The following communication, envelope unstamped, was found on the doormat of our head office. Well, let us not be pretentious, our only office. We do not know the writer’s address. Here is what he has to say:
It is with a heavy heart that I, a male feminist – I am tempted to say philogynist, but don’t want to seem too highbrow – put pen to paper. Why the woeful tone? It is simple enough. I have been noting for some years that our females are progressing in various ways, not least in the field of education, where I understand that they are outpacing males. While applauding this, I feel compelled to draw attention to a most distressing development in the physical area, to wit: the manner in which the ladies are handicapping themselves. Permit me to explain.
For the last two months, I have been watching people who use mobile telephones. In an effort to gather a representative sample, I have monitored a thousand of them on the streets of this town, with alarming results. Of those observed, 780 were females, leaving only 218 males. The indication is clearly that we are on our way to a partially one-armed society, the ladies being in the lead. In due course, they will be born with one upper limb permanently attached to an ear by means of a mobile phone. This will put them at a serious disadvantage in terms of dexterity. We shall no longer hear of women raising three children to tertiary education level, while simultaneously writing best-selling novels and cooking gourmet meals. They will not have enough free digits. Being predatory by nature, the males will seize upon this, first by noting what is happening to the females, then by exploiting it.
This is not the first time I have been a voice in the wilderness. However, I hope that on this occasion my words will be heeded. Ladies, the remedy is in your hands. Don’t say you were not warned.
T. Edgar Wongle (Aged 76)
Editor’s comment: Close but no cigar, Mr Wongle. As it happens, our staffer Trixie Larkspur has just carried out a similar but much more extensive survey. Her figures around town were almost identical to those mentioned above – she also counted 1,000 mobile phone users, finding that 749 were females. However, unlike our correspondent, she widened her exercise by including several rail and bus journeys, where the male/female split was near enough fifty-fifty. More significantly, Trixie took in people who did not use mobile phones at all – over 90% of the total. Our conclusion: keep chatting, girls: you have little to fear. As for you, Edgar, we suggest that as you proclaim yourself (we assume proudly) a senior citizen, your metier might be bowls, or painting – anything but social commentary.
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