The Race To Be 

I remember a Scientific American article circa 1980 something about the physiological ‘race to be male’. An exploratory piece about the in utero foetal development of us, and how we all start female. And some become male. Now it makes sense to use these words in this clinical context to describe a physiological process at the core of sexual reproduction. But that’s where that language starts and finishes in terms of its usefulness, for me.

I remember an early crush. Shannon. White blond hair, falling casually over dark brown eyes. The most wicked backspin I ever saw, and the only helicopter I saw anyone under 13 perform. I was 10. I never knew Shannon’s gender but it was love at first sight. That kid had the moves, the baggy jeans and my heart. The words male and female had no place in this romance across the cardboard breakdancer square.

So it interests me, or maybe irritates me, that Germaine Greer seems completely sure she knows gender. And she sure as fuck thinks she has the authority and platform to explain it. So basically it is this. White, middle class female babies are born. They live a privileged suburban life. Maybe publish a book about ‘boys’ that should be classified as paedophilic, after a career that benefits white middle class woman.  That, folks, is 100 percent where women start and end. And heaven help you fools out there who have a misapprehension that maybe there’s a bit more fluidity in it than that. 

To clarify, woman, born with vaginas into middle class suburbia, are a race. There is no other reality. They are a white, wealthy, tertiary educated race who grew vaginas in utero.  So if you are a white, rich woman with a vagina obtained in utero, feel free to use analogies about wanting to ‘switch species’. Like if you wanted to be a dog, that is completely the same as being a human woman. Sorry, a pretend human woman. Or a pretend human? That part of her point seems less clear.

Categories: Poetry

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