gender

May I Help You, Sir?

Victoria: Your problem, Mr. Marchand, is that you’re preoccupied with stereotypes. I think it’s as simple as you’re one kind of man, I’m another.

King Marchand: And what kind are you?

Victoria: One that doesn’t have to prove it. To myself, or anyone.

   

I was “Sir’d” again this week. The oh, so polite drive through attendant at Arby’s ended each of his inquiries and statements with “Sir”.

“What type of drink, Sir?”, “You just want the sandwich, Sir?”, “Your total is $8, Sir.”, “Please drive around to the first window, Sir.”

I’ve given up trying to correct people.

As a kid, I was forever mistaken for a boy. My manner and dress bucked the norm of 1960‘s middle class suburbia. I was Scout on paved streets.

The teen years didn’t bring anything different. Although I had changed from a solid, square block to blocky hour glass the question still rose, “Are you a boy or a girl?”

One would think that true adulthood would bring some clearer distinctions, but no on that one too.

Once for Halloween, Bashert and I traded costuming. I wore one of her folksy skirts and tops, put on make-up and jewelry, while she dressed in slacks, a button down shirt, vest, tie and sported a hat. Her gear was beyond my usual attire. I was the one mistaken for a cross-dresser.

What confuses people about a short-haired, middle-aged, heavy-set, well-endowed woman, that they would make the jump to give me a not just a masculine identity, but a male identity? I tried to find some information on line, but to no avail yet. What is the data? What markers or culturally induced suppositions are at work? Is there something innate about these assumptions/presumptions?

You tell me. I have yet to figure it out. All I know is I received a “Thank you, MA’AM” and a 10% discount when I got to the window.

Poetry Corner II

Drittland

(Third Country)

There is just one life for each of us: our own. ~ Euripides

A question is asked again and again:

Boy or girl?  They have a bet.

Crushing

Derision

Explicit contempt

Forget not the question

Girl or boy?  They have a bet.

Heartbreak matters not

In queries such as these.

Judgments are finite

Kept measured and clean.

License to question

Mercenary manifest

Naive, noxious and nasty.

Oh, boy, oh, girl what a bet.

Pomposity perpetuates the pain.

Quell the

Rising recreant need

Safeguard the system

To which they are married.

Unabridged umbrage is taken.

Vituperate the void!

When no answer is shaken.

Xenophobia demands an explanation.

You must answer.

Zealots command. They have a bet.