Isn't It Simply Grand to Have a Penis?

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Marianne J. Legato, director of the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia, argues that two decades of concentration on women's health have led the medical community to ignore the most glaring gender disparity in physical fitness:

What emerges when one studies male biology in a truly evenhanded way is the realization that from the moment of conception on, men are less likely to survive than women. It's not just that men take on greater risks and pursue more hazardous vocations than women. There are poorly understood—and underappreciated—vulnerabilities inherent in men's genetic and hormonal makeup…

Men's troubles begin during the earliest days in the womb. Even though there are more male than female embryos, there are more miscarriages of male fetuses. Industrial countries are also witnessing a decline in male to female birth ratios, and we don't know why.

Some scientists have argued that the probability of a male child declines as parents (especially fathers) age. Still others have cited the prevalence of pesticides, which produce more birth defects in male children.

Even when a boy manages to be born, he's still behind the survival eight ball: he is three to four times more likely than girls to have developmental disorders like autism and dyslexia; girls learn language earlier, develop richer vocabularies and even hear better than boys. Girls demonstrate insight and judgment earlier in adolescence than boys, who are more impulsive and take more risks than their sisters. Teenage boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls and are more likely to die violent deaths before adulthood…

Considering the relative fragility of men, it's clearly counterintuitive for us to urge them, from boyhood on, to cope bravely with adversity, to ignore discomfort, to persevere in spite of pain and to accept without question the most dangerous jobs and tasks we have to offer. Perhaps the reason many societies offer boys nutritional, educational and vocational advantages over girls is not because of chauvinism—it's because we're trying to ensure their survival.

It's possible, too, that we've simply been sexist. We've complained bitterly that until recently women's health was restricted to keeping breasts and reproductive organs optimally functional, reflecting the view that what made women valuable was their ability to conceive and bear children. But aren't we doing the same thing with men? Read the questions posed on the cover of men's magazines: how robust is your sexuality? How well-developed are your abs? The only malignancy I hear discussed with men is prostate cancer.

So maybe more manliness isn't the answer, but it's interesting to see Legato's path intersecting that of Christina Hoff Summers and other war-against-boys types, who get hot and bothered over the way males are being physically and mentally marginalized. For my money, all these people are just pikers compared to Valerie Solanas, whose SCUM Manifesto foresaw the era of mechanical reproduction and the obsolescence of men:

Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the y(male) gene is an incomplete x(female) gene, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples…

The sick, irrational men, those who attempt to defend themselves against their disgustingness, when they see SCUM barrelling down on them, will cling in terror to Big Mama with her Big Bouncy Boobies, but Boobies won't protect them against SCUM; Big Mama will be clinging to Big Daddy, who will be in the corner shitting in his forceful, dynamic pants. Men who are rational, however, won't kick or struggle or raise a distressing fuss, but will just sit back, relax, enjoy the show and ride the waves to their demise.

NEXT: Bailey on CNBC's Kudlow & Co. Show Sometime Soon...

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  1. Valerie Solanas sounds hot. Any contact information for her?

  2. BTW, I simply cannot understand how she came to hold the views she has:

    On April 9, 1936 in Ventor, New Jersey, Valerie Jean Solanas was born to Louis and Dorothy Bondo Solanas. Her father sexually molested her; sometime in the 1940’s her parents divorced, and Valerie moved with her mother to Washington, D.C.. In 1949 Valerie’s mother married Red Moran. Rebellious and stubborn, Valerie disobeyed her parents and refused to stay in Catholic high school; in response her grandfather whipped her.

    At the age of 15 in 1951, Valerie ended up on her own. She dated a sailor and may have gotten pregnant by him but still managed to graduate from high school in 1954. She was a good student at the University of Maryland at College Park, supporting herself by working in the psycology department’s animal laboratory. She did nearly a year of graduate work in psychology at University of Minnesota.

    After college, Solanas panhandled and worked as a prostitute to support herself. She traveled around the country and ended up in Greenwich Village in 1966. There she wrote “Up Your Ass”, a play ” about a man-hating hustler and a panhandler. In one version, the woman kills the man. In another, a mother strangles her son.”

    From her bio. Seems like a normal upbringing to me.

    Also, her bio spells “psycology” as well as Tim’s post spells “pysically”.

  3. Damn, we should get paid more or own more shit to compensate for the shorter lifespan. To be fair.

  4. Tim, that’s a smorgasbord of good quotes.

    Best one:

    Men who are rational, however, won’t kick or struggle or raise a distressing fuss, but will just sit back, relax, enjoy the show and ride the waves to their demise.

    That’s funny, considering civilized society gives women an equal voice. Resorting to extermination tactics usually favors the physically stronger.

    I always thought war of the sexes was just a figure of speech. Apparently Solanas isn’t aware that the fundies are vastly outbreeding the anti-man contingent. Evolution at work, I guess.

  5. Graduated from high school?

    Damn. Out of my league.

  6. The worst infirmity of being male is having to endure that awful Ann Colter ad with the closeup. I’d glady take a job on a crab boat if someone would make it go away.

  7. People, people… I always use firefox when I come over to reason.com, because it allows you to do nifty things like ‘block images from this site.’ Believe you me, after one glance at the Blonde Skeletor, that image was gone…

  8. I like my penis. I really like my penis. No, you don’t understand – I think I’m in love!

  9. peachy,

    Thanks for the tip.

  10. Horn Dog,
    That’s just your hand speaking.

    Seriously, my penis is my parasite, granted.
    But I mean it in the original Greek sense:
    “One who eats at the table of another.”

    And another, and another…
    Yum yum.

  11. I for one welcome our new female masters.

    And Valerie, please tell me more of the Revolution and how males are to be extinct in a hundre…oh, you need me to open that jar of olives for you? Here dear, let me help you on that (opens jar). Here you go!
    Now tell me how females are superior in everyway…

    😉

  12. BTW, I simply cannot understand how she came to hold the views she has…

    The tragedy starts with the part about having been born in Ventnor.

  13. Ah, yes. Dear Valerie. She is, yes, quite the woman.

    But, yes, the targets of her rage were not so… masculine.

  14. Shorter lifespan and vs. bleeding for 5 days a month from my crotch and cramps. I think I enjoy being male, plus I get to pee standing up and it makes a real cool arc!

  15. I know that being male makes us inferior to females. They got smarter faster, grew up faster, learned how to work us for presents and our upper body strength.

    But then there’s that whole menstruation thing. And not being able to write your name in the snow.

    Pass.

  16. And Valerie, please tell me more of the Revolution and how males are to be extinct in a hundre…oh, you need me to open that jar of olives for you? Here dear, let me help you on that (opens jar). Here you go!

    Unfortunately, I found out that Ms Solanas was rather better at handling firearms than olive jars.

  17. Eh, does anyone really think Solanas was relevant to much of anything? She was a one-woman circus, but not much else…

    I always thought that some militant feminists’ claim that “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament!” was pretty well deflated by the lack of attention given to testicular cancer. Here you have the perfect example of a disease which can affect only men, and how much press does it get? Now compare to breast cancer, which kills fewer women than heart disease.

    Fun fact: men who get married live longer. Women who get married die earlier.

  18. I guess I was channeling J.R., since he got there a minute ahead of me.

  19. Ignoring the femi-stalin part, the survivability disparity may have more to do with millenia of relative neglect of females, such that only genes that support more robust females survived to the modern age, while gene patterns that supported less robust males continued due to more resources being devoted to male offspring.

  20. Does anyone else recall the old Blondie movies and TV shows where Dagwood would stand there alone and scream: Blooooondie!?

    Well, here I am screaming: smaaaackie!
    (If I may be so bold.)

  21. I’ll never get an erection again after that Coulter picture so it’s all academic to me.

    I figure women are better at politics and networking and team building and all the crap that gets you ahead in corporations. We’re transitioning from a nation state focused to a corporate focused world. So they’ll be taking over the world.

    Interesting though. No matter what the corporation (or any sort of centralized hierarchy) it’s still always the same sort of back slapping alpha male who winds up at the top of the pyramid. Probably some now disfunctional evolutionary reason for that.

  22. oh my god the scum manifesto!!!

    this manuscript possesed me into writting about 10 manifestos from “the fascist domination of the universe and alien life by earth” to “the proven non-existance of consiousness”…i love that manifesto and everyone should read if only becouse you will laugh your ass off.

  23. See??? When I make an appointment with my dominatrix, I’m the sane, rational one! It’s all the rest of you guys who are sick!

  24. Speaking of driving a Grand Penis has brought this one to mind:
    A wealthy widow was having the strapping bagger boy carry her groceries out to her car. No sooner had they gotten outside the door than the widow gave a wink and a nudge to the boy:
    “I’ve got an itchy pussy.”
    The boy replied, “I don’t really care what kind of Japanese car you’re driving. Where did you park it?”

  25. Ah, sex and cars – this is a man’s thread now, by god! (Take that, Valerie!) I’m reminded of a Depression-era joke re-told by PJ O’Rourke in the intro to one of his books…

    A young man was standing by the side of the road trying to hitch a lift. Finally, a car stopped. The driver leaned over and asked ‘Are you a Democrat or a Republican?’ After thinking for a minute, the young man ventured, ‘Democrat?’ only to see the car speed off without him. After this happened a couple more times, he decided to change his answer. The very next car was a sleek convertible driven by a sleek blonde. When he answered ‘Republican’, she smiled and beckoned him to the passenger seat. As they raced along the highway, the wind started pushing the blonde’s skirt up her thighs, and the young became more and more aroused. Finally, he cried out ‘Stop the car! I’ve only been a Republican for ten minutes and already I feel like screwing someone!’

  26. The male is a biological accident… – Solanas

    Hey! I’m a mutant! Do I get to join the X-Men?

    Kevin

  27. Andy Warhol,

    If Solanas actually knew how to handle a firearm, you would have died in 1968. As is was, she was full of shit like usual, and you survived. Gut shots with an anemic .38 don’t make for good assassinations.

  28. Tbone,

    You forgot the worst part – having to put up with men.

    Pass.

  29. “The male is a biological accident: the y(male) gene is an incomplete x(female) gene, that is, has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples…”

    If ever there was a clear-cut case of psychological projection and Freudian penis-envy… Like many women who’ve been molested as a girl or young woman this one definitely had “control” issues. She’s to have been pitied really.

    “The sick, irrational men, those who attempt to defend themselves against their disgustingness,”

    Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Either way, in her mind she had all the bases covered. Sad.

  30. “Speaking of driving a Grand Penis”

    This is an old joke, but I’ll pass it along for those who’ve not heard it:

    Two aliens from space land their ship near a gas station at a dusty crossroads out in the middle of nowhere. They walk over to the station and one of them says to one of the gas pumps, “Greetings, Earthling. We come in peace; take us to your leaders.”
    A moment of silence passes and he tries again: “Greetings, we come in peace. Take us to your leaders.” The pump does not respond.
    Miffed at being ignored, the alien, in exasperation, draws his ray weapon and aims it at the gas pump. “Greetings, we come in peace. If you do not acknowledge, I will blast you into cosmic dust!” Still, no response.

    So the space alien fires his device at the gas pump. There is a huge explosion and fireball. The blast is overwhelming and hurls the aliens and their ship out into the desert. The one that fired gets up and dusts himself off and says to the other,
    “Who would have dreamed that such a primitive life form could be so powerful?!”

    The other alien replies,
    “Well after all my travels throughout the galaxy, I could have told you that any being with a penis long enough to wrap around itself twice and stick in its ear is probably one that you don’t want to mess with!”

  31. I for one would love to stay home, keep house and raise the kids, while my ladder climbing wife worked late and brought home the bacon.

  32. JW – that is one of my favourite jokes… marvellously done.

  33. Thanks, Peachy.

  34. Has it been established that Solanas was in fact molested by her father, or is this just an unsubstantiated claim from someone who was so desperate for publicity that she shot an art fag?

    There is no reason for anyone to know or care who that stupid bint was. For that matter, I could have done without Andy Warhol as well.

    -jcr

  35. There’s a boner pill ad that has the disclaimer
    “if you have an erection that lasts more than twelve hours, notify your doctor.”
    That would require having enough blood in you brain to find the phone…

  36. jcr,

    Warhola. That Pittsburgh/Polish hating little prick was named Warhola. Soup cans, yeah, I get it. Wow.

  37. but Boobies won’t protect them against SCUM

    This is a great, great, great line.

  38. Mark,

    Especially considering “scum”‘s, err, inelegant etymology.

  39. whoa! people taking solanas seriously?

    what the fuck?

  40. While you’re all dissecting Solanas, I’m more curious about some of the claims made in the first article.

    There are poorly understood — and underappreciated — vulnerabilities inherent in men’s genetic and hormonal makeup…
    Yes. There are. For the simple reason that you get XY rather than XX, so there are more chances for things to go wrong that can’t be fixed by the extra set of genes. We carry the babies, you carry the genetic danger. You also get more of both extremes of the bell curve. Deal with it. (Ruthless, I liked your theory for an evolutionary explanation.)

    It’s not just that men take on greater risks and pursue more hazardous vocations than women.
    Really? Proof?
    Girls demonstrate insight and judgment earlier in adolescence than boys, who are more impulsive and take more risks than their sisters. Teenage boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls and are more likely to die violent deaths before adulthood…
    Umm. Hello?

    Considering the relative fragility of men, it’s clearly counterintuitive for us to urge them, from boyhood on, to cope bravely with adversity, to ignore discomfort, to persevere in spite of pain and to accept without question the most dangerous jobs and tasks we have to offer.
    How exactly does this automatically follow? Men, despite this “fragility” (which is not a weakness in ALL MEN but a slight increase in risk when measured statistically) are still much better equipped by nature to deal with the most physically demanding jobs.

    Perhaps the reason many societies offer boys nutritional, educational and vocational advantages over girls is not because of chauvinism?it’s because we’re trying to ensure their survival.
    I LOLLED when I read that.

    It’s possible, too, that we’ve simply been sexist.
    Yeah, it’s possible too, that the “handsome son” effect is at work here. Meaning, women mate with men they think are good-looking in order to beget good-looking sons who can get women! (I think that was Matt Ridley’s coinage.) Or, to put it another way, mothers baby their sons. Duh.

    Read the questions posed on the cover of men’s magazines: how robust is your sexuality? How well-developed are your abs?
    Now her argument lies on the “authority” of men’s magazines. Because men’s magazines are somehow supposed to be healthy for them? To educate them? And more so than women’s magazines do for women? What a ludicrous argument to even attempt.

  41. Also, I recently read in some scientific journal that the reason for women living longer may be so they can be grandmothers. In other words, older women can still perform a caregiver function of caregivers that gives us an evolutionary advantage by freeing up the younger folks to find food. Men past their prime do not offer a specific service to our genes in that way.

  42. It’s not just that men take on greater risks and pursue more hazardous vocations than women.

    “Really? Proof?”

    I don’t have any stats, but I think this particular claim is pretty self-evident.

    Look at the proportion of men in such hazardous professions as soldier, cop, construction worker, test pilot, and criminal. Then look at the proportion of males to females on youtube.com in videos of people blowing things up in not-particularly-safe ways. Moreover, blowing things up in ways their fathers would consider stupid (but kinda cool if they were doing it themselves), but that would drive their mothers into hysterical screaming fits.

    🙂

  43. My take:

    Males are simply more expendable than females.

    The reproductive capacity of a fertile human female is 1.33 babies/year (miscarriages can probably make up for multiple births).

    Assuming that a male could impregnate a female every other day (this could be very conservative, though many fertility authorities espouse a one ejaculation per 48 hours policy for maximizing impregnation), his reproductive capacity is 182.5.

    The female is only fertile for what, 25 years or so? So the upper limit on offspring from a female is 33.33. The male is capable of impregnating females for, what, 50 years? That’s 9,125 offspring.

    From this, one can deduce that you could remove 99.5% of the male population without a necessary decline in reproductive capacity for the human race. You could increase the retention rate twentyfold and you would still be getting rid of 90% of the male population.

    Less than 1 in 10 males born have to be of sufficient desirability to reproduce. Nature can tolerate a 90% failure rate on the male human production line.

    To some extent this is like a casino where they’ll offer to pay a 900% bonus (i.e. you buy $100 in chips, you’ll get $1,000 worth of chips, but you can’t cash the extra $900 in until you’ve risked $100). In that situation, the rational behavior is to put the whole $1,000 on a monster, lottery-esque bet (say one that pays 1,000-1). If you win, you net a million; if you lose you’re only out a hundred.

    There are studies that indicate that, while males are more likely to be in the low end of the IQ scale, they’re also more likely to be in the high end of the scale. If you’re at the plate and 30 strikes are required to strike out, you may as well swing for the fences willy-nilly.

  44. Stevo, I’ve always thought that virtually the entire difference in average lifespan was attributable to men engaging in riskier activities. Mostly professionally, but also on the side. To me, it’s such a glaringly obvious, cross-cultural truth that I wonder why every scientist seems to want to avoid that conclusion. Must not be post-modern enough.

    Sorry, but I have to go play golf in a lightning storm, now.

  45. Stevo, I think you missed my point, maybe. She’s claiming that we should worry more about men, because this discrepancy “isn’t all due to” the fact that men take greater risks.

    (I don’t think anyone’s denying that men do take more risks, and more dangerous professions. Of course, “housewife” is a pretty dangerous profession if you count household accidents, domestic abuse, and pregnancy/childbirth.)

    She then goes on to say that young men make poor decisions (take unnecessary risks) and are more likely to commit suicide (which in fact is not the whole truth: they are simply more likely to SUCCEED at it.) So she’s contradicting herself a bit, and the whole idea that “we should DO something about this!” is just laughable.

  46. Sorry, but I have to go play golf in a lightning storm, now.

    Heehee!

  47. oh wow. womynkind.org was blocked off my network under the category of “hate speech.” guess i’ll have to wait till i get home to read the SCUM manifesto.

  48. Hi, Dagw–er, Ruthless! *bats eyelashes*

    I had to see what was up on this thread. I was baited by the thread title…and some indescribable feeling that someone was screaming my name into the wind…

    The worst infirmity of being male is having to endure that awful Ann Colter ad with the closeup.

    Todd Fletcher,

    You aren’t the only one. I think I speak for other women when I say “make it go awai!!”.

  49. Ahhh, smacky,
    You have led me to the distilled waters.
    Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Your whips, spurs, and other paraphernalia do too.
    Like thine, my cups runneth over, especially my protective “unit” cup…
    And my truss nearly bursteth.
    May we dwell in the Temple of the Vestals forever.

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