"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, February 10, 2020

Valentine’s Day Cards And The First Taste Of Girls - Gender Politics And The Loss Of Innocence

Valentine’s Day is a day of perfunctory remembrance for most husbands  - a bouquet of flowers at the subway kiosk on the way home; and a marker for wives who expect a little special attention on this day to compensate for the desultory kisses on the other three-hundred-sixty-four.

Valentine’s Day for many, however, has never meant candy and flowers, only remembrances of childhood - sharing cards with kindergarten classmates – cute, flowery, Springy cut-outs of boys and girls with lambs and apple blossoms in meadows.  “Will you be my Valentine?”, the cards all said.  Even though we were very young, even as kindergartners we knew that sex was in the air – or at least pairing, or mating, or some special event that no one had prepared us for.

We were too young to know what frilly pinafores meant, or hair ribbons, or pretty shoes; but something happened when we saw them, something that had nothing to do with playing catch, marbles, or riding bikes.  Valentine’s Day was our first initiation, our first sensibility to the difference between girls and boys.  We didn’t give Valentine’s Day cards to boys.  They were our friends, our partners, our teammates. We gave them to girls, this surprisingly attractive lot of other humans whom we didn't understand but who had our undivided attention.

Image result for image old childrens valentanes dah cards      
It was an era of unquestioned sexuality – sexual feelings which were translated into romantic sentiments which were returned in kind.  From the earliest age and without being taught, we knew – or at least surmised – that our lives would revolve around these pretty, lacy creatures.

Kindergarten and primary school were only the beginning, the first taste of sex.  There would be dancing school, sliding across the floor to choose the girls who were the prettiest; a choice without adult vetting– girls who were Lolitas, desirable and available even though sex had not yet occurred to them.  Then there would be first dates, movie dates, an irresistible feeling of sexual interest; then ‘parking’, exploration, and finally the real thing.

So this is what it is all about, we said, wanting more, never possibly understanding how such feelings could possibly become our battlegrounds, our court dates, our complete loss of innocence; and the be-all and end-all of our short lives.

Ah, but this is a tale of an earlier, romantic, and unevolved sexual history.  Valentine’s Day cards today are given willy-nilly, regardless of sex, indifferent to the sexual intention behind them.

Mandy Phillips had been brought up in a woke family.  Both parents were unconvinced that heterosexual desire was innate, hardwired, or inevitable.  On the contrary, they believed that although sexual desire was natural enough, its directions had been directed in heterosexual ways – ways that had been predetermined and encouraged by a white, male elite which had been interested only in progeny, legacy, and heritage.  There was nothing in any scientific literature which suggested that heterosexuality was anything more than a procreative imperative; and that once that inconvenient determinant had been eliminated via genetic manipulation, it would become irrelevant, a remnant of an earlier age, a bit on the scrapheap of history.

Image result for images st valentine

So it was with some surprise that Mandy had doubts about who he was sexually since his sexual re-education had been so complete.  So many woke parents encouraged their children to dress ‘inappropriately’ and sent their boys to school in dresses and their girls in factory floor denims and work boots.   In short, everything in these evolved schools favored transgenderism – or at the very least a fungible place on the gender spectrum.  This alternative, short of physical transformation, was ideal; for anyone could pick and choose where they thought they fit or where they would like to fit; but nothing held them to that choice.  It would be a gender free-for-all.

Mandy was not a very bright child, stumbled through arithmetic and mathematics, had a hard time remembering dates, got confused every time teachers referred to Kant, Russell, and Plato; and was thoroughly befuddled by anything more than linear thinking.  He, in short, was the ideal candidate for radical gender re-assignment.  His parents – died-in-the wool progressives, grandchildren of the followers of Samuel Gompers and the Labor Movement of the early 20th century, acolytes of Saul Alinsky, Paolo Freire, and Noam Chomsky, and activists in the struggle for civil rights, the environment, and a more peaceful world – were delighted that their son had been favored with such gender attention, and followed every prescription that Movement leaders recommended.  Mandy, slow as he was, never protested, and went along with whatever his parents and teachers had in store for him.

Image result for images samuel gompers

It was only after he had reached puberty and then some, and was well on the way to transition through hormonal adjustment, that he began to have these conflicting thoughts.  Sex after all, is hardwired, no matter how fervently transitionists disagree, and so it was not surprising that the boy still got an erection every time he got within fifty feet of a girl.  As hard as he tried to conform to the adjustment program and accept treatment, the more confused he became.  Before long he was masturbating to images of hot girls in leggings and singlets.  What was that all about?

He confided these troubling desires to both his physician and psychiatrist; but they, good soldiers in the just war, refused to listen.  They were sure that with patience and staying the course, Mandy would remain a girl.
They guessed wrong, and sooner rather than later, the boy said, “Bullshit” and pulled the plug.

He had been had, and he wanted no more part of it.  He tossed the red, yellow, and blue tablets down the toilet, refused any more injections, and told the psychiatrist that his treatment was finished.

His parents were at first disappointed, but his father, once he saw his son looking like a real man – a handsome, muscular, alluring, and seductive male (much as he secretly thought himself to be) – he was delighted.  He regretted putting the boy through it all, but never blamed anyone.  He was only glad that he had seen the light before it was too late.

“Bullshit”, Mandy said repeatedly when asked where his frilly dresses were and why he no longer sashayed down the corridors.  “Bullshit”, he repeated.

There were no Valentine’s Day cards in woke children’s childhoods.  Parents in their Upper Northwest Washington community, had rejected any suggestion of introducing such retrograde reminders of America’s sexist past.  Sexuality had nothing to do with heterosexual polarity; and that even something so apparently innocent as Valentine’s Day cards was dangerous– an early elitist attempt to force children into a discredited heterosexual box.  Sexuality occurred on a gender spectrum where heterosexual maleness or femaleness occurred only as points among others without salience or permanence. There would be no Valentine’s Day cards, dancing school, no distinction between sexes.

If the world were to progress to a more fair, just, equal world, then sex, the most determining factor in the equation, would have to be neutered.  It was such sex, after all, that drove men to conflict, combat, and slaughter.  The Medieval cult of chivalry was nothing but a convenient romantic cover for male predation and territorialism.  Petrarch was not a poet of romantic love, but one of conflict and conquest. 

Image result for images chivalric love

There is a movement to bring back Valentine’s Day cards, but promoted as it is by politically conservative and therefore suspect parties, it is likely to fail, at least in the progressive neighborhoods of Cambridge and San Francisco.  The residents of Trump country cheer the initiative as the beginning at least of the closing of the eyes of the woke generation and a return to saner, more traditional, more Biblical, and  more obvious principles; but such anti-establishment views are rejected out of hand.

There were no Valentine’s Day cards at Mandy’s grandchildren’s Pre-K, and as much as he encouraged his son and daughter-in-law to reconsider their choice of schools, and as convinced as they were of the principled rightness of his arguments, they could not resist the zeitgeist juggernaut.  Valentine’s Day cards were sexist, elitist and inherently racist and had no place in progressive Cambridge.

The tide will eventually turn.  The gender spectrum will be realized for the temporizing, political artifact that it is, and sexual games and boy-meets-girl drama will inevitably return; but in the meantime, little, sweet, kindergartners will have to make do with animal stickers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.