Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Beauty and Biology

Most people know by now, of the studies that have found biological backing for the traditional categories of human "beauty." Wide hips and firm breasts on a woman signify fertility and health, hence a greater chance that a male who chooses her for a mate will have healthier, more viable offspring. Facial symetry indicates absence of disease or defects that could impact health or lifespan, or be passed on to offspring. Youth is desirable over age.

And women select a man who will be strong, resourceful and able to defend her and her offspring from dangers.

It actually gets more complicated -- at various times in her cycle, a woman leans more towards a man who is nurturing as opposed to rugged. And when a man falls in love with a woman, his testosterone level actually goes down.

Yet, in today's society, a man or a woman who chooses a potential mate only on the biological characteristics noted above -- in other words, is doing exactly what nature programs him or her to do, for the survival of the species -- earns disgust and scorn for being "shallow."

And on the opposite spectrum, modern high fashion favors models, female at least, who are so stick thin and unhealthy that they probably couldn't deliver a Barbie doll baby without a C-section and it would then starve attempting to suckle its mother's atrophied mammary glands.

Just some thoughts a-spinning.

25 comments:

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Ahhhh the testosterone level goes down when a man falls in love? I should've known this, it's so true!!! Ordinarily, my testosterone levels almost certainly are waaayyy too high, but they plummet when I'm in love. Which is a shame, because I think women prefer me as the guy that they started liking, not the over-sensitive, over-expressive guy I become when I'm in love. And it probably makes me lose focus on other things that are important to them. I must, must keep this in mind!

Also, something I find funny - men's brains more closely resemble women's at the moment after a powerful orgasm than at any other time.

Oh, and that ingenuious creature that removes previously-deposited sperm from the female, that's the dragonfly. Though females do even smarter things in nature than this. And, they were the ones that invented the monogamy which infatuated pairs both now mostly like

chipazoid said...

Yeah that's weird, evolution for man has taken a weird turn.

Hahaha, testosterone falls down when in love? That's crazy, I hate pussy boys anyway. It is true sometimes I do desire a nurturing fellow however, it is wonderful if he can be both. I'd hate both extremes.

eastcoastdweller said...

Seems to me that women at least, select for adaptability -- a guy who can be rugged and tough when necessary, then switch to tender and loving when necessary, without going nuts along the way.

Men are just clueless and select for perceived pulchritude as they always have.

And the fashion industry just makes no sense at all and cannot be explained.

chipazoid said...

I'd say different females like different types of men. For example some women like men who have no balls so they can boss them around. Some women like strong men so they can be bossed around.

Yeh the fashion industry's annoying, when will they glorify women of my size? HAHAHAHA, sigh.

eastcoastdweller said...

I'm just curious who the aforementioned fashion industry is hoping to please.

Men don't like the stupid, artsy clothes that fill the pages of Vogue, or the scary banshees that wear them.

Women (Adena as a case in point) don't identify with them, because they don't represent real women -- and thank God for that!

chipazoid said...

Alas, I am but one of the very few women who don't identify with them. A lot of females I know are still trying to starve and torture themselves to becoming models.

As for men, I've been told many times that I should lose weight, or that I should bother with what people think of my looks. A lot of men I know would love to hook up with a model.

We are but a drop in the sea.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Girls all so different. On the sexual: Sometimes what girls need is for you to lie still, inside of them, for an hour, cuddling, and whispering loving things in to their ears. Sometimes girls want you to pay for their dinner, charm them and then fuck them senseless, relentlessly pounding away at them. All girls need you to do different things at different times before they're thanking you. Some will never reach tears of joy, but if you can get them, you've done well.

What most women don't freaking understand is that all men in love really want to satisfy their particular needs, BUT it's impossible for a guy to do this before she truly grants him the opportunity, which requires a very high level of STRAIGHTFORWARD communication and trust from her. And what I think unites almost all women is that they are far more fearful than men, as much with love as with anything else. Most women play more games both before and during a relationship than guys. They are far less direct about everything, including their needs, desires and complaints. Fair enough, a thoughtful guy will see past these and sometimes respond correctly anyway. But girls put out so many contradictory messages, all of which they expect you to respond to. It's truly, maddeningly unreasonable.

Sigh, I digress a little. I really agree with both of your comments about the fashion industry. It's really sad that girls still aspire towards that. If you want to change things, consider what props up the fashion industry...

chipazoid said...

The thing I always found quite funny... Some guys know exactly what to do, and how to act and aren't so, shall we say... Socially inept in these matters whereas some guys are completely clueless and make mistake after mistake.

Some men may say, we don't understand women and just leave it at that. I say they lack empathy. I don't understand why some men have to be told what to do. It's like hi, yes, it's your chance now. Yes, you may kiss me, yes you may ravish me, go do this, go do that. Which self-respecting woman wants to deal with that?

Why is it men are so clueless? I mean, if the lady is looking at you coyly. Flirting in your ear, or even acting a little out of how ordinary friends behave, doesn't that mean scream opportunity right there?

Perhaps you won't understand said...

I agree saying "we don't understand women" is a really pathetic attitude. I think both sexes have legitimate critisisms to make of the other sex at times.

The situations you describe, any guy knows is obviously an opportunity. So if it looks like he's just making mistake after mistake, not taking his opportunities...then he's either not interested or something else is holding him back. Such as?

** He's MORE interested in somebody else ** Inappropriate timing (if what he wants is more than just sex) ** She's sent out contradictory signals which have confused him ** He's just a pussy, in which case it isn't worth it anyway.

As for ravishing: I don't think opportunity is enough to go on. I think that if a girl has expressed her desire to stay with her boyfriend, even a guy to whom ravishing comes naturally slowly learns that ignoring her here involves an unacceptably high risk, if the person is somebody they really love. This is a Catch-22, if what really gets the girl off most is being ravished EVEN WHEN she's taken.
Even if he knows this is what she wants, flirting is insufficient to disambiguate her true desires. If there's something wrong with the situation, the guy then faces the impossible task of choosing whether to act instinctively and ravish her but risk losing everything...or just waiting. In such a situation, the onus is on the girl to, in some subtle way, retract previous statements she's made about the feelings she has for her boyfriend. Too bad if that somewhat spoils her little fantasy

Guys also need to make it clear to girls what they want from them.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

I suppose, a better way to say the above:

It's an enormously difficult proposition for a guy to trust himself to know with enough certainty when to violate the guideline rules for consent.

1) When does a "maybe, no, I just don't know, I'm confused" really mean "yes, if you show me why/how"
2) Worse, when, if ever, does a "no" actually mean "possibly, please persist" or "YES, IDIOT!!".
Here, consider - guy grabs her body. Her body tenses, yet looks ready to yield...

Mistakes are nothing short of criminal, not to mention absolutely fatal to a relationship.
Most men when they were younger have acted inappropriately to women before, and been intensely castigated for it. Girls can show men a way forward, even to do (2), but only then do they really have enough to go on.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

I suppose the only way out of the above is when the guy tells the chick that there's a safe word, like "cheese", and that he has absolutely no intention of restraining himself until he hears that word uttered.
Problem is, that's really the same as just obtaining a sort of consent anyway. Although it may feel different for a girl to say "stop" to saying "cheese", even the 'rules' of the establishment of safe words have pre-requisites too.

chipazoid said...

How ridiculously lame. A safe word? What do you think this is, bondage? Seriously, if girl gives inkling of yes, it's a bloody yes. Sometimes we like to play coy, but it's pretty obvious we're begging for it, as the term goes.

Why do men think all women need to be protected all the time? I mean, why don't you respect us enough to make our own decisions. If we want to be ravished, it's our choice. If you don't do it, then you know, too bad?

If the guy's not interested and the girl's still trying her ways then you know, it's understandable. It's when you know the guy's interested but he doesn't have the balls to say what needs to be said or to make a move when it should be made. If he has to rely on the girl to do it, then it really sucks since most girls like the illusion of being conquered during courtship.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

As for safe words...it's all about deceiving your brain. If a girl really wants to be taken by force, having one would enhance her fantasy. Having one allows her to enjoy the feeling of saying "no" but still having the guy say/do whatever he wants to her without permission anyway, while also knowing that if something is too painful for her or whatever, she still has a way out. Her brain processes "no" and the safe word differently, so her fantasy of being taken anyway is not destroyed by the safe word, which is logically, but not emotionally the same as a "no".

As for ravishing, there aren't so many girls out there who are really like that. Once he knows that's what she's in to, then it's a different story.

But females seem to believe that the sexual interplay between two people need not reflect larger aspects about the general relationship. Man's brain doesn't delineate power levels based on context...if she is going to be conquered and dominated, once he's done this, it's likely his dominance won't be completely restricted to the bedroom.

"Noueveau" sexually 'dominated' girls disrespect militant feminists because they don't understand this. Do they really expect men to ignore their stated wishes for the bedroom (without the safe word) but then consider their stated opinion on other matters as equally informed as his own? There are so many problems with this, it's insane.

Women, take a realistic look at the position of females from Rome to now, and make your choice. Men have different but comparable limitations of choice.

Why do men think women need to be protected all the time? We don't, it's just that they clearly need protection SOME of the time. They're constantly proving this.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Eek, I forgot to mention. That's why the safe word is smart.

It, and other things, leave females with more than this all-or-nothing choice. So that they can delight in being controlled in bed but not necessarily controlled in life too. Hence the self-righteousness of the West over societies in which it is still all-or-nothing

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Note, there are two posts above in response to your last comment, now three. You see so many people just scroll down to the bottom, it's annoying.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Note, there were two posts above in response to your last comment, now there's three. You see so many people just scroll down to the bottom, it's annoying.

chipazoid said...

Yawn, you posted twice. Furthermore your safe word does not coincide with opportunity. Having a safe word means the male and female have consented to the ravishing. So you are out of point, god I hate it when this goes off topic and doesn't address original issue... Anyway...

And what is this, the 18th century? If you wish to dominate us in bed, we are to be dominated completely? All or nothing? What the hell? Why should I have to look at the females of Rome in order to make my choice? This isn't Roman times, this is the present. Woman's suffrage and everything. Take it or leave it, bra burning and everything that goes along with it.

Seriously, this attitude seems to be the worst thing about men. If my opinion matters not in the bedroom, it shouldn't be taken seriously in real life? Sure, if you were a blow-up doll, or maybe living in Roman times. Certainly not now.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

To address your valid point about the 18th century - it doesn't NEED to be all-or-nothing. In my observations, it often turns out that way though, because the female doesn't realise she's quite submissive outside the bedroom too, and she allows a man to dominate and control other aspects of her life. I don't know if its different cultural values to blame, but these women defend "their man" in the CORNIEST of ways while he is getting them to compromise their rights away. Tragically, it's not surprising that women who are prepared to do this are often the same ones that have put up with abusive guys and other relationships for too long. These women are demonstrating a submissive resignation to their situation, partly due to a persistent lack of confidence. This is reflected in everything that these women say.

As for safe words, I wasn't referring to a safe word being used between two people who aren't together. I take your point though. However, a safe word could still work nicely between people who haven't been active. Once sex starts, does anybody really give a shit anymore that somebody once mentioned what the safe word was?

Also, I mentioned that safe words are part of a variety of things that intelligent couples can use to enhance bedroom pleasure...in that case, exploiting a weirdness in the brain to create some sense of an illusion of lack of consent.

Words ultimately MUST trump body language as a signalling device to men. Women, just like men, often show body language that contradicts what they're saying, in non-sexual contexts too. If men are going to follow their instincts and respond to her truthful body language rather than her unrevealing words, then they will do so in other areas IF SHE PUTS UP WITH IT and men will work this to their advantage, everywhere in society. This is why today in many countries, as much as in Rome of long ago, dominant behaviour spills out of the bedroom unless the females prevent them from doing so.

An aside point. Note that, in fact, there was no actual burning of bras in the 60's. That is a fiction, along with the idea that a noticeable proportion of college students in the 60s were hippies.

chipazoid said...

All right, I admit I was wrong. There was no burning of the bras, but there was the throwing of the bras. Safe words are a good idea, but they're already in place in some relationships. As I said, yeah, it would make more sense if we argued in context to what is being said at the time...

I must say, that not all women are like that. There are the strong, there are the weak. Just like men, there are spineless men, and there are strong men, there are stupid men, there are smart men.

Some men are desperate for some control in their lives, and resent women for having some control anywhere. Oh yeah, in my observation, they're the ones who tend to perpetuate their dominance out of the bedroom. They also tend to date a particular type of woman. I will talk about this on my own blog in due time.

Let me use a case in example for this debate. Observe words like MUST, in capital letters no less. An attempt at an assertion of dominance in the way women communicate, no less. Perhaps if such an assertion wasn't made on most men's parts (this mistake is made all the time guys), perhaps women would be more inclined to speak freely. No, it's a rhetoric, they will speak freely if you let them.

On a ridiculously obvious note, it's not as if some men don't beat their women. How can you expect Roman women to defend themselves at a barbaric time?

Perhaps you won't understand said...

I agree there are both men and women who want to control people, politics, our freedoms of speech and our behaviour. And that men, historically, have been more blameworthy than women. Although that could be because men have had more power...it could be that women, when in power, also abuse it. Many examples!

I think most of the aggression that men display is directed at other men they're in competition with (in politics and business, for a girl etc), not to excuse the uncivilised forms of inter-male competition. However there is a terribly high level of domestic abuse of women, and a disappointingly high number of girls who are unwilling to report incidences of various kinds. Given that they are clearly legally protected, it's not surprising that Western women aren't as hesitant on average as women from many other other cultures in this respect and aren't as sickeningly submissive when guys are abusing them.
Or as shamefully willing to be controlled in various ways that they don't desire by a boyfriend or husband, when there are ways they can get around this. Like making reasonable demands of him. As if a seductive caress from a beautiful girlfriend won't achieve that anyway!

I think its slightly absurd to suggest that my insistence that men take women's words more seriously than women's body language is itself a form of dominance.
It's fortunate that body language, often highly subjective/or liable to misinterpretation, isn't legally admissable evidence. Even when both parties interpreted the body-language clearly!!! Many a girl's rapist has said she "wanted it". That may have been true, but sexually hungry body language alone does not equal consent when a girl has stated before to a guy who wants to fuck her that she's taken or not interested. And if a guy feels more than just raw lust for her he won't try anything anyway if she's in limbo in another relationship, and/or if other circumstances make it unwise.

What you say about Rome is true. But the barbarity inflicted against women back then mightn't have happened as easily if they were more organised and powerful and collectively were less submissive to their men. Change happens when people are courageous and fight for their rights even with a cost. Eg slavery, non-disrimination, equal pay etc.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

Eastcoastdweller, not many people responding on my blog other than you, so thought I'd ask your opinion (Friends freaking read, and then they try to argue with me on MSN, and if I agreed to this nobody else would see what's going on, so I waste a lot of time). Plus I'd value an older person's opinion on this. What kinds of problems in your opinion can't be resolved in a relationship?
Not that reason and compromise are all powerful. The right sex at the right moments solves a lot too!!

I know it's a very vague question, and it's very easy to just say "depends on the people". That's true, but there's going to be a lot that could be said anyway I presume

eastcoastdweller said...

Amazing, that this post should get more response than any other on this blog. Then again, maybe not. Relationships between men and women are pretty much the top issue for anyone not presently starving to death.

I'm not that much older than you, nor am I any kind of an expert.

But I think the only, the absolute only problem that can't be resolved within a relationship, is the unwillingness of one or both partners to resolve a problem in the relationship.

See, if you're a nag or a slob, or you've been unfaithful or you're an alcoholic or even if you abuse your partner, you can get help and you can change, if you muster up the courage to do so, and admit that you have a problem.

chipazoid said...

It is quite a form of dominance, instead of understanding, yes, this is the way you're going to have to deal with women and work around it you are putting your foot down and demanding that we change the way we communicate. Women don't have trouble understanding other women, only a large number of men do. Coming back to original point, it would be your lack of empathy.

You can't rationalise a criminal act such as rape. Just because men have no respect for women and like to assert their dominance be it sexually or in a conversation, doesn't make it okay to do so. Like you've said, of course.

You still don't respect women, even if they're in another relationship and if they wanted something more with someone, who're you to make that decision up for them? I mean, obviously you have the right not to want to be involved with someone who's taken. A male or female that cheats is obviously unhappy with their current arrangement and maybe they just wanted to start something afresh with someone else.

As I've said before, if you miss the opportunity to seal the deal, sometimes you'll just have to let go. Ship has sailed, a woman's probably found someone else who will satisfy her in a way you've chosen to withhold yourself to.

Perhaps you won't understand said...

I'm not going to write an intellectual response to this.
You really shouldn't have to think too hard about an example of your own when you have really wanted to do something and your body has so obviously displayed this to someone...but where, with extreme difficulty, he has been very mindful of words that you've spoken, and with these in mind, tried his best to protect your interests. Perhaps in a very damaging way to his own chances.

If you think longer and harder about this issue and other situations you'll realise that there's a serious problem with men not generally attaching supreme importance to what women say rather than what their body language suggests that they really want.


The ship-has-sailed-and-too-bad-you-missed-it metaphor isn't so perfect if you pretend there weren't important reasons why someone had to let your ship take off. Like, while what he said was true, he also knew that he needed to go on a ship or a plane of his own too. Acknowledging that could really make a difference and means its really not about blaming people and making them feel regretful.

There was no throwing of the bras either :) People retrospectively manufacture these symbolic events eg bar burning to arbitrarily mark the transition in to a new era. Scholarship shows that new eras come about very slowly, with drastic changes only achieved through the accumulation of smaller ones without the dramatic appeal or catchy headlines.

chipazoid said...

Shrug, perhaps. Maybe he did, maybe he's making up excuses now to cover his ass, maybe it meant a buttload to him but he didn't have the balls to do anything about it. Point is, it's sailed.