Monday, July 20, 2009

A story about heads

Last weekend, Ruru and I attended a party hosted by a mutual friend from undergrad. This was the first time she had ever seen my hair grown out (it was short and spiky from 2000 - 2008). I registered the following complaint:

Andy: You know, when I had short hair, I never wore hats because they made me look like I was bald. Now that I have long hair, I figured hats would look better. Instead, whenever I try on a hat, my hair goes whoosh and sticks out horizontally from my head.

Ruru: Oh, maybe the hats are too small. Asians have big heads. You can't buy white people hats.

Andy: Really?

Ruru: Seriously, it's proven. Asians have big heads.

Andy: You know, now that I think about it, that sounds mildly suggestive.

Ruru: ...

Ruru: I'm not talking to you.

Of course, in the latter case, Asians really have a reputation for smaller size.

This discourse made me think of another topic: white supremacy. Back in second year of undergrad, Ruru and I attended a wine-and-cheese or meet-and-greet for students who had placed on the Dean's Honour List with Distinction the previous year. At the event was a talk given by an invited speaker. To be honest, I can't remember what the topic was nor her overall message. What I do remember is that she spent half of her time describing and disparaging an American colleague - a would-be white supremacist "academic."

This professor had apparently subjected all of his male undergraduate students to testicular size measurements. Then, through some spurious research, published the conclusion that Asian students had the biggest brains and the smallest penises. Black students had the opposite (smallest brains and largest penises). Caucasian students were in the middle on both counts. So Asians are pretty damn smart, at least, right? Well, the professor further went on to interpret the results by declaring that the Caucasian combination was in fact the ideal, optimal, and correct arrangement - hence white people were superior.

Ironically, I couldn't help but draw the correlate from these attitudes to less explicit pop culture inventions. Take for instance the popular fantasy worlds involving humans, dwarves, and elves (for example, Dungeons & Dragons or Warcraft). Dwarves are often portrayed as hot-tempered, shallow warrior types. Powerful in battle, short on finesse and smarts (big penis, small brain?). Elves on the other hand are often portrayed as intelligent, magical creatures. Lean and graceful with lithe, beautiful women and effeminate men (small penis, big brain?). Humans are in between the two in terms of both brute force and finesse. Yet, while they excel at little, they are often lauded as triumphant for being the "most versatile" or "most adaptable."

Terrans, the analogous species to high fantasy's humans in the hit video game Starcraft are described as follows: "Physically, terrans are inferior to races such as the zerg and protoss and for all intents and purposes, mentally as well. However, terrans are known for their tenacity and ability to adapt to harsh circumstances."

Put it together and you have an oddly compelling underdog story and model of the white supremacist thought process: self-described middling but balanced characteristics that are ultimately the best.

It all began as a discussion about hats...


Michael said...

Actually the research on both intelligence (at least, when looking at IQ, standardized testing and/or graduation rates) and penile length AND testicular size in accordance with race are well-documented. They also follow with what the male professor said. The intelligence stuff is practically everywhere if you just look. Dicksize & ethnicity research is sparser (at least, when you discount "self-reported" surveys, which obviously are inflated) but see Appendix III of WHO's condom size recommendations:

You know, many people (that female professor included) get their panties in a knot (oops, was that a little sexist? Well she's probably an ugly slut too!) because they comprehend the idea that, God forbid, race is not just some oppressive concept invented by white male supremacists assholes.

How you interpret it is up to you. I'm sure many smart people would trade some of their neurons for an inch or two, and vice versa. But at the end of the day, people of different races ARE different; maybe to some people that's 'racist', but hey, to some people, evolution is 'immoral'.

To those people I say - get with the times, moran.

Michael said...

Oops, they *CANNOT comprehend.

Also, why do I know so much about this? I used to troll neonazi and pro-ana sites for lulz. =3

a_ndy said...

Well, irrespective of actual polymorphisms, it's the supremacist attitude that is ill-conceived.

Jerry said...


Standing Ovation for Michael's response!!! AND for Andy's post!!!

I am humbled to be in the presence of men so learned in these vital topics. Encore to you both! Encore!

a_ndy said...

Wait, why is that great?