Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My prompt is What would it be like to be a man for a day?
It was submitted by: http://batteredhope.blogspot.com
The feminist in me wants to take this question all through the ages and really dig deep into the political and sociocultural implications of what it is like in this world for a man versus a woman. Even the minor daily experiences can be extremely different between the genders.
I want to know what it’s like that. I want to know what it’s like to wake up and not be worried so much about fixing my hair just right, putting on makeup, getting every line on my lipstick absolutely perfect, to not be so concerned about getting a comment about my weight or to not be hyperfocused on how wide I look from the side for once. I realize men face similar pressures about appearance as women. We all have body issues and face issues and self esteem issues, but these problems seem compounded for women who face a horde of images and advertisements about staying youthful, staying fit but having a nice ass and a sizable rack, keeping thick, shiny hair and a perfect smile on our faces at all times. And we’re supposed to be personable and friendly and open to every comment and suggestion every man on the street makes towards us. So it would be wonderful to not have to worry just one day about unwanted comments, about not being told to smile, and about being seen as more than a comment box for suggestions of how I can better please men in the world that see me walking around thinking it’s okay to just be myself. I might be able to play video games online without feeling the need to disguise who I am. I don’t have to worry about rape threats or death threats for being a female gamer who vocally wishes for more strong, fully armored female protagonists.
I also expect that my ability to reason and to have a rationale state of mind would not be questioned nearly as often. I had a discussion on Facebook recently about a news article which was very controversial. And in the comments, a “friend” of mine made comments which I thought were completely without much thought which I think is unacceptable for such a highly charged topic. Either make a comment that’s well thought out or don’t comment. It’s pretty simple. Instead, though, he popped off at the mouth without reading anything else, without doing any research, and without looking into the matter at all—essentially the equivalent of commenting on an article you’ve never read. Instead, however, of actually doing the reading and the researching involved or commenting further on the actual conversation, when I called this person out, he said, “I’m sorry I upset you.” Would he have said “I’m sorry I upset you” if I were another guy? I highly doubt it. My vagina doesn’t make me any less capable of having a debate, and yes, his comments bothered me, but that doesn’t mean I need to be patronized like I’m an emotional wreck that needs to change her damn tampon.
Would I feel differently about the topic of rape? Would it be something that isn’t constantly on the forefront of my brain? I think not. I think I could go out with whoever I wanted unconcerned about the risks… I could be like those guys on Plenty of Fish who message me inviting me to their homes in their first message for drinks and whatever else. When I message them back about just how risky that is for a woman, they seem nonplussed like I am some kind of paranoid freak to be concerned about meeting a strange man in his home and plying myself with booze. And, as always, if I did and something terrible happened to me, I would catch the blame perhaps even by these same sorts of men. They would ask questions like why would I go to a stranger’s house and weaken myself with booze. Maybe if I had a dangler between my legs, I could go where I want without *as much* concern about my reputation or about being overpowered or about being believed if things go wrong.
But ultimately I think it would be eye-opening. Would the differences be all that noticeable, I wonder? Certainly, I assume so because identifying as a woman comes with a lot of social pressures and stigmas and oppressions. I think it would make me appreciate my own struggles even more, but I also think it would let me see struggles that men face that I can’t readily identify from my own position in life, and that, ultimately, would help my actions as a feminist—a benefit that could have a ripple effect spreading further with each person share my experiences with. No matter what it would be like for me to be a man for a day, I would come out better for having those experiences and understanding them.
Also, it would suck to have to stand up to pee. I rather like having that time to rest for a minute.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
http://www.BakingInATornado.com Baking In A Tornado
http://themomisodes.com The Momisodes
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/ Spatulas on Parade
http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/ Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
http://batteredhope.blogspot.com Never Ever Give Up Hope
http://thelieberfamily.com The Lieber Family Blog
http://www.renasworld.com/ Rena’s World
http://dinoheromommy.com/ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com/ The Bergham Chronicles
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/ Confessions of a part-time working mom
http://justalovelyday.blogspot.com Just a Lovely Day
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com Someone Else’s Genius
http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com The Angrivated Mom