Week 4. Roles

The male wasp is born inside the fig and never leaves. The fig is not actually a fruit, but a flower that doesn’t open. The male mates with his sisters and dies. The sisters leave carrying pollen to another fig. Here they lay their eggs.

At the start of this week, I thought I would focus on gender roles. My desire for gender vacations. To try out something else on the spectrum. As a low femme female, I sometimes want to masquerade as high femme. Or, maybe, be male for a few hours. I was thinking too of how when pregnant, everyone looked aggressive and androgynous. But the fig and wasp took over my pens with their myth-like ecology.

Gender roles are assigned to figs. In Italy, fruits are female, except the fig, un fico, is male. The female, una fica, is a dirty word, something like cunt. Exactly what the fig looks like.

Something’s been bothering me, E. It’s to do with how we view evolution as a process of selection. But what of the fact that so much evolution depends on evading selection? Where in the equation do we build the variable of chaos, of running away, hiding, tricking, forgetting, or role-changing?

Viruses are probably cellular material that once went rogue. They know us well.

Last year, researchers found that Lassa virus, discovered in 1969, was more than 1,000 years old. Epitopes on its surface proteins have been using mouse and human hosts to evade selection pressures.

We could talk about virus progression in the small parts of us, but it comes down to this: interpretation of code leading to transformation, vas journeys, trickery leading to opportunity, many forms of attachment. Invasion: reception? Taken over: given over?

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