Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Pseudo-Scientist

Terrible article in this week's New Scientist about the royal wedding. The link is here but sadly you have to register which is a bit of a pain. Here, anyway, is my letter to them complaining about it:

I was intrigued when I saw [P36, Issue 2809] your coverage of the royal wedding and hoped to read something that explained the public and media excitement about a relationship between two people who most of us don't know at all. Sadly the article seemed to be distinctly lacking in science. Firstly author Geoffrey Miller claims "male brains will be sparked by Will's military titles", without offering any evidence of this. I happen to be married to a former military journalist but when I asked him what William's titles were he said "I dunno, something over the top that he doesn't deserve". He didn't even seem interested in finding out.

Then we are given the classic outdated theories about sex appeal. Will likes Kate because she's attractive (obviously) but also because of her sense of humour which indicates fertility. Speaking as a professional comedienne I can assure you than men who find my jokes funny are rarely overwhelmed by a pressing need to impregnate me. You might well argue however that it is pretty logical when committing to spending large amounts of time with someone to pick someone whose company you enjoy. Perhaps it's not evolutionary prerogative at work here but conscious common sense?

Then we hear about Kate's cunning in convincing William to marry her because of the benefits to her potential children. We seem to have forgotten that William's genes also stand to benefit from his commitment to the wellbeing of their children. The notion that men only make good fathers because women have lured and tricked them into doing so is an insult to the many great caring dads in Britain.

Of course the true agenda of the piece emerges about half way through. Apparently the media fail to give Kate the credit she deserves for bagging herself a future king. We are (allegedly) tripping over ourselves to praise Oprah, Meryl, Hillary and Nigella but not Kate. Has Miller bothered to open up a single page of the national press in the last three months? Articles praising Kate for every outfit she chooses, every comment she makes, every smile she throws at a waiting paparazzo take up page after page of coverage that could have been dedicated to a tsunami or human rights crisis. And the only coverage I can find of Nigella recently is a nasty article in the Daily Mail calling her fat (which surely ought to be a compliment for a chef, but clearly isn't intended as such).

And whose fault is this mythical lack of coverage of the royal bride-to-be's evolutionary man-bagging prowess? According to Miller - feminism. Yes those pesky equal rights campaigners. Can Miller give a single example of a feminist who has criticised Ms Middleton? Evidently not. I'll explain why: the pay gap in this country is wide and not closing, the latest round of government cuts are set to hurt women on an unprecedented scale, rape has a 6% conviction rate against reporting and two women a week are murdered in Britain by their male partners or ex-partners. We feminists have bigger fish to fry than attacking a (probably) lovely posh girl about to marry a (probably) lovely posh boy she met at college.

[I hope they publish it though probably they'll edit it down to the line "...feminism. Yes those pesky equal rights campaigners." and leave it at that!]


Mary Tracy9 said...

Hilarious, as always. And loved the line from the former military journalist:

"I dunno, something over the top that he doesn't deserve"

Well done for exposing the agenda behind this babble-passing-as-science.

Jane Chelliah said...

'We feminists have bigger fish to fry than attacking a (probably) lovely posh girl about to marry a (probably) lovely posh boy she met at college.'

I am a feminist who attacked the girl because I couldn't stand reading about what a 'modern' girl Kate was.