We read the Quran so you don’t have to.

Viva la peahen.

with 22 comments

I’ve re-read chapter 16, but haven’t really had the time to write anything about it.  Alas, I’ll just have to update you on how life is going.

I followed through with my new year’s resolution to join a gym.  I’ve gone every day this week for a 30 minute morning workout.  Still getting used to the whole being-naked-in-front-of-strangers / locker room thing.  I would be the worst stripper ever.  Seriously, if you ever needed to be reminded of how puritanical Americans are, the locker room’s the place to do it.  A friend of mine shared her experiences in a Paris gym lock room — naked women hanging out, having conversations, showing one another dance moves they’d picked up in class.  Yeeeeeeah.  I need to be woman enough to do that.

Speaking of ye olde flesh, I’ve got the itch again.  No, not that kind of itch.  Gross.  I’ve got the itch to get another tattoo.  And I’ve already come up with the idea for it.

A couple of years ago, my mother and I were watching some nature show.  They did a segment on peacocks mating — the males all feathered up and strutting, colors everywhere.  My mom watched in awe and then sighed, “God truly does favor the men, doesn’t he?”  In case you didn’t know, peahens don’t have the colors or the tail.  Everybody’s always oohing and aahing about peacocks, and I doubt most people even know what a peahen looks like.

Anyway, what my mom said got under my skin.  It pissed me off and made me sad at the same time.  It’s one of those things that bothered me — probably a lot more than it should have, but whaddyagonnado?  I argued with my mom for a while and finally convinced her that the stupid tail makes the peacock stick out and thus more likely to be killed and eaten.*  Screw those guys.  Viva la peahen.

For whatever reason, when I think feminism, I think peahens.  (Don’t ask me — I’m not sure how my brain works either.)  And it kinda bothers me a little when I see girls with peacock tattoos (pretty common, Google that shit).  I’m not sure what keyword triggered this, but Google gave me this yesterday:  Female Peacocks Not Impressed by Male Feathers. Pssh.  Go, girls!

That got the old noggin whirring, and a decision was made:  for my next double-middle-finger to the “good” lord, I’m getting a peahen inked on me.  I told a friend about my plan and she had this to say:  “It’s like telling society, ‘up your nose with a rubber hose.'”  My friends are weird.


Anyway, chapter 16 will be up just as soon as I get around to writing about it.  Stay tuned.  And stay warm…it sucks out there.

* I don’t really know if that’s true, but those fuckers are just asking for it.


Written by kafirgirl

January 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Quran

Tagged with ,

22 Responses

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  1. Oops, 404. Perhaps you meant this link?


    Reading this stuff gives me the shivers! :)


    January 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

  2. That’s awesome.

    Make sure your tattoo is modeled after a peahen, not a young peacock. These look very similar to most folks.(I will be glad to help in checking the gender if wanted)

    I have 100 peafowl in two species and several different colors. Google white, pied, purple, opal, silver pied, bronze to see a range of colors that have shown up and maintained in domestication. Always thought the peahens were beautiful in their own way.

    The article should have added something else peacocks do- deliberately turning away from the peahen, often showing her his butt, then suddenly in one lightening quick move he swerves to face the peahen again and intensely “vibrate/shiver” at her. Kind of like ‘peek a boo!’. Most of the time the peahen don’t even react or even look at him though. Funny to see.

    I’ve been a long time follower- you are an excellent writer and thinker with the greatest humor.


    January 14, 2009 at 6:16 pm

  3. Viva la peahen!

    PS There’s a whole theory about the risk of something like a peacock tail showing fitness. That is “I’m such a fit male, I can handle this ridiculous risk of being eaten.” Human males do this too, but mostly by bahaving in stupid and risky manners.


    January 14, 2009 at 7:44 pm

  4. So peacocks who show their tails are basically the Johnny Knoxvilles of the animal kingdom?


    January 14, 2009 at 8:17 pm

  5. Viva la peahen!

    I’ve definitely been wanting a new tattoo lately, I only have one right now, and I want to add on to it. I just have to figure out how to take the picture in my head and put it on paper (I’m a horrible artist).

    I got your email, btw. We def have to get together, I’m in your borough everyday!


    January 14, 2009 at 8:46 pm

  6. Everybody’s always oohing and aahing about peacocks, and I doubt most people even know what a peahen looks like

    I didn’t even know THERE WERE peahens… I thought they were called “girl peacocks”. ;-)


    January 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm

  7. Yeah, that’s the idea. I don’t know if that idea is fully backed up with evidence though. Does it actually work for Knoxville? It doesn’t sound like it’s working on the peahens anymore.


    January 14, 2009 at 9:52 pm

  8. Viva La Peahen!!!

    Isn’t it true for most in the animal kingdom that the males tend to be more striking? Even most insects I think.

    However, I’ve never thought of it as favouring males but rather the contrary, as the males have to go through all that shit and parade themselves about just to get the female’s attention.

    Sandia: how and where do you keep your peafowl? it sounds quite interesting!


    January 15, 2009 at 12:37 am

  9. I think you going to like this cartoon:



    January 15, 2009 at 7:53 am

  10. Sandia, you raise peafowl? Crazy! That’s super cool. Mind if I email you a few pictures to verify that what I’m looking at is actually a lady and not an ambiguously-gendered young cock? I don’t want to give the artist any images that might confuse him.

    Nathan, Johnny Knoxville has a kid. So — this is the scary bit — some woman actually fell for it. Yiish!

    Chickpea, if you need an artist reco, I know just the guy. He’ll take your idea and make it come to life. I may be a little biased, but my husband’s sleeve is the best thing ever.

    Mauro, I like to think of em as peachicks.

    Yoke, I thought the same thing when I watched the Planet Earth series. The males have to do all this shit to get women to notice them. Women just kinda show up and make a pick. I’m ok with that.

    ixolite — brilliant!


    January 15, 2009 at 2:19 pm

  11. That is a great idea for a tattoo.

    “They did a segment on peacocks mating — the males all feathered up and strutting, colors everywhere. My mom watched in awe and then sighed, “God truly does favor the men, doesn’t he?””

    With spiders, the females are definitely the more favoured gender. After all, in many species the female will eat the male after mating.

    Still, spiders are a bit icky, so they’re probably the work of the devil or something.


    January 15, 2009 at 3:26 pm

  12. I too agree with Yoke – but generally speaking one has to be a little careful so that we are not projecting our (human) sensitivities about aesthetics and fairness upon animals. Peacocks and Peahens are color-blind (like most of the animal world) so such lavish plumage maybe more striking to us than they are to the peahens.

    For instance lions look majestic with their mane. But “majesty” is purely a human pre-occupation. The Lion is only looking to get fed and laid (with long naps in between). And the lioness is only looking for someone strong and menacing enough to accord protection to their offspring. This is not about gender-equality but rather quid-pro-quo (which is kind of an equality).


    January 15, 2009 at 6:28 pm

  13. HolyDude: Are you sure that Peafowl are colourblind? I don’t know anything about them in particular, but most birds are not only polychromatic but tetrachromatic. Where did you hear they couldn’t see colour?

    If anyone’s wondering, tetrachromatic animals have four different types of cones (colour sensors) in their eyes, allowing them to distinguish more colours over a wider range than humans. We’re only trichromatic.


    January 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

  14. Don’t female praying mantis commence mating by biting off the male’s head? His little body just keeps right on pumping with or without a head.

    Manigen – That’s what i was thinking, but I did not know the fancy technical word ’til now. Cool. Some raptors can see the ultraviolet in rodent pee.


    January 15, 2009 at 7:44 pm

  15. Most of the time the peahen don’t even react or even look at him though.

    C’mon, everyone knows that women are much more subtle at checking guys out from the corner of their eye. Us guys just aren’t that clever, so we ogle (and other stupid crap). :-)


    January 15, 2009 at 8:54 pm

  16. i think it makes sense that birds can see in colour. in fact, i think it’s reasonable to think that most in the animal kingdom can see in colour. or at least some form of colour.

    else poisonous plants, insects and reptiles wouldn’t bother with the striking colours to warn potential predators.

    i’ve always wondered though, what are these other colours that we can’t see. what are they like?


    January 16, 2009 at 1:14 am

  17. Michael…I ogle. I SO ogle. Poor KafirBoy.


    January 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

  18. I stand corrected. I had been told about wide-spread color-blindness in the animal kingdom (I don’t remember being told about birds so I may have misled myself). In any case, upon looking up I see that Birds are in fact more color-sensitive than most animals (including humans).

    However, the basic thrust of my argument still stands that just because we “perceive” beauty or value in some attribute, it does not mean that animals do the same. In fact beauty itself is a subjective/cultural construct.

    And yes Yoke – Animals are indeed color-blind. The bull (one adequately provoked) will charge at any offending rag and not just a red one.

    Its worth wondering if color is an attribute of the object or the subject. In other words, is the leaf green or are we viewing and perceiving it as “green”. To stretch that a little further, Is it not possible that you view green in a slightly different manner than I do? But since we are both told that it is “green” we have a presumption of parity when actually we have slight but un-measurable dis-parity.


    January 16, 2009 at 2:22 pm

  19. Poor KafirBoy? Who are you kidding? He’d be lost without you! Ogle away.


    January 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm

  20. HolyDude: Green is 0x00FF00. Or #00FF00 if you roll that way. I refuse to ponder deeper. :-)


    January 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

  21. Kafirgirl,
    Not sure if it means anything to your understanding of the Peahen, but the reason the males are so coloured is that they are “performing” for the females.

    The females choose the male who performs best and takes him (basically on the basis that “if I take the guy who performs best as the father of my kids, then other females will be attracted to my kids, because they’ll have his performance genes”).

    The females themselves don’t need to be highly coloured – because they don’t need to perform for anyone.

    Understood like that, is being the male all that great?


    January 17, 2009 at 9:47 am

  22. First some fowl language dammit!

    Peafowl- plural or species. Ex: Indian peafowl. I have 100 peafowl.

    Peacock- Male peafowl.

    Peahen- Female peafowl.

    Peachick- baby or young peafowl less than a year old.

    KG- sure, be glad to help. You’ve been helping us understand the Q’uran in a proper way.. only fair you get some help back! Be sure to put Peahen in the subject line so I won’t miss it among the spam.

    Yoke- I’m in California.. the peafowl are kept in large pens to keep the colors separate for ‘pure breeding’. Color mutations have shown up in captivity such as White, Opal, Bronze(those look chocolate brown colored to me..) etc. A few birds are loose and just hang out around the yard.

    Not sure if anybody knows- there are feral populations around the world. In Los Angeles there are two main large populations in Palos Verdes and in/around Arcadia. For creatures to survive in an urban setting, they have got to be flexible, adaptable and have some ‘smarts’.. another reason to admire them.

    Color vision in animnals: Most actually have some kind of color vision.. mainly dichromatic(two main colors) for mammals. Cattle, horses etc are dichromatics. It’s humans and primates that are trichromatics, which is something special only in comparison to most mammals being dichromatics. Primates evolved trichromatic vision to detect ripe fruits and picking out fresher, younger shoots or leaves.. saves their energy from just looking at the fruit before climbing over and biting into it only to find it’s unripe..

    (Most)Birds have full color vision, plus many species are also able to see UV. It’s been recently found that peafowl can see UV.. plus the peacocks reflect UV from parts of their bodies, so a peacock looks more brilliant to a peahen than to us humans.


    January 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm

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