The Guardian's Charlie Brooker may mean well with his suggestion of "a 10-year prohibition on all forms of male power," but his column just ends up reinforcing tired old stereotypes about male stupidity.
Brooker's "decade in which men don't get to control anything, from the remote control upwards" would produce, according to him,
an instant and massive reduction in armed conflict around the globe. Sure, nations would routinely bitch about each other in secret (and with a new, hair-curling viciousness), but there'd be fewer intercontinental punch-ups and a far smaller bodycount.
The idea that women like to fight and women just like to gossip is obviously totally reductive, but even more wrong-headed is Brooker's claim that all the world's problems are the result of excess testosterone. He writes,
Men are still far too dominant for their own good, and consequently we've made a testosterone-sodden pig's ear of just about everything: politics, the economy, religion, the environment ... you name it, it's in a gigantic man-wrought mess. The world's been one big dick-swinging contest, and we've caught our collective glans in a nearby desk fan.
Insofar as more men than women are in power in the world, and the people in power have a lot to answer for, yes, men have screwed things up. But whenever I hear someone chalking up war, economic collapse, and general worldwide ill-being to masculine posturing, I remember trying to make this argument to my mom when I was about fourteen years old. She sat me down and told me never to try to pin all the problems of the world on men, because this was too simplistic and too easy. I think she's right — female leaders have waged war too, and our whole species is to greedy and violent and self-centered to give half of it a pass.
Not to mention the fact that Brooker's plan basically absolves men of the responsibility to fix anything. They can't, he argues, they're too dumb! He writes,
In truth your suspicions are correct: we're very, very simple. We're lazy and we like blowjobs. That's all there is to us. Literally: that's it. From Sir John Betjeman to Barack Obama, from Copernicus to Liam Gallagher. The core software we run on could fit in the memory of a digital watch circa 1985 without even scraping the sides.
Thus Brooker basically lowers the level of his argument to that of a beer commercial. As long as men and women keep perpetuating this boring stereotypes that men are stupid, simple-minded blowjob-getting machines, men as a whole will never be expected to become the empathetic, intelligent, and egalitarian creatures that they definitely can be. This whole men-are-idiots ethos just sets the bar for men unacceptably low — and the bar for women, who must then compensate for men, unacceptably high. If the world is really half-full of the kind of men Brooker describes, then it's really not worth women's time to try to save it.