Re: Fun with Shame & Blame

1

I've often wondered why the "less sleep = bigger pants" thing doesn't get much play. I think because it doesn't let people tut-tut other people as lazy.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:45 AM
2

However! They claim there are a bunch of studies which all show a correlation between reduced sleep hours and obesity, and that this correlation is much stronger in children and adults.

This makes sense. Newborns and the dead basically sleep all the time and are all either obese (the former) or underweight (the latter).

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:55 AM
3

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:58 AM
4

I bet you knew that.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:59 AM
5

My skinny cat and my fat cat appear to sleep away most of their lives to the same degree, so they can also be in the contrasting set.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:00 AM
6

My child keeps waking up at 6:30 a.m. and fighting sleep every night. I don't know if this is making him heavier or not, but it sure isn't helping mummy and daddy.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:00 AM
7

Moby, I feel your pain. Gusty wakes up around 5:30-6am most days. It was only when we started nursery that I realised this wasn't typical. Since I care about my health I went back to bed today (after getting up at 4:30am.)

Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:01 AM
8

Shame-and-Blame is a part of being human. To take an extreme example-- pathological slovenliness and disregard for appearance and personal environment suggest mental imbalance. Would you voluntarily socialize with your neighborhood's haphazardly groomed slightly smelly 90-cats-in-the-house person? Is the objection to voicing aloud the thought "this person can bring me no good and may bring harm?"

I stayed up too late at night yesterday watching the first half of 7 samurai. With my kid. Who fell asleep on the couch as they got back to the village. He routinely gets up super-early to get an early-morning dose of SpongeBob. To make up for my lack of virtue, I will imitate Mifune's head-scratching bashfulness and outbursts of productive rage coupled with maniacal laughing. Consider yourselves lucky that you can neither see or hear this new me, who is of course voluntarily underslept.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:03 AM
9

7: Mine is 4. It's supposed to stop by then, isn't it?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:04 AM
10

The good thing about extreme examples is that they're easily discounted.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:05 AM
11

9: I bloody well hope so!

Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:05 AM
12

11: Instead of waking us by screaming from his own room, now he stands right by our bed and yells things like, "Boo. The sun is up, so it can't be time to sleep. I need my clothes."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:13 AM
13

Mine will be 6 in three weeks and he wakes up at 6:00 every morning. The greatest thing we ever did was to put a digital clock in his room when he was 3 and teach him that he couldn't wake us until 7:00, but I don't know if this is generally achievable or we just got very, very lucky. I still can't wait for the day when he starts wanting to seriously sleep in on weekends, provided it comes some time before sullen teen-hood.

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:16 AM
14

I really didn't intend for this to become a parenting thread, exactly. While I enjoy the parenting threads, they're not very inclusive. Parents, carry on. But non-parents, feel free to redirect the conversation.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:18 AM
15

As a parent, may I redirect the conversation?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:19 AM
16

How strong is the obesity/undersleeping connection? I'd heard of it before, but not to get a sense of the magnitude.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:20 AM
17

As a child, at least once I was forming memories, I had specific times (weekend and weekday) after which I could wake my parents up, which I often tried to do gently by standing by the bed and speaking quietly. One time I did this when the sheets covered a single conjoined lump instead of two.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:22 AM
18

discounted

OK, take the weak-willed toxic individual of your choice. Willful misbehavior of some kinds is both harmful and shameful, the perennial debate is about where the boundaries should be, not whether there are any. I think that shame is as universal as smiling.

I think that being fat is viewed as a form of slovenliness, which can be (but isn't necessarily, I know trustworthy and admirable slobs) a sign that something is wrong with the individual in question. I don't see stereotyping as theoretically removable or even always harmful, though it often is harmful and needs to be closely monitored. Like anger or ambition.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:24 AM
19

How strong is the obesity/undersleeping connection? I'd heard of it before, but not to get a sense of the magnitude.

Well, one of the annoying things about this book is that they generalize a little too much on your behalf. They cite all the studies, but not with footnotes containing actual data.

So the best you get is a paragraph like:

In light of Van Cauter's discoveries, sleep scientists have performed a flurry of analyses on large datasets of children. All the studies point in the same direction: on average, children who sleep less are fatter than children who sleep more. This isn't just here, in America...One [study] analyzed Japanese first graders, one Canadian kindergarten boys, and Australian young boys the third. They showed that those kids who get less than eight hours sleep have about a 300% higher rate of obesity than those who get a full ten hours of sleep. Within that two-hour window, it was a "dose-response" relationship, according to the Japanese scholars.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:29 AM
20

Agreed with the OP. One webcomic I read, General Protection Fault (not my favorite, but it has its moments), seems to be starting a storyline about the fat cast member getting in shape, and ARGH it's been just one fat glutton joke after another. As evidence that he's working on his diet, he cut his lunch down to two bacon cheeseburgers! Someone puts a salad in front of him, and he assumes it's just a first course! He's at the gym and breaks a treadmill! Hilarious!

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:30 AM
21

Some really strong claims get made for the benefits of sleep - James Maas said in a talk I attended that it had more impact on longevity than smoking - but I imagine there are lots of reverse-causation issues.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:36 AM
22

Or maybe the better term is heterogeneity.

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:37 AM
23

21 is a problem. I usually watch links better, but don't click at work.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:38 AM
24

21 is no longer a problem.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:39 AM
25

I think I have assimilated a normal degree of guilty white liberal sensitivity to issues of appearance discrimination, at least to the extent that I would never admit to thinking an older, heavier or working-class woman unattractive, but my recent travels have frequently provoked thoughts along the lines of For Christ's sake, America, lose some fucking weight.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:52 AM
26

When I see the people who look soft and very heavy, I want to manage them. I want to walk them to my gym, and sit to the side for their first few workouts, and I want to make all their food (in large quantities! I'm not looking for hunger, just real dense nutrition) until they get the hang of it.

If you want to carry around all that weight, overfat people, I have some ones that you can do things with, including put down some of the times.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:01 AM
27

Sounds like I should also be put in charge of their sleep.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:03 AM
28

They don't have time for that, Megan.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:04 AM
29

What, I will probably regret asking, is dense nutrition?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:04 AM
30

I would never admit to thinking an older, heavier or working-class woman unattractive

What if she also had facial warts? Several of them. And some kind of skin condition that looked infectious. And a strong resemblance to Dick Chaney, except with hair like Carrot Top?

I'm just checking on the strength of the taboo here.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:05 AM
31

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:05 AM
32

re: 26

That sounds like the sort of thing someone who's never been overweight might say.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:06 AM
33

some ones that you can do things with

Gibbon and Hume were both fat but their grammar was excellent

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:06 AM
34

And see where it got them, they're both dead!

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:09 AM
35

What if she also had facial warts? Several of them. And some kind of skin condition that looked infectious. And a strong resemblance to Dick Chaney, except with hair like Carrot Top?

I am slightly insulted by the implication that I am stupid enough to respond to this. I went to college during the '90s!

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:12 AM
36

Perhaps a person who has never been overweight would also say that, but I've had fifty pound swings two or three times in my adult life (between 160 and 210lbs). I'm saying that from the perspective of someone who knows what it is like on both ends of the fat-shame-attention spectrum, and also has put a lot of thought into moving and eating.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:13 AM
37

Anyway, having somebody tell me I should eat more fruits and vegetables is one thing. Having somebody tell me I need "dense nutrition" is likely to turn me off the whole thing. Kind of like the cycling threads where it starts out with "this a great hobby for all" and ends with people geeking out over the best brand for a part that I wasn't even aware existed despite a childhood spent pulling apart (cheap) bikes.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:13 AM
38

34: "Scribble, scribble, scribble Molder, molder, molder, eh, Mr. Gibbon?"

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:13 AM
39

But non-parents, feel free to redirect the conversation.

Wheeee!

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:13 AM
40

re: 36

For a lot of people who are overweight, it has nothing to do with a lack of knowledge.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:14 AM
41

In my thirties, I found a positive relationship between my weight and annual billables. Now in my fifties, I've successfully untethered them.

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:15 AM
42

Sure it does! They don't know that SLEEP is the new magic bullet!

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:15 AM
43

All the shame and guilt over my insomnia is keeping me up nights.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:15 AM
44

29 - Round here? Something like breakfast burritos, no cheese or sour cream. Beans, eggs, cabbage, salsa, tortilla. Something with a lot of protein for the calories you eat. Or a tofu scramble. Or chili.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:15 AM
45

41: I'd buy that -- while I trace having put on a bunch of weight to having kids, I had kids just as I started working as a lawyer.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:18 AM
46

37 and 40: Right. Because the other thing I've found to be true of myself is that self-discipline doesn't work, only systems work. Which is why I secretly wish I could take over people's habits, so they aren't trying to do self-discipline, and instead their food arrived (cooked by me) and they arrived at the gym, and the power shut down at 9:30, so they were forced to sleep.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:18 AM
47

46: If only they had enough time and money to do that.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:19 AM
48

44: I'm holding out for a potato and butter based healthy diet.

Though, I'm coming around to your way of thinking about water. The other day, I stopped under a tree to wait out the rain. I'm looking across the street at a house that must be worth close to a million. The guy has lawn sprinklers running in a pouring rain. And most of the water was going into the street anyway. I wanted to throw a rock or something.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:19 AM
49

||

I have been reading the Andrew Sullivan blog for a year now, most days, and still have no idea what "Yglesias Award" or "Von Hoffman Award" mean.

|>

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:22 AM
50

re: 46

Well, I suppose that's true. If I had a benign dictator who, say, forced my employer to let me work 2 hours less a day, scheduled me some fun exercise in one of those hours, and some relaxing with a book, say, in the other, I'd bet the weight would fall off!

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:23 AM
51

49: Like everything that Sullivan writes, they mean "I shun honest toil at all costs."

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:24 AM
52

40: That is all too true. There's no lack of knowledge around here, and there's no lack of extra poundage either. I'll have to amend my previous statement about (IMX) benzos being harder to lose than nicotine. It's benzos and weight.

Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:24 AM
53

Anyway, I've been increasing my exercise by walking to or from work when time and weather allow. I'm probably averaging about four miles a day, not counting the kind of walking around the house, office, store, etc. that you'd do anyway.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:25 AM
54

49: The Yglesias Award is for saying something counter to your broad ideological thrust; it honors a time when Yglesias spent more effort trolling liberals, like a certain Mexican we honor on this site.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:26 AM
55

If you're devoted to the fitness subculture, if it's basically your hobby and you're fascinated by it, you'll be able to change your body the way you want. Otherwise, you can't. People in Hollywood seem to not understand this. All kinds of TV shows and movies just make fun of fat people in passing. Joel McHale, you may see fat people as some sort of alien species like people with no teeth or people who wear overalls, because you're surrounded by people who are thin, but being thin is part of their job.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:28 AM
56

50: This really hit home looking at my law school friend who joined the Army. Making an hour or so of hard exercise a required part of your otherwise sedentary desk job makes for sleek, powerful looking lawyers. In law school she was fittish in the 'owns running shoes and occasionally uses them, despite being a little heavy' kind of way, but regular exercise that she didn't have to make time for, because it was a non-optional part of her professional life, changed her body wildly.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:30 AM
57

I wasn't proposing to charge them, Cryptic Ned. (smiling tone, not mad tone)

And provided healthy food, ttaM. Don't forget that part.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:30 AM
58

57: So, want a spouse you don't have sex with?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:32 AM
59

Everyone should be required to parade around naked in front of their living room picture window. That might do the trick.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:33 AM
60

58 should probably have a second person pronoun toward the start.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:34 AM
61

Sympathetic weight gain was the story I rode into the 40s, but after 15 years, that's looking a little thin. Better locally made ice cream and homemade pies are a little closer, although lack of a system is undoubtedly the correct answer. But what good is a system that deprecates homemade huckleberry pie? Or drinking fresh bongwater? What sort of life is worth living, anyway?

Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:34 AM
62

re: 56

Yeah. I don't want to make excuses for myself [and I'm reasonably fit considering that I could really lose 40lbs], but it's pretty hard to schedule regular exercise when you are out of the house for 11 hours a day, and then have to cook food, and find some time to be a human being [talk to one's partner, socialize, read, or whatever], and still fit in sleep. Assuming 7 hours sleep a day, I have a grand total of 6 hours in which to do everything else, and that includes shaving, showering, household chores, cooking, etc.

I like exercising,* and I spend 2 - 3 hours every week doing it -- not including walking during the commute, Sunday walks with my wife, etc -- but it'd be nice to magically find time for another 3 or 4 hours a week.

* [if it's interesting and I'm not injured]

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:34 AM
63

||

At one point I used to know how to make text italicized in this jFig program, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how I did it.

Also the spacing gets all wonky when it's actually compiled into the LaTeX document, so I'm doing this extremely aggravating guess and check game. Will overlapping these symbols look right in the PDF? What if these are off-balance? Aha!

|>

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:35 AM
64

Just until they get into the habits and establish their own set of systems that work. Then I'm on to the next one. I'm practically a saint. In my head.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:35 AM
65

you may see fat people as some sort of alien species like people with no teeth or people who wear overalls

Once, twice, three times a martian. Plus pony tail, cigarettes, and a loathing of alcohol.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:36 AM
66

Actually, come to think of it, I'm out of the house nearer 12 hours a day. So make that 5 hours for all non-sleep tasks.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:36 AM
67

I have not read the link, but I know that on days when my kids get a lot of exercise they fall right asleep and sleep at least eight hours. On days they are deskbound, they are still bouncing off the walls @ 10 pm, and waking up in the morning is a bitch. So this anecdote proves that sleep is a secondary contributing factor, but that exercise is the real culprit. You can send my Nobel in the mail cuz I ain't going to Sweden.

Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:36 AM
68

Because the other thing I've found to be true of myself is that self-discipline doesn't work, only systems work. Which is why I secretly wish I could take over people's habits, so they aren't trying to do self-discipline, and instead their food arrived (cooked by me) and they arrived at the gym, and the power shut down at 9:30, so they were forced to sleep.

That's certainly always been true for me. I expect it's true of many people. And it also goes to why the shaming/individual choice narrative for fitness is so unsuccessful. Sure, you have to make a choice to get into better shape, and sure, there's choice and free will involved in letting oneself get out of shape (nb. not the same thing as being "fat"). But shaming people into making better choices is totally counterproductive; setting up systems where healthy food, exercise, etc. can function as an ordinary part of the day are way better. The local AME church in my neighborhood has a farmer's market every Sunday and schedules a free, complete workout program for people in the local park M-F, at 6:00 a.m. to fit into people's work schedules. That's an example of actually positive structural change (that is focused on health, not shaming fat people). In other words, bringing the "fitness subculture" into mainstream people's lives.

I read Nutureshock, which really could have been boiled down a 15 page article. Still well worth reading, though -- particularly relevant for this blog is the advice "don't tell your kids that they're "smart," tell them how hard they've worked and what a good job they've done on particular tasks."

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:39 AM
69

68: They assert in the book: "it's been shown that the less sleep kids get, the less active they are during the day. So the net calorie burn, after a good night's sleep, is higher."

Again, while the references are listed in the back, theres no actual data provided, so take it with a grain of salt.

There's probably a link going both directions, between high activity to a good night's sleep, and a good night's sleep to high activity during the day.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:42 AM
70

a spouse you don't have sex with

Television tells me that's the natural progression.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:42 AM
71

69 to 67.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:42 AM
72

particularly relevant for this blog is the advice "don't tell your kids that they're "smart," tell them how hard they've worked and what a good job they've done on particular tasks."

This sparked a few well-commented posts back whenever the findings were originally publicized.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:43 AM
73

Anyway, I've found my long walks to work to be the best way to get in exercise. It only takes about 15 minutes longer than the bus and that's only five minutes longer than driving. I do get to work a bit stinky on most days, but since nobody I see can give me more money, the bad smell is pretty much all negative externality.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:46 AM
74

I should make clear that one of the most important features of the farmer's market in 68 is that it's cheap -- it's focused on getting good, cheap produce and underselling the supermarket, not bringing in exotic organic products at high prices, and it's open all day on both weekend days, to max out the convenience for working people.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:46 AM
75

I read Nutureshock, which really could have been boiled down a 15 page article.

I got really annoyed and defensive on the part about jump-starting your kids' language skills, because every time they gave an example of their baseline expectations, they described babies who were vastly more advanced than Hawaiian Punch ever was.

Generally I'm totally indifferent to these timeline milestones, but it is true that she is generally behind the curve on them.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:46 AM
76

My own shift from slightly overweight but normal to being significantly overweight to obese (technically; I don't feel like I've ever been at the point where you would just call me "fat" though who knows) came in high school, when they shifted us from the normal 8-3 school day to a 7-1:30 day. This came with a whole ton of changes - no lunch period, much less sleep, increased snacking, and no more mandatory PE.

"don't tell your kids that they're "smart," tell them how hard they've worked and what a good job they've done on particular tasks."

So, I read the comment above mine...really? Why not tell them both?

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:47 AM
77

How about, ""don't tell your kids that they're "skinny," tell them how hard they've worked and what a good job they've done on eating well." ...

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:49 AM
78

I do get to work a bit stinky on most days

Maybe you need one of those spouses you don't have sex with.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:50 AM
79

Jammies thinks that the whole book is idiotic, because of the section on sibling rivalry: they upend the conventional wisdom that kids are vying for parental love, and claim that it's all about sharing toys and stuff. Jammies was like "No fucking duh." I think the book painted a slightly more complicated picture than that, but he is done with it.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:52 AM
80

re: 75

I always find those baselines a bit odd. I was with friends and their baby, and they were telling me that she's apparently 6 months ahead of the milestones for her age. But all I was thinking was that she was significantly behind my brother, and (particularly) my niece and nephew at that age. And I'm sure that's not a false memory on my part. However, the fact that they were all verbally very advanced as babies doesn't seem to have translated into any particular advantages when older, so I assume it evens out eventually.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:53 AM
81

So, I read the comment above mine...really? Why not tell them both?

The idea is that kids who believe the label "smart" about themselves then believe that if they have to work at a task, they must not be smart. That if you're smart, all hard tasks should come easily to you.

There's a series of studies where kids' whose effort is praised work harder and enjoy the process more, whereas kids whose intelligence is praised become less motivated and become scared to try and fail, as then they're not smart anymore.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:55 AM
82

75: I got really annoyed and defensive on the part about jump-starting your kids' language skills, because every time they gave an example of their baseline expectations, they described babies who were vastly more advanced than Hawaiian Punch ever was.

I don't have a source for this, but I recall from back when I had babies that specifically productive language milestones were all over the place without it meaning anything: the story about a kid who doesn't say anything until four and then starts up with the complete sentences isn't unusual. You worry fast about a kid who isn't understanding your speech on a 'normal' developmental schedule, but speech production is really idiosyncratic.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:57 AM
83

81: Ah. I see. I got told both, and I liked being told both, but I suppose some of it is dependent on what you think being smart means and all of that sort of thing.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:59 AM
84

81: I'm very conscious about doing this. I mean, the kids know they're smart, everyone tells them they're smart, but the praise is for working on stuff, and comes with a lot of "Doesn't matter how smart you are, no one manages to get anything done without working on it." And anecdotally, I like the effect it has on the kids' attitudes -- they seem less weird and tense about stuff than I remember being in pretty much the sort of way you'd expect if the analysis were correct.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:59 AM
85

the story about a kid who doesn't say anything until four and then starts up with the complete sentences isn't unusual.

I have a friend who did this (like Charles Wallace!). He swears that he remembers not wanting to sound wrong.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:04 AM
86

Actually, if I may self-indulge: Hawaiian Punch's first word seems to be "Thank you!" She is big on transactions where she hands an object back and forth with you, and somewhat regularly she'll say "Fankoo!" in the very well-timed moment.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:06 AM
87

Buck claims that (family story, not that he remembers it) his first words were at not quite four, and were "You people are stupid." His family was annoying him.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:07 AM
88

Also, she seems to be into cleaning, of all things. I'm wondering if we may not know who the mother is, after all.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:07 AM
89

85: Or Lord Macaulay?

Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:07 AM
90

Not that I'm knocking it.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:07 AM
91

Also, she seems to be into cleaning, of all things.

Like, she's into picking up her toys and putting them back where they belong.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:08 AM
92

25 but my recent travels have frequently provoked thoughts along the lines of For Christ's sake, America, lose some fucking weight.

I had the weird experience of going from being convinced I was the single least fit person in the entire town of Aspen to suddenly being surrounded by people more than twice my size.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:08 AM
93

And I figured out how to italicize letters again, if you were concerned.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:08 AM
94

At one point I used to know how to make text italicized in this jFig program, but for the life of me I cannot figure out how I did it.

Can't you just use TeX? {\em whatever}, or put it in math mode or something?

I'm never much good at using any of those programs, though; recently I've tried drawing pictures in Keynote with added TeX labels. I really want some program that can take a freehand drawing and automagically turn it into something professional-looking.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:11 AM
95

94 cross-posted with 93.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:11 AM
96

My Dad's first words, at four, were "My oatmeal is cold." He says that he hadn't had anything that needed to be fixed before that.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:13 AM
97

Can't you just use TeX? {\em whatever}, or put it in math mode or something?

Well, it's for labels within a picture. Probably, since TeX can do anything, but not within my wee brain's attention span.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:13 AM
98

¦¦

Does anyone have an opinion on going to museum of science vs the Harvard museum of natural history? in Boston obvs.
¦>

Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:18 AM
99

87: his first words were at not quite four, and were "You people are stupid."

Don't tell your family that they're "stupid," tell them how little effort they've expended and what a poor job they've done on particular tasks.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:18 AM
100

whereas kids whose intelligence is praised become less motivated and become scared to try and fail, as then they're not smart anymore.

I was told that I was smart a lot as a kid and am certainly afraid to fail. And you know what? Failure sucks. It seems entirely appropriate that I was so afraid of it.

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:22 AM
101

98: I would hop on the commuter rail to Salem and see the Peabody Essex Museum, but you probably don't have time for that.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:22 AM
102

98: the museum of science has a really cool mathematics area but is otherwise maybe a bit of a wash. The harvard museum is small, and I haven't been in many years, but I bet there's a crazy collection to be seen.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:24 AM
103

Don't tell your kids they're smart. Tell them they're fat.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:26 AM
104

"You did your homework? That's great, fatty."

"Oh, you aced the spelling bee? Nice one, lardo."

"You got in to Harvard, did you, wide load?"

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:27 AM
105

Seriously it works like a charm.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:27 AM
106

Well, it's for labels within a picture. Probably, since TeX can do anything, but not within my wee brain's attention span.

I thought xfig/jfig had an option for adding labels in a picture using TeX. But it's been a while since I used either of them, so I might be conflating them with some other program.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:27 AM
107

Does anyone have an opinion on going to museum of science vs the Harvard museum of natural history? in Boston obvs.

Never been to either of them. On the other hand, the Fogg and other art museums at Harvard are nice.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:29 AM
108

It looks like you can, in fact. But I'm sure something would go wrong.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:29 AM
109

"Failed another math test, eh skinny boy?"

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:29 AM
110

I remember one time when an authority figure kept talking about how smart I was and I really went off on him, in a public setting, about how pernicious and stressful this was, and everyone kind of chuckled awkwardly and it was very uncomfortable. Of course, I was 24 and he was my PhD advisor.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:30 AM
111

||

Someday my habit of using childish naughty words for dummy variables is going to bite me in the ass. "Say, [Sifu], we were running a demo, and the default field name was 'poopy fart fart'. Do you know why that is?"

|>

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:31 AM
112

I find it hilarious to call Hawaiian Punch "Sugar Tits" as a term for endearment, a la Mel Gibson.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:34 AM
113

an authority figure kept talking about how smart I was

Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:41 AM
114

111: SAS 6.0 wouldn't let me get that habit since named had to be 8 characters or less.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:44 AM
115

Semi-offtopic for Megan and other exerecise nuts: here's my deal. I was anorexic from ages 11 to 18, so my metabolism is a mess. I'm out of the house 10 hours a day for work and I do cook, though my lunches out of the officr to escape coworkers are probably the core of my problem. I have pretty severe scoliosis and constant pain. If I joined a gym, it would have to be one of those women-only dealies because I'm topheavy and don't think I could handle men looking at me while I exercise. The exception is bellydance, which is very very goor for the back pain and I think for my self-image. But I've been skipping it the last few months because I hate some of my classmates. At 5'9" I now weigh 170 lb, which makes me overweight by BMI. Part of this is standard happy relationship eating stuff, but I need to find a healthy way to lose some without worrying about getting back below the 135 when I was when all the gaining started. Suggestions?

I actually won't have time to say more because I'm off to have a pelvic ultrasound now. Have I mentioned that part of my problem is surely how much my body frustrates me? Ugh. At any rate, assuming this gets me a diagnosis and then treatment for ridiculous amounts of bleeding, that too should help me be more happily active. (I'm sure an attitude reset would help more.)

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:46 AM
116

At 5'9" I now weigh 170 lb

While exercise is generally good, etc, you don't actually seem overweight.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:49 AM
117

At times like this I feel like should tell my mom about this blog, so she could delight you with anecdotes depicting the marvels of Young Peep. But then I could never comment here again, and I'm sure you'd like her better than me.

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:50 AM
118

117: So you're being selfish.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:51 AM
119

111: Worked with a guy who left a debugging message along the lines of "Crap, fucked up again" in a production script. A bit of egg on the face when the person who first triggered the error in the field turned out to be humor-deficient.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:57 AM
120

118: Yes. And I was such a giving child! What went wrong?

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:58 AM
121

115
goor

Is this a typo? What for? Not to nitpick (normally I might let the usual bitches do it), but the two options I can think of are complete opposites and I don't know enough about bellydancing for fitness to fill in the blank from context.

116
While exercise is generally good, etc, you don't actually seem overweight.

The "official" weight recommendations, or BMI-based or whatever, per height are quite a bit lower than you'd think at a glance. I'm 5'8" or so, and I seem to remember that the upper limit of the recommended range for a man of my height was around 160 lb., I think. I've weighed that little for maybe two years of the last 10, and I'm definitely not all that much more overweight than normal.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:59 AM
122

Someday my habit of using childish naughty words for dummy variables is going to bite me in the ass.

You mean it hasn't? It happens to everyone, sooner or later.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:01 PM
123

Is this a typo? What for?

I read this as "good". what else did you think it was?

Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:04 PM
124

I have gotten in trouble for leaving a "fuck" in a program, actually. Probably the worst would be if I didn't strip out one of the "argh you suck you fucking son of a bitch"-type messages.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:06 PM
125

I hear you. There's a limit to the number of times one can use "sugartit".

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:08 PM
126

124: Can't you just put an * in front of it so the computer knows not to suck anything?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:12 PM
127

115 typo for "good," yes. What is NOT good is that even though I drank 42 ounces of water an hour ago, my bladder isn't full yet and so I have to sit and wait another 15 minutes. Blech.

I am not someone people would look at and think "fat," though I imagine I no longer read as thin. The only reason I know my BMI is that my doctor's office has started marking it on the chart every time and it bothers me to be in the overweight category. It also bothers me that my thighs are so large and my stomach is not flat and my ribs not easily visible, but those haven't been much motivation for me to do more in the past 2 years I've been gaining. The other factor is that I had my gallbladder out and because that made it difficult to digest fats, even though I'd always eaten a low-fat diet I transitioned to more starches than normal and I'm not as healthy an eater as I used to be.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:13 PM
128

Also, I thought the Pink Brain, Blue Brian (or vice versa?) book was much more interesting than Nurtureshock. I, too, liked reading the sleep parts and also the study about how darker-skinned black kids are not shunned for acting "white" in situations where lighter-skinned black kids would be, but in that and other cases I wished I was reading the actual study rather than a Newsweeky summary of it.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:16 PM
129

123: Could be "good", could be "poor". I assumed "good" from context, but the other's a possibility.

116, 121: It's all individual variation. BMI ranges work pretty well for my build -- I start being unhappy about my weight just about where my BMI crosses into "overweight", and as a fit twentysomething I was right in the middle of normal. My mother, who's taller but more lightly built, starts looking overweight long before she's out of normal. And I know heavily built people who look great and are way, way over the BMI overweight line.

So, I really don't think you can look at a height and weight and say either that someone's overweight, or that they're not, barring serious absurdities.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:17 PM
130

I weigh much more than people expect me to, and I've almost never been in the "Normal" BMI range, even at my healthiest.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:22 PM
131

I remember one time when an authority figure kept talking about how smart I was and I really went off on him, in a public setting, about how pernicious and stressful this was, and everyone kind of chuckled awkwardly and it was very uncomfortable.

Good lord, I did this senior year of high school at an awards event. I'd won some academic achievement award which came with an actual trophy-like thing, and the previous year's recipient gave a short speech introducing me, and announced that I would now rise to accept this award and speechify my own self.

Er, nobody had told me I'd be expected to speak. Apparently (I remember next to nothing about this), I spoke at some length about the oddity of an educational institution providing in fact *more* awards for athletic achievement at this here very awards ceremony than for academic achievement, how wrong-headed that was, how academic achievement did not signal some freakish display of intelligence but evidence of actual accomplishment and advancement in a given endeavor, blah blah.

Awkward! I really don't know what the hell happened, that I opened my mouth and that's what came out.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:23 PM
132

131.last: I said the same thing, for very different reasons, at a Denny's in Kansas.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:25 PM
133

I should probably have put 131 in pause/play mode. The weight discussion is more interesting.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:26 PM
134

A favorite variable of mine (although the need for it revealed some a potentially flaw in the program somewhere) was not-a-numbers-evil-twin (yes, this was the late 80s).

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:27 PM
135

Didn't even think about "poor" as a possibility, but of course it is. First letter determined, that 's me.

Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:28 PM
136

I wish I could parse 134.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:30 PM
137

From the link, not-a-numbers is George HW Bush, and his evil twin from Doonesbury is Skippy. But there's something weird going on there.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:37 PM
138

I think not being attracted to [fat, whatever] people is perfectly fine. What I don't get is turning it into a moral hand-wringing case or a matter of personal affront that someone who is not physically attractive to you is within eyesight.

I've never had a problem with the fact that men reject me for being on the larger side. We all get rejected for stupid reasons, and my size is really only one of a host of reasons why I am unlovable. What I have a problem with is the "you would be attractive if..." attitude, founded on all kinds of moral judgments about my weight or personality, mixed with condescension that it's somehow my job to be everyone else's idea of what sexual attractiveness is.

And on that note, I'll go die alone now.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:37 PM
139

136: I wish I could parse 134.

Me too. I named a variable "not-a-numbers-evil-twin". Technically, it was bad that I came across the need to do that (actually it was a constant--"not-a-number" was an arbitrary NaN value, evil twin was the same but with the sign bit flipped.) Why it was bad is left as an exercise for the reader [Hint: arbitrary markers should not be arithmetically manipulated]. I was inspired by Trudeaus's use of George H W Bush's evil twin form Doonesbury.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:46 PM
140

The idea is that kids who believe the label "smart" about themselves then believe that if they have to work at a task, they must not be smart. That if you're smart, all hard tasks should come easily to you.

this section of the book was an article:

http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:49 PM
141

I think not being attracted to [fat, whatever] people is perfectly fine.

Tell it to the gals at Jezebel, sister.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:53 PM
142

[Hint: arbitrary markers should not be arithmetically manipulated]

Heh. heh. heh.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:55 PM
143

I end up seeing the other end of the "smart" kid all the time. There's the "smart" kid who plagiarizes, but excuses himself, saying it's not really plagiarism if you're "actually" smart. Or there's the "smart" kid who writes like a moderately bright 10th grader and refuses to learn beyond that. I dunno. I definitely had a lot of misplaced arrogance due to being told I was "smart," but it helped that I saw people who were smarter than me all the time; I knew my parents were wrong that I was somehow magically gifted. Around fourth grade, I started explaining to my parents that I had to work hard to do well, compared to so-and-so from gifted class who was just better than me at things. I wonder how my "smart" students can get so far without ever being made aware that other people are smarter than themselves.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:56 PM
144

I was inspired by Trudeaus's use of George H W Bush's evil twin form Doonesbury.

I guess you don't watch many soap operas, then.

Actually, i first remember the concept of "evil twin" on Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie. But those were more naughty than evil. No, I am not Jonah Goldberg.

Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:57 PM
145

...it's somehow my job to be everyone else's idea of what sexual attractiveness is.

I've never had that problem, so maybe I can offer tips in how to not care. For example, I'm sitting in my office making some tables and plucking back hair yet I consider myself well groomed.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:59 PM
146

Thorn: at 5'9" and 170, you do not sound significantly overweight to me. Best of luck with the testing and concomitant worries. As you say, you cannot expect yourself to start an exercise/diet plan until the health concerns are resolved -- give yourself a break.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 12:59 PM
147

141: Do you feel like they shame individual men for being attracted to one thing or another? I thought they focused more on the narrowness of media representations of attractiveness. They're pretty shallow and narrow in their little appreciations of men; it would be pretty hypocritical not to acknowledge that everyone is.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:02 PM
148

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:05 PM
149

148 -- Wow, what incredibly lame excuse making. They'd have done better just to have accepted the hypocrisy charge and thought a bit about that.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:08 PM
150

OK, yeah, that's an irritating post. While a lot of their media criticism is spot-on, and it is disturbing that a lot of what is presented as "attractive" w/r/t women is surgeried and Photoshopped out of all possible reality and then positioned as if murdered or broken-boned, no, I would not be offended to see dudes ogling female athletes at the top of their game. Power and ability should be hot.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:10 PM
151

I get annoyed when uniforms for men and women who play the same sport are vastly unequal, sexi-wise. I remember beach volleyball bugging me in particular. I don't mind people ogling their amazing bodies, but I don't see why the women's uniforms have to be so much skimpier than the men's.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:15 PM
152

I wasn't even aware that there was men's beach volleyball as an organized sport.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:17 PM
153

Exactly how much skimpier do you want the men's beach volleyball uniforms to be? You just want to see a bit more thigh?

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:19 PM
154

Isn't it in the Olympics? Maybe I just made that up.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:19 PM
155

Note also that the Jezebel ogling posts have nothing whatsoever to do with soccer. Nor are they ogling the guys just because of their athletic ability; it's not like they've got posts up about Hossein Rezadazeh even though he's one of the world's strongest men. It's just staring at a bunch of hot guys in shorts. NTTAWT.

(Full disclosure: I think everyone affiliated with Gawker Media should be put before the firing squad).

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:19 PM
156

152: It is, and for some sick reason, they force the poor darlings to wear shirts.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:19 PM
157

The pic in 153 is from the Men's Volleyball US Open.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:19 PM
158

153: I like to see that muscle leading from the side of the abs down to the groin.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:19 PM
159

154: I wasn't correcting you. I really know nothing about beach volleyball except what the women's teams wear.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:20 PM
160

Exactly how much skimpier do you want the men's beach volleyball uniforms to be? You just want to see a bit more thigh?

In all seriousness, why don't the women also play in shorts, then?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:21 PM
161

148, 149: I don't know. I was prepared to protest: You're making me look at a Jezebel post? It will irritate me!

In fact I buy several of the points made, particularly these, on the general topic of Context Matters:

[Men] will not be told their primary value is based on whether women want to fuck them. They will not be paid less on the dollar or subject to violence in representation or acts. They will not be treated like meat or chattel.
And presumably no unhealthy starvation or surgical enhancements were involved.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:21 PM
162

You know what the best part is about having your cake? You get to eat it, too.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:22 PM
163

Does anyone have an opinion on going to museum of science vs the Harvard museum of natural history? in Boston obvs.

I haven't been to the museum of science, so I can't offer any comparison. I find the newer exhibits at the Harvard museum of natural history annoying: overdesigned to be "interactive" but with no actual information, in that way that contemporary exhibit designers seem to love. But the older parts of the museum in the back have that cool old-school museum feel. Giant stuffed animals in boxes of thick plate glass with wooden frames, rooms stuffed to the gills, with a second level around the edges of the top, and a giant whale skeleton hanging down over everything. And butterflies pinned by Nabokov!

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:23 PM
164

I've never been clear on who wants to have their cake without eating it.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:23 PM
165

155: The only thing I meant about the ability and strength is that there does seem to be a real difference to me in ogling a real human body that has become extraordinarily beautiful through exercise, no matter what the gender, and ogling what is basically a digital illustration of a starved body that looks weak, vapid, and possibly dead.

OTOH, do I think the Jezebel girls are sort of fat-phobic in their taste in men? Sure! But it's not like I go around getting mad at lad mags for not having some heftier asses on the cover. They do, and that's irritating.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:25 PM
166

Everything's in the archives.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:26 PM
167

160: You mean and no bra? That would fucking hurt.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:26 PM
168

Exactly how much skimpier do you want the men's beach volleyball uniforms to be?

They'd have to be wearing speedos to achieve parity with the women's uniforms.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:26 PM
169

160: In all seriousness, I think the beach volleyball outfits of both men and women are more or less designed for the maximum level of exposure that is consistent with perceived sexiness. Sure, the guys could be wearing speedos, but for strolling around the beach, I think the general popular perception is that shorts are the sexier alternative.

Is there a gendered-differential in the uniforms of any other sports? Certainly not basketball. Or swimming. Or soccer. Or softball. Is it just volleyball that bothers you?

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:27 PM
170

160: You mean and no bra? That would fucking hurt.

No, that's silly. I mean they should wear shorts that they pull up and over their boobs, like a jumper.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:28 PM
171

I agree with 169. Both male and female beach-volleyball players are people who are extremely proud of their bodies and showing them off as much as possible.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:30 PM
172

147: I was being slightly facetious, but, generally, the few feminist blogs that Patriarchal Me takes occasional note of are pretty disparaging of the notion, and the appreciation, of the "conventionally attractive."

As for the soccer post, defending oneself against charges of hypocrisy is almost inevitably futile,* but people on the Internet keep wasting electrons.

I've never been clear on who wants to have their cake without eating it.

I do!

* Not least because the first resort is usually the argument from intent.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:31 PM
173

beach volleyball outfits of both men and women are more or less designed for the maximum level of exposure that is consistent with perceived sexiness.

Eh, this is probably right.

Now why do golfers dress like that?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:34 PM
174

the beach volleyball outfits of both men and women are more or less designed for the maximum level of exposure that is consistent with perceived sexiness

But this is exactly the problem, right? That women are expected to show so much more.

(And as far as sexiness of the outfits, I'd rather see the men in shorter shorts and not allowed to wear shirts.)

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:35 PM
175

166: hah. He was a little full of shit, there. Why, they could wear shorts like these!

The reason beach volleyball players wear what they do is because beach volleyball was developed in Hawaii, where dudes have worn board shorts and lady dudes have worn bikinis since, like, ever (well, since the 50s, I guess). I have no answer for the shirts.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:36 PM
176

Mmm. If I'm going to be ogling scantily-clad athletes, I want abdominal muscles!

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:36 PM
177

173: blame Scotland.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:36 PM
178

Is there a gendered-differential in the uniforms of any other sports?

Ice skating, gymnastics.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:36 PM
179

there does seem to be a real difference to me in ogling a real human body that has become extraordinarily beautiful through exercise, no matter what the gender, and ogling what is basically a digital illustration of a starved body that looks weak, vapid, and possibly dead.

Absolutely right.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:37 PM
180

And honestly, why do female tennis players still have to wear dippy little skirts?

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:37 PM
181

180: Right. Bikinis for all!

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:40 PM
182

But this is exactly the problem, right? That women are expected to show so much more.

A female beach volleyballer is going to have more of her total body surface covered than do either of the guys in that picture from the US open. (See 153.)

I didn't know the men wore tops for volleyball at the olympics. (I don't recall ever watching it.) The explanation in 166 makes some sense, although I'm not sure why their numbers couldn't be printed on their shorts, instead.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:43 PM
183

178: Those aren't sports.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:44 PM
184

If I'm going to be ogling scantily-clad athletes, I want abdominal muscles!

Sit-ups will help, but having abdominal muscles doesn't actually improve your eyesight.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:45 PM
185

[Men] will not be told their primary value is based on whether women want to fuck them

I would occasionally read this in line at the grocery store, but it made me feel bad.
http://www.menshealth.com/

Also, auto manufacturers work hard to tie a man's self-worth to his ride, which is more economically debilitating than collecting shoes and purses.

Men don't get threatened with physical harm the way women do, which is a huge difference and does leak into cultural objects, but the threat to self worth is from materialism, not from sexism, I think.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:45 PM
186

[Men] will not be told their primary value is based on whether women want to fuck them

My spam folder disputes this.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:47 PM
187

Given the fact that women have to cover their tits and men don't, it's going to be hard to compare coverage using 'total body surface covered.' I'm sure an argument could be made for either of our positions, but I'm going to persist in thinking that the women's uniforms are skimpier.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:48 PM
188

Ice skating, gymnastics

ICE SKATING?

Posted by: OPINIONATED JOHNNY WIER | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:49 PM
189

Yeah, I'm inclined to think that men are just as paralyzed by competitive perfection as women are. In fact, I'd say that it's male competition (you must get the best-looking mate!) that fuels a lot of female competition (I must be the most desirable mate!). I'd go even further and say that at least there are spaces where women can talk to each other about being on the receiving end of this bullshit without sounding like whiny losers.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:49 PM
190

Also, auto manufacturers work hard to tie a man's self-worth to his ride

And then gas got expensive and the auto makers (at least the U.S. ones) got hoisted by their own petard.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:49 PM
191

You know what sport shows an admiable commitment to gender equity in skin-area-coverage? Auto racing.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:49 PM
192

why do female tennis players still have to wear dippy little skirts?

They don't. They can wear shorts if they wish. I think some do. Tennis = individual sport. These others we're discussing are team sports, hence uniformed.

Tennis is weird anyway, given how much of it is informed by courtly, genteel tradition (there's no particular reason, really, to wear white).

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:50 PM
193

191: Also horse racing, on both sides of the saddle.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:51 PM
194

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:52 PM
195

(there's no particular reason, really, to wear white)

Makes laundry easier.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:52 PM
196

I've been taking tennis lessons for the past two weeks, and the students (all female) all show up in a t-shirt and shorts except for the two sorority girls, who both have little tennis skirts.

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:52 PM
197

Also, auto manufacturers work hard to tie a man's self-worth to his ride

I am so goddamn subject to this. I downgraded to a cheap car that works well and costs me nothing and am constantly on the verge of causing myself financial misery for the sake of more horsepower and a better hood ornament. Least cost-effective means of attracting women ever, yet it has somehow seeped deep into my brain.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:53 PM
198

195: Not really. They could just buy clay-colored shorts.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:53 PM
199

In any case, all sports have uniforms which are informed by weird history, except maybe motocross and slamball. I mean, baseball uniforms? Kinda weird! What's the impetus behind football players wearing skin-tight teal (sometimes) pants? It ain't 'cuz you need them to run in. You know, all athletes could compete naked, or in Mao thongs, but that's not what sports are.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:54 PM
200

187: I don't actually disagree that the women's uniform's could be fairly characterized as "skimpier", just with the idea that women are "expected to show so much more". The men are wearing shorts. That's it!

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:55 PM
201

197: Do you have a complete listing of ways to attract women, ordered by cost effectiveness? Because, you know, a little background knowledge wouldn't hurt.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:55 PM
202

I am content to just sit there and ogle my cake.

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:55 PM
203

OK, here's a puzzle:

Why does this sport not sexxxy up its women's uniforms?
http://www.robertmorris.edu/athletics/news/20090221wbwl/

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:55 PM
204

T shirts informed me that in the 1980s and early 1990s, many schools had co-ed naked teams in a variety of sports.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:55 PM
205
Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:56 PM
206

(there's no particular reason, really, to wear white)

I believe the rules of Wimbleton require it. Didn't Agassi go through a period of wearing orange and red and shit in the 1980s? (To everywhere except Wimbleton, that it, since Wimbelton requires white.)

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:58 PM
207

Oh, and my self-worth is supposed to be determined by my car? I'm glad I missed out entirely on that bit of messaging.

I guess my self-worth is $6.75/hr, on average, then. Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:59 PM 208 Of the two ways you spelled Wimbledon, Brock, I'd say the latter is the least correct. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 1:59 PM 209 208: Dammit. I even types it into google, to make sure it didn't say "did you mean "Wimbledon"?", which it didn't. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:01 PM 210 Probably because of all the stories with headlines like this: Venus Williams at Wimbleton: Beats Alisa Kleybanova Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:03 PM 211 Or: Isner wins marathon Wimbleton tennis match: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:05 PM 212 Actually, I have had women across the spectrum remark that they like a guy in a hot car. They'd deny thatit's the main factor in making a man appealing, and they were all secure, intelligent, and articulate. But for ladies with self-esteem issues, flashy clothes and expensive wheels tailored to SES (rims ain't gonna pull in anyone with a coach bag, roughly speaking) work well. Probably if you aren't cursed with a personality to match the ride, the cognitive dissonance induced is damaging, so it's not as simple as spending the money. First you have to stunt your soul, and only then spend the money. http://www.flickr.com/photos/22785782@N00/470265067/in/set-72057594071359052/ Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:05 PM 213 207: Which is much cheaper than even the co-pay on nearly any type of therapy to boost your self-worth. Score. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:05 PM 214 Really, there's enough confusion that this must be one of those words with no accepted standard spelling. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:06 PM 215 197: I downgraded to a cheap car that works well and costs me nothing and am constantly on the verge of causing myself financial misery for the sake of more horsepower and a better hood ornament. Least cost-effective means of attracting women ever, yet it has somehow seeped deep into my brain. Really? This sounds like trolling. I dated someone intermittently for a few months who seemed really into his ride -- he donned driving gloves! no shit! to drive for 20 minutes to a restaurant! -- and, well, it did not work out for a variety of reasons. I never really got the driving gloves business. Peculiar, you might say. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:06 PM 216 165: a starved body that looks weak, vapid, and possibly dead Have you seen the new Twilight-themed Barbies at Target? Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:06 PM 217 94: I really want some program that can take a freehand drawing and automagically turn it into something professional-looking. Something like this? I haven't tried it, but the demo video is snazzy. Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:07 PM 218 So wait, now that we're carless, I'm not supposed to be attracted to Buck? Actually, I suppose a dented powder-blue fifteen year old Ford station wagon might have been worse, attractiveness-wise, than not having a car at all. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:08 PM 219 215: Peculiar, you might say. I'd call it dick-er-iffic, but I checked and Webster says your word exists. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:09 PM 220 Before we get to deep into the car-status thing, let me point out that it totally depends where you live. What obtains in LA doesn't necessarily obtain in Philly, let alone in San Francisco, let alone in _____. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:09 PM 221 dented powder-blue fifteen year old Ford station wagon I think this reads as "family man". Some women like that. You may even be one of them. Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:10 PM 222 I haven't known a guy who owned a car for a while. An ex had one, but his embarrassment about it was more attractive than his owning one (a nondescript something-or-other). In college I dated a guy with a Mercedes, which was impressive to me for about 30 seconds. Maybe I'm just weird, but I don't think I'd ever consider dating or not dating someone because of their car, unless it was clearly a sign of bad decision-making, like the one in 212. I don't think I know any women who have ever talked about a guy's car as an attractive or unattractive thing, either. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:11 PM 223 "too". Oh well. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:11 PM 224 driving gloves! I had a great commute moment yesterday-- dude next to me in gridlock is having an enthusiastic, punctuated-with-the-hands conversation on his mobile. His hand gestures were foreign, I would have figured Indian or Persian, but he looked African. Frayed driving gloves. Hoopty ride. I know that it's rude to violate privacy this way, but I love watching people's faces as they talk on the phone at stoplights. Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:11 PM 225 And no, 222 isn't just a NYC thing. I have lived most of my life in the midwest. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:12 PM 226 Really? This sounds like trolling. No, I'm totally serious, though I understand how idiotic it is, financially and otherwise. I'm not really super "into" cars, but I really do have a nagging feeling that my life would be dramatically improved with a better and more expensive car. (I think driving gloves are bullshit if you're not actually on a racetrack). Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:13 PM 227 Maybe the car thing is just one of those things that makes dudes feel more confident and handsome, and then act more confident and handsome. Lord knows women do all kind of shit that guys don't care about so that we "feel" more desirable. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:16 PM 228 222: In college I dated a guy with a Mercedes, which was impressive to me for about 30 seconds. For some guys, 30 seconds is all it takes. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:16 PM 229 Car choice would never be a dealbreaker to me unless it spoke to their values, but sure, it counted like a piece of clothing in my attraction to guys when I was out dating. Old beat up pick-up truck is more attractive, tiny little egg-shaped car - I'm sorry to say - I found less attractive. In general it was not something I put much weight on, though. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:16 PM 230 Also, note that the cars in the small (mostly lawyers and agents) garage where I park every morning includes many M3s, an M5, multiple Aston Martins, and tons of other high end cars, while I'm rolling up every day in my 2000 Buick. So yes 220 is right and this is a particular kind of small-world pressure. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:17 PM 231 222 isn't just a NYC thing The very first line is, surely. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:17 PM 232 My wife is more into cars than I am. To the point of rolling down the window to hear the Porsche engine two lanes over. She says it makes her "tingly". Since they have cut auto shop out of high school, are there any gearheads left? Or has it all migrated to Fast & Furious riceburners? Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:17 PM 233 but I really do have a nagging feeling that my life would be dramatically improved with a better and more expensive car. Everybody who drives near me seems to be either 88 years old and in a huge hurry or 18 years old, in a huge hurry and texting somebody to find out if you are supposed to stop on "red" or "green." Between that and the lack of any road maintenance and the 434 inches of snow and 32 inches of salt we had on the roads this winter, I'm pretty much not buying a nice car. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:18 PM 234 supposed to be attracted I'm not being prescriptive, just saying that I've heard ladies say hot car without irony more than once. Vive la difference, I say. And impressing the right person for the first 30 seconds is the WHOLE POINT, after that the full force of the personality that everyone loves can be unleashed. Pwned now, but cars are approaching being an item of clothing. Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:18 PM 235 I used to be a bit of a gearhead in school, in that I liked going to car shows and still like seeing amazing cars. But that has exactly zero connection to me wanting to have sex with the person who owns them. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:21 PM 236 230: It must almost make it easier being way off the scale, rather than slightly inferior. A 2000 Buick next to an Aston Martin makes you quirky and non-materialistic, where a (help me, I don't know cars. Something that a shallow person would buy as a nice car if they didn't have the money for a really really nice car) would just make you playing the same game and losing. To enhance this, I suggest macrame bumper-cozies. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:22 PM 237 235: What about the cars themselves? Did you want to have sex with them? Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:23 PM 238 236: That's exactly why I like to park the 1995 Jeep next to the Land Rovers when I go to Whole Foods. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:24 PM 239 Liking things is not always the same as wanting to fuck them! Pervert. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:24 PM 240 236 was the theory behind getting the Buick. A 3-series BMW screams "mid-level associate" whereas in the Buick I just look like somebody's grandpa visiting for the day. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:26 PM 241 And, full circle, there is a website where dinosaurs bang airplanes. Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:26 PM 242 I'm car shopping right now (not right this minute, but generally) because my '99 Saturn died and jesusfuck but cars got a lot more expensive since the last one I bought. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:26 PM 243 What does a 1995 Jeep scream? Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:27 PM 244 243: You mean while you're having sex with it? Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:27 PM 245 If I'd known how to properly appreciate a classic car, I might not be married today. Buck and I broke up for a couple of months in our first year of dating, and vague fixing-up gestures were made to set me up with a gearhead friend of my sister's then-boyfriend. (The gearhead was a lovely person, who later dated another friend of ours). He had a lovingly restored 'Cuda, which I was ceremoniously introduced to and expected to admire. I had no idea of what one says or does to show respectful admiration of an important car, so I reached out and jounced it, the way you do (I believe) to test the shocks. Apparently touching the paintjob with my hands was wrong. Who knew? So I was still single a month or two later when I figured out that breaking up with Buck was a dimwitted thing to have done. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:28 PM 246 Huh. A guy's car just really doesn't make much of a difference except as another data point about him, which comes with a historical explanation. Hell, I'm driving an SUV now, which semi-embarrasses me and I imagine that I'll offer an explanation about it to the next new person who witnesses me with it: it was my mom's. I inherited it. It is not the car I would choose. However it is very comfortable, now that it's here and I have it. So. Um. Next topic? Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:28 PM 247 237. Subtext? The fetish guy is photographed next to a VW painted as Herbie, the Love Bug. Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:28 PM 248 244: s/b "in it." The back seat folds flat. Laydeez. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:28 PM 249 247: I love that the car's name is "Vanilla." He's not a pervert; he has vanilla sex. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:31 PM 250 243, 244: What does a 1995 Jeep scream? You mean while you're having sex with it? You'll never make movies in this town again! Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:31 PM 251 250: +" " Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:36 PM 252 I SAID NOT IN THE TAILPIPE! Posted by: 1995 Jeepostropher | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:37 PM 253 It's interesting that, in the circles I frequent, I know exactly one person who is interested in having me know anything about the car they drive. I do have a few acquaintances with art cars, but that's not exactly what we're discussing here. Semi-related: Just got off the train where I heard some women who were riding from the airport discussing a tall bike one of them had seen yesterday in DC. The truculent midwesterner in me really wanted to butt in to their conversation and explain that they were in the very city, indeed, the very neighborhood, where tall bikes had first come to prominence, but it was my stop and I didn't figure they'd actually get anything out of a mini-lecture from a pedantic, weird-looking fat guy. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:38 PM 254 HEY BIG BOY! Posted by: Mercury Mistress | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:39 PM 255 discussing a tall bike one of them had seen yesterday in DC. I saw a guy on a recumbent bike this morning. I'm not sure if the bike had any advantage besides making him look like King Nerd sitting on his throne. He was going up a very big hill at a good speed and without obvious over exertion. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 2:45 PM 256 I killed the blog by insulting recumbent bikes? Just like that one guy killed Journolist by insulting conservatives? Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:00 PM 257 Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:04 PM 258 I've never heard my wife comment about a man in a sports or luxury car, but what she says about women driving Suburbans could peel paint. Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:07 PM 259 Somewhere upthread AWB says, "I think not being attracted to fat people is perfectly okay"...a phrasing that cues nicely into some stuff I've been thinking about attractiveness, shame and social expectations. To wit (but not to Witt, particularly): Attraction gets described as natural, innate and easy to know and it's not, partly because I think a lot of folks have been trained not to acknowledge attractions that fall outside what is socially acceptable. Here's my anecdote: I was reading a blog (Femmecast, the Fat Femme Guide to Life, I think) and looking at photos of the woman who runs it. "How plain she is!" I thought to myself. "And those bags under her eyes! If she wears so much make-up, why doesn't she cover them?" And then I was all, way to go, self, why are you so mean?. And it occurred to me in this weird, surfacing-from-the-unconscious way that actually I found this woman incredibly attractive--no, I mean, I really did--and somehow the snippiness about the eyes had been a defense mechanism. Like I hadn't wanted to admit to myself that I found her attractive. This isn't about weight--I tend if anything to be attracted to fat people--it's more about my narrative of "I'm not attracted to femme women; I'm only attracted to bad-tempered genderqueer intellectuals and bad-tempered intellectual men, because I'm just so smart." Also, I have trouble acknowledging achievable attraction--like, being attracted to people who are generally in my league--because it's much scarier than being attracted either to people who are social outcasts and will be glad of the attention or who are so out of my league that I will never actually have to act on an attraction. My point being that "attracted" and "not attracted" aren't as simple as "I like broccoli but I don't like cauliflower". Also, I was reading a very clever blog entry (it's been queer blog week at my house!) about type and sleeping with people that was basically "While you don't want to sleep with someone who totally repulses you, why not try sleeping with more various people than you might otherwise? You never know until you try!" I thought that was kind of neat, and also a reflection of a more low-key approach to sex. Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:08 PM 260 Does anyone have an opinion on going to museum of science vs the Harvard museum of natural history? Another vote for Harvard. Check out the glass flowers there. You can also head to the Peabody museum on campus for more neat stuff. Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:09 PM 261 || Who's idea was it that there would be so many different phone books (and salesmen of yellow pages listings)? Is there no crime she or he can be charged with? |> Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:11 PM 262 259: I absolutely agree that attraction is complex and often causes weird defensive reactions. But I'm also pretty tired of being on the receiving end of that "I actually want you but someone like me is not supposed to be attracted to someone like you so I'm going to jerk you around and treat you like shit before finally acknowledging that I can't do you, not because I don't want to, but because I think other people might think weird things about me if I do" thing. If your feelings are that complex, why not just say you're not into me and leave it at that? Sure, it would be a great blow to Big Cosmo if these guys broke down and begged me for it, but I'm pretty sick of being a sexual guinea pig. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:15 PM 263 261: Can't decide which one to advertise your ambulance chasing services on the back of? Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:15 PM 264 Well, I once spent a month in a hotel in Brooklyn working eighteen hour days to establish that "More people choose Yellow Book" is a filthy lie. There weren't any criminal charges brought, but we did what we could. (What are you doing with phone books? Does anyone use them at all anymore?) Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:15 PM 265 Are there really that many phone books for Gitmo? And do they let the prisoners use them? Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:18 PM 266 and treat you like shit before finally acknowledging that I can't do you, not because I don't want to, but because I think other people might think weird things about me if I do Am I the only one who can't hear the phrase "do me" in this context without starting to sing Bell Biv Devoe? I'll bet Heebie feels the same way. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:23 PM 267 262: I think we're talking about slightly different things here. Being a jerk, lying about your intentions, secretly having contempt for someone who is kind enough to sleep with you--bad behavior generally--is always unacceptable. Being all "I have a type, and that's natural and organic and the fact that I haven't actually had sex in five years because no one measures up to my standards doesn't need to be interrogated at all" is also bad. I just think that the Savage Love/He's Not That Into You narratives of the world posit a harmful set of underlying truths about human interactions....(I recently had one of my straight male friends tell me about how gay men sure had it right, they knew that attraction was inborn pretty much from birth, the only true and authentic source of sexual pleasure...and of course, this fellow hasn't dated that much and indeed is someone I once turned down. Whatever he's attracted to doesn't like him back.) Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:24 PM 268 Halford, there is kind of an issue, now that prisoners are allowed to make phone calls to family. But no, I'm not in the market for more clients who don't pay just right now. LB, there's a class of target customer who uses phone books, especially those that have online versions. Otto, I'd go billboard, I think, if I was pursuing personal injury cases. Or bus stop benches. Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:24 PM 269 Well, I once spent a month in a hotel in Brooklyn working eighteen hour days to establish that "More people choose Yellow Book" is a filthy lie. There weren't any criminal charges brought, but we did what we could. ... That's just kind of odd (I know, I know, you don't get to chose your work, but still). Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:25 PM 270 I do have a few acquaintances with art cars, but that's not exactly what we're discussing here. My friends and I might end up having to sell our art car, which makes me sad. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:25 PM 271 Otto, I'd go billboard, I think, if I was pursuing personal injury cases. That seems like an odd market to go after. Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:27 PM 272 Topically, I just went and gave our car back to the dealership. Now that I'm married, I'll do without! Nah, we'll probably get another one. No hurry, though. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:28 PM 273 264: Well, I once spent a month in a hotel in Brooklyn working eighteen hour days to establish that "More people choose Yellow Book" is a filthy lie. There weren't any criminal charges brought, but we did what we could. Not surprising, so many of those undercover gigs get thrown out as entrapment. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:28 PM 274 271: That seems like an odd market to go after. At least now that Phil Spector is out of circulation. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:30 PM 275 267: Yeah, I've never believed in the "type" thing either, but being a sexual ambassador gets pretty old. I guess my big talk here is related to a friendship I've had for years now with someone who periodically propositions me with the most delightfully depraved ideas I've ever heard, and then, when I say, "OK, let's do it," he gets all ashamed of himself and stops talking to me for a few weeks. In his case, I don't think it's my looks so much--he loves being seen with me--as his prudishness. He only knows how to think of himself as a really repressed guy who dates women who dislike sex. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:31 PM 276 My office mates and I are hiring a replacement for our departing secretary in the next couple of weeks. Where to advertise? My t-shirt idea got rejected. Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:31 PM 277 269: Oh, it was a fun case. Tens of thousands of pages of phone-book ads to be organized by location; private detectives reporting on sales pitches made to small businessmen; trying to work backward from advertising claims to the survey data they were based on to check the results; last minute discovery that some of our clients' advertising materials were wrong (but ours was an honest mistake); and Jack Weinstein, the judge who wrote the book on evidence and then never looked at it again, letting the lawyers on both sides get away with murder. Tiring, but fun. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:32 PM 278 Heck, an ambulance chaser looking for clients could do worse than reading Unfogged. Just this week we had a nasty dog bite and a tragic drowning. Get either case, and you could be the next John Edwards! Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:33 PM 279 276: Losers bracket at the beach volleyball tournament? Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:33 PM 280 Google adwords? What do secretaries at your competitors' offices search for, aside from of course "dude in hot car." Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:35 PM 281 Now that I'm married, I'll do without! So 70 is correct, then? Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:37 PM 282 My office mates and I are hiring a replacement for our departing secretary in the next couple of weeks. You could try this approach. Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:38 PM 283 In his case, I don't think it's my looks so much--he loves being seen with me--as his prudishness. He only knows how to think of himself as a really repressed guy who dates women who dislike sex. And thus needs a kind therapist to help him unpack some of this "type" (in this case, "I am the type who") nonsense, after which he can either stop with the propositions or proposition properly. Also, I tend to feel that good manners requires one to have a sense of when and how it is appropriate to proposition people--and "I'm not sure I'll actually follow through on this" is not appropriate for "how". I am thinking of starting a left/activist school of manners. Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:41 PM 284 || Although well-enough intentioned, Stieg Larsson's novels are unfortunately rather crap. |> Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:43 PM 285 Am I the only one who can't hear the phrase "do me" in this context without starting to sing Bell Biv Devoe? I'll bet Heebie feels the same way. Hooray! The time was six o'clock on the swatch watch. No time to chill, got a date! Can't be late! The girl is gonna do me! Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:44 PM 286 283: Oh, definitely. His psychological problems stack up much higher than sexual repression, and he has been in and out of therapy, on and off meds, pretty constantly. I used to get pretty thrown by his behavior, but now I take it less personally. I am a symbol of his id or of his superego, and I never know which one I'm expected to play at a given moment. So I don't bother. But yes, there ought to be a law about retracting sexual propositions. That is wrong. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:46 PM 287 Maybe he thinks playing Lucy to your Charlie Brown is fun, until he realizes how totally dickish it is. And then is too embarrassed to be seen for a while. Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:47 PM 288 I guess my big talk here is related to a friendship I've had for years now with someone who periodically propositions me with the most delightfully depraved ideas I've ever heard, and then, when I say, "OK, let's do it," he gets all ashamed of himself and stops talking to me for a few weeks. In his case, I don't think it's my looks so much--he loves being seen with me--as his prudishness. He only knows how to think of himself as a really repressed guy who dates women who dislike sex. The not talking to you part is total bullshit. The not wanting to follow through part: I bet he likes precisely the amount of adrenaline and edginess that comes from describing it, and engaging you in his words, and running the scenario verbally, and that's all. That part is fine, but when you say "Ok, let's go!" he's handling it like a total asshole. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:47 PM 289 Looks like 288 did not contribute anything. Oh well. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:48 PM 290 I don't think there's any thrill for him in denying me; I think it makes him feel like a pussy. He doesn't seem to take any pleasure in seeing me disappointed or sad. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:51 PM 291 I can not imagine a world in which I would not accept a "OK, let's go". If you don't want to "go" keep your filthy fantasies to yourself. I would be more afraid of the strategic slap across the face after detailing my desires. Performance anxiety? Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 3:59 PM 292 Performance anxiety? Yup. At least, this is the reason he has given. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:00 PM 293 I believe it. Not that unusual to talk the talk, but not walk the walk. Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:04 PM 294 I don't think there's any thrill for him in denying me; This is consistent w/ what I meant in 288. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:06 PM 295 In thinking Lucy, I was obviously undershooting dysfunctionality. Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:14 PM 296 Of course there is a name for that behavior if done female to male. I don't think that the opposite is true, as with so many things. "Pussy tease" falls flat somehow. Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:15 PM 297 Performance anxiety. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:28 PM 298 Maybe the car thing is just one of those things that makes dudes feel more confident and handsome, and then act more confident and handsome. Like clothes. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:30 PM 299 I have a friend who has been in a similarly frustrating relationship for a little over a year, and we commiserate. In her case, I think he might actually be taking a great deal of pleasure in her frustration and disappointment, which makes me mad. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:38 PM 300 With these AWB stories, I can never decide if she's just surrounded by a bunch of unusually impotent men or if I've just been blind to the fact that this sort of thing goes on all the time. I still lean towards the former. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:40 PM 301 he might actually be taking a great deal of pleasure in her frustration So the masochist says to the sadist: "Beat me" to which the sadist replies: "No" Don't forget to tip your waitress. Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:40 PM 302 Remember how I'm in academia? The aforementioned friend of mine is universally acknowledged as the manliest man we know. Also, I don't think he's generally impotent. I think it's a matter of being afraid of new things. Many porny ideas fail IRL, and being open to them requires a bit of a sense of humor about looking dumb sexually. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:49 PM 303 I'm afraid of looking dumb sexually, but I don't think I'm afraid of new things in general. Looking dumb isn't one of the things that turns me on. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 4:54 PM 304 Huh. I sort of like the dumb feeling I get from sex. I'm supposed to be smart and dignified during the rest of my life; why can't I have a little time here and there to look like an idiot? Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:03 PM 305 Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable Posted by: Lord Chesterfield | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:08 PM 306 Looking dumb isn't one of the things that turns me on. OMG, I remember being so turned on when I had to do this in elementary school. I sat on a bench just like that, too. Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:11 PM 307 NSFW. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:12 PM 308 307 to 306. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:27 PM 309 Yes, that is what I meant. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:28 PM 310 I'm so smart. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:32 PM 311 Do you ever get around to a thread when it's already 300+ comments long and grit your teeth in frustration because you would have had things to say but now they're all so far removed from what you were going to respond to that...oh never mind. The point is I'm not spending enough time on unfogged, apparently. Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:32 PM 312 259: "While you don't want to sleep with someone who totally repulses you, why not try sleeping with more various people than you might otherwise? You never know until you try!" I thought that was kind of neat, and also a reflection of a more low-key approach to sex. This is just my own experience, but for me it's at least partially a function of age: the older you get, the more open you are. By "age" here I mean just the difference between, say, early 20s and late 20s and mid-30s. By the mid-30s or so, if not sooner, I think (some) people have decided that the world is, to use the terms of the above-quoted segment, more various -- and interesting! worth engaging, perhaps intimately -- than one previously thought. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:32 PM 313 What kind of bloopers do you find the most erotic, Smearcase? Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:32 PM 314 I'm supposed to be smart and dignified during the rest of my life; why can't I have a little time here and there to look like an idiot? Isn't this sort of like the argument that gets brought up in defense of a lot of things that women do/suffer in the name of idealized femininity (high heels, makeup, late-Victorian-esque underclothes, suiting up like Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest after reading one of the n-trillion Mad Men magazine feature stories last year), while enjoying the greater economic exposure liberty of the early twenty-first century? Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:33 PM 315 By the mid-30s or so, if not sooner, I think (some) people have decided that the world is, to use the terms of the above-quoted segment, more various -- and interesting! worth engaging, perhaps intimately -- than one previously thought. gotten fatter and older and started settling for what they can get. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:42 PM 316 314: If you look at it one way, maybe it is a refusal to spend a lot of time feministically analyzing every sexual decision I make. If you look at it another way, maybe it is a refusal to be made to feel bad about myself every minute of every day. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:46 PM 317 You know, 315 is too cynical and ridiculous even for me. I think the truth is that after having a certain amount of sex, people realize that despite what magazines tell you how someone looks isn't the central determinant of how good the sex is. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:50 PM 318 317: Why does that take so long? I don't mean to judge, but I figured that out the night I lost my virginity. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:51 PM 319 315: That might be the explanation for some people, but it's not what I'm referring to. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:52 PM 320 313: in the words of Margot Tenenbaum, I can't even begin to think about knowing how to answer that question. Maybe I have nothing to contribute after all. Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:53 PM 321 318: Some of us have only been sleeping with super hott nymphomaniacs until recently. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:53 PM 322 Oh, good. 319 crossed with 317. Yeah, 319, agreed. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:54 PM 323 316: Both are perfectly acceptable positions. The argument from fun is weak because it is so broad, not because it is bad. Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:54 PM 324 Do you ever get around to a thread when it's already 300+ comments long and grit your teeth in frustration because you would have had things to say but now they're all so far removed from what you were going to respond to that... Story of my Unfogged life. If I let this stop me, I'd never end up saying anything here at all. (And if I never worried about it, I'd comment more.) Also, I tend to feel that good manners requires one to have a sense of when and how it is appropriate to proposition people--and "I'm not sure I'll actually follow through on this" is not appropriate for "how". I am thinking of starting a left/activist school of manners. Why stop with the activists? Are you saying all bourgeois types proposition people with perfect grace? Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:59 PM 325 Here, Smearcase. I have no idea if this will make you feel better. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 5:59 PM 326 Are you saying all bourgeois types proposition people with perfect grace? Look, we ain't all Andrew Marvell, OK? Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:02 PM 327 318: 317: Why does that take so long? I don't mean to judge, but I figured that out the night I lost my virginity. This was a rhetorical question, I imagine, but still. One thing I tend to have in place is a filter to screen for people who seem to care too much what other people think. That is, if I'm carrying on an attraction with someone who seems, possibly, to be susceptible to the 'But what will my friends think?!' conundrum, I'm careful. I may back off altogether, because that's not going to be a workable relationship. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:09 PM 328 325 is cute. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:15 PM 329 ...suiting up like Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest... That and the Mt. Rushmore thing are all I can remember from that movie. She was teh shit. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:20 PM 330 327 is why I'm skeptical about Frowner's "people can learn" position. IME, watching someone have a conundrum about whether I'm attractive enough to be seen in public with, despite being attractive enough to be sexually attractive is not good for the soul. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:20 PM 331 329: I'm more a Grace Kelly man, really. Kelly for brickwork! Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:25 PM 332 Thanks, Tweety! Someone I know through the classical music blogosphere* linked me to this but I didn't watch until now. Actually what cheered me most was that I understood a good bit of the German. *exists. Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:26 PM 333 330: Well, yeah. Maybe I should reread what Frowner said; I didn't get anything contrary to that view from her comments. She was talking, I thought, about one's own internal, likely unconscious, monologue. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:28 PM 334 330: You should probably just slash the tires on their car (if they have a car) and work on meeting a different type of people. Or just the first part. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:31 PM 335 You should probably just slash the tires on their car (if they have a car) If I had a knife, I would use my knife to slash the tires on their car, if they had a car. Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:32 PM 336 Girls really pay attention to what kind of knife a guy has. It's shallow, but there it is. Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:33 PM 337 What if they had a car but the car didn't have tires? (And are we really acquiescing to the use of "their" as a gender neutral third person singular pronoun?) Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:33 PM 338 You want one of those utility knives. Like$5. Wear gloves and leave the knife by the tire.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:33 PM
339

(And are we really acquiescing to the use of "their" as a gender neutral third person singular pronoun?)

No, never; that would be absurd. However, "their" is an acceptable gender-neutral third-person singular possessive adjective.

In my academical writing I alternate between "he" (etc.) and "she" (etc.) but I think that informally "they" (etc.) is fine.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:35 PM
340

338 to 335. Probably.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:35 PM
341

337.2: YES.

Posted by: OPINIONATED SHAKESPEARE AND JANE AUSTEN, SPEAKING IN CONCERT | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:36 PM
342

(And are we really acquiescing to the use of "their" as a gender neutral third person singular pronoun?)

That happened last year, Otto. I gave in pretty quickly, just one or two protests, because really, English: what can you do?

Yes it still sounds silly. So invent something, then!

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:38 PM
343

So invent something, then!

"His or her" works well enough most of the time for me.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:40 PM
344

(And are we really acquiescing to the use of "their" as a gender neutral third person singular pronoun?)

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:40 PM
345

330: It doesn't necessarily happen all at once is the thing. I think I'm saying this from experience, though I'm not sure if "learn" or simply "change over time" is the right idea. I guess nobody wants to be the test case, but it might be perfectly swell to be the one after.

My example, for the hell of it: when I was 20 or whatever, like a lot of gay men, I thought of myself as not attracted to effeminate men.* At the time I probably would have said (as a lot of gay men do) "my type is my type. I'm just not attracted to that." At this point I guess I would have been ambivalent and awful to someone femme? Anyway then I went out for a year and a half with someone toward the flamer end of the spectrum and was deeply attracted to him. I don't know when the change happened. But it happened, and I'm glad it did. And then I found five dollars and said "I only like ten dollar bills, but I'll take it."

*the irony of this is not lost on me, drastically butch that I am, as evidenced by the phrase "drastically butch that I am."

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:41 PM
346

Yeah, I remember figuring out that who I thought was goodlooking and generally attractive didn't have all that much to do with who I thought was hot in a context where actual sexual interaction was possible. I have very hackneyed pretty-boy taste in who I'll turn my head to look at on the street, but the range of people I know who I find the thought of sex with appealing is way, way broader.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:47 PM
347

...as evidenced by the phrase "drastically butch that I am."

You could try "drastically butch that their am."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:49 PM
348

And you're the butchest man I've ever met who has more than one Dorothy Parker poem memorized.

Wait, no. Second butchest in that category.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:49 PM
349

348: Thanks, but I wouldn't count "Guys don't make passes at women who wear glasses," as a whole poem.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:50 PM
350

There's a client I work with who's at 295. He may hit 300 soon. We'd all like for it to go down--and I think he does a lot of emotional eating--because he's got high blood pressure and diabetes too. I know that he's tired of carrying all that weight around, and it makes him tired, but losing weight is really hard. (For him, I think it really is a health issue.)

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:50 PM
351

348.2: Damn, and I thought I had that one for sure.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:53 PM
352

taste in who I'll turn my head to look at on the street

Strictly because of you people and this blog, I've been noticing more just who I turn my head to look at on the street. I have no conclusions that I'm willing to report.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:53 PM
353

My mother likes to point out as regularly as possible to me that I've never slept with a fat or ugly man. I say, "It's not for lack of trying, Mama."

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 6:54 PM
354

Your mother knows everyone you've slept with?

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:06 PM
355

354: She knows there is more than I've told her about, but she has a pretty good idea. Not about the girls maybe. If I thought she really wanted to know, I'd tell her.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:09 PM
356

||
Land a' Goshen! That was some storm! Worst storm I've personally been caught out in for nigh on 13 years, by gum! Had to wade through 6 inches of water to get on the damn bus. Basement's partially flooded. Oh well, at least nobody suggested any delightfully depraved ideas to me and then stopped speaking to me for weeks after I enthusiastically agreed to them.
||>

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:11 PM
357

355: Right. I was just a little startled by the idea. (What mothers say about these things really needs to be taken with a slightly deaf ear. Otherwise, danger. Avoid. Possible damage.)

Nat's storm sounds exciting. Hope the fallout from it is okay.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:17 PM
358

My doctor and her med student were pushing some study from the Brigham about how women need to exercise moderately for an hour a day to maintain their weight, and it takes 90 minutes a day to lose it.

If my commute were only 20 minutes instead of 90 each way, I might have more exercise in me. It totally depresses me that 3-4 hours (sometimes more) of my life are spent on the subway or bus every day.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:20 PM
359

Well, the fallout so far was mostly just the awning I was hiding under while waiting for the bus sprung leaks, thus allowing the grimiest, cigarette-smellingest water I've come in contact with recently to drip down all over my head. I'm a little bit pissed about the box of my books someone left directly on the basement floor though. SOME people have had fucking shelves built for them, so that all of THEIR precious possessions could be high and dry on nights like this.

Weirdly, I was watching Dead Kennedys videos on YouTube and the algorithm suggested NoFX's "Seeing Double At The Triple Rock", which I had not heard before. It's pretty good, although they should have put more regulars in it. I wish I could have stuck out the storm at the T-Rock. Oh well. NO FUCKING STRAIGHTEDGE!!!

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:25 PM
360

358.2: That's the nice thing about Pittsburgh, most things are pretty close. The one day it took 90 minutes for me to get home (snow), I bitched about it for weeks.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:35 PM
361

I remember reading that tennis dresses came back in style a while ago among professional tennis players who had been wearing shorts. I guess that the dresses are actually more comfortable.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:44 PM
362

Yeah, if you're not sweating about modesty, a short skirt, so long as it's loose enough, is perfectly comfortable for exercise.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:56 PM
363

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:56 PM
364

I'm intrigued that most or all of the people talking about "types" seem to be queer. I think "type" has a slightly different meaning or significance for straight people. That was probably an obvious statement, but I hope it doesn't lead to all of us talking past each other.

As far as my own update, I got home around 5 pm, took a nap around 6, and just now woke up more than three hours later and ready to go to bed for the night. I must say i wore the perfect ultrasound outfit, a flowy long sundress and ratty underwear I don't care about. And with a little luck, this should be the last any of you hear about my pelvis unless there's some newsworthy update like that I've grown teeth.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:57 PM
365

It's non-obvious enough that I wonder if you could elaborate?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 7:59 PM
366

Otto, I'd go billboard, I think, if I was pursuing personal injury cases. Or bus stop benches.

CC--There was an article in the Boston Business Journal about how a personal-injury law firm famous for their TV commercials has developed a sophisticated social media marketing campaign. They're based out of Wellesley, MA but have lawyers in all states. They have millions in revenue and a lot of employees, but most of them are in marketing.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:01 PM
367

I think those tennis skirts are one-piece doohickies with a built-in underpants portion and an overskirt. I'm not sure -- never actually examined one.

Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:01 PM
368

367: Googling "tennis perv" is one way to check.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:04 PM
369

Oh my. Playing BBD songs right now is one of the highlights in my already very good day. Haven't forgotten one word of the rap parts. Thanks for the reminder, Halford.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:10 PM
370

Thorn, I read your request real fast as I was running out the door and thought about it a little. Let me think about it a little more, and then maybe I'll have something worth your reading.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:14 PM
371

I didn't see any of those music videos the first time around. I need to learn those dance moves, although all the ladies do is walk slowly and pose. On reflection, all of the reasons I cannot dance like an early nineties male hiphop backup dancer seem inadequate.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:19 PM
372

Frowner: My point being that "attracted" and "not attracted" aren't as simple as "I like broccoli but I don't like cauliflower".

Amen, and thank you.

Intellectually I know that there are women who take note of and are attracted (or not) to the car a man drives, but emotionally it's hard to imagine.

My own prejudices remain unchanged since the age of eight or so, when I first learned the economics of new-car depreciation. Are these people crazy? I thought. And that emotional reaction has never changed, despite my intellectual understanding of the rationality in some cases.

300: With these AWB stories, I can never decide if she's just surrounded by a bunch of unusually impotent men shallow and unpleasant people, or if I'm overlooking some mitigating factors that would explain their behavior more charitably.

311: Do you ever get around to a thread when it's already 300+ comments long and grit your teeth in frustration because you would have had things to say but now they're all so far removed from what you were going to respond to that...oh never mind look, I can still chime in.

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:22 PM
373

Okay, LB, since sleep doesn't make adults thin, I'll stick around here a bit longer. This is just my guess and I'm a 30-year-old Midwestern lesbian, so I'm not sure how well what I'm saying generalizes and I'm sure it won't be universal

Anyhow, it seemed telling to me that Frowner started this off by talking about femme vs. genderqueer types and Smearcase was showing off his unspeakably butch tendencies yet again. And while there weren't obviously straight people I noticed participating in the same way, my sense is that they'd be more likely to say that their types are redheads or women with flat asses or swimmers. To me, even that last group doesn't seem like it's the same kind of category as soft butch or whatnot. I think there's an overreliance on gender-grouping categories in queer communities and as people here have expressed, that can have a powerful mental impact on structuring the world of who's available. I'm sure that kind of type broadening over time happens for straight people too, but it still strikes me as something a bit different.

I don't know, I'm just not surprised that Frowner's attractions feel like they have moral weight. I'm not sure if that is as much the case when the type in question is based on purely physical characteristics rather than identity-linked ones.

I'm sure I'm pwned by now, so I'll just post this and blather more later. Storm's rolling in!

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:23 PM
374

365: If I may speak to Thorn's comment (and, er, probably say something different than what she was intending to say)...I think amongst queer folks (and I do sleep with some men at times) there's an established language of "type"--femme, butch, boi, bear, etc (to use the more widely known terms). Of course there's a lot more to attraction than this, but people are accustomed to debating what types are, what is meant by "type", talking about the politics of, say, devaluing femme men and women, etc.

Everyone but me seems to have more hook-ups and thus a lower-stakes attitude toward sex--may be "relationship" sex, may be friendly-like, may be experimental, may be with someone who shares a fetish--than is common amongst the straights. That is, I think that really heteronormative people tend not to have articulated a lot of stuff....

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:24 PM
375

Holeee shit! I am glad to be on relatively high ground -- uptown and the wedge were flooded!

Anyway, yes, types/=types where straight and not-straight are concerned. Though there's certainly more blurring now than even 10 years ago, I would say.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:32 PM
376

Huh...for you, Thorn, this language of types is limiting but for me it's helpful.

I think there's always a social/political significance to types--there almost has to be. In 18th century England, to use a low-stakes example, beautiful women had small mouths. Now a small mouth is an aesthetic drawback. Was everyone lying about attraction in the 18th century and really would have preferred larger mouths? Or are people lying now? Or are cultural factors (and capitalism!) in play?

I don't see how our "types" could possibly be unaffected by the barrage of television, movies, magazine articles, etc etc. I mean seriously, I bought some fucking suede brogues this summer (and very nice they are too) because I was looking at some website on men's style and suddenly saw dapperness as beautiful. So ten minutes on Style Salvage can get me to kick down \$200, but a lifetime of repeat messaging has no effect? Ha.

For me the best intellectual strategy is additive--I'm more worried about why I don't find people attractive than why I do. And I'm more likely to spend time thinking "how would I think if I did find that person attractive? What would that feel like?" than I am to spend time thinking "OMG, that woman is a perfect size six with large breasts! And her hair is so shiny! Lucky the man who possesses her!"

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:32 PM
377

Huh, maybe not a storm and just fireworks? But yes, what Frowner said.

Early on in our relationship, my partner and I got criticism from several of her white, lesbian, 40-something friends that our relationship was problematic and one even said gross because we weren't a butch-femme couple. I know I've talked about how things are even more rigid in the black kesbian ncommunity here, but I also think the number and strength of these roles/types are changing over time.

And people change, too. I've gained weight, hair, wardrobe during the relationship and that make me look more femmey now, and I hope the reason I don't like being pinned down by that identity is the devaluation of femminess, but that is indeed somethng I think about quite a bit.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:34 PM
378

That is, I think that really heteronormative people tend not to have articulated a lot of stuff.....

Personally, I try to avoid articulating anything important, especially relationship-wise. If she isn't paying attention enough to figure it out, she probably isn't interested.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:34 PM
379

Frowner, I mean I think the language of types is limiting to people who think they only have one narrowly defined type and will never look at anyone outside of that. And maybe that's me being unkind and those people are perfectly happy, but it seems excessively restrictive. I think that as the number of types has increased, I think it's more normal for people to have a range of types they're interested in and I think that's a good thing both in terms of maximizing possibilities and giving us things to talk about.

I feel like I'm sounding very judgmental about this. I hope not, because I seriously find it fascinating. I've just always had fery negative responses when people say they don't like type x, but positive preferences don't bother me as much. Huh, now that I've said that, I'll have to think about what that says about me.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:41 PM
380

With types, I think I worry most about what I'm trying to prove to myself by having a specific type. Like, I know that the men I first notice are very like my father...except even less likely to approve of me! And it's true, those are the men I am immediately attracted to even if they're jerks. I just don't think that this reflects some eternal truth of my sexuality or signals that I can't have enjoyable sex with other types of men. I do know that it's connected to feelings of inadequacy and to my own need to recreate a feeling of always trying to earn approval, always being on the cusp. Now I assume that most people have slightly healthier attractions, but the fact that my own are so transparently neither about deep sexual truths nor likely to make me happy has left me a bit skeptical about the language of "type". I've had a number of wonderful relationships with people outside my type; my in-type relationships have been awful.

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:48 PM
381

I'm on a train across from a couple who seem to be on a date. The dude is talking at length about bullet trains and the woman is talking in a baby-talk voice and OH GOD SHUT UP!

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:52 PM
382

Sorry to interrupt. Traveling for 14 hours makes me cranky.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 8:53 PM
383

I bet you think that I am way too popular and busy and fun and beautiful to be home on a Friday night, carefully painting each shingle onto the pseudo-roof of the pseudo-barn painted on my beehive. But I promise you that I am not.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:06 PM
384

Are you at least painting naked in your living room window?

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:10 PM
385

The important thing, you see, is to try to show the angle change in the gambrel roof. Otherwise the bees might swarm.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:11 PM
386

Front porch, clothed.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:12 PM
387

Oh god. Just overheard this line: "this train has hard seats (thumps seat). You know what has nice soft seats? My car."

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:15 PM
388

381, 387: I feel your pain.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:38 PM
389

That couple sounds lonely, essear. I bet they would like it if you went over to them and joined their conversation. I bet they would think that was real friendly and nice of you.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:41 PM
390

Condolences, essear. But at least you're able to play unfogged bingo and let us know when their conversations are marginally relevant to ours. Is it a first or early date situation? Those can be brutal for eavesdroppers, and it does sound to me like they're trying to inform each other about themselves.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:52 PM
391

I'm home now. It was the baby-talk voice that got to me the most, I think; I have dim memories of hearing girls talk that way in high school, but I don't think any adult woman I know has that kind of awful self-infantilizing speech pattern. It's kind of creepy.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:54 PM
392

Oh God, I was on the train recently with a couple on a date in which the guy, who sort of seemed like a British football hooligan, was talking at a girl who never spoke the whole time. She was dressed really prettily and smiled while the guy talked and talked and talked. In an hour on the train, she never spoke, not once. At some point, he started fondling her while he spoke, and she seemed not to encourage or discourage it, just sat there, smiling blankly. It made me sad. I try not to notice things like that.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:57 PM
393

377: I'm reminded that (it is my impression, at least, that) butch/femme also works very differently between lesbians and gay guys. From this conversation and others, I gather that for lesbians, it's two distinct identities (maybe more like top/bottom with gays, though apparently more politicized, whereas for us butch/femme are just sort of descriptors) and you belong either to one camp or the other. Us, we just sit around and worry about where we fall on the spectrum, because one is generally regarded as undesirable and the other is nearly universally a selling point.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:57 PM
394

311: I feel your pain. But then, I really have no problem commenting well after it's no longer relevant.

For example, to the original topic: UNG's gf is obese and I judge her for it, and then I feel terribly guilty because I know better and, really, there are more than enough totally acceptable things to judge her for.

Also, 353 makes me smile. Of course, with one or two notable exceptions, every guy I've ever been romantically involved with has been objectively weird looking. So if anyone needs advice on landing an unattractive guy, I am happy to share my secrets.

Speaking of pickup line on trains, I think the conductor on the 5:00 is trying to build up to asking me out. How does the "don't shit where you eat" rule apply to your daily mode of transport? This is purely hypothetical, mind you, as I'm still retired from the dating thing. But I will confess to enjoying the flirtatious attention.

Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 9:58 PM
395

393: Oooh, that's a good and interesting point. I basically hold the spectrum perspective, which is probably what makes me an outlier in the first place. I'd just never thought about it in those terms.

391: We were at a restaurant a few weeks ago where a 50ish woman was yelling in a squeaky baby voice with a big hollow laugh. It was incredibly annoying and I don't get it. She wasn't actually using babytalk that I recall but the same tone peopke use when they're speaking babytalk. Ugh.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:04 PM
396

Sometime in my late 20s, I realized that I like both broccoli and cauliflower.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:12 PM
397

394.2: Your ex's gf probably shouldn't count for that kind of thing. At the very least, you can consider that double diamond not-judgmentalism.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:13 PM
398

How does the "don't shit where you eat" rule apply to your daily mode of transport?

Don't shit in your car if you eat in it.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:14 PM
399

Di, I judge my exes when they date people who are less attractive than I am. It really, really bothers me.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:16 PM
400

I think you've just explained why you can't eat on the bus.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:16 PM
401

400 to 398.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:17 PM
402

If you use this, don't use this. No problem!

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:18 PM
403

The first one would make a good gift for exes.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:22 PM
404

I judge my exes when they date people who are less attractive than I am. It really, really bothers me.

I must admit, I sort of love it. "Look what you've been reduced to after me! I was the best you'll ever do!"

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:23 PM
405

Look what you've been reduced to after me!

Then send them the gift in 402 with a note that says, "I saw this and thought of you."

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:25 PM
406

What's sad, Blume, is that I think, "You mean you're not shallow? You actually like someone else's mind and heart better than mine? (pout)"

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:26 PM
407

You might feel better if you just assumed the other woman had more money or an Xbox or something.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:29 PM
408

407 is brilliant.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:31 PM
409

Isn't half of pre-1920 British literature about having to marry somebody dull, mean, ugly or American to get some money? Maybe you should go dig gold in Australia.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:31 PM
410

Or she has terrible self-esteem and is willing to go for his bullshit.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:32 PM
411

406: No, actually they are so shall that they need to find someone they can feel superior to. It's disgusting, really, the way the look down on that poor girl.

Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:33 PM
412

It doesn't work for a very wealthy and beautiful ex who got back together with a badly-dressed ugly ex-girlfriend and abandoned me.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:33 PM
413

410, 411 might.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:34 PM
414

412: Probably needed a character witness for an upcoming probation hearing and knew you were too honest.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:35 PM
415

There's also the issue, which I know I've raised here before, that being among the company of someone's girlfriends who are beautiful and amazing is more flattering to me than being one in a string of sadly unattractive bitches.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:39 PM
416

Maybe, but I still think dating Vincent Gallo would be a bad idea.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:43 PM
417

I just misread the post title as "fuck with shame & blame". Sounds typical.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:49 PM
418

Would "Charlie Sheen" have worked better in 416?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:55 PM
419

418: that depends on how he's planning to approach the role.

Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 10:58 PM
420

I know it's awful, but I loved both of Gallo's movies. He's a terrible person.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:00 PM
421

I just looked up his website, and of course it's designed like Geocities.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:02 PM
422

From this conversation and others, I gather that for lesbians, it's two distinct identities

Of the lesbians I know, a few stand out as pretty butch, but most of them are basically androgynous people. I can't think of anyone who I'd call femme, except I've seen femme people at bars, I guess.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:07 PM
423

I've noticed a lot of femme lesbian couples around here. They're women you wouldn't at all identify as not being feminine, and don't seem to be together out of a desire to titillate guys, but are very clearly together. I don't see much butch-femme interaction.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:13 PM
424

(which is sad for me because I love butch girls sigh)

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:14 PM
425

guess my big talk here is related to a friendship I've had for years now with someone who periodically propositions me with the most delightfully depraved ideas I've ever heard, and then, when I say, "OK, let's do it," he gets all ashamed of himself and stops talking to me for a few weeks.

The one time in my life that I had no anxiety about hitting on women was when I knew I had no interest in following through. Never before or since have I been able just routinely go up to cute strangers in a bar or club and start chatting them up. No detailed fantasies, just standard issue flirting, a bit of touching etc, then when it got to the your place or mine, I'd pull away. This was a pure ego thing. I was in an open long distance relationship, very much against my wishes, and this was my way of compensating for the double surprise ego blow of my gf wanting to sleep with other guys, and, just as ego deflating, my complete lack of interest in sleeping with other women. After a few months of this I called the gf on her 'it's open or it's over' stance and goodbye open relationship.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:38 PM
426

Also, person with psychiatric issues who responds to stress with withdrawal and avoidance, pretty much par for the course.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06-25-10 11:54 PM
427

Tangentially to the OP, I think the Republicans are making a serious strategic mistake by couching so much of their opposition to health care reform in terms of advocacy of individual responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle. You hear this line of reasoning all the time, even from comparatively thoughtful conservatives: If health care costs the same for Big Mac-eating fatties as for vegetarian triathletes, where's the incentive to stay healthy? (This theory is borne out by the fact that Americans are on average so much thinner than the Swedes and Danes with their socialized medicine... oh, wait!)

It's not just empirically wrongheaded. Politically, it cuts them off from their one chance to head off demographic doom, as theorized in this comment. (Gotta love that pain perdu guy. Fucking genius, he was.)

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 6:38 AM
428

I think the Republicans are making a serious strategic mistake by couching so much of their opposition to health care reform in terms of advocacy of individual responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle.

If Republican "responsibility" rhetoric were at all honest, perhaps, but the "Why should you pay for some fatso's heart attack?" stuff seems just another canopy for the usual rabblerousing about shiftless minorities fessicking in Whitey's sacerdotal purse.

Sorry. Insomnia excites my literary affectations.

OT: I may have linked to this before, but The Racial Politics of Regressive Storytelling might be interesting to comic book nerds and related others.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 7:42 AM
429

"Fossicking." Damn it.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 7:56 AM
430

on the OP: I was trying to figure out what other sedentary activity my kids engage in when they aren't allowed to watch TV. Are they reading books? Playing cards? No! They are flopping listlessly on the couch whining that they are bored and aren't allowed to do anything fun.

Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 8:03 AM
431

423: I suspect butch has undergone something of a sea change, splitting up into 1) old school butch, which somehow isn't as visible as it used to be (maybe more among black and Latin folks), 2) genderqueer (I see so many lesbians in this city that I briefly mistake for hot, nerdy guys, as I think I'm maybe intended to), and then 3) I read a lot more butches are transitioning. It is perhaps dumb for a gay guy to be speculating about all of this.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 8:15 AM
432

431: Of my queer female students, the butch women all identified as trans, the non-butch have all been quite femme.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 8:31 AM
433

If Republican "responsibility" rhetoric were at all honest

Oh, the hell, I would *never* stipulate that Republicans were being honest in anything! They're being especially transparent in their dishonesty in this case, as they simultaneously argue "personal responsibility" and then demagogue against the individual mandate, which Mitt Romney and the Heritage Foundation used to claim was the very epitome of conservative personal responsibility.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 9:20 AM
434

422: Of the lesbians I know, a few stand out as pretty butch, but most of them are basically androgynous people.

My experience as well, although years ago in Houston I had as duplex neighbors two women, one of whom played for the local professional women's football team while the other was one of the most waif-like people I ever met. Then they bought an end table from me when I moved, possibly for five dollars.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 10:33 AM
435

Maybe we should move on before this goes all Howard Stern.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 10:59 AM
436

I think the Republicans are making a serious strategic mistake by couching so much of their opposition to health care reform in terms of advocacy of individual responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle. You hear this line of reasoning all the time, even from comparatively thoughtful conservatives: If health care costs the same for Big Mac-eating fatties as for vegetarian triathletes, where's the incentive to stay healthy?

I was astounded when I first heard the "don't help sick people and then no one will get sick" argument from an intelligent conservative, but then I heard it over and over again. I've finally decided that they can't help it. It's some kind of primal response to the fundamental unfairness of health and sickness, which brings you face to face with the role of luck in personal success. That's such a challenge to the conservative world view that they just can't face it somehow.

I judge my exes when they date people who are less attractive than I am. It really, really bothers me.

it's interestingly masochistic to prefer that your exes be with people more attractive than you. Of course, there's nothing rational about our reaction to exes we cared about.

Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 11:52 AM
437

re: 436

That's such a challenge to the conservative world view that they just can't face it somehow.

Ultimately, a lot of conservatives are just bastards. It shouldn't be a surprise that a small-minded, vindictive ideology might attract small-minded vindictive people.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 12:01 PM
438

...when my exes date people less attractive than I am, I always wonder whether I am as attractive as I think I am. But it's usually reassuring because I tend to assume that my appearance is just barely acceptable, or that people dating me secretly thought I was kind of ugly, etc etc.

Vis-a-vis the butch/femme thing--I think the spectrum-versus-distinct-identity thing is very situational. I don't hang around with many women who would say that they felt that there was a spectrum from butch to femme, although they might say that they expressed certain butch and femme aspects of their sexuality. (I actually don't like this frame much but as a sorta-kinda genderqueer person it's not my theory to theorize). But then, I hang around with a very specific sort of activist/trendy-theory people.

On the question of genderqueer folks and trans men: I don't think it's so much that everyone is suddenly deciding "hey, I'm not a lesbian, I'm genderqueer!" or "hey, it's more fun to transition than to be butch!"---it's that people whose only rhetorical and social options would have involved describing themselves as lesbians before now have an option that suits them better. For me, I never described myself as a lesbian because I'm not, and yet I was always, always sure that I was neither straight nor best described as female and cis-gendered...this who rhetorical development about the genderqueer stuff has been so helpful to me, has really unknotted a lot of painful stuff about sexuality and gender expression.

Also, I suspect that a lot of people would describe themselves as genderqueer did they understand the term. Seriously, the very definition of quiet desperation is knowing that you're not trans, you're not a lesbian and yet you're really really differently gendered from straight women, but it's not like I ever talked about it. I just figured it was something wrong with me, probably because I was fat.

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 12:07 PM
439

And 438 is a world of poor phrasing plus typos!

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 12:10 PM
440

438.1: Exactly. There is no pain in being one of someone's gorgeous amazing exes, 436.last, for me, anyway. When I see an ex with someone I find unattractive and whiny, it makes me feel like his "type" is girls with low self-esteem who cling to him, and he thought I would be one of those.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 12:11 PM
441

435: Maybe we should move on before this goes all Howard Stern.

Yes, of course. But I do find I am actually somewhat annoyed by that comment at that position in the thread.
</humorless>

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 12:51 PM
442

What exactly did that comment mean? I don't know much about Howard Stern. Is it meant to be "queer people stop discussing sexuality lest we straight people be squicked out or compelled to make fun of you"? Or was it about the political stuff? Or was it "don't talk about attractiveness and dating because if you do I'll have to be "fat people are ugly! Don't deny it, ugly fat people! And I have a type and it's busty anime heroines and you can't change that!"?

I find it surprising that a blog which hosts apo links would be one where a little conversation about butch/femme stuff freaks everyone out, but you never know. And of course, we've discussed weight and attractiveness before....

Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:01 PM
443

I read it as "Straight men talking about lesbians has a tendency to get unpleasantly leering, let's not do that." Which wouldn't be all that bad if not for losing track of the conversation involving people who aren't straight men. Still not dreadful, but a little confused.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:07 PM
444

442: One of Howard Stern's shticks is to lead a woman (or women) through a detailed description of a woman-on-woman sexual encounter they had.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:09 PM
445

443: So yes, what LB said. But this kind of locks in the annoyance a bit more, "Which wouldn't be all that bad if not for losing track of the conversation involving people who aren't straight men." Sorry.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:11 PM
446

I thought the Howard Stern comment referred to straight guys who get off on femme lesbians. I'm not sure that works, though, since most of the people talking about lesbians are women of various and sundry orientations. Maybe the worry is that the straight men that are around will enjoy it too much.

A lesbian couple live down the street from us. I like them because every year when we take the kids around trick or treating they offer the grown-ups beer as a treat.

Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:11 PM
447

pwned, but not on the beer portion of my comment.

Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:13 PM
448

I should read up on genderqueer theory, because I find it puzzling.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:19 PM
449

445: A relatively mild and not well-justified annoyance but thought I'd share anyway.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:22 PM
450

|?

Hmm. I was just handed (the partner wears only v-neck) a dozen very nice XL

Race for the Cure

t-shirts. The message is fine, but some of the design elements may present a challenge to my confidence in my majority Hispanic family neighborhood. They are a little pink and lavender.

But I like the serendipity.

|>

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 1:46 PM
451

434: That couple or equivalent lived in our condo development in Birmingham in the mid-Seventies. If I'm remembering correctly, they used "roommate" rather than "partner".

Amazingly, their presence caused no burning crosses, no pointy white hoods, no gunfire, etc.

Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 2:07 PM
452

435 was not specifically targeted at 434. Nor was it entirely serious. It does seem like somebody should call Apo if we are going to go that way.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-26-10 2:27 PM
453

I know this thread has finished, but I'll just add that my impression is that most of the people who are aware of or sympathetic to the genderqueer mindset are below 40. I see 40 (or maybe even 45) as the divide where butch/femme primary identities as a given change to more complex identiies, though there are major variations. Here, at least, butch/femme relationships are most common among older and/or working-class lesbians and in the black lesbian community at any age. I don't know of any other large non-white lesbian groups enough to guess about them.

I don't really identify as genderqueer using that word, more as gender-complex or something, nuanced my gender identity and expression, probably similar to what I imagine a lot of other nerdy 30ish educated liberal white but straight women do. Ideally, I'd want to be one of those nerdy gayboy-looking lesbians Smearcase sees around, but I've stopped shaving my head and wear more feminine women's clothes and mostly when I wear men's clothes do it sort of ironically or in a feminized way. (This is not unrelated to my weight gain over the past few years, I know.) But yeah, I'm drawing on genderqueer thinking and theory and should probably read more and embrace more of that, which now that I think of it I've probably lost in the last few years because I've been busy justifying myself to people with butch/femme expectations.

Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-27-10 8:08 PM
454

i think both judging others, and telling them to fuck off are very underrated around here. or maybe don't judge but have opinions. At any rate the language describing bits of culture and status and causation and intent are just extremely sloppy. rectification of names, yeah.

as for weight, you mostly have to withdraw from starchy oily manufactured easily availible food. don't eat if you don't make it yourself (and only out of produce and staples), and be aware of your binging risks. lots of judging and forgiveness. habits will rule your life, and unless you constantly 'out satan' easily consumed calories, you'll eat them.

oh, original post. sleep probably plays some risk, but i'd say most of it is that if you stay up to watch another hour of tv, its another hour you have to stuff some food down your mouth.

Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 06-28-10 11:56 PM