Re: The Origin of The Cravat (Was: Are Ties Phallocarps?)

Miranda B. Leethe (
26 Nov 1995 16:36:11 GMT

In <> (Gerold Firl)

>It appears to me that several contributors to this thread have not
>really understood Tom's original hypothesis, which suggests that the tie
>may activate an instinctive male dominance reaction based on penis size.

Hmmm. The shifts in tie fashion (thick-ended, bow tie, long and thin,
bolo tie with rocks attched, etc.) might also correspond with society's
attitude towards masculinity at a particular period. For example, the
ultra-macho 70's favored very large,thick ties, while the more
androgynous 80's favored very thin ones. I hear that people into S&M
like to wear dog collars. Heehee.

>Plovers recognize their eggs by their distinctive shape and coloration.
>If a plover returns to her nest to find that an artificial egg has been
>placed beside her real egg, she evaluates the sensory input to determine
>where she should sit. If the false egg is the same size as the real egg,
>she is just as likely to incubate one as the other. If, however, the
>fake egg is largerthan the real egg, she will sit on the false egg -
>even if it is ridiculously large, say, as big as she is! Her
>egg-detection algorithm returns a stronger recognition-signal for the
>larger "egg". Tinbergen calls this the supernormal stimulus; it's way
>beyond the possible range of parameters ever found in the natural state,
>but it pushes all the right buttons to activate a particular instinct.

Fascinating. Perhaps there is a similar subliminal message being given
via women's hairstyles. Might the bee-hive hairdo of the domestic 50's
be a subtle suggestion of a woman's will to "nest"? It is certainly in
contrast with the minimalist bobs of the emancipated 20's flapper (or the
90's career woman). The bigger the hair, the greater the nesting
instinct? Move over, plover!

>Note that prior to the adoption of the cravat, codpieces were a
>prominant feature of male attire. The codpiece could have expanded to
>phallocarpian dimensions, but it's a little inconvenient in terms of
>manueverability as well as being inconsistant with the sexual
>sublimation which has been an increasing feature of western culture
>until the early 20th century.

How about beltbuckles?

Miranda Leethe