Right now there’s a debate going on on TESCTalk, our school’s community discussion board carried out via email, about gender, transphobia, and the origins and connotations of the word “mother,” especially in reference to Mother Earth.
The discussion blows my mind because it’s opening me up to many diverse thoughts that I don’t normally come into contact with. I’m enjoying sitting back and watching it unfold.
I would like to reply, but I have several reservations about doing so, and the only thing I would have to contribute is the following anecdote. Please note (if you are from Evergreen or have any invested interest in such a discussion) that I mean this in every positive way possible and only in good humor. It is going on my blog right now rather than the forum because I am worried that some people would not recognize the humor in it that I do. The timing may be wrong for the larger discussion. But it’s all I can think about and I have to add it somehow!
This is taken from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian.”
REG: Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man–
STAN: Or woman.
REG: Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan. You’re putting us off.
STAN: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
FRANCIS: Why are you always on about women, Stan?
STAN: I want to be one.
STAN: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me ‘Loretta’.
LORETTA: It’s my right as a man.
JUDITH: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
LORETTA: I want to have babies.
REG: You want to have babies?!
LORETTA: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them.
REG: But… you can’t have babies.
LORETTA: Don’t you oppress me.
REG: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the foetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!
JUDITH: Here! I– I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans’, but that he can have the right to have babies.
FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
REG: What’s the point?
REG: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?!
FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.