((S)H)Ego Service: Dudes vs. Dames


Quick, without thinking: Do men or women have larger egos?

It might seem like most people would answer “men”. Although it’s hard to generalize something as opinion based and modifiable as this, I’m not so sure that the answer would be men.

“Ego” gets easily misinterpreted as somebody who is on a power trip – whether it’s that guy who bends his elbows to pretend his arms have inflated since he started working out… yesterday – or just the snide office douche who melts into sycophancy when the boss arrives from HQ.

Actually, Ego is psychologically defined as the bit we use to communicate socially and say “Me Jane. You Tarzan.”

Our true selves are buried beneath public politeness, pleasantries exchanged with cashiers, or even that pitch of voice that rises and descends – depending on whether someone sexy talks to us or the opportunity to patronize a creep colleague presents itself.

Sometimes this second-nature practice even extends to what we own, our posture in public, facial expressions, or how we preen ourselves. Whether it’s femme hair and makeup or a guy’s shave and axe lather ablutions, most of us who aren’t autistic have a mind-made autobiographical mask where we say “this is who I am”. Does the “I like tu’tles” kid cease to exist if he catches Salmonella tomorrow, grows an aversion to all shelled creatures, and exiles them from the comfort of his care?

The only purpose that narrative serves is helping us feel relevant and adjusted (or at least look that way when we troll Eharmony profiles for victims).

Daughter of Marissa Tomei and Mickey Rourke has a point.

Daughter of Marissa Tomei and Mickey Rourke has a point.

So, who’s worse about it?

Men, to chicks (or to bottoms for boys-on-boys), seem to show scientific sexability when they exude boldness and dominance. This is why betches be throwing panties at psychos like Manson and Bundy. And, sure, societal pressures have men feeling a need to act so masculine that their anus secretes a steady trickle of testosterone. But does a fleet of overly manly-men, squatting at Equinox with treadmills on their traps, and seeing who can shit out their large intenstines first – does that mean their egos are necessarily bigger than women’s?

We can’t know without comparing it to chicks.

For women, the diff is that “ego” can extend far beyond mysteriously sexy personalities or a Monroe wobble to the hidden-in-plain-sight stuff. There’s hair, makeup, high heels, spanx, implants, and a whole Chocolate Optical Illusion Factory (aka “Sephora”) of Jed-eye mind tricks. In under an hour, any (eh not any, that’s generous) woman can go from a pear shaped, mousey-brunette with a complexion that’s lunar – to a luminous skinned, bright eyed, apple bottomed blonde.

Whether it’s contouring tricks of makeup or the Loub booty lift, the torture transcends time spent or pedal pain. Chicks who spend more time on looking different from how they actually are have more of a façade to maintain. I know, because I spend half my life doing it.

Layer on the fake personality, and suddenly self-doubt and doubt about relationships begins to build. That’s two layers of ego where dudes have just one – the one we all psychologically use, and the superficially visible one we need to believe is really us ‘cause, well… ‘cause we’re told it’s prettier.

And men say stuff like, “Wow… you’re natural hair color…looks…uh…so…different”


The thing is – with men – they don’t have to worry about maintaining a “pretty”.

They’ve got it or not. There’s minimal mane management (unless you’ve got tresses like my Fabio exes) and no true pushup bra equivalent for the phallus that doesn’t harbor the daunting side effect of an ER visit if turgidity persists.

If you watch chicks and dudes alike, wandering the fringes of society with their crazy coifs, makeupless mugs, and 70’s muffs, they might look a li’l bit odd – but they sure seem pleased in their Pagan simplicity.

For us creatures of social conditioning, though, I tend to think it doesn’t take a trip to Walden or Wanderlust to balance out. Most people fed up with living life as it’s been dictated either get a good Benzo script and travel the world, or just get fed up enough to slowly learn the halfway happy medium between Hollywood and Woodstock.

But, once that aha-moment sparks a change, the “I’m awesome” exterior sinks inward enough that we still believe it late at night after recalling all those job search emails our dads send us – even though we’re already employed with a job that’s not good enough for him.

And we can gently give him the finger. With love.


Because we all deal with that – whether we’re Varsity Van Der Beek, or the cheer-Larter dressed to impress him by wearing dairy.

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