What do women want?! Pants!
When do women want them?! Now!
No seriously, it’s cold. We’re allowed to wear pants now, right?
Some years ago I read a book about Women. As in Women: Why Do They Cry so Much? I had just finished reading a book the author’s husband had written about Men: They Need to Climb Trees and Hunt and Shit, and at the time I found the He-Man book effective. It explained why my boyfriend was an ass and lucky for him I was all “Ohhhh, you need to be validated! As a man! I get it. It’s totally cool you didn’t show up last night because you were getting drunk with your bros in the park. Be free my strong stallion”. After that christianized version of Fight Club I thought the lady book might contain some revelations about my own gender that would
make my boyfriend not suck so much help me understand myself better. Like, maybe if I drink licorice tea while on the menses and meditate during a full moon I won’t feel chubby or insecure anymore.
But after a three chapters of WOMEN WANT TO BE BEAUTIFUL!! DADDIES, DRESS YOUR LITTLE GIRLS IN DRESSES AND LET THEM DANCE FOR YOU AND TELL THEM THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL! THAT’S THE HEART OF WOMEN!! I wanted to throw up in my mouth. As in, I’d rather throw up in my mouth than finish reading that book. Like. . .the essence of my being is wanting men to think. . .I’m pretty? Let’s recap here:
I woman, I be pretty. You man, go hunt food.
Sooooo, everyone’s good then? No more “Robin Thicke made a rapey song and women are still being marginalized!”? The idea being that women aren’t being marginalized, they want to be sexy!
I recently overheard a woman complimenting a dad on his young daughter’s shoes. She then asked him if they were difficult to put on to which he responded “No, they’re dad-proof!” Which brings me to “Hey dads, when you refer to simple baby items as being “dad-proof” (as in, even Dad (!) can’t screw it up) people are going to continue to view dads as dumdum second rate mommies. And until the majority of people stop viewing dads this way OUR COUNTRY WILL NOT PROVIDE PATERNITY LEAVE”.
We buy into this propaganda that women just want to be a pretty and aside from providing money, men are just testosterone layered in hair and kind of fucking stupid. (Not as stupid as women though, women just want to be pretty.) Somewhere along our pilgrimage to Venus and Mars we forgot that men and women are PEOPLE. I’m a person, then I’m a woman. In order to treat women well it isn’t essential to know some women like to be complimented on their appearance. In order to get men to play daddy day care we don’t need to be convinced some men operate better if they get to swing an ax and smoke cigars on Thursday nights shirtless around a campfire with three of their closest dudes. (Side rant: dads, if it’s your kid it isn’t babysitting! Watching your damn offspring.) Socializing based on similarities across a gender is first of all, boring and shallow, and secondly dysfunctional.
I recognize men and women have differences, and surely some of those differences tend to follow a pattern (oh my god, so many women bleed every month, they’re all the same!) but people are different. Until we can start appreciating those differences- respecting a person because you know, THEY’RE A PERSON, stereotypes and sexism will continue to control much of how our culture operates. Next month another celebrity with showcase her ass in some way that will enrage half the country into calling her a whore while the other half rejoices that women want to be sexy!
It isn’t a women’s or a men’s issue, it’s everyone’s issue. At best it’s benign sexist ambiguity, at worst it’s preventing us from getting to know people intimately; we think we already do- we read the book. Sure, I like to hear someone thinks I’m pretty, but I like to hear it most after I’ve changed the oil on my car and built a big ass fire in the woods.