GUEST BLOGGER – @realslimjaney
As a single gal for the last few years, I’ve been given a lot of advice on finding A Man. As I’m approaching 29 and my ovaries are apparently shrivelling up and pickling in all that white zinfandel I’ve been knocking back, maybe it’s time I start following some of it.
Don’t hang around with so many gays
Most girls have a gay best friend. I have about 317. It’s annoying when you’ve got your period and no-one truly understands the pain you’re going through but I did get a lot of kisses on New Year’s Eve. But I’m never going to meet Prince Charming while dancing to Sugababes in the Royal Vauxhall Tavern so I suppose I should stop going out with the boys so much. If they’re my true friends they will support me in dropping them because of their sexual orientation in order to meet Mr Right. Right?
Don’t live with a gay
I guess I probably shouldn’t live with a gay man either. “You might be putting straight men off,” I have heard on more than one occasion. So maybe I should live on my own? It would be a bit lonely. I’d miss sitting on the sofa giggling at our own stupid in jokes until we cry. And he does make a cracking roast dinner. But sacrifices must be made for true love! Maybe I’ll get a cat.
Make more of an effort to talk to men
On a recent night out a man I’d known for all of three minutes asked me to explain my single status. “Do you agree it’s your fault you’re single? Don’t you think you should make more effort to talk to men?” I said I don’t approach men when I’m out with girl friends partly because I’m scared of rejection, but also because I’m laughing or catching up or having a mutual moan about work. I’m kind of…busy. So I’ve decided to compromise and give the ladies the full attention of my ears while my eyes dart about the bar for The Man Of My Dreams.
Go to all those parties on your own, you might meet a chap
Sometimes when you’re invited to parties or barbeques or birthday drinks where you won’t know many people (or worse still, no-one but the host) the thought of attending on your own can be a bit daunting. What if you wear the wrong thing, like Bridget Jones in that bunny suit? What if you get stuck in the kitchen listening to sadsack Mike? Well despite these concerns the advice I always get is that you must must must go, you might MEET SOMEBODY! Whether you’re ill or broke or just want to stay in with the Corrie omnibus, you must take up every invitation you receive in case your Knight In Shining Armour is in attendance.
Dress more femininely
Well this one is quite simple isn’t it? Swap the Converse for Laboutins. Yes they’re a bit expensive and I can’t walk down the stairs in them let alone run for the bus but they make your calves look better. And we all know how much men love calves, ‘phwoar get a load of her lower legs,’ they are wont to say. So obviously I should wear a skirt instead of trousers too. No it won’t be as comfy as my jeans and t-shirt and I’ll be bloody freezing in winter but I’ll look sexy. Hopefully. Oh and full make up at all times lest anyone see what my face actually looks like.
So ditch the bunch of boys I have so much fun with, dump the flatmate, get a cat, give my friends less attention, turn up to the opening of an envelope with shifty eyes and put men I haven’t even met above my own comfort.
I’m sure I’ll be every bachelor’s dream.
GUEST BLOGGER – KATIE HALL
Don’t get me wrong, feminism is excellent, I love it. Women should vote and men should wear snoods and everybody should earn the same and have the same amount of land (or maybe that’s Communism?). But equal is not the same as identical. And so whilst it’s wonderful that we live in a world where women can wee standing up (©She Pee 2012) and men can GHD without causing anyone to LOL, we must never lose sight of the fundamental differences between men and women.
Helpfully, I have listed them below.
1. 62% of women believe that Lee Latchford-Evans is the most talented member of the band Steps, compared to just 14% of men
2. Men think that an ipod is heavier when it is full of music.
3. Women find thin moustaches ‘a bit creepy’.
4. Men can tell the difference between a mole and a vole.
5. Women think that ‘Elton John’ is a euphemism.
6. Men think that it’s pointless when a barista puts a shape in the foam of a cappuccino. Women think it is ‘a bit of fun’.
7. Women think that you can clearly see the ghost of a young boy in Three Men and a Baby, men think that it is a cardboard cut out.
8. Men believe that Ross and Rachel were on a break.
9. Women sometimes think that when they use someone else’s pen, it retains their handwriting for a bit. Men know that this is silly.
10. Men always suspect Colonel Mustard in the popular family board games, Cluedo.
So whilst we embark on this brave new world, ignited by the flames of feminism , setting alight to the architecture of sexism and stereotyping, please just bear in mind that we are all equal but not identical.
We are equentical (© Katie Hall 2012).
GUEST BLOGGER – SIAN
You’re in a pub, club or even at work and there’s a really good looking guy you’ve spotted. You’ve noticed him, checked his ring finger, smiled coyly and left it at that. So now you wait for him to come over and tell you how beautiful you are.
He probably won’t. Not because you’re not beautiful (you’re gorgeous, especially you over there), but because more likely than not, he just won’t come over. So you leave it. Possibly missing out.
Why should we expect men to do all the chasing? Is it not a little archaic to expect to be courted or wooed? Surely, when we demand equality in the workplace and at home, we should also expect to give a little back in dating?
I’ll admit that I have never really been chatted up. I’m not very patient, so I used to go over to anyone I liked the look of and just chat to them. Yes, sometimes they were not available or were mildly freaked out by a woman making the first move but, more often than not, at the very least I had a really nice time talking to them. Sometimes it resulted in a date. Sometimes not. But it didn’t matter.
It feels so rewarding to have the confidence to go up to a guy and just start chatting to him. Yes, you might be nervous, but do you not think he would feel the same coming over to talk to you? What have you got to lose? OK, so he might be unavailable or uninterested but at least you tried, and you’ve come away from it with nothing less than when you went over. Hey, you might even get a hot date.
Have a drink before you attempt asking a guy out if it will help. But whatever you do, don’t have too much! You wouldn’t want a drunk person chatting you up, so don’t be that person! My husband told me about a girl he’d flirted with at a party most of the night (before we were together obviously). They went outside after the party finished and he realised she was really drunk. She was trying to get him to come back to her house. “I’m not going to beg you to come home with me” she said, following that up in the very next sentence with “Please come home with me”. Needless to say he didn’t go home with her!
The moment I realised I was missing out by not making the first move was on a night out in London. I spent most of the night making eyes at a guy, only to finally go and pluck up the courage to talk to him at the very end of the evening. He didn’t speak any English!
My success story is that I asked a man out who I worked with twelve years ago, we have been together ever since and celebrate nine years of marriage this year!
So go on, go for it. What have you got to lose? It’s not easy, it’s pretty nerve-wracking, but it feels great once you get into it. If you’re not sure how to go about asking a man out, you could always google it, there are some entertaining suggestions!
GUEST BLOGGER – STU BRADLEY
‘Don’t much like the look of this,’ says a woman at work, reading the back cover of How to be a Woman. ‘Really? Why not?’ I inquire innocently. ‘She sounds like one of those man-haters. Mind you, I never find women funny. All that lot on Loose Women? I’d shoot them.’ ‘Oh,’ I say. And that’s pretty much all I say, because truthfully? This woman scares me a little bit. She almost always wears pantsuits, used to be in the military (no-one dares ask doing what exactly) and would definitely look at you cock-eyed if you used the phrase ‘mumpreneur’ within a five mile radius of her.
The incident got me thinking about how much stock we, as a species, place in stereotypes and conventions. Although we’ve moved a long way towards unpicking the ideology of racism (except for the odd grandparent remarking that ‘there are a lot of coloured people on the telly’ at Christmas dinner), we don’t seem to be doing anywhere near as well when it comes to gender – the fact that I used to know someone at University whose two favourite tops were his ‘kick racism out of football’ jersey and a t-shirt that bore some humourless slogan about women needing to make him a sandwich attests to this. Trust me, he didn’t need anyone else making him sandwiches.
When I tell people about my interest in women’s issues the responses I get tend to vary from ‘lol, good one’ to ‘you a puff then?’ I’ve even had one person think it was all a Barney Stinson-esque scheme to get into women’s pants. As if I’m wily enough to uphold such a pretence. There are those who insist that the way to put an end to racism and sexism is to stop talking about it, but I simply can’t agree. I’ve been reading and talking a lot about street harassment recently, and discovered the sobering statistic that over 80% of women worldwide face it at some point. Having suffered street harassment from both men and women (clearly my good looks have appeal to those of every sexuality…*ahem*) in the past, I know that it’s not fun or flattering. Which leads me to the next problem…
On several of the occasions I’ve tried to speak about these instances, I’ve had people (both male and female) try to brush it off with remarks like ‘oh, you bloody loved it!’ Clearly they haven’t had anything similar happen to them. For me, the issue of treating the sexes as fundamentally different is the crux of the problem – we don’t need a women’s rights movement and a men’s rights movement pitching frantically to everyone in the middle. We need a unified, reasonable and strong equal rights movement that recognises that both Andy Gray and Richard Key’s sexist comments about female linesmen (err, lineswomen) AND Sharon Osbourne giggling on national TV about a woman drugging her husband, chopping off his penis and putting it in a garbage disposal are not only unacceptable, but utterly abhorrent.
Do I see that happening any time soon? Probably not. Because we’re back to stereotypes again – minorities in both the men’s rights (the ‘women are just going too far now’ crew) and women’s rights (the ‘man-haters’) movements give the majority a bad name, so a team-up in the near future is probably unlikely. I’ll be first to sign up if it happens, but until then I’ll just continue to sigh loudly when people think I’m gay, self hating or crazy just because I’m a ‘feminist’.
GUEST BLOGGER – FROM FUN TO MUM
Little Miss G was 16 months yesterday *pats herself in the back for not killing her yet*. She is a total and utter joy. She has the odd tantrum here and there, but she is otherwise delightful. She can say about 30 words and she can walk everywhere, so all she needs is someone to play with her and she is genuinely happy.
What, however, has started to happen since she turned about one is that one question “when will you have another baby?” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind our friends asking. We were the first to have a baby in our group of friends, so sometimes that question from them can almost sound like “Do you think you could survive two kids? If you think so, then maybe I could give one a go”
What I truly mind is strangers asking the question. I do not know you, why would you ask me this? I know that men get the same question once they have a child, Mr H does, but somehow it seems that the general consensus is that women are the ones to decide when or if it will happen. And so it should be! It is us who have to deal with 10 long months of pregnancy. It is us who then have to wave goodbye to pert breasts forever. It is (most of) us who will then struggle to lose the weight afterwards as well as be up at night with a crying baby.
Mr H is wonderful and many other dads are too, but they will never fully understand what it is like to live in a body that has had a baby. Even my most glamourous friends, the ones who are actually thinner now than they were before, complain about the state of things after the baby and it ranges from their breasts, their hair, their tummies or their fannies (not, my American friends, I don’t mean “ass”, even though I am sure that pregnancy ruined many asses out there too)
Why do I start to resent the question more and more? Here are some reasons:
1. I don’t know IF I will ever be able to have another one. Nobody can ever be sure, so don’t make it sound like it will be easy and I just have to decide when. It might not be easy at all. And this is why this question should be banned alltogether. What is someone’s first baby took 5 years to come along? What if it took 5 failed IVF treatments?
2. IF I wanted a second, third or fourth child, WHY would I tell you, my dear stranger, that I am having sex like crazy to make it happen? Would you not think that this is just weird?
3. Having a baby is a blessing for most of us, but it comes with financial, psychological and general earth shattering repercussions. Why would you actually assume that I know when/if to have another baby? I might think something one day and change my mind the next!
The past 16 months have seen me learning more about crying, asthma, eczema and food allergies than I’d ever thought I would. I have had to book many emergency doctor appointments for Little Miss G and by the age of 8 months, she had already seen how A&E (or ER for the American friends) works both in the UK and in Italy! It is sometimes as hard as it is amazing.
In short, just don’t ask me that question. And, please don’t ask my husband either, as, really, IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
“My wife doesn’t understand me” says the guy lying on the psychiatrist’s couch. Variations on that situation appear regularly in cartoons, sketch shows and so-on, but while we’ll laugh at Woody Allen’s fretting, from the male perspective it often seems that women worry way more about whether their father/brother/lover/husband understands what they’re about than could ever make sense or be healthy.
It seems widely accepted on both sides of the chromosome divide that we may be the same species but that about covers what we have in common and any assertion about Mars and Venus as points of origin understates the comparison. Tatooine and Narnia, more like. Separate dimensions. Aside from the differences in plumbing that spare blokes the attention of gynecologists and obstetricians, the wiring is different too.
“He doesn’t get where I’m coming from at all” a woman will say, as if understanding equates to agreement. Perhaps he doesn’t want to, probably he doesn’t need to, and if you’d just let him get on with whatever inexplicable project he’s engrossed in (Eiffel tower built from matches, restoring vintage Reliant Robin, watching his Sopranos box-set for the third time this year), he will think you’re even more sensational than he did the last time he bothered to say so.
That’s not to say that men want to be left alone except when there’s food and/or sex on offer. Straight or gay, from what I’ve seen, nearly all of us crave some female company, conversation and conviviality. It is, indeed, highly desirable, but precisely what makes it desirable is just that thing that’s bugging you. We don’t fully understand and that’s one reason why we’re so easily bowled over and besotted. Love at first sight happens all the time even if it may be misguided in many, even the majority of cases.
Where inter-gender relationships are concerned, the hunt for knowledge is so subliminal and sub-conscious that it is only on reflection that we appreciate that the “je ne sais quoi” that got us embroiled, perhaps successfully but probably not, revolved around a wish to not just get to know someone, but to understand them. Where it will go seriously pear-shaped, is where the male starts to understand, or think he understands, the object of his desire. Abandon all hope there.
I can appreciate that women find men hugely irritating and frustrating to live with, particularly under the same roof. But be careful what you wish for. If they did understand you, you might instantly bore them to tears. Ignorance really is bliss in this case. What is it, after all, that makes it so important for every nuance of your existence to be an open book, free from mystery and intrigue?
Of course, I’m not trying to absolve men from their part in redressing the issues detailed in Caitlin’s book. They are real and important enough to warrant active support rather than suspicion or mere apathy. But just as I shall never be black, I shall never be a woman and if you have my support, on occasion you may have to make do with that rather than 100% understanding. When your other half is nursing that all too familiar “vacant” expression it may well signify confusion or frustration or even mirror the irritation you’re feeling with him. “Everyone being polite to each other” is a worthy and attainable ambition. Everyone understanding each other is not.
Edward Grainger http://lostinbarnwood.blogspot.co.uk
GUEST BLOGGER – LAURA BLATTMAN
Once upon a time I was walking through Bristol, I was moving to London the next day and felt melancholic and excited at the same time, I’d had dinner with my work friends (which was pretty boring actually and my boss said “I mean, I want to see Laura off but really I’d rather just go home”) and brilliant drinks with my real friends and strolled through the city on a high soaking in the Bristol scenery, full of wine and listening to music and pretending I am in a moving film, because I am dramatic like that.
Then I walked past two boys who said something to me I couldn’t hear, I took my earphones out and asked them what they said they said, “how are you?” they replied. I smiled politely and said sorry I’ve got to go. As I walked away one of them said “don’t worry I was only talking to you for pull–a-pig competition anyway”.
MY GOD THE RAGE FILLED ME UP LIKE LAVA IN AN OVERFLOWING VOLCANO. How fucking dare you? Who are you to say that to me? I actually said this out loud as well, (and a bit of spit might have come out), when I was younger I might have gone home and had a little cry but I was so angry at this stupid weasel ruining my last night in a city I loved I screamed at him for a full 3 minutes while his friend cowered behind a car.
It’s not like this was the first time I’d heard such derogatory shit, and it’s certainly not the worst that has been said to me but I think something snapped that night, I was older and more confident and I refused to be intimidated by a stupid boy. However I guess what upset me was – why had it taken me so long to get to this point? Why had I spent so many years just accepting that’s how some boys are sometimes?
When I think about what I wish women didn’t have to worry about – I also think about (without going all “the children are our future” on your arse) what I hope my daughters don’t have to worry about and going out and not being harassed or abused by men is pretty high up on the list. I mean, it sounds ridiculous, it sounds like a given, but the fact is it’s not.
To be honest, that incident is pretty tame in the grand scheme of things, when I look back and think about the harassment me and my friends have had to put up with from men it’s pretty rank. From casual insults/pervy comments, to being grinded up against in a club (HINT: I’m not going to be impressed by a man who puts their cock near my arse before I have even seen their face) to being sexually assaulted whilst asleep. And although none of us shrug our shoulders about this stuff, we know it’s disgusting and we rant about it, but also we do because it’s so common and that’s the problem.
As you grow up you surround yourselves by people that you like, who respect you and who are nice and brilliant but when you are at school, or at university, you don’t have that choice and looking back at the boys attitudes to girls at school: (you’re frigid, you’re a slut), the boys ruled that school and the girls just accepted it. I wish that this was getting better but when I see us surrounded by tabloids with camera shots up people’s skirts and nuts magazine, or the constant horrific reminder that people STILL ACTUALLY think that wearing skimpy clothes or walking alone home at night is “asking for it”, it’s utterly depressing.
I’ve enjoyed seeing the Leveson enquiry deconstruct the tabloid’s attitudes towards women. Hearing the things from papers said aloud in a stark room really makes you realise how utterly disgusting and ridiculous some reporting of women is, and how women are expected to shrug it off like it’s a big old laugh OH HAHAHAHA YOU CALLED A GANGRAPE AN “ORGIE” HAHA TOTES HILAIR.
Reading back, all of this is quite vague, but it’s that everyday acceptance that it’s okay to treat and intimidate someone like that because they are “just” a woman, FUCK OFF.
I just want girls to have that epiphany I had on a street in Bristol at the age of 26 but I want them to have at 12, or earlier! I want them to believe that they do not deserve that shit because they are a girl, or just accept it because “that’s what happens”, I want them to flip out and scream for 3 minutes, because THAT is the right reaction.
GUEST BLOGGER – NATALIE
At some point we have to commit to something don’t we? And I don’t just mean relationships. Society thinks most men are commitment phobes but show me a man who hasn’t got a mobile phone contract, gym membership or magazine subscription. Many of my female friends shun commitment (one friend doesn’t even want to commit to a mobile phone contract), so the idea of owning a house with a mortgage scares them, and why not? If in you are in a rented property and the water stops, call the landlord. Need a new cooker? It’s the landlord’s responsibility. Wait hold on, it’s your OWN HOME? Better get on to wonga.com.
When you’re dating it gives you the chance to see if you even like each other. Who’s not been on a bitterly disappointing first date? Thank goodness there’s no contract to sign at the start of the evening; half the time we’d be trying to buy our way out of it before we ordered dessert. I think there is an unfair view that the woman on the date will want that man just because they want a man. Why are we always looked at as desperate? I knew a girl who went on dates because she liked meeting new people and said “A girl’s gotta eat, why not combine it with a date?” Dating always seems to have a more relaxed attitude in America, here your mates will be texting you to see if he’s The One while your still checking out the menu.
Not all women want to run up the aisle and have lots of babies crawling around their feet RIGHT THIS SECOND. There are women who want to get ahead in their careers, some want to travel, others think they’re too young; there are loads of reasons not to settle down right now. With women there’s always that clock that’s tick-tick-ticking, and my God aren’t we reminded of it by everyone? Any woman over 20 gets THAT question at most family gatherings, parties or whenever there are babies on the scene.
“So, when are you having kids?”
“When I’m bloody well ready, ALRIGHT??”
Which can be followed by, “So you want to be an OLD mum?”
“Piss off.” (Optional).
Commitment can make you feel safe and secure but I’ve also seen how trapping it can be. I’ve seen couples who bought a house together, only to spilt up then have to go through solicitors to try and see who put what in. It’s pretty sad and the worst break-ups would probably end up slicing up their life on Judge Judy.
Like everything, it’s how YOU feel; no one else is living your life. I just hate the fact it’s men who seem to think they have all the power at the beginning of relationships. Why should they decide if you are in a relationship? Why does it always seem to be us that’s waiting around for a call or a text? I wonder if any men do that? But then again if a woman calls the man first, people might think she’s desperate. Maybe it’s just that she enjoyed your company and wants to go out again. That’s all, don’t think all women are desperate because they’re not. Trust me mate, don’t think you’re doing her a favour by texting her a week later. Dating is truly a MINEFIELD.
When you’re with the right person, you just know; you work hard on your relationship but it shouldn’t be hard work. When me and my boyfriend decided to get together, we never made a massive thing about it. Possibly the biggest thing we did was change our relationship status on Facebook.
Chances are, we all will commit to something big in our lives; but that doesn’t mean it has to be marriage, a mortgage or kids. For me the next thing I am committing myself to is the West Wing DVD box set.
GUEST BLOGGER – kerry jean lister
I love food. I have an extremely healthy relationship with it. One that nourishes my mind, my body and my soul. It makes me happy, soothes my weary brow, lifts my mood and comforts me. It keeps me alive and vibrant.
Of course we’ve had our disagreements. I still wince at the memory of a lost weekend held captive between bed and bathroom by a particularly vengeful king prawn jalfrezi. Or the time at a friend’s wedding in Los Angeles years ago when I came to the grim realisation that I had indeed developed a violent, all-encompassing allergy to my beloved oysters.
But these incidents are few and far between.
Now I must explain something. I LOOK like a woman who enjoys food. I have thighs that scream I LOVE CARBOHYDRATES AND EAT THEM FREELY WITHOUT GUILT. I have upper arms that are testament to my life-long obsession with cheese. One glimpse of my stomach will confirm that I love a good pie – preferably one washed down with a pint of ale and pork scratching chaser. I am in no danger of being called ‘skinny’.
BUT. I have also never – to my knowledge – been called ‘fat’. Granted, I’ve yet to meet Karl Lagerfeld – and I’m sure nobody would ever say it within earshot - but I feel confident that nobody has ever used the words ‘she’s a heffer isn’t she?’ or similar, when describing me. ‘Northern’, ‘gobby’, ‘freckles’ and ‘massive tits’ – definitely. But fat? No, I don’t think so.
Actually – I tell a lie. There is one person who has described me as fat. One person who, when taking in my 5ft 5” size 14 figure has thought ‘oh for fucks sake LOOK AT YOU: YOU’RE HUGE!’
I refer, of course, to myself.
Because – no matter what size we are – 6, 12, 14, 18 – we women are never truly happy with our bodies are we? There’s always something – an extra wobble, a slight double chin, cellulite, muffin top, pot belly – do I need to go on?
All of my girlfriends are beautiful – every single one of them, inside and out. But nearly every single one of them has, at some point in our friendship, complained about being ‘fat’. Beauty is famously in the eye of the beholder but for some reason when you put an intelligent, confident woman in front of a mirror she will immediately focus in on the bits she thinks are ‘wrong’ and start putting herself down.
And the first thing to suffer?
‘Right that’s IT. I’m cutting out carbs COMPLETELY’
‘No thanks I’m on the Dukan, I’ve already had my oat bran galette’
‘Can’t eat it. Wheat intolerance. Honestly the bloating is grotesque’
‘Cake?! I’M GOING TO IBIZA IN 6 WEEKS YOU FOOL!’
‘Skinny decaff soy latte please.’
‘I’m off wine for now – too many calories. I’ll have a vodka, soda and fresh lime.’
All words spoken by yours truly during the past 15 years.
It was whilst travelling around South America 2 years ago that I discovered something interesting. I felt great. My clothes felt looser, my skin was glowing, my hair nice and shiny. And it wasn’t down to the food I was eating – indeed, during a particularly bad 2 weeks in Bolivia, the food I was eating was regularly poisoning me – no, it was down to the simple fact that I was moving around a lot more. Hiking, swimming, strolling around sightseeing.
Since returning from South America I have started running, completed a half marathon, stopped running, starting feeling rubbish again, started cycling to work and back, started feeling great again, stopped cycling to work and back (due to pregnancy), started feeling rubbish again, started walking to work and back, started feeling great again.
It’s like there is some spooky correlation between my wellbeing and my activity levels…
And it’s NOT about losing weight – although often that will be a happy side-effect – it is genuinely about getting into work and feeling fantastic because I’ve spent the past 40 minutes walking. Indeed whilst I was cycling to work and back – a 10 mile round trip – I didn’t lose any weight, because I didn’t stop eating the food I love. But I didn’t put any weight on and I felt bloody brilliant.
It took me 34 years to realise it but come on ladies – it’s obvious. Eat what you want, just make sure you move around a bit more. It can be walking, running, yoga, pilates, swimming, boxing, running around after a toddler – SOMETHING that gets your heart rate up regularly enough for you to eat a biscuit without feeling like you’ve just punched a puppy.
STOP BLAMING FOOD.
And if you don’t want to move around more – that’s fine too!! Just accept that you’re going to be a bit more wobbly, cuddly and generally soft around the edges as you get older. Accept that you might not feel as energised as you used to. It catches up with all of us at some point – admittedly some more than others thanks to our varying metabolisms– but it will creep up, mark my words. It’s called getting old. And no amount of dieting, surgery or botox is going to stop Mother Time as she marches us towards our final hour.
Kate Moss might claim that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ but this is a woman who is paid to be skinny. It’s her job. She probably gets equal amounts of satisfaction from zipping up her size 8 Stella McCartney trousers as I do from a cheese board and large glass of Don David malbec. Would I give up that cheese board and malbec to get into those size 8 Stella McCartney trousers? What do you think?
When I told my friends I was writing this blog post I asked them all to contribute their thoughts and opinions. I asked them what they wished women would stop worrying about. The answers varied but there were some clear themes – worrying about what others think, worrying about growing old, worrying about the way we look, worrying about our weight. And all of these things are tied in to what I have just talked about.
You will look and feel your best if you eat well and move well. You will age gracefully if you are healthy and happy. You will stop worrying about what others think if you are confident, fulfilled and content.
So please ladies, I beg of you… EAT THE CAKE.
GUEST BLOGGER – CONNIE CHURCHER
“Women just aren’t as funny as men.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard or read that sentence. Most recently I read it in the comments of this Guardian article about the increase in higher profile female writers and female driven comedy, and the debate on twitter about Banter.
To anyone who has ever said, nay even considered, that women just are not made to be funnier than men I say this: funny is subjective doofus! Isn’t it wonderful that we all have such a rich and varied idea of what is funny? If I laugh until wine comes out of my nose when watching NewGirl (written by a woman) does that make it less funny than Ricky Gervais calling people mongs, for example? I’ll take Zooey any day.
However I would not dream of imposing my taste on others so for those of you who really do not find women funny you can take all the Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Roy Chubby Brown you want.
I’ll be over here enjoying Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican until wine shoots out of my nose, thank you very much.
Subtle sexism.The boring sweeping generalisations that women all display certain personality traits, want pink phones and are all looking for fulfilment through a fella.
“You run like a girl.” Ah, like Kelly Holmes then, thanks!
“Women are more nurturing than men.” I don’t know about that, all my house plants die pretty quickly.
“Her biological clock is ticking.” Personally I think I have a biological cheese deficiency. I only get urges towards grated parmesan.
This subtle sexism hides something more sinister: women are slaves to their hormones, merely existing in order to sprog up, and are worse than men in anything that counts. If boys and girls grow up hearing the word girl as an insult, what does that say about what we think of girls? Watch this short talk by Tony Porter from TED. He sums this up much better than I can.
These small infringements on women lead to big scary things infringements before you know it, like the bill currently mooted in Arizona which would require women to tell their employers why they are on the pill. Why? So that they can refuse to pay for healthcare if you are taking the pill as a method of birth control.
Let’s scare the women! Don’t wear your skirt too short. Don’t get in a cab unless you have it via one safe number. Don’t leave your drink unattended. Don’t walk anywhere after dark. If you wear your hair in a pony tail rapists will use it to pull you down a dark alley. A friend noticed the pub she was drinking in had posters up in each of the ladies cubicles: about not getting in minicabs; calling your friends to make sure they were safe; not leaving your drinks unattended. While I don’t think this advice is invalid – we all need to keep safe – are there posters
covering the men’s loos telling them not to drug women; not to sleep with women when they are too drunk to say no; not to rape women?
If anyone can tell me I would be interested in finding out.