One thing I’ve been trying to achieve, as an experiment, in my non-blog writing is gender neutrality. What I mean by that is that I am attempting to write something in such a way that the reader will be unable to identify the gender of the author. (me, obviously) Why? I don’t know. Just for fun I guess. The issue I’m having is that I’m the only one reading what I’ve written and I already know I’m a female. Showing anyone I know presents the same issue and I can’t really go and post any of it here because some of you know me personally and, for those who don’t, I’ve already more than implied that I come equipped with original lady-parts.
In case I haven’t been specific enough, I can prove it. Sort of. I can tell you that I have them (lady-parts, that is) and have used them. For a while now “using them” has just meant that I always pee sitting down and get to go have my boobs smashed and photographed once a year. I suppose there are guys who always pee sitting down and, since it’s entirely possible that mammograms are performed on transvestites once they have been transvessed (yeah, I made that word up), those things may prove exactly nothing.
If you still don’t believe me I have more evidence:
I got knocked up 22 years ago. At least that’s how I remember it. Sadly, the biological father is not around to confirm or deny that there was actual usage of lady-parts to achieve this feat of womanhood. He died in a car accident before I knew I was pregnant. Really. That part wasn’t, and still isn’t, funny, but it does mean I can’t produce a witness to the physical event of conception. I do have scars, stretch marks, and a 21 year old boy who bears a strong resemblance to me and calls me “Mom”. He lived with me for a long time, made me lose a lot of sleep for the first three years, and cost a lot of money. I also have a very sharp memory of 44 hours of labor and a C-section. If that kid isn’t mine I want to know where I can get a refund and a trip back to 1991 so I can figure out who framed me and stole my body. I want to meet the hypnotist who implanted that labor and childbirth memory as well. Maybe he or she can help me “remember” that I’m really a 26 year old, 5′ 10” supermodel with a trust fund and a Mensa membership.
Where am I going with this, you ask? Hell if I know. I’m lucky if I can remember why I was going into the kitchen a few seconds after I got there and it’s only 3 steps away. Oh, right. I was going to talk about menopause. If I have any male readers left at this point (that is, any of you who have been holding out in the hope of a real discussion of lady-parts) feel free to run screaming now.
I went through menopause almost 20 years ago, right after some sneaky bastard stole my flat stomach and left me with a toddler. If your ovaries stop spitting out the other half of the baby-making seed and leave you temporarily insane and sweaty before you’re in your late 40s though, the medical term is actually “premature ovarian failure”, or POV. My ovaries must have been pre-cognizant (I think that’s a real word even though spell-check says it’s not) of my later-life catastrophes and decided to pack it in early in order to save any other unsuspecting soul from getting trapped in my uterus. One child of theirs was all they could stand to sacrifice.
Now where does that leave me? Apparently with no working or often used lady-parts and a kid who, if he reads this, may be having a personal identity crises. Damn. I’m not sure if I can even convince myself that I am more than just originally of the female persuasion any longer. I think I overshot gender neutrality and hit “dead in the nether-regions” right between the eyes. Now that I’ve talked myself out of being sexually identifiable except through dental records, I’m going to go back to speculating why I wanted to try out literary androgyny in the first place.
It’s not easy to break through the glass ceiling of patriarchal dominance in any profession. I suspect the world of writing and publishing is much the same, though I have to admit that breaking through is not my goal. All that guarantees me is a world-view at penis-level. Any woman staring up through the glass long enough has seen plenty of dicks. When I was a lawyer I got to meet a lot of really huge pricks. I’ve seen enough rotten wood. Now I want to transcend the glass ceiling. It’s a pathetic truth that being identifiably feminine in style may leave me with bruised knees and a soft view of the top of the literary world. This blog is my second baby but, as my writing style grows up, perhaps I can expose it to some gender-bending experiences that will help it along a less chick-lit career path. Maybe if I let it watch old Saturday Night Live episodes with “Pat” sketches, it will start to catch on.