It was so wholly good to take a day off, get out of town, and do something strange that I almost thought that was all I was going to say about it. Or even that I wasn't going to say about it, just relax and put up some photos.
Elephant seals are so bizarre and, as always seems to happen when observing other species and their sex relationships and reproductive behaviors, many comparisons were made to humans. Well. We could play that game all day, and for every behavior that reinforced the patriarchy you could find one in monkeys or seahorses or what have you that subverted it. The point being that it's pointless. Whether or not you agree with Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen that "Nature is what we were put here to rise above," we've got to stop pointing to animals that suit our purposes and say "Look, they do it." We're people. We've got to decide what that means.