June 19, 2017

"[My body is] not designed for heat or brightness,' I complain to my co-worker. 'This is the worst thing about being white and …' I search for the words 'and portly!'"

"He’s black and svelte, and looked at me for a long moment before saying, 'I believe it, and you should really think about that.' I told him it was all I could think about, then I showed him my heat rash."

Is that a racial microaggression I see in the NYT? That's paragraph 2 of "Admit It. Summer’s Terrible," by Maeve Higgins.

I have the same problem with light skin and harsh sunlight, but I can't imagine unloading my woe one-on-one to a black person (unless I had established intimacy with him — that is, not just "my co-worker"). Maybe his "you should really think about that" meant something other than you ought to think about your little I'm-so-white problem more extensively.

This is another NYT article with no comments. I looked, because I wanted to see someone on the page providing some pushback, and yet I can see why the NYT would not want crabby meanies stepping on one of their lighthearted fun things.

108 comments:

campy said...

"At least you don't have a sadistic overseer whippin' you to pick de cotton faster."

Inga said...

At least he didn't tell him he'd help him commit suicide.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Perhaps he was afraid that if he told her to lose weight he would be lynched or boiled in a pot.

Ann Althouse said...

"At least he didn't tell him he'd help him commit suicide."

Funny that you pictured the author as a guy! Even if you didn't recognize "Maeve" as a woman's name, everything about the quoted words screams female.

Expat(ish) said...

I was working in a dive shop filling tanks while the technician (who was black) was working on regulators. I mentioned that I'd "missed a spot" and gotten a terrific sunburn on one ear (don't laugh, it was ridiculous looking)(and it hurt) and he said that he'd gotten a sunburn all across his back and arms.

I think I might have dropped a tank. He was amused that I didn't know that black people got sunburns.

I grew up in the deep south and had many black friends, acquaintances, and sports team members. Tots news to me. So we asked the next three white people who wandered in (we were working, after all) and nobody knew that black people could get sunburns. The asian girl said that they couldn't because Chinese people can't either.

I'm still not sure the truth. But I'd actually never given it a thought.

-XC

MadisonMan said...

At least he didn't tell him he'd help him commit suicide.

I echo Althouse. How can you not realize the author is female?

Would any man make a similar complaint? Um, NO. Because the answer would be ridicule.

rhhardin said...

I get a light tan, with the year-round bike riding.

That's cultural appropriation.

Wilbur said...

The second Mrs. Wilbur was of the AA persuasion. It is indeed true that they can sunburn, and will tan darker in those areas exposed to the sun.

Unknown said...

People of all colors get sunburn and tans. Really, they do. Second, what a ridiculous state of the world where "white people" cannot have conversations about sun tans with people of color. The only odd thing is, people of color generally do not deliberatly go out of their way to get sun tans. Tanning is a white-person's obsession. When you stand back and look at the numbers of people on beaches tanning you have to ask your self how ridiculous it all is. But hey, whatever gets you through the night.

Humperdink said...

I received a severe sunburn decades ago. As a result, I have had multiple basal cells removed - too many to count. Each time I visit for a slice and dice I tell the plastic surgeon it's part of my weight loss program. He and the nurse always chuckle.

But I do love summer and working outside. Sunblock by the case, wide brimmed cowboy hats and long sleeve shirts (not white) and long pants (no shorts) do the trick.

FleetUSA said...

Why no comments NYT? Silly not to listen to your subscribers even on trivia

iowan2 said...

Running over a few of your supposed 'enemies' is not any way to act.

But make no mistake. A percentage of Muslims want you dead, and very much larger percentage will give voice to how terrible that is, but would not lift a finger to prevent attacks.

But as commentators have pointed out, according the current Mayor of London, this is life in the big city. So people are just living the rules as defined by the other side. Let's face it, Jefferson created the Marines to combat radical Muslims, and history has proven that trying to get along with them has failed to yield any positive results, for over 2 centuries.

Fritz said...

When you stand back and look at the numbers of people on beaches tanning you have to ask your self how ridiculous it all is. But hey, whatever gets you through the night.

My experience, based on nearly daily walks on the beach, is that women come to tan, men come to do something.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

"Funny that you pictured the author as a guy! Even if you didn't recognize "Maeve" as a woman's name, everything about the quoted words screams female."

I didn't pay attention to the author's name. How many women describe themselves as "portly"? That seems a much more male oriented description of an overweight person. Men are portly, women are buxom.

AllenS said...

Blacks can and do get sunburn. Lessons Learned -- Ft Bragg, NC, 1967.

rehajm said...

NYT is not designed for brightness.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Years ago, when I was on a business trip to Puerto Rico, a black coworker spent some time by the hotel pool, fell asleep in the sun and got very sunburnt. You couldn't see it. It just looked like he had gotten darker (another coworker, a black woman, teased him about being "a chocolate boy") but he assured me he was in pain.

Darrell said...

Men are portly, women are buxom.

The real Inga was fat.

Ralph L said...

The late black lady who looked after my grandmother had freckles. A lot of american african-americans are of mixed race (not a pretty thought). Don't know about non-american african-americans.

donald said...

There are many men that would make the same complaint. Well, males. Not men.

Ralph L said...

I've had 3 types of skin cancer, but they refuse to send me the set of steak knives.

tcrosse said...

The late Godfrey Cambridge did a bit about black people tanning at the beach, holding the palms of their hands and soles of their feet up to the sun.

Ralph L said...

soles of their feet up to the sun
That must have been a curious sight.

Roughcoat said...

Even if you didn't recognize "Maeve" as a woman's name, everything about the quoted words screams female.

In that wonderful colorful part of the world known as Irish America, "Maeve" is not an uncommon name, so, yes, I recognized that the author was female and assumed that this was obvious. In Gaelic it is spelled "Medb", the "db" always pronounced as "v" (e.g., "Siobhan" is "She-vaughn" not "Sio-ban".) The name has a fine romantic Irish pedigree, being associated with Medb the Warrior Queen, Queen of Connaught, who started the war with Ulster by attempting to steal that province's prize bull. Her story is told in the Táin Bó Cúailnge ("The Cattle Raid of Cooley"), a great Indo-European epic poem with (not coincidentally)many strong similarities to the Mahhabharata and the Iliad (the Mahabharata war also started with a cattle raid).

Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Ralph L said...

If you think of Helen as chattel or cattle, so did the Trojan War.

sinz52 said...

There are race-linked health conditions.

African Americans' darker skin does help protect them from UV light.

But statistically, African Americans are more likely to get cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.

Basal cell carcinoma has a nearly 100% cure rate. Only melanoma is truly dangerous.

There is no cure for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or kidney failure.

Owen said...

Back to Maeve the Whiner, she of white portliness. What made her think she could come on to her fellow worker with all that privileged complaining about her special body?

BADuBois said...

I read the same story. Bleh. You know, during the past several years, the NYT Sunday Opinion section has changed from well-written, insightful commentary (even if you didn't agree with it all) to mostly op-ed pieces about people whining about how hard their lives are.

TosaGuy said...

I don't see her as the part of the left that wants to outlaw air conditioning.

Robert Cook said...

As a fair-skinned redhead, I am very sensitive to the sun. I've had numerous pre-cancers removed by scalpel and dry-ice, as well as several treatments with a topical cream that reacts with precancer cells too undeveloped to remove by other means. The cream causes the areas of precancer to become red and enflamed. It appears like an angry rash, or even as slight burns on the skin. When the inflamation disappears the precancerous cells have been destroyed. It all takes several weeks. On top of that, I've had two surgeries to remove basal cell cancers, the most recent just three months ago.

I've never loved the sun--the light hurts my eyes--so it is no punishment for me to stay out of it.

My dermatologist recommended a sunscreen for me to wear. It's active ingredient is zinc oxide, which lifeguards at the beach in Florida where I grew up used to slather on their faces. (Most of the other sunscreen lotions I see on the market do not contain zinc oxide.) Given how expense sunscreen typically is, I'm going to buy zinc oxide and make my own sunscreen. I've found a recipe online.

Gretchen said...

I'm tired of the microagression mentality. The white portly guy made an off hand comment to a coworker. The only way coworkers become friends is by sharing details of their lives. If whites feel like they need to walk on eggshells around non-whites then friendships between white and non-white coworkers can never happen. Friends make offhand comments, if one assumes every comment comes from a place of ill-will you will live a bitter lonely existence.

In college I had an African American woman in our group, sometimes we talked about our hair, and I believe, racist bitch that I apparently am, I didn't realize discussing her hair care routine with her was different than discussing straightening curly hair or perming straight hair with white friends when we got together or got ready for parties together, and was forbidden. What exactly were we to do, not include her in normal girl talk, that seems sad.

Fernandinande said...

Some folk built like this, some folk built like that
But the way I'm built, doncha call me fat
Because I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed
But I got everything all the good girls need.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I recall reading that Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Lots of sun and a high percentage of people with British and Irish ancestry.

Virtually Unknown said...

Farrakhan explains that we are ice people.

Virtually Unknown said...

I went to a soccer game in Dallas with an Irish guy and he missed a diamond shaped patch in the middle of his forehead. He looked like the Maharaja in Moulin Rouge with that ruby burn.

Inga said...

"The white portly guy made an off hand comment to a coworker."

Did you assume the portly person was a male? If so, that makes two of us.

Balfegor said...

Re: Inga:

I didn't pay attention to the author's name. How many women describe themselves as "portly"? That seems a much more male oriented description of an overweight person.

I think that was part of the humour.

On a different note, the bit about unpeeling legs from the chair made me go "ew." That's one of the reasons I can't imagine wearing shorts these days. Sure, it's a little hotter wearing trousers, but I don't have to worry about my skin coming into direct contact with blazing hot metal surfaces or getting sticky against leather or plastic.

Inga said...

"I think that was part of the humour"

It is humorous, but the descriptor of "portly" does not "scream female" to me. If she would've described herself as buxom it would've immediately "screamed" female.

JimT said...

I worked at Wright-Paterson AFB in the early '60s, one of the few places in southern Ohio where the technical staff wasn't all white. As a result, I had one good friend at work who was white and several who were black. I usually spent lunch hour kibitzing while the latter played bridge in the metallography lab. I was really surprised one day when one of the girls came in and was immediately the center of attention because the others could see she had a bad sunburn.

I'm the dark-haired, blue-eyed type of Irishman that wears a broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves and still turns bright pink from a five-minute exposure. The first time I visited Utah I got a sunburn in August that lasted 'til Christmas. Right now I'm waiting for the results of another biopsy, pretty much an annual occurrence.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I recall reading that Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. Lots of sun and a high percentage of people with British and Irish ancestry.

I used to live on a tropical island on that side of the world that had a fair amount of expat Australians. When we'd get together in mommy groups to take our kids to pools, they were dead serious about sun safety. Full body UV blocking swimsuits (picture diving wetsuits) plus wide brimmed hats and plus tons of sunblock on hands and faces. I think the campaign was, with characteristic Australian charm, named Slip Slop Slap (slip on a coverup, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat).

I'm not going to bother reading the article (sorry Professor) but will take this opportunity to whine about how much I hate summer where I live, and shake my fist at the forces in my life that conspired to keep me in hot and miserable places for almost all of my adult life. I am straight-up jealous of those of you who live in the north and can't wait until I can again someday.

We gave up the apartment in Seattle and now live exclusively close to the Texas coast and I can't stand the following features of life here which are all worse in the summer: the overwhelming soul crushing unrelenting heat, the wind, the treelessness, the snakes, the fire ants, the mosquitoes, being guilted into going to the beach which I loathe, fishing culture (giant trucks hauling trailers and boats and jury-rigged auto-borne PVC contraptions filled with a dozen fishing poles), the muddy gross snakey rivers, the smelly shallow marshy coastal water. Texas is tolerable in the winter but it's a total wonder to me that anyone thinks it's a reasonable place to live in the summer.

dustbunny said...

Article today in The Guardian about an academic doing a study on the resentment of people in small Wisconsin towns (I assume they are white and portly). A major complaint is all the tax money goes to Madison. Many voted for Trump but aren't expecting anything to change.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jun/19/americas-great-fallout-rural-areas-resent-cities-republican-democrat

Darcy said...

I don't think it is racially insensitive to make such comments. To think of it so is where the racism lies. Wouldn't my own sensitivity, as a caucasian, mean that I felt my skin color was superior somehow? Why should I believe that a person with a different skin color than mine wasn't comfortable with their own skin? I wish everyone felt that way.

My hope is in my son's generation and the generations after it to be truly color-blind. I believe that we currently have an unhealthy obsession with racial sensitivity. It is not healing obsession.

Inga said...

"We instinctivly know, for example, that women are plump while men are portly. Confirming this is easy: a Google search for the term portly man results in 39,200 hits while portly woman registers a meager 74."

Expat(ish) said...

@exiled - we spent a year in Brisbane (wife had a post-doc) and the first weekend we rented a place on the Gold Coast. The waves were too high (6+) for the kids so we played in the pool for a while (30 minutes?) and then sat on the shaded lanai while they napped for an hour.

I got the worst sunburn of my life, and I'm part southern Italian.

We were really serious about hats and sunscreen after that.

I think the Aussies have an issue with sun angle and less protective atmosphere. Or maybe God just hates Australia. Hard to know.

-XC

Inga said...

Correction 746 hits.

Virtually Unknown said...

See Inga, that's what it feels like when you are right. You find lots of corroborating evidence.

Inga said...

"See Inga, that's what it feels like when you are right. You find lots of corroborating evidence."

Yes indeed. I always find a great deal of corroborating evidence to my assertions.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James K said...

a Google search for the term portly man results in 39,200 hits while portly woman registers a meager 74.

So? If you Googled "handsome man" and "handsome woman" you'd get a big imbalance too. People use different terms for men and women. If "plump" has a more negative connotation than "portly" it is a consequence, not a cause, of how it's used. "Plump" used to be considered attractive, after all.

Etienne said...

I'm normally a reserved person, but at work one day, I was sitting on a bench outside next to a black lady. By black, I mean she was really black.

Her blackness fascinated me for some reason. I couldn't take my eyes off of her arms. They were a gorgeous deep black color that almost had a pearl effect to it when she sweated in the sun.

I finally had to say what I was thinking, and she laughed. She said when people looked at her, she thought they were seeing her color as worse than theirs. She never thought about her color being better than another.

I showed her my terrible skin, and the effects of even one hour of direct sunlight. I burn to a crisp because I have Scandinavian genes... I don't tan, I burn and shed. Like a reptile I suppose...

madAsHell said...

the muddy gross snaky rivers

You can't go noodling in the Duwamish.

walter said...

"You should think about that" takes it in a decidedly heavier direction. I just spent the week working at the US open. As I repeatedly applied SPF100 and hid under a floppy hat to get by, at various times I would joke with others..including "people of color" about being last in line when they were handing out melanin.
So glad no one said "You should think about that."
It strikes me similar to the the ole feminist punch line "That's not funny".
Briefly, I was a subscriber to a Facebook forum called Unpopular Opinions. There was a long thread there started by a black man about the superior design of blacks/flaws of white people in enduring sunlight. The extended pile-on by others was really disturbing.
By the way, I used the generic Walgreens branded "Dry-touch sunscreen Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF100". Effective. It's a rip-off of (available at Meadhouse Amazon) Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 100
One of the more unique sittings at the open was an African American guy working in the film crews who on one day showed up in a very elaborate old school Scottish looking, gaudy golf (including green on white shorts) ensemble that contrasted highly with his oversized afro.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

In the future they are going to make a pill that you can drink with a glass of water.

Yancey Ward said...

MadisonMan asked:

"I echo Althouse. How can you not realize the author is female?"

It is Inga- what do you expect?

Michael K said...

"Farrakhan explains that we are ice people."

I tease a black physician friend with this and tell him it's true.

White skin evolved as humans left Africa and moved to northern latitudes where there were seasons (none at the equator) and clothing was required in colder climates. Since Vitamin D is synthesized in skin, less melanin helps with Vitamin D. The same phenomenon is seen in Asia where, the higher the latitude, the lighter the skin.

No blue eyes in Asia, though. That is a separate mutation that occurred around Lithuania about 10,000 years ago.

Yancey Ward said...

Robert Cook wrote:

"As a fair-skinned redhead, I am very sensitive to the sun. I've had numerous pre-cancers removed by scalpel and dry-ice, as well as several treatments with a topical cream that reacts with precancer cells too undeveloped to remove by other means."

You sound like my father- same complexion, same problems, same treatments. He worked outdoors a good portion of his life before retirement, and without using sunscreen on unprotected body parts, and has had multiple (more than 10 at this point) basal cell growths removed surgically. He has, to this point at age 72, not had any melanomas which I consider extremely lucky. Fortunately for me, I inherited my mother's complexion which tans deeply and quickly rather than my father who would get a sunburn on a sunburn.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Inga said...
"See Inga, that's what it feels like when you are right. You find lots of corroborating evidence."

Yes indeed. I always find a great deal of corroborating evidence to my assertions.

6/19/17, 9:58 AM

And yet, all we ever get are the assertions . . .

Inga said...

Yancy if the word "portly" screams female to you, you too are a bit mixed up.

It's funny to see people who are usually connoisseurs of words be obtuse regarding common usage of the male/female connotation of the descriptor "portly".

Lem said...

When I was little I heard that if a pregnant woman drank milk of magnesia the kid stood a better chance of being born light skin.

Could have been a joke.

Karen said...

I was hoping there would be space for comments on the New York Times article, because I had the same problem with light and heat when I was 65 pounds heavier, but now, after Bright Line Eating, the heat no longer bothers me as much and sunglasses takes care of the light.

Inga said...

"When I was little I heard that if a pregnant woman drank milk of magnesia the kid stood a better chance of being born light skin. "

Well at least she wouldn't be constipated.

Yancey Ward said...

No, Inga, it is the fact that you didn't notice the fucking name or even the general tone of such a comment in the first place; add to that the author had to search her memory for a word to describe herself rather than just coming out and saying "fat".

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Virtually Unknown said...

See Inga, that's what it feels like when you are right. You find lots of corroborating evidence.

On this I must vigorously disagree. Thanks to the internet, you can find lots of corroborating evidence independent of the veracity of your premise. For some premises, a single counter-example outweighs any amount of corroborating evidence. For others what matters is the ratio of evidence for or against. And, of course, the quality of evidence matters greatly.

None of this is intended to, in any way, dispute Inga's point, nor the evidence she presents in its favor.

Yancey Ward said...

I took the co-worker's comment (assuming the entire conversation isn't just fabricated, which is actually my first reaction to the essay) to mean she should think about her weight, not her color.

Overall, though, I just find these essays about people whining about their whiteness or their lives just fucking tiresome.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I, too, at first assumed the writer was male.

I didn't notice the name. I did notice portly, which certainly has a male connotation. And finally, and most importantly, I have learned that an utter lack of masculinity has no correlation with gender within the set of NYTs writers.

Inga said...

No Yancy, there are plenty of people who skim her blogposts and don't pay minute attention to the author's name. You have taken it as an OK from Althouse to bash the resident liberal, based on her bitchy uncalled for comment. Gretchen at 8:36 AM apparently also thought the quote was from a male. So here is what I say to you, kiss my ass.

MayBee said...

There is nothing I want to see less than my co-worker's heat rash.

Roughcoat said...

No blue eyes in Asia, though. That is a separate mutation that occurred around Lithuania about 10,000 years ago.

More like 30,000 years ago, give or take, and the mutation probably occurred in the Indo-European homeland, the location of which excites ferocious unrelenting debate among scholars. I vote for the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex, a.k.a "BMAC", although I'm open to other locations (e.g., the Ukrainian Steppe or Pontic Steppe). However, the mutation may be far, far older if we bring into consideration our Neanderthal heritage. Neanderthals tended to have light skin, red hair and blue or green eyes, traits they bequeathed to the Indo-Europeans, especially those people of the Indo-European language families that ended up in northern Europe. Almost all northern Europeans have Neanderthal DNA, as much as 5 percent. My own genetic composition is about 3 percent Neanderthal, and I have light skin and green eyes; and I used to have reddish hair, especially in my beard.

Ralph L said...

They told me last year when I had some facial "pre-cancerous" patches frozen that there is now a drug you can take for 6 weeks or so that stops the patches from emerging for good.

My grandmother had melanoma on her retina in the 40's. Unfortunately they were too late removing her eye.

n.n said...

donald:

There are many men that would make the same complaint. Well, males. Not men.

Nor boys. It may have been an ethnic ethic. It used to be the American ethic.

Women and girls were also not prone to complaint. Albeit they did suffer less from exposure in accordance with the traditional division of labor.

Fernandinande said...

Inga said...
Correction 746 hits.


Nope.

390 results for "portly man"

347 results for "portly woman"

Fernandinande said...

Sigh, google has made it more difficult (of course!) to determine the actual # of hits they can find, which is typically < .1% of the first number claimed. And searching for [portly man] returns pages with "man" but not portly, and sometimes pages with neither word.

If you start too high (e.g. page 90), it says "no results" but previously it gave the actual number of results, and if you start too low (e.g. page 10), it gives the bogus gigantic number.

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22portly+man%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=%22portly+man%22&start=383

Inga said...

Nope, not according to my source. 39,200 for portly men and 746 for portly women.

"Men are portly, women are plump."

Michael K said...

My own genetic composition is about 3 percent Neanderthal, and I have light skin and green eyes; and I used to have reddish hair, especially in my beard.

There are probably several theories about the origin and the one I have read is the one about 10,000 years and near Lithuania.

I am also 3% Neanderthal and have blue eyes, as do my kids except one with green and red hair.

It's the OCA2 gene that is also related to white skin.

FullMoon said...

I didn't pay attention to the author's name. How many women describe themselves as "portly"? That seems a much more male oriented description of an overweight person. Men are portly, women are buxom.

A tubby woman can be buxom, so can an anorexic. A word commonly applied to chesty women, not to fatsos

walter said...

Inga said...Yancy if the word "portly" screams female to you, you too are a bit mixed up.
--
True. Women prefer the term "curvy".

Char Char Binks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter said...

Uh..portly is not the male equivalent of buxom..not a chance.

Inga said...

While large breasts are an element of a buxom woman , plumpness is also a factor.

bux·om
ˈbəksəm/
adjective
adjective: buxom
(of a woman) plump, especially with large breasts.
synonyms: large-breasted, big-breasted, bosomy, big-bosomed; More
shapely, ample, plump, rounded, full-figured, voluptuous, curvaceous, Rubenesque;
informalbusty, built, stacked, chesty, well endowed, curvy
"a buxom lingerie model"
Origin

Middle English: from the stem of Old English būgan ‘to bend’ (see bow2) + -some1. The original sense was ‘compliant, obliging,’ later ‘lively and good-tempered,’ influenced by the traditional association of plumpness and good health with an easygoing nature.

FullMoon said...

Uh..portly is not the male equivalent of buxom..not a chance.

It is in ingas vocabulary.

Inga said...

"Men are portly, women are plump."

OK to be more accurate.

Seeing Red said...

Self-indulgent twaddle.

IF it's so bad, move somewhere colder with longer nights.

Or work nights.

wildswan said...

and I can't stand the following features of life here which are all worse in the summer: the overwhelming soul crushing unrelenting heat, the wind, the treelessness, the snakes, the fire ants, the mosquitoes, being guilted into going to the beach which I loathe, fishing culture (giant trucks hauling trailers and boats and jury-rigged auto-borne PVC contraptions filled with a dozen fishing poles), the muddy gross snakey rivers, the smelly shallow marshy coastal water. Texas is tolerable in the winter but it's a total wonder to me that anyone thinks it's a reasonable place to live in the summer."

and I can't stand the overwhelming soul crushing cold, the eternal clouds, the huge snow-white snow heaps lying about or being spraying in fans in winter, the huge dirty heaps of snow in spring, the slime along the beaches in spring as green things madly reproduce knowing they have days only till winter returns, the chill wherever there is a shadow even in summer, the shivery chill when the wind blows off Lake Michigan in August, the deadly chill when the wind comes off Lake Michigan in winter and the voices shouting you need to dress for it - heavy socks, boots, corduroy pants, heavy sweater, heavy coat, scarf, gloves, hat. Then go out for fun walk. True, there is no prickly heat and skin cancer is held down - although exposing winter-white sticks of arms to even the mildest sunshine can result in bad sunburn in a flash of time. Well, I like Wisconsin anyway - because the area can sustain every kind of plant from alpine pine to southern magnolia and dogwood.

I don't think anyone wants to hear about prickly heat with sweat running over it even if the context is white privilege or non-privilege. Wear loose clothes, walk on the shady side, drink long cool drinks, take long cool showers and tell no why.

Women were portly in 18C but not since then.

walter said...

Since I had the pleasure of watching her enter and exit the broadcast booth at the open in various amazing dress..an example of buxom is Holly Sondra.

Char Char Binks said...

Being white doesn't make a person more vulnerable to heat, only to bright light. Being portly makes a person sweat a lot, yes, even women.

FullMoon said...

If ya wanna be happy for the rest of your life,
Never make a portly woman your wife
From my personal point of view
Get a buxom girl to marry you

FullMoon said...

and I can't stand the following features of life here which are all worse in the summer: the overwhelming soul crushing unrelenting heat, the wind, the treelessness, the snakes, the fire ants, the mosquitoes, being guilted into going to the beach which I loathe, fishing culture (giant trucks hauling trailers and boats and jury-rigged auto-borne PVC contraptions filled with a dozen fishing poles), the muddy gross snakey rivers, the smelly shallow marshy coastal water. Texas is tolerable in the winter but it's a total wonder to me that anyone thinks it's a reasonable place to live in the summer."

Heck, it looks good on "Fixer Upper". Guess you have explained the low property costs

madAsHell said...

I always find a great deal of corroborating evidence to my assertions.

Cognitive dissonance defined!!

Char Char Binks said...

"Neanderthals tended to have light skin, red hair and blue or green eyes...".

Do we know that for a fact? Have any fossilized Neanderthals been found with eyes intact, or genetic markers for blue or green eyes? The latest scientific discoveries put blue eyes in humans originating about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, tens of thousands of years after the demise of Neanderthals. According to Smithsonian, "Modern humans display similar mutations of MCR1, and people who have two copies of this mutation have red hair and pale skin. However, no modern human has the exact mutation that Neanderthals had, which means that both Neanderthals and humans evolved this phenotype independent of each other."

"...traits they bequeathed to the Indo-Europeans, especially those people of the Indo-European language families that ended up in northern Europe."

Utter bullshit! Indo-Europeans didn't exist until tens of thousands of years after the Neanderthals. It's unknown whether or not the existence of a small percentage of Neanderthal genes in modern humans is due to interbreeding, parallel evolution, or simply to a common ancestry. It's not settled science.

Ann Althouse said...

"Portly" does seem male, but the author stops and searches for a word, then comes out with "portly," trying, rather obviously, to be comical.

"Portly" originally meant grand and stately. It's a reference to large size that's mean to be complimentary, and you can see how that works on men in a way that it does not for a woman.

Chris said...

Walter,

Holly Sonders doesn't count. Not with bolt on boobs.

walter said...

Ha! A purist, eh?

Michael K said...

"Indo-Europeans didn't exist until tens of thousands of years after the Neanderthals."

Indo-Europeans are postulated by language evidence but none have ever been found as an archeological example.

This book is excellent but there is still a lot of speculation about them.

I agree they were long after Indo-Europeans.

Michael K said...

I meant long after Neanderthals.

Fernandinande said...

Virtually Unknown said...
See Inga, that's what it feels like when you are right. You find lots of corroborating evidence.


Quite the opposite.

Inga said...
Nope, not according to my source. 39,200 for portly men and 746 for portly women.


Your source is obviously incorrect. Why keep repeating nonsense? (rhetorical question, of course.)

Anyone can do this simple experiment and see that, according to google, the string "portly man" is only about 10% more common than the string "portly woman".

But! According to ngram , "portly man" is about 10X more common.

walter said...

Right.The operative terms here "originally meant"

tcrosse said...

In mens' tailoring a Portly Suit is one which is cut to fit a gentleman who is... fleshy.

n.n said...

A hat, a long sleeved shirt, long sleeved pants. Perhaps shades to reduce glare. Your body was not designed for a high caloric diet and a sedentary lifestyle.

Dave in Tucson said...

This little vignette was not about about race, it was about people who overshare. Nobody wants to hear about how you've made it to adulthood without finding effective strategies for dealing with too much sun. And for sure, nobody wants to see your heat rash!

Roughcoat said...


Do we know that for a fact? Have any fossilized Neanderthals been found with eyes intact, or genetic markers for blue or green eyes?

You're behind in your research. In recent years DNA studies have been conducted on Neanderthal remains and indicators have been found that support the theory that they had red hair and blue/green eyes.

The latest scientific discoveries put blue eyes in humans originating about 7,000 to 10,000 years ago, tens of thousands of years after the demise of Neanderthals.

No, that assertion is based on obsolete research. The mutation is much older -- according to research in the emergent and rapidly developing field of genetic archaeology/anthropology.

which means that both Neanderthals and humans evolved this phenotype independent of each other.

Speculation.

Utter bullshit!

Pithy.

Indo-Europeans didn't exist until tens of thousands of years after the Neanderthals.

Neanderthals certainly predate Indo-Europeans by tens of thousands of years but the time of their demise remains at issue. There may have been relict communities extant as late as the late Neolithic. In the event, my point was this: blue eyes and other traits that may originated in Neanderthals was passed on predominantly to peoples who evolved into the ethnicities associated with the Indo-European family of languages.

It's unknown whether or not the existence of a small percentage of Neanderthal genes in modern humans is due to interbreeding, parallel evolution, or simply to a common ancestry. It's not settled science.

Of course it's not settled. But there is in the field increasing support for the theory that Neanderthal influence on the evolution of modern humans is much more impactful than formerly believed.

Roughcoat said...

Indo-Europeans are postulated by language evidence but none have ever been found as an archeological example.

Linking ethnic groups to the Indo-European family of languages is a feature of recent genetic-oriented research in this field. Breakthroughs in this regard have been made as recently as the past year. I'm talking about what scholars in the field are referring to as "game-changing" breakthroughs. Yes, I do have source cites if you're interested. That said, to assert that there is no archeological evidence of links between ethnicity and language is absurd on the face of it. Who do you think spoke the various Indo-European languages and sub-dialects? Apes? People spoke them. And in very ancient times the Indo-European languages developed and diverged along ethnic/tribal lines. The Proto-Indo European Language (a.k.a., "PIE") developed somewhere on the Eurasian Steppe, quite possibly in the Bactria-Margiana Archeological Complex, but maybe a little further West. The Hittites pushed into Anatolia c. 2000 BC (maybe a little earlier, maybe a little later)and the ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE (in the form of translated texts)show that their language, Neshite, was a recognizable IE language, the first post-prehistoric IE language to be identified and associated with an ethnic group, the Neshite people, i.e., the Hittites. At about the same time the Greeks entered the Aegean lands now known as Greece and we know from their so-called Linear B texts -- which constitutes the archaeological evidence you say doesn't exist -- that they spoke and wrote in a Linear B language. Not incidentally the oral tradition of the Bronze Age Greece is emphatic that the physical ideal of the Achaiwoi (or Danaans, or Ahhiyawans, or Mycenaeans, or Argives, or etc.)was fair or red hair, and blue or gray eyes. E.g., the "Red-Haired Menelaus": and Agamemnon, his brother.

"In Search of the Indo-Europeans" is obsolete, albeit still useful.

Roughcoat said...

You cannot separate the development of languages from the evolution of the peoples who spoke them, especially in prehistoric and ancient times. Language and ethnicity were inextricably linked, and the farther back you go the stronger the linkage. Granted, the linkage isn't as strong as it used to be. E.g., most blacks outside Africa speak English or French as their first language which means that they are to be categorized as Indo-Europeans, i.e. as members of the Indo-European family of langages. But that fact just underscores how much language and ethnicity have diverged in modern times. In the ancient world such divergence was the exception that proved the rule. And even today, when I go to Ireland, it is an observable fact that most of the people in that country look a lot alike and that I look a lot like a lot of them. We all look like we are related, cousins of varying degrees, and in a very real sense we are. And we all speak an Indo-European language. Further, and almost within living memory, my predecessors spoke Gaelic, a very ancient variant of Indo-Euroopean, a variant from the Centum branch of IE.

Roughcoat said...

Correction: ". . . that they spoke and wrote in a Linear B language" should be: "in an Indo-European language."

veni vidi vici said...

Question: Would any man make a similar complaint?

Answer: Millennial Beta Bitchassery. 'Nuff said.

Michael K said...

"Yes, I do have source cites if you're interested."

Yes, please. I have read "In search of..."

There is also interest in the Indus Valley civilization and whether they are related.

Michael K said...

linear b is of course archaic Greek.

I was planning to go Knossus in 2015 until the "migrant" thing blew up. Plus, of course the Greek economic meltdown.