Do you ever play that What If? game? What if I were rich? What if I were Selena Gomez? What if I were white? What if I were 20 again?
Well I’ve never wondered what it’d be like to be Selena Gomez, but I do sometimes reflect on the other questions. I’ve also wondered recently what it would like to be male and, if some magic elf gave me the opportunity to switch (without creating total havoc somehow), would I do it?
The answer is a resounding No. Here’s why I’d rather be a woman, any day.
- Showing emotions – I haven’t always been good at showing my softer side, and I’m not great at it now, but I do know what it’s like to feel like it’s not safe to cry (either happy or sad tears), show vulnerability or sadness. When I didn’t feel safe to cry or show vulnerability, all I felt was anger. I much rather feel the range of emotions; it makes me feel human, whereas my anger makes me feel less than.
- Intimacy – I’m not saying that men can’t have intimate relationships. It’s just much easier for women to do so. We’re sometimes derided for our desire and need to bond and share, but I think it’s just jealousy. “Other people matter” (Chris Peterson), is at the heart of well-being. The ability to develop those relationships with others is what brings meaning to my life.
- Being a Mom – Being a Mom is distinctly different from being a Dad. Both are wonderful and important. But having gone through pregnancy, delivery, and nursing starts us off with time and a bond that Dad will never have. Dad’s bond will be equally strong, but in different ways. I love that Mom-child bond.
- Sartorial options – Again, the ridiculous stereotypes about women and their clothes, shoes, handbags. Not that I love having to obtain and care for all that extra stuff. I just like having options. I can wear a dress, makeup and high heels. Or not. Men don’t have those options to the same degree we do.
- Peeing sitting down – OK, not really.
- Professional value – Yes there are downsides to being a woman, especially professionally. I still feel like women have a disadvantage in the workplace. But I also don’t have to feel like my value is determined by my salary or job. That’s the upside. Good thing because chances are I’ll never rise as high or make as much as my male counterparts. Or maybe I will.
In the end, I’ve learned to love who I am, especially the parts I can’t change. It’s funny how this exercise is a metaphor for life – most of life we cannot control or change. Do we choose to embrace our circumstances and feel gratitude and peace, or just feel jealousy and resentment? I could’ve focused this blog on why it’s better to be male and proven it’s much better to be male, but what would be the purpose of that exercise but to make me feel less than? Again, it’s not much of a choice when you put it that way.
Where in your life are you feeling resentful? If you can change those circumstances, then make the change. If you can’t change it, then why are you choosing pain?
All: Don’t forget to send me questions or topics you’d like for me to discuss. Go either to this blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Talk to Susanna link on the left. Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you!