Who Drives Tech? Wankers Drive Tech!

Porn Industry Again at the Tech Forefront: LA Times story on the role of the porn industry in driving technological advancement. Nothing new, but nice to see that acknowledged in a major outlet. Money quote: “Historically, the porn industry has adopted new technologies more nimbly than Hollywood. It embraced home video in the late 1970s, allowing people to bypass seedy theaters and watch the movies in their living rooms. Mainstream studios, by contrast, fought home video all the way to the Supreme Court before making it one of the most profitable pieces of their business.” [Continue reading]

Notes Towards a Gender Analysis of the X-Men

Female X-Men

Power comes from control over their surroundings or other people; beautiful (some would say “stacked”)

  • Dr. Jean Grey: intuitive, empathic, manipulates people and things from a distance
  • Storm: controls natural forces
  • Rogue: consumer, parasite; saps men of their vital powers

Male X-Men

Power comes from ability to physically defeat opponents; some good-looking, some not so much (e.g. Nightcrawler)

  • Psyclops (sp?): creates energy, destroys all in his sight; male gaze destroys opponents
  • [Continue reading]

How Gay am I?

According to this test (which must be scientifically valid, as it’s on Scientific American‘s website) I’m equally heterosexual and homosexual. How will I explain that to my parents?! [Continue reading]

When Monogamy Isn’t Monogamous

Originally posted at Savage Minds on November 16, 2005. Every time I teach the section on marriage in my Intro to Anthro class, I inevitably face the same question. The book lists four types of marriage: monogamy, polygyny, polyandry, and group marriage. and someone always asks “What about swingers?” (Of course, I live and teach in Vegas…) The question points to a limitation of the concept of marriage not just for anthropological understanding but even within our own everyday usage. [Continue reading]

Tough Times for Vulvaes

Our Vaginas, Ourselves – New York Times [Continue reading]

The Tyranny of Tiny Differences

The Y Files: Hyping sex differences Cathy Young of the Y Files has a fantastic post on the way that tiny sex differences discovered in research get inflated, by the media and often by the researchers themselves, into essentializing characterizations of men and women. “[T]he truth,” she writes, “is that on the popular level — and also among the anti-PC set — talk about sex differences often tends to lapse into unwarranted generalizations and rather egregious stereotyping.” These generalizations and stereotypes often tell us more about the political goals of the people describing the research than the research tells us about men and women. [Continue reading]

Pornography and Representation

In the last couple days, I’ve come across two interesting critiques of pornography. [Continue reading]

Cuteness and Culture

The Cute Factor, Natalie Angier Angier struggles to find some deeper biological meaning in our responsiveness to “the cute”, ostensibly evolved as a means of assuring adult human responsiveness to defenseless and oh-so-cute human babies.

Cuteness is distinct from beauty, researchers say, emphasizing rounded over sculptured, soft over refined, clumsy over quick. Beauty attracts admiration and demands a pedestal; cuteness attracts affection and demands a lap. Beauty is rare and brutal, despoiled by a single pimple. Cuteness is commonplace and generous, content on occasion to cosegregate with homeliness.

[Continue reading]