I’m not a fan of dichotomies; perhaps useful for illustrative purposes but in the end, even a polarized magnet has a middle which follows its own set of internalized rules.
The Gardener idea is mostly discredited. I like it, even knowing it’s not true. I like a lot of theories that aren’t true, even knowing they’re not true.
The building of thought processes; pathways; patterns of thought; do I believe personally that they can’t be overcome through a solid philosophy or through mental training? Do I believe we are forever binary cultural males and females?
No. I believe the capacity to go beyond is always there.
However, I do also tend to put some faith in the circuitry conceptualization of the brain’s systems… and the concept that emotions are, alas, a near-requirement for effective rational thinking.
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/313/5787/684.short has a nifty abstract – and I’ve come across some nice line-drawing vastly simplifying the effect of emotion on the concept of an economics-fashioned pure-reason – http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/images/brainscheme-1.gif is a favorite of mine for its simplicity.
Is any of this accurate? I dunno. Makes sense to me;
But I digress. (I tend to do that). Is there an insurmountable difference between male and female?
Well, considering that gender is a spectrum (I feel I can say a strong “is” here) – and that much of what makes up gender expectations seems to be strongly related to early roleplaying… I believe, even if one is more trained in one “way of thinking” vs another “way of thinking” – instilled cultural biases, prejudiced (or predisposed) patterns of thinking…
…I still believe that they’re not permanent nor insurmountable in the least.
Brains are quite flexible things. There may be cultural tendencies, and some of them run quite deep, but on an individual basis, I still can’t see any reason why they would be impossible to entirely overcome and get beyond, even if the sociocultural training occurs at an extrordinarily young age.