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Opinion: Whose World Is it Anyway?

19/09/2010

CB068002Scientists have recently discovered a way to use bone marrow tissue to produce early-stage sperm cells. Amazing enough, but consider the prospect that such cells may even be produced from female bone marrow tissue. If this were true, it could potentially lead to an all female conception and, bearing in mind that any children conceived in this way would also be female due to the lack of the male Y chromosome, we are faced with the possibility of a world without men.

retro card

A hundred years ago this may have been considered impossible (even forgetting the science involved) as women depended so heavily on men that the idea of being able to survive without them was inconceivable. Men were needed to provide for the household, to protect the country, to manage the economy, to run the government; essentially men were relied upon to  control every aspect of life and society outside the home.

Then came the two World Wars. Suddenly women were needed in the factories, on the farms, serving behind the front lines. Women learnt to weld, to plough, to drive, and myriad other skills that they kept even after the wars were over. They were a generation of ‘Rosie the Riveters’ and land girls whose career options had been drastically extended and who weren’t about to give up on their new found freedom- or the knowledge thatland girls they could do a ‘man’s job’ just as well as men, if not even better.

These women paved the way for generations of women since to go out and make their mark on the world. Not only is it now commonplace for women to go out to work, but we are running multinational corporations. Irene Rosenfeld, Ellen Kullman, Angela Braly, Anne Lauvergeon, Lynn Elsenhans… you may not recognise all these names but they are titans of the business world. They are all chief executives in the still male-dominated corporate environment, forging new ground and inspiring female professionals all over the globe. And women are fighting in the armed services too. With over 17,000 servicewomen, including over 3000 officers, there are currently more women actively serving Britain than at any other time since WWII. Women are pilots, engineers, communications and logistics specialists, and many even serve on the front lines. And women really are taking over the world with leadership roles in world politics. Hillary Clinton, a Presidential Candidate, is currently the US Secretary of State, in the UK Harriet Harman is the Leader of the House of Commons, while Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was named Forbes’ Most Powerful Woman in the World.

This bodes well for the prospects for world peace, for as Elayne Boosler said, “When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It’s a whole different way of thinking.”

All over the world, sisters are doing it for themselves. But men seemed to have changed too. Gone are the gentlemen who open doors for ladies, stand up when they leave the table, or, when walking side-by-side, stay closest to the road.  That may be expecting too much in this day and age but what about dates? It seems to me a typical ‘date’ these days seems to be initiated by a feeble act of nonchalance that goes something like this: “Maybe I’ll see you in the pub sometime. We could have a drink together. You know, whatever.” If by some chance you do receive a more definite and organised invitation and, by a further miracle, this involves being picked up from your home, I have a sneaking suspicion that this phenomenon will not extend to ringing the doorbell but rather consists of a quick honk from the driveway. It seems the only time a man wants to cross that threshold is for the coffee at the end of the date. Compare this scenario to the one below. (For all of you unacquainted with Bill Compton of True Blood, this 173 year old is unfamiliar with our modern courtship rituals…)

We can’t blame our modern men for so drastically paling into significance beside this antiquated approach however; we must share the blame. All of the examples I have provided above have given men the idea that because we wish to be treated as equals in the office we would be insulted by any such demonstrations of chivalry. I personally think this is a rather convenient excuse- but unfortunately still a valid one. To men, it appears that we are sending mixed signals but the truth is simply this: just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we WANT to.

I feel an inordinate amount of pride in changing a light bulb or assembling an exercise bike by myself. (of course, the seat was on backwards but that is hardly the point). Just the other day I learnt how to adjust the air pressure in my tyres and clean out my washing machine trays. But this brings me neatly to my point- just because I now have a better understand of the inner workings of my washing machine does not mean I am better off. I long for the days when I was blissfully unaware of where all the buttons, kirby grips, wet paper receipts and tangles of damp hair went. And, yes, it is always useful to know how to change a tyre on the side of a road but 4 broken nails, 3 oil stains and 2 blisters usually diminishes any sense of satisfaction in the accomplishment.

So, in a world populated wholly by women, is there anything we would miss about men? Well, we wouldn’t have anyone to buy us flowers but, then again, we wouldn’t have to worry about the reason behind the flowers. But we also wouldn’t have anyone to zip us into our dresses or anyone to reassure us that our bum does NOT look big in said dress. We wouldn’t have anyone to carry our bags, containing our phones, lipsticks, compacts, tissues, brushes, keys…  Or to give us their jackets at the end of the night when our skimpy dresses aren’t quite weather appropriate. And, most importantly, we wouldn’t have anyone to wear inappropriately skimpy outfits for. As for punctured tyres or blocked washing machines, I’m with Marilyn Monroe when she said “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”

If you can’t marry a rich man… Marry a handy man

– My wise Aunt

I want to be looked after, I want to keep my hands soft not dirty, I want to be treated to pretty things, and I don’t want to carry my own bags. If this sounds unreasonable I remind men of those brainy scientists with their clever little tests tubes. Be thankful that we still find you useful.

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Could you live in a world without men?

What would you miss most?

What wouldn’t you miss?!

Let me know!

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CAST YOUR VOTE NOW!

Rosiehanging a picture


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10 Comments leave one →
  1. 20/09/2010 18:22

    I applaud you Aphrodite! Whilst I think it is important that we know “How to” do certain manly tasks – i.e change a tyre – it is more important to feign ignorance when there is a man about! Remember.. those NAILS and remember.. mens EGOS!! I say why deprive them of feeling macho….let them change those tyres!

  2. Michelle permalink
    23/09/2010 16:14

    As much as the division of labour has changed (and rightfully so!).. men have their uses. I for one would rather stand back and tell him that the shelf is wonkey then attempt to put it up myself!

  3. Stacey permalink
    25/09/2010 14:45

    Amazing! I laughed out loud reading that one! Beautifully written and very witty! But I must say – that the type of gentleman whom you describe as sadly being extinct… not so, and I have one to prove it! He turns up at my door (ringing the door and coming up to the flat!) simply to drop off flowers… no suspect reason behind it, just to make my day! He picks me up (on the motorbike), (once again, always coming in to collect me) for wonderful thoughtful dates… and many other things which fulfill the criteria of a perfect gentleman!

    • 25/09/2010 14:50

      Now there really is not need to show off… But how do you KNOW there is ‘no suspect reason’ behind the flowers??

  4. Neil Lloyd permalink
    25/09/2010 15:12

    She may be slightly mistaken! … What she describes as innocence, might just be the long term strategy of a young man, who’s just parenoid about messing anything up and really hopes she’s planning to stick around. I wouldn’t describe it as ‘suspect’ but maybe ‘innocent’ is also a little strong. Let’s just say there’s a whole spectrum of possibilities…

    • 25/09/2010 15:18

      Thanks for the honesty Neil! And I have to say- as far as suspect reasons go- that is a pretty good one. So do you also agree that chivalry is not in fact dead in our world?

  5. Stacey permalink
    25/09/2010 16:03

    Well obviously, I certainly don’t think it is due to my experiences – however I do feel it is sadly dying out more widely…

  6. 26/09/2010 16:54

    Pretty in Print! Your comment..”Now there really is no need to show off… But how do you KNOW there is ‘no suspect reason’ behind the flowers??”
    Instead of being cynical you should be applauding this young man!! I believe women are at fault by becoming too independent which inturn intimidates men and thus the art of chivalry is dying out!

  7. Amy permalink
    04/10/2010 17:13

    I definitely couldn’t live in a world without men – and it’s not because I want them to do the tough work for me! I agree with Elayne Boosler that men and women are very different and that ‘it’s a whole different way of thinking’. However, it’s not fair to highlight the negative aspects of men and not to recognise the important emotional support that men can give to women. Men can often be more laid back and help us to have a different perspective on a situation. I think women can have a tendency to worry about what others might think of them and to over analyse problems. It is men that can encourage us to just be ourselves and not to worry!

  8. 15/10/2010 18:48

    Hey, I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog!…..I”ll be checking in on a regularly now….Keep up the good work! 🙂

    – Marc Shaw

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