17 Apr 2009

Science - I don't understand you!

This morning I went over to the fab F-Word to check out what's going down and up for Feminists at the moment, and found a great article about Old Men Impregnating Young Ladies. It turns out a science blog, called Science Blog, thinks (oh no, Science doesn't think...Science knows) that these kinds of goings on are a good thing for the species. I read the FWord featured article by the articulate yet enraged author, Erwin Jane-Pierrot and thoroughly agreed with her complaints, chiefly that so called facts like this just fuel disgusting male fantasies of picking up a nubile teenage lover in later life by waving one's fatted wallet and one's shrivelled little stick at her, whilst claiming the kind of biological prerogatives that haven't been heard of since the good old days of Mao.

I then followed the link over to the feted Science Blog, expecting to be offended. But it was worse than that. I was absolutely baffled. Apart from being appalling written, it's also completely senseless. Check this out:

But the fatherhood of a small number of older men is enough to postpone the date with death because natural selection fights life-shortening mutations until the species is finished reproducing.

What? What does that even mean? I didn't study biology at school (I was home-schooled, and had pretty much phased everything out apart from Elizabeth Gaskell by the age of 15) but I know some hypocritical mumbo-jumbo when I see it. Life-shortening mutations held off because a couple of old guys get lucky? Is this because of Rod Stewart? Surely not. Oh right, it is. Great.

The article barely covers its major counter-argument, which is why women don't die as soon as they hit the menopause. It's author uses the Grandmother Hypothesis to contend that the species does better if we have Grannies to peel our grapes and what not. Fine. But why men? Well, while Nana is knitting a smock for baby and opening that tin of corned beef for tea, Grandad's off perpetuating the race by boffing the 18 year old from number 47. Hurrah! Well done society.

Guys, seriously, why don't you start out with a problem and come up with a solution next time, rather than starting with an opinion and giving us all a massive headache? And since when was population growth a certifiable good thing? Global warming, dwindling world resources and the terrible queues in Selfridges over the Easter period are all compelling reasons to acknowledge that knocking out a couple of SUVs full of sprogs during one's life time is bordering on the irresponsible, as well as being slightly tacky.

Ms Erwin says it all when she asks us to scroll down and have a look at the reader's comments, which basically read 'Pwoar, crikey' x 70000000. How depressing! It's alright though, because even though older man can now claim to have eugenics on their side, it doesn't mean that young women are going to be anymore interested in them than before. In fact, I have confidence that to the majority of women under the age of 25, the idea of being pursued by some creepy old geriatric whose sole purpose is to fill you with his sons is enough to encourage one to get one's tubes tied at once. And if you don't? The fate of the species is in your hands, sister.
Patriarchal power masking as pseudo-science and moral imperative to dominate the processes of the female body? Just say "Oh my god, no no no way uh-uh!!"

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