Try It My Way

JMN fecit

Ladies and gentlemen (grant me this antiquated mode of address), we have much in common. We all have nipples. We all have equivalencies of kit in our genital wheelhouses. There’s a comical, often derisory cliché of the (rare) male striving to get, or be, in touch with his female side. There’s not a respectable female analog to it (I mean the cliché, not the reality) — i.e., the woman reaching into and connecting with her maleness — that I’m aware of.

Since creation, a lot of men have been abusive, murderous jackasses, often depriving the female half of humanity of agency, respect and self-realized fulfillment. I harbor suspicion that the snowballing nonbinary movement has been lent great momentum by accumulated disgust with self-serving, presumptuous, undeserved, enervating, theocratic male domination.

The nonbinary is an exclusionary mode, however. What about a “bilateral” alternative? Neither-male-nor-female could segue into Both-male-and-female, neither-ism not giving way to, but rather making way for, both-erism. On a personal note, I’ve always felt I have some woman in me and, like Binx Bolling, I seek the company of women. I embrace being somewhat of a bundle without putting dukes up about it. One grows into who one is, a nurture-minded father hen who keeps an orderly house.

Taxonomically, my doctrine of bilateral-ism versus nonbinary-ism may not be bullet-proof. I hear objection that “both” still implies only two. Some may insist that gender transcends arithmetic, that it’s infinitely multiple, that it occupies a sliding scale of finely nuanced gradation, or an idealized spectrum in which the colors meld one into the next without distinct boundaries. This position has metaphysical and visionary appeal; it’s dogmatically seductive and theoretically elegant.

I concede that bilateral-ism does make an implicit appeal to a bias founded in physical biology, which is that nature as we know it seems to produce in first instance (note how I hedge) only two versions of ourselves, with exceptional cases of the two combined. I contend, however, that both-erism as a mindset does not preclude a polylateralist mindset — call it all-erism. No problem; it’s a distinction without a difference for the moment, but it moves us closer to a sunny upland of positivity for which we, short only the apposite pronoun, badly long.

(c) 2023 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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