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Would You Be Loved More If You Were A Woman?

Updated on October 29, 2009

A reader left a comment on one of my articles, and I thought it went to the very heart of why some men like pretending to be women. He said:

“For those of us who are touch with our feminine side, I truly believe we do the best we can do to provide that comfort for our girlfriends or wives, so it seems unselfish to me to try to create an environment where we might possibly be able to feel some of that love and comfort”

It would seem then, that some men associate femininity with being loved, cared for and protected. This no doubt starts off early in life, when boys see little girls being cosseted by their parents, whereas they are encouraged to go and be strong. Even when siblings fight, parents quite often take the side of the female child if the conflict happens to be occurring between male and female siblings. This is in spite of the fact that there often is no real discernible difference in size and strength between children at that age.

Of course, parents do this to educate their sons not to hit women when they are older, when the size and strength difference will very much make a difference. In addition to this, men may be dismayed by the fact that a lot of the cues given to young men tell them that their role is to sacrifice. Historically, young men were the ones expected to first lay down their lives in service of their country. Today, women are an active part of the military and quite often end up dying in the name of whatever their government says they should die for as well.

On average however, women are still protected and valued more than men. This occurs for evolutionary reasons, because one woman is required to produce one child, whereas a single male could quite easily populate a small town by himself without too much trouble if he was given access to enough single women. It also occurs because, on average, women are not as physically strong as men. It is hardwired into us to take care of those who are not as physically adept (unless you're male, in which case it is something of an unforgivable weakness.)

Traditional gender roles place women in a subordinate role, with a male leading, and if we are to be honest with ourselves, we must admit that women still like men with leadership qualities. In some instances, a female subordinate role is seen as being repressive, in others, it is seen as being protective and loving. Muslims often make the argument that the the reason why women are not allowed to go about as they please and must remain covered when out of their family homes is that they are loved and cared for and protected by their male family members. This is often dismissed as utter rubbish by Westerners, but it essentially comes from the same roots as the fantasy of the 1950's housewife.

I do not know if Muslim men like dressing up as women, it would be rather difficult to tell if they did, and common sense tells me that there are at least one or two who must have done it once or twice, but in Western society at least, we know for sure that many men have picked up on the themes of love, care and protection as often expressed towards women and desire them for themselves.

Does this mean that men are ultimately less loved than women? I think not. Though love and affection is often expressed more tenderly towards females, there can be no doubt that males are often favored as children and adults, and women can be just as demonstrative and loving towards their male partners, if not more so, than their male partners are towards them. Love comes in many forms and guises.


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    • Hope Alexander profile imageAUTHOR

      Hope Alexander 

      8 years ago

      Brilliant comment Lisa, thank you for taking the time to write it :)

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      No little boys (or now young men) have been as treasured, protected as children, and valued as my two sons. (I also have a daughter.)

      Long before I had children I planned to "raise human beings first and let gender take care of itself" as each child grew up. It always drove me crazy to hear people say, "I'd like to have a little girl so I can 'dress her up'". When I became the mother of little boys I dressed them up. Granted, I chose nice little boys' clothes for them; but I wanted them to experience learning that little boys can wear nice clothes and have mothers who want them to feel special and cared for too. I really disliked the way so many mothers just throw a second-hand jersey and a pair of jeans on their kindergarten child, thinking it "doesn't matter to boys".

      I wanted my sons to be valued for the people they are, and I let their interests be the guide with regard to what activities they got involved with. One was more a natural athlete (although without "killer instinct") than the other, but both were in Little League when all their friends were. My husband and I did not, however, push the "rough-and-ready" thing on these active-but-non-aggressive little guys. In fact, I had neighbors and the occasional inlaw "warn" me that my boys would be "sissies" if my husband didn't get them to be more "rough-and-tumble".

      Although the neckties always got removed immediately after dinner, my sons did enjoy putting on their dress clothes for holidays - at least until we ate the holiday dinner.

      Just as I had thought they would, they both grew up to be as masculine as any man (although more gentlemanly than a lot of men are these days). They dress to make themselves be as attractive as possible (rather than just "throwing on an old shirt, jeans, and cap" and "not worrying because they're guys").

      By being protected and treasured little boys, boys grow up to be men who know how to protect and treasure others. Contrary to the belief that not encouraging roughness will lead to "sissies", my sons are so much more "as people" than some muscle-bound tough-guy who is too insecure to put on a suit for Easter dinner, because he was trained to believe that dress clothes are for girls.

      After having had a father who modeled integrity, character, strength, sense-of-responsibility, kindness, and - yes - attractiveness as "what men are"; I wanted my sons to know that those things are the measure of a man.

      In a 20/20 program about children who feel they have been given the wrong body in terms of gender, a boy who believes he's really a girl and dresses a girl was show running around with his sister, and it was clear from the way he moved that he moves every bit the way boys his age move. His mother said how when they were both preschoolers she'd try to give him a blue cup and his sister a pink cup, and he'd want a pink one too. She said she'd tell him that pink was for girls and blue is for boys, and she said she believed his preference for pink was a first sign of his gender "issues". I'm not, of course, in a position to question whether that child really is "a girl inside"; but if it were my little boy who asked for a pink cup I would have given him one and tried to let him know that some boys may like pink better than blue, and some girls may like blue better than pink - and that's all there is to it.

      Maybe if people valued their little sons as little individuals, and if they didn't try to define for their sons (or daughters) what their sex is, a lot fewer people would struggle with issues associated with gender.

      I know this is a long comment, but I also know that when you treat your little boys and your little girls as little human beings who are absolutely treasured for the people they are and preferences they have, you get happier children (and later, happier grown-ups).

    • girlpower profile image


      8 years ago from eugene oregon

      Hope first off i love your name, gives me the idea to use it in one of my short stories for a character who has hope and vision. The comment from the man about how men can yearn for the love and protection women feel really made me think about gender bias and how it may account for men wanting to be gay or in touch with their female side due to the yearning to be honored and protected as traditionally women had. I have a life mate that was raised by his mother, and he has many female tendencies though only in how he treats me, he is thoughtful, kisses me whenever he drops me off somewhere(I am disabled with ms) and brings me flowers and treats on a regular basis, he at times feels oppression from men, in the guise that macho men really turn him off, with all their get tough, treat women crappy and all that. I see him trying to reach out to his friends many who are shut off, or see no real reason to have females in their lives, as it is just too much effort. I see him struggle when with men who are only interested in sports and being tough, i see him struggle with trying to be like them, to try and fit it. Too bad the friends have no inclination to be more like him, it would take too much work.

      I did disagree with his muslin explanation of why women cant go out of the house uncovered due to males wanting them to be protected, many radical Muslim's like al queda don't want women to be educated at all and that women should never be in charge of industry or government issues and it takes the oppression further by not allow women a say in most everything except to raise children, cook and do housework and idolize the men as the controller's that many are. I know what he was trying to say, but i think the protecting women in their cases is not the case.

      Comparing Muslim women to the housewives of the fifties is so off base as our mothers were never so oppressed and were allowed and encouraged to be more than just a housewife and were living in a country that at least gave some lip service to wanting to empower women, many of which still resent that women have become wiser and in more control of our economy, politics and equality. There are American men who are not afraid to say that women's liberation was a bad thing. But usually those men are single and now the single white male is becoming extinct and lonely and frustrated living in their world of the past where women were their slaves. These men are a force to be reckoned with as they I believe are the cause of a insurgence of crimes against women and their female children

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I can definitly relate to this.As a boy I was a runt,not good at sports but good in school and artistic at an early age.I often thought life be easier as a girl.I even asked my mom "Mom can I be a girl?" as if there might actually be a choice.Of course she freaked out.But I think it is the mother or father whose love we are subconciously seeking.As for crossdressers in Muslim countries,I have also wondered if there might be a man under one of those burkhas.


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