Burt Prelutsky

One of the sillier notions that feminists have tried to foist off on the rest of us is that there are no major differences between boys and girls or men and women. It was goofy when Gloria Steinem, Germaine Greer, and the ladies of NOW, first promoted the big fib back in the 60s and 70s, and it’s no less lame-brained today.

Study after study have shown that, left to their own devices, little girls will seek out dolls to play with, while little boys will seek out trucks, guns, and things they can take apart and, they hope and pray, break into a thousand pieces.

A recent poll further emphasized the stark contrasts between the dreams and ambitions of the two genders. Asked to name their fantasy careers, women’s top five were Hollywood wardrobe stylist, vacation tour director, doll fashion designer, concert promoter, and ice cream creator. The men’s top five were comic book guru, video game developer, toy creator, casino host, and brew master. In comparing the two lists, the thing that jumped out at me is that they could have been the wish lists of little kids.

Nobody even fantasized being a lawyer, a doctor, an architect or a CPA. Predictably, the women wanted to be involved with fashion and ice cream, while the men leaned towards, toys, games, and beer.

I’m not suggesting that one list is superior to the other. The fact is, none of those ten careers calls out to me. My list would consist of composer, playwright, baseball player, pianist, and heir. Some of you are going to insist that the last item isn’t really a career, but I don’t see why not. There are plenty of people all over the place who get their names in the paper and find themselves identified as heirs, the scions of one fabulously wealthy family or another. I’d like to join their ranks. Frankly, I think I’d be very good at it.

I’m not the sort who’d be too guilt-stricken to live off millions of dollars left me by a doting grandfather or a spinster aunt. Unlike some of those rich ingrates who feel they must spend most of their waking hours bad-mouthing their ancestors, I’m not the sort who’d feel I had to dedicate my life to apologizing for the fact that my kinfolk made their fortunes off the sweat of others. I’d be too busy enjoying myself to work up a sweat of my own over the source of my treasure.

Guilt has always struck me as a waste of time, especially second-hand guilt. Besides, all that some of us really know about our ancestors is whether they were rich or poor. We don’t know if they were mean drunks who beat up their wives and kids or were horse thieves or the village idiots. So, all things being equal, is it any wonder that I’d have preferred being a Rockefeller or a Morgan or a Chase to being a Prelutsky?

I’m not one to gripe, you understand, but it really doesn’t seem fair that all those scions get to race around in Ferraris, vacationing in Bermuda, and being catered to by an army of servants, and the only thing I ever inherited was male pattern baldness.