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The Cozy Spot

3 posts categorized "Culture"

March 28, 2008

Secret Lives of Women

I found the following on You Tube and couldn't stop viewing them. The series is called The Secret Lives of Women, and it shows the other side of women, or the side that isn't normally shown to co-workers, friends, and family.

I think the title defeats the secret, because it is broadcast and the secret is gone, but it is interesting to watch. The video below may be found to be offensive by some people, but it shows another side of law enforcement and investigation.

Now the next story they need on that show is sex blogging. I think that would qualify as a secret life for many.

More information on the show, which premieres on 1 April, here.

March 27, 2008

ti viydesh zamuzh za menya?/ы выйдешь замуж за меня?

I think Joseph McCarthy had it all wrong. The Red Menace of then, wasn’t half as annoying as the Russian spam e-mails that come through.  They often appear with subject headers like “I like you”, “Let’s meet” to become introduction letters by alleged women who seek relationships, marriage, and introductions, who proclaim their devotion, and a bunch of other tripe and it only begs the question:Lenin

If you like a person so much, why send a spam email to countless people?

Of course, it’s not real. I know that, but the uselessness of these emails is obvious, as is the idiocy behind them. Each time I receive them in my home email I mark them for the Norton anti-spam folder, and it doesn’t end. They keep on coming.

According to male friends of mine, the Russian mail order bride thing is rife in Europe. I do remember watching a documentary on SBS about it. The documentary focused on a remote village in Greece, and how the population of the village was dwindling - no children born for years, and of the men within the village, many were bachelors (or virgins) at ages that would be considered absurd in other parts of the world. What did they do? They set out to find Russian brides, but the potential candidates, after visiting this village, were stupefied by its remoteness. Many of the women voiced their concerns, as many were divorcees with children, and they couldn’t’ see what these men (and the village) could offer them economically. The concept of the mail order bride has been given the comedic film treatment, but is it really comical? Moreover, trivializing such arranged marriages doesn't open any serious debate.

Continue reading "ti viydesh zamuzh za menya?/ы выйдешь замуж за меня?" »

July 14, 2007

Sexual Selections & Other Songs

The University of California has an interesting short page on Sexual Selection. Sexual selection, as a choice, is slightly more complex in the human sphere.

Male peacocks may maintain elaborate tails that they display in season, and male tomcats can sniff out a female cat at distance humans find perplexing. Human sexual selection takes on different forms, and when the vast sexual spectrum is entertained, can take on many forms or be based on various aspects; kink, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status.

One area that has always intrigued me is sexual selection based on culture and/or genetics (only because I think ‘racial’ is a stupid term that has gone beyond its use by date with our knowledge of DNA). These differences can be termed ethnic, but on closer inspection they’re genetic. A group of people adapt to an environment, over centuries and develop physical characteristics that is, on some level, reflective of the locale. David Suzuki, in one of his essays, used his eyes as an example to illustrate the fact that there are higher fat deposits behind his eyelids , which reflect a need for the body to adapt to extreme temperatures, ie cold. I remember reading an article in a fashionable women’s magazine years ago that illustrated the variations of female beauty from one society to the next and in certain tribes, beauty standards are salient, if not confronting, which is why the mainstream end of the sea is quite calm in comparison. Female beauty, on the western scale, can be viewed as being moderate but at the same time, it’s generic.

Open up a copy of Vogue (French, US, Australian, UK, etc) and you’ll see the same products being advertised, and you’ll see similar palettes being used to decorate a woman’s face. With the exception of seasonal apparel variation, everything else falls into a steady current of convention. One could be fooled into thinking that beauty is ‘standard’ or sexual selection is standardized in some way, but there’s the other, the type of sexual selection that also includes the genetic aspect, or the type that considers cultural origin. Using the smallest example I can find, but one that is a frequent example or salient enough to sit global bookshelves, the common romance (erotic, or otherwise) that always ensures that two people originate from the same (or similar) genetic phylum (for want of another term); it’s always a case of characters having the same complexion. You can have a scene incorporating bondage, golden showers or reaming, but the two consenting adults are always white (for some reason) within a city (Paris, London, New York) that features significant cultural variance. Nine out of 10 erotic stories are like this. In fact, most Black Lace (one example of a publishing imprint) erotic novels are like this and I doubt that all the readers are Anglo. I sometimes call it the homogenous aspect of sex, and despite all the different preferences that are out there, many stories gravitate toward the same thing; black on black, or white on white, but it’s almost always a case of white dominating. I read my fair share of romantic fiction while growing up, and I dabbled a little as I got older, and I can’t remember ever seeing any variation. The Sixties, Seventies and to some extent, Eighties, saw a lot of migrations across the world. The Sixties heralded sexual change, however the mainstream continued to maintain a generic stance where relationships, sexual or otherwise, were concerned, and to some extent it still does. For example, there are never any articles in magazines that discuss the impact of cultural or religious differences on the relationship front. Maybe it’s considered controversial, or politically incorrect, but it’s something that thousands of people confront at one point or another; on a large or small scale.

As recently as yesterday, my cultural origin was queried, by a frisky waiter who turns it on for every female that comes his way (I’m no special case), or passes by the brasserie (as I’ve witnessed over the months), and I wasn’t sure what to make of it, whether to link it to the global attitude on a select culture or religion. As is obvious, I’m not blue eyed and I don’t have a lily-white complexion. In the pre 911 world that was, cab drivers would often begin conversations in Arabic, thinking I could follow for me to interrupt them and politely inform them that I had no clue what they were talking about, to which they’d exclaim ‘but aren’t you (insert any culture)?’ So in the post 911 world, and everything that’s flowered since, it’s become an interesting social experience for me, like yesterday. He needed a verbal confirmation, and posed his verbal hypothesis as I paid for my lunch, as in ‘you’re nationality X aren’t you?’

No, I'm not, I replied.

‘Oh,’ and then his attitude did a three sixty, for me to think ‘what a dickhead,’ for the tete a tete to transform into a one sided come on from his end. He’d returned from Rome, as did his attitude, coloured with the view that it was perfectly okay to cast verbal bait to every woman in passing, like an expert angler; cast the bait, and see how many fish bite.

Continue reading "Sexual Selections & Other Songs" »

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