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Artist Wins £20,000 Grant To Study Women's Butts 202

Sue Williams has been awarded a £20,000 grant by the Arts Council of Wales, to "explore cultural attitudes towards female buttocks." Sue plans to examine racial attitudes towards bottoms in Europe and Africa and create plaster casts of women's behinds to try to understand their place in contemporary culture. And here I've been studying the issue all these years for free like a sucker!


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Artist Wins £20,000 Grant To Study Women's Butts

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  • Re:Sir Begs-A-Lot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Philip K Dickhead ( 906971 ) <> on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @12:56AM (#28524401) Journal

    Explore cultural attitudes?

    There are some things I'd like to explore myself. But I expect it would be something along the lines of tactile variations and relative spherical dimensions, you know - more touchy-feely than pure academic.

    What was the size of that grant? How many copies of King magazine can I buy with that?

  • Plaster? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @12:57AM (#28524413) Homepage Journal

    I would think given how there are laser 3D scanners, they'd just do scans. I just don't see how plaster can do the job nearly as well given how gravity affects both plaster molding and human parts. The mass of the plaster can also affect how it molds a shape.

  • Re:I've got a theory (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @01:00AM (#28524427) Homepage Journal

    That's the difference between a study and an uneducated guess.

    Sure, sometimes the study simply confirms what everyone knows. Still, it's confirmation. And everyone "knew" once that the earth is flat, women have no souls, and above the clouds you'll find heaven. The important questions were how many angels can dance on the top of a pin or whether or not heathens qualify as human beings.

    I, for one, am glad that we've moved beyond that and actually investigate the things that "everyone knows". Be they as important as gravity, or as mundane as womens' buttocks.

  • Re:I've got a theory (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @04:08AM (#28525399)

    And everyone "knew" once that the earth is flat, women have no souls, and above the clouds you'll find heaven. The important questions were how many angels can dance on the top of a pin or whether or not heathens qualify as human beings.

    Interesting fact: none of those things were ever widely believed.

    People have know the Earth was spherical since ancient times. Remember when Columbus set sail? He knew, setting out, that he could reach India if he sailed west. He just didn't realise there was another continent in the way.

    Nobody (in the Christian west, at least) ever believed women have no souls. We're talking about a time when people practically worshipped the Virgin Mary. She was a woman, remember?

    Nobody but children ever believed that heaven was just above the clouds. You could see it wasn't by opening your eyes and pointing them upwards on a clear night. Ancient cosmology placed the spherical Earth at the centre of a series of other spheres, on which were fixed the moon, the sun, the planets, and finally the stars. Heaven was the perfect final sphere beyond the stars -- a long, long way away.

    Nobody ever debated angels dancing on the heads of pins. That was a lie invented to ridicule the genuine theological debates that took place. No doubt future generations will claim that we spent all our time arguing over how many NetBSD VMs could dance on the head of a toaster.

    Few people ever believed heathens weren't human. Why would God condemn animals to an eternity screaming in the fires of hell?

    I, for one, am glad that we've moved beyond that

    Given the number of myths you seem to have accepted unquestioningly, I have my doubts as to whether you have moved beyond that at all.

  • Re:There's no honor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SpaghettiPattern ( 609814 ) on Tuesday June 30, 2009 @05:23AM (#28525731)

    admire in reverend awe every single instance.

    Here's where I've got to disagree with you, since there are quite a lot of fat women who have really ugly (and probably stinky) butts.

    The indoctrination machine proclaiming that sufferer of anorexia are sexy and desirable works miracles. IMHO dimension is not a pejorative factor of the women's behind. Shape of the derriere, the transition to and coherence with other body parts can make my charisma grow like a mountain flower in spring.

    Free yourself from the tyranny of the motion picture industry! The truth induced on you by them simply isn't. Appreciate the female behind by considering all shapes and forms. And contemplate many, many shapes before judging. <INSERT GOSPEL QUOTE HERE>

  • Re:I've got a theory (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @12:31AM (#28538583) Homepage Journal

    I believe you are giving our ancestors more credit than they are due with the "heavens" thing.

    We have quite solid linguistic and historic evidence that abstract thinking of the kind we consider normal today is a relatively recent invention, definitely not made before the greeks (and thus after most of the old testament). Ancient man was very much "grounded in reality" in his speech and thoughts. For example, the "burning bush" part is almost certainly a hallucination, not a metaphor.

    I do agree that the meaning of ancient texts has changed over time. What you see in the bible is certainly not the same meaning that some early christian saw in it. The discussion usually centers on individual terms (the most famous one being he "young woman" vs. "virgin" debate, of course), but it applies much more so to general meaning and view of the world.

    You should also note that art especially was not as removed from reality as we see it today. For almost all of human history, art was more of a craft than a remote expression of some weirdos, as we often see it today. In fact, in old greek the word for "art" and "craft" is the same word. Again, ancient artworks can far more often be assumed to be directly interpretable rather than metaphorical. Cave paintings depicting hunting scenes were almost certainly meant to - depict hunting scenes, not visualize the struggle of mankind via the metaphor of hunting, as a modern painting might.

    Finally, "where the gods are" (monotheism being an unusual and late concept) was largely a non-question until the middle ages. To ancient man, the gods were all around them, sharing physical reality. "The Golden Bough" is the primary authority book on the subject and contains more examples than you can shake a stick at. Some interesting research also indicates that due to neurological differences in the brain, ancient man actually heard the voices of the gods, not imagined or assumed them (cf. "The breakdown of the bicameral mind"). Much research has been done regarding a considerable difference in the world-ego perception between early greeks and late greeks (the Homerian texts usually assumed to indicate the split line), and it can be assumed that the same event happend to other cultures around the world at roughly the same time (which means within a couple hundred years, in this context).

    With all things that we share, there is also a huge abyss between us and ancient man, and we have as much difficulty "thinking in their heads" as we'd have with modern-age aliens.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982