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Inter-sexual "arms race"?

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  • bowmanthebard
    In the High Jump, competitors have to jump over a bar that is set successively higher and higher until the winner alone can clear it. Although the competitors
    Message 1 of 41 , May 10, 2007
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      In the High Jump, competitors have to jump over a bar that is set
      successively higher and higher until the winner alone can clear it.

      Although the competitors are competing against each other, something
      analogous to an "arms race" exists between them and the judges, who
      keeping raising the height of the bar. The bar goes as high as it can
      go for some but not all of the competitors to clear it. The "race"
      occurs between the height of the jumps and the height of the bar.

      There is a sort of "arms race" in sexual selection too. The peacock's
      tail is as long as it can be given that it is such a liability to its
      owner. If it were any longer, it would be too much of a liability, and
      too few peacocks would survive into adulthood. If it were any shorter,
      its owner wouldn't be selected by a peahen. So the tail gets as long
      as it can get for some but not all of the peacocks to clear the
      hurdles of survival and selection. The "race" occurs between the
      length of the tail and the "height" of these "hurdles".

      If you look at human life, you will see that although men are
      competing with men, and women are competing with women, they are
      competing in events for which the opposite sex "sets the height of the
      bar". It goes as high as it can go for some but not all to manage it.
      In that sense there is an "arms race" between the sexes.
      Stereotypically, Japanese men work till they die of exhaustion, and
      Chinese women bind their feet so they can hardly walk. Less extreme
      cases of self-harm and gross inconvenience are found all over the
      world, in both sexes. Men put themselves into debt to display their
      wealth, women put themselves under the knife to display their youth
      and beauty, and so on.

      Although all of the competitors in these "races" are willing
      participants, I can see why they feel frustrated and annoyed at the
      opposite sex for "calling the tune" and making it "such a hard tune to
      play". There are SOME cases of one sex actively "oppressing" the
      other, and genuine injustices that ought to be tackled politically,
      but much of what we hear both feminists and "masculinists" complaining
      about is the result of their own refusal to step off the treadmill.

      Jeremy Bowman
    • Liza May
      Edgar Owen: No doubt there has been plenty of bad poetry and song lyrics throughout history, and your point is valid about the ease of access to it today, but
      Message 41 of 41 , May 20, 2007
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        Edgar Owen:
        No doubt there has been plenty of bad poetry and song lyrics throughout history,
        and your point is valid about the ease of access to it today, but the larger
        question is where are our Whitmans and Shakespeares today? Or if they are there
        they are being drowned in a sea of (c)rap. I don't think modern poetry lovers
        are getting their words worth!

        Liza May:
        It would have been even more difficult at the end of the 16th century to get
        hold of Shakespeare's works than it is today to find great art. There is plenty
        of greatness out there - an astonishing amount of brilliant creativity. But it
        does take a bit of interest and effort to find it. The role of the internet is
        profound - the internet has changed life as we knew it.
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