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April 10, 2006



Like Chris, Charles, my response to you quoting the first sentence of this piece at Pandagon was WTF?

Because I know what you've written in the past, I persevered past my initial sense of offence, and I can see the point you're trying to make. You're making it incredibly clumsily however. I'm having to battle hard not be offended by it, even though I truly don't think that is your intent.

Rethink your argument and rewrite it.

Joseph Smith

Uhhh....no. There may be a fairly broad distribution of preferences, but there is in fact a centre. Every society has norms of attractiveness, and a lot of people are around the norms. That's not normative: there's nothing inherently "good" about being near the norm, or "bad" about being a fetishist (since that's what people away from the norm get called). That these terms are used as forms of "good" and "bad" is a product of living under the yoke of agriculture for thousands of years, when individual differences were threats to the ability to get food.

I'm a left person, and if someone asked me, I'd say, "I loved my wife at first sight, but the fact that she's pretty helped me look at her long enough that first sight. I very quickly came to love her regardless, but I would still prefer that she be attractive to me to her not being so." The "my wife so fat and ugly" trope, which I haven't heard, sounds like a mid-60's "liberal" talking about his Negro Friend.

And I take issue with the claim that only men who lust after the Playboy Model Ideal are considered non-fetishists; it's essentially a straw-man argument that is really equivalent to saying "No, you're the fetishist The P.M.I. seems to change over the year, if the "New Yorker" is to be believed, and represents a calculation about exaggerations of trends---but I assure you that a man who said that he only "liked" Playboy model would get jeered much more than one who said he didn't like most of the models, especially if the latter added the words, "...because they don't look like real women," (thereby calling the other notional guy a homo).

Your point about a fat woman's being assumed absolutely unlovable a priori except to loonies is well-taken. However, their odds are in fact better with people who do have a particular kink in that direction than those who don't. Being able to see past the outward appearance of someone is usually the product of either familiarity or inclination toward the outward appearance---and familiartiy can be hard to get to if the initial desire to be around is absent....

Joseph Smith

My apologies: I meant to say that most persons are near the norms for _judging_ attractiveness, not that they themselves were near those norms---usually, by definition, "most attractive" is away from the norm in several ways.


Make love, not war!

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