SEPTEMBER 6, 2010 10:03AM

Gender Bending

Rate: 18 Flag

     Kathy Riordan has put up an open call about who you would be if you were a member of the opposite sex.
     And I'm having trouble with that.
     See, I'd most like to be The Redhead, but none of you knows her, and I could spend an eon trying to explain all the reasons why I think that. Or maybe it'd be my boss in Vancouver, easily the smartest person I ever worked for, and another woman whom I admire greatly.
     But those two are aspirational, not the reality of who or what I am, which is what Kathy wants.
     Then I thought of Kate Hepburn (what a surprise -- another redhead).   But no, I'm not talented or pithy or intelligent enough. Ditto any number of well-known women. I'm just not that good.
     How about women on OS?
     I'm not as witty as O'Really? and LC Neal. Or as charming as Scarlett Sumac and Linda Seccaspina. Or as truthful as BuffyW and Cartouche and Lea Lane. Or as compassionate as OwlSaysWho and SafeBetsAmy. And so on down my favourites list.
     OK, let's try looking at it from the vantage point of what I did for a living. I spent years -- decades -- as a dispassionate observer, taking notes and names, writing stories and meeting deadlines.
     So maybe it should be someone who is or has been or was engaged in the same kind of work. Nora Ephron? Pfffft. I could only wish I had her style. Katharine Graham, publisher of The Washington Post during the Watergate era? Naw, never had such gumption.
     Sometimes, I kind of think I'm like Lillian Hellman, who famously flew all the way across the country to trash Dashiell Hammett's apartment. But then again, I'm sort of lazy, and my anger usually dissipates within seconds of detonation. So, cross Lillian off the list, too. She had a stick-to-it-ness that I lack.
     Right. Another direction is required.
     Some of you may know I was a hardcore motorcycle rider for years, any kind of weather, any time of day or night. Loved the thrill of two wheels, the wind in my face, the whole ethos.
     So maybe that's the answer: I'm the biker chick with greasy hair, wearing a sleeveless denim jacket with an eagle on the back, a half helmet and dirty jeans, who fell off the back of a Triumph once too often.
     It pretty much works for me.

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Motorcycle mama! That's the ticket:) Female but just gritty around the edges only enough so as not to detract from her underlying 'chickness'.
Perfect compromise!
God I loved this. You painted a fortress of so many images of really strong women that I admire. You earn an honorary spot among them. And thanks for your kind words. From both of us. ;)
I hadn't heard that Lillian/Dash story - fits, though. I rode bikes for 20 years. But I didn't have greasy hair.... Great post - sort of mind stretching. Why is it easier to imagine the ladies as men rather than men as ladies???? Or is that just me?????
Nice approach to the challenge, which is much too challenging for me. Biker chicks are good. Wouldn't wanna be one, but I've known a couple.
Would that be Michelle Pfeiffer on the back of a motorcycle or Ruth Gordon? I will never see you the same way again. Nice post.
Susan, a female rider back in the day was as rare as hen's teeth. They had to have grit and determination. I liked that.

Cartouche, the words were meant. You know why. Thanks for the compliment.

Kit! Yet another reason to like you. I can't remember whether that anecdote was in Pentimento or in a bio I read about Lillian. She and Hammett were ... ummmmmm ... frequently unfit for human consumption. But what a pair.

Matt, I've known more than a couple. Let's just say I had a lot in common with them. And I really doubt anything's too challenging for you.

It'd probably be the irascible version of Ruth, Kathy. Michelle's OK, but she's not mean enough.
Oh you dumb-ass, you are married to a Redhead, I love mine too but! Now if you were a Redhead biker chick with greasy hair, I would have to say that is the definition of a would be terrorist Try this out, while your wife is asleep take a ballpoint pin and connect her freckles together, make sure you are not in the vicinity of her when she wakes up, also make sure there is nothing that could be used as a projectile in her space. That is what you would be if you were a Redhead biker chick with greasy hair. Rethink your options my friend it is not a pretty sight. Hope the misses and you are well, I have to disappear she is waking up and when she puts on her little bunny shoes and realizes that there is cool whip in them I don't want to be near. I like to keep our marriage interesting. See ya Bo
I'm the biker chick with greasy hair, wearing a sleeveless denim jacket with an eagle on the back, a half helmet and dirty jeans, who fell off the back of a Triumph once too often.

And I'd SO be hitting on you! ;~)
O/E, are you fuckin' kidding me? Connecting the dots? Kool-Whip? You have a death wish or what? (Anything can be used as a weapon -- you've had the training and know that. Projectiles are the least of it.) Yeah, a redheaded biker chick would certainly be ... challenging.

Amy, I'd likely encourage you.
Of course, it seems like you would be who you are whichever sex's skin you were lucky enough to be born in.
excellent descriptive writing. R
Okay but no half-helmets. Full face, baby, full face. I'm on a mission...
PS. Long may you run, my friend:
So: are you "born to run" or "born to be wild?"
Poetess, I think that's probably exactly right.

Thanks, Bernadine.

Back in the day, Cappy, that's pretty much all you could get. And for the record, I was wearing a helmet before it was mandatory, thanks to my old man, who was a dispatch rider during the war. And how did you know that is just about my favourite Neil Young song?

Did a lot of both, Cranky. Heavy metal thunder crossed with tramps like us....
I have to agree with your first thought, Buddy. I would definitly want to be a woman like my dear Mel. I can think of no other female I would rather be like.....not in my life.
Works for me, too! May I take you to dinner? xox
That would be great, but don't forget the orthopedic stockings!
Is it a Harley? Do you run with the biker crowd or are you a loan wolf?

I'm dying to know. I like the approach, I'm still wrestling with it. Gonna go bug my husband now.
How about Dorothy Parker?
Yeah, Torman, IF I could be like her, I would. But she operates on a different plane of existance entirely.

Under the circumstances, Robin, the only place I'd have been allowed in was an all-night truck stop. Which, come to think on it, is where I did spend a lot of time....

Good one, ScanMan.

Sparking, usually a loner, but not always. It was complicated. And no, never a Harley rider: They were the hereditary enemy. Mostly, it was now-classic Triumphs with a couple of Japanese bikes along the way.

Wolfhound, Dorothy Parker was away to clever for the likes of me. I have a classic case of atelier wit: I never have a bon mot at the right time.
Ha!! I imagine you as Janet Reno.
Wow - what a process, and what an image! I asked my wife if she agreed with my assessment of myself as Kevin James . . . she did.
(and thanks for the shout out . . . :~)
better close the italics
Janet Reno, BV? You astonish me. I mean ... I can't somehow picture her on a motorcycle. But maybe I'm wrong.

And Owl? It was much deserved. Your wife is a lucky woman.
You would want to be a REDHEAD??? Are you crazy, I have been trying to get rid of my red hair for years. Hello, guys do not like redheads. No one looks twice at a redhead, except to make fun of the hair. Life is more fun as a tiny blonde!
Poppi, ask Scanner or Older/Exasperated if you don't believe me about guys who like redheads.
Bo, I am so sorry I've missed this. We're heading into the wine festival here so I am busy with all manners of things. Thanks so much for calling me charming, um, but well, you never met me in person ... I think Motorcycle Mama is just perfect for you because of course (from what you tell us) there is only one TPR. You'll most likely recognize this song ...

"Motorcycle Mama
Won't you lay your big spike down
Motorcycle Mama
Won't you lay your big spike down
I always get in trouble
when you bring that round."
Good ole Neil. I'd almost forgotten that song.

Thanks, SS. I can't imagine how busy you are right now, and it was really nice of you to take the time to drop by. By the way, I don't give a rat's arse what YOU think ... you are charming. Ask anyone on here.