Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Men Behaving

Badly, of course.*

A woman recently spent a long day walking around New York, accompanied by surreptitious camera and microphone. She got a lot of catcalls, attracting some feminist and other outrage, together with various musings on it all. "It's not about sex, it's about power" is a feminist standard sound bite. Aside from the fact that power is mostly about sex - something like 8% of Asian men are descended from Genghiz Khan or his immediate family, I seem to recall - I really don't think that's correct.

If you really want to know what catcalling is about I suggest you contemplate the Lily of the Field, arrayed in all it's glory, or, for a phylogenetically closer example, the Peacock, prancing with his magnificent tail. Flower, tail and catcall are all forms of sexual display, designed to attract attention.

Of course humans have a bit more behavioral flexibility than Lily or Peacock, so the forms of such sexual display vary. If you've got the cash, cruising your yacht or pimped out car may serve the function. If you happen to be drop dead handsome, a smile and perhaps a subtle wink will serve nicely. On the other hand, should you happen to be poor, lower class, and perhaps a disadvantaged minority, you still have the same instincts for sexual display, but far fewer means are available. Ergo, the catcall.

* [The evolutionary psychologist explains it all]