Here Be Dragons: World Map Of Women’s Studies Programs

One notices a remarkable correlation between this, and the perceived attitudes of local women and their obesity rates.

(The map above was made by RVF commentator “durangotang” based on the geographic data here).

Comments

  1. One of the best predictors of female obesity in developed countries is income inequality: http://static.thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2011/10/11.gif In any event, material-psychobiological factors predominate over subjective perception of “values” or whatever universities are teaching.

  2. Belarus!

  3. ironrailsironweights says:

    What does a Women’s Studies graduate say many times per day?
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    Would you like fries with that?

    • That is correct.

      The main source of (well paid, high-skilled) employment for Women’s Studies graduates is Women’s Studies department. Other then that she can expect a career of flipping burgers while trying to pay off college debts.

      That is the definition of “pyramid scheme.” No benefit to society, while the individual can only profit by joining in on the scam.

      • Jennifer Hor says:

        Sorry to say this but the individuals lose because they have to pay tuition fees. College student debt is big business for lenders. I can’t believe kids and their families in the US are forking out thousands to pay for college. Banks are cashing in and even the Army reaps a benefit by offering scholarships to young people who wouldn’t be able to get higher education otherwise.
        http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/college/story/2011-10-19/student-loan-debt/50818676/1

        I expect any time soon to read US online news that some students become prostitutes or rely on sugar daddies just to get money to pay for college. That way they’d learn more about sex exploitation and oppression of women than all the women’s studies in the world! ;-)

        I’ve been told twelve years of primary and secondary schooling in America are equivalent to ten years of primary and secondary schooling in Australia. Years 11 and 12 in Australia are equivalent to the first year of college in the US.

        Young people would be much better off doing general humanities / science / economics / politics courses in colleges that prepare them for more specialised university degrees. These courses could be done part-time or as part of a sandwich course during which they could also do apprenticeships or manual work, join army reserve units or work as volunteers in social welfare schemes, scientific projects (like hunting for fossils) or community projects like digging ditches.

      • Women studies is like Philosophy, only slightly more useful.

        • Nonsense. While it’s not something to major in, philosophy gives one a much broader understanding of a number of important topics and generally improves one’s ability to think and reason. There’s a word for people who dislike philosophical discussion/thought: dull.

  4. Absolutely right because Koreans and Scandinavians are known to be all fat chicks.

  5. Jennifer Hor says:

    Saudi Arabia has very high female obesity levels (45% of middle-aged women obese or one-third of total female population obese depending on what sources you read) but I doubt that country’s universities have women’s studies programs! In that country, Islamic restrictions on women’s movements, the clothes they have to wear outside, the climate and importing Western culture in the form of fast food and entertainment combine in a particular way that leads to obesity.

    I imagine that Wahhabi Islamic fundamentalism forces its own kind of PC thinking which together with Saudi political repression, Western building technology and education methods stymie local initiative and encourage loss of local folk traditions and customs which include local architecture that incorporated methods of circulating air and cooling it. Ideas like having little wind towers in buildings to circulate air in shaded pockets or over cool water. With wealth concentrated among Saudi princes and the government packing people into high rises so it can redevelop poor areas into commercial districts, poor people can’t afford Western-style air conditioning in their homes and have to go to shopping malls to experience it in hot summers. There they are exposed to junk food, multiplex cinemas and game arcades.
    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/obesity-rate-among-saudi-men-women-hits-70–343513.html
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9202777/Heavyweight-champions-obesity-across-the-world.html

    Also most of the really heavy physical work is done by imported labour from the Indian subcontinent. Rich and middle-class families hire maids from SE Asia to do housework and look after kids.

    You’d probably get more of a positive correlation between female obesity and the volume of women’s magazine publishing (as measured in sales of both locally published and imported magazines) or the number of cooking/dieting programs on TV and radio in each country (First World). Women’s magazines are always obsessing about celebrities, royalty, food, fashion, dieting and cooking. The only thing that’s changed about them in the last 50 years is that they dropped the knitting and sewing lessons.

    (I did actually write to a woman’s magazine years ago and asked why it didn’t offer an advice column on how women could deal with career problems like how to get promoted, how to ask for a pay rise, what to do if the boss made a pass, things like that, and I was told that sort of column was not popular. And this was a magazine supposedly aimed at career women and self-employed women of the sort who run businesses from home on their laptops. The magazine no longer exists – I wonder why?)

    In Australia, obesity levels are high and we have an unbelievable number of magazine titles and TV shows with food as the sole theme. TV channels here are always showing cooking shows made locally (MasterChef Australia, My Kitchen Rules – shows where people compete and are judged for what they cook) and imported from the UK (Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsay, Hairy Bikers, etc) or elsewhere (Iron Chef). Newspapers here always carry supplements about cooking, restaurants and cafes. I’m sure the media saturation has an effect on women and girls’ obsession with dieting and food, and that constant dieting is a major factor in women’s obesity. If you can, look at what women keep in their cupboards and office drawers at work and you’ll see a confectionery store.

    • That’s is true. But Saudi Arabia is so clearly sick a society I thought it was hardly worth mentioning.

    • Even with the hot weather and beautiful beaches, Australia has an obesity problem? Well, that doesn’t reflect too well on the country.

      • Jennifer Hor says:

        Of six state capital cities in Australia, at least three (Brisbane, Perth, Sydney) have beaches or are close to them. I don’t know about Brisbane and Perth but most people in Sydney live in the western suburbs and have to drive long distances or catch buses and trains to go to popular beaches in the east like Manly, Dee Why, Bondi and Cronulla which are always crowded and have limited parking spots.

        Most Australians are migrants or children of migrants from cultures that don’t emphasise sport much. The people you see on TV in Australian Olympic swimming teams nearly all come from Queensland or Western Australia but rarely from New South Wales or Victoria, the most populated states. Most of these swimmers are Anglo, the exceptions being Michael Klim (Polish) and Geoff Huegill (half-Thai). In the past we had two Latvians (Ilze Konrads and her brother, I forget his first name) who represented Australia in Olympic swimming meets but that’s about it as far as I know. Beach lifeguards are always rescuing people who know nothing of beach etiquette like swimming between flags or avoiding surfers; year ago, it was taken for granted that families taught their kids this but these days ignorance about how to behave at the beach is widespread. Councils are hard-pressed to spend money on sports facilities like swimming pools and beaches as most of their money is tied up challenging property developers in the Land and Environment Court which is pro-development so councils end up paying hefty legal fees. Litigation and insurance are also huge costs for councils to the extent that it’s cheaper and easier just to close down the sportsground or swimming pool.

        There were race riots at Cronulla beach a few years ago between Anglos and Lebanese and the publicity has probably put off a lot of migrants and their families from going to the beach.

        • Lifeguards. In Russia and Ukraine, people may swim freely as far from shore as they want (we like to swim far). In the USA, lifeguards forbid people from doing so – everyone is forced to basically just wade in the water; swimming is for lap times in pools, not something to be enjoyed in nature. Go to an American beach and see a bunch of often overweight people just standing in the water, rather than swimming or being active. It looks like Australia is similar (“Beach lifeguards are always rescuing people who know nothing of beach etiquette like swimming between flags “).

          • Jennifer Hor says:

            AP,

            Beach culture in America and Australia is different because most beaches border oceans directly so lifeguards have to look out for big sharks, sea snakes, jellyfish and other venomous creatures. Swimmers, surfers, wind-surfers and jetski users have to share the same space. There is also the problem of rip currents where undertows in the water travel along the beach and then suddenly go out to sea very quickly. They can be very strong and people make the mistake of trying to swim against them; they tire and often end up drowning. The advice is actually to flow with the rip and then once the rip stops, you swim back to shore with the surf pushing you along. Although the rip can take you far out to sea where you are exposed to sharks. If you wait long enough (but how long is the problem), I think the rip can push you back to shore because the undertow circulates.

            In the last few years, stories about surfers and swimmers being attacked and killed by great white sharks off Perth and southwestern Australia have become an annual event. This is an indication that something’s not right about food sources (a seal and whale shortage?) for sharks in the southern oceans if they are moving towards southern Australia. The attacks are becoming more frequent as well.

          • Kibernetika says:

            Overbearing and overly regulated lifeguards in the USA are relatively recent phenomena. The obesity, too, is rather new ;) Frankly, the fat, sloppy slobs one sees these days simply did not exist during the 60s, 70s. My extraordinarily fit grandfather often led us on beach expeditions (around NY). An appearance of physical fitness was important in all social classes back then.

            And so time marches on.

            Slobus Americanus?

  6. Neat idea AK. If you think about it, there is a strong rationale self interest between feminism and the increase of female obesity. If feminism is to be defined as increasing the societal power of women, then it would serve them well for their to be more obese women. The desirability of a women to a man is far more objective then subjective. If women were to be, across the board, more attractive, if all women became, at minimum, 6s, men who ended up marrying 6s, the men who would be the lowest in male desirability in such a society, wouldn’t nearly be as unhappy as men who end up marrying 1s in our society. The logical result of that, is that in such a beautiful society, ironically, the value of female beauty would become far less valuable, and beauty would be far less desired. If there isn’t a chance that one might end up with a landwhale, I suspect that most men would hardly bother with stuff like game and the like. I would imagine that such a society would experience little sexual discrimination, but at the same time, be very anti-female, in the sense that women who are competitive with men in economically productive fields would be quite successful, but at the same time, “feminine virtues”, a females capacity attracting men, the only area in which women surpass men, would be far less valued.

    There is a upper cap on female attractiveness, which are the feminine ideals hardwired into us by evolution, but there is no downward cap. This is in direct contrast to male attractiveness, because male attractiveness is strongly based with ability, and strong relativistic. ie: A man can always become more powerful, more wealthy, more physically capable. In this fashion, feminism is intrinsically a downward trend because the only thing a beautiful women can do to that makes herself more desired in a society, is to reduce the amount of beauty in that society.

    The prevalence of female obesity in the middle east can also be explained in this fashion. If increasing the amount of non-obese women in a society is a form of sexual egalitarianism, because it increases the amount of sexual contentment across the board, then what society is less sexually egalitarian then Islam? It’s also interesting that a poster mapped this data to just normal economic egalitarianism. Apparently, sexually egalitarianism and normal equality are also fairly related.

    Of course, none of this is to say that female obesity is a feminist conspiracy, that would be quite absurd. Like you said, dystopian societal trends.

    • ugh so many typos. Wrote that too quickly after just waking up :/. Sorry about that.

    • “but at the same time, “feminine virtues”, a females capacity attracting men, the only area in which women surpass men, would be far less valued”

      How is this the only area where women surpass men? For example I thought women were thought to be better in professions that need more empathy/caring/connecting with others and stuff. And there are other things…

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