Um, everyone's figured out the "gender/race as construct" subtext around here by now, right? Excluding the tourists, who have enough problems with the text, period?
If you define "black" as "totally, 100% unmixed African ancestry", then I don't think any of us qualify. Guess you could do DNA testing to check, for what it's worth, but the majority of black people are mixed, or multiracial, or whateverthefuck you want to call it. If everyone is part of a continuum, why should some folks with more recent white ancestry claim uniqueness? Or is that a stupid question?
Realized this while washing the dreads, which may have been a mistake in retrospect. I don't really have black hair, so it doesn't behave the way people expect it to. This caused my locktician no end of grief before the things finally took.
So race does matter. At least when you're getting your hair done.
Or shaving it. I've mentioned the no-shave chits in the military before, yes? And how black guys were more likely to get them, because we're more likely to get razor bumps?
Then there's body hair. Um. Not much to say on that one. Arms, no. Chest, I can count them on the fingers of one hand. Legs, I would lose a competition with a French woman.
And yet, despite this evidence, I still think race remains a social construct.
Will probably add links or something to this later. Just downloaded Netscape 7 final, and want to see what it can do.
After I finally realized there was a Mozilla version of the Stumbleupon toolbar, too. . .
Update 8/30: Neoteny?
From the results I have received so far, it is apparent that though American Indians are amongst the least hairy ethnic groups, people of mixed race are often hairy. But, hairy men of mixed race which includes American Indian often grow their body hair later than other hairy men. Some extreme cases include men who did not become hairy until their mid to late twenties. This should not be confused with the tendency of hairy men to continue growing hair (in new places) well into their thirties. This suggests to me that the American Indian race is generally hairless because of neoteny. Neoteny is the retention of juvenile physical characteristics in the adult individual.
Guess it all depends on what you consider normal. Oh, right, white people are normal. The rest of us deviate more or less from that baseline. Blah.
Some physical characteristics such as black hair are common among many, but not all, Native Americans. Others, including head and body shape, height, skin color, and facial hair, vary significantly. Native American men from Pacific Coast tribes, for example, often have heavy facial hair while other Native American men have none.
I get five-o'clock-shadow after about a week, myself.
This bit should annoy the tourists:
Nineteenth-Century Ideas about Race
The nineteenth-century idea that there are only three human races -- Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid -- emerged from European folk concepts of the Middle Ages about the significance of physical differences like skin color, head shape, or type of hair. All people were thought to belong to one of these races and most authorities believed that these physical differences also implied differences in intelligence, abilities, and general merit as human beings. Some believed that such "racial" differences justified social inferiority, colonial control, and even slavery. This attitude is illustrated by the following quote from the 1800s.
"The indominable, courageous, proud Indianin -- how very different a light he stands by the side of the submissive, obsequious, imitative negro, or by the side of the tricky, cunning, and cowardly Mongolian! Are not these facts indications that the different races do not rank upon one level in nature?"
Louis Agassiz, Professor of Geology and Zoology, Harvard University, 1850
Unlike with lactose intolerance, I couldn't find any stats about what percent of the planet tends towards more or less body hair. Seems to be the same thing again, though; northern European = "normal", rest of the planet = "deviant".
And yes, there was something about this in the latest Bitch. I swear, this is the last time I'm ripping off their shit. Honest.
Not that any of the links I looked at even mention body hair on women. The dainty creatures have none, apparently.