Sometimes I start doubting myself. Not often, because as we all know, I am a genius and entirely modest with it, but sometimes, when I haven’t had enough tea, or food, or outlets for my prattling mind.
Sometimes I start to wonder whether I’m right, believing what I do. Whether my particular brand of voluble feminism is accurate. Whether I’m just being a bit paranoid, after all.
And then I get conversations in which the following conclusions are reached by my all-seeing, all-knowing colleagues:
I hate men. Because I am no longer pleasant to Creepy Guys. Duh.
Therefore, I am frigid, and incapable of passion.
And they’re not quite sure why my boyfriend would want to be with me, due to the aforementioned hating of Teh Sex.
Because he is a man, and that is all he wants. (Sorry, J)
And I am frustrated, sexually, because even though I think I don’t want sex, I do really, and this spills over into my entire mindset.
Which is why I do things like point at the head of the bank of England when he’s interviewed on the news and say “I want his job!”
Therefore, feminism is evil.
And it wants to take over the world.*
I remember this when the “hahaha you’re craaaaazy” thoughts rear their ugly heads. And this teaches me that I will fucking well be paranoid if I want to be, because I’m quite often right. And modest, too.
Also, on a related note, whilst having a slightly bemused conversation with a couple of other women about the pros and cons of letting relative strangers rip your eyebrows out, one hair at a time, and debating whether letting a relative stranger near your eyebrows with a razor blade is any better (it isnt; apparently, you bleed if they do it wrong**)…. well, I had to add to the debate in my own special way.
“Oh, but my way’s so much easier – I just run around, free and hairy!”
And I refused to feel ashamed when the head chef made it clear he’d heard every word.
Well, fuck you, funny man***, because I don’t think you would have let us know you’d been evesdropping if we’d stuck to knowing our feminine places in the world. Obviously, looking like a child to gain points in the fuckable category is our calling.
But that is a post for a different time, because it’s just a whole different breed of sick, twisted and wrong.
Happy, happy, happy – that’s your resident genius’s state of mind!
*This line is the only one that has been exaggerated
**A shocker brought to you by the University of the Bleeding Obvious
***My thanks to Dan for this expletive, which amuses me greatly
Out of a maximum of 100, where:
0-24 – Very Poor (Failure)
25-41 – Poor
42-58 – Average
59-75 – Superior
76+ – Very Superior
As a 1930s wife, I am
As a 1930s husband, I am
For the simple reason that whilst on holiday for a week in a major French city, the only man that pissed me off was…. English.
We were at a service station; J was filling the car, I was in search of a cash machine, looking very much like a lone woman, and as I passed a man standing next to an English-registered yellow van, received that pinnacle of flirtation – “OY OY!!”.
Of course, as a modest and respectable maiden, I ignored said overture and continued on my way, only to discover that there was no cash machine, which prompted me to return in the same direction. This gave the gentleman time to react as before, at which point, my maidenly cover was blown and the international sign for “wanker” may have been used.
He beeped his horn as he exited the car park; I gave him the finger.
A full and frank exchange of ideas, I feel.
And the only cloud in an otherwise wonderful holiday. (Apart from the real clouds, that is!)
After first admitting that my sampling methods (being out and about on my own, both in the service station and in the town in general, whilst J did other things) may contain flaws, I have to ask:
Is it a national thing – are English men always more likely to act like arseholes, and if so, why?
Is it possible that I did not notice French mens’ overtures because of linguistic barriers; are the French simply more subtle in these matters?
What did this man want?
The nationality thing… I don’t know. I haven’t spent enough time in France to know.
I can say that almost every French person I met thought I was French, up to – and in the more bizarre cases including – the point at which I attempted to reply to them. So presumably, the invisible French Creepy Guys didn’t hold back because they could see I was a tourist.
On the other hand, by that logic, the English man may also have assumed that I was French. In which case, why bother? Athough admittedly, he wasn’t shouting anything that you’d need a translator to understand.
It’s perfectly possible that comments might have been made that I didn’t pick up on, because though I do passably well with my tourist French and skills I’ve picked up from taking a Spanish A-level, I wouldn’t be able to understand idiomatic phrases, much less realise if they were aimed at me. I’d most likely walk on oblivious, assuming that the French voices I heard were talking to each other.
As for the third query – I can only assume that the Creepy Guy wanted attention. Any attention. Even if it was a woman in a car park gesturing in no uncertain terms her (low) opinion of him.
I can’t honestly believe that anybody would be thick enough to think they’d get laid by crass shouting. Or maybe it was just that lovely Creepy Guy tactic of making sure you know that they’ve checked you out. And that they’re going to stare at your arse as long as they can.
Ugh, I feel unclean.
Any suggestions or theories about my questions, or any others that I’ve ommited – on a postcard to the usual address, please!
And in the meantime, Vive La France!
A nation that knows the meaning of good food 😀
So, I was sitting with the Little Chef at lunchtime on the edge of the chefs’ lunch table (yeah, the kitchen staff get pretty territorial at lunch!), chatting, as the table began to fill up with the others.
And we’re pretty involved in our conversation, which has been ranging over such diverse topics as death, destruction, and why Tamora Pierce is a good author, and finally moves on to shoes….
And I become aware that the men are taking the piss. And when I say, ‘taking the piss’, I mean:
“God, do women talk about anything else?!”
“Maybe they should move to another table”
“Yeah, guys, shoes” [sarcastically]
“Yeah… football!” [loudly, in an attempt to distract us from our conversation]
And so on, and so on, ad infinitum.
And you know what? Fuck the lot of them. Fuck them for being so shallow, so wrapped up in being masculine, that they have to rip the piss out of two young women, neither of whom have done anything wrong, said anything offensive. Fuck them for not seeing that what they’re doing is cruel – not to me, because what they think of me, my sexuality and my femininity couldn’t matter less, but to the Little Chef, because she’s still too young and too nice to realise that you don’t have to give a crap about them or their inane opinions.
Fuck them all for treating it like a joke, when it’s really, really not funny anymore.
Of course, that’s not what I said.
What I did say, turning straight to my manager, Executive Chef, was:
“Oh, I’m sorry, Chef, I didn’t realise our conversation was scaring you – we’ll tone it down a bit, shall we?”
This, calculated as it was to undermine his manliness, unsurprisingly elicited a response of “I’m not scared! What are you talking about?! I’m not scared!!”
“But Chef,” I said sweetly, “I can listen to your conversations about pubs and football without feeling the need to run away from it. So if you can’t listen to mine without wanting me to be out of earshot, who’s the scared one?”
And, as the other men started laughing (bastards, turning on each other for cheap laughs), I turned to Little Chef again, and smiled.
“So – shoes!”