The male, we are told, is fundamentally flawed. Not in an “original sin” sense, which might counsel resignation or charity. No, he is more like a Superfund site: something that urgently needs remediation, lest the whole community be poisoned. For that, you will need a sexual equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The good news—from this perspective—is that “male,” like “female,” is entirely a social construct. When gender is understood as an arbitrary product of human will, it invites the willfulness of people irritated by the way men and women actually live and feel. Sexual difference is seen not as a given, and certainly not as a gift to delight in, but as a problem to fix. There is no reason we cannot realize this vision of fixing, if only we are willing to free ourselves of outmoded ideas—for example, that old canard that the coercive powers of the state, and of its deputized franchisees in corporate H.R., should be in any way limited.

What kinds of male predilections should no longer be permitted? Should we jettison such stereotypically male behavior as coal mining and sanitation work? How about the lineman who scales a pole during an ice storm to restore power? Perhaps we need to be rid of those who man the Bering Sea fishing fleets (and, in doing so, die at a higher rate than in some combat posts) to bring sushi-grade

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