Thursday, January 21, 2010

Venus Trumps Mars

My sister, lonely in her sisterhood of one, says she's glad for brothers, but they're "too male."  Stabbed in the heart, I've been staggering ever since.  For years I've striven to be a good sister.  Now I moan in the mirror, to Carly Simon's famous melody, "You're too male."

Deep down, I think I know what she means (arrogant male that I am).  Reread my posting for yesterday ("Nursery Time"), with my admission and supplication to peers -- "why must it be 'us versus them.'?"  (Go ahead and fight about that apostrophe's placement.)  I suppose it's all because of the Y chromosome my sister lacks.  It's why women tend to have wheelbarrows full of friends and men less than a handful.  It's why only one cock rules a henhouse.  Whoops.  Forget that.  I digress.

I've always hated stereotypes, probably because they're often right about me.  I don't want to explain things with a sex chromosome or a heftier supply of testosterone.  I want to believe human beings deserve to live on the top of the heap, not because they clambered up by clobbering everything in sight of their path and more, but because they're kinder and more thoughtful, like the goddess of love, the sign of femaleness.

But here I sit, relegated to Mars, where I'm expected to win wars instead of regularly gathering to share recipes, stroll through stores, or wear home-made party hats when my children "come of age" (see "Sisters" at

I want to lay down my guns, beat swords into plowshares, and sing with the Sweet Adelines.  But I can't.

"You're a drama queen," says Virginia, "like me.  Here, take this."

I think she's going to slug me, but instead she pins on my chest a sheriff's badge.  Across it she has drawn with a magic marker, "Female."

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