Let me explain why sometimes I wish I was a man, but don’t get me wrong, I actually love being a woman! Not because of procreation abilities but multiple orgasms are a definitive plus… in my opinion… and amongst other things!
OK, so the thought came to my mind (again!) the other day and sticked on for a while, when I wrote about my future travel plans with Minty and my tent. There, I realized that there are things I dream to do and then there is reality. A reality in which, being a woman makes such plans, a little more dangerous and maybe a little more difficult.
So I wondered if being a man would make my life much easier. It’s not the first time I had such thought, obviously! Well it probably is obvious to other women, not to men. And NO!, guys, when a woman think about this, it doesn’t mean she envies your physicality, it doesn’t mean she envies your abilities or else. No, it isn’t a sexual thing. I would say with a fair certainty that when a woman think about this, it has a 99% chance of being related to the freedom you have, the safety you enjoy.
What being a woman has been like for me
There is most likely not a single woman on Earth who has not experienced sexual harassment, sexual misconduct or sexual assault in her life.
Not a woman on Earth who hasn’t feared for her safety or her life because of a man. Fear is after all a feeling that we experience no matter the circumstances. I’m afraid of spiders when none of them poses a real threat to me, at least where I live.
I doubt there is a woman on Earth who has not reconsidered a specific outfit, just to not attract unwanted attention. Or a woman who hasn’t changed her plans, who hasn’t avoided a place or a group of people because of a man or several…
Not a woman who remained unbothered by all these experiences. Even if a woman hasn’t been sexually abused, all of the above experiences cumulate. Little by little, they weight us down. They change us.
I am absolutely confident with my unproven statistics. We live some of these moments (no, not all of these moments!) like there are part of the deal. Some of these moments affect us, more than we would like them to. Some do subtly changes the way we are, the way we dress or what we carry in our purse. Thankfully some become insignificant with time.
Just like all women on Earth, I have experienced all of the above and these have changed me.
Even when not facing physical threats, there are plenty of other circumstances where being a woman makes things more difficult.
Work related issues are one of those circumstances, obviously!
Being independent and because of my role, I have been spared a lot of this sort of issues in the recent years. However, I was painfully reminded of the reality, fairly recently. It threw me years back, when it was simply part of my day, part of doing what I do.
There are plenty of daily life circumstances which are a little more difficult when you are woman.
I wrote a while back a piece on the latest pearls of mansplaining and other misogynistic behaviors I had experienced because I had to vent! Like all women, I could probably write a piece like this, each month. Although thanks to a pandemic, these interactions have slowed down!
Now, a great summary of what such circumstances are can be found in the below Nike video.
If you are thinking this only applies to athletes, you are mistaking. It does really apply to all women. The ones who display emotions, the ones who have dreams, who want something, who want to do something…
If I was a man…
These take us back to the big crazy in my own life and the source of a whole lot of misogynistic reactions: Minty.
If you missed it (how could you?!) I rebuilt, with my dad, his 1941 Indian motorcycle. Starting with zero mechanical expertise. I had never held a spray gun, had no idea what a piston or a valve looked like, still don’t fully comprehend the timing of the engine… Yet, Minty is gloriously beautiful and yes, despite what everybody thought, Minty runs gloriously and yes, I ride it!
If I had been a man, starting such a project with zero mechanical knowledge, I would have never received such comments, such sexist comments. I would have never seen so much doubts in people’s eyes, read so much skepticism in-between the lines… No one would be surprised it runs so well, no one would have doubted I would manage to ride it.
If I was a man, no one would question my plans to go on road trips with it.
I have done my fair share of solo travel in the past. And yes, I had to adapt to the circumstances. To be honest, I am appalled by how many articles have been written on female solo travels and how to stay safe. The need for these is real but such need is what is appalling. It shouldn’t be this way.
And so when I wrote about my love of camping, I realized that I was about to take this to the next level. Again I was appalled I had to worry about so much, anticipate so much. Just because I’m a woman.
It makes me want to scream! But I’ll look hysterical…
If I was a man, I would still have to worry about wild boars or getting my bike stolen, or simply maybe breaking down. However, if I was a man, I could, most likely, travel alone, without fearing getting raped or ‘just’ assaulted.
But it’s not just my physical safety. Since I’m a woman, I will probably have to adapt to all sort of circumstances.
If I was a man, I would probably find other friendly bikers to ride with, every now and then. Bikers who would be as misogynistic as it comes, but we would be buddies. Yeah, If you read up to here, you want to crucify me. But hey, I’ve noticed ok! I got enough experience already. No, it’s not all bikers (I have proof of exceptions as well). But you like your women to quietly sit behind you, not so much when women step in your reserved field, do you?!
If I was a man, no one would look down on my skills, no one would still mansplain me how to do it. Yeah man! I f@#cking rebuilt the whole thing! Please explain to me, how to change the oil! Please explain to me how you changed one spoke on your bicycle wheel… Let’s talk how about your carburetor’s adjustment instead, ok?!
If I was a man, I could be careless, or a least a lot less worried. I wouldn’t have to worry about guys wanting to try my bike. They wouldn’t dare. I wouldn’t have to think twice about stopping when I’m tired, going to a maybe slightly weird place. I would be the biker, the one people are a little scared off.
There are probably plenty of other circumstance where being a man would come handy. Minty just represents my present circumstance. The thing that exacerbate such feelings. Since I’m a woman, I can’t possibly comprehend them, but I can feel that it would make my future trips easier.
But I’m a woman and love being one!
In truth, I love being a woman and I actually wouldn’t want to be a man! I really don’t admire the so-called ability to pee while standing! And then, again, in case you missed it: #MultipleOrgasms… amongst other things! (no, guys, we don’t need you to achieve this!)
What I truly would like is to live in a world that is less dangerous for women. That would be a great start.
Now, I’m incredibly lucky to have been born where I was born. It is far from the most dangerous place on Earth and that is where I will be riding, at least for now. I’m also lucky to have been born when I was born. Things have somehow evolved and changed for the better, although it often feels that it is one step forward, for 2 steps back.
Nevertheless, having thought about it (again!), I wouldn’t truly want to be a man.
I’ll just have to adapt and anticipate… like all women do. Maybe this is one of our super powers after all.