Womens appearance in elite sports

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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#61  Postby tuco » Mar 03, 2014 1:32 pm

lulz

That women are from Venus and men from Mars does not mean they can't treat each other with equal respect. Actually, what am I talking about .. the Picards are equal.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#62  Postby TMB » Mar 03, 2014 1:59 pm

Nicko wrote:
TMB wrote:Nicko, you said,

TMB wrote:
I partly agree, I think the males attractiveness is linked to their success in the sport just like people find Woody Allen sexy because he has charisma and talent but no aesthetic appeal. A woman similarly endowed would have no chance of being seen as sexy, talented perhaps but no queues of admiring men. Status and power in men is physically attractive to women. This means that if the man is notat the top of his game his objective looks will fade in the eyes of the beholder just as a male with lesser physical looks but who is at the top of the game will be seen as more attractive in the eyes of the beholder.


Nicko wrote:So what you are talking about is hypergamy. Women are seen as "sex objects" while men are seen as "success objects".


I would say that its more complicated than this. Men are seen as "love objects", as it appears possible that groupies imagine themselves to love celebrity males and assuming the superior form of this emotion does not seem possible to occur with someone you only know from their media image, but knowing the males superior status appears to overcome this problem. They are also seen as "resources objects" which is directly related to success but progresses it further to explain why success is relevant to male attractiveness.

Nicko wrote:Fair enough, but my point was that the differing standards of beauty in men and women tend to mean that a man who develops a physique that enables him to compete at an elite level in any sport or athletic activity will increase his physical attractiveness. A woman who develops a similarly athletic physique may not necessarily experience the same gain in attractiveness.


Agreed.

Nicko wrote:Whilst the factors influencing overall attractiveness are of course important, but what I'm saying is that just in terms of pure physical attractiveness, male athletes get an increase in that as a side effect of being male athletes. Even an elite male competitor who is not particularly successful relative to his peers will still have an athlete's physique.


TMB wrote:

Agreed, the female body building industry spends a lot of time arguing the case of how sexy and feminine their performers are but generally men and other women do not find muscle bound women, with square male like features attractive or sexy. This is not too say that all women find muscle bound men to be attractive or sexy but a significant portion do and if they are someone like Arnold Schwartzeneger who have charisma and status they become even more attractive. As I noted earlier groupies is essentially a female behaviour. I have seen thousands of teenage girls (almost no males) line up to see a male performer, an equivalent female performer got far les interest and an even mix of male and female but no real hysteria or obsession.


Nicko wrote:I'll get to the difference between male and female performers in a sec. Just on the issue of bodybuilding though, I think it's an excellent example of what I'm talking about. The considerations for a male bodybuilder pretty much end at the top of their neck. Not the case for female bodybuilders.


Agreed.

TMB wrote:

As I have noted, the major hurdle, that of performance relative to males, has been overcome by giving women their own event so they are poised to get the same benefits in some sports (swimmers, tennis, golf, athletics – however not in baseball, cricket, soccer, rugby etc). The added advantage if they have the looks is that they do not need to be the best to get benefit. However some will run into issues when their looks are judged and found wanting like a recent winner of a grandslam tennis tournament, or Serena Williams who gets compared to Sharapovas looks and comes off second best, although she wins more tournaments. The contention is between the women themselves, yet it gets thrown back as men somehow getting unfair benefit.


Nicko wrote:Well, male sports are more financially rewarding than female ones, so it's not really the same benefit.


I agree in general this is the case, eg rugby, baseball, basketball, cricket but not in the case of tennis, golf they are widely different but closer to tennis that most of the other sports. Swimmers appear to rely upon endorsement money more than prize money and I am guessing men and women are pretty even here given the similar status they are given, and this is what drives endorsement dollars.

Nicko wrote:Disclaimer: The remainder of this post is entirely speculation on my part. I'm not sure whether I've really convinced myself here, let alone whether I have any reasonable expectation of convincing others.

But that brings me to the point you made earlier about male vs. female performers. Perhaps it might be more helpful to conceive of professional athletes in our era as a kind of performer.


I agree they are all providing a show to the rest of society as they demonstrate a socially designed way to show some rather odd skills and thus reflect their status in society. The game of squash gets very little coverage despite once being a very popular participant sport. Tennis has plenty of status and following, hence aspiring young men and women want to excel and show their excellence in this particular format.
Nicko wrote:Someone once, talking about rock bands, said words to the effect that, "Men want to be the singer; women want to be with the singer." That is, there is a large factor of "wish-fulfillment" fantasy in all entertainment.


I would say this is generally true, however there are very visible minorities of both genders that want to reverse this and I think this is due to the inherent desire both genders have for power. Both men and women see the apparent power held by the celebrity and want to have that same power. For men, they would like to be that power, for women they would like to be with the person who has that power and benefit indirectly with less responsibility.

Nicko wrote: I think this does reverse to some extent as you reverse the genders, but then you run into the differences between what makes a man attractive and what makes a woman attractive. You may have noticed that there are very few female singers who hit the big time without being - to be blunt - hot as fuck. Men don't want to be with a female singer, nor do women want to be that singer, unless the singer is hot.


I do not agree with this, I would say that big time female singers work very hard at being hot, but sheer musical or acting talent does still have a place even for women that do not have the looks. Having said that women can get further on looks alone, and when they have both talent and looks its a winning combination. With men talent seems to be sufficient in many cases.

Nicko wrote:If this is true, and if a large segment of the sports audience is actually motivated in a similar way, this would explain the differing popularity of men's and women's sports (and hence the monetary rewards). Male athletes already meet the requirements for many men's "fantasy self" and many women's "fantasy partner" by default. Female athletes do not meet the requirements for many women's "fantasy self" or many men's "fantasy partner" just by being athletes. In order to meet the requirement, the female athlete must also possess certain characteristics of "feminine beauty".


Agreed.

Nicko wrote:Without the ability to be transformed into this fantasy character in the minds of the audience, a performer/athlete's appeal is going to be restricted to those who appreciate their chosen field for it's own sake. That audience certainly exists, it's just a smaller one. The performer/athletes who do meet this fantasy standard can gain the attention of both the "purists" and the "fantasists".
I agree, it gets said that more attention and status should be given to various womens sports, like rugby and cricket, but audiences would rather be watching the mens version of the game and the endorsements and prize money will follow the audience appeal. The ultimate arbiter in these scenarios are the audience,and peoples real opinions are reflected in what they watch. The demand for audiences to award the same merit and interest to the womens game falls in deaf ears.

Do you see the same process in place for other stereotypical women institutions like beauty contests and modelling? Where the women in the audience want to be the desirable woman on the podium and catwalk and the men want to be that womans partner.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#63  Postby Fallible » Mar 03, 2014 2:13 pm

I should apologise for not responding to people in the thread. I am playing nursemaid to two people in a house of disease and bodily fluids at the moment and consequently have time for little more than browsing.
Sorry that you think you had it rough in the first world.
You ought to get out of that sooner than later.
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Get out of your head and spend less time alone.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#64  Postby Nicko » Mar 03, 2014 9:27 pm

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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#65  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 03, 2014 10:31 pm


It's funny that you should feel the need to post that, Nicko, as I was only just now ruminating about people who seem to be stuck in the last century in their thinking, and find themselves utterly unable to relate to the modern world, especially when it comes to thinking about people, and women in particular.

Mention has been made here of emotions, and I've come to the conclusion that if there is one thing that is guaranteed to make me emotional, and sad, it's realising that there are still those out there who consider that women in particular are desperately in need of criticism and correction in regards to their behaviour, attitudes, and selfish self-regard, all of which is delivered entirely without a corresponding criticism and correction of men within the same spheres of work and of life.

It's all so unfair! :waah:

And it makes me emotional. :waah:

When will it all end? :waah:
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#66  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Mar 03, 2014 10:34 pm

May I cry with you?
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#67  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 03, 2014 10:45 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:May I cry with you?

Yeah, Rachel, and welcome! Let's be emotional together. :hugs:
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#68  Postby TMB » Mar 03, 2014 11:08 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:May I cry with you?

Yeah, Rachel, and welcome! Let's be emotional together. :hugs:

Me three, this rational stuff is for the birds - let emotions rule.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#69  Postby Rachel Bronwyn » Mar 03, 2014 11:10 pm

Doubtdispelled wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:May I cry with you?

Yeah, Rachel, and welcome! Let's be emotional together. :hugs:


As a woman, I am very, very skilled at this.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#70  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 03, 2014 11:43 pm

Rachel Bronwyn wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:May I cry with you?

Yeah, Rachel, and welcome! Let's be emotional together. :hugs:


As a woman, I am very, very skilled at this.

Of course you are, Rachel. You are female. You are ruled by your emotions and have no hope of ever having any rational thoughts whatsoever to disturb your equilibrium. :cheers:
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#71  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 03, 2014 11:52 pm

TMB wrote:
Doubtdispelled wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:May I cry with you?

Yeah, Rachel, and welcome! Let's be emotional together. :hugs:

Me three, this rational stuff is for the birds - let emotions rule.

Never mind the birds, you are also obviously a fisherman!
:lol:
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#72  Postby TMB » Mar 04, 2014 4:09 pm

Doubtdispelled, yousaid

BTW, Rebecca is getting married later this year. It could be, notwithstanding the hurtful comments about her looks, that she simply thought about looking at her wedding photos in the years to come, and being reminded of it all, and thought 'right, that's it, I'm going to do something about this'. And who can blame her?


So you say that if Rebecca (and presumably other women unhappy with their looks) is unhappy with her nose then she should get this addressed. Bear in mind that society creates the impression Rebeccas mind just what an attractive nose should look like, because she is exposed to models noses in other women who get admired for their nose shape and size. The decision of what looks good is a democratic one, and includes your and my opinion as we judge the fickle and emotional standard (but still quite consistent) of beauty (or ugly). This means the net perception of what is beauty and ugly is done by all of us, making us (mostly in very small ways) responsible for Rebeccas unhappiness with her nose. There are also individuals who are unkinder and blunt than most who state (the obvious to most of us) that her nose just does not fit the model of beautiful womens noses.

The worse part comes in the support that Rebecca gets that she should get her nose ‘fixed’ to make herself happier because she will have a more socially beautiful nose. The same logic should also be applied to women who are unhappy about their breast size and shape – these can now be ‘fixed’

By you (and other women and men) promoting the idea that she can ‘fix’ this by getting a nose job make you responsible, as members of society, for the effects upon people like Rebecca and all the women who suffer from low self –esteem because they think they have ugly noses, or their boobs are too small, or they need to wear makeup in order to appear in public. The glamorous and better looking celebrity (admit it, most people will think the other girl is prettier than Rebecca) probably carries more responsibility, not just for being better looking, but for taking fullest advantage of this in the way she dresses and wears makeup. In the same way however, she is just as much a victim as Rebecca is, both caught up in social judgement.

The issue is that we consider beauty to have any value at all. We only recognise ugly people because we recognise beautiful people. When human society fawns over and the admires the looks of Angelina Jolie etc, and strive to be like them they bring into being the people at the other end of the spectrum. Beauty is a relative judgement of how people look in comparison to everyone else. If all women looked like Cindy Crawford, then the real Cindy Crawford would never have made it as a supermodel, because she would not be especially good looking. If everyone looked better than Cindy then she would be considered ugly.
Technology plays a part in this as well. Even the supermodels get to look better than they really are. Cameras capture then in perfect lighting and make up, special effects and airbrushing to produce an image that even they cannot live up to. Getting older ensures that they will look less and less like that image over time and this will not be a pleasant process.

You asked me about responsibility, perhaps causation would be a better description.

Every woman who strives for more beauty for herself, or even considers beauty to be a desirable value is part of the reason for the reactions we see in Rebecca and to many other women, however Rebecca and the others are also part of the same socially mindless conformity that values beauty and places pressure on those who do not measure up to an impossible standard, so they too carry some responsibility. The women who support industries of diet, the clothes and fashion industry, the cosmetics, between them worth 100 of billions of dollars all, so women can strive to meet socially imposed appearances, are also part of the causation.

Men are not immune to this process, mens fashion and cosmetics and clothing are also big business but very much smaller than for women. The challenge for women is the fact that Sean Connery can be considered sexy at 70, and still look like he is seventy, but a female celebrity at seventy would struggle because female beauty is bound into youth so she must try and look 30. We often see praise for women who look so good at some age – say 50, just because they look like they are 30. That is subtle and insidious social pressure to tell people that younger looks better on women.

Setting aside the biology that lies behind all this, that is why women need to look young to be attractive, and older men can still look older and be attractive. Society becomes a collective that ensures people conform pretty (no pun intended) well. The issues this causes to the self esteem for many members of our society is significant and inevitable, but society is not effective in giving all citizens what they want because there is competition between individuals for resources, in the case of women, the resource is men, the currency is mostly beauty.

So I retract my use of the word ‘responsibility’ as this is too morally loaded, simple causation is more neutral. Its a personal prejudice of mine to consider people responsible for the effect of their behaviour upon the rest of society and this is not useful when we just want to be rationally sceptical.

Since you have accused me of providing a one sided argument against women, and the OP was about a specific instance that focused on women, let me state that men are subject to very similar processes as women are. Rigid conformance and the imposition of standards that are impossible to meet. Men do an excellent job of getting themselves into national wars and dying in their millions. They undertake excessively risky behaviour and often maim themselves or die in fights, sports events , driving fast cars, breaking records for highest mountains, deepest dives. They also end up populating the majority of prison cells as they break laws trying to achieve impossible things, they end up homeless more often than women, commit suicide at rates of around 4:1 (in most developed countries) compared to women and overall die around 5 percent younger than women mostly as a result of their own male nature. So I don’t think that overall women have such a bad deal.

There are also gender neutral aspects of life. Both men and women suffer from a degree of existential anxiety because humans have some self awareness, essentially this means that we don’t really want to die. However as we age, we realise that age and inevitable death is a lot more serious than we thought when younger, but because we really do have limited awareness, we do an excellent job of living much of our lives in denial of reality. Society does an even better job of keeping us in the dark just to ensure that the citizens are kept in their place. The existence of religions are marvelous inventions for providing citizens with relief from existential anxiety, alcohol, drugs and sex offer other ways to avoid facing a purposeless life.

This is of course the ‘glass half empty version’. The glass half full version says that

In the gender neutral aspects, live every day to its fullest, meditate and do yoga twice daily, eat healthy and avoid substances like tobacco and alcohol, have lots of consensual sex and cherish your friends and family, because this is only possible while you are living. Accept that the price of living a social life is a high degree of conformity, necessary to ensure social harmony, but it does not mean we have to be lobotomised.

As women, accept that you will be judged upon the way you look, but you will also be judged on your character. If your life is consumed by getting your eyeshadow, nail polish and bikini line right, because people will be looking at you and judging your beauty, then there will be no space left for a real character. Rather than reading womens magazines that discuss every part of your body as an object to be disguised to be more beautiful, find ways to be kinder and more giving to your friends and family, and don’t worship the false gods of celebrity and stop watching soap operas

If you are a man, don’t be drawn to war for God and country or seduced by fast cars or fast women, that your lost life will be hailed as a hero. Accept that you experience carnal desire that should be kept under control but enjoyed with consenting others.

You criticised my earlier post for being critical of women, and you are correct, however I am very capable of being critical of men and people in general. You will have seen how critical I am when topics on a forum entitled ‘rational scepticism’ usually end in a barrage of personal insults, so please note although I have implicated you in social responsibility this is not personal, I am as much part of the social causation as everyone else – that is because I am such a blind conformist. I have also given you the larger picture, to try and give you an idea not just of the way men and women interact (often violently) but of other social and existential factors that play a part in who we are.

You of course might choose not to agree with any of the above, but do me a favour if you do not, try and break it apart logically and resist the temptation to resort to an irrational smiley.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#73  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 05, 2014 12:47 pm

TMB wrote:You of course might choose not to agree with any of the above, but do me a favour if you do not, try and break it apart logically and resist the temptation to resort to an irrational smiley.

I'm not sure I have enough life left to spend breaking all this apart and 'choosing' which bits to disagree with. :roll: Most of it seems to be the same old same old subtle sexist critique of women, all dressed up to appear as though it is some kind of rational sociological description of the ways in which women themselves are responsible for all the ills in society. Nothing new there.

I can, however, easily disagree with this bit
TMB wrote:So you say that if Rebecca (and presumably other women unhappy with their looks) is unhappy with her nose then she should get this addressed.
because that is not what I said. I did not say anything about 'should' and I'm not sure how you got there from my saying that if Rebecca herself had decided to get something done, then who could blame her. It's not up to me, you, or anyone else to tell her what she should or should not do in this regard.

TMB wrote:By you (and other women and men) promoting the idea that she can ‘fix’ this by getting a nose job make you responsible, as members of society, for the effects upon people like Rebecca and all the women who suffer from low self –esteem because they think they have ugly noses, or their boobs are too small, or they need to wear makeup in order to appear in public.

Oh, I see. That's where the 'responsibility' or even 'causation' comes into play. I thought it might. So what are you suggesting that we all, as members of a society which you deem to not only bear some kind of culpability for the way that some people regard themselves, but also should (there's that imperative again!) bear some kind of responsibility for doing something about it, do about it? What do you suggest we do? Make ourselves as ugly as possible so that others do not have to feel bad about themselves?

What about, just as a for instance, the feelings of childless couples when they see those with several children? Should the children be hidden away, or should those feckless and unfeeling people not have had those children? Where would it all end?

TMB wrote:The issue is that we consider beauty to have any value at all.

Well quite obviously it does, it always has, and it probably also always will.

One big issue, the big issue, I have with your attitude to all this is that the vast majority of men and women simply do not fit your picture, your apparent conception, or your descriptions of what they are like. Go to any place where ordinary people congregate as a part of everyday life, a supermarket for instance, and you will see very few people who are obsessed with their looks. The vast majority of women I know aren't. They may use a little makeup and make sure their hair does not look like a birds nest, but on the whole they seem quite happy with who they are. The vast majority of women I know also do not obsess about celebrities, or read those stupid magazines, and in fact often think of the ones that do as rather sad, but that does not make them responsible for those people.

TMB wrote:If you are a man, don’t be drawn to war for God and country or seduced by fast cars or fast women

:lol: Seduced by fast women, eh? Isn't that just a tad old fashioned? Incidentally, I am seduced by fast cars, in fact I have a very fast one, 260bhp cunningly disguised as a boring little old 4x4, and I'm a woman. I have been known to use its capabilities to piss off the mostly male drivers who see my grey hair, the Subaru badge and the big tailpipe as a challenge to prove that they can drive better and much faster than I do. Does that make me a fast woman? Am I doomed? 8-)

I'm afraid I have to say that most of your post is nothing more than patronising preaching. I can see that you have put quite a lot of effort into it, but that doesn't make your conclusions any more right.
TMB wrote: I have also given you the larger picture, to try and give you an idea not just of the way men and women interact (often violently) but of other social and existential factors that play a part in who we are.

This, for instance, could be seen as almost offensive, but I'll let you off seeing that you can't really know who I am, how much I know about the interactions between men and women, or society in general. I will just say that it's more than you seem to think. I think it's valid here to point out that it is always safer to assume that the person you are engaging with on this forum will have at least some basic knowledge about the subject under discussion.

If I may be allowed to patronise you in return...

I think you would be better off, rather than trying to find people who will agree with your current outlook on the state of society and women's role in shaping it, in spending some time wondering about your own obsession with women, celebrity culture, and your apparent need to criticise everything they do. It's all so shallow to concentrate on their looks, clothes, even the way they shave or don't shave, which you have done in the past. None of this is about women themselves, it isn't about who they are, or what they really think. It seems to be more about viewing them as objects, and I think you need to try to work out why you do this before you attempt any more sociological discussion.

That's my two pennorth, and I think I've already spent far too much time on this.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#74  Postby Nicko » Mar 06, 2014 2:00 am

@ TMB:

Your thesis in this thread appears to be that successful men in professional sports have access to a certain set of benefits based upon their performance and the fame that comes with it; women in professional sports have access to the same set of performance-based benefits plus benefits derived from an attribute I choose to call "hawtness" (should they possess it). According to this thesis, women therefore have access to more potential benefits than men in the context of professional sports.

The problem with this thesis is that women do not derive the same quantity of performance-based benefits from professional sports as men. There is just less money floating around in women's sport, both directly and in terms of sponsorship and endorsements.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#75  Postby TMB » Mar 07, 2014 4:04 am

Nicko wrote:@ TMB:

Your thesis in this thread appears to be that successful men in professional sports have access to a certain set of benefits based upon their performance and the fame that comes with it; women in professional sports have access to the same set of performance-based benefits plus benefits derived from an attribute I choose to call "hawtness" (should they possess it). According to this thesis, women therefore have access to more potential benefits than men in the context of professional sports.

The problem with this thesis is that women do not derive the same quantity of performance-based benefits from professional sports as men. There is just less money floating around in women's sport, both directly and in terms of sponsorship and endorsements.


Hi Nicko, you are partly correct. The thesis I sated was that in the case of swimming. Rebecca commented that she felt under pressure due to her looks, something that all women appear to be subject to more than men in similar scenarios. I then noted that as a female she is a beneficiary of the fact that women are give very similar status and recognition for actual performance that is inferior to men in swimming. Therefore is she trying to have her cake and eat it to?

The benefit that women derive from elite sport is indeed lower than that derived by men (and associated costs) is limited to a few sports (a point I made earlier), athletics, tennis and golf (lesser than tennis and athletics), while many other sports, obvious ones like rugby, cricket, soccer, baseball, ice hockey, boxing, MMA, AFL, league rugby, gridiron women have nowhere near the recognition and benefit - so you misread my earlier posts.

Note however the cost paid by men in pursuing these elite sports, costs that are carried less by women because they do not subject themselves to the same stresses and risk as men in these sports. Physical wear and tear on the body is significant at all levels of contact and high risk sport like rugby, MMA and F1 racing, men carrying the cost of these during and after their careers. Tennis is one sport where womens prize money and endorsements are comparitive, noting that women get paid same/similar prize money which in turn results in endorsements which are bigger dollar amounts than purse money. Were sex discrimination removed from the sport they would be getting neither purse money or endorsements.
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#76  Postby TMB » Mar 07, 2014 12:15 pm

Doubtdispelled, you said

I'm not sure I have enough life left to spend breaking all this apart and 'choosing' which bits to disagree with. Most of it seems to be the same old same old subtle sexist critique of women, all dressed up to appear as though it is some kind of rational sociological description of the ways in which women themselves are responsible for all the ills in society. Nothing new there.


The tone of this is bored and dismissive and can be classified as a response designed to diminish the receiver rather than address the argument itself

I can, however, easily disagree with this bit
because that is not what I said. I did not say anything about 'should' and I'm not sure how you got there from my saying that if Rebecca herself had decided to get something done, then who could blame her. It's not up to me, you, or anyone else to tell her what she should or should not do in this regard.

You are splitting hairs around the exact wording and this is a minor detail in the context of the argument so if you are short of time, I suggest we stay with the relevant parts of the discussion.


Oh, I see. That's where the 'responsibility' or even 'causation' comes into play. I thought it might. So what are you suggesting that we all, as members of a society which you deem to not only bear some kind of culpability for the way that some people regard themselves, but also should (there's that imperative again!) bear some kind of responsibility for doing something about it, do about it? What do you suggest we do? Make ourselves as ugly as possible so that others do not have to feel bad about themselves?

I am not making any moral prescriptions of what we ‘ought’ to be doing about this, just trying to rationally discuss the reality of the situation. Once facts are agreed upon, then it might be more appropriate to make some moral assumptions, you appear to be unable to envision a valid moral or practical response and dismiss an approach to understand the reality. Thats a common approach, I just don’t see how can work effectively.

What about, just as a for instance, the feelings of childless couples when they see those with several children? Should the children be hidden away, or should those feckless and unfeeling people not have had those children? Where would it all end?


This is a good example where you are putting the cart before the horse, I have not suggested any actions based upon what we see to be the reality, once we know this one option is to do nothing and move on, or at least we can make an informed decision when deciding policy or defining moral behaviour. You seem jump ahead to solutions when we do not know what the problem is.

Well quite obviously it does, it always has, and it probably also always will.

This was your response to my comment that beauty is considered valuable – we seem to be in violent agreement here.

One big issue, the big issue, I have with your attitude to all this is that the vast majority of men and women simply do not fit your picture, your apparent conception, or your descriptions of what they are like. Go to any place where ordinary people congregate as a part of everyday life, a supermarket for instance, and you will see very few people who are obsessed with their looks.


I do observe, and especially at schools I see teenage girls that are very preoccupied with their looks, adult women have usually got this to a more manageable level and I ascribe this to a number of things. The first is that people have a limited idea of how they are perceived by others and as we age we reinforce the perception of ourselves in ways that usually protect us from reality. Mirrors and photographs capture limited context and dynamics, yet although other see all our flaws they are not as sensitive to these as we would be. This means we delude ourselves about how we actually look to others and as long as other people do not burst our bubble we are fine. When people point out obvious flaws in the way we look, this is a recipe for social breakdown so we are usually very careful to be diplomatic.
The vast majority of women I know aren't. They may use a little makeup and make sure their hair does not look like a birds nest, but on the whole they seem quite happy with who they are.


Any use of makeup or hairstyling is an acknowledgement that we are not prepared to present our unadorned faces and bodies to other people, while I accept there are degrees of this and much of it is simple conformity to what others do.

The vast majority of women I know also do not obsess about celebrities, or read those stupid magazines, and in fact often think of the ones that do as rather sad, but that does not make them responsible for those people.


Lets set aside our personal judgements and look at some figures. People magazine has a readership of 45 million, and while it has the highest circulation of a US magazine, most western supermarkets will be selling 20 magazine titles that have no specific content except gossip and ‘human interest’ – ie. excluding clothes, weddings, sewing, gardening etc magazines. If most outlets in western countries can sustain 20 titles of this type, I am guessing that people are buying them.

Regarding peoples preoccupation with their looks, and taking the US as an extreme case. According to American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
In 2012 ten million surgical and non surgical cosmetic procedures were performed in the US at a total cost of $11 billion, 90% were women. In a population of just over 300 million, with 67% between 15-64 years, that means around one in ten women had plastic surgery each year. The cosmetics industry in the US is worth around $100 billion. The diet industry in the US spends between $40-60 billion each year with around one in 3 people trying to lose weight, the revenue for the fashion clothing industry estimate is $250 billion in the US – aside from what I observe every day, in the press on the street, the amount of money that people are prepared to spend on making their appearance more socially acceptable tells me that many, if not most women are not happy with the way they look, those that are either have an exceptionally strong sense of individuality (rare), or have no idea what they look like to others.

Seduced by fast women, eh? Isn't that just a tad old fashioned? Incidentally, I am seduced by fast cars, in fact I have a very fast one, 260bhp cunningly disguised as a boring little old 4x4, and I'm a woman. I have been known to use its capabilities to piss off the mostly male drivers who see my grey hair, the Subaru badge and the big tailpipe as a challenge to prove that they can drive better and much faster than I do. Does that make me a fast woman? Am I doomed?


Only if they charge you a smiley tax.

I'm afraid I have to say that most of your post is nothing more than patronising preaching. I can see that you have put quite a lot of effort into it, but that doesn't make your conclusions any more right.

You should not be afraid, but note your attempt to diminish me and my post. You imagine that I ‘put a lot of effort’ , but alas failed – not very subtle attack on me personally, try sticking to the subject in question.

This, for instance, could be seen as almost offensive, but I'll let you off seeing that you can't really know who I am, how much I know about the interactions between men and women, or society in general. I will just say that it's more than you seem to think.

Then I would like you to write some of the things you know into your responses, I have left plenty of specifics very few of which you offer any substantive rejoinders for
I think it's valid here to point out that it is always safer to assume that the person you are engaging with on this forum will have at least some basic knowledge about the subject under discussion.

I think you are overestimating the audience, despite this being a ‘rational sceptics’ forum most threads break down after a few pages into personal slanging matches, many contributors have very little subject matter expertise, yet also very rarely come looking to learn things from others.
This next point is a personal attack on me, once again it seems like you struggle to engage in a rational discussion on points raised, and resort to trying to some amateur and insulting psychoanalysis. Since you are trying to do this, I will respond to each point in your attack and see just how valid your points might be.
I think you would be better off, rather than trying to find people who will agree with your current outlook on the state of society and women's role in shaping it, in spending some time wondering about your own obsession with women, celebrity culture, and your apparent need to criticise everything they do.

Actually I am fascinated with most all aspects of human nature and behaviour, however I do get frustrated with the duplicitous nature of people and amazed at their ability to delude themselves and others. I am concerned that the current view of women as being at a disadvantage must stand as one of the great myths of modern times. As I noted in one post, when someone can tell me how the male, the one with all the power and privilege does not use it to get those things of real value, like longer life, better quality of life (suicide rates x4 of women), more homelessness, the ultimate in social disempowerment and domination of the prison population, deprivation of liberty. It makes no sense that men do not reap the benefits if they have the power. I have yet to see someone explain these facts in the context of sexual inequality.
It's all so shallow to concentrate on their looks, clothes, even the way they shave or don't shave, which you have done in the past.

What is shallow about analysing these or other behaviors in people? Why not use a descriptive word that has some real meaning instead of implying I am shallow, a real weasel word that while insulting actually has very little substance.
None of this is about women themselves, it isn't about who they are, or what they really think. It seems to be more about viewing them as objects, and I think you need to try to work out why you do this before you attempt any more sociological discussion.

Except you have not countered my arguments with anything substantive, you have spent more time trying to attack me personally and dismissing my arguments without offering anything in return.

That's my two pennorth, and I think I've already spent far too much time on this.

Here you go again, trying to show how little value the conversation really has, implying that your valuable time is wasted but you are prepared to point out the weaknesses in my personality, but its all rather boring to you, and of course shows just how shallow I must be to spend time on this.

Why not challenge yourself? I have argued a number of things about human society in general and womens behaviour specifically and even though you are the one that drops in words like ‘parasite’, why not take my 4 key measures of value in human life, being longevity, suicide rates, homelessness and imprisonment, and tell me if you think they are relevant metrics when considering actual benefit to either gender and whether you think the disparity can be explained in such a way that men indeed are the ones that profit from their exploitation of women, through the workplace, jobs inequity, chore inequity and the like.

Are you up to it?
TMB
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Re: Womens appearance in elite sports

#77  Postby Doubtdispelled » Mar 07, 2014 12:43 pm

TMB wrote:Are you up to it?

Yes, I'm pretty sure I could argue the toss with you till the cows come home, but if you change that question slightly and ask whether I'm up for it, then the answer is no.

:cheers:
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
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