It surprises me the degree to which so many people seem to insist on an irrational parity between races, genders, suffering, achievements, etc. Parity is rare. How likely is it that any two things in the same class are equal? Most commonly identically classed things have a unique and subtle tendencies across their group which make them, in sum, noticeably different while being in each incarnation able to exceed the other. But that's not the reality people seem to like, it's not the one most people, particularly those who tow the politically correct line, seem to acknowledge. And I'm forever surprised by this ridiculous falsehood of parity.
Yesterday all over the news was a blog post made to Psychology Today by one of their unsolicited writers revealing his "study" proving Black Women are Less Attractive than Whites, Asians, and Native Americans. The blog post included a number of graphs, claimed research over a seven year period, and having supposedly excluded body mass index (BMI) theorized that black women were less attractive because they had more testosterone which made their features less appealing. If you're a student of the world you won't be surprised to learn that Satoshi Kanazawa's "study" was met with disgust, shock, anger, and his post was quickly removed by Psychology Today. But what surprised me in the response, what always surprises me in responses to these sorts of situations, was the refusal to refute (or even discuss) the actual subject matter. The party line seems to be, "All races are equally beautiful. Any attempt to suggest any one race [particularly a minority] is less attractive is racism." Now let me be clear, Satoshi Kanazawa's blog post is not a study; it is missing just about everything one would expect to find in a serious, rigorous academic examination of the topic. Opinions he says he has captured and explanations he has offered for them are, without further evidence and details, wholly unconvincing. But, most who condemn him don't know this or care about this. Most people were just deeply offended by the idea. But, surely the idea must be true, on some level. The idea being not that black women are less attractive than women of other races, but that people (and therefore the society to which they sum) have attractiveness preferences, which are often (if unconsciously) racially based. The true reality of societal attractiveness and therefore racial preferences I don't know and wouldn't dare to hazard a guess, but I am sure society has them. And why on earth would we be surprised? And why on earth would we deny it. For many the refusal to consider the topic seems to stem from a belief that the question is fundamentally flawed or otherwise invalid. You see lots of comments in response, "What is beauty?" "How can one measure attractiveness?" "He's trying to compare apples to oranges." And those arguments are fine things, but they are ultimately nonsense, because they require us to believe that the world's behavior doesn't depend on the real answer to Kanazawa's real question ("How does attractiveness rank by race/gender?"). If you've lived any amount of years you've surely figured out that people's perception of another's beauty matters quite a lot. Beautiful people have a social advantage over their homelier but otherwise identically schooled, motivated, gifted friends and coworkers; and this social advantage can be an advantage in business as well, though also sometimes a detriment. So understanding attractiveness preferences is useful: to understand, compete, and combat the inequities. And inequities are everywhere, and nothing to focus on lamenting. Surely no one would be much surprised by studies indicating female preferences against shortness, against balding, against... Each individual should be and largely is seen as an individual, the sum of his or her particular merits. Tom Cruise is short but has enjoyed the adoration of millions. Bruce Willis is bald yet continues to enjoy the adoration of millions. So why then the surprise and fury that preferences might correlate to race tendencies when individual variation is always available. Again, this man's study appears to be pure bunk, but there is an answer to the question he asked, and it is a useful question, and we shouldn't be afraid to let someone ask it, or to help them find the answer.
And I don't have time to fully go into it, but in the news out of the UK today was fury over their justice minister Kenneth Clark's on radio comments to a rape victim regarding a plan to give reduced prison terms to those who readily admit they committed rape. I won't get into the meat of the story, but I will mention one curious quote at the end of the article:
When he was quizzed during the show on why rape sentences were on average only five years, Clarke said: "That includes date rape, 17-year-olds having intercourse with 15-year-olds.
"A serious rape, with violence and an unwilling woman, the tariff is much longer than that. I don't think many judges give five years for a forcible rape frankly."
Asked if he thought date rape did not count as a "serious" offence, he said: "Date rape can be as serious as the worst rapes but date rapes, in my very old experience of being in trials, they do vary extraordinarily one from another and in the end the judge has to decide on the circumstances.
It isn't very well highlighted in this passage, but time and time again I've seen discussions where people toeing the politically correct party line seem to insist that all rape is equal, and I think that reflects a similar refusal to accept that reality is far more complicated and messy. Each case of rape must be examined and the punishment affixed based on the individual crime, but we shouldn't be afraid to speak about overall impact of varying classes and types of crimes. Far from the exercise being futile, it's necessary and vital for appropriately responding to the problem, particularly in a world where problems are often tackled via governmental budgets. Targeting resources at reducing the occurrence of sexual crimes, appropriately allocating resources for their prosecution, and for treating its victims requires a complete understanding of its incidence and impact. Again, we cannot be afraid to ask any question, dive into any subject, and get whatever answers might be there (accepting the answers only after thorough review).
We can improve our reality most efficiently if we acknowledge it.
And one final tangential note... I really struggle to understand our justice system. The notion that you lock someone in a jail complex for a fixed period of time as punishment is so curiously ineffectual. The prisoner is left with his free will in tact, able to wile away his months or years without any serious reflection or self help and then release him as though we assume him to have changed. And of course he rarely has, most often his mind has retained its felonious nature, and he'll find his way to new victims. And these new victims exist because we failed to act to protect them. Why are we releasing anyone who we have very strong reason to suspect retains their criminal mind? If a rapist is likely to rape again (has done little or nothing to demonstrate a radical change in thought/behavior) what on earth are we doing releasing him in 5 years, or 10 years, of 50 years? Our society seems to be stuck in this useless middle ground. We punish but not so much that any real satisfaction is achieved through vengeance, and we provide only very limited resources in prison to rehabilitate because we require free will participation. And at the end of the day we're all worse for it, with a currently incarcerated population approaching 1% of US residents, and people of felonious minds on the outside no doubt being 10x higher. I'm not suggesting we move towards a Chinese-style reeducation camp model... but I can't believe in a world where we bend free will almost to the point of breaking through commercial advertising, and through political and religious indoctrination, that we are in the area of criminals so incredibly impotent.
I started to write a very short list of two or three semi-humorous, semi-curious things I look to avoid in women and it somehow morphed into a longer, stranger list which would surely suggest many a neurosis to a trained psychoanalyst. Ah well... If one such therapist is reading, enjoy, and tell me what I've got and what pill will cure me. :) Obviously there are no hard and fast rules in love, I'm sure I'd forgive a girl nearly every item on this list if I loved her so and so.
- Pointy "witch" shoes. The ones that were popular a few years ago. Freaks me out. I do not want to date a witch!!! I don't not want to date a woman with voluntarily deformed feet. I don't like sharp angles. I mean, if you are an ice climber and these are for ice climbing, awesome, otherwise, NOOOO!
- Makeup. I never like it, but if you insist on wearing it, please don't use it to look unnatural.
- Red nail polish. I'm not really a fan of nail polish in general, but if you're going to do it, have fun, pick unconventional colors. The classic red is so done... Glow in the dark nail polish is a winner, black is a bit goth but I won't mind, grey might be cool, even orange or blue. No nail art, though!
- No long nails!!! I don't mind if a girl's nails are an 1/4" of an inch or something, the better she can play guitar with, but if your nails are long enough that you can't do some things, or they break, then ick! I have no idea why long nails would be fun or sexy for anyone. It's a whole lot of scratchy, scratchy, pokey, pokey, uselessness.
- High heeled shoes. Not a fan. I like tall women, sure, but I'd rather you just be your real height. We can pause sometimes on stairs and pretend if you want to imagine you are taller. I like Chuck Taylor Converse shoes on my women. Or other funky, fun shoes. I never want to hear a girl say to me, "Oh, I can't walk that far, because my shoes..." We are ambulatory people! Wear shoes you can walk, run, dance, play in! I don't like those odoriferous Petri dishes they call Uggz.
- Beer taste on the lips/breath. Ugh. Wine taste is slightly preferable, but still not my favorite. My favorite? Jolly Ranchers. I wish all women were always sucking on Jolly Ranchers, but from a variety pack, ideally reflecting their mood towards me. When they smelled of watermelon I'd know it was on...
- Lacy underwear or underwear with flowers. What makes that stuff sexy? I have no idea, they turn me off. Grandmothers wear that sort of stuff. Oddly, though, I find fishnet stockings sexy (though I've never encountered any in real life). I hope I'll be surprised with fishnets some day.
- Dainty watches. I hate that women are encouraged to wear tiny, dainty, functionless watches. Poor dears, they deserve the same rights to wear watches with tons of features like the men's. I once had a crush on a girl in a college physics class because she had a watch with a chronograph! A year later I was in a math class with her and I discovered that my crush was all built on a lie! The chronograph dials on the watch were just printed on the watch dial. The story of my life.
- Women who live within the limits of an inherited, "Women should do...". Some people just seem to think the world should be a certain way, and I'm no fan of that. I think the world should be the way you want it, screw society and its expectations; hard to do, but fight the good fight...
- Women who "know" they are very attractive. Nothing is uglier than arrogance. Confidence, being comfortable with yourself, feeling secure, those are grand things. Arrogance is quite another. Too many people on both side of the gender fence get their ego a bit stroked as a youth and spend the rest of their lives making people around them miserable.
- Women who use their feminine wiles to get men to do things for them (pay bills, buy dinners, move furniture, etc.). Using people sucks. You're one step up below an escort, at least escorts can be respected for their relative honesty and straightforwardness in their social exchanges. I haven't run into many of this sort, though. I did make a friend who soon after revealed to me she was sleeping with a guy because he would fill up her gas tank, and she was sleeping with another guy (at the same time) because he would take her grocery shopping, and another who... Oh dear, she was physically a beautiful girl, but not so much inside. Our friendship was short lived.
- Cowboy boots. I'm sure cowboy boots are probably perfectly suited for cowboys. But there is no excuse for any non-cowboys to be wearing them. A woman or man in cowboy boots in a city makes as little sense as them wearing ski boots.
- Smoking. Ugh. You have taken from me every ounce of interest I might have had in you and crushed it like you do your cigarette butts. You smell like an ashtray, you taste like an ashtray, and you reek of addictive behavior. Not for me.
- "Nude" Pantyhose. Ugh. I used to think I hated pantyhose generally, but now I realize it's just the "nude" or sheer kind I dislike, mostly because I don't like something pretending to be skin color, that's just creepy like a snake shedding its skin. And then at the crotch area the stitching on sheer pantyhose is right there, with flaps, and extra material, and I don't know... it's just weirdly complicated and unattractive.
Things I love with women:
- Winter wear! Hats, coats, sweaters, mittens/gloves! How I love layers! Women look pretty in them, and when the time comes for their removal it just makes things so much more fun! And put a woman in the snow, and wow! I like it when pretty white flakes of snow land on their noses. I would have been a very randy Eskimo.
- Women who like driving. There's something sexy about a woman who takes pride in her driving.
- Sweetness, tenderness, vulnerability. 'nough said.
- Multicolored socks/stockings. Japanese girls sometimes rock this look. But I don't know any. And I am a little afraid of the Japanese when it comes to the bedroom and their tentacle porn.
- Dancing. I'm a bit too self conscious to really enjoy dancing myself, but I like women who don't have that shyness and might move me past mine. I was once in a a gas station, in line, waiting to pay with my girlfriend of that time, and she started to dance subtly to whatever was on the radio they were playing. It was a truly beautiful moment; I loved her so very greatly in that instant.
- A yielding sexual aggressiveness. I don't want a woman to be all corpse-y, that's no good. But, neither do I want to be their bitch (nor they mine). I advocate for a position of relative, exchangeable equality, with each person taking that controlling interest at different times, a communism of sex. To each according to their sexual needs of the moment, from each according to their sexual ability of the moment, etc.
- Creativity. One of the most attractive things for me is creativity (however it is expressed, in their art, writing, or just the play of brilliant banter).
- Freethinkingnes-ish. In theory I like women who are freethinkers, but freethinking can also lead to freeacting which might include daily orgies and drug induced stupors and I'm not so keen on those. I'm looking for someone who's probably a bit like me, freethinking in mind, but more conservative (cowardly?) in action.
- Smilers. I love women whose smiles elevate me, and everyone else.
A fragment from an unsent email to a girl I met at a wedding in London who I pointlessly fancied, and who occasionally contacted me only to then become as silent as the grave if I actually respond...
I feel like you are a koan my Zen master keeps presenting to me every six months to chart my spiritual growth... “Quinxy-san. Master Kenze arrives at the zen-do with a letter for you from a friend. If you reply to this person, you will hear no more from them. If you don't reply, you will hear no more from them. Master Kenze gives you a quilled fountain pen, a well of black ink, and one piece of bamboo parchment. What do you do?”
And I know the answer, I've been presented with this particular koan several times before, and each time I get it wrong I am told the answer: “You pick up the quilled fountain pen, drive it through the center of the paper lying pinning it to the desk, leave the pen standing nib stuck in the soft wood. You dip your pinky in the ink and draw two concentric circles around the pen, the first on the paper, the second on the wood of the desk. And from your diaphragm, growl, 'Yasuke!'.”
As with all koans, the answer is gibberish to the unenlightened, and no fakesies. The master will know if the answer I give is rote or real, though the words are the same.
So, on this day, I readily admit to the master that once again, I do not know the answer. But I do tell him this much... “I know now that the day ends with no words written on the paper.” And he gives me a rare and precious smile, so in sympathy and joy I smile, too. With love he cracks me on the back with his stick. I have made progress.
I don't speak all dialects of human very well, and yours is apparently one of those.
Saw a quote I felt I could relate to. I wish I couldn't relate to it; I suspect my experience has less to do with gender and more do with happenstance and poor choices:
Efforts directed to helping female loved ones tends to feel pretty thankless. You get little credit for what you do to help and no real credit for the patience required to do it. I sometimes envy the people of the future and their ability to marry their robots.