Random Pedantry

Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight: Exhibition of Prepatriarchal Old European Artifacts

By · Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 · 25 Comments »

In honor of Women’s History Month, I’m pleased to present this guest post by my friend Artemis March. — V.S. When I heard about the extraordinary exhibit of 250 artifacts from prepatriarchal “Old Europe” (c. 6500-3500 BCE) that will be shown at 15 East 84th St, NYC—the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW)—until […]

What you need to know about Ardi: Owen Lovejoy is a twit

By · Thursday, October 1st, 2009 · 39 Comments »

You’ve probably seen the stories about “Ardi” — Ardipithecus ramidus — the fascinating new skeleton that was published today. She’s a million years older than Lucy, but her anatomy shows a mix of primitive and advanced characteristics, rendering her less chimp-like and more human-like than expected. She may have been a human ancestor (though that […]

Oldest depiction of female form shows that modern archaeologists are pornsick misogynists

By · Thursday, May 14th, 2009 · 90 Comments »

“The Earliest Pornography” says Science Now, describing the 35,000 year old ivory figurine that’s been dug up in a cave near Stuttgart. The tiny statuette is of a female with exaggerated breasts and vulva. According to Paul Mellars, one of the archaeologist twits who commented on the find for Nature, this makes the figurine “pornographic.” […]

Researchers discover that early Homo sapiens were all male

By · Friday, October 19th, 2007 · 60 Comments »

I’m gearing up to post the continuation of the Grandmother Hypothesis, which I’ve been too busy to do proper justice to this week, but in the meantime here’s a news item that will set the stage. First, a quiz. 1. What allows ev-psychos to get away with their cartoonish, Flintstones view of life in the […]

The Grandmother Hypothesis: Part 1

By · Sunday, October 14th, 2007 · 12 Comments »

It started with a blurb I saw in the New York Times for October 5: “Evolution’s Secret Weapon: Grandma. Far from burdening society, aging women may have ensured our survival.” “Grandmother hypothesis,” I said to myself. “But why is it in the paper now?” I clicked on the link and was surprised to see that […]

The Descent of Man

By · Wednesday, September 26th, 2007 · 21 Comments »

Caveat: I’m under-slept and under the weather and I probably ought to be under the covers, so this post will suck. My brain is all sludgy and shit. Read on at your peril. (And yes, goddamnit, even Spirits get sick. It’s a metaphysical thing. Deal.) Okay, notice anything about this picture? When I was a […]

Priests Without Penises

By · Tuesday, August 1st, 2006 · 13 Comments »

A friendly reader has asked my opinion on yesterday’s Salon piece about the womenpriests movement in the Catholic Church: The hierarchy insists that the church has a constant tradition of ordaining only men. But what about Junia the apostle and Phoebe the deacon, in the Epistle of St. Paul to Romans? What about those tomb […]

Religions Evolve, Part 3: Judaism

By · Friday, May 19th, 2006 · 40 Comments »

At long last! Part 1 on Christianity and Part 2 on Islam were ages ago — the Planck era, I think — and I apologize for the unaccountable delay in delivering Part 3. Let’s just blame it on alien abduction and leave it at that. Part 3 is much longer than Parts 1 and 2, […]

The origin of male dominance

By · Sunday, May 7th, 2006 · 156 Comments »

Over in the Today’s lesson thread, which drifted into a discussion of Dworkin, rape, and male dominance, Mandos made the following comment: Frankly, whoever rocks the cradle rules the world. Whoever has control over reproduction has a lot of power. Under conditions of noncoercion, women have control over reproduction and hence massive social power simply […]

Just because it was four days ago doesn’t mean I can’t still comment on it

By · Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 · 8 Comments »

You’ve probably seen this, as it was making the rounds of the blogosphere last week: it’s the sculpture of Britney Spears giving birth by “shock artist” Daniel Edwards. Edwards specializes in prankish celebrity art, and no doubt he dubbed this sculpture a “Monument to Pro-Life” as a ploy for maximum publicity. I haven’t been able […]