australia, oddly enough

Updated: Oddly enough: Mount Isa, Queensland, edition

I’m the last person to deny that demography can be an important variable in social developments. Sex ratios in particular seem to be an important aspect when pondering about East German Hooliganism (75 women per 100 men in some areas) or the recruiting strategies of terrorist organisations in the Middle East (dying as a martyr while hoping to find 72 huris in paradise is could more appealing when the chance of actually meeting a woman while being alive is not just socially low, but also statistically – as in, say, Saudi-Arabia, where there were 100 women for 217 men in 2005, if I remember correctly). Foreign Policy even wondered whether “The Geopolitics of Sexual Frustration” -particularly in Asia where the invention of the sonogramm led to widespread female infanticide – were actually the world’s biggest security issue in the early 21st century. So, well, as Edward Hugh puts it so eloquently – demography matters.

And apparently, demography also matters in Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia.

Mount Isa, Queensland

Mount Isa, Queensland

The town’s mayor, John Molony, was apparently so troubled by the excess testosterone in the city that he did not want to wait for a natural equilibrium to develop. In what may be considered a miner-cover of Emma Lazarus – Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free – according to this BBC article and this one from Reuters oddly enough, he has come under fire after saying that female “ugly ducklings” might benefit from the town’s shortage of women.

“with five blokes to every girl, may I suggest that beauty-disadvantaged women should proceed to Mount Isa”.

With a gentlemanly mayor like that, I wonder what kept any woman from moving there in the first place…

Update: The Sydney Morning Herald has a follow-up with some more interesting information – “Beauty-Disadvantaged Singles Outcry“. There’s a good chance Mr Molony will be the first mayor worldwide to have caused his constituents to rally for telling them they’re not sufficiently sexually attractive –

“It paints the women here as second rate and suggests that the men will settle for anything. He has put everyone down,” she said. “We’re going to get together to put forward our opinion.” Up to 100 women, carrying banners and placards, were expected to take part in the protest.

The best thing is, though, that he apparently got his numbers wong – the Sydney Morning Herald cites the 2006 census, according to which males apparently made up 52.6 per cent of the town’s population of nearly 20,000.