Oh yeaah, this is gonna get good y’all (Southern accent was totally necessary)
Okay, so before I can get to the juicy replies from all the wonderful male participants, I need to take a minute to talk about something really quite interesting which needs further discussion. If anyone has any thoughts on my thoughts –men and women- let me know in the comments. (Also, if you're not interested scroll down to read the answers men gave)
Anyhoo, so when I first started asking men the question of this post, I encountered quite a bit of hesitation and blank faces which made me wonder….
Why is it so hard for some men to imagine themselves as women whereas women can easily fantasize about what it’s like to be a man? You know, we’ll wonder what it’s like to pee standing up, have a beard, love a girl… I hear you Beyonce.
My mind came up with 3 possible reasons for why men were hesitant to answer.
1- Being a man is so much better than being a woman. So there’s no attraction in the idea of being a woman.
2- Men lack empathy or imagination? The latter is highly improbable.
3- Imagining themselves as women or desiring feminine things would be an implicit attack on their masculinity.
Number 3 is only possible if men have a certain stereotypical view of what it’s like to be a woman. When in reality imagining yourself as a woman doesn’t mean imagining yourself in makeup or a dress or having boobs. It’s just putting yourself in the shoes of a community that is different to you and faces its own struggles. Plus, these stereotypical views of women are socially acquired and we need to be wary of them. Just check out how my 7 year old nephew answered the question:
Me: What would you do if you could be a girl for one day?
Nephew: Try out things that girls can do that boys can’t.
Me: Like what?
Me: what else?
Nephew: championships and girl football.
No dresses, dolls, pink, long hair in sight. Not that there’s anything wrong with dresses and traditional feminine things. It was just amazing to see how confident and un-awkward a child is about answering these sorts of gendered questions.
Now for the good part, the lovely replies from the kind participants: (Disclaimer: these should be enjoyed and not judged or mocked)
-‘Individually, the things women do like their hair, nails etc., aren’t interesting. But if I could get all of that done at the same time, that would be fun. I’d also want to try being a trans woman and compete in mixed martial arts and power lifting and see what the advantages are.’ Mohammed, 21, London
-‘We’d want to see what it’s like to go on a date and not have the pressure of paying.’ Anonymous, the gist of group chat, London
-‘I would go hang out with a group of women and see the differences between the conversations women usually have compared to men.’ Anonymous, 17, NZ
-‘I would take long walks in public places and experience what it’s like to be a woman. You always hear how bad it is, but I’d like to see what it really feels like.’ Anonymous, 18, NZ
-‘I wonder how it’s like to give birth to a baby. How much it hurts.’ Sharaf, 13, London
-‘If anything, they say that females have a different point of view on male appearances, so I guess I want to see if that’s true.’ Anonymous, 17, KSA
-‘I’d experience what it’s like to have a period.’ Anonymous, 33, London
-‘Sounds like a good opportunity to study female body parts in a halal way.’ Anonymous, 18, KSA
- ‘Equality!’ Andy, 55, UK
-‘I want to experience having long hair for a day. I just want to know what it’s like and try out different hairstyles.’ Anonymous, 15, KSA
-‘How girl toilets look from the inside. It’s creepy but I’m curious. And if periods hurt more than being hit in the nuts.’ Sayak, 17, India-Calcutta
-‘I’d go out and interact with as many people as possible and see how differently I’m treated.’ Anonymous, 24, NZ
-‘The sixth sense that women have. They have a sense that can be very accurate.’ Anonymous, 57, London
-‘I’d like to experience unequal pay or other social/work injustices women face to see what it’s like and how bad it is.’ Anonymous, 30, London
-‘I think a few men could learn a little by spending the day as a woman. Seeing how different it is and how not easy it is. Also would be cool to have long hair and boobs and all the other physical changes haha!' Nour, 28, London, likes aeroplanes. (True thing girls)
-‘What I would like to experience is pregnancy for two reasons. The first is that my wife’s second pregnancy was extremely exhausting for her. She had a hard time doing basic everyday activities, like getting out of bed. And although I felt for her and appreciated her for everything she went through, there’s a small and stupid part of me that can’t get it. I’m a person who tries to apply logic to everything, and it didn’t make sense to me that two pregnancies can differ this much. She was very active during her first pregnancy. We even toured the US going to Disney World and Niagara Falls. So I would like to experience pregnancy to know what it feels like instead of judging my wife blindly (which I hate myself for doing) for what she went through. Of course I haven’t even once told her this, but still…
The second reason is that after becoming a father and experiencing parenthood for myself, I have a new level of appreciation for my parents, but especially for my mother. And it feels so good being able to know and appreciate what your parents went through to bring you up and make you the person you are today. And my mom always says that giving birth to me was the hardest compared to my siblings. So I think if I can go through this experience as well, I can be even more appreciative of what mom did for me.’ Ahmed, 26, KSA
That's it for this week's post! Sorry about the delay, but I hope you all enjoyed it. See you all next Tuesday :)