An Ordinary Man

Or, Men 101

Month: March, 2017

What It Will Take? Common Sense Is What

With all due respect to Marianne Schnall – and in total agreement with her goal – I think she didn’t quite get it right in today’s Commentary on CNN.com about what it will take to elect a woman president.

According to her, “[t]he first step is acknowledging that we have a problem to fix and then doing everything possible to get many more women in the political pipeline.”  For the foreseeable future, she’s dead in the water right there; far too many people (many of them in my deme) simply will not make that acknowledgment.  Ever.  And as they die out, they are grooming their replacements.  We cannot wait for a first step that is never going to happen.

Instead we need common sense.  Donald Trump got elected by pretending he (“alone”) had answers to all the problems that bedevil the also-rans in today’s society; i.e., 99% of us.  Hell’s bells; I almost voted for the man because I wanted so badly to believe him – he was going to solve everything and I have so much that needs to be solved.  What stopped me was he offered no details (and no wonder, he – alone – seems to be the only one who didn’t know health care was so complicated).  If a candidate had been able to come out and make common-sense arguments for or against some proposition, I daresay that candidate would have had a good chance of winning.

But not some activist.  This was not an election in which I could really care that much whose lives mattered, or who was being grabbed, or whether somebody’s sacred lands were being violated; it was about me making it through the year.  It was completely selfish.  You show me how I’m going to make it, and THEN, but only then, will I start truly caring about things outside my orbit.  And you might be surprised with how much I agree with you.

The glass ceiling, police brutality, DAPL, DREAM, etc, are all COMMON SENSE issues; making them political ones mean the good people LOSE, almost automatically. Hillary Clinton, a supremely well-qualified candidate, lost for the same reason the Tea Party has failed to advance – like them, she got bogged down in highly-divisive social issues.  Whoever the next qualified candidate is, I want to hear from her how I can make it to the next election.

 

International Women’s Day

No words, other than Respect, Hope, and Love.

Emma Watson’s Chest

emma watson

Full Disclosure: I am a confirmed Emma Watson addict.

Let’s state the obvious first.  Emma Watson is lovely; that top is hideous.  And, as CNN.com and many, many other outlets anxious to have a reason to display this image from Vogue note, she is being subjected to some backlash from those who think it fails to square with her well-known “feminist” attitudes (I’ve put feminist in quotations because what she is advocating is simple common sense, which I don’t think makes her an -ist of any kind).

The reason for this is because we as a society continue to sexualize a secondary sex characteristic; breasts are simply a manifestation of beauty, just as biceps and pecs are a manifestation of something we don’t really seem to have a word I can think of for – maybe beauty set free from its typically female connotation (I’ve heard women call men beautiful and it makes perfect sense, even to a straight guy), and it makes no more sense to relegate breasts to the hinterlands, only to be brought out on special occasions for that special person than it does to require guys to keep their shirt on at all times.

In the proper setting, a display of physical attributes – male or female – is perfectly appropriate and completely apolitical.  Vogue magazine is certainly a proper setting.

But I like how Ms. Watson herself put it so much better: “I really don’t know what my tits have to do with feminism.”  Beauty, brains, and common sense.  I remain a fan.

The “Orgasm Gap”

CBSnews.com reports that scientists are continuing to seek answers to the question of why women are famous for having a lower orgasmic rate then men, having had it confirmed recently that the rate for heterosexual women (65%) is far below that for heterosexual men (95%), but also below gay men (89%), bi-sexual men (88%), gay women (86%), and bisexual women (66% – their involvement with the men, I assume, bringing the average way down).

Dr. Richard Wilson, addressing his evolutionary biology class in my novel, An Ordinary Man, had this to say in response to a student’s question: why don’t women come all the time?

“Some of us in biology have come to what we consider an inescapable conclusion – that the female orgasm is an evolutionary artifact and serves no true biological purpose. It is, for want of a better term, a happy accident.”

Tanya stared at him, whether with hostility or merely intense curiosity, so he began his elaboration by looking directly at her.

“To understand this, one has to understand human embryology, which is not that different than any other kind of mammalian embryology. Although the individual’s gender is determined at the moment of conception by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome, the developing embryo does not show sexual differentiation until several weeks later. The blueprints for human anatomy are not all that different between males and females in that most of our systems operate exactly the same way; our circulation, digestion, sensory, et cetera. That’s why males have nipples, even though they normally never go on to secrete milk for the young; they were in the joint blueprint and there’s no mechanism for nature to take them out so they get built.

“Most of the female parts are homologous to the males – or vice versa. Most notably, the undifferentiated embryonic genital tubercle becomes the clitoris in the female and the penis in the male, but there’s quite a listing of sexual homologues available on the internet for those of you who might be interested.” Presumably that would be all of them, with the luckiest going on to make side-by-side comparisons in the privacy of their dorm rooms. He didn’t think it advisable to stand up there and tell them that the mons was the feminine counterpart of the scrotum, or that her inner lips matched the spongy erectile tissue of his dick. Labia was one of those words that was just a little bit too tangible for polite conversation, even in an academic setting. “The upshot of all of this is that the female body receives all of the necessary components to make orgasm possible, even if it is not, strictly speaking, essential for the continuation of the line. But I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that the sexuality of the human female is somehow jury-rigged or cobbled together from left-over spare parts as it is quite likely that its functioning, whatever its origination, has been honed over the centuries in that women who enjoyed sex presumably have out-bred women who do not, thereby tending to perfect it just like any other form of selective pressure. Not exactly survival of the fittest, but of the happiest, I guess. Alright, thank you, Tanya, for the interesting detour, but we must now turn our attention back to the syllabus.”

[NB: although I haven’t read it, it seems that Elisabeth A. Lloyd’s The Case of the Female Orgasm covers similar ground.]

All is not lost, however; as the article points out, oral sex is correlated with a much higher orgasmic rate and I would submit that it shouldn’t matter too much if a nice guy or a nice woman was doing the honors.  Gentlemen?