In line with last week’s “pivot to dumb bitch energy,” as foretold by writer Kyrell Grant, comes a new essay from Andrea Long Chu about all the stupid things she wants, all the stupid things she doesn’t want, and leaving room for all the stupid things she might want in the future.
“Having a child, like heterosexuality, is a very stupid idea,” Chu writes in “Extreme Pregnancy,” a response to Merve Emre’s “All Reproduction is Assisted” forum in The Boston Review. She ties pregnancy to sex change, two forms of “body modification so extreme” that they “result in another person,” while musing on the nature of desire and wanting something we might never have.
I have no desire for children, which is easy to say when you’ve got spunk in the bank. I’m sympathetic with the idea of it, though: the idea of submitting your very substance to a senseless, deleterious, and basically selfish science experiment more or less guaranteed to run your politics off the road. Sex change, like having a child, is a very stupid idea. I’m not even supposed to write sex change; I’m supposed to write gender confirmation surgery, as if all the doctors did was to throw your inner woman a big thumbs-up. That’s ridiculous, obviously. Later this year, I will pay another person a lot of money to carve me into a different shape. She will probably do a good job, but it will be disappointing anyway. What I want isn’t surgery; what I want is never to have needed surgery to begin with. I will never be natural, but I will die trying.
You can read the rest of Chu’s essay on The Boston Review’s website. Not to tell you what you should want, but I Personally Believe that you should want to read the whole thing. In the age of being a selfish asshole and calling it self-care, her ideas on the nature of desire—found here in The Boston Review and in “On Liking Women,” this essay about Sex and the City for Post45, and lol my podcast—are truly refreshing.