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What Cloning Means to the Average Joe
by Thomas Myer

This editorial is just for us guys.

Remember why you got into SF originally? I mean, besides Han Solo and Mr. Spock and all the cool objects of technolust. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

All those covers with women wearing skin-tight non-functional spacesuits. Or the occasional film featuring a planet full of women running around in bearskin loinclothes and halters.

Fantasy, too, had an inordinate amount of cover art featuring robust (ahem) women in chain-mail bikinis, brandishing large swords. But I'm not going into that here. (Focus, focus.)

Right. So the SF world had great women, right? And if the lost explorers did happen across a planet chuck full of sex-crazed cannibalistic nekkid females, the more the merrier, right?

Well, all that is about to come true. Okay, maybe not the nekkid part.

You see, cloning is about to do away with males. What's that, you say? Lean in real close, and I'll tell you why.

Cloning involves the following scenario. A team of scientists take a sample of adult cells. They strip out the DNA from this sample and render it temporarily dormant in a special chemical solution. Then they strip an egg of its genetic material, implant the new DNA, and let the egg's nutrients start up a new organism. They then implant the happily thriving egg into a surrogate mother.

What's missing from this picture? That's right. The macho. The hombre. The stud. We're toast. Not even in the picture. 

You see, over the millennia, males have managed to slowly erase themselves as a necessary component of biological life on earth.

We used to hunt mastodons for food, using our cunning and physical strength. Now there are supermarkets. We used to protect our families from outsiders. Now we have alarm systems and .357 Magnums. We used to be breadwinners. Now many women command higher annual salaries than some men see all their lives. We used to be sexual partners -- some of us as husbands, others as boy-toys. Now we have Ellen. And adult toy catalogs.

Soon now, we won't be needed to propagate the species. I'm sure that women all over the world will be sending us down to the cloning lab to get a sample of our cells, and then it's off to the neighborhood EZ-Bake. (Don't say that you wouldn't, either.)

How can we survive in a world that doesn't need us? Here are a few tips:

Stop making stuff out of plastic. Let's go back to steel. Its heavier. Until women start building more upper-body strength, they'll need us to move the steel flowerpots around.
Start piling all the stuff on the top shelves. Let's face it -- most men are taller than women. Otherwise, they wouldn't always call us when they can't reach the stuff on the top shelf.
Start washing dishes. I know, I know. There's been a moratorium on this sort of activity for as long as any of us can remember, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Start watching Martha Stewart Living. Just bite the bullet, okay, guys?
Start shopping for clothes. Get rid of that shirt you've had since the 8th grade. Buy a new one. At the factory outlet. Complain about your sore feet.
Start making coffee at the office. But always find out if Madame President likes decaf.
Start leaving the seat down. One little screw-up could cause chat boards all across the planet to light up. Don't be that person.
Good luck.

Copyright © 1998 by Thomas Myer


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