A Mathematician's Manifesto For Rethinking Gender : Short Wave In her new book, x+y, mathematician Eugenia Cheng uses her specialty, category theory, to challenge how we think about gender and the traits associated with it. Instead, she calls for a new dimension of thinking, characterizing behavior in a way completely removed from considerations of gender.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

A Mathematician's Manifesto For Rethinking Gender

A Mathematician's Manifesto For Rethinking Gender

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Mathematician Eugenia Cheng's book X+Y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender uses category theory, her field of research, to re-examine the role of gender in society. Basic Books hide caption

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Basic Books

Mathematician Eugenia Cheng's book X+Y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender uses category theory, her field of research, to re-examine the role of gender in society.

Basic Books

Gender is infused in many aspects of our world — but should that be the case?

According to mathematician Eugenia Cheng, maybe not. In her new book, x+y, she challenges readers to think beyond their ingrained conceptions of gender. Instead, she calls for a new dimension of thinking, characterizing behavior in a way completely removed from considerations of gender. She proposes two new terms:

  • Ingressive - focusing on aggressive, individualistic, single-track thinking
  • Congressive - centering the collective rather than the individual, bringing together things and ideas

In her book, Cheng argues that at every level — from the interpersonal to the societal — we would benefit from focusing less on gender and more on equitable, inclusive interactions, regardless of a person's gender identity.

You can reach the show by emailing shortwave@npr.org.

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Title
x + y: A Mathematician's Manifesto for Rethinking Gender
Author
Eugenia Cheng

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This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and edited by Viet Le. Rebecca Ramirez and Emily Kwong checked the facts.