Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A To Z Day Seven: A Gander At Gender

Blatantly stealing from my sister from another mother Giulie, today we talk about gender, and specifically gender in regards to my stories in the indisputably marvelous "2014" books, available here and at reputable book stores everywhere. And even some of the disreputable ones.

Gender is more complicated than it appeared to me previously, a phenomenon which is rapidly becoming a theme of my 42nd year on Earth. It's not simply your chromosomal layout or the appearance of your block and tackle, it's a social construct, who you feel you are as well as how you decide to present yourself to others. (This makes me think of the birth scene from Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life", where the mother asks if she has had a boy or a girl, and Graham Chapman responds, "it's a bit early to start imposing roles on it!")

In my 2014 story cycle, Mark Hamilton is a man caught in a vise- he is making tremendous sums of money at his job, but he is starting to hate the things his job is doing to him. His work world, professional baseball, is male dominated, while his home life is dominated by his wife Angela and his distant daughter Madison. He has trouble reconciling who he feels he has to pretend to be to keep his job and his paycheck, with who he really is, which seems to me to be the central thrust of the concept of gender.

To quote the late great Mr. Vonnegut, we are who we pretend to be. So we must be careful who we pretend to be.

1 comment:

  1. Love that bit from Monty Python, Michael! I'm so sad I didn't see this when you posted it, or I would've linked to it in my own post. (I'll link to it now anyway.) You're right--gender is such a subjective thing. Who would've thought, eh? I love your ending remark: "we must be careful who we pretend to be." Kind of links up to something I said in my dog blog post today--"be careful what memories you hold on to, what images you project." Our concept--preconception--of who we are, who others are, is a powerful thing.
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs


I apologize for making you sign in, but I'm trying to cut down on spam.