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14 September 2008

If you could change Men or Women as a species what would you change about them?
We'd wag more and bark less.
posted by occhiblu 14 September | 01:51
Stupidity would correlate strongly with sterility.

(Sorry, but the last week has brought out my previously latent misanthropy.)
posted by scody 14 September | 02:36
I like that idea, scody - I'm gonna go with that.
posted by dg 14 September | 03:44

Prostates: either stop them going wrong, or make them more accessible.

Male pattern baldness: overall, the comedy value probably outweighs the inconvenience of sudden hailstorms etc. But please can it stick to receding: the thinning out looks kind of yucky.

Men and women.

Wisdom teeth: No thanks. Also: ow ow ow.

posted by TheophileEscargot 14 September | 04:49
Men: stop burping and farting so much!
Women: would smell like perfume naturally.
posted by Specklet 14 September | 06:09
Sorry, pardon me.
posted by TheophileEscargot 14 September | 07:27
*notes that women generally smell better without perfume*
posted by dg 14 September | 07:27
That whole menstruation bit needs a re-think in women. Also, I'm not sure that breasts need to be enormous food-bags only on ladies, what if both nipple-pairs could produce milk when offspring appears? And we were both nicely flat-chested so that we both could run after the bus without "*ow ow* need a sports bra"?

Also, I wish for men that they didn't have baldness. Not that I care but holy moly, every guy I have ever known frets like nothing else as soon as a hair gets stuck in a comb so really lets get rid of that as I can't stand the whining.
posted by dabitch 14 September | 09:10
For both men and women - longer "youth" period physically (like being fit like your twenties all through your thirties and then at fourty starting physically becoming like a thirty year old). Since everyone is delaying child-birth and growing up forever now, might as well have the bodies to match.
posted by dabitch 14 September | 09:12
oh, and we should both have wings!!
posted by dabitch 14 September | 09:23
How can you change men OR women as a species? If you change the species, you change both. Are you talking about getting rid of nipples on men and facial hair on women? That sort of thing?
posted by Eideteker 14 September | 09:48
And we were both nicely flat-chested

posted by jonmc 14 September | 09:58
I personally don't care for eggplant, as a species, but I don't imagine 'fixing' eggplant. I just eat something else.
posted by Wolfdog 14 September | 10:35
Wolfdog, I so agree! I personally don't care for humans as a species, but I don't imagine "fixing" it. I just intermingle and date something else.... Okay, actually I don't, but maybe that's what the furries are after?

That said, I hate how inefficient my (female) body is. Menstration should be something you can turn on an off (though I like it better than the being-in-heat concept that the other mammals deal with.)What dabitch said about breasts- big ones are just dumb and they don't work any better than little ones anyway. And the child-bearing hips are a complete nuisance, especially for things like running.

As a species I think we're uniquely unattractive- long hairless fingers and a gangly upright body with a big round head on top. Bleh. Plus the having to wear clothes thing is kind of dumb.

I would rather small-mindedness be equated with sterility, because boy have I met some intelligent, small-minded jerks! Might have to do with being in the financial industry. I don't know.

Hmm. I guess it turns out I'm not very pro-human. Present company excepted, of course...

Things like art and general silliness redeem humanity in a major way for me. Random, silly bits of art in empty lots. How quickly the "Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator" showed up online. The guy in the suit who unicycles to work. These things give me hope for the species.

posted by small_ruminant 14 September | 10:51
Good lord, everything. Women should stop competing with each other over who has the most expensive handbag. Men should stop leaving their spouses for the younger women who make them feel younger. And the menstruation thing.

And why is our nose, which drips all the time, placed where it is? Why can't it be somewhere more convenient?
posted by Melismata 14 September | 11:35
Breasts on the back, for dancing.

(Somewhat dated, credit Asimov.)
posted by dhartung 14 September | 13:33
I would get rid of tits, dicks and pussies, and make having a baby something we wouldn't have to pair up to do. Maybe men and women would still exist as separate types, but it would be a vestigial difference. Babies would still be cool, but there would be real ESP so they could learn quicker and communicate better as infants. Plus the usual stuff, death rays from the eyes, four toes -- all opposable -- per foot, nice singing voices for everyone, and a more efficient digestive system that would eliminate pooping. I'd keep the butthole where it is for sex (which would be purely for enjoyment), but sex acts would be mostly done with the hands; oh, and I'd get rid of knuckles too, they stick out a lot, and maybe if we had dickbone fingers, where they're all floppy until it's time to use them, it would at least be funny watching people try to read the paper or use a drinking fountain. Plus everyone would be uniformly ugly so nobody grows up thinking they're hot stuff, which is really the root problem with humanity.

Knowing how to make the world perfect is a tremendous burden.
posted by Hugh Janus 14 September | 13:44
(Sorry, but the last week has brought out my previously latent misanthropy.)

You and me both, sister.
posted by middleclasstool 14 September | 13:45
Sweaty butt crack (which due to body fur issues is more of a male thing), that i could live without.
posted by jonmc 14 September | 13:46
You and me both, sister.

Heh. It helps to know that I'm not alone.

Really, it was sort of terrible to return from a nice vacation to the reality of the campaign.

I have always been someone who ultimately believed the best of people -- that there were reasons that could be analyzed why individuals or groups could do bad things, but that humanity's essential decency remained intact.

At the same time, as a card-carrying left-winger (really; I have a card and everything), I had long ago abandoned mainstream politics as the way forward. I believed the Dems and the GOP are basically just capitalist parties -- one the kinder, gentler capitalist party, to be sure -- and that hope lay in community organizing (insert Sarah Palin's sneer here), in bringing people together on the basis of their common interests, in building political and social alternatives that would become movements that could transform the world. I believed in what Frederick Douglass said -- that without struggle, there is no progess. So I believed in the struggle. I fought for innocent men who had been wrongfully convicted and sent to death row. I organized a union. I defended women walking into clinics.

And then 2000 happened, and the election was stolen, and I thought that the new revolutionary moment had happened. And it didn't. And the burnout and exhaustion of all those years as an activist set in. And so I abandoned activism -- I wanted to find my own life again, take care of myself as I'd been taking care of others. The truth was, I was disillusioned and depressed. I'd lost hope, but had the chance to find myself again.

I set about grimly enduring the Bush years. I still believed that the good people outnumbered the bad -- but that we had just been outmaneuvered. I did yoga and wrote plays and got a job I liked and a relationship that was good for me. I swore I didn't miss politics, that what happened to the world at large no longer affected my heart, that I'd never get fooled again.

And then I dared hope that this time, things might be different.

Now I have the horrible, sickening feeling that they're not. And it's not just the fear that the bullies and their minions will outmaneuver us -- it's that they do really outnumber us. A little voice is telling me: there are more stupid people than smart ones. There are more people who will be cruel before they will be kind. The banality of evil didn't just happen once before in Germany; it has happened over and over and over, in every place, enabled by everyday people who loved their children and went to church and delighted in the antics of cute baby animals. They did it in Salem, Mass. and they did it in Munich, Germany and they are doing it again today.

My heart is sick as I write this. I'm crying so hard I can barely see the screen. Maybe it's just that I'm more torn up about David Foster Wallace's suicide than I realized. But I fear we really are outnumbered -- and I don't mean that Obama voters outnumbered by McCain voters. I mean those who fundamentally care about truth and decency vs. those who don't.
posted by scody 14 September | 15:04
I wonder along similar lines, scody, about people who cleave to truth and decency and those who don't, about those who choose good and those who choose evil, and why, and I can't help thinking that most people are motivated only by fear, and that good and evil and decency and falsity are just reactions to fear. There are fearmongers, sure, who shepherd the fears of others through demagoguery and repetition, but even the driest and most calculating of them are motivated wholly by barely- or uncontrollable fears. A little knowledge, a little logic, a little careful thinking and careful framing of an issue may help us understand how little there is to fear in some situations, but often thinking creates new fears, and we react (I consider proactive to be the same as reactive, just a temporal shifting of the source of action) to those fears. I'm scared of the scared, and because I don't know how to deal with them I'm full of bluster.

None of this helps; there are still scared people doing evil, greedy, and hurtful things to assuage their fears. There are people who shove their fears onto others so they can think in peace, and there are people who encourage others to shift the burden of fear, but that fear is always there, and it makes people act in all sorts of ways.

I don't forgive people for reacting to their fears in hurtful ways, but then I consider the societal norm of forgiveness to be just one more construct for coping with fear.

Good and evil are nothing, there's just scared versus scared. I think it's the way the world's always been. Maybe my view is the most misanthropic of all. I think it's true, though.


but then the other side of the t-shirt says:


I'm paranoid, I think to much, and I'm quickly becoming a useless burden on society. I can't conquer my fear, any more than I can conquer my heartbeat. The heart is a muscle the size of a fist. Keep loving. Keep fighting.
posted by Hugh Janus 14 September | 15:40
Man, sometimes you people use a lot of words to state the obvious:

People are no damned good
posted by dg 14 September | 16:08
i wish people were nicer. i wish scody has a good week. i like what she says and understand it.

i like my big boobs, sorry, i don't think i'd give them up. i enjoy having something uniquely female about my body... but that isn't to say i don't like small boobs either, i like them lots. :)

i like the stupid people idea, but i'd like for kindness to equalize that out in terms of fertility.

i wish humans were more innately generous and accepting.

i'm not very pensive today, sundays strike me dull and the only thing i can think of is:

men: stop gabba gabba gabba on the whole 'we're not meant to be monogamous bullshit. it's hurting my female friends.

women: i'd like that little happy button i call a clitoris to be a bit closer to my happy entrance. i really enjoy canoodling and think physically i'd enjoy it more if they were all just a bit closer together. :)
posted by eatdonuts 14 September | 17:32
I hoped folks would realize I was joking to the extreme when I said men: stop blah blah and women: smell like perfume.
posted by Specklet 14 September | 17:46
I'd really, really, really enjoy having a vestigial tail. And an extra set of arms. And 180 degree sight.

And I'd really like all of these things and then pop out of a closet and scare the living shit out of all of you some Halloween night. Or you know, right as you're getting busy on Prom Night/babysitting a kid/camping with your nubile friends....

no shit, though - I want that tail!
posted by Lipstick Thespian 14 September | 19:09
I want the tail, too!! I will settle for wings, however. Nice big shiny wings, like a crow's. But if I have to settle for a tail, I would like it to be prehensile and striped like Dr. Who's long scarf.
posted by MonkeyButter 14 September | 19:20
Sexual characteristics should manifest when needed, a la The Left Hand of Darkness. It would all be so much simpler.

What a bizarre question: why change one sex? For the pleasure of the other? As a slave race? whudufu?

Mutate all the people! i want that flexible spine.
posted by ethylene 14 September | 19:28
Stronger interest in the tribe, less interest in the self.

Or perhaps I should say "larger idea of tribe" or "instinct to promote entire human species, not just personal brood."
posted by scarabic 14 September | 23:41
I don't know that I'd change anything. If men were more like women it'd be boring (for heteros, anyway). That said, I'd like it if (my particular) man placed the same importance on having a clean house as I do.
posted by desjardins 15 September | 09:23
If you put a gun to my head, I guess I'd say make it less sort of squidgy when it's cooked, and more dark-purply-tasting. The eggplant, I mean.
posted by Wolfdog 15 September | 09:34
I vote with Wolfdog. Eggplant looks so pretty that I want to eat it up, but it's entirely too squidgy and does not taste as pretty as it looks. I want a design upgrade.
posted by occhiblu 15 September | 09:59
I feel we've made some great progress on an important issue here.
posted by Wolfdog 15 September | 18:26
The Seed & Feed Marching Abominable || 80 over 80