Friday, April 10, 2015

The Beauty of The Female Back. Today's Evolutionary Psychology Study.


A couple of readers forwarded me summaries of an evolutionary psychology study about what angle of lower back men* view as the most beautiful in women.  Thanks for those summaries.

I wasn't going to write about the study, because it didn't beep loudly enough on my freakometer**. 

But then I Googled it and found something fascinating about who quoted it:  The first ten pages of Google gave me a large harvest of pickup artist sites, a few misogyny sites and, in general, lots of tough-prehistoric-guy sites.  Many of those sites summarized the study as being about large butts, which is incorrect, but then misunderstanding studies is more common than understanding them.  What was more interesting is that this study  seems particularly loved by those who do not particularly love women.

That's one fascinating fact.  The other fascinating fact is a comment in one study summary:


Short Funny/Not-so-Funny Posts for 4/10/15. Futurist Ideas of 1930, Labiafaces And Other Weirdness.


Because my mind isn't up to anything haughtier.  That's what comes out of researching ISIS/ISIL or IS for months and then having a flu and then having a looooong nap.  And other not-so-good stuff happening.

1.  In any case, if you ever have spare time, watch the movie Just Imagine (1930) hereIt's all about how people in 1930 thought 1980 might look like.  And yes, there are flying personal cars!  People eat pills instead of meals, and even have large visual telephones and the ability to bring a dead person back to life.  It's all comedy, by the way. 

But I found it fascinating for what they did NOT imagine as changed at all, such as racial and gender norms and even the late 1920s clothing, hair and makeup norms.  All the physicians are men, all the nurses are women, but the latter show upper bare thighs in their uniforms.  The creators of the movie clearly worried about women's increasing independence but they didn't see its actual direction.

We are probably equally blind about what life will be like in 2065.  If there is any.

2.  Did you follow the Daily Caller case?  The one about Buckley Carlson, the brother of the famous conservative Tucker Carlson?  

This story sensationalized itself. As initially reported by BuzzFeed, Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, last week requested a correction from the Daily Caller regarding a story on transportation funding. Her stern appeal, however, rankled Daily Caller staffers, one of which termed her e-mail “whiny.” Things got much worse when Buckley Carlson, brother of top Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson and an occasional contributor to the site, somehow broke into the conversation with an ill-advised “reply all.” As a result, this paragraph, heavily edited here in compliance with Washington Post standards, leaked to the public:
Great response. Whiny little self-righteous b[----]. “Appalling?”
And with such an ironic name, too… Spitalnick? Ironic because you just know she has extreme d[---]-fright; no chance has this girl ever had a pearl necklace. [Synonym for sperm]neck? I don’t think so. More like [unspeakable].
Daily Caller management threw its weight behind those words when Tucker Carlson was asked about them: “I just talked to my brother about his response, and he assures me he meant it in the nicest way,” said Carlson.

Bolds are mine.

WaPo quite ruined the e-mail with its modesty. Here it is unedited:

Great response. Whiny little self-righteous bitch. “Appalling?” And with such an ironic name, too… Spitalnick? Ironic because you just know she has extreme dick-fright; no chance has this girl ever had a pearl necklace. Spoogeneck? I don’t think so. More like LabiaFace.

You can research the meaning of those terms online (including pearl necklace!)  if you wish to do so. 

But the gist of Buckley's comments is that Spitalnick should be scolded for saying anything at all, and that she should be scolded for not being sexually adequately attractive to have had the honor to give many, many blowjobs to men.  Which is sorta sexist unless Buckley responds to criticisms by men with a similar list of sexual things they have failed to do to his satisfaction.

Here's the problem with spending so much time in the bottom mud of Internet.  My first reaction to that e-mail was a relief that Buckley used more imaginary sexist slurs than is usually the case.  Only secondarily did I start thinking about the way he views women's proper role as providers of sexual services, not as providers of online criticism.

The real political aspect of the case is Buckley's brother, Tucker Carlson, because he has more political power.  Now, Buckley may be a denizen of the bottom mud layers, but not Tucker himself!  Nope.  All Tucker said when Spitalnick contacted him directly was this:

Dear Amy,
Thanks for your email. You believe our story was inaccurate and have demanded a correction. Totally fair. We are going over the transcript now.
What Bedford complained about was your tone, which, I have to agree, was whiny and annoying, and I say that in the spirit of helpful correction rather than as a criticism. Outside of New York City, adults generally write polite, cheerful emails to one another, even when asking for corrections. Something to keep in mind the next time you communicate with people who don’t live on your island.
Best,
Tucker Carlson

The annoying bolds are mine.  And more recently Tucker has complained about his poor brother being painted with the wide-misogynist-brush:

Tucker Carlson, editor-in-chief of the Daily Caller, complained on Thursday that he's tired of media outlets covering his brother's misogynistic behavior simply due to his sending one "mean email to this chick."
It's like shooting fish in a barrel, this spotting sexists business. 
*Sits down to hatch more eggs.*

3.  Some of our meninist brethren have public service messages for the rest of us.  For instance, the horrible murder-suicide plane crash by copilot Andreas Lubitz could be the fault of women.  That's because, well, because of an utterly insane worldview at some of those sites.








Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The Cats And The Dogs And Even The Birds


I had never heard of Saara Suvanto before yesterday.  That is a pity, because she had one of those voices which is an instrument (think of Billie Holiday whose centenary is today or of Odetta or of Janis Joplin).  She died at the age of forty from Type One diabetes and she was blind from her early twenties onwards.

What a voice!  This is an early 1980s song she created and performed.  It's called Kissat ja Koirat ja Linnutkin which means The Cats and the Dogs And Even the Birds.  I have given a rough translation of the words at the end of this post.



The topic of the song was the fear of a nuclear war.  But it applies equally well to global climate change, today's fear.

My translation of the lyrics:


Hey, dad, even the children
they want to blow up in air
All the cats and the dogs and even the birds
none of them will be left in peace.

Hey mom,  they slaughter the children, too
nothing will be left of them
all the cats and the dogs and even the birds
everything they destroy.

Listen to the voice of the child
when you still have time
stop being so  very busy
you restless nomad.
 
In the noise the voice
of the innocent child drowns
At night when she/he sleeps
you can hear it clearly

Hey, dad, even the children
they want to blow up in air
All the cats and the dogs and even the birds
none of them will be left in peace.

Hey mom,  they slaughter the children, too
nothing will be left of them
all the cats and the dogs and even the birds
everything they destroy.
 

Listen to the voice of the child
when you can still hear it
when the city quiets down
the frailest of voices sing
it is then the turn of the big ones
to join the song
and ? children’s choir
rings over all land

Hey, dad, even the children
they want to blow up in air
All the cats and the dogs and even the birds
none of them will be left in peace.

Hey mom,  they slaughter the children, too
nothing will be left of them
all the cats and the dogs and even the birds
everything they destroy.