Monday, May 15, 2006

Boomsticks: Fear and loathing in Galesburg.

Today's Day By Day strip by Chris Muir delivers a funny and pointed comment on the recent much-ballyhooed study purporting to link the handling of a firearm with the production of increased levels of testosterone in men. In a nutshell, Chris asks: "So?"

Lots of things probably do likewise: power tools, fast cars, the sight of boobies, Angelina Jolie film festivals (but I repeat myself.) The bizarre subtext to the study is the implication that testosterone is somehow, in and of itself, a bad thing. As Sam in the comic strip points out, testosterone is what makes men... Take the testosterone away from Russell Crowe or Viggo Mortensen and you're left with Richard Simmons or Leonardo DiCaprio and, assuming that one is post-pubescent and heterosexual, who really wants that?

The demonizing of the masculine has become so very entrenched in certain circles that it seems to be taken as a given: Testosterone = Bad. No thought seems to be given to the logical extensions of this way of thinking: If we need to shield poor weak men, who are such prisoners of their hormones, from anything that might cause them to produce their icky testosterone, we can't stop with handguns; it's burkhas for the lot of us.

Whence this Fear of the Male, anyway? Given my job, I've spent more time among them than Dianne Fossey did amongst her gorillas, and trust me, they're not as scary as the average woman-with-a-"y" tries to paint them. Heck, they're kinda cute, even.

Besides, without testosterone who's going to open the pickle jars?


Dr. StrangeGun said...

"...pickle jar?"

I have a feeling that the testosterone antagonists have already thought of that.

Porta's Cat said...



aughtSix said...

Growing up (heck, I'm only 24, but an old-fart for 24) I remember we had a little textured rubber disk a few inches across that could be used help you open jars. My mom (something of a feminist, I might add) always called it the "rubber husband." Oh, wait. That sounds dirty, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

You left out a nice butt in the testosterone-producing events for men! Give me a nice ass to look at does better things for me than boobies. Don't get me wrong - boobies are good too!

Anonymous said...

Even though I have strong hands thanks to a crappy kneading job I had (didn't pay all that well, but you made a lot of dough), my standard workaround is to slip my working blade between the lid and the jar. By twisting slightly you pop the vacuum seal with very little effort.

Of course, you get to whip out your manly lockblade sharp thingy, so it's probably not entirely “testosterone poisoning” free.

BobG said...

Silly study; since when have eunuchs been preferable to men, other than as harem guards?
I imagine just about anything that increases adrenaline (fear, sex, violence) probably increases testosterone, that just means that nature is trying to prepare the man for physical trials.
I'm in the wrong business; there is a fortune to be made in bogus studies.

phlegmfatale said...

when I was in training for my brilliant operatic career (that never was), I read somewhere that a study was conducted of testosterone levels in female opera stars. They found that a top-flight soprano had a higher testosterone level than the average male. I think it has to do with fight-or-flight response, and believe me, it takes a serious amount of guts to stay planted on stage no matter what occurs. For heaven's sake, I wish western culture would stop trying to feminize men. Unmanly men aren't fulfilling their destiny, and they annoy the rest of us. To men I say: sweat! scratch your nethers! On occasion, stink. We'll love you for it.

Anonymous said...

"Heck, they're kinda cute, even."

Awww, shucks... :p

Steve Skubinna said...

Testosterone is the hormone that determines sex drive - in both men and women. So women who enjoy sex (I have been informed that such creatures really do exist) rely on testosterone as well.

And incidentally, physical exercise increases testosterone levels too - in both men and women.