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Please do not scare the men

OPINION

  • Women hoist signs in September at the Democratic National Convention.
Women hoist signs in September at the Democratic National Convention. (Getty Images file photo )
October 28, 2012|By Stephen Markley, @stephenmarkley | For RedEye

Correct me if I'm wrong, but has this not been the most weirdly misogynistic election season since—I want to say—women got the vote?

Here's my theory: Men are beginning to figure out that it's all over for us, and we're having a society-wide freakout about it.

It's not just Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock proclaiming that God wants women to have their rape babies or Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin with his scintillating insights into magic vaginas.

Though abortion has long been a divisive issue (and there certainly are reasonable, secular reasons to object to it), this election season the issue has entered the fray almost entirely through the frame of rape, which is, um, strange to say the least.

This all follows that month-long conflagration over whether women should have unequivocal access to contraception, at which point I felt like the majority of young people were looking at each other in the eyebrow-raising way Jim looks at the camera in "The Office."

Once all the artificial barriers we erected to keep women our indentured servants were removed, it turns out they are great at just about everything. We can certainly still lift heavier stuff than most women—and you'd better believe they'll still come running to us with a jar that needs to be opened—but for the most part women are taking over the economy, graduating at vastly higher rates from colleges and quickly breaking those pesky glass ceilings in business and government. According to Hanna Rosin's "The End of Men," the Great Recession simply accelerated these trends.

Personally, I've noticed the binders full of women who I've dated post-college all make (immensely) more money than me. This is fine because I don't measure my masculinity in money. I measure it in how many cheap beers I can drink and still perform relatively well at Pop-a-Shot. (Just a note: That's a barroom basketball game, not some weird sex thing; following numerous cheap beers, I can never perform well at weird sex things.)

But I don't think this is the case for some men. For guys like Richard Murdouck, their penises are whispering in their ears, "Your sons are all going to be stay-at-home dads." This terrifies them, and their first instinct is to resort to a 19th century mindset in which they draw schematics of the uterus to figure out where they get to plant their legislative flags.

Then again, I won't lie: I have a selfish, vested interest in this massive societal shift toward female empowerment. I much prefer women who are smart, confident, eat contraception like Cheerios and just kind of kick the world's ass as an afterthought.

That is, until the first time I see a woman pop open a jar by calmly tapping a butter knife into the lid to relieve the pressure. Then I'm going to freak the %#@$ out.

RedEye special contributor Stephen Markley is the author of "The Great Dysmorphia" and "Publish This Book."

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