Who Are The Real Victims of a Female Meritocracy? (3/3)

The meritocracy had matured and grown tired.

Rampant self-sacrifice had gone unchecked by the selfish needs of the village women.

No one had stopped to consider the consequences.

The unfortunates were too busy encouraging their husbands to do the right thing so they too could experience the pleasures of the fortunate.

But when the last unfortunate was elevated they all became unfortunates once again.

As the only male left in the village capable of producing children it was up to the chief to get busy right away and start making more unfortunates.

He laid out his plan and began fleshing out a schedule that would be fair to everyone.

His wife, out of breath from carrying all of the double winners across the village to attend the meeting, stared at him slack jawed.

What about her?

She was the one doing all the work now and the meritocracy had made no room for her whatsoever.

She had run head first into the paradox that accompanies all meritocracies.

The person doing the most work got the least reward.

Just as the chaos of democracies always lead to despots, the inherent unfairness of meritocracies always breeds a victim class.

And the chief’s wife would spend the rest of her life as one of those victims always on the lookout for someone to blame.

Now when her and the chief passed each other in the village, him off to a hut to make another unfortunate and her the only one left to piggyback past winners, cook the food, watch the kids, dig the aZZanddis and chase down dinner for the whole village she could do little more than give him dirty looks and wonder if he had cooked the whole thing up right from the beginning.

He always pretended not to notice and hurried on his way.

 

Share

Who Are The Real Victims of a Female Meritocracy? (1/3)

Dahomey, Africa 1842

The first one appeared in the village; stuck dead center in the communal fire pit, looking frightened and lonely.

Staring down at the ground through droopy eyes, it looked as if it was afraid of falling over.

The villagers approached it with caution.

No one recognized the head-on-a-stick.

And no one knew where it came from or how it got there.

Showing up uninvited and unwelcome, the holy man approached the head-on-a-stick cautiously and waved his bent staff in the air.

The same one he used to channel information down from the unseen and unheard to the frequently-not-listening.

But as the self-anointed representative of the invisible, mute and ineffective, it was his job to interpret things such as this; and he quickly pronounced it a sign of dire spiritual consequence.

In his bailiwick most things had to be; otherwise he wouldn’t have anything to do.

He hopped around the head-on-the-stick on one leg.

First forwards then backwards.

He poked the thing in each of its eyes with his holy staff, tugged at its ears and smacked it on the top of its head a few times.

After a moment’s consideration he loudly proclaimed the head-on-the-stick to be a warning that something very bad was about to happen.

His exhortations to leave the village were met with eye rolls and condescending chuckles.

The chief had been watching and listening from the back of the crowd.

He liked the old guy, but knew him to be a bit off the log.

He’d told him time and again that vagueness was the key.

And to always leave himself an “out” when making spiritual predictions.

The holy man hadn’t listened, and continued on with unerring inaccuracy.

His credibility had been used up long ago.

The only ritual the villagers participated in nowadays was the Saturday night dance when they got to dress up in dead animal parts and sashay around the fire pit.

That was just good fun.

“If they want us to leave so badly why don’t they just write SCRAM in the dirt and leave it at that?”

The question shouted from the crowd deflated the holy man.

His shoulders stooped, and his magic stick dropped to his side.

He began to scratch out sad little doodles in the dirt.

Unanswerable questions used to be the holy man’s bread and butter.

It was the one thing that kept him from having to work out in the hot sun all day; or risk his neck in the bush, sneaking up on dinner.

The chief, feeling he needed to move things along, asked the group, “Well if we don’t really know for sure, why take the chance?”

He was a believer in the separation of church and state, but helping out the other side now and again wouldn’t do much harm.

The response was lukewarm at best.

Since his job was the well being of the tribe, he ordered the villagers to vamoose.

He tried to soften the directive by assuring them it would only be for a little while.

The evacuation was halfhearted and disorderly, with lots of grumbling and head shaking.

They were disappointed the chief took the holy man’s side in all of this silliness, but dutifully grabbed whatever they could carry and meandered off…

Unsure of where they were going to go, while awaiting the all clear.

After a week or so nothing bad happened and everybody straggled back happy to be home again.

The chief sent his wife on a hard day’s hike to take the head-on-the stick as far away as possible and bury it.

She tugged the thing off its perch by the hair and slowly trudged off dragging the head in the dirt behind her.

She gave her husband a dirty look as she shuffled by, but he looked the other way pretending he hadn’t noticed.

He learned long ago it was impossible to keep her happy.

When the second head-on-a-stick showed up a few days later, it didn’t have the same jounce as the first one.

The holy man tried to whip up the same disquietude he’d enjoyed with the first head-on-a-stick.

Everyone went about their business and ignored his pleas.

But this time things really did go bad, and the holy man didn’t bother to hide his delight.

Share

The Nomenclature of Genitalia (3/3)

Contrary facts can be annoying but objectivity is always my first choice. I made a small footnote of the remote possibility that the popularity of phallic worship wasn’t due to reverence or longing but only because they mistakenly assumed the yonic had more parts to carve or chisel.

Shoving a thick stick in the ground and dancing around it was much simpler than taking the time to whittle your way through rumples, puckers and pleats. I refused to believe they had just been taking the easy way out all along.

But didn’t that take me right back to my original study?  How did the female end up with more arrows? Laziness? Favoritism?  I was going to find out and put things right again.

Apparently the Egyptians took the first credible swipe at counting parts.

But, I could only findand  

None of which had any arrows whatsoever pointing at them. They didn’t look like anything I’d seen in my modern medical journals so I reached out to my scientific community to ask if any of them had unique insight into what ancient Egyptian genitalia actually looked like. I got no help and chalked their reluctance to respond up to professional jealousy and kept going.

When I got to the Greeks I hit pay dirt. In paintings, sculptures and tapestries the male genitalia was on full display. I found no instance where female genitalia was being featured and admired at all. It was all tucked away, no detail whatsoever. But no arrows either so it was difficult to substantiate the nature of their admiration. Even a learned people can’t be right for no reason.

I needed clear proof and hustled off to the pre-Socratic. I quickly found it to be of lesser value than regular Socratic. I wondered if everyone except me already knew that. It may have more letters but it’s still not as good. Which, oddly enough is not the inverse of what I am trying to establish with my own work.

Feeling thwarted, the logical place to go next was pre-Hippocratic. It only made sense. At first I wasted valuable time chasing after that old red herring, Asclepius. When I found out he was the son of Apollo I knew I was way off course. Gods and sons of Gods would never have the patience to establish the nomenclature of genitalia. The Gods back then busied themselves doing other things with it.

The Gods nowadays never really share what they do with their own but spend a great deal of time instructing us on what to do with ours. I wondered why the change in attitude but left it unanswered and fought on.

Then I found Calliphon of Croton. An overworked physician of antiquity and friend of Pythagoras. It seems he was a pleasant fellow who for some reason busied himself warning people not to go near his donkey. But, it was here I found the documents of Kavliáris, the son of Calliphon of Croton’s oldest sister. Finally, the fountainhead!

As an indentured apprentice, Kavliáris was obligated to take on the mundane work Calliphon of Croton sloughed off on him. I was grateful for that because it was the drawings and arrows of Kavliáris that helped me begin to make sense of it all.

Even though it was sketched in a shaky hand the detail of the subject was still recognizable. Papyrus can make things look really wrinkled so I needed to invoke the acumen of a true scientist and pay close attention. His arrows were well done and the names he assigned interesting and descriptive. Τσαλακωμένο μέρος and κέλυφος αχιβάδα made perfect sense. I might have mistranslated τρύπα. Both the μεγάλη τρύπα and the μικρή τρύπα. But, for the sake of fairness I felt obligated to add them to the count nonetheless. Honest science is good science.

Here, I feel the need to take a moment to acknowledge a women of patience. Her name has been lost to history but her contribution to science certainly has not. It’s not every woman who would endure being placed in awkward positions and having a man point and ask, “What the hell is that thing?” and “What could you possibly use that for?” But because of her I have Kavliáris’ original part count. Female: 4, Male: 8.

So there it was. Now I had proof the part count started out being correct and the right genitalia was receiving the admiration it was due. So, where did it go wrong?

I found my answer when I ran across Agnodice. The first documented female physician of history who seemingly came along 800 years later merely to contradict Kavliáris. Her count was an astonishing Female: 18, Male: 1. Obviously, bias had not yet been discovered.

Racing back up the years to collect more data I found the arrow counts fluctuating wildly. The Constantine years repudiated Agnodice with their conclusions running an average of Female: 3, Male: 6. The Dark Ages nearly reversed it to 7:2 favoring the female. I was holding my own both going into and coming out of the Middle Ages. Average for that curious slug of time was Female: 4, Male: 6.

The Renaissance was generally discommodious but the drawings were more detailed and the arrows quite ornate. I set those aside for further inspection. The Enlightenment did little more than split hairs. And the dearth of decent drawings during the Victorian years continued right up to WWII.

Then I began to see the change that was going to tell me what I needed to know. There was a sudden upturn in available study material. But it was being aimed at the layman, not the scientist. The increase in what appeared to be a greater willingness on behalf of the female to place herself on full display for study was met with a significant decrease in arrows. None at all in fact.

And now in a reversal of the sacred ancient fertility rites the object of worship now appeared to be the female. But, this noticeable proliferation of available exhibits in contemporary times left the arrow and its assigned nomenclature far behind. Learning was being ditched for pleasure. Honesty now a thing of the past.

So, there it was. I had my answer. The scourge of modern marketing was to blame for the misplaced popularity of female genitalia. As with everything else they touch these peddlers of casuistry, these mass media sophists who cleverly redefine truth had once again purposely distracted us from the obvious.

They know damn well the part count is wrong. And through the sin of omission they fail time and again to disclose it by refusing to include arrows and nomenclature. They got their product out there first and saturated the market. Clever.

An entire generation was being hoodwinked by false advertising. Could it ever be put right again? Now that it has been taken out of the hands of experts, I doubt it. I didn’t want to end on a bitter note but I could not help but conclude, “Now that everyone knows everything about everything nobody knows nothing about anything at all.”

Share

The Nomenclature of Genitalia (2/3)

It was getting harder and harder to ignore the fact that in journal after journal the human female genitalia consistently had more arrows pointing to it than the human male genitalia.

I’m not talking about all the inside stuff, just the stuff that shows. The part count was demonstrably lopsided and decidedly incorrect. And every place I looked the error was repeating itself.

Some quick math confirmed there was a consistent 1:3 ratio in the discrepancy. All in favor of the female. As a man I found the disparity irritating. As a scientist I wanted to know why.

I did a thorough part count of my own genitalia 10 times and averaged the results. According to my findings the ratio was nearly reversed. I came up with 1:2 favoring the male. Was that why one was more highly regarded than the other? And from my count it was the wrong one. Female genitalia was getting credited for having more parts than it actually had. And unfairly garnering most of the attention as a result. I was sure of it.

To prove it I needed to develop a competent criteria for determining what was and what wasn’t a bonafide part. And then apply the same standard to both. It was the only way to scientifically confirm the error and then take the necessary steps to document it. I wanted to publish a strong enough paper to correct this misunderstanding. That was my focus now.

In order to be considered a genuine part did it have to do something that no other part did? Could it be near a part that did roughly the same thing and still be considered a separate part? Maybe by taking advantage of the natural symmetry of human genitalia I could draw an imaginary line right down the middle, do my count on one side only and then multiply by two. But if the line bisected a part, then I would have to divide by two after the initial doubling. That might save me some time but could detract from my study’s verisimilitude. Good science only has so much patience and taking shortcuts can test it sorely.

I decided to look at it from the perspective of functionality. I spent some time determining if the part being pointed at actually did anything or not. In the case of the female few did. Maybe the germane question here is, “Can something be something even if it doesn’t do anything?”

Considering the organs as a whole, I contemplated the fairness of putting forward the observation that from a purely functional point of view one seemed to do much more than the other. Irrespective of how many arrows were pointing at it. I try to avoid metaphors in my work but in the world of hammers and boards which one actually does something? A hammer, once taken in hand, can beat itself here and there but the board can do little more than lie there waiting to get nailed.

Logical as that was, it did not negate the fact that if something has more arrows pointing at it, it’s going to be of greater interest and attract the most attention. Was one erroneously receiving the accolades that rightfully belonged to the other? Was one more maligned and the other more flattered than it had a right to be? In the case of the female, in many instances, I had to squint to see what the arrow was actually pointing at. In the case of the male every denoted part was clearly visible, its function obvious.

So, how did the count get so cockeyed? How did it start and who started it? If nothing else, modern science allows us the opportunity to take a fresh look at things that flummoxed the science of days gone by. I quickly finished up the self-gratification portion of my original study and moved on.

What current woes are we enduring as a result of this transposed adulation? For myself, I’ve always lamented the ogling of private parts generally goes only one way. One can only speculate what the changes to our current lives might be if this high regard wasn’t misplaced. Obviously dancing and dating would be much different. And fashion would never be the same. For instance, the current popularity of bikinis vs speedos would most certainly be reversed. And lingerie would need a complete revamping. I had a hold of a bombshell and I knew it. Science has been known to change lives.

As I settled into my investigation I gave a silent hoorah while studying the fertility tributes of the ancient world. They were overwhelmingly phallic. There were a few clefts being tossed around in a civilization here and there. But tributes to the male far outweighed those to the female. Obviously, the part count was correct then. So, what changed? I’ll admit to an unnecessary dawdle while I envisioned the days when phallic worship was a cult. Pleasant musings no doubt but I needed to move on.

TO BE CONTINUED.

 

Share

The Nomenclature of Genitalia (1/3)

As a scientist I had run out of things to research. Space is crowded and brains overdone. I find the uncertainty principle vague so quantum mechanics was out as well. There were few places to turn and I was forced back to the basics. How can you go wrong with argumentum ad ignorantium?

When you base your research on the axiom that everything is true unless proven otherwise science was easy. It was a good choice as it turned out because this led to some of my most stunning work yet. And all without having to leave my house or spend a dime. Read more The Nomenclature of Genitalia (1/3)

Share