Friday, February 12, 2010

Femonomics reads the internet so you don't have to: Woman's last stand, fashion week, sorority rules, olympics, and wacky science

Remember that obnoxious Dodge Charger ad from the superbowl about man's last stand?   Well, the women are fighting back in a hilarious new video, pointing out that when it comes to relationship obligations, men don't really seem to be sooooo beleaguered.  Sample man pledge: "I will separate the recycling."  Woman's pledge: "I will make 75 cents for every dollar you make."

Iiiiit's fashion week!  Check out the collections at NYMag or  I'm a huge Project Runway fan, and the finalists showed today.  Only there are still a crapload of contestants left on the show, so to avoid giving away the ending (or having designer-less collections like last season), the whole bunch of them showed.  Personally, I was in love with Anthony's collection.  He's not all personality after all.  And everyone's favorite pint-size Project Runway alum, Christian Siriano, showed another strong collection.  Runway's track record for launching real careers has ANTM beat 1:0.

A Cornell sorority's dress code has leaked, and ladies, it's not good.  Sample quote: "Blush is not optional."  But what's even more hilarious (horrifying?) is how the Cornell press office is responding to the kerfuffle: “If you read them carefully, they are suggestions on how to dress. It’s suggestion and direction. Obviously, if somebody tells me I have to wear a black tie to an event I don’t necessarily have to.” What if they tell you not to have a muffin top?  Or a watch that tells time?

The winter olympics are starting, and I personally can't wait until the figure skating!  The games started on a sad note, though, with the death of a luge athlete from Georgia on a training run.  Gawker has highlights from the opening ceremony.

Wacky research going on all the time (as discussed in my earlier post on economists outside their depths), I tell you.  This study found that women were more racist during the most fertile times in their menstrual cycles (may be adaptive to protect against sexual coercion from outside groups).  Elsewhere, Chris Blattman discusses a study finding that higher rates of polygamy is connected to lower HIV infections, even after controlling for circumcision.

[Hat tips ding, Woodstock]


  1. As far as the Cornell sorority recruitment "rules".... these are basic fashion rules. I am a curvier girl, and I know I don't look good in satin; it's not cut for my figure. Watches are verboten at sorority events so that you don't keep looking at your watch and embarrass a poor prospective sorority girl while trying to pass the time. Having a fresh pedi? Why would you represent your organization with chipped nails and look lazy? I think it's actually very common sense not to have chapped lips at all in the business world, and I'm sorry for the sorority that has to lay that out in writing for its members.

  2. My main impression of the sorority rules is that this sister is EXTREMELY type A. Please remove stick from butt before heading to Ithaca. The weirdest requirement has to be pantyhose, since many professional women seem to freak out when that's the dress code at work. See:

  3. I agree that *most* of the fashion rules weren't that out there, to me it was just the condescension and lack of respect that seemed whack. These were rules for people who were already in the sorority, so presumably they liked the way they looked/acted/dressed, right? It's one thing to say "please dress business casual for this event." It's another to say "I want to you to dress business casual, and I have zero faith that you know what that means, and naturally assume you have horrible personal taste, so let me give you some extensive guidelines that will both ensure you dress exactly like everyone else and walk away from this exchange with your self esteem trampled. K, thanks!"
    You can see the full four pages of rules here:

  4. Did you really think the Dodge commercial was obnoxious? Personally, I thought it was kind of a spoof in and of itself. "I will carry your lip balm"? "I will listen to your opinion of my friends"? Seriously. Who really views that as a sacrifice? On my viewing, I thought the Dodge commercial was making fun of the stereotype of men in our society: the "fat, stupid, unattractive men who have beautiful wives" (to quote the Woman's Last Stand video). The things the men were pledging to do were so trivial that the juxtaposition of the beleaguered-looking men and the non-sacrifices couldn't help but be humorous.

    The woman's commercial, on the other hand, just seemed to come off as bitter. It has legitimate sources of bitterness, juxtaposed with people looking bitter. Don't get me wrong. They had a few things in that commercial that were sufficiently whimsical to be funny ("I will humour your fantasy baseball obsession"). But too many of the things in the commercial were cases of women making large and unnecessary sacrifices, many of which are in no way indicative of care or concern for another human being. It struck me as someone's view of all the awful things that men expect women to do, but in reality, I think that most men would not even want a woman who did all of those things. It is a shame that there are some women who even try to do some of those things, ostensibly in order to make themselves more amenable to someone's skewed perception of the desires of men.

  5. I must say i enjoyed the "woman's last stand" ad spoof, but honestly i wish we could just move beyond portrayals of heterosexual relationships as ongoing battles between the sexes. Even when it's used to make valid points, it's ultimately just reinforcing the rigid gender binary and stereotypes that are at the source of so many problems.

  6. That study proved that 77 white undergrad females from Michigan State University were more racist against blacks during the most fertile times in their menstrual cycles. You can't apply this theory to all women of all races about all races. Research fail.


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