Dear Men

Dear Men,

I once took a Gender Studies class in college and in this class the professor lamented the gendered division of labor within our society. Men are more likely to chase 70-hour-per-week CEO jobs, and woman are more likely to end up getting part-time work and spending a much larger portion of their lives caring for children. Sometimes they care for their own children and sometimes they get lousy-paying jobs caring for other people's children, but long story short- they spend a lot of time with kids. The professor went on to describe a utopian, alternate universe in which both genders worked thirty hours per week and spent equal amounts of time rearing children.

That seems only fair. And at first I thought her idea was a good one. I'd like to work thirty hours per week and spend the extra time playing Call of Duty in the same room as my children. I mean, that's pretty much how I do it now, only I have to work ten extra hours.

But then I got to thinking. Do we really want more men rearing our children? It seems to me like kids are getting it in the rear from men all too often as it is. You can't make it through two news cycles without hearing about some high-profile pedophile case, and that's with men currently comprising 2.3% of all kindergarten teachers. If you were to raise that figure by 2,100% up to the half-way mark, we'd all pretty much have to hide with our families in nuclear fall-out shelters and just pray to God that the bottled water and canned goods held out long enough to survive the pedophile apocalypse that was raging overhead. No step-dads or eccentric uncles allowed past the blast doors.

British politician, founder of a youth hostel just for boys, and life-long bachelor Sir Cyril Smith is the second UK public figure this week to face allegations of former sexual misconduct with children. Now I believe in innocent-until-proven-guilty, and it's true that you can't judge a book by its cover... but if Sir Cyril Smith's face were a book, its cover would be entitled, How I Rape Children, by Sir Cyril Smith.

I think we actually need less men rearing children and in light of the current epidemic, maybe it would be better if we men weren't allowed near children at all. It's unfortunate, because I'm sure there are some men out there who genuinely love to inspire young people and to see joy and the light of learning in a child's eyes, but I think it would be safer to employ the precautionary principal and register every man as a pre-sex offender. No living within a mile of a school or playground, no giving out candy on Halloween, etc. That might sound extreme, but I think it's pretty obvious that we men can't be trusted to go within a thousand meters of anyone under the age of eighteen.

I was starting to feel safe again but then I wondered, had I gone far enough? Sure, my two kids might make it through childhood without being scarred forever by a leering, mustachioed pedophile, but what about my wife? It turns out that 25% of all women will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives and surprise, surprise... 99% of all the rapists are men.

I had obviously not thought this through. If men need to be kept away from children because 3% of them are pedophiles, then it's even more obvious that we have no business being around women. Scratch the universal sex registry; what we need are some sort of walled-off communities to keep the maniacs (men) separated from the innocent bystanders (women and children).

Men, what the hell is wrong with us?

I was not very enthusiastic about living in a gated compound with a bunch of dudes, but up until this point I had thought of myself as a martyr, humbly laying down my own happiness at the alter of a much greater good- a better, more peaceful world and a safer future for my family. That's when I realized that I had been so busy feeling morally superior, perched all high and mighty on my not-a-sexual-predator ivory tower, that I had overlooked the danger lurking inside my own testosterone-fueled heart. Hell, just last week I punched some guy during a drunken bar room brawl. And I am not alone. Men commit 88% of all violent crimes, and let's face it; pretty much all of the murders, assaults, manslaughters, bank robberies, break-ins, high-speed chases, and jaywalking offenses.

If we were all allowed to roam free inside of our electrified holding pen, we would kill each other off within a week. It was obvious that we needed some sort of individual containment system. A large, fenced-in community could be constructed for all men, and then within that there could be further divisions; "cells" if you will, for each individual man. That way he wouldn't be able to rape, stab, and murder the other men.

Just imagine what a world that would be. Families could finally live in peace and harmony. Murder, rape, and theft would all but disappear. Someone might point out that this hypothetical society would lack father figures and good, male role models. That's true, but we wouldn't need them. All of the boys are going to the containment camp when they grow up anyway and there wouldn't be any crafty womanizers around to lure the girls with daddy issues into shooting porn, "just for us to view together; privately at some point down the road, COUGH upload-to-Youporn COUGH."

Well, maybe you call me a dreamer. Maybe you think we'll never build this utopian society. But the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world and 93% of those inmates are men, so I'd say we're already well on our way.

Sebastian Braff


  1. "I don't want to judge a book by its cover, but if this fellow was a book, I'm pretty sure the cover would be, 'Don't Leave me Alone with your Kids, The Jimmy Savile Story'" - Jon Stewart.

    As God as my witness, I swear on all that is holy, I JUST watched this Daily Show Episode for the first time, a mere three hours after myself writing,

    "it's true that you can't judge a book by its cover... but if Sir Cyril Smith's face were a book, its cover would be entitled, 'How I Rape Children,' by Sir Cyril Smith."

    I guess that joke was more obvious than I thought it was. God damn it. I thought I had a real gem.


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