Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"You Know What That Is!"

I had an interesting interaction with a colleague today. As a vegan, I get lots of questions about, "But what about free-range animals?" or "But what about if you know the farm?" or "But what if you were on the desert island and the only thing on it was cheese?" and so on and so on. Today I got a question about eggs.

This devolved into a lateral conversation about how this colleague has interacted with individuals who felt strange about eating eggs because they described them as "baby chickens" - something that is absolutely not true if the eggs are not fertilized. (Even if they are, I think it is worth considering whether these embryos are actually "baby chickens," but this is a completely different issue that won't be discussed here.)

My colleague laughed about this, emphatically saying, "No! Unfertilized eggs are not baby chickens! I mean, when indiviudals have their period, they're just releasing an egg - that's it! I mean, you do that - you know that!"

I smiled, and said, "Uh, yes, I do know that, but yeah, I actually don't do that." She smiled, and said, "Ohhh, right." To which I raised my leg and pumped my fist, and said, "Yes! Beating nature again, ha ha!" And we both laughed.

I obviously am not "beating nature." My body IS natural. It is a legitimate variation as to what bodies can look and function like. But the fact that I am exclusively regarded as a female operating in the world, and yet my body doesn't do this menstruation thing everyone assumes it does, is a good opportunity to make a lighthearted joke to validate the existence of intersex bodies. It was a simple, good moment, where I felt my intersex identity validated in a really casual, no-need-to-explain it way that felt natural and good. I hope to have more moments like this in the future. :)

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