If I were a woman…
by D.A. Pratt

If I were a woman I wonder how I would feel about everything. I wonder what I would think about everything too — but I really wonder how I would feel about things. Surely life would be, and would have been, very different. Would I have any of my current views and opinions? There are so many questions I could ask myself — many profound but maybe even more would be merely mundane…

When I think about it, I realize that everything really would be different…absolutely everything! I would not have read the same books as I’ve read as a guy…I may not be living anywhere near where I live and have lived throughout my existence as a male…I wouldn’t know the same people that I currently know…I wouldn’t have the same family…wow!

Since I’ve pondered this scenario from time to time over several years, I’m willing to ask myself questions like: “Did I enjoy being a girl?” (like the 1958 Rodgers and Hammerstein song) or “Did I ever get used to being subjected to the male gaze?” (assuming that I would have been — there are no guarantees). Did I enjoy wearing blue jeans as much as I, as a guy, enjoy experiencing women in denim blue? And, just for fun, how would I feel about wearing high heels? On a more serious note, what would be my philosophy of life? Would I have one?

How would I feel about men? About other women? I’ve long thought that if I were a woman that I would have be a lesbian…I wonder if this would have ended up being true…just wondering…if I were a woman…

IMAGE: “Man and Woman in the Window” by Istvan Farkas (1939).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have often pondered the idea that I have presented in this 300-word story, and I’m convinced that this is actually unusual. It all started a long time ago when I read a newspaper column that discussed the idea of being the “other sex” for a day (this was before today’s “gender awareness,” if I may put it this way). It described the results of an exercise that challenged readers to contemplate the matter (and it noted that many males failed the test). When I thought about it I quickly realized that I would not be able to fit everything I would want to experience as a woman into one day (yes, naturally, I thought about “having sex” but I also thought about giving birth). Since then I haven’t stopped contemplating the matter…¶ I have been writing a series of poems, some serious with some superficially silly, all with the title “If I were a woman I wonder …” and this naturally led me to write this story for this particular call for submissions. I have attempted to keep the story lighthearted (knowing that it could be a treacherously tricky topic). On this note, I will say that one of my favourite songs is “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” (btw, the Miley Cyrus cover of this song is wonderful) and I would have loved to have mentioned it in the story but I ran out of words! There are times when I feel this is the major difference between guys and girls, especially right now. On the other hand, I’m absolutely aware of the fact that it’s a privilege to be able to be lighthearted on gender-related issues —  I’m absolutely aware that far too many people around the world cannot be this way.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D.A. (David) Pratt continues to live (as an “older guy”) in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. David sees himself as an outsider within this community and his feelings about this were summed up in his self portrait poem published by Silver Birch Press in 2014.