Skepchick Quickies, 8.30


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. As tragic as it is that someone died, I can’t stop being flabbergasted by the train story. There were about 10 people there, and not a single one of them thought that maybe it was not such a bright idea to stand in the middle of a railroad bridge?

  2. What I find interesting about the attractiveness thing is that its kind of a catch 22. In my experience, if you feel good about yourself – you tend to make more effort in your appearance, as a result you are more attractive. But if you are more attractive you tend to feel better about yourself…
    Many people who were born with less attractive features often make little effort to make themselves more attractive, often accentuating the issue.
    But I can name at least two people, who if they didn’t make the effort would be rather homely, but since they make the effort and feel good about themselves – are more attractive.


  3. Why would you stand *on* the track anyway?! After all, that’s not where the victims of the original tragedy died (it’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the bottom).

  4. What I’m not getting about the train story is that the guy apparently saved his girlfriend by pushing her off the tracks at the last second… doesn’t that mean he could have jumped off himself? It’s just as easy to push someone off and go with them as it is to push someone off and stay put.

  5. “Man, this is amazing! I see a white light…I hear a train…it’s so real… Man, I can’t believe it, even the tracks are shaking. We’re going to see some ghosts for sure and….

    Aw goddammit….”

    Bad taste, I know, but it’s all I could think of.

  6. @Non Believer: The study wasn’t even measuring anything like people’s features. They determined attractiveness based entirely upon the waist to hip ratio.

    Science! Distilling women’s worth to a number on a scale.

  7. The facts: On August 27, 1891, a passenger train jumped the tracks on a tall bridge near Statesville, North Carolina, sending seven rail cars below and about 30 people to their deaths.

    Holy shit. I’m sorry, but I have zero sympathy for the “ghost hunters” that were killed. Their stupidity and selfishness killed 30 other people. What.the.fuck. Apparently 2 “ghost hunters” lived. I hope they are charged with manslaughter and end up in prison for a long, long time.

  8. Coffee – the magical restorative elixir that grounds your aura brews something something. Don’t be a drip… drink more coffee. (The 1st cup is free.)

  9. Man, I should feel bad for the one who got killed by the train, but I can’t take the story seriously. It is too ironic. Someone should kick me in the face for this.

  10. @Siveambrai:
    Doesn’t that seem like a bad way to assess overall attractiveness? I mean I know the hips are something you boys seems to enjoy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the same was true even if you did find a way to add face-and-body-attractiveness together, but seriously, WEAK.

  11. @Annika: I am confused…. and a girl so ??

    I realize that my tone may have come across a little more angry at Non Believer than I intended.

    I am in the process of looking up the actual journal article that is referenced to in the news clip to see if the researchers had a justification for selecting the hip/waist ratio as the basis of attractiveness.

    However, you have to see that all too often women are told they are attractive or unattractive based upon their weight and no other thing. To base an entire research study upon such a number reduces women to a body type that is ideal and frankly unrealistic. In addition, the fact that this study focused on attractiveness for women NOT men and women, once again reducing women to only their looks. It’s reinforcing the concept that women are there for the male gaze and consumption as objects and not people.

  12. So the reason this variable was selected was because some other researchers in the last decade or two found it to be useful.

    I guess my objection is to the social and gendered assumptions that underlie the basis and motivation for the research. They take the assumption that fitting social norms is good and find that, yes, people who fit to the social norm do in fact benefit from doing so. They fail to address the actual implications of finding this or how such a narrowing of choice and diversity can be damaging to women.

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