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

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The Opposite Sex–Sadly Gone In An Age Of Gender Fluidity

‘The opposite sex’ was a phrase found in literature, advertising, and on stage.  It was code, universally understood and always mature and significant. Sexual magnetism, polarity, innate, illegible but irresistible difference.  There were no diverse, distracting sexual options  – no confounding choices, no queries, no hesitation.  

Boys on one side, girls on the other, said Mrs. Linder before the music began at her dancing school; and when it did, the boys  slid across the polished teak hardwood floor to the girls in their frilly dresses, paten leather pumps, and ribbons for a partner.

Janie Blaine always hoped for an equal number of boys and girls, for if not she would be left alone on the bench, smoothing her crinoline dress, adjusting a curl, disconsolate, and angry.

Image result for images fifties formal dancing school

She of course knew that if there were indeed sexual parity, she would be Barry Feinbaum’s partner – the least attractive boy in the class, Jewish, bespectacled, standing out among the well-heeled, patrician descendants of Beacon Hill, Plymouth, and Newport.  

Her tragedy was two-fold – she was unattractive but found attractive by the least attractive boy in her class.  It would have been better to have been ignored, left on the bench, than picked last by Barry Feinbaum; for once he approached, stood over her, twitched nervously with his tie, wet his lips, and held out his hand, she was lost.

Thousands of girls were so ignored, and so they dragged themselves home from Mrs. Linder’s tearful, and forlorn.  Yet, as they had been told thousands of times by solicitous mothers, they had profound worth, and skin-deep beauty meant nothing. 

Have patience, they were told, and Mr. Right would come along.   Janie did blossom – her underslung jaw recalibrated nicely in later adolescence, her mouth firmed up, and her eyes  became if not lustrous then bright and luminous.   Frustrated as she had been all through lower and middle school, she became a sexual demon in high school.  Making up for lost time, said her detractors, very much jealous of her full lips, clear skin, rounded breasts, and full, expressive hips.

Now, in the current phase of the gender spectrum, Chinese menu, pick your sexuality evolution, Janie would have been urged to think differently.  Boys were not the be-all and end-all of adolescence, so why didn’t she make friends with the girl next to her on the bench, the second last to be picked at Mrs. Linder’s? 

A lusty friendship with a blossoming young thing as frustrated and angry at boys as she was would be a good, fulfilling, and rewarding experience.  Straight sex – opposite sex attraction and union – was not all it was made out to be.  Two women could have as fulfilling and lasting a relationship as with men.  Cock and balls were things of male fantasy and sexual illusion.

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There would have been no benches on Mrs. Linder’s waxed, polished, and spit-polished dance floor had Janie been born decades later in the full bore of feminist, genderless America.  In fact she never would have been subjected to such male-dominated, testosterone-fueled attention or disregard in the first place.  Imagine in the present day sitting politely and demurely waiting for the likes of Barry Feinbaum to skid over and ask her to dance. No, never, unthinkable, unimaginable, especially when multiple offerings were available on the gender spectrum.

Edward Albee wrote that marriage is the crucible of maturity.  No matter how rancorous, destructive, and impossible marriage might be, its inescapable, No Exit, hothouse enclosure requires couples to face each other.  Now that marriage is considered to be only a second thought, hindsight at best, an outdated, unnecessary convention, fewer and fewer people are opting for it.  

‘Partnership’ is the now acceptable arrangement – easily formed, just as easily dissolved and as such with only tentative agreements.  No ‘till-death-do-us-part’ finality.  Everything can be worked out or ended.

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Post-modernist scholars have dismissed Shakespeare, Voltaire, Goethe, Moliere, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky, tossing them pêle-mêle into the literary dust bin.  No room for genius, human insight, drama, or tragedy.  

It is not surprising, therefore, that these same progressive scholars have championed the gender spectrum, sexual inclusivity, and the demise of heterosexuality.  How could there be anything so absolute and fixed as male-female sexuality in a post-modern world of social, cultural, and moral relativity?

Janie shook off Mrs. Linder’s running with the bulls, sorted sexuality from sexual tradition and hype, saw no future in same sex partnerships, and less in picking and choosing along the gender spectrum.  Such a valueless spectrum, a string of options to suit every diluted strain of heterosexual sex, was worthless, uninteresting, and irrelevant.

One had only to look at classic literature or the Bible to see the inherent, powerful, inimitable heterosexuality of all encounters – not only the who begat whom of Kings, Deuteronomy, and Numbers, but the psycho-social drama of Adam, Even, Isaac, Jacob, Miriam and a hundred other husbands, wives, concubines, and prostitutes.  

The New Testament is cleaner, more philosophical.  Paul would rather do without sex and have everyone else celibate, but if one had to marry, he said, don’t put much stock in it.  Jesus’ messages are simple and otherworldly, a far cry from the earthy, sexual, and sensuous stories of the Hebrew Bible.

Image result for images old testament concubines

Sexual diversity has made for an entertaining side show.  How could anything top men dressed up as women who chase men who are transgendered women in a wild, sashaying, girly-girl, muscle beach butch burlesque? But these sexual hijinx are little more than than a diversion, a distraction, and a hyped phenomenon way beyond its demographics.  

The gay population in America is a scant three percent; and the transgender proportion of it is barely a tenth of a percent.  In saner, less political, less identity-driven circumstances, this population would go about its own business, sorting through its own deck of cards, playing happily and productively, unbothered.  

However never has such a small minority had such disproportionate influence on culture.  The civil rights movement morphed into an identity movement which itself morphed from race to sexuality.  Being the loudest voice in the room has always been the best way to be heard.

Perhaps all this disquiet has had to happen to assure social equality.  Without the hoopla, the swishing characters on daytime television, the outing of everyone from corner office to goon, and the mainstreaming of buggery and cross-dressing, the three percent would have to keep banging on doors.  

Enough of this hoopla, better let them in, read them Roberts Rules of Order, and let all-encompassing, conservative, bourgeois society take over.  America is a welcoming, democratic, transforming place.

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