'Why can’t a woman be more like a man?'

In My Fair Lady, Professor Higgins complained to Colonel Pickering: “Why can’t a woman by more like a man?”

That was about sixty years ago. If the Professor had asked that question today, Pickering would have reported him to social justice warriors, who’d immediately start a Twitter storm and organize protest demonstrations in his classroom. By the next day, the university would have handed Higgins his walking papers.

And good riddance too, because we all now know that women are exactly like men, except in appearance. That’s according to the scientists at the Democratic National Committee. It’s not clear whether their finding represents a consensus of scientific opinion, but it probably does. I’ve yet to hear an anthropologist object.

Still, I worry about the ramifications of men and women not looking alike. Zoologists have found that species whose sexes look different -- it’s called sexual dimorphism – behave differently. Homo sapiens are sexually-dimorphic, just like the anthropoid apes (except gibbons) and other vertebrates such as moose, peafowl, Siamese fighting fish, and so on. And we dimorphics, zoologists point out, have something else in common. We rarely form permanent pair-bonds. In plain English, our males tend to “sleep around.”

The silverback gorilla revels in his harem. The solitary orangutan pins his hopes on the chance encounter. The irrepressible chimpanzee, the utterly-amoral bonobo, and the conventioneer all delight in irresponsible promiscuity. Inconstancy is the rule for animals like us. Nature gives us roving eyes.

But just because a behavior is biological -- i.e. “natural” -- doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Society deplores men who play around. (I think we ought to deplore cheating anthropoid apes as well, for to deplore less broadly is to be guilty of speciesism. Me Too Movement take notice.)

So let’s talk solutions. How might we subordinate our biology to our morality?  If we judged the male penchant for philandering to be so detestable that we resolved to purge this characteristic from our race, how might we accomplish this noble goal?

As a biological issue, the answer is clear: If we wish to eliminate toxic masculinity, we must eliminate the toxic physique. The question thus becomes a simple matter of choices. Would we prefer smaller, softer men with fat-filled chests? Or would we find larger flat-chested bearded women more attractive? We can achieve either of these with selective breeding.

Whichever selection we make, nature is unambiguous: sexual fidelity and social parity demand physical homogeneity. So long as we continue to produce sons who are bigger, stronger, and hairier than our daughters, our boys will continue to follow the ways of the chimpanzee and the bonobo. Their ability to score on the football field and in the bedroom go hand‑in‑hand.

Meanwhile, more Higgins:

“Why is thinking something women never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?”

Oh, lighten up. It’s comedy.

In My Fair Lady, Professor Higgins complained to Colonel Pickering: “Why can’t a woman by more like a man?”

That was about sixty years ago. If the Professor had asked that question today, Pickering would have reported him to social justice warriors, who’d immediately start a Twitter storm and organize protest demonstrations in his classroom. By the next day, the university would have handed Higgins his walking papers.

And good riddance too, because we all now know that women are exactly like men, except in appearance. That’s according to the scientists at the Democratic National Committee. It’s not clear whether their finding represents a consensus of scientific opinion, but it probably does. I’ve yet to hear an anthropologist object.

Still, I worry about the ramifications of men and women not looking alike. Zoologists have found that species whose sexes look different -- it’s called sexual dimorphism – behave differently. Homo sapiens are sexually-dimorphic, just like the anthropoid apes (except gibbons) and other vertebrates such as moose, peafowl, Siamese fighting fish, and so on. And we dimorphics, zoologists point out, have something else in common. We rarely form permanent pair-bonds. In plain English, our males tend to “sleep around.”

The silverback gorilla revels in his harem. The solitary orangutan pins his hopes on the chance encounter. The irrepressible chimpanzee, the utterly-amoral bonobo, and the conventioneer all delight in irresponsible promiscuity. Inconstancy is the rule for animals like us. Nature gives us roving eyes.

But just because a behavior is biological -- i.e. “natural” -- doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Society deplores men who play around. (I think we ought to deplore cheating anthropoid apes as well, for to deplore less broadly is to be guilty of speciesism. Me Too Movement take notice.)

So let’s talk solutions. How might we subordinate our biology to our morality?  If we judged the male penchant for philandering to be so detestable that we resolved to purge this characteristic from our race, how might we accomplish this noble goal?

As a biological issue, the answer is clear: If we wish to eliminate toxic masculinity, we must eliminate the toxic physique. The question thus becomes a simple matter of choices. Would we prefer smaller, softer men with fat-filled chests? Or would we find larger flat-chested bearded women more attractive? We can achieve either of these with selective breeding.

Whichever selection we make, nature is unambiguous: sexual fidelity and social parity demand physical homogeneity. So long as we continue to produce sons who are bigger, stronger, and hairier than our daughters, our boys will continue to follow the ways of the chimpanzee and the bonobo. Their ability to score on the football field and in the bedroom go hand‑in‑hand.

Meanwhile, more Higgins:

“Why is thinking something women never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don't they straighten up the mess that's inside?”

Oh, lighten up. It’s comedy.