I wish I was writing about gender politics of Alpha Centauri too. Alas. (Read Contact by Carl Sagan. Or The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel. Or watch Firefly by Joss Whedon.)
Instead, I am hailing from Womenspace! It is totally a rad place, with a microwave and a kettle and Kalashnikovs. What? For the revolution, of course! It is really a not-so-secret terrorist cell. We do all the things that some boys fantasize that we do here. We have pillow fights and naked mud wrestling, which we actually secretly like. We talk about the inadequacies of the penis. We say penis a lot. We have wild lesbian sex, and some of our best biologistas are working on how to procreate without the penis. After we sate ourselves with our Sapphic love, we oil our Kalashnikovs and organise the revolution, which, by the way, is immanent. We may keep Ryan Gosling as a pet.
Not really. It is so sad that that is what some people think we do here. Mostly we go about our lives, reading or eating lunch, feeling just a little bit safer. There are no Schrodinger’s Rapists here. I know that men are actually in more mortal danger in public spaces, but women are more likely to imprison ourselves. We have been warned over and over again how we are always, always in danger. But our brave sisters venture out into the world every day to do what needs doing. But some of us need respite.
For now, we need Womenspace. We freaking need it.
There is no Menspace. People grumble about this. I personally do not think that there should be one, and here is why.
We already have Menspace. Actually, we are up to our necks in it. Really, everywhere is Menspace. Everywhere, sexist messages pervade our very pores. In public and private spaces. In schools and in our homes. In our brains and our hearts.
I have a Doctor friend, and she is such an awesome woman. She told me that when she started her training, there were only two changing rooms: the doctors’ and the nurses’. Because, you know, all doctors were male and all nurses were female. She said that this made for some awkward moments, but overall she was glad. She too could partake in the jocular bonding rituals, however gross they may have been. Women desperately need this kind of “relationship capital” for their careers.
I miss Allie MacBeal, and the unisex bathroom where everything important on the show actually happened. This is my vision of Utopia.
One day, women and men will both utilise the same space, and feel completely safe doing so. Actually and within their hearts. And we will all be friends, laa laa laa.
Laaing again (Do you really want me to stop?),