Feminism and the female gorilla

What’s it like being an alpha male with a harem? I won’t deny its good points, but don’t suppose that female gorillas behave like Japanese geisha girls, tip-toeing around the place to satisfy your every whim. These feisty apettes expect the dominant male to earn his position by patrolling the estate and servicing them promptly when they’re in season. What’s more, they outnumber the big guy by a considerable margin and know how to use it to their advantage.

Every so often, the females of a gorilla harem will decide that their hairy sultan has been getting a bit too uppity and needs to be put in his place. Completely without warning, they will jump on him from all sides and use him as a cushion. The male is not harmed as long as he doesn’t resist and accepts his fate passively – otherwise he is liable to get bitten in his tender parts. The females will then eat nuts and gossip until they get bored, at which point the alpha is released and allowed to stretch his sore limbs. It’s a sobering experience for the male, but after it’s over the females are noticeably more relaxed and good humoured. Spending some quality time sitting on Mr Big is a splendid catharsis for them.

Now it’s obvious even to a gorilla that human females have similar feelings towards the male of the species. They want him to be a strong leader, but they also have a powerful desire to knock the stuffing out of him if he gets too arrogant or selfish. Unlike their hairy sisters, however, women have developed an entire science to explain and fulfil this natural urge. They call it “feminism”. The purpose of this discipline is to provide women with an inexhaustible supply of reproaches and taunts that can be used against men in a relentless barrage of invective. The point of interest to a gorilla is whether all this whining actually works. Does it make the woman feel more at ease with herself? Does it bring her satisfaction?

If the feminist cure were indeed effective, one would expect its leading practitioners to be profoundly happy women. Let us take Miss Germaine Greer, author of The Female Eunuch and other feminist tomes, as our case study. Does she strike you as a contented woman? When I put this question to my mentor, Dr Whipsnade, he said not. Indeed, he ventured the opinion that Miss Greer was a less satisfied woman than the nuns of the Holy Order of the Perpetual Chastity Belt. Female gorillas, as I mentioned, are extremely congenial apes once they’ve taken out their frustrations on the alpha male. But feminists? Where is the blissful release of tension from all this incessant nagging? Where is the rapture, I ask?

The mistake that the feminists make is a common human one: the use of language to solve a problem for which it was not designed. What they really want is solid revenge, not windy verbal triumphs. The only purposeful action that feminists ever took was burning their bras – a comically ineffective tactic given that most men are also preoccupied with denuding the female bosom.

I once saw footage of a conference at which Miss Greer was instructing an audience of her irritable sisters. Among the women was a sole male witness called Dave, who listened patiently to the feminist indoctrination until it was time for questions. He then courageously put up his hand and said:

“But I still don’t see what you want!”

The audience booed and barracked Dave as Lady Germaine got to her feet to respond.

“You needn’t worry, Dave,” she declared, “because it sure as hell isn’t you!”

Her brilliant put-down prompted cheers and laughter from her sisters, but had she really answered the question? And did it produce any lasting relief for the assembled sour-faced harpies? Apparently not, for they soon returned to their ill-natured carping. Now if they’d just sat on Dave for half-an-hour, they would have saved themselves and their unlucky spouses many years of mental torment.

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