Science is one of my favorite subjects, the only field I have little to no interest in, physics. I can follow it, but it bores me due to the amount of mathematics required. Hypotheses formulate in my mind often, which is why I have so much veneration for Old Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr. Once deemed the most beautiful woman in the world, her looks overshadowed her scientific contributions. She created the technology of frequency hopping, used today for Wi-fi, GPS and Bluetooth. Thank you Hedy, who due to misogyny and vanity never got the acclaim she deserved.
Two experiments I would like to conduct.
Iron’s effect on body heat: Working and growing up in New York City, the cultural epicenter of the world, one can’t help but notice what different ethnicities deem warm. Specifically, white people who sit outside at restaurants and sport shorts in 45 degree weather. On the opposite end of the spectrum are black people, bundled up and wondering why? Myself included in the latter. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s an iron based issue. Black people have a much higher rate of anemia (lack of healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues of the body) than our white counterparts. Often times the solution to this deficiency, an increase in iron (usually via pills). The lack of oxygen leaves one feeling cold, due to poor circulation. Leaving me to conclude that white people have more iron in their blood, meaning they get hotter at significantly lower temperatures.
Evolution plays a role, as our ancestors who left the continent of Africa to explore, needed more iron for colder climates (also losing their melanin, seeing as they didn’t need protection from the sun anymore).
Female mutilation correlates to aggression: Traveling and having an African friend opened my eyes to what constitutes as blackness. Being black is more than just a skin color, it’s a culture specific to African Americans. Being an African American is the creation of the slave and the master. Having a first generation African friend, Naki, is a constant reminder of that. “I don’t know what kind of European lineage you have in your blood, but I can’t drink as much as you.” She says passing me her double martini to finish.
“It happens at nine years old. They make you think you’re going to your favorite place, really they take you to some hut in the village and cut your clit off with a razor blade. The person who does it isn’t even a doctor and you have to stay for like ten days to heal. My family didn’t do it to me, but my mom and cousin got it. You really don’t know anyone who has it? I know mad people.”
No I did not, if I did they too would be African. Female mutilation is not apart of my culture, it’s tradition in hers.
At other intervals she told me about people who have extreme anger issues. “I swear she doesn’t give a fuck, like we talked about Tati, she doesn’t care if she goes to jail.”
“Did she have her clit removed too?” One night I made the correlation, the multiple people she discussed did indeed have this procedure.
Despite the small sample size, I came to the conclusion that female mutilation, never experiencing pleasure or sexual gratification of any sort, correlates to violent outburst as an expression of anger. Dopamine is released when experiencing pleasure, taking place in the following areas of the brain: nucleus accumbens (controls release), ventral tegmental area (releases) and the amygdala (which regulates emotions). I would love to see brain scans of those who have and haven’t experienced female mutilation, especially the emotional component (amgydala), when triggered for pleasure and pain. Photographer: Kennedi Carter