The source in Russian


Victor vs. Victoria


By Alla Akselrod


My work is connected with a computer, so I try to go for a walk at least once a day and stretch my numb body. Usually I carry dog treats with me, because I love dogs (I have cats at home) and make acquaintances with all the dogs and dog lovers in our village.


Yesterday I saw an unfamiliar couple of kids walking an adorable freshly trimmed Shih tzu puppy. I gladly rushed in their direction. The puppy (it turned out to be a girl) squealed happily, taking dog candy from me, and licked my fingers. I was happy and responded to her delight with a happy lisp – I didn’t notice how it jumped out of me in Russian, like “Oh, you are my honey, what a pretty little cutie,” and the similar slobbering rubbish that comes out of me when I have a deal with animals.


The children were terribly delighted to hear my Russian speech. It turned out that we are fellow countrymen. In a minute, I found out more information than I needed. They are from Moscow, 3 years here, the mom married an American on a marriage announcement and now she does not pay attention to the kids at all. She always goes somewhere with their new dad – either to the islands or to Europe (or rather, they used to do it before the virus), or they disappear in the bedroom, "and we know what they are doing there!" – proudly announced the eldest child of 15 years old. The new dad is constantly at work, and the mom is on the computer or on the phone, or goes shopping. But they buy everything for us, including this dog, only now we need to walk with it and pick up poop. Here it is, – the child finished with air of resentment, showing a plastic bag of dog's good.


The youngest, Mark, was 7 or 8. As to the eldest, I found it difficult to determine the sex; it looked like she was 15. Her name was Vicky. Linen hair, not very short, stylish haircut, not boyish, but not girlish either – girls do not like short hair – sky blue eyes, soft lovely girly features. I nevertheless became insolent and asked head-on if she was a boy or a girl. What have I got to lose? They can always be offended, and we would just say goodbye. At first the child was embarrassed, but then she began to pour out quite openly to this friendly aunt-countrywoman, almost suitable for her as a grandmother, which, obviously, she did not have, alas.


“You see, at first I was Vicky. Then the teacher in the class said that I can be who I want. Well, I thought about it and decided that I could try to be a boy, especially since the boys always offended me, laughed at me, called me a fool, pushed me off the bike, and when these things began to grow (she poked herself in the chest), it became completely intolerable. So more that there is another one at our school there who initially was a girl. Therefore I thought ... that means ... I'll grow up – I'll buy a pistol or a machine gun, and I'll kill everyone!" And she (I decided in my mind to assume the female gender choice for her) demonstrated exactly how she would kill everyone, grabbing an imaginary bazooka with both hands and loudly barking “Ba-ba-ba-bah!!! I will grow up, I will become strong, I will be big, strong and I will kill everyone!"


This wild speech did not fit the face of the young princess – though she was short-cropped and dressed in typical unisex clothes: a tattered sweater with hanging threads, torn jeans with holes in the knees (all these, of course, being clean and fashionable sold as though already worn and taken out of the garbage bag), sneakers of an expensive brand, everything like in all children of her age.


She continued: “I will drive high-speed cars and ride horses like cowboys in movies...”. The teen's eyes blurred and she began to speak out her story. “Finally I told it to my mother. Mom said she was OK with this decision. It seemed she did not really hear me as she was speaking on Skype with her friend at this time. However I guess she did hear me, because we went to Nordstrom, and she bought me all the new outfits for boys with my father's credit card. Cool! Mom liked it! She generally loves to go shopping and buy whatever she likes: especially when it's not she who pays for it! "The child (not stupid at all) giggled. Well, in no way is she a child, I thought; I must not think of her as though about a kid.


"Our new dad also said it was "so c-o-ool": now everyone does that."


The younger brother Mark, meanwhile, was walking the Shih tzu dog a couple of steps in front of us, and we trudged behind, talking quietly so that he would not hear: the topics now were not for children's ears.


Vicky-Victor was silent for a couple of minutes. “Only these things are already visibly growing in me,” – she again poked embarrassed into the breasts completely invisible to me for the time being, “And I bleed. This is terrible!". She suddenly cried out in a whisper, if one can shout in a whisper. Her face was suddenly contorted in horror. “This means that I will have to undergo surgery! And cut it all! And sew on everything else! And take hormones to grow facial hair! And I'm so afraid! I'm afraid! Maybe I don't want to be a boy anymore! Maybe I've already changed my mind! Maybe I, on the contrary, want to be a girl again! Yes, girls are stupid, but all the same, it's cool to be a girl and wear cool clothes, like mom when she goes out to a restaurant, and put on makeup, and wear cool shoes, and in general ... "


Now Victoria was almost crying...


I put my hand on the shoulder of the poor girl – GIRL, damn it!!! A terrible rage burned in me: the rage I had no right to release outside.


“Vicky,” I said as gently as possible, because I didn't know what the neighbors would think: this is a society of politically correct madmen. “Maybe you can tell your mom that you've changed your mind; that you don't want to be a boy any more?"


"No!" – Vicky screamed. "No, no, no!". Mom has already made an appointment with the surgeon and spent so much money! And anyway, she doesn't like talking to me! She says that I distract her with all sorts of nonsense – look how she bought me so many different gadgets. And it's not even this which is really terrible. They'll laugh at me at school! They are already laughing at me – I'm a stranger anyway, I'm crazy, I’ve been getting used to it for so long, I learned the language, I didn’t know and didn’t understand so many things ... They would call me a loser! No, no, no!!!"


What to do, I thought in despair? This is absolutely none of my business. I have no right – moreover, I will make Vicky worse, and I will invite countless problems on myself. I was angry up to white heat: at this worthless mother, at the nightmarish teacher, at this whole hellish system of education, which teaches something incomprehensible, at this society, crippling young souls ... And at myself, who does not have the slightest opportunity to fight these EVILS which swallow our world and elate in self-satisfaction from the feeling of its righteousness.


This EVIL is worse than any virus.