If I Were a Man

The simple charms of man
would colour my frailty:

to piss standing up;
to have confidence in thought;
to seduce;
to live unbound by neuroses;
to engage in pleasant, stable friendships;
to enjoy promiscuity;
to be strong.

Then, when I burn all
the barbie dolls, and dress
boys in pink, I’d proclaim
The Age Of Androgyny
And kill all the chauvinists
in a jolly good war;
retiring to academia, sport
and bursts of aggression,
dying with a Penthouse in hand;
Fathering sons who’d respect
my wise-yet-firm voice
But wonder why the gender studies
course was discontinued
at Clayton, and why all
the women sit shacked up
in birthing houses
learning to crochet
and please their husbands
(when the fourth wave had
seemed to wrap things up nicely!)
and they’d learn

to love power;
to exploit strength;
to be cruel;
to flee from emotion;
to be ruthless in business;
to flourish in conflict;
To fuck without feelings;
To conceptualise creative
controlling mechanisms.

And I’d be housed in a jar
(a splendid specimen of gender;
a link in the chain of patriarchy),
having died in the arms of identity.

I think I’d make a good man.

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~ by David Heslin on 11/09/2011.

One Response to “If I Were a Man”

  1. I’ve never strongly identified with my gender. That is not to say I’m a ‘self-hating man’, by any means: yes, I’m receptive to many feminist concepts, but, equally, I despise all forms of misandry. More, I simply feel distanced from any strong sense of gender identity.

    When I heard Beyonce’s ridiculously absurd ‘If I Were a Boy’, replete with obscene stereotypes and presumptions, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to be one of these ‘men’, as constructed by others. Contrary to the final line, I don’t think I’d be terribly good at it at all.

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