I’ve been reading a lot about the Japanese lately. Not in any scholarly sense – my research is a bit more urban London (modernist decay, hip-hop, fried chicken shops) than urban Tokyo (modernist progress, shiny glass buildings, sushi) – but just in passing; in news stories with intriguing headlines that pop up on facebook; in the lifestyle sections of free Newspapers that I find underneath seats on the tube; in a book on the shelf of the Wasabi branch at my University called Why Japanese Women Don’t Get Old or Fat. It’s unclear to me whether info re: the Japanese is suddenly ubiquitous, or whether some latent instinct within me has been aroused, leading to the subconscious hunting and devouring of Japan based trivia. Whatevs. What I can tell you is this: over the past few months there’s been a half-hearted media hoo-ha over the huge-and-growing number of young, single and fabulous Japanese nationals. On Friday, the latest of these alarmist stories got all up in my face via a guardian article on the swathes of Japanese women who have rejected motherhood and bought a little doggy instead.
I’m totally down with the idea of dogs before babies right now; I personally am unable to see a dog of any size, age, or temperament in the street without stopping to tickle it with my acrylic pink fingernails and whisper sweet nothings into its grateful earhole. Little tiny children, in general, leave me feeling on edge, under pressure and irritated. I don’t know if that means I’ve got problems, or if I, like the Japanese single people, am more highly evolved than the coupled.
What do I mean? Well…
In another article I read a few months back, the writer proposed this unlikely statistic as a truth: over 70% of Japanese women in their mid to late twenties are single. In an interview with one of the single people, or possibly with an expert (the details evade me) a hypothesis was put forward: that the dearth of young Japanese couples was a result of the singles being ‘more highly evolved’ – than those in relationships, presumably. Despite my looking for it, I can’t find this article to link to, and so have no way of evidencing the veracity of the first part of this paragraph. Perhaps I dreamt it. No matter, because despite my well documented (at least on these pages) suspicion of evolution, now that I can use it to my advantage, it makes perfect sense. Single people are ‘more evolved’ and therefore, obviously, have every right to feel smug and superior to those in relationships.
Evolution is, for those of you unaware of the most widely applied scientific theory of all time (at least, the most widely applied by non-scientist lay people), the survival of the fittest. The strongest, best looking, and most intelligent prosper, have a good time, and make babies to further their blood line, while the ugly and stupid writhe in misery and die childless. Duh! Of COURSE there would come a point when this meant that we’d need to reject institutions of coupledom in all their forms (‘seeing’ someone, ‘going out’ with someone, ‘marrying’ someone, being polygamous with lots of someones). Being reliant on another member of the species for procreation, health and happiness is just not sensible, people, if you really think about it properly by frowning and staring out of the window.
Of course, there are a couple of barriers to introducing singledom as a kind of conscious genetic mutation that will ensure the survival of the species. The first is, obviously, sexual desire – even if we know we are better off without lover lovers, we do sometimes still want them right? The second is procreation. We need a lover lover to make a baby, and as the point of evolution is the survival of the fittest, it would be a very stupid thing for nature to evolve the fittest so that they can’t make offspring.
Nature’s not dumb though – even if she is sometimes a bit vengeful and makes it rain all summer so I can’t wear flowery, sleeveless dresses. And so she’s done a few things to help us highly evolved single people along. For example, as the pets before parenthood article link above points out, lots of the super evolved singles have diminished sex drives…a point I touched upon on this very blog but a few weeks ago. Nature also made us clever enough to invent artificial insemination, IVF and donor eggs etc. So you actually don’t need to have sex with a partner to get pregnant, you just need to procure some sperm, which isn’t that hard to do, and can even be facilitated over the internet, should you wish (but not here, this isn’t that sort of site, and anyway, I’m keeping my sperm donor contacts to myself in case I need to call upon them in the months and years to come).
What I’m hoping is that nature does her thing for singledom even more decisively by intervening in the biology of the human species. I can’t see why she wouldn’t, I imagine nature is most certainly a single lady herself, and she has already shown some solidarity with the cause by intervening in the biology of other species. Like the whiptail lizard who, according to this, simply clones little baby versions of herself when she can’t find a suitable partner to gene-mesh with. Come on nature…think of the possibilities….