“Why we have two hands,” said the caption for two photos a woman had sent to me. One photo was of a little girl with a credit card and a cellphone, and the other of a little boy holding a remote control and his genitals. I wrote to the woman who had sent me those two photos. She did not write back. Does that mean that she became puzzled and was left speechless, or that my comments drove the lesson home and there was nothing more to be said?
Vicky [not her real name],
You told me that you don’t like reading. Nevertheless, do me a favour and read all of what I am writing here. After all, it’s not that long a write-up. You can handle it. You’ve got two hands and two eyes.
I know that you did not write anything in relation to those two photos you sent under the heading “Why we have two hands”, one of a little girl with a credit card and a cellphone, and the other of a little boy holding a remote control and his genitals.
Up-front, I don’t feel offended by the two photos, even though the photos offend both women and men. The reason why I don’t feel offended is that the premise of the alleged “humour” in those photos is based in ignorance or, perhaps more correctly, in propaganda. Jokes are humorous because they contain a kernel of truth. They are often the more humorous the more of the truth they contain. As far as that goes, your two photos contain very little truth and even less humour.
Objectively, I don’t want to over-analyze what is behind the two photos, but both of them are serious distortions of reality. Many of such distortions are not as funny as they appear to be at first glance.
The photos brought something to my mind that happened when Ruth and I went with my older brother, who is somewhat of a feminist, to Northern Michigan.
I wrote a comment about that incident, and I made sure to drive my point home with my brother after the fact, by sending him a copy of that commentary. Here is the main issue.
We had just arrived at the Mackinaw bridge and were at a visitor information centre. There was an exhibit of a model of the bridge. The short write-up associated with that model provided a few statistics, such as how long the bridge was, when it was built, how much time it took to build, how many men it took to build the bridge and how many of them had died building it.
My brother speaks and understands English, but to let the facts sink into his memory, he translated the facts and figures into German. In doing so, he mis-translated “men” into the German word “Menschen”, which means “people” and not “men”.
I corrected him and explained that the bridge was built by men, specifically, and not just by “people”, and that it was men and only men, not just people, who had died during its construction.
It is something that many people, especially those of a feminist bent, forget when they re-write history, even if it is nothing more than propagandistic jokes or photos such as the two you sent out, photos that downplay the role of men in our society and throughout civilization.
As I explained to my brother, just about everything you see that did not grow by itself, was built or made by men. Certainly, many things were made by women, clothing, for example (although even much of that is being made by men), but also the tools with which clothing is being made were designed and made by men, too.
Look around you. Everything, absolutely everything you see and use right now, has been made by men, by the two hands of every man who made it possible for you to enjoy what you have.
Look out of the window. Everything that did not grow by itself has been designed, engineered and made by men: your car, the roads it travels on, the materials both are made from — all made or produced by men. The trailer you live in, the materials it was built with, the tools to work those materials, the mining that was done to produce some of the raw materials for the construction materials, all made by men. Just have a closer look, virtually all of the things you see in these photos were not merely man-made but designed, engineered and constructed by men.
Men have two hands, and so do women. I won’t run down the good things that women do with their hands, no more so than I wish anyone to forget or make light of what men do with their hands. Let’s not forget that men use their hands for far more than holding remote controls and their genitals. You are a woman. The comforts you have at home and at work are man-made, by the two hands of each man who made them possible and made it possible for you to commute between home and work.
It is said that women’s work is never done. Just the same, it can also be said that men’s work is never done, but that, far more importantly, men’s work is never seen or, thanks to feminism, hardly ever recognized properly, rather, not recognized at all.
However, men’s work comes at a terrible cost. Men’s lives are on average ten percent shorter than women’s lives. That is mostly because men’s work kills far more men (e. g.: about 100,000 men — and no women — died throughout the world in mining accidents during the last century) than women’s work kills women.
For as long as statistics on that have been kept, about 18.5 job fatalities out of every twenty involved men as victims. The reasons why women have not yet reached equality with men in that area of human endeavor (the statistics show not the slightest trend of that being changed any time soon, if ever) is a subject of a different and far longer discussion. I will not go into that right now.
So, even if we try to be funny, let’s be a bit more honest about what we do with our hands. A lie, even if made out to be humorous, is still a lie.
All the best,