Summary: Men and women are going their own way. The result might be a crisis of unimaginable size, and more difficult to fix than putting Humpty Dumpty together again. Think of it as social entropy, an arrow that runs in only one direction. Emma Watson going her own way. Women going their own way. Vogue and…
These stories often have sad endings, but not the sort that the next generation of women are likely to learn from. The careers and parties are fun, and women gain experience year by year. They tell of women leading lives with men as bit parts — wandering on and off stage (wisely, as such women will file for divorce on the slightest whim). But they learn too late that time was not their friend. As in Sciortino’s tale of life in the 30’s. Red emphasis added, highlighting one of the great themes in feminist literature (it’s not the woman’s fault).
“But it’s not just that being single suddenly feels alienating in your 30s. It’s also that dating itself becomes more difficult. For one, the stakes are higher. You don’t want to waste your time on someone who doesn’t feel like they could be ‘the one.’ But simultaneously, thinking “would he make a good dad?” after knowing someone for the duration of a martini makes you feel like an insane, rom-com cliché of a woman. Not ideal.
“Essentially, we are far more discriminating in our 30s than we were in our 20s, which is both a blessing and a curse. We know more about what we want and what we won’t tolerate — but to a point where almost no one is good enough. I find myself having thoughts like, ‘I could never date him, he wears V-necks.’ Or, ‘He was nice, but he sleeps in a mezzanine bed.’ And this perpetual dissatisfaction is especially true in New York, where inflated egos are paired with incredibly high standards and the illusion of infinite choice.
“That cliché of thinking ‘someone better might be just around the corner’ is real. But I keep turning corners, and I keep meeting finance guys with high cholesterol who just discovered Williamsburg. Sigh. Sometimes I think I should’ve picked someone when I was 25 and stupid, and then just made it work.
“The catch is, as we become increasingly picky, the pool of soul mates keeps getting smaller. Here’s another 30s development: Now, when I meet a cute guy, he’s often already married. Just recently, I felt like I was truly connecting with my orthodontist — I mean, he’s literally been putting his fingers in my mouth for six months — only for him to drop last week that he has a wife. I feel mislead.“
Much of this genre of women’s literature consists of tales about women attempting to “have it all” (often with disastrous results) — and others saying that women cannot have it all (here, here, and here).
What happens to these women if they either do not find Mr. Right, or cannot convince him to marry her? Cats. Women’s media comforts them about their choice. Such as Cosmo” “Because, let’s face it, cats are often more emotionally intelligent than men. …The cat is permanent; you’re replaceable.”
DNA reveals how cats achieved world domination
Analysis of 9,000 years of cat remains suggests two waves of migration
Tina Hesman Saey
5:01pm, June 19, 2017
cats on a boat
TWO IF BY SEA Egyptian cats may have been transported by boat to far-reaching parts of Europe, Africa and Asia, a DNA study suggests. Early Middle Eastern farmers probably brought kitties and agriculture to Europe over land.
A tale hidden in ancient cat DNA suggests cats were probably first domesticated in the Middle East. They later spread, first by land, then by sea, to the rest of the world, researchers report June 19 in Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Early farmers brought domesticated cats with them into Europe from the Middle East by 6,400 years ago, analysis of cat remains suggests. In a second wave of migration — perhaps by ship — Egyptian cats quickly colonized Europe and the Middle East about 1,500 years ago. Exactly where and when the animals were domesticated has been a matter of great debate. Researchers previously had only modern cats’ DNA to go on. Now, new techniques for analyzing ancient DNA are shedding light on the domestication process.
In the deepest dive yet into the genetic history of cats, molecular biologists Eva-Maria Geigl and Thierry Grange of the Institute Jacques Monod in Paris and colleagues collected mitochondrial DNA from 352 ancient cats and 28 modern wildcats. These felines spanned 9,000 years and regions stretching across Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia. Mothers pass mitochondria to their offspring. Scientists use variations of mitochondrial DNA, called mitotypes, to track maternal lineages.
Wildcats and early domestic cats all looked the same with tiger-striped, mackerel coat patterns. New genetic data suggest the blotched tabby coat pattern that only domestic cats sport first popped up in Southwest Asia during the Middle Ages. (Boxes in chart represent ancient cats sampled in a DNA study. Blue indicates mackerel coats and red the blotched tabby pattern.) About 80 percent of modern cats carry this tabby mutation. The blotched look may have spread rapidly because it helped people distinguish their kitties from all the mackerel look-alikes.
C. Ottoni et al/Nature Ecology & Evolution 2017
About 10,000 to 9,500 years ago, African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) may have tamed themselves by hunting rodents and eating scraps from the homes of early farmers in the Middle East. People probably kept cats around as a means of vermin control. The arrangement “was mutually profitable for both sides,” says Grange. A person buried with a cat in Cyprus 9,500 years ago indicates that at least some people also had special relationships with the felines by that time (SN: 4/10/04, p. 227), Geigl says.
Before early farmers started migrating from the Middle East to Europe, European wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris) carried one mitotype, called clade I, the researchers found. The first European cats found bearing a mitotype associated with domestication were a 6,400-year-old Bulgarian cat and a 5,200-year-old Romanian cat both with mitotype IV-A* — previously seen only in what is now Turkey. Because cats are territorial and usually don’t roam far, the finds suggest humans transported the cats to Europe.
Domestic cats in Africa, including three cat mummies from Egypt, had yet another mitotype called IV-C. That Egyptian cat signature began to invade the Middle East and Europe as early as 2,800 years ago, the team discovered. But the Egyptian incursion really took off between 1,600 and 700 years ago. By then, seven of nine European cats analyzed (including a 1,300- to 1,400-year-old cat from a Viking port on the Baltic Sea) and 32 of 70 of Southwest Asian cats had the Egyptian signature. That rapid spread may indicate that cats traveled by boat.
Story continues after image
FELINE PHARAOHS Ancient Egyptians often depicted cats in paintings and statues. Cats were frequently first portrayed as hunters killing snakes. Later, the felines were shown curled up under chairs (like this cat from a copy of a wall painting in the private tomb of a man named Nakht in Thebes). That progression may mirror cat’s transformation from solitary, wild hunters that captured vermin around ancient farmers’ grain stores to sociable house pets, say researchers involved in a new cat DNA study.
Anna (Nina) Macpherson Davies © Ashmolean Museum/University of Oxford.
Egyptian cats’ dominance could mean that something special made them especially attractive to ancient people, Geigl and Grange say. Domestic cats aren’t much different from wildcats, except that domestic cats tolerate people. Egyptian cats may have been particularly friendly, resembling the type of purring pet known today, the researchers speculate.
There’s not enough evidence to say that, says behavioral geneticist Carlos Driscoll of the Laboratory of Comparative Behavioral Genomics at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Egyptian cats may have benefitted from easy travel along established shipping and trade routes. Earlier cats may have been just as popular, but fewer people covering ground on foot would have had a harder time transporting them. Those early cats were “dependent on somebody putting a bunch of kittens in a basket and walking across a desert with them,” Driscoll says.
C. Ottoni et al. The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world. Nature Ecology & Evolution. Vol. 1, June 19, 2017, p. 1. doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0139.
T.H. Saey. Genes tell tale of cat domestication. Science News. Vol. 186, December 13, 2014, p. 7.
S. Milius. China trumps Near East for signs of most ancient farm cats. Science News. Vol. 185, January 25, 2014, p. 8.
B. Bower. Cat’s Cradle? New find pushes back origin of tamed felines. Science News. Vol. 165, April 10, 2004, p. 227.