For ladies, if you were a boy, for gentlemen, if you were a girl: Would you be different than you are now?
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It is hard to say how I'd be different now if I was a man instead of a woman, but I think there are a couple things about my life that would definitely have gone differently. For one thing, if I had the same parents I have now but was born a boy, I probably would have been much better at sports in high school and would have possibly played in college. I have always been naturally athletic, but I just don't really enjoy sports very much. I wonder if I had been born a boy if I would have had more of a natural interest and therefore pursued them earlier and with more seriousness.
I have often thought I would also be more successful as a teacher if I was a man. I think all students naturally respond differently to men, and though my husband and I have very similar teaching styles (and personalities), students have always had a quicker and more positive response to him. On the other hand, if I was a man, I'm not sure that I would have decided to become a teacher in the first place. The pressure to provide (financially) for a family is much greater for men and I think I would have decided to seek a career with a higher salary.
I am in an anomalous position as it is -- I am a man who has been the primary stay-at-home for my family. I have not worked full time since my older daughter was born at the end of the 01-02 school year. I cook and clean and take care of the kids.
I think that I would be way more conflicted if I were female. I would think that I had wasted my education and my potential and that I was giving in to an antiquated view of what a woman should be.
I do not think I could enjoy my life as much as I do if I were a woman because I would feel like I was selling out and reverting to a 1950s vision of the role of a woman.
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