Forgive me if I’m a little angry, but I just read the biggest pile of sexist journalism I’ve seen in a while.
Titled “10 Compliments Men Hate“, at first glance it is a perfectly harmless procrasto-magnet designed to help you ignore your awful job and crumbling love life.
“So why are you reading it?” I hear you ask.
“Stop asking questions,” I say. “That’s not the point.”
At second glance, however, it seems to suggest that the battle of the sexes is well and truly lost- and on both sides. Women come across as nagging domestic behemoths with all the tact of a shotgun, whereas men are portrayed as simple-minded pets who need to be told how butch they are at the slightest hint of oestrogen.
“You may have certain chores down to a science” it lilts. Oh, really? Does that second X chromosome really kit me out to be Supermaid? I enjoy warming my hands in the water with the dishes, but that doesn’t mean I’m any better at cleaning them. I even like to whip round with the broom once in a while.
However, I am not, in any way, more efficient than my partner. Crumbs on the floor? Hoover. Dusty telly? Hoover. Chopping board needs wiping down? Hoover. You name it, he’s hoovered it. Do not mock him- it works. Even, and I hate to say it, on the chopping board.
It goes on: “Men never want their wives to question their ultra-masculine abilities.” What on earth is an ultra-masculine ability? It must be something like lifting a family car while kicking a rhino in the nuts, surely? No: It’s fixing a leaky tap.
I did the electrics for my flat. I’m really proud of that. Not because it’s a “masculine” ability, but because it’s an ability. I also laid the laminate flooring and painted the tricky bits on the ceiling. Are those ultra-masculine activities? Am I now on a waiting list for gender reassignment surgery? I’d have tried to fix the tap, but it isn’t broken. Do I lose my man card for that? Should I have broken it just for the testosterone boost that fixing it would bring?
The article eases off after that, but still suggests a few idiotic things women might say, if said women were under hypnosis and given a script. “I love your tummy flab!” for example, is the male-directed equivalent of going “I really like the way that dress makes your bum look gigantic.” You’d have to be mental, or at the very least not-so-subtly angling for a breakup.
Am I overestimating humanity here, to suggest we’re beyond all this? The idea that women do housework because that is their biological aptitude? And that men are simpletons who think powertools are an extension of their manhood?
I am a human being. I do things that humans do. I lift weights. I knit. I play video games. I cook. You are also a human being. You do things that other human beings do.
What we don’t need to do is have every one of our facets deemed either pink or blue, and especially not when we’re just looking for some mindless nonsense to read on the internet. It perpetuates the ridiculous notion that we’re entirely seperate creatures who are just waiting to develop cloning so we can build the wall and have done with the other lot.
Male, female or anything in between- I don’t care, and nor should you. Have a lovely day, regardless.