As we wade deep into Hurricane season, our minds (or at least mine does, as a resident of the Gulf a Coast) turn to being sure we are prepared for these devastating storms. We've all seen the devastation... The loss of life and ruination of property; living breathing nightmares flashing. Across our televisions in the wake of these true monsters. And In their wake, we always find ourselves in the aftermath of hurricanes asking just what we could have done to better warn the victims of these manifestations of God's wrath.
And thanks to the University of Illinois, a solution has finally been found...
Stop giving them girl names.
According to the study, hurricanes with female or more feminine sounding names are more likely to kill. Not because they happen to be stronger than those with male names or anything rational like that... But because they are taken less seriously.
In the words of Sharon Shavitt, the behavioral scientist who coauthored the paper:
"... The femininity of the name influences the degree to which people feel the storm is dangerous, and that affects how they respond to it... We had a hunch that there would be some gender biases, but we were quite stunned by the degree of this effect..."
And here I thought that storms were getting deadlier because of Global Warming (or climate change or climate instability or whatever the term is these days)...
Now I could sit here and kick the shit out of this blithering fool's pap... Point out that most residents of the states that tend to be on the crosshairs of these storms prepare by nailing wood to their windows and buying three handles of rum, choosing boozy sex and hurricane parties over dingy shelters and government babysitters. Or that perhaps her admitted bias going into this study might have influenced her results.
But why bother!
As it goes with most of these stupid studies, it will be taken as fact by the Weather Channel (you know the people who name these fucking things), forcing them to try and come up with a better system.
Now, in their desire to no longer have our deep breed contempt of women put us in danger any further, they might just stop using girl names in the interest of public safety; tricking us into taking every storm serious.
But then another study will pop up, perhaps from Tulane, claiming that there is still disproportionate death in these storms; the more traditionally Caucasian names are seen as less life and property threatening than the storms bearing traditionally African American storms. (Likewise, Hispanic sounding names will be seen as listless and meandering, Asian sounding names as robotic and slow moving, and so forth...)
Crippled by their own political correctness, the powers that be will then simply start assigning numbers to the storms. But this too will backfire, this time in the records keeping end as our population- as competitive as it is stupid- will not see the numbers as "names" but rather as rankings, causing them to constantly reassign the storms new numbers.
Frustrated by this madness, the Weather Channel will finally throw up their hands in frustration and stop naming these storms altogether- a practice implemented in the interest of having the public pay attention to these damned things. This will lead to people completely ignoring these storms, seeing them as nothing more than just larger versions of thunderstorms, leading to massive deaths during each storm.
But our sexism will no longer be the cause of it, so at least you can feel better about that...