Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Arms Race of Jewelry Aquisition

From Rhymes With Cars and Girls:

Another bah-humbug thought that won’t ever win me any popularity contests is that the existence and continued production/popularity of “jewelry”, which just offends my intelligence. Imagine: vast amounts of capital is utterly wasted digging up/honing little rocks, and shaping melted metals, to put on women’s, like, fingers and ears. These things by definition and construction serve no actual purpose whatsoever, and cost vast amounts of money at least when compared to their size and usefulness. Yet women – in what, as far as I’m concerned is the most challenging and serious paradox for anyone who believes in the equality of the sexes – actually demand these completely-useless things. All the time, and throughout their lives.

The standard explanation is that they believe (or at least act as if they believe) that “jewelry” – i.e., shiny rocks – can make them more beautiful. Which is to say, I guess, that an ugly woman with jewelry on can be no longer ugly, or that a beautiful woman with jewelry on somehow gets beautifuler. Now, as far as I can tell this is not a conclusion that has been drawn by actually asking men what they thought. It seems to have been decided amongst women themselves. But men do pretend to believe it too (indeed some may do so in the comments) – usually because they have to, or think they have to, in order to get women.

No one has an interest in admitting the truth (which is that jewelry is essentially a signalling/superiority strategy directed at other women – “look at what I got this dumb-ass man to waste his money on, just by me being me; it’s shiny so you can’t avoid looking at it; now I am superior to you”). Women of course will never admit that this is why they want to have jewelry even though there is no other rational reason for it (and even they can’t be so dumb as to believe that the difference between them being beautiful and not, them getting a man and not, is having some shiny rocks on their bodies). Meanwhile, men have no interest in admitting they are so dumb (and desperate to get into her pants) that they fall for the whole thing – so they fall right into line and play-act the way the de Beers commercials teach them to. So you end up with a stable, neverending arms race of jewelry buying. The result is, of course, by definition a complete deadweight loss to society.

Women are supposed to be the kinder, more caring and sensitive sex. They support social programs up the wazoo. They care! Yet at the same time, in reality they demand that vast, vast expenditures be spent in Third World countries on gathering and making shiny objects. Without this STUPID preference on this USELESS expenditure, society would be significantly wealthier. Literally: less people would go cold, or hungry, or starve. Maybe that’s why I always appreciated this Sarah Silverman sketch so much – it basically says it all:


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