The very first identity category in which we find ourselves placed is that of gender. As newborns, our baby clothes are either blue or pink, adorned either with flowers or with trains. Then, as we grow up, we become increasingly exposed, albeit not necessarily aware, of gender constraints. We are either given Barbie dolls or toy cars. We find out that girls have cooties and that boys are mean. We study, we work, and we build relationships. Are we still defined by the identity category in which we were born? Unfortunately, we are. However, the extent to which our gender is a burden depends on our own selves. In my opinion, women have a heavier burden to bear than men when it comes to most economic, domestic and social dimensions. Personally, I am proud of meeting that threshold. It is what makes being a woman much more fulfilling. While I admit that I have considered how great it would be to put less effort into dressing up or to not have raging emotions fluctuating throughout each and every month, I cannot say that I would prefer to be a man. Men may face less challenges, but women constitute the intrinsically stronger gender because of the hurdles they have to overcome.
It is common to hear women complain about how men have life easy. That general assumption is definitely not a fallacy. Men have more job opportunities. Men are given preference in the workforce. Men are more likely to succeed in politics. Men do not have to run households. Men would not get cat-called in the street. Men have fewer responsibilities. Men are assessed on lower standards. Men are not consistently judged in society. But women – we have the opportunity and the capacity to change all of that.
Who would want to be a female? They get pregnant and go through the worst physical pain – voluntarily. They are constantly being hunted on the streets by men’s eyes and their sour comments. They overreact to most things and let their emotions take over them. They ask for their rights in a way that makes it seem that men should not even exist. They all are on a diet… all the freaking time. But worst of all, when they need something, they all turn innocent and become damsels in distress, expecting prince charming to deal with their situations.
But then again, being men aren’t better by any means. We set the silliest standards for being macho. We look at women as objects. We overreact to most things and let rage take over. Our rights are being stripped away by women. We all want to be gym addicts. And worst of all, we talk and gossip more than we’d like to believe.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that humanity sucks! Neither gender is full-on saint or sinner. We do things that make the other gender think of us as irresponsible, irritable or maybe even despicable. Is it because of hormonal differences? Is it because each gender is raised differently? Is it because we cannot understand the opposing gender and can’t put ourselves in their shoes? I’m not sure of the answer to any of those, but one thing for sure is… I never wish people (and myself) to go through labor pain.