Magazine article The Spectator

Rod Liddle: We've Proved That Mice Despise Women. but Are We Sure That Dogs Love War?

Magazine article The Spectator

Rod Liddle: We've Proved That Mice Despise Women. but Are We Sure That Dogs Love War?

Article excerpt

Credit: Rod Liddle

Apparently, mice think that women are useless. I don't mean that they think women mice are useless -- they're keen enough on them, all right. I mean women women, like Rachel Reeves, the shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, and the R&B singer Rihanna, and the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Baroness Ashton. And so on. All women, everywhere. Some scientists in Canada carried out a study about what mice think of women, and this is what emerged.

I don't know how the study was carried out, whether it was multiple choice questionnaires or what have you -- or indeed why it was carried out, or if the mice were sent on some sort of corrective gender equality course afterwards at the expense of the Canadian taxpayer. But whatever, mice get scared as hell if a man is around and start preparing escape strategies -- they get really stressy and distrait. But women induce in them no fears or worries whatsoever, they just carry on with their business, nibbling stuff, even if they are visually impaired and the woman in question is the wife of a farmer and is brandishing a large carving knife.

This news may simply reinforce your conviction that mice are very, very stupid indeed and that this is gender bigotry taken to a self-destructive extreme, in a manner with which only a handful of rogue Ukip councillors would concur. Well sure, fine, OK -- but that's not my problem. I'm just telling you what the mice think. The scientists did not elaborate, but I suspect that when the creatures see a woman they fall about laughing and remark unkindly to one another: 'Look, there she is, silly cow. I bet you a slice of Gouda that if I run across this floor she'll stand on a chair and go "Eek''.' Or maybe that's an anthropomorphism too far. But either way, if you're a woman-hating troll, next time some prominent woman starts complaining about receiving misogynistic tweets or nasty entries on her Facebook page, you can weigh in with: 'Ha ha. Even the mice think you're crap. It's not just us, love.'

Mice are one of the few animals which we humans have not dragooned into our own private battles, perhaps because we all along suspected that they were closet bigots and our armed forces are equal opportunity employers. Horses, which are also exceptionally stupid animals, and less lovable than mice, have borne the brunt of our militarism over the years. But we have also utilised dolphins -- who are not as stupid as mice or horses, but still pretty dim, frankly -- and rats (which we once stuffed with incendiaries and dropped on Germany), and of course dogs. …

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