Hi older trans woman here.
So I have a erm take.
SOME men do indeed have it pretty hard and in some spheres western Liberal democracies are failing them horribly. My times in family court trying to see my daughter taught me much, back when I was trying to ‘man’.
BUT… oh god. I can understand why any cis woman might feel a little trans envy. So. Much. Bullshit. That is totally unnecessary. You mention shoes but erm hello can I get some actual pockets on my jeans first.
Even at 5 foot 10 I don’t feel safe at night.
My appearance never used to matter. The male dress code is best summed us as ‘That’ll do’. Now… I police my damn self. What rot.
I lost any authority I may ever have had in conversation. Gone. Suddenly I’m a brainless tart. Oh and the looks of disgust when I’m occasionally too loud. Argh.
And look I’m the first one to know I’ll never know the inconvenience and pain of periods nor will I ever bear a child. These are sources of profound lamentation for me but I do sympathise as best I can.
But trust me there’s plenty about the female anatomy I do get. And yeah, honestly, back when I was trynna be ‘him’ things were way more convenient.
BUT… (caveat 2: exception boogaloo) I cherish my femininity. And I’ve never missed leaving all that utter bullshit behind. Men’s behaviour, their attitudes, their entire way of being… No thanks.
So what’s so great about being a woman, from someone who’s been both (for the sake of argument)?
Well there are upsides to the downsides for a start. Always being seen as the caregivers. Yeah the assumption is hateful. But caring for others, loving others in action, not word or feeling, is so damn fulfilling. Sure men can do it, yeah, but it mostly gets left to us. Might as well enjoy it. Plus it’s a rare man who can coo over a baby without feeling his manhood crumble.
We also call the shots quite a lot in relationships. Hoo boy. It was quite the thing when I first went on a date as a woman and was asked if a kiss was OK. Such a small thing, but having been on the other side of that dynamic I was interested in how it felt to be asked. And of course the really interesting thing was I could have said no (I didn’t. 😛) This kind of thing happens more than you might understand. Nor might you realise how much stress a boy goes through before he asks you out. Yeah, won’t miss that.
Sorority. OMG. I can’t overstate this. You may have seen men act tribally but they are all solitary little islands. Their camaraderie is wafer thin way too often. And they don’t talk (I’ll elaborate on this presently). I LOVE my girlfriends. The dynamic is light years from a group of men. And I’ve also heard a lot more sex talk amongst the girls than I ever heard in any locker room, where only the most superficial and generic bs is thrown back and forth. Honestly, other women are possibly the best aspect of being a women.
We enjoy a greater range of expression. I mean this in two ways, one trivial, the other nothing of the sort.
Clothing. Makeup. Hair. Shoes.
Those comfy mens’ boots you coveted, I dare say can be found for women. Meanwhile those black heels…for a man? Erm no.
The freedom of a skirt? Denied.
The extra little lift from a lick of makeup? Nope.
Hair? Short. Or ponytail. Or ugh manbun…
It’s kinda trivial, yes. But it’s also not. As someone who understood that my outward semiotics were gonna have to do some heavy lifting to communicate who I am when overcoming what was a male physique, I can tell you that expression is important in ways you might take for granted as a woman.
Men lack the breadth of expression we enjoy. And that’s just the surface.
Next is the emotions. Oh lord. Yeah this one is a killer. Literally. In the UK and US men kill themselves 3 times as often as us women. Why? They don’t lack the emotions. Don’t believe any man who tells you that. It’s bullshit. They absolutely have the same emotional range as women IMHO. However, their socialisation… Dear god. They’re simply not taught the emotional vocabulary to properly emote.
Is this familiar? (what he’s feeling vs what he’s expressing)
Something like that? I could list dozens more but…
We’re ill equipping our young men to deal with emotions. Couple that with being indoctrinated into toxic stoicism and never talking to one another and something has to give. And too often it’s their lives.
I don’t doubt I could cite more but I hope even these few broad points find us in agreement about some of the downsides while maybe giving you a reason or two to be cheerful.
Oh and we’ll fix the pay gap one day. It’s coming.
Much love, many hugs