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Writings of Albert Morris
Article 4 - Assailed by formidable regiments of women

CAN I get my oar in here? I am shocked to my XY chromosomal keel. Gad, sir, this sort of behaviour would not have happened among the boys of the old brigade. It was as if Captain Scott had suddenly developed an incapacitating penguin phobia, causing him to abandon his South Polar expedition, and first-up-Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, had, half-way, become allergic to wearing oxygen masks.

I’m sorry for Andrew Veal, who had to leave his wife, Debra, after two weeks into their bid to row the Atlan-tic from the Canary Islands to Barbados after he developed panic attacks and a sudden fear of the ocean. After seeing him airlifted back to Britain, his wife spent 111 days braving storms, sharks and a near miss with a tanker to row the 2,963 pitch-and-tossed miles, determined to complete the voyage.

Look; I’m out of my depths here. Brought up on fictional and historical diets of our lads fighting for the flag, shouting, "Play up and play the game", as the Gatling guns jammed and British squares faltered, showing enterprise, courage and steadfastness under extreme military and meteorological conditions, I find it hard to accept that one of the male persuasion of the bulldog breed could abandon ship and spouse to the wild waves. Once, that action would have meant honour only being regained in a locked room with a pearl-handed revolver.

Doubtless, Mr Veal’s affliction was genuine, but so was the courage and determination of dauntless Debra who, in my view, showed the jut-jawed, steely-eyed grit of Biggles flying everywhere and any amount of John Buchan and Rider Haggard heroes of the old British Empire.

Her feat is symbolic of the way the former distaff side in Britain is carrying all before it, and is cracking the glass ceiling as surely as the Lady of Shalott’s magic mirror shattered when the curse came upon her.

The social and financial dominance of man is being eroded by dynamic and cerebrally-formidable regiments of women. One result is a steady erosion of masculinity in the media and parts of the entertainment world.

Once, male comedians, conventionally, told jokes denigrating their wives. "My old lady, she’s so dumb ..." Political correctness gagged these ungallant and now unwise cracks, but there are no strictures against female comics lacerating male egos which are often, however, impervious to such shafts

Deriding males has become a TV advertising cliche. Men are often shown as over self-assured, unable to comprehend the simplicity of some car or home insurance policy that females understand instantly, are wimpish or possess, in dealing with basic domestic problems, about as much brain power as a Neanderthal.

Recently, an insurance advertisement had the male half of a duo outsmarted, verbally and mentally, by the female, and another showed a high-flying male’s misplaced belief that a female would marry him, risibly deflated when she drove her new car in a tyre-track-forming negative, easily seen from the man’s aircraft seat.

The female who worries me most is tall, dark, elegant and enigmatic as seen in the mysterious Scottish Widows’ advertisements. Clad in a dark cloak, sometimes billowing like a funereal spinnaker, she also wears a Gioconda smile suggesting a cat that has just had her cream. She drifts into varied surroundings, in one scene displaying grace in a maze and in the latest scenario entering, at dusk, what appears to be a windswept tower, possibly, for some secret assignation.

Why? Where? With whom? Is it possible the dark lady has disposed of her old man and, signing a guaranteed fixed-rate bond, is engaged in a vast, international conspiracy with a commercial and professional coven of financially-formidable women, to rule the world and maybe, en passant, with newly-discovered techniques of self-fertilisation, to eliminate the male sex altogether?

Am I pushing the boat out too far? Sudden panic has seized me. I am beginning to feel like seafearing Mr Veal. These are deep waters indeed.

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