: The Oft Unspoken Advantages Of Being Female

In the current complexity and incessant communications about gender, being female can be simplistically comprehended as discriminatory and demeaning; a sense of worth devalued and debased at work, at home and at play. Many women are cast as victims as much by self as others. Allegations of sexual assault, verbal sexual abuse, harassment and infidelity permeate the media across the West, played out more perniciously in porn, paedophilia and prostitution as postulated by various, feminist pundits.

Furthermore, females endlessly encounter entrenched bias, both conscious and unconscious across all walks of life and in most societies. At the same time, there is an invisible but nonetheless impenetrable ‘glass ceiling’ for females aspiring to climb a corporate ladder or achieve fairness and equity in parliaments and diverse workplaces. They also receive a mere pittance in remuneration comparative to male counterparts. Behind closed doors in suburbia, they are sadly bashed, bruised and battered by “bastards’ they chose to cohabit with in apparent delusional deception of declarations of love. They are also mentally raped, routinely rejected and reduced to subservient stereotypes to control their revolutionary recalcitrance and radical rebellion. Obviously seen but not heard, they are dismissed disparagingly as grandiose for self-belief in their own intelligence, knowledge and experience.

These scenarios are just a few glaring examples of the negative and nefarious realities of being female in this 21st century, detailed depressingly on an almost daily basis in print, radio and on television in many countries in the West. Elsewhere, be it India, the country rated second in the world as the unsafest abode for females, followed by Saudi Arabia, or Afghanistan, The Congo and Northern Ireland among other nations, the injustices perpetrated against females are possibly more tragic, unable to attain any pretense of equality prohibited by law from engaging in an egalitarian existence.

Personally, I have confronted some of these situations over 60 years of life, but is it all doom and gloom as a female? Is our gender tantamount for prescribing a life  bereft of joy, happiness and well-being, physically and psychology? Are there any positives about being female that can engender pride, power and respect in our physiology? Pondering these conundrums, here are a few of my mental meanderings with an implicit subterfuge that it is an individual female’s free will to determine her own choices about how to live.

Notwithstanding that sub-plot, I believe I undoubtedly experienced many of the above disrespectful repercussions in my life because I purposefully and deliberately eschewed these supposedly more positive advantages; albeit in the ignorant and naive belief that I would not be punished or persecuted for my individualism or non-conformity. Moreover, I simultaneously thought being my own woman, living through, within and for myself would enrich my existence without any superficial symbols of success such as the good man, good career and the good home with good kids. Such were my misguided mistakes.

That’s not to criticise or condemn other females for pursuing these positives as I’ve penned, but I do puzzle over whether these females’ choices were, and are, made with eyes wide open or shut without question, thought or analysis.  Perhaps more probable is these positives are glibly expected and subliminally subsumed as part of a more socially acceptable female role. Living by ordained norms is certainly far easier and less exigent than defying those norms to stand on one’s own. That reality only manifested in hindsight. The definitive answers are yours!

(1) Kept Woman:

This female, provided for economically by her well-paid husband or partner, is usually celebrated or conceived more conventionally and socially approved as Devoted Mother and Homemaker, offering her family warmth, love and nourishment 24/7 in clean and comfortable environs that promote pride in her partner and children. The Kept Woman may of course work part-time, but she carefully chose a “good provider” as spouse to escape all the full-time trials and tribulations of a competitive and perhaps psychologically destructive workplace. As payment for her wisdom, she gets a cost-free home, children to pass the time with, copious food and all the bills accounted for by her hard-working husband. Housework, which she may have to do if the couple cannot afford a decent cleaner, may occupy lots of time, but she can indulge when it suits her without having some unsavory, even stupid “boss” watching her every move to ascertain her competence and commitment. It may not be every female’s fantasy to be a “Kept Woman”, but the majority of western women do actually live in this way, conveniently disguised as love, vocation and duty. Men on the other hand can choose to be “househusbands,” but only a minority seem to as they not only usually earn more money than their female partner, but seemingly prefer to slog it out in a 9-5 routine rather than stay cooped up with dirty nappies and the daily drudgery of being at home. These men, who typically associate their self-worth with fulfilling roles as good providers more than good fathers or homemakers, may well also be called “Kept”, as the return on their investment in a “Kept Woman” is that his home and children are well-cared for, his every need attended to and all pursuits permitted albeit grudgingly perhaps. He also gets sex as reward for his endeavours.   It’s clearly obvious how opposite these gender choices are in terms of lifestyle and one can only contemplate why that is so. Which gender choice is actually and realistically easier or more positive is a matter of perspective and perception.

2) Sexually Fraudulent Woman:

It’s certainly much, much easier and/or less obviously complicated for a woman to open her legs for sex than for a man to get an erection. A woman can “perform” when she supposedly wants to, even faking orgasms so her partner doesn’t perceive it as pretense. The man may even applaud how “good at sex” she is if she makes all the appropriate, accompanying moans and sighs, adept at passing of pleasure in a guise of perfunctory positioning. With this easy and simultaneously effortless exercise, a man can be “trapped” into getting her pregnant and marrying her so she can become the perfect kept woman. Indeed, he may lavish her with expensive gifts, dinners and other delights; particularly at work appropo the casting couch, paving her path to promotion and a higher salary among other plaudits. Most men need to get reasonably aroused or excited to get erect but the woman can “just lie back and think of England” as the saying went in the 50s and 60s. She can manipulate the man, so gullible and naïve in her ploy, that he doesn’t even realise he’s the pawn in her game. Moreover, she doesn’t need to reciprocate the favours of free dinners or gifts because she doesn’t earn anywhere near as much as he does. He is a very willing accomplice in the deceit, albeit ignorantly, even stupidly.

3) The Beautiful Woman:

The perception of beauty may be pervaded by the personal, but the billions of dollars invested by females in “beauty” products attests that they can alter their appearance with a variety of potions and lotions to disguise a less attractive visage. A made-up makeover can manipulate males into appreciating a woman’s appeal, only to later discover they’ve been deluded and deceived by a bottle of foundation, maybe even two layers of it, that masks a pale pallor, ugly acne or broken, red capillaries. False eyelashes, eyeliner, bright red, lipstick and colourful eye-shadow can also augment a woman’s attractiveness. Men are not so blessed, or at least not so inclined to indulge their hard-earned money in these superficial investments, apparently more content with allowing their natural nakedness to denote their appeal. Moreover, as I have realised by having little money for such investments, you can “change” appearance without being a spendthrift over the counter with lots of cheap cosmetics now available. Additionally, women can also “boost” their bust by padded bras as well as implants, body image as important as one’s mirrored face. Enlarging a man’s cock seems impossible although I’ve perused operations are extant in Asian whereabouts for just this purpose. Other surgical procedures are similarly proffered in Australia; be it to tuck your tummy, blast a bump off your nose, or lift the unsightly, fleshy layers on your face, neck, eyes, or thighs. The benefits of Botox can belie decades, so it is believed. Some men do invest in cosmetic dramatics but more women engage surgeons with their scalpels than their male counterparts. Being a beautiful woman is much easier, though more expensive, relatively,  than being a beautiful man.

4) Workplace Wonder:

A female can transcend many otherwise negative discriminatory decisions and conscious biases by being stunning, sensational and sexy by sight as so many males are, based on my own experience, easily seduced into thinking, however fallaciously, that these women will be an asset in their office. Not just for them of course, but for visitors, clients and customers who fall prey to their personal predatory instincts. As unspoken as this positive discrimination usually is, a good-looking woman can twist and turn a boss into believing she is a productive, professional performer and fully deserving of promotion and pay parity with her less than competent and conscientious male competitors. Her contribution is considered greater, accounted by her calm, cool demeanour and cunning complicity. A man in a suit, indistinguishable from his colleagues in similar suits, will have more difficulty being noticed to “stand out” than a female dressed desirably; albeit stylishly. Playing that game may indeed have positive outcomes, but is that what equal opportunity should focus on?

5) Peace Without Arms:

For centuries, a few bellicose females have waged war at the front, but most women are fortunate in being ineligible as unwanted in military combat around the world. Few countries enlist women in their defence corps as mandatory, Israel one of them, but mostly it is individual choice and women can make peace rather than war as they prefer. Soldiering and slogging it out in dangerous and potentially fatal environs is men’s business, women able to satiate their need for excitement and adventure in far more peaceful and less deadly ways. Being a peacenik as a female is possible; for most men it can place them in prison and prosecuted as unpatriotic depending in what country one lives. No argument for me about this positive!

6) Game Groupie:

Increasing numbers of females, both young and middle-aged, are taking to sporting arenas to tough it out on a field of play in pouring rain, freezing cold, biting winds and searing sun. Energy expended is exhausting with strenuous training regularly required and enjoyment not inevitable; far easier to “attract” a male, sporting superstar and glory in his gamesmanship rather than emulating his rigorous routines. It is far less tiring, troublesome or tricky; no intrinsic talent required except looking suitably glamorous and gorgeous on award nights as ego attachments, be it for football, cricket, tennis, golf, soccer or racing. Even Formula One competition can be a race of easier convenience, millions of dollars meted out in champagne for the female charlatans. Energy for sex might be all that’s demanded in warm comfort; no painful injuries expected or experienced, just pleasure if you select the right sportstar.

So are these positive advantages that as females we fail to acknowledge and appreciate because to do so might just detract from how “hard done by” we have been and of course, still are? Proposing positivism might also simultaneously help maintain the powerful male patriarchy by eroding the potency and pity of our victim status. Indeed, does “crying” foul or unfair diminish our own power as strong and successful women by blaming men as the culprits in our demise?

Introducing this piece by recognising the complexity of gender issues, it is my aim to only present some alternative perspective on the depressing media focus on victim females. I hope that the aforementioned positives provide some respite from the tedium of victimhood with promise for a life well-lived rather than sadly suffered. The unequivocally most positive advantage of my being female is I am gladly my own woman, nobody else’s, despite all the pain innate in the lifestyle I chose. I have no regret for my choices as they were not only right at the time, but in retrospect too!