As long as there are gender distinctions, which is always, there will be ways of treating the opposite sex in a way that makes them feel like garbage. I’m not saying that men are immune to this. Hell, gold-diggers bother me as much as they do Kanye - they make me feel embarrassed for my sex and I don’t enjoy that because I love my self-righteous rants (can you tell?). That said, everything on this list, which is an open letter to men from a girl’s perspective, can be reversed to address women’s treatment of men… it’s just that I haven’t lived that perspective. Point is, we’ve all been made to feel like ass at one point or another.
On the bright side, this is not altogether bad - without douchey guys we wouldn’t have the musical stylings of such great artists as Taylor Swift and Adele. And it’s pretty common knowledge that if you have not bawled to “Someone Like You” you haven’t really lived.
My list is personal, although I do draw greatly on the experiences of friends… thank God I haven’t been wronged to the extent that all of these apply to me (Jeez, can you imagine!) Ladies, I highly recommend adding to my list or compiling one yourself, even if its just in your head. If only for the catharsis. For one thing, it’s much healthier and cheaper than throwing smartphones at walls.
10. Assume that just because I want to date you, I want a relationship with you.
This bothers me almost as much as when straight men assume all gay men have the hots for them. NO, I do not need to be someone’s girlfriend to feel complete. Nor am I on a perpetual hunt for a rich husband. Don’t get me wrong, some ladies are - and good luck to them, it doesn’t sound like a fun task. Dating means getting to know you- it does not mean I like you enough to want to share my life with you. Homie, that’s insulting. I have high standards.
9. Assume that because I’m wearing a short skirt/low-cut top I want to have no-strings-attached sex with you.
Or any sex for that matter. It also does not mean you can let your hands wander on a crowded dance floor. My revealing clothes are not an invitation. Most of the time they’re actually a fashion statement. I’m doing it because Gwen Stefani wore something similar in Vogue and I am just that confident.
8. Blatantly lying to my face (about the big issues)
Yes, you may get away with it. I’m not Sherlock effing Holmes. But that doesn’t mean I won’t catch on once I’ve thought things through. Lying serves no purpose except delay the truth. I don’t have time for your dithering lies.
7. Treat me as a friend in public in front of your bros, and a girlfriend in private.
I’m not talking about intense PDA’s, I’m talking about the little things, like holding hands. Unless you’re as much of a dirty little secret for me, this just ain’t cool. Also, it makes me feel like you’re pulling a number 8 (see above) on me.
6. Attempt to have a point of view on rape and/or abortion that is anything but “you decide”
Just no. Look at what happened to Todd Aiken and learn.
5. Stare in public.
This is dedicated to all the weirdos out there who think trains are prime girl-staring locations because we are all just moments away from jumping out of our seats to go have sex with you in the toilet.
4. Make crude comments in public.
No, I will not sit on your lap if you rub it suggestively and invite me to, you Complete Random Stranger. Gents, here’s a tip: us women know that men who say crude things to women to look good in front of their buddies are overcompensating. Your bros may think you’re cool, but every woman within earshot now knows you have a teeny-weeny.
3. Insult my appearance
Women know that we get judged on our appearance daily - by other women, by men objectifying our bodies or criticising it to their friends when we aren’t within earshot. WE KNOW this is how things are because we all do a fair amount of judging ourselves (be honest now, ladies). What we do not need is someone we trust, be it a guy friend, boyfriend, father or even husband, saying it out loud. Trust me, every tiny bit of criticism you have for me I have said to my reflection in the mirror millions of times already. It should never ever come from a man, so keep it to yourself.
2. Insult my intelligence
This isn’t the 1850’s - I know for a fact a man’s brain isn’t bigger than mine. Demeaning a woman’s intelligence as a man (who is not her teacher, but even THEN…) has sexist connotations no matter which way you put it. Besides, chances are, I’m actually smarter than you. Deal with it.
1.Insult my personality
There’s constructive criticism (the type I hear from my mother on an almost daily basis *sigh*) and then there’s things like, “Jesus, are you on your period or something?” or “You’re so emotional, what’s wrong with you??” Hey bro? That’s a pre-conceived stereotype you’re working with right there. You know how I know? Because if you said to me what I just said to you, that would make you ‘sensitive.’ Think Damien Rice and Ben Howard. Just because I’m addressing something you’re not enjoying, that does not make me a hysterical bitch. That makes you a jerk. You’re not the only one that would much rather be drinking wine and re-watching “Iron Man” than arguing.
Because the overall tone of this article could go under the genre “overwhelmingly bitter, go eat a cupcake” and that’s not really who I am (that is, sunshine and unicorns), here’s a picture of kittens sitting in cups.
Me, while looking at a family photo: “Mom, why does our entire family look like potato farmers?” My Mother: “Because they are in Volchansk, not at an EU building in Brussels.”
Call me a crazy cat lady (because, frankly, you wouldn’t be the first one to do so), but the hardest part of moving to Holland and and my terminally organized apartment that I share with my terminally organized roommate was giving away my pudgy mandarin-coloured cat, Jeremy. It had to be done, he went to a wonderful home, more spacious and financially stable than I could ever have provided for him…. but there’s a cat-shaped hole in my heart that I’ve done my best to ignore until now.
And then today I read this ridiculously heartwarming Toronto Star piece about a teeny kitten getting rescued from a garbage dump where she had lain crying covered in stale coffee until some passers-by had caught wind of her crying and rescued her from her plight.
People are wonderful and good and loving and generous, and I gave away my longest-residing, cuddliest, most loving rommate. Yes, he shed more than a christmas tree and attacked anyone and everyone who wasn’t me. All my friends without exception hated and/or feared him. But he also slept on my bed as I typed out my essays, cuddled up to me while did my readings, and was there for me in my darkest moments, usually purring.
Hopefully some day I’ll feel like this towards my actual human children (proving all those name-calling cat-lady haters wrong!) but for now, you’ll always be in my heart, Jerbear.
I know I’m a bit late on the Florence+The Machine bandwagon, but HOLY MOTHER this remix is spectacular.—
Why won’t your nerves just die?
Normally these “remixes” of political speeches are just annoying, but this is too topical to be anything but perfect. Also, props on the adherence to the the original structure, Jay-Z is a hard man to parody.—