No, not more than human. Just human—but more than males and females, which is purely an animal designation. Physically we are all animals. That is because we identify with the bodies we inhabit, even as we identify with our jobs or areas of expertise.
Once, the designation “ladies” and “gentlemen” identified members of our species who displayed grace, charm and excellent manners. These titles died with the dissolution of “upper classes”, not to mention with the demise of exemplary manners.
Later, but before graphics took over our literary world, in England where I lived at the time, the public washrooms were identified with signs of “ladies” and “gentlemen”. Now, in Canada, those two offensive words are no longer in public vocabulary. They fell into disuse, and have been substituted by “males” and “females”. It seems that women are no longer proud to be women, let alone ladies. Now they seem to wish to be differentiated from other members of the Homo sapiens only by their sexual, or perhaps hormonal, orientation and reproductive ability. They do so by displaying their primary and secondary sexual characteristic to the extremes permitted by law. The absence of good taste reduced “ladies” to “women”, and then to “females”.
Men were not left far behind. After Beau Brummell liberated them from giving poor impersonations of dandyish peacocks, they went through a short phase of manhood, only to sink to the other extremes of displaying their dubious masculinity by reverting to their simian origins. They build up testosterone muscles instead of brains, and display three-day stubble for their female counterparts to admire. As for men’s or now males’ attire, any remnants of elegance remained the domain of people in public service, and this none too often.
Whatever happened to ladies and gentlemen? And I don’t just mean as designations for public washrooms.
I’m at a loss to find either members of the species who’d be proud to display how they advanced beyond their animalistic urges. I do not deny women’s right to display their god-given curves, their voluptuous pulchritude, but don’t they have anything else to offer?
Did I mention that I love women?
And can’t young men get a shave, put on a pair of trousers in which the crotch rises above their knees, and the beltline is kept above the crack of their buttocks? Couldn’t they pretend, once a week, to be men, let alone gentlemen? Surely that would not be too offensive to the other members of the species.
Yet, I refuse to give up. Perhaps I am an incurable optimist. Perhaps, in desperation, I’m reaching out too far, but there are moments in my life when only thoughts of the future sate my need for order, harmony and the resulting beauty. And even then, it rests on the shoulders of the proverbial Few. It is with this in mind that I offer you a man and a ‘woman’ who may satisfy your needs. Perhaps they are both superhuman? You might decide.
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