look to the animals
Mother bears know how to self-medicate, did you know that? They seek out natural remedies for their own maladies in the wild. They also keep themselves alive while they teach their cubs how to fend for themselves, which is a lot for any single parent to handle.
But at least mother bears don’t have to make sure they strike just the right tone at the meeting in the principal’s office. At least nobody is telling mama bear that she would be irresistible to daddy bears if she stuck to an all-bird diet. Nobody’s selling the “Parakeeto” diet to mama bear.
At least, nobody who tried has lived to tell the tale.
I SAID I WANT A BREAD BASKET, ROBERT.
Female worker honey bees build the honeycomb, seal the honey, feed the young male drones, tend to the queen, pack the pollen, ventilate the hives, dispose of the dead, carry water to the hive, and guard the entrance to the hive. But they can’t have babies.
Poor things. They must feel so purposeless.
Male seahorses carry fertilized eggs in a pouch on their tails for about a month, then tend to their babies.
Male seahorses get a lot of fucking credit for that, is all I’m saying.
When was the last time someone was like, “Oh hey look a wallaby,” and you were like, “Did you know a female wallaby carries her baby in a pouch, too, and did you also know that as soon as the first baby moves into the pouch, she can mate again, and freeze the second pregnancy in stasis at about 100 cells until the pouch becomes available again?”
No, nobody talks about the fucking miracle of wallaby reproduction on-demand. When female animals give birth, bros at National Geographic take another bite of their breakfast burrito and shrug. “And? It’s her fucking job, isn’t it?”
But when a seahorse daddy poops out a fry of seacolts and fillies, we swoon all over him like we’re twitterpated flight attendants and he just successfully changed a single fucking diaper while his wife ate her first meal of the week. “Oh, look at that seahorse, what a wonderful daddy he is. You’re so lucky, mommy seahorse. He’s a keeper.”
“Reproduction is energetically costly to the male,” a gentleman at Wikipedia felt it was important to point out on the seahorse page. “This brings into question why the sexual role reversal even takes place.”
Interesting point, Wikipedia man. I am preparing my counter argument. Right now, point one is, “Your face is energetically costly.” Point two: “Your mom told me your dad is energetically costly.”
Elephants and orcas live in matriarchal social groups, where the oldest female leads the entire group.
Elephants and orcas surveyed the potential leaders for their species and told the 2-year-old males to tuck their ding-dongs in and take several thousand seats. “We pick the Helen Mirren of elephants and the Tina Turner of Orcas.” So spake the animals. Look to the animals, for they are wise.
One time, in South Korea, a male banded houndshark bumped into a female sand tiger shark in their shared tank. Not sure why he had to be swimming all up on her. Bro, there was a lot of tank.
Anyway, the female sand shark took 21 hours to eat him, which is why I’ve got this tattoo of a sand tiger shark on my fucking face now.
Lionesses do all the hunting, most of the territory protection, and share cub-care. Yep, they provide the food, safeguard the homestead, and raise the next generation.
Meanwhile, the “leader” of the pride sleeps on the rocks and only wakes up to yell at somebody, eat before everyone else, or take the occasional swing at another male who starts sniffing around his crew.
Male lions are throwing me a real big Tony Soprano vibe lately.
Yes, that makes Carm, Livia, and Janice the lionesses. That trio of quiet, efficient, ice-cold, all-business murderesses should scare you way more than one grumbly bro who sleeps 19 hours a day with his last meal stuck to his face.
Anytime you start to wonder if you’re doing this “woman” thing right, just remember that you are a member of the great family, the family of beasts and birds. (Yes, I may have watched the Lion King this weekend with my kids, but stick with me.)
Across the board, your sisters are herd-leading, hive-building, self-medicating, shark-slaying, wildebeest-dropping heavyweight champion heroes who wake up every day with light sparking in their eyes, who handle their shit because that’s just how they do, and who can, in some cases, speak their own cells to stillness and remind them to wait, wait until the time is right.
Oh, and seahorses.
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Now get out there and slay your day like it’s a South Korean shark who just bumped into you. Clearly, it should’ve asked somebody.