Would you rather be a man or a woman?

The other day, while discussing the many difficulties that a woman needs to face during her journey of life, I concluded: “I have never wanted to be a woman.”

But a former student, Andrea, proclaimed, “I have never wanted to be a man.”

I met up with Andrea and Clairine, another former student, today, and over lunch, I asked them the very question, “What’s so good about being a woman in today’s society?”

Interestingly, Clairine sided with Andrea, and they started to enumerate the advantages of being a woman, and the disadvantages of being a man, in present-day society.

Listening intently, I came to realise the huge difference between our perceptions of the life that members of the opposite sex are experiencing. For example, they see men’s financial responsibility for the family as a great burden, while I don’t see it as a source of stress. I see a woman’s major chapters of life as sources of worry, but they didn’t experience them as worrisome.

Perhaps we can only fully understand the joys and sorrows of the opposite sex by living our life a second time, in a different gender role. But for me the problem is: If I could live my life a second time, I would still want to be a man!


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