Coffee Rhetoric: Voted Least Likely To Matter

May 17, 2011

Voted Least Likely To Matter

This morning while scanning my Twitter timeline, I noticed folks getting up-in-arms about something relevant I hadn't figured out yet so I scrolled down further, attempting to piece events together myself... and now I wish I hadn't. I promised myself I wouldn't wax philosophical about any articles or studies undermining my right to co-exist with everyone else on earth, but the most recent quasi-scientific study published by Psychology Today's and penned by evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, whose shtick seems to be to promote racial and gender stereotypes - (the article has since been removed due to the furor and utter ridiculousness of the evidence presented, I presume)- got my mind working and my fingers itching to get it over with and type this entry... perhaps in an attempt to speculate why this man (an obvious misogynist and bigot), continues to get money to conduct such drivel.
I'm no expert on evolutionary psychology, but I assume if conducted critically sans: bias, motive, a mostly Euro-centric view of how the world should function, or an antiquated belief system; it's helpful with studying human behavior and allowing us to acquire a better understanding of the myriad of cultures. Most people seem to agree that Kanazawa is incompetent at conducting research effectively sans bias and of understanding and objectively reporting on race and gender matters. In 2006, The London School of Economics found itself under fire after Kanazawa wrote a paper reporting that Africa's ills were due to low IQ rather than disease and poverty... that Africans were less intelligent than people in wealthier countries, which explains without a shadow of a doubt, why many suffer. Satoshi Kanazawa seems to be trying to resurrect the racist pseudoscience of Eugenics, so his attacks on anything female and non-European seem par for the course. This time the man sought to prove why Black women are less attractive than women who are White, Asian, and Native American women via Psychology Today. This one set the interwebs on fire... bloggers, Tweeters, forums, discussion boards, other psychologists and Toure X on MSNBC (why'd they defer to him?) sounded off. Satoshi used little charts and graphs to surmise the following (among other things):
 "It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others."  
"... For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races.  And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health).  But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only blackwomen are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive."  
So forth and so on it goes. Apparently we're unattractive, mannish about the face, and are in denial about it, because we're somehow deluding ourselves into thinking we're anything but ugly.
Initially I was agitated and weighed in on Twitter and Facebook (the link on my wall generated some interesting comments, all varying degrees of outrage (funny, awe-struck, and angry). But realizing Kanazawa's propensity towards racist and partial research, my irritation subsided. I became more annoyed at Psychology Today for removing the article without explanation. As if they never made the decision to post it for all to read and get hyper over, to begin with (many people on comment boards questioned whether the article even existed). And while many well-intentioned men (mostly our brethren) suggested that there was an overreaction amongst the Black female masses, regaled us with compliments to placate our ire, then patronizingly (in just a few instances) advised Black women to "just ignore" the study for its obvious nonsensical findings, I think it's important to get to the root of why Black women continue to take a beating in the media as of late. Most of us are not seeking to have our looks validated ... I don't believe that is what incited many of us to sing a chorus of jeers, but rather, we're looking to be taken seriously and not marginalized as if we aren't relevant in the grand scheme of the landscape. Just like Black men are justified in feeling the same way about infractions against them, their livelihood, and very being. 
One commenter on a blog post regarding Psychology Today-gate said it best when she opined: "Its like black women have caught a case of the “leasts” ... Least likely to be married... Least likely to be taken seriously... Least likely to to NOT have AIDS …and now least likely to be even remotely cute..."
Even Black run blogs have gotten in on the action penning foolish articles about why we're supposedly losing to why we should covet or even care about Kate Middleton's induction via marriage, into The British Monarchy 
The dead horse has been exhumed and kicked repeatedly, making it an old and boring topic.. yes... but it's still annoying. If there's an issue or national crisis, Black women and people of color as a whole are always worked into random, negative equations whether we like it, did nothing to warrant negative press, or not. When does it eventually stop?
Read the Google Cached "study" here