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Women take over remote and there's still nothing on TV

October 02, 2008

Good Lord, they've taken over the remote.

The last remaining male icon has fallen into the hands of women, according to a Washington Post story, which reported that in a greater percentage of American households it's the female who has dominion over that most precious of appliances.

The story says that in 27 percent of homes the woman controls the television remote, while men are holding out in 26 percent of American homes. I presume that in the remaining homes no one could find the remote because the man was sitting on it.

Think of it. American women are now in charge of channel surfing. This is horrible news for ESPN.

But it's worse news for men, who have already seen their control of finances, consumer buying decisions and social engagements fall out of their hands and into the hands of those female control freaks.

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"I think the big story over time is the rise in shared decision making," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University.

Hey, nuts to you, Andrew Cherlin. This "shared decision making" garbage is a lie and you know it.

What do we get to share anymore? Nothin', that's what. Sha-ring is code for She-ring. A woman's idea of sharing is that when she makes a decision, she's good enough to tell you what it is.

And the thing was, we men didn't care. We willingly let control slip away because deep down we didn't want it. We like having decisions made for us. It means we don't have to think as much, and heaven knows, we're all for that. She says she wants to balance the checkbook and we just pop another beer and say, "Hey honey, knock yourself out."

But the television remote control is different. Now it's personal. What are they going to come after next, the chili stains on our ties?

Come on, flipping back and forth incoherently through the channels is what we do. It's our identity. What are we going to be known for now, aside from leaving the toilet seat up?

Well, all right, now you women have the remote, but you know what? I don't think you can handle it. I think this time you've bitten off more than you can chew.

Anyone can pick out a sofa or select a mutual fund for retirement, but I don't think you have considered the dexterity and mental acumen it takes to be an effective remote jockey.

Do you really think you can be cognizant of the fact that there's a 3-2 count on Dustin Pedroia with two on and one out in the fifth; Middle Tennessee State just got a first down at the Florida Atlantic 27; Terrell Owens is throwing another fit at his offensive coordinator; and another NBA forward just pleaded guilty to brandishing all in the same instant?

I'm here to tell you, it's not as easy as it looks.

So men, are we going to take this sitting down? Well, sitting down, obviously, but I'm talking about losing the control of the remote. I say, no way! At 6 tonight, I want all men to step outside their front doors with the remote in their right hands, holding it skyward in a sign of unity!

Take a lesson from me, if you must.

In my home, the remote never leaves my hand. I'm the one with the control. I am the one with total sovereignty, dig? I take this seriously and she can have the remote when she pries it from my cold, dead hands.

Beth knows this and respects this. That is why I am a man. She would never dream of saying, "Hand me the remote."

Instead, she says, "Can you please change it to Channel 7?" and I say, "Yes, dear."

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com.

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