Why "Nice Guys" Deserve to Finish Last

The modern man supposedly sympathetic to feminist goals in the Nice Guy, who defines himself according to his liberal values. But it's just more patriarchy in disguise, says Eva Wiseman. 

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The modern and supposedly admirable answer to yesterday's patriarchy is the Nice Guy, says Eva Wiseman, editor of the Observer magazine. The Nice Guy defines himself according to his liberal values, i.e. how much respect he doles out to people not as privileged as himself. "Like he's giving ribbon-tied gifts rather than just being a grown-up. Who talks about the 'beauty of childbirth', about his admiration of 'strong women', 'real women'. About the way he appreciates not tits and arses, but minds..." But Wiseman says this saccharine generosity is code for: "Don't do what men want, do what Nice Guys want!"

What's the Big Idea?

One of the Nice Guy's trademark generosities is his appreciation of women without makeup, as though his countervailing aesthetic, which happens not to include women's pastes and powders, will make them feel any more secure. "The only difference between Nice Guys' misogyny and that of their fathers'," said Wisement, "is that Nice Guys' misogyny is in disguise. It's wearing a little hat. An eye patch. Nice Guys cuddle you tightly, then half an hour later you realise they've nicked your wallet. Nice Guys lift up women on their shoulders, but only to make sure they don't see all the stuff they're crushing underfoot."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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