Dude! Why I Sometimes Wish I Was a Guy


It was a feeling that started with the Ocean’s 11 movie franchise, and then Judd Apatow came along and just knocked it into next week: sometimes I just wish I was part of the boy’s club. I want to drink martinis or beer and talk about chicks and make dirty jokes with my friends all day!

Okay, I’m kidding. Well, half kidding, anyway. It does sound like fun.  But more to the point, it got me thinking about gender roles in a broader sense (because why don’t I like girl’s club movies, a la SATC and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, in the same way?) and I reached the same conclusion: “damn, sometimes I wish I was a guy!”

Women’s roles have changed a lot in recent generations, and for that we can all be very, very grateful.  But there are certain things that get me all hot and bothered in the penis envy department. Let’s start with the simple ones:

1. Gotta pee? Pick a street corner!

2. Too hot out? Take your shirt off!

3. Not in the mood for foreplay? It’s optional!

4. Need a haircut? That’ll be $10, please!

5. Your friend is leaving early, so you’ll be walking home alone? No problem!

Okay, those are the easy ones. And now things get a little more complicated:

The Good

Sex! I. Love. Sex. Yet the player/slut conundrum still plagues us, and that, for me, is one of the most grating. And now that men are getting carte blanche left and right to cheat, with studies and authors validating the long held notion that men have a primal need to sow their oats and create as many offspring as humanly possible for the survival of the species, they’re practically expected to bang everything in sight! Women who do that are either a wee bit slutty or defined as “having sex like a man.” I guess that’s supposed to be a form of reclaiming the sexual standard, but as long as it’s still defined in terms of one gender or another, I don’t think we’ve gotten that far.

Also good: Sex without fear of pregnancy (because I’m sorry, you will never convince me that men worry about this as much as women) would be awesome! How many panicked “I think I might be pregnant” phonecalls/IMs etc have we all gotten from friends in our lifetimes? So, fellas, you had some not-my-best-decision unprotected sex?  No morning after pills for you!

The Bad

Women are programmed to care about others more and think about themselves less, and sometimes it sounds so good to just be totally selfish. Taking other people’s thoughts and feelings into consideration can be exhausting, but at the same time we would be wracked with guilt were we to ignore them! What’s a girl to do?

Also bad: This whole “gender pay gap” issue, still unresolved. The Lilly Ledbetter Act gives us hope, but really? It’s 2009. I understand that we may make less in our lifetimes if we choose to have children and work less, but if we are working the same amount in the same job, we damn well better be getting paid the same amount!

The Ugly

Men can carry a little extra weight, age a little faster, and no one seems to mind. I know these are only things we care about because we live in a society that tells us our physical appearance is a priority, and it is within my power to ignore that if I choose. But the fact that I have to choose is what I’m really addressing. I’m not saying it’s SOOO hard to be a woman because we have to be thin/pretty/ young/smart/successful: we don’t have to be anything. But you cannot go through life being unaware of what these expectations are, and deciding to heed them or not is a choice we all have to make. Men don’t seem to have to make that same decision.

Also ugly: Guys, are you 40 and single? Nobody notices!

Any guys out there want to weigh in? Are there downsides to being a guy that I’m not seeing? There are definitely things I dig about being a lady, but I’d love to get an outsider’s perspective.



  1. Lucy says:

    God, totally agreed. Men have it easy, I don't care what anyone says. Babies, sex, jobs..everything.

  2. Nick says:

    You asked for a perspective …

    I'll start with the identity issues. I understand that there's pressures unique to both sexes, but men are taught early to hold in their emotions, to bottle it up, tough it out, boys don't cry, etc. So the majority of men are emotionally stunted and unable to talk about their emotions. This is made worse by the redefining of gender roles today, which more or less destroy any idea of how a man is supposed to act, leaving us confused. It's tougher than you think, we just don't complain: we're taught not to. In my mind, this is at least equal to women's problems. It's harder to deal with because it's almost always hidden and rooted deep.

    Men like foreplay. I guess you're just choosing the wrong ones. What we don't like (which I'll concede you can be genuinely irritated by) is pillow talk. After sex is no time for talking. It is a good time for sleeping. Or smoking.

    A lot of guys I know pay lots of money and use stylists. I like barbers.

    With the sex-like-a-man thing: You might be labeled a slut, well, men get the other end of the stick, and virgins can have it tough.

    If we're in a relationship and the condom breaks we still worry, a lot. We might not say it. See my first point.

    Guys have body expectations. We're not usually so insecure about our own though. Cant say where that comes from, except maybe that in female company insecurity seems almost encouraged. Guys don't do it that way.

  3. GoingLikeSixty says:

    I'm sixty. If you're interested why I read College Candy, here:

    Nick has a good point: Men are expected to be jocks – forever. If not a good player for their entire life, then a guy must become a great fan. Stuff the emotions.

    Sex? Getting it up! (and it will happen boys and girls!) So be prepared to "handle" things.

    But all in all, I blame magazines! Both men's and women's. (How simplistic is that?!)

  4. mrawzors says:

    re: Nick –

    Really? You think that not being able to express your emotions makes your time worse than that of a woman's? While that might suck (and after having many conversations with close male friends of mine, I do concede that it's a legitimate point), I'd argue that everything else on that list is far worse. Just try trying to assert yourself in a world that looks at your boobs first and your opinions second. Isn't being a person enough? Why does being a woman or man matter so much?

    It's the 21st Century, and our mothers were supposed to have dealt with all of those problems. But they didn't. There are still so many gender issues (just take a brief look on the main page of this site to see them) that have yet to be addressed. Double-standards, relations with other women, friendships with men, pay equity, birth control, not to mention appalling rape statistics. This article is just a microcosm of the sexism that permeates our culture.

    And the best part? Anyone who points it out is labelled a butch, bra-burning, radical feminist lesbian who can get $10 haircuts because they look like a man.

  5. Samantha says:

    No one has it harder. It's hard for us; it's hard for boys. They can roll out of bed in the morning and look ready for the day; I can smile my way out of a speeding ticket. I have to try to stay composed so I don't look like a "crazy bitch" if I'm angry about something; they have to simultaneously be the frat boy/jock/jerk because they think they should, and be the opposite because they think that's what we want. Everyone has problems.

    Why does it have to be a competition?

  6. Dirk Diggler says:

    Dudes have to register for selective service (read: THE DRAFT). Good times.

  7. Blake Gibbs says:

    It's interesting to read a woman's perspective on a fear of pregnancy…

    The biggest fear all the guys I know have is a random hook-up turning into 18 years of child support.

  8. Brian says:

    Hey ladies don't blame us most of these things are perpetuated by you.

  9. brobot says:

    fuck gender roles and blah blah, just live how you want, and have friends who support you

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