Thursday, April 02, 2009

If This Woman (Me) Were a Man, Easy-Peasy!

Maybe I'm weird, but ever since college, I've occasionally given thought to what I would be like if I were male. I'll probably get an argument from my male readers, but to me it really seems like a piece of cake.

Well, in all respects but one: playing sports. I've always been horrific at sports, and the idea of being in the 2 percentile at sports AND male is pretty daunting. I'm sure I could throw a ball better with male shoulders (heck, a male iguana can throw better than me), but still. I do not envy men what they go through as physical competitors while in school.

But that point aside, there are advantages at every turn. Gosh, where do I start?

1. Supporting a family and being "head of a household" are no biggie. I've been the main breadwinner for my family for more than half of my adult years (two different marriages) and managed the affairs of those households almost entirely. I've had to deal with the corporate world (legal, finance, etc.) and all the nightmares that entails, while having the disadvantage of not being taken seriously because I'm female. Done this stuff as a chick...would have been even easier as a guy.

2. Two words: no periods. Ladies, imagine how much easier life would be! Two more words: no pregnancies. Two more: no menopause. Nuff said.

3. I realize if I had a male disposition I would probably be less adept at interpersonal relationships and thus have the typical struggles men have with connecting with their kids. The mom thing is an advantage there. But this is offset by the fact that kids just don't have as high of expectations of their dads. I.e., a little paternal approval and attention goes a long way.

4. It would be SO much easier to be attractive to the opposite sex. I'll explain. Women have much lower standards for physical attractiveness. Assuming I was in the same percentile of objective good looks as a male as I am now as a female, I'd put me at approximately the 60 percentile. Certainly good enough for the majority of women. And absolutely not good enough for the majority of men. As a guy I would be pretty short, decent build except for slight pot belly, pretty damn good for 52. As a woman I am very slight of bust, and, well, 52. Bleah.

5. Which leads me to that issue: Men can be a force into their 60s and beyond. In most respects, women are over-the-hill at 40 by our society's standards.

6. Oops, back at sex appeal: I also know, as a woman, what women find sexy: competence, self-confidence and a sense of humor. I am fortunate to have all these. They are also things that the average man doesn't have at the top of his "want list" for the ideal woman. See how much better I would fare as a guy?

This is a short list, but you get the gist. I would love a shot at being the male version of myself for a year or so and see how well I would fare. Problem is, there are things about being a woman that I would hate to give up. Like being able to be with men without the challenges gay guys must face. And wearing women's clothes without the challenges transvestites must face. And being free to do anything you want without it seeming "unmanly"--like squealing at cute guys and cuddly animals, and doing crafts, and demonstrating physical affection to those of my own sex. And in spite of #2 above, I really liked birthin' babies.

I also will admit that it isn't always easy being a white guy, as nowadays they suffer a sort of backlash for all the generations during which they had the most power. For example, white men of today are not the ones who conducted the Inquisition, enslaved African-Americans, or fought against women's suffrage, and it isn't fair that there are often "sent to the end of the line" because of the errors of their great-great-grandfathers.

I'm also not trying to make the point here that women are superior to men, so don't think that I am. An awful lot of women drive me absolutely nuts. And a lot of my own so-called "feminine traits" also drive me nuts.

And guys, please don't take this smug little blog post as criticism of you. I like men, and know a lot of men I admire. I just happen to think it's less work to be an admirable man than a woman our culture looks upon as worthy of admiration (sadly). But please, go ahead and correct me if I'm wrong!

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