March 28, 2015
‘What’s the score?’ I asked, sitting down amongst the menfolk who were all totally captivated by the beautiful game. Captivated, that is, until a girl asked them a question. ‘Why?’ one of them asked, confused by my inquiry. By watching football rather than complaining and insisting we turn it off, I was confusing the men. I loved football when I was younger – in fact, I was quite good at it – but as I grew into this sparkly, girly, forever-Halloween, skanky Barbie, my priorities changed. It’s not a big deal. ‘Go on then, what’s offside?’ he persisted – like a firm grasp of football is exclusively reliant on an understanding of the offside rule. He didn’t expect me to know, but I did (come on, it’s not rocket science) and suddenly, the menfolk were in awe – a vagina-person who knows what offside is? That’s adorable.
If I want to impress a guy, I exhibit a basic understanding of a sport, I quote an action film or I spank them at a video game, but the only reason they find this so damn impressive is because I am a girl. Girls aren’t supposed to be ‘cool’. When many guys imagine their future wife, it’s usually the clichéd image of the nagging bitch, complaining at him for watching football, playing too many video games, going out and getting drunk with the lads… come on, now. Guys are allowed (if not expected) to be into this stuff, but for us chicks, it’s odd.
I absolutely love being a girl (yes, even this bastardised version of my gender) but I can’t help but think how much easier life would be if I were a boy. I mean, I’d probably be better at it than I am at being a chick. The grass is always greener, but here are 16 reasons why I sometimes wish I were a boy (and no, they’re nothing like Beyoncé’s)…
My clothes wouldn’t try to kill me
The other night I got in from a night out, kicked off my shoes, took off my clothes and my underwear, scrubbed off my make-up and brushed out my curls – that’s when it occurred to me just how much pain I was in… how much pain I’m always in! I looked at my body in the mirror, examining the red marks from complicated underwear and tight clothing all over my skin before letting my gaze drop to my ugly, ballerina feet, which look miserable having not known a flat shoe for many years. My eyes were sore, my head was hurting, my shoulder ached from carrying my Mary Poppins-esque handbag – I was a wreck. The bloke I was out with simply slipped off his clothes and that was him ready for bed. Boom. Just like that. That’s when it really occurred to my just how much easier men have it. Their clothes don’t try to kill them. They don’t have to strap their chest down with industrial-strength bras just so they can go up and down stairs without risk of injury. They can walk, safe in the knowledge they don’t have a finite number of steps before their balls start aching. When they get naked, they don’t look like a road map. When they wash their face, they don’t look like a different person. They will never know the pain of untangling their hair.
No more Shark Week
This one is fairly obvious, but being a boy would mean no more periods. I think guys imagine them being much worse than they actually are, still, it would be nice to not. Periods are total pain in the womb. With them comes a whole heap of things to contend with like water weight, pain, and feels. The time-of-the-month can make even the toughest tomboy burst into tears at the sight of Channing Tatum holding a baby, even if she isn’t maternal and Channing isn’t really her type. At the same time, they’re no big deal but… but, but, but. If a guy knows mother nature is paying you a visit, and you dare to be upset about something, he will blame your period – this will piss you off, because that’s not why, which will cause him to point out that you’re getting angrier thus proving his point, which makes you angrier still and soon enough you have an actual bloodbath on your hands. So to speak. Sorry.
It would be OK to like boy stuff
Boys are allowed to like boy stuff without it being cute, or seeming like they’re only doing it to impress boys. Guys think it’s adorable when girls like video games, action movies, sci-fi TV shows, sports, etc. If people don’t think we’re cute, they think we’re monumentally sad. I’m a grown-ass woman, with 30 only a couple of years away – do you know how hard it is to openly like video games? Do you know what the other female members of my family think of me? That I’m an epic loser. Why am I doing this?! Why would I want to do this? Shouldn’t I be buying shit for my bottom drawer and trying to find a decent husband? Sure, I get talking to plenty of guys on GTA Online, but they’re all teenage boys, which isn’t exactly marrying well…
Relationships would be easier
As a girl, you can only ever like a boy as much as will not freak him out. I remember once telling a guy that I liked him – I didn’t even mean anything by it other than that, perhaps if he were to die, I’d probably have about five seconds where I thought, aw, that sucks for him. But he was like: ‘whoa, you like me?!’ with the amount of alarm you’d expect if I’d asked him to put a baby in me. If a guy wants to like a girl casually, he can. If a guy decides he can’t live without a girl, he can tell her. For men, it’s a huge, romantic gesture to tell a girl that he loves her. The other way round, it’s often seen as the girl being a cray-cray bunny boiler. Guys can text girls when they feel like it, and if they don’t hear from them, they think nothing of it. For girls, not hearing from guys can get them thinking – why has he stopped texting me? Is he bored of me? Has he found someone else? And do you know what, he probably has.
No more faking it
‘Aw, Frankie, your friend had a baby. There’s a photo on Facebook,’ my mum called across the room to me, while I was sitting at the table playing Bullshit with the kids while the adults were all sat chatting at the other end of the room. ‘Oh, cool,’ I replied casually. People, I have learned that this is not an appropriate reaction to the miracle of childbirth given that I have a womb. Everyone stared at me, like I were some kind of robot. ‘OK, fine, let me try that again,’ I started, before adopting a very overly enthusiastic and yet clearly entirely false tone. ‘Oh, cool! Awesome! Babies, yeah!’ – my humour went down about as well as my unenthusiastic reaction. Similarly, when someone asks you: ‘Don’t you want to get pregnant?’ and you reply with: ‘Honey, it’s wasteland down there – chlamydia couldn’t grow down there’ no one is going to laugh. Because you’re supposed to be a woman. You’re supposed to want to grow people inside your womb, not use it to crack jokes. Guys don’t get asked questions like this and no one is shocked if a guy doesn’t get all gooey when they see a baby. Someone once told me that if I reacted to babies in the street the way I react to puppies in the street, people might think me normal. So that’s what happens.
No more faking it
From one kind of faking it to another… One of the best things men have going for them: all their orgasms are real. They never need to fake it – why would they? When they’re done, it’s done. For girls, sometimes a little amateur dramatics is necessary. Because we don’t want you to feel bad. Because we’re bored. Because we’ve watched When Harry Met Sally a billion times and it looks like fun.
No more handbags
I pretty much have an entire pharmacy in my handbag at all times – a really well-stocked one. I have my purse in there. Receipts for the past four years. Pens, notebooks, my dictaphone. I have hair products, make-up, food, earplugs, my iPad, headphones. Things I bought weeks ago and forgot about. Perfume – usually two different kinds, at least. I have so so much crap in my bag it’s unreal, and it’s no surprise to anyone that my shoulders ache from trailing it around everywhere. So… where do men put their things when they’re out and about? Like, they put their wallet in their pocket and they’re good. Even if I wore clothes with pockets, where would all that other stuff go? I don’t understand, but it sounds lovely…
Your name will always be your name
Fellas, your name is your name and it will be your name forever unless you decide that you want to change it for some reason. Chicks, on the other hand, are still supposed to change their name when they get married. I complain about my foreign surname that no one can spell/say, but it makes me interesting. It’s a conversation starter. If I marry Mr Smith, I am stripped of that. No one will ask me where I’m from any more. Similarly, you might fall in love with the most perfect man on the planet, but if his surname is something like Bender or Rimmer, you’re going to have to make peace with that.
Bachelor are hot, spinsters are not
When people think of bachelors they think of George Clooney types (although, granted that changed recently) or Hugh Grant. Handsome, older gents who date a series of young birds, but are having too much fun to settle down. When people think of spinsters, they see perennially single Bridget Jones types, desperate for a man, with nothing but cats for company. To be a bachelor seems like a choice, to be a spinster seems like a curse.
Chocolate doesn’t rule you
OK, guys, women need chocolate and it’s science, OK? We need it to function. We can consume it indefinitely. Show us so much as a funsize Snickers and we’ll go 0-Augustus Gloop in seconds. But it’s bad for us, so we try not to eat too much of it. But our brain is telling us that we need it. That we can’t be happy without it. So we have this battle on our hands: should we be skinny and miserable or fat and happy? Because there’s no in-between ground, because a life without chocolate is a sad, sad thing.
Sun’s out, guns out
When it’s boiling hot, men are allowed to whip off their shirts in public to keep cool. And it’s fine. And they’re happy. Meanwhile, in Girlville, we’re sweating our brains out miserably into our underwired bras, which we have to wear under our top, which we cannot take off because it’s obscene.
Men only get hotter
As men get older, they get hotter. Fact. Wrinkles and grey hair make men seem distinguished. It gives them character. It isn’t the same for women, who spend thousands on potions and injections and surgery to keep their skin looking young, and constantly dye their hair to keep the grey at bay.
No cat-callers to contend with
Men will never know that sinking feeling we chicks get when we know we’re going to have to walk past a group of men and we’re wearing a skirt. We don’t even have to be wearing something sexy, cat-callers take little encouragement. Whether it’s being harassed at the bar, stalked down the street, filmed on the train or a gang of lads making sex noises at you in Asda – men will never know how horrible this is. No, bizarrely, it isn’t flattering. It’s intimidating and embarrassing. I mean, I’m not even sure to what end some blokes do it. A guy once walked up to me in Sainsbury’s, announced: ‘I would’ and then walked away. Of course, there was no way I would have entertained such an approach, but the fact that he simple announced that he would and then walked away means that, although he would, he wasn’t going to. I can’t imagine ever seeing a guy in the street and thinking that the best approach would be to shout something sexual at him. Men often tell me they would love it if a girl would do that to them, and that I shouldn’t complain. To this, I ask them how they would feel if a man did it to them, to which they obviously freak out. So why is it OK? Being a dude = being able to go about your day without being sexually harassed.
No worries of getting knocked up
Guys don’t need to worry about getting pregnant. Girls do. Guys can operate, safe in the knowledge that their carelessness will never result in anything happening to their bodies. No decisions about what to do. No medical procedures of any kind. It must be nice to not have to worry about things like that. Like the fact that no contraception is truly 100% effective. For girls, that’s always at the back of our minds. Similarly, if we meet a guy who we know has a kid, we freak out, because, dude, your sperm works. You’ve proven it. And now there’s some single mum somewhere, because of your super-potent sperms. Keep that thing the heck away from me, please.
No hardcore, time-consuming beauty regime
Wake-up, wash face, shower, wax, shave, pluck, paint nails, moisturise, foundation, concealer, bronzer, blusher, highlighter, eyeshadow(s), eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, mascara(a), lipliner, lipstick, lipgloss. Add clothes, hair-styling and accessories. Get home, remove clothes and accessories, brush hair, remove make-up, cleanse, tone, moisturise. Like, what the fuck do I even look like? I only truly look myself when I’m a asleep and I don’t take many selfies while I snooze. Being a girl is hard work. Taking care of yourself is hard work. Keeping up with the beauty standards we’re supposed to is time-consuming and it’s hard-fucking-work. And yet we do it. Because we’re supposed to. Men really have it so easy.
The male gaze
Men, you are so lucky. The media just put boobs everywhere and it’s all for you. Sex sells, it’s true. Whether it’s music videos, Page 3, or sexposition scenes in Game of Thrones (AKA using boobs to keep your attention while they explain things), it’s everywhere. And it’s allllll for you.
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