A recent finding that 40 percent of American households with children have female breadwinners did not leave Fox News commenter Erik Erickson particularly happy.
He called it “anti-science” to accept this sort of role for women.
“When you look at biology,” he said, “when you look at the natural world – the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”
“Also,” Erickson might well have added, “most men’s posteriors are insufficiently red and protuberant for them to attract healthy mates. What are they thinking?”
Are we really going by the roles of the animal kingdom?
I wish he’d told me this sooner so I wouldn’t have bothered to put pants on, bathe, learn language and take the great pains I always take not to poop in my hand and fling it at people who say this sort of thing.
I would write an in-depth response to this, but I am too busy urinating on a tree to mark it as the boundary of my territory. I am relieved to know we do not hold ourselves to a higher standard. It was getting annoying to have to sit through all those office meetings and not pick fleas off anyone. I look forward to reproducing by emitting thousands of eggs into the ocean as I yell: “I HOPE SOME OF YOU SURVIVE.”
I would go into detail about how human beings are uniquely fortunate to have highly developed minds that allow us to choose to function at a level above that encountered in the natural world so we can meet each other mind-to-mind regardless of our physiology and work in tandem without having to Establish Dominance Within The Pack, but, hang on, I have to go lock horns with another goat and shove it off a cliff.
I would add that, hey, I thought we were past the point where we looked to animals for our social cues, but, you know, “GRRR HISSSS THUMP THUMP THUMP MEOW,” as Erickson’s role models so wisely said.
And not only is this a bizarre standard, it isn’t even universal in the natural world. There are some sea horses who want to have a word with Mr. Erickson about this. Female lions are also very competent breadwinners, even if the males do the roaring.
And don’t get me started on banana slugs.
I am not saying that men and women are not biologically different, and that they Couldn’t Possibly Be Complementary in Any Way. The two tango very nicely. But female breadwinners aren’t even a sign of decay in the natural world. And I for one am relieved that we no longer beat our chests and drag each other off to caves unless we’re in some sort of weird MeetUp group for that express purpose. Let’s not go there if we don’t have to.
As Rabindranath Tagore put it, “Man is worse than an animal when he is an animal.”