The gender equal emperor/ empress penguin

“Hello, I am an emperor penguin. Well, empress, actually. Wouldn’t it be equal-er to say empress? I wonder why scientists choose such male-dominated gendered language for all of us? I came to my last-year’s nesting place to find my partner. Once a year, it’s us females who compete for males and most of us choose only one partner and, if possible, we like to reunite with our former partner. Though we try to look for each other at our previous nest, sometimes we’ll have to find a new partner (or partners), someone really good at trumpeting and swinging! The males tend to get really crazy! Then I choose the craziest one and we get crazy together! It helps us bond before we finally reach mutual understanding and recognition through bowing to each other. Isn’t that nice? It’s my favourite part. After mating, we choose a place where we’ll intermittently keep our baby egg warm. First, it’s my turn. I have to stand still and endure the harsh weather, oh… But I can do it! I also have help from my partner: he will stand in when I go out to the sea to get some food. Oh, it’s good to tend to myself for a while! While I’m away for several weeks, my mate will do exactly as I did: hold the egg on his feet and keep it warm with his body. It’s good to have someone to rely on; it’s our baby, after all. We’re a great team!” – a female Emperor Penguin, 10(lifespan 20), monologue recreated by Mateja.


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