Surprisingly, our paper focuses on the concept of belonging to the opposite gender. The book “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” by John Gray effectively illustrates the significant disparities in attitudes, emotions, and lifestyles between men and women. This task will provide me with an enjoyable opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on womanhood. Additionally, it will satisfy my longstanding curiosity about various aspects of being a woman that have intrigued me since childhood.
Regardless of societal expectations, both men and women are constantly preoccupied with their physical appearance. Men are expected to have a muscular and athletic physique, while women are expected to be slim, attractive, and well-endowed. The underlying reason for attaching such importance to one’s appearance is a topic I often contemplate. In my view, women typically encounter more pressure to look “good”.
My female friends have expressed their distress and suffering caused by societal pressure and rivalry. I want to assure them that I do not judge other women harshly, nor do I feel compelled to compete with physically dominant men. Instead, my primary concern is nurturing my own well-being and seeking methods to improve it. It was astonishing to discover that these critiques and pressures frequently originate from fellow women.
After becoming aware of this, I started noticing occasions where my girlfriends faced disapproving glances, whispered conversations, or remarks from other women during their daily routines. It was surprising when I heard my friends discussing other girls, despite those individuals being unexceptional. This realization helped me comprehend that women face greater pressure to always appear attractive. As a result, I found myself continuously working towards maintaining an appealing appearance in order to meet societal standards.
Girls are under immense pressure to maintain a desirable appearance. The media, especially television, rarely showcases older, overweight, or unattractive women. Even if a female character is portrayed as intelligent or accomplished, she is still depicted as highly attractive. This creates confusion regarding sexuality for both boys and girls.
One contributing factor to the issue is the enduring presence of a double standard. To illustrate, girls who feel pressured into engaging in sexual activities on a Saturday night often face derogatory labels such as “sluts” and “hoes” come Monday morning. Meanwhile, the boys, known as “studs,” who enticed them into these encounters at parties, conveniently ignore them in school hallways. Additionally, our society lacks well-defined and universally embraced guidelines regarding sexuality.
In our pluralistic culture, conflicting sexual paradigms persist. The various messages we receive from our families, churches, schools, and the media force us to reconcile these differing viewpoints and establish a personal value system. Compounding the confusion is the misleading notion portrayed in movies and television that sophisticated individuals embody freedom and spontaneity, while simultaneously being cautioned about the potential dangers of casual sex. Consequently, we find ourselves ensnared in double binds and faced with impossible expectations.
As a female Asian Catholic, I believe that my parents and older siblings would be more cautious about my safety. Being the youngest among 7 boys and 2 girls in my family, I recall instances where my younger sister encountered challenges when she desired to go on dates or spend time with friends. On occasions like these, she would request me to accompany her so that it appeared as if she was spending time with me. This tactic proved helpful in alleviating our parents’ worries.
Despite being 8 years younger than her, I remember feeling worried about her welfare during these times. If I were a female and the youngest person in the family, I can’t imagine how challenging it would be for me. It seems impossible to comprehend hearing terms like “curfew” or “be home at ten” for the first time without finding them funny. Undoubtedly, I would reflect on all those moments as a boy when I didn’t appreciate going out freely without facing any consequences.
As a girl, I have concerns about sex and violence because of the physical differences between genders. Women, being typically smaller than men, are at a higher risk of experiencing sexual assaults such as rape. In one of my psychology classes, I was surprised when the professor inquired if anyone had been a victim of rape or knew someone who had; nearly all the students, including myself, raised our hands. To ensure my personal safety, I would take up a self-defense course to acquire skills like shouting, pushing, punching, and escaping before engaging in intimate relationships with males.
It is crucial for girls to embrace their own developing sexual awareness and desire for exploring their sexuality. However, there is no guaranteed way to end a sexual encounter. Some of my friends opt to refrain from dating and physical contact due to difficulty in determining when and how to set boundaries and refuse. This inability to say no, I believe, heightens a woman’s susceptibility to rape and violence. One of my friends had recounted her encounter during a field trip.
During a camping trip, the woman was in her tent when she was forcefully assaulted by her rapist. She was held down and this traumatic event caused her to deny it. However, a year later during another camping trip with her family, the memories resurfaced. Overwhelmed by these memories, she had difficulty breathing and sought solace in their tent.
She informed her mother about the incident, and her parents reported the crime. The accused boy claimed that the sexual activity was consensual. However, as time passed, it became increasingly challenging to gather evidence against him, leading her to withdraw the case. I empathized deeply with her situation but my limited comprehension hindered me from providing more than emotional assistance.
Being a girl and experiencing the trauma of rape is deeply unsettling, causing emotional scars and instilling fear of pregnancy or contracting STDs. The idea of becoming pregnant or acquiring an STD without consent is unimaginable, with both scenarios having profound effects on one’s life that are hard to comprehend. Despite being Catholic, in such a situation, the possibility of considering abortion or adoption for the baby may arise, which would be unprecedented.
In my conclusion, I am interested in addressing several intriguing issues and questions about transitioning to a female. Firstly, I want to explore the significance of PMS and whether symptoms like irritability and cramps are valid. Additionally, I am eager to uncover the sensations experienced during sexual intercourse and learn about the truth behind multiple orgasms. Lastly, I am perplexed by women conversing in restrooms and what topics they discuss.