Saturday, January 03, 2009
I've enjoyed what I've read of Michael Montaigne's essays, but the one I read last night was disturbing. He wrote about three kinds of relationships: friends, women and literature. The disturbing part came when I read that he believed women were out of their depth as intellectuals and should stick to what they do best -- provide ornamentation. He wrote that it goes against a woman's nature to put herself in the midst of intellectual discussions and that logic should be avoided. A woman is beautiful and provides a man with what he needs most -- calm, relaxation and romance. I doubt Montaigne would have appreciate the women of today who speak their minds and consider them the equal of men. He would, however, appreciate women who live for fashion and beauty and concern themselves with pleasing men. He was, after all, a man of his time.
I can see some of his point and it's one that I have mentioned before. The woman's liberation movement has removed a vital part of the feminine arsenal by competing with men as equals. That is not to say that women and men aren't equal -- in some respects -- but that we all are equipped with abilities and skills that, until recently, were specific to gender. That was before women's lib and the feminization of the male species by increasing amounts of chemicals that raise estrogen levels. You mean you haven't heard about this?
In the animal kingdom -- yes, Virginia, humans are animals, too (biologically speaking) -- more and more species are becoming either hermaphroditic or more female than male. With frogs that's not such a bad deal because when the frog population dwindles, males become females and begin laying eggs. It was a fact that Michael Crichton used in Jurassic Park to explain why all the dinosaur species they bred as males were able to lay eggs; they used frog DNA to fill the breaks in the retrieved dinosaur DNA. The influx of chemicals into the environment that either mimic estrogen or raise estrogen production has produced generations of males with smaller penises, undescended testes and feminine characteristics -- and it's happening among the human species as well.
I doubt, however, that the feminization of the male half of homo sapiens will change the rampant testosterone poisoning that fuels wars and corporate pissing contests any time soon, but it may have a long lasting impact on our continuation as a species. Males may become as rare as hen's teeth and females will have to compete for their sperm.
Did I mention that male births are down? Once upon a time, males outnumbered females 2:1. Not so long ago, the ratio was 1:1 and now it is falling the other way. It doesn't take as many males as females to produce the next generation, but higher ratios of males ensure that homo sapiens does not end up in a genetic cul de sac.
Considering how Montaigne felt about preserving the differences between males and females, I'm sure he would have been appalled at the recent increase in females who should think more about beautifying the world and the dwindling numbers of males to carry the logical and intellectual burdens that fuel civilization's growth. If this trend continues, and we follow Montaigne's advice, society will become more beautiful and less able to think it's way past the obstacles to restoring the male-female balance.
That is all. Disperse.