So. If you’re on Twitter, hopefully you’ve seen the stream of tweets about this Pschology Today article (Thanks to @racialicious for being the first tweet I saw on the topic) (Extra thanks to @thefiercestgirl for pointing out the google cache here. I had a guest post scheduled for today but I am interrupting that to say all of this:
Y’all, this kind of racist bullshit masquerading as science is unacceptable. It’s vile and on par with the “science” proving black people weren’t human that used to be so popular. If you believe – especially if you are a white person – that we live in a post-racial, post-racist society just because we have a mixed-race guy in the White House (or just because you don’t know anyone personally who’d say this stuff), you need to read this article and you need to spend some serious time thinking with yourself about why something like this can be taken seriously enough to get published. Y’all, this guy got PAID to write this.
There is no objective measure of beauty, first and foremost. And any subjective study of aesthetics (as an entry-level anthropology course would make clear) is going to be informed by the cultural conditioning – and that includes racism – of the study’s participants. If you can’t control for that sort of bias, unless you are actually studying that bias, you can’t do a goddamn worthwhile study.
Y’all, I was an English major and I know that article isn’t how science works. Critical thinking skills for the win!
Seriously, people throw some charts in and expect that to be enough even though the foundation of their hypothesis is some weak ass racist bullshit.
And then we come to this choice bit:
The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.
Seriously, this “researcher” can only think of ONE think that will “explain” the results – that black women are too manly. How thinly veiled does a racist attack have to be before Psychology Today sits up and realizes, hey, maybe we shouldn’t be printing this because someone obviously forgot to take their “anti-internalized racism” pills this morning? And how bad does the science have to be before they go, hey, you know what? That’s fucked up.
How about this? Black women score lower on the (totally subjective) aethetics poll because black women are presented as unattractive in our mainstream culture unless they conform to a very narrow (white) beauty standard or appear significantly “exotic” enough to be an exception. How about this? Black men are viewed as more attractive because they are, again in mainstream culture, reputed to have animalistic sexual stamina. How about this? Studying the relative attractiveness of the races is flawed from the get-go because (aethetics aren’t objective) it’s seeking to construct a hierarchy of superiority and supremacy based on (unsubstantiated) race characteristics. Hello, white supremacy! It’s been so long! Except it hasn’t really been!
I think my favorite – and by favorite, I mean it made me throw up in my mouth a little bit – is the part where the writer talks about how black women THINK they are pretty. Though it might also be the “oh, no, I totally controlled for how all black women are fat” part. And controlled, somehow, for net intelligence even though… you can’t really do that.
A list of contacts at Psychology Today is available here. (Thanks to @AfroLez for the tweet and @IAmDrTiller for retweeting the info.)
ETA: They’ve already pulled the article but that isn’t actually an adequate response. An acknowledgement of exactly how fucked up the article was would be a start. I’ll link to screen caps as soon as I have access to them.
EETA: Image cap here. Hotlinking at the moment – will upload it to my own space when I get home from work.
EVEN MORE ETA: Read this response by Karnythia.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized
. Bookmark the permalink
. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post
or leave a trackback: Trackback URL