A Man and a Woman

Bill: At any rate, you’ve got to be the only alumna of Vassar College with a beard.
Chris: Well, [stroking the luxuriant blond growth] if you were a woman with a beard, you might prefer it if others refrained from mentioning it. It might really hurt your feelings.
Bill: In that case, I apologize. Moving on a bit: I’d like to ask you a few questions about your life in the three years since you’ve graduated.
Chris: O.K.
Bill: It’s public knowledge that you’re now married to another Vassar alumna, and it’s rumored that she is now pregnant . . . and that you’re the father.
Chris: Really, are you trying to be offensive? I can hardly be referred to as anyone’s ‘father’. My wife and I simply refer to ourselves as ‘ancestor A’ and ‘ancestor B’, and we would prefer it if others did the same in this context.
Bill: I’m sorry. Please sit back down so that we can continue the interview.
Chris: You know, you really should try to be a bit more polite.
Bill: Sorry, sorry. Listen: I think that one thing that will really interest our readers is that, as a non-surgically-transgendered lesbian, you don’t look or act anything like a woman. In fact, you act exactly like any male, while managing to be a member of two protected categories, thus ensuring yourself a really good job.
Chris: What do you mean ‘look like a woman’? If gender is a matter of choice, then there’s nothing that it’s like for a woman to look. Or feel either, in case you were going to ask that.
Bill: Right. Well, thank you so much for letting me interview you this morning. If you’ll let me ask you one more question, what makes you different from a typical man, from me, say?
Chris: Other than your general repulsiveness, you mean? Simply my gender, which is just that, what I’ve chosen my gender to be. Nothing else at all.


“A married couple,” by Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


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