Wednesday, May 18, 2005

[ I | you ] [ am | are ] what [ I | you ] [ am | are ]

Ye sexes, oft warring. A civil debate (what kind of old-schoolers are these?) between Steven Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke. Let's get ready to rumble! I'm afraid I am with Pinker, as I am usually: the existence of individuals, though rare, who were re-sexed at a young age, raised with a clear gender role yet feel "trapped in the body" of their new sex tends to place the decisive role in our initial makeup. But then wait, think. The debate isn't about gender roles generally, but about female underrepresentation in hard-science professorships. Isn't there a lot of socialization going on before one defends one's PhD?

Anyway, this nature/nurture analogue once again brought to mind the people who claim that homosexuality is a choice, despite the overwhelming testimony of homosexual people, where most of whom who are asked say pretty clearly that they were always homosexual. My personal belief is that those people who say "homosexuality is a choice" may deploying a cypher for "I am bisexual." As for those folks who agree that the queerness is born-in, yet decry the "choice" of sexual activity as evil, well, in addition to some tribalism and mild sociopathy happening, there's just a wee pit of picking and choosing, no? Let none wearing a summer blend speak ill, I say. You have bigger problems.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tutankhamun's face

You could not find a better example of the differences between the French and American aesthetic than the reconstruction of Tutankhamum's face. The French reconstruction shows a delicately-featured young man, almost feminine and innocent, until you see the sneer of cold command. Compare that to the Americans' creation: the head of a thug.