It’s raining men.
As I write this, veteran journalist Charlie Rose stands accused of walking around nekkid in front of younger female staffers, Sen. Al Franken may have to resign his seat on account of gropery and 88-year-old Michigan Congressman John Conyers has been outed for firing a female employee who rebuffed his sexual advances.
And that’s just the past 24 hours.
In search of historical context, I just watched an old video clip from a Bob Hope show and was reminded that, even with all the pervs in high places these days, we’ve come a long way.
Hope, a once beloved comic you should ask your grandparents about, hosted a “comedy” special on NBC back in 1970. The unimaginatively titled “Bob Hope Looks at Women’s Lib,” was highlighted by a skit in which Hope imagined what would happen if a woman (with ovaries!!!) were hired to run the Peacock network. In the skit, the new woman network president was depicted dusting all the office furniture while simultaneously canceling the network’s coverage of the Indy 500. Because there’s nothing women in the ’70s loved more than dusting and demonstrating how much they hated motor sports.
Hilarity ensued. Wait. No it didn’t.
I’d like to say all Hope was abandoned after that but no. As a pageant emcee in high demand, Hope compared the contestants to cows and told one adoring audience that he should know because he had been “backstage, examining calves.”
(On the other hand, our evolution has had a few bumps. We did elect a president who bragged of visiting dressing rooms at teenage beauty pageants and catching the girls in their underwear. What is it with these old lechers?)
I find heroes in short supply these days. I’m just grateful Walter Cronkite is dead and gone. I don’t think I could handle allegations of sexual harassment against America’s most trusted news-uncle.
What’s next? Tom Brokaw’s secret life as a BDSM dungeon master revealed? Captain “Sully” Sullivan admits to owning kitchen counters made entirely of ivory crushed from the tusks of endangered elephants? When will the disillusionment stop?
All of which leads to my main point: Women should take over. Yep, across the board. Men, you had a long run but it’s over. We’re grateful for the rib and everything but you’re done-zo.
I know what you’re thinking. We’re on our period. Because, tell the truth, that’s still your answer to everything.
No, we’re just sick and tired of your mess. We think, no, we know we can do better mostly because there’s as much likelihood that we’re going to giddily fondle your naughties in an elevator as, well, Sully smuggling all that ivory in his carry-on for decades.
To put it bluntly: We got more sense.
Elizabeth Warren? Suit up, girl. You’re the new president. Kamala Harris, you’re the veep. You don’t get a pass; if you screw up, we’ll replace you with better women. But no men. Ever again.
We need them to do all that dusting.
Celia Rivenbark is an NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.