Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Outraged of Sockburn

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  • Bart Janssen,

    Put the label of Asperger's on her, and would the reading inevitably become open to something more distasteful...

    But isn't that the art of comedy? To me the very best, most enjoyable comedy is that which exposes what it is to be human, in its sometimes embarrassing detail. And surely being on the autistic spectrum is part of being human.

    Done well, comedy is both funny and thought provoking and can make one group or another feel slightly embarrassed.

    Done badly it can be sexist, racist, nasty and incredibly not funny as they say dying is easy.

    I think BBT rides that balance with us geeks. Does it cross a line with the mother, not for me and not at this time but you are right what may be funny now may be incredibly bad taste in 40 years.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But isn't that the art of comedy?

    Sure, but I also understand why folks like Bill Prady and Bones creator Hart Hanson just don't view the autistic spectrum as a laughing matter -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing. I think it was Hanson who said that if he explicitly made Bones or Zac an Apsie then he'd feel a responsibility to get it right, and not use it as comic relief.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Hart Hanson? The guy who made a character bisexual, then three episodes later forgot and had her panting after every guy in the place and none of the women?

    A sitcom is necessarily different from a drama that has some light relief. I haven't seen that particular episode of BBT for a while, so while I don't remember it being problematic, it's a while ago. Certainly I've always found the humour around Sheldon affectionate rather than cruel.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Hart Hanson? The guy who made a character bisexual, then three episodes later forgot and had her panting after every guy in the place and none of the women?

    Oh yes... the Year of The Has-bian. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    ...and none of the women?

    OK since this is about the only place I can ask the question...

    Are bisexual women attracted to the same women to which heterosexual men are attracted?

    I know I can't remotely predict which men women find attractive and frequently find myself saying "you like him? But why?"

    So is the fact that I think the women on Bones attractive any indication that they are attractive to women?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Are bisexual women attracted to the same women to which heterosexual men are attracted?

    People are people. Most people are attracted to at least some other people. The type of people who people are attracted to varies from person to person.

    Which is to say: there isn't a single type of woman, "women to which heterosexual men are attracted". Everyone finds different things attractive, don't they?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Are bisexual women attracted to the same women to which heterosexual men are attracted?

    Once apron a time, when I lived in an upstairs apartment on Ponsonby road...

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Everyone finds different things attractive, don't they?

    Yes indeedy. While I'm not the only bisexual woman I know whose long-term relationship operates under an Angelina Exception, you could survey both groups and get some average data, but the variation inside the groups would be so big it'd be difficult to get anything really meaningful. So, y'know, show me 'the women to which heterosexual men are attracted', and I can tell you if I find them attractive, but not if 'bisexual women' do.

    One of the more interesting questions I've been asked is if I miss 'sex with women', or if sex is sex regardless of partner gender.

    I know I can't remotely predict which men women find attractive and frequently find myself saying "you like him? But why?"

    My partner has gradually been learning which men I will find attractive, just as he's been learning to spot my taste in jewellery. "What about him? He's got dark hair and a big nose..."

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Everyone finds different things attractive, don't they?

    OK a very PC answer and sure I agree to a point.

    BUT

    Heterosexual men are typically attracted to several basic features in women most of which can be directly linked to reproductive success (hips, breasts, youth, fitness). Similarly with heterosexual women although the data suggests it isn't as strong an effect as for men. And yes of course there is a broad spectrum and outliers.

    So while acknowledging that everyone is different and I certainly don't expect any one person to speak for a whole class ... I'm still curious as to whether those genetic (and yes they appear to be genetic) attractiveness triggers are the same.

    My partner has gradually been learning which men I will find attractive

    Same here, but I still sometimes get it spectacularly wrong :). But I feel that's more about learning about one persons taste, eg if it sparkles it is good :).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I have been, with 3 close friends, for 2 years, trying to find a "universally attractive" man.

    Four heterosexual women of similar age, and we are yet to find one we all think is incredibly attractive. (Apparently one of them just doesn't get the Kahui thing.)

    We've found a lot of "wouldn't kick out of bed" though...

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And yes of course there is a broad spectrum and outliers.

    'Outliers' suggests a scenario where most people agree about who is attractive, and a few people disagree. But as Megan says, you have to actually work quite hard to find a person that most members of the requisite gender/sexual prefence will find attractive. Consensus is pretty much impossible. That suggests that attractiveness is far more complex than basic evolutionary biology would suggest. Which makes sense, given most of us make decisions about whether or not we'd like to sleep with someone after that person has moved or spoken.

    Some fanciers of men even think this guy is a smarmy git.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Some fanciers of men even think this guy is a smarmy git.

    Oh, I agree. Can't be doing with pretty boys. But then I fancy Mikey Havoc, so I could quite possibly be deemed the least qualified person in the world to say who's attractive to other people.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Can't be doing with pretty boys.

    Which means Jackie and I can divide up and pursue different men instead of wasting energy competing for the same ones.

    A theory only slightly dampened by John Barrowman's extreme gayness.

    I can even get this slightly back on topic. I fancy Jethro, but not Van. Same facial features, proportions, same genes...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    That suggests that attractiveness is far more complex than basic evolutionary biology would suggest.

    Thank GOD you said this, because I started writing a post three times and became entirely too tired to finish it. The basic gist was 'GRARGHevolutionarybiologyevolutionarypsychologySTABBY!', so yours put it much better.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    'GRARGHevolutionarybiologyevolutionarypsychologySTABBY!'

    Whereas I like your version much better Danielle :).

    This stuff fascinates me precisely because of the really wonderful mix of things that go into deciding whether or not they "wouldn't kick out of bed".

    The reality is that biology plays a part but it by no means is the whole or even dominant factor in the actual choices people make.

    I wasn't meaning to suggest for a second that it wasn't complex or for a second trying to diminish the whole romanticism of forming relationships.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Standard Disclaimer for this argument: I've got no problem with evo psych in itself. I think it gives us valuable knowledge and insight. What I do have a problem with is the presentation of evo psych as if it's the Sacred Truth on sexual behaviour, and the media's habit of representing 'significant' as 'universal' when reporting study results.

    But I do think subjects looking at photos tells you what people find attractive in a photograph, and nothing else.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Heterosexual men are typically attracted to several basic features in women most of which can be directly linked to reproductive success (hips, breasts, youth, fitness).

    Woah there. Maybe part of the appeal of the women in Bones (right with ya there, btw) is that their characters are also really, really smart?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I can even get this slightly back on topic. I fancy Jethro, but not Van. Same facial features, proportions, same genes...

    I think Van would be much the more attentive lover.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    evo psych as if it's the Sacred Truth on sexual behaviour

    Secondhand story, but I believe it was someone who taught philosphy of science had a favourite hypothetical example:

    Why do women orgasm less than men? Someone has to stay up and watch for predators...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I think Van would be much the more attentive lover.

    I am not disputing that, in any way. Jethro would be a cruel, selfish bastard. I also fancy Loretta.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I also fancy Loretta.

    As would I, if it didn't seem so wrong.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I think Van would be much the more attentive lover.

    I <3 you Russell.

    And Emma, also a yes here to Loretta.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Lyndon, wasn't that about men falling asleep?

    More? Pish.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Maybe part of the appeal of the women in Bones (right with ya there, btw) is that their characters are also really, really smart?

    Yup. I'll broaden that to really talented, which is something I find engaging and attractive. I find people who have and use talent much more attractive and it is a feature of Bones.

    That said "stupid" is very much an unattractive trait for me anyway. But I know people for whom that wouldn't be a reason to kick them out of bed, shrug.

    Also agree about the photos thing. Which was the point of asking the question because the studies with photos have been done to some degree and are interesting but I doubt tell the whole story.

    I'll just have to dream up an experiment, preferably one with lightening balls, cause they are so cool.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    I am not disputing that, in any way. Jethro would be a cruel, selfish bastard.

    And yet....

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

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