Racist Psychology Today article claims black women are objectively less attractive than other women

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Wow. So Psychology Today published an article yesterday titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” Wow. It disappeared from the website after massive, overwhelming outcry about it being obvious racist pseudo-science bullshit. The fact the article ever went up at all is appalling, though, and unfortunately must be called out. (The article’s been reposted here if you feel the need to read it, which I do not recommend.)

The author, Satoshi Kanazawa, is known for racist junk science. He works in the field of evolutionary psychology, which sadly is full of folks passing of their deduction as objective fact to prove their racist and sexist views. He’s obsessed with attractiveness and linking race and intelligence in work that’s been repeatedly debunked. He’s also said he wished Ann Coulter was president on 9/11 so we could have nuked the entire Middle East. Yeah, wonderful guy.

I feel dirty even dignifying the article with critique, so I’m going to make this as brief as possible. First, we get the notion that there are both “objective” and “subjective” measures of attractiveness. What makes a measure of attractiveness objective is beyond me. But apparently, while women are “objectively” more attractive than men (hmm, maybe “objective”=the views of a straight dude?) black women are “objectively” the exception (so make that =the views of a super racist straight dude). However, black women “subjectively” consider themselves more attractive. So, uh, the views of black women are “subjective,” presumably because they differ from the views of the author, or maybe a majority racist sampling base? OK…

Kanazawa makes sure to bring up that black women have a higher BMI than other women, by which he means they’re fat fat fatties, even though BMI is totally bogus, is not standard across races, and more importantly, fat does not equal ugly unless you’re a fatphobic asshole. Like Kanazawa. Oh, but this isn’t the real reason black women are more unattractive! Neither, apparently, are race differences in intelligence, for which Kanazawa cites his own debunked work about how black people are less intelligent. Because he’s that kind of racist.

No, the real reason black women are less attractive is probably because they have more testosterone than other women. And testosterone, while it looks fine in men (yay gender essentialism!) makes women fugly. “Objectively.” I think what he’s trying to say is butch women are gross. I think Kanazawa is gross.

This piece is so undeniably racist there’s just no way Psychology Today put it up for any other reason than to generate traffic. which is despicable. And in fact they’ve published plenty of bullshit by Kanazawa in the past, plenty more junk science and pointless racist ramblings. Maybe the fact this article was taken down means they’re finally done with him – a girl can dream. Here’s where you can contact Psychology Today. Because maybe if enough of us tell them we’re over this crap this really will be Kanazawa’s last article.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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