I am thinking about gender.

As a very small child, I thought, why would my being female have ANYTHING to do with jobs and roles? Ok, I can carry a pregnacy and a male can't (yet) but otherwise....

I don't get gender, I don't care, and I don't want it to get in my way. I don't want to be put in that box. And I never have. I thought, if I love someone and I'm an adult and they are an adult, who cares? I don't care. I decided by college that I must be bi because hey, I am not ruling out half the humans. How narrow and isolating.

Also, marriage. The job of wife looked horrible. First of all, half get divorced. Then they were scorned poor failures as women: single mothers. And damn it, the men seemed to mostly abandon the kids and get a new wife. That was my impression in the 1970s. The men had new kids. I wanted nothing to do with housework. My mother was NOT a homemaker. She was an artist. That was first. She didn't make money at it, but then, she'd inherited money and was "independently wealthy at a poverty level". Her art, my father and my sister and I were the important things. Housework was a distant and resented last. She did most of the cooking, mostly because she really liked food. She did not want to do much more housework than my father. So not much was done. We did not die from dust bunnies and really, she could be fabulous fun. The kitchen a towering mess from dying Easter eggs, from a watermelon seed fight, from paper mache. That was what was important: art, music, books, food, conversation.

I was quite clear. I wanted kids AND a career. Because marriages, well, you have a 50% chance. And anyhow, I am not an artist. I wanted to be a writer, but on terms like my mother. That is, write what I want, when I want, develop it the way I want. So, need a career because I was not independently wealthy at a poverty level. What was God thinking? How unfair.

Medical school and a husband, a househusband. We agreed that he'd stay home until the kids were in school and daycare. And he didn't want a career, he said. He just wanted a job when it came time.

Then later he said, no, he didn't want the job. And he didn't want to be a househusband. Uh, so, um, what is door number three? I slowly realized that he needed me to kick him out because our son was 12. My husband needed distance to mature, out of sight of his son. Ok, I thought, that is unfortunate but you married a tough enough woman to do the right thing. I kicked him out and he went back to school and got an RN. He's worked ever since. Much to everyone's surprise, except mine. I thought there was still something in there. He was doing the right thing for our kids even though that was not what anyone thought. And he stayed in contact and still does and helps support them.

When we first got married a male friend asked, "So if you are a doctor and he stays home, will your children be ax murderers?" The male friend was half serious. So far so good, no ax murderers. I didn't even murder the friend.

And gender. Back to gender. I just don't enjoy housecleaning and I am interested in a lot of things. I am busy. I come home from clinic and it's awfully hard to cook after that. I found some photos from residency recently. I started internship with a six month old: I look really really beyond tired. I would come home and stay awake for a while to have time with my husband and son.

I am ready for a new box on the forms. Not male. Not female. Depends on the day. Don't care. I want to check undecided and I am comfortable there.

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