Daddy blogger Reservoir Dad decided a few simple experiments could solve this eternal argument
Just as I sit down to summon the muse and write a story, I remember how much Reservoir Mum and I laughed when I said, ‘Being a woman wouldn’t be that hard’ because it was so ridiculously untrue that it was hilarious to even say it. It’s as funny as saying, Bears aren’t hairy or Carbs don’t make you fat or Lingerie Football isn’t the best thing to happen to me this year….
But as I gaze into my laptop the muse starts filling my head with questions: How do I really know that being a woman is hard? To know that for certain I’d have to be a woman, wouldn’t I? Is being a woman really that much harder than being a man? I mean childbirth seems tough, yeah, but so is… being kicked in the balls. And I wouldn’t wish that on any woman.
After a few glasses of wine and a few more pokes by the muse the title to this article is born, along with a fierce desire – a burst of enthusiasm – to try my hand at investigatory journalism.
With all windows and doors open to the balmy night, with the kids slumbering sweetly in their beds, with the crickets rubbing their legs together in chorus, with Reservoir Mum doing real work in the study down the hall, I run to the toilet, hover over the toilet bowl for a moment and then – even though I don’t need to do a poo – undo my belt, drop my pants and sit down.
My urination sounds louder than usual but apart from that I feel none of the other annoyances I thought women must have to put up with when toileting themselves, like undoing their buttons and zips and pulling their pants all the way down. In fact, I feel quite relaxed and stay longer than I need to just sitting, quietly whistling to myself, wondering about women. What else about the opposite sex is easier than I assumed it to be?
‘What’s the most annoying thing about being a woman?’ I say to RM after wandering down the hall.
‘Periods,’ she says, without even looking up.
‘Ah, yes. I should have known.’
Determined to have one, or to get as close to the experience as possible, I run straight to the ensuite, open one of RM’s sanitary napkins, soak it under the tap and then insert it into my pants.
My reflection in the mirror – open smiling mouth, disbelieving eyes – suggests that I’ve just won a Gold Logie but it isn’t that at all. The soft cold shock of the wet pad is such a refreshing joy on first contact that I am just about ready to dismiss all the complaining that goes on about periods, until it occurs to me that a women wouldn’t experience that initial icy burst at all and then, unfortunately, the pad quickly warms up and feels yucky.
Adhering to the ethics of good investigative journalism – and to partake in the full experience – I decide to punch myself just hard enough in the stomach to get a deep achey winded feeling and a few minutes later, after being forced to change my undies, I have to concede that having your period is an unpleasant experience. But still, it’s not a kick in the balls.
After rushing back to the study and explaining my investigations to RM, I say. ‘So, I’ve discovered that sitting on the toilet to wee is really quite nice, and I’ll probably do that from now when I need to de-stress and think about things. And having a period’s unpleasant, yeah, but it’s really not the worst thing that can happen, and it could even be made more pleasant by… I don’t know… maybe keeping your pads in the freezer on balmy nights like this?’
Go away,’ RM says, glaring at me.