Men and 'Testostorama' Explored by Prof. Ted Rueter

Men and 'Testostorama' Explored by Prof. Ted Rueter

November 18, 2005

ted-rueter.jpgNovember 18, 2005, Greencastle, Ind. - "Are men really necessary? The answer may be 'no,'" writes Ted Rueter, assistant professor of political science at DePauw University, in today's edition of Indiana's Bloomington Herald-Times. "A team of researchers recently discovered that mice can reach adulthood through parthenogenesis -- a form of reproduction in which the female egg develops into a live birth without benefit of male fertilization. Insects, lizards, and fish have long reproduced without any help from would-be fathers."

Rueter's column focuses on his visit to an event called "Testostorama 2005." Held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, it was billed as a "celebration of men." The professor states, "Entering the exhibition hall, I was greeted with a huge sign: 'Welcome, men. It's safe here; you're among friends.' The expo's program assured me that 'they can't hurt you anymore. You won't have to holdMen.jpg anyone's purse, run to the corner drugstore for feminine hygiene products, or ask how things went at book club.' I was in a mystical place, where my dreams of 'televised sports, really big speakers, and movies with all-female casts' could be met. I was in a world 'where recreational vehicles receive homestead exemptions,' a place 'where we may drink beer and buy power tools in one convenient location.'"

The political scientist states, "The hypermasculinity at Testostorama is cause for alarm, not celebration. Excessive testosterone and the macho-industrial complex are linked to aggressive behavior, crime, violence, noise, and brutality. The American male is in crisis. Around ninety percent of rapes, assaults, robberies, and murders are committed by males. Girls are surpassing boys in graduation rates, grades, advanced placement exams, and college attendance. Boys have higher rates of suicide than girls. More boys than girls are assigned to east college wide.jpgspecial education classes."

Further, Rueter argues, "males may be socially obsolete. Humorist Cynthia Heimel, author of the classic Sex Tips for Girls, contends that 'much of what defines masculinity is now useless. Fighting is out; wars are now bad. There's nothing left to conquer besides outer space, which we can't afford.' Therefore, 'the skills needed today are feminine: Getting along, sharing, nurturing those weaker and needier than ourselves, communicating, empathizing.'" British geneticist Steve Jones, author of Y: The Descent of Man, notes that 'men are wilting away. From sperm count to social status and from fertilization to death, as civilization advances, those who bear the Y chromosomes are in relative decline.' And nowhere was that decline more in evidence than at 'Testostorama 2005.'"

Access the complete column at College

Read about Ted Rueter's other recent columns here, here, here, here, and here.