The Head by Baruch Cohon

     In the Navy, the men’s room was called the Head.  And on WW2 ships it
was exclusively a men’s room.  But that was the first American war
when women who were not nurses were actually admitted to the armed
forces.  Accordingly, a cartoon from those days comes back to me.  Not
a cartoonist, I can’t draw it, so I’ll develop it:
     Urinals in the “head” were attached to the bulkhead (that’s the wall
on a ship) and they stuck out at a height of at least 2 feet.  In the
cartoon, a sailor is using one urinal, and at the one next to him a
short gal in a WAVE  uniform is busy hoisting one leg over the urinal.
   To his unspoken comment she says: “Well, I’m doing a man’s job,
ain’t I?”
     It was funny in 1943.  Little did we know how prophetic it was.  All
Gender bathrooms go with a policy that sets a goal of equality in
employment.  No more men’s jobs and women’s jobs.  Stay-at-home wives
used to be respected as homemakers.  Now they are in a snubbed
minority.  Makes anyone my age wonder about the future of the American
family.  Maybe more gals are doing men’s jobs, but who’s doing the
women’s jobs?
     No matter how “progressive” they are, male Americans don’t seem to be
able to bear babies.  So how can they reproduce?  In many cases
their reproductive value is limited to supplying nameless semen to
impregnate one or the other member of a female “marriage.”
     Biblical statements are sometimes difficult to understand, but here’s
one that is perfectly clear: “Male and female created He them.”  It
applies to animals, birds, fish, insects – and humans.  We don’t see
other forms of life trying to deny their sex.  Maybe they know
something we don’t know?
   Young people maturing in a confused world like this understandably
take their time making any relationship permanent – or productive.
Any thought of building a family is pretty far down on their scale.
That does not keep them from sex.  Or from reproduction.  Recent
statistics list some 23% of white babies and 73% of black babies as
born out of wedlock.  City fire stations get a steady influx of
unwanted infants, and have a system to keep them alive.  But our
national population is damaged by a decreasing birthrate, and an
increasing crime rate involving many of those boys who got delivered
to the fire station, only to grow up on the street and have no fathers
to raise them.
   So what do we need to do?  Reverse our direction and put all the women
back in the kitchen?
   Not hardly.  Our girls go to school just like the boys.  They find
interests and careers in business and industry, in government and
education.  They bring real talent to their employers and valuable
service to the public.  Are they “doing a man’s job?”  You bet.
Sometimes better than the men they replace.  And if they can also
build a family with a beloved mate, they are also doing a woman’s job.
Many women succeed in doing both.  And hopefully more men will accept
their wives in both areas, and join them to keep the house clean and
put food on the table and, yes, to supervise their kids – to build
homes and families and a balanced future.
   Somehow change never seems to come without pain.  Old habits are hard
to break.  But a little understanding can ease the pain and help the
change.  Let’s try for that.
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