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Interview Meme

February 11, 2009

My beautiful friend Christine sent me these five interview questions because I said I was willing to participate in the meme. If you want to answer five questions that I come up with, please let me know in a comment.  I will respond to your request within a few days by email.

1) If you were a cookie, what kind would you be? There are all kinds of cookies that I like so I keep trying to think of my favorite one.  But that wouldn’t answer the question!  Lemon bars, matcha balls, alfajores . . . I don’t know how to answer this question.  I like cookies that have complex flavors and a mix of gooey and dry textures and that are made with healthy ingredients like eggs and butter.  Does that say anything about me?

2) What rule have you always wanted to break? I think sex rules should be broken.  Like rules about virginity and when to have sex and with whom and the guilt and what rape is and what consent is and who gets circumcised and who doesn’t and who is in charge of birth control and who isn’t and what the expectations are for pornography-fueled performance sex versus the kind of sex where both partners retain their empathy and humanity.  I would like for everyone on Earth to break those patriarchal rules.

3) What is the best part of your smile? The shape of my lips is nice.  I have to wear lip liner to cover a scar on my bottom lip, but once I line them they look symmetrical and pretty.

4) If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Well, when I was living in Japan I really would have liked being able to read minds.  I had the hardest time understanding what people wanted from me or what they thought of me.  I couldn’t tell if I was doing something offensive or if I was making a bad impression.  It would have been such a relief to know the truth and be able to adjust my behavior accordingly.

5) Are you who you dreamed you would be when you were a child? For a time I thought I would be a veterinarian or at least raise horses.  So from that point of view I am not now who I dreamed I would be.  But I always thought that I would marry a man who works in the construction industry and be a parent at a relatively young age and live close to my own parents and drive a stick-shift.  So in that sense I am who I dreamed I would be.  This is a strange confession to make, but when I pictured my children, I thought of them as mixed race.  I didn’t picture white children.  When I chose my husband and chose to have children with him, I shaped my own destiny.

. . .

me and my husband

My smile and my handsome husband

. . .

The rules for anyone who wants to be interviewed:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions.)
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

  1. February 11, 2009 9:12 pm

    I love, love, LOVE your answer to number 2. Yes; exactly.

    You ARE a handsome couple.

  2. February 11, 2009 9:45 pm

    Remember, Pornography-Fueled Performance Sex is only an exhibition event this year.

    I enjoyed your questions and answers.

  3. evenshine permalink
    February 12, 2009 9:02 am

    You DO have nicely shaped lips.
    I’ll bite- questions, please?

  4. February 12, 2009 9:47 am

    A good friend of mine is a professional biologist and researcher in reproduction of endangered species. We have had many fascinating conversations about sexuality, and naturally, human sexuality — mating habits of black squirrels by comparison become suddenly less interesting over beers, in a bar.


    These are several “rules” about human sexuality that are consistently observable:

    1. Patrilineal religions are attempts by men to control property by controlling DNA and lineage — you’ll note in every patrilineal religion a disproportionate emphasis on modifying and controlling the sexual (reproductive) behavior of women through “teachings” or “morality” or “marriage” the purpose of which is to try to ensure the patriarchal male’s progeny is his own, and the natural resources he’s accumulated become controlled by his “legitimate” heir. Females will continue to conform to patrilineal religious structures only until they get equal access to natural resources, and by extension full legal rights, including abolishment of primogeniture. Christianity, Judaism and Islam are very visible contemporary examples of this thinking and structure.

    2. Sexual dimorphism — the difference in body mass between males and females of a species — is a ratio that accurately predicts the average percentage of offspring conceived by a given pair bond. In humans, the ratio is approximately 70 percent. Which means 7 out of 10 children produced by a couple will actually have been so. Three out of the 10 children will have been (clandestinely) conceived by the woman through extra-pair copulations. A fascinating genetic study in modern UK proved this quite eloquently.

    Perfect topic for Darwin’s 200th birthday. Happy birthday, Chuck!


    3. Women choose who conceives their children — despite best efforts by an extensive hierarchy of males in patrilineal power structures. Unless rape or artificial insemination plus 24/7 restricted access to the woman are employed, she will make her own decisions proportionate only to her acceptance of the laws and moral codes of her culture. Puts “pro-life” movements in perspective, doesn’t it?

    4. Bi-sexuality in women is normal behavior — humans are mammals, deriving nutrients through breast milk, and intimacy between mother and daughter in this growth stage is expected. Intimacy between females is often retained into adulthood, expressed through comfort with touching (and sexuality) derived from warm safe loving feelings imprinted during infancy.

    One last (amusing) anecdote.

    My friend, despite a lifetime as a biologist and researcher, made me laugh with this quip after an evening of discussion based on points discussed above: “Sex is the only thing that scares me.”

  5. evenshine permalink
    February 12, 2009 1:54 pm

    Rick Toone is the only thing that scares ME.
    Off to make decisions proportionate to my acceptance or moral code.

  6. February 12, 2009 8:24 pm

    Mrs. Chili, thanks!

    Bo, um . . . is that some kind of joke you make around pregnant women? Glad you enjoyed my interview.

    Rick, thanks for writing out those rules. And I love the birthday salute to Darwin. Did you see this month’s issue of Smithsonian? My mom let me take home her copy and I’m going to read about him and Lincoln.

    Evenshine, I will come up with questions for you and email you! Thanks for participating. Rick is atheist, but (insert reassuring complimentary labels here) . . . No really, he’s a great friend. I hope you can both be true to yourselves and both enjoy the time spent on my blog. For whatever reason, I am attracted to a variety of people and worldviews will clash.

  7. February 12, 2009 10:32 pm

    You gave great answers. i have to say that i find it interesting that you always pictured having multiracial children- and they are beautiful children. My mom said she always knew her children would be mixed. How could she know? She was raised around Portugese virtually exclusively. But here i am so i guess she was right.

    You and your husband match so well. And every part of your smile is lovely.

  8. February 12, 2009 11:34 pm

    I just found the phrase inherently funny, so I took it to the Olympics. 🙂

  9. Rick Toone permalink
    February 13, 2009 9:03 am

    Agnostic, actually.


  10. February 13, 2009 12:05 pm

    I’m in – it will be a great way to get me back to my blog – interview me!

  11. February 13, 2009 4:07 pm

    I’m always down for a challenge! Interview me 😀 please 😉

    Loved your answers!!!! I love how your difference in thinking makes me think in a way I’m not used to, even if I don’t agree… I enjoy the exercise.

  12. February 13, 2009 8:39 pm

    Thank you, thank you beautiful Christine.

    Bo, it went right over my head because I haven’t paid attention to the Olympics since 1996. 😀 Thanks for explaining what you meant!

    Rick, my bad! Thanks for correcting me.

    Princess Edamame, great! I will email you shortly. And I will put you back on my blogroll when you post your answers. (I’m such a snob!) 😉

    Chris, okay! I will email you when I think of some questions for you. Thanks for participating.

  13. February 17, 2009 3:40 pm

    You are a *total* snob, but I deserve it! 😉

  14. February 17, 2009 11:10 pm

    Nice interview…#4 is interesting; I’ve had that feeling before too, of being frustrated by the lack of feedback. You can interview me if you like…I need something to motivate to write for my poor neglected blog.

    Rick’s comment provokes a few thoughts:
    1. Religions are not patrilineal; cultures are. (Patrilineal/matrilineal refers to how geneologies are reckoned and which famliy lines are considered important especially in regard to inheritance and marriage.) Matrilineal cultures are less frequent, for, as nature favors the female in this regard, it stands to reason that culture would favor the male.

    2. As to female conformity, Aldous Huxley seems not to agree, but wrote, “As political and economic freedom diminishes, sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase. And the dictator… will do well to encourage that freedom. In conjunction with the freedom to daydream under the influence of dope, movies and the radio, it will help to reconcile his subjects to the servitude which is their fate.” (Brave New World)

    3. Funny thing about averages…they either reflect a “more or less” sort of norm, or else they reflect the midline between wildly disparate extremes. Since the average British woman does not have ten children, the form in which the results of the study are presented are a little misleading. The social reality is, I suspect, that of the two extremes. (Some of us are keeping that average high, after all.)

    4. Yes. Females, barring extenuating circumstances, choose the fathers of their offspring. If women would take responsibility and recognize that truth before getting in bed with a man, the world would be a better place.

    Considering her perspective, I’m not surprised Rick’s friend is scared of sex. I think it’s sacred and should be treated as such. And with that, I’m going to bed with the father of all four of my children. 😉

  15. February 18, 2009 9:33 am

    Rebecca — thank you for your thoughtful response.

    Based on conversations with the biologist, combined with thinking about your perspective, more questions come to my mind…

    What is the role of serial monogamy in sexual dimorphism?

    In the case of the BBC-referenced genetic study, the sexual dimorphism ratio was borne out by the data, but is it a matter of polarization within society based on wildly disparate extremes?

    I’m thinking of people who have been married more than once. Had children with more than one spouse. Or had children in and out of wedlock. As I look around me, at least in my experience, the one word I would use to describe familial (and by extension sexual) relationships would be: “complicated.”

    So many families, even across socio-economic strata — here in the multi-cultural northeast at least — seem to be combinations or recombinations of offspring from past and present relationships. Even if the current iteration of the family is “nuclear.” Perhaps your experience is different.

    When I consider my own sexual history, as well as the known sexual histories of people who have shared that information with me, the typical pattern seems to be: a) more than one sexual partner over a lifetime, and b) serial monogamy with occasional overlap as relationships transition.

    I’m personally not comfortable categorizing people into “virtuous” vs. “immoral or promiscuous.” I’m more interested in scientific perspective. To me the complexities of these sexual histories is indicative of the fundamental (Darwinian) drive of DNA to seek diversity in order to prepare for unknown/unpredictable evolutionary outcomes.

    Freewill is of course involved when applied to sexuality, including freedom to follow (or not) various religious or moral codes. What would be really interesting would be honest self-evaluation to determine why each of us chooses the behavior we do. What combination of circumstances shaped you into making the decisions you have? Social environment? Culture? Family history? Study of philosophy?

    And would you have made different choices if you’d reached sexual maturity in Montana vs. Florida?
    US vs. Iraq vs. Argentina?


    Personally, I’m not scared of sex. I’m amused by my biologist friend’s comment. In my experience sex has certainly been “Shakespearian” in terms of emotional extremes — from tragedy to comedy, boredom to exultation, and all points between.

    And I hope this journey of discovery continues for a long time.


  16. March 4, 2009 3:40 pm

    Neat idea! I enjoyed reading your answers and the discussion. I think question #5 is a great one.

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