Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Some situations are solely possible because of the ridiculous nature of women. Occasionally one might be fooled into thinking they are grown up enough, masculine enough, wise enough, to not unwittingly fall into one of these situations. But one would almost certainly be wrong. Make no mistake, women are ludicrous creatures.

A few days ago I found myself encapsulated in one of these solely female situations, I felt hurt by my fellow female, I felt irate, but I wasn’t hugely surprised. Take a look at any playground, failing that, take a look at twitter, it is how we work. It’s no big news that women have rules and regulations which if broken give way to unfortunate repercussions; confusing and elusive not only to men, but to many of us too. Yes, unnecessary, absolutely counterproductive, but apparently unavoidable.

I recently read an article about a couple in America who have decided to raise their third child, Storm, without a gender. The preferred subjective pronoun for the baby is Z (as in Zee), as opposed to ‘he’ or ‘she’, and the only people who know the real sex are the parents, siblings, a family friend, and the midwife who delivered the child. The parents say it is “a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime”. I hope it is a short-term tribute. Gender equality is a good thing; we should be equal, but we should never be the same.

And why on earth would we want to be? Certain female behaviour is without question, baffling, but my goodness is it scary. There have been too many times in my experience when anger has given way to tears, when I have sworn at myself for being a girl. These times are frustrating beyond belief, but for every time I’ve wept with frustration, it has been followed by letters, by game plans and calm, concentrated discussion. If I had been a man, I might have fought my way right out of those opportunities.

In our moments of weakness, we might wish ourselves something that we’re not, I think we forget what we can be. I might occasionally curse womanhood, but it is with concealed pride. I really hope that Storm is allowed a gender, it will be missing out on a lot more than action men and high heels if it isn’t.

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