Meanwhile (Part 1)

On highmindedwords, a cooler head prevails as Jessica Lanay disassembles some academic’s take on why black women are less physically attractive.  Find a link to the piece in question, along with Lanay’s whole post here.  Excerpt:

First – you must look at your source, “Satoshi Kanazawa PhD is a Reader in Management at the London School of Economics. His work uses evolutionary psychology to analyze social sciences such as sociology, economics, and anthropology.” Satoshi Kanazawa is Japanese. He studies economic theory which he connects to evolutionary psychology which he then uses to analyze social sciences, but his article is attempting to scientifically track attractiveness among different races of people.

First step, let’s back track. The Science of Race was (supposedly) taken off the table as hack science in the late 90s and early 2000s. There is no scientific basis that proves or supports that race exists and therefore no scientific way to mark evolutionary development in people solely based on their Race – which, biologically – does not exist. However, Race DOES exist socially and responses to different racial make-ups and cultural norms are programmed into all of us through the construct of society and historical repetition of information. Mr. Kanazawa’s “scientific” analysis – in principal – is a long stretch when what he did was solely a sociological survey based on polls he took from different anonymous people. At the end of his article (which you can read at the link above) he blames “testosterone”, this argument was the same argument used during slavery and post-colonial arguments about race to demean black women. They were supposedly more manly – than other women and so therefore – good for working outdoors, the men consequently were depicted as hyper-masculine – until they were considered animalistic and dangerous.

With history on our side, we can tie his commentaries and data directly to long standing social ideas and implications that Black people have had to challenge since non-black people attempted to categorize us for their benefit.

After playing Suikoden V, Jack Calico turns his disappointment with an apparently half-hearted attempt at building a world around a matriarchal ‘Queendom’ into a very interesting post on buythatgame.  Excerpt:

But as much as fiction is about escaping the unfairness of life, it’s also about dealing with it. Whether it’s speculative sci-fi or fantasy trying to understand how and why humanity could be changed by our advancement as a species, post-colonial literature bridging the gap between the cultures we destroyed and the ones we imposed on other people, romance novels letting us fulfill our unmet desires, adventure stories giving us the pulse-pounding thrill we crave or maybe we’re just empathising with how alone and under pressure Harry Potter feels as he struggles against the world around him.

And so too our fiction should meet matters of gender equality and other Serious Issues head on and tackle them. Of course, there’s places for fiction that does that and fiction that doesn’t. I don’t ‘hate’ Suikoden V for not tackling these issues, and I don’t feel that whenever we see women with power in fiction it ‘needs’ an explanation.

But I do feel that whenever we get ‘feminism-but-not-really’ in our fiction, like a woman stated to be all kinds of badass but really does nothing like Kate from the BBC Robin Hood series that it kind of demeans the fight for women’s rights that are still being fought for today.


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