Women, time to run the world. Congratulations and good luck.
Obviously, if you're a Gopher football fan, you had quite the swell time watching the Maroon and Gold dismantle the Purdue Boilermakers last Saturday, 41-10. The game was broadcast on the Big 10 Network, and one of the announcers, Beth Mowins, was heard not once saying off-the-charts mundane, obvious and predictable things that so many of her male colleagues repeat week after week, game after game, as if the people actually committing hours of time to watching the contest on the gridiron are absolute dopes.
Mowins has established a substantial track record of such competence. She never says things like, "This is a big play in this game" when it's tied or the score is very close in the waning minutes and a team faces something like third down and seven yards to go. Mowins never feels the need to point out facts a kindergartner with ice cream all over his face could surmise, either, like a team down by nine points in the fourth quarter is going to need to score twice to tie the score or pull ahead because, all together now, “IT’S A TWO-SCORE GAME!”
Mowins, as her first name would indicate, is a woman. I mention that only because we need to reach a point as a society that we don't feel the need to point out that girls or women who excel at various things that boys and men have typically done for generations are, in fact, females. And maybe we're getting there. Maybe we'll soon be enlightened enough that we don't feel the need to constantly empower little girls by telling them things like they can do anything they want to in their lives, or that there's nothing they can't accomplish. We need to reach the enlightened stage where, among girls everywhere, that is simply the unspoken assumption.
OK, I get it. Men are physically stronger and bigger than women for the most part. It's biology.
But the rest of this foundational, bedrock stuff? It must stop. How can women still be paid less than men for doing the same work? Why, even, do most women still ditch the last name they were born with and take on the man's last name just because they marry him? Who came up with that rule? A guy, obviously. That seems as ancient and horribly out of line as the cave man dragging his woman around by her long hair.
Guys, we're not doing so well. We're kind of squandering it, actually. From the president of our country and on down, our leaders and our go-to people, we're tripping over ourselves, shooting ourselves in the foot and generally setting a bad example. Horrific examples, actually, one after another, day after miserable day. Maybe we need to be shown the door. Maybe it’s time to hand over the reins to the women and see if they can do better.
After last week's election, more than 100 women will now be serving in congress, and that number needs to continue to grow in future elections. And we need more women to run for president. Amy Klobuchar, you hearing me, girl?
Do we owe the “#MeToo” movement for not only this unprecedented level of female empowerment, but also the apparently overdue new realization that women on the sole basis of their gender have for as long as anyone can remember been treated, for lack of a better characterization, as second-class citizens?
Men have been victimizing and objectifying women probably since that famous couple in that famous garden suddenly felt ashamed and scrambled for the nearest leaves to cover up certain body parts after that whole moment of weakness involving the talking serpent and forbidden fruit. But perhaps the most shocking thing the #MeToo movement has uncovered is the astoundingly high percentage of sexual assaults and rapes that girls and women don’t even bother to or dare report to law enforcement because they know they are going to be put on trial as much as and perhaps even more than the perpetrator. Even worse, the percentage is no less astounding when it comes to the sexual assaults and rapes that are actually reported, but the police and prosecutors for whatever reason don’t follow up enough to actually charge someone, much less go to trial or have a plea agreement or some other form of closure to a case. Sure, every case has its own unique circumstances and men have most certainly over time been falsely accused of crimes like this, but did you read the Star Tribune’s recent in-depth look at reported sexual assaults that are barely looked into? It’s embarrassing.
So, while I’m not speaking for my whole gender, let me say that I’m ready to cede this firm grasp of man-power that I’ve been able to hold onto largely by default simply because I was born a boy and eventually I grew into a man.
Sure, I’ll still lift heavy things and be the go-to source of raw strength when the pickle jar won’t open. I’ll keep replacing the furnace filter and cutting branches in the yard, and I’ll be the first to pop the hood when the car isn’t running right, even though a comparable image would involve a goldfinch trying to make a pot of coffee.
But my wife and you other amazing beings of the female gender? Feel free to take over. We’ve blown it, but, more importantly, you’ve earned it. You actually earned it a long time ago. You’re better humans than we are.