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8:45 a.m. - 2010-03-02
According to the mom at home...

I guess while we're on the subject we should talk some more about gender identity, that and because I just caught the tail end of an 'SVU' about that very thing where a freak accident during a circumcision and a nutball doctor convinced some dopey parents to give their infant son a sex change and raise him as a girl. One of a set of identical twins the 'girl' twin was involved in a murder or some such and the whole thing came to light because of the identical DNA with the other twin. Coming in so late in the show the intricacies of the crime are unknown but by the end of the show the butchered twin had reclaimed his gender. Rearranged genitalia or not, the kid knew who and what he was.

Got me thinking about what makes someone a male or a female. Freud had a lot to say on the subject with his castration theory and penis envy and the rest of the yadda that he spouted which basically said being female was a psychosis in and of itself. That the female 'dysfunction' he was always nattering about had zero to do with actually wanting a penis and everything to do with wanting not to be property didn't occur to him. In Freud's time a woman had about as much right to herself as a dining room table does to determine its place in the world. Her thoughts, her economic status, her body, her life was wholly in the hands of the men who 'owned' her, first the father then the husband and any woman with enough gall to object to this was thought to be crazy. So as much as I admire Freud for being one of the first to step into the breach of learning about the mind, his theories on gender and women's sexuality are piffle.

Wolf is in a muddle, not really over his 'girl face' but in trying to figure out the whole being a guy thing. His two primary males- his father and Mick- could not be more different. Physically, emotionally, talents, interests, social skills…polar opposites. Then also, Wolf is in middle school. A nearly all male student body too. So the testosterone runs thick and heavy in the social doings at his school. Without the leavening effect of a proportional number of girl students all the slang, the unwritten dress code, the social coin of what's cool and what's not is decided by the guys. And it ain't pretty. There is a premium put on being tough, loud and dumb.

The loud he can do just fine. It's the tough and dumb he has problems with. Hard to whomp up a good swagger when you only weigh 80lbs. Ditto looking very macho when the standard greeting of a shove or a belly bump knocks you to the ground every damn time. Wolf can do clueless, he is an Aspie, but dumb is a problem too. He's simply too articulate. His world is much larger than most of his classmates'. Wolf being conversant in botany, history, ethics, politics, his having been to most of the national parks, the ocean, the city, jam sessions, plays, restaurants with forks, sure it makes him a darling amongst the female staff but it wins him no points with the thugs.

Thank goodness for video games, that's all I'm saying. The great leveler. The common ground and one where prowess is determined by the speed of one's thumbs and knack for discovering cheat codes. My son will survive.

As for me, I cannot imagine being anything except a female. It's not my bosomy surface and predilection for sparkly things and nail polish, it's how I see the world. The dick waving, snorting, and posturing of males isn't just foreign, it seems foolish. Childish and selfish to a degree that surprises me. Distasteful. Dangerous. From the reckless ego buffing of Senator Bunning at the expense of millions of families to suicide bombers, I am horrified and disgusted by how willing men are to hurt and kill for their own satisfaction. I can't fathom being that self-involved, my biology makes it impossible. Of course there are selfish, cruel women. That's not my point. It's how men are beings unto themselves. Each is a single entity with so little connection to everything and everyone else as to be each a king in his own Land of Me. I have to continually remind myself of this, that the struggle for men is not to find a place for self in a interconnected universe, but that they struggle to understand everything else is just as 'real' as they are to themselves.

For Mick 'Avatar' was a cool cartoon. For me it was an animated view of how I see the world. The goofy ponytail is not needed. Neytiri's fury with Sully in their initial meeting wasn't about his being 'other', it was about having to kill the beast he'd cluelessly set on a rampage. If he understood how to be part of the whole then the killing would have been unnecessary. Sully's bungling "It's all about MEEEE!!!" way of going on infuriated me too. Something Mick understood when we were discussing the movie later on. (Actually 'Avatar' has been the jumping off point for quite a few discussions.) He did stick up for his gender and said Sully came through in the end, when a hero was needed he was there. Then I smacked him down by making the obvious point that if the usurping humans (men) hadn't felt themselves entitled to go plunder and destroy Pandora for their own selfish gain the Na'vi wouldn't have needed a hero at all. So good on Sully for stepping up, but the whole invasion was a horrible "Fuck you, I'm getting mine!" testosterone-fueled circle jerk from start to finish anyhow.

Why, if I find men so distasteful, do I make my life with them? Biology again. In my darker moments I have thought about finding a nice woman and settling down in a lesbian commune somewhere upstate and dispensing with men altogether. But my innate heterosexuality gets in the way. Plus having given birth to two boys it behooves me to stay here and provide them with a mother and all that goes with the job as primary female until they find mates of their own. A woman without a man might be a fish without a bicycle, but a son without a mother is doomed to a life of living like a bear with furniture. My kid deserves better.


The essential She, ~LA

7 Wanna talk about it!

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