If I were a man, I could say things about how awfully overworked I am as an educator without getting labeled a “whiny princess.”
I wouldn’t have to put up with idiotic jokes about making sandwiches or “how crazy bitches are all the time, maaaaaan.”
I wouldn’t have to watch videos like this and look on, puzzled and infuriated, as these two privileged-ass men mock a perfectly capable woman for a perfectly valid (NOT STUPID) opinion.
I wouldn’t have to deal with being looked at like I’ve sprouted four extra heads when I say, no, I don’t want kids, and if I do end up with them, I don’t want them to come from my own womb.
I wouldn’t have to worry about where the exits are, what I can use for a weapon, what time it is, how much light is outside, where I can hide, where I can run.
I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I’m acting cool enough to be an attractive mate, working hard enough to keep that mate, and/or losing myself enough to be a life-long mate.
I wouldn’t have to worry about if what I’m wearing is inappropriate simply because of the way my body has naturally shaped itself thanks to genetics, and I wouldn’t have to worry about being called a classless slut if my outfit didn’t end up making that acceptable cut.
I wouldn’t have to wonder if I’m getting equal pay, the best deal, screwed over, or rightful treatment simply due to my sex.
I wouldn’t have to kiss ass just because all of my superiors are men that either want me, hate me, or don’t know what to do with me.
I wouldn’t have to have a bigger, more menacing escort to take me places to look at items on Craigslist, a bar late at night, or even just to the garage to get my car fixed.
I wouldn’t have to hear that everything is my fault, that rape is preventable, that we’re all just asking for it.
I wouldn’t have to worry if the words coming out of my mouth are too brash or too honest, too filthy or too loud.
I wouldn’t have to worry if wanting, needing, and loving to be alone is a safe decision due to the ingrained violence against women in our society.
I wouldn’t have to deal with catcallers, entitled “nice guys,” or friends who aren’t really my friends since they always expect more one day.
I wouldn’t have to be labeled as irrational, emotional, weak, and unintelligent.
I wouldn’t have to wonder why a disgusting slang word for my vagina is commensurate to the slur for being a weak man, a lesser person.
I wouldn’t have to worry about my reproductive rights and health, and I wouldn’t have to worry about whether people would look down on me for having sex, or worse, enjoying it.
I wouldn’t have to worry if smiling at that elderly man in the grocery store today as a human courtesy was instead taken as an invitation.
I wouldn’t have to question my choices, identity, and appearance constantly, never quite free from critique, even if I choose not to listen.
I wouldn’t have to worry about backlash for writing something like this, for comments from readers telling me to “get over it,” “grow up,” or “stop overgeneralizing.”
If I were a man, I wouldn’t. I just wouldn’t.