Thursday, August 17, 2006

Red painted toenails are...

a visual metaphor for drops of menstrual blood prompted by some vestigial impulse

Or so goes the theory proposed by a friend. The problem with such visually strong, disarming theories, is that, regardless of their truthfulness, they stay with you for good.

I decided to remind my friend of his theory and run it buy his scientist wife (she is smarter and more sensible that both of us combined. I actually amount to a negative integer when calculating sensibility, so I drag my boy down, as usual)

here are the emails that followed

sperm donor; Yeah, its a visual clue being subconsciously dropped women. Or maybe its maybelline.

smart scientist woman: I have red (read!) before that red is a potent visual stimulus for men of many species. Behaviorists think that the color red brings to mind "swollen female sexual organs" which indicate fertility, or a mammal "in heat", and
hence a cue for mating. Also, redness is a symbol for arousal in general-hence red lipstick, because during arousal, blood rushes to the mucus membranes-resulting in red or pink colored lips. As for red nails, I don't think it's a "drops of blood" cue necessarily, but a cosmetic opportunity for another "flash of red" -a visual cue to a male that the
female is "available and receptive" Dirty whores. :)

Menstrual blood would not be a good "attractor" for any species, since women
are not fertile at that time.

sperm donor; Yeah...but it says to the men, 'hey I'm around'. Which I always thought was curiously called 'spotting'.

• • •

Banned Disney Short: The Story of Menstruation


danimc said...

As I was growing up, it was beaten into me that red nail polish on your fingernails was too trampy for words. You just DIDN'T do it. Red toenails were ok under the right circumstances (during the summer, for 'fun'), but still suspect and a 'lady' wouldn't go beyond a nice manicure and clear polish. It is absolutely considered a subtle signifier of sexual desire and availability, though the implications of the state of the wearer's character are no longer such an issue.

I think it also suggests the bloodied claws of a predator, and lord knows we don't want women to be THAT (again: dirty whores).

More on the 'visual stimulus' tip; it is said that while men are excited by the color red, women respond the most to the color blue. I don't remember why, but there it is.

dnagal said...

Blue Balls Maybe?
or Blue Blood?

Nixta said...

Or maybe water so they can get on with the laundry and the dishes, and washing my balls.

danimc said...

Maybe a status response. Vivid blue isn't such a common natural color, so the more blue a male has, the more status he has. Didn't Sherman post on birds hoarding blue disposable razors recently?

Gecko said...

Since mestruation is a fairly modern invention that comes along with delayed sexual activity, limited number of pregancies, and lack of biologically directed lactation, it is probably not an atavistic indicator of female reproductive availability.

First pregnancy can occur without menstruation occurring. Pregnancy and lactation would have been the constant natural state of fully mature human females "in the wild", thus menstrual fluids would never have appeared in the absence of copulating males in a band.

Yes, lives were shorter, and not all offspring lived to maturity. But pregnancy would have occurred during the natural weaning process of young children (not babies or toddlers, young children!), as the slowdown in lactation allowed ovulation again.

It has been theorized that the unnatural menstruation cycles of modern women, along with limited and delayed pregnancies, may be the root cause of most female reproductive system cancers.

But, overall, red toenail polish does sound rather racy. Being a proper lady, I wear delicate pink, myself. >^;^<

Thomas Sherman said...

Hmmm. That sets me straight on that one. If red is racy what does pink say?