West Gender Jet
September 22, 2015
There is a moment, just before you step onto a Jet Airplane, where the umbilicus with accordion curves, isn’t flush against the nape of the metallic swan’s neck. If you happen to be gazing down, as you cross that threshold, from Knuckle-Dragger to Passenger, you get a final glimpse of solid ground for perhaps the last time.
Every one of us, at some point contemplating flying, whispers to their God, or whomever else you put on that Afterlife Channel; and either settles affairs, or bargains more time for better ways.
And as we surrender control to fate or chance, the mind wanders to potential Accomplices, in a future autopsy.
The lineup of Perpetrators varies; guised in the skill of the Pilot, fatigue of the aging Aircraft, underpaid Traffic Controller, distracted Mechanic, or De-Icer, in the midst of a divorce.
But this interaction, between You and Me, is not about My or Your fear of flying, unless you realize I am referring specifically to my insecurities, as they relate to how all of us, fly around on this shared speck, in a Dyson.
I hope this essay will illuminate the reasons for my displeasure, regarding how We conduct Ourselves.
Smiling condescendingly at each other, while we regurgitate the Employer’s lines with purchased smiles, while our values shoot daggers from our eyes.
And every so often, we leak, and reveal an oppressive secret that we typically only share with similarly bigoted friends, often very late at night, or through cables.
That last glimpse of Terra Firma on this occasion, the sudden departure from Humanity, came about due to 2 discreet variables, an effeminate male Flight Attendant, and my recent and inescapable abilities, to detect subtle misogynistic tendencies, still lingering in the general population.
On this particular Witch Hunt, aboard a West Jet flight, bound for Winnipeg, born in Comox, and bouncing off Calgary in the middle; it was only in retrospect that I wondered if a Redneck with the Designer’s frame, found his permanent residence in a city of Cowboys, or Island of Patchouli Nymphs.
And this handsome, and perhaps Homosexual Man, with neat enough shiny hair, that had seen its fair share of product, eyed a Lone Man, with 2 Daughters in tow.
Thinking about how Affirmative his Actions would be, he unconsciously, but deliberately, introduced myself and my daughters to the back of someone’s head, while he delightfully summarized it as: ‘Carol, our female Pilot’.
As I had mentioned earlier, it has only been quite recently, when the Emperor’s Cloak of many privileges, has begun to slip away.
Those being in no specific order: White, Male, Alive, Envious, Heterosexual, and Cis-Gender, which has allowed me the faculties, to detect the subtle aroma of Misogyny.
Before my Tympanic Membrane even vibrated, I could sense his overcompensation, as if the Carol’s gender mattered more than the Rick’s, in the other seat, pushing the same sticks.
And I wondered why he felt the need to inform My Girls that the accomplishments of a mere girl could rarely even equal a man’s, so at least they might believe they still grasped a winning ticket, in an impossible lottery.
I actually could not help myself, and asked if he had ever introduced a Pilot as ‘our male Pilot’ before, but I realized due to his faux pass (intentional), it was unlikely he was along for the ride anymore.
We were destined for different stations, in our understanding of us, and that is okay.
But I can’t help myself sometimes, and try to teach others a thing or two, about the ways I see it too, a few times, before I actually crash.
I didn’t go on to tell him, it would be equally inappropriate to introduce himself as a Homosexual Flight Attendant, but I will promise any reader, thus far, I accept and am amazed by ALL humans, from A to Pan.
The only issue I had, was his sneaky attempt (and I mean really sneaky like the kind of rat that scurries even under its own nose), in his fake kindness, to set low limits, on my Daughters’ future horizons.
My Daughters will be protected from any misguided meme, seeking to teach them accomplishments are related to Gender.
In fact, so far in my estimation, women can do anything men can do, and then that extra thing, called propagating the species.
That was some trip.
Simon Trepel, MD
Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada. He is an Assistant Professor, at the University Of Manitoba, in the Faculty of Medicine, and the Co-founder of the GDAAY Clinic. He is, more importantly, the proud Father of 2 beautiful Daughters. He writes in his spare time about things he knows something about, and occasionally about things he doesn’t; like Yoga, and Italian flavored coffees. I am much more sensitive while travelling.
Check out his Blog, called Simon Says Psych Stuff, at