While en route home with my son from Comic Con last Sunday, I overheard a conversation in which I was eager to participate. However, as the train in which we were travelling operated on a notorious South East Melbourne line, and the people conversing were typical of the passengers who travel on said line, judging by their language and demeanour, I decided that there was a time and a place for honesty. What follows is an abridged transcript of this conversation, and what would have been my response had I not grown so accustomed to sporting my own teeth.
SKINNY BLONDE IN EMINEM SHIRT: Brie was goin’ mental the other night; Sam (whom I’m assuming is her partner) really had to belt her arse in the end. That quietened her down.
EQUALLY SKINNY BRUNETTE/BLONDE IN FAUX ADIDAS SHIRT: I’ll bet it did. That’s all they’re good for; beltin’ ‘em and makin’ ‘em.
S.B.I.E.S: I could make ‘em myself, but I can’t handle ‘em on my own. I reckon if kids came out perfect, we wouldn’t need guys.
E.S.B/B.I.F.A.S: Yeah, but what about the fun bit?
S.B.I.E.S: That’s what vibrators are for.
Irrespective of the irrefutably fabulous advancements made in reproduction and sex toy manufacturing over the last thirty years or so, I could not disagree more with either of these ‘ladies’ sad assessment of the male species, not that I feel sorry for any ‘man’ who corporally disciplines a little girl. The reason that the tone of their conversation disturbed me so much is that it sounded eerily like conversations I overheard in my youth – conversations in which the gender roles were reversed. How would any self-respecting woman react to two twenty-something guys waxing lyrical on the singular nature of women’s existence, (in laymen’s terms, asserting the fact that women are only good for ‘one thing’)? With anger, I suspect, and rightly so. Why then is it now okay for women to view men in a similarly utilitarian way? I wish I could say that this was the first such conversation I had been privy to, but sadly it wasn’t. I can only assume that these women were either taught to think this way, or that their opinions were forged by bitter experience. Either way, it’s pretty damned sad.
My mother holds a similar opinion of men, for reasons I’ve gone into in another post, but I never subscribed to it. I couldn’t let myself. I can only imagine what life would be like if women were indoctrinated from childhood to seek out a partner according to his procreative and disciplinary capabilities alone. Sure, there might be a lot less single forty year-olds in the world, (moi, for example), but I can guarantee you we would not be any happier. Although I don’t necessarily need one, as such, I think the world would be a rather cold place without men, and my belief in human nature assures me that the majority of guys feel the same way about us.
They do in my world, anyway.