Closer to Home

Four thirty.

I did a lot of dreaming about my neighbors across the street. In reality I don’t see them much, and now with the Coronavirus I don’t see them at all. The blinds in the front window are perpetually closed. It’s a houseful of women over there, Diana and her three daughters. I can understand if they’re feeling paranoid. Still, I would really enjoy interacting with them more— and then I remember my gender: I’m a guy. A lot of people make a sharp dividing line between the sexes. I guess I am unusual in not doing so. I grew up not distinguishing between men’s things and women’s things. I find that gender roles and stereotypes are mostly fictions made up by society. Not even psychologists are very perceptive of this artifice, but believe that men are men and women are women. Worse, they assume that men with anything feminine about them must be homosexual… I think my dreams about Diana’s family are innocent with a childlike innocence. What do babies perceive, I wonder? Do little boys want to put on lipstick? Do little girls want to use tools? Who’s to tell them otherwise? In my utopia, these distinctions of masculine and feminine wouldn’t exist. Everything would be free and equal, and what the baby sees is what the grownup would see as well.


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