Verity Johnson is a writer, speaker, Weetbix addict, Leo, and part time hypochondriac.

Verity Johnson: When I wish I was a man

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I staggered in, sank into a chair, and said something I've never said before. "God," I sighed, "I wish I was a bloke." Photo / Getty Images
I staggered in, sank into a chair, and said something I've never said before. "God," I sighed, "I wish I was a bloke." Photo / Getty Images

Pain is weakness leaving the body, I gasped; pain is weakness leaving the body; pain is ... actually it's bodily fluids leaving the body as you sprint up the road in a skirt that's riding so high people can see your regrowth rash.

At 4.30 that afternoon, I had decided that because I had an hour to get to Victoria St from K Rd, I would take the bus to a radio interview. What I had not counted on was the lethargic crawl along Ponsonby Rd. Nor the driver disappearing for a 10-minute fag break. Nor the driver, being drunk on power and nicotine, refusing to open the door when the bus ground to a stop in a 15-minute gridlock at the wrong end of Victoria Park.

There was nothing for it. I had six minutes left, I'd have to run. So I started to run and promptly tripped over my heels. So I yanked them off and immediately stepped on a piece of glass. Unfortunately the radio stops for no woman - however bloody. And so I ran up the hill, shoes in hand and glass in foot, to arrive with one minute to go.

I staggered in, sank into a chair, and said something I've never said before. "God," I sighed, "I wish I was a bloke." I don't normally think this. I generally really like being a girl. I like being able to cuddle with my friends, wear orange lipstick, and jiggle my boobs to Beyonce routines.

But it occurred to me that if I'd had been a bloke, then I wouldn't have got myself into that ridiculous situation. Yes, I'd still have been running late. But I would not have been wearing ridiculous footwear. And I would not have been wearing a skirt so capable of high riding that it was effectively a peach-toned belt. Nor would I have been labouring under the sexist (but stubborn) notion that such impractical clothing is nevertheless necessary to look professional.

So I started thinking about this, and have compiled a list of all the times when it would just be great to be a dude.

1. 6.30am every morning. This is when I stare at the clothes on my floor and ask myself, what can I wear to convince people I'm an adult? Any question before 11am reduces me to a quivering, gibbering jelly. And so for 45 minutes, I try on every conceivably wearable piece of clothing I own, right down to my yellow flannel dressing gown. (Edgy! Directional! Covered in hardened Weetbix!) Before deciding that everything I own makes me look either like a constipated Angela Merkel or a stripper. What does my dad do every morning? Roll out of bed and put on grey pants and a blue collared shirt. Because, unless it's a hippo onesie, people simply don't notice what guys wear to work.

2. Every interval of every show you've ever been to. Whenever the lights go up, there is something in a woman's psyche that causes the bladder to immediately contract to the size of a dehydrated pea. We rise up, unsheathing the emergency rapier we keep for such occasions, and charge into the swarm around the one ladies loo. What do guys do? Swan into the deserted amphitheatre of the male bathrooms, making airy remarks about how women take so long.

3. Whenever you're thinking about something serious. I have a bitchy thinking face. Bitchy doesn't cover it. It looks like someone has just told me they are going to duct-tape me to a chair and force me to watch every episode of The Wiggles until my brain melts and drips out of my nose. This is unfortunate because I'm almost always making the thinking face. Which means that people often think I'm contemplating homicide. When guys have a bitchy thinking face, people call them serious and sexy. When women have one, people think they've got anger management problems.

4. When you want to make a #reflective Instagram post. Every now and then you like to feel like you're deep, man. Your primary concern is not just how good your new fluffy panda socks are going to feel in bed tonight. You care about issues, you know? And your Instagram shows this. Unfortunately, the best #deep photo is one taken at night overlooking a twinkling city scape. But, as a woman, I find it incredibly difficult to go for night walks: I freak out at even the slightest rustle of a chip packet. So what's a girl to do? The closest thing to poignancy we can achieve is an ironic cappuccino shot.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- Canvas

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Verity Johnson is a writer, speaker, Weetbix addict, Leo, and part time hypochondriac.

Verity Johnson is a writer, speaker, Weetbix addict, Leo, and part time hypochondriac. When she's not Googling diseases she's performing comedy, writing bad jokes and nursing a failed career as an RnB singer. You can find her at verityjohnson.com or bulk buying cereal in Pak n Save.

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