Jenny Bundock critically examines the unfair privilege granted to her by systemic matriarchy
By Jenny Bundock
Facebook is a good way of finding out which of your friends are one of those people who embrace their own stereotype and use it as some kind of pride-generating list. I came across one of these lists on the page of a friend of mine I last spoke to in grade four, before my family moved away (yeah, Facebook is great because now I can see what she grew up to look like because that was burning me up inside — not knowing). Anyways she posted this thing called “Advantages Of Being A Woman.” Once again, there is further evidence that people on my friends list must believe that I am not a woman. It’s very confusing. Since I am pretty sure that I am still a woman, I find these types of lists to be rather frustrating, and from what I can tell, they are not representative of the majority of women I have ever met. I decided to critique this mess and do what this woman does best — complain about how stupid it is.
Okay so the apparent “Advantages Of Being A Woman” are:
1. We got off the Titanic first.
That’s true, but the reason we got off was so that we could continue to raise the children, who they also let off the boat first. We were also expected to have more children. We were not let off because we were women, and they wanted us to go be neurosurgeons and firefighters — we got off to clean spit-up, change diapers, and ensure the survival of male heirs. You could go ahead and leave me on the boat in that case.
Women and children first!
2. We get to flirt with systems support men who always return our calls, and are nice to us when we blow up our computers.
We don’t so much “get to” do that as we have the choice to capitalize on the fact that a male support worker might be kind of bored and/or attracted to girls. The author of this list has failed to consider that gay people might be support workers, or that a woman may also be a support worker. As well, I know for a fact that no support worker has ever said to my brother, dad or boyfriend when they call, “You know, if you were female, I’d fix this for you, but because you are a man, your money is no good here, don’t expect a returned phone call.” Please! Support workers want money, they don’t care who has it. This is a prime example of something women think they are doing because it helps, but really it just makes them look pathetic and/or skanky.
3. Our boyfriend’s clothes make us look elfin and gorgeous. Guys look like complete idiots in ours.
Um, elfin — I’m not really sure what that means, but I have never felt like a character from Lord of the Rings wearing a pair of plaid boxers with holes in the crotch and a bigger black sweatshirt… Fail.
4. We can be groupies. Male groupies are stalkers.
Wait, I’m confused, do we want to be groupies? And for the record, male “groupies” are called roadies, and they drink with the band, move gear, ride on the bus, and have sex with “groupies.” Life is not a scene from Almost Famous. There are no “rock bands” anymore with members under the age of 50 that tour with groupies — except for Nickelback — and if you want to follow them around, you go right ahead, but I’ve got this thing called “respect for myself” that you should try out sometime!
An Hormonal Imbalance?
5. We can cry and get off speeding fines.
This is another “we can” that I don’t get. Guys could cry, and I bet it would work just as well. Cops aren’t as stupid as people think. They aren’t going to let you off because you “cried.” Emotional instability is not the best foot forward when trying to convince an officer of the law that you are a much better driver than you have presently demonstrated. Tears = guilt, surprise and apology = honest mistake. I can tell you right now, the latter is the better way to go for both genders.
6. We’ve never lusted after a cartoon character or the central female figure in a computer game.
Did whoever wrote this forget that lesbians are also women? And as for never lusting after a cartoon character, I have friends who had crushes on Robin Hoods and Tarzans who were animated. I myself am partial to Shaggy from Scooby-Doo and Jude from the Canadian cartoon 6teen that I now just inadvertently admitted to having watched.
7. Taxis stop for us.
Like the previously mentioned service employees, taxis stop because they want your money, not because they like women especially. I am sure that taxi drivers snub an equal number of men and women. Why does this woman constantly assume that because something happens to her, it must be because she is a woman?
8. Men die earlier, so we get to cash in on the life insurance.
But we also get to live through the probably drawn-out, painful death of our spouses and then live out the rest of our years in the house that we shared with them, missing then, getting old, and staying single because most of the old men have died, even the single ones. Sounds like a real fun time.
9. We don’t look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
Um, have you seen Usher dance? I think again that women can look terrible dancing; I see all kinds of women cut loose on the weekends, and though they don’t look like “frogs in blenders” they look like they are auditioning to be strippers, so I’m not sure what is worse. Personally I’d rather look silly, but have fun, than be inappropriately trashy, clenching everything, and throwing out my neck with a hair helicopter and at an aunt’s wedding.
10. Free drinks, free dinners, free movies… (you get the point).
Nothing is free. See, it looks free, but the person who bought it for you is expecting you to participate in the transaction, though your contribution may not be monetary. I say pay for your own shit, and enjoy not being held hostage by the expectations of the douche in the bar who bought you a drink. Or if you are out to dinner with your boyfriend, don’t treat him like an ATM and he may actually stick around. You can’t want equality when it means your paycheck goes up to a man’s level, but you still expect for men to pick up your tab. Feminism is not choosy.
11. We can hug our friends without wondering if she thinks we’re gay.
Do men think this? I know many men who hug. Now men are getting stereotyped. Whoever wrote this sure has everyone’s number!
Into every male friendship, this question must fall.
12. We can hug our friends without wondering if WE’RE gay.
Hey let’s take it a step further, à la Katie Perry, and say you could full-on make out with your friends and not wonder if you were gay because that’s what lesbianism is right — a show for the boys? I am glad I am not a lesbian most days because so much stuff pisses me off already, I can’t imagine dealing with something like “hugging your friends and thinking you are gay.” As though being gay is a realization you have when your body touches someone of the same sex. *sigh*
13. New lipstick gives us a whole new lease on life.
This must be the problem with my life — here I have never bought lipstick. Who knew that whale oil and pigment were the keys to happiness?
14. It’s possible to live our whole lives without ever taking a group shower.
I call bullshit on this. You can’t avoid that, no matter what your sex. We all went to the public pool when we were kids. You can’t slide this one by.
15. We don’t have to fart to amuse ourselves.
This one clinches it: I cannot be a woman.
16. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.
Or if we think shaving is retarded and unnecessary, the prissy shallow dips that wrote this homage to women don’t have to know that we crazy armpit hair chicks are secretly super gross!
17. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her butt.
I guess you could, but why not take advantage of that rare opportunity?
8. If we have a zit, we know how to conceal it.
This is true, though judging from this list, if you have a moronic attitude, it is much harder to hide.
19. We CAN sum you up based on your shoes!
This is probably true. When I see a girl in six-inch heals in the winter downtown I think “What a retard, that’s terribly unfunctional,” or when I see someone in leather boots in July I think “Gross, you are so wading in your own sweat right now.” I am sure these same women see me in my comfortable tennis shoes or warm winter boots and think: “You are so not going to win Canada’s Next Top Model dressing like that.” And they would be right. So right.