I am a man.
Now this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Even people I meet in the street seem to grasp the concept without my even telling them.
I suppose the fact that I have a beard, a deep voice, no bumpy bits on my chest and all the tackle associated with being a male might give a clue, but no one has ever asked me whether I am a man or a woman. Is it the fact that I don't wear a dress and am generally to be seen in jeans, an old sweatshirt and a scruffy pair of runners?
All my life I have done mannish things. I have built a house. I have dismantled and rebuilt engines. I have enjoyed the intimate company of women [you know what I mean]. I have never worn make-up or cosmetics nor dyed my hair [nor will I ever]. I was never even remotely interested in dressing up in my sister's clothes. Occasionally I have done things that might be considered non-manly. I bawled my eyes out as I held our Sandy when she was put to sleep. I dabbled in macramé for a brief while to see if I could [I could]. I even knitted a cardigan for the daughter and sent her to school in it [she never forgave me for that].
I suppose there are some aspects of me that would be considered non-mannish. I hate sport [and in particular, football] and I have no interest in cars apart from being a mode of transport.
So why on earth would I ever consider that I was anything other than a man? How could I have female thoughts? What are female thoughts? How would I ever consider that I am somehow a woman in a man's body? What does that even mean?
In the good old days there were two genders. Then along came homosexuality and men fancied men and women fancied women. I can sort of get my head around that concept but it is definitely a dish that isn't for my table.
Now we have all these transsexuals and transgenders and bisexuals and the whole male/female thing has become more confusing than a map of the London Underground.
The latest one to hit the headlines was a reporter on RTE who decided he was "gender fluid" and wants everyone to call him Rachel. What the fuck is that all about? What the blind fuck is "gender fluidity"?
To me, a fluid is something that flows and sloshes around in a bucket. It wet and liquid. It may be slightly viscous but it flows nevertheless. So how can gender be fluid? Does he go to bed at night and sleep on his left side and wake up as Jonathan? The next night he lies on his right and the fluid trickles over and she wakes up as Rachel? And how does he know? Presumably his body isn't so fluid so all he or she needs to do is check beneath the sheets?
Suppose he or she [or it?] goes for a jog and the gender fluid sloshes around a bit, does the gender bit get all mixed up and become a Jonachel or Rachathan? Or even a JRoancahtehlan?
Is fluid gender tidal and influenced by the moon?
Life is getting awfully fucking complicated.