Times Writer Flirts with Gender Switch; We’re Glad We Don’t Have To


Last week, Dana Jennings filed a dispatch to The New York Times‘ Well blog on the various ways in which his prostate cancer treatment was throwing his hormones for a loop. Prostate cancer, in turned out, allowed him to come as close as biologically possible to experiencing menopause as a male. We’re talking hot flashes, food cravings, weight gain, the works.

The tears would usually pour down when I got ambushed by some old tune: “Sweet Baby James” and “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor, “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” by Carly Simon and, yes, “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore. Not only was I temporarily menopausal, but it appeared that I was also turning into a teenage girl from the early 1970s.

Future hot flash hell notwithstanding, we’re happy for the most part to be in possession of two x chromosomes. Let’s go over a list of a the things we’d least like to experience as a member of the opposite sex.

1. Sports: having to watch ’em, play ’em, pretend to care about ’em, or at least knowing enough about them to use them as social currency with other males? No thank you.

2. Not being allowed to cry/be sensitive: boys are discouraged from showing weakness, or in some cases, any feelings at all, and that just sucks. We’re just as frustrated by women-as-harpies stereotypes as the next person, but the freedom to wear pink, watch chick flicks, and whine to friends is not something we’d be keen on giving up.

3. Err, involunary public displays of affection.

That’s all we’ve got for now — what aspects of life for the opposite gender are you glad to have missed out on? Sound off!