Somebody had to do it. Somebody had to point out the myriad atrocities of discrimination committed against the female sex, and somebody had to sue for reparations. At the moment of this epiphany, I was the only one with the audacity and the legal skills to do it. So I filed a lawsuit against God. Not really anyone’s God in particular, since I was willing to consider the possibility of any or all religions being wrong. Though I guess, it being a monotheistic entity by the name of ‘God’ with certain flaws like a vague façade of charity slapped over a well of cruelty to women, I was picking the Christian God. You know, Mister I Made Mary Suffer For No Specific Reason At All.
Well, I could start there and move on to all those other deities that were only credited with minor modifications to men and women—those would require more research. As a universal creator, this God was universally guilty. Have you read Genesis? ‘Male and female he created them.’ Book 1, Verse 27. It’s right there. Admission of guilt, allegedly in His own words. Not that, with my skills, I even needed such a dubious passage for the inculpation.
At first, the Atheists made fun of me to no end—filing a lawsuit against that which doesn’t exist! Ridiculous! (They gave up once they found something better to do. I suspect my suggestion to come after their precious reason helped, too. Because let’s face it, even random evolution can’t explain half the shit going on inside a woman’s body.)
The polytheistic religions wanted to sue me for discrimination, but then I suggested suing their Gods, one by one or all at once, not that it mattered. All that mattered was the justice. So they left me alone, too.
And the Christians? Oh, they’re still burning crosses in my front yard. Jerks.
Eventually, though, the egalitarians—and some of the feminists, though I had to ask the radical ones to be less vocal about man-hating, that would just make matters seem fairer in the eyes of someone as completely out of touch as God—had to agree with me. After all, this God person has been really unfair to females. Let’s look at His track record in the Bible. There are all sorts of previous, uncleared offenses, like that whole mess with blaming Eve for Adam’s temptation and, hey, what about turning Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt, thus forcing Lot’s daughters into unconscionable vice? Or maybe a close examination of the way that mess with Rachel and Leah just created unrealistic expectations of beauty for women. Don’t even get me started on the later books or the New Testament at all, seeing as how the women are barely even there, except when they’re busy slutting it up. Ruth gets the high honor of giving birth to—no surprises there—David’s grandfather, so that’s two more men securing her claim to fame. Hell, even Queen Esther isn’t allowed to be an altruist. And we’ll talk about Judith once she’s allowed back into the Bible.
I’d rather start from, as it were, the beginning. Multiplying sorrows in labor and conception is absolutely unfair, especially with that little monthly inconvenience. Is a veritable fountain of blood pouring out of my vagina on a regular basis really a necessary reminder as far as original sin goes? ‘Hey, Eve, I know you already fell and all that, but because I think you’re a complete moron I’m going to make you miserable every fucking month.’
No, it isn’t.
And that’s what really won me my supporters. PMS. How many women every single day in every single part of the world want to kill their husbands or gorge themselves on junk food because of those malfunctioning hormones? And the amount of money spent on all those little ‘feminine hygiene’ products, the pills for horrible stomach cramps, the embarrassment of not being able to swim for three or more days…. The environmental cost of burning dirty tampons and generating all that plastic shouldn’t be underestimated, either. But that’s just secondary: I only threw that argument in there last minute when I realized the hippies weren’t coming on board in the droves I was expecting.
Even the men and the anti-greeners agreed that PMS needs to be done away with. Though I think that one was prompted by the Million Hormonal Women March—the mess in the cities throughout the world, not to mention the amount of men mysteriously pushed out of windows, was remarkable. Boyfriends, husbands, and even confirmed bachelors and homosexual men couldn’t resist the appeal of women never doing that again. Day of Defenestration, Prague, 1618? Suck it. (Which, by the way, is yet another point of frustration. I never met a self-respecting woman who could tell someone to go ‘suck it’ without going through a moment of self-doubt. Suck what, exactly?)
So I had worldwide support, and the funds poured in from every imaginable source, except of course those fundamentalists who refused to accept that men can screw up, even when they happen to be God. Famous lawyers offered their services, but I declined—this, I said, was between God, me, and every single woman who’s sick of her physical makeup. How is a woman, I said, expected to live in the twenty-first century with a chest that wobbles every time she walks, muscles that atrophy unless she exercises every single day, and a tendency to cry whenever she’s frustrated whether or not she wants to? And what about having a career when you’ve got to feed a little baby with breast milk all day long because the little parasites are born without any sort of immune system?
People of the world, this sort of discrimination cannot continue. It is not only the eternal struggle of being female in a world designed for males that drives this need, but it is also the bad name given to God from this whole debacle. Cui bono? Nobody.
Yes, people of the world. God Himself is embarrassingly positioned when He is forced to admit that He was unfair to females, throwing multiple burdens upon them, only one of which is the whole childbirth debacle just to continue our supposedly exalted species. How, I asked, is God supposed to have created the best species on the planet this unequally, and that too in His own image? No other species deals with such embarrassment upon its females—well, they weren’t meant to consciously note anything wrong with their lives—and no other species goes through nine months of hell. Humans should lay eggs or something; it’s fairer to the women. Or, if we were meant to be divinely inspired, how about a more creative take on reproduction? I mean that literally. ‘And they said, “let there be a cute little baby with his eyes and her smile,” and there was a cute little baby.’ See?
I explained myself in detail in at least twenty different televised speeches and countless more treks across seventeen different countries. Finding a translator was a nightmare in countries like France, where the population is all too complacent with the oddities of their religion, but I managed somehow. Most people know English, anyway.
But the worst part was getting the approval of the Pope, who was close enough to God—that whole thing with servus servorum dei, you know, poking St. Peter to poke God—to request His or a representative’s presence when the trials would commence, in totidem verbis. It took me a long time, during which a thousand new people were ready to argue for me (no, I said; I would do it myself), and my funds started running low as I had to keep bribing the Swiss Guards to let me stay longer. But, at last, I came up with an argument to convince the Pope himself.
“God,” I said, “is infallible, no? Meaning that He always does the right thing, i.e. good?”
The Pope gravely nodded his head, causing his exalted hat to slide off. For a moment, his dignity was ground into dust—he scrambled to balance both the scepter and the miter, which I assume becomes much more difficult once you pass eighty, even if you are holding to all those insane restrictions about eating, drinking, screwing, etc.
I took the fall of the hat as a portent of my victory, and was soon proven correct.
“Today, it is considered good to be equal.” He nodded again; I hoped it wasn’t just a tic. “But it is unequal of God to force women into greater misery than men! And therefore, something must be done to rectify this error, else God is not good—and I presume you have been allowed to study Nietzsche, sparing me the trouble of reiterating his arguments.”
“Mein Gott! She’s right,” the Pope said, and removed his stole. He sighed, then agreed to call St. Peter to call God as I had requested.
I suspected divine intervention…not that I’m thanking anyone or anything like that. Unless you can find a god who wanted everyone to be equal from the start, that is.
The call took far shorter than I expected. One normal Catholic Mass for which the Pope was conveniently sick, but was in reality hiding out in some secret underground chamber where the—I don’t know, power of prayer, something like that—was improving the signal to Heaven. I sat outside the room on a velvet chair. Waiting and waiting, I studied the rococo curves while I waited for him to sort things out. There was a whole lot of black gunk in the little whorls, which made me wonder how much God really took an interest. Surely He could keep his own house clean? Unless He’d invented the notion of the domestic sphere, too. I was never an ardent feminist until I started arguing this case, but some of my own logic was getting to me. Like any good lawyer, I believed my client was—in this case—utterly guilty.
The loud sounds of people exiting the cathedral woke me up. At the same time, the enormous wooden doors creaked open. Someone had set up the lighting so it spilled out nicely, illuminating the Pope from behind and making him look like a movie-grade villain.
“It is done,” he told me gravely, ruining the effect with more nodding.
“Great,” I said. “So what now?”
“A representative will discuss matters with you.” He buzzed the ‘th’ on with a little, which might have made me giggle if I weren’t busy composing my statement.
I went through the doors, which to my surprise hid a room that looked like any other. Only the skylight, letting through a single brilliant ray, stood out—and that would not have seemed out of place if I didn’t know this room was underground. If I hadn’t, in fact, walked directly down the stairs behind the altar to get here.
But, like any good lawyer, I knew better than to show how impressed I was. For all I knew, they just had some clever illumination tricks. Electricians could pull this off, right?
A soft voice from the light reminded me just what I was supposed to be doing here.
Once communications with the defendant, God, were opened, it was short work to set up a date and place for the trial. The Metatron would represent God—in fact, he was acting as the resident mouthpiece for our conference, too—and I would represent the world, specifically its human and female components, and the trial would occur…in, well, Malibu.
I swear I didn’t choose the location. In fact, it never would have crossed my mind—all I imagined was some traditional courtroom, all old wood and angry faces in wigs, in some traditional setting like the English Parliament or, more patriotically, the Supreme Court. So I left the actual location to God, as a way of making it clear that I wasn’t trying to force Him into any corners. His reasoning, insofar as I can figure out the mind of a celestial chauvinist, was because He thought it would be the best place to find a little sympathy against the decadence of human beings. But that’s cynical and perhaps even unfair to Him. He was, after all, very nice about the entire jury selection thing. Considering God’s lack of peers, it would be difficult to find twelve people for the job unless some of the polytheistic deities and maybe an angel or two were willing to volunteer, and I had no way of contacting them. For instance, I had no intention of digging through the Nordic lands until I found Odin.
“It is unnecessary,” the Metatron informed me in the same low whisper. In a human court, he would have lost the case merely by boring the jury to death. With his voice, not with that ridiculous blue ray of light.
“But it’s not fair, and this trial is about equality!”
“God states that such will not present a problem. Indeed, He is willing to permit the world of human citizens alongside the angels and Christian saints to partake in the process of determining who deserves to win; and He shall offer the sight of the trial unto all for its complete duration.” I wondered if it were appropriate to exclude all the other deities out there, but realized this could swing some votes in my favor. Judging by the state of my yard, a lot of people were fans of God. I needed all the support I could get.
“So basically, you’re saying that God will make sure that everyone sees and votes on this?”
“Yea, for He is a just, righteous god.” Yeah, right, indeed.
“What about witnesses? Who’s going to testify for both sides?”
“God expects thee to act as thine own counsel; for He shall verily defend Himself. Yea, thou shalt speak for thyself and thy misguided cause, and I will speak for Him, and we shall be the only speakers in this court, save for the upraised voices of His followers and compatriots bearing upon thy conscience.” Excuse me, ‘His’ followers and compatriots? Not this time, at least not on this particular point. And I knew my conscience was clear enough, since I didn’t have to defend any obviously guilty criminals this time.
“Alright then. Guess I’ll need plane tickets to Malibu,” I said, deciding to save all my wit for the actual occasion. The Metatron didn’t seem the type to appreciate it.
“That may be arranged in a moment without any inconvenience to thy person, albeit that of shock, a minor thing when all else that plagues thy race is considered.” Long-winded, I thought, and wondered if the Metatron were trying to intimidate me.
And then everything went black—well, not quite black, more the sort of dull grayish fade accompanied by dull grayish noise. It reminded me of being backstage.
I reappeared in Malibu, California a few minutes later on—shockingly enough—a completely empty beach. Not even a carelessly discarded Rolex marked the area as inhabited by humans. I took note of the location so that I could come on my own time, although I suspected it was all an illusion constructed to give the area some sense of dignity, insofar as that were possible in a place like this. But before I could fully appreciate the pristine surroundings, the full accoutrements of a courtroom appeared—somber wooden rows, the witness stand, the lawyer’s seat, the judge’s elevated position.
A perfect replica of Earth, complete with the million satellites launched by mankind for its pleasure and convenience, and a surprisingly thick layer of space debris, hovered in the judge’s seat. It was visible above the long mahogany bench, casting a soft shadow onto the gavel. I spent a long time staring at it in awe before collecting my wits, even though I was somewhat tempted to ask why it wasn’t wearing the official wig—Metatron was, I suspected, a real amicus curiae. After all, I was there to argue the most important case that any human could ever argue, even if I were somehow in a Hawaiian-print tee and short shorts—an outfit not suited to the present decade, much less a courtroom. And my witnesses were the most important that would ever be found in the Universe: everyone.
Although God, as the accused, had the first right to speak, He insisted it was I who was the real defendant here, for insisting that the long-standing order of things had to be changed. I half expected the lazily spinning globe to make an ex parte announcement, but found myself compelled to start after three or four minutes of standing there in an uncomfortable silence.
My argument was simple. Woman, though expected to share the burden of household responsibilities and denied the representation men gain for their role outside the home, has to put up with far more physical difficulties than the males of the human species. Inter alia, all the changes to a woman’s physiology from puberty to menopause, and everything that goes with the birthing process. I felt myself warm into a glorious, righteous rant, and spoke for at least two hours. At the end of my speech, the little spinning Earth—which, I noticed, was even split between light and shadow in accordance with the current time of day—erupted into cheers. Tiny cheers from a tiny planet, but nevertheless genuine enough. I was surprised I couldn’t hear anything just from the local environs.
True, the voices were predominantly female; but what else would be expected of men? They’re all misogynistic in the end because they don’t have to cope with feminine problems. Even the ones who want to be feminists—or even egalitarians—will never understand.
At last, the cheering died out and it was the real defendant’s turn to speak. God had only one thing to say through the Metatron: that what He had decided was ineffable, and it was far removed from the human race to even consider questioning this inequality. And were we women not blessed with better relationships and concord? Small fruit, I replied, to wash away the bitter taste of childbirth, and the constant gossip of those not endowed with the absurd physical traits expected of women.
More cheers erupted. The Metatron shook his head, a gesture that seemed to be a direct reflection of God’s own thoughts. It was a shame I couldn’t see any of the angels or saints; it would have been interesting to know what they were thinking. I could imagine St. Catherine questioning the need for that business with the wheel.
I sat down on the bench provided for the prosecution, watching the Metatron as he announced that it was time to vote. To the empty air, but supposedly everyone could hear him anyway. He remained where he was, right in front of the judge’s chair. Staring at the Earth, daring it to fight millennia of injustice.
As the vivid orange sun sunk closer to the Pacific Ocean, bouncing strange colors on the blue sea that danced across my vision as nervously as I felt inside, the jury began voting. The procedure was simple enough: think either in favor of equality or in favor of maintaining the order, and what will be, will be. How they all knew what to do, I wasn’t sure, although it seemed like child’s play for God to make sure everyone able to understand what was at stake would participate and their votes would be counted. I just hoped it wasn’t also child’s play for Him to rig the results.
The Metatron shot me a disdainful look, as if he’d been reading my thoughts. Not that he was capable of any other expression, but this one seemed more squinty-eyed and upturned than what I had seen thus far. I blinked, and pretended to take an interest in some of the seagulls just down the shore from us. Heedless of the direction human history was taking right in front of them, they were fighting over garbage. I wondered if I could convince God to get rid of them, too.
All of a sudden, glowing gold numbers appeared in mid-air. They whizzed in succession, counting until they reached a total of…. I blinked, wondering if the light reflected off the figures had temporarily dazzled me. The unpleasant smell of sewage wafting all the way from Los Angeles brought me back to my senses.
No, this was real. Very, very real.
3,500,090 in favor of equality; 3,500,002 against.
“WHAT?!” the Metatron roared. And I really mean roared, I still don’t know how I came out of this with intact eardrums. The whole setup wafted into the air as ashes without even stopping for a moment in flames, exposed to the full force of his rage. And the Metatron was fueled by the vindictiveness only God could throw at a physical object.
“I won, fair and square,” I said. Like a true lawyer, I kept my cool, even in the face of the greatest victory ever. And, for that matter, in the face of my own potential disintegration—considering the way things had gone for the podium, I was strongly reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah at the moment. But this was more important than just one woman: this was for all women. I had to stay on track.
“The rules of the engagement insist that You right things or step aside and authorize someone else to right them, but still ensure the execution of a plan to create true equality,” I said. I was no longer thinking about the consequences of my words—after all, I had already won the most important battle of my life. Considering God’s generosity in letting us mere mortals decide what was and wasn’t fair, I expected Him to continue in such a line of thought.
God picked up on this, and with a wave of His hand, caused me to rematerialize in my own home to many cheers from my supporters, who I assumed had come early to congratulate me. I could only presume that He was up in His lair finalizing a fair and equal solution.
At last! I—no, women in general—thought. No more childbirth; no more pain! Our wildest hopes would soon be fulfilled. A woman would surely be President the next time around, for our mental superiority would now be made evident, and more importantly unimpacted by those ludicrous problems of birth, hormones, and general shortness.
But the factors managed to conspire against us yet…and now my situation is most embarrassing. Believe me when I say I write this from an undisclosed location, missing old comforts. Not that it wasn’t a valuable life lesson—I plan to appeal to some of the Deities who are now out of a job. Eventually—even those fertility goddesses know how to pour on the righteous rage.
God has a bastard sense of humor.
He turned us all into men...
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