What if Icarus had been a woman? What if Pandora had been a man? And what about Adam and Eve?
It’s International Women’s Day, so I’ve been doing a little thinking about “the Feminine.” Whatever that means.
When it comes to identity, I definitely fall into the Judith Butler camp of gender as performance. We make a myriad of choices every day about how we choose to present ourselves visually and how we choose to react to stimulus, including how we flirt. If we can trace back the majority of human decisions as coming from the biological desire to procreate, how we choose a mate has a huge influence on who we become and who we attract. A homogenous majority gives the appearance of dictating the cultural rules, while individuals with diverse phenotypes appear to be pushed to the periphery.
I remember going through puberty slowly, well behind my female-bodied peers. I literally prayed on the eve of my fifteenth birthday, begging God (for the first time in my memory) not to let me turn fifteen without starting my period, because I felt so far behind the curve. Wise women told me I’d be happy one day for my youthful disposition, that aging faster rather than slower had more of a short-term benefit than long term. I concede to the age-old wisdom of my body over a decade later, and to the wisdom of the women who’ve come before me.
“The Feminine” exists in the interplay between an older and a younger woman. It is a collaboration of belated understanding, embedded in dialogue disguised as casual, later to be mined for wisdom. It is the ultimate missed connection, which ultimately brings profound connection to something larger, deeper, more true, something which transcends both individuals.
If it is true that something only exists in the face of its opposite, what is “the Masculine”? If a woman is pregnant with a baby boy, does she transcend the binary?
I can’t begin to truly know. When I watch male-presenting individuals interact, I am confused. I often don’t understand what they are really saying to each other. But I am curious to learn…slowly…
Love is forgetting your genitals. Ironic, isn’t it?