Explaining why men exist
I’m a short funny looking guy who’s been married for most of my adult life and raised four teenagers, so I am not easily offended but even I have my limits. When I happened on an article this week published by Reuters entitled, “Why Do Men Exist? Science (Finally) Gives Us an Answer,” I have to admit it kind of got my panties in a bunch … so to speak.
This was an actual news story from a semi-respected media outlet citing international scientific studies questioning the very existence of my gender, call me sensitive but I took that kind of personal. I can just imagine the uproar if they had written a story called, “Broads, who needs ‘em?”
The article starts off by questioning why evolutionary selection even “allows” men to exist. It quotes unnamed biologists pointing out that since sperm is the human male’s only contribution to the reproductive process and there are many species that produce offspring by all female asexual populations, there is no real reason to crowd the environment with the bearded, foul smelling, belching, meat eating, beer drinkers who hog the remote.
Human males are also known for carrying shotguns and I suspect that may be why there was no byline on the story, and those biologists chose to remain unnamed. Given the fact that the human race successfully reproduced for centuries before there were there were biologists, I suggest that there is no evolutionary reason for them to exist.
The story goes on to point out that males are required for something called “sexual selection” which suggests that by males competing to reproduce with females the gene pool is improved and the species avoids extinction. How romantic!
To prove their supposition they created two populations of flour beetles, one with several males for every female and a separate group the one male for every female. The population with males competing to mate thrived while the one-on-one group went extinct in 10 generations (I think that’s about a week and a half in beetle years.)
While I’m sure these clown got a million dollar grant to watch beetles mate, I don’t think they proved anything that ranchers, shepherds and that creepy old guy from the e-Harmony commercials already knew; business is better if you have a variety of males competing to mate.
Besides, contrary to what this article would have you believe, men are not just sex objects … no matter how hard we try to be. I submit that the male of the species makes many vital contributions to the very survival of our species and I don’t need science to explain them.
Anyone who has ever raised daughters knows perfectly well that, at some point between the ages of 13 and 18, without a dad to stand between them and their mothers there would be an all female extinction event in most families.
Without men in the world pickle jars would go unopened, steaks would be cooked inside and most barley and hops would die in the vine. Gardens would grow and flowerbeds would be immaculate but lawns would rarely get mowed.
Things on the top shelf would just stay there, calves would go unbranded and the world would be overrun with spiders and cockroaches and nobody would ever empty a mousetrap. Things that go bump in the night would go uninvestigated and all of your pants would make your butt look big because there would be no one to tell you they don’t.
In a world without men there would be no romance novels or romantic comedy movies and there would be no Dr. Phil. Women would have to find all new ways to spend their spare time; I guess they might have time to mow the lawn.
If there were no men around, who would be wrong about everything and who would pretend to listen to them talk about how screwed up the other women at work are? Since women actually listen to each other I’m pretty sure that those conversations would eventually end in a major extinction event.
I’m not claiming that the men are more vital than women or that we could get along without them, because men cannot bear children or play lingerie football. I don’t understand women but I do understand that life wouldn’t be much fun without them.
Oh, and I don’t need to watch beetles to explain why men exist; we exist because women want us to and I’m OK with that.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.