Sunday, November 02, 2014

Stories of the weekend

-The buried lede here is that looks matter in dating, for men and women alike. (As in, nearly all people, regardless of gender, eliminate most of the human population on the basis of looks alone, before even considering such things as personality, kindness, accomplishments, etc. - "looks matter" doesn't mean looks can typically cancel out deficiencies in other areas.) So it's kind of amusing to see comments along the lines of, 'duh, men are visual creatures.' This would be a relevant point to make if Tinder involved women's photos and men's CVs, but, as I understand it, it does not.

-Pretty much everything I could possibly say about the Hollaback! video controversy is on WWPD already in one way or another, but the most relevant post is probably this one. Other repeating-myself points include the fact that street harassment is - as some seem to get - about power. (Thus why a plain-looking 14-year-old girl may find herself bothered far more often than a reasonably attractive 20-year-old woman.) I also continue to think the feminist focus on catcalls is... a bit like the feminist focus on issues like how young and thin fashion models tend to be. These are absolutely real problems, but they're also photogenic ones. Along with the more productive awareness-raising they accomplish, they provoke something that might be called concern-ogling. Depending how the coverage plays out, it can end up reinforcing the idea that to be female is to be young, beautiful, and the recipient of a continuous, admiring male gaze.

-Spot-on.

2 comments:

caryatis said...

This article on how class can be read through Tinder photos is pretty interesting.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/we-are-all-classists

Phoebe said...

It is interesting, but I'm not sure what I think of the assumption it rests on: "No one wants to believe their attractions are racist, or classist, or otherwise discriminatory." I'd agree that people are hesitant to spell out their preferences (esp. if they fall into the white-person-prefers-whites or white-person-prefers-one-specific-non-white-race camp), especially when it comes to race/trait preferences that amount to racial ones. (Class is a bit different, because... are college graduates who prefer other college graduates hiding that preference?) But I'd imagine plenty of people would admit *to themselves* what the physical parameters are of the people they find attractive, parameters that may mean finding a disproportionate member of some races attractive or unattractive. And... it seems reasonable both that people would limit their dating to the people they, for whichever reasons, find attractive, *and* that they'd stay mum about some particulars.