“The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine, M.D.

My best friend has been talking about this book for some time now, and she let me borrow it several weeks ago.  Dang.  I wish I read it a long time ago.

Not only has it been helpful in understanding what my little girl has been going through hormonally and what to expect as she grows older (yeek!), but it’s helped me figure out what was behind all that drama I put myself through in my 20s (and maybe once a month…ahem).

As I read through it, I found myself saying, yeah, yeah!, that’s true, I guess I’m not so weird, and oh, thank God.  It also made me feel proud and appreciative of my female brain.  All my quirks that are innately female and seem (to me) to come across as weak and emotional were retranslated into characteristics that are crucial to the health and success of the human race (we are the mommies):  empathy, peacekeeping, multitasking, intuition, et cetera.  It also highlighted perceived weaknesses (on my part) and made me realize that these are basic needs of any human female psyche.

I can’t say enough about how important this book is.  There are so many aspects and considerations that go into human interractions, and very often hormones and gender are not even on the list.  As I read through it, I realized how invaluable this book is not only to understanding the biology of the female brain, but to understanding and writing believable female characters in fiction.

Now, I have been accused in the past of being a very “girly” writer.  I wasn’t offended by the remark.  I am, as a matter of fact, a girl.  I feel comfortable writing female characters.  But now that I’ve read this book, I’m looking forward to writing a female character with these things in consideration.  Obviously, my personal experience is limited to my age, but I am encouraged to write a story with a menopausal female character.  I think I could make her more believable now.

Anyway, this book just turned out to be a great writer’s resource.  I recommend it to anyone who writes and has any female characters (read that to mean everyone).  Louann Brizendine, M.D., also has another book out called, “The Male Brain,” that I’m looking forward to getting my paws on soon.  Maybe after reading it, I will be able to write more believable male characters.  Get out the grog and the remote control!  I’m ready!

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0 thoughts on ““THE FEMALE BRAIN”

  1. Kathryn McCullough says:

    Great recommendation. I will check it out. I’m getting close to the menopausal age, so it might be helpful, if I can get in on my Kindle. No English language bookstores here in Haiti. In fact, I’ve not seen a bookstore, period!

    Hugs from Haiti,

    • mybluescreen says:

      The author discusses the pros and cons to using hormone replacement therapy to ease yourself through the perimenopause period, as well as the results of studies. Turns out you’ll get different results depending on when you start HRT. Seems to keep your brain sharper longer. Definitely a must-read before you get to that age and it’s too late to make certain choices.

      Gads! I can’t believe you haven’t seen a bookstore! How do you do it? Thank goodness you have a Kindle! This one is available on Kindle. Yay!

  2. sparksinshadow says:

    More synchronicity? I recently wrote an unintended rant in a new friend’s blog’s comment section (Whew! That was an elegant phrase — not!) that touched on all the unecessary emotional pain and negation that women have heaped at them, in regard to things that could very well be explained (and eased) by knowledge of the effects our hormones and physiology have on our brains. We need books like this, as well as strong, powerful people to advocate decency — that knowing these things should never marginalize anyone. (Fear of marginalization, being my theory as to why many women are actually resistant to this discussion. That and the unfortunate feeling some have that talking about these things is actually whining, and an excuse to not be “a team player.”) I’m glad to hear that this book can help with the discussion.

    I’m definitely interested in “The Male Brain.” My search for a significant other has been an awfully creepy experience. I wonder if it would feel different if I understood men better? Thanks for the heads up!

    • mybluescreen says:

      Ha! We do seem to be on parallel mind tracks. Nice.

      I’m with you on everything you said. Women are definitely more emotionally-driven creatures, and while that makes us more intuitive and empathetic and all the other wonderful things that women are, I think it also makes us more vulnerable and susceptible to making fear-based decisions…which explains why women, on the whole, have higher occurrences of depression.

      I always wonder what it must be like to be one of those people — and most of the ones I know are guys — who have no worries about how their thoughts are received, and don’t feel any sort of need or compulsion to punctuate their electronic communications with happy face emoticons and exclamation points to ensure that the recipient understands their good intentions! 😉

      Reading the book certainly set my mind at ease regarding some of the stuff I worry about. I think I’m going to break down and pick up a copy of “The Male Brain,” as I’m thinking I might want to keep that one in my writer’s resource library. I’d really like to hear how it affects your perception of the dating game if you get around to reading it…and I hope you end up with someone great, of course! Seems like a better understanding is always helpful. I wish I understood men better when I was younger. I could have saved myself some serious grief. Even still, I am hopeful that the new book will help me figure out the wonderful man I ended up with. He truly boggles me sometimes. 🙂

  3. Heather says:

    Whew! This seems like something I would love reading. 🙂 I am constantly reading non-fiction these days it seems, because I am just hungry for knowledge and understanding. It isn’t that I believe fiction works don’t give you knowledge (I have learned many things from Fancy Nancy, Luna Lovegood, and Jack Grammar to list a few), I just find myself drawn to the raw information found in a good non-fiction book lately. It’s fascinating, really.

    I love learning about character development a lot too, so I really have an interest in this book now on top of the fact that it is just interesting.

    Thanks for this!

    Oh, and my total word count for this past few days since the last word count given is a mere 1,689. I’ve been far too busy, and entirely too distracted lately. I just have so much going on right now! I haven’t even been able to really post a proper blog post for a while.

    • mybluescreen says:

      It’s a quick read. Fascinating really. I read more non-fiction these days that ever before. I only wish I read more non-fiction when I was younger. Right now I’m reading “The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain” by Alice Flaherty. Good stuff. Actually, the story I wrote over the weekend was about a woman with temporal lobe damage (due to an accident) and suffers from a really bad case of hypergraphia. Fun stuff!

      And rockin’ word count! Thank you! The dinosaurs will be so pleased!

      • Heather says:

        Woah! That does sound pretty awesome. Gotta love a good ol’ bad case of hypergraphia in a story. *I know I do.

        *Confession Time: Author didn’t even know what hypergraphia was before Googling it just moments ago. Author still thinks it sounds awesome. Author at first thought of a hyperactive dancing giraffe, but knew something must be terribly wrong about that. Author is very thankful for search engines.

        • mybluescreen says:

          🙂 Thank you. It was a really fun story to write. And yes, thank Google for search engines! I can’t imagine doing half the stories I do if I always had to traipse off to the library and flip through yellowed card catalogs and periodical guides.

  4. Heather says:

    Alright, I’m done being awake for the day in approximately as much time as it takes me to get from here to face down in my bed. Word count from today… 200. Bleeh…

    I really hope we end up with enough for the Dino Party. Goodnight!

    • mybluescreen says:

      LOL! Did I tell you yet that you rock? Well, ya do! We are way past our goal. The dinos are pushing for 100k next month, crazy, terrible little lizards….

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