Why I’m Glad I’m Not a Woman

My legs get cold. How do you ladies do it? I mean I’m happy for the effort, don’t get me wrong, but how can you go out in 50 degree weather with bare legs and no socks? Don’t you freeze? I would definitely be one of those women in the jeans, sneakers and hoodie. Comfort would overrule sex appeal or fashion sense every single time.

You’ve got to worry about how you look all the time. Again, much respect, but if I had to think twice before I left the house I probably never would. Skin cream? Lipstick? Nail polish? I just couldn’t. I guess guys have to shave and wear a suit and tie on occasion, but it’s not even remotely the same. I watch my wife try on blouse after blouse and I can’t relate. If it doesn’t have a rip or a stain, my shirt could have a picture of someone wind-surfing and I could care less. It’s just a shirt. And while we’re on that topic, you all have so much clothing. It has to match. It has to fit in a way that shows you off. It has to look expensive without being expensive. I’m wearing the only shirt I bought during my 14 years of marriage. It’s blue. I like blue. Done deal!

And the shoes! There are more in a typical woman’s closet than she can wear in a month (a year for some). My wife is not a shoe nut, but she still has double digits pair of shoes. Why? For guys, one pair black, maybe one pair brown if you want to get fancy. Boots for the winter. Sneakers. That’s it. Women have six different size heels, strapped and strapless, fun, businesslike, sexy, practical, sporty, open toed, closed-toed…and sandals. I know some men wear sandals, but they really should not. There is no reason for any man to draw attention to his feet. I’m sorry sandal guys, this is non-negotiable. Also if your footwear leaves you unprepared to fight a fire or participate in a high speed chase, you shouldn’t wear it. How do you high-heeled ladies expect to run in those things?

It’s all just societal norms and pressures that dictate what a woman is supposed to look like and wear. We are all, to some degree, slaves to fashion. But it’s SO much harder on you all than it is on us. There’s something intrinsic in the typical male mind that really does reject being told what to wear. Except by your wife, of course, which is not only accepted but incredibly convenient. Women have to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s “in” and “out”, and not just what’s on sale at WalMart. You know why? It has nothing to do with us, men, so just lose the notion that women are primping for our benefit. They’re trying to impress each other! And nobody is a worse critic than another woman. Oh, you gals can be vicious. Can you imagine a guy having something critical to say about what another guy is wearing? Besides those five gay guys on TV, who represent a subculture where it is perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. I dress up a little myself when I’m seeing gay friends. But a straight guy? Nah. Unless you’re wearing a thong at the beach (or sandals when I’m around) you won’t elicit male comment.

Another reason I’m glad I’m not a woman is obvious, yet rarely mentioned out loud. You know. The monthly visitor? Aunt Flo? The punctuation mark that doesn’t denote a question or an exclamation? Are you getting me here?

Yes, Dorothy, I mean menstruation.

How do you ladies deal? Really. What a royal pain in the rump. It’s one thing if it was just a one-day deal and done, but no… First comes cramping and the unleashing of hormones to let you know the big day is coming. Then the prologue, the main event and the epilogue over the course of 5-7 days, where you have to watch what you wear and how long you’ll be sitting in one place, and make sure you pack a friend in your pocketbook… Let me tell you straight out, no man I know would make it. If men had it, we would throw billions and billions of dollars into research for a cure. And forget about pregnancy. If you wanted to remove any argument about the right to abortion, make men have the babies. As a rule men have a hard time getting the sniffles without acting like a pouty child. I can’t IMAGINE how we’d handle water retention, sore backs, hormonal turmoil and three months of vomiting. I rarely vomit unless I am very, very ill, and when I do it is about the worst thing I can imagine—heaving uncontrollably, eyes watering, head pounding, feeling as though my organs are coming up through my throat. Every day for three months? I’d be at the hospital begging for morphine every day so I wouldn’t jump off the nearest bridge. I would not be alone.

And once a woman is a Mom, she has to be everything to everybody. She has to comfort and feed and coddle and cook and wash and make snacks and feed, food, hungry, starving, can I have something to eat day and friggin’ night. It never ends! I help with the food shoveling, especially the past few weeks when Mary El was doing a show, but it’s not my responsibility the way it is hers. I swear the kids look at her and see a chicken leg like in that Bugs Bunny cartoon. She’ll walk in the door from shopping and both boys will ask her for something to drink and eat before she puts the keys down. It’s an expectation. A horrible, millstone, yoke-like, albatross of an expectation, that apparently comes when you’re issued breasts.

With all these drawbacks, and the pain of childbirth to boot, at least you can say women are paid fairly for doing the same job. And they have perfect equality with their male counterparts in power, politics and business. And they are always treated by men with the respect and dignity they deserve. Right. Being a guy ain’t always easy, but it ain’t as hard as being a gal. By the way, does this shirt go with my eyes?

    • Kae
    • May 17th, 2011

    Good one, Brian. All so true. Now, you didn’t mention menopause, which, for me, is far worse than the monthly discomfort. I never know when I’m going to get a hot flash, and they come morning, noon, and night. I’ll fall asleep and within ten minutes I’m awakened by a hot flash, accompanied by generalized anxiety. The menopausal weight gain is no damn fun. Neither are the other symptoms. There’s no telling how long all this will go on for. It absolutely stinks. Yes, women pulled the short straw of life in many ways!

    (Hope not TMI, but while we were on the subject…)

  1. You’ve read me blog about how much I like my toilet, right? We don’t have many boundaries here…

    • Joel Flowers
    • May 17th, 2011

    I love it when you get on your “sandals for men” thing. You must have been traumatized by a Roman gladiator as a child. I was different. I always wanted some big leather sandals with shiny silver studs and long straps criss-crossing all the way up to the calves. And please don’t spend any time on the beaches of Europe. You would be horrified by all the fat old men in speedos.

  2. I must’ve been “Ben Hur”. That Olivier scene when the director told Tony Curtis to play it as a come on while Larry had no idea what was going on. Classic.

    I’ve heard about European men and I would indeed be horrified. Good thing I don’t have any European beach plans in the near future.

    Now that ME is done with the show, when can we get together? Are you available any weekdays by any chance?

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