In fact, as I’ve been saying for years to anyone who would listen, men (well, all male mammals) are pollinators. Seed, as botanists know, is the viable ovum of a female plant. It is quickened by pollen, the male plant’s contribution to propagation – except in cases of hermaphroditic or self-pollinating varieties. ‘Semen’ is an ignorant misnomer… the sperm that male mammals produce is the pollen of their species, and the eggs that females produce are the flowers. The pollinated seed is equivalent to the fertilised ovum.

I suppose we could still claim that the seed has to lie in “fertile soil” – the uterine lining- before it can sprout and grow into a new individual. But it might be interesting to think of the peach stone ripening inside its protective peach before, inevitably, dropping from the safety of the mother tree to earth, breaking free of the fruit / womb, etc… and the ‘soil’ being the uneven terrain of life that either nourishes or discourages a child’s development and an adult’s career.

The plough / seed narrative of male reproduction has been pernicious as well as ignorant. Time to retire it. Thanks to this author for reminding us all that we know better now.

Retired; ex-software engineer. Paleo-feminist. Sailor. Arduino tinkerer. Enviro. Libertarian Socialist (Anarcho-Syndicalist, kinda). Writer. Altermondialiste.

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