Women are finally in charge thanks to Barbie Jo. (1/2006)
Fifty years after the fourth World War, everything was different. The most important difference was this: women were in charge.
Men were at the helms of the various nations of the world during the third and fourth World Wars, as they had been for the first two. Egomaniacal, power-hungry men suffering from disorders making Napoleon Disorder look like a skin rash were the instigators of every major conflagration until now.
The Network for the Empowerment of Women was just a fledgling organization after WW III. It was more powerful years later when WW IV was fought. That was when the women of the world decided that enough was enough.
Madeline Mansfield’s cyber robotics firm, Mansfield Machines, was the driving force, the key to the change.
Mansfield started her firm the year after WW III ended. Her work was not far enough along by the time WW IV came. But over the next several decades her cyber robots became so lifelike, so reliable, and so inexpensive that they became hugely popular. Ten years after WW IV, only five percent of men in the world had one. Ten years after that, fifty percent did. And ten years after that, ninety-eight percent of men in the world owned a Mansfield Machine. Three quarters owned two or more.
Madeline Mansfield’s genius was twofold. First, she realized that all of the “traditional women’s work”—cooking, cleaning, childcare, and providing a sexual outlet for their men—was only seen as “women’s work” and being done by women because of years of socialization. She reasoned that if she could invent a viable alternative to women performing these tasks—lifelike, female-seeming cyber robots—women would become free to perform whatever other activities they wanted. The world would discover that women were not only better at these “female” activities; they were also better at most “male” activities too.
Second, Madeline Mansfield was a pragmatic engineer. She focused her company’s R&D efforts on the creation of highly specialized cyber robots. The general problems of unconstrained movement, arbitrary activity, and having to respond to dynamic environments were still intractable. So instead, Mansfield Machines invented highly task-focused cyber robots like Chef Cheryl, Baker Barbara, Laundry Laurie, Vacuum Vicki and the like.
Men didn’t care who cooked or baked, who did laundry or cleaned up, only that these things got done. Slowly but surely, often giving Mansfield Machines as presents for their wives, men started relying on Mansfield cyber robots for these things, while their wives were free to spend their extra time as they saw fit. Some played more tennis or golf, some attended more theater or ballet performances. Most entered or re-entered the workforce.
Then Mansfield Machines changed the world forever with the introduction of their first truly breakthrough product, Barbie Jo.
Barbie Jo was designed to, well, satisfy men. Kneeling under a man’s desk, ready and willing any time, Barbie Jo was a huge hit. She became so popular that men sitting in business meetings stopped noticing her six-inch stiletto heels poking out from underneath men’s desks and conference tables around the world. In response to a simple voice-activated command, Barbie Jo would lean forward, place her hands on her owner’s thighs and latch on. Another voice command started the suction and other life-like features.
Even Madeline Mansfield herself didn’t foresee the consequences. As Mansfield Machines sold hundreds of millions of Barbie Jos and hundreds of millions of men came to depend on them (and because of them), two important changes took place.
The first was not surprising: men’s productivity took a nosedive. Their minds were elsewhere, and the availability of a cyberslut like Barbie Jo was simply too addictive to resist. Men began to lack the concentration—and energy—to perform their work tasks. Firms began hiring more and more women. Firms began promoting more and more women.
The second result of Mansfield’s revolutionary product was that women began to stop their passive acceptance of the ridiculous expectations placed on them by men. First, makeup became seen for the idiotic waste of time and money that it was. Next to fall were pantyhose. Then high heels. Then bras, at least for those women who didn’t want to wear one for comfort’s sake.
And, most importantly, women became less available to their men, knowing that an army of Barbie Jo cybersluts were doing the trick(s).
Realizing their newfound freedom and a new balance of power with men, women began focusing on their careers. Within ten years of Mansfield Machine’s release of Barbie Jo, the percentage of female executives soared to the point where more than half of all executive officers at public companies were women. Within twenty years, 80% of executives were women, and 95% of all heads of state.
And the world changed. Heads of state cooperated, talked, and shared resources and risks. Differences were resolved peacefully. War—even the threat of war—became a thing of the past. A thing of the male-dominated past.
Companies, too, changed. Sure, they still competed, but only when it made sense, not just because competition was their knee-jerk, my-hammer-is-the-only-tool-in-my-toolbox approach to every problem. Strategic alliances—real ones with real purposes and real benefits—surged. Corporate profits surged too.
And so, fifty years after the fourth—and people believed, last—World War, the world was at peace. Productivity, efficiency, and quality of life all soared.
Men, for their part, enjoyed all the time off. Sports became an even bigger focus for most men, as did building things and fixing cars. Men in their natural habitat were becoming just as tame as zoo animals. They were becoming play things, trinkets, pets really, for their women.
But then the ships arrived. Thousands of them. Enormous, shiny metal discs suddenly appeared over every city on Earth. Not just the major cities like New York, Mexico City, New Delhi, and Beijing, but tiny towns too. Science fiction had suddenly become reality.
The aliens pummeled the Earth with their lasers. After almost a half a century of peace and cooperation, the world’s nations had all but completely disarmed. The few remaining soldiers and weapons were no match against the alien invasion. For forty days and forty nights, the aliens pounded the Earth, and humanity.
Survivors fled to the countryside, hiding in caves or deep within forests or jungles. Most of mankind perished, but clusters of survivors across the globe managed to live through the slaughter. Forty days after their arrival, the aliens departed, having never communicated with a human being, and without ever having left their ships.
The world’s power and communication grids were obliterated and would require decades to rebuild. The world now was a place of hunting, planting crops; of building makeshift shelters; of limited food and clean water, and fights over who got enough to eat and drink. People were filthy and smelly. Hygiene collapsed. Disease spread, as did lawlessness.
And the women leaders of the world were unable to adapt, and to lead.
And, slowly, men—who had remained dormant for decades—began to assert themselves. Men used their bigger size and their stronger physiques to do that which was necessary: gather food, build shelters, and enforce the rule of law. Men’s competitiveness aided them, and all of society. Men were angered by the Earth’s devastation at the hands of the aliens. Their team had been scored upon, and now it was their turn to march down the field and score right back.
Humanity picked itself back up, rebuilding a new world, resurrecting a new life. Much more quickly than the first time around, the world rebuilt most of what had been destroyed. And the men in charge made sure it happened as quickly as possible. Twenty years after the alien invasion, after twenty years of male leadership, the world was put back together again, at least enough where people could resume some form of normalcy.
But one of the first targets zapped by the aliens had been Mansfield Machines’ office and manufacturing complex. The attack had occurred during a work day, and every employee of the company had been killed in the blast. No one had survived. The manufacturing center had been obliterated, too
And so normalcy—at least the kind of normalcy everyone—women and men—wanted was not to be. At least not for another hundred years and another war or two…