Angela Bocage



A young male’s harem! Older females’ infected brains! Is this, like, a late April Fools…with Whales?!

A nature show my sweet wife left on TV for white noise was addressing creodont-to-cetacean evolution, but once that had hooked my ADD brain in, it soon enough pissed me off with a description of a whale male joining a pod and fertilizing some female whales as “he forms a harem…the writhing bodies stimulate the young male.” And then, describing the pod structure of pilot whale life, no sooner does the plummy-toned O.W.M. narrator grudgingly admit they’re organized around experienced adult female leaders than he launches into speculation that the older females lead the pods to suicidally beach themselves because of ear and brain parasites. Oy.

Hey–look at lions. I did a teeny comic about them once in a 3D cartoon anthology, so trust me a minute here. What’s lion life really like? The girls choose what guys they keep around, which ones get to reproduce, which ones even get to eat, that’s what. “King of Beasts served by his harem” my luscious ass! Leo’s a big ol’ baby and Leonie and Leah do the real work! 

So what did this baleen orgy really look like? I psychically tuned into the female whales to find out. The young ladies, it turns out, were sayin’ to each other–all of this in far more expressive and nuanced Whalish of course, but I’ll go ahead and render it in my own native split-personality English–first one says, “Ladies dontchu even think about leavin’ me alone with the sperm donor fogoshsakes!” And then another goes, “Whatta you tawakin’, we only let ‘im come neeah the pod for a few houahs a yeahh, stahhp kvetching-g–we’ll awwl be theah just like awwlwayz!” And then they’re all rubbing and swooping around. “Ah swayah, is he evah gohna git duhhhnnn?!” asks the third rhetorically. Then the water fills with a cloudy liquid, the gals roll around in it, and then they’re out of there. They’re not no harem–they’re cetacean sistahs who are sharing a donor, hello!

All this is me bein’ pretty silly, perhaps. But the leader of my pod, if I had my druthers–and was a pilot whale–would be the brilliant thealogian*/scholar-witch Mary Daly. Mary has had to time travel, a lot, in both directions, to hook up with Matilda Joslyn Gage and the future-Amazons of Lost and Found Continent, and what she’s learned thereby is now available to all of us women and critters caught in the truly messed up world of the early 21st century in her most recent book Amazon Grace. She lays it out: animals, religion, the environment, runaway anti-Biotic technology…in her inimitably spirited, poetic language, she presents an uncompromising philosophy grounded in the ethic of loving life. Don’t just get this book–read it aloud in good company, and similarly, all its predecessor works: they’re available at www.marydaly.net. Tell her I sent you! (*not a misspelling!)

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