Consider yourself forewarned: this post is taking a little side trip through the inner workings of my mind. Get ready for the twists and turns. It may be scary. It may be interesting. And if it’s not, a few Skinny Girl Margaritas might help. I know just writing this has given me the urge to indulge.
I was intrigued by the popular notion that children should be encouraged to become whatever/whoever they want to be. Was it really possible for a girl to be anything she wanted? I made a mental list of a few examples: President of the US? Yes; Astronaut? Yes; Sports Journalist with access to the men’s locker room? Yes.
None of my mental convolutions could make it possible. I deduced it is impossible for a girl to become a father. And it’s equally impossible for a boy to become a mother. The Laws of Nature are quite clear and quite stringent on this matter. But as quickly as this thought came to me, another overshadowed it— Humans rebel against the Laws of Nature. Therefore, someone, sometime is going to attempt this gender switching parenthood.
That’s when I heard the voices in my head. The voices of the first couple to switch genders— the man becoming the mother and the woman becoming the father. They were being interviewed.
Disclaimer: This fictional interview is fictional. The names are also fictional. The characters are based on total auditory figments of my imagination. They are not indicative of any race; creed; religion; association; nationality; sports team; hair color, natural or otherwise; political party, denomination, or affiliation; sexual wish list, orientation or preference; educational level, background or intelligence; gender.
Well, gender I guess.
Reporter: Today I’m interviewing a married couple at the forefront of a new trend: gender-swapping couples. I’d like you to meet Mr. Margaret Bassackwards and her wife, Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards, and their daughter, Alex.
Reporter: What made you decide to switch gender roles when you became pregnant?
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: Well, actually, we didn’t switch gender rolls until after the baby was born. I couldn’t have been the “pregnant father”, now could I, really? (Laughs)
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards (clearing throat): It wasn’t until after the baby came that we realized that for me to be the husband/mommy and her to be the wife/daddy might be too confusing for Alex, so we switched both the parental and marital roles.
Reporter: Why the switch in the first place?
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: Well, when I was little, my parents told me that when I grew up I could be whatever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted to do. They told me the possibilities were endless. But as I grew older, I realized there was one thing I could not be. A father. It was a tragedy for me, because that’s all I ever wanted to be, really.
Reporter: And what about you Mr.— uh, Mrs. Reeli-Bassackwards? Did you always want to be a mommy?
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards: It was her idea (looks at Mr. Bassackwards). Her dream was to be a father. But I didn’t mind supporting her in that. Part of being married, you know, is the happiness of your spouse. And I loved my mother. She was a saint. No shame in being a mother.
Reporter: Did you ever think how this might affect your child?
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards: Of course we did. She was our first and foremost consideration.
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: And we realized that if we educated her properly on the unique individuality of each person, and their responsibility to be true to themselves, then we would be fulfilling our roles as parents and that’s all there is, really. And love of course, is the most important thing. And we so absolutely love the child and each other, you know.
Reporter: How old is your daughter, Alex?
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: She’s going to be seven-years-old next week. A well-adjusted child, really.
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards: Well, she was fine, mostly. Until she started school.
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: Well, it’s the school that confused her. She was quite on board with the whole thing, really. Then she started school. Quite confusing for her. People always correcting her, you know. Telling her, “No. He must be your dad and she must be your mom.” Like the child doesn’t know her mother from her father. Seems like no matter how many times I go in and explain, somebody is always confusing the child. Bunch of narrow minded bigots, really.
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards: We actually thought about changing schools, but we decided Alex needs to learn to stick it out and deal with the bigots.
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: What I really don’t understand is how these people can’t know the situation of our family. We’ve been on twelve news shows, nineteen talk shows and the articles and internet stuff is too much to keep track of. People should really just respect the situation and not confuse the child.
Reporter: Is Alex going to be the mother/wife or father/husband when she grows up?
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards: Hmm. Now that’s a good question. I personally think that… Actually, I’m not sure.
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: Well, of course she’ll make her own decision in the matter. This is not the kind of thing a parent should decide for their child. We’ll just make sure we are good examples and we give her a variety of experiences as both mommy and daddy. Then she’ll be equipped to make the best decision for herself, really.
Reporter: May I meet Alex?
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: Well of course. She’s a very articulate child, really. Never once camera shy.
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards: Yes, we’re really very proud of her. Alex, sweetie, come in here. This nice reporter wants to talk to you.
Reporter: It’s nice to meet you, Alex. Do you think your family is very different from other families?
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards: Oh, we don’t like to use the word different.
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards(nodding): Negative connotations, you know.
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards:Besides, we are very much a normal family. Alex has a mother and a father.
Reporter:Alex, are your mommy and daddy like everyone else’s mommy and daddy?
Alex (nodding): It’s just that my mommy has penis and my daddy has a vagina.
Mrs. Arnold Reeli-Bassackwards (beaming): Exactly!
Mr. Margaret Bassackwards:You see. She totally grasps the concept, really.