"If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don't have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they're relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn't matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."
-- Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, Reinhardt College, January 7, 1995, "Renewing American Civilization."
The following is a letter making Internet e-mail rounds to Rep. Newt Gingrich from Fresno Bee reporter John Scalzi. It includes an informal poll Scalzi conducted on Newt's remarks about -- and astonishing misunderstanding of -- typical male behavior.
Dear Mr. Gingrich:
My name is John Scalzi, and I am a columnist for the Fresno Bee in Fresno, California. In the days since the unearthing of your comments about men, women, combat, and the biological drive for men to hunt giraffes, I have taken it upon myself to conduct a poll to see whether that innate giraffe-hunting urge (and the little piglet wallowing urge) is in fact alive and well in the average American male.
While the sample polled is statistically small (50 men, basically whomever was handy at the time) and largely comprised of white, college-educated, gainfully employed males, I nevertheless feel that the information gleaned from this poll will be of some value to someone, somewhere, some time. Perhaps you yourself, should the subject of instinctual giraffe slaughtering come up again. Certainly for me, as it takes up the bulk of my column, to be published soon. Thank you for your time, and happy hunting and/or wallowing, whichever the case may be.
1. Have you ever hunted a giraffe?
2. Have you ever had the urge to hunt a giraffe?
3. Provided the right tools and the time, would you hunt a giraffe?
4. If not a giraffe, would you hunt another African savannah animal?
5. If you had to hunt an African savannah animal, which of the following would you choose?
a) Zebra: 2%
b) Rhino: 6%
c) Meerkat: 12%
d) Boar: 42%
e) Any creature that appeared in "The Lion King": 36%
6. Do you think giraffe would taste like chicken?
7. Might it not make more sense not to hunt giraffe, but rather to set up giraffe ranches?
8. When you see Geoffrey, the Toys 'R' Us giraffe, do you ever get the urge to stick him with a spear?
9. Do you expect that Newt Gingrich has ever had the urge to hunt a giraffe?
10. If Newt Gingrich were to hunt a giraffe, would he use tools, or simply his own mouth?
11. Would you rather hunt a giraffe, or wallow in a ditch like a little piglet?
12. Would you generally describe yourself as a little piglet?
13. Would you describe Newt Gingrich as a little piglet?
14. If you could, would you hunt Newt Gingrich?
15. Would Newt Gingrich taste like chicken?
Copyright © 1995 John M. Scalzi, II
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