If you have a set of testicles my advice would be not to read it… Don’t even read this because you’ll feel compelled to see what prompted the response. Liz Jones has always been a foul specimen; a compulsive liar, an egotist and, despite her self confessed failings as a human being, she believes herself capable of great insight into others. Her lowest moment? Hard to say… Although her comments about the Jo Yeates murder can’t be far off. Take for example this gem she wrote upon realising she didn’t have the change for crossing a toll bridge, which would of course immediately make you think of the horrific circumstances of that particular murder:
“Isn’t it interesting that you can snatch a young woman’s life away from her in the most violent, painful, frightening way possible, take away her future children, her future Christmases, take away everything she loves, and yet there are elaborate systems in place to ensure you do not cross a bridge for only 30 pence?”
No Liz, it’s not fucking interesting at all. The two aren’t even linked in the slightest and only the most demented human being could try and mash them together to create a clumsy statement about the fragility of human life and the failings of society to protect us from the baser nature of mankind.
That said with today’s piece in the Daily Mail she has truly surpassed herself, simultaneously proving she is someone who should be in some sort of care unit as opposed to a columnist for a national newspaper and chilling any man who read it to the bone.
There are many examples of urban legends that are specifically designed to put the frighteners on men. Think the one about the lipstick on the mirror that reads “welcome to the world of AIDS” or any permutation of the Fatal Attraction movie. Yet what Jones has confessed to gives validity to that most secret of male fears – the sperm stealer.
It is one of the great tragedies in the differences between gender that the there is such disparity when it comes to sex and procreation. It’s almost as if the cosmic forces that created us didn’t want us to get it on at all, instead moping around like shaved pandas occasionally comfort eating between bouts of depression. One gender needs sex to feel loved, the other needs to feel loved in order to have sex. One gender’s peak arrives at the point when the other is just getting started. One can procreate indefinitely as long as they can find willing partners, the other has a limited amount of time in which to conceive.
And there is the crux of the problem and the roots of the fear. As society has changed to allow us a much longer arrested state of development, to the point where adulthood seems to not arrive until thirty, without a biological imperative to do otherwise the men want to keep parenthood on the shelf for as long as possible. To do anything else would mean to have to put away the Xbox, the recreational marijuana smoking and the disposable income saved for the weekend lash up. “I don’t even FEEL thirty” they’ll say as they desperately try to cling to the past despite thinning hair and a thickening mid-section.
All of which is probably a grotesque series of stereotypes that rings true for most of us even as we polish off our gender roles soapbox for the umpteenth time. Still, it is this polarisation between the two genders that can lead to desperate measures from the female and blind panic from the male. If relationships are based on trust there is nothing that will arouse suspicion in the male mind like the thought “is she going to try and steal a kid from me?”
Most of the time it’s a completely stupid notion. If a woman has to go through that rigmarole in order to conceive, she has probably already arrived at the conclusion that it’s not going to be worth it. Then there’s the fact this is a discussion that should likely have come up several times before that fuse finally fizzes its last. The fear itself taps into an even bigger vanity – “my seed is just so fucking desirable” pulses the male brain “why wouldn’t she want my children?”
Yet that irrationality is now justified thanks to her article (likely more hysterical bullshit and completely untrue if past confessions are anything to go by) where she confessed to actually taking a used condom and, out of sight, trying to funnel the contents directly into her womb. The bogeywoman all men feared has now not only been brought into the daylight, it also has a name.
Like some grotesque comedy sketch Jones details exactly how she attempted to get pregnant without her boyfriend’s knowledge:
“Because he wouldn’t give me what I wanted, I decided to steal it from him. I resolved to steal his sperm from him in the middle of the night. I thought it was my right, given that he was living with me and I had bought him many, many M&S ready meals.
The ‘theft’ itself was alarmingly easy to carry out. One night, after sex, I took the used condom and, in the privacy of the bathroom, I did what I had to do. Bingo.”
And absurd as it sounds, because it clearly is, Jones seems to think her behaviour is the norm, something that men should be wary of:
“I don’t understand why more men aren’t wise to this risk — maybe sex addles their brain. So let me offer a warning to men wishing to avoid any chance of unwanted fatherhood: if a woman disappears to the loo immediately after sex, I suggest you find out exactly what she is up to.”
The post-coital clean-up operation has now been labelled as something conspiratorial and duplicitous. And men didn’t come up with this. No, as keen as we are to spin a good yarn about the Escher like architecture of the female mind, this came from one of your own and as it spreads about the internet like wildfire you can bet that it will be giving men pause for thought all across the country.
Of course the reality is that even if Jones did do what she claims, the fact remains that most women would not even have such a thought cross their minds. It is not a testament about the lengths women will go to conceive but rather just a sad indictment of what one hack will do in order to receive attention.
That will likely be overlooked as the heavily, and needlessly, pro-male response unit is mobilised. This article will be cited as proof that society has changed so much that men are now the put-upon gender, that men have obligations and women have choices and, unwittingly, this is likely now to become the most popular defence when it comes to paternity tests. How long before we here about this on Jeremy Kyle?
I say to men, fear not… This tale should cause no more alarm than the one about the hook handed asylum escapee. It may have it’s loose basis in facts but it is not representative of what you will encounter out there in the world of relationships. There are far more mundane horrors that await us all long before you even get to the stage where we need cower before the invasion of the babysnatchers.
The response will not be well measured. Some reactions are already applauding the “honesty” of the piece and chirping about how it’s a genuine concern for me. Such sentiments conveniently avoids the more urgent question “if you distrust someone to this level, if you believe they are willing to do this, then why are you with them in the first place?” Men are not easily manipulated brainless fools no more than women are all diabolical, plotting matriarchs. Don’t let one woman’s delusions about gender differences create yet another meaningless debate about our revised roles in each others lives. That, in itself, would be inconceivable.