Putting the Logic Back into Biologics

The other day a friend was lamenting that instead of his usual solitary work environment, he was soon to be sharing an office with a coworker. “I’d like to be able to fart in peace without having to look over my shoulder,” he groused. That made me laugh. And it also got me thinking.

Why are we so programmed in this country to be ashamed of normal bodily functions? In some cultures, it’s polite to burp. Here, I’ve actually seen people blush when they sneeze or cough. I’ve even known people who have to turn on the sink faucet to block out the sound before they’ll urinate in a public bathroom.

We also have placed a heavy moral burden upon consensual sex, and how much we weigh or do not weigh. Heaven forbid someone be too tall or too short. Aging seems to be a source of shame. We’re supposed to keep all our body hair under strict control. And don’t even get me started about the stigmas attached to physical or mental disabilities.

Are you sensing a theme here? All of these things are biological. They are a natural part of being human. Everything from sweating to vomiting is a necessary physical process. We have limited control over our bodies.

I must admit I’m an extremely gassy person. When I went back to college in my late 40’s, I was often surrounded by young people who still cared what others thought. My occasional unintended farts would shock them. So one day I said, “Look. I’m old, I’m fat, I fart. I burp, I sneeze, I cough, and I puke. You’re just going to have to get over it.”

Seriously, though, I’ll tell you what: I’ll try not to fart during the National Anthem if you try not to act as though you’ve never farted in your life. The age of the Puritans is long past. We have so many other things to worry about. Let’s move on, shall we?


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Oh, how I hate acronyms. They set people apart. Either you are “in the know” or you aren’t. If you aren’t, is that your fault? Are you supposed to sit around memorizing a list, in the hope that you will hit upon every acronym that crops up in your life, now and forevermore?

Here’s one I’ve come across quite a bit on the dating website I’ve recently joined: HWP. Thanks to Google, I’ve discovered that it means “Height/Weight Proportionate”. As in, “I only date HWP women.”

This infuriates me on so many levels I hardly know where to begin. Oh, but begin I shall.

Let’s start with that tricky term “proportionate”. Is there some official guide that will indicate whether I’m in proportion, or, heaven forfend, am completely out of proportion? Who gets to decide?

Must I be measured before you ask me out to determine if I fit within your narrow range of acceptability? It reminds me of those rides at the state fair. “You must be at least this height to ride this roller coaster. But what if I don’t want to ride your roller coaster?

And if you consider my body warped in some form or fashion, some other man might still find me quite physically appealing. So without getting into your improperly prioritized brain, how would I know if I meet your qualifications?

If you are a well-meaning but deluded person, here’s some advice. Never use the term HWP. Most women, since practically birth, are trained to be hyper-critical of their bodies. A lot of them will see HWP and self-eliminate, because they can anticipate the potential for rejection. So you are depriving yourself of the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing people.

Most of all, here’s what HWP means to me: You are a shallow, egotistical a**hole with values so skewed that I wouldn’t want you in my life. So thank you for revealing that to me from the get go, rather than wasting my time.

All these women weigh the same amount. All these women are beautiful. [Image credit: fozmeadows.wordpress.com]

Am I the Only One Who is Grossed Out by This?

Every day on the way home from work I pass this billboard.

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And every day it turns my stomach. Apparently a lot of women must find this image appealing or this company would not use it in their advertising.

Let me explain something to you young ladies out there who want to look like this: The ONLY way you will achieve an extreme waist like this is either through Photoshop or by having your lower ribs removed. It is as unrealistic to strive for a body like this as it would be to hang by your feet every day in hopes of adding 6 inches to your height. You are setting yourself up for failure, and I don’t want that for you or anyone else.

Here’s a concept: maybe if we women stopped obsessing about our size so much and/or stopped listening to unrealistic concepts about body image and instead focused on being healthy and also achieving other goals in our lives, we’d be a lot better off. THAT would be real, honest to God Women’s Liberation.