November 27, 2002
MY EARLIER POST quoting feminist scholar Mary Daly in support of a world where the percentage of men was drastically reduced brought these thoughts from reader Steve White:
Regarding the thoughts of Mary Daly and Sally Miller Gearhart, who proposes limiting the number of men to ten percent of the human race: isn't this about what Dr. Strangelove had in mind when he talked about the "mine shaft gap"? I'm not sure, but take a look at the script:
Strangelove: I would not rule out the chance to preserve a nucleus of human specimens. It would be quite easy...heh, heh...(He rolls his wheelchair forward into the light.) at the bottom of ah...some of our deeper mineshafts. Radioactivity would never penetrate a mine some thousands of feet deep, and in a matter of weeks, sufficient improvements in drilling space could easily be provided.
President: How long would you have to stay down there?
Strangelove: ...I would think that uh, possibly uh...one hundred years...It would not be difficult Mein Fuehrer! Nuclear reactors could, heh...I'm sorry, Mr. President. Nuclear reactors could provide power almost indefinitely. Greenhouses could maintain plant life. Animals could be bred and slaughtered. A quick survey would have to be made of all the available mine sites in the country, but I would guess that dwelling space for several hundred thousands of our people could easily be provided.
President: Well, I, I would hate to have to decide...who stays up and...who goes down.
Strangelove: Well, that would not be necessary, Mr. President. It could easily be accomplished with a computer. And a computer could be set and programmed to accept factors from youth, health, sexual fertility, intelligence, and a cross-section of necessary skills. Of course, it would be absolutely vital that our top government and military men be included to foster and impart the required principles of leadership and tradition.
Naturally, they would breed prodigiously, eh? There would be much time, and little to do. Ha, ha. But ah, with the proper breeding techniques and a ratio of say, ten females to each male, I would guess that they could then work their way back to the present Gross National Product within say, twenty years.
... (later) ...
General Buck Turgidson: (judiciously) You mentioned the ratio of ten women to each man. Wouldn't that necessitate abandoning the so-called monogamous form of sexual relation ship?
Strangelove: Regrettably, yes. But it is a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to perform prodigious service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics, which will have to be of a highly stimulating order.
Er, I don't think this is what Daly had in mind. . . . She only endorsed a nine-to-one ratio!