The Food for Thought question this week is:
If you could spend one day as a member of the opposite sex, would you? If so, how would you spend that day?
I’ve thought long and hard about it, and I think my answer is no. Truth is, I’m really happy I’m female. (However, don’t ask me this question when I’m menstruating. The answer will be very different!) Killer cramps and monster mood swings aside, though, I firmly believe men have their own equally difficult burdens to bear.
Socialization is the big one. Men are taught from childhood that they are expected to always be strong, never show weakness. There’s a certain expectation of success they’re pressured to measure up to. (Not saying these things don’t apply to the fairer sex, these binary gender roles, but really, I think women get more attention in this area. Things are tough both ways, and we need to remember that.)
Some of these standards are slowly falling away, I think. But I’m not sure we’ll ever be free of them. I honestly don’t think I could handle the pressures of being male. Perhaps it’s because I’m accustomed to the pressures of being female. Would I like to be able to pee anywhere? YES! Who wouldn’t? But that’s not a tradeoff I’m willing to make.
(And you haven’t really lived until you’ve peed in a horse stall in a public barn with a territorial mare staring you down… but perhaps that’s a story for another day. Just saying, lack of a penis didn’t stop me!)
On the other side of it, though, if I were allowed one day to know what it felt like being male, I might like it! Then to have to go back… Hmm.
I’ve never been the truly traditional female though. I’ve always had the attitude towards ‘boys’ that ‘anything you can do, I can do at least as well.’ I grew up in a family where boys and girls alike were taught how to survive, to take care of ourselves. I make a fantastic apple pie, but I also have a basic knowledge of the internal combustion engine. I enjoy mopping the floors, but I find as much pleasure in mucking stalls. I crochet, but I also love to get down in the dirt in my garden. I love it when a man stands up for me, but if he’s not around, I have a high powered rifle and know how to use it. When it comes to the things I enjoy, I enjoy girly stuff. I like to dress up, I like flowery things, things that smell nice, etc. I will always choose feminine when the choice is afforded. I would rather be in my kitchen than under the hood of a truck! (I skinned all my knuckles last week wrestling the clip off a ‘67 Ford’s master cylinder… I was swearing the lack of an available man to do this ‘blue job!’)
I’m not sure how having a penis would change much for me.
The bottom line for me is, no matter how we’re plumbed, we’re all human. In that, we share a common experience.
Check out Food For Thought Friday and tell everyone what you think!