Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Gender Puns are Intended. Comfortability is Not.

While sitting with a group of relative strangers discussing emotions evoked from quotations we were reading, I made the mistake of addressing one of the females in the group with the following statement, “Man, this is heavy—sorry, no gender pun intended.” To which she replied, “Why does it have to be ‘man’ in reference to everything? ” I could see I was about to be hip deep in what was verbal gender connotation muck.  Did I mention this was a writing seminar hosted by a feminist group? No I did not as I wanted to build the suspense for what was to be my rebuttal. Anyway, after she said this to me, it got me thinking, and before I knew what was coming out of my mouth, this was my retort: 

“With no gender pun intended, I say, “don’t be a pussy.” to men, and, “suck my dick.” to women. I call my friends with vaginas “dudes.” I call my friends with penises “chicks.” If a boy cries at a chick flick he has a mangina—with internal man-ovaries and man-uterus attached.  If a girl can throw a curve ball she’s clearly a lesbian—which clearly means she has a mental penis.

Someone cuts me off in the rush to the exit on the subway and I tell him or her to, “suck my clit!” Yeah, I changed it. What? They are just words. They don’t own me. Or you. Or any ass hole. (Ass hole is okay to degrade someone with as everyone has one.)

We all walk with our genitals on our sleeve (or our mental genitals on our Armani spring-line three-piece-suits or cut-off flannel button-ups.) I’m a feminist, but some wouldn’t agree as I don’t get angry when gender is used as slang. Hell, I even shave my legs once in a while…but only when I think I’m going to hook up with a boy…if he’s cute…totally cute.

Still, I’m proud of my gender and wouldn’t want a penis, as that would be gay. If any feminazi is still listening to this she is positive I’ve set the movement back to 1956. Fuck her. She’s an ass hole. (You see? That wasn’t offensive.) 1956 would be invigorating because then the movement would be visible, and flowing, and we could get arrested while protesting, burn our bras, shout our rants, follow Rosy the Rivetor out of the kitchen and into the factory. Which is where I know I want to be.

Unfortunately, Victoria told me her secret: we like the support. And lots of materials chaffe nipples. I can say nipples because everyone has them. I like to cook, I’m even good at it when I occasionally make the attempt. I’m not offended when in the kitchen, but if someone were to tell me I belonged there, best believe I would kick her or him in his or her gender.

Or is that what they want? To get my silly little girl brain all frazzled even though they were just kidding? Oh. You were just kidding? Phew. Giggle. Oh. You were serious? Now your gender is swollen and bruised because I can’t take a serious. Oh. You’re a female? Why didn’t you say so? Then it’s fine either way.

You see? I’m a feminist. I just don’t like to admit it…but again, only when I think I’m going to hook up with a boy… if he’s cute… totally cute.

If a feminist-lesbian is being mean to me, and I call her a “cock-sucker,” am I in the wrong? Literally—yes. But I prefer to think I’m being ironic. I define it differently than Alanis Morrisette did in the mid-90s. She was so angry with Dave Coulier. But then again, anyone who had that much rage aimed at someone who starred in Full House would have issues with any man.

I can say“any man” in this case because I am in fact referring to the male species as a whole. Whole as in entire. Not hole as in Courtney Love or what the female species has between their legs. Can I say “their” in reference to women? How far do I have to break this down? I don’t even remember what I was talking about. It now takes me 20 minutes to state, then justify, any sentence that comes out of my mouth.

Can I say “my” in reference to my mouth even though I’m a female? Now I’m just being fucking absurd. Can I say absurd? Any who, any he, any her, I guess I wanted to rant with no point—or with several—depending on who my audience, and what his/her gender orientation, is at any particular moment. Ah man, that’s the second time I’ve put he before her or his before her in a slash situation.

I guess I’m sexist … even though I absolutely think women are better than man. I’m just kidding. I’m not sexist. But I am done with this topic forever. Or until sex comes up in coversation. We’ll see which happens first.”

As I paused and stared at the open-mouthed glares and snickering glances, I gave a slight nod and then this disclaimer, “If you found the humor in this: I meant every word. If you were offended by this: I meant every word. If you stopped listening to this at such points as ‘mangina’, ‘feminazi’ or ‘Dave Coulier’: I didn’t mean the word. Don’t be such a pussy. I was just being a dick.”

Completely proud of myself, I smiled and then asked the person to my left in our think-tank circle, “So what did you think of the Maya Angelo quote?” Everyone burst out laughing—it’s amazing what one can get away with when being clever. However, the question still remains, when gender is used as slang, what is more humorous: the person who is offended, or the person doing the offending. I, of course, remain neutral. 


Why I hate Blueberry Pancakes