Author: Peter Tittle

It was understandable, really. By far, most of the crime— 97% in fact—was committed by men. Prisons are expensive to build and maintain. Prisoners are also expensive—they don’t work while they’re in prison, so we have to support them. Then there’s the expense of the police forces and courts that get them there. And the emergency services that take care of all the gunshot wounds, the knife slashes, the broken jaws…

She pushed. And pushed. The hospital room was white and sterile. The attending doctor said something to the assisting nurse from time to time, but things seemed to be progressing normally. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t excruciatingly painful.
Her husband mopped the sweat off her brow, and encouraged, and reassured.
“And push again,” the doctor said.
“It better be a girl,” she grunted as she pushed again when the wave of pain struck her.
“Don’t worry about that now, honey” her husband said. “Just focus, you’re doing good…”

Then there’s all the environmental stuff. All those beer cans, empty cigarette packs, fast food cartons—most of the litter along the highways was put there by men. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What are they driving on those highways? Big cars and pick-up trucks. Gas-guzzlers with high emissions. And the companies that dump toxic waste, and clear cut forests, and dam river systems…? All run by men.

“But I want a girl,” she cried. With exhaustion. With worry.
“Oh come now,” the nurse said. “Boys are harder, I know, had two of ‘em myself. Holy terrors half the time, but you love ‘em just the same.”
“Another push— ”

The insurance companies opened the door when they implemented higher premiums for men between the ages of sixteen and twenty-six. They were the ones more likely to cause an accident. Can’t argue with the facts and figures.

“No, it’s not that,” she gasped, “It’s the money.”
“Shh, honey, we’ll find a way, it’ll be all right,” he wiped her brow again.
“One more, I think—”
She gave one final push then fell back against the pillows, drenched, exhausted. She waited anxiously for the announcement.
“It’s a boy!”

They called it the Gender Responsibility Tax— a $5,000 surtax was levied on each and every male. Payable annually, from birth. By the parents, of course, until the boy reached manhood.


(Thanks to June Stephenson. It was her idea.)