not outwardly
rising emotionally to the opposition.
It may be worth noting that Caitlyn
is one of the most famous trans
persons on the planet, whose
coming-out narrative was framed
by a reality TV show. Incidentally,
she is worth hundreds of millions of
The Women’s Sector as a whole
pounds, as well as being a Trump
voter, supporter, and campaigner;
she certainly is not representative
of the average trans person and her
conservative values have arguably
been detrimental to the trans-
community. Despite these
reservations, though, she at least
seemed to appreciate her role as an
advocate and called to re-instil a
safe space by having certain
audience members removed.
Channel 4, disappointingly, failed
to react to these requests.
Using this debate as a point
of reference for why gender takes a
prominent focus in my work I felt
was apt since it represents an
ideological conflict of which I have
become increasingly aware in my
chosen field. The women’s sector
denotes those charities and
organisations which are dedicated
to addressing violence against
women and girls (often denoted
‘gender-based violence’). I work on
the front line of one of these
charities and I can say first hand
that the work being done here is
crucial and phenomenal, stretched
as they are so thinly in virtue of
austerity-driven underfunding.
Which persons are included in their
targeted reach seems
straightforwardly foundational of
the sector’s strategy, though
opinion is divided. That is, who we
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 1) - 13 -
are classing as women and girls
and, consequently, who is granted
access to the nations’ rape-crisis
centres and refuge spaces.
Much of the vocal, public
defence of trans-exclusionary
‘women-only’ spaces comes from
the sector, particularly in defence of
refuge spaces for women fleeing
domestic violence.
The concern
often centralised is protecting by
women and for women’ spaces,
whereby women can recover from
domestic and or sexual violence
away from perpetrators. A trade-off
of logical incompatibility between
the rights of women and trans-
women is upheld as fact. Implicit
here is the idea that opening the
doors of these spaces to trans-
women is a threat to current service
users’ safety and that this apparent
fact overrides the right of a trans-
woman to access support if she has
been raped or abused.
If nothing else: Constructive,
important, and devastating
statistics were given a platform by
the Gender-Quake debate. Trans
model and activist Munroe Bergdorf
noted that the average life
expectancy for trans women is 35
years old. Host Cathy Newman
quoted Stonewall research stating
that more than half of trans people
have attempted to complete suicide.
Perhaps some readers also saw
Paris Lees, the first trans woman to
appear on question time, also airing
powerfully these concerns.
Research shows the prevalence of
Important to note is that many
organisations are inclusive of trans-women
and have pledged allegiance to reforming
the Gender Recognition Act.
both sexual and domestic violence
suffered by the trans-community,
not to mention soaring levels of
hate-crime. For those on the
feminine side of the gender
spectrum, this is informed by trans-
misogyny, living, as we all do, under
the patriarchy. Perpetrators of this
violence often target gender non-
conformity, gender expression or
identity. By blurring the lines of
gender, they disrupt and threaten
systems of normalisation and
power which sustain the patriarchy
and are subjected to a violent
backlash for non-compliance. The
disproportionately experienced
violence in this community
elucidates the epidemic as
importantly gender-based. This
considered, taking ‘gender-based’
violence in a unilateral sense,
whereby trans-women are
excluded, has deeply harmful
I do not believe that all of
those who defend women-only
spaces are synonymising trans-
people and sex offenders (although
some certainly do, a position not too
strongly likened to 1980s rhetoric of
gay people being branded as
paedophiles). It does seem,
however, that tokenistic examples
of men exploiting self-identification
policy regarding gender identity, to
invade women-only spaces in order
to perpetrate sexual and/or
domestic violence, are being used
unjustly. Self-identification law
seems often to be synonymised with
self-declaration; simply saying I am
a man or I am a woman. This is
Newly proposed legislation which would
replace the Gender Recognition Act (2004).
- 14 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
an over-simplification. Self-
identification is more appropriately
described as locating the control of
trans-identities in trans-peoples’
hands. That is, not requiring the
diagnosis of a panel of doctors,
where the positive result is
detecting mental illness. Still,
under this proposed legislation,
there would be an enormous
amount of bureaucracy, including
changing a life-time’s amount of
paperwork and identification,
affecting ultimately the way the law
treats you and navigates your life.
Not, as simple as some would have
it, effectively declaring oneself of a
given gender whimsically in order to
invade certain spaces,
As a woman and a feminist, I
want to be a part of a feminism that
is inclusive and supportive of all
women. Trans- and cis-women face
similar dangers in our current
misogynistic society; our services
need to reflect this and,
correspondingly, honour trans-
women’s rights to be believed and
supported. Belief plays a central
part in our practices in these
services. What more is self-
identification than believing in and
accepting individuals’ expertise in
their own life? It is widely known
how detrimental disbelieving
survivors of violence can be. We
need to be better than this.
I wanted to use this space as
a queer woman, standing by my
LGBTQ+ family. This is a call to
action for non-inclusive charities to
be better; a call for gender, in a
more inclusive and pluralised
sense, to take a great prominence in
our work. A call to the Government
to alleviate the burden of
supporting people who have
experienced sexual violence from
overworked and thinly stretched
independent charities; to provide
more systematic support, as well as
national, across the board
prevention-focused projects. A call
for gender-based violence to be
recognised and addressed in a
multi-lateral sense. We are in the
midst of an epidemic, and we must
stand together.
Please cite as:
Ashbrook, E. (2018). Monograph: Gender-
Quake: What’s at stake? British
Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 12-14.
Emily Ashbrook BA (Hons)
Philosophy Graduate of King’s College
London Department of Philosophy.
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 1) - 15 -
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: Rediscovering psychology
through feminism.
Sonia Soans
IN the first year of my
undergraduate degree I learnt
about neutrality, and objectivity,
and why it was important to the
discipline of Psychology. I learnt
about experiments which took
people out of their natural
environments and put them into
labs, hooked up to machines and
asked to perform various tasks. I
must confess, this was a let down
from what I imagined a Psychology
course would teach. It was not
until the second year of my Master’s
that I began challenging
some of the things I had learnt
about Psychology.
Around that time, I began
questioning the logic behind of
trying to categorise and study
behaviour as if it was universal and
devoid of context. My textbooks
were written mostly by white
American men about white
American men. There were several
founding fathers of the discipline,
however the founding mothers did
not get a mention. Voices of women
and people of colour were relegated
to mere footnotes. Psychology as I
then came to understand it was
legitimised by being located in
laboratories or in MRI machines.
Examples in textbooks were not
only foreign, but also specific to a
certain section of American society.
Indian Master’s Degrees span two years.
Back then I was curious
about mental illness, which
although assumed to be universal,
differed so much in its presentation
around the world. Somehow the
clean clinical definitions provided
by the textbook did not always feel
relevant. With the exception of
Psychoanalysis most Psychology
which was taught at university
seemed to distance itself from
personal introspection. Colonial
and postcolonial Psychoanalysts
seemed to have a better grasp of
human nature and cultural
The work of Girindrasekhar
Bose and Sudhir Kakar bridged the
gap between the East and the
West. Through Psychoanalysis I
learnt to engage with the
unresolved, to understand rather
than cure. It was around this point
one of my Professor introduced the
work of Foucault and Szasz. His
interpretation of these authors
works was deeply steeped in
feminist theory. Suddenly
Psychology came to life, it became a
more rounded subject, one that was
engaged with the world. Despite the
revolutionary nature of these
authors works, the voices of women
were still missing. While the
textbook material is crucial to
- 16 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
understand concepts in Psychology
it needs to be contextualised.
Manifesting itself through feminist
theory, queer theory, and post-
colonial theory, Psychology gains
from an additional perspective.
After being awarded my
Master’s degree I worked in a
rehabilitation facility where I
worked with women addicts. The
invisibility of these women in
treatment manuals was in sharp
contrast to the unofficial myths
which circulated about them. It was
in these snide remarks and biases
that the treatment of women was
decided. All that I had learnt about
clinical neutrality, objectivity, and
evidence flew in the face of what I
had witnessed first-hand. Mental
illness as I had known it was much
more than mere clinical symptoms.
Since then my work has been
constantly exploring how mental
illness is tied to gender, ethnicity,
and nationalism.
By using feminism in my
academic work, I look at narratives
which are too often overlooked.
Historian Suzannah Lipscomb
often addresses imbalance of
gender in historical narratives. This
exclusion has had the cumulative
effect of creating a collective
amnesia. In order to correct this,
the single narrative needs to be
challenged. Psychology, which
incorporates feminism becomes
more nuanced, more refined, and
more able to do exactly that.
Amongst the many
frameworks used to understand
psychology and mental health,
feminism is both reflexive and
intersectional. It is grounded in
theory, but it is also intuitive. Black
feminist authors often articulate
the innate injustice felt by black
women, this knowledge is not
measured through dissection, but it
is based on collective experience.
Feminism lends itself to theory and
activism, both of which are
important tools in deconstructing
ideas we assume to be normal.
Since the personal is
political, it is only fair to say that
feminism is not just about
maintaining a faux sense of
neutrality. It demands
introspection as much as it
demands the deconstruction of
ideas. Feminism demands personal
investment in order to create
change. Similar to a religious
experience, it demands personal
transformation as much as it
demands societal transformation.
This aspect of personal
transformation is demanding as it
requires dedication to change, to
adapt, and to improve all of which
require personal commitment.
While using feminist theory
in my work, I have also allowed
feminism to transform me. I have
come to introspect my deep-seated
ideas about the world and my role
within it. While this transformation
has not been easy it has been
worthwhile. Through my
engagement with feminism I have
been able to connect with feminists
before me whose work is both
academic and personal. The works
of Audre Lorde and the Indian Dalit
feminist Cynthia Stephen are not
only good for building a theoretical
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 17 -
argument, but also a means of self-
growth. It has been over ten years
since I was awarded my Master’s
degree. Since then I have worked in
a university, travelled to Britain,
been awarded a PhD and met lots of
feminist academics and activists.
These experiences have had an
impact on the way I view, research,
and practice both my psychology
and my feminism.
Personally, I find the social
sciences to be most interesting and
relevant when they are not
imitating the natural sciences.
Human behaviour and history are
complex and full of contradiction. It
is precisely this unpredictability
which makes for an engaging study.
To study the constantly shifting
world we live in, we need to use the
tools which, above all, have the
power to be transformative.
Please cite as:
Soans, S. (2018). Monograph:
Rediscovering psychology through
feminism. British Mensa’s:
ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 15-17.
Sonia Soans BA, MSc, MPhil, PhD
Member of the Asylum Editorial Collective,
Researcher and Artist.
- 18 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: How I use gender in my work.
Shamini Sriskandarajah
I DID not realise how much
gender would affect my work as a
therapist and a bereavement
practitioner until I saw my first
male client. He was friendly, polite,
and warm, but a short time into our
first session, I realised that he was
leading it and I was suddenly
feeling too self-conscious and
nervous to gently get back to the
assessment questions I was
supposed to ask. I had already
talked briefly in supervision about
my slight apprehension when I got
the referral, wondering if and how it
would be different to work with a
male client after working only with
women. Now I went back to
supervision and wondered why I
had this attack of nerves. I was
asked whether it was more about
my being quiet and unconfident
than about working with a man. I
was not convinced I had worked
with female clients who seemed
much more confident or bolshie
than me, but I had not felt inferior
or especially self-conscious with
This client joked about my
age a few times, without ever asking
the direct questions which some
clients have. I was never quite sure
if my perceived age was the biggest
issue for him, or if it was the most
socially acceptable difference to
mention. We were different genders,
different ages, different ethnicities,
and although he did not know what
my education and work
background was, he might have
guessed that it was also very
different from his. A couple of times
I vaguely acknowledged the fact we
were different, but it seemed like
we were both uncomfortable to
delve any deeper. I got used to him
starting the sessions, believing that
is what he needed to do to feel safe
in the room. Fiona Aitken and
Aileen Coupe explore their work as
female therapists working with
male clients in their seminal work
in 2006, looking at factors
including the power balance in the
room. They urge against becoming
too submissive or too authoritative,
arguing that the former makes it
difficult for therapist and client to
engage therapeutically, and the
latter risks driving the client away.
In supervision, we thought
that since my client was talking in
depth about his bereavement, this
structure was fine. I had shared my
concerns about his shame over
coming for counselling, his belief
that it was not something that “real
men” did. As a woman, this
particular shame was not
something I had experienced, but
he described it so carefully, I felt a
fraction of his shame in each
session. Halfway through our work,
we sat down at the beginning of a
session and after the preliminaries
he said: "Shamini, why don't you
kick things off?" My jaw nearly hit
the floor. I contained my shock and
referred back to something he had
talked about in the last session. The
phrase turning point seems like a
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 19 -
cliché in this kind of work, but that
is what it felt like. I might not have
been a man, I might not have been
the same age or ethnicity as him,
and I might not have had the same
upbringing, but he now trusted me
enough to pass on the baton. It
remains one of the most powerful
moments in my work so far.
He had just come back from
holiday when we met for the last
time. I noticed his suntan and he
held his arm out to mine and said:
"I'm nearly the same colour as you
now!" I laughed: “Almost!” He talked
about how, when he was given my
first name and told I would be his
counsellor, he did not know if I was
a man or a woman, if I was a school-
leaver or middle-aged. He guessed
from my name that I was not white
like him, but even then, he was not
sure. I am so used to being me, that
it is hard to imagine how difficult or
confusing it might be for a new
client who does not know what
gender I am. Gender is often one of
the qualifiers which people give
they only want to see a particular
gender and I think it is reasonable
when you are about to allow a
stranger to see and hear your
vulnerabilities, your fears, and your
darkness, that you should have
some choice in who that stranger is.
It has been several years
since my work with this client, who
was such a source of learning for
me. I refer to my gender more
readily now, and I feel more at ease
about my gender and the other
aspects of my identity in the room.
When I work with women, I will
sometimes acknowledge that I may
be biased because I am a woman
too, and when working with men, I
will ask what it is like to experience
“Χ” as a man, admitting that I do
not know, but I can only imagine.
With this acknowledgement comes
a sense of relief at being authentic
and respectful. I hope this relief is
also felt, at least to some extent, by
my clients.
Please cite as:
Sriskandarajah, S. (2018). Monograph:
How I use gender in my work. British
Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 18-19.
Shamini Sriskandarajah MSc
Integrative Psychotherapist and
Bereavement Counsellor
- 20 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Arts:
Monograph: Gender at work: A power
Olga Lucía Patiño
COLOMBIA is full of
contradictions regarding gender
issues. Strong legal frameworks to
protect women and constant
portraits of male-dominant society
attached to traditional values
regarding Catholicism and
patriarchy. Cities have a much
better female participation in the
workforce compared to isolated
areas and countryside, but gender
in the workplace becomes a female-
oriented battlefield filled with
double-shift issues. A woman
entering the workforce transforms
her duties usually oriented on the
family and the home in order to
assume the challenge of new
working opportunities and which is
also related to being compelled to
increase the income into the home.
Men and women together at work
represent more than an opportunity
for gender equity scenarios which a
struggle where traditional values
are against the wall and power
relationships may be difficult.
The legal system in Columbia
prominently orientates legislation
towards gender, for example the
selective abortion regulation in
cases of rape, mother's or baby's
health risk; and regulations which
An asexual is a person who does not
experience sexual attraction, asexuality is
beginning to be a topic for scientific
research as asexuals mostly face a
different set of challenges to sexual people.
require a minimum of 30% quota of
females in top leadership positions
for the state. In reality, Columbian
women suffer a 27% gender gap for
equal economic opportunities and
actually as few as 21% of all
political legislators are female.
Gender is not a recognition problem
in itself, but there are two, real
problems: The female-oriented
policies and approaches of studies;
and the lack of a non-binary view of
sexuality and gender identity. There
is, however, no problem in either
being male or female at work
opportunities, all transnational
companies & enterprises in general,
including entrepreneurship, cover
the gender gap issue at least on
paper and in an effort to meet what
is legally required.
As a Professor, the fact I am
neither a Psychologist, nor any
other health-related therapist is
weird and not viewed as
professional when it comes to
dealing with those gender issues at
work. I am questioned on my
research and previous work
experiences on those matters of
professionalism, and the fact of
being openly self-declared as
and dissenting cisgender
Those whose gender identity, role, or
expression is considered to match their
assigned biological sex. A dissenting
position of cisgender refers to those who
will not commit to the cultural definitions
of their own gender.
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 21 -
Both terms are yet unknown in
Colombia and Latin America and
are as yet not taken in the legal
frameworks except at dedicated
NGO’s with long-term experience.
The struggle for non-binary
recognition is hard and our
societies are not yet prepared. So,
sometimes regarding gender
identity and gender at work is
better to stay away from staff more
ignorant to these topics and their
discussions, but as a Professor
there is a lot to be done with
students by introducing a
differential approach in class with
academic purposes. For women
and other non-male genders the
workplace is a battlefield in terms of
who has got the power, and how
can I demonstrate I am valuable
enough to maintain this position
when I am female (or not male).
That is wrong; true gender
opportunities should not
discriminate who is the boss or who
is more capable, which brings me to
a statement from UNESCO:
“Gender Equality means that women
and men have equal conditions for
realizing their full human rights and
for contributing to, and benefiting
from, economic, social, cultural and
political development. Gender equality
is therefore the equal valuing by
society of the similarities and the
differences of men and women, and
the roles they play. It is based on
women and men being full partners in
their home, their community and their
~ Unesco (2003).
Then, how important gender
is or should be at work? Honestly, I
do not think it should be if the
concept above is well appropriated
in our societies. That concept is not
yet well assumed and requires
further questions by people who
work in Human Resources offices,
such as Are we gender-balanced on
top leader positions?’ or ‘Is it better
to have a male or a female for this
position?’. It is also therefore, no
surprise that for direct operative,
social care, and aid work positions
women are still preferred as it is
seen as just an overlapping or
extension of the of the private
sphere of home care.
At work, females remain in an
environment of How can I
demonstrate that I am a woman
capable enough for this position?’
In my own terms I still wonder How
do I let them know that being
female should not be a topic of
discussion?’ But that environment
is fearful of the gender issue; men
do not know how to assume it and
women cannot relax about it. As a
result, both male and female
genders, and other genders might
play a drama queen attitude rather
than attempting to solve the real
Please cite as:
Patiño, O.L. (2018). Monograph: Gender at
work: A power struggle. British
Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, 2(2), 20-21.
Olga Lucía Patiño MA
Senior Professor of Humanities
Unipanamericana Fundación Universitaria
- 22 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - News:
Androgyny & Gender in The News.
Summer 2018
Restricting Abortion Access Is Class Warfare. Onerous
anti-abortion laws are designed to make abortion inaccessible & by design
they harm poor women and marginalized populations the most. C. Virginia,
05/04/18 Broadly:
Most married women preferring hanging out with
friends over husbands, survey finds. More than 50 percent of
married women surveyed replied that they preferred hanging out with their
girlfriends compared to their spouses in a survey of 1,517 British women by
Champneys Health Spa. WITW Staff, 10/04/18 Women in the World:
'Circe' By Madeline Miller Is A Love Letter To The First
Witch In Literature. Madeline Miller has woven her own spell to take
Circe from a cameo in Odysseus's story to a formidable heroine in her own
right. C. Ahlin, 10/04/18 Bustle:
Swedish Academy head quits Nobel body over sexual
misconduct probe. The organisation has been criticised for its
handling of a probe into the alleged sexual misconduct of a man married to
one of its members. BBC Staff, 12/04/18 BBC News:
What does consent look like in the #MeToo era? Actor
and former NFL player Terry Crews joined journalists Joanna Coles and
Lauren Duca to discuss toxic masculinity, consent, and dating post-#MeToo.
WITW Staff, 14/04/18 Women in the World:
Lesbian mum told she 'has to have sex with a man' to
have her baby legally recognised in Italy. A lesbian couple
in Turin, Italy, has been denied the right to register their baby. J. Hall,
20/04/18 indy100:
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 23 -
Menstrual cups may pose greater risk of toxic shock
syndrome than tampons, study claims. Toxic shock
syndrome (TSS) has long-been associated with tampon use, but a new study
claims that menstrual cups could pose an even greater risk. O. Petter,
20/04/18 The Independent:
Young women are ignoring worrying period symptoms
due to social stigma. Teenagers and young women are avoiding
seeking help for severe period-related symptoms due to the social stigma
around menstruation, a survey of 14- to 21-year-olds by Plan International
UK has shown. K. Shand-Baptiste, 23/04/18 The Pool:
The age-gap outrage being hurled at Caroline Flack is
a sexist double standard. Caroline Flack got engaged to her 27-
year-old boyfriend at the weekend. Cue the negative commentary… Y.
Adegoke, 30/04/18 The Pool:
Interview with Dr. Christian Jessen: ‘Showing pornography in
schools would be a helpful lesson so why not?’ G. Kelly, 30/04/18 The
Kid’s reaction to seeing drag queen for first time is
adorable. Mum Monica took her son, Willum, to see the drag show inside
a Wholefoods store in Texas but she never expected his incredible reaction.
A. Ashenden, 30/04/18 Pink News:
Being the young white male interviewing about
femininity”. As researchers we learn how easy it is for our questions to
be interpreted differently. S.A. Silverio, 03/05/18 The Researcher:
The Citadel names a woman as its top cadet for the
first time in 175 years. Sarah Zorn, a 21-year-old junior, was
awarded the position and a gilt-handled sword to complement it. WITW
Staff, 07/05/18 Women in the World:
- 24 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
This viral tweet shows how hilariously hard it can be
to label your sexuality. For some people, figuring out your sexual
identity is relatively simple. J. Jackman, 07/05/18 Pink News:
Can a woman be a leader *and* cry angry tears of
frustration? Will a woman crying at work ever be a sign of strength or
does it just mask bigger problems? M. Bate, 07/05/18 The Pool:
The Subtle Sexism of Your Open Plan Office. A remarkable
new study documents the experiences of women in an open office designed by
men. K. Schwab, 07/05/18 Co. Design:
Ivy League student strips down to bra & underwear to
deliver senior thesis. A student at Cornell University stripped to her
underwear during the presentation of her senior thesis last week, prompting
28 others in the classroom at the time to join her in protest of a professor
whom the student said shamed her over her clothing during a practice run of
her presentation. WITW Staff, 10/05/18 Women in the World:
Meet the lesbian witches who are about to become
your new TV obsession. A Discovery of Witches, which is coming to
Sky 1 later this year, will feature Sarah Bishop, a powerful lesbian witch
played by Doctor Who and Arrow star Alex Kingston. J. Jackman,
10/05/18 Pink News:
A Sudanese teenager has been sentenced to death after
defending herself from rape. Several human-rights groups have
rallied together to campaign on behalf of the former child bride, who has been
sentenced to death. Y. Adegoke, 11/05/18 The Pool:
Plan to extend civil partnerships revealed in
government report. Now-abandoned policy proposal emerges as
heterosexual couple take legal fight to supreme court. O. Bowcott,
13/05/18 The Guardian:
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 25 -
My desire to become a mother is a patchwork of loss,
longing and intermittent hope. Kat Lister explores the
psychological impact of infertility. K. Lister, 14/05/18 The Pool:
Three Conversations Professional Women Should Have
with Their Partner. #MeToo feels more like a revelation than a
revolution. L. Elting, 15/05/18 Forbes:
What's in TomboyX's Nude Underwear Line? It's the
Inclusive Collection You Always Needed. S. Arlexis, 16/05/18 Bustle:
This Viral Photo Shows How the Kathua Rape Case
Lawyer Is A Force to Reckon With. "How often do we see a
photograph like this? A confident, professional woman flanked by men who
are not lecherously staring at her." S.M. Thomas, 17/05/18 BuzzFeed:
New York’s 1st woman attorney general is the most
qualified person to ever hold the post. Following the abrupt
resignation of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman in the wake of
allegations that he had violently abused four women, his successor, Barbara
Underwood became the first woman to ever be sworn in to the post. WITW
Staff, 17/05/18 Women in the World:
The oldest woman in the world: “In 129 years, there has not
been one happy day”. Unione Online Staff, 17/05/18 L’Unione Sarda:
Gender Recognition Act review will launch before
summer. The government is planning to launch a consultation on reforms
in the next few weeks. N. Duffy, 18/05/18 Pink News:
Porn does not educate, it distorts. A course in sexual reality is
in order. B. Ellen, 20/05/18 The Guardian:
- 26 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
Transgender kids’ brains resemble their gender
identity, not their biological sex. Julie Bakker of the University
of Liege led the research, which involved MRI scans of 160 transgender people
diagnosed with gender dysphoria who were children and teenagers. A.
Bollinger, 22/05/18 LGBTQ Nation:
Swedish Girls Fearing Forced Marriage Told to Hide
Spoon in Underwear. Officials advise girls to hide the spoon in order
to alert airport security. E. Batha, 22/05/18 Global Citizen:
A great champion of women’s equality. London’s newest
statue salutes Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett. Her Excellency Mrs. T.
May, the Prime Minister 23/05/18 Evening Standard:
Why do Gulf states outperform West on female STEM
participation? Data from THE’s World University Rankings underscore
that many more women are studying some science subjects in the Mena
region, but does this translate into employment? S. Baker, 23/05/18
Times Higher Education:
There really is nothing like a Dame. A documentary depicting
a real-life chat between old friends in their eighties Dame Maggie Smith,
Dame Judi Dench, Dame Eileen Atkins and Dame Joan Plowright is
revolutionary. R. Sigee, 23/05/18 The Pool:
Meghan Markle's Official Royal Biography Is Here. It's A
Major Win for Feminism. E.M. Czachor, 23/05/18 Bustle:
#HomeToVote and what it means to watch Irish
women boarding planes to Repeal the 8th. For decades, tens
of thousands of Irish women have been forced to travel to access safe and
legal abortions. Now they are being remembered. L. Enright, 25/05/18
The Pool:
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 27 -
Everyone Is Missing A Key Reason the U.S. Birth Rate
Is Declining. In the U.S., women are essentially punished for having
kids. E. Peck, 27/05/18 HuffPost:
Artist Reimagines Disney Princesses as Career Women
and It’s Everything. In a new collection created for his employer,
Simple Thrifty Living, Burt imagined many of Disney’s classic princesses as
powerful, successful career women. C. Marfice, 29/05/18 ScaryMommy:
Meet New Zealand's 'First Bloke': The man who'll become a stay-
at-home dad when his PM partner gives birth. J. Llewellyn Smith,
30/05/18 The Telegraph:
Revealed: The worst explanations for not appointing
women to FTSE company boards. The explanations, which come
from a range of FTSE 350 Chairs and CEOs, were heard by the team behind
the government-backed Hampton-Alexander Review. A. Griffiths,
31/05/18 Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy:
Irish feminists target 'women in the home' clause in
constitution. Politicians and activists say the sexist and archaic
language undermines women. S. Baker & E. Graham-Harrison, 03/06/18
The Guardian:
This Dad's Viral Post About the Lack of Diaper
Changing Tables in Men's Restrooms Highlights A
Huge Problem. When it comes to public facilities, there's a lot that needs
to be improved. And what highlights that better than looking at the differences
between men's and women's restrooms? V. Taylor, 03/06/18 Romper:
Facebook Deletes Icelandic Artist’s Video Featuring
Free Nipples. Following their company policy against female nipples,
Facebook recently deleted a video posted online in occasion of a Reykjavik
Arts Festival exhibit showing topless young women. A. Demurtas,
04/06/18 The Reykjavik Grapevine:
- 28 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
Makeover. Gretchen Carlson brings sweeping changes to Miss America
Organization. WITW Staff, 05/06/18 Women in the World:
Femicide. Woman, 22, dies after being set on fire by man her family says
stalked her for years. WITW Staff, 05/06/18 Women in the World:
Discrimination. Woman was told by her boss that it wasn’t her ‘turn’
to get pregnant. WITW Staff, 05/06/18 Women in the World:
Sending a Message. In historic move, California recalls judge from
Brock Turner sexual assault case. WITW Staff, 06/06/18 Women in the
Supreme Court: Northern Ireland abortion laws breach
human rights. "The UK Government can be in no doubt that it must act
now to enforce its citizens’ human rights." WEP Staff, 07/06/18 Women’s
Equality Party:
Women Are Not to Blame for Disclosure Failings In
Rape Cases, Campaigners Warn. 'Women are brutalised twice
over in this country. Once by their rapist and then again by the criminal
justice system.' N. Slawson, 07/06/18 HuffPost:
The Female Gaze. New edition of Kama Sutra features illustrations
from ‘the women’s point of view’. WITW Staff, 08/06/18 Women in the
How Anthony Bourdain Spoke Candidly About Me Too
and His Role in Fostering 'Bro Culture'. The CNN host
credited his girlfriend, actress and director Asia Argento, with helping him
better understand sexual harassment and toxic masculinity. M. Fang,
08/06/18 HuffPost:
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 29 -
Spain's El País newspaper appoints first female editor.
Soledad Gallego-Díaz joined the paper shortly after its founding in 1976. S.
Jones, 08/06/18 The Guardian:
Liverpool sites of suffragette protest recognised in
national heritage list. Five sites in Liverpool are to be officially
recognised today as places which witnessed acts of suffragette protest. L.
Saunders, 08/06/18 YM Liverpool:
Transgender Man’s Baby Could Be First Person
Without a Legal Mother. A baby could become the first person in
England and Wales not to have a legal mother if a court grants a transgender
man the right to be identified as the child’s father. K. Gander, 08/06/18
Spain’s new Prime Minister just appointed a majority-
female cabinet. Pedro Sánchez, sworn in on June 2, is already making
historic changes. That’s a big deal. M. Ngo, 08/06/18 Vox:
Bottle feeding is a woman's right, midwives told. If a
woman decides not to breastfeed her baby it is her choice and must be
respected, midwives are being told. BBC Staff, 12/06/18 BBC News:
- 30 - British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Summer Edition June 2018
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section - Events:
Dates for Upcoming Events.
Summer 2018
Female Firsts. March December 2018, South Cloisters University
College London, United Kingdom.
5th International Conference on Gender & Women’s
Studies. 29th 30th June 2018, Bangkok, Thailand.
The Royal Society of Medicine: Gender Dysphoria. 26th
June 2018, Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, United Kingdom.
Voice & Vote: Women's Place in Parliament exhibition.
Runs for the between 27th June and 6th October 2018, Westminster Hall,
London, United Kingdom.
The British Psychological Society Psychology of
Sexualities Section 20th Anniversary Annual
Conference, 1998-2018: Reflecting Back, Looking
Forwards. 5th 6th July 2018, BPS London Office, 30 Tabernacle Street,
United Kingdom.
The British Psychological Society Psychology of
Women & Equalities Section Annual Conference. 11th
13th July 2018, Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, United Kingdom.
Understanding Sex and Gender 2018. 13th 14th November
2018, Humanum Institute, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, United
The Big STEM Event. 18th 20th July, Winchester Science Centre
and Planetarium, United Kingdom.
British Mensa’s: ANDROGYNY, Volume 2 (Issue 2) - 31 -
Postgraduate conference and workshop: After #MeToo:
Where next? 23rd July, Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies,
University of Leeds, United Kingdom.
Durham Early Modern Studies Conference 2018:
Authority, Gender and Social Relations. 23rd 25th July, The
Assembly Rooms, 40 North Bailey, Durham University, United Kingdom.
Oxford & Cambridge Collaborative Outreach Network
Classics Summer School: ‘Gender and Sexuality in the
Ancient World’. 20th 24th August 2018, Wadham College, Oxford,
United Kingdom.
The International Conference on Gender Studies. 4th
5th October 2018, Bangkok, Thailand.
International Conference: Law, Gender and Sexuality.
26th October 2018, British Institute of International and Comparative Law,
Russell Square, London, United Kingdom.
International Conference on Gender and Sexuality in
Asia (CoGen 2018). 12th 14th November 2018, Monash University
Malaysia, Malaysia.
The House of Doors - Exploring 100 Years of Women
and The Vote. November December 2018, UCL Arts Museum, London,
United Kingdom.
The University of Chicago, Center for the Study of
Gender & Sexuality Annual Calendar of Events.
Throughout the Year, The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality,
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States of America.
In This Issue…
Editorial & Letters
1. June Editorial
Sergio A. Silverio
The S.A.N.D.R.A. Section
2. Monograph: What does gender mean to me?
Ana Carretero-Resino
4. Monograph: Questions about gender: Neutrality, fluidity, and girl
Charlie Smith
6. Monograph: Why gender is important to me and to the work I do:
In the name of freedom, health, and good education.
Shereen H. Shaw
9. Monograph: ‘Female psychology’, lifecourse analysis, and women’s
mental health: A new pathway to a better psychology of women.
Sergio A. Silverio
12. Monograph: Gender-Quake: What’s at stake?
Emily Ashbrook
15. Monograph: Rediscovering psychology through feminism.
Sonia Soans
18. Monograph: How I use gender in my work.
Shamini Sriskandarajah
20. Monograph: Gender at work: A power struggle.
Olga Lucía Patiño
22. Androgyny & Gender in The News.
30. Dates for Upcoming Events.
Call for Next Issue…
The theme for the Autumn Publication (Volume 2 Issue 3) will be:
Gender & Sexual Health”.
Submission deadline for the next issue is: 20th August 2018.
Contributions are welcomed for all three sections of the next issue which
shall be published on: 20th September 2018.
All contributions should be submitted via e-mail to:
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Gretchen Carlson brings sweeping changes to Miss America Organization
  • Makeover
Makeover. Gretchen Carlson brings sweeping changes to Miss America Organization. -WITW Staff, 05/06/18 -Women in the World:
dies after being set on fire by man her family says stalked her for years
  • Femicide
  • Woman
Femicide. Woman, 22, dies after being set on fire by man her family says stalked her for years. -WITW Staff, 05/06/18 -Women in the World: