November 15, 2010

So, I'm reading about the decline of men...

...because I am in a stabby mood.

I have no clue if the author interviewed in this piece is correct, or even if his hypothesis has merit. I don't care; I'm in a stabby mood. Why you ask? Because I am going through new computer hell. I hate new computers. My old one was stumbling around like a drunken pirate, but, well, it was my drunken pirate. I never knew which way it was going to pitch, but I knew it would do it sooner or later.

This new one? Bah. The email has been horrendous. Choking and shutting down and freezing up. It needs Tonic Lax. Hell, I need Tonic Lax. That's an insider cat joke for you cat people.

But I wandered off site to read about how men are just so much less...manly these days. Physically, because they've gone from trading furs to trading stocks they are more squooshy and slow. You don't have to run to catch dinner, you can just pick it up on the way home. The author makes some rather unsupported remarks about how fast and furious our ancestors used to be; I wasn't aware they had stopwatches back then, but whatever.

There are a lot of papers/stories/features about the decline of the male of our species. That we reward wussy behaviour and punish the more typically masculine traits. That women are taking over and creating a subset of boy children who are just girl children in darker colours.

Yeah, I don't think so. I don't know a single woman who isn't happy and impressed with a guy who can do guy things. I mean, I just changed the filter on my humidifier. I did it because I can, not because I wanted to. I opened the top, and promptly dumped the tray of water all over the floor. This raced to the litter boxes, because my basement floor is as level as the Titanic apres iceberg. I sighed as I watched the impending poo stew, and started to remove the old filter. The little arm water-measurer thing popped off, and I was promptly sprayed with a stream of water from the little water shooty doodad. I reached up and turned off the little bar that controls this, by following the length of hose as it noodled around the pipes above my head.

I was then standing with a puddle of litter and water at my feet. My sleeve was soaked. I was holding a disgusting, crusty tray, and wondering how this could get worse. As I glanced around for something to clean all of this up, the old filter slid off the sprog and clattered to my feet, coming apart like a two-bit Ferris wheel. Maggie was watching me. She looked amused.

I scrubbed everything up, carefully reassembled everything, and got it all spinning around again. I was pleased. And I would also have been more than happy to not have done it. Boys can do this. I appreciate when boys do this. I am not making a single feminist statement. I hate useless guys who can't do this stuff, but I also hate when women can't do it.

I can cut grass and shovel snow. I also know that Christopher, at 6'3" and 200lb, can lift more and push more, more effortlessly than I can. I'm sure if he had been raised to run away from sabre toothed tigers, he would be more fleet of foot, but conflating modern man's physical abilities with the rise of so-called Momma's Boys is crazy. The article does make an important point about the more modern use of birth control: women can play with the He-man Masters of the Universe, without necessarily bearing fruit. Maybe we are breeding out the Viking terrors that he talks about. But I don't know how that would mean those same women are rushing to mate with interior designers.

Teach all of your kids how to clean a toilet, and how to turn off a water main. Teach them how to do laundry and how to use a miter-board. Anyone can cook, or rake or scrub a fridge. If our bodies are psychically changing with evolution, then so should our expectations.

And maybe it's just the lizard part of my brain kicking in, but a toolbelt is still sexier than a briefcase. But don't ask me to clean the cave.

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Anonymous buzzwhack said...

Sigh, another bs piece by an author out to score a quickie. I'm a real man but that doesn't mean I expect my lady to be Kissandra, Queen of Barbian plastic boobage or a moron. He has some stereotype issues to deal with before he can talk intelligently about this. For one thing, there's scant record of the Beserker's lineage except for what left in the Skraeling Norse sagas. So any conjecture about the off springs is just that. I wonder how the rest of his research holds up?

November 15, 2010 2:35 PM  

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