July 9, 2147: AP reported today that the last female human has died in her enclosure at the Philadelphia Zoo. Her remains have been sent to a taxidermist, to be subsequently displayed in a glass case in the bar of the Union League Club, a la Jeremy Bentham.
The last woman’s passing marks a sad but inevitable milestone in the progress of mankind. It is hard to grasp in this day and age, but just a few centuries ago the extinction of women would have been inconceivable. It would have meant the end of the entire human race. Men could only create progeny through a woman. More, women played a multitude of vital roles in men’s lives, from providing sexual pleasure, through housekeeping, cooking, washing, and caring for children, to making certain the family had adequate food to get through the winter. Men and women were as inseparable as fuel and fire.
What happened to bring such a change in the lives of men? Two developments, both underway by the late 20th and early 21st centuries, set men on a course for a world without women. The first was technological: it became possible to create babies outside wombs. In vitro fertilization was the start. Then came cloning. It was no great step to making babies in bottles, just as in Brave New World (as prophetic a book as was ever written). At the same time, progress in robotics gave men sexbots that delivered sexual pleasure beyond what women could provide while happily spending their days silent, in closets, until their services were desired. While initially expensive, their life-cycle costs were small compared to those of a wife.
All this made a world without women possible. But technology seldom determines the course of events alone. Before the 21st century, women played a vast number of roles in mens’ lives, all complementary to the roles of men. As the Victorian concept of “separate spheres” laid out, the woman created and ran the “higher sphere” of home and family, while the man had to go out into the world of work to provide the wherewithal to support that family. When he returned home from the office or the mill, he entered into a delightful world of peace and plenty of beauty and gentleness, with a good dinner waiting for him on the table and a clean, ironed shirt for tomorrow hanging in his closet. He knew he owed this delightful world to a woman, his wife.
Then, beginning in the 1960s, women in increasing numbers decided they wanted the life of a man. This was feminism, an absurd notion that men and women were interchangeable. From being helpmeets, women became men’s competitors. Men found themselves working for women, taking orders from women (in the military!), and being accused by any woman they displeased of “sexual harassment”. Worse, as women attempted to become men, women’s duties went undone. Children were raised (badly) in daycare instead of in a home, meals went uncooked, houses unkept, clothes unwashed. No-fault divorce turned marriage from a mutual benefit to a scheme for stripping a man of half his assets. In movies and on television, petite, lovely women were regularly beating up big men.
It was all flight from reality, and, for women, a journey to extinction. As sex selection became the norm, people, including many women, selected more and more males. This should not have been a surprise; it has been true throughout history. When in the late 20th century China instituted a “one child” policy, the Chinese chose boys over girls two-to-one. Now, all over the world, men could choose sons over daughters, and they did.
The feminists howled, of course, but they could not stop a train they had set in motion. Bots replaced them not just for sex but for all the work women would no longer do. Once again, men came home to clean houses, great meals, ironed shirts, and well-mannered sons. What men had traditionally regarded as “girls’ stuff” was now “bots’ stuff”, at a lower price and with no headaches.
And so, like the Cheshire Cat, women slowly disappeared, leaving only the grin on the face of a bot. The last woman’s passing was certain to come (her name seems to have been Mabel, but everyone called her ByEve). It’s a man’s world now, where the fountains run with beer, endless free pizza is a birthright, and you can pee anywhere. Do we miss them? Nah.