I just started reading a book by Peggy Orenstein (author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, which I read last year) called Schoolgirls, and before page 1 even begins (there's about 20 roman numerals' worth), she tells a story about a teacher who gave her 6th grade students an interesting exercise:
Imagine you were born as a member of the opposite sex. What is different?
So obviously, I grabbed my journal and immediately started a list.
If I Were A Boy:
- My mother would never have made me wear dresses when I was little (which I passionately despised at the time, although I don't anymore).
- I'd probably have had to mow the lawn at some point in my life, but I'm sure I'd still have to do all of the same chores I do now as well.
- Better relationship with my male cousins who live close by
- Different friends, and different relationships with those who would remain the same
- Less worry in general from all sides about dating (also, probably later curfews)
- Less comfortable acting in different roles. When I was little, there was never anyone or anything I couldn't pretend to be. And I feel that while in my immediate family it would have been the same is I were a guy, it isn't nearly as accepted everywhere else.
The odd thing, though, is that the author then asks what's "lucky" about being a girl, and the girls she talked to didn't have an answer. I'm not going to go into it here, but I think there are plenty of things. Less obvious than the advantages of being a boy, maybe, but they're there.