Have you turned on the news at any point in the last seven years? Is there anything there that’s surprising anymore? Murder? Yawn. Armed robbery? Heard it. Water levels are rising at an astronomical rate and both California and Florida have vanished like bygone Atlantis? (Let’s permit the flooding until the Midwest has been submerged, too.)
Despite the news’ tendency to sensationalize the slightest upset on earth into Armageddon, the world really is ending. For all we know, it may have ended in 2012 as the Mayan long count predicted and what we presently perceive as reality is nothing more than Elon Musk’s simulation of what the world ought to have been like in the year 2020.
Hologram or not, we’ve got some glaring issues that, like relentless acne on some pubescent’s oily mug, must be addressed before they turn into pulsing pustules that forbid us from ever having a decent look at ourselves again. Pay inequality, islands made of plastic bottles, and the United States’ insistence on sticking it’s beak in everyone’s nest are all signs that the Apocalypse is nigh. Hearken, reader! The pale horse’s dreadful hoof doth approach.
Unlike politicians and spinsters whose sole utility is to point out problems and never to busy themselves with sensible solutions, I’ve come bearing foresight, ingenuity, and downright pragmatism. Dare I say, I may have stumbled across the ultimate answer to the world’s interminable problems. Please, reader, steel yourself; the solution may fill you with terror, knock you from your seat, excite you to weep and writhe as though your beloved candidate lost the election to a less-than-dignified goldfish.
You know the solution already. It’s been loitering about your mind ever since Rosy the Riveter flexed her sizable guns in your face. Don’t be afraid! Shout it with me:
It’s time that women became the cultural agents of courtship.
I’m not talking about some fifty-fifty tomfoolery wherein men and women court each other at uniform intervals in some wet dream of equality. I’m talking about women assuming the duty, full stop, from first glance to inaugural bedroom shakedown.
Analyze it. A shy young man sits in the corner of a university classroom, head drooping into the latest novel he’s borrowed from the local library. His headphones are in, and, were a gnat to settle itself on his broad shoulder, it would hear the ghost of electro-funk bass riffs escaping the confines of his ears. Oh, reader; how our young friend’s life would have been the better had a wholesome gnat laid claim to his attention rather than the pest that did enter the scene, more tremendous and exceedingly more treacherous, Lecherous Lucille, who does not wish to perch innocently upon our hero’s shoulder but instead intends to invade his life like the eighth plague of Egypt. She taps his shoulder where the good gnat would have otherwise landed.
“Hey, there,” Lucille says, toothy grin pinned across her insistent face. “Are you reading?”
“Hello,” the innocent reader says with a sidelong glance. He pulls an ear bud from his head. “Yes, I’m reading.”
“Wow! I like to read, too. We have a lot in common. I’m Lucille.” The lecher proceeds to send her lurid bag crashing over the desk beside her. She shoves her hand in the boy’s face.
The poor soul consents to a handshake and confesses his name (which is here omitted to protect his precious identity). He returns his attention to the spreadeagle book before him—an inefficacious attempt at nonverbal communication. Little does he know, Lecherous Lucille is not so yielding.
“It’s really nice to meet you. Has anyone ever told you that you have beautiful eyes? They’re so large and enchanting. Say, how about we exchange numbers?”
“Um,” our bookworm mumbles, “I have a girlfriend.” Ordinarily a strict disciple of honesty, there’s no alternative than to cast aside his morals to repel such an unsavory individual.
“Oh, well, that wasn’t even why I asked,” Lucille stutters. “I thought we could work together on some of the assignments so that, you know, the class would be a little easier. Jeez. Get over yourself, why don’t you?”
Lucille turns her nose up and takes her seat. Later she will tell her closest confidants about the narcissist in her public speaking class:
“He was full of himself,” she will say. “I mean, really full of himself. But I sure would like to sit on his face.”
I know what you’re thinking. Wow, that Lucille was a real pig. It does seem that way, reader, when examined from the surface; but we must empathize with the dear. Look further:
Lucille—poorly endowed Lucille—has a difficult time finding dates. She tried speed dating and dating websites. She attends parties, and goes to bars, and to concerts. She paints her lips and smothers her eye lashes with toxic goop. She douses herself with perfumes. She reads books and studies videos on the art of seduction. Nevertheless, she hasn’t gone on a date in years.
Bored at home, and lonely as always, she searches social media for her new friend from public speaking class. A brief investigation and a few swift taps of the thumb summons the young man’s image again before Lucille’s lascivious ogling. She glances through his photos. Here he is in Moab on a dirt bike. There he is with his friends on the banks of some turbid lake. Is that a picture of a hot dog wearing a miniature beret and a smiley face carved into it? Lucille isn’t quite sure. She scrolls further.
2,400 friends? Wow, I don’t even have two-hundred.
Scroll—his latest post:
“I’m so tired of women approaching me [insert dramatic anger emoji]. Have some respect. If I’ve got my headphones in and I’m reading a book, don’t talk to me! Seriously, it’s pathetic.”
Throat constricts. Feverish cheeks. Forehead assailed by fleeting pin-pricks of perspiration.
60 reactions—dramatic anger emoji prevails.
What’s this? Three dozen comments? Click. Scroll.
“Ugghhhhh, soooo annoying!!1!” says Brad from Kentucky.
“I know, right?!? It’s like they think we’re pieces of meat.” – Harold, Seattle.
“Last time that happened to me, I farted so loudly. And right after she said she loved my cologne. LOL!” – Marcus, El Paso.
Distraught, Lucille writes a message to her closest male friend, Donny. She wants his advice about when—and how—to approach men.
“What do you mean?” Donny replies moments later. “You can approach men anywhere. At the mall, at the gym, at school; you know, anywhere. But don’t do it at bars. It’s always obvious that you want a one-nighter and we just aren’t that into it.”
“Really? Then why do you get dressed so nicely before you go out?” Lucille responds.
“Just because we look sharp doesn’t mean we want your attention. Sometimes we just want to dress up for our friends.”
“Didn’t you hook up with a girl from a bar a few weeks ago?”
“Yeah, so? I don’t want to do that every time I go out.”
“How are we supposed to know when you want to be approached and when you don’t?”
“I don’t know, Lucille,” says Donny. “Look, it’s not that hard. Okay? Just put yourself out there.”
“All right,” replies Lucille—Lonely Lucille—and she crawls into her long, empty bed.
Intriguing as it may be, Lucille’s story isn’t unique. All women (besides those born with exceptional features) had a similar story to Lucille’s, and the results are outstanding. Reader, Lucille never experienced the harassment that her grandmothers and great-grandmothers had been forced to endure. Lucille has never been harassed at all by men. She’s never been catcalled. No one has ever told her to smile except for her mother and the photographers hired for school pictures. Neither has she been subject to the routine advances of men eager to win her adoration. Lucille has hardly been noticed at all by men. Women, in these days, did not have to worry themselves with the cruel hands of men.
And how else has this simple adjustment of norms affected our noble world? Dig deeper.
Meet Francesca Pyrite (call her Franny). At the celestial age of 42, Franny has built her life with a singular purpose in mind: to become president of the United States. She won’t be the first female president—hardly. That title is forever reserved for the 48th POTUS, Ms. Lady President (seriously, that’s her name), who was elected in a landslide victory over her opponent, Sen. Delbert Steelsyermunny of Racine, Wisconsin.
The difference between Franny Pyrite and Former President President is that Franny is young—not an advantage in itself (particularly in politics where it is instead a hindrance), but rather means that, like our old friend Lucille, Franny grew up in the era of women courting men. Former President President, ripe in age at the onset of her terms, was reared in the old times. She was asked to school dances by greasy-faced boys, was pursued by slobbering men, and awaited the marriage proposal of her husband, James Lipschitz (Lady did not change her name and, furthermore, admonished with severity any journalist who referred to her as President President-Lipschitz).
Franny Pyrite, on the other hand, was brought up in the new era—the enlightened era. Franny asked boys to school dances (and was met routinely with sympathetic utterances that they’d already been asked). Franny’s advances were rejected more times than she’d like to count. When she finally found a decent man, Franny knelt in a heap of rose petals and asked the Y-chromosome to be her husband. President President may have paved the roads, but future President Pyrite worked the corners selling price-gouged rolls of toilet paper (a rather coveted commodity at the time, for one reason or another).
And so it was that when Senator Franny Pyrite announced her bid for presidency, she did so not as one might dip a hesitant toe into the biting waters of a thawing pond, but rather with the certainty of a woman who clutches a man’s shriveled scrotum between her talons and demands to know where he’s been all night. Franny had taken risks. Franny had embarrassed herself too many times. Franny Pyrite had been ignored, ridiculed, and patronized in the pursuit of courtship. Of course, all women had been ignored, ridiculed, and patronized, long before the age of enlightenment. But Franny was a different kind of woman. Franny had thus learned to crave power, and no woman ever to come before her had salivated at the prospect of power quite like she did. She would do anything for it. She would lie. She would manipulate. She would blackmail. When it came to politics, Senator Franny Pyrite—soon President Francesca Pyrite—was a purist. Along with her husband, First Gentleman Henry Pyrite (nee Butkis), Franny would plaster herself into the annals of history as The Greatest President Ever (a moniker she herself coined).
President Pyrite would go down in history as the most notable Commander and Chief to grace the White House. Next to her picture in history books would be a small blurb about her extraordinary achievements. She had started wars. She had built walls. She had lied, lied about her lies, and lied about lying about her lies. She was the American Dream incarnate. To quote the history books, “President Francesca Pyrite, in a time still wrought with the abominable stench of male chauvinism, and not to be surpassed by her penis-having predecessors, proved to the United States and the world over that in the arenas of cruelty, violence, egoism, manipulation, and all other metrics of opportunism, women can and do certainly contend with men.”