Summary of "The Opposite Sex"
By Gregg McKinstry
_____In an article from January 13, 1983, in the Washington Post, "The Opposite Sex," by Steven Doloff, he discusses how his students looked at the opposite sex. He asked his class to write an essay as if they lived one day as the opposite sex.
_____Doloff found that women jumped on the project as the men just "put it off." He noted that a majority of the women talked about playing sports, staying out all night, looking for dates, and how men had "physical and social privileges" (437). Doloff discovered that at least two girls wrote about being, as he said, "under the covers," meaning they talked about their sexual experiences (437). In the end, the women ended their essays saying how they still like being women.
_____Doloff stated that the men did not write as much as the women did. Some of the men didn't even take the assignment seriously while others did. The ones who took it seriously talked about doing chores and going off to work. The men talked about having routine lives, such as a housewife would have dinner on the table when the husband came home, then they would watch TV and then go right to sleep. Other men wrote that a woman would go out and find an escort and make him take her to the best restaurant and then she would slam the door on the escort when he took her home. Doloff said, "not one male student let anybody lay a finger on him/her," meaning that the escort wouldn't get any sexual "action" (437). The men, at the end of the essay, just like the girls, couldn't wait to get back to their rightful gender.
_____Doloff ended his article with the statement that young people still are "burdened with sexist stereotypes and sexist self-images" (438). Unfortunately this statement is the truth.
Doloff, Steven. "The Opposite Sex." Washington Post. 13 Jan. 1983: A19. Rpt. in Perspectives on
_____Argument. Ed. Nancy V. Wood. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 200l. 436-39.
Copyright © 2003 Gregg McKinstry. Reprinted by permission.