The first post in this series calls for a bit of explanation, so here it is. I identify as a woman myself, and most of my friends do as well. And when it comes to rant sessions, there are plenty of things that come up, from personal things to political ideas to anger over food prices. Which is hella real cause my taste buds may like rich things but my wallet doesn’t, and I think that’s a common sentiment. But the point is, a lot of times what comes up is how our womanhood affects the way we’re seen and treated in society. Objectification, belittlement, rigid stereotypes, workplace limitations, the clothing industry . . . the list goes on and on, and it’s ridiculous. It’s not the worst thing to be a woman in this day and age, especially compared to other marginalized groups, but the struggle is still real and important to think about.
So here’s me thinking about it. From my experiences to things I’ve heard from friends, to their own recountings of horror stories and their observations, I want to clue people in on what it’s like to live life as a lady. There will be good things in this series too, because being a lady has some perks and I’m not all about that negative style. But there are a lot of those unfavorable things, and putting them out in the open for thought and discussion is important, so here’s my best go.
The basics. What even are those? For me, it’s what comes up again and again in conversations, across internet boards and things I hear muttered in the aisles of clothing stores and in public bathrooms. The common grievances we face on a (semi)-daily basis. Things a lot of people (men) never even have to think about. This isn’t comprehensive, since it’s late and I’m too exhausted to give this the full attention it deserves, but perhaps that’s the best as it’s whatever comes to mind in the next 5 minutes. Here they are.
- Sanitary products are a luxury good. Let me be clear, those of us with vaginas never asked for our uterus to claw itself up from the inside, give us raging pains and hormones, then be forced to bleed it out for 3-7+ days. The fact that we have to pay for these things like they’re an extra special buy, something you want to pick up with your extra pay? Come on, if I was going for a luxury good it’d be an $8 chocolate bar, not an $8 pack of pads.
- Clothing sizes are a joke with the consistency of vodka. It’s madness. If you want something to fit you’d better hope that mercury is in retrograde, the eclipse is coming in 2.5 hours and the star 5 solar systems over is dying. And that’s just in one store. The place next door? That’s a whole ‘nother game, and it requires a black hole on top of everything else.
- Online clothes shopping is impossible. This is for clothes again, but seriously, how can you buy anything that you can’t even trust to fit when you’re in a store? Drives me crazy.
- Bras don’t exist for people beyond a 40DD. Or if they do, they’re only in nude or black, and may or may not have to be ordered on line. I know that the fabric can still be made into bigger sizes, so why y’all holding back?
- Big feet, small selection. I’m a size 10-11 in women’s shoes (again with the size inconsistency, jeesh), and I have actually managed to find some pretty cute shoes. But overall? My 4-5 racks that are maybe 18 inches across are more than pitiful when I see a whole aisle worth of size 8s. I’m calling bs.
- I’m not your sweetie, honey, or other gross terms of endearment. Unless my father, or her brother, or an uncle also gets some creepy and unwanted nickname, back off. Especially since I don’t even know you.
- The kitchen is not my place or responsibility. Come holiday time, when the family all gathers and the men plop their butts at the table? Oh dear god you aren’t helpless, I know you can move plates from one place to another or at least put them in a dishwasher. I am not here to serve you, and even if I like cooking that doesn’t make it my job to hole up in there on a whim because it’s something I usually do. That’s a personal choice.
- Housewives do have a job and they’re damn good at it. When people say women who stay at home have it easy I can’t lose my respect faster. Do you know how hard it is to maintain a house? And go shopping, or cleaning, or giving both physical and emotional effort towards your partner, and/or children, and tidy up after everyone and so many other things? That takes some crazy time and devotion and deserves a whole lot more respect than it gets.
- Our boobs are not magical watermelons that float upwards and spill out of our shirts. They are often asymmetrical, smaller than watermelons and god help you sweetie, if they’re spilling out your bra is too small so go get help. For the love of god, draw us right.
- Everything we do is not sexy. Bending over to grab a pencil means you’re getting an eyeful of my old and faded grandma panties. Eating a banana? I’m chomping that thing down like a lumberjack on oak. Getting wet in a t-shirt? Yeah, my transformation into a frizzy raccoon monster is complete and you have a front row view to that, not some translucent top. I’d like to exist without being sexualized in every dang scenario.
- Women wanting equal rights doesn’t mean it’s okay to hit a woman. Why the hell is that your first thought? It means being treated fairly in every sphere (work, social, relationship), not getting abused, which is a shitty and horrible thing on its own. You’re going to cite the US drafting policy? Well jokes on you because men are the ones who made it a gentleman’s club, not women. Way to insult not-us.
- I’m not catty, bossy or bitchy. Those are words reserved for women, and yet men who take charge are ‘leaders’, or if they’re fed up and don’t put up with bs they’re ‘assertive’. Puh-lease.
That’s it for now, but there are plenty more things that women face daily as minor annoyances. And the fact that these are minor (at least to me) is ridiculous, because no one should have to put up with them. But yet here we are, charging through it because despite it all, we’re strong badasses. Rock on my fellows.