tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Venerable old lady of 84 who looks and acts about 12

Last night around 10pm there was an earthquake in Wellington. No doubt you locals all felt it. It was only a little 'un, a short and sharp 4.5, that rumbled its way here and was gone in a cupboard rattle. And folks in Wellington freaked. We all have earthquakes on our mind right now. My first thought was "Crap, Christchurch!" because the last earthquake I felt was the one that took the town down, so for some reason thoughts of my own safety were overshadowed by thoughts of how big it must've been in Christchurch, coupled with a sinking in the pit of my stomach. I was very relieved to discover it was a local one that they didn't feel at all. Although Lyttleton got one the same size about half an hour later. ;-/

Anyway, for those of you who have been in "I'll do it tomorrow" mode, please get your earthquake kit together now. Lesson from Christchurch - water is the most important thing. In Wellington the water situation would probably be worse because our water mains are built inside unstable hills. My own local area risk factor is hillside failure (trying here not to think about my brother's house perched over Ngaio gorge the way it is), and we're one of the suburbs that would likely be cut off for a substantial amount of time in a large quake. Water. Water water water. Also, a plan for finding your people. I got a note from The Kid's school yesterday saying that they would hang on to all the kids until it was safe (hah!) to release them, so for me the sensible thing to do from Wakefield St would be to try to make my way there. It just happens to pass my brother's building on the way. Do you have a plan for finding your people?


On the wisdom (or not) of engaging evo-psych believers

I say believers because IMO the whole field of evo-psych requires a leap of faith - people seem to believe it, then pick and choose aspects of it that will support their belief. Also, it says a lot to me that most of the evo-psych believers I know of are men. And most of their evo-psych belief-support-pickings are things that support an ideology that puts women at a disadvantage, and makes 'natural' explanations for why I should:

a) exist to be attractive to men
b) be happy that most of the grunge-work in the world is done by women
c) accept my *cough* gold-digging nature and the assumptions about me that go with it
d) want to be dominated
e) expect to be discarded for a more attractive model in future

Oddly enough, I'm not a believer. And it isn't just because I rail against the implicit (and sometimes explicit) theme that women are inferior and that it's natural for it to be that way, but also because, well, it defies logic.

I know, I know, I'm a woman and I'm not supposed to be logical. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I follow a community that contains one of these evo-psych believers. His username is writerspleasure. I know at least one person on my flist who has engaged with this guy before. He's prone to mentally masturbating writing about his various evo psych theories in this community. It was through him I found the thing about young female chimps playing dollies.

So this morning, he posted a missive on haute couture and applied his evo-psych beliefs knowledge to it, which resulted in some kind of hypothesis that haute couture models are tall and skinny because tallness is a greater selection factor than fertility because tallness denotes intelligence and good health and therefore the tall, skinny models look evolutionarily better and are chosen as representatives of 'how women should look' even though nobody (except the models of course, who apparently aren't human) can look like that.

My first thought in response to this was [citation needed]. But knowing evo-psych believers of old, chances are he'd come back with a bunch of non peer-reviewed, non-academic magazine articles that I would then have to read and create arguments against, and 54 comments later.. I can't be arsed.

My next thought is that he's made a pretty fundamental assumption (and this is one that a lot of evo-psych believers make) that models exist for the pleasure of the men looking at them. As evidenced by how important he thinks it is to talk about mate-attraction and his own taste in the context of what haute couture models look like. Instead of, you know, recognising that models do a job, that job is to make clothes look the way a designer wants them to look in the hopes that other women will buy them. I know there's a whole thesis around why so many people think that rail-thin and tall is what makes clothes look good - but IMO it's less to do with evolutionary reasons and more to do with Twiggy and the cultural revolution of the 60s. Heaps of stuff has been written about this, but again I can't be arsed hunting it all up and presenting it.

And the other thing that puts me off attempting to engage this guy is that I've had these discussions before. They usually end with the guy contradicting himself or failing at logic and me pointing it out. But it often takes 932 comments to get there, each one of which feels like nails on a blackboard, and even though said guy usually stops trying to tell me who and what I am as a woman and why I am inferior according to his theory, he also doesn't actually learn anything, and a few weeks later he's back spouting more bullshit.

But oh man it frustrates me how many people buy into evo-psych - it makes me want to hit them ALL with the logic bat until they either change their tune or just shut up.

Please give me extra points for not engaging this guy yet. I'm aware he's a particularly lost cause, because he genuinely believes that he's doing women a favour with his theories.


tl;dr OMG evidence of maturity and discernment in picking my arguments. But jeez it's involving a lot of teeth-gritting.

In other news, allyn and First share a birthday, and it was yesterday. I'm not sure how old allyn is, but First is now 12. She celebrated by lying in the sun (such as it was), scratching some and bouncing around looking silly. I approve of this behaviour and would like to emulate it.
Tags: earthquakes, evo psych, first, oh my
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