I recently read The Fourth Procedure by Stanley Pottinger, in which, during a surgical procedure, a man is given a uterus containing a fertilized egg. He is enraged when he finds out, afraid that if it becomes public knowledge he’ll be a laughingstock. Turns out he’s right. But I don’t get it. What’s so funny about a man getting pregnant?
Octavia Butler got it right in Xenogenesis when the aliens identified one of our fatal flaws as that of being hierarchy-driven (they fixed us with a bit of genetic engineering) – but she failed to associate the flaw predominantly with males.
And Steven Goldberg got it right in Why Men Rule when he explained that men are genetically predisposed to hierarchy (fetal masculinization of the central nervous system renders males more sensitive to the dominance-related properties of testosterone) – but he presented that as an explanation for why men rule and not also for why men kill.
And Arthur Koestler got it right in The Call Girls when, recognizing that the survival of the human species is unlikely, a select group of geniuses meet at a special ‘Approaches to Survival’ symposium (and fail to agree on a survival plan) – but I’m not sure he realized (oh of course he did) that one of his character’s early reference to a previous symposium on ‘Hierarchic Order in Primate Societies’ was foreshadowing.
The reason the human species will not survive is simple: Continue reading
Is it physiological? Do males produce a larger amount of saliva? Even so, why the need to spit it out? Why not just swallow it?
Would that remind them of swallowing semen? Which is female, effeminate, gay? (I’ll ignore for the moment the assumption that all, or even most, women swallow semen.)
But no, that can’t be right: it seems too…too reasoned. Spitting seems to be more of a reflex, a habit, a that’s-the-way-I-was-raised sort of thing, a cultural thing, a subcultural thing: to spit is to be manly. Little boys spit to appear grown up. Grown up men. So what’s the connection between spitting and masculinity? Continue reading
I just read an article about the Brontes that mentioned “redundant women”. Apparently in 19thC Britain, there was such a male/female ‘imbalance’ in the population that about 500,000 women would remain unmarried. They were called “redundant” women and one of the big questions of the day was what to do with them. Geezus.
I remember when I first read Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics, in which they present an astounding connection between access to abortion and crime: twenty years after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. crime rate dropped.
Astounding indeed. That men are so surprised by that! I mean, just how clueless are you guys? About the power, the influence, of parenting, about the effect of being forced to be pregnant, to be saddled with a squalling baby you do not want, on an income you do not have, because you’ve got a squalling baby you do not want… What did you guys think would happen in situations like that? The women would get “Mother of the Year” awards for raising psychologically healthy adults?
What I find surprising is that access to abortion isn’t related to infanticide. Pity. Given the Freakonomics boys.
I initially wrote this piece in the mid-1990s. It was published in Philosophy Now in 1999 when I was a columnist there. Ten years later, in 2010, I posted it at my other blog; it seemed required. Another three years later, I’m posting it again, here, because the people in power in mainstream media apparently still have their heads up their asses on this matter.
I read the other day that “Violence in our society continues to be a problem.” One, duh. Two, no wonder. I mean, we haven’t even got it named right yet.
“Violence in our society.” It sounds so – inclusive. So gender-inclusive. But about 85% of all the violent crime is committed by men. The gangs are made up of men, the bar brawls are fought by men, the corner stores are held up by men, the rapists are men, the muggers are men, the drive-by shooters are men. This is sex-specific. The problem isn’t violence; the problem is male violence. Continue reading
Excuse me? I don’t need a child to take care of me. I know, he might reply, I’m just trying to – trying to what? Teach him to be a man? Teach him that grown women need looking after? And that he, as the one with the penis, is just the person to do it? Continue reading
I finished a novel by J. D. Robb the other day and also happened to read the back inside cover blurb: “Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than one hundred novels. She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. With more than 145 million copies of her books in print and more than sixty-nine New York Times bestsellers to date, Nora Roberts is indisputably the most celebrated and beloved women’s fiction writer today.” Why the qualification women’s fiction? My guess is that with those numbers, she’s a well celebrated and beloved fiction writer, period. Continue reading
I am amazed at the number of population growth analyses that don’t mention rape. So far I’ve read, let me see…none. And if they don’t even mention rape, they sure as hell can’t consider it a major causal factor. Do people really believe that millions of women want to be pregnant for five to ten years? Do people really believe that most women would actually consent to child number four when the other three are still under six? Continue reading