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The Truth About Parthenogenesis

Science tells us that the Y chromosome, carried by most men, is shedding jeans. Typical! Researchers are looking into how long it will take for the chromosome to become totally clueless. In the event of which, need I say, the patriarchy will come to and end.

Along with the rest of humanity, you say; but not so fast! Five dollar word to the rescue: parthenogenesis! "Female Shark Reproduced Without Male DNA, Scientists Say."

Parthenogenisis has nothing to do with the Parthenon, but it is a reminder of how the goddess honored by that temple was born: without mating. As everybody knows, Athena was born from the head of Zeus, but not without mating. Zeus screwed the Titaness Metis, only then to learn from an oracle that, if Metis had a second child, it would be a boy who would displace his father.

Therefore, having coaxed Metis to a couch with honeyed words, Zeus suddenly opened his mouth and swallowed her, and that was the end of Metis, though he claimed afterwards that she gave him counsel from inside his belly. In due process of time, he was seized by a raging headache as he walked by the shores of Lake Triton, so that his skull seemed about to burst, and he howled for rage until the whole firmament echoed. Up ran Hermes, who at once divined the cause of Zeus's discomfort. He persuaded Hephaestus, or some say Prometheus, to fetch his wedge and beetle and make a breach in Zeus's skull, from which Athene sprang, fully armed, with a mighty shout.

There is nothing like Robert Graves's The Greek Myths before you've had your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Men in a nutshell: the species that won't be relieved to hear that it's unnecessary for reproduction even though it's vaguely annoyed every time it makes some woman pregnant.

The "without male DNA" construction is pretty cute, too.


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