Friday, May 20, 2011

Penis Envy

There has been no doubt in my mind since my early thirties that I suffer from a serious case of Freud's most famous malaise. One of my favorite performances (most of which are given to an audience of one), is to lament that I was not born a man. Masculine audience members, nearly without fail, look at me sideways as if I've just expressed a desire to grow gills and live under the sea. And then they tell me I'm crazy, I'm far too much woman. But of course the point is I'd much rather be far too much man, and be able to operate in this world with the impunity of the penile-bearing. To always have a point of reference, a built-in compass showing me the way. Something I could give a pet name to, and fondle and check on the whole day long. It seems like heaven.
Further reflection, of course, leads me to the problem that if I were a heterosexual male, I'd have to deal with women: possibly even stooping to wheedling to try to convince them (baby, baby, please, baby, baby) -- HORRORS! That's just not something I'd want to engage in. So undoubtedly if I had my choice, I'd be a homosexual man. That has the huge ancillary advantage of not having to cede the moral advantage that comes with being a member of an oppressed group, which I would find to be the strongest down-side of a change in gender.

Please, past, present and future lovers, do not be alarmed! I'm definitely not saying I'm on the verge of a sex-change operation, although it is something I do find quite interesting (inquiring minds and all). I'm not a homosexual man trapped in the body of a woman, no. I'm a woman who's sick of all our tired old gender roles.

When I rolled out this performance one more time over drinks at the Rote Harfe on my last visit to Berlin, The Director, typical of him, didn't respond in anything like the usual way. He instead asked me, "But Katchita, isn't that what you do, after all? Take what you want from both genders?" He was well into the giggly phase that comes with his second half-liter of beer, but I'd only had one ouzo and was sufficiently possessed of my senses that my jaw dropped in admiring wonder. He'd hit the nail completely on the head; it's true, I refuse to be railroaded into anything approaching a traditional female role and I'm damned if I'm going to forgo most of the power men get to enjoy. But the penis, that tangible talisman of virility, that center of the universe, well, it's just sadly, acutely, absent.

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