?Gender

Since my childhood, gender1 bullshit has been transparently false to me. One piece they dropped on me, in a previous century when I was a little girl, was the idea that creative imagination (as opposed to ha‐ha‐being‐silly imagination) is a characteristic of men and boys, and that it scarcely belongs to women and girls. I was a storm of creative imagination and I couldn’t help noticing that I was. So, it was easy for me to dismiss it as being somebody else’s idea, and a poor one at that.

I liked science, outer space, and climbing trees. They asked me, again and again they asked me, “Do you wish you were a boy?” NO, I said, NO and NO. Suppose I were to surrender to custom and to define parts of myself as male. Then, I would have distanced myself from my body, from my experience of my body, from my right to be the whole person I am. NO. (And, I hear many of my fellow people speaking otherwise. In our diversity, may we find common cause.)

I do not necessarily prefer the position that has been defined as male. For instance, competition has never appealed to me, the lock horns or wave sticks, football, baseball, pissing contests… I love discussion, where we explore together. I have often been disappointed to realize that the other person is debating, which is a competition played to win. This does not mean that I have the slightest inclination to submit. My very disinclination to submit tells that, in compassion, I don’t want to make you submit.

Two little boxes, and neither is big enough, neither fits. Wear what I wear, do what I do, I am a woman doing it. My gender is my relation to my body, not an assigned role.

If I comfort a child, that honourable action does not limit me. If I were a man, I would not need to have a woman inside me to do it. If I were so fortunate as to be fierce and inventive and bold, I choose to be a fierce and inventive and bold woman, and to let my power sing through my whole self, body and spirit together. If I swing a hammer, the strength of my arm is a woman’s strength.

1.Please note, I often use the words – gender, woman, girl, boy, man – to reference a couple of common mammalian body types, even though the use of these words to denote role is also valid, and trending.

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