Minority Report

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This sign is on the wall in the hall in the Sidlakan Cultural Center, and shows a decided gender preference. It’s true that women always need more room to sit in the CR, while men can mostly stand; still it’s doubtful that they need twice as much room.

It’s not only in CRs that women get preference. They do better in boarding houses, which commonly advertise rooms “only for Lady”; they dominate the work force, where service and salespeople are usually female; and they are a majority in colleges, where most of the students and faculty are women.

Women are not usually construction workers or stevedores, which is understandable; certain occupations are reserved for men. But as these men make their way home, they often stop at little stores to have a few beers with their friends; and the store is almost always owned — by a woman.

Women may also be Presidents; but men usually get to be Generals, Cabinet Secretaries and Chief Executives. Below that level, women increasingly rise. In the Upper Middle sections of the culture, women already have an edge; in the working middle, and in the home, they dominate the culture completely. Only at the very bottom do the men rise again. On the streets at night, the drug addicts and the sleeping drunks are rarely women.

In a place so heavily dominated by women in the school, in the
workplace and in the home, the “macho” attitudes of boys and men seem defensive; more gestures of defiance than a show of real strength and leadership. Even the drunken violence of some men toward the women in their lives seems not to come from a desire to dominate, but from the frustrations they feel at their lack of power.

Still, any human population is always evenly split between men and women in number; so whatever relations between them persist must happen by mutual consent. Despite protest, there are advantages in being dominated. If women hold the power, they also bear the responsibility;
and the men are content to be irresponsible from boyhood on.

This sign on the wall, with 2 CRs for females and only one for males, is colored a pale pink — not the most masculine color. But notice also that the light switch on the wall is slightly tilted, skewed off center, badly mounted by the construction workers, who were certainly men.

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