Women without men: Problems in Iraq and in Berkeley

By Jane Stillwater


Recently an African-American friend of mine asked me a rather strange question.  “Do you know what really annoys me?” he asked.  I don’t know, what?  That Obama sold out healthcare?  The high price of gold?  My current bad hair day?  Sarah Palin pretending to be a populist?  What?  “It’s the way that some African-American women just look at me like I was a piece of fresh meat.”  Oh dear.  Do we really want to go there?

“Sometimes you can just see their minds working.  ‘If I can just convince him that I’m sexy, then he’ll want me for my body and if he wants me badly enough, then he’ll marry me and then we can have chiilren.’  I call it ‘Motherhood Fever’.  And it just drives me nuts.”

I can get behind that.  Babies are totally cute — and for a very good reason.  They are purposely made that way in order to preserve the species.  If a baby is cute enough, then you will be more likely to put up with all that diaper-changing and incessant crying and having to walk the floor with them at night.

In fact, I’m even about to bounce up to the local maternity hospital and ask them if I can volunteer in the baby nursery there.  Why not?  I’m a world record-holder for getting a collicky baby to smile — two minutes or less!  You got a collicky one-month-old?  Call me!  I’m there!  But I digress.

“These time-ticking lady baby machines don’t even see me as a person,” continued my friend.  “It’s enough to put one off of sex forever.  Whenever I see one of those women coming in those tight spandex dresses that show everything, all I want to do is run!”  I used to be that way.  I used to equate sex with love.  Back in the 1960s, almost every man in Berkeley wanted me because I was HOT.  But none of them loved me for myself.  But then finally it dawned on me.  Men DO NOT equate sex with love.  Except perhaps for Tiger Woods.  I totally understand where these women are coming from.  I used to be that way too.

“Will somebody PLEEZE up the supply of eligible Black men so I can just get on with my life!” sighed my friend.

Hey, that’s easy to do.  Let’s stop putting so many African-American men in jail for crimes that don’t involve others (such as Lil’ Wayne being jailed for smoking pot and owning guns — where is the NRA when you really need it?) and spend all the tax money we save on better schools and more jobs.  Problem solved.

And then I got to thinking about how my friend’s situation might also apply to the men of Afghanistan and Iraq.  Perhaps as many as one million men have been killed over there in the last nine years, plus, to quote a recent article in Yahoo News, “Cancer is spreading like wildfire in Iraq….  The cancer rate in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad, has risen from 500 diagnosed cases in 2004 to 9,082 in 2009.”  Just think about that.

What if the women of Iraq and Afghanistan are now developing “Motherhood Fever” too?  Then the counterinsurgents will not only have to be out fighting off the U.S. military all the time, but also they will have to be spending every spare moment fighting off prospective brides as well.  With all that cat-fighting going on, it’s becoming like an Afghan version of “The Bachelor”.

I’ve got an answer to that problem too.  Just ship all the excess women that have been created by “war” in the Middle East off to China.  There’s a vast shortage of women in rural China I’ve been told.  Arab women would be appreciated in rural China.  And I bet that African-American women would be appreciated there too.  Heck, ship me off there as well — but I would prefer not to marry a farmer.  Plowing ruins the nails.

I think that white American women probably also have the same problem as African-American and Arab women.  Apparently the toll on the number of eligible white American males as a result of the “wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan has been fairly high too — much higher than we think.  There are a lot less American men than there used to be due to all those unnecessary Bush-Obama administration “wars” in the Middle East.  If you don’t just count the soldiers who have died in-country but also count in all those soldiers who died after being evacuated, all the military suicides, all the victims of Gulf War Syndrome, all the violent deaths of victims of returned soldiers with PTSD and all the soldiers who nobody would want to marry anyway because they have already died inside their minds after returning from the horrors of those wars, then you have a significantly lower number of eligible white American men for all America’s desperate “Bachelorettes”.

According to Army Times, “Americans should prepare to accept hundreds of U.S. casualties each month in Afghanistan during spring offensives with enemy forces.”  Then they quote Gen. Barry McCaffrey,  an adjunct professor of international affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as saying, “What I want to do is signal that this thing is going to be $5 billion to $10 billion a month and 300 to 500 killed and wounded a month by next summer.  That’s what we probably should expect. And that’s light casualties,”

Long-time war correspondent Lori Gricker just published a book entitled, “Afterwar:  Veterans From a World of Conflict”.  In Chris Hedges’ review of Gricker’s book in the Los Angeles Times, he stated that, “Those who pay the price, those who are maimed forever by war, are shunted aside, crumpled up and thrown away.  They are war’s refuse.  We do not see them.  We do not hear them….  The message they bring is too painful for us to hear.”  But these huge numbers of American men who are no longer on the marriage market still exist.

“How many?” you might ask.

In 2007, blogger-activist Clive Boustred collected data from a Veterans Administration website and added up the figures.  “On page 7 of the official VA report, the number of U.S. soldiers partaking in the illegal invasion of the Gulf is listed as 6,838,541 soldiers. Just below that the VA estimated number of living soldiers is listed at 4,525,865.  In other words 2,312,676 US Gulf War Veterans are dead!  Not many active duty soldiers serving from 1990 are likely to have died from old age or natural causes by April 2007.  The report details deaths in various conflicts as reported to the VA by DoD, utterly contradicting the government and mainstream media number of 4,000 dead.”

With regard to the more recent Middle East “wars,” Boustred supplied the following information:  “Total U.S. Military Gulf War Deaths:  73,846,” based on 17,847 deployed deaths and 55,999 non-deployed deaths.  “Total number of disability claims filed: 1,620,906.  Disability Claims amongst Deployed: 407,911.  Total ‘Undiagnosed Illness’ (UDX) claims: 14,874.  Disability Claims amongst Non-Deployed: 1,212,995.”  And that number has probably risen considerably since 2007.

That’s a whole big bunch of non-eligible marriageable men!

According to journalist T. Christian Miller, there is also a big problem among contractors who worked abroad for such companies as Blackwater and KBR and came back disabled and maimed for life.  Are they being counted too?  Not according to Miller.  In an article entitled, “Injured Abroad, Neglected at Home: Labor Dept. Slow to Help War Zone Contractors,” Miller stated that, “More than 1,600 civilian [contractors] have died and 37,000 have reported injuries.”

I  wrote an article on the subject of injured returned contractors — regarding an acquaintance of mine named Dave Crow.  Dave allegedly committed suicide after returning from Iraq, where he was exposed to toxic waste.  Whether he killed himself or died some other way, Dave had become a “Dead Man Walking” from the moment he came home from Iraq.  “I was only over there for four months,” he told me.  “I was a truck driver for KBR.  The money was good.  But our camp was located over the site of a former depleted uranium dump and I got really sick.  My body started just wasting away and now I’m weak, unhealthy, living in a trailer outside of San Diego and basically screwed up.”  Our Dave is now dead.  No wedding date for him.

While  in Argentina last month, I heard a lot of talk about the mistreatment of both soldiers and veterans of the Falkland Island wars.  Apparently Argentina’s military dictatorship had wanted this war as a means of distracting people away from hatred of their totalitarian regime.  So the dictatorship sent a bunch of ill-equipped and ill-trained young boys out to the Falklands in sub-zero-degree temperatures to die horrendous, painful and unnecessary deaths for no reason.  These boys were not even given warm overcoats.  Many — if not most — of them simply froze to death.  Argentinians are still really pissed off about that — especially the women.

And if I was a young Afghan, Iraqi or American woman today, I would be pissed off too — and angry enough to put an end to all war!

12 Comments on “Women without men: Problems in Iraq and in Berkeley”

  1. I hate, detest and despise all babies and prepubertal children. Their mass extermination would make me ecstatic. But – never in the history of the world has a shortage of men put an end to war. All it has meant is a temporary slowdown in populatiuon growth, before the remaining men begin to breed with all the available women. Otherwise war would never have survived Chinggis Khan and Attila the Hun.

  2. Maternally guided and very much a product of matriarch influence, i love babies, toddlers, small children and all who have the blush of innocence and honest rapport. I sympathize with the biological clockwork ruthlessly imposed by nature to insure natural reproductive cycles. The educated woman, practical and analytical, knows the necessity for birth control, but her body tells her to have babies.

    I’m beginning to suspect that men, who have never quite released the mental imagery of having numerous wives or even a harem; feel by whittling down the number of rivals to their personal dreams, they can claim more female ownership. My suggestion to women in this unfair ratio is, don’t marry. Don’t burden your life by being chained to a man-child you can’t depend on. If you can’t find a man who will be a supportive father, go to the sperm bank, but stand on your own. Be capable of providing for your child. Be capable of standing on your feet and also of realizing that although you have sexual urges that need to be satisfied, it doesn’t mean necessarily mean you need a husband. Your children will grow up just fine without a father as long as you give them an environment that includes men and women working together in harmony and cross-gender friendships. They will see men as far more positive role models in a setting where the mother plays an independent role than one where she is subservient to a male child’s image of woman’s place in society. This is my opinion from a matriarch viewpoint.

  3. You know, I can’t help but think that this gender shortage may actually be a boon to the species in the long-run – our world is heavily overpopulated as is (nearly 7 billion and counting) and a shortage of one gender or the other would really put a damper on population growth. So, maybe all the wars civilization has waged in the past half century (for whatever reasons, no matter how absurd) just might actually function as a sort of natural “pressure release valve” for the population surplus that’s been building up since the Industrial Revolution.

  4. Christopher, areas where men traditionally out-number the women or the percentage is relatively equal, are more slow growing. I think the baby making machinery cools down and a sense of natural selectivity takes place. In all honesty, i don’t see how nature can keep supporting the highly industrialized, teeming cities without a little independent effort put out by technology. All that war has done is add to a chain cycle of polluted water, disease, arid soil, radiation exposure, eating away the natural resources and consequent health of the indigenous species. We cannot help the cities until the war is stopped. The cities can’t be saved until they begin building their natural resources, which can’t be done in the midst of war.

    We’re pretty much at a point of no return. The environments surrounding the cities can no longer support the needs for food and potable water. The environmental wasteland grows exponentially with war. It effects us globally; all life, to the microscopic level. Let nature do her thing, but don’t allow war to complicate it.

  5. [quote=karlsie] In all honesty, i don’t see how nature can keep supporting the highly industrialized, teeming cities without a little independent effort put out by technology.[/quote]

    Perhaps you care about the cities, but I do not – I find densely populated areas to be a ticking time bomb for civil unrest, and this can only be solved by depopulation (fewer people = less competition for resources).

    [quote=karlsie]All that war has done is add to a chain cycle of polluted water, disease, arid soil, radiation exposure, eating away the natural resources and consequent health of the indigenous species. [/quote]

    And wars can also help thin out existing populations – which in the long run equals more time for nature to replentish itself (assuming that the depopulation is rapid and debasement of settlement areas total).

    [quote=karlsie] Let nature do her thing, but don’t allow war to complicate it.[/quote]

    War is part of nature karlsie – in fact, animals have been waging wars on each other long before the first humans evolved. Granted, they don’t use weapons as sophisticated as ours or on a scale as large but the intent is the same: to push the others out of their territory and secure its resources for themselves – which results in the victor taking the spoils and vanquised party being left with nothing.

    What can I say? Nature is harsh and cares nothing for the lifeforms that inhabit it…

  6. Christopher, it’s difficult for me to equate the struggles between other mammals for dominance and mates with human tactics. Other animals rarely struggle to their deaths. They enlist the aid of others only in hunting, not for expanding territory. They have no spoils of war, unless you would count a fresh kill. They don’t kill without purpose. The only creatures comparable to our soldiers of war are ants. Their wars are more closely related to what we would call individual hand to hand combat.

    If war is the solution between the cities, then it should be internal, not external. Let the warring factors implode upon themselves, instead of bombing innocent countryside and enlisting their combatants from the jungles. The military has enlisted Inuit to fight their war in Afghanistan, for crying out loud; a people who say they will not fight their cousins in Mongolia; which is their final destination. What could possibly be the purpose of sending troops to penetrate all the way into Mongolia? Simply to say, “we’ve arrived; the great state of capital enterprise and there is nothing you can do to stop us.”

    The smallest population in the US is sent to fight its biggest battle. This the cowardice and sham of our great war. It diminishes indigenous populations to build more cities. It destroys arable land to remain comfortable in small apartments with running water and the latest technology. Those who are the most affected by war are not the ones who are using up our natural resources the quickest. The cities will continue to flourish as long as they use the increments of war to continue draining their most precious resources, and will not stop until there is nothing left.

    The greatest injustice that i can see behind the whole “population control” championship of war, is that in a great many of the western countries, the death rate is now over-taking the birth rate. As the baby boomers arrive at retirement age, the generations coming up behind them have been growing progressively smaller. The children coming back in body bags are often from very small families. They are often parents themselves. The babies aren’t just losing fathers, but mothers as well. From my area, there were four women lost to war for every six men, many of them mothers. It seems to me that areas that have shrinking or very low population growth have already made their sacrifices and have done their part in controlling their expanding frontiers.

    Let them come home. We can’t be peace keepers if we’re not making peace. We can’t re-build our battered infrastructure if we’re still in the midst of destruction. Let the over-populated countries figure out their own means of bringing their rampant cities under control, but don’t penalize those who have done their part. The whole thing has boiled down to urban versus rural really, and as long as we support war, rural can never win.

  7. I don’t see how looking at war as a species limiting tool is a viable idea, after all we can now inseminate ourselves at will. Sure it may take a few tries however all we need is frozen sperm.

    In fact recent studies show that males may be on their way out entirely with a decrease in male population overall and the genetic Y factor dimishing. (see link http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4225769)

    So maybe this is the cost of throwing about testosterone in war-like behavior, not a population culling but rather a gender culling.

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  10. You lost me, buddy. I mean, I suppose I get what youre saying. I get exactly where youre coming from. But you just seem to have forgotten that you will find folks around who can see this problem for what it actually is and may not agree with you. You apparently alienate a entire bunch of individuals who may well are already fans of the website.

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