is a funny little song by an obscure, old
Sacramento punk band called Sewer Trout
. They had several releases on the San Francisco punk label, Lookout! Records
and were featured on the compilation The Thing That Ate Floyd
(released 1988) with this very song. Their sound is very pop punk
I want a vagina, but not just for sex
I want a vagina between my legs
I want a vagina instead of a cock
A cute furry pal to whom I could talk
I could have such fun and pleasure
Play with it in rainy weather
Put things in and take them out
Of my friendly female pouch
I want a vagina for no more wet dreams
Embarrassing moments, a bulge in my jeans
Unwanted erection, at the wrong time
If I had a pussy my urge I could hide
If I had a hole down there
Then I'd be without a care
No penile control of my mind
No dick to dominate my life
If I had a pussy, I'd make some new friends
I would like to be a woman, even for a day
I think I'd see things in a slightly different way
When I walk down the street would construction workers yell at me (hey baby!)
If I went to Dance Park on Ladies' Night would I get in for free?
Now girls don't like, I'm sure that would end
I would be buddies with the opposite sex
No more intruder or sexual threat
There's no good in sexual warfare
Treat people like they were blank there
Unless you find someone undressed in bed
Then I would look, I guess
This is obviously a song shooting for snickers from adolescent boys, but taking the lyrics seriously, you can read a lot into it. He alternates between self-loathing and hope for a better, alternate state of being in which he is free of the things he hates most about himself. Let's take it verse by verse.
The lyricist in the last two lines of the first verse tells us that he would talk to his vagina. Imagine the loneliness this person must feel, the alienation, so acute that he would rather change genders so that he would have a more interesting set of genetalia to talk to. The second verse is more hopeful. One is reminded of Winnie the Pooh when Piglet gives Eeyore a popped balloon, and Eeyore learns that he can pass the time by putting his broken balloon into the honey pot Pooh gave him and take it out again. One has the sense of childish play and discovery.
Then the songwriter sends us back to his feelings of self-doubt and self-loathing. He views his penis as an embarrassment and a nuisance. We see the shame he feels about his male sexuality. And then in the next verse, he returns to his fantasy of being a woman where femininity brings release to all his cares and burdens. Again he refers to the penis as a controller and a dominator, something that robs him of his free will. The last line could be a double entendre, could it not? Could the removal of the physical dick removed from his life be replaced by a metaphorical dick in the form of a overbearing male lover? The language he chooses makes us fear that unfortunate outcome for him.
In the bridge verse, which appears in the version on The Thing That Ate Floyd but not in other versions I have heard, he explores some of the practical considerations of being a woman. Would he be the object of other men's crass, leering advances? Would he get into clubs on Ladies' Night? Digging deeper, the unasked question is will he ever be free of gender distinctions, positive and negative, or is this a curse of all humankind? All these simple, practical problems, he says, would alter his understanding of gender and how society deals with it and bring him a degree of enlightenment. In the sense that feminization will make him a more complete person, one is reminded of Aristophanes's myth in Plato's Symposium about how the genders were once united but were split by the gods when they became too powerful. We are ever desiring reunification with our severerd other.
Next, in his feminine fantasy state, he is popular and accepted by the women that now reject him. He wants to be with them and not have them threatened by him. That is one way of reading the last line of that verse, but is there not another? Does he recognize that his maleness itself is a sexual threat to the women? Is he afraid that the dick dominating his life will drive him unwillingly to rape? Or is this just liberal, white, male guilt?
Finally the songwriter turns from the particular to the universal and comes to his point. He asserts that the genders should regard each other as equals rather than opponents. In most circumstances, he suggests, we should regard people as asexual. That is, not sexual beings with lusts and desires, or objects to be desired and taken, but rather mere people to hang out with. The exception, he notes, is when you find a naked someone in bed with you. Then it is permissible to treat them as a sexual thing.
Complex, lonely, conflicted -- the songwriter covers a lot of ground in a two and a half minute song. He creates a sense of the deep desire for unification we feel with the people we pursue sexually. It is union rather than the dick's domination and humiliation the songwriter aspires to. We could all benefit by pondering his wisdom.
Either that, or I've got too much time on my hands.