This is where my sort of geeky side comes out… I love… I love documentaries, I watch them whenever I can, and recently I watched one by writer Helie Lee. And it was fun, meaningful, andd boy am I glad I´m a woman!
Okay, this is not a drama, but it technically is Korean (Korean American, but let’s not split hairs here.)
The premise of her one-woman Interactive theater documentary show is “Men have it better than Women.” Which is a sentiment that I sometimes echo myself. After all men often are given raises in salary more often, if you’re a man, sleeping with more than one woman does not make you a whore, you’re a stud! And like she mentioned sometimes it feels like everything is geared towards them: HIStory, woMAN, huMAN, KINGdom, MENstruation, aMEN. Women on the other hand must be docile and obedient, graceful, bautiful and always respect her man.
How does she go about proving her premise? Why become one herself of course! She’ll become male and live as a male for ten weeks. Though it becomes longer than that at the end.
Helie is not someone who at first glance you’d think could be believable as a man, she’s the opposite of it in fact, but through sheer determination she makes it.
Her journey into the male world is not exactly what she thought it would be. She thought that she would be liberated from all the restrictions on women, only to find that men have even more. More rules than she can count. They can´t express themselves or share their inner feelings in any way or they´ll be considered ¨queer.¨
One of the interesting and most raw parts of her experience was when she began to question herself. Having erotic dreams about women, when she´d never had before. she began to question why she had even wanted to go through this in the first place, perhaps deep down she was a lesbian. But no, she was not a lesbian, she was somehow just assimilating too well the role of a guy.
Through her experience living as a male she realized that being a man was difficult in a different way. They have the pressure of being the providers, protectors, heroes for their families, and they couldn´t talk about it to each other like women do, they have to keep a certain image in front of other men, and they can´t lose face or they´ll be considered less of a man.
Her sojourn into the male world lasted around six months and it brought her an understanding of sorts of the male gender, but most of all it gave her the ability to rejoice in what it means to be a woman.
I definitely am relieved I´m a woman, I don´t think I could live with all the restrictions, rules that men must keep to assert their ¨manliness.¨ What is that anyways?