The missing leg
I am at school like I always do, listening to the teacher. Today she is explaining us genetics. She tells us that our genes enable to carve our body. The genes determine our gender among other things. Boys and girls are different because girls are XX whereas boys are XY.
When she drew the 4 letters with the white chalk on the black board, I felt like asking a question but as soon as my brain formulated the appropriate sentence to speak, I was so shocked that I stood transfixed, silent and devastated because I knew I would have to shut up one more time. Yet what I was thinking was logical.
That question often lingered in my mind. I have often asked it to myself. That day, I wanted to raise my hand and ask : "Teacher? What do boys miss in comparison to girls?"
A Y is an X missing one leg. So if boys are XY, it means that girls have one more leg than them in their genetic code. But had I asked the teacher my question how would have she reacted? Children as well as grown ups knew that boys are superior to girls. They are taller, stronger, more intelligent... It is forbidden to question their superiority, therefore it is forbidden to suppose that they miss anything. Girls are stupid and weak, like flawed humans, therefore it is forbidden to suggest that they have something more.
More than the teacher, I was afraid of my fellow classmates. If I infer that boys are inferior to girls, I may be in trouble at break time. It is the best way to be hated by the whole class. Indeed, whether they agree with me or not, girls don't want to be in trouble. If boys decide to pick on me, they will stand by their side to avoid being insulted or assaulted.
So I kept the question in my mind. Until the day when I decided to make some research in order to better comprehend. That is how I found the picture of an XY. The Y is actually tiny winy compared to the X. The Y holds about 20 genes when an X has 2000 of them. Besides some men are XX. They sometimes have ill-formed genitals that can be cured by surgery, it doesn't prevent them from making children. It is thus not mandatory to cut oneself a genetic leg in order to be a man.
All this puzzled me. The XX human has like 1900 more genes than the XY man. Does this missing leg explain why the male body is more fragile from a biological point of view? There are typically male affections like baldness, protruding belly, hemophilia or pyloric stenosis, not forgetting that women live generally longer than men. Nature loves balance so can we assume that men physical strength is meant to compensate for their biological weaknesses? Does the missing genetic leg accounts for the daily calamities?
Does this missing leg explains why men are obsessed with competition? So many of them measure the size of their phallus in order to value themselves but it goes on further. In this world made by men for men, we are required to battle each against the other from the morning till the evening to live. Sport is a competition. Games are competitions. Even art is a competition based on profitability, ratings and awards. In daily life those who move up ranks are not the most competent rather the most competitive. We find it normal that politicians battle against each others for office instead of working together to manage the country the best possible way. We find it normal that companies general terms and conditions of sale aim at depriving us from our rights. We discuss geopolitics because we find it normal to think about the best way to loot the resources of other countries. We find it normal that people fight to death for political leaders to grant them some respect. Do men rush for feats in order to bury their head in sand? Does it enable them to conceal the powerlessness feeling arising from the inner lacking?
Does it explain why many men only think about fucking then running away? Of course there are human beings, men and women, who enjoy sex and don't intent to go further with their partners. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the men who cheat. Those who seduce, who play a game, whomake believe, who lie, who help themselves and vanish sneakily. I'm talking about these men who chase women in the street, who insistently claim their phone number aiming at "purely friendly frienship without any hidden agenda", who vomit flows of insults when they are told "no thanks". In their worldview, a woman who says yes is a slut and a woman who says no is also a slut. Do they simply want to consume that thing which they miss then throw the human package that holds the coveted XX?
Does it explain why men lack consideration for life? Indeed, when a men impregnates a woman incidentally, he often happens to runaway without caring about the fate of the little human under construction. It is mainly men who destroy life : soldiers, hunters, hired killers, terrorists, serial killers... Whether by reason of ideology or following a mental illness, their inner vitality doesn't complain when they sow death. Do they miss the “antennas” required to feel life in a comprehensive way, because of this genetic gap? Men blame women for being too sensible. Yet we can wonder if men are rather unable to feel the importance of life, since they are able to consider murder as a legitimate, entertaining or paid activity.
Does it explain why homophobia is tenacious in spite of time passing by and the evolutions of society? On the one hand a woman who loves women can be seen as someone who hates men, which is not true. Men could be tempted to interpret this as a discrimination arising from their genetic "handicap". On the other hand when a man loves men, we imagine that one of them "plays" the woman, which is not true. It could be painful for a man to imagine himself similar to a woman, when he would like to forget that he misses what they have from birth. Such an evocation is likely to twist the knife in the billions or microscopic wounds.
Does it explain why in a socially suitable couple, the man must always be older than the woman? The age difference sets a hierarchy in the external image of the couple. If the man is older then he dominates, the appearances confirm the social brainwashing motto. Whereas the women dating a younger man stages what society would like to conceal.
Does it explain why men are obsessed with mechanical devices and weapons? Instead of looking for power inside of themselves, they insist on seeking outside. They build machines each more polluting, more power-consuming, more destructive than the others, which provide a feeling of power. Are they trying to conceal their intimate lacks by wrapping themselves in metal?
Does it account for excision which is performed by some cultures? Do men try to reproduce their internal mutilation on women's body? Do they feel safer when they imagine that their women are truncated just the way they are themselves?
Does it explain the countless rapes? Do men resort to physical and emotional violence to try to take ownership of that wholeness that they miss deep inside? Do they look forward to crack women like safes hoping to steal or destroy their inner genetic treasure? Rape is a worldwide plea, which has never weakened in time. It strikes every countries and spreads along centuries, no matter the context of peace or war, the level of economic wealth or poverty, the illiteracy or education rate. When a little girl is raped, the assaulter is a member of her family in 90% of the cases, whatever the social level or cultural background. Such a planetary consistency is upsetting. It is not serious to pretend that it is just a simple matter of little boys education.
Anyway, wanting too much to belittle women and glorify men, we end up claiming baloney.
Let's talk about menstruation for instance. They are considered to be dirty and shameful everywhere in the world. Some religious practices are forbidden to menstruated women because they are supposedly impure thus unworthy of the creator of life at that time. In some cultures, they are required to keep away from society a few days each month in order to not spoil their entourage.
The New-Age world has taken an old middle-age legend to humiliate women, seeming to empower them. It is said that menstruation enables women to evacuate toxins out of the body, which would explain their increased longevity. Here come the same old insulting song again : menses are dirty. This explanation is absolutely stupid for a very simple reason. If a sperm wanders over there at the right moment, a pregnancy occurs in place of menstruation. If the blood of the endometrium was full of toxins, the foetus would get quickly poisoned. No child would ever be born safe and healthy.
This utterly idiotic toxin story compares the womb to a trashbin where the organism dumps its wastes although it is the place where all humans of this planet come from. How can human beings denigrate themselves to the point of imagining that they have spent the 9 first months of their existence in a garbage?
For logical and biological reasons, the menses blood is the purest that can be found in a body. Maybe it is thus despised because it is the most obvious sign of the superiority of the female body. Actually menstruation blood is special because it doesn't coagulate. It makes sense. During the pregnancy the foetus grows bigger while the women keeps on living her daily life therefore there are constant frictions between the placenta and the womb. If the blood coagulated then the placenta would stick to the uterus wall, it could tear, the foetus would be in danger.
The endometrium blood doesn't coagulate. It is the only blood that can be washed with hot water when it has soaked a tissue. It means that the body of a woman is able to produce 2 types of blood permanently. The blood that coagulates flows in the whole body, the blood that doesn't coagulate flows only in the womb. Men's body is unable to perform such feat. When a man produces a blood that doesn't coagulate then he is sick, he suffers from hemophilia, he is at risk of dying from haemorrhage if he is wounded. As culture wants to convince us that men are superior to women, it makes sense that menstruation brings about contempt because it prove the opposite.
Nevertheless I think that a gap between beliefs and reality leads to mental confusion. The weakest minds can even slip into madness if the paradoxes are too hard to reconcile. Does it explain the ambivalent perception that men have of women?
On one side lies excessive idealization. Many men would like to admire women like some kind of supernatural creatures. Women have the obligation to remain eternally young. They must put on some make up, perfume, remove their hair, dye their white hair and wear jewels to be constantly gorgeous. As diet is not enough they are photoshoped to look more abstract and perfect in magazines. They must be soft, careful, understanding, loving and devoted, without ever showing any sign of impatience, nervousness or tiredness. They should be both eternal virgins and constantly opened. Does this magical vision of women arises from the fantasies that men cast on that mysterious thing that they perceive when they are in contact with women?
On the other side lies extreme disregard. Everyday women die under the blows of their companion. The wages inequity and lack of opportunity are often discussed. Most religions deny women access to office, men only have the right to represent god on earth. When they are tolerated in this kind of role, they cannot move up ranks in the hierarchy. There are still many cultures where they are left only to be "egg layers" from a young age, because contrary to male semen which is only a trigger, female seed enables to create life. One just has to read newspapers to see the extent of the oppression that women undergo. Do men look forward to dominate women by any mean in order to keep the pedestal that society assign to them in spit of the opposite testimonial of biology?
Whether she is seen like a fairy or a witch, a saint or a whore, a mother or a slut, wicked or innocent, a woman is treated like something instead of being someone.
If the difference between men and women arises from a genetic unbalance then we could be tempted to think that male violence is natural. It is something inborn which expresses itself in an irresistible way for deep biological reasons. It doesn't make any sense to see thing this way.
If I am broke, is it ok for me to attack my neighbor in order to steal his wallet? The lack doesn't justify the violence. Moreover my neighbor's money can temporarily ease my poverty, whereas violence against women doesn't ease anything for the genetic gap remains. If someone who suffers from cystic fibrosis would assault those who have healthy lungs, what would we think? It would be a case of blind, stupid and nasty vengeance. So the inner lack doesn't legitimize violence nor contempt. Nobody is perfect. Both men and women have lacks, wants, needs and cravings. Facing a problem we have all kinds of solution. Using violence when we miss something inside is not a solution, it is a childish and vain behavior.
The problem doesn't really comes from the missing genetic leg. The actual problem is that we want men to believe that they are superior when reality shows them the opposite. Violence against women comes from this daily paradox. The suggestible man wants to destroy women to settle his fake authority. The female body is naturally more powerful than the male body therefore the man with low self-esteem must artificially establish his domination.
But looking around us, we see harmonious and happy couples. We see men who maintain friendly complicity with women. We see men who are outraged by the way that women are treated. We see men who work hand in hand with women, who support them and sometimes fight with them. It means that it is possible to attach greater importance to one's own happiness and to the respect for life than to the obedience to social nonsense. It is possible for men and women to respect, love and complete each others. Violence is not a natural fatality, it is a choice. Some men chose to destroy what is problematic for them, others chose to build, making the best out of their available potential, whatever it is made of.
It is often said that men and women are naturally attracted because they complete each others. Being attracted by a genetic difference may be good for a moment but it necessarily leads to frustration in the long term for it cannot grow back the missing leg of the Y. We cannot command our emotions but in order to avoid the collapse of illusions it is better that attraction between 2 beings is not rooted in gender but rather in mutually nurturing differences like complementary character features, a special vision of life, a shared passion, an exalting project...
Women are XX, so do men sometimes so I wonder if it is normal to be XY. Maybe the Y is a genetic anomaly, a degeneration that strikes exclusively men. Maybe both men and women should normally be XX. Maybe the disappearance of the Y would establish more healthy and balanced relations between men and women.
Sometimes I feel like men and women are basically XX androgynes of which one gender is genetically deactivated. The female features are disabled for men whereas the male features are disabled for women.
I wonder if it is possible to enable both genders at the same time within a genetic code. What would the world look like if there were 3 genders : male, female, androgyne? How would the world be if all human beings had the opportunity to either bear a child or fertilize someone else? What would family look like if each parent could alternately be the father of a child and the mother of another? How would religion welcome an upheaval that is not listed in their sacred books ?