Feelings of belonging to the other gender
The book titled “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” by John Gray applies to how different men and women are in their attitudes, feelings and lifestyles. I have often wondered what it would be like to be a man and have had several questions that interest me about the male species.
Both, men and women, are constantly concerned about looking “good” even though they are physically different. In order to look appealing to others, men are supposed to be big, strong, and athletic, whereas women are supposed to be thin, pretty, and big breasted. I often wonder why we put so much emphasis on the way a person looks. I think males feel more of the pressures of looking ” big, strong, and muscular”. I’ve talked to some of my guy friends and they told me that the pressure and competition they are faced with is stressful and painful. I told them that I am not too critical when checking out guys and when it comes to seeing other females prettier or thinner than me, that I don’t feel too much pressure of trying to look better than them. I am rather more concerned of my own health and ways to improve it. I was surprised when they told me that other guys are the ones who usually criticize or pressure them. When I was aware of this, I did notice, at times, while walking around casually with my guy friends, when they weren’t looking adequate like the other guys, they would be ostracized by them. I was even surprised when I heard my guy friends talking about other guys right in front of me, even though most of these times I didn’t notice anything wrong or different about the other guys they were talking about. From this observation, I think the pressure of always looking good and like a brick-house would be greater if I was to be a male. I
would always try to look big, tuff and muscular to please others. Guys, I think, are faced with enormous pressures to look good. Television, for example, almost never features old, heavy, or unattractive, shriveled up men. Even if a character is a doctor or a scholar on television, he looks like a Bay-Watch character.
When it comes to sexuality, I think there is great confusion for both men and women. One contributing factor is the double standard still existing. For instance, the same women who are pressured to having sex on a Saturday night are called “sluts” and “hoes” on Monday morning. The guys, or the “studs”, which coaxed them into sex at the parties avoid them in the halls at work. Additionally, our society hasnt clearly defined or universally accepted rules about sexuality. We live in a pluralistic culture with contradictory sexual paradigms. We hear diverse messages from our families; our churches, our schools and the media, and each of us must integrate these messages and arrive at some value system that makes sense to us. Another reason there is confusion is that we are taught by movies and television that sophisticated people are free and spontaneous while we are being constantly warned that casual sex can kill us.
Becoming a male Hispanic Catholic, I think my parents and siblings would be less protective of me. I am the oldest of three girls and I have an older brother. I still remember times when my older brother was still in his teenage years and the special privileges he would get from my parents when he went out on dates or with his friends. Sometimes, I secretly wished I could be a guy, so I could get to go out and not have to hear the fatal word curfew. I remember asking my parents why I had curfew and my brother didnt. The answer was always,
girls get pregnant not guys. Sometimes, they would include the issue of safety. I simply cant begin to imagine how my life would have turned out if I had been a man. Would have I turned out to be a powerful sexy man like Kevin Spacey, Bill Clinton, Simbad or John Travolta,” or would I have turned out to be a male me.
Another thing I would be concerned with, if I was a guy, is HIV and pregnancy. Males are on average the ones that initiate sex, whether it is with their girlfriend or the local street prostitute. You can always find trouble if you dont use some type of contraceptive. I cant begin to express my disappointment every time I see a baby having a baby. In one of my evening classes, I was surprised when the professor asked the students to raise their hands if they knew of a person who had a child during their teenage years. Mostly all of the students, including myself, raised our hands. As a male, I would first educate myself before considering being intimate with a female. I think it’s healthy for guys to enjoy their own developing sexual responsiveness and to want to explore their sexuality, but there is no easy or established way to stop a sexual encounter. Some of my women friends avoid dating and touching because they dont know how or when to draw the line in order to say stop. Not knowing how to respect the word “no,” makes a male more prone to HIV and pregnancy.
Coming to the end of my paper, I want to bring up issues and questions that I have always wondered about and would like to be finally answered through this experience of becoming a male. First off, I would like to know what is all the fuss about having to be the man of the house. Do men really think women cant protect and provide for ourselves? And what is this business about having sex before your eighteen, arent
there other ways you guys can prove to your buddies that you are entering manhood? I also want to know why men are fascinated with womens large breasts. In addition, why do men always report to their male friends who they slept with and how they did it? I would also like to know why men drive as if they are constantly being chased by the MAFIA. These are just a few things I am curious about. By writing this short paper, I have gained a deeper insight and appreciation on how it would feel to actually be a man. In closing, I would like to give credit to all the men who gave me a better understanding on the male species.