The Emperor's New Clothes (09/12/12)

Stop sniggering at the back. Yes, sperm counts are down, but that's no reason to write off all men

Share
Related Topics

You can't rely on men for much, goes the common view, but at least you used to be able to rely on them – or the younger ones, at least – for a decent amount of sperm. Not any more, it seems. Sperm counts are down by a third, and falling. So we can now add that to all the other things at which they are useless. Men, eh? A gender that, besides being emotionally illiterate, cannot these days even fulfil its basic biological function.

Since I'm lacking the necessary tools – pipette, test tubes, and microscope – I'm not in a position convincingly to challenge the data on the sperm issue. All I can say is that I'm a father of four whose married sons and their wives have gone into production at a rate that would satisfy even Henry Ford. Ditto their friends. At social occasions round our way, most of the attendees are wearing BabyGros. Maybe, we men have swapped quality for quantity. Measure that, Mr and Ms Boffin.

But it's the rest of the thesis of male uselessness I'd like to address, and especially whence it came. Exhibit A is television advertising, the now apparently compulsory underpinning of which is that men are terminally incompetent, and only roused from their natural indolence by football, beer, and leering at women. Next time you tune in, watch them and imagine the boot being on the other gender's foot – with ads suggesting that women will botch any given task, and are only interested in jewellery, cocktails, and flirting. Seems prejudiced? Of course.

Exhibit B is the output of certain columnists, of which the British press seems to have a surfeit. First are the women columnists who, turning from their usual theme that murder is wrong and genocide not to be encouraged, play to their gallery by churning one out on how that week's chosen ill can be traced back to men.

Second, and even worse, are the self-deprecatory male ones who, like some old lag in the dock, cough about their sex's failings, ask for a multitude of other offences to be taken into consideration, and plead chromosomes in mitigation.

Now, can we put a stop to this primary school gender finger-pointing and behave like grown-ups?

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Comms / Digital Marketing Specialist

Not Specified: Recruitment Genius: An exciting and rewarding role exists for a...

Search Engine Optimisation/ SEO Executive

£25000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

Programme Planner

£30000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Project Manager

£400 - £500 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: The opportunity: P...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Backbencher Ben Gummer is seeking to rename National Insurance  

So much for the Seven Principles that MPs are supposed to abide by

Andy McSmith
 

Is Ed Sheeran the most important British man in black music?

Lee Pinkerton Lee Pinkerton
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor