Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Hot or Not?

Wait! Don’t answer that just yet. Please allow me to give myself a little Q&A pertaining to issue of “proportionately fewer hot women read sci-fi and fantasy.”

Q1. So tell me, Me, do you read sci-fi & fantasy?

A1. Well, not so much lately.

Q2: How about your past flirtations with the genre?

A2: I burned through my older brother’s Analogs and other pulpy sci-fi mags when I was a kid. I went on to read Poul Anderson, Harlon Ellison, Roger Zelazny, Larry Niven (my husband for whatever reason likes to call me Teela Brown), Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Julian May, Marion Zimmer Bradley and many others. I often enjoyed browsing at Pandemonium in Harvard Square when I lived in Cambridge. One of the salesmen sounded just like Comic Book Guy. Seeing as how the Harvard Lampoon (source of writers for The Simpsons) is just around the corner from Pandemonium, I expect the clerk was an inspiration. Oh, and I met Ben Bova there, too.

Q3: How about Tolkien?

A3: Tolkien? Oh, hell yeah, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings multiple times. Plus The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.

Q4: What sort of stuff do you read now?

A4: Well, in my dotage, I tend to read a lot more non-fiction these days, and the fiction in which I indulge is of different genres. I still dig sci-fi and fantasy type movies though. I most recently watched “Donnie Darko,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Serenity.” All got thumbs up. Then there’s my guilty pleasure, the SciFi Channel’s Originals, which are supremely awful. “Mansquito” is my favorite.

OK, thanks. I think we have the answer to the question and that is…


“Not Hot” if the nexus of the current dust-up is to be taken seriously. Tara and Shelley, both of whom are eminently intelligent and attractive women, take issue with the premise, i.e., that “hot” women often do not have nerdsome priorities.

As a nascent crone who sports a menopausal beard, I’m not terribly concerned about what any given guy thinks of my literary tastes. That’s one of the beauties of aging. You just don’t give a shit. However, I am not so old as to lose appreciation for Shelley’s and Tara’s rapid responses.

While decluttering a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon twentysome year old photographs taken at one of our deep-in-the-Madison-winter parties. I scanned several, including the one shown below in which I am entertaining the troops (three post-docs and one grad student). I didn’t exactly veer into smouldering hottus chica scientifica territory (convenienty, the flash was bad and the photo is, um, soft-focused), but by golly, I was good enough, I was smart enough, I knew my sci-fi and fantasy backwards and forwards and doggone It, those guys laughed at my quips, bon mots, and filthy jokes! Here’s the evidence:

i-fcaac6903e2fed871efbbb50f0c9e3a6-DocBushwell_gradsch_party.jpg

Comments

  1. #1 Jeff Albertson
    December 14, 2006

    “Not Hot” if the nexus of the current dust-up is to be taken seriously. Tara and Shelley, both of whom are eminently intelligent and attractive women, take issue with the premise, i.e., that “hot” women often do not have nerdsome priorities.

    As a nascent crone who sports a menopausal beard, I’m not terribly concerned about what any given guy thinks of my literary tastes. That’s one of the beauties of aging. You just don’t give a shit. However, I am not so old as to lose appreciation for Shelley’s and Tara’s rapid responses.

    It’s not about the numbers (…pertaining to issue of “proportionately fewer hot women read sci-fi and fantasy.”)

    It’s about being the archetype and wearing that mantle naturally. I’ll assume that hotness=erotic and these guys in the photo seem to assume it as well.

    From Here

    These aren’t real women.

    They’re objects.
    And these movies aren’t erotic.
    They’re pathetic.
    These vacuum-headed fuck bunnies don’t turn me on.
    They disgust me.

    And it’s not that I’m against pornography.

    I mean, I’m a guy. And guys need porn.
    Fact.

    “Like a preacher needs pain, like a needle needs a vein,”
    Guys need porn.

    But I don’t wanna watch this misogynist he-man woman-hater porn.
    I want porno movies that are made with guys like me in mind:
    Guys who know that the sexiest thing in the world
    is a woman who is smarter than you are.

    You can have the whole cheerleading squad,
    I want the girl in the tweed skirt and the horn-rimmed glasses:
    Betty Finnebowski, the valedictorian.
    Oh yes.
    First I want to copy her Trig homework,
    and then I want to make mad, passionate love to her
    for hours and hours
    until she reluctantly asks if we can stop
    because she doesn’t want to miss Battlestar Galactica.
    Summa cum laude, baby!
    That is what I call erotic.

    BTW, hope you caught “The Lost Room” on SciFi. I never though that “Look out, he’s got the comb!”, could be a line worth remembering.

  2. #2 Rob Knop
    December 14, 2006

    What a minefield.

    I mean, are we supposed to say that you’re hot?

    Are we supposed to say, based on their photographs, that Tara and Shelley are hot?

    Or would that be sexual harassment?

    Yipers. This is one of those “have you stopped beating your children” kinds of questions.

    -Rob

  3. #3 Doc Bushwell
    December 14, 2006

    I mean, are we supposed to say that you’re hot?

    Yipers. This is one of those “have you stopped beating your children” kinds of questions.

    Heh. Sort of like if I asked you if you had stopped shaving your legs?

    Good bitchin’ Baal, no, I’m not fishing for compliments. As I said, I am a crone (don’t have 100 cats or a ride-on broom though), and “hotness” is an irrelevant, even trivial, designation in my opinion. I just thought it was a catchy title, and the entry was an excuse to post the photo of me holding court back in the day as well as to yammer pointlessly as any blogger will.

    That said, take lessons from Jeff (comment 1). He handled the situation beautifully and finished well ahead of the game with the “Look out, he’s got the comb!” lagniappe.

  4. #4 Rob Knop
    December 14, 2006

    Heh. Sort of like if I asked you if you had stopped shaving your legs?

    Well, yes. I only shaved one of them once, though, and it was only the ankle. This was for PE class in high school. We were doing first aid, and the coaches told us all shave our ankles. The next day, we were going to be taping up ankles to learn how to do that, and it would hurt like heck if we still had hair on it. There was exactly one sucker who really did it, so therefore I was the demonstration dummy. The thing was, as an idiot, I didn’t use any shaving cream or anything… I just grabbed a razor and started scraping. Do I do that on my face? No. At least there’s hot water. But was I smart enough to make the connection? No. So I furrowed off a long strip of skin and bled quite a bit.

    So, yeah, I’ve stopped shaving my legs.

    Was that too much information?

    In any event…

  5. #5 qetzal
    December 14, 2006

    Any woman who likes Mansquito is supremely hot!

  6. #6 Doc Bushwell
    December 15, 2006

    Rob, that wasn’t too much information. Not in the least. That little story falls squarely into one of my favorite subjects: nostalgic reverie. Heck, I have an entire category in this blog devoted to it! No, “too much information” might be applied to the cringeworthy concept of a “back, crack, and sac wax,” something I hadn’t given a great deal of thought to (well, no thought at all actually) until the phrase was used in a New Scientist article about the desirability of hairlessness in humans.

  7. #7 korts
    December 20, 2006

    I’ve left the bar (and several possible conquests) to get home in time for Battlestar Galactica.

  8. #8 Doc Bushwell
    December 20, 2006

    Oh, c’mon, korts. Stop being such a gol-durned outlier and overturning gnxp.com’s buggerly Bayesian buckets.

  9. #9 JKB
    December 20, 2006

    I’ve left the bar (and several possible conquests) to get home in time for Battlestar Galactica.

    Was it a geek bar, or one with other actual, real women?

    We’d need either pictures proving that you’re hot AND like SciFi (a photo of you in a Princess Leia bikini gitup with the hairbuns will do) or alternately a very hot, scanned in MENSA card. Or at least some old IOWA test results capable of stirring the nubby into a twitch.

    CM,FM-Quiz: What’s the coolest thing Chief Tyrol ever said on the show?