“I’m a Republican, so I blame everything on feminism — or commies.” P.J. O’Rourke
I’m a man and, like any man, I worry about our declining importance in the world today. Have we outgrown our usefulness? Should we start moving to one gender? Should I start calling myself Dorothy?
I’ve given this a lot of thought, particularly after my publisher informed me I must direct my novels and articles more towards women. They represent over 75 percent of the book-buying public — and 100 percent of the coloring book-buying market.
If women can corner the coloring book market, it stands to reason the next President of the United States should be a woman. Coloring books are loved by people of all ages. Women understand this. They also understand the back-end sales of crayons. Our economy is probably built on crayons.
“Men’s last vestige of usefulness is shoving meat into tubes.” Unfortunately, this has also been automated, which really leaves car detailing and cow tipping.
Looked at from a historical perspective, isn’t this another example of man’s decline? Shouldn’t we stop thinking our usefulness is predicated on wars, politics and the ability to open pickle jars?
Think back to the earliest stages of our existence. Men made themselves useful by rubbing sticks together and getting fire. Since gas ranges have done away with this, we should stop believing we’re irreplaceable. Half of us can’t work a gas range, anyway.
As one psychologist pointed out, “Men’s last vestige of usefulness is shoving meat into tubes.” Unfortunately, this has also been automated, which leaves car detailing and cow tipping.
Women, on the other hand, have made amazing strides. With little more than a keyboard and a smartphone, they now dominate social media.
According to a Pew Study, well over half of all Facebook users are women. Sixteen percent comment on posts several times a day (compared to only eight percent of men). They say “You look amazing” a lot, but at least it’s positive reinforcement. All men do is post emojis that look like brown Pillsbury dinner rolls (it took me years to realize it was shit).
Men are giving up their cars, leaving women to take to the roads — and boardrooms — with more authority (and traffic tickets) than ever before.
Women are simply out-reading, out-chatting, and out-commenting their male counterparts, while still raising families, earning black belts and taking Master’s degrees — all within driving distance of their gynocologists.
In fact, driver’s license applications are declining for men while increasing for women. Men are giving up their cars, leaving women to take to the roads — and boardrooms — with more authority (and traffic tickets) than ever before.
Women also account for 80 percent of car-buying decisions. They showed this power recently by giving a thumb’s down to electric cars in Britain. One woman claimed it was because of electrocution. “It rains a lot here,” she said.
Which brings me back to men. What good are we today?
Fertilization has supposedly been solved with sperm banks. If every male makes even a small contribution (which we do most days except during football season), an ample supply can be kept in cryogenic containers, each labeled by height, eye color and ability to shut up.
So what’s keeping the female population from putting us in space shuttles, and sending us to another planet?
It can’t be our company. Women prefer women’s company (60 percent say they’d rather talk to a woman).
It seems aggressive brains fulfill an interesting purpose, which goes back to us figuring out how to kill a big animal with a sharp stick.
It can’t be we’re any good in bed (40 percent say we’re not).
One professor, Richard Lynn, concluded from what he called “a lifetime of academic research” that women need men for one purpose: brains. Rather than calling men “brainy,” he prefers to call males “aggressive brains.”
It seems aggressive brains fulfill an interesting purpose, which goes back to us deciding we can kill a big animal with a sharp stick.
That eventually translated into science where men used their “aggressive brains” to figure out how to get off this planet. Women aren’t big on leaving this planet. That’s why only 10 percent of science professors are women.
Professor Lynn also pointed out that women are scoring better in school on IQ tests simply because of the exams themselves. With the emphasis on course work, the education system rewards diligence over unique thinking.
Companies are taking note of this, too. Some organizations are even incentivizing teamwork, giving bigger bonuses to consensus builders and less to “aggressive brains.”
Like Homer Simpson, we might assume the childlike adult position, although our kids will grow up more childlike than us.
Since “aggressive brains” are all we’ve got, men might be the next species on the endangered list. Organizations simply don’t need our kind of thinking anymore. In fact, over 50 percent of managers are women today, and two of the top social media companies have women CEOs.
You could say men are becoming a bit like coal. Once women find cleaner alternatives, who needs us? We might assume the childish adult position, like Homer Simpson, although our kids will grow up more childish than us.
All things considered, it might be better being one gender. That way we won’t be fighting over closet space, and we can all drive to the airport in terrible weather, even though our relatives keep telling us they can take a cab.
In anticipation of that day — which isn’t far off — I think I’ll start calling myself Dorothy. The less we fight this the better. Especially since we’re already ordering Mocha lattés that would embarrass any grandfathers.
Anyway, I call dibs on Dorothy. It’s better than Olga. Not that I have anything against Olga, but I’d rather be called Dorothy.
Robert Cormack is a freelance copywriter, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores (now in paperback). For more details, go to Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press.