Alright, Gayby, let’s clear something up. I do not know whether you will be born a girl or a boy. I do know, however, that when it comes to the fence drawn up between the gender yards – each side secretly thinks the grass is greener on the other side. To be more direct, girls think boys have it easier and boys think girls have it easier.
Let me share with you the realization I’ve come to after many years of living. The truth about gender is this…
The lawn is sh*t brown on BOTH SIDES.
In human terms, everyone is screwed. Whether you’re a dangler or an owner of a fleshy coin purse, you will STILL have to climb your own personal Mount Everest.
Let’s discuss boys first.
They get to play football and beat the shit out of their best friends or anyone else for that matter. Literally, you can punch someone in the face (if they are deserving) as a boy and people will think you are a direct descendant of Hercules. This will hold true for all of your life. I have a friend, I’ll call him Writer-Don, who will get into a fight for his girl, his girl’s female friend, his male buddies, or to protect the lesbian waitress he likes. It doesn’t matter. He’ll let fists fly and the only requirement is that the other offending party be a) male and b) has taken his douchery way beyond the boundary of normalcy. If those two requirements are fulfilled, Writer-Don – a sensitive guy by all other accounts – will punch you in the nose. I – and I am not the only one – love him for it.
If you choose to indulge in this Fight Club genetic pre-disposed benefit, just make sure you can fight. It’s no fun to indulge in something that makes your face look like mashed potatoes or causes you to lose full capacity of your brain powers, ala Muhammad Ali. So, take some boxing lessons or jujitsu, for god’s sake.
Another benefit – boys who turn into teenage guys who turn into men can look quite hot with very little monetary output. For example, I had a friend say to me the other day – all a guy needs is two pairs of shoes (one should be Converse), a nice pair of jeans, one hair product, and THAT’S IT. If he maintains these elements and practices decent hygiene, women the world over will engage him in coitus. This seems like an advantage, indeed.
Another plus – You will make more money. I don’t think much more needs to be said about that. It’s a fact. You’ll make more money. Just enjoy it and pay for a woman every once in a while, just because you can.
Wow, Sweet Mother, that sounds like it would be fun to be a dude. You’re not really making a good argument for the whole – both sides have it hard thesis.
Well, Gaby, I’m not exactly done. Let me continue.
If you are a male you may develop ball cancer. Ball cancer. Balls. Those precious, life giving, sacks that can bring a grown man to his knees when kicked in that general vicinity by a small child. The balls are a man’s greatest reservoir and they can also be his achilles heel. Especially if they become cancerous.
Now, of course, anyone can get cancer any where in his or her body. I’m not saying most men will develop ball cancer. What I am saying is this…
If you horrifically develop ball cancer you will be expected to beat it.
Because Lance Armstrong has f*cked you.
Not only will you be expected to beat ball cancer, but you will also be expected to go on to win the Tour de France. Several times.
Now, I’m not being literal. But, the truth remains – men have a lot of responsibility. They are often expected to achieve the ridiculous. Go out into the world – fight the masses, win the spoils for your family, yet remain expressive and sensitive. As a man, the world says you need to be BOTH an ultimate fighting champion AND a poet.
This is a tall order. It is not to be envied.
Not to mention, even if you get lucky – let’s say you beat the ball cancer and you win the Tour de France of your own life – people will still judge you. The stress of achieving something bordering on unachievable will cause you to make bad decisions. One example might be, leaving Sheryl Crow for an Olsen twin. The world will never forgive you. I will never forgive you. Even if dating the youngest cast member of Full House was just your way of blowing off steam. You see, I – like many others – would expect more from you.
I would never want to be in your position. It’s too much to shoulder.
Now, let’s talk ladies.
Girls get to experience every emotion of the rainbow from birth. Sometimes girls become so adept at doing so that they can run through every emotion in a 30 second time span. This is like having a superpower. It is also why telenovelas exist. If you are not the owner of some fun bags and a literal representation of a Georgia O’Keeffe flower, than you have no idea how cathartic this can be.
It’s like a massage for your spirit and you can indulge in it whenever you want. In fact, if you ever have trouble reaching full emotionality the Lifetime channel is there with a cascade of movies to help you reach such a state. For example, I just watched In Her Shoes yesterday and I’m here to tell you that this film is porn for the emotions. It just gets you going and there are many more like it.
Another girly-advantage – If you play your cards right once you are of age – you will never have to pay for an alcoholic beverage in your entire adult life. Now, there are many feminists who are screaming in their communal teepees over hearing a lesbo woman, such as myself, give such advice to a young woman. Calm yourselves and let me explain. Notice, I did not say, if you play your cards right you will never have to pay for a meal ever again. No, I did not say that. Because I think a young girl should learn and realize that it is her own responsibility to acquire her own food. I don’t mean you can’t let someone buy you a meal. What I mean is, the food in your fridge – you should find a way to pay for that. You need to make an everyday living, so that you never have to trade any of your underparts for a hot meal. It is also simply gratifying to make your own living. It is a joyful independence you will always have. However, when it comes to frilly cocktails, that really, you don’t need to support a life – let someone else pay for them. This can be a man or a woman. It doesn’t matter, but every now and again get your cosmo bought for you – because it’s fun and because you can. If you need a feminist reason – remember that men do now and have always made more money. In fact, currently, they make 1 dollar to your 75 cents. So, think of the free drink as your simple action to balance that inequity. With a 25 cent deficit, every day of your life should be Ladies Night.
Another plus – As both a woman and a girl, your wardrobe variety will be far more extensive and therefore, fun. A woman can wear pants and look sexy (thank you, Katherine Hepburn) or she can wear a skirt or dress and take the air out of a room.
Men can not do this.
The only men who have ever seemed manly in a skirt are certain Celtic clans that can wear a kilt properly. Understand that this is a very small percentage of men who can pull this off. It is for them. It is for them only. It is their heritage. And no, your tourist-ass will NOT look good in one because you’re Irish and Scottish from way back and you’ve had enough lager to try it out. Don’t. It’s silly. So, again, this is the exception, not the rule.
For the most part, women get to roam in a wonderland of wear-anything-ness, whereas men get a few items. There is a freedom in this male austerity – for sure – but, there is also boredom.
That all sounds so fun, Sweet Mother, a lifetime of cigarette pants, party dresses, and free cocktails, while crying and laughing your way through quality cinema – what the heck is the downside to being female?
Ah, hah. It is – hallux rigidus.
Hallux rigidus or Stiff Big Toe. You may develop this as a woman due to a propensity for athleticism and wearing heels. (Hopefully, you don’t wear heels and sneakers at the same time – unless you’re in an Easy Spirit – “looks like a pump, feels like a sneaker” – commercial.) Stiff Big Toe is an arthritis of the foot due to bone spurs that form from constantly having your foot tilted at a weird angle. Thank you, pumps. It can be quite painful and only surgery can cure it. Your desire to wear cute shoes will never leave you. Each and every day you’ll have to choose between shooting pains and Louboutins or an orthopedic sandal and sanity. As any self-respecting woman will tell you – this is not a choice at all. It’s like saying would you rather burn to death or drown? Is that really a decision a human being should have to make?
On top of the dreaded hallux rigidus, you will also be subjected to a lifetime of women’s magazines. After an initial titillation for them in your teenage years, these periodicals will quickly make you feel lobotomized. There are only so many articles one woman can take on subjects such as – “How to Make Your Man Stay”, “How to Achieve an Orgasm When No One’s Listening”, and “How to Make a Cake While Earning Your Master’s Degree”. Don’t be surprised if after years of reading this crap, you find your self turning your “vision board” into a supermodel “death collage”. My advice on the subject is to flip through a Woman’s rag every now and again, sure, but also start reading the Men’s mags too. While the Men’s mags also contain pretty pictures, the truth is they contain content that will actually engage your frontal lobes. Make sure you include them in your reading diet or risk becoming catatonic.
As you can see, sweet Gayby, there is no utopia. Man or woman, girl or boy, what has advantages always comes with a price. Much like Savant Syndrome – the disease Dustin Hoffman possessed in the award winning movie, Rain Man – an incredible innate ability for something, usually comes with a touch of brain damage.
The genders should be seen in this realistic light. They are both beautiful and damaged. Each needing the other, in order to not go insane.
If you enjoyed this piece, you might like:
The Letters to My Gayby Series
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