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Screed From the Dog Days

let's kill a female, the long approved pastime of men

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 30, 2006.

It’s the last commentary of August, the last hot weather screed of the Dog Days. So, while we toast the departure of the camera crews and helicopters, let’s focus in on what is important. I vote for sex.

A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which is not light reading for the commode, says a growing population boom of young and very horny males will provide much violence and destruction across the globe. This daring insight, paid for by your or someone’s tax dollars, ignores the proof of the last five thousand years of human history, where entire Crusades were conceived to remove such young men from Europe, and concentrates on an important new discovery. Apparently, the human species is engaged in the systematic abortion of female fetuses.

Now, generally speaking, in a natural world there would be a naturally occurring balance of girls and boys. In reality, over the last few centuries a little over half the population has been female. But because of the ability of targeted abortions, there are "an estimated 80 million missing females in India and China alone." Overall, they are predicting 12 to 15 percent more men than women in certain parts of the world over the next two decades. From this, the authors conclude that 1.)"The growing number of young men with a lack of family prospects will have little outlet for sexual energy." 2) "This trend would lead to increased levels of anti-social behavior and violence." 3)"When single young men congregate, the potential for more organized aggression is likely to increase substantially and this has worrying implications for organized crime and terrorism." So they say. Is it true, is this new, and how and why does this happen?

It is true, it isn’t new, and it’s because many cultures, including some supposedly advanced, think one gender inferior to the other. Frankly, common sense would indicate that one gender is superior, but the inferior gender is in power, the wrong decision is made. That any decision is made is counterproductive and quite self-destructive in the long run, but whatdya gonna do? Haggle? The games on. Hurry up.

And it would be disrespectful to suggest the decision may have something to do with the fact that females cost more, with weddings and dowries and the fact they are not allowed to work in some situations where men do.

As in India and China, where poverty and ignorance within the rural or displaced peasantry is of such a level that their own governments sometimes make public fun of them, such views aren’t surprising. Neither is it in Africa, macho and remote Latin America, or in the slums of the U.S. Or, in Appalachia or Long Island or anywhere.

Its ramifications are brutal. After all, it is no longer to western big game hunters but to the poor Asian nations that we are losing the world’s elephants and tigers and sharks, creatures killed to give old men long life and erections by ground up tusk, tooth, and tails. Which is to say, we kill and grind to no remote point, and nothing environmentalists could do would be more effective than cheap or free Viagra in South East Asia.

But it isn’t just the poor, and it isn’t just animals that pay for male delusions of adequacy or importance. Men have long cheerfully killed females, in fact and story. The little match girl, Joan of Arc, Nichole Simpson, or JonBenét, it’s hard, sometimes, not to sense a theme.

And this did not start with modern abortion. Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens based entire novels on foundling homes and orphanages, the destinations of predominantly female babies through the years, although their main characters were male. When Henry VIII kicked the Catholic Church out of England, convents had to close and there was suddenly a social issue of all these young and highly attractive British women available to marry in succession, and for whom there were no husbands because they had been sent off to war, because there was nothing for them at home once the eldest son got the castle or the shop. Revolutions became more common.

And for years, Europeans had simply exposed unwanted babies, which tended strongly to be female, to rid themselves of unnecessary mouths to feed who would not wear armor or plow the soil in future years. This was so common, a name was given to the ghosts of children mothers had left at low tide on the beach, or in the woods, at command of the village elders. Utberg, they were called. Utberg. In northern Japan, female infants are left exposed to nature to this day by decision of village elders. Unwanted.

But science has made it possible for parents to know the sex of a zygote early on, and rid ourselves of ghastly females. It is ironic to the extreme that the sort of men who approve of this through a value system that cannot be elevated to sick, are exactly the first to pay the penalty when their numerous sons of equal charm and compassion cannot find wives they cannot afford anyway.

Well, no, we all pay the penalty. And we’re going to pay some more.