Just For The Day

Just for a day, I think it would be quite interesting to be a man. For all kinds of reasons, actually. I mean, what does it actually feel like to get an erection? Let alone have sex from a man’s perspective. What’s it like, as a man, to give a woman an orgasm; what is foreplay like from a male perspective? But that’s just the obvious ones. What’s it like to be able to pee standing up, for the really unladylike curious side of me?

But actually there are other things I wonder about just as much. What’s it like to be taller than most people around you, rather than shorter? What’s it like to be able to carry a computer, a chair, heavy shopping, without feeling like your arm is going to fall off afterwards; what’s it like to be able to lift your own weight and do a full pull-up? I’m assuming that I would be an averagely fit sort of a man, here, because I’m reasonably fit for a girl (though not terribly strong). What’s it like, worse, to struggle with carrying something or whatever and to not be able to admit you’re struggling because that isn’t manly and wouldn’t look good, where I can merrily get any man around me to carry my stuff – from friends and my father and so on to station staff and even total strangers – if I’m struggling.

What is it like to be able to drink four pints of beer and still quite easily remember where I live and how to walk so that I can get there? What’s it like to try on a really sharp suit and tie and cummerbund and things and look like James Bond rather than an extra from Cabaret or Generic Insane Lesbian Sociopath Character from an Agatha Christie drama? Or to be able to sleep in just boxers, or slop around in jeans and a t-shirt and not feel like you should have made more of an effort, or to only own about four pairs of shoes and all of those shoe-choices being based on comfort within a given situation? Or to be able to swim in baggy shorts rather than a string bikini which will doubtless fall apart if a wave hits it at the wrong angle?

And, more interestingly still – do men really think differently? Is it a literal, direct turn-on to see a good looking girl in flattering clothes, rather than – as it is for girls seeing an attractive man – a precursor, something to make you prick up your ears, and make the effort to get to know Attractive Person, so that the being-turned-on happens later? Are women really more perceptive in a given social situation? Honestly more interested in the psychological ins-and-outs of a good piece of gossip, or their own personal circumstances? What is it like within society as a man? Women and men after all still have stereotyped and expected roles and patterns of behaviour with which we feel we should conform – so what are the expectations we still place on men?

And furthermore, what would being a man for a day teach me about myself as a woman? Other than the fact that I would probably very quickly miss having thirty pairs of shoes to choose from at any given moment… .

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5 Comments

Filed under Beliefs, Friendship, Introspection, Relationships, Sex, Society, Thoughts, Women, World

5 responses to “Just For The Day

  1. I wonder what it’s like to be able to say it would be interesting to be a woman for a day or two without it being taken upon as unmanly =P

    I’ve often thought I’d like to come back and have another life after this one is over, under very similar circumstances, as a girl. Then, in the afterlife after that life, I’d want to compare the two. Same with being black, or stunningly attractive, or be a prodigy at something, or living in an inner-city council estate. I want to live all the possibilities in life, but can only choose one, ever.

    As for peeing standing up, there is an invention for that!

  2. standingonthebrink

    I’m mainly curious about what it’s like to be the absolute majority group – a white middle class male – I don’t mean to say that women are in the minority here but I hope what I mean is reasonably clear.

    And then, like you say, I would also like to live all kinds of other lives Just To See. Stunningly attractive would be an interesting one. To be a stunningly attractive woman, though, one partly has to work at it, which I could never be bothered to do, so it would be interesting to try out being the kind of girl who could be bothered (and who was brought up to care and to think a monthly hair-cut and salon wax are essentials and not insane luxuries) Most people have the potential to be pretty attractive, girls at least, though. And then to be in a group that truly is a minority – black or gay, say. Or to live in a totally different country and culture. Or to be the opposite of what I am – not particularly intelligent but a lot more practical and organised and creative and well-coordinated and able to catch things. Would I deplore my lack of intelligence in the same way as I am totally ashamed of my inability to keep track of time and my possessions and my insane clumsiness?

    And yes, it would be fascinating to be a prodigy at something. I would, of course, say music. I would love to konw just how much is practice, adn how much is natural aptitude.

    And I’d like to try a life as me, as I am, but slightly different, so that from the same starting point I make all the choices I absolutely didn’t make – who knows, perhaps I would have become a professional cellist, or done ballet lessons and been surprisingly good at that.

    I would also like to know what I would have been like if I had had a different father, so I was only half me, or a different mother.

    I guess it’s just interesting imagining all the things that could have been different (and no, I don’t mean the usual ‘if only’ medicine whinge, I mean if things had been profoundly different. All the futures I had before I was even concieved, before I was talking, before I got anywhere near where I am now).

    Oh, yeah, and what would it be like to have truly big boobs?

    Anyway. I also quite like being me.

  3. Dickie

    Being a man is fucking awesome. But then I’ve never been anything else, so really I’m in no position to judge…

    “do men really think differently?”
    Yes. IIRC brains are physiologically different between sexes, different hormones and whatever flowing round both. Not to mention that boys and girls are generally brought up differently and society treats both differently (as is inevitable; both are different. Not saying one is treated better than the other, btw), meaning that the way men and women think is inevitably going to be different.

  4. standingonthebrink

    I knew that our brains worked differently – read a really interesting article on the subject once in New Scientist but can’t remember now which issue it was in! To do with the same emotional stimuli lighting up different areas of the brain in scans of the brains of a sample of men and women – and, interestingly, how the brains of gay men ‘light up’ more similarly to those of straight women than straight men, and vice versa for the brains of gay women.

    And yes, cultural expectations. My friend L and I were talking the otehr day about how, if we were pregnant, we wouldn’t want to know the gender of the baby we were going to have until it was born, but then she said, ‘what would you do about buying things for it? You’d have to get loads of basic neutral stuff and then save the girly things or the boys things until it was actually born’.

    And I thought, no, when I have children, when they’re small, I’ll buy them things that are nice, not that are specifically pink or green or whatever, because all small children like the same kinds of toys; and I’ll continue to buy them the things I think they as individuals would want be that trucks or fairy costumes, no matter what their gender.

    As for clothes, well of course I’d want to put a little girl in a sweet little pinafore dress from time to time and of course I would, but small babies it’s all babygrows and bibs anyway – there’s no reason for those to be gender-specific. I don’t know, there’s a place for the cultural expectation of certain gender roles, but it’s not really hugely relevant until the child itself has a real understanding of itself as an individual with a gender, is it?

    And yes, I enjoy being a girl. I know I bitch about it (and isn’t that essentially girly in itself?) but I do *like* getting dressed up in a pretty dress and heels even if I don’t necessarily then have the confidence to *not* change back into jeans and a vest top within three minutes of arriving at whatever party it is. I like wearing make-up and putting my hair up and I simply adored opening the front door to be greeted with a near involuntary jaw-dropped ‘wow’ from P when I got properly dressed up for my birthday.

    And so yes, men and women are definitely different. And I like being a girl. But it would be very interesting to be a man for a day and see just how different life is like that.

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