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30 October 2013

Hump Day Hypothetical Step right in for this week's question![More:]Do you ever wish you had been born the opposite sex? Why or why not? If you had the option to live as a member of the opposite sex for one week (as "you"), would you do it? If so, what would you do during that week?
In a second, so I could understand how men think!, heehee.

When I was little I went through a phase when I really wanted a penis, because it was just so cool to pee standing up. I even tried it once, standing over the bowl, and was very happy.
posted by Melismata 30 October | 11:14
I know my father wished I'd been born the opposite sex, because he used to tell me on a daily basis how he wished I'd never been born because I was a girl. My only brother died before I was born, and I was the 'last chance' baby.

But having read a recent thread on FB on how men extract their willies from their pants to pee, I'm not sure I'd want to change gender for a day and have to navigate that particular minefield.
posted by Senyar 30 October | 12:00
Nope! But different skincolor? Sure.
posted by stynxno 30 October | 13:53
Not especially, but I've almost never identified with female characters in books, even when they were the main character. I liked boy books, and any time a story was ambiguous about the sex of the main character I imagined it to be a boy/man.

Would I do it for a week? Sure. Would I do it as myself? Nope. I'd want to be in a whole other place, unconnected to my current life.

My sister managed to pee standing up and had great aim, according to my mother. The problem was that she wasn't aiming at the toilet, but everything else. And never in the bathroom
posted by lysdexic 30 October | 14:23
p.s. - that's awful Senyar. Since my dad was the only boy, I came out a disappointment to the rest of the family, but not my parents. Very thankful for that.
posted by lysdexic 30 October | 14:25
Once in awhile, I admire the way a woman in dressed. It is usually in an androgynous way, that gets my attention. Then I think, "I can look like that."

Well, no I can't.

But, yeah, sometimes, even with my white male privilege, I wonder what it would be like to be someone of the opposite sex that I admire.

What would I do for a week? Not sure.
posted by danf 30 October | 14:52
Yes, and I would write my name in the snow.
posted by rmless2 30 October | 15:00
danf mentioned something that reminds me of something I've experienced a couple times. Sometimes my appreciation of a woman who looks really attractive to me can get the wires crossed and I think if I was a woman I'd want to look like that. Basically the object/subject grammar can invert in my head. Not something I'd ever admit to of course. Pretend you never read this.
posted by Firas 30 October | 15:02
I think it would be fun to live as the opposite sex for a week. Not sure if I would want to go to work, etc - maybe on vacation?
posted by needlegrrl 30 October | 15:08
Of course. It amazes me that anyone would turn down such a learning opportunity. I bet it would increase empathy potential by about a zillion percent. But I don't think it would even work to do it "as me". People would just know it was me in a guy costume.

What would I do? I don't know exactly, but I'd begin by walking around. I'd go into various businesses and conduct transactions. Strike up conversations with strangers. See what felt different and take things from there.

Mind you, I'm shorter than any grown man I've ever met. I wonder if I could wangle a few extra inches of height, just for the experiment.
posted by tangerine 30 October | 15:24
(By "of course" I meant I'd try it for a week. I've never wished I was born a boy.)
posted by tangerine 30 October | 15:25
Only within the last few years have I come close to liking who I am. When I was younger I always wished I had been born a girl. I reckon I just wished I had been born anyone else other than me.

It was complicated by the fact that I keenly felt such feelings made me the worst sort of ingrate, since I grew up in nice conditions with a loving family. Who was I to hate myself? What right had I to wish for a do-over?

When I was a kid sometimes my mom would push the hair back from my head and give me an appraising look, then say, "You would have made such a pretty girl." I mostly think I looked like her younger brother and she was afraid of me ending up like him, early twenties probable suicide overdose drowned dead in a backyard pool. I think she wanted a girl but I can't hold it against her. I did too.

Until recently I only ever felt like I could be myself a couple times in my life, only when far, far away from my family or anyone from back home. I've fallen in love with men and had sex with them but I found the latter uncomfortable. Though I don't regret these times, I'm not particularly gay. Sometimes in my isolation I simply get freedom and liberty a bit confused. It always feels good to be loved. I think intimacy with men would have been easier were I a woman.

In my life I have had the privilege to not feel like I had to define myself, and that has led me to realize as I've grown that I'm not particularly straight or gay or in-between, for what it's worth. That's not how I self-identify. I have always put love before intimacy and so I've wound up in love several times in my life, usually with a woman, sometimes with a man. I think other people might be more comfortable with the labels.

Which is why I haven't really talked about any of this with people who are close to me. As far as who I am now goes, I'm different from who I was growing up. I'm different from who I was five years ago. Out of the blue I found a greater love than I've ever felt before, and I'm sure it won't ever stop. At the same time I've learned to love myself, and maybe that's why I finally feel secure. I know it can last for the rest of my life.

So far as family and childhood friends are concerned, I don't think they need to know the history of my heart, my ass, or my self-esteem. I think like most people they'd prefer to categorize me as one thing or the other, or both. None of that matters to me. I don't really want it to matter to them and it's really never been any of their business anyway.

This isn't the first time I've written something like this in an online forum, but it may become the first time I hit post.

I stopped drinking and doing drugs and that changed a lot about how I see myself. I think drugs in particular are quite valuable in that they give us a different perspective on the world and ourselves. But for me, they eventually delayed self-assessment and distracted my development from a boy who I always hated to a man I could always love.

Sounds maudlin and hokey, but it really isn't. I accept who I am, and most of the time I do a good job of loving myself. I have a lot of help in that regard. It doesn't matter how I got here.

And "here" is kind of all over the place. It's a rather sprawling answer to a pretty straightforward question. In short:

Yes, I wished for much of my life that I'd been born a girl: because I never liked being who I was; because being a woman would have made my feelings for certain men at different times in my life seem more normal and comfortable to me at the time; and because dammit, I think I would have liked it! If I could live as a woman I don't think I would, because I'm finally happy in my own skin and I just don't think it's necessary anymore.

Oh who am I fooling, if I had the chance to be a woman for a week I would absolutely jump on board, I would be such a pretty girl, just like my mom always said. And I would do my best to have a whirlwind romance and of course lots of sex. I think I'd love every minute of it, thanks for asking!
posted by Hugh Janus 30 October | 16:04
Yes, so I could go about where ever I please without being harassed.
posted by brujita 30 October | 17:16
I, too, think it might be fun to live for a week as a man. I want to have all the male-body privileges- pee in the snow! Do two pushups and instantly have muscles! Go shirtless everywhere without it being shocking! One week vacation as a man could be fun.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 30 October | 20:25
Hell yes, if I could have the body I had when I got out of the Marines. I wouldn't even mind being flat-chested. I would have been a whole lot more serious about starting a professional musical career.
posted by Ardiril 30 October | 20:46
For me, no no no no no no no. As much as I'm annoyed with societal constrictions on women, I've always loved being female and would never want to change. Even temporarily. I think spending a week as a man, even if I were warned ahead of time, would be disorienting to the point of depressing.

I like Stynxno's idea of changing race, though. I would totally like to do that for a time. I like to think I have an idea of how it is being a member of a minority race, but I know that I'm missing huge chunks of the actual experience and I think it'd be worthwhile -- if infuriating -- to experience that firsthand.
posted by occhiblu 30 October | 23:26
Women can pee in the snow with a Freshette.
posted by brujita 30 October | 23:59
I was thinking about this, sort of, a few hours ago, about how even if I could think of myself as a guy in a woman's body, I'd never want to swap for good. I can get away with a whole lot more as a female, and, let's face it, hours of escalating orgasms beats some kind of pump and dump by leagues. I wouldn't do it around here though; I'd definitely go somewhere more diverse and cosmopolitan. See, it would really have to come with a stipend, because I don't have any guy clothes that are meant to fit. I like playing with gender stereotypes because they don't affect me nearly as much as regional hoi polloi, so some people think I'm super butch or really girly or always dressed like a muppet depending on whatever is going on that I'm dressing for. I think a lot of people would be way more comfortable if I was a guy, too bad I don't care. I was expected to be a boy. After that they had a pretty easy ride for a long time. My whole "can't just wait for them to die anymore" issues interfered with that. Speaking of which, I have to see the craptastic psychos I was issued to tomorrow.

I'd play anthropologist and blend in for a few days, after that, who knows. I don't think being an Asian guy would be easier in most cases unless I was really attractive. I'm pretty sure I can imagine it. Besides experiential stuff like sex, food, drugs, moving around, etc. I think it'd be pretty depressing. Just this other kind of oppression.
posted by ethylene 31 October | 01:08
I tried to think whether I would want to do this, but I just don't know. There's no doubt it would be illuminating and enlightening and shit, but I just don't know. I'd certainly like to try being someone else for a while, although that may be just me playing it safe - a change is nice but not too much, thanks.

I've never seriously wished I'd been born female, that I can remember.
posted by dg 31 October | 05:31
Sure. But it's also nice to watch all of you swap genders for the length of a metachat post.
posted by Obscure Reference 31 October | 07:40
Do you ever wish you had been born the opposite sex?


Why or why not?

I guess because I was the oldest kid and was raised to be pretty thrilled with everything about myself. And, as older sister of 3 boys, I know how tough it can be to be a boy. And, as a big feminist for a long time, I think women are awesome.

If you had the option to live as a member of the opposite sex for one week (as "you"), would you do it?

Maybe. An interesting idea!

If so, what would you do during that week?

Spend lots of urinating -- preferably outside where I could really see how far I could make it go. And, of course, have lots of sex. I have no idea what it feels like to have the other side's equipment.
posted by bearwife 31 October | 15:35
Nope, not even mildly curious. It's the work of a lifetime just to figure out who you are in the skin you've got. I can't manage hypothesizing over what being Lipstick Thespian who would actually WEAR lipstick regularly would be like.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 01 November | 19:58
Cats. Stuck in trees. || Emergency Emily Dickinson