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"Healthy jealousy"
October 27, 2009 7:04 AM   Subscribe

"Far from being a healthy free lover in the making, Dr. Hart says, the unresponsive infant is not “securely attached” and will have problems later on in relationships." Why jealousy can be a good thing.
posted by jbickers (38 comments total)

 
That whole thing reads similar to science, only sexister.
posted by DU at 7:09 AM on October 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Under-appreciated Halloween costumes: Sexy Botanist, Slutty Urban Planner, Sexy Computer Engineer, Slutty IT Help Desk Worker, Sexy Off-Shored Call Centre Operator, Slutty Financial Planner, Sexy Baker, Slutty Immigration Lawyer, Sexy ...
posted by chunking express at 7:19 AM on October 27, 2009


Wow, what a horrid, light, pop-psy take on a very deep subject.

If you really want to read about infant attachment and its implications for later in life, I suggest you read the VERY excellent Love, Hate, and Reparation by Klein and Riviere. (Happily made available by Google Books.)

(I also recommend The Developing Mind by Siegel, but it doesn't seem to be available for free.)
posted by hippybear at 7:20 AM on October 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow, what a horrid, light, pop-psy take on a very deep subject.

Hippybear,
My brain agrees with you - but it's not bad "hook" for a newspaper column discussing Halloween costumes! I've seen worse.

I did get a bit twitchy though about this (from the column) about observing infants watching their mother lavish attention on a doll:

Most of the infants got upset at having their mother encroached upon by an intruder, but one in 50 did nothing at all. Far from being a healthy free lover in the making, Dr. Hart says, the unresponsive infant is not “securely attached” and will have problems later on in relationships.

It's not clear to me how Dr. Hart can possibly know that the "one in fifty" unresponsive babies will definitely go on to screw up their adult relationships?


[Googling around throws up what seems to be an abstract for the study mentioned: To characterize infant reactions to jealousy evocation, 94 6-month-olds and their mothers were videotaped in an episode where the mothers directed positive attention toward a lifelike doll.]
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2009


Sexy Botanist= short skirt + potted plant
Slutty Urban Planner= short skirt + rolled up blueprints
Sexy Computer Engineer + short skirt + laptop
Slutty IT Help Desk Worker= short skirt + headset
Sexy Off-Shored Call Centre Operator= see Slutty IT Help Desk Worker
Slutty Financial Planner= short skirt + a ledger
Sexy Baker= short skirt + baker's hat
Slutty Immigration Lawyer= short skirt, briefcase, and two semesters of college Spanish

This is easy.
posted by dortmunder at 7:33 AM on October 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Under-appreciated Halloween costumes: Sexy Botanist, Slutty Urban Planner, Sexy Computer Engineer, Slutty IT Help Desk Worker, Sexy Off-Shored Call Centre Operator, Slutty Financial Planner, Sexy Baker, Slutty Immigration Lawyer, Sexy ...

...and Frog.
posted by ShawnStruck at 7:33 AM on October 27, 2009 [9 favorites]


"one in 50 babies don't show normal jealousy in an experiment" ...okay, I'm with you.

"There are adults that also don't have good relationships" mmmm.... okay, still with you, mostly.

"Therefore babies that don't show normal jealousy will have bad relationships and babies who are jealous will become adults who are protective of their children" Ya, no. You lost me.
posted by carmen at 7:34 AM on October 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Micah Toub's memoir, Growing Up Jung, will be published in the fall of 2010.

I haz an animus for Micah Toub.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:52 AM on October 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


dortmunder, which of those will go best with my beard?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:56 AM on October 27, 2009



which of those will go best with my beard?

Slutty IT Help Desk Worker, definitely.
posted by dortmunder at 8:04 AM on October 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, what a horrid, light, pop-psy take on a very deep subject.

For the uninitiated non-Canadians out there, this comes from the Globe & Mail's Life section. Among other things, it's the until-recently-colour-photo-free grey Canadian lady's attempt to reach out to the young people. Also maybe ladies. "Urban" readers? What do immigrants even read, anyway? You can imagine how well a rather staid old paper of record does such a thing.

Imagine if you took the Times' Sunday Styles section, cut it up into parcels so you had enough to run a three-page "section" every day, and decided that its biggest problem was its stories were too thorough, detailed and hip and remedied that post-haste.

The linked article is pretty much par for the course laid out thereby. On the plus side, it appears to have finally pushed Leah Maclaren off the op-ed page for good. So there's that at least.
posted by gompa at 8:07 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm just wondering why Micah Toub thought it was a good idea to use the same head shot for his relationship column and the Creepy Molester Stare Down Competition?
posted by afu at 8:18 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think Immigrants read the Toronto Star. Though, it's not that great a paper. Mind you, neither is the Globe. I don't know why they keep Blatchford on staff.
posted by chunking express at 8:24 AM on October 27, 2009


(That said, I think most of my extended family reads the Globe.)
posted by chunking express at 8:28 AM on October 27, 2009


Boy, that was a terribly written article. Let's examine, shall we?

While previewing his sweetheart as a sexy lion tamer, it could suddenly dawn on him that in a week, he'll likely see her in this provocative outfit talking to some werewolf in the corner of a kitchen, a random dude whose growing smile is a little more carnivorous than he's comfortable with.

Maybe Mr. Random should stop smiling so carnivorously if it's making him so uncomfortable. It's pretty easy to control one's own facial expressions, the article's author notwithstanding.

Long ago, she tells me, jealousy was an accepted part of a relationship, usually settled by duels.

“But then somewhere in the 1960s,” she says, “along with the idea of free love, came the idea that you should trust your partner deeply and if there is jealousy in the relationship, obviously somebody is very insecure. Or the relationship is vulnerable.”

Now, she says, the pendulum is swinging back.


Back to duels?

Although there is some truth to the cliché that men sometimes act like children, Dr. Hart assured me her findings do translate to adults.

Why the "although?" This sentence basically says "Men act like children, which Dr. Hart assures me is the truth," but the "although" at the beginning throws everything out of whack. "Although men act like children, Dr Hart assures me that men act like children?" What? (I know that technically it's saying "Men act like children and children act like adults," by the commutative property, it's works the other way, too, which makes it a bad sentence all around.)

In adults, it the same instinct focuses on survival of one's offspring.

Oh well that's just a typo.

“Sexual exclusivity helps preserve your mate and her exclusive attention to you, thereby preserving your offspring as opposed to being cuckolded and so protecting somebody else's offspring.”

You know, there's nothing that says you have to use the entire quote, Micah, especially when the gist is clear but it doesn't actually make grammatical sense. Also you're totally free to add punctuation to help it make grammatical sense.

And what is that thing people always say – if you love someone, let them go socialize freely at a party without prowling about them constantly?

There's not technically anything wrong with this sentence (though that's iffy use of a dash), but it's a stupid fucking joke.

Of course, if a woman starts leaving the house dressed like a French maid every day, that could make even the most “securely attached” guy a little nervous. Unless he lives in France. And she works as a maid.

Just... just stop.
posted by Caduceus at 8:49 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"According to Sybil L. Hart, who pulled together contributions from a variety of scientific sources for the forthcoming Handbook of Jealousy , this answer is yes. Long ago, she tells me, jealousy was an accepted part of a relationship, usually settled by duels.

“But then somewhere in the 1960s,” she says, “along with the idea of free love, came the idea that you should trust your partner deeply and if there is jealousy in the relationship, obviously somebody is very insecure. Or the relationship is vulnerable.”
"

Long ago, like, 1950, jealousy was great, because dudes used to shoot each other.

This reads like an Encyclopedia Dramatica entry.
posted by klangklangston at 9:03 AM on October 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was just talking with a flirtatious female friend about this last night. The so called Open Relationship is a highly idealized construct - a fantasy - that doesn't work nearly as well in practice as it does in theory. Even committed polyamorous people still have to deal with jealousy. We are hardwired to perceive sexual competition as a threat. It seems to be a no-brainer to me.

And my flirtatious female friend? She flirts with me :)
posted by Xoebe at 9:06 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know why they keep Blatchford on staff.

If only she were simply kept "on staff." You could pay three or four real reporters - well - for what they're paying her to pound her chest on behalf of her victim du jour and moon like a schoolgirl at whichever men in uniform happen to be currently in her line of sight.

And really don't get me fucking started on what you could do with the money the Globe dumps into the sinkhole of self-satisfied bile, climate change denial and inexplicable Madonna fixation that is Rex Murphy.
posted by gompa at 9:06 AM on October 27, 2009


Yeah. There are no shortage of reasons as to why I stopped reading the fucking Globe and Mail.
posted by chunking express at 9:10 AM on October 27, 2009


I'm reminded of the hilarious scene in Mean Girls where the Lindsay Lohan character, who had grown up in Africa with her anthropologist parents, attends her first Halloween party in the US. Assuming this means it is required to wear something scary, she shows up in this hideously ugly witch costume, complete with grotesque make-up, only to discover that every single other girl at the party is dressed as a "Sexy" something.
posted by The Gooch at 9:21 AM on October 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was just talking with a flirtatious female friend about this last night. The so called Open Relationship is a highly idealized construct - a fantasy - that doesn't work nearly as well in practice as it does in theory...

I believed this too, until my the death of my great-grandmother-in-law; my wife has her diaries (bequeathed) and it turns out great-grammy and great-grandpa -- dedicated, committed, desperately in love right up until the day great-grammy died -- dealt with some jealousy issues at the beginning of their more than 68-year-long marriage that they solved, in large part, by going to an open marriage.
posted by davejay at 9:32 AM on October 27, 2009


The so called Open Relationship is a highly idealized construct - a fantasy - that doesn't work nearly as well in practice as it does in theory.


What's the difference between theory and practice?

in theory, there is no difference.
posted by dubold at 9:49 AM on October 27, 2009


And monogamous relationships, on the other hand, while being theoretically problematic, in practice are quite simple and trouble-free.
posted by idiopath at 9:59 AM on October 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm reminded of the hilarious scene in Mean Girls where the Lindsay Lohan character, who had grown up in Africa with her anthropologist parents, attends her first Halloween party in the US. Assuming this means it is required to wear something scary, she shows up in this hideously ugly witch costume, complete with grotesque make-up, only to discover that every single other girl at the party is dressed as a "Sexy" something.

I had a whole rant on the sexy/naughty/slutty costume thing that I was thisclose to posting on the famous "Hi, whatcha reading" thread; I just wasn't sure if it'd be a derail. But it is pissing me off more and more each year.

I'm thisclose to starting a web-based business offering NON-skanky women's costumes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:33 AM on October 27, 2009


If you want hilarious rants re; sexy Halloween costumes, The Sexist has taken care of that for you.
posted by emjaybee at 10:46 AM on October 27, 2009


FWIW, Yahweh, Jehovah, YVHV, ...the name translates as 'Jealousy'.
Does the western world make more sense now?
posted by sexyrobot at 10:46 AM on October 27, 2009


I'm thisclose to starting a web-based business offering NON-skanky women's costumes.

Maybe that should be started by offering non-skanky children's costumes.
posted by hippybear at 10:48 AM on October 27, 2009


I'd like to know more about those one in fifty kids and who they grow up to be.

And, yeah, those "sexy" + whatever costumes get on my nerves. I think it's awesome that you want to be sexy, and I support your desire to dress in that fashion, but damn, it's kind of boring as a whole. Halloween is morphing from scary to skanky. I think the gal I saw who, uh, used nothing but very strategically glued rose petals to do an American Beauty costume was awesome, because there was this whole delayed processing where you had to get it, and it was a daring thing to do, but sexy nurse, sexy librarian, sexy postal worker, sexy sex worker, etc., make it more of a skinfest than anything else.

That definitely was one of my favorite scenes in Mean Girls. Maybe we need another holiday with costumes, for the sexy factor, so we can reserve Halloween for the weird, scary, and morbid. What about Valentine's Day?
posted by adipocere at 11:21 AM on October 27, 2009


"we need another holiday with costumes, for the sexy factor ... [w]hat about Valentine's Day?"

Valentine's day is a yearly ritual of feeling like shit because you are single or going through the charade of pretending to be happy with your partner; sexy has nothing to do with it. How about easter? That is the traditional time of year to celebrate lust run rampant and indiscriminate copulation.
posted by idiopath at 11:36 AM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


the unresponsive infant is not “securely attached” and will have problems later on in relationships

Supposing, hypothetically, that this is proven and factual, I wonder what society's expectations of relationships are that would lead anyone to believe that whatever the non-attached infant's adult responses are, they are "problems". Maybe the "normal" relationship response would be problematic were it not highly anticipated and symbolic of normalcy.

Signed,
The Happy Defective Model
posted by cafe_prole at 12:17 PM on October 27, 2009


Valentine's day is a yearly ritual of feeling like shit because you are single or going through the charade of pretending to be happy with your partner; sexy has nothing to do with it.

I've done such a good job at tuning out holidays like this, I don't even think about how they may appear to others anymore. For me, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to buy decent boxes of candy at a good discount on Feb 15.
posted by hippybear at 12:17 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"although only one man may be receiving the favours of a woman, all in her presence are warm."

What a wonderful (and accurate) sentiment. Of course, it goes for men as well as women.

Maybe that should be started by offering non-skanky children's costumes.

Are we prudes or is this practically kiddie porn?

My vote is on prudes. Or lazy reporters.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:18 PM on October 27, 2009


Valentine's day is a yearly ritual of feeling like shit because you are single or going through the charade of pretending to be happy with your partner

"the charade of pretending to be happy with your partner"?!

Yikes. Project much? I've always liked Valentine's Day. It's the one day of the year you can go romantically overboard without looking like a weiner.

However, I agree that more sexy costumes would make it even better.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


For me, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to buy decent boxes of candy at a good discount on Feb 15.

Likewise, Halloween is all about Target and Walgreen's on Nov. 1. Candy for 10-20 cents on the dollar!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:28 PM on October 27, 2009


I understand that some highly evolved specimens of homo superior are perfectly content being single or are satisfied with their current partners, and that for these winners, Valentine's day is a nice opportunity to congratulate themselves for succeeding in the game of life.

I still question the desirability of having a special day when everyone is presumed to be one of those lucky few. And I don't find Valentine's day sexy in the least, and I doubt I am alone in this.
posted by idiopath at 12:38 PM on October 27, 2009


hippybear: Maybe that should be started by offering non-skanky children's costumes.

I think I've posted about this before, but last year my then 5-year-old but very tall for her age niece wanted to dress up as a bunny for Halloween. This simple request exasperated my sister because it turns out that past a certain size it gets increasingly difficult to find a bunny costume that doesn't consist of fishnets and a bowtie.
posted by The Gooch at 12:46 PM on October 27, 2009


This simple request exasperated my sister because it turns out that past a certain size it gets increasingly difficult to find a bunny costume that doesn't consist of fishnets and a bowtie.

Considering that you can get onesie pajamas in sized up to large adult male these days, it seems that would be a simple enough costume to assemble from bits and pieces.

(I know... too late!)
posted by hippybear at 1:16 PM on October 27, 2009


Most of the infants got upset at having their mother encroached upon by an intruder, but one in 50 did nothing at all.

One in 50 goes, "Duuude, that is a doll. Made of plastic. My mother is an idiot."
posted by taz at 12:46 AM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


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