Science

Skepchick Quickies 6.17

  • Waking the feminist inside the fangirl– Where are all the female superhero movies?
  • Lady Frankenstein builds a love machine-  “Lady Frankenstein is an early-1970s spaghetti horror flick that’s all about what happens when you let ladies into the lab. They build the ultimate love machines, combining their favorite male brains with their favorite male bodies.”
  • The ethics of farming– We’ve all heard the arguments over the ethics of meat eating.  Fruits and veggies aren’t exactly free from that debate, either, if for a different reason than most people consider.
  • Clitoris: More mountain than molehill-  That’s right, all you skepdudes have serious clitoris envy now, don’t you?  Via Feministing.
  • Accidental breast reduction hobbles “Age of Conan”-  Scenario: MMORPG has female characters with huge bosoms (is there one that doesn’t?).  Patch is released that inadvertently brings the boobs back into the realm of reality.  Nerd boys everywhere throw screaming, weeping, hissy fits to demand return of the huge boobs.  Guys, it’s the INTERNET.  Surely losing one source of boobs can’t be that devastating?

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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27 Comments

  1. The vegan thing seems like a big ol’ false dichotomy to me. The choice isn’t meat eating on the one side and mistreated farm workers on the other. There are two orthogonal choices 1)am I going to eat meat or not and 2)am I going to purchase food from organizations that treat their laborers well.

    This is pretty common and annoying thinking in the ethics arena. A is worse than B but I can’t do anything/haven’t thought/etc about B so therefore it’s dumb/selfish/shallow to worry about A. Typical end result: lots of mental flailing and zero activity on A or B.

    There is always something worse out there; All you can do is confront the issues in front of you to the extent you are able.

  2. “Surely losing one source of boobs can’t be that devastating?”

    It’s a slippery slope you know, first it’s boobs in Age of Conan and the next thing you know Skepchick is shut down! ;)

    I have searched extensively and as far as I can tell there are no boobs of any description in EVE online.

  3. The clitoris stuff is interesting but as the article points out it’s also seventeen years old. However I might try to do some original research on the subject myself later this evening.

  4. NoAstronomer:

    I assure you Skepchick has a healthy stockpile of boobs. I’m sporting a couple of G cups on my front… pretty sure that alone should be enough to save the world in any crisis. Skepchick will be using my boobs to take over the interwebs.

    (No one really believed I got this gig because I’m funny or smart, did they?)

  5. (Accidentally posted this in the comments of the article. That’s what I get for early morning opining.)

    As much as I dig the feminist angle of the site, the recurring “Look at how infantile men are” quickies wear thin after a while.

    #1. Heterosexual men enjoy viewing well built women. If this makes you feel insecure about your own body, then identify that insecurity as your own shortcoming instead of a shortcoming of the men (and women, mind you!) who designed the game.

    #2. Games, films and so on often do make use of idealized female AND male forms. Age of Conan contains not only improbably slender, buxom women, but also improbably fit, muscular men. After all, who wants to play an adventure game set in a fantasy world where everyone’s a flabby sadsack? Singling out the portrayal of women in the game and ignoring the equally idealized portrayal of men seems a bit myopic; has it occurred to you that this balance isn’t limited to games, that the fit, muscular male hero is a staple of entertainment, and that men have been cheering rather than complaining all these years?

  6. I can’t recall where I commented on this recently, but I have to agree with Zamboro. If you want to argue that men shouldn’t be visually stimulated, well you don’t belong at the grown-up’s table. This is a fact of human biology, and it’s isn’t going to go away.

    You can ask us to control ourselves, and in most circumstances you can reasonably expect that we will. But give us a a fantasy environment and it’s just silly to expect we aren’t going to form a trend line that is asymptotic an impossible standard.

    Again, this is fantasy, and we *should* cater to that on a lot of levels. In the real world, most men I know require more depth in their lives and relationships. The “ideal” female form is less interesting out here, and it must take back seat to more important concerns like whether she can re-wire the phone to eliminate that annoying buzzing sound and does she like good Thai food.

    But Amanda, ultimately you are correct. It’s the internet, there are alternatives…

  7. Would agree about the lack of superheroine movies. The only one that readily comes to mind is that piece of gosa with Uma Thurman in it, which was simply another dating movie done in the super genre.
    And the only movie that comes to mind that is being worked on is Wonder Woman… and that could go either way…

  8. There are female pilots in Eve. Though most of them are played by men. If you do find a real woman, or you don’t care, two space ships bumping into each other isn’t erotic.

    You’ll just have to wait for ambulation before you can have some kinky fun on Eve. :)

  9. If you want to argue that men shouldn’t be visually stimulated, well you don’t belong at the grown-up’s table. This is a fact of human biology, and it’s isn’t going to go away.

    Yep, that’s exactly what I said. Or not.

    You have to admit that weeping and gnashing of teeth over turning absurdly huge boobs into just normal boobs in one game is over the top.

    Shouldn’t all boobs bring boundless joy, large or small, real or unreal? Here’s to boobs!

  10. Amanda, yes on all counts! The gnashing of teeth is ridiculous in the extreme. And…

    …all boobs can and do bring boundless joy!

    A toast to boobs!

    Perhaps the new skepchick motto can be “Here’s to boobs!”

    Boobs… bringing joy since, well, forever!

  11. While I agree that workers on produce farms aren’t generally treated well, from everything I’ve heard that’s also true of people involved in farming and packing meat. The article seems to be a false dichotomy to me as the father not only avoided produce but also avoided chicken after having worked with chickens. If you return to eating meat, it does nothing to solve the farmer problem mentioned in the article, just moves some of it to people working with meat and meat animals.

    I don’t know…….my father worked picking strawberries for a couple summers 45 years ago and still won’t eat strawberries. Apparently he loved them before he did it as a job. My brother used to work packing pickles. He hates pickles. Everything smelled like pickles for a long time, I don’t know how or if he managed to get past the pickle smell to taste his food.

    I tend to agree with namidim on this: “This is pretty common and annoying thinking in the ethics arena. A is worse than B but I can’t do anything/haven’t thought/etc about B so therefore it’s dumb/selfish/shallow to worry about A. Typical end result: lots of mental flailing and zero activity on A or B.”

  12. Another aspect of veganism that doesn’t get much discussion is what happens to the animals that used to live on the farmland.

    In one class we discussed how many deer were killed to protect the soy crops in Wisconsin and Michigan. I don’t remember the actual number, but it was in the area of 25,000 annually.

  13. Another aspect of veganism that doesn’t get much discussion is what happens to the animals that used to live on the farmland.

    In one class we discussed how many deer were killed to protect the soy crops in Wisconsin and Michigan. I don’t remember the actual number, but it was in the area of 25,000 annually.

    That’s actually an argument in favor of veganism, considering that it takes many times more farmland to feed livestock for human consumption, vs. what it would take to feed humans directly.

  14. All I say is that if we’re killing all these deer to protect the crops, we may as well eat them, right? Wouldn’t it nbe kind of immoral to refuse to use them for food while people starve? Just sayin’…

  15. All I say is that if we’re killing all these deer to protect the crops, we may as well eat them, right? Wouldn’t it nbe kind of immoral to refuse to use them for food while people starve? Just sayin’…

    To the extent that killing deer to protect farmland is necessary (which is debatable), I would say the optimal solution for disposal of the bodies would be to make them into feed for obligate carnivores like cats.

  16. With the exception of Eskimos, individuals who are stranded on deserted islands, and people in similar unusual environments where edible vegetables are scarce, people don’t need to eat meat to keep from starving.

    As far as people in third-world countries who are starving, my understanding is that this is because of supply chain problems, not because of a worldwide lack of vegan protein. Those supply chain problems would exist for meat as well.

  17. “Another aspect of veganism that doesn’t get much discussion is what happens to the animals that used to live on the farmland.

    In one class we discussed how many deer were killed to protect the soy crops in Wisconsin and Michigan. I don’t remember the actual number, but it was in the area of 25,000 annually.

    That’s actually an argument in favor of veganism, considering that it takes many times more farmland to feed livestock for human consumption, vs. what it would take to feed humans directly.”

    Actually, my point is simply that a vegatarian diet doesn’t take Bambi’s blood off your hands.

    I would also point out that in some landscapes, mostly in third world countries, agriculture doesn’t work. The only option is grazing goats, and eating them.

    A separate issue to tackle is not turning all of our good agricultural land into housing developments and shopping malls. Farmland may not be the best thing for wildlife, but it beats shopping malls.

  18. Actually, my point is simply that a vegatarian diet doesn’t take Bambi’s blood off your hands.

    The only way for an individual to eliminate their effects on animals completely is to drop out of society and stop paying taxes. I suppose suicide would work also. Going vegan is not a strategy for achieving some state of perfection, it’s a strategy for minimizing harm. Ethical questions are optimization problems.

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