Missing Link Friday – Costume edition

Furry Fandom: Anthrocon is the world’s largest convention for people fascinated with humanlike animal characters. Held in Pittsburgh, the 2011 convention attracted more than 4,500 ‘furries’, some of them dressed as their favourite characters.

Canadian blogger and fantasy author Heidi Vlach went along to promote her new novel. "I think it’s unfortunate that the furry community so often gets a bad rap", she writes. "Many people are only aware of furries as a bunch of perverts in animal suits. But I’ve found it to be a community that accepts everyone as they are."

Conventional beauty : Ms. Blog’s Natalie Wilson visited Comic-Con and was troubled to see so many women ‘cosplayers‘ "with massive fake boobs and massively thin bodies posing for photos with leering men."

So he thinks he’s a power drill? When men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up, says psychologist Susan Fiske. According to a 2009 report in the Guardian, Fiske "said the changes in brain activity suggest sexy images can shift the way men perceive women, turning them from people to interact with, to objects to act upon."

For Marcel that’s just one more reason why women shouldn’t post pictures of themselves in bathing suits on Facebook: "A note to young women on Facebook, from a guy who works with young men struggling with pornography…you might look good in your bathing suit, but if you were able to see yourself through 20 year-old male eyes, which are struggling to see you as a human and not an object, you would never post that pic."

At Feministe, Jill responds: "look, if dudes see women as not-quite-human, what you wear isn’t going to change that. And if it does change it, then dude has a problem. Why do you want to hang out with a guy who sees you as a ‘full human being’ only so long as you’re wearing a loose floor-length skirt and an oversize turtleneck?"

Terrorising terrorists: At Comic-Con Frank Miller unveiled his long delayed response to 9/11 the graphic novel Holy Terror. Featuring a Dirty Harry inspired superhero, Miller has described the project as "a piece of propaganda". Originally conceived as Batman’s struggle against Al-Qaeda terrorists, Miller eventually decided the caped crusader wasn’t up to the job: "This character is much more well adjusted in committing terrible acts of violence on very evil people" he said.

Ben Peek has a question: "Do all comic book authors become increasingly right wing and crazy as they get older?"

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12 years ago

Based on that quote, I think Susan Fiske shouldn’t have slept through her Brain Imaging 101 class.

12 years ago

I agree — I quite like some of her other work. However, it’s easy to show what’s wrong with the paper you linked to (it’s quite a good journal too incidentally). Here are just 3 key problems in my 10 minute reading:

1) They use something known as the implicit-activation task. No-one can actually tell you what this task measures in terms of mental processes, apart from telling you “two groups differ”. This is why, for example, cognitive people never use it — because you cannot infer what mental processes might be affected even if you find a difference. For some reason, social psychologists (and more recently economists, although I could excuse them) still use this task and then think that what they find means something interesting. One day they are going to realize they have run a thousand studies and measured them with the wrong device.

2) If you look at the abstract it says this:”In Study 2, hostile sexism correlated negatively with activation of regions associated with mental state attribution…”. It’s easy to tell you whether this means something theoretically useful by flipping the correlation. Let’s say they found a positive correlation and not a negative one. Would it have change their story? I don’t think so. So they could have found anything and reached the same conclusion = bad science (this is a problem with innumerable fMRI studies because for many problems there are no great theories with which to interpret the correlations so you can find essentially anything and still say the same thing).

3) “…however, neither face nor body recognition was related to hostile sexism, suggesting that the fMRI findings are not explained by more or less attention to sexualized female targets”

Actually, it doesn’t tell you that at all. Finding a null effect (especially with the massively gross measurements that fMRI gives you), could mean any number of things, not least of which is that your fMRI is just not sensitive to what you are looking at.

12 years ago

The brain scans showed that when men saw the images of the women’s bodies, activity increased in part of the brain called the premotor cortex, which is involved in urges to take action.

Wow, it’s almost like sex might involve some sort of … action…

Paul Bamford
Paul Bamford
12 years ago

This Quadrant tragic has found this series of posts a rich source of schadenfreude:

Mevyn Bendle on Oslo, syndicated from Quadrant to The Drum;

Merv on how he was defamed on The Drum

Merv detects another threat to our democratic freedoms.

It’s easy to see why Quadrant blogs don’t allow reader comments.

Ken Parish
12 years ago

It’s lucky that Marcel bloke isn’t a cop otherwise we’d be seeing mass swimsuit-clad slutwalks all over the planet by now.

12 years ago

@Ken – speaking from my extensive personal experience of College Station, a SlutWalk that took place there would be possibly the saddest event ever created. This is a college that publishes one or two columns a year in the student paper that are even more moronically retrograde and puritanical than Marcel’s blathering.

Incidentally, I replied to the OP on AggieCatholics speaking from my extensive personal experience of rabid Catholicism, but strangely that post is still stuck in moderation hell. Quelle surprise!


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