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I Wouldn't Change My Sex, Would You?
by Paula Hines Lonergan
I attended a seminar and learned a surprising statistic, or at least it was surprising to me. A survey was taken of 1000 Michigan elementary school students. They were asked to describe what life would be like if they were born a member of the opposite sex. This survey was taken in 2000 by the way and listed in the Op-Ed section of the Washington Post.
The survey revealed 40% of the girls saw positive advantages to being a boy. The reasons they gave were men got better jobs, made more money, and definitely got more respect. On the flip side, 95% of the boys saw no advantage to being female. That is an absolute "hoot" to me, as my friend Sherell would say.
Now, as I think a little further about this, I don't think I have ever considered it a disadvantage to be female. Sure, maybe men do get better jobs. But I'm the kind of person who has enjoyed most of the jobs I've had in my life. So maybe because enjoyment is important to me than say maybe other issues, I guess I hadn't noticed. Not to say there is not inequality, of course.
When it comes to making more money, I've been rich (relatively speaking, very relative) and I've been poor, I have made less money than my husband but many times have made more. I guess money is not the highest priority in my life, so I didn't notice.
Respect, hmmmm, I think I've received more disrespect for other "reasons" than I have in just being female. Or maybe I just couldn't tell the difference. But that's another issue which I will not even address.
I guess bottom line I'm saying I rather like being a women. But in reflection and realistically perhaps if I lived in another century or in another country maybe I would feel otherwise.
As I reflect on some women in history, rulers like Xenobia, who was a talented linguist, a brilliant strategist, and highly intelligent. She is admired for her many accomplishments. Or the Biblical women Sarah who was hospitable, not hardly a pushover and yet she had high regard for her husband and others, and most importantly to me, she was spiritual. Sarah had exemplary qualities.
I have a brother. Do I wish I was him, male, instead? Did I see any disadvantages to me being a girl growing up in our household, than for him? Maybe there were, but I can't remember any. Perhaps other issues overshadowed that particular one.
Does upbringing play a role in that thinking? Did I grow up with a sense of equality and respect which affects my thinking. Maybe it has to do with self-like or maybe it's...well I don't think. Believe it or not, I'm at a loss for words for finishing this commentary. I need help.
What do you think? Would you have preferred to be born the opposite sex if you had an option? And please I'm not talking about gender bending or the like at all. But do you see an advantage to being male over female or vice versa, one way or the other?
Please participate in this brief mini poll. Don't worry you don't have to identify yourself, only if you are male or female.
However, if you wish you to comment, and input is appreciated, please sign the guestbook with a statement. Once again, no name is needed. I'm just quite curious as to what others, you, think about this issue.
Bottom line, for me I figure I'm just like of the 60% of girls surveyed. I just don't think I would change. There's enough advantages being me as I am, female.
Copyright 2006 Paula Lonergan.
All rights reserved.